Mar 30, 2011

Mother Jones Weeps. Good.

An appreciative nod to The Associated Press this morning for this lede on the Wisconsin saga:

"Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans face a new hurdle in their campaign to curb public sector unions' power."

Reporter Todd Richmond and his editor rate compliments for the final five words.  The construction recognizes that there is more to the debate than the shrieks of public titters frightened at the thought that their grip on your wallet may be slipping, ergo diminishing their "rights."

News guys from the outset wore out the phrase "strip unions of bargaining rights." as though they had never run across the concept of "at will" relationships between the person who writes the paycheck and the one who cashes it.


The mass of U.S. labor law is daunting, but anyone interested might start with the Clayton Act.  The union provision, stripped to its essentials,  prohibited a trucking company from obtaining enough power  to shut down American motor transport  but ceded the right to do just that to, for instance, Jimmy Hoffa. 


Mar 29, 2011

Survival, anyone?

DirtCrashr took a look at Japan and decided to get more serious about a bugout bag, thoughtfully assembled for his most likely threat, earthquake followed by fires. I like the thinking there, in large part because it has none of the romantic claptrap penned by too many pocketa pocketa pocketa preppers.


My vehicles usually contain a few essentials (water, tools, something to eat, warm stuff) and there's a little Duluth thwart bag handy which might see me through a couple of nights bivouacking the woods, but I have no SHTF pack as such.  I already bugged out.  I live in a bugout bag.

It is a little more than an acre of trees and grass with two cabins laden with store-bought bugout supplies.  Even without killing mobile protein, there is pretty good eating for a few weeks, adequate nutrition for months,  and wretched fodder for a few more.  The armory is mostly hobby, but it nods to the ancient truth that you can have what you can defend.

Location. Location. Location. By chance, the bookends of my life placed me in kindly geography where food grows  and the dramatic natural threats -- earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes -- are nonexistent.

So where else would I go to celebrate TEOTWAWKI? Medicine Wheel Pass in the Big Horns is more romantic  -- Head fer the hills, boys; we're gonna be mountain men.  --  but unless the hunting gods are feeling very generous, as soon as you run out of granola, Bunkie,  you will starve.

There's no place like home.


Reloading, anyone?

Care to see what a half-million pounds of reloadable brass looks like?  And that is Pounds with a "p" -- not rounds.

I don't know how cartridge cases bulk out at that scale, but by weight  the government is peddling something like 500 pickup loads of the stuff.  I would need a larger tumbler.

And we must add a tribute to to the firearms enthusiasts who stymied another one of the Great Ideas from the mind of His Obamaness. The auction notice clearly states: "Mutilation is not required."

Mar 28, 2011

I guess we owe our thanks to Kadhaffi

And so His Obamaness presides over the dawning of a new Age of Pericles. Prosperity is just around the corner because consumer spending was up last month by seven-tenths of a per cent.

Counsellor: "But, Sire, your scriveners of the exchequer also say  most new spending merely covered the extra costs of the peasants' petrol."

HIs Obamaness: "Take him out and shoot him."


The same source reports our personal incomes rose by three-tenths of a per cent in February. Aha! The lathes are humming and it's Morning in America.

Sorry, Charlie. We're still flipping burgers and trying to sell one another 20-pay-life.  "Both (spending and income) gains reflected a Social Security tax cut, which boosted take-home pay."

Think of how rich we'll be if HO can get United Nations'  permission to bomb another towel-head country or two. 

Mar 27, 2011

Oh, such lovely executions...

(1) -- Any South Halstead Street junkie with a modest wad from his latest liquor store holdup can quickly acquire about any drug he cares to shoot into his veins, often enough in lethal quantities.

(2) -- State governments are in a  bureaucratic tizzy-fit because they can't manage to buy enough sodium thiopentathol to dispatch their evil-doers.

(3) - When the state of Georgia finally managed to outsource enough sleepy juice to kill people, our federal drug police seized it on grounds it might be impure.


Only the warped can find amusement in any part of the dialog about state-sanctioned killing, but bemusement is not to be considered a lapse of taste.

Some might suggest our inability to procure a rather simple drug developed in the 1930s argues for a Gary Gilmore ("Let' do it.") solution. But I guess that might thwart our desire to make executions a serene experience. Nighty-night, now.

While we're in a nation-building mood

Some 250,000 British citizens have taken to the streets, protesting the Throne's drive to deprive them of their human rights to free stuff.

It is not time, therefore, for the United States to impose a no-fly zone over Cheapside? I mean, Ho Ho Ho, Liz must go. That Cameron chap, too, probably.

Naturally, President Obama should first request permission of the United Nations. Congress and his subjects can learn about it from the newspapers and teevee.

Mar 25, 2011

"...and in 2007 I wrote..."

The Random Patriot includes this in a cogent set of thoughts on Obama's impulsive foray into war.

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. 
--Barack Obama, Dec. 20, 2007

A recent White House Executive Order forbids use of the term "hypocrite" until further notice.

Flowers, get your flowers here...

Ordinarily I would not spend $20 for a single chrysanthemum, but when it is  attached to most of a Type 99 Arisaka, c. 1944, I make an exception.

Another (sigh) project, and I'm in the market now for a stock with furniture and  a couple of bolt parts.  Or for a Jap collector lusting for an unground mum.

The moral of the story is: Check your friendly village junk shop every time you run into town for coffee.

Mar 24, 2011

A bed-sheet boogie

A guy named John Paul Rogers is running for mayor of Lake Wales, Florida. He's a Democrat and a former KKK grand dragon. He says he should get a pass on the latter fact because, "... "Well I resigned years ago, about 30 years ago. Jesus said, 'He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone,' and so far no one's hit me with a rock."

You just ain't met the right feller yet.  Duck, you bastard.


H/T to Kurt who notes this clown was getting love from the media until some Republican called him out.

Dognitive dissonance

New Dog Libby realizes her crucial role as watchpup, alert for zoning administrators and similar vermin.
She is less adept at understanding scrap lumber as kindling rather than chew toys.

Hillary the Wise

The wires this morning carry in mournful detail  the refusal of our Arab allies to give us a hand in Libya. Also, they inform us, the war continues and our European pals of the "coalition" are still having a great time watching Uncle lifting the heavy end.

But leave it to Mrs.Clinton to point out the clear and shining path to peace and victory:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said order could be resolved quickly — if Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi would just quit.

Is that great geopolitical analysis or what?

Mar 23, 2011

I probably won't go, but...

After more than three decades of emotional controversy  on a scale otherwise reserved for Roe vs. Wade, the Iowa Senate has voted to permit mourning dove hunting.  It will probably become law.

Average wing shots will thus be able to kill and eat this tasty little bird for an estimated  cost of about $13 per ounce of meat-on-the-platter if they reload.

For the antis who learned all they know about wildlife biology from Walt Disney, it is the coo de grace.

Elizabeth Taylor

┬ęPhotofest/Retna Ltd.

I was not a fan, but there is no denying the beauty.

Mar 22, 2011

Current Corn Field Crises

1. The Village of Smuglye-on-Lake  is angry with the federal government.  Washington census snoopers report a 2010 population of less than 350 compared to the 2000 figure of more than 450.  This will result in a massive loss of federal dollars which we might be able to use, for instance, to help enforce the new cat law. This statute makes it a criminal act to feed any cat for which the SOL resident cannot prove ownership.

(I am working on a suggested ordinance to require common-sense registration and and regulation of cats, feral and domestic. It's for the children.)

2.  Our largest newspaper mourns the possibility of reduced federal block grant programs. For one thing, cuts would defund rehabilitation slush pots for a neighborhood in Des Moines where "In 2001, 45 percent of the houses in the neighborhood had conditions rated "below normal" or worse...: 

Nine years and $2.7 million later, the neighborhood boasts "... the proportion of properties in "below normal" or worse condition is down to 24 percent. 

Some kind of a Garrison Keillor moment exists here. My reading of Pascal, Pythagoras,  Obama,  and other great number thinkers suggests that normal is that mathematical point  on a continuum at which about half of whateverthefreak you are counting lies above and half below.

I was pretty lame in arithmetic class, so I may be wrong. But if I happen to nail it here, it seems to me that federal grant money disrupts the entire mathematical underpinning of our universe, and we are about to face a drastically altered reality.

Why, in such a parallelish universe we might even have a left-wing American leader -- elected on an anti-war, anti-intervention platform --  lobbing cruise missiles at starving camel drivers and keeping the Gitmo jail open and okaying military tribunals for former starving camel drivers.

Mar 21, 2011

Speaking of the CIA and Muslim leaders...

From our Oldies but Goodies file, William F.Buckley in 1957:

The attempted assassination of Sukarno last week had all the earmarks of a CIA operation. Everyone in the room was killed except Sukarno.

Whence Libya

I vowed not to make cracks about a Libyan "exit strategy."  The concept has become beyond parody. But that was before our great wire services began consulting one Henry Guiana,  a "close advisor to the French President."

A reporter asked him how long the war in Libya would last. He replied "a while."

That's good to know, especially since Gallic history allows us to quantify the term.

 "A while,"  in French war talk is a period of time equal to the one beginning June 17, 1940, when French Marshall Philippe "P'tui" Petain turned his back to Hitler, bent over, dropped his trousers, and sighed, "take me."

And ending early June 6, 1944 when Major Cleveland Lytle and three companies of his U.S. Second Ranger Battalion visited the famed French tourist attraction known as  Pointe du Hoc.

So, if we turn this little war over to Paris (and it looks like we might), we can look forward to announcing a pullout along about April Fools Day, 2015.

Elsewhere in the war, we bombed Muamar's tent after checking with the CIA to ensure he was elsewhere.

On the Bernanke front, at $1.5 million per, we're a little over $150 million in the hole if we want to replace the Tomahawks in time to help out the valiant Yemeni freedom fighters.  Check the green ink inventory, Ben.

Mar 20, 2011

The first great WTF? moment of the Libya War spin:

At the Pentagon, Navy Vice Adm. William E. Gortney underlined that strikes are not specifically targeting the Libyan leader or his residence in Tripoli. He said that any of Gadhafi's ground forces advancing on the rebels were open targets.

The President orated himself blue in the face that the goal is to remove Gadhafi. So naturally we shoot at people other than Gadhafi.


--Libby is a chocolatie brown. So are my carpet, my couch, her favorite chair, the kitchen floor, and the bath mat. Outside, she is a near-perfect match for the siding, and, this time of year, blends well with last year's leaves and grass.   It is an unplanned and annoying dog camo situation.  I keep losing her.  Is it easier to change dogs or change decor?

--In a sure sign of spring, I just squished my first 2011 spider.

--The commandant's living quarters are a hideous mess. This must be rectified since a rendezvous occurs Tuesday evening. At the height of the previous one, something like 20 or 25 fellow rednecks -- ages 16 to 79 -- found shelter, beverages, custom-shot jerky, and conviviality in the tiny manse. The lies would have made even ol' Blanket Chief proud.

--It is raining, hence sloppy. This erases an important excuse for ignoring the untidiness cited supra.

--Perhaps taking another test drive in the new 1993 F150 is a viable alternative. It's been here for a month. I just didn't get around to mentioning it. There's nothing wrong with the other F150, but this one was available at a good price, and a man should have at least one spare pickup in inventory.

Mar 19, 2011

Or, as a favorite high-desert denizen says:

Place your bets - Which of today's heroic freedom fighters will become the vicious tyrants the U.S. will be fighting in Libya ten years from now?

Obama is the latest American leader to tell us we can have neat little desert wars.

He has, or shortly will, order fighter/bomber attacks and act surprised and outraged when the despicable Godhalfi shoots back. Then we can have another surge.

I look at my pictures of two splendid youngsters just coming into manhood. For how many Libyans would I see them sacrificed?  Friends, there aren't that many, counting  all that are, ever were, or ever will be.

Adventures in Libya

The President has diverged from the old Kissinger vision of America as the long-riding,  lonesome gunman galloping into town to shoot down the bad guys. He swears we're just hanging around on the edges to tend camp while the French (!), the British, and maybe even some outside Abduls do the heavy lifting.  Sure.

So be it, and it is damned unpatriotic to think about the other nations-in-need-of-building on the Washington to-do list. I suppose Yemen would be next, though Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and maybe even Qatar are in the running.

I must have missed Obama's recall of Paul Wolfowitz to high government office.


The Washington Post reports we already have five surface ships on the outskirts of town, including two Arleigh Burke DDGs.

One of them is the USS Barry whose motto is "Strength and Diversity." Find what irony you like in that.

Another is USS Stout of recent regime-change fame. Unofficial motto -- "Get Some."

Mar 18, 2011

Idle reflection

When your site meter goes bonkers it's a fair bet you have been favored with a Tam trackback, and a few minutes with the "details" and "referrals" columns reveal this woman has readers by the hundreds -- at least -- in the worlds of academia and government.

This gets a fellow asking why academia and government continue to harbor so many slovenly thinkers.

Long ago I subjected myself to the study of that branch of the psychological sciences dealing with need satisfaction. Reduced to its basics, the science holds that if a hungry ass sees a pile of hay, it will eat it. Apparently this is incorrect.

Mar 17, 2011

Beauty in .45ACP

Please go see a great portrait of a Marine veteran -- certainly of Iwo Jima and perhaps of the 4th Marines in pre-war China or Nicaragua in the 30s. Who knows what history it helped make?

To heck with our obsession with shiny newness  in our relics. This one is museum quality.

Thank you, Wyatt.

Calling Ann Landers

Dear Ann,

I am soooo tired of being such an ordinary citizen. How can I become extraordinary enough for permission to defend myself?

Despondent in Smugley-On-Lake


Dear SOL Despondent,

You could certainly become an elected official, although I understand you may not wish to, for reasons of hygiene.



In California where firearms official policy for us of the other ranks can best be summed up as "NO," at least three lawmakers have decided that they are entitled to become only ones. Ordinary Californians face nearly prohibitive barriers to firearms possession and use. Their elected leaders find this personally inconvenient and have floated a bill to allow legislators and many other statewide officlals to carry concealed.  Even the LA Times is somewhat incredulous.

The surprising thing about this bill isn't just that it has appeared in California, which tends to favor restrictive gun laws, but that its coauthors are all Democrats who in the past have voted to limit gun rights for ordinary citizens. 

In Washington D.C., too:

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert told reporters today that his staff is working on a measure to allow members of Congress to carry concealed weapons in the District of Columbia - including in the Capitol itself. D.C. laws bar regular people from carrying concealed weapons for self-defense. 

In fairness, Louie is not particularly anti-gun. Nevertheless his bill would ensure that  congressthings, like California legisthings,  would become legally irregular. Okay, but try to hold it until you get off my lawn. Speaking of hygiene and all.

Mar 16, 2011

Well, since the world is coming to an end anyway...

Lucille Ball Photo

Pinned up above a hundred thousand GI bunks in the days before she had to splain anything.

We don't report, so you can't decide

Among the things our media do poorly is establishing a reasonable sense of perspective. A few hours ago, when Japan temporarily pulled its damage control troops from the plants, AP panicked. It even quoted a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists who said Japan had virtually "thrown in the towel."

At that same point in this frantic news cycle, Reuters was reporting somewhat more calmly that the work suspension was temporary with the nearby workers preparing to resume the fight. It may or may not have been the Reuters restraint which moved the other wire service to zip the OMG report down the memory hole.

But that is a relatively small thing, and I can understand it as a matter of on-the-ground reporter/editor fatigue and the vagaries of reporting a hugely complex batch of simultaneously breaking stories under nearly impossible circumstances. The reporters slogging around in the mud and debris along with the front-line editors and rewrite drones are as much to be pitied as mocked.

The greater failures happen in the home offices -- and I'm talking about you, you high-level thinkers back in your comfy editorial digs at the headquarters of our great newspapers in New York, Washington, Los Angeles.

For instance, I have yet to see reports comparing the current danger to that of 1945-62 when we and the Russians were popping nukes in the atmosphere like a bunch of Chinese kids celebrating the new year. In that period we exploded more than 300 bombs in the open air of the Pacific, Nevada, and the South Atlantic. God knows how many Moscow set off.  (Before bomb testing officially ended in 1992, and counting underground tests, the U.S. exploded at least 1,054 nuclear "devices.")

We don't know in detail the public health consequences of those dirty blasts, mostly because the  governments decided they'd rather not.

But, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you The World; still intact three generations after Manhattan; still spawning new and healthy human beings at a frightening rate; still a place where we strive to live out our  lives with the lights on and the thermostats responsive.


There's some Pollyanna here, which I would regret if it were not for the need to establish a small counterweight to the prevailing mediasphere  view that, yep, the Mayans had it all figured out.

Mar 14, 2011

Ono gets another 15 minutes

Hi. I am CNN and I am here to help you understand. After the break.Yoko Ono.


(Yoko emotes -- from here --  about how bad things are over there. {Thank you. We didn't know.} She concludes  the current earthquake- tsunami - nuclear disaster is "the same as World War Two.")

Yoko, your trip to India seeking enlightenment didn't work. You might want to return and hustle up a better guru. Maybe one who has at least a rudimentary grasp of the events of 1944/45.

Welles AAR

Not much, folks.

It may come to pass that I'll consider it a mistake to have left the 1970s Winchester M70 (in the magnificent .30-06) on the table, its $400 price tag intact. The condition was okay, not counting a stock ding here and there, but (a) I didn't value the Bushnell 3x9 as highly as the seller did, and he wouldn't split the package and (b) I spent the entire day in one of those overly frugal moods which are harmful to the spirit of modern loopholing.

Only a handful of cheap Ireland-made pocket knives and three and one-half bricks of .22s  came home.

As to general pricing, the only things that caught my eye were the EBRs.They seem to be getting noticeably cheaper.

Mar 13, 2011

The Limits of Technology

Departing cold fronts often produce a little snow in these lattitudes, and the National Weather Service guys thought they saw some on their electric radar sets. Only problem was that folks on the ground kept saying, "Snow? Don't know nothin' 'bout no snow here. Ain't none I see."

Upon further reflection, the NWS publishes:


Mar 12, 2011

A young goose fancy...

A vee of Canadas just passed over on a northwest  heading. Time to revisit the Saskatchewan marshes and make more geese.

If the weather guessers have it right, we're on the verge of hemi-global warming as the big freeze of 2010/11 fades into wretched memory. Next week: the 40s and 50s, and even a night or two of above-freezing lows.


Mar 11, 2011

Hey kids, it's back to school time.

In beautiful downtown Wells, Minnesota, there is a large consolidated school, a funky old place slapped together in the early 20th Century and added to over the decades in that haphazard manner which eventually produces a lovely ugliness.

This weekend it will house thousands upon thousands or guns and knives and hordes of scary individuals looking for a loophole.

It's one of the better gun shows in our part of the Plains, and we'll make the trip, a tradition for an unmentionable number of years. It's another of the kind of show I like. The professional dealers with their boring NIB stuff will be leavened with scores of hobbyists trying to sell or swap good stuff they're just tired of.

We used to do a lot of trading in Wells, but my shooting friends have in the past few years adopted the "never-get-rid-of-a-gun" stance, so we'll be armed only with the greenish paper now passing for money.  It's been weeks and weeks since any of us have been able to augment our veritable arsenals. Wish us luck.


This is the show which brought Wells to a certain fame about ten years ago. A West Coast mother and her daughter moved to the little rural town, and Mommie evacuated a brick when she heard "guns" "in" and "school" in the same sentence. So she did what all good mommies do when their child is faced with an immediate and lethal threat. She called the teevee stations who were pleased to send their satellite trucks to the school parking lot. There, they found out that the locals and gun show attendees wouldn't talk to them, just grinned  a friendly prairie grin and waved. Of course Mommie talked into the mikes but was quickly declared boring and, by more than a few, stupid. The show went on, and the profits were given to the school, as usual.

It surely makes a man wonder why there isn't much lethal mayhem committed in Wells.

Knit one, purl two, shoot three; PRN

Combat knitters in Afghanistan.

I refuse to be cynical about this. 

(H/T Lisa)

Mar 10, 2011

You can oppose U.S. adventures in nation-building-via-war while at the same time standing awe-stricken at the heroism of some of our fighters.

Random acts of Patriotism  details one chapter, even if the valor was officially  recognized  42 years too late. Care to join me in saluting HM2 Dennis Noah?

Mar 9, 2011

Connecticut Carry Redux

Connecticut law:

"All persons shall bear arms, and every male person shall have in continual readiness a good muskitt or other gunn, fitt for service."

Things have regressed since that happy legal code of the Nutmeggers in 1650, but   we're trying to restore the spirit in Iowa where Constitutional Carry isn't quite yet dead.

A CC bill was supposed to have died last week when it failed to make it though the mid-session funnel. The bill's sponsor found a loophole -- wouldn't he just :). Tax bills are exempt from the funnel rules,  and  Rep. Tom Sands of Wapello said since the measure eliminates permit fees, it's a tax bill.  The appropriate committee will probably go along and vote it out with a do-pass recommendation.  Love it. We're getting sneakier than a Chicago alderman.

However, I doubt this will make it all the way. In the first place, our brand-new shall-issue was a big  gulp for gentle Iowans, and it isn't quite digested yet.

Republicans hold a 60-40 house margin, but even some of them are afraid of this bill. Democrats run the senate and are not under the kind of electoral pressure to back liberty measures as they were last year.

The organized cop unions are, of course, soiling their stepins.

(Carnage under the new law is so far limited to one dimwit who waved his pistol around in a bar and thereby lost his permit, his pistol, and the respect of brainier freedom advocates.)

The things we pay for

Local radio is running a somewhat breathless report from the DNR. The conservaton bureaucrats  revealed that the ice on the lakes is getting thinner. After a careful study, they attribute the cause to spring. They say you should be careful out there.

Oh, shut up.

People I'm tired of:

Charlie Sheen

Kate Middleton

Mar 7, 2011

Programs! Get your programs here!

Five of them are in Iowa tonight. They make up about half of the crowd  of Republicans who think they know how to regulate you and will say anything, promise anything, for your agreement.

Reporters are estimating the attendance in a Waukee church at some 800, not counting hundreds of big-city journalists functioning this evening as ethnologists examining the rustic tribes of Bucolia.

Tonight's five are paying obeisance to the sponsoring  "Iowa Faith and Freedom (sic) Council," one of the several  political/evangelical operations which rule the Iowa poitical roost.

They are:

--Herman Cain, The Godfather. Widely suspected as the perpetrator of the first pineapple pizza.

--Newt Gingrich who, in the absence of Sarah Palin, is functioning as Rock Star pro tem.

--Tim Pawlenty, successor to Jesse Ventura, believer in small government except for free stadiums for professional sports moguls and tax-financed light rail systems.

--Buddy Roemer, a plantation-raised former Democrat and  Louisiana  governor. He decides things after snapping the rubber band on his wrist. cf. Marie LaVeau

--Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania who, however sanctified, is just plain weird, a living lesson in the harm done by sniffing the Pittsburgh coal dust.

It's going to be a long eleven months

Damn, but you have to love living in a country where people like this still exist. I refer to the South Dakota sheriff with nobly-acquired buffalo shit on his boots --  not the Florida ass who won't take care of his own animals.

Mar 6, 2011

Quote of the Day

The hoi polloi has a regrettable habit of confusing "libertarian" with "liberal' and assuming we aquire our wisdom from MSNBC.   Most of those who avoid that error figure we're a bunch of Michelle Bachman conservatives who spend our days and nights with Fox News. This pisses me off. Tam, too.

"...As bad as Hardball is at parsing reality, at least Chris uses polysyllabic words in his lies. If you switch the channel over to Fox & Friends, running at the same time, 50 points of IQ gets sucked from the room every time one of those vacuous bubbleheads opens their cakehole to coo over some pointless human interest story..."


Pornographic magazines

Like most of you, I keep an eye open for  spare magazines.  This one holds 20 rounds, and I hear two or three of my cousins in hoplopobic panic: "You don't NEED those clips that kill lots of people." * 

Maybe not. Only future events will determine that. But when I find good ones,  lonesome on a hobby dealer's table, begging for $5, I buy them anyway. Report me to the Brady bunch.

This one is marked S/W, but since I can find no record of a factory 20-rounder for the 59,  I assume it's aftermarket by a maker with the courtesy to give the buyer a verbal hint about which pistol it is intended for. Many of them don't.

I got it home and stuck it in the grip. It wouldn't fit. It lacked about 3/4 inch of seating as it should,  and I wasted a frustrating10 minutes looking for  satisfaction in all the wrong places. Mangled lips? Misplaced catch slot? Another disabling burr on the alloy frame? None of the above. Then, more by accident than careful examination, I noticed two stamping-machine dimples on the front, and obviously the upper one was engaging the toe of the frame, preventing seating.

A few seconds on the old Baldor grinder erased the offender, and the magazine now fits and feeds. Aha. The maker also intended the magazine for Smith's CC version, the 469. The upper bump's purpose was to prevent overseating.

Nothing wrong with that. I suppose the instruction sheet warned of "minor gunsmithing required" for use  in the large original model.


*These ladies have a mystical bent, attributing malign self-will to all  shooty mechanical objects.  

Mar 4, 2011

I wrote a letter and here it is.

Dear President Obama,

I am sorry to bother you, but I was just wondering if you feel my pain like  your secretary of state's husband used to do. So I thought I would write.

What's kind of hurting me this morning is that I need to buy some gasoline. Both of the F150s are way low, and the van I use most of the time is down to about a half or maybe a little lower.  Plus, it's time to fill the gas cans for the little John Deere, the Dixon mower, the trim mower, and the  weed whacker, and both chain saws. Near as I can figure it, that comes to about 80 gallons if I don't spill too much. In money that's maybe 280 dollars, give or take a little.

Now, Sir, I hope y'all understand that I'm not asking for a bailout  like General Motors and the banks or insurance companies and like that. I hear those fellows were really hurting.

It's just that a guy has to save up so much to pay that much for gas. It's like, you know, I did all the stuff the government and the banks and other guys who are experts in the telling us what to do told me to do. I mean I quit smoking and didn't buy a bigger boat and even sold off a couple-three of my guns and put all the money  plus some more away so there would be a little extra income for my future.  Now that I am in my future, it isn't working out so okey-dokey.

Y'see, out of that money I saved up  I put quite a little bit in the banks and the savings places and like that because they used to have a thing called "interest." It was sort of like them paying rent for using my money. Oh, it went up and down a little, sometimes about six bucks every year for every hundred I Ioaned them, sometimes only four or even three. But it was always something, you know.

But now they don't  hardly pay me or my friends anything at all, maybe about fifty cents every year for every hundred dollars, even if I sign a paper saying they can have it for a long time.

I still get along pretty good with the girls who work for my bankers, so I was okay with asking one of them the other afternoon if they were ever going to pay me more interest, or rent, on my money. One of them (Molly, who is really cute)  sort of grinned and said, "Not hardly.  Y'see, when ever we need more money now we just call up the government and they give us some for about free and, besides, if we don't want to  pay it back when we said we would, they are really nice about it."

Well, back to my gas, here, Mr.Obama. How this works out is it means that if I want to use the rent on money I saved up  to buy the gas I got to buy this week, I got to have about 55 thousand dollars in the bank. If I do the rent on that will pay for it and I could use my other checks then to buy groceries and give the kids a little present once in a while and pay my property taxes and car licenses and like that. And buy minnows when the crappies start biting pretty soon now.

It would work out okay except that I think I will  have to buy more gas again before I would get next year's rent on my money.

Now I don't know if you can do anything about this or not. Probably you are too busy advising Mr. Godhalfi and the generals in Egypt and so forth. But I hear you have a pal named Ben who is pretty much in charge of all the money in the country. I wonder if maybe you could take a second to ask Ben if he could fix things a little so that  while gas is so high  the banks can't have any more free money so maybe they would want to pay me a little more rent. Tim, too. Molly told me he helps Ben be in charge of the money.

Also I was going to tell you about how much money bacon costs,. Some other stuff at the Fareway store too and wonder why we re still giving all that money to farmers to grow funny gas and such,  but this  letter is pretty long already and, like I said, I know you are really busy with important things. So I'll just sign off for now.

Very truly yours,


Mar 3, 2011

Getting a lot of use out of Jane this week.


John of the GMA reports a Jane Russell Mountain in Sasebo Bay, another one of those things I should remember but don't. Anyway, here she is as background to USS Ozbourn, DD846 and another Gearing class destroyer tied to her port side. The picture could have been taken anytime from 50s through 1960/61 when the admirals frammed her. I mean the ship.

(Esoteric nautical knowledge you will never use:  Many of the Gearing class tin cans underwent FRAM --Fleet Rehabilitation and Maintainence -- in the early 60s. Mount 52 -- the  5"- 38 twin gun mount you see just forward of the bridge -- was replaced with anti-submarine rockets.  The powers also jacked around with the torpedo tubes and the 40mm mounts to make room for an ASW helicopter  near the stern.)

EDIT -- The image comes and goes. If you get the stupid blue question mark, try this.

Oh, That's Smart.

Let's torment the cornered hyena. Let's threaten to prosecute Gadhafi while he's still in control of a few hundred thousand automatic weapons aimed at his peasantry.

You guessed correctly. It's the United Nations operating through one of its kangaroos, the Internatonal Court of Justice, led by one Luis Moreno-Ocampo who, if you ask me, needs fewer names and more neurons.

Mar 2, 2011

Pourin' Orrin Down the Hatch

Think of the corny title as a distillation of my wishes for Senator Orrin (I am Holy!) Hatch next time he has to face the voters. I hereby relinquish all copyright claims to it, just in  case you'd like to  borrow it as a line in a pleasant little piece of doggerel.

For one long day I was forced to work with his guy, and I came away resolved to miss no opportunity to relieve myself of my opinion that he is a  hypocritical, self-important, vain, and less-than-bright example of the American legislative class.

Alas, other -- though not necessarily worse -- abominations have claimed my attention since that day during a Montana senatorial campaign when he blew into Billings, so  I have been lax in public denunciations of this theocratic throwback to the days of Mountain Meadows.

A relatively new blogger, Spike and Tinkerbelle, reminds me of my lapse, and I suggest you slip on over there for a nice dissection of Hatch's latest. He's become fiscally born again again to the extent of being chief sponsor of another balanced budget amendment to the U.S.Constitution.  The Hatch BBA is  (a) meaningless in any budgetary sense and (b) a Hatch stab at not being Bennetized next time the Beehive ballots carry his conceited name.

I may have suggested  here that I am not an admirer of Senator Hatch and that his reputation as one of the senate's Blue Ribbon Porkers of is well earned.

...for earmark Hatch has swiped a batch 
of your dough for the state of Utah...

(You can have that for your pome, too.)

The report includes a lot of Hatch's Obamaesque light-rail pipe dreams, but maybe his cutest heist (on page 4) is $4.75 million for  a Salt Lake City  transportation "Intermodal Facility." I suspect he means a train depot with a taxi stand.

Jane Russell addenda

(1) -- A yen to spend your quarter on a Jane Russell movie occurred after one of those frightening life changes that affect boys in about the sixth grade. You came home from a Roy Rogers movie and found yourself thinking less about Trigger and more  about Dale Evans. If you really did go see The French Line next Friday night,  you told Mom the first lie that made you feel really guilty.

(2) -- (And I didn't know or had forgotten this.) She appeared in Darker than Amber.  as the "Alabama Tigress" (huh?).  John D. reacted to the screening: "I was so convinced it would be utterly rotten, that I was pleased to find it only semi-rotten." 

Wonder what his ghost will have to say about  Juvenile DiCaprio as McGee?