Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Turn Indicators

 My '01 F150 still starts and runs.  With almost a quarter-million miles, it has proven to be fairly reliable. I run a Honda Odyssey as my daily driver, but the truck it there if I need a truck. the old Ford fits the bill.  Recently I was driving it, and noticed that the left turn indicator wasn't working.   Reflecting on the last time I had to change bulbs, those might be factory bulbs in the truck.

This morning, I went out to diagnose the problem and learned that the problem was the front left bulb. Tinkering with things in the cab, running carious lights and looking at the rest of the bulbs on the truck, I noticed that the turn indicator seemed to be working. Odd.  I ran some more tests, walked around the truck ooking at lights, and for some reason that turn indicator seems to be working.

Or, I might have an intermittent problem, which drives mechanics and electricians crazy. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to go ahead and change that bulb, and give the bulb socket a little TLC while I have it apart. 

Monday, April 22, 2024

Busy Monday

 Took the dawg to the groomers this morning, then went to Jena to go junking with Belle's sister. Had a nice lunch, then on the way home stopped by a gun store in Ball we had never noticed.  Talked to those nice folks for a bit, then rescued the dawg from the groomer.

Came home to check the news.  Trumps trial started today.  The one in New York, where he paid off a hooker.  Damned shame when you can't trust a hooker to keep her mouth shut.

I ordered some match .22LR ammo yesterday.  Two bricks were over $100,  I haven't bought much .22 ammo in a while, but I seem to recall that a brick of good ammo, down at the Feed and Seed, was about $20.  That's been a few years ago.  And, I am paying shipping on this order, so that adds to the unit cost.  Still, that's about 12 cents per shot, so that ain't as bad as I've seen it.

Grandson Luke (age 12) has noticed an inconsistency in his standard ammo load, and wanted to try some better ammo.  The state match is coming up, and what good is it to be a PawPaw, if not to order match ammo when the kid needs it.  He has some Eley and some SK coming in, and he'll have to test them both and decide which brand his rifle prefers.  The ammo will be here on Wednesday.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Ouch

From what little I know about aviation, I do believe that this Spitfire is going to need a going-over.


 From what I've been told, prop strikes demand that the engine and gear box be torn down and inspected. Those V12 Merlin (Rolls Royce PV12) engines don't come cheap.

Of course, if you're flying a Spitfire, money isn't really the issue, is it?

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Eaten By Cannibals

 That's the newest family story told by Pore Ol' Joe.  Jessie Waters covers it.  Skip ahead to the 7:00 mark.

Basically, Joes Story says that 1) his uncle was piloting a single engine plane in WWII. 2) He was shot down over New Guinea. 3) He was eaten by cannibals.

The Pentagon says 1) He was a passenger in a twin-engine plane. 2) The engines failed for unknown reasons. 3) The plane ditched in the sea, near New Guinea.

This story takes nothing from Joe's Uncle Ambrose.  He served and died in WWII.  But, Joe dishonors his uncle through the cannibal angle.

Catfish

 So, judging from comments, Sonny's BBQ is a chain.  I had never heard of it.  When the parking lot is full of pickup trucks, and when we went in, lots of fat ladies at tables, that's a pretty good indication that the food is good.  I thought it was a local joint, but I stand corrected.

Looking in a freezer that I don't normally frequent, I found a box of catfish filets.  Farm raised catfish.  I have no idea how long they've been in the freezer, but the box was sealed, so we're good.  That solves the problem of what I'm cooking for lunch.

Watching the pro-Hamas protest that are popping up on the campuses, I am amused at how obtuse the protestors are.  There is no Palestinian cause except to destroy Israel.  They could have had a state years ago, but rejected every offer.  No one wants the Palestinians.  The two neighboring Arab states, Egypt and Jordan both flatly reject the idea of taking refugees.

I know exactly one Palestinian person.  A lady with advanced degrees who teaches.  She emigrated here and built a life.  Fine person, I consider her a friend and colleague.

I have another friend, a native American who worked in that region for a year or so as an industrial contractor.  He frequently says that a person has to live among those people for six months before you truly learn to hate them..

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Old Recipes

I've been coughing for the past two days.  Don't feel bad, not running a fever, just incessant coughing. A dry cough.

It's time for the old remedies.  Equal parts honey, lemon juice, and whiskey.  Sip on it.

It's probably just hay fever.  I'm sure something is blooming.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Good Question!

 It's a very good question.  PJMedia is reporting that flyers posted in Mexico are asking that illegals vote for Biden.

Flyers, ostensibly created by a nongovernmental organization (NGO) called Resource Center Matamoras (RCM), which reportedly has tentacles that reach U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas and even the Lizard King George Soros, are being handed out at an RCM facility in Mexico. They are also posted in porta-potties. The flyers, in part, urge illegal immigrants to vote for Joe Biden.

US law limits voting in federal elections to US citizens.  Some jurisdictions allow migrants to vote in local elections, but federal elections are limited to US citizens.  So, why are flyers in Mexico urging illegals to vote for Biden?  That is a very good question. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Traveling

 One of the things that Bele and I like about traveling is finding small restaurants that the locals use in cities we travel through.  Like El Tucan in DeQuincy, LA.  Or Elijah's in Jasper, TX.   Or, the Amarillo Grill in Bowie, TX.  Then there is the grocery in Concordia, MO that makes the pork tenderloin sandwich.  These places are special to us, and today, we found another.

Sonny's BBQ in Brandon, MS is the newest on the list. We pulled in there today, fresh from the Interstate, and we were famished.  Belle had the brisket sandwich, and claimed it was excellent.  I had the Three-Way plate, which was ribs, pulled pork and sliced pork with beans and slaw.  The sliced pork was probably the finest rendition of southern BBQ I have every put in my mouth.

Brandon is about 15 miles east of Jackson on I-20.

We're Back

 Got in about 15 minutes ago.  Regular posting will resume shortly.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Canton

 We made it in last night, eleven hours of windshield wipers.  Found the hotel and fell into bed.

Got up this morning and found a Waffle House. It was closer to noon than daylight when we walked into the restaurant.  Ate a hearty breakfast and went out to the range.  We dropped off some stuff and chatted with Rambunctious Red, who was there setting up.

We're back in the hotel now, enjoying our afternoon.  The Georgia State Championship starts tomorrow.

My bourbon of choice this weekend is Maker's Mark Cast Strength. Batch 23-01, 110 proof, it seems like very good whiskey.. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Holding Fire

 Belle and I were scheduled to leave for Atlanta this morning, but we're holding short.  The weather ain't cooperating.  I've never been afraid of the weather, having lived through hurricanes and other such nonsense.  But today, it's raining.  Raining like a hurricane.  Seriously, we've been under severe thunderstorms since about 9:00 last night.


We'll get to Georgia when we get there.  We had some slack in our itinerary, and I like to plan with slack in the travel time.  We'll get there when we get there.  Believe me, if we were flying today, all the flights would be delayed.

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Traveling

Belle and I are sneaking off tomorrow, heading to Holly Springs, GA for the Georgia State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw. When traveling, Belle and I use GPS, like everyone else.  We use a combination of Google and I have a stand-alone Garmin, but each of these have problems.

Last month, I was talking to my high-tech brother-in-law, and he told me he uses Waze.  It's an app you download to your phone, and you can hook it to the car.  So, I did all that, got it working, and have ben using it around town for errands.  Waze seems like a good alternative, or a backup to Google.  It's free, user friendly, and crowd sourced.

Trump’s Eclipse Ad

I see that our candidate put out an ad for the eclipse.  That's funny, right there. Liberal heads exploded.

Monday, April 08, 2024

Tracking

 A commenter noted, in the post below:

A good reason to always carry your phone. Though some feel the tracking of smart phones is a double edged sword. Like having a three year old tagging along wherever you go.

Worrying about cell phone tracking is a valid point, depending on your need for privacy.  Cell phone tracking has been used fairly often to make criminal cases, or to find missing persons,  Most recently, cell phone data was used to put the lie to Fani Willis and her paramour in the Georgia case against Trump. 

I have heard it said that if the Russian KGB had access to the data that the cell phone companies routinely compile in this century, their job would have been much, much easier.  The collection of cell data is truly a double-edged sword.

Technology may the bane of the private citizen, but it can also hold the answer.    There is something called a Ferriday Pouch that blocks radio transmissions.  You can find them on Amazon, and we all know that our cell phone is nothing more than a compact radio transmitter. Shut down the ability to transmit, and the problem of tracking goes away.

Sunday, April 07, 2024

The Low Ready - And Make the Call

 It's been five years since I was a hull-time cop, but recently I was thinking about defensive handgun use, and specifically, the low-ready position.  It's useful in police work ,and a good idea for civilian carriers. I see that Jim Wilson talks about it in a recent article.

The low-ready position is basically, gun out, both hands on the firearm, with the muzzle pointed generally at a 45 degree angle toward the ground. Your trigger finger should be along the frame of the firearm. You are pointing the muzzle at the ground, and you can clearly see what is going on.

By far the most common defensive use of handguns is that some bozo approaches a citizen.  The citizen becomes apprehensive of great bodily harm or death and decided to display a firearm. The low-ready position is perfect for this scenario. Generally, the bozo will decide he used a flawed victim selection process and depart the area.  In great haste.  The citizen exhales, goes about his business, and all is well.

Where many citizens fail is in the final act of this drama.  They don't call it in.  There are only two roles available in the victim/criminal play.  Whoever calls it in first and tells the police what happened gets to be the victim.  Call it in.  It will take a few minutes out of your day, but it sure beats being arrested later,

Friday, April 05, 2024

New Moon

 Sipping coffee on the porch this morning under a clear sky, I noticed a small sliver of moon above the horizon.  We're coming up on a new moon on Monday.  Coincidentally, there will also be solar eclipse.

Astronomers have noted that a solar eclipse only occurs during a new moon.  Conversely, a lunar eclipse only happens during a full moon.  Funny how that works out.

I will not be traveling to see the eclipse.  I've seen one. I know some folks who are going to central Texas to watch the show, but for me, it was one and done.  Kind of like going to Orlando.  Been there, done that.

Interview _ Chief Run-A-Muck a.k.a. Barry Rachal


Two friends of mine, Quick Cal, out of Fallon, NV, and Chief Run-A-Muck out of Shreveport, LA, talking about Cowboy Fast Draw.  Run-A-Muck won Texas State last month, turning in a stellar performance.

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Newport ban

 Fox New is reporting that the Biden administration is set to publish new regulations affecting the salke and distribution of menthol cigarettes.

This is a pressing issue?  Or is the Biden White House as tone deaf as the vise I have bolted to the work bench? You decide.

Gutfeld covered this three months ago, and the take on it is hilarious. 

Biden has more problems right now than he cares to admit, and the very idea that the FBA is still proposing this nonsense is proof positive that no one is in charge of our government. You would think after the debacle of Covid, the FDA would be happy to take a break, and let things simmer down in an election year.  But NO, let's piss off all the Newport smokers.

Cool Snap

 We awoke to temps in the low 40s this morning, a beautiful spring day, sunny and pleasant.

Yesterday, piddling int he shop, I tripped over a propane beater and wondered if I should put it away.  I figured that I might need it again, so I left it in the middle of the floor, and I'm glad I did that.  With this mornings temps, in the shop, I lit it when I walked inthe door.


That little heater is made by Mr. Heater, and you can find then anywhere.  I bought two at Lowe's a couple of years ago. My shop is a 40'X50' with 10' eaves.  I calculate that I have 25,000 cubic feet of air in the building. Even in the depths of winter, when the temps got into the low 20s, two of these heaters would knock the chill off the building in a half-hour.

I'm hoping that this is the last cool snap of the year, and that we can soon hang up the flannel and opt for short sleeves.  The heaters will be taken off the propane bottles and stored for next year.  Then, I'll have to start running the AC units. I'll exchange a propane bill for an electric bill.

At some point very soon, the weather will be pleasant enough that I use neither, and simply roll up the big door, air out the place and let Mother Nature decide the temps.  That period never lasts long in Louisiana.

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Looking For Eight

 Many of you know that I attend a Cowboy CHurch, and we hold rodeo.  The big buzz around the church last night was that the Professional Bull Riders Association is changing the length of a completed ride from eight seconds to six seconds.

In what is being called the most significant rule change in the history of pro bull riding, PBR today reduced the length of time required for a qualified bull ride from 8 to 6 seconds.

 Any rider who holds onto the bull rope without touching the animal, himself or the ground for a period of 6 seconds will now be granted a score.

That rule change will not affect me in the slightest, because I'm not climbing on any bulls.  However, I am wondering if George Strait will have to change the lyrics of Amarillo By Morning

I'll be looking for eight when they pull that gate, and I hope that judge ain't blind.

Paying Taxes

 I did my income taxes this morning.  I never like doing taxes early, because like even an earthworm, I am pain adverse.

Belle and I are fully retired, without any side gigs.  Our income didn't increase dramatically this year, although some of our retirement accounts gave us a small cost-of-living increase.  We are where we were this time last year.  Last year, we got a small rfund.  This year, I'll have to write the IRS a check. 

Something changed, and I'm not sure what, but a further analysis will clear that up.

What I do know is that I didn't owe the IRS money last year, and I do owe them money this year.

Thanks, Joe Biden.

Monday, April 01, 2024

First Mowing

 I engaged the blades on the mower for the first time today.  The neighbors are a couple of weeks ahead of me, but they tend to be more suburbia.  I tend to be more live-and-let-live.  If my grass is longer, or my shrubs shaggier, it tends to make them look better by comparison, and I'm okay with that.

When Belle and I moved in here 20 years ago, the realtor told us that we have a homeowners association, but we have never heard a peep out of them.

Today was mainly mulching leaves and cutting the tops out of weeds, but the mowing season is upon us.

Egg Roll

 The White House had an event yesterday.  coincidentally, on the holiest day fo the Christian calendar, the day when we remember the resurrection of Jesus.

The White House forbade religious symbols.  No crosses, no Jesus.  Instead, they were celebrating a "Trans Day of Visibility",  Whatever that might be. Now, to be clear, we do have a 1st Amendment, and the White House is certainly allowed to celebrate secular events, but to hold a "Trans Day" on the most holy day of the Christian calendar is an insult to Christians everywhere.

It's like Hoe is actively trying to piss us off.  And that's okay with me.  I hope he's ot offended in NOvember when I vote against him.  But, I truly don't care if he is offended or not.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Selling Bibles

 We learned yesterday that Donald Trump has partnered with Lee Greenwood and he's selling bibles.  Reportedly, these bibles have, in addition to the scripture, the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

The left is, predictably, melting down.  Fox New covers some of it here. Claims of hypocrisy, mocking the scripture, it's all on plain display.

Let me tell you something about evangelical Christians.  Come closer.  We are all sinners.  Each and every one of us.  We are all sinners.  We fall short of the glory of God., We're okay with that, in ourselves and in each other.  We're not perfect and we don't pretend to be. We simply try to do better every day, and the guidebook, the road map for that journey is God's word.

Will I buy a Trump bible?  No, I have my bibles.  I consult them regularly.  And, during this HOly Weekend, I am grateful that He lived, and died, and rose again.

The left's meltdown is both predictable and somewhat sad.  The Lord works in mysterious ways and if someone buys a Trump bible out of sheer curiosity, or simply as a political collectors item, I pray that they read it and take solace from it.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Good Friday

This is the weekend when Christians celebrate the holies day in the Christian calendar.  The day when many prophies became facts and Jesus demonstrated his dominion over death.

As such, Belle and I are prepping for a weekend of celebration, with family. It's a joyous event.  Tomorrow we host her siblings, and on Sunday, my side of the family.  Of course, we're cleaning today, and even the dog got a bath.

Belle's choice of stove is electric, and we cook mainly on a glass top stove.  It has many features we like, and even though I prefer a gas stove, this is her choice. What impressed me when we unboxed the stove was that it came with a small bottle of cleaner, Bar Keepers Friend, as the recommended cleaner.

I was familiar with this stuff from my bar tending days.  At the turn of the century, I had a side gig as a weekend bar tender at a small honky-tonk that served the redneck and creole community in rural Natchitoches parish.  We used Bark Keepers Friend for cleaning in that joint.

Belle is telling me that we need to make a run to town, so I'd best sign off.  We hope that all of you have a blessed and joyful Easter.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Frivolous

 Watching a video about classic cars, I am reminded that we had to roll the windows down with a handle, and we had vent windows, which I truly miss, but my first car (a 1960 Ford Falcon) didn't have a radio.  I bought the car from my father, who acquired it from my grandfather, and the old man considered radios frivolous.

So, because I needed tunes to sustain my mellow, I went down to Radio Shack and purchased a 9v transistor radio.  something like this.

Hanging from the rear view mirror, tuned to the local station, that little radio gave me the tunes I needed to set the tone for the evening.  Plus, it served as a turn-and-bank indicator that I could use to coordinate my turns, so as not to distress the young lady sitting beside me on the bench seat.  I don't even remember if that car had seat belts.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Bad Idea

 Fox News is reporting that there is a "migrant influencer" who put up some videos telling migrants how to take over a home and claim squatters rights.

That might work in places like California, where squatters have rights. In other places, it is a horribly bad idea.

If I came home from a vacation and found anyone in my house, claiming squatters rights, it would throw me into a level of pissed-off rage that might start to subside after the Sheriff showed up to drag out the bodies. If I decided to call the Sheriff.  I know people with excavators and it's a whole lot less paperwork.

I'm just sayin'.

The Election

 We're not down to the wire yet, but it is getting closer.  As the Democrats try to prop up Joe Biden, they are getting increasingly desperate in their larfare against Donald Trump.  And, like many of us, the majority of people have made their decision.

The Democrats are hoping that something sticks, and that Trump is actually convicted of a crime sometime before the election.  I don't think that even a conviction will matter. I know it won't mater to me.  If Trumps name is on the ballot, I'll pull the lever for him.

I am reminded of a quote from a past Louisiana governor, who said that the only way he could lose the election was to be found in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.

I'll tell you plainly that I'm bot sure if I'll be voting for Trump or against Biden.  I'm not giddy about the idea of another Trump presidency, but I am absolutely horrified at the idea of a second Biden term.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Prayer

 There is an old saying, "Be careful what you pray for, you might get it."

Many of us are watching the debacle with Donald Trump in New York, where the state Attorney General is trying to seize assets.  The deadline is today for Trump to post a huge half-billion dollar bond or risk seizure of his property.

But, it isn't as simple as all that.  Trump is a landlord.  He has responsibilities to his tenants, to keep the lights on, to keep the hallways swept, to pay the doorman at the front door. Running a commercial property is not as simple as it sounds.  The AG cannot simply turn off the lights and lock the doors.  If she seizes the property, she will have to run the business.

I'm no lawyer, but I an amazed that this case has gotten this far.  It's a commercial fraud case without a single victim.  No one lost money.  All of the parties to the contracts were happy with how the contracts played out.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

The Disconnect

Some cool facts about "gun control". It is fun to watch the actors when their mind realizes what they are saying.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Eugene

 Let me tell you about Eugene, and police work in the early 1980s, Names have been changed to protect the ignorant.

When I started police work in 1980, there were no computers.  The sheriff's office still had a teletype machine. When a person was arrested, and fingerprints taken, we took those prints on cards with printers ink.

At the time, I was working as a Probation and Parole officer out of the little office in Natchitoches, LA.  One day, in court, a fellow stepped up for arraignment and pled straight up guilty to a Simple Burglary. That took the Court by surprise, so the judge read him his right, giving him the full Boykin reading, making sure that he understood what was happening. Our defendant was a black male in his mid 30s.  No one locally had ever heard of him.

Then the Judge asked him a question. "Have you ever been in trouble?"

"No, sir."

"Ever been to prison?"

"No, sir."

The judge gave him the standard sentence at that time for Simple Burglary.  Three years DOC, which was suspended and the was placed on three years supervised probation.

The judge pointed at me.  "See the probation officer."

I took Eugene to my office, got some basic information, took fingerprints and a mug shot and told him to go home, I'd be around to see him. I dropped the intake packet on a steno's desk and went about my duties.  Just another day as a Probation officer.  About a month later, I got a Criminal History from the state police.  We called it a "rap sheet", and Eugene was clean.  No criminal record in Louisiana.  So far, so good. I had seen Eugene a couple of times.  He wa living with a woman in Natchez, LA, and looking for work.

Natchez, LA is a little village in Natchitoches parish. About 700 souls, the main economic activity is agriculture and poverty. There ain't much happening in Natchez.  They do have a mayor and a part-time city marshal, one convenience store and a honky-tonk.  Plus a Section 8 project and numerous run down rental houses.

Several weeks later, I was going through my mail and found a rap sheet from the FBI.  It seems that Eugene had misled the Court.  He had been in prison in seven other states across the US, and had been convicted of no less than 12 felony offenses,  I wrote a memo to the Judge and attached a copy of Eugene's rap sheet. Before the week was out, the Judge had issued a warrant, citing clear misrepresentation during the sentencing phase, and ordering me to lock up Eugene pending re-sentencing.

The next morning, I was out looking for Eugene.  I went to his address and talked to a woman there who told me that Eugene had left about an hour or so, heading toward the store, where he hoped to catch a ride to look for work. I didn't mention the warrant.  It didn't seem pertinent. Driving out, I happened across the town marshal, a young black guy named Willie.  We exchanged pleasantries, Willie told me that he was looking for someone who had just stolen a 16 foot extension ladder from a house, Willie pointed down the road, and I could see men standing on a roof, patching the shingles.  Someone had stolen their ladder while they were on the roof.

I told Willie I'd keep my eyes peeled, and, by the way, I had a warrant for Eugene. I made a couple of loops through town, talking with residents, and decided to cross the one bridge in town, that connected Highway 1 and the Old River Road.  As I turned on to the bridge, I saw Eugene, about mid-span. He was looking to the south, and was holding a 16 foot extension ladder. How lucky can you get?

I called Willy on the radio, and told him that I was about to put the habeas cuffus on Eugene, and he could find the ladder on the bridge. I'm sure the guys on the roof appreciated it.

Later that month, the judge re-sentenced Eugene, giving him six years in prison, and cautioning him not to return to Natchitoches.

15 Days

 I am reminded that it has been four years since we started that "15 Days To Slow The Spared" bullshit..I was at a shoot in Oklahoma when we got the news that schools in Louisiana had been cancelled for the remainder of the year.

A generation of school kids had their education stunted and they might never recover.

States across the Union explored a totalitarian form of government, some lesser, some greater.  In Louisiana, our Dem governor went totally authoritarian, killing business and personal freedom. The medical profession went totally berserk, suppressing alternative ideas and debate, to the detriment not only of treatments, but also the trust of the public.  The old Hippocratic caution of "First, do no harm" was cast to the winds. The medical profession probably killed as many as the disease.  We'll never know.

Businesses shuttered, lives lost, education hammered, all from what seems to have been a lab mistake, if not actually an evil plan from the CCP.  I believe in my heart that Fauci knew that it came from a lab, and did everything in his power to make sure that the truth was suppressed.  Because he funded it with US tax dollars.

I could go on in this vein for hours.  It's the cautionary tale from this decade.  Which reminds me, I need to pick up some ivermectin.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Finished

 That commercial Mauser 98 that I bought several months ago is finished.  I didn't have to do much to it, and I was taking my time, but it is finished and it's time to pass it along.


It's been gone through and it ha a new Vortex scope.  From here, it's up to grandson to sight it in and get ready for its next evolution.  I believe that the rifle is sound, and the 6.5 Swede is absolutely sufficient for our local whitetail deer.  Now, it's up to him to make it his own.

Sidecutters

My dad called them sidecutter pliers. As opposed to diagonals or slip joint pliers. I own other pliers, but this is the set I grabbed this morning when I wanted to loosen an oil cap on a lawnmower. 


After the chores were, I was pondering how long these pliers have been in my life.  I own other pliers, of many stripes, for several different jobs, but this is the set I grab when I just need a simple tool for a simple job.

That journey took me down memory lane, when I was a young student, recently married to my departed wife.  We lived in a crappy little apartment in the student ghetto just outside of the college and she wanted me to change an electrical outlet. I went down to the old DeBlieux Hardware in Natchitoches, LA and purchased an outlet, a screwdriver, and that set of pliers.  All this in the spring of 1974.  It's now 2024, so I've had these pliers for 50 years.  The outlet may still be in that wall, both the screwdriver and wife are long gone, but I still have those pliers.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Bloodbath

 It appears that the corporate media has once again mischaracterized the comments that Donald Trump made over the weekend.  Speaking to a rally, he said that if Chana is allowed to build cars in Mexico and sell then in the US, it would be an economic bloodbath.

Of course the media immediately twisted his words to report something much more sinister.  Because that is what they do.

One wag is now telling folks that on voting day, there will be landslides in all 50 states.

We can only hope.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Back Hone

 We successfully navigated the Houston Metropolitan Statistical Ara (MSA).  Like most of the rest of the traveling South, we roared into Houston on Thursday and immediately upon getting into the downtown area, noticed that the traffic slowed to 2mph. Houston is the 5th largest metro area in the US, and the lack of planning shows.  Why anyone would think that it is a good idea to put an interstate highway through the downtown area of any town is a mystery.

Back in the day, Texas tried to make a loop around the Houston metro.  The old FM 1960 was a good attempt that was soon overtaken by commerce.  Then Texas DOT decided that adding lanes was a good idea, as opposed to going out of town and building a new road that would take the interstate traffic around the metro area. That decision invariably led to the situation we have today, where two interstates come together in the shadow of the skyscrapers and a third freeway takes you toward the rapidly growing bedroom communities toward the southwest. In fact, Houston traffic is a damnable nightmare.

They are making the same mistake between Winnie and Beaumont to the east. Adding lanes simply creates construction zones, and I know for a fact that they have been working on I-10 through Beaumont for at least the last five years. They cannot add lanes fast enough, They should abandon the attempt. Eternal construction zones are not the answer.

This is not so much to get "down" on Texas DOT. They seem to spend a lot of money on roads, and they do tend to mitigate their disasters. When you cross the Sabine River into Louisiana you can see the result of a series of unmitigated disasters Don't get me started on the bridge in Lake CHarles, or the I-10/I-12/Airline Highway debacle in downtown Baton Rouge.

Quit building interstates through netro areas.  Build then around metro areas.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Texas

 The club arrived i Texas last ight and came out swinging at the bracket match.   One of our shooters won the Master Gunfighter bracket.  Another of our shooters took first place i the Sheriff's bracket.  I'm proud of both of them, ad they will have a chace to excel again tomorrow when we start the main match.  The Friday matches are generally considered a warmpip for the main match, which begins tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

TicTok?

 The big news today is that the US House passed a bill requiring the Chinese overlords who run  TikTok to divest their US holdings or be banned in this country.   The bill is going nowhere in the Senate and Biden won't sign it, so that's that. The bill is going nowhere.

We all know that social media is a festering hell hole, but it has a few good uses.  I get most of my entertainment and news from YouTube.  I use Facebbook to keep up with the goings-on at the church and to keep track of my Fast Draw friends.

I have never used TikTok, nor Twitter (Now X).  But, I know that being an "influencer" is a thing now, and some of it provides a pretty good living to some folks.  One of these days we might decide that social media is more of a liability than an asset, and the market will decide.

Congress really needs to stay out of this argument.  There is that whole 1st Amendment thing, and I'll fall on the side of fee speech before I fall on the side of government regulation. Let Freedom Ring

Texas

 One of the major competitions in Cowboy Fast Draw each year is the Texas State Championship.  Texas State was the first completion that Belle and I ever attended, back in 2016.  It's time for Texas State again, and Belle and I are headed to Texas tomorrow.  This year it will be held at the George Ranch Historic Park in Richmond, TX, just outside of Houston.

The shoot will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday, drawing some of the best shooters in the country.  Our local club will be well represented, with seven (7) shooters in attendance.  

If you happen to be in the Houston area this weekend, come on out to the George Ranch and see what Cowboy Fast Draw is all about.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

We Voted

 Louisiana's presidential primary is March 23d, but Belle and I will be otherwise engaged, so we decided to vote today. Louisiana has in-person early voting which we find very convenient, so when we were in town today running errands, we went by the poll.

Ten minutes, easy-peasy, we were done.

I was surprised how many folks were on the ballot for the Republican nomination.  There are lots of names that I had never heard of, and only one who stood a snowball's chance. We checked the lever for Trump and got out of there.

Red Beans and Rice is on the menu for today.  I put them on last night, and they are bubbling happily in the Crock pot.  In another hour I'll put on a pot of rice, while Belle makes a cornbread.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Chimichangas

 I'm sure that they are called other things in other places, but around here we call then chimichangas.  Basically, a fried burrito, they give you a little opportunity to put some Tex-Mex on your plate.  Belle knew that we had some shrimp in the freezer, and she wanted chimichangas, so I went to the store, bought some tortillas and queso blanco velveeta, and beat it back to the house.

I de-headed those shrimp, then peeled them and put them in a bowl with some taco seasoning.  Got my veggies going, onions and sweet peppers, along with some smoked paprika and some ground chipotle pepper.  While that was simmering, I grated a block of pepper jack cheese, then added the shrimp to the veggies to heat.

Then, I took a tortilla, added the shredded pepper jack and a healthy portion of shrimp and veggies.  Rolled it like a burrito and secured it with toothpicks.  Set aside, rinse, lather, repeat.  Till the totillas were gone.  Then, I heated oil in a Dutch oven.


While I was waiting for the oil to come up to temp, Belle took that velveeta, put some in a small bowl and ran it in the microwave to melt.  Then she added some diced jalapenos to give it a little bite.

When the oil got to 350, I gingerly dropped the chimichangas into the hot oil, just long enough for the tortilla to crisp and take on a nice golden brown.

If you want a video tutorial, Cowboy Kent gives all the tricks of the trade.

A buddy dropped by aboug lunch time, and he said they were pretty damned fine.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Ordering Optics

 Hunting season is by-and-large over for most of the US.  The fish are biting, and it seems that some stores are running sales on scopes.  It's a good time to buy.

This morning, between checking the various parts of the Sunday meal (pulled pork and potato salad), I got online and started looking for a deal on a scope.  The Clackamore Mauser needs glass.  Sure enough, I found a deal at MidwayUSA and ordered an optic. It will be here in about 10 days and we will get it mounted and set up for grandson in time for him to get comfortable with it before next deer season.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to check on the pork, and put a couple of eggs on to boil for the potato salad.

Thursday, March 07, 2024

TTAG, Please

 The Truth About Guns is running a story that Louisiana is becoming the 28th state to recognize permitless carry of firearms.  That is only partially true.

It is true that our legislature recently passed a bill negating the need for a permit to carry a concealed firearm.  It has been signed and will become effective on July 4, 2024.  Persons who wish to have a permit can still apply for one, but there is no legal requirement to have one in the state.

This is a win for the "constitutional carry" folks, but the truth is that Louisiana has never required a permit to carry a gun. We are one of a very few states where open carry has always been legal. Since the state joined the Union in 1803, open carry has been legal in Louisiana.  And, it has never really been a problem.

When I would read about other states where open carry was not legal, I would wonder how they hunted? It's hard to conceal a Browning A5, or a Remington 700.


Frying Eggs

 Taking a break after lunch (baby back ribs and potato salad, btw), I sat down at the computer to watch a few short videos and algorithm put me on some videos on frying eggs.

Really?  There are people mystified about how to fry and egg? I learned to fry eggs the minute after I learned to fry bacon.  Probably at age nine or ten. A hot pan, steel or cast iron, a little oil, and crack an egg into the hot oil. Leave it alone for a bit, it's fine.  When the egg is mostly done, turn it over, or not. Either way.

Seriously, do that many people have trouble cooking an egg?

The Wheel of Justice

 It's an old lawyers meme.  "The wheel of Justice grinds exceedingly show, but it grinds exceedingly fine."

Well, it seems that the Alec Baldwin moment that led to the death of producer Halyna Hutchins is still rumbling around the courts.  And, we learn today that the armorer has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in that case.

A jury convicted Gutierrez-Reed, 26, after three hours of deliberation, finding she was ultimately responsible for the live rounds on set, one of which killed Hutchins when it was fired from a gun held by actor Alec Baldwin during a rehearsal. 

We talked about this several years ago, and my mind hasn't changed.  The question that remains is if the wheel of justice will grind on Mr. Baldwin himself?

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

The Wednesday After

 Super Tuesday was yesterday and it appears that former president Trump walked away with it. He doesn't have enough delegates yet to cinch the nomination, but he's close, and it appears his main rival, Nikki Haley, will suspend her campaign later today.

Biden won his primaries too, so it seems that we are going to have a rematch.  Biden is giving his SOTU address tomorrow and it will be interesting to see if he can string together enough cogent sentences to complete a major speech.

The Louisiana presidential primary is on March 23rd, with early voting beginning on March 9.  Belle and I will go vote one day next week.  I truly like early voting because our weekends are generally busy and our polling precinct is a hassle to get in to.  Early voting is very easy and we have done it that way for the past several elections.

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Busy Tuesday

 The sun isn't up yet, and the laundry is on.  I have 200 rounds of revolver brass tumbling in the tumbler. I have an appointment at 9:00 to get new tires on the van. And, Belle reminds me that it is my turn to figure out what we're having for lunch.  Something quick and easy after I come back from the tire store.  And tasty, it has to be tasty.

I'm thinking salmon croquettes for lunch.  With french fries since the oil will be hot, and why not?

Then there is prep for this weekend's shoot.  The club is hosting a jackpot shoot on Saturday. We've invited other clubs, and we have to be prepared for the guests.  The ladies are plotting and planning for the lunch that we will serve.  I'm on the hook for two pork butts, cooked and pulled for Pulled Pork sandwiches. That is about as easy as it gets.

Stepping out on the back porch, I see that it is raining. Perfect. That's all I need.

I need to remember that we have a meeting at the church tonight.  Just another thing to think about on a rainy Tuesday.

Monday, March 04, 2024

9-0

 In a unanimous decision today, the US Supreme Court ruled that Colorado cannot exclude Donald Trump from their presidential ballot.  As reported by PJMedia:

"The judgment of the Colorado Supreme Court therefore cannot stand,” the justices wrote. "All nine Members of the Court agree with that result."

The full opinion can be found here. 

Saturday, March 02, 2024

Perjury

 I was a cop for 37 years.  I spent a lot of time in a courtroom. I have testified in hundreds of felony cases and several civil cases.  I never lied to the court, in any regard.  Not the smallest white lie.  It was too important that my testimony be absolutely verifiable truth. Not only for the wider moral principle, but because if I was ever caught in a lie, it would damage every case prior that I had testified in. 

During my testimony, there were times when I had to admit that I bade a mistake; that I botched it. We are all human and we all make mistakes.  Yet, it is important to make those admissions to protect the veracity of prior testimony.  Because, if you are ever unveiled as a liar, everything that you testified to prior can be called into question.

I'm sure that you all have been following the debacle that is unfolding in Georgia, where the prosecutor Fani Willis may have perjured herself during a recent hearing about her relationship with her paramour. It may seem a little thing to worry about when an affair began, but the answer hinges on veracity.  If the Court rules that she lied about this, then every case that her office has prosecuted becomes rife for appeal.  She may be disqualified from this case, she may be disbarred.

The Ninth Commandment, handed down from God, says that we should not bear false witness.  It is a sin against God.  Fani Willis may soon learn the reason that truth is very important.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Vanon Batteries show and tell!


Ever heard of Vanon batteries?  I haven't either, but my sones seem to like them.  I'll leave the link right here so I can find it later.

Lunch Date

 I took my mother to the doctor's office this morning for a routine visit.  Then we went to lunch.  She's 90 years old, and doesn't get out much, and that's as much my fault as anyone's

We took her to a little diner that has been around forever, then drove the long way back to her house so we could remanence abut places and things.  She is back home now, probably taking a nap.

That's how I spent my morning.
.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Bump Stocks, Again

 The Supremes are listening to arguments about bump stocks today.  The justices are out of their element, because most of them don't understand modern firearms at all.  Truly, they are clueless.

One of the best ideas of the day comes to us from the Firearms Policy Coalition

Justice Jackson says guns with bump stocks can fire 800 rounds a second.

More coverage here.  But, 800 rounds a second?   Methinks that Madame Justice Jackson just exposed her complete ignorance on the subject.  We generally consider the cyclic rate of an M4 carbine to be about 700-900 rounds per minute, but cyclic rate is an engineering term. Not even a rotary barreled minigun can reach 800 rounds per second.

Justice Jackson should check her ignorance.

What Do YouDO?

 I'm sure by now you have all heard the tragic story of Laken Riley, a UGA nursing student who was tragically murdered on her daily run. She went out for a jog, got killed for her efforts. The world surely mourns the loss of her life.  She had great things ahead of her and now she doesn't.  It's tragic on many levels.

The guy identified as her alleged killer is an illegal immigrant.  He wasn't supposed to be here in the first place.  If he had stayed home, Laken would have finished her run. He didn't and she couldn't. And now the University of Georgia is a border town.

Is it Biden's fault?  He opened the floodgates that let the killer in.  But, wherever he is from, murder is generally considered a heinous offense. Malum per se.  It's horrible everywhere.  So, we are left with the undeniable knowledge that there is evil in this world, and it is the job of every moral person to combat evil.

I mourn for Laken, and pray that somehow justice will be delivered for her.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Doing Things, Learning Stuff

 I've spent all day playing with flyers and posters for an event I have coming up in August.  It's never too early to get things done.

Trying to get under the hood of Microsoft Word, to make it do things I want it to do.  Fried my brain in tutorials. Old dog, new tricks.  

I bought tires online for the first time today.  Now, I have an appointment to get the tires installed next week.  I've never made an appointment to put tires on a car.  Until today.

It's a brave new world.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Constitutional Carry

 That's the big topic in the state legislature today.  Who can carry a gun in public?  Who should be allowed to carry?

Regular readers know that I'm a 2nd Amendment absolutist.  "Shall not be infringed" means just exactly that.  

But, the legislature is hashing out the details right now.  Some places will still be verboten: Bars, schools, federal buildings.  We'll have to see the law when it is finally passed, but it looks like Louisiana is about to rescind the requirement to get a license to carry a concealed firearm. Louisiana has been an open carry state since President Jefferson bought it from France. That has never been a problem.  We learned to deal with that a long time ago.

Still, it will be interesting to see what the legislature comes up with.  The governor is generally supportive of the idea, and will probably sign whatever the legislature passes.  Let Freedom Ring.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Some Photos

 My daughter, like many of her generation, take cellphone pictures. She was at the match yesterday and took some photos.


The old man in the cavalry hat is your humble scribe. The pretty one is my daughter.


A view of the firing line.  You may notice the end stripes of a large American flag hanging in the rafters. I found that flag at an auction.  It is what is known as a mortuary flag.  It originally draped a veterans coffin.  I found it at an auction and I knew that if someone didn't buy it, it would wind up in a dumpster after the sale.  I could not let that happen, so I bought it and hung it over the range.  At the start of every match, we honor it with The Pledge.  It is fitting and proper that wee do so.


The spectator area behind the firing line.  The ladies like to hang out on the couch.  That spot produces a lot of palaver and good-natured ribbing.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Friday Prepping

 The CFDA shooting season is in full swing, and I'm prepping for several shoots.  We have our club monthly match tomorrow, and I'm in the shop, getting ready for that.  Then, looking forward into March, it's going to get busy

Second Saturday in March, the club is hosting a jackpot shoot.  We're doing a 100% payout, so we won't make any money on that one.  Third Saturday is the Texas State shoot, and we're helping with that one.  I'm almost through loading ammo for Texas State.  Fourth Saturday is our club monthly match, and the calendar will roll into April, with Georgia State coming early in April.

Sometime during March, I'll have to go vote in the presidential primary and pull a laver for Trump. Election day in Louisiana is Saturday, March 23d, but I'm sure that there will be early voting.

Did the Supremes ever decide if Trump will be on the ballot in Colorado?  If they did, I haven't seen any news on that.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Outage

 It seems that the big news this morning is that major cell phone companies are experiencing  outages this morning.  It seems that AT&T is the central hub of the outage.

Cyber attack?  Or did someone just trip over an extension cord?  

I have no idea if my phone is working, simply because I don't live my life plugged in to the phone screen.  I did get my daily devotional text this morning, so texting work.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Projects

 I knocked out a couple of piddling projects today.  Nothing special but stuff that needed to be done.  I'll continue in that vein tomorrow.

I haven't really seen anything in the national news that piques me enough to blog about it. The Democrats are generally crazy, and they continue to use the judicial system to attempt to damage the apparent Republican nominee.  This strategy is borne out of desperation.  They are scared to death of him.

This recent fraud case that wrapped up last week has me scratching my head.  Supposedly some sort of commercial fraud, but there are no identifiable victims.  All the banks would do business with him tomorrow and happily got their money the last time.  That doesn't sound like fraud to me. That was nothing but a Stalinist show-trial.

And they wonder why we don't trust them.

Gullible?

 Did y'all hear about this gal named Charlotte, a New York financial columnist who claims she was scammed out of $50K?

It seems that she was called by Amazon who alerted her to identify thrift

Then she was called by the Federal Trade Commission Then she was called by the CIA, and some point she gave $50K to two dudes in a while Mercedes.. Then, she told the whole story to the media, who lapped it up like a cat given a bowl of heavy cream.

Two things.  Either she is too gullible to be writing a fiancĂ© column, or she is trying to explain to her husband what happened to $50K.

I'm going with the Jussie Smollett angle. She's lying about something and she is $50K poorer. And, her husband is truly pissed.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Crock Pot Red Beans

This may be the easiest recipe I've ever found, and we use it fairly often.

Crock Pot Red Beans

2 lbs dried red kidney beans
2 lbs good smoked sausage
16 cups water
2 tablespoons salt

Cooking

Get out the crock pot.  Rinse your beans well.  Cut up your sausage into bite-sized pieces. Put beans, sausage, water and salt into a slow cooker.  Turn it on low, and leave it for at least 12 hours.  I put these beans on last night about 8:00 and let them go all night.  I stirred them when I was drinking coffee this morning, and they are doing fine.  It's nearly 11:00 mow.  In another half hour, I'll put on a pot of rice, and Belle will make a cornbread.

If you don't need a huge pot, this recipe is easily halved.  Bon apetit.
 

New Player

 I see that Taurus has come out with a new single action revolver, suitable for the cowboy games. In .45 Colt with a 4.75" barrel, it might be suitable for fast draw competitions like Belle and I participate in.

It's a small market, it really is.  Most shooters in the wider handgun market prefer a semi-auto, or at least a double action revolver. As much as I like my cowboy guns, the every day carry piece is a compact 9mm.

Currently, the cowboy gun market is dominated by Ruger, Uberti, or Pietta. It's nice to see another player get in the market, and this one has a very attractive MSRP. Taurus calls its gun the Deputy, and it looks like a nice revolver. I'm not going to run out and buy one, but it will be interesting to see if it will stand up to the rigors of fast draw, and it will be interesting to see if standard Colt clone parts fit in it when it invariably breaks.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Its been a rough week!!! Mistakes were made!!!!

Water math.  It is a thing.

A video from my elder son's YouTube channel. He lives on family property and is caretaking it for us. Recently he had a horrendous water bill and set out to find the problem. So, he and second son broke out the excavator and started doing the detective work.

Both of those fellows are Water System Operators, and they each run a municipal water system as a profession.  Licensed and certified by the state of Louisiana, they are masters of the craft of bringing good water in, and bad water out.

Why Bret Weinstein is Concerned About the Migrant Crisis

I'm not sure who Bret Weinstein is, but I generally trust Joe Rogan.

Below is a discussion of the current migrant crisis, and some malevolent hypotheses about why it is occurring and what is in it for the ruling cabal. It's disturbing, it truly is. It's 14:40, but worth the time.

Offering citizenship for military service is not unpresented.  The US offered citizenship to Eastern Europeans after WWII for military service.  My dad's best friend was a Czech who had come to the US, fleeing communism after the war.  He was offered citizenship following a stint in the Army, where he served as a translator.   


The question of why so many people are migrating from South America is interesting.  But the question about the surge of Cinese migrants is horrifying.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The Unfortunate 13th Amendment

 Don Surber makes the case that conditions in the country today are closely paralleling the conditions that existed in the early 19th century.

 “Let’s cut to the chase and call undocumented immigration what it is: modern-day slavery. The flow of undocumented immigrants into the U.S. exists by design, not because of poor border security. Our laws are designed to lure undocumented workers into the country with the prospect of loosely regulated employment (aka a job waiting for them once they arrive). These workers are then exploited while the employers are not held accountable for illegally hiring them.

Go to the link and read the whole thing. Don makes the argument that the Democrats have found a loophole to the 13th Amendment that allows them to exploit migrants for free labor. Kind of like they did in the early 19th century.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Banking in the Century

 An old man ran headlong into the banking industry this morning.  Drinking my coffee, I tried to log on to the bank to assess my liquidity. I could not get in, so I called the tech line, and after an hour or so, decided that THAT wasn't working, so I packed up the computer, cranked the van and went to the back. With a level of pissed-off that I haven't had this year.

I walked into the bank, asked to see the manager.  Sweet young lady, who listened to my complaint with apt attention. Then she told me that she felt like she was being personally attacked.

At that point I took a deep breath, and refrained from telling her that I had been a soldier for 25 years and that if I were attacking her, I would not be talking with her.  I know what an attack looks like and it is much more unpleasant than she could ever imagine. But again, I refrained.  I didn't want her to "catch the vapors", as the old folks once said.

She got me over to her tech guru, and we opened my computer.  It took the tech guru 25 minutes to get my computer communicating with the bank, and she had to call in backup to get it done.  This was not seamless, even for the bank personnel.

This is banking in the 21st century.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Travel Notes

Belle and I rolled in an hour ago, safe at home.  I'll unpack the van shortly.  Traveling in Florida, I noticed VASCAR stripes. VASCAR (Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder) is a technology we used decades ago.  It detects speeders through the simple math of Distance = Rate X Time.  If you know the distance between two fixed points, you put that in the computer.  Then measure the time it takes the vehicle to go from one point to the next.  Up pops a speed.  It's simple, and accurate with a trained operator.

It's just one way of detecting speeders.  We in Louisiana haven't used VASCAR in decades, but everywhere I looked in Florida, I saw VASCAR stripes on the roadways.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Florida State Update

 We started Florida State this morning with 91 shooters (68 men, 23 ladies).  The way we score matches is that each shooter competes against one individual, drawn randomly by computer.  If you win, you get a W on your scoresheet,  if you lose, you get an X.  We're shooting a 4X match, which means that if you lose 4 times, you are through shooting.

We shot 8 rounds today, and lots of folks have gotten their 4 Xs.  They are done.  The ladies are down to their top seven shooters, which will be decided in the finals tomorrow.  The men had 26 shooters in the 8th round, and several of those got their 4th X.

Your humble scribe is carrying two Xs into the draw tomorrow morning.  I'm sure that the big guns will have their way with me tomorrow, but it ain't over until it's over, and I'm still in it.

Belle and I are ensconced in the hotel, enjoying an adult beverage.  We'll start home tomorrow after I'm through shooting.

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Updates

 Like many of you, I rely on a GPS these days to help me through my travels.  My van didn't come with a GPS in the dashboard, so I use a stand-alone unit from Garmin.  I also use the map function in the phone, and actually have a Rand-McNally travel atlas in the van in case things truly go south.

Belle and I are heading to Florida tomorrow for a shooting competition. This afternoon, I brought the Garmin in from the van and plugged it into the computer. Ten minutes later, it was updated. Good stuff.

We are heading to St Augustine for the Florida state championship pf Cowboy Fast Draw. We haven't been to that competition yet and decided that it was a good time to take a trip.   We'll meet up with a bunch of folks we haven't seen since last September and spend a few days enjoying old friends.

Rest In Peace, Toby

Country Music lost an icon, and the American military lost a cheerleader.  Rest in Peace, Toby.

Monday, February 05, 2024

Work Aids

 A work aid is not a tool.  Semantics, to be sure, but evidently it is important, especially in the aviation industry. I have a buddy who has been in the aviation industry his entire working life, generally as a helicopter mechanic. Eventually, he started making small things that helped him during the work day.  This turned in to a full-time business, Helicopter Work Aids.  He's semi-retired now and his sons are running it,  But, he taught me the difference between a tool and a work aid.  A work aid can be as simple as a block of wood to help you hold a part on a bench.

I didn't realize it, but I've been making work aids my whole life.  Simple little things that help me when I'm doing a fiddly job.  Like these two wood blocks, for instance.


Two simple oak blocks, marked with an R, so no one inadvertently throws then away as scrap.  They fit the cylinder hole in a Ruger Vaquero revolver To help me hold it in a vise.


Just like that. A simple aid to hold a revolver so that I can get to the tiny screws without a third hand.

Which brings me to those tiny screws.  Like many of you, I have a cluttered bench and tiny screws are apt to get away.  Or, if someone bumps the bench, they might roll around.  It matters which hole they go back into, and having an aid to keep then segregated makes sense. And, there is one tiny little spring under the backstrap that might get away. Which brings me to my latest work aid.


It's a simple piece of scrap 1X6 with divots drilled into it. When I remove a screw, and that one bouncy spring, I can drop it into a divot and know which hole it came from. I'll have to mark it with a sharpy marker so folks will know not to throw it away.  

My buddy, who makes work aids for a living, has improved on every one of my ideas, with the exception of the wooden blocks.  I showed him my screw-holder yesterday and he looked at it sideways. I could see the gears turning, and I'm sure he will come up with something a bit more polished.  We'll see what the pro does with the idea.

Friday, February 02, 2024

Get Creative

Talking about the Crawfish Bisque recipe, some folks have commented that crawfish are not available, or prohibitively expensive.   Get creative.  If I wanted to use fried fish, I'd just do it a little differently.

One of the basic considerations in Cajun cooking is to use what you have.  If what I had was fried fish, Here is what I'd do.

Boil some angel hair pasta. You know how to do that?  Okay.  When I was making the bisque, I'd add some more seasoning, and maybe substitute a can of Rotel (diced tomatoes and chili peppers) for one of the other cans.

So, we have the pasta, and the sauce, now fry that fish.  When the fish is golden brown, put a bed of pasta on a plate, lay that fish atop it, then ladle some sauce across the fish.  Sounds good, doesn't it?

Cajun cooking is easy.  Use what you have and put as much flavor on the plate as possible. Cajun cooking is not presumptuous, nor complicated. We in Louisiana are blessed with a myriad of seafood possibilities, but other places have other blessings.  Cajun cooking is a way to feed a crowd or a large family as cheaply as possible.  Get creative, and use what you have.  You ain't going to hurt my feelings.

Thursday, February 01, 2024

Landry to Explore Death Penalty

 Louisiana has the death penalty for specified crimes, but a death sentence has not been carried out in this state since 2010. Louisiana was suing lethal injections, but there was a reticence on the part of the pharma folks in selling those drugs for ending life.

Last week, Alabama executed a prisoner by using nitrogen, a gas that accounts for 78% of our atmosphere.  Nitrogen is fairly common.  You are breathing it right now. Nitrogen is non-toxic and available everywhere.

Fox News is reporting that Governor Landry is exploring options to begin executions again. Good for him. Louisiana currently has 60 people on death row, and carrying out those sentences is a sure-fire way to reduce the prison population.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Springs

 Cowboy shooters, whether SASS, or CFDA, or XFDA or any of the other shooting sports are hard on their guns. The sheer number of cycles we put those guns through causes parts to wear out and springs to sag.

My favorite gun is a Uberti clone of the Colt SAA. Recently, it was over-rotating when I'd snap the hammer back.  The bolt wasn't coming up fast enough to catch the locking groove in the bolt. We have a championship shoot in Florida next week, so I took the gun apart and inspected the bolt/sear spring.  Sure enough, it was weak.  A quick review of the parts kit showed me that I had one left, so I installed it.

As soon as the gun was back together and checked, I logged on to Brownell;s.


I'll get a half-dozen of these on the say.  I've also ordered from Taylors and Co, a complete screw set for those guns.  And, I'll have at least one spare revolver in the gun bag.  I never go to a shoot with one gun.

Red Alert

 Let's look at the headline over at Fox News:

Chinese hackers preparing to ‘wreak havoc’ on American citizens, communities, FBI director warns

He needs to get on that.  Quit worrying about Jan 6th, and protect the country from actual threats.  Along with the CIA and Cyber Command.  I don't know what the CCP has planned, but he should be focusing all the resources.  Unless this is a false flag operation to keep us transfixed while he does something else to further damage the country.

I don't trust that sumbitch as far as I can throw him. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Hobo Alert

 Coming out of CVS pharmacy this morning, I was approached by a hobo in a 3-piece suit.  He was wearing slacks, a vest, and a sport coat, but it was all mismatched.  He started telling me this story about how he was a hungry retired veteran. He told me that he was in the Army and held the rank of 04 Major (his words), but that he had some legal trouble, had been reduced in rank to 03 and had been dishonorably discharged.

It was the fucked-up-est story I had ever heard.  Before CVS, I had been to the grocers, so I offered him a potato. He had earlier said that he was hungry, but he didn't want a potato. I told him that if he didn't want a potato, he could carry his ass up the street.

Note to hoboes.  Don't tell a retired Army Major that you were dishonorably discharged.  I got no time for you.  But I will offer you a potato.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Crawfish Bisque

 A bisque is a chowder, a milk based soup, usually with crawfish or shrimp as the protein.

Crawfish Bisque

24 oz Louisiana crawfish tails or small shrimp
1 pint half-and-half
1 block cream cheese
2 cans Cream of Potato soup
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can yellow whole kernel corn (drained)
1 can white whole kernel corn (drained)
1 medium onion, chopped

Put those crawfish in a small bowl and season them. We use Tony's, but any good Cajun seasoning will do. Set aside and let them soak up that seasoning.

Sautee that onion until tender and sweet. Put that onion and everything but the crawfish into a slow cooker and let it bump on high for an hour or so.  Salt and pepper to taste.  If your mixture is a little "thick", add some more half-and-half, or heavy cream, or regular milk. Abut a half-hour before serving, reduce the heat to low and add the crawfish.  

Serve with saltine crackers or garlic bread.  Bon apetit!

Choices

Political pressure is building on Joe Biden.  He has choices to make, and many of them are no good.  Immigration is the biggest domestic concern, and so far Biden's choice has been to open the border and ignore the 6~10 million souls who have flowed life water across our southern border.

Someone is going to have to deal with the very real problems that Biden and crew have foisted upon us.  Come the reckoning, it will not prove palatable for the liberal masses.  The vast majority of these people simply need to return from whence they came.

The United States may be able to absorb some of these folks, the majority I'm sure who are simply looking for a better life.  But, among the sheep there are surely wolves, and will have to be dealt with. Along with the stray dogs and the coyotes.  It's a helluva mess and Biden's fault.

He may have sometime to ponder the migrant mess, but the Houthis are another matter entirely.  These idiots are trying to destabilize commercial shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.  We must remind ourselves that commercial shipping is a civil target.  The merchants are simply trying to earn a living.  A proportional response from the US would not be to strike the Houthis, but to target  the civil population as well.  We must be clear that we didn't start it, but we'll damn sure end it. I don't think our feckless president has the stomach for solving problems.

The world is awash in the myriad problems that Joe Biden has allowed to fester until they are monumental.  We should remember that when he is gone and make his legacy one of shame, dishonor and corruption.  He should be remembered on the world stage in the same category as Pol Pot, Stalin, and Mao. Or maybe Noriega.

Regardless of the worlds problems, I still have mine, one of which is lunch. I predict a crawfish bisque in my immediate future, and perhaps I should see to that.  

Friday, January 26, 2024

Don't Mess With Texas

 It seems that Joe Biden is having a little tete-a-tete with Texas governor Abbott.  Something about razor wire, who can hang it and who can cut it. The courts are involved, and the Supremes recently sent it back to the 5th Circuit for a closer look. To hear the national media play it, you would think that Biden won, and Abbott lost.  Biden, of course, is the big loser. Not just in this scenario, but in all scenarios.

The only folks I feel sorry for are the Texas Guard soldiers who are on the border. The Guard, for most soldiers is supposed to be a weekend gig.  I know what a pain  in the ass it is to get mobilized.  I have been mobilized in the past, and while I always did the duty, it was a pain in the ass, causing stress on the family.  

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

In Other News

 In a minor political story, we learn that Trump wins the New Hampshire primary. This comes as no real surprise to anyone who follows politics even casually. This race is shaping up to be a classic faceoff between the lunatic left and the MAGA right.  There is no middle ground, and there are no middle candidates.  At this point, the differences between the candidates could not be more stark.

It's down to outside factors now, as it always is.  Will the rogue courts prevail and actually jail Trump?  Will Biden succumb to the stress and be reduced to blithering idiocy on live TV?  Or, God Forbid, actually keel over on the national stage?  We have only had one president die on national TV and there are still questions about how that happened.

In other news, I see that the Supremes have ruled, allowing the Biden team to cut razor wire along the Texas border, to improve the chances of migrants getting through.  In response, Texas is stringing more razor wire. That is uniquely Texas.

On a more mundane level, we're trying to decide what to do for lunch.  Belle believes that we need to cook some chicken wings, and I'm not opposed to that option.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Boucheron

 The boucheron (no, not the luxury perfume fragrance) is a style of knife introduced by French traders during the 17th century fur trade on the North American continent.  It was commonly traded along the frontier. It's a simple knife, generally of half-tang or full-tang construction. It's a simple design, perfectly suitable for skinning a beaver, or cutting up camp meat. It is not a fighting knife, although it could be pressed into service in times of melee.


I happen to own one, forged by my son in a smithy several years ago. It has imperfections which suit me right down to my toes, and I think those imperfections lend credence to the fact that it was designed to be  a camp knife.  I use it regularly, as today it is still useful for slicing meat or chopping onions as it was 400 years ago.  Mine has a 6" blade, perfectly suitable for the kitchen, or for wearing on a belt.

In another hour, I'll use it to cut up some sausage in preparation for our lunch.  I have some shrimp and some sausage we need to cook, and on a cool, rainy day, a shrimp gumbo seems like just the cure.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Rain

 That's the forecast for today thru Wednesday.    Nothing freezy,  temps will stay well above freezing, but we're going to get wet.  The weather weenies are predicting about 8-10 inches of rain. This is good news for the lake beside the house.  A neighbor tells me that out lake generally increases 2" for every 1" of rain. Between the rain itself and the runoff, the lake does fairly well.

I see that Ron DeSantis has left the presidential race. This was inevitable, I guess.  Ron has a great future in the party, but he can't compete against Trump.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Question Answered

 Andrew asks, in comments:

what's cheese toast, sounds good

It's a very complicated recipe, learned from my childhood. 

On a baking sheet, placed sliced bread.  Whatever you got.  This can be common sandwich bread, or leftover hamburger buns, or whatever.  Lay sliced cheese on the bread.  Run it under the broiler until the cheese is melty and bubbly.  Take it out of the oven.

You can do the same thing with saltine crackers.  Just use less cheese.

Could Be Worse

 In the depths of winter, we should all realize that things could be worse.


Stolen from Wirecutter.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Pitt Grill

 Pitt Grill may be the oldest continually operating restaurant in Alexandria, LA. When I was a young man hanging out in honky-tonks, Pitt Grill was the sport for a late evening breakfast.  They're always open. This was back in the early 70s, and it was an old dive back then.

Belle and I don't do the honky-tonk scene anymore.  But, we spend times in doctors offices, and many times we are fasting.  After the appointment, we run over to Pitt Grill for breakfast.  We did so this morning.  Two eggs, over easy, with bacon, has browns, grits and toast. Coffee of course.  When we got there late, they were out of biscuits, or I would have opted for them.

Coming home, we were listening to talk radio, and it seems that if we elect Donald Trump, it is going to be the end of democracy.  The United States will become totalitarian. Electing Trump will be the greatest setback to democracy since Marbury v Madison.  Or something.

This election cycle is getting truly bizarre.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Chicken Noodle Soup

In the midst of the winter storm, Belle asked me to make a chicken noddle soup. Hell, that's easy.

Go down tot he store, buy some egg noodles, some chicken broth, some shredded carrots, and some chicken.  I like boneless thighs.  Go home, cut that chicken into bite sized bits, then put that broth in a soup pan.  Add the chicken and the shredded carrots.  Turn on the fire.

When the broth boils, reduce to a simmer until the chicken is cooked and the carrots are tender.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Drop in a couple of handfuls of egg noodles, and let it simmer until the noodles are done.

I serve it with cheese toast.

If you don't feel like messing with raw chicken, get a rotisserated chicken.  Peel that from the bone and use it in your soup.  Either way is fine.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

New Winshiled

 The roads in Louisiana are not noted for their pristine condition.  As such, you're liable to pick up a rock chip occasionally. That's why we buy insurance.  The van needed a new windshield, not that it bothered me, but that I'll need to get it inspected by the end of the month.

I made the appointment for last Friday, but of course they got the wrong windshield in.  So, we reset for this afternoon.  I showed up after lunch, they got started about 1:30 and I was out of there by 3:00.  Not bad for a windshield job.

I remember, back in the day, when a windshield took about 4 hours, and most of that was letting the glue harden.  Bifore that, we used rubber grommets to hold the windshield in. Those were lots of fun.  For twenly years, I had a good friend who owned a glass shop, and I gave him all my business, but he retired about the same time I did. That adhesive he used would get on everything.  He claimed that when he ordered it over the phone, he got some in his ear.