Tuesday, February 26, 2019

In New Orleans, even the dogs parade for Mardi Gras

And for the third year in a row, Murphy and Belle joined thousands of other dogs on a beautiful Sunday afternoon for a stroll through the French Quarter.

And this year, Paige came along and Belle asked to walk her. Paige is one of Belle's favorite humans.


Many people pulled wagons filled with throws and dog treats. Murphy being Murphy, he just walked alongside other people's wagons and helped himself to the treats.

Belle tended to beg a bit more ladylike.

But Murphy...

Give that dog credit--he knows what he wants and he gets it.


They were loved and adored by legions of dog fans.

And the scenery was good.


Once home, there was sleeping to be done. All paraded out.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Accidental pistol acquisition not too shabby

So I started messing around with the Heritage Arms Rough Rider .22 revolver that I bought at a local pawn shop last week...the one that I was going to turn in at the city's gun buy for $500 only to have them run out of money and turn me away along with and 80% of the other citizens looking to turn in their guns. And since I was sort of stuck with it, I started to research it and discovered that it has no shortage of positive reviews. It's also American made. I noticed that mine had a .22 Magnum cylinder in it and because I read before shooting, I discovered that you cannot put .22lr rounds through a .22mag without swapping the cylinder. Bad things happen if you try. So I bought a used .22lr cylinder off fleabay for cheap and while I was at it I found a plug that replaces the ugly and prominent safety lever on the left side of the gun for $20 and I installed that today.

Looks fetching now, eh?


I took it to the range today with both cylinders and a box of ammo for each and tried it out.

It balances and aims well and the trigger breaks pretty light--almost too light--but I'll get used to it. The hammer is a proper "four click" like any real single action revolver should have, and it grouped ok, just a fair bit low and right with both cartridges. Looking at it closely, I discovered someone had bent the front sight to the left slightly. I took it come and straightened it, then gave it a bit more bend to the right because it was over a fair deal. Hopefully that gets the windage closer. I also gently filed down the front blade a tad to bring it's point of impact up a bit. Next range trip I'll see where it's hitting now. But as it stands now, I like the little critter. It could easily become a companion on future hiking and camping trips.

And I owe it all to Mayor Cantrell's bungled gun buy program. Thanks Mayor! You armed another citizen who would likely have never bought one of these otherwise. And this "evil" gun now lives in New Orleans thanks to you.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Peaceful morning...and dogs and cats

A nice morning, fresh coffee, a Gary Cooper/Burt Lancaster movie on the TV, and two dogs who keep trying to harsh my mellow by barking at any person, truck or cat that they see outside.

Or maybe they're just hating because Emily came over last night and after playing with them for quite a while, also dared to spend time playing with one of my porch cats.

Yep. I got porch cats. And the dogs are not amused. But since they don't chase mice and rats, the porch cats get enough food to keep them around. And they do kill them some mice and rats; I've seen them do it.

Of course I have to work to keep feline and canine separate. Murphy is still Murphy and he's racked up more than his share of cats and shows no indication of turning over a new leaf. And Belle just wants to chase them because they run, although if one stopped or didn't run at all she'd be a mighty confused dog. Still, taking them out on leashes when there is a cat or two lounging on my patio chair requires a bit of planning and caution because some of the cats--this one in particular--don't just up and run off or otherwise make it easy for me. They'll sit right there, just out of leash reach, and bet their lives on my keeping control of 160lbs. of prey-drive motivated Shepherds. Such fun.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Only New Orleans could screw up a gun buy event.

Yep, here in New Orleans today, there was a gun buy. They like to call them "gun buy backs" but how can you buy something back that you never owned?

Apparently the Mayor's office got hold of some money courtesy of a New York-based outfit (Can you say "Bloomberg"?) and announced that they would pay residents of Orleans Parish for any working gun brought in, no questions asked and no ID required aside from proof of residency. (Yeah, that had a lot of folks scratching their heads.)

The offering price: $500.

You read right. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS!

So I quickly decided to part with an old single-shot 12 gauge with a frozen ejector and glued-on handguard. I mean, for $500? Hell yes. I even went the extra distance and snagged a Heritage Arms Rough Rider .22 from a local pawn shop, and since they were only paying one payment to each resident, I recruited one of the charming young ladies I know from the bar to come stand in line and turn it in, with the understanding that we'd split that payment minus what I paid for the revolver. And off I went this morning with two junk guns and a hung-over showgirl to collect a quick thousand bucks.

(Sorry folks...she made me promise no pictures of her.)

We got to the drop-off point an hour early and the line was already almost two blocks long. Damn!
So we stood in the rain and chatted with some of the other several hundred people and watched as the line continued to grow behind us. Apparently I wasn't the only one looking to dispose of a couple of guns this morning.
And after almost two hours, the line had moved about a block and a half and people coming out were reporting that they were out of cash and were only giving out vouchers for whatever. And then they were out of those. A city official came out and announced that they would still accept any guns that people wanted to turn in, but everyone just laughed at him or shook their heads and walked away with their guns. And we, like the majority of those who came out, were in this group. The excuse was that they didn't anticipate this many people. They then clarified in the news later that they'd only intended to accept 200.

Gun buy-back hits capacity in only one hour.


Seriously? How do you not offer five hundred dollars cash for literally any gun and not expect a turnout? Only Mayor Latoya Cantrell's people could screw something up this badly. I guarantee you over a thousand people were in that line.

And let's talk about those people, because I was observing.

A fair number were what you'd expect in this neighborhood, a couple blocks off Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd ad south of Claiborne Ave. They were older black people, men and women, who were bringing in unremarkable old junk. But the majority of the crowd was young, male and white, and several of them still had their guns in the factory boxes, suggesting that they'd done what I did and quickly gone out and bought a cheap gun and rushed down here to sell it for more. And as we all talked, many people openly admitted doing this. Hell, who said capitalism was dead? I think that had they just offered a hundred bucks a gun, many of the locals would have sold their junk and walked away, but since the offering was so high, the money ran out quick and almost every one of those people took their guns back home again. (Note: if anyone on the Mayor's staff is reading this, you need to keep offering $500. I still have two guns to sell you, you jackasses.)

And yes, I did surf the line a bit as we were all dissipating to see what collectibles I could snag, but I came up dry. Well not entirely. Anyone wanna buy a Rough Rider?

I also had to buy my accomplice lunch, and it's a true fact that respectable strippers don't settle for McDonalds after you make them stand in the rain for two hours, so that wasn't cheap either. Thanks Mayor Cantrell. Only a special kind of incompetent politician could screw up a plan to give away money.


Oh--and for the "guns cause crime" argument...a thousand people stood in the rain with guns today and no one got robbed or shot, even after the bulk of them got hosed by their government officials. Maybe more guns don't cause more crime, eh?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

New (to me) gun!

Snapped up another 1898 Krag yesterday, but when I got it home, I realized that it didn't look like my other 1898 Krag--it's short.

I got it cheap because it was missing the front sight base, but I already located a replacement and the CMP custom shop can install it and fix the finish as best as possible.

But as I research Krags I'm kinda puzzled. What is this little guy, exactly? 24" barrel. Serial number dated to 1901. If it was cut down, work looks to be arsenal/factory job, not "bubba's basement". Didn't cost much so it'll likely stick around as a shooter if it's at all accurate. Any thoughts, bright folks?

Monday, January 07, 2019

Today...

My father would have been 77 today.

So in his memory, I took his guns out to shoot them. But I was denied, as the only area shotgun range is flooded and closed.

Still...they're going to get a good cleaning tonight nonetheless. With a good western on the TV and a beer or two afterwards.


My Father's Guns.

Not forgotten. I wish we'd had more time.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Just...wow.

So the other day, I sent a text of this picture out to a rather well-known firearms enthusiast.
The reply was as expectwed, along the lines of: "OMFG!! Where did you find it? Did you get it? Ah, I see it has the Bomar sight, but not the extended one...Is the barrel bushing tight as hell?"

Yeah, I knew he'd recognize it. Sadly I did too when I saw it in among a few hundred other firearms this past week. It's a custom-built US Service Pistol Team 1911 in .45, and alas, it's one of the 450-odd small arms in the museum at Jackson Barracks, New Orleans, Louisiana that were caught by the floodwaters following Hurricane Katrina.

Of the 200+ buildings on post when the water came, only about thirty did not have to be rebuilt from scratch. Parts of the post were under 20 feet of water and this water contained sewage and just about every chemical you could imagine in a flooded industrial community.


Like the rest of the collection, this pistol spent about two and a half months submerged in the toxic sludge before it was dried off and roughly stabilized by the curatorial teams, however they all look like this one now--or worse--with finish wear, pitting, ruined stocks, etc. Historic military arms from the 19th century on upwards, including almost a dozen Thompson sub-machine guns, BARs, Springfields, Krags, Reisings, Colts of every flavor, and numerous foreign guns too. (I noticed a beautiful German MP40 that didn't look like it got wet at all...at least on the side I could see.)

The reason I got to see them was because I'd gone in and spoke to the staff about possibly donating some of my collection to replace the ones that they lost due to the flooding. One thing led to another and now it looks like I'll get the chance to volunteer to help fix and preserve some of these guns starting in January. It's a big job that really is just getting started and they need the help. Since I've owned or worked on much of what they have, why not?

And as thought, if any of you do have any period US Military arms that you'd like to see preserved in their brand new public museum and it's soon-to-be awesome "Wall of Weapons" display, please contact me and I can assist with the donation and proper credit to you. Some of mine will surely be going in there and I can't think of a better place for them to be displayed forever.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Well that didn't take too long

I got home late Monday night. I left my bags on my kitchen chair. Went out Tuesday night and came home to find my backpack had been dragged off the chair and all through the house to the dog beds where two K9 conspirators managed to open every compartment with food in them and remove said food. They feasted on trail mix, granola bars and MRE snacks to their heart's content and just scattered all of the non-food items (clothing, loaded magazines, tools, etc.) that were apparently in their way. And this pack weighed 34lbs at the airport--not an unimpressive feat.


Jerk dogs.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Enough.

Yesterday our operations were disrupted when five buses stopped on Mexico Highway 2 just on the other side of our border fence and 217 Guatemalans got off, walked over our fence and onto our country, and sat down to await Border Patrol. They do this regularly now and this bunch admitted coming from Tijuana where they arrived with the caravans. They didn't seem to know--or wouldn't say--who chartered the buses. What they do know is that they claim asylum, then they get a court date and released into the US until the hearing. Of course they'll never show up and we'll have to hunt them down and try to deport them one by one.

This screwed us up because it took every single Border Patrol Agent in the sector to process them, meaning no one was watching any of the rest of the fence or the interior checkpoint. And the cartels know this and exploit the opportunity to move whatever they want into our country.

My small unit had an operation planned that needed support from Border Patrol and we got hosed and had to improvise. This meant a lot more walking for us but we finally got to a location where we could watch the border with some pretty good optics where we expected a smuggler crossing attempt. We came up empty again, seeing nothing but their own scout in an observation post on the Mexican side of the border. So we spent hours watching a Mexican in Mexico as he spied on our border. But alas, no smugglers came. We just watched the scout cook his dinner while we snacked on trail mix, fruit and peanut M&M's. After dark we put our night vision on, but nothing human moved below so finally we broke it down and hiked back out.

Scout spotted with excellent optics on the far hill.

Close-up of the ridge where he is. About half way down the spine, just below the organ pipe cactus. Can you see him? He's only about threee miles away.

Today, every time we tried to do anything near the border, more small groups of Hondurans and Guatemalans came across the fence and waited grinning to be taken in. we can't do a thing to protect our borders now because we're all too busy ferrying these invaders around like some sort of large-scale welfare Uber.

But my detail here ends tomorrow, and I'll be replaced by others. It's been educational but frustrating, and between being undermined by the liberals and watching our system be gamed and abused by hordes of foreign invaders who have clearly been coached on where to cross and what to say when they get here, I'm ready to just get back to my bars and burlesque girls in New Orleans.

Anyone who votes for politicians who support this sort of open borders nonsense is aiding and abetting the destruction of our country. Build the damn wall already.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

"Allies" we could do without.

It's not just us, Border Patrol and Illegals down here. As remote as it is, there are several other players on the gameboard. Each of them crosses our path more days than not and considers themselves the good guys here.In reality, they're all pains in the ass that we could better do without.

First one is a group called "Humane Borders" that runs around out here setting out water jugs for the illegals. They advertise in Mexico so that border-crossers know where their water stashes are, and make it a lot easier for the smugglers to get through. They claim that they only want to help "migrants" but you can't help one group without materially aiding the other group too. And they try to intervene when we contact illegals, videotaping us and trying to advocate for the illegals. It's pretty clear where their loyalties lie and it's not with us.

Then we've got "No More Deaths", or "No Mas" as they refer to themselves. These are the more radicalized version of the group above. They are openly antagonistic and provocative towards us and their main activities seem to consist of setting out secret water and food caches on routes known to be used mainly by drug smugglers and following us a nd Border Patrol around to harass us for their youtube videos. Many of their members are also members of the above group.

Next we have "Veterans on Patrol", another group of people who apparently have no jobs and spend their days running around near the border while open-carrying their guns and pretending to fight the cartels and US government corruption. As far as we can tell, very few of their members have ever served, and their leader, Michael Meyer, is a convicted felon who is certifiably nuts. Google him and his group if you have time to waste. They basically just drive around and get in the way of real border operations while making videos about all of their pretend heroics.

And finally we've got the indian reservation adjacent to us that most of the smugglers head to. The indians love tha drug money and stash houses and drivers abound on the res, making life so much easier for the smugglers. If they were to try to hike clean up to I-8 to the north, it would take them 10-14 days. But they can cut across us and hit the res in a day or two and dump their loads at any one of a number of village houses set up to hide them. They have their own tribal police but many are complicit and the rest don't try too hard because they have to live there.

This doesn't include a few local businesses known to be sympathetic to illegals and passively hostile to us and BP. Even in the towns where most of the trade comes from BP agents and their families, there are still some who take the other side due to family ties or other reasons. A particular woman ad the local gas station loves to ask us questions about what do and what our day's plans are. She's anglo but lives in Mexico with her twice-deported husband.

Even down in this sparsely populated area, there are many facets in the fight to protect our border and the interior beyond.