Tuesday, June 30, 2009

She said What?

Evidently California House Speaker Karen Bass doesn't believe that elected officials should be accountable to the voters. Today, she said that people who hold elected representatives accountable are terrorists. Really. She said that.
The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: "You vote for revenue and your career is over." I don't know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it's about free speech, but it's extremely unfair.
So, those of us who hold our representatives accountable are terrorists.

That's what the Speaker of the California House thinks. We're terrorists in the Democratic play book. When I wrote the post Slippery Slopes, I was concerned about the government calling people who disagreed with it terrorists.

This is the face of government today. Disagree and be called a terrorist.

Hat tip to Moonbattery.com.

Aaaw Hell

Second son got married last year and they're trying to blend two households. Seriously, they're living in her house while remodeling his. The plan is that when his house is suitable for a feminine occupant they'll move to his house and sell hers. So, we're in the throes of a huge remodeling project. One that involves carpentry at the basic, framing and square level. Electrical wiring. Plumbing. All the goodies.

Matt owns a craftsman style house. It's about ten years old and was a bachelor house with two bedrooms and two baths. It was built by a guy who did fine woodworking and the detail is simply amazing. The only problem is that it was kind of small. We've extended the living room and master bedroom, installed a huge closet, done all the necessary framing, installed floors, floated drywall, installed doors and windows. The next project prior to move-in was to refurbish the master bath. His lady wanted a jacuzzi, jet-type tub. There was no tub in that bathroom, the guy living there had installed a really nice one-piece shower. It succumbed to the sawzall and was loaded in the scrap trailer.

Matt and his lady ordered a tub and we began by tearing out a wall and the old closet to lengthen the bathroom. Today we installed the new wall, but before we finished framing, we put the new tub in the bathroom, still in the box. The plan was to rough-install drywall then rough-in the plumbing, so before we quit today we cracked open the box holding the tub to get an idea of how we'd have to install the fixtures and drains. Wrong tub. It's the proper brand and all the model numbers on the box are correct, but it's the wrong tub. No jets. It looks like someone at the factory put the wrong tub in the right box.

Well, hell. We had to tear a couple of studs out of the new wall to get the tub out of the room, and he headed to Lowe's to make someone's day. As I type this, there's some guy at Lowe's with a very pissed off customer. Truly, truly pissed. Wrong bathtub. Project on hold. Exceedingly pissed.

I don't know if I'll be doing any plumbing over at his house tomorrow. Then again, I could profitably spend the day by mowing the yard.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The world still turns

And Michael Jackson is still dead. I do not give one raggedy crap where they bury him or what the autopsy says. I truly don't care if the kids are his, or belong to Ronald McDonald. I just don't care.

Other things are happening right now in this world, and the sorry state of the drama that attends the mouldering remains of Micheal Jackson are the least of them.

Let me check my meter.

As far as Michael Jackson is concerned, my Give-A-Damn meter is pegged on zero.

Bury the man and be done with it. Or not. I simply don't care.

Worthless Mondays

Running errands, taking care of piddling concerns.

I'll post this instead of anything of substance.

Stolen shamelessly from The Gun Counter.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Billy Mays, RIP

Billie Mays, the booming voice pitch-man is dead. That makes four recently, with Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson.
Mays, 50, was found unresponsive by his wife inside his Tampa, Fla., home at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Tampa Police Department.

Police said there were no signs of forced entry to Mays' residence and foul play is not suspected. Authorities said an autopsy should be complete by Monday afternoon.
I've seen more of Billy Mays on TV the past several years than I've seen of Jackson, and that's for damned sure.


Courtesy of Mostly Cajun, I am reminded that Hurricane Audrey blew into town on this day in 1957. I was three years old and I remember the hurricane. It's one of my earliest memories. Kind of a snapshot, disjointed and dimmed with time, but it's there.

Dad was a telephone man and had to leave shortly after the storm to go south with crews to help restore communications. I remember him standing in the back yard, throwing shingles into the woods beyond the back fence. He wore a plaid shirt.

Audrey's name was retired and will never again be used to denote a hurricane in the Atlantic basin. It was a bad storm, so bad that the damage Audrey caused wasn't surpassed until the twin disasters of Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another Take

Another perspective on the newest LSU Championship. From David.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Gunny dreaming

I was over at Tamara's who took me to Caleb's. He's jonesing for a rifle I've thought about for awhile. A bolt gun that takes standard magazines. How difficult would that be to manufacture? It doesn't seem that tough, but no one has done it yet.

I'd like a Savage, Remington, or Ruger bolt that takes M14 magazines. Or a .223 bolt that takes M16 magazines.

Interchangeable magazines make a lot of sense. For my 1911, I've got a couple of Kimber mags, some Chip McCormick, some Wilson mags, and a handful of GI mags. They all work because they're standard magazines. There is no reason that a rifle can't be designed to handle standard magazines. As Caleb puts it:
However, what I’ve been thinking of for a bolt action rifle is a bit like Jeff Cooper’s concept of a Scout Rifle, except with a few minor twists. I’d like to have the reduced weight and forward optics of a scout-type rifle, but in 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington instead of .308. Sure, you lose some terminal ballistics, but the reduction in weight and felt recoil make the gun even better for humping around the horrible post-apocalyptic hellscape. Now, what I’d really like would be for the gun to accept NATO magazines. A bolt action .223 that feeds from standard AR style magazines would be the berries for a defensive carry rifle. Since everyone seems to be talking about how the world/economy/social order is going to collapse soon (it’s not) I figured the best rifle for that collapse would be a bolt action .223 with an 18 inch barrel, forward mounted optic, back up iron sights, and the ability to feed from standard AR15 magazines. CZ-USA makes the closest approximation I’m going to find on the commercial market, the CZ-527 Carbine in .223 or 7.62×39. It’s pretty much exactly what I had in mind, save for the fact that I don’t think it takes NATO magazines.
That's the idea.

I'd like to have a rifle with a normal capacity magazine that takes M14 magazines. I'd prefer to have it in .243 or 7mm-08, but either of those calibers would work in a .308 magazine. Of course, .308 ain't bad either.

What would be the use for such a rifle? Well, if I have to explain it to you, I'll let Tamara have her say:
the most likely targets are going to be shy ungulates that travel in twos and threes or stationary paper circles. These can be taken with a bolt action rifle rather handily, and a six-pound boltie with no protruding crap rests in the hands ever so much easier after several hours than a nine-pound slab with grips and magazines protruding at odd angles. Plus, an anvil might be more reliable than a Mauser '98, but that would depend on the make and model of the anvil.
And that pretty well sums it up.

Savage, Ruger, Big Green! Y'all listening?

House Joint Resolution 5

Via Instapundit, I see that House Joint Resolution 5 would repeal the 22nd Amendment, which limits the term of President.

Bad idea. Really bad idea.

Range Afternoon

My oldest son and I found ourselves with a free afternoon, so yesterday we went to the range to shoot the shotguns. Our range, the LDWF complex at Woodworth, LA offers rifle and pistol ranges along with 5-stand shotgun shooting, If you've never shot 5-stand, it's a great way to tune up your wingshooting. Plus, at the Woodworth range it's a great bargain.

You provide the shotgun, the shells, and $5.00 per round of 25 shots. They provide the clay targets, the range officer and six automatic traps. It's a heck of a deal. We shot two rounds apiece yesterday. Five stand is a fairly easy game to understand. Each shooter fires five shells from each of five stations. Six traps are throwing targets in a pre-programmed progression. Those six traps provide almost all the common field shots. Incoming, outgoing, crossing left and right, and flushing. There's even a rabbit target. It's a hoot.

If you feel like your shotgun work needs a tune-up, get to a shotgun range. After my performance yesterday, I know my skills have eroded. If you're within easy driving distance of Woodworth, their operating times are posted at the link above. This range complex is a great resource for the shooters in central Louisiana and we should take advantage of it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson dead

I'm told that Michael Jackson died today.


Cardiac arrest.

That kills a lot of people.

LSU Wins!

LSU won their sixth national championship in Omaha last night. After a disappointing loss to Texas on Tuesday we wondered if our team had taken the night off, but on Wednesday they came back strong, swinging hard against the best pitching staff in the nation.

I played baseball as a kid and I've loved baseball all my life. It's a game of summer fields and marvelous dreams. A football coach remarked to me this spring that the reason he didn't like baseball was that there was no clock. No time limit. In football, basketball, or soccer, you could look at the clock and see how much time was left in the game. Baseball isn't like that. You have a set number of innings and it ain't over until it's over. Depending on the tempo of the pitcher and the individuality of the umpires a game might last two hours or four. It's not over until the last batter swings at the last pitch.

Well, in Omaha, it's over.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sanford Implodes

Yeah, it looks like the governor was having a fling. If you've been paying attention to the news lately, you know that Governor Mark Sanford left town over the weekend. His wife didn't know where he was and aides said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. Inventive excuse, that one.

Naah, he's got a girlfriend. In Argentina. Seriously.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford acknowledged Wednesday that he was carrying on an affair with a woman in Argentina when he disappeared from his office last week, only to resurface this morning.
I've got to give the governor props for this indiscretion. Not that I agree with it. No, it was tacky and wrong.

But Argentina? Dude! If someone would have told me that he was in Paris, or Rome, I'd have immediately thought about the Paris in Texas or the Rome in Georgia. But Argentina? That takes some serious planning. As wrong as it was, she must've had something going on to make a guy get in an airplane and fly to South America for a little hoochy-coochy.

Our own governor Edwin Edwards had a reputation as a lady's man. Our own Governor Earl Long managed a notorious affair with Blaze Starr. Then there was Bill Clinton, of course, who managed to get impeached over lying about an affair.

Of course, he can kiss his political aspirations goodbye. He's done as a politician.

I wonder if he ran on a family values ticket?

Argentina, huh? Dude!

More slippery slopes

You'd think that the gun banners would bow to the will of the American people when it comes to what they call "reasonable gun regulations" but that's not the case. After all, the American people have spoken with their dollars on guns. We've been buying guns and ammo like crazy since the election.

There's a movement afoot to let the government decide who can buy a gun and who cannot. This isn't being done through the normal deliberative process. No. Senator Frank Lautenberg wants to give the FBI authority to put your name on a No Buy list.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg would like to stop these sales. The New Jersey Democrat has introduced legislation, the "Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009," to prohibit gun sales to anyone on the FBI's watch list.
It all boils down to giving the FBI the authority to ban anyone who might be suspected of being a terrorist. Not those people who have been convicted of terrorism, not those people who have committed or conspired to commit a crime. No. Just those people who some faceless bureaucrat decides might be a suspected terrorist.

Who might those faceless bureaucrats decide is a potential threat to the security of the United States? Well, lets look at another government report that surfaced last April.
Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.
So, if I'm opposed to abortion or illegal immigration and Senator Lautenberg gets his way, I might be put on an FBI watch list? Did I mention that I own guns and that I buy guns regularly? Heaven Forfend! I'm a right-wing terrorist!

This is the slippery slope of slippery slopes. No one wants terrorists to have guns, but if all the government has to do is declare all gun owners as potential terrorists, then suddenly we're all in danger of losing an important civil right.

I don't want bureaucrats of any stripe telling me what I can buy or not buy. If they want to restrict guns to certain groups of people, let them do so through the legislative process, not bureaucratic fiat.

Twenty Percent

chance of thunderstorms, that is.

Yeah, right. Weather Underground amuses me with this little .gif.

There's nothing on the radar, so the most that we can hope for is a convection thunderstorm. They're predicting 96/72 for today, which is a whole lot better than the 101 we suffered through yesterday. As counterpoint, at 9:40 a.m. local, my heat monitoring instrument showed 94 degrees on my shaded patio.

This is a standard summer weather pattern. In Louisiana in the summertime there's always a 20 percent chance of a late afternoon thunderstorm. We might get a half-inch of rain, at Momma's house five miles away, she only hears the thunder. Or vice versa. Summertime rain around here is a very local event.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


This post is mainly for my sister, who likes pictures of the dog. Our little dog is a Shih-Tzu, descended from the Gobi Desert Kitchen-Midden Dog. He's a fuzzy little mutt and today I took him for a hair cut.

Wikipedia tells me that he was originally a hunting dog. One line of ancestors was known as the "Small Soft-Coated Drop-Eared Hunting Dog". I doubt that. He'll hunt anything that's been dropped on the kitchen floor. He's a kitchen dog and that's a fact.

Here, he's sitting by the carport door waiting for Milady to get home from work.

He's lost about five pounds of fur since morning. I bet he's a lot cooler. While he was at the dog groomer, I got a haircut for myself. It's a lot simpler and a lot less expensive for me to get a haircut than it is for the dog to get a haircut.

Tiki Torch

My daughter is getting married in July, in my backyard. She wants tiki torches as part of the ambience and I was tasked with finding a way to install them.

Tiki torches are made from bamboo, and my soil is hard. Our house is built on the edge of an old gravel pit and the dirt in the back yard is hardpan clay intermixed with pit run and gravel. Not the best dirt for growing grass, and it's decidedly impossible to just stick a bamboo post in the dirt. It ain't happening.

So, a little brainstorming with my metal-worker son and we came up with a plan.

We cut thin wall 1 5/8" pipe into 12" sections. This is common fencing pipe found at any lawn/garden center. Then, we welded 12" landscaping spikes to each pipe section.

Simply hammer the spike into the ground and put the tiki torch into the pipe section. Voila!

Easy to install, easy to store. Ten of these took about an hour to construct in the shop. One chore down, many more on the list. We're all happy she's getting married, but I'll really be happy the morning after, when it's all in the history books.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I was surfing around the Internet and I see where that idiot Perez Hilton (he gets no links from me) got punched by someone Hilton called a faggot. Interesting. Interesting that he thinks he can get away with that. Name-calling is juvenile at best, but every juvenile eventually learns that sometimes name-calling results in basic fisticuffs.

There was once an affirmative defense in these parts that went something like this: "He needed an ass whippin'. I gave him one."

One of these days he'll learn that his steamboat mouth can overload his rowboat ass.


I check my ratings by the little Sitemeter logo on the right sidebar. Radio stations check ratings too. Arbitron provides standard ratings for radio stations and they're the industry standard. I've had friends in radio who told me that they lived and died by their Arbitron ratings.

I often wondered where they got their data and now I know part of the story. A couple of weeks ago, Milady was approached by the Arbitron folks. We've been participating in the survey for several days and it'll be over on Wednesday. It's been interesting keeping track of which radio station we listen to, and when we listen to it.

Arbitron does a good job of formatting their survey and the process has been fairly painless. I normally only listen to the radio while I'm driving and the radio is generally set on one of three local stations. Which station is on the dial at any given time is purely arbitrary. I'm not sure what data they'll mine from my survey, but I hope it's useful.

Monday afternoon

Milady and I slipped off alone last night. Yesterday was our anniversary and we wanted to spend it without grandkids, or telephones, or worrying about any darned thing.

On the way home today we stopped at the Wal-Mart in Marksville, LA to pick up a few items. As is my wont, I stopped by the sporting goods counter to inquire about .22LR. At the two Wal-Mart stores I frequent, there hasn't been any steady supply of .22LR for months. I asked at the store in Marksville and the counter guy said "Yeah. We've got plenty of rimfire. What type are you looking for?" I bought a Federal bulk pack of .22 LR and a box of .17HMR, CCI, 17 grain hollow points. My rifle really likes those.

We're back home now and the heat sensing device on the porch tells me that it's on the high side of 95F out there. I think I'm going to sit in the recliner until almost dark. Tomorrow is early enough to begin the chores for the week.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Iran burns

You'd have to be totally unconnected to not know that Iran is going through the throes of discord. The people are upset and the ruling theocrats are repressing them.

I don't know what the people have for arms, but I found this sentence enlightening.
Residents of the area described firefights after protesters grabbed weapons from security forces.
I bet that was real unfortunate for the security forces.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Border Patrol

David sent me this one.

This must be the week for dog jokes.

.300 Magnum

I'll be darned.
June 18, 2009: The U.S. Army has ordered 38.4 million rounds of .300 Winchester magnum ammunition for its newly modified M-24 sniper rifles, as well as similar SOCOMs Mk13 models. The new ammo will cost about $1.30 per round. The .300 Winchester magnum will be ordered in minimum lots of 56,160 rounds (117 boxes of 480 rounds each). The entire 38.4 million rounds will last a while.
Durn! I wonder how long it will take them to fill that order? I need them to get back to cranking out .22LR.

H/T to Say Uncle.


Seventy-five degrees out there right now, with 93 percent humidity and the sun isn't up yet. Accuweather tells me that it's going to be hot in central Louisiana today with this charming little .gif.

I've got grass to mow this morning, and I'm not waiting for the sun to burn the dew off the ground.

We're under a heat wave, but this is sub-tropical Louisiana. I'm not complaining, I'm just stating facts. A Louisiana summer can be extremely hot and humid. I've seen it hotter than this during other summers, back before we knew what air conditioning was about.

This is the summer solstice. Well, tomorrow, actually. Longest day of the year and that ball of atomic fire we see in the sky is raining BTUs. If you're going to be outside today, take a few basic precautions. Hydrate. Lots of water. Whether bottled or tap, water is good for you. Wear a hat. Those big floppy straw hats you see old men wearing. They aren't a fashion statement. They're shade.

Be careful and let's get through this safely.


If you've ever done any home-gunsmithing, or needed a part for a popular firearm, you've probably shopped at Brownell's. I've been a Brownell's shopper for over a decade and love the catalogs. There is one - nay, two on my bench right now.

However, their website was hard to navigate and almost impossible to search. I'd find an item in the catalog, then write down the stock number. When I wanted to order I'd type in the stock number. But, if I was away from home and wanted to search the site, I could never find anything.

It appears that they've been doing some work at their site and that's a good thing.

Thanks, Brownell's.

Friday, June 19, 2009

LSU advances

LSU advanced to the final series of the College World Series today with a 14-5 victory over Arkansas.

Arizona and Texas are playing currently to decide who'll face the Tigers on Monday for a best-of-three series to decide the race for the national title. It's now the bottom of the third and Texas is tied with Arizona at 1-1. I don't care who wins this game, but as a stalwart Louisiana boy, it's easy to know who I'm rooting for in the series that begins Monday.

Geaux Tigers.

Aerial Search

Melissa sends me this one.


It's time for me to head out the door. Y'all have a nice weekend. LSU plays at 1:00.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I qualified on the pistol today. Didn't fire the shotgun, nor the rifle. The instructor wanted to get everyone through the pistol course before the day was over. We shot practice drill for a while this morning, then ran through the POST course just before lunch.

The current POST course takes 60 rounds of ammo. Best possible score is 120, minimum to qualify is 96 (80%). We use the Louisiana P1 target. This target has only one scoring ring, center mass of the target. Anything on the inside of the ring counts 2 points. Anything outside the ring on the silhouette counts one point. I shot my standard 106. I blame it on the new trigger pull I'm having to learn.

Trigger squeeze on the M&P is a lot different from the trigger squeeze on a 1911, and again totally unlike the trigger squeeze on a double-action revolver. It's one long pull from the rest position to the firing break with no discernible stacking as you get to the point where the sear should release. The instructor tells me that it'll get smoother as the gun breaks-in, but with only 160 rounds through it to this point, I'm not there yet. I'm not thrilled with a score of 106, but it's certainly respectable.

I had to run 500 rounds through the Kimber before it broke-in. I'm sure that more firing is the key to learning the trigger. I've got plenty of primers, although Bullseye powder might be problematic.

In addition, one small problem with aging eyes manifested itself. I can't see the front sight with my glasses. I can focus perfectly on the front sight with my uncorrected eyes, but my nearsighted eyes show the target as a blur. A huge blur. I shot that 106 score without glasses, focusing purely on the front sight and making sure that the shots were aligned with the center mass of the target. Not the best of solutions, but the one I can live with until I talk with my optometrist.

I have been assured by three levels of supervisors that I am on the list for the next patrol rifle course, as soon as ammunition becomes available. The ammo shortage is impacting training all across law enforcement.

Tomorrow is CPR/First aid and Tazer updates. Then, the training week will be over.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I came home today to find two nieces swimming in my pool. That's all right, of course, as they're always welcome.

Gabrielle, and Rachel in the innertubes. Rachel is visiting from Knoxville and the girls were trying to find relief from the heat.

My sister Patty taught Gabrielle all about getting into the pool when we're not home. It's generally always open for family. They know how to get into the pool house and we keep beverages available in the pool house. My sisters just re-stocked that refrigerator because the girls were mentioning that all we had in that fridge was beer and sugary kid drinks. The fridge is now stocked with proper drinks for teenaged girls.

It's good to have them over.

Wednesday afternoon

Retrainer continues. Yesterday we were issued our new pistols, got a quick lesson on how to disassemble them for cleaning and got to shoot a box of ammo on the range to familiarize with the specific operating characteristics of the weapon. It's a SW M&P 45 cal. It seems like a good firearm but I haven't fired it enough to form an opinion.

Today was unarmed self-defense. Batons, handcuffing, take-down techniques. Today was relatively painless.

Tomorrow we do some more familiarization on the new firearms then we'll qualify for record. The weatherman is calling for temps of 96F with a heat index of 107. I'll have a cooler filled with ice and bottled water. It'll be fun.

I need to clean that firearm some time tonight and get my gear ready for the range tomorrow. There's very little to get ready as most of it I carry on-duty anyway.

I guess I'll head on over to Instapundit and Hot Air and check the news.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


In 1978 I was commanding a company at Fort Knox, KY. Delta Company, First Battalion, Fourth Brigade. It was a training company, and I was a First Lieutenant, my silver bar new on my collar. I was approached by the Armor school to be the social sponsor for a visiting foreign officer. My job was to be a local friend for this officer, who would be attending the Armor Officer Advanced Course and assist him in learning about the culture and history of the United States. "Show him what a Big Mac tastes like. Take him to K-Mart, then take him into Louisville and let him see some sights."

His name was Ali, and he'd be traveling unaccompanied by dependents. He'd be flying in on such and such a date. "Meet him at the airport and take him to the BOQ. His name is Ali and he's an officer from the Shah's army."

Of course, when I got to the airport and met the flight, he was accompanied by a wife and daughter. Ali was tall and fit. He towered over my 5'10" frame by several inches. His wife, Rahe, was small, slim, exotic with dark hair and eyes. She was a beauty. The daughter, Reha, was a toddler who looked exactly like her mother.

I scurried about trying to ease his transition and get him settled in to family quarters. He was assigned an apartment in the "ups and downs", a 2 bedroom townhouse unit not far from where I lived with my wife and son.

Over the course of the next several months Ali and I became fast friends. His family was a guest in my home and my family shared meals at his home. His wife, Rahe, was reserved and quiet and came after several months and much prodding from my wife, to participate in discussions around the dinner table. Ali came to understand that my wife would NOT be quiet at the table. She would participate and that the the proper role of an American wife was to engage all visitors in conversation, to ask questions, to stimulate conversation and to make all feel welcome. To say that Ali was taken aback by American women was an understatement. He would remark, "Your American wife is teaching my Persian wife dangerous thoughts."

Ali considered himself Persian, not Arabic, and his friendship and the questions and answers sessions we had gave me as much insight into the country of Iran as I possess. I came to value the quiet talks we had over coffee. I think that at Rahe's table was the first time I had eaten mutton. She served it as a savory stew with spices and brown rice with nuts. Wonderful. They ate a lot of dates, served both as an appetizer and as a side dish. Ali absolutely loved almonds. I remember them being a constant fixture in his quarters.

In late 1978 it was becoming apparent that Iran was undergoing a dramatic political change. I talked with Ali about staying in the United States. He was a combat veteran, a trained Armor officer. I talked with the State Department liaison and learned that Ali could claim asylum and over the course of several months could join our Army. He and I discussed it privately several times and he rejected the idea out-of-hand. He felt that he had a duty to return to Iran and fight against the hard-line mullah's who were threatening his country. He left the United States just before Christmas, 1978. On January 16, 1979 the Shah abandoned his people and darkness descended on Iran.

A few month later I made discreet inquiries and was told that Ali was probably killed shortly after the Ayatollahs took over. I never heard the fate of his lovely wife, or his precious daughter.

Ali had told me that his hometown, and the hometown of his wife, was a place called Tabriz. I was reading Instapundit this morning and learned that Tabriz is one of the places where the people are protesting the recent voting irregularities. When ever I hear of Tabriz I think of Ali and his lovely wife.

I hope the people of Tabriz love Iran as much as Ali loved it.

Monday, June 15, 2009


I looked at my work-pants wardrobe this week. Normally, if I'm not in uniform, I can be found in jeans, a tee shirt and sneakers. For church on Sunday or taking the lady out on Saturday, it's nice jeans, a polo and loafers. Jeans are big in my wardrobe. As the nice jeans wear, they get put in the work-jean stack. Lately, my work jeans have been taking a beating and because of normal wear and tear, it was about time to buy new jeans.

The only problem, is that the nice jeans are still... nice. So I decided today to buy work jeans. My Daddy always wore carpenter jeans. The ones with the hammer loop on the left leg. I was in Wal-Mart and picked up a couple of pairs. Dickie's. I'm wearing them right now, and damn! These things are comfortable. I see now why the Old Man wore them.

Today we learned all about current benefits, sexual harassment, racial profiling, and report writing. They condensed two hours of classes into about six hours. Don't know what tomorrow will bring, but the firearms instructor told us to be ready to work tomorrow. I haven't "worked" on a range since before basic training. I've put the shotgun, the rifle, and the range box in the truck just in case. We might be in the classroom, we might not. Who cares? Just another training day.

I think I'll wear these carpenter's jeans. Oh, the slow, steady weight loss thing seems to be working. These jeans are marked as 40's. I've been wearing 44's for the past two years, and I noticed that my "nice" jeans were fitting loose.

Monday morning

Monday morning. I'm up before daylight. We had breakfast for supper last night. Bacon, eggs, biscuits and there was some bacon left on a plate at the back of the stove. I saw that and popped some frozen biscuits into the toaster oven. Heh! Breakfast again.

With just two of us in the house, we use the toaster oven a lot. It's a good one, given to Milady by the children, Christmas before last. They asked what she wanted for Christmas and she said a toaster oven, so they got together and appointed one son to search. He came to me a couple of weeks later and said. "Damn, Dad, I've got a problem. We wanted to get her a nice toaster oven, all the bells and whistles. I've been everywhere and looked at a bunch of them, and I can't find one that costs more than about $60.00."

I told him he was "getting off cheap. She wants a toaster oven. Buy the best one you can find." We use it. Lots of bells and whistles. I haven't tried to cook a turkey in it yet, but I haven't cooked a turkey inside the house in years.

In another hour or so it'll be time to head toward the training center. I'm really looking forward to this. Most of the week will be in air conditioning. Most of it will be stuff I've done for the last 28 years. Handcuffing, shooting, listening to lectures. The good part is that there are a lot of guys there who have been policing for a long time. Good friends. Compatriots. We'll tell stories, lie about each other, harass the instructors, most of whom we trained when they were rookies. We'll get the training, but we'll have fun doing it. We'll bitch and moan.
It'll be fun.

I'm really looking forward to this week.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday afternoon

It's Sunday afternoon in central Louisiana. Ninety-four-by-God degrees on the scale and not a single breath of wind. I was just standing out on the carport and was impressed by the lack of any wind activity. Not a single breath of a breeze. The pine trees, for as far as I could see, were standing perfectly still. Very few neighbors outside. The subdivision is as quiet as midnight.

Accuweather puts the heat index at 103. I believe it. It's a good afternoon to sit in the easy chair and watch old television.

The weather forecast for this week is more of the same. Hot, still, no rain anywhere in the predictions.

I have training this week, and I've made plans for hydration. Ice, water, a cooler in the pickup truck. No sense tempting a heat injury.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Mother Earth Period

Insane Diego asks in comments:
your "Mother Earth period?" Do tell...
Nothing much to tell. I was an environmentalist before it was cool.

Back in 1980, my first wife and I commenced raising kids. We subscribed to a magazine called The Mother Earth News and bought a piece of land in the southern portion of Natchitoches Parish, LA. Ten acres with a pond. We cleared it, mostly by hand, and with Dad's help, built a barn and fenced the land. I had a pond, a woodlot, two pastures and a place for a garden. Lots of room for kids to roam.

We were trying to live with the smallest possible economic footprint, which means we grew our own food, hunted, fished, gardened, had chickens, turkeys, cattle, milked goats, raised horses, you name it, we did it.

I was working a day job as a Parole Officer and when I'd get off, it'd be another three or four hours of work on the farm before bedtime. My days started at 5:00 a.m with feeding livestock and ended at dark or later depending on the season. I heated the house with wood, hauled hay, raised our own meat, canned vegetables. At one point we had our own grist mill and milled our own flour and meal.

I worried about things like sustainability, our septic plume, groundwater supplies, compost, rainfall, forage growth and being organic. In short, we were green, very green and it was hard damned work. Satisfying, certainly, but hard, steady, unrelenting work.

Nowadays when I see someone claiming to be "green" by driving a Prius, I snort and laugh. They have no clue. Most of those folks are assholes. A very few have walked the walk that I walked in the late 70s and 80s, but most of them are assholes.

Air Conditioning is a wonderful thing when you don't have it. Central heat is magnificent. 99% of the weenies saying that they're living a green lifestyle have absolutely no clue. Put them in a basic living situation from the 1930s and they'd be begging for indoor climate control inside of a week. I lived in a basic living situation from 1980 till 1995. That's when we put central heating in the house and I no longer had to build a fire before daylight so the kids could dress in a warm room.

It was a wonderful time in my life and I wouldn't change the experience for anything. I'm a better man for having done it and my kids understand being self-sufficient. And, at this stage of my life I thank God every day that I live in a house where I can be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I am thankful for my blessings.

I am also contemptuous of 99% of the green movement today. They have no clue. None at all. And now you know about my Mother Earth Period. Today I live in a subdivision and consume what most of America consumes. I buy my meat at the grocers and I only grow a few tomatoes and peppers in the summer.

Damndest Thing

Damndest thing I ever saw. I went out to my son's house this morning to experience a learning curve with him putting down laminate flooring. They're putting it in the living room and when I left this afternoon the job was almost completed.

That's not why I began this post. Behind his shop is a tree that was struck by lightning. Big ole tree and he was afraid that it might fall on the shop, so he contracted to have it cut down. Below is a picture of said tree.

What really amazed me is when I went over to look at the stump. There was a pipe embedded in that tree. Deep in the tree. I didn't count the rings, but I imagine it must have been fifty years or so since the bark closed around it.

I bet it was fun cutting through that with a chain saw. We stood around for a few minutes trying to come up with possible explanations. None make sense. It was either a long-lost corner post to adjoining propery or someone hammered that pipe in the ground when the tree was much smaller, maybe to keep someone from mowing over the tree. Nothing else makes much sense.

Ain't that the damndest thing?

Goat tower?

I was over at Instapundit and he linked to an article on a goat tower.

And it got me to remembering. When my first wife and I were going through our Mother Earth period, we owned a half-dozen goats. Milk goats. Nubians. We had a pen for them, but you're not going to keep a goat in a pen unless the goat wants to stay in the pen. Goats are notorious for jailbreaks. They're fairly smart and they'll figure a way out of a pen.

When the goats get out, the best place to look is high. Goats like to climb. I'd generally find them in the hay loft because it combined the highest place on the farm with food. Goats love food. Goats love height. The hay loft was a magical goat-heaven place.

Still, the goat tower is just cool.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Demotivational Poster

My sister Frances sent me some demotivational posters. This one made me laugh.

Many of the ones she sent are the work of Oleg Volk, a graphic artist/photographer who works on the internet supporting the 2nd Amendment. His pictures are worth thousands of words. He also runs a forum for gun stuff, The High Road.us. I am a regular contributor over there, under the screen name PawPaw. Go look at Oleg's stuff, and thank him for all the work he does for us to get the word out.

Okay, okay. Just one more.

Everyone have a fun-filled weekend. I'll be helping my son put down laminate flooring.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I check my referral logs fairly regularly, a couple of times a week. You can do the same thing by clicking on the Sitemeter logo on the bottom of the right sidebar.

It helps me to see what people are reading and what search engines are finding my little blog. Not that it matters to anyone but me. I work this blog for my amusement and only for my amusement; I don't make any money from it and don't intend to.

Back in October 2006, I made a blog entry about chugging in a ground rod for the pool house project. People are still referring to that post. That simply amazes me.

This little blog gets about 225 hits per day, not a lot by any standard. The most requested searches have to do with gunpowder, specifically surplus IMR 4895. Let me tell you guys something. It's gone. There won't be any more surplus 4895, not in the forseeable future.

The next two most requested pages talk about the Remington 870 (there's still lots of those out there) and Lee Liquid Alox. There's lots of Liquid Alox, too. I like the stuff and use it almost exclusively for cast bullet applications.

It's fun to see what people are looking for when they come to my blog. I hope my scribblings serve some small purpose. Regardless, I'll keep writing. Y'all keep coming.

Range Day

This morning I went to the range to plink with several rifles and my Kimber. After firing about 50 rounds with the Kimber I put it away and took out the Bushmaster AR15.

I've never liked the AR platform, mainly because I carried one in the military for all those years. It's a good platform, but I can't generate any enthusiasm for it. It's a tool, like a hammer or a saw. Something to use for a particular purpose. But, like all my tools, it has its place and I have to qualify with it next week, so a little practice was in order. Forty rounds later, I was done. I'm confident that I'll qualify with no problems, and it needs a good cleaning which it will get later this afternoon.

Next up was the Winchester 94 that lives under the seat of the truck. I wanted to verify that I could hit the side of a barn with it, and I can. A very small barn. This rifle is also due for a good cleaning, as it's been two or three years since I've gone through it. Lots of folks, myself included, defer giving the Winchester 94 a complete breakdown and cleaning because the rifle does not disassemble intuitively. Fortunately, Junior gives us a good tutorial and after you've taken one apart a couple of times, it's easy to remember. You do need good screwdrivers and must remember to start with the magazine tube.

On the way home I stopped at the grocery and picked up some chickens for the pit. I put them on about a half-hour ago and should be slow-cooked by suppertime. I first rub a whole chicken with a good dry seasoning rub. There are plenty out there, get one you like. Then, I put the chickens on a low pit, about 250-275 degrees for about four hours. I turn them occasionally to keep the juices flowing. When I try to turn the chicken and it comes apart on the tongs, I'm pretty sure that it's done.

I also bought some fresh green beans and some asparagus. I'll wash them, then wrap them in aluminum foil with a little margarine and some salt and pepper. About 15 minutes on the pit, they'll be ready.

Savagery in South Dakota

That's the name of the article in Field and Stream by Dave Petzal, where he talks about the Savage Model 12 they recently let him try out. He's imressed. Regular readers here know that I'm a huge fan of Savage rifles and believe that any shooter is well served with the appropriate Savage. Then we come to this line:
Savage has equipped the Model 12 (etc.) with an H-S Precision synthetic stock, and a Target Accu-Trigger which adjusts from 6 ounces to 2.5 pounds.
Well, damn! H-S Precision is the deal-breaker for me. I won't have anything to do with them. If they make the most accurate stocks in the world, I'll just have to make-do with second best. If you want to know what I have against them, Google Lon Horiuchi and do your research.

I'd fire off an outraged email, but Savage doesn't accept emails. I guess I'll have to write them a harshly worded letter.

Anything but H-S Precision.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


While I worked for the Department of Corrections (Division of Probation and Parole), I carried a revolver. Well, actually, several revolvers. All Smith and Wesson, all stainless steel. Originally, I was issued a SW Model 66, with a 2 3/4 inch barrel. They were made especially for us by Smith and Wesson and they carried an LAPP roll mark from the factory. Over time, I acquired my own revolvers. First a 4" Model 66, then a 2" Model 60.

When I retired, both of those pistols retired with me. The Model 60 is carried sometimes as a concealed piece. The Model 66 rides on my hip when I'm in the woods. A 4" revolver is a great carry weapon for rural exploring.

Just about the time I joined my current department, I happened to buy a 1911A1 pistol, a Kimber Eclipse. My current department let me carry it, so I qualified with it and have carried it as a duty pistol. I love my Kimber, and I'm one of the very few officers in this department who carry a 1911 on duty.

The Kimber has been a good companion. It's rock-solid dependable. The only change I made to it was to take out the full-length guide rod and install a GI length rod. Otherwise, it's bone stock. I love my Kimber.

Our new Sheriff decided that an officer shouldn't have to purchase his/her own duty weapon and one of the campaign promises he made was that he would purchase and issue a standard weapon to the department. He's made good on that promise and when officers go through their annual retrainer, they're issued a pistol and duty belt with accouterments.

Next week I do my annual retrainer and I'll be issued my pistol. Not a Glock. A Smith and Wesson M&P in .45 ACP. Folks who have them, like them. They come with three grip inserts, small, medium, and large, to fit varying hands. The instructors tell me that it's interesting to see which grip insert the different deputies choose.

There are a lot of good reasons for a department to use a common firearm, not the least of which is agency liability. With a common weapon, common leather, common training, it's sure easy to keep the officers supplied, but individuality takes a back seat. Having a department issued firearm is a good thing. Good for the deputies, good for the department. I'm surprised that this agency waited this long to make the switch.

The point of this is that I'm having to put the 1911 into retirement. For the past six years it's ridden in a Safariland 6280 holster, but that time appears to be over. I'll be looking for other leather to coddle it. I've always like pancake holsters as a personal preference. I guess I'll have to start hitting the catalogs and find something stylish for my old friend to ride in.

Might my few readers have any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Ling and Lee

Laura Ling and Eura Lee. Two American citizens, journalists, employed by Current TV (Al Gore, cofounder). They were recently sentenced to 12 years in a North Korean work camp for entering the country illegally.

What were they doing on the China- North Korea border? Details are murky, but that doesn't matter. They've been sentenced and the two ladies are international bargaining chips.

They both had to know that the human rights record of both China and NOK is at best, horrible. They both had to know that being in that part of the world, trying to do western journalism isn't the best way to stay in the good graces of the local bureaucrats. They also had to know that those same local bureaucrats can either keep you safe or drop you in a hole.

Well, they've been dropped in a hole. Too bad.


It seems that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has ordered a stay in the Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings so that the Courts can consider the opposition of some Indiana pension funds. They loaned money to Chrysler, and now they're getting screwed in the bankruptcy process.

I'm not going to pretend that I know all of the particulars, nor that I'd even understand all the arguments, but it's seemed from the first that the bankruptcies of Chrysler and GM are designed more for expediency than for an orderly accounting and re-organization.

As I understand the bankruptcy laws, they're written to accommodate an orderly accounting, and to preserve the rights of creditors. This rush to accommodate selected creditors and the UAW does neither.

As for those judges who allowed this farce to continue, I reserve the deepest contempt for them. Judges are tasked with what sometimes appears to be a thankless, boring, grinding job. We pay them well and provide adequate perquisites for the occupation. Being a judge certainly beats any number of other professions. All we ask of them is that they apply the law fairly, honestly, and without apparent bias.

This bankruptcy proceeding is neither fair, honest, or without apparent bias. Those judges who have allowed it to proceed should be stripped of their robes, tarred, feathered, disbarred and charged with malfeasance.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


Roundup herbicide. I love it. Use it regularly. I've been using Roundup since I moved to the country in 1980. I see, via the Bayou Renaissance Man that some guys in England use it too.
A workman killed hundreds of protected rare orchids with poison after mistaking them for weeds.

The flowers died days after the contractor used herbicide to rid a grass verge of brambles and gorse.

Not realising the colourful flowers were nine species of rare orchids, he doused them with the toxic spray.

I've got several gravel beds around the house and I spray them regularly with Roundup. Nothing grows where PawPaw goes. I was spraying last week and Milady called my attention to a little plant near some rose bushes. "See this plant?" says she.

"You betcha", says I, hosing it with extra strength Roundup.

"Well, damn!" she retorts. "I like that plant and was hoping to save it."

"Too late." says I. "Don't point at a plant while I've got the Roundup sprayer in my hand.

Rimfire Sunday

I went to the range this afternoon, more to get away from the yard work than for any burning need to shoot. I took the rimfires as I'm wont to do when I'm in the mood to shoot, but not in the mood for recoil.

A .22LR rifle can give lots of good marksmanship training. It's one thing to hit a target way, way off in the distance. It's pretty much the same thing to hit a tiny target at the 25 or 50 yard line. The practice from one carries over to the other and when I shoot rimfire, I'll normally post a bunch of 1" red target dots on a piece of paper and bang away.

I took two rifles today. The Stevens Model 64 is a direct clone of the Savage Model 64. I've never seen another one and I was told that they were first marketed in Canada. I've got a fixed 4X scope mounted on it and it's my go-to rifle for squirrel hunting in the late winter woods. Keeping all the shots on that 1" dot is challenging but not impossible. I like to shoot it enough so that my trigger finger remembers the squeeze. It is a lousy trigger, combining creep and overtravel, but I can't justify the expense of having a gunsmith work it over. It shoots well enough.

The other rifle I took today is the Savage Model 93R17FV, which is a heavy barreled rmfire in .17 HMR. Mine is an older model, without the Accu-trigger. It shoots better than I do, and at 25 yards it'll stack the bullets into one hole. Those little .17 caliber, 17 grain bullets are prone to drift in the wind, so any cross wind at all will ruin a good group. It's a fine little rifle for paper-punching although I've never sighted it on game.

When my kids were younger and we lived in the woods I had a flock of crows that would make noise out by the pond. I bet that the little .17 would be just the ticket for harassing crows. I've got one friend who is a state wildlife agent and he uses the .17 HMR with a rifle just like mine to dispatch troublesome beavers. He claims to routinely shoot beavers at over 100 yards with the little bullets and says that it kills them cleanly. I bet so.

When I left the house this afternoon there were grandkids swimming in the pool. When I returned from the range, there are still grandkids swimming in the pool.

Some things never change.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

More Deck Work

My son and I worked today finishing the carpentry, installing steps and completing a small patio that ties the deck to the pool house. All that's left to do of the main construction is to wire the deck for outlets and lights.

Here's a view from the edge of the deck toward the pool with grandkids playing and my sister sunbathing.

This is the end of the first week of this project and I'm glad it's nearing completion.

Tomorrow after church, I'm going to the range.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The 7th CIrcuit ruling

It seems the US 7th Circuit, in a unanimous decision, upheld the handgun bans in place in Chicago. The decision, written by Judge Frank Easterbrook is a fascinating discussion on federalism and in effect says that states and cities can make their own laws on who can have guns and the 2nd Amendment is not incorporated against the states. It's a fascinating legal back-flip from what has been described as a largely conservative bench. Investors Business Daily descibes the result:
The Circuit Court decision was written by Judge Frank Easterbrook and joined by Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer. Easterbrook's reasoning is fascinating. According to him, the Revolution was fought and independence won so that the Founding Fathers could write a Constitution with a Bill of Rights that applied only to the District of Columbia.
That's ridiculous, of course, and the judge's reasoning is likewise ridiculous. No matter how meticulously he researches the question, no matter how diligently he crafts the decision, the idea that a basic right is not incorporated against the states is ridiculous on its face. In his decision, we might just as well say that a locale can ban free speech as part of a national experiment. The reasoning is ludicrous.

It's been appealed, and Easterbrook deserves a monumental smackdown. If that is what passes for reasoned thinking in Chicago, then the citizens should break out the tar and the feathers.

Hat tip to Jeff, at Alphecca

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Active Shooter

There are some reports about the shooter that targeted two Army recruiters in Little Rock last week. What do we really know about this guy? According to Hot Air:

**He was a recent convert to Islam.
**He traveled to Yemen for training.
**He came back to the US on a forged passport.
**He had a list of possible targets, including other Army recruiting centers in Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia and Louisville.
**His target list included Jewish targets and day care centers.
**He was named Carlos Bledsoe at birth, and changed his name when he converted.

So, this worthless piece of garbage had traveled to Yemen for training for God-Knows-What and came back here to shoot up the country. If he hadn't been stopped he'd still be killing.

I once had a close friend, an officer in the Shah's Army (Iran) who studied in the United States. We became close friends across the back fence of housing at Fort Knox. He told me that before each promotion in his army, an officer would be posted to Yemen. I asked why and he told me that there were many godless Communists to be killed in Yemen.

Today, Yemen seems to be a training site for Islamic radicals.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Toy Gun

It seems some kid in New Jersey found a toy gun in a dumpster and headed toward Princeton University.

Predictably, the whole university went into lockdown.
Police took four juvenile suspects into custody just before 11:30 a.m. None of the four suspects were students. One had a dark green toy gun in his waistband that school officials said could have been mistaken for a real gun.

The four kids were apparently rummaging through some sort of trash dumpster and told cops that's where they found the toy gun, police sources told NBCNewYork.com. One of the juveniles picked up the fake gun, put it in his belt and started walking away with the other three kids when a woman spotted the gun in his waistband and called police. It's not clear whether or not she was a student.

No shots were fired. It wasn't clear how many people were on campus at the time of the incident. Police believe the incident stemmed from a bigger problem of kids from town going on campus and rummaging through dumpsters looking for unused alcohol, which campus security says has been on ongoing problem.
This is New Jersey and guns aren't allowed. At all. So, four kids were found with a toy and the police detained them.

I'm reminded of my own university experience where we routinely kept our guns in the dorm room. Yeah, it was forbidden, but no one seemed to care. Lots of us hunted and it helps to have a gun on campus if you're going hunting after class.

Then, years later when I adjuncted Police Science courses at the same campus, I was in a plain-clothes assignment and I'd head to the campus after work and more often than not, my revolver was tucked in a holster on my belt. Only once did anyone even make notice of it. When the cop responded to the "man with a gun" complaint, we laughed and chit-chatted for a few minutes before he continued on his way.

The folks in New Jersey really need to get a grip.

Wednesday afternoon

It's Wednesday afternoon, and I'm done for the day. The deck is mostly completed. We put the rail on yesterday afternoon and the deck boards installed this morning. I decided to take a picture because this may be the only time I see it empty.

What's lef t, you ask? I"ve got to dig a trench from the pool house over to the deck to run electrical wire so that I can install lights and outlets. Then, I've got to backfill the trench, sand it in and lay pavers from the deck to the pool house. Last, install steps on the new pavers to the back of the deck.

A week ago, I couldn't see the end of this project. Now it's falling into place nicely. Hopefully in another week I can call this one done. Then it's on to other things.

As we were putting down the deck boards, I remarked that the temp was 90 degrees and the humidity was 95%. My son said "90 plus 95. That comes to 185 discomfort points."

Heh! Discomfort points. I like that.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Tuesday Morning

Is it Tuesday already? Damn, time flies when you're having fun.

I've been building a deck, a big ole deck in the backyard. This is my major project for the summer. 16' x 22' complete with railings, I've been piddling with this thing for a few days, taking small bites and quitting about noon, then making a materiels list for the next day. A picture, you say?

That's two days. One day for excavation and leveling, one day for rough framing. Today I'm going to install the railings. Tomorrow, God willing, I install the deck boards. Then, a couple of days for "fit and finish", add lights, outlets and landscaping, I'll be done.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the lumber yard.