Sunday, December 31, 2017

Facebook - Goofy

I spend time on Facebook keeping up with friends and family.   Every Fast Draw club I know has a Facebook page, where we share events, and  pictures, and swap ideas and techniques.  Facebook is great for that, but it has some weird quirks.   Like this notification I got this morning.

I had to laugh.  Michael is my grandson.  We don't share any blood; he is Belle's grandson, but I met him when he was four years old, and he's been a constant figure in my life since 2001.  Michael's a great kid.  He's a junior in college, making his way in the word, and doing it his way.  He's a musician, and working on a degree in education.   He's currently a drum major in the university band, and his stated goal is to be a band director at the high school level.  He's well on his way to combining music, education, and a career of doing something he loves. 

Michael is a great kid, and the idea that I've only known him for five years is laughable.  Michael is one of the reasons that this blog is named PawPaw's House and I am very proud of him.

Saturday, December 30, 2017


Allen asks in comment:
Are you required to GFCI all the outlet circuits? 
Yep!  I have one of those installed in the first outlet of every circuit.  Surprisingly, the air conditioners came with GFCI heads already installed on the plugs.  But, yeah, it's required by code.
 I'm assuming all the outlets are on 20 amp circuits. Did you put in any 30 amp 24 and 60 amp 240 circuits to accommodate future heavier equipment (air compressor, welder, etc.)
All the outlets are on 20 amp circuits, and the outlets themselves are 20 amp.  The AC units required a 20 amp 240v circuit and I have two of them installed.  Each AC unit on it's own circuit. 

You're not the first person to ask about a welder, and that amazes me for several reasons.  First, I don't weld.  Never have, never learned.  And, with the eye problems I've been diagnosed with, welding isn't in my future.  However, two of my three sons weld, and they have these amazing little MIG/TIG welders (one's a Miller, one's a Lincoln) that they run on standard 110v, 20 amp circuits.  But no, I'm not a welder and ever will be.  My air compressor is a little Harbor Freight unit that runs on standard household current. 
 You have air conditioners, any provision for a large wall fan? On low it can exhaust gunsmoke, on high move enough air for cooling.
We talked about exhaust fans today, during our lunch break.    Some sort of exhaust fan is in the works, but I haven't figured out the details.   I have plenty of breaker capacity in the panel in case I want to install circuits later, but right now I think I'm good.

Shop Update

My boys showed up this morning to help finish the electrical installation, so that we can get it inspected.  My second son went through an inspection when he built his shop earlier this ear, so he's familiar with the process and could guide me against potential pitfalls. 

Mainly, grounding.  It is a metal building,after all, and I understand that we want a good ground to everything, but I really don't understand the requirement to use grounding tabs.  The meter pan is grounded to an 8-foot grounding rod, buried to below slab level.  The ground goes inside to the breaker panel, which is also grounded to the slab through a grounding rod that the slab inspector required to ground the reinforcing steel to the to the box.  Each run of electrical cable is grounded to the box, and to the building with screws, and the box itself has a little green grounding wire installed that is linked to the fixtures themselves.

All that being said, this is the regulatory regime we live in today, and we double-checked  everything, found a couple of question marks, and re-did the work.    I believe that it is all tight and right, and we're ready for the inspector.  I'll call them Tuesday morning, first thing, because I am sure that Monday is a holiday.   Hopefully, he'll get here late Tuesday or early Wednesday, and give me a PASS sticker so that we can proceed with the electrical connection. 

But, it's now Saturday afternoon.  The shop is closed, the tools are put away, and I can proceed with Happy Hour.  It is a holiday weekend, after all.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Shop Update - Tired

I have been on a ladder all day long, installing the electrical service for the air conditioners and running a switch lead for the lights.  It doesn't sound like much, but when you're working 10 feet in the air, it makes for a long day.  I am developing a loathing for ladders, and I've increased my loathing of 10-2 metal clad cable. 

Tomorrow the sun will come up on a new day and I have three young men coming to help me.  We have to install eight outlets along the wall and install outlets for lights on the ceiling.  Hopefully by later tomorrow afternoon, I"ll be ready to call for the inspector.  After he blesses it, we can get the electric company to hook me to the grid.

The Weather

It looks like we're going to have a cold snap early next week to usher it 2018.  So be it.  I've lived through cold snaps before.  I recall the winter of '77, when I lived at Fort Knox, and the travails o being a young company commander whose troops lived in WWII barracks.  It was no joy at all.  The winters of '78 and '79 were no cake-walk either.

As I recall, the great bookieman of the weather scientists in those days was global cooling.  Yeah,, we were headed for a new Ice Age.  Seriously.

T hen, sometimes after Al Gore lost his bid for the presidency, he began a campaign to make himself filthy rich by proclaiming that the earth was getting warmer.  I've been openly skeptical  of that farce since it's beginning.  For a number of reasons, the glowball warmening crowd cried gloom-and-doom, but they didn't change their personal habits.  Like, for example, flying private jets to climate conferences.

Now, President Trump is expressing skepticism, and the DNC-MSM are losing their minds.

It's weather, people.  Get over it.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to put on my long johns and venture out to the shop.  I have more wiring to pull, and outlets to install.  It's cold out there.



Really!  That's completely and utterly racist.  Frankly, I'm tied of being blamed for someone else's problems.  For me, 2018 will be the year of calling out racism wherever it rears its ugly head.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Why Be Average?

When I was growing up, I was taught to exceed the standards, to not settle for being average.
Based on per capita consumption from alcoholic beverage sales data, the average American drinks roughly 1.35 drinks per day, 9.5 drinks per week and 494 drinks per year, said Aaron White, senior scientific advisor to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism director. But, White said that number is higher — 1.94 drinks a day, 13.6 per week and 705 a year when adjusting for age (looking at just adults 18 and older, the majority of the nation’s drinkers).
Happy Hour starts (round here) when Belle gets home from work.  We generally exceed the average right up to the time we toddle off toward bed.

As a matter or pure fact, I have worked hard today, doing construction work.  I believe that I am entitled.  Everyone has to believe in something, and I believe I'll have another drink.

Pulling Wire

I've been pulling wire all day.  Well, not exactly, I've been installing MC 12-2 (Some call it BX).  It's a metal-clad wire suitable for installation in metal buildings.  Which is exactly where I'm putting it.  I've done about all I intend to do today, and I need to pick my electrician's bran before I go further.

I need to decide whether I'm going to wire my receptacles in series (daisy-chain) or parallel (all pulling off a common circuit) before I go much further.  I'm also wondering if I need to go with 10-2 wire for my air conditioners.  Generally, we use 10-2 for 220 volt applications, but the spec sheet on these two units claim that they only pull 15 amps These are 18,000 BTU units, which generally call for the larger cable, but I showed the spec sheet to the electrician where I bought my supplies and he told me that if he were doing the install, he'd use the 12-2, which is rated for 20 amps.

Decisions, decisions.  I feel safe using the 12-2, but I'll talk to my electrician, who is familiar with the inspectors around here.  It certainly wouldn't hurt anything to use 10-2 except for the added expense.

I have some young help coming to assist on Saturday, and hopefully, we can get this job wrapped up so that I can have it inspected next week.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Chicken Noodle Soup

When the weather is cloudy and the air is cold ad the clouds are threatening rain, Chicken Noodle Soup is one of my go-to comfort foods.  You can open a can if you'd like, but my recipe is darned simple, fast, and has produced good results for a lot of years.

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

1 rotisserie chicken
2 box Swanson's Chicken Broth
1 bag of shredded carrots
1 bag egg noodles.

Prep and Cooking

Peel that chicken off the bone and cut or tear into bite-sized   Put it in a soup pot, add the shredded carrots and the broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add noodles.  Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles are tender and the carrots are tender.

Serve with crackers or crusty bread.  Bon apetit!

That pot above is a half-recipe.  I'll let it simmer for another few minutes, and make myself a bowl.

Terror of the Skies

I'm sure that you've all read, by now, the unsettling tale of Rep Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) who makes life hell for flight crews.
She takes advantage of federal travel perks to book multiple flights (only to cancel at the last minute and at no charge). She demands an upgrade to premier seats. She expects, in her words, “to be treated like a queen.”
Most recently, she booted a paying customer out of first-class so that she could have the seat that she feels she deserves.  Ms. Jackson Lee is the ranking member of the House subcommittee on Transportation Security, so   She's also a black woman, so she keeps a deck of race cards in her purse to deal whenever she feels the slightest bit criticized.
“Since this was not any fault of mine, the way the individual continued to act appeared to be, upon reflection, because I was an African American woman, seemingly an easy target along with the African American flight attendant who was very, very nice,
Yeah, whatever, Congresswoman.  I hope you enjoyed your flight.


It seems that coyotes are colonizing large population centers.  This, from the New York Times.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Dennis Murphy sniffed the bobcat urine he uses to lure his prey. He checked the silencer on his AR-15 assault rifle and loaded a few snares into his Ford pickup.
“Let’s go kill some coyotes,” he said.
But he wasn’t heading for the wilderness. Mr. Murphy’s stalking ground is on the contentious new frontier where hunters are clashing with conservationists: cities and suburbs.
Coyotes are remarkably adaptive animals, both predator and scavenger and the suburbs are ideally sited to them.  With the suburbs come sprawl, garbage cans, little yapping dogs,  tracts of un-used land, and all of this is suited to animals that, in the past, humans didn't normally tolerate around their homes.

When I lived inn rural America, I knew that I had predators on my land, and I tolerated them.  I know for certain that I had a bobcat who crossed my land, a panther that counted my pasture as part of her territory, and the occasional pack of coyotes.  We had a truce.  The rules were simple.  As long as they chased mice and rabbits, didn't bother the livestock, and respected my right to roam, I'd respect theirs.  If they got too close to the house, or threatened any of the children or livestock, they got a bullet.
Coyotes are largely associated with their ancestral bastions in the wild lands of the American West, but they are highly adaptable, and in recent years they have been colonizing large population centers throughout North America. The hunters have come after them, stalking the predators in settings like strip mall parking lots, housing tract cul-de-sacs, and plazas in the shadow of skyscrapers.
The growing popularity of urban hunting is igniting a fierce debate over the perils and benefits coyotes pose in populated areas, and whether city dwellers ought to adapt to living alongside a cunning predator that has thrived since one of its top adversaries, the gray wolf, has been all but wiped out in much of the continent.
Predators are predators, and we can draw a parallel about the animal predators and the human predators that seem to populate urban centers.  Either we control them, or they control s.  Personally, I believe that controlling predators is a good thing.  Let them adapt to us.

I now live in suburbia, and I occasionally hear a pack of coyotes running the little creek that crosses to the south of the place.  It's not an every-day thing, but often enough that it's not unusual.  But, the rules haven't changed.  If they come up too close to the house, they'll get a bullet.  It's neither mean, nor cruel, nor disrespectful.  It's just the way it is.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Shop Update - Up and Down

I bought materials this morning and worked int he shop this afternoon.    It doesn't look like much, but it's an 1/8 steel cable, mounted 18" off the wall at eave height.  That will support the fabric for the backstop for the wax bullet range.  Now that I've figured it out, tomorrow I'll hang the cable for the wing-wall curtain that will separate the end of the range from the shooter's seating/relaxing area.

Right side, with turn-buckle

I'll bet that I climbed up and down that 10-foot ladder 30 times today.  Invariably, I'd get to the top, realize that I needed something, then climb down.  Rinse, lather, repeat.  I'll feel it in my legs tomorrow.

Someone asked about insulation.  As soon as we get the electrical outlets/lights installed, I'm going to contract a fellow to blow in closed-cell foam.   My second son had it blown-in in his shop and it rally made a difference in making the building more air tight and easier to heat and cool.  He's cooling his shop with one 24K btu unit.  I have 800 more square feet,so I went with two 18K btu units  Heating isn't as much of an issue in these latitudes, and I'll use a small propane unit to take the chill off if necessary.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

PawPaw and Belle, having coffee on a quiet Christmas morning.  It has long been our habit to celebrate with the kids and grandkids on Christmas Eve.  That lets them celebrate with the other side of the family at their leisure.  Therefore, Christmas Day at PawPaw's house is kinda quiet.

Yesterday was busy, joyful, lots of food, lots of friends, lots of fun.  Except that PawPaw hisself was putting chlorine in the pool and got a snoot-full of chlorine gas.  I very nearly went to the emergency room, but with two Registered Nurses in attendance I was treated appropriately and pulled through.  It took several hours, though, and as I told them, I'm still not 100%, but I hav en't been 100% for a decade or longer. 

That's the second time that I've poisoned myself with chlorine in the past decade, and both times it was scary as hell.  I can't imagine how scary it must have been for the soldiers of WW1 battlefields when chlorine gas was used.  Suddenly you just cannot breathe.

But, in a couple of hours of hacking and coughing, I was back to my normal level of decrepitude and was able to enjoy the festivities without scaring the grandkids.  Today, Belle and I will drive to Jena, LA to spend some hours with her family. 

I hope that everyone is enjoying Christmas in their own fashion, and that each of us takes time ro reflect on the meaning of the season.  Merry Christmas, everyone.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Shop Ubdate

A little at a time, we're moving forward

This weekend, weather head, mast, meter pan, and inside breaker box installed.  Everything properly grounded, everything up to code.

Next we'll make a list, buy materials, and install the outlets and lights.  Then, get it inspeced and have the electrical company hook up the meter.

The United Nations

Great speech by Nikki Haley, our UN Ambassador earlier this week.  The United Nations General Assembly voted on a resolution that opposes the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem

The UN has long made a habit of opposing the United States.   Some have claimed that Ms. Haley was making a "respect my authority" speech.  I don't think that is the case at all.  I believe that Ms. Haley was simply reminding the Assembly that a nation opposes us at its peril.  They either stand with us, or they stand against us, and we're keeping score.

Posting may be light for the next couple of days  The Christmas season is upon us, and my schedule is subject to change at any minute.  I'll check in when I can, but flexibility will be the order of the day. 

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Thursday, December 21, 2017


So, evidently, some fraternity had a party and later the air tested positive for alcohol.
Indoor air at a Maryland frat house tested positive for alcohol.
The booze-filled party location's air was found to have an alcohol concentration of 0.01. 0.08 is the legal blood alcohol limit for driving.
I remember one national holiday we had, middle of the week.  The Battalion commander told us to keep the troops occupied, near the Company, and make sure they were all there on Thursday.  The other Company commanders and I declared the day to be a Field Sports day, and devoted the day to track-and-field, baseball, wrestling, etc.  We bought about 20 kegs of beer and made sure that copious amounts were readily available.  We did hot dogs, hamburgers, etc.  We had a ball.  At the end of the day, we held a mass formation in each Company area to count heads.  over 1400 men linking arms to stand up.  When the Sergeant Major shouted FALL OUT, that's basically what happened.

The entire Battalion had a monstrous hangover the next morning and the CO was pleased.  He led us all on a three-mile retch run.  Oh, it was glorious.

Two Dogs

No not the old joke about the unfortunate Native American boy.

While the kids are on break, we're baby-sitting two dogs. 

That's Daisy, the Hessmer Flag-Tail.  She's a sweetie with generally good manners. 

That's Frances, the one-eyed Mountain dog.  They found her on a mountain in Arkansas, and after trying to find the owner, brought her home.  She's an affection-sink.  She'll climb up on you, one paw at a time, if you let her.  I believe that she'd perch on top of my had if I let her.  Frances is also perpetually hungry.  We have to watch her intake, because she will scarf anything that she can get her lips around.

The dogs are doing fine, ad the kids will be back Saturday night.  Our dawg, Beau, is doing just fine, although he is a bit perplexed at these two being in the house.

Thanks, NICS

It looks like the gun-control background check system that the Feds rely on has taken a dump.
WBRZ reports that “the FBI acknowledged an issue occurred on its NICS website” but gun store owners throughout Louisiana say the background check system “crashes every year” around Christmastime.
Scott Roe owns Spillway Sportsman in Port Allen and he said the NICS system “shut down completely, nothing worked.”
Stores in the area estimate that they've lost over $70k in sales due to the shutdown.

I mean... damn....  How Griinch can the FBI be?  This system should have a fail-safe.   They're only affecting the law-abiding, so they should issue a blanket PROCEED any time the system goes awry.  It's not like they prosecute felons with guns, anyway.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Trip Around The Sun

I am reminded that I have completed another trip around the sun.

I"m too busy to worry about that now. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Bad Idea

It seems that some elected yahoo in Chicago wants to call in UN Peacekeeping troops to quell what he calls the "quiet genocide" in his community. Yeah, seriously.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Some politicians in the past have recommended deploying the National Guard to help Chicago quell gun violence, but Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin went even further on Thursday, suggesting the United Nations perhaps send in peacekeepers in the face of what he called a “quiet genocide.”
This idiot needs to re-read the Constitution, take a good look at the Posse Comitatus Act, and re-think this whole idiocy.  Foreign peacekeepers in the United States is a horribly bad idea. 

Just as an aside, I found, at an auction, a bunch of UN steel pot helmets painted blue several years ago.  We used them as targets on a local recreational range.  Several of us became very adept at punching .30 caliber holes in those helmets.... I'm just sayin'.

Hat tip to Wirecutter.


I"m a bourbon drinker and have been for decades. I know what I like and I'm not smitten by new brands. Although I do like to experiment occasionally, the old stand-bys suit me just fine. However, I know that there are a lot of craft bourbons out there, and the buyer must be aware. The only way to get into the bourbon business is to make your hooch, put it in a new oak barrel, and wait four years. That's how long it takes to make bourbon. Or you can buy bourbon on the market, and bottle it yourself. Some of the new bourbon labels are very good, but again, caveat emptor. I know that a lot of these will be given away as gifts in the coming weeks, so if you get a good bottle, savor it, and drink responsibly.

Monday, December 18, 2017


Truth, from Dilbert

After watching grandkids interact with their devices, there is a certain amount of truth here.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Lunch at PawPaw's House

Sunday lunch at PawPaw's house has been a tradition for years.  Today, we fixed beef tops and gravy over rice, creamed corn and yeast rolls.  After lunch, we started talking about air conditioners in the  new shop, and as I had two big AC units on the patio and four big, strapping boys, we decided to mount the units.

The holes in the shop were pre-measured for the units, so it was simply a matter of grabbing some tools, installing the cabinets, and sliding the units into place.  With four big boys, the job was done in about an hour and that's one less thing on my list of things to do.

Thanks, fellas.  This thing is moving right along.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

More on Dwell Time

Remember earlier this week, we talked about dwell time, that fact of physics that combines momentum, recoil, bullet speed and barrel time to affect the way a firearm shoots a particular bullet?

Yeah, dwell time.

The firearm in that example was a new, Uberti Cattleman in .357 magnum that sowed a tendency to shoot 180 grain hardcast handloads a bit high; about 3 inches at 15 yards.

Today, we used the exact same handgun, but we tried 125 grain Winchester fodder.

It's throwing those a little bit low, which tends to support the dwell time  experience I've had for most of my gunning career.

I'm betting that 158 grain magnum ammo would shoot close to the point of aim. 

Friday, December 15, 2017


Nothing much to report today.  So, I'll answer questions about the building  that are in comments.

 USCitizen said...
Is an epoxy seal floor coating a part of the plan? That would give it some sparkle!
I've never seen an epoxy coating hold up.  My brother-in-law, for example, paid good contractors to have it applied on a patio.  Two years later, it looks horrible.  I think I'll pass on that.  Clean concrete is a wonderful flooring.

 Jonathan H said...  
When/ how are you going to run the electric? Are you going to run water too?
The electrical is coming quick, probably in a week or so.  When I got home this afternoon, I found my sons in the yard, looking at the building, so we took a few minutes to talk about those very things.  This week is going to be a busy one for everybody, with Christmas coming and all, but I want the lights installed the week after Christmas. The boys and I can do that, but the local code inspector will have to sign-off on the electrical job before the utility company will hook me to the grid. 

But, both of my boys are competent electricians, and both of them have been through this drill in the past year.  The're very good at it.  And, PawPaw hisself knows his way round a breaker-box.  I've been installing home improvement circuits all my life.  I know how to read a volt meter and I know how to install a good ground.  In a metal building, a good ground is very important.  We have lights and outlets covered.

Water you ask?  That's not covered in the permits.   The less said about that until the inspectors are through with the building, the better.  However, I note, just in passing, that there is a water line and a sewer line passing close to the building.  I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, December 14, 2017


I went home on my break, and saw that the builder had completed the roof and hanged the roll-up door.  His portion is complete.  I was walking around inside, taking pictures and my very first visitor came through the door.

That's my buddy Termite.  He's just in from offshore and brought me a quart of very fresh Gulf oysters.  And, we wandered around the building.  Very shortly thereafter, the builder showed up.  I had told him that I'd be hone about 3:30 with a big check in my pocket.  I paid him off, and he said that he was headed for the deer camp.

Belle rolled up within minutes, and we surveyed the building, then I had to go back to work.    I put the oysters in the 'fridge, gave Belle her kiss, and headed toward the school-house.  If I know my gal, she'll have the crackers and horse-radish out shortly, getting in to the oysters.  No one likes fresh oysters better than my Belle.

If you're in the central Louisiana area and need a metal building, call Jesse Wiggins at 318-449-9666.  He'll do a good job for you, and has the PawPaw seal of approval.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

First Look

In 2004, Belle and I bought this place.  It came with a spare lot, which we though would be just perfect for a shop/party area/entertaining spot.  In 2014 we took up Cowboy Fast Draw and wanted out own indoor range where we could host shoots, and have club activities without worrying about the weather.

Dreams do come true, and the building is coming up.

Dreams do come true.  In God's time.

.357 Magnum, Heavy Bullets, Dwell Time

The .357 Smith and Wesson Magnum is one of the more interesting cartridges I've ever encountered.  A shooter can go from mild to wild in the caliber, shooting everything from mild wadcutter target loads to full-house magnum loads, and do it in the same cylinder of cartridges if he wants to.

Back in my early law enforcement days, the revolver was king, and the .357 magnum ruled the roost.  And, we noticed something.  That fixed-sight revolvers were generally regulated for a standard 158 grain bullet traveling about 1200 fps.  When we changed to the 125 grain hollowpoint, the revolver tended to shoot low.  On a man-sized silhouette, shots aimed at the chest would tend to hit about the belt buckle, depending on the range.  We finally realized that what we were seeing we defined as "dwell time".  Those little 125 grain bullets were screaming, at over 1400 fps and while the little bullets had less momentum recoil, they were a lot faster, so the barrel of the gun tended to rise less while the bullet was actually in the barrel.  Hence, they shot low.

The converse was also true.  Heavy cast bullet loads tended to shoot higher.  If you had a 180 grain bullet traveling close to 1200 fps, the gun had more recoil due to the heavier bullet and the barrel rose more while the bullet was traveling down the barrel, so the revolver tended to print the bullets higher on the target.  Dwell time.  Pure physics.  While the bullet is in the barrel, the barrel is rising, and the bullet goes higher.

Those of us with adjustable sights simply adjusted the sights.  Those with fixed sights either found a load the printed to the point of aim, or made adjustments based on their knowledge of the gun.  Either way, you had to hit what you aimed at.

Several years ago, I stumbled on a heavy 180 grain load that used L'il Gun powder.  I talk about it here.  It's a recoil hoss.  My son tried it in his Uberti Cattleman, and reported that it shoots a bit high.  I cogitated on it, not realizing what I was seeing, and told him I'd think about it.    Today, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Dwell time.  I happen to have a box of factory 125 grain fodder, which generally shoots low in a standard .357 magnum.  Lighter bullet, faster travel, less dwell time.

He's coming up this weekend, and I told him to bring the Uberti.  Maybe we'll get a chance to do some shooting.

Jones Wins

It looks like Doug Jones beat Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race.  It is instructive to look at the results and study the numbers.

Jones did better with women, black, and young voters.   With all the talk of sex scandals, it's no surprise that Jones bested Moore with women and young voters.  The groping/harassment scandals make a lot of waves in an election and we see this here.  What we also see is that black voters cast ballots almost in a block.  This is nothing new, but if Republicans want to do better in tight races, they've got to reach out to black voters.

Here we see the vote broken down by race.  It's the same story as the table above, and it tells the tale of who voted in this race.  This reminds me of the last Louisiana governor election.  It came down to the Democrat, John Bel Edwards, and the Republican, David Vitter.  I would not vote for Edwards, as I believed that he was wrong for Louisiana.  I could not vote for Vitter because when elected to the US Senate, he ran on a family values platform and was immediately embroiled in a prostitution scandal.  So, I sat it out. 

The Democrat won, and the Democrats chortled over the win, but the fact of the matter was that Vitter was a piss-poor candidate.  Edwards, being the Democrat that he is, is trying to flush the state down the budget hole.  Taxes are up, spending is up, and the state is in a perpetual budget crisis.  Hopefully, the Republicans will field a better candidate next time.

Alabama will get a do-over in six years.  Hopefully, the Republicans will field a better candidate.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Some Good News

Some Good News for a change.  The American economy is booming.

CAIR? Who Cares?

In minor, amusing news, it seems that the head poo-bah of CAIR, a group that worships a pedophile prophet, is moaning about Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 
 Nihad Awad, executive director and founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), argued that President Trump is “empowering Christian religious extremism in the United States” by announcing his intention to move the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
To my mind, it's a no-brainer.  Jerusalem was the capital of Israel for several millennia before the Arab occupation of 637.  The Israelis took it back in 1967.  I wouldn't blame the Jews at all if they tore down the mosque and re-established their Temple. 

I don't have much sympathy for CAIR.

Conservative Woke

I've seen this "woke" thing bandied about, and evidently, if you read the Huffington Post regularly, you are "woke".

If you are conservative and you understand that when you vote conservative, the other side considers you a hateful, racist, misogynistic, LGBTQWTF baiting, NRA card-toting, spiteful ignoramus, then you become Conservative Woke.
And when you’re conservative woke, you’re ready to deploy the most powerful non-bullet firing weapon in your liberty-loving arsenal – your devastating capability not to give a damn what the liberals and their Conservative, Inc., cruise-shilling Benedict Arnold buddies say.
If I don't care what they think about me, they got nothing.  And frankly, that's where I am at this point in my life.  Frankly, I don't care what they think about me.    I'm no longer afraid of being called a racist, because I know it's not true, Their taunts are meaningless.  Whether it is free health-care, or immigration, or voting fraud, or tax reform, or any other liberal knee-jerk topic, I really don't care what they think.  They've lost their power.

I've argued with friends and acquaintances who think that we should be more liberal, and I've shown them where their arguments fall apart.  It's all a pipe dream, designed to keep the liberal icons in power.  That's what it is about. Power, and I refuse to give them any power over me.

Their arguments don't make any sense and their taunts are meaningless.

Upddate** I sense a movement starting.  John Hawkins, over at Townhall, talks about this very thing.
There are always people in D.C. who think they have a better idea of what to do with my life and my money than I do. I don’t need any “help” from the government and I’m not okay with the government using my money to help people who should be helping themselves. When I want to give to charity, tithe to my church or buy Christmas gifts for a poor family, I do it. We may all have to pool our money to pay for street signs, the police and the military, but I don’t see any reason my money should go to people on welfare for years, the families of anchor babies or scammers doing Crossfit right before the government hands them a disability check for their “intolerable” pain. Go work for a living like the rest of us.
Go, as they say, and read the whole thing. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

10 Things

I'm glad I don't date anymore.  I've been happily married for a long time, and while I take my gal on dates, it certainly can't be considered a "first date".  But, Insty leads me to an article on 10 things every intersectional feminist should ask on a first date.

It deserves a good fisking, sho here goes:

1. Do you believe that Black Lives Matter?  Yeah, like I believe that white lives matter.

2. What are your thoughts on gender and sexual orientation?  There are two genders.  That is simple biology.  Sexual orientation is more complex.  Just so we're clear, can I see your boobs?

3. How do you work to dismantle sexism and misogyny in your life?    Are you going to pick up the tab?  Or do you intend to perpetuate societal conventions?

4. What are your thoughts on sex work?  I had to give it up when I turned 40.

5. Are you a supporter of the BDS movement?  No, President Bush has been gone a long time.  (to the waiter)  Check, please!

6. What is your understanding of settler colonialism and indigenous rights?  Most of that happened locally, long before I was born.  However, the indig folks nearby seem to be doing well with the casinos.   Do you prefer blackjack, or craps?

7. Do you think capitalism is exploitative?  Not nearly as exploitative as socialism.  Have you noticed any toilet paper shortages around here? 

8. Can any human be illegal?  Oh, yeah!  If you don't believe that, walk over near the waiters station and holler "Immigration Enforcement" and see how long it takes us to get our drink order.  We'll be in here on Wednesday morning, waiting for them to hire new staff.

9. Do you support Muslim Americans and non-Muslim people from Islamic countries?  No, I'd prefer that they support themselves.  I'm tired of paying taxes to support people who come over here and won't work to make a living.

10. Does your allyship include disabled folks?  Hell, some of my best friends are disabled folks. 

Do people actually talk like this on a first date?  But, my answers to the first three would probably have her running for the door.

The Death of Daniel Shaver

The trial is over, so we can talk about this.  The Wiki article is here and I'll excerpt from it to save a lot of typing.  It is important to remember that the Vegas shooting happened after this incident, while this incident was percolating through the courts.    Bit, the background goes something like this:
According to a police report, Daniel Leetin Shaver (December 29, 1989 – January 18, 2016), a pest-control worker and resident of Granbury, Texas, had been staying at a Mesa La Quinta Inn & Suites on business. He invited two acquaintances to his room for drinks. There he showed them a scoped air rifle he was using to exterminate birds inside grocery stores. At one point the gun was pointed outside his hotel window, prompting a witness to notify the front desk; the police were immediately called. Upon arrival, police gave Shaver and his acquaintances detailed orders for several minutes, with frequent admonitions that failing to comply with them would get them shot. Eventually, Shaver was ordered to crawl on the floor towards them. While complying with their request, Shaver, who was intoxicated and could be heard sobbing, begging officers, "Please don't shoot," brought his hands toward his waist. Brailsford yelled at Shaver that if Shaver did anything whatsoever that deviated from his instructions he would shoot him and he probably wouldn't survive. The officer told Shaver to put his hands up in the air and not to bring them down for any reason. A few seconds later, the officer ordered Shaver to crawl towards him, to which Shaver complied. Shaver then reached his right hand back towards his waistband, at which point Brailsford can be heard yelling "Don't!" while simultaneously opening fire with his AR-15 rifle, striking Shaver five times and killing him almost instantly. Shaver was unarmed.
The body camera footage is disturbing.  Watch it if you must but be forewarned.  It's graphic and a main dies.  At trail, Officer Brailsford was acquitted of all charges, but has to live with the fact that the took a man's life. 

I've been a police officer for over 35 years, and it has long been my practice to refrain from second-guessing other police officers.  If you weren't there, you don't understand the dynamic of what might happen at any given time.  Lots of people are second-guessing the scenario and that is dangerous.    But, we can learn from other people's misfortune, and while Shaver's death is regrettable, it may in the end, save lives.  You can bet that police academies all over the country are watching the video, trying to learn lessons that can be applied.

I often tell people that my main job is to be the adult in the room.  When folks call the police, they're either scared, or hurt, or in some sort of emotional distress.  It's our job to provide a calming influence, to defuse a crisis, to take control of the situation.  Our job is sometimes dangerous, but we have to be in control of ourselves before we can hope to control anyone else, much less to control what might be a lethal encounter. 

As I watched the video, it seemed to me that everyone was scared.  And, it's okay to be scared in a lethal force encounter.  But, we have to overcome the fear, take a breath and become heroic, which is simply doing your job when you are scared spitless.  In my career, I've been involved in two lethal force encounters.  Luckily, my partner and I had each other's backs and we got through it with no one being harmed.  And, in my career, I've buried two good friends and a small number of acquaintances who did not survive lethal force encounters.    I know how quickly these things can go wrong, horribly, irretrievably wrong.  Yet, we studied these encounters and learned from them.  In the end, they saved lives.

So, in the end, the death of Daniel Shaver, as regrettable as it is, will save lives.    This may be small comfort, but it is the best we can do.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Small Town Christmas

Belle and I took a couple of the grandids to the Buckeye Christmas parade this afternoon.  A small-town parade, we had the high school marching band, we had horses and old cars and floats and a fire truck.

I have a grandson, Zach, in that band somewhere.  He plays the trombone.  I never did get a clear shot at him.

But, the floats were nice, the Shiners had their little go-cart trucks, and the candy thrown to the kids was excessive.  Our youngest, Lucas, managed to score the bigger portion of a Wal-Mart bag full of candy and gee-dunk.  After the parade, we took him to his momma, who was amazed at the amount of tooth-rot he was bringing in the house.  He'll be on a sugar high for a week.

Small town Christmas parades.  I love 'em..

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Army-Navy Game

Today, the Black Knights of the USMA will face off against the Midshipmen of USNA.


That is all.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Rye? Why Not?

Casting about on the liquor aisle, I wanted something different, unlike my usual bottom-shelf gut-rot bourbon.  I'm a bourbon drinker and consider even the gut-rot to be better than most Canadian whiskeys.  I'm not a snob, but I know what I like.  I was looking for Buffalo Trace, which I've heard good things about, but the store didn't carry it.  Then, I spotted this.

Why the hell not?  Knob Creek makes good bourbon, so why not rye?  I bought the bottle and tok it home, and I'll get into it this weekend.  Maybe when the boys are over on Sunday. 

I divide my whiskey's into two major groups.  Those that get mixed with cola, and those that don't.  Knob Creek doesn't get mixed with anything.  It's just fine neat, and over ice.  I looked for reviews on this rye whiskey, and Men's Journal gives it high marks.  We'll see.

The Weather

Mark D says in comments:
Those of us from the Northern states get quite a kick out of it when Southerners shut down over an amount of snow which wouldn't be a valid excuse to be late to work up here.
Then again, we freak out over 60 mph winds......
Heh!  I recall when I was a shavetail Lieutenant at Fort Knox.  Middle of January, 1977.  My platoon sergeant mentioned one afternoon that it looked like it might snow.  I had grown up in the Deep South and had only seen snow infrequently.  Sure enough, the next morning there was snow on the ground.  I called the company to see what's up?

The First Sergeant answered the phone.  "Get your ass in here, Lieutenant.   The Army is working today."

And, we worked every day that it snowed.  Shortly thereafter I bought a used Volkswagen Beetle off the PX parking lot for $500.00.  That thing was great in the snow and ice.  And, it was so cheap that I wasn't worried if I slid into something.  Two years later I sold it for the same $500.

So, yeah, Mark, we have different weather traumas in different areas of the country.  If it snows in the Deep South, almost everything shuts down until folks can catch their breath and take stock of the situation.


UPDATE:  At 6:00 a.m., the superintendent finally decided that schools should be closed today.  Good call.  Folks in Louisiana simply are not prepared to deal with snow.  It's not a skill set that we have ever adopted.  When it snows, we shut down.

The weather channel is reporting thunder snow in Baton Rouge and I know that my daughter-in-law, a Florida native, is thrilled.  The weather channel is reporting that this is the first year they can remember, where Corpus Christi got show before Boston.

It's snowing in central Louisiana on the morning of December 8th.

Yeah, really.

No word yet on whether school will be closed today.  In another half-hour, I'll pull on my boots.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

More on Comey's Disgrace

Remember the post from yesterday?  I'm not the only one who has noticed.

From Townhall.
Add this infamy to all the other crimes of the liberal establishment – its poisonous influence has converted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in the eyes of the American people, from a proud institution dedicated to upholding the law into just another suppurating bureaucratic pustule. Where once we saw FBI agents as heroes – many of us ancients grew up watching Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., every Sunday night – now we see careerist hacks looking to suck-up to the Democrat elite while bending the law and subverting justice to do it. Truly, everything liberals touch dies.
It's a hellluva note, but I have a topic label entitled Comey's Disgrace.

So.... If....

Big Al Franken says that he is going to resign in a couple of weeks.  Yeah, okay.

So, if Roy Moore wins the Alabama race, is Franken going to walk-back his resignation?

This whole thing is getting curiouser and curiouser. 

I know that folks I'm talking to are mildly amused by this whole shenanigan, and that the #MeToo movement has claimed some high-profile victims, but lots of folks are getting tired of all the 10, 20, 30 year old claims.  As amusing as it is, it's starting to get tedious.

Thursday's Thoughts

If I'm reading the weather map correctly, it's snowing in Dallas.  Locally, we're expecting a wintry mix tonight,whatever that means.

In the early morning, the bets are running about even as to whether or not Fanken will resign or hang on.  It'll be interesting to watch, whatever the outcome.

In CFDA news, an early morning email from the commish, talks about holster angle and how we are going to interpret the rules on that.  Last year, at Louisiana State, we had a very experienced holster maker at the equipment-check table looking at holster angle.  From what I'm reading in the email attachment, I'll probably have to buy an angle gauge to have on-hand this year for the competition.

Louisiana is the second titled championship of the competition season.  I'll have to watch closely how Texas State handles the new rule changes.

The motto of the CFDA is Safety, Fun, Competition.  We list competition third in the motto for a specific reason.    I understand that we have to have rules.  But, if we're not having fun, then what's the point?  Still, there are enough people concerned about holster angle that the Commish feels a need to address it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017


Wow!  From Instapundit
“People are finally tumbling to the realization that this [FBI] has become a proto-KGB,” said a former senior intelligence official with extensive experience in counterintelligence. “We’re in a constitutional crisis. These guys are playing out a silent coup against an elected official.”
There was a time during my early career (mid '80s) when I worked closely with a local FBI agent on a couple of cases where we shared an interest.   He was a great cop, highly principled, and as far as I could tell, totally un-political.  He was able to get things done on the federal side and I was able to get things done on the local side, and our relationship was a relentless pursuit of Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

Nowadays, not so much.  I would like to believe that there are still good agents in the FBI who relentlessly pursue justice, but the revelations of Comey, Muelller, et al, don't give me much confidence.  I have just about reached the conclusion that if an FBI agent ever approaches me for anything, I am simply going to invoke my right to remain silent.

Wednesday Just Wow!

“It’s time for him to step aside." -- Sen. Patty Murray on Franken.
"Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down". — Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) December 6, 2017
"Al Franken should resign".— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) December 6, 2017
First time is bad luck.  Second time is coincidence.  Third time is enemy action.

More here:  It looks like the dice are rolling.
BREAKING: 6 Democratic senators have called on Sen. Franken to step aside:
• Sen. Gillibrand
• Sen. Hirono
• Sen. McCaskill
• Sen. Hassan
• Sen. Harris
• Sen. Murray
It's starting to get real for Franken.  I wonder how long he'll hold on?

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Tuesday Scribblings

If you don't like the weather in Louisiana, just stick around.  This morning dawned overcast and muggy, at about 72F.  Around 10:00 the wind changed out of the south, to the west, and the the rain started.  Now, at near dusk, it's 50, and headed toward the 40s.  I'm glad I had a jacket in the truck.

Planning for Louisiana State continues apace.  The ladies want to do a banquet, which is an option at this sort of gathering.  I'm a rookie at planning this sort of thing, and I was doing it the hard way, trying to figure it out myself.  However, a co-worker acquaintance heard me bemoaning my fate and gave me some cogent advise.  "Go see Southern Creations."  So I did.

I got the literature and talked to a manager, and  then talked to some other folks who have used them for catering.  The personal reviews are very promising, so I guess that decision is made.  I'll hand the literature (menu choices) to Belle, because she's better at that sort of thing than I am.

I'll be back at work before long, the protracted day of the school-house cop.  Lots of pre-holiday events going on, and there's soccer.  There is always soccer.  And basketball.

On the political side, I see that Conyers resigned today.  The Dems want him out before Alabama votes next week.  I haven't checked the line in Vegas as to whether or not Franken will be pushed out. I figure that it's an even-money bet, because it's hard for the Dems to bitch about Moore, when Franken is still serving, and groping everyone in sight.

UPDATE**  In the paragraph above, I originally said that Cornyn had resigned.  A commenter caught the error and it has been corrected.  Representative John Conyers of Michigan has resigned.  I regret the error.

A Review?

It seems that the FBI did a review of background checks last year and found that 4000 people bought guns who should have been caught in the NICS background checks.
A USA TODAY review found that the FBI issued more than 4,000 requests last year for agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to retrieve guns from prohibited buyers.
Which leads to a number of troubling questions.  Not the least of those is the question; What review, and what records.  As I understand the statute, NICS background checks can only be kept for 24 hours.  So, how could USA TODAY possibly review records that are not supposed to exist?

I'm going to have to talk to my Congressman about this.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Monday Musings

Stopped by my breakfast restaurant to get a bite this morning.  A sausage biscuit is a buck.  A bacon biscuit costs $2.20.  Why the hell is that?

I haven't driven my truck much in the last five years.  I'm driving it today and on my lunch break, got a light sprinkle.  Windshield wipers just smeared the water.   Auto Zone was two blocks away, so I swing in to get new wiper blades.   I grabbed two Rain-X blades and headed toward the register.  Over $50.00 for two wiper blades??  I almost had a stroke.  But, it's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I'll be able to see, coming in to work.

When I was a tanker, we had this thing called the tanker's bar.  It was six feet long, with a pinch  point, and we used it to pry all manner of things.  It was listed on the tool receipt as a Bar, Pinch Point. Over the years I've had one thing or another that I could have applied a tanker's bar to, but just didn't have one.  Wandering through Harbor Freight today, I saw a big bar, labeled 17 lb Posthole Digging Bar with Tamper.  It ain't a tanker's bar, but it should serve as a nice expedient.  I have to pull the forms off the slab, and with a chunk of firewood as a fulcrum, this thing should serve admirably.

Well, Of Course

As a taxpayer, I'm amazed that it was ever a question.
Several members of the House want to change the rules on Capitol Hill to force elected officials to pay for settlements for sexual harassment from their own pockets.
That is just common sense, and I am simply confounded that the question even needs to be asked.  There is no legitimate reason for any taxpayer to foot the bill for any congressional misconduct, sexual or otherwise.  Congressional members and their staffers should be held to the same standard that the rest of us are held to. 

Sunday, December 03, 2017


Surfing aimlessly, we come to this bread recipe that looks pretty good, so I'm just going to leave it here so that I can find it later.

I like a good bread recipe.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Classic Cold Front

The weather map shows a classic cold front coming in on Tuesday here.  From south Texas to the Great Lakes, this thing is just what duck hunters dream about.

This is the kind of front that my  Dad used to look for in the paper.  Lots of ducks and geese moving along the front of the storm, riding the air that's pushing south. 

The Steinle Verdict

You've all heard by now of the verdict in the case of Kate Steinle, a young woman murdered in San Francisco by an illegal alien, who just happened to have a gun and shoot her on a pier.

I'm as outraged as everyone else about the verdict, but honestly I"m not surprised.  to think that a jury in SanFran could find an illegal alien guilty of murdering a young white women simply stretches credulity.  What is not in doubt is that the defense was able to plant seeds of doubt in the jury. 

As I understand the case, the gun was found to be stolen from a federal agent's car and somehow Zarate came into possession of it.  He was playing with it on the pier and the gun discharged, striking Steinle, killing her.  Zarate was, of course, a prohibited person and in posession of stolen property.  In many jurisdictions, those two offenses predicate to the death of a person would lead to convictions for manslaughter or murder.  Evidently that's no so in California.

All the more reason for me to never go to California.

However, I do take this away from the verdict, however despicable it might be.

It is going to take them a while to live this down, but Democrats and nutjobs and liberals (but I repeat myself) have no sense of shame.

Friday, December 01, 2017


I don't normally drive the F150, but last week I was driving it and heard an ominous grinding sound coming from the back  It sounded like the brakes were gone, and this week I stopped at the auto parts store and bought brake pads.  I don't remember the last time I changed the brakes on that truck, but I haven't driven it much in the last three years.

I put new back brakes on it today.  Luckily, the rotors were okay, so I dodged that bullet.  I"ll put fronts on it tomorrow morning after I drink my coffee. 

You know, a goodly part of this blog is about maintenance I do around the house, simply so that I can search later and find out when I did one thing or another.  This is one of those posts, so that in three or four years, I can search and find out when I put brakes on the truck.

Now, it's Happy Hour.  Y'all enjoy your Friday night.


First thing I thought when I saw this picture; "He ain't in the Cav."

Two reasons he ain't in the Cav.  Too much water below the helicopter, and the cap is still on the bottle.  Probably a naval aviator.

Hat tip, Wirecutter.