Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturday's Sentiments

Some reflections:
  • Hallelujah!  After tomorrow, we will likely not hear the term "deflategate".  Or, hopefully, Marshawn Lynch.
  • Happened to catch part of the Chris Krok show from the FWSSR the other day as he browbeat callers about an Imam giving a Muslim prayer before a rodeo performance.  One dude who called in self identified as Muslim, been here over 20 years, said he had enjoyed the rodeo for years.
  • The radio host proceeded to grill him, asking him to name boot brands and hat brands.  I understand that he was trying to make sure the guy wasn't a 'plant', but it came off as pretty insulting.
  • A few callers later, he had a similar exchange with a guy who was from Israel.  
  • It may be a fair question to wonder why the SSR organizers thought it would be a good thing to have a Muslim invocation, inasmuch as that's not, presumably, a significant demographic for them.  But I suspect the answer is that, like any good wingshot, they're trying to 'lead the target', and reach out/expand the brand, to new markets.  And I'm not sure that should be considered a bad thing.
  • In any event, the broadcaster didn't make a very compelling case for his anger at the FWSSR's action.
  • I like these:
Wonder if I can get them for cheap when RS goes out of business?
  • On this wet, coolish Saturday, there are presently about 200+ little brass gems - of the proper diameter - rollin', rollin', rollin' around in the vibratory case cleaner.  ;-)
  • There's no worker bee like the American worker bee:
Like, do they have their own union?
  • Space Pens - all the cool kids have them.  Don't they?
No, Dad, I don't want your autograph...
  • The Lt. Gov. has indicated that open carry may not pass this session.  A very good friend of mine, who is not a 'gun nut' by any definition (I think he once told me he had a .22 rifle), but who has been an avid legislature junkie for 25+ years, told me in an email: "If gun rights supporters can’t get what they want from this legislature, then they’re just too damn stupid to be carrying guns, driving cars, or doing anything else that requires a lick of sense."  Ouch!
  • My own opinion is that 2A supporters are not stupid at all, but we've presently got some self-appointed 'helpers' who most assuredly are.  One hopes that the statewide OC group persuades the Arlington/OCTC group to let the adults handle this issue.
  • The State Rep. from Muenster is getting some good PR from making a batch of "I'm Poncho" buttons - a reference to the Democrat Rep who was bullied by the aforementioned goofies.  The Republican Rep. is apparently in favor of a version of OC, but not the tactics of the Arlington dude and his cadre.
  • I wholeheartedly agree.
  • Custom made by hand with care, in small batches, in Texas, with my dog by my feet, and allegiance to God, Bob Wills, and Sam Houston:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Took Sienna for a walk the other day.

We saw this, obviously some kind of modern abstract sculpture:

Whaddya know?

Yep, just the two of us out for a walk.  A dog and her old Giza owner...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Range Report

   So, Grasshopper oldest son and I went out to the range today. He, to get in some more practice with his new polymer frame 'lightning bolt in the palm of your hand', and I, to test some 'Doc Brown' crazy scientist load recipes¹ in the same caliber, albeit in a steel-framed platform.
  • For evaluation purposes, I'd loaded 10 rounds each, using Hodgdon Tightwad, IMR Trail Boss, and some discontinued Winchester 571 propellant, all utilizing Federal #150 large pistol primers, and Xtreme Bullets 200 grain copper plated projectiles.
Some of the usual suspects
  • Just for grins, we started with the leetle guns, shooting leetle boolits at the steel falling plates.  It's kinda like eating crackers between wine tastings to 'cleanse the palate', or stretching before yoga (if you're into that sort of thing) helping to get one's mind focused on the proper mechanics of shooting firearms.  At this stage, I practiced until I could drop all 6 plates offhand with son's rifle (not too hard), and also with my revolver (a tad more difficult).
  • To his credit, he was able to drop 4 of the 6 with his hand cannon, despite having only a 3.3 inch barrel, and a commensurate sighting radius.  Young people can do stuff like that.  I was not able to match his proficiency at this stage with my full-sized Goliath dropper.
  • Curiously, his proficiency was somewhat less when using my beeg gun,  so there!  Go figure.
Good form, Grasshopper!
  • Finally, the main event, testing the new loads. We moved down to the pistol range with the overhead trolleys and brass catchers.  As I noted in the last post, I was suspecting one of the three loads to do its impression of a raging dragon, due to the slow burning powder, but I am happy to report that that did not happen - in fact it was as tame as the Geico lizard (gecko):
571 Winchester powder, with mild recoil, no muzzle blast
  • Conclusion:  All of today's test loads can be considered successful.  Having made notes during the testing, any/all of them can be increased, as no signs of dangerous pressure were noted.  But, inasmuch as I was doing 'proof of concept' testing, my objective was not to build full-house loads, just some that will safely and reliably cycle the slide for range practice.  To that end, the data collected showed - to my surprise and delight - that the Winchester 571 (of which I have copious quantities, with no other real applications) delivered the best groups, and appeared to be the cleanest burning (not what I expected).
  • Exercising the mind, beautiful north Texas weather (low 60s), spending time with my son - I am blessed.
¹  The characterization of today's session as being experimental is purely for the sake of hyperbole/entertainment.  Reloading firearms ammunition is a serious pursuit - all of today's tested loads were well within the propellant manufacturers' respective published load data.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday's Situation

  • How did I miss this?  Somehow it completely flew under my radar that PMac had released a boxed set of other artists performing his (some of it co-written with John) music, titled The Art of McCartney.   I discovered it when looking up Heart's cover of Band on the Run.
  • Willie does Yesterday.  The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens does a cool The Long and Winding Road.  Vince Furnier, who I dig, does a decent, but unremarkable Eleanor Rigby.  I haven't checked out all the tracks yet, but one that is genius has to be K[icking] I[t] Simmons & Stanley's rendition of Venus & Mars/Rock Show.
  • It can be had in several formats, including MP3 (really?), and of course, CDs.  But seriously, to be legit, you'll want to shell out the £64.99 for the four record - as in vinyl - offering.
  • Then, you'll want this, for just $749.00 US:
This is Sota's base model
  • Or at least one of these:
As a kid, I had a GE clamshell record player
made of beige plastic
  • My dad handed me down a Fairchild 412, dual belt drive reduction system and about a 12# platter, when he 'upgraded' to an AR turntable.  35+ years later, I'm convinced the Fairchild is the better machine:
Stock image, missing its rubber mat.
  • I can't remember if 'mine' has an Empire, Stanton, or Pickering cartridge on it.  If memory serves, it's a Stanton 737 - I'll check next time I'm at the folks' house. The correct cartridge,of course, for such a venerable machine, would be a Shure V-15 type III or IV, IMO.  My Technics at home wears an Audio Technica.  Wish I had scooped up a bunch of clearance NOS cartridges at the dawn of the CD era - dirt cheap at the time, they'd be worth a fortune now.  (Update: It's an Empire 2000 E)
  • When the Lord comes to restore order, harmony and righteousness to the world, vinyl will again rule, and I will be prepared, as I have 4 or 5 turntables (not counting the Fairchild), and a couple of reel-to-reel (Sony, Akai) units.
  • In the meantime, I am nonetheless considering getting one of those Bluetooth receiver doo-dads so I can set my phone's media player on timer mode at bedtime, and stream shuffled tunes to my den stereo.
  • If I make it to the range tomorrow, planning to test some 200 grain loads, using Titewad, a very fast,  and 571, a very slow (for handgun cartridges) propellants.  I'm kind of anticipating the latter will have an unacceptable amount of muzzle blast, even in the full length platform, but, we'll see.
  • Miniature 'capsules' to be placed atop the Atlas .IV-V ACP (advanced copper payload) delivery system:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekly wrap-up

My scattered musings of the week behind:
  • The weather looks like it will break good for the weekend - yeah!
  • I need to get some of these:
Pretty close to actual size
(if you're usinga 19" screen -
iPhone, not so much)
  • There are a lot of really ugly grip designs out there these days. I happen to be partial to wood, typically a dark, dense variety with russet overtones.  I like figure, but it should roughly run longitudinally with the grip - I once returned a set of Hogues because the left and right grips ran at different angles to the frame, which gave off a bad firearms feng shui.
  • Suffice to say the following is not my style, though I do have some Z-max rounds in the mag - to keep the undead at bay, should the situation arise.
Who dares debase a 1911 so? Heresy!
  • If I were buying a platform to which to affix the above, it would be in the Commander size, even though mine isn't.  Again, it just seems to have pleasing proportions.
  • The trend toward outlandish beavertails on the grip safety strikes me as weird.  I mean, I can understand adding a bit if hammer bite is getting to you, but not so much as to look like it's from Dungeons & Dragons Outfitters.
  • Traditionalist as I am, if I were buying to carry on my person, it would not be of the above style - too heavy - would go polymer.  And, Heaven and Col. Cooper forgive me, might even be in a sub-caliber.
  • The burger chain Carl's Jr. has apparently pulled off another marketing coup, featuring a hawt chick billed as the next Kate Upton seemingly nekkid.  I'm amazed at what mainstream, once respected outlets will now report as news, including this story.  Can one argue we're not pretty much in a modern Sodom & Gomorrah?  Nonetheless, it's marketing genius - as every dude that hears about it will Google it - even if they don't see it during the big upcoming football contest.
  • Yeah, I know - I'm a prude.  Deal with it.
  • Had the opportunity recently to handle one of these, which is in the proper - not sub - caliber, and may get to shoot it this weekend.
Not quite life size.
  • Its owner tells me that its quite pleasant to shoot, despite being very lightweight.
  • Some group on the Kimmel show is performing Band on the Run, sounding like the Bee Gees.  Odd.
  • Update: I went to look at the TV. It was actually the Ess Dubs, as in the Wilson sisters, Ann & Nancy.  I was a big fan of theirs in high school.  And they didn't really sound like the Giblets after the first verse.  Nancy looks great these days - always thought she looked anorexic back when.  Ann - definitely not anorexic.
  • Accidentally scared the dog tonight.  Found some old primers in the garage that I had not hermetically sealed [in a mayonnaise jar] and was concerned they may have been degraded by humidity.  So I tested a couple of them - sans propellant or projectile of course - in John Moses' masterpiece.  So now she's tightly curled up at my feet for safety.
  • I tested one with the lights off - muzzle blast 7-8" beyond the 5" bbl.  I may have found a new form of entertainment.
  • Couple of months ago I bought a 400w small electric heater on clearance @ Aldi for the bathroom.  Later, found another (at a different store, also on clearance).   Conclusion:  With both doors to the MB (13x16) closed it will keep me toasty at my blogging desk if placed right near my chair, even if I'm not using any other heat source.  The other heats the bathroom nicely (I have it set on a timer to come on about 45 minutes before I get up).  For $6.99 each, I'm quite pleased with them, since my other area heaters use 1300/1500w (although I am partial to the Lasko terra cotta looking oscillating model).
  • Here's a machete I like, from El Salvador, I think:
I dig the planishing on the blade
  • Kroger's Banana Split ice cream is the bomb.
  • The post-midnite rerun of the local news ran a 'story' on the nearly nekkid chick mentioned before.  The Carl's Jr. commercial she's in features Uncle Ted's Stranglehold, so maybe I was too harsh earlier.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday's Thoughts

...on a dreary day in north Texas:
  •  I had the SOTU on the other night, but watched very little of it.  Much ado about nothing.  I am, of course, no fan of the current POTUS, but I saved myself considerable angst by not getting too invested in what he was saying, since really none of it matters.  
  • One of the news sites said it marked the first SOTU to mention 'transgendered' persons.  
  • Speaking of which - while waiting to fill a prescription the other evening, I perused the People mag or somesuch (they didn't have G&A on the waiting area coffee table), which says former decathlete Bruce Jenner is almost ready for his/her reveal, replete with several pictures.  Very odd, but hey, whatever.  If people want to change their personal plumbing, fine - as long as they're not asking for society to foot the bill, as some states' correctional systems are attempting to do.
  • The resilience of the stock market amazes me.  I would not have believed that fundamentals would have supported Dow 18,000 (actually I still don't - seems more like technicals to me).  Nonetheless, despite a couple of recent pullbacks, we haven't seen massive, long-term slides, and the recoveries have been reasonably prompt, and vigorous.  The revaluation of the Swiss franc seems to have been taken in stride.
  • Is a beaver doctor a regular veterinarian?  A super-sized beaver was recently treated and released in Arizona.
  • Over the weekend, I read that there is a new state park straddling Palo Pinto and Stephens counties, W/SW of Strawn, and NE of Ranger Hill.  It would be cool if that brought a resurgence of business to Thurber, which had a WWI population nearing 10,000.  I'm wondering if any of the former coal mines are within the park boundaries.
  • Middle son decorated oldest son's truck recently:

  • Here is an awesome addition to your canvas-walled glamping tent, although I suspect you could find something nearly as cool for less money at Tuesday Morning.  It would probably be out of place in a Camping Doughnut, though.
  • One of the talk radio hosts, broadcasting from the Stock Show, was talking about women wearing yoga pants in public. His point was that women should exercise some discretion.  Now there's a lost cause - expecting anyone in modern society to use discretion?
  • I can understand testing the limits of 4wd vehicles on harsh terrain.  Not so sure about the wisdom of leaving the glass in the vehicle.
  • Radio yakker Mark Levin seriously gets on my nerves.  He's about as effective winning converts to conservatism as that guy from Open Carry Tarrant County is at promoting the 2nd Amendment.
  • The Red Tail Squadron's P-51C, s/n 42-103645, born in Dallas, is in need of maintenance funding.

  • Umm, the second paragraph of this webpage didn't translate well from the British.  If I had a spare £349.00 sitting around, I would buy a pair of these, though:
  • Of course, then I'd have to get some pants like this:

Friday, January 2, 2015

Le Freak

Well, here's a new kind of weirdness that I never knew existed.  I mean, I'd seen the 'furries' on CSI and stuff.

Did the aliens come when I was in my 40s and suck up all the normal people?