Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hoo Boy!

So I walk into my local pharmacy to get a prescription filled. Behind the counter, a pharmacy tech that I've never seen before has her long hair dyed a dark black, with a big bright fire-engine-red streak down the middle, and a white streak down the middle of that.

Trying to be nice, I loudly congratulate her for getting into the Halloween spirit in front of her co-workers and a couple of other customers. I even ask her co-workers why they can't be that festive for trick-or-treat time. But instead of smiling, she gets a sour look on her face and stomps off towards the back of the pharmacy as her two co-workers start to giggle and then just burst out laughing.

Yeah. That hair coloring job wasn't for Halloween. She actually meant to look like that.

I'm thinking I'll be going to the one of the other pharmacies in town for a while.

Saturday Man Movie

In Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), a brash young Ernest Borgnine learns not to mess with quiet Spencer Tracy.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Stay classy, Michael Brown family

So dead thug Mike Brown's grandmother and cousin were just peacefully selling Mike Brown t-shirts and other merchanidise in the parking lot of a Ferguson, MO. BBQ restaurant when a car pulled up and several people, including Mike Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, jumped out and began cursing the "entreprenuers" and warning them that they could not sell Mike Brown swag. (In all fairness, this is reportedly the same cousin that had the concession to sell the T-shirts at Brown's funeral, so perhaps he just didn't understand that the permission was time-limited.) Apparently someone them demanded that McSpadden prove that she had a "patent" that would preclude anyone else from selling Dead Thug brand clothing and other souveniers, at which point, a member of her entourage attacked the cousin with a metal pipe. They then stole a box of cash and some of the swag before they all jumped back in the McSpadden-mobile and took off.

Police investigating assault and theft following argument between Brown family relatives

And people wonder why "Big Mike" turned out to be such a low-life.

Of course now McSpadden is telling the news that she was only trying to make sure that everyone only remembers Big Mike "for all the good that he did" (like beating that shop owner and attacking that police officer, I guess) but if that was the case, why steal the money and why won't McSpadden tell the police who the pipe-wielding cousin-beater is? She's apparently refusing to cooperate with police on that score, even though the cousin was beat badly enough to require medical attention.

Looks like the apple doesn't fall from from the tree in Ferguson, or in this case, the turd doesn't fall far from the outhouse.

The refusual of the prosecutor to bring charges against Officer Darren Wilson will be so sweet after months of this sort of circus antics.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Yay!!!

I. Have. Hot. Water!!!

And an in-line filter now to keep well sediment out of the new water heater.

And most of the floodwater has been shop-vac'd out of the basement. Much stuff to be thrown out now, but that's for later.

Thanks to Eric for the help. That's all.

I shouldn't have stopped by the mailbox

On the way home from getting the new water heater, I stopped at the mailbox to pick up my latest batch of bills. while there, I heard a "meow" noise, and this cat came right up to me like it was my long lost pet.

Oh, man.

I still don't know how I feel about having a pet cat, but I know Murphy, and I suspect that we'd have integration problems and a deceased cat in short order. But I couldn't just leave this cat there. It was clean but had no collar and it obviously wanted to be anywhere but out by the neighborhood's rural mailboxes. Oh, what to do...what to do?

Then the idea fairy came along. Problem solved! So here's the cat, in my Jeep, along with the new water heater.
The cat is now in Proud Hillbilly's basement, waiting for her to get home. Won't she be surprised? But she's one of those cat-collecting ladies that every neighborhood has, so I'm sure that she'll know what to do with it.

Here it is in her basement, eating some cat food. Poor thing was ravenous.

Mama said there'd be days like this...

Get up for work. Make breakfast. Put the dogs out. Turn on water for shower. Hmmm...no pressure and no hot water. This is curious. Go down basement. See water covering entire basement floor. Check water heater and see water shooting out from behind an access plate in the side of it. Turn off water. Call work and tell them to start without me. Bring the dogs back in.

Sigh. It's days like this that I really envy renters.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hypocrisy Alert! Anti-gun legislator caught with gun and reeking of booze, refuses breath test

Once again we see how ridiculous the Ferguson, MO, protesters are. This time, we have MO State Senator Jamilah Nasheed, a Democrat, arrested for blocking a street after disregarding several warnings to move out of the roadway. When arrested, she smelled strongly of alcoholic beverages, per the police. She was also armed with a loaded 9mm pistol. Senator Nasheed, a sponsor or supporter of several anti-gun bills in the Missouri Legislature, then refused a breath test.

DRINKS UP, DON’T SHOOT! State Senator Arrested Carrying Concealed Weapon In Ferguson, Possibly Under The Influence

In a perfect country, elected officials who get arrested would be suspended from office until the charges were resolved. But since that'll never happen, here's hoping that she at least loses her concealed weapons permit. She's not only a disgrace as far as being a "public servant" goes, but she doesn't rise to the level of responsibility and maturity demonstrated by the average gun owner either. Her party always calls for stripping people of their gun rights for even the most trivial offenses, so call me overly optimistic but I await the rush of Democrats calling for Nasheed to lose her CCW and surrender her guns immediately.

Oh--and just to get it out there again, since we're talking Ferguson: "I support Officer Wilson!"

Twins!

The M1 on the right has been in my gun safe for about a decade. The stripped receiver on the left just got here. They both likely left Springfield Armory together back in June of 1943, eventually going their seperate ways during or after World War Two. 1665008 was eventually loaned to Denmark and returned, heavily rebuilt with Danish parts, in the early 2000s, then sold to me by the Civilian Marksmanship Program(CMP). 1665009? Who knows? The CMP just released it as a refinished stripped receiver, suggesting that the complete rifle was too badly damaged to be sold as a complete unit. But now they're together again, and I will rebuild the stripped receiver into a "period correct" Garand, just as soon as I can acquire a few more parts for it.
What are the odds of these two finding each other again after 71 years?

To be fair, most of the credit is due to CMP member Fatbrewer, who bought the stripped receiver from the CMP, then tracked me down after seeing my information attached to "5008" on the list of known Garand owners at USrifleM1.com. We talked, a deal was struck, and the two siblings have been reunited.

A better article will follow once the second rifle has been rebuilt, and in the meantime, I'd love to get any information at all as to how that rifle became a stripped receiver--where did it go and what was done to it to get it to the point where it had to be totally disassembled and refinished? was it a damaged rifle, recovered from some battlefield after a fight, or was it just a victim of decades of neglect? All the CMP can tell me is that they got that serial number back from the US Army in 2004 and that is wasn't part of the Danish group. Any thoughts or ideas? Fatbrewer's got some great ones, but no hard evidence. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Out and about today

I went out to run a few errands, and while out, I saw this sign for a political candidate.
I'd like to help the guy out, but for one thing, I don't know anything about him. And aside from that, I already pledged my vote to Mike Nesmith. Sorry Davy.

(If you don't get the joke, ask your parents, kid. And get off my lawn.)

Then I saw this in the parking lot at the drug store.
Welcome to West Virginia.

Then it was out to the range to play for a bit with an old friend, a Remington-produced Springfield 1903A3.

This one hasn't been out of the safe in years, but it shot quite well indeed at a hundred yards today--well enough to make me feel guilty for not taking it out more. I used to shoot this one in the Springfield matches at Camp Perry, and I got it from the CMP back when they had a big batch of small arms back from Greece. I bought several Springfields out of that batch, but most went away when I needed money after losing the leg. This one I kept though, and after shooting it today, I remembered why. It's got the black Greek park job but it shoots great.
Hundred yard target. Ammo used: some 16 year-old reloads made with 150gr. pull-down bullets and surplus powder. This target is only 12" wide and 18" high, and I shot it from a seated position at a bench--no rest or sandbags. The shot at the bottom left was the first shot fired, follwed by two of those low 8-ring hits, but after a couple of sight tweaks, I got it pretty much where I was happy with it--the 9-ring is six inches high by 4 inches wide and most of them went there when I did my part. The orange center is just visible to my eye at that distance. (No excuse for that 7-ring hit at 3 o'clock--I wanked that one.) And the head shot was my last round, just to do it.

I also finally found out what happens when an upside-down primer gets missed during post-reloading inspection and winds up in your pistol. I was shooting my 1911 when suddenly I heard the light "snap" sound of a squib load. I dropped the mag and cleared the pistol, expecting to find an empty case in the chamber and a bullet lodged somewhere in the barrel, but when a whole round ejected, I picked it up and saw that the primer was in the pocket backwards. The firing pin still set it off, but of course it didn't fire the powder charge. Bag of ammo loaded in 2006; that round sat around for most of a decade waiting to trip me up. And THIS is why I don't use reloads for street carry.

Still a happy day though. And confirmed with the range that the blogshoot next Saturday is still good to go, including Keads' bowling pin shoot.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

So I got this new foot...

And this thing ROCKS!
It's an Ossur Flex Foot, and it's part of my newest running leg--the third one that I've had since I decided that just walking wasn't gonna be good enough.

The first one was pretty crude, being little more than a curved piece of hi-strength fiberglass laminate bolted to the back of a regular fiberglass and plastic leg sleeve. It wasn't adjustable for height or camber or anything, but my prosthetist is good and he got it chose enough to perfect on the first try that eventually I was able to run the Army Ten-Miler with it.
It wasn't much-in fact, the sole was covered by a hard rubber that started life as an industrial floor tile, but that leg served me well until I went down for more leg surgery, after which it never fit right again. So a second one was made, this one little more than a clone of the first, the exception being that the laminate running blades were now starting to evolve as companies began putting some serious research and development into them.
This one was somewhat adjustable (but not much) and the running blade had a pad, a double-thickness for more energy return, and a real running surface on the bottom.

Sadly, I never really got this one working right. There was always a spot inside where I'd get pain during a run, and we were never able to solve that problem despite cutting out large sections of the hard plastic. But after a second bit of leg surgery, this one didn't fit right anymore either so it joined the first one in a box of cast-off legs in the basement.

Enter the third one. This one is cutting-edge technology. It's fully adjustable in all directions and for height and it has a removable/replaceable sole make by Nike. It's also made of a new material and it's easily half the weight of the last one. This thing is cool beyond description.
On Saturday, I took it out for a test run. Rock Creek Park in Washington DC closes off much of Beach Drive on the week-ends, restricting the road to pedestrians and bikes only. I happened to be down there, and the fall colors made for a nice run along the creek in the company of countless other fitness-minded folks. This was my first off-treadmill run in over a year, so I didn't push it too far. I kept it down to a mile and a half, and though I really wanted to run farther at the end of that run just because it felt so good, I knew from past experience to cut it there per the plan, and lemme tell you, today I'm glad that I did; I'm feeling it a bit from that run, but not really bad like I would be had I decided to run farther and over-do it. But the stiffness today is all in my other joints--the leg feels great. This running leg fits perfectly and there were no hot spots under it when I was finished, so I'm thinking that me and this leg are going to be great friends indeed. Heck, maybe next year, we'll do the Ten-Miler again, or even a half marathon. And one day, before I'm done...a whole marathon. I've just gotta.

A nice promotional video put out by the Ossur folks:

Sadly--but good for me and others--the advances in technology on these legs over the last decade has been greater than at any other time in the history of prosthetics, and it's all courtesy military spending due to the large numbers of amputees coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of what I use today on all of my legs wouldn't even exist but for that.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Man Movie

Ever have one of those days when nothing goes right and the VC take over your whole camp? This scene from The Green Berets always puts a smile on my face, and, I suspect, the face of everyone who appreciates airpower and John Wayne and America.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Some things we just don't share.

Murphy and Belle will share the rug on a sunny day.

They'll share the dog cushion.

They'll share the old sleeping bag on the floor in the reloading area.

They'll even share the guest bed, although they're not supposed to be up there.

But the one thing that isn't shared? MY bed.
Murphy is allowed to sleep on my bed when I'm there, with this permission dating back to a period when I worked nights and needed to sleep during the day. The only way to get some sleep, free of his paws constantly clicking on the hardwood and his barking at things outside, was to bring him up on the bed with me and make him sleep there, too. It worked, but now he still feels entitled. Belle, on the other hand, was never granted that priviledge initially, although it was pretty clear early on that she wanted to get up there, too. Recently, I've softened and began inviting her up, but Murphy won't have it and every time she's tried to come up, he growls her back off. A couple of times, I've coaxed her up when he wasn't around, and she's in her glory right up until she hears him coming down the hall, at which point she skedaddles. And if he's around when I pat the bed, calling her to join me, she just goes over and plunks down on her dog bed; she will not come up on my bed if he's anywhere nearby. Considering that she established herself as the Alpha dog when she came into the household last year, this is curious indeed.
Dogs can be so quirky.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Guns Save Legislators Lives in PA.

Remember when Barry Obama sneered at Pennsylvanians as "bitterly clinging to their guns and their religion"? Well for a couple of Pennsylvania lawmakers, clinging to guns saved the day when a punk pulled a gun on two of them, only to be met by the gun of one of the legislators, State Rep. Marty Flynn, who has a concealed weapons permit.

Statehouse Shootout: Pa. lawmaker exchanges gunfire with would-be robber

Imagine that--guns saving lives. Who'd have thought, eh? Looks like at least some of the Pennsylvania legislature are apparently more secure than B.O. is in the White House. Of course they're taking responsibility for their own safety and not trusting their lives blindly to a bunch of people that they've disrespected for six years straight.

As for Pennsylvania, I'm betting that we don't see much in the way of CCW restrictions out of that legislature, at least for a while. And mad props to Harrisburg Police for responding quickly and nabbing four of the punks responsible for the attempted robbery.

And a Good Morning to all of you, too!

Oh, what a morning.

To start with, it's pouring down rain outside, but an e-mail exchange that I've been having with a fellow M1 fan had me rooting through old boxes of gun parts before the sun came up, looking for a misplaced box of Garand parts, which I eventually found. To my surprise, I have more spares than I thought, which is good, because it looks like I'll have an interesting new project to start work on shortly...stay tuned.

Then it was time to put the dogs out. Belle will go out and happily romp in the rain, but if it's even damp outside, Murphy has to be bodily shoved off of the porch to go do his dog business. This is funny when you consider that he's the enthusiastic swimmer and she's petrified of the water.

Next came breakfast and a morning movie that I'll be shaking my head over all day...the 1966 classic "Billy The Kid Versus Dracula." Yeah, they really went there. Chuck Courtney played Billy and John Carradine, father of actors Keith and David, played the vampire. (Carradine had played Dracula in earlier films, House of Frankenstein (1944) and House of Dracula (1945)). Melinda Plowman played Betty, the girl that Billy fought to save from Dracula.

William Bonney was a crack pistolero, but bullets don't stop the undead, as both he, then the sheriff, came to find out. So what does Billy do to stop the immortal Count?



Yep. When all else fails, throw the empty pistol and knock him out.

The whole movie can be found on-line for free of you want (Amazon Prime and Youtube) and it's mercifully short at 1:14.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to run into town for a bit. Back later.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Fed-Ex Fairy Came Calling

And a box from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) got left behind.

Opening it up, I find this beautiful service-grade M1 Garand rifle.
At first glance, I'm pleased. The wood is tight and sports just a few little nicks here and there. The finish is great. This rifle looks to have been used very little.
But appearances deceive. This rifle sports a serial number that indicates that it was made in November of 1943. As such, there's a pretty good chance that it saw service in World War Two, and maybe Korea as well.

At sometime in it's life though, it saw enough shooting that it's original barrel was replaced at least once. Now it sports one made in March of 1965, twenty-two years after the rifle itself was made.
This barrel has a muzzle wear of 1 on a scale of one to ten, one being virtually new, and ten being shot out. It also has a throat erosion of 2 on that same scale.
All of it's marked parts appear to be Springfield Armory parts, so there will be no temptation to remove bolts, trigger assembly parts or operating rods for substitution onto other Winchester, H&R or IHC rifles. But I'm good with that, as this rifle came here intact and it's parts are it's parts, either original to it or added during some chapter of it's service life.

The stock is undoubtedly a replacement, as it bears no stamps indicating arsenal re-working. Pulling the stock off reveals that she saw an arsenal rebuild on September of 1965 at the Red River Army Depot.
Interestingly, they seem to have left the early-style gas cylinder lock on instead of "upgrading" to the newer version with more metal on the top.
That pleases me, because I like the older ones like this.

This one is a beauty, and I can't wait to get her out and see how she shoots.

Of course I might have a bit of trouble taking it out. It looks like Miss Memphis Belle is laying a claim on it for herself.
Trade you for a marrow bone, Belle? How about two marrow bones?


And no, it didn't come with a sling. CMP seems to have stopped sending those with the rifles. But fortunately I have a few spares so I could put one on quick before Tam calls me out for not having one on my rifle again. ;-)