Saturday, February 28, 2015

At the Auction

We went to the auction last night, and as I wandered the tables, a silver and yellow power tool caught my eye.

A DeWalt DW610 router.  A router is one of those tools that, unless you're an every-day woodworker, you need only once in a blue moon.  But, when you need a router, there's really no other tool for the job.  This particular router is no longer made, but we're past the time where a particular tool model stays on the inventory for more than a year or so.  My casual inspection shows that this router was used very lightly, if at all.

This router was on a table with tools, and the auctioneer opened the bid as "Choice on the Table" which means that the bid was for every item on the table and that the winner could choose the item, or several of the items at the same price.  I opened the bidding at $10 and one other fellow bid against me, so I went to $20 and won the bid.  The only tool I wanted was that router.

It's an $80 router.  Nothing fancy, but DeWalt is known for solid power tools.  I'll have to pick up some bits, which I'm sure will cost me more than the router cost, but now I've added a router to the tool bin.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Advertising

Internet advertising, those annoying ads we see when we look at websites, they mystify me.  Based on a search I've done, they try to show me options that I no longer need.  For example;

Last week I was looking at guitars.  A grandson needed a student guitar, and like all good grandfathers I was searching around, trying to educate myself on the subject.  I readily admit that I know nothing about guitars, but I was trying to learn.  I finally took the young'un to a guitar shop and talked with the owner of the shop.  Found three or four guitars that met my budget and the grandson's needs and told the boy to pick what he liked.  He's got his guitar and all is well.

Like rifle scopes.  Occasionally I'll buy a scope and recently I ordered one.  I probably won't buy another one for the remainder of the year, but I'll be looking at rifle scopes in ad space that is attached to webpages I frequent.  It's wasted advertising.  Even if it costs the merchant pennies, I've bought my scope (and my guitar).  It makes no sense to keep showing me scopes and guitars.  I'm done with those purchases, but I'll continue to see those ads.  Too bad for them.

They taught me in business school that half of all advertising dollars were wasted.  Showing me ads after I've completed the purchase is total waste.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

You think your drunk college-age daughters are bad with their iPhones? Imagine them with guns.

Yeah, that's actually the title of an article at the Washington Post.  Some woman named Anne Skomorowsky, who is a psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center tells us all we need to know about raising teenagers and sending them off to college.  It's remarkably fisk-able.  Lets start four paragraphs down.
My daughter dropped her first iPhone outside an off-campus party, the kind of sports-related, senior-sponsored event that is infamously associated with sexual assault. When the cops showed up, she stood frozen until someone grabbed her hand and pulled her into the woods. As she ran from the police with her friends, her phone fell into a snow bank and was never seen again.
Interesting.  Her seventeen year old daughter was at an off-campus party, "the kind.. that is famously associated with sexual assault".  The cops show up, daughter runs from the police, and the good doctor is most concerned about her cell-phone.  Amazing.  We haven't gotten to the guns issue yet, but we're learning that the doctor's daughter has poor decision-making skills.  Let's go to the next paragraph, shall we?
 We bought her a replacement, a highly desirable 5s that she promised to guard with her life. Weeks later, after another party, my “slightly drunk” daughter tumbled down some stairs. She wasn’t injured, but the iPhone screen was cracked.
 Drunk again, her daughter is showing signs of freshman-itis.  Poor judgement, made worse by alcohol.  Thankfully, we learn that the girl wasn't hurt, but her iPhone took a disabling hit.  I think I'd quit buying her phones.  When she starts paying for them herself, she might learn to take better care of them.  But then we drop into the truly bizarre.  We can't make this stuff up, but the psychiatrists tries to draw the parallel.
Just imagine that my daughter’s iPhone was a gun. One lies in the snow in a suburban forest. Maybe it will be found in the spring, by children playing in the woods, or other young adults running from the police. The other bounced down a staircase along with several intoxicated teenagers.  What could possibly go wrong?
Good imagination, Doc, but I can't imagine your daughter having a gun of any type.  She's not mature enough.  First, get her to treatment for her nascent alcoholism (two drunks in two paragraphs), and let her grow up a little bit.

For myself, I kept a gun in my college dorm the whole time.  My buddies and I hunted and fished our say through college, and everyone just kind of expected that we'd have a gun in the room, although officially, the university prohibited it.  The university also prohibited alcohol in the dorm, but as long as it wasn't a problem, it wasn't a problem.  But then, in my day, college students were expected to be adults, not overgrown children.  We were expected to act like adults, and to pay the consequences when we failed.

We never had a problem with guns on campus, but we were expected to be adults.  There is probably a lesson there that even a doctor pf psychiatry can understand.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Semi-Annual Checkup

Went to the Doctor this morning, he drew fluids and sent them to a lab.  I went back in this afternoon and he told me that the numbers look okay and that he'll see me in six months.

I suspect, from that conversation, that I'll probably live another six months.  If he suspected differently, he'd probably have set the appointment sooner.  Since I've reached the age where semiannual checkups are routine, I'm good with living six months at a time.

Getting old ain't for sissies.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Meteorology

The Great Winter Ice Storm of 2015 was a bust.  I have had more ice in my whiskey glass than there was on the ground this morning, and evidently our local weather weenies are catching flak over their icy-apocalypse weather forecasting.  As well they should, they blew it.  One local personality has his feelings hurt, and he posted on his facebook page.
As many of you know, I like to be as open and honest with my followers as possible. Some are upset about the lack of a significant ice storm. If you try and nail it, you will miss. If you overshoot it, people will be upset for it not happening. If you under-prepare people, you will have many accidents and potential loss of life. That's why as a Meteorologist I do not forecast out of concern for my batting average. I believe the key is to save lives and keep people safe. At the end of the day, if I prepared people for the worst possible scenario, I did my job. There will always be more days of school and we can always get more salt, but one life lost due to unpreparedness is a tragedy. I would like to commend DOTD, school boards, and parish/city officials for their great job in preparation.
It's simple, dude, you blew it.  Anyone can predict the weather in August, but predicting it in February might be hard.  You're going to be wrong a lot, which means you should study your craft.

I'm no meteorologist, but I have been studying the weather for a lot of years, looking at the same maps you look at, and I didn't see ice in the forecast.  I saw normal winter weather, with some possibility of ice on the bridges, but that's why DOTD leaves those signs up all year.  The ones that say that bridges ice before roadways.

More importantly, Mr. Weatherman, it's not your job to prepare people, it's your job to predict the weather.  You do that through models and records and you take your best guess.  So, write this one down.  With conditions like we had, we didn't get ice.  Next time, you should be able to look at your records and know that with similar conditions, we're not going to get ice, then you can get it right.

But, by all means, don't try to be asocial scientist.  Be a hard scientist and go with the data.  Any damned fool can pretend to be a social scientist, but what we need are competent weathermen.  Try to be one.

New Savage Models

Surfing around Facebook this morning, I see that Savage Arms has added some new models to their law enforcement line.  Specifically something they call the Model 10 FLCP-SR.  It's the accustock model with a 24" barrel and the new 10 round magazine.

What is truly interesting is that it also comes in a left-hand version.  With an MSRP of $761.00, it looks like a heck of a deal on a law enforcement rifle.  Any competent gunsmith could cut that barrel back to 20" or 18" without much problem.

Joey!  Does that answer your question?

The Great Ice Storm of 2015

It looks like we've survived the Great Ice Storm of 2015.  A thin skim of ice on the decks and cars, and of course, the dog's water frisbee froze over.  He whined and whimpered this morning until I broke the ice and filled it with liquid water, because he simply will NOT drink out of his water bowl in the house.  It's the frisbee or nothing.  The dawg has standards.  He'll only drink from mud puddles or that frisbee.  Otherwise, he'll gladly dehydrate.  His inside water bowl doesn't exist for him.  Go figure.

Thin skim of ice on the deck. Liquid water in the frisbee.
In the meantime, I've got red beans in the crock pot.  I'll start seasoning them about noon.  We'll eat red beans and sausage for supper.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ramps. Whoa!

Only because I love stuff like this, I'm embedding this video to give my sons an idea.  We're always looking for an easy way to get a car off the ground for maintenance.




Hnnn. The video didn't embed, but you can click the "Post" to see the video.

Ice Storm

It looks like we're in for a wintry mix later this afternoon, and I'm hearing reports that it's sleeting in north Louisiana.  We'll see.

In the meantime, my cousin, Gay, sent out this missive.

Yeah, pretty much.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Winter in the Deep South

It looks like we're under a freezing rain advisory.  All of you in the Frozen North may wonder at this, but here is the advisory we got tonight:
The National Weather Service in Lake Charles has issued a
Freezing Rain Advisory... which is in effect from 6 am Monday to
noon CST Tuesday. 
* Timing... sub-freezing temperatures are expected from mid morning
  Monday through midday Tuesday. Any rain that occurs during this
  period will have the potential to freeze upon reaching the
  ground. 
* Ice accumulations... averaging between five to fifteen
  hundredths of an inch. 
That's the whole advisory.  Between five to fifteen hundredths of an inch.  Ice.  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Of course, the whole system has now shut down.  Schools closed.  State Offices closed.  The whole list is here, and they're serious.  We may get a little ice, so we're shutting down. Get over it.

Because schools are closed, PawPaw will be cooling his heels at home tomorrow.  Doing laundry.  Keeping a weather eye out for ... weather.  That we may or may not get.

Sunday Morning Dawg

If it doesn't rain today, it's going to miss a hell of a chance.  Overcast, windy, rain predicted, it is a good day to stay on the porch.

The dog knows how to stay on the porch.  He's quite good at it.  Y'all have a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

CFDA

Big practice meet over at Lucky 4B ranch in Melder, LA today.  My cousin's Big Thicket Bushwhackers came over to shoot with the Lucky 4B gys.  My cousin, aka Gentleman George, took my grandson under his wing to teach him the basics of Cowboy Fast Draw.

That's George coaching grandson Ethan on the basics of fast draw.  There's a lot to absorb in just a little while, The match is going to begin in just a few minutes.

Indoors, the ladies are going over a safety briefing and basic gun-handling for those new to the game.

Texas Rose in the brown vest, going over the fine points.

Down the line, Milady is trying out various revolvers.  I bet she handled six or eight revolvers today, trying to find a grip style that fit her.

In this picture, George goes over the fine points with Milady.  

Then, the firing began.  Ethan did pretty well for a first go-round.  He won his first match by one shot.  Here, he's engaging a target with one of George's Vaqueros.


This sport is for all ages and sexes.  Here is a shot of the littlest pistolero on the line.  She did quite well for herself.


And finally, a group photo of the assembled cowboys.

It was a ood day, spent with good people.  Lots of laughter, lots of camaraderie.  Everybody on those steps was packing, and an armed society is a polite society.

About that Glock

Commenting on the post below, TheOtherRyan says in comments:
I bet this has some .45/ 1911 die hard types completely losing their shit.
No, not really, Ryan.  I am, you see, one of those diehard 1911 fans.  I've been shooting the pistols since the early 1970s, and indeed, the 1911A1 pistol was the very first handgun I ever picked up.  I still see the utility of the 1911 and the .45 ACP cartridge, but like most handgunners, I'm a pragmatist when it comes to handgun selection.

The very first 9mm pistol I ever shot was the Army's M9.  They issued one to me during Desert Storm.  I immediately disliked it, but not for the reasons you might think.  It was too big for my hands, was not ergonomic, and because I was uncomfortable shooting it, I shot it poorly.  Also, the 9mm ammo of the day was fairly anemic with poor bullet design.

Some of the greatest advances in handguns in the past 30 years have been in the ammunition.  Ammo, back in the day, was tailored to operate properly across a narrow range of velocities.  I remember in the late '80s shooting Winchester's premier Silvertip ammo for a police qualfication.  It did extremely well at the longer ranges, but I was amazed as we got close to the target (specifically at the 2-yard-line) the bullets were coming apart on the cardboard.  They were so over-driven that they were shedding their jackets on the paper target and coming apart before they could penetrate the cardboard backing.

Since then, the bullet manufacturers have really stepped up their game.  They've studied the problem and come up with some wonderful solutions, and frankly our ammo today is light-years ahead of what we had in the early days.  Handgun ammo in this new century has stepped up to the point where we can use smaller calibers, and 9mm ammo is much more lethal than it was 40 years ago, simply because of bullet design and better powders.

Even Jeff Cooper changed his stance on handgun ammo in his sunset years.  He remained a 1911 guru till his death, but he told us that bullet design had changed the game and that (I'd have to look to find the exact cite) that Hornady's 230 grain truncated cone bullet was probably the best projectile ever designed for the .45 ACP.

Gaston Glock, in 1980, changed the handgunning world with his Model 17.  Initially, many of us were skeptical, but the design has proven itself over the years and over the world.  There are millions of them in use, and even the most die-hard 1911 fans see the utility of a pistol that is durable, reliable, easy to shoot, and accurate.  It's been 35 years since Gaston unveiled his pistol, and many of us have come around, being pragmatists.  The fact that the ammo has gotten better has certainly helped.

Even I, dinosaur that I am, have come around to the Glock.  The Sheriff issued me one last year, and it's the pistol I carry at least 50 hours per week.  It's ergonomic, easy to shoot, has few moving parts and is utterly reliable.  What's not to like?  I see its weaknesses, primarily that design flaw that requires the operator to pull the trigger before disassembly.  Clearing procedure is critical on a Glock, because if you don't clear the pistol, you're going to shoot a hole in your workbench before you clean it.  But, clearing a pistol should be second-nature to a pistolero.  It's a design flaw, but a minor one in the overall nature of things.

I still like my 1911s and see their utility, but I also appreciate Gaston's design.  It's a great pistol and even if old John Moses (pbuh) were around today, I bet he'd appreciate the modern pistol as well.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some family matters to attend and later, an appointment to shoot some guns from the late 19th century.  They have a certain appeal as well.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Glock 19

One drink into Happy Hour and I stumble across this little vignette, telling us that the US Marines have approved the Glock 19 for limited use in Special Operations.
However, the 9mm semi-automatic Glock 19 pistol is officially approved for use only by personnel assigned to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, according to a force-wide message issued in mid-February. In fact, the pistol will carry a non-Marine inventory number because it is a U.S. Special Operations Command asset, according to the message.
I knew that Glock pistols were widely used in several militaries and in law enforcement, but I didn't realize that the enemy carried them as well.
It is not immediately clear if MARSOC has used the pistols unofficially before now, but they are popular throughout the special operations community. More broadly, they are standard issue for armies on several continents, a staple among international and domestic law enforcement, including the FBI and many local police departments. Glocks are ubiquitous among civilian gun enthusiasts. And they are even seen in the hands of some al-Qaida fighters.
I'll be damned.  Time for another drink.

Friday Thuds

A great day for news, talking about the state of the country.  I see that the health system sent out a bunch of bad tax notices.
The Obama administration says it sent about 800,000 HealthCare.gov customers the wrong tax information, and officials are asking those consumers to delay filing their 2014 taxes. …
Lovely.  If you send bad information to the government, it's a felony.  If they send you bad information, it's nobody's fault.  However, another article tells us that almost half of the people who are uninsured don't realize that they may have to pay a penalty this year.
As of Dec. 2014, 25 percent of uninsured Americans above the poverty line said they’d heard “nothing at all” about the fine. Another 20 percent said they had heard “only a little.” A slight majority, 53 percent, reported hearing some or a lot about the tax (which the Obama administration calls the “individual shared responsibility payment”).
We've only been talking about this for six years, and there are still people who don't know that elections have consequences?  They will soon find out about that, good and hard.

In other news, the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee is willing to be bought.
 Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office offered to change her position on medical marijuana if a major Florida donor recanted his withering criticism of her, according to emails obtained by POLITICO.
She'll be willing to flip on an issue if the guy stops saying bad things about her.

In good news, the Archbishop of San Francisco is reminding this flock that he's.... Catholic. Lawmakers got offended, and the Archbishop replied to the lawmakers.
“Would you hire a campaign manager who advocates policies contrary to those you stand for, and who shows disrespect for you and the Democratic Party in general?” Cordileone asked the lawmakers in the letter.
 Good for you, your Eminence.

Now, if you'll all excuse me, I think I'm going to declare Happy Hour.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Vendors

So, I'm sitting at the office yesterday afternoon, late, when a vendor comes in.  Asks for the purchaser.  I tell the vendor that the purchaser has already left for the day.

He hands me a three-ring binder.  Slick graphics.  "Will you give this to her tomorrow?"

"Sure will."  I take the binder and the guy leaves.

So, this morning I take the binder to the purchaser, a gal I drink coffee with every morning.  She tells me to put the binder in that stack in the corner.  I drop that binder on a stack of similar binders, and look at her with raised eyebrows.

"That's the trash stack." she tells me. "When it falls over, I have the custodian haul it to the dumpster."  She goes on to tell me that Google is her friend, she publishes specs, takes bids, and buys from the winning bidder.  Catalogs just clutter up her tiny office.

She tells me that I can have any catalog in the stack, or the whole stack if I want it.  I decline, respectfully.  Google is my friend too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What ISIS Really Wants

If you're interested, and anyone who has been following the news from the Middle East should be interested, there is a good article in The Atlantic which talks about ISIS, it's historical background and the desires of its adherents.
If al-Qaeda wanted to revive slavery, it never said so. And why would it? Silence on slavery probably reflected strategic thinking, with public sympathies in mind: when the Islamic State began enslaving people, even some of its supporters balked. Nonetheless, the caliphate has continued to embrace slavery and crucifixion without apology. “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women,” Adnani, the spokesman, promised in one of his periodic valentines to the West. “If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.”
Go read the whole thing, but from my cursory reading, it will take a while to absorb it all.  Suffice to say that it appears that they're looking for a clash of civilizations, and they firmly rely on Islamic texts to base their beliefs and actions.  Slavery, rustication,  amputation and beheading are an integral part of that worldview and we ignore it at our risk.

The State Department's idiocy about ISIS wanting jobs is so far off the mark that it would be laugable if it were not so pathetic.  They want world domination and they're working to get it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mardi Gras

Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Carnival.  Today is the Tuesday before Lent, when the church prepares for Easter.  Tomorrow is a time of repentance, but today is a time to party.  The huge revelry, the debauchery, is happing as I type this in New Orleans, but many of us prefer a more traditional celebration.

I prefer the small-town Mardi Gras, and all over south Louisiana, small towns are celebrating in anticipation of Lent.  No one song epitomizes the small-town revelry, for me at least, than La Danse de Mardi Gras.  It tells a story about a group of horseback riders, Les Courirs, gathering the ingredients for a feast.



It's cold and wet and miserable outside, but Les Courirs will ride today, as they have for many, many years.  If a group of strangely dressed horsemen shows up in your front yard, give them a chicken, or a sack of rice, or some onions, or anything they can use to make a gumbo.  It's small-town Louisiana's way of celebrating the coming of Lent.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Meatloaf

Not the comic, the much maligned food that everyone claims to hate, but for which everyone has a recipe.  Milady makes a great one, but so do I, so while she was at work today I decided to cook a meatloaf for supper.



PawPaw's Meatloaf

3 lbs good ground chuck
1 yellow onion chopped
1 cup chopped green peppers
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
Salt
Pepper

In a large bowl, combine everything.  Wash your hands.  Get in there with your fingers and squish it around, get all those good flavor bits included in the meat.  Wash your hands again.  Put the mixture in a large (half steam table tray) container.  It should look like this when it's ready to go into the oven.

Slide it in to a 350 oven for two hours, or a 250 smoker for three hours.  When the internal temperature of the loaf gets to 160F, you're good.  Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.

I serve my meatloaf with au gratin potatoes, or for a cajun flair, boil some little red potatoes and corn-on-the-cob in water seasoned with crab boil.

Fiddler's Green

The Author is unknown, but every cavalryman knows the poem, that begins with this stanza.
Halfway down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green
Are the Souls of all dead troopers camped,
Near a good old-time canteen.
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddlers' Green.
This poem adopted by the cavalry long ago, gives soldier advise that it often classical, but not often heard today.  When I read this article from Truth Revolt, where British Special Forces have been told to keep the last bullet for themselves.
“The SAS have been told that if they are captured they can expect to be tortured before being beheaded, disemboweled or burned alive," a source told the Daily Star. "They know there is virtually no chance of being rescued….Most of the guys would never let themselves be taken prisoner – not by Islamic State.”
ISIS (the Islamic State) is a brutal enemy, known for torture, beheading, disemboweling, all manner of horrific treatment of prisoners.  They gleefully post YouTube videos showing their disdain for civilization.   The sooner these murderous miscreants are stopped, the better.  Of course, this does nothing to help those in their grasp, and history teaches us that in some cultures it has always been so.
Rudyard Kipling gave his advise to soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.
When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains and go to your gawd like a soldier.
Harsh advise, but effective.  Evidently the British had the same problem in Kipling's time as we are having today.  But, we find the same cousel in the last stanza of Fiddler's Green.
And so when man and horse go down
Beneath a saber keen,
Or in a roaring charge of fierce melee
You stop a bullet clean,
And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
Just empty your canteen,
And put your pistol to your head
And go to Fiddlers' Green.
Harsh advise, but nothing new.  I'm surprised that anyone is surprised at it.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fooling About

Lets see if this animated .gif file works.

Yeah, it works.  That's funny right there.

Aw, Hell

For my Aviator buddies, another Aw, Hell moment from the aviation collection.

I wonder what that is going to cost him?

Hat tip, Knuckledragging.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Beautiful weather today, but the weather-weenies tell us that winter will re-assert itself on Monday and Tuesday.  The dog is taking advantage of the sunshine while he can.

I see tht I need to do some weeding between the concrete deck and the wooden deck.  It's a never ending battle.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Unalienable RIghts

It seems that a CNN commentator, a licensed attorney, revealed the depth of his ignorance and the bend of his education this past week.  A guy named Cuomo, who told the world that our rights come from government.
"Our rights do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man," Cuomo insisted.
Mr. Cuomo would do well to go back to high school and sit through an American History class, because he evidently missed the part about Thomas Jefferson, who said, in part.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Then, Mr. Jefferson laid out the proper function of government.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
 I suspect that Mr. Cuomo is one of those unfortunates who is educated past his basic intelligence, one of those credentialed people  who fails to understand the basic nature of man, and who substitutes book-learning for intellect.

Mr. Cuomo revealed himself to be an idiot.  That's not his fault, but it is certainly the fault of CNN for continuing to employ him.

Don't bother to write in comments tht the Constitution lays out our rights.  The Constitution only recognizes the rights tht were given to us by God.  Jefferson understood that, and so do I.

Chocolate and Leather

It's Valentines Day, that day set aside for love.  Of course, Milady got the chocolate and the card, that goes without saying.  But, she got a little something extra, too.

Several weeks ago, Milady and I went to the 4B Ranch outside of Melder, LA, to try Cowboy Fast Draw shooting.  Milady liked it, both the gunplay and the people involved in it.  On the way home, she told me that she might like to try it herself, but that she'd need her own rig.  She doesn't like borrowing rigs, and as nice as the people are, she didn't want to impose.

So, I did some research, being new to the game myself, and on the advice of some very knowlegeable people, contacted Dustin Damrel of Crease N Corral.  I commissioned a fast draw rig for Milady.  I wanted good leather, cut to Milady's size.  It came in on Thursday, so I decided to surprise her with it this morning.

Dusty does very good work, and if there is anything I've learned over the years, when you're buying gun-leather, go ahead and buy the good stuff first.  It willl save you money down the road.  It's a little more expensive up front, but it's a whole lot less expensive later.

Dusty does good work.  He's a whip maker, but has transitioned over to cowboy holsters and his work shows a knowledge of leather, his research into the game, and his commitment to excellence in his craft.  Very nice work, and I heartily recommend him.

Chocolate and leather.  Am I a romantic sunofagun, or what?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Accepted

I have just learned that my daughter-in-law Melissa has been accepted to LSU's School of Veterinary Medicine.

Congratulations;  Melissa.   We never doubted you would make it.

Friday Afternoon

Today begins the Mardi Gras season in central Louisiana.  They've been partying like crazy for a week in New Orleans, but hereabouts, we party the weekend before.  Parades everywhere this weekend.  Monday is George Birthington's Wash Day, and Tuesday is Mardi Gras.

PawPaw intends to stay out of the parade routes, remain close to the house as much as possible.  But, now it's Friday afternoon.  I'm drinking one pony beer and after while, Milady and I are going to the auction.

If you haven't bought the big red Valentine yet, you still have a couple of hours to do so.  Don't forget the card.  Big red chocolate box, pretty red card.  You know what to do.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Battle Lines

The battle lines are beginning to be drawn for the presidency in 2016.  We're pretty sure who the Democrat candidate will be, but the Republican process is just beginning.  One politico who scares the hell out of the opposition is Governor Scott Walker, a guy who has been elected three times as governor and is making noises about running.  Walker has proven that he can run a good race under tough conditions, but his curricula vitae has them concerned.  Gasp!  He never finished college!

Howard Dean: This is a particular problem for Scott Walker which has not been an issue yet, but it will. Scott Walker, were he to become president, would be the first president in many generations who did not have a college degree. So the issue here is not just the issue of dancing around the question of evolution for political reasons, the issue is, how well educated is this guy?
 Joe Scarborough: Are you serious?
Yeah, they're serious.  They're scared spitless of the man.  He's a union-busting, budget-balancing Republican and he's fought three tough races against substantial Democrat opposition, and the first thing they can come up with is his education?

So, lets go to Governor Walker himself to find out why he didn't finish his senior year at Marquette.
 “During my senior year at Marquette University, I was offered a full-time job at the American Red Cross. I thought I would squeeze in a course here or there and finish things off in a year or two, but then Tonette and I got married,” Walker said in his State of the State speech in 2013. “Next thing you know, you’re putting all your extra time and money into your kids.”
Yeah, having a full-time job, getting married, and raising kids can side-track your education.  We all understand that.  But it doesn't seem to have hurt Walker much.  He's only been elected governor three times.  

I never knew this about Walker.  He didn't finish college, so he's not a lawyer either.  That's a big bonus in my book.  He dropped out for full-time employment, then got married and started raising a family.  THEN GOT ELECTED GOVERNOR, three times.   It looks like the lack of education really held him back.

It's too early to know who is going to be the Republican nominee, but I'm liking Scott Walker more and more.  Not a lawyer, family man, knows how to beat Democrats.  That's the kind of guy we should be looking for.

Cooker Update

Yesterday afternoon when I got home, I piddled with that old fish cooker.  I cut a piece of coat hanger wire and ran it through ll the holes, and through the gas/oxygen tube, cleaning out several years of rust and debris, then banged it all out on the patio.  Then took a few minutes to assemble the gas line parts I obtained yesterday.  After opening a beer I got ready to test the cooker.

Just an old, rusty fish cooker.
It's just an old rusty fish cooker, but it's got a lot going for it.  First of all, it was free.  Cost me nothing, because it came as a part of an auction deal.  I wanted the propane bottle it was hooked to.  Second, it's got a good base.  Third, that ring that keeps the pot on the burner.  Fourth, and this is what I was betting on, is that after I cleaned it up, it burns with a nice, clean, blue flame.  You can barely see it in the photo above, but I've got a better photo.

Clear, blue flame.  Almost invisible.
That's a pretty cooking flame and gives me great confidence that it will be a good cooker.  That little burner isn't as strong as my primary cooker, but this one will throw enough heat to fry fish, or french fries, or anything else I need to fry.  It's a convenient height, it's stable, and it's free.

I wonder what I'm going to clean cookers with when I run out of wire coat hangers?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Scout Update

The Scout project is moving along nicely.  I took possession of the rifle at the start of the year, and posted about it in January.  When I found the rifle, it was new-old stock at the gun shop; Savage having not cataloged the model for a year or so.  They were available from the Custom Shop, but I thought I'd best pick one up while they were available.  While showing the rifle to my son, he asked if anyone made an extended magazine fo rthe rifle.  I told him that to my knowledge, the only magazine available was the standard, four-round box. I should not have been so pessimistic.



Comes the SHOT show in late January, and Savage unveils their new rifle, the Model 11 Scout. An upgraded verson, with a flash hider, a Karsten cheekpiece, and low-and-behold, a 10-round magazine.  I talked about it in this post.


Nice looking rifle, don't you think?  The stock is that desert tan/coyote/flat earth color that seems to be in fashion lately.  It's got all the bells and whistles, but looking at that picture got me to pondering my new-old stock Scout rifle, and I began to wonder if that new magazine would fit into the older rifle.  I've been playing with Savage rifles for more than a decade, and if I know anything about them, they seem to enjoy using common parts where possible.  They like common parts, so it made sense to me that the new box magazine might fit in my old(er) rifle.

So, one day last week I called Savage Customer Service at (413) 568-7001 and talked to the nice lady there. She told me that my rifle and the new rifle shared the same bottom metal and the same magazine release, so I made a bet, by ordering one of the new magazines, that the 10-rounder would fit in my rifle.

The package came in Monday past.  I found it near the door when I got in from work, and after a few chores, opened it.  I got out the rifle, and the new magazine snapped right it, just like it was supposed to.  I snapped it in and out a couple of times, then went out in the shop and got some dummy rounds.  Fed them into the new box magazine, snapped it in place, and ran the dummy ammo through the action.  It fed and ejected just fine.

Below is a picture of the rifle with the included 4-round magazine.

Nice, flush with the stock, probably a perfect magazine for stalking or stand hunting.  Four rounds is generally plenty in that circumstance.
Now, the rifle with the 10-round magazine.

Same rifle, 10-round magazine.  I can see a benefit to the larger magazine.
For the record, what Savage sent me is part #110570. Part description: MAG BOX ASSY, SHORT, (10 ROUND)w/LOGO BUTTON.  Yesterday, I called Savage again to order a couple of more.  When I gave the guy the part number, he said "Oh, the new 10-round box." Evidently the word is getting out.  The new Savage magazine fits the Accustock bottom metal.  Hooray for Savage.  I have two more on the way.  With the factory 4-round magazine and three accessory 10-round mags, I should have sufficient capacity.

Now, to put a scope on it and do something about that horrid carry strap Savage sent with it.  The stock seems to be a little long for my tastes, but I'll shoot it a while before I decide if I want to cut it down.  More updates as they become available.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Fish Cooker Parts

Several years ago I was at the action, and an old fish cooker/tank combo came up on the block.  I picked it up for $15.00, thinking that was a good price on a propane tank.  I took the cooker and put it int he shed and promptly forgot about it.

Earlier this week I was poking around in the shed and found that cooker, so I took it out in the sunshine and looked at it.  Good steel, and a cast burner, I could probably use it as a spare if I could get it running.  The hoses were shot, and the regulator was ancient, so I bought a regulator, then realized that none of the fittings on that ancient cooker are even close to today's standard.

So, today, I took my orifice and regulator and went to the hardware store to see if I could mate the two.  Sure enough, we found the fittings and for $12.00 US, I was able to find the pieces to cobble together another cooker.  Later this spring, when I do a big frying on Sunday, and extra cooker will come in handy.

There is nothing in this world like a good hardware store.


Monday, February 09, 2015

Glow-ball Warmening

Global warming is all over the news, and I've been a skeptic since Day 1, not because I understand meteorology, but because I understand statistics and measurement.  When your measurements are wrong, your conclusions are wrong and no amount of massaging the data will help you understad whatever it is you're trying to measure.  Especially temperature.

Weather phenomena is important to aviators, and weather stations tend to be clustered around airports.  Lets examine just one photo, taken of a weather station at an airport.

In the lower right corner, we see a jet aircraft.  In the top center, we see a weather station.  Jet aircraft,  by their very nature, blow fire out of their exhausts and the exhaust travels a good distance.  What effect do you think hat the jet exhaust might have on that weather station?  Especially if you're trying to measure temperature differences across the globe, when every airport has a weather station?

With jet blast playing across your weather station every day, your average temperature measurements are utter bullshit.  And this is just one example of thousands.  Of course, the warmists will tell you that their data is "adjusted".  I should say so, it's adjusted by jet blast.  In other words, it's total bullshit.  We don't know, because every-so-often, someone blows hot air across your station.

Other folks are noticing, and John Hinderaker, over at Powerline, has a good post with a lot more science than I feel like absorbing.  John points out that some folks are starting to notice that the data has been tampered with:
One of the areas that Homewood has looked at is Paraguay. In a post titled All of Paraguay’s temperature record has been tampered with, he found that GISS has systematically altered temperature records to make the past look cooler and the present warmer, and to create an entirely fictitious warming trend.
As they say, go read the whole thing, but I've known for years that the Glowball Warmening argument was total bullshit.  Simply look at the photo above, and tell me that the data generated there is valid.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Aw, Hell!

For my aviator buddies, another Aw, Hell moment in time.

Hat tip, Knuckedragging.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Beautiful this weekend.  Lots of sun and moderate temperatures.  The dog is enjoying it, as are we.

The cat, of course, is asleep in Milady's chair.  When Milady comes out the cat will be disturbed.

It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Trigger Time

I slipped off this morning before chores to head to the range.  I haven't had any handgun trigger time in four or five months, and I wanted to start tuning up for the shooting season.  I took my duty Glock 22, and I took a couple of 1911s, and on a whim I took my Ruger Mark II.

Bill Ruger started his company in 1949 making a little .22 caliber pistol that he called the Standard Pistol.  Coming on the heels of WWII, Ruger wanted to manufacture firearms and the .22LR pistol seemed like a good place to start.  The fact that everyone wanted a Luger in those days, the German  P-08 was a much-prized war prize.  The fact that Ruger made his little pistol to have some of the same visual cues as the much-wanted German pistol evidently never entered into Ruger's thinking.  I'm sure that the little pistol had that front sight ad grip angle was just a happy coincidence.

Whatever the thinking behind the design of the little pistol, it's been a huge succcess and even in this current 21st century, they're still making the little pistols, with a few upgrades and production changes.Nowadays, it's called the Mark III, and it still looks like the old Standard.

So, this morning after I'd shot the Glock, and the 1911s, I took out a box of .22 ammo, posted a bullseye target at 15 yards and started working te little pistol.  Sight alignment, trigger squeeze, find the reset and do it all again.  Over an over, building musle memory with a little pistol that's economical to shoot and doesn't beat you up.  I've had this pistol for a dozen years and I've never adjusted the sights.  An old gunsmith told me last year that Bill built the little pistols with the front sight a little bit tall.  When you find ammo you like, you're supposed to file the front sight for the preferred ammo.


The little pistol shoots just a little low and to the right and I've never touched the sights.  Still, it shoots well enough for my purposes.  It is very satisfying to eat the center out of a target with that little pistol.

Rope N' Chains

Tying in with my History post from yesterday, DougM says it better in this three-panel cartoon.

Heh!  Yeah.  I'm going to the range.  My Glock needs a work-out.

Hat Tip to SondraK.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Supper

Hereabouts, when the weather is nice, we in Louisiana like to cook on the back porch.  We drag out the friers and crank up the heat, and we cook whatever is available.  In 1976 I took what might have been the first  ever fish-cooker seen in the state of Kentucky. We were cobbling them together in our shops in Louisiana, but you couldn't buy one in the stores.  Those folks had never seen one, and they were  amazed that I was frying fish in the back yard.  Before I left Kentucky in '79, the post hobby shop had the pattern and were turning them out as welding projects.  As most craftsmen and shop tinkerers do, these things have changed over the years.  Mine is made from an old Freon bottle and a 20,000 BTU burner from a discarded hot water heater.  It's all cast iron and good steel.

That's my original fish cooker, welded together by my Dad and Chester Kubes, back in 1974.  At that time the only way to have one was to make one.  40 years later it's still going strong.  I've had others, and I've given away several, but that one is mine.

Today, I came home with the bounty of Louisiana.  Some catfish, some oysters and some shrimp.  I also picked up a bag of french fries.  I cranked up the old fish cooker and commenced to frying seafood.  In about 30 minutes, Milady and I were ready to eat.

We ate until we nearly foundered.  Now, a good drink and I'll be ready to enjoy some television.

History

History is interesting.  I enjoy a good history lesson, but many folks sometime draw the wrong lessons because they don't know the background.  Our President recently alluded to history, when he drew the wrong lesson from the Crusades.
“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history,” Obama told the group. “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.
Indeed, our President would do well to study the history of the Crusades, and a good place to start might be in the story of Charles Martel, who turned back the Ottoman invasion after they had sacked Bordeaux.  He met them at Tours and defeated the Muslim army, bent on conquest.  I might note, for the historical record that Muslims were recently in the news for killing people in France.

Our own governor, Bobby Jindal, has noticed that the President missed the boat on his history lesson.
 “We will be happy to keep an eye out for runaway Christians, but it would be nice if he would face the reality of the situation today. The Medieval Christian threat is under control, Mr. President. Please deal with the Radical Islamic threat today.”
I don't always agree with Governor Jindal, but he called this one just right.  Our president draws the wrong lessons from history.   He also draws the wrong lessons from his Democratic cohorts.  Maybe instead of taking his much-ballyhooed vacations, he should fly to Jordan instead and get some OJT from King Abdullah.  The Jordanian king seems to have a handle on the problem of radical Islam, and Obama doesn't even know how to say it.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

PSA - Most Wanted

The Louisiana Dept of Child and Family Services has released their 2015 Most Wanted List.

These non-custodial parents owe back child-support payments totaling over $400,000.

If you know the whereabouts of any of these parents, please notify authorities. Your identity will be kept confidential. Call 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578) and choose Child Support (option 1) and then option 5.  You can see the poster at the link above.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Handuns, Again

When I became a cop, the standard handgun for police officers was often stipulated in the various department manuals, to be a Colt, Smith and Wesson, or Ruger revolver in .38 Special or .357 magnum caliber with a 4" barrel.  Some allowed a shorter barrel for plainclothes work.

Elmer Keith pioneered the .44 Magnum, but it never really caught on for police work.  Regardless of what you see in the movies, most police chiefs or sheriffs would have a coronary if their officer was found to be carrying a .44 magnum, and sound reasoning dictated against that choice.  The N-Frame revolvers are heavy, certainly heavier than a K-Frame revolver,  And, they're big.  If you go look in the front seat of a well-used police cruiser you're likely to see a worn spot in the drivers seat where the muzzle of the gun rests against the upholstery.  An N-Frame is bigger than a K-Frame and sitting in a police cruiser is uncomfortable if the gun is too big.  The muzzle touches the seat and the grip digs into your ribs, and after just a little while, it's uncomfortable.  Damned uncomfortable.

Probably the very best cartridge that I've ever explored for rural police work is the old Colt cartridge, the .45 Long Colt.  Every lawman from St. Louis to San Francisco carried one in the early days, and by that I mean the frontier times.  The Colt Peacemaker and the .45 Colt cartridge were ubiquitous across the parries and the mountains of the west.  Those long-barreled Peacemakers were great for horseback riding, but for police cruiser riding, not so much.  Smith and Wesson still makes a double-action revolver, the Model 25, and I've always thought that a 4" Model 25 would be the bees knees for rural law enforcement if we could cut a hole in the seat to let the revolver ride naturally in the car.

In all my career, there is just one officer that I every heard about carrying a .44 magnum on duty.  I never saw it, I just heard about it, and if I remember the story correctly, it went something like this:

In Toledo Parish on the west coast of Louisiana in the late '70s there was this young deputy.  We'll call him Cowboy.  Cowboy was aptly named.  He had rodeo'd for a time.  Cowboy stood about 6'4" tall, skinny as a rail and came to police work while he finished college.  Like many of my generation, he had seen the Dirty Harry series of movies. Cowboy wanted to carry a .44 magnum, and he certainly had the physique for it, so he managed to acquire a 6" Model 29, and quietly started carrying it on duty.  It looked natural on his tall, lanky body, and anyone who casually glanced at the tall lawman didn't notice the big damned revolver he was carrying, it simply looked proportional to his frame.
Like all young, struggling police officer/student/fathers, money was tight.  One night, while doing a walk-through in a local beer joint, one of the patrons asked what he was carying. Cowboy told him and the patron offered to buy the pistol, right there, for cash, at a healthy premium over what Cowboy had originally paid for the revolver.  
The money sounded good, so Cowboy unholstered the revolver, dumped the cartridges, and the deal was made, right there at the bar.  Cowboy rolled the money into a roll, and dropped it in the holster.  He finished his shift several hours later and went home.
The next afternoon, the Sheriff noticed Cowboy at roll call without a revolver in his holster.  "Where is your gun, Cowboy?"
"Sold it."
"What are you going to do if you get in trouble tonight on the side of the road?"
Cowboy extracted the wad of cash from his holster.  "I figured I'd give him this, and buy my way out of trouble."
That's the story of Cowboy and the .44 Magnum.  I can't swear if it's all true, but that's the way I heard it.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Model 10 FCM Scout

Back in October I put a Savage Model 10 FCM Scout rifle on layaway.  I got a pretty good deal on it out of the store.Savage quit cataloging it last year, and I was afraid that if I let this one slip by, I might not have another chance, so I put it on layaway and got it out after the New Year.  I talked about it here.

In fairness, this rifle shows great promise, although I have not yet pulled the trigger on a live round.  It has Savage's wonderful AccuTrigger, and it also has Savage's AccuStock, a stock with an aluminum spine that from all accounts, beds the action completely. The four round magazine is certainly usable for general tasks, but like many of you, I'd prefer a larger magazine.  I had searched around the web for a larger box, without a lot of success.  I should not have been so pessimistic.

Comes SHOT show 2015 and Savage has introduced an upgrade to their line, with a re-introduction of the Scout rifle.  They're calling this one the 11 Scout, and it looks like a nice rifle.  Spacers in the stock, a flash-hider, an adjustable check saddle, and lo-and-behold, a 10 round magazine.  Of course, it has the Accutrigger and the AccuStock.

That box magazine got me to pondering, (as they say), and I'm aware of Savage's penchant for assembly line processes, so this morning I called Savage customer service and got a really nice lady who was willing to talk with me about the new rifle, especially the magazine.  She compared my rifle with the new offering.  She told me that the new rifle uses the same bottom metal as mine and opined that the new 10-round box would probably work in my rifle.  I told her that I'd be willing to take that chance and ordered the 10-round box to try in my rifle.  She took my information and told me that she'd put it in the mail.  I should get it in a week to ten days.

The cheek piece is a Karsten, and next month I'll probably order one of those as well.  Hopefully in another month or so, we'll take this rifle out to the range and see if it will shoot.  I have high hopes and wonderful expectations.  More later.

Chris Kyle Day

Today, Monday, February 2nd, is Chris Kyle Day in Texas.

I fly my flag every day, but I'm happy to honor Chris' service and his memory.

Hat tip to Hope n' Change.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Sunday Morning Dawg

The dog doesn't like gunfire, thunder, or fireworks.  We also learned recently that he doesn't like the sound of a basketball bouncing.

The neighbors down the road are testing shotgun reloads and the dog is not amused.