Monday, August 31, 2009

Throw the Bums out.

Rasmussen reports that if voters were given an opportunity to throw out the entire Congress, in one fell swoop, 57% would vote to fire Congress and start over.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% would vote to replace the entire Congress and start all over again. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure how they would vote.

Overall, these numbers are little changed since last October. When Congress was passing the unpopular $700-billion bailout plan in the heat of a presidential campaign and a seeming financial industry meltdown, 59% wanted to throw them all out. At that time, just 17% wanted to keep them.
The problem with a survey like this is that most people blindly vote for their incumbent who brings home the bacon. What they really mean is that they'd like to throw out everybody but their own congressman.

That's a damned shame.

Many congress-critters retire from office and some (like Ted Kennedy) die in office. They come to consider the office to be theirs and they like the power and prestige that attaches to being in Congress. They shouldn't like it so much.

For myself, I intend to vote against Alexander, Vitter, and Landrieu as soon as I have a chance. I consider all three of them worthless, for varying reasons.

We really should throw the bums out.

Hat tip, Alphecca.

AARP

From the Grouchy Old Cripple:



I loved that movie. Loved it.

Craft Distilleries

Courtesy of Say Uncle, I understand that Tennessee is going to allow something called a Craft Distillery.
Governor Phil Bredesen signed a measure to allow additional craft distilleries in Tennessee with potential for revenue and tourist development. Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Rep. Joe Carr (R-Lascassas) sponsored this measure.

Craft methods of distillation means everything is hand-made. Every brand, every bottling reflects the creative individuality of a single human being, working with small, hand-operated equipment: his quirks and insights, his special talents, his innovations.
Craft methods of distillation. Yeah. That's moonshine.

Daddy and Chester used to make moonshine at the body shop on Lee Street, back in the day. I understand that moonshining is legal now, if you're making it for your own use. I guess Gov Bredesenn is going to license moonshiners "for revenue and tourist development." Cool.

Still, it's moonshine. Those boys in Tennessee are good at making 'shine. So was Daddy and Chester, until the revenuers shut them down.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Research

I'm supposed to pick up my .30-30 Handi-Rifle next weekend and I'm doing research on pointed bullets in that caliber. Not surprisingly, most manuals tell me that I shouldn't use pointed bullets in that caliber because it's dangerous to load pointed bullets into a tubular magazine. With the point of a bullet resting on the primer of the next cartridge, recoil might set off a cartridge. That would be disastrous.

I understand all that and only use flat tipped bullets in my Winchesters. The Handi doesn't have a magazine. I can bend the rules a little bit in perfect safety.

I pulled down a Nosler reloading guide that someone gave me several years ago. In the .30-30 section, it told me that I should only use the Nosler 170 grain Partition. It's a round-nosed bullet designed for tubular magazines. Then, in a footnote, it told me that for more choices, I should reference the .30-30 data in the handgun section. Handgun section?

Darn right. There's three pages of data on the .30-30 with pointed bullets, referenced with a view toward using those bullets in the Thompson Center Contender. What amazed me was the powder selections they listed. The usual suspects where there too, stuff like Reloder 7 and IMR 3031, along with Varget and several others. A wealth of data on pointed bullets in the .30-30, from 125 grains to 170 grains.

But, the most accurate powder tested? IMR 4895. I happen to have an eight pound jug of that on the powder shelf.

This is going to be fun.

Sunday Morning Dawg

This morning we awoke to overcast skies and 70 degree temps. Autumn is in the air, this the last couple of days of August.

It's cool outside and the humidity is at about 90%. Milady might need a jacket for the church this morning. After waking for the past six months to the standard "eighty degrees before eight o'clock", the chapel might be chilly.

The dog often sits in the hall while Milady is dressing. Guarding the door, as it were.



We'll be on the way to church soon.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

No Danny

It looks like Danny collapsed himself into a low pressure system. He's hammering New England with rain and 10-20 mph winds. He's not a hurricane any more, and not much of a tropical storm.
After encountering unfavorable conditions for development, Danny was absorbed into an extra-tropical low early Saturday morning. Danny continues to play a part in some rough weather across eastern New England where heavy rain and chilly 10-20 mph winds will continue into Saturday evening.
So much for Danny.

Hurricane season isn't over, and we should all continue to watch the weather, either on the internet, or TV, or radio. Whatever turns your crank.

But, this isn't shaping up as a particularly interesting hurricane season.

Saturday at the Lease

We loaded up this morning and I took four grandkids to the deer lease. I put out a salt block on the shooting lane (a huge pipeline) and installed a corn feeder. We met my brother-in-law and went with him to his stands and put out salt. Then we went to the camp, where he had a barbeque pit going. He had been out early and put on a couple of racks of ribs. I brought hot dogs and sandwich fixings.

I meant to bring a camera and take some pictures. Oh, well, maybe next time.

The boys chose hot dogs and sandwiches. We menfolk ate pork ribs, tater salad and beans. One thing about that lease. If you bring something, it'll get thrown on a pit and everyone shares the grub. I left the hot dogs on the cool end of the pit. The guys promised me they wouldn't be wasted.

I'm home now with one more errand to run, then I see a nap in my future.

Some states forbid the feeding of game animals. I probably spend a hundred dollars or so each year on corn alone. I feed all the wildlife that wants to use my feeder. I know for a fact that squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, deer and hogs use the feeder. There are probably a number of birds who slip in and get a couple of kernels of corn every day. I start the feeders in late August or early September and let them run until sometime in late February. By March in these latitudes, spring is coming on and the woods are starting to green.

I don't see any harm in using feeders and Louisiana allows it. I didn't shoot a deer last year for one of several reasons. I don't get out to the lease except on weekends and shortly after the opening of the season, the deer are pretty much nocturnal. Feeding them certainly doesn't hurt.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Honore?

The Peripatetic Engineer tells me of a rumor that retired LTG Russ Honore might run against David Vitter in the Republican primary for the US Senate.

I googled it and found an article from the Bayou Buzz.
In a breaking story, The Louisiana Weekly and Bayoubuzz.com have learned that the hero of Hurricane recovery, General Russell Honore is seriously considering entering the Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate seat against incumbent David Vitter. Honore, a Republican since the Reagan Administration and a registered Louisiana voter from his Zachary home, has spoken to friends and supporters in the last two weeks signaling that he is, according to one, "more than 50% sure that he will run."
That's interesting.

You might remember General Honore as the general who famously told a reporter, Don't get stuck on stupid." during a post-Katrina news conference.

Honore might be someone I could support.

Furniture

Milady's friend, Susan, was in need of a dresser, a chest of drawers.

Milady found one at the local action, a four-drawer chest. It looked kinda rough, but Milady sanded it down and refinished it. I got called in on the project to make a small repair.

It was rough as a cob when she started, but I think it turned out nicely.



There is some really pretty wood in that chest.

Humor

If you've ever worked in customer service, you know that the customer is not always right. Sometimes, the customer is wrong, dead wrong, totally and completely wrong.

I was surfing around and found a site that reports memorable customer exchanges.

Not Always Right. It's over 200 pages of craziness.

Enjoy. I'll be adding it to the blogroll.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Weird Hurricane Season

This is shaping up as a strange hurricane season. The last two named storm targeted... New England. If you look at the forecast cone for Danny, you'll see that he has a chance to hit Boston. It's on the western edge of the forecast cone.

Tropical Storm Bill, just eight days ago, hit Canada. Canada, of all places. Who'd a thunk it?

This is a weird year for hurricanes.

Melancon announces

Representative Charlie Melancon (D-LA) announced today that he'll challenge Senator David Vitter in 2010 for US Senator, according to The Dead Pelican.

Lovely. I'm no Vitter fan and I'm not a Melancon fan either. I'll have to vote in this race with one hand holding my nose.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Annoying

This sumbitch is just annoying. He's held up several banks and the FBI is looking for him. They're putting his picture on electronic billboards hoping someone spots him and calls it in.



I'm happy to do my part. If anyone sees this scumbag, call your local constabulary or the FBI. The FBI number is 423-282-8090. He's described as a white male, about 25 years old, 5 feet 9 to 5 feet 11, 170 to 175 pounds. He has short, reddish-brown hair and an unshaven goatee. He hasn't hurt anybody yet, but we need to get this idiot behind bars.

Now, if you look closely at the pistol, you might notice that the slide isn't far enough forward. The gun won't shoot like that. The specific condition is known as "out of battery" and can be caused by any number of things. It seems to be a Taurus, too, although that isn't a distractor. Taurus generally makes good pistols. All this shows is that this guy is a larger idiot than most. He's giving bank robbers a bad name.

Hat tip to Tam. Lets get this guy picked up quick. BOLO.

Quarter bores

I bought a Ruger last year in .25-06. It was one of those deals that's just too good to turn down. I played with it for awhile, got good accuracy, had fun with it, then gave it to one of my kids. I like the caliber, I really do.

For years, I've been jonesing for a .257 Roberts. The maximum overall length of the cartridge is shorter than a .308, which leads me to believe that the Roberts would fit in a short action, but everything I've read tells me that it'll just barely fit in a short action and if I want to seat 100 grain bullets out far enough to take advantage of case capacity that I'll have trouble stuffing it into a short action.

If I'm going to have to use the long action, I'd just as soon have the .25-06.

The plan is one project down the road. My next project is already in process, so this quarter-bore fixation will have to wait. What I plan to do is to find a good used Savage action in a pawn shop somewhere and build a rifle. A light, short, hunting rifle. Shilen makes replacement barrels for the Savage platform and I can get one in any number of chamberings.

I guess what I'll do is see what type action I can find at the best price. If it's a short action, I'll have it chambered in .250 Savage. If it's a long action, then I'll have to decide between the Roberts and the .25-06. At any rate, that's a decision for the late winter/early spring.

Dead

I understand that Ted Kennedy died. Senior senator from Massachusetts. Liberal Democrat.

Mamma always told me that if you didn't have anything good to say about someone, say nothing at all.

Condolences to his family.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pork chops and rice

Slow day today on the news front. Our President is on vacation and he left the lunatics running the asylum. It was a busy day at work and I'm happy to be home. Every police officer judges a good day when he returns home safe at the end of shift.

So, my thoughts turn to supper and rifles. Two subjects near and dear to my heart.

Tonight, it's pork chops and rice with blackeyed peas and cornbread.

Milady seasons the pork chops, rolls them in flour and bakes them in margarine (oven-fried?). Then she takes them from the oven, sprinkles onions and bell pepper in the baking dish, adds rice and chicken broth and puts the chops back on top. She bakes the whole thing until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.



The blackeyed peas are cooked with tasso, a cajun salt pork.

Cornbread is just cornbread.

Add a glass of iced tea and you've got one of the finest Deep South suppers imaginable.

I'll think about rifles later, but quarter-bores are on my mind.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Canada Geese

Last winter we had a flock of Canada geese winter over on our pond.

This afternoon I watched a gaggle of Canada geese, six to be exact, fly over the neighbor's house and land in the pond. We've got a couple of resident grey geese who live here year round, but the Canadas are transient. Milady has a bottle of Grey Goose in the whiskey server, but I digress.

I wonder what's happening up north that those geese felt compelled to head south?

Neanderthals

We're Neanderthals now, according to Maxine Waters (D-CA), who says that Senate opposition to our President's healthcare plan can be won over by a tough stance. Then Waters made a public appeal to Obama.
"The people of this country elected you and gave you a Democratic majority in the House and the Senate. . . . Yes, we know that you are a nice man, that you want to work with the opposite side of the aisle. But there comes a time when you need to drop that and move forward," Waters said. "We're saying to you, Mr. President, 'Be tough. Use everything that you've got. Do what you have to do. And we have your back."
She's right. The Democrats have commanding majorities in both houses. All they need do is call it to a floor vote. Own it. But Waters saves her best shot for the Democrats who oppose the President.
"Not only are we going to do everything we can to organize and put pressure on the senators -- some of whom are Neanderthals -- we're going to say to the president, 'We want you to use every weapon in your basket in order to get those senators to do what they should be doing,' " Waters said.
Neanderthals. Dude!

I can see the new headline now.
Opposing the President. So easy a caveman can do it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lawmakers and the Public Option

The Washington Post puts up an admittedly unscientific poll this morning, but one that asks a question that lots of folks would like to weigh-in on.
Do you think lawmakers should be forced to use the public option if it's left in the health care reform legislation?
Oh, absolutely. I think lawmakers should be forced to be subject to any law that they legislate.

Right now, it's running about 83% thinking that lawmakers should be forced to use the public option. I'd like to expand that to everyone who draws a paycheck through Congress. Staff, aides, everyone who goes to work in a Congressional Office. Let's give them the opportunity to ride that donkey.

Sunday Morning Dawg

We awoke to mild temperatures in Central Louisiana this morning. 65 degrees on my back porch. Milady is completing the crossword puzzle on the back deck and the door is open, letting the cool fresh drafts into the kitchen.

The dog, who is normally on the wrong side of the door (whichever side he's on, he wants to be on the other side), has free run of the place this morning.

Here's a shot for the sisters.



In a few minutes I'll have to start moving, putting on socks and a better shirt for church. Yesterday was extremely busy, but I got a lot of work done. We did some mowing at the deer lease, then on the way home Milady called me and asked me to come to the local auction. She had made some purchases and needed the truck. We went to the auction, loaded her plunder and took it to the step-son's house. Then I came home and mowed the yard. Supper and bed, I didn't move until almost seven o'clock this morning. Decadence!

This afternoon, Milady has a project with friends Pat and Jerome. I'll be without adult supervision. Unless something pressing comes along, I'll probably gravitate toward the range.

Y'all play nice today.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sales Tax Holiday

Louisiana is having a 2nd Amendment Sales Tax holiday during the Labor Day weekend. All guns, ammo, hunting and shooting paraphernalia will be tax-free (state tax) that weekend.

I ordered a rifle yesterday and told the counter guy I'd pick it up on the Labor Day weekend. For the past couple of years I've wanted a .30-30 Handi Rifle. I've got two Winchester 94's and I love to shoot them. They both wear Williams peep sights. One rifle is sighted for a load that duplicates the Remington green box 170 grain load and the other is sighted for my 311041 load. The bead front sights on those rifles subtend 6" at 50 yards, which is fine for general shooting, but doesn't generate a whole lot of benchrest accuracy.

I'm going to put a scope on the Handi rifle and load pointed (spitzer) bullets. I've always been curious about how well a .30-30 could shoot and I intend to find out. I intend to load some 130 grain spitzers, some 150 grain spitzers and play with loads a little bit. I'm sure that I'll run some of my 311041 loads through it too.

When I'm through satisfying my curiosity, it'll become a grandkid rifle. We can decide if it gets a low power scope or a Williams peep sight.

Friday update

It's Friday, and PawPaw is going to commence happy hour in about another hour. It's been a long week. I think I'll run down to AW's and get a couple of catfish plates.

Tomorrow morning I'm taking the tractor to the deer lease. It's time to put the bush-hog on the shooting lanes. I should get back in the middle of the afternoon.

Y'all have a good weekend.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Yo! Bill!

Hurricane Bill is a dangerous Cat 4 hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean. He's still five days from landfall, if he makes landfall at all. The only problem is that warm water fuels a hurricane and all the charts I'm looking at say that Bill is set to travel over warm water during the next 48 hours. There is a big bubble of warm water off our east coast and Bill is headed toward it.



We in Louisiana start worrying about a hurricane a couple of weeks, certainly a couple of days before it makes landfall. The folks on the east coast may not have seen a real hurricane in several years. In some places, several decades. From my decidedly unprofessional, amateur perspective, Bill might go ashore as far north as Massachusetts. Here's another map.



Ain't that a hell of a note? Bill's going to be one to watch.

Which reminds me. I haven't started the generator in a month or so. Momma's was started a couple of weeks ago. I better start laying in some gasoline. We might have a storm our self before this season is over.

Obama supports offshore drilling.

It looks like our President supports offshore drilling. His administration is poised to loan $2 billion to an oil company to exploit a large field off the coast. It's American oil, but only in the South American sense. According to the Wall Street Journal.
The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil's Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil's planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.
Sweet.

Our President will loan money to a foreign oil company to produce in their seas, but he won't let US oil companies drill in our seas. He'll loan money we don't have to the Brazilian company, but won't let our companies buy leases to drill our own proven reserves.

Yeah, he's going to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Got it.

Turns out, there's a Soros connection. It seems that George Soros company stands to profit handsomely from a position in preferred stock with the Brazilian Petrobras.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hummingbirds

Milady and I have hummingbirds. Zoomies. They spend more time fighting than anything else and this afternoon we had five zooming about the back yard, fussing and fighting over the two feeders we've got in the backyard.



This little gal has been staking out the territory and defending it against all comers. Sorry about the picture quality, but she's a little nondescript bird with a simple line of white on her tail. My Momma calls that coloration a petticoat. It's a dreary grey day outside, with rain drizzling. We need the moisture, but it plays hell with the color on the camera.



We're having great fun watching the birds.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Stiffing the dealers

You know, the Cash for Clunkers program. Congressman Joe Sestak says that the government has paid the vouchers on just 2% of the claims sent in by the dealerships.
The federal government has only reimbursed auto dealers for 2 percent of the claims they've submitted through the popular "cash for clunkers" program, a Pennsylvania congressman said, calling on the Obama administration to help speed up the process.

Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., called for "immediate action" to address the problem in a statement Sunday, after writing a letter to President Obama Saturday expressing his concerns.

In the letter, Sestak said only 2 percent of claims have been paid and that four of every five applications have been "rejected for minor oversight."
That's atrocious.

Arguments can be made that the bureaucracy set up wasn't prepared for the massive interest in the program, and that it's just a matter of time before the claims are paid. That is, if we give the administration the benefit of the doubt.

An argument can also be made that the administration should have had the bureaucracy in place, firm rules, and easy to understand forms ready to go when the program kicked off. It really didn't matter which month they started the program. Waiting till the downstream parts were ready should have made a lot of sense. This is, as I understand it, a 3 billion dollar program that any number of competent accountants should have been able to handle.

Taking the argument a step further, we can argue that an administration that couldn't competently handle a 3 billion dollar car give-away has no business proposing a trillion dollar healthcare package. There's no reason why the administration can't slow down, get it right, make sure everything is in place and ready to go. There is no reason to rush on trillion dollar health care if they can't successfully run a 3 billion dollar car program.

Constitutional

There's lots of discussion today about whether or not ObamaCare is constitutional.

I say no, based on the 10th Amendment, but I would have said no if someone had asked me about President Johnson's Great Society. I'm a strict constructionists and a fan of the 10th Amendment. Along with the previous nine.

Gotta run to a funeral, but the constitutional question is interesting.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hunter Ed

The grandson completed the Hunter Ed course this morning. There were about 80 students in the class, all ages from 10 years old to adults.

This shot from the shooting portion of the class. Hunter Education is very popular in this state.



Here's a shot of grandson doing the shooting portion. They were using Charles Daly shotguns. I thought that was interesting. Shooters had their choice of 12 or 20 gauge.



Both genders were well represented, with about a third of the class from the feminine persuasion. Lovely things all. I got permission to take this photo from a lady who was taking the course to hunt with her husband.



It was a morning well spent. Grandson is qualified and another hunter is in the fold.

Just lovely.

Obligatory Guy With a Gun Post

I'm sure by now you've all seen the pictures of the guy who showed up at the New Hampshire rally wearing a pistol. Carrying a sign. Minding his own business.

I'm also sure you've seen the pants-shitting hysteria from the news media. If you haven't, go over to Xavier's or Tam's blogs and read all about it.

It amazes me, truly amazes me that people get concerned when someone carries openly. I was raised in the Louisiana tradition that firearms were supposed to be carried openly, that if you chose to conceal a weapon you probably had a nefarious purpose. Our state Constitution embodies that concept in a stunningly simple article, and I'll quote the whole thing here for your edification.
Section 11. The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged, but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on the person.
Simple, no?

Working stiffs, people who hunted carried their weapons openly. Folks who carried for a living, like cops (for instance) and ranchers and farmers who might need a firearm carried openly. If you saw someone walking down main street with a firearm over their shoulder, it simply meant that he was heading toward the gunsmith in the next block. However, folks who hid their weapons probably had trouble in mind.

I know all about the recent ideas on concealed carry. The tactical considerations and the arguments on both sides. I also know about the pants-wetting scaredy-cats who get the vapors if they see a gun displayed publicly. I myself am as likely to carry a concealed weapon as I am to carry one openly. My choice, my option.

Milady and I were once at a function, and someone asked her if I were armed. Her reply was simple, "He's got his pants on, doesn't he?"

I remember once a conversation with a district judge from a rural parish. Someone was complaining about a guy on the street with a shotgun over his shoulder. The judges reply: "And? Is he hurting anyone with it? Leave him alone. This is still Louisiana and it's not against the law to carry a gun."

But, the guy in New Hampshire? So what? He's carrying openly. No big deal, no sweat. I think it's totally unremarkable. What I do find amazing is the reaction from the folks who think otherwise.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hunter Education

I've been through three Hunter Education courses with my children. I sat through the fourth one, but didn't get a certificate because the instructor and I agreed that it would be redundant. I went through the last one in about 1995.

Tonite, my grandson starts the course. He's 12 years old and that's old enough to sit through the course. He'll pay attention, because he knows that PawPaw won't understand if he fails. He already knows the Four Rules and I'm confident of his safety.

It's time to bring a new generation into the fold.

Demagogue

Now we're demagogues. That's what our President says.
(CNSNews.com) - At a joint press conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Guadalajara, Mexico on Monday, President Barack Obama referred to American opponents of amnesty for illegal aliens as “demagogues.”
In fairness, I don't know the context, but calling people names, especially those folks who disagree with you, isn't right.

I expect the President to be a better man than that. I didn't vote for the man, but it would be nice if he'd refrain from name-calling.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Town Talk - The wheels are off.

The Town Talk's editorial today claims that the wheels have fallen off the health-care train.
The wheels just came off the health-care train that Barack Obama has been high-balling through Congress. It's been derailed because the president went off script and spoke the truth.
We can only hope that the wheels are off this highball.
At Tuesday's televised town hall meeting in New Hampshire, the president (looking to show his critics that he can work without a TelePrompTer) proceeded to go free-style, and he compared government-run health care with the government-run postal service.

Obama said private enterprise was doing just fine in its competition with the U.S. Postal Service.
And it is. It's easy to compete with the postal service. The Postal Service is a bloated bureaucracy that drains the taxpayer. If Fedex and UPS were allowed to deliver first-class mail to your front door mailbox, we might see meaningful competition. However, US law doesn't allow that.
Half-awake viewers could see the wheels on the Obama Express starting to wobble, but even the sympathetic audience in Portsmouth did not have a chance to do anything about it. The president had spoken the truth about government-run operations, and stopped his health-care reform plans dead on the tracks.


We can only hope that it's dead on the tracks. I'll believe it when I see the President make a statement that the time isn't right for health care reform.

Actually, I'd like to see the Congress fix Medicare. Constitutional concerns aside, it's hard for me to watch Medicare and know how terribly it's performing. Milady works for a surgeon who accepts Medicare patients. A couple of weeks ago, they got a check from the government for reimbursement and the check bounced. I'd say that if government is going to be in the business, they'd better fix what isn't working before they try to expand the program.

Evil-Mongers

It seems that those of us who protest ObamaCare are evil-mongers according to Harry Reid, who coined the term recently.
“It was an original with me. I maybe could have been less descriptive,” Reid said. He also said, “I doubt that you’ll hear it from me again.” But a few minutes later, he couldn’t resist a sardonic little joke. “I feel I haven’t done anything to embarrass them,” Reid said of his children. “Except maybe call somebody an evil-monger.”
So, now protesters are evil. That's a big change from the line that dissent is patriotic.

Harry Reid seems to be a nasty, hateful little man. Who stands for re-election next year. If we're lucky, the good voters from Nevada will run his butt out of office. Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.

Les Paul died

I learned today that Les Paul has died.

He was an extraordinary guitarist and influenced a lot of guitar design and a lot of guitar players. He'll be missed.



In the above video, he starts with "Birth of the Blues" and Chet Atkins joins him.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Forbes: West Point beats Harvard

That's not news, although I'm impressed that Forbes realized the caliber of education at West Point. The United States Military Academy is a magnificent educational facility, cranking out officers who fight our nation's wars and keep our nation's peace.

Cadets there know the meaning of Duty, Honor, Country. While they have stumbled over the years, they've never fallen and they continue to provide some of the most magnificently educated officers in the world.

Now, if they could just beat Navy.

Another windchime

Eldest son came over this evening with another windchime. This one is about twice as big as the first, and the sound is better. While the first one had a delicate sound, this one is a little louder.



The flatware is from the aunt's collection. The tea pitcher is one from Milady's collection, from a partial set she found at a flea market.

Looks good, doesn't it?

UPS and FedEx are doing just fine.

Aaand the President makes a fine point.
"UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It's the Post Office that's always having problems."
Exactly, you dumbass.

UPS and Fedex are doing just fine. They've revolutionized the small package delivery market and competed handsomely with the Post Office.

Our point is that the markets decide what is best and people vote with their dollars. I bet that if UPS and Fedex could get in the First Class Mail business, the Post Office would really have problems.

However, delivering the mail is one of the constitutional requirements of the government. Health care isn't. Leave it alone. If you get the government in the health care business, they're gonna screw it up.

World Class Reporting

Via Michael Silence.
TVNewser has learned, and a CNN spokesperson confirms, that in his morning editorial meeting today, CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein asked his show producers to avoid booking talk radio hosts. "Complex issues require world class reporting," Klein is quoted as saying, adding that talk radio hosts too often add to the noise, and that what they say is "all too predictable." (Via BC)
Looks like they've decided to alienate a potentially large audience.

I understand that complex issues require world-class reporting and that's why I quit listening to CNN years ago. CNN quit being a world-class agency sometimes after Desert Storm. All they do is add to the noise, and they're all too predictable.

Long, hot summer

The Congress critters are out, beating the bushes to try to drum up support for Obamacares. They're getting an ear full.

Here's one video of Arlen Specter getting an ass-eating from a constituent.



It's a good ass-eating, too. Then Specter tries to say that he doesn't have to do these town hall meetings, that he doesn't get any extra pay, and the crowd rips him, reminding him who he works for.

This is the arrogance of entrenched Congressmen, either Representatives or Senators. I think that come the next election cycle, we ought to throw the bums out. Put them on the unemployment line. Then, in the next Congress, the first legislation taken up should repeal all pensions, payments, and emoluments for any living elected official.

Screw 'em and let 'em die hungry.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wind chime

Several months ago, Milady took possession of some of her aunt's silver. Mismatched pieces that weren't really usable as a set, but had sentimental value as belonging in the family. She started agitating to do something crafty with them, so my son took them to his place to work with them.

My son is a metal worker, and on Saturday he unveiled the first of several wind chimes made from the Aunt's silver. I think they're well executed and fairly artistic. A cream pitcher, four relish forks and a stainless steel server. Some chain, and voila, you've got a wind chime.You can click on the picture for a bigger version.



I think he did a helluva job.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sunday A.M.

My head hurts and my nose is running. Sneezing like a banshee.

No, I didn't make it to church this morning. I've got to take down some of the party stuff and clean up the aftermath.

Then, we're heading to Opelousas to help a friend move into an apartment.

Joy!

In other news, the dog doesn't seem too excited about much of anything. What I'm doing involves neither food nor his ball.



That pic is for the sisters.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Happy Hour

Milady and I do so much with the grandkids, we thought that tonight might be a good time to host a little happy hour for friends. Grandkids, or children of any stripe are particularly not invited.

We're going to chip and dip and have cocktails available. When I finished stocking the beer fridge today I thought that a picture might be appropriate.



Top to bottom, we've got Bud Lite, Miller Lite, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Guinness Draught, a couple of bottles of wine, and soft drinks for those who aren't drinking beer. There's bottled water in the crisper drawer. I've laid on a half-gallon of Crown Royal, a half-gallon of Bacardi Rum, and a couple of fifths of vodka. We're having everyone bring a favorite dip and a bag of chips. There's orange juic and Milady is freezing a gallon each of margarita and pina colada. That should be sufficient.

Festivities commence about seven. We'll continue until the police arrive to talk about neighbor complaints.

Slow Cooker liners

Last winter, I was working a basketball game at the high school. I wandered over to the concession stand and noticed that the ladies there were using some sort of liner in the slow cookers they used to heat chili and cheese.

I was intrigued. I love using my slow-cookers, but the clean up was always a hassle. Not with these liners. When the game was over, they took the liner out and gave the cooker a quick wipe. Easy Peasy.

Slow cooker liners. I love these durned things. Some folks tell me that they've been on the market for several years, but I didn't learn about them till recently. You've got to look for them, but those little blue boxes are in lots of stores. They've certainly changed the way I use a slow cooker. Look for them on the aisle with the zipper bags.

My only gripe is that I wish Reynolds would box them in boxes larger than four. If they made a big box of a dozen or so, I'd buy the big box.

Mixed Messages

I understand that the President told us that he wishes that the folks who created this mess would just sit down and shut up.
Yesterday, at a rally for R. Creigh Deeds in Virginia, President Obama said: "I don't want the folks who created the mess do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don't mind cleaning up after them, but don't do a lot of talking."
I guess he's talking about Congress. They passed the laws. Or maybe he's talking about Barney Frank, who was literally sleeping with a Fannie Mae executive while being in charge of regulating the industry. Then again, he might be talking about Chris Dodd, who was taking sweetheart loans from the industry. Or maybe he's talking about the Clinton Administration, who first allowed the use of credit default swaps, one of the financial instruments that dragged us into the current recession.

It's certainly true that the Republican Party had a hand in this fiasco, but when you go to the roots of the current financial problems, with every shovel-full of dirt, you turn over someone who is currently sitting in Congress. Most likely on the Democratic side of the aisle.

The better lesson to learn from our President's latest quote is that he'd prefer to demonize the opposition. For all his talk of building bipartisan coalitions, he would really prefer that the opposition keep quiet and give him free rein. He views democracy as a distraction and would prefer that his nay-sayers fade quietly into the background.

That isn't likely to happen.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Punch Back

That's what the White House is telling the Democratic Senators. "Punch back twice as hard." Good advise from a President who wants to heal the divide that separates us.

Looks to me like the only people doing any punching are the SEIU labor organizers in St. Louis.

I know that health care reform is one of the keystones of the President's agenda, but demonizing the opposition isn't the answer. Nancy Pelosi recently said that she thinks that we're Nazis. I'd be outraged if it weren't so laughable, but the very idea that she considers us anything other than the vocal opposition is disturbing.

There is a corollary to Godwin's Law that says that the person who first invokes the Nazi conparison on a web forum is automatically the loser. I'm invoking that law and declaring that on health care, Nancy Pelosi is the loser. I consider her a loser anyway, but her comparison of us to the jackboots is additional evidence that she isn't fit to represent anyone, much less be the Speaker of the House. Were I a Democrat, I'd be agitating for her ouster.

It's bad enough that the Republicans self-destructed when Bush was in office. Now I'm watching the Democrats commit political suicide.

It's Friday night and I intend to get into the whiskey. We've got a big weekend planned with Saturday and Sunday booked fairly solid.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Chain

We were in the woods a couple of weeks ago and my truck got stuck. Not bogged, but simply couldn't gain any traction on the wet grass of a pipeline we were scouting. Thankfully, we were reasonably prepared and had the truck moving in short order, but I realized at that time that I didn't own any chain.

Chain, of all things, is a durable good. Very seldom will anything happen to a chain that can't be fixed. The worst that might happen is that it might be lost, or stolen. I've bought a good supply of chain in my lifetime, and when I noticed that I was temporarily chain-less, I decided to do something about it.

I went today to my local hardware store after work. I've been trading with them for the past seven years and they've treated me fairly at every turn. I like a good hardware store. So, I went inside and asked the lady for 20 feet of chain. Nothing fancy, just some 1/4 welded link chain that I could put in the truck. And a couple of clevis for the end. When she rang it up, I almost had a stroke right there at the register.

Seventy dollars. Actually $71.70.

Just damn!

Guilty

How about that? Jefferson is guilty on 11 of 16 counts.

How's that for a culture of corruption?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Too well dressed

Babs Boxer, that nitwit from California, says that the recent protesters are too well dressed. Seriously.

I thought that dissent was patriotic.

It seems that the opposition is using Obama's own words against him and he's got his Health Reform Office trying to track the opposition. They want people to let them know when they get emails or other communications that "are fishy".

And, for Congressmen trying to get the word out, it seems that lots of folks are giving them an earful.

In other news, PawPaw went back to work this morning.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

New Zogby/O'Leary poll

According to a new Zogby/O'Leary poll, an overwhelming majority of Americans support the right to bear arms.
An overwhelming majority of Americans (83 percent) support concealed-carry laws, while only 11 percent oppose them. A majority of Independent voters (86 percent), Democrats (80 percent), young voters age 18-29 (83 percent), Hispanic voters (80 percent), and those who voted for President Obama (80 percent) support the right to carry a firearm.
Those are pretty serious numbers.

In addition, that same poll asked about Supreme Court justices who might oppose the Second Amendment and the voter backlash that's likely to occur.
Fifty-two percent of American voters would oppose the re-election of any Senator who votes to confirm a Supreme Court nominee who does not believe in the right to keep and bear arms. Only 26 percent of voters would support such a Senator.
That's interesting.

With the confirmation of Judge Sotomayer on the docket, those numbers are some that our Senators might take counsel from.

Hat tip to Say Uncle.

Reading is hard

Reading is hard, according to Congressman Paul Hodes (D-NH).
Regarding critics who argue that lawmakers do not even read the bills they are voting on, Hodes said it’s not realistic to expect members of Congress to read every bill word-for-word, as Congress took more than 2,000 votes in the session that ended in December.

He said although he has read much of the legislation, staff summaries in many cases are thorough and accurate as to the major points. Attempting to read every word of every bill would be counterproductive, he said.

“I think you would slow down the business of Congress to a crawl and it would be hard to get done what needs to be done. It’s not necessarily the major problem with the way Congress functions.”
Slowing Congress to a crawl wouldn't be a bug, it would be a feature. How much more legislation do we need, anyway?

We need to run these idiots off. Reprehensible.

Shop rags

I am forever puttering around my garage, tinkering with this, fixing that. Whenever you're working around a shop, one of the things that is always in short supply is rags. Rags to clean with, rags to wipe your hands, rags to wipe down parts, to clean guns, to use for any manner of shop related work. I'm a frugal sort and I won't spend money on rags. Back years ago, I used old worn-out Curity diapers. Those things are like hen's teeth and expensive collectibles nowadays.

Tee shirts are a usable alternative and once a year or so I'll cut up a bunch of old tee shirts to make shop rags. Worn out, thread bare, stretched, stained, faded, they make great shop rags. I can get eight rags from each tee shirt. Four from the front, four from the back. Seven tee shirts gives me a stack of 56 shop rags and I'm good for another year.

When I go to Wal-Mart this afternoon I'll need to pick up some new tee shirts.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Long, hot summer

I see that it's becoming a long, hot summer for our Representatives. Constituents are demanding to be heard and the politicos aren't willing to listen. This one paragraph is particularly telling. From US News:
In what pro-Obama NBC News referred to as Cops Bamboozle Old Timers to Leave Feinstein's Office, staffers working for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., had the police remove a group of retirees from the senator's office in West Los Angeles. The seniors, who wanted to talk with Feinstein about healthcare reform, would not leave when asked, even after sitting in her conference room "for more than six hours." Whichever side of the issue they were on these retirees exhibited a kind of intensity of commitment that the political class will not be able to ignore. And which is becoming the norm at town meetings across America.
It's a shame when elected representatives don't have the time to talk to their constituents, and it's becoming the norm, rather than the rule.

We've got a political class in this country who thinks that they should be granted deference for some perceived superiority. The fact is that an elected representative is hired by the people and is answerable to the people. Calling the police on a peaceful group of people is contemptible.

Constituents everywhere should make a concerted effort to throw the bums out of office. For myself, I intend to vote against Landrieu, Vitter, and Alexander at the next opportunity. Almost anyone else would be better than those reprehensible clowns.

Hat tip, Instapundit.

Robin Hood

Remember him? Robs from the rich to give to the poor? That's one way to look at it.

This is the other way.

Well Done! Yes, I know the story is fiction. Still, it's a rousing tale.

We all know Robin to be an allegorical figure, but I've always been captivated by what purports to be his epitaph, carved on a stone at Kirklees Priory.
Hear undernead dis laitl stean
Lais Robert Earl of Huntingun
Near arcir der as hie sa geud
An pipl kauld im Robin Heud
Sic utlaws as hi an is men
Vil England nivr si agen.

Obiit 24 Kal Dekembris 1247
Poster stolen shamelessly from SondraK.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Update Cash for Clunkers

I learn this morning that the Gummint is trying to extend the C4C program because it is so wildly popular. Giveaway programs are often wildly popular and demonstrates the folly of such things. Government doesn't have any money except that they take from us, so having them extend a program doesn't cost them anything; it costs us.

Even so, you can't trade in your full-size Ford pickup for a new full-size Ford pickup. The gummint doesn't allow that. You've got to trade in your full-size pickup for something with better gas mileage. Unless you know how to game the system. Here's how it works. Looks perfectly legal to me.

Basically, you trade in the gas-guzzler pickup and take possession of a nice little economy car. You've got your $4500.00 rebate. Then sell the damned thing. Even if you lose a thousand on the new car, you're still ahead on the pickup deal. Then take that chunk of cash and go put it down on a new full-size pickup.

It'll take a little finagling, a little planning, but it's do-able.

As for myself, I don't buy new pickup trucks. I let someone else drive the new off of them and buy used pickups. My '01 F150 had plenty of miles left in it.