Showing posts with label Ludditical trauma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ludditical trauma. Show all posts

Jul 26, 2015

What I saw in America

Beautifully restored and maintained atop "The Pinnacle" overlooking the Cumberland Gap.

The Civil War piece, originally emplaced for a battle never fought, inspired three of our fellow citizens.

If the gods are just, Gary C. was stricken limp forever and Alicia C. became permanently frigid. DGB should be let off with multiple public horse whippings and a court order barring reproduction.

Jul 11, 2015

Why stop there?

Washington says it's time to update the obsolete M4 carbine in its various passé costumes.   RFPs and bids and spec sheets and dream sheets and I don't know what-all are flying around the Pentagon and all rest of the Military-Industrial Complication.

Okay, look, I admit modern warriors know infinitely more about modern warfare than I do, and they can point to many glorious and clear-cut military victories in the past 40 years or so to prove it.

But sometimes a fellow wonders.

According to this guy, one of the many new specs will be "Adding room for more attachments on the carbine (e.g laser sights, flashlights, bipods)."

Is that the limit of the desiderata, or is the "e.g." meant to include other handy enhancements? How about a barrel-attached manifold to heat C-rats?   A flip-up,  lighted makeup mirror? Other e.g.?

(Off-stage voice) C-rats, you idiot? They haven't been issued in at least two generations. Shaddup!

Good point. The last OD can of lima beans was issued when the soldier's weapon was considered a rifle, a battle weapon, instead of just another MOLLE load-bearing gizmo. My bad, and I'll drag my sorry old butt down to the VFW club and whisper my opinions into a  50-cent draft Grain Belt while the guy next to me brags about potting NorComs at 800 yards with his Garand up near the Chosin Reservoir.

Jul 25, 2014

Klem Kadiddlehopper gets a new car.

And he doesn't even have to drive it when he's takin' Alice out to see the submarine races in her frilly blue gown.

My native state is pretty well known for over-reaching, but historically that has been mostly by Klem and his fellow agrarians over-reaching for green government checks.*

Lately we have expanded our ambition and decided to lead the world in high-tech endeavor, and Johnson County wants to be in the forefront. It is Iowa City, the University of Iowa, the place that gave one Barack Obama his start back in '08 and turned out 67 per cent for him in 2012.

I mean, that is one progressive cow-pasture, so in a way I endorse its lust to be home to the driverless car. Any populace that loony should be relieved of all possible adult-like responsibility.

The cheerleaders, however, overstate their case.  Here's a guy named Nolte:

We as humans overestimate our competency for safety behind the wheel,” according to Nolte. “When you compare us to these (driver-free) systems — we are going to have 360 degree vision, they’ll never get tired, they’ll never get distracted, they’ll be able to communicate with other vehicles with the infrastructure — they are vastly superior from a safety standpoint than humans ever will be.”

Okay, maybe it is more like hyperventilation than simple overstatement.

And I wonder if Johnson County will invite General Motors to plunk its miracle cars down on campus streets. If it does, I wonder if it will be before or after GM learns how to build an ignition switch that doesn't kill you.

Just, y'know, to sort of demonstrate that the company is really getting the hang of this electrical computer thing.


*I'm going to try it myself. The horseradish out back is flourishing. So I'm gonna go see the county extension agent to see how much the gummint will pay me to grow less next year.  It he says no I'll have to settle for you guys paying for my horseradish crop insurance.

Jun 23, 2014

See? Saw

"Hitachi,'  I believe, transliterates as "rice hulls with a dragon-shit binder, carefully injection molded." But perhaps I err.  Hope so.

The DeWalt 12-inch mitre saw buzzed off after two decades of hard use and nonexistent maintenance.  I was sad, but she'd earned her rest after cutting untold thousands of kerfs in everything from from fine cocobolo to junk oak kindling, bark on, at an ownership cost of something like a buck-ten a month.

There was no identical replacement at any of the usual suspect retailers around here, so I hied me to Menards which was advertising an epitcanthicly enhanced  $300 version on sale for $200. Wrote the check this morning, hauled her home, plugged her in,  and made a few cuts before reading the instruction manual, just to prove my libertarian manhood..

The garish green appears identical to some day-glo sneakers I saw  on a girl jogger yesterday, so maybe I'm at last riding the fashion wave.

She works fine and feels okay, even the laser beam that magically predicts the kerf center.  I should not like that sort of modernistic gimcrackery. But, dammit, I do.

As to her ultimate place in my affections, ask me in 20 years.

Apr 29, 2014

Fashion, Sports, and the Bug-Eyed Luddite

No matter how fast I run, I can't even catch the first slight rise in the cultural curve.

For instance, watching the Drake Relays, I wonder when girl pole vaulters started buying their leaping suits from Victoria's Secret.

(I can not find it in myself to condemn this instance of gratuitous modernism.)

Apr 1, 2014

Second Prelude to a Loophole AAR

Not meaning to over tease, but the loophole isn't actually over yet. The afterglow continues tonight with a rendezvous in the Great Room of the Commandant's Quarters here at Camp Jiggleview of which I am Commandant. Please stay tuned.

Meanwhile, my existential crisis is over, thanks to four astute readers. She stays:

She remains out in the cold:

(Sister Ship)

I sort of hate to pass a dolled-up JMB adaptation in moderately convenient carry size,  but my commenters made their case on romantic and theological grounds. (JAGSC: Savage more huggable. and GMA John warned, Lose the Savage, lose your soul. Both Stephen and Stretch endorsed them in one way or another.) I am grateful for the counsel and will be until I see some friend -- or, worse, a jerk I dislike -- wearing one at a barbecue.

My gratitude, Gentlemen, moves me to award you each a Dr. Lucy:


All is not lost in my mild urge to downsize my main carriable from the big SW 645. The Sig is offered at $800, and I suppose I could resolve to live on Kraft macaroni and cheese for several weeks and just buy the danged thing.

Or I could get off my butt, turn off the computer, quit blogging for a while, and finish the half-done Commander project. The big hangup is lack of a slide for the short AMT frame. If any of you happen to have a spare one for a 4 1/4 barrel, I'll give you a Lucy, too. And some money if you insist.

Mar 12, 2014

What's the frequency, Kenneth? (More bizarre than...)

This does not bode well. A trigger-lock company trying to buy Remington?

Aside from writing like a bunch of long-winded nerds...

("This model, which takes advantage of market trends, technological advances (Most of you will want to stop reading the red print here; I just wanted to give serious language students enough jargon and cant to convey the full buzz-word flavor) and industry consolidations to fuel profitable growth, presents a value proposition that is perfectly suited to the military armament industry, an industry that is heavily fragmented and evolving rapidly toward a RFID/WiFi-enabled technology platform. In this dynamic environment, we see enormous opportunity to consolidate this market with a program of targeted acquisitions, including the proposed Freedom transaction. Technological convergence is the future in the cyber/smart arms arena and we're eager to leverage our proven history of success by helping Freedom and others navigate the transition from analog to digital.")

.. .the predator company says things which make a guy scratch his head. Among its other bragadocci we find:

Global Digital Solutions is positioning itself as a leader in providing cyber arms manufacturing, complementary security and technology solutions and knowledge-based, cyber-related, culturally attuned social consulting in unsettled areas.

 "culturally attuned social consulting in unsettled areas?"  If there is any actual meaning  there, it escapes me. So I'll make something up.

GDS buys Remington. After a short R and D period, it sells you a  a G5 or 6 or 7 cell phone with an accessory clip for a Model 700. When in an unsettled area you can either shoot at stuff if you can remember the code to tell your phone to unlock the trigger. or you can just settle yourself on a lonely stump and text.

UPDATE: I think we can rest easy.  GDS doesn't have enough money to buy the rusted Remington 742 I picked up for parts last week. The release wasn't satire, but it was the CEO's way of crying out for help. "Oh look at me. Please. I am so pretty."  'course, if you want to take a chance, you can buy a share of the company stock for 86 cents.

Mar 6, 2014

Radio Shack

Radio Shack is going broke, closing about 1,000 stores in a drive to streamline itself back into some sort of shaky solvency. I should feel worse about this than I do, but in my view the company died about 1980.

Earlier, about the time I left the Navy, the fad among young college bucks was to build a hi-fi set with the innards showing, lined up on a shelf unit with our most intellectual-appearing paperbacks. It was supposed to impress chicks, the glowing vacuum tubes an avant garde space-age substitute for romantic candles as Sinatra crooned.

You had two basic supply choices. One was the excellent Allied Radio catalog.

Radio shack was almost as cheap and more fun because you could get your stuff right there on Main Street. Besides, the salesman (and it would be a man)  knew more about audio electronics than you did, and you usually did well to take his advice.

So I spent some money at Radio Shack, 6n6s, can capacitors, tube sockets, and pref-steel chassis. This went on for a decade or so, including a period when I kept a decrepit five-channel mobile CB on the air with over-the-counter RS parts.

Than along came those damned transistors and binary and the furshlugginer Japanese.

Radio Shack and I began an amicable severance of our relationship. It  became fractious the  first time I wandered in asking for a "common" tube I needed to put an ancient and discarded Associated Press Wirephoto telephone amplifier in order. The little creep behind the counter sighed and picked his nose and told me nobody used tubes anymore but maybe he could order it  or maybe not and could he interest me in a bubble packed transistorized solid state radio controlled Corvette instead? All the cats were doing it.

Our local RS went broke three or four years ago. There's one about 15 miles away -- a good place to sign up for overpriced cell-phone "plans," but if you happen to want a 100-ohm +/- 5 per cent resistor, you are SOL, buddy.

So my sadness is muted at seeing Mr. Tandy's dream on extended death watch.


Tandy? The hide peddler? Yes indeed. Once, I can't remember where, I was in a large store, half devoted to pre-digital Radio Shack electronics, half to piles of cowhide and leather-tooling supplies. Bliss.

Stephan's Gunslinger was right. The world has moved on.

Jan 22, 2014

The Renaissance Man Knows

Just teasing -- getting ready for one or more really tiresome  screeds.

With a free math application (newspeak "app" -- oldspeak: "program")  on every magic telephone, why would a guy burden himself by memorizing multiplication tables?

And with advanced technology like this:

Why the heck should anyone bother with learning to tie a tautline hitch?

Security code: Unit of Self-Sufficiency

Dec 23, 2013

Waiting for the house sitter ...

.. and looking at the pile.

Even discounting gaudy packages, it is disheartening.

A brief case of reading and writing stuff. Another for a laptop and assorted electronics. Spare body parts, mainly reading glasses which are always eloping with my Bics. A suitcase of respectable clothes and a kit to make me presentable. A small satchel of tools. A bag of cold-weather clothes in case of stranding in a drifted ditch. Emergency food for the same scenario. Dog food. Dog water. Dog treats. Other stuff. All told maybe a hundred pounds for a very brief trip.

Once, I packed for a day in three minutes after breakfast. An Army surplus musette  bag with a can of Campbells chicken noodle soup, big enamel cup for cooking, canteen, handful of waxed kitchen matches, a few slices of Wonder bread, some just buttered, some with jam. If Mom wasn't too distracted by the little sisters, she would add cookies. A Western "hunting" knife rode on the belt, and the four-blade scout knife lived in the jeans picket.

Richie Lazear and Ron Jordison were equipped about the same, and I can't recall any of our all-day hikes down the river failing due to logistics. (Usually to Wildcat Den or Woodman Hollow, long before politicians decided they should become official wild places with a list of rules posted.)

For a while we carried a hatchet. Then we decided two rocks were fine for fine for cracking the hickory nuts. Another complication eliminated.

I know. This trip is entirely different. So are the times. So am I. But it still recalls the banal observation that we become slaves to our things.

Monk it. Move to Innisfree. Find a pleasant  cave.  Plait some nice clothes out of nettles. Say wise things to the pilgrims who come to sit at my feet.

Dec 22, 2013

Sunday Symphony

1. I have been forced to speak sharply to Tam for negativity about weapons favored by patriotic old Luddites everywhere. A sad duty here in this season of charity and love, but some offenses must not go unchallenged.

2. I have created a war zone in my back yard. When I cook, I cook too much and freeze leftovers.  I accumulate too much nearly stale bread. From time to time, including last evening, space limitations make me bag it all up for the wild bunch. I generally spread it out atop the propane tank, a place which, despite valiant efforts, New Dog Libby can not reach. This morning I was entertained by a pair of quarrelome blue jays fighting for the orts as, below, a red squirrel smugly fattened himself on the stuff they scattered. Both jays and squirrel suffered a strategic reverse when my current feral cat, a big long-haired grey, arrived to take charge.

3. In days gone by, Christmas was time for intense creative energy trying to find just  the right gift. Time passes. Patience fades. I now judge the appropriateness of a present by how easy it is to wrap. If my family cares to consider this a warning, so be it.

4. You don't know much about the history of the Russian River, do you? Me either, so I was glad to pick up the paperback The Russian River (ISBN 0-553-28844 x)  and get the general drift painlessly, along with what might have been a few entertaiing and credible tales from the far western branch of the 1820s fur trade.  I muddled through,  although an early reference to a six-foot diameter Indian tent being comfortable for six or seven people pretty well destroyed its credibility.  (Sketch it out.) This is part of a "Rivers of America" series which is supposed to be a set of novels with a useful background of geographic and cultural truth. The other one I read, about the Powder River, wasn't much better. Too bad, a great idea poorly executed, I would guess because adequate writers were forced to work hastily.

5. The monkey balls are rolling loose. It's been tens of degrees below average for a long time, but I'm getting weary of Gore jibes. So Happy Holidays, Al, and I hope you can find a way to live with all that cheap natural gas coming out of North Dakota. If not, do us a favor and freeze in the dark.

Nov 4, 2013

Cottonwood boles at 20 paces

Just a place holder here. I'm fully occupied reducing logs to firewood. The splitter works like a dream, even if it looks hardly at all like a product from The Sharper Image.

I'm pleased to have it, but I fear the wood will not burn so brightly. It will lack the seasoning sweat, the hand-splitter vulgarities hurled at knots and school marms, the indefinable charm of nature put to good use without the intervening stink of gas and oil. Still, as I say, it's a good thing to own for a man approaching the years of his maturity.

I'll be back before long, and among the first orders of business I intend to challenge Rand Paul to a duel.

Jul 24, 2013

My latest pome

I be not a ze, nor am I a zir.
My dad took a look and said I ain't her.

So "him" I am stuck with for all of my alls,
a captive of both those imperious balls.

It's pleasant enough for this hillbilly, hence
I harbor no envy for androgenous prince.

Or princess mayhap, depending, you see,
on the position ze chooses when needing to pee.


For crying out loud. 

Jun 22, 2013

Britannia waives the rules

I'm for Women's Lib and equal pay for equal incompetence and all that. But, jayzuss, Ladies, do you leave us Chappies nothing of our grand Nelsonian tradition?

Out: "Here's to our wives and sweethearts."

In: "Here's to our families."

I suppose the jocular Mess Night addendum, "May they never meet," could still be appropriate, but by Jove, Man, it just doesn't sing.

Jun 18, 2013

The Left-Handed Gun

My youngest heir and assign -- who is everything you could possibly want in a lad --  soon becomes a legal adult. He intends to celebrate his emancipation with his first very-own-bought-it-myself-center-fire rifle.  A respectful young man, he has been seeking my counsel. (OK, maybe he's just humoring me, but I prefer to think otherwise so never mind.)

It's complicated  because he shoots from the wrong side, limiting his selection in bolt guns and sending him in search of pumps and semi-autos. I've been trying to steer him away from autos, apparently not very successfully.

Last evening's exchange was about his newly discovered lust for a Remington Model 8 (!). I understand. It is admittedly a beautiful rifle in a findy sickle sort of way, so an admirable share of Gramps' penchant for tradition remains alive in the blood line.

I suppose that's balanced by an equal ratio of willfulness, so he may actually wind up with one despite my gentle suggestion that  this JMB-design is now a better collector than it is a shooter. For instance, you need ammo in the midst of a mulie hunt down in the  high Uncompahgre desert. Do you really think you can find a box of .25-.35 at the one-pump gas station, bar, and trading post over on the reservation road jeep trail?

The discussion continues. I'll see what I can do about pointing him at a Remington 760 or the like while we look hard for a proper wrong-side bolt-action. Wish me luck.


I like semi-autos just fine.  I also like the ideas of (a) greater field dependability of hand-operated guns and (b) a young man concentrating on careful one-shot marksmanship before he gets too ratatattatty.


EDIT: An astute  reader questions .25-.35. It's a little obscure but the reference is ".25 Remington (also called .25-.35)..."

May 28, 2013

Making the Underclass Rowdy

While I'm enduring the fourth straight day of rain, fog, and other symptoms of  a world that needs to change its underwear, I'm occupying my time with electronical media.

It's mostly the internet where a little luck on the broker's site will help recoup the cost of those two recent loopholes.  So far this morning, the realized Federal Reserve Cartoons compensate for just under 1 per cent of the Colt/Garand outlay, meaning about 120 straight days of such wild speculation will bring me back to even, FRC-wise, assuming Chairman Bernanke doesn't add  more afterburners over at the Bureauof Printing and Engraving.

But with the other eye I'm occasionally glancing at C-Span where Brooks Brothers   boxers are getting all knotted about the internet "radicalizing" (exclamation points and OMGs) people.

I am sure it does to one degree or another, just like every other mass-communication  enhancer  in history, going back to the papyrus megaphone.  One of the better examples is our own penny press, born in the middle 19th Century (and haven't things gone to Hell since then?).

The internet mimics every other endeavor which makes it easier and easier to prate to  more and more people. In other words, like television and public schools, it arms stupid people with information.*

Even Wiki agrees. The penny papers cost about one-fifth the price of the  established rags and, to boot, offered a powerful selling point:

Simple vocabulary and diction allowed for lower-class and less educated readers to easily understand.

Now, if this way of thinking appeals to the C-Span hand wringers this morning, the logical debate must consider which to outlaw first, the National Enguirer or the Travis McGee Reader and its ilk. Those lower classes are downright dangerous when they learn about stuff happening over in the next block.


*Or words and pictures that seem like information. That's important, but it's a subject for another essay.

Mar 23, 2013

Saturday Suckage: Remington 31 Surgery?

It would be elective because:

Not  all that bad. She is what it is, used, moderately well cared for over most of her 65 years, tight and working fine. However:

This can be explained. The owner wanted a selection of chokes. This Lyman add-on was popular in the 1940s when this 31 left Ilion.
This defies logic and even a pretty good imaginative stab. Dropped on a spinning stone? An angle grinder gone postal? Pure malice? 

So, despite her classic status, her collectiblity is long gone, victim of  accessorizing mutilation and some unspeakable workshop atrocity. 

 Does she go on the rack as simply a spare for a hunter who arrives empty-handed? No, not necessary. She would be about a fourth spare, and I don't know that many people likely to come for shooting and forget to bring a gun. (Ammo-free visitation is quite another matter.)

Take her to another loophole and try again to get  something like 150 Federal Reserve Cartoons?  It didn't work last weekend. In fact, I don't think anyone even fondled her. Economics: She commanded a bride price  of either $85 or $60, depending on how my CPA decides to allocate the $25 profit from a J.C. Higgins bolt action 12 gauge which accompanied her. So I'm not in over my financial head on this one, The decision is aesthetic, not monetary.

A makeover is possible. Chop her down to the legal limit, smear some JB on the gouge, smooth everything out with files and emery, then bring her to tactical glory with some of that nice black spray 'n' bake stuff from Brownells.

I suppose that would be okay. At least she'd look acceptably tactical if I decided to pose in my GI combat pants, M1951 field jacket, and the beret, if I can find it. I could put it on the internet and be cool.

But it seems like a cruel fate for a dowager who, however time-ravaged, still retains the grace of, errr, well, say, Princess Grace in her time. 

Sometimes a guy just doesn't know what the Hell to do.



Mar 13, 2013

Tales from the reloading shack

I finally said to Hell with it. The Catholics could probably pick a new Pope without my counsel, so I switched off the idiotic cable channels and hit the reloading room.

Turns out I was right about the Pope, of course. A Pope from the Pampas. First Jesuit ever, and I suspect that will be interesting. I had a great grad school buddy, a Jesuit priest who -- true to type -- liked to fool around with Aristotelian logic, a discipline overdue for renewed respect here in the image-mad 21st Century, and I -- as a backslid Methodist --  can find no reason whatsoever why my Catholic friends should not lead us out of the of darkness of reasoning via sound bites and photo ops.

But I digress. Worse, I intrude on arcane and complex theological matters, a field best left to such experts such as Tammy Faye, Jerry Wright,  and Jimmy Swaggert.


It  began as a .30-06 afternoon for no better reason that these noble dies were in the press. Production was just one box, 20 rounds, carrying a 125-grain SP,  Sierras (I think) at a book speed of just under 3,000. It's a little heavy for gophers, somewhat under powered for woolly mammoths, but usable for either. (Obligatorily: "If I do my part.")

Besides, it's fun to reload, hefty enough for a big-handed guy to handle without tweezers and pretty forgiving from any reasonable safety stand point.

But not that forgiving, and I took a spiritual break during the process to thank Whomever that I am such a frightened old woman when in the vicinity of high combustibles. The partial green box of bullets was plainly marked 125 grain SP. Something doesn't feel quite right. So weigh one. 150 grains. Weigh them all. 150 grains each. Recall that I buy a lot of components at auctions and loophole shows, and some sellers are just not trustworthy. Dig out the actual 125 grainers and proceed as planned, then on to the real chore that's been nagging at my conscience.

A few hundred unprocessed 5.56x45 mm cases (also known as the .223 McNamara Stalemate)  have been kicking around the shack since about 2006. It isn't that there's a shortage of ready rounds at hand. It's more like a spiritual obligation. Any empty cartridge case calls to Heaven. "I feel so empty. Help me, please. So lonely. Prime me. Fulfill me."

Compassionate to even the most inadequate, I yielded to the little devils. I yielded for quite a while, enough to get about half of them ready for primers. Then even my patience ran out. Perhaps tomorrow.

But seriously, folks, I have nothing other than my assaultish looking rifle in which to shoot these things, and I do understand that they can be supremely accurate in an actual gun. If I organize those facts into a rationale for buying yet another bolt-action rifle, I do so hope you will be understanding.

Dec 30, 2012

A fire-free funk

The little gas burner, running about half-speed, issues a hissy warmth, and the thermometer on my desk registers 72 degrees. I shouldn't be cold enough to require a jacket over a sweater over a shirt, all topped by my blaze orange hunting cap.

My wood fire is dying, down to a few smoldering embers, marking my hours of depression on a dead winter night. On the other side of the big window it approaches zero,

Still, 72 degrees? Such a swelter would have moved my ancient Gaelic fathers to throw wide the door to the thatched-roof drystone hut.

It must be as Yogi said: "Half  of this game is 90 per cent mental."


About once a week the ashes pile high, and you must haul them out. There is no workaround. You let the fire expire, get the special shovel, and carry it three times across the room, out the door, and along the deck. A deft toss deposits them in a pile.

Meanwhile, you briefly live like most other civilized Americans, with fossil-fuel heat, available at the twist of a knob. If you're me, you hate it. There is something inherently, atavisticly, wrong with comfort so easily won.

A thousand generations of human experience calls it good to loll by fire light and fire warmth. Hearthside is where a man bathes in a feeling of competence; he has mastered nature's cold by personal sweat, personal creativity. How do we praise highly enough that first human who reasoned that if he piled his wood around the fire pit he had a wind break, the first faint conceptualization of a house?


I could do that man, or woman, more honor by  getting up from the goddam computer and taking care of the fireless fireplace right now. But it's still dark, and the magic of the propane fairy is marginally more attractive than stumbling around in the outside night, dumping the dross and assembling kindling and squaw wood for a fresh blaze. I'll do it after sunrise, a couple of hours off. By eight o'clock three or four  large, dry, oak splits will be combustifying happily, and life will again be balanced.

Oct 24, 2012

Junk on my bunk

Six pieces of it, sent my way through a friend for a value opinion and an offer. The friend will buy the scabby but working Remington 11-48  as a spare gun.

Leaving a neglected and butchered Remington 31, dinged, rusty, and with a receiver gouge that could only have been done with a grinder. It sports one of those old Lyman screw-on choke tubes, likely frozen in place. Too bad. It was a graceful gun from John Pederson who undoubtedly tipped his hat to Mr. Browning (PBUH) for some of the basic design.

Leaving also a J.C. Higgins bolt-action 12 gauge, a Stevens 16-gauge single, an Ithaca 72 (by Erma of West Germany)  lever .22,

And the heartbreaker, a Winchester 37 in .410,  bad enough to require butchering -- like this -- nearly unthinkable for an old Winchester.  Stock cracks and chips. Battered butt plate. Hints of blue highlight a motif of rust. It just spent too much time rattling around in the leaky rumble seat of a Model A.

My offer for all five is on the table, probably so low as to insult the owner, but high enough I really hope he declines. It isn't as though there are too few projects cluttering up evey damned horizontal surface I own.

(The cheap Ithaca is somewhat presentable and probably works. Having a little experience with Ermaverksjerks, I'd just shoot it until something breaks -- more likely sooner than later --  then screw it to a barn board and sell it to some older party who needs to decorate his rumpus room.)