Saturday, April 18, 2015

Product Review. Inexpensive Holster Belt

Spmetimes we stumble upon a product that is just exactly what it seems, and is so perfect for the intended use that we forget to tell everyone about it.  It just makes sense.

We're highlighting the Uncle Mike's Sidekick Belt today.  It's a plain, nylon belt, infinitely adjustable, and available for about $10.00 everywhere.  You probably have one in your bag, or in a closet somewhere.  Midway has them.  So does Amazon.  You can normally find them in your local big-box store.

When Milady and I started looking at Cowboy Fast Draw, we weren't sure if we would adopt the game or not, but once we got to the range, and watched for a while, someone invited us to shoot.  They took out one of these little belts, slid a holster on it, and invited us to try.  And that's the benefit of this belt.  It's infinitely adjustable out to 50 inches, so whether you're a petite lady or a big ol' buckaroo, this belt will fit you.  No, it's not period-correct, but it is virtually indestructible, infinitely adjustable, durable, and inexpensive.  Very inexpensive.

I've had one of these for several years, and it's held up well, even toting my big Ruger Super Blackhawk across the deer lease.  It's inexpensive enough that if it gets damaged, you don't feel like you've lost anything, but I've never managed to break one.

If you're looking for an inexpensive holster belt, one that is not pretentious, will hold your pistol on your hip, and is very, very inexpensive, give the Uncle Mike's Sidekick a chance.  It's been a great gun belt for a long, long time.  Don't be afraid of the tiny cost.  Sometimes, you get more than you pay for, and this belt has the PawPaw seal of approval.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Feel-Good Friday Amber Alert

An Amber Alert is designed to let people know that a child is missing or abducted, and it proved essential in a kidnapping case in Washington.  This guy's sister asked him to watch a child overnight, and when he got up the next morning, saw an Amber Alert about the child sleeping in his bed.
"I'm eating my breakfast, I'm checking my Facebook, all of a sudden I see this Amber Alert for this child," Tuong told the station. "And it looks like this child in my bed, and I'm like, 'Oh my God! What's going on?'
Tuong did the right thing, called the police, and the child was found safe.  Tuong's sister is in the slammer, and things are okay for the child.

That's your feel-good story for Friday, and now I'm going to take off these boots and pour myself a dring.  Well done, Mr Tuong!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

White Lithium Grease

My granddad always kept a tube of white lithium grease in his shop, for lubricating fine mechanisms.  In the forty years I hung out in his shop, I doubt he ever used more than four or five ounces of that grease.  He called it White Grease, and he guarded it jealously.  As it turns out, it's actually a soap, although I don't think I'll be using it to wash myhands.

When I set up my shop, I bought a small tube at an auto parts store and I used it sparingly when a fine grease was required.  I keep it in a special drawer, I bring it out when I need it, but over the last 20 years I've only used three 1.5 oz tubes.

Then I got into Cowboy Fast Draw, and I learned that Cowboy shooters use white lithium grease, not by the ounce, but by the pound.  We apply it with rollers to our targets.  It gives a nice white aiming spot, it lubricates the targets and keeps them from rusting, and it gives an immediate visual indication when the bullet hits the target.  You can see clearly where the bullet struck the steel.  So, I started casting about for a suitable supply.

It seems that WD40 makes a spray can with white lithium grease in it.  I bought a can, and I'm not impressed with it for coating a target.  It's simply too thin.  So, I'll keep that can for other uses.  But I went to Home Depot today after work, and I found two big tubes of white lithium on aisle 9, down by the plumbing supplies.

Those two tubes should last me for a while.  It seems to be the cat's meow for coating targets.  We'll see when it dries out enough to do some shooting.


It rained today in Alexandria, LA.  Overpasses closed due to runoff, several major roads closed because the storm drains have overflowed.  It's as bad in Alexandria as I've seen it for awhile.  By that, I mean almost 40 years.

I went to Academy Sporting Goods today after work, when the bottom fell out, and I saw stranded cars, flooded neighborhoods, and extremely slow traffic.  I came home from Academy and it took me over an hour to get home, simply because many of my usual routes were impassable.  It's normally a 20 minute drive from South MacArthur to my house.  Several abandoned vehicles on Lee Street, one car in particular floating in a ditch because the woman couldn't see the curb on Prescott and drove it into about 3 feet of water.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jiffy Lube

I had the most horrible service at the Edgewood Drive Jiffy Lube in Pineville that I've ever experienced anywhere.  Trying to get a vehicle inspected, I had a bulb burned out, and I told them I'd be back in a few minutes, ran over to a parts house, changed the bulb and came back.after I changed the bulb, to be told that the only guy who was authorized to inspect vehicles had left for lunch (this about 3:30 pm) and wouldn't be back for 45 minutes.

SO, I asked the little gal who was standing in the gravel in a Jiffy Lube uniform where I could get the car inspected.  She told me to go to the Kingsville store up the road.  I put the car in reverse, backed out, and went to the Kingsville store (all this in Pineville, LA).  When I got there, a three-bay garage, they had one car in the shop, so I waited, and waited, and finally got out of the car and waved down an employee.  He grudgingly inspected the car.

I've sent a harsh memo to the online complaint department at Jiffy Lube.  Now I'm telling everyone who reads my blog that I'm truly dissatisfied with Jiffy Lube in Pineville, LA.  What should have been a 15 minute unpleasant experience turned into an hour of frustration.

Way to go, Jiffy Lube.  Pissing off customers is what you seem to do best.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Electrical Problems

I drive an old Mercury Marquis as my work car.  It's a 2001 and I like it because it's dependable, it's comfortable, and it's paid for.  Also, I bought it right and it barely has 100,000 miles on the odometer.

I parked it on Wednesday, last.  Everything was working fine.  Monday morning I got in it to go to work and the air conditioner didn't work.  Well, crap.  Don't get me wrong, I've driven cars without air conditioning, but at my advanced age and decrepitude, and my economic standing, I insist on air conditioning in my vehicles.  I wouldn't buy a skateboard that didn't have an air conditioner.

A quick diagnostic told me that the A/C compressor was working, but the blower wasn't working.  All the fuses were good.  So, I went to Google and learned that there are just exactly two problems that might occur when the blower quits.  1) either the blower has crapped out, or 2) something called the resistor has crapped out.  They're both found in the engine compartment.

So, I did what anyone whose son is an SAE mechanic would do.  I called the boy and told him that this afternoon I needed him to diagnose the problem.  He came over today and in just a few minutes told me that the problem was the resistor.  So, we moved a couple of hoses, prepared to take off the resistor, and the blower started working.  My son did some more diagnostics and re-installed everything.

Evidently, the problem was an intermittent ground.  If electronics don't have a good ground, nothing works, and one of the mounting screws must have gotten rusty, or something, in the 15 years since Ford pushed this one out the back of the factory.  It's working now, and I'm thrilled.  My son tells me that it'll either quit in the next week or so, or it will work until the wheels fall off and I have it towed to the scrap yard.  If it quits next week, I'll go buy a resistor and call him.

But, right now the A/C works and that's what I called him for.  Thanks, Matt.  I appreciate it.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Birthday Boy

Today is my elder son's birthday.  On April 13, 1976, at Fort Knox, KY he came kicking and screaming into this world and he's still kicking.  We took this picture in June, 1978 as he was watching a roly-poly walk across the patio.

Happy Birthday, son.

Colt's SAA

A long-time coworker and I were talking over coffee today, and he mentioned that he believed that Colt was still making the Single Action Army pistol, beloved of afficianados and cowboy shooters.  A quick Google, and sure enough, the SAA is still being manufactured.  Some more Googling, and I found that prices are sky-high on them.  A fellow could pick up a couple of Vaqueros or Uberti revolvers for the price of an original Colt, 3rd generation.

Don't even ask about 1st or 2nd generation Colts.  Those prices are through the roof.

Hillary Is Running

The news is all over the interwebs that Hillary Clinton has announced her candidacy for the presidency.  Really!  Who could have seen that coming?  She's aligned herself against a host of Republican upstarts who don't know that it's her turn to be president.

Y'all forgive me while I stifle a yawn.  Of course, she's running.  Everyone knew that.  That line should be a GEICO commercial.

This is becoming all too predictable, and frankly, there's nothing that the pundits can say about it (the race in general) for another year or so. I might get interested by then, or I may not. To paraphrase Edwin Edwards, call me when they catch her in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.  Otherwise, I'm not interested.  Sometimes we have to take a break from politics and I don't intend to pay attention to national politics for about another year.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

We're Back

Got in an hour ago, and we're still unpacking, but I had to get the SD card out of the camera and edit a few pictures.

Gentleman George, our host.  Beloved of CFDA.
Texas Rose, our Match Director.  George's spouse and one heckofa shoter in her own right.
Those two were running the show.  Great people, magnificent organizers and people-persons. They did a magnificent job putting the show together.  I know that they're both exhausted, but I'm proud to say that I know them both.

Heretofore on this blog, I've referred to my wife as Milady, an alias to protect her privacy.  However, in Cowboy Fast Draw, we pick our own aliases, and she's picked hers.

Louisiana's Calamity Jane putting wax on a target.
Milady has picked Louisiana Calamity Jane as her CFDA alias, and acquitted herself well as a first time shooter in the bracket matches.  She also learned a lot about match shooting and how a match works. Everyone needs to go to a big match to learn the ins-and-outs.

Of course, after the match we had to walk down to The Rodeo Shop at the Stockyards Coliseum and buy her a proper hat.  Of course, being the stylish pistolero she is, we required both a summer hat and a winter hat.  Hats are de rigueur in cowboy competition and Milady is now properly outfitted in her chapeau department.

It's great to be home.  Now, I need to go unpack the car.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Milady and I are in Fort Worth this morning, but we left the dog in good hands.  A good friend is dog-sitting and we feel comfortable knowing that the dog is in good hands.  He did have an appointment with the groomers last week, and got a good summer cut.

He acts ike he sees a little better, and I bet he does with all that hair out of his eyes.  We'll be home about dark tonite, fall into bed and get ready for work tomorrow.