Friday, February 27, 2015

Advertising

Internet advertising, those annoying ads we see when we look at websites, they mystify me.  Based on a search I've done, they try to show me options that I no longer need.  For example;

Last week I was looking at guitars.  A grandson needed a student guitar, and like all good grandfathers I was searching around, trying to educate myself on the subject.  I readily admit that I know nothing about guitars, but I was trying to learn.  I finally took the young'un to a guitar shop and talked with the owner of the shop.  Found three or four guitars that met my budget and the grandson's needs and told the boy to pick what he liked.  He's got his guitar and all is well.

Like rifle scopes.  Occasionally I'll buy a scope and recently I ordered one.  I probably won't buy another one for the remainder of the year, but I'll be looking at rifle scopes in ad space that is attached to webpages I frequent.  It's wasted advertising.  Even if it costs the merchant pennies, I've bought my scope (and my guitar).  It makes no sense to keep showing me scopes and guitars.  I'm done with those purchases, but I'll continue to see those ads.  Too bad for them.

They taught me in business school that half of all advertising dollars were wasted.  Showing me ads after I've completed the purchase is total waste.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

You think your drunk college-age daughters are bad with their iPhones? Imagine them with guns.

Yeah, that's actually the title of an article at the Washington Post.  Some woman named Anne Skomorowsky, who is a psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center tells us all we need to know about raising teenagers and sending them off to college.  It's remarkably fisk-able.  Lets start four paragraphs down.
My daughter dropped her first iPhone outside an off-campus party, the kind of sports-related, senior-sponsored event that is infamously associated with sexual assault. When the cops showed up, she stood frozen until someone grabbed her hand and pulled her into the woods. As she ran from the police with her friends, her phone fell into a snow bank and was never seen again.
Interesting.  Her seventeen year old daughter was at an off-campus party, "the kind.. that is famously associated with sexual assault".  The cops show up, daughter runs from the police, and the good doctor is most concerned about her cell-phone.  Amazing.  We haven't gotten to the guns issue yet, but we're learning that the doctor's daughter has poor decision-making skills.  Let's go to the next paragraph, shall we?
 We bought her a replacement, a highly desirable 5s that she promised to guard with her life. Weeks later, after another party, my “slightly drunk” daughter tumbled down some stairs. She wasn’t injured, but the iPhone screen was cracked.
 Drunk again, her daughter is showing signs of freshman-itis.  Poor judgement, made worse by alcohol.  Thankfully, we learn that the girl wasn't hurt, but her iPhone took a disabling hit.  I think I'd quit buying her phones.  When she starts paying for them herself, she might learn to take better care of them.  But then we drop into the truly bizarre.  We can't make this stuff up, but the psychiatrists tries to draw the parallel.
Just imagine that my daughter’s iPhone was a gun. One lies in the snow in a suburban forest. Maybe it will be found in the spring, by children playing in the woods, or other young adults running from the police. The other bounced down a staircase along with several intoxicated teenagers.  What could possibly go wrong?
Good imagination, Doc, but I can't imagine your daughter having a gun of any type.  She's not mature enough.  First, get her to treatment for her nascent alcoholism (two drunks in two paragraphs), and let her grow up a little bit.

For myself, I kept a gun in my college dorm the whole time.  My buddies and I hunted and fished our say through college, and everyone just kind of expected that we'd have a gun in the room, although officially, the university prohibited it.  The university also prohibited alcohol in the dorm, but as long as it wasn't a problem, it wasn't a problem.  But then, in my day, college students were expected to be adults, not overgrown children.  We were expected to act like adults, and to pay the consequences when we failed.

We never had a problem with guns on campus, but we were expected to be adults.  There is probably a lesson there that even a doctor pf psychiatry can understand.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Semi-Annual Checkup

Went to the Doctor this morning, he drew fluids and sent them to a lab.  I went back in this afternoon and he told me that the numbers look okay and that he'll see me in six months.

I suspect, from that conversation, that I'll probably live another six months.  If he suspected differently, he'd probably have set the appointment sooner.  Since I've reached the age where semiannual checkups are routine, I'm good with living six months at a time.

Getting old ain't for sissies.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Meteorology

The Great Winter Ice Storm of 2015 was a bust.  I have had more ice in my whiskey glass than there was on the ground this morning, and evidently our local weather weenies are catching flak over their icy-apocalypse weather forecasting.  As well they should, they blew it.  One local personality has his feelings hurt, and he posted on his facebook page.
As many of you know, I like to be as open and honest with my followers as possible. Some are upset about the lack of a significant ice storm. If you try and nail it, you will miss. If you overshoot it, people will be upset for it not happening. If you under-prepare people, you will have many accidents and potential loss of life. That's why as a Meteorologist I do not forecast out of concern for my batting average. I believe the key is to save lives and keep people safe. At the end of the day, if I prepared people for the worst possible scenario, I did my job. There will always be more days of school and we can always get more salt, but one life lost due to unpreparedness is a tragedy. I would like to commend DOTD, school boards, and parish/city officials for their great job in preparation.
It's simple, dude, you blew it.  Anyone can predict the weather in August, but predicting it in February might be hard.  You're going to be wrong a lot, which means you should study your craft.

I'm no meteorologist, but I have been studying the weather for a lot of years, looking at the same maps you look at, and I didn't see ice in the forecast.  I saw normal winter weather, with some possibility of ice on the bridges, but that's why DOTD leaves those signs up all year.  The ones that say that bridges ice before roadways.

More importantly, Mr. Weatherman, it's not your job to prepare people, it's your job to predict the weather.  You do that through models and records and you take your best guess.  So, write this one down.  With conditions like we had, we didn't get ice.  Next time, you should be able to look at your records and know that with similar conditions, we're not going to get ice, then you can get it right.

But, by all means, don't try to be asocial scientist.  Be a hard scientist and go with the data.  Any damned fool can pretend to be a social scientist, but what we need are competent weathermen.  Try to be one.

New Savage Models

Surfing around Facebook this morning, I see that Savage Arms has added some new models to their law enforcement line.  Specifically something they call the Model 10 FLCP-SR.  It's the accustock model with a 24" barrel and the new 10 round magazine.

What is truly interesting is that it also comes in a left-hand version.  With an MSRP of $761.00, it looks like a heck of a deal on a law enforcement rifle.  Any competent gunsmith could cut that barrel back to 20" or 18" without much problem.

Joey!  Does that answer your question?

The Great Ice Storm of 2015

It looks like we've survived the Great Ice Storm of 2015.  A thin skim of ice on the decks and cars, and of course, the dog's water frisbee froze over.  He whined and whimpered this morning until I broke the ice and filled it with liquid water, because he simply will NOT drink out of his water bowl in the house.  It's the frisbee or nothing.  The dawg has standards.  He'll only drink from mud puddles or that frisbee.  Otherwise, he'll gladly dehydrate.  His inside water bowl doesn't exist for him.  Go figure.

Thin skim of ice on the deck. Liquid water in the frisbee.
In the meantime, I've got red beans in the crock pot.  I'll start seasoning them about noon.  We'll eat red beans and sausage for supper.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ramps. Whoa!

Only because I love stuff like this, I'm embedding this video to give my sons an idea.  We're always looking for an easy way to get a car off the ground for maintenance.




Hnnn. The video didn't embed, but you can click the "Post" to see the video.

Ice Storm

It looks like we're in for a wintry mix later this afternoon, and I'm hearing reports that it's sleeting in north Louisiana.  We'll see.

In the meantime, my cousin, Gay, sent out this missive.

Yeah, pretty much.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Winter in the Deep South

It looks like we're under a freezing rain advisory.  All of you in the Frozen North may wonder at this, but here is the advisory we got tonight:
The National Weather Service in Lake Charles has issued a
Freezing Rain Advisory... which is in effect from 6 am Monday to
noon CST Tuesday. 
* Timing... sub-freezing temperatures are expected from mid morning
  Monday through midday Tuesday. Any rain that occurs during this
  period will have the potential to freeze upon reaching the
  ground. 
* Ice accumulations... averaging between five to fifteen
  hundredths of an inch. 
That's the whole advisory.  Between five to fifteen hundredths of an inch.  Ice.  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Of course, the whole system has now shut down.  Schools closed.  State Offices closed.  The whole list is here, and they're serious.  We may get a little ice, so we're shutting down. Get over it.

Because schools are closed, PawPaw will be cooling his heels at home tomorrow.  Doing laundry.  Keeping a weather eye out for ... weather.  That we may or may not get.

Sunday Morning Dawg

If it doesn't rain today, it's going to miss a hell of a chance.  Overcast, windy, rain predicted, it is a good day to stay on the porch.

The dog knows how to stay on the porch.  He's quite good at it.  Y'all have a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

CFDA

Big practice meet over at Lucky 4B ranch in Melder, LA today.  My cousin's Big Thicket Bushwhackers came over to shoot with the Lucky 4B gys.  My cousin, aka Gentleman George, took my grandson under his wing to teach him the basics of Cowboy Fast Draw.

That's George coaching grandson Ethan on the basics of fast draw.  There's a lot to absorb in just a little while, The match is going to begin in just a few minutes.

Indoors, the ladies are going over a safety briefing and basic gun-handling for those new to the game.

Texas Rose in the brown vest, going over the fine points.

Down the line, Milady is trying out various revolvers.  I bet she handled six or eight revolvers today, trying to find a grip style that fit her.

In this picture, George goes over the fine points with Milady.  

Then, the firing began.  Ethan did pretty well for a first go-round.  He won his first match by one shot.  Here, he's engaging a target with one of George's Vaqueros.


This sport is for all ages and sexes.  Here is a shot of the littlest pistolero on the line.  She did quite well for herself.


And finally, a group photo of the assembled cowboys.

It was a ood day, spent with good people.  Lots of laughter, lots of camaraderie.  Everybody on those steps was packing, and an armed society is a polite society.

About that Glock

Commenting on the post below, TheOtherRyan says in comments:
I bet this has some .45/ 1911 die hard types completely losing their shit.
No, not really, Ryan.  I am, you see, one of those diehard 1911 fans.  I've been shooting the pistols since the early 1970s, and indeed, the 1911A1 pistol was the very first handgun I ever picked up.  I still see the utility of the 1911 and the .45 ACP cartridge, but like most handgunners, I'm a pragmatist when it comes to handgun selection.

The very first 9mm pistol I ever shot was the Army's M9.  They issued one to me during Desert Storm.  I immediately disliked it, but not for the reasons you might think.  It was too big for my hands, was not ergonomic, and because I was uncomfortable shooting it, I shot it poorly.  Also, the 9mm ammo of the day was fairly anemic with poor bullet design.

Some of the greatest advances in handguns in the past 30 years have been in the ammunition.  Ammo, back in the day, was tailored to operate properly across a narrow range of velocities.  I remember in the late '80s shooting Winchester's premier Silvertip ammo for a police qualfication.  It did extremely well at the longer ranges, but I was amazed as we got close to the target (specifically at the 2-yard-line) the bullets were coming apart on the cardboard.  They were so over-driven that they were shedding their jackets on the paper target and coming apart before they could penetrate the cardboard backing.

Since then, the bullet manufacturers have really stepped up their game.  They've studied the problem and come up with some wonderful solutions, and frankly our ammo today is light-years ahead of what we had in the early days.  Handgun ammo in this new century has stepped up to the point where we can use smaller calibers, and 9mm ammo is much more lethal than it was 40 years ago, simply because of bullet design and better powders.

Even Jeff Cooper changed his stance on handgun ammo in his sunset years.  He remained a 1911 guru till his death, but he told us that bullet design had changed the game and that (I'd have to look to find the exact cite) that Hornady's 230 grain truncated cone bullet was probably the best projectile ever designed for the .45 ACP.

Gaston Glock, in 1980, changed the handgunning world with his Model 17.  Initially, many of us were skeptical, but the design has proven itself over the years and over the world.  There are millions of them in use, and even the most die-hard 1911 fans see the utility of a pistol that is durable, reliable, easy to shoot, and accurate.  It's been 35 years since Gaston unveiled his pistol, and many of us have come around, being pragmatists.  The fact that the ammo has gotten better has certainly helped.

Even I, dinosaur that I am, have come around to the Glock.  The Sheriff issued me one last year, and it's the pistol I carry at least 50 hours per week.  It's ergonomic, easy to shoot, has few moving parts and is utterly reliable.  What's not to like?  I see its weaknesses, primarily that design flaw that requires the operator to pull the trigger before disassembly.  Clearing procedure is critical on a Glock, because if you don't clear the pistol, you're going to shoot a hole in your workbench before you clean it.  But, clearing a pistol should be second-nature to a pistolero.  It's a design flaw, but a minor one in the overall nature of things.

I still like my 1911s and see their utility, but I also appreciate Gaston's design.  It's a great pistol and even if old John Moses (pbuh) were around today, I bet he'd appreciate the modern pistol as well.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some family matters to attend and later, an appointment to shoot some guns from the late 19th century.  They have a certain appeal as well.