Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Crazy, Fat Kid

That's the way that Senator John McCain described the despot who runs North Korea.  A crazy fat kid.
Senator John McCain made the inflammatory remarks while discussing the tyrant’s recent ballistic missile tests and his repeated threats to destroy the US.
I was amazed, when l'il Kim's daddy died that the generals let him grab the reins of power.   From all accounts, he's a ruthless, power-crazed, paranoid tyrant.    If he was found one morning dangling from the end of a rope, I doubt very seriously if anyone would mourn him.

Tired, Just Tired

I'm working on about six hours sleep last night.  While that used to plenty when I was younger, today my butt is dragging.  Fortunately, I get to leave here at a reasonable hour today.

I feel a lot like that dog looks.


I walked into McDonalds last night, after a long, long day  Ordered a Big Mac and fries, paid the gal, then moved over to the pickup window.

Three college boys came in, griping about being thrown out of Hardee's, down the road.    They got there just at closing time, and couldn't be served.  So, one guy asks what is on a Big Mac.

Bone-dog tired, I remembered the jingle..  "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun."

The girl at the counter looked up.  "Wow.  That's exactly what is on a Big Mac."

The college kids looked at me.  "Did you ever work at McDonald's?"

"No", I replied, "I worked at Buger King, but I still remember the Big Mac jingle."

And, courtesy of YouTube, here it is.  Evidently, that was a 1974 ad campaign.

Heh!  The things we remember, sometimes.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Surely, You Jest.

That's the response on of my military commanders would use when I'd come at him with some hair-brained scheme.  "Surely, you jest."  I knew then that it was time to back up and reconsider.

But, it seems that a court in Portland has decided that a person can now be "legally genderless", whatever that means.
People are free to believe anything they wish in the United States. Irrational ideas only become an issue when they impact our legal system, since that means they have the potential to enforce the stupid on the rest of us.
For example, a judge in Portland has ruled that an individual is now legally "genderless":
"Surely you jest," I thought when I read that paragraph, but then realized that hizzoner did not jest at all.  He actually believes that we're supposed to take that ruling seriously.

Well, hizzoner is wrong.  And, in Portland at least, the law is now officially an ass.

Monday, March 27, 2017


I heard this song for the first time, over at Murphy's place.  It quickly became an earworm, maybe because it's about a submachine gunner, something with which I have a little experience.  Catchy tune.

This is a variation on the original.

Sometimes, thankless little bush wars are the only wars we've got.

You're welcome.

Monday Random Thoughts

I've been doing a little reading, between helping people today.

What is the proper role of a local police agency in the 21st century?  The role of police agencies has changed over the years, as well as the public expectations of a local police agency.  This deserves more study, and it deserves the philosophical thought that such questions require.

Body Armor (Kevlar vests).  You'd think hat after all these years, I'd get used to wearing the damned things. You'd be wrong.  It feels just as foreign and unfamiliar to me today as it did the first day I wore one.  I hate the damned things with all my heart.  I know all the good reasons for wearing it, and I don't need you to remind me.  Still, I hate the damned thing.  Body Armor will be one of the things I do not miss about police work.

Sunday, March 26, 2017


For my regular readers, this is an idea that is strictly CFDA related.  My apologies in advance if this post is technical and strictly CFDA related.

Those of us who have shot CFDA matches have probably shot a category match.  Category matches are age-related matches, and they're a lot of fun.  But, we've got a lot of categories, and as you get older, the categories get shorter.  Look at this copy from the Gunslinger's Guidelines.
Recognized Age-Based Categories are:
Billy the Kid, Annie Oakley ages 8 through 15;
Boy’s & Girl’s Junior ages 16 & 17 (and Level 4 Youth)
Men’s & Ladies Traditional age 18+;
Men’s & Ladies 49’r age 49+;
Men’s & Ladies Senior age 60+;
Men’s & Ladies Super Senior age 65+;
Old Timers & Grand Dame age 70+;
Golden Guns & Golden Girls age 75+, and
Elder Statesmen & Stateswoman age 80+.
By my count, that's nine categories.  That's a lot of individual categories to keep straight.  One problem I've seen with these standard categories is that occasionally, there won't be enough shooters in a particular category to make a valid match, and those folks are re-assigned to another category.    Everybody is good-natured about it. of the problems with the Traditional category is that it get really big.  We've got a lot of shooters from age 18-49, so we might want to split that category, and consolidate some of the others.

I've been to some shoots where the Traditional Category is huge, and the more senior categories are tiny.  That's not to say that the level of competition is less, no, our senior shooters have the twin attributes of experience and cool-headedness.  They're seasoned competitors.  But, we might want to spread out the larger categories and consolidate the smaller ones.

Here's my idea:
Youth (youngsters to include Category 3 youth).
Traditional (Category 4 youth and adults up to age 37)
Seasoned Hands (age38-48)
Forty-Niners (Age 49-59)
Senior (Age 60-69)
Golden Guns (Age 70+)

We'd split every category into Mens and Ladies, and we could change the names of the categories if we wanted to, and I'm just throwing this out for consideration.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fish Fry Today

Well, the fish fry is over, we ate till our belly-buttons were tight, then sat around and visited for several hours.

Catfish, french fries, hush=puppies.  The ladies made broccoli salad and cole slaw.  PawPaw was the fry-master today.  I know my way around a fish cooker, I've been frying fish for nearly four decades, and I've just about learned how to do it.  There is no real secret.  Good, clean fish, good seasoning, slice the filets thin, roll it in seasoned cornmeal, and fry it in hot oil.  Use a thermometer and keep your oil between 350-400 degrees. I don't know why some people have trouble with this.

Grand-niece Rachel is a starving college student at ULM in Monroe, LA.  I was very surprised and pleased to see her get out of the car.  Rachel is a joy, and it appears that she likes fried fish.

All told, I fed fourteen people this afternoon, and still had fish left over.  Several of the guests took fish plates home.  It was a great day with greaat people.

Memory Lane

Who remembers this guy?  He showed up on a birthday card that Belle got.

That's Quick Draw McGraw.  I used to watch his show when I was a kid.

Saturday Morning

Belle's family has a lot of birthdays in March, and today is in fact Belle's birthday.  Her side of the family is gathering here on PawPaw's acre, noonish, to celebrate together.  I'll be frying catfish on the patio, with french fries, hush-puppies, and coleslaw.  BYOB.

I've been at it since daylight, prepping and getting ready.  Taking a break right now, to catch my breath before the guests start to arrive.  The weather-weeenies are predicting a chance of a shower.  Hopefully, it'll go around us so that I don't have to move everything into the garage.

On yer mark, get set.  GO!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Blinging a Gunbelt

Belle gets a new gunbelt for her birthday, and the next thing I know, a package arrives from  Conchos.  What good is a gunbelt without conchos?

I told her to measure carefully, to place them where she wanted them.  Then we very carefully punched the holes.  That's cowboy bling.

Old Time Repair Shops

When I was growing up, television was relatively new, and was a substantial investment, a fair portion of a weekly paycheck.  TV repair shops littered the landscape.  Indeed, my own father fixed TVs for a while in the family storeroom.  He put up a bench and made a little side money fixing television sets.

Those old repair shops have gone the way of the dodo bird.  Foe rhe most part, consumer electronics are disposable; if something breaks, you throw it away and buy another.  The time of fixing TVs is long gone.  But, there are still a couple of old-time repair shops around that can do stuff that was once the province of any good electronic repair shop.

One such repairman is a guy I'll call Ricky.  Ricky runs a repair shop that specializes in audio=visual equipment for a local governmental agency.  When I have an issue, Ricky is the easy answer.  He doesn't always tell me what I want to hear, but he'll give me the straight scoop.  Ricky likes old guns, so we trade expertise and talk about the time when things got fixed, rather than thrown away.

You'll remember earlier this week, when I bought my portable PA system.  I showed it to RIcky, and he noticed the two plugs on the back of the unit for attaching it to a battery for 12 volt power.  He told me about a shop downtown that sold little electronic parts.  "Go there and get two banana plugs and two battery clips.  Come back here and we'll build a power cord so that you can hook it to a battery."

So, I went to this shop he told me about.  Stepping in through the door was like stepping back 40 years. Dusty, musty, lots of shelves and bins.  I found the proprietor and told him what I was looking for.  "Ricky sent me."

"Okay", he said and started looking in bins.  In just a few minutes he had found banana plugs, one red, one black, but he was having trouble finding battery clips.  Then he remembered that he was using them as clamps for a gluing project.  He disappeared into the back of the shop and returned in just a minute, with two battery clips, one red, one black.  I gave him a $10.00 bill and out the door.

At Ricky's shop the next morning, Ricky plugged in his soldering iron and let it heat while he found a piece os suitable scrap wire.  In ten mites, he had soldered the banana plugs on one end and the battery clips on the other.  In the space of an couple of hours, I had a custom made, professionally crafted power cable for my PA system.

I didn't have to wait on Amazon, or go to a box store wondering if I could find what I needed, just talk to two old craftsmen who knew their business.  In many ways it was like stepping back into my grandfather's shop, or my Dad's shop.  When we lose these guys, either trhough the economy, or normal mortality, the country will have lost a treasure.

We Get Mail

I found this in my inbox after I got home from work yesterday.
  Hello Major D,
  I really liked your article about the pressure washer attachment, thank you.  I am a Yankee living in NH.  I escaped NY in '96 after spending my life in that cesspool.  After my wife had passed away I met a wonderful Lady in NH where I was working erecting a printing press.  I was a machinist for 43 years specializing in the printing industry.  A strange twist of fate let us meet.  Life sometimes is kind in that way.  We have been married 21 years this September. Your blog is an every day must.  Denny or Major D. thanks for a daily reminder of family value and camaraderie.
dthed in NH

Well, hell!  Thanks for reading my poor scribblings, and thanks for letting me know that someone in the frozen north reads my stuff.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cleaning a Patio

Like many of you, PawPaw has a patio.  We spent a lot of time out there.  Cats, dogs, visitors, kids and grandkids, we like to hang out on the patio.  I've expanded it twice over the years, and it catches a fair amount of debris.  Every so often, it needs a good, thorough cleaning.

Also like many people, I have a small, residential pressure washer.  Mine runs 2.3 gallons per minute at 2700 psi.  When I use the pressure washer, overspray is a problem.  Water splashes everywhere, normally throwing debris on walls, support posts and ceilings.  That ain't good, because I've got to wash everything two or three times before I'm finished.

So, I cast about for a solution.  As it turns out, they make this thing called a surface cleaner. The one I bought looks like this:

It clips on to the end of the wand with a standard quick-disconnect. Overspray is virtually eliminated.  Underneath, the device has a rotating nozzle where water sprays out in a high-speed circular motion, lifting dirt and grime off the surface without blowing it on to your walls , ceilings, or fences.

Here's a video showing it in action.

This thing works as advertised, and has the PawPaw seal of approval.  Our patio is approximately 10 X 40 and I gave it a thorough surface cleaning yesterday.  From the time I started moving furniture until Belle gave it her approval was about 90 minutes.  Not a bad job at all.