Sunday, March 19, 2017

Super Sunday!

In New Orleans, it means that the Mardi Gras Indians come out...and they paraded big time in central city today. Here's just a few of the many tribes that came together at A.L. Davis Park.

More pics here.

I had me a ton of good food, heard some great music, drank beer and jammed with the Indians all day long. Tough to beat a day like today.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Again.

Started out with a few green beers (Abita Amber).
Went dfown into the Marigny and caught a small but lively St. Paddy's Day pub crawl parade.
Three hours and several bars later, it was over. Not sure how I got home, but I did.

I love this town.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dogs eat starfish. Who knew?

Effing Murphy...Maybe Belle too. I really don't know. But he's suspect #1 based on his history.

Last week, I won a nice decorative 5" dried starfish as a prize in a drinking game at a local bar. I put it out for display on top of a bookcase today and went out for a bit, not suspecting that it would be a problem.

I came back and found the remains of the nice box that it was in on the floor. I looked all over the place for the starfish and could not find it, and on closer inspection of the area with the shredded box, I found just enough remains to suggest where my starfish had gone.

Damn dogs.

So as I've had to do many times in the past with Murphy, I googled the problem: "My dog ate a starfish"

OMFG...this is actually a common problem, from chihuahuas to greyhounds. It looks like dogs across the board love dried starfish. (Google it'll be amazed at the number of posts from people asking about this.)

The good news is, it's non-toxic and all I should expect is some irritation as the dog(s) try to pass the rough starfish material. Murphy is a goat, so no worries there, but if Belle had some too, her tender tummy is going to be giving her fits and me much to clean up.

The bad news is that I'm out a pretty nice starfish.

You really didn't want that tasty starfish, did you?

One of these things is not like the others...

Seen on my porch this morning.

Only in N'awlins..

Monday, March 13, 2017

Now that Mardi Gras is over...

it's time for St. Patrick's Day parades. Had one this past week-end and got another one next week-end.

Meanwhile, back on the home front, the dogs broke some of the fencing under the house and got out again.
Belle came right back, because she's a gem, but I had to chase Murphy for seven blocks in the car...and the furry bastard has learned to go the wrong way down one-way streets!

Thursday, March 09, 2017

More Thompson

Now that it's back from the repair shop and fit for duty.

All new GI wood and a proper matte-blue finish such as was used on military 1928 guns. And a real 1928 rear sight instead of the half-assed Enfield ladder sight that AO had put on the gun with their crappy drift pin that kept coming out. Frankly, this thing was an embarrassment when I got it, but then most West Hurley AO's were. But you know that when you buy them and have to expect to fix them if not done already. John Andrewski did me right here.
Truth be told, it's a fun gun, and they were great in their day, but nowadays there's nothing it does that an AR or similar carbine won't do easier and better (and with less weight, greater range and far fewer tears if it gets damaged or lost.) Still, it's a classic and now it's at least to the point where I can shoot it without embarrassing jams and fight it if I really have to.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Still alive...and 100 Years of the .45

I'm still here. was a bit sicker after Mardi Gras (And I didn't even get to go out much...) and then when I got back to wrk, I found out that I can no longer post to Blogger from our work machines so that's going to sting a bit.

But today I got out to the range and fired a few of the best .45s out there.

(Top: Thompson 1928. Lower Left: Springfield Armory 1911A1 Lower Right: Smith and Wesson Model 1917.)

The 1911 is my first gun, purchased new back in 1988 from Patrick Sweeney back when we were both a lot younger. It's got thousands of rounds through it and it's still my "go-to" handgun. The M1917 came aboard a few years back, complete with it's "US Property" markings and wearing it's original World War One blued finish. The Thompson... What a problem child. I bought it from a "well respected" dealer in Pennsylvania who allegedly warranties the guns he sells, but I guess "All Guns Guaranteed" means "I'll take it back and let some guy mess with it two or three times and make it worse, then tell you that it's as good as it will ever shoot."

Fuck him. I finally sent it off to John Andrewski up in New Hampshire and he fixed it right and put a real spec finish on it instead of sprayed-on duracoat, and it just came back today so it was right off to the range. 200 rounds later, with just a few hiccups that seemed restricted to specific magazines, I'm pretty damned happy. And it even swallows hollow-points!

20-yard target. (Head shots came from the 1911.)
Yeah, that Thompson gun can do the job, I'm thinking.

This calls for some Zevon.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

More yesterday

So after the Indians forced me to go outside, I figured I might as well go wandering a bit and see what Mardi Gras had going on Frenchmen Street and in the Quarter. Just for a bit. Because I was sick and resting.

There were bands, large and small.
Seems everyone was in a costume...or just letting their freak flag fly. Hey--I don't judge any more.
A portable stripper stage. Genius!
BOurbon Street--where the Tooth Fairy meets up with a couple selfie-obsessed pirates and Santa Claus.
Lightweight. Passed out drunk by 3PM, and no one around him seems to even notice. (And yes, I checked on him as well as the other two that I found lying in the street earlier. Some people just shouldn't drink.)

The crowd seemed a little heavier since the last time I was at Lafitte's Blacksmith shop back when Displaced Louisiana Guy came to town. (That was September. So long ago. Get back here, fella...and bring your dad!)
I came, I saw, I went home.

I tried to rest, but then the Indians came.

I tried. I really did. Pneumonia sucks, and breathing is hard. But it was Mardi Gras day, and I live in a neighborhood where some of the original Mardi Gras Indian tribes originated. So what do I get right outside my house yesterday morning?


First there's a small parade...And then the Indians start to appear.
This is an old tradition, going back to when the Mardi Gras parades were still unofficially segregated. Black people, not feeling welcome, formed their own parade groups and masked themselves as Indians. This was an homage to the Indians of old in the swamps outside of town who sheltered and adopted runaway slaves back in the day.
Originally these tribes fought each other, and many were injured or killed every year. It was a time for settling scores and grudges in the neighborhoods and the last thing you wanted to see was Indians on your block.
Over the years it changed though. Costumes became so ornate and expensive--each one is hand-made anew every year--that no one wanted to fight and damage them. So now the "battles" consist of tribes coming together and taunting each other good-naturedly about which of them is "prettiest" and who looks the best. And these costumes can weigh as much as a hundred pounds and creating them can take up the entire year between Mardi Gras seasons.
Big Chief.
Here, two chiefs come together to argue over who is prettiest.
This is the REAL Mardi Gras culture--stuff that few tourists and even most locals are never going to see. And I got to see a bunch of it, because it kicked off right outside my house.