Monday, June 26, 2017

Memories - II

Thinking about that video from yesterday, I began thinking about rappelling.  Sometimes, the helicopter couldn't land (either because of rugged terrain or unfavorable vegetation) to let the passengers out, so we learned to get out on ropes.

The UH-1 helicopter would normally carry a crew of three and eight passengers.  We'd get out, two at a time from ropes suspended from the ceiling of the helicopter  Normally these ropes are 100 feet long and we used a double-strand in our carabiners, so the length of the rope from helicopter to ground was about 50 feet.




The problem comes in limited visibility, or when the pilot isn't paying attention.  It is entirely possible, as people get out of the helicopter for it to rise in the air, above the LZ.  A soldier might  run out of rope before he hits the ground.

Let me be the first to tell you, when your back hand feels the rope run out, I don't care how fast your reflexes are, you cannot grab that rope with your front hand.  That just ain't gonna happen.  At that point you're in free-fall, and generally, your feet are just a couple of feet off the ground.  But, there for an instant, you're scared spitless.

Oh, the joys of Army aviation.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Memories

Surfing around YouTube today, waiting for Belle to get home, I stumble across this blast-from-the-past with images from my misspent youth.

No, I didn't make it to the unpleasantness in SE Asia.  I was training for it, and suddenly it was over, and I got out of the Air Cav and into Armored Cav and line Armor, as the Army shifted its focus from the jungles of Vietnam to the battleground of Europe and the Fulda Gap.

I've got the greatest respect in the wold for the soldiers today, but we had our fun too.  Almost no one in those days wore body armor.  The only folks I ever knew that actually had it were the Huey pilots, who sat on it.  The NVA had a Chi-com .51 caliber heavy machine gun (much like our beloved Ma-Deuce) and the chopper pilots were scared spitless of that gun.

But, anyway, a blast from the past from the Air Cavalry of my youth.



The music ain't bad either.

That Roll of Paper Towels

Eaton Rapids Joe emailed me recently, asking me if I knew the story that Junior Doughty told about keeping a roll of paper towels on the end of the register when he  owned and ran a small country convenience store.

Junior Doughty and I collaborated on The Frugal Outdoorsman, a web-zine that he published for several years prior to his death.  Junior's daughter, Kim, keeps it alive and you can read our stuff under the link.

But, back to the paper towels.  It's an old store-keepers trick to balance the books, and I told Joe that I remembered.  It morphed into a story about another store-keeper I knew.
For several years, Junior was the owner of a small store in Tullos, LA.  He sold gas, groceries and sundries.  He didn't ring up the roll of paper towels to every customer, just the ones he thought was stealing from him.
It worked like this:  A customer would come in the store, usually with a kid or two in tow.  If the kid snitched a 50 cent candy bar, Junior rang up the paper towels. He also kept a brand-new mop at the end of the counter.  If the customer was an asshole, or a known problem person, he got charged for the mop as well.
It was a fairly common practice.  I knew another store owner, John Gibson, who ran the Rite Way Grocery in Natchez, LA.  Natchez, LA is a small agriculture community just south of Natchitoches.  The two closest stores were seven miles away, one north, one south.
John always had the lowest gasoline prices in the parish.  I asked him about it, and he told me, "Dennis, I set my gas prices just high enough to pay for the product and the electricity to run the pumps.  I don't care if I never make any profit on gasoline.  But if you come in the store, you're mine..  While you're in the store, if you buy a coke, or a pack of cigarettes, or God forbid, a gallon of milk, I'll soak you for the convenience I make my living selling groceries.  The gasoline just gets them in the parking lot."
John also kept a roll of paper towels on the end of the counter.
John, and his wife, Judy, were an interesting match.  Their store building encompassed the Rite Way grocery and JJ's Lounge, the bar on the other end of the building.  John ran the grocery, and Judy ran the bar.  Judy was a big-titted blonde with a heart of gold, a ready smile, and poured an honest drink.  It was a common redneck bar in an agricultural area, a place where everyone was welcome.  It had Wednesday night poker games, Thursday night karaoke, and live music on Saturday.  Between John selling groceries on one end of the building, and Judy selling whiskey on the other, John and Judy got very wealthy.
Another factoid about Junior. During the time he owned the store, he sold a lot of whiskey in a place where whiskey was forbidden.  Boot-legging was rampant, and Junior chafed at the idea that he couldn't sell whiskey, especially when he saw large trucks carrying whiskey between the cities of Monroe and Alexandria.  Junior noticed that one truck in particular made the run every Wednesday, so one day Junior flagged the driver and had a talk.
Every Wednesday, that truck would pull into Junior's lot and sell good booze right out of the back of the truck.  The customers didn't have to drive 50 miles for good whiskey, and the driver split the profit with Junior.   Junior told me that at one point in the operation, he was selling one percent of all the Crown Royal sold in the state of Louisiana.
Every store owner has his little technique, but the paper towel game is more common than you think.
The next time you go into a little country store, make sure the grandkids keep their hands in their pockets, and pay attention to the roll of paper towels near the register.

Sunday Morning

While I was getting my butt kicked at Defensive Tactics on Thursday, Belle was heading north.  She, JimBob, and Zach were going to Missouri to a wedding on that side of the family.  So, since Thursday, the dawg and I have been batch'in it.  We've eaten well, drank a little whiskey, and enjoyed ourselves, even if we missed Belle's steadying hand.

She's leaving Missouri this morning and heading south, so we'll see her about bed time.   That's great, we miss her.

But, in the meantime, life has to go on and the kids will be over today for our usual Sunday lunch.  So, last night, I dropped a bunch of stew meat into the crock post and covered it with good brown gravy.  It's been bumping on low all night, and this morning when I woke up, the kitchen smelled like heaven.  In a few minutes, I'm going to chop some of Guillory's good tasso and put it in a pot with frozen purple-hull peas.  That'll simmer for a couple f hours.  Then, just before lunch, I'll put on a pot of rice, and slip some rolls into the oven.

I'm glad that Belle got to go to the wedding, but it will be good to have her home this evening.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Two Rugers

In forming this new Cowboy Fast Draw club at the church, I've had to answer a lot of questions about guns, belts, holsters, rules and range etiquette.  It's not a problem, but some folks are not familiar with the subtle differences inn equipment that might make one revolver suitable for Cowboy Fast Draw.  Most people are visual learners, so lets take a look at two revolvers that are very similar and very different.  One is absolutely within the rules of the CFDA and one iss not.

Top Ruger Super Blackhawk
Bottom: Ruger Vaquero
On top, we have a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 Remington Magnum.  It''s a great handgun for lots of things, and one of my favorites.  That's the revolver I strap when I'm cruising the woods.  It's easy to shoot, in a heavy caliber, and is useful for everything from feral hogs to venomous snakes with the right loads.  Unfortunately, it's completely unsuitable for Cowboy Fast Draw, for the following reasons.  1) It's the wrong caliber.  In CFDA, we use .45 Long Colt only.  2) It has adjustable sights.  In CFDA, we use fixed sights only, of the type used in the 1880s.  and 3) it has a wide spur hammer.

Wide Spur Hammer isn't allowed in CFDA.
That big, lovely, wide spur hammer simply isn't allowed on a revolver used for CFDA shooting.   Some of the other sports allow them, and new shooters have to be cautioned to get a revolver with a proper hammer. As a sidebar, some of the companies are coming out with what they call a "short-stroke" action, in which the hammer is only cocked to about halfway before setting in the full cock notch. Short-stroke revolvers aren't allowed in CFDA either.  The hammer must exhibit the full cocking motion.

Vaquero hammer spur of the proper dimensions
The photo above shows the standard hammer spur from a Ruger Vaquero.  The hammer spur is the same width as the rest of the hammer, and is the type required for CFDA shooting.

A handgun is a substantial investment for many people.  I'd hate to have one of my new shooters buy something and not be able to use it in the sport.

The rules are found in the latest edition of the rule book, and say this  about acceptable handguns:
Single-action revolvers, factory chambered for .45 Colt caliber, with non-adjustable rear sights, such as: S.A.A. Colt, Colt Bisley, 1858 Remington Conversion, 1875 Remington, 1860 Army Conversion, 1872 Open Top, S&W Schofield, and “faithful reproductions” thereof. Plus, the following Ruger models; Vaquero, New Vaquero, Bisley Vaquero, CFDA Vaquero, and Short Spur Vaquero. Special Exception: Vaquero (Short Spur) hammers may be inter-changed with a New Vaquero, which is the basis for both a CFDA Vaquero and Short Spur Vaquero models. The exterior parts of the revolver must match factory stock contours and made of original type material: i.e. hammers must not be bent in anyway, no trigger shoes, no aluminum/titanium barrels or cylinders, no skeletonizing, no modifications to the trigger guard, or grip frame, etc. All external parts must match the manufacturer’s stock product, i.e. a Bisley revolver must have a matching Bisley hammer, a SAA must have a stock SAA hammer. Front sights are optional. Minimum barrel length is 4-1/2”, except in the Shootist Category (See Page 8), when measured from the cylinder to the front of the barrel. Hammer knurling may be smoothed or sharpened

I think I'll take the Ruger Super Blackhawk to the club meeting today.  It might help if I can show them what a wide spur hammer looks like

Friday, June 23, 2017

Re-Quals 0 Day 3

Well, I'm through.  For the 30th time, I have passed my retainer.

Yeah,I've been a cop for 37 years, but until 1984, cops didn't require formal training, except the once yearly firearms qualifications.  Ronnie Reagan, in 1984, got a law passed that required all active police officers to receive regular training, and for state and local police agencies to establish training academies for both street cops and correctional officers.  The state and local governments didn't figure out all the "whats and wherefores" until later, and it wasn't until about 1987 that I went to my first, formal Defensive Tactics training.  At that time, it was a 40-hour course and every officer had to go through it and receive certification.

Hell, by that time I had been a street cop for seven years.  For many years, there was some question if all of us veteran cops would have to be sent to a training academy to  receive formal certification that we could do the joob we'd been doing for many years.  The state POST Council in Louisiana made some very strict rules that dealt with the process, and if we could prove that in the course of those years we had received training equivalent to going through an academy, we would be "grandfathered" and be "recognized" as police officers.

One of the smartest things that I ever did was to ask the Louisiana POST Council to give me a certificate recognizing me as a "grandfathered" officer.  They did so, and that certificate became a past of the records I kept in my personal files.  That little certificate has saved me a lot of heartburn over the years.  As long as I keep my training current, I'm golden.  The original idea was that eventually all of us old dinosaurs would retire and fade gracefully away, but so far, several of us are still hanging on.

But, looking around the training area today, I recognize that I am a rara avis, one of the rare birds that is still hanging on.  It's been a long time since I first learned how an arm-bar takedown is performed, and today I executed one, if not perfectly, then well enough to pass the test.  Along with the various wrist locks, leg sweeps, baton techniques,  kicks and punches that are not only effective, but are designed to keep the agency out of court and the individual officer from being sued.

I woke up sore this morning, and may have an Aleve moment tomorrow, but for another year, I am good to go.  Re-trainer is done and in the record books.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

El Malo - First Impressions

The Cimarron El Mal came in yesterday, and I picked it up from the FFL at about 3:30 pm after training.  After we did the paperwork, I went over to my buddy Bill's office to show it off.

Cimarron, as you may know, if an outfit out of Fredricksburg, TX, that imports Pietta revolvers, re-works them, and sells them under their brand.  Cimmarron has a great reputation among cowboy shooters and I wanted to see an El Malo, up close and personal.

My buddy Bill is a brand-new Cowboy Fast Draw shooter and I wanted him to see it, out of the box.  Bill recently bought a Ruger New Vaquero, a fine gun for CFDA work, but I wanted to show off the new revolver and let him see some options.


It is a pretty gun.  Nice bluing, nice color case hardening.  Bill (who is a big fellow, with big hands) commented on how nicely it fit his hand.  He checked it for clear, then pointed it in a safe direction and thumbed the hammer.  His eyes widened.  "That's smooth!" He commented, then passed the revolver across the desk.

I checked for clear, then thumbed the hammer.  I had to agree, it was very smooth and light.

Many out-of-the box revolvers come with heavy springs and many CFDA shooters lighten their springs to reduce the amount of force needed to cock the revolver.  That's a standard modification, and both of Belle's Pietta revolvers have lightened springs.  Reduced-power springs are very common on CFDA revolvers.  Yet, here was a Pietta that didn't seem to need spring work.  The mainspring was light enough out of the box.

By this time it was quitting time at Bill's place, so we boxed the revolver, and I took it home to show it to Belle.  When she got in from work, she noticed the Cimmaron box on the table and took the revolver out of the box.  She also remarked that it fit her hand nicely.  So, while I poured her a glass of wine, she strapped up her belt/holster rig and stepped into the hall, where we have a laser range set up.  She began drawing and shooting and remarked that the revolver was very smooth, that the hammer was easy to cock and that the grips fit her hand nicely.

I admit I was perplexed.  Bill has big hands and Belle has small hands, the both remarked how well the revolver fit their hands.Evidently, Cimmaron has found the perfect grip size for a wide range of hands..  I admit that the El Malo feels good i my hands, medium-sized by many standards.

For some reason, Pietta trigger guards seem to be (and no, I haven't put a micrometer on them) smaller than Uberti or Ruger trigger guards.  Belle commented that this Pietta seemed to have the small trigger guard, and I have to agree.  It feels smaller than my Ubertis and my Rugers.  If you have big hands, and have to get on the trigger quickly (as in CFDA shooting) you might find that the Pietta trigger guard is a bit small.

Belle shoots Piettas and has done well with them.  She prefers them over both Uberti and Ruger revolvers.  Both of her Peittas are marketed by Traditions, an outfit from Florida.  And, they both have transfer-bar ignition, which is familiar to Ruger shooters.  But, one of the first things I noted about the El Malo is that it has a hammer-mounted firing pin.


Plain as day, that firing pin is mounted on the hammer, just like the Colt Peacemaker.  The hammer gives us the four clicks of a standard Colt, and I suspect that if I disassembled the El Malo, I'd find that the innards closely resemble the standard Colt mechanism.

What do I like about the El Malo?  It's a nice revolver, very nice, and seems to be a pretty good copy of the old Colt design.  It is marketed at a very appealing price point, and the grips seem to fit a wide variety of hand sizes.  It seems to come right out of the box ready for CFDA competition, with a nice hammer and trigger.  The octagon barrel certainly isn't historically accurate, but it is cool.

The question of whether it will end up in Belle's bag or mine, really doesn't matter.    I bought it because I was intrigues by it, and the fact that Belle likes it is just lagniappe.  It's probably destined to ride on one bag or the other as a spare, or a loaner.  Either of us might shoot it if our competition guns break down during a shoot.

If you're looking for a cooler-than-hell little cowboy revolver, you could do a lot worse than the Cimmaron El Malo.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Crackheads

Aawww, Gaawd, I remember scenes like this from working the streets.



Don't do drugs.  Don't ever do drugs.

Tip of the Resistol to Wirecutter.

Re-Quals - Day 1

We spent the morning re-qualifying on the pistol and the shotgun.  Done and Done

Then we went to a classroom for a tune-up on force-on-force.  Went to lunch.

After lunch, we divided into thee man teams for a little force-on-force scenario training.

I don't have any paintball paint on me anywhere.  'Nuff said.

Tonight, Belle and I have an anniversary.  Fourteen years of wedded bliss.  We're going to go to a restaurant and have a steak.  I guess I'd best find some clean jeans and get in the shower.

Re-Quals

In about an hour, I'm going to pull on my boots and head over to the training range for annual re-qualifications.

Standard stuff.  Firearms, Defensive Tactics, First Aid, Legal Updates, all the stuff that we have to do once a year to protect and serve the public.  Every state has their version of POST (Peace Officers Standard Training) that requires we spend a given number of hours getting re-certified every year so that we can do our jobs.

So, for the next three days, that's where I'll be.  Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I'll be at the tender mercies of the trainers.  I don't know what macabre schedules or scenarios they have dreamed up, but I'm sure that it will skirt the edge of reality and approach the realm of the surreal.

I don't know what blogging will be like the rest of the week, but I'm sure that I will emerge from the other side, totally qualified and ready to serve the good people of the state of Louisiana.

If I'm not around, go read the folks on the sidebar.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

That Un-Named Storm

That un-named storm continues to approach the coast and it looks like the storm track id firming up.  They've upgraded it to a Tropical Storm and named it Cindy. It may still zig or zag, but this is what the weather-weenies are telling us right now.

That's the NOAA map, and you can click over there for upsdates.  As a matter of fact, I've hot-linked the photo, so it may update itself as things change.  We'll see.

On Gunfighting

Those of us who came up in law enforcement in the 70s and 80s knew a dichotomy of law enforcement that few rookies today bother with.  The choice between the revolver and the semi-auto.  One of the living legends of those days was a fellow named Bill Jordan, who was a master with the revolver, specifically the K-Frame Smith and Wesson.

Jordan wasn't one of those guys who engaged in hypothetical  His advice was based on his World War II experience and long long years as a Border Patrol officer.  His book, No Second Place Winner is still considered a magnum opus for those who want to study gunfighting.

Over at Gun Magazine, Mas Ayood has written an article concerning Jordan.
Jordan wrote, “I consider myself fortunate in having known one of the greatest peace officers this country has produced—Captain John Hughes of the Texas Rangers… Like most old timers, he was reluctant to talk of personal experiences but occasionally passed out advice well worth heeding. One such gem that I have always remembered and will pass on was: ‘If you get in a gunfight, don’t let yourself feel rushed. Take your time, fast.’” (Page 107)
That's good advise, and if you haven't read Jordan's book you should really consider picking up a copy.  Lots of good stuff there if you're a student of the lethal arts.

Hat Tip to Wirecutter for the link.

Murder in America

If you go surfing around the intertubes like I do, you stumble on some strange places.  Like this quasi-news site I've found, The Trace, that purports to give gun news, but is really an anti-gun site in drag (my apologies to all the queens out there.).  I come to this one article, entitled There are more murders in Chicago each year than in New York and Los Angeles combined. But it isn’t the deadliest large city in America. Where we get this interesting info-graphic.


What is interesting about that graphic is not the number of murders in those locales, but the governance of the cities listed.  Pretty much all Democrat mayors.   What that info-graphic tells me is that if I want to have the greatest chance of being shot, I should move to a Democrat-run political machine.

Go over to The Trace if you want pure unadulterated anti-gun quasi-news.  It's good for a laugh, and I'll probably click it once in a while, to see what the mentally-challenged are crying about today.

One more article asks the rhetorical question:
How Easy Should It Be to Buy a Silencer for a Gun?
My answer: As easy as walking into an auto-parts store and buying an oil filter or solvent trap.  (The anti-gunners will see neither the humor or nthe irony of my answer.)

Monday, June 19, 2017

First Tropical Storm of the Season

It looks as if we have our first tropical storm of the season.  They haven't named it yet, but from listening to the news, this is the biggest thing to hit since the meteor that hit the Yucatan and killed all the dinosaurs..

I'm not making light of it, but I do believe that the hype is over-played.  The thing doesn't even have a name yet.  But, here's that the National Weather Service is prognosticating.


Okay, fine, it's going to rain here on Thursday.  We've seen rain on Thursday at least once before.

Forgive me if I adopt a wait-and-see attitude on this one.  It might turn into a Cat 5, and make Katrina look like a walk in the park, or it might miss us completely.

Validation

I've been saying for the past couple of months that simply being a Democrat is evidence of mental health problems.

Today, I find this on the Book of Face.


Heh!  Indeed.

Monday Morning

It's Monday and this morning before work, I dropped the van off at the body shop to get the damage repaired from the accident in early April.

At the body shop, ran into an old buddy, a retired cop.  He came by the work site and we visited for an hour, catching up on stuff.  He's doing the whole retirement gig; bought a motor home and everything.

Walking around in the hot Louisiana sun, this old man decided that he needs a hat.  I'm thinking about something like this. A nice, white, Shantung straw hat that will keep the rays off my head.  Everyone who has ever watched a Western movie knows that the good guys wear white hats (Unless you're a cavalryman, but black felt is hot in the Louisiana sun).

Politics is boring the hell out of me, and looking at my stats, it's boring the hell out of everyone else.  My stats on this blog have dropped off nearly 800 hits a day since the election, but I don't care.  I do this for me, not y'all.  If anyone gets any enjoyment or wisdom out of my scribblings, that's fine, and you are welcome.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

US Nationals - CFDA

Congratulations to Dusty, from Colorado, the new Annie Oakley Champion.
Congratulations to Dash, from Texas, the new Billy the Kid champion.
Congratulations to Slowpoke, from Virginia, the new US Ladies Champion.
Congratulations to Johnny Three Toes, the new US Men's Champion.

According to Texas Rose, our correspondent, Johnny Three Toes isn't especially fast, hitting in the 5s and 6s, but his hit ratio is high, which stood him in good stead this weekend.  While the fast shooters were missing, he was steadily putting wax on the target and in the final analysis, that was all it took.

As Wyatt Earp so famously said, "Speed is fine, but accuracy is final."

Congratulations to all the winners of this weeks US National Championship in Deadwood, SD.

Father's Day

Pretty much like every other Sunday, but the kids cooked so Belle and I laid back and watched the turmoil.  Smoked brisket, backed beans,  Ouida potatoes, garlic bread.  Pretty good fixin's.  Oh, and homemade ice cream with peach cobbler for desert.

After lunch, we loaded some cowboy ammo and went out in the backyard to try it out.  This is a .45 Colt blank brass with a CCI large pistol primer, a smidgen of Hodgdon's triple Se7en powder, and a wax bullet.  It loads and extracts just like a regular cartridge, and gives a nice puff of smoke for visual effect.


Here, youngest son Joey is getting on his cowboy.  All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable exercise.  All the kids have gone home, and PawPaw is getting ready for the week.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Democrats and Guns, Again

If we needed any additional evidence that Democrats and guns don't mix, we only need look at Seattle Washington, who last year enacted a tax on the sale of guns and ammunition within the city, ostensibly to fund research on gun violence.  The results were both pedictable and consistent with what we know about Democrat-governed areas of our country.
Comparing the first five months of 2017 with the same period before the gun tax went into effect, reports of shots fired are up 13 percent, the number of people injured in shootings climbed 37 percent and gun deaths doubled, according to crime statistics from the Seattle Police Department…
And, they don't want to talk about it.
Seattle officials refuse to say how much the tax brought in the first year, only giving the number “under $200,000.” Gun rights groups have sued to get the exact amount. 
Once again, Democrats are using the wrong tactics, targeting the wrong people, and causing more harm than good.  Tax-the-hell out of guns and ammo and watch gun violence increase in your city.  Who would have figured that?  Well, anyone with a working brain.

I am becoming more and more convinced that simply being a Democrat is evidence of a mental defect.

New Leather

Youngest son came in yesterday to spend the weekend with family.  He brought a new holster design he's working on for my opinion.  He told me in advance that it's a new design, he had made it for his own use, and wondered what I thought about it.


It's a left-handed rig built on what I call the Mercicle pattern.  It's a high-ride fast draw holster that closely resemble the Mernicle CFD-1 holster.  But it has some design features that he put in.  We took it out back, to the wax bullet range and tried it out.  It's fast, very fast.

The leather-work is very well executed and the tooling is impeccable.  He cautioned me three or four times that this is HIS rig, so I wrote him a check for full retail and told him to make another, just like this one with the addition of a bullet deflector.  He's got a design for one of those that sounds very nice and he'll include it on my rig.

He lives in Baton Rouge and is starting to make custom leather items, to include belts, concealed carry holsters, and guitar straps.

He Hated Republicans

More coming out on the shooting of Steve Scalise this week.  The shooter, who I won't name here, had a list of Republicans in his pocket.
“For those still wondering, he didn’t hate baseball or beautiful summer mornings in June,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said in reference to this article. “He hated Republicans.”
There's a meme going around in some circles, that a commie Democrat used a commie rifle with commie ammunition to target Republicans.  Others have noted that he used a rifle not noted for stellar accuracy, probably didn't spend much time on the range, and showed piss-poor marksmanship.  I mean, c'mon, he had good light, an open free-fire zone and managed to only wound four before he was gunned down by professionals.   We should be thankful that he didn't know what-the-hell he was doing.

The bigger metaphor here is that, like most Democrats, he used the wrong tool, employed the wrong tactics, and only managed to hurt people while damaging his own brand.  He was inept and consumed by rage that he couldn't achieve his political objective, and he hurt innocent people in the process.

I am becoming more and more convinced that simply being a Democrat is a mental defect.

Central Air Update

The guys came out yesterday to check the AC unit.  They labored mightily, checked for leaks, got out diagnostic tools, checked pressures, checked temps, traced lines and looked for problems.  they stayed here about an hour.  The diagnosis?  Insulation.

The A/C unit is fine.  But, the insulation in the attic was installed when the house was built.in 2001, and it has packed down.  They recommend that I get someone to blow another six inches of insulation into the attic.  This week is the first week we've had really hot, humid, sticky weather in central Louisiana. this season.  The expert opinion is that the AC unit is humming mightily along, everything within specs and operating within its design parameters..  The problem is that the insulation has lost its ability to hold heat or cold inside the house. It's time to top off the insulation.

I've got to give it to The HVAC Group (318) 229-7542.of the AlexandriaPineville area.    They could have told me that I needed a new unit, and I would have acted on that recommendation. They came to me with a good recommendation, and they have only increased their reputation in my eyes.  They are honest, reputable tradesmen, and I appreciate their professionalism.  They told me that another layer of insulation would reduce stress on my AC unit, would save me money, and make the house more comfortable.  And, in two or three years, if I was ready for a new AC unit, they'd be happy to install it.

Early next week, I'll stat looking for someone to add another layer of insulation to the attic.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Central Air (Again)

Got home yesterday and found the house uncomfortably warm.  Over 75 degrees F in here and the AC chugging mightily along.  Something ain't right.

Called the A/C guy and he'll be here this afternoon.

Called second son and borrowed a one-room AC unit.  We slept comfortably last night.

I sense a coming disturbance in the finances.  I am too old and grumpy to live through a Louisiana summer without air conditioning.  I'll pay the toll and be comfortable.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

That's The Damn Truth

I saw this earlier today on social media.


Ain't that the damn truth.  Even in those third-world hell holes of Democrat governance like Chicago, Baltimore, Houston, and New Orleans, if Democrats quit shooting people we wouldn't have a gun problem.

But, I guess they'd rather blame the gun than the politics that leads to gun violence.

Interesting

I learn this morning that the rifle used in the Scalise shooting was an SKS.  The SKS first came into general notice as a Chinese-made assauult rifle used by Viet forces during the Southeast Asia adventure of the 1960s.  It is a shoulder-fired, gas operated, magazine fed semiauto rifle that fires the 7.62x39 round made famous by the Com-bloc nations.

Hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of these rifles were imported to the US after the Vietnam conflict.  I can recall seeing entire racks of SKS rifles in the local stores, selling for $89.00 each.   They were cheaply made, and not noted for stellar accuracy, but they are rugged, durable, and inexpensive.

But, it looks as if the initial reports of the left-wing, Bernie supporter using an AR variant are woefully incorrect.  He was shooting an SKS, a Com-bloc rifle.

The Aftermath

In the hours following Rep Steve Scalice's shooting, we all watched the media go bonkers.   The last I heard, Rep Scalise was in surgery.  This morning I see that he's still in critical condition.  From CNN.
"Congressman Steve Scalise sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip. The bullet traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding," MedStar said in a statement put out by Scalise's office. "He underwent immediate surgery, and an additional procedure to stop bleeding. He has received multiple units of blood transfusion. His condition is critical, and he will require additional operations. We will provide periodic updates."
We'll continue to pray for Steve and petition for his full recovery.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Terry McAuliffe, Asshole

Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia ia a complete and total asshole.  You can hear if from his own lips in this clip.



Ninety-Three million Americans a day, huh, Governor?  Hell, Virginia would be out of citizens in just a couple of hours, then who would be left for you to govern?

Never mind that the vast majority of Americans killed by gun violence every day are generally killed in the Democrat governed hellholes of Chicago, Baltimore, New Orleans, Houston, or other such third-world cities.

Teryy McAuliffe is dancing in the blood of a tragedy.  That makes him a complete and total asshole.  The fact that he exaggerated the number of Americans lost to gun violence is simple evidence that he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about and pulls numbers out of his ass as it suits him.  That makes him a complete and total asshole.  Did I mention that he's a Democrat?  I'm sorry, I'm just being redundant.

Summertime

Hot, humid, sticky today, but I didn't realize how hot until I looked at the app.


I'm not sure I believe 100F, but it's hotter than Hades out there right now. Someone has a weather station that needs to be re-calibrated.

Over the Coffee Pot

A:  "How much longer do you have before retirement?"

B: "That depends.   If I win the Powerball, it'll come a whole lot quicker."

A: "If you win the Powerball, are you going to remember me?"

B:  "Who are you?"

Steve Scalise Shot

Various outlets are reporting that Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot today at a practice for the GOP-Dem charity baseball game.

This is still breaking, but it appears that the gunman had a rifle and was stopped by the Congressional security detail.   Scalise was shoot in the hip and is in the hospital.

It'll be interesting to see what comes out of this.  And, how they identify the shooter, who some reports say is in custody.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

El Malo

It's been about ten months since I bought a gun.  Those who know me, know that that fact is an aberration, and that may not be particularly true.  I seem to recall buying a gift gun earlier this year.

Regardless, it was August last that I pulled the pin on a gun that will go in my gun bag.  At Oklahoma State in May, I saw a gun that piqued my interest.  I was hand-judging for a fellow and he pulled out a really pretty gun with an octagonal barrel.  I asked what it was, and the told me "Cimarron El Malo."

Cimarron, as we all know is a gun importer from Fredricksburg, Texas.  They import Italian clones and work them, selling them under their banner.  Because I was hand-judging and we were in the middle of a state competition, I didn't get to inspect the revolver, but the name stuck in my head.  El Malo, as my Spanish-speaking friends tell me, translates as "The Bad", and with it's color-case hardened frame and octagonal barrel, looked bad, indeed.

So, over the last month or so, I've done a little homework.  Like many of us in the internet age, I hit YouTube first and found this video, which gives me the good news and the bad news.



The good news is that it has a lot of features I like.  The firing pin is hammer-mounted as opposed to being frame mounted.  It uses the old four-click Colt system, which I like a lot better than Ruger's loading gate system. (** This is not a hit on Ruger.  They make fine firearms, and I own four Vaqueros and a Blackhawk. I love them all.)

According to the video, above, the trigger breaks clean at just over two pounds, and Cimarron has a sterling reputation among cowboy shoters.

The bad news?  It's made by Elli Pietta, a magnificent maker of reproduction firearms. While that is not a problem for 99% of cowboy shooters, my particular concern is that Blue Eyed Belle, my wife, girlfriend, shooting partner and  travel buddy, absolutely LOVES Pietta revolvers.  Both of her competition revolvers are Pietta and she adores them.  When she sees the box, her eyebrows will rise, her nostrils will flare a bit, and she'll ask, "Pietta?"


That's the bad news.  This one might wind up in her gun bag.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Overheard at the Range

A and B (both veteran cops) are discussing lightweight carry firearms.

A:  "Do you like that new lightweight Glock?"

B: "Yeah, I do."

A: "I'm still carrying a J-frame."

B: "Really."

A: "Yeah, I think of it as a starter pistol for the fat man sprint."

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Some Photos from Yesterday's Shoot

Some of the assembled have put some photos up from the Cross Branded Peacemaker shoot yesterday.

Morning announcements, pledge and prayer.

BlueEyed Bell in the hat, coaching a new shooter.

The fellows discussing guns and holster rigs
It went great, and there are already plans for a much better backdrop for behind the targets.

Ribs!

December past, Belle got a pressure cooker to play with.  Let me tell you, that thing rocks.  For beans, chickens, lots of things.  A couple of weeks ago, she had a hankering to tray some ribs, so we bought a couple of racks of good St. Louis cut baby-back ribs and rubbed them down with PawPaw's secret rub recipe.

She put them in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes with a cup of water.


They are fork tender after 30 minutes.  Now, they're going on a slow smoker for a couple of hours to absorb smoky goodness.  With sausage, beans and 'tater salad, that will be the meal today.

Wax Bullets in the Sun

Yesterday, I talked about wax bullets in this post, and Old NFO asked a question.
One wonders how much melting there is in the sun...


Heh!  Yeah.  It depends.

It depends on the wax bullet.  The orange wax and the red wax are notorious for melting in hot sun. Belle, Zach and I were at a small shoot in Gainesville, TX last year and we were in the very hot north Texas sun.  We were shooting the orange wax and had to keep them i the shade, otherwise the bullets would get soft and when struck by the pressure from the primer would deform and come out of the barrel like a big wad of donkey snot.  We learned quickly to keep out ammo shaded until just before we went on the line.

I'm tod that Spitfire (red) wax has come out with a high-temp formulation that seems to help  They will all melt to some extent, so it's best to keep your ammo shaded.  Some folks even bring a small 6-pack cooler to keep their ammo cool, but I'm not sure that's necessary.

Each of those brands of bullets are formulated differently, so they act differently in the barrel and against the target.  The blue, and the white are known for being hard and they tend to ricochet off the target.  The red and orange are softer and will shatter when they hit the target.  The harder bullets are easier to clean up afterwads because they tend to stay together, while the softer ones are harder to clean up because they shatter and leave wax dust everywhere.

I haven't tried the purple wax yet.  He's the new kid on the block and I'm still working though stocks I ordered four or five moonths ago.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Great Practice Shoot Today

Great practice shoot today. 17 shooters, in grudge-match format. I saw a lot of people taking photos but no one had posted photos yet.We did a lot of work on the 170 rule, talked about a lot of match protocol, and worked with lots of new shooters today.. Special thanks to Big Mark Markley for showing up and helping with the line.

Everyone had a great time, and after the match, I net with some of the folks at Cross-Branded Cowboy Church about range expansion and building a permanent home range.

After the Peacemakers shoot, Belle, Zach, and I slipped off to Theorn Vlley to shoot with another CFSA club.

Great things ahead for the Cross Branded Peacemakers.

CFDA Wax Bullets

There are five brands of wax bullets currently approved for use in a cfDA sanctioned shoot..


They are, from top to bottom (with links)

Blue, Bandit wax
Orange, CFDA wax
White C&R Wax
Red, Spitfire Wax
Purple, Royal Wax.

They are all approved for use, and they all have their differing compositions and strengths.  Sometimes, around the shade tents at a CFDA event, the various strengths and weaknesses of the bullets is a big a source of discussion as  the caliber discussions in a hunting camp.

My buddy, the Counselor, will be conducting some testing later this month.  He hosts The Firearm Patriot Channel on YouTube and it will be interesting to see what conclusions he draws.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Finally Friday.

Let's see.... the grass is mowed, the truck is loaded, the guns are cleaned and the ammo is ready.

It's been a busy day, the kind I like.  Tomorrow, we're having a practice shoot at church.  After that, Belle and I are liable to slip off to Thorn Valley.  Shooting with two clubs on the same day might be w wonderful experience.

Belle is surfing for spur straps, and I'm bartending.  It's Happy Hour.


Thursday, June 08, 2017

Keep On Trucking

There are those of us who grew up i the 60s remember Robert Crumbs's original cartoon drawing of several men stretched out in a stylized march.  Keep On Trucking was an iconic image of my teenage years.


Oh, yeah, we remember.

Some wag has come out with another image that gave me a chuckle.


Heh!  He should have done it in color.

The Science Is Settled

Insty links us to a great article from Sarah Hoyt's site.  As it turns out, what determines climate is our sun.    Some pertinent excerpts:
The ‘Little Ice Age’ was actually a significantly extended cool period lasting several centuries, and no less than FOUR extended minima occurred during its ‘tenure.’ These include, in order, the Wolf, the Spörer, the Maunder, and the Dalton minima. These extended minima were not all of the same ‘depth,’ in that the minimum numbers of sunspots were not the same across all of them — the Maunder was far deeper than the rest — but there are indications that we are hitting numbers in the range of the Dalton already. . .
The fact that, as sunspot numbers go down, the overall energies output by the Sun also go down is an indication that, in this instance, correlation may well equal causation, at least to some degree. Add in a few large (or many small) volcanic eruptions to complicate matters — and there usually ARE such concatenations of volcanic eruptions in such multi-decadal timeframes, as a matter of course — and it may well prove interesting times ahead, as well as in the past.”
We have noticed, locally, that April, May, and so far June have been the mildest that we can remember.  Here in the second week of June, we're having lows in the 60s and highs in the 80s.

You might want to make sure your furnace works before winter sets in.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Not Feeling It Wednesday

Reading the news this morning, I've come to the conclusion that I just don't care.

Comey is going to testify before Congress.  Who cares?

The Arabs are squabbling again.  That's news?

Solar activity is down. I thought the science was settled.?

It seems that the entire media is obsessed with Comey, the Reality-Winner-leaker, or the Russian hackers.    I don't care about any of that.  There's not even much at the gunny-sites. (I just figured out, her name is Reality Winner.  I thought she had won something on a Reality show, then got arrested for leaking NSA documents. - - Duuh)

So, we turn to fashion, and find this guy.


I believe I'd open a vein before I'd let that happen.

I think that today would be better spent with my scratch pad, exploring range design.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Islamophobia

Roger Simon makes a good point over at PJMEdia.  He talks about Islamaphobia, and how the fear of being called an Islamaphobe has hampered government and police work in the face of growing terror attacks my the votaries of Mohammed.
As has occurred so many times before, so often that it has become, as Patrick Poole has shown us, all too predictable,  some of the culprits were "known wolves." Friends and neighbors knew they had radical thoughts or worse.  In this instance they had known it for some time.  They even told the police about it, who had evidence, but nothing happened.  And not just because, as is well known, the UK is close to overwhelmed with such people. Difficult as that is, that is no excuse and no doubt could have been dealt with except...
 There was a more powerful motivation to stop, to do nothing -- Islamophobia.  No one wants to be accused of being a racist, after all. Oh, no. That's humanity's biggest faux pas -- worse than pederasty.
Go (as they say) and read the whole thing.  We as a nation, as a society, must connect the dots.

Facebook, Again

I use the Book of Face to keep up (mainly) with the goings-on in the CFDA.  Every club has a Facebook page and the association has a Facebook page.  It's a good way to see what other clubs and friends are doing in the sport.  But, my news feed brings items of mirth sometimes and this morning had a doozy.

Right off the top of my head, there's Amarillo, Fort Worth, and Beaumont.  Getting down to smaller cities and towns, there is Kounze, Vidor, Midland, and Waco.  Then there's Tyler,   All this right off the top of my head without consulting an atlas, or doing a Google search.

The people who post these things must be idiots.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Clay Higgins Speaks Out

A Louisiana Republican, Clay Higgins, who represents a district south of there in the House of Representatives, spoke out against Islamic terror today.
A U.S. congressman from Louisiana posted Sunday on Facebook that “all of Christendom” is at war with “Islamic horror” and all “radicalized Islamic suspects” should be hunted and killed.
I concur.  From what I've heard today, a whole lot of people are coming to the same conclusion.

Terrorists who target non-combatants are cowards, it is really as simple as that.  If I find a venomous snake in my yard, I kill it without forethought or compunction.

One More Time

These science deniers try to complicated everything.


Your gender is determined by your chromosomes.  If you have a Y chromosome, you're male.  If you don't, you're female.  It really is that simple.

Hat tip: Wirecutter.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Larruping

It's an old, regional word, often used when referring to food. From the dictionary:
larruping adj Pronc-spp larapen, larepin, lar(ri)pin; for addit varr see quots
1  also tad-larruping; Esp of food: delicious, excellent; hence adv larruping extremely—usu in comb larruping good.
Often pronounced in the standard southern way, we lose the "g", pronouncing it larrupin'  it rhymes with terrapin.

At any rate, this morning, Belle and I awoke to a rainy day, and it looks as if the crew for lunch will be smaller than usual, so she decided to go with a perennial favorite.  Pork chops and ice.  We've talked about them before.


Of course, pork chops and rice wouldn't be a compete meal without purple hull peas, seasoned with tasso.  Oh, this is something special.



Of course, there will be cornbread.  She's already promised me cornbread.

Sunday lunch is going to be larrupin' good.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Saturday Morninng

Saturday morning, and I'm finishing my last cup of coffee.  In another hour, we'll start running errands, then head south to Thorn Valley.  We haven't been there since Oklahoma, and I'm ready to shoot.

I'm still running that target backdrop through my head, and the idea of using EMT (thanks, John) has merit.  I've seen ranges built from hurricane fence pipe, but I really didn't study it enough to suit my curiosity.  I am a fan of steel tubing, and in my mind, I'm trying to balance sturdiness, transportation weight,, upfront cost, and ease of assembly in the field.  ...  I'll figure it out.  There's lots of options and I have time to get it right.

In the interim, it's time to go shooting.  Belle is planning a menu for tomorrow when the kids show up, and like most Sundays, the menu is liable to change on short notice.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Proof Of Concept

I want to build a portable range for Cowboy Fast Draw.  The requirements is that it be lightweight, easily assembled, and sturdy enough to support the backdrop material, and withstand normal breezes.

I've been looking at other ranges, and I've been doing some drawing, and this morning, I decided to try a proof-of-concept with PVC pipe.  Just down the road we've got a big plumbing distributor, so I took the tuck to see what I could come up iwth.

1" Schedule 40 PVC is a pretty good proving ground.


That's not the final design, but it got me to wonderin' and it got me to thinking.

That's not the final design, but it's got a lot of promise.

So, Who Is Kathy Griffin?

I don't normally follow popular culture, because most of it is so screwed-up.  But, evidently, there's this comic, Kathy Griffin was photographed holding a fake head.  Evidently, the severed head of President Trump.  The image is disturbing, and you can Goggle around if you'd like.  I will not post it here.

The feedback was immediate and devastating.  Griffin realizes that she screwed-up, big time.  You can see her apology here.

I worked for a colonel once, a full-bull of Military Police.   He was a great leader, stern, funny, led from the front.  One of his favorite platitudes was "You can do anything once."  The unspoken second line was "You may not be around to do it a second time."

There was also a saying, about a "career dissipation light".   It was highlighted in the movie Backdraft.



Yeah, as Colonel Tucker used to tell us: You can do anything once.You may not be around to do it a second time.  I feel that Griffin's career dissipation light just went into overdrive.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Seen On Facebook (Again)

The Book of Face continues to amuse.


You caught a coyote,   There is probably a reason why it doesn't have any tags, and it seems aggressive.  It's a wild animal.

Highlights from Oklahoma State

Miss E has put up  her highlight reel from Oklahoma State.



It's nine minutes, but it's worth watching.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Well, Hell, Wednesday

Got up this morning, hit the road to take care of some business in town.

Ate breakfast with a friend, then headed over to take care of the business.

Got that done, came home, changed clothes.  Cranked the lawnmower.

Using the push mower out near the ditch, I hear a sound that sounds like PHUH.

Phun?  What the hell kind of noise is Phuh?  I look around just in time to watch the glass fall out of the lift-gate on the rear of the van.  Crap, Crap, Crap.


I call the insurance company, call the glass guy.  Finished mowing grass.

Went back to town for more business.  Finished that and went to see the glass guy.  He's ordered the glass and we'll install it in the morning.  Called insurance company and closed the loop on their paperwok.

Home now, awaiting Belle.  When she gets home, it's Happy Hour.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Mermite

Facebook is just plain stupid.  They'll put up a picture and ask if you know what this is.  The latest outrage is this picture.


That's a mermite container.  I have no idea where they got the name, but it was ubiquitous in field in field units.  That's where you got your hot chow, usually from a field kitchen, set p at the battalion trains.

Have I ever eaten a meal from one?  My Gawd, thousands.  When the evening log-pack showed up with mermites on board, you knew that you were getting hot chow.  I've eaten on the hood of jeeps, later, Humvees, and occasionally on the front slope of a tank.

Yeah, I know what a mermite looks like.

Grandkids and Chicken Nuggets

I'm watching grandkids today, and when I asked them what they wanted for lunch, they told me "Chicken nuggets!"

PawPaw generally keeps a supply of chicken nuggets close by, but I needed french fries, so I went up to the dollar store for fries.

I'm back now, and the oil is heating.  Chicken nuggets and fries ought to keep them satisfied until Dad can pick them up later.

I did manage to get my on-line training done for the Sheriff this morning.  More and more, the classroom training is going to online work.  I'm not sure it that is good or bad, but it that seems to be the nature of things.  Rather than sit in a classroom for an hour, we can sit at a computer monitor for an hour.  It may be a good use of resources, but it sure lacks the human interaction that you get in a classroom setting.

But, that's done now, and chicken nuggets and fries seems to be the menu.  It's about time to call them in or lunch.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cross Branded Peacemakers Inaugural

Belle and I, assisted by CFDA shooters Akarate Zach, Moon, Gator, and Cajun Geg, carried a range to the Cross Branded Cowboy Church in Pineville, LA

We kicked off at 10:00 a.m., with the pledge and a prayer, then commenced the safety briefing.  The, it was time to strap-up the new shooters and give some basic instruction at the dry-fire wall.

The fellow in the center is our Pastor, Brother Herb.
After some dry-fire instruction it was time to move over to the range and try it with wax bullet ammo.

Our pastor's lady, Viki, putting wax on steel.
Here is a view dowrange.  The photog caught this shot at the instant of impact.  The light has gone out, but hasn't started blinking yet.

Yee-haw!  Putting wax on steel.
The portable range worked great.   After the gun-smoke cleared and we were loading the truck, we looked at the sign-in sheet.  We had a total of twelve shooters for the inaugural.   Six CFDA members and six new shooters.

The shooters decided that we should meet the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, so our next scheduled shoot will be Saturday, June 10th at 10:00 a.m.

The Mansions Of The Lord



Amen

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Okay, This Is Cool.



Thanks, Budweiser.

Summertime

It looks as if summer has finally arrived in central Louisiana.  We'll have temps in the 90s today, with heat indexes approaching 100 degrees.


Belle and I will be at the church this morning, introducing new shooters to Cowboy Fast Draw.  We'll be under shade, and I've already made plans for plenty of cool water.

We'll have six seasoned gunfighters to help the new shooters, and after a safety briefing and orientation we'll start strapping people up.

This morning will be a lot of fun.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Laser Cartidge

We bought a laser cartridge in Oklahoma and Belle has been playing with it.  Down the hall is an ironing board that has a target on it, and it really lights up when you hit it.



Practicing fast draw, down the hall.

Friday Surfing

This is just cool.  If you have grandkids like me, just about every other sentence is about robotics, and these guys are exploring the dexterity of robots.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Climate Change and Child Marriage

Yeah, Chelsea Clinton says those are interconnected.



The cluelessness here is sublime.

Taxes and Politicians.

Reading The Dead Pelican this morning, it leads me to an article about the proposed gasoline tax that Baton Rouge wants to build a new I-10 bridge over the Mississippi River.
Surprise, surprise the State wants more money from the people. This time around it’s for roads, and the way they expect to receive it is through increasing what we pay to the State in gasoline taxes from 20 cents a gallon to 37.
When we need anything in Louisiana, it seems like our representatives, senators and governor believe the only way to get it is by taxing the people more.
I personally feel as though the brains of the individuals who were elected to represent the rural parishes have been fried in Baton Rouge and they have fallen completely out of touch with reality.
That's the way I feel too, and my state Senator,  James "Jim" Fannin, out of Jonesboro, LA may be the worst of the bunch.  Senator Fannin hails from Jackson Parish, which is a helluva long way from where I live but I live in a gerrymandered district and Fannin really doesn't care if I draw breath.    When you try to call his office, you get an answering machine and that's the end of that conversation.

Belle and I have done a lot of traveling over the past several months, seen a lot of roads.    Mississippi, Texas, and Oklahoma have better roads than Louisiana, and they manage to have good roads on about the same tax money that Louisiana gets.

Two things piss me off.  Taxes and state senators who won't return phone calls.  James "Jim" Fannin has now had two opportunities to return my phone calls,   I don't expect that he will personally pick up the phone, but his staff has obviously screwed-the-pooch on both occasions.

Taxes is never the answer.  And, having a constituent call a state senator during normal business hours and get am answering machine is never the answer either. James "Jim" Fannin needs to do a whole lot better than he's doing.  A whole helluva lot better.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Portable Range

Nearly a year ago, I talked about a portable range that I was setting up.  The project got to about 90% completion and ground to a halt.  I needed better backstop material and I really didn't have an immediate use for it.

This week, that all changed.  I found the backstop material and I need two targets to introduce people to Cowboy Fast Draw, so this afternoon, I finished it.

It sets up really quick, with tarps and bungee-cords.


We're using the small CFDA targets, mainly because the trailer length is exactly right for the smaller targets.


The targets will be a lot more visible once we set up on Saturday morning.  We'll coat them with white lithium grease so that we can see the bullet impact.

The fist organizational meeting and shooting instruction is at 10:00 a.m, this Saturday, May 27th.  The church is the Cross Branded Cowboy Church, 6906 Highway 28 East, Pineville, LA.

Belle and I are excited about starting this new club.

Lowey Wants More Money

It seems that Rep Nita Lowey (D-NY) wants more money for domestic spending. I kinda-sorta agree with her, although not in the manner that she'd like.
“We need a budget framework that makes it possible for Congress to pass appropriations bills and allow our nation the flexibility to meet our responsibilities at home and abroad,” Lowey said at a press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
You're right, Nita, we need to meet our responsibilities.  The question becomes; what is our responsibility?  Not all that free crap that Obama gave away.    It's not the government's business to give away (for example) free phones.

And, Nita, if you read the Constitution (it's a short, six-page document),  you'll find that it doesn't say anything about health-care, or food stamps, or any of those other things that we give away.  As a matter of fact, Article 1, Section 8 lays out your responsibilities and I don't see anything about free stuff in there.

As a matter of fact, if you scroll down to the 10th Amendment, you'll find that if a power isn't granted to the United States, it belongs to the States, or the people.  But, I wouldn't expect a Democrat from New York to understand that.

It would be really nice if Congresswoman understood her responsibility, took her job seriously, and refrained from sticking her nose where it didn't belong.   I guess that's too much to ask.

Al-Qaeda Slams Trump

Al-Qaeda doesn't like Donald Trump.
Al-Qaeda slammed President Trump as a "hateful Crusader master" and suggested redistributing the wealth behind the $110 billion arms deal inked during Trump's visit in Saudi Arabia.
No problem.  I never liked those goat-humping sonsabitches, either.

I do note that they never had a problem with Barry Soetoro, though.   That speaks columns.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Seven Ounce, Non-Woven Geotextile

I'm always looking for backstop material for our wax bullet ranges that don't break the bank.  What we need is something that will stop a wax bullet reliably, and as in all shooting spots, economics is an issue.

The Association recommends ballistic nylon or good archery netting, but those things get pricey.  The last time I looked at archery netting a 10X20 would cost about $200.00 and that's not even half of what I need to make a good backstop.

However, there are construction materials that are very strong and we've been using some material at Thorn Valley for the past couple of years that's very good backdrop.  It stops the bullets well, is virtually indestructible, and because it is a construction material, is fairly economic.  As it turns out, this stuff is a geotextile fabric used as an underlayment for asphalt roads.  A good friend, fellow shooter, gave me the code and told me where to find it

They call this stuff 7-ounce filter cloth and I found mine at a local merchant,  Construction Materials, in Alexandria, LA.  I wandered in there today after work, and they knew just exactly what I was talking about.  As it turns out, they sell a bunch of this stuff to road contractors, and out DOTD tests every roll that they sell.  They had a 15'x15 piece and gave it to me for testing.

As I suspected, it works great.



The best part is that a roll of this material, 15X300 costs only $400.00.  The guy told me that if I cane in with good, green, folding money, the cash discount would bring the bill to about $350.00.

I may have found a nearly perfect backstop material.

Cynical Much?

Two thought-provoking pieces today for your consideration.  The first, from a Yale professor about the preservation of history and the Confederate statues.
True, preserving history is vital and necessary. But statues of Confederate heroes are not the way to do it. Because they confer honor and glory on the subjects depicted — and, inescapably, those subjects’ larger cause — the statues actually distort history. They obscure the central role of slavery in the nation’s bloodiest war and trumpet a message that the Confederacy was purely noble and worthy of esteem.
Slavery was bad, okay?  What strikes me most about the current debate is that it is only occurring in Democratic strongholds, (like New Orleans).  And, the Democrats were the party of slavery.  The Republican party was founded in large part to end slavery.  Republicans are still opposed to slavery in every form.

But, with the Democrats in disarray and looking for salvation, the only hope they have is to demonize someone or something to ket their constituency think that they actually care.  As Professor Reynolds points out.
Don’t overthink this, because it’s quite simple, really. When Democrats’ national position depended on unwavering support from “the Solid South,” we got lots of pro-Southern propaganda: the Lost Cause, Gone With The Wind, Disneyfied Uncle Remus, etc. As a vital Democrat constituency group, southerners, even practical neo-Confederates, were absolved of all sins as long as they stayed in line.
Yep, once the "solid south" started straying from the party line, the Democrats knew that they had to make a dramatic splash to keep their reliably solid voting block.  There has to be a villain, and the dead white men on on hoses seem like the proper target of their wrath.

Lets not forget that the Democrats were the party of slavery.  Even as late as the LBJ era, the Democrats were trying to figure out how to keep the voting block in line.

Cynical much?  Yeah, but probably not cynical enough.  This is politics as usual.  Someone is getting played, and if you're not sure who the mark is, you are probably the mark.

Slaughter in Manchester

The news this morning is that one of the votaries of the Mohammetan faith has conducted an outrage in England.
MANCHESTER, England — Children were among 22 people killed in a suicide attack after an Ariana Grande concert at Britain's Manchester Arena, police said early Tuesday.
That's really all you need to know about Islam.  They kill women and children enjoying a Monday night concert.  They are sick, depraved losers who subjugate and terrorize.

At some point, the practice of Islam should be considered a mental illness.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Oklahoma State - Day 3

We started with bracket matches in the morning, and of the Louisiana crews, nobody could find the target.  It was a fast 2X match, and before I knew it, I had collected my two Xs and was done shooting for the day.  So, I did what we do in that predicament.  I helped out, running the line, hand-judging, and generally trying to make myself useful.


There's one shooter, Parttime, who wears big hats.  Akarate Zach decided to make a stack of hats and attempt a Parttime immitation.

It was a great shoot, put on by great people, and I want to thank the Green County Gunslingers for putting on a fine event.  It was a success in every way.

Belle, Zach and I went back to the hotel room and crashed.  We've arisen at this point.  In just a few minutes I'll pack up this computer and we'll start packing the van to return to Louisiana.    We'll be back at work tomorrow, and tackling another project.  Belle and I have  fast-draw club to build.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The F-4 Phantom

Reader John shares his photo of an F-4 Phantom.

Those flew out of our local AFB during the '60's and I've always thought that the Phantom was one of the coolest, mot evil looking aircraft of the era.

Thanks for sharing, John.

Oklahoma State 0 Day 2

Sixty-Four shooters from nine states congregated  in the arena at the Creek County Fairgrounds, Kellyville, OK to decide the Oklahoma State Championship.  


Major D is out after seven rounds.  I couldn't find the target for the first three rounds, and it was looking pretty grim, but I managed to stay alive till the seventh round.

Belle is out after four rounds.  She really had trouble this morning,  I bought her a laser practice cartridge, and maybe she'll find it useful.  She's been jonesing for one for a couple of months, and there was a vendor there willing to take my money.

Akarate Zach was out after six rounds.  In the fifth round, he had the unfortunate experience of launching his ejector rod downrange.  The ejector rod on the Ruger Vaquero is notorious for getting loose and launching downrange.  Fortunately, we were able to find the spring and the screw, and it's all back together now.  I'l watch it close tomorrow, and when we get home, put a drop of Locktite on that screw.

I had a blog reader come by, and I got to chat with him a few minutes between matches.  I introduced min to Okie Ed and Fancy Nancy, and they gave him some printed information.  It was very cool to meet Shim, and I hope to see him again.

Tomorrow is the bracket matches. All the scores are loaded in the computer, and the computer takes you second-fastest time to assign a bracket.   It's a lot of fun, and it's a way to give the folks who are out of the main match to shoot  on Sunday morning.  So, tomorrow, we're alive again, and the bracket matches await.

Tonight is the banquet, and luckily, it's next door to the hotel.   Thant's extremely fortunate, as Major D is drinking red whiskey right now, and I'm told that it's illegal to drive drunk in Oklahoma.  I'll walk over to the restaurant.

See y'all on the line.