Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September Gun Fun



The September Cactus Match was a joy to shoot, despite the blazing high temperatures. At least it was sort of a dry heat.

Jon smoked the field with his Big Thumper, a Springfield M1A. The guy with the SCAR came in second. Fat and slow Cowboy Blob still managed to finish in the middle of the fusiliers, thanks to his crafting the stage descriptions to de-handicap Major Caliber Rifles. We suspect Chuck may have mis-assembled the gas system of his FAL; he shot the second stage with Jon's ammo and got the same single-shot malfunction. But why would the cases stick in the chamber like that?

We continued our parade of Remington 870s this month. I came in 3rd behind Jon and Ron (handicapped by the short mag tube), but would have placed 3rd amongst the Auto-gunners with my scores, so that's nice.

Here's the Shotgun Video.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Caption/Photoshop Contest

Sticky until End of Contest

Got a better caption or photoshop for this unsourced pic? You could win a coveted Blog Ad on my side bar! If you're lucky, I'll be too busy to blog and you'll keep your ad up for weeks!

Leave a caption or photo link in comments, or Email a pic to me at the address in my profile. If you're sending a large animation, please provide a hot-linkable URL. You need not own a blog to win! I'll advertise your favorite charity, web site, or even your CCD crib notes.

Check out the links in Drinks Ordered for photoshops!

Judging begins Monday Night.

WINNER!

Rick O'Shea of Bullet Points wins with:
"He did it! It's wine! Woo Hooo!"

Other Contests

Support your Local Gunfighter
Family Security Matters
Outside the Beltway
RTs Ponderings
Wizbang

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ugh

The only thing worse than having half a dozen house flies sneaking into the house is that, sans flyswatter, all I've got to swat down the buggers is a can of mango-papaya-scented AirWick aerosol that Mom thought too revulsive to keep. Of course, that wasn't her stated excuse.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quote of the Day

It's hard to believe that so many good things are coming out of the White House these days. Only Axelrod and Geithner to go.

--- BKZ

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nerdy Funny

Hat tip to Matt, who looks smashing in Mess Dress, by the way.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend Caption/Photoshop Contest

Sticky until End of Contest

Got a better caption or photoshop for this unsourced pic? You could win a coveted Blog Ad on my side bar! If you're lucky, I'll be too busy to blog and you'll keep your ad up for weeks!

Leave a caption or photo link in comments, or Email a pic to me at the address in my profile. If you're sending a large animation, please provide a hot-linkable URL. You need not own a blog to win! I'll advertise your favorite charity, web site, or even your adorable kid's school pics.

Check out the links in Drinks Ordered for photoshops!

Judging begins Monday Night.

WINNER!

Cargosquid of United Conservatives of Virginia wins with:
Ohhh God...the Princess is going to notice that my shoes aren't shined......I'll have to attend ANOTHER tea party. God, I hate mud pies....
Thanks for playin', y'all!

Other Contests

Support Your Local Gunfighter
Family Security Matters
Outside the Beltway
RT’s Ponderings
Wizbang

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Looks Like Fun!

At Rio Salado. I'll try really hard to finish this one.

The 4th Sunday Halloween Match at Ben Avery also promises to be a Thriller!

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On ebay

Wonder why they have so many.....

Click to embiggen.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Smith

Weekend Wesson?

No, I'm not going to start collecting lots of antique Smiths and Colts like a certain Hoosier Amazon we all know. In fact, if I hadn't been researching 1930s police equipment for our school movie (I'm Armorer and Location Audio this time) and if today hadn't been the Birthday of the United States Air Force, I might not even have gone to the good gun show, let alone both of them.

What do you get when you schedule two gun shows for the same weekend in Tucson? Two sucky gun shows.

When I joined the Air Force, the official sidearm was a variation of my new (to me) Smith & Wesson Model 10-5, a .38 Special revolver whose lineage goes back to the .38 Hand Ejector Model of 1899. (Apparently, dainty USAF pilots couldn't handle the Colt 1911 .45 Auto all the other services' aircrews were using.) Be that as it may, by the time I dragged myself through aircrew and survival training in my advanced middle age, the wheel-guns were long gone, replaced by the Beretta M-9. Well, I don't own one of those and it'll take more than a whim and a birthday to motivate me to buy one. Maybe one of those gas-blowback AirSoft versions, though.

Meanwhile, I won my first ebay auction today, scoring a Don Hume holster that ought to carry one of our prop S&Ws during our film noir project. Now, if I could only find a source of cheap Sam Browne belts ("throwing strap" and all)....

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Happy Birthday, USAF!

The ol' girl's 63 years young today and still looks good in Nomex.

To any who've worn the Blue or flown into it, I toast you tonight.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Wanna be in a Movie?

Pima Community College’s Advanced Cinematography Class is shooting a short film noir set in the 1940’s about a young female reporter who, when denied advancement by her newspaper’s sexist management, ruthlessly manipulates the system to get what she wants. Everything she wants. When she is done, not everyone goes home safe. The film shoots November 11, 12, 13, and 14 in Tucson using broadcast quality, high definition equipment. Vintage wardrobe, dark red lipstick, cars with big fenders, men in double breasted suits, women who wear hats. And like Bogart and Bergman -- we will be shooting in black and white (except our black and white is high definition). What is not to like?

WE ARE SEEKING MALE AND FEMALE ACTORS 18-60 (ALL ETHNICITIES) FOR ROLES AS: NEWSPAPER REPORTERS, NEWSPAPER EDITOR, ATTORNEY, DRUG DEALER, POLICE CHIEF, POLICE CHIEF’S WIFE, PROSTITUTE, MUGGER, VICTIM, POLITICIAN, CORRUPT BUSINESSMAN, POLICE OFFICERS, SECRETARIES, RECEPTIONISTS, AND VARIOUS EXTRAS. WE NEED TO CAST OVER 25 ROLES.

SEEKING BOTH SAG AND NON-SAG ACTORS.

WHEN CAN YOU AUDITION: Friday September 24 Noon to 7:00 PM
Saturday September 25 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM

WHERE: Pima Community College’s Digital Film and Video Lab
Room CG 45 in the Santa Catalina Building
2202 West Anklam Road

WHAT WILL GO DOWN: You will read from the film’s script, but you can present a short monologue if you have one and would like to do so. Bring a headshot and resume if you have them.

HOW TO GET IN ON IT: For an appointment e-mail Chris at ninebuddhas@gmail.com or call 777-8980.

There is no monetary compensation, but you will get title credit, a copy of the DVD, and yummy eats during the shoot.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Amazing Resemblance

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Binker-Auntie!

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Pretty



(Found on Flikr not credited to Oleg Volk, whom I suspect is the photographer.)

(Okay... I suspected wrongly.)

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Weekend Caption/Photoshop Contest

Sticky until End of Contest

Got a better caption or photoshop for this Reuters pic? You could win a coveted Blog Ad on my side bar! If you're lucky, I'll be too busy to blog and you'll keep your ad up for weeks!

Leave a caption or photo link in comments, or Email a pic to me at the address in my profile. If you're sending a large animation, please provide a hot-linkable URL. You need not own a blog to win! I'll advertise your favorite charity, web site, or even your now un-PC lawn ornaments.

Check out the links in Drinks Ordered for photoshops!

Judging begins Monday Night.

WINNER!

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remember

Carol Flyzik of Plaistow NH.

American Airlines Flight 11

September 11, 2001

Carol was related to me through the Other-Side-of-the-Mountain (or Coaldale) Flyziks, so I never met her.

Rest in peace.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Gunsmoke: a Test

While waiting for my crock pot full of bison chili (with carrots!!) to cook down, I brought the two brands of blanks out to the desert with their respective six-shooters to see whether any of them were suitable for movie work.

I'm using as a control my experience with shooting real black powder (or Pyrodex, rather) guns. I'll include a link to some video, but I finally decided to have some standards!

The only good point for the shiny Kimar shooting the SA07 .380 "Full Load" blanks is that the cast and crew could conceivably get away with not wearing obvious hearing protection (though the packaging warns you to wear it, of course). I wore none with no discomfort. The Kimar vents only from the cylinder-barrel gap, so I got a nose full of sweet cap-gun aroma. The gunshot sounded like a cap-gun to my bare ears and rather anemic to the camera mic.

The Umarex 9-mm revolver blanks actually produced some smoke, but not to the levels of Pyrodex; of course, I'd used to .44 cal b-p guns, so that accounts for some of the lack. The gunshot sounded more robust, causing some discomfort to my unprotected ears. The things I do for arts & sciences! Even though the cylinder does vent into the restricted barrel, a dab of smoldering powder landed on my shooting arm after a shot. Now reading the side plate of the black revolvers, they read "Cal .380 9 M/M KNALL."

These "guns" and some of the blanks would be useful if I ever needed to shoot a Western on school property (I'd cover the muzzles with orange tape during transport and storage), but besides the "Fix it in Post" method, one other answer is to use REAL guns loaded with commercially available blanks. I've found some in .38 Special and .45 Colt and they're even designed to smoke! I probably could have skipped some of this experience by talking to some Hollywood pros to see what they use. If only the College had some folks on tap to provide advice. I guess I'll just have to watch YouTube and see how the other amateurs do it.


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Monday, September 06, 2010

Clock's Up!

The odometer on the Saloon and Shootin Gallery just spun over to the ol' double-triple nickels tonight! Over half a million blog visitors since September 11, 2004! Kinda makes me want to do a better job blogging....

Thanks for visitin', y'all!

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Weekend Caption/Photoshop Contest

Sticky until End of Contest

Got a better caption or photoshop for this pic sent from some random LJ post? You could win a coveted Blog Ad on my side bar! If you're lucky, I'll be too busy to blog and you'll keep your ad up for weeks!

Leave a caption or photo link in comments, or Email a pic to me at the address in my profile. If you're sending a large animation, please provide a hot-linkable URL. You need not own a blog to win! I'll advertise your favorite charity, web site, or even the cosplay outfit you can't squeeze into any more.

Check out the links in Drinks Ordered for photoshops!

Judging begins Monday Night.

WINNER!

BobG of Near the Salty City wins with:

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Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Real Photoshop

Back when I had a lot of time, ideas, and energy to blog, I "photoshopped" in a program other than Photoshop (all hail Adobe!). It was Macromedia's Fireworks, when has since been bought up by Adobe. Now that I'm taking classes teaching several apps in Adobe's Creative Suite, I figured I might as well buy it instead of fighting to use the school computers to practice on. That, and the ability to work while sipping a frosty rum drink wearing nothing but my underwear, is worth the price of the Education Edition of the software.

Other goodies in the Suite: After Effects and Flash. On the other hand, now i've got two copies of the execrable Premiere Pro.

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Thursday, September 02, 2010

A Look Inside the Prop Box

Got the last of the boxes today and I was most happy with the third, which contained three badges and a replica .45 Army revolver. I think non-firing replicas are the way to go for movie-making (if you have a good After Effects operator), since blank-firing guns don't seem to stand up to close scrutiny in the authenticity column.





The far left gun is a blank-shooter from Blank-Guns-Depot.com and shoots 9-mm RK blanks. The monstrosity next to it is a Kimar blank-shooter that takes .380 blanks. Notice the black hammer, loading gate, and extractor shroud. Looking back at the picture on the web site (shown below), they didn't misrepresent it; but looking at it, wouldn't you be expecting a steel finish on the parts you can hardly see? The right side gun is the replica from cowboyprops.com.




I won't be buying any Kimar six-guns again anytime soon. Not to bash Kimar, though. This is a perfectly serviceable gun for Wild West re-enactments, but not optimal for film-making.









See what I mean about authenticity? Nice big .45 holes in the cylinder face!















Contrast with the Kimar, with a very fake-looking cylinder face -- not a good gun for close-ups!












The other blank-shooter has a real cylinder face, but it is obviously not a .45 Army six-shooter doppleganger. Its major drawback is that the cylinder isn't locked while the hammer is down, so if the actor torques his arm right as he's drawing, you're likely to get that noticeable cylinder-spin sound on the audio. And mis-index some blanks if you're using those (not really a problem starting with a full pistol).

Next project, test-firing the blanks on video for smoke effect.

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Oh, Prop Boy....!

Got the first of three visits from the Brown Truck of Happiness this week. Inspired by a friend's upcoming Western short shoot, I've decided to round out my prop box with stuff to augment my movie wardrobe and armorer's inventory. Included in the shipments are a few blank-firing six-guns, and some blanks. After these come in, I'll conduct some tests and post reviews for most of the items.

Last month, my film-making friend had asked me if I had any blank-firing six-guns (which prompted me to get some) he could rent/borrow for his Western movie, but I was immediately concerned whether blank-firing guns were the answer to his cinematic problem. You see, even real gunfire sounds cheesy on quality audio equipment (almost all movie gunfire is dubbed), and I wasn't sure whether common, commercially available blanks for non-firearms could properly approximate the gun smoke generated by a historically appropriate black-powder cartridge six-gun. Also, at the time of his inquiry, I questioned whether we could get away with shooting blanks within city limits or whether we'd have to jump through all the legal hoops with the local po-po. One solution I put forth was to use dummy guns and insert all the bang, flash, and smoke in post-production (Adobe After Effects is a good animation program for this). Turns out the post-production folks are okay with this idea, but now that we're shooting on a dedicated film set, we might end up doing a little bit of everything, depending on my video tests on the flash and smoke of my acquisitions later this week.

I'm really stoked to help out with this bit of movie-making, especially since this semester, the only camera I'll get to touch (besides sneaking a fondle on the school's new Sony EX-3s) is the 16-mm film Bolex that will record all the thousands of frames of my Film Animation movie.

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