Saturday, April 29, 2017

Teas State - Saturday

I'm still in it after the seventh round.  21 men left.  That's a personal best.  So far, I've only gotten to the sixth round in a state championship.  I have three Xs, which means I'm bleeding bad, but I'm still standing, so I'm okay to start tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning we'll start the day with bracket matches, then finish up the main match as soon as the brackets are over.

But, as of right now, I'm still in it.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Texas State - Friday

Some photos from Texas State.

Akaate Zach tking a break before winning 2nd in his category
Zach bringing the heat
Squirrel Shooting against Pixie Quick.
Zach got new grips.  Very patriotic
Gentleman George and Mama Linda keeping score.
So far, it's been a great shoot.  Now it's time to clean guns, reload ammo, and get ready for the main match tomorrow.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

We're Here!

We made it to the hotel in Kountze, TX.  Belle has a glass of wine, and I'm nursing a bourbon.

We're about 20 minutes from the range, and we'll find it in the morning.

I've already seen a bunch of gunfighters while passing through the lobby.  This looks like it might be a great shoot.

Eliminating Overreach

President Trump has ordered Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to study regulations and investigate federal overreach in the school systems.
“Previous administrations have wrongly forced states and schools to comply with federal whims and dictates for what our kids are taught. The time has come to empower teachers and parents to make the decisions that help their students achieve success.”
This is a great idea.  I've been working int he schools for the past 13 years and I have seen time and time again how federal whims and caprices have thrown schools into frustration and stresss.  Sometimes it is something as small as interfering in theschool lunch menu.

Personally, I think that we should get back to Readin', Writin', and Rithmatic.  Technology, of course, and every high school should have a shop class.   Those simple basics have served our country well for many decades.

Texas State

Thursday afternoon, late, after work, Major D, Blue Eyed Belle and Akarate Zach are throwing the gun bags in the car and heading for Silsbee, Texas where we will participate in the Texas State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw.

We will be shooting at Camp Waluta, the home range of the Big Thicket Bushwackers. I'm not sure how many shooters we will have, but we had 80 at Louisiana State, and weren't expecting that many.  Texas State is a much older competition, so we should have that many or more.

At any rate, Thursday afternoon late, we're packing the van and heading to Texas.  We will try to post during the weekend.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


There's something weird going on in the American political sphere.  I'm reading that Ann Coulter is scheduled to speak t UC-Berkeley and the local constabulary is expecting riots.  Really?
As the Berkeley Police Department gears up for yet another showdown between First Amendment supporters and violent "anti-fascists," questions have arisen regarding the mayor's ties to a local anti-fascist group. Ann Coulter vowed to move ahead with a planned speaking engagement at the university on Thursday after her speech was canceled due to security concerns.
Has the American Left become so insecure that they resort to violence and intimidation whenever they are presented with differing viewpoints?  Universities are exactly the proper place to explore differing viewpoints, practice tolerance, and challenge rigidely held beliefs.  It seems that the folks from California have forgotten that.

That's a damned shame.


Sunday morning at the match, I was cutting up a poster with 100 squares on it for a drawing, to give away a gun, and some door prizes.  I needed someone to draw the names out of the bucket, and I saw a little girl run past. She's the daughter of two of our shooters.  Under ten years old, pretty little girl, precocious and full of life   I figured she'd be perfect to draw the names, and while I was cutting up the board, Dad wanders by.

"Hey, Buck" I called out.  "That little girl of yours.  The middle one?"

He stopped dead in his tracks.  "Omigod, what did she do now?"

"No, no, nothing like that," I told him.  "Can I use her today during the awards to draw some names out of a bucket?"

"Yeah, sure," he says, "But when you called me I thought she was in trouble."

Kids are like that sometimes.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dumpster Diving

One of the hazards of police work is dumpster diving.  Sometimes you've got to go inside a foul dumpster to retrieve vital evidence.  It's normally the rookie's job to go inside, and I haven't done it since the mid '80s/

Until an hour ago.

I got off work today, called the dispatcher to go 10-7, (out of service) and walked over to the van to go home.  We took that van to Natchitoches this weekend, ad when I opened the sliding door, I noticed some stuff that could be thrown away, so I grabbed it and tossed it toward the dumpster.  I watched in horror as my van keys sailed in a nice arc into the dumpster.

Crap, crap, crap.  I went back inside, found my buddy who has ladders, and went dumpster diving.  Luckily, the dumpster was used for office refuse, and my keys were easy to find.

But, it brought back some not-so-fond memories of other dumpsters I have dived in the past.

Monday, April 24, 2017

It's Done!

The Louisiana State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw is in the record books.  It was a wonderful experience, and the City of Natchitoches was a gracious host.  It's now in the record books and we look forward to the rest of the competition season.

We had weather.  All kinds of weather.  When we got to the park on Thursday to set up, we were under sunny skies, humid conditions, and warm temperatures.  As we set up the ranges, before too long, we were sweating like cane-field mules.  Water was a precious commodity, and we were losing it by the bucket-full.  Before dark , the ranges were set and the shade tarps erected

Friday morning dawned off sunny and hot.  We had plenty of shade and lots of iced water in 5-gallon coolers.  We started with a warm-up match which lasted till about 1:00, 1:00, took a short break, then shot the Shootist category.  For those unfamiliar, the Shootist category is for the long-barreled revolvers.  Nothing shorter than 7.5 inches need show up on the line.  It was hot and muggy all day.  Even though the shooters brought coolers with their own drinks, the water coolers were a constant gathering place.  We drank over 20 gallons of water from the coolers on Friday.

After shooting, a group went to the Mariner's restaurant on Sibley Lake for a meet-and-greet.  We toasted old friends, greeted new friends, and ordered from a sumptuous menu.   I went with the oyster po-boy, but I'm told that the stuffed flounder was delectable.

Saturday at sun-up, it was muggy and overcast.  The weather man was calling for rain.  We began the main match under threatening skies, and it soon became apparent that we were not going to finish the day dry.  However, the little ran squalls were small and light.  We got through seven rounds of competition before we called a halt at about five p.m.  the leadership sat down to do a little in-progress review.  As we talked, the bottom fell out and we watched it ran from under a cover.

Sunday morning, grey skies, a breeze, and temps hovering around fifty degrees.  We started the bracket matches and everyone wished that they had brought a jacket.  Poor Belle, during the bracket match, was so cold that she couldn't cock the hammer on her Piettta (and yes, her guns have lighter springs installed).  She warmed up enough that during the next round, she was able to shoot, but with morning temps hovering in the high 40s, it was quite a contrast from Friday.

By mid afternoon, we were shooting the finals under sunny skies and pleasant temps.    Congratulations to Whiplas, from Texas.  He is our Men's Chapion.  The lovely Plain Jane (ad nthere ain't nothing plain about Jane) is our Women's Champion.   A young gal who calls herself Texas Diamond is our Annie Oakley champion, and a fine young fellow we call Dash is our Billy the Kid champion.   Great competitors, all of them.  We gave out a host of other prizes, too many to list here, but each of them significant.  Then we hugged necks, shook hands, and started breaking down.    In several hours, the trailers were loaded and we rolled out of Natchitoches, leaving nothing behind but our footprints and our loose change.

I'd like to thank everyone who made this a success.  The list would be long, and I've thanked them personally.    I'll put some pictures up later, after editing, but this week we hardly have time to wash our laundry, clean our guns, and get packed back up.

Next weekend, it's Texas State.  Belle and I, along with Zach, will be on the road to Silsbee, TX, where the Big Thicket Bushwackers will host the Texas State Championship.  Just about the time I catch my breath from this weekend, it'll be time to do it again in Texas.

Here's a couple of photos coming out early.

That's a group photo of the assembled gunfighters in Natchitoches, LA.

And here's one f Blue Eyed Belle and Major D, taken Friday morning.

See y'all on the line.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thursday Morning

Five months of planning, working, plotting, and preparation come together today.  In several hours, we'll start the cars and head to Natchitoches, LA.  Our permit says that we can start setting-ip at 1:00 pm in the city park.  For anyone who needs a GPS address, go to 400 Amulet St, Natchitoches, LA then look down the hill.  The parking lot is on the corner of 5th and Amulet.

I'm humbly grateful at the amount of participation so far.  We have over 50 pre-registered and as late as last night, I was getting notifications on Facebook of folks coming that we had not suspected were coming.  As this is my first time hosting a titled, sanctioned shoot, I suspect that this is not uncommon.  That some folks just decide at the last minute to drive across the country.  We have shooters coming form as far away as Virginia and Nevada.  The bulk of the shooters will be from Texas, and Oklahoma but many states will be represented, including Arkansas, Georgia, and Missouri.

At this stage of the game, I only have a few wishes for the remainder of this operation.

1.  That all the participants travel safely to the venue.
2.  That the team continues to work smoothly and that we work through the inevitable glitches
3. That everyone has a good time, with goodwill and friendly competition.
4. That we show off the City of Natchitoches to the shooters and we show the color and excitement of Cowboy Fast Draw to the City of Natchitoches.
5.  That everyone returns home safely.

It's show time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Socialism has failed in almost every country where they tried it.  It just doesn't work, but that doesn't stop strong-men from ruling with an iron fist.  One recent example is Venezuela ruled by a tyrant named Maduro.  Food shortages plague his country along with civil unrest.    When your country runs out of toilet paper, there is something seriously wrong with the economy.  Such is the travails of living under socialism.

It looks like Maduro has guns, though, because he believes in the adage left to us by Chairman Mao. It seems that Maduro is ready to arm about 400,000 "militia members".  As Hot Air reports:
These so-called militias have been in place since the regime of Hugo Chavez, but not on this scale. They also shouldn’t be confused with American militias from the revolutionary war era. Far from being patriotic citizen soldiers who stand ready to set aside their farming implements to defend their homeland from invaders, these are the thugs who receive favorable treatment for remaining on the good side of the socialist regime and making sure none of their neighbors get out of line.
No, these are reliable thugs, who get preferential treatment from the government.

This is what socialism looks like, and why our 2nd Amendment is so important.

Weekend Weather

Like many of you, I'm a weather watcher.  It's been my experience that as good as the weather-weenies are at forecasting, they simply can't start to firm up the forecast until about three days out.  There is too much of the butterfly effect, and the weather is one of those things that is almost impossible to predict with any degree of confidence past about four days.

I'm watching the weather for this weekend, because we've planned a rather large outdoor event.    And, I'm watching the weather.  When I want a quick-and-dirty idea, I click on Accuweather.  And, there is the forecast this weekend for Natchitoches, LA.

That doesn't look good for Saturday  There is a chance of a thunderstorm.  But, chances are like probabilities, and further data is needed.  So, I then click over to Weather Underground.  Here's that three-day prognostication.

That gives me a little better idea, and that blue area on the bottom of the map is the chance of rain.  And, if I click on that area of the map, I get an expanded view that looks like this.

That's Saturday, in Natchitoches, LA.  The rain chance is still there, but it never gets over 50%, although it approaches hat magic number.  Is it going to rain on our parade?  Heck, I don't know, but neither do the weather forecasters.  My idea, based on my experience with weather in central Louisiana is that there are probably going to be pop-up showers across the area.  Local events that might rain on one acre and leave the next pasture bone-dry.

I am cautiously optimistic at this time that the weather will cooperate.  All indications ar that Saturday will have a  less-than-half chance of rain, as part of a weak front passing by, and that Sunday will dawn-off clear and cool.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

That Naval Armada

You remember that naval armada that was headed foro Korean waters last week?  Yeah, not so much.
As worries deepened last week about whether North Korea would conduct a missile test, the White House declared that ordering an American aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan would send a powerful deterrent signal and give President Trump more options in responding to the North’s provocative behavior.
The problem was, the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the four other warships in its strike force were at that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean, 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula.

Dude!  Really?  hat's messed up.  And, I doubt we can blame it on the Navy.  Oh, wait... yeah we can.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Cowboy Church

Just back from Monday night services at the Cowboy Church.  During the after-service fellowship, we talked a lot about Cowboy Fast Draw.  The pastor and the elders there are excited about it, and it looks like we'll be forming a club there during May.  We even talked about naming the club, and this is a leading contender.

I expect to see some of the Cowboy Church members touring around during Louisiana State in Natchitoches this weekend, and we'll be pleased to introduce them around.

We'll talk more about this after Louisiana State.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Day - Pool Opening

We normally open the pool the last weekend in April, but it was warm today, and we'll be gone next weekend.  So, we decided to open it today after lunch.

The pool is now open.  Little Lucas is tall enough, this year, to stand flat-footed in the shallow end of the pool.  But, he swims like a fish, so we're not worried about him.

I hope that you all had a happy, blessed, Easter Day.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Loading Up

Today, we went to the club for the final club practice prior to Louisiana State.  We shot, we checked holsters. we talked about lots of stuff, checked lists and made plans.

Then, after everyone has shot a couple of rounds, we broke down and loaded tables.

Left to Right, that's Sinister Sal, Big Mark, Akarate Zach, and yours truly Major D, loading tables into Big Mark's truck.  Thursday, noon-ish, they'll be in Natchitoches, LA for the very first Louisiana State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw.

We're ready (I think).  Now, if all the equipment shows up in Natchitoches, we're golden.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Shooter's Meeting and Safety Briefing

One week from today, almost to the hour, all the planning will be over, all the texting, and conferring, and we'll be standing int he City Park of Natchitoches, LA to begin the very first Louisiana State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw.

So, this morning, I'm double checking lists and making sure we're covered.  One of the things I had to do was to put together a safety briefing/shooter's meeting, and I got out the regulations and put that together.  I had Belle proof-read it, critique it.  That's what we do, we're a team, and we take care of each other.  I believe that I've covered all the bases and it's printed, in the Range Officer's folder that I carry with me to all matches.

But, going through that exercise got me remembering the ranges I ran as a very young man.  Tank ranges, small-arms ranges, each by the score or more.  Hand grenade ranges.

I hate a hand grenade with all my heart.  Even if they are in their individual boxes, in a shipping crate, on the back of a deuce-and-a-half, I hate the damned things.  Hand grenades will poke holes in your uniform and make your whole day go sideways in the time it takes for a three-second fuse to burn down.  They are evil little devices, and I hate them.

I once ran a handgun range where all my students were high-ranking staff rats who hadn't handled a 1911 pistol in a decade or longer.  I got them all through it, but spent the next several months explaining a simple scoring system that any infantryman would grasp immediately.  Why it was a mystery to very senior, highly educated Adjutant General officers is still a mystery.  If you hiit the target, it counted.  If you missed the target, it did not count.  How hard is that to understand?

Lots of good memories about standing on an eight-foot stack of tank ammunition, on a range in Kentucky, watching tank cannons punch holes in targets a mile or more away.  It's a tanker's dream to be on a range somewhere, with good weather, properly maintained tanks, punching holes in things a lung way off.  You can feel the muzzle blast in your bones and your uniform rustles in the shock wave.

The memories are so thick this morning that I have to brush them away like a cloud of gnats.  They're jumbled and swirling and taking me away from the task at hand.

Next Friday morning, April 21st, we're kicking off the Louisiana State Championship.  We'll be in Natchitoches, LA in the City Park, corner of 5th and Amulet.  We'll open the Equipmet Check and Registration at 8:00 a.m., with a Safety Briefing at 8:30 and first round downrange at 9:00.

Y'all come.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


It seems that we dropped an MOAB on ISIS today, to destroy a cave complex in some asss-wipe province of that asshole country.  I bet that made their ears bleed.

Of course, the usual idiots in the media want to call it "the mother of all bombs" because the acronym fits nicely.  Those of us who know, call it the GBU-34/B, or the Massive Ordnance Air Burst.

Some dumb sonsabitches have asked if the MOAB would affect civilians?  Short answer: Yeah, I'm petty sure that they were in the blast radius, they'd be affected.  But, that's the danger you take if you hang out with ISIS.  If any of those brave ISIS fighters brought their girlfriend/sex-slave/wife into the tunnel complex, she just became a legitimate military target.  Same status for pore ol' Achmed the goat herder who was selling meat to the ISIS fighters.

Too bad, so sad.  It's a shame that we can't see a bomb damage assessment.

The Chief Justice Whines

Chief Justice John Roberts is, to even a casual observer, a flip-flopping, back-stabbing, waffling little man with a huge title, who doesn't see the place in history that he so richly deserves. Probably the worst chief justice of the modern era.  And, he's worried about the Court becoming partisan.

As the professor says:
Indeed.  As I've said before, I think that the man is despicable.  If I ever get the opportunity, I'm going to spit on his shoes.

What Is Out There?

That's the big question of space exploration: What is out there?

NASA is supposed to make an announcement at 2PM today about findings from the Cassini spacecraft that's been orbiting Saturn.
This afternoon, NASA is going to make an announcement about big findings from the Cassini spacecraft, a probe that’s been exploring the Saturn system since 2004. This particular announcement will revolve around “new results about ocean worlds” in our Solar System, so that means we’ll be most likely be focusing on either Titan or Enceladus. The two moons of Saturn are thought to harbor liquid water. Enceladus has a subsurface ocean and this saltwater periodically erupts from the moon’s surface as plumes. Titan’s surface, in comparison, is dotted by lakes and seas of liquid methane and ethane.
As alien a world as we'll probably ever imagine.  Lakes of methane and ethane.  This is cool stuff.

Death and Taxes

Someone said that the only two things that are inevitable are death and taxes.

I ain't dead yet, but the tax man is doing his part.  I have to stop and thank God that I have my health, and Milady and I are enjoying the fruits of our success.  Our kids are grown, the grandkids are healthy, and that everyone has a good roof ad enough to eat.

Grandma and I still work, make a paycheck, and parlay two careers and a couple of little retirement accounts into a pretty comfortable life.  But, we have no deductions and the tax-man whacks us hard.

This year, as last year, I am paying more in taxes than I made for many years.  And, even with all that withholding, I still get the patriotic chore of writing the IRS a healthy check early next week.

For what I have, I am thankful, but I'd feel a whole lot better if the tax man didn't take such a wet bite out of my checking account.

Just damn!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Eaton Rapids Joe gives us a post on Unpredictability, and he opens with this line:
It is universally accepted that it is advantageous to have a "Poker face" when playing poker or other games of chance that involve other actors.
I have one minor quibble with this thesis, and that is that I don't believe poker to be a game of chance.  There is some randomness associated with poker, but it is mainly a game of skill.  Much like Doc Holliday says.

However, I do agree that  President Trump differs from the "O" guy in that he doesn't telegraph his intentions.    The "O" gjy would tell everyone what he intended to do.  Operations Security (OPSEC) had no place in the "O" administration.

President Trump is correct to keep his adversaries guessing.    We must be rational, after all, but there's no sense in being utterly predictable, especially when it comes to military operations.

Monday, April 10, 2017


The crap is starting to get interesting in the Far East.

Trump has sent a carrier group to the Korean peninsula.

Reports put up to as many as 150,000 Chinese troops on the North Korean border

SecState Rex Tillerson is talking with the Chinese.
“President Xi clearly understands, and I think agrees, that the situation has intensified and has reached a certain level of threat that action has to be taken,” Tillerson said.
Tillerson described a “shared view and no disagreement as to how dangerous the situation has become”.
The wild card, though, is litttle Kim, the North Korean despot, who is crazy as a shit-hose-rat.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

New Electronics

About the first of the year, Thorn valley bought new electronics.  Our old system was a first-generation system, and had some gremilins.  It still worked, sort of.  Lots of gliches and gemlins, the whole thing was held together by prayer and trepidation.

But, today, we broke out the new stuff and in the space of about a half-hour, we had it installed.  New timers, lights, sensors, power supply and start button, it's all brand-new out-of-the-box.

This is going to be a whole lot better than what we were using.

The Competition

I've got to shoot against these two wahoos at Louisiana State and Texas State the following week.    That's Parttime on the left, and Whiplansh on the right.  Two very good friends, and both of them friends of mine.  Parttime is the current Southern Territorial Champion, and Whiplash is the current Oklahoma State Champion.

Both of them are friends of mine, and yeah sometime they have a bad day.(I've beaten them both).

Really, they're both great guys, fine competitors, and I can't wait to see them.  It's two weeks to Louisiana State.  We'll be in the City Park in Natchitoches, LA on April 21-23rd.

Y'all come watch.


So, Belle is trying on a new outfit, and the dawg keeps trying to photo-bomb her.  Belle, being the fast thinker that she is, simply lifts the skirt, takes a step forward, and engulfs the dawg in the 1880s.

Yep, there is a dawg under that skirt, but he didn't make it into the photo.  When he came out, he was woedully confused.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Trump's Very Good Friday

Well,  it looks like our President tomahawked Syria and got his Supreme Court pick confirmed on the same day.

By any standards, that's a good day.  The Democrats, of course, are in total meltdown.  but, we're only playing by their rules.  I believe that it was Harry Reid and Liz Warren who told us that "elections have consequences".

Now, That's Privelege

Chelsea Clinton, the wonder-child of an ex-president and an ex-Secretary of State believes that she is capaple of giving career advise.  Yeah, really.
Chelsea Clinton says if you want a raise, you should ask for one. And if you need time to yourself, take it. In fact, she’s gotten very far in her life without ever having to worry about being turned down or told no, so why should you worry about getting fired from your job for being greedy?
As the professor says: "Bon on third base, and thinks she hit a triple."

Heh! Chelsea Clinton is t he last person I'd take career advise from.  I don't know how she is able to talk, with that silver spoon in her mouth.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

The Voting Issue

Jazz Shaw, over at Hot Air, looks at article at the Washington Post, and makes cogent comments about the issue of the case in Texas earlier this year, where a green-card holder, Rosa Ortego, was sentenced to eight years in the pen for voting illegally in 2012 and 2014.

The Post seems to think that this is excessive, that an eight year sentence is a bit draconian.  I've heard the argument made that voter fraud is so rare that it never changes the results of  an election.  The argument is basically that one vote won't change the results.  Until it does.

I recall a time in a small north Louisiana parish.  It was a tiny little parish, with one judgeship.  The local judge was revered, well loved, and died suddenly.  The Supreme Court appointed a retired judge to serve ad hoc until an election could be called.

Two of the local ambulance-chasers qualified for the election and the campaign began.  As voting day rolled around, and as the precincts were counted, everyone held their breath to see who would ascend to the judgeship.  The results came in at a dead tie.  Each candidate had garnered exactly the same number of votes.

That triggered a re-count, and after the re-count was complete, the tally was still a dead-tie.  Allegation flew back and forth, a lawsuit was initiated, and the state Supreme Court got involved.  The process finally shook itself out, but during the shaking-out, we learned that the Registrar of Voters had been (ahem) a bit less than enthusiastic about insuring the integrity of the voter rolls.

Yes, sometimes one vote matters.  Further, the integrity of the election process is integral to our system of democracy.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Stilton has Moved

Like many right-thinking people (and I mean that on more than one level), I was a fan of Hope N' Change cartoons.  However, after the place went still, and I wondered if he had nothing to satirize now that Obummer was out of office.

Not so fast, there, bucko!  I didn't read the page closely enough.  He's moved, and you can find his stuff here, under a new header.

Here's a teaser.

Go read his stuff.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Corruption and Crime

The internet exploded this morning.  It seems that there is credible evidence that Susan Rice, Obama's National Security Advisor, ordered the intelligence agencies to intercept the phone calls of candidate Donald Trump.
Former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice ordered U.S. spy agencies to produce “detailed spreadsheets” of legal phone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides when he was running for president, according to former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova.
“What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals,” diGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Monday.
I'm not really versed on national security law, but I suspect that intercepting the phone calls of presidential candidates probably violates one or more of the criminal statutes related to wiretapping.   The bigger question, though, is; if Susan Rice is involved, how deep is President Obama in this mess?

The Town Talk

I walked outside in the pre-dawn hours to get the Town Talk, the official journal and newspaper for central Louisiana. Since I was a kid, it's been a daily newspaper. For decades we've had a subscription, and it was thrown in our driveway every day, rain or shine.

Belle likes doing the crossword puzzle with her morning coffee, and occasionally there might be a news item of interest. Reading the morning paper is a tradition that is older than I, and one we've enjoyed for many years.  My daily routine is to get up, make coffee, and walk outside to assess the weather and pick up the paper at the end of the driveway.

No more, and not because we've cancelled or anything. It seems that the Town Talk is feeling the crunch that is changing the publishing industry.  The Town Talk is no longer a daily paper.  It will be delivered on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.  I asked Belle if she was keeping the subscription and she said that she'd keep it for a while and see what happens.

I fear that the Town Talk is entering a death spiral of declining subscriptions and advertising revenue.  As much fun as I've had over the years, swearing at the Town Talk, it appears that before long, I'll have to forgo that pleasure.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Long Day

School was out today, so I spent the day getting ready for Louisiana State.

In the last three days, I've handled 3500 pieces of brass, some of them twice, some of them three times.  I've got another 1500 pieces to load.  But, I've turned the corner now and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Hopefully by Saturday morning, I can put the ammo away.

Unlike every other shooting sport I've ever been associated with, in the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, if an outfit is hosting a sanctioned shoot, they are responsible for providing the ammunition.  It's figured into the entrance fee, and it makes sense.  Everybody is shooting the same ammo, which levels the playing field.  There's no opportunity for some guy to try to get an edge by using custom ammo.

And, at the big shoots, a number of shooters fly in to the venue.  Not having to pack ammo is one less opportunity to run afoul of the TSA.  Our shooters that fly have figured out the regulations, but not having to deal with ammo is a big benefit.

Louisiana State is 17 days away.  The clock is ticking, and we're looking forward to it.

The Weather

The major news for yesterday is that our little chunk of Louisiana had weather yesterday.  Normally, we get weather every day, but yesterdays weather sucked.

High winds, torrential rains, hail, reports of tornadoes, property damage.  It went from a balmy, breezy Sunday morning, to an oh-hell=all-hands-on-deck exercise in the space of an hour.  Lots of trees down, power lies crashed, signs destroyed.  I haven't heard any reports of loss-of-life, and that's a blessing, but otherwise, central Lou isiana took a hit.

PawPaw's acre is fine, thank you.  Belle and I survived quite nicely, and the Dawg is okay, even if his weather psychosis kicked up a notch or two.  He was a skeered dawg for about eight hours.

Most of the heavy weather came in after dark, on our side of the river, so we'll be assessing after the sun comes up.  Rapides Parish schools are closed today, and they've even told the central office staff to stay home.    For myself, I intend to hang around the house today and piddle on some ongoing projects.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Louisiana State

I took delivery this morning on brass, wax bullets, primers, and ammo boxes that we'll use for Louisiana State.

We had a party here earlier, loading wax, seating bullets, adding primers, and boxing the loaded ammo.  After we had done several hundred rounds, we decided that the brass wasn't quite up to sniff for the best possible outcome, so I called a halt and set up a neck-sizing die in my old single stage press.

I don't own any .45 LC dies.Bell and I decided a long time ago that we'd limit that caliber to wax bullet ammo only.  We shoot that caliber in the back yard and we don't want any opportunity for an "OH-CRAP" moment., so I don't own any .45 LC dies.  But, old-time reloaders know that we can load .45 LC with .45 ACP dies, and as all I wanted to do was straighten the ase mouths, my .45 ACP expander die, set properly, would suffice properly.

A few minutes at the press, and I had that die set to iron the crimp out of the brass.,  No flare, just a straight, round case mouth would suffice.  I'm 1500 rounds into that exercise now, but the cases look a heck of a lot better and the bullets are loading properly.

I'm averaging about 500 cases an hour, and I've got exactly 2500 cases still to re-size.  We want to have 4500 rounds of ammo loaded and ready to go for the first shot of Louisiana State.  I'd better get cranking on that handle.  The shoot is less than three weeks away.