Sunday, August 20, 2017

DIY Sunday

Today was a day for those little DIY projects that crop up from time to time.

First, Belle needs a tiny little screwdriver to get into a tight spot on her sewing machine.  Elder son was consulted when he came over for lunch, and he came up with this elegant solution.

An apex tip out of  a screwdriver, a bottle cap off a soft drink, and some epoxy.


If that screwdriver isn't small enough to get into that tight space, none of them will be.  It's 24 hour epoxy, so it will be ready tomorrow, after curing.  It's small enough that Belle can drop in in her sowing kit, and it should serve her form many years.  homemade tools are always the bet, and we'll call this the micro-stubby.  Total cost, almost -0-.  The apex bit might  have cost me a quarter.

Next, we  considered the problem of wires hanging off a standard CFDA target.   If a wire is hanging down off the target, some jazzzbo is going to shoot it, sure as God made little green apples.   Many folks, and I have as well, simply use a piece of tape, and tape the wires behind the stand, but that's not real elegant.  So, we started brain-storming and came up with the idea of using PVC pipe.  Two zip ties, and the pipe is affixed to the stand and will easily accompdate CAT5 cable that runs the electronics.

 side view.  PVC pipe zip-tied to the stand.
Here's a view from the shooter's perspective.


I think that is going to work just fine to protect my cables from wax bullets.  It's lightweight, inexpensive, and easily fixed in the middle of a match, if need me.  It's a great DIY hack.  For the record, that's 36" of one-inch schedule 40, and two Harbor Freight zip-ties.  It doesn't get any cheaper than that.

Next, I needed a rope with an eyelet in it.  I learned to splice rope at my father's knee.  I haven't spliced a rope in almost three decades, but in just a few minutes, with a false-start or two, it all came flowing back to me.  Even with my tired old eyes, I managed to get a fairly nice eye splice.


Not too shabby for an old blind man.  I'm sure that a modern day rigger could find fault with it, but it won't be carrying a load, and I'm sure that it will suffice.  Some things we never forget.

Finally, the most pleasing DIY project today is that I was hungry for pork chops, and Belle induled me with her pork chops and rice.  With purple hull peas and cornbread.


Pretty good groceries, right there, and one of the big reasons why we do DIY projects for our ladies.  Because they know how to make pork chops.

It's been a very productive Sunday.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday Morning

It's Saturday morning, and the news is utterly depressing.  The President fired someone and that person thinks that his being fired is double-plus-un-good.  Inagine that.  Most people who get fired think it is a bad thing.  I've been fired.  It sucked.

On a more local front, PawPaw got up this morning and fired off a couple of small engines.  The grass is cut.  Every bit of clothing I am wearing is soaking wet, but I know where the shower and clean blue jeans are.  This is a short-term problem.

Belle and I are going to the range in a couple of hours.  That is also good.

Talking at work yesterday, some of us were discussing the upcoming eclipse.  Here in central Louisiana we are going to have about 75% coverage.

One of the support staff (who happens to be blonde and female) commented.  "Well, that's all well and good, but I don't know if I can stay up long enough to see it."

But, today is progressing nicely.  It's time to jump in the shower, load the  guns i the van and get started with the fun part of the weekend.

Look what the association sent me this week.


This week was a very good week.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Fantastic Friday

Easy day at work.  Got home, checked me mail, and found an envelope I've been waiting for.

Very good news.  Very good indeed.  More on that later as the plans firm up.  But, the plans will firm up very nicely now.

Went to AWs and got a couple of fish plates.  Came home and celebrated with Belle

Drinking whiskey now and listening to some of my favorite music.



I watched Lonestar play this one at concert in Houston in 1999.  They were opening for Kenny Rogers at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.    They put on a good show, but we were there to listen to Kenny Rogers.


Today has been a very good day.  I'm going to have one more drink and toddle off to bed.

The Cost of Freedom

I've heard it said before that the antidote to hate speech is more speech.  It seems that the ACLU is wrestling with the problem.  Should they support the rights of groups whose principals are antithetical to them?
It was 1934 and fascism was on the march not only in Europe but in America. People who admired Adolf Hitler, who had taken power in Germany, formed Nazi organizations in the United States.

The American Civil Liberties Union, represented by lawyers who were Jewish, faced an existential question: Should the freedoms it stood for since its founding in 1920 apply even to racist groups that would like nothing more than to strip them away?
Back then, the ACLU decided that the defense of free speech was mote important than the political values of the speakers.  They are wrestling with the same choices today.
The national organization said Thursday that it would not represent white supremacist groups that want to demonstrate with guns. That stance is a new interpretation of the ACLU’s official position that reasonable gun regulation does not violate the 2nd Amendment.
 We note that the white supremacist group that was attacked my Antifa in Charlottesville last weekend had guns.  We also note that no one was shot.  And this sums up my problem with the ACLU. They don't like the Second Amendment.

In the 1930s the ACLU made the proper decision that the rights of Americans extend to everyone, and that they would work to protect the rights of all Americans, regardless of their political leanings.

Yesterday, they decided that the rights of some groups are worth protecting.  If you are not one of the favored groups, your rights are not worth protecting.

Many Americans are starting to realize that the (alt-right, Neo-Nazi, white supremacist...pick your descriptor) group in Charlottesville did it right They got a permit and came to the park to engage in free speech.  They were attacked enroute by left-wing Antifa who wanted to shut them down.  When attacked, the right-wing group (some of who were armed) displayed remarkable discipline.  No one was shot.  Antifa came looking for a fight.

The ACLU has made the wrong choice here.  The First Amendment rights of all Americans must be protected, as well as the 2nd Amendment rights of all Americans.  The antidote to bad free speech is good free speech.

I am the NRA and I am freedom's safest place.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The .45 Smith and Wesson

One of the archaic cartridges from the late 19th century is the .45 Smith and Wesson.  Also called the Schofield, it was designed to fit the Smith and Wesson #3 American revolver.    Oh, heck, I'll let Wikipedia tell you about it.
The .45 Schofield or .45 Smith & Wesson is a revolver cartridge developed by Smith & Wesson for their S&W Model 3 American top-break revolver. It is similar to the .45 Colt round though shorter and with a slightly larger rim, and will generally work in revolvers chambered for that cartridge. US government arsenals supplied .45 Schofield cartridges for the Schofield revolver and the Colt Army revolver to simplify their armament needs.[1] 45 Colt cartridges cannot be used in .45 Schofield firearms, since the .45 Colt is a longer cartridge.
It's interesting that back in those days, different manufacturers made small changes in cartridge dimensions to satisfy legal concerns.  This time was before SAAMI, and cartridges were proprietary. Still, a look at the drawings shows us the almost minuscule  differences between the two.

First the Colt.

Now, the Smith and Wesson

The Smith and Wesson is a fairly moribund cartridge today but the drawings still exist, and ammo is available, so we know that brass is available.

Proprietary cartridges were a problem in the late 1800s and they are a problem today.  Sometimes, contractual restrictions get in the way of real progress, so workarounds become necessary.  I realize that I'm being obtuse, but there are good reasons for that.  The question remains, though;  If we can't use .45 Colt brass, why can't we use Schofield brass?

This is a question that deserves an answer, and I'll have to look further into this.   Exit question:  Who besides Starline makes brass in the US and might be amenable to a fairly large custom order?

I'm going to leave this right here so that I can find it later.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Krewe Ball

Mardi Gras is celebrated in different ways all across the state, but one constant is the Krewe.  A Krere is a group of like-minded folks who join together to participate, to make a float, to parade, and generally to celebrate Mardi Gras as a group.  One of the traditions is that each Krewe hosts a ball.  A formal ball where the ladies sparkle, the men are elegant, and the company is pleasant.  Some of the Krewe balls are legendary.

Belle and I have been invited to a local Krewe ball.  We have accepted, and as it is not until January, we have plenty of time to plan our attire.  We're told that it's formal, and that the men must wear black and the ladies can wear any color but white (which is reserved for the court).

I'm thinking about tails, in the manner of the 1880s late Victorian style.  Something like this:


With an appropriate vest, I believe it might create the proper atmosphere.  It might be quite dashing.  Or, I could go with a Gunfighter coat from the same era, with  an appropriate vest and stting tie.


Properly done, 1880s attire is quite formal, and the effect is quite stylish.  It should suffice for a Krewe ball.  Mardi Gras is about costuming, after all. The effect would be something like my buddy Skagway Sam, a master of period attire.



What say ye?  At any rate, I'm going to need to go to the PX and buy some new dress shoes.  The ones I have simply will not do.

This might turn out to be a lot of fun.

Where Does It Stop?

President Trump makes a good point.
"This week it's Robert E. Lee, I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down," President Donald Trump said on Tuesday. "I wonder, is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?"
No thinking human can defend slavery, or racism, or the Confederacy, but the current view seems to be distorted, as if we are looking through a prism.   I'd be very cautious about  tearing down any historical monuments, simply because setting that precedent might lead to unforeseen  consequences later on.

The rhetoric is getting just a little over-heated.  No good can come to that.  It's just a small jump from baseball bats to firearms, and no one wants that sort of thing.  We can certainly denounce racism and bigotry without defending intolerance and violence.  This is not a binary choice, and to say that both groups who came to blows in Charlottesville are beyond the pale of polite society is not a stretch.

Everyone needs to calm down and take a deep breath.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

TALO - Limited SAA Offering

It seems that TALO distributers will soon be offering a limited run of Colt SAA revolvers.  Not many details are knon at this time.  According to The Firearm Blog.
According to information posted on Talo’s website, Colt’s Manufacturing made a limited run of SAA revolvers for the company. This specific one is limited to 50 guns and will be heading out to the wholesalers shortly.
 The gun is finished in royal blue and has wooden stocks. This SAA has a 5.5″ barrel. No pricing information was provided by Talo. Since this revolver is a limited run that was likely made by the Colt Custom Shop, I would expect them to retail for more than the standard SAA guns. Standard Colt SAA revolvers chambered for the .357 Magnum and .45 Colt start at $1,799.
It's a nice looking gun, as all Colt SAA revolvers are.



 The .32-20 is one of Belle's favorite calibers.   Her go-to revolver is an old Colt Police Positive in that caliber.  While this new offering is interesting, it's not interesting enough to drop MSRP on the debit card.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Bill Whittle - Surprise.

Who Had The Permit?

Reading about the horrific nonsense that happened in Charlottsville, VA this weekend, I'm struck by several questions.  First and foremost, who had the permit to hold a rally in a public park?

In every event I've ever seen in a public venue, a permit is required.  It puts the authorities on notice that something is going to happen, and requires the event organizers to do certain things.  But, that permit allows them to be there.  Peacefully.  Lawfully.

Reading the New York Times article from this morning, it appears that the white nationalists had the permit.  As execrable as their message might have been, it appears that they had the permit to hold the rally, and that's what free speech is all about.

Those other groups that showed up, did so unlawfully.  Or, at least I doubt that they had a permit. So, why were they there?  Simply to cause trouble?  From all appearances, that's what happened.

And, what city bureaucrat let two groups with competing messages show up in the same park at the same time?
As the white nationalists massed in the park, Ms. Caine-Conley and other members of the clergy locked arms in the street. Behind them were hundreds of protesters, including black-clad, helmet-wearing members of the far left known as antifa.
Sound like a recipe for disaster, doesn't it?  And, that's just exactly what happened.   In the final analysis, what happened is that the City let two hate groups converge at the same place in the same time.

Of course, now the police are being blamed.

It's interesting to note that almost everywhere Anrtifa shows up, there is violence.  Example, Seattle.  Fascism is facism wherever it rears its ugly head, and if you are trying to shut down free speech, you're a fascist.