The Naked Emperor

21 October 2007

Shooting Redeux

Well it happened again, about 45 minutes ago. Another shooting here in glorious New Orleans.

Yes, we did kill 3 in 5 hours earlier today. But I don't care about that. I care about the one that happened near me.

I had just settled down to read a bit of "Dreadnought". Two inpatients doing well, nothing on the horizon. I heard multiple shots from different weapons. I was pulling my shoes on and grabbing my sidearm even before my head tech hit the panic button.

On the way up to the front of the clinic, I cut the lights to be a harder target. As I got up front, I saw numerous vehicles maneuvering out of the parking lot at high speed. I cautiously exited with weapon drawn. The JP Deputies were maybe 15 seconds later entering the parking lot. Can't say enough good about those boys (and girls)!

The shooters did better this time. They left about 14 or 15 shell casings. They also shot through the Hookah Cafe's window. I had the privelege, or maybe just desire to find the spent bullet. And the cops say somebody got shot in the ass who fled. He also had a shotgun in his car.

So much for reporting. Meanings?

It isn't good when your 21 year old tech is calmly hitting the floor and simultaneously dialing 911. Just routine.

It isn't good when you are not only practiced but experienced in responding to shots fired. I'm not in Fallujah or Baghdad. They're more peaceful now. No, I'm in Gretna. I'm sure that most Iraqi cities similar in size to New Orleans have lower homicide rates.

It isn't good when you commonly wear a sidearm to practice medicine on Saturday nights.

We used to joke about the emergency game causing "combat blunted sensibilities". I didn't know it would become literal.

If you know someone in Tangipahoa Parish who has pets, convince them they need a housecall vet.

Save a vet. Have a housecall.

With frustration,

The Naked, and well armed Emperor.

20 October 2007

Dead Election Blogging

Sorry to have been away so long. I was swamped last week, and have been busy this week. Just got done with my third emergency surgery (laceration repair and enucleation on an already one-eyed dog. No no eyed. And yes, named "Lucky")

We're waiting on an eclampsia or mastitis case right now. I took a moment to see RedStickRant for the first time in over a week and see he's live blogging the election. Unfortunately it's hard to get Tangipahoa Parish results.

So far, it's a mixed bag. Jindal won, I hope he's up to it. Strain will probably be Comissioner of Ag. I've met him a few times. He's a vet, seems to know what he's about. On the bad side, Gordon Burgess has either won or is in a runoff. He's a clueless git if ever I met one. He's our Parish President. And our Parish Councilman, Tennis Rick has won outright. He'll lie straight to your face.

Oh well, we'll be back to life in a day or two. Right now, I'm just looking forward to being off next week. Lots to do for the housecall practice and around the house. But I'll get some sleep, have a dinner planned with a friend, and I get to escort three lovely ladies to a gun show on Sunday.

Sorry to be so brief. But I'm in the middle of "Dreadnought", a history of the politics and naval arms race prior to WW I by Robert Massie. Really interesting, I didn't know so much. And a friend brought me several volumes, including "Dereliction of Duty", an analysis of White House, JCS, and Sec Def's decisions leading to Vietnam. It's by Col. H. R. McMaster, who whipped a Republican Guards reginent with a single Cav troop at 73 Easting. I'm drooling. Also Gorbachev's "Perestroika".

Until next week,

The Naked Emperor

02 October 2007

Cool Toys

Look, I'm middle aged. The last time I had any idea what cool was happened in the mid '80s. But I guess you probably don't think "Flock of Seagulls" hair is cool anymore. Neither do I.

I've gotten so bad that several times in recent years, I've had a recurring episode. I either meet or work with a pretty young lady. She'll say "you're so funny/cool. You remind me of my dad"

Ladies, the phrase "you remind me of my dad" will NOT ingratiate yourself with a middle aged man.

And thenakedempress laughs and laughs and laughs.

With that caveat, I want to tell you about some toys I've either purchased or played with that an old fart thinks are "cool".

As you know, I'm forced to pay attention to politics. I've been uncertain which Presidential candidate to support.

So far, none of the Democrats appeal at all. On the Republican side, there are several choices. I like Giuliani's leadership during 9/11 and that he was able to clean up New York. But his history on gun control and some others trouble me. McCain may be in favor of victory in Iraq, but he really pushed amnesty for illegals. Romney I don't know enough about, but like most Southerners, we're very leery of Boston yankees coming to "save" us. Been there, done that. I've read a bunch of Fred Thompson's writings and like them, but I'm not sure how serious he is. So far, he's my first choice.

The other day, I was reading Neal Boortz's site, and he had a curious link. It's a Candidate Calculator. You enter your views on various issues, and it tabulates the candidate whose views most closely matches your positions.

I was impressed. It told me that Romney matched me 90.91%, and he should be my choice. But curiously, it listed Fred Thompson as second even though he also matched 90.91%. Some bias in favor of Romney?

After this, I'll give Mitt Romney much more scrutiny. And thenakedempress was surprised that Giuliani should be her choice. Clinton was very low for both of us.

In June, I had a conference at Beau Rivage in Biloxi. (No link, they pissed me off). To check your e-mail, there's no wireless. They want you to buy an ethernet cord from their shop that's never in stock. No problem, we went to Wal Mart. After that, Beau Rivage wants $11.95 per day for internet access. Bag that. And they also left cookies on my machine that would only let you access the internet at the standard price from them AFTER YOU GET HOME!!

But occasionally you find a pearl. At Wal Mart in Biloxi, we found the most helpful person EVER at Wal Mart. He set us up with the little ethernet retractable cable on the far right below. Only $8, made by Phillips.

As I wrote yesterday, I've lost the USB cable for my camera. I went again to Wal Mart and found another Phillips product. It is the retractable USB cord second from the right and all four adapters on the bottom left. Only $16. The adapters fit just about any device from Ipod on up.

Now, instead of carrying a printer cable, a camera cable, an ethernet cable, etc. et al, I just have to carry these two retractable cords and four tiny adapters. The last item at the top left is a plug in modem that comes with the MacBookPro. Now I can connect to just about anything just about anywhere.

All these tiny items fit neatly into the carrying case that came with the adapters, and it fits nicely into the upper end pocket of my clinic bag along with specula for my otoscope.

Look, I know these aren't the coolest items ever made. But they are kinda cool and VERY functional. I now use them almost daily. Tiny, gadgety (Is this a word? It oughtta be.), and very functional. My kind of cool.

Until later,

The Naked Emperor

PS. I did find a picture that exemplifies "cool"

01 October 2007

The Guns of ...August?

I know, I know, this is way late. But between housecalls last week, and a major medical conference, there was little time. Gotta get them CE hours, you know.

I actually started out to do this last Wednesday, but had a couple of self induced technical glitches.

First, I hadn't charged the camera's batteries. And after that, I discovered, or DIDN'T discover that my USB cable for the camera had gone missing. I got a cool replacement, more on that in a cool gadget post.

But I did try the girl out Wednesday with the GripPod.

For those like me, a vertical foregrip is unusual. Not bad, just a bit different.

She seems to point better toward the weak side. less so to the strong.

One thing I thought about is heat. Under rapid fire, an M-4 will heat rapidly. The hand grips will become uncomfortable after 2 or 3 minutes of 30 rounds per minute.

To start testing, I put one magazine through in the standing position.

Again, being used to horizontal grip, it's a bit different. But it does seem more controllable. The vertical grip let's you hold the weapon tighter to you shoulder, decreasing felt recoil and movement. So it seems a plus.

I then switched to prone, using the integral bipod.

Let's talk about said bipod.

It deploys rapidly with an affirmative push on the button at the top back of the grip. The button seems easy, but has enough resistance to avoid accidental deployment. There is a rather loud "thunk" as it gets into position. The manufacturer recommends, if silent deployment is desired, to hold the bottom of the grip against your thigh. This works well.

To retract, just close the legs and push up. Very easy.

All in all, this is a well designed product.

Once I got prone, I noticed that the stance of the weapon is slightly higher than my short little arms would hold it. So my "prone" is slightlier higher than normal. Not a problem, I can adjust. And this will not be a problem for those taller than my 5'7".

I put two magazines through while prone.

The first 20 rounds were normal single fire. Being on the bipod greatly improved stablilty and therefore accuracy. After that, I started doing "double taps". My point of impact hardly moved between first and second shots.

Magazine changing while prone with the bipod out is no porblem.

With the second prong mag, I started rapid fire. On target, double tap, regain target, repeat. Toward the end I tried a few "triple taps". To the uninitiated, it sure sounds like full auto. Again, my point of impact hardly moved.

For the last mag I wanted to check heat. I went back to standing, rapid single fire. The felt heat was GREATLY diminished on the vertical grip vs. standard horizontal.

This is the second best mod I've made to my toy, after the 14.5 barrel. And not far behind. The benefits in control and accuracy are well worth the price and effort.

Thanks to the guys, especially Ned, at MountsPlus.

And for my next project, maybe I'll get a diesel 1 ton 4x4. I've learned much from thenakedempress. She's taught me that it's all about the accessories, and my how she's right.

Until later,

The Naked Emperor