Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hospital Blogging

The last time I was in this hospital, wireless internet wasn't available. I learned yesterday that it is now installed and running. From what I'm seeing, it's running pretty good, with a seamless log-in and easy access. I'm blogging from the cafeteria right now which amazes me. We truly live in the future.

Good Job, Rapides Regional.

In other news, it looks like Milady will be moved from ICU to a room on a ward later today. I'm extremely happy about her progress and would like to thank everyone who has offered prayers and support. I couldn't have done it without you.

I still hate hospitals and committed a faux pas yesterday when, in conversation, I said Funeral Home rather than Hospital. I equate the two in my mind.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Trying to get a picture of the dog, he was fixated on the carport door. I whistled and he turned and gave me one of those looks.

I'd love to know what goes on in that mutt's head.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

China Nervous

Well, lookee here. China has blocked the search term "Egypt" from it's look-alike Twitter service.

It seems that the Communist Party doesn't want people knowing about successful popular revolutions that are happening in other parts of the world. We can't have freedom spreading, can we? What might happen if popular uprisings started toppling the long-held power structure?

In other news closer to home, we see that our Gummint is considering an Internet Kill Switch. Some say that it's necessary to ensure the security of vital cyberspace interests of the United States. Others say that it's an Internet Kill Switch.

They told me that if I voted for John McCain, we'd have the government.... oh, hell, this is too easy.

Buying guns online

In guns, as in all things in this economy, it helps to shop around. Get the best price, the greatest value. I was reading one of the forums and they were discussing heavy barreled, .308 rifles. The lure of the heavy barreled rifle is easy to understand. They're normally accurate, heavy, easier to shoot with precision. A heavy barrel is less prone to heating and less prone to wobble. I get it, and I've bought a couple of heavy barreled rifles, both extremely accurate pieces.

So, we're talking about buying guns, and particularly, buying guns online. No, Virginia, you can't have a gun delivered to your house by the friendly UPS guy as a general rule. (With one exception. You can buy a gun from the Government and have it delivered to your house.) But, for a purely retail transaction, you can order a gun online, then do some paperwork, and the online retailer will have the gun delivered to a local gun shop, where for a modest fee, normally about $20.00, the local shop takes care of the paperwork and the background check and you can pick up your new toy.

If you're buying a gun online, it helps to first talk to your local gun shop and make sure that he'll accept the gun you want to order, and that he's willing to do the transfer. Some shops are willing to do this, some aren't. If your local guy is willing to do the transfer, he'll walk you through the process.

Now that we've gone round the world, getting to the point, I was reading a thread about two rifles specifically. The guy was wondering which rifle was best for his particular needs. He wanted a .308, heavy barreled rifle, and was researching two options. The Remington 700 Tactical and the Savage 10FP. I did a quick online search and found that Bud's Gun Shop stocks both of them. The Remington 700 is listed at $575.00 and the Savage is listed at $625.00. Both of these rifles are heavy barreled, synthetic stocked, pillar bedded rifles. If you order these rifles online, you'll pay shipping and a fee for the transfer and you can pick them up at your local guns shop.

I've never bought a gun online. I've got a great relationship with my gun shops and they generally are willing to work with me on price, which does two things. I'm buying their inventory and they're getting the sale price, which helps them stay in business. I have printed out the pages from a really great price on the internet and taken it to my gun shop, and asked them how close they could get to the price. Normally, the total out-the-door difference is just a few dollars. (If I can get great prices online, so can they).

I prefer to support my local gun shop, and when buying a gun online you need their help anyway. Get to know the folks at the counter and make the transaction less of a purely financial transaction and more of a personal one. You're sure to come out better in the long run.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Arab Street

If you're not watching what's going on in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and to some extent, Jordan, then you're missing the big news stories of the day.

The United States should always be ready to speak out for freedom, for democracy and for human rights. I'm not sure that we've been doing what we should do to instill democracy in those areas, but it looks like they've reached a boiling point.

The choice may boil down to a liberal democracy or another Islamist state. It'll be interesting to watch.

Back and Forth

I've been back and forth to the hospital a dozen times in the past three days. Milady is still in intensive care and they'll only let me see her three times a day, at 10:00 a.m., at 4:00 p.m., and at 8:30 p.m. Of course, I'm there every time they open the doors.

They removed one of the chest tubes today and she is feeling a little better. We're making progress slowly, surely, and hopefully she won't be in ICU much longer. We had an old nurse friend come in today and she made me feel a lot better about the progress.

The dog and I are eating a bologna sandwich. I'm about to change shirts and head back to the hospital.

I swear, that dog loves baloney as much as I do. He's eating as much of it as I am, too.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Breathing is Good

Milady is doing better today, although I've been hanging around the hospital for a couple of days and you all know how I feel about hospitals. She's in ICU, but they've removed the ventilator, her color looks better and she can talk. I'll be back there in a couple of hours for visiting time.

Blogging should return to what passes as normal, in a couple of days. Thanks for the prayers and well-wishes.

Lungs, Breathing

Tuesday afternoon, just as I had finished the prior post on emus, my lady called and said that she had been feeling some pain in her left chest and had the Doctor (she works for a very respected surgeon) listen to her chest. He sent her for an X-Ray and she was coming home to pack a bag, as she would be admitted to the hospital with a 20% collapse of her left lung.

Milady has a history of problems with her left lung. It collapses from time to time and she's familiar with the symptoms. She was admitted on Tuesday night and they took her to surgery on Wednesday morning. She was in surgery for over four hours. She was in recovery for about 10 hours. I talked with the doctor (her boss) several times during the day and it was a very complicated surgery with complications and they had several issues to work through.

One compassionate nurse finally told me at about 9:30 last night that I couldn't do anything for her, that I couldn't see her, and that I really should go home and get some sleep. They'd call if there was any change. So I came home.

The nurse called at 6:00 this morning. She's in ICU and had a pretty good night, considering. I can see her at 10:00 a.m., so I'll be at the hospital at 10:00.

The dog is very concerned.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Antelopes and Emus

I was reading over at a gun forum and saw where some folks from Safari International and a local native tribe have released a bunch of antelope on the reservation, trying to re-establish a breeding herd. I wish them luck. They didn't get permission from the Gummint, and that's a good thing. If you've got to ask permission, the answer is proba-bly NO.

That reminds me when some folks tried to establish breeding populations of Emu in Louisiana.

Back in the late '80s or early '90s a bunch of folks thought that there was an economic benefit to raising emu. Emu eggs were going for hundreds of dollars apiece, and emu leather was in strong demand for custom boots and belts. Emu meat was supposed to be high in protein, low in all the bad stuff, and some farmers invested quite heavily in emu. Unfortunately, the bottom dropped out of the market and what was once a high-dollar bird suddenly wasn't worth the feed he was getting every morning.

The good farmers ate their losses. Those who couldn't stomach (pun intended) the butchering tasks took another route. A pickup truck and a cattle trailer would drive slowly down a logging road on a moonless night. The brake lights would come on, you'd hear a metal gate open then slam shut, and somebody would have just gone out of the emu business.

It caused quite a stir in all the deer camps. I have to admit that the sight of an emu under your deer feeder is a bit disconcerting. The coyotes wouldn't mess with them, because a couple of emus can put a hurting on a small coyote pack. The hunters shot some, but I believe that the fire ants had a bigger impact than anything. Emus are ground-nesters and they lay their eggs on the ground. Fire ants will eat eggs on the ground and they can get a lot of help quickly.

The Emus just weren't suited to life in the pine woods of north central Louisiana and they died out pretty quickly.

I hope that those antelope fare a lot better.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Off My Palm

Last summer I was having trouble getting a particular rifle to shoot, so I went to see Junior, who coached me on my benchrest technique. Junior shot some mighty small groups with my rifles, but they weren't hitting to point of aim. One rifle in particular, I had sighted fairly closely, but when Junior shot it, it was hitting a good 4" to the left of where it should have been shooting.

I've pondered that mightily. When I shoot from the bench, I get some really nice groups, but when I shoot from a position, the shots tend to fall somewhere else.

Follow along with me for a minute. When I'm shooting from a bench, the rifle is resting, generally, on a sandbag of some type. It might be filled with sand, or walnut media, but it's a bag. When I'm shooting from my hunting stand, that rifle is recoiling from my hand and the recoil pulse reacts differently with the rifle. Maybe not much differently, but enough that it makes a difference on where the bullet falls on the paper.

Our mighty warriors in the sandbox, those guys who do long range gunnery with shoulder weapons, generally shoot from a bipod. Our Police marksmen shoot from a bipod when they can. That bipod is always attached to the same point on the forearm and the recoil pulse should be very consistent. Those guys are magnificently accurate. They've got good equipment and wonderful training. And, they strive to make one shot exactly like the last.

My rifles are hunting rifles. I don't own anything that might be considered a benchrest gun. However, I can observe and learn from the target shooters and they've made some real breakthroughs over the years. They also try to make one shot exactly like the last.

This past Saturday when I was at the range taking the Remington 700 for a test drive, I also dragged along my Savage 110 in .30-06. It's my go-to hunting rifle and when I'm in the deer stand, likely as not that's the rifle that will be with me.

I put it on the sandbags and cranked off two shots, then looked through the spotting scope. The bullets hit high about three inches, and off to the left. So, I pondered for a minute, adjusted the scope down one inch and gave it two more shots. Those two fell about an inch below the first pair. So, I adjusted the scope again, down one inch and sent two more to the target. They fell about an inch below the second pair. Three pairs of bullets, about an inch apart, four inches to the left of where they should be.

The rangemaster called for a cold line, so I stepped away from the rifle and pondered what I was seeing through the scope. Then it stuck me. "You idiot! When you last sighted that rifle, you sighted it two inches high, but it was fired off your palm."

So, when the rangemaster called the line hot, I got back on the bench, but instead of resting the rifle on the bags, I put my palm on the bag, gently cradled the forearm like the Army taught me, and sent three toward the target dot. All three hit the target dot, about an inch below the center dot.

That little three shot group measures just 0.685. It's a little low, but I was piddling with the scope. It's a little to the right, but that's easily fixed too.

It's time to get away from the bench and start shooting like I shoot in the field. I've only got eight more months till the hunting season.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pet Loads

Several years ago, Ken Waters wrote a book entitled Pet Loads. If you're a handloader, you've stumbled on your own pet loads. In the .308, I was developing loads for my son's rifle and we stumbled across a load that works in every .308 we've tried it in. It's simply good brass, properly prepped, a Winchester large rifle primer, 43.0 grains of Reloder 15, and a 168 grain Matchking bullet.

Yesterday I was able to take my new-to-me Remington 700 to the range and take it on a little test drive. I loaded 40 of those good loads and got settled in on the bench. This is a hunting rifle and for most of the shots that matter, it'll be held in my hands. I've learned that rifles recoil differently when fired from different positions, and when I'm shooting a hunting rifle, I want it to recoil from my palm. So, I use a sandbag under my hand and hold the rifle with my palm.

I set up a target at the 25 yard line and started getting familiar with the rifle. It's a standard Remington 700 with a Leupold VX1 3X9X40 scope. I've never owned a Leupold scope and when the first shot didn't immediately hit the middle of the bullseye, I had to adjust the scope. Wonder of Wonders, this VX1 doesn't have click adjustments. The scope adjustment dial turns smoothly. There is tension on it, but there are no clicks, as is present on almost every other scope made today. It looks like Leupold cheaps-out on the low end scopes.

Still, I managed to get the rifle close to point of aim at 25 yards and then went out and posted a 100 yard target.

First shot fell to the right of the target, so I adjusted again, feeling my way along. Second shot fell to the left of the target, so I split the difference and sent a third shot downrange.

Third shot struck that 3" target dot. So, I loaded three into the magazine and sent them downrange as well. You can click on the picture for a larger image, but the 4th, 5th, 6th shot made a string up the target dot. Was that the barrel heating, or the shooter flinching? We'll never know.

This rifle is a shooter. I think I'll go ahead and float the barrel. If I'm struck with a yearning for comfort, I may put a recoil pad on it.

Blues Beans

Yesterday I got a hankering for some white beans so I started looking in the freezer and found that ham bone from New Year's. I went to the store and got a couple of pounds of dry large lima's and put them on to soak. Last night before bed, I added some spices and chopped the ham off that ham bone. Then I turned on the slow cooker and went to bed.

We've got a recipe that Junior calls Blues Beans, and they're looking mighty fine.

I've got a dozen kids and grandkids coming over for lunch after church. All I need do now is make a cornbread. I might make two pones. There's lots of folks coming over in another hour.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Milady is cooking and the dog is near the stove.

Good choice, pup! There might be food in the kitchen.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday afternoon

It's Friday and almost happy hour. I've been busy the last couple of days and I'm ready for a break. I didn't take this job to work hard at it.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the relationship between deputies and Lieutenants is about the same as the relationship between dogs and ticks.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Copper Solvent

After work today I was browsing through the sporting good store, looking for sling swivels. I found some and happened to look down at the cleaning supplies. I'm always buying the odd bag of patches, but I noticed something called Hoppe's Benchrest #9 Copper Solvent. I've been a Hoppe's user for years, relying on their old standby #9 Solvent, so I thought I'd give the copper solvent a try.

I cleaned that Remington 700 on Monday, so I dragged it back out, soaked a patch in copper solvent and ran it through the bore, then played with the dog a few minutes to let it soak. I put a clean patch on the jag and pushed it through, and it came out green. Lordy!

So, I got out the bore brush, soaked the bore again and gave it a good brushing. Then soaked it again and started running patches. Thirty minutes later they were coming out clean. So, I soaked another patch in copper solvent, ran it through the bore, then put the rifle away. I'll do it all again tomorrow and hope that bore is clean.

I wonder how many of my other rifles could use a good scrubbing?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One more time

We're going to go over this one more time. All you clueless journalists out there, pay attention.

This is a 30-round clip.

It's useless without a magazine. Clips load magazines. Magazines feed firearms.

Hat tip, Say Uncle.

Loughner and the 4473

I'm seeing a bunch of news articles that claim that Jared Loughner legally bought the Glock that he used to shoot those folks in Tuscon. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We know now that Loughner is the face of evil. He lied on his 4473 and committed a felony while buying that pistol.

We know that Jared Loughner was a habitual user of illegal drugs, mostly marijuana. Anyone who has ever filled out a Form 4473 to buy a gun knows about question 11e, which reads: Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?

Jared Loughner, as an habitual marijuana user, was required to check that block, Yes, which would have immediately stopped the sale of the firearm. He didn't. He lied, which is a felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in the Federal Pen. His purchase of the firearm was not legal, was in fact a felony, and is being misreported in the news.

So, the system worked like it was supposed to work. Loughner committed a felony when the bought the gun, then compounded that felony by using it to commit a crime.

I've prayed for the victims of his senseless rampage. I deplore his actions and his motivations. Yet, I can't blame the system for the rampage. Jared Loughner is a stone killer, and there's nothing we can do about that except make sure that he never sees the light of day for the rest of his miserable life.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Remington 700 ADL

Back in October, I happened into my favorite pawn shop and was talking with the counter guy. I happened to spot what looked like a short-action Remington in the racks and asked to look at it. It was a Remington 700 ADL, the old plain-jane version of a rifle that Remington has produced for decades. There have been over 5 million Model 700s produced over the years. Happily, it's in .308 Winchester. That's a caliber I came late to like, but the more I shoot a good .308 the better I like it. I guess I'm just a .30 caliber kind of guy.

This one was the classic version. Blind magazine, sporter barrel, it even had a front iron sight. A Leupold VX1 scope was mounted and someone had removed the rear iron sight, but no matter. The bluing was rich, the stock looked nearly unblemished. The price was very, very right. I put it on layaway.

Early in January I got it out of layaway and brought it home. Life was busy, so I put it in the gun locker and I didn't think about it much. One day last week I took it out and rand the barrel codes through the sites that track such things and found that this particular example had been manufactured in August 1983.

I owned a Remington 700 in the early '90s and had to sell it in the later '90s. I always liked that rifle and shot it very well.

I took the stock off yesterday and found very little that needed attention. All the internals were clean, so I put a light coat of oil on them and re-installed the stock. I gave the barrel a good cleaning. I was tempted to float the barrel while I had the stock off, but I decided against it. The barrel is semi-floated. I can slide a dollar bill along the barrel channel under the barrel, but a cleaning patch won't fit. An inspection of the inletting in the stock reveals that no one tried to bed the rifle, and I may be the first person to take the stock off since it was installed at Ilion, NY in 1983.

This rifle doesn't have a recoil pad. It's got a Remington 4-screw buttplate. I normally like recoil pads on my rifles, but this stock fits me. If I install a pad, I'll have to take it to the gunsmith and have the stock cut down. I think I'll shoot it first, see how accurate it might be, then decide.

After a decade of matte-black rifles, I had forgotten how pretty a good bluing job could be.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

We're making Chicken Pot Pie for supper. This isn't a hard recipe, and it's decidedly better than those frozen pot pies that are on sale in the grocery rack.
Chicken Pot Pie

One chicken. I use a rotisserie chicken from the store, but you can buy a fresh fryer and boil it yourself. Or, if you're a country boy, catch one from the yard.
2 lbs mixed veggies. The big bag.
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 packages of pie crust
Chicken bullion or broth.
Salt, pepper to taste.


If you're using a fresh chicken, boil it until tender. Peel meat from bone, set aside. Boil mixed veggies in chicken bullion or broth. Line a casserole dish with pie crust and bake in a 350 oven until the crust is toasted. Drain veggies, add chicken meat and cream of chicken soup. Salt and pepper to taste. Add to toasted casserole crust. Put a top crust on the pie and bake until the filling is bubbly and the top crust is brown.

Here's a picture before the top crust.

Here's a picture after it comes from the oven.

It's quick, easy, and an old-style recipe. This is comfort food.


Tam has a great idea:
I have a better idea: Let's make it illegal for important federal officials to come within a thousand feet of decent people. Failing that, maybe we can make them wear some kind of distinctive garment and carry a bell so we know where they are and can stay away.

I love reading her blog.


I love comments on my blog, and I've always enabled comments as widely as possible so that this site can be an open discussion. However, leaving the back door open lets all manner of things come in.

I don't as a general rule delete comments. If a comment is well thought out, polite, and relevant I leave it alone. As a writer, I long ago got over having my feelings hurt over criticism of my work. Any good writer revels in criticism. It means that someone is reading your work and thinking about it.

However, there certain people in the internet world who try to make money leaving links in comments, or making comments totally off-base in an attempt to generate traffic to their websites. These comments are popularly called Spam, and I won't tolerate spam on this little blog. I'll delete them in a heartbeat with no more feeling than if I'd stepped on a roach.

The nature of this blog (which has been continuously published since April 2005) is that folks can search it on Google, and lots of folks find blog postings that I made years ago. One of my most popularly searched blog posts was first posted in March, 2006 and it still generates traffic through the search engines. If you happen to comment on that old post, I probably won't see the comment. It's buried in archives, and I generally don't review my archives very often.

This blog is called PawPaw's House, and in the internet, as in real life, I enjoy entertaining. This little scribbling is open to the public, but the general rules of civility apply. If you feel the need to comment on an ancient posting, don't get your feelings hurt if I don't respond. If you come in here starting some crap, don't be surprised if I eject you. If you have some legitimate question, email me, I'll probably answer you.

But no, I don't know where you can find any surplus 4895 powder. It's gone. However, if I find a source, I'll let you know, just as soon as I order a couple of jugs.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Last Day

Today is the last day of the regular gun season for deer in Area 2, the deer hunting area that dominates north-central Louisiana. I didn't hunt today as the entire area is under a steady drizzling rain. I took two deer this year and there's meat in the freezer and I had a heck of a good time, but it's over.

Just a few minutes ago, I took my rifle out of it's spot in the washroom, wiped it down, took the ammo out of the buttstock ammo holder and put the rifle away in the locker. Sometime later this afternoon I'll take my hunting bag from the shelf in the garage and take batteries out of the camera and GPS. I've already stored the game camera.

Since October I've probably fired fifteen rounds of rifle ammo and maybe 50 rounds of handgun ammo. I've been hunting. Now that the season is over it's time to begin the process again, shooting at the range on Saturday, planning and plotting and getting ready for next year. One day soon I'll go out to the lease, pick up the feeders and start figuring a route into a great white-oak flat I found this year. I want to put a stand up near that white-oak flat so my sons and grandkids can hunt with me. It should make a magnificent .30-30 stand. I want that stand up before the heat of the summer, so I've got some work to do in the next several months.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Normally, the dog doesn't like squeek toys, but Milady found one that he'll play with. It's a little monkey, and he'll have either it or his ball nearby. He seems to tolerate it all right, but I'm not sure what his motivation might be. Not that it's ever wise to assign motivation to a dog. Dogs, like monkeys, are fairly simple creatures.

Here, Milady was playing with the dog, exciting him by holding the monkey out of his reach. She dropped it and he headed for it, to reclaim it. The dog doesn't possess much, but he's possessive of his stuff. His food dish, his ball, and his monkey. He knows where all three are, all the time. There's probably a lesson there for all of us.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday Sloth

I didn't do much today. After Uncle Dennis' funeral we went to the auction. In a weird convergence of coincidence, neither Milady nor I saw anything at the auction that needed to come home with us, so we bought nothing today.

Generally, after the auction a bunch of us go out to eat, so we did that. Then home, where we've become lethargic and slothful. Even the dog is resting, on the living room floor with his ball.

He'll probably soon kick the ball under the couch, then freak out until I get on my knees and retrieve it for him. When the ball is where he can't get it, he gets all unwrapped.

I intend to load some .308 ammo tomorrow. Hunting season is over as far as I'm concerned and it's time to start getting ready for next year. There's lots to do before the last weekend in October and times a-wasting. I want to do a lot more position work this year than I did last year. I need to get away from the bench and start working on basic marksmanship. The first part of that is to load some ammo. I happen to have nearly 400 blem bullets in .30 caliber, weighed, sorted and ready to load. I need ammo for the summer months.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Walking through the school today and noticed something fly down the hall on the second floor. Hmmm.

So, I walk down that hall and see a common brown bat flying a racetrack course in the hall. He finds the cross-hall, flies down the breezway to the back hall and into a classroom. Hilarity ensues.

So, I call for a janitor and in a few minutes we've got the little bugger in a cardboard box. We take him outside and release him.

In another hour, I'm back on the second floor and hear screaming. I move toward the screaming and another bat is on the loose. We get him hemmed up in an empty classroom and the janitor finds a net. Thirty minutes later, he's been captured also. It seems that we have bats in the auditorium and the school is going to contract with an exterminator to relocate them.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Old-Timers

Back when I was starting to play with rifles and I'd want to sight in a rifle, the old-timers would tell me that I didn't need to go to 100 yards. Just get a really good sight-in at 25 yards and that would suffice for any reasonable range out to the limits of normal hunting.

I was reading a forum today and someone asked that same question; if I sight in at 25 yards, how close will I be at 100?

That's kind of generic, because we don't know how well the guy can shoot, but I started thinking about those old-timers, so I ran some of my hunting loads through my ballistic computer and found something interesting.

My standard .30-06 load, the one that I used for hunting this year, features a Nosler Ballistic tip bullet at about 2900 fps. With a 25 yard zero, I'd be up nearly three inches at 200 yards and down nearly four inches at 300 yards. That's certainly good enough to put a bullet in a game animal's rib cage.

With a standard .30-30 load (150 grain bullet) and a good 25 yard zero, you'd be up a little over an inch at 100 yards, down a little over 2 inches at 150 yards, and that's just about what you'd expect from that caliber.

Those old-timers knew what they were talking about.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Circle of Life

This afternoon we lost my father's brother. Dennis Hymes Dezendorf was my dad's older brother and he passed away this afternoon. I was named for him. He loved motorcycles more than anyone I knew and he and my Aunt spent many a vacation riding across this great land on his Honda Goldwing. He'll be missed by his children, grandchildren and all the nieces and nephews he left behind.

A couple of hours later and in another wing of the very same hospital that watched over Uncle Dennis, my newest grandson was welcomed into the world. Lucas Matthew Dezendorf came into the world today at 5:45 p.m. He weighed 5 lbs, 14 oz and is a healthy, crying baby with a head full of hair.

So, we mourn on the one hand and celebrate on the other. That's what life is all about.

**UYPDATE Thursday** I got a call from my sister this morning that Uncle Dennis had not passed away yesterday. He's still in ICU, and there's not much hope, but as they said about Mark Twain; reports of his demise are premature. Evidently, in this piddling blog journalism, as in all jounalism, it pays to check your sources. I'm awfully embarrassed about this.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Playing with my boy!

Just about the time I got comfortable, in walked my youngest grandson. We've made the dog chase a ball, we've explored the coins in my pocket and looked at the plastic fruit on the kitchen table.

He thinks plastic fruit is an awful idea and right now he's got Grandma peeling a real orange for a snack.

I'll be leaving for the game in about 15 minutes.

Monday Afternoon

I got to school this morning and learned that we've got a soccer game scheduled for this evening. The coaching staff went into fits, because it seems that our soccer guy scheduled this game on the same night as the BCS Championship game. Evidently, they want to watch Auburn beat up on Oregon, although I'm not sure I'll bother. Oregon is a northwest team and Auburn is an SEC team, and if it ain't SEC, then it really isn't college football.

If Auburn loses tonight, they should just go ahead and drop out of SEC football.

I'll be leaving her in an hour to go watch a soccer game that I don't want to watch. It'll be a joy, I'm sure.

On a more traditional note, I was cleaning off my bench yesterday and found a box of .308 caliber, 165 grain Sierra Gamekings. I had forgotten I had those. For those who might not be familiar with Gameking bullets, they're standard cup-and-core bullets, but they're made by the same folks who make Matchking bullets. In my experience, Gameking bullets are very accurate. They certainly let me shoot better than I might otherwise. They're not terribly expensive and they come in 100 bullet boxes, unlike Nosler, who'll only sell you 50 at a time.

Sometime later this week, I'll load some in .308 Winchester.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Wintry mix

The weather weenies are calling for a wintry mix of sleet and ice tonight across Central Louisiana.

Lovely, just lovely. We're not equipped for ice and if it comes, tomorrow will quickly become a disaster.

Unlike most of my readers, this part of the country is ill-equipped for winter weather that includes frozen water. We've got no salt trucks and darned little capacity to spread sand on bridges and overpasses. Although the highway guys try, we're just not equipped for this sort of thing. Luckily, when it does occur, it melts quickly. Everything comes to a grinding halt for four or five hours, then it melts and we go about our business, telling horror stories about a little ice on the bridges.

Would anyone like to take bets that schools will be closed tomorrow? You can bet that I'll be listening to the radio before I pull my boots on in the morning.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Today I'm on the hook for pulled pork at church. This is our usual Second Sunday lunch at the church, and the ladies decided that we want pulled pork. So, last night I put two boston butts in the oven, rubbed it with seasonings, and marinated in beer.

The original recipe is here, but I didn't use the slow-cooker. No, I put both butts in a 225 oven while we slept. They went in the oven at 9:00 p.m. last night and I pulled them out just a few minutes ago. I'll let them cool while I drink my coffee and pull them apart before we leave for church.

Of course, the dog has been smelling roasting pork all night. It's enough to make your mouth water.

When I start pulling the meat, he'll be near my feet demanding his share. There's plenty for a dog to have a portion before we leave for church.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Daily Dawg

My sister has been agitating for a daily posting of the dog's activities.

So, I asked the dog what he thought of the idea.

Plainly, he's as horrified at the idea as I am.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Still Updating

I added some links, and increased the font size on the post body. That's a little better, and I managed to increase the size without screwing up anything.

I'll continue to add links as I think about them. I realize I've neglected to link, but I'll take care of that before long.

Poles Shifting

It seems that the pole that we consider magnetic north is shifting. As it turns out and the linked article explains, this is natural and normal, it's just moving faster than usual. If it keeps up this rate of change, the magnetic north pole will be under Siberia in fifty years.

However, that means that your compass doesn't point north, not that it ever did. If you look at a decent map, on the bottom will be something called a declination diagram that tells you how far off of true north your compass will point.

Declination diagrams were something I spent a lot of time studying as a youth, leading platoons through thick undergrowth. We had to know where we were, and if we didn't pay attention to the little variances between grid north and magnetic north, we'd soon be lost. There is a reason that they normally give young lieutenants a senior Sergeant to go along with that map and compass, and being lost is the reason.

Nowadays, with GPS technology it's increasingly harder to get lost, but we manage. Still, it's interesting that the poles are moving, and if you're doing old-style land navigation, it would help to have a current declination. In the United States, it's shifting west.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Updated - For Dianne.

As you can all see, I've updated the look at PawPaw's House. Changed the wallpaper, so to speak. I'm still trying to figure out how to make it do what I want it to do, but we're making progress.

One feature that my sisters wanted was an easy way to access my recipes and cooking. I've got that now. If you look down on the right sidebar, you'll see a rolling sphere that has my post labels. Hold your cursor over it, and it will roll. As a particular label comes up, click on it, and you'll see only those posts with that label. For example, clicking on Cooking or Food will get you those posts.

As always, PawPaw tries to make everything easier for the folks he loves.


I was reading today that Steny Hoyer, a Democrat congressman from Maryland, thinks that Tea Partiers come from unhappy families. Yeah, really.
There are a whole lot of people in the Tea Party that I see in these polls who don’t want any compromise. My presumption is they have unhappy families. All of you have been in families: single-parent, two-parents, whatever. Multiple parent and a stepfather. The fact is life is about trying to reach accommodation with one another so we can move forward. That is certainly what democracy is about. So if we are going to move forward compromise is necessary
Well, Steny, it's hard to compromise with someone who is dead wrong.

The American people have been watching, and what you're doing is totally out of sync with Constitutional practices, wastes our tax money, is becoming almost confiscatory in nature, and doesn't reflect the wishes of most of America. Additionally, we're seeing the rise of a political elite, which in-and-of itself is contrary to American values. The House of Representatives belongs to the people, Mr. Hoyer, who write your paycheck.

I understand that compromise is necessary in a Republic, and we've been compromising. All it's brought us is inflation, an out of control government, an increase in the federal bureaucracy and horrifying regulation. Additionally we've seen the welfare class explode, our tax dollars squandered, and our core political beliefs mocked. That's not moving forward, Mr Hoyer, that's moving backwards.

Compromise, indeed, Mr. Hoyer. Maybe you should try it sometime? It certainly doesn't help when you insult us. That sounds like the dim-witted, sour-grapes, shortsighted example we've come to expect from Congress. And you wonder why we're in no mood to compromise? You're lucky we haven't started investing in tar and feathers.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Shooting with the boys

I almost forgot! My sons and I did a little shooting last week. Second son Matt is trying to decide on a handgun, so third son Joey set up a range at his country backyard and we took brought out our handguns so that Matt could try a variety and make in informed decision. Between my own collection, elder son Barrett's collection and youngest son Joey's collection we managed to amass a fairly good selection of handguns.

Left to right, top to bottom, we start with a SW Mod 28 4 inch, SW Mod 28 6 inch, Ruger Super Blackhawk, 7.5 inch, SW Mod 66 4 inch, Kimber .45 ACP, Ruger Security Six 2.75 inch, SW Mod 638 2 inch, Taurus Tracker 4 inch, Springfield GI .45 ACP, Ruger LCP, Ruger Mark II, 4 inch, and a SW M&P .45 ACP. So, a fairly good selection in .22 LR, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .45 ACP.

We began firing, talking, laughing and joking, when a neighbor came over to see about all the commotion. He's not a handgun kind of guy, but he wanted to try them, so we let him shoot as well. We started him on the .22, but he soon moved to the .38s then wanted to see what a .357 was about. Then he tried a .45. He manned up and shot everything we put in his hands. This is a good picture of the newby in full recoil with my Ruger .44 Magnum.

Afterwards, we all repaired to the kitchen. Joey had put some sausage on the pit and we ate sausage-dogs before we retired to our own homes.

Shooting with sons is great stuff. Bringing a new handgun shooter into the fold is just as satisfying.

Another School Shooting

As soon as I clicked the link to publish the prior post, I noticed a report on a school shooting today and of course I clicked the link.

This one in Omaha, a young man entered the school and shot the principal and assistant principal. One is in stable condition, the other in critical condition. The young man was found sometime later, about a mile from the school, dead from a self-inflicted wound.

When I say my prayers tonight, I'll say a prayer for all concerned. For the wounded principal and assistant principal, for the young man who thought that this was necessary, and for his family, who is in bereavement and asking questions that someone should never have to ask.

Sadly, this incident fits the profile.

Wednesday afternoon

It was another "one of them days" at the schoolhouse. However, I did get home at a reasonable hour and I've taken time to pay bills that haven't been paid this month.

In the meantime, I'm watching these bird deaths that are being reported. It seems that in Arkansas and in southern Louisiana, dead birds are falling from the sky. Sometimes in the hundreds. Red-wing blackbirds seem to be affected, and now I see that bird deaths are being reported in Sweden, and in Illinois.

Ain't that strange? I'm waiting for the conspiracy theorists to get cranked up. Either them, or the fundamental religious types. I'm sure that the wrath of God has descended on the avian populations.

We live in interesting times.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Back to Work Monday

First day back to work after the holidays and I managed to stay busy. As soon as I got home my younger son showed up for supper, so I was playing with the least grandkid until just a few minutes ago.

Tomorrow we've got a sporting event. A soccer match if my calendar is correct.

I'll get back to this blogging thing in another day or two . Y'all stay tuned.

In the meantime, I've found another gun forum that seems to interest me. It's probably two days older than dirt, but for me it's brand new. The Firing Line. If you don't have it bookmarked, go give it a look.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Sunday Morning Dawg

From time to time, the dog gets a bath and recently Milady decided that he should start the New Year clean and fresh smelling.

However, the dog objects and often has to be rooted out from under furniture when it's bath time. It's worse than bathing grandkids.

However, he tolerates it well enough when he's in the bath, although he looks as if he's in extreme distress.

Isn't that pathetic? He does much better once he's out of the tub and allowed to rip around the house. With that much fur, it takes him an hour or so to dry.

He's clean-smelling now and ready for a new year.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Bonus New Year's Dawg

We've got family coming over in a few hours for the traditional Black-eyed peas, cabbage, ham, and cornbread lunch. It's busy in the kitchen, and when it's busy in the kitchen, the dog likes to keep an eye on the activities while still remaining safe from trampling feet. The best spot to keep an eye on us is from under the buffet.

Just in case any food might become available. Happy New Years, everyone!