Thursday, July 28, 2016

I hate them.



On arrival home from work today.


It wasn't up a week.

Maybe this is why she keeps escaping

She's running a restaurant in her spare time.


Down on lower Decatur street.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Reset to zero

Days without a Belle-break...

Dogs were out in the back yard. I noticed it was pouring down rain. I opened the door and Murphy was on the covered side porch, dry as a bone. I called Belle. No answer Called again. Nothing. Pulled Murphy in and went to the front door. Out on the front porch, I shouted her name again. And here she came, trotting up happy as a clam and twice as muddy. It took me a few minutes to figure out where she'd tunneled out underneath some stuff stacked up against the side of the house. If not for the fresh mud and paw-marks in it, I'd have likely not found it.

"Little Big X" strikes again.





"Don't I at least get a catcher's mitt and ball on my way back to the cooler?"

Famous, they are.

Walking Murphy and Belle down in the French Quarter last night. Sumdood comes bopping along then suddenly stops as he sees them. I'm waiting for him to ask if they bite, as that's usually what folks like him seem to want to know, but he surprised me.
"Them's those dogs off of Xxxxx street!" he exclaimed, getting my street right. Never saw this particular mope before but he sure knows M & B.

When all of the local ne'er-do-wells know your dogs, your dogs must be doing something right.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Yesterday...Busy but good.

Got up early Saturday morning and headed for the bar. (This is New Orleans, folks...it's seriously how we roll.) Just had a couple of cups of coffee--no booze--and headed out to Pear River to do some more shooting.

I took these two out to fine-tune the zeroes on them.

Top is my Springfield Armory M-1A, which I purchased new back in 1988 in response to George H.W. Bush's famous "Assault Weapon" ban. It was my "go-to" rifle for many years, and it was my competition rifle as well as my prime defensive tool before I came around to ARs. But now the circle is complete and I've once again embraced the .30 round for most social purposes.

The lower rifle reflects my philosophy modernized--it's that custom FAL that I had done by the nice folks at DS Arms. It's shorter and more utilitarian than the M-1A and much handier for work in an urban setting, IMHO. It's got it's new Blue Force Gear Vickers sling on now.

Using the 25 yard range, I zeroed both for 200 yards, and then played around on the 100-yard steel plates at the range. I think that they're actually 8" discs, and impossible to miss with the M-1A. I could hit them regularly with the FAL too, but I needed to use just a bit of hold-over and really concentrate on trigger press since the sights aren't as adjustable as the M-1A's and the trigger is definitely not as smooth. But that's the difference between the two. The FAL is a fighting rifle, period. It's made to put rounds on man-sized targets out to a reasonable range and do so even when wet, muddy, frozen, etc., It's not quite "AK-47" rugged, but it's a lot closer than the M-1A, which is more of a precision weapon with it's crisp, "break like glass" tuned trigger and superior adjustable sights.

Both rifles functioned flawlessly and put the rounds pretty much where I wanted them to go. I wish that I could have gotten another turn on the FAL front sight tool to get it down to 100 yards, but it bottomed out at 200 and a touch high at that. So it goes...

They do handle totally differently. The FAL is more ergonomic and comes onto point quicker, but the M-1A has sights and a trigger to die for.

Now I'm thinking seriously about a Springfield Scout. or a SCAR Heavy, which I also have a bug for, thanks to Old NFO letting me shoot his. I want compact and reliable and fast-handling and precision all rolled into one. The search for the perfect rifle goes on.

Then it was home for at minute to lock up the rifles and change, and off to a free self-defense seminar put on by a guy who is setting up a new MMA and self-defense school here. Hey--free and a chance to pick up a trick or two--what's not to like? (Esp. the "free" part.) Did that, came home again, took a nap on the couch, then joined my neighbors down the street for a block party that they'd kicked off because--hey, it's New Orleans...it's how we roll.

Then as I was walking home, all full of good food and beer, I looked at the front of my house and saw this:
Eff'n dogs. This is how THEY roll.
"Next time leave the blinds open so we don't have to open them ourselves."

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Out for a stroll.

Now this is how you busk for cash...get your friends together with some instruments and play good.
I threw 'em a buck.

And here's the dogs, hanging out outside the bar while I'm in getting a beer.

And here, a photographer chick takes a picture of Murphy while he watches her.

Night time. Artillery Park.

St. Louis Cathedral.

Lovin' my new city...lovin' my dogs.

Seen on the way to lunch yesterday..

So what does a no-job-having bum do on "Take Your Daughter to Work Day"?

He steals her a pail and sets her down next to him as half of a panhandler duo.


And then there was this sign at Hobnobbers on Carondelet Street, that worked to get me in the door for lunch:
OK, their catfish plate and red beans got me in the door, but the sign still made me snicker.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Trying PokemonGo

I admit that I didn't get the idea of chasing weird beings around on my phone when I first heard about it, but I gave it a try yesterday on my way home from work. And I think I found my first ones!





That was too easy. I guess it's only challenging to find strange creatures if you don't live in New Orleans. So what am I supposed to do with them all now?

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Prayers for our Baton Rouge Police Officers

And our police officers everywhere today.

And now Obama is on his high horse calling for "an end to the divisive rhetoric".

Sorry, but that's like John Wayne Gacy calling for an end to child molestation.

You've been stoking this fire for eight years, Barry. Blaming our cops time and time again before investigations showed that they were in the right. Now much of this blood--and that from Dallas last week--is on your hands.

There's your legacy, jackass.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

My new favorite rifle

Today I had to get out of New Orleans for a bit and go reconnect with America.

I headed out I-10 past Slidell until I reached the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area and the Honey Island Shooting Range. It was here that I gave the new FAL a try.

I came out skeptical, but came home seriously impressed.

The sights needed a bit of tweaking but she consistently hits a six inch steel gong at 100 yards and the function is flawless. 80 rounds fired today (and twenty kept loaded in a mag in reserve for the trip home) and no defects, failures or surprises.

I LOVE this rifle!

And a FAL with brass marks below the ejection port is a happy FAL indeed. Don't ask me why they all do this. They just do.

And here's a father and daughter shooting an AR-15 together. Because America.
Almost everyone on the rifle line seemed to be shooting some type of AR today. I remember not too many years ago when I was often the only AR shooter on the range and was even mocked by other shooters for having one.

Great range at Honey Island. Just a 100 yard rifle line and a 25 yard pistol line, and a bit more restrictive than I like, but the Range Officers were all polite, professional and non-asinine. Two of them came over to see the FAL, asking what it was and admitting to having never seen one before. It sure beats dealing with "know-it-all" types, most of whm really don't know jack. And the mix of stands for paper targets and steel gongs available to most shooters makes for a good shoot spot for just $6. I'll definitely be back out here.

Friday, July 15, 2016

When one becomes two

Not quite two years ago, I acquired This FAL from a seller out of state.


Nice enough rifle, but not quite what I wanted. I wanted an 18" folding-stock model and I got one with a 21" barrel instead because the seller didn't know how to work a tape measure. But it was nicely built otherwise, and it shot wonderfully, so I kept it on. But it wasn't quite what I'd wanted so I was never completely happy with it.

Actually, I really wanted two, because while I liked the utility of the short folder, I also really appreciated the full-length straight-stocked "traditional" FAL. And this one, thought a great shooter, was right in between, neither fish nor fowl.

Then last year, DS Arms had a really nice sale on new FAL receivers so I bought one and decided to fix the problem once and for all. I took an extra FAL lower assembly that I had floating around and put it on the receiver with the long barrel. I also had to replace the bolt carrier, because the carriers for straight-stocked rifles and folders aren't compatible. A bit of fiddling around and I had this nice traditional straight-stocked FAL, just half of the combo that I wanted. And once I'd tweaked the gas regulator and re-zeroed the sights. it shot just as good as it had before, which is to say that it shot excellently.


Then I took the folding stock assembly from the old rifle and mated it to the new DS Arms receiver and the old bolt carrier. I was all set to send it off to DS Arms and have them build it onto a new 18" barrel assembly and had even called them and gotten a quote for the work when suddenly I got the nod to move down here. Time and money got tight so the project got shelved for a while, and the parts came with me and just sat around until the recent Democrat screaming for gun control and the banning of "assault weapons" started getting loud again. I read that writing on the wall, coupled with the specter of a Hillary presidency, and I shipped the parts off to DS Arms along with the quote they'd given me and I sat down to wait for the "5-6 weeks" that they said it might take.

Three weeks later, I got a UPS ship notification and an e-mail from DS Arms stating that it was on the way to me. Even better, from my point of view, was the price. Between the time DS Arms gave my the quote and the time I sent it in, they'd bumped their prices on the barrel assembly and a few other odds that it needed. But being a class act, DS Arms honored the old prices in the quote AND turned it around and got it done even cheaper than quoted. Nicely done, DS Arms!

It showed up today in a nice new hard case, and I'm in love.


Not only is it shorted, both with the stock extended and with it folded, but the balance is much more to my liking.


Here they both are, the original "traditional" FAL top, and the new para model below. Quite the pair. The shorty has a brand new barrel and the original style has a barrel that gauges as near-new. And they share magazines and other kit.

I got the new one done for a lot less than DS Arms would have charged me for a factory-assembled "New in box" model and it looks almost as good. the only used parts on it are the folding stock lower and the bolt and carrier. The barrel assembly and all of the internals are brand new.


So how short is it really? Well here it is above an AR with a 16" barrel and the stock fully collapsed.
It is a bit shorter than the AR. And although it's a bit heavier, it also fires the 7.62x51 round, and that's a plus to dinosaurs like me.

So after starting out with one FAL that didn't quite please me and adding a few new components to the mix, I now have two FALS, one in each configuration. And I can't wait for a range day.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A most pleasant night

Spent a fair bit of the evening sitting in a patio chair outside Vaso on Frenchmen Street, drinking reasonably-priced draft beers and enjoying the jazz band playing just behind me inside. And these are my new sidewalk friends.
Yeah, this is why I moved here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The problem here is not the heat; it's the stupidity.

When I moved down to New Orleans, I really tried to make nice with all of the liberals who surround me here. After all, they are my neighbors, my bar staff, many of my co-workers...pretty much everyone that I have to interact with regularly. There are few exceptions on this bright blue island in the southern part of this otherwise very red state So I need to try to deal with them as best I can.

At first, it wasn't hard. Just smile a lot and use small words and don't crinkle your none at the smell of weed or B.O..

But this past couple of weeks, they've been collectively losing their minds on the issues, and then they get really, viscerally upset if you do not share in their outrage.

Last week, they all screamed for gun control after the Orlando murders. No one should be allowed to own guns, they demanded, almost to a person. The problem isn't muslims, they say...it's white people with guns...except white muslims. And the open gays are shouting love for muslims the loudest currently, claiming that bigoted white Christians (with guns) are their only enemies.

Then this career-criminal mutt named Alton Sterling gets shot for fighting with the police and reaching for a gun, and the mantra now is that "he shouldn't have been killed just for having that gun! He needed it to protect himself while "hustling" (selling counterfeit CDs and probably slinging a bit of dope on the side).

They criticize the NRA for not standing up for his 2nd Amendment Rights but when I point out that the NRA has never supported the "right" of a convicted felon to illegally pack a gun, they say that it's just because the NRA is racist against blacks and that his criminal record shouldn't have mattered.

So in the liberal mind, you and I should not be able to own a gun at all, because "danger to everyone", but a career criminal who is and a child-rapist should be excused from having a gun because...well who really knows? He needed it to feel safe while breaking other laws, and his death, since the police were involved, washes away all of his wrongs and bad intent. He is a hero and deserved to have a gun. But you or I? Naw.

And of course they are totally in a tither now because protesters in Baton Rouge are being arrested now "just for peacefully demonstrating and making their opinions head, because "everyone should have a right to say what they feel", yet anyone who dares voice support for the police, question the narrative around Alton Sterling or that other mope in Minnesota, or even say "All lives matter" in response to their parroting of the phrase "Black lives matter" is branded a heretic and viciously attacked and shunned. Anyone who doesn't believe their claim that "America is a racist country" is, by their definition, a racist, and "Racists do not get free speech!"

Oh, and they also decry the fact that the "racist" GOP and "racist" NRA opposed attempts by the Democrats to bar anyone whose name appears on government watch lists from being able to buy a gun, but when you ask them what other constitutional rights should be taken away from people who are named by secret tribunals without so much as a public hearing or a chance to contest the decision or hear the evidence, they get all puzzled, like the concept just sailed right over their heads. And then they get angry that you asked them, "because you're just a racist".

And of course they all scream about politicians who are wealthy "one-percenters" and who took money from corporations, voted to bail out Wall Street, supported and took money from foreign leaders who oppress and kill gays, and voted for the Iraq war...but they still plan to vote for Hillary, who has done all of these things, because she's "the right choice". And they all love that Obamacare mandates a ton of freebies for any employee who works full-time, and at the same time they cry because they can't get anyone to hire them for more than part-time work. And they still want to see the government force businesses to pay everyone at least $15.00 an hour, yet they are supremely confident that their jobs (mostly unskilled service-industry jobs) will never be eliminated.

I swear, it's like I landed in a world populated and governed by perpetual six year-olds. Only these six year olds get to vote.