It has been a while since my last post. I've been working and mostly just had a lack of interest in posting, plus very little to report on. I don't really have much for this post either, but I recently ran across a couple of items that I thought I'd share with you.
First of all, as I alluded to a while back, in addition to computers and such, I am also into a few sports. One of these is cycling, and even the tech of cycling. Now I do not do the whole Lance Armstrong, Tour de France type of riding, although I do have a lot of respect for such folks. I have done some off-road mountain bike style riding as well as some road related stuff. I also enjoy watching the various cycling events on TV when they are one on. I often watch while while riding my bike mounted in the trainer. These days though, I ride mainly for pleasure, fresh air, and exercise.
This brings me to the first topic of this post. I ran across an intriguing article about cycling tech on one of my favorite computer tech sites. The basics of bicycles have not really changed much for quite a long time. It is true we have newer materials such as carbon fiber, but the mechanics have remained pretty much the same. That is until now. Rather than regurgitating the content of the article, I will simply offer this hyper link and let you read for yourself. Future Proof: How the Common Bike is Poised for a High-Tech Reinvention.
New favorite TV show
In addition to this bit of cycling news, I have found a new favorite TV show. Actually there are a couple more, but it is still too early to tell for sure on those. At any rate, my new favorite show is on the Discovery Channel, and it is called "Sons of Guns". It is essentially like the "American Chopper" series, only it is about guns instead of motorcycles. And, at least so far, without all the shouting matches.
Just to clarify one point before I go any further, I am not a hunter or card carrying member of the NRA. I do not really care for people on either side of the whole "gun control" debate. Personally, I think there are more important issues in the world that need attention, but that is for another post. I just wanted to throw that out there in case anyone wants to get into a philosophical discussion on gun rights. I am not the least bit interested.
I was actually into guns 20+ years ago, or more correctly, I was into the science of hand loading ammo. I had a very cool hand loading setup, and experimented with different bullets and powder loads to achieve a perfect balance of power and accuracy with a particular firearm. I would do the calculations, load up some ammo, and head to the range to test them out with the help of a shooting chronometer.
Obviously, I had to have guns in order to test out the ammo I made. I also became a pretty good marksman in the process. And, I will admit that I enjoyed the shooting part as well. I found it to be very relaxing to be honest. Of course the big thrill came when I found the perfect load for a firearm that resulted in pinpoint accuracy.
One particular triumph came when I created the right load for a semi-antique hand gun I had acquired. It was an early 1960's model 9mm Luger made for the German police. It even came with the original leather holster. I lucked out and found it at a local pawn shop for $220. It was well used, but still in perfect working order.
The problem with this particular gun though, was that modern "off the rack" ammo was a bit too much for it. When firing this modern ammo, the muzzle would "flip up" rather violently making accuracy mostly an impossible dream. So after some experimentation, I found the correct bullet and powder combo which resulted in a most pleasurable and accurate shooting experience.
I probably should have held onto that gun, but a guy at the range offered me $450 on the spot some months later. It is probably worth quite a bit more these days, if it even still exists. But, as I said before, I was not really into guns so much as the hand loading and shooting experience. This was a fairly expensive hobby even back then, so the profit from the gun came in very handy for buying supplies. The story was pretty much the same for all the guns I owned. Once I mastered them, I sold or traded them off for a new challenge.
But back to the show
I sold the last of my guns and hand loading gear many years ago, mostly due to the expense and general boredom. I think it was mainly a case of "been there, done that". I had looked in on the gun world from time to time over the years, but just really had no interest to get back into it. I still have no interest in getting back into it as such, but I ran across this show, "Sons of Guns", on the Discovery Channel and was immediately taken in for some reason.
The folks involved are not only smart, but very funny as well. And to top it off, it is about the science of guns in addition to the occasional comedic prank. On the first episode, they created a 12 gauge shotgun that could be fired without hearing protection. It is not totally silent, but very much quieter than a standard shotgun. I could see this becoming a big hit in both the hunting and sporting clay circles.
Of course the science of guns does not appeal to everybody. So naturally, as with all Discovery shows, there has to be some characters involved. In this case it is a father/daughter team that run a custom gun shop. The father is a bit of a childish prankster, and the daughter is just simply adorable. I won't spoil it any more than that. I'll just leave it for you to discover on your own.