Monday, April 13, 2015

Sig Sauer Mosquito - Sour Taste

Sig Sauer Mosquito - Sour Taste

The internet is always right… most of the time.

Last year I purchased a Sig Sauer Mosquito (22LR) for two specific reasons. First, I wanted to have a pistol that was easy to handle, reliable and not over-powering - so that my wife and kids could get accustomed to  shooting. The second reason was to provide home defense since we lived a full 30 minutes from any police response.

The allure of the Mosquito is the compact size - scaled at 90% of a regular pistol, and ability to shoot 22LR - which is really cheap - under 10 cents per round. Several YouTube videos made the specific point that the Mosquito: is easy to handle, does not have much recoil, and uses cheap ammunition, which makes for a great training gun.

Over the winter we put several hundred rounds through the Mosquito, will deteriorating results.

See our previous blog: Shooting Log

Sig Sauer Mosquito FTF
Low confidence for use in home defense.

Problem: Ammunition - Reliability and Availability

Several YouTube videos pointed to problems with Failure to Eject and misfeeds. Crappy ammunition was blamed. Our initial experience with CCI Mini-Mag showed flawless performance. Ammunition by anyone else, well, not so much. The availability of 22LR is a problem, and the availability of the good stuff (CCI) is even worse.

The spouse and the boy got used to clearing a misfeed, which is fine for the "training" part of our goal. After all, any pistol can have a misfeed or misfire which requires intervention. But this behavior is a total "fail" for home defense requirements.
Pointing a pistol at an intruder might discourage a few intruders. A single, well-placed round of 22LR might discourage a few more. But not being able to dissuade a motivated intruder by unloading an entire clip is a big problem. 

Range Experience

Red's Indoor range has a lead control solution that requires cold outside air to be pumped into the range. The cold air flows from behind the shooting line down the entire length of the lanes. When it is cold outside, it's cold inside. And, when it was cold the Mosquito performed very well.
Once the weather started warming up, and once we tried to use less expensive ammunition, we started seeing the ejection and feeding problems. My cleaning routine does not leave a pistol wet… clean - yes, lubricated - yes, but wet - no. After two shooting and cleaning sessions in April, I am convinced that dirt (and lubrication) is not the issue.


I'm torn about the solution. We shoot 22LR in both the Mosquito and a Henry Golden Boy. Unlike others at the range, we can run through a couple hundred rounds for under $20. The ease of handling and low cost make range time very productive. But for home defense the Mosquito does not inspire confidence.


  • Move to a new platform (9mm?)
  • Find a solution to the Mosquito misfeed
  • Find a supply of CCI and keep it for home use only
  • Other (Hey, I'm open to suggestions)

Bottom Line

 Meatloaf was wrong… "two out of three" is horrible.



Friday, March 27, 2015

Wisdom of Crowds - NCAA March Madness Version

March Madness and the Wisdom of Crowds

You don't have to look far to find tear stained brackets from the NCAA March Madness Tournament. Millions of people created brackets and millions were wrong. The question continues to deserve inspection:

Which advice is better, the advice of an expert, or the advice of a crowd?

Did the Crowd get March Madness right?

Cow-ontology, Bracketology and
The Wisdom of Crowds 

Why are Brackets Important?

Chris Godfrey (@DaWordOfGodfrey) provides an enlightened reasoning:
"As an added bonus, the winner of the Busted Brackets from Busting Brackets Tournament Challenge (copyright pending) will also receive — a man’s hat.
Allow me to explain. In college, my buddy Sam (a frequent contributor to my mailbag and a future member of the Order of Canada) would annually organize a bracket pool where the winner would receive a random item. For example, one year a stuffed rat was involved. It was our college basketball answer to the ridiculousness of rivalry game trophies in college football where teams play for random stuff all the time (boots, skillets, bronzed pigs, a slab of bacon, etc.).

The most coveted item we ever competed for was a man’s hat. I can’t tell you why the hat meant so much. We literally found it on the ground outside of our apartment. However, I would have killed a man for that hat. It was our grand prize.
It was a man’s hat.
It was special.
This year I nominate this snazzy number as the hat that will go to our winner."
Clearly the answer is: Brackets are important because they are.

Bracket Busting Metrics:

Not only was Warren Buffet's Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge killed (damned lawyers), but it's clear that he knows how to offer an un-winnable bet.
At the end of the NFL Season I posted a blog with several important questions about my success, and the general success of players in the Yahoo Pro-Pickem pools: NFL Pro-Pickem - Wisdom of Crowds.

If the Crowd is so Wise, Why can't the Crowd win?

My brackets are dying. A slow death by a thousand paper cuts. Four of my first round eliminations were decided by a single point. The Second round was equally soul crushing.  
  • Purdue (1 point game)
  • Indiana (5 point game)
  • Oklahoma State (6 points)
  • Baylor (1 point)
  • VCU (3 points)
  • SMU (1 point)
  • Iowa State (1 point)
  • Providence (13 points)
My East bracket is dead (Villanova), and if Kentucky, Wisconsin or Gonzaga fall, I could be watching Professional Curling on ESPN-Canada-4. I certainly won't be glued to the TV to see my teams in the Final 4.

Clearly the answer is: The average weight of a cow is not the same as a perfect bracket.

More Data Please

In my previous post I asked if a math wizard at Yahoo Sports would take on the challenge to explain why the Crowd lost. 

The ask was for:
  1. What was the mean Pickem selection?
  2. Would Yahoo Sports create a "player" with a Pickem profile to recognize the exact mean picks
  3. Would they recognize the people that made the best tail picks - the least likely (most standard deviations away from the mean) picks -- that were correct.

Bottom Line:

I predict that someone will earn a PhD and will write a commercially successful book based on the failure of crowds to win at Bracketology, Pro-Pickem and other pools.
And, I predict that I will continue to challenge the Wisdom of Crowds.
 Also, I predict that climate-deniers are correct.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Rant Do Us a Favor and Don't

Rant - Do Us a favor and Don't

Disclaimers First 

  1. We have three dogs
  2. I'm the VP of our HOA
  3. I walk about 4 miles a week in our HOA and the adjoining HOA
  4. Both of the HOAs provide bags for picking up dog poop. (See example below). 

Common Courtesy and Uncommon Stupidity

It doesn't take a genius to understand the concept. Both HOAs would like people that walk their dogs to be responsible for cleaning up the mess. 

But for some reason, we have a few idiots (I was going to say %!#$**-wipes but my spell checker kept correcting to wet-wipes), that:

  1. Leave their house to walk their dog without a baggie
  2. Decide to use the baggie from from the HOA provided station
  3. Pick up the poop, tie the bag 
  4. Drop it on the grass next to the sidewalk
  5. Expect the magic poop fairy to come and pick up their poop 

Magical Poop Reclamation

Please notice that there is another version of the Dog Clean Up Station. It is outfitted with a garbage can. 

I guess we could provide a garbage can at each station. And, we could pay someone to come take away the poop. We would have to pay them... this is not a "volunteer friendly" type of chore. Are you willing to let me raise your HOA dues to pay for this additional service? 

Also, call me a cynic, unless the idiot's dog poops right in front of the station, it's unlikely that the bag will actually get into the garbage can. Please note my exact position on this subject: dogs are not idiots, stupid %!#$**-wipes owners that don't take responsibility for their dogs are idiots. 

So What is the Rant?

You own a dog (I can appreciate that). You walk your dog (bravo!). But you can't seem to understand that wrapping dog poop in a plastic bag and throwing it in the grass is just idiotic. No one driving by is going to stop and pick it up. No one jogging by is going to pick it up. No one walking by is going to pick it up. 

Why go half-ass on doing the right thing?

Let's make a deal... If your dog poops on the sidewalk, please clean it up and take it home and throw it away. Your mess, your responsibility. 

If your dog poops on the grass, don't tie it in a plastic bag that will take 3.4 million years to biodegrade, or that will be shredded by the landscape company into hundreds of bits of plastic that will take 3.2 million years to biodegrade. I'm willing to let nature takes it course.

Just do us both a favor and don't... half-ass your responsibilities. 

Or, you might consider upgrading your dog!
Our poodles are smart enough not to poop on the sidewalk.
And, we're responsible enough to take care of our own poop.