Wednesday, December 30, 2015

It Does Sort Of Have An Adjustable Stock

If it gets that kind of reaction, I may just have to do that with my jack.   I could just drive through town and make a hundred liberals wet their pants.  Looks like I'll be dusting off the welder this weekend.

Come to think of it, it seems like half the commercials I see on TV these days are either for pills that keep you from peeing in your pants, devices to keep women from peeing in their pants or disposable underwear that makes it fun to pee in your pants.  I have been thinking that maybe I've just been watching shows that appeal to old folks but maybe its a symptom of the general wussification of our society.  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Black Friday Redemption. (Cleavageless Post)

After The Lovely Bride and niece ( two different people - I have friends who live in Ft. McCoy but I don't live there ) returned from their power shopping, Black Friday was still young and TLB wanted to go to Rural King.  I wanted to go to a new-to-me LGS that was on the way to the Rural King so it just seemed fated.

Patriot Sporting Goods is just outside Beverly Hills Florida off Hwy 491.  I was in the area the previous Tuesday and dropped by to check the place out.  Prices looked good and the staff seemed to have a clue so I bought a can of Longshot and told them I'd be back after payday.  Friday was, conveniently, after payday so we rolled in at about  9:30 AM.

Sometime this year I misplaced two magazines for my Glock and I was tired of looking for them.  Patriot happened to have two of the kind that I needed and their price was 10% lower than Gooseburg's so that was a no-brainer.   They also had three different magazines for Kahr's in 40 S&W.  The nearest Gooseburg doesn't have anything for a Kahr that isn't a 9mm.  I bought a 7 rounder for carry as a backup magazine.   They even gave me four bucks off the Kahr mag for Black Friday.

At Rural King, we browsed but weren't actually going to buy anything but a sack of corn for a feeder until, on the way to the checkout line, we passed some barrels of bird seed.   They had a bird seed scoop that was a combination scoop and funnel and it had a nifty little cut off slide built into it.  I'm a sucker for magazine cut-offs.

It looked like the perfect thing for pouring smokeless powder back into a can so it followed us home with the sack of corn.  

A stop by the new Bubba Que in Dunnellon  was uneventful and when we got home I decided to be rebellious and load some ammo instead of doing office work.   I loaded  45 ACP, 40 S&W and .32 ACP.  I don't even have dies or shell holders for .32 ACP but my .32 S&W Long dies and 30 Carbine shell holders worked fine.  The new funnel gizmo worked great.  It also fits into a Lil Dandy powder measure and makes filling those a snap.

After finishing the .32s, my back was killing me so I stretched it out hanging from a water pipe and plopped on the couch.   Halfway through the rerun of House MD that I was trying to watch, TLB informed me that Bullet the Wonder Dog had made another escape.  I'd change his name to Colonel Hogan if Bob Crane hadn't been, well, you know.

Calling, whistling and clapping bought no response so he either wasn't close enough to hear us or he was far enough away from us to know that we'd think he couldn't hear us.   Back into the car, driving all over the neighborhood shining a spotlight into everyone's yard we searched until the spotlight died. 

TLB kept saying she had a feeling that the dog was close to home.  I certainly had a feeling that he wasn't anywhere we had looked so we headed back, half expecting to see the long-eared galoot sitting by the front door wondering why we didn't take him on our trip.


I searched the fence line to see if maybe he was trapped half under the fence.  I started checking under the shed and TLB said she heard him yipping.  I didn't hear a thing for a while but when I moved to the East side of the house I thought that maybe I did.  

It was faint but it was him. 

He'd either been nabbed by a poltergeist and was inside the TV or he was still in our dimension somewhere North and East of us and in some kind of distress.    The TV being a flat screen,  someplace to the North and East seemed the better bet so we hit the front yard and started calling again.

This time, we both distinctly heard him reply and it was his "Dad, I'm OK but I wrecked the car" yip.  It was close too.  

We were headed back to the car when he just appeared, loping down the street towards the house, thinking he could sneak back under the fence and make like he had been there the whole time.  

We called him and he took off.  He rounded the corner into the neighbor's backyard and TLB pulled up in the car to give chase.  We went down the block and I asked her why she was going that way when I last saw him in the neighbor's back yard right where she picked me up.  She didn't know why she was going wherever she was going and I didn't know why I was going too so we pulled into somebody's driveway to make a three point turn.  The dog came alongside the starboard beam.

I popped the back door open.  Bullet knew he was in trouble and thought it was going to come from me so he ran to the other side.  TLB opened her door to give chase on foot and he crawled into the car over her and got in the back seat.   On the short drive home, she asked me where he could have gotten wet.

Sure.  With his lineage, that had to be it.

Being scared of retribution, the dog didn't want to get out of the car so I picked him up and carried him into the house.  He was drenched and stunk like pond water.

OK.  So it hadn't been that picturesque.
Toweling the smelly little prodigal off, I wanted to crank up the Edison and play "Shall We Gather At The River" but we got off track putting two and two together. There was only one place where he could have gotten into nasty water like that but it was fenced.   It didn't make sense so we grabbed a flashlight and checked it out.   

The dog had  crossed the street to a house that's under renovation.   The people doing the renovating took out about four feet of the back yard fence when they moved the electric service.   Evidently, they never heard of small children, old people or dogs because they left it that way. 

The place wasn't fenced anymore.  

Bullet had found the opening in the fence and loped right into this:

While we were running our dragnet, Bullet was on a ledge in that nasty pool trying to get out.

TLB still wanted to thrash him for not coming when we called.  I insisted that he was trying to come but was too busy not drowning.  I allowed as how I hoped that either of us would make the same choice in a similar situation.  

I didn't let her hit him even once.

TLB didn't get to hit the dog but she got to shop. I got my magazines and got to do some loading and the dog got baptized.  

Best time I've ever had on a Black Friday.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Naturally, Free North Carolina Has The Real News

I suspected as much yesterday.  

The local Po-Po saying that it was obviously at "least a case of domestic terrorism"  before they even saw the shooters or knew their names supported my suspicions.  Gotta get the narrative out there ahead of the facts you know.

Then the local TV news didn't even mention the shooting in California this morning during the whole 15 minutes that I spent watching while I had my breakfast.

So I wasn't surprised to see this on Free North Carolina this morning:

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


USB Powered BB Rifle For the Office

 With this USB-powered desktop sniper rifle you'll never miss another deadline again because of idle chit-chat and other distractions from your co-workers. Ideal for cubicle-type setups where you're protected on three sides, this tiny gun fires plastic BBs perfect for annoying, harassing, or intimidating your office neighbors.

Here's the Whole Write Up 

Please Santa...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Thursday, November 5, 2015

An Infidel and an Odyssey Part 2

After the small feeding frenzy at the LGS, Aunt Clickity had to wait out her mandatory three day "cooling off period."  I'm sure it kept her from doing at least one drive by shooting.  Maybe two.   It being a Sunday when she bought the gun and then Monday being a holiday, she couldn't pick it up until Friday.  She did that and was scared to take it out of the box without supervision so it sat in her car until the next morning.

The reason it got out of her car the next morning was to go to the range.   While The Lovely Bride was reading up on her new Glock on Sunday, that sneaky SOB Lantry told her brother about it and suggested that we ought to have a family outing at the Hernando Sportsman's Club sometime soon.  Brother in Law said that Saturday was good for him so the die was cast.  TLB told Aunt Clickity and, since she was going to have her gun by then,  she wanted to go too.

Saturday morning finally got here and the weather girl was being a tease.  She kept talking about it raining all day.   TLB looked at the radar and it showed that it was going to rain in the morning, clear up about the time the range opened and then stay clear for an hour or so.  It wasn't going to rain all day.  It was going to rain off and on all day.   I told her that sounded a little like the weather that covered the Normandy landing in 1944 so we decided to go with it.  TLB's brother wasn't as optimistic and he stayed home. I told her to tell him that if he had been in charge on June 6 1944, Hitler would still be alive.  She said that Hitler would be 126 years old now so he wouldn't be alive.   If there is a point, she will find a way to miss it.

We got to the range without encountering much rain on the way and I went ahead of the group to see the Range Safety Officer.   I wanted him to be aware that we had someone with us who had never fired a gun before and that I thought that direction from someone in authority would probably help her develop good safety habits.   The folks there are always helpful and they assigned us a dedicated overseer.

TLB and Aunt Clickity took the spot at the left end of the bench and the Niece and I took the one next to it.  Our personal RSO pulled up a chair behind me and the Niece.  

I had given TLB two boxes of 9mm for the Glock and while the Niece was getting her 10-22 and the 32 Magnum ready, she started shooting.   It sounded loud so when she finished the first magazine I asked her what she was shooting.

"I don't know.  Whatever you loaded in it Saturday Night."

My Federal +P ammo that I got for the Luger because it has an old fashioned bullet profile and a relatively small hollow point.

"Try this Remington green box or the IMI stuff.  Its all good."

So she switched to some lead bullet reloads that I had put together for the Luger.  Ugh.

"Where did you get these?"

"In the reloading room on the shelf"

"They are lead.  You can't shoot lead through a Glock.  That's why I gave you two boxes of jacketed ammo."

"I wasn't sure that would be enough."

So she started burning through the hardball ammo and the Niece was burning up the 32 S&W long in the 32 Magnum and Aunt Clickity finally decided it was time to join in. 

She stepped up to the line and she and TLB started going over "The Rules" and how to operate the Ruger LCR.  While that was going on, I had the Niece switch to a gun with a little more aplomb than the 32.

A nineteen year old girl that can pass for fourteen tells you she has fired a Ruger 10-22 and you yawn.   Seven year old kids do that all the time.  Then she says she's shot a 32 Magnum.   OK, that's a little better but its still not impressive.  A 9mm Luger?  Stylish but not much else.   I can't have future prospective Nephews-in-Law scoffing at her shooting experience so I brought something special.

A buddy had a Smith & Wesson Model 25 and couldn't shoot it anymore because of arthritis in his wrists.    I put some small stocks on it to try to fit her hands better than the originals.   He gave me a box of his "Old Fart With Arthritis" loads.  A 255 grain lead bullet with just a sprinkling of Red Dot in the case.   She was going to be able to tell anybody that wanted to know that she had fired a Smith & Wesson Model 25, that it shoots 45 Colt and that she did pretty good with it.

The gun was still too big for her.  The grips fit her hand but the trigger was way out there almost out of reach.  She gave it a try anyway.  After a few rounds she shifted the gun to her left hand and used her right to kind of hold the left hand in place.  Since the gun really was too big for her, I didn't try to correct her into something that wasn't going to work for her.  I let her have fun.   I figured she'd shoot maybe a cylinder full and then break out the 10-22 but she emptied the gun and went at it again.  Final count was thirty rounds of 45 Colt.  She said it kicked more than the 32 but that it wasn't bad.  A very good reason why folks should reload.

I can't wait until that day when some dude tries to impress her with his 9mm Glock.  She'll just tell him "I shoot little guns too sometimes but when I'm serious I shoot a 45 Colt.  Pick up your jaw, tough guy.  You look silly."  

Our personal RSO finally figured out that the Niece wasn't the new shooter and decided to help out with TLB and Aunt Clickity.  He wound up kind of hovering over them.  There's a lot of rules at this particular range.  All of them make sense but there's a lot more than just four of them.   He found plenty to keep himself busy.  I even got gigged for having my root beer on the shooting bench.   Its a rule.  Its on a sign.  

"Do you want unburned powder and lead particles in your root beer?" 

"No Sir."

They have rules and all of the rules make sense.

I didn't have to do any push ups.   They are really nice that way. 
We gave Aunt Clickity a box of  .38 Special wad cutters.   She had me and TLB fire a couple of round each so she could watch what we did and know what to expect as far as recoil and noise.  Then she took over and shot up about half the box of ammo.  After the first couple of shots she even stopped saying "Ooooooh!" every time it went off.  She managed to keep them on the paper and even had more than a few right where they needed to be.  It was not bad at all for a very first time ever shooter.

The rain did sprinkle just a little about midway through but it wasn't hardly enough to notice.   The Niece has shot "a REAL gun" now and   Aunt Clickity is much more confident with her little LCR.   She even took it in the house when she got home.   The only person that didn't have a good time was the cold and timid soul that didn't go. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

So My Niece Joined The SS

Oops.   Wrong picture.

Wrong SS too.

Since she started college, my niece has gotten into a clothing brand called Simply Southern.   I swear their logo would have made a good insignia for a Waffen SS division. 

Seriously, wouldn't that look right at home stenciled on the fender of a Stug III wandering around somewhere in the Ukraine?

Logo aside, each shirt has a Southern theme.   Not "red neck."   Southern.   With Southern culture under constant assault its good to see that she hasn't bought into being ashamed of who she is.

Why a college kid needs to pay $19 and up for a friggn T-shirt escapes me but as long as she thinks she needs to, its good that she's into these instead of Che or whatever other mass murderer the left wants to celebrate now.

I hope the company does well.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Saturday Studebaker

The 1950 Studebaker Champion.

The first year of the "bullet nose."

Take your bullet nose Stude to any generic car show and try to keep track of all the bullshit that know-it-alls sling about it.

Within 15 minutes you will be told that the bullet nose was the biggest mistake that Studebaker ever made and it drove them out of business.  (The 1950 was actually one of their highest selling models in the entire history of the company.   They went out of the car business 16 years later.  Labor costs and economies of scale made them get out of the car business).

Within 30 minutes you'll be told that all Studebakers were powered by Continental Red Seal engines.  (Studebaker built all of their own passenger car and light truck engines until the 1965 model year.  They only stopped because their foundry was too large to operate economically with the small numbers of cars they were building by then.  Kaisers and the Graham-Paige used the Red Seal).

Within the first 45 minutes, you will be told that the cars originally had a third headlight that was linked to the steering and the bullet is actually an aftermarket gizmo sold by Western Auto to replace the headlight when the linkage to the steering broke.

If you are really lucky, by the end of the first day you'll be told that all Studebakers used Perkins Diesels.    (Some of their heavy trucks did but never their cars and light trucks).

 The 1950 Champion used the Champion 169.92 CID flat head six and produced 85 brake horsepower.   The Commander used the larger Commander flathead six.  Funny how that worked out.   In 1951, the Commander six was gone; replaced by a spiffy new V8.   The bullet nose feature ran for just two years but is probably what more people think of when they hear the name "Studebaker" than anything else.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

He Plays Better Than I Ever Did

Seu cachorro sabe tocar piano assim? kkkkk

Posted by Bicho de Pé on Sunday, August 16, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Studebaker

1939 Studebaker Champion.  The car that saved the company just prior to WW2.  The engine was designed for fuel economy.  The engineer's mantra was "weight is the enemy."   They managed to build a robust little engine that did get good mileage for its day.

 Eventually converted to overhead valves, the engine stayed in production until Studebaker quit building their own engines at the end of the 1964 model year.  The original engine powered the military Weasel too.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

An Infidel and an Odyssey, Part 1

A couple of Thursdays ago, I stopped by the LGS that's sort of kind of on my way home from work if I go about five miles out of my way.   I try to get by there every month or so just to see what's new. 

 Wasn't really looking for anything but they had some new reloading stuff on the shelves and I did need to get some .451" jacketed bullets for the Glock.  They had a couple of boxes of Speers.  The thing that I like about the particular bullet that they had in stock is that its designed for the 45 Colt but will  work in an autoloader unless the feed ramp is rough.   One bullet will work for many guns.

On my way to the payin' counter, I noticed a little Charter .38 Special and a couple of Ruger LCRs in the display cases.  I made a mental note to tell The Lovely Bride in case her friend from work, Aunt Clickity   might be interested.

Saturday morning came right on schedule.     It was shaping up to be one of those days when you just can't seem to get moving so I suggested to TLB that we buzz on over to the gun shop to check out those snubbie revolvers in case Aunt Clickity might want one.

When we got there, TLB's eyes fell on a Glock 43.    It looked like this one:

OK.  They all look like that one.
Anyway, it was the first one either of us had ever seen in person.  She held it, clicked the trigger once (with the clerk's permission) and said she really liked it.  We looked at the two Ruger LCRs and a S&W Body Guard with a laser, she texted Aunt Clickity and we headed home with me thinking that our mission had been accomplished. 

All the way home, TLB kept saying that she really liked that Glock.   We got home and she started doing house work and kept saying how she really liked that Glock.  We had lunch and the conversation was dominated by how much she really liked that Glock.   I began to suspect that she really liked that Glock.

I don't blame her.  The 43 is a nice little gun that Glock should have made twenty five years ago and this one was even  the Rural Model.   (It has the sights on top of the slide).   I suggested that she wouldn't be the only person in town that would  like it, mumbled something about Fortune favoring the bold and we were back in the car, credit card locked and loaded.

 She bought the little Glock and texted Aunt Clickity about it.  By Sunday Morning, TLB had half a dozen texts from Aunt Clickity wanting to know if the shop was open on Sunday and could we meet there after Church and could she bring another co-worker along.

We met the two ladies at the shop at 10:00 Sunday Morning and were in for a surprise.   Unknown to use,  the second co-worker had been there Friday asking about a S&W Body Guard with a laser like this one:

 It hadn't arrived until after she left on Friday but there it was right on the top shelf in the display case Sunday Morning.   Sometimes the planets or the ducks or whatever need to line up to make things happen actually do line up.

Aunt Clickity liked the S&W  but was more interested in an LCR with a titanium cylinder like this one:

It had a very smooth trigger pull and the grip didn't hurt her arthritic hands.   She did some of her trademark clicking but this time it was with the sales girl's permission and she kept the guns pointed at the floor.

Pretty soon, co-worker #2  had her debit card and carry permit out and was doing the paperwork for the Smith.   Aunt Clickity was going on about how she had just bought a new car last week and shouldn't spend the money but the thing with the Ruger that she liked was it was a used gun.   It looked brand new and came with the box and all but there wasn't going to be another one like it at the same price later on.  She decided that it was now or never and out came her checkbook.  

Sometime during all of that, I bought a box of 115 grain Speer hollow points to load  for the new Glock too.

Three guns sold in two days and TLB has two newly  "gunny" friends at work just because I had a few minutes to look around at the LGS on my way home and remembered her Aunt Clickity.   Nice to know I have that kind of power.

As happy as I am about them getting their guns,  I'm having a hard time accepting that we are a two-Glock Family now.  I feel like Phil Robertson when he and Miss Kay got a cat:  Its all downhill from here.

Besides not being able to shoot good old Plumbium through them, my Glock has adjustable sights and TLB's has fixed sights.   I can't figure out how to make either set run.   I know they do run somehow because I read about people running this sight or that sight on their Glocks all the time but mine just sit there on top of the slide. (Mine's a Rural Model too).   I can't even tell how to get the sights to crank up, much less run.   Then there's  "operating."   The more I  read, the more it looks like we will probably have to learn to do whatever that is  too.  1911s are never this complicated.   Maybe there's a group about it on Assbook.

To be Continued.

Improvise and Overcome - An Interesting Story

They drove almost 600 miles on a rod bearing made out of leather.   I don't know if it would work on a more modern engine but I did read that during WW2 a U-Boat had bearing trouble in the middle of the Atlantic and they used the tin foil wrappers from the crew's cigarette packages to make emergency repairs to get home.   

From  The Old Motor.

Sometimes its amazing what you can do when you have no other choices. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Studebaker

Something without cleavage this time.

1947 Studebaker M5 Pickup.

Beginning as a builder of wagons in the 1850s, Studebaker progressed from Prairie Schooners and buggies like the one in Gone With The Wind to electric cars and finally gasoline powered cars and gasoline and diesel powered trucks.   They built heavy trucks as well and hundreds of thousands of military transport trucks that were shipped to the Soviet Union during the Second World War so Stalin could concentrate on building tanks.  At one time, prior to the Great Depression of the 1930s, Studebaker was the #2 builder of cars in the Country.  Their electric cars were never recalled either.  That might be because they were not known to spontaneously burst into flames.

They did some things that they didn't have to do like using roller bearings on their axles instead of ball bearings and replaceable rod and main bearings in their engines fifteen or twenty years before Chevrolet.   They used a harder iron in their blocks than they needed to use.  (That made their piston rings wear so they often smoked before they really should have.   The local machinist that I used back when I had my Studebakers hated to seem me dropping off a block because they were a pain to bore).  That and the fact that they never took a strike and always caved into union demands drove their costs up to where, by the 1950s, it cost them several hundred dollars more to build each car than it cost GM. 

By the late 1950s, they were producing some innovative designs with high performance engines but their quality was also slipping.  Machinists have told me that they can tell when a Studebaker block was made in the 1960s because it will have more flashing in the coolant holes than an older block.

Management decided to diversify during the 1950s and they got into several different industries.  Most notably, Studebaker-Worthington, who built nuclear reactors for power plants and other heavy construction. 

They had one of the largest foundaries in the industry and by the early 1960s they weren't building enough cars and trucks to support it so they started buying Chevrolet engines from GM's Mckinnon Industries plant.   They shut down their plant in South Bend Indiana with the end of the 1964 run and became an import, building what they built their last two years in Canada.  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Melody Pattersn

I pretty much quit writing about the news a long time ago.  The bloggers on my blogroll do a better job of it so why bother?   I've seen quite a few bloggers lamenting the passing of Yvonne Craig but, if any that I read on a regular basis noticed the passing of Melody Patterson on August 20,  I must have missed the innerweb that day. 

I know that green lives matter and all but I would have thought that Melody, a/k/a F Troop's  "Wrangler Jane," would have gotten some mention if only alongside Bat Girl - related posts.

I still don't understand why so many people went nuts when Elvis died.   People got all syrupy over Robin Williams not too long ago.    I never knew either of them.    Heck, the closest I ever got to even meeting a real live celebrity was doing some work for a woman with the same name as Barbara Eden's sister.   I didn't know Barbara Eden's sister's name until several years later so I had no reason to ask the women if she was related.   I will probably never know.   The sister has distinctive first and last names that I recognized when I saw her on a Bio Channel show about Barbara Eden.  She has the same first and last names as the woman that I had met and she sure looked like the woman I had met several years before but seriously;  How the heck would I know?  Even so, that's closer than I ever got to knowing Elvis or Mork.  I'll bet its closer than most of the people that got upset over their deaths ever got too. 

 I liked Donna Douglas but I saw her passing recognized on blogs that I read so I didn't see any reason to chime in.   I obviously like Barbara Eden but its not a blond thing.  I always liked Mary Ann better than Ginger, no matter whether Ginger was a blond or  a redhead in the specific episode.  Never was a big fan of Elizabeth Montgomery either.   Nope.   I liked Melody Patterson because Wrangler Jane was a different type of girl.

In F Troop, she ran her own store and could out ride and out shoot any man in town.   

Some folks called her character Tomboyish but I never saw it that way.  She always came across to me as self-reliant, capable and confident.    There weren't nuthin' boyish, by the name of Tom or any other, about Wrangler Jane. 

To any kid with a cowboy hat and two capguns (mine were in genuine tooled leather holsters), she was a dream.

Depending on what source you believe, Melody was only fifteen or sixteen years old when she won the Wrangler Jane role.   They filmed F Troop's pilot episode while she was on Christmas Vacation from school.   Supposedly, the producers didn't find out she wasn't eighteen until the show was already on the air.  

After F Troop, Melody had a few roles in other TV shows, entertained the troops in Vietnam  and was married to "Danno" for five years but its Wrangler Jane that I'll always remember.

I have not been able to find out what took her at such a young age. Just that she had not really recovered from breaking her back a couple of years ago and died in a nursing home of multiple organ failure.    A tragic end for such an outgoing person.

Rest In Peace Melody.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Can't Argue Much With This

I don't think of myself as angry or a dude but I can't find much to argue with AWD about on this:

A Tea Partier Explains Trump 


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Good Guys With Guns

This has more detail than what I heard on any talk show yesterday:

The Narrative Shifts

The link is to Sipsey Street Irregulars.  The story is out at several other places as well.

Of course, the regressives will still shout that there has never been a single instance of a good person with a gun saving lives.  Besides, we are supposed to be worshiping  "heroes" like Bruce Jenner or the teen thug of the month or something.

Thank God America still has some real heroes.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Beats the Hell out of Scratching Your Social Security Number Onto it

From a Facebook Post by Shooting Sportsman Magazine,

President Chester A. Arthur's shotgun will be at RIAC's 2015 September Premiere Firearms Auction. Many more photos to come of this magnificent shotgun, but if you look closely in this one, you can see his surname repeated over and over again in the Damascus pattern of the barrels.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

More "Big Tent" Liberal Tolerance and Love

Locals in Ocala Florida held a Southern Pride parade this afternoon.  It was advertized as being "in support of Southern Pride and not racism."  

The copy below is from the Ocala Post..   "OPD" is the Ocala Police Department

Shots fired from a community next to Southeastern Livestock Pavilion. OPD has confirmed two different caliber weapons. Several black males threatened to kill every white person at the Florida Southern Pride Ride parade. One woman was screaming, "Ya ' ll cops don't care about black people." No injuries reported. Police evacuated the Pavilion after threats were made. The shots were fired after the parade had started. Ocala Post is on the scene.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Holding The Line

In my line of work, I look at a lot of houses and meet a lot of people. Occasionally some are memorable.

More than once, I've been followed around a house by a bunch of kids that just seemed to want to be around someone besides their family.   I use a 100 foot tape measure and I used to carry it in a kind of leather holster. Once, a little boy, no more than five years old, lifted it out of the holster while I was talking to his mother. She said not to mind the boy “'cause he do that ever time the po-leece come.”

Then there was the hot mortgage broker that had a back yard absolutely overgrown with azaleas. She invited me back to dig some up. When I showed up with The Lovely Bride to help me, she was livid. Said they're in the back yard and slammed the door. I mentioned that to one of her coworkers and he suggested that I might not have fully comprehended why she invited me back. It seems she was known for giving away more than the azaleas when her husband wasn't home.

Then there was the charming young mother with two perfect kids living what appeared to be a story book life in a beautiful house in the Country Club. She wouldn't really have been that memorable except that she hung herself in her garage about a year later.

Who could forget the quad where the manager just kept using his pass key to let us in without even knocking? I kept telling him that he was going to get us shot and he kept saying that he had sent letters to all the tenants about the inspection so they all knew we were coming.   He opens the last unit and there's a scream from a girl frantically trying to put on a bath robe while she retreats into the bedroom. Yes, the idiot had notified the tenants but the tenant forgot to tell his guest. Thank goodness she wasn't armed. I wouldn't have blamed her if she had shot the both of us.

The one that's always struck me as particularly bizarre was just a high school kid. I was inspecting a house and had the owners following me around pointing out all the features. I always ask whether there are any rooms where someone might be sleeping or if someone might be just getting out of the shower. They assured me that it was fine to just barge into any of the rooms. I opened the bedroom door at the end of the hall and there was a really pretty high school girl in blue jeans and a sweatshirt sitting on the floor doing her homework. I said “Oh Hi” and apologized for disturbing her. I told her that I just needed to peek into the room to make sure it was as nice as the rest of the house. She said “no problem” and I went downstairs to start measuring the outside of the house.

With the owners still in tow showing me all the features (this porch light is brushed nickle. It makes our house worth more than a place with a brass one...), I hook the tape measure to one corner and start across the front of the house. As I get to the front door, it pops open and I'm standing nose to nose with girl from upstairs. Only now, instead of jeans and a sweatshirt, she's wearing what looks like a silk kimono and heels. She's not even Japanese.

She asks if she can help me measure the house.  I was between thirty-five and forty years old at the time. My little brain was saying “Dude, this is how Penthouse Letters start.” My big brain was saying “wow, the psychology in this house must be horrendous.” Besides that, she was just a kid, her parents were there and I was pretty sure The Lovely Bride would take a dim view of anything other than strict professionalism on my part. 

Confounded triple redundancy. 

I had to answer her question and “Sure” seemed safe enough so we chatted and measured until I couldn't think of anything else about the house that needed measuring.   I left wondering just what in the hell that was all about.

I still refer to that one as my “near-sex experience.”

So fast forward about eighteen years and I'm going out into the middle of nowhere, across the river from Hog Valley (really) to inspect a house that I have done a couple of times before. The couple is retired and they live on a small lake. I get there and the old man shuffles out the door and starts mumbling about all the features that I have seen twice before. He tells me to go on in and I say “after you.” He gets inside and tells his wife that I'm there and I hear her say that she isn't dressed yet. 

Seems odd. The man just walked out that same door to greet me and that didn't suggest to her that it was time to get dressed?  She wasn't dressed when he walked out and he just told me to go on in ahead of him? I didn't get there early or anything but retired folks sometimes don't pay much attention to time so I figured that was it.

Pretty soon I'm cleared to start looking the house over and she comes out into the kitchen wearing a (thank God) one piece bathing suit. Ok. They have a pool but why did she “get dressed” by putting on a bathing suit? The pool still has a cover on it so she wasn't in the pool.

By then I was remembering things I read in The Gift of Fear and she must have read my mind because she started talking about being a naturist.

She wants to know how old I am. Says I've lost some hair since I was there the last time bla bla bla. She gives me the tour, showing me all the features the house has just like everybody else but when we get outside and talk about whether her house is in a flood zone, she starts in on how the City of St. Augustine is sinking into the ocean, (I can't even find anybody on the internet that thinks so), we have to start paying attention to global warming, conservatives have no ideas, they just hate Obama, there's no such thing as black on white crime and do I know about Rosewood???? !!!!

I allowed as how I knew a little more about Rosewood than most but she didn't let me finish. (I'm sure you can find the authorized version of what happened there if you Google “Rosewood Florida”).

Then it was on to her friend who is a holocaust survivor and had just recently gone insane and turned arch-conservative. He's posting all kinds of horrible conservative stuff on line and she can't reason with him. She is just aghast that someone who lived through the holocaust could be conservative. I started to suggest that perhaps his experience was more telling than her theory but she switched to telling me about how much each house in the neighborhood sold for during the real estate boom eight or nine years ago so I didn't get to say that either.  The old bolshevik turns capitalist when it comes to her own house.

By the time I got backed around to the other side of the house to get back to my car she was telling me how much more her house is worth because it has two orange trees and some wisteria. When I actually make it to the car, she says she'd like me to come back when I'm not working.

It hit me before I got the engine cranked.

In the space of maybe eighteen years, I've gone from being a guy that a hot sixteen year old in a kimono and heels wants to hang out with to being one that a 70 year old left wing naturist wants to hang out with.


I told one of the guys at work that I don't know which would have been worse, getting invited back by the geriatric psycho-naturist or not getting invited back by the geriatric psycho-naturist. He theorized that not getting invited back would have been worse but he hadn't seen her in that bathing suit.

A couple of weeks later I went to get new glasses. Picked out a few new frames and asked the thirty-ish girl at the counter whether I should go with black or gunmetal.

She says “Gunmetal” and that makes me happy. Then I ask her if she thinks the rectangular frames look better than the ones that have slightly more rounded lenses. I'm thinking “Tom Sellak wears round ones in Blue Bloods.” 

She says “Definitely the rectangular ones. The rounder frames make you look old.”

So, all it will take to put me over the line is a different pair of glasses.

Just Damn.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Rock Soup

One of the books that I read about Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. mentions his “rock soup” method of getting permission for offensive operations. Supposedly, during the first Great Depression, a bum might tap on the back door and ask the lady of the house for a pot of water. She'd oblige and the bum would drop a rock into it explaining that he was going to make rock soup. She would say “oh, you can't make soup with just a rock, here have a potato.” Then she'd get to feeling bad about his having just a potato in his pot and give him a carrot. Then an onion and so on until he had the makings of a really fine soup.

Gen. Patton, chafing under orders to not start any kind of major operation because resources were allocated elsewhere, would order a reconnaissance in force. That would develop into a bigger and bigger fight until his bosses had to give in and support what had “become” a major operation and Patton would claim complete innocence.

So, the niece is going to stay with us while she's in college and she dropped by last Monday to finalize the arrangements. Her little puff dog is supposed to stay at home with momma but I'm writing up a report at the office and I get this picture by text message:

The message reads: “Everyone is getting along really well.”


Then I get home and this is sitting in what's about to be the niece's room:

I've been out maneuvered.   We're not just getting the niece. We're getting the niece and her little dog too.

I had no idea my wife was a fan of George Patton.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Purple Tops

A few years ago, we had a slight “sinkhole activity” issue at the house and Joan, the neighborhood HOA Nazi, just couldn't stand it.  When a house in Florida has sinkhole activity, its recorded in Public Records. Insurance companies keep track of that and when there's sinkhole activity in a given neighborhood, they make you pay more to keep the coverage you bought even if you aren't the house with the problem. When the Nazi's insurance company told her that she'd have to pay more to keep full coverage, she looked up sinkholes on the internet, crowned herself an expert and decided that we had created our own sinkhole problem by over-use of our sprinkler system. That made it our fault that she had to pay extra for sinkhole coverage. Never mind that we don't have a sprinkler system. Minutiae like that only cloud the issue.

She came over one day while I was out and started her passive-aggressive whining and bitching but I happened to get home before she left. I told her that I put more faith in the geologist that said the sinkhole had been there dormant at least ten thousand years and had just been reactivated by stresses on the bedrock that came from a thousand or so houses that sprang up within a few blocks to a couple of miles from us during the mid 2000s real estate boom. She didn't even know what an alluvial sinkhole is. Some expert.

She smiled her Jezebel grin, thanked me for the information, went home and called the HOA to set her plan for revenge in motion.
The thing with sinkhole activity is that fixing it takes time. Each case is different but it generally involves injecting “grout,” which I can't tell apart from mortar, into the voids in the ground to recompact the soil under the house and give the steel pins that they put under the house something solid to bear on.

Injecting the grout takes a week or two and then it has to cure for a month before the pins can be driven into place so the whole process takes about two months even if all goes according to plan.

Joan is one of those people to which nothing ever just happens. Whenever something unfavorable happens to her, its because someone did it to her. Besides us causing her to pay more for sinkhole insurance through over use of our imaginary sprinkler system, she was also torqued because she had to buy flood insurance for the first time since moving to the neighborhood back around 1990. She had not figured out how to blame that on me but she was convinced that someone had singled her out, lied to her mortgage holder and make them think she needed flood insurance. Never mind that FEMA had just updated the County's Flood Insurance Rate Maps and expanded pretty much every flood zone to include lots more properties. Never mind that it had been in the papers for over two years as the County fought FEMA over it. Never mind that half of her house was in the flood zone on the new map. That's just more irrelevant minutiae. In her case,  somebody specific had singled her out, gotten her mortgage holder's information and lied to them about her and her alone. She couldn't figure out who to strike back against on the flood inurance trouble but she darned sure knew who made her insurance go up.

Joan is just fine with a porta-potty in the front yard of a house under construction for three or four months because those people never did anything to her. She couldn't stand one in our yard for two or three months because, in her warped little mind, we caused her sinkhole coverage to go up with our imaginary sprinkler system. 

 One day, about a week after running her off the front porch through the use of actual facts, my contractor happened to mention getting a call from the HOA asking whether he could move the porta-potty to the back yard. He said he told them he'd be glad to as soon as they posted a ten thousand dollar bond. Somewhat taken aback, they asked what the bond was about and he explained to them that the truck that services the pota potty weighs about sixty-thousand pounds and would destroy my concrete driveway if it had to go to the back yard. My insurance company would naturally expect the HOA to reimburse them the cost of the new driveway since there's nothing in our deed restrictions that says I can't have a porta-potty in my front yard when people are repairing the house. (By law, facilities for #1 and #2 have to be available for the workers). That was the end of that conversation.

A couple of weeks later, I was down at the HOA office paying my dues and thanked them for working with me on the porta potty issue. I told them that I didn't understand why it had been an issue when porta-potties stay in other people's front yards a lot longer than that one was in mine. That's when they told me “Oh, that was just Joan.” It seems that she's constantly bitching about something and they are constantly having to make calls and report back to her about why they can't make someone bend to her will.  That was her idea to get me back for "causing" her insurance coverage to go up.  She tried to get the HOA to force me to move the porta-potty. Some folks are just sick.
So I got to thinking about poor little old Joan. While contemplating something I once read about praying for people that spitefully use you, I realized that the other thing that she constantly does besides bitch is preen her yard. She will spend days in a floppy hat, long sleeve shirt, long pants, boots and gloves, sitting on a tiny stool in 96 degree heat and close to 100% humidity plucking little weed spouts out of her yard. As I thought about the tragedy of a life spent doing nothing but being a plucking bitch, I got to thinking that if she had more weeds to pluck she might have less time to bitch and might even actually make a friend or two. It was a tall order but if you're gonna dream, you might as well dream big.

Unfortunately, nobody in my town sells weed seeds. Its like folks expect weeds to just volunteer. Here I had a plan that was going to give Joan something constructive to do, make her be nice to the neighbors and maybe even enable her to make some friends but I had no weapon, I mean, no means to give her the gift that was going to make it all happen.

So I got to looking at what weeds grow around here and there's one that, when its small, looks for all the world like a small turnip plant.

I have a buddy with a farm about three counties over and asked him to get me a pound of turnip seeds and to make sure he paid cash. He asked me if I knew how many seeds that would be. I admitted that I did not but allowed that it would probably be several thousand and, if it wasn't at least several thousand could he get me two pounds? A week or so later I had a paper sack with a pound of Purple Top turnip seeds. 
If you aren't familiar with turnip seeds, they ain't real big. Maybe like #4 or #6 bird shot. They don't weigh much either. A pound of them is about as big as a good sized baking potato. Its more than a few seeds.

Not having a spiteful bone in my body and confident that purity of my motives would carry the day, I proudly showed the bag to The Lovely Bride.

Why do we need a pound of turnip seeds?”

I explained that I was turning the other cheek, being a good neighbor and giving Joan something to do that she enjoyed immensely. I explained that it could end up changing the woman's whole outlook on life. Before I was done with all the explaining, I was practically the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future all rolled into one.

My own wife doubted my veracity.

She said something about Proverbs 24:8, vengeance belonging to God, dieing by the sword, that we are supposed to pray for our enemies and stuff like that. By the time she got done, I didn't know whether to wait for the collection plate or an
altar call. I put up a spirited defense. I had prayed and this was the answer that I got. I said that Joan wouldn't be an enemy if she had something constructive to do. Besides, it was turnips. I wasn't even taking a sword.

Might as well have been talking to the wall.

After three or four days of intransigence on her part, I finally called off the whole operation. I figured that if I couldn't convince my own wife that my motives were pure, I probably couldn't convince a jury.

I've kept my pound of turnip seeds in my reloading room ever since. Every now an then I take them out and dream of what might have been. How Joan would probably have friends and be happy if only I had been allowed to intervene. I sometimes wonder if, at my final reward, I'll be required to answer for the sin of not sowing thousands upon thousands of turnip seeds in her yard to give her one last chance at happiness in her declining years. Then I force myself to move on.   No sense in wondering what might have been.   We can't change the past.  We can only ask for forgiveness.

Besides, the seeds probably won't even germinate anymore.
For the past couple of years, I've had a bunch of young coonties growing in one of those plastic trays that you buy at Hoes or Lowm Depot for mixing individual bags of mortar. A month or two ago, I transplanted them to a flower bed by the driveway. I got to thinking about what to do with the tray and decided see if my turnip seeds were still good.

I filled the tray back up with soil and made a couple of grooves in it. I sprinkled maybe a teaspoon of turnip seeds into each groove and covered them up. A little water and a few days later, turnips started popping up. These seem to be a self-culling variety. At the start, I had about forty little turnip sprouts going but all but five died before growing their first real leaves.  Those five have thrived.

So now I have five healthy turnip plants and they will make a nice little pot of greens. I also still have about 0.9999 pound of turnip seeds left.

Sowing and reaping.

I am blessed just for being willing to help my neighbor.

I happen to like turnips.