Saturday, April 29, 2017

Teas State - Saturday

I'm still in it after the seventh round.  21 men left.  That's a personal best.  So far, I've only gotten to the sixth round in a state championship.  I have three Xs, which means I'm bleeding bad, but I'm still standing, so I'm okay to start tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning we'll start the day with bracket matches, then finish up the main match as soon as the brackets are over.

But, as of right now, I'm still in it.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Texas State - Friday

Some photos from Texas State.

Akaate Zach tking a break before winning 2nd in his category
Zach bringing the heat
Squirrel Shooting against Pixie Quick.
Zach got new grips.  Very patriotic
Gentleman George and Mama Linda keeping score.
So far, it's been a great shoot.  Now it's time to clean guns, reload ammo, and get ready for the main match tomorrow.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

We're Here!

We made it to the hotel in Kountze, TX.  Belle has a glass of wine, and I'm nursing a bourbon.

We're about 20 minutes from the range, and we'll find it in the morning.

I've already seen a bunch of gunfighters while passing through the lobby.  This looks like it might be a great shoot.

Eliminating Overreach

President Trump has ordered Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to study regulations and investigate federal overreach in the school systems.
“Previous administrations have wrongly forced states and schools to comply with federal whims and dictates for what our kids are taught. The time has come to empower teachers and parents to make the decisions that help their students achieve success.”
This is a great idea.  I've been working int he schools for the past 13 years and I have seen time and time again how federal whims and caprices have thrown schools into frustration and stresss.  Sometimes it is something as small as interfering in theschool lunch menu.

Personally, I think that we should get back to Readin', Writin', and Rithmatic.  Technology, of course, and every high school should have a shop class.   Those simple basics have served our country well for many decades.

Texas State

Thursday afternoon, late, after work, Major D, Blue Eyed Belle and Akarate Zach are throwing the gun bags in the car and heading for Silsbee, Texas where we will participate in the Texas State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw.

We will be shooting at Camp Waluta, the home range of the Big Thicket Bushwackers. I'm not sure how many shooters we will have, but we had 80 at Louisiana State, and weren't expecting that many.  Texas State is a much older competition, so we should have that many or more.

At any rate, Thursday afternoon late, we're packing the van and heading to Texas.  We will try to post during the weekend.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Intolerance

There's something weird going on in the American political sphere.  I'm reading that Ann Coulter is scheduled to speak t UC-Berkeley and the local constabulary is expecting riots.  Really?
As the Berkeley Police Department gears up for yet another showdown between First Amendment supporters and violent "anti-fascists," questions have arisen regarding the mayor's ties to a local anti-fascist group. Ann Coulter vowed to move ahead with a planned speaking engagement at the university on Thursday after her speech was canceled due to security concerns.
Has the American Left become so insecure that they resort to violence and intimidation whenever they are presented with differing viewpoints?  Universities are exactly the proper place to explore differing viewpoints, practice tolerance, and challenge rigidely held beliefs.  It seems that the folks from California have forgotten that.

That's a damned shame.

Kids

Sunday morning at the match, I was cutting up a poster with 100 squares on it for a drawing, to give away a gun, and some door prizes.  I needed someone to draw the names out of the bucket, and I saw a little girl run past. She's the daughter of two of our shooters.  Under ten years old, pretty little girl, precocious and full of life   I figured she'd be perfect to draw the names, and while I was cutting up the board, Dad wanders by.

"Hey, Buck" I called out.  "That little girl of yours.  The middle one?"

He stopped dead in his tracks.  "Omigod, what did she do now?"

"No, no, nothing like that," I told him.  "Can I use her today during the awards to draw some names out of a bucket?"

"Yeah, sure," he says, "But when you called me I thought she was in trouble."

Kids are like that sometimes.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dumpster Diving

One of the hazards of police work is dumpster diving.  Sometimes you've got to go inside a foul dumpster to retrieve vital evidence.  It's normally the rookie's job to go inside, and I haven't done it since the mid '80s/

Until an hour ago.

I got off work today, called the dispatcher to go 10-7, (out of service) and walked over to the van to go home.  We took that van to Natchitoches this weekend, ad when I opened the sliding door, I noticed some stuff that could be thrown away, so I grabbed it and tossed it toward the dumpster.  I watched in horror as my van keys sailed in a nice arc into the dumpster.

Crap, crap, crap.  I went back inside, found my buddy who has ladders, and went dumpster diving.  Luckily, the dumpster was used for office refuse, and my keys were easy to find.

But, it brought back some not-so-fond memories of other dumpsters I have dived in the past.

Monday, April 24, 2017

It's Done!

The Louisiana State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw is in the record books.  It was a wonderful experience, and the City of Natchitoches was a gracious host.  It's now in the record books and we look forward to the rest of the competition season.

We had weather.  All kinds of weather.  When we got to the park on Thursday to set up, we were under sunny skies, humid conditions, and warm temperatures.  As we set up the ranges, before too long, we were sweating like cane-field mules.  Water was a precious commodity, and we were losing it by the bucket-full.  Before dark , the ranges were set and the shade tarps erected

Friday morning dawned off sunny and hot.  We had plenty of shade and lots of iced water in 5-gallon coolers.  We started with a warm-up match which lasted till about 1:00, 1:00, took a short break, then shot the Shootist category.  For those unfamiliar, the Shootist category is for the long-barreled revolvers.  Nothing shorter than 7.5 inches need show up on the line.  It was hot and muggy all day.  Even though the shooters brought coolers with their own drinks, the water coolers were a constant gathering place.  We drank over 20 gallons of water from the coolers on Friday.

After shooting, a group went to the Mariner's restaurant on Sibley Lake for a meet-and-greet.  We toasted old friends, greeted new friends, and ordered from a sumptuous menu.   I went with the oyster po-boy, but I'm told that the stuffed flounder was delectable.

Saturday at sun-up, it was muggy and overcast.  The weather man was calling for rain.  We began the main match under threatening skies, and it soon became apparent that we were not going to finish the day dry.  However, the little ran squalls were small and light.  We got through seven rounds of competition before we called a halt at about five p.m.  the leadership sat down to do a little in-progress review.  As we talked, the bottom fell out and we watched it ran from under a cover.

Sunday morning, grey skies, a breeze, and temps hovering around fifty degrees.  We started the bracket matches and everyone wished that they had brought a jacket.  Poor Belle, during the bracket match, was so cold that she couldn't cock the hammer on her Piettta (and yes, her guns have lighter springs installed).  She warmed up enough that during the next round, she was able to shoot, but with morning temps hovering in the high 40s, it was quite a contrast from Friday.

By mid afternoon, we were shooting the finals under sunny skies and pleasant temps.    Congratulations to Whiplas, from Texas.  He is our Men's Chapion.  The lovely Plain Jane (ad nthere ain't nothing plain about Jane) is our Women's Champion.   A young gal who calls herself Texas Diamond is our Annie Oakley champion, and a fine young fellow we call Dash is our Billy the Kid champion.   Great competitors, all of them.  We gave out a host of other prizes, too many to list here, but each of them significant.  Then we hugged necks, shook hands, and started breaking down.    In several hours, the trailers were loaded and we rolled out of Natchitoches, leaving nothing behind but our footprints and our loose change.

I'd like to thank everyone who made this a success.  The list would be long, and I've thanked them personally.    I'll put some pictures up later, after editing, but this week we hardly have time to wash our laundry, clean our guns, and get packed back up.

Next weekend, it's Texas State.  Belle and I, along with Zach, will be on the road to Silsbee, TX, where the Big Thicket Bushwackers will host the Texas State Championship.  Just about the time I catch my breath from this weekend, it'll be time to do it again in Texas.

Here's a couple of photos coming out early.


That's a group photo of the assembled gunfighters in Natchitoches, LA.

And here's one f Blue Eyed Belle and Major D, taken Friday morning.

See y'all on the line.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thursday Morning

Five months of planning, working, plotting, and preparation come together today.  In several hours, we'll start the cars and head to Natchitoches, LA.  Our permit says that we can start setting-ip at 1:00 pm in the city park.  For anyone who needs a GPS address, go to 400 Amulet St, Natchitoches, LA then look down the hill.  The parking lot is on the corner of 5th and Amulet.

I'm humbly grateful at the amount of participation so far.  We have over 50 pre-registered and as late as last night, I was getting notifications on Facebook of folks coming that we had not suspected were coming.  As this is my first time hosting a titled, sanctioned shoot, I suspect that this is not uncommon.  That some folks just decide at the last minute to drive across the country.  We have shooters coming form as far away as Virginia and Nevada.  The bulk of the shooters will be from Texas, and Oklahoma but many states will be represented, including Arkansas, Georgia, and Missouri.

At this stage of the game, I only have a few wishes for the remainder of this operation.

1.  That all the participants travel safely to the venue.
2.  That the team continues to work smoothly and that we work through the inevitable glitches
3. That everyone has a good time, with goodwill and friendly competition.
4. That we show off the City of Natchitoches to the shooters and we show the color and excitement of Cowboy Fast Draw to the City of Natchitoches.
5.  That everyone returns home safely.

It's show time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Socialsm

Socialism has failed in almost every country where they tried it.  It just doesn't work, but that doesn't stop strong-men from ruling with an iron fist.  One recent example is Venezuela ruled by a tyrant named Maduro.  Food shortages plague his country along with civil unrest.    When your country runs out of toilet paper, there is something seriously wrong with the economy.  Such is the travails of living under socialism.

It looks like Maduro has guns, though, because he believes in the adage left to us by Chairman Mao. It seems that Maduro is ready to arm about 400,000 "militia members".  As Hot Air reports:
These so-called militias have been in place since the regime of Hugo Chavez, but not on this scale. They also shouldn’t be confused with American militias from the revolutionary war era. Far from being patriotic citizen soldiers who stand ready to set aside their farming implements to defend their homeland from invaders, these are the thugs who receive favorable treatment for remaining on the good side of the socialist regime and making sure none of their neighbors get out of line.
No, these are reliable thugs, who get preferential treatment from the government.

This is what socialism looks like, and why our 2nd Amendment is so important.

Weekend Weather

Like many of you, I'm a weather watcher.  It's been my experience that as good as the weather-weenies are at forecasting, they simply can't start to firm up the forecast until about three days out.  There is too much of the butterfly effect, and the weather is one of those things that is almost impossible to predict with any degree of confidence past about four days.

I'm watching the weather for this weekend, because we've planned a rather large outdoor event.    And, I'm watching the weather.  When I want a quick-and-dirty idea, I click on Accuweather.  And, there is the forecast this weekend for Natchitoches, LA.


That doesn't look good for Saturday  There is a chance of a thunderstorm.  But, chances are like probabilities, and further data is needed.  So, I then click over to Weather Underground.  Here's that three-day prognostication.


That gives me a little better idea, and that blue area on the bottom of the map is the chance of rain.  And, if I click on that area of the map, I get an expanded view that looks like this.


That's Saturday, in Natchitoches, LA.  The rain chance is still there, but it never gets over 50%, although it approaches hat magic number.  Is it going to rain on our parade?  Heck, I don't know, but neither do the weather forecasters.  My idea, based on my experience with weather in central Louisiana is that there are probably going to be pop-up showers across the area.  Local events that might rain on one acre and leave the next pasture bone-dry.

I am cautiously optimistic at this time that the weather will cooperate.  All indications ar that Saturday will have a  less-than-half chance of rain, as part of a weak front passing by, and that Sunday will dawn-off clear and cool.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

That Naval Armada

You remember that naval armada that was headed foro Korean waters last week?  Yeah, not so much.
As worries deepened last week about whether North Korea would conduct a missile test, the White House declared that ordering an American aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan would send a powerful deterrent signal and give President Trump more options in responding to the North’s provocative behavior.
The problem was, the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the four other warships in its strike force were at that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean, 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula.

Dude!  Really?  hat's messed up.  And, I doubt we can blame it on the Navy.  Oh, wait... yeah we can.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Cowboy Church

Just back from Monday night services at the Cowboy Church.  During the after-service fellowship, we talked a lot about Cowboy Fast Draw.  The pastor and the elders there are excited about it, and it looks like we'll be forming a club there during May.  We even talked about naming the club, and this is a leading contender.

I expect to see some of the Cowboy Church members touring around during Louisiana State in Natchitoches this weekend, and we'll be pleased to introduce them around.

We'll talk more about this after Louisiana State.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Day - Pool Opening

We normally open the pool the last weekend in April, but it was warm today, and we'll be gone next weekend.  So, we decided to open it today after lunch.



The pool is now open.  Little Lucas is tall enough, this year, to stand flat-footed in the shallow end of the pool.  But, he swims like a fish, so we're not worried about him.

I hope that you all had a happy, blessed, Easter Day.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Loading Up

Today, we went to the club for the final club practice prior to Louisiana State.  We shot, we checked holsters. we talked about lots of stuff, checked lists and made plans.

Then, after everyone has shot a couple of rounds, we broke down and loaded tables.


Left to Right, that's Sinister Sal, Big Mark, Akarate Zach, and yours truly Major D, loading tables into Big Mark's truck.  Thursday, noon-ish, they'll be in Natchitoches, LA for the very first Louisiana State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw.

We're ready (I think).  Now, if all the equipment shows up in Natchitoches, we're golden.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Shooter's Meeting and Safety Briefing

One week from today, almost to the hour, all the planning will be over, all the texting, and conferring, and we'll be standing int he City Park of Natchitoches, LA to begin the very first Louisiana State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw.

So, this morning, I'm double checking lists and making sure we're covered.  One of the things I had to do was to put together a safety briefing/shooter's meeting, and I got out the regulations and put that together.  I had Belle proof-read it, critique it.  That's what we do, we're a team, and we take care of each other.  I believe that I've covered all the bases and it's printed, in the Range Officer's folder that I carry with me to all matches.

But, going through that exercise got me remembering the ranges I ran as a very young man.  Tank ranges, small-arms ranges, each by the score or more.  Hand grenade ranges.

I hate a hand grenade with all my heart.  Even if they are in their individual boxes, in a shipping crate, on the back of a deuce-and-a-half, I hate the damned things.  Hand grenades will poke holes in your uniform and make your whole day go sideways in the time it takes for a three-second fuse to burn down.  They are evil little devices, and I hate them.

I once ran a handgun range where all my students were high-ranking staff rats who hadn't handled a 1911 pistol in a decade or longer.  I got them all through it, but spent the next several months explaining a simple scoring system that any infantryman would grasp immediately.  Why it was a mystery to very senior, highly educated Adjutant General officers is still a mystery.  If you hiit the target, it counted.  If you missed the target, it did not count.  How hard is that to understand?

Lots of good memories about standing on an eight-foot stack of tank ammunition, on a range in Kentucky, watching tank cannons punch holes in targets a mile or more away.  It's a tanker's dream to be on a range somewhere, with good weather, properly maintained tanks, punching holes in things a lung way off.  You can feel the muzzle blast in your bones and your uniform rustles in the shock wave.

The memories are so thick this morning that I have to brush them away like a cloud of gnats.  They're jumbled and swirling and taking me away from the task at hand.

Next Friday morning, April 21st, we're kicking off the Louisiana State Championship.  We'll be in Natchitoches, LA in the City Park, corner of 5th and Amulet.  We'll open the Equipmet Check and Registration at 8:00 a.m., with a Safety Briefing at 8:30 and first round downrange at 9:00.

Y'all come.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

MOAB on ISIS

It seems that we dropped an MOAB on ISIS today, to destroy a cave complex in some asss-wipe province of that asshole country.  I bet that made their ears bleed.

Of course, the usual idiots in the media want to call it "the mother of all bombs" because the acronym fits nicely.  Those of us who know, call it the GBU-34/B, or the Massive Ordnance Air Burst.

Some dumb sonsabitches have asked if the MOAB would affect civilians?  Short answer: Yeah, I'm petty sure that they were in the blast radius, they'd be affected.  But, that's the danger you take if you hang out with ISIS.  If any of those brave ISIS fighters brought their girlfriend/sex-slave/wife into the tunnel complex, she just became a legitimate military target.  Same status for pore ol' Achmed the goat herder who was selling meat to the ISIS fighters.

Too bad, so sad.  It's a shame that we can't see a bomb damage assessment.

The Chief Justice Whines

Chief Justice John Roberts is, to even a casual observer, a flip-flopping, back-stabbing, waffling little man with a huge title, who doesn't see the place in history that he so richly deserves. Probably the worst chief justice of the modern era.  And, he's worried about the Court becoming partisan.

As the professor says:
 A BIGGER THREAT TO THE COURT IS A CHIEF JUSTICE WITH SO LITTLE BACKBONE HE’LL SWITCH POSITIONS IN RESPONSE TO OP-ED BULLYING
Indeed.  As I've said before, I think that the man is despicable.  If I ever get the opportunity, I'm going to spit on his shoes.

What Is Out There?

That's the big question of space exploration: What is out there?

NASA is supposed to make an announcement at 2PM today about findings from the Cassini spacecraft that's been orbiting Saturn.
This afternoon, NASA is going to make an announcement about big findings from the Cassini spacecraft, a probe that’s been exploring the Saturn system since 2004. This particular announcement will revolve around “new results about ocean worlds” in our Solar System, so that means we’ll be most likely be focusing on either Titan or Enceladus. The two moons of Saturn are thought to harbor liquid water. Enceladus has a subsurface ocean and this saltwater periodically erupts from the moon’s surface as plumes. Titan’s surface, in comparison, is dotted by lakes and seas of liquid methane and ethane.
As alien a world as we'll probably ever imagine.  Lakes of methane and ethane.  This is cool stuff.

Death and Taxes

Someone said that the only two things that are inevitable are death and taxes.

I ain't dead yet, but the tax man is doing his part.  I have to stop and thank God that I have my health, and Milady and I are enjoying the fruits of our success.  Our kids are grown, the grandkids are healthy, and that everyone has a good roof ad enough to eat.

Grandma and I still work, make a paycheck, and parlay two careers and a couple of little retirement accounts into a pretty comfortable life.  But, we have no deductions and the tax-man whacks us hard.

This year, as last year, I am paying more in taxes than I made for many years.  And, even with all that withholding, I still get the patriotic chore of writing the IRS a healthy check early next week.

For what I have, I am thankful, but I'd feel a whole lot better if the tax man didn't take such a wet bite out of my checking account.

Just damn!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Slave Markets in Libya

Over at The American Interest, a stunning indictment of the Obama administration, and what might be his most stunning legacy.  Slave markets.
If a Republican President had invaded Libya and overthrown its government, then left bloody chaos, terrorism and rampant arms smuggling behind, our courageous press corps would be all over the story like a chicken on a June bug.
 But the latest news, that slave markets are now operating in Libya, where desperate black Africans are being bought and sold as slaves, ought to trigger some kind of response.
You might think that the mainstream media would be reporting about those places where active slave markets are operating, but you'd be mistaken.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Chance

Eaton Rapids Joe gives us a post on Unpredictability, and he opens with this line:
It is universally accepted that it is advantageous to have a "Poker face" when playing poker or other games of chance that involve other actors.
I have one minor quibble with this thesis, and that is that I don't believe poker to be a game of chance.  There is some randomness associated with poker, but it is mainly a game of skill.  Much like Doc Holliday says.



However, I do agree that  President Trump differs from the "O" guy in that he doesn't telegraph his intentions.    The "O" gjy would tell everyone what he intended to do.  Operations Security (OPSEC) had no place in the "O" administration.

President Trump is correct to keep his adversaries guessing.    We must be rational, after all, but there's no sense in being utterly predictable, especially when it comes to military operations.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Interesting

The crap is starting to get interesting in the Far East.

Trump has sent a carrier group to the Korean peninsula.

Reports put up to as many as 150,000 Chinese troops on the North Korean border

SecState Rex Tillerson is talking with the Chinese.
“President Xi clearly understands, and I think agrees, that the situation has intensified and has reached a certain level of threat that action has to be taken,” Tillerson said.
Tillerson described a “shared view and no disagreement as to how dangerous the situation has become”.
The wild card, though, is litttle Kim, the North Korean despot, who is crazy as a shit-hose-rat.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

New Electronics

About the first of the year, Thorn valley bought new electronics.  Our old system was a first-generation system, and had some gremilins.  It still worked, sort of.  Lots of gliches and gemlins, the whole thing was held together by prayer and trepidation.

But, today, we broke out the new stuff and in the space of about a half-hour, we had it installed.  New timers, lights, sensors, power supply and start button, it's all brand-new out-of-the-box.


This is going to be a whole lot better than what we were using.

The Competition

I've got to shoot against these two wahoos at Louisiana State and Texas State the following week.    That's Parttime on the left, and Whiplansh on the right.  Two very good friends, and both of them friends of mine.  Parttime is the current Southern Territorial Champion, and Whiplash is the current Oklahoma State Champion.



Both of them are friends of mine, and yeah sometime they have a bad day.(I've beaten them both).

Really, they're both great guys, fine competitors, and I can't wait to see them.  It's two weeks to Louisiana State.  We'll be in the City Park in Natchitoches, LA on April 21-23rd.

Y'all come watch.

Photo-bomb.

So, Belle is trying on a new outfit, and the dawg keeps trying to photo-bomb her.  Belle, being the fast thinker that she is, simply lifts the skirt, takes a step forward, and engulfs the dawg in the 1880s.


Yep, there is a dawg under that skirt, but he didn't make it into the photo.  When he came out, he was woedully confused.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Trump's Very Good Friday

Well,  it looks like our President tomahawked Syria and got his Supreme Court pick confirmed on the same day.

By any standards, that's a good day.  The Democrats, of course, are in total meltdown.  but, we're only playing by their rules.  I believe that it was Harry Reid and Liz Warren who told us that "elections have consequences".

Now, That's Privelege

Chelsea Clinton, the wonder-child of an ex-president and an ex-Secretary of State believes that she is capaple of giving career advise.  Yeah, really.
Chelsea Clinton says if you want a raise, you should ask for one. And if you need time to yourself, take it. In fact, she’s gotten very far in her life without ever having to worry about being turned down or told no, so why should you worry about getting fired from your job for being greedy?
As the professor says: "Bon on third base, and thinks she hit a triple."

Heh! Chelsea Clinton is t he last person I'd take career advise from.  I don't know how she is able to talk, with that silver spoon in her mouth.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

The Voting Issue

Jazz Shaw, over at Hot Air, looks at article at the Washington Post, and makes cogent comments about the issue of the case in Texas earlier this year, where a green-card holder, Rosa Ortego, was sentenced to eight years in the pen for voting illegally in 2012 and 2014.

The Post seems to think that this is excessive, that an eight year sentence is a bit draconian.  I've heard the argument made that voter fraud is so rare that it never changes the results of  an election.  The argument is basically that one vote won't change the results.  Until it does.

I recall a time in a small north Louisiana parish.  It was a tiny little parish, with one judgeship.  The local judge was revered, well loved, and died suddenly.  The Supreme Court appointed a retired judge to serve ad hoc until an election could be called.

Two of the local ambulance-chasers qualified for the election and the campaign began.  As voting day rolled around, and as the precincts were counted, everyone held their breath to see who would ascend to the judgeship.  The results came in at a dead tie.  Each candidate had garnered exactly the same number of votes.

That triggered a re-count, and after the re-count was complete, the tally was still a dead-tie.  Allegation flew back and forth, a lawsuit was initiated, and the state Supreme Court got involved.  The process finally shook itself out, but during the shaking-out, we learned that the Registrar of Voters had been (ahem) a bit less than enthusiastic about insuring the integrity of the voter rolls.

Yes, sometimes one vote matters.  Further, the integrity of the election process is integral to our system of democracy.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Stilton has Moved

Like many right-thinking people (and I mean that on more than one level), I was a fan of Hope N' Change cartoons.  However, after the place went still, and I wondered if he had nothing to satirize now that Obummer was out of office.

Not so fast, there, bucko!  I didn't read the page closely enough.  He's moved, and you can find his stuff here, under a new header.

Here's a teaser.


Go read his stuff.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Corruption and Crime

The internet exploded this morning.  It seems that there is credible evidence that Susan Rice, Obama's National Security Advisor, ordered the intelligence agencies to intercept the phone calls of candidate Donald Trump.
Former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice ordered U.S. spy agencies to produce “detailed spreadsheets” of legal phone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides when he was running for president, according to former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova.
“What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals,” diGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Monday.
I'm not really versed on national security law, but I suspect that intercepting the phone calls of presidential candidates probably violates one or more of the criminal statutes related to wiretapping.   The bigger question, though, is; if Susan Rice is involved, how deep is President Obama in this mess?

The Town Talk

I walked outside in the pre-dawn hours to get the Town Talk, the official journal and newspaper for central Louisiana. Since I was a kid, it's been a daily newspaper. For decades we've had a subscription, and it was thrown in our driveway every day, rain or shine.

Belle likes doing the crossword puzzle with her morning coffee, and occasionally there might be a news item of interest. Reading the morning paper is a tradition that is older than I, and one we've enjoyed for many years.  My daily routine is to get up, make coffee, and walk outside to assess the weather and pick up the paper at the end of the driveway.

No more, and not because we've cancelled or anything. It seems that the Town Talk is feeling the crunch that is changing the publishing industry.  The Town Talk is no longer a daily paper.  It will be delivered on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.  I asked Belle if she was keeping the subscription and she said that she'd keep it for a while and see what happens.

I fear that the Town Talk is entering a death spiral of declining subscriptions and advertising revenue.  As much fun as I've had over the years, swearing at the Town Talk, it appears that before long, I'll have to forgo that pleasure.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Long Day

School was out today, so I spent the day getting ready for Louisiana State.

In the last three days, I've handled 3500 pieces of brass, some of them twice, some of them three times.  I've got another 1500 pieces to load.  But, I've turned the corner now and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Hopefully by Saturday morning, I can put the ammo away.

Unlike every other shooting sport I've ever been associated with, in the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, if an outfit is hosting a sanctioned shoot, they are responsible for providing the ammunition.  It's figured into the entrance fee, and it makes sense.  Everybody is shooting the same ammo, which levels the playing field.  There's no opportunity for some guy to try to get an edge by using custom ammo.

And, at the big shoots, a number of shooters fly in to the venue.  Not having to pack ammo is one less opportunity to run afoul of the TSA.  Our shooters that fly have figured out the regulations, but not having to deal with ammo is a big benefit.

Louisiana State is 17 days away.  The clock is ticking, and we're looking forward to it.

The Weather

The major news for yesterday is that our little chunk of Louisiana had weather yesterday.  Normally, we get weather every day, but yesterdays weather sucked.

High winds, torrential rains, hail, reports of tornadoes, property damage.  It went from a balmy, breezy Sunday morning, to an oh-hell=all-hands-on-deck exercise in the space of an hour.  Lots of trees down, power lies crashed, signs destroyed.  I haven't heard any reports of loss-of-life, and that's a blessing, but otherwise, central Lou isiana took a hit.



PawPaw's acre is fine, thank you.  Belle and I survived quite nicely, and the Dawg is okay, even if his weather psychosis kicked up a notch or two.  He was a skeered dawg for about eight hours.

Most of the heavy weather came in after dark, on our side of the river, so we'll be assessing after the sun comes up.  Rapides Parish schools are closed today, and they've even told the central office staff to stay home.    For myself, I intend to hang around the house today and piddle on some ongoing projects.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Louisiana State

I took delivery this morning on brass, wax bullets, primers, and ammo boxes that we'll use for Louisiana State.


We had a party here earlier, loading wax, seating bullets, adding primers, and boxing the loaded ammo.  After we had done several hundred rounds, we decided that the brass wasn't quite up to sniff for the best possible outcome, so I called a halt and set up a neck-sizing die in my old single stage press.



I don't own any .45 LC dies.Bell and I decided a long time ago that we'd limit that caliber to wax bullet ammo only.  We shoot that caliber in the back yard and we don't want any opportunity for an "OH-CRAP" moment., so I don't own any .45 LC dies.  But, old-time reloaders know that we can load .45 LC with .45 ACP dies, and as all I wanted to do was straighten the ase mouths, my .45 ACP expander die, set properly, would suffice properly.

A few minutes at the press, and I had that die set to iron the crimp out of the brass.,  No flare, just a straight, round case mouth would suffice.  I'm 1500 rounds into that exercise now, but the cases look a heck of a lot better and the bullets are loading properly.



I'm averaging about 500 cases an hour, and I've got exactly 2500 cases still to re-size.  We want to have 4500 rounds of ammo loaded and ready to go for the first shot of Louisiana State.  I'd better get cranking on that handle.  The shoot is less than three weeks away.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Just Wow!

The professor links to an article that reflects on the current crop of graduates.  The money quote:
 “My students are know-nothings. They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent. But their brains are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation. They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten nearly everything about itself, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference to its own culture.”
Wow!  Full article here.

Federalism

It seems that Congress is returning power to the states.  Good for them.
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans, aided by Vice President Mike Pence and an ailing Georgia colleague who gingerly made his way to the Capitol with the aid of a wheelchair and a walker, voted Thursday to undo an Obama administration rule preventing states from blocking funding for family planning clinics that also provide abortions.
Our nation was founded on the concept of federalism, where states are allowed to set their own rules.  While I may disagree with the decisions a state makes, I certainly can't disagree with their right to make that decision.  I realize that there are two sides to every argument,

There are, of course, some rights that cannot be infringed, but I'm an originalist, and from my reading of the founding documents, I don't see any right in this legislation that forbids a state from making that decision.

Let Freedom Ring.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Older Women Drinking Hard

That's the title of an article at CBS News.  
More older American women than ever are drinking — and drinking hard, a new study shows.
Most troubling was the finding that the prevalence of binge drinking among older women is increasing dramatically, far faster than it is among older men, the researchers noted.
Interesting.  I've known women who could drink men under the table, although I never found that particular attribute particularly attractive.  In fairness, they didn't find me particularly attractive, either.

Bell and I normally have a toddy or two on an afternoon.  Normally an aperitif and a digestif.  It puts a mellow glow on the day, and we're past the stage of having to help kids with homework and make sure that everyone is bathed and abed at a decent hour.  It's just us, so we knock back a couple and spend some time in pleasant conversation before bedtime.

Maybe that's what they're talking about.  Older women deserve the break.

Dangerous

From a discussion over at Tam's place.
This is the single best thing about striker fired handguns. Like rifles, nobody can tell at a glance if they're cocked or not. If an exposed hammer is to the rear, it doesn't matter to the spring, but everybody from Sergeant Major Smith to Cletus the Hillbilly Hunter just HAS to lower that hammer because...apparently they think it's doing something bad to the spring?
When I finally transitioned over from the revolver to the semi-auto in 2002, I decided to carry a full-size 1911, due mainly to long familiarity with the pistol.  I carried it in a Safariland SLS holster, which was the state of the art at the time.  Of course, in that holster, the only way to carry was cocked-and-locked, but I also had long familiarity with that condition.

I was working a high school then, and ate lunch with the coaching staff.  One day, sitting at the table, the head coach happened to notice that my pistol had the hammer back, cocked in the holster.

"Your pistol is cocked," he said, "Isn't that dangerous?"

"Of course, it's dangerous, Coach." I replied.  "It's a gun.  It's supposed to be dangerous."
We finished lunch, and I tried to impress upon him that he was in no danger from the gun firing accidentally.  I don't think I succeeded.  Because cocked guns are gangerous.

Circular Runways?

It's an idea, I guess, to build airports with circular runways.  The innovator says that it has several advantages over a straight runway.

I remember studying the history of flight in high school.  Early airfields were just that, large flat, grassy areas where the pilot could determine the best azimuth for takeoff or landing.  The airplanes weren't restricted to narrow, straight, concrete strips.  Circular runways would certainly mitigate the risks of crosswind landings.



I'm no aviator, and the infrastructure costs would be huge, but if you're planning to build your own airport, maybe you should consider a circular runway.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Crazy, Fat Kid

That's the way that Senator John McCain described the despot who runs North Korea.  A crazy fat kid.
Senator John McCain made the inflammatory remarks while discussing the tyrant’s recent ballistic missile tests and his repeated threats to destroy the US.
I was amazed, when l'il Kim's daddy died that the generals let him grab the reins of power.   From all accounts, he's a ruthless, power-crazed, paranoid tyrant.    If he was found one morning dangling from the end of a rope, I doubt very seriously if anyone would mourn him.

Tired, Just Tired

I'm working on about six hours sleep last night.  While that used to plenty when I was younger, today my butt is dragging.  Fortunately, I get to leave here at a reasonable hour today.


I feel a lot like that dog looks.

Jingles

I walked into McDonalds last night, after a long, long day  Ordered a Big Mac and fries, paid the gal, then moved over to the pickup window.

Three college boys came in, griping about being thrown out of Hardee's, down the road.    They got there just at closing time, and couldn't be served.  So, one guy asks what is on a Big Mac.

Bone-dog tired, I remembered the jingle..  "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun."

The girl at the counter looked up.  "Wow.  That's exactly what is on a Big Mac."

The college kids looked at me.  "Did you ever work at McDonald's?"

"No", I replied, "I worked at Buger King, but I still remember the Big Mac jingle."

And, courtesy of YouTube, here it is.  Evidently, that was a 1974 ad campaign.



Heh!  The things we remember, sometimes.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Surely, You Jest.

That's the response on of my military commanders would use when I'd come at him with some hair-brained scheme.  "Surely, you jest."  I knew then that it was time to back up and reconsider.

But, it seems that a court in Portland has decided that a person can now be "legally genderless", whatever that means.
People are free to believe anything they wish in the United States. Irrational ideas only become an issue when they impact our legal system, since that means they have the potential to enforce the stupid on the rest of us.
For example, a judge in Portland has ruled that an individual is now legally "genderless":
"Surely you jest," I thought when I read that paragraph, but then realized that hizzoner did not jest at all.  He actually believes that we're supposed to take that ruling seriously.

Well, hizzoner is wrong.  And, in Portland at least, the law is now officially an ass.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Earworm

I heard this song for the first time, over at Murphy's place.  It quickly became an earworm, maybe because it's about a submachine gunner, something with which I have a little experience.  Catchy tune.

This is a variation on the original.



Sometimes, thankless little bush wars are the only wars we've got.

You're welcome.

Monday Random Thoughts

I've been doing a little reading, between helping people today.

What is the proper role of a local police agency in the 21st century?  The role of police agencies has changed over the years, as well as the public expectations of a local police agency.  This deserves more study, and it deserves the philosophical thought that such questions require.

Body Armor (Kevlar vests).  You'd think hat after all these years, I'd get used to wearing the damned things. You'd be wrong.  It feels just as foreign and unfamiliar to me today as it did the first day I wore one.  I hate the damned things with all my heart.  I know all the good reasons for wearing it, and I don't need you to remind me.  Still, I hate the damned thing.  Body Armor will be one of the things I do not miss about police work.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Categories

For my regular readers, this is an idea that is strictly CFDA related.  My apologies in advance if this post is technical and strictly CFDA related.

Those of us who have shot CFDA matches have probably shot a category match.  Category matches are age-related matches, and they're a lot of fun.  But, we've got a lot of categories, and as you get older, the categories get shorter.  Look at this copy from the Gunslinger's Guidelines.
Recognized Age-Based Categories are:
Billy the Kid, Annie Oakley ages 8 through 15;
Boy’s & Girl’s Junior ages 16 & 17 (and Level 4 Youth)
Men’s & Ladies Traditional age 18+;
Men’s & Ladies 49’r age 49+;
Men’s & Ladies Senior age 60+;
Men’s & Ladies Super Senior age 65+;
Old Timers & Grand Dame age 70+;
Golden Guns & Golden Girls age 75+, and
Elder Statesmen & Stateswoman age 80+.
By my count, that's nine categories.  That's a lot of individual categories to keep straight.  One problem I've seen with these standard categories is that occasionally, there won't be enough shooters in a particular category to make a valid match, and those folks are re-assigned to another category.    Everybody is good-natured about it.   But.one of the problems with the Traditional category is that it get really big.  We've got a lot of shooters from age 18-49, so we might want to split that category, and consolidate some of the others.

I've been to some shoots where the Traditional Category is huge, and the more senior categories are tiny.  That's not to say that the level of competition is less, no, our senior shooters have the twin attributes of experience and cool-headedness.  They're seasoned competitors.  But, we might want to spread out the larger categories and consolidate the smaller ones.

Here's my idea:
Youth (youngsters to include Category 3 youth).
Traditional (Category 4 youth and adults up to age 37)
Seasoned Hands (age38-48)
Forty-Niners (Age 49-59)
Senior (Age 60-69)
Golden Guns (Age 70+)

We'd split every category into Mens and Ladies, and we could change the names of the categories if we wanted to, and I'm just throwing this out for consideration.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fish Fry Today

Well, the fish fry is over, we ate till our belly-buttons were tight, then sat around and visited for several hours.


Catfish, french fries, hush=puppies.  The ladies made broccoli salad and cole slaw.  PawPaw was the fry-master today.  I know my way around a fish cooker, I've been frying fish for nearly four decades, and I've just about learned how to do it.  There is no real secret.  Good, clean fish, good seasoning, slice the filets thin, roll it in seasoned cornmeal, and fry it in hot oil.  Use a thermometer and keep your oil between 350-400 degrees. I don't know why some people have trouble with this.

Grand-niece Rachel is a starving college student at ULM in Monroe, LA.  I was very surprised and pleased to see her get out of the car.  Rachel is a joy, and it appears that she likes fried fish.


All told, I fed fourteen people this afternoon, and still had fish left over.  Several of the guests took fish plates home.  It was a great day with greaat people.

Memory Lane

Who remembers this guy?  He showed up on a birthday card that Belle got.

That's Quick Draw McGraw.  I used to watch his show when I was a kid.

Saturday Morning

Belle's family has a lot of birthdays in March, and today is in fact Belle's birthday.  Her side of the family is gathering here on PawPaw's acre, noonish, to celebrate together.  I'll be frying catfish on the patio, with french fries, hush-puppies, and coleslaw.  BYOB.

I've been at it since daylight, prepping and getting ready.  Taking a break right now, to catch my breath before the guests start to arrive.  The weather-weeenies are predicting a chance of a shower.  Hopefully, it'll go around us so that I don't have to move everything into the garage.

On yer mark, get set.  GO!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Blinging a Gunbelt

Belle gets a new gunbelt for her birthday, and the next thing I know, a package arrives from Texhas.com.  Conchos.  What good is a gunbelt without conchos?


I told her to measure carefully, to place them where she wanted them.  Then we very carefully punched the holes.  That's cowboy bling.

Old Time Repair Shops

When I was growing up, television was relatively new, and was a substantial investment, a fair portion of a weekly paycheck.  TV repair shops littered the landscape.  Indeed, my own father fixed TVs for a while in the family storeroom.  He put up a bench and made a little side money fixing television sets.

Those old repair shops have gone the way of the dodo bird.  Foe rhe most part, consumer electronics are disposable; if something breaks, you throw it away and buy another.  The time of fixing TVs is long gone.  But, there are still a couple of old-time repair shops around that can do stuff that was once the province of any good electronic repair shop.

One such repairman is a guy I'll call Ricky.  Ricky runs a repair shop that specializes in audio=visual equipment for a local governmental agency.  When I have an issue, Ricky is the easy answer.  He doesn't always tell me what I want to hear, but he'll give me the straight scoop.  Ricky likes old guns, so we trade expertise and talk about the time when things got fixed, rather than thrown away.

You'll remember earlier this week, when I bought my portable PA system.  I showed it to RIcky, and he noticed the two plugs on the back of the unit for attaching it to a battery for 12 volt power.  He told me about a shop downtown that sold little electronic parts.  "Go there and get two banana plugs and two battery clips.  Come back here and we'll build a power cord so that you can hook it to a battery."

So, I went to this shop he told me about.  Stepping in through the door was like stepping back 40 years. Dusty, musty, lots of shelves and bins.  I found the proprietor and told him what I was looking for.  "Ricky sent me."

"Okay", he said and started looking in bins.  In just a few minutes he had found banana plugs, one red, one black, but he was having trouble finding battery clips.  Then he remembered that he was using them as clamps for a gluing project.  He disappeared into the back of the shop and returned in just a minute, with two battery clips, one red, one black.  I gave him a $10.00 bill and out the door.

At Ricky's shop the next morning, Ricky plugged in his soldering iron and let it heat while he found a piece os suitable scrap wire.  In ten mites, he had soldered the banana plugs on one end and the battery clips on the other.  In the space of an couple of hours, I had a custom made, professionally crafted power cable for my PA system.

I didn't have to wait on Amazon, or go to a box store wondering if I could find what I needed, just talk to two old craftsmen who knew their business.  In many ways it was like stepping back into my grandfather's shop, or my Dad's shop.  When we lose these guys, either trhough the economy, or normal mortality, the country will have lost a treasure.

We Get Mail

I found this in my inbox after I got home from work yesterday.
  Hello Major D,
  I really liked your article about the pressure washer attachment, thank you.  I am a Yankee living in NH.  I escaped NY in '96 after spending my life in that cesspool.  After my wife had passed away I met a wonderful Lady in NH where I was working erecting a printing press.  I was a machinist for 43 years specializing in the printing industry.  A strange twist of fate let us meet.  Life sometimes is kind in that way.  We have been married 21 years this September. Your blog is an every day must.  Denny or Major D. thanks for a daily reminder of family value and camaraderie.
dthed in NH

Well, hell!  Thanks for reading my poor scribblings, and thanks for letting me know that someone in the frozen north reads my stuff.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cleaning a Patio

Like many of you, PawPaw has a patio.  We spent a lot of time out there.  Cats, dogs, visitors, kids and grandkids, we like to hang out on the patio.  I've expanded it twice over the years, and it catches a fair amount of debris.  Every so often, it needs a good, thorough cleaning.

Also like many people, I have a small, residential pressure washer.  Mine runs 2.3 gallons per minute at 2700 psi.  When I use the pressure washer, overspray is a problem.  Water splashes everywhere, normally throwing debris on walls, support posts and ceilings.  That ain't good, because I've got to wash everything two or three times before I'm finished.

So, I cast about for a solution.  As it turns out, they make this thing called a surface cleaner. The one I bought looks like this:

  
It clips on to the end of the wand with a standard quick-disconnect. Overspray is virtually eliminated.  Underneath, the device has a rotating nozzle where water sprays out in a high-speed circular motion, lifting dirt and grime off the surface without blowing it on to your walls , ceilings, or fences.

Here's a video showing it in action.



This thing works as advertised, and has the PawPaw seal of approval.  Our patio is approximately 10 X 40 and I gave it a thorough surface cleaning yesterday.  From the time I started moving furniture until Belle gave it her approval was about 90 minutes.  Not a bad job at all.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Terror In London

The news feeds just lit up about a terror incident in London.  Some bozo drove over pedestrians, the got out of his vehicle and stabbed a cop.  Said bozo was launched into eternity for his efforts.

The Daily Mail describes the bozo as a "middle-aged Asian", which I understand is politically-correct lingo for one of the adherents of the Mohametan sect.

Other sources tell us that this event happened one year after the Brussels attacks last year.

It doesn't take much to connect the dots on this one.   However, until I learn more I will refrain from calling this the latest Islamic Terror Event.

Pawn Shop Crawling

AI am always enamored of a good pawn shop.  Regular readers know this; many of the things I look for, I start my search in a pawn shop.

I've been looking for a little, portable PA system.  Something that runs on both battery and AC power.  In Cowboy Fast Draw, we can run our ranges on 12 volt power or AC, and that's a plus.  A fully charged marine battery can run our range electronics for a weekend.  A little PA system is useful for safety briefings and shooters meetings, and while AC power is normally available, having a battery otion is nice too.

We can buy these things on Amazon, or at Sam's club in the $100-150 range, but I thought that I'd start my search at my favorite pawn shop, to see what Johnny had available.

I got Johnny out from behind his desk and told him what I was looking for.  Compact, lightweight, on wheels, with a collapsible handle.

"I may have just what you're looking for," says he, as we head toward the pawn counter.

Sure enough, he pulls out something that looks like this.

Mine is marked POLAROID, but I'm sure that it's made by the same Chinese outfit that makes lots of consumer electronics.  We tested it,  It has a USB port, Bluetooth, and a host of features that I'll probably never use, but it does have a standard microphone jack and while it doesn't have an internal battery, it does have jacks for 12v power.  It should suit my needs perfectly, and it cost considerably less than a brand-new comparable units from the local big box store.

A couple of banana plugs and alligator clips and I'll be able to hook it to a battery.  It should serve our needs just fine.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cousins

So, my cousin calls. (Actually, consin-in-law, but we don't dither about family).  The conversation goes something like this:
Me: "Hey, Cuz, what's up?:
Cuz: "where do you buy shotgun primers?"
Me: Precision, Reloading generally.  Why?"
Cuz. "I'm out, and I need to order some."
Me: "Well, that's where I get mine, unless I find a sale."
Cuz: "Yeah, but the Haz-Mat charge eats me up."
Me: "Yeah, but if you make a big order,"
Cuz: "I don't need that many primers, just three thousand or so."
Me:  "Find someone to go halves with you, and split an order."
Cuz: "Okay.  This catalog is two years old.  Reckon the price has changed?"
Me, (thinking, Catalog?): Yeah, you might want to call them or go online."

So, Cuz may be more low-tech than I suspected.  I put the phone away, thinking "Catalog?? Who uses catalogs anymore?"  Evidently, Cuz uses them.

So, several hours later, I'm moving around and the phone rings.  It's Cuz again.
Cuz: "Hey, we've got six-thousand primers coming."
Me: "We?  Whaddya mean, We?"
Cuz.  "You  and me!  Three thousand each.  - - Oh, you owe me a hunnderd dollars."
Me: "Oh, so now I have to come up with a hundred dollars."
Cuz: "It's okay, I know where you live."

Cousins.  We've all got them.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Accuracy Matters

In our game, accuracy isn't built in.  We shoot single action revolvers with fixed sights and wax bullet ammo, not a good combination for nit-picking accuracy.  MOA isn't even in our thesaurus.  A hit is a hit, and that's all that matters.  Speed is important, because whoever hits the target first gets the winning shot.  But, that qualifier above "whoever hits the target" is the important thing.

It's a truism that as the speed increases, the hit ratio goes down.  In this game, we rate a shooter by speed.  If most of his hits are in the 3/10ths range, we call him a 3-shooter.  If most of his hits are in the half-second range, we call him a 5-shooter.  Almost every gunner, when they begin this game, quickly gets down to below a second.  That a big milestone, and normally happens after the first or second practice session.  I say "most", because some folks have trouble putting it together, but vast majority get down under a second fairly quickly.  After my introduction to the game, I was stuck in the 7s for a year or longer.  Now, during practice, I'm hitting in the 6s and flirting with the 5s.  This is my second year in this game.

In this game, only hits matter, and while everyone likes to go fast, it's not always the quickest who brings home the trophies.  Sometimes, the very expedient of hitting the target will take you to the winner's braket, and that was never more apparent than yesterday, at the Southern Territorials in Amarillo, TX.

I didn't get to attend, but some very good friends were there, and FaceBook lit up as they got to the finals.  I knew the manes of most of the shooters, but one name, J.B. Steele was a mystery.  I asked Belle if she had heard of J.B. Steele, and no, she had not.

Plain Jane, our current national champion, was live-streaming the finals, and I was surprised when I heard the announcer calling times.  "We've got no hit on lane five, but a .763 on lane 6"

I told Belle, "Come watch!  There's some guy in the finals shooting 7s."

I full-screened the computer, and we watched.  Against very fast shooters, there was J.B. Steele, We watched in awe as he put away some very good shooters.  He just stood there calmly, against the best in the sport, hitting the plate with monotonous regularity, and getting three winning shots before the other guys.

Our finals matches are double-elimination.  You've got to lose twive before you're out, and as the fast shooters faded away, there stood J.B. Steele, hitting the plate and sending the fast guns into the bleachers.  As the match progressed, we learned that J.B. Steele is a brand-new shooter and that this was his first sanctioned shoot.  Then it came down to the last two shooters.  J.B Steele was clean, and Parttime had one X.  Parttime is arguably the fastest gun in Texas.  He's also a staunch competitor, a heck of a nice guy, and a personal friend.  Of course, I was rooting for Parttime, but I had to gie J.B. Steele his due.  He had stood there against some very good guns, and put them away, one at a time.

And, it finally came down to the last shot.  Paartime had beaten Steele once, so they switched lanes to do it again.  Each competitor had one X, and this match would decide it.  The drama was high, and the sension was thick.  J.B.Steele was on fire, and Parttime was hitting quick.  The match came down to a 2-2 matchup, and on the final shot, both shooters hit the target.  Partime did it a little quicker, and got the blinking light.

Congratulations, Parttime on becoming the Southern Territorials Champion.  But, congrats to J.B. Steele as well.   It was a solid performance against very good shooters, and proves what Wyatt Earp said famously so long ago.  "Speed it fine, but accuracy is final."

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Congratulations!

Congratulation to Marshall's Daughter, the new ladies Southern Territorial Cham[ion.  Marshall's Daughter is a shooter out of Richmond, TX, and a leader in the Lone Star Gunslingers.  She's a heck of  competitor, a great person with her whole family in Fast Draw.

She gave me an X last year at the Southern Territorials..  We were shooting in the same bracket, and when the gunsmoke cleared, she had beaten me.  I didn't take it personal, because as she always does, I got a big ol' smile and a great hug.  That's the way we do it in Cowboy Fast Draw, shooting against friends.

She has the blingy-est gunbelt in the Southern Territory, and every time I ssee her I ask if she's added any bling to it.


Congratulations, darlin'. We love you here in Louisiana, and hope to see you in Natchitoches next month.    Oh, and if we're in the same bracket next month, I owe you an X.

Officer Down

An East Baton Rouge parish sheriff's deputy was fatally shot last night, conducting an investigation.
A Louisiana sheriff's deputy was fatally shot late Saturday night while conducting an investigation, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office and Louisiana State Police confirmed.
We're still sorting out the details.
 Bryan Lee, spokesman for Louisiana State Police Troop B, told reporters Saturday night that the slain deputy was one of two deputies who were carrying out an unspecified investigation at Classic Cuts, 1962 Oneal Lane. Shots were fired shortly before midnight, Lee said.


Our prayers are with the family of the slain officer and the East Bton Rouge Sheriff's Department.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Cleaning up Details

We're cleaning up some details for Louisiana State this morning.  One of our details is a giveaway to make money for Shoot for the Stars, the CFDA Scholarship program.

My son, the leathersmith has graciously donated a Cowboy Fast Draw holster/belt combo.    We'll sell chances on it on a 100-chance cut-up board, and when the board is full, we'll cut it up and draw for the holster.


He makes great rigs, and he's graciously offered to border-stamp it and cut the belt to fit the winner's measurements.

I shoot one of his rigs, and my daughter shoots one of his rigs.  We can testify that they are very nice, makde from premium veg-tanned leather and are very well suited to the game.

Here's my long-gun rig, to give you some idea.


Some lucky winner is going to get a custom-built rig,  It's only $5.00 per chance.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bud Lite?

So, this former federal judge has pleaded guilty to trying to bribe an FBI agent.
Former judge pleads guilty to offering FBI agent Bud Light in exchange for wife’s texts
Yeah, that's the headline.

Bud LIte?  No thank you, judge.  Now, turn around, you're under arrest for contempt of a federal officer.  Bud Lite?  Not even a case of Guinness?

That judge needs to go to jail for just plain stupidity.  Bud Lite?

Satellite Radio?

My new Sedona has a radio that will access satellite radio, and I'm thinking about buying a subscription for the spring/summer shooting season.  Belle and I will we traveling a bit, and having to change radio stations every 100 miles is a pain.
 
I'm thinking about the very basic package, just a list of radio stations so that we can travel without having to seek/search every time we drive out of a station's range.

But, anyone out there with a better idea, I'm willing to listen.

Thoughts, experiences, etc?  Let me know in comments.

AW, SNAP!

The Washington Post leads us to a heart-rending tale of undocumented illegal immigrants who are dropping out of the SNAP (food stamp) program because they're worried that they might be deported.
Immigrants are going hungry so Trump won’t deport them
You can go read the whole tear-jerker if you want to, but my question is why we are giving undocumented illegal immigrants benefits in the first place?    I always thought that it was pretty ignorant to give benefits to people who shouldn't be here int he first place.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Trump Budget


The up-side:
.. non-defense spending at the State Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency and [includes] the wholesale elimination of other federal programs.
How this translates:
 • Health and Human Services, the department responsible for implementing Obamacare and its proposed repeal, would face a $12.6 billion cut -- a 16.2% decrease
• Environmental Protection Agency: $2.6 billion, or 31.4%
• State Department: $11 billion, or 28.7%
• Labor Department: $2.5 billion, or 20.7%
• Agriculture Department: $5 billion, or 20.7%
• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: $1 billion, a 16.3% cut
• Cuts National Institutes of Health spending by $5.8 billion, a nearly 20% cut. Also overhauls NIH to focus on "highest priority" efforts and eliminates the Fogarty International Center.
• Other double-digit cuts include Commerce at 15.7%; Education at 13.5%; Housing and Urban Development at 13.2%; Transportation at 12.7%; and Interior at 11.7%.
There is more at the link, but Defense spending is up, everything else is down, and the National Endowment for the Arts is toast.    Again, there is more at the link.

More is coming out, this from PJ Media:
WASHINGTON -- White House budget director Mick Mulvaney defended the administration's proposal to eliminate the $3 billion Community Block Developmemet program in the Department of Housing and Urban Development that funds, among other social services, Meals on Wheels.
"The federal government has spent over $150 billion on this block grant since its inception in 1974, but the program is not well-targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated results," says the budget blueprint.
If a program does not show results, it should be cut.  American taxpayers shouldn't have to fund programs that don't show results.

The #1.

Every fast-food restaurant has a #1.  It's generally their signature meal=deal.  Buger King's #1 is a Whopper, fries, and a coke.  You get the idea.

I eat a lot of #1 meals.  I can't leave the office for lunch, and I have several kind folks who, when they're running out for lunch, ask if they can bring me something.  "A #1", I reply as I hand them some cash.  It doesn't matter much what restaurant, they've always got a #1 on the menu board.

While thinking about this topic this morning, I see that fast-food giant McDonalds is in the news. It seems that for reasons totally their own, they decided to gratuitously insult the President.


Heh!  Small hands, huh?  That's pretty much uncalled for, and McD's executive suite might take a moment and look at the idiot running their Twitter account.  That account, by the way, was almost immediately hacked.  I'm sure that's a coincidence.

I don't see anyone calling for a boycott.  Too many local jobs at stake to worry about something like that, and I'd rather eat at Burger King anyway.  But, you'd think that the Twitter executive at McD's would have better things to do than just gratuitously insult elected officials for no good reason.

It's probably time to find that person a real job.  Like running the fry rack at one of the local restaurants.

Tax Reform

The Dead Pelican highlights an article today about our state's financial crisis.


That's what tax reform means in Louisiana.  More of it. Our economy is still sputtering along under twin burdens, a combination of last year's disasters and the continuing burden of regulatory government.  Our governor, of course, is a Democrat who has never had enough money in any budget.  Unlike every household in Louisiana, the state can't live on its income.

Louisiana currently pays 38.41 cents a gallon, which is on a par with Texas (38.4 cents), a little higher than Mississippi (36.78 cents), and lower than Arkansas (40.2 cents)

I believe, though, that rather than jacking up gasoline prices, our legislators time would be better spent by reducing regulation, cutting state government, and improving roads in places other than the I-10/12 split in Baton Rouge, where they've been working for the past decade. (Seriously, are they ever going to get through with that?  It's kind of like I-35 in Texas.  They're never finished.)

What Americans want, generally, is more freedom, and less government.  That's what drove the country to Donald Trump.  We'll generally be fine if the government would just get out of our way, but more taxes is not the way to do that.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Make Mine Brass

I was surfing around and came to this post, at They Make All Kinds.  It talks about a small firearms manufacturer of the mid 1800s in St. Louis, but what caught my eye was the brass grip frame.

Brass, of course, is an old metal, one of the first worked by metalsmiths anywhere.  Basically an alloy of copper and zinc, it's been used since about the third millennia BCE, Nowadays, of course, it's an alloy of varying amounts of copper, zinc, and lead, depending on the articular characteristics needed.

The simple fact, though, is if I'm looking at a table full of handguns, and one or more have a brass grip frame, that is where my eye, my hand, and likely my pocketbook are going. Two of the three guns I use in CFDA have brass grip frames, and my long gun might one day get a brass grip frame, if time and money allow.

Uberti Cattleman Brass

There is just something about the warmth of the yellow, brass grip frame that draws my eye.  Couple the brass to a case-hardened receiver and it's a thing of beauty indeed!.  After thinking about it, brass is easy to machine, and should be easy to engrave.  After this competition season is finished, I may remove one of my grip frames and take it to a local shop to see if they'd be willing to embellish it a bit.  Wouldn't that be nice?

Regardless, if you're trying to sell me a revolver, make mine with a brass grip frame.  I'm a sucker for those things.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Well, D'uh

You remember the flap a couple of weeks ago about the Trump people meeting with the Russian ambassador?  You can Google it if you need to.  It was a big deal, among the Dems.

Well, as it turns out, the Russian ambassador was also meeting with the Clinton campaign.
“Well, if you look at some people connected with Hillary Clinton during her campaign, you would probably see that he had lots of meetings of that kind,” Peskov said. “There are lots of specialists in politology, people working in think tanks advising Hillary or advising people working for Hillary.”
I would expect an ambassador of any country to try to meet with candidates.  It's called diplomacy, and that's what diplomats do.  I didn't see what the fuss was all about before, and I darned don't see what the fuss is about now, except Dem hypocrisy.  

All We Could Do Was Scream

This is why we'll never give up our guns, even if they ask politely.
Please, someone make the comment about how this response is morally better than an armed citizen shooting the asshole in the face. Then explain that to the 13-year-old girl who nearly had her arm hacked off.
That's pure duToit, right there.