Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Update

It's all Gustav, all the time. We're watching the storm and making plans.

Seven or eight years ago, Milady and I were sitting at a local bar one Saturday afternoon and she saw a local fellow down at the end of the bar. Milady addressed him, "Hey, I thought you were offshore?"

"I was," he said, "but a sy-foon done blown up in the Gulf and they evaporated everyone off the rigs."

Well, we took that as an interesting play on words and there has been a lot of evaporating going on around here.

Looking at the various hurricane tracks, it looks like Gustav will pass south of us and will be a tropical storm when it passes. We're due to get a lot of rain and a lot of wind, and, yes, we're in the northeast quadrant of the storm.

Momma lives in the woods and we're set to get her out tomorrow morning, evaporating her over to our house. The main concern there is the huge number of trees on Momma's property and we don't want her to get stranded, unable to move in or out. She'll ride out the storm at my place and when it's over, she can go home when she's able to.

My house sits on a ridge line, and I have very few trees around the house. I'll pick up Momma's generator tomorrow morning and bring it here. If the electricity fails, I can use the generator to keep the refrigerator going. We won't have A/C, we've got lots of candles and flashlights, we can cook on a butane camp stove and we've got several days food.

I'm impressed with the way that the citizens are responding to this emergency. There's no sense of panic, just a generalized sense of urgency and preparation. People are still moving about, buying supplies and getting ready to hunker down. There is bread in the stores, along with batteries, water, and all the essentials. The stations have gasoline, although ice is in short supply. For some reason, there is a general shortage of hot dog buns. Go figure.

There are a lot of evaporees moving through the area, but there is no panic. We've done this for years, we've done it poorly and we've done it well. The shelters are working. My daughter-in-law is working at one of the shelters and reports that everything is satisfactory. I'm surprised that I haven't heard more about shelters being open, but expect to hear more as we get further into this exercise.

I've cleaned off the back porch and deck, and I'm listening to a wind chime tinkle in the afternoon breeze. I'm reminded that I need to put it away until this blow is over. The storm isn't expected here until tomorrow afternoon or evening, continuing through the night until Tuesday.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

More on Palin

It didn't take the nutroots long to jump on Sarah Palin as McCain's VP pick. Of course, we have to expect that. We're in a political race and they've got to jump on something. However, some of their objections are laughable. Lets look.
1. The most unqualified person on the ticket ever, which severely damages McCain main argument against Obama
Actually, Palin has over 10 years of executive experience, both in running a town and in running a state. That compares against the executive experience of Obama at exactly ZERO years executive experience. It looks to me like Obama is the most unqualified person on any ticket, ever.

2. The most transparent, calculating VP pick ever. Doesn't this have the potential to piss of more Hillary voters that attract them?
Transparent? Any more transparent than Kennedy picking Johnson? Or Carter picking Fritz Mondale? Presidential candidates pick running mates for a variety of reasons. Why do you think Obama picked Biden. Ole Joe Biden, from where? Oh, Delaware. A state that should have been a county. I mean, how many votes does it take to get elected in Delaware? Twenty? Twenty five?

3. Country first? Doesn't this totally, completely undercut the "Country First" argument? Is this really the best pick for the COUNTRY? It might be the best pick for McCain...but the COUNTRY?
And how is Obama the better pick for the country? No legislative accomplishments, no executive experience. No record of doing anything substantial. He's an empty suit running on sips of hope and breaths of change. If you want what's best for the country, you should run screaming from the Democratic ticket.

4. One of the most unknown VP picks ever.
Unknown until yesterday, everywhere outside of Alaska. But still a good pick. An eminently good pick.

5. CURRENTLY AND ACTIVELY involved in a corruption scandal.
Evidently, it's considered corruption in Alaska if a governor runs off a Public Safety Commissioner. Here in Louisiana, it's considered a perquisite of the office. Our governor gets to appoint his cabinet, and no one makes a fuss about it. If you're on the outgoing cabinet... well there's a reason it's called outgoing. It seems that there is some sort of background about a state trooper that was involved in a nasty abusive divorce, making threats to in-laws, and starting fights in bars while flashing his badge. I'd have run his ass up the road, too. This scandal is a non-starter.

6. Does she reassure anyone with their economic anxiety?
What the hell does this mean? What economic worries? Get a job!

7. Does she help at all with foreign policy?
8. Will get schooled by Biden in the VP debates. Has she ever offered a single opinion on foreign policy?
Okay, tell me how many countries have active borders with Delaware? Oh, that's right. None. Zero. There's that unfortunate number again that is so elegantly associated with the Democratic ticket. Zero. Alaska has two foreign countries in near proximity, Russia, and Canada.

Palin, by herself, trumps the whole Democratic ticket.

Gustav Update

It's still about 750 miles from the Louisiana coast, give or take, and at this time is a Cat 3 hurricane. It's expected to ravage western Cuba then slide into the Gulf of Mexico.
The northwest track that will take place into Sunday could break down some on Sunday night and Monday. A large high moves from the Ohio Valley into the Northeast states during this time ridging all the way south to the southeastern U.S. The strength and exact positioning of this high, along with how quickly it moves east, will be the deciding factor of how soon Gustav comes ashore and where. This high could at least slow the forward progress of Gustav and may even deflect it slightly to a more westerly course. So all interests along the Gulf Coast need to keep a close watch on the future progress of this impending dangerous hurricane. This is especially true from the extreme western Florida Panhandle to the southeastern Texas coast.
They're not sure where it's coming ashore, but all indications are that Louisiana is in the middle of the target area.

The Accuweather extended track looks something like this:

Of course, with Louisiana anywhere in the target area, the leadership gets all hysterical over New Orleans. From the tracks I've seen, the lower Atchafalaya delta is expected to take a bigger hit than New Orleans. Of course, the Cajuns in those swamps are perfectly knowledgeable about hurricanes and are able to take care of themselves.

I'll start cleaning up the backyard this afternoon or tomorrow, getting everything battened down for a blow. From the map above, it's still supposed to be a Cat 1 hurricane when it gets to central Louisiana. Tuesday and Wednesday are liable to get really damned interesting around here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin

Interesting. I learned this afternoon that McCain picked Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Very interesting choice. It was politically risky, but what I know about her, I like.

1. She's a mother of five children. She probably understands families as well as anyone. She's pro-life, and I understand her youngest child has Downs syndrome. Her husband works in the oil field.

2. She's the governor of Alaska. Granted, she was elected in 2006, but she's a governor with all that entails.

3. She's from Alaska, probably our last frontier. She understands freedom, as all Alaskans do.

4. She's a hunter. She owns her own rifle. She's a life member of the NRA.

Granted, her foreign policy experience is probably non-existent, but as VP, it doesn't need to be extensive. I like what I'm reading about her.

The fact that she's a woman matters not. Unless you want a cheap political pander to the PUMAs. Some might consider Palin as McCain's answer to the female electorate, but I think it's more than that. She's a conservative that conservatives can like.

I like her.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday Update

It looks like Gustav is picking up steam. This one might be a bad storm, and it's looking like it'll enter the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, after it ravages Jamaica and parts of Cuba. The storm track is still not nailed down, but folks from Brownsville, TX to the Florida panhandle have been told to make preparations.

For the State of Louisiana, Governor Jindal is in emergency mode, preparing for the worst and lining up state resources. I know personally of a buddy of mine who has been activated in the Guard, and the deputies in our agency have been told to stay by the phone in case we're needed to assist in any way.

This is the big story for Louisiana for the next several days, and whatever Obama and McCain might do or not do is of piddling concern. We've been through hurricanes before and the residents of Louisiana are very good at hunkering down if they're given the heads-up.

Of course, this storm might miss us entirely, but it's going to hammer somebody and the indications are that it's going to be a big one.

To my favorite bloggers on both corners of South Louisiana, the Oyster and Mostly Cajun. Get ready. Be safe. Hunker down.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Acclamation, huh?

I see that the Democrats nominated Barack Obama as the nominee from the Democratic Party, by acclamation.

Hillary made the motion.
Sen. Hillary Clinton motioned to cut the roll call short saying, "With eyes firmly fixed on the future, and in the spirit of unity with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and our country, let's declare together with one voice right here, right now that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president."
Hmmm. Hillary made the motion, did she? I wonder what to make of that?

Well, hell. The convention is over, right? Obama's been nominated. Everybody can go home.

Look, not that I'm picking on the Democrats. I think the Republicans ought to have a phone-in convention. Let everyone vote on an Instapundit poll. We know that McCain is the nominee. Why delay the inevitable?

Let the games begin.

In Comments

Lots of great comments about the .45-70, and it's probably proper that I respond to some of them.

jpg said, in part:
Just remember - - the army issued the .45-70-500 load for the full infantry rifles, but found the horse soldiers did a lot better shooting the .45-55-405 load through their carbines,. Please - - Give us full details of shooting the 500 grainers in the Handy Rifle.
I'm using Hodgdon 777, a 3.4 cc dipper is enough that I have just a little compression (under 10%) when I seat the bullet. That load works fine in my Sharps. Of course, all rifles are individuals unto themselves, so we'll see. I see in my .45-70 drawer that I've got about fifty Lee 405 grain bullets that I cast about four years ago. I may have to give them a chance. They didn't shoot worth a damn in the Sharps, but this rifle may like them.

George asks:
Seriously, though, isn't there a difference in the quality of the recoil when loading with black powder? I've never loaded cartridges with it, but I hear that black powder gives more of a PUSH than an impact to the shoulder. Any truth to that?
That's been my experience too. My Renegade, which shoots 90 grains of black or Pyrodex with an (approx) 400 grain maxi-ball. The recoil is a shove. In my Sharps, with the above-mentioned load, the recoil is more of a push than a kick. As long as I can sit up straight at the bench and let my upper body rock with the recoil, I'm okay. Still, about 15 shots is all I'm good for with that rifle from a seated position.

But Junior (who knows whatof he speaks) tells us.
My 22" 45-70 Handi weighs 6 lbs 12.4 ozs w/o sling. The recoil is comparable to a 300 Weatherby. Of course, you can take off the butt plate and fill the cavity beneath it with about 2 lbs of lead shot and lessen the recoil. But shooting standing up the recoil is tolerable.
When I quoted the Handi at 7 lbs, I was using the printed data. If you tell me it's not quite that, I believe it. But, we're going to hunt that bottom this year, come hell or high water.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Driving Traffic

Not that I much care, but I'm getting about 200 hits a day here at this blog, according to Sitemeter. The stats for this blog are found at the little icon in the right sidebar, and anyone can look at them.

Over at the other site, the sitemeter there told me that I was getting 1600 hits per day. Maybe so. But I'm convinced now that most of those hits, as opposed to the 200 or so I get here every day, were spam. I was getting a lot of spam comments, sometimes three or four hundred a day. It was a real pain to keep the spam out of the blog.

One thing I've learned, is that if you link to CNN, they'll link back. That drives traffic. This article is about something Dennis Kucinich said today, something about McCain and Bush and ... well, no one gives a shit. No one with any sense gives a shit. But, the simple link will draw traffic. Again, not that I care, but I like playing with CNN. That one link is worth a couple of hundred hits. Maybe some of them will look around and become regular readers. Although, I can't imagine that anyone who cares about Dennis Kucinich would read a blog by a gun-loving grandfather in Louisiana.

I'd rather have the gun lovers reading the blog, but those guys aren't good about linking, and they aren't good about commenting. I get 21 comments from CNN readers about Joe Biden, but I can't get two comments about a .45-70. Sheesh!

H&R 1871

I went to the pawn shop today and asked to look at the H&R Handi-Rifle in .45-70. It's new in the box and I quibbled with the counterman for a few minutes. It's on layaway. He says that he wants to be at the range when I touch it off the first time.

I reminded him that I'm going to be using black powder cartridge loads and that the recoil shouldn't be that bad. However, physics won't be denied, and starting a 500 grain slug at 1300 fps is going to have some recoil. There's some when I start that load from the 10 lb Sharps and this 7 lb Handi should be fairly interesting to shoot.

Now, I have to talk with Mr. Brownell and see if he'll send me a peep sight for it. I'm thinking the Williams WGRS ought to serve me just fine.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I was doing street-level law enforcement when MADD opened its first chapter in north Louisiana. The Louisiana legislature had recently tightened up the DWI laws and MADD was coming to the courthouse to make sure that the judges applied the new sentencing provisions.

That's been a while back.

Nowadays, MADD is just a temperance movement, one that's been instrumental in the loss of civil rights for the 18-21 year old crowd. They get no links from me. However, a group of college and university presidents came out in favor of lowering the drinking age from 18 to 21, and the MADD mothers started spamming the good educators. Something about email chains and presidents getting hundreds of identical emails.

It's one thing to email a public servant and register outrage. It's something else to send hundreds of identical emails. Spam is spam. Hundreds of identical emails is spam. All spammers should die a horrible death.

Of course, the Madd mothers are directly responsible for the sissification of their college age children. When I was growing up and got college age, a great portion of my generation took their senior trip to Viet Nam. If anyone made the argument that an 18 year old could vote, execute a contract, buy a car, get married, join the Army, go to Viet Nam, but couldn't buy a drink, that person would have been laughed off the block.

Nowadays, it's just considered natural that 18-year-olds are children. The 18 year olds put up with it, so they've been sissified. It's a damn shame. We used to treat the 18-19-20 year old crowd like adults, but now they're just big children.

It's a damn shame.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday night musings

It's going to be an interesting week, but not because I give a damn what happens in Denver. The result is pre-ordained. They could do it by mail.

Next weekend should begin to tell the tale. The presumptive nominee has a lot of explaining to do, and his apparatus is so focused on the agenda this week that they're not in the loop about the weeks after. The Republicans intend to get inside his OODA loop, put him on the defensive, and squash him politically. It ought to be a lot of fun to watch.

Over at No Quarter, they explain the opening salvo of the general campaign. Basically, the Democratic Party didn't vet Barack H. Obama, so the Republican Party will.
The strength of the ad is its accuracy. Unlike the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’s ads, there is no available counter-argument. Bill Ayers is an unrepentant terrorist. Obama’s political career was launched at Bill Ayers’ house. Obama did serve on the Woods Fund board with Ayers. The ad hits Obama hardest on his self-proclaimed good judgment. As law professor Steve Diamond states, Obama wasn’t just friends with Ayers, he wasn’t just a guy in the neighborhood, he was Obama’s benefactor for 20 years.

As an aside, I don't know that anyone ever proved that anything the Swift Boat veterans said was a lie. In this age of internet fact-checkers, it's tough to float a lie that survives. It's much easier to hope that no one notices an inconvenient truth.

In military operations, there is a place called the Assembly Area. It's a safe zone where a unit can organize, resupply, plan, rest, and prepare. Nearby is another place called the Line of Departure. That's the place from whence the attack begins. No Quarter carries the metaphor a bit further.
But there is a very strange air about Republican operatives. In the last three weeks, I’ve talked to real insiders in VA, GA, AL and here. They all remind me of a unit waiting to cross the line of departure on an attack. Quiet, determined, last cigarette, last “can of peaches out of the ration,” radio checks, confident. They all use the term “safely nominated” when referring to Obama. That is weird.

They can’t wait to start taking Barack apart on the issues the media chose to ignore up to this point. And when the attacks intensify Joe Biden’s foreign policy expertise won’t matter one whit.

My advise to the Democrats: You still have time to dump this guy and nominate someone respectable. Broker the convention.


I wonder what Obama was thinking when he picked Biden as his VP?

Isn't Biden the guy who called him "clean"? What's Obama trying to do, balance the ticket by having a guy who makes unintended racial comments? I don't get it. Maybe, he's trying to reassure white voters whose hearts are in the right place but occasionally make a racial gaffe.

If Obama is trying to fix Washington, shouldn't he have chosen someone who hasn't spent the last couple of decades inside Washington? He's been a Senator since 1973. Lessee, that's presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush. Oh, yeah, Biden is a Washington insider.

Maybe Obama was trying to get someone with foreign policy experience. So why would he pick the guy who wanted to partition Iraq? That plan was so bad that it united the Iraqis in loathing it. It was a horrible idea.

Isn't Biden the guy, along with Senator Murtha, who slandered the Haditha Marines? So much for supporting the troops. I wonder when he is going to apologize to those guys? Better question is who's speech is he going to use?

CNN says that Biden will give Obama "old-school cred". Whatever that means. It looks to me like Biden gives McCain plenty of ammunition to use against Obama.

As far as I'm concerned, they're just two Yankees, Obama and Biden. When's the last time two Yankees were elected on the same ticket?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The .45-70 Govt cartridge

The .45-70 Govt cartridge is one of the legal cartridges in Louisiana this year for the primitive weapons hunting season, as long as it is used in one of the approved rifles.

If I hunt the special season and decide to use a cartridge arm, the .45-70 will get the nod, for two reasons. First and foremost is that I have it. There is a fair amount of .45-70 brass on my bench. The second reason would be that I've done the load development for it. I've got a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't work for the old government warhorse.

Junior has done all the Handi-rifle work and shows here how to get the most out of the Handi-Rifle. I've done load development for the cartridge and know how to load like the old-timers loaded. Click on the links and enjoy.

If you want the flavor of the old cartridge, you should try loading it with black powder or a substitute like Pyrodex. It's very cool to shoot the old warhorse with something approaching the original load. It also gives you an idea of the late 1800s, which was an exciting time in firearm and cartridge development.

Of course, you could just go down to the store and buy a box of whatever flavor cartridge you prefer. That's another option. When you do, save your brass. One of these days you'll want to load some blackpowder. Everyone who shoots the cartridge does eventually.

Youth rifles

So, I've been thinking about youth rifles. Something light, and short, and handy. Something that carries a serious caliber, like .30-30, or .243, but in a package that a kid can handle. With a price tag I can handle.

Looks like the Handi-rifle is the ticket. For about 250 US dollars, I can get just about any caliber that I thing a young'un can handle. Or, I can get one in 45-70 and use it instead of the Renegade to hunt during the primitive season. I'd use my Sharps, but that thing is too heavy and long to carry around in the thickets and trees where I hunt. The Sharps is a plains rifle.

Louisiana expanded its primitive weapons season this year, to include:
Approved single shot breech loading primitive weapons:

· Sharps rifles or replicas
· Remington Rollingblock rifles or replicas
· Ballard rifles
· Maynard rifles or carbines
· Burnside carbines
· Frank Wesson rifles
· Farrow rifles
· Remington Hepburn rifles
· M1873-1888 Springfield (Trapdoor) rifles and carbines and replicas
· Snider (British) rifles and replicas
· Wesson & Harrington 1871 rifles
· New England Firearms or Harrington & Richardson Handi rifles in caliber larger than .38
· Winchester M1885 Hi Wall or Lo Wall rifles or replicas (Also Browning B78 or 1885) .38 or larger
· Knight KP-1 in caliber .38 or larger
· CVA Optima Elite in caliber .38 or larger
· Traditions Pursuit break-open single shot in .38 caliber or larger

I've killed a few deer with my Renegade. During the '80s I was so confident of my ability with that rife, and with the area I was hunting, that I carried my Renegade as my main rifle. I've even sniped crows with the light, small, 230 grain roundballs. It helped keep my eye in for deer season, and if you've never seen what a 54 caliber ball will do to a crow, you've missed a sight. But I digress.

If the state of Louisiana is going to let me hunt with a cartridge firearm and call it a primitive weapon, who am I to argue? No more powder, caps, and possibles to lug around. Pick up the rifle, drop a few cartridges into the pocket, and head toward the woods. They're taking all the work out of it.

It's Biden

Joe Biden. Senator from Delaware, will be Obama's running mate.

Regardless of who wins, we will have elected a Senator for President. It's been a while since that happened. Carter wasn't a Senator, Reagan wasn't a Senator. Clinton wasn't a Senator, and neither of the Bushs were Senators. It's been a while since we had a Senator ascend to the Presidency.

The US Senate is a deliberative body, probably the most prestigious deliberative body in the world. Still, participating in a deliberative body is different than running an executive office. Neither of the contenders have much experience running an executive office.

Next week begins the Democratic showcase in Denver. It'll be quite the media event, I'm sure. Not much of substance will be decided (we already know who the nominee and the running mate are), but it'll be a talking-head lalapallooza. I feel like Hillary's PUMA's are going to make some noise, but barring any unfortunate circumstance, we know the outcome of the event. Obama will be nominated, give a speech, and start campaigning his ass off. I'd love to see a brokered convention, with fistfights on the floor, but that ain't likely to happen.

The Republican convention, later in Minnesota, will be just as bad. We already know the result. There's not going to be much in the way of surprises. It's going to be a four-day media event, carefully scripted, carefully covered. They could do it over a weekend, but that would only be a two day event.

Both parties could save a lot of money, and have a mail-in convention. Have the delegates send their ballots via US Mail and count them from a rented office somewhere. That wouldn't be much of a media event, but it would achieve the same result at far less cost.

Or, you could get all the delegates together, all in one room, and do a vote. Quietly. No hoopla. Lend some dignity to an event that has become a media circus. Wouldn't that be instructive. To quietly, with dignity, nominate a candidate for president. The delegates could steal into town. Quietly meet at a small, discreet venue, conduct their business in a single evening, and steal out of town.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Are they High?

No, but they plan to be. Some headlines just write themselves.

It seems a group of folks is asking the Denver cops to not make any marijuana arrests during the Democratic Convention.

DENVER - A panel convened to implement a voter-approved Denver ordinance making possession of small amounts of marijuana the "lowest law enforcement priority" voted Wednesday to approve a resolution urging police to refrain from making arrests or issuing citations during the Democratic National Convention.

Mason Tvert, leader of the group Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation, said city police and prosecutors are ignoring the will of the voters. He said the city still requires violators to show up in court, which he warned could clog the court system

"After the Democratic National Convention ends, there will be hundreds of marijuana cases all showing up at the same time," Tvert said.

I don't know what to say about this article. It's simply too weird.

Evidently, the guy hasn't had much luck in making marijuana... legal. Here's the deal. We've heard all the arguments on all the sides about making marijuana legal, or making it illegal, or whatever. The simple fact of the matter is that the cops don't get to make the laws. The legislature makes the laws. If the leges go into session and pass a law taking marijuana out of the criminal code, I probably wouldn't be bothered one way or the other. There are plenty of laws on the books for me to enforce.

However, the leges aren't about to do anything to make marijuana legal, in this state anyway, because they know that they wouldn't be re-elected. Whether marijuana is legal or not is a question for the legislature, not the police.

Hat tip to Flopping Aces for the story.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Well, heck!

I've been blogging over on my private account, the PawPaw's House hosted by Verio. Over the last several days I've been having trouble accessing my accounts over there and I've learned that my site traffic is in excess of what is allowed on my little piddly account. I'm getting 1600 hits per day, so I've decided to come back to Blogger. I'll take a few days for things to calm down, but as soon as I can get online over there, I'll move the traffic to this site and decide what I'm going to do with the verio account.

Who knew when I started this blog that I'd be getting so much traffic on a little blog that I started for my own amusement?

Just damn.