Saturday, December 31, 2011

Parallel

This writer from the Daily Mail, a British newpaper, tries to draw some parallels between 1931 and 2011. He talks about depression, unrest in Europe, and the dawning and sunset of empire. You don't have to wonder what he's thinking, either. Sadly, there seems little point in looking across the Atlantic for inspiration.
In 1932, President Herbert Hoover, beleaguered by rising unemployment and tumbling ratings, flailed and floundered towards election defeat.

Today, Barack Obama cuts a similarly impotent, indecisive and isolationist figure. The difference is that in 1932, one of the greatest statesmen of the century, the Democratic politician Franklin D. Roosevelt, was waiting in the wings.

Today, American voters looking for alternatives are confronted only with a bizarre gaggle of has-beens, inadequates and weirdos, otherwise known as the Republican presidential field. And to anybody who cares about the future of the Western world, the prospect of President Ron Paul or President Newt Gingrich is frankly spine-chilling.

Has-beens, inadequates and weirdos. Ha! That's got to sting.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Range Friday

That Savage 10 is destined to be a grandkid rifle, so after posting yesterday I started thinking about youth loads; something simple, something fairly accurate, with enough pop to make them realize they're shooting a centerfire rifle, with enough energy to bring down one of our smallish whitetail deer.

I went outside and looked on the bench and found a box of Sierra 125 grain Pro-hunter bullets. Then I started researching loads. What I was looking for isn't necessarily in the manuals, so I was breaking untrod ground. I settled on a load starting at 41.0 grains of IMR 4895 and loaded some ammo, then increased the charge to 42.0 and 43.0 grains of powder just in case that first load didn't fly.

I got to the range and set up at the 100 yard line. Fired a couple of fouling shots into the berm. Then I got steady on the bags.


That's a one inch target dot and it was fired at 100 yards. The subsequent loads opened up quite a bit. Not surprisingly, I fired the last two rounds of my #3 load (43 grains of IMR 4895 and that Sierra Prohunter) through my Remington 700. The Remington didn't like the #1 load, but it liked the #3 load, firing it into just 0.75 inch. If that Remington becomes a grandkid rifle too, I know which kid load to build for it.

I figure that load is traveling about 2600 fps, plenty good medicine for the whitetail deer around here. Recoil is light, the load is easy on the shoulder. I think that the grandkids will like it fine.

On the way home, I recalled that I had a rifle on layaway and it was time to get it out. I went to my favorite pawn shop and dropped some change on the counter guy.


That's a Ruger 77, tang model, in 25-06. According to the serial number, the rifle was pushed out the door in 1971, the same year I started college. It came with a Bushnell Banner scope, probably made about the same time the rifle was made. The counter guy threw in a new soft gun case so I wouldn't have to carry it from the store naked.

That one is not a grandkid rifle. PawPaw has been lusting over this rifle since I was in college and this one is mine.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Range Thursday

After I hair-lipped the rose bush today, I sat down at the bench and worked another series of reloads based on Newberry's OCW method of finding a good load. I couldn't decide if the ugly rifle didn't like those Fusion bullets, or didn't like Reloder 15 under those bullets, so I looked for something different and found a box of 155 grain Matchkings that I had forgotten about. Then, I looked at four references and got an idea of what loads might be suitable for IMR 4895 powder and that bullet. I came away with six loads, starting at 41.5 grains, progressing upward in 0.9 grain increments to 46.0 grains, all under that 155 Matchking.

I went out to the Woodworth Range, and it was closed. There were six or eight cars waiting at the gate, so we all got out of our vehicles and talked. We all verified that we had checked online and the range is supposed to be open today at noon, so I whipped out my smartphone, did a quick google search, and found the number to the state office of Wildlife and Fisheries. I got someone on the phone and started raising hell. In about fifteen minutes, someone else called me back, told me where a key was located on a tree near the gate, and told me to let everyone in.

Once on the range, I got set up and started running the line, along with shooting my groups. After firing my string I looked downrange through the spotting scope and was fairly pleased. All six 3-shot strings averaged 1.26 inches, and three of those groups were under an inch! Very good. There is something that rifle likes about IMR 4805 powder and 155 grain Matchkings. Somewhere between 44.2 grains and 45.1 grains there is a sweet spot, and I'll have to find it, then start tuning loads to that rifle. After I get the load tuned, I'll run it over the chronograph and enter it into my pet load records.

Funny thing. Hodgdon shows a max load of 47.3 grains of IMR 4895 under a 150 grain bullet. I filled a case with powder and couldn't stuff but 46.4 grains to the junction of the neck and shoulder. My hottest load was 46.0 grains and it's too hot for my rifle. When I touched that load off, it blew the primer, jammed my ejector, and pushed the extractor out of the bolt. I managed to find all the parts and get the rifle running again, but I was mighty concerned for a few minutes. This comes as a caution to check your sources, make your own judgement and pay attention to what your rifle is telling you. A load that's too hot in your rifle may be okay according to the published literature. When you handload ammunition, you're on your own. Be safe.

I've done more shooting in the last two days than I have in the last three months. It feels good to get a little recoil therapy. It also feels good to see that rifle shoot like I thought it might.

Rooting Roses

We've got a rose bush, over an arbor that leads to the backyard. It's a climbing rose and it's made some lovely pictures over the several years it's been there, but I admit that I haven't been as dutiful as I should have been to keep it pruned. As a result, it's grown all out of control, threatening to tear down the fence and climb up the electric service drop that is nearby.

Here is Milady in front of that rose last spring. As you can see in the picture, it's expanded considerably beyond the arbor, and is climbing on the fence.


This morning I changed all that. I got some pruners and some nippers and I set to work on that overgrown rose. In the words of my Dad, I hair-lipped it pretty good.

This rose has been in my family for several generations, so after I finished the haircut, I went to the hardware store, bought some rooting powder and some potting soil. I found a bunch of pots behind the backyard fence and rooted eight of those cuttings. If half of them "take", I'll have four plants to give away in the spring.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

So, bury the Bastard already

I figgered they'd have buried him already, but The Atlantic is reporting that they buried The Korean Madman today, December 28th. The pictures at the link are truly creepy, everyone crying, wailing, it's disconcerting.

Of course, all this is done for propaganda, but damn people. I mean, whose consumption are these pictures for? None of the rest of the world believes that anyone could be this heartbroken over the loss of this tyrant. This is a guy who nearly starved a country to death, sent his own people to Siberia when he couldn't feed them, then bankrupted the country for his own ego, and the people are crying for him?

Worst damned case of Stockholm Syndrome I've ever seen.

Christmas Gift

The Cold Steel Two Handed Machete:


My brother-in-law gifted me one of these for Christmas, and if you're looking for a cutting/slashing/hacking implement that's lighter than a full axe, this is the one to consider. It weighs under two pounds, is easy to carry on a vehicle, and is just the ticket for lopping limbs on a shooting lane, trimming trees, or light cutting chores where a full axe might be too much.

Mine lives under the bonnet of my Mule and it'll stay there for the forseeable future. The Cold Steel Two Handed Machete has the PawPaw seal of approval.

Range Day

I found myself with a couple of hours to kill this morning and I haven't had any trigger time since the start of the deer season. So, I loaded some ammo for the .308, so that I could try some new bullets. Back in the autumn, I had bought some pulled bullets from RMR Reloading. They were billed as 150 grain Federal Fusion bullets and today was the first time I'd had a chance to take them to the range.

So, I checked multiple data sources and decided that I could safely load from 42.0 to 47.0 grains of RL15 under those bullets. I got out a bag of prepped Winchester brass, some WLR primers and got to work assembling ammo. I decided to use Dan Newberry's OCW system to find a load that would work in this rifle. With high hopes and new ammo, I headed for the range. I decided to give the Ugly Rifle an outing this morning. It's been languishing in the locker all winter.

By 11:00 I had shot my rotations and was looking through the spotting scope. Disappointment. After a review of my shooting, I can't find anything that really stands out. No group under 1.25 inches, the average of all groups is 1.56 inches. Not an auspicious beginning to new load development.

I've got a load that shoots well in this rifle. Heck it shoots well in every .308 I've tried it. 43.0 grains of RL15 and a 165/168 bullet is a sure-fire shot in this rifle. But, in this rifle, that same 43 grains of RL15 with a 150 fusion bullet turns in a 1.32" group. Poot!

Back to the drawing board. I might try 4895 next.

Move, Shoot, Communicate

Back in 1976 I was introduced to the concept of Move, Shoot, Communicate. That simple term is a mantra for mobile combat and as a fledgling tank commander I was responsible for mobility, firepower, and keeping my commanders and subordinates informed about the current status of the battlefield. Communication is every bit as important to a commander as firepower. I would submit that if the Civil War commander would have had a good set of walkie-talkies and a way to charge their batteries, the fight might have been decidedly different than the one we study today.

I see that the Mexican military has set about disrupting the communications of the drug cartels. That's a great idea. If they can't communicate, then their network has to work harder to coordinate ideas, forces, orders, and drug movements. Making the enemy work harder is always a good idea.

If there is a war on our southern border, and all indications are that the operations of the drug cartels nearly constitute a civil war, then shutting down one of the three legs of battlefield mobility is a good idea. An excellent idea.

Shooting Illustrated closes the loop. They note that anyone can walk into a cell-phone store and purchase high level communications devices without so much as a background check. These devices are so powerful that they can be loaded with mapping software, encryption codes, transmit voice, text, or data, and are virtually untraceable. Moreso, these devices are so inexpensive that they can be used and tossed away. Yet, I don't hear politicians clamoring to restrict the right of Americans to buy powerful handheld communications devices.

If you talk to a troop returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, they'll tell you that simple, cheap, prepaid phones can be used to make roadside bombs, set ambushes, move troops, and cause havoc on the battlefield. It makes sense to restrict the other side's ability to communicate. Yet, it seems that all the politicians are focused on are the guns.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Cajun Pawn

I'm seeing the commercials now, so I can tell folks that there is a new pawn show premiering next week on the History Channel. My favorite pawn dealer, Jimmy Deramus and his store, Silver Dollar has been my favorite gun shop for the past ten years. I've got a rifle on layaway there now that I intend to pick up in January.

Here's a commercial they filmed last year.



I walked in on a filming session this past autumn. Didn't see the barricade and walked into the middle of a film session. "Oh, hell. Cut!, Cut! Cut! How did you get in here?"

"Came in the side door, like I always do. What are y'all doing?"

"Filming a TV show. We're going to be on the History Channel."

"That's great, Jimmy. Got that pistol I ordered?"

No, PawPaw isn't going to be on TV, but Deramus' shop will be on the History Channel on Sunday, January 8th. Y'all watch for it. Maybe he'll make more than one season. We'll see.

Soldier shot at Welcome Home Party

I've seen this story several times over the past several days, and I think it's a durty-dog shame. This kid joins the Army, goes overseas, is injured in combat, comes back to the US to recuperate, gets home on leave and gets shot at his welcome home party. Durty-dog shame.

However, the cop in me says that the official story stinks.
Sullivan, 22, a 2008 San Bernardino High School graduate who was stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., was taken to a hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds. His condition was not known, but family members described him as being in extremely critical condition and paralyzed. Suzanne Sullivan said he suffered two gunshot wounds to his back, which shattered his spine.
Here's where the stink starts:
Family members said a man at the party got into an argument with Sullivan's brother. When Sullivan intervened, the man pulled out a gun and fired at him.
So, there's this guy at the party who took out a gun and shot the soldier. Friends and family, right? Somebody is bound to know the guy.
Police have not identified a suspect in the case.
Don't even go there. This guy comes to the party, and no one knows who he is? Why was he allowed to stay? Who did he come with? Who was he talking to? No one knows who the shooter was?

When I throw a party, I might not know everyone there, but I know who they came with. I enjoy entertaining, but I watch my guests closely. Someone knows who this guy is, and if they aren't telling the cops, the family has more problems than the police can help solve.

Rain, or the lack thereof

It's been raining here in Central Louisiana for the better part of the week. Our drought isn't over yet, but I'm seeing water in the ditches and in low spots of the yard that haven't held water for the better part of the year.

This station in Lake Charles has noticed that the lack of water is affecting the duck hunters. If we don't have fresh water flowing to keep the salt water out of the marshes, we see more salt intrusion which kills vegetation and species dependent on fresh water.

We've noticed a problem in north-central Louisiana too. My lease is in the piney woods in LaSalle parish and the hunting area is notable for several creeks that the deer depend on for water. This summer those creeks were dryer than I've ever seen them. Even the deep holes were dry. Deer need water and when those natural water holes dry up, the deer have to move to find a drink. Our deer harvest is down this year and the only leases that are reporting success have water on them. That's basic biology and it's left us high and dry this year.

We got some rain on the lease last week, and my ramblings last Friday showed that the creek was flowing, but my quick meander up and down the creek bank didn't reveal any deer tracks in places where there is normally evidence of movement. The water is there, but the deer aren't. Our cameras are telling the tale as well. We had pictures of deer on the cameras in October, but in November, we quit seeing the animals. It's dispiriting.

So, the Monday after Christmas, PawPaw is sitting home, watching the drizzly gray morning and is grateful for it. My one hope is that the water fills the Saline basin and drives the deer out into the hills surrounding it. When the Saline/Catahoula complex fills with water, the deer move and I've got a stand on Momma's place that should provide one to two late-season hunts. I've got a camera there and we'll check it later this week. If it doesn't provide any action, the season might well be over before the deer move.

Signing Statements

It seems that our President used issued a signing statement on a law passed by Congress last week, immediately before he left for Hawaii. Much has been made on the use of presidential signing statements, and the left excoriated President Bush for his use of such statements. It's easy to talk bad about someone when they're doing something that you disagree with, but it's another thing entirely when you use the same tactic several years later.

I recall candidate Obama's promise to not use signing statements.
Obama explained that “Congress’ job is to pass legislation,” and when that happens, a President has only two options: “the President can veto it or sign it.” In contrast to Bush — who, Obama said, “has been saying ‘I can change what Congress passed by attaching a statement saying I don’t agree with this part, I’m going to choose to interpret it this way or that way’” — Obama said he, by contrast, believes “that’s not part of [the President's] power.” He punctuated his answer as follows: “we’re not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end run around Congress.”
It's hard to be more clear than that.

Lots of pundits are talking about the signing statement this morning. Whether they're constitutional or not is a question for better minds. In my experience, intent isn't really criminal unless it is followed by action and as long as folks follow the law, it doesn't matter if they rail against it. I rail against laws all the time, but I intend to follow them.

If the President truly thought that this was bad law, he could have simply vetoed it. He chose to sign it, as is his prerogative. It is now law, and he's bound to follow it.

I'm particularly enamored of Instapundit's thoughts on the matter.
The next Attorney General is going to be busy. Or maybe the one-after-next, since Holder may not be around much longer.
Heh!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sunday Morning Dawg

Our family celebrates Christmas all week, but the big blow-out is on Christmas Eve, when we invite friends, family, in-laws and outlaws over to the house for the evening meal. Milady and I decided years ago to map out that evening as ours and that lets the kids have one less thing to schedule for Christmas day. Every parent wants to be home Christmas morning with their young'unns and the other side of their respective family wants to see them as well. So, Christmas Eve, the PawPaw house is busy, festive, and noisy. Lots of treats for the dog, lots of grandkids to supervise, lots of friends from whence to beg food. Christmas eve is a festive occasion.

The next morning, not so much. Christmas Day at PawPaw's house is a quiet affair. The pup wonders what happened to all the fun, and he gets in a humbug mood.


That's okay, Pup. Later on, we'll break out the leftovers and see if they left us anything to eat.

Merry Christmas from the Dawg.

Christmas Day

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD" (Luke 2:11).



Joy to the World. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve, a source of joy and celebration for the Christian faith. Reflect this evening on the story of the child.



Merry Christmas, everyone.

Sneakers? Really?

Disturbances erupting across the nation as Nike rolls out a limited edition Air-Jordan sneaker. Really?

Yeah, in Charlotte. In Atlanta. In Tukwila (wherever that is). And in my hometown.

There are lots more examples of basketball-culture idiocy. Idiocy, pure idiocy.

I would remind my gentle readers that basketball is a game that is played by girls. Anyone who aspires to the game, who follows the game, who emulates the culture of basketball as it's currently practiced in the United States needs plenty of psychological treatment. Years and years of expensive treatment.

I understand our President likes to play basketball. 'nuff said.

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve, and there's a lull at PawPaw's house. It's quiet, Milady is napping in preparation for the evening. She'll start cooking this afternoon and kids and grandkids, family, friends, inlaws and outlaws welcome for the feast. Hams, yams, cornbread dressing, assorted desserts, and maybe a little liquid refreshment for those adults interested.

It'll be a lot of fun, but we should take time to remember those who are standing on the front lines. Those wondering if the world is about to change and have made preparations for that change. Our troops in Korea come to mind. The tyrant across the border is dead and a new pretender is taking the reins, and I'm sure that our troops are watching, and waiting, and wondering.


This photo, shamelessly taken from Mostly Cajun, comes from my brothers in the 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor, standing the line in Korea. Think of them tonight as you say your prayers and grant that they might experience the wonder of Christmas. Ask also that they get a great meal tomorrow. Some of them standing in the snow might not.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ave Maria - V

Tonight we conclude our review of Ave Maria with the final rendition in this series. The incomparable Lucianno Pavarotti singing the Schubert version.



Maestro! Bravo!

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

No, Really

These two are having a bad day. Having your mug shot plastered across the internet is bad enough, but damn. Just damn.


Korin Vanhouten, 47, and Eldon Alexander, 36, were cited for shoplifting at WinCo Foods in Ogden. Moments later, they discovered that someone had broken into their vehicle and stolen $60 worth of items. (Weber County Jail)

Oh, well, what goes around, comes around.

Hat tip to Rodger.

Ave Maria - V

Tonight, on a rainy Thursday, we find the Charlotte Church rendition of Ave Maria.



Lovely.

Rainy Thursday

It was raining when I awoke and after coffee, it hadn't let up. I went out into the carport when Milady left for work and decided that it would be a good time to catch up on projects that were stacked on my bench.

Fixed a kid's toy, a plastic truck that makes lots of noise. I'll have to send that home with him the next time I see that particular grandkid.

Then I took out my Remington Model 700. Someone told me recently that all Remington .30 caliber barrels were a 1:12 twist. That didn't sound right, but I thought I'd measure it. My particular Rem 700 was made in August 1983, although I didn't buy it until January 2011. I realized I didn't know the barrel twist, which is an arcane bit of knowledge that might be useful, so I took down my cleaning rod, fitted a patch to a jag and measured the twist. Mine is 1:10, just like my other .308s. The only 1:12 rifles I own are my Win94s.

That being done, I noticed some brass from the Thanksgiving shoot that I needed to sort. I collect brass, and it gets thrown into a box under my bench until a rainy day when I decide to sort brass. That's not one of my favorite activities, but something that a handloader must do occasionally. Before too long, I was on my knees by the brass box, pulling out zip-lock bags and wal-mart bags from shoots long past. I commenced sorting brass and had to find new containers. Before it was done, I had sorted two gallons of .38 special brass, a full gallon of .45 ACP, nearly a half-gallon of .44 magnum, and several dozen pieces of .44 special. Exactly one piece of .357 magnum brass, though for the life of me, I can't imagine who took just one shot with the .357. That ain't natural.

I took down some rifles and gave them a good wiping, then put everything away. It's 10:45 a.m. and I've cleared my bench. Dishes are washed, clothes are folded and put away. I guess I could run the vacuum, but I'm not nearly that bored yet.

It's still raining outside. In another hour, the dog and I will eat lunch.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ave Maria - IV

Tonight we follow a commenter's advise and listen to the version by Perry Como.



That's a voice from my youth.

Winter Solstice

I almost forgot. Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Normally that doesn't count for much, because it's also the longest night of the year and the whole day is still 24 hours. Go figure.

For those of us who keep track of weirdness, the winter solstice next year is when the Mayan calendar says that the world will end. Okay, then! We've got one more year, one more trip around the sun. I'm told that the Mayans have launched a celebration to commemorate the last year on their calendar. That's great, too. Nothing like a party to drum up tourism Hopefully, they won't go back to their quaint traditions of ripping the hearts from living sacrifices. But Hey! In Mexico, anything is possible.

Personally, I've seen their calendar, and I believe that the sculptor simply ran out of space on the rock. "What the hell" he figured, "I've carved until sometime in the next millennium. If they can't figure it out, they don't deserve a calendar."

Googling around while doing this posting, I learn that the solstice this year won't happen until December 22 at 0530 UTC.

Status of Forces

Before we get all huffy about our troops being withdrawn from Iraq, we might do well to remember that the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) was negotiated under George Bush.
On November 17, 2008, the Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari and U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker signed the agreement in an official ceremony.
We'll recall that President Obama didn't take office until January 20, 2009 and at that time the US government had already agreed that all US forces would leave Iraq by midnight, December 31, 2011.

I don't believe that we should have negotiated nor signed an agreement. We were not invited into Iraq. As it turns out, the Iraqi government is probably not stable enough to stand at this time and some observers believe that the country might slide into sectarian and political violence. That's for the Iraqi people to decide.

However, President Obama's promise to bring the troops home was an empty promise, one that he hadn't negotiated. Under the terms of the SOFA, he had no choice; it was already written in an agreement negotiated under the Bush administration. However, his decision to make political hay out of leaving Iraq might become a huge strategic blunder if Iraq devolves into chaos.

Crime and Punishment

Instapundit links to an article concerning arrest records for teens, citing statistics that 1-in-3 teens will be arrested during their formative years.
Now, Blumstein says, youth may be arrested for drugs and domestic violence, which were unlikely offenses to attract police attention in the 1960s. "There's a lot more arresting going on now," he says.
When I was a teen in the '60s I knew that possession of marijuana might get me arrested. That hasn't changed, it's still illegal to possess marijuana in most jurisdictions. It's true that domestic violence laws have tightened up since the '60s, but that's a result of the legislature placing greater emphasis on violence, which might not be a bad thing.

There are a lot more laws now and the police are tasked with enforcing them. It's not my fault, nor the fault of my brethren that there are more laws on the books. In fact, if you ask most police officers, we'd be better served with fewer laws on the books. It seems, though, that every time the legislature meets, there is always a cause de jure that results in new laws. Another problem with the way laws are written is that the concept of intent has been written out of the laws. Back in the old days, laws used to take intent into account, with verbiage that made motive part of the offense. Nowadays, intent is likely to not be addressed.
The average teenager who steals an iPod or is arrested for possession of marijuana — why do we make that define their lives?"
I would submit that 40 years ago it was impossible to steal an Ipod. They didn't exist and while theft was still illegal, you simply could not steal an Ipod. However, marijuana existed and arrests were made for possession of dope.

If you want the law changed, talk to your legislator. They're the ones that make the laws. The police only enforce them.

I am reminded of a quote from Mark Twain: "No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Birthday

Today is PawPaw's birthday. Fifty-eight years ago I started this trip, and I'm not near-about through. However, at my advanced age and decrepitude, this milestone only marks another trip around the sun.


I'm just hanging on while this old world keeps spinning, and it's good to know it's out of my control.

Ave Maria - III

Continuing the meme of Ave Maria on Christmas week, we turn now to a popular entertainment show and hear a young artist, Jackie Evancho sing. You can turn the video off after the 2:10 mark, it's all TV after that, but this little girl can sing.



She didn't win the contest, but I believe that she has a magnificent career ahead of her. Lots of training and she should do well. Once again, Merry Christmas, everyone.

Skeered Dawg

We're getting a little rain outside, along with the lightning and thunder that accompanies a winter frontal system. The dog, of course, is freaked out. He's hiding under my desk as I surf the web.


He really doesn't like stormy weather. He's a skeered dog this morning.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Berdan Primed

I went out to the training center to take Bud some bullets for his muzzleloading team and while I was out there I went to the rifle range to scrounge the brass bucket. I found about 30 cases of Remington 7mm Rem Mag brass, and about 10 rounds of RP 30-06. There was also a bunch of .308 brass with NATO headstamp, so I brought it home. The primers were still crimped, so I was fairly sure that it was once-fired, but I didn't recognize the headstamp.


NATO headstamp with RG 93. I came home and found that it is made in the Royal Ordnance factory, Radway Green, in England. So, I set about decapping it and found Berdan primers.


Good, thick NATO brass and not a damned thing I can do with it. There was also about 40 rounds of good Federal Gold Medal brass in the bucket. It's already been added to my stocks.

I wonder how that British ammo got all the way over to a Louisiana sheriff office range?

Mr. Holder, you lose

According to the Daily Caller, our Attorney General used the race card yesterday.
Attorney General Eric Holder accused his growing chorus of critics of racist motivations in a Sunday interview published in the New York Times. When reached by The Daily Caller Monday morning, the Department of Justice provided no evidence to support the attorney general’s claims.
There is is, plain as day, Eric plays the race card. No one's told him, though that when the chips are down and you play the race card, you automatically lose.

I've been accused of racist motivations my whole life. When I was a child, there were real racists around. Most of them were Democrats, using truncheons and fire hoses to quell disturbances during the civil rights marches. Those days are long past, and also long past are the times when a public official can paint opponents with the RACIST brush.

You lose, Eric. You've shamed your profession and your office. Go home.

Ave Maria - II

The first time I heard Ave Maria, it was on my Dad's stereo. It was the Schubert version, played on trumpet by Al Hirt. Because it was the first time I'd heard it, the Schubert became my favorite version and I eventually learned to play it on trumpet.

This one, sang by Andrea Bocelli.



Simply beautiful.

Out of Iraq

I'm told that the last of our troops left Iraq today. That's probably not true. If we've got an embassy, some poor Marine is still on watch, and some good Army supply sergeant is inventorying sheets in the supply room.

However, the narrative is that the last troop left Iraq today. President Obama has kept his promise to have the troops out by Christmas, and may God have mercy on the Iraqi people.

My war was Desert Storm. We had troops near Baghdad, superbly trained combat troops who had just defeated everything that Saddam Hussein had in the desert. The way was clear to Baghdad and George HW Bush shut us down. Told us to stop in place. We could have ended it in another couple of days, but he bowed to coalition pressure to let a madman stay in power. If we'd gone to Baghdad and killed Hussein, we might have averted this whole chapter. But we didn't. We turned around and came home.

You see, as a soldier, I don't care much for politicians though I am subordinate to them. One of our great strengths as a nation is that the military is absolutely subordinate to the civil authority. The military goes where it is sent and does what it is ordered to do. HW Bush sent us into the desert to destroy an army. Once that army was destroyed, we looked longingly toward the source of the evil and HW told us that we had done what we were sent to do, that we were not allowed to destroy the head of the hydra, only to kill the body. I believe that was the greatest mistake of his presidency.

Now another president has taken us out of Iraq. Let history observe that this is the second time we've left Iraq in my lifetime, and let's remember that a second trip should not have been necessary. Let us rejoice that the troops are coming home, but pray God that we don't have to make a third trip.

Kim Jong-Il Dead

Sveral places are reporting that the Korean madman, Kim Jong-Il is dead. According to the BBC:
Mr Kim, who has led the communist nation since the death of his father in 1994, died on a train while visiting an area outside the capital, the announcement said.
No tyrant should ever be allowed to die a natural death. His son is tapped to take over the country and if I were his geographical neighbor, I'd be watching the developments in the country very, very closely. I'm sure that South Korea and Japan are on full alert with all their intelligence apparatus working overtime. I wonder how long it will be before the Great Successor dies on a train outside the capitol?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Christmas is upon us, this week the fourth Sunday of Advent where we redouble our efforts to prepare for Christ. It is altogether appropriate and fitting that we think of Mary, the mother of Jesus.



Merry Christmas, everyone.

Sunday Morning Dawg

This past summer, some of the grandkids were playing with a frisbee and was left in the backyard. After a rainstorm, we noticed that the dog liked drinking from it. He really loves mudholes and ditches and thinks that rainwater tastes great. So, we left the frisbee on the deck to collect dew and rainwater from the drip edge of the house.


It's the best water in the backyard.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday night

PawPaw is home, drinking egg nog with a splash of bourbon. I'm in my slippers and not going anywhere.

Today went a whole lot more smoothly than I expected. Generally, if I'm going to have problems at the school, real problems like serious fights, it'll be just before school releases or while they're getting on the bus. The day before a holiday, the kids are wild as March Hares and mad as hatters. Additionally, they won't be at school for two weeks, so if there's any getting-even to be done, the day before a holiday is the best time to do it.

Needless to say, I'm always on high alert the last school day before a holiday. Any holiday. However, today the weather screwed with them. It started off warm and rainy and all the kids wanted to do was get out of the rain. Along about noon, the front moved through and the wind shifted around to the north. The temp dropped twenty degrees and the wind picked up. All those kids wearing shorts and no jackets got cold. All the knuckleheads wanted to go was get on the bus and go home. About fifteen minutes after school was over, the parking lot was clear and PawPaw came home. That was as nice a present as I could have hoped for.

Tomorrow I'll be in the woods and tomorrow night, Milady and I are invited to a Christmas party. Life is good.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Firewall

Bill Whittle has a new Firewall up. Here he proposes a voter's guide to the Republican Party, along with historical data to back it up. Go watch.



It's worth the few minutes it takes, even if it's only for the history.

'Nilla Wafers

The dog and I are eating vanilla wafers. He loves them as much as I do.

I've gotta go back to work, and that's a shame. Plus, we're out of 'nilla wafers. The dog thinks that's a shame as well.

The Republican Nominee

The Republican nominee, whoeverthehell it might turn out to be, has got a hard row to hoe until the convention in August. I'm told that it will be in Tampa FL this go-around.

We've seen pretenders come and we've seen pretenders go. I'm told today that Gallup says that Newt Gingrich's numbers are slipping, and that's to be expected. Pretenders come and pretenders go, and until the voting starts it's hard to know who'll wind up on top. Iowa and New Hampshire will start separating the sheep from the goats, and by late July or early August, we'll know what's up.

I'm not really worried about it. Let 'em rise or fall at their peril. Eventually we'll pick a nominee, then we can all get behind him or her and move forward to elect a President. This is all part of the process, folks. Don't get too worked up about it.

No Confidence

According to the Daily Caller, 73 congressmen have signed a resolution of No Confidence in Eric Holder.
Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar’s office announced on Thursday morning that it has 73 cosponsors on its House of Representatives resolution of “no confidence” in Attorney General Eric Holder’s ability to serve.
I, on the other hand, have lots of confidence in our Attorney General. I'm confident that he's obstructing justice, I'm confident that he's stonewalling Congress, I have every confidence that President Obama isn't going to fire him. He'll have to be indicted and impeached.

I have lots of confidence in the man, all of it bad.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Confusing

It's getting so that you can't tell the players without a score card. It seems that President Obama wants to extend the payroll tax holiday, but the evil Republicans are saying that they don't want to extend it. I thought that Obama wanted more taxes and the Republicans wanted less taxes. Weird, isn't it? Now, the President is threatening a government shutdown if the evil Republicans don't extend the payroll tax cut. That's simply the most bizarre thing I've heard lately.

Where I come from, a government shutdown is a feature, not a bug. As long as the Social Security checks go out, and the military gets paid, I don't give a good damn if the government shuts down or not.

One question: If we're cutting the payroll tax (which we all know funds Social Security) who is going to pay for the SocSec checks? There is no SocSec fund, it's been raided years ago, and now all those checks come out of the general fund.

This electioneering is simply getting too bizarre.

Done

If you've been following the gun blogs, you've been following Breda, one of the premier female gun bloggers.

The last post on her blog was on November 22nd and she days "My work here is done".

If she's quit blogging, that's just a dirty-dog-shame.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Day

The school house is picking up speed. During football season, the school is focused on football, and we've got five home games in a standard 10 week season. All on Friday night. It's fairly easy, not many hours at the school. When football is over, basketball begins. Twenty games in a 12 week season, ten of them at home. Then there's soccer, which is cranking up at the same time.

Yesterday I spent 14 hours at the school. Got there at 7:00 a.m., locked the gates last night at 9:00 p.m. supporting the boy's soccer team. Oh, we had a 9th grade basketball game as well, but that was over early. I'll get to the school by 7:00 a.m., but we;re hosting basketball tonight. Both the boys and girls teams, so it'll be 9:00 tonight before I'm done.

Wednesday is a normal school day, but on Thursday, we've scheduled the Christmas Gala, and PawPaw is on duty for that as well.

I'll work 60 hours or more this week. I'm not complaining, it's what I signed up for, and I've had jobs when I worked longer hours. Still, it cuts into the blogging. I'll catch up with y'all when I get the chance.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gaudete Sunday

Today is Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent. Today we light the rose candle, signifying that we've passed the halfway point of Advent and that we should continue our spiritual preparation in preparation for Christmas.

In celebration of Guadete Sunday, I give you the Carol of the Bells.



PawPaw will spend most of the day supporting the activities of my local church, helping an association of churches in the annual Christmas Parade in Deville, LA. I'll be doing the bidding of the ladies of the church, making this celebration the biggest and best.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Light Squared?

Have you heard of LightSquared? No? Neither had I. It's a tech company with big pockets and they're trying to make wireless broadband possible for large numbers of people. LightSquared is a business, and I'm generally in favor of business. However, LightSquared's product has the ability to hurt a lot of people. Lots of people. Government testing of it's product shows that it disrupts 75% of the GPS recievers currently on the market.
“LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to majority of GPS receivers tested,” according to the draft prepared for a meeting next week of U.S. officials reviewing the LightSquared proposal. “No additional testing is required to confirm harmful interference exists.”

LightSquared, backed by $3 billion from Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund, faces challenges from makers of global-positioning system devices who say the service will disrupt navigation by cars, boats, tractors and planes. U.S. regulators are withholding approval as they check on claims of interference.
Who uses GPS? Everybody. Airlines, the military, your cell phone, your grandmother, everyone has a GPS device of some sort. They're everywhere, they're in lots of electronic devices and LightSquared disrupts them. It's like some sort of bad B-novel. This evil company comes out with a product that will disrupt navigational equipment all over the world. Our President, realizing the damage that this product will do to our economy, rides to the rescue, saving the American military, Airline passengers, the common folk trying to find the grocery store.... oh, wait, that didn't happen.

Obama is pushing this scheme. It seems that LightSquared's corporate owners are big Democratic donors.
Why is this important? Philip Falcone is a big donor to the Democratic Party, and he has billions of dollars at stake in LightSquared’s approval. Also, Obama himself was an investor in LightSquared at one point, as were or are a number of his associates. The resounding failure in this test makes it look like the White House pressured witnesses to back off of exposing LightSquared’s product as exactly the kind of dangerous problem that critics had maintained all along — with the intent to mislead Congress into moving forward with LightSquared’s government contracts.
The White House is trying to limit the damage, where they should be telling Falcone that his product is a failure, that it has the potential to do untold damage to GPS systems worldwide. But no, it they're trying to derail testimony that is damaging to LightSquared. It looks as if the White House is actively supporting the disruption of millions of GPS units worldwide.

It sounds like an evil plot, and of course, our President has his fingers right in the middle of it. I've come to expect evil from our President. From Fast and Furious, to the economy, to this LightSquared mess, it looks as if he's actively trying to damage our country.

Sunday Morning Dawg

The dog and I listened to the Army Navy game. I, of course, wore my ARMY sweatshirt. The dog doesn't have an ARMY sweatshirt, but we'll have to see about that. Maybe something in camo, with an appropriate unit patch.


The dog is having trouble hiding his disappointment, but he thanks the cadets and midshipmen for continuing the tradition and wishes each of them well in their studies and career. He also congratulates the midshipmen on their win.

Just wait till next year!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

CBS Poll

The new CBS poll shows that 54% of Americans don't think President Obama deserves a second term.
Just 41 percent of Americans think Mr. Obama has performed his job well enough to be elected to a second term, whereas 54 percent don't think so.
That doesn't bode well for the President. Of course, with poll numbers like that, there's only one thing that he can do. Take another vacation.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Friday Night

We're in full Christmas spirit here. Just back from one local Christmas parade, with a Dollar Store bag full of thrown goodies. One grandkid was marching in the high school band and we had to support that. Other grandkids are looking under the tree, wondering what the packages contain. PawPaw is relaxing with a ginger ale and bourbon.

I don't drink much ginger ale, but I was walking through the grocery last week, and a 12-pack "flung a craving on me". When I got home from the store and put the ginger ale on the counter, Milady asked why I'd bought it. I told her, honestly, that I didn't know why I bought it, but I wanted it. At my advanced age and curmudgeon status, that's reason enough.

I've gotta say, it's pretty darned good with bourbon.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

DOJ uses Fast and Furious to push Gun Control

Over at Hot Air, they're talking about some emails that came to light recently, wherein it looks as if DOJ officials wanted to use their own illegal program to push for greater gun control regulations. CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson has done the heavy lifting on this scandal.
ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3″. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.

On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:

“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”

On Jan. 4, 2011, as ATF prepared a press conference to announce arrests in Fast and Furious, Newell saw it as “(A)nother time to address Multiple Sale on Long Guns issue.” And a day after the press conference, Chait emailed Newell: “Bill–well done yesterday… (I)n light of our request for Demand letter 3, this case could be a strong supporting factor if we can determine how many multiple sales of long guns occurred during the course of this case.”
If this is true, and there is no reason to doubt that it isn't, they're pushing their own illegal activities to push for greater regulation on law-abiding people.

Holder should immediately be fired. All those folks responsible for this debacle should be indicted. We need a special prosecutor to clean house in DOJ, ATF, DEA, and all those other agencies who seem to think that they're above the law.

I believe that the case can be made that President Obama knew of this operation, approved of it, and talked with Sarah Brady about it. Impeachment proceedings should begin immediately.

Recoil

Phil Bourjaily talks about reducing felt recoil and shows a couple of videos that purport to show how perceived recoil can be diminished. I agree with Phil that hearing protection has a lot to do with perceived recoil at the range. If your ears don't hurt, it doesn't seem like the firearm kicks so much, but lots of other factors play into the equation. Stock fit, shooting position, caliber (or gauge), individual body build, psychological fear, all these make recoil something to be endured, feared, or enjoyed. If you're afraid of the gun, it'll seem to hurt you a lot more than if you're not afraid to shoot it.

Regardless of what I was shooting, I've never felt the recoil when I was shooting at game. Whether the recoil of a rifle from a deer stand, or shooting heavy magnums from the duck blind, if I was focused on meaty animals, I didn't feel the recoil. In fact, I often didn't hear the report of the gun.

When I'm teaching new shooters, grandkids, or nieces and nephews, we talk about recoil and how each gun might feel to them when they fire it. I've had students shy away from a gun that they felt might "kick" them too much, but I've never had them stay away long. I've seen skinny little teenage girls handle my .44 magnum and love it and those same girls shoot 12 gauge shotguns with relish. I've seen grown men who didn't like the recoil of a .30-06. It's okay to not like something and some folks handle recoil better than others. It's okay.

There are some guns I'm not crazy about. I don't really like shooting heavy .357 magnum loads, but I love shooting the .44 magnum. Go figure. Most recoil is about perception. If you perceive it to be bad, it probably will be bad. If you perceive it to be easy to handle, it probably will be easy to handle.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Laundering Money?

It seems that it's against the law to launder money for a criminal enterprise, yet the DEA has been laundering money for Mexican drug cartels.

We don't need one special prosecutor, we need several of them.

The Justice Department is so corrupt, it could rightly be called a criminal enterprise.

Laws we didn't even know about

I can't know all the laws; there are simply too many of them. However, we can assume that the Attorney General has someone on his staff with a working knowledge, at least one person in Justice, who knows the applicable law in any given situation. Even so, it appears that Justice may have broken laws of which the general public is blissfully unaware. Specifically, those that disallow aiding, abetting, or materially assisting certain criminal elements in foreign countries. As in the Fast and Furious investigation. Dept of Treasury is tasked with keeping track of the things necessary to procure and indictment, but when they detect a possible violation, they are supposed to refer the facts to Justice for prosecution.
Interestingly, and of serious note — if Secretary Geithner finds that the laws and programs which his Department administers have been violated, Treasury procedures mandate that the matter be referred to Eric Holder’s Justice Department for enforcement!

Perhaps the appointment of a special prosecutor is necessary after all.
I've been calling for a special prosecutor in this matter for several months now. There's no way that the IG at Justice is going to serve any useful purpose, except to give cover to Holder. It's time to appoint a special prosecutor.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

LSU vs Alabama

I see tonight that LSU and Alabama are going to meet again at the Superdome for the national championship. Going over the records, I see that the BCS National Championship since 2006 has been an SEC lock.

Florida in '06, LSU in '07, Florida in 08, Alabama in '09 and Auburn in '10. All SEC teams, all great football programs. This year, it will be an SEC lock again, when LSU meets Alabama. I'm sure it will be a great game, and certainly one for the record books. And, regardless who wins, it will be yet another SEC championship.

I don't know why those BCS folks even consider other conferences than the SEC. If it ain't SEC, it really isn't college football.

Gummint Healthcare

Looking forward to Obamacare, it's only natural to see how other countries are implementing socialized healthcare so that we can avoid the pitfalls. This heartwarming story from Sweden.
A man from Nyköping in eastern Sweden has been denied a power wheelchair despite having had both of his legs amputated as the local health authority remained "uncertain if the impairment was permanent".
I'd say that if you chopped his legs off, the situation is permanent, but what do I know? Maybe it's reversable?

Milady observes that the poor guy can't even sue the government. "He doesn't have a leg to stand on."

Ha! She cracks me up.

The Christmas Season

We began singing carols in church this morning, and I'm reminded that it is the 2nd Sunday in Advent, the beginning of the Christmas season. With the madness and bustle of the commercial Christmas, the black Friday sales and the worldliness that has come to mark the weeks in December, it is fitting and proper to remember why we celebrate this season and to mark it with music appropriate to the season.

So, without further ado, I recommend this little tune as interpreted by Celtic Woman.



Well Done, well done.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Not much this weekend, simply a short video of the dog chasing his ball. We've been unbelievably busy this week and the dog has suffered from a lack of attention. I'm sure that it will forever scar his tender psyche.



As long as PawPaw plays ball as soon as he comes home, then Milady offers treats at supper time, the dog's psyche seems to recover fairly quickly.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Live from the stand


Fooling about on the deer stand. Waiting for Bambi to make his appearance.

This technology amazes me. Posting a picture to the web from my deer stand is amazing.

Edit** A small keyboard and the inability to edit photos conspired against me. Still, the technology that we use today is simply amazing. I get better cell phone reception in my deer stand than I get in my living room.

No More Virgins

A prominent Saudi cleric has opined that if women are allowed to drive, the country will not have any virgins. Seriously.
Repealing a ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia would result in ‘no more virgins’, the country’s religious council has warned.

A ‘scientific’ report claims relaxing the ban would also see more Saudis - both men and women - turn to homosexuality and pornography.
And we're supposed to think that these people are rational? Baah!, I'm going to the deer stand.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Education

I was wandering about the school today, particularly the student parking lot, when I noticed something that I had noticed earlier, a hole in the chain-link fence. Several years ago, a tree had fallen on that fence and the custodian at the time had used a piece of chain-link to patch the hole. Some industrious students had re-opened the hole so they could sneak out of the back of the school, for the pleasures of the local convenience stores and the city park.

I decided that the thing to do was to patch the hole. The educational system frowns on the students skipping class, and that corner is hard to watch. So, this afternoon on my way home from work, I stopped at the local hardware store. This store caters to the suburban home owner, but I took the chance that they'd have what I needed.

"I'm looking for some hog ring pliers."

The guy didn't know what to think, but we went to the tool aisle and in short order found a hog ring plier, made by Decker. Then I told the guy I needed some hog rings.

"All we've got is shoat rings. Will that do?" So, we've got this kid working in a hardware store that doesn't understand what a shoat might be. I explained it to him. Then, I demonstrated how the pliers and the ring work together by clamping one of the shoat rings on a parts rack.

Then, I had to explain to the checkout girl what a hog ring tool does, and what a shoat might be. A couple of customers listened with interest. I have done my part to educate the suburban population on the proper application of a hog ring.

Tomorrow, the new custodian and I will fix that fence. I bet he's never heard of a hog ring either.