Aug 24, 2015

Spiked Watermelon Sorbet

One medium watermelon, puréed and strained (food mill works great), about 8c.  of juice
Zest of one lime
Juice of one lime
Small handful mint leaves
One cup sugar
One cup water
2/3 cup citrus vodka

Simple sugar from the water and sugar plus mint and lime zest. Strain and cool.

Lime juice and vodka into melon juice. 

Add syrup to taste (about 1/2c is probably plenty) and chill 2-3 hours. 

Into the ice cream maker, let it freeze, and then portion into smaller cups and into the freezer to firm up completely. 

Makes about eight generous portions. 

Aug 16, 2015

Parts mash-up

As anyone who has put together more than one or two ARs knows, there is usually an assortment of cast-off parts floating around. I've got a couple cardboard boxes labeled "AR PARTS". I'm finally starting to piece together a few things and finish out another rifle.

I had a 24" bull-barrel upper that I didn't like. The barrel went off to Wally for shortening and re-profiling, the handguard found a new home, and the receiver sat in a box.

I whistled up a gas block and a gas tube, and found the block is just a hair too small - tolerance stacking defeats me! A brake hone from the parts store should fix that in short order, though.

I trolled classifieds and found a handguard I like, and still need to find a muzzle device and scope. As this is likely to be a long-ish distance AR (I'm hoping to use it on p'dogs this fall), I'm probably going to put a Bushnell 10x on top, and leaning towards a JP Recoil Eliminator brake.

When that's done ... I'm going to have fewer spare parts floating around. I think there's still a 10" .223 barrel in a box, and some miscellaneous other small parts. I'm sure I can turn it into something down the road...

Aug 13, 2015

Banging on silver again...

Life has been life, lots to keep me busy away from the keyboard lately.

Silver tanked over the last several months, spending the last week or so well under $15/oz spot price, and it was possible to find generic pieces in the $16/oz range. I don't know if it'll go lower. Hell, two years ago I'd have bet it wasn't going under $20. I keep buying a little bit where and when I can. Most of my recent purchases have been "junk" US coins, mostly in the form of half-dollars. For some reason 90% quarters just don't interest me. Dimes and halves, please.

As to spot price, though...
One of the sites I read had a comment about "and then it goes to $1000/oz next month!"

This would be a Very Bad Thing. Spot moves around every day. A few percentage points up or down is a normal day. Ten percent is a big day. For silver to go to $1000/oz would be about a 6000% increase. Six thousand percent. For that to happen, the US Dollar would have to be massively devalued, otherwise known as hyperinflation.

The stories of wheelbarrows of cash to buy a loaf of bread, always from falling countries behind the Iron Curtain or third-world dictatorships? Yep. That's what we'd be talking about.

I picked up a Zimbabwean ten-trillion-dollar bill a while back for about US$3. In June of this year, they decided to end that currency, basically a hard-reset of the Zimbabwe currency system. The exchange rate?

Z$35,000,000,000,000,000 to Z'$1.

Thirty-five quadrilliion to one. My Z$10T note is worth about a thirthieth of a new Zimbabwe cent (10/35000ths of a dollar).

Fiat currency ... quite literally, not worth the paper it's printed on.

Jul 23, 2015

Standing guard for the recruiters?

Subject: USAREC Policy – Armed citizens at recruiting centers ATO’s,
Situation: The USAREC COC has received reports from two Brigade ATOs, social media and TV coverage that law abiding armed citizens are standing outside of our recruiting centers in an attempt to safeguard our recruiters.
1) Recruiters will not acknowledge the presence or interact with these civilians. If questioned by these alleged concerned citizens; be polite, professional, and terminate the conversation immediately and report the incident to local law enforcement and complete USAREC Form 958 IAW USAREC 190-4 (SIR)
2) Do not automatically assume these concerned citizens are there to help.
Immediately report IAW USAREC 190-4 (Suspicious Behavior)
3) Immediately report any civilians loitering near the Station/Center to local police if the recruiter feels threatened. Ensure your recruiters’ clearly articulate to local police the civilian may be armed and in possession of a conceal/carry permit. Ensure recruiters include any information provided by local police in their SIR reporting the incident.
4) Ensure all station commanders implement FPCON Charlie 6 (Lock and secure entry points) addressed in previous email.
5) I’m sure the citizens mean well, but we cannot assume this in every case and we do not want to advocate this behavior.
*** The timely and accurate submission of 958s (SIR) is imperative to track these incidents and elicit support from TRADOC, ARNORTH and NORTHCOM.

USAREC 190-4 is available here (pdf warning).

If I'm reading this right - and that's a big "if" since it's a government publication...

Pages 5 and 6 list out the rough chain of events, and since they are treating volunteer guards as "Suspicious Incidents" and Force Protection ... short form: within 24 hours, and likely within 12 hours, your information will be passed through the chain of command for that station up to Branch CID. You're going to be on One More List. Is that worth it? Your decision.

(Side note, I saw an absolute hand-wringing panicked headline that one or two of the Marines in Chattanooga may have returned fire on their attacker - and how dare they, how could they, because they aren't allowed to have guns. *spit* is all I can say to that.)

Jul 14, 2015

Something new...

... except something old.

We wandered through a just-opened Scheel's over the weekend, and I left a few noseprints on the glass gun cases. The Winchester 1895 in particular caught my eye, although I was a bit puzzled when I looked at the hang tag and saw it labeled as "Caliber: .30-06".

I craned my neck around and the breech was marked ".30 GOV 03". I'd been expecting ".30 US", aka .30-40 Krag, and this was a new one on me.

I did some research on the phone real quick before I said something to a clerk about a mis-labelled hang tag, and learned...

.30-03 was a midpoint cartridge between the .30-40 Krag and .30-06 Springfield, with some features of both. The long and short of it, near as I can tell, is that it is safe to shoot .30-06 in a .30-03 chamber, but you may see some cracked case necks. What I could find also suggested sticking to the 180gr and heavier bullets, as the .30-03 was designed around the 220gr bullet of the .30-40 Krag and most have twist rates to match.