Wednesday, January 31, 2018


President Trump gave his State of the Union speech last night.  I didn't watch all of it, but the parts I saw, I liked.  The Daily Mail reports on the public perception of the speech.
Within minutes of President Donald Trump's first State of the Union speech, CBS News revealed their YouGov poll approval ratings on it.
Unsurprisingly, 97% of Republican speech watchers liked it.
More surprisingly, 72% of Independents liked it.
Staggeringly, 43% of Democrats liked it.
From what I did see, when the cameras panned over to Nancy Pelosi, her face was drawn tighter than a possum who had been eating green persimmons.  Pore ol' Chuck Schumer looked like he was sitting on his hands.  He didn't want to hear something American, inadvertently applaud, and suffer the approbation of Nancy's laser-like gaze.

But, the initial stats are instructive.  Nearly everybody liked it, except for the small percentage who don't like America.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Next Generation

I've owned and driven Mazdas in the past, and have always liked them. From Popular Mechanics:
Mazda is staking much of its future on the continued existence of the internal-combustion engine, with clever tech like spark-controlled compression ignition set to debut in Mazda's next-generation production-car engine, Skyactiv-X. But the automaker is already thinking even further into the internal-combustion future. Automotive News reports that Mazda is working on a new gas engine, Skyactiv-3, which the automaker says will be as clean as an electric vehicle.
The article goes on to say that their new engine will achieve internal fuel inefficiencies of  56%, a breakthrough in turning gasoline into drive train power.

America's Constitution is Terrible.

That the partial title to an article at The Week.  The first four blurbs are interesting.
he American Constitution is an outdated, malfunctioning piece of junk — and it's only getting worse.
When written, the Constitution made a morally hideous compromise with slavery that took a war and 750,000 lives to make right. And while its basic structure sort of worked for awhile in the 20th century, the Constitution is now falling prey to the same defects that has toppled every other similar governing document the world over.
The truth seems clear: America is going to have to overhaul its basic structure of government, or eventually it will fall to pieces.
The major problem with America's Constitution is that it creates a system in which elections generally do not produce functioning governments, and there is no mechanism to break the deadlock (like calling snap elections). Most of the time, control of the House, Senate, and presidency is split between the two parties in some way. Bipartisan compromises to keep government functioning used to be common, but are near-impossible anymore due to extreme party polarization. So as Michael Kinnucan points out, during divided government "there is de facto no legislative body."
Ever since the election and inauguration of Hillary Clinton (oh, yeah, that didn't happen), the liberals have been liberals have been in a deep dark depression.  It's bad enough that they want to looks for scandals everywhere, while ignoring clear felonies on their side, but now they openly state that they want to re-do the Constitution.

Kevin Hayward, at Poerline thanks them for simply coming out and saying it.
We should be grateful to Ryan Cooper for acknowledging so forthrightly in The Week what has been obvious to conservatives for a long, long time—liberals really really hate the Constitution, because limited government is an impediment to their endless dreams of ruling over us more completely and fixing every human problem:
Mr. Cooper's odious piece is interesting reading, if only to see the mind of liberalism unhinged.  Mr. Cooper's biggest problem is not the Constitution itself, but the hundreds of thousands of people like me, who have sworn an oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign add domestic".

I don't know that I have ever been relieved of the responsibilities of that oath.

Monday, January 29, 2018

DACA May Be Dead

The left continues to quibble, and makes it clear that they really don't care about the DACA critters at all.  As Don Surber writes:
"Is a deal on DACA slipping away? Congress is weeks away from two crucial deadlines. On February 8, it will once again hit a government funding cliff; as part of the deal to extend the debt ceiling made earlier this month, Mitch McConnell pledged to bring an immigration bill to the floor no later than that date. If no deal is reached in February, March 5 looms large — that’s the deadline that Trump set for action when he terminated the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program in September. If no deal is reached by March 5, deportations could begin," Alex Shephard of New Republic wrote.
There are four pillars to President Trumps plan.  A pathway for the DACA critters, increased border security, end to chain migration, and merit-based immigration. 

That all sounds reasonable to most people, but the Democrats are balking. It shows that they're not serious about fixing the immigration problem.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Waiting - Ready

This morning I broke down everything int he new building, cleaned it out, to get ready for insulation.

My insulation guy called me on Thursday.  "Mais... I wanted to call you and let you know." (He has a strong Cajun accent.) "The weather getting better, and I had tree or two jobs ahead of you, but it looks like we''re going to get to you nex' week."

"That'll be great!" I replied. "That gives me time to get the stuff out of the building so you'll have a clean area to work in.

"Dat' ll  be good." He said.  "I jus' wanted to touch base with you and let you know."

We shot in the range yesterday, and this morning I started taking all the electronics out, breaking down the backdrops, and moving stuff to the covered patio in the back yard.  My sons showed up for lunch and helped me wit the last of the clean-up.

I left him a trash can and a roll of carpet in the floor.  He should be able to work around that.  I'm rady to get the shop insulated, so we can begin Phase II of this experiment.

Saturday, January 27, 2018


I see on Instapundit that Elon Musk has tickled the intertubes by threatening to sell flamethrowers.

Quelle horreur!  Flamethrowers?  Actually, most people believe that it would be perfectly legal.

It's a high-tech looking gizmo, but Musk wants $600 for his model.  I don't think it would be good for home defense, but it would make  get-off-my-lawn statement.  Of course, for that, you could just buy a propane torch for a whole lot less money.

But, hey!  If Musk wants to sell flamethrowers, I'm okay with it.


Boudin (boo-dahn) is a sausage prevalent in south Louisiana.  It comes from the old world, as most sausage recipes do, but we put a twist on it.  Traditionally served in links, it is composed mainly of pork, liver, onions, bell pepper, and seasoning.  Everyone has their own recipe, and it is commonly found in corner stores and meat markets across Louisiana.

Over the past ten years, the food culture has changed, as it does on a continuing basis, as cooks experiment and merchants try to make new products for us to buy.  This morning I stopped at Guillory's Specialty Meats to pick up some stew meat.  Guillory is an old-fashioned Cajun butcher shop and you never know what you are going to find there.

As I ws checking out, they brought some new items to the warmer and I asked about it.  Boudin, mixed with pepperjack cheese, rolled in an egg roll shell, and fried.

I bought a couple, for Belle and I to sample.  Oh, my!  What a wonderful treat.  Good boudin filling, mixed with a little pepperjack cheese, in an egg roll.  Oh, hell yes!  I should have bought a dozen.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Finally Friday

It's been a long week.  Nothing dramatic, just long.  Lots of hours.

Got a call yesterday from the guy who is going to insulate the new building.  We've been waiting for the weather to moderate, warm a bit so that the installation can proceed.   He called yesterday to let me know that he is planning to do my job "one day next week".  That's great.  Really good news.  That gives me the weekend to empty the building, which shouldn't be too onerous.  I've put the minimum in the building, waiting on his call.

Our club's monthly match is set for Saturday.  As soon as the smoke clears, I'll start tearing down, get everything out on Sunday and he'll have a pristine work area to insulate.  I'm stoked about that.  As soon as he's through, we can start making permanent improvements.

In other news:  Oh My: NYT Accuses Hillary Of Shielding Aide Accused Of Sexual Harassment
I'm having trouble seeing the big deal here.  She's been shielding her sexual predator husband for years.  By this time, shielding people form sexual harassment claims is probably a knee-jerk reaction.

I'm really enjoying watching the Democrats twist in the wind over Trumps immigration proposal.  He's willing to put the Dreamers on a glide-slope to citizenship, and they're acting like it's an outrage.  Turns out, their immigration stance is just politics.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pore Ol' Chuck

Chuck Schumer, that is.  President Trump keeps kicking his ass.

Both PJMedia and Politico are reporting that President Trump told everyone today that he is open to a path for citizenship for the Dreamers.   PJMedia reports:
"This framework will fulfill the four agreed-upon pillars: securing the border and closing legal loopholes; ending extended-family chain migration; cancelling the visa lottery, and providing a permanent solution on DACA," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
Politico tells us that the framework includes a path to citizenship for upwards of 1.8 million DACA eligible persons.

Pore ol' Chuck don't know what to do.  So, of course, he's complaining.
The White House has proven unreliable and wildly unpredictable. Within the course of hours they say different things. Every time the president moves forward on one thing, his staff pulls him back and undoes what he said. The action should be here in the Senate to find a narrow deal on DACA and border security," he added.
Make the deal, Schumer.  Salvage what you can.  President Trump is going to have Hispanics voting Republican for a hundred years.

Really? Scotch?

Some things simply shouldn't be messed with.  But, folks always try.
Now Diageo PLC, the world’s single biggest producer, wants to water down some of those rules, part of its attempt to arrest Scotch’s declining market share. Last year, it formed a secret task force to explore ways to change some industry rules about how Scotch must be made.
Now, as any fool can tell you, Scotch whiskey is made of water and unmalted barley and is stored in casks for three years in Scotland.  It must contain at least 40% alcohol.  Those are simple rules.
One idea was to finish aging Scotch in old tequila barrels instead of the sherry, cognac or port casks traditionally used. Another was to create a “Scotch whisky infusion,” a new category of flavored or low-alcohol blends sold under existing Scotch brands.
I thought that Scotch was aged in used American whiskey barrels.   Ah, yes, from The Whiskey Advocate:
Kilchoman offers a scotch aged exclusively in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. Without barrels from the U.S., Scotch whisky as we know it could not exist. Nine out of ten casks used to mature whisky in Scotland today initially matured bourbon or Tennessee whiskey.
 I read a piece some time ago that people are upset with Diageo for screwing with bourbon, and now they're screwing with Scotch.  I'm not a Scotch-drinker, but I understand why purists might be peeved.  I like my bourbon from Kentucky, thank you.  I may occasionally take  a dram of Canadian whiskey, and I have been known to enjoy that upstart sour-mash whiskey from Tennessee.

Well, Dhuh.

Last weekend I posted a blog entry entitled Fun With Holster Angle.  Over the past few days, I came to realize that I was trying to measure the wrong thing, complicating an issue that isn't complicated at all.

Heretofore, when we'd buy a holster, it had a cant.  Indeed, most holsters, regardless of the particular sport are canted.  The duty holster I wear every day is canted.  All of my off-duty and sport holsters have cant, cant is very common.  However, the CFDA rules specify that:
There will be no more than a 20-degree (front or back) holster cant while the shooter is in a normal standing position
So, I had to unwrap my head from the concept of built-in holster cant and wrap my head around the concept that everyone is different, and wears their holsters differently.  What matters is the angle of the holster while the shooter is standing in a normal standing position.

Well, heck, that's easy.  All we need to do is have the shooter stand in a normal standing position and measure the angle of the holster from the vertical as that shooter wears the holster. So, we're not measuring the manufactured cant of the holster, we're measuring the holster angle as the shooter wears it.  Interestingly, I have a couple of holsters with a manufactured 17 degree cant.  I measured them as I wear them, and the holster angle when I am in a normal standing position is about 6 degrees. 

SO, on the recommendation of some very experienced CFDA gurus,  I ordered a couple of these

They will be delivered in a few days, and I'll have one on each of the scoring tables when we do the sanctioned state championship in April.  This thing looks nearly fool-proof, which is good when we consider that I'll be operating it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Women's March

Evidently there was  Women's March last weekend.  I missed it.

Here is what it looks like when powerful women march.

The rest of it is utter bullshit.  Feminism is dead, they're just picing over the corpse.

The Cancer In The FBI

I've learned a lot about cancer over the past decade.  If a body has cancer, there is only a couple of things to do about it.  Excise it, cut it out.  Radiate it.  Expose it, Or you Die.

Much the same, as a cancer in our public institutions, when they forget that they serve the people, impartially, regardless of political persuasion.  You may not like the bastard that the people elected, but you serve without political bias.  The FBI forgot that.
Peter Strzok and Lisa Page -- that low-rent Hero and Leander of the Beltway -- certainly believed that. You know that from the contents of their compulsive text messages even though five key months are suddenly "missing." The inside of the FBI, particularly at the higher reaches, seems to have been filled with a band of smug, self-righteous ideologues who would do anything, erase or rephrase anything, to get their way.  And then lie about it.  Either that or quote scripture.  Or form "secret societies."
The FBI, once the most trusted and respected law enforcement agency in the world, has been exposed as a weaponiszed political police force, not unlike the KGB of Stalinist Russia..  The recent revelations of the cancer within the FBI is a staggering indictment against a once-proud agency that once served the American people without thought of political allegiance.  They served Democrat and Republican alike.

I couldn't tell you today who the Director of the FBI might be, and frankly, I don't care.  What I do care about is that law enforcement at all levels, from the local small-town police department to the nations highest Federal Bureau, serve The People.  It is becoming increasingly clear that the FBI, since Comey's tenure, has a cancer, and it should be excised in the most public, humiliating way possible.  We should see firings and prosecutions on a huge level.  What I'm seeing may not rise to the level of treason, but it certainly has the stink of malfeasance. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A New Conversation?

Over at PJMedia, Faith Malone pens an article about the recent conversations about relationships.
We are witnessing the emergence of a new conversation about sex. The devolution of the #MeToo movement and, more recently, the Babe article about “Grace” and Aziz Ansari, have highlighted a fatal flaw in the logic of feminism.
The article itself is worth reading, but I have said for a long time that that chivalry is a social contract that required a code of conduct from both men and women.  If you want a good man in your life, you have to be a good woman.  And vice versa.

Breaking: School Shooting in Kentucky

Everyone is reporting a school shooting this morning in Kentucky.

It's too early to know yet what happened, but Fox News is reporting at least one fatality, multiple people wounded.  The shooter is in custody. 

My prayers to all affected, we'll wait on other news before comment.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Shutdown Is Over

Everyone is reporting that the government shutdown is over, and that the Democrats got exactly nothing.  Evidently, the internal polling was horrendous and they realized that they had screwed up monumentally.

There is probably a deal to be made for the Dreamers, but most Americans think that we're better served by keeping the government running while Congress hammers out the agreement on how to best accommodate the reality that some of those people have been here for over a decade.  I believe that President Trump has this one right.  Increased border security, end chain migration, end the diversity lottery, and move to merit-based immigration. 

There is another deadline looming that the Democrats should be watching very closely.  As I understand it, on March 5th, the executive order that protects the DACA folks ends and those poor souls just become another group of illegals, ready to be deported.  The Democrats have about six weeks to hammer that deal out, and they had best sit down and take care of it in good faith. 

If the Republicans are smart enough to compromise a little, this whole debacle could be seen as a huge win, and the Hispanic community will be voting Republican for a decade or longer.

New World's Record

It appears that a Canadian sniper team has set a new world's record for the longest recorded kill shot.
On June 22, 2017 the Globe and Mail reported that two snipers assigned to Joint Task Force 2, Canada’s elite special forces unit, had shot an Islamic State fighter in Iraq at a distance of 3,540 meters, or 3,871 yards. The sniper team was stationed on top of a highrise building when it took the shot, which took almost ten seconds to reach its target. The sniper and his spotter had used a McMillan TAC-50 .50 heavy caliber sniper rifle. According to the Globe and Mail, the kill was verified by video “and other data.”
Well done, fellows, well done.  Over two miles for an aimed shot on a man-sized target. That ain't too shabby at all.  The bullet flight was over 10 seconds, so the target jihadi could have wandered off, but he didn't.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


We served Sunday lunch, as we do every Sunday.  Youngest grandkid Lucas had wit him an AirSoft pistol that he wanted to shoot, and after lunch, we lost track of him.  We found him and some of his cousins in the barn, shooting his AirSort at the was bullet range.

It looks like they've figured out how to turn the range on and set the sensitivity to accomodate their needs.  Cool!  Who knew that AirSoft would trip the sensor on a wax bullet target?

Next, they'll be shooting Nerf guns at the targets.

A Splendid Affair

Belle and I were invited to a Mardi Gras ball last evening.  Mardi Gras balls are formal affairs, black tie.  The ladies sparkle.  And, yes, there are certain formalities that must be observed.  The Krewe hosting the ball sets the formalities, but the Ball is mainly to present the officers for the coming year in a format that lets everyone have a good time.  Some Mardi Gras Krewes are legendary, like Rex, or Endymion in New Orleans. 

Alexandria has several Krewes, and the Krewe of Mystique invited Belle and I to their Ball.  It was a simply splendid evening, with good food, great music, wonderful people, and an open bar.

We danced, we laughed, we ate, we simply had a marvelous time.  Turns out, I knew the band leader.  Steve Wells used to play music in the Natchitoches area back when I was in college.  I rented half a duplex from his base guitarist.  Nearly 45 years later, he's still playing the music of the '60s and '70s, which is a perfect mix for our age group.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Fun With Holster Angle

Learning of the recently published CFDA procedure regarding holster angle, I went to Lowe's and bought a General Tool and Instruments Steel Protractor.  Next, I took out some holsters and attempted to learn how to measure holster angle. 

Here's the problem; an angle gauge generally needs two flat surfaces on generally the same plane to get a dead-nuts accurate measurement.  In fact, wit holsters, the measurement angles are on different planes.  So, any measurement is a gesstimate.  It might be close, but we can't be sure it's dead-nuts, especially with the tool I purchased.  For example.

Above is a JDL holster for the long gun.  I aligned the measurement surfaces as well as I could, and measured the holster angle at 17 degrees.  I've included a close-up below.

That's the way I measured it, but other folks might get a different measurement with this tool.  I asked Belle to measure it, an she came in with a full 20 degrees. 

Next,I measured a JDL holster for the short gun. 

Aligning the angle surfaces as closely as I could, I came in with a measurement of 17 degrees.  Again, this is a guesstimate, as I was unable to fully align the tools surfaces with the holster leather.

I believe that my measurements confirm that the JD Leatherworks holsters for both long gun and short gun are in full compliance with CFDA rules.  I also measured a Ken's Leather holster at 17 degrees and a Crease N' Corral (Part Time) rig at 18 degrees.

But, I may not have the best tool for holster angle measurement.  Texas State is in March, closely followed by Louisiana State in April.  While the tool I have is a readily available tool, I'm not convinced that it is the best for our purposes.  We all want to play by the rules, and we all want o do right for our shooters and the game.  We rangemasters need to figure this out pronto.    Is there a better tool for holster angle measurement?  Has CFDA specified a tool?

We need to figure this out, quickly.

Work It Out

A telling vignette from Hot Air:
It turned out that GOP leaders had Trump’s ear at least as much as Schumer did. According to multiple congressional and White House sources, Trump also told Schumer he needed to work out an agreement with McConnell and Ryan. That killed any hopes among Democrats that Schumer could persuade Trump to make concessions on the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Trump's right.  It is the job of Congress to work out the law.  If Schumer, McConnell, and Ryan can work out a deal, pass it with a veto-proof majority, and present it to Trump, it becomes law  whether we like it or not.

Passing legislation is the job of Congress, and frankly, they've sucked at it recently.  If they had hammered out a deal, all this could have been avoided.  They didn't, so the title of my earlier post is very timely.  Senators Fail.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Feminism v Nature

So, I'm reading this whiney liberal guy who is all depressed over Trump's election and his doc tells him that he needs testosterone.
My testosterone levels had sunk, and I decided, given my lassitude, depression, and lack of sexual desire, to go on hormone replacement therapy to get me back in a healthy range for a 30-something male. It was a fascinating experience to witness maleness literally being injected into me, giving me in a sudden jump what had been there all along, and what I now saw and felt more vividly. You get a real sense of what being a man is from an experience like that, as the rush of energy, strength, clarity, ambition, drive, impatience and, above all, horniness overcame me every two weeks in the wake of my shot. It was intoxicating.
Dude!  You got a shot?  Really?  I get it, some folks don't know how to feel maleness, and don't understand.  Let me tell you how to get that "real essence of being a man", without getting an injection.  Rappel from a helicopter, jump out of a perfectly healthy aircraft.take  tank down Table VIII, land an airplane on a bouncing deck.  Get up before daylight and run with 100 of your closest friends, then eat breakfast and start the training day.

Do something occasionally that scares the hell out of you.  Ride motocross, take up rock climbing, or  simply roof your own house.  Find a woman you love desperately,  who turns you on by simply walking across the room.  Help your kid build a tree house.  Participate in a barn raising, any of these things will raise your testosterone level.

He goes on to say that maleness is out of fashion.... oh, hell.
I know this must be a pain in the neck for most women. But it’s who we are. It’s a blessing and a curse. It’s called being male, this strange creature, covered in hair, pinioned between morality and hormones, governed by two brains, one above and one below. 
 No, stupid.  Real women know how to deal with real men.  It's as natural and normal to them as breathing.  My woman knows exactly how to deal with me.

Sullivan never says it, but he's starting to understand how Trump was elected.   By making maleness toxic, the Democrats defined a huge group of voters, both male and female, who don't believe that maleness is toxic.  In fact, we celebrate maleness.  We believe that men re different from women and we celebrate that difference.

Tomorrow evening, my lady and I are going to celebrate a Louisiana holiday.  We're going to get dressed up, and I'll have to help her zip her gown.    She'll straighten my tie, and we'll go out with like-minded people, dance, visit, and have fun.    When we get home later, I'll help her out of her dress, and that will be okay, because she's my woman and I'm her man, and that's the way we want it.

The Democrats have spent much of the last decade making maleness toxic, when the vast majority of America knows that it's not toxic at all.  It's normal and natural and while occasionally it should be restrained, it also occasionally needs to run free.

The Democrats have forgotten that men and women are different.  You want more Turmp?  That's how you get more Trump.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Leave A Drip Going

With the mild winters we've had over the past several years, we've had to re-learn an  old Southern tradition during cold snaps.  Leave a drip going.  This is the hardest winter we've had in several years, and water pipes freeze up and burst when left unattended.  For example, as well as our house is, we have one wall that catches the full north breeze and cools very quickly.  Our water pipes go through that wall, and our water heater is on that wall.  I've learned that if the temps get down to the low 20s, it is prudent to leave  drip going  in the kitchen sink.  We haven't burst a pipe yet, but we have frozen a few.

Belle is of the opinion that hot water is a vital necessity.  She insists on bathing in hot water every day.  I have tried to tell her that she only needs hot water once a week or so, that using hot water ever day is frivolous and extravagant, but she's a woman of the modern era.  She wants hot water on demand.

So, with the temps predicted to be in the low 20s tonight, I think I'll leave a drip going in the kitchen sink this evening.  It's a small price to pay for marital harmony.  And, as we all know, if Momma ain't happy, no one is happy.

Go Ahead, Alabama

It looks like Alabama has gotten out of the marriage license  business.
The Alabama Senate passed a bill Tuesday to eliminate marriage licenses and allow probate judges to accept affidavits from couples as official records of marriage.
The requirement of a ceremony would be eliminated.
I've often wondered why the state was in the marriage license business at all.  Some say that it is a holdover from the Jim Crow laws, wherein people had to get the state's permission to marry.    In my own non-politically correct mind, I've always believed that marriage is a sacred contract between one man and one woman, testified to before a congregation, and blessed by God.  The state truly need not be involved.  But, that's just me.

Some folks believe that marriage can be something else, and in today's modern age, that is legally acceptable.So be it.  Still, I applaud Alabama's courage in expanding freedom.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Black, Dress Shoes

Talking to Belle the other night, she asked me what shoes I was wearing to the Mardi Gras Ball.  A Mardi Gras Ball, for those of you uninitiated, is a very formal affair.  Black tie, tuxedo.  Back in the day, when I was soldiering for a living, I always kept a pair of Shoes, Naval Oxford, Black in the closet for dress uniform occasions.  But, those have gone the way of other things.

I mentioned to Belle that I had a nice pair of black boots that should suffice.

"No," she replied.  "Boots don't go with a tux."

So, today I went looking for shoes.  Black, formal, dress shoes.  If I had been within a hundred miles of a good PX or Uniform Sales store, I wold have looked there, but I only had the local merchants.  II went into Academy Sports, which has a huge shoe section.  Asked about dress shoes, the lady there thought the question was amusing.  She sent me over to Shoe Carnival, which had a small section of shoes that I would call casual, but nothing that approaches formal.  The gal there sent me over to Dillards, in the mall.

I went into Dillards and asked for the shoe department.  Was pointed to the back corner of the store.  Voila.  Formal dress shoes.  I selected a pair and tried them on, walking around the carpet area.

"These feel good." I told the lady.  "But, the soles are slick. Will I be able to dance in these?"

"Yes, sir," she replied.  "You will be able to dance in those."

"That's great, "I told her.  "Wrap them up.  I've never been able to dance before."

She looked at me, shocked, for a second, then grinned.  "I walked right in to that one, didn't I?"

Later, Belle looked at the shoes, then pronounced them sufficient.


Back in the '60s, everyone just knew that by the turn of the new century, we'd all have flying cars.

Instead, we're telling people not to eat laundry soap..  This century ain't working out like I"d hoped.

I'm still waiting for my flying car.

Freedom, Accountability, and Narissism

Reading Instapundit this morning, I am led to a article by the black scholar Shelby Steele,   The article itself is  behind a paywall at the Wall Street Journal, but OD DREHER  excerpts it extensively at the American Conservative.  It's  powerful piece that speaks to the black protests of the past couple of years, and speaks volumes about why those protests have lost the power of the narrative, to speak to the hearts of the rest of us.
What they missed is a simple truth that is both obvious and unutterable: The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.
It must have taken incredible courage for Mr. Steele to write that paragraph, but he goes further, equating freedom with responsibility, and understanding that I've come to both respect and applaud.
That’s why, in the face of freedom’s unsparing judgmentalism, we reflexively claim that freedom is a lie. We conjure elaborate narratives that give white racism new life in the present: “systemic” and “structural” racism, racist “microaggressions,” “white privilege,” and so on. All these narratives insist that blacks are still victims of racism, and that freedom’s accountability is an injustice.
And that's the thing I've come to understand.  Freedom is a choice not a gift.  It is not dependent on the good will of others, it is a decision that we make, a state of mid.  But, with freedom comes responsibility.  Once we make the decision to be free, we are responsible for ourselves.  For once we are free, we will be judged on our own merits.  We are accountable to the law, to the rest of society, to the moral imperatives that freedom dictates. 

That's not to say that we won't struggle, won't fail, won't strive mightily.  Freedom is about struggle.  And, the choices we make as free people might live with us for many years.  A free person might choose to be a victim, to be ignorant, to live in poverty.  But, that doesn't mean that the rest of us need to participate in his choices.  Neither does it require that other free people contribute to his narrative of vivtimhood.

In my briefcase, for many years, I carried a quote attributed to Cesare Beccaria:
Every act of Authority of one man over another, without just cause, is Tyranny.
That quote, whether rightfully attributed or not, has been my guiding light since college.  And, I thank Mr. Steeel for putting my aggravation with the recent racial protests into perspective.  The racial protest of the past decade claim moral authority over me without just cause.  As such, they are tyrannical.  As a free man, I object. 

Now, as a free man, I have my own freedom to attend to.  I suggest that you all do the same.

UPDATE:  Surfing around later, I found this clip.  You may not believe me, because I'm all conservative and white, but would you listen to Morgan Freeman?

The bus runs every day.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Senator Leahy Displays His Ignorance

In questioning today during the "Sh*thole Gate" hearing, he made the statement that:

Now, last week in the Oval Office,  President Trump reportedly said the most vulgar and racist things I've ever heard a President of either party utter."
Oh, please, Senator.  You are displaying your ignorance.  Certainly, during your lifetime, you know of Presidents who used vulgarities, even racist vulgarities, in the Oval Office.  Lets's take Lyndon Johnson, for example.  He used the word "n**ger a" lot. 

Senator Leahy, being a Democrat, certainly knows that LBJ was a racist.  That's common knowledge.

Regardless of what President Trump may or may hot have said, ti's certainly no the most racist thug ever said in the Oval Office. Senator Leahy is an ignorant jackass.

Quick Potato Soup

Sitting home on a snowy Tuesday, Belle ad I were casting about for something to cook for lunch, and she mentioned that she was hungry for potato soup.  So, I started looking in the freezer and found a bag of Tater Tots I had bought for the grandkids, and in the pantry, I found a box of chicken stock.

I put the tater tots in a soup pot, and added the chicken stock.  Belle looked in the freezer and found a couple of leftover pieces of good tasso ham.  I defrosted it, chopped it into small cubes, and dded that to the pot.  Let it simmer for an hour or so, until the Tater Tots had simmered to pieces and the little potato chunks were tender.

We added some half-and-half, let that heat through, then got out some soup cups.

Garnish with shredded cheese, and serve with saltine crackers.  Now, after lunch, my belly is warm and I don't care if it snows the rest of the day.

Tuesday Morning

At daylight, we have freezing rain and the temps have already hit the high for today.    PawPaw is home, snug and warm (for the time being), and surprise, surprise, Belle's office just called, they are closed for the day.  We expect the weather to be crappy all day long, with the freezing rain changing to snow later this morning.  This does not bode well for central Louisiana, and prudent folks are staying home if possible.

My heart and prayers goes out to those folks who can't bunker up, and must go out in this weather.  Cops, jailers, hospital workers.  Those folks have to provide care an comfort to those people in their charge.  Belle and I have both pulled that duty during our working careers, and are now in positions that doesn't require that level of dedication.

In yesterday's post, concerning coffee, maggiek reminded me how to make coffee when the power goes south.  Thanks, but I've been doing this for a long time.  Not in ice, so much, but other natural disasters peculiar to these latitudes.  I've made coffee every way imaginable.  I've used percolators, I've used drip pots, I've even used an athletic sock to make "cowboy" coffee.    The one tried-and-true method I keep returning to is the old, standard drip coffee pot.

You can still get a brand new one on Amazon for over $50.00.  A decade or so ago, I wore one out and needed a replacement.  I refused to pay what the merchants locally were asking, so I started hitting flea markets.  Found a replacement for well under retail.  It's served me well during disasters and I'm never without the ability to make coffee.

Belle and I are fine, snug and warm at home, an we'll watch the weather and piddle inside today.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Winter Storm Update

I went today and got the butane bottles filled, and stopped at Wally-World and got some little one-pound canisters for the Coleman stove.  I don't expect a power outage, but if it happens, Belle can have coffee when she awakes.  It's one thing to be without power, it's another thing entirely to be without coffee.  That ain't likely to happen around here. 

Schools are closed locally, I'm told.  The announcement ain't out officially, but scuttlebutt from folks I trust tell me that the announcement is coming soon.  We're expecting 1/2 to 2 inches of white stuff, which doesn't seem like much to my brethren from the frozen north, but we don't do salt here.  We just barely have sand to put on bridges and overpasses.  A thin skim of snow will shut-us-the-hell-down until it melt.  Which won't take long.  When it snows tomorrow morning, it might last a fulll day if the temps stay below freeing. 

It is what it is, and we're finally having a winter, after four or five years of not much at all.  The good news, is that as far as I know, we're still having church services tonight.    I'm looking forward to it.  I haven't been able to make services in a couple of weeks, and I've missed it.

Winter Storm Inga

Turning on the Weather Channel this morning, I learn that they've started to name winter storms.  Who knew?  Anyway, this one is named Inga, and she's shaping up to be a bitch.  Here's a weather map from 5:00

It appears that she is going to push down all the way to Louisiana.  The weather weenies are telling us to expect a "wintry mix" tomorrow.  with temperatures in the high teens by Wednesday morning.

Oh, joy!  This global warmening is killing me. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

If You Want More Of Something, Subsidize it.

Which state has the highest level of poverty in the United States?  Not Mississippi or West Virginia, but... drumroll please.... it's California.  Yeah, really!
It’s not as though California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause. Several state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200% above the poverty line receive benefits. California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments and “other public welfare,” according to the Census Bureau. California, with 12% of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients.
The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.
That's what happens when liberalism runs wild.  They throw money at a problem, and make it worse.  We could draw numerous parallels to the War On Poverty from LBJ during the '60s.  It's the same thing that my economics professor told us when we were studying macroeconomics.  "If you want more of something, subsidize it."

We've been subsidizing poverty for a long time.  That's why we have so much of it.

The President's Plain Realism

Oh, he threw a crap grenade into the world press last week, describing some countries as "sh*tholes".  The media exploded in outrage, the media was shocked, the politicians from that other party were apoplectic.  It was an outrage, the very thought that the President of the United States would stoop to such a hateful, derogatory, racist, unseemly adjective sent them into spasms of collective virtue-signalling.

But, the rest of us knew what he was talking about.  Soldiers, sailors, and airmen of all stripes knew just exactly what he was talking about.  But, lest I be accused of assuming something not yet in evidence, let me give  few examples.

If the country in question has recently opened slave-markets, that is a sh*thole country.
If the country in question treats women like chattel, that is a sh*thole country
If the electric power grid depends on the local warlord, you live in a sh*thole country.
If you live in a country where Malaria is the leading cause of death, you live in a sh*thole country
If your economy has hyper-inflation, you live in a sh*thole country.
If you have a toilet paper shortage, you live in a sh*thole country.

I could go on, but I find it amazing that many people don't know what the President was talking about.  The moral preening, the feigned outrage, the political double-speak, is all baffling to those of us who realize that some places are just horrible places to live.

But what I really find amazing is that only President Trump could make the adjective "sh*thole" go viral overnight.  It is what it is, and the President was speaking with plain realism.

Sunday Lunch

With outdoor temps in the high 20s, we opted for comfort food today.  Something simple, warm ad filling.  Taco Soup.  T he recipe is right here.

Belle got a new crock pot for Christmas, and decided to give it a whirl.  It's a big ole ceramic cooker, an 8-quart model, and she made a double batch of taco soup to see how it would do.  What I like about meals like this is that you can brown your meat in a skillet or dutch oven, then start transferring stuff into the ceramic cooker.  Put it on low, let it bump, and you don't have to stand over the stove stirring and wondering.

With corn chips, shredded cheese, and maybe a little sour cream, it will fill bellies with warm goodness.  Taco Soup, it's what's fer lunch.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Shop Update - Shooting

 This morning we held our first club shoot n the new shop.  Brother Herb Dickerson led us in prayer and dedicated the building to the Greater Glory of God, and we commenced the gunfire.

L-R Cookie, Blue Eyed Belle and Dustin
Moon, announcing.  Blue Eyed Belle coaching, and Brother Herb learning the electronics.
L-R Major D, Moon, Big Bill, and Cookie on the line.
It was cold this morning, hovering around freezing outside, but we had a heater in the shop, knocking the chill out of the air.  As soon as the temperature moderates, I intend to have the whole building spray-foamed with closed cell insulation.   Until then we'll use it as-is and put up with the chill.

Friday, January 12, 2018

In A Fast Warming World (Snerk)

Scientists say that last week's cold wave may be increasingly rare.
The record-crushing cold that rang in 2018 was like a blast from the past that will become increasingly rare.
Those idiots should really pay attention to what is happening before they make a prognostication.  Yesterday I was walking around in shirt sleeves, today I'm freezing my gizzard.  Tomorrow is supposed to be colder, and by the middle of next week, we're supposed to break some old records.

Locally, they're predicting 18F for next Wednesday morning, which is as cold as it got on New Year's.  Increasingly rare, my ass.  That's twice in three weeks.  In central Louisiana, which is not noted for much "wintry mix" (which is also predicted for next week).  I will remind the congregation that I have a grandson who didn't see snow until he was ten (10) years old.  He's seen it several times since then.

Shop Update - Comments

BobF said...
Thank you very much for posting the progress of this project so regularly. I have found it most interesting and now that you are almost done I'm going to have to turn my chair around and watch those we'll-never-have-a-place-like-that home rehab shows my wife insists on watching. I guess it could be worse -- could be soap operas.
Thanks for the kind words.  But, I'm not nearly finished with this project.  Right now we are in a weather hold.  The next step is to insulate, installing an inch of closed-cell foam on the walls and roof.  That will help with both the winter heating and the summer cooling.  I already have an installer laid-on, but he can't install it in cold weather.  He claims that the process requires a certain minimum temperature and we're below it.

And, I am going to have to pull everything (including lights) out of the shop before we insulate, so I am only putting in the bare minimum until we can do the insulation.  But, I built the shop to shoot in, to have a place where we could shoot and not worry about weather, so I've installed the range temporarily. 

But, we're not nearly finished, not by a long shot.  I've shown you the range, which takes up half of the building.  On the other side, I intend to install a half-bath and an open-concept kitchen, complete with 'fridge, sinks, stove/oven, and my personal favorite, a flat-top grill.

Stand by

Thursday, January 11, 2018


The prisoner, 29-year-old Gonzalo Montoya Jiménez, was found unresponsive in his cell during a morning roll call, and had been transferred to a hospital mortuary in a body bag when pathologists heard something strange.
Snoring. Coming from inside the bag.
We've all hard the horror stories of people being buried alive.  Mostly from the late 19th, early 20th centuries.  The practice of embalming has pretty much put an end to those stories.  Once you are pumped full of embalming fluid, the chances of waking up are pretty slim.

Go Ahead, Senator

Our senator from Louisiana, John Kennedy, spoke the truth yesterday.
“I don’t think we need more gun control; I think we need more idiot control,” the Louisiana Republican told, blasting a new bipartisan gun control bill that appears to be aimed at preventing more of those so-called idiots from purchasing firearms.
You tell 'em, Senator.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Getting There

I got home this afternoon and hanged the wing wall.  The range now takes up half of the shop, but someone can sit on the other side of the wing wall in perfect safety.

I still have some creature-comfort things to install, but I think we're ready for Saturday's club shot.

Here we go!  Shooters on the line!

Taxes - The IRS Quandry

The IRS is facing its first big challenge implementing the new tax law: deciding how much in taxes to withhold from millions of Americans’ paychecks.
The agency is under pressure to take as little as possible so people will see big increases in their take-home pay ahead of this year’s midterm elections.
But that would come at a cost: smaller or even nonexistent refunds next year, though millions rely on them to plug holes in their family budgets. Democrats are already accusing the Trump administration of plotting "phantom windfalls" ahead of the November contest that will come back to haunt taxpayers next tax season.
Don't get me started on the IRS or Withholding.  I've long been of the opinion that we won't get true tax reform until withholding is abolished.   When taxpayers have to start writing quarterly checks to the Treasury quarterly, then you'll see a general tax revolt.  People will demand extreme austerity form the government, and many welfare entitlements will just dry up and blow away.

Yes, I know that withholding is relatively painless, and that many people count on a tax refund during the first quarter of the year to help balance their budgets or provide a small windfall for projects.  But, that's money that the government has used interest-fee for several months.   Just because something is painless doesn't mean that it's good for you.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Police Work and Electronic Media

There is no doubt that the cell phone has revolutionized police work (and most other facets of society).  But, not always for the good.  I can recall getting a radio message to tell me to call the office and wherever I was along my patrol route, I knew where every pay phone was located and I kept spare change in the cruiser's ashtray, so that I could drop a dime in a pay phone.

Come the '90s and cell phones changed all that.  Every cop carries a cell phone now and we're instantly available to our bosses.  Many agencies issue cell phones as standard devices.  Many folks look on it as a perquisite of the job, and that's where they screw up.    Having an agency phone is more than a double-edged sword.  It's got sharp edges anywhere, and any of them will cut you.

As these guys are finding out.
Republican-led House and Senate committees are investigating whether leaders of the Russia counterintelligence investigation had contacts with the news media that resulted in improper leaks, prompted in part by text messages amongst senior FBI officials mentioning specific reporters, news organizations and articles.
Really!  Text messages.  When I was a street cop, I didn't have to worry about text messages.  They hadn't been invented yet.  The closest thing we had was a fax machine.  But, I've seen a lot of cops get in trouble for doing stupid things, and documenting it on a cell phone.  C'mon guys!  Don't do stupid things.  And if you do, don't don't announce to the world via text message. In the case above, these are FBI weenies on a counter-intelligence team.  You would think that they would be doubly careful. 

As an old-time rural Sheriff once told me; "If you think that the Sheriff owes you a ride home, you'd better re-think your assumptions."  Point being that issued equipment belonged to the agency, not the individual officer, and if the Sheriff wanted it back, all he had to do was to take it.

Do I feel sorry for these idiots?  Not at all.  They should have known better, but they serve as an object lesson for all good cops.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Monday Evening Musings

Monday evening, and after a day back int he workaday world.

Oprah gave a speech and everyone is wondering if she's running for President.  To all those who think that an Oprah Presidency is ridiculous, remember that two years ago, many people thought that a Trump Presidency was ridiculous.

A US District Judge has dismissed the charges against Cliven Bundy and three others.  It seems that the judge cited "prosecutoral misconduct" in his reasoning.  There is some question about whether there will be a re-trial, but many pundits think the Bundy's travails are over.  Let Freedom Ring.

PawPaw went in to rent a tuxedo today.  This is probably the first tux I've rented in several decades.  The ladies made it painless and quick.  Simple, black, understated elegance.  It should be quite elegant.  I need to buy some oxfords, but I'll take care of that quickest.  Talking with the ladies at the store, it seems that buying a tux is fairly affordable, and I might look into that. 

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Busy Day, Worship and Play

We did lunch today with the kids as usual.  Belle cooked pork chops and rice, along with field peas cooked with seasoning pork, and cornbread. 

While Belle was cooking, I walked out to the shop to hang the backdrop and install the targets.  We needed to hook everything up and give it a test run before the shoot next Saturday morning.  The targets work fine, and all the electrical and data work we've done came together like gangbusters.

After lunch, we played for  while and let the grandkids hurrah in the shop.  Then I followed second son to his house where I cut another big piece of backdrop to install as a wing-wall at the end of the range.  This will keep shooters who are not actually on the line safe from wax bullets as they lounge in the other end of the shop.

We're stoked about the progress and looking forward to hosting the club on Saturday.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Saturday Chores

Spent the morning in the shop with son-in-law, who hangs and repairs CAT5 cable for a living.  We cut a bunch of CAT5 cable into 100 foot lengths, ran it through a 2" PVC pipe and secured the ends of the cables to purlins in the shop.  We ran enough cable for a six-lane range, and got the basic layout set up.  That took all morning.

Went back to the house and found that Belle had gone to run her errands, so I got in the van and went to run my errands.  Saw Belle's car at her new office.  They've been going through a cluster-farked move, and she was in, setting up her office.  I took her to lunch, then we split up again to run errands.

At the Dollar Store, I bought a new mop, went home, mixed up some detergent nd gave the kitchen floor a good mopping (yeah, I know how to operate a mop.  Years of barracks and orderly rooms).  It's amazing how clean a floor looks after it's been properly mopped, and I had been tracking in construction dust for the better part of the week.

Tomorrow, we hang the backdrop curtains and install the range.  I'm really looking forward to that.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Ir's Five O'clock Somewhere

I have done just about everything I intended to do this week.  It's been a good time, with good progress made, and I am reminded that it is Friday afternoon.  It's five o'clock somewhere.

Tomorrow morning, my son-in-law and I start building the range, but right now, it's Happy Hour

Shop Update - Progress

It's a small thing that we take for granted, but when you're fighting bureaucracy and government, every little step forward is a huge relief.

I've got lights and power in the shop now, and things can mover forward.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Thusday Research

A buddy and I were talking about this earlier.  One of the modern marvels of the internet is YouTube.  You can learn anything that you want to learn on YouTube, and I use it constantly.

For example, I build my last stud wall, maybe ten years ago.  One of the things I always have to think about is framing a stud-wall corner, and I'm going to have to do that on a project in the coming months, so I thought that it would be a good idea to check YouTube and get my bearings.  Sure enough.

I remember all I need to remember now, and I'll just leave taat there so I can find it later.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Shop Update - Passed

The code inspector came out shortly after lunch to inspect the electrical installation.    He liked what he saw, and put a PASS sticker on the meter pan.

I came in and called Cleco, our electric service provider.  Went through their spiel, and they told me that a service planner would be out within 24-48 hours to plan service.

Thinking that I would't hear from them today, I grabbed a wheelbarrow and went out to clear up some of the construction debris.  I heard a vehicle in front of the building and was surprised to see a young fellow get out, claiming to be a service planner.  We talked for a bit, and he told me that we'd snatch the power from a pole in my neighbor's yard (which is what I hoped they'd do), and that he'd get the service order turned in first thing tomorrow morning.

I asked him when I could reasonably expect to get service?

"Maybe, Friday," he said, "but more likely Monday or Tuesday." 

I admit that I am a bit surprised.    By early next week, I'll have power in my shop and I can start building the range.


Happy Birthday, Pop!

We miss you.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Basic Riflery, the MPBR, and more

Great article over at Ammo Land, concerning stuff I taught 40 years ago.  This stuff hasn't changed much, because physics hasn't changed much.  The article is based on the M4 carbine and standard NATO ammo, which is familiar to almost every shooter, but the math holds regardless of the caliber or the rifle.

The author defines Maximum Point Blank Range (MPBR) as that distance at which the bullet flight varies no more that 6 centimeters from the line of sight.  Six centimeters is approximately 2.6 inches, and is the height that the sights of an AR 15 is set above the bore line.   That's a useful measurement standard because it is readily available if you're holding an AR rifle.  But, in my day, we defined it differently.

I was taught (and I taught) that Maximum Point Blank Rage is that distance where the marksman can hit a man-sized torso target (from belt to head) by holding the sights on a center-mass point.  With a standard NATO 7.62mm ball ammo, that distance is somewhere about 300 meters, assuming still air at sea level.  Understanding the math, and the physics is fine, it's a wonderful thing, but physics and match make certain assumptions and those assumptions may not hold true in the field.

For example, I've never seen still air at sea level.  I assume that it exists, but every time I walk down to the beach, there's a breeze blowing.  Still, it's an assumption that exists, so it must happen somewhere.  So, after we understand the math and physics, it's important that we practice with our rifle.  Take it out and shoot it at every opportunity.  Practice from field positions.  Get away from the bench.  The marksman that shoots 100 rounds a year will be more familiar with his rifle than the marksman that shoots 10 rounds per year.

It's easy to sit at a computer and explore the variables.  It's something else again to get out in the field and see how those variables affect your rifle, your ammo, and your target.  Get some training, practice with your rifle, and when it comes time to make the shot you'll have both the confidence and ability to hit the target.

Monday, January 01, 2018

New Years Day

Bitterly cold outside, with a wind-chill that took my breath away earlier, it's warm indoors.  Belle and I are following a tradition that her parents, and my parents followed. We're cooking.  Plain humble fare to remind us to be thankful, to be humble, and to give us strength.

Belle and I became engaged during a New Years celebration, in the minutes after midnight, January 1, 2003.  The next day, we announced our engagement with a meal of blackeyed peas, cabbage, and corn bread.  We still cook on New Year's Day, and our good friend, the honorable mayor of Pollock attends the feast.  Sometimes more folks, sometimes less, and today there will be simply we three.  We saw the kids yesterday, and while they were all invited, they deferred, having other plans.

I have removed the bone from the leftover Christmas ham.
The peas are done, but the cabbage is still cooking.  Cabbage cooks quickly, and Belle starts by frying a little seasoning ham in oil, then layers cabbage, onion, with a little salt. and occasionally just a pinch of sugar.  She'll add more as the cabbage "melts" down in the pot and in  an hour or so, she'll be ready to mix up her corn bread.

Good, clean white cabbage.  This will cook down nicely.
We'll spend the day hanging out with friends, and tonight go to church.  Today is rest, and tomorrow starts the working year.  I hope that 2018 is good to each of you, and this year is filled with laughter and love and challenge.

Happy New Year!