Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Ruger Revolver

Last year, just before Christmas, I got a call from my favorite gun store.  An anonymous donor had bought me a gift certificate, and I needed to come in an pick it up.  What a deal.  (I've since learned who the donor was, and I've thanked them profusely.)  When I went in to pick up the gift certificate, I happened to look down in the case, and saw a Ruger Super Blackhawk that had recently come off pawn. At a very attractive price.  I immediately put the Ruger on layaway and picked it up a couple of days later.

What can you say about a .44 magnum revolver that hasn't already been said?  It's a big honking revolver with a 7.5 inch barrel and it shoots a big ole bullet.  Personally, I use just one bullet in this revolver.  Lee's 240 grain tumble lube, semi-wadcutter.  They cast out at 0.430 from my wheelweights and I use them in both specials and magnums.

Of course, I immediately had to dig through the books and work up some magnum loads.  I settled on 19.0 grains of  2400 powder and that big semi-wadcutter and I found that I could drive them to about 1350 fps.  Recoil was interesting, but the load is accurate.  Then I started digging around for a suitable .44 special load and stumbled across a load that Skeeter Skelton recommended.  7.5 grains of Unique under that same bullet.  Skeeter's load chronographed at 970 fps with great accuracy.

Today, I ordered a holster from Midway USA.  An Uncle Mike's Sidekick holster.  Nothing fancy, just a good solid carrying holster.  There's no danger of my trying to conceal this particular revolver, so an outside-the-pants holster will do fine.  I've got plenty of Skeeter's load ready for the woods.

I believe that with just three loads, this revolver will do anything I ask it to do.  I've got the big magnums in case I ever decide to tackle something heavy.  Or if the nephews want to try their hands at recoil.  I've got Skeeter's load for about 95 percent of the handgun tasks I might ask of this revolver.  And I'm going to load some of Junior's shot cartridges for snake duty when we're cruising the early fall woods.

That holster should be in the mailbox next week.  I think that this is the revolver I'll use as a 4-wheeler gun this winter.  It ought to do just fine.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Behind

I am woefully behind on the prep for hunting season.  My stands haven't been prepared, my shooting lanes haven't been cleaned, my feeders languish in the backyard shed.

I did manage today to load some ammunition.  .30-30 Winchester.  I prepped 50 cases of Winchester brass, and loaded them with the Speer 130 grain Hot-Core bullet.  This load shot really well out of the Handi-Rifle and I'm hoping that accuracy will transfer over to the Winchester 94 I keep for jacketed loads.

I am not tinkering with the Win94 I've got sighed for cast-bullet loads.

Squirrel season starts Saturday in these parts and I will not be participating in that opening ritual.  I haven't hunted squirrels in six or seven years, primarily because it's been so hot for the past several years.  This year, the woods are bone dry and walking through them would be like walking on corn flakes.

I plan to get to the range on Saturday and do some final sight-in work on the Handi and that Winchester 94.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beef Tips and Rice

This has got to be the easiest recipe we've come up with. And, it's a hit for a bunch of meat-eaters.


Beef Tips and Rice.

2 lbs lean stew meat
4 packages McCormick brown gravy mix.
One ceramic slow-cooker. (Crock Pot is a registered trademark)

Mix McCormick gravy to package directions.
Put stew meat in the slow cooker.
Add the gravy.
Cover, heat on low for eight hours.

Seriously, that's it. I cut the meat into bite-size pieces, but if it's cut small enough, you don't even have to do that. Maybe add a little salt or pepper if you want to.  We put it on this morning before work, and this afternoon when I got home, the house smelled like wonderful.

The dog is waiting patiently for his ration.  He thinks he's going to get beef tips, and he's probably right.

In another hour, I'll put on a pot of rice.  We'll serve it with corn and brown-and-serve rolls on the side.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Longer School Years

I see that our President is pushing for longer school days
U.S. schools through high school offer an average of 180 instruction days per year, according to the Education Commission of the States, compared to an average of 197 days for lower grades and 196 days for upper grades in countries with the best student achievement levels, including Japan, South Korea, Germany and New Zealand.
"That month makes a difference," the president said. "It means that kids are losing a lot of what they learn during the school year during the summer. It's especially severe for poorer kids who may not see as many books in the house during the summers, aren't getting as many educational opportunities."
I really don't think that the length of the school year is the President's business.  That's a state concern.  For that matter, I'm on record saying that the US Department of Education should be abolished.  If it weren't for the educational meddling that the US government has foisted on the states over the past several decades, we probably wouldn't be in the educational mess we're in now.

Created by Jimmy Carter in 1979, the DOE has done nothing but meddle in the education system ever since. Each President since has compounded the insanity of that department, culminating with George W. Bush' No Child Left Behind.

If President Obama wanted to make a mark on K-12 education in the United States, he'd immediately announce the abolition of the DOE and return education to the states, where it belongs.

Cooler Weather

When I awoke this morning, it was 60 degrees on my back porch and as I type this it's not yet 80 degrees.  The weather report says that we're supposed to have cool weather for the next several days.

Milady just went into her closet, looking for a sweatshirt.

I'm sure we'll have many more days of hot humid weather before winter sets in, but I'm really enjoying this cool snap.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Taco Soup

We're making Taco Soup tonite, a dump-and-go recipe that feeds lots of people quickly. Which is good, because the grandkids will be over here in about 30 minutes.

The complete recipe is in this link, a blog post from earlier this year.  This is the first Taco Soup of the season, so Milady must think it'll be getting cooler soon.

Silly Politics

My good friend Jerome Scott is the mayor of Pollock, LA.  This afternoon he hosted a reception for Governor Bobby Jindal.  The Governor was in town to announce some infrastructure grants for Grant Parish, LA and have a meet-and-greet session with the local folks.  I'm not a Grant Parish resident, but I got invited, so I put on a coat and tie and showed up.

It's no secret that Milady is no Bobby Jindal fan.  She and he are miles apart politically, and she once worked for him when he was head of DHH in Louisiana.  To say that she dislikes him is understatement.   So, like a dutiful husband, I worked around and asked the Governor if he'd indulge me for a photo.  Of course, he was happy to do so.


There's PawPaw, Governor Jindal, and Milady in a Sunday afternoon reception.

When I was setting up this photo, I happened to speak with a state trooper, a guy I know who was on the detail today.  "I'm going to try and get a photo with my wife and the governor.  She doesn't like him much, so I hope she doesn't kidney punch him."
"Tell her if she does," the trooper said, "she'll learn all about Tazers."

She didn't, thankfully, and the event was a success.  I know that Bobby showed a lot of leadership during the recent BP disaster and I think that he's good for Louisiana right now.  The residents of Grant Parish got a needed boost for things like waste-water treatment, and Bobby got his picture taken with a lot of good folks.  It was a win-win for everyone.

Sunday Morning Dawg

There's a night-time ritual where we put the garage door down and start locking doors.  The dog, of course, knows these rituals and knows when it's time for bed.  He hides under the buffet.

Ain't that pathetic?

He's the Hiding-Under-The-Buffet, Sunday morning dog.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ruger Mark II

This is a pistol I don't shoot nearly enough.  It's fun to shoot, cheap to feed, and requires all the skills necessary to fire any pistol.  Yet, it often languishes in its case, primarily because it does its job so well.



Ruger started his firearms empire with something we call the Standard Pistol in 1949.  It looked a lot like my Mark II, with a few changes inside.  My Mark II was made sometimes after 1982.  I bought this example in a pawn shop in 2005, the last year that Ruger made this model.  In 2006 he introduced the Mark III, which looks about the same, but again, there are internal changes.

It's a great pistol for teaching kids to shoot, simply because they don't have to worry about recoil and can focus on things like sight alignment and trigger squeeze.    Below, Grandson Ethan is trying his hand at the little pistol. 


I really need to take this little pistol out to the range more often.  One bit of trivia.  I had this pistol at the range one day and noticed that it shot a little bit low.  I was talking with a guy who I know to be an old-time gunsmith.  He told me that Ruger designed the front sight to be just a little bit high, so that once you settle on your preferred ammo for the little pistol, you can file the front sight to suit your particular ammo.  A touch of cold blue on the top of the sight blade and the pistol will be sighted for that ammo forever. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Update

A couple of weeks ago, I brought home a stray German Shepherd.  A beautiful white dog.  I took him to the vet, got him checked out and his vaccinations updated.  We started him on heartworm preventives and did all the smart things.  Then, after three or four days we discovered that he wasn't a good fit for the place.  He was simply too big for my back yard and was becoming just a tad aggressive with our little dog, Beau.

Still, he was a beautiful dog and we didn't want to take him to the pound.  We started looking for a permanent home and after a week of searching, we found one.  An adult daughter of a friend of ours lives in the country with a large fenced back yard.  She loves Shepherds and doesn't currently have one.  She is alone half the time because her husband works offshore.  Plus, when she saw the dog she fell immediately in love with him.  Milady and I are very pleased that he's got a home where he'll be loved, have room to play and will soon become part of a stable family.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jambalaya

It's been several years since I talked about jambalaya, a Louisiana recipe from the Cajun people.


I got hungry for a jambalaya today and on the way home, I decided to make one. So, I stopped at the store and picked up the ingredients.

One chicken, whole.
One pound of smoked sausage
Some onion
Some bell pepper
Some celery
A bag of rice

You can use the raw vegetables if you want to, and Lord knows I've chopped my share of onion and peppers. Today I picked up a bag of what is called Seasoning Blend. It's chopped onions, peppers and celery. We cajuns use a lot of onions, peppers, and celery. My father-in-law called it the Trinity of Cajun Cooking.

I've got the chicken boiling right now, and in just a few minutes I'm going to cut that sausage into rounds. About a half-inch thick. Then, in a black iron dutch oven, I'm going to fry the sausage by the simple expedient of putting it in the hot iron pot. No oil necessary. Then, when the sausage is cooked, I'm going to add my vegetables and sautee them with the sausage.

The dog, of course, will be dancing under my feet the whole time.

Before too long, the chicken will be boiled and the water I used to boil it will be chicken stock. So, I'm going to peel the chicken from the bone and add it to the sausage. Sautee everything together, then add three cups of rice and three cups of chicken broth. Some folks like to make a roux and add it. Some don't. Tonight, I added a little dry roux mix to my chicken broth. I'm in the mood for a brown jambalaya.

Cook it covered until the rice has absorbed the liquid, then serve. You can cook it on the stovetop, or cook it in the oven. It doesn't matter. Tonight, I set a 350 degree oven, and I'll let it sit in there for about a half hour then check it.

Whoo, it's good.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gratuitous Gun Porn

I was posting on the forum over at The High Road and was looking through some pictures of my revolvers, trying to illustrate a point.

Two shots of a revolver I really like.



Then, a more traditional photograph.



I picked this revolver up from a hunting buddy several years ago when he just HAD to have a stainless steel revolver. I actually paid him more than he was asking, because I have to hunt with him and I told him that he was undercutting the price rather severely to move it.

I feed it a load that features a custom 180 grain RF bullet, with L'il Gun powder. That big bullet rolls out of the revolver at about 1200 fps, which is plenty good medicine for just about anything I might encounter in the local woods. That same load can be used in my Marlin 1894 at 1595 fps. When you touch it off, especially from the revolver, you know you've got a magnum in your hands.

Republican Pledge to America

I see that the House Republicans are about to unveil a Pledge to America, which looks a whole lot like a platform. Some of the key points:
Jobs:

- Stop job-killing tax hikes

- Allow small businesses to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income

- Require congressional approval for any new federal regulation that would add to the deficit

- Repeal small business mandates in the new health care law.

Cutting Spending:

- Repeal and Replace health care

- Roll back non-discretionary spending to 2008 levels before TARP and stimulus (will save $100 billion in first year alone)

- Establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending going forward

- Cancel all future TARP payments and reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Reforming Congress:

- Will require that every bill have a citation of constitutional authority

- Give members at least 3 days to read bills before a vote

Defense:

- Provide resources to troops

- Fund missile defense

- Enforce sanctions in Iran
That looks like a good start.

Now, if they'd make a few small changes.
-Abolish Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

-Abolish DOE

-Abolish BATFE


That would be a platform.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fourteen months

This guy is blogging about carrying a firearm for fourteen months.
It is now a about fourteen months since, after receiving my second death threat, I started carrying a firearm almost constantly. This experience has taught me a few truths, some merely amusing but others with larger implications.
It's a good read. He talks about some truths.
The major lesson: people are amazingly oblivious to what they don’t expect to see. When I carry using a belt holster (not my only method), I watch peoples’ eye movements and facial expressions for this pattern: eyes going to my right hip, momentary startlement or an increase in tension. This would mean the shirt I’m wearing flapped over the pistol butt has ridden up and it’s exposed. But, in fact, with only one exception that I’ll get to, I have never seen this. On the other hand, there have been occasions when I’ve noticed by touch that the weapon was exposed, or my wife has told me it’s showing, and nobody around me gives any sign of having noticed.
That's been my experience too. Once you're comfortable carrying, no one seems to notice, even when the gun is inadvertently exposed.

I've been carrying for so long now that my children don't remember ever NOT carrying a firearm. It's something that I do every day. My wife doesn't remember me NOT carrying a firearm. It doesn't make me any stronger, or weaker, or better, or smarter, it's just part-and-parcel of who I am and what I do. Many of my friends don't know I carry. Most of my acquaintances don't know or care, because it's never an issue. They never see the gun so it doesn't exist in their minds.

When you start carrying a firearm regularly, you'll feel ill-at-ease in certain situations because you know you're carrying and you'll feel slightly tense, as if you're waiting for someone to notice. When you become more comfortable with the unaccustomed weight and forget about it, you'll find that the rest of the world doesn't even realize that you're carrying.

Playing with numbers

According to the AP, the evil Senate Republicans voted today to block key legislation that would have overturned the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.
WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked legislation that would have repealed the law banning gays from serving openly in the military.
Oh, really? The way I understand it, that amendment is tied to the defense spending bill, which doesn't require the supermajority. Any 51 senators can write it into law, and the Democrates have 57 at last count. If they want to pass it, all they've got to do is bring the whole bill to the floor and have at it. But then, they couldn't blame the evil Republicans.
Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas sided with Republicans to block the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also voted against the measure as a procedural tactic. Under Senate rules, doing so enables him to revive the bill at a later date if he wants.
Harry Reid himself voted against it. But it's the Republicans who are blamed in the article.

Here's the deal. The Democratic party holds majorities in both the House and Senate. If they want a bill passed, all they've got to do is to pass it. Especially a spending bill, which doesn't require 60 votes. The simple fact is that they haven't even passed a budget this year. They're afraid to pass a budget this closely to the upcoming elections. They're afraid that the electorate might hold them accountable.

And, the headline from the AP shows that they're still carrying their water. All the editors at the AP should be fired.

I'm holding them accountable regardless. The entire Congress is filled with quivering cowards and idiots. The simple math shows that the Senate and House both have enough votes to get this done. But they don't want to do it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pocket Litter

A meme from Say Uncle, which shows how terribly short of blog-fodder I've been lately.



That's my Model 60 on top of the pile, along with a a wallet, a checkbook, a badge-carrier, my cell phone, a memory stick, a pocketknife, cell phone, keys and loose change.

That's pretty much my standard walking-around load.

Long day

Even though it was only eight hours, they worked my butt off today. I probably walked five miles, broke a theft, recovered some property, handled a security problem or two, and caught up on office gossip. PawPaw's tired.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What I'd Say

Milady and I were driving down the road and this song came on the oldies station.

It's been a long time since I've heard it, and I've always liked it.



Enjoy.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Feigned indifference. I bet if I offered him a snack, he'd look at me.



He's the Not-Looking-at-PawPaw, Sunday Morning Dog.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday catching-up.

Milady is at the auction, and I've been working on paperwork for the church. We've got a Charge Conference coming up, and the district has rather detailed instructions on how to complete the paperwork. It's a good review of all things that have to do with church administration, and I have a couple of questions for the pastor. We've got two weeks till the conference, so we're in pretty good shape.

At least everything is organized now.

Between scratching my head and wondering what the District wants, I managed to take the dog for a walk in the front yard. He was fairly enthusiastic, as he always is when I take down the leash.



Back to the paperwork.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dry, Dry, Dry

The weather around here has been dry for the past several months. The grass is just about dead, and I refuse to water grass. I was doing tractor maintenance by the pond today and happened to notice the water level. It's lower than I've ever seen it, about three feet lower than normal.



See that spit of sand on the far side of the pond? That's normally in about a foot of water and bream bed on it in the springtime. That's where the grandkids and I do our cane-pole fishing.

Here's another shot, looking toward the spillway.



It's easily three feet lower than normal. I'm told that cattle are grazing on the flat bottom of Catahoula lake. That used to be a normal occurrence before they put in control structures to try to stabilize the water level, but you've got to have some water to stabilize it.

It's dry in Central Louisiana.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What a suprise

Tea Party backed candidates are doing well in Republican primaries, ahead of more entrenched Republican candidates. Delaware and New York come up in the upset category, where outsiders have defeated more established politicians. Add some other upsets around the country and we're seeing that conservative Republican voters can make a difference.

It will be interesting to see how this stacks up in the general election. Delaware is a true-blue state and the Republican candidate this morning is fairly conservative. Whether she can beat the Democratic opponent is still up for grabs.

There are some who question whether it's better to support a more middle-road candidate who stands a better chance of getting elected. In the Delaware election, Christine O'Donnell is not favored to win over Democrat Christopher Coons, but she wasn't favored to win the primary election either.

I myself have quit voting pragmatically in favor of voting my conscience. I'm going to vote for the person who best articulates my beliefs in limited government. During the last gubernatorial election in Louisiana, Bobby Jindal was the hands-down favorite and he won handily. I didn't vote for Bobby, because I thought that there was a better candidate. My candidate lost. So be it.

Still, the voters surprised the Republican party yesterday and they woke up to a whole new reality. That's the way it should work. We've got to remind them from time to time that they work for us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In the Mail

In the mail yesterday I found some bullets from a poster at a gun forum, for the life of me I can't remember his login name, but he lives in Mount Hope, AL. I don't use real names here unless I have permission, so you'll understand if I don't name him.

They're cast lead, .45 caliber 185 grain truncated cone bullets. I happened to mention on that forum that I was thinking of trying some, so he emailed me and said he'd drop a double-handful in a USPS box and send them on. They're good looking bullets, with one grease groove and they've been tumble lubed.

No, I haven't weighed or measured them. I'm going to load them with Bullseye and try them next week. I've got to be at the range anyway, so I'll take the opportunity to try them out.

To my friend in Mount Hope, many thanks. I'll let you know how they shoot.

The New Dog

I took the new dog to the vet this afternoon to get his immunizations started and to make sure that he is healthy. The vet looked him over and proclaimed him to be just fine. We took some tests and he's wormy, but we've got medicine to clear that up. Started him on a heartworm preventative, got his rabies and distemper shots. The doc believes that he's about two years old, based on his size and teeth.

He seems to be a pretty good dog, but he's huge. Seventy-six pounds by the vet's scales. The vet believes he's a German Shepherd, and says that there is a line of white Shepherds in the area. He treats three or four of them on a regular basis.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bonus Dawg

The boys and I went over to Momma's place yesterday to do some mowing and when we got there we found a dog. A big white Shepherd type dog, roaming the acres. We asked Momma about him and she said he'd just turned up at the place. He's a friendly enough dog, and played well with the kids. The boys and I finished our chores and we went our separate ways.

This morning at church, Momma told me that the dog was still hanging around the place and that while he's a good dog, she doesn't need a good dog. She had checked with her neighbors and doesn't seem to belong to anyone there. He's either a drop-off or a really lost stray. So, after church, Milady and I went over to see about him. He wound up getting in the car with us and coming home.



Barrett and I gave him a bath and he tolerated it well. He's seemed to make friends with Beau, and it looks like he's going to live in the backyard.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Chasing the ball.



Sometimes, you gotta keep your eye on the ball.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you?

Where were you when the world stopped turning, that September day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Koran burning

Have y'all been watching this silly-assed story about the pastor of the tiny church in Florida who said he intended to burn a Koran on September 11th?
First, Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who set the world on edge with plans to burn copies of the Koran on September 11, said on Thursday that he had canceled his demonstration because he had won a promise to move the proposed Islamic centre near ground zero to a new location.
Then, he decides to not burn the Koran, and of course, the media is on scene to record his every utterance.
Then, hours later, after learning that the project’s leaders in New York had said that no such deal existed, Jones backed away from his promise and said the bonfire of sacred texts was simply “suspended”.
Then, the reporters in the hot sun outside the church snap when the pastor comes out to make another pronouncement.
“Are you just toying with us to get attention?” asked a sweaty woman in a suit, crouching near the hot grass to keep out of the shot of multiple cameras over her head…

“Why did you give this two-hour window?” came a shout from another side of the scrum.

“So will you say you’re going to burn a Koran anytime you want press coverage?” snapped a reporter with a German accent…

“You’re just using us! We should all leave!” someone yelled from deep in the media pack.

Silence – for a moment. “Yeah! Let’s all leave!”

Jones’s response: “Fine, we’re not press hungry, go!”

But no one moved, until Jones turned and shuffled back to the church.
This has got to be the most nothing story the press has ever followed. Who cares what some dumbass pastor in Florida might or might not do. The press made this story and it's grown legs all past its social relevance. Who gives a damn what he does? He's a nothing pastor in a nothing church in Florida. Yet due to press interference, he's had the Vatican weigh-in, he's had the President weigh-in, he's got the entire Muslim world inflamed.

It's just about the most pathetic thing I've ever seen. And it's the press' fault for picking up the story in the first place.

Remembering

Monday, September 10, 2001 was a regular day. I was a shift supervisor in the jail and my crew was on the night rotation. Mondays are normally pretty quiet nights with the offenders tired from the days work and the normal easy enforcement activity of a regular Monday, we didn't have many new bookings that evening. We got off at 5:00 a.m. and went home on Tuesday morning. I didn't realize I'd be awakened by the phone at about 7:45 central time and be told to turn on the television. I stumbled out of bed and turned on the TV, walked in to the kitchen to make coffee, then walked back to the TV in time to see the second plane hit the towers at 9:03 eastern time. I lay on the couch the rest of the day, in shock at what I had seen.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Fireams Blog

If you're not a regular reader of The Firearms Blog, you should be if you like things gunny. There's no politics, no current events, except as they affect the shooting industry. Whether you like the latest tactical whatever, or the coolest new shotgun, or the best entry level rifle, you can find it all over there.

Today, he talks about a Ruger rifle in 7.62X39. American shooters haven't learned to love this round yet because it is the primary caliber of our historical adversaries, but it's a wonderful little round. Those folks I know personally that use it in the deer woods tell me that it's a devastating little cartridge that whacks deer as well as the old standby .30-30.

If you scroll down a little bit, you'll learn about a new edition of the Ruger 10/22, the Boy Scout edition.



It's basically your standard Ruger with a special stock. I bet they sell a bunch of them as presentation firearms to the Boy Scouts.



It looks like a fun little rifle.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Part of the Problem

There's a lot of discussion about the economic problems we're having, and Junior asks a cogent question in comments.
So did Obama cause this economic disaster we're having or did he inherit it and is desperately trying to fix it?
That's a good question.

Most of our problems today came from the Bush era. Not that G.W. Bush was responsible, but they happened under his watch. As I understand the current problem, they started several decades ago, when the Congress forced banks to give loans to people who couldn't afford to pay for the houses they were buying. FOr a good history of the problem, go here, and see that there is enough blame to go around. The guy who was supposed to be in charge of oversight was Barney Frank, who at the time was actually sleeping with an executive from the agency he was in charge of overseeing.

G.W. Bush tried to warn Congress that the housing bubble was unstainable, but they failed to do anything about it, and in fact, Barney Frank continued to defend Fannie Mae until the whole world was laughing at him. If, in fact, the blame can be laid at Bush's feet, it is only that he didn't sound the alarm forcefully enough. The problem lies with Congress, and that's why I don't vote for incumbents any more. They all share the blame, severally and as a group.

When the housing bubble collapsed, Congress tried to prop it up. We poured billions of dollars into unsustainable loans that should have been allowed to default. We poured more billions of dollars into companies (like GM and Dodge) that were suffering from building products that the public didn't want to buy at the prices they wanted to sell them. Then we had the "Cash for Clunkers" program which didn't really turn the car market around, but only pushed sales forward a couple of months, and totally devastated the used car market.

On top of it all, government spending went crazy. Everyone bemoaned the Bush deficits, but the simple fact is that Obama makes Bush look like a piker. The most current charts I can find show that under Obama, deficit spending has exploded.



Now, it's fashionable to lay that on the cost of the Iraq War, but the simple fact of the matter is that the cost of the stimulus under President Obama dwarfs the cost of the Iraqi War.



Add in all the increased government regulation under the current administration and the projected costs of National Health Care, and you have a business climate where uncertainty reigns. Business doesn't know what Obama is going to do, so they're hedging their bets. Business are closing, employers are laying off people.

Today, the President outlined another huge spending plan, when it's becoming increasingly apparent that government spending is killing the economy. He intends to spend another $50+ Billion, when we don't have that money to spend. Even Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a huge Obama supporter, said today that the middle class is in real trouble.

President Obama has been in office now for almost two years. This economy is his, for better or for worse.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Vote Buying

I see where our President is trying to roll out a $50 Billion stimulus in the form of roads, railways and runways. $50 billion. That's a lot of money.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A combative President Barack Obama rolled out a long-term jobs program Monday that would exceed $50 billion to rebuild roads, railways and runways, and coupled it with a blunt campaign-season assault on Republicans for causing Americans' hard economic times.
Who's going to pay for it? Guys like me and you.

It's strange that he's rolling this program out, just when the polls are tanking for him and some pundits are predicting a change of Congress in just 60 days. Odd isn't it? Purely political.

I was talking this weekend with a small businessman. He's been in the economy for several decades but he's got two jobs left, then he's shuttering the business. He claims that he and his contemporaries believe that Obama is trying to wreck the economy and they're not sure what the business climate will look like like after January 1st. What with the healthcare mandate and the extremely poor business climate, he's shuttering his business before Christmas. He claims that he's not alone. That several of his friends are getting out, too. My friend is in his late 60s, so he'll call it retirement, but claims his decision is based totally on the business climate of the past year and what he foresees for the next two years.

Bourbon Street

When I go to New Orleans, I don't spend much time on Bourbon Street, unless it's crossing to get to another location. While Bourbon is an iconic location, the seediness just doesn't do anything for me. I don't mind seedy, but Bourbon Street takes it to a whole 'nuther level.

However, our brother-in-law wanted to get a drink at the Old Absinthe House, the site of Jean Lafitte's bar on Bourbon Street, so we wandered down there to get a drink. Absinthe is a green liquor that tastes like licorice. While it's not my preferred drink, they also pour bourbon whiskey, so that's what I had.



As we wandered the street with the drink in our hands, we stopped to watch a street magician. Of course, my camera tended to focus on young lovelies and somehow this lady got caught in the lens.



Before long, the crowd got too thick for our tastes, so we walked toward Jackson Square before heading back to the hotel.

Monday, September 06, 2010

The Mighty Mississippi

The Mississippi river is the major waterway in the South. It drains over half of the United States and when it reaches Louisiana it is hard to get away from the fact that it is an economic powerhouse. New Orleans sits on the east bank of the Mississippi, but because of a frivolity of nature and the way the river bends and meanders, the river actually flows north from near the French Quarter and when you're looking across the river, you notice that the morning sun is in your eyes. That's right, dear pilgrim, looking across the Mississippi from the Canal Street wharf, you're looking east and the river is flowing north.

Not for long, though, because it quickly changes direction and heads south toward the Gulf of Mexico. Still, it's jarring to look across the river and everything seems backwards. Go to a good map and look at the river. It doesn't make any sense, but there you have it.

Still, walking from Canal Street, onto the levee, you're jarred with how much river traffic moves along that vast waterway and the relative size of the vessels. For example, just this morning I watched this big freighter make the turn headed upstream. She was empty, judging from how high out of the water she seemed to be, bound upstream for the grain fields, or scrap yards, or who knows what she would be carrying.



Then, minutes after she had cleared the bridge, we find a jaunty little fisherman, headed downstream with nets in her rigging.



If you look beyond the little fishing vessel, you'll see lines of barges lining the west bank of the river, loaded with all manner of raw materials. New Orleans is an industrial port, and all you need do is walk up the levee from the tourist pits to see the raw power of his huge river. I could sit and watch it all day.

Home again

We just walked in the door from the New Orleans trip and as much fun as we had, it sure is good to be home.

I took a few dozen good pictures and we'll be reviewing the trip this week, but first, a couple of photographs for my buddy, Junior.

We'll start with a little barmaid we found at a sports bar on the Riverwalk. I know Junior loves red headed women and this one was nearly perfect.



She's a sweetie, with a wonderful smile and a steady hand when pouring beer. The fact that she's a freckled redhead made it all the better.

Then, today at lunch, we went into a bar near the Old French Market and found this little lady, who was also very friendly and gave us excellent service. Her kitchen makes a mean hamburger, also.



Her name is Jen, and she should get rich on tips.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Sunday Morning Dawg

We were cooking sausage last week. Ball Park franks for the kids, and some andouille and bratwurst for the adults. Of course, the dog had to have his share.



My sentiments exactly.

He's the eatin-sausage, Sunday Morning Dawg.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Friday afternoon

Milady's brother lives in South Florida. Pampano Beach to be more precise. He's coming up this weekend to visit his Mamma in Jena, but there's always a side trip.

No one loves oysters more than Brother Bill and he claims that you can't get good oysters in Florida. Lots of good seafood, but no good oysters. So, Brother Bill stops in New Orleans on every trip to Louisiana and spends a couple of days wandering the French Quarter and eating oysters.

So, Milady and I are leaving in the morning, heading to the Big Easy. We're staying at a nice place on Canal Street, directly across from the casino, within easy walking distance of most of the French Quarter. We'll be wandering the streets, watching the crowds, eating seafood and we'll probably even stop at Pat's for a Hurricane. I like eating at Felix's, but several people this week have told me that they're closed. The website is still active, but if Felix isn't open, Acme is just across the street.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Earl

Tonight, the residents of the Outer Banks are hunkering down ahead of Hurricane Earl. I expect the news will be spotty, with electrical outages and the normal news blackout when even the most dedicated weatherman finds a place to shelter from the wind and rain.

It's not so much that the wind is blowing at 115 mph, it's what the wind is blowing at 115 mph.

The Outer Banks is a personal favorite vacation spot. I can sit all day and watch the waves and the pelicans. And I have. The last time I was there, they still hadn't fully recovered from the pounding they took in 2003.

I'm sure many have evacuated, and I'm sure many more have not. If you're a praying sort, bend a knee for the folks on the Outer Banks tonight.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Coal Powered Cars

Some are predicting that the US will have more than one million low-cost or no-cost public charging stations for electric vehicles by the year 2015.

Y'all understand that most electricity is produced by burning coal, and that's what will be powering those cars? Clean coal.

Bulk Ammo

There's a guy, Steven Otterbacher, who emailed me personally yesterday. It seems that he's building a business, Bulk Ammo, and you can find it at the link.

I don't advertise on this site, but this email is from a reader who's trying to get started in business. He says that PawPaw's House readers can get an additional $25.00 off the first order over $200.00 by using the promotion code GrandOpening.

If any of you folks are buying ammo, give him a look and a chance to get your business.