Friday, November 27, 2015


After the prep, the meal, the family, the visiting, the shooting, the laughing, the general noisiness of the Thanksgiving celebration, Milady and I looked up about 4:00 pm and realized that we were alone.  The family and friends had departed, after taking leftovers and helping straighten the kitchen.  She and I made a few last-minute adjustments.  She poured a glass of wine, and I had a bourbon.

Today, we're being Sorry.  Not sorry in the emotional sense, but Sorry in the We-Ain't-Doing-Anything sense.  Sorry, as in "He's so Sorry, he wouldn't hit a lick at a snake."

The floors are reasonably clean, the house is reasonably quiet, and the dog is asleep on the kitchen floor.  Milady doesn't do Black Friday and neither do I.  I'm happy to simply sit here in my sloth today.  Surf the internet, watch Netflix, and take the dog outside occasionally to survey the weather.

Thanksgiving is technically over, but for a quiet house today, for my lady curled up in her chair with her Kindle, for my dog peaceful after the joyful chaos of yesterday, I am thankful.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Never Seen That Before

Playing with the grandkids in the yard today, we wer e doing a little wax bullet work with Milady's Ruger New Vaquero.  I bought that revolver for Milady back in March as we began our Fast Draw game and we've been very happy with it.  When she bought her Liberty Model, the Ruger became a back-up, a spare gun, and it rides with us everywhere in the spares bag.

After the girls finished shooting, as we were clearing the revolver and the range, I happened to touch the front sight and it wiggled.  Wiggled.  I handed the revolver to my son, and he looked at it, then pulled the sight from its slot.  "Looks like the solder turned loose, Pop."

I've seen a lot of things, but I've never seen a front sight turn loose.  That gun has never fired a single round of standard ammunition, has been exclusively a wax-bullet gun.  I guess I'll box it up and on Monday, call Ruger.  It looks like a trip to the shop is in order.

Thanksgiving Day

The ham and turkey are in the smoker, not for smoking, but because oven space is always at a premium on Thanksgiving morning.  I still have room in there for a couple of pans, if people bring over side dishes that need to be warmed.

The counters are cleaned, the carpets are vacuumed, and PawPaw is taking a small break to reflect on my many blessings.  Family and friends will start to arrive in another couple of hours and things will get noisy around here.  Several of my blessings are my children and the fine people they've grown to be.

Another blessing is this home that Milady and I have made.  She saved me from myself almost fifteen years ago and she is my strength, my compass, and my love.  We've designed our home for entertaining, and love that so many people are comfortable here.

Standing outside regulating the smoker, I heard a familiar song and looked up to see a flight of geese heading south.  I thought of my Dad, who chased ducks and geese all his life, and his love for the wild places and the wild things.  After the third flight passed overhead, complaining noisily, I knew from long association with the old man that a front must be approaching.  Geese ride ahead of a front, and the geese are moving this morning.  Sure enough, a look at the weather maps tell me that tomorrow we can expect a change in weather.

But, for today we'll have mild temps and pleasant weather.  Tomorrow is soon enough for the weather to change, and for that I am also thankful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Shooter Report

Granddaughter Layla expressed an interest in shooting, so while she was over today, we took the time to do a basic course on the single action revolver.  Everyone should know how to operate a single action revolver (and a semi-auto pistol), and I have a small range in my backyard.  Wax bullet ammo works good to familiarize, so after basic safety, we went down to the 7-yard line and did a little shooting.  Going slow, concentrating on sight alignment and trigger squeeze.  It was her first time out, but I think that she had a good time.

There is no reason for a young lady to not know how to operate a revolver and Layla took an important first step today.  PawPaw is proud of her.

That College "Rape Culture" Probably Doesn't Exist

According to data released by the American Association of College Women, 91% of US colleges and universities reported no rapes last year.
And so it goes for the American Association of University Women, which analyzed 2014 reporting data from colleges and universities across the country and found that 91 percent of schools had no reported incidents of rape.
But, the association is not convinced.
 "When campuses report zero incidents of rape, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, it simply does not square with research, campus climate surveys, and widespread experiences reported by students," the AAUW wrote.
Well, sweetie (yeah, I know, I'm a patronizing misogynist here), get over it.  It's your chart, your research, your data. And it shows that the problem simply is not widespread.  If 91% of colleges and universities report no sexual violence, that's a good thing.

Unless, of course, widespread sexual violence helps you with your political endeavors.  No rape, no power for the Social Justice Warriors.  Or, as Professor Reynolds says, "insufficient opportunity for graft."

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Murder Rates

Murder rates seem to be one of the topics of discussion this year, and there's a lot of bad data floating round out there.  One that I saw recently on Facebook, for example, attributed to various sources (including the Trump campaign).  There's a lot wrong with this graphic, so let me point out a few things that you might consider.

The first and most obvious problem is that no one has murder stats for 2015, because 2015 isn't over yet and won't be for another month.  And, the murder stats for 2015 won't be available for another year or so, because those cases have to be completed before they can be put in a database.  Others have pointed out that the graphic is sources to the Crime Statistics Bureau of San Francisco, which simply doesn't exist.

But, there is a bureau that keeps these statistics, and they have data from 2013, which makes sense.  Let's take a look at the FBI data, shall we?

Those are the best numbers that the FBI ca give us,  Murder is a messy business, and it takes serious people to put together a chart like that.  Still, those numbers can tell us a few things.  Like, for example, that some races can't be characterized.  And, that we're fairly tribal.  Most whites are killed by whites, and most blacks are killed by blacks.  That makes sense as well, simply because murder is generally an up-close-and-personal affair.  Yes, there are random murders, but speaking in broad generalities, most murder victims know their assailants.

Jazz Shaw does a good job of analysis at Hot Air, discussing proportionality, and I'll leave you to jump over there are read his analysis, but I'll leave you with this thought:
In the end, there was some truth on both sides, but if we are to be honest in this political debate we have to stick to the facts. That chart was wrong pretty much across the board and wildly so in a few categories. There’s no harm in having this debate, no matter how much the feelings of the SJW may be hurt, but we should at least rely on accurate data.
No, the original chart isn't wildly inaccurate, but it has enough problems that you shouldn't rely on it.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Well, That Sucks

Evidently, the 2.2L engine on a 90's era Isuzu Rodeo is an interference engine.

What that means is when the timing belt breaks and it jumps time, the pistons come up and total the valves.

No, I haven't pulled the head.  But, I'm betting that there is lots of damage in there.  I had that same problem on an '80s era Ford Escort.  That vehicle was new enough to rebuild, so we took it down.  When we pulled the head, every valve was bent and three pistons were holed.

I've seen this dragon before, and it's a beasty beast.  I don't know if that engine is worth rebuilding.

Here's the little bastard that wrecked the engine.

Tiny little piece of steel, it's part of the timing belt tensioner.  Evidently, though vibration or fatigue, it broke loose, fell into the timing belt, threw the engine out of time, and in 1/2 a second, had ruined the engine.  It's a trifling little part, but the aftermath was catastrophic.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Part Time Tie Down

Tying down your revolver is important.  Whether single-action or double-action, it's important to make sure that your handgun is secure in your holster.  Generally, the holster maker uses a simple strip of latigo, probably cut from the same leather as the holster was cut from, to form a simple loop to tie the holster to the revolver.  Sort of like this:

That leather loop is fine for 99% of tie-down duty.  Properly adjusted, it wll keep the gun in the holster.  But, 99% of the time doesn't cut it, when you're in the fast draw game.  That latigo loop should certainly secure the gun, but when you un-loop it, you want it to lie down out of the way.

I own holsters from several custom makers, to include Mernicle, Ken's Leathercraft, El Paso Saddlery, and Crease N Corral.  In addition to a couple that my son has made for me.  When I was at the invitational last week, I was running a holster from Ken's Leathercraft.  I like Ken's work, but for some reason I kept getting the front sight of my gun stuck in the loop as I drew the revolver.  The loop was just a bit stiff, and stood proudly from the holster when it wasn't holding the revolver.  Sticking the front sight of your revolver in your tie-down is a sure-fire way of slowing your draw.

Luckily, the proprietor of Crease N Corral is a friend of mine, as well as a first class Fast Draw competitor in his own right. We call him Part Time, and he's come up with a little fix for the tie-down problem, and it's easy enough that anyone can replicate it in just a few minutes with a piece of leather.  So, I went out to the bench and cut a strip of scrap leather to make a tie-down

It's pretty simple actually, a strip of leather long enough to thread though the tie-down holes in the holster ( a foot or so is sufficient),  Wider at one end than the other.  In the wide end, punch a hole and cut a small slit that will fit over the hammer spur.

Easy-peasy, and there is no way the muzzle of the revolver will get caught in that loop during a draw.  I've made several of these for various holsters and once installed, there is never a problem.

Sunday Morning Dawg

It's a cool, crisp morning in central Louisiana.  We awoke to stars in the early morning sky and the dawn is progressing nicely.  Cool temps, it finally feels like autumn and a flannel shirt is just right as the dog and I trek out to the mailbox, looking for the newspaper.

No joy on the paper yet, but the internet gives us an interesting headline following the elections yesterday.
Louisiana turns blue again with big John Bel Edwards win; David Vitter says he’s not running again
Interesting take on Louisiana politics, but not entirely true.  Edwards is the first non-incumbent, statewide Democrat elected since 2003 in Louisiana, but don't look on him to be a bellwether.  John Bel Edwards is by all accounts a good man, and he was able to beat a soiled politico.  I look on the Edwards election as more an indicator of the outsider beating the establishment, which we might have here.  Of course, the fact that Vitter was damaged goods did nothing to help his campaign.

However, the Democrats shouldn't look on Edwards as the savior of the party.  He is still the only statewide elected Democrat and he had better learn to work with the other side of the aisle.  His Lieutenant Governor is a Republican, he Attorney General is a Republican, his Secretary of State is a Republican.

David Vitter says that he's not running again, and will finish his term in the US Senate.  That's good new for Louisiana.  Maybe Rob Maness will consider running again.  He ran a good race against Bill Cassidy, and I think that Rob would make a fine US Senator.  We'll see.

Friday, November 20, 2015

One More Pic

One more picture from the Invitational last week.  Grandson  Zachary, putting the wax on a target.  One of the Bushwacker gals was taking picures and she has sent several.

I haven't seen any pictures of PawPaw or Milady yet on the line, but hope remains.

The Devil You Know

I've talked about this before, but a little background might be in order.  Tomorrow, Louisiana goes to the polls for our general election.  Louisiana has a "jungle" primary system, where all of the candidates run in one primary, regardless of party affiliiation. If one candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, that candidate wins.  If not, the two top vote-getters run again in a general election (we call it the run-off) to decide who wins.

This leads to some odd results.  In the primary last month, we had four main candidates, three Republican and one Democrat.  The Democrat, John Bel Edwards, took 40% of the vote and the three Republicans split 57% of the vote.  Several "no-name" candidates garnered three percent.  After all the votes were counted, Republican Senator David Vitter came in 2nd, with 23% of the vote.  So, Edwards-D, and Vitter-R will face off for the run-off which will be decided tomorrow.

David Vitter is a tarnished candidate.  We've talked about this before.  I simply cannot vote for David Vitter.  There are a lot of other votes like me, who don't want to vote for a Democrat for governor, but simply think that Vitter is too tarnished, too damaged, too sleazy to pull a lever with his name beside it.  So, what we're left with is the distinct probability that tomorrow, Louisiana will elect a Democrat as our governor.  So be it.

I fault the Republican party of Louisiana.  They've hitched their horse to this damaged politician, and backed him when they could have found another candidate.  By standing with Vitter, they've allowed Edwards to work himself into a spot where he stands a better-than-average chance of being governor.

Louisiana might find itself in the weird position of being a blood-red state with a blue governor.  Such is the manner of Louisianna politics.  Some have asked why I don't hold my nose and vote -R-, and the simple answer is that I simply can't vote for David Vitter.  Louisiana Republicans have no one to blame but themselves.