Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Well, It's Over

It looks like it's about over.  Not the blog, but 2014.  We've used it up, worn it out, and now the calendar will flip and we'll get a do-over.  Another wonderful year, 365 days to screw up.

A couple of thoughts

Resolutions:  I resolve to not make any.  I never keep them anyway, so why bother?

Bosses:  The relationship I have with bosses is like the relationship dogs have with ticks.  I consider them blood-sucking parasites.  I've had a few good bosses in my life, but those were characterized by a sense of humor.

Booze:  Good bourbon is a wonder to behold.  Good beer, too.  I intend to drink some of both this year.

Shooting:  I didn't do enough shooting this year.  I will attempt to do better, burn more powder, ht more targets faster.  I can't make any promises, but I'll try.

Family:  I have the greatest family in the world.  My wife is a joy, my kids are magnificent, and the grandkids are spectacular.  Simply being associated with them is the best thing I ever did.

C'mon, Steve!

C'mon, Steve!  What were you thinking?  It seems that the new House Majority Whip, our own Steve Scalise from Louisiana, talked to a racist group in 2002.
Moira Bagley Smith, a spokeswoman for Mr. Scalise, said on Monday that the congressman had “never been affiliated with the abhorrent group in question.”… Some Republicans joined Democrats in expressing skepticism at Mr. Scalise’s claim that he had been unaware of the group’s racist leanings.
How could you not know, Steve?  The group was founded by David Duke, a divisive, racist, former Klan leader well known in Louisiana for his politics.  I call bullshit on that explanation. Duke is toxic to contemporary politics and has been for many years.  If you didn't know.... well, you've got no business being the Majority Whip.

Some will say that the event happened 12 years ago, and we should give Steve the benefit of the doubt.  That he's not a racist, that the Democrats are making a big deal out of this.  Others will say that the President himself associates with known racists, self-aggrandizing liars and well-known tax cheats.  It seems that Al Sharpton has been to the White House quite a bit lately.  That's true as well, and I would prefer that the President not associate with known racists, but that's not the question.

There is no doubt that there is a double standard for Republicans and Democrats.  We've got to work with the situation that exists, not the one that we'd like to exist.  It is what it is, and David Duke is so toxic that a minor event twelve years ago could derail Sclise's career.  That's too bad.  But, Scalise's career is not as important as the gains that the Republicans have made recently, and any taint of racism will invariably hurt their chances of success.

Steve Scalise might be a nice guy, a capable legislator, and an upcoming power in the House, but he's got to go.  We simply can't let the taint of David Duke derail the gains we've made.  It's a double-standard, I know, but it's the reality we live in.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Rifles

Christmas is likely to bring a rifle or two into the clan, or in this case, to redistribute some.  I decided several years ago that it was time to start redistributing some of my rifles, as grandkids got old enough.  This Christmas, two of the grandkids were old enough, and they got two of mine.  I took them out today to make sure that they were properly schooled on the basics.


That's Zachary with my Savage 10 in .243 Winchester.  Several years ago, I settled on a fairly stout load featuring Hornady's wonderful little 100 grain softosed bullet.  It's a deer-slayer extraordinaire,  I took a middling doe with it several years ago, a one-shot kill.  Don't let anyone tell you that the .243 Winchester is too small for whitetail deer.  Posh!  Zachary's bench technique is all wrong, but he's a small fellow and had trouble getting stable.  However, with that flat-shooting .243, he was able to ring the 100 yard gong with boring repetitiveness.


Next up is grandson Quinton, also with a Savage 10, this one in .308 Winchester.  He took to that rifle like a duck to water, and rang all the gongs at the berm.  This particular rifle is one that I rehabbed. We call it The Ugly Rifle. I found it at a pawn shop several years ago, a sad specimen.  Now, it's been repaired, in a new stock, and it's taken a deer.  A smallish buck fell to it two years ago.  With a 165 Gameking and the family load of Reloder 15, it is just the ticket for a bang-flop shot on deer.

My two young marksmen with their rifles.  I'm proud to be their grandad.  It's hard to believe tht there is less than three months between those two.

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Hat

I was fortunate to receive a new hat for Christmas, a good felt hat that keeps my head warm on cold days.  This particular hat is a Stetson Catera, from their Gun Club Collection.  Very nice, 5X fur felt hat, more of an outback style than a cowboy hat.  They call the color "Bark", but it's a very nice neutral brown.

I wore it today to a business meeting, and my sister took a picture as I was departing.
Very warm hat, and I see that it will be a constant companion during the winter months.  I'll have to put is aside during the springime, but there are other hats available for warm weather wear.

Thanks for the photo, Frannie.

Polishing Boots

When I was a kid, growing up, Dad always had a shoeshine box in the cabinet.  A couple of cans of Kiwi, a rag and a brush.  Then, when I joined the military, one of the very first lessons I got was on shining shoes and boots.  I remember Sunday afternoons in basic training, sitting around with Kiwi shoe polish and rags, spit-shining shoes.  No self-respecting military man would venture out to formation in boots that didn't have a high-gleam.  It was a mark of professionalism, and over the years I invested thousands of dollars on single cans of Kiwi boot polish.

We learned that some boots held a gloss better than others.  The leather from Corcoran boots was especially amenable to a good spit-shine, and the boots were highly sought after, a step up from the issue boots.  Many of us, with our first paycheck, went down and bought Corcorans, especially those of us who intended to make a career wearing boots.

The Army, of course, today wears rough-out leather, a style started by General Norman Schwarzkopf when he issued rough-out boots to his troops during Desert Storm.  Schwarzkopf boots became a mark that you had been in the desert, and they weren't allowed to be worn stateside until after I retired in 1999.  I doubt that the good soldiers of today's army spends much time shining boots.

But, I'm a cop, and I still shine boots, although not as often as I did when a soldier.  But, this morning, a rainy, drizzly Monday, in a quiet house, seemed like just the time to put a little polish on my leather gear.

It's not a spit-shine, and wouldn't pass muster in one of Drill Sergeant Anderson's formations, but it's a whole lot better than it was.  It seems that shining shoes is a lost art, and ignored by many people.  More the loss.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Morning Dawg

It's been a crazy week, and what with the weather being lousy and the fireworks popping out there, the dog has been staying inside quite a lot.

Laying on a dry floor sure beats being outside in the rain.  The weather-weenies say that it's going to rain all day.  We'll see.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Gifts

Like most PawPaw's around the world, I gave a number of gifts and received a number of gifts, and I'm just sorting it all out.  One little bag interested me, so digging though, I was heartened to see an assortment of products from the Agribusiness plants at our state penitentiary, the infamous plantation known as Angola.  I retired from the LA DOC in 2000, after twenty years as a parole officer, and I atttended many seminars, academies, training sessions, and department meetings at Angola.  I'm familiar with it, and the long-time warden, Burl Cain.

So, to get products from the prison kicked over my giggle bucket.

From left to right, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and blackberry jelly, all from the kitchens at Angloa.  I also got in that bag, a license-plate ashtray, and a drink cozy proclaiming Angola as "a gated community".  Heh! It damned sure is.

The blackberry jelly proclaims that it's made of blackberries, sugar, pectin, and water.

Milady is trying the jelly on a biscuit as I make this post, and she proclaims it "okay".  It ain't her jelly.

I don't see the food items at the online shop, so I don't know how my son got a-hold of them, but he works for the same outfit I used to work for.  Still, it's good to see that Agribusiness at Angola is still cranking out product.  I'll have to try the hot sauce the next time I make a pot of beans.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Discombobulated

It's Friday, according to the calendar, the 26th of December, and I'm telling you that so that I can fix it in my own mind, because my internal calendar is all screwed up.  Discombobulated, as it were.  I've been off this week, and somehow in my mind, Christmas Eve became Saturday, and Christmas became Sunday, and when I woke this morning, it should be Monday, but it's not; it's Friday.  That makes tomorrow Saturday.   I've got to keep reminding myself what day it is.

I'm off next week, too, with just one business meeting on Monday.  The rest of the week is clear so far, and I'm going to do my damndest to keep it that way.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Waste Oil Heater

My Grandfather liked to tinker around with projects, and his shop was a marvel to a young mind.  He was always tinkering with something and while he didn't always figure it out, he was successful more often than not.  (The engine that ran on tap water gave him fits, and while he got it to run, it had no power, it wouldn't pull itself.)  But that's another story.

So, I love to watch guys who tinker in their shops, and while surfing around, I found this guy, Gerry, who YouTubes his projects, love2diy.com.  He's been working on heaters that run on waste motor oil, and it's fun watching his projects come together.

Here's the finished project.



I especially like the Pyrex bowl he uses for a viewing window.

I was showing this series of videos to my son last night, during a lull in the Christmas festivities, and he asked me to capture it, because he's just finished his shop and is looking at heating options.

Stuff like this fascinates me.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

PawPaw is busy today, happily puttering around the house, getting ready for our annual Christmas gathering.  We'll eat about 6:00 and the grandkids will get to unwrap their presents, Afterwards, Milady and I will collapse into bed and sleep the clock around.  Christmas Day is quiet at PawPaw's house.  It's a tradition we've maintained for several years now, and I like it.

Ave Maria is a Christmas Eve staple, so I like to keep it queued up.   This one, by Bochelli, is a favorite.



Merry Christmas, everyone.

Another Shooting

This  time in Berkeley, MO, just about two miles from the place where Michael Brown lost his life. Hot Air reports.
The officer was conducting what was described as a “routine business check” at the gas station and Martin was either in a car in the parking lot or coming out of the store. (Reports are conflicting) When the officer approached, Martin reportedly drew a handgun and pointed it at the officer. The officer discharged his weapon multiple times and Martin was pronounced dead at the scene. The suspect’s gun was recovered.
St. Louis County has released a video and you can see it on YouTube, but the screen grab of the guy holding the gun is here.  

Just to the right of the "9" you can see the guy holding his arm out in a shooting position.

It's too early to tell, but it looks to me like that area in Missouri has some healing to do.  Pray for that as we enjoy this Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Weather

It's getting had out there, but the dawg and I have finished our chores this morning and have hunkered down at the house.

Looks like a good day to spend on inside chores.

From the looks of the state map, it ain't over by a long shot.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Drones Overhead

Somebody was flying a small RC drone over the neighborhood, and I managed to capture it, only because it was well lit.  Bad photo, but I thought it was cool that someone was playing with a new toy.  Buzzing little bastard, it sounded like a demented weedeater in the sky.

Can't see it?  A couple of light-colored pixels in the middle of the photo. Here's a closer shot.

It's those couple of light pixels inside the box.  It made a close pass, but I didn't get my phone out in time.  But, it looks like quad-copters have come to the Libuse area.  Very cool.  Until it isn't.

On Burying A Cop

I walked into a prison for the first time in October of 1980.  I needed a job and the prison had a job opening.  That was the first time I had been inside, and I talked to the warden and was scheduled for the entrance exam.  A week later I was hired, on my wife's birthday.  I left that prison six months later and went out on the street after some rudimentary training.  By my feeble math, that was 34 years ago, and I'm still wearing a badge and carrying a gun.

Over time, I became a supervisor, responsible for the lives and actions of people who worked the streets.  During my career I've lost three officers, two murdered and one who died tragically in an accident at the height of his career.  To this day, I mourn every one.  I've also been to funerals of other officers, guys I knew who worked in adjoining agencies.  I've buried cops.  It's hard.  But every cop has buried other cops, and we know it's part of the job.

Over the last several weeks, with the grand jury reports from Missouri and New York, the nation seems to be going through a conversation about the police.  That conversation has culminated in riots, in arson and destruction, in protests calling for dead police officers.  We now have those two officers in New York, good policemen from all accounts, who were ambushed in a violent attack.  I grieve for them and their families, just as I've grieved for other friends.

Nothing speaks to my own mortality like burying a police officer, yet it is easy to draw the wrong lessons in the outpouring of grief over a senseless death.  Death is often sensless and many times conceals itself behind a cloak of blame.  The Missouri cop pulled the trigger on the "gentle giant", but Michael Brown set in motion the chain of events that lead to his death.  His death was senseless, but the officer committed no crime.  The grand jury report makes that crystal clear.

Eric Garner died as a result of police interaction, but similarly, a grand jury held that the police officers were not criminally liable for his demise.  From what I've read in the public reports, Garner's medical problems and poor health contributed to his death more than anything else.  The police officers sent to bring Garner in could not have known that he had asthma or any of his other medical conditions.  Garner knew and set in motion the events that led to his own death.  It's tragic, but not criminally culpable.

Likewise, the chain of events we've seen in New York, where people ranted, demonstrated and marched, often chanting for dead police, Heated rhetoric to be sure, but they are not to blame for the deaths of those two good officers on Saturday.  Likewise, Mayor deBlasio. his rhetoric has been antagonistic to the police.The officers who work in his city have a right to be angry and hurt, but deBlasio isn't to blame.  That blame rests solely with the coward who murdered his girlfriend, got on a bus and came to New York with the stated goal of ambushing two police officers. In a supreme act of cowardice, he stole from the good citizens of New York the closure of an arrest and a public trial.  We'll never be able to plumb the depths of his depravity, to learn what motivated him to act in the manner that proved a tipping point.  More the shame.

There are officers who will quit the force in New York after this tragedy, just as there are always officers who quit every force after a line-of-duty death.  Don't judge them.  We don't know what motivations they have and we're a volunteer force.  Let them go with our blessings.

Then, strive to be a better cop.  Review your use of force guidelines, talk with your buddies, have a sit-down, if necessary with your Use-of-Force instructor. Learn the lessons, certainly, but remember that 99 percent of the citizens you encounter are on your side.  We still have to stand the line, to be there when the citizens need us. It's hard to bury a buddy and it's harder sometimes to pin on the badge and get back on the beat, but it's a hard job and we do it.  If it was easy, anyone could be a cop.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Christmas Song

Written by Mel Torme, and sung by Nat King Cole.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Da Cap'ns Beer Bread

Years ago I was a member of a Yahoo! Cooking group hosted by Phil Mahan, a Texican living in the big thicket country north of Houston.  Phil's user name was Da Cap'n, so we called him Cap'n Phil and he was a guru f cast iron cooking.  He might still be, I haven't talked to Phil in ten years.

But, he posted a recipe on The Frugal Outdoorsman that I've used quite a bit over the years, a simple beer bread, and guess it's about time I post it here.

Da Cap'ns Beer Bread

Ingredients.
3 cups self-rising flour
 3 tbl sugar
 1 tbl dried onion flakes
 1- 12oz beer—Miller, Bud, etc., no dark beers

Instructions.
        Mix all dry stuff.
        Pour in beer.
        Mix up and lay on work surface.
        Knead just a little to form a dough ball.
        Flatten it out and place in a well greased Dutch Oven.
        Place oven in coals.

     

Cooked in a  Dutch oven
  Looking down into a 12 inch Dutch oven at a cooked loaf of beer bread.
        1/3 coals on bottom, 2/3 coals on top.
        Bake about 15 to 25 minutes.
        Check after the first 10 min or so.
        When nice and brown on top, remove and knock         on the bottom of loaf.
        If it says THUNK it's done.

This is a Dutch Oven recipe, and a campfire recipe, but you can use your inside oven.  Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes.  You can check it at 30-35 minutes.  But when it THUNKS on the bottom, it's done.

Another Trip Around the Sun

I am reminded that today is my birthday.  Sixty-One years ago I came kicking and screaming into this world.

I'm just hanging on while this old world keeps spinning.
And it's good to know it's not in my control.
If there's one thing that I've learned from all this living,
Is that it wouldn't change a thing if I let go.



Thanks for the lyrics, Jimmy.

Friday, December 19, 2014

At the Auction

We went to the auction this evening.  Milady clerked and I enjoyed the show and visited with friends.  I did pick up two little items, identical signs that struck my fancy.

Got them for about half the price I found them here.  They're metal signs with holes already drilled for mounting.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What's Fer Supper?

I had a craving flung on me today, so I texted Milady (yeah, I text) and told her I was cooking supper.  On the way home stopped at the grocer and got some good hamburger meat, then came home and made some half-pound patties.  Salisbury steak, if you will.


Frying them up in the pan, then I'm going to simmer them in a good roux gravy for a while, to let the flavors meld.

Then, put on a can of good LeSeur english peas and make some mashed potatoes.  That sounds just right for a rainy, drizzly, clammy Thursday night.  Salisbury Steak, Mashed 'Taters and English peas.  That's what's fer supper.

How a 1911 Works

A cool info-graphic that details the basic function of the 1911 pistol.

LINKY HERE

I'm putting this up for me, as much as for you.  Go look.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Freedom Expanded

It looks like the Connecticut Supreme Court, in a blaze of supreme common sense, has struck down the prohibitions on carrying police batons and dirk knives.  They reasoned it on Second Amendment grounds, but they could just as easily ruled on any number of other grounds, not related to weapons.
This widespread acceptance of batons within the law enforcement community also supports the conclusion that they are not so dangerous or unusual as to fall outside the purview of the second amendment. To this end, the fact that police batons are inherently less lethal, and therefore less dangerous and less intrinsically harmful, than handguns, which clearly constitute “arms” within the meaning of the second amendment, provides further reason to conclude that they are entitled to constitutional protection. Cf. People v. Yanna, supra, 297 Mich. App. 145
As they say, go read the whole thing, but in all my career in law enforcement, I've never understood those jurisdictions that try to ban things based on appearance.  A police baton is nothing more than a fancy stick, not at all different from the kid's baseball bat, or the trucker's tire thumper, or for that matter, any limb that you might cut from a convenient tree.  

I use the same reasoning on knives.  Knives are perhaps man's oldest manufactured tool.  Surgeon's use them, farmers use them, everybody uses a knife.  Trying to ban knives is a fools errand.  So, it looks like Connecticut got it right and freedom has expanded a little bit.  You can now possess a knife and a stick in that state.

Let Freedom Ring.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Exams, and etc.

It seems that a third year Harvard law student tried to argue that exams should be postponed because of "emotional trauma" over the Ferguson and the NYC problem.

Yeah, really.  You would think that a Harvard 3L would be able to make a cogent argument, complete with sterling logic and impeccable grammar.  You'd be wrong.
What followed may be among the most ghastly prose and problematic structure a Harvard Law Review editor has published in quite some time. Desmond’s achievement is a feat that could only be accomplished by someone who has never been subject to much in the way of biting criticism.
I remember when I was in grad school, I was taking a class under Jay Hix and he told us, basically, that if he was giving a test, and he was looking out the window and watched us running across the parking lot, and saw a garbage truck run over us, even that wasn't a good enough excuse to miss one of his tests.   Perhaps Harvard should adopt Dr. Hix policy.

I am heartened that the entire legal media is laughing hysterically at this special snowflake, who can't write, can't reason, and can't read a course schedule.  I bet he'll do really well on his bar exam.

Murthy Confirmed

I see that the Senate confirmed Dr. Vivek Muthy as Surgeon Gemeral, and it's another example of the largess afforded to the nuclear option.  Even Politico thinks so.
The Senate on Monday narrowly confirmed Vivek Murthy to be the nation’s surgeon general, making him one of the highest-profile beneficiaries of the Senate’s nuclear option.
The nomination was strongly opposed by the National Rifle Association because of Murthy’s support of gun-control laws and by Republicans who doubted that a 37-year-old physician was qualified for the public health position.
From all accounts, Murthy is an extreme left-wing physician who believes that guns are a public health issue.  He was actively opposed by the NRA, and narrowly approved on a 51-43 vote.  Harry Reid's nuclear option saved the day for President Obama and Dr. Murthy.

On a more local note, Mary Landrieu once again showed her undying loyalty to the Democratic Party, voting to approve Dr. Murthy.  Mary was the deciding vote on the nomination and shows once again that she is totally out of touch with the voters of the state of Louisiana and a willing tool for President Obama.

Thankfully, we have only a few more days before we will be shed of this troublesome Senator.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Harbor Freight

I loves me some Harbor Freight.  It's like ToysR'Us for guys.  I walked in there today during my break, and found just what I was looking for, but didn't know I was looking for it.
Little folding razor knife that uses disposable blades.  I picked up some blades while I was there.  Then found a carpenter's square to replace one I broke last week, and when I went to the register a scored a cheap freebie flashlight.  Every time I got in Harbor Freight, I get a cheap freebie flashlight.

It's amazing that I can never find one when I need one.  Wonder if the grandkids have anything to do with that?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Over Lubed? I Think Not

I know that the AR 15 likes a wet bolt, and we used to have one M60 machine gun in our arms room that seemed to run best when you poured straight 30-weight on the bolt between belts.

I've heard all the arguments, but I've never thought that a firearm runs best when it's dry.  These guys take it to a whole 'nuter level.



That should put this particular myth to rest.  Lube your firearm, please?

Sunday Song

In keeping with the Christmas theme, the incomparable Kathy Mattea.



Wonderful performance of an inspiring song.

Sunday Morning Dawg

The dog wasn't feeling good last week.  He had some sort of eye infection, so we took him to the vet, who told us that he had injured his eye, but with just a little attention and some antibiotics, he's be his old self in no time.  So, we've been squirting paste in his eye for the past 10 days.  Milady took him to the vet on Friday, who said that the eye looked much better, but to keep the antibiotics for another five days.

He's got a little spring in his step now, and he looks like he's feeling much better.  Even if he does need a haircut.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas on the Bayou

I present, without comment, the Cajun Night Before Christmas.



Heh!  Why not?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Backlash

I had a long post started, about the most visible rape cases of the week, the UVA rape case in Rolling Stone, and Lena Dunham's case that she outlined in her new book.  Both of which turned out to be demonstrably false. Lies from start to finish, simply to sell a product.

I've worked rape cases that turned out to be false.  Sometimes people make-up stuff that didn't happen, through some misguided need to be a victim, but I've never seen a takedown like the one at the Victory Girls blog.
Lena Dunham, I don’t believe you. I don’t believe anything that comes out of your mouth. I don’t believe that you were raped or sexually assaulted. I don’t believe that you are a victim or a survivor.
I believe that you are a psychopath that needs to be the center of attention. I do believe that you are an uncaring, unintelligent, immoral liar. I do believe that you were foolish enough to think that you could write whatever you wanted in your pointless book without any repercussions. I do believe that you didn’t think people would try to find out who your alleged rapist was, and you didn’t think that you would quite probably ruin a man’s life. I believe you didn’t care one bit. 
I've worked rape cases, and while I can never say that I know the horror and the trauma, I can say that I've seen the aftermath, which in itself is a horror.  I've also conducted the investigations, and assisted the prosecution, and sent people to jail.  I've also worked those cases that turned out to be demonstrably false.  The complainants story didn't make sense, the physical evidence didn't support her version of the event, and the alleged perpetrator could not have been there.

In these two cases, (UVA and Dunham), these two cases are demonstrably false, they don't stand up to even rudimentary investigation, and they were narrated to sell a product.  And that's probably the most despicable part of those stories, that they were narrated to generate a profit.  And, they diluted the stores of true rape survivors in the process, simply to make a profit.  Truly despicable.

Let me be clear.  Rape is an horrific crime that should be reported, investigated, and prosecuted.  It is a crime of violence and should have the highest priority in our investigative resources (right up with murder).  But, making false accusations is not the way to bring the problem to light.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Laser Weapons Fielded

It looks like the Navy is fielding operational laser weapons.  As Glenn Reynolds would say, "this is the 21st century."
"We've tested it in the lab we've tested it operationally at sea. Now, we are not testing it anymore. This is operational," said Rear Adm. Matthew L. Klunder, chief of naval research at the Office of Naval Research. "They are using it every day."
If a small or large attack boat, missile or aircraft launched an attack upon the USS Ponce, sailors are equipped to destroy an approaching threat in seconds with the new laser weapon.
That's cool, and I'm sure that the sailors on watch will put this new tool to use.

I'd say Go Navy, but this weekend is the Army-Navy game, and I'm a soldier, after all.   I hope the cadets beat the midshipmen like yard-dogs.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday Wipe-Out

Late day today.  Did an after-hours in-service, and that actually didn't last long.  Changed into coat and tie, then went to the nursing home to serve brisket for the Christmas Party.  Santa showed up, and everybody ate like kings.  Then said my goodbyes and went to the funeral home to say goodbye to a classmate and dear friend. The place was packed, so I didn't stay long.  He'll be missed by lots of people.  Sorry that he's gone.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

MAD Magazine

I haven't thought about MAD magazine in 40 years, but in high school and college I often read the rag for their brand of tongue-in-cheek, cynical, off-color humor.  Turns out, they're still publishing and Ed Morrisey, over at Hot Air is also a fan.  He's got an exclusive with them to highlight their year end magazine that comes out next week

The twenty dumbest people, events, and things of 2014.  Number 16 is the security at the White House.

I'm going to have to look for that issue.  I may even buy a subscription.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Another Convert

Christians are happy when a person is saved, and hunters are happy when another person sees what we're really all about.  This feel-good story is about a California photographer who decided to make a photo shoot about hunting, and had an epiphany.
I am totally a so California girl, I thought hunters were barbaric, blood thirsty, gun lovers. What Ive learned moving to Idaho is hunting has nothing to do with violence or aggression. It’s a little like farming or gardening. People protect and care for their chickens and their vegetable plants, only to end up using them for food. Also, hunters support conservation of wild places and laws that protect wildlife populations What I learned with Harlee’s family is that they want to know where their food comes from, have clean lean meat, they eat the whole animal, and share the meat with friends and family. I still would never be a hunter, but my perspective has shifted and learned hunters are more knowledgeable and thoughtful about animals and nature.
Of course, when you have a photo subject as alluring as this, it's easy to see the beauty of hunting.  Here's the model, with her dad.



Here's another one, just because.

Nice elk, beautiful country, ad a wonderful photo opportunity.

That's a feel-good story all around.

The New South

Michael Tomasky, writing The Daily Beast, has an epic meltdown over the loss this weekend of the last Democrat senator in the Deep South.  Perhaps his editors should have questioned his sanity, and the publishers should have questioned the editor's acumen.  There's lots wrong with that article.
With Mary Landrieu’s ignominious exit, the Democrats will have lost their last senator in the Deep South. And that’s a good thing. They should write it off—because they don’t need it.
I don't know so much about that, Michael.  The South still has a lot to recommend it.  And, the loss of one seat doesn't speak to the whole region, although I admit that the Democrats haven't been doing well here in national elections.  But, we still have a lot of elected Democrats on the local level.  My sheriff is a Democrat, as is our District Attorney.  We elect a fair portion of Democrats, but Mary forgot where she came from, and who she represented.
 And that is what Louisiana, and almost the entire South, has become. The victims of the particular form of euthanasia it enforces with such glee are tolerance, compassion, civic decency, trans-racial community, the crucial secular values on which this country was founded… I could keep this list going. But I think you get the idea. Practically the whole region has rejected nearly everything that’s good about this country and has become just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment. A fact made even sadder because on the whole they’re such nice people! (I truly mean that.)
Well, thanks, Michael.  I'm pleased that you think we're nice people, even if we have no tolerance, compassion, or civic decency. (Just what passes for Nice in the North, anyway?)
Cohen thinks maybe some economic populism could work, and that could be true in limited circumstances. But I think even that is out the window now. In the old days, drenched in racism as the South was, it was economically populist. Glass and Steagall, those eponymous bank regulators, were both Southern members of Congress. But today, as we learned in Sunday’s Times, state attorneys general, many in the South, are colluding with energy companies to fight federal regulation of energy plants.
Yeah, we mouth-breathing rednecks love populist politicians, like our own Bobby Jindal. (snerk, Bobby ain't no populist).  But we do love a good stump speech.  What we don't like is damnYankees trying to regulate us.  Especially progressive damnYankees.
It’s lost. It’s gone. A different country. And maybe someday it really should be.
You don't mean that.  We tried that 150 years ago, and y'all objected strenuously.  During your objection and your war of aggression, y'all destroyed our economy and burned much of the infrastructure.  I doubt you mean it today, but you are feeling a bit unappreciated.  Well, good.  We don't appreciate folks like you telling us how to live.  Or who to elect.  That's the nature of the South.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Sunday Song

Continuing the old hymns with a new twist, we come now to a group called Home Free.



That guy needs to take his hat off in church, but other than that, lovely.

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Bill Cassidy, our new Senator-elect in Louiisana.

Congratulations also to Ralph Abraham, our new congressman representing the 5th District.  That's my district.

Congratulations to Garrett Graves, who will represent our 6th District in congress.

Get to work, boys.  We'll speak no more of your opponents.  Believe me, you'll be hearing from me in the coming months.  I'm one of those guys who writes letters to my congress-critters, and if you think that you can get away with foolishness, you're gravely mistaken.  Now, get to work.

Lest We Forget

In the early morning hours of Decenber 7, 73 years ago, the naval forces of Japan launched an attack against the US bases at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  That event launched us into World War II.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Saturday Song

We're in Advent now, and it's appropriate that we consider the meaning of the season, the beginning of the Christian year.



O Come O Come Emmanuel is a staple of the season.

Skunked

I've been skunked thus far this season, hunting on the family land.  The deer just aren't there, which is odd, because deer have always been in that area.  That area is well-known locally for having deer.  I don't know what has changed, but I'm not even getting pictures on my camera, indeed, the lens tripped only once this week and I'm not sure what tripped it.

That's all that was on the camera this week, which is truly odd.  I'm not sure where the deer are, but they're certainly not on my little hunting area.

Friday, December 05, 2014

It's About Over - In More Ways Than One

The election season is about over for this cycle, and I'll be glad to see it gone.  We've been getting lots of calls at the house from political pollsters, and they're about to drive me ragged.  The only poll that matters is the one that Louisiana participates in tomorrow morning, when we actually go to the polls.

You would think that with only two days left before the election, the pollsters would take a minute to breathe, but the breathless calls I've been getting are not seeming to let up.  I probably won't answer the phone tonight, unless I recognize the number.

Several hotly contested races on my sample ballot, from the Senate lollalooza, all the way to local races as minor as our local Justice of the Peace.  (Just exactly what does a JP do, anyway?).  Still, we've got to let our preferences be known and I'll be glad when it's over.

It seems that the national media has finally come to Louisiana, not to praise Mary, but to bury her.


A US Senate seat hangs in the balance, with a Democratic incumbent desperately needing some reason for hope, and the national media that normally might have circled the wagons has either ignored the race altogether, or are circling the all-but-certain corpse of Mary Landrieu’s career. The media that have finally made the trek to Louisiana for the runoff election tomorrow come as pallbearers to the funeral.
I don't feel especially bad for Mary, she can go to work in January working in John Breaux's office.  Breaux was a senator from Louisiana, who decided to leave while he could and start a lobbying firm.  From all indications, he's doing well, and I'm sure that he'll make room for another ex-senator from his home state.

But, it ain't over till it's over, and we've got to go to the polls tomorrow.  For myself, I intend to be there before noon.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

That's Just... Oh, My.

Making the rounds at Say Uncle and Arf.com, we find this example of **WECSOG, on what was a nice BFR revolver.

Look at the barrel.  Home porting job.  Why pay a professional when you can do it yourself?

Hacksaw or Dremel tool?  I'm not sure.  But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't try to fire it.  Oh, my.  Just... Oh, jeez.

**WECSOG - Wily E. Coyote School Of Gunsmithing

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Eric Garner

I've never heard of the fellow, but evidently he was selling cigarettes on Staten Island, New York without paying the tax.  The police tried to arrest him and he resisted, and after the arrest was completed, he was dead, from a choke hold applied by one of the officers.  No indictment by the grand jury.
A grand jury on Staten Island has decided to not indict a New York Police Department officer in the death of Eric Garner, who was placed in a chokehold and died of a heart attack.
Garner, who suffered from asthma, was captured on video telling arresting officers that he couldn’t breathe as Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s arm was around his neck, pushing him face-first toward the sidewalk.
The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, saying compression of the neck and chest with asthma, obesity and hypertensive cardiovascular disease as contributing factors killed Garner.
This is the first I've heard of the case, and I don't have any other information than what I'm reading right now.  Instapundit is all over it, and he has some good observations
(1) His initial crime: Selling “looseys” — individual cigarettes — in violation of NYC tax law. When you pass a law, however trivial, you are providing an opportunity for police to use lethal force. That’s why I favor fewer laws, not more.(2) I saw someone on Twitter saying that if you expect a Staten Island grand jury to indict a cop, then you don’t know Staten Island. That may be the case, but it shouldn’t be. If police can’t be accountable for their use of force, then we shouldn’t have police. Fire ‘em all and privatize. We’re not supposed to have titles of nobility in this country.
(3) Listening to NPR on the way back from the UT Studio — I taped a segment on this for The Independents on Fox Business tonight — they kept stressing that it was a WHITE officer who had killed a BLACK MAN. You could pretty much hear the capitals in their voices. They’d never stress race that way in other circumstances. And it’s not clear that excessive force by police is especially a racial problem. In Alabama, we had the shooting of a unarmed white 18-year old by a black cop; in Utah, we had the Dillan Taylor shooting, also unarmed, also not prosecuted. Racializing the issue makes it more divisive and less likely to be addressed.
That seems about right to me.  I wonder what Al Sharpton will have to say about it?  He doesn't have to travel far, it's right in his back yard.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Just Wow!

This picture is making the circles around Facebook and Reddit today, and I'm not sure if it's a photoshop or a real picture.  Ostensibly from three protesters in Ferguson, MO.

The guy in the center really caught my attention.

Just Wow!  Really?

If anyone can find that this pic is a fake, let me know and I'll update the posting.

HPDATE**  Yeah, Joe points me to a site that says it was photo-chopped.  Thanks, Joe.

Monday, December 01, 2014

It's Just Physics

Compliments of the Physics Girl, we find a cool phenomenon that I can replicate in the swimming pool.  Fun with a vortex.



I've got to try this one sunny day.

Doom: Early vote trends are gruesome for Mary Landrieu

That's not my headline, that's the headline of a Hot Air piece, detailing the challenges facing our senior senator, one week before the election.  Doom.
“[President Obama] can’t finish his agenda because he doesn’t have people like Mary Landrieu with him…I’m asking you tomorrow to go out and vote for Senator Landrieu. She’s been in office for 18 years, and in the Senate, that’s what you need to get things done. And she will go on to support Barack Obama 97 percent of the time! [Cheers]”
Mary should have conceded in November.  She's gotten all the votes she's going to get.  Her time as our senator is just about over.  Had she conceded in November, it would have been a graceful way of acknowledging the will of the people.  Now, she's dragging it out to the end, and displays nothing that will change the electorate's mind.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Facebook Stupid

Like many people, I surf around Facebook, mainly to keep track of family and friends, but occasionally, something pops up that's stupid, just plain stupid, and I'm amazed that normally rational people will pass it along like it's gospel.  Just one example that I've seen several times in the last couple of days.

Oh, yeah, ancient Chinese Feng Shui proverb, and if you share you get money.  Sure you will.

One problem, if you look at a calendar, you'll see that December 2014 has only 4 Saturdays and 4 Sundays.  What the December, 2014 Calendar does have is 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays, and 5 Wednesdays.  Of course, most people know that every month with 31 days has 5-somethings in it, because a week has 7 days, so we've got some left over at the end of the month.

Before you share something on Facebook, take a minute and do a little investigation and make sure that you're not being an idiot.  Geez!

Sunday Song

Thanksgiving is past and the tree is trimmed.  Christmas is upon us, and I intend this year to spend more time on the spiritual, traditional Christmas and less on the glitter.



Heading to church shortly.  Everyone have a wonderful Sunday.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Everybody is kind of lazy after the Thanksgiving weekend, and the dog is no different.  I can just barely get him to go outside, all he wants to do is lay around after the big meal and all the family that's been at the house.

Even the dawg had company this weekend, here's a picture of two old dogs.  The smaller one is Pedro, my daughter's dog.  We were trying to figure how old he is, and we think that he's about dight years old.

The larger dawg will remain anonymous.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday Clowning

Some of the grandkids came over today, and grandson Michael took out my high-school cornet and serenaded the neighborhood with Christmas carols.  Michael is an accomplished brass musician who is going to college next year on a music scholarship.  He's a heck of a lot better trumpet player than I ever was, and his main instrument is the trombone.


His brother, Zachary, found an old steel pot helmet and was clowning around in it.

It's a good Saturday afternoon around PawPaw's house.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday's Song

A feel good piece from 1985, we have The Forester Sisters singing I Fell In Love Again Last Night.



Catchy little tune.  You can tell it's from the '80s, look at that big hair.

Turkey Gumbo

What ya' cooking, PawPaw?

"Durned old turkey gumbo."

"But we ate turkey yesterday!"

"I know, but there's a hole lot of good left in that bird, and we're not letting it go to waste."

"How do you make it?

"Ain't nothing to it, but first, you pick all the meat off of that leftover turkey carcass, then you put the bones and skin into a big pot with water.  Boil it for an hour, to make stock.  That gets all that smoky goodness out of the bones and skin.  Then, drain the liquid, Then pick that carcass again.  You'll find some more meat on it, I promise you."

Then, you make a roux, and make that gumbo just like every other one you've ever made.

Don't forget to make a pot of rice.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday that's much misunderstood, so it's helpful to reflect on what actually happened during what we consider to be the first Thanksgiving.  Ben Shapiro offers a quick-and-dirty history of that event, one that you might not have heard.  Turkey might or might not have been on that first feast table, but regardless, it's a staple of our tradition now.

PawPaw and Milady are hosting our family celebration this year, and in observance of the proper traditions, turkey will be on the menu, along with ham, dressing, yams, and all the other goodies.  We're cooking the turkey on the smoker this year.  Heretofore I've bought a smoked turkey from a local high school who smokes several hundred as a fund raiser.  I didn't order a turkey this year, so I'm forced to smoke my own, and on Wednesday I put that bird into my smoke box.

Nothing fancy, just let him thaw, pat dry, season with oil and Tony's seasoning.  The pecan shells in the smoke will give it lots of flavor.  He's smoked for eight hours on Wednesday and he's on the smoker now for finishing.  I'll try to get a picture before he's served.

After six hours in the smoker.

It looks like it will be just fine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Song

Today we turn to a catchy tune by Australian artist Jamie O'Neal in 2000.  It hit #1 on the Billboard charts in February 2001.

Thoughts on Ferguson

I've watched this case unfold since August, and I haven't talked about it because it's too fresh.  But, now the Grand Jury has reported and found that the police officer acted in self-defense and returned a No True Bill.  The criminal case is now over at the state level.

In my 33 years on police work, I've watched a bunch of cases work themselves through the system, and that's what we have, a system that generally tends to sort out the truth from the fiction.  It's imperfect as most systems are, but it's the one we have and we try to constantly improve it.  Some folks are unhappy (disappointed..outraged) at the decision of the Grand Jury, but I remind everyone that the grand jury is a cornerstone of our system of justice.  

It's been said that a zealous prosecutor can go to a Grand Jury and indict a ham sandwich, but I have found that generally, when given all the information in a case, a Grand Jury will generally reach the right conclusion.  Some folks will be relieved and some folks will be disappointed, but that's the system we have, and it's generally a good system.

What I don't understand is rioting after a decision. It serves no purpose except to enrich the news cycle, and the newsies love to cover riots.  Even President Obama says that he has no sympathy for those who would destroy their own community.  Property destruction is counter-productive and makes no sense.  In the case of locally owned businesses, it makes no sense to destroy your neighbors livelihood.  In the case of national chains, it makes no sense to loot and burn because those businesses will not come back.  A friend of mine who lives in California and is familiar with the area says this:
50 years after Watts, and 25 since Watts II, and you still can't find a supermarket anywhere in the 'hood, just little overpriced mom-and-pop Asian-owned Stop-N-Robs.
Burning down your ow neighborhood is idiotic.  It destroys the value of the area, it costs jobs for people who work in the area, and it engenders a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.  It destroys people's lives who had nothing to do with the initial event.

I'm just one small voice, trying to make sense of the nonsensical, but burning Ferguson made no sense, whether it was the national chain auto parts store, or the small, locally owned bakery who's owner lives around the corner.  Those people trying to excuse the behavior of that small group of arsonists don't make any sense either.  Both the arsonists and their apologists deserve nothing but scorn.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday Song

Released in October 1988, this song stayed on the US and Canada country charts for 14 weeks.  It got to number one on both charts.  Not coincidentally, it's great slow-dance music and if I'm in a redneck bar and it comes up on the playlist, you can be sure the dance floor will be full.



Earl Thomas Conley's What I'd Say.

More Axes

In the previous post, Old NFO says in comments:
That little skinning axe is neat! I need to find one of those... I've got a hatchet and a full sized axe, but that's it.
You may have a hatchet, old hand, and if you do, hang on to it, save it, because it's a rare bird indeed.  A true hatchet is an archaic tool, used around the farm, and often confused with the hand axe.  A hatchet has an axe blade on one end, and a true hammer head on the back side.  Like this
: You don't see many of these any more, because they are difficult to make properly.  The hammer head has to be hardened and the axe blade has to be a little bit softer.  It's hard to make a true hatchet, so manufacturers have pretty much dropped them for the more ubiquitous hand axe, which looks just like a short axe.

Hand axes are generally about 18" long and have a 1.5 to 1.75 pound head.  The example above is made by Collins and is available for under $20.00.

Of course, every culture has a hand axe, as they are very versatile tools.  One in particular comes up from time to time, the broadaxe, which is often though to be a tool of war, but was really designed for hewing logs, making joints, and making staves.  Most broadaxes are normally forged with a flat side and a beveled side, so that the artisan could control the way the axe cut wood.  Below is an example of a broadaxe.

That's a very nice example of an old broadaxe.  It looks like it has a new handle, which is fairly common on using axes.  My old grandad had an axe that he claimed was original, but it had been through four handles and two heads. Yet, he claimed it was the same axe.  I think he was pulling my leg.

Of course, when we're talking about hand axes, we can also talk about the ancient stone axes found all over the world, the tomahawks, the asian axes, indeed, there are thousands of variations.

Like I said earlier, I'm no expert on axes, but I have a working knowledge, and they're a fascinating study.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Axes

Everyone, at one time or another, needs a good axe, and while I'm no expert, I have a certain working knowledge of axes, sledges, and mauls.  Last month I was looking for my axe and was embarrassed to realize that it had gotten away from me.  Couldn't find it anywhere, so on my next trip to Lowe's I picked up a True Temper felling axe, a standard 3.5 lb axe with a 36"fiberglass handle.

This morning, I was browsing through the local hardware store and saw another axe that caught my eye.  Back in the day, we called it a half-axe.  Nowadays they're called a boy's axe, but it's the same tool.  Lighter at 2.25 lbs, it has a 28 inch handle, and is very handy for chores that don't require a full axe.  Of course, I walked into the store looking for a ball of string and came out with an axe.  A good hardware store is like that.  This particular example is made by Collins.

While setting up for this picture, I remembered my skinning axe that lives under the seat of the pickup truck, so I added it to the mix.  Mine is marked as Norwark, but lots of companies make them.  It's really more of a large skinning blade on a synthetic handle, that little axe isn't much good for camp chores, but it is dandy for skinning whitetail deer or larger animals.  That long, curved edge works wonders when you hold the tool just below the head and roll your wrist as you separate the skin from the animal.



I don't live in the woods any more, but it helps to have an axe around the homestead.  Like spoons, one is never enough, and to have a couple in varying sizes is handy indeed.

Monday Song

An old favorite, from 2009.



People are crazy.

Victim Shoots Robber

We begin Monday morning with this bit of pleasing news.  It seems that one goblin in New Orleans was robbing people on the street and got more than he asked for.
According to NOPD, the alleged armed robber, 22-year-old Samuel Sims, approached his intended victim on the 3000 block of Bruxelles Street at 5:49 p.m. and demanded his belongings. Police say the victim gave Sims his cell phone, but the alleged robber wanted more. 
Sims got his cell phone, but that wasn't enough.  So he demanded more.
 The victim then pulled out a gun and shot Sims in the chest leading to his arrest. 
Sims wanted more.  How about a bullet in your chest?  Sims is in the hospital by all accounts and the victim is cooperating with the investigation. That should be a fairly short police report.  Hopefully in the next few months, Sims will recover enough to help with the planting season at our state penitentiary.  There, he'll learn a useful trade, picking peas for the warden.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Morning Dawg

Taken yesterday afternoon, this picture perfectly encapsulates my desires on a Sunday afternoon.


Sleeping it off.  Every dog deserves a good nap on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Project

Installing a daffodil bed at our family's nursing home, Regency House.

We started building the bed this morning about 9:00.  Triple-tilled the ground, raked out all the St.Augustine grass, found some old bricks, then aded 500 l bs of Scott's Black Mulch.Planted 100 daffodil bulbs, then topped it with another 500 lbs of that same black mulch.

That grassy area between the patio and the daffodil bed will become another sidewalk that connects two walkways, so that the residents can have a walking path for exercise and recreation.

The daffodils are now bedded in for the winter and will be beautiful in the spring.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Spilt Milk

Courtesy of Day by Day cartoons.

I'm working on it.

Depravity

Checking email today, I come upon something that looks like spam, from The Depravity Standard.  The sentence that gave me the giggles is below:
We wanted you to be the first to know that the critical next phase of the Depravity Standard project is now online at www.depravitystandard.org, and we are writing to ask you to please sign up, and to once again have your say in shaping the final Depravity Standard.
Heh!  They want me to participate in a study on depravity.  I guess I'll click over and see what that is all about. Who knows what depravity I might uncover.

Naah, I've had a couple of drinks, and I  think I'll pass.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Housekeeping

Every so often I go through my blogroll and decide what I want to keep and what I want to lose.  I did that today and the only thing that has changed is that I added The Firearm Blog.  It's a great resource and I look at it almost daily.  If you're not familiar, click over.

I understand that our President is going to give a speech tonight.  We'll see how that goes.

Oh, and I see that a huge Obama bundler has been accused of child rape.
​This story was first reported by the local press, and there have been vague references to sexual trouble for Bean and Lawson since June, but the national media has not picked it up. That oversight is politically convenient for President Obama as he tries to pull off one of his riskiest political moves ever with his amnesty executive order.
The original story broke on USAToday.
 If one of President George W. Bush's bundlers would have been charged with child rape, make no mistake about it, the media feeding frenzy would have been uncontrollable – which would be legitimate given the severity of the allegation. The silence surrounding Terrence Bean exposes the national media's partisan double standard in obscene detail.
The national media only tells you what they want you to hear, and they studiously avoid anything that they don't want you to hear.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thoughts on Mary

Yesterday, our senior senator embarked on a Quixotic endeavor to debate the Keystone XL pipeline in the US Senate.  The vote was simply for cloture, to open the measure for debate.  She needed 60 votes and failed in her attempt, derailed by members (lots of them) in her own party.  At the end of the attempt, only 13 Democratic senators voted with her.  The Washington Post is calling it her final indignity, but I feel that they're being premature.

The list of senators who voted against her is long, to include the current leadership.  It was a stinging rebuke, and put the lie to her campaign promise; that her leadership and seniority in the Senate are vital to Louisiana.  The other senators and the leadership showed that she has no clout in the Senate, not even enough to have other senators support her in a symbolic gesture.

The final indignity will occur if Senator Landrieu continues in her quest for re-election and it won't be the indignity of her final defeat, it will be the indignity that she foists upon the people of Louisiana by continuing the race.  She gathered a paltry 42 percent of the vote, probably all that she'll gather in the runoff.  The other senators in the Senate have revealed her to be a sham, without clout or influence within the party.  She has nothing left to offer Louisiana.  It's been a good run, but it's over.

To paraphrase Edwin Edwards, the only way Cassidy can lose this race is if he's found in bed with a live boy or a dead girl.  It's inevitable and everybody sees it but Ladrieu.  If she knew Louisiana, she'd know that she is done.

Mary Landrieu should follow the example of that same Edwin Edwards, and concede, as Edwards did in 1987 when he saw that he couldn't command a majority.  He conceded gracefully and let Buddy Roemer struggle as a minority governor.  This is Mary's option now, to continue to struggle against the inevitable or to bow out gracefully.

She won't do that, though.  She has neither the grace nor the political acumen for that.  No, we'll have to beat her, and I'll be happy to pull the lever against her in December.

The Curve??

It looks like Taurus has come out with a new pistol, The Curve, designed for concealed carry.  Not your standard .380, it has an integrated light and laser, and it's curved to fit the contour of your body.

Interesting design, it comes with a belt clip and it looks to be as smooth as a bar of soap.  No de-horning necessary on this rig.  I'm told that the MSRP is about $400.00, with the street price being somewhat under that.

I'm also told that they are going to have a version bent the other direction, for southpaws.  interesting concept for a carry firearm.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Senate Kabuki

The US Senate is looking more and more like Kabuki theater, what with my senator, Mary (hack, spit) Landrieu trying to drum up support today for the Keystone pipeline.  Hot Air reports that Landrieu has lots of Republican support, indeed, every Republican senator is expected to vote for the measure, but Mary is having trouble garnering support from her own party.
Desperate for something positive to put before Louisiana voters prior to her Senate run-off, Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is looking for an apparently illusive 60th Senate vote – from her Democratic colleagues.
You'd think that with Landrieu in trouble, in the fight of her life politically, that her colleagues in the Senate would come to her rescue and give her the few votes she needs to score a political victory.  You'd be wrong.  As I type this it appears that she's got almost enough votes, but not enough to push her over the margin.

Mary based her campaign on her seniority and her clout in the Senate.  If she can't get at least half of her caucus to join her, voters in Louisiana will be forced to ask themselves just how much clout she has in the Senate.  And, in the end, it's all Kabuki theater, because Obama will veto it, if it ever makes it to his desk.
This is Obama thinking he’s playing “hard ball”.  In fact, it is Obama playing his favorite game, throwing someone under the bus.  So it’s likely “good bye Senator Landrieu”
Landrieu can't get the support of her caucus, and it appears that she's got no clout with Obama either.  In January, she'll be in the minority, with even less clout and support. So the question becomes, why do we need her in the Senate.

It appears at almost Senate quitting time that Mary is till looking for that 14th vote.  My math is simple, 45 Republicans are on board, then there's her, so there must be 14 more Democrats that back her.  As I post this, she's having trouble getting that 15th vote.  The Democrats really want to help her, don't they?  That, all by itself, speaks volumes.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pore Ol' Unions

I see in the news that the unions are still hammering Wal-Mart.  You'd think by now they'd learn.  They're plannning a strike on Black Friday to draw attention to .. I dunno... something.  Higher wages, better benefits, the usual litany of complaints.

Wal-Mart is in a bind, believe it or not, because of competition.  They're a gigantic player in the retail box store business, and they've got to control costs just like everybody else.  In this economy, it makes business sense to hire part-time help, and that's what Wal-Mart does, just like everyone else.

However, when people talk about striking, I don't have much sympathy for them.  Nurses, doctors, police, firefighters, EMT's, CNAs and all manner of people work around the clock, 24/7/365.  Let's not forget the utility folks, who come out on Sunday when a squirrel trips your electricity, or the poor folks who repair utilities after a storm, or the guys who go in every single day to make sure that you have good drinking water and that your sewerage flows downhill.

Yeah, it's hard for me to have much sympathy for striking Wal-Mart employees.  And you know where sympathy falls in the dictionary.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Shot Cartridge

The guys over at this forum were talking about cannon projectiles, artillery, if you will, and trying to identify a common antique projectile.  First, the caveat; these things might be dangerous.  They were originally designed to hurt people or destroy materiel and they might explode.  GIs of all stripes bring stuff home from their service, and we hope that when Grandad brought home that war relic, he didn't bring home something that might detonate and destroy the house.  That having been said, lots of that stuff is totally inert and if you trust Grandpa, then whatever he left behind is probably safe.

There is a thing in artillery called a shot cartridge.  No, it's not a shotgun shell like we commonly hunt birds with, it's a solid metal projectile that is totally inert, but is supposed to punch a big hole through something.  That big metal projectile is called shot, and are commonly used in track and field events across the world.  A 12 pound shot is what "shot put" is all about, and early artillery was designated by the weight of the iron ball that would fit down the bore.  A 12 pounder cannon fired a 12 pound ball.

Like most GIs, PawPaw dragged home a relic, and it sits in my shop.  Can you spot it?  Many people don't.  Most folks don't realize it is there, and when they do spot it, their eyes grow wide.  What is that?

It sits beside my bench, near the tool box, and many visitors never see it there.  I found the projectile during exercises, then had to scrounge around for the cartridge case, hen re-assembled it.  I brought it to my Dad, who kept it near the kitchen table, next to the refrigerator.  At some point I took possession, and no it resides in my shop.    Here's a close-up.

That, gentle reader, is a 90 mm shot cartridge, from the M48 Patton Tank.  While that tank fired a number of explosive rounds, that particular reliv is a shot cartridge, used during training.  It's inert, or I wouldn't have it in my shop where grand kids play.  Yet, it amazed me how many visitors have never noticed it.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Wintry weather, and the dog likes staying inside.  Today is cloudy and clammy, and it's a good day to be indoors.

It's gumbo weather, and PawPaw is probably going to make a big chichen-and-sausage for lunch.