Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Grandpa's Lesson

Kirk at Fun Turns to Tragedy (Limpidity) tipped me off the Gunblog One in a Row. And he's an AZ Gunner, too! I may have to update my banner to reattribute the quote. Anybody have the real scoop? Swiped from Len's site:

Grandpa's Lesson

Pappy took to drinkin' back when I was barely three.
Ma got pretty quiet. She was frettin', you could see.

So I was sent to Grandpa and he raised me up real good.
He taught me what I oughta and he taught me what I should.

I learned a heap 'o lessons from the yarns he liked to tell.
There's one I won't forget because I learned it 'speshly well.

"There jist ain't many folk who live a peaceful, carefree life.
Along with all the good times there'll be lotsa grief and strife.

But ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

Grandpa courted Grandma near the town of old Cheyenne.
Her daddy was cantankerous - a very greedy man.

He wouldn't give permission for a fancy wedding day
'Til grandpa paid a dowry--biggest ever people say.

Her daddy softened up when Grandpa said that he could fix
Him up with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six.

Grandpa herded cattle down around Jalisco way.
Ended up behind some iron bars one dusty day.

Seems the local jefe craved my Grandpa's pinto mare.
Grandpa wouldn't sell her so he lit on out of there.

Didn't take much doin' 'cept a couple special tricks
plus seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six.

Then there was that Faro game near San Francisco say.
Grandpa's cards was smokin' hot and he took all one day.

He woke up nearly naked in a ditch next early morn'.
With nothin' but his flannel shirt, and it was ripped and torn.

Those others were professionals and they don't play for kicks.
He lost seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six.

He begged some woolen trousers off the local storekeep there
Who loaned him both a pony and a rifle on a dare.

He caught those thievin' cardsharks at another Faro game.
He got back all his property and also his good name.

He left one bleedin' badly and another mostly lame.
My grandpa's trusty rifle shoots just where you choose to aim.

Grandpa's slowin' down a bit and just the other night
He handed me his rifle and a box sealed up real tight.

He fixed me with them pale grey eyes and this is what he said,
"You're awful young but steady too and I will soon be dead.

I'll bet this here old rifle and this honest money too
Will come in mighty handy just as readily for you.

There jist ain't many folk who lead a carefree, peaceful life.
Along with times of happiness, there's always woe and strife.

But ... aint many troubles that a man cain't fix
with seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six."

Lindy Cooper Wisdom
December, 1995
Also check out his collection of RKBA quotes!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Ferret Sandwich



I was worried how matronly Gracie (center) was going to get along with big strappping young guys Mooglie (top) and Rustle (bottom) when I dropped her off at Jon's before my summer road trip. If the boys didn't warm up to her quickly, Gracie would have to spend all day alone...a big inconvenience for college student Jon who would feel obliged to spend some playtime with her. Fortunately, the boys sensed Gracie's advanced age (and maybe her weakened state from her surgery) and actually treated her with gentleness. For her part, Gracie wasn't stressed at all and actually enjoyed the interaction. It was probably the most fun she had in the last year of her life.

Election Day Wonders

I'm tickled that the polling in Iraq went so well, but words fail me. Citizen SMASH at the Indepundit makes up for my lack with the words of others and photos.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

How Much is Too Little/Too Much Gun?

James Rummel at Hell in a Handbasket has a post on the acceptable range of calibers for use in a defensive handgun. He teaches this kind of stuff and I'm just a layman with a lot of guns, so keep that in mind as I disgorge my opinions. The textbook answer to the lower range is .380 ACP. I agree with this...I'd never pack anything smaller in a defensive gun. But what if a .32 is all you have or can afford? Or even a .22 LR? All I can say, if you're packing an ultra-mousegun, is to carry the best ammo possible, ensure your weapon's mechanical reliability is flawless, and practice. You certainly can't count on a one-shot stop, so don't take just one shot. If the SHTF, I'd be triple-tapping immediately, without waiting for results.

At the upper range, I'd say .44 Special, yes, .44 Magnum, no -- at least carry-wise. If you're packing a .44 Magnum, you'd better be in danger of bear attacks or out hunting, because any juror in your shooting case will see Dirty Harry's gun as an offensive weapon. If this is a "nightstand gun," anything goes, as long as practical considerations are made. Will the ammo penetrate the walls and endanger others? Will the lightweight prefrangible ammo cycle the action of your Desert Eagle in .50 AE? Can you access it quickly but prevent your children from doing so? Will the flash from your compensator ported snubbie ruin your night vision?

Update: Zendo Deb of TFS Magnum left some good thoughts in the comments. If you can afford to, use the most powerful gun that fits your hand and shooting abilities. Take into account how/where you're going to wear or stow it. And for a home defense gun, don't limit your choises to pistols only! As for racking the slide of a shotgun...some might not want to give any audio clues to the intruder. That's another personal choice to debate...could be my next post!

Ennui

A French [*spit*] word I've never used in conversation and I write here for the first time. What use is vocabulary if you never use it?

From Dictionary.com: Listlessness and dissatisfaction resulting from lack of interest; boredom

GWB has been inaugurated, Condi sworn in, the Iraqis are voting...all is right with the world. Sure, I'm saddened with the worldwide deaths and scandals and moonbattery reported by the media, but none of that stuff is energizing me to blog. I spent yesterday flitting from others' Caption Contests to other blogs to news sites...I was entertained and time flew by and I didn't write a darned thing in this blog. A good blogger would have made note of all the sites that entertained him and posted links, but I was flitting...and flitters are not the most thoughtful creatures. I will endeavor to be more thoughtful in the future and no longer assume my few readers must have seen all the good stuff out there before settling on mine.

I should also endeavor to clean the ferrets' litter boxes more often, but they seem to have found the newspaper okay.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Sick Yet?



In Comments, Cutter left the link for the inspiration for this.
Picture stolen from Villainous Company's caption contest.

Build Your Own

Robert at Backroad Blog just finished building his own AKM rifle and is starting a new one already. I tried my hand at building my own 1911 .45 once, inspired by a friend's work on his own. I bought the frame on Maryland's Impulse Buy Day (the end of the waiting period for another gun). The other gun was a Colt Enhanced Model 80 1911...go figure. I just bought a top-of-the-line pistol and I wanted to build one better. I bought the rest of the parts through the now-defunct Denny's Shooter Supply. Darn, I've sent them thousands of bucks over the years....

All parts were match quality and the clockwork was titanium. Although I got the clockwork working, I soon realized that I needed stuff done beyond what I could do with a Dremel Moto-Tool. Into a box it went and there it remained for a decade. My best friend would ask me about it once in a while and finally last year he pointed out that Ed Cameron, a fellow match league member, was a skilled gunsmith...and his neighbor! Well, I gave him the box of parts and told him I was in no big hurry to get a finished product. I gave him the go-ahead to replace things I may have screwed up or are obsolete technology (bought it in early 90s!!). Ed gave me occasional progress reports as we met at matches over the year...it's almost done! He's had to slow down a bit due to a hand injury, but, hey, I've waited a decade already! I'll post a pic and a range report when I get it back!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

All Cthulhu, All Day Long

Today, Ghost of a Flea has much eldritch goodness posted, including links to H.P. Lovecraft's family tree and horoscope chart. He also links to The Collect Call of Cthulhu, a script in which the Ghostbusters meet followers of the Great Tenacled One.

Ia, Ia, Cthulhu fthagn!

A Elbereth Gilthoniel!

My favorite books, JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, were made into my favorite movies by Peter Jackson. Now someone at GeekPress has turned some scenes from the movie into some hilarious animated gifs.

h/t to Garfield Ridge

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Sick of Snow?

derMoerder at the Awful Forums is even sicker than most! Remember Calvin and Hobbes?

h/t to Cassandra at Villainous Company

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Happiness is a Warm T-Shirt

Vernado...get me my cigarettes

That command from our TI to our "House Mouse" was always a tip-off that TSgt Cross was going to dip into his well of "war stories" for us Basic Trainees. Soup Sandwich has some great ones...I have nothing worthy to submit. Maybe you?

Three Gun Fest

One of the many rules of armed combat: when entering a gunfight, bring a long gun. And preferably, a friend with a long gun.

Terry Allison, Chairman of the Cactus Combat Match League, announced today that the League is adding a 3-Gun match format that will apparently be held on third fourth Sundays. Terry mentioned he's trying to introduce the league's Thursday night shooters to the 3-Gun game. In doing so, he's giving us loyal long gunners a chance to play 3-Gun for real, instead of repeating handgun stages with carbine and riotgun. Today was the first stab at it and it went well, despite the light turnout. Terry commissioned stages for each gun type and two stages using all three.

Jon, my friend with a long gun, and I are two of the rare long gun freaks in the club and we plonked our Jacksons down for the full course of fire. Dumb ole me brought the S&W 625 that I hadn't fired in five years, while Jon brought the Glock he's shooting in March's three-day Superstition 3-Gun. At least I brought the riotgun and carbine I intend to shoot in the Big One.

Oh, yeah...I hadn't fired the revo in five years. Amazing how I could forget about the recoil. I've got to toughen up the skin between my forefinger and thumb. The stages were great and one of them was even sixgun-friendly. Luckily, round count was relatively low compared to the pistol matches. By the final pistol stage, I quickly blasted down all the steel with only one miss (not critical since I had to reload once more anyway). I told Jon, "THAT'S why I went back to Revo!" I could have shot it faster with my Glock, but this was very satisfying.

My daylong nemesis was the "Texas Star," five dropping steel plates attached to five spokes radiating from a central hub...initially at rest, the star spins as the heavy plates fall from one of the spokes. Overall, we did a lot of shooting with very little waiting. I likened it to a five-ring circus. We certainly had fun and I look forward to the next time, scheduled for April (Cactus' schedule is hogtied by the cowboy action guys' Winter Range in February and Easter in March).

Methinks I'll submit a few stage designs to the Course of Fire Committee soon and hope to see more big gun bags next time.

Update: Whoohoo! Results posted! I was bottom of the match list, but I was the only Revo Shooter. Placed second out of four Carbiners, though, so that's all right. Jon kicked ass, as I expected.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The History Channel Rocks!

Watched First Invasion: The War of 1812 tonight for the first time. I was well aware of the heroism of Dolly and James Madison (the only US President to command troops in the field while in office) but never knew a hurricane struck Washington DC after the Brits burned it...and a tornado tore into the redcoats dealing more damage than the DC Militia (who "ran like sheep before dogs").

An American sniper picked off General Ross, leader of the invasion. Hoo-rah! Men of stronger stuff inhabited Maryland in those days. Rockets bursting in air, indeed! Our National Anthem might be composed of one long question, but the answer was "Yes!" and that's made all the difference.

Wasn't surprised that some New England wienies considered secession in opposition to the war...some things never change.

Andy Jackson kicked ass! Never saw a better description of the Battle of New Orleans. Cue Johnny Horton's song!

I also loved the The Presidents marathon that the HC put on during Inauguration Week. This is a great country. The HC also showed The French Revolution on the same night. Contrast and compare.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Wheelgun Pr0n



If you asked me what my favorite revolver was, I'd have a tough time naming it. My first handgun was a Dan Wesson .357 Magnum that shoots laser-straight (still have it!) and I've got a couple of really nice .44's that I take out and play with now and then. My single-action Blackhawks are a lot of fun and my handy little SP-101 goes almost everywhere I go. All that said, shooting guns is even more fun than handling them, and competing is the most fun kind of shooting. I've put the most rounds through my S&W Model 625 in .45 ACP, shooting it exclusively for a year in club competition. I'm getting the urge to "Go Revo" again and give the Glock a rest. The downside to that is that my Safariland belt rig has shrunk through non-use (yeah...that's the ticket) and doesn't quite fit around my waist any more. I can put the speed holster and moonclip holders on a regular belt, but that is a lot more clumsy than the nylon/velcro system of the Safariland.

Maybe I better go on a diet.

Update: Screw the diet...I ordered a larger belt.

They Bulldozed the OHOP!

The Lost Nomad reports that a longstanding Osan Air Base landmark has been plowed over by the march of progress...to make a parking lot for the new BX, no less.

The Osan House of Pancakes, the only 24/7 diner on base, held many a memory for us oldtimers. It was a place where you could get breakfast, burgers, or Korean food at any hour of the day. I understand they built a replacement at the mall across the road. The Lost Nomad has a picture of the demolition.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Road Trip Back

Three days after the ice storm, I headed back, only to discover that I-81 at Hometown PA was even further up the frostline than Mom's house.





The local roads were worse than the Interstate shown and there was much tree droopage over powerlines and ice dropping into the road everywhere. I probably could have made the trip to MD easily by taking the PA Turnpike south instead, but I'm glad I didn't miss the Birthday Party after all. There are sure to be other road trips later this year for visiting. Interstate 81 was like this all the way to the Rte 209 exit just north of Ravine, where the highway makes a dive from the mountains to the flatter, warmer PA farm country.



Above is the map from last year's trip...identical to this one except for the MD detour on the way back.

I set the cruise control for eight mph over the limit and sliced through VA and TN with no major hangups. I reached Nashville just before midnight and angled south into Alabama, where I stopped for the night at what has become my favorite rest stop that I discovered last year. The first I-65 rest stop has the Alabama Visitor's Center with some unique attractions.



The Saturn I-B rocket is in honor of Huntsville's role in the US Space Program. There is also the Alabama Vietnam and Korean War Memorials (pics taken on my 2004 summer trip).





I reached Bossier City LA right on time, just as rush hour was beginning. Barksdale AFB was the last base where my Dad was assigned before retiring and I could see the house we lived in on Airline Drive on the way to the base gate. I spent the evening with best friends Kevin and Robin who put on a fajita feast. Their youngest son Geran was the only one of four kids left in the nest, in this case a demi-mansion originally built for field grade officers but later turned over to Chiefs' housing. Kevin is one rocker short of CMSgt, but apparently most E-9s echewed base housing for the lucrative local housing market and he got on the list.

We had a great time, watching movies (forced Geran to watch Ghost Rock, the copy I left them last year) and looking at pics from Robin's Baptist missionary work in Mexico. I even gave Kevin an intro to Blogger. Robin's seen my site before, but Kevin doesn't surf mundane, unclassified sites much...he's an Info Warrior for the 8th Air Force. (I hope I can say that without killing you all afterwards.)

The next morning, they filled up my travel cup with Gevalia and watched me head off for the longest leg: Texas. I don't eat much on the road, just beef jerky and bottled water, but after crawling through Dallas, bumper-to-bumper in some places, dodging an idiot* just asking for a pistol shot through the side window in another, I stopped in Ranger TX to decompress and enjoy a Subway sandwich.

Ranger...what a cool name for a town, a dog, a horse. A name straight from military history, Tolkien mythology, my favorite Ford truck (I'm on my second one) and a desert shrub that grows in my back yard.

As I headed into West Texas, the wind has picked up a lot of the local dust. Here's a shot just past Abilene.



As the sun set, the dust blocked the normally blinding setting sun nicely.



The wind had actually slapped the truck around all through Texas. When I reached El Paso, it was a mighty cold wind also. Fortunately, it settled down in New Mexico, where I could also speed up (damn those TX nighttime speed limits!). One more thing...if you need gas around the NM/AZ border, you might as well gas up in Lordsburg NM...I waited until I crossed the border and pulled into San Simeon with less than an eighth of a tank and was shocked by the $2.20 price for regular unleaded! Throughout my trip, prices ranged from $1.66 to $1.80 a gallon. Bastards.

*Speaking of bastards, on this day when we honor the memory of the Rev. Dr. King, it saddens me that there are still people in the world to whom the N-word still applies. What else can you call an asshole who zooms up your ass in his Caddy, you move over to let him pass, then he slows down ahead of you? Then when people pass him, he zig-zags wildly through traffic to get ahead, then slows down in the fast lane again? Yes, he was a cigar-chomping black man...but that could have been a dog turd...I could't really tell.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Road Trip!



With the boys safe in the Senorita's care, I set off for the family homestead. After some flurries in Cisco TX, I met rain in the DFW area, then freezing rain in Arkansas. The wait for the rescue crews to clear the jackknifed truck on I-40 took about an hour. Fortunately, I had filled up the tank south of Little Rock. I didn't get much further though as the wind picked up and the freezing rain was unrelenting. I crawled as far as Earle (short of West Memphis AR) before taking refuge at a Super 8 motel around 6 pm. They started turning away customers about three people behind me, so I was lucky.



The next day was clear, but the roads were not. We had to crawl around a tractor trailer spinning his tires futilely trying to climb the bridge to Memphis TN. Once across, I picked up a convoy of salt trucks and snowplows ahead of me. I-40 had one lane clear (unfortunately, the slow lane) until past Nashville where I could drive like a maniac again. I-81 was snow-free and I made it to the PA border before I had to stop for a nap after midnight.



I made it home Christmas Eve morning, a day behind schedule. We had Christmas dinner at my sister's with venison lasagna that Mom made; my brother scored the doe a week or two before during antlerless season. Here's my brother on the left.



My little brother got all the height while I got the hair and good looks :)

The center of attention was Erin, my one and only niece. This was the first time she would sit in my lap and not scream in terror.



You can tell she's thinking about it. Besides the family stuff, I spent lots of time playing cards at my brother's house and enjoying the neat stuff you can only find in PA. Moxie is more than a cute southern California blond conservative in go-go boots.



Someone said that Moxie tastes "mediciny." Methinks that's a prejudice brought on by someone who'd taken Moxie-flavored medicine and didn't know any better. It mixes well with rum. Nuff said.

Everthing was cool until the Thursday before I was planning on heading back (via MD, where I have a couple of friends to visit). Then things got cold when the ice storm hit and power lines fell. The first night, Mom just brought out the candles, kerosene lamp, and fired up the coal stove in the basement. We played Trivial Pursuit by lantern light. We put out buckets to catch the meltwater off the roof so we could flush toilets.



With nowhere to go, I dug out one of the Tom Clancy books I'd left for Mom to read and did some reading.


The next night, I helped my brother fire up Mom's little generator so we could at least run extension cords to the fridge and freezer for a while. Mom's big generator had a dead battery and Dad hadn't passed on the operating instructions before he passed on himself, so little Bro did the research Friday and got it working Saturday morning. Too bad the wind blew all the exhaust into the house and set off the CO Detector. After airing out the house and reenergizing the freezers for a while, we retreated to my sister's house. Mom lives above the frost line, so all the roads in the valley were clear, but she still had ice everywhere. As we packed off to my big sister's house, the PP&L trucks had finally made an appearance in the neighborhood. Mom got power back a few hours later.

I had planned to head back Saturday, but didn't because another bout of freezing rain hit. Now I was stuck, expected to attend little Erin's First Birthday party. My sisters packed the Parryville Fire Co. Social Hall with food, friends, and family all for little Erin.



Sure it was kinda fun, but I was ill at ease in the crowd. I did the Uncley thing of taking pics and video and bailed out with my brother when it was polite enough to do so. Lil Bro is just as asocial as I am. We adjourned to his place to watch football, drink beer, and play cards.

Coming next, the trip back.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Back Off The Saddle Again

Just rode the entire width of Texas yesterday, and boy, are my buns tired. After sweating in the Gulf States humidity the day before, I was shocked by the icy wind hitting me when I stopped for gas and feed in Van Horn, between the end of I-20 and El Paso.

Pictures are forthcoming. I'm really tired now (I got home at 3 am). Gotta take a nap.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Whole Lotto Love

Og at Neanderpundit has an interesting question: what would you do with the money if you won the big Lottery?

Buy my baby sister a bigger house. Start a college fund for my only niece. Leave a nest egg so she could quit her job if she wanted to.

Buying the land from my big sister at a generous price, build a house for my brother, right next to Mom's house. Leave a nest egg he could retire on.

Ask Mom if I could hire her a bonded maid. Install cable modem/computer/webcam with easy-to-use instructions. Send similar units to all her friends in distant locations.

Set big sister up for retirement...and/or more frequent vacations.

Move into bigger house with at least two guest rooms and another gun safe.

If I've been your Best Man at your wedding, prepare for financial independence. You three know who you are.

Buy house in better neighborhood for my friend Lisa. Nest egg, blah blah.

Buy a Springfield M-1A and an MP-5 submachinegun, the only guns I want. Okay, maybe a full auto M-16 too.

Hire a maid and a pool/groundskeeping service...I'll still be a slob when I'm rich.

Enter every major 3-Gun tournament physically possible to attend in the US. Sleep in hotels instead of the truck.

Hopefully team up with a member of the Swedish Bikini IPSC team to share driving duties.

And finally, get off my 26.4 dial-up and onto a cable modem.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Sunday Ferret Blogging - 2 Jan 05


They can no longer both fit in it, but they've learned to share it better.
 
Visits Since September 11, 2004