Saturday, September 24, 2005

Louisiana District Court rules issues restraining order

barring further gun confiscations in NO. Found at the Geek's place here; NRA press release here; he was tipped to it by Uncle here.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Boats, water and Darwin

Over at Hog on Ice, Steve had a post a couple of days ago on the subject listed above, in particular how getting in trouble in the water can mean things going way south waaaay fast. I can't speak of the ocean, never been out on it. I have been on some fairly big lakes when a strong wind came up or a storm was moving in. A half-mile from shore looks like a damn long way at times like that, and the first time made a serious impression on me. As in looking for life jackets, and wondering if I could bring along a face mask and snorkel in the future. I can swim, but did I mention that it looked like a damn long way to shore? Even longer with the waves getting bigger?

I can't imagine the feeling of being miles from the nearest land and having your boat start to play 'elevator stuck on down', and I really don't want to. If in the future I do get the chance to go fishing way out there, I plan on asking questions about emergency gear. That was reinforced during a dive years ago. A friend and I had rented some equipment, in my case including a buoyancy compensator; basically an inflatable vest you add or dump air from so you don't sink or rise from your desired depth. Near the end I happened to twist sideways while changing direction and the BC dumped most of the air in it. Scared hell out of me, because a BC is also your life vest if something happens and you need floatation help. It turned out the pressure relief valve, there to keep the vest from popping from overinflation, was defective; if you were swimming along normally it held air in the top above the valve, but if you turned so that the valve was above that area- like if you were on the surface counting on it to keep you up- it would vent. The guy at the shop wasn't too concerned when we told him(after all, we made it back didn't we?), which caused us to never rent anything from that place again. Our diving instructor had been very specific about checking your equipment, and we did, but just blowing some air into the BC didn't reveal the problem unless you fully inflated it. Which I always did after that.

Years later I knew some people on the state Lake Patrol, and listening to them was flat amazing. Some of the people out on the water were on a level to make Sean Penn look like Popeye. Well, maybe his apprentice seaman. Like the guy in the middle of one of the biggest lakes in the state on a $5 air mattress, who didn't see a problem. Or the drunks told to get off the water who actually did offer him a beer. And so forth.

I long ago decided that it wasn't surprising when some of these people drown and make it into the news; what's amazing is how many of these idiots don't drown and show up in the news.

There's a guy named Humberto Fontova down in LA who's written a bunch of articles and several books, one of them 'The Helldivers Rodeo' about spearfishing in the Gulf. In some way's I'd love to go along, but some of the descriptions of 'how we did it this time' flat scares hell out of me for precisely the reason Steve mentioned about boats: when something goes wrong it often cascades into further problems that get worse at each step. And 40 or 50 or more feet down it doesn't take much of a mistake to convert you to fish food. I love his writings, and I'd love to go out with him, but damn!

Steve, if I ever get to Florida to fish I think I'll try to talk my way into going with you. At least I'll know the emergency gear works.

Carnival of Cordite #31

Here at Gullyborg. As might be expected, the lead item is the New Orleans gun seizures. It has some information I'm somewhat ashamed of: that Oklahoma National Guardsmen were indeed part of this, actually taped keeping homeowners handcuffed while they searched their home and seized their firearms. I would have hoped that their officers, or the men themselves, would have resisted carrying out such an act; I hoped in vain.

Now that the NRA and GOA and SAF, among others, are working toward court cases on this, I can hope that those responsible for this- in particular the CHP thug that assaulted Patricia Konie- get their collective ass handed to them in court.

Happily there are more things than this in the Carnival, so go read.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

In a tie with cosmoline for the stickiest crap in the world

is Lee Liquid Alox bullet lube. It comes in a bottle, it's a thick brown gel, and it won't wash off if you get it on your skin. It smells a bit, too.

I renewed my aquaintance with this stuff over those .38 bullets I mentioned casting yesterday. If you've never messed with this, allow me to deliver a short primer.

Get a pot of lead hot enough to melt. If you're being picky, this includes using a particular allow, so much lead with so much tin/antimony/secret ingredient added. Pour into mold. Dump out and repeat. When you have enough, the next step is sizing/lubing. This is best done with a tool designed for the purpose, such as the Lyman Lubri-Sizer. It has a reservoir that holds a stick of lube; a position that holds a sizing die(a round steel die with a hole the precise diameter you want the bullet to be); and a top punch that fits the nose of the bullet. You place the bullet in the die, press it down to size it, turn a crank to force lube into the grooves, pull the handle up and repeat with the next. Nice and neat, and if you're using one of the 'hard' lubes, you can add a heater to the machine to heat and soften the lube.

That's the best way. I'm working with two things here; first, the bullet will fit the firearm in question nicely in the as-cast size and second, I'm a long way from the press I would use. And, I don't have a sizing die that would leave the bullet about the same diameter so I couldn't use it anyway. So, to get some bullets ready to load for testing, I dug out the bottle of Lee. By the time I had this stuff worked into the grooves and around the bullet, I also had the crap all over my fingers. Did I mention it won't wash off? So I wound up dusting my hands with talcum powder, which then allowed me to rub the worst of it off. Note: that helps with epoxy on the hands, too.

So now I have fifty bullets ready to load. This works out like I hope, I'll get a die the proper diameter so I can cast a bunch and lube them by machine the next time I have a chance. It'll be a hell of a lot neater.

In a comment on the previous post Robert asked what these are for, as they're a bit heavy compared to most .38 loads. I'm helping put some loads together for a Enfield revolver in .38 Smith & Wesson. It's the prececessor to the .38 Special, a much shorter case. When the Brits decided the .455 Webley was too large, they went to a smaller Webley revolver- damn near identical design- in this cartridge, which I believe they called the .380/200, 200 being the grain weight of the bullet they used; a 200-grain, round-nose cast bullet at about 650-700 feet per second. From all reports it worked quite well as a fight-stopper. Big reason we're working on this is that, as you may know, when a pistol is sighted in with a heavy bullet, light bullets tend to hit low. Sometimes very low, which is the case here. So hopefully this should put the point of impact right up with point of aim. And really, in a bad situation it wouldn't be a bad pistol/load to use.

Microlon followup

So far, it seems to be holding at about a 2mpg gain. That's in 'round town, city streets and highway. Over time, that'll add up, and the apparent gain in internal parts protection is a good thing. Overall, I have to say I like the stuff.

Now I'll have to get the money and get a kit for my truck.

And while I'm thinking of it,

Go here to Cowboy Blob, lots of links to good stuff. Including some new info on the firearms confiscations in NO from Geek with a .45. If some of this checks out on the bad side, I'm going to have to revise my view of the National Guard, and I hate to do that. But if all it takes for the Guard to dump the Constitution is "I had orders", then we've got a very big problem there.

Check it out! Kim's archives!

Go to Smoke on the Water here for them. For as long as they're available.

Excellent stuff. And thanks to Smokey for putting this up.

Update: 1330 9/22: they're gone. Dammit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Ok, I'm done

And I don't need a fork to tell. This morning the mold came in so I cast about a hundred .38 caliber 190grain bullets, cleaned up from that, and spent the rest of the day pruning and cleaning up. The electric chipper I ordered came in the other day, so I now have a full compost heap and a much smaller pile of branches than usual for the big trash pickup.

Right now the muscles between my shoulder blades feel like someone either hit me with a club or stuck something in(second wife? Nah, the dogs would've told me), and the rest of my body is telling me to knock it off. I caught my son after work and took him to dinner, so the last of my energy is digesting that.

I noticed that Rob trackbacked to me today on this post, glad he enjoyed it. Now if he'll get his health taken care of so he doesn't fall over and die... Hey, Rob? If you think the gnats in the onions were bad, think about your dead body in a Georgia summer after a few days. Yuck.

Bye, y'all.

News on the du Toits and the NoR

Over at Anarchangel there's this. They're ok, and it's some more info on the 'why'. On the sudden site takedown:
"We're fine. As some have surmised this was a sudden "emergency" situation that caused us to react without any warning. For that we apologize, but it became a choice between our personal obligations (fill in the details yourself) and the site. The site lost as we're sure everyone can understand."

I'm glad to hear from them, we'll just have to wait & see how it works out.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Roast and habanero's

A few years ago my folks gave me a roaster, one of the electric ones. It's nice, the cooking compartment lifts out for cleaning, and you can put all kinds of things in there and slow-cook them.

I stuck a roast in this afternoon, poured a pack of Lipton onion soup mix over it, added some water and garlic and sage- my usual method- and then took the one ripe chili off the habanero plant, sliced it into thin rings and layed them over the roast. Yeah, Steve gave me the idea. It cooked over about three hours, and came out nice and tender. The chili added a nice flavor to the meat, not hot at all, but damn! the gravy has a bite! I can't figure out how all the heat wound up in the gravy and not the meat, but the meat got much of the flavoring.

Not that it matters, really. It's damn good, and it'll give me stuff to take to work for a couple of days. Which is why a good-sized roast. Or making a big pot of chili or jambalaya. Or a pan of focaccia and a pot of tomato sauce with meat to dip it in.

Dammit, I wish I had more time to actually cook.

Note: I originally did this and the two previous posts last night, only Blogger said 'there were Errors'. Amazingly it held them, and I was able to put them up today.

A very handy set of stones

No, not that kind, and that's none of your business anyway. Unless you're female. And single. And- never mind.

A year or so ago a local gun shop was having a sale, and among the items in the knife cases was this:

It's a set of ceramic stones from Spyderco. One each triangle, square, round and knife-edge, each 5" long. They say fine grit, but I think it's a very fine; it seems to put a quite nice polish on a piece. I got them specifically for trigger and other gun work. They're small enough to fit in tight areas of a trigger or sear, put on a nice polish, and they don't seem to wear down. 'Least not that I can tell so far. They clean up with something like Comet and a scrub pad, and according to the catalog they can even be sterilized for medical use.

They're fairly fast-cutting, too, which is nice. A set of these, and for a final, mirror-smooth polish something like the synthetic ruby stone that Brownell's carries, could take care of just about anything. I've been real happy with them.

In the concern of 'when it all goes south',

in a bad way, I present a song. There's a lady named Leslie Fish who does filk. If you're not familiar with it, it's songs based on fantasy/sci-fi stories, sometimes set to traditional tunes and sometimes original. I can't remember where she started this from, but I present the words and chords to 'Black Powder and Alcohol'

(A) - C - G - D - E (2x)

Black powder and alcohol,
When the states and the cities fall,
When your back is against the wall;
Black powder and alcohol.

Gimme charcoal to the measure two:
Send the bullet where you want it to.
Gimme sulphur to the measure three:
Make the powder gonna keep you free.
Gimme saltpetre, measure fifteen:
Sweetest shooting that you've ever seen! (chorus)

Gimme water, yeast, and veggie-trash:
Leave it sitting in the slurry-mash.
When it's ready, put it in the still:
If you can't heat it, then the sunlight will.
Draw the alcohol away, and then
Put the slurry back, and start again! (chorus)

Booze'll clean your cuts, or run your car.
You can make it anywhere you are.
Black powder in your cartridge shell
Will send the robbers running clean to Hell.
You can make them if you just know how.
So kids, remember what I tell you now!

An interesting piece, wouldn't you say?

More ref Trentadue case

"A Federal judge has upheld his original judgment of $1.1 million against the Federal government in the mysterious death of federal prison inmate Kenneth Trentadue in 1995 in Oklahoma City."

This, you may remember, is in the suits over the man who died in the El Reno facility; the government claimed he committed suicide, the family thinks- and evidence strongly suggests- he was beaten to death. One of the more eye-catching phrases from the judgement(article here), the judge says there was 'intentional infliction of emotional distress' and "The judge also found 'that the extreme and outrageous character of the defendant's conduct is important evidence that the distress existed'."

This just keeps getting worse as it goes along. So far we've got someone dead; government investigators and lawyers shown to have lied; and a continuing effort to cover up all of it. Last I heard on this, the judge is still waiting to hear if the FBI has some reason he should not be able to see the unredacted reports that were previously provided to Trentadue's brother. It'll be interesting to hear what reason the FBI has to say the judge isn't trustworthy enough to look upon them.

If they had admitted in the first place, or shortly thereafter, what really happened they'd have had to eat earlier words and prosecute the people responsible for this; they'd have had a bit of a black eye that would have been much healed by the fact that they cleaned their own house. Instead there's coverup and conspiracy and bullshit, and it makes them look worse and worse as time goes on. I really wish the various feds involved would actually live up to their oaths and claims and clean this mess up. The right way.

Monday, September 19, 2005

That people like this work and fight to come here...

Sometimes they die trying. But many make it. Right now I'm speaking of Corporal Tibor Rubin, now being awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Korean War.

A Hungarian Jew, at 15 he was stuck in Mauthausen camp in Austria. Most of his family died in the camps, he survived 14 months before the camp was liberated. And he came to America, and made the kind of life that should be remembered. Hell, it should be a damn legend.

He joined the Army, and went to Korea. Twice part of a rear guard to hold the enemy off, the first time doing it single-handed. Captured after the second time, in a Chinese pow camp he risked beatings and death to steal food, and.... Go here for a good write-up of it, here for the official citation, and read them.

"No one knew when they would die," Ted noted, "It was all random." When prisoners passed away, Ted would bury them, and recite the Kaddish. "I buried my friends, my comrades, American soldiers," Ted said, "and asked the Good Lord to let them rest in peace."

He came home and lived a good life. He reminds me of the great-uncles I mentioned before, who served in WWII, came home, raised families and lived good lives. Both in the doing and in the examples they gave.

We need to know of people like these, remember them, tell our children about them. People like Rick Rescorla, like Sergeant Christopher Turner, like Col. James Coffman, LTC Erik Kurilla, and the list goes on. Our goddamed media won't talk about them unless cornered and forced to, because they don't like people like them. Too big a set of balls, and too much integrity from what I can tell; they give MSM 'journalists' the vapors.

Check Blackfive for one, he lists these people and tells you about them, and Michael Yon. And remember these men and women.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Now for something from our 'Friends' the Brits

Clayton Cramer had a link to this piece of crap. I thought I'd go over some of the points listed. It's from some jerkoff named Clarkson, who sounds like one of Mikey Moore's butt-monkeys. Or maybe something he squeezed out of his ass.

"...the greatest and most powerful nation on earth could be so crippled by a bit of wind and rain." Well, you see Clarky, a category 5 hurricane is more than a 'bit of wind and rain' for one thing; for another the nation wasn't crippled, you just wish it was.

"...behind the veneer of civilization, most Americans barely have the brains to walk on their back legs." Coming from the wankers who said the wheelbarrow was invented so the Irish could stand up straight, that doesn't bother me much. And speaking of the 'veneer of civilization', you might check out a book called 'Life at the Bottom'. It's by a British doctor, and from that and the evidence in the news you're not is a good position to be speaking of anybody elses' civilization or lack thereof.

Oh, it's just full of wonderful comments on us. He compares us to the "stupidest creature on God's earth" of course; our "none-too-bright soldiers urged on by their illiterate political masters"; oh, and of course he has to point out what a bunch of racists we are. "It's easier and much more fun to shoot someone than make them a cup of tea. Especially if they're black."

By the way, did you know that there were no 'looters' in NO? No, only "some poor, starving soul helping themselves to a packet of food". Somehow I never knew a tv or DVD player was edible, but apparently the super-intelligent Brits like Clarky have figured out uses for semiconductors and transistors we ignorant colonials were never able to figure out.

There's also note that we're "told rules exist and they should not use common sense to question them." First, coming from you, Clarky, in a country where you can't think out loud without falling afoul of the latest politically correct ruling on how you'll be allowed to think, where you can go to prison for defending yourself in your own home, where owning a gun makes you a de facto criminal according to your government(you just haven't committed the crime yet), you are not in a good position to comment on how we don't question rules. Or maybe you've just been hanging around people like yourself; you see, an awful lot of us question the rules, and the laws, on a regular basis. Loudly. Of course, according to you, that means our 'veneer of civilization' is peeling away, doesn't it?

I have a message for you, Clarky: go fuck yourself. Assuming you can get your head out of your(or Mikey's) butt long enough. We don't think military force is the solution to everything, just some things; and when we send them out, they don't have to beg ammunition from allies because we sent them into battle without enough. Except for the terminally politically correct, we know what a looter is: it's not someone taking food, its the asshole stealing electronics and raping and robbing hospitals and pharmacies. And he deserves to be shot, either by the police, the military or the honest citazen. Oh, that's right, you're more scared of an honest citazen with a gun, or a cop who cares more about protecting citazens than about kissing the ass of some orc who thinks the world owes him a living, than you are of the orcs. Until the orcs come for you, that is.

Yeah, we've got problems. We have corruption and stupidity and problems with our education system. I would suggest you look at your own society through eyes that actually care about fixing problems instead of covering them up before you whine and insult us; because you're not exactly living in an ivory tower in Britain.

And again, thank you so much for your wondrous opinion of us. I only wish I had a copy of the paper itself, so I could use it as it deserves. As toilet paper.