Monday, November 30, 2015

Boudin Balls

Boudin (boo'-dan) is our beloved south Louisiana rice, pork, and liver sausage that we eat whenever we get a chance.  There is as many recipes for boudin as there are makers of the sausage, and the debate runs wild over who makes the best boudin.  Every little grocery store or meat market in south Louisiana makes boudin.  The epicures in a given area can often taste the boudin and tell you which store it came from.  "That's Fontenot's boudin" or "This tastes like Guillory's boudin".

Normally, around the old-time stores in south Louisiana, you could buy a couple of links of boudin and a roll of crackers, go out to a picnic table under a big tree and eat your lunch.  PawPaw has eaten many yards of boudin at the tables under those trees all over the state.

Boudin is ubiquitous to south Louisiana, and very personal.  Emeril Lagasse has as good a basic recipe as anyone.  Normally eaten in a sausage casing, ahout four or five years ago, I started noticing boudin balls in the local stores.

Basically, the un-cased mixture, rolled into a ball about the size of a racquet ball, then rolled in egg and breadcrumbs, or cornmeal (again, it varies) then deep-fried, it makes a tasty little snack, inexpensive and filling.  They look just exactly like this.

That's three boudin balls in a Styrofoam clamshell.  I broke one open so that you could see the rice/meat mixture.  Three boudin balls for $5.00.  A glass of iced tea and that was lunch today.

Just so y'all know what you're missing.

Darwin Candidate

We come, this Monday morning, to a warming story of a burglar who got caught in a chimney.  I say warming, because the homeowner didn't know he was there and decided to build a fire.
A suspected burglar who became stuck in the chimney of a Central California home died of burns and smoke inhalation after the home's owner lit a fire in the fireplace, authorities said Sunday.
 The Fresno County Sheriff's Office identified the deceased suspect as 19-year-old Cody Caldwell, who was pronounced dead at the scene Saturday afternoon.
 Investigators believe Caldwell climbed in the chimney sometime Friday night to rob the home in the small city of Huron but became stuck. He was in the chimney for almost 24 hours by the time the male homeowner came home and lit the fire just before 3 p.m. Saturday.
 The homeowner heard Caldwell scream from inside the chimney and worked to put the fire out, causing the house to fill up with smoke, the station report.
Every year or so, we get a story like this, where some goblin decides to emulate Santa Claus and slide down the chimney.  What the goblins forget is that Santa is able to negotiate the nsrrowing of the flue at the damper by use of his special Christmas Magic.  Chimney burglars don't have Christmas Magic and always get stuck.

When the homeowner decided to light a fire, Cody died of burns and smoke inhalation.  The homeowner suffered smoke damage and a disassembled chimney.

Let this be a cautionary tale to prospective chimney burglars.  You ain't a jolly old elf and you can't slide down a chimney.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

White Bean Chili

I talked earlier about our White Bean Chili, so I though I'd post the recipe.  There are as many variations as people who make it, but this one works well for us.  You'll notice that it makes good use of your ceramic slow cooker (Crock Pot is a registered trademark).  I recommend the use of these things whenever possible, and also the use of slow cooker liners, which make clean-up easy.


Dry Great Northern Beans - 2lb
Chicken Stock - 2 ea, 32 oz boxes
Diced Green Chilis - 2 cans, 4 oz each
Medium Yellow onion - diced
Tumeric - half teaspoon
Monterey Jack Cheese - 2 cups shreded
Salt to taste
Meat (Chicken or ham)  about a pound.  Shredded or diced.


The night before, wash your beans then put them in a ceramic slow cooker to soak.  We soak then in the chicken broth.  Before bedtime, put the slow cooker on low, and go to bed.  They'll cook all night.  At daylight, add the other ingredients. Simmer on low till lunch.

Serve with cornbread or crackers.  Your choice.

Sunday Morning Dawg

We were busy yesterday out at the club, shooting and visiting with friends.  We got home and I trimmed the leftover ham from Thanksgiving while Milady put put some great northern beans in the crock pot.  This morning, Milady took the ham I had trimmed and diced it to add to the bean pot.

The dog, of course, is hoping something will hit the floor.  I suspect that Milady gifted him some trimmings.  The menu today is white bean chili with cornbread or crackers for those so disposed.

White bean chili has become one of our choices when we're feeding a bunch of people.  Generally it's made with chicken, but we had a pound or so of ham left over, so we decided to experiment a bit, to substitute ham for the chicken, and see how it turns out.

Friday, November 27, 2015


After the prep, the meal, the family, the visiting, the shooting, the laughing, the general noisiness of the Thanksgiving celebration, Milady and I looked up about 4:00 pm and realized that we were alone.  The family and friends had departed, after taking leftovers and helping straighten the kitchen.  She and I made a few last-minute adjustments.  She poured a glass of wine, and I had a bourbon.

Today, we're being Sorry.  Not sorry in the emotional sense, but Sorry in the We-Ain't-Doing-Anything sense.  Sorry, as in "He's so Sorry, he wouldn't hit a lick at a snake."

The floors are reasonably clean, the house is reasonably quiet, and the dog is asleep on the kitchen floor.  Milady doesn't do Black Friday and neither do I.  I'm happy to simply sit here in my sloth today.  Surf the internet, watch Netflix, and take the dog outside occasionally to survey the weather.

Thanksgiving is technically over, but for a quiet house today, for my lady curled up in her chair with her Kindle, for my dog peaceful after the joyful chaos of yesterday, I am thankful.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Never Seen That Before

Playing with the grandkids in the yard today, we wer e doing a little wax bullet work with Milady's Ruger New Vaquero.  I bought that revolver for Milady back in March as we began our Fast Draw game and we've been very happy with it.  When she bought her Liberty Model, the Ruger became a back-up, a spare gun, and it rides with us everywhere in the spares bag.

After the girls finished shooting, as we were clearing the revolver and the range, I happened to touch the front sight and it wiggled.  Wiggled.  I handed the revolver to my son, and he looked at it, then pulled the sight from its slot.  "Looks like the solder turned loose, Pop."

I've seen a lot of things, but I've never seen a front sight turn loose.  That gun has never fired a single round of standard ammunition, has been exclusively a wax-bullet gun.  I guess I'll box it up and on Monday, call Ruger.  It looks like a trip to the shop is in order.

Thanksgiving Day

The ham and turkey are in the smoker, not for smoking, but because oven space is always at a premium on Thanksgiving morning.  I still have room in there for a couple of pans, if people bring over side dishes that need to be warmed.

The counters are cleaned, the carpets are vacuumed, and PawPaw is taking a small break to reflect on my many blessings.  Family and friends will start to arrive in another couple of hours and things will get noisy around here.  Several of my blessings are my children and the fine people they've grown to be.

Another blessing is this home that Milady and I have made.  She saved me from myself almost fifteen years ago and she is my strength, my compass, and my love.  We've designed our home for entertaining, and love that so many people are comfortable here.

Standing outside regulating the smoker, I heard a familiar song and looked up to see a flight of geese heading south.  I thought of my Dad, who chased ducks and geese all his life, and his love for the wild places and the wild things.  After the third flight passed overhead, complaining noisily, I knew from long association with the old man that a front must be approaching.  Geese ride ahead of a front, and the geese are moving this morning.  Sure enough, a look at the weather maps tell me that tomorrow we can expect a change in weather.

But, for today we'll have mild temps and pleasant weather.  Tomorrow is soon enough for the weather to change, and for that I am also thankful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Shooter Report

Granddaughter Layla expressed an interest in shooting, so while she was over today, we took the time to do a basic course on the single action revolver.  Everyone should know how to operate a single action revolver (and a semi-auto pistol), and I have a small range in my backyard.  Wax bullet ammo works good to familiarize, so after basic safety, we went down to the 7-yard line and did a little shooting.  Going slow, concentrating on sight alignment and trigger squeeze.  It was her first time out, but I think that she had a good time.

There is no reason for a young lady to not know how to operate a revolver and Layla took an important first step today.  PawPaw is proud of her.

That College "Rape Culture" Probably Doesn't Exist

According to data released by the American Association of College Women, 91% of US colleges and universities reported no rapes last year.
And so it goes for the American Association of University Women, which analyzed 2014 reporting data from colleges and universities across the country and found that 91 percent of schools had no reported incidents of rape.
But, the association is not convinced.
 "When campuses report zero incidents of rape, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, it simply does not square with research, campus climate surveys, and widespread experiences reported by students," the AAUW wrote.
Well, sweetie (yeah, I know, I'm a patronizing misogynist here), get over it.  It's your chart, your research, your data. And it shows that the problem simply is not widespread.  If 91% of colleges and universities report no sexual violence, that's a good thing.

Unless, of course, widespread sexual violence helps you with your political endeavors.  No rape, no power for the Social Justice Warriors.  Or, as Professor Reynolds says, "insufficient opportunity for graft."

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Murder Rates

Murder rates seem to be one of the topics of discussion this year, and there's a lot of bad data floating round out there.  One that I saw recently on Facebook, for example, attributed to various sources (including the Trump campaign).  There's a lot wrong with this graphic, so let me point out a few things that you might consider.

The first and most obvious problem is that no one has murder stats for 2015, because 2015 isn't over yet and won't be for another month.  And, the murder stats for 2015 won't be available for another year or so, because those cases have to be completed before they can be put in a database.  Others have pointed out that the graphic is sources to the Crime Statistics Bureau of San Francisco, which simply doesn't exist.

But, there is a bureau that keeps these statistics, and they have data from 2013, which makes sense.  Let's take a look at the FBI data, shall we?

Those are the best numbers that the FBI ca give us,  Murder is a messy business, and it takes serious people to put together a chart like that.  Still, those numbers can tell us a few things.  Like, for example, that some races can't be characterized.  And, that we're fairly tribal.  Most whites are killed by whites, and most blacks are killed by blacks.  That makes sense as well, simply because murder is generally an up-close-and-personal affair.  Yes, there are random murders, but speaking in broad generalities, most murder victims know their assailants.

Jazz Shaw does a good job of analysis at Hot Air, discussing proportionality, and I'll leave you to jump over there are read his analysis, but I'll leave you with this thought:
In the end, there was some truth on both sides, but if we are to be honest in this political debate we have to stick to the facts. That chart was wrong pretty much across the board and wildly so in a few categories. There’s no harm in having this debate, no matter how much the feelings of the SJW may be hurt, but we should at least rely on accurate data.
No, the original chart isn't wildly inaccurate, but it has enough problems that you shouldn't rely on it.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Well, That Sucks

Evidently, the 2.2L engine on a 90's era Isuzu Rodeo is an interference engine.

What that means is when the timing belt breaks and it jumps time, the pistons come up and total the valves.

No, I haven't pulled the head.  But, I'm betting that there is lots of damage in there.  I had that same problem on an '80s era Ford Escort.  That vehicle was new enough to rebuild, so we took it down.  When we pulled the head, every valve was bent and three pistons were holed.

I've seen this dragon before, and it's a beasty beast.  I don't know if that engine is worth rebuilding.

Here's the little bastard that wrecked the engine.

Tiny little piece of steel, it's part of the timing belt tensioner.  Evidently, though vibration or fatigue, it broke loose, fell into the timing belt, threw the engine out of time, and in 1/2 a second, had ruined the engine.  It's a trifling little part, but the aftermath was catastrophic.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Part Time Tie Down

Tying down your revolver is important.  Whether single-action or double-action, it's important to make sure that your handgun is secure in your holster.  Generally, the holster maker uses a simple strip of latigo, probably cut from the same leather as the holster was cut from, to form a simple loop to tie the holster to the revolver.  Sort of like this:

That leather loop is fine for 99% of tie-down duty.  Properly adjusted, it wll keep the gun in the holster.  But, 99% of the time doesn't cut it, when you're in the fast draw game.  That latigo loop should certainly secure the gun, but when you un-loop it, you want it to lie down out of the way.

I own holsters from several custom makers, to include Mernicle, Ken's Leathercraft, El Paso Saddlery, and Crease N Corral.  In addition to a couple that my son has made for me.  When I was at the invitational last week, I was running a holster from Ken's Leathercraft.  I like Ken's work, but for some reason I kept getting the front sight of my gun stuck in the loop as I drew the revolver.  The loop was just a bit stiff, and stood proudly from the holster when it wasn't holding the revolver.  Sticking the front sight of your revolver in your tie-down is a sure-fire way of slowing your draw.

Luckily, the proprietor of Crease N Corral is a friend of mine, as well as a first class Fast Draw competitor in his own right. We call him Part Time, and he's come up with a little fix for the tie-down problem, and it's easy enough that anyone can replicate it in just a few minutes with a piece of leather.  So, I went out to the bench and cut a strip of scrap leather to make a tie-down

It's pretty simple actually, a strip of leather long enough to thread though the tie-down holes in the holster ( a foot or so is sufficient),  Wider at one end than the other.  In the wide end, punch a hole and cut a small slit that will fit over the hammer spur.

Easy-peasy, and there is no way the muzzle of the revolver will get caught in that loop during a draw.  I've made several of these for various holsters and once installed, there is never a problem.

Sunday Morning Dawg

It's a cool, crisp morning in central Louisiana.  We awoke to stars in the early morning sky and the dawn is progressing nicely.  Cool temps, it finally feels like autumn and a flannel shirt is just right as the dog and I trek out to the mailbox, looking for the newspaper.

No joy on the paper yet, but the internet gives us an interesting headline following the elections yesterday.
Louisiana turns blue again with big John Bel Edwards win; David Vitter says he’s not running again
Interesting take on Louisiana politics, but not entirely true.  Edwards is the first non-incumbent, statewide Democrat elected since 2003 in Louisiana, but don't look on him to be a bellwether.  John Bel Edwards is by all accounts a good man, and he was able to beat a soiled politico.  I look on the Edwards election as more an indicator of the outsider beating the establishment, which we might have here.  Of course, the fact that Vitter was damaged goods did nothing to help his campaign.

However, the Democrats shouldn't look on Edwards as the savior of the party.  He is still the only statewide elected Democrat and he had better learn to work with the other side of the aisle.  His Lieutenant Governor is a Republican, he Attorney General is a Republican, his Secretary of State is a Republican.

David Vitter says that he's not running again, and will finish his term in the US Senate.  That's good new for Louisiana.  Maybe Rob Maness will consider running again.  He ran a good race against Bill Cassidy, and I think that Rob would make a fine US Senator.  We'll see.

Friday, November 20, 2015

One More Pic

One more picture from the Invitational last week.  Grandson  Zachary, putting the wax on a target.  One of the Bushwacker gals was taking picures and she has sent several.

I haven't seen any pictures of PawPaw or Milady yet on the line, but hope remains.

The Devil You Know

I've talked about this before, but a little background might be in order.  Tomorrow, Louisiana goes to the polls for our general election.  Louisiana has a "jungle" primary system, where all of the candidates run in one primary, regardless of party affiliiation. If one candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, that candidate wins.  If not, the two top vote-getters run again in a general election (we call it the run-off) to decide who wins.

This leads to some odd results.  In the primary last month, we had four main candidates, three Republican and one Democrat.  The Democrat, John Bel Edwards, took 40% of the vote and the three Republicans split 57% of the vote.  Several "no-name" candidates garnered three percent.  After all the votes were counted, Republican Senator David Vitter came in 2nd, with 23% of the vote.  So, Edwards-D, and Vitter-R will face off for the run-off which will be decided tomorrow.

David Vitter is a tarnished candidate.  We've talked about this before.  I simply cannot vote for David Vitter.  There are a lot of other votes like me, who don't want to vote for a Democrat for governor, but simply think that Vitter is too tarnished, too damaged, too sleazy to pull a lever with his name beside it.  So, what we're left with is the distinct probability that tomorrow, Louisiana will elect a Democrat as our governor.  So be it.

I fault the Republican party of Louisiana.  They've hitched their horse to this damaged politician, and backed him when they could have found another candidate.  By standing with Vitter, they've allowed Edwards to work himself into a spot where he stands a better-than-average chance of being governor.

Louisiana might find itself in the weird position of being a blood-red state with a blue governor.  Such is the manner of Louisianna politics.  Some have asked why I don't hold my nose and vote -R-, and the simple answer is that I simply can't vote for David Vitter.  Louisiana Republicans have no one to blame but themselves.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Another Great Pic

Another great pic from the Invitational this weekend.  Here we have one of the twins (I can't tell them apart unless I read the name on the belt.) Shooting 5-card.  These kids run Ruger New Vaqueros, and they're quite good   Their Daddy is a top competitor, and the boys are following in his footsteps.  They're already capable of out-shooting most of the men, and the only consolation we have is that there is a couple of years before they start shooting with the men-folk.  They're in the Youth division now, so I don't have to stand the line against them.

Both of them are great young men, ready to laugh, or help out, or tote a load, or help coach another shooter.  I'm proud to know them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Invitational Pics

Pictures keep dribbling in from the Invitational, and I found a good one today.

Two friends, Part-Time and Whiplash dueling with 7.5" guns in our range.  If you look at the pic really close (and you can click to enlarge) you'll see Whiplash's bullets heading to the target.

Good men, both of them, out of the Big Thicket Bushwackers, from near Silsbee, TX.

We had a heck of a time this weekend.  All my readers should look around and find a Cowboy Fast Draw club nearby.  Here's a link to active clubs.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Invitatioal Video

A short video from the Invitational.  Grandson Akarate Zach )pronounced Accurate Zach) is running a Ruger New Vaquero.  This was a "fun" match on Sunday morning.  We call it "Five Card Draw".  The shooter begins seated at a card table, holding a hand of cards.  The revolver is on the table, ahead of a line made by the cards.  On the start signal, the shooter drops the cards on the table and engages two targets to his immediate front.  The angle of this particular video doesn't let you see the targets, but he manages to hit both his targets.  At age 13, the boy is getting very good at running a Vaquero.

Very nice shooting running a single-action revolver.  He came in 5th overall, against some very good guns.  (If you miss a target, you incur a 1.5 second penalty)

Aw, heck.  One more.  This video is called "Doubles".  Zach engages two targets from the holster.  He gets hits on both targets, with a time of 2.252 seconds.  Very nice shooting, remembering that he's running a cowboy revolver.

That's why we play this silly game.

Duds - Again

Couple of weeks ago, I was talking about buying some new duds.  I had ordered a pair of trousers and a shirt from Wild West Mercantile.  I wore them this weekend at the Invitational, and I'm here to provide a usage review.

Blue-Eyed Belle and Major D
Let's start with the hat:  It's a standard bit of Cav HOO-AH, immediately recognizable on any Army post in the world.   While the maker of the hat is lost to the mysteries of our modern supply system, it is a black slouch hat.  The brass is modern, purchased from the US Cavalry Store.  The hat may not be period correct, but I've earned the right to wear everything that's on it.  I may look around for more period correct accouterments, or I may not.

The shirt is from Frontier Classics.  It's a four-button pullover.  I ordered the 2X size and it was plenty large to cover my expansive belly.  Very nice shirt, extremely comfortable.

The gunbelt is by El Paso Saddlery.  Lots of folks overlook El Paso Saddlery, but I like their leather.  This belt is a #2 Texas belt.  The holster comes from Ken's Leathercraft.  It's his standard Quick Draw Holster.  It's very affordable at $70.00 and lots of people use Ken's work.  His holsters are quality competition holsters and you'll see them all over the circuit.  How he can build a complete rig for $130.00 is a mystery, but he makes very good leather.

The trousers are also Frontier Classic.  They're a button-fly with suspender buttons.  The only length they ship is 36", so be prepared to cut them to length and hem them.  They seem to be good, sturdy trousers made of denim.  Mine are black, but they come in various colors.

What surprised me about the outfit was how comfortable it is.  Really, truly comfortable.  This is an outfit I could wear all day, every day.  Maybe the folks who wore these clothes back in the 19th century knew something that we have forgotten.  If I buy several more of these outfits, I may cut up my modern bluejeans for shop rags.  Or, more likely, I'll simply buy suspender buttons and cut the belt loops off.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Paris Attacks

While I was out playing fast-draw this weekend, the jihadis in France were playing as well.  The police and military response is still underway, but some news is beginning to leak out.  One interesting article in blinding perspective is found at the New York Post.  It seems that the jihadis have a master plan to break us.
It happened because the Islamic State, the latest version of the Islamo-apocalyptic movement, has decided that Western democracies, representing the “Infidel” world, are no longer prepared to fight even to preserve their comfortable lives. The Paris attacks came on the first day of the Muslim lunar month of Safar, which coincides with the anniversary of the Prophet Mohammed’s first successful “ghazva” (raid) against the “infidel” at Safwan in 623 AD.
Everything is tied to history, and if you don't understand Islamic history, terror won't make sense.  They're counting on that.
 The Islamic State’s message is stark: Western civilization is doomed. Its last bastion, America, lacks the will for war. The infidel loves life and treats it as an endless feast. Jihadis have to ruin that feast and persuade the “infidel” to abandon this world in exchange for greater rewards in the next.
Go, as they say, and read the whole thing, but be forewarned.  We're at war with radical Islam, whether our president wants to admit it or not.  

Sunday, November 15, 2015

It's in the Books

The Thorn Valley Invitational is in the history books and I am more convinced than ever that the people of the Cowboy Fast Draw Association are the finest people in the world.

We hosted the natch at a camp we've been using for a couple of years, but which recently came under new ownership.  I was talking with the new owners this morning, and he told me "I was pleasantly surprised.  These are the nicest people I've ever been around."

That mirrors my experience exactly.  While I had already formed that opinion, it was nice to hear it from outside the organization.  Shooters from Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana showed up in the woods near Melder, LA to spend a weekend shooting, competing, joshing, and enjoying the company of like-minded folks.  It's hard to put a stamp on our competitiveness.  We help each other, often to the point of helping a competitor who will beat us.

For example:  Probably one of the best shooters in the game, we call Delta Whiskey.  He won the Texas State championship last year and I've seen him win or place in a half-dozen other competitions  Both of his sons compete, and are top-notch competitors.  Yet, while I was running the line this morning, I happened to look up to see Delta Whiskey gunsmithing on my grandson, Zachary's revolver.  He was adding a reduced power spring to make the hammer easier to cock.

In the next ten minutes, Zach and Delta's boys were over on the dry-fire range, working on Zach's draw.  In the space of twenty minutes, Zach had a hammer job and draw coaching from competitors.

Zach beat Delta Whiskey in the next round.  That's the way the folks in the CFDA are.  We'll help a competitor beat us in the next round, then we'll laugh about it, shake hands, and wish the other fellow well.

Many thanks to Texas Rose, one of the Bushwacker bunch.  She came from Silsbee, TX and organized the score-keeping, keeping the rounds straight and totaling the final results.  Texas Rose is a great competitor, is currently the 2nd Place National Top Gun points champion, and she was working like a turk in the scoring booth.  She didn't have to do that, but her help made our match a success.  We learned a lot from Texas Rose this weekend.  Thanks again.

Many thanks to Okie Ed, and Split Shot, who traveled from Oklahoma.  Split Shot's boy was rodeo-ing this weekend, and it would have been easy to stay home and watch his boy bust mutton, but he came to our little piddling match to help make it a success, and I appreciate the effort.

Many thanks to Windmill Kid, who dolly'd down a trailer and drove over to help with the Regulating and the Range-Mastering.  Every time I'm around Windmill, I learn something about this game.  I appreciate his efforts.

And to Plain Jane, and Parttime, and Whiplash, and Speedy, and Blue-Eyed Bandit, and all the rest that made the trip, Thank you.  Thanks for making the Thorn Valley match a success, and thanks for showing up.  I'm sure I'm forgetting someone, but I appreciate y'all too.

But, the 2015 Thorn Valley Invitational is in thebooks.  It's done, it's over, and everyone is heading home.  Thanks again to everyone who helped make it a success, and to all the friends I saw this weekend. It was wonderful and I hope to see you all again, soon.

See y'all on the line.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Finally Friday

We've been looking forward to this for several months, and folks should start arriving this afternoon.  Tomorrow is our Invitational Match, and we're excited.  Folks from several states will show up at a little camp near Melder, LA.

We've got the range set up, and the cooking is assigned.  We're feeding good this weekend.  If you're in the area, drop by.  We'll feed breakfast about 7:00 with a shooter's meeting at 8:00 and the first round beginning shortly thereafter.  It's a No-X match, which means everyone will get to shoot in every round. We'll break about noon for lunch, which will be provided as well. At some point in the afternoon, the best shooters will rise to the top, and we'll have a shoot-off to determine the winners.

Then, supper, and I'm sure that there will be yarning and some degree of jaw-jacking..

PawPaw willl make sure that Zach has the camera.  He's known to photographically snipe people with the camera, so there will be plenty of pictures.

Good food, good shooting, good people.  The weather promises to be spectacular and I'm looking forward to a great weekend.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

While I was doing Veteran's Day yesterday, the world went crazy.

Like many of you, I've been watching the Mizzou protests, all of which seem to be based on lies so the Social Justice Warriors could stir up trouble.  I mean, if you're going to protest, shouldn't your protest be based on provable incidents?  Just asking

While we're talking about Mizzou, it seems that Assistant Professor Click has become click-bait.  I'd assume that an Assistant Professor of Mass Communication would understand the First Amendment and filming in public places.  Evidently, Click has no clue, so she attacked a journalist covering the protests.  Of course, once she laid hands on the journalist, she committed a criminal offense, and the journalist is pressing charges.

I do feel sorry (not) for the good professor, because her life's work just got condensed into a short YouTube video that shows she neither understands the Constitution nor the role of the free press.  Whatever other research she might have done, any simple Google search for her name will turn up the video of her being an asshole.  Simply an asshole.  It's a resume-builder, all right.

Jonathon Rausch offers an excellent trigger waring to prospective college students.
“Warning: Although this university values and encourages civil expression and respectful personal behavior, you may at any moment, and without further notice, encounter ideas, expressions and images that are mistaken, upsetting, dangerous, prejudiced, insulting or deeply offensive. We call this education.”

In other news, it seems that the FBI has expanded it's probe of Hillary Clinton and one prong of the investigation is focusing on "materially false statements".  Heh!  Hillary should ask Martha Stewart how that type probe normally works out.

More locally, our CFDA club, the Thorn Valley Shootists Society is prepping for our Invitational match this weekend.  PawPaw will be busy with last minute things, but expect plenty of news

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day

It all starts with the oath.

Thank you for your service.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Interesting Question, and Sanctuary Cities

We've all hard about sanctuary cities.  Places that declare that immigration law doesn't apply to them, and they set about ignoring federal law.  While I approve of federalism, I don't believe that ignoring federal law is in the best interest of the states, and frankly, I thought we settled that issue in the early 1860s.  Still, there are several cities nationwide who have flaunted their sanctuary status.  Which leads to some interesting questions.

Like for example, this Oregon sheriff, who has been given authority to ignore local laws that he believes violates the US Constitution, specifically the 2nd Amendment.
An Oregon county has approved a controversial measure giving the local sheriff discretion to ignore gun laws he deems unconstitutional -- potentially putting the sheriff in the middle of a Second Amendment battle and raising legal questions that may have to be resolved in court. 
If municipalities across the country can ignore federal laws at whim, then a country sheriff can certainly ignore local laws that he feels are unconstitutional, right?  Seems right to me. Well, the Sheriff isn't sure.  He feels like he's in a bind.
 Zanni told The Oregonian he is a strong supporter of gun rights, but predicted before the vote that the matter would end up in court. "I'm not sure the courts would agree with that concept," he said. "I would just bet there would be some legal challenges to it." 
It is an interesting question, Sheriff, and I hope y'all figure it out.  But, if San Francisco can ignore federal law, there's no reason why you can't ignore state law in favor of the Constitution.

Open Tops

One of the fascinating periods of handgun design happened during the 1850s when Rollin White obtained a patent for the bored-through cylinder.  This made it possible to load cartridges in a cylinder rather than ball and loose powder.  White worked for Smith and Wesson, but firearms designers everywhere saw the value of the innovation and White spent a lot of money litigating infringement.

After the patents had expired, several manufacturers, including Colt, made conversions to upgrade the old cap-and-ball revolvers to the newfangled cartridges.  Today, we call these Army/Navy conversions, or simply, Open Tops.  They don't have the familiar top strap of steel that covers the top of the cylinder.

Of course, when Colt came out with the Model P, or Peacemaker in 1873, all bets were off.  While these revolvers were surpassed by newer models, they have a fascinating history.  The original conversions and open-tops are collector items, but Uberti makes a copy.

I admit that lately I have been fascinated by these reproductions, and while I haven't done anything about it yet, a copy is definitely on my watch list.  They're accepted for Cowboy Fast Draw, and with our low-pressure primer loads, I certainly wouldn't stress the frame shooting those loads.

So, the question becomes: long gun or short?  While the shorter barrel is faster, the long barrel has more historical accuracy.  Decisions, decisions.

Monday, November 09, 2015

The Mercury

I put the Mercury back on its tires today.  New upper and lower ball joints, sway bar end links (both sides) and a steering idler.    Grease in the new zerk joints, oil change, and a short test drive.  Wednesday, I'll take it to a good shop and get the front end aligned.

It's an '01 with barely over 100K miles, and I can't understand why the front end was worn, but after taking it apart, it was plainly clear that it was dangerous.  Now, everything is tight and secure and it should be good for another 100K.

Over the course of my police career, the Ford Crown Victoria dominated police service.  This is the same platform, re-badged as a Mercury, with a few more creature comforts than the police cruisers, in which I spent so much time.  I know what this car will do, and I know how to drive it.  They're great cars, solid, steady, comfortable, and the best part is that there is no car note.  It's paid for.

I need a truck, (everybody needs a truck) but I don't need a truck every day.  This car keeps the miles off of my pickup, gets me about comfortably, and gets good gas mileage.  There's a lot to like in an old car and this one qualifies.  They literally don't make them like this anymore.

Beat Alabama

PawPaw doesn't post much about football, but I'm an LSU Tiger fan, and one thing has become increasingly clear.  LSU head coach Les Miles is totally unsuited to the job for the simple reason that he doesn't know how to beat Alabama.

There is no dishonor in losing a hard-fought football game.  There is dishonor, however, in going out on the field against a strong, tough opponent and being totally unprepared for the challenge ahead.  If you watched the game this past Saturday between LSU and Alabama, you know what I mean.  LSU's offense was not only outscored, they were demoralized, beaten, whipped.  It was disgusting to watch.

Military commanders understand the concept of Objective, and it's plain that Les Miles doesn't understand his one objective:  Beat Alabama.  In that he has failed, time and time again.  In the last nine games, LSU has overcome Alabama exactly twice, and haven't prevailed against them since 2011.  Personally, I would have fired Miles in the minutes after the disastrous 21-0 loss during the National Championship game in January, 2012.  For some reason, LSU decided to stay with Miles, but I would have sent his ass up the road.

Maybe it's time to re-write Les Miles' contract, with exactly one performance objective, and spell out the penalty for failing to meet that objective.  It should read something like this.

The Head Coach, by accepting this contract, understands that his one performance objective is to beat Alabama.  Nothing else matters but the numbers on the board at the end of the game.  All rules of the NCAA and the SEC must be followed, but his job depends on that game. 
To that end, before kickoff of the LSU-Alabama game, the Head Coach will pack his personal belongings from his office, the locker room, and any other facility owned by LSU.  He will surrender his keys to an assistant coach of his choosing.  If, at the end of thell game, LSU has lost to Alabama, the Head Coach will be immediately escorted off the campus, never to return to LSU.  He will forfeit all pay, allowances, and perquisites.

I'm sure that the lawyers will do a better job of drafting that contract, but the basic idea is simple.  If he doesn't beat Alabama, he's not allowed back on campus. He's already packed his office, the assistant coach can put his boxes on UPS.

But, in the short term, it's simple.  It's time for Coach Miles to go.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Sunday Morning Dawg

Rain yesterday, and in this pre-dawn hour we're not sure what the day will hold.  Milady has beef tips in the large crock pot, so lunch is assured.  Closer to daylight, PawPaw will dice some tasso and start a big pot of baby lima beans as a side dish.  The dog attends the living room carpet, to await the daylight.

Hopefully, the day will be sunny and cool.  We've got a lot to do today, so we'd best hit it hard.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Rainy Day Practice

Rainy Day out at Thorn Valley, but we have an indoor range, and we're lucky in that regard.  Some pictures from todays practice.  All names are CFDA alias.

Silverside, making ready.  That's lane 1 of our range, hard against the wall of the barn.  I never do well on lane 1, so I try to avoid it.  Other folks like it, and that's fine.

Left to right, Amazing Grace, observing, Big Mark calling the line, Silverside observing, and Sinister Sal in his set stance.

Sinister Sal and Akarate Zach coming out of the holster on the light.  That fellow on the far right in the checkered shirt is Rebel Yell.  He was trying out Big Mark's long gun.  Hitting good with it, too, after he learned to get that long barrel out of the holster.  He was hitting in the 6s quite regularly, and that's pretty durned good for someone who is first trying a long gun.  In our sport, a long gun is a revolver with a 7.5" barrel.  Most shooters like the 4.75" barrel, it's easier to drag out of the holster.  That long barrel is a challenge all its own.

 That's Milady.  Her CFDA alias is Blue Eyed Belle.  I didn't get a photo of her on the line, but several of us were sitting outside jawing, and I caught this photo of her.

All in all, a great practice.  We're ensconced at home now, watching it rain and scratching the dawg.  About 7:00, we'll flip the channel to the LSU game

Rain, Again.

Whoo, it's raining outside. All those pretty colors on the weather map.

Reds and greens and yellows everywhere.  PawPaw has already made a trip to the grocers to lay in supplies for the rest of the weekend, so I think we're good.  We've got a meeting at the range at 1:00, and after that I intend to come inside, hunker down, and watch football.

I may do some posting later.  This rain is supposed to pass late this afternoon, and maybe the standing water will get a chance to drain.  The NWS predicted a wet winter, and it looks like we're getting it.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Finally Friday

It's finally Friday, after a hellacious busy week, Nothing seemed to go right this week, but we turn our eyes now, thankfully, to the weekend.  Rain is predicted, so PawPaw will kick back and relax.  We have a meeting at the Thorn Valley range, a final coordination meeting to prepare for our Invitational Shoot next weekend.  We're hearing from lots of shooters and the extended forecast looks like it will be a nice weekend.  I'll be praying for sunny skies and cool temps.

But, in the near term, tomorrow is the LSU - Alabama game.  Our arch-nemesis, led by a traitor.  For those who don't follow such things, Nick Saban was the head coach at LSU before he jumped ship and went to Tuscaloosa.  His name is mud in Louisiana, and I don't think that Saban can even buy a honey-bun at a gas station in Louisiana.

So, tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m., we get a chance to beat some pachyderm butt.  Even though the game is in Tuscaloosa, and Milady's family is from Tuscaloosa, Milady was raised in Louisiana and she attended LSU.  She's rooting for the Tigers, as we all are.  PawPaw will be sure to get some munchies so that we can sit on the couch and watch the game from our electronic 50-yard line.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

NICS Gun Background Checks

Tab cleaning, I find this .jpg that details the number of NICS checks from November 1998 till October 2015.  There is good information there and I don't have time to parse it now but I am amazed at how many guns have been sold under President Obama's term.  He's probably the greatest gun salesman in history.  Here's the link, and here's the chart.  You can, of course, click it to embiggen it.

I'll just leave it there and let anyone who wishes, study it.  Note, if you will, that PawPaw is responsible for a few of those purchases, and some of those were for two or more firearms at one time.  This is just NICS checks, not firearms sold.

Louisiana's Quandry

Louisiana has a tough choice coming later this month.  We'll be deciding who our governor might be.  And the choices are starkly depressing.

On the one hand, we have John Bel Edwards, a Democrat from the north shore, who has been described as an "Obama Democrat".  Louisiana is a deeply red state, but we often elect conservative Democrats to local office.  Indeed, several local politicians I like are conservative Democrats.  But, I can't vote for Bel Edwards.  He seems way to liberal for me.

On the other hand, we have our deeply flawed US Senator, David "Diaper Dave" Vitter, who after running on a family-values platform was almost immediately embroiled in a prostitution scandal when he got to Washington.  Vitter is a sleaze and after the first time, I've never voted for him again.  I don't vote for sleasze.

Milady doesn't like Vitter either.  According to her, Vitter did everything he could do to hold back the permitting on the Jena Choctaw Casino.  Milady is from Jena, and knows the Choctaw band personally.  When every other band or tribe of Native Americans was getting casino approval, the Jena Choctaw band wasn't and the problem seemed to come from Vitter's desk.  Vitter may have some friends among the Native gaming tribes, but the Jena Choctaw band doesn't like him one bit.

So, my choices next weekend seem to be between an Obama Democrat and a sleazy, whore-running Senator.

I may just sit this one out.  I can't vote for either one of those clowns.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

My Old Kentucky Home

I lived in Kentucky for three years, and loved the state.  Not as much as I love Louisiana, but still.

I am heartened to learn that Kentucky has elected a new governor.  Some fellow named Bevin.  What truly heartens me is that Mr. Bevin, seemingly, has never held elective office.
Both Bevin and Hampton are Tea Party activists who have never held elective office.
His running mate, Ms. Hampton, is a black woman who bootstrapped herself into a solid record as a military officer and a manager of industrial concerns.
Born in Detroit, the 57-year-old Hampton and her three sisters were raised by a single mom who lacked a high school education and couldn’t afford a television or a car. But Hampton was determined to better herself. She graduated with a degree in industrial engineering and worked for five years in the automobile industry to pay off her college loans. She then joined the Air Force, retiring as a Captain. She earned an MBA from the University of Rochester, moved to Kentucky and became a plant manager in a corrugated packaging plant. Then she lost her job in 2012. 
Hooray for both of them, and Hooray for Kentucky,

It seems that every cycle, the national pundits decry the rise of the Tea Party, the grassroot conservative movement that wants to reduce taxes and government.  Each cycle, we hear that the movement is doomed, that it cannot last, and that we are certainly a political oddity, that won't note our passing.  Yet, every cycle we get a little stronger.

Congratulations to Mr. Bevin and Ms. Hampton.    May the Bluegrass State thrive under your administration.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

From Comments

Thanks everyone for the comments on the posting from yesterday.  PawPaw has been following the links, and found something that's truly interesting.

Milady has been looking for a riding skirt, and it looks like I found one that meets her specifications at River Junction.  I was concerned that it was authentic, so I called the folks at the number and talked to a nice lady there who told me that it has no zippers or snaps, it simply buttons.  That skirt looks like just the ticket.  Milady will have to hem it, but she hems things for the grandkids all the time.

Thanks, Steve, for the link.  I've got it bookmarked and I'll show it to my gal when I see her next.  We're both working late today, so I might not get home till she's already in bed.

Monday, November 02, 2015


I've been playing this cowboy game for several months now, and it's probably time to buy some duds.  I have never tried buying clothes online, to be quite frank, I never liked buying clothes at all.  Once a year or so, I'll go to one of the box stores and buy a couple sets of jeans, and every so often I'll pick up socks, or boxers, but buying clothing isn't something I do.

Normally, I shop for clothing like a three-year-old, in that my wife will look at my wardrobe, wrinkle her nose and drag me to a clothier, make me try on stuff, and I buy what she tells me to buy. I have bought, on my own power, exactly one nice shirt in the last 15 years.  Luckily, Milady liked it.

I've never liked buying clothing online (I don't buy clothing anyway), because I'm afraid they won't fit.  However, most stores don't carry trousers with suspender buttons, so for cowboy duds, I'm  forced to click on the link.  

So, this morning, I hied myself over to this place, and ordered a set of duds.  We'll see if they fit when they come in.  Trousers, a shirt, and some suspenders.  I'm pretty sure that the suspenders will fit, and if the trousers and shirt are anywhere close to size, they should fit as well.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Mulligan Stew

Probably the first recipe I ever learned was Mulligan Stew, a staple of old Troop 11 when it was scout-mastered by my Uncle Eddie, with my Dad and their cousin Reggie.  It's a simple stew that even a boy can make, and it's easily done over a campfire.  I taught it to all my boys when I was a Scoutmaster of Troop 60.

Or, of course it can be cooked on your home stove.  One of the kids was asking when I was going to cook another Mulligan, and today seems as good a time as any.

It's a great camp food because it requires very few ingredients, and they don't require much refrigeration.  If you're not worried about camp scavengers (bears, dogs, coyotes), you can leave bacon out on the camp table for several days.  It's a cured meat and really doesn't require much refrigeration, especially if you're camping in cool temps.  Plus, bacon carries it's own grease, and really, who doesn't like bacon?  This is a bacon stew.

Be advised.  There is nothing about this stew that is low-cal, vegetarian, vegan, or heart-healthy.  This is bacon, taters, gravy.  It's stick-to-your-ribs, keep you warm, feel-good food.

Mulligan Stew.


Salt, pepper.


Peel and dice several large potatoes.  I normally just go ahead and peel a 5 lb bag.
Cook some bacon.  Normally one pack.  Drain and crumble, but save the bacon grease.
In a large pot, make a roux.
Add water to make a gravy.  Add your potatoes, and add water as necessary to cover the potatoes.
Add your crumbled bacon.
Simmer until the potatoes are tender.

Serve over rice, or stale bread.  Some like rice, but my eldest son swears by stale bread.

Sunday Morning Dawg

It's raining this weekend, and the dog doesn't like it one bit.  Ran, and thunder, and Oh, My God, will it never quit?  He's not a fan of heavy weather, and he never has been.

He's been a scared pup all weeked, and there's no use telling him he's okay. He's convinced that disaster approaches and WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!

Pore ol' dawg.