Friday, October 31, 2008

Gonna Get Nasty

No, not me. That's what Obama says the campaign is going to become.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- With just days to go before Election Day, Sen. Barack Obama is warning his supporters that things are going to get unpleasant fast -- and that the race will come down to every last vote.

"Don't believe for a second this election is over. Don't think for a minute that power concedes anything. It's gonna get nasty, I'm sure, in the next four days," Obama told a crowd in Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday night.
I'm not worried about nasty. I'm not particularly interested in whatever he or McCain have to say. I've made up my mind, and I'm going hunting.

Then we've got Erica Jong (is she still around?) telling people that if Obama loses, it'll spark a civil war. Seriously, I can't make up this comedy.
"If Obama loses it will spark the second American Civil War. Blood will run in the streets, believe me. And it's not a coincidence that President Bush recalled soldiers from Iraq for Dick Cheney to lead against American citizens in the streets."
She's unhinged, really, she is.

In the meantime, I wish both of the candidates well. Here's PawPaw's voting card for the upcoming election:

President: McCain/Palin

US Senate: Kennedy

Court of Appeals: Triston Knoll

9th Judicial District Court: Rocky Willson

Constable, Ward 11: Hayden Paul

Amendment 1: For
Amendment 2: For
Amendment 3: For
Amendment 4: For
Amendment 5: For
Amendment 6: For
Amendment 7: Against

Please note, I can be persuaded on the Amendments. The votes above are from my preliminary reading and how they struck me at the time.

At any rate, that's how I'm voting. Feel free to copy my voting card and take it to the polls with you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I went out to get old-fashioned hamburgers from an old-fashioned drive-in and on the way home noticed that fog was rolling in.

I've never seen fog roll, and I know it forms when the air temperature equals the dewpoint, but fog is more than that. It's my experience that fog forms under clear skies. That is, when the fog goes away, the remaining day is a beautiful, bluebird day.

I remember a morning, it must have been 1965 or 67. I was 12 or thirteen years old and hunting ducks with my Dad on Catfish Prairie, in LaSalle parish, LA. It was foggy that morning, lordy was that a thick fog. One of Dad's coworkers, Max, came on his first duck hunt with us. It wasn't a particularly cold morning, just foggy. Very foggy. So foggy that we couldn't see the blind in the morning darkness. Dad found it through dead reckoning and years of knowing where the blind stood in the marsh. As we settled in, arranging shotguns and thermoses, we could hear wings slapping in the fog overhead.

When the legal time to shoot came and went, the fog seemed to intensify. We heard ducks in the decoys, but couldn't see far enough to know where the ducks were located. Dad knew that when the fog lifted, we'd have a beautiful day and the ducks would raft out on the open water of the big lake. He surmised that if we were going to have any luck, we'd have to shoot ducks in the fog. That year, the limit was four ducks, of any category.

Dad knew that the decoys were arrayed around the blind, with the nearest twenty yards from the blind and the furthest thirty yards from the blind. He studied the water rippling toward the blind and the sound of the ducks in the water. We stood, shoulder-to-shoulder and fired into the decoys.

We heard the scramble of ducks lifting off, then silence. Before long, we heard the sounds of ducks landing in the water, so we stood shoulder-to-shoulder and fired into the fog. We did this three or four times.

The fog lifted at about 8:00 and we walked out to collect our ducks. There were eleven dead in the water, a mixture of scaup, teal, and mallards. One additional teal came over the blocks while we were picking up ducks and Dad scratched him down.

As we were walking out of the lake, our bags heavy with ducks, Max said, "I've just shot a limit of ducks, and haven't seen the first one in the air. This isn't so hard." Dad just chuckled.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Clapton's shotguns

Eric Clapton, the blue-singing, guitar picking, rock-n-roll icon, is selling some shotguns.
Clapton has claimed that his passion has gotten out of hand in much the same way his guitar collection did. “It’s following the same pattern as when I collected guitars, cars and watches. I start out with a fairly broad spectrum, get obsessed and engulfed and finally narrow the collection down. I built a gunroom that can house a certain amount of guns and now I have to clear the decks for the new guns I have on order.”
Evidently, the man has marvelous taste in sporting guns.

The gun above is described thusly in the auction report:
A FINE AND UNUSED PAIR OF MARCUS HUNT-ENGRAVED 20-BORE SINGLE-TRIGGER SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK EJECTORS, serial no. 20060 / 1, 28in. nitro chopperlump barrels, ribs engraved 'WILLIAM EVANS LIMITED. 67A, ST. JAMES'S STREET. LONDON. S.W.1.' and gold-inlaid '1' and '2', 2 3/4in. chambers, bored approx. imp cyl and 1/4 choke, actions incorporating Holland & Holland type self-opening systems, semi-selective single-triggers, rolled-edge triggerguards, automatic safeties with gold-inlaid 'SAFE' details, gold-inlaid cocking-indicators, the actions, lockplates and furniture deeply engraved with best bold acanthus scrolls on a matt background, the pinless lockplates very finely engraved with vignettes of Eric Clapton; gun No.1 with him sat against a tree playing an acoustic guitar (left side) and catching a trout on the fly (right); gun No.2 with him having cast a fly (left) and partridge shooting (right), all signed 'M.A. Hunt', the undersides set with colour-hardened roundels, gold-inlaid with the monogram 'W.E.', bright finish overall, 14 5/8in. highly-figured stocks, weight 6lb. 6oz., with gold escutcheons bearing the initials 'E.P.C.' in their brass-cornered oak and leather case with full complement of William Evans accessories and canvas and leather outer cover. The makers have kindly confirmed that the guns were completed mid 2007.
What an absolutely beautiful shotgun. And in 20-bore, my favorite.

Can't you just see me rolling up to the lease on the mule with one of those strapped to the gun rack? The boys would die! Just die!

Seriously, those are magnificent shotguns.


I'm the eldest of a big family, one that I love and take great pride in being a part of. One of the joys of being in a big family is that you get to take part in projects at other people's houses.

This afternoon I was supposed to go hang curtain rods at my youngest sister's house. Not a problem. I've got all the tools and equipment and it's just three little curtain rods. No sweat, no problem, easy-peasy.

She just called to tell me that she's been detained and can we reschedule for Thursday? Of course. I'll sit here and blog and torment the dog, who's whining outside the window because it's cold out there, and he's cold OUT THERE! I'll let him inside in a few more minutes. He's an inside dog and he's really offended if he has to spend time outside in the weather ALONE!

I need to take him to the lease and teach him to run rabbits. Does anyone know if a Shih Tzu can be taught to run rabbits?

Query me this

Why is it, if Roe v Wade is the law everywhere and the states can't overturn it, then why is Heller not the law everywhere and some folks say that they can make laws that affect the right to keep and bear arms?

Let me get a few things off my chest.

Gay marriage. My opinions have changed over the past several years and I've come to the conclusion that I don't care. Not one whit. It seems to me that the best way for the gay marriage proponents to gain the legal right to marry is to attack it on 9th and 14th amendment grounds. If I were pulling a lever in California next week over Proposition 8, I'd probably vote to allow gay marriage. I don't think it's going to affect me one whit, and if it makes someone happy, then why not? I see it as basically a privacy issue, and the Republic isn't going to come tumbling down if gays are allowed to marry.

Remember Joe the Plumber? Well, as soon as he asked Obama a question, folks were digging into his files looking for dirt. I understand that someone accessed criminal and driving records to discredit him. That's against the law as I understand it, and someone needs to go to jail over that. It ain't right and cops know that you can't access those files for political reasons. That's another privacy issue.

Disconnect (With breaking update!!)

There's a disconnect somewhere, and it isn't in the South. We know that hanging folks is verboten, even in effigy. Heck, some kid recently in Grant Parish got himself in trouble with the Feds for driving around with a noose dangling off the back of his pickup truck.

Then we go to West Hollywood, and see this:

Oh, that's in good taste! The property owner describes it as art.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) ― A Halloween decoration showing a mannequin dressed as vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin hanging by a noose from the roof of a West Hollywood home is drawing giggles from some passers-by and gasps of outrage from others.... He says "it should be seen as art, and as within the month of October. It's Halloween, it's time to be scary it's time to be spooky."

Yeah, art. That's a ripoff if I ever heard one.

To paraphrase, it should be seen as despicable, regardless of the month, race, or gender of the effigy.

UPDATE** Lookee here! Some dude lost a bet. White dude tied a noose. Black dude calls police. White dude goes to jail.

Chuck speaks

How about a little Chuck Norris?


Monday, October 27, 2008


Two dumbass white supremacists are accused of plotting to kill Barack Obama.
Sheriffs' deputies in Crockett County, Tenn., arrested the two suspects — Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman 18, of Helena-West Helena, Ark. — Oct. 22 on unspecified charges. "Once we arrested the defendants and suspected they had violated federal law, we immediately contacted federal authorities," said Crockett County Sheriff Troy Klyce.

The two were charged by federal authorities Monday with possessing an unregistered firearm, conspiring to steal firearms from a federally licensed gun dealer, and threatening a candidate for president.

They also planned to kill African-Americans at a high school. The plot doesn't stand up to scrutiny. I think they planned to kill people, I just don't think they planned it correctly. Thank God.

What idiots. Skinhead mouth-breathers. Complete with Nazi tattoos.

How stupid can you be? I'm glad these guys got caught. Really.


A year or so ago, someone killed a little 4 point buck on the lease and brought it to the deer camp to dress. They tied it in a tree and dressed the deer, and somehow, someway, the head was left swinging in the tree. It's rather bizarre to drive up and see a deer head swinging from a limb. It's a redneck thing, I guess.

A couple of weeks ago, I took two of my grandsons to the lease. Michael, age 11, and Zachary, age 6. After servicing feeders we went to the camp for lunch. We found Bobby, the lease treasurer and I talked to Bobby while the boys ate sandwiches. I had a bag of chocolate bars for the boys after the meal. Zachary found a stick on the ground and was playing with the stick, whacking various things while I talked to Bobby.

Zach spotted the deer head. "Look, a pinata." He went over with his stick and began whaling on the deer head.

I winked at Bobby and opened the bag of chocolate, taking out a Snicker's bar. I tossed it toward Zach, and it fell in the dust at his feet. "Look, Zach! A candy bar."

Zachary looked at the candy bar, then up at the deer head, and commenced to whaling on it with a new fury.

I thought Bobby was going to fall out of his chair. I really should be ashamed of myself.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


No, I didn't get a deer today, but that's okay. I spent the day in the woods, looking at all manner of marvelous things.

Like daybreak.

And midday in the piney woods. For those who might wonder, this is in the middle of an active oil field. When people talk about the oil industry wrecking the environment, I think of our hunting lease. Does this look wrecked to you? And this is in the middle of an active oil field.

As always, you can click'em to embiggen.

Leavin shortly

As soon as the coffee drips, I'm outta here. It's a beautiful Saturday morning,4:50 a.m. with temps in the mid 40's and stars all over the sky.

It'll be good to be in the woods. Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The hunting bag

Since I last piddled with the hunting bag, I've made a few additions. Thanks to the commenter who reminded me to include toilet paper. Done.

Also, a Reader's Digest and a few band-aids.

I normally include trail mix (or as Momma used to call it, gorp) in the bag, but didn't find any when I was at the store today. There's a bag of beef jerky in there, along with a box of breakfast bars.

OH, and the camera. I might want to take a picture.

Tomorrow night is a home football game and I'll be at the school until way past my bedtime. So, tonight I'll do all the packing I can do, then tomorrow night after the game, I'll throw it all in the truck before I fall into bed.

Saturday morning, the season starts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Polls

Good Lord, the polls are weird this race, because we've got a weird race. I'm talking about the Presidential race, here. The polls are all over the place.

This morning, I read about Obama by a landslide. Reuter's/C-Span/Zogby had Obama up by over 10 points. This afternoon, I'm reading that the AP has figures that show the race at just about a dead heat.
The poll, which found Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 43 percent, supports what some Republicans and Democrats privately have said in recent days: that the race narrowed after the third debate as GOP-leaning voters drifted home to their party and McCain's "Joe the plumber" analogy struck a chord.
Then, there's the IBD/Tipp poll that shows Obama/McCain at 46/42.
Contrary to other polls, some of which show Obama ahead by double digits, the IBD/TIPP Poll shows a sudden tightening of Obama's lead to 3.7 from 6.0. McCain has picked up 3 points in the West and with independents, married women and those with some college. He's also gaining momentum in the suburbs, where he's gone from dead even a week ago to a 20-point lead. Obama padded gains in urban areas and with lower-class households, but he slipped 4 points with parents.
It is a truly volatile race.

I studied polling while I was in college and know all kinds of things about statistics and randomness and bias, and let me tell you, I wouldn't want to do any polling this election. It's just too strange. For starters, we've got a Republican candidate who doesn't energize the base, but the VP choice does energize the base. Lots of Repubs don't trust McCain because of his involvement in the Gang of 14 and in passage of McCain/Fiengold He just doesn't engender a lot of enthusiasm as a Republican because he's pissed us off so thoroughly in the past.

Then there's the Democratic nominee, who's a socialist, but managed to whip Hillary Clinton during the primaries. He pals around with terrorists and he's a product of the Chicago political machine. Oh, did I mention that he's black?

Let's face it, the two parties couldn't have done a worse job of picking two candidates if they'd have done it by lottery. These two guys are caricatures of all that's wrong with how we pick a President. It's like we've collectively lost our minds.

And we wonder why the polls are so screwy?

PawPaw's advice: Go vote. That's the only poll that matters anyway. For myself, I'm voting for Sarah.

Pawn Shop Score - NEF Partner

I went into a pawn shop today with nothing much on my mind but looking through the used guns. While there, a small barreled shotgun caught my eye.

It's an NEF Partner, in .410. I've been looking for one of these for several months and they're scarce as hens teeth in these parts. Lots of daddys and pawpaws are hunting with kids, and a small, single shot .410 is just the ticket for a young'un and the squirrel woods.

The .410 is the only shotgun I know that's labeled by caliber. The rest are gauges, which is the number of round balls you can make with a pound of lead. For example, the 12 gauge shotgun. If you take a pound of lead and make 12 round balls, they come out at an average diameter of 0.729 inch, and that's the diameter of a 12 gauge barrel. It's all very esoteric, and you can read about it in Wikipedia. If the .410 was listed as a gauge, it would be a 67.5 gauge. (talk about useless knowledge).

A lot of people consider the .410 to be an expert's caliber. That's probably true when you're talking about wing-shooting. But, the .410 is a good caliber to start off a young recoil sensitive boy who wants to hunt with PawPaw and has shown that he's safety conscious enough to carry his own firearm. Turn a kid loose in a white-oak bottom with a .410 and a pocket full of shells, and the squirrels will know he's there, I promise. It's a good way to start a kid on small game hunting. In a year or two, he'll tire of the .410 and be ready to step up to a 20 gauge.

For under a hundred bucks out the door, I'm sure that the little shotgun will see lots of use with young boys over the next ten or twelve years.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fort Dix

For a few weeks in the late 1970s I was TDY at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Fort Dix was at that time a basic training center and troop movement post. Adjacent to McGuire AFB, it was a place for GI's to await a plane to Germany. I never went to Germany, but I did visit Fort Dix. It's a nice little fort in the New Jersey countryside. Lots of good restaurants nearby and you could catch a USO bus to New York city, or to Atlantic City, or Baltimore, or Philadelphia. That was a nice couple of weeks.

Fort Dix was also a place for people to protest. It's near the major metropolitan areas of the east coast, so it was a convenient target. One of the people who went there to protest was a fellow named Bill Ayers. Bill the Bomber. He intended to kill GIs at the enlisted club during a dance. He was going to bomb the place. Not content with killing GIs at a dance, he also targeted their wives and dates. Women. Bill wanted to kill women.

He was never convicted for those crimes. The cases were never prosecuted. That doesn't mean he didn't do the crime, just that he got away with it. He's on record as saying that he's sorry he didn't do more.

He lives in Obama's neighborhood. He and Obama were on boards together.

Frankly, I'd never serve on any board with Bill Ayers. If he lived around me, I'd snub him. If I saw him on the street, I'd talk to him like the scum that he is. As far as I'm concerned, he's a terrorist, just like bin Laden. As far as I'm concerned, he's a criminal, just like John Wayne Gacy. All the good he's done since then, all the education he's obtained, all the boards he's sat on, they're all for naught.

He's Obama's friend. Obama has a habit of throwing friends under the bus.

I'll never vote for someone who consorts with terrorists.

On-line training

The Lieutenant came by my duty post today and told me that we all need to complete an online course sponsored by FEMA. He gave me an instruction sheet, so I cranked up the computer and took the course. All about Incident Management. Big incidents, little incidents, all kinds of incidents. It talked about using multiple agencies for a common purpose and gave some pretty good pointers about how to get things done.

Understand, though, my first twenty years were spent in and around tiny agencies. Agencies so small that you had to have a good working relationship with the other agencies in the area to get anything done. I've worked incidents with six or seven different agencies all involved in a common purpose. In small town Louisiana it's the only way to get something done.

Then, in the past four years I've worked through the quadruple tragedies of Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. Multiple agencies working across jurisdictional lines and multiple disciplines (try blending law enforcement, fire responders, telephone, electrical utilities, and other disciplines after a tragedy) while protecting and preserving life and infrastructure.

There's very little that FEMA can tell us about Incident Management. We're darned good at it. Still, I took their silly little course. Now I have a certificate that says I know my job. Sometimes it is all about the paperwork.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Getting ready

Here in area 2 of Louisiana, the regular gun season starts Saturday morning, and I'm just about ready. Tonight I took out my hunting bag and made sure that I had the things I'll need Saturday morning.

There are some things I take to the woods anytime I'm hunting.

A GPS system.
A map
A good knife
A rifle
A fire starting system
A thermos for coffee.
Pogey bait. Snacks and such.

So, tonight, I got the bag out and made sure that I had things like fresh batteries and I rinsed the thermos that still smells of last year's coffee. Now that the bag is out, I'll probably tinker with it every night this week, doing things like sharpening the knife, making sure my hat gets in the truck along with my hunter's orange.

There is always a rifle that lives under the seat of the truck, a Winchester 94 along with a belt of ammo, but this year I'm going to hunt with the Savage 110 in .30-06. It's sighted, dependable, accurate, but I really should make sure it's oiled and in the truck. There's nothing worse than getting out of the truck and realizing that you've left the rifle at home.

The stand is ready and the feeder is working. I'm a lot more ready for this season than I've been the past several seasons.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Washing machines

A month or so ago, our washing machine started leaking. I replaced the pump and fixed the leak. This morning, it wouldn't drain the water. I siphoned the water out, took it outside and took the pump off. It had seized. Damn, damn, double damn.

About that time, the kids came for lunch, and we fed children and played with the youngest grandchild. Here he is, playing with his uncle Barrett.

Milady and I decided to buy a new washing machine and after lunch, hied ourselves to Lowes, where she decided on a GE washer. We got it home and hooked it up. It didn't work. Specifically, the washer would fill and drain, but wouldn't agitate nor spin. I loaded it into the pickup truck and took it back to Lowe's where I had a conversation with the return desk and they decided that the best course of action was to pacify the irate customer who kept threatening to write nasty letters to the corporate office.

We returned from Lowe's with a Whirlpool. It is running as we speak. Now I have to finish uniforms for this week and to bed. It's been a long Sunday.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday in the woods

I went out to the lease this morning for the opening of the deer season. Maybe I should qualify that statement.

The deer season actually opened in early October, for archery. It opened this morning for primitive weapons, and it opens next Saturday for the regular rifle season. This year, Louisiana has a really weird primitive weapons season. Basically, you can hunt with any single shot, breech loading rifle with an exposed hammer, as long as the design was standarized before 1900 and the rifle has a caliber larger than .38. The complete listing of the rifles approved for use is in a .pdf file here. So, that leads us to the bizarre experience of being in the woods for the primitive weapons season, with a .45-70 handi-rifle.

I remember when we had a true muzzleloading season where the firearm had to be a muzzle loading rifle with an exposed hammer that loaded with black powder or a substitute. No in-lines allowed. No scopes allowed. Those seasons sold lots of Hawken rifles. Then in-lines were allowed and those seasons sold lots of in-line rifles. In the past several months, lots of Handi-rifles were sold in Louisiana.

I didn't see anything this morning, but I really didn't expect to see anything. I took two grandsons, ages 6 and 11. We were putting around on the Mule, , filling feeders and checking stands. The kids played in a dry creek bottom while I worked and the cries of young voices, "PawPaw, come look!" weren't conducive to good hunting.

At any rate, we had fun. We did a picnic, explored a creek, scared all the game in the woods, and made it home safe and sound. Tonight, I have to work a high-school homecoming dance, so I'll need a nap before long.

Next weekend I'm not taking any kids into the woods. Their momma's will have to look after them while PawPaw hunts.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pore ole Joe

Joe the Plumber doesn't have a plumbing license, and it's taken the media about 48 hours to make that fact a well-known item.
And the county Wurzelbacher and Newell live in, Lucas County, requires plumbers to have licenses, but neither is licensed there, said Cheryl Schimming of Lucas County Building Regulations, which handles plumber licenses in parts of the county outside Toledo.
It looks like he might be an out-of-work plumber until he gets his licensing issues straightened out.

They told me that when Bush was elected, folks who brought up inconvenient facts would be crushed, and they were right.

Front sight math

Sometimes it's good to know how much area your front sight covers at a given distance and with just a few measurements it's fairly easy to figure. We all know that when we look at something at a distance, it appears smaller. A bullseye that looks large at 25 yards isn't so large at 100 or 200 yards. Also, that front sight tends to cover more area at 200 yards. But how much? Simple.

The first thing we need to do is measure the width of the front sight. For example, on my Handi-rifle with a 22" barrel, the Williams firesight bead I've installed has a measured width of 0.091" (measured with my calipers). I've also determined that when the rifle is shouldered in firing position, the sight is 30" from my eye. So, what I've described is an isosceles triangle, 30" long and 0.091 inches wide. How much width would that sight cover (subtend) at 100 yards? Simple. 100 yards is 3600 inches, and the equation looks something like this:

0.091/30 = X/3600. Solve for X.

So, if my math is correct, that 0.091 front sight, 30 inches from my eye, will hide 10.92 inches at 100 yards. It's good to have that knowledge when I take the rifle afield. Now, how might we use that information?

If a deer's heart/lung area is 18 inches wide, then the front sight will completely cover that eighteen inches at about 150 yards. So, if when I put my rifle to my shoulder, I can see boiler room on either side of the sight, then I'm probably within 150 yards of that animal. Of course, all distance estimates are just that... estimates. Still, it's good to have that little bit of extra knowledge.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dewey beats Truman

You know, the last time that the mainstream media was in the bag over a presidential candidate, they actually printed newspapers early trumpeting victory.

It's easy to see how that worked out. It ain't over until it's over. Dewey learned that, as did Gore.

It ain't over till it's over.

Main Street Banking

Some small, Main Street banks don't want the federal bailout.
Community banking executives around the country responded with anger yesterday to the Bush administration's strategy of investing $250 billion in financial firms, saying they don't need the money, resent the intrusion and feel it's unfair to rescue companies from their own mistakes.
Ain't that interesting? The small town banks who've been good stewards of the economy don't think that the bailout is a good idea, and they're resisting.
At Evergreen Federal Bank in Grants Pass, Ore., chief executive Brady Adams said he has more than 2,000 loans outstanding and only three borrowers behind on payments. "We don't need a bailout, and if other banks had run their banks like we ran our bank, they wouldn't have needed a bailout, either," Adams said.
Mr. Adams is right. When I was in Business school, they made us take a course on business ethics. My instructor grilled us like errant schoolboys, and many of us resembled that remark. The main lesson was that a businessman should be trustworthy and the consumers would reward that trust. One of the truisms of the marketplace is that value is based on perceptions. If the consumer percieves that a market segment can't be trusted, that consumer will vote against that segment with his investment dollars. Witness the crash last week. Lots of folks have lost confidence and the market reflects that lack of confidence.

Understand, much of what is going on in the market this month is about confidence. The other factor driving the market is that the market is punishing inefficient players. It's all about using other people's money and we're seeing a lot of volatility because the market is doing what it does best, driving inefficient players out.

Debate Tonight.

I understand that Obama and McCain are going to have a debate tonight.


There's plenty of time for McCain to make his case to the undecided voters and tonight would be a good time to start. Obama's got lots of problems, but I'd rather see McCain laying out his case rather than attacking. But, if he's going to attack, he needs to do his homework and make the attack devastating. Still, I'm not going to watch the debate tonight. If there is anything I need to see, I'll check it on YouTube later.

I'm taking Milady out for catfish tonight.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More voter registration issues

I see that Caddo Parish is having problems with voter registration. Not from ACORN, but a group called Voting is Power.

This appears to be kind of like a paper denial of service (DOS) attack. In a computer DOS attack, you overwhelm a server with piddling requests for service and legitimate users can't get through.
The fear here in Caddo is: The damage has already been done "What I'm afraid of is a lot of people think they are registered, and that's going to cause problems on election day," says Roberson. That's because many of the applications turned in, even with real names, were incomplete. A big headache that's resulting in thousands of man hours. "It costs money, democracy is very expensive whenever you have to sort through hundreds and even thousands of forms that are either duplicates or completely bogus that costs us time. Ultimately costing the tax payer money.
Here in Louisiana, registering to vote is ridiculously easy. We've got a Motor Voter bill and I've found it simple to register whenever I've had to change address at the DMV.

I think everyone should vote. The democratic process is better served when more people vote. However, when organizations like ACORN, or Voting is Power comes in on the latter days of registration and turns in hundreds or thousands of voter registration cards, it takes time to process those registrations. When a sizeable majority of them are incomplete, bogus, or duplicative, it takes time to sort through the mess and register those people who legitimately need to be registered.

Register to vote, by all means, but don't game the system. That's fraud.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spread the Wealth

According to Barack Obama, that's his plan. A plumber asked him about his tax plans yesterday, and this is what he had to say. Lets go to the video.

"It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody that is behind you, that they have a chance for success too. ... I think that when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

Yeah, okay. He's a real friend of small business, isn't he?

Dog Tags

Milady asked me today a question of military history. When did dog tags come into common use?

Good question.

As it turns out, the identification tag was first required in the US Army Regulations of 1913. By 1917 all combat soldiers wore an aluminum disk with their identifying information. The oblong disk came into use by WWII. We use a similar disk today.

Not surprisingly, Civil War soldiers were afraid of being killed without identification and obtained makeshift tags to identify themselves.
The commercial sector saw the demand for an identification method and provided products. Harper's Weekly Magazine advertised "Soldier's Pins" which could be mail ordered. Made of silver or gold, these pins were inscribed with an individual's name and unit designation. Private vendors who followed troops also offered ornate identification disks for sale just prior to battles. Still, despite the fact that fear of being listed among the unknowns was a real concern among the rank and file, no reference to an official issue of identification tags by the Federal Government exists. (42% of the Civil War dead remain unidentified.)
One common misconception about identification tags concerns the notch that is often found in WWII era tags.
One of the more common myths involves the reason for the notch on the tag issued between 1941 and the early 1970's. Battlefield rumor held that the notched end of the tag was placed between the front teeth of battlefield casualties to hold the jaws in place. No official record of American soldiers being issued these instructions exists; the only purpose of "the notch" was to hold the blank tag in place on the embossing machine. The machine used at this time doesn't require a notch to hold he blank in place, hence, today's tags are smooth on all sides.
I had heard that myth myself and probably told it as being true. It turns out, the notch was just design item for embossing.

I wore identification tags for a long time, and there is probably a set still in my military box in the attic.

And now I know the history of the dog tag. 42% of Civil War dead remains unidentified. Ain't that somethiing?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Inn the Mail

In the mail today, I got a feeler from the Brady Bunch. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. They want money from me.


Jim Brady got shot by John Hinkley, during an assassination attempt against President Reagan. I hate it for him, but none of the laws he's helped pass, or helped publicize, would have done one damn thing to keep John Hinkley from getting the gun he used to shoot at President Reagan. It's a shame, it's sad, and it's hard luck.

What Brady is pushing for in this mailer is money to fight the evil gunshow loophole. Let me tell you about the loophole. There ain't one. All dealers at a gun show have to subject sales to the NICS checks that they use at their home stores.

I've bought several guns a year over the past few years. Each time, I fill out a form 4473 and the dealer calls my information in. When the government tells them that he can proceed, the sale is then finalized. The same thing happens at gun shows.

The other thing that happens at gun shows, is that private individuals buy, sell, and swap firearms. Guys like me, who go to gun shows, might bring something to sell. Or, we might buy something from another patron. This is a private sale. Perfectly legal. Just as when jewelry is bought or sold at jewelry shows, or when cars are bought and sold at car shows. Perfectly innocent, perfectly legal, and not the government's business.

Indeed, the Brady Campaign is a private fund-raising organization that wants my money. In my opinion, they're misguided individuals who are trying to regulate my activities. Under the guise of trying to fight crime, they're trying to take away another privilege of a citizen. The attempt is despicable.

If Jim Brady really wanted to fight gun crime, he'd push for mandatory sentencing for people found guilty of gun violence. If Jim Brady really wanted to stem gun violence, he'd push for aggressive prosecution of people who use guns to commit crimes. Brady doesn't push for any of those things. He just wants to restrict my right to buy a gun at a gun show.

Oh, and he wants your money. Despicable.

Friday, October 10, 2008

From my buddy over at Mostly Cajun.
I was talking to a friend ’s little girl, and she said she wanted to be President some day.

Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, “If you were to be the President, what is the first thing you would do?”

She replied, “I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.” “Wow - what a worthy goal.” I told her, “You don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that. You can come over to my house and mow, pull weeds, and sweep my sidewalks and driveway, and I’ll pay you $50.

Then I’ll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food or a new house.”

She thought that over for a few seconds ’cause she’s only 6.

And while her Mom glared at me, she looked me straight in the eye and asked, “Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?”

And I said, “Welcome to the Republican Party.” Her folks still aren’t talking to me.

… Even children understand.

Check it out.

From the Dead Pelican, we learn that State Senator Derrick Shepherd pled guilty this morning.
At a hearing before the presiding judge, Shepherd pled guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Shepherd also resigned his Senate seat. Details on the way.
That's a federal money-laundering charge.

Like the Oyster, I bet he's singing as a part of the plea bargain. I wouldn't want to be any of his political cronies right now. Lots of corruption cases just seem to go on forever.

Of course, we have to play "Guess the Party", because it isn't mentioned anywhere in the piece.

Vote fraud

Voter fraud is as old as ballot boxes, and never easy to catch. It seems like weeks before this election we're bombarded with tales of potential voter fraud. Like this one, about people in Houston who are registered, but are dead.
Speaking in the dining room of the home in the East Little York/Homestead neighborhood where the couple moved in 1976, Hill said he didn’t know why or how the county would have recorded his late wife as voting three months after her death. He’s curious to know how it happened — and concerned about whether her identity has been stolen.
or this one in Indianapolis.
So we have 644,197 people eligible to be registered in Marion County/Indianapolis, and 677,401 people registered. Congratulations go to Indianapolis for having 105% of its residents registered!
Then there are the continuing ACORM stories.

Here in Louisiana we have a long history of stuffing the ballot box. I've even heard stories that at one point, a small town had an election and when the votes were counted, something like 110% of the eligible voters had voted. It was a landslide.

I'm not accusing the Democratic Party, although it seems like a lot of the voter registration troubles come from populations that are likely to vote Democratic.

And if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Remington acquired Marlin

I must have been asleep, but I went to my gunsmith's shop today and we were talking about firearms. I was talking about H&R Handi-Rifles and how versatile they are. He mentioned that they've been acquired by Remington.

"No", says I, "H&R is owned by Marlin."

"I believe if you'll check," sez he, "you'll find that Remington bought Marlin last year."

I came home and checked, and sure enough, Marlin owns H&R, and Remington owns Marlin.

Not that it makes much difference to me, or to much of the shooting public. I've owned all three brands in the past, and I've got all three in the cabinet right now. Remington, Marlin, and H&R all cater to different niches in the shooting world.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Based on the news reports and the ACORN story below, I was talking with my lady and we remembered being asked to register to vote when we were in Vegas this summer. We were at the Imperial Palace, with grandkids, taking them to the auto museum. This occurred during the last week of July, 2008.

In the lobby of the Palace, we were accosted by individuals who asked us if we'd like to register to vote. As I recall, the conversation went like this.

Her: "Excuse me, sir, would you like to register to vote?"

Me: "No, thanks. We're just visiting. We don't live in Nevada."

Her: "That's no problem, sir. You can still register to vote."

Me, laughing: "Nevada's residence requirements must be really lenient! No thanks." We continued on our way.

Based on the what I saw and what we read in the papers, the voter registration problems in Nevada are huge.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

ACORN again

I see that the FBI has raided the offices of ACORN in Nevada. It seems that they are suspected of fraud in voter registration. Imagine that.
Bob Walsh, spokesman for the Nevada secretary of state's office, told the raid was prompted by ongoing complaints about "erroneous" registration information being submitted by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, also called ACORN.
Erroneous registration information, huh? How interesting. Isn't ACORN the same group that has ties to Senator Obama in Chicago? I thought so.
Secretary of State Ross Miller said the fraudulent registrations included forms for the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys football team.

"Tony Romo is not registered to vote in the state of Nevada, and anybody trying to pose as Terrell Owens won't be able to cast a ballot on Nov. 4," Miller said.
Well, it looks like the Secretary of State in Nevada is doing his job.

Of course, we have to play "Guess the Party" when we talk about voter fraud. I wonder which party is most responsible for this fiasco?
Neither the group, which hires canvassers to register voters, nor any employees have been charged or arrested for fraud or other crimes, said Miller, a Democrat.
Oh, yeah! It's the Democrats.

According to the article, the FBI has investigations ongoing in Nevada, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Indiana, and other states. I wonder if those other states are battleground states? If so, the DOJ should rule that no one registered by ACORN is eligible to vote anywhere in the United States. Voter fraud is despicable.

The Market

I see the Dow fell again today, down 5% to 9447. It lost 508 points today. That's gotta hurt. I thought that the bailout was supposed to forestall the credit crunch, but we've got to give it time to work.

Or, in the alternative, the bailout did nothing to stop the slide and on top of the market re-adjusting itself we've burdened our national budget with an additional 800-something billion that we've got to pay back. Or our kids have to pay back. I wish Congress would have waited a while... deliberated, you know, like they're supposed to do?

In the meantime I've got to make some bullets for the .45-70. Life goes on.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Range Sunday

I went to the range today to verify zero on my Savage 110 in .30-06. This rifle sports a Weaver 6X fixed power scope and will be my primary hunting rifle for the fall. When I got to the range at about 1:00, it was virtually empty. By the time I left at 3:00, it was full, with folks standing along the back bench waiting for a spot on the shooting line.

In the .30-06 I'm shooting a reload that consists of R-P brass, 60 grains of Reloder 22, and a 165 grain boat-tail spitzer bullet with Winchester Large Rifle primers. This load gives me an average velocity of 2773 fps with a standard deviation of 11 fps. My ballistics program shows me that if it's sighted 3 inches high at 100 yards, it'll be 2 inches high at 200 yards and four inches down at 300 yards. Not to worry, there's no way I'll shoot any game animal at 300 yards.

I verified the zero on that rifle and it's still giving me 1.5 inch groups at 100 yards with my indifferent bench technique. This is a very good hunting combination and I'd feel confident with that rifle and ammo anywhere on the North American continent.

I also took out the new .45-70 Handi rifle and fired it with two BPCR loads. Both of these loads shoot very well in my Sharps, but in this rifle, those loads shoot like a shotgun. I'm getting groups with both loads in the neighborhood of 6" at 60 yards, and the group is centered about 6" above the point of aim. I have fitted the rifle with a Williams WGRS peep sight and the front sight is now too high. I'll have to call Williams tomorrow and ask them what type sight they recommend. They'll probably recommend a ramp and firesight.

I came home and cleaned rifles, then washed the dishes in the sink and cleaned the .45-70 brass. The cumulative effect of about 20 rounds of full-house 30-06 and twenty rounds of full-house 45-70 have given me a bit of a headache.

I think I'll have a wee dram for the headache and start getting ready for work tomorrow.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Satruday morning

I worked the Bolton game last night. Bolton lost to Winnfield, 28-8. My Bears break my heart.

Just after hurricane Gustav, which hammered a wide swath through Louisiana, my hunting buddy and brother-in-law told me that my deer stand, a tripod, had blown over. I've got to stand it up if I want to hunt out of it. That's not a big deal, but I've got to drive to LaSalle parish to do it, so the grandkids and I are heading that way in just a few minutes. We'll take a small shotgun, because squirrel season opened this morning.

Then, later today, I have to go vote against Rodney Alexander, that despicable human being. I swear, he is the worst example of a human ever to wear skin. The only thing I have is my vote, and I'm voting against him. He's going to win the election, and I know that, but I'm voting against him anyway. My only regret is that the Democrats didn't run a Blue Dog against him, so I could vote against Rodney twice. That would be truly satisfying.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Bailout Bill

I see from, that my representative, Rodney Alexander (R-LA) voted for the bailout. This comes a day after I personally called his office and asked to vote against it.

Well, okay. He's asking me for my vote tomorrow morning, so I'll return the favor. Some unknown is running against him, so the unknown gets my vote. I've always thought that Alexander is worthless, anyway. He's a political opportunist and probably needed a favor from someone, so he sold us out on this vote. That's nothing new for Alexander. He's generally despicable. This vote is just one more in a long line of despicable votes. He's heavy on pork, and that's the only thing that keeps him in office. He brags about how much pork he brings home to the district. Despicable.

Just so you know, the other congresscritters from Louisiana who voted for this debacle are:

Charles Boustany, R-7th
Jim McCrery, R-4th
Charlie Melancon, D-3rd

If any of those guys are running for office, they deserve our unequivocal disapproval. They're worthless, the whole bunch of them.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Lead Hardness

I need to cast some bullets and I'm in a quandry about what alloy to use. Last year sometime, I stopped by a printing house and asked the guys there about linotype. They gave me half a 5-gallon bucket of what they called "waste". It looks like little used pieces of linotype and on some of them you can see letters or punctuation along the edge.

The only problem is, I don't think it's real linotype. I measured it using a Lee Hardness tester and it measured at about Brinell 16.6 (the measured diameter was .056). I measured it twice and came up with the same measurement each time, then I measure some pure lead to make sure I was measuring correctly. The pure lead measured about BNH 7, so I know I'm close.

As I remember, the Brinell Hardness of various alloys are about:

Linotype = BNH 22
Lyman #2 alloy = BNH 16
Standard wheelweights = BNH 10 or 12
Pure lead = BNH 6-8

So, if those BNH numbers still hold, what the guys at the print shop gave me is an alloy they use that closely approximates Lyman #2. It ain't linotype, but I'm not complaining. I'm going to use this metal to make bullets for the .357 magnum, both for the pistol and for the rifle. It's going to be a 180 grain semi-wadcutter hunting bullet with a wide meplat.

I'm wondering if that alloy would be too hard for hunting bullets, or if I need to mix it with some pure lead? Or mix it with some wheelweight metal? Is Lyman #2 too hard to use as a hunting bullet?

I need to cross-post this question over at the Cast Bullet Assoc forum.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My Senators

I just called both my Senators, David Vitter and Mary Landrieu, concerning the bailout bill. I talked to a nice staffer in Vitter's office who told me that Senator Vitter has come out against the bill and will be voting against it.

When I called Senator Landrieu's office, no one was available to answer the phone. I had to leave a message. I told her that I am a constituent and asked her to vote against the bill.

Mary is running for re-election and I get to vote for or against her soon. When I called her office, no one was available to pick up the phone. This on an afternoon in which a very important roll-call vote is about to be called.

Kate Chopin House burned

Kate Chopin was a writer who lived a portion of her life in Natchitoches Parish. Her most celebrated work was The Awakening. It was a scandalous piece when published because it dealt with the sexual awakening of the primary protagonist. Kate is considered the first feminist writer, and is beloved of the literary folk of Natchitoches Parish. The Kate Chopin house is known as the Bayou Folk Museum and was located in Cloutierville, LA, Natchitoches Parish, an area rich with history and culture. Her collection of short stories, Bayou Folk, is studied today in literary circles as a recollection of bayou life in the late 19th century.

For twenty years I lived in Natchitoches Parish and made my home on Bayou Derbonne, near Cloutierville. The Kate Chopin house was a local presence, a landmark. My kids trick-or-treated on the front lawn of the house.

The house burned today. I understand that the original volume of Bayou Folk was one of the only things saved from the house.

Damn. Just Damn.