Monday, December 31, 2007
I’m lookin’ out @ 8" of wet schmutz this morning, & think- "Isn’t this what I have a snowblower for"? It is.
The blower is a 5-foot wide unit that fits to the back of my tractor on the 3-point hitch & is powered by the PTO (power take off). The heavy wet crap is where it has the advantage because that stuff is hard to plow without flinging the truck all over the place.
So- hitched up the blower & ran one pass up & one down to remove most of the snow. THEN used the dump & plow (NO traction problems!) to clean things up, & all was drivable again.
Now I get to do it all again tomorrow…
BTW, Happy New Year!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Got tire chains for the dump truck rear wheels (well, 2 of them anyway). Tried it out on the luge run I call a road & it was all good, even up the hill.
They're talking 5-10" overnight, but only have about 1" so far.
We'll see "How it goes" tomorry...
Friday, December 28, 2007
Inspired by Jay’s entry, I was going to comment, but, hey, this is enough material for MY blog. So-
Back in 1981 or so, I’m driving a 1971 Chevy pickup. Now I don’t know if you’re familiar with the fine products from GM in the early ‘70s, but mine certainly was a POS. The special feature on mine was that the door wouldn’t close, so I tied a rope onto the driver’s side arm rest, & sat on it to keep it closed. Tight right hand turns were a bitch. Nevertheless, it was cheap, & it fit my needs.
So ANYway, I went out for a couple beers after work one night when I was working the 3-11 shift, & started home about 1230 in the am. I was cruising down main street & pass a little car that was hugging the right hand side of the road.
Apparently, the driver of the little car took umbrage at my passing, & proceeded to follow at bumper length for about 3/4 mile over a couple streets.
I’m on my home street, & this bozo is still so close I can’t see his headlights over my tailgate, so I tap the brakes. Hard.
Not surprisingly, the idiot rear ends me & smashes the shit out of his car. I get out, he & his friend get out, his friend takes off running, & this guy starts SWINGING at me. I’m laughing my ass off at this kid, & I hold him by his forehead before he can do anything that might result in my stomping his sorry butt into a curb.
"You did that on purpose you asshole"
"No, a cat ran out in front of me & I didn’t want to hit it" (heh)
"Where’s your buddy gone?"
"He might be holding so I told him to go".
"I’ll tell you what- you get your busted machine out of my sight & I won’t call the cops"
Brand new, that day, Toyota Celica, gift from Daddy. Hood trashed, windshield cracked, headlights gone, barely driveable. It DID take a little paint off a bumper rivet on my truck.
Who says there is no social justice?
PS- the insurance check was just a bonus…
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
The "new" dump truck worked ok on the last storm, but that snow was the first "real" one on the road, ergo traction was pretty good.
So this morning, w/7" on the ground, I tell the old woman I’m going out to get the paper, & make a pass on the road in the process.
"Old woman, I’m going to get the paper."
Plod down to the truck, start her up, & broom off the snow so’s I can see.
Start plowing down to the low point in the road, all’s good. BUT- starting up the hill I can feel she ain’t gonna make it. Sure enough, at the midpoint of the hill, she’s spinning all wheels.
Start backing down, using the mirrors because I can’t see out the dump box, I overcompensate for the direction (it’s all white on white out there) & go off the road into the stream ditch on the side of the road. Stuck. Stuck good.
Get the tractor, slide again into said ditch, get THAT stuck, get it unstuck, & pull the truck out of the ditch w/the old woman’s help as driver (about 1 hours’ time).
Start up the road w/the truck after preparing the road a bit with the tractor, & I hit a bump while making speed & a roof-load of snow falls on the windshield. Can’t stop.
Start the wipers, one blade falls off, & they stop, dead. Blind.
I’m gonna get me a good shovel & call it a day. Hell, it’s only 1800 feet…
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I live at the end of an 1800-foot road (that’s a third of a mile if anyone’s calculatin’) from the dirt, but plowed, town road. "My" road is really a town owned class 6 road, but it's my access, & if’n I don’t take care of it, it doesn’t get done.
My house is at the bottom of it all, & it’s a pretty steep climb to get out. My old plow truck had chains on all four paws; the replacement doesn’t, but it’s a bigger dump truck, so we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.
Then there are the back porch & barn roofs that need to be shoveled/raked.
Tractor path to be cut from the barn to the house.
Shooting range needs a quick pass so the snow’s not hip deep by the end of the wintah.
Another fun day in the winter wonderland.
But ya know? I actually like it…
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
You Sir and/or Madam have WON the LUCKY PRIZE for this distinction!
Unfortunately for THIS particular winner, the BIG PRIZE was a
DAY TRIP to AUBURNDALE MA!!!!
Gee... I was hoping someone from England would win, or something...
Sunday, December 9, 2007
or, the scraps are free.
The woman of the house takes pride in making good stuff to eat from practically nothing. Tonight, gray squirrel kabobs over rock lichen, stuffed w/mushrooms she found growing on the manure pile.
Well no, not really.
What she DID do, was to take some leftover chicken (on the bone), & stewed it into, well, stew, & formed that into a chicken pie. Homemade crust, top & bottom, & baked in the oven.
Beans from the garden on the side.
Gotta love that girl…
Friday, December 7, 2007
On this date 66 years ago, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese Navy led a carrier fleet that attacked our forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The assault began at 0755 local time, & killed more than 2,350 of our citizens, many of which were servicemen aboard the USS Arizona.
Lest we forget…
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I’m sorry, I just can’t get into the holiday/Christmas spirit anymore. When I was young, of course, it was a magical time. As my son grew up, Christmas remained something to look forward to, as I could behold the holiday through the eyes of my child. Now it has become just another thing to make my Decembers less than jolly.
Vehicle inspections are due on the main ride truck & the old dump truck.
The user truck is not so bad, as it’s fairly newish, but this year in my pre-inspection inspection, I noticed that I’ve got a stuck (rusted) brake drum lever for the E-brake, so that’s got to get fixed before inspection (I never use it so I hadn’t noticed before). I need new tires (they’ll probably pass), & I have a plan there, but time’s sneakin’ away for that to happen before inspection. BTW- here in NH we have to make an appointment for inspection- can’t just drive up when you’re ready!
Most of my auxiliary equipment has been readied for wintah, but there’s a couple still needing attention; the standby generator is high on that list.
We’ve already had plowable snow, & the temp hasn’t reached freezing in over a week, so dealing with the resultant mess has slowed down necessary outdoor activities, like, maybe, fixing trucks & equipment.
My birthday is this month, & while it’s no big deal to me at this stage of the game, I still have to participate in the attendant ceremonial observation of the date.
Christmas shopping is still on the agenda, trying to buy stuff for folks who I love dearly but don’t need anything, & in some cases don’t WANT anything!
AND, if they do need/want something, they just go & buy it.
And yes, I would like some cheese with that whine…
Sunday, December 2, 2007
I had no idea how important the stupid computer is in my life. The beast went Tango Uniform on me, & I couldn’t DO anything. Pay bills, transfer money, monitor my checkbook & finances, & of course, email & blog… nope. Not gonna happen.
Thankfully, I have a friend who’s a severe geek, & he likes messing with the things. He came up Saturday, flooged around with it, put in a new power supply, did the magical incantations, & here I am again!
One of my two readers made a comment:
"I've read your post several times now. I'm always tempted to comment.I don't believe you approve of vulgar language on your site, so I won't."
I guess hadn’t noticed it, but I don’t use my normal "speaking" voice when I write. Those that know me can attest that the "wordz what are comin’ out of my mouf" are often less than acceptable at a Sunday service. I suppose that the written word, being etched in cyberspace as it were, can be perceived as reflective of the writer’s education, background, & upbringing. That ‘taint necessarily so, but with the vast alternatives available in our language, there are usually better ways of expressing oneself than resorting to vulgarities.
I still remember the time I asked, at the supper table, what "fuck" meant.
That went over well.
SO, if you feel like using language that you are comfortable with, or desire to make a point, feel free to use whatever vernacular you see fit.
See if I give a fuckin’ rat’s ass.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Here’s one for ya.
The wife works with an older woman, who, at 65 years of age, finds it necessary to sign up w/the Social Security program for her eventual transition into retirement. She had last week off as vacation time, & took the opportunity to begin the process.
Upon arrival at the SS office, she found that all personnel on duty used English only as a second language. She couldn’t make out what the clerks were telling her due to heavy accents, nor could the clerks understand what our lady wanted.
She had to
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO TALK WITH SOMEONE WHO COULD SPEAK ENGLISH
in a United States Government office.
So now she has to go back for her appointment this week, inconvenienced by a government agency in place to serve the citizens, just because she had the misfortune of speaking the (present) language of this land.
Are there that many retiring Spanish speaking folks? Probably not.
Could it be that the SS office mainly serves folks who are on "disability"? Probably so.
Crap like this make me want to twist someone's head off...
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Yesterday, the Mrs. & I picked up some shooting related components that we found on a local "for sale" website. We made an appointment to meet the guy at noon, & ended up being early, as I overestimated our travel time.
There was nobody at the house when we got there, so I called the guy on the cell. He said he was on his way, but his wife would probably get there before him, to let us proceed with the purchase, which required some movement of material prior to the actual transaction.
The wife did indeed arrive home first, but upon meeting us in the driveway, she said,
"You look like nice people and all, but you’re hunters so I know you have guns. I’m not going to let you in the house until (the husband) gets here."
We sat in the truck.
The husband did arrive soon after, & apologized for our wait. We moved the material & made the transaction.
Here’s the thing…
The guy is very upper middle class, as ascertained by the house (one of many McMansions in this development), & the VERY large boat in his yard. He was telling us how the boat is "his escape", as well as his time in the woods. BTW, he was late for our appointment ‘cause he was out hunting.
Which brings me around to the title of this post, Howzzat people like these two end up in the same household?
One’s an apparent freaked out liberal, & the other is a down to earth hunter & fisherman type (& a friendly, upstanding guy, from what I could perceive).
Boy, I’ve still got a lot to learn about the human condition…
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
As Sailor Curt put so well, giving thanks is a regular occurrence, not one you have to wind up (apologies to J. Tull) on Thanksgiving Day.
We’re not big on "sayin’ grace" & such around here, but when family gathers on T-Day, I make an exception:
"Father, we give thanks for the abundance of
Happy Thanksgiving Day all.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
As suggested yesterday, here’s the granddaughter’s cousin, once removed, of the old Colt .41.
I had one guess in the comments, & it was oh so close.
This beauty is a S&W Model 58, the "police" issue version of the civilian .41 magnum, the Model 57. 4" barrel & fixed sights, nice deep blue finish, & I like it.
I couldn’t find a source to check the age by serial number (anyone?), but the minimal research I did do indicates this model was introduced on July 10, 1964, & was discontinued somewhere around 1978/9.
That would make this young lady around 36 years old, if you split the difference.
A little young for me, but I’ll make a concession.
Y’know, it’s fun handling these neat guns, but alas, I can’t shoot them.
(Hmmm...mebbe if I talk to the Colonel…)
Monday, November 19, 2007
He was pleased with the results, & now she gets to do it again, on another piece.
I’ll get it here tomorrow, but a hint:
this gentleman seems to have an affinity for the .410" hole size.
Any wagers out there?
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Rachel Lucas is suffering over the loss of her long time friend, Digger.
(Go give her some support)
We’ve suffered the same pain, in our loss of Bear, at our homestead.
I’ve lost my Mother, a close cousin or three, & others, human.
The wife has lost her Dad.
These are painful life changing events, as they should be, when viewed in the grand scheme.
But, for the life of me, I don’t understand the feeling of loss for things mechanical.
I had a 1958 Ford tractor, my first, that gave me years of service as a snow mover, skidder, paddock scraper, & general helper. I replaced her with a shiny-new diesel 4WD unit that outworks the Ford in every respect.
When the new owner came to pick her up, I felt a twinge of the loss & sadness that one would feel with the loss of family or pet (family & pet are both the same, actually).
Same deal with my tree-growing, brass-scrounging, yellow-jacket-home of a plow truck. A bud of mine & I brought her to her new owner Saturday, where she’ll be used this winter as is, then parted out for inclusion into another truck.
All this is not to deride the pain of loss of sentient beings, simply an observation of the human condition.
I never considered myself the "sensitive" type- is it a "guy" thing?
Or, as I’ve long suspected, I’m just a loony?
Saturday, November 17, 2007
in purchasing my Ammo Day rounds.
This time I outfitted the ’03 (Rock Island) Springfield sporter with Remington Core-Lokt 180 grainers & Winchester 150 grain Power Points. After the rebates mentioned in the last post, the cost came to $8.76/box of 20. That’s almost mil-surp prices (if you can still find any).
Go. Buy. Ammo.
Friday, November 16, 2007
In honor of National Ammo Day (well, no, not really), Winchester & Remington are offering rebates on ammo.
I know ammo is scrotum crushing expensive these days, but $5 back on a box? You can’t beat that w/a stick.
Go here for the Winchester rebate form, & here for the Remington one.
Gotta love ammo on the cheap…
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
That trees will grow in the ballast sand in the back of a yard plow truck?
That those trees can achieve a height of over ten feet?
That yellow jackets don’t really go dormant in the fall?
That if you stand in the bed of the subject truck to shovel out the sand while removing the trees, you can find very large amounts of yellow jackets who are less than happy about being disturbed?
I know that.
Monday, November 12, 2007
"Just a late Father’s day gift I had forgotten last trip."
Okay. I open the gift & contained therein was a 20 round box of Remington 170 grain cartridges in .30-30.
"Well, I always like to get ammo, but I don’t have a .30-30."
"You do now…"
He then presented me w/this little beauty- 1950 vintage according to the serial #, & in about 90% condition, I’d say.
Gotta love that kid…
Sunday, November 11, 2007
THE CAUSE (1918)
By Paul Scott Mowrer
Poet laureate of New Hampshire
Let but the cause seem beautiful, dear God,
If we must die. Make us believe, in truth,
For all mankind we thus forswear our youth,
To stay till end of time the oppressor's rod;
That but for us, harsh power would ride rough-shod
Through freedom's delicate gardens, and the tooth
Of hatred rend our people without ruth;
So might we sleep contented, under the sod.
For else, who knows what gladness here on earth
Was destined us, what nobly high employ?
Oh, hard it is that youth should cease to be!
For now came love, with a great glad rebirth
To company our way, and now came joy!
Not death we fear, but death's futility.
Thank you to all veterans, past & present, who have sacrificed their time and lives to maintain our freedom.
God Bless America & Those that Keep Her.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Count the .30-30 story among them.
Too damn busy doing other stuff, & I keep forgetting the stoopid picture.
I did however manage to get a pic of the old woman shooting a friend’s Uzi.
This one is a fairly new Uzi, select fire (i.e. full auto), VERY nice red dot sight (didn’t catch the brand), with a removable silencer, attached when this pic was taken.
How many PSH points does this garner?
BTW, I’ll GET that ’94 pic & I WILL tell the short tale.
I’m not kidding…
Thursday, November 8, 2007
until tomorrow, anyway.
I was gonna regale y’all with the short story of how I acquired my very nice 1950 vintage Winchester ’94, but life got in the way today.
We’re in the material acquisition stage of rebuilding the horse stalls in the barn, planned for this weekend, & running around getting wood (for building, not burning, THIS time) & the associated materials has plumb run me out of daylight. I need daylight to take a half-decent picture of anything (probably just because I’m a lousy photographer & don’t know how to use artificial light correctly).
Sure, I could tell the story, but what good would that be without a pic?
If tomorrow goes OK, I’ll have it posted then.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
No, not the political kind, although I am one of those as well.
This is the "conservator of stuff" kind, or, save what you’ve got ‘till you REALLY need it.
In April (no bugs, no leaves) of each year, I begin my logging operation, with the prospect of felling, bucking, & splitting all the firewood we will need for the following year. I say following year because I keep two years’ usage on hand; i.e., this year I cut for winter of 2008/9. Logging is fairly dangerous sport, & I figger if I bust an arm or something while doing it, we won’t be screwed for the coming year.
So here we are when "the Whales of November Turn Gloomy", & the temps take a dive. When the c-o-o-l begins, I’ll start a fire in the living room stove just to keep off the chill. The cellar stove will lay dormant a while longer. Here’s where it gets nutty.
I love being out in the woods, so on a nice day like today, I’ll take a modified backpack frame I garagineered to hold wood, a strong bowsaw, & walk out in the woods TO GATHER FIREWOOD!
I’ll find a good place, cut standing dead hardwood to stove length, then pack 40 or so pounds of it back home for the fire.
Eight cord standing stacked & me packing in 40# of deadwood to keep warm.
CAPITAL "C", off the deep end…
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
and I don’t think the sample size is adequate to make any real analysis.
There were essentially two polls, the first, only up for three days before it went TU, received 70 votes. The second, up for a week, gathered 42 votes.
Although highly unorthodox in the data analysis environment, in light of the small data set I have combined the two totals to review. In descending order of percentage:
All three 18.8%
Shooter only 17.0%
Hunter only .9%
Collector only 0%
Total combined vote total was 112. Incidentally, while it is bad form to combine totals, the percentages pretty much stayed the same as either poll standing alone.
I was looking to verify, as I suspected, that most of the gun type blog readers are Shooters. Additionally, I was anticipating finding out if the "Hunter only" group was as strong on the 2A as "Shooters+" typically are- but I'm not gonna pick on the ONE guy. There is/was much to be learned here about our gunnie community, but alas, when site traffic is counted on yer fingers, data accumulation is difficult.
The "Collector+" group was the largest percentile, but "Collector only" was zero. From that I would infer that "true" collectors are rare in our corner of the blogosphere, in that what we term collectors are really "accumulators" of the toys we like the best (it is so in my house). AND, we play with them, for the joy of shooting, or as tools for hunting.
My thanks to JayG & JimmyB for providing links which allowed some measure of data to be collected.
CORRECTION of ERROR of OMISSION: I forgot to add Squeaky who TWICE linked to the poll. Thanks lass...
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
We have a short-term visitor at our house. She’s 82 years old, & pretty feisty if you get her loaded.
She’s a Colt Army Special in the ever popular .41 caliber. 6" barrel, & a few finish issues, but the inside of the cylinder & the bore look like this piece was made yesterday. Probably a military or police officer’s carry piece, as it looks much handled & little shot. And that Colt double action? Mmmmmm.
She’s visiting to be fit for some new leather. The lady of our house has a small leather repair/fabrication business on the side, primarily to service equestrian gear. But as we have a local gun shop, & the proprietor is a friend of ours, she will occasionally make heavy duty carry belts, custom holsters, & as requested, knife sheaths. So after the old girl is outfitted, (the gun, not the wife), she’ll be back with her real family.
I’ll know already I’ll miss her (the gun, not the wife).
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I was talking to a self-employed carpenter today, & he was lamenting the fact that he will soon be fined by the PR of MA for not having health insurance. The fine will equal his normal tax exemption for health care, IF HE HAD IT!
He was a bit irritated as he went into his take on the root cause for the whole issue: a bunch of non-citizens freeloading on the system, requiring the citizen TAXPAYERS to shoulder the bill. I think he’s spot on with that assumption.
I felt bad for the guy- he was probably early 60’s, can’t get on his wife’s med insurance, so he’s paying his own (medical) way as needed.
Then the farging gummint comes along & robs a few more dollars from him.
Remember R. Reagan’s quote of the nine most feared words in the language?
"I’m from the government & I’m here to help".
Whatta state THAT state is in.
But I'm sure Hitlery's plan is much better...
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Two new rock bands?
What I’ve been doing today. Clearing brush (& trees) next to my road, then installing torsion springs that had broken on one of my garage doors.
Now I’m too tired to think, never mind get creative for this beast.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
For some time now, I’ve been using the term "garage engineer" both as a verb & a noun, to describe my (& others’ like me) tinkering, machining, welding, blacksmithing, & generally havin’ a good time making stuff from whatever.
This term is a natural for combination to "Garagineer"
v. The act of designing & manufacturing a contrivance to meet the needs of the owner.
ex. "I’m goin’ down to the shed to garagineer a Redneck Trap thrower"
n. A person with little or no formal training in engineering who still manages to successfully accomplish the design & manufacture of a contrivance.
ex. "That guy who made that Redneck Trap thrower is one heckava garagineer"
So there ‘tis- you heard it here first folks…
Any other garagineers out there?
Monday, October 29, 2007
I’ve dumped the other one, & re-created it using a "Blogger" poll.
If you could, please vote even if you had voted before.
This poll only lasts a week, so let’s git ‘er done!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
There appears to be some sort of problem with blogpoll, as I keep getting server connection errors. I rechecked the HTML, & it is correct.
I found if I reload the page it comes up.
Sorry 'bout that Chief.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
In start contrast to yesterday’s birthday beyotch, today is the 149th anniversary of the birth of one of America’s finest.
A man who vanquished youthful infirmity, strove to be the best he could be in all endeavors, & achieved the highest office in the land, President Theodore Roosevelt.
As one of the greatest presidents this Country has ever seen, sadly, he would not recognize the place today. More’s the pity.
Thank you Mr. President.
I wish we had a "TR" option on the ballot next year...
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I thought it might be cool to see what we could find out about our group by taking a poll.
Please spread this info around & get others to stop by & take the poll- it would be interesting to find out the composition of the web community in this regard. Perhaps we could use the information gleaned to help us resolve issues within the firearm community.
Without further ado, please vote in the box to the right. This poll will stay up for at least a week, replacing the "Big Boomstick" as top billing.
Please leave any explanatory remarks in the comments.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
ANYway, my guess is that those who admire the fine workmanship of a well made gun, & its good fit & finish, appreciate those same qualities of craftsmanship in a well made blade.
I’ve been an accumulator of pointysticks longer that boomsticks, although my fascination with both goes back to when I was a crumb snatcher. Probably the cowboy & Wild West thing.
Mebbe we’re just crazy people who lust for weapons?
That’s probably it.
Blackjack Classic Blades model 1-7 (12" OAL, 7" blade)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
This is the time of year when the garden kind of lets go of life, after having faithfully served by feeding us for the entire summer.
The wife, years ago, has taken to blanching & freezing the Kentucky Wonder beans I grow because we can’t find any others that taste sooooo good.
The tomatoes are just about done, just waiting for the final ripening of the ones already on the vine. Cabbages, cukes, summer squash, zucchini, buh-bye. Peppers are still hangin’ in there, but the BEANS…
31 pounds in the freezer,
and, I just picked 6.75 pounds today! It’s the 4th week in October for cripe’s sake.
These plants are indeterminate, which in plant language, means they grow until the frost kills ‘em.
Frost would be good…
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Usually in the fall of the year, the Mrs. & I host a Shoot ‘n Eat at our sideyard range, which is where all participants bring sumptin’ to eat, & we, well, Shoot ‘n Eat.
This year, as we had a marrying thing to do, the organizational resources were tapped out, so we had just a "Shoot".
No big verbiage, just a couple pics. (click to biggerize & get details)
This (foreground unit) is a Sterling sub-machine gun. It’s 9mm, & the cyclic rate is a thing of beauty, IOW, not too fast to control, I’d say about 120 RPM. (Ed note- it's actually around 550 RPM, it just feels slow because it's controllable). The ergonomics of the gun are just about perfect, the magazine connects & removes like one should, & the whole unit is handsome in fit & finish. Best thing the Brits have produced with the possible exception of M. Thatcher. BTW, my bud Paul at Stateline Gun Shop owns the Sterling. He’s a good guy & a very reputable dealer.
The unit behind the Sterling is a DPMS .308 semi-auto, well tricked out. The owner, Dave, a gunsmith friend, did all the work including the very cool finish. Just don’t drop it in the sand, or you’ll never find it.
This critter is a pair of Ruger 10-22s configured into a Gatling gun. While we had a few fits & starts getting it running, it’s wicked fun to crank off 100 rounds faster that it takes me to type this.
Unfortunately, all ended early, as it gets pretty damn dark around here by 1830.
There’s always next year (Jay)…
Friday, October 19, 2007
In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. coli) - bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop.
However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.
Remember: Water = Poop, Beer/Wine = Health. Therefore, it's better to drink beer and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of shit.
This is presented as a public service.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Well, it appears an elderly woman drove her car into a hospital & killed a couple people.
Predictably, talk radio was all over it AGAIN, with wringing of hands, "what will we DO?!?!"
Look, it’s simple.
Everywhere in this USA, I believe, the legal limit for impairment is .08% blood alcohol content. To rephrase, a normal driver with a higher level of BAC is unfit (legally) to drive.
Do we all agree on that? (YMMV)
It is also known that statistically, the incident rate for drivers is an inverted bell curve, i.e. younger & older drivers have more "incidents", per capita. So- while this would take a modest amount of study, a few folks should be chosen from the low incident spread on the above mentioned curve, & tested for motor skills, reaction time, & vision. (I know, they already do vision, but stay with me here). Then they should be re-tested after a controlled introduction to alcohol to bring their BAC to .09, & the results recorded.
Now we have a baseline.
The testing could be done in conjunction with the present vision tests- perhaps hitting the correct button when a light flashes, or some such. I’m not a behavioral scientist, so I’ll leave the details to the pros.
If you fail the test, hey, even give the testee a couple chances, you’re done. In other words, if you can’t perform with the rudimentary skills of a "good" driver while impaired to an illegal limit, buh-bye.
If the law agrees that impaired folks should not be on the road, (& DUI laws are pretty specific about that), & a person tests at an "impaired" level, then that’s where’s the feces hits the rotating device. An additional "benefit" would be that the responsibility of license or vehicle suspension would be removed from immediate family members. I’ve been through that, & it creates a lot of hard feelings.
Testing should be done annually after age 70.
I recognize that no politician wants to get anywhere close to this problem, as us aging boomers are a significant voting block. But what is the alternative?
Understand, I’m heading quickly to the point where this onerous procedure would be inflicted on ME, but I’d rather have my license pulled than live with the knowledge that I had killed or maimed someone.
That would make the rest of my days less than happy.
If anyone’s got a better idea, have at it.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
It kinda makes you sick in the gut, & it’s sad.
So Sept 11th came and went at Bill's school without even a whisper, nothing, not even a small moment of silence. OK, fine.
This and any other history lesson that shows kids that AMERICA takes names and kicks ass when messed with are always left out.
The letter I got at home last night from his school stated that Bill's class would be celebrating United Nations Day on October 24th. Followed by paragraphs about how great the UN is as it allows all of us to understand each other and if we could all take this example that the world would be so much more peaceful.......ARRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!
Then they tie in a note about needing info about your family tree so they could justify it as a history lesson.
Jerry thinks we should send in the story about the time his Uncle Skeeter shot one of his colored workers for stealing :) (Ed note: when Skeeter did his thing, the polite reference was "colored")
Think that would send the teacher through the roof?
Sadly, I think Billy will be very sick on the 24th :)
What can ya say?
WTF is wrong with those "educators"? I read a poll in the paper on Sunday that indicated that 75+% of Americans disapprove of the UN & it's unregulated "mission".
Monday, October 15, 2007
One of my dream cars was/is a Ford GT. When I was a kid & slot cars were the rage, mine was (naturally) a Ford GT body over a hot motor & magnesium frame.
The other car was the original Ford Shelby Cobra. I’ve probably seen a handful of those in my life (the REAL ones, not kit cars), so you might imagine my surprise to find TEN of them parked at a Brit car gathering in PA last Saturday.
Most all were original, a few were modified, but not to the point of losing their original identities.
They were all gorgeous, but then I saw this:
I didn’t think a guy my age could still GET a woodie that quick.
I’m altering my Christmas list this year…
Sunday, October 14, 2007
For those unfamiliar: you use a specially outfitted (to hold shotguns, shells, stuff) golf cart to cruise around to the 17 stations (could be more or less) to fire 100 rounds at clay birds in "report doubles". Simply, the second bird is electronically launched at the report of the first shot at the first target.
As this particular site is in an old quarry, the shooting takes place across water, in fields, & in the woods. Targets appear from the left & right, beneath & above you, away & even towards you.
There is one station where the bird is launched through a ruined stone building window hole right at the shooter- yoikes!
Of course, the whole effect is to simulate the varied appearances of real game in a hunting environment- birds don’t follow trap or skeet patterns in real life.
This was the wife’s & my first attempt at this game. While we shoot trap in the sideyard, the distances & presentations make this sport MUCH more challenging.
My score for this endeavor will not be reported here, as it was an embarrassing performance. The wife shot a 53, which, I am told, is damn good for the first outing, especially since she was using a borrowed gun. My son cleaned our clocks w/a 72.
The link is to their website, where they explain the course & prices. Y’all that are "local" probably won’t manage to get there, but it is a fun layout & fairly inexpensive course.
If anyone knows of one of these layouts in NE- lemmeno!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The potential exists for some good times.
I hope I can live up to my potential.
I’ll resume the straggling discourse upon my return.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Well now you went & did it- another story.
I don’t think you can be an ex-Biker, really, anymore than one can be an ex-Marine.
You either is, or you ain’t, & that’s that.
As a kid, I’d look at the MCs in the Sears catalog with my Dad (I think they sold Puch MCs? -hey- keep it to yourself). I remember telling him I wanted one where the engine filled up the area underneath the gas tank- I’m probably about 12 then. He’s thinking a nice 50cc unit, I’m thinking 750 Indian, Harley 74.
The day I turned 16, which is in the winter here, I got my learners permit which allowed me to ride a MC, one up & daylight only. That was one cold ride on my Dad’s Honda 90. I soon bought a 160 Honda- two cylinders- man I was almost in the big leagues now; then a 350- cookin’! (A 350 Honda in those days weighed 350#, you could only hurt yourself if it fell on you).
Most guys my age were ogling the ’57 Chevys & muscle cars of the time. I used a car to get from here to there in the rain & snow. Utility only. I rode MCs as often & for as long as possible.
Then, I get a line on a chopped 1958 Harley panhead stroker. 10" over front end, spoolie front spindle (no front brake). Perfek!
$1200, in 1967, was a crapload of money. I had $400, & Dad lent me the rest over Ma’s spirited objections.
I was a Biker. Yes, capital "B".
The panhead needed continual work to keep her going. Even starting the thing was a project- advance the spark by rotating the distributor, kick it, kick it again, & again, readjust, kick again, then fool w/the distributor to get it in the right place to run, & off you go. I knew that old bike top to bottom, front to back. Intimate with the wrench, I was.
I knew a guy at the time, an older dude (prolly around 35!), who actually lived in a garage he rented. Mattress on a crappy frame, fridge (mostly for beer), woodstove made out of an old barrel, bike parked in the middle of it all, with tools & the various contrivances cobbled up to ease the work of maintenance. THAT boy was a Biker.
Nowadays, a maroon in a suit, totin’ a briefcase, & holding a Visa card can walk into a Harley dealership & come out "bad to the bone"- custom looking bike, jeans & T-shirt, leathers, even fake tattoos if he’s a real dork.
Don’t anyone tell me that guy is a biker; he may ride a motorcycle, but biker? Nope.
After the military, I had other bikes & still have a mildly customized Shovelhead- For Sale. I met my wife riding (she rode too), & took some great rides as late as the ‘90s to the Wall in Washington, Canada, Gettysburg, Maine, even NY f’n C.
Met some righteous people, & still have those moments. Still have my much-adorned, burnt, crashed, & worn sleeveless Levi & leather jackets, both of which go back 40 years.
None of this is to denigrate today’s bikers. It’s just the way I came around to two wheels, & my continued fascination with them.
The point here is Biker was a way of life- I’m just not there anymore.
Life happens, priorities change, & the way we choose to spend our time evolves. That’s what life is all about, isn’t it? Having the OPPORTUNITY for change?
Now, living in the woods for the last 14 years, has created a whole new set of freedoms for things I like to do, & even more things that HAVE to get done. (Not to mention the mile of dirt road before I get to tar). My choosing, I guess, but I find I LIKE felling trees & processing into firewood, shootin’ in the side yard, hunting, running a garden, & generally enjoying the solitude & gratification provided by my environment.
So, Sailor Curt, while it’s got nothing to do with "getting old", I have officially changed my profile to read "former biker", cuz you either is or you ain’t.
I guess I still is, at heart. And it says so on my arm.
And don’t worry, my friend, working at this pace I CAN’T get old!
‘Sides, I drank WAY too much when riding with all those crazy dudes.
Thanks for your time…
Monday, October 8, 2007
The picture is of a part of my garden containing my insane tomato plant.
This thing has long ago left it’s stake, crashed over the fence, & is now heading for the house. The green bottle in the pic is a 2-liter soda bottle for size reference. The bent stake is circled, & the arrow points to where the original plant started.
The other plants are normal size- WTF???
Sunday, October 7, 2007
What is a hoot is the liberal nutballs who continually write in commenting on the eeevil GW, or the equally eeevil "American way".
GW caused Katrina, GW caused the bridge to collapse in Minneapolis, blah, blah, blah.
Case in point, from today’s LthE:
I didn’t get this idea until today, so next week will hopefully have more entries into "who’s the nutballiest letter writer".
This time it’s just the bridge, "unfair" American ways, & Bushie cronies.
Mebbe next time we can have a vote on the biggest nutball.
Until next week… liberal nutballs, start your pencils!
Friday, October 5, 2007
It was a proud moment, be sure of that.
I loaded the charge, followed by some damp rags for compression, rammed it home, & lit the fuse to fire.
Boy, that WAS loud.
Please excuse the noise, it’s the sound of Freedom!
AND, I didn’t ‘splode up.
Happy Independence Day to all.
Two months later, I had conflicting thoughts on action. It was 11 Sept., 2001- you know the day. Be quiet, be contemplative, grieve?
Take out the cannon, & commence furious fire. I fired over 3 pounds of 1F, 2 oz. per shot.
I am an American; you will not defeat me.
You sons-of-bitches will NEVER win if America survives, hell, even if only I & others like me remain.
God Bless the United States of America.
Thanks to you all who have followed this narrative.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
They consume all your resources & time. And then some.
Metal work, when completed off the forge & anvil, has a scaly, mottled finish. That just wouldn’t do for me, so I thought about options. Wire brushing would take too long, even on a pedestal grinder.
Ah ha! I realized, in a blinding flash of the obvious-
Sandblasting- the finish would soak up paint & the end result would be what I was looking for. While I’m at it, methinks that same finish would be outstanding under a gloss black on the gun tube, & flat black for the hardware.
Flashback a bit. (Full disclosure here- this sandblasting revelation came to me mid-May, because I’ve worked metal on the anvil before). So I bought a sandblaster. When I hitched it up to my then current compressor, it went "pthhhhssss…" in other words, I got nuttin’ but a spurt of sand, & then had to wait for the compressor to catch up.
So I bought a BIG compressor. Now I was cookin’, & my bank account was empty. Like I said, resources…
Back to the present. A few coats of paint, & the assembly begins. I used the plans I had, but mostly I had spent hours looking at cannon in parks & at historical societies all around the region. Details, details.
I had even made prolonge hooks, which I believe is French for "where weel we keep zis stupid peeze of rope?"
Mounted all the parts on the carriage, & had a bud help me drop the tube on the carriage.
Man, I’ll never forget that feeling of accomplishment.
Installed the trunnion caps, & done, 2 July 2001.
Beer drinking & cigar smoking again commenced. With enthusiasm. Friends gathered.
Admiring the work, a sudden bombshell- Uh oh- where’s the ramrod & sponge that should be sitting in the brackets I made for them? Doh! The two biggest pieces other that the carriage & the tube forgotten completely!
Tuesday, July 3, I took ½ vacation day from work. Bought 5/8" dowels, & raced home. Wandered around in the woods looking for a straight maple tree just under 2" diameter. Found it, cut it down, & made the ramrod & sponge (w/the wife’s help on the sewing of the cotton on the sponge). Ran a torch over them both to "age" them 140 years in five minutes. A touch of stain rubbed on with a rag, & there she was.
A ½ scale copy of an 1857 Napoleon cannon that I had created, metal & wood.
2200 hours, 3 July 2001.
Will I ‘splode myself up?
FINALE: It’s alive!!!
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
So- while cannon carriages are traditionally made of oak, & knowing my limitations, I opted to make the first try out of pine. I figgered when I fluged it up, the $$$ & time loss would be minimal. Pine is a lot softer, so easier to work with, also speeding up completion.
BTW, this was in early June of 2001, & I wanted to have her ready to go on the Fourth- seemed only fitting as a birthday.
With much trepidation, I began the work. I used everything from a chainsaw to a friend’s planer to make it happen. Thanks to my friend Dan, who DOES like wood, we got the carriage looking like it belonged on a cannon. A few coats of deck paint, & damn- it just might work!
Still missing from the cannon were all the small parts & hardware. Time to fire up the forge.
A side note on the forge. Anyone reading this will probably get a mental picture of the country blacksmith, leather aproned, under the spreading chestnut tree as it were, with a carefully fabricated forge & hand cranked or leather bellows.
Lose that thought- while the anvil is indeed from the 19th century, I constructed the forge from an old truck brake drum, scrap piping, some PVC pipe for air intake, a corned beef hash can (really), & an ELECTRIC SQUIRREL CAGE BLOWER! This thing is a real piece of work, but hey- it makes the steel red, & will even weld if'n I keep her hot!
Using scrap steel scavenged from our "recycling center" (read, dump) & the local scrapyard, I fashioned all the straps, hooks, hangers, handles, & plates on the anvil. For the screws, I bought regular hex head lag bolts, heated the heads, & pounded them into square drive units more appropriate for the era.
Phew, I was hustling now to make the deadline- many late nights in the garage breathing coal fumes. Coal fumes give the BEST headache ever.
MMMmmm… coal fumes…
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
In the late summer of 2004, my son, a mutual friend, & I went to Ireland. If you’ve never been, understand that the pub is the center of life- political, philosophical, & social. With that knowledge "on us" (as is said there), we frequented as many pubs as conceivably possible.
One night found us in a small pub in Cahir, "The Bell" it was. A finer bunch of folks will not likely come this way again, I’m thinking. Anyway, it had been a long day for our trio, especially for my son who was doing all the wrong side of the road driving. As we settled in to the warm confines of our little pub after our large evening repast, we enjoyed much good Guinness & Jameson’s whiskey.
‘Twasn’t long before my boy’s head hit the table, arm over the head, blissfully snoozing away to the sounds of Irish ditties being played by the house musician. We let him be.
Our bartender, Liam, having observed my boy head down, was a bit concerned. He stopped over to where I was standing, looked to the lad, and asked,
"Does he hurl?"
"No, but he’s pretty good at football".
Monday, October 1, 2007
When we were initially cannon pondering, we were envisioning something like a pipe strapped to a cinder block, or some such. But I, your humble narrator, was a machinist in a former life, & I would have none of that.
Nossir, with wheels in hand, I devised a plan.
Paul, my other bud, had some plans for a little cannon, like tabletop size. Using those plans & my trusty calculator, I scaled everything I’d need to make (which WAS everything) based on the proportional size of the wheels I had.
Jeez- I shoulda paid more attention in algebra class.
Ordered 3 feet of 1026 seamless tubing from a mill, 4" OD x 2" bore. Made up a breech plug (cascable end on the gun) & threaded it 2"-8. Mounted the tube on a big lathe, & machined away everything that didn’t look like a Napoleon. Made trunnions, & welded them on. When I was done with the work, I had a passable copy of a cannon barrel.
But- on what would it sit? I’m a crappy woodworker, I don’t like it, but woodwork was now in my future, like it or not.
NEXT: woodworking sucks
Sunday, September 30, 2007
ANYway- Ed says "You know, we need a cannon!". This comment met with general agreement. Actually, we were a bit more excited than that, as in "I know where I can get a …" & "I think I’ve got wheels for…" & like that.
Much discussion & further beer drinking followed. Cigars were smoked.
A few days later, while scrounging around in the woods, I found an old piece of farm equipment with trees growing through it. The smaller front wheels were iron, & about 24" in diameter. Pretty rusty- perfect!
I cut the trees & hauled the wheels out of the woods for the basis of the 1857 you see in the picture. Now that the size was determined, I just needed plans & scale.
This will require more beer, cigars, & head scratching.
Friday, September 28, 2007
The cannon story will have to wait a bit.
I got to thinkin’ about some good quotes I’ve heard in my travels, and here is a quote that I had on my office wall for a long time:
"Be warned against a spirit of compromise that is but a cloak to cover the nakedness of irresolution and timidity."
If you’re not strong enough to stand up for what you believe, against all comers, then you’re a wussy, & get he hell out out my way.
Then I read this one tonight:
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences. " (H/T to CUG)
Both quotes from C.S. Lewis, who knew I was such a fan?
What exactly, will that mean for the victims? (I mean the rest of us) It is comparable to the camel nose under the tent?
You want universal health care? Get out you wallet & wait.
Is it better to be robbed by those you know (fedgov) or than by those you don’t?
We. The People.
Will have a opportunity soon of deciding who will speak for us.
Do you know where your loyalties lie?
This is beginning to piss me off…
The cannon fun will resume, I promise.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
No, NOT them, just a few beers, cigars, & firearm discussions, which led to the discovery of our little group's dearth of black powder large noise making devices.
"Gee, you know what would be cool? We should make a CANNON!"
To be continued...
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
An interesting, albeit strange commentary on the "evolution" of civilization, no?"
The above was a comment left on a friend's blog, "MArooned"- good reading.
I guess my hypothesis is:
The rule of law in today’s society sucks. No one takes any responsibility for their actions, leaving it to "the gummint", courts, or other "supervisors" to take care of conflicts.
Back in "the day", we were obliged to show respect to those who required it, the requirements being set down by our parents & teachers. Those people included EVERYONE who was our elders, teachers, firemen, policemen, but curiously, not our peers. We were free to beat the livin’ shit out of anyone who crossed us, & at worst, someone’s mother would get a phone call later. Noone worried about "self esteem".
But the overall society was more "civilized" then, I think.
Does this mean anything that I’m not seeing? There is cause & effect; it is as simple as when kids beat on each other the society at large is a "kinder, gentler" one? In simple terms, I don't think so.
Please discuss, & enlighten me.