Saturday, December 30, 2023

Staying Alive

 So, it's Saturday night and I'm enjoying an icy cold snack featuring my favorite bourbon.  Watching YouTube shorts.  It's a mindless way to pass an hour..  One short video features a dancer strutting her stuff to the Bee Gees Staying Alive.

The dog goes crazy, barking at the back door.  I pause everything, take off the headphones, and take him outside.  The dog enjoys hutting "boogers" (coons, possums, and the occasional stary cat).  He makes a lap around the back yard, then is ready to come inside.

I go back to my videos.  After a while, another dance video comes up, featuring the Bee Gees.  The dog goes crazy.  I pause the video, ask him what the problem is, and he looks at me like I"ve lost my mind.  I start the video again, and he barks.

Evidently, the dog can hear what I'm listening to from my headphones.  This song drives him crazy.  Okay, I've figured that out.

I knew a gal once who had a song that drive her crazy.  This one.  When she heard it, her clothes came off.,  I used that to my advantage.


 Okay, let's talk about this.  Inflation is a measure of how the economy is doing.  There is an actual economic definition, but generally, it's an indicator of how your pocketbook feels from year to year.  High inflation numbers are bad, and negative inflation numbers are bad. Generally, we want inflation to hover around 1%.

Yes, we have had negative inflation numbers.  The Great Depression of the 1930s, We do not ever want to go through that again.  There is a pretty good list here.  It is important to remember that the US inflation rate is a US government statistic that shows the difference in price from a standard cart of goods and services.  Many things are not measured in the "standard cart" and many economists argue that the "standard cart" is not truly reflective of what the consumer is actually feeling.  Currently, the US Inflation rate is pegged at 3.14%..

Because I keep records, I know what I paid for a gallon of gasoline the day Joe Biden took office.  It was $1.87 for a gallon of unleaded gas.  I'm still paying $250 or better.  I know that everything is higher now than it was when Joe took office.  Eggs, milk, bread.  It's not that I distrust the governments numbers, it is that I use another cart.

I am old enough to remember when Jimmy Carter was president, and I'm old enough to recall the Great Malaise.  My fist home mortgage was over 10%.  I know that two things killed Carter's reelection changes.  High prices and foreign affairs.  I can draw some parallels between what we were feeling then and what we are feeling now.

Friday, December 29, 2023

I Don't Understand

 Honestly, I don't understand why the immigration crisis is such a crisis. Some of my forebears immigrated to the United States during the late 1800s.  Other of my forebears emigrated to Louisiana during the expulsion around 1760. I believe they all got here before Ellis Island opened. The Cajuns, certainly.  The Germans and Scots-Irish, probably.

They didn't get any social services or bus rides. They washed ashore and had to worry about what was for supper.  From all accounts, they were tough stock and managed not to starve to death, as evidenced by the fact that I'm sitting here talking about it.

Since the Biden administration threw open the gates, we're dealing with yet another "huddled mass yearning to breathe free".  Suddenly we owe them something?  Why?  Why is any tax money at all being expended on their individual behalf? I don't get it, and I certainly don't think that they deserve a bus ride and a hotel room.

I know immigrants, recent immigrants.  They did it the right way, and they are supporting themselves. They did it right, and while we all agree that it should have been easier or more straightforward, they are pissed that Biden is letting in all the illegals.  They don't understand why the wetbacks are getting freebies.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The Hollywood Buck

 So, there was this jazzbo who posted a picture of a big buck he had taken.  He's thrilled, can't conatin himself, so he posts the picture on social media.

Problem is, people know this buck.  It's called the Hollywood buck because it lives in a local cemetery, the Hollywood cemetery, and the guy's story doesn't add up. Locals are outraged.

Charges are pending.  Rightfully so.  It seems that lots of people knew this buck, who had a very distinctive rack.  It appears that the guy poached the deer then put it on social media.

I hunted whitetail deer for many decades, but was never smitten with the idea of trophy hunting.  I would not pass up a nice buck, but generally my quota was satisfied with the hunt and the meat.  Guys who are trophy hunters have a vastly different motivation that I'm not sure I understand.  I'm not against trophy hunting, I simply don't totally understand it.  It's stories like this that give trophy hunting a bad rap, and guys who would poach deer simply for the notoriety deserve all the condemnation we can muster.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Under The Tree

 I readily admit that I am hard to buy for.  My kids know that I don't really need anything, and that if I do need something, I am blessed to be able to buy it.  My needs are met, and my wants are few.  It's a blessing.

I was pleased to find, among other things, a bottle of whiskey under the tree this year.  One that I haven't had any experience with. Yellowstone Select Bourbon. Never heard of it.

The label says that it comes from the Limestone Branch Distillery, Lebanon, KY.  That it is bottled at 93 proof.  Fair enough.  Bourbon whiskey must be bottled at a minimum 80 proof, and that additional 13 proof tells me that the bottlers are not proofing it down to the floor.  They are looking for a more discriminating market.  Fair enough.

I went over to Breaking Bourbon, a review website and learned some things about this bottle.  We don't know who distilled the liquor, but it is a Kentucky bourbon. Their review was simple enough.

A perfectly fine bourbon that easily blends into the sea of other perfectly fine bourbons available in the marketplace nowadays.

Plain and simple, some bourbons are just average. They deliver a decent enough sip that won’t blow you away, but won’t also make you want to pour it down the drain either. And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that. Not everything produced is going to be an all star pour, and Yellowstone Select happens to fall into this category.

Fair enough!  This is a bottle of perfectly fine bourbon whiskey.  Not pretentious, not trying to be an outlier, just a solid representation what makes a good bourbon.  The world needs more of that. I'll put this bottle in the cabinet and leave it there for an appropriate occasion.  Then take it out and enjoy it.  Good bourbon is easy to enjoy.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

It's Not Christmas Until


I've been in the kitchen for about an hour now, prepping for the big meal at noon.  Family and friends will gather here in several hours, we'll exchange gifts, eat a hearty meal, then the kids will  be free to do whatever else they are obligated to do for their CHristmas celebration.

The banquet will have  a turkey, a ham, and all the usual fixings.  Myriad desserts.  When the crowd leaves this afternoon, Belle and I will adjourn to our bedroom and relax in quiet comfort.  Tomorrow will be blissfully peaceful.  We'll dine on leftovers and contemplate the coming year.

Merry CHristmas, Y'all.

Saturday, December 23, 2023


 It seems that our outgoing Democrat governor cannot help himself.  He has to do everything in his power to damage the state before he leaves office in January.  Fox New reports:

Outgoing Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards pardons 56 inmates, including 40 convicted murderers

According to the article, five were convicted of first degree murder and eleven were convicted of second degree murder.  Both of those crimes carry a life sentence in Louisiana.  And, in Louisiana, life means life. 

This is simply another outrage perpetuated on Louisiana by our execrable governor.  It will be interesting to se if any of these murderers recidivate.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Cedar Waxwing

 Cedar Waxwings are pretty little birds.  I use the plural, because I've never seen on, they come in flocks.  Generally, between 30 and 100 birds, they migrate from somewhere up north and get here generally around Christmas.

Sitting on the porch this morning, drinking coffee, I saw a flock fly past my acre.  Once again, they have made the trip and reminded an old man that time can be marked in many ways.  When I was a young boy, we knew that the appearance of the Cedar Waxwings meant that the Robins would be along soon.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Irish Cream

It's my birthday, traditionally the opening salvo of the Christmas season, and it's the day I make my Irish Cream liqueur.  It's a recipe I've developed over the years.

Irish Cream

1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk. (Keep the can, it's your measuring cup.)
1 can Half & Half.
1 can Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 T Hershey's Chocolate syrup
1 T Local honey
1 T Vanilla extract

Mix thoroughly. Pour into a convenient bottle.  Refrigerate.

This stuff keeps in the fridge for a couple of months. You're welcome.


 Two articles caught my eye this morning.

The Military Is Collapsing Under The Weight Of Its Own Wokeness

The US Army discovers woke doesn’t win wars — but is it too late?

I've seen this dragon rear its ugly head before.  When I entered active duty in 1976, the US Army was coming off 15 years of continual deployments and an ignominious retreat from Vietnam. The officers were demoralized and the NCO corps was exhausted.  It was a poor time to be in the US Army.

Today, in 2023, the military is coming off 20 years of continual deployments and a disastrous retreat from the Middle East.  It's easy to draw parallels.  When we came out of Vietnam, we had a weak, ineffectual president.  Today, we have a weak ineffectual president.  In 1975, "political correctness" was the order of the day.  In 2023, wokeness rules the agenda.  Neither of these is helpful in cultivating a strong military.

In 1980, it took Ronald Reagan to break the military out of its doldrums.  We need a leader like that today.

The high point of my military service was Desert Storm.  We had the benefit of 10 years of good training and the benefit of clear mission orders.  Eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.  When we did that, we came home.

I have great confidence in our fighting forces.  Properly led, the US had the greatest military the world has ever seen.  If the military is struggling, find better generals.

Trip Around The Sun

It's that time again, and this one makes 70.  If I had known I'd live this long, I might have taken better care of myself.  On the other hand, I have had a good time.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Cold Weather

 I've known it since I was old enough to drive. Cold weather affects batteries.  When most of what I was driving was .. ahem... junk... senior vehicles, I learned that when I had a battery that was four or five years old, and the first cold snap hit, I was changing the battery in the vehicle. I learned to keep jumper cables in every vehicle.  It was part of the driving experience.

Even these days, when I have to put a new battery in the car, it's generally after the first cold snap.

But, now we're learning that cold weather affects batteries. Especially EV batteries.

This chart compares 12 popular EV models to show range loss in freezing temperatures, as compared to the ideal driving temperature. Note that the ideal driving temperature is defined as the temperature at which a specific model sees its highest average range. This exact temperature varies from car to car.

Expect about a 30% reduction in driving range in cold weather. 

One of these days, electric, self-driving cars will rule the road, and the idea of internal combustion engines will seem as strange to us as the steam driven cars of the early 20th century seem to us today.  But, that day ain't here yet.


 So, evidently, some young staffer had gay sex in a Senate hearing room.

And, he recorded it and put it on social media. And, the video got out, and somehow, that's homophobic and the Republicans fault.

Some young people think that just because you share something on a "private group" that it stays private. That is never the case.  We call this new communication tool the World Wide Web for a reason.

Look, if you are going to have gay sex in a Senate hearing room, and record it and put it on the web, don't be surprised when you get fired.  And don't be surprised when we surmise that homo sex is homo sex. That's not my fault.  I didn't put your homo sex tape out on the World Wide Web.

There are risks and rewards to everything. While it was cool and edgy to be a young, gay, Senate staffer, suddenly you are just another unemployed homo. In today's parlance, you literally "F**ked Around and Found Out".

Monday, December 18, 2023

Editing Video

 I'm still leaning that new video software.  It's fairly easy (thank God) and it's starting to become fairly intuitive.  Now, I need to cut some B-roll I have and come up with a story line, to make the video flow better.  It's just a matter of fuguring it out.  Old dogs, new tricks, that sort of thing.

The weekend was spent entertaining.  Our club banquets was on Saturday, and we hosted a kid's birthday party on Sunday. Last night before we turned off the lights, I chopped some ham, and Belle dropped a pound of Great Northern beans in the pot. We set it on Low, and went to bed. In another few minutes, I'll coax Belle into making cornbread, and we'll have white beans and ham for lunch.

There is a crew from the parish out front with a big piece of equipment. Basically a shredder on a boom, and they are clearing limbs and brush from the side of the road. It's quite noisy and the dog is concerned. He is convinced that nothing making that much noise could possibly be a positive development.

It's just another Monday here at PawPaw's house.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Clutch Those Pearls

Our favorite candidate was doing stand-up last week.  An interviewer asked him if he would become a dictator, and he said only on the first day.  Now, the Los Angeles Times is editorializing that Trump wants to be the first dictator.  And, one again, they would be wrong.

The first US dictator, by any measurable standard was a Republican named Lincoln, who suspended habeas corpus and deployed US troops on our national soil. History has dealt quite favorably with Lincoln, and I an an admirer, but we must remember that he jailed political rivals, strong-armed Congress, and ignored the Supreme Court.

Now, Newsweek is saying that Trump might turn off the internet if he is elected.

What a boon that would be to the First Amendment.  Newspapers would have to crank up their presses, delivering papers to doors every morning, and folks would check the evening news to get the latest scoop. That is the way we got our news the first fifty years of my life. Our local paper is a moribund shell of its old self, because so many people get the news like I do, from the internet.

I predict a furniture boom in fainting couches. A revival of the smelling-salts industry. Gutenberg building new presses. Loggers fully employed cutting trees for paper.  Trump is about to make America great again.

Tis the Season

 It's the season for holiday cheer, and if you are white and elected in Boston, you are probably not invited to the Mayor's Christmas bash.  Yeah, she's throwing something called an "Elected of Color" party this year. That sounds horrible, and it is because racism is racism wherever it rears its ugly head.

I am reminded of office parties that I never got to go to, simply because as public safety staff, someone had to work the duty posts.  Cops, jailers, and to another degree, nurses and medical professionals don't get to go to parties that are scheduled during a shift.  The true professionals are generally at work while the big shots go to receptions, parties, and gatherings. For soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, Christmas is a bittersweet day.

It's not the parties so much, but working on the holiday itself. For young parents, especially, not being there when the kids awake on Christmas morning.

So, we'll let the mayor of Boston put her racism on high display while the true professionals work.  SHe has that privilege. For myself, an old, retired fart who has been there, done that, we will enjoy the season with the people we choose to invite.  Belle and I are hosting a gathering tomorrow of our shooting club, where we will give out the annual awards, enjoy a meal together, and start preparing for our family gathering the following week.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Impeachment Inquiry

 It seems that the US House voted yesterday to formalize an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden. Whatever that means.

I don't know if this move is wise.  Whether or not Joe Biden is crooked is not the question.  We all know that Biden is crooked. A simple review of his government salary vs what he owns tells us everything we need to know. He didn't buy that beach house on a government salary.

Taking this to its logical conclusion tells us that they don't have enough votes in the Senate to convict. So this is just a fishing expedition.  Finding facts that might be useful later.  This inquiry may open a lot of roads for the Republicans to go down, but the question becomes; do they want to go down those roads? If Joe loses the presidency next year, he'll just be another dottering old fool spending his last days at his beach house.

I'm not sure what they think they might accomplish.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Editing Video

 Back in the day, Windows had a nice little video editor.  It was simple, intuitive, and easy to sue.  Of course, as in all things, windows updated and that nice little editor got deleted.  I want to make a video to promote an event we have coming up in August, and the video editors today are neither simple nor intuitive, nor easy to use.

In short, this old dog is having to learn new tricks, and my brain feels tired.  I'm using something called CapCut, which is supposed to be one of the simpler editors, but frankly, my brain is tired.  I've figured out how to open the program, get media into it, do splits and transitions,  then my eyes crossed and I had to call a halt.

Maybe between now and the middle of January, I'll figure this out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Nuttin' Happenin'

 I know, I've been slack on the blogging lately.  Nothing really happening to spark my outrage, or incite me to wax philosophical.  It's all kind of drab.

Our outgoing governor, the execrable John Bel Edwards, is on a speaking tour around the state, trying to cement his legacy. It's a horrible legacy.  He utterly failed to lead on Covid, shutting down business, closing schools, creating bankruptcy and presiding over the greatest contraction of individual liberty since Reconstruction. This led to a huge out-migration problem, with people fleeing for free states. Our taxes are high, our education system is in the doldrums, and crime has sky-rocketed.  That is the legacy of John Bel Edwards. Louisiana is a poorer place because Edwards ws governor.  Everything he did was wrong.

It is the Christmas season with all the attendant festivities.  Louisiana has hope, with a clean sweep of elected officials. We'll see in January how they intend to govern.

Sunday, December 10, 2023


 Boudin (boo-dan) is a Cajun-French sausage made primarily of pork and rice.  It's heavily spiced, with recipes that are closely guarded.  It's made everywhere in Louisiana that processes meat and is sold either raw or cooked, although the ingredients are cooked before they are stuffed into the casing.

Every place that makes boudin has their own recipe, and aficionados' in one region can taste boudin made locally and tell you which shop it comes from.  There is much arguing and discussion about which shop makes the best boudin.  Yesterday we had a gathering of Belle's siblings, and her sister brought some boudin from the Denham Springs area.

This morning I found the leftovers, put it on a cookie sheet and slid it under the broiler to crisp the casing.  Cut into bite-sized bits, it became a perfect breakfast.

This boudin came from a place called Jerry Lee's in Denham Springs. It's pretty damned good boudin.  I see that they have a website.  How about that?

Friday, December 08, 2023

Hunter Indicted

Everyone is reporting that President Joe Biden's son has been indicted in  California on tax charges.

Nine charges, seventeen years. Wouldn't that suck?

Of course, Joe's Justice Dept has let the statures of limitations expire on Hunter's most lucrative years.

Lots of Democrats' poo-poo Trumps chances, saying that no self-respecting individual would ever vote for a felon. As this latest tax evasion case becomes more clear, we might learn that ol' Joe has also been playing fast-and-loose with the tax code. Next years voters may get to choose between two felons on the national ballot.  Wouldn't that be interesting?

It's The Season

 It's the season for parties and gatherings.

Years ago, when Belle and I bought this house, it became immediately apparent that it wasn't a place for large gatherings.  We love to entertain, so I promised her that some day I'd build her a place to entertain. We did that, building a big multi-use shop with a huge kitchen.  Basically a 2000 square foot gathering place, with tables and chairs and lots of kitchen space.  It's not fancy, but it is convenient.

And, we use it a lot.  Tomorrow, her siblings are gathering.  A small group, as things go, we expect a dozen folks.  Every Sunday, we host a noon meal for family and friends.  Normally, 10-12 people.  Next Saturday, our club awards banquet.  That'll be two dozen or more.  That banquet will turn the corner into Christmas, and who knows what foolishness we might get into.

It's a busy season.  One that brings great joy and satisfaction.

Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Judge orders new election in Caddo sheriff's race

The crap-storm in Caddo parish continues apace where in a sheriff election, it came down to one vote.  A retired judge was appointed to hear the case, and he ruled that while we know that eleven (11) votes were cast illegibly, it is impossible to know who benefited from those votes.  So, he has ordered a new election.  A do-over.  

The unofficial winner has until Friday to file an appeal.


 Some questions in comments.

KurtP asks:

Do people even play Cribbage anymore?

One of the YouTube channels I watch is Smarter Every Day.  This guy got to take a ride on a US submarine, and he reported that among other things, sailors play a great deal of cribbage. 

Paul asks:

How do you feel about partnering with an ammo sponsor?

I've done that in the past, and I'd feel great about it. My email address is in the About Me section in the right sidebar. 

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Gunboat Diplomacy.

 It seems that there is a place in the South China Sea, a small reef that only has elevation at low tide, a place called Second Thomas Shoal, that is claimed by the Philippines, who has run a retired US Navy ship aground  and stationed a small contingent on board to bolster their claim. 

China also claims this spot, and has been harassing supply runs to the Philipine contingent.  The US Navy recently paid a visit to their brethren on the reef, I'm sure to swap supplies, tell sea stories, and play cribbage.

China took offense, saying that the US Navy has illegally intruded into its territorial water. Yeah, right.

Saturday, December 02, 2023

Something New

 In the liquor story yesterday, I found something new to me, and decided to try a bottle.  J.T. Meleck rice whiskey.  Louisiana whiskey. Why the hell not?  The label says it is aged six years and comes in at 96 proof.  So, it isn't watered to the floor.

Opening the bottle and trying a neat dram, it reminds me, more than anything, of Spey-side Scotch. A mild medicinal note, with earthy undertones. It has a mild sweetness but is not fruity. This isn't some wierd bourbobn.  It's decidedly differently. Not bad, just different.

Friday, December 01, 2023


 In a floor vote today, the US House of Representatives voted to expel George Santos (R-NY).

Wow~  That is historic.

From what I've read, Santos had a corruption problem.  Now he is free to focus on his criminal defense.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

New Toolbox: Unboxing, and Assembling with the Coolest Wrench!

So, my buddy Jay formed a company long ago.  He's a retired helicopter mechanic and he started making tools to make his job easier. His efforts turned into a full-time gig, and his son is running the company now.  Helicopter Work Aids. They ship world-wide and make a lot of very specialty tools for the aviation trades.

My son Barrett is doing YouTube, and he had some tools commissioned. Jay calls them push-pull wrenches, and Barrett highlights them in the video below. Skip ahead to the 9:00 mark when these wrenches come into play.

If you are in the aviation trades, and you need tools, give Helicopter Work Aids a glance.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Buying Propane

 I heat the shop with propane, and use it for the griddle and the smoker, so I have a number of bottles.  Six, to be precise.  When I get four empties, I load them in the truck and get them filled.  $23.99 for a standard 20 lb bottle, and that's about the cheapest around here.

Today, I took four bottles, and the guy who was filling the tanks told me that he had trouble with one of them.  It wouldn't accept propane.  Go figure, must be something wrong in the valve.

All the Dollar Stores around here have Blue Rhino cages out front, so the next time I go to the Dollar Store, I'll swap that bottle out.  Blue Rhino might be a bit more expensive, but they sure make bottle maintenance easy.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Swapping Scopes

 When I bought the Clackamore Mauser last week, I knew that new glass was in the plan. When I bought it, I immediately saw the most el-cheapo set of Weaver rings that I had ever seen.  Those had to go.  The scope was marked Marlin, and I'm pretty sure that Marlin never made scopes.  Probably some Philippine glass that originally came in bubble plastic. Not fitting for a proper deer rifle.

On Sunday, looking for a tang sight and globe sight for a Sharps that I've passed along to my son-in-law, I happened upon some old scope rings in my catch-all drawers.  Bingo.

This morning, I took that Philippine glass off the Mauser, I also took off those old rings and installed a much better set.  So, the Mauser has nicer rings now. After Christmas, Ill buy a scope that suites the rifle. Something with a reputable brand on it.

But, looking closer at the cheap scope, I realized that it wasn't horrible, just cheap. Suitable for a .22 that would knock around in the squirrel woods. Then, I remembered that 10/22 I bought last month. So, I dragged out the box, found the scope base that Ruger included, and mounted that scope in another set of rings I had found in that drawer.

That doesn't look too terribly bad, and if the scope will hold zero, I've scoped the Ruger for exactly no dollars.  I don't care if the scope is repeatable. I'm going to zero it at 25 yards and Loctite the turret caps on it.  As long as it holds that zero, it will stay on the rifle.

The Frugal Outdoorsman would be proud.

W.D.M. Bell

 If you love reading about the old African hunters, one that you surely know is W.D.M. "Karamojo" Bell, who hunted Africa at the turn of the 20th century. He preferred light calibers for his elephants, mainly the .303 British and the 7mm Mauser.

Yeah, the 7mm Mauser.

He also shot smaller calibers for his meat hunting.

On one occasion in West Africa in the midst of a famine he killed a herd of 23 forest buffalo using a .22 Savage Hi-Power rifle with lung shots.

The forest buffalo is a separate species, but still weighs 500-700 pounds. Bell was knocking them over with today's equivalent of a .223 Remington.

Just damn.

Monday, November 27, 2023


 Reader and old friend, Joe, sent me a link to an article he thought I might enjoy.  It's a review of cartridges' since the Civil War, and a thoroughly enjoyable read. I'm going to link it here so that I can savor it later.  Like a good brandy, it deserves to be sipped.

A teaser:

What if I told you more white-tailed deer have been taken with an 1894 30-30 Winchester than all the other sundry deer hunting cartridges combined? What if I told you that you could hunt worldwide with a battery of only three rifles, a 22 Long Rifle from 1887, a 7 millimeter Mauser from 1892 and a 375 H&H Magnum Express from 1912?

It's an interesting read, and shows that we haven't really had any great new developments in  cartridge design in nearly a hundred years.

Termite came by this morning and swapped some 6.5x55 ammo for my homemade chimichangas and Belle's Alabama Sweet Bread recipe.  It was a good swap. 

Recount in Caddo

 It seems that Caddo Parish, LA (Shreveport) is having a bit of drama over the recent Sheriffs race.  It came down to one Democrat and one Republican, and after all the dust had settled, it seems that only one vote separates the two candidates.

According to the Louisiana Secretary of State website.

One vote.  And, of course, there are allegations that some folks voted twice, and that one of the local graveyards has a polling problem. The recount is being conducted today, but this one will be settled in the courts. It seems that less than 30% of the elegible voters bothered to go to the polls.  

Every vote counts.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Questions, questions.

 A commenter on the Mauser post below, sheds some light.

Standard chambering for Argentine Mauser was 7.65x53.

I don't doubt that a bit.  When I acquired that old Mauser in the mid-80s there was no internet, and information was limited.  It was sold to me as an Argentine, but the barrel was marked 7mm Mauser, so that's what I shot in it.  Remington green box as I remember. 

It cocked on closing, which makes it a 93?  My ignorance on Mauser models is here on complete display.

The question becomes: Will the Mauser I have now shoot well enough to pass along?  I won't know that until I've gone through it, acquired some better glass, and bought some ammunition.  Luckily, good ammo is available from Lapua and Norma, so that shouldn't be an issue. Right now, it's a project rifle and I'll tinker with it as a the muse strikes me.

I haven't had a project rifle since 2011.  I'll enjoy the exploration.

Saturday, November 25, 2023


 I've sold two rifles in my lifetime and regretted selling both of them.  One, an Argentine Mauser in 7x57 that I couldn't make shoot.  I couldn't keep that rifle on a 4x8 sheet of plywood at 50 yards.  The second, a Remington Model 7 in 7mm-08 that shot like a laser beam out to 300 yards. I lost those rifles in the aftermath of a divorce and regretted losing them more than I regretted losing the woman.

When I was writing for The Frugal Outdoorsman, I bought a few rifles. I'm a sucker for an oddball or an antique.  If it goes BOOM, it intrigues me. And over the years I've passed them along.  Mainly to family.  Each of my sons have rifles that I bought, and used, and played with.  Levers, bolts, and single shots, I've passed them along.  Each of my grandsons has a rifle I played with.  Except the youngest one, who is coming of age.

In 1997, Remington introduced the 260 Remington, a standardized 6.5-08, that has seen some limited success. It uses a 1:9 twist, which stabilizes 140 grain bullets. My sister-in-law shoots one and she picks her shots. She shoots deer in the neck, she doesn't like to track deer.

In 2007, Hornady introduced the 6.5 Creedmoor, a very successful long range hunting cartridge.  It has proven itself both on the target range and on the game fields. It was introduced with a 1:8 twist to take advantage of those lovely sleek bullets.  No one can argue that the 6.5 Creedmoor has been less than a stellar success.

So, the 6.5 bullet is proving itself in these newer cartridges, but lots of people forget about the European grandfather.  In 1894, Sweden adopted the new, high speed, 6.5z55 cartridge. It is standardized with a 1:866 twist, which should allow those sleek 140 bullets. Its speed is limited by old metallurgy, but those published recipes are within 100 fps of the newer Creedmoor.  It has a long reputation as a game cartridge in Europe, even taking moose.

All that having been said, yesterday I walked into my local gun shop and saw a weird Mauser in 6.5x55.  The barrel is marked Sporting Arms, Clackamore, OR  6.5x55.

I started Googling and found a thread on The Firing Line.  Evidently, these are Turk mausers that were imported in the 60s or 70s.  But, it's a Mauser 98, which is a known item.  Various firms have been making them for 120 years.  It has the absolute cheapest rings and scope that can be put on a rifle, so those will go away.  We'll get some good glass and some good rings, and see how it shoots.

If it can put the bullets on the plate, it may become the youngest grandkid's gun.  If it can't, I have a project Mauser.  I've always wanted another one in 7x57.

Friday, November 24, 2023


 Thanksgiving is done, and we're cleaning up the detritus.  We fed, by my count, 24 souls yesterday, from the ages of toddler to 80.  It was a grand group of family and friends.  Turkey, ham, dressings, casserole, dinner rolls, cakes and pies galore.  It was a feast suitable for and American family.

That's Belle, behind the serving table.  It's not full yet, but I took that picture during a lull when we were waiting for the rolls to come out of the oven.

Today, I get to clean up the turkey carcass for a gumbo on Sunday, and we'll eat leftovers for lunch.  There is a little dressing left that Belle has dibs on, and I'm thinking about a big ham and cheese omelet.

This officially opens the holiday season. We'll have three more big feeds here before Christmas.  This is exactly why I build this shop.

Thursday, November 23, 2023


 The turkey is smoked, sliced and in serving pans with stock to keep it from drying out.  The ham is in the roaster. Belle issued her operations order last week, and all the daughters-in-law know which sides to bring. The reception area is prepped and there is a lull in the assembly area. In a few hours, family and friends will start arriving.

It's Thanksgiving morning, a holiday where Americans pause to give thanks for the blessings of a benevolent creator.  I am thankful for a God that loves me, a wife who loves me, and the family that surrounds me.  For friend I cherish.  I continue to believe that we live in the greatest nation ever conceived by man, in the most exciting era in the history of our species.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Chili Recipe

 Juvat asked about my chili recipe.  Ain't nothing to it.

Ingredients:  2 lbs ground beef, 2 lbs ground venison. One medium onion, chopped. Chili powder,  tomato juice (about a quart).  2 cans red kidney beans.

Prep.  In a dutch oven, combine beef and venison, and fry until brown.  Add the chopped onion and saute. Drain the meat and onion mixture.  Return it to the pot.  Add the tomato juice, slowly to desired thickness. Add beans if desired.  Add chili powder, stirring and tasting to your desired heat level.  One tablespoon of sugar will reduce the acid in the tomato juice. Simmer for a half hour to blend the flavors

Serve wtih crackers, or corn chips, or sour cream, or cheese.  Or all those things.  Bon apetit.

Operational Pause

So, I see that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a prisoner swap and an operational pause.  The last I heard, it was four days, but we'll see how that plays out.

The DIF has been keeping up a fairly energetic tempo, and I'm sure that a pause will help the warfighters, even if it causes more headache for the logistics tail. In four days, they can move a lot of ammunition and supplies into the forward areas.

Of course, Hamas can too, and that might play into the IDF plans.  More targets, closer. It will be interesting to see what comes from this.

In the meantime, Belle and I are into heavy prep for the gathering tomorrow.  There will be plenty of food, and plenty of family, and that is what Thanksgiving is all about.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Deer Chili

After the rain last night, the weather turned and Belle took out some ground venison.  With cool weather, she wants deer chili.  I never make other suggestions when she wants deer chili.

 We ain't Texican, and we put beans in our chili.  Not too many, but some.  In a few minutes, we'll brak out the saltine crackers.

Monday, November 20, 2023


 It's thunder-bumping and flat-rocking out there.  Lots of rain, lots of thunder, and several tornado watches.  It's going to be okay.  The dog is scared of the weather, but I'm watching it with interest.  We're finally getting measureable aainfall.  That is a good thing.

I smoke two small turkeys today before the weather hit.  They're in the fridge and I'll cut them up and get them ready for the Thanksgiving meal.  I'll do that tomorrow, then boil the carcasses for stock.

I heard a rumor that a local gun store has a Mauser in 6.5X55.  When I'm out running errands tomorrow, I may have to stop in and take a look.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Cease Fire

 Watching the nonsense across the US about the Hamas engagement, I am reminded that Israel has already set the conditions for a ceasefire.

If Hamas wants a ceasefire, all it need do is release the hostages, surrender, and disarm.  When Hamas stops shooting, there will be a ceasefire.

It really is that simple.


 Thanksgiving.  A uniquely American holiday.  It's upon us, coming on Thursday. I could tell you all about the pilgrims and the Indians, but I'd have to get our a history book, and do the research which keeps changing. Whatever.

Still, it is a uniquely American holiday, and it begins what we call the holiday season.  Thanksgiving was my Mother's favorite holiday and she did it right. The weeks leading up to it were a marathon planning session, with lists and oven schedules, and all manner of preparation.  It was quite a logistical flex that would make any military planner proud.

Mom is still with us, and I am grateful for that, but Belle and I have taken over the Thanksgiving ritual.  Mon will share the meal with us, and I'm expecting 25-ish for the noon meal.  Belle and I aren't as hampered as Mom was, simply because we have two ovens. And a smoker that I can crank up to 400F if we need additional oven space.

The local grocer was running a sale on turkeys so I went and looked at them.  Smallish birds, weighing 11 pounds average.  So, I bought two of then.  And a ham, and we'll have all the usual sides.

After the meal, I'll break those carcasses and put them in a stock pot, boil the leftovers to make stock, the peel the meat from the bones. The leftover turkey and stock will be saved for a gumbo that rivals the initial smoked turkey.

Which reminds me.  When we go to the grocer this week, I need to pick up rice.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Diversity Hire

 I grew up with affirmative action, knowing that people were hired solely based on their skin color, without regard to their experience or competence.  We knew who they were.

Nowadays, it's all about diversity.  And, people are noticing.  Watching a YouTube video on The Five, we see that lots of folks are talking about diversity hires.  One of them is Kamala Harris.  Here's the link.  Jump ahead to the 1100-minute mark.  Someone plainly asks Kamala if she is a diversity hire, and she's too stupid to understand the question.

Of course Kamala Harris is a diversity hire.  She checks all the right boxes.  I simply find it amazing that someone asked her about it.

Thursday, November 16, 2023


 We were talking at the barber shop this morning, and someone said that they hadn't ever seen a potato dish at a Mexican restaurant.

Come to think of it, I've never seen a potato dish in an Italian restaurant.  Nor an Oriental restaurant.

Tatiers won't grow in Mexico or Italy?

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

It's A Good Start

 Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy says that if he is elected president, he will run off half the federal bureaucracy. From the UPI.

Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy says that if he is elected president of the United States, he would cut 50% of the government workforce at random on his first day in office.

It's a bold plan.  Basically, if your Social Security number ends with an odd digit, you are layed off.  That is very non-partisan.  That sounds to me like a good start.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Nothing For Us Here

 Did y'all see this?  It seems that a bunch of illegal immigrants from Venezuela are going home.  The headline says it all.

Chicago migrants return to Venezuela ahead of winter: 'There's nothing for us here'

Oh, it's a sad tale of woe.

 The Chicago Tribune reported on the account of Michael Castejon, who migrated with his wife and stepdaughter from Venezuela to find a better life. However, after several months, the family suffered from homelessness, a lack of job opportunities and no access to better education. By early November, they had requested tickets back to their home country.

 "The American Dream doesn’t exist anymore," Castejon said. "There’s nothing here for us."

Oh, boohoo.  Cry me a river.  What is happening is the dole is running out, and when the dole runs out, you have to get creative and start taking care of yourself. I know, personally, immigrants who did it right, and made it.  They came here with nothing and started over.  America is a great place for that, but if you're looking for a free ticket, it isn't coming.

And, I note that this one asshole is asking for a free ticket back to his home.  Why give him a ticket?  He walked here.  He can walk home. There is nothing I would like to see more tan a vast, ambulatory caravan of illegal migrants, headed south, walking back to Mexico, or Guatemala, or Venezuela, or wherever in the hell they came from.

One of my Dad's favorite sayings was "Your feet are flat, and the road is wide." 

Monday, November 13, 2023

Answering Questions

 Some questions from this morning's post.

Termite wanted to know if we were cooking red beans.  Nope, oddly enough.  Red Beans and Rice is a traditional laundry-day meal.  But Belle wanted to cook a bisque.  I will never interrupt her when she wants to cook something as good as bisque.  This will be a simple chicken bisque.  We're saving the shrimp for later.

Another commenter wanted to know what kind of rifle I passed on to my grandson.  It's a Model 10FCM Scout rifle, built by Savage Arms. It's a second-generation Scout that Savage discontinued about a month after I bought mine.  They came out with the 3rd generation.  Mine carries a Burris Scout scope and it's chambered in .308 Win.

It has the Accu-stock, which is a metal bedding block in the stock.  If he decides he prefers a more traditional scope over the receiver, it is a simple matter to remove the scout mount and install a traditional glass.

We'll put on a couple of pounds of red beans to soak tonight.  They will be lunch tomorrow.

Laundry Day

 Itt's Monday, and laundry is the current chore.  Between loads, I'm reading the news, and there is not much to crow about.

I see that the head commie is coming to California, and they're building Potemkin villages.  They're cleaning the place up, so that Zi won't see homeless encampments or soil his shoes with human shit.

I see that Tim Scott dropped out of the presidential race.  I like him on a number of issues, but as an up-and-coming presidential hopeful, he has been overshadowed by the elephant in the room.  As have the rest of the up-and-coming hopefuls.  Scott has time to build his resume, and one day he might be the elephant in the room, but not today.

We got word yesterday that younger son made it home safely, with all the deer meat still frozen.  That's good, he has venison in the freezer.  And, I sent home a rifle for grandson.  He has recently taken an interest in shooting, and it was time for a centerfire rifle.

I guess I'd better check on the dryer.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Cutting a Barrel

 In 2007 I bought a Savage Model 10 FLP as a gift to my youngest son.  That rifle is the law enforcement version, .308 cal, heavy 22-inch barrel, synthetic stock.  Back in the day it was quite cutting edge. He has shot it and hunted with it ever since, and lately he's been thinking it's time to lose some of that barrel and make the rifle a bit more handier, and a bit lighter.

Second son happens to own a lathe.  Today they decided to unscrew the barrel and bring it down from 22 to 16.5 inches.  They planned this little soiree, and had assembled the tools, to include the headspace gauges.  This afternoon, we met at the shop and the boys did the deed.

The thing about the Savage is that it is really easy to take the barrel out, and if you have a modicum of knowledge around a fairly well-equipped garage, swapping a barrel is not a problem.

I was impressed with the way the boys used the lathe to crown the muzzle.  A nice 11 degree crown was an easy job. I hung around until they headspaced it.  I'm convinced it's safe.

Thursday, November 09, 2023

A Few Thougts

Belle and I voted yesterday, and we were busy running errands, and I really didn't focus on those states that had big elections on Tuesday. Here's my take-away.

For decades Roe was settled law, and recently, the Supremes decided Dobbs, and threw the idea of abortion back to the states.  The states are deciding, and whenever an abortion initiative is on the ballot Democrats win.

While I would love to see a fair, legal, honest election where 100% of all legal registered voters trun out and make their voices heard, we know that is not a thing.  Election strategy matters, and voter turn0out is a great indicator of who might win a particular election.  If there is an abortion initiative on the ballot, voter turnout surges and Democrats win.  I'm just making an observation.

While I personally think that abortion is a heinous offense against the unborn and God, I also know that not everyone feels the way I do.  If abortion is on the ballot, Democrats win.

I see that the Republican also-rans had a debate last night.  The elephant in the room was that the elephant was not in the room. Donald Trump was not there, and barring some unforeseen circumstance, he will be the Republican nominee.  

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

This And That

 BobF asks in comments what we're paying for shrimp up here.  Honestly, I don't know.  THe shrimp we cooked yesterday were given to me. A buddy was cleaning out his freezer and brought over four gallon bags of frozen head-on shrimp. I thawed one bag, pooled and de-veined them, and it turned into about two pounds of usable tails. I have no idea what shrimp are going for locally.

Have y'all tried the Sam's Club fully cooked ribs?  I know how to smoke ribs, and I'm willing to do it, but these are just fine. Just take them out of the package, run them in the oven on a cookie sheet and heat them for about 45 minutes.  They're wonderful.

Belle and I stopped by Arby's after running our errands and had a brisket sandwich for lunch.  I wasn't expecting much, but for fast food, it's a pretty good sandwich.  

I filled the van with gas yesterday, and it is down.  I paid $2.57 locally.  The last time I filled up duringthe Trump years, gas was $1.87, so Joe still has some work to do.


 It's deer season in Louisiana, and my boys are hunting. Son-in-law (SIL) has a family deer camp, and the boys are hunting there this week.  We've known SIL since he was five years old, they grew up together. It was a good thing when he married into the family.  Younger son lives in New Mexico and he came in to take advantage of the thriving whitetail population and take some meat back to his freezer in the desert.

Left to right - Son in law, Second son, youngest son.  Two does, which should provide good freezer venison.

They are hunting the piney woods thickets of north-central Louisiana, and the brush is thick.  That dog in lower right is Roux.  He earns his keep as a tracking dog. When you hit a deer in these thickets, if it is not a bang-flop, you have to find the deer, and they'll burrow into those thickets and be hard to find.  That's where Roux shines.  He finds wounded deer.  And, he's excellent at his job.  A good tracking dog is worth his kibble, and Roux has proved his worth many times over.

They are scheduled to come out of the woods tomorrow and be here for lunch.  

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

The Far Side

 No, not the old cartoon strip. The far side of the political debate.

Evidently, there is a liberal philosopher, Sam Harris (Never heard of him) who is a thought leader for the left. He was recently highlighted on Gutfeld's show, talking about Trumpism and the knee-jerk reactions from his side of the political aisle. It's in the A block and you can watch it here.  It starts about the 1:30 mark.  Harris says basically, that Trump was right and that the southern border is a complete catastrophe.

Out of farness to Harris, I went looking for the original podcast, and found it here.  It seems that Gutfeld's clip was accurate and fairly reflected Harris' views.

Taking a break from peeling shrimp (yeah, we're doing that.  Belle wants to make a shrimp scampi for lunch) I listened to the remainder of the podcast and found it interesting.  There was some discussion about the way the pandemic caused a lack of trust of the public on the "experts".  I found it instructive that the left believes that public trust was shattered but has no real idea on how to restore public trust in our benevolent government.

Sometimes it is fun to go down the leftist rabbit hole.

Monday, November 06, 2023

America’s New Abrams-X Tank - WTF?

So, the Army wants a new tank.  The current champion is the M1 Abrams, a tank adopted in the 1980s and used to great effect all over the world. The M1 is a great tank.  Let me establish my bona-fides.

I am a graduate of the US Army Armor Officer Basic Course, a graduate of the US Army Armor Officer Advance Course, and a graduate of the US Army Cavalry Officer Advance Course. Below is a video that details the newest and fanciest tank that the Army is acquiring.  

From a tank officers perspective this thing has a few drawbacks.

Crew size - In WWII and Korea, the Army's standard tank had a crew of five (bow gunner, loader, driver, gunner, and commander). In the Vietnam/Cold War era, that was reduced to four (driver, loader, gunner, and commander). I always considered four as the minimum crew for a tank. When you have maintenance issues, or when you have thrown a track in a mired location, you need every bit of manpower to get the tank us and running. Three people may simply not be a big enough crew.

That autoloader - Replacing a crew member with an autoloader injects complexity in a place where simplicity is key. As a tank commander, I could tell the loader which round to grab, and we could change types of rounds during an engagement. Unless the Army is going to one main gun round, the loading process may become overly complex for a mechanical machine. I hope the technology has improved, but the autoloader was a bad idea in the 80s.  I doubt it's any better now.

Technology - Technology is a grand thing.  Right up until the second when it's not.  The old M60 series tanks had the ability to do what we called "degraded gunnery".  That is, the ability to operate the gun manually even when all systems had failed.  We actually had manual cranks, a telescope, and a hand-crank igniter to fire the cartridge. If the turret was still on the tank, we could lay the gun and fire it. That ability was very handy.

I do think that the new power pack is a good idea.  I was never really a fan of the turbine engine.  I think that moving the crew our of the turret into the automotive bed is bad idea. I think that reducing the crew size is a bad idea, and the increased reliance on technology is wrong-headed. When systems start going down, it's a good idea to be able to fight the tank without those systems.

I do think that the M10 Booker is a great idea, and should provide the punch that light infantry lacks.  I would love to get the chance to crawl around on one of those.

Sunday, November 05, 2023

Missed It

 I totally missed the "fall-back" last night.  Didn't think about it at all.  Until this morning when I sat down at the computer with my coffee. The only impact that the time change has on me anymore is that the sun goes down an hour earlier. Whoopee.  I'll spend a portion of today changing clocks when I notice them. I'll put a couple of AA batteries in my pocket, because when the clock is down, it's a good time to change the battery.

Today's lunch will be pork chops and rice, with purple hull peas and cornbread.  Some sort of banana pie for dessert. The kids will start showing up in a couple of hours, depending on wheter or not they noticed the time change.  It's going to be a good Sunday.

Saturday, November 04, 2023

Moral Equicalence

 A quick graphic to highlight the basic difference between Hamas and Israel.

Just in case you were wondering.  Hamas doesn't deserve a cease-fire, nor even an operational pause.

Friday, November 03, 2023


 It's that time of year again, we're filling propane tanks.  Down the road a bit, we have a feed-and-seed that has a reputation for the lowest price around here, so that's where I get my tanks filled.  There was a time, forty years ago, when I heated my house on propane and had a 200 gallon tank sitting beside the house.  That time is long-gone.

I still use propane to heat the shop, and do some occasional cooking.  MY fish cookers use propane and the griddle uses propane.  Both of my stoves are electric, and I still do my barbequing on wood or charcoal.

Propane prices are up this year, according to the lady at the cash register.  She claims, about 50 cents a gallon.  That surprises me because when I get a standard 20 lb bottle filled, it's done by weight, not volume. That being said, three 20 lb bottles cost me $71.19 this morning.

If I'm running propane I'm not running the air conditioners.

Thursday, November 02, 2023

First Frost

 We got a frost this morning, the first of the season, with temps in the high 20s.  I sprayed herbicide this morning, the last of the season. Trying to knock back some weeds that we don't need.

I had to run up to the Dollar Store, and when I started the van, got the usual low pressure warning on the tires.  My van lives outdoors, but I'll bet that Belle's car has the same problem.  It's that time of year.  Later today, I'll pull them in the shop and inflate whatever needs to be inflated.  It's that time of year.

Some comments from yesterday, talking about John Kennedy's sense of humor.  Louisiana has bad problems in the past with voter integrity, and I think that we have solved most of them. With our strict voted ID law, I really don't think that a corpse can vote in Louisiana.  But there was a time.  John was poking fun at our history.  There were places where vote buying was rampant, and the voter rolls were suspect at best.  I recall one municipal election in the last century where, when the initial tallies were made, the Clerk discovered that more votes had been cast than registered voters on the rolls. That's voter engagement at its best.

The weather weenies tells us that we're going to warm over the next several days.  We're still in a drought, and rather than paying A/C bills we're going to be paying heating bills. The season, it is a-changing.

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Border Security

 While running errands this morning, I happened to hear that Egypt is going to open the border with Gaza and let up to 500 folks with foreign passports out of Gaza.  They were also going to let up to 90 critically ill people out to seek medical treatment at Egyptian hospitals.

Border security.  Perhaps the US could take a lesson from Egypt.

Also, during that time, I heard a political ad by our esteemed senator John Kennedy.  We have a runoff election pending in the state, and runoff elections generally have a lower turnout.  John was imploring people to vote.  "Dead people do it.  You can too."

Monday, October 30, 2023

Surrender or Die

 It's an interesting concept.  To demand unconditional surrender.  Grant used it, so did Roosevelt. Now, it sems that the Israeli Defense Minister is using it.

In a televised address, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant says Hamas has “two options” – either to “die fighting or to surrender without any conditions”. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has rejected any calls for a ceasefire or cessation of hostilities with Hamas.4 hours ago

Oh the outcry, the angst and anguish from the squishes They fail to understand the lessons of other wars. That sometimes innocent civilians get caught in the turmoil.  Curtis LeMay understood it over Tokyo and RAF Bomber Command understood it over Dresden.  War has not changed that much inthe past 82 years.  People still die. It is regrettable, but necessary.

The Palestinians can have peace whenever they want it. If the Palestinian people would rise up, deliver Hamas to the Israelis, and take charge of their own destiny, they could have peace tomorrow.


 It looks like we're finally going to get some rain. What looks like a classic cold front is descending on us, and that cold air collides with the warm muggy Gulf air, it brings rain.  Blessed rain.  We haven't had much this summer, Louisiana is in a drought condition, with no rain to speak of in the past several months.

It's 56F on my back porch right now and it looks like that is going to be the high for today. Flannel is certainly on the list for wardrobe today. While this one front won't end the drought, it may end the statewide burn ban that we are under.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Saturday Shooting

 We closed out the 2023 competition shooting season today.  Ten matches, January thru October.  November and December are problematic for competitive shooting, with all of the holiday activities.  The club voted two years ago to end the competition in October. And we're done.

I just finished tallying the Top Gun Points for the year.  When we have a match, we give Top Gun points, based on placement.  Whoever gets the most Top Gun points at the end of the year get a really nice belt buckle. This year we have a tie among the ladies and we'll have to reconcile that before we give away the belt buckles.  I've opened the books for audit, in case anyone wants to clear up any errors.  Otherwise, we'll have to hold at least one shoot-off before the trophy ceremony.

That is a nice buckle and we're giving away eight of them in December.  Three each for Top Gun, Men and Ladies, and One each for Fastest Time, Men and Ladies.

Opening the news, I see that Mike Pence has suspended his presidential campaign. That makes sense, as he was way back inth epack.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Heating Up

 Things seem to be heating up in the Middle East.  I see where US Air forces have hit an Iranian target in Syria in retaliation for Iran's recent attacks on US troops in Iraq.

And, I see where Israeli forces have launched a major raid in the West Bank, playing whack-a-mole with Hamas. I expect that this is just another preparatory raid to clean up the battlefield before they go into Gaza. Of course, any time Israel is whacking Hamas, they are doing the right thing.

On a more mundane note, I'm piddling in the shop, preparing for our club match tomorrow. Not much going on here, and I'll take my time getting it done.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

New Rifle

 I wandered into Academy Sport this morning, looking for .22LR ammo.  I found it, then wandered over tot he gun case. This weekend is the opener for the gun deer season, and the shelves were petty much picked clean. The counter guy asked me what I was looking for.

"I'm looking at a 22" I told him. "Don't really need one, but I'm always in the market." I could see a forlorn Ruger 10/22 on the rack behind him. "Let me look at that 10/22."

A fellow behind me said, "Best get it if you can.  Those things are hard to find lately."

The counter guy asked, "What do you intend to use it for?"

I smiled my most gracious old fudd smile, "Something to dissuade possums from the cat food."

"It's perfect for that". he replied.

It's the standard carbine in the birch stock.  Probably the most rare of Ruger 10/22s.  It is totally unmodified.  Which I will remedy soon.  It needs a carry strap and optics  I'm thinking a nice little variable on low rings. Another magazine or two.  And,I'm in no rush to get it done.

I've owned a lot of .22s during my life.  Marlins and Savage, and even some unmarked single shots.  By and large, the kids or grandkids have them now. This might be the last .22 I buy.  Then again, it might not be.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Mike Johnson Elected Speaker

 I see that Louisiana Republican Mike Johnson has been elected Speaker of the House.

Well, slap my neck and call me red.  Who saw that coming?

Mike represents the 4th District. Think Shreveport and that northwest corner.

Well Done, Mikke!  Now, get to work.

Crunchy Mom

I was surfing around today and heard a young woman identify herself as a "crunchy mon".  I was aghast.  Crunchy is not a population that young mothers want to be identified with.

Every tanker or armored cavalry soldier knows what a "crunchy" is.  It is that enemy who has been rendered hors de combat without use of bullets or explosives. Those are the people who are simply run over by the armored vehicle.  They tend to make crunching noises when under the tank treads.

Using that term to describe oneself is rife with misunderstanding.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

The .22 Rimfire

 There are those who scoff at the diminutive .22 rimfire cartridge.  They do so at leisure and highlight their ignorance.

Long before I was a cop, or a soldier, I was a hunter. I have seen a lot of game taken with the .22 rimfire.. While I wouldn't want to go into combat with a .22, nor even patrol the streets with one, I understand the utility of the little cartridge.  Certainly, there are better cartridges for almost every use, it's hard to dismiss the .22 for all-around honors.

The .22 is easy to shoot well.  It's accurate, inexpensive and generally lightweight. You can carry a bunch of them in your pocket. While it's not the best at every task, it's damned good at lots of tasks.  It may be one of the most used cartridges in violent encounters i the US.

Those uses aside, I know that it has been used to take many game animals that you might not realize.  I once knew a man who took Whitetail deer with a .22

The largest hog I personally ever shot (over 350 lbs) was taken with a .22.  One shot, bang flop. The hardest past of that was loading it in the truck.

I have read accounts of moose being taken with the little cartridge.

There is one well documented account of a native woman taking a world record grizzly bear with the .22 rifle.  It's a great story and deserves to be read around campfires for many years.

If society crumbles and the zombies come out, I'm going to grab a .22 rifle, strap a .22 handgun to my waist, and head for the woods. It may not be the best combo for a lot of things, but it's the best combo for all-around.  Which reminds me, I need to pick p a couple more bricks of .22 ammo.

No Sympathy

 I have heard just about enough of the "plight of the Palestinians". Decades of poor decision making have led them to this deplorable condition. Now, I admit that I have never given the Palestinians much thought.  A quick review of the map doesn't show me a place identified as Palestine. I do see a place called Israel.  And, I see a place called Gaza.

Again, I haven't given it much thought, but a quick Google search tells me that in 2006 the Gazan folks held an election and voted in Hamas.  They elected a terrorist government. Simple math tells me that they have had 13 years to do simple things like dig water wells, begin generating electricity, set up a stable goernment and start taking care of people.  Things like securing food and fuel. But they didn't. I can't find an airport in Gaza, nor yet a seaport.

Hamas has done nothing to govern these poor people, yet that is what they voted for.  It's not Israel's fault that they don't have water or electricity or fuel.  It's Hamas fault. The Palestinian people cannot travel.  THey have no passports.  Who's fault it that? Hamas.  They are the elected government.

Bobody wants the Palestinians.  Not Jordan, nor Egypt, and certainly not Louisiana. I have no sympathy for prople who got exactly what they voted for.

Monday, October 23, 2023

The .25 ACP

Author's note.  This is a story from my cop days.  It is as I remember it. Names and places have been changed to protect the ignorant. In 37 years behind the badge, I've seen some stuff, and worked cases that some folks won't believe. I started my career in 1980, and retired from two agencies, serving in a variety of positions.  This is one of those stories.

The .25 ACP us much maligned as a self-defense cartridge, and rightly so. I don't want to get shot with one, and I don't want to get shot with anything.  Let me tell you a story.

Back in the early 80s, Dindu was shacked up with Gonorea (Gu'-nor-e-a). She had an apartment in the big projects, down off MLK Blvd.and Dindu slept there most nights.

It was Saturday night, and Dindu was out hustling at a place called "the square", trying to score a few dollars selling low-grade weed. Dindu happened to look down the block and observed Gonorea under the streetlamp on the corner. Talking to some other dude. Dindu took offense and extracted from his pocket a small Raven Arms handgun in .25 ACP.  He took one shot at what was later measured to be about 125 yards. Gonorea folded up like a cheap pocket knife. Graveyard dead.

The police came and scooped up the body.  Began looking for Dindu..They found him the next morning and took him to the jail house. They found the pistol, and sent toe body for an autopsy.

The medical examiner found the bullet in the deceased skull. It had hit her in the forehead, penetrated the skull and entered her brain, causing instant death.  He sent the bullet to the forensic lab, who matched the bullet to the handgun. Game, set, match.

Dindu was charged with murder, which requires intent.  His defense attorney adopted a legal strategy where he argued that Dindu had no reasonable intent. It was a Raven in 25 ACP.  No reasonable marksman could expect to make such a shot, at night, at that range, with that gun. It was either Bad Luck, or an Act of God, but the shot had no reasonable chance of success.

The jury did't buy it.  THey did drop the charge to manslaughter and Dindu got a 20 year sentence.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Old Time Duck Calls

Video below on how duck calls were made, back in the day.  I'm simply boosting the signal here.


 The United Methodist Church, a large protestant denomination, has been undergoing schism for the past couple of years.  The church has adopted social justice stances that do not appeal to a broad portion of its membership, and many believe that the denomination has strayed from the Good News of the Gospel to teachings that are at odds with conventional Christian beliefs.

Some congregations are opting to witdraw from affiliation.  For example:

Christ United Methodist Church of Jackson voted Sunday to disaffiliate from the UMC Mississippi Conference after months of discernment over whether to join the thousands of congregations that have left the denomination amid the schism over the UMC stance on homosexuality.

I grew up in the United Methodist Church and worshipped with them as an adult, They are some of the most loving, kindest people that I know.  They are non-judgmental on many subjects, choosing to overlook some things that might cause problems in other congregations.  However, the denomination has gone much farther than many in the church believe they should go.

The United Methodist Church is undergoing a schism right now, and all good-hearted Christians should pray for them.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

The history of a market hunter in 1900 era

My buddy Joe sent me this link, and took me down memory lane.  My grandfather did a little market hunting in his youth, on Black Lake, north of Natchitoches, LA. My grandfather preferred a Winchester Model 12, in 20 gauge. The only shell I ever knew him to shoot were Winchester Super-X in #6 shot.  These were, of course, the old lead shot.

Thanks, Joe, for the link and the trip down memory lane.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Learning Stuff

I've been playing in the kitchen.  Belle brought home a small package of fully cooked, sliced brisket that she found at Wal Mart.  It's kind of expensive, and not up to my standards for sliced brisket, but if you put it in a pan and heat it with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, it makes a really good sandwich.  We eat it on French bread, pressed in a sandwich press.  Although it seems expensive, there is no waste and feeds us lunch for two days. Anytime you can buy four nice sandwiches for $15, that ain't bad. From prep to plate, it's about fifteen minutes.

I was watching YouTube yesterday and saw a fellow making pancakes.  He claims that 1 cup of Bisquick and a half cup of Sprite make pancake batter.  I had to try it.  It makes a passable pancake.  Not as good as some I've had, but passable. You can make the batter in the time it takes to heat up the skillet, and the pancake ain't bad.

Which reminds me.  After pancakes this morning, I'm out of Steen's syrup.  Next time I go to the store, I'll have to remedy that.

Thursday, October 19, 2023


Ol' Joe went to Israel yesterday, probably did more harm than good.  No one wants to meet with him.

I've been watching the news, waiting for the IDF to kick off their incursion into Gaza. 

I really don't have anything else to comment on.  Belle and I have been chilling, just hanging out.   Nothing much happening on this little acre.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Short Round

 It seems that the Moose-limbs are having problems with their homemade rockets.  About 1/3 of them fail, sometimes spectacularly. In today's case, they launched one that failed and it fell on a hospital in Gaza, killing hundreds of people.

The Hamasians have very little regard for the people.  If you know your rockets suck, at least fire them where your people aren't down range.

I do feel sorry for the Palestinians stuck in Gaza.  Nobody wants them, and the ruling clique is actively killing them. Regardless of their politics, they are truly and royally fucked.

One other thing.  I keep hearing about how terrible it is that they don't have food, fuel, electricity, or water.  Hamas took over in 2006. In the intervening seventeen years, they haven't set up any electric generating capacity, or even dug water wells?  Those people are truly hosed.

Open Borders

 I see that the FBI is waring of increased threats of copycat attacks in response to the Hamas atrocities in Israel.  Go figure.

Check your magazines, and make sure that the bolt is oiled. I don't think that they want to play Cowboys and Arabs, but if they do, they should receive a warm welcome. Much warmer than they anticipated.

That is all.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Landry Wins

 Louisiana has what we call a "jungle primary".  Every candidate runs in the primary election.  If no one gets a majority (50% +1 vote), then the top two candidates progress to the general election. Our current attorney general, Jeff Landry, ran in a field of 15 candidates and came out on top with 52% of the vote.  He won it outright.

Congratulations, Jeff.

Conservatives won huge, up and down the ballot.  We still have several races going to the general election, but up and down the ballot, Louisiana voters pulled the lever for conservative candidates.   Maybe we are turning the corner toward a more business-friendly state.  We have a lot to do, but we have a chance now to return Louisiana to the people. RINOs who had worked with out left-wing governor were, by and large,  defeated by conservative candidates

Come January, they all need to get to work.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

New Cargridges

 Hunters and shooters are enamored of new cartridges and rifles.  That's a fact.  We want the best cartridge available to pursue our given game, and with a new cartridge, that means a new riffle.  This is great news for the manufactures.

I haven't paid much attention to new cartridges in a decade or longer.  I was vaguely attentive when the 6.5 Creedmoor came out, but it didn't do anything that I needed to do, so it became a mild buzzing in my ears.  My sister-in-law shoots a .260 Remington and has taken her deer with it many times.  It works well for her. Her husband thought about stepping up to the Creedmoor, but couldn't justify it.  She's deadly withthat older cartridge.

When I go to the deer woods, I'm apt to carry a .30-06 Springfield.  My load pushes a 165 to just over 2800  I've never fired at a deer over 200 yards. I've also never had to track a deer over 50 yards.

I toyed with the .243 Winchester for a while. The 10 twist barrel would stabilize a 100 grain Nosler, but would not stabilize a 107 grain Hornady A-Max.  I toyed with the idea of getting an 8-twist barrel, but the 100 grain bullet put deer down with authority. I never could justify the expense just for another 7 grains of bullet.

Recently on YouTube, I came upon Ron Spomer's channel.  He's got a lot of good hunting and shooting videos, with good advice. In one video he was talking about the PRC line of cartridges, and I admit I had never heard of them.  So, I started Googling and found out that Hornady has come out with a new line of whiz-bang cartridges designed for long range shooting, using fast-twist barrels and proprietary brass, designed for those long, sleek pullets.  Good stuff.  Right now, you can get them in three flavors, 6.5nn, 7mm, and.30 cal. They are being touted as the 21st century answer to all you questions.

And, that is fine.  The ammo companies need to sell ammunition, and hunters are always looking for something new. I'm not going to talk bad about any of them. They are not trying to sell to me, because I am simply not in the market.  I may commission one more rifle before I go, but it won't be a newfangled cartridge.  I'm thinking more along the lines of the 250 Savage, or maybe a 7mm Mauser.  But then, there has always been that yearning for a .257 Roberts. Decisions, decisions.

Friday, October 13, 2023

That Every Man BE Armed

When I awoke Saturday to the news of Israel's heartbreak, I  wondered how such a thing could happen.  Israel is a country with mandatory military service, egro, everyone should know how to operate a rifle. And, Israel is surrounded by enemies, which means that cross-border raids would be fast and immediate:  no enough time for the Army to show up.  It simply makes sense that every little village or kibbutz should have a few firearms in the vicinity.

Wrong again, stupid!  Israel has fairly strict gun control.

Gun control in Israel is relatively strict, and firearm licenses are generally only granted to those who can show a need for extra security in their line of work or daily life. Meaning, one of the key criteria for a private citizen to receive permission to own a gun is where they live.

So, once again, gun control claims victims.  Helpless people gunned down without recourse to basic self defense.  The Israeli parliament should immediately re-think this whole thing.  The immediate objective is that every person should have the right to defend themselves.