Thursday, December 31, 2015

It's Been Fun

No, I"m not going anywhere, but 2015 is going away today.  The last day of the year, a time to pause and reflect on the year departed.  It's been fun.

No, really, it has!  Lots going on in PawPaw's family and life this year.  Most of it joyous.  All considered, it's really been a good year.

The big news this year?  PawPaw and Milady took up Cowboy Fast Draw shooting.  In my opinion, the best shooting sport currently practiced anywhere in the country.  It's fast, it's friendly, it's fun.  Milady and I are already making plans for the shooting events we'll attend this year, and it looks like we'll make at least two big ones.

The children and grandchildren are safe, happy, sheltered and fed.  That ain't bad in the overall scheme of things.  There is a lot of joy in seeing your offspring happy and productive.  Good times for everyone.

My resolutions this year?  I resolve to make none.  It never does any good anyway.

So, Happy New Year, y'all.  Milady and I will be eating supper at Brother Bill's house this evening.  He wants to try a new recipe, and we're his guinea-pigs.  I suspect that we'll survive.  He's a pretty good cook.

But, if I've hurt anyone's feelings this year, keep this thought in mind.

Gotta Run.  See y'all around.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Baltimore, Murder, Leadership

While drinking my second cup of coffee this morning, I come upon this wonderful news about Baltimore's murder rate.
With the new year looming, Baltimore finishes out 2015 with the highest per capita murder rate in the city’s history. CBS News reports that there have been more murders in Baltimore this year than in New York City, despite New York’s population being more than 13 times higher.
Oh, maybe that's not so good.  More murders than New York City, and the highest per-capita ever?   What ever could have caused that?  And just exactly how many murders have been committed in Baltimore this year?  Well, they've had 300, it seems, and the year isn't over yet.

Then, I remembered that the Democratic Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was the one that told her police force to stand down during the riots earlier this year.  And, the Maryland Governor, Democrat Martin O'Malley enacted dramatic new gun control laws in 2013.  Many consider Maryland's gun control regime to be among the toughest in the nation.

So, what could account for such a high murder rate?  I'm sure that the sociologists and anthropologists might have an idea, but I'd like to propose two simple explanations.  When the police are told to not enforce the law, and the normal citizenry have to jump through hoops to defend themselves, what you get is a city filled with criminals who prey on good people.

And, of course, Democrats running the place.  You have a perfect storm of criminality.  In support of this hypothesis, I give you the following.

Chicago is the mass murder capital of the country.  The mayor is Rahm Emmanuel, Democrat.
East St. Louis, leading the list for 2014.  Democrat Mayor Emeka-Jackson Hicks.
Camden, NJ is second on the list.  Dana Redd, Mayor, is also a Democrat
Gary, IN is next, with Karen Freeman-Wilson as Mayor.  She's a Democrat.

I'm sure that you can see the trend.  When you start finding red states on the list, the first that comes to mind is our own New Orleans, LA, at 9th place, and you guessed it, Mitch Landrieu (D) is the mayor.  Louisiana doesn't come back on the list until #30, where we find our state capitol of Baton Rouge, and yep, once again we find Kip Holden (D) is mayor.

I'm sure that there is a trend here that we all can identify.  I'll leave the thinking folks to draw their own conclusions.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tuesday Blahs

I had to run by the Courthouse today.  Yeah, yeah, I know that the Sheriff's office is there, but I don't normally hang out up there.  I'll go there on business maybe three times a year, and that's enough.  Parking is horrible and people are busy.

Ran some errands and had an hour to drop by and see an old friend that I don't see nearly enough.  We hung out in his shop and visited between jobs.  When I drove up, he was finishing one job, and the other wasn't scheduled for an hour, so we just hung out and caught up.  Good times.

Got home and realized that I hadn't picked up my prescription meds, so had to turn around and go back to the pharmacy.

In short, I have basically just pissed this day away.  Good work, if you can get it.  I got home and found this in my inbox.

Somebody raised that girl right.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Westerns On The Web

Westerns On The Web is an online resource for old western movies, and they do some other stuff  in that genre.  Earlier this year when we were at the Texas State Championship in Fort Worth, TX, they sent a crew out to see about our sport.  They're released a short segment and I'm highlighting it here so that we can find it later.

That was a great shoot, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of their segments.

Mission Accomplished

My mother told me that she wanted a flag hung on the flagpole outside the nursing home, so today, I st about to make that happen.  Found some good, sturdy rope, then went over to the fire station to ask for assistance.  Firemen are nothing if not patriotic and they hang flags.  They also have big ladder trucks.  The crew at the Masonic Street firehouse, Alexandria Fire Department told me they be happy to help, but the aerial truck was doing something right then.  The dispatcher told me that he'd send them right over, so I went to the nursing home to await them.  Inside of an hour, the truck showed up.

Big ol' aerial truck, T-41.  The captain told me that it had a 100 foot boom, but we didn't need nearly 100 feet.  In short order, he had the truck stabilized and the boom extended.

We had a little trouble, because this type flagpole has half of the rope (the down rope) running inside the pole.  I had never seen one like that.  All the other flag poles I've ever seen have both strands of rope running on the outside of the pole.  Not this one.  Leave it to me to have a weird flagpole.  But, in short order the guys figured it out and had the new rope strung through the pulley.

That's a smallish flag, a 3X5, but it was the best I could do locally.  I raised it with honors, and it will do until we can get a 5X8, which is a size better suited to this pole.

Long may it wave.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday Morning Dawg

With the extended celebration this week, PawPaw's internal calendar is all screwed up, and it wasn't until I looked at the calendar that I realized today is Sunday.  PawPaw slept-in this morning, to nearly 6:30 and awoke to find Milady cooking.  We're hosting her side of the family today for lunch and the menu is Taco Soup.   The recipe is under the link. It's a dump soup with lots of cans of beans, corn, all manner of goodness.

She made a double batch because we're expecting a dozen folks.  After it was assembled, she transferred it into two large crock-pots, where it will simmer the rest of the morning.  So, we're hanging out in our slippers, waiting for Milady's siblings to arrive.

The dog, of course, is being layabout.  There's not much going on, so there is no reason for the dog to get busy.

We're hoping that the rain holds off till late this afternoon.  Milady wants to strap up her brothers and do a little wax shooting in the backyard.  The guns are cleaned, the ammo is loaded, and if the weather cooperates we'll set up the range after lunch.  She wants to introduce her family to Fast Draw shooting.  With luck, we'll generate some interest.

PawPaw probably won't strap if we're able to shoot.  I'll be fitting holsters, giving safety briefings, and running the line.  And taking pictures.  Lots of pictures.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Cautionary Christmas Tale

You may have missed in the joy that comes with Christmas celebration and the associated frivolity we ensues, this Christmas tale of a life gone wrong.

It seems that a young man, described as "an aspiring rap artist" was shot dead by an off-duty police officer following an incident at a mall.  You can read the article yourself, but basically, this "aspiring rap artist" took a gun to a mall.  There, by plan or accident, he came upon a group of people he had "been beefing" with and shots were fired.  As our "aspiring rap artist" left the area, he pointed his gun at random people, one of whom turned out to be an off-duty police officer.  The off-duty officer, properly trained and equipped, rendered the "aspiring rap artist" hors de combat by shooting him dead.  This picture is floating around the various media outlets.

That's our "aspiring rap artist".

Of course, the uproar is intense.  But it can't find traction.  What we learn from superficial background is that our "aspiring rap artist" had a lengthy record of run-ins with the police.  Recently, before his death, he ... well ... I"ll et his friends tell it.
“He got a job, got off both ankle bracelets and was turning his life around,” Sadek said. “People don’t understand that level of hip-hop. (Music) was his way of venting his life and frustrations.”
Two ankle bracelets?  Really?  That speaks volumes to the civic-minded dedication of this young man, who had not one, but two different agencies monitoring his activities.  Because Black Lives Matter. You can go read the links for the whole story, but the simple matter is that our "aspring rap artist" pointed a gun at someone who was trained and ready to stop the mayhem.  It was the final act in a life that had gone off the rails.

The cautionary part of this tale is simple.  There are good, honest, hardworking people in our society who have decided that gun free zones (as most malls are) make no sense.  Those folks have decided to be armed every day, every where.  If an "aspiring rap artist" decides to create a ruckus, and when leaving, points a gun at one of those folks, they are prepared to defend themselves,  Pointing a gun at someone is a lethal threat.  It should come as no surprise to the "aspiring rap artist" that if you point your gun at enough people, the simple odds will catch up with you eventually.  That middle-aged fellow standing in the aisle may not be as meek as he appears. He might shoot you dead, then someone will take a photo of you with your pants down around your ass.

In this example, the meek fellow in aisle happened to be a 19-year police veteran.  Our "aspiring rap artist" made a very  bad choice.  This was a good, clean shoot.  The family will get no traction from it, nor any settlements.  This is a simple case of a good guy shooting a bad guy.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Sitting here in my slippers this rainy Christmas morning, I am grateful that I've seen my family this week, I've enjoyed the plentiful food and I've shared cheer with friends.  It's quiet at PawPaw's house, so I turn to the internets to read the newspaper, and I see this joyous headline on the Daily Mail.
'The worst delivery service ever': FedEx admits it has missed THOUSANDS of Christmas deliveries to the outrage of parents across America 
And the Twitter feed on the page below is blowing up, giving FedEx hell for missing those important, last-minute deliveries.To which I say, Get Over It.

We've become addicted to a just-in-time delivery system, the finest in the world.  If FedEx decides to take the day off to enjoy Christmas with their families, that's their prerogative.  I know, they make their living by delivering packages, but if it's really important, maybe ordering it by December 1st makes better sense.  I have very little sympathy for those who fail to plan ahead, during the busiest shopping month of the year.

Next year, plan better.  Make sure that your Christmas essentials are inside your house by December 15th and there won't be a problem.  If millions of people decide at the last minute to order packages, there are only so many trucks in the fleet and only so many drivers to deliver those packages.

I hope that FedEx employees have a rich, blessed Christmas.  I'm expecting a package, but I'm not expecting it today.  FedEx tracking says that it will be delivered tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath, and if it gets here early next week, that will be fine.

PawPaw has picked up the extra tables and put away the folding chairs from the festivities last night.  I intend to revel in my sloth for the rest of the day and enjoy the company of my lady.  Tomorrow is soon enough to worry about the world, and everything I need is right here.

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Mistletoe is a fungal plant that grows in trees.  You can research it yourself, but I was listening to Christmas music and found this line in Mel Torme's The Christmas Song.
Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright,
And that remided me of a time when I was a kid, hunting ducks with my Dad on a little pothole called Catfish Prarie in the Catahoula swamp.  Dad and I were walking out of the swamp after a morning of duck hunting.  I was an adolescent, probably 12 or 13 years old  and was trying to figure out a way to get a little Christmas money in my pocket.  I mentioned that to Dad, and he told me to sell mistletoe.

"Mistletoe?" I asked.

"Yeah, mistletoe." Dad said.  "This thicket is lousy with it." He thumbed a shell into his shotgun and blasted a green clump in the top of a nearby tree.  Mistletoe rained down around us.  "Pick that up." he said.

He told me about mistletoe, a magical little parasitic plant that grows in trees and has the power to let young men steal a kiss from the girls.  Today, that would probably be a sexist philosophy, but in the late '60s it seemed like just the key to get a little money in my pocket.

I blasted a few clumps and before long, had a hunting bag full of mistletoe sprigs.  When I got home, I raided Mom's stash of ribbon, converting blasted mistletoe clumps into a salable item.  I sold them around the neighborhood for 50 cents apiece, and took some to school the week before Christmas break.  I don't remember how much money I made, but I had a lot of fun with it.  Especially in the school-house, before the administration shut me down.

Good times, good times.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get busy.  The family will be here for Christmas Eve and I've got a list of things to accomplish.

Merry Christmas, Y'all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Ruger Story

I've been shooting Rugers since 1981.  In April 1981, I bought my very first service revolver, a Ruger Security Six in .357 magnum.  In the years since, I've bought several Ruger products; revolvers, semi-auto pistols, M77 rifles, rimfire rifles, single action revolvers.  They all worked as advertised.  I've given many of them away to kids and grandkids, but I woud estimate the number of Ruger firearms I've owned to be several dozen.  Certainly more than twenty.

When Milady and I started shooting Cowboy Fast Draw in March, 2015, I bought two revolvers specifically for the game.  Ruger New Vaqueros in .45 Colt.  Milady customized hers with the addition of grips that fit her hand and she colored them with fingernail polish.

She shot that revolver at Texas State in April and later at the Southern Territorials championship in July where she placed and brought home a trophy.  In the interim, thousands of rounds of wax bullet ammo had gone down the barrel.

Ruger, of course, is a sponsor of the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, and lots of competitors use Ruger handguns for the game.

In August, Milady found a revolver that she really likes, by Traditions.  The Traditions is made by Pietta of Italy.  It's lighter than the Ruger, and Milady adopted it for her primary revolver.  The Ruger was relegated to back-up tasks and training grandkids.

During Thanksgiving we were letting grandkids shoot wax in the backyard, and one of them was using the Vaquero.  I happened to notice that the front sight was loose, and asked my son to look at it.  He simply pulled it from its slot and told me that it appeared that the solder had turned loose.  So, the week following, I called Ruger, had a shipping label emailed to me, boxed it up and sent it to Newport, NH.  Ruger's customer service is legendary and I knew that they would repair the revolver and return it in short order.

On December 16th I was in a training session and my phone rang.  The nature of my work is that I answer my cell phone, so I excused myself and walked out into the hall to take the call.  It was from Ruger, a customer rep named Angela.  She told me that the barrel and cylinder had been irreparably damaged from the use of squib rounds and that Ruger could not economically repair the gun.

I was stunned.  I was also busy, so I asked her to research it further and told her I'd call her on the 17th.  I returned to my training session, amazed and perplexed.  I thought about little more than Milady's revolver for the rest of the day.  Lots of questions going through my mind, but mainly just exactly how CFDA ammunition had ruined a gun as solidly built as a Ruger New Vaquero.  Milady and I discussed it that evening, and I told her that I'd call Ruger on the morrow and keep her apprised.

I called on the morning of the 17th, talked to Angela, and she told me that the gun was damaged, that she had checked with the tech, and he thought that the cylinder was okay, but that the barrel had been damaged. She kept mentioning squib ammunition. She also said that it could not be economically repaired, and for $389.00, Ruger would send me an identical new-in-box firearm. I asked what would happen to our firearm if I took Ruger's offer, and Angela told me that Milady's gun would be destroyed at the factory.  I told Angela to stop everything, that I was sending a letter.  On the 18th I dropped a letter in the mail,   One paragraph of that letter asked the pertinent question:
What I don't understand is how shotgun primer wax bullet ammunition could possibly have damaged the barrel, and the cylinder to the point where the firearm would have to be destroyed.  I admit that I am both mystified and perplexed at this information.
I anxiously awaited Ruger's reply.  That call came yesterday.  I answered my cell phone and talked to a lady from Ruger. (I didn't capture her name.)  She told me that she had read my letter, had gone to the repair shop to find my gun, had instructed the techs to clean it thoroughly and re-inspect the barrel.  After a thorough cleaning, they found nothing at all wrong with the revolver.  She instructed the tech to re-attach the front sight and prepare the gun for shipment.  Within the hour I got a shipping notice from FedEx.  The revolver is on the way home, Milady is powerfully relieved, and my faith in Ruger customer service is restored.

In fairness, the technician who first inspected Milady's revolver may never have seen a gun that had been fired solely with wax bullet ammo.  Wax bullet ammo is messy, it requires cleaning frequently.  Some competitors clean their revolvers every ten shots.  After an afternoon of shooting in the backyard with grandkids, I'll bet that revolver was fairly cruddy.  And, I admit that I didn't give the barrel and cylinder a thorough cleaning after we used it that afternoon.

I'm glad I wrote the letter explaining the condition of the revolver.  And, I'm glad that someone at Ruger got the letter, understood the dilemma, and went to the shop floor to see for herself.  Milady's New Vaquero is on the way home, life is good, and my faith in Ruger is restored.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Gun Problem

John Hinderaker, over at Power Line Blog, found an interesting graphic.  Produced by the Young Conservatives, it purports to show the US murder rate from 1885-2012.  Hinderaker admits that he's not completely sure of the accuracy, but from the figures he's checked against FBI crime stats, it seems to be accurate.  The left axis is murder per 100,000 people.  Of course, you can click on it to see the chart in a larger format.

That kind of puts the whole issue in historical perspective, which is very important when you're making arguments about policy.

I'll admit that the FBI probably wasn't keeping crime stats back in the 1880s, for lots of good reasons.  The Wild West was hard to police and even harder to get statistics on.  And, the FBI wouldn't come into existence until 1908 and the Uniform Crime Report was established in 1930.  So, the graphic before 1930 may have some interpretation issues, but it's probably representative.

We're expecting the President to make a big, regulatory executive order on guns as soon as he gets back from his Christmas holiday.  We know that he's a Democrat and his base demands action on a problem that seems to be solving itself through laws already enacted.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday Notes

Woke to a rainy morning.  The dog's not amused, and neither am I.  The weather is what it is, though, and a rainy Monday ain't bad.  It isn't great, either.  It's a good day to do laundry

I'm watching Whistle-britches, my 9 yo grand-daughter while her parents are out of town.  They'll be back this afternoon, but she's not a problem.  Ensconced in the kid's bedroom with a Kindle and a TV, I haven't really heard much out of her, except while we were running errands.  That's over, and I'll cook some lunch in another hour or so.

My son gave me a DVD for my birthday, James Garner's Support Your Local Sheriff, and Support Your Local Gunfighter, both on the same disc.  I watched them last night and remembered how good old westerns used to be.  James Garner, Suzanne Plechette, Walter Brennan, Jack Elam, the cast just went on and on.  Good stuff, and a great way to spend a Sunday night.

Raining to beat hell, and I'm watching it rain.  Perhaps I'll have more bloggy goodness tomorrow.  Don't count on it.

Bloomberg on Guns

So, I saw this meme, and it just sounded weird to me, but most everything sounds weird to me these days, so I checked it out.  Sure enough, Mayor Mike Bloomberg doesn't think college kids should have guns.  From this interview:

and when these people want to have a right to carry on campus – I don't know what you did in school, but I shouldn't have had a gun in school. I mean, come on! And that was before grass.
Oh, Mayor Bloomberg.  You were in school before grass?  No, Mike, I'm pretty sure that we had marijuana before 1964, when you graduated from college.

And, lots of us had guns on campus even in the '70s.  Rifles and shotguns in nearly every dorm closet.  We hunted in the afternoons and on the weekends.  There was never any problem.  And, when I graduated from college at the tender age of 21, the Army gave me lots of guns.  Five M601 tanks and plenty of machine guns.  And nineteen (19) people to run all that firepower.

But, it looks like this meme is virtuous.

Mike Bloomberg is an ass.  College age students are adults, and should be treated like adults.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Asked and Answered

A bunch of folks were commenting on a thread at the Gunslinger Forum regarding some controversy in the game right now.  Specifically, slip-cocking on purpose so that you can use your shot if your opponent misses. Some guys have had success with something called the"Dump Draw" in an effort to increase speed.  Then, as threads do, it got hijacked and someone asked about moving the target, so that accuracy would take precedence over speed.   Some guys have had success with something called the"Dump Draw" in an effort to increase speed.  So, there's a big controversy right now in CFDA over the recovery shot and the dump draw.  That's not the focus of this posting, but it provides context.  Some wag said that we should move the target back to 25 feet to priortize accuracy over speed.

Then, one wag made the statement:
Haven't tested further back with wax but know not to much farther past the target the wax takes flight in a weird cork screw pattern.
 I don't know about a weird corkscrew pattern, but I know that the bullets we use are very light and they lose momentum quickly.  These wax bullets don't go very far.  At 21 feet they're fairly stable, but when they start losing momentum, stability and accuracy go out the door quickly, so I grabbed a revolver and went out to my backyard range to see what I could learn.

I was using a Uberti Cattleman revolver, the standard 4.75" barrel so common to Cowboy Fast Draw.  On any line of six competitors, fully half of them will be shooting Uberti Cattleman revolvers. I was also using standard CFDA brass, C&R (yellow) wax bullets and Rio 209 shotgun primers.   Very common ammunition.  So, I went out to my steel target and put a little aiming point between the light and the top of the target.  I was shooting at the standard CFDA steel target, 24" in diameter.

So, I went to the 21 foot line, took careful aim, and fired five shots.

Five shots, five hits.  That's about what I'd expect.  The bullets all showed stability and fairly good accuracy, all grouping in the lower left quadrant of the target.

I took my photo, painted my target with white lithium grease and stepped back five feet.

At 25 feet, I was still getting solid hits on the target and the group had opened up just a bit.  But, still, if you knew your revolver, it should be easy to get hits on our standard target at 25 feet.

So, I marked off another five feet and loaded the revolver.

At 30 feet we've lost all grouping ability, and the hits are showing evidence of tumbling.  Of five shots fired, four found the target.  I've got a thumbnail at 7:00 one hit on the edge of the target at 3:00 and two at the 111:00-12:00 area.  The hit at 12:00 shows evidence of keyholing.

Evidently at 25 feet, the wax slugs still have stability, enough to group reliably on a target, but at 30 feet, we've gone past the distance to reliably group wax bullets.  Accuracy is out the window.

Your results may be different than mine, and I admit that I only spent an hour or so shooting in the back yard to get these decidedly un-scientific results.  My revolver, my ammo, my range.  Your results might vary.

Another Trip Around The Sun

On December 20, 1953, this fellow came kicking and screaming into the world.  If my math is correct, I've seen 62 trips around the sun.  Over the course of that time I've made some bad choices and some good decisions.  Had a lot of fun and made lots of memories.  I wouldn't change a bit of it.

This song has become my birthday anthem, it describes exactly what I'm thinking about on my birthday.

Hopefully I have a few more trips in me before I have to turn loose.  It's turning into quite the ride.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

It's Deceased!

Day by Day cartoon nails the Republican Party to its perch, in Pythonesque fashion.

Heh!  A lot of us have been thinking that for a long time.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Rude Behavior

I've been hanging out at a Facebook Group called Outlaw Legacy, and they link to a lot of westerns that have become iconic over the past decade.  One of the posters put up recently is a quote from Lonesome Dove.  In that clip, Woodrow Call beats an Army scout to within an inch of his life. In doing so, he scared the living hell out of the townspeople, so he explains his behavior.

The YouTube clip is here.

I'll have to dig this one out to watch again this winter.  It's a favorite.

Pocket Knives

There's a thread in the forum I frequent about Ye Olde Knife thread and there is one knife in my collection that has stood the test of time.

Back in the day, every hardware store or farm co-op had a knife display case.  The old hemp hay-bale twine was notoriously hard on a blade, so a farm knife had to be durable, keep an edge, yet be easy to sharpen.  Time and time again I'd try a new knife but the one I kept coming back to was the Case Sodbuster.

It's a simple design, actually.  A single blade made from good steel, sandwiched between micarta handles.  Nowadays you can get them in any color of the rainbow, but when I started buying them, the colors were black and yellow.  I still prefer the black handles.

If you find me with pants on, I'll probably have one of these knives in my pocket.  I've been carrying them since the late '70s and I've gone through several, mainly from losing them.  I don't believe I've worn one out.  What I like about these knives is that the outside profile is rounded like a bar of well-worn soap.  There are no square corners to poke holes in your pocket or pinch when you sit down, and of course, the blade is a time tested design that easy to sharpen

For simple, basic cutting tasks from hay-twine to skinning large animals, it's hard to beat a Sodbuster.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Joe Bonamasssa

Went over to Brother Bill's house last week and he was watching Joe Bonamassa on YouTube.  I had never heard of the guy, but he's a heck of a blues guitar..  Here he riff's on B.B. King's classic The Thrill is Gone.  I think B.B. would approve.

I like this guy's style and I'll have to look for more of his music.

Gun Control

Kurt Russell recently spoke out on the subject of gun control when asked about it during an interview.
"If you think gun control is going to change the terrorists’ point of view, I think you’re, like, out of your mind," Russell said to anti-gun Hollywood reporter Jeffery Wells while promoting his new film, "The Hateful Eight." "I think it’s absolutely insane.”
Of course, it didn't take long for someone to make it a poster.

It sounds about right to me.


Two more photos from Tombstone

That's pretty much the way I feel about it.  IF I saw an ISIS flag waving down the street, I'd be hard-pressed not to open fire.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Mercury Medicare

I've taken to calling The Grand Marquis that, because only old men drive them, but I love mine.  I've talked about it before, it's an '01 with 104K miles on it, with a new timing gear, chains, etc installed at 96K.  Upper and lower ball joints last month, and I was driving it to work yesterday and noticed a miss in the engine, just about the time the Check Engine Light came on.

Well, crap.

The last time I had that problem, my very competent mechanic son showed me how to diagnose and change the coil pack and spark plug on the engine.  It's much different than I used to do that "back in the day" but it's not particularly hard, so after I plugged int he ODBII code reader and learned that the misfire was on #1, I stopped by the parts house and picked up a new coil pack.

When I got home this afternoon, I lifted the hood to let the engine cool, then went inside to let the dog out for his afternoon constitutional, then took out the tools and dove in.  Thirty minutes later I was done.  The engine idles well, and seems smooth, so we'll call that job done.  It took me longer to figure out how to turn off the CEL light than it did to change the parts.

I still remember the Points, Plugs, Conderser drill that my dad taught me all those years ago.  How to set the points, and adjust timing; how to listen to an engine and try to figure out which cylinder was missing, and how to say "to hell with it" and change all the spark plugs.

Nowadays, it's different.  We plug in the code reader and work on the problem that it identifies.  ODBII code readers are available at a wide price range and I won't pretend to tell you which to buy, but nowadays they are indispensable for working on cars.  They sure take the guess-work out of diagnosis.

Thanks, son, for the tutorial those months ago.  The old man thinks he got it right today.  If I need you, I'll call you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Skin That Thing

If you read this little scribbling, you probably like the movie Tombstone.  I've watched it several hundred times,  can recite the dialogue along with the actors.

We've got this ISIS shit going on, and some wags have been applying Tombstone quotes to the problem.  I like them, like them a lot.

Like this one.

Heh!.  I'll be highlighting some of my favorites in the next several days.


As much as I enjoy this blog, I'm considering a change or two, but I thought I'd get my (half-dozen) readers input before I made the change.

Last year about this time I started a new route on my firearms journey.  I've gotten really involved in the Cowboy Fast Draw Association.  It takes up a lot of my time, and regular readers will know that many of my blog posts are associated with that hobby.

So, I've been thinking about splitting this blog into two blogs.  One for regular posting and one dedicated simply to Cowboy Fast Draw shooting, guns and equipment.

What say ye?  Keep it like it is, or split it up?  And yes, your opinion matters.

Noreen BN36 (AR in .30-06)

If I were in the market for another AR platform rifle, I'd be hard-pressed not to order one of these.  From the Firearm Blog:
The he local gunshot had it for sale for only $1,549.95. Noreen has them on their website for $1700. They have an assortment of barrel lengths and accessories to customize your .30-06 AR if you want one.
The website is here.

And, of course, the obligatory YouTube video.

All I could think of was "Here, piggy, piggy, piggy!"

This thing would make Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer cry.  I love it.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ruger Vaquero - III

I got an email from Dennis Miller of Turnbull Manufacturing this morning concerning the Mancum Ruger, and this is what he had to tell me.
This Ruger was here in September of 2010. We fit fancy walnut grips to it, engraved the back strap, polished, prepped, color cased the frame and charcoal blued the rest of the parts. No other information is available about the engraving . We do stamp our Turning Bull logo on some firearms if the customer requests it.
So, that answers some questions, but others remain.  We know several things now that we didn't know last week.

1)This Ruger was born in 1993,probably one of the first ones shipped from the factory, as indicated by its very low serial number.
2) In September of 2010 it made its way to Turnbull Manufacturing Co, where it was engraved, prepped, color-case hardening applied to the frame and the rest of the revolver was charcoal blued.  Mr. Miller tells us that fancy walnut grips were fitted, but the grips now on the revolver are standard Ruger grips.

Several mysteries remain, and might always be mysterious about this revolver.  That's fine.  It's home now and is no longer under glass in a pawn shop.  It will be used.  I am very glad that Mr. Mancum had the Turning Bull logo stamped on the receiver.

CFDA - The Rules

Every game has rules, and those rules change over time.  The idea of a rule is to standardize a competition so that it proceeds in a predictable fashion.  The CFDA has a rule book that it available to everyone.  Occasionally, adendums are issued to promulgate changes to the rules.  Additionally, the director has set forth some tests that a rule must meet.  1) Safety, 2) Necessity, 3) Spirit and Integrity of the Game, and 4) Enforceability.

Under test #2 Necessity, the guidelines plainly state:
The second test of any rule, is the necessity of the rule itself. We could have a rulebook that is a foot thick, I’ve seen them and had to deal with them in other shooting sports. Yes, we do need a set of solid rules that govern, define and provide parameters for our sport. But if we don’t need a rule, let’s not have one to enforce.
That makes sense to me.  If you don't need a rule, then let's not have a rule.  Still, the rules change from time to time and in this month's Gunslinger's Gazette, we find a little leaflet with rules addendums.  One in particular has caused some consternation among the membership, and I'll reprint it in it's entirety for discussion.
Page 23. Technical Violations (Add)#17.DISCHARGING THE GUN WITH THE MUZZLE BEHIND THE HOLSTER IS NOT ALLOWED. It must be clearly obvious to the Line Judge that the front end of the barrel is in front of the outside of the holster pouch cut.
Note: Upon the first warning, the Range Master will assign a Line Judge who's decision will be final.
We got our Gazette last week, but life intruded and we didn't have time to study it.  On Saturday morning as we were walking out the door to the club shoot, Blue Eyed Belle found the addendum and I recommended that she read it to me as we drove to the club.  When she got to the new muzzle rule, I commented "Well, that will stir up some crap."

I was right.  By the time I got home that afternoon and sat down at the computer, the forums had exploded.  Lots of folks upset at the rule, so here's my thoughts on it.

1) I've been in several shooting sports over the years and it has always been my firm conviction that I wanted the muzzle of the gun past the line tangential to my belly button before I hit the bang switch. I do not want to ventilate myself with the handgun.  We use reduced power ammunition in the CFDA game, but that doesn't mean that you can't hurt yourself with it.  Safety First is our motto, as it rightfully should be.   This rule only requires us to have the muzzle forward of the holster.

2)  In the few hours I've spent with our Director, I believe him to have the best interest of the game at heart.  I don't think he'd do anything to hurt the game, or to diminish it in any way.  He may not have fully explained the reasoning behind the rule, but that will be forthcoming.  There is no reason to assign nefarious intent.  This rule may have been forced by liability, or insurance rules, or any number of outside factors.

3) Granted, some folks spend lots of time analyzing their draw, taking video, applying scientific methods and trying to reduce every extraneous movement.  They're competitive, I get it.  We all want to do well and they've spent hours, multiple hours over multiple months, practicing the draw, making changes, trying to be the very best that they can be.  Now, with this rule, they've got to make further adjustments.  This is a game of milliseconds, and every one of those milliseconds means something.
To those folks, I agree, it's tough.

4) Enforceability may be the biggest hurdle for this rule.  The hand judge is the front line of our safety efforts.  The hand judge is assigned to a particular shooter and the responsibilities of the hand judge are too numerous to go into in this post.  But at the moment of the SET command the hand judge is watching several things simultaneously.  She's watching the position of the gun in the holster, she's watching the timing of the light, she's looking for the shooter anticipating the light,   Additionally, she's positioned behind the strong side of the shooter and the angle of her vision may be such that she is unable to observe the precise position of the muzzle at the instant of firing.  This is a game of milliseconds and when the light illuminates, it's faster than the human eye can blink.  The enforceability of this rule will be based on the "clearly obvious" wording before a Line Judge is appointed to watch specifically for this violation.

In short, I think that this is a rule that will be widely understood and rarely invoked.

In summary, I think the rule makes sense.  Yes, it will cause the fastest shooters to make some adjustments and to those guys and gals, I empathize.  You've worked hard to get to the pinnacle of the game and now you've got to make changes.  I feel your pain.But, you'll survive, get stronger, and probably faster.  

**Update**  The Director of CFDA has put an explanation of the rule change on the CFDA Telegraph.  You can go there for the full explanation.  Go to the link for the full explanation, but the pertinent parts are here.
In the first two seasons following this decision, my first concern was that I noticed an increase in shooters that had shot the front cut of their holsters, which did bring up safety concerns. After all, this issue was originally classified under the 2004 Safety Rules.
In the past two seasons, my concerns have grown with the fact that shooters, including some youth and newer shooters are working very hard to practice the "Dump Draw". Dump Draws are made possible by being able to pull the six-gun straight back, while pushing the grips down, and discharging the gun with the front of the muzzle behind the front of the holster pouch. Some are even firing the gun with the front of the muzzle behind the back of the holster pouch. This very type of draw is in direct conflict with the original principles that CFDA was founded upon.
Again, you can go to the link for the whole explanation, but Cal's reasoning makes sense to me.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Those Old Photos

I like looking at old photos, and I wonder about the motivation of the people taking them.  Taking photos in the late 19th and early 20th century was much more complicated than it is today.  Today, anyone can whip out a cell phone and snap a selfie, and lots of folks do that, but back in the day, a photograph required a knowledgable photographer and big equipment.  Let's take this picture, for example.

An undated photo of Co D, Texas Rangers in a camp scene.   Probably late 1800s, early 1900s, my limited research has been unable to date it, but it purports to show a group of Texas Rangers taking a meal.  While Mr. Eastman had introduced his Brownie camera in 1900 to make photography available to the masses, I doubt this photo and many others like it were candid shots.  I suspect that this group of Rangers wanted this photo for a particular purpose. So, they set it up to record a particular event.  I'm sure that many of the men groused about it, but the bosses were firm and the photo was captured.  Then, the film was sent to a processor who used chemistry to print the photo on special paper.  Photography was difficult in those days.

Today, I simply take my cell phone or my digital camera and in seconds have a photo I can use..  Like my propensity to take a random picture of a goofy dawg to post on Sunday morning.

A hundred years ago, photography was a whole lot more difficult.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Happy Hour

It's 4:00 on Friday, and Milady and I have declared Happy Hour.  Cocktails are poured and relaxing is commenced.  We'll put on some shoes later and go out for supper, but right now we're chilling.

Tomorrow is club shooting at the range.

Next week, I have to do some Christmas shopping, but that will wait till next week.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ruger Vaquero - II

I was showing off my Vaquero at the office this morning, and a friend noticed a logo stamped in the side of the revolver.  A rampant bull in a circle, and wondered about it.  Here's a picture taken from my cell phone.

I went to a computer and started searching for this logo.  I came up with something interesting.

That's a pretty good match for the logo.  I've got an email in to Turnbull Restoration to see if they know anything about the gun I'm now calling the Mancum Ruger.  We'll see what Turnbull can tell me.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Ruger Vaquero

1n 1993, Ruger introduced a variant of their successful Blackhawk revolver, the Vaquero. This single-action revolver more closely resembled the Colt Single Action so beloved of old-west historians and re-enactors.    Originally in .357 magnum and .45 Long Colt, it was an immediate success.  Adopted by the Single Action Shooters Society, it became known as a rock-solid handgun that would handle the stoutest handloads that can prudently be put into a magnum handgun.

However, the Vaquero was a litle heavy, built like a tank, and the Single Action game guys petitioned for a slightly smaller revolver.  In 2005, Ruger came out with a slightly smaller frame, more closely approximating the Colt Peacemaker.  It's still a supremely strong revolver, and it's been adopted, loved, gunsmithed and shot by millions of single action aficionados.  Ruger called this revolver the New Vaquero.  T hose of us who follow such things nowadays call the revolvers the New Vaquero and the Old Vaquero.  Technically, there is no Old Vaquero.  There are Vaqueros and New Vaqueros.

In January of this year, Milady and I got involved in Cowboy Fast Draw shooting.  Regular readers know this fact.  I immediately bought two Ruger New Vaquero revolvers to get us started.  As I crawled through pawn shops, I'd keep my eyes out for good examples of single action revolvers and in the succeddeing months I've picked up a few mre examples, from Uberti and Pietta. Good revolvers all, and beloved by the Fast Draw community.  Still, I kept my eyes open for nice single action revolvers in .45 Long Colt.

This summer, I was cruising through my favorite pawn shop and saw a familiar shape in the case.  I asked to see it.  A Ruger (old) Vaquero in .45 Long Colt, but with the 7.5" barrel.  It was priced a little bit high, above retail for a new New Vaquero, so I passed on it.

In late September, I was passing through the shop and I noticed the Vaquero still in the case.  But the price had been dropped.  Two things came immediately to mind.  First, Ruger no longer cataloges the New Vaquero in the .7.5" barrel.  Those are found in pawn shops near the hens teeth.  Second, this was a very early example of the (Old) Vaquero.  It probably came out of the factory during the first month of production.  The serial number is truly that low.  I gave the counter guy a C-Note and put the gun on layaway.

Then, I went home and told Milady what I had done.  She agreed that the asking price was fair, and agreed that I had done the correct thing.  During the following months, I'd drop by and put a few dollars on the layaway.  On December 1st, I told the pawnbroker that I'd see him after the first of the year and get it out.  He was cool with that.

Today, I got a text from Milady.  "After work, go by the shop and pick up your gun."  I'm a December baby, so my birthday and Christmas are close.  As instructed I went by the shop to pick up my gun, right after work.  A 4473, some light banter with the pawnbroker, and I was out the door.

Damn, it's pretty.  almost pristine, this revolver has been used lightly and loved much.  Someone worked this revolver, and they knew Ruger revolvers.  The hammer comes back smoothly, with no appreciable catches.  The trigger is crisp and clean, and the case-hardening has to be seen to be appreciated.  My poor photography skills don't do it justice.  Deep, rich color case-hardening, it reveals blues, reds and golds.  It's really a beautiful handgun.

As in most old Rugers, the base pin is captured by the ejector, which is nice, the cylinder spins freely when the loading gate is opened, the trigger breaks cleanly with just a trace of creep.  The hammer comes back smoothly.  It's really a fine example of the gunsmith's craft.

Two mysteries currently exist about this gun.  It is apparent is was a special revolver to someone, but I didn't know who until I showed it to Milady.

"Who is Aidan Mancum?" she asked.

"I have no idea.  Why? I responded.

"His name is engraved on the backstrap." She replied.

Sure enough, on the backstrap of the revolver, in delicate scroll script, the name Aidan Mancum is engraved.  I have no idea who Mr. Mancum is, but obviously this was his revolver.  With nicely done scroll engraving and pristine action work, it's obvious to anyone that Mr. Mancum thought this revolver was something special.

The second mystery is who will be using it.  As Milady tried the action, she dropped  it down to a holstered position, then mimicked a draw. "Oh! That's smooth." she said, "The hammer comes back like butter." Her eyes were wide "I like that a lot, and the grips fit me.  I may have to get a long-gun holster."

Regardless, Mr. Mancum.  It's a beautiful revolver and we'll take good care of it.  Personally, I may still be in the market for a long gun.

Terror, Then and Now

My buddy, Jim Birkel, provides an interesting contrast about terrorism then, and now.  He references the Northfield Raid, where the James/Younger gang tried to hold up the bank in Northfield, MN, on September 7, 1876.  The gang targeted the First National Bank of Northfield because they though it would be an easy target.  They were wrong.

Back in those days, there was no FDIC.  If your bank was robbed, the depositors lost money.  Real money.  The hopes, dreams, and security of the depositors would be lost.  When the citizens realized that the bank (and their deposits) was in jeopardy, they armed themselves and met the gang in the street.  You can read about it here. A gunbattle erupted between the gang and the citizens.  The surviving gang members fled on horseback while the townspeople raised posses to pursue.  By the time the pursuit was over, only Frank and Jesse James had escaped and the James/Younger gang was no more.

Another example of townspeople protecting their assets came in October, 1892 when the Dalton Gang tried to rob two banks simultaneously in Coffeyville, Kansas.  Again, the townspeople armed themselves to protect their deposits and a general gunbattle erupted.  By the time the dust had settled, the Dalton Gang had been shot to pieces.

Armed criminals, met in the act of depredation by armed citizens.  In both cases, the citizens might not have been armed initially, but obtained guns from the local hardware store.Common folk, shopkeepers, farmers and townfolk took care of their own business.

That's American exceptionalism.  I doubt that we heard much talk about gun control from the elected officials, but in those days, tar and feathers was still a part of the impeachment process.

Don't Forget Iron Bombs

Tam knocks one out of the park, with a wry posting about war stocks.
The peace dividend is coming around to bite us in the ass, especially with the Obama Administration's fondness for taking up the White Man's Burden in the various "Arab Spring" messes that have created a vast failed state stretching from the Pillars of Hercules to the Hindu Kush.
That's a good point, and she links another article about the Air Force expending munitions a whole lot faster than they can be re-supplied.
The official told CNN that the Air Force has requested additional funding for Hellfire missiles and is developing plans to ramp up weapons production to replenish its stocks more quickly.
The Air Force loves the Hellfire missile because it's so good.  There is very little collateral damage.  It's basically an upgraded anti-tank missle and they cost about $110,000 per each.  War costs money, but when you're dropping a bomb on something, it really should cost less than the something we're destroying, and I bet that dropping a string of Mark 80 bombs would get the job done.  Our weapons don't have to be gee-whiz smart munitions.  We still shoot lots of dumb bullets and do just fine, thank you.

On the places we're dropping these bombs, I wouldn't describe the inevitable result as "collateral damage" so much as "basic improvements".  I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, December 08, 2015


We find this story this morning about a guy who went to conduct some burglaries in Florida and got 'et by an alligator.
PALM BAY, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities say a man who may have hidden as officers investigated reports of two suspicious men in a Florida community targeted by recent burglaries was killed by an 11-foot alligator.
When he didn't return home after a night of burglary his girlfriend reported him missing.
 Brevard County Sheriff's Maj. Tod Goodyear says 22-year-old Matthew Riggins told his girlfriend he would be in Barefoot Bay to commit burglaries with another suspect. Authorities received calls Nov. 13 about two suspicious men in black walking behind homes and investigated. Riggins was reported missing the next day.
Of course, investigators were forced to euthanize the gator.
 Goodyear said sheriff's divers recovered Riggins' body 10 days later in a nearby lake and the injuries were consistent with an alligator attack. Authorities said Riggins had drowned and the alligator, which behaved aggressively toward divers, was trapped and euthanized.
I don't have much sympathy for a burglar, but being eaten by an alligator has to be a horrible way to meet your maker.

Monday, December 07, 2015


Got hungry for wings tonite, so I stopped on the way home and picked up some chicken strips.  Why bother with the bones, when chicken strips are right there in the frozen case.

Got home, fried them, then ran them in Daigle's Cajun Pecan and Garlic Sauce.  I found it at Super One.

That was pretty good.  Milady had her fork in the plate and allowed that it was fairly tasty without being overpowering.  If you can find Daigle's sauce, it has the PawPaw seal of approval.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Beat The Drum

The New York Times, in what some are describing as the first editorial on the front page since 1920, has put an editorial on the front page.  The headline tells the tale:
End The Gun Epidemic In America
You can suspect what's coming next.
 But motives do not matter to the dead in California, nor did they in Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut and far too many other places. The attention and anger of Americans should also be directed at the elected leaders whose job is to keep us safe but who place a higher premium on the money and political power of an industry dedicated to profiting from the unfettered spread of ever more powerful firearms.
It does no good to reason with these people when they use words like "ever more powerful weapons".  The weapons used in California and Colorado weren't particularly powerful.  They were powerful enough, indeed, to commit murder and all reasonable people abhor murder.  These were not reasonable people, and the editorial board at the New York Times are not necessarily burdened by reason either.  No, their purpose is quite plain.  Disarmament.
Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.
And there, my friends, is the agenda.  they want us to give them up for the good of  our fellow citizens.  They are unmasked, plainly saying what we have believed them to mean for decades.  Give them all up, turn then in.  Disarm in the face of evil.

The editorial board of the New York Times wraps themselves in the sacred First Amendment to trample on the guarantees of the Second Amendment.  I can think of no more evil purpose than that.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have to load some ammo, and prepare for a trip to the range.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Multi-Automatic Round Weapons

Before I get started, a trigger warning.  I've been drinking Canadian whiskey for an hour or so.  But, we have tonight a new term, coined by  California Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez.  It seems that "multi-automatic round weapons" are available everywhere but in California.  I shit you not.

Do these people have any idea what they're talking about, or do they just make crap up as they go along?  It's both depressing and amusing listening to people who have no idea, talk about things with which they are totally unfamiliar.

They simply sound stupid, which is how Rep Sanchez comes off, dumb as a friggin rock.  Dumber'n a sack of hammers.  Her constituents should be proud.  They elected a complete and total dumbass.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Breaking - Mass Shooting in California

It's still breaking, but I'm hearing reports of fourteen (14) dead and as many or more wounded.

Lots of links later, but I'm watching a live feed on Fox.  The shooters have departed as far as anyone knows and police are processing the crime scene, trying to get information, interviewing witnesses and doing all the smart things.

Interesting that the shooters targeted a conference center in a larger center that helped the developmentally disabled.  And, interesting that the shooters eft the area.  They didn't stick around and fight it out with police, so it's not a standard active-shooter incident.  I'll be following this as it evolves and try to learn as much about it as I can.

My prayers to the victims and families affected.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

The Costs and Consequences of Gun Control

In a paper published today by the CATO Institute, Dave Kopel takes apart, step by step, and patiently so that even the dullest politician could understand it, the three pillars of "common-sense" gun control.

I've bookmarked it, and I've linked it, again for you.

I'm busy with life today, so read Mr. Kopel's analysis, or read off my sidebar.  I'll check in later.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Boudin Balls

Boudin (boo'-dan) is our beloved south Louisiana rice, pork, and liver sausage that we eat whenever we get a chance.  There is as many recipes for boudin as there are makers of the sausage, and the debate runs wild over who makes the best boudin.  Every little grocery store or meat market in south Louisiana makes boudin.  The epicures in a given area can often taste the boudin and tell you which store it came from.  "That's Fontenot's boudin" or "This tastes like Guillory's boudin".

Normally, around the old-time stores in south Louisiana, you could buy a couple of links of boudin and a roll of crackers, go out to a picnic table under a big tree and eat your lunch.  PawPaw has eaten many yards of boudin at the tables under those trees all over the state.

Boudin is ubiquitous to south Louisiana, and very personal.  Emeril Lagasse has as good a basic recipe as anyone.  Normally eaten in a sausage casing, ahout four or five years ago, I started noticing boudin balls in the local stores.

Basically, the un-cased mixture, rolled into a ball about the size of a racquet ball, then rolled in egg and breadcrumbs, or cornmeal (again, it varies) then deep-fried, it makes a tasty little snack, inexpensive and filling.  They look just exactly like this.

That's three boudin balls in a Styrofoam clamshell.  I broke one open so that you could see the rice/meat mixture.  Three boudin balls for $5.00.  A glass of iced tea and that was lunch today.

Just so y'all know what you're missing.

Darwin Candidate

We come, this Monday morning, to a warming story of a burglar who got caught in a chimney.  I say warming, because the homeowner didn't know he was there and decided to build a fire.
A suspected burglar who became stuck in the chimney of a Central California home died of burns and smoke inhalation after the home's owner lit a fire in the fireplace, authorities said Sunday.
 The Fresno County Sheriff's Office identified the deceased suspect as 19-year-old Cody Caldwell, who was pronounced dead at the scene Saturday afternoon.
 Investigators believe Caldwell climbed in the chimney sometime Friday night to rob the home in the small city of Huron but became stuck. He was in the chimney for almost 24 hours by the time the male homeowner came home and lit the fire just before 3 p.m. Saturday.
 The homeowner heard Caldwell scream from inside the chimney and worked to put the fire out, causing the house to fill up with smoke, the station report.
Every year or so, we get a story like this, where some goblin decides to emulate Santa Claus and slide down the chimney.  What the goblins forget is that Santa is able to negotiate the nsrrowing of the flue at the damper by use of his special Christmas Magic.  Chimney burglars don't have Christmas Magic and always get stuck.

When the homeowner decided to light a fire, Cody died of burns and smoke inhalation.  The homeowner suffered smoke damage and a disassembled chimney.

Let this be a cautionary tale to prospective chimney burglars.  You ain't a jolly old elf and you can't slide down a chimney.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

White Bean Chili

I talked earlier about our White Bean Chili, so I though I'd post the recipe.  There are as many variations as people who make it, but this one works well for us.  You'll notice that it makes good use of your ceramic slow cooker (Crock Pot is a registered trademark).  I recommend the use of these things whenever possible, and also the use of slow cooker liners, which make clean-up easy.


Dry Great Northern Beans - 2lb
Chicken Stock - 2 ea, 32 oz boxes
Diced Green Chilis - 2 cans, 4 oz each
Medium Yellow onion - diced
Tumeric - half teaspoon
Monterey Jack Cheese - 2 cups shreded
Salt to taste
Meat (Chicken or ham)  about a pound.  Shredded or diced.


The night before, wash your beans then put them in a ceramic slow cooker to soak.  We soak then in the chicken broth.  Before bedtime, put the slow cooker on low, and go to bed.  They'll cook all night.  At daylight, add the other ingredients. Simmer on low till lunch.

Serve with cornbread or crackers.  Your choice.

Sunday Morning Dawg

We were busy yesterday out at the club, shooting and visiting with friends.  We got home and I trimmed the leftover ham from Thanksgiving while Milady put put some great northern beans in the crock pot.  This morning, Milady took the ham I had trimmed and diced it to add to the bean pot.

The dog, of course, is hoping something will hit the floor.  I suspect that Milady gifted him some trimmings.  The menu today is white bean chili with cornbread or crackers for those so disposed.

White bean chili has become one of our choices when we're feeding a bunch of people.  Generally it's made with chicken, but we had a pound or so of ham left over, so we decided to experiment a bit, to substitute ham for the chicken, and see how it turns out.

Friday, November 27, 2015


After the prep, the meal, the family, the visiting, the shooting, the laughing, the general noisiness of the Thanksgiving celebration, Milady and I looked up about 4:00 pm and realized that we were alone.  The family and friends had departed, after taking leftovers and helping straighten the kitchen.  She and I made a few last-minute adjustments.  She poured a glass of wine, and I had a bourbon.

Today, we're being Sorry.  Not sorry in the emotional sense, but Sorry in the We-Ain't-Doing-Anything sense.  Sorry, as in "He's so Sorry, he wouldn't hit a lick at a snake."

The floors are reasonably clean, the house is reasonably quiet, and the dog is asleep on the kitchen floor.  Milady doesn't do Black Friday and neither do I.  I'm happy to simply sit here in my sloth today.  Surf the internet, watch Netflix, and take the dog outside occasionally to survey the weather.

Thanksgiving is technically over, but for a quiet house today, for my lady curled up in her chair with her Kindle, for my dog peaceful after the joyful chaos of yesterday, I am thankful.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Never Seen That Before

Playing with the grandkids in the yard today, we wer e doing a little wax bullet work with Milady's Ruger New Vaquero.  I bought that revolver for Milady back in March as we began our Fast Draw game and we've been very happy with it.  When she bought her Liberty Model, the Ruger became a back-up, a spare gun, and it rides with us everywhere in the spares bag.

After the girls finished shooting, as we were clearing the revolver and the range, I happened to touch the front sight and it wiggled.  Wiggled.  I handed the revolver to my son, and he looked at it, then pulled the sight from its slot.  "Looks like the solder turned loose, Pop."

I've seen a lot of things, but I've never seen a front sight turn loose.  That gun has never fired a single round of standard ammunition, has been exclusively a wax-bullet gun.  I guess I'll box it up and on Monday, call Ruger.  It looks like a trip to the shop is in order.

Thanksgiving Day

The ham and turkey are in the smoker, not for smoking, but because oven space is always at a premium on Thanksgiving morning.  I still have room in there for a couple of pans, if people bring over side dishes that need to be warmed.

The counters are cleaned, the carpets are vacuumed, and PawPaw is taking a small break to reflect on my many blessings.  Family and friends will start to arrive in another couple of hours and things will get noisy around here.  Several of my blessings are my children and the fine people they've grown to be.

Another blessing is this home that Milady and I have made.  She saved me from myself almost fifteen years ago and she is my strength, my compass, and my love.  We've designed our home for entertaining, and love that so many people are comfortable here.

Standing outside regulating the smoker, I heard a familiar song and looked up to see a flight of geese heading south.  I thought of my Dad, who chased ducks and geese all his life, and his love for the wild places and the wild things.  After the third flight passed overhead, complaining noisily, I knew from long association with the old man that a front must be approaching.  Geese ride ahead of a front, and the geese are moving this morning.  Sure enough, a look at the weather maps tell me that tomorrow we can expect a change in weather.

But, for today we'll have mild temps and pleasant weather.  Tomorrow is soon enough for the weather to change, and for that I am also thankful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Shooter Report

Granddaughter Layla expressed an interest in shooting, so while she was over today, we took the time to do a basic course on the single action revolver.  Everyone should know how to operate a single action revolver (and a semi-auto pistol), and I have a small range in my backyard.  Wax bullet ammo works good to familiarize, so after basic safety, we went down to the 7-yard line and did a little shooting.  Going slow, concentrating on sight alignment and trigger squeeze.  It was her first time out, but I think that she had a good time.

There is no reason for a young lady to not know how to operate a revolver and Layla took an important first step today.  PawPaw is proud of her.

That College "Rape Culture" Probably Doesn't Exist

According to data released by the American Association of College Women, 91% of US colleges and universities reported no rapes last year.
And so it goes for the American Association of University Women, which analyzed 2014 reporting data from colleges and universities across the country and found that 91 percent of schools had no reported incidents of rape.
But, the association is not convinced.
 "When campuses report zero incidents of rape, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, it simply does not square with research, campus climate surveys, and widespread experiences reported by students," the AAUW wrote.
Well, sweetie (yeah, I know, I'm a patronizing misogynist here), get over it.  It's your chart, your research, your data. And it shows that the problem simply is not widespread.  If 91% of colleges and universities report no sexual violence, that's a good thing.

Unless, of course, widespread sexual violence helps you with your political endeavors.  No rape, no power for the Social Justice Warriors.  Or, as Professor Reynolds says, "insufficient opportunity for graft."