Friday, April 30, 2010

"Wild West" and Women's Fashion

Say Uncle linked an article from the Wall Street Journal this morning about Open Carry, in which the author, true to form, makes a fool of herself.  In so many words, allowing Open Carry will result in massive amounts of testosterone driven one-ups-manship, women requiring quick change grips so they color coordinate, and a reversal of society to the days of the "Wild West."

Which is why they called it the Wild West and we are lucky not to have been born then.
Anybody who watched the History Channel back when it was about History probably knows that the whole violent aspect of the "Wild" West mythos is widely overblown.  Eugene Hollen's book Frontier Violence: Another Look tells us that-
    • In Abilene, Ellsworth, WichitaDodge City, and Caldwell, for the years from 1870 to 1885, there were only 45 total homicides.  This equates to a rate of approximately 1 murder per 100,000 residents per year.
    • In Abilene, supposedly one of the wildest of the cow towns, not a single person was killed in 1869 or 1870.
Hardly that violent really.  Most major cities in the US have far worse murder rates than that, just look at Chicago (a comparatively whopping 15.6 per 100,000), where guns are completely banned!  The anti's will continue to equate any widely accepted carry of weapons, open or concealed, to accomplishing nothing but reverting the country (or state, or town, or whatever) back to the "Wild West."  Really doesn't sound like a bad thing to me.

As for her other "complaint" of women widely accepting guns, complete with such gems as:

Next thing you know, women could be trading tips on the Web about the best way to attract men in a world where every girl can have a gun. Should she try to stand out from the crowd with a piece of rustic exotica that reminds him of the safari dolls in 1953's "Mogambo," like a .416 Rigby? Or go with something more crudely flashy, like one of the pretend AK-47s?

Sounds like my kind of girl (author's tip: the .416 Rigby would definitely catch my eye more than an AK.  In this context the AK sounds more like some scenester's attempt at being ironic, like thrift store clothes, and that's just lame.)

To top it off though, her first sentence of the final paragraph:

Speaking of serious shooters, I don't know a soul among gun owners who is itching to prance around showing everybody what is in their holster.

Give me two minutes and access to the internet.  We simply know that there's a time and a place to show off our iron, that's all.  (Here's what's usually in mine by the way, although I do sport my Kimber Custom II on occasion.  Just that with the stupid vehicle laws in Wisconsin, the setback happy .45acp isn't a good idea.) I do kind of wonder... could there be a market for a color coordinated quick change grip system?  Although I think coordinating the holster would be far more important.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sad Brady Panda...

Days of our Trailers has a little retrospective look at the Brady Bunch. Oh how I love laughing at them.

A Tale of Two Toks.

Well, a picture anyway.


In Russia, helicopters are apparently fixed wing aircraft.  And most of the noise on a chopper comes from the tail rotor anyway...  Still, even though I fully understand what's going on, it still messes with the head.

(H/T Sharp as a Marble)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


As is their way, the Angels of Vengeance brutally destroyed the enemies of the Imperium, in this case the green Xenos scum known as Orks.  Annihilation, final score 10:5.  I love my Drop Pods when things go right.

As always, there was plenty of talk of the silliness of grown men playing with toys, and I did mention that despite the Imperium's various tank designs' absurdity and horrible lack of suspension, they still look pretty cool.

Angels of Vengeance Land Raider Crusader "Mortis Angelis"

The Inquisitorial party, on the other hand, continued the suck.  Sometimes I wonder how the Inquisition continues to let us live, let alone pay us.

hellinahandbasket posted some Necrons from Iraq the other day, which is cool.  I couldn't find any current players or drum up enough interest in 40k when I was in Afghanistan, but I did get a few Imperial Guardsmen painted in my downtime.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Come & Gone

Boob quake 2010 has, more or less, and the only earthquake of significant magnitude was a 6.5  off the Coast of Taiwan.  Had to goto the USGS site to find it, so I assume it didn't do much.


Can you tell I like my newest shotgun?

A cause I can get behind

Although apparently news didn't make it around campus (sadly).  Today is "Boobquake," an event purely to annoy backwards Islamic Clerics*.  We should make it an annual event, if not a monthly one.

*I have nothing against Islamic Clerics as a whole, just backwards rights suppressing ones, especially if they speak out against one(two?) of my favorite things.


Chicago's murder rate so high lawmakers call for the Governor to deploy the National Guard.  Funny how some of the highest violent crime locations have the most stringent gun laws.

I don't think it's answer either, National Guard soldiers don't train for domestic law enforcement, and unleashing a death blossom in downtown Chicago would probably be frowned upon.  (I'm not saying that Nat. Guardsmen are loose cannons, hell, I am one, but it's hard to override certain learned responses...)  But really, I don't see how imposing borderline martial law on the city would help fight crime rates.

Maybe they just need to hurry up the court decision and allow the law abiding citizens of Chicago to defend themselves and take their town back... crazy talk, I know.

(ETA: at least the police agree about the "Guard Solution" (H/T Say Uncle)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

B.A.G. Day

I didn't slack, Dad just reads the blog on occasion, and I couldn't ruin his birthday surprise. Henry .22lr lever action.

His very first rifle ever was an old Ithica lever action .22, but it hasn't worked for a while (problem with the shell lifter that is apparently quite common) so us kids all chipped in and got him a up to date, functional .22.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mmm... Coffee...

Despite the efforts of the Brady Bunch, Starbucks reports a 7% increase in sales.  This does not help the daydreams of my blog's title one day becoming the name of a store...

(h/t SayUncle)

Local Hippiness

The big local news this last week was a bunch of hippies (mainly college students) attempting to "reclaim" a vacant lot owned by the city and trying to establish a community garden, if you came down and broke a sweat, you'd be able to take some of the vegetables home.  Seems like a pretty cool idea, although they were trying to set it up without city approval, and the city hopes to find investors willing to build small business and possibly apartments on the site, giving downtown a much needed economic boost.  I swung by a little while ago to try to get some pictures, but apparently the police beat me to it.

The evolving story was pretty entertaining, especially in a quiet little mid-west college town (for comparison, we had the first "drive by shooting" I can think of Wednesday night... and oh is the whole event great for a laugh) originally the mayor had stated that there were no plans to do much about it, then the other day the police cited a couple of the hippies and posted no trespassing signs around the lot, which were quickly taken down by the hippies.  Apparently the city got tired of it (if I had to guess, due to their setting up tents and sleeping on the site) and arrested them all early this morning and tore everything down.

I kind of enjoyed following the whole debacle, and really found the whole thing pretty funny.  You see, there's a reason that the city's been sitting on a vacant lot in the heart of downtown Stevens Point.  The site was once upon a time the location of the Lullaby Furniture Factory, which closed around 1996, and the building was later torn down.  It is now believed that the ground has been heavily contaminated with lead.  So if somebody really wanted to build a house on the property, you would be advised not to put in a vegetable garden.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership

Stole that title from Say Uncle.  It made me laugh.

Anyway, fresh off their laughable Anti-Starbucks kick, the Brady bunch is trying their hardest to attack the Open Carry movement once again.

Given other articles and polls on the subject, I don't see this going to far for them, and as Sebastian notes, it's still sitting at a whopping $20 donation.  Plus, as I've noted before, that video is far from the ZOMG!!1! GUNS!!! effect that you'd think they're trying for.  Far from "compelling," at least as to the point they're trying to make.

I also haven't heard of any of the gun lobbies fighting for Nation-wide OC either, and that has in fact been one of my complaints about the NRA as of late.  If anybody knows of this actually happening, I'd love to know who and what exactly the deal is.

There's Still Some Hope

1st of Three SEALS cleared in assault case.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Light Postage...

Combination of real life and college pilling up on me.  ArcMap decided to crash and then refuse to load my project, and I'm still completely lost in my stats class.  I hate stats.

Anyway, hopefully I can get some content up relatively soon, especially since the weather refuses to stay warm enough for more than two days.  Don't want to dump a kayak in 40 degree water...

Small guns...

One area I haven't really had a chance to venture into.  I mean really small guns.  The smallest centerfire handgun I own is my CZ-82, and it is far from what I would consider a sub-compact.  I have always liked the look of tiny guns though, and I would love to own an old Colt vest pocket pistol.  But living in Wisconsin, I haven't had enough of an excuse to get something in that size group.

Over the weekend though, I had the chance to run a few rounds through a Taurus Millennium Pro chambered in .45acp.

The double stack 10 round mag filled up my hands pretty well (granted I've got large-ish hands...) and the little dimple on the frame just ahead of the trigger was perfectly placed for my offhand thumb.  The trigger was surprisingly pretty decent, and overall the fit and finished seemed pretty nice, even for a used pistol like the example my friend has.  The Hienie Straight 8 sights are a very nice touch as well.  Overall it was pretty controllable, and seemingly accurate enough for such a stumpy little barrel.  I didn't bring any .45, so I didn't want to shoot up too much of his ammo though, so I only put a few rounds downrange.

Overall though, it's definitely going on the list for possible CCW options if that ever comes to be 'round here.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sights work!

On the Anschutz.  Ignore the crap-tastic quality of the cheap cell phone pic, but that's a 1inch dot at 25 yards, with 5 rounds in it (two each in the lower two holes.)  I had an even better group earlier in the day, but I didn't get a pic of it.  Not bad for being seriously rusty with globe and peeps, let alone bullseye shooting, and winds gusting in excess of 30mph.  Just got to figure out what ammo it likes best.

Open Carry editorial and poll

At US News & World Report. Point/counterpoint style.  In my humble opinion, the OC advocate, John Pierce, Cofounder of, comes through with a well written and reasoned short essay; and Carolyn McCarthy, Seven-term congressional Democrat serving New York's 4th District, runs with the old stand-by "we're turning into the wild west!!!1!ZOMG!!" defense, complete with unsupported claims of possible shootouts in Starbucks over incorrectly brewed lattes.

The poll, on the other hand, just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside... here's where it stands as of 11am today:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Victory in Colorado

Colorado Court of Appeals: CU gun ban violates state laws.

More on .22lr for Training

Say Uncle and Tam both mentioned their newly found appreciation of the concept.  I've mentioned I've been a proponent off and on before as well, and "Smith & Wesson M&P15-22" (or some variation) is the second most common search subject that hits my blog, right behind the Sig E2 series (why that is the most common I'm still not sure...)

Both of them are using a conversion bolt in a standard AR, which is probably the quickest and cheapest route to go.  I haven't had any personal experience with that particular setup, but Tam does bring up one of the various reasons I didn't go that route myself, in that the .22lr's habit of leading up your barrel is a bit of a problem with a barrel with a gas port inside of it.  She does try to use copper washed bullets as much as she can to fight that, which is really the only thing you can do, other than bringing along a bore snake to run through every few mags (something I tend to do with .22lrs anyway.)  This also caused her to buy a box of Remington Gold Bullets, which in my experience, is the least reliable bulk .22lr ever made, and is still dirty as hell, despite the copper washed rounds.

Another option out there is a dedicated .22lr upper, such as the Spikes Tactical units. I was originally going to go that route until I found out about S&W's military discount program.  They do have some sweet rigs available, and you can deck them out with all sorts of goodies.  This month's SWAT magazine has a sweet suppressed SBR one with a 5" or so barrel and a YHM can almost completely covered by the handguard. It is a seriously sweet looking (but quite expensive) gun.  They also generally use Lothar Walther barrels, so even that stubby little one is pretty dang accurate.

But in the end, between the price of the Smith, even without the discount, and the ability to use the bolt release, I'm pretty happy with the little plastic popper.  Still need to get a decent sight setup on it though.

Well over 24 hours and I'm still breathing...

So that's a good sign. Robb Allen mentioned that he ate one, so he's due to keel over at any moment too.  I had one after doing some cartography work last night, because I was hungry, I like bacon, and I'm trying to cut down on carbs (heh).  Overall it didn't strike me as anything too exciting, really more like some lazy person just slapped some stuff together, figured it's different enough to sell, and threw it up on the menu.  I wouldn't say you should avoid it due to the potential "health hazards," but the price is, in my mind, not worth it.  It's like $5 and is quite bland for a fast food product at that price level.  Maybe I'm just spoiled by all the $1 value menus...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Doctors Remove Live Ordinance from Soldiers Head

We never dealt with any UXO in the ER part of Bagram Hospital while I did my EMT-B clinicals there.  Hell, we didn't even have a CT scanner, just regular old X-rays.  From the picture of the actual round on the video it looks to be a 20mm projectile of some sort (or whatever the Soviet equivalent is,) I'd guess with an impact fuse.  The soldier is apparently fine (well, aside from a bit of a nasty cut, cracked skull, and more than a little concussed...) That Purple Heart's coming with a pretty cool story though.

I give it a month before something like this is on House or the like.

National Parks Fee-Free Week

Apparently starts Saturday.  I wish I had known beforehand, I would have planned something for this weekend.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Sights on the Anschutz

Hopefully they work out, but the front sight seems a bit low, and I don't know how I can fix that if if's the case. Guess we'll find out this weekend.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Daily Show on OC

Yeah, there's a couple points where they push it, but it is a comedy news show, so it'll happen.  But we're not all middle aged and mildly overweight.  I'm only 26...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Open Carrier Discrimination
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Overall it's not too bad though.  I've definitely seen worse reporting on the subject.

(h/t Snowflakes in Hell)

Long day.

Woke up late, lecture, exam, get some coffee, join the Army, go play games...

Yeah, somewhere in that mess I raised my right hand again.  Days of carefree civilian life are no more, and the amazing beard will have to go.  (Ok, it's National Guard, so once a month and the assorted deployments will cut into the carefree civilianness.)

Primarily the biggest thing that'll change will be my facial comfort in the winter months though.  Naked faces are cold faces.  Otherwise, it's a great way to convince somebody else to pay for ammo and training, right?

Monday, April 12, 2010


Did I mention that I love the sights on this rifle?  Because I totally love the sights on this rifle.

Friday, April 9, 2010


I still can't believe they went with that name... And the obligatory mention of the actual name iPad.  Gotta get on those search engine radars.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Made a Painting.

Playing with the pen tablet and the included software, made a pretty. At least I think so.

Another Victory for Freedom Loving Coffee Drinkers.

Man, acquitted of Indecent Exposure in his own home.  I remember when that story first broke, and thought it stupid then. Glad to see some people have Come to their senses.  I still think the guy should press for charges against the "lady" for peeping (or whatever the technical term is...)

(h/t Say Uncle)

New Toy!

Got a Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet today. It's fun, mainly got it for photo editing, but I'm actually writing this Post with it.   It's neat, but I definitely can type faster than I can write with a pen and paper, especially since I'm one of those people who usually writes in all caps, but it is a good way to get used to using it.  It came with a copy of Corel Painter Essentials 4.0 as well, but I have noexperience with that program, but I'll probably install it and play around with it at some point.

Although I do have to wonder, if April showers bring May flowers, what does April snow bring?   A week ago it was over 80°, and today it didn't get over 38° . My state is broken.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More on Army weapons painting.

Soldier Systems has more up, I'm too sleepy to go into more detail at the moment, so there will probably be some tweaking of this post in a few (12 or so) hours.  Anyway, here's the gist of it.

-And now I'm awake and done with stuff for the day, so I'ma talk.

Looks like the Army has chosen to go with Rust-Oleum Camouflage Spray, which isn't all that bad in my personal experience.  I have an AK I did with their green and black a couple years ago and it's holding up pretty well.  I'm sure it's much easier to remove down the road as compared to Duracoat or something, which is good if you ever find yourself not fighting in a desert or something, and especially since the memo says they must be stripped after two coats or before turn in.

I'm also glad to see that they finally realized that black guns get freakin' hot when you have them out in the sun, and that a tan and brown gun will be much cooler.

Subject: Maintenance Information (MI) Message, TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, (TACOM LCMC) Control No. MI 10-040, Camouflaging Specific Small Arms, Items Affected: M16A2 Rifle, NSN 1005-01-128-9936, LIN R95035; M16A4 Rifle, NSN 1005-01-383-2872, LIN R97175; M4 Carbine, NSN 1005-01-231-0973, LIN R97234; M4A1 Carbine, NSN 1005-01-382-0953, LIN C06935.
Issue: This MIM supersedes the information as stated in 2.d.(5) of GPA (Ground Precautionary Action (GPA) Message which put the kybosh on commercial parts and accessories) 09-010 and 2.b.(4) of GPM 07-016 for the specific weapons listed in the subject of this message. The purpose of this message is to authorize at commander’s discretion the application of specific spray paint to be applied to specific small arms to aid in the camouflaging of our warfighters. The only small arms authorized to be camouflaged in accordance with this message are listed in the subject of the message. Additional weapons may be authorized in subsequent messages. Painting of weapons WILL NOT be conducted without the consent of the unit commander. Weapons MUST be stripped of paint prior to turn-in. Only two complete coatings of paint are authorized before weapon needs to be completely stripped.

3. Rationale: Warfighters must be able to conduct tactical operations while reducing/limiting detection by the threat. Camouflage paints provide for reduced visual detection and enhanced Warfighter survivability via neutral, non-reflective, and predominantly non-black colors. Weapon signature reduction (i.e., outline, and contrast with background, texture and color) aids in limiting Warfighters’ battlefield visual signature and makes it more difficult for the enemy to detect the Warfighter’s position. The color, black, is highly infra red reflective and black-colored weapons provide a high degree of visual contrast when carried by camouflaged uniformed Warfighters. Not only is the weapon itself more visible, but the type of weapon and type of accessories are more easily identified providing indicators to the Warfighter’s capabilities and position. Additionally, black color is more conducive to solar-loading (heat retention) than earth-tone colors. Some limited black color in irregular black shapes/patterns does provide for weapon outline breakup.”

Envision a plan: If you have not chosen how you are going to camouflage your weapon, decide at this time. Always start with a plan. Remember, most great camouflage is not pretty. The goal is to blend your weapon in with the environment in which you are operating. If you are operating in an environment that just has light tan sand, then just paint your weapon tan with limited black breakup. If you are operating in a jungle environment using brown and olive drab with limited black breakup may be appropriate for that environment. This procedure’s purpose is not to impress. Its purpose is to provide safety and another tool in defeating the enemy.

NOTE: Allow paint to dry before applying another color. DO NOT spray the paint on heavy. Test the paint on cardboard or a paper towel before painting the weapon so you know how much pressure you need to apply to get a thin coat.

TIPS: Good camouflage can be achieved many ways. Some may want to place netting or foliage such as grass or leaves on the weapon and paint around it to better blend into the environment.

Others may just want to use a blending technique. When using the blending technique coat the weapon with the lightest color you will be using. Next take a darker shade that blends with your environment and paint stripes about 4 inches apart at a 45 degree angle. You can do this with 1 to 2 colors. Next you need to blend it in. Take a dark color like green or brown and from about 6 to 8 inches away from the weapon lightly dust the gun. After that take a lighter color (khaki, or tan) and lightly dust the gun from 6 to 8 inches away. This will blend everything together and dull the finish. Colors will depend on operational environment.

Spray Paint - order spray paint through GSA using the below part numbers:

Part Number
1916830 Black
1917830 Khaki
1918830 Earth Brown
1919830 Deep Forest Green
1920830 Army Green

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Slow Postage

After the combo blow of a link from Tam and another from Say Uncle, I've definitely had an increase in readers the last few days (last Friday had as many visitors as I usually get in a month alone...) It's tapered off a bit, but today still had twice as many visits as has been the norm for a while, and I wouldn't mind keeping some of you guys around.  It is nice to see people actually reading and passing my rambling pseudo-nonsense around the interwebs.

Tuesdays however, are almost always my day off.  Classes in the morning, and the weekly game day at the local comic/gaming shop.  Gotta push the little army men around the table and throw dice at each other (and a bit of 40k roleplaying later in the evening.)  Lots of fun, my Angels of Vengeance once again dropped from the sky and slaughtered, and my Guardsman sniper for Dark Heresy somehow managed to get an auxiliary grenade launcher for his close range gun.  Kinda the 40k equivalent of an M4 with a 203 at this point.  I think it cool.

Anyways... the whole point of this mess.... if you're new around these parts, Tuesdays are like my Sundays as far as posting goes, so don't be alarmed.

Obligatory 40k pic... still can't get the highlights on the armor to photograph right though, it's not that strong in person. Sandolphon, Master of the Deathwing, Angels of Vengeance Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes.

Monday, April 5, 2010

More '03A3 pics

Not too many words, but plenty of pictures. (Clicky to make biggy)

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I woke up bright and early, got in my car, picked up a friend (who's never gone to a big-ish gun show before) and drove across the state to a giant convention center, where 400 tables were spilling over with guns, ammo, knives, and all sorts of fun stuff.  There I bought an old military rifle that would be the envy of any Afghan herdsman, yet the gov't has deemed to be outdated, and instead of melting down, sold off to us lowly civilians.  Afterwards, we went across the street to a restaurant where I ordered a big thick chunk of undercooked meat, topped off with a second meat, just to "enhance the flavor."  The only things missing were fireworks and a 4th of July parade.

Despite the current economy, state of affairs in Washington, and all the bad things going around, sometimes is nice to remember exactly why America is &%#@ing awesome.

Just to show...

I'm not just into the newest tacticoolest rail farm rigs.  Went to the show in Madison this morning, and could not pass this up for the price.

Remington built, '43 barrel date.  It fills in the American void in my surplus collection quite nicely.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Won't happen again.

Combat Shotgunnin'

So I'm about halfway through Stressfire II: Advanced Combat Shotgun by Massad Ayoob, and so far, I'm liking it.  I haven't read Stressfire I yet, but it's on the list.  II is all about shotguns though, and I is only referred to in passing once or twice.

Like I said, I'm about halfway through it right now, but the book is set up with the first half being about gear and ammo and the various hard technical aspects, and the second half concentrates on technique, so it's a good spot to pause, and I need some content anyway.  One of the things I'm liking is it seems that Mr. Ayoob's thoughts on semi versus pump seem to mirror my previous, less educated thoughts on the subject.  The biggest thing being where I only have my mediocre common sense and limited personal experience, he has a massive background and can dig up the numbers to back it up.  He mentions that one department he worked with switched from pump action Ithicas to Benelli autos, and the qual scores went through the roof, and has noticed it in other places as well. (pg47)  As for other action types, "two shot guns are for users with two digit IQs."

One word of caution, Chapter 3 is not for the squeamish.  On the other hand, if you want some good looks at what you can accomplish with a shotgun against human flesh, you won't be disappointed.

He also goes into the various chamberings available, and of course challenging the proliferation of the 12 gauge.  Turns out a 20 gauge loaded with #3 buck is damn impressive, 20 some projectiles, similar velocity to the same out of a 12, yet lower recoil.  (Downside being that your 000, 00, and #1 balls don't stack well in a 20 gauge shell.)  .410, conversely, even with a slug, gives you at best the same terminal ballistics as a decent .44mag or .45acp, so why hinder yourself with a long gun to get pistol effects?  (Let alone out of a handgun... but that's another subject all on it's own.)

The book is getting a little dated, the newest coolest semi talked about is the Benelli Super 90, albeit with much praise, but I can't help but wonder how he would compare it to the M4 (I'm sure there's an article out there somewhere.)  And nothing whatsoever about the newest Mossbergs (no semi's from them at all at the time of writing.)

Overall though, so far I'd say it's possibly the best practical shotgun book I've read to date.  Give it a few weeks and hopefully I'll have re-read Tactical Shotgun: The Best Techniques And Tactics For Employing The Shotgun In Personal Combat and get into Defensive Shotgun, the Techniques and Tactics and see how they stack up, plus some range time to try out some of the techniques.

Part of me wants to laugh...

But the geographer/geologist in me wants to cry...

I'm sure most of you have seen it, but... wow... just....... wow.  Although it would be interesting to see an island capsize.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

That time of year.

In true Wisconsin style, April was flung upon us with a beautiful day with a high of 81F.  So of course I was in classes most of the day.  Hooray.

Anyway, got home, and drug out the hard tail, my trusty Trek 6500,

dusted off the proverbial cobwebs, lubed up the chain and cables and pedals, and went for a short re-familiarization ride.  The standard "there's a pedal around there somewhere, clip dang it!" ride mixed with a touch of "crap am I'm out of shape."

The other fun thing is not only remembering which gear lever does what, but getting over the muscle memory of my usual commuter's brakes.  I easily put the most miles on my beat up old pseudo-track bike;

BIG track ring in front (55 tooth I think...) and a little 16t cog in back, and only a brake up front.  The way to get this rig to stop fast is to slide off the saddle and get your crotch like two inches away from the stem, putting all your weight into that front wheel.  Brakes on the rear make things a bit different to say the least...

I also was thinking about how the price/use relationship on these two bikes is so unlike my guns.  With the exception of .22lr, I easily put more rounds through my most expensive centerfire guns than my cheaper ones.  The bikes, on the other hand, are a completely inverse relationship.  The Trek is by far the most expensive of the bikes I own, but probably gets the least amount of use, where the Kabuki cost me maybe $150 (I put new wheels on it last year) and I use it nearly everyday, as you can tell by the shape of the steel frame.  Three Wisconsin winters have been hard on the girl.  One of these days I'll take it apart as much as I can and give it a good sanding and paint job...

Also, note to all of you people in those big four-wheeled driving contraptions: on your steering column's left side (as you look at it from your seat) is a stick.  It's pointing to your left, and can move up and down.  Moving it up will let those around your machine know you plan to turn right, and down signifies left.  If you would like to avoid bicycle shaped dents in your side panels, try using them.  If your turn signal is on I'm much less likely to try to cut past you as you linger, seemingly lost in thought, at an intersection.