Sunday, April 20, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Proper Tools for Teaching

An old friend called me last week and asked me if I would tutor her son.   He's in first grade or kindergarten and is having trouble reading and with some of the math they have the kids doing.  She swore it was normal stuff, not common core crap so I said I'd be glad to help.

She's intelligent and so is her ex so I figured it was probably just a case of the kid being bored.  I stopped by a store that sells teaching materials and looked at some of the crap they use to teach kids these days and it blew me away.   All of it paid way more attention to making sure each ethnic group and culture was properly represented in each example than to teaching anything about what's supposed to be the subject.

I'm standing there reading about Xao and O-ronjello and Pierre and Emilio and Mustaffa and Laquitia standing line to buy theater tickets and wondering how in the hell a little white boy from a small town in North Florida is supposed to focus on whatever the hell they claimed to be teaching about math in that example.  I guess his "privilege" is supposed to be enough.   I decided to take a different approach.

I met the kid this afternoon and my friend ran off to pay an overdue bill so  he and I could get to know each other.  As I suspected, the kid is smart.  He just can't stand to focus on the crap they call lessons.

I asked him if he knew how to sound out big words so he could figure them out and he said he could do a few.   I told him that we were going to learn a big word together.

I went out to the car and brought back a saddle ring carbine of a make not known to him - yet.

I asked him if he knew what it was and he guessed "shotgun."  I didn't correct him.    I showed him the name on the barrel and then wrote it on a piece of paper in big letters so it was easier to see.   Then I asked him if he knew what sound each letter made because that's what was going to tell us what it was.

We started with "W" because that was the first letter and he said "Wuh."   I said "good.  We know its something that starts with 'Wuh.'"  So next was "I" and he said "I" or "ih."   I said "let's go with 'ih.'"   We agreed that we had something that  started with "Wuh-ih."  Next came "N." and we had "Wuh-ih-in." Pretty soon we added "chuh," "ess," "ssssss," "tuh" and "err."

I asked him to say all the sounds in a row.  He said something like "Wuh-ih-in-chuh-ess-st-er."   Then his eyes got real big and his face lit up as he said WINCHESTER! 

His mom came home a few minutes later and he ran to her with the piece of  paper to show her what a big word he could read.  Nine letters and three syllables.  Winchester.  She couldn't believe it.  Her baby can read!

Then I got home and saw this at Bubba's.


I sent her the picture and she wants to get them for him.  I 'splained as how that wouldn't be a good idea right now and that we should wait until Florida passes the new "poptart gun" law to see if it covers spiral bound notebooks.

Next week, when we work on math we are going to be counting shotgun shells and how many squirrels Uncle Si missed on his morning hunt.

The kid can do the work if it isn't just skull-crushingly boring.  The crap they are using as teaching materials seems to be designed to teach something but it isn't boys.  We will improvise and overcome that crap.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

False Economy

On the way home from the office one day last week, I stopped by my favorite local gun shop.  I try to go by once a month just to see if there's anything new and interesting in stock.

They had several items that were interesting but I had decided to stay on a budget and was determined to buy just one thing.   Loading for my brother in law's 9mm has depleted most of my supply of 9mm bullets so I was considering buying a box of 500 cast lead bullets. 

The bullets were $38.50 a box and I really didn't want to spend that much money so I got to thinking about a bullet mold they had on the shelf.  It was a Lee mold for a 123 grain 9mm slug.  I got to thinking that $20 for that mold beat $38.50 all to heck because I have plenty of lead at the house and spending Saturday Morning casting 500 bullets would be relaxing.

I couldn't get the danged mold to work right.  It didn't want to close properly most of the time and it was a brand new mold.   It isn't warped because it will close right sometimes but most of the time I had to fight it.  I must have cast 700 bullets to get 400 that were any good and I gave up at 400.

I have a couple dozen Lee molds, almost that many Lyman, some RCBS and even an Ohaus.  I have cast a whole bunch of bullets in the last couple of decades and I've never had any kind of problem like this.  Ever.  Its not that it was an inexpensive mold.  Stuff happens and its just defective. 

So naturally I decided that it would be relaxing to go ahead and lube the 400 good bullets so they'd be ready to load.  Naturally.

Then I decided that it would be a good idea to run them through a sizer just in case any that I thought were good were maybe a little plump due to the mold-closing problem.  Yes, there were a few.

By the time it was all over, I had eight hours into my 400 bullets.   Eight hours.   Eight.  That's 1.2 minutes per bullet. 


Four fifths of $38.50 is $30.80.  So I had $30.80 worth of bullets for my eight hours.   I paid $20 for the mold so really I only saved $10.80 for my eight hours.  I worked eight freakin' hours on Saturday Morning for $1.35 an hour and I'm giving the bullets to my brother in law.


Do Try This at Home

I was sitting in the local Wing House with a good friend the other day.  We were talking business and wondering why they can't find any pretty girls to hire anymore.  That led to talk of the waitresses that are so sorry you wouldn't want them even if they were pretty and that led to talk about figuring out women in general.

Ya.  I know.

Anyway, he tells me that the other day after work,  he complimented his wife's appearance and she snapped back at him with something to the effect that he just gave her the compliment to get in her pants.  (High maintenance doesn't necessarily involve class).

He calmly replied, "No, I said that because you look nice today" and she told him that all  he ever thinks about is getting in her pants so she knows that's the only reason he'd tell her that she looks nice.

He looked her right in the eyes and softly said " I do admit that I  used to think that way but, honestly, after several years of living with a nagging bitch, a man begins to lose interest."

He said her jaw about hit the floor, she retreated to the bedroom, came back out in a see-through nightie and proceeded to wear him out into the wee hours of the morning.

I wish he was our Secretary of State.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Stress Reduction Therapy

Or you could just gaze at some serious boobage for a while.

Yes.  I know you can't reduce something 800% unless you can have a negative of that thing.  Its an excuse to go outside and enjoy some peace and quiet or to look at some serious boobage.  Don't over analyze everything.  K?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Painted Bullets

I ran across a Facebook page for reloaders called  The Reloading Bench   and they have a couple of people who are painting and powder coating lead handgun bullets.    The guy using paint says he just uses plain old Krylon enamel, bakes it on in a toaster oven and then sizes the bullets like normal.   They report that they shoot as well as jacketed bullets and do not lead their barrels even without lubrication.   The photo is from one of their posts.

That's worth looking into.