Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Morning Dawg

Since I've been spending time at home this summer, I've noticed that the dog spends a lot of time watching the door.  When Milady is gone, he spends most of his time where he can keep an eye on the carport door.

God Forbid that she slip in and he not be aware of it.  Next week, I gotta get that dog a haircut.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pics from Last Week

I got some pictures this week, from the wedding last week.  I thought I'd share

That's my youngest sister Patty, and my mother.

This is fourth sister, Frannie on the left, with Milady.

Here's a current picture of PawPaw hisself.  I don't sparkle as much as the ladies, but then I'm not supposed to.


Slipping-Off Saturday

Today is Saturday, for those of you without calendars.  Later today, Milady and I will be at a wedding, the wedding of good friend Susan.  Susan lives in Breaux Bridge, LA, a little town near Lafayette about 80 miles south of our little acre.  The wedding is informal, even casual, so coat and tie are not required, but if I know the folks from that area, we will have a rollicking good time.  Because the wedding is informal, and Susan is on a budget, PawPaw has been tasked with taking pictures.  This is my first foray as a wedding photog, and I'll snap lots of pictures and hope that some of them turn out.  In this age of digital photography, I'll use my SLR, but I'll leave the SD card with Susan.  She can edit the photos at her leisure.

After the mid-day wedding, Milady and I will probably slip off and savor some of the local flavor, and in South Louisiana, when you say flavor, there's more than the culture.  Food is always present.  The Breaux Bridge area has some especially fine restaurants, little Mom&Pop places that no one knows about.

Y'all have fun today.  Play nice and be careful.  I'll be back in time for church tomorrow.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Holsters

For the past three decades I've been carrying holsters on a belt.  Sometimes plain clothes, sometime in a uniform assignment. but I own several holsters.  Like many of my readers I've got a box of holsters that for one reason or another, simply didn't work.  Other folks told me that they'd be great for my purposes, but they simply didn't work for me.

For the last four years I've been using a Safariland Model 6360 ALS holster on my duty rig.  This is a strongside belt holster that the user can modify for Level III or Level IV, depending on the individual preference.  I prefer to carry mine as a level III holster, simply because I don't like that little guard that makes it a level IV.

It's a great duty holster, but recently I began casting about for a plainclothes holster with many of the same attributes.  So, I naturally started looking at Safariland.  Sure enough, I found a holster that meets my criteria, the Safariland 6377.  It's a belt holster, fitted for my 1911, and I like it a lot.  It protects the weapon, it is very secure, and it seems to be the best blend of economy and security for a belt holster.  It's also very fast.  When you tap the thumb catch, the pistol comes out of the holster very easily.

So, I started looking around for that same holster for my Smith and Wesson M&P 45.  Sure enough, they make one, but they also make a paddle version.  I've never used a paddle holster, but the Model 6378 comes with the belt loops too, in case I want to change the paddle for belt loops.  Also the price was very good, at under $40.00.

 I found it at Cops Plus, a vendor I've never used.  While I was making my order, I happened to notice the handy drop-down menu and found that the holster was also made for a Smith and Wesson J-frame, along with models for several dozen other handguns.  Very cool.  I love J-frames, so I ordered one of those too.

As a bonus, Cops Plus shipped very quickly.  I made the order at 11:00 local.  By 1:30 p.m., I had a tracking number for shipping.  That's quick.  Good prices, fast shipping, quality products.  Hopefully, FedEx will do its thing quickly.  I'll review the holsters when they come in.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hernandezing

If you follow sports news at all, you've caught the continuing saga of Aaron Hernandez, a former Patriots player who's been arrested for one murder and is suspected in others.  His legal troubles are his legal troubles, but his recent arrest seems to have launched a Twitter meme.  Hernandezing.

In this craze, you're supposed to be wearing a white tee shirt, with your hands behind your back.  Like the photos below.

I understand that you get extra points for wearing red shorts and having a morose expression.  Even little white girls are getting in on it. 
This whole idea is wrong, on so many levels.

1957

Mostly Cajun reminds us this morning that on this day in 1957, Hurricane Audrey roared ashore.
1957Hurricane Audrey kills 500 people in Louisiana and Texas. The number of deaths is an arbitrary figure. I was almost seven. Dad worked the night at the refinery, straight through the storm.
This is probably one of my earliest memories.  I was three years old at the time, and I recall Momma and Daddy being really concerned.  Dad was a telephone man, but I remember him being home shortly after the storm.  My memory is of him in the back yard, picking up shingles, throwing them over the back fence into the woods.  The same woods where I later hunted blackbirds with my pellet rifle.  Looking at the track map, our town was in the easterly sector, normally considered the worst spot in a hurricane.  Of course, any spot in a hurricane is a bad spot to be.



Those woods are long gone.  They're now an auto dealership.  Where our house sat is a Logan's restaurant.  The oak tree in the side patio of that Logan's sat in my cousin's front yard, and I climbed in it regularly.

Hot

I've been outside working in the yard, and the summer heat is upon us.  Accuweather tells me that it's only 77F, but with 80% humidity, it feels like 97, and the mercury threatens to climb 20 degrees today on both scales. 

In short, it's hotter than Hades out there.  This is the time of year when you get your outside work done early, then retreat into the shade until the sun starts to sink in the west.

Today at noon, though, I'll be heading to the range.  PawPaw needs a tune-up with his pistols because in another 10 days, I'll be at the range playing Show-and-Tell for our annual qualifications.  I haven't fired my service pistol in several months, and I haven't fired my J-frame in almost a year.  PawPaw needs a little practice and I'll get that this afternoon.  Don't worry, I'll bring lots of water.

The yard is starting to look good, though, even if the flower beds need a ton of work.  Plenty of time for that next week. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Scotus Punts Again

I'm no lawyer, but I've read the Constitution.  The third branch of government, the US Supreme Court, was founded in our most basic document.  While I may not be exactly clear on the exact duties of the Supreme Court, I'm pretty sure that most folks believe that the Supremes should settle basic questions of law.  Is this Constitutional?  Are our rights protected?  That sort of question.

This term is filled with those questions, and from a layman's perspective it appears that the Supremes have punted most of the cases this term.  To wit.

The first case we'll look at is the UT discrimination case, where a white girl said she was discriminated against in the way  that affirmative action is implemented at the University.  The decision?  Send it back to the lower courts.  It gets a do-over.  They did make a decision, they decided to punt.  It took seven justices to come up with that decision.  Good job, guys.

Next, we move to the Voting Rights Act case.  For years, the federal government has had its claws in places where Jim Crow reigns.  Places like New York and Alaska.  Also places like Texas and Alabama.  So, someone filed suit, saying in effect, that those states don't discriminate anymore, and that they should be able to hold elections without the Feds looking over their shoulders.  Did the Supremes agree?  Not likely.  What they did do is decide that the Congress should re-do the formula to decide if states are still beholden to Mr. Crow.  They could have easily said,  No, Hell NO, you'll continue to be supervised, or they could have told the Fed to butt out of a state's elections.  But no, they decided to invalidate a formula.  That's a punt.

Now, let's move to the two big cases today.  The gay marriage issue.  Two cases decided today, the first is the DOMA case, where they opined that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.  Did they make gay marriage legal?  No, they simply said that the Federal Government can't discriminate against couples who are married legally, whether they are same sex or opposite sex.  Which leads to all sorts of interesting questions.  Still, it's a punt.  They could have said that gay marriage is legal everywhere.  They didn't.  They punted.

Then, we move to the California Proposition 8 case, which is a huge punt.  It seems that they declined to hear it on standing, which is a complex legal term that means "You don't have a dog in this hunt."  In short, they decided to not decide, which is a decision, I guess, but is also a punt.  Four cases, four punts.

Great job, guys.  Let Freedom Ring.



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Incumbents

Hot Air is touting a poll that claims that Republican voters aren't likely to vote for an incumbent who votes yes on a path to citizenship.  Okay.  We already have a path to citizenship.  Illegal immigration ain't part of it.

But, it begs the question:  What would it take for me to vote for an incumbent?  That's a fairly stiff question.  I don't generally vote for incumbents.  I stand with Mark Twain, who said:
“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”
That tends to mitigate against incumbency.  Especially in Congress, where I again defer to Twain.
There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress.
And that's all we need to know about that.

Adeeb, in Comments

Back last September, I posted an entry entitled Crybaby Mohammed.  We were right in the middle of the Benghazi kerfluffle, and the Lightworker was blaming an amateurish movie that no one had seen.  The UN was considering sanctions on blasphemy, particularly blasphemy of the Mohametan variety.

Yesterday afternoon, late, I found a comment that had been posted by Adeeb, saying that he would never forgive me.  Let's read his comment in its entirety.
Adeeb alshareef said...
Do you think this is funny ??
This is the prophet of peace, the prophet of islam, the prophet of allah (the god)

You made a big mistake that you have to fix it

We love our prophet so we will not forgive you.

I think it's hilarious, Adeeb, on many levels.  The first level is that you waited nine months to post a comment.  I've often believed that your religion is behind the times, and that the followers of the pedophile prophet are basically illiterate, but you really should try to keep up with the conversation.

It's funny on another  level, Adeeb.  If he is the prophet of peace, why do so many of his followers behead people, threaten people, bomb people, and fly airplanes into buildings?  Is it because the followers of the pedophile don't believe in peace?  

What is not funny Adeeb?  It's that you and all the followers of the pedophile are so backward, evil, violent people.  You cannot manage your own affairs, you depend on others to manage your affairs for you.  You keep women in slavery, you abuse your children, and you generally make life a living hell for everyone around you.  Grow up!    If you keep coming to my blog and making asinine comments, I'll continue to abuse you verbally.  I hold your pedophile prophet in deep disdain.  The world would have been a better place if he had never lived.  The entire religion is doomed to eternal damnation, and it would be better for all of you if you convert immediately to Judaism.

Smelting

If you're a cast bullet shooter, sooner or later you're going to want to cast your own bullets.  Like everyone else, I've purchased store-bought bullets, both cast and jacketed, but part of the allure of shooting cast bullets is taking common scrap and making your own bullets.  The first thing we need to do is find scrap lead, and cast bullet guys are always looking for scrap lead.  I'm not sure who said it, but one of the old gun writers was famously quoted as saying, "If it's plumbous, I'm liable to make bullets from it."

For many years, the most common lead scrap was lead wheelweights.  These things could be had at any tire shop for simply hauling them away.   Many is  the time that I've walked into a tire shop, bantered with the service manager for a few minutes, and walked out with a five-gallon bucket of wheelweights.  Those days are no more.  Lead has residual value, and the shops know that.  The national scrap price of lead wheelweights is 50 cents per pound.  This stuff isn't inexpensive.  Still, there is a lot of lead out there that people don't want to deal with and a savvy scrounger can still get lead for little or nothing.

Recenctly, I came into possession of a small box of wheelweights, and some discarded roof jacks.  Around here, roof jacks are pure, soft lead, and if you can find a roofer willing to save the lead, they are a great source of soft lead.

In all things that require high heat, it's best to do this outside.  In my case, I set a fish cooker on the ground outside my shed, with a lead pot, ladle, and some ingot molds.

There's my hasic set-up.  On the right, you see a lead pot, then next are two molds.  One, an old corn-stick pan, is used specifically for wheelweight metal.  the little Lee ingot mold is used for pure lead.  When you start casting bullets, it's convenient to keep your lead ingots segregated.  I like almost pure lead for pistol bullets that won't be traveling any faster than 1200 fps.  Wheelweight metal is reserved for harder bullets, those that will travel over 1200 fps, but under 1600 fps.  Those rifle bullets that will travel over 1600 fps get a linotype alloy and I have another ingot mold for them.  With my system, I can see immediately what type ingot I'm using, even months after smelting the raw lead into ingots.  That cardboard box you see on the far left of the photo is used for lead dross.  Dirt and crud gets on scrap lead and you want to skim that off before you make ingots.

One note.  Never introduce water into a lead pot.  Lead melts at 630F and water boils at 212F.  If so much as one drop of sweat gets into the molten lead, it will immediately flash to steam and  I've seen molten lead jump two feet out of a pot, splattering lead everywhere.  Seriously, don't let water get into your  lead pot.  That's bad juju.  One other caution.  Once an implement is  used for lead, it can never be used again for food products.  You simply don't want lead in your foodstuffs, so dedicate a pot and ladle to lead use.

So, after an hour of smelting this morning, I finished with over 10 lbs of good clean wheelweight metal and about 30 lbs of soft lead from roof jacks.

I'll let everything cool, put it all away, and I'll be ready when the urge strikes me to crank up the bullet pot.  Total cost to me?  About an hour of sweating and about two hours of scrounging.  Now, time to start scrounging again.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Immigration Reform

I've been watching the Senate's kabuki theater on immigration reform.  Interesting, in a weird sort of way, but totally irrelevant to anything going on in the US today.  All the reform proponents on the one side, all the opposition on the other side.  Totally irrelevant.  Has no basis in relevancy.

It'll never make it through the House.  It won't.  It's a non-starter.  So, we've got this Gang of 8, making news headlines, and you've got Harry Reid, pushing for a floor vote, and when it gets to the House, kablooey.  Sunk like the Titanic.  Nothing happening at all.

I wonder why half of our legislative branch is heartily pursuing something that is doomed?  Have they nothing better to do?

SCOTUS Punts

The law blogs are reporting that the Supremes sent back the UT race case to the lower courts for a re-examination.  In short, they punted.  And, they punted with a 7-1 decision.  I'm sure that more agile minds will be talking about the decision, but to my simple-minded way of thinking, this is clearly a decision that they didn't want to make.  I really like the reasoning that Justice Ginsburg used.
Among constitutionally permissible options, I remain convinced, 'those that candidly disclose their consideration of race [are] preferable to those that conceal it.'"
So, if someone candidly admits they are prejudiced, that's better?  You really want to go with that?

Naah, they punted today.  Not that their is anything wrong with a punt on a football field.  It's third down and long, and you're close to your own red zone.  What'cha gonna do Coach?  Punting makes perfect sense.

But, we pay the Supremes to make decisions.  They still get to decide on same-sex marriage, and voting rights.  It looks to me like they need a better Coach.  Punting should be restricted to the football field.

One additional point.  My imaginary football coach doesn't get nine months to make a punt decision.  Evidently, the Supremes are under-worked and over budgeted.  In my way of thinking, the Roberts court is filled with generally worthless sonsofbitches that haven't read the Constitution, make up taxing schemes from whole cloth, and can't make a decision when called on to do something.  The whole bunch of them needs to get out of  their ivory towers and come see how the world lives.

RIP Bobby

Bobby "Blue" Bland, the blues legend from Memphis, TN, passed away yesterday.  He was 83.



Blues lovers all over the world will mourn his passing.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Morning Dawg

Milady and I are out of town this morning, heading home after a weekend trip.  We'll be home sometime shortly after noon, and the dog is awaiting our return.  We've got a neighbor kid's birthday party scheduled in our pool beginning at 2:00 and we should return just about time for the party to commence.  We have family checking on the dog several times a day, and if I know my grandsons they are availing themselves of the pool, the soft drinks, and the snacks. 

We'll be home today, Pup, and I'll make sure that you get some ice cream.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Out of Town

In another couple of hours, Milady and I are going to get in the car and head south.  Today is our 10th Anniversary, and a nephew is getting married tomorrow, so we're heading to Covington, LA to meet other members of the family and celebrate his wedding.  He's got a great gal; she's been hanging around the family for several years.  They're through with college and launched, so they've decided it's time to take the next step.  They're both great kids, and I hope for them the happiness that comes with a long, blissful marriage.

The one downside to this trip is that I've got to drive through Baton Rouge.  When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the levees failed, about half of the refugees from that disaster washed ashore in Baton Rouge, effectively doubling the population of the city, literally in the space of a week.  It's been nearly eight years since Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast and the roadwork in Baton Rouge has yet to catch up to the increase in population.  Traffic there is a disaster on a good day.  There's a place called the 10-12 split, where traffic toward New Orleans goes down I-10, and traffic to the North Shore and points east go down I-12.  That interchange has been known to turn into an eight lane parking lot and I dread going through there every time I drive in Baton Rouge.

I have promised Milady that in honor of our anniversary I will not actively curse every idiotic driver I see when we get to Baton Rouge.  It is normally my practice to critique the driving habits of idiots and that stretch of road is full of them.

So, we'll be out of town this weekend and back on Sunday mid-day.  Y'all have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Think That's a Bear

A great video making the rounds of Facebook.



I think a bear just tried to get in your deer stand.  Probably wondering if you had a peanut butter sammich.

I would have lost it, right there.  That bear would have slipped in the crap running down the tree.

Syriasly?

To borrow a play on words from Mostly Cajun, it's time for me to talk about Syria.  Lots of folks are wondering what PawPaw thinks about the Syria crisis, so I'll tell you.  I don't give a screaming crap who runs Syria, whether it's the Sunnis or the Shiites, or Bashaad, or whoever.  I'm not planning any trip to Syria, so I simply don't care.  The civil war over there seems to be one group of murdering bastards killing another group of murdering bastards.  The only up-side to the whole thing is that at the end of the day, the total pool of murdering bastards has been reduced.

I hear that our President is looking for a way to intrude on their internal strife, because he feels a need to "do something".  The latest ploy is arming the rebels, who I'm sure will stop clinging to the guns and religion as soon as they win.  Sure they will.

Syriasly, I don't see that it should matter to the US one whit who wins in Syria.  The best we can hope for is that it follows the example of Egypt, an economy set to melt down in the next year or so.  Egypt can't feed itself, it produces nothing, and when Ethiopa finishes it's dam, Egypt won't have enough water to support it's population.  Egypt is in a hell of a fix, and Syria is set to follow them.  Starvation and dehydration lie in the future.  It's nor pretty, but it's not difficult to foretell.

We should stay the hell out of Syria.  Nothing but trouble over there, and it's not worth American treasure or American lives.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

.45 ACP Small Primer

I mentioned yesterday that I had stumbled upon some .45 ACP brass that took the small pistol primer.  As we all know, the Sainted John Moses Browning decreed that the .45 ACP be manufactured with large primers and till recently, that was the case.  All .45 ACP took the large pistol primer.

Sometime in the recent past, handloaders started noticing that some brass, notably Winchester NT and CCI Blaser Brass were using small pistol primers.  This thread over at the 1911 forum from 2010 talks about finding them, so small primers in .45 is at least three years old.  It seems recently that Federal Champion ammo is now using the small primer in the .45 load.  I understand that these primers are loaded in "lead-free" ammo ammo, specifically that the primers themselves are lead free.

The more universally understood reason is that it's part and parcel of a huge conspiracy to confuse and demoralize handloaders.  The companies don't understand how resourceful, creative, and motivated we are, and the work-around is simple.  Simply save your small primer brass till you have enough to load a batch, and load it for use where picking up brass is problematic.  I'm saving mine till I get several hundred.  We've learned that the fast powders used in .45 ACP fire up nicely with small pistol primers, so that's not a problem.  The ammo goes bang.

However, it is a huge pain to sort brass based on the size of the primer pocket.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Loading in the Rain

It started raining today, when I was about halfway through my yard work, so I took that time to flatten the learning curve on the Lee Turret Press I bought recently.  I mounted the powder measure and the primer feed, then took out some bullets and started cranking on the handle.  The only real glitch was when I'd try to prime one of those verdamned .45 ACP brass that they're making with small primer pockets.  Once I figured out the glitch, my speed increased post-haste. 

I loaded 100 rounds of .45 ACP in about 45 minutes, and only quit when I ran out of the 100 pack of primers I had put in the primer feed.  This thing is going to increase my loading speed considerably.  I see now that I need a couple of extra turrets, at least one for .38 Special, and one for .44 magnum.  Adjusting dies is a pain the wazoo, and those turrets just snap in and out.

I should have bought one of these things years ago.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Musings

I spent the day piddling, repairing a pool pump, and watching a grandson, Ely (age 5).  After lunch, another grandkid, Zach (age10), showed up to swim.  It's good being a PawPaw to little boys.  After several hours, Zach decided it was time to go home, so I chauffeured him down the road, then returned to wonderful smells in the kitchen.  Milady decided that I needed pork chops and rice for supper.  With purple hull peas, and probably a cornbread.  I can't fault a menu like that.  It's been a while since we had pork chops.

Because the keys are hanging on the key rack, I've decided to indulge in a little aperitif, something to set the tone, to prepare for the meal.  In my case, that would be a smidgen of Jim Beam's Devil's Cut with Diet Coke.  Milady decided that an aperitif was also in order, so she's having a glass of Red Moscato.

We expect Ely's parents in another hour, and I expect they'll join me for Happy Hour. After the meal, I imagine that I'll indulge in a digestif, which is normally taken after the meal, as an aid to digestion.  It's wonderful having a Cajun heritage, because the French have such lovely words for drinking.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Food for the Goose

I've always heard that food for the goose is food for the gander as well.  It appears that Congress is being hoist on their own petard, as Obamacare looms.  It seems that one of the provisions of the bill is that members of Congress and their staffs are covered by the law, as well as the rest of it, and some folks say that isn't fair.
Rep. John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat in leadership when the law passed, said he thinks the problem will be resolved.
“If not, I think we should begin an immediate amicus brief to say, ‘Listen this is simply not fair to these employees,’” Larson told POLITICO. “They are federal employees.”
Not fair, John?  It's the law of the land, a law that Congress foisted on us.  Of course it's fair.

 “It’s a reality,” said Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas). “This is the law. … It’s going to hinder our ability with retention of members, it’s going to hinder our ability for members to take care of their families.” He said his fellow lawmakers are having “quiet conversations” about the threat.
Really, Pete?  Obamacare is going to hinder the ability of an employer to take care of his employees?  Members of Congress are talking about it?  Where have you been for the past two years?  We're all talking about it.
 The problem is far more acute in the House, where lawmakers and aides are generally younger and less wealthy
Really?  Obamacare hurts the young and less wealthy?  Haven't we been telling you that for years?  This is excellent.  Congress should be fully subject to every law that they foist on us.  Congress should live in our world, that's the way the system is designed.

So, Congress has now learned that Obamacare is going to hinder the ability to keep employees, to hinder the ability of those employees to take care of their families, and that it hurts the young and the not-wealthy.  As John Larson, who helped passed the bill tells us, Obamacare is simply not fair.

Sounds to me like Congress has plenty of reason to repeal it.  Out of their own mouths.

Sunday Song

Craig Morgan.


Sunday Morning Dawg

It's the heat of June in Louisiana, and the dog is enjoying the shade as much as any living thing.  Several years ago, Milady planted a gardenia in the side yard and this year, it has bloomed spectacularly.  The dog likes hanging out near that bush, maybe because the smell is so fragrant, maybe because of the shade.  Whatever the reason, when we go to the side yard, he bee-lines it for the gardenia, which is especially laden this month.

Take the dog's advice.  Get outside, brave the heat, and smell the flowers.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

In Service

We put that Colt Pocket Positive into service today.  Milady and I went to the local indoor range to let her shoot it and to try out the Buffalo Bore ammunition in it.

We started with some of Federal's anemic target loads and let her get used to the trigger.  It shot high with those target loads, easily explainable due to the slow speed of the bullet and the dwell time of the bullet traversing the barrel during recoil.  After a box-and-a-half of those target loads we switched over to the Buffalo Bore loads and let her try those.  Much better.  Those 100 grain hard wadcutters were much more accurate in the Colt, easily letting her keep them in the nine-ring at five (5) yards.

Milady remarked that those Buffalo Bore self-defense loads had milder recoil than the loads we normally carry in the Airweight that she's been using.  She liked the Colt.  That small frame fits her hand better, the recoil is more controllable than heavier firearms she's tried, and she's accurate with it.  I"m happy that we found a revolver that fits her and that she can shoot without worrying with excessive recoil.  I'm also happy that Buffalo Bore has started putting out serious HD ammo for that caliber.

I'm also thrilled that I got to spend an hour with my lady at the range.

We went to lunch later and we had a great BLT sandwich at a local eatery.  All in all, a great Saturday afternoon.

Snowden Lying?

That's what the House intelligence committee is proposing, that Snowden simply did not have the access to make the accusations he's making. 
Emerging from a hearing with NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.), the senior Democrat on the panel, said Edward Snowden simply wasn’t in the position to access the content of the communications gathered under National Security Agency programs, as he’s claimed.
“He was lying,” Rogers said. “He clearly has over-inflated his position, he has over-inflated his access and he’s even over-inflated what the actually technology of the programs would allow one to do. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”
Okay, let's run with that.  Snowden's lying.  However, this story broke several days ago, and as Glenn Reynolds points out, if the story didn't have legs, if Snowden is in fact lying, we should have known that within hours.   Not days.

Regardless, the government is in damage-control mode, which to my way of thinking, is the perfect position for them to find themselves in.  I've been in damage-control mode for several years, trying to manage the damage the government is doing to us.  Let's put them on the defensive for a while. 

Reloder 19

In the .Thursday shooting post below, an anonymous commenter tells us that RL19 is good for max loads in the .30-06.  Yes, friend, it is.

Back in 2010 I stumbled upon a load that I use in my Savage 111.  That load uses the Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet and RL19.  Alliant puts the max for 150 grain bullets at 62.0 grains, but I found that at at 61 grains of Reloder 19, I was pushing that bullet past 2900 fps with great accuracy.  Nowadays I use Hornady's SST bullets in that load and the performance on target and on game is just as noteworthy.  It's a great load.

Any time I can plunk three bullets into that magic inch at 100 yards with my indifferent benchrest technique I call it good.  That load has continued to satisfy since I found it in 2010 and has accounted for at least one whitetail deer.  This isn't a true max load according to Alliant, but I'm pushing a good 150 grain bullet to almost 3000 fps, the bolt unlocks cleanly, and the primers are still radiused.  For some reason, Alliant lists that max load at 2722 fps, but I find that over my chronograph, when fired through my Savage, that bullet is traveling 200 fps faster than the book numbers.

You're right, friend.  Reloder 19 is a great powder for the .30-06.  Of course, there are lots of great powders for this old cartridge, which at 107 years is still one of America's favorites.  It's one of my favorite cartridges and one I enjoy shooting.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Flag Day

I am reminded that it's Flag Day, the day set aside to commemorate the adoption of the US Flag.

Today is also the celebrated birthday of the US Army.  It is altogether fitting and proper that we fly the flag on days such as this.

Mine is raised.  Is yours?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday Shooting

Today, I spent most of the day on a tractor, pulling a shredder on family land.  After mowing for several hours, my eldest son and three grandsons met me and we did a little shooting.  We fine-tuned the eldest grandson's rifle, a Savage Edge in .25-06.  After the final sight-in, he started banging away at the gongs whe have on the 100 yard line.  We also shot my Remington 700 in .308, and a H&R Handi-rifle in .223.  The boys got a great kick out of slapping the gongs with those little .223 slugs.

Then, my son took out a rifle I gave him several years ago.  It's a pump action Remington, the Model 760, in .30-06.  He had a scope on it last year that he couldn't see through, and I gave him a new scope for his birthday, a Redfield Revolution 4-12X scope.  He hadn't sighted the rifle in with the new scope so we posted some dots on the 100 yard line and after several adjustment shots, he managed to find the groove.

That's two shots at a 1" target dot.  The load is one that I like, for several reasons.  Reloder 22 might be considered too slow for the .30-06, but I use that powder for several rifles and I trust it.  Also, I don't believe that you can put enough RL22 into a .30-06 case to get to max pressure for the cartridge.  It pushes that 150 grain Hornady SST to 2700 fps, which isn't a screaming load, but well within the capabilities of the .30-06 when you consider that the standard Garand load at about 2800 fps.  However, this load is very accurate in several rifles I've fired it in, and that Remington 760 likes it a lot.

I've got other loads using faster powders that push that same bullet over 2900 fps, but the simple fact is that the medium game around here won't be able to tell the difference.  This load is great in several rifles, it's easy on brass and it's easy on our shoulders. 

If you're wondering what the little tic-marks on the paper might be, that's all those grandkid bullets coming apart on the gongs.  Evidently, it would be foolish to stand near those gongs when a bullet disintegrates on them.  The shrapnel looks to be pretty intense.

Hot Again Today

It's going to be another scorcher today, according to Accuweather.

I'm going to spend today on the back of a tractor, mowing at Momma's place.  I'll have lots of cold water in a cooler, and I'll spend lots of time in the shade.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New Holster

You may remember that I recently found a Colt Pocket Positive for Milady.  She wanted a .32, and there are a dearth of them locally, so I had to do some hunting.  One turned up in the local pawn shop and I did some bargaining, and brought it home.

Milady doesn't carry, although she could if she wanted to.  What she wanted was a holster that fit the door pocket of her SUV.  I gave my leatherworking younger son the mission, and he took some measurements, along with the little pistol, and told me he'd come up with something.  Here is the "something" he came up with.

That holster on the right is the custom creation.  As he explains at his blog.
Last is a holster for my step-mom. She has a lovely little colt .32 that she keeps in the door pocket of her truck. This holster, while admittedly weird looking, will stand upright in the door pocket, and keep the revolver's grip pointing up, making it easier to grab.
I think that's just the cat's meow.  Now, Milady can carry her .32 in the car, and maybe, just maybe, I'll get my Airweight back.   If she decides to carry the little pistol, I've got a holster on order from El Paso Saddlery.  You can't go down to the local holster shop and get a belt holster to fit a Pocket Positive, so I ordered her something nice.  She's worth it.

Juries

I note with little interest that the local courts are picking two criminal juries today.  Good for them.  Criminal defendants have the right to be tried by a jury, that has long been a palladium of our system.  However, it is my experience that the justice system abhors juries, they do so much to avoid them.  When I was a young cop, I noticed that the laws concerning jury pools had so many holes that they resembled lace.  If you couldn't figure out how to avoid jury duty, you were close to being a dunce.  Indeed, one of the local attorneys told me that he would never trust his freedom to twelve people too stupid to get out of jury duty.

In later years, the state of Louisiana tightened the loopholes to jury service.  But some people are still excepted.  Lawyers, for instance, because no Court wants anyone on a jury who might know anything about the law.  Or for that matter, read newpapers, or watch TV.  If you admit, during jury selection, that you've been following the case closely, you'll likely be excused.

I am reminded of what Mark Twain said about jury duty in his book Roughing It.
I remember one of those sorrowful farces, in Virginia, which we call a jury trial. A noted desperado killed Mr. B., a good citizen, in the most wanton and cold-blooded way. Of course the papers were full of it, and all men capable of reading, read about it. And of course all men not deaf and dumb and idiotic, talked about it. A jury-list was made out, and Mr. B. L., a prominent banker and a valued citizen, was questioned precisely as he would have been questioned in any court in America:
"Have you heard of this homicide?"
"Yes."
"Have you held conversations upon the subject?"
"Yes."
"Have you formed or expressed opinions about it?"
"Yes."
"Have you read the newspaper accounts of it?"
"Yes."
"We do not want you."
A minister, intelligent, esteemed, and greatly respected; a merchant of high character and known probity; a mining superintendent of intelligence and unblemished reputation; a quartz mill owner of excellent standing, were all questioned in the same way, and all set aside. Each said the public talk and the newspaper reports had not so biased his mind but that sworn testimony would overthrow his previously formed opinions and enable him to render a verdict without prejudice and in accordance with the facts. But of course such men could not be trusted with the case. Ignoramuses alone could mete out unsullied justice.
When the peremptory challenges were all exhausted, a jury of twelve men was impaneled—a jury who swore they had neither heard, read, talked about nor expressed an opinion concerning a murder which the very cattle in the corrals, the Indians in the sage-brush and the stones in the streets were cognizant of! It was a jury composed of two desperadoes, two low beer-house politicians, three bar-keepers, two ranchmen who could not read, and three dull, stupid, human donkeys! It actually came out afterward, that one of these latter thought that incest and arson were the same thing.
That's pretty much the way things are today on a jury.  We haven't changed much in 150 years.

Hot

Shortly after coffee this morning, I fired up the lawnmower and got started on my unruly lawn.  Just about the time I was through with the push mower, cutting ditches and doing trim work, a buddy came over to talk about reloading, and to look at my new press.  I knew that it was hot outside, but once the push-mowing is done, all that's left is sitting on a riding mower and steering for a couple of hours while Briggs and Stratton does all the work.  After the mowing was finished, I came inside and looked at the thermometer. 

I don't doubt that it feels like 100 degrees out there.  It's hotter than a whatchacallit.  I'm glad I'm through mowing, but I have some errands to run.  Thankfully, the vehicle has air conditioning.

Today is my first day off for the summer break.  The one good thing about working in the schools is that we get a nice break in the summer time.  The dawg is a mite confused about me being home in the middle of the day, but he'll get used to it.

Destroyer of Words

Richard Fernandez posts a great article at Pajamas Media, looking at the scandal racked Obama administration, and the problems with trust.  Simple trust.
We always knew that technology could do this. What we had not suspected was that the Obama administration would do this.
President Obama came into office originally on a promise to have transparent government, to wield power with compassion, to make the benefits of American citizenship work for all the people.  His signature accomplishment thus far had been the Patient Protection Act, which promised to make health care available to everyone, but which is being universally hailed as a potential train wreck.  Then we have the Benghazi scandal, the AP scandal, the IRS scandal, and now the NSA scandal.  What these scandals teach us is that we are the government, and that power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Fernandez draws a parallel between the use of atomic power and the use of political power.  We trust the government not to nuke us.  The use of an atomic bomb on US soil would be horrific, devastating, and lead to huge changes in the way that We The People view our government and the people who run it.  Until recently, we also trusted the government to not persecute us based on our political opinions, we trusted the government to not lie to us about pending legislation, we trusted the government to not snoop on us without strict safeguards.

Government is about trust, and the government that we have today is increasingly showing that it is un-trustworthy.  Immigration reform looms on the horizon as it wends its way through the Congress, and we have to trust that the government will not screw us.  That trust has been eroded over the past few months, simply because the people running the government are not trustworthy.  The people running our government aren't truthful with us and they damage the fragile trust that makes this nation great.
The Founders knew this from the outset. A government will always be made up of men. And these men must never be allowed to become so powerful, so exalted, or to be considered so irreproachable that they are left alone to do as they please. Only one thing can stop the Destroyer of Words. Accountability has to be restored to the system. The principals responsible must go. If legitimacy is ever to be restored, those who have no more credibility can no longer lead it. That is inevitable. What remains is to watch it play out.
Indeed.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The IRS Culture

The IRS culture must be fixed.  We all agree about that, and only Congress can do it.  The Tax Prof links to  paper looking at the problem, but I tend to agree with Instapundit.  Hanging a few of the upper echelon as an example to the others might help with the culture inside the agency, but if Congress is unwilling to do that, then zeroing out the conference budget would be a good place to start, along with the bonuses budget.  I understand that Lois Lerner, who famously plead the Fifth when refusing to testify, got over $42,000 in bonuses in '09, '10, and 2011.  There is no sense in paying civil servants bonuses to do their jobs.

If you're not willing to hang them, then slice the budget to the bone.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Learning Curve

I finally got that turret press bolted to the bench and I'm trying to get it adjusted and calibrated.  I spent an hour today setting up the dies for .45 ACP, then I ran off twenty rounds of ammo.  The learning curve has me a bit perplexed, but I've solved all the problems so far.  For the past two decades, I've been making ammo by batch processing it.  Deprime all the brass, re-prime all the brass.  Flare all the brass, add powder, seat all the bullets, crimp all the bullets.

This turret press is linear, so the learning curve means that I've got to think about what I'm doing every step of the way.  I can see that it's going to make good ammo, and for cranking out pistol ammo, it should be the cat's meow.  I"m not fast enough yet that I have a good idea on how long it will take to make 100 rounds of ammunition, but I can see that it's going to be an improvement.

I need to find some lead and cast a bunch of bullets.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Sunday Morning Dawg

There's been a lot of rain, overcast, thunder, all things that make the dog stick close to his people.  He hates stormy weather and if he thinks there is going to rumbling, he stays underfoot. which makes taking pictures problematic.

He's not really sure what's going on, so he stays close.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Lying

After that post earlier this morning about the new theme song of the Obama administration, I went to another song that I've loved for years that deals with heartbreak.  Reba McEntire's You Lie.



I notice that both songs, the Fleetwood Mac and the McEntire, are both set in barnyards.  I also notice that some are comparing the Prism program to George Orwell's 1984.  Yet, I also note that Orwell wrote Animal Farm, which is set in a barnyard.  There's a metaphor here, and I'm searching for it.

I've got errands to run.  Y'all enjoy the music and see if you can help me find that metaphor.

Tell Me Lies

Let's review for a minute, shall we.  Just in the last few months we've got Benghazi-gate, AP-gate, IRS-gate, Verizon-gate, and yesterday we got Prism-gate.  It looks like the Obama administration is out of control, without adult leadership, rudderless, and is generally lying to the American people on more than one level.  Lately, they wouldn't know the truth if it ran up and bit them on the ass, which is generally what it's doing.  When you've got this many folks engaged in cover-ups and secret programs to spy on Americans, the fault is with the leadership.  Squarely within the Oval Office.

I'd like to propose a new theme song for this administration.  An oldie from Fleetwood Mac.


Friday, June 07, 2013

Big Brother is Watching

1984, the novel by George Orwell, was published in 1949, but it describes in many ways the government surveillance of American citizens under President Obama.  If you haven't heard of the widely reported program to look into virtually all communications in the United States, then do yourself a favor and Google the word Prism.  It's a secret government program to mine data from Google, Microsoft, Apple, Skype, Facebook, and a host of other servers and internet providers.  As Instapundit links, and explains.
President Obama is now caught in a trap of his own making. By downplaying the threat and trying to create an atmosphere of peace and normality in the country, he has delegitimated the measures he believes that our safety requires. Having tried and failed to keep these secrets dark and hidden, he must now try to explain what many Americans will find inexplicable. If the terrorists are really on the run, and we can finally go back to a 9/10 state of mind, why are you assembling and wielding the most powerful and intrusive systems of surveillance ever conceived?
Our President is spying on us.  If your computer has a microphone and a camera, it's probably sending a signal about what is going on in your house to the NSA? The government is spying on you today, with the full approval of the President of the United States.

Friday Nothing

I got up and did my PT this morning, then went to work at the Courthouse.  I owe the Sheriff a couple of days, so I've been working that off as Courthouse Security, manning a metal detector that the public uses.  No, I haven't found anything to give me pause or to reckon that The People coming in to the Courthouse are a threat.  It's post 9/11 nonsense and it's the New Normal.

Still, it's good to greet the general public and I try to make the job entertaining without hampering the flow of folks conducting business.  I've run into a lot of old friends and it's great to be able to serve The People in a way that I haven't been able to serve.

I'll be checking the Friday Afternoon news dump and if I see anything interesting, I'll comment on it.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Doctors Appointments

When I was in the Army, I ran almost every day.  When I was in the Reserves, I ran almost every day.  When I retired, I quit that bullshit.  Running sucks.

I went to the Doctor today and he tells me that I've got to make some lifestyle modifications. Get some exercise, lose a little weight, get my blood sugar down below 5.9.  If I don't, as that hemoglobin A1C creeps up toward 6.5, diabetes looms on my horizon.  We've tried diet, but he tells me I need to start moving, get some exercise.

I thought I was through with that crap.  But, having been a soldier, I know how to do a personal PT program that doesn't require a gym membership.  The state of Louisiana still has roads, and I need roadwork.  This time it isn't so that I can meet some arbitrary standard for unit fitness.  This time it's so that I can keep aggravating the crap out of people who richly deserve it, which is an altogether admirable goal.  So, as much as I hate PT, it looks like it's going to become a part of my daily regimen.  Damn it all to hell.  I will NOT pay a gym, so anyone who suggests such a thing can forget that crap.

God, I hate PT.

Who Ya Texting

We thought it was terrible when we learned that Eric Holder had subpoenaed the phone records of the Associated Press, but now we learn that the NSA (No Such Agency) has obtained the phone records of everybody who has a Verizon account.
Glenn Greenwald reports on secret court order, issued in April, which compelled one of the nation’s largest telecom providers to hand over daily call logs to the federal government. The information did not include actual content of conversations, but it included everything but:
That's interesting, if only to remember that the charter of the NSA (as I understand it) forbids spying on Americans in America.

The National Security Agency has long justified its spying powers by arguing that its charter allows surveillance on those outside of the United States, while avoiding intrusions into the private communications of American citizens. But the latest revelation of the extent of the NSA’s surveillance shows that it has focused specifically on Americans, to the degree that its data collection has in at least one major spying incident explicitly excluded those outside the United States.
Overreach?  You tell me.  The defenders of the practice say that it's a holdover from the Patriot Act, legislated under the Bush administration after 9/11.  But, it looks like the NSA is now looking at the text messages betixt Milady and I, reminding me to pick up Dawn dishwashing liquid and toilet paper on my way home from work.  Or, to stop by the package store and pick up a bottle of wine.

The fact that Bush did it didn't please me, and the fact that Obama is doing it after promising to not listen to my conversations has me completely pissed off.  Two wrongs don't make a right, and just because Bush did it doesn't mean that Obama should do it.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Upgrade

I've been loading everything, both rifle and pistol, for two decades on a single stage press.  My current press is a Lee Classic Cast press, and by any standards it is a magnificent single stage press.  It's heavy, large, and overly strong for any single-stage work, to include sizing brass, or re-working brass.  If I can' t get it done on the Lee Classic, it's time for a machine shop.

However, I've been jonesing for something just a little faster for repetitive tasks like pistol ammunition.  I don't need match-grade pistol ammo and making match-grade pistol ammo is simply too time consuming.  So, I decided to step up to the 1970s and buy a turret press.  The boys at Lee Precision sell a nice one, so I pulled the pin last week and ordered one of their turret presses.  The brown truck of happiness brought it today.


There's a lot of stuff in there that I don't need, because I've already got all that stuff, but I'm happy to share wit my sons, who are beginning to reload.  I'll be setting this up over the next several days, and go from batch processing of pistol ammo to linear processing of same ammo.  I'm sure that it will speed up production considerably.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Not a Serf

I am not here as a serf or vassal. I am not begging my lords for mercy." 
 "I’m a born free American woman, wife, mother and citizen. And I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place. It’s not your responsibility to look out for my well-being, and to monitor my speech. It’s not your right to assert an agenda. Your post, the post that you occupy, exists to preserve American liberty. You’ve sworn to perform that duty. And you have faltered."

Becky Gerritson of the Wetumpka Tea Party, testifying today before the House Ways and Means Committee about abuse by the IRS.



Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Eric Says He'll Protect Journalists Rights

Really, that's the headline.  Our Attorney General evidently believes that the 1st Amendment is worth protecting.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. pledged Thursday to take concrete steps to address concerns that the Justice Department has overreached in its leak investigations and said officials would seek procedural and possibly legislative changes to protect journalists’ First Amendment rights.
And of course, the Press believes that.  Even after Holder signed the warrant, and recused himself from the AP case. If the press wants to believe that Eric Holder cares about the press, then I guess P.T. Barnum was right.  There is a sucker born every minute.

Eric Holder only believes that which will help him keep his job.  If you believe for a minute that Holder gives a crap about press freedom, then you deserve to lose the little freedom you have.  Holder's actions speak louder than his words.  Look at the actions, and learn what Eric believes.

I know what he thinks about the 2nd Amendment.

That M3 Safety

My post on the M3 garnered a few comments, the one that sends me back down memory lane is the one from Rivrdog
That bolt-blocker gate-safety wasn't worth it's name, was it?
True enough, the M3 wasn't inherently safe.  The little gun fired from an open bolt, which means that you pulled the bolt back and the bolt was held by the trigger.  When you pulled the trigger, the bolt slid forward, stripped a cartridge from the magazine, and the fixed firing pin fired the round.  As long as you held the trigger down, the bolt would slide back and forth in the tube-receiver and shoot bullets down the barrel.

The safety was the dust cover, which you closed.  There was a little finger inside the dust cover that was notorious for letting the bolt slide forward when jarred.  That bolt flew forward, the bolt stripped a cartridge, and fired it down the barrel.

The M3 was not safe.  It was a submachine gun.  Designed to kill people.  Nothing safe at all about it.  For that matter, the tanks we drove and used were also not safe.  They were war machines designed to kill people, and they'd kill the crew just as mindlessly as they'd kill the enemy.  The M3, and the M60 series tanks taught me that the only safety I could depend on was the meaty computer between my ears.  To this day, I don't trust a safety on a firearm, and I damn sure don't trust a tank.  They'll kill you with supreme indifference.

That being said, if you knew what you were doing, both the M3 and the M60 would bring you home, let you see your kids and wife, and tell stories where old soldiers gather.  They were not safe, and the guns I carry today have fewer safeties than the weapons I used in the mid '70s.  The Smith and Wesson M&P I carry every day has no safety, simply the knowledge that if I don't pull the trigger, it won't shoot a cartridge down the barrel.  Guns aren't safe.  The people who use them can be safe, but guns aren't.  Don't be confused by a mechanical device.

As Mostly Cajun pointed out.  "Is gun, is NOT safe."  That's a good lesson for all of us to learn.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Stuffed Burgers

No pictures, because I was busy, but today I cooked something I've wanted to try for a long time.  Stuffed burgers.  It's fairly easy.  And they're damned good. Best burger I've eaten for a long time.

This morning I trotted down to the grocers and bought some good ground chuck.  About 5 lbs.  I mixed some good Cajun seasoning into the meat, then divided into ten equal balls, for about a half-pound burger.  Stuck my thumb in the ball of meat, then filled that hole with grated Colby Jack cheese.  Then rolled the hole closed, and patted out the patties.  Big ole, oversized burgers.

Cooked them on the charcoal grill, just like every other burger I've ever cooked.  Served them with the usual accouterments.  I didn't feel like worrying with french fries, and they deserved better than potato chips, so I boiled some little ears of corn on the cob, with butter and crab boil added to the mix.  Burgers and corn on the cob.  That was lunch.

Sunday Morning Dawg

I wonder, sometimes, what he's smelling when he stops and gets distracted by an odor on the ground.

There doesn't seem to be anything there, but he's powerfully distracted by something in the grass.  A cricket, maybe, or a passing dog left a sign-post that only he can smell.  Then I decide that it's probably best that I not know what he's sniffing.  It might induce my gag reflex.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

The M3

I was reading over at Mostly Cajun, and got tripping down memory lane.  I started thinking about the M3 submachine gun, affectionately called the Grease Gun, because it looks so much like a mechanics tool.


When I got my tank platoon in 1976, the M3 was still in service.  It's a simple weapon, manufactured to make the most of mass production. They were provided to the government very cheaply.  I don't know what they cost to manufacture, but I know what the government vouchered them at, which leads to the story about the day I destroyed one.

Beautiful spring day in 1976, I was leading my tank platoon out of the field, toward the motor pool at Fort Knox, Ky.  It was a great day to be alive, the sun was shining, the temperature was pleasant and I was going to spend a couple of hours on the washrack, then go to my quarters to kiss my wife and play with my son.  My M3 was strapped around me with the cotton sling issued with every weapon.  Suddenly, I felt the cotton webbing turn loose, and I watched my submachine gun bounce off the side of the turret, onto the fender, where is slid down the fender and into the roadway behind me.

"Driver, Stop" I shouted into the headset I was wearing.  I knew that if I stopped, the line of tanks behind me would stop, but stopping a 52 ton tank takes time, and I watched the little gun go under the right-side track of the tank behind me.

When the line of vehicles finally came to a halt, I climbed down to retrieve my gun which had been thoroughly crushed beneath the tracks of not one, but two tanks.  It was in pieces, and I picked it all up, threw it into the tool box on the fender, and got the convoy moving again.  When we got to the motor pool, I retrieved the gun, told my platoon sergeant that I was heading for the arms room.

The armorer was not amuzed.  "What the hell happened to this gun, lieutenant?"

"Ran over it with a tank.  Actually two tanks."

"Geez, Lieutenant." he replied. "This is going to take some paperwork. You've destroyed an automatic weapon.  I'm going to have to do some research here, but we'll probably have to do a Report of Survey, appoint a disinterested officer, who'll conduct an investigation, find out that you screwed up, and make you pay for the gun."  He started flipping through his regulations.  "Come see me tomorrow and we'll see how bad it's going to be."

The next morning after formation, I made my way to his office.  "Two ways we can do this, LT.  We can either do the Report of Survey, or you can simply admit that you are responsible and write a check to the US Government."

"How much?" I asked.

"Well, you're getting a pretty good deal."  The armorer took out a sheet of paper.  "This gun didn't cost the government much.  It was built in 1944, and they're willing to depreciate it.  Can you write me a check for $6.42?"

I was stunned, but reached for my checkbook.  "Who should I make this payable to?  Treasurer of the United States?"

I wish I had a couple of those old guns hanging in the closet.

Grass is Mowed

It's been a busy week at work.  Nothing that required report-writing, but busy nonetheless, and long hours.  So, this morning after coffee, I cranked the lawnmower and got that done.  The neighbors will have someone else to talk about for a couple of days.  Not that I care what the neighbors say, but I hate it when my lawn looks scroungy.  Now, it's laundry and a third cup of coffee.  I'll spend the morning puttering in the house, and later today we're going to a crawfish boil and benefit auction.  Some little girl has cancer an the community is trying to help.  It's for a good cause.