Friday, August 31, 2012

Writing

Back, starting about 1990 I dabbled with writing.  I've got rejection slips from some of the finer names in publishing, and eventually, Junior Doughty and I started a web magazine called The Frugal Outdoorsman.  I published over there for about five years and finally ran out of things to say.  One of the things I wrote was a poem, a take-off of Lindy Cooper's Seven Hundred Dollars and a .30-06.  I came from less affluent stock, so my poem was entitled Five Hunnerd Dollars and a Pump Shotgun.

Recently reader Joe Hecksel emailed me and asked that I post my poem on this blog.  Frankly, it's too long to post on a web log, but I did put it on my private server and anyone interested can click on the link below to view it, with my apologies and compliments to Lindy Cooper.  We miss your dad.

Five Hunnerd Dollars and a Pump Shotgun.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday Morning

A gentle rain, a gentle breeze, and Isaac becomes a footnote in this area.  Maybe I'm mis-reading something but it seems that what fury it had was expended on the coast with little left for the interior.  Oh, it'll bring much needed rain and my ditches are running this morning but we've had worse from a typical summer thunderstorm.  It did give me the motivation to clean the back yard.  With grandkids scheduled to be here this weekend, that is a short-lived condition, but we've had not so much as a potted plant blow over.

Northern Mississippi seems to be getting the worst of it right now, and it would be improper to ignore the damage that's been done to the coastal areas, especially Plaquemine parish at the mouth of the Mississippi River.  Here in central Louisiana I'm sure that we had some limbs down, but at PawPaw's house, the lights didn't so much as flicker.

I've checked my answerting machines and the cell phone, all my email accounts.  No one has called me out, and the schools are closed today, so I'll putter around here today, probably spend some time at my work bench.  It seems that my biggest decision today might be what to cook for supper, and I'll take my cues from Milady.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Beef Stew

I decided to cook tonight, so I started plundering about, made a quick trip to the store, picked up some essentials, then called Milady and gave her a choice of three menus.  She picked beef stew.  Nothing to it, easy-peasy.  Stews are simple, they're basically meat and veggies boiled in gravy.

I found some little steaks in the freezer that I was afraid might freezer-burn, so I cut them up, browned them in a little oil, then took them out of the oil, added flour and made a roux.  After making the gravy, returned my meat and carrots to the pot.  They're simmering as we speak.  In another half hour I'll drop the potatoes that I've already peeled and chopped into the pot.  Let them simmer for another hour.  When Milady gets home I'll make a pot of rice.

This is the weirdest storm I've ever been through.  It seems that it's picking up a lot of dry air from the north and pulling it into the rotation, effectively killing the rain on the west side of the storm.  The center is somewhere over the Atchafalaya basin, southeast of Baton Rouge.

PawPaw is in the center of the state and we're just starting to get a little rain, coming from the Northeast.  It's  a fine, steady rain with wind gusting to 20 mph.  Not bad at all.  The wind is supposed to pick up tonight with gusts to 50 or 60 mph.  Obviously as I'm posting to the intertubes, I've still got electricity.  And air conditioning, and all the comforts of home.

In another hour I'll be eating beef stew and watching the weather deteriorate.  Who knows, I might even decide to cocktail?

Dirty Jobs

I finished my preparations and called my Captain.  Told him I was finished here at home, and asked if he needed any help.  He told me that they had it covered, but he'd put me on the list, if they needed any help, he'd call.  That works for me.

Most folks don't realize how storms such as this might affect people who aren't in the direct path of the weather.  My sister, for example, works for a nursing home.  They called her this morning and told her to pack a bag.  She'll be at the nursing home for the duration.  It seems that they have properties down south and if they have to evacuate, they need administrators, nurses, and direct-care folks on hand to take care of the elderly folks who can't care for themselves.

My youngest son, who works for the state as a Parole Officer, has also gotten a warning order.  In the event of a disaster affecting a state prison, they might have to get on a bus and move inmates from one facility to another.  If you're in the electrical grid business, you're on alert this morning.  As soon as the wind quits howling, you'll be in your truck going to a place where power lines are down.  Likewise telephone repairmen, likewise all the contractors that provide sewerage, potable water, or provide tarpaulins and temporary shelter.

I've seen casinos set up big tents and bring in portable kitchens, feeding all comers free of charge as long as they were needed..Whether a refugee who's lost everything, or a hungry fireman who's been helping at the local shelter, it doesn't matter if they're hungry.  Feed them.

There is a whole army of people waiting for the wind to quit blowing.  They hope that they're not needed, but they wait nonetheless.  This is a slow-moving storm and it's weighing on us in ways that some folks might not understand.  For myself, right now, I'm bored and doing laundry.  If the lights go out, I'll have clean clothes.

Waiting

If you're like me, you're completely tired of hearing about Hurricane Isaac, although it's a matter of claim if he's currently a hurricane.  He came ashore last night the second  time at Port Fourchon, after savaging Plaquemine parish.  As I read the Accuweather map, he's currently over Houma, LA.  According to Google Earth, it's 170 miles in a straight-line distance from Houma to my house.  As I also look at that map, the biggest on-shore flow should be around Gulfport, MS.  Those folks are catching watery hell this morning.  Say a prayer for them if you've got a minute.

Here on the homefront, I've pretty much finished preparations.  It's cloudy, humid, starting to spit a little rain. I spent the time since dawn straightening up in the backyard, putting away pool toys and tieing down anything that might blow away.  While I was accomplishing that, I noticed that the hummingbirds were jittery, even moreso than hummingbirds are normally jittery, so I re-filled their feeders.  Let them get all the calories they can before the deluge.

I've talked to Momma, she's fine, staying at a sisters house in town until the weather calms down.  The Dawg is rather concerned, he's been watching my preparations all morning and staying underfoot.  He's currently hiding under the kitchen table.  What amazes me about this storm is how slowly it's moving.  He's not supposed to be here until tomorrow, as a tropical depression.  The upside is that he'll drop enough rain so that the creek on the lease should be flowing for a while.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Evaporated

Overheard at a bar this week.

Barmaid:  Hey, Jim, I thought you were offshore this week.

Him:  Yeah, we were out for three days, then one of them sy-phoons blew up the Gulf and they evaporated us off of the rigs.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Waiting for Isaac

Here in Louisiana, we're really interested in Isaac, soaking up every word we can get. It looks like it will come ashore as a strong Cat 1 or a weak Cat 2 storm. Lots of information is starting to firm up, and they're getting the track nailed down. Now, it's a waiting game. First, this graphic from the Weather Channel.

That shows Isaac coming ashore sometime tomorrow evening and getting to central Louisiana on Thursday with 45 mph winds.  Not an altogether strong storm, but from all indications, a big one.  Here's another graphic from Weather Underground.

Basically, that 's the same graphic and we're in for lots of rain.  Our governor, Bobby Jindal, is already calling out the state Guard, getting ready to provide aid and assistance as necessary.  PawPaw has filled the vehicles, gotten the spare gas cans full of non-ethanol gasoline, and has given the generator a test run.

Hopefully, the electrical grid guys are on their game, cause sure as hell we're going to have a lot of trees down and wires dangling.  I hope that before they send crews down south to help with the damage we're about to sustain, they make sure that our lights stay on as well.  It doesn't make sense to send crews south when we're about to take a hit as well.

All indications is that this isn't a particularly strong storm, but it is a big one.  We're doing what we can to take care of ourselves.

Mauling

While we're watching Isaac and wondering where it will come ashore, it's instructive to understand that we're not always on the top of the food chain, as this photographer in Denali National Park learned.
The photographs in the recovered camera show the bear grazing and not acting aggressively. Spokeswoman Maureen McLaughlin said the bear did not even appear aware of the hiker until the final photos, which show the animal looking toward the camera. A few hours after the attack Friday, hikers stumbled upon White's backpack roughly 150 yards from his remains, McLaughlin said. The hikers also spotted blood and torn clothing, and immediately hiked back and alerted staff park. Rangers in a helicopter spotted a large male grizzly bear sitting on the hiker's remains, which they called a "food cache" in the underbrush.
In the final analysis, we're just protein, Either for the worms or the bears, whichever gets to us first.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Where's Bobby?

The track on Issac continues to shift west, confounding the weather weenies.  One that I trust is Brendan Loy, over at Pajamas Media.  He's a weather nerd and although he admits that the models don't agree, but that there's broad consensus that the storm is unpredicable.  Now, there are warnings from Morgan City, LA  east to the Florida panhandle.  The storm track will clear up as time moves along, but now New Orleans is in the cone.  This graphic from WeatherUnderground tells us lots about the updated information.

  One of these days a major hurricane is going to come ashore, swamp New Orleans, continue up the Mississippi to Morganza and inundate the control structure at Three Rivers.  When that happens, the city of New Orleans is screwed.  The Mississippi will turn down the Atchafalaya, taking the shorter more direct route to the Gulf.  Fresh water will cease to flow in the lower stretch of the Mississippi and salt will encroach on the marshes.  New Orleans will become a shallow salt lake, a part of Ponchartrain.  The building structures that remain will provide shelter for snakes, gators, and will provide fine fishing for visiting sportsmen.

One of these days, not necessarily this week, but one of these days.  However, if you live in New Orleans this day, it might be time to check your bug-out bag, make sure the car is full of gas, and double-check your plans with family and in-laws.

Watching Isaac

Watching this morning's weather map for Isaac, I see that they've moved the track of the storm westward, having it now come ashore somewhere near Mobile, AL

That's interesting, although Florida will still get lots of wind, and the Republican National Convention, slated to start tomorrow in Tampa is all but postponed, Florida won't take the direct hit that the weather-weenies were predicting earlier this week.    Now, Mobile is in the spotlight.  It's important to remember that the science isn't settled and the computer models don't agree, and three days out this is all just a crapshoot.

At least one weather model has it coming ashore at the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving to New Orleans, stalling northwest of the city and dropping copious amounts of rainfall.

Wouldn't that be charming.  If I were a mayor of a major city on the Gulf Coast, I'd be dusting off the evacuation maps, getting the plans together, and keeping my staff close by.  Isaac's not done with us yet, not by a long shot.

Sunday Morning Dawg

I'm looking at the dog and thinking it's time for a haircut.

That's one fuzzy mutt.  We've got to make an appointment for him soon.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Well, Hell

Piddling around by the pool this morning I walked over to check my salt sanitizing system.  No lights on the little unit, so I checked the fuse, reset everything, then turned it back on.  No dice.  I took it apart, per the instructions and gave it a chemical cleaning.  Put it all back together.  Turned it on.  Nada, nothing.

Came inside and looked at the blog.  Blogs are good for lots of things, including such information as when I've done something, like installing a pool.  Turns out, we installed it in the spring of 2007.  I use an Intellichlor system, and a review of the literature tells me that it's warranted for five years.  Damn!  Out of warranty.  From the limited troubleshooting I'm able to do, it looks as if the system has gone belly-up.  Died.  Defunct.  Pining for the fjords.

Well, hell.  I'm not going to worry about that this afternoon.  I know how to run a pool without a salt system. Time to start saving my pennies for a new chlorine generator.

Watching Isaac

I bet that the Marines at Guantanamo are hunkered down this morning. Isaac is bearing down on Cuba and there will be wind and rain and crap blowing around.  It's gonna get nasty.  They're still not sure where it's going but that's to be expected.  Weather forecasting isn't an exact science, and although I'm convinced that the meteorologists do the best they can, they're still wrong enough  that they've earned the title Weather-Weenies.  Still, they try and they're the best we've got at this sort of thing.  The current map.

That's the five-day track and they're saying that it should minimally impact Cuba.  Still, the Marines are going to need their rain-gear handy.  They still expect it to slide up the western coast of Florida, citing concerns about steering troughs.   I do note with some relief that I"m not personally in the five-day cone and I'll take that as a blessing.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Shooting in Manhattan

Some guy went off on his former boss and shot him dead near the Empire State Building. 
A laid-off store worker returned to his old job near the Empire State Building and opened fire Friday on a former coworker, killing the employee and wounding several others.
But that's un-possible in mayor Bloomberg's New York, with it's strict gun laws. Ordinary citizens can't have guns, so this is blatantly un-possible. Fox News reports that police officers may have wounded some people as they opened fire on the gunman.
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says at least nine people -- two women and seven men -- were injured in the incident, including bystanders caught in a crossfire as police shot and killed the gunman, identified as Jeffrey Johnson, 53.
That's just ignorant. Police officers shouldn't be shooting people who just happen to be on a street-corner. Especially in downtown New York. It will be interesting to see how many folks were injured by the shooter, and how many folks were injured by police bullets. Reports that I'm reading indicate that the shooter shot the fellow he was after, then turned and walked away. Police did all the other shooting. This is a debacle and Bloomberg is at the center of it. This won't stop him from calling for more gun control.

Police Quotas

It seems like the New Orleans Police Department is back in the news, this time over quotas.
On August 2, NOPD Lt. Carol Aldridge sent an email to members of her platoon in the 5th District. In the email, which FOX 8 obtained, Aldridge writes, "This is an order-1 bike, 2 businesses, 1 walking beat EACH TOUR OF DUTY! did you forget that this was a platoon directive? if you cannot accomplish this, you will be writing a 105 every day to explain why you saw no bicycles violating the law, why you had no time to do 2 business checks, and why you did no walking beat the previous day."
I love police quotas. It makes the public distrust us, it makes us look like we're idiots only interested in revenue enhancement, and it violates Louisiana Law. Oh, yeah, it's against the law to assign quotas to police officers in Louisiana.
No municipality or any police department thereof, nor any parish or any sheriff's department thereof, shall establish or maintain, formally or informally, a plan to evaluate, promote, compensate, or discipline a law enforcement officer on the basis of the officer's issuance of a predetermined or specified number of any type or combination of types of traffic citations or require or suggest to a law enforcement officer, that the law enforcement officer is required or expected to issue a predetermined or specified number of any type or combination of types of traffic citations within a specified period.
Now, I'll agree that supervisors have the authority to supervise their officers.  I'll also agree that a walking beat is a good idea, and business checks are a vital part of the policing business, as long as the businesses are closed.  Rattle the doors, look inside, leave a card.  It's good police work.  But quotas?  No, lieutenant, that's against the law.  It's bad police work.

Lieutenant Aldridge needs to get smacked by her supervisors and instructed in the laws of the state of Louisiana.  The very laws she's sworn to uphold.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Speaking of Isaac

According to the NOAA, he continues to churn along.  Not particularly fast, nor particularly strong, but churn away he does.

They're betting that he goes into the Gulf of Mexico, but that's yet to be seen. 
Storms tend to turn right when they hit land, and it looks like he's going to hit land in the form of islands and especially Cuba.  I'd bet that he turns right and heads up the east coast of Florida, but I'm no weather-weenie, just a hurricane watcher. 

Thursday Blahs

Not feeling it today, so a quick recap of Fox News main page.

  Romney wants to increase energy production, and that's a good thing.  If he can get unleaded gasoline back to 30 cents a gallon, I'll be sold on his plan.  Obama is agin' it, which tells me all I need to know.  Drill everywhere, drill now, that's my mantra.  We'll have enough unleaded gasoline when we're running it down ditches to control weeds.  Until then, we're not producing enough.

Janet Napolitano is being sued by her own people over her immigration policy.  She should be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail, but that form of political expression has fallen from polite society.  Damn shame.  If more politicians were tarred and feathered occasionally, it might encourage the others to pay attention. 

The Stupid Party is tempting Hurricane Isaac to come ashore and ruin their convention.  I was listening to the Dennis Miller show, and he proposed that they conduct the whole convention on Skype.  They could do the whole convention in about a half-hour and show that they're serious about saving money.  Donate everything they don't use for the convention against the national debt.  I mean, c'mon, is the outcome of the convention in doubt?  Why bother?  Romney could still give his speech and look like he's partially serious about saving  money.

And finally, if you're old-folks, the government is going to penalize hospitals if you show up twice within a 30-day period.  Old folks shouldn't need to come back to the hospital.  That's the position of our government.

That's today's news, folks.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Winter

Milady told me yesterday that she thinks we're going to have a hard winter this year.  I'm not doubting, but I haven't seen any evidence at all.

Until just now.  I just saw a gaggle of about 15 Canada geese drop into our pond.  The third week of August is a little early to start the migration, yet I've got Canadas in the pond.

The National Weather Service gives no information on the matter.  I guess I should break out Old Richard's Almanac.

Rats Jumping Ship

According to Townhall, the DOJ Inspector General has finished the report on Fast and Furious. 
According to sources, the long awaited Department of Justice Inspector General Report on Operation Fast and Furious has been delivered to DOJ "shot callers," including Attorney General Eric Holder, this morning. It will be reviewed today and in the coming weeks. No cell phones, Ipads or computers are allowed in the review room. After it is reviewed, it will be released to the public in 30 days.
Really? After it is reviewed, it will be released to the public? In 30 days? How many of us here believe that?
Two weeks ago, one ATF official heavily involved in Fast and Furious jumped ship to save his pension. Others are currently looking to do the same. According to a new report today, one embattled ATF official who is now in charge of the ATF Office of Professional Responsibility, Bill McMahon, has been receiving taxpayer money through his six figure salary and money through private payments at J.P. Morgan as he's been on extended leave from the bureau. Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Acting ATF director Todd Jones about the situation today while also slamming Jones for failing to bring a change of culture to ATF.
Jumping ship to save your pension might not help if you're convicted of a felony, and it looks like there were plenty of felonies accumulated during this operation. Things like subverting the laws of the US, running guns into Mexico, lots of RICO stuff. It'll be interesting to see how many indictments follow the public release of the report. And how many requests for extradition come from Mexico.

After it is reviewed?  Thirty days?  That will put the relevations fairly close to the election.  Not great timing on Holder's part, but it might save a federal attorney the embarrassment of indicting a sitting Attorney General.

Corn Prices

Corn prices are up, closing yesterday at $8.38 per bushel.  We've had a terrible drought in the bread basket and lots of grain was lost to the lack of water.  Soybeans are up, as is wheat. 

Our president can't control the weather, but he can control the amount of corn that we eat, and the amount that we use to make fuel.  Common sense says that if you're burning your food, you're doing something wrong.  If you're converting food into fuel, you've got your priorities misplaced.  If you don't think rising corn prices affect you, then think again.  Corn and the sugar it provides permeates our economy.  It hits you at the gas pump, at the meat aisle, on the breakfast cereal aisle, on the vegetable aisle.  It's in your soda, your bread, just about everything you purchase at the grocers is linked to corn.

President Obama , through this Agriculture and Energy departments, can affect how much grain gets changed into ethanol.  According to the US Dept of Energy, we're now producing 7.5 billions of gallons of ethanol. Or, about four of every ten rows of corn.

Prices are rising everywhere and a big chunk of that is corn prices.  What we're doing is foolish, but our President doesn't understand that simple fact.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Active Shooter Research

Today, surfing gunnie stuff over at the Firing Line, we come to a question about active shooter scenarios.  I started Googling around and found a place called the Hard Tactics blog that has a lot of good research on active shooters.  If you're interested in such things, go an read.  There's good information there, and by linking to it, I'll be reading more from that site.

Gas Prices

Yeah, gasoline prices are going up and much of the blame can be laid on our President.  Thankfully we'll have an opportunity to rectify that mistake in November when we send him packing.  If you're wondering what your memory won't recall, then this helpful graphic might show why we've got to elect someone else to the office.

We're not paying $4.22 locally, but we're paying over $3.50 which in oil-soaked Louisiana is quite high.  This guy is killing us and it's time for him to go away.

Hat tip to The Ulsterman Report.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Beagles

I'm thinking about beagles tonight, for reasons I can't fathom, but little 12-inch tricolored, blanket-back beagles are on my mind.

We raised beagles for the better part of two decades and during the '90s I got out of the beagle-running business   They're great little dogs, smart, pack oriented, and deadly hell on rabbits.  There's really nothing better than a crisp winter morning, a pack of beagles and a rabbit cover.    With a small pack of dogs, a pocket full of 20 gauge shells, and a recent clear-cut, you've got a morning full of fun.

Beagles are susceptible to problems, but no so much that you've got to worry about them, they're fairly durable little dogs.  Keep the bloodlines clean, don't interbreed them and you don't have to worry about hip dysplasia. Keep the shots current and give them a worming twice a year, you're pretty much done.  Like with all dogs, heart-worm treatment and inoculation against parvo virus is a great idea.

Beagles are great little dogs, and I'm thinking about beagles tonight.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Six Songs of Me.

A meme.  I don't normally do memes, but just this once, whatthehell.  I found it at Mostly Cajun.
  • What was the first song you ever bought?
  • What song always gets you dancing?
  •  What song takes you back to your childhood?
  •  What is your perfect love song?
  •  What song would you want at your funeral?
  •  Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.
. 1. First song I ever bought? Probably the Beatles, She Loves You. I've always been a Beatles fan. That one was easy.

2. Dancing? Oh, La Dance de Mardi Gras. It's a classic cajun song, and if you don't feel like dancing to this one, you don't have a soul.

3. What takes me back to my childhood? Probably Mario Lanza. Dad loved Lanza and listened to him a lot. We had a big, built-in stereo turntable and when Dad was listening to music, probably Lanza, or Al Hirt would be on the record stack.

4. Perfect love song? That's easy. There was a song done in the '90s by Barbra Steisand and Vince Gill, If You Ever Leave Me. I played it at my wedding, when Milady agreed to hitch-up with me.

5. My funeral? I want it to be a celebration, a party. If they're going to be maudlin, then Vince Gill is as good as any. Go Rest High is a perennial favorite.  However, if you want to celebrate, then go get Jimmy Buffett's Trip Around the Sun.  That should pick them up.

6.  One song?  Ain't happening.  As long as it isn't rap, or hip hop, I'm good.

Hat tip to Bayou Renaissance Man

Those Hornadys

I couldn't stand it after most of the family left today following our normal Sunday lunch, so elder grandson and I went to Momma's and tried the Marlin 1894 against the targets. It looks like the little rifle is grouping into about 4 inches. We were resting over the hood of the pickup truck and when we got bored with shooting at paper, we turned the front sight bead on the steel targets.  We took turns shooting and it is very easy to hit the 9" plates at 100 yards.

The six inch plate is a little more problematic, but it seems that the rifle is shooting a tad to the left, and I didn't have any screwdrivers to adjust the Williams FP sight I've got on that rifle.  I'll have to fine-tune the sights, but I'm confident that I can hit a 9" plate at 100 yards with iron sights and an improvised rest.

I haven't shot that little rifle as much as I should, it doesn't even have a carry strap on it.  I need to get much more familiar with it, but I'm relieved that it smacks those gongs with as much authority as it does.  I'm sure that it would smack anything made of bone and meat with the same authority.

No pictures, as my cell phone decided to crap-out because I forgot to charge the battery, but the little rifle performed flawlessly and the ammo fed, fired and extracted with no problems.  Plus, and this is a very big plus, I got to spend an hour shooting with my eldest grandson.  That in itself was worth the trip.

Crucifiction

It's fitting on a Sunday to reflect on the life, teachings and death of Jesus Christ, who was nailed to a cross for his teachings.  It's also instructive to look to the Middle East, where Islam continues this brutal practice.  From World Net Daily
A Sky News Arabic correspondent in Cairo confirmed that protestors belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.
In fairness I can only find one other link supporting this story, and it seems that they quote from the same source. However, I'm not seeing a lot of news out of Egypt. The ruling party seems to have clamped down on reporting, so this might be a good report, or it might be fabricated. However, nailing someone naked to a tree is a particularly horrific punishment.
Finally, it is telling that only a few months ago, and for the first time in Egypt’s modern history, an Egyptian MP proposed to institutionalize Sharia’s most draconian punishments—including crucifixion. In short, under the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the bottle has been uncorked and the Islamic Genie set loose. Expect much worse to come.
Indeed. If there was ever a time for the Copts to leave Egypt, it seems that the time has come.

Sunday Morning Dawg

It's no secret that the dog likes flour tortillas, so when we go to a Mexican restaurant, I try to bring him some steamed tortillas.  He loves them, he really does.



That's enthusiasm.  We love tortillas and the dog knows how to show it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hornady XTP

I recently bought some bullets from Hornady, for the .357 magnum.  After having accuracy problems with my 180 grain RF cast bullet, I decided that maybe it was time to invest in some good jacketed bullets and see if I could get my Marlin 1894 to group with them.  I ordered one box each of the Hornady XTP bullets, one billed as a hollow point, the other as a flat point, if the FP designation is to be believed.

They appear to be standard cup-and-core bullets with flat bases, however I'm a bit intrigued at what Hornady is calling a FP bullet.

That's the FP on the left, with the HP on the right.  As you can see, the HP has a big ole cavity in the nose, just exactly what you'd expect from a hollow point bullet.  What I didn't expect is the smaller cavity in the FP bullet.  It's not necessarily a bad thing, but something I wasn't expecting.  A better photo might show the FP a little better.

That's better.  The FP on the left, the HP on the right.  I suspect that the smaller cavity on the FP is an artifact of the manufacturing process.  It certainly shouldn't hurt the bullet any and will probably retard expansion as compared against the HP.  This is what I'm looking to accomplish as I'll be pushing this bullet about 1800 fps from the Marlin.  I'll load them over a starting charge of 16.0 grains of Hodgdon's Lil' Gun.  Hodgdon says that in a pistol that load will be traveling about 1500 fps from the muzzle which should translate into about 1800 fps from the carbine.

I haven't loaded jacketed bullets in the .357 in well over a decade.  It'll be interesting to see how this experiment comes out.

316 Stainless

I've got an acquaintance who works in a metal shop and he saw me fooling about with steel targets.  I've done some favors for him in the past and yesterday he dropped by with a freebie.  This guy's shop makes high-end metal products with demanding applications and he had some scrap steel that he thought I might be able to use as a target.

That's a 10-inch disk of what he calls 316 stainless.  He says that it is hard, and tough.  "We have to use special tools to cut that material.  A normal drill bit won't cut it, and we had to cut those  holes on the plasma table.  It will destroy a standard grinding wheel."  He thinks that it will make good target material, and I'm willing to fling bullets at it.  It's a freebie, after all.

My calipers measure it at 0.276", a tad over a quarter inch.    I'll hang it on the hundred yard line, between my A500 targets and my mild steel targets.  We'll see how it holds up.  If it does well, I might have a supply for hard steel scrap pieces.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Niggerization?

That's not my word, it's MSNBC's word.  The co-host of The Cycle, Mr. Toure' used it to describe the president.  He claims that the Republican party is trying to use racial politics against the President.



I understand that there has been extreme outrage over Toure's use of the N-word, rightfully so.  It seems that the charge of racism is freely bandied, and frankly, it's lost its punch.  I used to worry about being called a racist, because that label had meaning, but when Joe Biden makes a racially insensitive comment, Mitt Romney calls him on it, and the Republicans are accused of being racist, then the accusation has no weight.

I love this quote by the conservative co-host, Cupp. 
“You have two white guys in Joe Biden and Mitt Romney,” Cupp clarified. “Joe Biden made the overtly racial comment and has a history of making bigoted remarks. Mitt Romney was responding to the comment. Yet he is the one responsible for the whole Republican history of racism in politics?”
Good question. Toure' would do himself a service by re-evaluating his history, and deciding which party has done more for civil rights since 1860. I think that he'd decide that the Democratic Party is much more culpable than the Republicans.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

On Rights

I'm seeing a lot on a right to health care, and I'm one of those sorts that believes that the Founding Fathers listed a lot of enumerated rights and then put the Ninth Amendment in the Constitution to talk about unenumerated rights. So, do you have a right to health care?

Sure you do. Just like I have a right to arm myself. Health care is a basic human need, just like the right to self-defense. I can buy a gun to protect myself and my family if I've got the money to pay for it. I can also go to a doctor as long as I make arrangement to pay my bill. I buy insurance to help with these things.

The problem comes when you expect me to pay for your health care.  There is no right to FREE health care, and that's what the health care freaks are yammering about.  They want it free.

When they are ready to talk about free guns and ammunition, I might be ready to talk about free health care.  Until then, they can buy insurance, just like everybody else.

Dead Girl or a Live Boy

In 1983, Edwin Edwards was running for governor in Louisiana against Dave Treen.  The day before the election, Edwards joked with reporters that "The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy".  Edwin went on to win that race and become of the great legends in Louisiana politics.  He also managed to serve a term in the Federal Pen.  However, that makes his observations no less valid.

It seems that one Minnesota Democrat is going to find out if he can lose an election.   Gateway Pundit leads with this headline. 
Dem Representative Investigated For Having Sex at Rest Stop With 17 Year-Old Boy
Here in Louisiana we'd joke that either a dead girl or a live boy will cost you an election. I guess that we'll have to see if it holds true in Minnesota. Heh!

Hasan's Courts-Martial on Hold

Really? Over his beard?
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — The trial for an Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting has been put on hold while an appeals court considers his objections to being forcibly shaved.
That's simple. Have any superior officer order him to shave. If he doesn't add that to the list of specifications.  This traitorous sonofabitch has been allowed too long to parade his particular brand of hate before the media.  The sooner he becomes a footnote the better off we'll all be.  It's a damned shame that the Army doesn't stand traitors against a wall anymore.  We're much too civilized for that.

I love the Army, but the current leadership has let this go on far too long.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Social Security Administration buying Ammo?

And a lot of it, from the looks of things.
First it was the Department of Homeland Security, then it was the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and now the Social Security Administration is set to purchase 174,000 rounds of hollow point bullets that will be delivered to 41 locations across the country. A solicitation posted by the SSA on the FedBizOpps website asks for contractors to supply 174,000 rounds of “.357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow point pistol ammunition.”
174,000 rounds of .357 Sig ammo? That's a lot of handgun ammo. The solicitation wants it to be:
shipped to 41 locations within 60 days of purchase. A separate spreadsheet lists those locations, which include the Social Security headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland as well as major cities across the country including Los Angeles, Detroit, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Seattle.
This is getting curiouser and curiouser.

Deer Season

I see that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have set the 2012-13 deer seasons.  Here in Area 2, we get a 78 day regular season, 14 days of primitive firearms, and archery runs for five months.

I also note with some enthusiasm that our high school doesn't have a home football game scheduled for the opener of the centerfire firearm season.  This is the first time in three years that I'll be off that weekend, and I'm hyped about it.  Now, I can make plans and I'll guaran-damn-tee you that I'll be in the woods on the morning of October 27, 2012.

There has also been a change in the weapons allowed for the primitive weapons season.  From the webpage
2. Single shot, breech loading rifles, .35 caliber or larger having an exposed hammer that uses metallic cartridges loaded either with black powder or modern smokeless powder. All of the above may be fitted with magnified scopes.
From that general designation, it appears that H&R Handi-rifles in .35 caliber are now legal for the primitive firearms season. Interesting

Gas Prices

If you're like me, you've noticed a recent spike in gasoline prices.  Two weeks ago I was paying considerably less than the $3.44.9 I paid yesterday.  I'm not the only one noticing, and it looks as if we're in for higher prices for at least the near future.  That can't bode well for our President, as rising gasoline prices put a crimp on other forms of consumer spending.  I've got to have a certain amount of gasoline to get to work every day and to run those errands that are necessary to life in small-town Louisiana.  Money I spend at the pump  is money I can't spend elsewhere and my spending goes down.

The economy is the main thing on most peoples minds and high gasoline prices don't comport well with a rebound in the economy.  I wonder about a President who won't help us with rising energy costs, and I wonder about a vice-president who doesn't know which century we're living in.  I'm also concerned about a President whose judgement is such that he keeps Uncle Joe on as his veep pick.  I'm sure that the President had nothing to do with that refinery fire in California, but I would think that he would have some impact on the curtailed production in.  He is from Illinois, isn't he?  High gasoline prices are a drag on the economy and we can't afford anything dragging on the economy right now.

We go to the polls in November, about 11 weeks away.  Hopefully the guys we elect in November will do a better job than the guys we elected four years ago.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Comments

I have one frequent commenter, Gerry N, whose comments are often dropped in the spam folder.  I've loosened my moderation to the point where it's almost wide open, but for some reason, Blogger thinks Gerry is spam.

You ain't spam, Gerry!  Keep commenting!  I'll keep checking comments fairly regularly and publishing your comments, until we get this figgered out.

National Weather Service buying Ammo?

According to this article, the National Weather Service has put out bid solicitations for handgun ammo.  Really.
Why would the National Weather Service need to purchase large quantities of powerful ammo? That’s the question many are asking after the federal agency followed in the footsteps of the Department of Homeland Security in putting out a solicitation for 46,000 rounds of hollow point bullets.
I didn't know that the National Weather Service had an armed contingent. This is getting curiouser and curiouser.

Uncle Joe

Joe Biden, God love him, is about as comical a vice-president as we've ever had.  The man's a riot.



He told a bunch of folks this morning that Mitt Romney wanted to put ... oh, hell.  Here's what he said, "Romney wants to let the—he said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules–unchain Wall Street. They’re going to put y’all back in chains. He’s said he’s going to do nothing about stopping the practice of outsourcing…"


They're going to put you back in chains? Biden actually said that?  Is the man a lunatic?  Or simply pandering to his base?  Inquiring minds want to know.

New Boots

Tomorrow I've got to pull on my boots, strap on my gun belt, and go back to work.  It's been a fun summer, but it's over.  One of the downsides of working in the schools is that you have to work a lot of extra hours.  Every football game, basketball game, track meet, debate tournament, school play, open house, whateverthehell the school  might decide to host, the resource officer is there.  The upside is that all that extra time goes into what we call a K-time account and we take it off in the summer. 

Like folks returning to school all over the world, I always start the year with new footwear.  Over the course of my career I've worn lots of boots.  Cowboy boots, combat boots, rubber boots, they're all a part of the uniform.  For the past several years I've been wearing Bates Ultra-Lites, so yesterday when I went to the store, I walked immediately over to the Bates display and picked up a box.  Didn't even try them on, wasn't concerned with looking at other brands. 

Last years boots will become my hunting boot.  The set that was last year's hunting boot goes into the trash.  They're done.  One day I might try another boot, but not to-day.  I really like Bates boots as a walking/service boot.  I'm not jumping out of helicopters anymore, I don't need the ankle support that Corcorans gave me.  I'm not wandering around in the rocky desert, so I don't need Danner's any more.  Bates provides good comfortable boots for a beat cop, and that's what I do at this stage of my career.  If you're looking for a good pair of boots, might I suggest Bates.  They've got the PawPaw seal of approval.

Wasserman Schultz

With the political climate heating up, with the addition of Congressman Ryan to the ticket, it's interesting to watch the Democratic talking-points machine as it gears up.  And in this case, I'm not convinced that it's not an actual machine, a lifelike, programmable robot that regurgitates talking points.  I give you Debbie Wasserman Shultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee.



She seems so lifelike, yet devoid of reason.  Simply a robot on a playback loop.  It's amazing to watch, you'd actually think that there is a living, breathing, sentience at work.  Until you actually listen to what she's saying.  Then it becomes clear, there's no brain, simply a playback machine.

If she is the face of the Democratic Party, they're in worse shape than I imagined.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Deportation

We're entirely too polite in dealing with criminal immigrants.  According to Fox News:
Long after they were ordered out of the country, thousands of criminal aliens from places like China, Cuba, Vietnam and Pakistan remain free in the United States to commit new crimes because their home countries refuse to take them back.
Of course, in our feel-good diplomatic Corps, they don't want to rock the boat, so these criminals are allowed to stay in our country. 
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, is leading the charge in Congress to change the law, pushing to withhold visas to nations that refuse to take back their own.
I wouldn't be that kind. I don't give a damn about visas, and there's no reason to punish the good, hardworking educated immigrants from those countries.  I propose the PawPaw deportation initiative.  One good parachute, a ten minute instructional block to the deportee, and a low flight over the country's capitol.  Push him out the door if necessary. 

Done and done.  I don't know why deportation policy is such a problem.

Shooting in College Station

There's been another media shooting, this time in College Station, TX.  Details are sketchy right now, but one officer is dead, another wounded and according to the radio station I was just listening to, the shooter is deceased.

The police are asking that the public wait for information.  The spokesman said that there are multiple crime scenes, lots of information is coming in, and they're still sorting out the input.

A quick prayer for the victims, and we'll wait until the information starts to make sense.

Contempt

I see that the House is suing to enforce the contempt citation against Eric Holder. Good for them. I'd rather that they would send over the Sergeant at Arms with an arrest warrant, but I dream big sometimes.

Some have worried that if it gets close to locking Holder up for these and other charges, he might try to flee. Where's he going? Mexico? I crack myself up sometimes.

 I think that Eric Holder is the biggest criminal to hold the position of Attorney General. I don't trust the man at all. Hopefully, come November, he'll be gone.

Posse Comitatus

I was a military officer for over 20 years, both on active duty and in the various reserve formations of our country.  I took off the uniform and reverted to civilian clothing  in 1999, two years before the current unpleasantness that occurred in 2001.  We have for eleven years been embroiled in a great conflict that has changed America in ways that I couldn't have imagined as I turned in my field gear and walked away from the armory for the last time.  However, during my service I couldn't envision, could not even imagine, planning for operations against American citizens.  That was simply unheard of, a career-ender, nothing that you'd want to contemplate or consider.  It was blasphemy.  It was also illegal.

Even as a military policeman, and a supervisor of military police, we were extremely careful in our accidental dealings with non-service personnel.  We'd occasionally stop a civilian for a traffic violation on post, and we could detain a civilian that we might be breaking the laws on post, but the thought of enforcing anything against civilians was anathema to the military code of conduct as we understood it at the time.  We served the civil population and were happy with that distinction.

Evidently, there are officers who have forgotten about Posse Comitatus, the law which restrains the military in its operations on American soil.  While the law specifically constrains only the Army and the Air Force, we understand that the use of the military against American citizens is a grave concern, and carries massive political risks.  Military officers plan for all sorts of contingencies, that is their job and their profession, but even in planning it is wise to consider the political ramifications of our work.

There is a flap currently going on about an officer who wrote a paper for the Small Wars Journal, describing operations in a small American town where Tea Party extremists seize control of the town and the governor is unwilling to ask for help.  This paper describes "preparing the battlefield" for military operations.  I recoil from the thought.  This cannot be a serious contemplation, nor even a rational consideration.  The scenario is set forth here.
In May 2016 an extremist militia motivated by the goals of the “tea party” movement takes over the government of Darlington, South Carolina, occupying City Hall, disbanding the city council, and placing the mayor under house arrest. Activists remove the chief of police and either disarm local police and county sheriff departments or discourage them from interfering. In truth, this is hardly necessary. Many law enforcement officials already are sympathetic to the tea party’s agenda, know many of the people involved, and have made clear they will not challenge the takeover. The militia members are organized and have a relatively well thought-out plan of action.
I quail at the scenario, especially since the author lists by name a political movement that many people find popular.  Before going into apoplexy, I linked over to the comments and find that many of the professional officers share my concerns.  This one comment is particularly reassuring:  
The underlying premise is treasonous and counter to the constitution. If I were the commander of the authors I'd ask they resign their commissions.
I concur. It appears that in professional military circles, this article is getting the derision it so richly deserves.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Home again

We're home.  The annual Montgomery family reunion is in the record books.  It was fun, but it will be great to sleep in my own bed tonight.  I'm going to shut down this computer, put my butt in the recliner and watch TV for a little while.

Sunday Morning Dawg

The dog and I have been spending a lot of time outside this week.  He's getting better at listening to me, and minding when I call him.  He likes to face into the breeze and sniff the wind, a harkening to his predatory roots.

There is no way he's a hunting dog, but he imitates one at my house.  I love it when he's sniffing around acting like a real dog.  If he found a rabbit, he'd probably want to play with it.  If he found a bisquit, he'd know what to do.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paging Betty Ford

Randy Travis might use a stay in Betty Ford's institute. 
Country music star Randy Travis, who pleaded no contest to public intoxication following the Super Bowl in February, was arrested again Tuesday after being found naked, smelling apparently of alcohol and lying on a remote stretch of roadway in northern Texas just before midnight, authorities said. He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and felony retaliation, after allegedly threatening to fatally shoot highway patrol troopers who responded to a concerned caller who notified authorities of "a man lying in the roadway" Tuesday. The DWI offense is a misdemeanor, authorities said.
Heh! Yeah, threatening to shoot the cops who find you laying naked in the roadway isn't the best idea in the world, but if you're laying naked in a roadway your judgement is just a bit relaxed. I'd say it's time to get off the bottle. Tam's commenter Robert wins the prize for the opening line of a new country song:
""I woke up naked on a county road were a po-lice-man knew my name... I said I'd shoot his ass if he didn't go away...""
I bet that Randy could make it a #1 song.

Hat tip to Tam.

Romney picks VP

Paul Ryan, huh?  This might get interesting. 

I like Ryan.  I'm sure that the pundits will be filling out their columns in the interim, but I like the boy.  I think he'll help conservatives get fired up about the ticket.

Arrived

We arrived safely in Tuscaloosa, AL yesterday and the ladies have commenced the frivolities.  We went to a large family supper last night, got back to the room about 9-ish, fell into bed and slept the sleep of the righteous.  Got up this morning and after a third cup of coffee, we're off to the cemetery to put flowers on graves, thence to visit family the rest of the day.

This weekend is the weekend that the University of Alabama opens the dorms.  The place is full of parents making sure that children are successfully lauched.  It's an exciting time for them.  Traffic is, of course, tight.  Some of you who live in large cities might find that my definition of traffic is different than yours.  If I see more than about 10 cars waiting at a stop light, I consider that traffic is almost gridlocked.  Other folks might disagree, but I'm a small-town fellow.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Bockscar

I am reminded that today in 1945, a US B-29 bomber by the name of Bockscar flew over Nagasaki and delivered a package that hastened the end of the 2nd World War.  We can debate until eternity whether we should even have atomic devices, but I have one uncle who was on a ship headed for Japan and he was heartily glad when they were told that the war was over.

That one flight and that one bomb saved countless hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.

Hoist a glass for the crew of Bockscar.

Tuscaloosa

My wife's mother hails from Tuscaloosa, AL and the second weekend of August is the annual reunion.  So, tomorrow morning, Milady, MIL, Sis-in-law and I are heading for Tuscaloosa to meet with a bunch of other folks for a weekend of neck-hugging, story telling, lying, eating, and laughing.  It's gonna be a hoot.

Tuscaloosa is only six hours away, so as a road-trip, it ain't bad.  Some of us in the immediate family are meeting in Meridan MS for lunch, then we'll jaunt over to Alabama.

The Dawg is going to spend the weekend at my mother's house, where he'll be pampered.  He likes visiting there and I'm sure he'll have a good time in the country.

I've got to dig out my LSU shirt to wear to the reunion.  Yeah, Alabama might the national champs this year, but they're not the SEC champs.  LSU is the reigning SEC champ this year.  I'll have to remind the Alabama fans every chance I get. 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The Lord Works

Sometime earlier this summer, our Pastor challenged us to show our talent, to work for the Glory of God.  One task, one talent, that would be dedicated to the greater glory of God.  I decided to hold a turkey shoot; an old-fashioned turkey shoot.  At the church. The proceeds to go into our mission fund.

No, we're not shooting at live turkeys, although one of the prizes is a frozen turkey.  We're shooting at paper targets.  With shotguns.  Bird shot.  

We set the date for September 22, the week before squirrel season opens, and as ours is a very rural congregation, we can hold the shoot on the church grounds.  As the date approaches, I've been doing my homework and I've gotten prizes donated for three divisions; mens, womens, and youth.  I've got my flyers designed and targets designed, I've even got the target holders built. 

What I didn't have was shotgun shells.  The best way to do a turkey shoot is to provide the shells, that keeps folks from gaming the results.  Bring your shotgun, but shoot our shells.  Your special, tricky-dicky reloads are not allowed.  If your shot gets closest to the mark, you'll win, but you'll shoot our shells.  So, I needed to buy a couple of cases of shotgun shells, target shells.  Low brass 8 shot, suitable for doves, skeet, and shooting on a church ground.   I've been casting about, looking for the best deal, and yesterday, it all came together.

My son called me yesterday.  There is a local gun shop having a severe problem with cash flow and the owner decided to hold a sale.  One heck of a sale.  I went over and he had nine boxes of 12 gauge left, and a case of 20 gauge.

That's nine boxes of 12 gauge and 10 boxes of 20 gauge.  For less than 60 US dollars.  Heck of a deal.  Better than I could have asked for.  I'll still need to pick up  some more 12 gauge, some 16 gauge and some .410.  I know that someone is going to drag up a 16 gauge, and the youths will be banging away with .410s, spending their daddy's money, and that's fine.  I want their daddy's money for our mission fund.

The Lord works in mysterious ways, and I am grateful for His efforts

Marlin's 1894C

Several years ago I got in on a group buy at the Castboolits forum.  A bunch of us ordered a special, .35 caliber 180 grain bullet cut for a gas check, with tumble lube grooves.  The bullet was designed for the .35 Remington cartridge, but we speculated that it could also be used in .357  magnum thumper loads.  At .35 caliber and 180 grains, it was designed by a fellow who does business as Ranch Dog.  He makes bullet designs with wide flat noses and has the molds cut by Lee Precision.  It's a good looking bullet.

  Because it was designed for the .35 Remington, you've got to seat it a little deeper in the .357 magnum case.  If you crimp the case into the crimp groove, the assembled cartridge would be well out of SAAMI specs.  However, with a goodly load of Hodgdon L'il Gun, and the bullet seated to SAAMI specs, and a good crimp with the Lee Factory Crimp Die, I can flirt with 1600 fps from my Marlin 1894C.

I've never shot anything but paper with my little Marlin levergun, but a 180 grain wheelweight bullet traveling at 1600 fps  will, at 100 yards, still be traveling better than 1200 fps and carrying about 700 pounds of energy.  Not a lot, but at close yardages, certainly sufficient.  One of the stands I'm putting up this year will be a close-range stand with the shots under 50 yards.

The Marlin 1894C is a dandly little carbine.  Mine weighs 6.2 lbs and measures just 36 inches as it came from the factory.  It's got an 18" barrel and I added a Williams aperture sight.  It's light, handy, comes to the shoulder quickly and turns the .357 magnum pistol cartridge into quite a contender from the carbine-length barrel.

Some folks say that they're finicky about feeding, but I haven't found that to be the case.  Mine feeds .357 magnum and .38 special just fine.  Bullet shape doesn't matter much, it'll feed wide-flat, semi-wadcutter, jacketed bullets, heck I've even fed full wadcutters through mine, although it didn't like them much.  Any other bullet design it feeds just fine.  I don't know what those other folks are doing to their rifles, but mine feeds just fine.  Maybe I got the good one.

System crash

Like many of you, my home network has a wireless router that beams signal to computers and devices.  My signal strength had been getting smaller and weaker, so yesterday I went out and bought a new router.  A big, strong, dual band router from Netgear.    Came home and started the installation.  After a frustrating hour, I decided that my modem had taken a dump also, so I went back to the box store and bought another box.  Came back home, called my ISP, and got the modem installed.  So, now I'm running a nice, new strong wireless system that is completely password protected.

However, suddenly, my laptop computer won't talk to my network printer.  That's not normally a problem, but I'm having trouble downloading and installing a driver.  Something changed and my Toshiba laptop doesn't want to work with my HP printer.  It's aggravating, but I can work around it.  I probably have a box un-checked in some setup routine, and I'll figger it out.  Still, it bugs me when things that are supposed to work together don't.

I can hear all you Mac guys howling.  Fuggetaboudit.  I'm not a Mac user. 

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Compromise on Violence

Some yahoo went into a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and shot the place up. Six dead, others wounded including police officers.  Tragic.  Deplorable.  Our president responded by ordering flags at half-mast and saying that we should have a national conversation about violence.  I'm seeing at least one article asking when we should start the conversation.  Then starts talking about gun control. 
Time and time again, I hear about this mass of reasonable gun owners who are dismayed by events like the one in Wisconsin this Sunday. I hear, endlessly, about the "responsible" gun owners of this country. I have no doubt that they exist. I know a great many of them, some of them friends of mine from Wisconsin itself. They are people of good will with whom I disagree. My question is: Where in the hell are all the "responsible" people today? Where were they two weeks ago? Make no mistake. Without them, this profound problem cannot be solved. If they are the majority — and god knows, I hope that's the case — then why don't they wrest control of their side of the issue, and of the NRA itself, from the crazy mountebanks who are only in it for the buck? I am quite sincere about this, and I'd like any gun owners who read this blog, and especially any members of the NRA, to provide me with an answer. Where are you people?
Okay, let's have this conversation. More particularly, let's talk about compromise and gun laws in the United States.  Like you, I am dismayed by gun violence, but I'm not sure how to go about stopping it.  As a long-serving police officer, I deal with violence every day and I sincerely hope that one day we'll figure out how to stop violence.  However, when something like this happens "violence" becomes a synonym for my guns.  All the way back to 1968, guns have been blamed for violence and the laws that have been enacted since that time have done nothing to reduce violence and have resulted in a hodge-podge of laws that make no sense to most people.  Tiny little jots and tittles in the law have resulted in some unforseen consequences that make no sense to most people.

For example.  If I decide to give a gun to my brother, who lives in another state, I must jump through several regulatory hoops at the risk of becoming a felon simply because I give a gift to my brother.  This law does nothing to decrease gun violence, yet there it is on the books.  Or, you loan a rifle to a friend who takes it to the range.  It malfunctions and fires three rounds, yet you're sent to prison for modifying a rifle.  It doesn't matter that the rifle was loaned out when it malfunctioned, it doesn't matter that the owner was not even present when the rifle broke.  These things happen.  Good people are sent to jail because of the unintended consequences of laws that were written to reduce violence.

But, let's have this conversation anyway.  In any good discussion, there is room for debate and compromise.  Compromise, you remember that?  Where one side gives up something and the other side gives up something, and they come to a conclusion that no one really likes, but both sides can live with?  Okay, lets talk about compromise.  What are you willing to give up to stop violence?

That's the problem.  Your side has nothing to bring to the table.  Let's start this conversation by resetting the clock to 1968 when there was arguable less gun violence in the US.  All gun laws in the US made before 1968 are repealed in their entirety.  Everything.  Lets start clean and have the conversation.  For you see, each compromise since 1968 on gun violence have led to this hodge-podge of laws that put responsible people at peril every time they want to exercise their rights and pursue their hobby.  In today's America, gun enthusiasts practice the hobby at peril. 

What do you have to bring to the table?  And you see, there's the rub.  You want to restrict my rights, but you have nothing to give in return.  We have compromised and we've lost, every time.  I'm willing to be reasonable, but I want to see what you put on the table.  What are you willing to give up?  Until then, it's not a conversation, a give-and-take.  Until you're willing to put something aside, it's tyranny.

There's the problem with this conversation.  My guns hurt no one over the weekend.  They barked and roared in perfect safety.  The sat quietly in my closet, in my house, on my hip and didn't harm a soul.  I'm a reasonable man, and I'm appalled at violence.  Let's have this conversation.  What are you willing to give up?

Monday, August 06, 2012

Squirrels

When we were in the woods on Saturday, I went to collect my feeder.  I should have collected it in February, but the intricacies of my social calendar prevented that.  Still, when I went to collect it, I found that squirrels had gnawed a hole in the barrel.

That isn't good.  The barrel is PVC material and the tree-rats have gnawed a hole in it to access the feed that remained inside.  That's not good at all, and will have to be repaired.  After considering several alternatives, I've just about decided that an auto-body fiberglass repair will probably suffice.  They gnawed several smaller holes in it that auto-body filler, or straight epoxy will fill.  A little sanding, a little paint and the barrel will be good for another year.

Is there any reason why a fiberglass patch wouldn't adhere to PVC?  I guess it's worth a try.  I'd hate to discard this barrel simply because squirrels have eaten a hole in it.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

RaIn, Blessed Rain

It's raining right now on my little acre, and according to the weather radar, it's raining on the food plots we put in yesterday.  It's been a dry week, but it looks like we planned the planting just right.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Sunday Morning Dawg

It's been a busy week, with grandkids about, and the dog has been busy supervising.  Both inside,

and outside.  Those kids needs lots of supervision.

Ya never know what they're liable to get into.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Food Plots

There's rain predicted on our lease this weekend, so my brother-in-law and I went out this morning to work on food plots, to do a little discing and planting so that we could get a jump on the deer season.  It was hot in the woods this morning, but I think we got a lot accomplished, even if we are jumping the season just a bit.  Here, he's scattering seed on his food plot after we disced it.  He's got a nice wooded area that just reeks of whitetail deer.

Below, we're tilling an area on my portion of the lease, prior to planting.

How hot was it?  Low 90s, with humidity in the 60% realm.  It was hot in the sunny areas and we had lots of bottled water.  I'm glad that's done, and I'm getting hyped about deer season.  It'll be here before we realize it.  I know I'll be spending more Saturday mornings on the lease.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a shower.  It was really dusty out there this morning, and I'm filthy. 

Friday, August 03, 2012

Chick-Fil-A

I'm given to understand that some LGBT groups are planning a kiss-in at Chick-Fil-A restaurants around the nation.  Good for them, but for the life of me, at 5:08 pm CDT, I'm having trouble finding out how it went.  No news is good news, I guess, but I hope that the protest went well and that the participants ate a yummy chicken sammich.  Chicken is good for you, as is the love from your partner.   Still, I am gladly heartened by the response from the company, which as I understand it, went something like this. 
As for Friday's protests, the company says it's ready: "We understand from news reports that Friday may present yet another opportunity for us to serve with genuine hospitality, superior service and great food."
Good for Chick-Fil-A.

In other news, this asshole posts a video wherein he berates a Chick-Fil-A employee.  Turns out, the asshole is a Chief Financial Officer in a big corporation, who promptly fires him. 
TUCSON, AZ--(Marketwire - Aug 2, 2012) - The following is a statement from Vante: Vante regrets the unfortunate events that transpired yesterday in Tucson between our former CFO/Treasurer Adam Smith and an employee at Chick-fil-A. Effective immediately, Mr. Smith is no longer an employee of our company.
I bet that Mr. Smith regrets his little tirade at the drive-through. Hooray for Vante. That's a company I can get behind.

But seriously, it looks like the Lamestream Media have blacked out the Chick-Fil-A story, and I can't find anything on how the Kiss-In went.   I hope that the protesters walked into the store, shared a nice kiss, then bought a #1 Combo.  But, from reading Drudge, it's hard to tell.

Watching the Boy

We watched the boy today, breathing life into PawPaw's House.

We had a fine time, collecting rocks, exploring the garage, pushing tricycles, eating lunch, wearing PawPaw's hat.  His momma picked him up about a half-hour ago.  Now, PawPaw is going to find his recliner and take a nap.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Free Speech

After yesterday's Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A, where the business made record sales from folks coming to buy a chicken sandwich, I see that the gay community is also planning an Appreciation Day of their own.  They're going to go to the restaurant for some same-sex kissing.  Good for them.

Really.  I'm an affectionate type, and Milady and I have made a game of it.  I'll ask her, "Would you kiss me in the Wal-Mart parking lot?" 

"Sure", she says, and I get a peck.  We've been doing this for years.  Harmless fun.  Nothing wrong with getting a kiss from your partner, unless you're swapping slobber, and then I get to holler "Get a room!"  That's free speech, too.

I probably won't go by Chick-fil-A tomorrow, simply because it's on the other side of town, and I don't normally get over there.  The few times I have stopped in, the place has been clean, friendly and the sammiches are yummy.  On the other hand, if I'm on that side of town I might make a stop by and ask if they've seen any same-sex kissers.  That would be free speech, too.

Harry Reid - Idiot

Harry Reid is a despicable idiot. He's claiming that Mitt Romney is guilty of tax evasion. Really. First reported in the Huffington Post, Harry doubled-down on the charge yesterday. Really.
Sen. Harry Reid caused a stir this week when he told an interviewer that Mitt Romney hasn't released more of his tax returns because "he didn't pay taxes for 10 years." On Wednesday, Reid doubled down on the charge.
Reid is an idiot, but a very useful idiot, serving as he does as Majority Leader in the US Senate.
Reid accused Romney of what amounts to tax fraud, but he doesn’t think he to provide evidence for the charge. “I don’t think the burden should be on me,” Reid told reporters on a conference call, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?”
Well, with that burden of proof, I guess we'd just as soon convict the man of tax evasion. If Mitt hasn't released his tax returns, he must be guilty, right?

Still, I"m hearing rumors that Harry himself is a pederast. That's right.  I've heard it in more than one place. It's all over the internet. Using the same burden of proof that Harry wants to use against Mitt, I think that it's incumbent on Harry Reid to prove that he doesn't have a sexual attraction to young boys. He should begin immediately. Of course, in the political circles Harry runs in, pederasty might not be a problem.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Shhh! It's a Secret

I notice this headline from Reuters:
Exclusive: Obama authorizes secret U.S. support for Syrian rebels
Really? Secret? Not any more. Is this another White House leak?

Wednesday shooting

I went out this afternoon to piddle with my new scope, to try to get it dialed in.  Temps in the mid 90s under bright sunshine, and I fired about 30 rounds, playing with the rifle.  This scope will let you see mirage and I watched it for a most of the afternoon.

It was plainly hot out there today and I had to wait five minutes between shots or the barrel would get too hot to touch.  I'm still feeling good about the new scope, although I should have brought a chronograph to test my handloads.  I haven't done that yet, and I'm not sure how fast they're going.  I've got the scope tweaked to the target at 100 yards and I didn't have any trouble ringing the 300 yard gong.  It was a great day to be on the range.