Friday, April 29, 2011

Being a PawPaw

And hanging out with grandkids


This is what summer is all about.


Yeah, buddy!

Earl BeauDog

The dawg is wondering about the Royal Wedding, and wondering why he didn't get an invitation. He tell me that he's descended from royalty, his forebears being the dogs who kept the Royal Mongolian kitchens. He alleges that his title is Earl BeauDog of Mongolia, but realizes he's in exile, overseeing the family interests in central Louisiana.

Still, he's concerned about the invitation. There must be some problem with the mail in this dreadful province. In honor of the wedding, he decided to sit for a portrait.


Very regal, don't you think? The invitation will probably arrive next week. **sigh**

Varget, in comments

Reader Skip, notes, in commments:
Don't know about hunting loads but 43gr of Varget under 168gr Berger hpbt VLD Match will clover leaf if I hold up my end.
I've heard that about Varget, and Junior has recommended it to me. If you go to the Hodgdon Burn Rate chart, you'll see that Varget falls in at number 99, with RL15 at number 97. Evidently those two powders have very similar burn rates. That would explain why the both do so well in that cartridge.

I don't load much target ammunition, indeed, I don't even own any target rifles. I've bought two heavy harreled target rifles for sons, but my rifles are standard hunting fare.

Indeed, if you go to the Alliant site, you wont see many RL15 loads for the .308 Winchester, when that powder was one of their mainstays. What you will see is a new powder called Power Pro 2000-MR. According to the literature, it's a spherical medium rifle powder that is supposed to be the latest and greatest. All their online recipes use 2000-MR. Go figure, that's the nature of marketing.

I know RL15 works in the .308, and that's the only caliber I use it for. My local retailer normally has it in stock. However, I've never seen a pound of Varget on his shelves. In this central Louisiana marketing area, there is exactly one retailer that carries powder, so we use what's available.

One of these days I'm going to have to try a pound of Varget. I've heard great things about it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Reloder 15

Back in the late '70s when I was reloading lots of shotgun shell, I used Red Dot, Blue Dot, Green Dot and Herco, all powders marketed by Hercules Powder Company. The old Hercules Powder was sold or became Alliant Powder, and when I began loading pistol cartridges, I continued to use Alliant Powders, mainly in the Bullseye and Unique persuasion. When I stepped up to rifle reloading, it was natural that I continued to use Alliant powder.

While researching powders for the .308 Winchester, I went to the Alliant site and found this blurb on the product page:
Selected as the powder for U.S. Military's M118 special ball long range sniper round.
Well, hell. If it's good enough for the Army, it's good enough for me.

I came late to the .308 Winchester as a sporting cartridge. I fired lots of it when I was on active duty, generally in 100 round belts through machine guns. It was an okay round, but nothing special. It wasn't until '04 or '05 that I ever purchased a rifle in .308, and that was a gift to my son. Load development showed that it liked Reloder 15 powder and Sierra Matchking bullets. When it came time to find a hunting load, it was a natural step to use that same powder with Sierra's Gameking bullets.

Either 168 grain Matchkings or 165 grain Gamekings, the same load works fine. 43.0 grains of Reloder 15, either of those bullets and if the rifle doesn't shoot, you've got some work to do. Every .308 I've shot that load in shoots it extremely well. The bullet leaves the barrel at 2700 fps, real close to published velocity. My ballistic program tell me that sighted in one inch high at 100 yards, it will be down just 2 inches at 200 yards and still carrying 2173 foot-pounds of energy. At 250 yards, it will be down a little over 5 inches and still carrying over 2000 ft/lbs of whack. I don't plan on shooting a game animal over 250 yards away, so that's good enough for me.

Today, I took that load out to the Woodworth Range, along with my Remington Model 700. I had loaded some brass with Gamekings, thinking it might make a good hunting load for this autumn. I fired two groups on the same target. The first 3-round group fell tot he right, so I adjusted the scope and fired the second target. Two pretty nice groups.


So, I adjusted the reticle again, waited for the barrel to cool, and fired another group.


When, I got home, I put my caliper on those groups and found that the average of all three is just 0.845 inches. This from a thin sporter barrel, with a rifle that was made in 1983.

If there are any .308 shooters out there, write that down. If I ever write a book about pet loads, (my apologies to Ken Waters) this is one that's going on top of the stack. It's a winner in every rifle I've ever shot it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

See how easy that was?

Drugde reports that our President has released his long-form birth certificate. You can see it on the White House server, here. From my limited viewing of the document, it appears that he was born in Hawaii, and is a native-born American citizen.

See how easy that was? Nothing to it. That should put some of the questions to rest. I'm sure that document examiners will take this document apart, but I'm convinced. I'm still not voting for the man, and I still believe that he's a pretender, but he seems to be Constitutionally qualified to be our President.

Edit: I see that Yahoo! News has picked up the story and quotes our President as saying that we don't have time for silliness.
WASHINGTON – Responding to critics' relentless claims, President Barack Obama on Wednesday produced a detailed Hawaii birth certificate in an extraordinary attempt to bury the issue of where he was born and confirm his legitimacy to hold office. He declared, "We do not have time for this kind of silliness."
You're right, Mr. President, and you should have released that form when you decided to run for President. It was yours to release and you decided to keep it private, causing all the silliness.

If you want us to take you seriouly, Mr. President, be serious with your critics.

IMR 4895

When I started reloading rifle cartridges, one of the first powders I bought was a pound of IMR 4895. It's still on my bench, but these days I buy it in 8 pound jugs. IMR 4895 was originally a military powder made by DuPont and was loaded by the government arsenals in the .30-06 cartridge.

As a kid, my first job at age 12 was as a skeet boy at the McBride Rod and Gun Club, England AFB, LA. The gun club hired boys on Saturday to lug boxes of clay targets to the shooting houses and load the automatic machines for the intramural skeet shoots. Each squadron or activity on the base had a skeet team, so we worked from daylight to dark, prepping the range and supporting the shooting, picking up empty hulls, taking cases of shells to the firing lines, doing all the things required to make the day a success. For our labors, we got the princely sum of 50 cents per hour. A 12 hour day would gross you six bucks, paid in cash at the end of the day. I remember sitting on a 30 pound cardboard drum of IMR 4895 watching an old Master Sergeant load .38 Special ammo for the annual qualifications. (No, he wasn't using 4895, but the club had a stack of those 30 pound cardboard drums and they made great stools.). I digress.

When I'm working up loads for a new cartridge, one of the first powders I use is 4895. It may not be the best powder for every application, but it has an application in virtually every cartridge I've ever loaded. Sure, there are other powders, and I use my share of them, most particularly the Alliant powders, but I've yet to find anything as versatile as IMR 4895.

I was surfing around the Hodgdon website this morning. Hodgdon owns and markets IMR powder, along with his own brand and Winchester powders. I was using his Reloading Data Center and decided to count the cartridges that have IMR 4895 data. I started at the .17 Remington and scrolled down the list until I came to the .458 Winchester Magnum. I counted sixty-two (62) cartridges in the list.

Mr. Hodgdon markets his own flavor of 4895 and in the reloading hobby we call it H4895. Occasionally a supply of government surplus powder will come on the market, we call it S4895. Sometime last year I saw some British powder come on the market from the Radway powder company, it was also listed as Radway 4895. Each of these powders are different and loading data is not interchangeable. A prudent reloader will work up loads with each lot of powder he uses.

However, if I were limited to one rifle powder, I believe the one I'd choose is 4895. I'm convinced it's the most versatile rifle powder currently made.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wildfires, wind

This is the windiest April I can remember. It seems like the wind has been blowing steadily all month. The constant wind puts dust in my pool, dries my lawn, and knocks over trash cans. Just when I think I've got it bad, I open the paper and see a huge wildfire fed by huge wind.
Wednesday, the greatest fire danger will shift into South Texas as a front dips southward through the state. While winds will not be nearly as strong as in western Texas today, they will still be gusty enough to create an elevated fire threat.
I love Texas, I always have. Had I not met Milady when I did, I might be living in Texas today. My heart goes out to those folks. When you talk to God tonight, ask him to send some rain to west and central Texas.

Mechanicing

I spent the morning and most of the afternoon working on a carpet cleaner. A Bissell carpet cleaner. Damn thing didn't work, and it works now, after a fashion.

Taking apart a household appliance shows me how shoddy our appliances are. I'm pretty good with my hands, and I can figure out how things work. The magic of the internet puts good service manuals at the tip of our fingertips. Looking at the insides of this thing, I am convinced that it was designed to be used several times, maybe a dozen, then thrown away. The engineering is lousy, the plastic parts break easily and the durability leaves much to be desired.

I am tempted to pitch this one in a dumpster and buy a sturdy professional model. We clean carpets several times a year, and I don't like having to work on a machine for an hour before using it.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, April 25, 2011

More EPA madness

It seems that the EPA has shut down the effort of Shell Oil to drill in the Arctic.
Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”
Four bureaucrats from the EPA shut down a $4 billion investment just because they could. That's what this government is all about. Shutting things down they don't like.

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is considering legislation that would strip the EPA of its regulatory role. I think that's long overdue.

Hat Tip to Billy Beck.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

End of Shift.

One of my brethren is down.

Just damn. My prayers go our to his family and his department.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Sometimes, it's hard to root the dog out on a Sunday Morning.


Happy Easter, everyone.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

.223 Saturday

I drove out to the Woodworth Shooting Range this morning and was pleasantly surprised to find it open. The range website said that it would be open, but you never know.

I wanted to confirm the zero on my AR15 and shoot the Handi rifle in .223 Remington.

I knew that dead-nuts accuracy might be a problem. We've had the windiest April I can ever remember and the weather weenies tell us that the winds would be variable from the Southwest at 16 mph, gusting to 23 mph. Yeah, at least. The temps were hovering around 80 degrees under partly-cloudy skies.

I set up the .223 Handi on the bags and watched the wind flags. They were mostly standing straight out, but occasionally they'd dip long enough for me to squeeze off a shot. The guy two benches down from me actually had his spotting scope blow off the table, and we had plenty of "cold" time for blown-down target frames. I made sure I was on paper at 50 yards, then walked down to the 100 yard line with a couple of sandbags to hold the target frame to the ground.

Six shots later I was done. The little rifle told me all I wanted to know. The first three shots went into 0.475, the group at the top of the page. The last group, which looks like two shots, but is three shots, went into 0.679. This little rifle is a shooter if the bags are right and the winds are still. I'm shooting the Hornady 55 grain V-Max bullet over 25.0 grains of IMR 4895. I'm not sure what the velocity is, but the load is in the middle of the load map and I should be getting about 3000 fps from the cartridge.


That's a fine target from a $300 rifle and a Japanese scope. While we were shooting, I noticed a crow on the ground, just to the left of the 100 yard berm. If he'd been there after that second group, I might have been tempted to send one toward him. Fortunately, he had the good sense to leave the area. Crows don't get old hanging around rifle ranges.

On Badges

There was a discussion at The Firing Line forum about badges. One of the posters was asking about a CCW badge he had seen for sale and asked if it was a good idea.

Short answer? Bad idea, horribly bad idea.

As a long serving, long suffering cop, I can tell you that a badge is just jewelry. In and of itself, it means nothing. Your commission card is in your pocket, or should be at all times. However, wearing a badge makes you a target for lots of well-meaning folks. It magically confers unlimited knowledge upon the wearer.

I work a lot of public events in uniform and people ask me all manner of weird questions, because I'm a cop and I'm supposed to know everything. I try to help, but some questions just can't be answered. So, you smile and be nice to the folks. Honestly, guys, I don't know when the next bus will run, or why they haven't fixed the traffic light near your office (two recent examples).

Once in a while, I find myself doing things that didn't come with the assignment. Like last week, I was working one event, when a person came from another event, across the street, because she saw me working. A kid was missing, and I'm not going to let that happen. I went with her and we scoured her event until we found the errant kid. She didn't know me from Adam, but because I was wearing a badge, I was the guy she walked across the street to ask for help.

Folks don't read badges, they see badges. Most folks can't tell whether I work for the city, the county, or the state. The uniforms are different colors, the badges are different shapes, but most folks just don't differentiate between the various agencies. We're cops. Plain and simple. It amazes me when folks ask about another cop, normally someone who wrote them a ticket, and they ask me about it. They have no idea which agency the guy (or gal) works for, they don't remember the color of the uniform, or the shape of the badge, or the markings on the car. We're generic cops and expected to know what/who/the incident they're talking about.

You want to wear a badge? I like this one that one of my readers sent to me. I understand that they're easily available on the internet.


Y'all be careful out there.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Waivers

Does any one else think it's odd that labor unions are getting waivers from ObamaCare? I'm told that labor unions were huge supporters of the law, but now they're learning that it's not good for them.
Even as organized labor expresses enthusiasm for ObamaCare, it has sought and received waiver protections from the law’s consumer protection provisions. In fact, almost half of the individuals that have received waivers participate in collectively bargained health plans.
Hypocrisy!

NLRB

For those of you who aren't familiar with the acronym, the National Labor Relations Board is a federal agency, designed to protect workers from evil corporations. They do such things and enforce overtime laws and child labor laws. For those of us interested in such things, it's good to enforce laws that keep Americans safe on the job and keep children from working in sweatshops.

Members of the NLRB are appointed by the President. One might assume that they're high-minded individuals seeking to protect American workers from exploitation. You'd be wrong. After the appointments recently made by our President, the name should be changed to The National Union Protection Board.
In what may be the strongest signal yet of the new pro-labor orientation of the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama, the agency filed a complaint Wednesday seeking to force Boeing to bring an airplane production line back to its unionized facilities in Washington State instead of moving the work to a nonunion plant in South Carolina.
It seems that Boeing's plant in Washington is unionized. Boeing's plant in South Carolina is not. Boeing made a conscious decision to move its assembly line to a Right-to-Work state. The unions howled and the NLRB filed suit against Boeing.

I'm told that the last two appointees to the NLRB were recess appointments, which means that they haven't been confirmed by the Senate. These folks were our President's gifts to the unions and they're over-reaching, as Communists are known to do. The only thing missing here is the phrase "Five Year Plan".

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Off!

It's been a helluva week, but I'm off till I have to work a dance next Saturday night. That's nine days of bliss. Then the final push to the end of the school year.

Tomorrow, I've got to fry fish at the church. The ladies of the church have become fond of a Good Friday fish fry. So, some of the men and I will descend on the church tomorrow afternoon and fry fish for about 30 - 40 people. We never know how many folks will show up, but we feed everyone who arrives. Like Jesus dividing the fish and the loaves, we never run out, but there's never any left, either. It's funny how church fish-frys never have any left-overs.

I'm ready for some time off. When Milady gets home, we'll declare Happy Hour.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rail Gun

A rail gun, for those of you who might wonder, is a gun that doesn't use chemical energy (gunpowder) to propel the projectile. Generally, a rail gun uses electromagnets down the length of the barrel to accelerate the projectile.

This video shows the latest test of General Atomic's rail gun, firing a saboted projectile. I noted when I watched the film that the narrator says that the sabot is traveling at 1600 meters per second, which roughly is equivalent to 4800 fps. I'm sure that the actual speed is classified, and I know that the speed of our tank ammo was classified for a long time. As a rookie lieutenant at Fort Knox in the '70s I had to learn that the APDS round from our 105mm tank gun traveled "in excess of 4850 feet per second", so this rail gun is approximating our tank ammo from the '70s. I was surprised to see that the newest, latest, greatest sabot round looks a lot like the sabot round that we shot way back then.

It's an interesting video. Check it out.


I can see that this thing would have some uses, but so far they're not doing anything that a good tank commander can't accomplish with '80s technology.

That Ugly Rifle III

Y'all remember that ugly rifle I bought as a BAG day gun, and me having to take it apart and clean all the paint from it.

Here's the before picture.


I was able to get the paint off using naptha and 0 grade steel wool without damaging the blueing. I started looking for stocks and realized that I was going to need a few parts, like a magazine, follower, spring, some action screws, so I called Savage Customer Service and told them that I had a project action I'd like to rehab, and asked about my options.

The young lady told me that the rifle left the factory as a synthetic stocked, detachable magazine, .308 rifle, a Model 11 FCNS. She said that she could ship me all the parts, unless I wanted something different. "Something different?" I asked.

"Sure" says she. "You can make it anything you want it to be. Wood stock, synthetic, box magazine, floorplate, anything you want."

So, we talked about least-cost options and she started listing parts that I'd need. She gave me a very attractive price on the parts I'd need and I gave her a credit card number and told her to ship it out.

It's now a Model 11 FNS. Synthetic stock, blind magazine, the basic Hunter model rifle. The box came in yesterday and I put it together this afternoon after work. Here's the after photograph.


That's a little better, don't you think? I think it's great, and will make a nice addition to my collection. If you've ever got a question about a Savage firearm, call Customer Service and talk to the nice people there. Tell 'em PawPaw sent you.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Drinking Age

Last week I talked about the debate to put the drinking age back at 18 years.

Lots of good reasons, no real reason not to, except government-nannyism.

Anther article. This one from the Boston Herald.

This is an issue for the states to decide. All that would be necessary is for Congress to repeal the Uniform Drinking Age Act and the states would be free to decide for themselves.

My Buddy Tom

I found this video linked at Rivrdog's. Tom Gresham and I are personal acquaintances. We ran in the same circles when we lived in Natchitoches and shot together on occasion.

It's a short video about how we should respond to a police officer during a traffic stop if we're carrying a gun. The Police Officer is played by Mas Ayoob, who is also famous in his own right


Enjoy. It's good to see Tom again.

More on BAG day

Ainlessly, mindlessly surfing the internet, I got over to the Smallest Minority, where I learn that the BAG day concept was first started by blogger Aaron at his blog. Huh! I thought that Kim duToit started it. Aaron gives Kim credit for helping it take off, but claims the initial idea.

We'll give credit where credit is due.

My BAG day gun is still in flux at the moment. I'm awaiting some parts from Savage. I called them last week and a young lady with an encyclopedic knowledge of Savage rifles helped me put together a needs list and told me it would all go into the mail, and that I should expect it in 7-10 days. I've been checking the front stoop since, and I'm sure that the package will get here next week.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Milady bought a swing last week and the dog is trying to figure out how it works. All he knows that when he jumps on it, it moves and he's not sure that's a good idea. At this writing he's just about convinced himself that it's not worth the bother.

There was one curious incident this week where he jumped in the swing and it moved and he tried to work with it, staggered around looking like a drunk. Quite amusing, no camera available.


He's still not sure about that swing.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Roses

The rose bush is exploding.


Take time to smell the flowers.

Range Day - Gaah!

I got up this morning, loaded my gear and drove out to the shooting range to discover it closed. It seems, and they've posted it on the website, that they're having some sort of kid camp. While I was there, getting the bad news from the range officer, I observed that they were using about half of the rifle range. None of the pistol range, nor the shotgun range. There was plenty of room for recreational shooters, yet the range is closed. God forbid that the public get to use a public range on a weekend. That's simply out of the question.

That seems to be the standard procedure for the LDWF. Any time they can close the range, they do so. Any thing they can do to hinder recreational shooting is part of the scheme.

Just so everyone understands, I'm not against teaching kids to shoot. Quite the contrary, I've taught lots of kids to shoot. On public ranges. With other people present.

While I'm ranting, I might as well cover the cutesy name they gave the camp. Families Understanding Nature (FUN) camp. How very touchy-feely. Without seeing the curriculum, I bet that nature's indifference to kids was not covered. Nature doesn't care about us, we're just another lump of protein and some trace elements to be used when we quit breathing. Nature is totally indifferent to us and if you want to understand nature, you've got to understand that harsh fact. That's all you need to know about nature, and I've just covered it in fifteen seconds.

What horseshit.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday afternoon

It's Friday afternoon and I think I'm going to fry fish. Milady went to a seafood vendor today and found some really beautiful catfish. Really, this is the prettiest catfish that I've seen from a vendor in a long time. No trimming necessary, no skin, nothing but pure white fish. She also bought a pound of shucked oysters. I'm going to roll those in corn meal and fry them too.

I'll drop some french fries in there too. The only thing that won't be fried is the cole slaw.

I may be tempted to break into the beer locker.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Great Idea, Mr. President!

I see that our President has come out with a plan of his own to reduce our staggering debt.
Obama said spending cuts and higher taxes alike must be part of any deficit-reduction plan, including an end to Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. He proposed an unspecified "debt failsafe" that would go into effect if Congress failed to make sure the national debt would be falling by 2014 relative to the overall economy.
What is this "debt-failsafe", pray tell? Well, that's an automatic tax increase if the debt targets aren't met.
Called a “debt failsafe trigger,” Obama’s scheme would automatically raise taxes if politicians spend too much. According to the talking points distributed by the White House, the automatic tax increase would take effect “if, by 2014, the projected ratio of debt-to-GDP is not stabilized and declining toward the end of the decade.”
Bad idea, Mr. President. Tax increases shouldn't be automatic, and only a socialist would propose such a thing. Deficit spending doesn't work for households, and it doesn't work for nations. Get a handle on spending, Mr. President, and you'll have some extra money to spend on your pet projects, or return to the people in the form of lower taxes. But that's not in your plan, is it?

I hate trotting out that old graphic, so I went and found another one. This one takes in the Clinton years.


All that red ink, Mr. President? That's yours. Fix it or we'll find ourselves a new President.

Drinking Age

Instapundit has an article at the Wall Street Journal where he argues we should let states decide the drinking age. I agree. If you're old enough to fight, if you're old enough to take on crushing debt in the form of student loans, if you're old enough to legally bind yourself in a contract, you're old enough to drink. This is a Reagan-era mistake that the Republican congress should fix.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Draconian budget cuts

I'm reading a lot about the draconian budget cuts in the bill that the President agreed to last week.
Senior Advisor to the President David Plouffe conceded this morning that some of the cuts the White House agreed to in order to avoid a government shutdown were draconian. In an interview on "This Week" with anchor Christiane Amanpour, he called the cuts both "draconian" and "historic."
The only problem I have with that is that the Democrats are evidently out of touch with history. Draco didn't work a budget, he wrote the first written constitution of Athens. He wasn't an accountant as much as a lawyer.

However harsh you may think that the budget has become, lets be perfectly clear. We're not done yet. This little agreement was just a piddling exercise to keep the government rolling. 38 billion dollars. Chump change. Now, we've got to get ready for the 2012 budget and the argument is shaping up to be wonderful. According to our Speaker,
That's why this week, we'll advance our fight from saving billions of dollars to saving trillions of dollars as we turn our full attention to the GOP budget outlined by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., aptly titled "The Path to Prosperity."
But, just to be clear, Draco never wrote a budget.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Taxes

I just finished my annual income tax preparation. Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm a lot later than usual. I normally do them in February, but Milady was in the hospital in February and it threw my whole schedule off.

At any rate, they're done. Legally. Properly. On time. Electronically.

Married filing jointly, no dependents, and very few deductions. We're both making a good living and the IRS loves us. They think we're grand. The great American middle class, supporting the rest of the layabout population.

I paid more tax this year than I made some years. There's a worthless sumbitch somewhere and I'm supporting his sorry butt. He needs to get up off his butt and find a job.

Summer Weather

We're beginning our summer weather pattern, which is readily apparent to anyone who watches the weather in central Louisiana. Warm muggy mornings with warm muggy afternoons, followed by warm muggy nights. This will only change when we begin getting warm muggy mornings followed by scorching hot muggy afternoons.

It was hot enough yesterday afternoon that we had an umpire go down at the ball park. One minute he was calling the game, the next moment, he was on his knees in distress. We managed to get him off the field into the shade, out of his protective gear and pump fluids into him. This is a guy who spent his whole life in south and central Louisiana, and he was embarrassed about not staying properly hydrated.

Here's a look at our summer weather pattern. It's a standard weather map, but it's one that I've seen all my life. In these latitudes, weather comes from the west.


A cold front (yeah, right, but they've got to call it something), causes moist air to move north from the Gulf, pumping moisture into the interior. That's why we have rain. As the front moves through, that moisture turns into thunderstorms, which dumps rain on our mildewed butts. Then the sun comes out and bakes us in a warm convection oven.

Summer in Louisiana. One of the joys.

Sunday Morning Dawg

The baby came over on Friday while Momma was at work. The dog is, of course, intrigued by a small person and has to investigate.


We had to tell him several times to leave the baby alone.


He doesn't understand why that baby isn't ready to play.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

That Ugly Rifle II

Okay, I've got it stripped enough for now to have a starting point for refurbishing this rifle. I haven't decided on a wood stock or a plastic stock, but I've taken all the ill-fitting parts off. Now it's time to strip paint and see if I can get it off without removing the bluing.


I've tried an inconspicuous spot and the paint scrapes off easily. Thankfully, it doesn't look like the mall-ninja prepped the metal before going crazy with the Krylon. I've thought about Easy-Off oven cleaner and steel wool, but I'd rather not damage the bluing.

Ideas anyone? Bueller?

Budget deal - Gaah!

I see that Boehner caved, although he's getting props from some folks. Those folks are idiots. One of the sticking points was continued funding for Planned Parenthood, who we support as a nation to the tune of $80 million.
Money wasn't the only sticking point in getting a budget approved. Social issues were lurking, and Planned Parenthood found itself caught in the middle. The agency receives $80 million annually..
Why are we spending money on Planned Parenthood when we're running deficits that some predict will reach $1.5 trillion this year? It's idiocy to spend more than you make, whether on the household level or the national level. Pure idiocy.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had spent hours meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, inching toward a deal to avert a shutdown, but he kept insisting that it include a prohibition against federal funding for Planned Parenthood. That was a non-starter for Obama. As the meeting was breaking up, Vice President Joe Biden told the speaker, in no uncertain terms, that his demand was unacceptable.
We know that our President is a community organizer and that social progress is one of his huge constituencies. We know that Biden is an idiot and that at some point we're going to have to ignore him. How he got to be anything more than a jail trusty is an indictment on the people of Delaware.

I expected Boehner to be the adult leadership in the room. With a deficit like we've got, we can't continue to fund frivolous activities like Planned Parenthood, NPR, General Motors or any of the other crap that isn't vital to the government. Boehner failed. He failed miserably.

Maybe it's time to trot out this old graphic, which I'll try to update in the coming days.


So, we've got a budget deal for 2011. Hooray. Now it's time to get started on the 2012 budget. Maybe Boehner can get it right this time. We can't afford to fund frivolity when the budget is awash in red ink.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Shutdown looms

I see that the Federal Government is approaching a deadline, after which the government will shut down. I'm told that our President is holding the troops hostage, withholding their pay until the budget battle is decided.

I was on active duty during the Carter years. The government shut down six times between 1977 and 1980. We always got paid. There is no reason to withhold military pay except as a crass political move. Which means that our President is a crass politician.

If you're wondering what the problem is with the budget, that's simple. The Constitution requires a budget and it must originate in the House of Representatives. The budget we're arguing about now should have been passed for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2010. At that time, the Democrats controlled the House, the Senate and the White House. They had plenty of time to get it done, but just couldn't seem to get around to it. Now that the Republicans are in the House, they're trying to clean up the mess and the Democrats don't want to play. And of course, our President is playing politics with the military.

Crass politicians. A pox on them all.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Government Shutdown

To my way of thinking, a government shutdown isn't a problem. It's a feature.

Look, the Social Security checks will still go out and the military will still get paid. What will happen is that a bunch of federal bureaucrats might be inconvenienced. That's not a problem for me.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid had the whole year to pass a budget and they couldn't get it done. We're still arguing about the 2011 budget and it's about time to start working on the 2012 budget. We should quit paying Congress until they get a budget together, passed in both houses, and sent to the President. Then start their salaries again, with no back-payments. Incompetence should hurt, and if the Congress can't pass a budget, we shouldn't pay them.

Of course, the President is worried about the budget, so he's leaving town again. Three whole weeks in Washington leave a guy fatigued, ya know?

This country is in the very best of hands.

That Ugly Rifle

Thanks for all the comments on that sad, sad rifle I brought home the other day. I've been busy with other things, so this project is going to be on the back burner for a while.

Junior says, in comments.
Put a 20" 1-24 to 1-32 twist 358 Winchester barrel on it and have the ultimate thicket rifle using a 190 - 250 gr cast FP bullet @ 2000 fps. The stock is plastic, so just slide that front action hole back a tad and epoxy it in place. Give it an over-all coat of Krylon OD paint.

That's a good idea, buddy, except for one thing. That stock ain't plastic. The Ultimate Sniper Stock is Choate Machine Tools interpretation of a stock originally designed by Major John Plaster. The damned thing is a fairly good stock, if you like that sort of thing. It's made out of some kind of hard plastic/fiberglass and it's got a full-length aluminum bedding block. And, it's heavy. I bet that stock weighs five pounds, all by itself.


You can click that picture to enlarge it, but there ain't no moving that hole without a machine shop in direct support. Besides, I don't like that style of stock. It's okay for the tactical guys, but I haven't worn camouflage to work in over a decade. I don't intend to start again anytime soon.

I'm thinking something more classic. Good wood, a blind magazine, a small fixed power scope, probably a Weaver K6. It may take me a year or more to build it, but this rifle is going to be light and handy. I did some checking today and I think that a .257 Roberts cartridge will fit in that magazine box.

That'll give the grandkids something to drool over.

BAG Day

An anonymous reader asks in comments:
What is "BAG DAY." New one on me.
Good question and it deserves a good answer.

Once upon a time in the early days of this century there was a man who had a blog, Kim duToit. Kim lived in Dallas, TX and was an immigrant from South Africa. Kim became a naturalized citizen of this great land and adopted Texas as his spiritual and physical home. Kim promoted an idea that he called A Nation of Riflemen.

To say that Kim was opinionated was an understatement. He railed at injustices and talked about problems that we share and he put his money where his mouth was. Then, one day, his employment status changed and he found that he needed work and he started looking for a job. And he found that employers know how to use Google and he was unemployable because of his very artistic rants on the internet.

One of Kim's ideas was to promote Buy A Gun Day, BAG Day, which happened to coincide on the calendar with Tax Day, April 15th. The idea was that every taxpayer should put some money aside and buy a gun on April 15th.

That's where Buy A Gun Day started. I try to buy a gun every year about this time in memory of those naive days. Kim quit blogging several years ago and made efforts to take his name off the internet. I don't know where he is now, but I wish him the very best, and hope that he and his lovely wife, Connie, are both prosperous and happy.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Bag Day Gun

I bought my BAG Day gun today, a little early. Like a sad puppy, I've been watching this rifle languish in the used rack for about six months, and today I just couldn't stand it any longer. The counter guy took pity on me, and his inventory and sold the rifle to me at a wonderfully reduced price.

It's been abused, the poor thing, but I didn't realize how abused it had been. It's been mall-ninja'd all to hell and gone. It's got good bones, though and I've been looking for a project action.

According to the serial number, it started life as a Model 11 FCNS, which is a centerfeed action with a detachable box magazine. It isn't like that now.


I'm a big fan of floated barrels. The Choate Ultimate Sniper stock has a full-length bedding block and it's cut for heavy barrels. Putting a sporter barrel in this stock gives us some weird floating action on the front of the stock. I could actually put my little finger betwixt the barrel and the stock.


Of course, the mall ninja had to go crazy with the Krylon. I can't even identify the scope that's on the rifle, but that matters not. The scope will soon be dismounted and become a plaything for the grandkids. Young boys love spy scopes, especially if they have crosshairs.

The poor rifle only had one action bolt. When I started measuring, I found that this jazzbo had tried to fit a centerfeed action into a staggerfeed stock. Of course, the magazine is hopelessly wedged into the stock. I don't know if it can be saved, or if it is worth saving.


If you look at the image (and you can clicken to embiggen, you'll see that the action holes don't even line up. The counterguy told me that when the customer brought it in, he had a target with a group that measured about six inches. He was really proud of that group.

I've still got to decide what I want to do with this rifle, whether to re-barrel it, return it to stock configuration, put a heavy barrel on it, or keep the current barrel. If I decide to switch barrels, then the question of caliber comes up. I've been yearning for a nice 7mm-08 sporter. Or a .250 Savage. I've got some thinking to do.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but I'll give it a good home.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Corn Dogs

We were discussing the evening meal and I was told that the boy-o has never enjoyed a corn dog. What? He's three years old and never had a corn dog? We've gotta do something about that!


That's done! He knows what a corn dog is now. His dad took him home about an hour ago and the house got really quiet. I think PawPaw is going to head off to bed in another half hour.

Impulse 2000

Milady was out with a friend today, looking at another friends house, and supervising the move of a piano. That friend-of-a-friend had mentioned that he had a light bar from a police car that he had found in a dumpster and asked if she wanted it. Friend-of-a-friend knows that I'm a cop, so Milady brought home a lightbar for me to play with. He saved it from a dumpster and she bought it at a great price.


It's an Impulse 2000 lightbar, state of the art when I was a rookie, and orginally marketed by Southern Vehicle Products of Clearwater, Florida. The best part of the whole exercise is that the damned thing works. I've been going through the wiring harness for the past half-hour and the rotators work, the front and rear wig-wags work and the takedowns work. This particular bar doesn't have alley lights and there are some spare wires in the harness, probably for accessories that this one doesn't have. Police and fire professionals have much better light bars these days, what with the technology available to us. LED lights are magnificent, but they cost a lot of money. These old mechanical light bars are simple to work on and simple to maintain. They don't have the WOW factor of the newer lights, but they still work.

Elyas was with me in the garage when we lit it up, and he seemed suitably impressed, even if it was sitting on the freezer at the time.


All I need is a fuzed switch box, probably with four switches. One each for rotators, takedowns, and front and rear wigwags. I think it'll look good on the Mule. Don't y'all? I'll be the only guy on the lease with his own lightbar. It'll also come in handy when I use the Mule at football games, homecoming parades, and civic events.

Sunday Morning Dawg

We've been watching the boy-o all weekend, and the dog has been gainfully employed the whole time. Keeping track of a high-energy toddler is tough on a small dog. Last night he decided to keep track of activities from under Milady's computer chair.


It's safe back there.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Busy Morning

We got up this morning and pestered the dog, ate some cereal, then took a boat ride around the little lake that centers our subdivision. Made a list and went to the store, bought the stuff on the list, then came home and fixed a bicycle, worked on the pool, then it was time for lunch.


While I was at the store, I bought some chicken strips, so we ate several of those for lunch.

Now, it's time to go to the auction. Busy day ahead.

Not April Fools Day

Yesterday when I talked about an April Fools Day link, I was referrring to the news that an idiot pastor in Florida had burned a Koran, and that incited people halfway around the world to storm a UN compound and kill a bunch of folks, none of them Americans.
...the most prominent of them, Mullah Mohammed Shah Adeli, Afghanistan should cut off relations with the United States. “Burning the Koran is an insult to Islam and those who committed it should be punished,” he said.
Yeah, right. Burning the Koran is an insult to Islam, so lets destroy a compound halfway around the world and kill a bunch of people who didn't burn the Koran. Makes perfect sense to me.

Freedom of speech eludes some people. I may not like what you're saying, but if I try to kill you for saying it, you've got no freedom. I've got no freedom either. It's funny like that.

Is that idiot pastor culpable for the actions of a bunch of folks halfway around the world? No, it's not his fault that there are murderous thugs who kill people for burning a book. He tries to make the point that Islam is a violent religion, but that falls flat too. The actions of some mob no more make Islam a violent religion than his own actions make Christianity an idiot religion. If you link the one, then you've got to link them both.

Christians everywhere should disavow the antics of that idiot pastor. His book burning was needlessly hateful and served no useful purpose than to draw attention to his idiot brand of backward religion. Thinking people everywhere should condemn him. Likewise, the actions of a bunch of idiots halfway around the world should likewise be condemned by rational people. At this stage of the debate, I'm looking for a rational Muslim.

Watching Elyas

We've got the boy-o this weekend. His dad works weekends and his mom had to make a flying trip to Florida where her mom is having surgery. We were very busy yesterday and we'll be very busy today. He'll be three years old later this month and he's exploring, trying to find his wings, digging in everything and asking questions that only a toddler can ask.


As much as PawPaw enjoys having the boy around, I was ready for bed last night. As was the dog. The dog feels a need to supervise the boy, or at least keep him in sight. Ya never know what madness that kid is going to get into. At the end of the day, the dog was worn-the-hell-out.


I've never seen that dog sleep on the kitchen floor, but that dog has never spent a full day chasing a three-year-old.

Friday, April 01, 2011

No blogging today

It seems that it's April Fools Day and there's no way of knowing if the abmysmally horrible news I'm seeing is in earnest or a spoof.

Much of what I read sounds like a horrible spoof gone wrong. Like this article on an Afghan mob killing 12 people over something that a minister in the US is accused of doing.

The news is simply too bizarre to comment on. I'll try to make sense of it tomorrow.