Friday, May 19, 2006

Gun show!

This weekend. Going Saturday. Two neighbors want me to try to sell something for them. One's a Dutch Mannlicher carbine, the other's a H&R .22 revolver. The Mannlicher is mechanically great, but the bore's pretty rough. It may be like the Mauser Kim cleaned up, but I don't have the time to soak the bore. So I scrubbed it out as best I could for now. If nobody offers enough to satisfy the neighbor, I'll do that next week.

The H&R is beautiful. 7.5" barrel, .22lr and magnum cylinders, in the original box. I'm halfway tempted to see if I have enough free and buy it myself.

It turned hot here very quickly. As in from highs in the 70's to highs in the 90's in about three days. So I stuck the window unit in the bedroom for sleeping comfort. The house has central(first house I've ever had that did) and I love it, but when I can just use open windows and a fan I do; lots of times I'm in & out to the garage or yard enough it's easier on me. Thus the window unit for sleeping.

Night, all.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

To return for now to firearms,

a few days ago had a chance to go to the range for a little while, and tried the Trailside/red-dot combo in daylight.

This sight has 11 brightness settings. 11 gave a nice dot easily visible on a partly cloudy day. I'd wondered about that, because the sight on the borrowed .22 I wrote about was fairly dim turned all the way up.

I had some clay pigeons and one of my scope targets set up at 50 yards, and this made it easy to hit both if I did my part. The dot covered the 2" square on the paper completely, so just centered the dot on the paper. It covered the center 2-3" of the clays, making it easy to hit them. Seemed that with this gun/ammo/sight combo it's dead on at both 20 yards and 50.

I'm really liking this setup. I'm going to try to take my daughter out shooting this weekend, I'll see how she likes it.

Speaking of the Trailside, it came with their oversized pakkawood 'target' grips. Very nice, but the plastic on the basic version actually fit my hand better. I've done a bit of rasping and sanding on these, and they're much better now. More comfortable, and easier to hold on target.

Now to try a red-dot out on a rifle...

The 'free and universal' health care in Britain

apparently doesn't apply if you're offensive. Was over at Random Nuclear Strikes and found a link to this article:
"IT IS BAD enough that you can be refused medical treatment on the NHS for eating, drinking or smoking too much. Now it seems that you can be denied an operation for protesting too much in support of your religious or political beliefs.

Edward Atkinson, a 75-year-old anti-abortion activist, was jailed recently for 28 days for sending photographs of aborted foetuses to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. That draconian sentence was not deemed punishment enough: the hospital has banned Mr Atkinson from receiving the hip replacement operation he was expecting."

No physical attack, no threats to blow up the place or shave some Noble Physicians' moustache without permission. Be offensive and go to jail AND be denied medical treatment.

This tells us that 1: British hospitals are staffed with a bunch of wusses with tender feelings, 2. Universal Health Care gives the government even more control over your health than you thought, 3: socialized medicine sucks.

Those are the basics, add more as they occur to you.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More on women

My experience with them, at least. The piece I posted a couple of days ago was written under the influence of booze and a certain amount of pissed-off, and I think it needs expanding on. No, I don't disavow a word of it; just expanding.

I don't hold #2 solely responsible for the mess; the way I put it to a friend was "I made one big mistake, I married her", which pretty much covers it. We went together for a little over two years before we married, and the warning signs were there, which is where my big mistake came in. She lied about having worked it out about #1 wife, and I let- or made- myself believe it.

Ever wanted something to work so bad that you didn't listen to that little voice in the back of your head? Not the one telling you to stay home and clean the guns, the other one. Said voice said to me the day before the wedding(and a time or two before) "This is not the best idea you ever had, and you shouldn't oughta do it", and I told it to shut up and ignored it. I really, really cared for her; I wanted her to have worked her jealousy out, I wanted it to work so bad I let her lie to me about it, I wanted it so badly I ignored my own knowledge of where this was liable to go. I never said I was all that smart.

And I ignored hints she'd thrown out before about my smithing and hunting. Mind you, being female she probably thought she was making blunt statements where all I heard was some vague mentions of the possibility of a problem somewhere down the line. This is where the 'do ALL women do this crap?' came in. I know all women don't; I've known of too many cases of it to think it's rare. In comments was brought up the saying "Men marry women hoping they never change; women marry men hoping they will", though in some cases it seems to be "planning" they will.

This whole mess led to me giving the kids a lecture that boils down to Don't expect someone to change from what they are. Barring something on the order of a religeous experience, it won't happen, and hoping it will is a path to big troubles.

Hell with it. I don't hold a grudge against Beth(#2), though occasionally a spark of pissed-off still flares up; I hope she's well. I just wish I had listened to the voice.

While back I ran across a site by a guy named John Ross, which has some real interesting columns. Some of which I wish I'd been able to read back when I was younger and single, the ones dealing with women, dating and marriage. I think he's got a lot of truth in them, which brings up a big problem for me so far as dating goes: I ain't gonna do it. Play the games.

Speaking of games, a while back there was a lady I dated who stopped answering the phone. I figured it was a case of not having the integrity or manners to say "I've changed my mind, I don't want to go out with you again". About three months after that a friend ran into a friend of the lady and asked what the hell happened; she said she didn't know, that the lady had been through a messy divorce and wasn't real stable(my word, can't remember exactly what he reported) about dating. Then about three months after that he ran into both of them, and the lady told him she'd lost her phone and didn't have my number anywhere else, and would he ask me to call her?

This was in town- he was here for a small fair and crashing at my house- so he decided to help things along and got the four of us together for a drink after the fair Saturday. It took her about half an hour to mention something along the lines of "I didn't want you to think I just stopped answering you", but really nothing beyond that. And implied she wouldn't mind me calling again. By the time it was over I was pretty sure this was a game; she didn't want to be the Bad Guy in this and it was her way of showing how really Caring and Nice she was.

Mind you, I'd liked her, and I almost called her four times. Twice I had picked up the phone and then put it down. If she'd actually given a crap about going out again she'd have been happier to see me, and would have said "Call me". Or so I think. In any case, it boils down to one reason I'm not doing too well on the dating front; I'm not going to play the damn games. Ross mentions a number of things to do to keep a woman off balance and interested, and looking back I can see how they'd work quite well. But I'm not going to do them. If I have to play games constantly to keep a woman interested, if I have to keep her off-balance to get her to go out again, Ain't Gonna Happen. All of which makes me wonder, how many women out there are demanding guys play these games, and spending nights alone because only the guys who care about screwing her and nothing else will play them? And bitching about how there are no good guys out there?

Yeah, I DO have a jaundiced view of this. Please prove me wrong.

Taking the bad taste of 'Sen. McCain' out of my mouth,

I can look out at the garden. The tomatos have blossoms, as do the sweet peppers and squash; and there's one pepper about three inches long and several little squash. The roma tomatos aren't big enough yet, having been planted just two weeks ago, and the bell peppers just developed some buds. The habanero is about six inches tall, as I recall it won't really take off until it gets hotter. I need to plant a few more cloves of garlic to fill in the holes where some didn't come up.

I thought about expanding the garden a bit this year, but considering how little time I have to work on it decided not to. Ever bit into a tomato or pepper right off the plant? Beats hell out of hothouse stuff.

Last year I lost a lot of tomatos to birds, and some peppers to both squirrels and my idiot younger dog. I think I'll cut some poles and put netting over the tomatos; the birds did more damage to the them, and aside from fence and a .22 I can't do that much about the squirrels, the dog luckily seems to have learned that grazing in the garden gets her yelled at.

Ref John McCain(Jackass/AZ)

Kevin has his opinion up, and I second it. He includes part of the oath McCain has taken more than once:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

This from the idiot who recently said "I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I’d rather have the clean government." So if we didn't know before, we damn well know now what his word is worth.

I said it before: this man is as bad or worse than Al Gore in thinking that he deserves the Oval Office as his home address, that it's owed to him; and anyone with a mindset like that can be allowed nowhere near it. And I repeat, Arizona, get that recall petition started back up.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


One of the things I make is flint & steel firekits. Whole kit is a steel striker, a good flake of flint, some charcloth to catch the spark and a tin to keep it in. No problem to make except for the flint. Which you don't make, you find. And you need good enough quality flint that it'll strike a spark from the steel without breaking.

Lots of places to find flint(depending on where you are), and you can order the stuff. Dixie Gun Works carries both a bag of good flakes and flint nodules so you can try your hand at knapping. But I'd always wanted to go out and find some nodules and knock off my own flakes. No luck so far.

Then at Medieval Fair a gentleman came by to get a couple of strikers; said he'd lost the ones he got last year. Talked for a bit and found that he's an archeologist(retired) who knaps flint as a hobby and as a teacher for students at OU. When I mentioned I was about out of flint he said he had some pieces I could have.

So the other day finally got time to go by his place and get some. And he threw in a short lesson on flint knapping, and a short lecture on where in the state I could find some if I had a chance to go looking for it.

I'd bought a nodule from Dixie once before and tried knocking off flakes with, let us say, not the best of results. With a good hammerstone and his demonstration, earlier today I took one of the chunks and knocked off a number of good, usable flakes(as opposed to my earlier success in turning a flint nodule into sharp-edged gravel).

I get time I want to mess with this some more; try making some knives and arrowheads. Good flint or obsidian is brittle, but a flake can be unbelievably sharp. We're talking 'feel a tug and notice blood' sharp. Matter of fact, I've read that eye surgeons are using scalpel blades cut and polished from obsidian; the edge is smoother and sharper than steel, it can actually cut cells without tearing the edge is so fine.

He bet me a striker that within three months I'd want more flint to work on, said it's addictive. I need to make him a couple.

Carnival of Cordite #59

At Gullyborg. Actually up the other day, but being the organized sort I am, I'm just getting this up now.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Remember I mentioned K31's might be running out?

I just looked at the AIM site and they're not there anymore. The K31's, I mean.

And I'll wonder, did I have anything to do with maybe speeding up the disappearance? I'll never know.

And yes, I have been drinking. Just a little. And now I'm going to bed.

Conversing with Og got me thinking about some things,

and sitting here having had a drink(ok, three), I have a question for the ladies out there who might read this: do most women want to change a guy they like, or is it just some of them? I don't mean "Stop leaving your underwear in the living room" or "Will you please stop telling Denise "I've got a little list, they'll not be missed"? I have to work with her, you know!" I mean big stuff, things that are important to you.

Once, a long time ago, I wrote about my second marriage and how it went down the drain. Two biggest factors in it; 1. I got along with my ex on friendly terms and 2. I forge.

As to the first, we went round & round on this once before the marriage question came up. Didn't matter if she was pissed about it or not, the ex and I had two kids- who were little at the time- and I was going to try to stay on friendly terms with her if for no other reason than to ease things on the kids. Went over it again when I asked her to marry and she assured me that she could deal with it.

On 2, she really liked the admiration and respect I had for my smithing, the blades in particular. One weekend she went with me to Texas to a Celtic Heritage festival and really enjoyed it, with the one exception being her mention of the fact that I smelled of coal smoke at the end of the day. I replied that that was what showers and washing machines were for and nothing else was said(no, I did not pick up the subtle female signs that she was pissed about it).

After the wedding(not immediately, but within a month) two things happened. First, she started getting really jumpy- sometimes nasty- about me talking to my ex about the kids. Second, she made it clear that although she hadn't really said so before, I really needed to get rid of the forge as the noise and smell didn't fit into the neighborhood I now lived in.

You can guess how this crap went. Especially after one somewhat memorable occasion when she informed me that the solution to needing to talk to my ex about the kids was to take her to court, get custody of the kids and not allow her visitation: "Then you won't ever need to speak to her!"

Can you imagine telling a judge that the mother should lose custody- and no visitation- because your new wife doesn't like her? My first thought was that any jurist with three working brain cells would say "Bailiff? Kick that man three times around the courtroom and throw him out of here for bringing such idiocy in here", and I'd agree with him. Second thought, can you imagine putting two kids through a shitstorm like that?

And the other, she KNEW that I planned on smithing for years to come. Not on a daily basis(had never had that) but when time & weather allowed. And now she made it plain that I needed to give it up.

Note: I really am clueless about some things. One evening she was bitching about my ex and, noting that one thing they did share was stubborn, I commented that one of the things that made this difficult was that in some ways they were much alike. Yes, I should have thought about that before saying that. No, I didn't realize how it would go over. Oh yeah, that really brought out joy in the evening.

The fact that I write about my second ex covers what happened in the end(those two things weren't the only factors, but they were big ones). And no dating since has gone on long enough for the 'changing you' factor to come out if it would have.

Well, ladies?