Monday, October 31, 2005

Damn!

I was just over at Leverguns, cruising the forum, and I remembered a conversation I had with my local pawnshop counterman the other day. I was in there looking at the rack and he mentioned three times that he had a good levergun in .44 magnum.

I'm not really in the market for a .44 mag levergun, but he did mention it three times, and he is pretty aware of what I look for in a used gun. Good mechanical condition and priced below $150.00. It might be a pre-64 in 90% condition for $75.00. Doesn't hurt to dream, does it?

I really need to go by there tomorrow afternoon after work. I guess I should look at it. I don't have any guns right now in that caliber, but I do have reloading dies and a bunch of brass for it.

Wouldn't hurt to look.

Monday night

Junior wants to play with reduced loads and is thinking about a squirrel load for the .30-30. Reloaders know that even .22 rimfire ammo costs money, and when you have a bunch of components on your bench already paid for, the cost per round can come down to where it is almost as cheap as .22 ammo.

Paco Kelley, world renowned lever gun expert says the following about reduced charges in the .30-30 Winchester. He starts off talking about the Lyman 311440 bullet and says:
19.5 grains of 4759 will give close to 2000 fps..recoil is nothing and over 1300 lbs of muzzle energy. Good deer load for the younger shooters, or those that can’t take recoil. 4 grains of Bullseye will give around 1000 fps...it’s a better squirrel load than any 22RF...cheaper too. You can shoot right up thru a branch a squirrel is laying on...he’ll come off and right down into your game bag. The 311041 is a 170 grain flat nose that can take the above fast powder loads, and it kills better and is one of the most accurate I have used in my 30 caliber rifles...nice gas checked bullet that flies very flat.
Let's see? 4 grains of bullseye comes to less than a penny a pop, and a primer costs two cents. Bullets are almost free if you cast them yourself. So, for under three cents, you can have a squirrel load that fires from your deer rifle.

That is interesting.

Dick Lee says, in his Modern Reloading (p 94 says)
Very light loads called squib loads are always loaded with fast burning powder. The object is to use the lightest bullet with the smallest charge that will move the bullet completely free of the barrel. Light cast bullets or buckshot can be used. It may be necessary to size the bullet to fit. A little case sizing lube or Liquid Alox on the bullets, will keep your barrel lead free. The two hazards are a bullet getting stuck in the barrel and an excessive powder charge. Remember that a little too much of the fast burning powders can be dangerous. Charges as little as one grain of Bullseye can be used.
And that, folks is about as close to the horse's mouth as you can get.

If Dick Lee and Paco Kelley says it will work, then we are on firm practical ground. As it turns out, I have a ordered a custom 6-hole mold for the 311041 bullet. I expect it to be delivered sometimes around Christmas. This might be a lot of fun. Squirrel loads through the beater rifle would certainly make the season more interesting.

Why do I even own a .22?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Telephones

During a past life (college) I came to be employed at South Central Bell, as a janitor. My Dad was a telephone man and wrangled a job for me to keep me in spending money while attending classes. My boss wanted the job done during hours that didn't interfere with my class work, and because it basically didn't matter when the floors got swept or the trashcans emptied, I was free to do the job on a flexible schedule. It worked for us.

About three months into my janitoral career, I was introduced to the labrynth of the Bell supply system. Phones at that time were made by Western Electric, and we were just entering the touch-tone phase. No one had heard of a cordless phone, no one even dreamed of wireless technology or cellular service. If you wanted to talk on a phone, it had to be connected to a wall, and likely as not, you didn't even own the phone in your kitchen. It was leased from Ma Bell and you paid a small monthly fee for the privelige. (Ma Bell is a cheap mother.)

The deal was, the phones worked, or some lineman or installer was out in the middle of the night making damned sure they worked. Back in the days of One Phone Company, the professionals that served our communication needs were large strapping men who climbed wooden poles with spikes on their boots and dangled precariously above us, so that we could draw dial-tone. Fairly simple technology, with Tip on one side, Ring on the other, it was a basic three-wire communications system. What was the third wire for? Aaah, power. If the light company couldn't keep the lights working, you could still call it in, because your Mother Bell had her own power system.

Back to the story. I was introduced to the Bell supply system. One of the duties of the Stockman was to make sure that the trucks had phones on them before they rolled out each morning. The big seller was a phone that sat on the counter, or desk, and worked. It worked just fine. It worked every time. I don't recall if it was a black 500 or a black 535, but it was a basic set. No answering machine, no fancy ring tones, no flashing lights or buttons to confuse. It had a handset and a keypad and you could call anywhere in the known world.



You can buy one here.

For the basic installation fee, the phone man would even ask what counter or desk you wanted the phone to sit on. He would then string the lines so that your phone would be properly installed in that location. He would also, for a small fee, install jacks in any room of the house, where ever you wanted them.

It was a different world.

Blogroll addition

I was surfing comments (didn't take long) and stumbled upon a new addition to my blogroll. I don't link to many blogs, and the FAVORITES list on my computer is much, much longer than the blogroll on my sidebar. The blogs I list on my blogroll have special significance to me personally, either as a handy reference, or as a blog that needs to be explored.

Go over to Xavier Thoughts and browse his links. Like me, he is a Louisiana boy. Unlike me, he is a nurse. Milady is a nurse, my fourth sister is a nurse, and my daughter is a nursing student (Go Tigers!). Like law enforcement, nurses share a bond of brotherhood (sisterhood?) that transcends employment. Nurses are professionals that keep the medical community bound to a set of standards. They are the NCOs of the medical world. Doctors give orders that may or may not be in keeping with sound medical practice, or in the best interest of the patient. Nurses put those orders into practice while keeping the best interests of the patient foremost in their minds.

Good nurses have been known to tell a doctor off, to stand between bullshit and the patient, to jeopardize employment and the nursing license to properly care for a person who can't care for themselves. A good nurse will do what is right when the world is turning to shit around her.

During the twin tragedies of Wilma, and Rita, I personally saw acts of self-sacrifice and heroism from the nursing community that would get medals and accolades from any other professional community. Not for the nurses. They quietly go about committing acts of professionalism and mercy, without hope of any reward except the paycheck at the end of the week. When they pull a patient through floodwaters, literally, staying at the post while the building blows down around them, caring for the patient while not certain if they still have a home, that defines dedication to patient care. The fact that the patient survives is testament to the professionalism of the nurses.

Next time you are in the hospital, damn the doctors. Damn them thoroughly. Just make sure you have a good nurse. You'll be fine.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

HUMMER

Not that kind of Hummer. The vehicle, also known affectionately as the HMMWV.

I was surfing over at BMEWS and came upon this post, whut purports to talk about future markenting of the Hummer.

We need a civilian version of the HMMWV like we need another hole in our heads. I have some small experience with the military M998 vehicle, from 1979 to the present. In my experience the M998 Humvee is uncomfortable, underpowered, too wide, and the most magnificent off-road vehicle ever produced.

I rode and drove in HMMVW's, both the early test versions and later the production models. During the last two years of my Guard experience, I was in a field unit, and I went all over Fort Polk, LA, in a Humvee. I followed tanks through the woods, I followed tanks through swamps, I did things in that vehicle that I would nver have tried to do in a lesser vehicle and did it all in two-wheel drive. My driver and I never even put the damned thing in 4-wheel go. It went everywhere. I believe if you put it in 4WD, it would climb a damned tree.

If GMC wants to sell the hell out of Hummers, then here is the marketing strategy:

Bare-bones M998, no armor, no nothing. Canvas seats, don't even equip it with a radio. Give us an M998 just like the military uses, and price it about $20K. GIve us a very simple vehicle, in either hard-top or soft-top version, and offer accessories that guys can bolt on. Things like a heater, or a radio. Seriously, get that basic. Pasint it olive-drab, or flat grey. Don't matter, we are going to scratch the paint anyway.

Rednecks will buy the shit out of them. Seriously, GM, the vehicle isn't anything but an engine, tranny, bare-bones passenger compartment and four wheels. You ought to be able to get the price down where everyone can afford one. Keep the price under $20K and you will have to open another assembly line.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Indictment

Looks like Scooter Libby is going to need himself a good lawyer.

UPDATE** I was at work (gasp!) when the news came out, and I didn't get to do more than skim the indictment and press release. Looks to me like Scooter has been charged with lying to investigators (Obstructing Justice, two counts of False Statements, and two counts of Perjury).

You won't get me to argue that these are trivial charges. They smack at the center of the criminal justice system, and I would like to see charges such as this levied more often. I can tell you stories of numerous cases in state district court where investigations have been stymied because someone lied about facts.

Scooter Libby should have known better, and he should be frogmarched down to the US Courthouse to post bail. You don't lie to investigators. You don't lie during sworn testimony. You don't obstruct a Federal investigation. There comes a time in anyone's testimony when you have a "Come To Jesus" moment. Where only the unvarnished truth will save you. Scooter screwed the pooch on that one.

I do notice that he hasn't been charged with outing Valerie Plame. One wonders now what statements he might give to investigators to try to minimize the damage? One would also wonder what indictments might come from additional testimony? One also wonders how much more time and energy the government is going to put into this investigation?

This indictment answers so few questions and leaves so many more hanging.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miers withdraws

The Associated Press reports that Harriet Miers
The White House said Miers had withdrawn her name because of a bipartisan effort in Congress to gain access to internal documents related to her role as counsel to the president. But politics played a larger role: Bush's conservative backers had doubts about her ideological purity, and Democrats had little incentive to help the nominee or the embattled GOP president.
Suddenly this is a big news week. It is about damned time. I had nothing against the lady personally, but I don't think she would have made a good justice.

One would wonder what name will be floated next?

Of course, the liberals (excuse me.. progressives) are waiting for Fitzgerald to return indictments on Libby, Rove and Dick Cheney, so the President will have a lot of appointing to do. It is all part of a right wing conspiracy, and you have to be on a super-secret mailing list to know the agenda.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Game 4

I have a long running World Series bet with an old classmate, Vonne Neal. Vonne and I were classmates all the way through school, and one day in 6th grade we decided to make a bet on the Series. This was.... 1966? Baltimore swept it in four against Brooklyn... oops, Los Angeles. Anyway, Vonne took the American league and I took the National league, and Vonne and I have a standing bet, every year. The amount of the bet is the same it has been since 1966. One Quarter. Only thing is, the ribbing has changed. It gets more extravagant every year. I'm probably going to owe Vonne a quarter tomorrow afternoon and the only thing to do is to go pay up.

Paying up sucks. Maybe he'll buy me a beer.

That may be the longest running continuous bet in baseball. Stats, anyone?

It is still 60'6" from the rubber to the plate, and 90' to first base.

I agree.

After my sexist post, Menfolk, commenter j. said that:
J. Paul Getty, once the world's richest man, was quoted in a _Playboy_ magazine interview many years ago as saying, "I would trade everything I own for a happy marriage."

At the time, I didn't believe him. Now, I believe he meant every word.
I concur.

Some men are predestined to be single, some from an accident of time or place, others from a prediliction of personality. Some others decide on a monastic lifestyle for reasons that are uniquely their own.

I believe I am one of those who is destined to be married. It fits me well.

I was married the first time for 24 years, and even with all the trials and tribulations of being married too young and with all the mistakes we made along the way, I believe that my first marriage was a good one. Right up till the end I believed it could be saved. That it broke up was no one's fault, actually. I forgave her long ago, and I learned to forgive myself.

Then, after having been married almost a quarter of a century, I was single. And enjoyed my single status. Too much, perhaps, but I truly had a good time for two years. I dated, I slept when I wanted to sleep, I did things that I couldn't have done married and don't regret a bit of it. The ladies that I was with during that period were all adults, and all had their eyes open.

Then, I met Milady. She and I nested together like two spoons in a drawer. Similar interests, similar backgrounds, similar likes and dislikes, although her taste is much better than mine. I don't think I have ever felt as loved as I do when I am with her. She inspires me to be a better man than I could be by myself.

I am truly a happily married man.

Game 3

The Astros broke my heart last night. Ahead until the fourth, they thew it away in the fifth, then went 12 innings before losing it. I finally turned over and went to sleep after the 11th inning. I'm glad I didn't stay up to watch the 12th.

Game 4 tonite, on Fox. I am betting that the Sox sweep it in four.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Menfolk

It being a slow-news Tuesday, I am intrigued with some of the media that comes out on slow news days. The Game isn't on TV yet, and I have a few minutes before I watch the Sox hand the 'Stros their ass, so answer a question for me.

What is the deal with this metrosexual, ubersexual shit I see bandied about in the media these days? Are they trying to define manhood? Gimme a break!

For starters, if you are concerned enough about your masculinity that you actually pay attention to that kind of shit, then maybe you ought to join the next rainbow event in your local area.

If you are a woman, and you aren't sure if you are dating a metrosexual or a ubersexual, then the evidence reveals that you are dating a homosexual.

I've only been married for a little over two years (this time). They started this metrosexual, ubersexual shit once I was off the marriage market, so I guess that the ladies are trying to figure out where the hell I went. Get over it. I'm married.

Quit trying to define us, ladies. We're men. Pretty easy to figure out. Give us a little wiggle from time to time, feed us regular, don't get excited about our bullshit, and the relationship will turn out fine. If we hang around longer than two or three weeks, we're in a relationship, so don't worry about that.

I am reminded of one gal I danced with one night down at the local honky-tonk. She had that look in her eyes and I took her to the Holiday Inn for a little horizontal dancing. After we were through, she told me she didn' want to be a one night stand. I told her I only dated one lady at a time.

And that was correct, as far as it went. I dated someone else on Monday, and drinks with someone else on Wednesday, and supper with someone else on Friday, and I met her again on Saturday at the honky-tonk. Turns out, she wasn't a one-night stand, she was a string of one-night stands.

I finally met the woman that was my match. She gives me a little wiggle from time to time, feeds me regular and puts up with my bullshit. She and I have been married now for two years, going on three, and I think this relationship might take. I still only date one woman at a time.

I'm off the market. I'm married.

If you can't figure out what kind of man you are dating, you are dating a homosexual.

Rosa Parks

I learn from Reuters this morning that Rosa Parks passed away last night.

I didn't know the woman, but I always thought that she was an icon for those people everywhere that stand up for their rights. Every picture I have ever seen of her, every story I ever heard of her, every time I heard her name, I was reminded of quiet, simple dignity that sparked a revolution.

The world will be a lesser place without her in it.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Rita gifts

A week or so ago, I talked about my son going to Lake Charles, to help with the recovery effort, and try to make a living in the construction trades. He is living at a trailer park by the interstate, living in a tent and putting roofs on houses. He came by tonite on his way back to work. The boss gives them one day off a week, to do laundry and take care of business, but he staggers the days off so that the crew can keep working. Monday was my son's day.

Anyway, when my son came through tonight, he dropped off some things he had borrowed, and he left me some lead. Lead roof vents that were destroyed in the hurricane. The boss said he could take all he could use, and he brought me a box full of them. Soft, pure, lead. Just right for making bullets. All three of my sons know that I crave lead to support my habits.



The above photo is a collapsed roof vent. It is pure lead, although dirty and in need of processing, which I accomplished my cutting it up in small pieces and putting in my Lee lead pot. The vents weigh about seven pounds each.



The above photo is the product from two melted roof vents. Fourteen pounds of lead, ready for processing into bullets. This is pure, soft lead that I can use as it is, or alloy for harder bullets. Making bullets is all about metallurgy, and although it is simple science, we still have to pay attention to what we are doing.



The above photo shows one pound of lead in ingot form, and two of the soft lead bullets that I make for my Sharps rifle. These bullets weigh 500 grains, which is 14 to the pound. If I alloy them with wheelweights and cast bullets for the .45 ACP, I get about 30 of the 230 grain slugs to the pound of lead.

It is easy to go through four or five pounds of lead bullets in an afternoon shooting with my sons, especially if we are shooting the .45s. As such, I am always on the lookout for free sources of lead.

This lead won't be in a landfill. It will be shot into a dirt berm so that it can be mined and used again. Very little of this lead will get into the environment, unless a big ole buck walks by while I am holding the Sharps.

Recycling at its best.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Wreckage

Coming home this afternoon, I saw a hell of a wreck on the southbound lane of I-49, about mile marker 156. Young woman ran her sedan off the road, flipped it. It looked like end-over-end, although it might have spun on its nose. Hard to say. Wasn't much glass left in it, and when we got there all four wheels were pointed in the air. She definitely needed a wrecker.

Anyway, we stopped to render assistance, and made the call to the police. The young woman was okay, just kind of banged up and bruised, but she was awake and coherent. We left when the ambulance rolled up. No sense messing up a good accident scene for the trooper who was inbound. I didn't see the actual acrobatics, so I couldn't have made any difference in his report.

It livened up an otherwise dull journey.

The Second Amendment, for our time

I have a comment over in the Remember New Orleans post from a person calling himself jt. I ususally don't respond to comments, because I prefer for my work to stand on its own merits. I was taught as a writer not to respond to criticism, because my work should be able to withstand criticism. However, jt asks some questions that deserve response. I'll fisk his commentary, hopefully so that we can understand one another better and that the dialogue might be instructive to everyone.

jt starts:
I think you're not stupid enough to think that having a gun can protects you from hurricanes.
So maybe you just think you need to protect yourself from people who most of all need help. For your good consciousness you prefer to call them thieves instead of calling yourself selfish. And maybe some thieves think the same, just the other way around. They may think they need a gun to make sure selfish people will be more willing to share instead of idly letting them die.
Thanks, jt. I am just barely intelligent enough to know that firearms won't protect me from hurricanes. As a lifelong resident of Louisiana, I know that only God will protect me from hurricanes, and drowning, and tornadoes. Heart attacks, too. Once my time is up, and my meeting with Him is arranged, I hope that I can muster the courage and dignity not to blow it.

I'm not concerned with what a thief thinks. I learned long ago that the criminal mind is different than mine. I know that I am not selfish, but that doesn't mean that I will let someone take something that is mine. If he asks, I will probably give it, but taking things is rude. And criminal.

Actually I think if one day I need help I have more chance to meet someone who won't be willing to help than I have a chance of meeting someone who will mug me. That being said I've already been mugged, but I felt less bad than each time I meet someone with your discourse which I feel are more of an aggression. In both agressions I doubt guns would have helpt, on the contrary, I would either be a killer or a corpse.
Maybe so, jt, but we'll never know, will we.? You weren't armed when you were mugged, so the point is moot. However, recent studies show that people who fight back are less likely to be injured than those that don't. Interestingly, it has been my experience that muggers are cowards and only prey on those that look as if they won't fight back.

Just for my curiosity, how many muggers have you been confronted to? And how many human beings lacking the basics have you walked by, maybe not seeing them or thinking they were worthless of your help?
Oh, dozens, conservatively. Maybe a couple of hundred. And as far as helping people that needed it, that is my job. I exist to protect and serve. It is my calling to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and to serve those who need me. I sincerely hope that I have never walked past someone who needed my help. In twenty five years of working in this field, I have never felt threatened by a law-abiding person with a gun. Many times I was happy and secure that those people were present.

I'd like you to not take my words as an attack, that's not my intention. I hope that either I may help you to start thinking differently, which I doubt, or at least to read an instructing note from your part of what I did not get in your thinking process that lead you to tink that world is a better place with arms. What I wouldn't like to read are insults because we disagree, even if you feel like my post is plain stupid, please explain me why precisely. Arguments are not used enough when we "speak" with divergent minds IMHO.
I don't take comments as an attack, and I will not insult you. However, I would like you to consider that our Founding Fathers considered arms important enough to protect along with free speech.

Consider these facts: 1) There has never been a program of ethnic cleansing that was perpetrated against an armed society. 2) That England, going through probably the most comprehensive arms control program in modern history, is also experiencing the most crime in recent history. 3) The US cities where crime is most rampant are also the cities with the strongest gun control laws. 4) In New Orleans, those citizens who banded together in militias and protected their neighborhoods with arms survived the storm relatively intact. There is only one rational conclusion from these facts; that an armed society is a secure society. That the law abiding use of firearms is our one good hope against anarchy.

I don't think your post is stupid, jt. I think it is incredibly naive. There are people out there who prey on others. It is my job to indentify and incarcerate those people. I can't be everywhere at once, and it is incumbent on every citizen to provide for his own safety. If you honestly feel that you are better off not being armed, then I have no business trying to convince you otherwise. However, once you make that decision intelligently, you should also understand that you are prey.

It has been said that violence never solved anything. That oversimplfication is in error. Violence, properly controlled, is the only solution sometimes. When confronted with unlawful violence I intend to quash it. Peacefully if possible, violently if not.

Two men have looked down the barrel of my pistol and considered eternity. Both surrendered quietly. One chose to contemplate his decision in silence. The other told me later that he looked across the room and saw death. He chose life.

Remember New Orleans

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Remember New Orleans

Reading a post over at the Carnival, I am lead to an article over at Xavier Thoughts, which highlights a speech by the NRA's own Wayne LaPierre.

Remember New Orleans.

Next time a well meaning person asks why you need so many guns: Remember New Orleans.

When someone asks if a fifteen day waiting perios is responsible: Remember New Orleans.

When someone says that you should just call the police: Remember New Orleans.

Hell of a rallying cry. If someone puts together a blog bumper sticker, I will put one here. The Second Amendment is not only alive and well, it is our last great hope.

Traveling Saturday

After we drink coffee this morning, Milady and I are headed out of town. We have been homebodies the last six weeks or so, taking care of hurricanes and families and working weekends. Work, come home, eat and sleep. Same old thing every day.

Well, we decided to block off this weekend for a little R&R. I'm going to shut down this computer in a few minutes and go pack. We're headed north, this time, to the Shreveport/Bossier area and we want to see the new boardwalk they built along the west bank of the Red River.

It is supposed to be a shopping and entertainment center for the area. It is fairly new and businesses are opening daily. I'll take a camera. I have a pretty good idea that we will eat at Joe's Crab Shack at least once, and probably stop in at a casino.

Oh, did I mention that there is a Bass Pro Shops on the boardwalk? Imagine that.

We'll be back tomorrow.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Now we know

Today I emailed my Senators about the Porkbusters iniative, and about the Coburn Amendments, asking them to show fiscal restraint. The Coburn amendments would have repealed $500,000 previously authorized for a sculpture park in Seattle, Washington, $200,000 to build an animal shelter in Westerly, RI, and $200,000 to build a parking lot in Omaha, Nebraska, and re-directed the funds to help pay instead for Hurricane Katrina recovery.

I should have saved my ink. Both David Vitter (R-LA) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) voted against Louisiana interests. I guess they think that parking lots in Omaha are more important than Louisiana reconstruction. The roll call vote is here, and many thanks to Tapscots Copy Desk for the information.

My Senators may have thought that a vote here could be turned in to more aid later, but they could have made the deal by saying that the voters in Louisiana really wanted them to vote against pork. Sounds to me like they just screamed Soowweee and voted.

Damned shame.

Porkbusting

I just finished emailing Senator David Vitter and Senator Mary Landrieu to ask them how they felt about Porkbusting, to include the Coburn Amendment.

With Louisiana in position to recieve so much Federal money, we must also be responsible enough to see that it isn't wasted. Knowing our Senators positions on this vital movement will do much to enlighten us.

I doubt either one of them responds, though. Their track record ain't good on responding to email. Frankly, they both suck at it.

Nagin speaks sense

As unlikely as it may seem, Mayor Ray Nagin made a lot of sense yesterday during remarks for the re-opening of the Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans.

According to the Daily Wipe, Nagin was asked about Benson's (spit! hack!) move to take the Saints to San Antonio.
"I'm ready to go to the NFL and to (commissioner Paul) Tagliabue and say, 'Give us the Cleveland plan,'" Nagin added, referring to the league awarding Cleveland an expansion team almost immediately after the Browns moved to Baltimore after the 1995 season. "Whatever the Saints want to do, you let them leave, but they can't take our logo, they can't take our name, and you give us a promise to give us a franchise when this city's back."
Good for you, Mayor.

Now, lets all try and come up with some names for the team that is moving to San Antonio. San Antonio Swimmers? San Antonio Evacuees? Maybe the San Antonio Deserters? San Antonio Swine? Have fun with this in comments.

Keep the Saints name, logo, and home in New Orleans. If Benson wants to go somewhere else, good riddance.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Slugs

I've been toying with doing an article on slugs for The Frugal Outdoorsman. I think that we riflemen forget what a truly versatile weapon the shotgun can be. From doing yeoman duty as a game getter, for fowl and small upland game, the shotgun is also in its territory as a large bore stopper for dangerous game.

Peter Capstick said that if he had to follow a wounded leopard into the thick brush, he felt that the 12 gauge shotgun, loaded with buckshot, evened the odds better than any rifle. Buckshot, firing nine, ,30 cal balls in the standard loading, is a devastating close-range weapon.

Police routinely carry a shotgun in the patrol cruiser, as it is well-known as a fight stopper, and just taking it out of the car is enough to defuse many a tense situation.

We riflemen forget that until the development of rifling, all shoulder arms were smooth bore weapons. Every manner of game has fallen to what was originally a shotgun.

With a nominal bore diameter of 0.729 inch, the standard 12 gauge slug load throws a one ounce (437.5 grain) chunk of lead. That will put a big bloody hole in whatever it happens to hit. For years, the ne plus ultra of slugs was the Brenneke. Nowadays there are a bewildering variety of slugs to satisfy just about any hunter, or any accuracy buff.

Some localities restrict hunting to slug guns only. The hunters there have long ago learned how to make the best of the local hunting situation, and use fully rifled barrels to wring the best accuracy out of their slug guns.

Oh, I can hear the naysayers now: Shotguns are inaccurate and would tend to wound game animals. Well, maybe, if you don't know what you are doing. A little practice will tend to mitigate taking shots that will wound game. Shoot until you can put every shot into a nine-inch plate at whatever range you are likely to shoot.

Lets look at a target.


That is three of the Remington standard slug load as fired through a smoothbore barrel, offhand, at 50 yards. I'm sure that with a little practice, I could put them all in the bull. That group measures just 4.4 inches.

The standard Remington one ounce Slugger slug leaves the muzzle at 1560 fps, with 2300 lbs of energy. At one hundred yards it is still traveling at 977 fps, with 926 foot pounds of energy. And, it is going to put a 3/4 inch hole in whatever it hits. That lets a lot of blood out. The momentum alone is going to carry it through a whitetail deer. As a matter of fact, the ballistics compare favorably with many muzzleloader round-ball loads.

If you have a shotgun in your closet, then for very little money, you can try your hand at deer hunting. Even if you are a seasoned rifleman, get out your old shotgun and try a few slugs through it. You might gain a whole new appreciation for your smoothbore.

Sex Runs Wild in U.S. Military

Believe it or not, that is the actual headline to this story over at NewsMax.

Duuh! What do you think happens when you take normal young healthy Americans and put them in coed units? Hello? Any clue here?

To have coed units and think that the servicemembers will refrain from sex is ... stuck on stupid.

Sex in the military isn't anything new. These are young healthy Americans we are talking about. Believe me here for a minute. It happened during WWII (doughnut dollies), it happened during Korea (yobos), it happened during Vietnam (China beach), it happened during Desert Storm (everywhere). I could tell you stories about Desert Storm. Maybe one night when I have been drinking.

Suddenly, this is news? Yeah, right. Anyone who thinks so is stuck on stupid.

Cotton and romance

I was over at Upright and Breathing, and noticed a post about cotton growing in Missiouri. I was surprised, simply because I didn't know that cotton grew that far north. I stand corrected.

For those of us who grew up around such things, there is a time in the Autumn when the cotton is heavy in the bolls, and the plant is almost dead. Cotton drapes itself down the plant and the leaves are gone. Harvest time.

On a moonlit night, when the moon is so bright that you can almost see your shadow, the white cotton stands out in the moonlight, where the rest of the plant fades into the shadows. The visual effect is like the cotton is floating in air, without any visible support. It is quite beautiful, and has a stunning visual effect.

And, if you happen to be parked near that cotton field with an attractive young lady, the romance is enhanced by the effect.

Aaah, sweet memories.

Help wanted

The guys in the building trades are doing okay after the Rita and Katrina debacles. Lots of stuff needs rebuilding and guys who are willing to work in primitive conditions are getting premium pay.

My son worked for a local A/C contractor and last Friday he mentioned during a break that a lot of money was being made on the Gulf coast. They fired him during lunch, because "they didn't want him contaminating the rest of the crew." He made a few calls on Saturday. On Sunday he came to me, borrowed some camping gear, and headed to Lake Charles. On Monday, he worked a day, then the job fell apart. I talked to him last night, and he found another job Tuesday, by 10:00 a.m. He finished the day with $150.00 in his pocket and plans to work the rest of the week at $200.00 per day. Pretty good money for a kid who was making $10.00 an hour at home. He is sleeping in a tent, showering at a truck stop, and cooking on his tail gate, but he says there is more work than they can handle. He plans to work six days a week, coming home on Sundays to wash clothes, play with his kids, and spend a day with his wife.

My brother is a painter and he called Monday night. His telephone didn't sound quite right, so I asked where he was calling from. Metarie, he told me. I asked what the hell he was doing in Metarie, and he said that he was working a crew floating drywall. He told me if I knew anyone looking for work, "tell them get a hammer, a nail apron, and to head for New Orleans."

This is something we see only once every thirty or forty years. More work than the local market can handle. There is recovery work everywhere and the labor force is just starting to catch up.

If you want a job, grab a hammer and a nail apron and head for New Orleans.

Conract scandal

I was reading Rivrdog, and came upon this article out of the St. Petersburg Times. It seems there is a scandal over a government contractor taking kickbacks, and the scandal is widening. Pleas are being taken and folks are scrambling for lawyers.

As a soldier in the field, I was always warmed to know that my weapon was purchased from the lowest bidder. As a staff weenie back in garrison I was told that the quickest way to jail was to take a kickback on a government contract. They held us to a very tight standard, and this quote tells the tale:
Doherty, the Palm Harbor lawyer, said one question people at SOCom are asking is what constitutes a bribe.

"What if I took five people out to Ruth's Chris Steak House, and I paid," Doherty said. "The charge may depend on whether you had wine or not. It might come down to that, and people are concerned."
When you are handling government contracts, you must avoid even the faintest blush of impropriety.

I know that Secretary Rumsfeld is going to be thrilled.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Saints Leaving??

I was surfing over at YRHT and came upon this little post. It seems that the Saints owner, Tom Benson (spit, hack) is trying hard to move his team. Well, maybe so.

Jeff Crouere has the skinny over at the Bayou Buzz.

Life Goes Off also has a post.

Give these guys a read. And as far as Benson leaving the state, I wish him all the angst and disaster that his fevered ego can muster. He is a disaster for the Saints and has done nothing but whine and beg since he took the reins. I hope when he gets to San Antonio for good (and that is where he wants to go), he gets a bad case of sand fleas nesting in his skivvies.

I've never been a Saints fan, but New Orleans deserves better.

More from Toledo

I've been checking in with the guys over at Toledo Talk, a local message board.

Some interesting comments, and some moonbattery.
There are gangs all over Toledo.

The Nazis inflamed a smaller problem into a massive riot.

The Nazis should stay in their own world.
If there are gang problems in Toledo, then maybe showing the world how bad it is, is a good thing. It seemed like the Nazis did Toledo a favor.


Yes, there is a HUGE PROBLEM problem in the area...that should have been given more attention back in June-July...

I for one, was 100 percent positive there would be VIOLENCE ...the NAZI'S coming to Toledo, in my opinion, was an excuse for the VIOLENCE today...
posted by MARIELORA at 04:57 P.M. EST on Sat Oct 15, 2005 #
Here we have someone giving saying that there was an excuse for violence. There is no excuse for violence, except to quash violence. Peaceful people everywhere know that criminal violence is unacceptable.

Roberta said:

"To more than a few people who live in that neighborhood, yesterday was the day their city's police protected Nazis, but used tear gas to keep residents off their own streets."
Roberta really needs a civics lesson. Yeah, the police protect marchers who go to the trouble of getting permits and lawfully assembling. It is part of our heritage to allow dissenting groups to march and protest. It is not part of our heritage to allow criminals to disrupt those protests.

Sometimes people amaze me. The good citizens of Toledo should immediately demand that city government clean up the neighborhoods. It won't happen tomorrow, but it is something they can get started on tomorrow.

Oh, and teach a little civics down at the community center.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Nitwits - All of them.

Back when I was a street cop, sometimes I would work a case that made the papers, and I'd get asked about it. Invariably, the reporters had gotten it wrong.

I don't mean Invariably, like "some of the time" I mean Invariably like "ALL THE TIME!" These idiots just can't get it right..

Michelle Malkin shows us yet another example.



The link to the ABC page is here.

Aaaargh! Can they ever get any story right? Are we living in an alternate universe? Is there some weird dynamic working here that I don't understand? Or are the reporters and editors at ABC News simply incompetent?

Answer those questions for yourself. And some people wonder why I don't trust any media that doesn't post links?

Ammo Day

I was surfing over at Smallest Minority, as I am wont to do, and Kevin reminds me that National Ammo Day approaches. November 19th. Mark your calendar. I plan to go into Wal-Mart and buy .45 ACP bulk packs and/or .30-30 (170 gr Rem Core-Lokt).

While surfing there, I see this quote reporting on a drug dealers ammo purchase and how the police used it to track the criminal.
Who bought 1,000 rounds of 9 mm ammo?
Mary Jo Denton
Herald-Citizen Staff

November 05, 2002

When someone bought 1,000 rounds of 9 mm ammunition at a Cookeville store recently, clerks became suspicious.

So did police after they received information about the purchase.

The ammo appeared to be headed for use in drug related crimes, according to Capt. Nathan Honeycutt of the Cookeville Police Department.

That was last week, and investigation into the matter continues today, with one man under arrest so far, but not for having the large quantity of powerful bullets.
A thousand rounds? That made someone suspicious? I probably have that much ammo on my bench right now. I don't know where Cookeville is, but it isn't in Louisiana. I was in Wal-Mart last night, and they have ammo by the case stacked in the aisles. I guess it is for sale. Oh, and the remark about a "large quantity of powerful bullets"? I didn't know 9mm was considered powerful. It makes for a nice ladies pistol, but I never use it. Troops in Iraq consider it underpowered.
Last Friday, federal, regional, and local officers executed a search warrant and arrested Vernon Thomas Mendoza, 25, of Buffalo Valley Road, Cookeville.

He is facing "a variety of federal charges, including possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and possession of methamphetamine for resale," Capt. Honeycutt said.
Which leads me to wonder how they tracked such a piddling ammo purchase. Around here, ammo is a cash transaction. You get it off the shelf, you put it in your buggy, you pay cash at the register. I'm glad they got a drug-dealing, gun-toting, convicted felon off the streets, though.

When my sons and I are shooting pistol, we can go through a box of .45 ACP in about five minutes. That is fifty rounds. Twenty boxes of fifty rounds makes a thousand rounds, and picking up the brass is a real chore. But, we can shoot that much in an afternoon, no sweat. The hardest part is sorting the brass, because you know we are going to have some .38 Special and .357 Magnum mixed in the brass piles. I am currently teaching the grandsons how to sort brass. Next, we'll teach them to deprime brass.

Go read Kevin's take on the whole thing. He does a better job at it than I do.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Reflecting on Toledo

I'm sure by now everyone has heard about or seen footage from the riot in Toledo yesterday. It seems a group of Nazis wanted to stage a march through Toledo, Ohio, to protest violence by blacks upon whites. The march was cancelled, but violence erupted anyway. And looting, lets not forget looting. And burning. At least one building was burned.

Let me start by saying I have no sympathy for Nazis. I feel that the Nazi movement represents reprehensible politics. Politics of exclusion, politics of racial hate. My uncles fought against the Nazis during the past century, defeating them soundly, with the help of a couple of million US servicemen. You will find no sympathy in this blog for Nazi politics.

That said, the Nazis really didn't have to do anything to make their point. They were decrying black violence, and the blacks there turned... violent. This picture says it all.


That screen capture is a bunch of blacks looting a store. Violence.

These words from the Mayor of Toledo, Jack Ford, tell the tale:
Ford blamed the rioting on gangs taking advantage of a volatile situation. He declared a state of emergency, set an 8 p.m. curfew through the weekend, and asked the Highway Patrol for help.
''It's exactly what they wanted,'' Ford said of the group that planned the march, which was canceled because of the rioting.
This quote, from MSNBC gives the justification:
Keith White, a black resident, criticized city officials for allowing the march: “They let them come here and expect this not to happen?” said White, 29.
The whole point of this post is to reply to Mr. White, who has now become a national spokesperson for black violence.

That's right Mr. White, we don't expect US Citizens to turn violent, to engage in looting and vandalism and arson simply because someone else is espousing a failed political message. We don't expect criminal activity just because someone else is stupidly attached to racist politics.

As a matter of fact, Mr. White, your assumption that black people are inherently violent is just exactly the point that the Nazis were making in the first place: That black people are unable to allow differing viewpoints and that the only way black people can react to unpopular dialogue is by resorting to criminal violence.

Your assumption, Mr. White, that we should expect violence is insulting to me, to my black friends and colleagues and insulting to the First Amendment, which gives every American a voice.

The simple fact is that the Nazis didn't have to march. All they had to do was to show up and decry black violence. The residents of Toledo validated the Nazi message by turning violent. That is a damned shame.

You proved that the Nazi's were right.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Million Moan March

Looking at pictures of the unpleasantness in Toledo and the Million (thousands??) March over on this site. I don't normally pay attention to race-baiting ignorance, because for so many years the South was so full of it. When stuff like this starts, I am kind of like Charley Brown listening to adults. All I hear is Blah, Blah, Blah. Moan, moan, moan. It is kind of like hearing brakes on the highway. If I don't hear sheet metal bending, then it ain't a wreck, and I ain't interested.

However, I do have one question: I notice "Calypso" Louis Farrakhan, and they say that he is leading something called the Nation of Islam. Now, ignorant as I am of some things, I thought that Islam was founded by the pedophile prophet Mohammed, (piss be upon him), and that most of the Middle East was Islamic. Their religious leaders are called Imams, or Ayotollahs, or Sheiks ,or some such arabic sounding name.

Yet, all the banners I see under Farrakhan's name lists him as a Minister, or a Reverend. Shouldn't he be the Ayatollah Farrakhan? Or the Imam Farrakhan? WTF am I missing here? Unless he isn't Islamic at all, then why haven't one of the real Islamic leaders hammered a Fatwah up his wazoo? Seems to me like he is committing a heresy against Islam. That oughta earn him Infidel status. Maybe he is just so laughable that they let it slide.

Then they show this picture:



What is up with that guy in uniform? Is he in the Salvation Army? Or some weird Islamic army? His mustache is just disconcerting. However, the rank insignia he is wearing on his hat and collar would make really magnificent aiming points. We marksmen look for little details like that to settle the sights on. Aim small, miss small. Actually, the best target spot on his jacket would be the third button down.

I'm just saying.

Saturday evening

The icemaker is replaced and Milady is off to work. I am without adult supervision. Therefore, I am surfing. Primarily gun-related sites.

The only gun related forum I frequent is the one over at Leverguns.com. There are some folks there that know the sport, have been shooting a long time, and have done serious research on various topics of shooting or reloading for many years. It is a forum of experts. On topics like sixguns, lever action rifles, black powder shooting, those guys have a few peers, but no one better.

They are good to newcomers though, graciously giving advice, helping others, and taking care of friends. It is probably the best forum on the internet for total firearms awareness, even though it it primarily covers the levergun topics.

They are happy to educate, but they don't suffer fools. If you have some half-baked opinion, they'll listen politely, then educate you. If you are a troll, you will promptly get spanked, then banned.

Honey-do list

Sitting here at the computer, Saturday morning, looking at the Honey-do list.

Milady worked last night from 6p to 6a, and she will sleep until later this afternoon. So, no power tools until later this afternoon. I've told the family to keep the kids away till later in the day so Milady can sleep. However, the icemaker in our ten-year-old fridge is starting to leak. That resulting drip causes a huge lump of ice to form in the bin, and clogs up the works, requiring a daily clearing. I've got all the numbers in my notebook, and I need to make the rounds of the places that sell such things and see if I can buy a replacement icemaker.

And no, I dont want to fix the one I have. The thing is made of plastic, and thousands of cycles over a ten year period has cracked it. It's broke and will continue to break. Time for a new one.

I may stop at the lumber yard and price lumber to put a floor on a trailer I obtained last week. My second son is taking a welding course and they made a trailer at school. It is a flatbed utility trailer, sixteen feet long, seven feet wide, with double axles. I have been wanting one of these for a long time. He called me week-before-last and asked if I wanted it. It was for sale to students, to recoup the cost of materials. I asked him how much and he said $250.00. I told him to lock it on the back of his truck and I'd send a check, which went out last week. He delivered it last Sunday and it is a beaut. It is medium duty, with short sidewalls, strong enough to haul a car or small tractor.

I don't need one of these things but once a year or so, but when I need one, I have had to borrow one. That is over now. It has lights, and could use new tires, but trailers I have seen comparable to this one cost about $700 on the used market and $1000 brand new. I am on the hook for putting a bed in it, (It's a welding course, dad, not a carpentry course... We don't do lumber.) and getting it licensed. Still, after the cost of the flooring and getting it licensed, I am into a new trailer at about half-price. Not a bad deal. Not bad at all.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Iraq, and the Rott.

For those of you who are unsure of my stand about the boys in the sand, please know that I have served honorably and have heard shots fired in anger. I love the military, particularly the infantry and armor and the cav. Enlisted ranks of all stripes, and most junior officers.

I have long maintained that the two most worthless grades in the US Army wear gold insignia so that they can be immediately identified. One should educate the junior and frustrate the senior.

Emperor Darth Misha has a hell of a post up concerning the Iraq unpleasantness. Having read through it thoroughly, I agree. I have wondered what the problem was with the terrorists in Iraq, and I guess I never thought of the process as carrot and stick. Being the simple soldier I was, I never considered dealing anything but kindness and loyalty to my friends, with death and dishonor for my enemies.

Carrot and stick sounds like a good thing, and I thought that was what my President was talking about early in the war. It turns out that we don't hang traitors or execute out-of-hand illegal combatants. In my view, each commander in the zone, above the grade of 05 should be allowed to dispose of illegal combatants as he sees fit. By the time a person makes Colonel, he or she has demonstrated skills that would mitigate against the rash use of personal power. I think they could be trusted to shoot the occasional terrorist without much fanfare.

Then again, what do I know? I'm just an old soldier.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What is my blog worth?





My blog is worth zero, zip, dog snot, the null set.
How much is your blog worth?


Ain't HTML fun?

Hat Tip to Accidental Verbosity

Regular Unleaded - part II

I checked prices of regular unleaded gasoline on my way home today. Same five stations as earlier this week. Basically, the cheapest available is $2.699, and the highest is $2.899. Twenty cent variation in five miles, which is a hell of a variation for what is basically an undiferentiated commodity. This, of course, on Highway 28 east in central Louisiana.

Flight update

We learn from the Associated Press this morning that an arrest was made in the case of the missing Cessna Citation that was found at the Gwinnett airport near Atlanta.
The circumstances of the theft were not clear, but nothing threatening was found on the plane, police spokesman Darren Moloney said. The incident "appears to be a joy ride."

Daniel Andrew Wolcott, 22, of Buford was charged with felony theft and misdemeanor reckless conduct, police said, adding that additional federal charges were expected.
So, it was a joyride.

Not terrorism, thankfully. Some might call for increased regulation of light planes, but I won't be one of them. I still believe that this country is best served by the maximum amount of individual freedom allowable. Let sanctions fall against those who deserve it. I suspect that Daniel Andrew Wolcott won't be flying any aircraft in the near future. Probably never again.

However, if I decide to get my license, buy an airplane and take a joyride across the country, as long as I don't hurt anyone, it isn't the governments business.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Hurricane jobs

My son is inquiring into the possibility of traveling to SW Louisiana to help with the cleanup and reconstruction. He is employed right now, but has been looking for a better job for a few months. I've done the internet searches, but I have a feeling that it might take a few weeks for the internet to catch up with the available openings.

Anyone know of jobs available close to Lake Charles or SW Louisiana where a guy who knows how to work in the construction trades could make a fresh start? Gimme a bump on an employer.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Regular Unleaded

Tonite, Milady is working, so I am without adult supervision. I climbed on the motorcycle and went to Dairy Queen for a steak finger basket. On the way home I noticed something going on with unleaded gasoline prices, and can't quite figure it out.

On the highway I traveled there are five (5) gas stations, and the prices are normally within a cent or so of one another. Tonite, the prices of unleaded gasoline were as follows: 2 stations at $2.699, one station at $2.899 and two stations at $2.999.

Evidently, the gasoline supply is coming back up, and that is a good sign. But I haven't seen a 30 cent price variation in years. Anyone have any ideas?

Flight

I guess you've all heard by now about the Cessna Citation that was taken from Florida and mysteriously found its way to Georgia.

The question over at B Relevant (and Michelle Malkin) was this:
How does a $7 million charter jet just disappear from Florida and mysteriously appear in Atlanta without anyone finding out until after the plane has landed and the pilot(s) disappeared?
Actually, it is pretty simple.

They get more precise, saying:
What is particularly troubling is that police have "narrowed down" the plane's arrival time at Briscoe Field in Gwinnett County to between 9:00 PM Saturday and 6:30 AM Sunday. That is a mighty big window of time. How is it possible that we can't say more precisely when this plane landed?
Well, hell, lets use a little common sense here.

This is still the United States. If you own a plane, you don't automatically have to file a flight plan if you intend to fly VFR. It doesn't make much sense to fly VFR with a Citation, but that doesn't mean you can't do it.

Fly low enough and slow enough, and probably you won't attract any attention at all. If you land at the airport, taxi over to where planes are tied down and tie down your stolen plane. If you act like you know what you are doing, no one will even question you. Especially if the field is a small civilian field.

I don't know about Briscoe Field in Georgia, but I can name a half dozen airports around here where that same scenario would be easy to accomplish.

Why is this possible? It is possible because we are still the United States and we don't need permission to fly around the country. This is still a free nation.

Anyone who doesn't believe we should stay free is welcome to consider the alternative. If you can't fly your plane when you want to, then maybe driving a car should be monitored closely? You want that? You want a bunch of damn bureaucrats monitoring movement in this country? Maybe checkpoints at state borders? I didn't think so.

Yeah, it is possible to take off from one airport and land at another without anyone's permission. That is what makes us great.

More Gun Grabbing

I learn from Michelle Malkin, and Jeff, over at Alphecca, that FEMA is putting people in trailer parks, then making those places gun-free.

What? How the hell can they get away with that?

The telling quote is here: Hat tip, Jeff.
Just one problem: Once again a government entity (FEMA) has decided that the Constitution ends where the city limits begin.
I've run into this during my career. In a past life, I worked for the Gret Stet of Louisiana and worked out of an office run by a career bureaucrat. One day we got a policy memo telling us to do something or other, and I went to this bureaucrat and told her that we couldn't do what the memo wanted us to do.

Her: "Why not?"

Me: "It violates the law of the State of Louisiana."

Her: "But this is Division policy and policy supersedes State Law."

Me. "You might ought to think about that before you say it anywhere else. The legislature thinks they make the laws, and that they run the state. If you tell them that the Division policy supersedes the law, they might pass a law forbidding you working for the state."

Thankfully, we got the policy overturned when we pointed out the legal problems to someone with a brain. The boss in that office didn't have a brain. Most bureaucrats don't have brains, and it looks as if the ones at FEMA aren't using theirs either.

Louisiana is one of the most pro-2A states in the nation. This idiocy won't stand for very long either.

As far as bureaucrats are concerned, I think we oughta take them out and beat them regularly. The stupid ones more frequently than the smart ones. This beating can either be physical or not, depending on how best to treat the disease.

The nitwits at FEMA have gotten beaten quite a bit lately, yet they just don't seem to learn.

Executive Salary

According to a Forbes search, Red Cross CEO Marsha Evans makes an annual salary of $651,957.

I've seen the salary reported at $450,000.

Just damn! I'm in the wrong business.

Does anyone working for a charity need a salary like that? Suppose the salary were cut down to a rational level, like an even 200,000 per year? How many MREs or gallons of diesel fuel could be purchased with the remainder?

I know that a lot of people here in Central Louisiana have had enough of the Red Cross. I personally will never contribute Another Dime to their coffers. Any other charity, like United Way, that contributes to them will also be off my list. The Red Cross isn't a charity I want to support, and a CEO salary like the one above is just another in a long lists of reasons why.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Disasters

Okay, first we had Katrina, then Rita, then California was burning up, then the earthquake in the near East, now New England is flooding.

Geez!

I'm tired of donating. I think I want to start the Send Pawpaw Fishing relief fund.

Forward all checks to my editor, Junior, in Tullos. He'll know where to send them.

UPDATE** Don't send checks. There aren't any banks in Tullos. Just stuff cash into the envelopes and send them to Junior. He'll know what to do with them.

Mosquitos

Mosquitos are horrible outside tonite, and have been since Rita blew through. Vicious little bastards, blood-sucking hordes. I was at a JV football game earlier this evening, and watching the teams, and the crowd in the bleachers slapping the little buggers was interesting in its itensity.

Mark Twain once said that editors and ticks share a lot of common ground. I believe if he had experienced our mosquitos he might have modified the metaphor.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Only for Eating

My half-dozen regular readers know about my affinity for the writing of Michael Yon.

Well, he has done it again, posting another of his magnificent essays on the battle for the budding democracy in Iraq.

A teaser, then the link.
On the wall behind Colonel Eid’s desk hang two rifles that had once belonged to terrorists killed by his men. Entering Eid’s office that day, Kurilla said, “Colonel Eid! I brought you a sheep, but this one is tied up to the tree outside.”

Eid smiled. The professional respect from another commander was worth mountains of future progress in Mosul, and so what happened next took everyone by surprise.

Kurilla smiled and said, “That’s a nice sheep. But it’s only for eating.”

I nearly fell mute. Did he really just say that? The interpreter said to Kurilla, “Excuse me sir?”

“You know what I said. Tell him the sheep is only for eating. It’s not a girlfriend. Translate it.”

That’s it. Kurilla’s lost his mind. I was ready to run for the door.

The interpreter hesitated. Then translated. Colonel Eid burst into laughter.

“I’m serious,” said Kurilla, “only for eating.” Since the two commanders were laughing, everyone who’d stiffened when they first heard the words now laughed. The commanders got down to business plotting how to kill more bad guys. But from then on, every time we delivered a sheep, even the police guards would yell down to us from behind their machine guns, “Only for eating!” and all would burst out laughing.
That's enough, but the humor only punctuates the story.

Go read it all here.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Savage Model 10

My review of the Savage Model 10 is up on The Frugal Outdoorsman.

Go see it here.

The Florida Gun Law

I've been reading the Carnival of Cordite, and the blogoshere has been debating the new Florida Gun Law. Instapundit has covered it, and another article is here.

Frankly, I don't see the controversy. Here in Louisiana we have had a law like that for years, and our legal system has covered it with a simply elegant legal solution: Your car is an extension of your home. Whatever is legal in your home is legal in your car. Isn't that simple?

Of course, here in Louisiana, we are adamantly pro Second Amendment. Open carry is legal. Except for minors and convicted felons, anyone can own a gun. There is no registration, and you only need a permit if you intend to carry concealed.

If you park your car in a parking lot at work, we all assume there might be a firearm inside. If you take your gun out of your car and wave it around, you might be in violation of one of a number of laws, including disturbing the peace, which forbids conduct that "might reasonably alarm the public". Of course, if you have a firearm in your car in plain view, and you lock your car and go inside a store only to return and find someone has broken your window and stolen your gun, you have only your own dumbass to blame. The cops will come out and do a burglary report, but hey, give us a break. You're a dumbass.

Now, I can hear the scoffers: "Pawpaw. I can have sex in my home. Can I have sex in my car?" Sure, if the curtains are pulled. If you aren't doing anything that might alarm the public. If you are having sex in your home, in front of an open picture window, in plain view of the public, you might get a knock on the door. If you are having sex in your car, a cop might tap on the window. Elegant, isn't it?

Okay, Pawpaw, another question: "Can I play my music as loudly as I want to in my car?" No, but you can't play your music as loudly as you want to in your home. If someone complains, and the police show up and can hear it from the street, you are going to be told to turn it down. If you are playing your car stereo so loudly that I can hear it from the street, I am going to tap on your window. Simple.

Your car is an extension of your home. Elegantly simple.

Once you step outside your home, you are in the public. Once you step outside your car, you are in the public. Some laws change, some laws don't. You are expected to know the difference.

Louisiana has had a law like the Florida law for as long as I can remember. It sounds to me like Florida has had a long overdue attack of common sense. Your car is an extension of your home. Say that a couple of times quietly.

Elegantly simple.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Busy

Been busier than hell the last couple of days, and expect to work till 10:00 tomorrow night. Between configuring this computer, and writing an article for The Frugal Outdoorsman, and taking care of some personal business, I don't seem to have time for writing in the blog.

Sorry about that. I promise to do better.

I'd blog on whatshername Miers, but I can't get excited about it.

I'd tell you about the new article, but then printing it here would... oh, hell, maybe just a little preview:
The next target was fired about a half hour after the one above. It uses the same powder charge (41 grs Reloder 19), but with the Sierra GameKing bullet, and I took my time between shots. This target represents a five shot group, with four of them in one hole, and one flier opening up the group. When I showed my buddy the target, he asked me if I cussed when I saw the flier. No, but I wanted to cry. Fliers are tough to take sometimes, but they are part of our quest for the perfect load. Fliers exist to remind us we are human. This target represents the accuracy this rifle is capable of producing and is what we should all strive for. It shows the inherent accuracy availabe in the .243 Winchester cartridge, the care and quality in the Savage Model 10, and the obvious ease of use of the Accutrigger.
The target I am talking about is here:


I'll let you know when the whole thing posts.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Networking Redux

Blogging from the kitchen table, over a wireless network. Isn't it amazing what downloading the current setup protocol will do? Everything went as advertised and now I have to learn to type on this notebook keyboard. I should be familiar with it after a couple of thousand words.

Networking

Milady and I decided over the past few days that we needed a second computer. With two dedicated users in the family and with my daughter in college, having a second computer is .... not a necessity... but certainly would help with scheduling.

So, we climbed on the motorcyle and went computer shopping. We wanted a laptop, and thought it would be nice if it fit on the motorcycle. After shopping a couple of stores, we found one we wanted, got a wireless router to attach, and I took Milady out to supper.

Once home, I broke everything out of the box and read the instructions. (Really, I am an instruction reader. I even read the owners manual when I buy a car.) The general consensus of the various salespeople was that we should hook up the router and configure it before we turned on the laptop. I hooked up the little box with the antennae, and turned on the main computer, following the insructions diligently to get the router configured. Then I took the laptop out of the box and turned it on. Went through the initial setup and configuration, and a little window popped up, telling me that I was connected through the wireless router, so I decided to check email. Five minutes later, I still have nothing on the screen.

So, I went to the main computer and tried to check email. Nothing. Got a little window telling me that my connection was slow or nonexistent. I fiddled with it for a little bit, then turned everything off and disconnected the router, then rebooted the main computer. Then I get this little window telling me it can't find my network. No kidding, Sherlock. I have disconnected it.

I called my ISP and had them walk me through the setup process on the cable modem, then rebooted everything. I have good solid high speed access through the main computer, but the router is back in the original box.

I know that I did something wrong, or configured something wrong. Tonite, I'll be home alone, and I will sit down and hook everything up again and see if I can figure out where I went wrong. I'll have the ISP service number close at hand and I'll have the router service number close at hand, and sometime tonite, hopefully, I'll enter the wireless information age.

More likely, I'll spend time cussing like a shipwrecked sailor.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Beer

Today I was summoned to the office, where I met the Director of Nursing that ran our shelter during the Rita unpleasantness. She handed me a heavy sack and said thanks. I was told not to open the sack until I cleared the building.

Inside I found a six-pack of beer I had never seen. Warsteiner.

I took it home and cooled it. Not cold, just cool. Then I opened one.

Damn! Smooth, full, with good body and very little aftertaste. Just Dammit! this is good beer.

I quit drinking domestic beer about five years ago, after someone had given me some good German beer. And this is good German beer. I may have to enjoy another at supper.

WHy can't Americans make beer like this? I'd buy a case a week of this stuff.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sunday morning

I got a lot of shooting done yesterday. I'm writing an article for The Frugal Outdoorsman and part of that article is on load development. To write about load development, you have to load a bunch of ammo, and shoot it, and record the results. The process is interesting. I learned a couple of things yesterday. Work is work, no matter where it takes place. As much as I like shooting, recording that much information was work.

Gun writers are full of crap. I see a lot of articles telling us that a certain load, a certain gun, shot a bunch of ammo, and the group size is at or under an inch. I've been shooting for a lot of years, and I will hold my marksmanship against any amateur shooter. I'm a little bit better than average, and my group size shows it. Using hunting rifles, off sandbags, my group size runs about three inches while I am developing loads. Some better, some worse, but that is what ammo development is all about; finding what works. You'll never see a three inch group in a gun magazine. All magazine guns shoot into minute of angle. Bullshit.

Yesterday I had exactly one load shoot into MOA. The rest stayed out at the two inch mark. That ain't bad for an out-the-box, un-tweaked hunting rifle. It's about what you can expect. That one, really great load I tested, fired four shots into one ragged hole at 100yards, measuring under a half inch. The fifth shot opened it up to nine/tenths. Was that load a fluke? Did some weird probability curve shove all those bullets into that same hole? Or, is this a load that the rifle really likes? Only more testing will tell, but you can believe I have that load written down.

The really interesting thing was the composite target I made. A composite target is easy to make, simply staple two targets to the backing, one superimposed over the other. When you change targets to assess another load, staple the new target directly over the first. All of the shots will pass through both targets and at the end of the day you have a record of every shot fired. This particular rifle put all of the shots, with six different loads, three different bullets, two different powders, into a large, composite group that measures 4" X 4" for 30 shots fired.

The rifle tested is a hunting rifle. It isn't a bench gun. No tweaking, no trigger job. All I did was tighten all the screws and start banging away. It put every shot into a group smaller than the target zone on a deer, or coyote. That's what it is designed to do.

Finding a load that shoots into MOA with any rifle is work. Gun writing is work.

But, on average, it beats the hell out of whatever is in second place.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Saturday morning

My evacuees shipped last night. The company that runs their nursing home found more permanent accommodations in a proper medical facility and the buses came for the patients last night about nine o'clock. By 10:30 we had them loaded on the bus and enroute to a new home. My shelter closed and I came home. It is now just an empty high school gymnasium. The memory of hundreds of high school dances will combine with the memory of hundreds of Rita evacuees and life will go on.

There is plenty of work to do here at the house, between grass mowing and fence repair and cleaning the garage and maintenance on the motorcycle. Plenty to keep me busy for awhile.

My priorities are in order and the list is posted. I'm heading for the range.