Wednesday, January 31, 2024


 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!


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


 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


 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.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Trump Wins Iowa

 Donald Trump walked away from the Iowa caucuses with a resounding lead, capturing over 50% of the vote.  This should come as a surprise to no one. We presume that he will be the Republicans' nominee, which again, should come as no surprise to any one.

The only question left, is what are the Democrats going to do?  Is Biden the nominee?  Or will we have a brokered convention? Joe's numbers are in the crapper, and I can't be the only person to see that.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Beef Stew

 Why not beef stew today? The weather is cold and my belly could use some warmth.  I cut up a small beef roast, and peeled some potatoes and carrots.  Diced an onion. Browned that beef in a little oil, then sweated the onion with the beef.  Took that out, added flour to make a roux. Added beef stock for the gravy, then added the taters and carrots.  Put that on a slow simmer so the flavors could meld and the veggies cook.

Closer to lunch, I'll put on a pot of rice.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Winter Storm

 Everybody around here is bracing for the winter storm.  The temps are dropping outdoors right now, and while it's not supposed to be terribly bad today, we are in for a hard freeze tonight. The problems will come tomorrow, when we are expecting the temps to continue to drop, with a "wintry mix" of precipitation tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday norming, the temps should bottom out, then start a warming trend.  I'm not worried about the snow, sleet or ice, as it is supposed to be a light dusting, but the temps are supposed to be down in the low teens, and this will become a broken pipe storm.  

We'll be fine, it just may take a couple of days to thaw out.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Good Question

 A commenter asks how our homes in Louisiana would be rated against a moderate earthquake.  That is a good question.

Out of curiosity, how much damage would a mid-sized earthquake (4-5 on the Richter scale) do in Louisiana?

Damn good question, and I don't have an answer for you.  Depending on the soil type, the big problem might be liquefaction, where the dirt turns to soft mud. I do know that both my home and my shop are rated for 125 mph (Category 3) winds.  Here in central Louisiana we are subjected to tropical storms, and we have  had Cat 2 gusts.  Everything held up fine.

But how would we do in a real earthquake?  That might get interesting.


 It seems that there was a small earthquake just north of here on Thursday.  KPEL reports:

The quake was detected near Hall Summit, Louisiana, which is located in Red River Parish. According to the USGS, the earthquake measured at magnitude of 2.8 and a depth of 5 km. The earthquake's radius was roughly 250 km.

That is interesting.  Louisiana is not known for being in an earthquake zone. 

And, yeah, I'm aware of the New Madrid fault and the earthquakes that happened there in the 1700s.

Thursday, January 11, 2024


 With the current weather forecast, I decided that this morning might be a good idea to go get some generator fuel. I run non-ethanol in all my small engines, so I gathered my gas cans and headed to the local pump in Holloway.  If I don't have to start the generator, that's fine with me.  I'll have plenty of fresh fuel to start the mowing season in another 60 days. Certainly by mid-March, we'll be cutting grass.

The price at the pump was $3.199.  I probably could have saved a few dimes by going across town, but the truck burns fuel too.  I consider it a wash, and I'm supporting a local family, not some national chain.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Mule Lives Again!!!

Back when I was a resource officer, I bought a Kawasaki Mule.  To use for hunting, and to use when I was working ball games and other events where I had to cover terrain quickly.  After you've made twenty laps around a football stadium on a Friday night, having a motor is definitely an advantage.

One of the things I did to the Mule was to put a light bar on it.  Belle gave it to me for an anniversary gift, and from what I have learned, one of her reprobate friends found it in a dumpster.  Whatever.  I installed it and used it.   I have led several homecoming parades with that Mule.

When I retired, and quit deer hunting, that poor old Mule sat forlorn in the driveway.  My elder son is living on family property and asked me about it.  He could use it to maintain the place.  I told him that if he wanted it, dreg it off.

It's running again, hooray!  He can use it on the property, and his grandkids will get a kick out of it.  I'm glad that it's not rusting down in my driveway Equipment deserves to be used, and I feel like he will use it.

Here We Go

 Termite gave me a heads-up to a long-range weather prediction for next week.

Oh, Joy!  Snow, sleet, and freezing rain.  Everything that Louisiana is totally unprepared for.  It's time to lay on fuel for the generator, make sure that the propane bottles are full, and generally prepare for 24 hours of unpleasantness. For many parts of the country, this is standard winter weather.  But in Louisiana, this is the snowpocalypse.

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Failure of Leadership

 I guess by now that everyone has heard that our SecDef, Lloyd Austin was AWOL las week.  Now, I understand, he is still on sick call.  I don't know who is running the Defense Dept in his absence, but frankly, I'm not sure who is running it when he is present.

after watching the debacles that Austin has presided over, I've considered him an Affirmative Action pick, but this latest scandal seems to raise the bar.  An interesting note came across my feed, about Austin's tenure as the Central Command CO.

...Austin that, he should have never been secretary of defense, because he was a failed commander when he was in control of Central Command. In fact, when I was at the Naval War College, he was a case study in failures of leadership. We've known back then, and he has demonstrated whether it was then, with the botched...

So, before becoming Secretary of Defense, Austin was a case study in failure of leadership.  It makes perfect sense why Biden would eant him.  He's an Affirmative Action pick.

Monday, January 08, 2024

Monday Rain

 I started the week running errands, as per usual.  Under a rainy sky.  It's just scattered showers right now, but the weather-weenies are predicting aw-shit-hunker-down weather before the day is out. We'll see what happens.

One of the errands was to the pharmacy, who reminded me that it is January, and my deductible reset.  That put a whapping on my bank book. Less disposable income this month. The medicine is supposed to mitigate my risk of stroke or heart attack, but the pharmacist damn near gave me one when she told me the total.

I learned two interesting facts this morning.  One, the normal adult human swallows one cup of snot each day.  Second, 28% of the rockets fried by Hamas malfunction and land on Palestinians in the Gaza strip.

Those are just interesting facts.

Saturday, January 06, 2024

Sloppy Attribution

 The Claudine Gay story keeps on wasting kilobytes.  Not much ink, but plenty of digital space.  During my brush with scholarship in the 70s and 80s, I learned a few things.  How to build a footnote, for example, or how to construct a bibliography. I admit that I didn't have many original thoughts, and had to learn to stand on the backs of others.

Without those cites, it become plagiarism.  If Gay was writing peer-reviewed articles, or even her dissertation, then either her peers who reviewed the articles, or the committee who reviewed her dissertation should have caught the sloppy citations and had her fix them.

Now, some are saying that the attack on Gay is an attack on DEI. (See what I did there?  That link is a digital attribution..)

If Gay's peers, or her dissertation committee had done their job, we would not have a problem.  We might disagrees with Gay's politics, but we could not attack her scholarship.  If Gay had good scholarship, we could not call her an affirmative action pick.

Friday, January 05, 2024

The Perfect Pistol

 The perfect pistol doesn't exist.

I can remember when the pre-eminent handgun in law enforcement was the Smith and Wesson Model 66, with the 4" barrel.  I owned two, one with the 2.75 barrel and one with the 4" barrel.  When I retired, the short barrel went back to the state (it was issued) and the long barrel stayed with me. For a while, as a supervisor, I carried a SW Model 60,

The 1986 Miami Shootout made everyone reconsider their armament.  What I was always stuck by was the fact that the gunfight was finally ended by a wounded man who refused to quit and got close with the only gun he had left.  A Smith revolver shooting .38 Special semi-wadcutters,  Yet, there were other lessons to be learned from that fiasco and the entire law enforcement community started searching for answers.

Then came the wondernine revolution and many agencies went to Glocks.  Nowadays, the market is split between Glock, Sig, and Smith.  A few old dinosaurs like me carried a 1911 because, why not?

But, the linked article is right.  The perfect pistol does not exist.

Winter Storm

 The metal roof on the shop tells me that it is raining outside, and a look at the weather map tells me that Arkansas is getting hit with ice, wintry mix, and snow.  Which is yet another reason that I don't live in Arkansas. The temps here are expected to stay above freezing, but this a winter storm for us, just like for those points north.

I was at the fed store earlier this morning, filling propane bottles.  Propane is the heating mechanism for the shop and it normally takes two bottles a week.  One fellow in line for propane asked me if I had ever considered a pot-bellied stove and I replied that it sounded like a good idea, but that it would require me to lay in firewood.  And cut a hole in my roof, which I object to.  I know that there are workarounds, but propane is one of those workarounds.

Belle and I are out here every day, generally from 8:00 - 4:00.  The vast majority of the coking we do is out here, to the point that I will turn on the stove in the house occasionally just to make sure it still works.  We are generally cozy out here.  Friends and family know not to go to the house if they drop by, we're in the shop.

The rain is getting heavier on the roof.  Hopefully, this rain will help to fill the pond, which is still down from the summer drought.  I am not complaining about the rain. We still need it.

Thursday, January 04, 2024

Affirmative Action

 DEI is the new Affirmative Action. It's the newest social justice catchphrase to hire lesser qualified individuals over more qualified individuals, based on skin color or gender.

When I was a high school student, and later in undergrad and graduate school, I learned about things called citations.  Foot notes, bibliographies., that sort of thing. I was taught that plagiarism was a death-knell to good scholarship. I might use someone else's scholarship, but I was required to give credit.  There are rules to acquiring an advanced degree.

Comes now for our consideration, Claudine Gay. She was recently the president of Harvard University. She gave some bullshit testimony to Congress and came under scrutiny. As a president of the most exalted institution of higher learning in the country, one would expect that plagiarism would not be a problem.

Truns out, Claudine Gay is a serial plagiarist. And, it appears that she was also a DEI pick for the post. She's a black woman with a funny haircut and big glasses.

Of course, the Associated Press takes notice, and their headline speaks volumes about their take on the matter.

Plagiarism charges downed Harvard’s president. A conservative attack helped to fan the outrage

What?  It is conservatives fault that Gay is a serial plagiarist?  I think not. Claudine Gay is a prime example of the rot that has worked its way into higher education.  She was a DEI pick, an Affirmative Action hire. She is now exposed for what she is, and that is no one's fault but hers. And, whichever committee accepted her dissertation.  If they had culled her then, she would be teaching English at some failing high school..

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Cry Havoc

 Watching the crisis on our border, it is becoming easier to see the endgame.  Citizenship and voting rights for those who waded the Rio Grande. Or, for those who didn't have to wade a river.  Some states issue drivers' licenses to illegals.  But allowing them to vote?  That sounds like conspiracy theory stuff.

Not any more.  According to the linked article, at least one county wants to reserve a school board seat for illegals.

A Maryland county wants to go one better: to create a school board seat that can only be filled through the vote of illegal immigrants exclusively.

Some places (not Louisiana, thank God) allow same day registration and voting without ID. That is a recipe for disaster. 

There will be a day of reckoning over this bullshit, and I hope that it comes sooner, rather than later.


Tuesday, January 02, 2024

The Labyrinth

 I started this morning exploring the labyrinth of quasi governmental agencies that ostensibly exist to spur economic activity in a given area.  You know, Chamber of Commerce, that sort of thing.

It amazes me that of the agencies I have called this morning, no one is available to answer a phone.  It's a matter of claim if the messages I've left will be returned as phone calls. We'll see, but I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, January 01, 2024

Who The Houthis?

Evidently, the Houthis are a bunch of rag-head Islamist idiots (but then, I repeat myself) who are trying to attack cargo ships in the Red sea.  The US Navy objects.

US Forces Down Missiles, Kill Houthi Terrorists Trying to Seize Ship

Which is, to my way of thinking, the perfect punctuation to a piracy attack. Just kill them and leave them there.  Don't recover the bodies, just let them sink to the bottom.  The crabs need to eat, too.

Belle and I just finished hosting our annual New Years Day feast.  The menu was pork chops with rice, stewed cabbage, black-eyed peas and cornbread. We had eleven (11) guests. It was quite enjoyable.

Happy New Year, everyone.