The Writer In Portugal

It’s not right to say I’ve got nothing done.  In fact, I’ve done a ton of research and my dad has given me enough books that it will make our weight going back um… problematic.  The problem is that I haven’t written at all.  Part of this is due to the fact we spent a week (give or take) sleeping.  Note to self, coming here straight from Liberty con might not be the best idea.

I don’t know why the flight across the ocean is so frigging tiring, I know the last time I did two in 10 days it nearly killed me, so I’m going to assume there is some inherent physical factor to it.  The truth is all of us, even kids, pretty much slept 16 hours a day for five days.  Which left very little time to do anything more interesting.

The last three days we’ve gone on the train to downtown Porto, where we have generally poked around places I used to hang out in (most changed beyond recognition) and scouted places to kill monsters.

Today, literally between the last paragraph and this, dad took me to a “military museum” which is actually a gun museum.

We interrupt this program to note that the writer got to see and fondle a Lewis Light Machine Gun.  More importantly, it was the gun dad trained with in the army, so he was giving me all sorts of insight into it, and why he preferred it to the others available.  Mwahahah…. I mean, it was very useful.

As for the rest of the museum, d*mn but I wish I had had Larry Correia with me.  (His visit to Portugal MUST happen.)  Half the museum is detailed military miniatures, the rest is guns, some incredibly obscure and strange and some frankensteined from pieces in Portugal.  I had a very fun two hours, and honestly could have spent two days there.  (And for idiots reading this who’ll call me ammo sexual f*ck off.  Fascinating history and ingenuity there.)

Anyway, the research she is beautiful, and the opening to Guardian came to me in a dream, but d*mn it, I still haven’t finished Darkship Revenge.  You must all keep fingers crossed that we have a good flight home (10 hours) with spacious enough seats (we’re in economy plus on the way back) that I can ACTUALLY bring out the laptop and type.

Until then, I’m going to go research more stuff.

(I think I frightened my dad a little, as his little girl was never interested in guns before.  See what hanging out in Baen company does to you?)

Well, I’m off to visit a port wine cellar (yes, they give you samples at the end.)

Be good until I return.

298 responses to “The Writer In Portugal

  1. Sleep on vacation is a good thing. So is port. Relax and enjoy.

    PS Try not to use the urinals when recycling the port.

    • Larry Patterson

      Port is very nice, but temps in the upper 90s make well chilled vinho verde even more delicious.
      Port will induce somnolence for a few hours, though.

  2. Be good? By who’s definition of good? Oh, it’s all well and good to issue general commands of such sort, but how are we poor plebeians to implement such mighty endeavors?

    We must first form a committee to study the nature of goodness, and a second committee to study the nature of the human heart, and a steering committee, and separate budget and accounting committees.

    Oh, if there were only sort of existing form of moral guidance, possibly with a written text which explores and defines what “good” means and how that might be applied to all men.

  3. Tim McDonald

    Economy plus is well worth the money, and yes, you will have room to work on your laptop. Hope the rest of your trip goes well!

    • “Yes, you will have room to work on your laptop.”

      That depends on the plane. On older planes, this is accurate. On the newer planes, “economy plus” is roughly equivalent to what used to be the standard economy seat, while economy-not-plus means that at 5’4″, 130 lbs., I am too large to fit comfortably, and my knees are banging into the seat in front of me.

      There’s a reason why the airline industry has approval ratings at levels ordinarily reserved for Congress.

      • I’m 5’8″, somewhere around 165 pounds, and I recently took a flight on a twin prop airplane with a 30 pound toddler as a lap-sit infant. Oddly enough, it was not nearly as uncomfortable as I’d feared; it was the terminal trek, from N to F and up to the bathrooms and back, that did in my back. But I’m *weird*, and the youngest, and used to fitting into smaller spaces than I should by right.

        • Like I said, depends on the plane you get. In the older ones, I was perfectly comfortable in economy and in economy plus, it was downright spacious. But that’s definitely changing on the newer planes.

      • Well, it used to was that Airline routes were doled out by the State, and tickets cost a small fortune. Then deregulation put the airlines on a much closer footing with Greyhound, prices fell, and the budget for such frills as room to breathe vanished.

        I hate flying. I always hated flying. There is no place on earth so wonderful that I would fly across an ocean to get there. That said, whenever I run across some pillock arguing for re-regulating the airlines I look him (or her) up, amd nine times out of ten it’s somebody who dimly remembers flying in the “good old days”, on an expense account, when one didn’t have to worry that one might be sharing a road with a bum.

        • Nope. I loved flying. Dear God, the feel of the thrust in your chest as you’re powered back against the seat, and the vehicle you’re in slips the surly bonds of earth. Seeing the clouds from the inside. Seeing the world, like a demi-God from on high…

          And that doesn’t even get into the weird wonderfulness that are (were, now) local airports.

          And I’ve paid for every ticket I purchased with the sweat of my brow.

          Flying is still amazing, but now the suck factor (thank you Islamic asshats! Thank you TSA goons!) is just as high.

          • Ditto on the flying itself.

            I got to ride a plane to a carrier, then get heloed over to *my* ship.

            A dozen flavors of awesome– especially since the pilots decided to practice their war-zone takeoff as we left Singapore. WHOOOOSH!

            • In the early ’80s, during a quick Space A trip to Florida, I had a chance to go out to the Lady Lex to watch some carrier landings, but there was only one seat left on the COD because LT Buttface, son of MN National Guard Adjutant General Buttface, had signed up to go with daddy out to the flattop as well. Since my lady friend couldn’t accompany me, I decided to hang out with her on the beach on Boca Chica Key. As we were coming out of the BX with our afternoon refreshments, here comes LT Buttface walking in. When I inquired politely why he was standing in front of me, he said he’d decided that he didn’t really want to go after all.

              Closest I’ve ever come to homicide, however justifiable. Good thing my lady friend had a cooler head than I and was able to stay my hand. in retrospect, I don’t think she was *that* excited about spending the good part of a day bobbing around on the ocean.

              Turns out we were able to watch the planes taking off from Key West NAS for their carrier quals from the beach, so the afternoon wasn’t a total washout.

          • “I love flying. I hate (commercial) airports.”

      • And at 6′ and a bit over 350 lbs, this is the reason I drove 8 hours when my manager insisted all of her remote employees come to the home office for a week. Will be driving home tomorrow.

        • We’ve found it’s cheaper to drive our family, since we hit 4, from Seattle to San Diego. (If we were to put the car in parking at SeaTac, that alone would cost more than gas and hotels.)

          It also only takes about 12 hours longer.

        • Eight hours is within our driving range. Our reasoning is that all you have to go through to fly – checking luggage, inspections, claiming luggage, car rental – breaks even at eight hours. We have driven 12 – 13, though at the end of that one we were tempted to fly that distance next time. Over that we consider flying distance.

          • The thought of flying what is a mere 8 hour drive boggles my mind; well okay, if I had my own plane it wouldn’t, but flying commercial?

            Anything under twenty hours I consider a straight through drive. Besides, I am generally traveling with a pack of dogs and guns, which makes flying commercial problematic and expensive.

      • And that assumes the passenger in front of you is not leaning back. I had a laptop damaged mid flight when the guy in front did that and caught the screen just right in the niche where the tray table fits into.

  4. floridaeditor

    If weight is an issue, ship all your clothes and shoes back home via FedEx (or whatever) and pack your books and essentials in your luggage.

    • scott2harrison

      Won’t work. This is Sara and family that we are talking about. Buy a container and ship it. When it is delivered to your home, use it as a secure shed. They are a glut on the market at the moment, so it should be cheap enough and a full size container should be large enough for even your families book habit (I hope).

    • That’s how I used to tour on the bike. Bring a few changes of socks and underwear in the tank bag, Fedex everything else ahead. We’ll be doing basically the same thing when I get the Lotus 7 replica done.

      Never carry anything you can ship.

  5. So is Porto where Port wine originated?

  6. “Economy Plus” means an extra inch between seats. Maybe two.

  7. Dehydration is part of the trans-oceanic drain. I suspect the lack of opportunity for motion is another part, and general stress on top of those. I do OK going west to east trans-Atlantic, but need a nap the afternoon after arrival. Coming back? Takes me 48 hours to reach normal brain function (for Alma levels of normal).

    • Margaret Ball

      Me too, Alma. For some reason west to east is a lot easier than east to west. Anyone have a theory?

      • According to the “studies,” it’s supposed to be worse going west to east – more jet lag.

        But I’ve noticed the same thing as you have – I have an easier time the other direction. Maybe we’re tired, go to sleep before our “normal” time, and reset our jet lag sooner? East to west, I’m just as tired – but there’s a lot more of the day left to get through.

        • Hrmm… I wonder if that fits with an idea that stuck me a bit ago (probably someone else has already come up with it, but I’ve not heard of it). In some clock-deprivation sleep studies (put a person in a ‘cave’ away from clocks, sunlight, time indicators and see how they sleep, etc.) I’ve read that subjects would go to a roughly 25 hour “day.” Once upon a time I wondered if that was from earlier in earth’s history or even from something Martian. Martian is too out there, and the earth day is lengthening.

          And then I remembered the ‘synchro-glide’ system in analog television. A sawtooth (ramp) oscillator was intentionally set to run slow and the synchronization pulse would reset it, making it seem faster as needed.

          Do people have a sort of sleep synchro-glide system, that uses something (sunlight?) to reset it? Going west to east, the “synch. pulse” happens earlier, the ramp is reset for a weird short cycle, but then things are in synch. again? And west to east, the pulse happens late, the ramp runs up… and might cycle by itself, possibly resulting in sleeping through whatever the synch. pulse is and the lack of ‘hold’ continues a few cycles until one is awake enough to be exposed to/experience the synchronizing event – and then things are right again, or are in the next cycle.

          Make any sense, or have I utterly failed to understand something quite simple?

          • Oh, bother:

            And east to west, the pulse happens late, the ramp runs up…

          • Re the people-in-a-cave “natural day” studies – My bet is stil on the Mars thing.

            • Mars, with the roughly 24.5 hour day. I think it might be a few minutes longer, but as I recall, it’s a not-too-bad approximation.

              • Perhaps 25 hours is just the outer edge of what the feedback systems default to when they’ve got null input on the light side?

                Kind of like a screen that’s “projecting black” doesn’t actually go black, and then start sucking in light.

                If humans are set up to sleep when it’s dark, and because of the earth’s tilt that means it has to be adjusted so their “I need sleep” signals don’t trip while it’s bright; I know the bottom “edge” of a workable sleep cycle is about six hours. (Six on six off. It sucked. You burnt most of your “free” time eating or getting ready. Apparently they tried alternating 4s, but that resulted in literal sleep dep– you can’t get a cycle in three and a half hours.)

                • Perhaps 25 hours is just the outer edge of what the feedback systems default to when they’ve got null input on the light side?

                  That’s my analogous ‘slow’ sawtooth oscillator. ~25 hours being the ‘no synch. signal’ period of free running.

                • 4 on 4 off port and starboard was standard on skimmers in 1974. At least the one I was on. 6 hour watches is a submarine thing. Either way, port and starboard watchstanding leaves one in a constant state of fatigue. Especially since it doesn’t get you out of training and drills and all those other things that occur on a ship that are mandatory.

                  • *nod* There’s a reason that there were a *lot* of really crazy accidents, not to mention folks just… snapping. Or passing out on watch. (In bootcamp I found out it’s possible to fall while marching.)

                    Even six on, six off was only used for stuff where it had to be used, like “that job is required for the ship to move, and we only have two people competent to do it”; most of our shops were 12/12, and I’ve heard of ships that managed 8/8/8 level manning.

                    • When I started with the utility, it was all hands working until the lights were back on. Day three tended to get interesting. One guy swore he saw a gator in a ditch. Another stopped for a traffic light two blocks away.

                      Now we stagger crews, and that’s much better. Only some of it is for CDL requirements. It makes for safer working.

                    • I do remember 2 teams assigned to 2 pumps, with everyone else in the division on port and starboard. Work until one of the pumps was back online. I remember close to 3 days awake. A few hours before hitting a liberty port. Slept through my first day of liberty. My team (not mine, I was VERY junior) got a pump fixed first. Not sure if everything was done perfectly correctly IAW the books, but it was done good enough.

          • On average, people stay up for 25 hours. But times as short as 18 and as long as — over 30 are recorded.

        • Re travel West to East? The flight from Philadelphia to London was not so bad. The Spouse and I were tired, but we took a gentle walk, managing to stay up until a ‘decent’ bed time. BUT, on the other hand, the knowledge that I had been traveling most of a day, had stopped for a while in Anchorage and was landing in New York City at the ‘same’ time I left Tokyo — and still had to make a connection to get home — somehow really slammed me.

        • It may depend on the length of the trip. I regularly fly between Texas and California. Two hour time difference. So when I get to CA, I just stay up a couple of hours later than my usual TX bedtime, and am ready to go the next morning. Back to Texas, and I’m not sleepy until one or two in the morning, and it takes days for the body to get back to a normal rhythm.

          Denver to Portugal would be what seven hours off? Totally out of sync.

          • If it works for you (anecdotally, it doesn’t for everyone) melatonin can be helpful.

            Take a dose a couple of hours before you want to go to bed for the first couple of days. It doesn’t necessarily put you to sleep, but it makes it easier to sleep through the night instead of the frequent “wake up at 3 AM and not be able to sleep again” problems I would have for the first few days after a long flight.

            I started using it when I was doing a lot of trans-pacific flights for work. It made a big difference not to be dragging around half asleep for the first few days.

            Be aware that it’s OTC in the US, but a prescription drug in some countries.

        • I sleep like a log on long flights. If I’d gone airborne they’d have to’ve slid me out with the pallets. “Ammo,food, Lt. McEnroe…pilot the payload is clear…”

          • I can sleep on flights just fine as well. $HOUSEMATE, however, cannot. Pretty much can’t sleep in a sitting position. I think it’s attributed to being a private pilot: sleeping in the plane is bad. And that carries over to other things. When I end up driving, I know that the consciousness coefficient has dropped to zero or close enough.

            • I can’t sleep in a moving car. At all. And it started before I learned to fly.

              What that does not mean is that I can drive indefinitely; eventually I’m unsafe and about half dopey, but switch to the passenger side, and I’m awake and alert-ish immediately.

              Might have something to do with being nailed by a hit-and-run drunk driver as I was crossing a street when I was five, but I don’t know. On the other hand, I can sleep just fine as a passenger in an airplane. Never tried piloting when I should have been catching up on sleep.

          • Sgt. Apone: [with disgusted look] “Someone wake up Hicks.”

      • It may be part of the timing of the flights. It feels like West-to-East flights are often overnights; for those who can sleep on the plane, you sleep until you get there, then go through the day in your new location. East-to-West often occur early in the day, meaning it feels like day during the entire time you’re on the plane, then you get off and it’s still daytime; it feels like you’ve lost a night’s sleep somewhere in there….

      • Zsusza has part of it, I think. US to Europe usually departs in late afternoon and arrives in the morning, so if you nap on the plane, you are reset for the new timezone. Still tired from the flight and transfers et cetera, but the internal clock is not so far off. The reverse trip is chasing the sun, so you start at 0400 local time (worst case, leaving from Vienna) and get to the US at mid-afternoon, then have another connection or two, and you can end up with a 26 hour day-lit day that has totally futzed your internal rhythms. I make it a point to try to nap on the US-Europe leg, because I know I have to be both functional and fluent when I get there.

    • 25 years in the Army, the one abiding truth about jet lag for me and about everyone else I knew was this: West to East, you don’t have problems on trans-oceanic travel. East to West…? Holy crap; prepare for days of screwed up sleep schedules. Going to Europe for me was a piece of cake at age 20; coming home? I burnt up a week of leave time with screwed-up sleep schedules and being up when I should have been sleeping. Same-same when I went to Korea, and it didn’t help on that first tour that we literally went into Team Spirit within about 48 hours of my arrival. Second trip over there? Same thing… Going to Kuwait/Iraq? No problems. Coming home? Lots and lots of dislocation, despite following all the theoretical “jet-lag” regimens and taking timed doses of melatonin that are supposed to help reset the body clock.

      Experentially, I would have to say that the phenomenon is real, for most people. For other blessed individuals? There are a few people who just seem to look at the sun, and go “Oh, it’s noon, locally…” and something resets their body clocks without issue. These people often garner a lot of negative emotional response in their peers, and may want to refrain from being bright and chipper in the local morning, should they want to survive the deployment in good health. Terminal jet-lag, where you have to get up and work and “deal”, may not be conducive to good health, when you’re naturally annoyingly cheerful of a morning. If you fall into this category, be mindful of the fact that you’re in a distinct and tiny minority, and that the jury of peers for your murderer will likely be made up of people who have more in common with him than yourself. The prosecutor will know he’s in trouble for getting a conviction about the time the defense describes your cheerful morning songs, and the jury is nodding along, going “Yeah, I could see myself killing the SOB…”. Silence, and provision of copious amounts of coffee to your peers will go quite a long way in enhancing your survival odds…

      • I never, ever ask much of people until after the second cup of coffee AND at least one run through the breakfast line. I’m not that* suicidal.

        *I like flying airplanes upside-down and I teach school. Thus the need to qualify the statement.

      • What’s really funny is that I’ve found the West to East easy / East to West difficult thing to hold true, but in a weird way. See, I fly from Thailand to the U.S. on a semi-regular basis, and I usually end up flying over the Pacific. So I’m going from West to East in reality, but on the standard map layout* it looks like I’m flying from East to West. And the trips *to* America (West to East in reality, East to West on the map), I’m always tired when I arrive, and I have a messed-up sleep schedule for a week. Trips *from* America to Thailand? I’m adapted to the Thai schedule within two days. So for me, at least, it looks like the map direction fits better than the real direction.

        But actually, in my particular case, I think it has more to do with when I arrive. See, I usually fly Korean Airlines, because they generally have the most direct flights (the whole trip including layovers usually ends up under 24 hours). And the Korean Airlines flight into my city comes in after 9:30 PM — so I can just head home and hit the sack right away. Result: 10 hours of glorious sleep, and I’m up at 8:00 AM local time the next day, which has a lot to do with hitting the ground running. But in the other direction, I’m still up for 24 hours, but I end up arriving in early afternoon U.S. time, and I usually can’t force myself to stay up until evening. So I have an afternoon nap, then I don’t feel tired until 2:00 AM, so then I get woken up by the light at 6:00 AM and feel sleep deprived, so I end up having an afternoon nap the NEXT day… It takes a week to break that cycle.

        * The one that splits the globe at the International Date Line and puts the U.S. on the western half of the map, not the silly layout that puts the U.S. in the center at the expense of splitting the entire continent of Asia in half to make that orientation work.

      • Randy Wilde

        The prosecutor will know he’s in trouble for getting a conviction about the time the defense describes your cheerful morning songs, and the jury is nodding along, going “Yeah, I could see myself killing the SOB…”.

        Heh. I used to play a female cleric of the god of the Dawn in Dungeons and Dragons. I’d say that it was easier to play a female character than to play a morning person.

        I think the only thing keeping one of my friend’s characters from killing mine was the fact that I spent skill points in Cooking. I figured if I’m going to be waking them up at dawn it might as well be with bacon.

        • Cheerful morning people are an abomination unto Nuggan.

          We had a guy… Wow. Let’s call him “Dan Wall”. This dude was so effervescently cheerful and happy in the morning that it was a universal desire in the squad to do something really, really unfortunate to him. Only thing was, we were too out of it and grumpy to get up the energy, and by the time we’d have sufficient coffee in us to get up the necessary ambition to do something about our inchoate desires, well… It just wasn’t worth it. If Dan could have been throttled from the comfort of our sleeping bags, he’d have been dead, dead, dead. As it was, he was always on his happy little feet, singing (I am not joking about this) his happy little songs, and was entirely too hard to catch. I learned every single fruity little earworm song he’d been taught in his pre-school classes as a child, and I feel certain that he was probably enrolled in them as an act of self-defense by his parents, who probably went back to bed after dropping him off at them.

          We got attached to an infantry outfit, once, and I clearly remember having one of their senior guys sidle up to me and inquire of me if I knew anything about the maniac who was singing “kindygarden songs” in the pre-dawn darkness before stand-to. I had to confess that it was one of my guys, and I pointed him out to this rather scurrilous-looking individual, who just stood there, working his jaw, grinding his teeth audibly, and giving ol’ Danny-boy a death stare. He made one, and one only comment to me, to wit: “I wanna kill that guy, so, so badly… I really do…”. And, with that, he walked off, muttering. I mentioned this encounter to PFC Wall, and intimated that if he triggered any homicidal killing sprees, he was on his own. My little blue bird of happiness refused to believe that any such thing was possible, and cheerfully went over to introduce himself to the homicidal maniac…

          To this day, I’m not really certain what was said in that exchange, but Mr. Wall returned to me with a wide-eyed and very shocked expression on his face, and refrained from singing in the morning until we returned to our own unit at the end of the week. I did get the distinct impression that dire promises of carrying out retribution unto the seventh generation were made, or something of equally serious intent.

          Morning people. Can’t live with ’em, and hiding the bodies becomes a bloody nuisance.

          • I was a chipper morning person but I never sang. These days I’m not much of a morning person (I don’t get enough sleep to be one anymore).

    • Feather Blade

      Dehydration is part of the trans-oceanic drain.

      I always wear a mask to mitigate this. Bonus: it keep Other People’s Germs from most of your mucous membranes.

      And it only looks slightly suspicious.

    • The Other Sean

      Another example of trans-oceanic drain:

    • Even if it annoys your fellow passengers, you need to spend time walking up and down the aisles. Reach up stretch as high as you can and touch the cabin ceiling as you go. When you get to the galley/bathrooms, bend over and touch your toes.

      It’s not just the sleep deprivation that kills you, especially if you would reasonably active in real life.

  8. But did the gun museum give you samples at the end?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    • sabrinachase

      Oh, in a just and perfect world they *would*. And so would banks.

      • I read that last word as “blanks” and thought “Oh, so they would also give you ammunition to fire off — but since there’s no room to put in a proper range in most museums, they’d have to limit themselves to giving you blanks.”

        • Curators and docents cringe at the very thought.
          Was once offered the “opportunity” to visit the National Quilt Museum in Paducah Kentucky. The quilts are all hung on the walls for display and there is a solid barrier about four feet in front of them. Upon my inquiry as to why they went to that much trouble the guide replied, “little old ladies.” It seems that without the barrier it was impossible to keep them from reaching out to finger the fabric.
          Of course I’ve had much the same urges in a gun museum.

          • The dirty plexiglass barriers are what have made the Ufitzi Gallery a complete waste of time. You are better off just looking at photographs online.

            I remember, once upon a walking into a room, looking around and my jaw hitting the floor as I beheld the wall for-to-ceiling painting of Botticelli’s Rights of Spring. The gold and jewels he had used in his paint caught the light and clean.

    • Been my good fortune to visit three Browning museums in my life.
      Jonathan Browning, John Moses’s father, gun workshop at the LDS historical village in Navoo Illinois.
      The Browning military museum at Rock Island Arsenal.
      The Browning Corporation museum at the old train depot in Ogden Utah.
      Lots and lots of lovely firearms.
      Rock Island freaked my wife out. As you enter the main room it seems that every gun in it is pointed directly at you.
      Of course every historical museum has a firearms display of some sort. Boom sticks have played a very important part in just about every aspect of our history. Something that most likely will not change in the future either.

      • The Cody firearm museum in Cody, WY, is pretty wonderful its own self.

        Happened on it one morning at just the right time to sample the outdoor cook wagon breakfast demo, too.

        • Panhandle Plains museum in Canyon, TX has a large “Old West” firearms collection, along with enough other stuff that I STILL get lost in my own museum.

        • The Other Sean

          That entire museum complex at Cody is simply awesome. I spent nearly an entire day there on my way back from Yellowstone.

          • One day is simply not enough for that museum complex, I spent almost an entire day in the firearms museum alone, and didn’t have enough time to spend looking at everything I wanted to look at in there, not to mention not having time to look at the other museums.

            I know as an early teen, I was quite impressed that they had actual, honest to goodness Indian scalps in the museum.

      • Was a small, hole-in-the-wall firearms museum in Mankato, MN that was actually pretty cool. IIRC, had a couple of guns that were related to the James Gang raid in Northfield.

        • The infamous Northfield Minnesota raid, September 7,1876. James Gang stopped by to make a withdrawal at the local bank. They failed to realize it was the opening week of hunting season and most men in town either had their hunting weapons with them or close at hand. The gang, as a saying of that time went, “shot to doll rags.”
          Needless to say it spelled the ruination of the reign of crime perpetrated by that gang, though the James brothers themselves escaped.

          • That would be the raid where Cole Younger was shot eleven times, but still managed to stand up in the back of the wagon that hauled off the prisoners, and bow to the ladies as he was hauled to jail.

            Even some criminals have style. 🙂

  9. Yes, the Portuguese military is famous for Frankensteining weapons from other nations’ weapons. The FBP submachine gun was designed by Goncalves Cardoso, a cavalry officer, after he had a good look at both the US M3 (the grease gun) and the German MP40, it has characteristics of both. And for picking up good weapons cheap after all other countries have stupidly passed on them: The final, best version of the Armalite AR10 is known now as the Portuguese Variation.

    • And that’s a *real* AR-10. Most of the new ones on the market are mutant AR-15s that aren’t quite 10s or 15s…

  10. Sorry, Cardoso was an officer of Artillery.

  11. “(I think I frightened my dad a little, as his little girl was never interested in guns before. See what hanging out in Baen company becoming an American does to you?)”

    FTFY. Here, Hoplophobia is for wannabe Europeans. Who should be encouraged to return home.

  12. Be good till you return? Kind of limiting on us, don’t you think? But still we can try to be good, and bank up our ungood urges till we hear you’re back, then let them all out at once. Catharsis, don’t you know…

  13. Enjoy your vacation!

  14. I don’t know why the flight across the ocean is so frigging tiring

    You don’t? I would think it obvious — you’re going against the Earth’s direction of spin.

    • Sorry — elaboration: by going against the direction of spin you are going uphill. That is why you get so tired.

      I checked with a reliable authority, my friend Calvin’s father.

  15. After all, that airplane is awfully heavy, and I have to hold it up the whole way there….

  16. Blondengineer

    I often say “If you can’t be good, be good at it.” 🙂

  17. Pictures, s’il vous-plait?

  18. I hope you packed that Lewis well enough it will avoid customs. 8^)

    • There’s gotta be a form (or ten) for that.

    • I will confess it wasn’t well watched, but I was afraid they’d see me. I wonder if dad could find me one?

      • That seems unnecessary when all you need is a set of good stereo-optic photos of each component and a 3D printer at end point.

      • I’ll take “questions conservatives shouldn’t ask on the internet for $100, Alex…”

      • It’s not inconceivable, you know, that your dad has one.

        Or, being trained on it and a respected member of the community that he at least has some responsibility for a stay-behind cache somewhere not too far from the village.

        • Let’s see, just as an intellectual exercise… who would you trust with a pair of cached Lewis Gun and a couple tons of ammunition? Well when the next Napoleon or Saladin rode into town you’d want the guns to find their way into the hands of a group of energetic young men who would be quick to defend the town’s women and girls. But those are not at all the sort of people you’d trust to look after the cache over the long term. No… you’d want someone responsible and fairly smart (or at least wise and with a sense of history to know the difference between an existential crisis and a passing fad) and with just enough man-of-action to be willing to dig it up and show those boys how to use it (or to get the rest of the custodians together and move it if one of the other few men who knew of it started behaving erratically or some other threat of discovery occured), but otherwise be a stable, reserved, trustworthy, almost boring person. Someone who you wouldn’t worry would dig it up themselves and do something stupid in a fit of revolutionary fervor or sell it for personal profit or trade it to organized crime to pay some gambling debts. And certainly not braggarts or gossips. And you’d want at least two, but not much more, from different families in case someone died before picking a custodian to replace him. I think three would be ideal. Were there three such men in your village? Was your father one of the them?

          • Sorry, forgot this was Europe. One Lewis gun, half a dozen rifles, and a few belts of ammo.

    • It’s the barrel that will give you away – pack the other parts up in with a disassembled old sewing machine and ship it separately, then incorporate the barrel into a lamp or somesuch.

      • Feather Blade

        Could work, though the last time I took a lamp on an international flight, security gave me some funny looks.

        (It was a floor lamp that disassembled, right? and the parts bundled up, so all they saw on the xray was a sheaf of pipes with wires running…through…them…

        I’m lucky that I look mostly harmless.)

        • Oh, yeah. Back in the 70s, on a visit to Vienna, Austria, I was given a brass pen holder. Antique, nice gadget, right? Well, I got stopped in what passed for security at the time, and they tore my carry on apart. Then the guard laughed and showed me what he saw. The brass pipe and ink pot, with the batteries in my electric shaver underneath, looked uncannily like a handgun of some flavor on his X-ray screen. Can’t imagine what the TSA would do if that happened today.

          • I know that in ~ 1995, I went on a flight and had an 8 pack of AA batteries in my carry on, and they had me reach in and bring it out because it looked like a loaded magazine of wadcutters.

      • My grandfather used to tell the story of sending a German Luger to his father-in-law a few pieces at a time, during WWII. Of course he didn’t explain what he was doing, because mail was censored. His father-in-law put the gun together when he got all the pieces and sent it back with a note saying, “was it really that hard to put back together?”

  19. In other news, today’s least surprising headline of the day award goes to Variety for: Donald Trump’s Acceptance Speech Draws Ire From Hollywood

    • It’s nice, but not enough to convince me to vote for him!

      • Ace got to me a bit the other day, I confess.

        Trust not in princes?

      • I feel your pain.

        I remain undecided on how I will vote, but in the end I think my vote may come down to the Reynolds “Syphilitic Camel” Rule: If the vote is between the Unindictable Dowager Empress of Chappaqua and a Syphilitic Camel, I think I may have to vote for the Syphilitic Camel.

        • If the race was to come down to Her Immunity and Cthulu, I’ll be voting Cthulu, thankyouverymuch, on the off-chance that he might not be as bad as advertised.

          And, hell… If it were just to piss off our media lords and masters, like Jon Stewart…? Hell, I may just send him a picture of me filling in the ballot for Trump, with the caption “This is for you, Jon… And, because of you…”.

          Anyone who pisses off the left wing and the media the way Trump has, so far, can’t be that bad. Or, so I’m trying to convince myself…

          • Feather Blade

            Am I the only one who sees her initials and has to pause to remember that they don’t refer to some titled head in Europe?

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            He’s a seventy year old man who has spent his life doing whatever the hell he wanted. He is not going to break those habits, develop discipline, and run a successful conventional campaign. His alternative novel unconventional campaign maybe isn’t physically impossible, but you’d have to be insane or uncaring to stake everything on it.

            If he is a ringer, he would make the election appear uncertain until it actually happens. If he is only campaigning as part of a con, he would still want to create the illusion he could win. If he is delusional, he needs other people willing to play pretend with him. If he is going through the motions for his ego, he wants other people to indulge him.

            It is in his interest to trick you into thinking he can win, even if he obviously cannot. It is certain he is lying or delusional about some aspects of his claims of winning. (Someone on the Republican ticket winning New York and California? Ha.)

            I do not see that voting Trump to protest Clinton has any benefits over third party protest votes. There should be a third party option that cannot be a ringer for Hillary.

            My protest vote will be third party, even if it means I vote for a candidate and party I hate.

          • Robert Heinlein advocated voting Against as a useful guideliine, and if I decide the nation is screwed either way, voting for the candidate who will be most likely to make the “right” people weep, wail, and rend their garment bags on their way to the international departure desk guarantees at least some return on investment.

            As for conservatives getting the blame for anything that goes wrong under Trump … Heck, that’s going to happen under a Clinton presidency anyway. Look at how much conservatives have been blamed for Obama’s incompetency.

        • This election we have a choice between a prostitute and Pharisee.

          Me, I’ll go with the hooker. At least it’s an honest screw, and there are better odds on persuading them to repent.

      • The more telling point I think was Trump’s minions screaming in anger when Ted Cruz exhorted them to vote their consciences. If that upset them, isn’t it a tacit admission that their consciences tell them not to support Trump? Yes, I know, it was the Trump people trying to destroy Cruz. But why, at this point? The only reason I can see is petty vindictiveness. Not a trait to have in a president.

        • This is why I think I’d be in more danger — personally — under Trump than under Hillary.

          • You imagine Hillary less petty and less vindictive than Trump?

            • Less PERSONAL. She might send all her enemies to gullags, but not a small blogger who said something bad about her on a certain wednesday.

              • You’re just guessing at that. From stories I’ve heard she’d go after you in a heartbeat. Not hers- she doesn’t have one. A heart.

                And if you want the media to watchdog the president for abuses of power- the president has to be a Republican. Simple easy to understand rule.

                • For me, the telling thing is the fairly well documented evidence that her Secret Service detail loathes her, as did most of the White House staff And she them. I haven’t heard of anything quite like this for any other former First Lady or President, including Bill himself.

                  In contrast, it seems that most of Trump’s former personal staff either like him or – at most – are neutral.

                  Yes, this is all anecdotal, potentially biased, etc. But it does nothing to dispel her reputation for pettiness and grudge-holding.

                  • Also, his kids seem to be reasonably level-headed and competent. Even if that means he just picks good employees, that’s unusual.

                    • You write that as if Chelsea Clinton were not a charming, compelling personality.

                      Listen to her mothering tips — reading to her five-month-old daughter from the Wall Street Journal so she can follow Granma’s investing strategies.

                      WARNING: sensitive viewers may find it advisable to have a barf bag close at hand

              • IRRC, Jim Baen said he was audited twice during the Clinton Administration, and while I like Baen books, it’s not all that large an imprint.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  Note allegedly for publishing a book by the same Newt that has been supporting Trump.

                  • Hillary is on record as wanting to reverse the Citizens United and Heller rulings. Of course, as we well know there is no risk of anybody getting jailed for making a video of which she disapproves, as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Dinesh D’Souza would attest.

              • This is the one aspect of your opposition to Mr Trump’s presidential campaign that both my husband and I completely fail to comprehend.

                In all seriousness, we are both somewhat concerned that you were not in touch with reality on this point.

                For example, Mrs Clinton has historically been both petty and vindictive to anyone she perceives as an enemy. See: the White House travel office . She has a large and powerful political machine. Despite a press that is completely in tank for the Democratic machine, information creeps out about some of her nasty attacks on people she believes have opposed her. Up to and including the mysterious death of people who have the ability to testify against her in potential criminal trials.

                Mr Trump, on the other hand, despite my best attempts at running and finding out, as well as no incentive from the Democratic press (prior to his political bids) to cover up for him, does not have ANY stories of this kind.

                So I wonder what evidence of Mr. Trump’s previous behaviour you have on which you base these personal fears?

                My own creative work in support of the cultural the praetorian movement, and the sadpuppies, has me in real fear for my livelihood.

                So I do not write this to challenge you, but in concern about Mr Trump’s presidency. What info do you have that I do not?

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  It’s his social media. Maybe some digging into his deep history, but mostly some of us having been paying very close attention to his messaging during the primary. People showed me a lot of examples of him getting upset at something someone minor said about him, and tweeting some unhinged response.

                  Then there is the matter of the, IIRC, named litigant of the Trump Fraud case. His legal history apparently includes a large number of suits, divided between him suing other people, and small businesses suing him for shorting them on bills.

                  Plus all the rumors about proxies making threats on his behalf.

                  Sarah is probably lost in the noise on Hillary’s radar. She’d be in the big mass of right wing internet people, for which the cure is net neutrality.

                  Whereas, given Trump’s attention to Right Wing critics, and Sarah’s profile and determined anti-Trumpism, Sarah could well end up an identifiable target.

                • Hillary is a communist. For communists it’s never personal. It is deadly and terrifying, but not personal.
                  Trump is a trumpist. Attack him and you attack his deity. He will go after you no matter how small you or your heresy are.
                  Sure, you can think I am insane in this. That’s fine. I lay you money I’m not. And if Trump wins, unfortunately, you shall see.

                  • For communists the important criterion is advancement of the cause — if one falls there will always be another to fill that space in their lines.

                    Trumpism, OTOH, as a cult of personality rather than an ideology, lacks that capacity. When Trump is done there is no occupying force to defend the gains.

                    In most regards the two candidates are interchangeably bad. Thus we have to look at areas of difference, minor though they might be. For example, a Trump victory will contain the entertainment value of Leftists rending their garments, threatening to flee the nation and otherwise declaring gloooooom and doooooom. A Hillary victory will offer up the vicious calumny of Trumpkins blaming everybody but Trump for betraying the cause and Hillary Triumphalism, declarations that women have at last achieved parity with men and the healing can begin … complete with increased denunciation of American Sexism when the glorious heavens fail to open.

                    I think they’re bout equally bad in regard to Russia. Trump may be marginally better regarding the Chinese, if only because he views them as trade competition — no idea how he stands on our allies in SE Asia but he couldn’t be any worse that what Barry & Hillary have been. African policy … probably a wash. Trump may be more likely to practice benign neglect, Hillary more likely to play Great White Saviour (aka, scoring easy enlightenment points while exacerbating structural problems.)

                    In the Middle East I think Trump is the far better choice. First, he has not displayed the antisemitism and anti-Israelities which Hillary has displayed. Second, his willingness to challenge Muslim extremism far exceeds Hillary’s, and he is less likely to engage in extreme short-term responses to provocations. Finally, because he is willing to pursue a “produce our own” energy program he will significantly undercut the petrodollars flowing into the region.

                    Domestically I think he will be given far less leeway by Press and Politicians to abuse power. There’s no way he will be allowed to enable his own Lois Lerner equivalents and he may even be pushed into decertifying public employee unions.

                    As for trolling of bloggers … Hillary will enable jack-booted trollism such as we have seen at FB and Twitter, so more systemic than Trump is likely to practice. I doubt he would target anybody who ignored his personality and only addressed policies.

                    • Josh Kruschke

                      Trump is a brand, and any tarnishing of that brand can not be tolerated.

                    • Hi Josh, long time no see.

                    • Josh Kruschke

                      High mostly lurking and trying not to get unidated by all the email notifications. You guys write to much.

                      Been mostly lurking here and terorizing FB.

                    • As for trolling of bloggers … Hillary will enable jack-booted trollism such as we have seen at FB and Twitter, so more systemic than Trump is likely to practice.

                      Anyone who thinks Count Zuckerberg of Face, Viscount Pichai of Goog, Duke Dorsey of Twitt and the rest of the Silicon Valley nobility will go along with anything President The Donald wants in the way of retaliatory actions, or anything else, is deluded. Between their recalcitrance, the only somewhat cloaked opposition of the permanent Federal Bureaucracy, the press suddenly discovering the monitoring and publicizing role of the third estate, the ‘R’ congresscritters discovering the concept of “spine” since they won’t be making Dems mad, and the unified lockstep loyal (heh) opposition on the ‘D’ side, any Trump administration will be very limited in what it can get away with.

                      I doubt he would target anybody who ignored his personality and only addressed policies.

                      Oh, I think he will no doubt try, but just watch it blow up in his face the very first time. There will be no honeymoon for a Trump Administration – watch for all press coverage to be aimed at enabling the Warren run in 2020.

                • Noted:

                  Report: Trump will fund super PACS to destroy Cruz, Kasich
                  Republican nominee Donald Trump has plans of revenge for Ted Cruz and John Kasich after both unsuccessful candidates refused to endorse him despite signing the GOP pledge last year to back the eventual nominee.

                  The billionaire businessman vowed to create and fund super PACs focused on destroying both politicians if they choose to run for office in the future, whether as gubernatorial, senatorial or presidential candidates, Bloomberg reported Saturday.

                  “Maybe I’ll set up a super PAC if he decides to run,” Trump said of Cruz Wednesday at the Cleveland convention.

                  Trump may shell out $20 million to fund the projects — the cost, apparently, of getting even. He would launch his attack campaigns six months before the election date of either man’s race.

                  While these two “targets” are certainly much higher profile than Sarah, and Trump’s talk may merely be bluster, I would like to say that such action is very unpresidential.

                  I would like to say that, but know too much history to maintain a mien of fervent innocence of the realities.

                  • Trump can’t find his own election, but I believe he’ll waste money on this. It wont matter, Cruz will get reelected in Texas.

                    • Trump will use borrowed money – that’s how he’s run all his businesses forever.

                  • Your assessment of “which is the worst evil” is the same as mine, RES.

                    The problem I have with Mrs. Hoyt’s assessment (above) is that it appears as if she imagines “true-believing commie idealogue” necessarily precludes “cult-of-personality.” So far there is little evidence that is the case here.

                    With Mme Clinton, “l’ideologie socialism, c’est moi.”

                    But this recent bit of news piffle could be really helpful (If Mr. Trump actually said these things*) since it provides a nice test for Mrs Hoyt’s fear.

                    If Trump goes through with it, it proves he indeed spends time and energy paying back personal foes (As opposed to simply placticing amoral business practices but otherwise either leaving people alone or treating them well.)

                    If he does not, than it’s just his usual blowhard rhetoric gaming the mass media presstitutes.*

                    The good news (and my prediction) is that it will be the latter based on how Trump “hits back” and “gets revenge”. And since we’re not feminists, some guy Tweeting mean things about us isn’t going to have us hiding under the bed in fear.

                    *Most of those who identify as journalists are lazy, ignorant and only thirdly out-right corrupt. They “report” whatever seems plausible to them, rather than sitting down to craft propaganda per se

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Looking at that article, it reads more like “the reporter is reading Trump’s mind” than anything else.

                    • It’s tough. My usual trick: Go search magazine indices for [subject of controversy] prior to the date the presstitutes discovered it, doesn’t really work for Mr. Trump. There’s gossip press on him galore.

                      And he’s a successful mogul in a world that (1) paints all not explicitly SJW moguls (Zuckerberg, Soros, et al.) as Robber Barons Who Eat Babies For Breakfeast and (2) rewards businessmen who rent-seek and game the political system.

                      Added to that is Mr. Trump’s own offensive persona (and how much of that is created to game the idiot mass media: “any news is good news”) vs. real character?

                      My gut feeling is that he’s an amoral grotesque Boss Twede Dem-light with rock solid media trolling skilz but other than the “amoral” it’s hard to pin down the rest to “realz” as opposed to “fealz’

                    • It is tough, because even if we do what so many so called political analysts refuse to do in Trump’s case; and look at his record, we still can’t tell what are his real opinions and what opinions he thought would be good for business.
                      For example, we know he supported gun control in the past, but now claims to be a second amendment supporter. What we don’t know, is if he actually believes in gun control, or doesn’t really care one way or the other, but believed that a minor investment for it would reap larger benefits for his business. We know that as a Republican candidate he is going to claim to support the second amendment, because the vast majority of his potential voters do. It is very unlikely he truly does, since he has opposed it in the past, but what we don’t know is, is he ambivalent, and could really care less one way or the other, except the potential to gather votes; or is he actively lying to avoid alienating potential voters, while opposing the second amendment and planning to attack it after he is elected.

                    • You’ve nailed it.

                      We just don’t know.

                    • On the other hand, Bearcat, we know for sure that Hillary is die-hard opposed to the second amendment, and will use overturning Heller and MacDonald as her litmus test for SCOTUS nominees, as well as the executive actions she’s got lined up that make Obama’s look like pattycake.

                    • Sigh… true that. Mr. Trump’s making all the right noises on the subject, but he’s a complete would card. Could go either way.

            • Hillary does stuff because it’s useful to her; utilitarian evil.

              Trump does the same, but his ego is a major factor–chaotic neutral to chaotic evil, hard to figure.

              Hillary would not be married if her ego was a consideration.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Unless her major kink is, specifically, her man raping other women and girls.

                • And now I’m trying to get the mental image of those two as an elder Harley Quinn and Joker out of my head. And I can’t drink.

                  Thank you so much…..

                  • Here’s some brain bleach

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    Well, the upcoming Suicide Squad movie is deliberately intended to swing the election to Trump, and that character was invented in the nineties as a vicious caricature of Mrs. Clinton.

                    • *slow blink*

                      That is on par with the epileptic trees for Lost as an insane but still defensible theory.

                      And I thought the “ruled by lizardmen” thing was bad.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      Lizardmen is an awful racially charged epithet for the Windsor family. The preferred term is Pendragaliens.

                      My apologies.

                      My humor needs more work now. I need to remember that. There is no shame in erasing something that doesn’t make the cut.

                    • Tell me I can use ‘Pendragaliens’ and all is forgiven. 😀

                    • Oooh! That’s an awesome science fictional story idea. Mash up the lizard man conspiracy theories with intergalactic or interdimensional dragons attempting to rule the world.

                      In other news my AutoCorrect turns oooh into Willoughby.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool


                    • “ruled by lizardmen”

                      First read that as ruby lizardmen.

                  • Patrick Chester

                    “Wanna rev your Harley? Vroom! Vroom!”

                    Sorry, it just popped into my head.

                    (Okay, I’m not sorry, I’m evil.)

            • kenashimame

              Hillary is running a nativist streak…


            • kenashimame

              *ISN’T* running a nativist streak…

              I should eventually learn to type and spell; hopefully before Cheyne-Stokes breathing occurs.

              • Nativist? No, I think we can be confident Hillary won’t go there. I think she heard Brecht’s line about

                After the uprising of the 17th June
                The Secretary of the Writers Union
                Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
                Stating that the people
                Had forfeited the confidence of the government
                And could win it back only
                By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
                In that case for the government
                To dissolve the people
                And elect another?

                and instead of laughing went “Hmmmmm.”

                Remember, she and Billy Jeff were contemporaries of Blair’s effort to use immigration to edit Britain’s voting public.

                She’s not just Open Borders, she’s the Doc Brown of Open Borders, “Borders? Where we’re going, we don’t need borders.”

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Losin’ Don disappoints those thinking he will go out to win. Not prepped to hit the ground campaigning. Not very presidential. Sad.

        • Patrick Chester

          Also the part about voting for candidates who will support the Constitution? Why so mad, Trump fans?

        • Pfffflt.

          Please. Every one of those fools was hot and heavy to force Mr. Trump to sign a pledge that whoever lost the primaries would not go indie but would endorse the winner. Now they are all hoist on there own petard. Ahh schadenfreude …

          Screaming “Liar! You promised–!” at a career politician, strikes me as dumb as a sack of rocks. Mr Cruz may have painted himself as an independent, rebel, outsider; but apparently he is just another pol.

          So it makes sense that the hope-n-change Trump supporters (as opposed to the resigned and somewhat bitter “supporters” like yours truly) would feel betrayed that one of the “good” politicians turns out to be just another opportunistic hack.

          Side note: Why are you (Dr loss) confusing candidate supporters with the candidate?

          • I won’t continue this discussion at length for concern of irritating our hostess, but I’m not confusing anyone with anyone. But you’re seemingly believing that the booing of Cruz’s speech was a spontaneous, sincere outpouring of anti-constitutional and anti-conscience belief on the part of the Trumpists. It was not; Trump’s people were on the convention floor actively whipping the delegates into an anti-Cruz frenzy. For no obvious reason than that Cruz had the temerity to not kiss the ring of The Donald.

            As for the pledge, Trump himself declared that null and void back in March (maybe April). Trying to hold others to something you yourself have repudiated is both childish and mean-spirited. And the people in the country can see all of that.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Orchestrating that booing gets put in the ‘Trump is an ego manic unserious about winning’ evidence. Cruz has been saying waiting and watching since May 3. The bad blood made an outright convention endorsement incompatible with Cruz’s plans for future political branding. Plus, it wouldn’t have done Trump any good.

              If Trump had instead tried to present himself, during the next three months, as sane and presidential, Cruz could have credibly showed up shortly before the election and said that Trump was better than Clinton. Might’ve given Trump a bump.

              But no, Trump’s gotta be Trump.

            • It was not by accident that those states most supportive of Trump were arrayed in closest proximity to the podium. Nor was it by chance that Trump’s entry to the floor of the arena occurred before the conclusion of Cruz’s speech but after his failure to endorse became clear.

              Of one thing you may be certain: at political conventions, appearances are deceiving.

              I see no need to reach a conclusion as to who was in the right in this matter — with politicians you should always default to the position that each was in the wrong absent strong evidence to the contrary.

          • Far as I can figure, Trump can’t scream it at Cruz because Trump invalidated it back in February.

            Because he wasn’t being “treated fairly.” (He got booed. Gasp!)

            Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

      • Trump is afraid there’s someone somewhere who didn’t hear him accuse Cruz’s father of helping to murder President Kennedy, because National Inquirer said so, so he was repeating that lunacy for what seemed most of the night.

      • Clinton as President is scary, but how much better is a guy who thinks he can tell Congress and the Senate to “sit down and shut up” and do everything on his own?

      • I’m voting drunk and I am not telling ANYONE who I voted for. EVER. They can force me to eat a crap sandwich but damned if I tell them what condiment I picked.

    • My favorite non sequitur headline is from the Washington Post:
      Trump’s gloomy vision is far from ‘Morning in America’

      Completely ignoring the fact that “Morning in America” was the theme of a campaign for reelection, proclaiming a first term success. The more reasonable, apple-to-apple comparison would be Reagan’s acceptance speech at the 1980 Republican Convention, a speech containing such phrases as:

      “Never before in our history have Americans been called upon to face three grave threats to our very existence, any one of which could destroy us. We face a disintegrating economy, a weakened defense and an energy policy based on the sharing of scarcity.

      “The major issue of this campaign is the direct political, personal and moral responsibility of Democratic Party leadership–in the White House and in Congress–for this unprecedented calamity which has befallen us. They tell us they have done the most that humanly could be done. They say that the United States has had its day in the sun; that our nation has passed its zenith. They expect you to tell your children that the American people no longer have the will to cope with their problems; that the future will be one of sacrifice and few opportunities.

      “My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view. The American people, the most generous on earth, who created the highest standard of living, are not going to accept the notion that we can only make a better world for others by moving backwards ourselves. Those who believe we can have no business leading the nation.

      “I will not stand by and watch this great country destroy itself under mediocre leadership that drifts from one crisis to the next, eroding our national will and purpose.”
      — — —
      “[B]ack in 1976, Mr. Carter said, ‘Trust me.’ And a lot of people did. Now, many of those people are out of work. Many have seen their savings eaten away by inflation. Many others on fixed incomes, especially the elderly, have watched helplessly as the cruel tax of inflation wasted away their purchasing power. And, today, a great many who trusted Mr. Carter wonder if we can survive the Carter policies of national defense.

      ” ‘Trust me’ government asks that we concentrate our hopes and dreams on one man; that we trust him to do what’s best for us. My view of government places trust not in one person or one party, but in those values that transcend persons and parties. The trust is where it belongs–in the people. The responsibility to live up to that trust is where it belongs, in their elected leaders. That kind of relationship, between the people and their elected leaders, is a special kind of compact.”
      — — —
      “As your nominee, I pledge to restore to the federal government the capacity to do the people’s work without dominating their lives. I pledge to you a government that will not only work well, but wisely; its ability to act tempered by prudence and its willingness to do good balanced by the knowledge that government is never more dangerous than when our desire to have it help us blinds us to its great power to harm us.

      “The first Republican president once said, ‘While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years.’

      “If Mr. Lincoln could see what’s happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement. But, with the virtues that our legacy as a free people and with the vigilance that sustains liberty, we still have time to use our renewed compact to overcome the injuries that have been done to America these past three-and-a-half years.

      “First, we must overcome something the present administration has cooked up: a new and altogether indigestible economic stew, one part inflation, one part high unemployment, one part recession, one part runaway taxes, one party deficit spending and seasoned by an energy crisis. It’s an economic stew that has turned the national stomach.

      “Ours are not problems of abstract economic theory. Those are problems of flesh and blood; problems that cause pain and destroy the moral fiber of real people who should not suffer the further indignity of being told by the government that it is all somehow their fault. We do not have inflation because–as Mr. Carter says–we have lived too well.”
      — — —
      “Those who preside over the worst energy shortage in our history tell us to use less, so that we will run out of oil, gasoline, and natural gas a little more slowly. Conservation is desirable, of course, for we must not waste energy. But conservation is not the sole answer to our energy needs.

      “America must get to work producing more energy. The Republican program for solving economic problems is based on growth and productivity.

      “Large amounts of oil and natural gas lay beneath our land and off our shores, untouched because the present administration seems to believe the American people would rather see more regulation, taxes and controls than more energy.”
      — — —
      “When we move from domestic affairs and cast our eyes abroad, we see an equally sorry chapter on the record of the present administration.

      ” — A Soviet combat brigade trains in Cuba, just 90 miles from our shores.

      ” — A Soviet army of invasion occupies Afghanistan, further threatening our vital interests in the Middle East.

      ” — America’s defense strength is at its lowest ebb in a generation, while the Soviet Union is vastly outspending us in both strategic and conventional arms.

      ” — Our European allies, looking nervously at the growing menace from the East, turn to us for leadership and fail to find it.

      ” — And, incredibly more than 50 of our fellow Americans have been held captive for over eight months by a dictatorial foreign power that holds us up to ridicule before the world.

      “Adversaries large and small test our will and seek to confound our resolve, but we are given weakness when we need strength; vacillation when the times demand firmness.

      “The Carter Administration lives in the world of make-believe. Every day, drawing up a response to that day’s problems, troubles, regardless of what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow.

      “The rest of us, however, live in the real world. It is here that disasters are overtaking our nation without any real response from Washington.

      “This is make-believe, self-deceit and–above all–transparent hypocrisy.”
      [END Excerpt: presidency[DOT]ucsb[DOT]edu/ws/?pid=25970 ]

      Admittedly, Dave Weigel’s convention report in the same Washington Post is nearly as idiotic, if less inventively so:
      White nationalists and other ‘alt-right’ activists are feeling more at home

      • People forget. Per the WaPo in 1980, Reagan was going to start WWIII. And as we all know, Washington Post political columnists are Never Wrong:

        WaPo political commentary around the end of the 1980 GOP convention included this sneering assessment by Stephen S. Rosenfeld, ominously titled “The Guns of July” column on Reagan and the Republicans obviously woefully naive view on thinking they could do something so ludicrous as actually defeating the Soviet Union:

        The prevailing assumption has been that the United States will put its productive machine in high gear, outpace the Soviet Union in reasonably short order, and then face down the Kremlin by the application of a hidden American quality — a quality hidden from Jimmy Carter, anyway: national will.
        The folks here have long taxed the Democrats and the liberal left for being naive about Soviet power and excessively trustful of the Soviet Union. But the GOP has gone a long way in Detroit to enshrining an illusion of its own — the belief that the Soviets can be faced down and that they will accept the permanent and labeled No. 2 position that so many conservatives are ready to stick on them.

        Hah! Like that would ever happen! From our vantage point here in the glorious future, we now know that only Comrade Henry Kissinger’s negotiate-away-everything approach could ever guarantee Peace In Our time!

        Oh, hold on, I think I dimension-jumped from the Real World to Journalist Wet Dream World for a minute there. I think I’m back in my original timeline.

        Is Judge Posner still a moron here?

        • kenashimame

          Posner is, was, and will always be a moron.

          • Well, now that I think about it, that does not necessarily narrow it down – I’m sure there are whole rafts of timelines where “Judge Posner is still a moron” is a true statement. Given the probabilities, many, many rafts of timelines.

            I guess if I end up in one where Judge Posner is not a moron I should worry.

        • Judge Posner is most assuredly still a moron.

      • And when we get the inevitable “The rest of the world cannot believe the US would consider such an idiot” stories, consider the long tradition of just such stories, as per:

        • That flavor kind of tickles me, really.

          Let’s see… in the last few centuries, how many world wars have one of our leaders started via being a really bad choice?

          Now Europe?

    • Despite my ire at the inane supposition, ‘The first job of the American president is to keep Americans safe*”, I am now convinced that for the first time since 1988 I am going to have to vote RepugnantCon. My thinking is that if Chump gets in he’ll be fighting half of Congress in the form of the DemonRats, and half of the remaining gang as well, ‘cuz ‘not good Republican’, whereas if Chillery gets in she’ll have at least half of Congress marching in lock-step with her dragging the other remaining half, however reluctantly, along behind.

      *No, Mr. Trump, the primary job of the President, and of every other critter in government, is not to keep Americans safe, it is to keep them free! Do that, and we will take care of the rest.

  20. *SIGH* Sarah, if you agree to come back early, the EU might be willing to pay for a full-family business-First upgrade on y’all’s tickets.

  21. Good luck. Between the seating, air circulation and dryness air travel does have some tiring effects.

    As for Larry in that museum…will you be able to extricate himself in time for them to close?

    And if you get the chance, the National Firearms Museum at the NRA has a very good history of firearms growth here as well as notorious guns from history.

    • As I recall, the US Army Ordnance Museum at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in MD was a very interesting place to visit. Mind, I haven’t been there since the late ’80s, but they had row upon row of armor from various countries, along with displays of shore guns, a V-2, etc.

      • Is it on base or public accessible? I would have loved to hit the Edwards test pilot museum but didn’t know about it in advance and couldn’t get a contact to get me in.

        • I used to go to APG for Armed Forces Day, when they’d do live fire demonstrations as well as give tours of their various testing facilities. I know they curtailed that after Clinton was elected; I don’t know if it ever resumed. But the museum should be publicly accessible. I’ll see if I can find a website…

          • Thx. May have to add to bucket list.

            • You might want to add a visit to the American Armoured Foundation Tank Tank Museum in Danville, Virginia.

              Only a minor detour for those attending Ravencon, Stellarcon, Shevacon, ConCarolinas and/or ConGregate.

              • The Georgia Veteran’s State Park between Americus and Cordele has a interesting museum. It’s been maybe thirty years since I visited, but at that time they had some Soviet artillery on display, along with tanks, an APC, a B29, and some other aircraft.

                Another is the Warner Robins Air & Space Museum. Have never visited that one, but remember it from a story during one of the Gulf Wars of how they recommissioned an SR-71 that was on display. Think they put it back on display after the Air Force was done with it. Google Earth shows an impressive collection, but I think the SR-71 is inside the museum.

                There used to be tanks lined up beside the road at Fort Gordon near Augusta, but they’re gone now.

                • kenashimame

                  The Pima Air and Space Museum has an impressive collection, with many of the smaller planes in blessed air conditioning. They also offer tours of the Boneyard on Davis-Monthan AFB.

              • Yes, it may only be a minor detour on the way to Shevacon, but does the American Armoured Foundation Tank Tank Museum have a Sheva?

        • Evidently the museum was closed in 2010 for renovation, and has recently been ordered to be transferred to Ft. Lee in VA. Here’s the website:

          • They don’t show up on Fort Lee’s list of museums in the quick look I took ( and looking under the “Visitors” tab) so they may be in transit.

            • Occam’s Razor: Obama ordered the place closed (mustn’t allow anything that generates enthusiasm for icky America, the icky military, or icky guns in general) and ordered them to LIE about it. Six Years. Seriously? In transit my ass.

        • Ah. Well, if you’re in the vicinity of Edwards, you’d probably want to hit the Blackbird Air Park. Closes early, though; I had a heck of a time getting there when it was open.

          • Sadly was just out for visit a few years ago. Have classmates that work out there and contacts with other folks out there

        • *Way* back in the early ’90s, near the dawn of the internet, there was the newsgroup on usenet. And on was the Denizens of Doom MC, the world’s first online motorcycle gang.

          One of the Denizens set up a tour of NASA-Dryden. And Denizens mounted up and headed toward Edwards AFB. And really, seriously strange people started showing up at the gate, freaking out security…

          I still have my riding jacket with the Geeky the Daemon patch and the words

          Denizens of Doom M.C.
          “Live to Flame… Flame to Live”

      • It looks like things may be changing – per it says the museum is relocating to Ft. Lee in Virginia and some of the cool stuff has already been moved:

        Presently the Ordnance Museum is missing some of their tank display. This is because it is in the process of relocating. Originally situated about 35 miles north of Baltimore, the decision has been made to relocate the Museum to Ft Lee, Virginia. Many of the tanks are still available for viewing, although more get moved daily. The task of relocation will take some time, and even with tanks removed from the 25 acre display field, this is still worth the trip.

        • Further on the move from

          As part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission the U. S. Army Ordnance School was moved from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland to Fort Lee, Virginia. The museum at APG has been closed and the tanks and artillery that were on exhibit outside have been transferred to several different places, including Fort Lee.

          At this time there is no public access to the majority of the items that were on exhibit at APG, as they are currently stored under cover. However, there are a few items that are on exterior exhibit at Fort Lee in addition to the temporary exhibit at the Quartermaster Museum.

          In June 2012 the Center of Military History changed the name from the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum to the U.S. Army Ordnance Training and Heritage Center.

    • Where is the museum?

    • There’s also the US Army Artillery Museum at Ft. Sill, OK.

      • That will definitely be on list. Only hour or so away

      • The Other Sean

        I hear its a real blast. 😉

        Strangely, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (with campground) is adjacent. I have to wonder if the wildlife (or campers!) are disturbed by the sound of artillery fire nearby, or whether the actual artillery ranges of Fort Sill are sufficiently far away that it is like no more than distant thunder.

  22. Speaking of museums, I wish I could get to the Air and Space Museums Dulles Annex; I think that’s where the big stuff is.

    • Udvar-Hazy, yes. They have a space shuttle there, a concorde, an SR-71, and a bunch more I don’t immediately recall.

      • I know that’s where they’re keeping the Enola Gay these days.

        (Funny thing about the SR-71: when I was visiting there a few years back that was the one plane that I could not get a decent picture of.)

        • Last time I was there, the Museum of Flight in Seattle had the A-12 variant, including its Pod.

        • The Other Sean

          The Bockscar is at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton. Along with both a YF-12 and an SR-71, the XB-70 Valkyrie, and examples from most of the X-series planes. And now they’ve got both a shuttle trainer (unlike Udvar-Hazy, which has a real shuttle), a Titan IVB laid down, and several of old KH-series satellites on loan from the NRO’s collection. The presidential, space, and R&D collections have now been consolidated in the newly-opened fourth hangar. Very nice.

          • Well , technically, Udvar-Hazy has the transportation and glide test article, it isn’t a functional shuttle.

            • No, Udvar-Hazy got Discovery in 2012, with Enterprise going elewhere (up to New York City to the Intrepid Air & Space Museum).

              Note none of the retired shuttles went to Texas. Pure spite, that.

  23. Free Range Oyster

    OT Request: Do any of the Huns have experience dealing with false copyright claims with Amazon? I have a former editing client who’s being persecuted that way by trolls he picked up from the promo post. 😦

    • Free Range Oyster

      Whoop, nevermind, just realized I’d crossed my streams. The trolls are just one-star-spamming, the copyright thing was something else. My bad! Still, he’s pretty despondent about what it’s doing to sales. Any suggestions there?

      • Silver, holy water, and a large gruff billy goat?

        Other than complaining to Amazon about what is specifically wrong/false/inaccurate with the one-star reviews, not much. That’s a sore point with a lot of people.

    • This is where having a copyright filed helps, but even without it, he can probably make a case.

  24. I would love to see the gun museum.

  25. Duty Free every one. We had to declare the suitcase we bought to carry them in, but ALL the books are duty free into the U.S. And unlike Canada & Europe gummint agents won’t confiscate and destroy the ones that have BadThink in them.

    And we have the best public libraries on the planet.

    Greatest country on God’s green earth if you’re a book nut.

  26. BobtheRegisterredFool

    • my favorite Reagan vid.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Fifty two years ago Reagan gave that speech, and I heard the full speech for the first time tonight.

        That election was lost, but throttled the Soviet Union, and the speech is still true.

        What though the cycle is lost? All is not lost. We have life and we have hope. These are not dark days, they are great days. We have wickedness to strike.

        The future is not set in stone, and we are not bound by divination.