Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wax Bullets, Again

Theother Ryan asks a question in comments to the previous post.
You have me curious about this hobby. It seems like reasonably affordable fun. Can a guy shoot .38/.357 in this game? Obviously from an SA revolver. Spending 4-5 bills on a gun to play with is not too bad but That way I would not add a new caliber which is unpalatable to me. 
Good question, Ryan, and no, you can't play the Cowboy Fast Draw Association game with out a single action revolver in .45 Long Colt.  But, we'll explore that question later and the reasons for it.  The simple fact of the matter is that I was playing with wax bullets for a long time before I ever heard of the CFDA.  Using wax bullets is a great way to train in your backyard, in virtually any city in the US.  Common gun-handling skills are accentuated, and with just a modicum of equipment you can be shooting wax bullets in any caliber before the end of the day.

There is a great American Rifleman article  on shooting wax bullets at this link.

I've shot wax  through .38/357, .44 Special/.45 ACP, and could probably, in just a few minutes, build some for the 9mm.   For revolver cartridges, you have to drill out the primer pocket.  I normally use a small bit to ream out the flash hole so that the primer doesn't flow back and tie up the gun.  Mark those brass and use them only for wax.  If you ever reload them with a standard charge, you may create unsafe pressures that will damage you or your gun.

For autos, it's simpler.  There is not enough recoil impulse in the wax bullet load to cycle the mechanism, so the gun becomes, for all intents and purposes, a single shot.  However, that's great as the act of drawing and hitting are often a single shot event.

I assume you own a cell phone, as many of us do in this day and age, so you don't even need to buy a timer.  There's anapp for that. I use the IPSC Shot Timer, which is free and does a good job recording times from the draw signal to the sound of the shot.

SO, let's say that you want to train in the backyard.  Load some wax in your 9mm brass, download the app, hang a bed sheet in the back yard.  Put a target in front of it.  Load one wax bullet cartridge in your Glock.  When the timer beeps, draw and fire one round.  Now, you have a time.  Cycle the pistol manually, get set for the second shot, lather, rinse, repeat.  If some of your buddies are around, show them how cool it is to shoot in the backyard.

Can you draw from cover and hit a target with one round, in less than a second?  It's a lot harder than it sounds, and wax bullets are one way to train in almost any locale.  I recommend wax bullet shooting, it's a great way to teach new shooters about our sport.  It's relatively safe, low recoil, low noise, and wonderful fun.

Monday, June 29, 2015


Regular readers know my fondness for the CFDA game, where we shoot wax bullets at steel targets.  I've built a range in my backyard, and simply scrolling down will show plenty of photos of me and the family shooting in the back yard.  My targets are against a board fence, and while the bullets don't penetrate the fence, they are tough on it.  That fence has a lot of divots in it.

Practicing this morning, I couldn't find the target, and I couldn't judge my misses.  Frustrating.  I learned a long time ago that I learn more from my misses (in any shooting discipline) than I do from my hits.  If I hit the target, whether it is a two-foot steel plate at 21 feet, or a nine-inch AR500 target at 300 yards, if I hit it, I did everything right.  We've got to know where we're missing so that we can made adjustments and increase our accuracy.  Knowing about your misses is crucial, and I was getting no education from my misses on that wood fence.

A couple of weeks ago, my metal-working son told me about something called a "drop".  It's cut from the end of a sheet of metal, and is sold as scrap.  So, today I went down to Alexandria Iron, inquiring about "drops".  Sure enough, they had them, in 12 gauge metal.  Perfect.  I bought the three they had, and came home.  Inside of an hour, I had installed them behind one of our targets.

After installation, I added a quick coat of while lithium grease, then strapped on my revolver.  I've got a lot of work to do, but now I can start fine-tuning my draw.  The Southern Territorials is three weeks away.

Lock-Step Justice

When we consider the Supreme Court, we're talking about nine people, all successful lawyers and (as it turns out), educated at just two schools.  Harvard or Yale.  Generally, they divide into three camps, and you'll see each of them described as either liberal, conservative, or independent.  It normally shakes out like this"

Conservatives: Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts
Liberals: Breyer, Sotomayer, Ginsburg, and Kagan
Independent: Kennedy.

I consider Roberts an independent, because his record certainly doesn't indicate that he's conservative.  However, he's normally listed int he conservative camp, simply because he was nominated by George W. Bush.  So be it.

Dissent is patriotic and last week we saw withering dissents from Justice Scalia.  He is noted for such dissent, taking the other justices to task, whether consservative or liberal.  Justice Thomas also dissents, often disagreeing with even opinions that are conservative.  Occasionally, all nine justices come down on the same side of an issue with a 9-0 decision.  More often, we see a split, most often 5-4 with Kennedy being the deciding vote as we saw last wek in the same-sex marriage case.

Disssents are interesting, because they present an opposing viewpoint, letting us see the reasoning of our Justices.  I admit I'm no lawyer, but a good dissent is a joy to read.  Often we'll see a conservative justice agree with the majority in part, and dissent in part, going along with the conclusion, but dissenting on a particular point of law.  These are especially illuminating.

What I've never seen are the liberal justices dissenting among themselves.  I've done some small research this weekend as time permitted, and I can't find a sinlge instance where (for example) Sotomayer dissented from Kagaan, or Breyer dissented from Ginsburg.  It's as if they march in lockstep, arms joined, to uphold the liberal viewpoint.  That's quite interesting.  Or maybe the liberal justices don't have individual viewpoints, which is quite distressing.

It's as if the conservatives squabble among themselves, often pointing out individual reasoning and arguing points of law, while the liberal justices don't have individual opinions.  It's groupthink or nothing to advance an agenda.  For the Nation's high court, that's quite a sad commentary.

Again, I'm no lawyer, and I only notice the Supremes when they're screwing with me.  I'd prefer that they'd leave me alone, but sometimes they come up on my personal radar.

And, I would remind the Justices that the 10th Amendment exists for a reason.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Family Shoot

Our Sunday Family Shoot was rather abbreviated this weekend, simply because most of the family was off elsewhere.  However, we hosted a good friend's birthday party, young Dylan, who turned 12-years-old.  He's a gun nut like many of us, and when we told him that we shoot real guns, with reduced power ammunition in the back yard, he was all about it.

First, though, let me tell you that my grandson Zachary (Akarate Zach, CFDA #4057) saw the other kids at the Silsbee shoot, and told me that he wanted his name on his belt.  If PawPaw can accommodate a grandkid, he does it.  PawPaw found a saddle shop nearby that embosses leather and had Zachary's CFDA alias embossed on his belt.  He didn't see it until this morning, and he was truly pleased.  If any of you need leather work, I can recommend D&D Saddle Shop in Pineville, LA.  An example of his work is in the gunbelt below.

Now, Zach is stylishly accoutered for the Southern Territorial Championship that we'll attend in Odessa, TX later this month.

Back to the Sunday Family Shoot, we hosted a good friend, and he's a budding gun nut, so we took out holsters and set the electronics up on the targets.  Milady gave a brief safety talk, and he walked out to the line.  We made him shoot two-handed, because that's how we roll, but I believe he had a good time.  What you don't see is Milady, just outside of the camera to the left.  With young shooters n the line, safety first.

That's Zach on the left, and Dylan on the right, running Ruger Vaqueros against a timer.  I'm trying to build this silly game one shooter at a time, and I love showing people the game.

Same Sex Marriage

Following the Supreme Court ruling last week, it is instructive to see how Same-Sex marriage became legal across the United States.  Much noise has been made recently that a majority of Americans support same sex marriage and those polls may be right, but the simple fact is that same-sex marriage is largely a product of the courts.  Lets look at how that came about. The basic information came from this website.

First, the states where same sex marriage was ordered from the Courts:
Alabama Feb 9, 2015 US District Court
Alaska January 2015, US District Court
Arizona October 17, 2014 US District Court.
California August 4, 2010 US District Court
Colorado October 7, 2014 US District Court
Connecticut November 12, 2008 State District Court
Florida January 6, 2015 US District Court
Idaho October 15, 2014 US District Court
Indiana June 26, 2015 US District Court
Iowa April 27, 2009 Iowa Supreme Court
Kansas November 12, 2014 Various state and US Courts.
Massachusetts, May 17, 2004, Massachusetts Supreme Court
Montana November 19, 2014 US District Court
Nevada October 9, 2014 US District Court
New Jersey October 21, 2013 State Supreme Court
New Mexico December 19, 2013 State Supreme Court
North Carolina, October 10, 2014, US District Court
Oklahoma October 6, 2014 US District Court
Oregon May 19, 2014 US District Court
Pennsylvania May 20, 2014 US District Court
South Carolina, November 20, 2014, US District Court
Virginia October 6, 2014 US District Court
West Virginia November 7, 2014 US District Court
Wisconsin October 6, 2014 US District Court
Wyoming October 17, 2014 US District Court

That is, by my count, 38 states where same sex marriage was recognized by the Courts.  There can be no claim that the residents of those states consented to the process, or that it was democratic in nature.

Let's turn to that extensive list of states where the voters actually voted to extend the right of marriage to same sex couples.

Maine (Dec. 29, 2012), 
Maryland (Jan. 1, 2013), 
Washington (Dec. 9, 2012) 

That didn't take long.  Just exactly three states chose through popular referendum to allow same sex marriage.  That's democracy.

Now, that exhaustive list of states where the state legislature voted to allow same sex marriage:

Delaware (July 1, 2013), 
Hawaii (Dec. 2, 2013), 
Illinois (June 1, 2014), 
Minnesota (Aug. 1, 2013), 
New Hampshire (Jan. 1, 2010), 
New York (July 24, 2011), 
Rhode Island (Aug. 1, 2013), 
Vermont (Sep. 1, 2009)

By my count that's eight states where the legislature acted.  That's democracy.

Next, the list of states that as of last Thursday, still banned same sex marriage by either constitutional amendment or legislation.  (This is democracy too)

Arkansas (2004, 1997), 
Georgia (2004, 1996), 
Kentucky (2004, 1998), 
Louisiana (2004, 1999), 
Michigan (2004, 1996), 
Mississippi (2004, 1997), 
Missouri (2004, 1996), 
Nebraska (2000)
North Dakota (2004, 1997), 
Ohio (2004, 2004), 
South Dakota (2006, 1996), 
Tennessee (2006, 1996), 
Texas (2005, 1997)

So, by actual count, we can see that of our 50 states, only eleven of them legalized same sex marriage through the democratic process.  The other 39 of them were ordered by the Courts to recognize same sex marriage, often in violation of the wishes of the people.  That's not democracy.

Same-sex marriage is largely an invention of the federal courts.  It was democratically advanced in eleven states, and imposed on the other thirty-nine by the federal court system.  That's not democracy.  Any attempt to paint it as democracy is a damned lie.

That being said, it is the law of the land, (even if it is imposed on us against our wishes).  I will comply with the law of the land.  I will also offer to my gay brethren the same dignity that I've always offered.  T hey are welcome in my home, and in my place of worship, and I hope and pray that they find fulfillment in their journey.  As Thomas Jefferson famously said, It does me no injury.  They're neither picking my pocket nor breaking my leg.

My issue is not against gay marriage, my issue is with the way it was imposed.

Let Freedom Ring.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

First Shots - Scout Project

Readers will remember that back in January, I bought a Savage 10FCM Scout, about a month before Savage came out with its Model 11 Scout.  Mine is the third generation of Savage's Scout rifle.  It still has the black stock, but the stock is the Accustock model, with Savage's aluminum bedding block in the stock.  It also has the Accutrigger.

Savage 10 FCM, as it came out of the box.
In March, I ordered a Burris Scout scope and mounted it.

I played with the scope around the house, trying to learn to use it, but I never got to the range with the rifle.  Until this morning.  I found a window of time, several hours, where Milady didn't want me underfoot, so I grabbed a box of my standard .308 hunting ammo and headed to the range. For those that wonder, my standard .308 hunting ammo is a Federal GMM brass, lit with a Winchester Large Rifle Primer, pushed by 43 grains of Reloder 15, and topped with a Sierra 168 grain GameKing.  It's very good, consistent ammo, that shows MOA tendencies in several rifles.  I don't take any special pains in building that ammo, simply because we have several .308s in the family, and I don't know which rifle it may be shot in.  It's pretty much my version of factory ammo.  It runs out of the tube at 2600 fps, and does everything we expect .308 ammo to do.

When I got to the range, I set up a target at 25 yards and sat down at the bench.  I used a 1-inch target dot and within three rounds, had zero'd the rifle at 12 yards, so when the line went cold, I hiked out to the 100 yard line and put up another target, this time with a 2-inch dot to verify the zero.  Six shots later, and one small adjustment, I had the zero fairly well nailed, so I waited for the line to go cold.

I noticed, trying to zero the rifle at 100 yards, that the reticle in that Burris scope pretty much hid that 2" dot way out at 100 yards.  Regular readers know that I've got some scopes, and some rifles that seeing and hitting a 1" dot at 100 yards is no real challenge.  Nice optics, plenty of magnification, and hitting very small targets isn't much of an issue.  This scope isn't for that type of shooting.  This is a Scout rifle, designed for practical shooting from a variety of positions and at a variety of targets.

When the line went cold, I went down to the 100 yard line with another backer, this time with a 3-inch dot, so that I could see the dot beyond the cross-hairs, but this time I didn't try for gnat's eyelash accuracy.  So, I moved the sandbags off  the bench, got on my elbows, and loaded a 10 round magazine.  I started shooting and cranking the bolt, probably a shot every four seconds, letting fly.  In less than a minute I was done.  The few other fellows on the line were looking at me as if I'd lost my mind.

Yet, when I walked down to get my target, I was fairly pleased with what I found.

That ins't bad for ten shots from a new rifle with a sighting system I'm still learning.  10 shots, all minute-of-Coke-can.  It's certiainly capable of taking a deer, or a hog, or any varmint that presents itself .  No, it's not benchrest quality, but the rifle wasn't built to compete in benchrest class.  It's a hunting rifle, a practical rifle with a low power scope.

I'm very pleased and as I spend more time with it, I can see that it will become an integral part of my battery.  What I did like about it is that it's very fast.  That forward mounted scope tends to promote shooting with both eyes open.  When you shoulder the rifle, the crosshairs seem to be hanging over the target, simply align the rifle and fire.  Snap-shooting is no problem with this rifle, and the serious caliber, along with that 168 grain bullet will send the message to whatever you're shooting at that you are serious indeed.

Friday, June 26, 2015

That Was The Week That Was

Thank God it's Friday.  I don't think I could take any more of this week.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court led by John Roberts (hack, spit) said that plain language in legislation means nothing, in their 6-3 decision upholding Obamacare.  The phrase "established by the state" means nothing.  Worse, it lets the IRS ignore written law and administer the code any way they see fit.

Today, in a more narrow 5-4 ruling, the Supremes said that same-sex marriage is legal everywhere.  Mr. Justice Kennedy (hack, spit) wrote the majority opinion.

Legally this week, the world turned upside-down.  I'm sure that there will be plenty of analysis and commentary to keep us occupied, but in the meantime I'm going to have a drink.  Or several.

Let freedom ring.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Patio Furniture

Sometime prior to 2006, (probably '05.. maybe '04) Milady and I bought a bar, an outside bar to put on the patio.  And we used it, through two or three weddings, lots of gatherings, plenty of parties, and in the last year or so, it started coming apart.  Several years ago, I had installed a new bar-top, of good marine plywood with multiple coats of poly, but it was looking weathered and worn, and Milady decided it had reached the end of its service life.

So, as wives do, she shopped around and gave me instructions to give the bar the heave-ho.  Grandson and I completed that task earlier this week, and yesterday Milady loaded us in the truck and we went to get new patio furniture.  Of course, some assembly is required, so I pressed grandson into service and he was a big help, running an Allen wrench.

While he was tightening everything up, I was peeling the bubble-wrap off the new chairs, and in just an hour or so, we had the project completed.

I think that's going to work out pretty good.  The gazebo that is over the table is weather-worn and UV'd to the point where it's falling apart.  Early in July Ill have to do something about that, and I'm planning a nice, flat-roof sunscreen with a metal roof.  There's no sense putting up another gazebo that will weather apart in three years.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Elyas' Vegetable Soup

We're hosting grandson Elyas this week.  Yesterday he told me that he needed some "yummy vegetables", and wanted to cook a small, simple soup for lunch today.  So, we went to the store this morning after chores, and got the ingredients he wanted.

Elyas' Vegetable Soup.

One stalk celery, chopped.
One tomato, chopped.
Six small red potatoes, chopped.
Handful of baby carrots, chopped.
Half-bag of frozen green peas.
Half-bag of frozen cut corn.
Chicken broth
Salt, pepper.

Elyas prepping vegetables.

Dump prepped veggies into a pot, cover with chicken broth, and simmer for an hour or so, till the carrots are tender.

With the weather so far the hottest of the year, I'm not sure that vegetable soup would have been my first choice, but that's what is for lunch.  It's probably a lot more healthy than anything I would have come up with.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cask Strength

I don't ask for, nor expect gifts on Father's Day.  My children do enough during the year to help the old man, and I don't expect gifts for made-up holidays.  Yet this year, stepson showed up at the house on Sunday morning with an intriguing bag, it looked almost like a whiskey bottle, but smaller.  Yet, it had a familiar profile.

Maker's Mark, cask strength.  The bottle shape is familiar to every bourbon drinker, but this stuff is supposedly bottled straight from the cask.  It's marked at 113 proof, so it should show some kick.  Two reviews that I've seen say nice things about it, although I admit I haven't opened the bottle yet. It comes in a 375 ml bottle.

As bourbon drinkers we're all familiar with Maker's Mark, a very satisfying bourbon, a step above the lower shelf bourbons we normally drink.  By that I mean the sour-mash whiskeys such as Jim Beam, or Evan Williams (or, dare I say it, Jack Daniels).  Not that there is anything wrong with those whiskeys, Indeed, they each have a space on the whiskey shelf in my house.  Good, everyday whiskey is something to be enjoyed.  I normally have a snort of one or the other most evenings.

But, really good whiskey deserves better, and I suspect that this is good whiskey.  It won't be mixed with cola, indeed, it may not be mixed with anything more than a splash of good branch water.  In my mind, good whiskey should be savored for what it is.  Good whiskey deserves blue jeans, flannel shirts, and a gently crackling fire.  A nice highball glass, and good company.

I think I'll save this bottle for the autumn.  Thanks, JimBob.  Don't get your feelings hurt if the old man saves this one for a while.  I think it will be worth the wait.

Around The Bend

Recently, I've been reading about liberal white guilt.  It's an amazing phenomenon, with catch-phrases like White Privilege and White Racial Identity Development.  Much of it springs from the Rachel Dolezal case study, where a white person identifies as .... something else.  Pick a category, any category.

So, reading at Hot Air today, I found a headline that set me back in my chair.  A great plan: liberals refusing to breed so they don’t biologically spread white privilege.   I must admit, I was both amused and intrigued, so I started clicking links.  I wound up at HuffPo, where Ali Michael talks about her journey toward perfect self-awareness.  The train of thought staggers me, not necessarily in a good way.
Beverly Daniel Tatum has written that White people don't choose to identify as White because the categories to choose from are loaded from the start. Traditionally, one can identify as a colorblind White person, a racist White person or an ignorant White person: those are the three ways White people get talked about as White. If those are the options, who would choose to identify as White? And so White people identify as "normal" and "Irish" and "just American" and do not self-identify racially. And that leaves us with a society in which only people of color have a race, where only people of color seem to be responsible for racialized problems. It makes it hard for all of us to know and tell our racial stories -- because White people think we don't have any. And it makes it hard for us to own our history, because we don't see it as ours.
 Many White people also feel like we don't have culture, and this isn't a coincidence.
If the writer of the paragraphs above doesn't know her culture, then her parents failed miserably. Horrifically, tragically.  I am a white male, but from a young age, I was taught my history, my culture.  Of French ancestors cast adrift from Canada, of German ancestors coming to find a new life, of Scots-Irish farmers seeking adventure, of native Americans on the Dawes roll.  Of silver-smiths, of carpenters and mechanics, of women who refused to be cast in a role.  From my parents knees, through my sister's independent research, through general education in the halls of the public schools, I am aware of my heritage.  It is nothing to be ashamed of.  In fact, I am proud of who I am.  My family story is rich, vibrant, and compelling, of people trying to make a life in an often hostile environment.

Yes, I was born and raised in the Deep South, and I understand the horror of racism and the devastating legacy that it proposes.  Yet, I refuse to be chained by it.  As any intelligent person can, I learned from the general past and don't feel bound by it.

If Ms. Micheal doesn't have a culture, she should talk with her parents about their failure. Or, sign up with a genealogical service and start finding out who she is.  She might come to learn that she has nothing to be ashamed of either.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have chores to do, and a grandson to educate.

Monday, June 22, 2015


We're keeping a grandkid this week, and I asked an hour ago what he wanted for supper.  "Fish sticks, french fries, and chicken nuggets."  As it turns out, I have all that stuff in the freezer, and being a basic Cajun/redneck mix, I know how to fry in the backyard.

I made that fryer in 1974, and took it with me to Kentucky in 1976 when I reported to Fort Knox.  My dad and I cobbled it together in Chester Kubes body shop.  It's made from an old freon bottle and a 20,000 BTU burner out of a discarded water heater.    With very little maintenance, I've used that burner since '74, and the boys can argue over it when I'm gone.  Cooking outside on propane was brand-new in 1974, and I believe that was the first propane burner that made it to Fort Knox.  I know it caused quite a stir when I fired it up on the patio in the officer's quarters.

At any rate, I had to cook for the boy-o and Milady, so in just a few minutes I had deep fried some food, and took it in the house for everyone.

That's how we roll around here.  Some paper plates and ketchup and we're ready to go.

That Uberti

Cleaning revolvers today, the Uberti displayed a fault as I re-assembled the cylinder into the frame.  The bolt wouldn't come up.  Well, hell.

Last month at the Texas shoot, I talked with my cousin, Gentleman George.  He has several Ubertis and he's become fairly adept at working on them.  He gave me a few tips and I listened carefully.  Today, when that darned bolt wouldn't come up and lock the cylinder, I decided to take it apart and find the problem, and do a little polishing.  George had told me that the revolvers are fairly simple devices, and gave me a tip about the cylinder hand spring.

I remembered that John Taylor had written an excellent tutorial on the Uberti, so I went online to look at it.  Armed with the knowledge of both Taylor and Gentleman George, I went out to the bench.I have to admit that I had some trepidation, and I've gone wrong with handgun projects before.  However, in just a few minutes, I had the revolver apart.  Found a burr on the bolt and judiciously polished both sides.  While I had the little gun apart, I applied Gentleman George's trick with the cylinder hand spring.  Nothing to it actually.  The new Uberti has the cylinder hand spring captured by a small threaded plug.  I knew with my old eyes, I'd never get that tiny plug back in the hole, so I simply took it out, stretched the spring a tiny bit, and reassembled without the plug.  The only real *&^% moments came as I was re-installing the grip frame.  For some reason, I didn't have it lined up properly and the screws wouldn't start.  Once I re-aligned, everything went back together easy-peasy.

I don't know why I was afraid of it.  They're fairly simple, straight-forward devices.  Thanks, George!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Good Deal Lucille Wins!

Just got the news, and have to trumpet it.  My cousin's grand-daughter has won the Annie Oakley division at the US National Championship for Cowboy Fast Draw Association.  The US Championship is held annually in Mitchell SD every year and Good Deal Lucille won it.

A very good photo of her firing the winning shot.  We shot with her earlier this month in Texas and she's a joy to be around.  She's also very good with a .45 Colt revolver.

Congrats to Good Deal Lucille, and congratulations to all the youth shooters at the Championships.

Sunday Family Shoot

Sunday, being Father's Day, was also the anniversary of Milady any my wedding.  We've been hitched for twelve years now, and it gets better every day.  So, today for lunch, I cooked fish on the back patio.  I had some catfish given to me (thanks Patty) and some white perch given to me (thanks Alisha), so we fried fish with all the trimmings.  For those unable to enjoy fish, we also cooked chicken nuggets (thanks Tyson).  With french fries and fried okra.  The whole family assembled to eat and I had two burners going.

Here's a picture of Milady and I.  It's an old one, dated February 2007, but I like it.

After lunch, we set up the range to do some shooting.  We introduced grandson Quinton to the rigors of the line, and we introduced family friend Sam to the line.  Both teenage boys, they were hitting in the 0.8s, which is good for newbies.  No pictures of the shooting today.  I was busy running the line, helping grandkids and keeping score.  About 3:00, everybody went home.

UPDATE:  I did get some pics from family.  Here's Matt and Joey standing the line.

Now, PawPaw is relaxing with a drink, contemplating the joys in his life, and reflecting on how good my bed will feel in several more hours.

Father's Day

It's Father's Day and I miss my Dad.

That may be the last photo that I took of him.  I'd give anything to drink coffee with him one more time.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Eighty by Eight

This morning by 8:00, it was 80 degrees F on the back porch.  I came inside to check the relative humidity, and that's 80% as well.  Going outside reminds me of playing in the backyard as a kid during summertime, and you'd inadvertently run into the wet sheets that Momma had just hung on the line.  Wet, soggy, warm.

Still, today is a big day, so Milady and I will drink another cup of coffee then get busy. The first thing I want to do is test my fish cookers to make sure that they're ready to heat the oil I'll need for a fish fry I'm hosting tomorrow noon.  I tested them last month, so that shouldn't take ten minutes.

Then, we've got a birthday party for a grandkid about noon-ish.  We'll attend the birthday party, then head over to the club shoot.  Hopefuly, by 4:00 pm, I'll be home in my recliner.

I'd best get cracking.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Sam Colt Left-Handed

The more I fool with Colt's single action revolvers (the clones anyway... I can't afford a real Colt) the more convinced I am that it was built to be shot from the left hand.  I know that Samuel Colt wasn't around for the launch of the iconic 1873 revolver.  He died in 1862, eleven years before the Peacemaker was launched, but he was certainly involved in the design of the earlier revolvers, which predated the Peacemaker.

Notables such as John Taffin are convinced that Colt was a southpaw, and says so in different places in several books.  For example, in Single Action Sixguns, Chapter 10, he says:
"Sam Colt was left-handed, that's why the Colt Single Action has the loading gate on the right side!" This is one of the first things I heard from Bill Grover as I met him for the first time at The 1987 Shootists Holiday. I didn't have the heart to tell him that Sam Colt died in 1862 and probably had nothing to do with the design of the 1873 Colt Single Action, the famed .45 Peacemaker.
Even if Sam didn't design the Colt, Grover's point is well taken. The Colt Single Action is definitely made for a left-hander. I know that I personally always load and unload my Single Action Colts, Rugers, etc., by switching them to my left hand.
While discussing this with my boys recently, one of them pointed out that the trigger on my Uberti Hombre is off-set in the trigger guard, to the left side of the frame.  Sure enough.

Definitely off-set to the left side of the frame.  Interesting.  Once you notice that, it seems that when used in the left-hand, the finger goes to the trigger quicker.

The trigger is off-set to the left and the loading gate falls naturally under the left thumb.  There may be something to this "Sam Colt was left-handed" theory after all.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Horrific church shooting in Charleston.  Twitter is ablaze, and some have identified a person of interest.  I'm withholding judgement at this time, but some are calling it a hate crime.  It will be interesting to see if this person is identified as a suspect.  I'm sure we'll learn more about him as the weekend approaches.  Watch for the usual suspects to rally around this tragedy and dance in the blood.  We'll hear calls for gun control, calls against racism,

The released photos from the security video do show that a young white male entered the church before the shooting and left shortly thereafter.  So, we're pretty certain that a young white male shot up a black church.  Beyond that we really don't know much, but that won't stop the pundits from pontificating.

I tried to update my blogroll this morning.  Unsuccessfully.  I went to several forums and evidently this is a system problem that's been around for several months.  Blogger is a Google product, and I'm sure that Google has bigger things on their mind than my simple little blog.  They'd do well to have their project manager look into this problem.

I did find a new blog this morning.  Gunslingers Cowboy Fast Draw.  Interesting stuff over there related to the silly game I've been playing for the last several months.

Watching a sick grandkid this morning.  I have the cartoons going for him, but we're sure to get into something before long.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


There's a debate going on about the rightful, acceptable, socially conscious penalty for murder.  What should be the penalty for unlawfully taking another life?  Many states have varying degrees of homicide, and in my opinion that practice is right and proper.  There are many motivations for homicide.  Ambrose Bierce once famously said that "there are four types of homicide; felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy".  The law recognizes those differences.

In this discussion we are concerned with the felonious types.  Normally, broken down into a set of legal standards from First Degree Murder down to Negligent Homicide.  Generally, in death penalty cases, we are concerned with the most heinous of those homicides and that is where the discussion of the death penalty should be limited.  Stephen Lurie of The New Republic has an article out, entitled; The Deather Penalty is Cruel, But So Is Life Without Parole. In that article, he makes arguments against the death penalty and its problems in current practice in the US.  His arguments are well documented and quote noted authorities in the field of constitutional law and correctional practice.  It's a well-researched article that fails in one respect.  The victim.

Murder, of necessity required a victim, a deceased victim.  More importantly, it ignores those left behind, the loved ones of the murdered.  They are forced to continue living, many times without justice, for justice is the province of the state.  All the while, the legal community in the state begins an interminable appeal process where all the actions of the police, the prosecutors and the lower courts are put under a microscope, to insure that justice is truly being done and the rights of the accused are being recognized.  Lost in all this is the family of the victim who is forced to continue living without the person taken from them.  Children without parents, parents without children, brothers without sisters, they are all left to do the best that they can do while the murderer becomes the focus of journalist, researchers, social do-gooders, and legal experts.

What of the victim?  That is the horrific neglect of the critics.  Where is justice for them?

The simple fact of the matter is that there are a certain number of people in our society who are truly evil.  They are predators who murder and rape, and if set free will continue to prey upon society.  They can never be released safely, but in the discussion of prison conditions we never see the most dangerous addressed.  Those offenders have victims as well, living in abject fear, trying to recover from the crime, trying to live another day without thinking about their physical and emotional wounds.  They deserve justice as well, and any thoughtful discussion should include those victims.  Those discussions seldom do.

Stephen Lurie should be ashamed of his omission.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

You Might Be

Here in central Louisiana, we've got this place called Louisiana Mudfest, where folks go with their big trucks to play in the mud.  It is along the Red river, which is currently at flood stage, and this weekend, the levee broke, flooding the grounds.  Luckily no one was hurt.
A number of Grant Parish Sheriff’s deputies responded along with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana State Police, and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. A total of 113 people and 3 dogs were evacuated safely. 91 of which were taken out by boat and the other 22 were led out by deputies on foot over an earthen dam in Old River.
People are still trying to get vehicles out, and I understand that it was quite exciting when the levee gave way.  Of course, some local wag had to make a poster.

 Ha!  Yeah, that just about says it all.  Again, I'm glad that everyone got out alive, and I'm proud of my brethren for mounting the rescue effort.  Good Job, Grant Parish S.O.

TS Bill

We awaken this morning to learn that the National Hurricane Center named Bill as a tropical storm overnight and are putting up watches, warnings, and comment on the storm.  It looks like it will come ashore somewhere southwest of Houston, start that familiar arc that those storms make, roll over Dallas, then head for St. Louis.  The latest map I've seen of rainfall potential looks like this:

Here in central Louisiana, we'll get some rain from it, sure as God made little green apples, but its bigger potential is all that water that will soon be falling on central Texas and eastern Oklahoma.  Those rivers, creeks, and lakes are still swollen from the rains in March, April, and May. While everyone is rightly concerned about localized flooding in the Houston area, all that water has to go somewhere and a bunch of that water will find its way into the Red River system, and eventually flow through Shreveport/Bossier, which is experiencing record floods right now.  Three or four days later it will find its way to central Louisiana.

According to the local gauges, the Red river is supposed to crest today, and start dropping slowly and the last gush of fresh water flows past us.  A storm the magnitude of Bill may delay that runoff.  If the river is full of water, the creeks, streams and bayous have no place to send water, and backwater flooding will continue.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tropical Storm Bill

They haven't named it yet, but it's close.  From the National Hurricane Center:

Surface observations and preliminary data from an Air Force Reserve Unit Hurricane Hunter aircraft currently investigating the area of low pressure located about 200 miles southeast of the middle Texas coast indicate that the center has become better defined since earlier today.  If these trends continue, advisories will be initiated later this evening on Tropical Storm Bill
 1. Data from the aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds with the low are near 50 mph.  Interests in and along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico should continue to monitor the progress of this system as it moves northwestward toward the Texas coast.  Regardless of tropical cyclone formation, tropical storm conditions are likely along portions of the middle and upper Texas coast, and possible in extreme southwestern Louisiana, tonight and Tuesday. The system is also likely to bring heavy rainfall with possible flooding across portions of eastern Texas and western Louisiana.  For additional
information, please see High Seas Forecasts and products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...90 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent
The map is here:

 So, for all my friends in southeast Texas, get ready for some more rain.

Just Damn!

David's Perspective

Sent to me by my buddy David.  I chuckled at a few of them.

1. I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people.  I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem work itself out. 
  2. I changed my car horn to gunshot sounds.  People move out of the way much faster now.  
3. You can tell a lot about a woman's mood just by her hands.  If they are holding a gun, she's probably pissed.   
4. Gone are the days when girls cooked like their mothers.  Now they drink like their fathers.   
5. You know that tingly little feeling you get when you really like someone you've just met?  That's common sense leaving your body.  (Edit: Or the taser.) 
6. I don't like making plans for the day.  Because then the word "premeditated" gets thrown around in the courtroom.   
7. I didn't make it to the gym today. That makes 1,500 days in a row.   
8. Dear paranoid people who check behind shower curtains for murderers,     If you find one, what's your plan?   
9. Everyone has a right to be stupid.  Politicians just abuse the privilege.
It's Monday.  Four errands down and another half-dozen to finish.  I'll catch up with y'all later.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Family Shoot

Our little family shoot is growing, and we're having fun with it.  Wax bullets, steel targets, and timers.  It's a hoot.  Two videos to share today,  The first, my two elder sons go head-to-head.  Matt on the left, and Barrett on the right.  Barrett couldn't find the target today, but Matt was running in the 0.7s.  His last shot was in the high 0.6s, so he's getting faster.

The second little clip, grandson Michael is on the right, and he hits a 0.651.  For a guy who's done this exactly twice, it's pretty darned good.  He's leaving for college in August, so he won't get much time to shoot with the old man, but I like having him around.

It's all about family, after all, but the Grandpa had better start working on his time.  The boys are showing me up on a regular basis.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Dallas PD Attacked

It's still breaking, but it looks like someone launched a poorly planned assault on the Dallas Police Department early this morning.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said the shootout began about 12:30 a.m. local time when the suspects pulled up to the building and began firing. He said at least one of the suspects fled the scene in a van that rammed a police cruiser before leading police on the chase that ended at the parking lot. Brown says negotiations are ongoing with the suspect in the van. The suspect has told police that he is injured, but authorities cannot confirm any injuries, Fox4News.com reported.
Over at Hot Air, they're reporting multiple shooters, some of whom may have taken elevated positions before firing on police officers.
A full blown assault on the Dallas Police Department headquarters erupted in the middle of the night and as of this writing the dangerous situation is still playing out. In what looks like a detailed, planned in advance scheme, the attackers used multiple weapons, up to four bombs (two of which have been safely detonated by explosives experts) and an armored van. (Where in the heck did you get an armored van?) While details are developing and much of this may change, the cops are saying that up to four shooters were involved, (possibly more) with some of them possibly taking strategic, elevated positions to shoot at the cops.
Thankfully, no one has been hurt (neither police nor bystanders) although one suspect who is currently talking to police from his barricaded position in that armored van, reports that he's been injured.
 After attacking the police station, some or all of the suspects fled in the armored van, and as of 8 am eastern time were holed up in a Jack in the Box parking lot where their van mysteriously developed engine trouble after the Dallas PD put multiple .50 caliber rounds through the front grill.
Yeah, .50 cal rounds in the grill would tend to cause engine problems, but as long as they're held up at Jack in the Box, everyone should be able to get a burger when this incident is over.  Hopefully, the Dallas PD can get everyone out of the van safely and try to learn their motivation.  I'd love to sit in on that interview and hear how they thought that attacking a police station would be a good idea.

Friday, June 12, 2015


Milady and I decided that we needed some little tables, metal tables, to hold a box of cartridges and a spent primer bucket for our wax bullet range.  It's hard to teach the grandkids muzzle discipline if they have to turn around to reload.  On every CFDA range I've seen, there has been a little table to the shooter's right.  On it there is a small container for spent primers and there is room on the table for a cartridge box.  That's all you need to keep the muzzle pointed downrange as you reload.  The CFDA uses a 170 degree rule, best illustrated by the drawing in the Gunslinger's Guidelines.

We needed some tables, and went junking.  For those of you who might not know junking, it's hitting all the flea markets in town.  In a matter of hours we had found some little tables that seem suitable for our purpose.  I spent an hour with a rattle-can, and I think we have what we need for safe shooting, (and teaching the grandkids safe shooting).

I think those are going to suit us just fine.  Now, we can keep the muzzles downrange and enforce muzzle discipline during the Sunday Family Shoots.

Red River Cresting

The Red River at Alexandria is at flood stage and is forecast to crest this weekend.  Several families are flooded in areas that flood historically, like Rigollete Bayou and the Buhlow recreation complex.  Unless you're local, it's hard to envision, but our local news folks took a helicopter ride.

The hydrology page for the Red at Alexandria is here.  The page is updated daily, but it appears that the crest is now expected on Sunday.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thankfully Thursday

Not much comment today, so I'll just go with this picture.

Thanks, Denise.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cone of Fire

Lots of questions emerge from this Fast Draw game, and one that I've been pondering is what the cone of fire has to be to hit a 2 foot target at 21 feet.  I'm a practical sort, so I asked the question to a geometry teacher of my acquaintance, via Facebook.
Hey, Mandy! I have a geometry question: I have an isosceles triangle, the base is 2 feet (24 inches), the long legs are 21 feet. What is the angle of the acute angle (pointy end)?
In her inimitable style, she answered me within the hour.
the vertex angle is 5.4588052735573928698235743338306 degrees; the base angles are 84.541194726442607130176425666169 degrees
 I'd say that's fairly precise (carried to 30 decimal places, but it answers my question.  About 5.4 degrees.  That means that if we aim dead-square at the bullseye, our aim can be off by about 2.7 degrees in any direction and we'll still hit the 2-foot target at 21 feet.  Any more than that is a clean miss.

The question might best be illustrated by this graphic.  The lens shortened the distance, but you can get an idea of the concept.

That's not terribly hard when you're using the sights, but when you're shooting from the hip that's a mighty small angle to get a hit. To put that another way, if you draw your revolver and point it at the target, your muzzle can only vary 1/10th of an inch from dead on, or you'll miss the target.  That's fairly precise.  (According to my math, X = 0.0952 inches).

Thanks, ;Mandy.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015


NASA recently released images from the dwarf planet, Ceres, located between Mars and Jupiter.  I don't think I'd want to visit, but the images are cool. Uber-cool.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft took the images.  My grandson wants to study robotics, and this is robotics of the highest order.  Somewhere between Mars and Jupiter, a man made object is beaming images to Earth on command of its controllers.

Notes from Tuesday

I finished my re-trainer today.  I'm now fully qualified to be a police officer for another year.

It's 93F out there, with a chance of a stray thunder shower.  Lovely.  Like we need more rain. In another hour, I'll start mowing grass, which is starting to look shaggy.  In the meantime, it's laundry.

I heard a rumor, so today on the way back from training, I took a detour.  A guy in Pineville has opened a saddle shop.  When I walked in from the bright sunlight, into the dim shop, someone asked if I needed any help.  I told them that I needed to let my eyes adjust, but I knew from the smell that I was in a leather shop.

Not that I need any saddles, but a good saddle shop is a joy of leather work.  I saw some samples of this guy's work and he looks like he knows his craft.  I told him I was glad to know that he is open, and that I'd be bringing him some business.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Easy Gun Cleaning

Since we've been in this wax bullet game, cleaning revolvers is a routine chore.  When we were in Texas this past weekend, we saw that the shooters there were using a BORESNAKE, a registered, patentented device of the Hoppe's company, to quickly and easily clean the barrels of their revolvers.  Milady was asking one of the ladies how often she cleaned her revolver for best accuracy, and the gal told Milady that she cleaned after every 15 shots.

Milady then asked me what a boresnake costs, and I told her I would pick up some, and that they're about $15.00 each, depending on the store.

Yesterday, Milady got out some stiff yarn and her crochet hooks and in about 15 minutes, had crocheted this little darling.  I found her a cotter-pin to use as a weight to get the small end down the barrel.

Of course, you can click on the picture for a closer look, but that's a cotter--pin, a single strand of yarn, then a double strand, then a triple strand.  The whole thing took about 15 minutes for her to crochet, and suddenly I don't need to go to the gun shop to look for a boresnake.  Milady says that she intends to buy some rug yarn, which is more durable, for about $3,00.  A box of cotter-pins is about $3.00, and for six bucks, we can make these little devices for our cleaning needs.

Quite crafty, don't you think?  I'm really proud of her efforts.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Sunday Family Match

Today after lunch we shot our Sunday Family Match.  Wax bullets in the backyard.  PawPaw was range-mastering, and I really didn't have time to take pictures or video, but the trash-talking commenced and was soon over.  You can't trash-talk a timer, it doesn't care.

Milady worked on her draw and was very consistent in the 1.1 second range.  She had four hits during one sting, all in the 1.1 range.  For a shooter who was shooting in the 1.8s just two months ago, and had never run against a timer three months ago, she's doing great.  She intends to be in the  0.8s by the time we go to Odessa in July, so we've got some work to do.

I worked on my draw, trying to get consistent.  Occasionally, I'll shoot in the high 0.7s, but mainly in the 0.9s low 1.0s.  Gentleman George showed me a new draw technique, and I can see the benefits.  I'll be working on that this week, trying to get consistent.

Zachary is still walking on water, knowing that he beat Part-Time yesterday.  He asked me to find a video that he could show his mother, of a song Part-Time played for us at the Texas State Championsips, April last.  I found it and downloaded it to my YouTube channel so that he could find it, and I'll embed it for you below.  It's a humorous little song about a fast-draw shooter.

Part Time is, of course, Dusty Damrel, a true gentleman from Vidor, Texas.  I count him as a friend.  He's a world renown whip-maker and a really fine holster maker,  When I needed a holster for Milady, I called Dusty.  His website is here.  If you need a whip or a holster, give Dusty a call.  He's a master of his craft, a fine fellow, and a joy to be around.

Saturday Shooting

Yesterday, Zachary, Milady and I went to Silsbee, TX for a small invitational shoot hosted by the Big Thicket Bushwhackers, a CFDA club with its home range on Camp Waluta.  The camp is owned and operated by my cousin, Gentleman George and his wife, Texas Rose.

Shooters from several clubs attended the match, and we met old friends and greeted new friends.  It was a 6-round match, which means that everyone shoots 6 matches and at the end of the firing, the match director picks the shooters with the most wins in every category and names them for a shootoff.  Which brings us to the ladies.  One in particular, Plain Jane, who shot the match clean yesterday.

That's Plain Jane on top, with Short Stop 2nd, and Texas Rose 3rd.  They're all Texans from the host club, but they're gracious ladies who know how to throw a shindig.  However, you do not want to get in a gunfight with these gals.

Next, the youth.  It's one thing to shoot against someone my own age, with my aged reflexes.  However, when you're shooting against teenage reflexes, especially with kids who have been shooting for several years, it's something else entirely.

Our own grandson, Zachary, (who was certified as a level 3 shooter yesterday), beat his grandpaw handily.  He also went against one of the arguably fastest shooters in Texas yesterday.  This guy is named Part Time, and he's fast as a rattlesnake and has been playing this game for many years.  Zach wasn't as fast, but Zach was putting them on the steel yesterday, and you can't miss fast enough to win.  At the end of that single match, Zach had bested Part TIme.  The race doesn't always go to the fast, but to the accurate.  Zach, or course, was walking on air.  He had beaten his grandad, and he had beaten Part Time in a fair gunfight.  For a new shooter, it doesn't get much better than that.

It was hot in the east Texas pinewoods, and as soon as the youth were through shooting, they changed into less constricting clothing.  Still, there are some fast shooters among the youth, and the three best from yesterday are featured below.

Those two top fellows are twins, and I have trouble telling them apart, but we have Willie Hit It, 1st, Lone Star Leadslinger, 2nd, and Trigger Happy, 3rd.  Good job, fellas, and you showed this old man how to make time.

The menfolk had their own category, because we're old and slow.  However, the ladies and the young-uns didn't begrudge us our decrepit reflexes.  So, without further ado, we'll talk about the men's division.

That fellow on the left is Comeback Kid, 1st(who is a recent high school graduate), our own Big Mark from our Thorn Valley Shootists, 2nd, and Whiplash, 3rd.

We had a ball shooting with friends, we learned a lot about the current practices, and at the end of the day we were thoroughly exhausted.  Zach, Milady and I drove home last night, fell into bed and slept the sleep of the righteous.  Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to clean guns, get my head screwed on right, and get ready for our Family Sunday Shoot.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Let's Be Careful

Yesterday I was at the range giving my G22 a workout.  The Sheriff makes me carry it, and it will soon be time for quals, so I decided it was time to exercise all the springs.  During one of the magazines, I had a failure-to-fire.  Being the highly trained individual I am, I immediately did the tap/rack/bang.  After the string, I looked for the dud cartridge, and looky what I found.

That's a 9mm round, with a GFL headstamp.  The Glock 22 is, of course, a .40SW, and I don't even own a 9mm handgun.  Nor a 9mm anything.  The ammo I was using was an opened box of Winchester White Box, .40SW 165 grain ball ammo.  I doubt that Winchester put that round of ammo in the box, so its provenance is a bit of a mystery.

So, again, in the interest of safety, let's be careful about the ammo we load in our firearms.

Thursday, June 04, 2015


Our backyard wax bullet range keeps getting a little better every day.  I had ordered new electronics for the second target, so today after errands, I found it on the front steps.

One thing I noticed about the little CFDA timer is that it's very lightweight, and I wanted a box, a stand, to put them in while we're using then that will give them some weight and keep them from being knocked over.  I found a piece of deck board left over from another project, and started scratching my head..

Just about that time, elder son drove up.  He was working on a project and needed the old man's help.  We finished his project, right quick, easy peasy, and got to work on my project, the box for the timers.  In just a few minutes we had finished that one too.

SO, being the good project engineers that we are, we decided to set everything up, wire it, and run a test shoot.  Just to make sure everything worked.

We wired them up, mounted the timer, and ran a test shoot.  Everything works according to design specs.  The boy looked at his watch, told me he had to go, so we broke everything down real quick and he headed off to finish his day.  Then I got out a rattle-can and gave our little timer stand a quick coat of paint.

It's plenty sturdy and fits the two timers just fine.  when the timers are in the stand, I won't worry about them getting knocked off the table accidentally.

As elder son was getting in his truck, I asked him what he thought about the new set-up.. He allowed that it is cool, and told me that "Come Sunday, the shit-talking will commence."

With my boys, I have no doubt about that.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Red River Flooding

We're in a flood condition on the Red River.  All along the river, we're seeing the results of the massive rains in Texas, Oklahoma, and here in Louisiana.  The folks on Bayou Rigolette are flooded, and the river hasn't crested yet.  The last estimate of the expected crest is at 37.5 feet early next week.

To put this in historical perspective, we haven't seen a crest this high since 1992.  However, the Red River has always been a flood-and-shallows river.  I can remember being able to walk across most of the Red River during dry times, being able to jump from sand-bar to sand-bar, having to swim only a short distance against the sluggish channel. In the mid-90's the Corps of Engineers put in a system of locks, improving navigation and taming the river just a little bit.  However, the Red reminds us that you can't tame nature.  All the locks are open right now, trying to drain the excess water and navigation on the river has been severely curtailed.

However, this isn't the biggest flood that the Red River has seen in modern times.  My friend David, sends this picture to lend an historical perspective.  I believe that this photo was taken from the Pineville side of the river, because I see buildings on the opposite bank that I know to be in Alexandria.  For example, that tall building to the right of the bridge is the Guaranty Bank building.

That's the old Murray Street bridge, long gone, joining Murray Street in Alexandria with Main Street in Pineville.  I traversed that bridge many times as a child.  The caption David sent with the photo says:

The Red River at Alexandria crested as its highest point ever recorded, which is 45.23 feet on April 17, 1945. Here's a picture of the historic event. Keep in mind that this was before the lock and dam system that was installed in the mid-90s.
I certainly on't remember that flood,  because I wasn't born until late 1953.  I bet Momma remembers that flood.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Metal Work

There's nothing like a good metal shop.  T here's sparks, and grinders and welding machines.  I had the opportunity to spend part of the afternoon in a metal shop this afternoon, throwing sparks, working on a project that that the whole family will enjoy.  I know I enjoyed it, because I was working with my son, who has a metal shop across the driveway from his house.

That's my boy, throwing sparks working on a stand for the project.  I should have had the camera out earlier, but we were collaborating, which means I was holding things in place while he worked his magic.  About the time we decided to take a break, his wife came out to the shop to tell us that supper was ready, so we washed up to eat.  A magnificent crawfish fettuccine, with mushrooms, and baby spinach, and all kinds of yummy goodness.  Then we went back out to the shop, and in another hour, had finished the project.  It's another target for wax-bullet shooting.  I wanted to get this done, because I've ordered the electronics and they'll be in soon.

Here's elder son, and my oldest grandson with the almost finished project.  I'll paint it tomorrow, but the hard part is done.

The strength of my family is that we have lots of crafts in our repertoire.  We've got mechanics, we've got metal workers, we've got leather workers, and woodworkers and flooring guys. Water-techs and cops, industrial maintenance, and historical re-enacting. We do carpentry, and roofing, and there's nothing we can't figure out.  Among the ladies, we've got nurses, and pharma techs, and graphic artists, and crochet-ers, and barbers, social workers, archaeologists, and .... well, the list goes on.  There ain't noting this family can't tackle.

Thanks, son, for the afternoon.  Your old man appreciates it.

Dumb and Dumber

It seems that there is this social media thing called Twitter, where celebrities and politicians make stunning stupid statements in 140 characters or less.  One good way to see what's been going on in the social media circles is to go to Michelle Malkin's website, Twitchy, which follows such things.

Some fool named Judd Apatow (he's a director and screenwriter; I've never heard of him) logged on and dragged out a strawman for the anti-gun crowd.  He immediately showed his ignorance, and he's catching hell on social media.  Rightly so.

Perhaps, Judd, but a simple examination of the numbers shows that the vast majority of those gun deaths are suicide.  The CDC estimates that 21,000 of those deaths were by suicide, which isn't a fair accounting.  If you take those ~21,000 deaths from your ~32,000 deaths, we're left with some ~11,000 people who die from firearms each year.  A tragic number, but much more manageable.

Of course, I'm not going to get into the other arguments, you've heard them all before.

Then, an actor named Vince Vaughn famously gave an innterview to Gentleman's Quartely, where he supports the Second Amendment and says that we need guns in schools.  Again, the Twitter-folks exploded with Piers Morgan beclowing himself.  You remember Morgan don't you?  He's a spluttering caricature of a newsman who beclowns himself regularly in regard to gun rights.  He weighed in too, with his jaw-dropping tweet.

He's catching hell over at Twitchy, rightfully so.  These guys never learn, and we have to remain vigilant in our defense of freedom.  All of our freedoms.

Looking past my right arm as I type this, I see a bag full of guns that need cleaning.  I'd best get to work.