Feb 28, 2011

Make ready, Gridley

The USS Iowa (BB61)  still floats but faces a wistful destiny as a tourist trap. The old girl is being fought over by two California SSRs -- Mare Island (a Frisco burb), and Los Angeles.

No contest. Moor her in the City of Angels. Go ahead and fill her with your tacky boutiques and souvenir shops.

Just keep the main battery oiled and the powder bags dry.

From LA, the Port of Long Beach is within easy range of the 16-inchers, allowing us to work our will on the container ships from Shanghai, just in case we ever need to declare war on China and /or WalMart. A half-dozen broadsides and we've  wiped out at least half the Middle Kingdom merchant fleet.

(The exit strategy is to get our plastic flashlights and cheap tee shirts from Malaysia.)

Report from Free New Zealand

It takes more than massive flooding to keep Kiwi libertarians down. Despite the havoc, they'll meet as usual  in Aukand on Sunday.

Soylent Green, Variation on the Theme

You're sick and tired of being in government databases, so you die, just to avoid the aggravation and  to make your point in quite a sincere manner.

Sorry, Bunky. That doesn't work any more. Long after your ashes have been scattered to the howling statist winds, you continue to serve Big Brother via his new and enhanced death certificate.

"After a family member dies in the state of Iowa, survivors may hear some unexpected questions when they go to the funeral home to make arrangements: Did he smoke? Where was she employed? How much education did he have?

"Those questions and others are part of the information included on new death certificates ... (to) determine which health programs are needed."

Which is to say,  your eternal contribution to the government Domesday Book will be cited to justify forbidding your grandchildren and their children's children  the privilege of a bacon slice.

This leaves me little choice but to draft my own death certificate and have it officially recorded, and I'll pay any pre-mortem bribe necessary to make it happen.

"Decedent  was an advanced-degreed white male omnivore, disadvantaged by a strong interest  in minding his own business, complicated by pathological urge to track machinations of snooping government assholes, This led to the proximate cause of death, PDBE. (Plain Damn Bureaucratic Exasperation.)"

Feb 27, 2011

Gun auction AAR

The guns themselves:  Pfffbbtt. I left before they sold.

The "German medical kit"  turned out to be U.S. Don't ask me why.  It was a box containing a couple of incomplete field surgical kits, some interesting dry chemical pad heaters, and miscellaneous WW2/Korea accoutrements -- canteen assembly, mess kit, squad cook kit, etc. Bought the lot.

Rest of sale: ho-hum.  Glad to be home. About to kick New Dog Libby off the couch.

Feb 26, 2011

A better Hungarian

"I ama 

With me loophole on me shoulder

No one else in the  Smugleye Irregulars lusts to hit the Fort Dodge loophole  today, so I'm passing too. That's manageable if I can steel myself into cramming a full quota of weekend loafing into a single Saturday. That would leave me free to attend an auction-style loophole tomorrow .

The offerings are uninspiring and include a real-live Rohm RG10. I have done many reprehensible things, but owning one of those once upon a poverty-stricken time is among the most shameful.

Otherwise the handguns include a stainless Taurus revolver in .22 magnum on which my top bid would be in the $75 range, and that only on grounds that I might quickly find a Greater Fool.  I have never understood the caliber except as a marketing con -- a few hundred extra  FPS over the .22 LR at about three times the cost, and unreloadable.

A Hungarian called  PA63 -- which certainly lacks the pizzazz of a name like  Zsa Zsa --  is offered in .380 ACP. The internet peddlers suggest I could pay about $160 if it's nice, but I won't.  Don't like that caliber either.

Otherwise it is a barnyard pile of hardware-store shotguns, pump and singles. I pick those up if they're cheap and have been known to chop the barrels to 18 1/2 inches, remove the patina with a wire wheel, and paint them flat black. (Krylon. Always insist on quality!) Extra loopholes on me shoulders against a putative risin' o' the moon.

But I'm really going to try for the WW2 stuff -- GI dog tags and "German medical kit." We'll see.

We Irish Have Always Known

On this date in 1852, Ireland mourned the passing of Thomas Moore, poet, balladeer, and economist.

All in the Family Way
by Thomas Moore

["The Public Debt is owed from ourselves to ourselves and resolves itself into a Family Account" - Sir Robert Peel's Letter]

My banks are all furnished with rags,
So thick, even Freddy can't thin 'em;
I've torn up my old money-bags,
Having little or nought to put in 'em.
My tradesman are smashing by dozens,
But this is all nothing, they say;
For bankrupts, since Adam, are cousins,
So, it's all in the family way. ...

Feb 25, 2011

Elmer Fudd to the rescue

We don't have as many hunters as we used to, but plenty of us still lurk in the forests, plod through the brome, climb for bighorns, and (masochistically, if you ask me) sit on our damp and frozen arses in dark swamps, waiting for the ducks to fly at sunrise.

How many? The official USFWS guess was a little over 12 million licensed hunters in 2006.  Other estimates run much higher, But even if you accept the government guess and then cut it in half, we field more than six million armed men and women who at least think they know something about field craft and shooting.

That just happens to be roughly the number of souls in the armed forces of the largest four foreign military establishments combined.

I wonder if the Pentagon has war-gamed this?

Yeah, I know invasions a la June 6, 1944, are the archaic visions of grouchy old Luddites. On the other hand, when General Dynamics, Rockwell International, and other merchants of highly technological  death start demanding payment in gold, even I with my sporterized 1903 might start looking militarily viable.


North Korea and Russia, 1.1 million each, India 1.3  million, China 2.3 million.


(h/t Alan.)

Feb 24, 2011

A beloved nephew in the cattle forage hauling business has just displayed a picture of some animals waiting around to become hamburger.  This prompted a gunny thought.

Thanks to the Bernanke-Bush-Clinton-Obama high-speed presses, and to the ethanol/agribusiness welfare class, those poor beasts are full of seven-dollar corn and selling for around a buck-ten a pound, still ambulatory and including hooves and horns.  Who ever would have thought we'd see the day when you could swap a muddy steer for a mint Python and get change back?

Feb 23, 2011

Not that he gives a damn,

but I suppose we should inform His Obamaness that  we're all  pretty much aware of:

He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” – Article II, Section III.

Even if it is a a law of questionable constitutionality itself, like the DoM Act.

What is WRONG with you people?

Rahm has been mayor-elect for hours and hours, and I've yet to see a single zombie joke.

How hard can it be to polish up the theme:  "Chicago zombies are different. They don't need brains. Feed them a vote and they return to the grave for a full election cycle."

I'd do it myself myself except I hate zombie gags.
Steve Hoodjer's Iowa Freedom Report is now on the blog roll.

I don't know Steve, although our paths may have crossed at the '08 Republican convention.  (I was in a non-Iowa delegation, long story.)  He seems to be another recovering Republican. At least he's grumpily non-partisan enough for me, and his libertarian analyses should travel well, even outside the borders of Hawkeye land, into the less favored jurisdictions.

That didn't take long.

Iowa Lawmakers of the Left are having panicky second thoughts about the reach of the shall-issue law. It's probably the blood bath all across our corny fields in the 54 days since shall-issue became the law. I mean, you've seen it on all the electric teevee news channels, haven't you? Mayhem in Muscatine! Slaughter in Spirit Lake!  Gun Gore in Graettinger!

Or maybe  it is the backlash from a few -- so far -- very loud local pols currying favor with their even-louder gun-hating constituents.  That move is for local bans on CCW holders carrying in public buildings,  parks,  and restaurants where you can get a  drink. (I don't mind repeating that Between Two Rivers is the best place to keep track of the local gun-banners.)

It may also mean that Democrats'  in high places are looking at their 2010 election disaster and wondering if they miscalculated.

There are regrets," said Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines. "That bill was supposedly a compromise for political purposes only - to try to neutralize the NRA."

I'm trying to imagine a more credible endorsement of the  political influence of gun owners and users. Can't. Nor can I contain my surprise that a grizzled old political operative like Hatch would openly admit to that level of cynicism.


The raft of legislative  measures to roll back the broad protections of the 2010 shall-issue law is probably going no where this session, what with a gun-friendly house majority and a governor who is at least not rabidly anti-gun.  I rather suspect Hatch and company are stirring the gun-fear pot in order to distract from the need to fix the financial mess they were instrumental in creating during their four years in full control of state government. 

Oh those crazy Hoosiers

The Hacienda restaurants in South Bend hustle for customers with billboards showing one of those goopy pink slushies containing a little booze, probably their conception of a margarita. That's banal but otherwise unobjectionable.  They should have stopped there, before adding:


The billboards are coming down after just two weeks.

The execs are jonesing for an ad agency with a better sense of history.

It may be okay to eat TexMex at Hacienda. I wouldn't know. But do your margarita drinking elsewhere. That honored drink is one part lemon juice, two parts Cointreau, and four parts tequila. ( Cheap, bitter, tongue-dissolving tequila. That's the reason for the salt.)  Capital punishment should be an option for any bartender substituting Rose's Lime Juice.

Feb 22, 2011

Glazed Plains

The  result of  several hours of freezing rain, garnished with about an inch of snow. Recorded with a three-volt cockroach masquerading as a camera.

Feb 20, 2011

Dang, can't remember if it's the Year of the Turtle

While the Wisconsin teachers continue their collective tantrum, a bunch of Iowa "educators" is heading for a nice vacation  conference in China. The news report glaringly neglects  to say who's paying, but it's a safe enough bet that they're not dipping into their own pedagogical pockets.

Local radio permits one of the teachers to explain the purpose:

“Everybody participates in a group and comes up with different projects to do, trying to flatten our world so that we can show the kids that we’re all just people,” (says Lisa Schaa, of Stratford Elementary School).

This tends to explain the Huckabee win in our most recent presidential caucuses.

Because of the depressing ice storm, that's why.

Feb 19, 2011

Quick take on language

The word "liberal" seems to have to become anathema to liberals. I have seen it less and less for a couple of years or so, and it appears hardly at all in the Wisconsin reporting.

It's been replaced by "progressive" --  the statist left rebranding itself,  screwing around with the language -- to hide motives in order maintain progress toward national bankruptcy.

On Wisconsin!

The Wisconsin riots are being characterized by AP this morning as "unmatched in their sustained, impassioned energy...".

They're probably not "unmatched," but we can let that slide as a workaday media solecism as reporter and editor grasp for the blaring headline. It's bad journalism but routine these days.

It is the approving tone of "sustained passion"  in a public policy debate that  worries thinking folks. Reducing the Wisconsin budget problem is a matter of arithmetic, not heavy breathing drama.

Public employees earn adequate-to-handsome salaries and enjoy luxurious benefit packages which poor saps in the private sector never had or have lost in the age of globalization. Some one pays for their, wages, insurance, and guaranteed pensions. That some one is the unfortunate family head who is trying  to feed kids and stave off the bill collector on a precarious 12-buck-an hour job which can be lost in a heartbeat.

The Wisconsin public titters are having a marvelous time at the trough, and it is the fear of losing it which is turning them into a mob of petulant children. They react precisely as six-year-old Bratty Suzie does when asked to share her Snickers with Little Brother.


That said, the demonstrating teachers et al.  look almost statesmanlike compared to their 14 Wisconsin Senate protectors who react to administrative challenge by going to the mattresses in Chicago.

Feb 18, 2011

McGee in the Morning

Astrology, health food, flag waving, bible thumping, Zen, nudism, nihilism — all of these are grotesque simplifications which small dreary people adopt in the hope of thereby finding The Answer, because the very concept that maybe there is no answer, never has been, never 

Feb 17, 2011

Mommy Dotguv says I'm a Good Boy

I'm all CCWed up for the next five years. Very smooth and simple procedure, five minutes and $25,  including running my name past NCIC. One of the pleasant things is the absence of restrictions. For instance, the mother-may-i no longer forbids carrying uncased long guns in the truck.

I was prepared to show the clerk a copy of the law requiring her to accept my DD214 in lieu of the highly comprehensive four-hour course on gun safety and responsibility. We had had the discussion earlier when she said she never heard of such a thing. This time she  accepted it without a murmur.

Cheerio and Adieu

A few months ago I noted the proposed sale of one of our defense outfits to furriners.

It was a complicated deal for L1 Identity Solutions. CEO Robert LaPenta proved talented over the years at farting away shareholder money, but not making any. He  ran the company into the ground and had to auction it off. To generate any bids at all he found he had to split it up, despite promises to the contrary.

Part of L1 is a spook shop, a set of mercenaries under hire by American "intelligence" agencies.  That sale became final yesterday, to BAE, which answers to London, the professional home of Kim Philby and the Cambridge Five.

That clears the way for peddling the rest of L1, basically the biometrics-related chunk, to Safron which is not only French but partially owned by the rulers of the Fifth Republic, a nation which has still not quite forgiven us for getting their soil all bloody in the summer of 1944.


Oh well, the Limeys and the Frogs may not do much worse with their new spy toys and telescreens than we did.

Defunding the Art Nazis

If today's U.S. House budget votes occur as advertised, I'll be especially attentive to the proposed cuts for the National Endowment for the Arts, a credentialed batch of snooty federal busybodies whose job it is to elevate your sense of beauty.

Whatever else art may be, it is intensely personal to the artist and to his followers. Divergent tastes gave us Grant Wood and Jackson Pollock.  Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali.  Robert Frost and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Less happily,  we also have the guy who took your money to support himself as he slaved to write a poem which, in its entirety, reads: "ligght."

Robert Mapplethorpe found success taking pictures of himself with a bullwhip up his butt and of a Crucifix soaking in urine. The NDEA took your money to support him,  too.

If you wished to personify absolute evil vis-a-vis the arts, you would need two characters. The first is a government thug who refused Mapplethorpe permission to create or display his penetrated butt shot. The second is the government thug who can and does make you pay for them.

cf. Oceania, Minitrue


Feb 16, 2011

No, Dan

The Washington Post  is praising congress persons for going out in public  despite their  Tucson panic.

(Personally, if I was a congress person I would be reluctant to show my face in public, but for reasons of embarrassment, not fear of getting shot.)

The critters are looking for a little better home defense, too:

Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) wants another layer. An aide said Burton plans to reintroduce a bill that would enclose the House's public galleries in something like Plexiglas, the kind of arrangement that shields liquor-store clerks.

Dan, don't you understand that liquor clerks are different from you and your colleagues?  They serve a useful social purpose.

Feb 15, 2011

Folks Shouldn't Mess with Sam's Mom

I have my doubts about single-action revolvers as basic home defense guns, but in Bea's case I'll keep them to myself.

Bea weighs 110 pounds and keeps a .45 Black Hawk convertible handy around the house. She's proficient, and I'd hate to be the clerk who eyeballs her svelte frame bent over the handgun case and volunteers that she needs that lady-like .32.

It's a delightful read, over at Stranded in Iowa's place. 

EDIT: In case you didn't  follow the links (BAD Reader. BAD.Go to your kennel.)  Bea happens to be 77 years old.  When she needs a little more .45 ammo, she polices  the firing line and reloads the cases.

I'll clean the house when it gets cold again.

At least the new plastic Ruger  22/45  goes bang every time you pull the trigger, and the rounds hold in a couple-three inches at 50 feet from a semi-steady braced position.  (Leaning on the truck is our bucolic version of bench rest shooting.) Thirty rounds of el cheapo 36-grain hollow points were fired. Not counting two trigger jerks, all but three or four of them punctured a beverage can of my choice.

The same trip to a piece of DNR land a couple of miles west of Camp J gave me the excuse to run New Dog Libby and see how she  works the brome and cattails. Not bad, but she did let a winter-killed deer distract her.

It isn't spring yet, but the sun is becoming slightly more arrogant, and a chinook  wind is aiding the illusion that winter at 43 North is tucking himself into the history books. It is a day when the Lords of Blast and Fire would not be denied.

All politics is local,

not to mention bloated.

The census snoopers credit  Smugleye on Lake with 341 residents as of last summer.

My SOL neighbors and I are supervised by 21 local officials, elected and appointed. That's one superintendent for every 16.23 citizens. It works out to something like  five houses per regulator, so  they could check us all every day,  just to make sure we aren't feeding the stray cat  or replacing windows without a building permit.


*This doesn't count cops. We  pay the county sherf to hold down crime in Smugleye.

Feb 14, 2011

Fancy that: Merchant of Death to Advise Obama

A veteran Ruger executive is about to join the Obama team.

The Ruger news release:

Kim Pritula, Director of Export/ATF Compliance & Security, has been appointed to the President’s Export Council Subcommittee on Export Administration (PECSEA).  

Sounds okay to me. She's been with Sturm Ruger some 30 years, helping the bosses navigate the Kafka novels which make up ATF and other Washington rules about who can sell what to whom. But maybe it would have been better if the Ruger flack had ended the release right there, because:

Kim has a very unique talent and passion for export regulation and plays a critical role in the Sturm, Ruger organization,” said Ruger President and CEO Mike Fifer. 

Well, I'm pleased for you, too, Kim. It is a personal achievement. However the quote your PR guy made for President Fifer begs a point some of us find important. Is it actually a good thing to hold  "a passion for export regulation?"   We libertarian scallywags tend to think of regulation as, at best, a sometimes necessary evil to be treated about like a spitting cobra sharing your howdah.

It would be picky these less-literate days to sigh over your "very" unique talent and passion.  Better we should spend our effort finding another word to mean the only one in the world -- a new one that will serve until  public relations guys and advertising copywriters start loading it up with modifiers until it, too, deteriorates  to just another word for "somewhat unusual."

Anyway, it's nice to know someone from the firearms industry is functioning in high councils of government, so congratulations.

(My spies tell me the Tune-In is still the most pleasant bar on Capitol Hill.)

And, speaking of morons

Roberta takes some of that class of vertebrates to task, specifically His Obamness with his plans to give us all free high-speed wireless internet. To make it happen,  Washington will need to  enact a new law of physics requiring five-pound pots to contain ten pounds of  (euphemism). Otherwise it will be only sorta free.

If you liked him as Trapper John,

you'll love him as a businessman and occasional commenter on the way in which we permit ourselves to be misgoverned.

Weasel words

It usually pretty tough to find something I agree with in the opinion pages of the Boston Globe, but a piece on using language to defeat meaning pushes my like button.

As a matter of respecting widespread sensibilities, it is all well and good to console a tyke who has fallen on his "tail."  And that pretty thing over there is not "tail;" it is a woman. Law Dog has, to our amused profit, spread "wedding tackle" far and wide in libertarian Blogville. There's no particular harm in referring to the dead as those who have "passed away."

"But telling citizens that torture is “abuse” and mercenaries are “contractors” — or in Orwell’s words, that burning and bombing villages is “pacification” — is a different sort of enterprise. These euphemisms — the top-down terminology invented and deployed to serve the interests of the coiners — are the ones that give “euphemism” a bad name."

Feb 13, 2011

Egypt libre!

So the bread riots leave Egypt with no legislative branch, no constitution. We can be pretty sure that , in his heart of hearts, His Obamaness is insanely jealous.

Sioux Fall AAR

We walked into the show with respectable rolls of Benjamins safety-pinned to our skivvies.   The two pals and I left with a total expenditure of less than $20.  (Mine added up to $8 -- a factory extended magazine for the SW 59 and a sheath for the Camillus air crew "survival" knife.)

That is to say, the prices left us gasping.

M1 carbine prices seem to have stabilized at $750-$950, and that's the end of the good -- or non-horrifying, at least --  news.

There were dozens of 1911A1s. I didn't see one tagged at less than $2,000, and $3,000 would not have purchased the best Remington-Rand there.

The old Winchester lever guns and Colt SAAs were gold. Example: A fair-to-good Winchester 1892 in .25-20 at $6,500. It was easily possible to loophole a  Peacemaker which appeared to be an outhouse dugup for $7,500.

If I were panicky about TEOTWAWKI  I would go back  today with every interesting old weapon I own and trade them for a few hundred Hi-Points.

On the other hand, domestic beer in Adrian is still just $3, but the ethanol subsidies may not yet have worked their way into that market yet.

Feb 12, 2011

Head 'em up nd move 'em out

Westward, ho. This  weekend's entertainment occurs in the prairie oasis of Sioux Falls. It a biggie, several hundred tables of delectable old stuff. Shake out your loopholes, buckaroos.


It will be interesting to see how new dog Libby gets along with the house sitter .

As in "Libbytarian." Get it? Huh? Huh? Get it?


Lawyer stuff.

Some things make a guy question his assumptions.

1. The state of Iowa took away a woman's kids.

2. She hired a Waterloo lawyer to get them back.

3.  Attorney and client spent some of their office conference time making two-backed beasts. (It is unclear who, if anyone,  billed whom for those hours.)

4.  Ms. Client had second thoughts and filed an ethics complaint.

5. About a month later, Ms. Client had third thoughts and married the guy.

6. Ms. Client or the esquire then  had fourth thoughts and, in about six weeks, became divorced..

7. This week, the Iowa Supreme Court lifted his law license for 18 months.

There's no word in the news report about who gets the kids. 
My anti-statist  principles are shaken to their roots with the notion  that, in this case, maybe the politicians and bureaucrats could serve the tykes better than mother,  lawyer, or any friends the two are likely to have.

Feb 11, 2011

This will not end well

The Headline is: 

"Pepsi Honors Women by Launching Skinny Cans."

The company marketing expert fleshes it out:

"Diet Pepsi has a long history of celebrating women through iconic fashion imagery seen in our infamous and historical campaigns, and we're proud to continue that tradition as an official sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today's most stylish looks... ." 

Infamous? (giggle)

If I owned  stock in Pepsico, I would sell it.

Feb 10, 2011

So that's what I should call it

Police in Raleigh, N, Calinky, just hate whores. (If you don't believe me, Google.)

So word that some of the cops are renting horizontal girl time embarrassed the chief until he found just exactly the right words to characterize Officer Friendly's little lapses. He explained  that

"...administrative violations may have occurred and that they stemmed from voluntary interactions between a small number of officers and non-departmental individuals," 

Reminds  me I need to take New Dog to the vet to confirm that she's been immunized against voluntary interactions.

Damn, I thought all those guns spoke Gringo.

It's our politicians'  article of faith that 90 per cent of all those guns murdering women and children in Mexico come from the United States. I mean, don't we hand an  M16 to every high school kid in Texas and Arizona?

It occurs, however, that the politicians are wrong.  Almost 90 per cent of the crime weapons confiscated by Mexican cops and Federales do not come from the United States. Their cradle language is more likely to be Spanish, Korean, or Chinese.

I post the source with a caution. It's somewhat long and  full of number-crunching and other miscellaneous geekery.  Admirably so, but you may want to wait until you have a few minutes, a cup of coffee, and an appetite for detailed  analysis before clicking here, to STRATFOR.

A sample: According to the GAO report, some 30,000 firearms were seized from criminals by Mexican authorities in 2008. Of these 30,000 firearms, information pertaining to 7,200 of them (24 percent) was submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for tracing. Of these 7,200 guns, only about 4,000 could be traced by the ATF, and of these 4,000, some 3,480 (87 percent) were shown to have come from the United States.

That is, Officer Hernandez and his Jefe set aside their powdered enchiladas, look over  last month's weapons haul (slipping the especially nice or salable ones into their personal tucker bags) and make two piles. One is for those guns which might have come from the north. The other one is for guns so obviously non-U.S. related that not even a BATF  desk pogue would be fooled. They send the  data on the former  to Washington, salted with just  enough possibly non-U.S-loophole weapons to create a veneer of credibility.

It would take only a C+ student of sixth-grade arithmetic to suggest that  the 3,840 identified as U.S.-acquired be divided by the 30,000 seized to announce that 87 per cent  of of the crime guns in that woebegone country were acquired from non-U.S. sources.


With 3,000 murders  a year in Jaurez alone, doesn't that 30,000 total crime guns seized  across the country  suggest a certain relaxed  attitude toward solving crimes down there? Manana, Senor Jefe


I'm indebted to my pal Alan for STRATFOR piece.

Feb 9, 2011

Stupid Brady Tricks

It isn't hard to debate a bill about a citizen's duty to retreat or right to stand his ground  in the face of deadly threat. You discuss the tort-reform aspects of it. You consider the definitions of the important terms -- "deadly threat," "reasonable person," and so forth.  You search for careful language to confirm the right without creating as many problems as you solve.

But don't waste your breath shooting for honest discourse with the flacks who take a Brady Campaign paycheck.  They were all trained in the Jack Parr School of Disputation. "When cornered by logic, try crying and name calling. If that doesn't work, raise your voice, and never, ever, constrain yourself with the dictates of reason." 

It's morning in America

7:30 a.m -- Drastic oversleep. Become vertical.  Pee and moan about achy back.

7:32 a.m. -- Attempt to read small outside thermometer. Gritty eyes decline to focus. Treat with Visine. Re-look. nine below.

7:34 a.m. -- Perfunctorily  scratch dog ears.

7:35 -- Feed fire with oak logs,  two small and one large.

7:37 -- Stumble to kitchen. Fire up coffee pot. Tell dog, "Hold it for another sec, eh?" (vulgarity in original statement here omitted)

7;40 -- Let dog out after stern warning not to go running off.

7:40:07 -- Dog goes running off. Step onto deck in stocking feet and "pajamas" and yell. Feel lungs seize up and other bodily parts shrivel. Yell again. Dog returns to deck area,  decorates snow. Beats me through the door and to the hearth.

7:42  -- Steal cup of coffee from half-done pot. Spill some of same. Shrug;  counter-top disaster anyway.

7:45 -- Slurp enough hot coffee to wash down one aspirin.

7:47 -- Log on to National Weather Service point forecast. Confirms nine below. Perform masochistic act and check Duluth, 200+ miles north, where kids are visiting. Only seven below. Remark the irony to dog who seems not to give a damn.

7:48 -- Slowly, slowly, slowly transform grim mouth-set to semblance of smile at seeing release date of tomorrow, when begins a warmup. One more arctic night, then more than a week of nothing even close to zero, daytime highs above freezing.

7:50 - present -- engage in decision-making process re when or whether to get dressed.

Feb 8, 2011

Get on the floor, bitch.

Do it NOW, cuz I don't think that breast pin is registered.

(And please, I am not being a copper bore this time either. I'm being a gold bore, merely noting in passing that copper today passed $4.60 and that your old copper cent is now worth  a curly over three zinc pennies.)

The cops in Federal Way, Washington, are embarrassed at a rise in home burglaries. They blame Tim and Ben or whatever for making gold prices go so high.  So  they aspire to make it much harder to sell your grandma's  ugly old cocktail ring if it contains gold, silver, or platinum.  To do so you make the dealer take your fingerprints, require him to issue you a check rather than cash, retain the trinket for 45 days, and enter it on a police database.

The city fathers are pushing a state law to that effect, but legislative deliberation is much too slow for them, so they want to enact it locally. Me? I figure that if they get the job done there will be a boom in coin dealerships, pawn shops, and precious metal dealers just outside the city limits. If the state caves in, well, Idaho isn't all that far off.

But guys like us are probably just warped old cynics who have no sympathy for common-sense jewelry control.

Some of you are even worse. I mean you radical malcontents who look at this as a neat way for the gummint to keep track of your wedding band after the tipping point. The tipping point is defined as that instant during which you and I and the Chinese decide to quit going along with the gag that our currency means something.

Feb 7, 2011


Apparently there is one --  perhaps only one -- difference between a blockwart and a Hitler blockleiter -- how they feel about rooting out Jewish people.

Each, according to Marko's excellent report, generated by Boston blockwarts, finds glory in using the laws, however trivial, to "behave like an obnoxious asshole."


This  batch of Alberta is driving me indoors, probably for the entire day and more. Only the messy pile of firewood around the burner gives me cause to smile after looking at the thermometer (+2) and knowing this is about as good as it will get for at least  three days.

I suppose this is as good a time as any to catch up on paperwork and get this cluttered cabin shaped up, but depressing self-knowledge suggests that the Master of Camp J will more likely  start looking for a book which demands reading. Probably won't have any visitors anyway, especially fussy ones. They'll stay home and dust.

The other alternative is to (expensively) fire up the Knipco out in the shop and start repairing Ruger's work on the .22/.45.


The efforts to  locate the owner of Little Miss No-Name have yielded no results. We'll give it another day or two, then start dreaming up a name for her. I've been considering "Sarah." When a liberal chick asks, I can say she's named for the Brady lady. Otherwise Palin.

Naaah, probably not.

Feb 6, 2011

Loopholing at it's finest

Sometimes it's as important to know your dealers as to know guns. The two shooters here came from the FFL'ed  friend who has what is,  these days,  an unusual business plan. He comes to the loophole shows bent on actually selling guns rather than tagging them with stupidly stratospheric prices and waiting and waiting and waiting for a well-heeled fool. He prospers because he knows how to buy guns. And because he's a knowledgeable and likable man.

Decades ago Bubba got his hands on the Krag but showed a certain restraint. Perhaps it was respect for the pure Norhoovian heritage and the 6.5 x 55 chambering. Restoring this one to military is pretty much out of the question, dammit, but  a man can live happily with her as is. The sharp rifling and excellent  round might lead to braggable groups. We'll see.

The .22/.45 is what it is, but I've been wanting one for a while, strictly for the design, and at $250 couldn't pass this one. The quality is pure latter-day Ruger, meaning a half-day in the shop with slip stones and crocus cloth to erase the burrs and the floor sweepings in the innards.  The new reality is that you buy a NIB Ruger, work the action, dry fire it a couple of times, sigh, and remark, "I can probably save it."

Elsewhere, three sturdy but unmarked Mini-14 30-rounders (Oh the horror.)  for $35. A Browning Hi-Power mag for $5. A  funky old $5 holster that will hold the Black Hawk, just in case some day I want to dress up like a real cowboy instead of Gene Autry.

So far it's just a one-night stand

It's hard to capture the heart of a jaded old roue, and Little Miss No-Name here hasn't actually done that. Quite yet.

Heavily armed after the Armstrong loophole, I was a mile from K's country home, on lonesome gravel running though a wildlife area.  At the top of the next hill she stood in the middle  of the road, then politely retreated to the ditch as we neared. Something didn't look right. We stopped. She approached, cringing slightly but, before long, accepting an ear scratch. No question she was cold, hungry, thirsty, and lonesome, so we bundled her to K's house and began the usual found-a-dog calls and net posts. We flipped to see who would board her. I lost. She's here and demonstrating that's she's willing to be a Good Dog in return for chow, a soft place to nap, and a bit of affection.

Time will tell, though I suspect a dump. The bastards.

She's several months old and doesn't pee in the house. Forced to guess, I'd say a lab/weimaraner cross. Actually, they can be reasonably good bird dogs.

Feb 5, 2011


Just too tired to write the whole scoop on the loop hole. In the morning, maybe I'll expose the  loophole that barks in 6.5 x 55, another one that barks in .22 LR, and the third that just barks and is about to be evicted from my favorite horizontal surface.

The trip was lovely, coming and going. The Sioux Falls NWS guys get a D-minus for this day's work.

Man against nature

It is in the nature of man to wish to be at a small show about an hour east of here this morning. It is typically a hotbed of loopholes. This is the one where, last year, yours truly loopholed an excellent .30-06 and a pocket full of other shooty trinkets.

Unfortunately, Nature's nature is to subvert such lofty motives, just to keep us humble I suppose.  A sliver of warm front is passing, and with the following clipper, that means all kinds of potential road misery. Light freezing mist and fog are with us now. It's 50-50 whether it will let up or get worse.

My decision is to gather the troops and give it a try. After all, there's a substantial little city about half way. It boasts good ambulance service and a well-equipped emergency room. Yes, it's something like "Here. Hold my beer and watch this," but cabin fever and the prospect of  five days of unbroken Hell-freezing is a powerful motivator.  

We solicit your magic vibes, not only for an uneventful drive, but for several loopholes we can't refuse.

Feb 4, 2011

The Peasants Speak

No, I am not being a copper bore again. I'm being a silver bore, merely noting in passing that copper has cracked the $4.50 barrier and that your pre-82 Lincolns are now worth just a curly under three cents.

The more dramatic expression of inflationary alarmism lies in the mint's sale of Silver Eagles last month,  about 6.4 million of them, a record.

Wonder if Ben and Terry and Barack will have anything to say about this plebiscite on the green paper which they jokingly refer to as money.

There are votes and then there are votes, and it's hard to imagine a more sincere ballot than wholesale trading of paper promises for a pretty metal which rings nicely when you drop it on a  counter top.

I'll stop at the WalMart today, hoping Sam's kids haven't received the word yet and are still peddling Federal 550 packs at $18.97

Feb 3, 2011

Michelle Bachman -- getting serious about it

She's off to woo the  Republicans in South Carolina who hold one of the South's  earliest presidential primaries. If they should give her the nod, the shelling of Fort Sumter will regress to merely the second unhappiest event in that good state's history.
Maybe the worst thing about existing on the northern plains is the noticeable decline of one's brain power. For instance, I can't remember if the current arctic high pressure system is the fourth or fifth of the season.  Or whether Al Gore invented global warming and Al Sharpton the internet or the other way around.

There are small compensations. As the neurons freeze, it takes less to amuse myself. I just ran a sunrise errand without carefully brushing all the new snow from the hood. "It will blow off on the highway, and that's very pretty."

The  best thing is reading my friends down in the malarial zones.  For instance,  a Texas lady I know is writing that it may snow on the Rio Grande and using a full year's allocation of exclamation points, and that's almost as amusing as scratching designs on my frosted windows.

Feb 2, 2011

South Dakota: Turn 21 and buy a gun, or else

It's too bad they're not serious.  A legislative proposal would require every South Dakotan  to buy a gun  upon reaching the age of 21  1/2.

The weapon would need to be "sufficient to provide for (the citizen's) ordinary self-defense"

The  lawmakers are just funnin' with ya though. It's a spoof of the Obama health bill's requirement that you buy gummint-approved health insurance.
Funny that it happened there, however. In the first place, South Dakota is a peaceful place where about 99 per cent of the folks go about their daily lives with a mind set on cordiality, courtesy, and minding their own business. And enough of that group already carry guns to be a real moderating influence on the other 1 per cent.

So they probably don't need it as bad as Kennesaw did.

All across these 57 states...

Do you feel as though you're surrounded by a cluster of dimwits?

Right you are, Johnny. Fewer than half of your fellow citizens -- ordinary folks -- know Jack Schidt  about the country, its history, its government.

And since these Snooki watchers are entitled to vote, it comes as no surprise that their elected officials are even dumber.


The test is a nice way to pass five minutes of the current end-of-the-world storm global warming episode.