Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

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

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Heirloom

Nope, the pistol is brand new--from my annual Pilgrimage to Cabela's. It's an Italian repro 1860 Army .44 caliber cap and ball revolver.

The K-Bar was Dad's hunting knife, hardly used.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

That's Hot

Rare Public Appearance

Not at a gun range! Gonna hit Laurel MD's Red, Hot, and Blue tonight with my best friend Chief and possibly blogger Kirk from Fun Turns to Tragedy! No timetable set yet...as y'all know, organization is not my strong suit.

Update! A good time was had by all. All the good stories about the night are Kirk's, so hopefully he'll post them soon.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Change of Scenery

Lil Bro and I decided the day we finally put down the last paving stones would be a Range Day--of course, preceding the manual labor with fun tests of skill before our muscles were all twitchy from the weightlifting.

All throughout my military career, Dad maintained my membership in the Beaver Run Rod and Gun Club so when I'd come home, I'd have a place to shoot where I wouldn't leave empty brass and shot-up tree stumps on his pristine farm property. I kid. The organization is equal parts Rod, Gun, and Club and it used to be the place where Dad would take Mom and us kids out for Seafood Night and even the occasional Sunday morning Block Shoot, the only organized shooting event they hold that I'm aware of.

Block shoots are more like Bingo with Shotguns, but they were a lot a fun, especially when, at 16, I'd brought out my Remington 870 fresh from under the Christmas tree to win a frozen turkey on my first try.

I haven't been to the Clubhouse since long before Dad passed on...the beer's much cheaper at Lil Bro's house, and I'm no social dynamo, as you all know.




Anyway, we had a Range Day, where I saw some old friends and introduced a new friend to Lil Bro. The 9AR behaved very well for him; I had a bad mag full of problems, but we'd both use it later without a hitch.

By the way, I kicked his ass, scoring wise, and I have the pictures to prove it. Maybe if he didn't wait until I was in town once or twice a year to do some shooting, he'd do better. Lord knows he can kick my butt at skeet...and hey, *I* haven't put any venison in the family freezer lately....


Some old friends, and a reasonable facsimile.

The Taurus PT99AF (middle) was my first autoloading centerfire pistol. The Colt (right) was my first .45 ACP. Gave the Taurus to Lil Bro and sold him the Colt cheap...since then, I resolved all gun givings would be either hand-me-downs or outright gifts. It was nice back when someone would actually tell you what they wanted for Christmas! Lately we're both self-actualized in the gun department, though Lil Bro is obviously easier to satisfy/amuse than myself...but then, I have a much bigger gun safe. Oh, yeah, the Dan Wesson (left) is almost the spitting image of my first wheelgun...Lil Bro shares my sense of practicality in that regard. Now, why he doesn't have any Glocks is anybody's guess.

A Bit Disturbing

Unless you've never been inflicted with the Tubgirl photo.

I feel like crap today. Still have to dump sand on the sidewalk and fix some low spots from the first construction. Yeehaw.

"Lookit the Bones!"

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Enjoy These


Advil and Coors Light, take my aches away.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Yeah, I should be out working, but I had to take a peek.

A Mantis Best Friend

Clearly, Pooch, you have made the mistake of disrespecting me in my own Dojo. Now I must put the fight out on you!

[/poorly matched voice track]
[que music]

Why I'm So Busy

This is the partial sidewalk I put in for Mom last November. It survived the winter, but as you can see, the workmanship isn't very professional. Even so, when given a misshapen frog paperweight for Mother's Day, Moms know how to say "It's beautiful!"

This trip I'm extending the front stretch out to the driveway. And discovering the wonders of Advil for the inevitable muscle aches. At least the lawn tractor works now, so I don't have to cart the dirt away in a wheelbarrow anymore.

I Wanna Make Movies


It doesn't look very hard, does it?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Armed Forces Day

Give thanks.

What does he have against jugs?

From the Cactus Mailbag...a .500 Linebaugh shooting a JHP bullet through a row of water jugs. Here's a screenshot where the shattered slug bounces around inside the middle jug. The originator promises to get some harder bullets and perhaps some video next time. The link leads to an animated gif, about 400kB.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Cacti Grow Slowly

Finally, an Update: I finished five places ahead of Jon in Limited and #1 in Rifle to Jon's #3 out of 4 shooters (the resident Space-gunner had a very bad day).

In Riotgun, Jon took #2 after the Space-gunner while I squeaked in #4 out of 5. I'm tickled with my pistol placing. There was only one D shooter and a few unclassified gunners finishing ahead of me...I was almost in the middle of the pack. I'm disappointed at the light long gun showing and hope to see that improve.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hoofty Kitsch


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

From a Lady Friend in Florida

Responding to concerns about the alligator attacks in her area:

"It's mating season. Who *doesn't* want to get eaten?"

Son of Rambo Lives!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I Am the Rain God

My slothful delay of the roadtrip worked out to my advantage: apparently I missed a lot of bad weather on my route by not leaving Tuesday. When the Weather Gods learned of my little deception, they gathered their will around me to display their displeasure. I had just enough time to help my brother mow grass today, before the heavens opened and disgorged torrents of much needed rain. The locals recognized my arrival as the cause of the precipitation and ordered a party in my honor later in the week. They probably knew it was birthday, anyway.

Not Rambo

Mom hasn't seen her favorite chipmunk, the clip-earred Rambo, for quite some time. Seeing as how aggressive he was with blue jays capable of killing him and how active the raptors are in the neighborhood, Rambo probably led a short but brilliant life in the pantheon of Mom's Patio.

Friday, May 12, 2006

End o' the Rainbow

Cool, huh? Brand new windshield cleaned by brand new wiper blades. The double rainbow is just outside Knoxville TN. It led me to an exit containing only a Shell station and a little Deli named Lucky's. It was dinnertime, so I stopped in for a bite after a long day's driving. Who'd'a thunk that in all of K-town, the only occupied booth would contain a gathering of Knoxville's GunBloggers? Tam greeted me in a Forest Green pantsuit and handed me a beer.

"Begorrah, ya caught me! Now I have you give you me Golden AR to let me go!"

You know the one...it turned green because it's, like, gold!

"Unless you'd rather have something else," she said with a wink.

I thought Tam was kinda grooving on me, until she flicked her cigarette ash into my beer.

I've already got a 9AR, so I replied "A T-Shirt would be fine." "Why are you so pale, Tam?"

"Oleg Volk makes me like that."

"And the others...does he make Les Jones and Uncle look so blurry and nondescipt?"

"No, Silly Blob, you've just never seen their pictures before. You're asleep at a Virginia Rest Area and you're dreaming."

Oh. Explains why I was stopping in Knoxville and doing something more fun than buying new wiper blades.

A shout-out to the guy at the Asheville Hwy Advanced Auto Parts store! After finally selling me the right size, he installed the oddly designed refill blades so my road-addled brain didn't have to.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Be Careful Out There

Here Be Points

For Timmeeee: This is the cardboard IPSC Metric target we shoot at; it's brown on one side and white on the other. When posted brown side facing the shooter, it's got scoring zones from "A" (the vitals--big points) to "D" (a flesh wound, but still counts as a hit). When displayed white side forward, it's a No-Shoot and hitting it anywhere inside the border costs you 10 points. Some call this a Hostage target or a Lawsuit.

Due To Technical Difficulties

No, I'm really just too lazy to start the roadtrip today. Or unmotivated. That's two and a half days of driving with no blogs, Email, or ferrets to distract me.

Got a case of bottled water, a half case of Mountain Dew, and a stash of beef jerky and munchies lined up. Picked out some guns and ammo to bring along. Still haven't packed the suitcase.

You readers know what to do...go get a life and come back maybe this weekend. If I haven't wrapped the Ranger and myself around a guardrail on I-81 by then, I'll have some blogpics of the trip up.

Monday, May 08, 2006

How to Beat Jon at the Cactus Match

#1. Bring the fastest, most reliable carbine you have. Make sure it's been cleaned and oiled. Double-check the ammo so that none of those icky Wolf 62-grainers get near the magazine.

This pic was done in the dry-fire period permitted prior to loading and making ready. We didn't have the luxury of filming the stage, because we were the only two on it.


#2. Wait for Jon to get experimental. Instead of his similarly configured Bushy, Jon brought out his scoped HBAR. He'd never used the scope in a match nor function-fired the Beta C-Mag on the HBAR. Don't try this at home, kids! After two feeding problems with the C-Mag, he changed to his emergency 30-rounder. I think the scope distracted him, since he'd intended to use the see-through mount sights on everything, but fell for the temptation of using the glass for the distant knock-down steel targets. Even at low power, the limited field of view slowed down his acquisition time.

Even with all those problems, Jon finished only 3 seconds and change behind me. Before you dig on Jon about lack of preparation, remember that he has a job, unlike his slothful visitor from the Old Pueblo.

Jon beat me soundly on the riotgun course. Sixteen rounds and lots of running...his running reloading was a thing of beauty.


On the five pistol stages, I shouldn't have stood a chance of catching Jon...he brought his Glock 21 that he can shoot unnaturally fast. He'd added Arredondo base pads to some of his mags...and one of the mags just didn't like that. I think I beat him two stages due to mag glitches and my shooting very clean...Jon can miss very fast, too! I'm getting faster with the Para P16-40 every month. Overall, it was the tightest match we'd ever fired, but I'd prefer Jon being at his best when I beat him.

Oh, yeah, Lesson #3. Don't get cocky on the last stage. The final pistol stage we shot was the simple array at right. Engage each target with two rounds each freestyle, perform a mandatory reload, then repeat. The smart way to shoot this one is to go for headshots, since that reduces the chance of hitting a no-shoot (I don't think there's much difference between the "A" and "B" zones on the head for a Major caliber shooter). Well, I'd just been chatting with Match Director John about how great the stages were and how I'd managed to shoot cleanly, so far. I even knocked on wood! Wood doesn't have the same power it used to...I had a miss and a shoulder-shot No-shoot. Next time, I'll just say "Great match, John!" and shut-up until I hand in all my score sheets.

Nyuk Making the Rounds

MEXICO CITY—As dozens of major American corporations continue to move their manufacturing operations to Mexico, waves of job-seeking Mexican immigrants to the United States have begun making the deadly journey back across the border in search of better-paying Mexican-based American jobs.

"I came to this country seeking the job I sought when I first left this country," said Anuncio Reyes, 22, an undocumented worker who recrossed the U.S. border into Mexico last month, three years after leaving Mexico for the United States to work as an agricultural day laborer. "I spent everything I had to get back here. Yes, it was dangerous, and I miss my home. But as much as I love America, I have to go where the best American jobs are."

A group of Mexican workers make the dangerous trek home across the Rio Grande for their lunch break.
Reyes now works as a spot-welder on the assembly line of a Maytag large-appliance plant and earns $22 a day, most of which he sends back to his family in the U.S., who in turn send a portion of that back to the original family they left in Mexico. Like many former Mexican-Americans forced by circumstance to become American-Mexicans, Reyes dreams of one day bringing his relatives to Mexico so that they, too, may secure American employment in Mexico.

Despite the considerable risk illegal immigrants face in returning across the border, many find the lure of large U.S. factory salaries hard to resist—at 15 percent of the pay of corresponding jobs in America, these positions pay three times what Mexican jobs do.

Still, the danger is very real. When 31-year-old illegal Arizona resident Ignacio Jimenez sought employment at an American plant in Mexico, he was shot at by Mexican border guards as he attempted to illegally enter the country of his citizenship, pursued by U.S. immigration officials who thought he might be entering the country illegally, and fired upon again by a second group of U.S. Border Patrol agents charged with keeping valuable table-busing and food-delivery personnel inside American borders.

"It was a nightmare," Jimenez said. "Many became disoriented and panicked, and some were mixed in with immigrants going the other way across the Rio Grande and ended up swimming to the wrong country."

He added: "My cousin almost drowned. They fished him out and sent him back to wash dishes at T.G.I. Friday's."

Many say the trip across the border as illegal Mexican-American emigrants offers them a chance to land the American jobs in Mexico they never have been able to get as illegal Mexican-American immigrants in the U.S.

"It has always been my goal to have a good American job," Johnson Controls technician Camilla Torres, 27, said. "Many Mexicans now see Mexico as the land of opportunity. Mexicans will not stop trying to get here, no matter how much the Mexicans wish we would not."

Indeed, the trend of illegal re-emigration is causing great resentment among the local Mexican population, and tension between Mexicans and illegally re-entered Mexicans—dubbed repatriados—continues to build.

"I hate these Mexicans, always coming back here to Mexico from America and taking American jobs from the Mexicans who stayed in Mexico," said 55-year-old former Goodyear factory manager Juan-Miguel Diaz, who lost his job to a better-trained repatriado last March. "Why don't they go back to where they went to?"

Still, Jimenez, Reyes, and hundreds of others say they have no choice.
"The American Dream is alive and well in Mexico," Reyes said. "If I work hard, save my money, and plan well, I will be able to send my children to a good school—and who knows? If they study hard, perhaps they will get jobs someday at the new plant General Motors is building in China."

Okay...So I'm Late....

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Patches

GOP and the City's Caption Contest!

My entry here.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cotton Art

Love the Service Industry

Pay Up, Chicos y Chicas!

Five May Day

From Wikipedia:

Holidays and observances I don't know about you, but I'm not wearing pants today!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sandbox

Never thought I'd have a relative in the Sandbox so soon.

Best wishes, Binker.

Stuff Like This

By MICHAEL CORONADO The Orange County Register

AN HONOR: Marine First Sergeant Bradley A. Kasel, right, receives the Navy Cross from Maj. Gen. Michael R. Lehnert.

CAMP PENDLETON - He was shot seven times. Then 40 pieces of super-heated shrapnel melted into his flesh.

And at three different moments, in nanoseconds laced with adrenaline, confusion, sweat and blood, Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Bradley Kasal took account of his life.

Then he decided it would be OK if he died.

His decision earned him the Navy Cross on Monday.

In November 2004, while serving with Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Kasal rushed into a house in Fallujah where Marines were trapped in a small room. They were pinned down by Iraqi insurgents firing into the house from a higher and superior position.

The first time, after being shot and crawling to safety, Kasal went back out into the line of fire to rescue an injured Marine.

"I knew I was gonna get shot (again)," he said.

Now, after having suffered seven gunshots, Kasal decided to again put his life at risk.

He would use all of the available field dressings to help stop the bleeding of a gunshot wound suffered by a fellow Marine. He decided not to use any of the dressings for himself and instead "bleed out." It just made sense that one of them should survive.

Finally, the insurgent, knowing the injured Marines had no way out, lobbed a grenade into the room. Kasal saw the grenade, and using his own body as a shield, leapt onto his fellow Marine as the grenade exploded.

"I thought the chances of surviving were zero," he said.

But survive he did, his right leg and buttock riddled with bullets and his body stung by shrapnel.

If you live through that kind of ordeal, young Marines forever remember your name, major generals salute you in deference and little boys stand in line to meet an American hero.

On Monday afternoon, all of that happened for Kasal during an honor-laden ceremony.

The Navy Cross capped an emotional week. Kasal's father, Gerald, 69, died of cancer on Sunday, just a day before he was supposed to watch the ceremony via video conference from his home in Iowa.

In the same ceremony, Kasal attained his dream as a young man, getting promoted to sergeant major and taking an oath as he re-enlisted in the Marine Corps. He even reached a milestone Saturday, when he ran a mile and a half on his once-mangled leg.

Following the ceremony, the 39-year-old Oceanside resident spent more than an hour patiently shaking the hands of fellow Marines, active and retired, who lined up to greet him.

"You are an inspiration to every Marine," Maj. Gen. Michael Lehnert said to Kasal. Lehnert told the audience of more than 100 that the term "hero" is thrown around loosely in popular society.

But make no mistake he said, Kasal was the real thing.

"Marines past, present and future owe you a debt of gratitude."

Kasal said the most challenging aspect of the ordeal wasn't the 22 surgeries he endured or even fighting the opinions of doctors who suggested he should have his leg amputated.

Instead Kasal said the real pain was knowing the battle would go on without him.

"The most difficult part was being away from the Marines," he said. "My goal is to get deployable again."

Zarqaption This



Never let your outtakes fall into the hands of the enemy.
-- Sun Tsu Goldmann

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