Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Best all-around

One of the commenters over at The High Road forum (.us, not .org) asked the question, what's the best all-around caliber for North American game.

Four pages later the discussion is still going on. The consensus is that the best all-around caliber is the .30-06. It's hard to argue with that answer.

The .30-06 is one of the best, ever. It's been around since 1906 and it's still going strong. Every bolt-action manufacturer that I'm aware of chambers rifles for that cartridge and the ammo manufacturers commonly list it in the top three of cartridges sold in North America.

You can buy ammo anywhere, virtually at any big box store, any gun store, and almost any country convenience store. Ammo is easy to find. It's easy to reload for, too. Page after page of .30-06 recipes can be found in virtually any reloading manual. I've loaded it hot, for velocity. I've loaded it down (about 1800 fps) for plinking. The best cast bullet group I ever saw was shot with a 200 grain Lyman bullet and the bullet traveling about 1600 fps, out of a bone-stock Remington 700 in .30-06. That 5-shot group fell into 0.76 inches with a called flyer. If he hadn't flown that bullet, the whole group would have been under half an inch. I didn't shoot it, but I saw it and it was the damndest exhibition of cast bullet shooting I'd ever seen.

By best target from my Savage goes into 3/4th of an inch. This with a 168 grain bullet traveling 2800 fps. Don't let anyone tell you that the .30-06 isn't capable of fine accuracy.

If you're hunting game up to the size of elk, the .30-06 will do the job. If you're hunting whitetail deer, the .30-06 will do the job. If you want one rifle that'll kill nearly everything in North America, the .30-06 is your medicine.

Every cartridge has its fan club. Some like the .270, some like the .243. I love the .30-30 and think that it'll do anything a .30-06 will do inside of 100 yards. Truth be known, most game animals are killed inside 100 yards. There are others that think the 7mm Remington Magnum is the cat's meow for all game. If you want a nice, light carbine get the .30-30. If you want the full size bolt action rifle, get the .30-06. I love my .30-30s. I currently own two and have one on order.

The hunting season is upon us, and while I'll likely be carrying one of several rifles this year, I know that I can rely on my .30-06. It's not flashy, it's not a whiz-bang magnum, it's not the latest, but it's likely the greatest.

Folks ask, what caliber should I buy if I can only buy one caliber. Either the .30-30, or the .30-06. I've never felt undergunned with either of them. But, if you're looking for best all-round, the .30-06 is the cartridge.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reader Poll

I finished the basic carpentry on the box stand today. I have to do some little finishing touches, like hanging a door and a panel to fill the shooting window. And painting. Always painting.

So, the question becomes: What colors do I paint it. I asked my work crew and got a number of answers. Bright-assed yellow. Hunters orange, Navaho Red. One young lady even recommended (horror) some green/brown/black camo scheme.

I decided to make it a readers poll.

What color should I paint the box stand. Everyone is welcome to weigh-in, but it'll be a couple of more days before I buy paint. Answer in comments. What color?

Sunday Dawg

Sometimes when the dog feels threatened or uncomfortable (like when I'm taking pictures), he hides under the buffet. If he's under there, I have to get down on my knees to get him.

Like this.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Report shelved waiting decision

I'm told that the Pentagon is holding a report from General McChrystal pending a decision from the White House about what strategy it wishes to pursue. Yeah. That's what I'm hearing.
KABUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan has submitted a request for more troops, a spokesman said Saturday, but the Pentagon will hold it while President Barack Obama decides what strategy to pursue.
That makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? Make a decision then read the report.

Afghanistan is ours to win or lose, but it's time to make up our minds.

If our President hasn't made a decision yet, that means he hasn't had a strategy. To my mind, it might be good to read the report from the commander on the ground, then make a decision based on that report and other intelligence that we're able to gather. But that's just me. Whatthehell do I know?

I don't give a tinker's damn whether we fight in Afghanistan or not. The only thing I care about is 1) the vital interests of the United States and 2) the troops under our flag. I think it's important to ourselves and (how did Jefferson put it?) to a decent respect to the opinions of mankind that we finish this fight, rather than tuck tails and run. If we intend to finish this fight then it might be a good idea to read the report of the commander, fully resource his needs and unleash our boys and girls to finish the job.

I've long been of the opinion that US Servicemen are hindered by many things in combat, not the least of which are restrictive rules of engagement that actively hinder military operations. War is hell, and when we put an army in the field we should visit hell on all who oppose us.

But that's just me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Spider Lilies

We've got spider lilies popping up in the front yard. They're delicate little plants that you never see until they bloom. The bulbs lay dormant all year till the middle of September, then you get a dash of color.

I love planting these things. They're the ultimate no-maintenance flowering plant.

Game Cameras

Game cameras, also called trail or scouting cameras are a relatively new item in the outdoors retail market. It's a simple concept. Put a camera on a tree and take pictures of things that walk by, whether it's game, or poachers, or whatever it might be. It's a form of outdoor photography that's fairly new and fairly basic.

Some folks say that the flash of the camera disturbs the game and old Mossy-horn won't get caught by that trick twice. Other folks say that the flash doesn't bother game. Some cameras use infrared light to take nighttime photos. The claim is made that the infrared flash doesn't disturb the game.

Everything that I've read suggests to me that game can't see infrared light any better than we can, so the camera shouldn't spook anything moving about at night.

Today I was walking through Academy Sports and Outdoors and saw a camera that caught my eye. The Wildview TGL3IR Game Camera. It's an entry-level game camera that has an IR emitter for nighttime use.

I bought the thing and I've played with it enough in the backyard that I'm comfortable with the way it works. I think I'm going to put it at Momma's place overlooking a feeder and see if I can catch any pics of animals using the feeder. It ought to be an interesting experiment.

Online gun auctions

Over at the High Road forum there was a discussion of gun prices, and commenter Willpete made the following observation:
One of these days, I'd like to start some sort of project where one compares the values of reasonably common firearms over the United States. I think it'd be interesting to see how much a .30-30 M94 goes for in LA, or TN, or PA vs. TX or MT or somesuch.
It's true that gun prices reflect regional variations. What sells in one part of the country seems to have less economic value (price) in another part. That's part of our large, vibrant economy and based on the idea that people place different values on things.

Another part of the equation is the condition of the item for sale. I've seen (for example) two rifles on the shelf together in vastly differing conditions. One virtually pristine, the other willfully neglected. The pristine one commanded a higher price than the neglected one. Other considerations that drive price are things like historical value, age, individual history, fit, finish, and buyer's perception. If the buyer perceives that he's getting a good deal, then he'll buy the piece. If not, he won't. Buyers can have vastly different perceptions for lots of good reasons.

However, there are a number of online sites that list perceived values of firearms. Places like Gun Broker and GunsAmerica. These online auction houses work like Ebay or any of the other auction sites, but cater to the gun trade. With one important caveat. All sales of firearms must be processed through a local Federal Firearms Dealer.

The way it works is when you bid on a gun, you contact the seller and give him the information on your local firearms dealer. If you win the bid, he ships the firearm to the dealer, who calls you and tells you your gun has arrived. When you get to the dealer, he completes the NICS check and you get to take your gun home.

No, Molly, you can't get a gun through the mail, unless you buy it from the US Government. The CMP still ships guns through the mail.

But, what Gun Broker and like sites have done is to set up a nationwide clearing house for gun values. I've never bought a gun through them, but I've used the resource to research gun values. If I can see what a like item is selling for across the country, I can judge whether or not the price is in line with what I'm seeing locally. That's valuable information regardless of what you're buying or selling.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Dog ate it.

Oh, really? They've lost the data? It seems so.
Imagine if there were no reliable records of global surface temperature. Raucous policy debates such as cap-and-trade would have no scientific basis, Al Gore would at this point be little more than a historical footnote, and President Obama would not be spending this U.N. session talking up a (likely unattainable) international climate deal in Copenhagen in December.
As it turns out, we don't have to imagine it.
Steel yourself for the new reality, because the data needed to verify the gloom-and-doom warming forecasts have disappeared.
How the hell did something like that happen?
Apparently, they were either lost or purged from some discarded computer. Only a very few people know what really happened, and they aren’t talking much. And what little they are saying makes no sense.
Well of course, that would explain the whole thing.

The problem with the Global Warming argument is that it's based on data. If you don't have data, then you don't have a scientific argument. Anyone telling you different is full of crap.

Four years?

Mostly Cajun reminds me that four years ago today we were digging out from Hurricane Rita.

Being a deputy, I don't get to stay home when the weather is bad, and that day, the weather was really bad. Horribly bad. Not as bad as the Cajun had it, but bad enough.

I was working a shelter where they had brought 70 geriatric mental patients from a nursing home in Lake Charles. At the height of the storm, all the electricity went out at the shelter and we were reduced to using the only flashlight in the acre (mine) and having no water pressure, no way to cook food, and no climate control. It was an unbridled disaster.

As luck would have it, my relief showed up on time and I was able to go home, grab a shower, get some rack time, and head out the next morning. We had some lawn items that "went away" during the storm, never to return. It blew my fence down, but that's just material possessions. I was able to rebuild my fence.

But when I think of the suffering of those old folks in the shelter, I cringe. They didn't understand why their world had been uprooted and I didn't know who to explain it to them. Nine days later we put them on buses to Arkansas where a new nursing home had been made ready for them. The next day, school opened and we resumed living our normal lives. Which is a whole lot better than the nursing home patients got.

I like the Cajun's take on the matter.
2005 – Hurricane Rita makes landfall in the United States, devastating Beaumont, Texas and portions of southwestern Louisiana. The media is too focused on the perpetually peeved and professional beggar class in New Orleans to pay much attention to people who got up out of the wreckage and debris and went back to work.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Throwing it away

Talk about throwing good money after bad! The gummint is thinking about bailing out the newspaper industry.

Newspapers are failing for a very simple reason. They don't serve their readership. Purely and simply.

Our local rag, the Daily Wipe, can't even reliably deliver a newspaper to my mailbox each morning. It's always subject to debate whether the paper will be there at any reasonable time. I consider a reasonable time to be 6:00 a.m. Anything later than that is reprensible. We still take the daily paper. Milady likes to read it with her coffee. She alights at 6:00 a.m. and most mornings the paper hasn't made it yet.

Our paper, of course, isn't owned by anyone local. It's part of a big conglomerate and I'm told that in very few weeks we won't even have a local printing press. They're using a bigger one from down South.

I don't get my news from the newspaper anymore. I can't depend on them. They've failed to serve me.

Damn all bailouts, everywhere. If you want to survive in business, you'd best be looking after your customers.

Street Gangs

I've been working the high school beat for seven years and I've learned a lot about working in a high school. I'm good at my job and I've learned to do it with as little fuss as possible. Part of it, I guess, is that I talk to the kids, listen to them, and try to notice what's going on around me. Another part of it is that I've got a cops mentality in that what the school administration might consider a problem doesn't much register on my radar at all. The vast majority of the problems in a high school don't have a law-enforcement application. As a result, I spend a lot of time with a bemused look on my face. It isn't a law enforcement problem, and I'm not going to get involved.

Today I learned that I'm considered one of the experts on the local street gangs. That's news to me. I know really very little about street gangs. Fifteen years ago I could have been considered an expert when I was on my beat in Natchitoches, but today? Not so much.

I'm reminded what my Daddy said about experts. That an "ex" is a has-been and a "spurt" is a small drip under extreme pressure.

My boss called today and told me to attend a meeting where we'll be discussing local street gangs. He didn't say that I had a speaking part and that's good, because I don't know what I'd tell the people at the meeting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pawn Shop Crawling

I stopped by the pawn shop on the way home. I haven't been there in several weeks and they'd been weighing on my mind. Something told me that there was an interesting rifle in the racks, and I wanted to check on the status of my .30-30 Handi.

The counter guys told me that they'd called five distributors this morning and hadn't had any luck finding the Handi. Their main distributor has 30 of them on backorder. I don't know what the problem is in filling an order of .30-30s, but hunting season is coming.

However, they had one rifle in the rack that piqued my interest for reasons I don't understand. This is a Ruger Model 77/44. It's a bolt action Model 77 chambered for the .44 magnum cartridge. I've got dies and brass for that caliber, but I'm trying to understand the niche of a bolt-action .44 magnum. It's marked at $529.00 and I can get them to shave several dollars off that price, but the question becomes, do I want the rifle? I don't currently have any .44 magnum revolvers, but I've got plenty of .357 magnums.

It might make a good grandkid rifle and it would be a nice companion piece to a Ruger Blackhawk. The irons would suffice, but a low-power scope would make it shine. It's a lightweight, blued, walnut stocked rifle and seems to be in pretty good shape. The price seems right, and I could dicker with them.

Decisions, decisions.

**UPDTE** I've talked myself out of that rifle. The .44 magnum is a pistol cartridge, suited to revolvers and lever guns. A bolt action in that caliber is a niche rifle that I don't have a niche to fit. As unique as it might be I don't really see a use for it that justifies the expense.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Slow news Monday

Ir was Monday today, all day. After work I ran errands for a couple of hours, then came home.

Eldest son started work today at a new job. He's been laid off for about five months, so we're celebrating his return to the working stiffs.

I need to do some carpentry, to cobble together the box for my deer stand. Deer season is just around the corner and I haven't got that done yet. I intended to buy materials today, but it's raining. Again. There's been a massive low-pressure system hung up over Louisiana and we're getting so much rain I might mildew. They're predicting rain for most of the rest of the week. Maybe I can buy the materials on Friday and get some work done over the weekend.

I haven't checked on my .30-30 Handi in a week or so. I'm interested for it to come in so that I can do some evaluation. I'm not sure what the hold-up is, but I've never waited this long after ordering a rifle.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Dawg

Saturday was busy around PawPaw's house. I had to fix a lawnmower before I could mow the lawn, it being extremely difficult to mow a lawn with a lawnmower that won't start. I suspected that there was trash in the carburetor and wanted to take it off the lawnmower and blow out the fuel pick-up tube.

So, while drinking coffee on the back porch with Milady and the dawg, I asked him if he'd start disassembling the lawn mower while I finished my coffee. Milady looked at me over her newspaper and remarked that he couldn't hold a wrench. He's got no thumbs.

That's a shot of the dawg, feigning disinterest. He's not much of a mechanic, but makes a good superintendent.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Runaway Convicts

I was over at Clayton Cramer's Blog and came upon this amusing quotation from a book published in 1840.
A bowie-knife, dirk, or pistols, commonly occupy the desk-drawer of Congressional members; who, as a close observer remarked to me—"not only look four ways at once, but in manners and deportment strongly remind me of runaway convicts." [Henry Cook Todd, Notes Upon Canada and the United States: From 1832 to 1840 2nd ed. (Toronto: Rogers and Thompson, 1840), 181]
Ha! The look of runaway convicts. Nothing much has changed since 1840, has it?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Birthday

We've got a small Air Force ROTC detachment at the high school, and today they celebrated the birthday of the Air Force. It's 62 years old.

Happy Birthday, zoomies!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Efficient cook stoves

When you're camping, or in the alternative, in a refugee camp, it is nice to have a cook stove that you can use to cook food using the minimum fuel necessary.

Instapundit links to Popular Mechanics who posts a video talking about an efficient cook stove that was invented to help the Darfur refugees cook their food using a minimum amount of fuel. That's all well and good, but they're touting it as something new and revolutionary.

Simply, that's bullshit.

The Boy Scouts have been using such stoves for years, either home-made or bought commercially. The Volcano II is one such stove that's been available commercially for awhile.

I myself remember some stoves that looked surprisingly like the one they're touting. When I was the Scoutmaster of Troop 60 in Natchitoches, LA, the kids had some small stoves they'd use to cook on.

Matter of fact, here's one that Junior made for 2 cents. We call this a Hobo stove. I've been cooking on stuff like this all my life.

I bet the folks in Darfur are laughing at the scientists who spent all that time and effort making that stove. It's nice, but it's not new technology.

What's for Supper, PawPaw?

That's the question that the grandkids ask when they come over and PawPaw is on the hook for Thursday night. The eldest son takes his two to karate practice and we started cooking for them on Thursdays.

Tonight, the menu is Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, early peas and store-bought rolls. I stopped on the way home and picked up several pounds of ground meat, an onion and a couple of cans of Lesueur early peas. I've mixed the ground meat with a couple of eggs, some Tony's seasoning and some bread crumbs. Patted them into suitable patties and fried them in a skillet. While the meat was cooking, I sliced that onion into rings and put it in a big dutch oven with just a dab of vegetable oil.

There's something magical about cooking an sliced onion in vegetable oil. I'm sure a chemist could tell me, but the heat does something to the onion and makes it sweet. My father-in-law would say "Cook it till it's sweet". The onion starts to brown, wilts, and the flavor changes.

Anyway, once the onion is sweet, I put the hamburger patties in the dutch oven and covered onion, beef, and all with McCormick's brown gravy mix. I know that's cheating, and I could have made a roux gravy, but I'm being lazy and McCormick makes a pretty good gravy packet.

I'm not going to peel potatoes, either. About a half-hour before the boys get here, I'll break open a box of instant potatoes, put those early peas in a pan, and I bet they won't turn their noses away from it.


I was told once by a wise law enforcement officer that if an organization wanted to remain effective, it should avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

The tortured reference to Thessalonians notwithstanding, that advise is good advise for any organization in the public eye. ACORN would do well to heed that warning.

Bertha Lewis, the CEO of ACORN has come out on record playing the vicitm card. She's claiming that 1) the videos were doctored , or 2) that it's all an unwarranted attack on her organization, or 3)that the applications would never have made it past the approval process. She's also launched an internal audit to try and clean up the mess. Good for her. I'm sure that she's a wonderful person and wants to do what's right. I'm not judging her, but rather the actions of her subordinates.

What I'm concerned about is the appearance of impropriey and the organizational climate that makes it so easy for low-level employees to advise others to skirt the law. It's apparent from watching the videos that low-level ACORN employees don't have any problem advising people how to skirt the law. It's one thing for a single employee to do something stupid, but it's another thing entirely to have multiple employees in multiple cities repeating the same mistakes over and over. That goes to the internal climate of the organization and gives us an insight into the leadership of the group. I certainly don't want any such organization using taxpayer dollars, whether federal, state or local money.

If, when these young citizen journalists had gone into an ACORN office and started their speil, the employee would have been outraged or dismayed and shown them the door, I wouldn't have any found any fault with them. They didn't, and there is the problem. Playing the victim card doesn't help ACORN either. They're not victims in this mess. It appears that they are enthusiastic participants.

I'm sure that ACORN does good work in many places, helping low income people with any manner of problems. That's no excuse. Al Capone, in Chicago, ran soup kitchens for the homeless and poverty stricken during the Great Depression. That didn't mean that he wasn't running a criminal organization at the same time.

The US Taxpayer should not fund any organization that skirts the law. ACORN should clean up its act, or risk losing all taxpayer money. The "internal audit" should only serve as the basis for a full investigation by the Justice Department.

**BREAKING UPDATE** The House of Representatives voted today to cut funding to ACORN. In a bipartisan effort, the House voted today 345-75 to not fund ACORN any longer. President Obama would do well to applaud this bipartisan effort and immediately sign it into law. It looks like it's veto-proof and is evidence that Congress can do the right thing when the evidence is overwhelming.

Also, there is a new video out. This one out of San Diego, CA, where they talk about smuggling underage girls across the border.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Connecticut Shotgun?

Never heard of them, but I read about them over at Phil Bourjaily's blog and I'm impressed. Classic, American double shotguns. Fine shotguns.

You've got to go to their website and look at these shotguns. But, I'll give you a teaser.

RBL 28ga- This RBL 28ga is available immediately in the following features. Black American Wood upgrade 3X. Splinter forend, Double triggers, Straight grip. 14 1/4" LOP 30"M/F. This gun weights 5lbs 12oz. This unbelievable American classic is available immediately. Cased with all accessories. It is brand new, warranty and available immediately.
Price, you ask? A piddling $4035.00. Granted, they're too rich for my blood and I'll have to make do with the odd Remington 870 and Winchester Model 12, but it doesn't hurt to look.

Aaah, hell, here's one more. The A10 American. It's a 12 bore, with sideplates, modestly engraved.

It's good to know that wonderful shotguns are still available. Now, what did I do with that lottery ticket?


I went by D&J Tire today and looked at the Hankook tires. They're good looking tires and the salesman told me that they're Korean and they have sold lot of them. I got the DynaPro ATM, which isn't as aggressive as I might have liked, but they're quiet on the road.

My truck is a bone-stock 4X2 F150 and isn't set up for the mud, but getting stuck on wet grass is a bit too much for me.

Probably the best truck I've ever owned for rough duty was a '79 F150. It had the 300 CID inline 6 cylinder engine and a posi-traction rear end. It was a torque monster. I was in the cattle business at the time and I put Co-op grip spurs on it. I could cross a muddy pasture and never look back. Of course, at anything over 40 mph you couldn't hear yourself think from the whine of those big mud-grips.

Those grip spurs were made by Kelly-Springfield and were in the old style numbering system. I think I used 9.00X15s on that old truck. They were tube-type bias ply tires with a really aggressive tread and they'd pull anything. They were built for the farming trade and wore like iron.

But, they were noisy. I've been looking for a link to show what they looked like, but haven't had any luck. Ah-hah! My google-fu is stong this evening. Here's a picture of a grip-spur tire, stolen shamelessly from here. Scroll down for his take on these tires.

That's what a mud-grip ought to look like.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Acorn Video

There's a new James O'Keefe video out about the Acorn scam, this one out of San Bernadino CA. It's great stuff, shocking.

In the video, ACORN employee Theresa Kaelke talks about killing her husband, and I'm not familiar with the applicable California statutes, but it sounds chillingly like manslaughter to me. Then, in the next minute, she threatens a neighbor across the street with his life is he talks about anything he's heard.

I'm still amazed. Let's embed it, shall we?

These people use tax money and the videos we've seen so far show that they're willing to ignore the law to defraud the government, hide income from the IRS, traffic in underage children, and now Theresa Kaelke talks about manslaughter, running a prostitution service, violating campaign finance laws, and communicating threats.

Congress should pull their funding, today. The various District Attorneys should immediately launch investigations into individual offices and the various US Attorneys should pursue RICO indictments against everyone employed. It's becoming increasingly obvious that ACORN is a continuing criminal enterprise.


I need to put some tires on my pickup. The rear tires have a little better than 40K miles on them, and they're getting a little threadbare. It's a Ford F150 and it's got 16 inch wheels, for the life of my I don't know why Ford went to 16 inch wheels on that truck. All my adult life, 15 inch tires worked just fine. But, the tires need to be replaced. I got in a little mud yesterday and put the truck sideways. While that's fun when you're playing around, it's not a lot of fun if you're not expecting it.

At any rate, I need to find some tires and that's one type of shopping that I absolutely abhor. This is Louisiana, and it's coming up on hunting season, so I'm thinking mud grips. (You Yankees call them snow tires.) I went to Wal-Mart this afternoon and they couldn't help me. I'm looking for something mildly aggressive that will let me go down dirt roads without sweating whether I'll come out. I got stuck on some wet grass a couple of weeks ago, and those street tires just don't cut it.

So, tomorrow I'll call around to the local tire places and see if they can fit the truck with some mud grips. I just called D&J Tire in Tioga and the guy said that he had some tires that would fit. Hankook Tires. Never heard of them. The guy told me that he's been selling them for the past three years and that they're good tires. Again, I never heard of them. I'll go look tomorrow.


Monday, September 14, 2009

The Craziness Continues

This is absolutely too weird. From AFP:
World celebrities sing to stop global warming
Yeah, really.
GENEVA — British rock group Duran Duran and heavy metal band Scorpions are among 55 world celebrities who have joined in recording a song to draw attention to the global warming crisis, organisers said on Monday.
If you've paid any attention to the global warming nonsense, then you know that carbon dioxide is one of the biggest concerns of the climate change idiots.

If those celebs get together to record a song, they'll be exhaling.... wait for it... carbon dioxide. Will someone explain to me how 55 idiots all exhaling at the same time will have any impact on climate change? Except in the negative? Oh, please, they've got to breathe anyway, so I don't guess it makes any difference at all.

Now, if they'd all stop breathing, for say, 10 days, that might make an impact on climate change.

I'm just sayin'

ACORN is a criminal enterprise

There is an independent film-maker, James O'Keefe, who has made some film in ACORN offices in Baltimore, Washington DC, and New York City. It appears that each of these offices gave him advise on how to commit felonies, including human trafficing.

If three offices of an organization give advise about how to violate the laws of the United States, then that's not a fluke. That's a pattern.

ACORN is denying everything, but the films tell the tale. ACORN is corrupt, more corrupt than many of us ever imagined. Criminally corrupt. Immorally corrupt. And, they draw a lot of their funding from the US Goverment.

Big Government.com is all over it, and Fox News has picked up the story. What's interesting is that ACORN's press release by Bertha Lewis, chief organizer, returns a blank page. Maybe their servers are down from the heavy traffic.

At any rate, it's clear now that ACORN is a continuing criminal enterprise and should immediately lose all funding from the US government. Then, they should be prosecuted under the RICO statutes and the ringleaders imprisoned.

Whaddya think the chances of that happening under the Holder justice department?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Dawg

There are two sides to every door. The side that Milady is on, and the wrong side. The dog frequently finds himself on the wrong side of the door, realizing too late that Milady is on the other side. Then he freaks out, whines, and generally makes a nuisance of himself until he gets to be on the right side of the door.

I apologize for the darkness of the photo. Here, the dog demonstrates that he is on the wrong side of the door.

In other news, we went to church this morning and spent the afternoon turning wrenches. My step-son's car needed help and when we got into it, realized that the help it needed was immediate. We've replaced the front bearings, a tie-rod end, a ball joint and put brakes on the front wheels. The car is safe now and my grandchildren can ride in it in relative safety.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dance Club

Milady and I are members of the Magnolia Dance Club, a local gathering of 30-odd couples who meet 10 times a year to dance. We meet at the YWCA in Alexandria. Each month three member couples are tasked with hosting the dance, which means that they set up, decorate, and clean up afterwards. The dance begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. and ends promptly at 10:00 p.m.

We're a bunch of old fogeys, okay? Ten o'clock is plenty late.

This month, the theme is "tailgate party" and we're instructed to wear our favorite team logos. The only college team logo shirt I have is from the University of Alabama. Go Tide! Mildady, an alumni of LSU, has also chosen to wear an Alabama shirt.

This is Tiger Country, and Alabama is generally considered to be persona non grata. We ought to be quite the fashion highlight of the evening.

Luckily, tonight LSU plays Vanderbilt. If they were playing Bama, we'd be ridden out of the place on a rail.

A Crowd

Estimating crowd size is difficult. There are several ways to estimate crowd size, but they're all inexact at best. Every rookie cop learns this fact when he's writing reports. You roll up on the scene of a bar fight and you see people in the parking lot. How big was the lot, how big was the crowd? You can go back and measure the parking lot later, but how big was the crowd of people? Were there a dozen? Fifty? A hundred? Lots of time, it's guess-timation.

There will be disagreement about how big the crowd was that showed up for the Washington D.C. Tea Party today, but some are estimating two million. Two million. That's a lot of folks to be hanging around the Capitol.

Via Glenn Reynolds, we post a picture taken by Mary Katherine Ham from the Newseum balcony in DC.

Are there two million people in that photo? I don't know.

Here's another from RightsPundit.

The Associated Press, ever in the tank for Obama, is saying that Tens of Thousands of people protested today. Yeah, looking at those pictures, I'd say that there was ten thousand people there.

Hopefully, Congress is listening. And watching out the windows.

**UPDATE** Blackfive is estimating a crowd of over a million.

Fox News is saying tens of thousands, but neither AP nor Fox is showing pictures of the crowds. Their shots are close-in shots of protest signs, not panoramic shots like I've posted above.

MSNBC calls the crowd "thousands" with a penchant for understatement that makes me wonder how they sustain any credibility at all. They aren't a news agency any more; they're a political propaganda organ, much like Pravda was during the Cold War.

CBS News (Commie Broadcasting Service) simply re-prints the AP blurb. Tens of Thousands.

CNN doesn't even bother to estimate the size of the crowd. Since Desert Storm, they've been useless anyway. I can't tell you the last time I watched CNN.

It's a big party, that's for damned sure.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Long Day

I went to work this morning at 7:00 a.m. and I got off tonight at 10:30 p.m.

I'm not saying that my job is particularly demanding, but there are a lot of hours in it.

I've got some leftover stew in the microwave and in just a few minutes I'm going to get in the shower. It's been a long day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


My brother lives in Townshend, VT. Every year the community puts together a calendar, filled with birthdays and town meetings and anniversaries and they sell the darned thing as a fund-raiser.

Years ago, we submitted all the family information and each year we buy a calendar.

I'm sure that there are folks in Townshend who wonder who are all those folks that they don't recognize.

Still, it's very cool getting a calendar from a little town, far, far away. I got mine in the mail today and I'm very pleased with the small connection with family in the frozen north.

Oh, I almost forgot. Happy Birthday, Dianne.

Eight years

Eight years ago, at just about this time of the afternoon, I was standing in a jail dormitory, conducting a count. I was a shift Lieutenant at the parish jail, relieving my good friend and co-worker, so he could go home and get some sleep. It was a Monday night and he'd be there to relieve me at about 4:30 the next morning. The night wasn't particularly memorable. Counts, feeding, rounds, in-processing, the standard night shift. I don't believe that I released anyone that night.

I wasn't married, although I had met the woman who would later become my wife. My parents were on a well-deserved vacation to see the American West. This was supposed to be the last night of their trip. They'd get on a plane the next morning.

After the shift was over, I went home, kicked off my boots and took a shower. Fell into bed about six a.m. At about 8:00 a.m. the phone rang. A good friend was telling me to turn on the TV. Yeah, right. I hung up the phone and rolled over. Five minutes later the phone rang again. "Get your sorry butt out of bed and turn on the television. We're under attack!" I got up, turned on the TV and made coffee.

My parents did get on the plane that morning, but they were ordered off. All the air traffic in the United States had been canceled.

I was sitting on the couch, groggily wondering what was going on, watching the first tower burn, when I saw what was later identified as UA Flight 175 crash into the second tower. I sat straight up on the couch. I knew that we were at war.

My little house on Bayou Derbonne, in southern Natchitoches Parish was under the airways of a half-dozen airports. On a normal morning it was common to go outside and see a dozen contrails crossing the sky. Between commentaries, I'd step outside and look at the sky. Nothing. It had been years since I had seen the sky totally devoid of air traffic.

Sometime that morning, I got a call from my sister. My parents were stranded in Las Vegas. She was distraught, until I reminded her that Vegas has hotels and restaurants and if you're going to be stranded anywhere, Vegas isn't a bad choice. They got home a week later.

In the interim, I've changed jobs twice, moved twice, and gotten married. My life is a lot better than the folks who were caught in those towers that fateful morning.

I remember. I'm grateful.

It's been eight years.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Hot Water

Milady likes hot water when she showers and here lately the water heater has been tripping a breaker infrequently. It's an electric model as we live in an all-electric house. Tonight was the third night in as many weeks that the breaker was tripped.

Milady loves her hot water. PawPaw is fond of hot water showers also. I looked online and it looks like I can hie myself down to Lowes or Homey Depot and pick up a water heater for about $400.00.

I detest Home Depot, so that's not really an issue. I'll call around tomorrow and see if I can find a better price. On Saturday, I'll replace the water heater.


At least it didn't wait until the opening morning of deer season before it went out.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Remember when?

David sent me some Chevy posters and I have to admit, they bring back memories.

Yeah, I remember carbs. The Holley 4-barrel was a big aftermarket item, along with Crane cams.

Yeah, I remember her.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Before and Now

Back about the turn of the century, Junior and I started a little e-zine called The Frugal Outdoorsman. We took file photos and posted them so that people would know what we look like.

A person emailed me some time ago and I realized that I don't look like that anymore. I'm the default picture taker around here, so I'm often behind the lens.

Here's the before picture.

Here's the now picture.

Damn! Ten years is rough on a fellow, isn't it?

I guess it's about time to change the file photos. Junior! You can steal it from here, or I can email you the photo. Your choice.

Labor Day

Labor Day, a day set aside to commemorate American Labor. I remember Labor Day picnics from my youth. Dad was a union member, a member of the CWA, Communications Workers of America. The union held a big picnic every Labor Day and we'd attend. Lots of folks would attend. There would be barbeque and dirty rice and salads and beans and big thick slices of garlic bread. It was a great party.

Those were the salad days for American unions. Not so much these days. Still, school is out of session today, so I'm off. And, it's a tradition to fire up the barbeque pit on Labor Day, so in a couple of hours I'll light the fire. Milady and I started plans to have a couple of friends over and cook some chickens. Those plans swelled, as they're apt to do, and I figure we'll have about 20 souls to feed this afternoon. I've got a pork butt in the slow cooker and I'll put several chickens and some sausage on the pit. With beans and 'taters and salad it should be quite festive.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sunday Morning Dawg

We've got a fence around our back yard and the dog has free run. He likes to watch traffic along the road by laying on his belly and putting his chin on the ground.

He's in the center of the photo. Here's another, taken from much closer.

He's laying out there now.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Pawn Shop Crawling

My middle sister came in from Mandeville to spend the weekend at Momma's. She wanted to go pawn-shopping, so we went to my favorite shop to look around. There were six of us and the ladies gravitated to the silver. They picked up a few nice pieces of silver plate and one piece of sterling.

I had been in the same pawn shop this morning and was looking around the gun counter. I found a 12 gauge Remington 870 Express, magnum receiver, vent rib shotgun for $150.00 out the door. The counter guy threw in a soft gun case. It needs a good cleaning and oiling, but is in overall excellent condition. I feel like I hit the jackpot.

Tax-Free Weekend

Louisiana is in the midst of something called the Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Sales Tax Holiday, and I have a rifle on order. I ordered it two weeks ago and told the counterguy that I intended to pick it up this weekend.

I called him late last week and he told me that the rifle was backordered but that they expected it this week. I called him yesterday and he said that it wasn't in yet, but that hope springs eternal and he's hoping it's on the truck this morning. I'll check back with him later in the day.

Hunting is huge in Louisiana, a major economic engine:
Hunting is big business in Louisiana, with more than 250,000 estimated hunters spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on the sport. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that more than $200 million in hunting equipment was purchased in Louisiana in 2006. The FBI conducted gun checks on roughly 250,000 firearms purchased in Louisiana in 2008.
I know that I spend a fair chunk of my discretionary income on guns, ammo, hunting licenses. It's my hobby, although when I was younger my main hobby was hunting and now it's evolved more toward shooting. I still like hunting and go to the woods regularly, but nowadays the hunting aspect is more (for me) of a way to connect with my grandkids.

The hunting sports need new blood and there is a perspective that hunting is expensive. While everything costs money, I've always roughly equated hunting with golf. When you factor in the cost of clubs, green fees, cart rental, shoes and related accessories, the cost of the two games are roughly equivalent.

Still, there are ways to get into hunting that are fairly cost-effective. A .22 rifle costs about $100.00, a box of ammo costs about $10.00. If you don't want the rifle, a smallbore shotgun can be had off the used gun rack for $150.00. The basic hunting license costs $15.00. Public land is generally free to use and there is lots of it in Louisiana, but if you chose to use wildlife management areas, the basic ticket is another $15.00. (Don't get me started on requiring a permit to use public land... grrrr!).

You don't need camo. You don't need a 4-wheeler, you don't need lots of things that the stores want to sell you. Take a bargain shotgun, a pocket full of shells, and walk along a convenient creek-bank. Squirrel hunting is still a bargain.

Take a kid hunting this year. You'll have as much fun as he (or she) does.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday Football

This is a "turn around" post. I just got in from school, and in about 45 minutes I've got to turn around and go back. Tonight is Week One of Louisiana High School Football. High schools all over the state have been tuning bands, painting lines, practicing cheers and having pep rallies. In this season, as in all seasons, hope springs eternal.

Our coach has us playing some tough teams in the early weeks, before district play. Hopefully our boys will know that they're playing the big dogs and know that once they get to district-level teams the hard part is behind them.

I've worked at the High School for seven years and haven't seen a football game yet. There's lots to do during the game, and while I catch a few minutes of the action from time to time, I'm generally working during a game. If I want to see the team play, I go to an away game.

Ten weeks of football, then we start the playoff season. Starting tonight.

**UPDATE** It was ugly, it was nasty. Bolton lost to Peabody, 41-0.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Just damn!

Courtesy of SayUncle, we find a thread at the arfcom forums where a guy made a display for his store.

No, it's not a real cartridge. He calls it the 5.7mm Xpress and says it launches a 75 grain Hornady bullet at 7500 fps.

Life intrudes

Life intrudes on blogging.

I've just now come inside and kicked off my boots, checking email before heading back outside to distribute some RoundUp to the weeds. RoundUp is my friend.

However, I checked comments and found one that needed moderation. I like comments on my blog, read them all, consider them carefully. It's okay to disagree with me. It makes me think and reconsider my arguments. Comments are good, and not just the ones that agree with me.

However, there is one comment I'll always delete. Those with racist or profane language. They get clicked into the reject pile never to be heard from again. This is my little corner of the internet and I won't have commenters sully it with hate or profanity. Because I hold the reins, I'll delete any comments that don't comply with basic decency. What words am I talking about? Basically, George Carlin's list. Plus, any words that are racist. You know the one's I'm talking about. If not, comment and we'll see if I delete it. My choice.

Don't give me that Freedom of Speech crap. I've heard it. I won't let you cuss in my living room, and I'll delete inappropriate comments in my blog. Got it?

Still, everyone is free to comment. If you come in here and sully the place, I'll delete it. Fair enough?


Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I don't get to see my youngest grandchild as often as I'd like, because his parents jobs require that they live in flat, humid Florida. My daugher-in-law was born and reared in the Sunshine State and she has her dream job.

So, I go to her blog routinely and get pictures of the young'un. It's linked over on the sidebar too. More pictures await.

Here's a wonderful picture of the least one eating watermelon.

That's my boy!

Tuesday linkage

Lot of folks, with the ammo shortage of the past months (which I think we're coming out of) lament the shortage and think about beginning the craft of making their own ammunition.

They think it's expensive. They're wrong. A good basic reloading setup can be had for little more than $100.00, which you'll recoup when you load your first five boxes of ammo.

I wrote an article about a basic setup and you can find it here.

My buddy Junior, not to be outdone wrote a couple of articles about reloading in a tent, to include casting the bullets. The two articles can be found here, and here. He makes his bullets on a campfire and loads the ammo on a stump. It doesn't get much more low-tech than that, and people have been making ammo like that for over a hundred years.

There's not much to reloading if you pay attention to a few basic rules. It's a craft that's easily learned and most folks can learn by reading a good manual. As a matter of fact, my most basic advise to any new reloader is to buy a manual first and read it cover to cover. Don't buy anything else until you read the manual. After that, getting what you need is easy.

There's a great thread over at The High Road about getting into reloading. The thread is here and gives a lot of information that you might not find anywhere else, with links to suppliers.

If you reload long enough, you'll have several hundred dollars of equipment and supplies on your bench, but that's just for convenience. Good serviceable ammo can be made with very little outlay.