Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Reminds Me Of A Gal.

Megan Fox, over at PJMedia, gives singles some good advice.
Forget About Divorce. Don't Marry a Hillary Supporter in the First Place
That's good advice, but it reminds me of a gal I dated in 2000.  We'll call her Margaret.  She was a high-class dame, lived in an upscale condo, but had no money of her own.  I met her at church.  After we had dated a few times, I came to know that she was a dyed-in-the-wool liberal.  She supported Al Gore over  George Bush

She was a pretty little gal, but after the election, I knew it would never work between us.  She was an urban liberal and  I am a redneck conservative, and as much fun as it was to peek through the looking glass, I knew that I had no business in her world.

I bailed.

The next month, at a Super Bowl party, I met the gal of my dreams.  You know her now as Milady, or Belle.  She is the love of my life, and I can't imagine living without her.

Everything works out for the best.  Just don't marry a liberal.

Who's a Nazi?

Who is a Nazi?  Republicans, evidently.  One former Democrat Senator actually came out and said it.
...former Democratic senator for Wisconsin Russ Feingold clarified what all this controversy about white supremacists and Confederate statues is really all about: Republicans are Nazis.
 That's odd, because I seem to recall from my history class, and from my experiences in the '60s that all Confederates were Democrats, the Jim Crow laws were written by Democrats, fire hoses were turned on civil-rights marchers by Democrats, and even today, the places where minorities suffer the most are run by Democrats.

I'm not into name-calling, but people in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks.  Someone might come along to correct the record.  Rather than go down a laundry list, we'll click over to Bill Whittle who did a masterful job a while back on the very question.

And, for those folks who think it is cool to punch other folks, be c very careful.

The Professor Nails It

Glenn Reynolds says it much better than I.
 As I keep saying, if the press and the political opposition — but I repeat myself — were just sober, straightforward, and honest they could beat Trump easily. But then, if they were capable of that, we wouldn’t have gotten Trump to begin with.
The press worked so hard to promote Trump during the primaries, so that Hillary wouldn't have to face a principled Republican candidate, and there were several good ones in the field.

Then, they worked hard to get Hillary her coronation (because she deserved it) and the nation under the rules in place at the time, decided that Trump was the lesser evil than Hillary.

Somewhere, the adults have to be in charge and the Democrats aren't showing me any adults, anywhere.  You want more Trump?  This is how you get more Trump.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Afghan Policy

I understand that President Trump made a major speech on Afghanistan, and I'm trying to get up to speed with it.  I am reading a lot of positive things, from both the left and the right, but I still have my doubts.

I was always a battalion-level soldier.  I did spend one small period of time as a logistical officer at division level, but as soon as I could, I got back to troops.  And, no, I was never deployed to Afghanistan.  But I've talked to a lot of soldiers who were.

Once you get out of the big cities, the illiterate dirt farmers who inhabit the country and till the valleys don't really care much who is in charge.  Like country folk the world over, they simply want to till their crops, raise their livestock and be left-the-hell alone.

From what I'm able to understand, what the Obama policy did was to prop up a corrupt regime, and turn a bunch of petty criminals into well funded crime bosses.    Which is why the Taliban was able to retake large swaths of the country, province by province.

Speaking of the Taliban, they're just a bunch of goat-screwing, woman-abusing pederasts, who also happen to provide a semblance of justice through their Islamic courts.  It may be rough justice, but it also may be better than what the locals get from the central government.  Can Afghanistan be saved?  Only if the people want it saved, and at some point, they are going to have to make that decision.

I'm sure that our President understands the concept of "sunk costs".  That concept says that once a project goes bad, nothing much that you do will make it good again.  There is no sense throwing good money after bad, and I hope that the President and his generals understand that.

I know that as a battalion level soldier, I only ever wanted two things.  Give me a mission that I can accomplish, or send me home.  Afghanistan might be a strategic asset, but I've never pretended to think strategically, either through training or disposition.  I hope that the strategists know what they're doing, because the tacticians know that we've been in Afghanistan for a long time. We've spent a lot of American treasure (both money and blood) in that far-off land for not much good to show for it.

I hope the President knows what he is doing, both for the sake of the American people and for the soldiers who have to put the high-faluting concepts into practice.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bored By Fake Drama

Kurt  Schlichter says he's bored by fake drama, and I guess I am too.  That sums up my feelings about the national news, lately.  Like many Americans, I'm more concerned about the day-to-day that affects me and mine.  

Statues:  I personally couldn't tell you what statues are within five miles of me.  Just couldn't tell you.  As far as yanking them down, I recommend that due diligence should require establishing ownership.  If it ain't yours, leave it alone.  If it is yours, do what you like with it.   Just establish ownership before you get yourself in trouble.  Americans have been pulling down statues for years.  Ask Saddam Hussein.  We pulled his statues down.  Or Adolph Hitler.  You probably won't find any statues of him standing.  We pulled them down.

Speaking of Nazis.  Yeah, they're bad.  Everyone seems to act like this is new news.  I thought we reached that consensus back in the early 1940s.  The thing is, though, that you can't say right-wing Nazi and be anywhere close to correct.  Nazis were socialists, which is left-wing.  Right-wing people are normally peace-loving folks who cling to their Bibles and guns.  I'm just saying.

Kim Jong-Un?  Spiled fat boy, crazier than an outhouse rat.  Meaner than a copper headed rattle moccasin.  His generals haven't figured out what to do about him, and those that are left (he's killed several) are too scared to do the right thing.

Speaking of generals, our Joint Chiefs won't lete Trump do anything stupid that hurts the country.  And, our Congress won't let Trump do anything smart that helps the country.  And, Congress can't do anything.  They've demonstrated that over the past year.  We need a whole new legislative branch.

In the long run, I suspect we'll be okay unless the sun goes out, which will happen over a large swath o f the country today.  Don't look at it.  Don't be scared, it will be okay.

But, for me, I'm going to focus on taking care of my family, doing my job right and helping as many people as I can.  Tonight I'll go to church and pray for our country in general.    I have two major projects in the planning stages and I'm simply bored with the constant news cycle.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

DIY Sunday

Today was a day for those little DIY projects that crop up from time to time.

First, Belle needs a tiny little screwdriver to get into a tight spot on her sewing machine.  Elder son was consulted when he came over for lunch, and he came up with this elegant solution.

An apex tip out of  a screwdriver, a bottle cap off a soft drink, and some epoxy.

If that screwdriver isn't small enough to get into that tight space, none of them will be.  It's 24 hour epoxy, so it will be ready tomorrow, after curing.  It's small enough that Belle can drop in in her sowing kit, and it should serve her form many years.  homemade tools are always the bet, and we'll call this the micro-stubby.  Total cost, almost -0-.  The apex bit might  have cost me a quarter.

Next, we  considered the problem of wires hanging off a standard CFDA target.   If a wire is hanging down off the target, some jazzzbo is going to shoot it, sure as God made little green apples.   Many folks, and I have as well, simply use a piece of tape, and tape the wires behind the stand, but that's not real elegant.  So, we started brain-storming and came up with the idea of using PVC pipe.  Two zip ties, and the pipe is affixed to the stand and will easily accompdate CAT5 cable that runs the electronics.

 side view.  PVC pipe zip-tied to the stand.
Here's a view from the shooter's perspective.

I think that is going to work just fine to protect my cables from wax bullets.  It's lightweight, inexpensive, and easily fixed in the middle of a match, if need me.  It's a great DIY hack.  For the record, that's 36" of one-inch schedule 40, and two Harbor Freight zip-ties.  It doesn't get any cheaper than that.

Next, I needed a rope with an eyelet in it.  I learned to splice rope at my father's knee.  I haven't spliced a rope in almost three decades, but in just a few minutes, with a false-start or two, it all came flowing back to me.  Even with my tired old eyes, I managed to get a fairly nice eye splice.

Not too shabby for an old blind man.  I'm sure that a modern day rigger could find fault with it, but it won't be carrying a load, and I'm sure that it will suffice.  Some things we never forget.

Finally, the most pleasing DIY project today is that I was hungry for pork chops, and Belle induled me with her pork chops and rice.  With purple hull peas and cornbread.

Pretty good groceries, right there, and one of the big reasons why we do DIY projects for our ladies.  Because they know how to make pork chops.

It's been a very productive Sunday.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday Morning

It's Saturday morning, and the news is utterly depressing.  The President fired someone and that person thinks that his being fired is double-plus-un-good.  Inagine that.  Most people who get fired think it is a bad thing.  I've been fired.  It sucked.

On a more local front, PawPaw got up this morning and fired off a couple of small engines.  The grass is cut.  Every bit of clothing I am wearing is soaking wet, but I know where the shower and clean blue jeans are.  This is a short-term problem.

Belle and I are going to the range in a couple of hours.  That is also good.

Talking at work yesterday, some of us were discussing the upcoming eclipse.  Here in central Louisiana we are going to have about 75% coverage.

One of the support staff (who happens to be blonde and female) commented.  "Well, that's all well and good, but I don't know if I can stay up long enough to see it."

But, today is progressing nicely.  It's time to jump in the shower, load the  guns i the van and get started with the fun part of the weekend.

Look what the association sent me this week.

This week was a very good week.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Fantastic Friday

Easy day at work.  Got home, checked me mail, and found an envelope I've been waiting for.

Very good news.  Very good indeed.  More on that later as the plans firm up.  But, the plans will firm up very nicely now.

Went to AWs and got a couple of fish plates.  Came home and celebrated with Belle

Drinking whiskey now and listening to some of my favorite music.

I watched Lonestar play this one at concert in Houston in 1999.  They were opening for Kenny Rogers at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.    They put on a good show, but we were there to listen to Kenny Rogers.

Today has been a very good day.  I'm going to have one more drink and toddle off to bed.

The Cost of Freedom

I've heard it said before that the antidote to hate speech is more speech.  It seems that the ACLU is wrestling with the problem.  Should they support the rights of groups whose principals are antithetical to them?
It was 1934 and fascism was on the march not only in Europe but in America. People who admired Adolf Hitler, who had taken power in Germany, formed Nazi organizations in the United States.

The American Civil Liberties Union, represented by lawyers who were Jewish, faced an existential question: Should the freedoms it stood for since its founding in 1920 apply even to racist groups that would like nothing more than to strip them away?
Back then, the ACLU decided that the defense of free speech was mote important than the political values of the speakers.  They are wrestling with the same choices today.
The national organization said Thursday that it would not represent white supremacist groups that want to demonstrate with guns. That stance is a new interpretation of the ACLU’s official position that reasonable gun regulation does not violate the 2nd Amendment.
 We note that the white supremacist group that was attacked my Antifa in Charlottesville last weekend had guns.  We also note that no one was shot.  And this sums up my problem with the ACLU. They don't like the Second Amendment.

In the 1930s the ACLU made the proper decision that the rights of Americans extend to everyone, and that they would work to protect the rights of all Americans, regardless of their political leanings.

Yesterday, they decided that the rights of some groups are worth protecting.  If you are not one of the favored groups, your rights are not worth protecting.

Many Americans are starting to realize that the (alt-right, Neo-Nazi, white supremacist...pick your descriptor) group in Charlottesville did it right They got a permit and came to the park to engage in free speech.  They were attacked enroute by left-wing Antifa who wanted to shut them down.  When attacked, the right-wing group (some of who were armed) displayed remarkable discipline.  No one was shot.  Antifa came looking for a fight.

The ACLU has made the wrong choice here.  The First Amendment rights of all Americans must be protected, as well as the 2nd Amendment rights of all Americans.  The antidote to bad free speech is good free speech.

I am the NRA and I am freedom's safest place.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The .45 Smith and Wesson

One of the archaic cartridges from the late 19th century is the .45 Smith and Wesson.  Also called the Schofield, it was designed to fit the Smith and Wesson #3 American revolver.    Oh, heck, I'll let Wikipedia tell you about it.
The .45 Schofield or .45 Smith & Wesson is a revolver cartridge developed by Smith & Wesson for their S&W Model 3 American top-break revolver. It is similar to the .45 Colt round though shorter and with a slightly larger rim, and will generally work in revolvers chambered for that cartridge. US government arsenals supplied .45 Schofield cartridges for the Schofield revolver and the Colt Army revolver to simplify their armament needs.[1] 45 Colt cartridges cannot be used in .45 Schofield firearms, since the .45 Colt is a longer cartridge.
It's interesting that back in those days, different manufacturers made small changes in cartridge dimensions to satisfy legal concerns.  This time was before SAAMI, and cartridges were proprietary. Still, a look at the drawings shows us the almost minuscule  differences between the two.

First the Colt.

Now, the Smith and Wesson

The Smith and Wesson is a fairly moribund cartridge today but the drawings still exist, and ammo is available, so we know that brass is available.

Proprietary cartridges were a problem in the late 1800s and they are a problem today.  Sometimes, contractual restrictions get in the way of real progress, so workarounds become necessary.  I realize that I'm being obtuse, but there are good reasons for that.  The question remains, though;  If we can't use .45 Colt brass, why can't we use Schofield brass?

This is a question that deserves an answer, and I'll have to look further into this.   Exit question:  Who besides Starline makes brass in the US and might be amenable to a fairly large custom order?

I'm going to leave this right here so that I can find it later.