Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Well, Hell, Wednesday

Got up this morning, hit the road to take care of some business in town.

Ate breakfast with a friend, then headed over to take care of the business.

Got that done, came home, changed clothes.  Cranked the lawnmower.

Using the push mower out near the ditch, I hear a sound that sounds like PHUH.

Phun?  What the hell kind of noise is Phuh?  I look around just in time to watch the glass fall out of the lift-gate on the rear of the van.  Crap, Crap, Crap.

I call the insurance company, call the glass guy.  Finished mowing grass.

Went back to town for more business.  Finished that and went to see the glass guy.  He's ordered the glass and we'll install it in the morning.  Called insurance company and closed the loop on their paperwok.

Home now, awaiting Belle.  When she gets home, it's Happy Hour.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Mermite

Facebook is just plain stupid.  They'll put up a picture and ask if you know what this is.  The latest outrage is this picture.

That's a mermite container.  I have no idea where they got the name, but it was ubiquitous in field in field units.  That's where you got your hot chow, usually from a field kitchen, set p at the battalion trains.

Have I ever eaten a meal from one?  My Gawd, thousands.  When the evening log-pack showed up with mermites on board, you knew that you were getting hot chow.  I've eaten on the hood of jeeps, later, Humvees, and occasionally on the front slope of a tank.

Yeah, I know what a mermite looks like.

Grandkids and Chicken Nuggets

I'm watching grandkids today, and when I asked them what they wanted for lunch, they told me "Chicken nuggets!"

PawPaw generally keeps a supply of chicken nuggets close by, but I needed french fries, so I went up to the dollar store for fries.

I'm back now, and the oil is heating.  Chicken nuggets and fries ought to keep them satisfied until Dad can pick them up later.

I did manage to get my on-line training done for the Sheriff this morning.  More and more, the classroom training is going to online work.  I'm not sure it that is good or bad, but it that seems to be the nature of things.  Rather than sit in a classroom for an hour, we can sit at a computer monitor for an hour.  It may be a good use of resources, but it sure lacks the human interaction that you get in a classroom setting.

But, that's done now, and chicken nuggets and fries seems to be the menu.  It's about time to call them in or lunch.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cross Branded Peacemakers Inaugural

Belle and I, assisted by CFDA shooters Akarate Zach, Moon, Gator, and Cajun Geg, carried a range to the Cross Branded Cowboy Church in Pineville, LA

We kicked off at 10:00 a.m., with the pledge and a prayer, then commenced the safety briefing.  The, it was time to strap-up the new shooters and give some basic instruction at the dry-fire wall.

The fellow in the center is our Pastor, Brother Herb.
After some dry-fire instruction it was time to move over to the range and try it with wax bullet ammo.

Our pastor's lady, Viki, putting wax on steel.
Here is a view dowrange.  The photog caught this shot at the instant of impact.  The light has gone out, but hasn't started blinking yet.

Yee-haw!  Putting wax on steel.
The portable range worked great.   After the gun-smoke cleared and we were loading the truck, we looked at the sign-in sheet.  We had a total of twelve shooters for the inaugural.   Six CFDA members and six new shooters.

The shooters decided that we should meet the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, so our next scheduled shoot will be Saturday, June 10th at 10:00 a.m.

The Mansions Of The Lord


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Okay, This Is Cool.

Thanks, Budweiser.


It looks as if summer has finally arrived in central Louisiana.  We'll have temps in the 90s today, with heat indexes approaching 100 degrees.

Belle and I will be at the church this morning, introducing new shooters to Cowboy Fast Draw.  We'll be under shade, and I've already made plans for plenty of cool water.

We'll have six seasoned gunfighters to help the new shooters, and after a safety briefing and orientation we'll start strapping people up.

This morning will be a lot of fun.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Laser Cartidge

We bought a laser cartridge in Oklahoma and Belle has been playing with it.  Down the hall is an ironing board that has a target on it, and it really lights up when you hit it.

Practicing fast draw, down the hall.

Friday Surfing

This is just cool.  If you have grandkids like me, just about every other sentence is about robotics, and these guys are exploring the dexterity of robots.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Climate Change and Child Marriage

Yeah, Chelsea Clinton says those are interconnected.

The cluelessness here is sublime.

Taxes and Politicians.

Reading The Dead Pelican this morning, it leads me to an article about the proposed gasoline tax that Baton Rouge wants to build a new I-10 bridge over the Mississippi River.
Surprise, surprise the State wants more money from the people. This time around it’s for roads, and the way they expect to receive it is through increasing what we pay to the State in gasoline taxes from 20 cents a gallon to 37.
When we need anything in Louisiana, it seems like our representatives, senators and governor believe the only way to get it is by taxing the people more.
I personally feel as though the brains of the individuals who were elected to represent the rural parishes have been fried in Baton Rouge and they have fallen completely out of touch with reality.
That's the way I feel too, and my state Senator,  James "Jim" Fannin, out of Jonesboro, LA may be the worst of the bunch.  Senator Fannin hails from Jackson Parish, which is a helluva long way from where I live but I live in a gerrymandered district and Fannin really doesn't care if I draw breath.    When you try to call his office, you get an answering machine and that's the end of that conversation.

Belle and I have done a lot of traveling over the past several months, seen a lot of roads.    Mississippi, Texas, and Oklahoma have better roads than Louisiana, and they manage to have good roads on about the same tax money that Louisiana gets.

Two things piss me off.  Taxes and state senators who won't return phone calls.  James "Jim" Fannin has now had two opportunities to return my phone calls,   I don't expect that he will personally pick up the phone, but his staff has obviously screwed-the-pooch on both occasions.

Taxes is never the answer.  And, having a constituent call a state senator during normal business hours and get am answering machine is never the answer either. James "Jim" Fannin needs to do a whole lot better than he's doing.  A whole helluva lot better.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Portable Range

Nearly a year ago, I talked about a portable range that I was setting up.  The project got to about 90% completion and ground to a halt.  I needed better backstop material and I really didn't have an immediate use for it.

This week, that all changed.  I found the backstop material and I need two targets to introduce people to Cowboy Fast Draw, so this afternoon, I finished it.

It sets up really quick, with tarps and bungee-cords.

We're using the small CFDA targets, mainly because the trailer length is exactly right for the smaller targets.

The targets will be a lot more visible once we set up on Saturday morning.  We'll coat them with white lithium grease so that we can see the bullet impact.

The fist organizational meeting and shooting instruction is at 10:00 a.m, this Saturday, May 27th.  The church is the Cross Branded Cowboy Church, 6906 Highway 28 East, Pineville, LA.

Belle and I are excited about starting this new club.

Lowey Wants More Money

It seems that Rep Nita Lowey (D-NY) wants more money for domestic spending. I kinda-sorta agree with her, although not in the manner that she'd like.
“We need a budget framework that makes it possible for Congress to pass appropriations bills and allow our nation the flexibility to meet our responsibilities at home and abroad,” Lowey said at a press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
You're right, Nita, we need to meet our responsibilities.  The question becomes; what is our responsibility?  Not all that free crap that Obama gave away.    It's not the government's business to give away (for example) free phones.

And, Nita, if you read the Constitution (it's a short, six-page document),  you'll find that it doesn't say anything about health-care, or food stamps, or any of those other things that we give away.  As a matter of fact, Article 1, Section 8 lays out your responsibilities and I don't see anything about free stuff in there.

As a matter of fact, if you scroll down to the 10th Amendment, you'll find that if a power isn't granted to the United States, it belongs to the States, or the people.  But, I wouldn't expect a Democrat from New York to understand that.

It would be really nice if Congresswoman understood her responsibility, took her job seriously, and refrained from sticking her nose where it didn't belong.   I guess that's too much to ask.

Al-Qaeda Slams Trump

Al-Qaeda doesn't like Donald Trump.
Al-Qaeda slammed President Trump as a "hateful Crusader master" and suggested redistributing the wealth behind the $110 billion arms deal inked during Trump's visit in Saudi Arabia.
No problem.  I never liked those goat-humping sonsabitches, either.

I do note that they never had a problem with Barry Soetoro, though.   That speaks columns.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Seven Ounce, Non-Woven Geotextile

I'm always looking for backstop material for our wax bullet ranges that don't break the bank.  What we need is something that will stop a wax bullet reliably, and as in all shooting spots, economics is an issue.

The Association recommends ballistic nylon or good archery netting, but those things get pricey.  The last time I looked at archery netting a 10X20 would cost about $200.00 and that's not even half of what I need to make a good backstop.

However, there are construction materials that are very strong and we've been using some material at Thorn Valley for the past couple of years that's very good backdrop.  It stops the bullets well, is virtually indestructible, and because it is a construction material, is fairly economic.  As it turns out, this stuff is a geotextile fabric used as an underlayment for asphalt roads.  A good friend, fellow shooter, gave me the code and told me where to find it

They call this stuff 7-ounce filter cloth and I found mine at a local merchant,  Construction Materials, in Alexandria, LA.  I wandered in there today after work, and they knew just exactly what I was talking about.  As it turns out, they sell a bunch of this stuff to road contractors, and out DOTD tests every roll that they sell.  They had a 15'x15 piece and gave it to me for testing.

As I suspected, it works great.

The best part is that a roll of this material, 15X300 costs only $400.00.  The guy told me that if I cane in with good, green, folding money, the cash discount would bring the bill to about $350.00.

I may have found a nearly perfect backstop material.

Cynical Much?

Two thought-provoking pieces today for your consideration.  The first, from a Yale professor about the preservation of history and the Confederate statues.
True, preserving history is vital and necessary. But statues of Confederate heroes are not the way to do it. Because they confer honor and glory on the subjects depicted — and, inescapably, those subjects’ larger cause — the statues actually distort history. They obscure the central role of slavery in the nation’s bloodiest war and trumpet a message that the Confederacy was purely noble and worthy of esteem.
Slavery was bad, okay?  What strikes me most about the current debate is that it is only occurring in Democratic strongholds, (like New Orleans).  And, the Democrats were the party of slavery.  The Republican party was founded in large part to end slavery.  Republicans are still opposed to slavery in every form.

But, with the Democrats in disarray and looking for salvation, the only hope they have is to demonize someone or something to ket their constituency think that they actually care.  As Professor Reynolds points out.
Don’t overthink this, because it’s quite simple, really. When Democrats’ national position depended on unwavering support from “the Solid South,” we got lots of pro-Southern propaganda: the Lost Cause, Gone With The Wind, Disneyfied Uncle Remus, etc. As a vital Democrat constituency group, southerners, even practical neo-Confederates, were absolved of all sins as long as they stayed in line.
Yep, once the "solid south" started straying from the party line, the Democrats knew that they had to make a dramatic splash to keep their reliably solid voting block.  There has to be a villain, and the dead white men on on hoses seem like the proper target of their wrath.

Lets not forget that the Democrats were the party of slavery.  Even as late as the LBJ era, the Democrats were trying to figure out how to keep the voting block in line.

Cynical much?  Yeah, but probably not cynical enough.  This is politics as usual.  Someone is getting played, and if you're not sure who the mark is, you are probably the mark.

Slaughter in Manchester

The news this morning is that one of the votaries of the Mohammetan faith has conducted an outrage in England.
MANCHESTER, England — Children were among 22 people killed in a suicide attack after an Ariana Grande concert at Britain's Manchester Arena, police said early Tuesday.
That's really all you need to know about Islam.  They kill women and children enjoying a Monday night concert.  They are sick, depraved losers who subjugate and terrorize.

At some point, the practice of Islam should be considered a mental illness.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Oklahoma State - Day 3

We started with bracket matches in the morning, and of the Louisiana crews, nobody could find the target.  It was a fast 2X match, and before I knew it, I had collected my two Xs and was done shooting for the day.  So, I did what we do in that predicament.  I helped out, running the line, hand-judging, and generally trying to make myself useful.

There's one shooter, Parttime, who wears big hats.  Akarate Zach decided to make a stack of hats and attempt a Parttime immitation.

It was a great shoot, put on by great people, and I want to thank the Green County Gunslingers for putting on a fine event.  It was a success in every way.

Belle, Zach and I went back to the hotel room and crashed.  We've arisen at this point.  In just a few minutes I'll pack up this computer and we'll start packing the van to return to Louisiana.    We'll be back at work tomorrow, and tackling another project.  Belle and I have  fast-draw club to build.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The F-4 Phantom

Reader John shares his photo of an F-4 Phantom.

Those flew out of our local AFB during the '60's and I've always thought that the Phantom was one of the coolest, mot evil looking aircraft of the era.

Thanks for sharing, John.

Oklahoma State 0 Day 2

Sixty-Four shooters from nine states congregated  in the arena at the Creek County Fairgrounds, Kellyville, OK to decide the Oklahoma State Championship.  

Major D is out after seven rounds.  I couldn't find the target for the first three rounds, and it was looking pretty grim, but I managed to stay alive till the seventh round.

Belle is out after four rounds.  She really had trouble this morning,  I bought her a laser practice cartridge, and maybe she'll find it useful.  She's been jonesing for one for a couple of months, and there was a vendor there willing to take my money.

Akarate Zach was out after six rounds.  In the fifth round, he had the unfortunate experience of launching his ejector rod downrange.  The ejector rod on the Ruger Vaquero is notorious for getting loose and launching downrange.  Fortunately, we were able to find the spring and the screw, and it's all back together now.  I'l watch it close tomorrow, and when we get home, put a drop of Locktite on that screw.

I had a blog reader come by, and I got to chat with him a few minutes between matches.  I introduced min to Okie Ed and Fancy Nancy, and they gave him some printed information.  It was very cool to meet Shim, and I hope to see him again.

Tomorrow is the bracket matches. All the scores are loaded in the computer, and the computer takes you second-fastest time to assign a bracket.   It's a lot of fun, and it's a way to give the folks who are out of the main match to shoot  on Sunday morning.  So, tomorrow, we're alive again, and the bracket matches await.

Tonight is the banquet, and luckily, it's next door to the hotel.   Thant's extremely fortunate, as Major D is drinking red whiskey right now, and I'm told that it's illegal to drive drunk in Oklahoma.  I'll walk over to the restaurant.

See y'all on the line.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Oklahoma State - Day 1

We found the arena this morning and went in for registration and equipment check.

That's my gal in the picture above  We've competed equipment check and are waiting for the shooter's meeting.

We shot categories today, which is an age-based competition.  We didn't cover ourseves in gory, but we didn't embarrass ourselves either.  Today was a good warm-up for the main match, which will begin tomorrow morning.

That's Akarate Zach, hanging out with Okie Ed, one of our hosts.

Tomorrow is the main match, and we're in the hotel room getting ready for a good nigh's seep.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

We Have Arrived

We're here (wheverthehell "here" is).  In the motel.  The last 50 miles were in a hellacious thunderstorm, with associated tornado warnings.

Screw it.  I'm going to have a drink and go to bed.

Oklahoma State

Working the list, getting things ready.  Belle is taking off at noon.  Zach takes his lat final today and should get home about noon.  Hopefully, shortly thereafter, we'll throw the bags in the van and head north.

The shoot is in Kellyville, OK, just south of Tulsa.  Google Maps tells me 7.5 hours. roughly.  We'll see how that pans out.

Gotta get busy..  Lots of stuff to do before noon.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

For The Infantry?

The tank museum I understand.  Monkey World must be for the infantry.

17 Cents?

It looks like the House Ways & Means committee in the Louisiana Legislature wants to hike our gasoline taxes by 17 cents.  Really??
Opening a late session controversy, a House panel Tuesday narrowly approved a bill that would raise Louisiana's gasoline tax by 17 cents per gallon, increasing state aid for roads and bridges by $510 million annually.
Yeah, it appears that our state Highway Dept has been pissing away our money for many years, and now they've decided that they need more money.
The bulk of the new dollars – about $260 million per year – would go for state priority projects, including "mega" plans like a new bridge across the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge for more than $1 billion.
Yeah, that's what we need, a new bridge in Baton Rouge.  We've been spending money on the roads in Baton Rouge for twenty years that I'm aware of.  The road network in Baton Rouge should be pristine.  Every time I drive through that hell-hole, they're working on the roads.

What Louisiana needs is a nice four-lane highway across the center of the state.  From Natchez, MS, westward toward Texas.  Nothing like that currently exists and I don't know of any plans to build such a road.  Hell, the state just built a new bridge across the Mississippi river at New Roads, and there is no real highway network to make use of.

I agree that the state has kicked the can down the road for too long.  It's easy to put-off transportation work.  We've been doing it a long time, and it is the fault of every politician since Huey Long.

When you get out of the big cities of Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport, the Louisiana road network sucks.  The politicos have been pissing away our road money for too long.  Both Texas and Mississippi get the same road money that Louisiana gets and their road network is much better.

Maybe what Louisiana needs instead of new taxes is new politicians.

Cimarron El Malo

Surfing around early this morning, I went over to Cimarron's website to look at cowboy guns and found something that looks promising.

The Cimarron El Malo.  The documentation in the box says that it is made by Elle Pietta and imported by Cimarron.  It comes in a variety of calibers and barrel lengths.  The one under the link above is is .45 Long Colt with a 4-3/4 inch barrel.  This caliber is required for CFDA shooting and the short barrel is preferred by a variety of shooters, but this model also comes in the longer barrel lengths, to include the 7.5 inch.  The MSRP is $544.74, but it can be had cheaper.

What I like about this particular model is the hammer-mounted firing pin.  That, of course, requires a load-one-skip-one-load-four routine like the old Colt system, but that hasn't been a problem for knowledgeable gunners since 1873.

Grabagun has it for $465.98 in the short barrel and $447.83 in the long barrel.  It's interesting that the long gun is several dollars less expensive than the short gun.

Here's a YouTube video that gives an out-of-the-box look at the revolver.

The octagon barrel is a nice touch, and Belle likes Pietta revolvers.  Both of her competition revolvers are Pietta's.  They seem to be holding up well, and   The Pietta frames seem just a tiny bit smaller than the Uberti, and the scale tells us that the Pietta is several ounces lighter than the Ruger Vaquero.

I do like the looks of that revolver.  If I find a few spare dollars, one of those might end up in my spares bag.

Another One Gone

In 2001, the Taliban destroyed historical monuments, to the disdain of the whole world.

In late 2016, ISIS destroyed historical monuments, to the disdain of the whole world.

Last night, Mitch Landrieu took down an historical monument.  Mitch is the Democratic mayor of New Orleans, and takes down monuments to historical figures that don't match his current politically-correct worldview.

I'll leave my readers to draw the proper parallels.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Wood Ducks

Sitting at the house yesterday in the twilight enjoying a bourbon I was considerably surprised to see a wood duck whistle past and pitch into the little lake that we live on.

"Wood duck" I said to Belle.
"How do you know?" she asked.
"I just know."

The sight took me back thirty years.  I was sitting on the swing at my house on Bayou Derbonne, early on a Sunday afternoon in January.  My wife had just asked what I thought we should cook for supper, and while I pondered the answer, a pair of wood ducks whistled over the house and went down in the bayou across the road.

That bayou was about a hundred yards from the house, across a small asphalt road, across a muddy bean field, lined with mixed hardwood and bald cypress lining the banks.

I stood from the swing and went inside, retrieving my upland shotgun.  It was a Stevens 311, an inexpensive double-barrel.  I plunked two shells into the barrels and went outside.  "I'll be right back."

Crossed the road, jumped the ditch and slogged across the muddy bean field.  I stopped in the edge of the trees and watched the surface of the bayou, looking for ripples in the still water.  I took two steps, and heard wings.  The two ducks jumped from the water and I swung on them.  Pop!  Pop!, a left and a right, and I had two ducks down in the bayou.  There I stood in muddy sneakers, jeans, and a flannel shirt.

There was nothing to do but go in after them, so I put the shotgun down and waded in after them into chest-deep water.  Then I headed for the house, cold, wet, muddy, with supper in my hand.

Dinner that night was roasted wood duck, with rice, gravy, steamed broccoli and cat-head biscuits. Not a bad supper for an afternoon's work, even if I did have to wade for it.

I wonder if someone hung a wood-duck box on the lake.  They are in no danger from my shotgun, but it is nice to see them late in an evening.  The sight takes me back to good times.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Goblins Down

It looks like some Houston goblins picked the wrong victim when they decided to do a drive-by.  The goblins fired over 40 rounds, but the homeowner was able to retrieve his AR-15.  He killed two of them and sent the third to the hospital.

I'd say that the homeowners practice time on the range was time well spent.

Well done, sir, well done.

We Need A Cop

I tried to make the point last week, but I may have failed to be clear.  Let me not make that mistake again.  We need a cop running the FBI.

Michael Walsh writes a great post mortem at PJ Media.
Let’s cut right to the chase: James Comey should have been fired immediately following his disastrous press briefing last July, in which he candidly laid out the case against Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information and then refused to recommend charges. Overstepping his authority while radiating sanctimony, arrogating power while clumsily intervening in the election, Comey deserved to be sacked on the spot.
When I watched that presser last July, the first thing that came to mind was that Comey was trying to lawyer his way through a cop's job.  He said words to the effect that no reasonable prosecutor would take the case, and that stunned me.

It's not a cop's job to worry about prosecution.  The job of a cop is to examine the evidence and satisfy the elements of the offense.  Every offence has elements, those parts of the law that tells an investigator that a crime has been committed.

That's not to say that a cop doesn't want to get it right.  He wants the prosecution to succeed, but once the elements of the crime are satisfied it becomes the prosecutors job to get the conviction.  If the cop does his job right, the prosecutor gets a case that is nearly ready to go to court.  The cop and the lawyer might work hand-in-hand on building a good case, but the lines of responsibility are clearly drawn.

Comey blurred those lines.  Which is why a lawyer is the worst possible choice as the head cop at the head cop-shop.  And, I'd bet that there are several very capable, very qualified cops who would be willing to take the Director's job at the Bureau.

Sheriff David Clarke, of Milwaukee comes immediately to mind.  From all indications, he's a great cop, with a simple message, and a strong sense of right-and-wrong.  I'm sure that there are dozens of guys around the country, capable administrators who understand the difference between a cop and a prosecutor, who could rebuild the reputation of the Bureau, give it a renewed focus, and serve the people of the United States honorably.

All the President needs to do is find that person.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Texas State Higlhlights

A short highlight reel from the indomitable Miss E, our scribe and archivist par excellence.  She's the gal behind the camera who makes us look so good.

But, before we get too carried away, here's a screen-capture of my own girlfriend, the incomparable Blue Eyed Belle, making smoke on the line in Silsbee, TX.

Should anyone wonder why I try to stay on Belle's good side, a simple review of that photo should be evidence enough.  These gals are very good, even expert with a Single Action revolver and they'll rain scunnion on ya if they need to.

But, all funnin' aside, take a look at this video.  Full-screen is better.  It focuses on the ladies who were shooting with us in Texas, and some of these gals really sparkle.  Sit back for seven minutes, put the video on full-screen and watch the highlights of the Texas State Championship.

Thanks, Miss E!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Central Air

Last Thursday, I talked about the household AC unit.  After cleaning the condenser coil, I started watching the thermostat closely.  The unit wasn't keeping the house cool.  If I set the thermostat on 70, the unit would bring the house down to 72 and hang there.  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't right either.

Yesterday was the same deal.  Set the thermostat on 70, house cools down to 72 and hangs there.  Last night about bedtime, Belle commented that the house felt warm and when I checked the thermometer, it was at 74 degrees.  This with a cool evening.

This morning, I called a guy that comes highly recommended.  Surprisingly, he answered the phone on a Saturday morning.  He told me that he would come check the unit, that he'd be here about noon.

I don't know what the problem is, but it needs to be fixed.   And, this guy comes highly recommended.  He's willing to come out on Saturday to keep my gal comfortable, and I'm willing to write the check.

Next week is going to be very, very busy, with a variety of activities scheduled and mandatory.  If I can get this AC fixed today, it will be a huge blessing.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Central Air

Both Belle and I grew up in houses that didn't have central air or heat.  For that matter, my children grew up in a house with a window unit, and some nights we slept hot.  That is no longer the case.

In the Deep South, central air conditioning has become a necessity.  Belle promised herself that when she got grown, she'd never again sleep in a cold house during the winter, and I promised myself that I'd never sleep in a hot house in the summer.

Over the past couple of days, I noticed that the AC wasn't keeping up with the weather.  It seemed to struggle a bit to keep the house cool.  I changed the filters and the outside stuff, but that didn't seem to help.  Before I call an AC mechanic, I'm going to do what I can, so this afternoon, I stopped by my local hardware store and got a bottle of something called Coil Clean.

Got home, killed the power and took the fan off the outside condenser unit.  It was pretty nasty.  I followed the label directions, sprayed Coil Clean all over the inside of the unit, then hooked up a garden hose.  I sprayed out the condenser from the inside-out.  The crap that jumped out of the coil was amazing.  After I spayed everything down two or three times, I figured it was clean and re-assembled the unit.  got power to it and the fan kicked on.

I put up my tools and headed inside.  It seems to be blowing cold air, but we'll give it an hour and see if it gets down to the thermostat setting.

I may have just saved myself a sevice call.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trump Fires Comey

I heard about this and with all the hoop-la going around, maybe it's time to talk about it.

Donald Trump ain't the first president to fire an FBI Director.  Others have done it, most recently, Bill Clinton.    An FBI Director serves at the pleasure of the President.

Get over it.

Comey was a screw-up, a loose cannon who had no idea how to be a cop.  He may have been a pretty good lawyer, but he was a crappy cop, heading up the most prestigious cop-shop i the country.

President Obama should have fired Comey last Jully, after his ill-conceived television performance when Comey gave Hillary Clinton a pass.

Naval officers will tell you that there is only two things that you can do with a loose cannon.  Either tie it down, or push it overboard.  Comey woudln't be tied down, so he was pushed overboard.

Ancient Aviation

This is cool.  From Strategy Page.

This is one of three XP-59A prototypes. The first prototype XP-59A flew in the fall of 1942 at Muroc Dry Lake (now Edwards AirForce Base), Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo)
That's a good looking airplane.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Eyes and Ears

Johnathan asks in comments, regarding the CFDA shoots:
I see ear plugs and eye protection in use - good to see people being careful.
How loud are the shots? Is ear protection really required for them, or is it just a precaution?
I'm glad you asked.  Eye protection is mandatory for everyone on the line.  Those bullets sometimes ricochet back toward the line and we don't want to shoot an eye out.  We take great care in making sure that everyone has safety glasses.

Ear protection is recommended for adults and mandatory for youth.   The sound of the shot is much less than a .22 LR, but we make it mandatory for the youngsters.  And, every range has ear plugs available for anyone who wants hearing protection.

Thanks for asking.

This Is the 21st Century

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. –  U.S. military officials say an unmanned spacecraft orbiting Earth since May 2015 has landed in Florida.
The Air Force posted tweets that the X37B spacecraft landed Sunday morning at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral after 718 days in orbit.
I still think that space flight is cool.

Welcome Home

My girlfriend (yeah, we're married, but she's still my girlfriend) will be home tonight after six days in Missouri.  She texted me this morning and said that she was beginning the journey.

I'll be glad to see her, and the dawg will be glad to see her.  It is amazing how boring my life is when she's not around.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Stray Cats and Wax Bullets

In my long association with firearms and ammunition, I've come into the knowledge that some fof then are very accurate.  I've got a couple of rifles that shoot with surgical precision.  I've got a Ruger Mak II, that when I do my part, it places the little .22 bullet exactly whee I want it.  Every shooter has a couple of those guns in his memory.

Wax bullets ain't like that.  The standard for sighted fire is 1.5 inches at 21 feet, and that's with a pristinely  clean bore.  But, wax bullets do have a purpose.  They're generally non-lethal, much like a paintball.  They'll sting, they'll leave a whelp, and they will put an eye out, so we're careful with them.  You still have to be careful with them.

Belle and I feed a couple of cats.  They keep the mice nervous, and we like them, so we tolerate them.  But, they are outdoor cats.   Occasionally, a stray will show up to enjoy the larder that we provide for our cats, but we try to discourage the homeless foragers.  We've found that wax bullets tend to send a message.  Being kind souls we don't want to hurt any living thing needlessly.  The wax bullets we use tend to shatter when they hit concrete, so a wax bullet at the feet of a stray cat showers him with wax shrapnel and normally lights a fire under him, reminding him of another appointment.  He tends to depart without formal good-byes.

But, wax bullets ain't accurate.  They tend to group loosely.  Which leads to a story about a white stray that showed up last week.    He was getting bolder, and showing himself more frequently, and on Friday we "scatted" him a couple of times.  But, he persisted.  So, on the third "scat", I sent a wax bullet out to punctuate the denial.  I sent it toward his feet, but was astounded to see fur fly off his right hip.  The impact spun him around, and he departed post-haste. Even grandson Zachary, who saw the shot, commented. "Oooh, that had to hurt."

But, that shot bothered me.  I don't want to hurt any living thing needlessly, and that bullet had to hurt.  That white cat crossed my mind several times yesterday, and I wondered if I had caused any lasting physical damage.

This morning, I walked out to get the morning paper and noticed a white flash, a blur across the front yard.  I watched him depart, cross the road and into the woods across the street.  That cat ain't hurt, but his boldness has diminished considerably.  He got the message, and I don't believe that he'll challenge me again in my own backyard.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Reviewing the Photos

We have a photographer in Cowboy Fast Draw, Miss E, who takes pictures at our matches.  Lots of pictures, both good and bad.  As Paul Simon famously said, "She has an eye for a camera, she loves to take a photograph."

We can learn from her photos, if you look at them with a critical eye.  For example, this one, below.

That's me, Major D, in the red shirt and tan pants.  About to take a shot, and my arm is extended way to much.  That cost me a tenth of a second, and in this game, a tenth is an eternity.  I've got to work on that.

Moving on to the next shot, we see me with my arm closer in.

That's me in the white shirt, foreground.  I remember winning that match, and my hand is a lot closer to my body.  That's better and I need to work on that.

The nandsake after the match.  That's something we do after the match is over.  Win or lose, we wish our opponent well.  The guy with me in that photo is a shooter out of Gainesville, Texas that we call Skagway.

Next, we have my son-in-law, Cajun Greg demonstrating good form.

That's Cajun Greg in the red shirt.  He's showing good form, gun in tight against his body.  He's shooting against a fellow we call Ol' Bucker.   Ol' Bucker is a shooter out of California.  He's one of the traveling fellows, who tours the country getting into gunfights.

Looking at pictures is fun, but Zach and I have an appointment at the range.  We'll be practicing this afternoon.  But, before I go, here's a picture of Zach, making smoke at Texas State

He's the youngster in the center of the photo, and he's showing good form as well.  That might explain why, after the gunsmoke had cleared and the dust had settled, Zach was the second place finisher in the youth division.

Now, if you'll excuse me, we'e off to the range.

The Unemployment Rate

The April Jobs numbers look pretty good.  The US added 211,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.4%.

That's good news for Trump, as measured against Obama, but honestly, anyone can look good against Obama.  There are several measures of unemployment, and the "official" measure is the U-3/  I've always believed that two other numbers should be used.  One, the U-6, is currently at 8.6

Another, the labor force participation rate, is currently at 62.9%.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Whether He Likes It Or Not

Gateway Pundit shares a heart-warming story of feminism at its most toxic.
Feminist mom, Leah McLaren has two sons who are your typical rough and tumble young boys. McLaren was offended by her youngest son who is only 3 years old after he rejected ‘girlish’ things and vows to turn him into a ‘proud princess whether he likes it or not’.
As I see more and more of feminism, I'm becoming convinced that it is a mental disorder.
But as I watch my son reject flowers and dolls and even pink Popsicles – all things that until, very recently, he adored – on the grounds that they are “girlish,” I have come to see Fine’s point. There is something inherently sexist, even covertly misogynist, in the way we discourage boys away from pretty things while telling girls they can have it all.
No, darlin', you're wrong.  It's inherently natural and normal for little boys to reject the color pink.  We don't discourage boys away from pretty things, it is hard-wired into them.  The only un-natural concepts I see in that paragraph revolve around the words "sexism" and "misogyny".  Those are artificial constructs designed by liberals to blur the natural lines between women and men.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Two Rugers

Ruger Blackhawks are rugged as hell.  I saw this picture on the Book of Face on a Ruger forum and wonder what the hell the guy did to these two revolvers.

I ca't imagine what it might take to blow the top strap off a Blackhawk, but here ya go.

The guy really needs to review the basics of his handloading procedure.  He got something horribly wrong.

Thursday I Got Nuttin'

I got nothing.  The national news bores me.  I really don't care if O'Reilly got fired and I really don't care if Colbert had a meltdown on camera.   Whether or not the Republicans vote on a healthcare bill really doesn't interest me.  I'm unable to keep up with continuing outrage on the left, or the right.

Belle made it to Missouri yesterday.  She's with family, and safe.  She'll come home after the funeral.   The dawg and I are carrying bravely on, although he's confused with Belle gone and I don't sleep well unless she's beside me.  Funny, things like that didn't used to bother me.  I guess I'm becoming an old curmudgeon.  It's been awhile since I didn't have her to supervise me.  The dawg and I are eating well, though.

I believe it's going to be Salisbury steak, rice and gravy tonight. I may have to wash the dawg's face when it's over.  He doesn't do gravy real well, but he likes it a lot.  He has no thumbs, and I haven't been able to teach him to use a spoon. Come to think of it, I may have to mop the kitchen floor as well.

The dawg and I are batch'in it for a couple of days.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

The Grudge Match

I was talking with Dash, a fine young shooter out of Texas.  Dash is currently both the Louisiana and Texas State champion for his division.  Dash was asking about the invitational match that Thorn Valley hosts every year in November.  I told him that we might set aside some time for grudge matches, where a shooter could call us someone he wanted to duel with.  He liked that idea.

"Best be careful," I told him.  "I might call you out for a grudge match.  How about that?"

Dash looked at me with steely eyes, from under the brim of his hat.  "I'll see you there."

The other fellows at the table guffawed.  Dash had slain me with a single line.  It's hard to get ahead of these young'uns, sometimes.

June Bugs and Ammo

Regular readers know that I've been a reloader for two decades, and a shooter for five decades.  I have a passing familiarity with ammunition, and shooting.  I've loaded a lot of ammunition for my own use and I have some guns that have never fired a single round of what we call "factory" ammunition.

When I began Cowboy Fast Draw shooting two years ago, I considered the ammo to be a bit... odd.  Basically, a .45 Long Colt case, drilled out to accept a shotgun primer, we stuff a wax bullet in the case mouth, drop a shotgun primer in the primer hole, and use the impulsive power of the shotgun primer to propel the wax bullet toward the target.

To say that the cartridge is a specialty cartridge and a low powered unit, is to put the bite on understatement.   It's still dangerous, and no one wants to be shot with one, but it certainly isn't standard ammo.  At the distances we shoot, it works just fine and it's very safe with just a minimum of preparation and training.

At a statewide sanctioned shoot, one of the rules is that the host supply the ammunition.  The nickeled, specially produced cartridge brass is the ne plus ultra of the game, but they are expensive.  At 80 cents per piece, it's not too bad to buy 50 or 100 pieces of brass and shoot the same ones for years.  100 cases will cost you 80 bucks, but they won't wear out, like regular cartridge brass.  Keep them clean and you'll shoot them for years.  Indeed, I"m still shooting the very first cases I ever bought, and by my estimation, we've used about 20,000 pieces of wax in those same two years.

Again, at a sanctioned shoot, the host supplies the ammo, and buying 10,000 cases will set you back about $8,000.  That is certainly beyond the reach of many clubs, and some rather creative solutions have been tried. Believe me, I've tried them. So far, those solutions have been less than satisfactory. While it is not impossible to drill a standard .45 Colt case to accept a shotgun primer,  While you basically drill a 1/4 inch hole, then you have to bevel a recess to that the primer sits flush with the case head.

I've done that as an experiment, and the reject percentage was high.  Without very precise equipment, it's just not worth the hassle, so many of us use the standard CFDA cases.  But, at a state-level match, it requires a lot of ammo, and if the cases aren't perfect, it leads to concerns.

So, now let's talk about the guns.  We use single action revolvers that mimic the firearms of the 1880s.  The Ruger New Vaquero dominates the line.  It's a durable, strong action and has quite a following.  Indeed, PawPaw has five of them, and they all work just fine.  THIS IS NOT A CRITICISM of Ruger.  But, in an attempt to make their guns as durable and safe as possible, they've added some bits and pieces that we don't find on the original Colt revolvers, or the Colt clones.

Below is a diagram of the standard Ruger action. The mainspring pushes a strut, which pushes the hammer, which strikes the transfer bar, which hits a spring-loaded firing pin, which (hpefully) hits the primer.  And there's the rub.  As fast as we push our revolvers, things wear and as the accumulation of wear, usage, and the inevitable grit that gets into things, we start to see light primer strikes.  Again, this is not a hit on Ruger.  The New Vaquero is a fine revolver.

In contrast, the Colt mechanism is fairly simple. It has its issues, but the firing process is simpler.  The mainspring pushes the hammer, which has a hammer-mounted firing pin. The firing pin goes through a hole in the breech-face, which strikes the primer.  It's pretty simple, and my Ubertis have this system.  As a result, I can confidently shoot ammo that a Ruger NV might not shoot.

During a lull before one match with a fellow I respect and josh with, I noticed that he was inspecting the supplied ammo and making a small line of rejects on the ammo table. His very experienced, calibrated eyeball had led him to reject ammo for a variety of reasons.

I decided to get into his head.  "Push that ammo over here." I asked him.  "I'll use that in the match."

My hand-judge, a very experienced shooter from Texas asked me, "Are you going to shoot his rejects?"

"Absolutely," says I.  "Matter of fact, if you've got one with a june-bug in it, give me that one first. I don't mind shooting june-bugs."

The hand-judge laughed and gave me a cartridge.

I won that match 3-1.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Rest in Peace

We learned this morning that Mr. Bobby Elliott Jr, of Missouri has passed away  Bobby was in his mid-40s and beloved of my lady.

She was married to his father many years ago.  Belle and Bobby had custody of his kids, and she raised them for several years.  When Bobby Sr passed away, the natural mother took the kids, and Belle lost track of them.  She didn't hear from them for many years.  About  the time she and I started dating, she established contact through a confluence of family and internet contacts.

Bobby Jr. passed away this morning from a series of complications.  Belle will be traveling to Missouri with her son, to be there when Bobby is buried.  The PawPaw household is in mourning.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Texas State Recap

We're home, safe and sound.  It was a great trip, a wonderful competition, and a great visit with friends.   One wag said that going to a Cowboy Fast Draw match is like going to a family reunion, but with people you like. - - With guns.  I think that there is a lot of truth to that.  The CFDA is a family of shooters that support each other, coach each other and help each other.

Akarate Zach did exceptionally well this weekend, taking second place both in his division in the main match, and second place in his category.  In both matches he was up against some very stiff competition, but he handled the stress, put hits on the plate, and keeping the fun going.   Zachary can say honestly, and with pride, that he's the second place gunfighter in Texas, and that's something to brag about.

Major D did better than he's ever done in a sactiioned shoot.  I stayed alive till the ninth round, against very tough competition.  When the gunsmoke cleard and the dust settled, Major D took 15th place overall.  Not to shabby against a very trough field, and the Big Thicket Bushwackers are one of the toughest clubs in the country.

Congratulations to the Big Thicket Bushwackers for hosting a really well-run match.  It was a lot fo fun and I know how much work they put into it.

We're home now and safe and looking forward to the rest of the competition season.  Next up is Oklahoma State in three weeks.  We're looking forward to going up and shooting with our Okie friends.