Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Louisiana Covid Update

On this cool, cloudy Tuesday afternoon, the Louisiana Dept of Health is reporting 5237 active cases with 1355 hospitalized.  That is an increase in active cases of 1212 since yesterday.

I've been out in the shop loading wax bullets.  I got 600 rounds loaded and primed today, which eaves me 2900 to go before all the cartridge brass is loaded.

While I was loading, I was listening to Rush Limbaugh, and his continuing theme today is that this level of economic inactivity is simply not sustainable.  At some point in the very near future, we are going to have to get back to work.

I see that Sweden is going for herd immunity.  That is a bold decision by its leadership, and I"m sure that someone studying pubic heath will write a dissertation on this decision in years to come.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Louisiana Covid Update

The Louisiana Dept of Health is reporting 4025 active covid-19 cases i Louisiana, up from 3540 yesterday, an increase of 485 cases since yesterday.

My home parish of Rapides is reporting 44 cases, a small increase.

Our governor reports that he will modify his stay-at-home order to correspond with the Presidents order, to reflect that we're supposed to veg out until April 30th.

During this madness, I have been loading CFDA ammo to give my hands something to do.  I currently have 9000 rounds of CFDA ammo loaded, with a paltry 3500 left to go before I put this project to bed.  Tomorrow, I"m probably going to run to the lumber yard.  Belle wants a small raised bed to grow some tomatoes and cayenne peppers.

Texas Closed For Business

It looks like Texas is shutting down internal domestic travel.
AUSTIN ― Travel by road from Louisiana into Texas at any location will require a 14-day self-quarantine by those arriving in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Sunday.
Evidently, the Texas DPS will be telling travelers by road fro Louisiana that they will have to self-quarantine for 14 days.
When the first air travel quarantine restrictions were announced last week, DPS troopers were charged with handing out forms requiring arriving travelers to list where they would be carrying out their 14-day quarantine.
I never thought it would come to this.

Thirty More Days

It looks as if we're under lockdown for another 30 days, at least.

That's the galling part.  They can't tell us, with all the science and the finest minds in the business, when this will be over.

I want to know when it will be over.  I don't care when they set the date, whether it's in June, or July, or even August.  I just want to know when I can start making plans.  Americans are planners, and the worst of this disaster is shutting down the planning.

I spent twenty years in the Louisiana Dept of Corrections.  The one thing that every inmate had is a release date.  The inmate knew that on some certain date in the future, he would be released.

What we have now is a rolling release date.  Maybe in 30 days, maybe in 60. What I'd like to see is a iron-clad date when we know, without a doubt, that we can return to some semblance of normal.  Let the experts look at their most pessimistic models, then set a date based on that estimate.

Then, let us know that on that date, we can get on with our lives.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Louisiana Covid Update

On this beautiful Sunday afternoon, the Louisiana Dept o Health reports 3540 active cases, an increase of 225 cases since yesterday.

Here in Rapides Parish, we are currently reporting 41 cases.

Lest We Forget

Exactly two weeks ago, I was in Sepulpa, OK, getting ready to leave the motel for the final day of the Oklahoma State Championship.  We had heard about the corona virus, but no one was truly convened.  It wasn't till we were home Monday that the awful truth started to sink in.  The President issued his "15 days" warning, and people started paying attention.

In the interim, we've learned some hard lessons.  Toilet paper can be in short supply even in the most prosperous country in the wold.  Politicians are generally idiots, which we knew, but never on such glaring display.

The mayor of New Oleans has said that she would have cancelled Mardi Gras if the federal government had warned her about the outbreak.  Realy?  Mardi Gras was on February 25th.  At that point, the USA had not yet recorded the fist death on American soil.  And the mayor would have cancelled Mardi Gras?  The outraged citizens would have run her out of town on a rail.  The mayor o New Orleans is spouting complete and utter bullshit.  Which is what the Mayor of New Orleans normally does. 

Business Insider has a pretty good timeline of what we've learned and when we've learned it.  Our whole world has changed in the past two weeks, and it seems like a couple of months.  It's only been 13 days.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Louisiana Covid-19 Update

The Louisiana Dept of Health is reporting 3315 active cases of Covid-19 today, up 569 from yesterday's reporting.  Of those, 927 are hospitalized.

Here in Rapides Parish, Covid cases are reporting at 37 active cases, quite an uptick from yesterday.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Cast Bullet Leading Myths

Leading is a problem with cast bullets, and it's a factor of three things:  Velocity, lube, and alloy.  This is an over-simplification, as are most things I put in here, but believe me, we have to take those three into consideration when we're working with cast bullets.

Mark O asks in comments:
I am a pistol guy. In a pistol with lead you have to be concerned about leading above 1000fps. What about a rifle?
With the proper bullet alloy, and good lube, bullets can be pushed much faster than the 1000 fps limit.  My favorite cast bullet load for the .357 magnum runs a hard-cast, gas checked bullet of my alloy out to almost 1200 fps with a 180 grained bullet.  That same load from a rifle give me almost 1600 fps with   no problems.

I push my favorite .30-30 load to about 1800 fps with no leading.

On the other hand, I can push a soft lead bullet out of a pistol at 650 and get leading.  It's a function of alloy and lube.  My heavy cast loads are normally cast from good alloy, dipped in liquid alox, the the gas check is applied, then it's dipped again in alox before I load it.

You never know what a cast bullet is going to do in your barrel until you try it.  It's all part of the trip down the worm-hole.

Louisiana Covid-19 Updaute

Today, the Louisiana Dept of Health reports 2746 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Louisiana, an increase of 441 cases, with the death toll standing at 119 today. Today's increase was less than yesterday.  It's too early to be optimistic, but perhaps we are about to bend the curve on this thing.  The next couple of days should tell.

Today, my home parish reports 6 active cases with one death.

The Wron-Hole

I found a correspondent in my inbox, a fellow who inherited his grandfather's old Winchester 94.  And he asked me about cast bullets in the .30-30.

Let's drop down this worm=hole, shall we?  His question:
So I can't use the same load data for FMJ for lead ammo ? What's a good manual you recommend? I've found this load data but I wanted your expert opinion.
 I bought some 155 grain lead bullets without the gas check can I use the same load data as a 155 grain with gas check?
I feel sorry for this guy.  He's about to drop down a worn-hole with the best of intentions. It's a world where sane men sometimes venture and learn that everything they thought they knew was patently false.

My latest answer:
My rule of thumb.  Below 1500 fps, no check.  Between 1500 to 1900, gas check.  Above 1900, jacketed.  A gas check is important s that bore gasses don't erode the base of a plain based bullet.  This becomes more important as speed, and pressure increases. 
Be cautious using factory made cast bullets.  Many of us use a lot of factory cast in handguns, but in rifles, you're getting into that range of speed whee alloy really matters. You ca't drive a soft, pure lead bullet much over 1200 fps and expect it to perform properly.  Over 1200 fps, you need to alloy the melted lead to give it toughness.  Many of us grew up using wheel weights, which used to contain 95% lead, 3% tin, and 2% antimony.  This was a great alloy for cast bullets, and approximated the Lyman #2 alloy.  Some of us alloyed our own metal with pure lead and Linotype metal.  Be careful using wheel weights today because most of them are made of zinc, which is totally unsuitable to casting bullets and will ruin your alloy.
Getting in to cast bullets is like going down a worm-hole, and you might not be the same person when you come out the other side.  Everything you thought you knew about reloading is wrong.
For hundreds of years prior to the late 1800s, everything was shot with pure lead bullets, but they used black power as the only propellant.  Black powder is a low-pressure propellant and is perfectly suited to pure lead.  However, in the late 1800s two things happened, almost simultaneously: the invention of smokeless powder and the invention of the cupro-nickel jacketed bullet.  Smokeless powder gave higher pressure, and velocity and the jacketed bullet let us take advantage of that pressure.
In 1895, Winchester unveiled their new cartridge, the .30 WCF (.30-30) which was the very first cartridge designed to use smokeless powder, and the world changed. It was advertised as a whiz-bang modern wonder, capable of taking any game in North America, to include grizzly bear.  In the intervening century, advances in smokeless powder almost mad the lead bullet obsolete for rifle cartridges.
Surprisingly, the most popular cartridge today, the most sold ammo in the United States is ab obsolete design that uses a heeled, pure lead bullet and is loaded to black powder velocities.  The .22 Long Rifle.
The very best resource for cast bullets, almost a bible among cast bullet enthusiasts, is the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, available from Amazon. It is a wealth of knowledge from cover to cover.  It covers bullet casting, alloys, and has load data or almost every cartridge suitable for cast bullets.
Have fun going down this worn-hole.  Stay safe.
I hope I didn't scare the guy off.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Louisiana Covid Update

Today, the Louisiana Dept of Health is reporting 2305 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Louisiana, an increase of 510 from yesterday, with 676 cases hospitalized and 83 reported deaths.

An hour ago, Belle sent me out for bread and sandwich meat.  The local dollar store was out of bread and toilet paper.  I rand into town to the grocers and found bread and sammich fixings, but they were out of toilet paper as well.  Not to worry, our supply is sufficient, but I have to wonder where all that hiney-wipe is going.

I'm sure our govern will be on the air before long, telling us we'e all going to die and scare the hell out of everyone for another 24 hours.

Gawd, I loathe that man.

Questions in Comments

In the post yesterday, I was talking about ammunition for sanctioned matches and TwoDogs asked in comments:
What caliber ? What sanctioned matches ?
I shoot with the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, (CFDA).  We use single-action revolvers in .45 Cont, but we use specialty ammunition.  Our cartridge brass is cut to accept a shotgun primer, which propels a wax bullet against a steel target.

The CFDA sanctions titled matches as part of the competition season.  A club can apply to host a titled match, and in my case, we host the Louisiana State Championship.  The Association requires that host clubs provide the ammunition for sanctioned matches so that everyone shoots identical ammo.

One problem is that, as easy as the ammo is to reload, we have not yet figured out a way to automate the process.  A standard progressive loader won't work.  So, we have to touch each piece of brass four times to load a single round of ammo.  That's not generally a problem when you're loading for personal use, but a sanctioned match generally requires 100 rounds per shooter for a thee-day shoot.  So, for Louisiana State, I would need between 6500 and 10,000 rounds. 

Accumulating that much brass is an issue, so we in the Southern Territory have pooled our resources and accumulated 12,500 rounds of brass that can be passed around to the various clubs that sponsor state championships.  I picked up the match brass wen we traveled to Oklahoma.  I brought it here to clean and load for Louisiana State, and the Covid disaster hit us the Monday I returned from Oklahoma.

Currently, sanctioned matches in Louisiana, Arkansas, Arizona, and Oregon have either been cancelled or postponed.  It is a matter or question if Texas State will go forward as planned in early May.  The next shoot scheduled after that is the US National Championship in Amarillo in June.

So, my plan at this point is to clean ad load all the ammo ad take it where ever it is needed.  Then, bring it back and load it for Louisiana State in August.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Louisiana Covid-19 Update

Louisiana's Covid-19 cases jumped overnight to 1795 cases with 491 hospitalized.  Here in Rapides parish we currently have 14 cases, up from 10 reported yesterday.

As for Belle and me, we're staying home, being Covid-correct.  I've spent most of the day reloading ammunition.  The Southern Territory has about 12.5K pieces of brass that travel around to be used in sanctioned matches.  I had taken possession of them two weeks ago in Oklahoma to use for Louisiana State, but when I got home, the match was postponed until August for the Xi Kung Flu.  I talked with some honchos today.  I"ll reload the ammo and if Texas State goes in early May, I'll take it to Texas.  If not, the next up is the Territorial match in Amarillo in early June.  If that doesn't play out, I'll have it loaded for Louisiana in August.

Police Refuse to Respond

In several locations across the US, police departments are having a hard time under the corona virus dynamic.  It's not their fault, but the simple fact is that the US is changing, and like other service agencies, they are playing catch-up.

This is why we have a 2nd Amendment.

The only person responsible for you safety is you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Louisiana Covid-19

We're under a stay-at-home order.  Evidently (though the Governor won't likely admit it), the Chinese Scourge came in during Mardi Gras.

1172 cases as of yesterday.  The epicenter seems to be New Orleans (which supports the Mardi Gras theory), but it is spreading outward.  Here in Rapdies parish we have 8 cases as of the last report. The current map is here.

Our Governor, John Bel Edwards, is a case study in What's Wrong With America.  He's an anti-business, pro-welfare democrat who would rather have people living on the government dole rather than working.  Our insurance rates are the highest in the country and he represents the trial lawyers who don't want us to reform tort liability.  It's nearly impossible to do business in Louisiana, and the education system is in the pit.  Louisiana politics are noted for geed and corruption, and Edwards seems happy to exemplify it.

The population loss figures I can find are from 2018-19 and I suspect that they are much greater in the year 2019-20.  I suspect that we have lost upwards of 40K citizens in the past year, ad will probably lose on US congressional district after this year's census.

He is the first governor in our history to make a formal order that I can't go get a haircut.  He acts like he's proud that Louisiana has the fastest growth in Covid cases, it's the only thing Louisiana is 1st in, and he acts like it's all his doing.

Socialists all over the world increase their power and restrict freedom, all while telling people "it's for your own good".  Socialism is noted for a few things: poor business climate, empty store shelves, increase unemployment, and people desperately wanting to be any where else.

That summarizes Louisiana right now, and most of the problem is John Bel Edwards.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Trust the Numbers from Italy?

Not much. LawDog breaks it down for us.  It appears that Italy is playing touchy-feely with the numbers, kind of like what China did.

A Reminder

A great article by Evie Magazine telling us how the evil Chinese Communist government lied to us and exposed the entire globe to a worldwide health crisis.

It took us a little over four years to beat the Japanese during WWII, and after the smoke cleared, we set about trying Japanese generals and admirals for crimes against humanity.  It is too early yet to tell what the global death toll might be because the evil Chinese Communist government silenced the doctors who were working had to define the crisis.  Even when experts from a US medical team was allowed into the country, the Chinese government withheld information until they could no longer deny the existence of the threat.

Because of the evils of the Chinese government, we may never know the devastation that they caused their own people.  Their figures coming out of China now are suspect.  They lied to us when total transparency might have mitigated this disaster.

I am coming to the grim realization that my personal freedom must be curtailed for an indefinite period for the greater good of our nation.  When this is over, and we return to what may or not be some semblance of normality, I am calling on the US Government to sanction China until they present those officials to the scrutiny of a world tribunal to answer for crimes against humanity.

Publicly hanging those bastards would not be too severe.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Lessons Learned

If you are afraid of government power, look what's going on right now.  Our Governor, John Bel Edwards, in the great state of Louisiana, is restricting the freedom of everyone in Louisiana based on a public health emergency.

The one thing that government is learning right now is that freedom can easily  be restricted based on a "public health emergency".  Listen to his language and hear the words "order" and "compliance" and "restrict".  I never thought that I would see the day in Louisiana where I was not free to go get a haircut, but that day is upon us.

I am outraged.  Don't tell me it is the right thing to do.  This much power should not be delegated to any one man.  Not the governor, nor the president.  After this is over, I an going to ask for an expansion of freedom commensurate with restrictions that were placed on us during this emergency.

If they can restrict freedom, they can damned sure expand it.

Craft Holsters

Nearly two years ago, I reviewed a holster from Craft Holsters, made for my 1911.  Recently, Al, at Craft Holsters contacted me, asking if I'd review another of their holsters, the Panther.  I told him I would, and we talked about the handgun.

I'm a revolver fan, having carried one for most of my law enforcement career.  My go-to revolver for serious social work was a Smith and Wesson Model 66.  When I began cop work, the Model 66 was the pre-eminent handgun carried in holsters all over the US.  In the 80s and 90s we switched to semi-autos, but many of us knew the 66 platform ad trusted it.  I personally didn't make the switch to a semi-auto until 2003.  By that time I was a bit of a dinosaur in the cop shop.

When I went into plainclothes I used a basic pancake holster, made by Safariland.  This was in 1981, and that holster has served me well over the years.  Good gear last forever with routine care, and that old holster  is still knocking around.  When Craft Holsters gave me the opportunity, I decided to take it.

The holster came in this week.

Top, 80's era Safariland.
Bottom, new Craft Holster
It's an open-top pancake holster, much like my old Safariland.  The old holster worked way-back-when and the new holster still works fine. With a proper belt, it keeps the gun tight to your body, out of the way.

I can hear the commenters now.  Don't beat me up.  I'm a fan of pocket pistols and skinny autos.  I've tried a couple of IWB holsters and haven't found anything yet that works as well as a good solid pancake holster.  In those places where deep concealment is an issue, everyone has to do the best they can do.  But, with a little forethought, even a full sized revolver can be mitigated.

Your mileage may vary.  As an old friend told me, "That's why they make red bicycles and blue bicycles.  Some like red, and some like blue."

Yesterday we had a COVID-correct family gathering in the confines of my barn and I wore this rig, concealed by an old corduroy shit, worn loose.  We're a gun friendly family, and I suspect that I was not the only one carrying.  But, during the meal, I asked what everyone thought of my new holster, and the looks I got were perplexed.  So, I removed my shirt and let them see it.

My daughter snapped that photo and asked if I were going to corp my belly out of the photo.  No, I am who I am.  The idea here is that they didn't see the gun until I took my shirt off.  That's concealment.  I'll wear it another day or two before I make up my mid, but here are a few initial thoughts.  1) It does what a good pancake holster does best; keeps the gun tight against the body but ready for immediate use. 2) It's under you arm where it can be protected from a snatch attempt.  and 3) With a little forethought and proper clothing, it can be readily concealed.

It's a new holster for me, and Craft even sent a little break-in kit.  I haven't used it yet, because the leather is supple enough and it fit properly.  It's very comfortable, although I appreciate their sending the kit.  I'm not a leather expert, so I can't tell what weight leather they used, but it seems sufficient to do the job.  It's not nearly as stiff as my competition or duty holsters, but it's not meant to be.  If feels a lot like my old Safariland, which has served perfectly well for almost forty years.

If you are in the market for a new holster, give Craft Holsters a look.  I'm pleased with their offerings.

The World Changes Under Our Feet

Last Sunday, I was shooting at a match in Oklahoma.  Un-connected to the digital world, I was enjoying a weekend of shooting, friends, and relaxation.  Covid-19 was a mere distraction.  We drove home in the dark, got into the driveway about 1:00 a.m., and fell into bed.  We had learned that the local school board had cancelled classes, so we didn't set an alarm clock for Monday.

On Monday, I started playing catch-up.  As, it tuns out, the entire medical community is playing catch-up.  In the intervening week, the world has changed and has had major repercussions for the American public.

As I try to educate myself, I keep seeing a disturbing trend.  The FDA is in the way.  Very smart, conscientious, certified researchers are ttrying to comue up with a vaccine ad treatment options and this disturbing thread keeps cropping up. 
You need to have FDA approval to do a trial.
Or this:
 Once we get the approval, we can begin recruiting people for donating plasma and for the clinical trials
These researchers in respected institutions certainly can't be seeking to harm the public, and they certainly understand what is necessary to conduct a clinical trial.  Yet, they need approval from a bureaucrat to conduct research during a national emergency?  That's utter bullshit.

In a national medical emergency, where the rights and privileges of all Americans are curtailed, the bureaucrats need to get out o the way.  Even the bureaucrats at the FDA.  Even if a trusted institution has to make a ten-minute phone call to get approval, that ten minutes is a regulatory burden that might delay a treatment or vaccine.  Every moment that America is on lock-down is a moment that should not be wasted on bullshit.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

RIP< Kenny

I learn this morning that Kenny Rogers has passed away at his home, from natural causes.  He was 81 years old.

I saw Kenny sing this at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 2000.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Utter Contempt

With the COVID-19 thing happening all over the wold, and the United States doing everything it can to break the cycle of infection, lots of school districts are closed.  This is a prudent course to stem the cycle of this disease.

But, there are cries everywhere that kids aren't being fed, because they are dependent on school lunches for basic nutrition.  And, school districts are standing up to provide those lunches in many innovative ways.

Let me preface this by saying that this is not the children's fault.  We should feed kids, whenever we have the opportunity.  But, I hold in utter contempt a parent who is unwilling to make whatever sacrifice is necessary to feed their own children.  Utter Contempt.

In this day and age of government assistance, we have SNAP, local food banks, and all manner of help for folks who are in a situational emergency.  But, parents should still feed their kids.  This is very basic.  It is the parent's responsibility to feed their children.  A parent can still raise a garden, or keep backyard chickens, or even raise beef.  It takes forethought and planning, and may require that you get out of your comfort zone and make hard choices, but the simple fact is that a parent is responsible for feeding their children, and I hold in utter contempt any parent who refuses to take that responsibility.

If a parent has air-conditioning, a television, and a cell phone, they ain't poor.  Those three are luxuries.  So, if you are living in luxury, feed your kids.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Helping Out

Our restaurants are hurting.  Not the big chains, I'm not particularly worried about McDonald, but the smaller, home-grown restaurants that we all know and love.

I was talking to a restaurateur yesterday, and he told me that the best thing we could do to help was to order take-out.  So, today I went to his place and ordered take-out.  Meat loaf, okra and tomatoes, rice and gravy, and bread pudding with white chocolate sauce.

I ate the bread pudding first.
I want to challenge everyone.  Support your local restaurants.  We want them to be here after this madness is over, and we need to support them now.  Go order take-out.  Better yet, order two or three and take them to someone stuck in.

We need to get through this thing with our businesses intact.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

M95 Mask

I hear today that DOD is releasing a bunch of M95 masks for civilian use in the medical field.

They're gonna hate that sonofabitch.  It's hot, uncomfortable, but very effective at keeping out bad boogers.  I've worn them, and it's terrible.  No wonder the military is getting rid of them.

I am amused over the concern about the lack of ventilators.  Evidently, we need a lot of them.  In my way of thinking, there was nothing stopping any medical facility, anywhere, from ordering 10K ventilators last month.  They didn't, and now it's the government's fault?  Bullshit.

Wuhhan Update

The panic is starting to subside locally, and we're settling into an uneasy truce with the effects of this virus.  The supply chains haven't caught p with the early rush, and it may be several days until the shelves are fully stocked.  I had a grocery list and had to hit two stores to get it all.  I've never seen a Louisiana store that was totally out of rice, but I saw it today.  Rice is a staple Louisiana food.  We raise a lot and we eat a lot.  I was able to buy rice, and in my preferred brand.

The shelves still have food on them, but the selection is limited.

Belle was out looking for medical supplies and was unable to find alcohol wipes for her clients who need to self-inject things like insulin..

I wrapped up my travels early and came home.  Decided to cook a big pot of dirty rice to feed Zach and I.  Dirty rice is a comfort food and we need to be comforted right now.

It's time to go piddle in the shop until Belle comes home.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Civil Liberties

Way back in 1789 we ratified the Constitution.  It put limits on government to protect the rights of Americans.  Now, some 230 years later, we still have to be vigilant.  America's most basic liberties are under attack under the guise of Emergency powers granted under various legislation around our country.

The various governments are talking about suspending the right to peacefully assemble, the taking of personal property, the right to travel freely, the lockdown of entire counties and cities.

Jeff Reynolds does a good job of laying out the most egregious examples from our elected officials.

I get it, the corona virus is dangerous.  However, we ratified a Constitution to limit the reach of government into our lives.  It's one thing entirely for the citizens to decide to stay home, to self-quarantine, to protect their health.  It's another ting entirely for the government at any level to mandate it.

I watched the President's press conference last night.  One of the most egregious examples of government intrusion.  They recommend that we limit all gatherings to ten (10) people or less,   Yet, I counted eight (8) people at the dais, and I heard more than two reporters asking questions.  If it's important to limit gatherings to 10 or less, then why were all those people in the room?

I generally support President Trump, but I expect him (and his medical professionals) to follow the guidelines that they all set.  Anything else is rank hypocrisy.

COVID-19 may pose the greatest medical threat we've seen in my lifetime.  That's what the medical folks are telling us.  But, I'll believe it when they start working from home, limiting their travel, and staying out of rooms with more than 10 people in the room.  Until then, this is just a control pocess, to get us ready for more government in our lives.

Monday, March 16, 2020

I'm Ashamed

I'm ashamed right now to be an America, because we're acting like a bunch of scared ninnies.  I an truly angry at the American for quaking in their slippers over an eventuality that may or may not occur.  I'm sick and damned tired of being told that it's better to safe than sorry.  No, it's not.  It's better to be fearless and bold.

If Americans thought it was better to be safe, we'd all be under the British flag. If Americans thought it was better to be safe, we would not have fought a civil war to answer a political question.  If Americans thought that it was better to be safe, we would never have fought Wold War II.

We're Americans.  Safety should not be the question.

I was out running around today, getting my errands done, and I could see ear in everyone's eyes.  And it pissed me off.

What are you afraid of?  Dying?  I can guarantee that you are going to die. There is no getting around it.  We're all going to die.  In the meantime, let's be fearless ad bold.  Let's be Americans.


We're home, safe and sound.  We had a great time in Oklahoma, enjoyed the shoot and had a blast talking with old friends and meeting new friends.

Belle took a minor trophy as the 2nd place Super Senior Lady
I took a minor trophy as 3rd place, Sheriff's bracket.

Zach had a very good weekend. 
10th place overall.  Against some very good competition, he held his own, shot solidly for three days, and cemented his reputation as a first-rate gun fighter.

1st place, Junior champion.  The Juniors are young people who decide that they are through shooting wit the kids and want to compete with the big dogs.  They are expected to take their lumps, and they do, but they also bring a young game with fantastic reflexes.  The Juniors keep us all on our game.

1st place, Men's Traditional Champion.  This is generally the toughest category, because it is large (ages 18-48) and folks are younger and faster.  Taking this category is nearly akin to the overall championship.  It's quite a feather in the hat, and he took it.

Check his holster.  American flag motif.  Over 10K tooling strikes on that rig.
We're home, and safe, and it appears that while we were gone, the whole country went crazy.  I'll spend today sorting through the personal dunnage and putting stuff away, then try to figure out why America believes that toilet paper will control the virus.  And ketchup.  Evidently, some places are having a ketchup shortage.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Oklahoma State - Day 2

I'm out of the competition, and Belle is out.  We went out during the fifth round, but that's okay.  I don't feel bad about the way we shot.  We drew tough competitors and we competed honorably.

Grandson Zach is doing well, and he's still well in the match.  Agter five rounds, he was seeded in 3rd place and he's still in it for tomorrow.

We're in the room fight now, resting, getting ready for the banquet.  Tomorrow is another day, and we'll shoot brackets, then they'll finish the main match.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Oklahoma State, Day 1

Today, we shot categories, where they divide us up by age, and we we shoot against folks in our own age group.  It's kind of a warm-up to the main match tomorrow, but it's a lot of fun and we do a lot of good-natured joshing with folks in our group.

Belle, bringing smoke.
The big surprise today was the Men's Traditional category.  This category is Men, 18-48 years old.  It's a big category, and generally considered the toughest of any sanctioned shoot.  One category of shooters, the Juniors, is our kids who have demonstrated that they can dominate the youth division and want to step up and shoot with the big dogs. We don't cut them any slack, give them a test, and if they pass it, they can be Juniors, who shoot with the adults, rather than the kids.

These are generally, high-schoolers, and we expect them to take their lumps. Today, they gave out lumps, putting out some very good shooters  The one we're most proud of is our grandson, Akarate Zach, who, when the smoke cleared, was the Men's Traditional Champion.

Akarate Zach, Men's Traditional Champion, Oklahoma State Championship
His second, was also a Junior shooter, Ghost, Another high-schooler.  Congratulations to him.

Tomorrow morning, the scores get reset to even, and we start the main match.  It's going to be a lot of fun.

Thursday, March 12, 2020


We are safely ensconced in a motel in Sepulpa, OK.  We've already hugged necks of other shooters and gotten into the room.  Tomorrow starts the Oklahoma State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw and we'll be there.

As for myself, I'm sampling a gifted bottle of Basil Hayden, and Belle is sipping her favorite wine.  Zach is piled up in the bed, online, soaking up bandwidth.

It's gonna be a good weekend, and we started it early.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


Another educational video from Mr. Novak.

Exit quote:  You can't afford to break as many guns as Hiram Maxim broke.

Joe BIden Wants To Be A Tyrant

Crazy Uncle Joe, the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, wants your guns.  He's said it over and over, and even got into a confrontation with a Detroit worker yesterday.  Then, of course, he denied saying it.  He's either senile, or demented, or all three. (Yeah, Democrat too, but that would be redundant.)

I was trying to figure out how to best respond to Oe, but Colion Noir stepped up to the plate and took care of that for us.

Uncle Joe wants your semi-autos.  He wants to be a tyrant.  And, we should remember that the 2nd Amendment is not about hunting.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020


It's hard to explain to people what a bullet does when it leaves the barrel and how the interaction of gun, sights, and shooter all combine to make a bullet fall down at a particular spot.

So, there's this guy, Mark Novak, who works on guns, and explains things.  He will take you down a rabbit hole, as long as you are willing to follow.  This episode is about trajectory.

Yes, there is math involved.

Tuesday Already?

Tuesday morning, and I realize I haven't posted for a couple of days.  Life is busy, but that's not supposed to be the focus of these scribblings.

The fact is that I have several small projects  going that will culminate into the large project in early April, our state championship.  I'm checking stuff off the list.

And, like most of the rest of the nation, I'm watching this corona virus BS, along with the Democratic presidential race.  I see that some poor soul from Jefferson Parish, LA has tested positive and he's locked away i a New Orleans hospital.

Belle has been a registered nurse for most of her adult life, and she's not overly concerned about this thing... what are they calling it now... Covid-19?  Evidently more people are lost to whatever outbreak of flu we have every year.  It's time to be smart, but it's not yet time to panic.  She and I will be in a crowd this weekend, at the Oklahoma State shoot, and it will be interesting to see how everyone else is handling the stress.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Go To The Law

A guy, a friend of mine who just happens to be a concealed carry firearms instructor in the State of Louisiana asked me a question that I get asked more frequently than I should be asked.  And, this guy is an instructor, so he should know the correct answer.

The question is a variant of this one:  "Can I get in trouble for having a gun in my car if I go to a school property.

I was asked this question a lot when I was a School Resource Officer, and in Louisiana, the answer is simple, and it is a resounding NO.  In Louisiana, having a firearm in the vehicle is a protected constitutional right.  You can have a gun in your car, locked up or laying cocked-and-locked on the dashboard.  It is a protected constitutional right.  And, if we go to the law as published, it speaks directly to that right in the exceptions.
C. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to:
(5) Any constitutionally protected activity which cannot be regulated by the state, such as a firearm contained entirely within a motor vehicle.
So, to answer my buddy's question, in Louisiana, carrying a firearm in a motor vehicle is a constitutionally protected activity, even on a school property.

In other states, your mileage may vary.  Check the law before you get into trouble.

Is Afghanistan Shades of Vietnam?

Over at PJMedia, Rick Moran argues that the Taliban has no intention of abiding by the peace deal they recently signed.
"They have no intention of abiding by their agreement," said one official briefed on the intelligence. NBC News reports that two other officials described the intel as explicit evidence shedding light on the Taliban's intentions.
Of course they don't.  They'll say whatever they need to say to get the US forces to leave, then they'll do what they intend to do.  Take over the country.  We've seen this before in other regions.  Folks like the Taliban are fighting the long war, and they'll do what is necessary to achieve their long-term goals.

The question is whether or not was should be there.  We can argue whatever we like, but the simple truth is that the United States doesn't like long wars.  And, we've been in Afghanistan for a long time.  Long enough for the government there to stand up.  If they are incapable of governing themselves, it's not the fault of American treasure and blood.  At some point, it's on them.

I'm no expert on the country, but I've talked to guys who served over there.  By all accounts, it's pretty much a shithole.  I know why we went over there, but I can't figure out why we're still there.  It's time to declare victory and come home.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

On This Day

On this day, in 1836, by all accounts, shortly before dark, Santa Anna ceased the harassing fire that had plagued the defenders of the Alamo for the past twelve days.  The Texian defenders in the mission had been nearly sleepless for twelve days.

The attack would come shorty before daylight.  Santa Anna planned that the defenders would fall into a deep sleep and would be hard to wake when he threw his assault force at the walls of the fort. 

The Water Buffalo

Also known as the M149 Tailer, Water, 400 gallon, was used to distribute potable water to troops in the field.  It is one of the few pieces of equipment that survived my entire military career, from 1073 to 1998. It was there when I was in basic, and it was there when I retired.  IT may still be around, and I've head rumors of something called the M149A2, which had a stainless steel tank.

At any rate, I saw this pic today on Facebook.

M149 Trailer, Water
That one is a blast from my past, done in the old woodland camo pattern so beloved of troops until the Desert War, where we started painting everything some variant of tan.

But, yeah, I've drank out of those.  Thousands of gallons.

UPDATE** Yeah, that's a typo, above, but I keep telling you guys that I'm two days older than dirt.  I was a road-guard for the Three Wise Men, and pulled KP at the Last Supper.

Rough Day

Wednesday started out fine.  I was supposed to do some cooking, then host two of my out-of-town sisters who were passing through.  I did the cooking and was awaiting my sisters when Belle called.  She was in town, hand bumped a curb, and knocked the tire of the rim.

I went to rescue her and ran into problems.  The lug nut wrench didn't fit the lug nuts.  Luckily, an auto parts store was just down the block and I was able to fun up the street and get a proper wrench.  Changed the tire, put the donut on, and we went to our tire store to get a new time.

Sisters called.  They had passed through, and were heading out.  They'll try to catch up with me on the way back though town.  When we got home from the tire store, we went to the shop, whee the food was, had a cocktail and supper.  Belle went i the house while I cleaned the shop kitchen.  She texted me, "Bring the shop vac,"  What the hell?

I grabbed the shop vac and went to the house.  Laundry room flooded.  We started vacuuming and mopping, and after an hour or so, I decided that the water heater had turned loose.  Oh, joy!  This will be the second I have replaced in this house.    I shut the water heater down, said the hell with it, and went to bed.  This morning after coffee, I'll do some more more vacuuming (it leaked during the night) and yank it out.

Exit question:  Should't a water heater last longer than 12 years?

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

The Colt New Army

Below, a fascinating review of the Colt New Army, basically a review of Colt service revolvers fro 1873 to 1917.  The video is almost an hour long, so get a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage.

We all know that the US 1911 played a huge part in World War I, but many people don't realize just how may revolvers made it into the trenches, including two different versions of the Model 1917,   One by Colt and one by Smith and Wesson.

As late as Operation Desert Storm, we were still issuing revolvers to some personnel, primarily female soldiers.  I recall having a few stainless Ruger Security Sixes to female MPs at Fort Polk.  They could opt to carry the 1911 or the revolver, purely personal preference.

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Lunch-Time Throw Together

I was out running errands this morning and stopped by the grocers on the way home.  I didn't even get out o the produce aisle.

I got home, found some sausage and cut it up, dropped it in a hot skillet.  While it was sauteing, I cut up half of an onion and a bell pepper and dropped those in the skillet as well.   Said what-the-hell, cut up some little roma tomatoes, and some summer squash, added them to the skillet, put a lid on it and turned the heat down low.  After about twenty minutes I took the cover off.

Grabbed a bowl, and a fork.  A glass of iced tea, and lunch was done.

Palace-Court Drama

This morning we are watching a huge power play.  Whether the populist communist Bernie Sanders will prevail against the entrenched in the Democratic party.  There are only four candidates now, and it looks like the institutional Democrats are coalescing behind Joe Biden, while the young upstarts are aligning with the aging socialist from Vermont.

We will learn more after the polls close tonight, but the struggle is real and the battle lines are forming.  What interests me is that it is almost exactly the same dynamic that played out four years ago in the Republican party.  Then, we had a field of institutional Republicans led by Jeb Bush aligned against a rebellious realtor from New York.  The party wanted the solid, respectable Jeb Bush and the people wanted the pugnacious Donald Trump.  Of course, we know how that turned out.  Trump went through the field of candidates like a shredder being pulled behind a John Deere tractor.  He clear-cut everything.

I've never understood why the Democrats let Bernie Sanders run as a Democrat.  He's not a Democrat,   If they wanted to stop him, they could have simply not allowed him to run as a Democrat.  But, they didn't.  Today they have a choice to make, and it may well be out of the hands of the institutional politicians.

As Nigel Farage said recently, "There is a reason why populism is so popular."

Monday, March 02, 2020

That's Really Rude

The world has gone crazy.  I heard on Rush Limbaugh today that some nations approach to the corona virus is not quite as humane as the US response.  As reported:
The story appears in the Singapore version of the International Business Times website, headlined "North Korea's first confirmed Coronavirus COVID 19 patient shot dead: report", saying that the country's leader Kim Jong-un "sanctioned the execution of the first North Korean patient tested positive for the deadly strain of the virus".
I bet that keeps them out of the emergency room.

In other news, I see that Amy Klobuchar has suspended her campaign and is endorsing Joe Biden.  As did Mayor Pete earlier.  Exit question?  What happens to the dozen votes those two got in early voting? 


Yeah, it's Monday again.  Although, as a retiree, it doesn't affect me nearly as much as it used to.  Zach is out the door, and Belle will be getting ready for work soon, and I'll be left to my own devices.  There is work to do in the shop, and other chores inside, but nothing that causes much concern.

I see that Mayor Pete dropped out of the race after his dismal showing in South Carolina.  Tomorrow is Super Tuesday, and they'll start dropping like flies in the run-up to the convention.  The one guy I can't figure out is Mike Bloomberg.  He doesn't have any delegates yet, and even Liz Warren has some. He's running ads, but he wasn't on the ballot in South Carolina.  I suppose he'll be on the ballot tomorrow, ad may pick up a few delegates, but it appears that his candidacy is just a big money-sink.

Some wags are saying that the Democrats are going to have a brokered convention, and I guess we'll know more after Tuesday, but in the mean time it will be interesting to watch.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

The Sunday Paper

For many years I enjoyed the Sunday paper with my coffee, a ritual that gave me great comfort.  Several years ago, our local birdcage liner devolved to the point where a subscription was simply an extravagance that I could no longer justify, and the internet had become my preferred news gathering media.

So, nowadays I get up, get a cup of coffee and click on trusted links to get my news.  I see this morning that Crazy Uncle Joe won the South Carolina primary, with almost half the vote. He thoroughly trounced Bernie, which means his campaign is good for another three days.

Super Tuesday happens in three days, when fourteen states (IIRC) hold their presidential primary.  Some of the heavy-hitter states are in the lineup, and we'll see who comes out of that contest with a viable candidacy.

The Louisiana presidential primary comes on April 4th, which is still a month away.  I, personally, have been drafted to take a bigger part in my local party committee, and I'm standing for election on that day, although I have not campaigned as vigorously as I did when I was running for Sheriff.  It's a small, unpaid post, and I'll happily serve if elected.  Others are campaigning for a ticket of conservatives, and I think that act bodes well for the local committee.