Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy Early New Year! Again!

And start it off right; you have GOT to read this!

Tactical Tommy Goes to the Store, courtesy of the Texican Tattler.

Found through the good offices of Uncle.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Another wonderful piece from Michael Crichton

Couple of years ago he wrote a book called State of Fear about the enviroweenies working to scare us all to death, to try to force us into doing what they want. I wrote about that book and a speech he gave, and it got me some of the more passionate comments I've had; all from people who insisted global warming was real, a true danger, etc. Mind you, I didn't mind the comments, with one exception they actually argued their point without insult or name-calling.

Well, Clayton Cramer linked to a speech by Crichton on Fear, Complexity & Environmental Management in the 21st Century. It's a wonderful piece, which touches on:
Just how wrong the predictions were about the impact of Chernobyl;
How people can 'believe' themselves to death;
More predictions of "We're all gonna DIE!" that were/are wrong;
And just how much we don't know how to manage nature.

(Ref the last, in 1987 Playing God in Yellowstone came out, about that exact subject. Well worth the read)

And, just to enrage the enviroweenies and Indians-as-God fetishists, both Crichton's speech and the book take note of the ways in which the first immigrants managed land and animals, fire being one of their main tools.

Go read the speech, at least; you'll be glad you did.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

There's no other way to put this

Fucking Barbarians

I don't care about their 'culture' and 'social mores', that this is considered a normal and proper thing in so much of the muslim world marks them as such.

"Appearing disheveled but composed, he said he killed Muqadas because she had committed adultery, and his daughters because he didn't want them to do the same when they grew up."

I repeat, fucking barbarians. And if the muslim community doesn't like being thought of as such, then a: speak out against this crap, and b: STOP IT!

Remember Sacco & Vanzetti?

I do. It was a case I remember several teachers hitting on in school and college. A marvelous example of the unfairness and bigotry of our system, the teachers said. Except that they were guilty as hell, as noted in the article that Red State links to.

I haven't read the L.A. Times article, as it requires registration. However, Betsy has some excerpts from a letter written by Upton Sinclair:
"Alone in a hotel room with Fred, I begged him to tell me the full truth," Sinclair wrote. " … He then told me that the men were guilty, and he told me in every detail how he had framed a set of alibis for them." and

"But the fearless Sinclair was left a conflicted man by what Sacco and Vanzetti's lawyer — and later others in the anarchist movement — told him."

"My wife is absolutely certain that if I tell what I believe, I will be called a traitor to the movement and may not live to finish the book," Sinclair wrote Robert Minor, a confidant at the Socialist Daily Worker in New York, in 1927."
"He also worried that revealing what he had been told would cost him readers. "It is much better copy as a naïve defense of Sacco and Vanzetti because this is what all my foreign readers expect, and they are 90% of my public," he wrote to Minor."

So the 'fearless' Mr. Sinclair wrote a book painting the two as railroaded innocents even though he knew they were guilty and had said he was going to "write the truth about the case."

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Tsunami, a year later

While I was visiting my folks saw two shows, one specifically about the tsunami, the other one of the Discovery Channel "Here's what's going to kill you next!" shows. The second had good points, including a team scouting the sea floor around the fault area and finding some really amazing evidence of how strong the quake was and precisely how it generated the tsunami.

The first had a lot of video I hadn't seen before, and some of it was scary as hell. Most of the early stuff I saw either was from areas where the wave height wasn't that great, or you just couldn't tell because of angle, obstacles to view, etc. Some of this showed the proverbial 'wall of water' slamming in. One was from a beach where when the water pulled out, a lot of people went to the beach to see; you can hear the two people shooting it talking, finally one says 'tsunami', and finally someone realizes what's about to happen when they see the wave building in the distance and started yelling, too late. One guy who must not have believed what he was seeing was still standing on the beach when it hit him.

One from Banda Aceh showed a city street when the water started up. The first like a spill moving up, then deeper with timbers and cars and bicycles and people rushing along at(I'd guess) a good 20 mph. A couple of guys who'd been caught actually jumping along the mass of wreckage until they were able to jump onto some stuff trapped against a building and made it to safety.

I think the worst was someone shooting from the second or third story of a hotel; a half-dozen women were in the lee of a small building trying to hold on. The photographer zoomed in on one for a few moments; she was screaming and trying to hold on to another woman, then the photographer zoomed back out, and a few seconds later those two were swept away.

And then the aftermath. Women screaming and crying over the bodies of their children, men and women and children carrying bodies, children looking around for families they'll never see again. A guy sitting beside his bicycle. Apparently he'd been somewhere else when it hit and hurried home. You didn't really need the translation; "My family is gone. I'm the only one left. Why has God abandoned me?" The despair in that voice was enough to give you nightmares all by itself.

A quarter of a million dead. Something like 50,000 missing. People saying they'll not believe their family is dead until they see the bodies, which means never.

A few years ago an F5 tornado passed nearby, thanks to modern forecasting and chasers only a few died in a storm with winds of 319mph(I drove through an area that took the full brunt about two weeks later; pictures cannot do justice to the sight). The Gulf coast states take hurricanes every year, some of which can be terrible. Blizzards can still, forecasting or no, slam you with little warning. Rogue waves on the ocean can destroy ships. Earthquakes, almost always with no warning. Volcanos can sit rumbling and making people nervous for months and do nothing else, or can go from the first quakes to full eruption in days and kill thousands. Remember Nevado del Ruiz in Columbia? Actually not much of an eruption, but the mudflows it generated killed tens of thousands.

I can't remember who, but when I was little I heard or read someone saying about any body of water "If you don't respect it, it can kill you without a moments notice, and the water won't care". That pretty much goes for much of the planet and many of the creatures on it. Spiders and snakes and sharks and blue-ringed octopi and lions and hyenas and buffalo and fish and cattle and pigs and dogs and so on. But normally- make that 'usually'- they don't whack people in such numbers.

I still remember one picture from the days after the wave. One baby's hand sticking out of some rubble. I pretty much summed it up.

Note: Michelle Malkin has this link to Storm Track, which links to some of the videos.

Happy Early New Year!

Just in case I forget later.

Remember I said I don't like working on ladders and roofs? Went down to see my folks the past couple of days and helped Dad take down the last of that tree we'd worked on before. Wasn't a lot left, and we got all we needed to cut before the wind got really nasty yesterday. Very happily without me falling from any great height.

I am trying to decide what to do, if anything, for New Years. Most of the folks I know don't go out to party, and I don't particularly enjoy spending the evening around a bunch of noisy drunks. I also have a great dislike of driving while some of these fools are on the road; I drive a truck, not a light armored vehicle. At this point I think I'll stay home and drink a little good stuff.

That's another factor; for what three or four drinks cost anymore, I can buy a bottle of good whiskey. So I don't generally drink when I go out, other than a beer or two in some cases.

Well, it's still a couple of days away. We'll see what turns up.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

This is a lousy thing to go into on this day,

but I have to.

I've only been over at Junkyard Blog a couple of times; no idea why not more often. Today I clicked over there, and found this post about Spielberg's new movie. I'd already heard enough about it to know I'll not put money in his pocket by seeing it; he also linked to this article which has a pretty good critique of Spielberg's point of view and the movie, and some in-depth information about the murders in Munich and what led up to them than I'd not seen before. It also has some information about the aftermath, in specific:

I remember hearing some at the time of the hijacking of a German airliner by Palistinians who wanted the three terrorists who'd been captured released. They were released. This is something I never heard a hint of before now:
"In the course of the making of the documentary film and writing of the book One Day in September, it was revealed that the hijacking had been set up between Black September and the German government."

Read it all. Then remember that the German government just released the terrorist who'd murderered an American, refusing us any opportunity to extradite him. And the damn Lebanese government, who held him for a short time, turned him loose.

Some things seem to hold true over time. One is that we can't trust many governments to give a rat's ass about what terrorists do to Israeli and American citazens; if they do care, it's only enough to give themselves some cover.

The other? Never trust those people to do something about the terrorists. A bit unfair? Maybe for some people over there, but recent history has shown that too many people in too many positions of power actually seem to delight in our people being murdered.

I didn't know squat about politics at the time of the Munich murders; I did know that when I heard later the Israeli's were hunting down the guilty and killing them, I thought "Good!". Looks like we need to have some people going hunting, too.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas to all!

Or Happy Solstice, or Happy Day Off Work or whatever. That doesn't cover it? Screw you, just be happy.

My present for you is this for the devoted of the 1911:

(found in a post at The High Road)

Friday, December 23, 2005

All hail the fish!

I just checked my status at Truth Laid Bear, and I'm now a Flippery Fish.

Whatever the hell that means.

Hey, Sondra, wanna bass around?
Over at Moral Flexibility found this post on the 'get out of the country' response by a bigshot Liberal politician to an upset sport shooter. Down in the comments found an interesting piece of crap. I left a comment, but apparently it didn't meet with the moderator's approval, so I'll do it here:
I must admit I have to chuckle every time I hear an American brag about their vaunted liberties and freedoms. Yes, I’m sure that if you’re white, rich and well-connected, America can be a great place to live.
Yeah, that explains all the rich white Mexicans and everybody else crawling over each other to get here.

Certainly, Canada is not without its own problems. But, unlike the U.S. Constitution, which is being progressively eroded (especially with respect to the First, Fourth and Sixth Amendments) by expedient legislation such as the ‘Patriot Act’, Canadians’ rights under our Charter remain largely intact.

"Largely intact"? Like a previous mention of private property rights basically being written out of the Charter by Trudeau? And the current crap going on? Ok.

I still have confidence that I won’t be rousted off an inter-city bus by armed constabulary at 3:00 a.m. for an unreasonable search, as happened to me in Arkansas last year. Admittedly, as an alien, I could claim no protection under your Constitution, but I watched as several dozen Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights were flagrantly violated. Presumably with impunity, because they were black, poor and politically unconnected.

Not having any knowledge of the incident you speak of, I'll only comment that based on your other comments, I have great suspicion that what you describe leaves a lot out.

By most objective international standards, the quality of life in the US is on the decline. As the gulf between the rich and poor widens, as compromises in personal freedoms are introduced in the name of ‘national security’, as political corruption continues largely unabated, claims of ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’ ring somewhat hollow.

Hee, I guess compared to the gentle social life in France, and the huge unemployment, and the people being murdered by Islamists, our lives must seem pretty bad. Though I keep reading about middle-class people in other countries who want to live like the 'poor' do here, and most millionairs here are self-made, so I must be missing something. Like just what your 'objective international standards' are. Political corruption? You mean like the finance and bribery scandals that got your PM and party a no-confidence vote? Guess we'll have to work harder to live down to your standards.

Claims of democracy are hollow without an informed electorate, a viable and free press and freedom from censorship. America has now dropped to forty-fourth place in the world in terms of freedom of the press (

If I remember right, this is one of those organizations that think Castro and his little buttmonkey in Venezuela are wonders; so screw their opinion.

America’s record on human rights abuses has become a scandal (, it now leads the world in incarceration rates (,
continues to slip on the UN’s ‘Human Development Index’, falling to tenth place in 2005 (, largely reflecting its levels of poverty and inequality.

To quote somebody in the comments, I wouldn't cross the street to piss on Amnesty International; they suck up to every anti-American, anti-capitalist and anti-Jewish weenie in the world. Screw them too.

America is a great nation. But it could be a true world leader with a rational foreign policy and improved social equality for its citizens.

First, we're a great nation party BECAUSE we don't have what you probably define as a 'rational foreign policy', which probably means "hand over the keys to the UN and EU and let them run your lives". And 'improved social equality' tends to be code for 'socialist control of the country and everyone/everything in it; no thank you, we've seen how that crap works in other places. So you just go ahead and feel superior; I'm sure the terrorists and sympathizers your current government has let into the country will get to you eventually.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ok, this is NOT a cheery day

Found a post over at Clayton Cramer's on- ready?-
"Around the holidays, the biggest challenge for many theater companies is convincing audiences to care about yet another staging of "A Christmas Carol." This season in Atlanta, however, Actor's Express wants to stir up buzz about a less familiar property -- namely, a pedophile musical."

Somehow, I don't think 'stirring up a buzz' about this will be a problem.

On the upside, some of the real pedophiles are really, really stupid.

And so much for my hopes for Lebanon

Found this at Little Green Footballs.

I just love this from the Lebanese PM:"“Originally they (the U.S. government) could have requested that Germany hand him over. Why are they asking us?” Siniora told reporters. “He served his sentence in Germany and there are measures that will be completed in Lebanon ... Why are they asking us now?”

We DID ask the krauts, you little bastard, as you damn well know, and they turned the dirtbag loose anyway; THAT'S why we asked you!!

Apparently all the murders and bombings and etc. by this bastard and his friends weren't enough to sour the Lebanese- at least the politicians- on giving cover to them.

And some people from New Orleans really are dickheads

Yeah, my language is going downhill; sometimes I don't care.

About three months ago my ex agreed to let a guy from NO who was about to lose his hotel room stay at her house. I wasn't thrilled(my daughter still lives there), but a: I was assured that he was on the list of people who'd been checked out and b: I had no say in it anyway. Seemed like a decent sort after I'd met him.

About a month ago he got word he had a FEMA trailer and a job waiting for him, the trailer for use 'till his house settlement was sorted out. He needed to get back quickly, the buses and airlines were full-up, so they agreed to drive him back. He promised to pay back the gas money.

No money arrived, and my daughter told me the other day that the dickhead has changed his phone number. So no address, no phone number, and a Louisiana dickhead cheated them out of money they couldn't afford to lose.

I just LOVE people sometimes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Update on the slimy Krauts action

More accurately, the followup; Lebanese authorities grabbed the scum-sucking waste-of-oxygen terrorist when he landed. So at this point the little pile of pig crap isn't getting backslapped by his Hezbollah buddies, and there's a fair chance he'll be extradited for trial here.

I'm thinking after we fry him, we bury the body in something appropriate, or in an appropriate place. Like a latrine, or a hog farm.

And to the German authorities: you suck. You suck so hard there's an imitation black hole in northern Europe. You sucked up to Saddam, you sold out to him, and now you sold out to a bunch of murdering terrorists. Fuck you and all your little socialist brethren, and I hope it'll be a cold day in three hells before we give you one hand out of the mess you've dug yourselves into.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Oh, Germany?

You can kiss our collective ass

Let's see, sucking up to Saddam, violating the sanctions you said 'needed more time to work', selling him weapons and tech... check. Releasing a terrorist murderer sentanced to 'life', even though there's a waiting request for his extradition from us? Check. Sitting with France and Russia and calling us names and undercutting us in the war? Check.

Yeah, you can kiss our ass. Assuming we don't give a great big crap on you when you try, you gutless collection of socialist assholes.

But I repeat myself.

About the fudge,

Kevin asked, so,

1.5 cup sugar
2/3 cup (5 oz.) evaporated milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups mini-marshmallows
1.5 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla

Line a 8x8" pan with foil.
Combine the sugar, milk, butter and salt in a(preferably) non-stick saucepan. Heat until it's melted, then bring it to a full boil. You have to keep it at the boil for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat, stir in everything else and keep stirring 'till all the marshmallows & chips are melted and mixed in.
Pour into the pan, spread it out level, and let it cool. Then refrigerate for at least two hours. After that you should be able to remove it, peel off the foil and cut it up. Then proceed to torture friends and family with it.

I didn't have a pan that size, so I bought some of the cheap foil pans(3/$1) and used that without lining. With luck, the slab, when cold, will pop out and you can reuse the pan.

Screw the '1/2 cup pecans', I used 2 cups in the last batch, and it came out great. If you don't like that many, cut it back. Up to you.

And I'd suggest getting all the stuff ready in a bowl or two so you can just dump it in when you take the pot off the heat; the cooler it gets, the harder it is to mix up.

Oh, Canada,

you're determined to follow Britain down the toilet, aren't you?

Lots of gunbloggers(the Geek here, for instance) have been pointing at the promise(threat?) by Prime Minister Martin that if his Liberal party wins the next election he'll move to ban handguns. This is, of course, after years of telling people "registration has nothing to do with eventual confiscation, nothing at all!". Which, of course, was bull; it's the same with these clowns as with the VPC and Brady group weenies here, lie about what you want to do so you can do it a little at a time.

And the Liberal party has pretty much made it clear what it thinks of anyone who disagrees that this is a good idea, one of their weenies telling an upset voter "take your NRA gun loving ass back to the U.S. where you belong".

For anyone tempted by the though of "Well, if we give a little it won't be too bad, and what's so horrible about having to have a license to own firearms?", I give you this from Moral Flexability:
"My original thought was that a registry, assuming the government doesn’t have a hidden agenda seeking to disarm the populace, was not a bad idea. Owners should be licenced and the firearms should be registered. Much like vehicles. For the few million price tag originally forcast, it seemed like a good idea.

Even in my short time as a recreational shooter and gun owner I’ve watched the “incremental approach” you’ve described begin it’s magic, No more I say. Moderation has entirely failed to serve the firearms owners of this country."

In EVERY CASE I have ever read of, registration HAS been followed by confiscation, either of a particular type of firearm(as a start) or as a blanket thing. Hell, look what happened in California with the registry of 'assault weapons'(all for the public safety, of course). SKS owners were assured their rifles were clear, then about a year later the AG changed his mind and added them to the banned list. And it goes on from there.

The only reason for registration of firearms is to a: make it more difficult/expensive to own them and b: to make it easier to confiscate them down the road. Period. People like Sen. Schumer here make speeches on news shows about how he's only for 'common-sense gun safety laws', but when speaking to the believers he says every law is only a step toward a total ban. If they say it's about crime, they're lying; I've had a couple of people admit it would do nothing toward stopping crime, they just don't think gun ownership should be allowed.

And 'compromising' with those people always means one thing: you lose.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Ok, this stuff is GOOD!

I tried making some fudge for the first time a while back. Got the recipe from my daughter, and made two changes; added more pecans and used some different chocolate chips.

I found some Ghirardelli chips that are 60% cocoa, and I'd intended to make cookies to try them out. Instead, I used them for the fudge.

Oh, this is almost as good as I remember sex to be. I mean DAMN, it's good stuff.

A lady I work with found out about a month ago- about two months after her husband's last leave- that she's pregnant: Good Thing. Bad Things: hubby is back over in the sandbox, and she's been having morning sickness. So I took some for her to try(have you ever met a woman that chocolate didn't cheer up at least a little?), and she's implied it helps the sickness. I'm not sure, I think she's just using that to guilt me into bringing more in.

The place I found the chips no longer has them, but I found another that carries big bags at a good price, so I've got fudge makings for a while. They make good cookies, too; you can taste a definate difference from the chips I usually use, but it's a good difference.

Dammit, now I want some. Fudge, I mean.

Well, sex too, but there's fudge in the house. Damn, I need to get out more.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Some more news on the OKC Bombing comes out

KTOK reported this a few days ago:
"The McCurtain Daily Gazette reports today government documents show a US spy satellite targeted the eastern Oklahoma compound called Elohim city after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing."

You know, the compound that various feds said- under oath in court- they were never interested in, didn't know anything about in relation to the bombing? That one?

KTOK has a link to the article, but I can't get it to come up right now. The Gazette's site has an archive to their articles on this mess here, though.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Not in general, a specific series.

Glen Cook is a pretty good writer. I know his work mostly from two series, The Black Company and the one I'm talking about now, The Garrett Files. Garrett is an ex-marine earning a living as a private agent in a city called TunFaire. There's lots of PI's out there, but his world has some differences: magic works, and there are elves of various breeds and ogres and dwarves out there; mixed with pretty women and villains most vile. His partner is The Dead Man. Literally. Well, not a man, but a Loghyr, a species that has several differences from humans, including a: when dead it takes a long time for their body to decay and b: when killed, sometimes their spirit doesn't go away; it stays with the body, sometimes for a long time.

It's what I used to hear referred to as sword & sorcery fiction, though with the storylines I guess you could call it sword & sorcery mysteries. I like them. Garrett is a believable character, and he's not the only one. The magic is often a factor in a story, but it's not there simply to make a complication, it's part of the story.

The first few aren't in print now that I know of, but they can often be found used(Sweet Silver Blues, for instance). Happily, they do well as standalone stories, not requiring you to read them in sequence.

You get a chance, check them out; you just might like them.

Friday, December 16, 2005

If you're looking for an SKS,

I just had a chance to look at one in from Interordnance, one of their 'M-59/66 SKS Rifle- Excellent w/Excellent Bore'. Man, they're not kidding; the bore was spotless, the finish on the metal parts really was like new, the stock had a couple of small dings and that's it. And all the numbers matched on this one. And it came with all the accessories; sling, oiler, ammo pouch and cleaning kit.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Speaking of guitars...

If you're not, I am. Well, Steve and Acidman started it.

Shortly after my first divorce(and crap, that still hurts at times to say), I wound up hitting some Renaissance fairs, and it reminded me how much I liked traditional and folk music. So I looked around, and in a wonderful shop called The Irate Musician(sadly, gone now) I found this:

It's a Fender 12-string. I hadn't played a guitar in many years, and it's a bit larger and heavier than a 6-string, but I fell in love with the sound. So there went my 'spare money'. In the years to come I spent I have no idea how many hours with it. I bought some music books, and copied pages from library books, and after I discovered the Internet(shut up) I printed out stuff I found there. And I played, at times until my fingers hurt too much to continue.

Years later I started going to a bar that had an open mike night, and finally tried performing. While there are things I can do in front of a crowd without a second thought, this wasn't one of them. Absolutely bloody awful the first time, marginally better the second, and it got easier after that. A guy I met at another bar(Brian MacFarland down in Norman; handmakes some of the best damn guitars you'll ever see or play) installed a pickup for me(trying to sing and play through one mike don't work too well), and that's the only mod ever done to it. This instrument helped me get through some bad times, and the only place it'll ever go is to one of my kids.

The other is a Tacoma 6-string cutaway:

A few years ago I was visiting my folks and hit the music stores in Lawton, and in one found this. If you've never seen one, they've got a very thin body and marvelous sound, and it played very well. On sale, even. For far more than I had. So I went home without it.

About two weeks later I was down in Texas and told some friends about it. Apparently my enthusiasm showed through because Brian asked "Where is it?" Still in the store. "Why?" asked Beverly. Cost. "Uh huh" she said. You'd have to hear her say that to understand.

Two weeks later, on a Saturday, I called Dad and asked him to call the music store and see if they still had it. Turned out the sale was going off that day, and they had one left, and if I was interested they'd hold it- at the sale price- until Monday for me. Uh huh. So I got off work at 9 Monday morning, drove a hundred miles, identified myself to the staff as the idiot who'd relayed a request for them to hold the Tacoma, and they smiled and said "Oh, yes!" and brought it out. And I sat there and played a few minutes, and surrendered. Which in this case means "here's my card, please be gentle". Took her to my folks house to show them what I'd bought(they also fed me lunch), and I've been very happy I spent the money. Apparently just in time, because when I looked at the Tacoma site and other stores, I never saw that model again.

Them's my instruments. I've started practicing regularly again, Fender and Tac alternate evenings, or just the Tac when my hands are bothering me. I'll never give a run to the memory of Stevie Ray, or equal some of the players I've met, but I do love playing them.

On my previous post,

James over at Hell In A Handbasket(nice place if you've never been there) had a long comment that he posted at his place, here. My response is as follows:

"Don't disagree with you. I do NOT take it on faith that anyone with such feelings toward kids is just 'biding their time'. I don't assume that they're automatically a criminal.

I do state flatly that anyone with such feelings has a problem, and they creep me out. No apologies, and I don't think anyone is going to change my mind.

My big concern is that there really are people actively working toward decriminalizing child molestation. Or as they tend to call it 'adult-child sex'. THAT scares hell out of me."

That about covers it. It IS possible for a pedophile to be, call it 'non-practicing', and if they remain so they're creepy but not criminals. I can't help it; if I knew someone like that, I'd try to never let kids be alone with them, and they'd make me very nervous.

My big concern, as I say, is the people who want to 'normalize' it, and who do actively want to decriminalize raping kids. There's not a lot of them, but there's far too many for comfort. And I guess this is something I'll never be cold and rational about.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ok, things are definately going to hell

Over at Clayton Cramer I found a link to this:
I am tired of being forced into the shadows by society," Ashford said recently in an e-mail interview. "I have committed no crime, therefore there is no good reason that I should have to hide myself. As long as pedophiles continue to hide, there is no chance of them ever being accepted."

The whole article is about how pedophiles are 'misunderstood' and 'not accepted' by society. And how they would like to be accepted because they're not child molesters, they're 'just' pedophiles.

I doubt very much I even have to say this to anyone who reads my bloviating, but: Not a chance in hell, guy. Not ever unless this society goes totally to hell. And if that happens, your problem won't be arrest, it'll be being hanged or shot when you touch someone's kid. If you are sexually attracted to children, you have a serious problem whether you want to admit it or not; if you act on it, it may well be a terminal problem. There's a guy I work with who's homosexual, and we've had arguments and agreements on various things. He was married at one time and had kids, and one of the things we agree on- very emphatically- is that if anyone had ever touched our kids, we'd have killed them. Only thing preventing that would be if the police arrested them before we could get to them.

And that's exactly what will start happening if the clowns trying to 'normalize' pedophilia get their way. We've already got NAMBLA posting tips on how to get kids into seclusion so you can molest them, and a bunch of idiot psychiatrists want to make it easier:
"On Monday, May 19th, 2003 in San Francisco, at a symposium hosted by the American Psychiatric Association, several long-recognized categories of mental illness were discussed for possible removal from the upcoming edition of the psychiatric manual of mental disorders.

Among the mental illnesses being debated in the symposium at the APA's annual convention were all the paraphilias--which include pedophilia, exhibitionism, fetishism, transvestism, voyeurism, and sadomasochism."

I don't know if these clowns realize what they may be setting up; you manage to 'decriminalize' someone molesting kids, and you basically tell people that if some asshole touches their child, or rapes their child, their main avenues now become a: trying to get enough money to sue the bastard or b: making the bastard disappear. Guess which will start happening? Probably a lot?

It's connected to the touchy-feely 'nothing is actually bad, and you shouldn't be judgemental' crap that a lot of 'progressive intellectuals' keep telling us is the only correct way to think; if you tell everyone that nothing is really bad, then how do you pass judgement on anything?

If the psycho-weenies ever do have any real success pushing this, it might be a time to invest in rope futures.

Speaking of places you look only occasionally,

there's one called 'Unclaimed Territory'. Most of the time he leans toward 'Bush lied/lies, Bush is causing/caused disaster', etc., and since I can catch that on the evening news(when I bother to watch anymore) I only look over there occasionally. Then he comes up with something like this on 'The true character of the European Left'. A very nice piece on the whining and posturing by our 'moral superiors' in Euroweenie Land.

And in the comments are some wonderful pieces(for me at least) from his normally "You're perfect!" commenters:
"There may be some things wrong with liberals in Europe, nobody is perfect, but compared to the Bush Administration, why spend your talents swatting at flies when there are real monsters on the loose?" and
"Of course they are more sensitive to human rights abuses and state-sanctioned murder, having lived through it. Why can't we accept that other people do have insight and moral wisdom that we lack? Talk about a character flaw."

But the prizewinner is from a guy in Iceland:
"I think there's something to be said about devoting your energy to where it's most useful. Did it ever occur to you that perhaps European liberals think they'll be able to change the mind of the leader of another Western nation, like the US, than trying to change the mind of a psychopath like Hu Jintao? (a man whose regime is better defended and coddled by your own government than most European ones, by the way)"

Oh, yeah, it's so much easier to bitch and whine at a free country that won't do something nasty to you if you annoy it. And it's so much more satisfying to posture about your moral superiority to the U.S., as opposed to actually trying to DO something about an actual dictatorship. Apparently it wasn't 'most useful' to do something about mass murder in Bosnia, but it was to bitch at the U.S. as to why WE weren't stopping it.

"There's also the small matter of the US being, as y'all so like to put it, "The world's only superpower." If you can't deal with the criticism, then give France tons of money until they become the superpower, and everyone will attack them. Until then, you're supposedly the standard other countries should strive for. You are held up to a higher standard than any other country because of your superpower status.. this immediately opens the US up to more criticism."

Oh, we can deal with criticism. Sometimes by saying "Why should we care what whiny socialists in Europe think?" and ignoring them henceforth. Give FRANCE tons of money, for God's sake? Why? If France hadn't screwed itself up, it wouldn't NEED 'tons of money' from other places to, for instance, come up with enough aircraft to move its' own forces. And the only way you clowns will attack France(the elites at least; from what I've heard most citazens in a lot of countries can't stand France) is if France stops being a socialist government going down the toilet and starts actually demanding people obey the law. THAT would have you squealing and screaming for certain. And we ARE at a higher standard; more people working, more freedom, and we actually do something about multiple murderers other than make excuses for them.

"By the way, I'm sick of the cross Americans constantly put themselves on with this ridiculous notion that the entire continent of Europe hates you. It really makes you look whiny and self-centered. Try coming here someday."

Well, when people like you and the Austrians take every possible chance to call us names and denigrate everything about us, it kind of gives that impression. By the way, we don't think EVERYBODY in Europe hates us; just the idiots like you. There's a number of countries- particularly in the east where they actually knew the kind of dictatorship European socialists wanted everywhere- who have sent their soldiers to do something about the mess in the mid-East, right alongside of ours. So screw you.

Gee, I feel better this morning.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

SKS mods, and a fix for a problem

A while back a Very Helpful Commenter(hereafter known as VHC) mentioned that he'd taken some of the Yugo 59/66 SKS rifles and cut down the barrel to make them shorter, lighter and handier as a truck/car rifle. He sent a couple of pictures and has given permission for me to post them.

DISCLAIMER!! He had good luck with this, and the one I tried it on is working nicely. That does not mean you will have no trouble! This is not a hugely difficult project, but there's a couple of points that could cause a real problem later on if you don't do it right.

With that over:
If you're not familiar with that model, it has a grenade launcher and sight mounted to the front and that end looks like this:

(I'm going on the description party by memory, as one of the side effects of losing my old PC was losing the e-mail that described his process)

What he did was a: take off the launcher and bayonet, b: remove the front sight assembly and cut off the forward extension, everything behind the sight base itself and the bayonet mount, c: re-mount the front sight.

Start by stripping the rifle, including taking the barreled action out of the stock. Pull the screw the bayonet pivots on and it comes off. The launcher is screwed onto the muzzle and pinned; drive out the pin with a punch. Use a vise with padded jaws to hold the receiver(if you have/can make some curved pads to hold the barrel tight enough, go ahead). Then, if you're not worried about the finish of the launcher, grab it with some vise grips or a pipe wrench; if you want to protect it, use some leather or something as padding. It's a standard right-hand thread; I'd suggest get your whatever locked on and give it a sharp blow with a piece of metal rod or pipe, after which it should unscrew.

The sight unit is held in place with two pins(on those I've seen), so drive out the pins, and the piece comes off to the front(note: I took all the pins out at the same time). Put a little oil on the barrel in front of it; mine I was able to twist back & forth as I pushed forward, some may be tight enough to need moving with a wood block and a mallet. Once off, you can do what VHC did and cut off everything in front of and behind the sight base itself:

Or you can do what I did; since the flip-up night sight still had some glow left I decided to keep it. So I cut off the rear section just behind that:

If you cut as much off as he did, you lose both pin holes; if you leave the night sight section on, you'll still have one. To take the launcher sight off, the easiest way is to bend one leg out to take the sight off the pivot pin, then cut/file the pin off flush on both sides. I, for some reason, decided not to do that and drove the pin out. This pin also holds the night sight in place, so I had to put the damn thing back in.

Whichever you do, you now have to decide how long you want the barrel to be. You could leave it the original, threads and all, or cut it back. VHC wanted it short, so he drove the sight base as far back as he could-taking care to keep the sight as vertical as possible- and then drilled through the lower curve of the base and barrel for a new pin.

POSSIBLE SERIOUS PROBLEM If you do this, make DAMN SURE you don't go high enough to either drill into the bore, or too close to it; if you cut into the bore all you can do is move the sight back beyond that point and try again, which will mean either milling/filing/sanding the inside of the base larger so it'll fit further back or cutting down the diameter of the barrel to allow the base further back. And if you're too close, it could possibly cause the barrel to bulge at that point during firing, which may or may not cause a dangerous failure. So take note of exactly how deeply the original pin notches cut into the barrel.

After he set the sight in place, he cut the barrel off a little in front of the base, then filed it square and crowned the muzzle. I'm not going to cover some of the how's of that right now.

POSSIBLE SERIOUS PROBLEMS You could, by opening up the sight base a bit, move it as far back as just in front of the gas block; two things wrong with that. Cutting it back that far might affect the functioning of the action by changing the gas pressure that reaches the system, and it could make your rifle illegal. Remember, the minimum legal length of a rifle barrel is 16", which(according to the ATF agent I called and asked) is measured from the bolt face to the muzzle; by my measurement if you move it all the way back you'll be a bit below 16. So if you decide to do this and move it way back, measure it and make sure you leave the barrel at least the legal length.

I decided to use the original pin hole in the barrel, so the sight stayed in the original location. I marked the barrel about 1/4" in front of it, cut it off and crowned it, which gave me a barrel just under 19". Then pushed the base back into place and set the pin. If your pin doesn't feel tight enough, put a drop of thread locker on before driving it in. And it's done.

It's amazing how much lighter and more balanced it feels now. VHC says he's never had a problem with the action functioning. I did, but that was before the mods, which brings me to

The SKS Fix

I found out there's been a lot of discussion on various gun boards about this model SKS not functioning. As in it fires, but the action either doesn't cycle at all or only partially does, resulting in either stovepipe jams or incomplete ejection. Not good in a rifle at all, but especially bad in one you might have bought as a 'just in case' firearm.

The problem seems to be mainly(maybe entirely) on the 'shooter grade' rifles. 'Shooter grade' all too often seems to mean 'was rode hard and put away wet, but they still go bang!'. Often bores are worn or somewhat pitted, and- the big problem- the gas valve and/or tube is worn or corroded badly. This model has a valve that in the normal position causes gas to flow into the tube and work the action; in the other position the gas system is cut off so all the gas from the blank goes into launching the grenade. The valve fits into the gas block and the gas tube fits onto the end of the valve, so you have a couple of places where wear or corrosion can cause a lot of gas leakage, quite possibly enough to cause your SKS to become a straight-pull bolt-action. If it were the gas tube at the end, a new tube would fix it, but from what I've heard it mostly seems to be the valve itself. I thought of a couple of things that might fix it(other than a new valve; they seem to be hard to come by). One was to get some shim stock and make a sleeve for the valve to fit it more tightly into the gas block, which would do it if the valve body or inside of the block were eroded. Or, do something to make the end of the valve fit the gas tube more tightly.

There's a lip on the end of the valve that looks like it should have some kind of seal on it(it doesn't, but it looks like it) so to see what would happen I found an 'O' ring the right size, put it on and headed to the range.

Perfect function, empties thrown like a frat boy throws an empty bottle. For about 35 rounds. At which point the ring fell apart; didn't seem to hold up too well exposed to the gas stream. So I got a piece of thin, flat steel bar stock, cut a thin strip, did some sanding and made this:

Took some filing/sanding to get it the right thickness and width, but it fit into the lip and the gas tube fit on snugly. And it worked great. Action cycled with no failures. The empties were not flung as far as with the o-ring or a rifle without the problem, but as VHC put it that may be a feature, not a bug; enough gas leaks that the action does not cycle as hard, which means a bit less pounding and stress on the bolt carrier and receiver. In any case, I put 40 rounds through it without a bobble.

Tried two other things. Took a piece of old guitar string and made a ring; that didn't work. Apparently the spaces in the winding let too much leak out, or it just didn't fit tightly enough. The other thing was a piece of brass wire(steel would work as well). Made a ring that fit tightly, but the wire at .065 diameter was too big for the tube to fit on, so I cut it down with a dremel sanding drum so it's about the same diameter as the valve body, and tapering thinnner toward the tube. The tube goes on snugly, and it went through 40 rounds with no problems. Depending on the extent of a rifle's problem, you probably could, in some cases, just use a suitable diameter wire, in others you'd have to shape a piece to give the fit you need.
Or, if you want a new valve, VHC found this link to a guy who started making them when his rifles all gave him trouble.

This ends my current lecture on screwing around with an already functional rifle. Goodnight, VHC, wherever you are.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I shall now give a sermon on tolerance

And what, you may wonder, brought me to this? No, I don't care if you wonder or not, I'm gonna say this anyway.

The subject for tolerance today is 'smoking'. Not the cordite leftovers that drift lazily from a muzzle, the kind that comes from tobacco. In specific, the efforts of a bunch of elitist dictator wannabes to prevent anyone from doing it.

I don't like cigarettes. I think they stink, and being around people who smoke them makes your clothes stink. Most cigars I've been around smell like the proverbial burning rope(there are some exceptions), though I do have a liking for the aroma from some pipe tobaccos. And by the way, what's the crap with places that do allow smoking not allowing pipes?

Ahem. In any case, I have a simple and well-working solution to the problem: A, I don't smoke them and B, I don't go to places where people are smoking unless I'm willing to put up with it. I realize these two things may be a little too simple for some to accept, but it takes care of my needs and doesn't hassle people who like to smoke.

Two things brought this to mind. First was this from John Stossel(blessings upon him) on the planning by the nannies to eventually either ban smoking or make it too difficult/expensive for people(sounds like what some nannies want to do to firearms, doesn't it?). Then there was this from the beauteous Sondra K's place on what's happening in Washington state under Gov. Gregoire. Key quote: " Two days after the Statewide smoking ban went into effect in my fine State of Washington our esteemed Governess politely asks the stateÂ’s sovereign tribal casinos to VOLUNTARILY comply and make their establishments non-smoking also." Take note of the 'voluntarily'; I bet there was a lot of pressure in whatever way she thought she could get away with. Happily, the tribes seem to have told her, in a polite way, to kiss their collective ass.

There's a bar/restaurant here called Galileo's where I used to go every week for open mike night. Amazingly, a lot of people there smoked, so I planned on the clothes I wore that night not being worn again until they were washed. I was willing to put up with the smoke because I wanted to attend those evenings. I did NOT bitch and whine and demand that everyone who smoked leave. When I eat at most places, I just sit in the non-smoking areas; isn't that simple and easy?

Right now there's a commercial being played on the radio about how you should look for a sticker on restaurant doors noting that they don't allow smoking because 'hundreds of people die from secondhand smoke every year in Oklahoma'. Now that is a blatant lie, but they repeat it over and over, and I'm sick of it. You don't want to smell smoke? Don't go into or work in places where people do smoke. And if you're tolerant of people smoking in places you don't go, you'll be noted as a tolerant type who leaves other people to make their own decisions, instead of a pissy little busybody who wants to run the lives of all people- all for their own good, of course.

Amen. Congregation dismissed and the bar is open.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Evening roundup

Was browsing some various news places, and found a number of things.

Instapundit notes that a bunch of Saddam loyalists are urging Sunnis to vote and warning the terrorists off, and the article he links to includes this: "Zarqawi is an American, Israeli and Iranian agent who is trying to keep our country unstable so that the Sunnis will keep facing occupation," said a Baathist insurgent leader who would give his name only as Abu Abdullah." They've got the American and Israeli bits wrong, but he's definately working with the moolahs in Iran. And they're figuring it out. Now if some of the idiots in the Democrat side of Congress would.

Tim Blair notes riots in Australia that started when some 'middle-Eastern' men hassled people on a beach and beat up some lifeguards. It's now a general mess. Now, there probably is an element of thugs on both sides, but I have to say "what in the hell were the idiots thinking?" when they went to the beach to beat people up. This ain't a number of places; any idiot could have told them that a bunch of Aussies would not take kindly to this(ok, not any idiot; these idiots apparently thought they could get away with it).

Some jerk started trouble on an airplane heading to Hawaii and is now in custody. Says he threatened a baby and 'lunged' at the cockpit. It also notes "Passengers tackled and restrained Tizol when he lunged toward the cockpit." Let's see, 'tackled and restrained', hmmm... is that a polite way of saying 'beat the dog shit out of'? If it's not, it should be.

From the Carnival over at Gullyborg, found a couple of things in particular. One is the takedown at "It comes in pints?" of an e-mail Bitter Bitch got. He makes a couple of points in particular about the way the guy tries to frame the argument to make gun owners look selfish, etc. Kind of thing that needs to be kept in mind when we argue such matters. And Of Arms and the Law has this on the Waco mess:
"I got the ATF reports that showed what the ATF undercover agents in the "undercover house" (across the street from the Davidian place) had done on February 19, nine days before the raid.

They went shooting.

With David Koresh."

Considering this was after ATF had insisted they had to do the raid because Koresh never left the house, etc., we're back to people lying in court in order to cover up a series of serious mistakes(at best). Check it out, along with the other stuff on this site.

Oh, and Gully? I don't want the 25mm; ammo would be a pain to get, give me the .50 cal.

The Geek makes a very good remark: "In a truly civil society peopled primarily by enlightened, sober individuals, the carriage of arms might be deemed gratuitous, but it is nonetheless harmless.

In a society that measures up to anything less than that, the option to carry arms is a necessity."

I like it. He also has this marvelous pic:

And I'm done for now. My son turns 21 tomorrow, and I have the joys of that to contemplate.

Carnival of Cordite #41 is up

Once more, hie yourself off to Gullyborg and check it out. Lots of good stuff, and it's the last one this year. Between his finals and Christmas and New Years, he flat won't have time(certain amount of sympathy, there).

So enjoy and learn.

Friday, December 09, 2005

If you've ever dealt with real estate types...

Found here

A someone once said, "What a woman!"

In yet another blow to those who think CSI is real-life,

One of the interesting organizations out there is Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, JPFO for short. Being on their mailing list brings you some interesting things, like this link to an article at New Scientist titled Why we cannot rely on gunshot forensics.

The scene has been played out on lots of shows: someone suspected of a crime is tied to it by a finding of gunshot residue on their skin or clothing, and the day is saved. However:
"Now, a New Scientist investigation has found that someone who has never fired a gun could be contaminated by someone who has, and that different criminal investigators use contradictory standards. What's more, particles that are supposedly unique to GSR can be produced in other ways."

Other ways, they say? Yeah, like laboratory contamination. Like walking into a room where a shot has been fired. Like sitting in a police car. Like working on machinery or fixing your brakes:
" is possible to pick up a so-called "unique" particle from an entirely different source. Industrial tools and fireworks are both capable of producing particles with a similar composition to GSR. And several studies have suggested that car mechanics are particularly at risk of being falsely accused, because some brake linings contain heavy metals and can form GSR-like particles at the temperatures reached during braking."

Read the whole thing, as they say. And pay attention to the last paragraph:
"Singer maintains that the technique is useful if used carefully. "I think it's important as part of the investigative phase," he says, though not necessarily to be presented in court. But he adds: "There are people who are going to be a bit more, shall we say, enthusiastic. That's where you're going to run into trouble."

You think maybe? Right now the Oklahoma City PD is going through a mess that started about a year ago when it was discovered that the one in charge of their crime lab had a reputation of , shall we say, 'getting the evidence an officer needed'. Which would be fine, except for the cases where it turned out the evidence wasn't really there. Several cases that ended in convictions have been thrown out, more are being reviewed and lives were ruined.

I cannot remember where I read it, but a year or two ago a study showed that an FBI lab specialty, 'proving' a bullet came from a particular box of ammo by the exact breakdown of the lead(bullets from the same lot would have the same composition, right?), was crap. It turned out that as an ingot of lead cools, and is later remelted, elements can shift around in the metal, causing a bullet to not resemble one from the same batch, or to resemble one from a whole different lot.

Which all means more to watch out for and wonder about when some crime lab expert tells us whodunnit.

Once, more, "Registration leads to confiscation",

and anybody who tells you otherwise is lying.

Several places have noted this happening in Canada, and please note that it's a politician who just received a no-confidence vote rushing to do it. The Volokh Conspiracy has had numerous quotes from 'gun control' and 'gun safety' advocates, and he's got more here. Big quote to me is this:
"In a 1976, interview in the New Yorker, the late Nelson Shields, who was then the head of the group which is now known as the Brady Campaign, explained registration's purpose:
The first problem is to slow down the number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. The final problem is to make possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition — except for the military, police, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors — totally illegal.
Still believe the bastards when they say it's a 'public safety' or 'crime control' measure to register firearms?

If the facts as listed are true,

this man needs to own a large chunk of the city, after having the conviction reversed.

Read this, and consider the levels of BS involved, not just the possible racial angle. Among others, there's this: "Jones, who wasn't armed,", and wonder what the hell all this is. He's in on a raid on a suspected drug house, wearing full SWAT-type gear, and he's not armed? If not, why the hell not? Makes this sound squirrelly as hell.

I've been around law enforcement most of my life, and I agree with Publicola(who posted on this also, but I can't get his site up to get a direct link); LE officers break into the wrong house on a no-knock warrant, and an officer gets shot by the homeowner, that's tough. Sounds nasty, doesn't it? I don't care. You have the absolute right to defend yourself, your family and your home against intruders, and if the intruder who just broke your door down in the middle of the night turns out to be a cop, that's too bad for him. Regrettable, but no grounds for prosecution.

There have been a number of cases like this over the last couple of decades; usually it's the homeowner or a family member who gets killed, and the police walk away because 'they were following depart guidelines', even though they broke into the wrong house! But if they break into the wrong house and one of them gets hurt or killed, they want the one who dared to act in self-defense hung. I call BS.

One more wedge driven between a lot of people and the police.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Springfield process

Ok, now that I can post pictures I can go over this the way I wanted to. The earlier post had the shot of the rifle in the box. However, it doesn't do justice to the cosmoline coating. Take a look at this:

And if that's not good enough, how 'bout this?

I repeat, yuck.

After taking the barrel/action out of the stock, it went into my grease soaker. It's a length of 4" diameter PVC pipe with a permanent cap on one end and, in this case, a gallon of laquer thinner poured in. I've used kerosene in the past with good results, but I didn't have any, so thinner it was. I had to take the trigger/sear assembly off for it to fit into the pipe, then set it in action first, sloshed it up & down a few times, then left it overnight with a cap on the open end. Doesn't have to be overnight, but it was late and it was cold outside, so it sat. Does a wonderful job of dissolving most if not all of the grease.

Next day I took it out and set it to dry while I was taking all the metal off the stock. The handguard only had a little on the outside, the inside was clean(it also didn't match the stock, arsenal replacement I'd say). 'The metal' means the nose, the trigger guard, the buttplate, rear sling swivel and the barrel band spring. My preferred method(kitty litter, heat and time) was not doable right now, too cold outside, so I decided to try something I read in Shotgun News. Got a wallpaper tray, poured in some odorless mineral spirits and set the stock in, using a brush to spread it all over the wood. Let it sit a while, brushed and rinsed some more. It worked pretty well, seems to have taken all the grease and old oil out of the wood, and dried out pretty quickly, especially considering temps in the high 30's that day.

After I'd set it to dry, I took the barrel/action and other metal parts and put them in the tray. A little brush work and a few minutes got rid of the last of the cosmo on/in the action(again, it was filled!), and then cleaned it all off the metal parts. Left them to dry off, then wiped them all down with Corrosion-X. Except for the parts in contact with the wood, like the magazine box/trigger guard, the buttplate, the inside of the barrel bands and the stock nose; for those I used Eezox. It's a pretty good lube and protectant, and it's dry; goes on wet and the carrier evaporates. It's also the best stuff I've found for folding knife hinges for the same reason.

The stock was pretty beat up, lots of dents and gouges. The proof mark was just visible under the grip, and a 'RIA' cartouche(Rock Island Armory) barely there on the left side of the butt, so I gave it a light sanding with fine paper to take off the worst of the roughness and left it at that. I rubbed in one good coat of Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil, a stuff I've had very good results with on both gunstocks and knife grips, and gave it a light buff with steel wool, and here it is:

If you've ever wondered, the one big difference between the 1903 and the 1903A3 is the rear sight; the 03 has an open sight mounted on the barrel, and the A3 has an aperture sight mounted on the receiver:

Overall, I'm impressed with the workmanship on the metal, the barrel appears perfect, the action tight and slick, and I expected the stock to be somewhat beat up. I'll be very happy being the caretaker for a time for this piece of our history.


Not the stuff you listen to, the stuff you make.

I love my guitars. I like playing them, I like to sing with them. My 12-string (my first) helped me get through some bad times, and she's sitting in a stand next to my 6-string. I've got a damn bookshelf of music- books I bought, pages I copied from library books, stuff printed from websites- and I still haven't managed to try a lot of it. What I'm thinking of now, however, is something else about music.

I can sing fairly well. In some styles. But some of my favorite songs I just don't have the range for. Dan Fogelberg, for example, Leader of the Band and In Love With You; two of my favorites, but I just can't sing them very well, and it frustrates the hell out of me. Same for a lot of other pieces. I used to play a lot at open-mike nights at a couple of bars in town, and I had to leave some songs I could play well out of performing because I just couldn't sing them well. Very frustrating.

I can do a lot of others; I can sing Gordon Lightfoot's stuff pretty well, and he's got a lot of songs I like. There's a lot of traditional and folk stuff from Ireland and Scotland and England I can do pretty well with. It just causes a great deal of heartburn at times that I cannot hit the notes for some stuff.

'Course, I can't play as much as I used to(thank you, arthritis), which sucks. Oh well, those instruments are still here, still standing in wait for the time that I can work with them. I do need to get some new strings, which means I need to make an order to Webstrings; their phosphor bronze strings sound as good as anything else I've tried, and the prices are good.

If I can start making the time, I'm going to start playing more, see if pushing it a bit will at least be tolerated by the troublesome joints. I really miss the times I got lost in practicing.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

One of the reasons I really didn't want to buy a new computer right now...

Aside from the Christmas season, and having given to some charitable stuff, and so forth.

Most of you are probably familiar with the Civilian Marksmanship Program, CMP for short. Qualified buyers can buy rifles, ammo and other shooting supplies from them, and they run a lot of competitions around the country. One of the rifles you can get from them is the 1903 and 1903A3 Springfield rifles, the last bolt-action battle rifles issued by the U.S. military. What I really wanted was the -A3 version, so I figured in a few months I could probably swing it. Then came September.

Then came a notice that CMP was down to the last 1000 of the Remington-made A3 rifles, which they expected to last about 6 months. I held off for about a month, dutifully considering bills, etc. Then I thought about what usually happens; there's something I really want, but I hold off until things look a bit better, and when I go back it's gone. The other way this works is you find something at a gun show, decide to look around a while first, and when you do go back, somebody else bought it. In this case, I thought that with word if these being the last 1000 got around, they weren't going to last as long as they thought. So I did it; I placed my order.

Not quite two weeks ago, FedEx delivered this to my door:

Alright, technically they didn't deliver it to my door. Remember some posts a while back about FedEx and timing? Yeah, they cleverly managed to come by 10-15 minutes after I left the house. Every damn time. So actually had to haul my fat ass at least four miles away to pick it up at their office(thenerve of those people!). However, when I opened the box, it were worth it, bubba. There, wrapped in a green bag and layers of cosmoline was this example of the U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, 1903A3.

And when I say 'layers of cosmoline' I ain't woofin'; when the thing was last worked over at the arsenal they'd heavily greased the bore, then the inside and outside of the action and barrel and the trigger and magazine, then reassembled it. Yes, I used rubber gloves to get it out of the bag.
(Side note: years ago the first milsurp rifle I ever bought was a #4 Mk1 Enfield; the bore was full of grease, so was the entire action-including the inside of the bolt- and they'd greased the outside before putting it back in the wood, and then greased the outside of the whole thing! God, it was a mess to clean up, and I didn't know then the things I know now to make it easier.)
I've got some pictures that show just how greased this one was, but it was a bleepin' fight to get this one shot posted, so if I can I'll add the other pics in later.

It took about two days to get the metal and wood cleaned, and I found, among other things:
The bore is spotless, shiny with sharp rifling.
The muzzle appears to show very little wear, especially for a rifle made in 1943.
The trigger is a two-stage military, the second stage light with just a hint of creep, which about ten minutes with a stone took care of. I've handled modern rifles, new ones, with worse triggers.
And this is one of the smoothest bolt actions I've ever handled, with no sign of slop or great wear.

I've only been able to shoot it at a local indoor range so far, and it did not disappoint. I'm really looking forward to weather nice enough to hit the outdoor range so I can try it at 100 yards. And I really wish I had access to a longer distance.

Final note for now: two days after I got it, I was looking at The High Road and in Rifle Country was a post: CMP 1903A3's all gone. My first thought was "Damn, they went fast!" and my second was "Lord, I'm glad I ordered it when I did!".

And I'm still damn glad. Even though it's caused me to say "Budget? WHAT budget?". And then the computer crapped out, and oh crap...

Note: CMP still has the earlier 1903 Springfield-made rifles, at least for now. If I had the money(how many damn times do we say that?) I'd order one of them; a friend got one a while back, and it looks to be in as fine mechanical shape as mine.

We're all going to die! Again!!

Video at 10!

Yesterday every weather weenie in the region was telling us to expect anywhere from 1-3 to 4-6 inches of snow starting early this morning(freezing rain likely further south), high winds and nasty cold.

Well, it's cold; 13 this morning, about 20 now. Windy, but nothing striking. And not one damn flake of snow yet. It was sunny and clear when I got up, and they were -then- saying "It's coming later today!" It's cloudy now, but still not a flake to be seen. Now they're saying that it's 'still coming' but maybe an inch.

Dammit, my folks were going to come up this morning to meet some people for lunch, and cancelled because of the forecast. And they could have made the trip and been back home without seeing any snow or a drop of rain.

And every time the idiots came on the news it was 'Dangerous situation! Snow and strong winds! Get ready!' with the weather weenies alternating between 'some of you are going to die' and that idiot smiley-chuckling patter.

I meet one of these clowns, I'm going to kick them in the ass.

And right now I've got two different posts I want to do, both of which require pictures, and neither Hello or the Blogger picture-posting will work. Crap.

Anyone else having problems with Hello?

Had some pictures to post, and the damn thing won't do it. No error message, just says 'this may take a few seconds' and sits there. For freakin' ever.

IF I can get this figured out, I've got some stuff to post. In the meantime, was listening to the Tony Snow show last night and they had two people on; Michael Reagan who'd said some nasty things about Howard Dean due to his latest public vomiting, and I can't remember who who was defending Dean. Defense basically boiled down to "I wish he hadn't said that, but you nasty conservative types are really causing the problem because you keep yelling about it". Idiot. Oh, and he kept bringing up anything he could think of wherein any 'conservative'(by his label) said something mean, bad, etc., and therefore that excused Dean. I repeat, idiot.

Leiberman speaks in support of the troops and the war effort, and the Democrat party basically disowns him; Dean and Kerry crap on the troops and the effort and these bastards ignore or excuse it.

It's enough to ruin your good mood

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Well, I WAS going to post on a particular thing,

but the picture posting system I've been using seems to have had a stroke. So I'll do it later.

I've been using the keyboard that came with the new pc, and it sucks. Soon as the old one is well cleaned out, it goes back on.

John Kerry is a suckass fool. Not on the subject, just wanted to note it.

It's turning damn cold outside, and the wind has picked up. Were supposed to get about 4 inches of snow tomorrow, but they've now dropped it to 1-3 inches. Too bad, really; we could use the moisture, it's been dry as hell the last month.

Oh, and Dean is, if not actually there, damn close to treasonous conduct.

That's it for now

One just can't help himself, and the other is an idiot

Although there's a certain amount of uncertainty as to which is which, or if they kind of crossover.

John Kerry just can't help himself. He can't get through this without insulting our troops just like he did before. Key quote: "And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women,..."

He wanted more troops in, he wants all the troops out, they're a bunch of terrorists, he voted for it before etc., etc., etc. And this idiot is a U.S Senator, and could have been president... the mind boggles.

And then we have the words of the wondrous Howard Dean, head of the Democrat Party:"idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong," and that the dems will 'come together' on a plan to yank all Guard and Reserve troops immediately, all regulars within two years. Ah, this must be the 'get out now!' plan that Kerry and Feinstein and Co. have said they've never heard of.

I was trying to come up with some ways to make fun of these people, but there's nothing funny about the damage they do. Speaking of which, Michelle Malkin has this on the 'Christmas card' sent to a troop at Walter Reed. Oh yeah, they 'support the troops' a whole lot, don't they? If this was a kid who actually wrote this, what worthless idiot helped them do it? And mailed it? 'Support the troops but not the war' my ass.

Update 12/7 2050 hrs: Earlier today was listening to Rush and he had some interesting audio from one of Sen. Kerry's spokesmen, who was having a freaken holstein over the things Rush said yesterday about Kerry's statement. He was 'misquoted' and 'slandered' and 'misunderstood' and, as near as I recall, 'insulted by that draft-dodging donut-eating Limbaugh'. Oh, and they made due notice that J. Effin' Kerry is a 'war hero', too; can't leave that out, now can they? Considering what Rush said was somewhat mild compared to what a lot of others said, it was interesting how freaked out they were; it also tells you how committed they are to kissing up to the nutcase left in that they defended the statement so strongly. Maybe we need to mail the Senator a picture of a guillotine? Or would that be too 'French' a reference?

Monday, December 05, 2005

New computer!

I now have my new pc. I've got the anti-virus updated and Firefox downloaded; now I get to rebuild my bookmarks, etc. Yuck.

More blogging to be done later. After I get some more of this done.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Alas! No joy tonight

The pc won't be ready 'till tomorrow, so one last night on the laptop. One of the problems with which is, it being borrowed, I can't look at some of the sites I usually do. No, not those, dammit. There are a lot of news sites that have various popups and crap that the stuff I had on my old pc blocked. Well, the owner of this laptop doesn't have that stuff, so I've been restricting my viewing to keep from getting bugs on it.

Quick wrapup:
Steve has been hitting the range, and has laid down money for a new, EEEEVVVILLLLLE nasty-looking sniper rifle. And has been asking for advise. Just start at the top and scroll down to see all the glory of questions such as "How the hell do I aim this thing? Or clean it? Or sight it in?". Jeez, you'd think a physicist and lawyer could figure this crap out.

And Right Wing News has an interview with Tammy Bruce that you really should read. I've read her two previous books, now I need to get at this one.

Now, I have focaccia to take out of the oven. Later, folks.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Relief is on the way!

For me, at least. Found a system at a local shop that should take care of my needs nicely. Computer needs, that is. With any luck I should be able to pick it up tomorrow. I added on a cd burner/backups and music/ and had to add a modem; everything's set up for high-speed connections only. Apparently, I'm behind the times.

Carnival of Cordite #40

up at Gullyborg.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Tell me again, we're supposed to trust the Major Media why?

Read this over at Say Uncle, and remind me about the 'superior fact-checking and ethical standards' of the Major Media.

Between crap like this, and the hugely slanted BS they run about the war, I can't think of a reason not to start simply referring to the MM et al as Rathers.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Chipper; The Evening After

I did remember to pick the thing up, and spent a fair piece of the afternoon cutting off the stuff small enough to run through, then doing some more pruning of small stuff and chipping it, then stacking the big stuff for later. Then put everything away so the Yard Security Trainee won't decide to chew the cord in two.

So now my hands hurt, and I've got enough scratches to look like I fought with my daughters psychotic cat. And I got to watch Trainee sniffing through the chips and finding somehow 'choice' bits to chew up further. Between this and the way she jumps, I have to wonder if the little bastard has some rabbit in her family tree.

While performing these joyous activities, I was considering my forge and tools, and an old saying. You've probably heard it: "Do what you love and the money will follow". Guess what? They LIED! I've spent a total of about 24 years smithing; learning, trying, recycling failures, getting ideas and working them out. I've turned out blades of all types and sizes, roasting forks, candleholders, fire kits, chandeliers, screwdrivers, belt buckles, pennanular brooches, knife/fork/spoon sets and I don't know what all else. I've been at the big Irish Festival in Texas, several different celtic festivals there and here, Medieval Fair and some other stuff including fur trade rendezvous. And the best I've done, figuring materials, coal, electricity for the blower, grinding belts and polishing stuff, travel and etc., would be somewhere at or just below minimum wage. There are some people who fill a particular niche in forging and make a good living at it; most live somewhere in the region of 'hand to mouth' and do other things on the side to make ends meet. I have no idea how many fine bladesmiths I've heard of who got hurt or something and couldn't work for a while and were on welfare or people were taking up collections for them. And if it's a health problem it's worse because they usually don't have insurance.

Don't misunderstand, I have loved the making and learning of this. I enjoy the hell out of demonstrating and teaching this stuff, and I wish I had more of a way to pass on what I've learned. It just irritates the hell out of me when someone with a disgustingly cheerful outlook tells some kid the above-noted saying. I never tried to discourage my kids from trying things, and working to be good at what they like; I did make sure they understood that there are bills to pay and obligations to take care of, and that doing something just because you like it often has to take second place. And what REALLY pisses me off is when someone(parents, coaches, teachers) tells a kid who doesn't really have the talent for a game or instrument or whatever that they do and pushes them halfway to death. A kid tries hard but just doesn't have that extra bit, don't lie to them; tell them the damn truth. Yeah, they may hurt, but they'll hurt more if you push/let them run into something they can't make it at. Make damn sure they understand that if they love doing it that they should continue to do so, but don't lie to them and let them make it their life.

Other side of that? A kid with real talent that nobody will push the kid to develop. Talent, if you don't develop the skills to use it, is worthless; no matter how incredibly talented you are, if you don't work at it you won't make it. There are very rare exceptions, but hoping you may be one of them is not the way to make it.

God, how did I get here from running limbs through a chipper?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Fed-Ex timing is everything

I expected them to deliver something this morning. Since every time before it's been between 0800-0830, I hung around 'till about 0915, then headed out to do laundry. And came home to find a '1st attempt' notice on the door, marked 0930. Damn.

Every time I've missed them in the morning they've always made a second pass by the house around 1630-1730, on their way back to the shop I suspect. There's a new Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant that opened nearby, so, having a little extra left over I went there for lunch, then swung by Outdoor America, one of the local gun shops. Who, by the way, was having a sale; I should have turned around and left when I saw the signs. Anyway, I got home and found a '2nd attempt' on the door. I left for lunch about 1130; this one was marked 1140. Dammit!

So I've spent the day since raking leaves and putting them in the second compost heap and some cleaning up around the house. With any luck they'll come back by and save me driving to their office after 6 to pick it up.

I say 'second compost heap' because I just started another one a couple of days ago. The first one has worked nicely with grass clippings and whatever since I started it during summer. However, with leaves falling/blowing in it's full and there was a big pile and more to come, so I dug out another piece of chicken wire and set up another one. Now it's full, and there's a pile dumped in the garden and wet down until the stuff in the two heaps goes down enough to add some in. One thing I've noticed is that if you keep them damp and turn them every third day, they tend to break down fairly quickly. Come spring, I should have quite a bit of compost and worms to dig in.

I've also got to get the chipper back from a friend who's using it. I cut a bunch of limbs out of trees in the back a couple of weeks ago, and I need to chop up the small stuff. Tomorrow's supposed to be windy but a bit warmer, so I'll try to get it tonight.

Every once in a while I think of all that needs doing and consider standing in the yard screaming "Will it never end?!?", but I don't think it'd help. Other than amusing the dogs.

OKC Bombing update

Well, well, KTOK has this on their site:
"Former FBI deputy assistant director Danny Coulsen tells the McCurtain Daily Gazette there is a need for a greater investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing."

McCurtain Daily Gazette reporter J.D. Cash interviewed the former agent for several days on this. He reviewed the redacted documents that Jesse Trentadue has already obtained, and says, basically, "There's a bunch more people who should have been indicted". The KTOK post, including the whole Gazette article, is here, and worth reading. Link direct to the Gazette article is here.

One interesting thing, if you read my earlier posts on this, the documents released to Trentadue so far included the information that the Southern Poverty Law Center had an informant in the Elohim City compound who also fed info to the FBI; now the SPLC is claiming that was in error. I wonder why?

Previous posts here, here, here, here. One or two more that I don't have time to dig up the links to right now

Monday, November 28, 2005

Speaking of wastes of oxygen,

fetid and otherwise, Powerline takes note that Ramsey Clark, the worst excuse for an attorney general this country ever had, is giving Saddam emotional and legal support. I've got a question: has this clown ever found a terrorist or tyrant or commie dictator that he would not support? As I recall, he said- when he was the AG, yet- that the longest sentance for any crime, including murder, should be five years, and absolutely wet his pants at the very idea of a death penalty. He's one of the slimy assholes Steve mentions who makes life hard for actual honest lawyers(yeah, yeah, calm down; they do exist).

Powerline also notes, in the waste of oxygen area, Whoopi Goldberg and the idiots involved in the intro for the latest Looney Tunes collection; check out Mark Steyn's piece linked there.

Hollyweenies and lawyers of the most odious type; fit company for Rall, wouldn't you say?

Political roundup

I've mentioned before that there are things the President has and hasn't done that I'm not happy with. Some of the things in his speech on illegal immigrants today are crap, and others should have been done long ago.

In a nasty case, Rep. Cunningham plead guilty to accepting bribes. It's a terrible thing he did, but at least he kept enough of his integrity to flat plead guilty and resign from the House. It would be nice of some others who've committed similar crimes would go home, but don't hold your breath; there's a bunch of people in D.C. who will not leave until they die if they can prevent it.

It's been established numerous times that Ted Rall is a fetid waste of oxygen, but he just seems to be intent on proving it again and again. But don't you dare question his patriotism! Or that of his buttmonkeys.Got news for you, Teddy; you're not a dissenter, you are on the other side. I don't question your patriotism because I don't think you have any. You're a vile scab on the skin of this nation. Period.

One of the reasons this kind of sewage in print pisses me off so much is having known a bunch of people in the military. My son used to be in the Civil Air Patrol; the influence of a number of Air Force officers (from a Lt. Colonel on down) was wonderful, and at least one of his friends is currently serving(oorah, Joey!). It's enough to make you want to kick someone in a sensitive place. Several times.

Oh, and let us not overlook the "Main Street Republicans", those chicken-hearted clowns who betrayed the folks back home, and are now threatening Michelle Malkin for calling them on it. And for calling the fact that George Soros(Asshole-Socialist) money is involved. It's too involved to quote from here, read it here for all the info.

In other breaking news, Ted Kennedy and Chucky Schumer are opportunistic, hypocritical jackasses(literally and figuratively), Feinstein and Boxer are right up there with them, and I just made a new batch of fudge. Which has nothing to do with politics, but I used the 60% cocoa chips and tripled the amount of pecans in the recipe; waiting for slab to cool will be difficult.