Aug 27, 2009

Minor update

Life continues apace. Two weeks ago MrsZ and I spent a late morning enjoying trigger time and general camaraderie with a fellow Appleseeder. I tried out my new handload for .45s and was pleased - 6.0gr T/B/230grLRN. Zeroed my Winchester 94; it's now handily minute-of-deer at 100yd and would be fine to 150. Toyed with the .17 rifle and pistol - can't get the pistol to hold a consistent zero and think that may be a sights issue. I have a pistol scope for it, now I need to get a rail and rings. I also got to enjoy his Marlin .45-70 levergun, which was an absolute hoot to shoot and has bumped up my desire list a bit.

Last weekend we made brief appearances at the local Appleseed, and actually managed to fit in some shooting - it helped to have a surplus of instructors for once. My Savage MkII is having feeding issues, and a thorough scrubbing is in order soon - and possibly some new magazines. I'll be coughing up for the stainless magazines next time around, as the ones I have are well-coated with rust freckles. MrsZ's 10/22 is having ejection issues, and beyond a thorough scrubbing it may require some parts replacement - particularly the extractor/ejector.

On the home front, we acquired a new grill last weekend, and I put it together Tuesday. It is ... large. Very large. Half-gas, half-charcoal, side burner, and there is an optional side-smoker that I will likely get at some point. Almost three hours to put together at an admittedly leisurely pace. Hamburgers and grilled veggies on the gas side came out beautifully, although proper grill implements are in order so I don't drop *quite* so many bits through the grate. Today I did a rack and a half of pork ribs on the charcoal side, and tried the "water smoker" method. I'm not displeased, although there is some tweaking to do. We rubbed the ribs with Dinosaur BBQ's "Foreplay" dry rub and some brown sugar last night and stuck 'em back in the fridge overnight.

I got up at 10 this morning and started the grill, put a shallow pan of beer on one side and the coals on the other, and the ribs over the beer. Closed off the dampers and started smokin' ... An hour later I remembered that I had pruned the apple trees a few weeks ago, and decided to improve on the smoke. I poked through the brush pile and found a promising apple branch, cut out a nice-size chunk, peeled it, cut it into chunks, and added it to the coals when I added more charcoal. Around 12:30 I basted one side of the ribs with Dino's Sensuous Slatherin' Sauce, cooked another 15 minutes, flipped, basted that side, cooked another 15, then pulled the ribs and covered them up...

I just finished my rack of ribs. Not too bad at all. The temperature was a little high (pushed 300 or 350 a couple times) so the edges dried out some, but the flavor was good. The side-smoker is a definite must-have to keep the temperature down some.

We got a love note from our homeowner's insurance company Monday - they are canceling our policy in 30 days because of "unacceptable risk". I called the agent for details and they told me it was because of the un-sided garage. Nevermind that the garage has been bare for over a year... and that they told us when they wrote the policy that it wasn't an issue. We did some calling around and cursing, and I placed an order for lumber yesterday - nearly 1500 board-feet of rough white pine, in order to do board and batten siding. That should be delivered Tuesday or Wednesday, at which point I'll start getting siding up as quickly as possible. Most of the lumber will be pretty green, so it'll weather and dry over the winter and then we'll seal/stain it in the springtime.

Somehow, shooting has taken a back seat to home ownership. This is ... frustrating.

Side note: Shotgun ammo prices have started to decline slightly. I went through Walmart the other day and the 100-round value packs of Remington trap loads were marked down from 24-something to 21-ish. Small, but noteworthy. ... Of course, I can't tell you the last time I shot trap. I should find the nearest range with open trap and go shoot some; it's a good way to relax on a Sunday morning.

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