Saturday, March 19, 2005

Ever had bugs in the house?


Acidman should get in on this

At the Carnival of Cordite, Technogypsy had a mention of Gretchen Ross taking off on a proposal in an area to declare it legal to shoot stray cats. And it has really set her off. In her response to one comment, there's this:
""Shooting them when sighted while hunting other species is a safe and cost effective way of controlling feral populations."

Safe and cost effective for YOU maybe, what about the cats? Oh yeah, I forgot, God put animals on the Earth for us to kill them...

There are other, more humane ways to control the cat population. People who want to shoot cats are pathetic. Having no real control over their own lives, they take a sick egotistical pleasure over controlling/ending the lives of others. It has nothing to do with saving the birds or farm animals from cats. If it were, there are other less sick ways to do it.

Write back when you grow a fucking soul."

Other people have written about the damage done by feral animals. And yeah, shooting them is a safe & cost-effective way to control them. It's not necessarily a nice thought, but it takes care of a problem.

As far as controlling a cat population, when you're dealing with a feral population in a suburb/rural area, it's about the only real way to handle it; trying to catch them and fix them doesn't work real well. Often it doesn't work too well in urban areas, either. In the city where my parents live there's been a terrible problem with strays/ferals. One group started a program where you could trap ferals and they would sterilize them for free, and turn the back loose! Yeah, they can't reproduce, but they're still running around, killing other animals and spreading disease and dying in nasty ways. Most of the problem has had to be dealt with by trapping and killing them.

I've got to say, her description of people who "want to shoot cats" is straight out of a PETA press release, and I'm not going to waste time on it.

Gretchen, I don't want to shoot cats. But if I lived in an area with feral cat problems, I would.

Oh, and I already have a soul.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Speaking of cartoons,

Check out Wapsi Square.

You'll just have to go there, it's a GIF file and I can't figure out how to post it.

The Fifth Carnival of Cordite is up!

Over at Technogypsy. Lots & lots of good stuff to check out.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

No, I'm not out drinking

Not that I have an objection to going out and drinking. However, spending time trying to find a place to park, pushing into the bar, attempting to work through a crowd that's so damn loud you can barely hear(let alone enjoy) the band... no thank you.

Plus, having made it home from work after 0100 this morning, in bed about 0200, and waking up a little after 0800, I'm tired. Which also means, since alcohol hits me harder when I'm tired, I'm not going to have some beers- green or otherwise- and climb into two wheels or four to wend my way home.

Therefore I shall clean up, pour myself a drink of good scotch, lean back and relax. Speaking of scotch, last time I was down in Fort Worth to visit some folks my friend Brian showed me his birthday present from the mrs. Glenfiddich Solera Reserve, 15 years old. This is the guy who started me on Scottish holy water, and one thing I'd learned over time is that whether I like one partly depends on mood; if I'm not in the mood for the stuff, I can't even drink the stuff I like. Well, I wasn't really in the mood, but just to be polite I took the taste he poured me and gave it a try.


Oh my.

That was the finest stuff I have ever poured down my throat. Fine flavor, smoothly slid down the throat and then made a little 'boom' inside you. No, I did not finish the bottle for him, but I did have another little taste. And, having received my tax refund, I invested in a bottle of it which I shall now enjoy. Only bad thing is the $42 price tag.

This bottle's going to have to last a while.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Kids and shooting

I was thinking earlier about how I taught my kids, thoughts triggered by an upcoming wedding. No, not mine. Friend of mine is getting hitched to a lady with a 7 year old. The lady has little liking for firearms, but has accepted that since her hubby-to-be is an owner and user, and since there will be firearms around, the kid needs to be trained. I trust my friend to do so well, and the kid is, let us say, greatly excited by it.

My daughter fired her first shot when she was about 2. It was a .54-caliber plains rifle, and yes, it was firmly rested on sandbags(beanbags actually, but who cares?). Between the noise and smoke she was delighted, and has stayed that way. My son was about 7 as I recall, and started with a .22, a leetle bit more appropriate, and he's still shooting too.

I've been going back over how they were taught. SERIOUS lectures about safety, and what would happen if they broke the rules. The water-bottle demonstration. Drawing the sights and how to line them up, breathing, trigger squeeze.

And it's been worth it. I have no idea how many thousand rounds of .22's they've put downrange. My son decided he loved a #4 Mk. 1 Enfield, and watching a kid weighing about 75 pounds shooting ball out of that was interesting(he stuck the rear sandbag between the butt and his shoulder), and my model 94 Winchester found favor with him also. My daughter mostly stuck with the .22 in rifles; with handguns she's become rather fond of my .45 Kimber(I told her no, she couldn't have it). First time she fired handguns above a .22 we started with .38 Special target loads, and moved up. She didn't care for the revolvers, but with the Kimber she placed her first five shots in a 2" group at about 5 yards, recoil not a bother. Shot about the same with a Sig P229 we borrowed.

One of the things that has stuck in my memory is when a man once handed my son a rifle to look over. First thing he did was cycle it to check for loaded with no prompting. Made me very glad, both that he did it right and that it proved something: sometimes he really did listen to me!(not a bad thing for a parent to learn)

Besides the general fun and utility, it's also given my daughter a chance to weird out her friends(the Kimber target is framed on her wall, that group just right of the X-ring of the silhouette gets their attention). And it made her a bit more active politically. Having it pointed out that if the weenies had their way, she'd never be allowed to shoot again ticked her off, and led to studying the facts. I think it also made her more picky about civil rights in general, to the point of having a copy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights handy. It's interesting finding out one of your kids outdid a teacher in an argument on our rights. And pissed off a somewhat sorry excuse for a teacher when she brought up some facts about the Revolutionary War, in particular the Battle of Saratoga, that he didn't know and didn't want to acknowledge.

My son isn't quite as politically active, but I believe he does pay attention to the matters, at least partially for the same reasons. His favorite handgun is a Sig Trailside with a scope on top, just wonderful at breaking clay pigeons out to 50 yards.

Have I mentioned that clay pigeons are wonderful targets for kids? They do something when you hit them, and then you can break the pieces. Start off with paper to make sure they understand the basics, then go on to more interesting things.

It's been a wonderful thing to do with them. I think my friend will find the same in teaching his kid.

He said what?

On the radio a little bit ago, a news reader for ABC was reporting that the judge had agreed to give Scott Peterson the death penalty. So far, so good. Then he said that this was for the murder of "his wife and their unborn fetus".


"Unborn fetus"? There's a whole bunch of possible ways to take that description. And most of them make my head ache.

If anyone says it's "Only about gun safety",

show them this. Read it through. This has not a damn thing to do with 'gun safety'; this has to do with completely banning the ownership of firearms. Which would, I have no doubt, be followed by banning of anything else these clowns would consider a weapon.

"Ban on all semiautos which can fire more than 6 bullets without reloading". That means ALL semiautos, since ANY ONE can be made to fire more than six rounds simply by using a bigger magazine.

'Gun safety' my ass. These clowns think what's happening to people in Britain is a GOOD thing. Which means they're statist dictator wannabes who think everyone else is too damn stupid to be allowed free action- free action meaning anything these bastards don't approve of.

Pissed-off attitude courtesy of Kim.

This is also why a lot of these clowns want McCain-Feingold to regulate blogs. You think they wouldn't like to prevent people like Kim, or your obdnt. svnt, from putting stuff like this up? They'd much rather do this crap in secrecy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Somebody keep sticking that fork in Britain

until they get the message; they're done.

Look at this crap. Guy kills someone; while in a 'secure hospital' kills another inmate; gets turned loose; kills someone else and is caught while eating some of that victim's brain. NOW, the judge gives him two life sentances. Considering how things seem to work, that may mean he'll have to suffer in custody for, oh, ten or fifteen years? I hope not, but the way things seem to go...

Mind you, if you are attacked in your home in the middle of the night and whack the attacker with a cricket bat- not kill them, just smack them- and you'll probably be in prison for years. But if you're a criminal who hurts people? Well, it may take a while, and some digested body parts, before they can decide that you need to be put away for a long time.

That's aside from the fact that if you so much as punch out an attacker, the attacker is liable to sue you. And the government will probably provide his attorney.


Monday, March 14, 2005

I have no idea why I hadn't already added him

Smallest Minority is on the blogroll. I've mentioned him before. Essays on the right to and responsibility of arms, and other interesting stuff. Definately worth checking out.

Hopefully, the IRA is going down the toilet now

Powerline has a piece on how President Bush had basically told Gerry Adams a: you won't be raising money in the U.S. and b: your sorry ass ain't coming to the White House. I know there's still a lot of people who will make excuses for the IRA and try to support them; I hope all support to it is cut off. Whatever the IRA once was, it's become one more bunch of thugs, many of the either communist or 'progressives' who follow the same ideals. They extort, torture, rob and murder, and it's time they were stopped.

The IRA has, over the last few years, been shown to have been supporting terrorists around the world, including- currently- Chavez in Venezuela, who is the current "I wanna be fidel" jackass. So stomp on them, hard.

I had a big argument with a friend a few years ago about this group. He's a serious student of Irish history, and had lots of sympathy for the IRA. I finally put it this way:
"If you want to shoot at British troops, at least you're attacking someone who's armed and can shoot back. If you want to whack a politician, you're at least going after someone who knew their job might be dangerous(no, I'm not excusing these things). But when you put a bomb in a store or a car on a street to kill whoever happens to be around, when you blow up an entire building to try and kill one person and 'screw whoever else dies', when you leave a bomb in a pub just to kill some people and keep the rest scared, that's not 'resistance'; it's murder, and you're a sorry chickenshit".
He wasn't happy, but he didn't argue it either; he's stubborn, not stupid. Later, on a different occasion I pointed out the large parts of the IRA who are commies- which he despises- and he made comment as to how 'a group can't control all it's members'. Maybe, but a group that will kneecap someone for wearing the wrong clothes or going to the wrong church could kick out someone like that; IF they wanted to.

As Wizbang put it, the murder of Robert McCartney was one of three recent deaths caused by terrorists that have awakened a lot of people who were blind before, for whatever reason, to what these bastards are. May the true memorial to these three be the destruction of those who killed them.


In particular, those of a lot of folks who label themselves 'liberal' or 'progressive'. There's some of it on both sides, but the problem seems worse on theirs.

In particular the absolute hatred of George Bush. I'm not talking about those who disagree with him on points, and argue those points; I'm talking about those who 'know' he STOLE the 2000 election, and he's an IDIOT, and he's a DICTATOR, etc. And, in particular, those who would rather see this country fail than have him get credit for something he's done.

That's something that really bothers me. I did not like Bill Clinton, but when he did something that was good, I gave him credit. For instance, in Kosovo my big problem was not that he sent troops in, it was the way he did it; I knew he would give lots of deference to the U.N., and he was so scared of casualties on our side affecting public opinion that you had pilots dropping bombs under conditions that guaranteed misses and civilian casualties. But I do give him credit for actually doing something.(I wish he'd early on told various Europeans to either do something themselves or shut the hell up, but that's another matter). I know that he was pushed into some of the good things by the Republicans winning majorities in the House and Senate, but whether because he was calculating for his own future good or actually saw that it was good, they got done.

I give him credit for those things, just as I give him blame for the things I think were bad. But the nutcase L & P people absolutely refuse to see anything good coming from Bushs' actions, refuse to admit that he might not be a certifiable idiot, refuse to admit that he ever did anything that was good. Used to know a lady who would positively gloat on any news that might be bad for Bush, even if it would also be bad for the U.S. Nothing seemed to matter other than "Now he'll get what's coming to him!"(this is also where I first heard that Reagan did nothing to actually help bring down the Soviet Union; he just showed up at the right time to take credit. She also thought Jimmy Carter was one of the best presidents we ever had). When one country of the coalition announced that they were going to withdraw their troops(I can't remember who, and after you got through the headline it turned out it was pretty much on schedule) she smiled and said something along the lines of "Yes, that's a BIG coalition he has": she was happy at the idea of it falling apart. Mention some good things that had happened so far, mention that things are moving forward, and you'd hear about how it was actually nothing, that we were just being fed this news so we wouldn't see how 'everying is crumbling' and we DESERVE what's going to happen, etc. I failed to see how she thought the mainstream media was blindly 'feeding us' good propaganda from the administration, but apparently they were.

I've said this before: George Bush is not my ideal guy. He's done things that I think he should not have, he hasn't done things I think he should have. But the guy is not a fool, and he has done some good things. I can see someone pushing that they think he's wrong on something, no problem. It's the insistence that he cannot do ANYTHING that's good, or will have a good result, that gets me.

And it's usually connected with some idiot hoping for disaster; they'd rather see things fall apart bloodily than see success. And I just don't understand it.

Three things

First, at Coyote Blog, "You Know It's A Dictatorship When-"

Over at Anarchangel, "A Citazen or a Subject"

And the next Carnival of Cordite is being held at Kevin Menard's place. If you know a post that should be in it, send to info to 'carnival of cordite -at- hotmail point com'.

Oh, one more thing. My daughter sent me this; what happens when you wander into a Den of Evil while looking for a bathroom?...

Sunday, March 13, 2005

More cleaning, greasy old guns this time

Old military guns in particular. If you've ever bought an old surplus rifle you'll know what I mean. Some aren't too bad, others are awful. Especially British and some U.S. rifles. Many stocks were oiled to help preserve them, and they soaked up oil from the metal. A lot of them soaked up so much that when the wood gets hot from either the sun or shooting, oil seeps out. And then, of course, there's Cosmoline.

Cosmoline is a grease that was designed for one thing: to protect metal from corrosion in long-term storage. And it works, very well. The bad thing about it? Getting it off. It is the stickiest stuff you've ever ruined your pants on, and the British in particular used a lot of it; the climate I would assume. When a rifle was sent back for service/storage they would dismantle it; anything needing work was repaired or replaced; then the bore was filled, the action & barrel greased thoroughly and replaced in the stock; and sometimes the wood was given a coat. When it was placed in the rack or crate, it could- did- sit there for years into decades, well protected from rust. Which means when you get it...

Did I mention that if it has sat long enough, the stuff can harden? Petrified Cosmoline is even worse to get out.

The metal's not that bad. Most any cleaning solvent, including hot water & soap(I've know of people taking one to a car wash and using the engine cleaner spray on it) will cut the grease off; my favorite is either low-odor mineral spirits or a can of carburetor cleaner. Either will cut the stuff and leave no residue behind(yes, use rubber gloves and ventilation). However, some of this stuff can harm the wood. There's several ways to clean this off, degreasers and such. My favorite, which does take some time, is the kitty-litter method.

Strip the stock to wood only and wipe off all the surface crud. Get some heavy plastic and make a bag wide enough to put the stock in and about a foot longer, make sure you seal it well enough to hold some weight. Put the stock in, and then fill the bag with either cheap unscented kitty litter or oil absorbent. Close the bag and lay it out in the sun all day. Next day, put it back out on the other side. Depending on temperature and how much oil/grease the thing had soaked up, a week to ten days should do it. The heat will cause the oil/grease to bleed to the surface and the litter will soak it up. When done take it out and go over it with a brush to make sure you get all the dust out of the holes and inletting. I've seen an old stock come out of this treatment looking almost like new wood. Don't throw the absorbent away, save it for when you spill oil on the driveway and such.

The other way to do this is much faster, but only works if the stock is short enough to fit in the oven. Prepare the wood as before. Take a roll of cheap paper towels and stuff the receiver area, barrel channel, etc. with them, then wrap the entire stock with at least two layers. Wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil, stick it in the oven and turn it to 'low'. Please make sure the stock is not touching the coil or right on the bottom above the burner, whichever. Leave it there for at least an hour, pull it out/yes, it will be rather warm/ and unwrap. Throw away the paper, which will be soaked, repack & wrap the stock and put it back in. It does the same thing as the litter treatment, it just does it faster. For smaller pieces you could probably either use a metal pan full of litter, or a length of metal tubing; put the wood in, cover with litter, seal the end of the tube a bake.

Another thing that works well on smaller pieces is to make a mix of one part ammonia to three parts water, get a soft brush and start brushing that over the piece. My understanding is the ammonia converts the oil/grease to a form of soap which the water can wash away. This works well on pistol handgrips, handguards & such. You may not want to use this on pieces that are very thin, as it can cause warping. The piece will then need to dry thoroughly before you can refinish it. I can attest that this will get crud out of a piece of wood that looks clean, used on an oily pistol grip or handguard it can be amazing how much stuff winds up in the bucket.

Theres a forum here that specializes in this subject(their home site has lots of interesting forums), there's a lot there on both cleaning and refinishing. Some of their methods I've never tried, spraying oven cleaner on a stock for instance; that sounds a bit, oh, harsh? If something's in bad enough shape it might be something to try. I keep using the kitty litter method because
A. I'm lazy
B. Once it's set up and heating, I can do something else
C. If there are, or you suspect there may be, markings of interest on the wood, this method will not damage the
surface as some others might. I have to stress might; people on the Milsurp forums swear by some of the other methods. You makes your choice and takes your chances.

Finishing up depends on whether you're trying to keep the finish historically accurate or just get a good-looking finish that will protect the wood. You can use boiled linseed oil, you can use shellac, you can use Birchwood Casey's gunstock finish, there are lots of possibilities. Do some research and give something a try.

A lot of these are worth cleaning not only to make it neater to handle & shoot, but- rather amazingly- some of these old rifles have absolutely beautiful wood; when you get all the old crud off the surface it's sometimes amazing what you find. And it's always nicer to shoot something that isn't depositing forty-year-old oil on your face.

Update: ref the kitty litter method, if you'll be cleaning a number of stocks, you might want to make a sturdier container. I recently bought a 5' section of 5" diameter stovepipe for one. Cut it to 50" long, then mashed it into an oval cross-section, then made two plugs out of 5/8" plywood. One's screwed and caulked into one end, the other uses two screws to hold it in place. I also drilled a hole in the removable plug and set an eyebolt in it to make it easier to pull out. Then I painted the whole thing flat black. To use, pour a couple of inches of litter in, set the stock in, then fill it up, insert the plug and lock in place, then lay it in the sun.

I know I've mentioned him before

but if you haven't looked in on the doings at Beelzebub Manor, you're missing something. Several somethings, in fact. Current happenings, British history, and childhood memories:
"We even wore caps and short pants until the age of 13. Apart from Terry Peach. Every year has a Terry Peach. Six foot six tall, size 12 feet and capable of growing a full beard before leaving primary school. Terry was a big lad in every way and Matron had to rush him into Emergency Long Trousers a year before the rest of us after his … err ... sliding tackle had alarmed a visiting French mistress."

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