Wednesday, April 03, 2019

More NAS Pensacola!

Found an F-4 Phantom II at the NAS museum.
Some stuff opened.
Alas, no boarding ladders.
Here's an FJ-2 Fury(top), the Navy attempt at making an F-86 into a capable carrier plane.
Didn't really work due to landing gear and other issues, but it does look nice in blue. And that's an F-11F Tiger below.
Another shot.
The F-11 Tiger is famous for being the first jet aircraft to shoot itself down.During a test-firing of its 20mm cannons the pilot fired the guns while in a dive. Eventually the cannon rounds slowed down but the jet did not and as it crossed their path, it was struck by several and damaged, ultimately crash-landing. The pilot, Tom Attridge, survived, but I wonder if he didn't have to paint his own picture on the side of his plane in the space normally used to denote enemy "kills".

And this is a FJ-3. Not am FJ-2/F-86 at all but a redesigned version that was as capable as any of the F-86 variants.
I would like one of these.

Here's my Corsair again.
And an F6F Hellcat.
By now, Paige was starting to get plane fatigue so I had to let her play in the Blue Angels cockpit for a bit.

Found an Me-262, too.

Can't have a Navy museum without a Douglass Skyraider, right? So here's one.

And a Japanese N1K2 "George" is here too. Great plane, but like the Me-262, came along too late to make a difference.

And here's a Curtis P-40.

I'm thinking Paige is now really getting over-planed...
But there's so many more to come. I really had to make it up to her later, but for now, this is MY trip to Mecca!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

I'm still here--and with more aircraft!!

Sorry for the lack of posts. The trouble I'm having with this PC makes posting less fun than chasing French Quarter gals.

But I caught one last week and took her to Pensacola to see the Naval Air Museum, a place I've always wanted to visit. And I was not disappointed.

It's actually on the base, so get ready for the 100% security check.

Hey look--an F-14!

And just inside (after another security checkpoint), there was this Douglas A-4 Skyhawk!

And here is the only SBU-2 Vindicator left in the world. And this one only survived after being lost overboard during carrier training in Lake Michigan and being recovered and restored 47 years later! (Shown with Paige for scale.)

And here's a T-28 Trojan trainer hanging above a Grumman F9F Panther jet. Yep. I'm happy in here. And Paige is somewhat confused, as before we got here she had no idea that the Navy had airplanes.

And I found a Corsair!

Here's a Vought F7U-3 (not a 3M as marked...tsk!). Not one of the more successful early jets; they were under-powered and problematic and over a quarter of them were destroyed in crashes and they killed 21 Navy pilots and four test pilots before being withdrawn from service.

And here's a few older ones...A Grumman F4F-3 below, and a sweet Beechcraft UC Traveler above.

And here's an F3F-2 biplane. This one was also ditched at sea off San Diego in 1940. Rediscovered by the Navy in 1988, she was raised in 1991 and restored and here she is today.

By this time, Paige was like "Why are there so many?" Poor girl didn't even know yet how much she was about to learn.

More to come. Stay tuned.

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.


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?