Jun 30, 2010

The Lonely Sliver Rain

'Too many had gone away and too many had died. Without realizing it, it had happened so slowly, I had moved a generation away from the beach people.'' 

--Travis McGee

Well, I ain't no virgin,

but I'm kinda chaste  with score of 95 on the libertarian purity test. The test maker tells me:

You have entered the heady realm of hard-core libertarianism. Now doesn't that make you feel worse that you didn't get a perfect score?

Not really. As I wrote on the fly leaf of the hardback  "Atlas Shrugged" I gave my son when he graduated from high school, "Any idea can be applied reasonably or unreasonably."

Take the test.

H/T to Uncle

I've actually been missing the Rooshuns

This is wonderful. Invisible ink.  Secret codes, Dead drops. Attache cases stuffed with cash. A gorgeous Rose dripping poison.

After all these years of dealing with crazy religion freaks from the Sandbox, it's nice to be spied on by secret agents with a little class.

Where is Prohias.?

-...   -.--        .---   ..  --


Jun 29, 2010

The Tesla, zero to 60 in only $100,000

And for around $15 you can own a piece of the action, one share.  As your trusted investment advisor, I urge you to instead spend the $15 on magazines with Tesla advertisements.  Then, in a couple of generations,  if the American Pickers come around to your grandson's house...


May I invite your attention to bacon?  Particularly a very nice apple wood smoked bacon? At $1.389 per pound?

It is not the money savings. It is that the five-pound, $6.99,  box of  "ends and pieces"  has vastly more lean meat than any other bacon I can buy -- including even the excellent slab in the fresh meat case at my Fareway.  This judgement comes after using four boxes.

This stuff is excellent, and you can forget the usual  rationalization  that it's for salads and  crumbled pork recipes. Most  of it looks fine on a platter.

I don't know how widely it is distributed,  but if you are anywhere in the Midwest  look for a plain white cardboard box from Webster City Custom Meats, Inc. of Webster City, Iowa.

I am not a paid endorser, and,  no,  it is not available in a tactical container or  in bandoleer  battle packs.

Jun 28, 2010

Fear and Loathing in Chicago

The Chicago Tribune hasn't  yet been able to get Boss Daley's latest opinion on the mercy killing of his cherished  gun ban.*

But the Trib is on the streets with a fairly straightforward report of McDonald. Deliciously,  it reports Justice Alito's reference to legislative calls for the National Guard to be summoned to fight  Chicago criminals since Daley's mob  has obviously failed. The  paper also notes Alito's reference to the number of Chicago homicides this year which just happen to equal the number of American military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan for the same period. Then:

"If (the) safety of . . . law abiding members of the community would be enhanced by the possession of handguns in the home for self-defense, then the Second Amendment right protects the rights of minorities and other residents of high-crime areas whose needs are not being met by elected public officials, (Alito wrote.) "

This is beginning to sound like a mirror image of Arizona and Fremont, Nebraska.
They took local action against crime  because the federal government couldn't or wouldn't do its job.   In McDonald,  the federal judiciary justified federal  action  -- however indirect -- against local crime because  Chicago politicians had buggered the job. I know the parallel is strained, but the irony makes it worthwhile.

*As a matter of reality, the ban applied exclusively to Daley's  law-abiding subjects.


McDonald -- got it

No surprises in the decision. Amendment Two applies to you where ever you are on American soil.

Just a passing note while we await the details. Mark Sherman of The Associated Press informs us:

"In doing so, the justices, by a narrow 5-4 margin, signaled that less severe restrictions could survive legal challenges. "

This saves us from the error of believing that it was a wide five-to-four decision, or a massive one, or a landslide.

It also reminds of of how many great minds still believe firearms should be reserved for the military, the cops, and the violent criminal class.

McDonald today?

The wires are reporting that McDonald will probably  come down from the Supreme Court his morning.  No surprise, of course.

Everyone and his horse predicts McDonald will rein in Chicago and all other state and local jurisdictions. It would formally extend the Heller principle  --  that the  Second Amendment   guarantees the individual right to armed self-defense -- to the entire nation. If it goes any other way we are well and truly augered.

One of the interesting speculations is whether the court will have taken note of D.C. attempts to  all but nullify Heller. Will the justices  offer some guidance on  where "reasonableness" ends as hoplophobic local governments try to maximize their power to  disarm the honest segment of the population?

Jun 27, 2010

Weekend Blog Bleg; Direct Barter

There must be other pack rats around here -- people who periodically look at a pile of their gun stuff and wonder, "What the Hell am I doing with this?" It a symptom of the acquisitive disease that manifests itself in too many gun shows, too many auctions and garage sales, too many moments when we lose control in gun shops.

Does the gunny corner of the internet offer hope? Maybe, and I want to try an experiment.  Every weekend or thereabouts I will post a  picture and short spiel on a sporty something that  someone else might want because I sure as Hell don't. The object is direct barter for anything that  might be less superfluous  to me.

Rules: Nothing that shoots. No money changes hands. Entertainment trumps the profit motive.  No sniveling.

This week, fanfare:

The  Carlson  Extended Turkey Choke in 12 gauge for Beretta and Benelli shotguns.  NIB(ubble),  it comes with a free choke wrench and my personal guarantee that it will make your shotgun longer. It's supposed to be a $30 item, but who cares? Offer to swap knives, M1 Carbine dies,  deer skins, rawhide,  USN relics valued at 50 cents to fifty bucks.  Whatever.

This could develop into good  fun if other writers would follow suit. In a short time it could become like everyone pawing around in everyone else's goodie box.

EDIT: I am ashamed of neglecting to add that the Clinton/Bush/Obama regimes have made it very worthwhile to polish our direct barter skills.

Jun 26, 2010

Paging Noah

I spoke a bit prematurely when I wrote "just some rain."  . I'm guessing about an inch in 10 minutes.  You are looking at flowing water,  and the  revised forecast calls for  for floating cows

(The odd lighting is explained by a habit of never discarding anything. It's pitch black here in back yard, and the illumination is from an old movie light I keep around to scare goblins.)

This is why they invented the word "ominous."

That was the  front of the bar about 8:15 p.m. CDT.  I'm near the back edge now, just some  rain and a bit of wind.

Surviving the Clinton/Bush/Obama economy

I am reminded this  morning that eternal vigilance is the price of avoiding poverty.

One of my knives needed a touch up, so I wet  down a hard Arkansas stone  with Buck Honing Oil  and did the job. (The high-grade oil showed up in a box of auction-sale junk. Trust me on this one, Sidney; I did not order it from Cabela's.)

The red oil from Buck works fine, At two bucks an ounce it should. Never mind that it looks like, smells like, and feels like plain automatic transmission fluid,  about two bucks a quart.

Now, saving a little on honing oil isn't going to make or break you, but there's a principle involved here. Illegitimati non screw u with salesmanship based on pure image. 

(Slaves to their own self-image can, of course, acquire an empty Buck Honing Oil bottle and fill it from their stock of transmission fluid. No one will be the wiser, even if knife sharpening is a social activity for you and your circle of friends.)

A disclaimer is necessary since everything I know about chemistry  comes from  The Anarchists Cook Book or Old Mr. Boston's Bartenders Guide. Maybe upscale honing oil in a cool bottle differs from ATF on a molecular level.

But then again, come to think of it, maybe neither is all that much better than spit.

Jun 24, 2010

Washington Post: Foul. Name taken.

Michael W. Savage of the  Washington Post offers a report on the diaper dew accumulating on Washington bottoms because our cute little state and local governments are doing what they can to cope with the costs of illegal immigration. He reports:

This week, the spotlight shifted to rural Fremont, which narrowly passed an ordinance that would outlaw hiring illegal immigrants or renting property to them.


Mike, Ol' Buddy, y'all wouldn't be tryin' to pull one of them city-boy shim-shams on us flyover yokels now, would you?

Fremont citizens  voted 57-43 to pass their ordinance. You might wish to check through your pile editorial oversight and multiple layers of fact-checking . You may  find that most authorities call a 14-point spread a "landslide,"

Skin, Slapstick, even a Seltzer Bottle Assault

Folks, you gotta see this one, from 1968, "The Night They Raided Minsky's."  Britt Ecklund,  beautiful and not the world's worst actress. The under-rated  Jason Robards. A cast of dozens of unknown journeyman players enjoying their revival of vaudeville.

For those whose intellect and  sensibilities are too advanced to embrace mere entertainment, the film can be considered  a libertarian/objectivist  epic. Both Attila and the Witch Doctor are called to action by informers carrying the news that on one night in New York, many citizens  are guilty of open enjoyment.


Forgetting to turn off the stupid box and waking up to whatever is on Showtime at sunrise isn't always a cause for self-hatred. 

Jun 23, 2010


Now that that my native land is a world soccer power, I suppose it behooves me to become an official fan.

So I'll practice drinking strong beer until I puke on the guy in the bleacher seat in front of me.  I'll learn to yell   "f++k"  a lot. And when my team does very well I'll run naked up and down Temple Lane after breaking things inside the Temple Bar. 

(These lessons were learned in Dublin when I met some English gentlemen in town  for a tournament,)

Anything else I should be working on?

Jun 22, 2010

Fremont and the Illegals -- (And The ACLU gets Unicorny)

It is now the law in Fremont, Nebraska that you must obtain a license to rent a place to live. Washington refuses to do the  job  right, so a fed-up small town is goaded into doing it wrong.

Lawyers from Fremont to K Street are starting their meters, and the ACLU is in the act. The Civil Liberties Union does some excellent work, but it is also capable of missing the the point like a Top Shot reject. On the Fremont decision:

"Not only do local ordinances such as this violate federal law, they are also completely out of step with American values of fairness and equality," said Laurel Marsh, executive director of ACLU Nebraska.

Laurel,  "American values of fairness and equality" is a wobbly chair to stand on. Once upon a not so distant time, lynching black men for looking at white women was within American values of fairness and equality . 

Besides, we have heard so much pseudo -patriotic cant that we are immune.  The Fremont law is vulnerable on Constitutional grounds, and  that is enough for you to  say.

Jun 21, 2010

It's always nice to start a day smiling at a well-turned phrase.

Today's grin, about when worlds collude,  comes courtesy of Roberta, who, by the way,  is a dependably dab hand at the  art.

The post is about screwy flying things, and you science fiction fans will like it. Me? The Piper Cub, the DC3,  and the F-86. No other aircraft is required in reality or in fantasy.


Fremont, Nebraska: Why Not a License to Breathe?

This giant step to toward an  American SSR can be considered with only a little  attention to the snake ball of immigration politics.

Fremont, Nebraska, citizens are angry at and/or fearful of a parade of Hispanics coming to town to work for Hormel and Fremont beef. They're voting today on a law to require a license to rent a place to live.

In Fremont-on-Volga you will go to city hall and fill out a form. Commissars will check to see if you're a legal U.S. resident.  If they like your record, you give them a fee for the license and they give you a chit granting official permission  to live inside, out of the rain. Otherwise, hasta la vista, bambino.  Pitch a tent in the Sand Hills.

The wrongness of this is so appallingly clear I'm wondering how my friends and acquaintances in level-headed Nebraska came to lose their senses.  Perhaps only an unreasoning fear can explain it.

Among other things, I have seen numerous  comments that this will be a great way to  screen all would-be Fremont dwellers for various sins which might make them undesirable. Warrants.  Arrests. Convictions.  Slowly  paid bills. Firearms ownership. Even maybe one of those dastardly library cards.

Little Midwest towns -- like admirable southwest states -- don't do this sort of thing unless they have been badly screwed by a Higher Authority  which is so frightened of irritating one constituency or another that it has found a way to live for years pretending its head is a colonoscopy camera.

Jun 20, 2010

The Estwing Hatchet

The good people of Estwing still make this tool, and they make it in Illinois, which is the next best thing to making it in America.

It is a wonderful tool and you should buy one. I was reminded of this  as I sharpened my ancient example this morning and wondered if anything so good could still be on the market.

(It will break auto safety glass. I mean, just in case you go motoring with Massachusetts politicians.)

You be Peter; It's my Turn to be Paul

We're hearing from His Obamaness and the Unicorns  about the housing market  recovery. Which turns out to have been a non-recovery.

Instead it was another exercise  in extorting money from the frugal and productive and transferring it to the politically lucky.  Yep -- the "tax credits,"  federal handouts for people fortunate enough to be in the market during that brief period when the  government decided to deck the  GDP with boughs of folly.

A slice of the evidence is reported in an article on the "recovery" as it exists in Corn Country's Golden Circle.

Stimulus spending, credits spurs building

...Rick Tollakson, chief executive of Hubbell Homes, said the West Des Moines developer is waiting to see how the market rebounds after the tax-credit falloff. The market "hasn't just died," but it has slowed. 

The lesson is  that there's plenty of demand for houses by people who can get their neighbors to pay a hefty share of the cost. It isn't  as though the neighbors really want to, of course. It's that if they refuse,  His Obamaness will send the IRS around  to confiscate their houses.


If you have little else to do, you might care to spend a few minutes pondering  the headline. :)

Economy has life, but it waits for consumers.

Jun 19, 2010

You may or may not have noticed that I seldom, if ever,  predict, apologize for, justify, explain, or otherwise mention  whether my blogging will be light or heavy or whatever. I'm pretty sure no one gives a great damn. Not to mention that  it is a security violation  to announce plans.

I make an exception here.  Posting pinups  is a cheap and sightly  route to fresh content. The first one was more or less an accident,  a whim after I saw the shot on an internet wander. The others were quick  fillers when I took breaks as  I mowed and chopped and split and trimmed and planted and built.

What I mean to say is this damned place looks about as good as it ever does.

I might mount up again this evening and help y'all ridicule Obama, His Unicorns, and J. Edgar Hoplophobe. Then again, I might not. It depends  on whether  I get tired of sitting on the deck,  sipping, admiring the fruits of honest labor, and reminding myself of what a sterling character I possess.

An illustrated history of WW2

Okay, JInglebob. Only because you asked:

Women in unifrom, or nearly so.

This is +so+ much easier than developing meaningful little essays.

Jun 16, 2010

John Wants a Shot of Celery

Keep this up and I'll need to activate the adult content nanny.

Art Frahm was another of the good pinup creators in the innocent age of romantic and sexy  images -- before universal porn in your face. He had a celery fetish, and Lileks wrote a funny piece  about it.


What gun for polar bear?

Well I was googling, and...


Jun 15, 2010

Der vurst day

The Des Moines Register national staff takes note of an historic event today. His Obamaness's health  gauleiters  make it official.

"Vee haf ways of making you eat  pschitt, or at least stuff that tastes like it."

The new federal diet guidelines are out today, The headline ogres are cheese, pizza, and sausage.  Take that, Jimmy Dean, enemy of the state.

Already the giant food processors are stumbling over themselves to link arms with the broccoli brown shirts.

If it wasn't for my own good I would be irritated.

Teddy, Miss Kopechne, and the "National Lampoon"

Since we were on the subject,  I thought it would be fun to look at the Volkswagen ad again. Don't miss the line near the bottom, which competes for the title of history's greatest retraction.

Jun 14, 2010

President Ronald Wilson Dontmatter

"Kennedy docs show death threats as late as 1985"

That is the AP headline this morning over a story on newly released documents dealing with the life of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of the House of Hyannisport.

Now please read carefully from the second AP paragraph,   to which the headline refers:

"The documents showed that on May 23, 1985, the U.S. Capitol Police passed onto the FBI a copy of a letter sent to the Secret Service, ostensibly by a Warren, Mich., resident. The sender, whose name was redacted, declared: 'Brass tacks, I'm gonna kill Kennedy and (President Ronald) Reagan, and I really mean it'."

The crazy Michigan woman didn't kill anyone, but this morning an AP writer and at least one AP editor murdered a fair segment of the media's remaining credibility. 

Call it a stupid mistake by two so-called professionals who know full well that many, many readers never go further than the headline and that fewer still go beyond the first paragraph. The quoted paragraph follows  a lede also  mentioning  the threat to Teddy but not the president.

Or perhaps they were aware of the readership studies but somehow secured employment with the world's largest (and once great) wire service with news judgment which holds that a threat to assassinate a senator is highly significant while an identical threat against a sitting president is worth just a throwaway line. 


There's also some fresh documentation that we are quite correct in despising the youngest Kennedy for his cowardice and calculated lies and actions  while Mary Jo sucked in that last horrid lungful of  sea water.  But it is buried deep in the usually  unread sentences which, like as not, would be on the dead-tree jump page if not cut altogether.

For instance, the FBI helped Ted  buy time to get his story arranged for the fawning reporters who aspired,  above all,  to be favored Kennedy courtiers.

Jun 13, 2010

'smithing the 1911

Dirt Crashr has found a WW2 barrel for his 1911, and his photographs create an interesting look at approaches to reliable 1911 feeding.


Jun 11, 2010

The Big 12: Urgent Federal Action Needed

Iowa State is a land-grant university with three over-riding goals, to wit: 

--(a) Teach lads to efficiently grow more row crops than they can profitably sell on the open market. 

--(b) Instruct the same lads in means of extorting sufficient taxpayer money  to guarantee  themselves handsome profits  for  the  unsellable goods mentioned in (a). 

--(c)  Provide low-level entertainment to the rural  masses via wholly-owned subsidiaries playing football and basketball.

Therein comes  comes the  crisis.  Iowa State is a member of the Big 12 athletic conference which seems to be on the verge of going toes up.  The sky is falling. What to do? 

I'm especially anxious to see reports of President  Obama's reaction to this Heartland  drama. Certainly his good friend Sen. Harkin will alert him to the national danger of the Cyclones not having a conference to play in.


Is nothing beneath demands for federal  action?

Here's a plug for two businesses, three if you count Amazon.

Amazon's seller is Shooters World of Dacula, Georgia. The company promised to have my order here by June 22. It appeared in my mailbox June 8.

The product is  a .45 ACP dedicated crimp die from Lee Precision, the good guys in Hartford, Wisconsin. I've been using their stuff for ever,  including the "Lee Loader" on which I loaded my first cartridge sometime during the Harding Administration. Yes, .45 ACP.

The die works as billed, no fuss. I'd never been quite happy with the way my Herter's die crimps the .45s. I was getting too many slightly loose bullets or, in curing that, crimps that I didn't trust to positively headspace the round.  The crimp die solves the problem nicely, and, to boot,  sizes the entire loaded round. If nothing else it adds deep layer of confidence that my loads will chamber perfectly, every time.

It's the second recent reminder how much I like Lee stuff. The first was the .45 Colt die set. I bought it at a Cabela's and asked the clerk to grab me a shell holder. No need, he said. Lee packages a holder with the dies. Good  idea.  Good company.

Jun 10, 2010


This is about a third of them, all I was able to get in a grab shot in the rain. A pair with their offspring wandering  the front yard isn't unusual, but a  whole goose neighborhood decided to picnic here this morning.

(Speaking of Which)

Tomoko in her home on the hlll above Yokosuka Harbor, early 1960s.


Retro beauty

I know. Going to garage sales is declasse.

But I'll accept the lifted eyebrows for the chance to own an as-new   f4.5 Nikon 300.  At  $10.  In 1967 It was something I wanted, sort of needed, and couldn't afford.

The Macro at left  was little cheaper.

I swear, people, I am >this close< to hauling out the FTn bodies and taking real pictures again, even if I have to depend on an outside lab.

Jun 8, 2010

Top Shot

I just deleted a long and not very complimentary review. The shooting segments are fine, and, for the rest, it is simply television doing what television does most devotedly -- scrambling for audience.

Closely paraphrasing our buddy Travis McGee: "Anything several million people like, aside from their more private functions,  can not be very good."

The forced emotionalism and strained introspective ramblings of the vote-off segments can probably be attributed to a film school lecture on the need to give your characters depth and texture.

Jun 6, 2010

June 6, 1944

If you haven't already, now is a good time to turn your face toward Utah, Omaha,  Juno, Gold, and Sword. A nod of appreciation to some very determined men is in order.
The gulf oil blowout is a horrible thing,  but if it will help your local shriekers keep some perspective on things, tell them there are about 1.1 trillion gallons in a cubic mile.  The high estimate for the total oil leaked so far  is about 48 million gallons.

If they wont listen I suppose you could put your boot on their necks.

Jun 5, 2010

...perchance to dream

Much accomplished today, although I doubt reader interest in hearing about the toilet tank overhaul and accompanying carpentry, painting, and varnishing  in the literary alcove.

The .45 ACP project went well, and 190 fresh rounds nest in the SHTF locker.  I did decide on Unique -- a half-grain under the Lyman book maximum. It should give the 230s just under 900 fps and more than enough ooomph to cycle the Colt action.

Feeling green, of course, because reloading is recycling.


Fresh .45 fodder

The rain is putting my home improvement drive  on hold, so it's back to the loading shack. There's enough componentry on hand to build close to 200  .45 ACP rounds. About half of them will be 230-grain fmjs, the rest 200 grain cast semi-wadcutters.

A  conservative  (n)  grains of Unique has been  standard here for the 1911s, but  I've recently acquired a post-lawyered Colt Series 70 with that "accuracy" barrel bushing/collet.  The collet and heavy recoil spring create a stiff action, so I want  to  concoct a more authoritative load.

(There are four or five suitable pistol powders on hand, but somehow  I always seem to just tinker with the amount of Unique, and I suppose that will happen this time, too.  What the heck would we do without that powder?)

Jun 4, 2010

Please shut up about it, Mr. President

This news cycle His Obamaness is "furious." That might be worse than a couple-three days ago when he  was "outraged."

Or might not; I am not in the White House Press Office loop on choosing modifiers to specify the exact status of  the Presidential Nervous System.

We are  within our rights  to ask the President to close his gaping gulf of a mouth  unless he has something reasonable to say about either capping the well or mitigating the effects of the spill.  We do not need, Sir, blow by blow accounts of the  state of your emotional innards.


Charles Mackay

"Men think in herds, go mad in herds, but recover their senses one by one ..."

Jun 1, 2010

Bye, Tipper; See ya around, Al

She heard him singing "Roll Me Over" in the shower?

Or maybe she's just looking for a winner. 

Whe gets the carbon credits?