Saturday, November 30, 2013

Don't Take Your Eye Off These Putzes

Not even for a second.  That's the advise of Instapundit, when he links to PJMedia, who reports that gun-control advocates are quietly building support for another bill.
Thompson said the bill protects rights under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by providing an exemption on background checks for firearm transfers between family and friends.
“You won’t have to get a background check when you inherit the family rifle, borrow a friend’s shotgun for a hunting trip or purchase a gun from a buddy or neighbor,” Thompson said.
It further bans the creation of a federal registry and makes the misuse of records a felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. It allows active duty military to buy firearms in their home states and the state in which they are stationed, authorizes the use of a state concealed carry permit in lieu of a background check to purchase a firearm and allows interstate handgun sales from licensed dealers.
That doesn't sound bad at all, does it?  Until you realize who's pushing the bill.  And we've been lied to by these bozos  before.
 “So we’re going to pass this law,” Schumer said. “We are going to finish the job and pass background checks and then move on and do other things we have to do to get guns off the streets and stop gun violence.”
Yeah, right, Chuck.  Tell me just exactly again how you intend to get guns off the street?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Afternoon News Dump

Evidently, it was Black Friday today.  Drudge tells me that the search for the all-holy deal is getting a little rude.

Mall mayhem...Suspected shoplifter shot after dragging cop through KOHL's parking lot...Brawls...Woman uses stun gun in shopping fight...Man stabbed over parking spot...Shopper Kicked Out Of WALMART For Filming Fight...Man shot walking home with big screen...Shoppers Trampled In Race For $49 Tablet...SALVATION ARMY kettles stolen...REPORT: Profit margins jump for sales 'hoax'...
Really?  Someone stole the Salvation Army kettles?  Stun Gun?  Stabbed over a parking spot?

I'm glad I wasn't out there today.

In other news, Milady trotted down to the Dollar Store today and invested in real estate.  She bought a cat-house.

I've always wanted to own a cat-house.  Now I can say that I do.

Hunting with Dogs

When I was a young scrapper, Thanksgiving was a closed day for deer hunting.  In fact, it separated a split in the season, the earlier portion for still hunting only, and the later portion for hunting with dogs. The still hunt season closed on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the dog season opened the Friday following. In those days, hunting with dogs was a popular past-time and many hunters kept dogs for the late deer season.  Indeed, for many years, I'd eat lunch with the family, then we'd head north to Minden, LA where I hunted the whole weekend with my good friend Melvin, whose family kept deer dogs.

In effect, we'd ring a large portion of the forest with hunters, as many as two dozen or more, then two men would drop the dogs and follow them through the woods.  If the dogs jumped a deer, the chase was on, and it was considered poor form to miss a running deer.  It was considered even poorer form to let the dogs get past you if you were a stander.  I suspect that the deer season was closed on Thanksgiving to keep the hunters near the house on this most American of holidays.

Nowadays I hunt in Area 2, as defined by the Louisiana hunting regulations.  I also note that Thanksgiving is an open day, and the dog season doesn't begin in Area 2 until December 4th.    In most of Louisiana we now have deer leases, posted land, and the large timber companies no longer have open land.  Hunting with dogs is proscribed on most private land, and has fallen out of favor.  But, there was a time where I'd gather with  hunters on the Friday after Thanksgiving and hunt deer with dogs.  Sometimes we'd have a good day, and we'd stack deer up in a pickup truck like cordwood.

I never remember any of that meat going to waste.   The rules were simple.  If you were a hunter, you had a right to a portion of the game.  If you wanted to donate your portion, there was always a family nearby in dire financial straits who would gladly skin, dress, and butcher those deer to fill the family freezer.

So, on this Friday after Thanksgiving, as you read this, I'm sitting on a stand in Area 2, but I'm not hunting over dogs.  We're all a bit poorer, because we don't spend much time hunting deer with dogs.  It was a gand tradition, and like all traditions, it's passed with our time and circumstance.

Good hunting.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thursday Song

I heard this one on the oldies station, coming home from the Thanksgiving feast.  Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black.



Y'all have a wonderful evening.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Prepping

Today is the final prep for Thanksgiving.  I've got to run to the store to pick up a few items, fill the truck with fuel, and drop by Momma's house to hug my sister.  She flew in from Knoxville yesterday and I want to see her before the hectic that tomorrow will  become.  We're all gathering on the family property tomorrow to share a meal and fellowship, then we'll retire to the pasture for a little target practice.  That's been a family tradition for several years, and as family changes we're never sure which traditions will change, or what the next year will bring.

Traditions change slowly, over time, and when we look back we see that what was once tradition is now simply a memory.  As families grow, and blend, and change, traditions change.  What we did when I was a child is certainly different than the way we do things now, and what my grandchildren experience in their youth will change as they grow and mature.  That's the nature of things and we cherish what we had and what we have, knowing that nothing lasts forever.

So, to each of you, I pray that you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.  That you experience the tradition that suits your situation, and that next year will find your traditions complete and fulfilling.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday Teaser

I'm watching a grandson today on a cold, rainy Tuesday in November.  Nothing much happening around the casa today, except that we've got to go shopping after while to restock our larder.  PawPaw is going to make a big gumbo later today because a cold, rainy November day demands a gumbo..

The kiddo is watching cartoons in the toy room, and PawPaw is surfing around the intertubes.  It seems that Nosler is bringing out a brand-new, whizbang cartridge.  The .26 Nosler.  According to their teaser, it's a non-belted, long action cartridge that will launch the 129 grain Accubond at 3400 fps.  Surfing around the usual forums doesn't reveal a great deal about the new cartridge.  Nosler is keeping the information close-held until the SHOT show roll out, and I can understand that they're trying to create buzz.  I get it.

Some folks are wondering if they'll use the .375 Ruger cartridge as a base for their new cartridge.  It seems to fit the criteria.  Non-belted, plenty of powder room, fits in a long action, etc.  Maybe so, it ought to hold a lot of powder.  Shades of PO Ackley and Charlie Newton, there's nothing new under the sun.  Many of the wagging tongues say that it's bound to be a barrel burner, but I suspect that this won't be a cartridge where people worry about their barrel throats.  Two kinds of shooters don't.  The first is the long-range target crowd, who regularly change barrels anyway.  The second is the pure FUDD hunting crowd, which aren't high-volume shooters.

Before you get your shorts in a knot, I readily identify with that FUDD group.  For example, my .30-06 gets shot maybe 20 times per year.  A few three shot groups to verify zero, then whatever I burn during the hunting season.  If my -06 was a barrel-burner and only good for 1000 rounds, at 20 rounds per year, I'd have to change the barrel every 50 years. Hunters simply don't care about throat erosion.  Nosler might be on a good thing with this new cartridge, or in five years it might just be an interesting footnote.  We'll see.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Honor Band

Milady and I are traveling to Baton Rouge today, with a host of family.  Our grandson, Michael was picked to play in the Louisiana Music Educator's Honor Band, Symphonic Band, as 1st chair Trombone.  He's a high school junior and we're thrilled at his accomplishments with the trombone.  As a junior, it's quite an honor to be chosen as 1st chair, and he deserves the honor.

The old saw about how you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice, practice, practice.  I've heard him practice solidly for hours.  He's got a rare musical talent, with the drive to turn that talent into a reality.  Scholarship offers are already coming in, and he's starting to pick his schools.  As a senior next year, he's way ahead of the curve.

At any rate, his concert is today, so we're traveling to Baton Rouge to listen to him toot his own horn.  If anyone is interested, the concert is at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center, Baton Rouge, LA at 2:00 pm.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Morning Dawg

It got cold and rainy yesterday, cold for these climes, and we've been spending time indoors.  The dog wanted to play "Don't Look At  The Camera", so getting a reasonable snapshot was interesting.


That will do, I guess, but I'm not sure how to caption that one.  Feel free to caption it in comments.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Off

Finally, I'm home, in my tennis shoes, wearing jeans.  It's been a long week.  I estimate I've worked nearly 60 hours this week, the majority of those before today, which only accounted for my standard 8 hours.  Just Damn!

It's not that the job is physically demanding.  It's not.  People offer to swap jobs with me every day.  I tell them that the job isn't hard, in fact is a really great job, right up till the moment it sucks.  And if the job ever goes to SUCK, it will go that way in just a few seconds.  But, this week is over and I'm looking forward to the weekend.

I've hooked the Mule to the truck, and partially loaded it with things I'll need in the morning.  Reports from the deer lease indicate that the rut might be starting to kick in, and I intend to be there before daylight.  In another hour, I'll go buy a pizza for Milady and myself, then commence with Happy Hour.

Proceeding as Forseen

Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen, which isn't a terribly prescient prognostication.  It's as plain as the nose on your face.  Earlier this week, I predicted that the roll out of the employer mandate would cause grief for the current ruling party, set as it was to roll out just about the time that voters choose their representatives.
Your next huge problem, Mr. President, is coming next October, when the employer mandate rolls out. That market is a lot larger than the individual market and will impact a lot more people, on an order of magnitude.  If you botch that implementation, Congress will probably become bright red,
And look what was being reported this morning.
Health and Human Services plans to delay the start of the second year of Obamacare enrollment by one month to allow insurers more time to set rates after assessing their plan experiences during 2014, a department official said Thursday night.
Isn't that amazing, what with the mid-term elections happening about that time, HHS has decided to move the mandate back a month.  Can they be more politically predictable?  If I were Kathleen Sebelius, I'd be trying to corner the market on tar, feathers, and rails like Homeland tried to corner the market on ammo.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Commemorative

It looks like the US Postal Service is enamored of the recent rollout.  They're rolled out a Forever stamp.

And a commemorative set.


Hat tip, Instapundit.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Tinkerbell Defense

In light of the ongoing train-wreck that is ObamaCare, the president thinks that the Republicans should share the blame for the political disaster because they didn't support it enough.
“One of the problems we’ve had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure,” Obama said at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting in Washington. “We obviously are going to have to remarket and rebrand, and that will be challenging in this political environment.”
Uuuh, no, Mr. President.  The problem you have is that your namesake law was passed without any Republican votes whatsoever, it was fully funded through its own funding mechanism and you had three years to properly plan and prepare for the rollout on the day that the law set to roll out.  You knew this was coming, or you certainly should have known.  The date was set three years ago.  The fact that the Republicans griped and grouched about it had absolutely nothing to do with the botched rollout.  That was yours all along.  It's your law, you screwed up, and you're continuing to screw up.

Your next huge problem, Mr. President, is coming next October, when the employer mandate rolls out. That market is a lot larger than the individual market and will impact a lot more people, on an order of magnitude.  If you botch that implementation, Congress will probably become bright red, and your lasting legacy will be one of myopia, hubris, and breathtaking obtuseness.  Not to mention sheer incompetence.

Good For You, Harry!

It looks like Harry Reid wants to change the rules on filibusters.
A senior Democratic aide told The Huffington Post on Wednesday that there's "a greater possibility" that Reid will hold a vote this week instead of waiting until after the Senate comes back from recess in December. The proposal that Reid is planning to put on the floor would strip the minority of its ability to filibuster executive and judicial nominees, but wouldn't apply to Supreme Court nominees.
I think that will work out great, Harry.   Go ahead, make it easier for a majority to overrule a minority.  You'll enjoy that when it's your turn to be in the minority.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

.22 Ammo Prices

I went by Academy Sports during the hour between work and more work, and bought some sock hats to keep my noggin warm.  While I was in the store, I wandered over to the ammo aisle and inquired about .22 long rifle ammo.  They had it in stock, limit two boxes per customer, so I asked for my ration.  The guy handed me two boxes of Remington Thunderbolt ammo, 50 round boxes.  I didn't ask about the price, but headed to the register.  $2.29 per box, which comes to just 4.5 cents per round.  They're still rationing ammo, but the prices are getting more reasonable.  I was pleasantly surprised, especially as I got out of Academy for less than $12.00.

Oh, just for the record, I'll be working a lot of hours this week.  The school-house is trying to close for Thanksgiving, so they've scheduled lots of things this week.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tee Shirts and Price Match

I went to Wal-Mart this afternoon to buy some tee-shirts, then started just looking around.  I found a 2-pack of PNY Sd cards, 4gb, for $13.88.  On a lark, I took out my cell phone and scanned them on Amazon.  It came back at $10.00 on the phone, and when I went to the checkout line, I showed the cashier my phone and she called her manager over.  He said to give me the price match.

Score!  Two Sd cards for $10.00.  That isn't bad at all.  Who says you can't quibble at Wal-Mart?

I came home later and researched Wal-Mart's price-match policy.  It turns out that they don't do price-match on internet pricing.  But what the heck.  It worked this once, and I've got some spare Sd cards for the game cameras.  .

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Natchitoches

Natchitoches (Nak-u-tush) is a little town in north-central Louisiana.  It's just like tens of thousands of other little sleepy towns all over our country.  Good people, a small college, a local historical society, but it's got one thing that other little small towns don't have.  Fairly deep history.

In 1714 a group of French soldiers came up from somewhere (New Orleans hadn't been founded yet) and built a small fort to garrison as a bulwark against Spanish expansion.  They called it Fort St. Jean Baptiste, and it was poised against the eastward expansion of the Spanish, just 20 miles up the road at Los Adaes.  For some reason, Natchitoches "stuck" when other settlements were abandoned, giving Natchitoches the distinction of being the oldest continual settlement in the Louisiana Purchase.  It's older than New Orleans, and has the distinction of being vaguely French, but not too French.  It's founder was a French Canadian, from whence the Acadians, who populated south Louisiana later came..  It's a point of distinction to trace lineage back to an ancestor who garrisoned the fort as the tip of the French spear.

I went to college in Natchitoches, at Northwestern in 1973.  I graduated in 1975, went into the Army, then came back in 1980 to raise my family.  Natchitoches is a great place to raise a family.  I left Natchitoches in 2001, for all the right reasons and moved closer to my childhood home, fifty miles south.  Still, I have lots of friends and a soft spot in my heart for that little town with the strange name.  I am told that they're celebrating their tri-centennial next year, and I'd like to pass along congratulations.


Happy Birthday, Natchitoches.

McAllister Wins

Political newcomer Vance McAllister has beaten State Senator Neil Riser for Rodney Alexanders US 5th District seat.  And when I say beaten, I mean with 60% of the vote.  Think about that for a minute.  Let it sink in.  This was McAllister's first political race.  McAllister's not a politician, he's a businessman.

And all the cards were stacked to make Riser the winner.  Riser had the governor's endorsement, the seat seemed to be Riser's for the asking.  We know that Riser was in on the details of Alexander's retirement from Congress, because the day after Alexander announced his retirement, Riser campaign signs started showing up.  How many people can get campaign signs designed, printed, and installed in 24 hours.  Not many.  Riser was able to get it done, if you believe that he made the decision to order signs when Alexander announced his retirement.

A 60% win over an entrenched political machine is huge.

Vance appealed to several constituencies.  He appealed to the working man, he appealed to the anti-politician crowd, he appealed to those who dislike Governor Jindal.  Some will say that McAllister's election was a rebuke to the Tea Party, but I don't buy that.  The Tea Party is fairly undefined, but in its inception it was a backlash against taxes and the political crowd.  The only political rally I've ever attended was one where Rodney Alexander was booed from the stage by folks who attended the rally.  The Tea Party, as defined by lots of folks, is an unaffiliated conservative movement representing low taxes, small government, individual freedom and personal responsibility.  The fact that the name has been co-opted by politicians doesn't change the fact that a lot of folks like me identify with the movement.

Still, congratulations to Vance.  He ran a good race and took advantage of a number of different things to put together a winning campaign.  He can attribute his win to a backlash against government as much as he can to the endorsement of the Duck Commander crowd.  Willie Robertson helped him win, but that wasn't the reason we sent him to Washington.

And, one word of caution.  We're watching you.  The power and influence in Congress is heady stuff, but if you forget who sent you, we'll send your ass packing without explanation or remorse.  We've got high hopes for you, but don't let us down.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Waiting expectantly for a chicken nugget.


Some say I spoil that dog, but when we go to a restaurant, I make sure that he gets an order of chicken nuggets.  And some fries if there are any left over.  It's part of his payment for watching over the place.

And he loves him some chicken nuggets.  He can't decide if he likes them best from McDonalds, Burger King, or the fried chicken joint.  Tonite, he got some from Red River Grill, and he didn't turn up his nose at them.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Voting Day

It's Saturday morning, and normally I'd be in my deer stand.  Except for a couple of things. First, I'm not mad at those deer, I'm going to give them a break today..  Second, Milady and I made other plans today and in a few hours we're going to get in the car and head east, toward Mississippi.  We're going to spend the day in Natchez, LA, look at something different, play together the whole live-long day.  And it's voting day.

Before we leave for our play-day, we're going to vote.  We're electing a US Representative today, for the US 5th District and because that's the only thing on the ballot, it's going to be a low-turnout vote.  In elections like this, every vote counts.  I've seen small rural elections turn on one vote.  I've also looked at balloting for different types of elections, and I'm amazed at the people who vote once a year, or once every four years.  Sometimes small elections, like this one, have less than half the registered voters show up at the polls.

We had one election recently, where the locality had 8500 registered voters, and they were voting on a vital economic initiative and less than 2400 people actually showed up to pull the lever.  What's up with those other 6000 people?  Too busy?  Too apathetic?  Too stupid?  Well, those 6000 have no reason to complain if they didn't show up at the polls.  They let other people make the decision for them.

Go vote, Louisiana.  It's important.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Legalizing Pot

For those of you who haven't been paying attention, last year Washington and Colorado both passed initiatives that legalize the recreational use of marijuana.  The regulatory regimes were supposed to be regulated in "a manner similar to alcohol".

For the record, I'm not advocating for the legalization of marijuana.  I've heard the arguments on both sides, and I'm simply not convinced.  However, the voters in those states were convinced and they passed the proposition.  Now, the state is trying to figure out how to deal with it, and it looks like they're going to tax the living hell out of it.  Which is fine, except that the free market is at work.
The upshot of such actions is predictable and depressing. Colorado lawmakers are banking on about $70 million a year in taxes from pot and their Washington counterparts have projected new revenues of $1.9 billion over the first five years of legalization. There’s just no way that’s going to happen if a legal ounce of pot is double the price or more of back-alley weed. Even the most stoned pothead isn’t that easy to scam.
Taxes have to be seen as fair on luxury, or sin items (and marijuana is definitely considered one or the other) or people will find a way around them.  The linked article says that a legal ounce of marijuana, after the tax man gets his bite, might be as much as between $482 an ounce and $723 an ounce.  The black market is going to love those prices.

If you're supposed to regulate it in a manner similar to alcohol, the most consumers would expect to see packs of Alcapulco Gold pre-rolled, right next to the Jack Daniels on the likker store shelves.

Again, I've heard all the arguments, and I'm not convinced, but it looks like the state tax-man is going to do his best to suppress the pot that the voters want.  Let Freedom Ring.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Surreal Administration

If anything, the Obama administration got more surreal today, when our President announced that if you like your plan, you can keep it.  His "fix" raises more questions than it answers, not the least of which is; does he have the authority to do this?  He's been telling us for a couple of years that it is the law, and it's settled, and the more we go into the roll-out, we find that he seems to be able to delay implementation or ignore provisions of the law that he finds politically damaging.
There’s one problem—the President’s promise that his new “plan” can allow people to keep their plans is just as flawed and false as his original “like your plan/keep it” pledge. The law itself is clear: Obamacare’s new benefit mandates—the requirement to cover all individuals with pre-existing conditions, the new “essential benefits,” and mandates increasing the percentage of health costs insurance plans must cover—all take effect on January 1, 2014.
If it's the law, the President can't change it, he can only work with Congress to modify or amend it.  With all the other problems of risk pools, and insurability, and  the tax that the Supreme Court found in the law, it seems to me that the individual mandate is still taxable under the law, and the folks who don't have insurance will be accountable for that tax next year.

This President seems perfectly comfortable in modifying law that was passed by Congress, that he signed and that was upheld by the Supreme Court.  That's not what I was taught in high school civics class.  The Congress makes the laws, the President implements the laws, and the Courts interpret the laws.  It appears as if this President believes that he can ignore the law when it suits his own political purpose.  That is a horrible precedent to set.   Yet this President seems to set horrible precedents almost daily.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Woes

If you've been watching the news, you know that ObamaCare is taking hit after hit.  HotAir is all over it, hit the link for the full run-down, but it looks like the Democrats in the Senate are in full uproar, including my own Senator Mary (hack, spit) Landrieu, who is offering a bill that will only increase the rate of spin.  The bill is in a death spiral, enrollments are in the toilet, the website is a total debacle, and the numbers are abysmal.  Other than that, the president is having a great week.  It looks like Iran is going to get the bomb, the economy is stuck in the doldrums, and ... well, hell, why go on?

This is turning out to be the best November evah!  With leadership like we've got, it's amazing we lasted this long.

Locally, I just got a call from the Neil Riser campaign.  Our idiot congressman, Rodney Alexander decided to retire before he was primaried, so we're having a special election.  Given Louisiana's jungle primaries, where everyone votes and the two highest candidates go to the general election, we have a choice between two Republicans.  Neil Riser and Vance McAllister.  Neil is a classical Louisiana politician and has been groomed for this position.  Some say that the timing of the special election was set by the Statehouse Crowd to give every advantage to Neil.  Neil was supposed to take it in a walk.

Except for one thing.  Vance McAllister is a successful businessman and he decided to throw his hat in the ring, having never been in politics.  He promptly picked up some great endorsements, including the endorsement of the Duck Commander clan, the Robertson family.  MrAllister has never run for anything, so he's not a career politician, and he's spending his own money on the campaign, so he's not beholden to anyone.  I like Vance and I intend to vote for him on Saturday.  This is going to be a low-turnout vote, so it will be interesting to see the polls on Saturday night.  The vote from the individual precincts should tell us a lot about the demographics of the race.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Mess of Bream

Looking at my daughter-in-law's blog site, I see that my grandson (one of several) has learned to fish for bream.  They're living on family land, and fishing a pond that my father built.  Evidently, it's full of fish and the other grandad taught him how to fish for the tasty little fish.

That's a pretty good stringer of fish for the first time out.  Hopefully, he took good notes because it's a skill set that will keep him occupied for a long time, probably the rest of his life.

Up the little hill, in the barn behind the young'un is my father's shop.  My son has been working in there, blending his knowledge of old time woodworking and my Dad's tools to craft a piece of furniture for his family.

It's good to see a kid fishing the pond, and a family member using the shop.  I am glad that piece of land is continuing to educate and shelter our family.  The circle continues.

Geese Overhead

Standing at my duty post, the air crisp and clean from the cold front that's passing through, I heard geese and watched a flight of small geese (blues and snows) flying down the river.  Classic chevron pattern.  As usual one side of the Vee was longer than the other one, and I thought about that for a minute and decided that I might pass on the knowledge of why geese fly like that.

Do you know why one side of the Vee is always longer than the other side?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Henry V

From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:  Act 4, Scene 3

It's been a long time since I stood with several others and took an oath of which I have not been relieved.

Happy Veterans Day.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Shooting Fruit

We've been listening to the grandkids, and we were concerned that they might not understand the power and potential of a firearm.

Let me explain.  Our family likes guns.  We like them a lot, and we shoot them every chance we get.  Paper targets or steel, or for that matter, clay targets with the shotgun, but that doesn't properly, visually, energetically demonstrate the power available with a squeeze of the trigger. The grandkids in question are adolescent, already safe with firearms, but we became concerned that they might not be fully familiar with the actual result of putting a bullet into something soft and squishy.  Hence, a demonstration was in order.  We accomplished that this afternoon.

Yesterday I made a quick trip to the grocers and bought a cantaloupe and a couple of spaghetti squash, each just a little smaller than the human head.  Today, we loaded the adolescents in the pickup and went to our private range.  We explained what we were going to do, then set the cantaloupe on a stump about five yards away.  I shot it with a common .45 ACP 230 grain hollowpoint.at a range of about five feet.  We were immediately all hit with the splash from the cantaloupe exploding.  The top half simply exploded because I hit it a bit high.  Then I shot a spaghetti squash at the same range.  We autopsied the groceries, explaining the similarity between them and the human anatomy.

When I looked at the boys, their mouths were open in stunned shock.  That's good.

They all like shooting my rifles.  And, they're perfectly capable of hitting what they see.  So, we walked some groceries out to about 50 yards, then got out the rifle.  A common, standard .308. The Ugly rifle. I let the boys lay down on the ground and take shots at the produce.  A cantaloupe explodes nicely, and the spaghetti squash is likewise disturbed when a rifle bullet plows  through them.

They each hit their target and I'm proud of them for that.  Laying on their bellies like real marksmen, they put the bullets where the bullets should have been put, then they looked agape at the results.

The ride back to the casa was fairly quiet.  "What did you learn?" I asked.

"Those things are dangerous."

That's just exactly what I was trying to portray.  Those things are dangerous.  Used properly, used safely, they are a source of great joy and pleasure.  One moment of carelessness and you'll have a moment that you regret forever.  I hope the lesson stays with them, and they learn a new respect for the power they command.

Sunday Song

Another one from Steve Wariner.



I"ve got to get ready for Sunday Lunch.  When I was a boy we always went to the grandparents house for Sunday Lunch.  It's quite the family tradition.  The kids and grandkids will start turning up here in another hour

Sunday Morning Dawg

The dog and the cat playing on the back porch settee.


The were wrasslin' around when I took this snap, one trying to get the upper hand on the other.  It looks like they're fast friends now.  The dog is learning to respect the claws on the cat's hind feet.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Saturday Song

Driving back from the deer stand, listen to old music on the radio, this one from Steve Wariner came up.



It's as true now as it was when he released it in 1987.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Friday I Got Nothing

It was quiet around the school-house this morning, and most of the afternoon.  Everyone was ready for a long weekend and the bureaucrats weren't stirring up anything.  I left promptly at 3:00, came home and hooked up the trailer for hunting tomorrow morning.

I haven't even checked the Friday afternoon news dump.  I just don't care.  I'm having a Friday-afternoon cocktail, then Milady and I are heading for the auction.  Tomorrow I'll be in the deer stand at daylight, and yes, I have a spare tire on the trailer.

Tomorrow evening, LSU plays Alabama at Tuscalloosa.  I won't be there, but I have front-row seats at BIL's house, where he's cooking ribs.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

O-Bummer-Care

So, I'm reading the news and wondering.  It's just possible that on January 1, 2014 with all the millions of Americans that are dropped from their health insurance, and the horrible problems they're having with the Obamacare website, it's just possible that fewer Americans will have health insurance on January 1 than had it on October 1.

And we learn that Secretary Sebelius is going to Hotlanta tomorrow for an important announcement.  I can't wait to see what that's all about.

It seems to me like they're doing this all wrong.  Comparing it to a train wreck is a terrible slander against train wrecks.  Train wrecks are over quick.  This one is liable to drag on for months.  And fewer Americans will have health insurance.  This can't be the way they actually planned this.  If it weren't so tragic in its consequences, it would be hilarious.

That Was Quick

Well, that was certainly quick.  On Tuesday, November 5th I was surfing around and learned that Dick Metcalf, a writer for Guns and Ammo magazine and a long time gun-rag writer had penned an opinion piece entitled Let's Talk Limits: Do certain firearms regulation really constitute infringement? (.pdf warning) for inclusion in the December edition.

Notably, it caused a stir and the base became immediately and horribly enraged.

This morning, November 7th, we learn that Metcalf has been released, and his editor is leaving the magazine.  Forty-eight hours after I learned of the article, the two people responsible for it are gone.  Just gone.  That's quick.  Lessons learned?  Some will say that an immediate firing is rather harsh, and that Metcalf like everyone else has a right to free speech.  That's right, and he still has a right to speak freely.  No one has done anything to diminish that right.  Dick Metcalf can get a website like this one and post opinion after opinion, freely, without fear of suppression.

However, when you're paid good money to keep subscribers happy and sell magazines, you don't have a right to piss them off AND keep your job.  Evidently the writer and the editor wanted to have a reasonable discussion of firearms rights and regulation.  In doing so, they heartily offended the very subscribers and advertisers who pay their salaries.  That's not a good idea.

Really, folks, it's not a good idea to pee on the electric fence.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

That Chicken

Why did the Libertarian Chicken cross the road?


Hat tip to My Muse

The Sodbuster

Of all the pocketknives I've carried in my life, there is one that I always gravitate toward.  The Case Sodbuster.  Case still makes these things, in several varieties and two sizes; the full size and the Jr.  As it turns out, I've got a Jr. in my pocket right now.

It's a simple knife, as pocketknives go.  One blade, a nice drop point blade suitable for most cutting tasks.  The blade is good steel, easily sharpened, and seems to maintain a relationship between being easy to sharpen yet holds an edge well.  Some blades are easy to sharpen yet the steel doesn't hold the edge, some knives hold an edge really well, but the knives are notoriously hard to sharpen.  The Sodbuster seems to find the middle ground.

The handle material is smooth, well rounded, so that if fits in a pocket easily.  This isn't a fighting knife, or a tacticool wonder, it's a using knife, a farmer's knife, a knife to keep in your pocket for routine cutting chores.  For cleaning game animals, skinning squirrels, or gutting fish, the blade design is almost perfect.  It makes short work of binder's twine and is suitable for opening packages.

I've had a dozen of these things over the years, and the reason for having that many is that for many years I ran a small hobby farm, the place where I raised my kids.  I kept a Sodbuster in my pocket and I was always losing them.  Sometimes they'd get dropped in a pond, other times they'd fall into a muddy paddock and the cattle would stomp them into the ground.  I never worn one out, but I'd lose them.

Luckily they are easily replaced and relatively inexpensive. I see that you can buy them from a variety of sources for about $30.00, and they've been made long enough that they're collectible.  The original handle colors were black and yellow.  I prefer the black, but I see that they now also come in green and blue.

If you're looking for a good, serviceable pocketknife for home or farm, it's hard to beat the Sodbuster.  It has PawPaw's seal of approval.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Don't Want a Job

According to the Wall Street Journal, 34.3 percent of the people not in the labor force, don't want a job.
Moreover, Messrs. Barnichon and Figura found, the decline in people who want a job wasn’t driven by people entering the labor force. It was driven by people switching from wanting a job to not wanting one. Long before the recession, in other words, Americans were drifting away from the labor force.
So, it seems that the number of people not in the labor force, who also don't want a job is up to about 34%, according to the number crunchers at the Journal, and as reported at Hot Air.

I don't have a problem with people not wanting a job.  What I have a problem with is people not willing to work, but wanting to eat on my dime.  If you don't want a job, fine, but don't sign up for food stamps, or free health care, or housing assistance, or anything.  No SNAP, no free lunches, nor Medicaid, nor anything.  I believe in the land of the free, but if you don't want to participate, then you should be free to starve to death.

I believe in the freedom to work or not work, but I also believe in the freedom to starve to death.  It's one thing to be disabled, or to be in a situation where you simply decide you don't want to work?  Fine, but don't burden me with paying it.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Don't Interrupt

Napoleon once said "Don't interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."  I alluded to that yesterday when I advised the Republicans in Congress to go quiet about ObamaCare.  If your enemy is committing suicide, you don't need to shoot him.  It sounds like John Boehner is taking my advise.
House members left Washington on Thursday and are out this week, giving lawmakers extended time in their districts for constituent services. The timing is perfect for House Republican leaders, who have grown wary of distracting the public from Obamacare’s wobbly rollout with GOP attacks on the law.
The strategy is a stark contrast to the bombastic tone Republicans struck fighting the law to the point of a government shutdown, and then beyond. And, according to some lawmakers, there was discussion among House members about cancelling the break and staying in Washington to continue hammering the health care law.
But House leaders dismissed that idea, feeling confident that the best thing they can do is step back, be quiet, and let Americans watch Obamacare’s supporters contend with a faulty website, rising premiums, and an avalanche of policy cancellations.
 This thing is terrible, and getting terrible-er by the day.  The wheels are going to come off in March, or April, and when the cancellation notices come out in October for the employer side of the insurance question, all hell is going to break loose.  Folks will be headed to Washington with fresh tar and new pillows.  We're liable to need a whole new Congress, and the Republicans would be wise to sit quietly and watch it happen.  We've made our point, now let the disaster happen.  Someone has to be around with cool heads to pick up the pieces.

Tranpoline

We've had a trampoline in our side yard for about five years, the grandkids love it.  Recently, though, we had to change insurance carriers for our homeowner's insurance because Farmer's Insurance (hack, spit) decided that they didn't want to do business in the state of Louisiana.  So, I called the agent and we went with another carrier.  Saved a few bucks, too.

The guy came out last week and did an inspection, took pictures, made sure that there is actually a house standing here, then he left.  The insurance agent called this week.  "Do you have a trampoline?"

"Well, yeah", I replied.  "We've had one for several years"

"Oh, no," the agent said.  "Insurance companies hate trampolines.  Insurance companies won't insure anyone who has a trampoline.  Too much risk, too much liability."  He continued.  "Lots of folks buy those things, put them in their yards and never hear from their insurance company, as long as no one from the company comes out for an inspection.  As soon as they see the trampoline, they cancel the policy."

"Really?"  says I.

"Really" says he.  "I represent more than a couple insurance companies and none of them allow trampolines.  That trampoline has got to go.  Or I can't get insurance for you."

Evidently, trampolines are verboten on a homeowner's policy.  Take one guess what I disassembled as soon as I got home.  I'll go by the agent's tomorrow and sign a letter that the trampoline has vanished.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Old Pictures

Momma brought me some old pictures this morning.  Most of them were baby pictures and family memorabilia, but this one tweaked my memory strings.

That's my Dad's Ford Fairlane, probably a '58, but I have to admit I don't particularly remember.  I do remember that it was a two-tone brown over tan and had a big engine.  And it would run like a scalded ape.  I also remember that it was wrecked in my grandmother's front yard when the lady who lived across the street mistook her gas pedal for her brake pedal and slammed it sitting in my grandad's driveway.

Dad was sick, and Momma was worried about the weeks-worth of groceries in the crushed trunk, so my Grandad opened the trunk with a crow bar before the wrecker hauled it off.

Dad was heartbroken for weeks, especially after he learned that the car was totalled.

The Employer Mandate

If you've been watching the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, you'll know what a debacle it's been and how unfortunate it has become to those who must get their insurance from the individual market.  But, next year is 2014, and the employer mandate kicks in.  By Jan 1, 2015 it will be in place and all of us who get our insurance through our employers will be feeling the same pinch.  According to Forbes
“The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34552. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their “grandfather status” and get canceled. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 156 million Americans—more than half the population—was covered by employer-sponsored insurance in 2013.
So, what you're seeing right now in the individual market, you'll see next year in the employer market.   So, according to the CBO, 156 million Americans are covered under the employer market.  Half of those plans will lose their grandfather status this year.  And be thrown into Obamacare.

If you think the outrage is palpable now, just wait a half-year until the employer letters start going out.  The best Republican strategy will be to simply sit back, and point across the aisle.  The 2014 midterm elections should be truly enlightening.

Sunday Song

From Allan Jackson.



We'll be headed to church in another half-hour.  Y'all have a great Sunday.

Sunday Morning Dawg

The dog got a trim this week, and he looks a heck of a lot better.

He's driving the cat crazy.  As it turns out, he had so much hair he could barely see.  Now, he can see plainly and he's able to chase the cat with a whole lot more accuracy.  That's tough on the cat, but she'll learn to adapt.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

No Joy

What an adventure.  Grandson Zachary and I rolled out of the driveway at 5:00 a.m. this morning, heading for the deer woods.  We stopped at a local convenience store about halfway to the stand for a biscuit (bacon for him, sausage and egg for me), and got on the road.  Within 100 yards I knew that something was wrong, so I got out of the truck and found that our trailer was riding on a flat tire.  Well hell!  I turned around, got back to the store and dollied the trailer.

Of course, I didn't have a spare tire.  A son, (who will remain nameless) had borrowed that trailer and the spare hadn't made it back.  So, Zach and I headed to Wally-World, where we bought two tires on rims, and turned around to get the trailer and the Mule.  Installed the tire, tried it again.  As we came around the final curve in the road, I saw the sun peeking above the pine trees.  We got to the stand about ten minutes after sunrise and settled in.

Of course, PawPaw had laid on a thermos of coffee, a thermos of hot cocoa, some trail mix and some jerky.  No joy on the deer movements.  At about 10:00, Zach and I came out of the woods and headed for the deer camp with our part of the noon meal and a large 2X12 to repair a picnic table.  Fixed the table, ate lunch, and headed toward mother-in-law's house about five miles from the camp.  Visited with family, drank a beer, visited some more, then headed home.

PawPaw's  tired and needs a shower.  With clean blue-jeans and my slippers I'm sure I'll feel a lot better.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Getting It Right

David Frum makes his point, in an article by the same name as this post, over at the The Daily Beast about Republican obstructionism to the Affordable Care Act.
But of course, if you have the opportunity to prevent or mitigate a debacle—and you fail to use that opportunity—then, yes you do bear some of the blame. Maybe not the moral blame, but the real world practical political blame. Political action is judged by its consequences. The consequences of Republican radicalism since 2009 have been almost uniformly negative—for the country as a whole and for the interests and principles the radicals claim to champion. That’s the point I’ve been trying to pound into the heads of massive-resistance conservatives this past half-decade. Apparently, I must keep pounding.
His argument, apparently, is that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay and the Republicans should do what they can to make it better.  Respectfully, I disagree.

I've been a military officer, and I've had to make bad ideas less bad.  Just as Shaara details in his exploration of Buford in Killer Angels;
 The vision was brutally clear: he had to wonder at the clarity of it. Few things in a soldier’s life were so clear as this, so black-line etched that he could actually see the blue troops for one long bloody moment, going up the long slope to the stony top as if it were already done and a memory already, an odd, set, stony quality to it, as if tomorrow had occurred and there was nothing you could do about it, the way you sometimes feel before a foolish attack, knowing it will fail but you cannot stop it or even run away but must even take part and help it fail.
Fortunately, Republicans aren't always professional soldiers, but sometimes we see something so brutally painful, so God-awful wrong and destructive that we must try to obstruct it.  Frum argues that the politically best motive would be to try to mitigate the damage.  Perhaps he's right.  But in politics you have to stand on a set of principles and this act goes against most of the principles that I've come to believe will sustain the Republic.

No, sometimes it is enough to not participate in a particular disaster.  But, just as Buford fought to hold the high ground to give his army a chance to succeed, we must also fight from the high ground.  But, unlike the duty-bound soldier, we have no duty to take part and help it fail.  We have even less of a duty to mitigate a debacle when against the majority, we stand athwart the tide and yell "stop".

The Democrats own this mess, lock, stock, and barrel.  It's up to them to work it, but I believe that it's doomed to fail.  Nothing that I've seen so far convinces me otherwise.

More Deer Cam

We're having plenty of fun looking at the game camera and this little buck shows a lot of promise.

That's a nice, shootable 6 point, probably two or three years old.  And, he's coming out right at the end of the legal shooting hours.  According to the app on my phone, absolute sunset on the day in question was 6:22 p.m.  We can hunt one-half hour after sunset and that deer came out at 6:47 p.m., fully five minutes before the end of the legal shooting hours.

That mirrors my experience with shootable bucks.  You've got to wait until the last possible minute of legal shooting hours.  Of course, once the rut starts, all bets are off, but if I had to bet on one buck that we might convert into venison, I believe this one is the best bet.  And, there is nothing wrong with a little basket-rack 6-point when you're converting deer into suppertime.  The season for this little buck starts on November 16th, and hopefully we'll get some more photos so we can pattern him.