Nov 28, 2012

Ouch - I feel this one

Jennifer dropped the hammer on a deer, and heard the second loudest noise in the world - a *click* when expecting a BOOM. She includes a picture of the dimpled round, which is a Hornady V-Max .223. I made a quick comment from my tablet last night, which was... pointed.

I have a real computer in front of me now and expanded upon it there, but reposting here because it's important information, IMHO.

On re-read in the dim light of morning, my reply last night was a bit brusque. I apologize – I was on my tablet and fighting it for spelling. Not an excuse, mind you, just circumstance.

Now that I’m in front of a real computer, a more-better answer. As Daniels already said, Vmax won’t hold together. They’re pretty fragile bullets, short of being frangible, and smacking a rib or shoulder blade on the way in will turn them into shards that don’t penetrate very well. The deer may well die, but it’ll do it a day or two and several miles later.

Bonded bullets – things like Remington CoreLokt, Hornady Interlocks/Interbonds, and the like – are designed to take that hit without shedding the jacket and fragmenting. They’ll create one consistent wound channel through the deer and mash the necessary vitals on the way through.

One step further, perhaps in a slightly different direction, is the solids, like the Barnes TSX I mentioned before. It’s a single-metal construction, so there is no jacket to shed, and the TSX in particular is known for outstanding performance on deer.

I don’t know what twist rate you’re using in your rifle, but even if it’s a 1/9 I’d suggest getting a box or two of 62gr CoreLokt Premiums or Barnes TSX, getting a new zero, and using those. If you’re lucky enough to be using a 1/8 or 1/7 rifle, I’d step up to the 69-72gr range.

There’s a VERY long thread on ArfCom about deer hunting with .223 here. And, corollary, another one from a guy getting pretty soundly lambasted for blaming the bullet for losing a deer.

Personal anecdote: A few years ago, I was out in the end of deer season and tromping across a field near sunset. I didn't see a drifted-over drainage ditch, and went ass-over-teakettle into it. My gun (870) got thoroughly packed with snow. I cleared the bore, receiver, etc, and reloaded. A few minutes later a deer popped out of the hedge, I raised the gun, took a shot, and missed. I worked the action, and instead of loading the next shell, the magazine tube promptly vomited all four slugs into foot-deep snow. Seems when I'd reloaded, the shell lifter had gotten frozen in the up position, and when I pulled the slide back, the shell catch in the tube froze open. I went home and hung it up for the day.

Holster Winner

I forgot to mention this last week when the drawing was done. Old Windways won the Talon, and chose the python skin. It went to its new home yesterday.

Thanks to everyone who donated, and congratulations to ALL the winners.

Nov 27, 2012


Remember that double-barrel 1911-ish gun that was shown last year?

ATF approved it for import.

No word on price, but as Morgan said, "If you have to ask..."


Because the government says I shouldn't, that's why.

Hunting Guns

As I mentioned yesterday, the Mossberg isn't going with me tomorrow; I'll be taking my T/C Omega muzzleloader and Contender pistol. But I also need (prefer) to take a pistol; both for two- and four-legged reasons.

My choices are:
- 1911 .45ACP
- S&W 642 .38spl
- S&W 21 .44Spl
- S&W M&P40c

I have retention-type holsters for all but the 642, which would be zipped into a coat pocket. Which should I take, and why?


Nov 26, 2012

Frustration on the range

Last time I went to the range, it was to check zero on my hunting guns. As you may recall, the muzzleloader was on, and the Mossberg 500 was refusing to zero. I chalked that up to a crappy package scope going bad, and set it aside.

I missed with the smokepole the second day of the season. I went out with my iron-sighted 870 two days later, and promptly missed with that as well.

In other words, this has not been a good season.

I'm heading to the in-laws' farm this weekend with plans of filling the freezer, and had no guns I felt I could trust, so it was back to the range today.

I started with the Mossberg. I yanked the scope off and borrowed the Eotech from MrsZ's AR. I boresighted it and took a shot at 25. Made a few adjustments and got it pretty close at 25. Put up a target at 100 and ... barely on the backer.

Bring it in to 50, dial in a few adjustments, and it's knocking out a consistent 2-3" group at 50. Not exceptional, but certainly not bad for a shotgun and more than adequate for deer.

Back out to 100, and the group has become a pattern yet again. Tried taking two or three shots looking for a consistent hit... nothing. Quite literally a 20-inch spread.

Brought it back to 50, and it's not perfect but it's still grouping. One last try at 100, and it's gone again. None of these keyholed, they just weren't holding.

I ran out of shells at that point. I burned three boxes of Hornady SSTs trying to get this done. I cursed. A lot. That's near-on fifty bucks in ammo, for those of you who don't buy sabot slugs. I had blamed the earlier problems on the scope; now that the Eotech did the same thing I'm not convinced. The cantilever rail feels solid, the barrel/bore looks fine, etc. The consistency at 50 yards leads me to believe it's not a mechanical problem... somewhere between 50 and 100 yards, those slugs are doing funny things. They're dropping the sabot around 20 yards (easy to find in the grass), so that's not it. Not keyholing, so not tumbling... they shouldn't be going transonic anywhere inside 250yd.

I'm at a complete loss. These same slugs were shooting like magic last year. (I didn't have anything to shoot them at, but that's not the ammo's fault.) The clear answer is to buy a couple boxes of different brands and try again. Unfortunately, I have neither the time nor the disposable income at the moment to blow $50-60 on a few boxes of sabots and then another 50 when I find out what shoots well.

The muzzleloader, fortunately, managed to group and shoot like a charm; I put three slugs into 3" at 100yd and called it good. Came home and cleaned it, fired a few primers to re-foul the bore, and that'll be my hunting gun for the year.

(All this shooting, by the by, was done without a bag etc. I leaned my elbows on the bench much like I'd lean them on my knees in a blind or stand.)

If anyone has any insight about the Mossberg, I'm all ears.

Nov 25, 2012

Hunting 2012

I've been out twice. I saw deer both days, and missed both days. I haven't been out since.

I pulled the cheap package scope off the Mossberg last night, and stuck on the Eotech that had been on the Delicate Flower AR. Tomorrow I'm going to the range to get that zeroed and to double-check the zero on the muzzleloader.

Wednesday morning, the Great Hunt begins. Two of us are going to the farm, and a third may be joining us later in the week. Cabin is rented, menu is roughly planned, and I can't wait to be out. Forecast is even halfway decent - although Friday night might get a little chilly.

I suspect I won't do much updating after Tuesday - and there's nothing in the can to amuse you. So talk amongst yaselfs.

Nov 24, 2012

Live Crowds

I'm not much of a social person. As a general rule, crowds make me a little jittery. Corresponding to this, I haven't been to a whole lot of big concerts.
- NSync, Meredith Brooks, and Jimmy Ray, 1998, St. Louis MO
- "Face2Face" (Billy Joel & Elton John) in 2001, Syracuse NY
- "Last Play at Shea" (Billy Joel) in 2008, NYC NY
- Keith Urban at the NYS Fair, 2012
- LoneStar, Deer Valley UT, 2012 (and that was a small crowd for a private show)

Why am I remembering this? Because Borepatch went and posted a video of Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett's "Five O'Clock Somewhere". The video includes footage of the crowd, which is one-hundred-percent INTO the show.

Crowds with energy like that can be a whole lot of fun. They still make me a little jittery, but they sure can be fun.

Shea Stadium was like that. Our group had floor seats thanks to the guy who invited me. Turning around and seeing 80,000 people singing along with Billy (and an all-star guest list) is just... magic.

(The link for the Shea concert, btw, goes to a YouTube video of the entire concert.)

Movie Notes: Seal Team Six

It was on Netflix, I worked overnight and needed a way to kill a couple hours.

It was OK. Not great. Not the O fluff-piece I was expecting, although it cast him in a decent light. (Not great. Decent.)

Casting is meh, lots of no-names and a few recognizable faces. Overall cinematography felt like a live-action version of ModernWarfare17 (or whatever the current version is).

It was fine for killing some time on an overnight shift; I'd not give it more than that.

Nov 22, 2012

Pork Loin with Cabbage

I whipped this up the other night; it wasn't too bad at all. The pork was a hair overdone, so adjust accordingly.

4 boneless pork loin chops
3 cloves garlic
3 apples
1 head cabbage
spice rub
cider vinegar
brown sugar
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 300F.

Rinse and pat the chops dry, then dust both sides with spice rub:

Set those aside for a few minutes while you do the rest of the prep work. Core and dice the apples, then toss with a quarter cup of cider vinegar to minimize browning:

Chop your garlic, and toss it in a skillet with some olive oil over medium heat:

As soon as it starts to brown, put the chops in too:

Give 'em a few minutes; just enough to lightly brown, then flip 'em:

Once the other side is browned as well, put them in a large casserole and set aside. Add a little more oil to the skillet, and keep the heat on. Quarter and core the cabbage, and slice into 1/4" strips.

A quarter-head at a time, give them a trip through the skillet, just enough to start wilting. Add a pinch of salt to each quarter:

Put the first two quarters over the chops in the casserole, then add the apples and a few tablespoons of brown sugar. Add the remaining cabbage, cover tightly, and stick it in the oven for 30 minutes or until the chops are cooked through:

(I forgot the "after" picture, but take my word: it's pretty tasty, albeit one-color. Add some red cabbage or carrots for color, and season to taste. A bulb of fennel sauteed with the cabbage would be excellent as well.)

Nov 21, 2012

Pack a pipe

I am not, by nature, a smoker. I can count on one hand the number of cigarettes I've tried in my life. They're really not that pleasant, the smell clings and lingers, etc.

That said, there is something a bit deeper to a good cigar or a pipe. Poking around some of the pipe sites online (because pipes are art, and fascinating to look at), I found this article. Good reading.

Now, unlike cigarettes, pipes are a) sacramental b) delicious c) much less harmful d) not addicting and e) packed with class. Men need to recover the lost art of pipe-smoking to a) feel more manly b) relearn the experience of fellowship c) connect with their great, ancestral, pipe-smoking past d) learn to contemplate and e) (if they are cigarette smokers) to replace addiction with ritual.
My pipe comes out a handful of times every year; it's a wonderful relaxation on a summer's evening to smoke and listen to the cicadas as the sky slips into dark.

Nov 20, 2012

Parking lot gun shows

Trade completed on AR uppers. Swapped my DPMS A2/DCM for a DPMS M1S* 24" bull barrel flat-top. Met in a WallyWorld lot, looked over uppers, said, "I'm good, you?" "Yep." Shook hands, and went on our way. Total time less than five minutes.

Now to find a scope for it...

* - the seller advertised it as a DPMS upper, I took him at his word. Not many uppers are marked, and those that are often have the markings under the handguard. I found the tiny etching on the barrel later while doing a more detailed teardown. Regardless of make, I am content with the trade I made; DPMS and M1S are both decent entry-level rifles.

Nov 17, 2012

Methinks they doth protest too much

The bakers union is crowing about their ability to shut down Hostess.

The above article has the following winning quotes:

"Hopefully, this will be an example to other companies not to [try to] break their unions."
"[T]he Hostess case may prove to corporate investors that the working class must be reckoned with[.]"
"Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant said, 'philosophically, I think the union wins' in the Hostess standoff."
Just so we're clear on this, Hostess operated 30-odd plants around the country, in quite a few states (to bring those tasty treats to you FRESH!), and employed nearly 19,000 people.

3,500 people - less than one in five - went on strike.

One fifth of the workforce cost the other 80% their livelihood.

If I was a striking worker, I'd be looking over my shoulder starting yesterday. If I was one of the non-striking workers and had lost my job a week before Thanksgiving thanks to the actions of a bunch of thugs, I'd certainly consider looking for some revenge... Especially since the union is now calling this a win.

Here's a hint, UAW: go on strike. Shut down Ford, GM, and Chrysler. Force bankruptcy. Nissan, Toyota, and Honda employ workers in US factories... without unions. They'll happily pick up the slack.

Nov 16, 2012

Feel-good story

After the downer this morning, this seemed like a good story to share. I'll admit, I read the opening line, "Wanda Butts lost her teenage son in a drowning accident six years ago, and ever since then she has been working to change a troubling statistic," and expected someone who has pushed for new laws, regulations, pool sensors, etc. But, no:

Since 2007, Butts and her nonprofit, the Josh Project, have helped nearly 1,200 children -- most of them minorities -- learn how to swim. [...] Swimming and water safety education are basic life skills that all should know.
Not blaming the pool, or a lifeguard, or technology. Simple fact: Water is around us, everyone should know how to deal with it.

Doing it right.

What Cliff?

Bayou Renaissance Man has been writing a LONG series of posts about what's happening, and what's coming. Lots of cites, big words, and good information.

Even CNN is getting in on the action now.
Here's why: If there is no fiscal cliff deal, the Bush tax cuts will expire, and everyone's tax rates will go up. That will reduce the amount of money paid to workers, because employers will be withholding more.
In addition, the temporary payroll tax holiday -- which for the past two years has boosted pay by more than $80 a month for workers making $50,000 and twice that for those making $100,000 -- will also expire, reducing paychecks even more.
MrsZ and I aren't quite living paycheck-to-paycheck, but we're in the fairly typical spot of young-ish couples - building a savings while paying off student loans, mortgage, and a car payment. We're grinding along, and a $100-200 per month decrease in our take home pay will hurt. No, we won't go broke, not even slowly. We'll trim a little more, cancel the things we really don't need, and figure out how to make it work. Things like cell phones, internet at home, and NetFlix will go by the wayside. Luxury food items (we love good cheese) will become a real luxury treat instead of an every-few-weeks enjoyment. Spending on hobbies will be cut.

Make sure you understand the source of this. It's not "the Bush tax cuts". It's a government that has run amok, refuses to pass a budget for years, and continues to increase expenditures without a plan to pay for them. The pundits have called it "kicking the can down the road". Guess what? The can is resting against the curb. If you kick it, you're going to break your metaphorical toe. Wikipedia has a pretty good image. Those gaps between the red bar and the blue line? That's our economic death by papercuts.

I have no problem with a social safety net - but that net isn't a goddamn hammock. (h/t Robb Allen) Welfare isn't meant to be comfortable, it's meant to be subsistence while you look for something better. It's time to start examining how things like food stamps, EBT, and phones are being handled. Healthcare is going through the roof with the change to single-payer healthcare. A post I saw yesterday had a guy's family-coverage insurance premiums increasing from $3,800/yr to $4,900/yr. It's not chump change. Bailouts are costing us money; social programs are bleeding us dry - and we're refusing to open our eyes and look.

People are screaming, "Tax the rich!" and, "Tax the corporations!"

We'll take those in reverse. Corporations don't pay taxes. Oh, they write a check to the government every month, or every quarter, but where do those taxes come from? Right out of their gross receipts on products sold. Increase taxes, increase prices. Simple.

As to the rich... The 20 richest people in the US have a combined net worth in the vicinity of $540 billion. That's a hell of a lot of money. But it's not their annual income. It's their worth on paper; in stocks and property. If Microsoft crashes, Bill Gates is still rich but has lost about a quarter of his personal wealth (6.4% holdings of 8.9B public shares at $26.00ea). If the government chose to confiscate the fortune of every one of those twenty richest people, and applied it directly to the national debt, it would eliminate about three percent of the US debt. That's it. If, instead, those confiscated fortunes were applied to the current year's expenditures, we'd reduce our deficit from about $900B to $400B. It's still a deficit and cannot continue forever.

Let me reemphasize that: It's still a deficit and cannot continue forever.

The only fix for where we are now is to balance the budget, start running a surplus, and pay off our national debt. That's only going to happen with some painful changes. NOW is the time to make those changes, while we have some choice in where the cuts are made. The longer we wait, the narrower our window becomes, and the more abrupt and painful the fall will be.

I saw a phrase somewhere last night about the economy being "the spark of anger" or some such nonsense. It's not. I don't see an armed uprising on the horizon. Localized disturbances, yes, but not large-scale revolution. No, what will happen is just what Ayn Rand predicted: people are going to go Galt.

The government is refusing to spend my taxes wisely; thus I will start reducing those taxes in any way possible. Trade, barter, and exchange. Buy used, for cash. Claim every possible deduction on income taxes. Build my ARs and reload my own ammo, instead of buying already-manufactured. (Did you know there's an 11% excise on guns and ammunition?)

We can't drop off the grid completely... but we can sure reduce our footprint.

How long until this is the image on the steps of the Capitol?

Stock up on Twinkies!

Hostess is closing! (I haven't quite figured out why they need a court's permission to shut the doors, unless it falls under Directive 10-289.)


And if you haven't watched Zombieland all the way through, you need to.

Nov 14, 2012

Reloading Annoyance...

I just dusted off the reloading bench for the first time in... well, a while. Probably over a year. I think the last thing I reloaded was a large pile of my mousefart .38 loads, just in time for Northeast Blogshoot ... 2011.

Tonight, though, I did something new.

I was going to crank out a box of medium-speed .38s to stuff in a snubby while hunting. I set up, checked lengths, grabbed a bag of primed brass, and tweaked my powder measure. I dumped powder into a dozen cases, spot-checked, and tweaked the measure a bit again.

The next five were consistent, so I finished the tray of 50. I went back and spot-checked a couple more, and  found weights varying by almost a half-grain. This in a powder (Ramshot TrueBlue) that has a "start" of 5.3 and a "max" of 5.9. None were over max, but the spread of 5.1 to 5.6 was Not OK.

So here's what I did that's new: I dumped every single one back into the measure and tried again.

I fiddled with the measure a bit more and still couldn't get a consistent drop, so I put that powder away and figured I'd load up a box of my mousefarts.

Switched powders, and dug in. Tweak measure, drop powders ... Again, couldn't get consistent results, this time using IMR TrailBoss. 3.4-3.9 was the spread, 3.5 was the goal. After fifteen or twenty minutes of farting around with this set and not getting anywhere, I poured all the powder back in the jar and cleaned up my bench. Something Ain't Right, and I'm too tired to figure it out right now. I know I want/need a new scale, and I'm suspecting I need a new powder measure.

In the meantime, I can sort, size, and prime a whole pile of brass.


Sobering words

Over at Wilson's place... Read the whole thing.

All along I assumed that I was an 'average American voter' and that certain things important to me were also important to most other voters. I assumed that this mythical 'average voter' was more concerned about the country's long term wellbeing rather than their own petty personal gain. I assumed that their future freedom and that of their children/grandchildren was actually important to them. You know what they say about assumptions.
Time is running short. Good luck to us all.
MrsZ and I are slowly making some of our own plans. Like Wilson, being OUT of debt is high on our priority list. Admittedly without giving up all of our hobbies, which aren't cheap, but are important to our sanity.

Like Wilson, I'm not really planning on any more guns once the pending WallyRifle is done. I'm trolling a few pieces here and there to potential buyers; any income from that will be turned into ammo and reloading materials.

Our garden for next year is roughly three times the size it was this year. We canned and froze a tremendous amount of vegetables this year, and we're getting into them already.

Once the rest of the budget is under control, I'm putting silver on the list. We've got a small amount already; it's time for more.

Hedge your bets, kids.


(See, Erin? Just for you.)

We had a pow-wow the other night, and got most of the players on one phone call at one time, and made some appointments.

Jay is the keeper of the link-farm and pimpmaster. Go here for a list of prizes and how to enter.

OldNFO is the Cat-herder in Chief.

Jennifer is the point of contact for entries.


And if you prefer to make a silly donation, get in touch with Erin regarding the fun pack.

As to why we're doing this, RobertaX has a post up which nails it:
The first bill has already arrived and thanks to you, it will roll right back out, paid in full.
That's it, right there.

And lest you think Tam hasn't noticed, she's trying to figure out how to do her best impression of Rain Man.

Nov 12, 2012

Brief Range Report

Gun season for deer opens this coming Saturday. I have high hopes that it'll be better than last year; it certainly can't be any worse.

Today's weather was decent, so I tossed a target and the hunting guns in the truck and went to the range. It was windy, but I'm tossing 250gr slugs at ~1800fps. At 100yd, the wind drift will be minimal.

I started with my muzzleloader (a T/C Omega, if you care); my standard hunting load is two 50gr/50cal pellets of Hodgdon 7-7-7 behind a T/C 250gr Shockwave bonded sabot. The first shot went about four inches high of the bull. I dialed it down a few clicks, and it punched dead-center. One more shot to confirm was about 2" high. Perfectly acceptable, and I put it aside.

On to the shotgun. I swapped to a Mossberg 500 in 20ga with a rifled/scoped barrel about two years ago, and I've killed several deer with this gun. My standard slug is a Hornady 250gr SST, and it's consistently been a bang-flop cartridge. I haven't had to follow a deer more than about 50 yards using this setup.

I popped a slug in, settled the crosshairs on the target, and pulled the trigger. Four or five inches left and a few inches low. I dialed in a couple minutes of elevation and a touch of windage, and shot again. Six inches right and bang-on elevation.

Adjusted the windage a bit left and shot again. Good windage, ten inches high.

*facepalm* One more try, and it was again good windage, eight inches low. Screws are all tight... Crap.

I'm not going to sit there chasing a zero (at $3/shot!) without knowing what's going on. The slugs I was using had been riding in my center console all year and may have suffered some from that ... but not that much. I'll pick up another (fresh) box later this week and try again; if it's not consistent in three shots and zeroed in two more I'll be putting it aside for the season and hunting with the muzzle loader and my Contender pistol exclusively. (I can also bring out the iron-sighted 870 if I so desire.)

I don't have the money to buy a new scope, and I'm suspicious that's where the problem lies. The scope is a MADE IN CHINA no-name that came with the package and doesn't scream quality. I'd like to put on a compact 4x or something like a Redfield 2-7x. But that's not this week's problem.

To be continued...

Nov 11, 2012

Raffle: Consolidated

Jay has become the link-master (no word on whom the gatekeeper may be); please enter if you can, and spread the word either way. These are all *donations*. None of us are keeping a penny; it's all going to Tam.

Larry takes out the trash...

So, since I’m a conservative and an entertainer, I should just keep my mouth shut and not have an opinion because I might offend somebody? Uh… Hell no.

- one whiny union democrat voter
- one conservative author
- one comment
- one blog post
- one metaphorical woodshed

Well, that didn't take long

Nov 10, 2012

Minor Update

As it quickly became obvious that there are a LOT of us that are getting in to help Tam, we started chatting about a better way to organize the raffles.

We're still ironing out the kinks, but there will be one person designated (probably Jennifer, but wait for confirmation before bombarding her) to receive your emailed receipt, along with your own apportionment of entries. Any existing entries will be transferred, so no need to worry about that.

*Right now* your options are my Dragon Talon at $5/per, Rimfire Designs grips at $5/per, and OldNFO's pile o' swag for $25/per. I suspect Dragon and McThag will get on board as well, although I'm not certain yet.

The other change, and I realize this may not be to everyone's taste, is that this will run through Thanksgiving - another twelve days. Instead of the original 200 entries I'd planned on, we're going to go 'til it's over. If someone is terribly upset by this, please email me privately and we'll see what can be arranged.

And again, please, be patient. We're herding cats here.

ETA: Jennifer (jennifer at injennifershead dot com) is the designated collector of receipts. Dragon is also on board with the group raffle at his existing donation price of $5.56. SO if you want to enter one in each, make your donation over at Tam's tip jar for $40.56, then send Jennifer your receipt with the number of entries to each. Yeah, it's a little complicated, but ... well, it's the best way to keep us all sorta-organized.

A little morning music

I first heard this song a few weeks ago but didn't catch who was playing it. This morning, I got it.

Kacey Musgraves.

Watch for this young lady; she's got a touch of June Carter in that voice. The right songs are going to take her places.

The list grows!

So, as just mentioned, there's a Dragon Leatherworks Talon being raffled off here.

The Dragon hisownself is raffling of a Viper on his site.

Rimfire Designs is raffling off a set of grips.

And then NFO kicked it to 11, and is raffling a Colt Diamondback and other goodies.

Carteach0 has kicked in an ISSC M-22, which looks to be a .22 shaped like a Block Glock. (I believe that's going to be part of NFO's raffle.)

McThag is auctioning a Spike's stripped lower - worth its weight in gold as of three days ago!

(I should note that each of these raffles is being run separately; entering for my holster doesn't get you into Dragon's raffle, or Rimfire Designs, or NFO's. So click those links for details.)

I don't talk about it much, but about four years ago I had two surgeries in a row to try to deal with a kidney stone*. These were not horribly invasive surgeries, as things go; they just roto-rootered my schwanz and stuck a tube between my kidney and bladder, then beat the hell out of me with ultrasound. Twice. The week of time between placement and removal was pure misery; I did the first one, passed blood and rocks for a week of pain, had the tube removed, and quickly learned they hadn't gotten it all (by "learned" I mean "was writhing in pain again within twenty-four hours"). So I was given another week to recover, then repeated the process. There's still a piece floating around in there, too.

The grand total billed to my insurance was in the neighborhood of $18,000 for that little go-round. X-ray, ultrasound, a couple of CT scans, anesthesia (twice), etc. No knife ever touched my body, which would have changed a lot of things - like going from a moderate sedative and spinal block to full-on paralytic and intubation, and a lot more cost.

Sounds like Tam's adventure won't be too bad... but I gar-on-tee it won't be cheap, either. So if you can, pick one of the above and pitch in.

* - "funny" moment from the whole thing. Doctor gets the ultrasound results and shows them to me, then says, "Well, the stone is about nine millimeters in diameter, which is about the size of a-" and I started laughing, "Yeah, doc, I know how big nine millimeters is." Never did find out what his analogy was going to be, come to think of it...

Holy crap

You guys are the best.

I put up that holster yesterday, and by 9:00 nearly 40 entries had gone out the door.

I just checked my email as the dog walks herself, and another 60+ are waiting in my inbox. I'll get them acknowledged and into the hat shortly.

I'm nearly in tears from the generosity of every single one of you. Thank you, so much.

Shower and coffee, and more brain dribbles in a bit.

Nov 9, 2012

Something something to something cancer

Jay has threatened to bring out his skirt again. It's on, sucka.

I'm sure that most of you who read Tam's blog know about the diagnosis of Basal Cell Carcinoma she just received.

She has a tip jar over there, on the right side of the page; feel free to use it. In fact, I'm going to encourage its use. I have yet to meet Tam in meatspace, but I'd still call her a friend. One of us. I've enjoyed reading her wit, snark, and have even gleaned a few useful bits of info about our common hobbies. More than enough enjoyment to warrant a sawbuck or two.

So yes, please hit the tip jar - but I'm going to up the ante a bit.

Hit that tip jar. When you finish the transaction, it'll create a receipt for you. Save that page as a PDF/TIF file (Chrome will save direct to PDF, Microsoft Image Writer will save to TIF) and send it to me Jennifer, OR forward the email receipt to me her. jennifer at injennifershead dot com. Let her know which of the raffles you want your entries to be in! If something isn't clear, ask us!

Should look like this:

Every five bucks you throw her will get your name on a slip of paper. I'm going to toss those names in a hat and track the total. When the total reaches a thousand dollars in donations On Thanksgiving, as changed here, I'm going to pull a name out of the hat, and the lucky winner will receive their choice of one of these two holsters:

They're both Dragon Leatherworks "Talon" models, cut and molded for a 5" 1911 (but a commander should fit fine!). The one on the left is a sanded stingray inlay, and the one on the right is a rainbow python inlay. They're both freakin' beautiful... but you'll have to pick one.

Five bucks for a swing at a Dragon, and helping out a friend? How can you lose?

Edit to clarify: These are already-made holsters from my personal collection. Yes, they've both been worn a few times - but not much, since there isn't much call for BBQ in NY... The winner gets his choice of one or the other.


I'm a practical guy about clothing. Wranglers, uniform boots, sweatshirts, flannel ... I like to be comfortable, and I'm a cheap sonofabitch about clothing. $60 for a pair of Levis? Screw that; I can buy three pairs of Wranglers that fit better and last longer for the same money. That said, I am willing to pay for durability.

I somehow got on the mailing list for Duluth Trading. A lot of their stuff looks like it's pretty solid, and the "no crack" shirts are damn near designed for IWB carry. Anyone ever bought any of their stuff? Thoughts? I need a few things.

Christmas Wish List

These grabbed my attention in a hurry, since a Sharpie is part of my daily carry stuff. Stainless and refillable? Oh YES please!

This rail/handguard for the Pale Horse would be spiffy. Sticking with the Pale Horse, this scope and this buttstock would round it out perfectly... Along with a set of reloading dies (and the crimp die).

And if you're feeling really generous, the S&W 1911SC E-series would be great.

(No one EVER said my wish list had to be reasonable.)

Nov 8, 2012

Winter stuff

Winter has (mostly) arrived here in the Northeast, so I figured I'd punch a few of the seasonal buttons:
- Have you changed batteries in your smoke and CO alarms?
- Have you checked and re-inflated your tires? (Mine were 5psi low all the way around with the temperature drop.)
- Have you shut off and drained your outside taps?
- If you use a solid-fuel appliance, have you had the chimney or vent cleaned and inspected?
- Is your car kit up to date?

Enjoy the weather!

Nov 7, 2012

Fair seas and following winds...

The USS Enterprise (CVN-65) is being decommissioned.

The world's first nuclear aircraft carrier is being shut down.

Then again, there are plenty of letters left in the alphabet. (I'd give you a video clip, but Paramount is a beast about copyright.)
Seen over at ENDO:

I approve.

But in better news:
Congratulations, Mr. President. Let's get to work.

Nov 6, 2012

Next game

MrsZ sent me the link to this review.
"When a player lands on the “Social Justice” game board space, they draw a “Social Justice” card, read it to the group, and players for whom the card applies must pay the designated dollar penalties listed on the card. Let’s just say no one likes to land on the “Social Justice” spaces; they are described as “examples of intrusive government.”"
Buy it here. I intend to. :)

Nov 4, 2012

Winter sounds

Round about sunset tonight, I was doing the usual household chores, and took the compost out to the bin. As I came in, it started to snow a bit - little pellets, not big flakes, but snow nonetheless.

I stopped and stood, and listened to the rattle of snow on dry fallen leaves.

A bird winged by on the way home for the night, just a fluttery whisper over the rattling snow.

One of the goats snorted and stamped in her stall.

But over it all; near and far... rattling snow.

Nov 2, 2012

In other news...

My truck had this to say on the way home last night:

I completely agree.
I can't even think of a title for this one.

I've seen in several places snarky comments about the after-effects of Sandy; it being a "measly Category 1", New York not knowing how to handle it, suck it up and move on, etc.

You know something? Fuck you.

No, seriously, FUCK YOU.

You're right, people weren't as prepared as they could or should have been. Neither was New Orleans.

You're right, the death toll thus far hasn't been extreme - but then again, one is too many, regardless of where the storm is.

Our buildings aren't built to hurricane codes. Roofs come off, basements and cellars (those are rooms under the house, where you southerners normally have skirting around the frame) flood, foundations crumble, and things come apart. Will people rebuild to hurricane code? Probably not. It's a lot of extra cost for a hundred-year storm.

NYC is shut down while mass transit comes back online. Ten MILLION people live and work there. I just googled "New Orleans subway". It gave the address of several places I can get a healthy sandwich.

Next month, let's dump a foot of snow on Alabama and see what happens. It's only a measly foot of snow. I thought you Southerners were tough.

ETA: Andie has this to say in comments, and she's bang-on:
Regardless of the NATURE of the disaster, the lack of adequate PREPARATION on the parts of those hit, the DAMAGE has been done, and now it is (IMHO) about getting the areas hit back into some semblance of order for daily living. It isn't about being snarky, pointing fingers, or political haymaking.