Tuesday, March 31, 2015

CFDA Brass

The Cowboy Fast Draw is fun, but like most hobbies, it cuts in to the disposable income.  While I appreciate the fun, and the camaraderie, a dollar I spend on fast draw is a dollar I can't spend somewhere else.  Like all shooting sports, the ammo needs brass, and the CFDA wants 80 cents apiece for their special brass that takes 209 shotgun primers.  That's fine, but casting about for other sources seems to be coming up blank.  There are a few other vendors, but they want something north of 60 cents apiece for brass.

Being a frugal sort of guy I closely examined a piece of CFDA brass.  It's marked CFDA, with a printed star of top of the headstamp.  I suspect that the brass is made for CFDA by Starline, and a call to them should yield some information.  But, I've got lots of brass in my reloading stocks.  I don't have any .45 Long Colt, but I've got lots of .4 Remington Magnum, and wouldn't it be cool to shoot wax bullets with 209 primers in the big .44?

So, I got out some .44 brass and took some measurements, and came up with a plan.  I used a common 1/4 inch drill bit and drilled out the primer pocket.  That shotgun primer slipped in easily, but stood proud of the case head, so I took at 3/8 drill and made a recess so that the shotgun primer would sit flush.

So, I loaded two with wax bullets, dropped primers in the pocket and wandered out into the front yard.  I shot two into a convenient hedge (the neighbors think I'm crazy) and proved the concept.  It works like a champ, easy-peasy.  The pockets would be a lot more uniform if I had a drill press, but it works.  Works fine, thank you.

Now, I have ten (10) cases that I can shoot through the.44 magnum, and I've proved the concept, so I'm not dependent on the CFDA for brass.  I can make it in my shop, for a whole lot less than 80 cents per piece.  I like those boys, but 90 cents per piece is a bit stiff.  I can buy .45 Colt brass for about .25 cents apiece.

Monday, March 30, 2015

How Far Do They Fly?

Sunday afternoon we were shooting CDFA wax bullets in the back yard, and I determined to estimate a maximum range for that load.  It shoots a little 17 grain, .45 caliber wax bullet, propelled by a #209 shotgun primer.  It's fairly low powered as handgun ammo goes, but we wonder about such things, especially if we're shooting in a suburban neighborhood.  The neighbor downrange is easily 200 yards away.

So, the boys and I walked out to the pond to shoot across the glassy surface of the water, to see if we could identify a splash, and try to estimate the maximum range, in case a bullet gets past my backstop.

I don't have chronograph data, but the CFDA estimates that a common 209 load will travel about 650 fps.  When we got ready to take the shot, I was standing about five (5) feet above the water, holding the revolver five (5) feet above ground level, and holding it more or less level.  I had three good pair of eyes watching for the bullet splash and was aiming at a small island about 100 yards from my shooting position.

At the shot, we strained our eyes, looking for the splash, and my son said "Hell, Dad, there it is right there."

I was peering across the water.  "Where?"

"About 40 yards."  He pointed less than halfway to the island. "You can see the wax bullet floating in the water."

I looked down, and sure enough, that little orange bullet was floating less than 40 yards away.

So now we know.  The standard CFDA #209 load will travel about 40 yards more or less.  Certainly further study is in order, but I don't have to worry about neighbors finding wax bullets in their yard and wondering what the hell I'm doing.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Update** Finished

That grip project went smoothly, and a whole lot faster than I anticipated.  We sanded them down, Milady approved, and painted them with a turquoise fingernail polish.  Two coats, then a top coat of clear, and Milady has grips that contrast nicely with her firearm, fit her had, and make it personally hers.

It's not a traditional grip color, but it's certainly distinctive.  Personalizing a firearm is a time-honored tradition among many of the shooting disciplines.  Milady likes them, and that's her gun.

If you're at the Texas State Championships next month and you see a pretty gal sporting turquoise grips, come over and say Hello.

Sunday Morning Dawg

It's been a beautiful weekend, with lots of movement, and the dog has been outside a lot.


Here, he waits for me by the carport door.  Evidently he thinks it's time to go inside and check on Milady.  He hasn't been underfoot for ten or fifteen minutes now.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Grips

The choice of grips on a handgun is a very personal choice, and the manufacturers, both of the handguns and the aftermarket vendors, keep us ably supplied with grips.  I would no more try to tell someone which grip to use than I would try to tell them which underwear to wear.  It's that personal.

Milady has small hands, and she's been looking for grips that give her the best advantage with ther Vaquero, in the CFDA game.  Severeal weeks ago, she tried a pair of grips that someone had, and loved them.  They looked like custom grips, but the guy told me that they were simple, Ruger gunfighter grips.  The rubber, checkered grips.  All he did to them was sand off the checkering then paint them the color that he liked, which was high-gloss black.

Milady's revolver came with Ruger rosewood grips, but those were just a bit big for her hand.  She wanted slimmer grips and she like the sanded gunfighter grips.  So, we arranged for a swap from a club member who had admired the rosewood and had an extra pair of gunfighters laying around.

That's her pistol, on top with the gunfighter grips, and mine on bottom with the rosewoods.  This week we'll see about getting the checkering sanded off those grips and let her pick a nice color that will complement her stainless pistol.

Roxbury Shooting

It seems that yesterday while I was working, a good cop in Boston was injured in a shooting.  This police officer, John Moynihan was honored in 2013 at the White House.  He received the Top Cop award for his role in Boston Marathon manhunt.  Evidently, he was on a traffic stop yesterday that went bad.
The situation began when officers with the city’s Youth Violence Task Force pulled over a vehicle near the intersection of Humboldt Avenue and Ruthven Street, Evans said. As officers exited their car, a man in the pulled-over vehicle got out and opened fire.
Officer Moynihan took a bullet to the face, and he's in critical condition at the hospital.
Evans said in a news conference at the hospital Friday evening that Moynihan was responsive when he first arrived. The shooting occurred around 6:40 p.m. 
 “But he’s in... basically an induced coma at this time and they’re examining the extent of his injuries,” Evans said.
The guy that opened fire was killed at the scene.

So, let's review.  The cop makes a traffic stop, the guy gets out of the car and starts shooting.  One cop critically injured, the shooter dead at the scene.  Of course, the shooter happens to be a black guy, so the Twitter-verse explodes.

 I'm sure that the police were moving slowly, getting it right, collecting evidence, documenting the scene.  As the scene unfolds for us, and we learn more about the shooter, I'm sure that we'll learn who he was and more about his history.  I'm sure that he'll be portrayed as a choirboy with a shining future who was brutally murdered in the streets by the racist Boston Police Department.  All information that doesn't trumpet this line will be suppressed and will trickle out slowly.

I'll be praying for Officer Moynihan, along with the others on my prayer list.  While I'm at it, I'll also pray for the leftist Twitter users who are first to portray the police as murderous racists.  Those people make me sick.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Afternoon

It's time for a palate cleanser, so we'll watch some great American past-times, all rolled together in one YouTube video.

Mike Rowe (who is an accomplished opera singer), singing the National Anthem, at a baseball park.



This is great stuff.  Mike Rowe, a great American, singing US Grant's favorite song, at a game invented by Abner Doubleday.

This is why we win.  USA! USA! USA!

Y'all have a great weekend.

Finally Friday

It's finally Friday, and I realize I didn't post at all yesterday.  Still, the news this morning is interesting.

Harry Reid is calling it quits.  Not immediately, of course, but this is good news for us, and good news for Nevada.

Some fool launched a machete attack in New Orleans.He's dead now, of course, being shot to death by a responding sheriff's deputy.  Hooray for the good guys.

Milady has instructed me that I'll make myself presentable for supper with friends this evening, and I'm okay with that.  I'll put on a clean shirt and leather shoes so as not to embarrass her.  Tomorrow, it's Cowboy Fast Draw for an organziation meeting at the club.  We're trying to get affiliated with the national organization, and it looks like we're ready to make application.

Y'all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Benevolent Sexism

Benevolent Sexism, whatever in the hell that is.  It must be a slow news cycle, because this is the second such study I've seen in as many days.
I’m talking about the recent “study” conducted at Northeastern University by Judith Hall and Jin Goh, which claims to prove that men who exhibit chivalrous behavior are probably “benevolent sexists.” “Benevolent sexism is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing that perpetuates support for gender inequality among women,” explains Hall. In other words, if a man holds the door for you or picks up the tab on your first date, watch out!! You can be certain he’s secretly plotting all the while to perpetuate the patriarchy and enslave you in domestic bliss. He might even tell you he thinks you look nice in that dress! The nerve!
I assume that the two students got class credit of some sort for this study, or it might have been a published study by faculty, I"m not sure.  Either way, it was a waste of money.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Just My Style

Courtesy of my old friend Old NFO, we learn that Glock has introduced it's much bally-hooed single stack 9mm, and they're calling it the Glock 43.  Great news, now that I've purchased two Cowboy revolvers.  I was just thinking this morning over my pre-dawn coffee that I had probably purchased all t he handguns that I was going to purchase this year.

That's a screen capture from the Glock website, and you can click over to see the specs.

I'm certainly not in the market right now, but I bet that I'll be coon-fingering one before too many months are over.  I wonder if it will fit in a blue-jean pocket?

Chivalry Isn't Dead

Chivalry isn't dead, but it has taken a pretty severe beating, especially in liberal enclaves.  One writer at PJ Media decries the men in her social group.
We live in a society where lots of men do not pay. Not only do they fail to pay for the women with whom they go on a date, they increasingly do not even pay for themselves.
The men afflicted with this syndrome tend to be young, and are usually under the age of forty. Those who suffer most severely tend to be products of the nation’s top universities or respectable urban workplaces—where political correctness and leftwing ideology regularly trample over concepts such as chivalry and honor. At these institutions, the worst thing that could happen is to be perceived as racist, sexist or homophobic. Being a weasel that does not pay is not considered a source of embarrassment.
She brings up chivalry and honor, so let me ask a simple question; If the men in your life have neither chivalry nor honor, why do you associate with those men? Why are they in your life?

And, one observation:  Chivalry is a code which demands standards of conduct from both men and women.  If women have jumped the traces, why should men remain in harness?  The social contract is both voluntary and enforceable.  We are known by the company we keep, and if your associates do not reflect your values, then feel free to change your associations.  It's really that simple.

The writer does admit that there are men who still maintain the code.
Thankfully, plenty of men in the modern era still pay. They range from older gentlemen who hail from an era that emphasized values, to younger ones who were raised by families that continue to uphold norms long abandoned by the university or the modern workplace. They also range from those who engage in professions that are intrinsically tied to honor—such as the military and law enforcement—to those who live in parts of the country that still believe in an etiquette code.
I would suggest that she limit her associations to men who act in the manner in which she'd like to be treated, but I caution her that such men also expect certain standards from the ladies that they escort.

Monday, March 23, 2015

What Time Is It?

I see that some states are considering dropping Daylight Savings Time, or more accurately, picking a time and opting out of the twice yearly clock change. From Hot Air:
Elected officials in 10 states have proposed legislation that would opt their states out of daylight saving time including Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.
Frankly, we've been changing the clocks for the better part of my lifetime, and for the entire lifetimes of my children.   I've heard the arguments for and against, and I have to admit that the arguments on both sides are generally over-blown.  The real argument is that changing is simply a pain in the butt, but it is one that we've grown accustomed to.  It's also a practice that generally pisses people off twice a year, for a day or so, then we adjust and move along.

The argument of a "standard time for states is also overblown.  Several states have parts of their acreage in two time zones.
And the fact that we have multiple time zones in the country already provides for more than enough confusion. Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee are all broken up into sections which are in the eastern and central time zones. You can literally travel from one place to another without crossing a state line and have the clock change on you. But, again, we somehow manage to get business done without the world ending. People on the east coast know they have to wait a few hours in the morning before they can call a business in California and find anyone in the office. It’s a big country and we adjust to things like this.
Indeed, I used to live in Kentucky, which is in both the eastern and central time zones.  It was a simple mental shift when you crossed that time zone line, not a huge problem, just something to be aware of.

I'm all for picking a time and sticking with it, summer or winter, rain or shine.  We're a nation of time zones, and if I don't have to change my clock twice a year, that's a good thing.  Let the states decide.

Questions, Questions

Regular readers know that I've been handloading rifle and pistol ammo for several decades.  With cast bullets, fit is king.  A bullet that is properly fitted to the bore is more likely to shoot accurately.  T his is not news and is well documented.

Recently, Milady and I started fast-draw shooting with the good guys down at the Lucky 4B Ranch.  This is also not news to regular readers, but the old handloader in me started pondering the things that handloaders ponder, and I started thinking about wax bullets.  When we started shooting, I bought a bunch of the E-Z loader wax bullets, so that's what I have to work with, and they load easy in the casings and they seem to shoot just fine.

Folks have asked me, "Don't you get wax in your barrel?", and I guess I do, but cast bullet shooters have been coating bullets with wax or grease for hundreds of years.  They call it lube, and you're crazy to shoot an un-lubed bullet down your barrel.  In this case, the whole bullet is lube, and I haven't noticed any real fouling to speak of.

But I was concerned about the bullet catching the rifling, and because the bullets normally shatter when they hit the steel target, so I didn't find any bullets that I could examine.  On Sunday, though, I was letting the family shoot and one of the grandkids shot and missed, and I saw the bullet rebound off the 4X4 fence post nearby.  At the first opportunity, I found it in the grass and looked at it.

Those bullets mic' about 0.447 and we all know that the bore of a .45 Long Colt calls for a 0.452 bullet, so I was concerned about the bullet catching the rifling.  I knew that the shotgun primer that propelled the wax bullet was fairly low pressure, as pistol ammo goes, but I didn't know if that primer had enough energy to obdurate the bullet in the bore, provide a good seal, and give the bullet stability.

That bullet I found laying in the grass tells the tale.  Plainly, there are rifling marks on the bullet. The bullet is clearly engaging the bore.  That bevel on the base of the bullet is the base of the bullet and the destroyed portion is the nose of the bullet.  I see fouling on the grooves, so I'm not sure if the bullet is fully filling the bore, but the first of my questions is answered.  Yes, wax bullets engage the rifling of the bore.

Clearly, more study is in order, but I'm sure I'll have time to study those questions.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Morning Dawg

Busy day yesterday.  Milady and I got up dawnish, to rain and dreariness.  She helped me on the bench, clipping the springs in the Vaqueros to make them easier to cock.  A few coils off the mainspring and the first revolver went back together easy-peasy.  Started on the second one and ran into trouble.  I took that gun down half a dozen times, and each time we'd get the pistol back together, it would be locked up.  Tear down, check alignment, reassemble.

We had an appointment at 11:30 to meet for lunch with my mother, aunt, and cousins, so as I ran up on the deadline, we packed everything away then I jumped into the shower.  We got to the restaurant in the nick of time, enjoyed a thoroughly wonderful meal with kinfolks, then Milady and I headed to the Lucky 4B Ranch in Melder for the club shoot.

Wen we got to the ranch, the shoot was already in progress, so we got in line and started visiting with the club members.  I mentioned that I had successfully lightened the spring on one revolver, but the other one had locked-up, and the president, Big Mark, looked at it.  While I was on the line, he fixed it and it's running smooth as silk now.  Thanks, Mark.

After the shoot, we headed to Milady's brother's house for drinks and a meal.  Visited with some friends and got home about 9:00 last night.  I didn't turn the computer on all day long.  We awoke to another day of dreariness, misting rain and cloudy skies.  The dog, of course, prefers to stay at Milady's feet while she drinks her coffee.

He and the gray cat are always vying for Milady's attention, so they're always underfoot.  Milady and I will get ready for church soon, and prep for grandkids to descend on us after church.  Today, we're cooking tacos.  It should be quite the meal.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Too Much Weirdness

There's too much weirdness in the news these days.

Someone has launched a Draft Biden website.

Glynn Beck says he's leaving the Republican Party, and most of his reasoning makes sense.  Why be the opposition, if you're not going to actually oppose anything?

Hillary thinks we need camps for adults, and I'm still trying to figure that one out.  Re-education camps?  What the hell is she talking about?

I'm worn out with political news, none of it makes much sense.  I'm thinking about changing the whole tone of this blog, away from politics.  It's getting too weird, it doesn't make any sense, and the idea that I might actually cause any of our political leaders to actually stand up for the Constitution is too farfetched for a rational person to contemplate.

It's Friday, and I'm going to go someplace quiet and have a beer.  Y'all be good and try to enjoy what's left of Friday afternoon.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Boots

I've been buying boots for a long time.  I get a new pair of uniform boots every year, and I know what they cost, but I haven't bought casual boots in almost fifteen years.  I had several pair of old casual boots in the closet, so I tried them on last night, and they didn't fit.  I've worn a size 10D since the Army, and I didn't think my feet were getting any bigger, but there's no accounting for the fact that I couldn't get my feet in the boots.

So, today after work I went to Economy Boots, a shop I've dealt with for years.  A salesman named T-Bone helped me size some boots, and it appears that nowadays I need a 10.5EE.  At my advanced age, I figured my feet would have stopped growing, but evidently they're spreading out.  We finally found a pair of boots that I could get my feet in, and when he showed me the price tag, I just about fell over.  But, they're comfortable, I'm going to need boots for Fort Worth next month.

So, anyway, I walked into Economy Boots and told the salesman I needed some boots.  We started to fit me, and wound up with a pair of Justin Bent Rail square toe boots.  I almost fell over when he told me $179.00, but they fit, were comfortable and even if the uppers are a little gaudy, I normally wear my pants over the uppers.

I beat the Amazon price and I got to try them on, so I'll call that a win.  Hopefully, these will last several years. Evidently, western boots cost more than they did twenty years ago.  What happened to $40.00 ropers?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Getting Ready

Our progress on the wax-bullet shooting continues to move apace, and Milady and I are really enjoying this game.  We plan to attend the Texas State Championship shoot on April 10-12th, not because either of us are championship shooters, but because it sounds like fun, my cousin's club is hosting it, and it's a good excuse for a weekend out of town with my sweetie.  I told my cousin that we'd be happy to help and I bet that he's going to put us to work at one task or another.

My son took this picture Sunday last, and I think it's awesome.  Milady is properly heeled, with a smile on her face and her hand on her gun.

Now, she's looking for wardrobe.  A lady can't show up at a state championship shoot in just any old rags.  The revolver, of course, is a Ruger Vaquero and the leather is a custom rig by Crease N' Corral.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Proper Target

The CFDA requires that their targets be mild steel, 24" in diameter, the center 50" from the ground.  Milady and I needed a practice target so that we could get our act together between practice matches. After doing some shooting this weekend with family, we determined to install a proper practice target.  A family member said he could probably help us with that.


I found it in my rocking chair when I came home this afternoon, so Milady and I installed it on the board fence in the corner of the yard.

Thanks, Matt.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Afternoon

Finally, a day with sunshine and moderate temperatures.  I fired up the grill after church and fixed hand-flung hamburgers.  The old-fashioned kind that are patted out by hand, from good ground beef, lovingly seasoned and fashioned.

We brought out Milady's new pistol and let the assembled run some wax bullets through it.  It runs on shotgun primers alone, so there's a little pop and the wax bullet hits the target.  Pretty cool, and the little ones can participate.  Better yet, we can fire it in the backyard.

Here's the littlest one, Lucas, running grandma's Vaquero with wax bullet ammunition.

Sunday Morning Dawg

The dog looks about the way I feel this morning.  Busy Saturday and not much rest. The weather has been lousy all week, and we haven't gotten to be outside much at all.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate this week, and we can get outside more.  Lots to do out there, and it's hard to do when it's raining.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday Slowing Down

Milady and I have been busier than two cats in a sandbox today, but it's toddy-time and we're slowing down.  Some family and friends coming over soon and I've taken the steaks out to get to room temperature before I put them on the grill.


Durned little ole ribieyes, the average about a pound apiece.  They've been marinating in good creole seasoning for two days.  I told the company to get here about 5:00, we'd have an aperitif and put the steaks on about 6:00, with taters and salad.

Steak, taters and salad.  It's what's fer supper.

Saturday - Busy

Running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I start clearing tabs, and find this bit of humor.

Heh!  Hat tip to David, who sent it to me.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Ruger Vaquero

The Ruger Vaquero is the cowboy gun of the Ruger single-action lineup, and it's a very capable revolver.  They're used a lot in Cowboy Action Shooting and they're also used a lot in Cowboy Fast Draw.  We've been spending some Saturdays with the local fast draw club, and since Milady's birthday is later this month, I figured that she needed her own revolver, suitable for the cowboy game.  Today, I picked up a Ruger Vaquero, in .45 Long Colt.


Now, she's got her very own fast draw rig.  We'll have to do some practicing, as soon as the special ammo shows up on the Brown Truck.  But, because it's wax bullets and shotgun primers, we can do that practicing in the back yard.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Breaking - Officers Down

Breaking news, but it appears that two police officers were wounded last night in Ferguson Missouri as a protest was ending.
Two police officers in the US flashpoint town of Ferguson were shot early on Thursday during the latest protest over the treatment of black people by the mainly white police force.
 One officer was shot in the face and the other in the shoulder as a protest rally outside the police station in the Missouri town was dispersing, Jon Belmar, St. Louis County police chief, told reporters.
He said the officers were conscious but that their injuries were serious.
I'll be following this throughout the day, but it appears that the shots came from outside the protest, which as disbanding.  Some are calling it an ambush.  No word yet on the caliber or type of weapon used. Again, it appers that the protest was disbanding and that this was someone on the outside of the protest.

My prayers and thoughts to the officers and family involved.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

This Email Mess

I've been watching Hillary's self-inflicted email mess and it's easy to get wrapped up in the minute-by-minute coverage, but several thoughts emerge.

First, she did this to herself, out of her need for privacy.  It's one thing to be a private citizen in this country, to enjoy the benefits of the economy, to make money, to have a semblance of privacy in your daily dealings with associates and loved ones.  It's something else entirely to be a public citizen, a public official, and I believe that the office of Secretary of State is decidedly a public office.  If she didn't want the scrutiny, she shouldn't have taken the office.  Once she took the office, she had a responsibility to be accountable and reasonably transparent.  She failed miserably in that responsibility.

Second.  It's going to be easy for the Republicans to overstep; to turn this god-send into a liability.  Hillary is on the ropes, but this isn't the first time she's been on the ropes, and if there is a consummate politician anywhere in the United States, Hillary ranks among the first two or three.  If the Republicans push too hard, we risk losing the value of the scandal.  The usual suspects are already spinning the response.  Let's not overdo it and lose the argument.

Third.  It's a long way to 2016.  The pundits are already talking like we're there, but Clinton hasn't even launched her campaign yet.  It's eighteen months until the general election.  Lots of things can happen in that timeframe.  Don't count Hillary out yet.  Let the various news outlets do their job, and I see with some amusement that the AP has filed suit to look at the email server.

Fourth, I wonder how one "Lerners" an entire email server?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Unexplained

There are unexplained things in this world and the religious among us will tell us that we see through a glass, darkly.  As a police officer I've seen and heard things I can't explain, none as dramatic as this news item that pauses us to reflect.
Four police officers rushing to an overturned car in an icy Utah river say they all heard the same thing: a mysterious female voice calling out “Help,” from inside the vehicle.
All four say they heard it, and there's nothing as compelling to a police officer as a cry for help.
 But the driver of the car was dead and her 18-month-old daughter, while still alive, couldn’t have been the speaker.
If the woman was dead, that's tragic, but the baby is alive, but who was calling for help?
It was a mystery that continues to haunt the officers – and may never be explained. 
There are many things that we cannot explain, but I am convinced that angels live among us.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Those Emails.

Hillary released some emails, just as she said.  Sure she did.  Printed them out and couriered them to the State Department.  55,000 pages of them.
It turns out the reference is to literal physical pages. From Friday’s Times: “Finally, in December, dozens of boxes filled with 50,000 pages of printed emails from Mrs. Clinton’s personal account were delivered to the State Department.”
That's rich, and we wonder what is hiding in those boxes of paper.  If she was truly giving the American voter a big "Screw You" she would have printed them on an old dot-matrix printer, with fan-fold paper.  The chutzpah of the woman is incredible.
Why did Mrs. Clinton have her staff go through the trouble of printing out, boxing and shipping 50,000 or 55,000 pages instead of just sending a copy of the electronic record? One can only speculate, but there is an obvious advantage: Printed files are less informative and far harder to search than the electronic originals.
It's certainly harder to search them, but they're easily archived.  Just put the boxes in a cabinet, appropriately marked, and the archiving is done.

She wants to be President of a millennial United States?  Printing out emails?  That, more than anything else should disqualify her.  Of course, she's a worn-out retread from Two discredited administrations (her husband's and Obamas).  We're ready for Hillary.

He Didn't Know

Our President, the Lightworker, the guy who was going to make the seas subside, didn't knw that Hillary was using a private email server until he heard it on the news.  Really?
From the IRS targeting scandal, to Fast and Furious, to the Veterans Affairs controversy, to the Department of Justice’s monitoring of journalists; if the scandal has the power to hurt the administration, the supposedly omni-competent Barack Obama instantly devolves into a witless babe and a victim of his overprotective staff. The president, we are told, learned about all of these and other serious scandals from the news media.
If I were the President of the United States, and learned of any of these problems from the evening news, probably sitting on the couch with Milady, I'd fire the whole damned bunch of people who are supposed to be keeping me informed.  Every damned one of them, through several levels of responsibility.
When asked directly about Clinton’s scandalous behavior by CBS reporter Bill Plante, Obama insisted that he was informed of it “at the same time everybody else learned it: Through news reports.” 
If I leaned that a Cabinet member had been violating federal law, the sacking would be immediate and rhetorically bloody.  If I found out about something like this on the evening news, the reverberations would be felt and recorded on every siesmograph of the USGS.

Our President has shown himself on several occasions to be a complete and total idiot, because he doesn't hire staff that keeps him informed.  Worse, he doesn't fire staff who fails to keep him informed.

Either way, he's a damned idiot, a piss-poor manager, and a horrible executive.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Vehicle Registration

Couple of weeks ago, I got my vehicle registration forms in the mail.  Forgot about them.  Dug them out today, while looking for something else, and realized that the registration on my work car expired on 2/28/2015.  Oh, crap, I've got to go to the DMV tomorrow.

Until I realized I could register my vehicle online.  I went to the DMV website, renewed my registration, paid the late fee, and printed a receipt for the glovebox, in case one of my brethren wants to write me a ticket for having an expired license plate.  The DMV promises me that they'll send me a new regisration and a sticker for my license plate, posthaste.  Sure they will.

But, I didn't have to go sit in the DMV office for an hour.  That's a benefit.  We'll see how long it takes them to send the new sticker.  I'm not holding my breath.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Poor Ol' Hillary

Six months ago, she was riding high, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the next presidential cycle.  Now, questions emerge.  Concurrent, overlapping scandals purely of her own making.  It seems that the Clinton Foundation took money from overseas interests while she was Secretary of State, and it seems that she violated her own rules, and maybe federal law by using a personal email address to conduct official business during that time.  Other folks are noticing.
Clinton's allies are already insisting the email story—that Clinton exclusively used her personal email address while at the State Department—is a nothing-burger. It isn't news. It will blow over after conservatives have had their 48 hours of outrage. After all, it's unclear whether Clinton actually violated any rules! Move along, nothing to see here.
She has huge name identification, she has quite a history of political activism, she is the front-runner in her party right now, but lots of things can change between now and the nomination,   She also has a list of scandals dogging her, and we're beginning to learn that most of them are of her own making.

White House Travel Office
Benghazi
Whitewater,
Wikileaks
Email
Equal pay in her organization.

Let's not forget who she's married to, the only president successfully impeached in the US history.  Hillary has a lot of baggage, and not much of it is good, especially if you remember a guy named Vince Foster.

She has no idea what transparency means.  She has a bunker mentality, Her husband hangs out with pedophiles.  That's a lot of baggage to overcome.

Six months ago, she was a shoe-in.  Now, people are starting to ask questions.

For the record, Hillary isn't campaigning for my vote.  She'll never get it.  But, other folks are asking whether they want to vote for someone with as much history of scandal, and concurrent, overlapping scandals that speak to her executive ability.  If not Hillary, then who's on deck?  The next few months might be very interesting.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Goblin Down

In what might have been a horrific story, a woman successfully defended herself when her ex-boyfriend broke into her house late Tuesday.
Lake County woman says she was forced to open fire on an ex-boyfriend who was trying to break into her home. 
It seems that the woman asked the judge for a restraining order, claiming that she was being stalked and harassed, but he refused the order.
The judge denied her petition for an injunction, saying Webb had failed to prove her case and that the stalking complaints needed to be handled by deputies. 
As it turns out, a restraining order is sometimes ignored by the stalker.  The woman was wise to make other arrangements for her defense.  Perhaps now the judge will take her claims seriously and send the stalker away for a long term of unpaid employment with the state. If he survives.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Sleet

It's been sleeting since daylight, but we may have dodged a huge bullet because it appears that the ground soaked up a lot of warmth over the past few days.  Hopefully, this is winter's last blast and after this storm passes we'll start a warming trend that will continue until August.

The School Board did good, closing schools today.  Many state offices are closed and the weather is truly crappy out there.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

School's Closed

It seems that school is closed locally, at least for tomorrow.  That winter storm that's rolling though later tonite is supposed to bring high winds, freezing rain and sleet during the morning drive hours.  We're shut down, dead in the water.

If it's bad, PawPaw will stay home.  If it's not bad, I'll try to get some shooting in.

Scout Project

The Scout project is moving along nicely.  The brown truck of happiness came in yesterday while I was at work and when I came in long after dark, I decided to open the package and mount the new optic.  In about half of an hour I had it mounted

That's the Burris 2.75 Scout scope with Leupold medium rifleman rings.  I hesitated when I ordered the rings, because I didn't know if the medium would be too high, but there is barely a 1/32d sliver of light under the ocular end of the scope.  I think I ordered exactly the right height.  I get a good cheek weld when I shoulder the rifle and the crosshairs are bright and clear.

I'll play with it more today when I get off work, but I intend to sight it in this weekend, weather permitting.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Boehner Caves

Of course he does, it's what he does best.  The title to this post might be Boehner Caves Again, but it would start to become redundant.  What did he cave about this time?  DHS funding.  You can go to the link to read all the dirty intrigue, but the simple answer is that Boehner bluffed, Obama called his hand, and Boehner folded.  Just like always.

Boehner is a gutless wonder who won't stand up for conservative principles.  McConnell presudes over a clown show running the Senate.  President Obama has a good gig.  Sign a couple of executive orders in the morning, play a round of golf in the afternoon.  Not a bad deal at all.  There's no one to stop him, not with Boehner and McConnell running the congress.

Allahpundit gives a pretty good rundown at the link above, but he misses one key point.
The only remaining check on Obama is the courts. If that wasn’t already painfully clear before today, it is now.
Who?  John Roberts?  Surely you jest.  Roberts isn't going to stop Obama from doing anything, much less letting several million illegal immigrants stay here forever.   In the several years it will take this to work through the Courts, immigrants will be voting, drawing Social Security, and getting elected to government office.  Do you think for a second that Roberts will stop it?  Can you say Affordable Care Act?  Roberts ins't going to stop Obama from doing anything.

I'm not sure now why we elected a Republican Congress.  They don't seem to be good at doing anything, other than bending over for the president.

UPDATE** It passed, 257-167.  75 Republicans and every Democrat voting for the measure.   Every one of the Nays was a Republican.  John Boehner is now  the Democratis Speaker of the House.

Fatality

When I was a street cop, I hated working fatalities.  Truly, I did.  They were messy, they were traumatic, and most of the time, they were avoidable.  We went through the motions and did our investigation, and we tried to comfort the survivors, but the cold fact is that their life has changed, permanently changed, in an instant.  A loved one is gone and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

I read this report on our local Sheriff's facebook page.

It brought me back to a fatality I worked when I was supervising the MPs at one post.  A soldier had been walking on the tracks, late at night.  From all indications he had been downtown partying and knew that the railroad tracks went near his barracks, so he decided to walk the tracks four miles to the barracks.

We got the call and rolled on it, and when I got there a young E-5 was doing his investigation, so I stayed long enough to make sure that he had the assets he needed then left him to do his job.  The next morning, I grabbed the report to review it.  The narrative portion of the report said, in its entirety.
Service-member was walking between the railroad tracks when he failed to observe a southbound freight train.
That's the most concise narrative of a fatality that I've ever seen, and I couldn't find a thing wrong with it.

My condolences to everyone involved.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Tracking

It's interesting living in the digital age.  I remember ordering stuff when we were kids, and we'd wait by the mail box for several weeks, waiting for it to show up, and eventually, the package would come and we'd be elated, like a kid at Christmas-time.  Just the very idea that someone in Waseca, MN had gotten our order form, had filled the order and sent it back to a kid all the way down in Louisiana was magical to me.

Nowadays, we have Tracking, which tells us at a glance where our package is.  For example, I ordered something from Midway USA last week, and they sent me a tracking number.  You've all seen them.

I've known for two or three days that the expected delivery date was March 2nd, so I came straight home, looking for my package.  No joy, no joy at all.  Their expected delivery is late.  Too bad for PawPaw.  He'll just have to wait another day or so.

A small disappointment as things go, and I won't get a chance to play with the new toy until the weekend, but I had my expectations high. This new technology is great, but sometimes I prefer the old method of watching and wondering.

Fish as Tangible Objects

It's come to this.  Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that fish are not tangible objects. In doing so, they remanded a case that had been sent to them on appeal.  It's a convoluted tale of a fisherman catching undersized fish, a federal officer finding them, then the fisherman throwing them overboard, destroying the evidence, and his being convicted in federal court of destroying the evidence.

It seems pretty clear-cut to me, but not to the esteemed legal minds on our highest bench.  No, in a split 5-4 decision (Chief Justice Roberts joining), they have declared that fish are not tangible objects. I'm sure that this will come as some surprise to the fish.  It certainly comes as a surprise to me.  However, Madam Justice Ginsberg says that words might mean on thing in one context and something else entirely in another context.
In the Yates case, the majority decided that the term “tangible object” should be interpreted in the context of Sarbanes-Oxley, a statute aimed at preventing the disposal of records, documents, and other items that preserve information. Writing for herself and three colleagues, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg acknowledged fish might sometimes be understood to be tangible objects. “Ordinarily,” she wrote, “a word’s usage accords with its dictionary definition. In law as in life, however, the same words, placed in different contexts, sometimes mean different things.” In this context, she added, Congress didn’t intend to punish rogue fishermen under Sarbanes-Oxley.
Mr. Justice Roberts joined that opinion, which speaks volumes to the man's credibility as a sharp thinker.  Words have meaning.  While I agree that Congress might not have intended to prosecute fishemen under Sarbannes-Oxley, the idea that fish are not tangible objects is laughable on its face.

Regular readers will remember my contempt for the Chief Justice.  Appointed by President Bush as a stalwart conservative, the man sided with the administration on the Obamacare case, telling us that a tax was not a tax, or some such nonsense. The intervening years have done nothing to temper my distain for the man.   Now we learn that  a fish is not a tangible object.  We've entered the age of newspeak.

This may not mean much to you, and may be viewed as a whimsical distration, until you realize that later this week, the court will hear arguments in King v Burwell, which hinges on the language of the Afforable Care Act (Obamacare), and whether legislative language means what it says.  Granted, if the Court comes down on the side of plain English, that ruling might gut the law in about half the states.  That should not concern the Court, but in Roberts case, nothing is as it seems to be.  He'll do backflips and cartwheels to please his masters.

So, the Administration has nothing to fear from Roberts, who pays fealty to liberal principles, ignores common English, and doesn't own a dictionary.  Words only mean what the Court says they mean.  Today, in this context.  Those same words might mean something completely different next week.

I fart in the general direction direction of the Roberts court.  If I ever get the opportunity, I intend to piss down his leg.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Overdue

I see that our President has honored a soldier from the Viet Nam era, retired Command Sergeant Major Bennie Adkins, with the Medal of Honor.  The citation reads:
Sergeant First Class Bennie G. Adkins distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Intelligence Sergeant with Detachment A-102, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces, during combat operations against an armed enemy at Camp A Shau, Republic of Vietnam, from March 9 to 12, 1966.
 When the camp was attacked by a large North Vietnamese and Viet Cong force in the early morning hours, Sergeant First Class Adkins rushed through intense enemy fire and manned a mortar position continually adjusting fire for the camp, despite incurring wounds as the mortar pit received several direct hits from enemy mortars. Upon learning that several soldiers were wounded near the center of camp, he temporarily turned the mortar over to another soldier, ran through exploding mortar rounds, and dragged several comrades to safety.
As the hostile fire subsided, Sergeant First Class Adkins exposed himself to sporadic sniper fire while carrying his wounded comrades to the camp dispensary. When Sergeant First Class Adkins and his group of defenders came under heavy small arms fire from members of the Civilian Irregular Defense Group that had defected to fight with the North Vietnamese, he maneuvered outside the camp to evacuate a seriously wounded American and draw fire, all the while successfully covering the rescue. When a resupply air drop landed outside of the camp perimeter, Sergeant First Class Adkins, again, moved outside of the camp walls to retrieve the much-needed supplies. 
 During the early morning hours of March 10, 1966, enemy forces launched their main attack and within two hours, Sergeant First Class Adkins was the only man firing a mortar weapon. When all mortar rounds were expended, Sergeant First Class Adkins began placing effective recoilless rifle fire upon enemy positions. Despite receiving additional wounds from enemy rounds exploding on his position, Sergeant First Class Adkins fought off intense waves of attacking Viet Cong. Sergeant First Class Adkins eliminated numerous insurgents with small arms fire after withdrawing to a communications bunker with several soldiers. Running extremely low on ammunition, he returned to the mortar pit, gathered vital ammunition and ran through intense fire back to the bunker.
 After being ordered to evacuate the camp, Sergeant First Class Adkins and a small group of soldiers destroyed all signal equipment and classified documents, dug their way out of the rear of the bunker and fought their way out of the camp. While carrying a wounded soldier to the extraction point he learned that the last helicopter had already departed.
 Sergeant First Class Adkins led the group while evading the enemy until they were rescued by helicopter on March 12, 1966. During the 38-hour battle and 48 hours of escape and evasion, fighting with mortars, machine guns, recoilless rifles, small arms, and hand grenades, it was estimated that Sergeant First Class Adkins had killed between 135 and 175 of the enemy while sustaining 18 different wounds to his body.
Sergeant First Class Adkins’ extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Detachment A-102, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces and the United States Army.
Where do we find men such as this?  38-hour battle, 48-hours of evasion, wounded 18 times, and led his soldiers out.  Oh, the citation doesn't mention that his team was stalked by a tiger during the evasion.  In the Seargent Major's words:
"The North Vietnamese soldiers had us surrounded on a little hilltop and everything started getting kind of quiet," Adkins is quoted as saying in an Army report. "We could look around and all at once, all we could see were eyes going around us. It was a tiger that stalked us that night. We were all bloody and in this jungle, the tiger stalked us and the North Vietnamese soldiers were more afraid of the tiger than they were of us. So, they backed off some and we were (able to escape)."
I am humbled to know such men exist.

Sunday Morning Dawg

The dog's moving around, as are we all on this busy weekend.  The weather is fair, but they're calling for rain later, so the dog has to get his exercise where he can.

He's kind of blurry, but he's supervising cats, which takes a lot of movement.  We've got church this morning, the kids coming for lunch (pulled pork sammiches), and we're hosting a birthday party after lunch.  It's a busy weekend, and the dog is matching us step-for-sep.