Saturday, October 22, 2005

Must...drink....and rest...

Got up at 0500, which I normally don't do unless there's a chance of shooting something, and got home about fifteen minutes ago. And I'm beat. I shall write of the wonders of the Big Gun Show tomorrow. If I wake up.

Friday, October 21, 2005

More progress

In some things, anyway. The friend I'm going to the Big Gun Show with has a set of short-range radios we've used the last couple of years. This year, between fire/marriage/moving twice, for some reason he can't find the damn things. So off I go to Wally World.

I now have a set of Uniden radios, max 3-mile range, run on three AAA batteries apiece, for the grand total of $18.22. If I had regular need of such, they had a set with 6-mile range, running on four AAAs each, with charger and eight NiMh batteries, for about $25. God, these things have improved.

By the way, when big trouble with China(the evil PRC China) happens, one of our big problems is so much of our small stuff has been farmed out to them. With virtual slave labor(non-virtual, in some cases) they've undercut our domestic makers of stuff so much that I don't think American companies even make some of the stuff anymore. Last time I needed some small files, the only ones I could find were made in either China or India. How much of our electronics come from China? Other countries, too, but the stuff that worries me is the huge amount of small, you-don't think-about-it stuff that comes from the PRC.

I'm to bed, up early tomorrow. I will, in due time, report on this thing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Another reason to like John Stossel

I argue with him on a number of points, but more often I tend to nod my head in agreement when he's doing one of his reports. Case in point, this one. Go read it, it won't take long.

All done? Point after point knocking down the gun-ban agenda(don't tell me it's not their agenda; Clayton Cramer has a list somewhere of quotes from a bunch of these people, I'll try to find it and post it).
(Update: Found it! Was at the Volokh Conspiracy, here)

Think it'll make any difference to the hysterics and nannies? I don't either, but getting the information out there lets people who can be reasoned with know the facts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

And I have to make note of this

In a comment on my last 'cleaning greasy old guns' post Gerry close his comment with this: "I could go into minute detail, but most folks capable of detail stripping a rifle aren't liberals and are smart enough to figure it out for themselves."

I just love this.

What's the big deal about baking bread?

I was reading Steve's stuff about cornbread, and started wondering why so many people have conniptions at the idea of baking bread? Admittedly there are some recipes for some types that are rather involved, but most are fairly simple.

I just pulled a pan of focaccia out of the oven, and if there's a simpler bread that that it's cornbread. I've taken it- the focaccia- and seasoned olive oil and vinegar to a party to share, and people raved about the bread, and proceeded to tell me what a genius I was to bake it.

Guess what? Put the ingredients in the bread machine, which does the kneading for me for a whole 3-4 minutes. Dump it in a greased bowl and let it rise. Dump it in a greased pan and spread it out and let it rise, knock it down and sprinkle some stuff on top, rise another 15 minutes and bake it. While I'm not averse to being called a genius, this kind of stuff is not proper reason for it.

Have you noticed most cooking is that way? Stew is browning some meat, throwing it in a pot with some water and veggies and whatever and letting it simmer. Jambalaya is sausage and rice and onion and bell pepper and whatever else you want to throw in. And so on; much of the stuff Steve has in his book is really simple, and it tastes damn good. One of the most involved things there are the baked beans, and that's just stir everything together and bake. Stuff like cake and some cookies requires you to use the correct amounts of stuff; but you can still add something in. My daughter and ex are always giving me tips on stuff like this. There's a nut bread recipe I like, and they found out that you can add a tablespoon of your favorite flavor coffee creamer to it and it comes out wonderfully. This is not reloading; you add something 'extra' in there and you may have to make up a story to make your prosthetic sound less like your fault. With cooking, you mess up and you may have to throw the result away.

Ref reloading, I read that the guy who developed the .454 Casull was using triplex loads; meaning he was mixing three different powders to get the result he wanted. The magazine where I read this specifically pointed out that this was, how do you say, a dumbass(not their word) thing to do, and please don't try it at home. Which may explain why he produced a pistol cartridge that would hurt to shoot in a rifle; his brain was still sloshing from the concussion.

Back to baking, there are a lot of simple things you can try, like adding some almond extract to a cake. It's very unlikely to screw it up, and it may just add something you really like to the finished product. If it doesn't, this is one reason you should have a dog. Preferably a mutt; they can eat rat poison, urp a time or two and ask what's for dessert? whereas a lot of purebreds don't get the proper diet and have the runs for a week. Kind of like... well, never mind that.

Where was I? Never mind that, too. Basic idea is, most cooking is simple unless you want to be the kind of 'chef' who puts one ounce of beef and three string beans on a plate and calls it dinner. Pie crust? It's flour and shortening and a touch of salt and some water, and that's it, but I took some tarts I had made to a fair and people had fits over the work of making the crust. Either they just aren't willing to try it, or they've bought into the hype from the three-bean chefs.

Oh well, it's an easy way to impress people.

BIG gun show this weekend!

Up in Tulsa, the Wanenmacher Show. They only have it twice a year, spring and fall, and since I've never been able to make the spring show, God willin' and the creek don't rise I'll be there Saturday.

One of these days I'm going to rent a motel room so I've got both days. It'd be the only way to actually see the whole thing, and it'd be nice not to be rushed. I've got a list of things to look for, mainly parts and accessories and cleaning stuff; I'm actually hoping not to find any firearms that say "Take me home!". Or at least none I have to listen to.

It's a terrible thing to hear: "Just look at my engraving, sweetie! And oh, the curve of my stock longs for your hand... Don't deny me, take me with you!" It's a terrible thing to hear and have to walk away from.

Speaking of radios for emergencies,

I noticed something today. I've got a RCA 'personal stereo' type; earphones only, runs off two AAA batteries, gets AM and FM stations. I generally use it when I'm doing laundry, or working in the yard, anywhere from an hour to two hours at a stretch.

Last week, the day after I did laundry, while getting ready for work I heard a news report, very faint. Only I'd turned the stereo off. Then I thought Oh, crap, I left the portable on! It was, I turned it off and forgot about it. Then used it today for about an hour and a half. Then I started trying to figure out how long those two batteries have been in use. I got the thing last year, it's had those batteries since sometime last winter. Figure two hours/week in winter, sometimes 5-6/week in warm weather, add in the 21 hours when I left it on the the two hours today... That's a long damn time, on the same two batteries. Maybe because it's not driving bigger speakers?

In any case, this type would be one to consider, at least as a spare. It cost five or six dollars as I recall, and AAAs are cheap.

Monday, October 17, 2005

It's really been that long?

Not that, the time. I realized the other day I've been running this blog for just over a year. I started a diary once when I was a kid, and I think that lasted about three days, so this is the longest journal-type thing I've ever done.

Big reason I started this was the smithing; it seemed like a good way to pass on some of what I've learned over the years, and it's done that well. It looked like fun, and it's been that, too. At least at times. And it did something I didn't really think about; it put me in contact with all kinds of people. Some of whom said how wonderful I was, some who told me I was an idiot(I've never managed to be called a fascist warmonger as yet, but I'm hoping), and lots of in-between. I've received good information on a variety of subjects, and passed ideas and how-to's along. Overall, it's been a good thing.

It's also been my soapbox. I can stand here and tell the world- at least the part of it that reads this mess- what I think of things. I can deliver insult and invective where appropriate, and I can say "Damn, go look at this! It's Great!", or "Only go here if you aren't worried about losing brain cells simply due to the proximity of the idiocy you'll find here". There's been a couple of times I thought I might have to post a "Gone to emergency room/surgery/whatever, back when able" but that's never worked out. Happily.

Right now, there's been over 21,000 hits, including some from Japan, South Africa and various places in Europe. Which makes this a big damn soapbox, long may it hold together.

Right now it's getting late, and the medication for a back problem is making me tired, so I think I'll go scratch dog ears for a bit. 'Night, all.

Yes, I'm still bitching about the media

And why not? They give us so much material to work with. Right now, I've got two things in mind, somewhat connected.

First, if you haven't read about the riots in Toledo, go here and read. Take due note of the headline, and then of who actually did the rioting, and their excuses for it. Here's a major newspaper blaming a riot not on the clowns who actually, oh, rioted and looted, but on those the rioters used as an excuse. There is, flatly, no excuse for this crap. I don't care how much they dislike having the Nazis march(not too damn fond of them myself), that does not give them excuse to riot. And it most certainly does not give the media an excuse to blame the Nazis instead of the idiots who actually committed the crimes.

Second stop here, where Mark Steyn takes note of the refusal of the media to call fascists what they are; as long as they're Islamic fascists, that is. Never mind where they're from, what they're doing and why and to who, you just can't call the bastards what they are; it's not allowed, apparently. Just like the BBC won't call Palistinian terrorists 'terrorists'; they're militants, or rebels or something, but never ever 'terrorists'. And so many in the media won't call the bombers and head-choppers and kidnappers in Iraq 'terrorists', they're 'insurgents'; it's just so much more PC to call them that. After all, if you call them terrorists you're actually stating they're bad people doing bad things, and we can't have that. Can we?

Yes, we damn sure can, at least if the media weenies are not so bigoted and PC that they'll make excuses for these dirtbags. Something happens here in the U.S., and you generally have to dig through piles of words before you'll find out that the doer was, who could believe it?, Muslim. I swear to God, if some jackass grabbed an old couple in a mall and cut their heads off with a machete while screaming "Allahu Akbar!", most of these jerks would jump through hoops to avoid even mentioning that part of it; after all, us ignorant peasants in flyover country can't be trusted to hear such things, now can we?

Connected to all this is this, the attempts to ignore/cover up/deny some information about the FREDS who blew himself up in Norman. Please note this wording from the FBI about a possible attempt to get into the stadium: "He said, 'We may never know. We have no evidence of a plan to do that, but we also couldn't tell you definitively he didn't try to do it and was rebuffed. We just simply don't know,' " Mr. Cole said."
This is used by the Wall Street Journal to say: "None of these claims are true". The FBI didn't say that, it said 'We do not know', but that's good enough to say 'nothing to it', at least for some of the major media. If this kid had been walking around with a swasticka armband and had a Nazi flag on his bedroom wall, you know these people would be talking about the dangers of neo-nazis; but God forbid they say anything bad about, or even mention, connections to Islam.

It reminds me, to an extent, of the attitude a lot of these 'journalists' have toward various minority groups; you shouldn't mention anything bad because it might upset them, and if you do have to mention it you have to include excuses for their actions, because after all, you can't expect them to deal with it well. I think R. Reagan referred to this as the 'bigotry of low expectations'; don't expect this or that group to live up to civilized standards, because they're just not able to, and they might get upset/violent if you demand those standards of them. So you have these 'journalists' calling names and describing as murderers U.S. troops in battle, but making excuses and carefully choosing words to keep from calling Islamist nutcases what they really are.

To borrow a line from Quint in Jaws, it's enough to piss off the Good Humor man.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

General commentary

The weather's been about as fine as you could wish for the last couple of weeks. I haven't had to use the a/c for about a month now(few days I should have, but...), and I can sleep with the windows open and a fan going. Now if I can get the dogs to understand they don't need to bark at 2a.m. unless it's acually worth it...

Steve's blogging about cooking again, and pan con lechon sounds good enough to go out and shoot a hog for. Happily, they have already deceased hogs at the store, so, I need to go shopping.

Speaking of Steve, damn, I wish I could write like him.

Chris Muir ought to be syndicated. If the major papers weren't a bunch of liberal bedwetters(to borrow a phrase), he probably would be. If you've not seen him before, check him out. And I know Sam is a cartoon, but damn!

I need more ammo. In various calibers. And more time to go to the range. And hunt. And sleep.

I hope I can get out during deer season. I have the urge to be terminally rude to Bambi.

Every time Ted Kennedy opens his mouth lately, I remember somebody saying "A drink of cold water and an original thought would kill him".

According to my son, Ford Rangers in Europe have a turbo-diesel engine option that runs clean and gets about 30 mpg and has more horsepower and torque than the gas engines. I wish they'd sell the damn thing here.

Ever noticed how cleaning patches evaporate when you open the bag?

I need a fireplace just to burn all the junk mail and applications that have my name on them.