Monday, April 30, 2018

Obamacare? Have Another Drink

A study, highlighted at PJ Media, reports that Obamacare might be statistically linked to risky drinking.
“We find relatively robust evidence that the ACA increased risky drinking,” states the report, “The Affordable Care Act on Health Behaviors After Three Years,” published by the National Bureau of Economic Research earlier this month. The paper was written by researchers from Georgia State University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Kentucky, and Maryland-based analysis firm Impaq International.
There was a whole lot about the Obama era that caused me to drink, and I was never forced to sign up on the marketplace.  If I had been forced to sign up on the marketplace, I would probably have been tempted to open a vein.

Now that Donald Trump is President, my drinking is more social and celebratory than anesthetic.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Standard Manufacturing

I heard yesterday about a newer company, Standard Manufacturing, who is making a very nice, almost premier copy of the old Colt SAA revolver.  Evidently, Guns and Ammo magazine is highlighting it in this month's edition, but I can't find it online.

From all reports, it is a very nice copy of the old Colt, with some premium features, and a price tag that reflects that quality.



I might be tempted to save my pennies and buy one next year as a CFDA revolver.  The only problem is that the Standard SAA isn't on the list of acceptable CFDA six-guns.

More the pity.

Brisket

It's been a couple of years since I cooked a brisket, and I had a hankering for some good, fatty, smoked meat.  Belle didn't object, because she can relax while the smoker does the work.  The rub, you ask?  Nothing but salt and pepper.  That is all that brisket needs.

Brisket is a meat that is best cooked low and slow.  225F for ten or twelve hours, then trim it and put it in a pan on a low, smokey fire until the guests arrive.

So, last night I pt it on a low fire and went to bed.  My fire is propane, so once the temperature is st, I don't have to tend it.  This morning, I took it off, let it cool, trimmed and sliced it, then put it back over the fire.


Brisket on top, beans below.  It will sit there till we're ready to eat and then we'll get the 'tater salad out of the fridge.  Today is Sunday and we're kicking back on the patio.

Craft Holsters

A week or so ago, I got an unsolicited email in my inbox.  Normally, I spam these things, but the subject line said "holster", so I opened it.

It was an email from Luke at Craft Holsters.  They were hitting gun blogs and asked me if I'd like a sample holster.  Well, yeah, I always like free stuff, so I told them I was looking for a pancake-style holster fora 1911.  Right hand, brown, thumb snap.  Here is the link to the model.  If you'd like to see all the holsters they make for the 1911, click here.

In just a few days, it showed up in the mail.  Very nice holster.  The leather seems to be good, veg-tanned leather, the color is uniform, and the stitching is very nice.


Very nice indeed.  If fit the old warhorse perfectly.  Luke told me that they do some professionalization if the customer wants it.  A monogram, for example, is available.

If you are in the market for some nice leather at a reasonable price, click on the link, and see what they have available.  They have a feature where you can search by make and model.

Sadly, I couldn't find any rigs for Cowboy Fast Draw.  There are only a handful of holster makers  that cater to our game (Kens, Reddog, Lazy JD, Crease N' Corral,  Mernickle, and El Paso Saddlery come to mind), and I'm always in the market for another cowboy rig.  But, if you're looking for a holster for mainstream use, give them a look.  They seem to make very nice holsters, indeed.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Saturday Shooting

The Model P held up well today.  I shot the main match at the Peacemakers with it, just to give it a test run.  It felt good in my hand, but a bit stiff as it is brand-spanking new.  With a couple of hundred rounds, it will start to smooth out.  I stayed clean though the 7th round, when grandson Zach gave me an X.  I wasn't done, though, because I continued to shoot fairly well, and two rounds later the match was over and I was the last man standing.

Belle hit her fastest time ever, today, shooting the Rawhide.  She hit an 0.815 in the main match, and while she didn't win, she was ecstatic.

Grandson Zach hit a lot of 4's today, his fastest being a 0.445.  That's not his fastest time ever, (0.437), but he's getting comfortable hitting those times, and his accuracy is coming up.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Cimarron Model P

The Cimarron Model P came  in today.  The dealer called me and I went over after work to pick it up.

As the story goes, the president of Cimarron had a first-generation Colt in his collection.  He sent it to Uberti and asked if they could replicate it.  The result is what Cimarron calls the Model P.  I have to admit that it is a very pretty gun.


I admit that I like it, and Belle says that it is a pretty gun.   The bluing is nice and deep, and the color case hardened frame is nice as well.  The gun feels good in the hand.  A true Colt clone has the four-click hammer stroke, and all my Ubertis have it, but for some reason I can't find the C on this one.  It's like there is no safety notch.  That is not a deal-breaker, because I don't use the safety notch, but it is a bit odd.  The hammer goes back to the half-cock smoothly.

It's just a first impression, as it came out of the box an hour ago.  But, this seems like a very nice little pistol, and I'm sure that the club  will enjoy inspecting it.  It is a very  nice revolver, and destined to go into the competition bag.  It may not be an original Colt, but it cost about $1500 less than an original and the waiting time was less than a week.

Comey's Disgrace

Jim Comey continues to beclown himself.  He's moaning now that the Trump administration holds institutions of justice in contempt.
Former FBI Director James Comey charged that the Trump administration views "institutions of justice with contempt -- as just another piece on the board" to be manipulated.
Well, Jim, you ignorant bastard, you probably had to do more with the FBI losing credibility than anyone in the past three decades.  Under your watch, you gave Hillary a pass and we've recently learned that your second, another complete asshole, issued a stand-down order during that investigation.

Yeah, Jim, under your watch, the FBI became a laughing-stock.  Many of us think that it is now simply a political subdivision of the Democratic Party.  Under your watch, Jim, we found that we have a two-tiered system of justice, one where the political elite gets a pass, when lesser mortals committing virtually the same actions go to prison.

Thanks, Comey, you unrepentant asshole.  You, personally, have done more to damage the credibility of law enforcement than any other single individual in my lifetime.    Many of us hold you in utter contempt.

Skilz

There's an article at PJMedia about millenials and the skills they have and don't have.

We've all seen this commercial about the kid who can't change a flat.



First time I saw the ad, I thought, "How can someone drive a car, and not know how to change a tire?"

But, as it turns out, we're not teaching our kids (or grandkids) very many life skills.  They live in a digital world and they're very good with devices, but simple things like frying an egg, or building a fire with tinder and kindling elude them.   My grandson, Zach, for instance, was over at the house (he spends a lot of time with us), and didn't know how to start a lawnmower, or how to cut grass.

He knows now, by God.  I'm going to have to start working on his other skill sets.  He'll be going away to college in a few years, and we need to make sure that he picks up some life skills, like basic cooking and basic laundry, and how to work a broom.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Bernie Goes Full Socialist

Bernie Sanders, the lovable commie from Vermont, is going full socialist.  He believes that the government should guarantee you a job.
The socialist senator from Vermont is proposing that the government guarantee (yes, another entitlement) that every American who wants one or needs one has a job.
The only problem is that he is not quite sure how this would work.  But, any student of political history can tell you that socialism never works.  Never.  Look at Venezuela.  Look at the Com-block nations.   Look at everywhere socialism has ever been tried.  It fails utterly.  Every time.

Even liberal Finland, who tried an experiment with a guaranteed basic income, has found that it doesn't work.  It's simply unsustainable.

Socialism in every form has proven to be an utter failure each time it has been tried.

Did The FBI Stand Down?

Glenn Reynolds links to an article that asks the question.  Did McCabe order the FBI to stand dwon on the Clinton email investigation?

Well, somebody damned sure did.  I was watching TV that morning when Comey outlined a prima facie case for mis-handling classified information. From what little experience I have handling classified documents, someone would have gone to jail, if her last name wasn't Clinton.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Audience Displays

With the proceeds from Louisiana State, the Cross Branded Peacemakers were able to buy audience displays.  These lights hang over the target and display the time for a shot.

They came in today, and I installed them tonight.  Working by myself in the shop, about four hours to install a six-lane set.  It wasn't a bad job, but I got my exercise going up and down that ladder tonight.


Those lights hanging from the ceiling, after the test run.  Everything works, it's ready for the match on Saturday.They are about twelve feet in the air, so they should be fairly safe from bullet strikes.

This is something I have waited for, for a long time.  But now, I need a shower, a shot of whiskey, and a little bed time.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Tank Ammo

Mostly Cajun says in comments (and takes me down memory lane).
All the way in - HEAT-T or TP-T, our most common training round at Knox. All the way out - HEP-T. In the middle APDS-T, which was NEVER used at Knox.
When I got to Knox in '76 for the Basic Course, we fired a lot of HEAT-T, but I don't remember any sabot at all.  Even when I graduated and went down the street to the 4/27th Armor, we shot mostly (95%) HEAT-T and HEP-T.

But, when I got back there in '85 for the Advanced Course, we shot a heck of a lot of TPDS-T   Mainly on Yaho and St. Vith ranges.  I feel like I spent the whole summer at St. Vith.  As I recall, that was a beautiful range, nestled between two big ridges near the Salt River.  That place was  absolutely gorgeous

Knox ain't Knox any more.  Nowadays, it's a Finance center, with lots of REMFs and DA civilians keeping it open. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Computers

When I was a stripling soldier, I was introduced to computers.  Not the kind I'm typing on now, but e an electro-mechanical computer that figured ballistics for tank ammo.  It was mounted to the right side of the gunners station and fed inputs from the range-finder into the gun, to help assure a first-round hit.


You can click on it to see a bigger version.  When used, you could hear the cams working

For the uneducated, elevation is the angle of the gun from level.  Super elevation is that minute change, based on the ballistics of the ammo, to make the bullet hit the target. 

I found this picture on the Book of Face this morning, and it brought back a lot of old memories.

Mallards

When I was a young man, I used to walk Catahoula lake, or the creeks and sloughs in other places, hoping for a shot at a mallard drake.

Nowadays, they are wandering around my driveway.  With a pellet rifle, I could be eating mallard three nights a week.


Fortunately for them, I don't feel like plucking a duck.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Model P

The Model P was a firearm that was both iconic, and a continuation of continuing design.  Also known at the Single Action Army, or the Peacemaker, it is the iconic firearm of the cowboy westerns. 

Colt still makes them, if you have $2 grand to drop and are willing to wait a year or so.

There is another alternative, though.  As the story goes, the president of Cimarron Firearms happened to have a first-generation Colt in his collection, and sent it to Uberti to be copied.  His was the later manufacturing change, and has the cross-bolt latch for the base pin, instead of the screw for retaining the base pin.  We call these the pre-war model.

This clone is supposed to be very, very close to the original.  Colt parts are supposed to fit it, although that remains to be seen.

Grabaagun.com has them in their stock room, so as I have not yet bought my annual BAG Day gun, I put one on order.  It should be at the FFL in a week or so, and I'll highlight it here when I can handle it.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Packing Old Skool

I talked about this pistol back in 2013, an old Colt 1911 I picked up in a pawn shop.  I shot it a few times, ran it through a USPSA match, and shortly after that, the Sheriff gave us Glocks to carry.

The 1911 was probably the very first pistol I ever shot, when we went to the range with a class of savetail lieutenants back in 1976.  I learned that I shoot the 1911 almost instinctively.  It just points well in my hand.  The grip angle is correct for me, and the sights align naturally out of the holster.

Here's a picture as it came  out of the pawn shop.


Yeah, it's chromed like a Chevy bumper, but it's still a Colt  It's marked US Army Property, and a search of the serial number at the Colt archives put the manufacture date in 1915.  It's over 100 years old.

The last time I shot it, it shot fine.  It's probably been through several depot rebuilds, and I have no preconception that it's original in any way.   But, it's mine, and it's cool.

Back to the Glock.  It's a good pistol, but it had no soul.  And, as much as I appreciate the ruggedness and utility, I just can't shoot the damned thing.  I know, a lot of people like them, and it could stand a sight upgrade, but I'm not going to spend any money on a pistol I don't like and have to give back to the Sheriff eventually.

And, last year I was diagnosed with macular degeneration, a disease of the retina that puts a blurry spot right where I look at sights on a pistol.  I can't see the sights on the Glock.  I can see the pistol, and the target, but the sights just don't exist.  It makes it hard for me to quality.  I barely qualified last year.

I have to re-qual in June, and I've been thinking about that, so tonight I decided to drag out the old Colt and play with it for a while.  Just Damn!  It's like handling an old friend.  And, surprisingly, I can see the sights on this chromed wonder.

My boy gave me a set of grips for it several years ago, and I really like the way they look.  And, I have several holsters that fit it.  Several Level II holsters suitable for duty work.


I'll have to get it out to the range and shoot it a bit, but I'll have it in a bag when I go to quals this year.  If the Glock gives me any trouble, I"ll drag out the old   I may bod up the Glock and give it back to the Sheriff.  The old Colt may not be the newest, greatest crunchenticker ever developed, but it's got a lot of history, and it still is able to serve admirably.

We'll see.

A Time To Repent

I am so tired of the holier-than-thou attitude of the left.  Erick Erickson pens a piece that Hot Air excerpts.
Donald Trump is the first leader in the history of the world who evangelicals think does not have to repent. Trump himself has said he never felt the need to ask God to forgive anything. The relationship is transactional and people of supposed faith have resorted to claims they should adopt the tactics of the left to win.
This pisses me off, especially when the anointed candidate of the other side is commonly known to be a tool of Satan.  Erickson has no moral authority to lecture anyone on what God requires.  He's just sad that Hillary didn't win.
Call me crazy, but when you have an all powerful, omnipotent, creator of the entire universe on your side, you should not have to rely on a slightly orange adulterer for protection from your enemies. But American evangelicals have traded the risen Lord for Balaam’s donkey.
Okay, Erick, you're crazy.  You don't recall that God used King David (also an adulterer) and  Paul (who actively persecuted Christians) to both spread His word and His kingdom.  The Lord uses who He will to do His work, and it's not for I (nor you) to say any different.

But now, if you'll excuse me, it's Friday afternoon and I have other things to consider.  My lad and I are going to eat crawfish, and I may have a spot of whiskey.  I have been looking forward to this weekend, and it's time to get started.

Officers Down

So, this asshole walks up to a window outside a restaurant where two Florida sheriff's deputies are eating lunch, and shoots them both
Both our heroes had simply sat down to eat while on duty. There was no crime in progress, no disturbance. The suspect appears to have walked to the front of the business and shot both men without warning. Two holes in the window are visible tonight.
Then, the shooter eats his own pistol.

This is senseless, but the Sheriff tries to make sense of it.
The Sheriff did say, “There’s so much I want to say and so much I shouldn’t say.” He continued, “We’re not going to make this a political issue other than the fact…What do you expect happens when you demonize law enforcement to the extent that it has been demonized, every type of hate, every type of put-down that you can think of.” He added, “The only thing these men were guilty of was wanting to protect you and me.”
 Rest in Peace, brothers.

Spontaneous

Heh!  From the puppy blender.

Spontaneous, my ass!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thursday Night Music

Supper

Belle is at the funeral home, to pay respects to a lady she once worked with, so I'm on my own hook for supper.

The doctor has me on a no-white-stuff diet, and I"m trying to be a good boy, so on the way home this afternoon, I stopped at the grocers, got a pound of good sausage, some frozen mixed veggies, and some shredded cabbage (cole slaw mix).

I got home, and piddled in the shop for an hour or so, then came inside to concoct a meal.

I cut up half of the pound of sausage into rounds, then put them in a black skillet and browned them.

Dropped in a handful of mixed veggies and let that saute in the fat from the sausage.  Then I put in half the bag of  cabbage, and added water to let it simmer for about 10 minutes.


A little salt and pepper to taste, and it's mighty fine.

On This Day

On this day in 1775, the British moved toward the villages of Lexington and Concord,  They were trying to trying to capture military stores, ie; muskets, powder, balls, or cannon.  We cal it a battle, but it was really only a skirmish, or a brushing engagement.

The colonists had been forewarned by Paul Revere and other riders.Captain John Parker put his militia company on the town square.  His move was calculated for maximum advantage.  He neither blocked the road to Concord, nor tried to stop the British advance.  He was a "show of foce", to let the British know that colonial militia was present, and watching.  He told his men, "Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."  In the resulting engagement, eight colonists were killed. 

The British continued to Concord to continue to search for military supplies.  On the return trip, they were harassed by hundreds of militia who had gathered, hearing of the engagement in Lexington. 

This was, of course, the year before the Declaration of Independence.  The road to war was long,  and the outrages ran deep.  We didn't simply decide one day to be independent.  It came at a cost, and a price, and it is one of the reasons that the Founders included the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights.  So that free men could stand against tyranny.  It was the bulwark of our freedom then, and still is today.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Speaking of Coffee

Weetabix says in comments:
I was just in NO for a few hours, but I couldn't get near Cafe du Monde.
Sorry about that.  You went to the tourist trap.  About six block upstream, at the Convention Center, there is another one, not the tourist trap.  It's right on the River Walk, and when you walk in, you might have two or three people in line ahead of you.  Order your coffee and beignets, and go sit on the pier and watch the river traffic.

But, the coffee I drink every morning, is Community Dark Roast.  It's the official coffee of the state of Louisiana, and it's been made since 1919, and accounts for half the coffee served in the state.  I picked up a couple of pounds today on my way home from work, because our coffee canister was getting low.


It's what I've brewed every morning since I can remember.  It's funny, but when I was in the Army during the late '70s and got leave to come home, we would drive all night so the baby would sleep.  When I crossed the Mississippi river at Vidalia, just at daybreak, I could smell Community coffee and I knew that I was home.

Sensitive Starbucks

I admit I was a bit confused about the brouhaha over Starbucks.  It seems two black men went in to a store, and didn't order anything.  The manager called police, and they were arrested.

Starbucks is closed today for sensitivity training.
The two men were exactly right: The right thing to do in Starbucks is not to order anything, because the coffee is disgusting. Starbucks' response, to be sure, was incommensurate with the problem: Rather than subject their employees to the ritual farce of sensitivity training, the company should spend money on high-quality coffee beans, and roast them lightly rather than burn them into acidic volcanic ash.
As I recall, the only time I ever drank a cup of Strbucks coffee was in New Orleans.  Belle and I were trouistiing there and came out of the hotel one morning to find a Starbucks.  I ordered a cup of black coffee, and they looked at me like I had lost my mind.  When I got my coffee, I was pretty sure it was the worst coffee I had ever tried to drink.  I poured it into a nearby pot plant and we walked three blocks to Cafe du Monde, where I got a proper cup of coffee.

It's fine if Starbucks wants to virtue-signal by giving all of it's employees training on how to deal with the people who walk in off the street.  But, they'd be better served by learning to brew a proper cup of coffee. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Bore Diameter, Obsolete Cartridges, Etc

The 1860 Colt Army was a cap-and-ball revolver used during the Civil War.  Colt produced some 200,000 of them.  It was called a .44 caliber, but used a ball of 0.454 diameter.  (Nomially, a .45 cal ball), or a conical of the same diameter.

In 1866, William Mason went to work for Colt at the Hartford plant.  He patented a conversion to the 1860 Army that used a bored-through cylinder that would accept the newfangled brass cartridges coming into fashion.  The first of these revolvers used a straight-through boring of the cylinder that employed a cartridge with a heeled bullet.  The inside of the cartridge case was 0.430 in diameter and the forward part of the bullet was .45 cal to properly fit the bullet to the bore/groove diameters of the 1860 Army.  These new-fangled cartridges were called the .44 Colt.    This conversion revolver is now known as the Richards-Mason conversion.

Mason worked on a new pistol, the Open Top, but the Army rejected it, requesting a stronger frame and more powerful cartridge.   Mason re-designed the revolver with a top strap (like the Remington) and the first prototype was chambered in .44 Henry.    But, about that time, the Union Metallic Cartridge Company, in partnership with Colt, came out with a new, internally lubricated bullet and called it the .45 Colt.  Colt submitted this new revolver to the Army and they accepted it, along with the newer cartridge, in 1872.

Cartridges that use heeled bullets still exist, of course.  The most popular is probably the most sold cartridge in the world, the ubiquitous .22 Long Rifle.  But, I find it interesting that the .44 caliber 1860 Army and the 1873 Single action Army share the same bore diameter, regardless of what the cartridge might have been called. 

Nowadays, our popular .44 caliber revolver cartridges use a 0.429 diameter bullet.  This smaller bullet fits inside the 0.430 diameter cartridge case that we use for the 44 Special and .44 magnum. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Pictures

After a long day, when the gun belt is digging into your hip bones
And all you want to do is go home,
The sun setting on an old brick building.
Every brick comes alive and the architecture  is stunning.
It's okay, this will be over soon.

Missile Defense?

According to Zero Hedge, the Army is outfitting all the M1A2 tanks in Europe with a new, active missile defense package.
Back in March, we detailed how the United States Army M1 Abrams tank, an American third-generation main battle tank, was in the process of being upgraded with an invisible missile shield that will destroy all chemical energy anti-tank threats and other threats before reaching the vehicle. We even said, “that Washington is preparing their main battle tank for the next evolution of hybrid wars.
As an old tanker, I'd be interested to see how this works.  Anti-tank missiles have gotten more lethal over the years, and every tanker knows that any infantryman can hit you with a missile, from the Sagger to the RPG, and that while may not destroy the tank, it sure has the possibility of ruining your  whole day.  Back in the '70s and '80s we practiced missile defense, mainly though movement and tactics designed to break up the missile gunner's aim.  An active defense system would take one worry off the tank commander.

The paragraph above talks about "chemical energy" warheads, which is mil-speak for high explosive rounds.  These things use chemicals (high explosives) in a shaped charge to breach armor.  I doubt that it would have any effect on kinetic-energy (SABOT) projectiles, but if you're finding SABOT ammo on the battlefield, you're in a tank battle.

Way To Go,, Jimno

That lizard Jim Comey is launching a book tour and he began it with the talking heads on Sunday morning.  He said that President Trump is morally unfit to be president.
Former FBI Director James Comey called Donald Trump unfit to lead the nation, saying in an interview that aired Sunday that the president is “someone for whom truth is not a high value” and who treats women “like they’re pieces of meat.”
 Well, Jimno, let me tell you.  I watched you on national TV, outline a staggering case against a presidential candidate, making every point, every element of the offense,  You made a complete presentation of a crime, then wrapped it up my saying that the offender would not be prosecuted.

At that point, you unwittingly made the case that we have a bifurcated criminal justice system in the US.  One for the politically connected, and one for the rest of us.  This all came about at a time where the same DOH you work for was prosecuting a sailor for taking a selfie to show his parents where he worked. 

Jim Comey is a lizard.  He is a disgrace to cops everywhere.  He's morally unfit to have an opinion .  If I ever get the opportunity, I'm going to spit on his shoes.

Getting Bolder

Seen on the Book of Face, it seems that the opposition is getting bolder.  They're  telling us exactly what they want, and the agenda is open for all to see.  Like this little lady in the picture below.


No, sweetie, you're not.  The British tried it in the 18th century, and we made the point.  We'll still make the point.  No one is coming to take away my guns, and from what I see in the picture, the attempt will be short, brutal, and bloody. 

I suspect that she is talkin' trash, but talking trash around here might get you hurt.  Some of us believe that words still have meaning, and a threat is a threat.  I'm glad that they're finally comming out in the open with it, though.

I"m the NRA, and I"m freeom's safest place.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

R. Lee Ermey

I just learned on FaceBook that R. Lee Ermey (The Gunny) had passed away from complications from pneumonia.

He was an icon of the Vietnam era, and supported the troops everywhere.  His wiki page has already been updated to reflect  his passing.


You'll be missed, Gunny!  We all loved you.

Income Taxes

The annual angst for the American working class.    Belle and I are comfortable, both drawing a small retirement from previous pensions, and still working stiff's punching the time clock every day.  We are comfortable.  But, doing the annual tax drill is quite an eye-opener. 

The amount of taxes I pay each year is more than my AGI for many years of my working life.  I recall one year in my early military career, where I made under $10K.  It was okay, we ate well, lived in government quarters, and had use of all the base facilities.

Today, the taxes I pay is enough to support a family of four somewhere.  I suspect that our numbers are not out of line with many semi-retired couples all over the country.    It's a damned shame.  We're supporting someone who does not work at all.

I did learn, just minutes ago, that Retired Military Pay is not taxable as income under the State of Louisiana's income tax scheme.  Yee-haw!  This is good news.  That single fact put me from the red column over into the green on the Turbo Tax review.  I'm getting refunds from both the Feds and from the State.  (Yeah, I know, it's nor really a refund, it's a tax-free loan).  But, still, we're getting a modest little refund that will help with a renovation we want to undertake soon.

The taxes are done, and that is another thing checked off my list.

American Business

Chick-fil-A is an American phenomenon, a Christian run business that sells yummy chicken sandwiches.  Simple, good food that America has embraced.  And yeah, they're closed on Sunday.

However, not everyone is pleased when a Chick-fil-A store opens in their neighborhood.  Like the New Yorker magazine.


If I were the manager of that tore, I'd send the editorial office a sack full of sandwiches on Monday, with a nice note thanking them for the free advertising.

Sunday Weather

Yesterday I was walking around in a tee-shirt.  Belle started off the morning with the heater on, then during the afternoon, she clicked it over to AC.  Just about dark, a cold front blew through and she clicked it back over to the heat.  That little cold front also brought rain, so the yard is a soggy mess again.  Just about the time I think its dry enough to mow, we're back in the water.  The back yard is in dire need of a trim, and the front yard is looking pretty shaggy, too.

This morning, it's 43F our there and we've broken the jackets out of the closets.  It's sunny, and breezy, and makes he think of winter more than mid-April. 

I'm not complaining, though.  It will be summer soon enough.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Saturday Shooting

The Peacemakers moved to the new, 17-3/16th inch targets at 15 feet.  That is the format we'll be shooting at the US Nationals at the end of May, and I thought that it might be prudent to practive on them for a month or so.

According to the CFDA, it is exactly the same to shoot a 17-3/16 inch target at 15 feet as it is to shoot a 24 inch target at 21 feet.  I suppose that someone has done the math.  But, bullet flight time is less because we're closer to the target.  I managed to hit a 0/613 and Zach hit a 0.420. 

What amazed me, more than anything else, was how much more space we had in the range with the shooters 6 feet closer to the targets.  Belle is already postulating that we might have to move the scoring table closer and change the spectator seating area.

After Louisiana State, the shooters hit me hard today.  My stocks of wax and primers are almost depleted.  It's time to make another order.

The Banquet

At most major CFDA tournaments, we have a banquet.  It gives the ladies a chance to sparkle, and the men-folk a good meal.  We try to incorporate history, and music, and have a good time.

At Louisiana State, we rented the Libuse Czech Hall, an historic building that is still the center of the Czech community locally.  It's a fine old building, that seats about 120, and it was perfect for our gathering.  Oh, and the ladies sparkled.



We had a band, a group of musicians from the college up th road.  We asked them to play Dixieland jazz, so the band was horn-heavy.  The students did a great job.  One of the dances we do here in Louisiana is the second-line.  It's a Mardi Gras thing, where everyone cuts loose and dances their own interpretation.


And, of course, we ate.  We hired a local caterer, who provided an excellent repast.  We know that not everyone can eat seafood, so we tried to mix the menu a bit, to accommodate everyone.

The Banquet Menu
Cajun Roast Beef au jus
Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
Green Bean casserole
Bread Pudding with white chocolate sauce.

All in all, it was a wonderful night that gave the shooters a chance to mix and mingle in a lovely old community hall.  We danced, we laughed, we ate.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Not Ignoring Y'all

I thought I was busy during the run-up to Louisiana State, but that was a different kind of busy.  I'm trying to put this match to bed, and I'm dealing  with a flurry of emails concerning record-keeping.

I know that it's part of the deal, but the questions are starting to appear trivial and inconsequential.  But,I'm trying to maintain my sense of humor and give the functionary whatever it takes to make them happy, and possibly quiet.  It's aggravating as hell.

I understand the yearning of those folks to get their questions answered, but I am utterly convinced that in October, when the competition season is over, the answers to the questions I am dealing with will make not one whit of difference.

It's aggravating.   I'll answer his question one more time, and hopefully we can put the issue aside.  But, I intend to in October and see what effect my answer had on the final standings.  If, as I suspect, the question and answer was truly inconsequential, I'll remind him that he should learn to discriminate between what is important and what is not.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Louisiana State

The match is in the history books.  It was a good shoot, although we were plagued by weather and Louisiana mud.  Except for the weather, everything went perfectly.  I couldn't have asked for a better match, and the shooters understood that we couldn't control the weather.  The Louisiana State Championship was a huge, smashing success.

Two photos from the match.


That's my Belle, holstering her revolver after a bout.  I don't know many men who can say that their lady is an expert with the single-action revolver, but mine is.

The second photo is from the awards ceremony.  My grandson, Zach is a youth shooter and had done well in the Youth division, already seeded for the finals.  On Sunday morning, he wasn't slated to shoot until noon, but asked to shoot in with the men in the Resurrection match.  We do these matches on Sunday morning, as a fun match, normally as additional money for a charity.  Zach is 15-years-old and wanted to shoot the Resurrection match as a warm-up for the finals. and everyone agreed, although he was out of his division.  It's a fun match, after all.

In about two hours, Zach had put several really good shooters out of the match.  The current Texas State Champion fell to him, as well as the current Southern Territorials Champion.  He was on fire, and wielding his New Vaquero with deadly speed and accuracy.  When it was all over, he was left alone, standing at the line.  He had beaten every man who stood against him, and took the trophy for hat particular match.


I had the honor, and privilege, as Match Director, to present him the trophy, and I was as proud as any grandad could be that he had won it.

Louisiana State is in the history books.  If you want to see lots of pictures, go to Facebook and look up the Cross Branded Peacemakers.  Hundreds of photos there.

A Nation Divided

An interesting thought experiment over at Hot Air.  Are we a nation divided, with irreconcilable differences?  Jazz Shaw examines that premise at the link above.  And, it's an interesting mental exercise.

"Divorce is hard, but it’s easier than cutting the brake lines on your wife’s car."  Heh!  Well, I don't think we are to that point yet.  But, he does provide a map as a starter point.


The People's Republic of Soyland (PRC - North) and the Federalist States of America (FSA - South).  I suppose those names are a starting place too.  And, we're not talking armed conflict, just trying to reason how this thing might work out.  Go read the whole thing.

That Mueller Investigation

How long is this thing going to last?  Evidently, he doesn't have a boss who is concerned about a budget or lost man-hours, or much of anything else.

I've been an investigator, and my investigations had time-lines.  Sure, I wanted to be thorough, but if I spent a year, full-time on an investigation, my boss would be screaming.    I would have other investigations "stacking" on my desk, and the boss would be hollering for me to either find something or let it go cold.

What started out as an investigation into Russian collusion, has since turned into a general investigation of the Trump administration.    It highlights the double-standard of Washington politics.  N o one has yet investigated Hillary's extreme carelessness in handling classified information, nor her dealings with the Russians when she sold them uranium, nor that $1.7 billion in cash that Obama paid to Iran for God-knows-what.

It appears to me that Mueller is abusing his commission, and is in dire need of adult leadership.  It's been nearly a year since he began in May, with very little to show for it.  President Trump can't fire him without political backlash   That's the danger with special prosecutors.  They turn into loose cannons. 

It's time to wind this thing up.  Either he has something, or he doesn't.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Knife Ban?

It appears that the Mayor of London wants to ban knives.He's faced with a rash of stabbing attacks, and like any modern politician, wants to blame the tool, and not the person who uses the tool.  I understand that Parliament is set to take some action as well.

Perhaps if Great Britain would bring back the gallows, the problem would lessen.  It's just a thought.

Besides, how are they going to spread peanut butter?

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Louisiana State

Yesterday was a good day.  Lots of friends, fun, shooting. 


That's Brother Fred, one of the Peacemakers, and a good friend.  He presented the colors on horseback,.  During this photo, we're praying  In Cowboy Fast Draw, we start every shoot with a prayer, and the pledge.  In this way we render honor to God, and Country.

Today starts Day 2.  The main match.  I gotta get busy.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Yesterday

Yesterday, we worked our butts off and transformed a rodeo arena into a Cowboy Fast Draw competition site.  No pictures, because I was a construction hand, a working supervisor, conducting a six-hour question and answer session with a hammer in my hand.

Belle over-ruled me several times.  And she was right.  The way the ranges are set up now is lots better than the way I had it planned.  This has, thus far, been a learning experience.  I'm getting a load of experience, and I hope I'm learning something.

Today, we let the shooter's play.  It's a warm-up match before the main event tomorrow and Sunday.  It'll be great, and I've put the weather in the Lord's hands.  If He wants it to rain, it will ran.  But, interestingly, the weather reports are jumbled and inconsistent.  The weather-weenies aren't sure, and I'm okay with that.  The Lord knows what he is doing.  His will be done.

I'm going to leave the house in about an hour, go to the church and st up my electronics.  Shooter's meeting at 8:30, with the matches beginning shortly thereafter.  Here we go!

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Un-Possible

So, evidently, the chick that shot up YouTube yesterday was a liberal activist who was was upset with some of YouTube's policies.  

From what I'm able to understand, she was a liberal activist who bought a handgun, visited a range to learn to use it, then went to YouTube, sot the place up, then ate her pistol.

Interesting that the goblin was a female.  Normally, folks who do mass shooting events are male.  So, this is an outlier event.  Although, I bet she voted Democrat, which is not an outlier.    It is normally Democrats who shoot up places.  But, I bet that her handgun was California-compliant.

One of the victims is in critical condition, one is in serious condition, and one is in fair condition.


Jackets Again

Lordy, Lordy!  This weather is amazing.  We had a cold front push through last night and the temperatures dropped.  It's 49F out there right now, and I'm glad I didn't put the jackets away.  The weather-weenies are predicting 40F for tomorrow morning and 40F on Saturday morning after another cool front blows through on Friday night.

I'm i the final push for the competition that begins on Friday.  Today I have to do some last-minute shopping, go by the bank, meet with the caterer and do some final packing to get equipment to the competition site.  Tomorrow, we set up and get ready to shoot on Friday morning.

Expect posting to be light over the next several days.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Active Shooter at YouTube

It appears that someone caused quite a stir at YouTube  Fox News is reporting that they have no confirmation of injuries.    Some reports say that a woman popped a couple of caps, then committed suicide.  Others frankly say they don't know.

Police are clearing the building.  I guess they'll figure it out in a couple of hours.

Tuesday

It's Tuesday morning, pre-dawn.  Almost finished with the first pot of coffee, and doing book-keeping and last minute planning for Louisiana State.  I've written the Shooter's Meeting notes and registration is up-to-date.  My trophy maker assures me that the trophies are done, and will be delivered when he arrives to set up on Thursday morning.

Yesterday, I staged ammunition at the church.  Today, I'll stage some other things that I won't need here at the house.  The more I get there pre-shoot, the less I might forget in last-minute movement.

Weather might be an issue, but there is nothing we can do about that.  There is no Plan B.  This area simply does not have a covered, ventilated facility that is suitable for a large match.  (That I've been able to find.)  I have the entire congregation praying for moderate weather, but the Lord has his own plans.  His will be done.

This is much like planning a military operation and the years I spent in the Operations Shop and in command positions are keeping me in good stead.    I was struck this morning when I realized that I"m feeling the same emotions that I felt prior to any movement, or deployment, or exercise.  It's not an unfamiliar feeling, but it's something I haven't felt in 20 years.  I'm sure that there is something I have forgotten, but I am convinced that whatever it is, is so trifling that it won't cause any great problem.

In 72 hours, we begin Louisiana State.  Here we go!

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Easter Sunday

I pretty much took the day off, it being the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord.

Belle and I cooked ribs, beans, and corn-on-the-cob.  We cheated on the ribs, though.  Belle cut four racks of baby-backs in half,  rubbed them down with my good rib rub, then put them in the pressure cooker she got last year.  Forty minutes later, they were fork-tender and the bones were falling out..

I took them outside and put them on the smoker. for a couple of hours.  About a half-hour before serving, we added some good sauce and let that caramelize in the smokey heat.

Second son came over about lunch with his family and we laid into the ribs.


That's the left-overs.  I'll do something with them later.  Belle will probably take them to work tomorrow, along with the few left-over beans and corn.


Grandson Lucas and I, hanging out on the porch..  He and I had been in the shop piddling around, and decided to go hang our with the rest of the family on the back porch.

Now, it's Sunday afternoon, and the dawg and I are hanging out with Belle in the living room.


I feel an easy-chair nap coming on.  This may be the last time I get to take it easy before Louisiana State.

Happy Easter, y'all.