Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

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

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Antique Furniture

One product of my roadtrip was the opportunity to bring back some of my "museum pieces." Here's my FN Model 49 in was made in Herstal for some Arabic-speaking army (probably Egypt). This week, I will mark a departure from all my evil black rifles and celebrate the wonder of wood furniture with some pics of the collection.

The Binker

Friday, April 29, 2005

It Was Her Own Finger!

After investigating how part of a human finger wound up in a bowl of Wendy's chili, Las Vegas police said they had finally found its original owner.

"The owner of the missing finger which Anna Ayala claimed to have found in her chili, was none other than - Anna Ayala", an information officer for LVMPD announced at a press conference.

Embarrassed investigators had no immediate answers as to why it took them a month to figure out that it was actually her own finger that she bit into.

Read the rest.

Carnival of Cordite #10

New one is up today! Got a lot of updating to do for the GunBlog List. If I've been slow getting you in, my apologies. Keep bothering me.

Road Worrier

Thanks to the Blessed Goddess of Caffeine, I made the trip back in two days. The only traffic snarl was an accident in Fort Worth...surprise, surprise...and the only weather some rain in eastern TN and a dust storm at El Paso. Sweetwater TX claims the Bug Crown from Las Cruces for the return trip. The Bug Belt must be moving north.

I want to thank the people who thought of putting six-disc CD/MP3 players in vehicles; that was the only thing that made the trip bearable. That, and my Napster account and DSL connection back in Korea, but you didn't hear me say that. This morning I scanned through my collection and deleted those files with ear-shattering artifacts I hadn't encountered before...and some of the bootleg concert recordings that just plain sucked. Why did it take so long to find this stuff out? I do have a big CD collection, ya know (for you RIAA narks out there). I just didn't want to fiddle with the player after every so many hundred miles like I would with CDs.

How does one drive 1300 miles a day? It helps to have the luxury of traveling when you want to. Sleep in. Travel on weekdays. Drove through the night, stopping for a nap before morning rush hour (sleep through that). Sleep in your vehicle at a rest stop; my driver's seat reclines to a good angle and I brought coverings for all the windows to block out light (and allowed me to change into clean clothes). I had a case of bottled water, three bags of beef jerky and a can of Pringles. My only sit-down meal was at Subway in the evening, where I loaded up on Mountain Dew, ate the first sandwich half there and saved the other half for the next gas stop. All the above hinges on the fact that I'm an asocial hermit. Those of you with lives (and wives) have to tack on extra days for restaurant meals, shopping, sightseeing, sleeping in motels...all the normal human things.

Friday, April 22, 2005


Now I have even better excuses for not laptop took a dive to the floor this week and broke its power connection. The AC adapter plug was bent (and eventually broke off) and after I had a replacement overnighted here, it still wouldn't power up. I'll drop it by the Gateway shop when I get back...I hope I don't lose my vacation pics.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Rambo is Mom's "pet" chipmunk. He lives in an unused gas grill on Mom's porch. *Sniff* I remember when Mom used to grill all the time. Now everything goes into the toaster oven...damned chipmunk.

Monday, April 18, 2005

How Much Would a Woodchuck Chuck-up...

If a woodchuck could chuck-up wood?

I can still hear my big sister say "So, you're not in town a day yet and already you've had to kill something."

Well...yes. My little brother pointed out the back window and grabbed the .22 rifle Dad kept for the occasion of Evil Mr. Groundhog showing up in the field behind the house. That lil peckerhead and his friends had made a mess of the inside of Mom's barn in the past, so I was not feeling particularly merciful. The only thing I had handy was the M1A SOCOM I hadn't fired yet and one preloaded magazine. By the time we'd mobilized, the fat lil groundhog had slithered out of sight, so we sat and waited. When his head reapppeared, my brother suggested we wait until the critter sat up to pose a bigger target. By then, I had the rifle in a snug hold with the sights cranked down into their lowest position. I mentioned that I might be able to poke through the dirt if I shot low...and took the shot. The brown furry lump disappeared, so we hiked down into the field to investigate.

So...the rifle I've practically declared to be the last one I'll ever need to buy put the first round I'd ever fired through it through the evil rodent's head. I poked it down into it's hole with the muzzle of the rifle and hiked back and grabbed my camera for a pic before the flies caught onto the gig already.

I can feel the spirit of half a dozen euthanized plowhorses thank me for ridding the fields of this menace. I know my grandfather would have approved.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Happy Retirement, Chief!

Yesterday, a really great guy hung up his uniform after 25 years service in the Air Force. We both raised our right hands on 12 September, 1979; I was fresh out of high school...he was a wise old Tennessee college student who'd been to Europe and did countless things I'd never imagined. Naturally, the Air Force recognized his wisdom and made him our Dorm Chief (which is why I still call him "Chief"). Although his career stopped short of the "E-9 Chief" mark, he's still the top to me and his sizeable family who flocked in from all over the south to see the crowning moment of a great miltary career.

Alan treated a bunch of us to a great night of barbeque and suds at Laurel MD's Red, Hot, and Blue. Today he headed up to Gettysburg with family and friends to share his love of history. I had a date with Mom further north in Pennsylvania. More later....

Friday, April 15, 2005

Happy BAG Day!

Still no word from my friend in Phoenix concerning the delivery of my single-stack from the gunsmith, so I don't know whether I'm going to score the Trifecta on Buy a Gun Day: Win a Gun, Build a Gun, Buy a Gun. My .45 is due today, but Ed knows I won't need it until I get up there for the May Shoot, so I understand if he juggles his backlog accordingly. Still, the opportunity to score a Three-Fer is exciting!

Update: Sadly, the .45 won't be ready until the end of the month...but I have no complaints!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Road Trip!

Who knew New Mexico would have bigger bugs than that swamp Arkansas? I gassed up in Las Cruces, cleaned the windshield, and it filled up with bugsplats before I reached El Paso!

Thankfully, eastern Tennessee washed off the worse of the bugcrust before I reached my destination.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Out of the Closet

Enjoying the new plexiglas for now...before they smootze it all up. The Safariland sticker added a funny touch. "Look, Mommy, free-range ferrets!" "Keep your fingers inside the vehicle, Ma'am...they're devouring a helpless raisin, and it's not a pretty sight." Hopefully, the sticker will also keep me from walking through the barrier again. That wasn't the problem last time, though. The previous barrier was as high as my inseam...this one is much easier to step over.

(Despite the name of the pic, this is Lenny.)
"Hey! We can't reach our special place any more!"

Saturday, April 09, 2005


The day winds down...I've taken my afternoon nap, thanks to waking up pre-dawn and enjoying a post-dinner rum and Diet Coke this evening. Now, instead of using Craig Ferguson's show to close out my evening, I slogged through an evening of repeats to finally see a Time-Life infomercial for a set of Hee-Haw CDs. Damn them!

Nothing could have brought my childhood viewing zen further to the forefront unless it was a shill for Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In...I have yet to see Time-Life tackle that. Today's Nashville hussies and wankers don't have the same impact on me as had the Legends of the Grand Ole Opry to whom I was exposed as the Son of a Twanger Dad. I lived a childhood in central Tennessee, west Texas, and Bossier City, Louisiana; though I tried to grip the popular music of the day, I was exposed to the music my Dad loved...well, he liked C&W enough to pre-program all of his radios for it. Once he retired back in his home town in Pennsylvania, the C&W was replaced by polka. How does a young music-phile reconcile with that?

I have a very eclectic musical taste and enjoy styles ranging from punk to Olde Nashville, with preferences leaning towards modern rock.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Oof! Ow! What Happened?

I lost a couple pages of visits from Sitemeter and I fell from Marsupial to Rodent in the TTLB Ecosystem. Somehow, the two phenomena must be related, but I don't know how.

Anybody else experience the same thing?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Hero Machine

I saw the Hero Machine about a year ago, but didn't play with it much (I was on a work computer). Click the pic and give it a try!

h/t when I find the site who reminded me.

San Diego is Bad for Your Back

South Park Republicans

They've got a new South Park character generator! Tip o' the hat to Beth at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, who is also forming a gallery of bloggers.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Joke Fix

De-cowboytized from Jen Martinez' blog:

Three military pilots were sitting around an advanced refresher Survival School campfire, out in the woods of Washingston state, each with the bravado for which they are famous. A night of tall tales begins...

The Captain from the Air Force says, "I must be the strongest, meanest, toughest pilot there is. Why, during the first night of GW2, I brought my Nighthawk to Downtown Baghdad! through a mountain of flak, took a buttfull of 57 mike mike, and pickled my smartbombs right into the target while I was slapping a pressure bandage on my leg. Then I flew right back through that flak and personally vectored a pair of A-10s onto them. They were quiet after that!"

The Marine Major couldn't stand to be bested. "That's nothing, I was caught in a SAMbush by some hidden mechanized infantry. I was spewing flares out the back and rockets and 20-milli out the front as I spun my Harrier around like a turret and hosed everything in sight. As my turbines starting tearing themselves apart, I landed with what little lift remained, and captured the sole surviving ZSU crew with my Beretta. I drove back to base with them as prisoners."

The Army Warrant Apache pilot remained silent, slowly stirring the coals with his pecker.

"Do Not Toss the Baby!"

Woohoo! The Cactus League used my input for the stage designs this month! I could have sworn I'd made at least one stage "revolver friendly," but even the Classifier was two eight-round strings with a mandatory reload between them. Oh well. The Course of Fire committee really juiced up my designs; I was figuring it'd be deep summer by the time they used them, so I tried to keep the round count down. The stage I heard the most feedback about was "Get me a Doctor," seen above. Start position was seated in the club's plywood "car" with hands and forehead on steering wheel, at signal, retrieve handgun from glove compartment (or carbine from prestaged area), extract the "baby" from the car and engage appropriate targets as they become visible. The baby must be placed in the destination box at the "doctor's" location before the final shot. There were many ideas on how to carry the baby through the stage...most of the handgunners just bit the dolls clothing and carried it in their teeth so they could run with a two-handed grip.

My favorite was the committee's combination of two of my designs. "Say Cheese" (all steel poppers) required the shooter to hold his camera to his face, then draw his handgun (or pick up staged riotgun) and engage targets as they became visible. It transitioned to "Careful with those IEDs, Eugene*," which featured cardboard IPSC targets with a twist. Somewhere on their "bodies" was stapled a white economy paper plate which counted as a no-shoot target. The evil Cactus jokers made two of them swinging targets activated by a popper from the first set. Delicious! We made this our last stage of the day and saw lots of tape on the plates...not from us, though! The third part of this stage was the Texas Star and an optional peek-a-boo target activated by a popper. I hadn't designed this part, because I hate that freakin' star, and didn't know the club had that other gizmo. All-in-all, it was a fun day, aside from the riotgun going tango unform on me.

Update: James Rummel at Hell in a Handbasket must be one of those IDPA guys. He linked to this post, but seems to pooh-pooh the game aspect of the IPSC format. Whatever. I disagree with his contention that IPSC is "an organization that tries to test defensive combat skills by using real-world scenarios." A word search of IPSC's Principles/Objects does not find the word "defensive" anywhere. Go ahead and look. The document describes "practical" shooting as "a test of expertise in the use of practical firearms and equipment," is conducted "using practical targets, which reflect the general size and shape of such objects as the firearm used may reasonably be called upon to hit in their primary intended use." "Courses of fire must follow a practical rationale, and simulate sensible hypothetical situations in which firearms might reasonably be used." "Practical competition is diverse"..."and free-style."

In other words, practical shooting is not standing at a table, exercising proper breath control, and precisely firing into a bulleye target under a time limit. The IPSC format should not be construed to be realistic training for gunfighting in the real world. It's a Gun Game (or Sport, if you will) that is a lot of fun. I never leave a match saying, "Boy, do I feel prepared to defend myself against two dozen bad guys swarming my house." IPSC does not emphasize shooting from cover, tactical engagement (shoot everybody once before shooting them again), tactical reloads, or a fighting retreat (like IDPA does). In fact, IPSC doesn't let you move backwards (IIRC, a safety issue). The fact that you actually advance forward into superior numbers without back-up and a freaking long gun is proof that the game has no basis in reality.

I live my life by Col. Cooper's Four Color Codes and privately practice drawing from concealed carry. I do get some training out of IPSC competition: I can clear malfunctions under pressure and shoot almost fast enough almost accurately enough...and that's about it. When I leave the match, I usually think, "Holy Cow, that was a lot of fun," even though I may have been penalized for misses or no-shoots. Then I load up the truck, don my carry piece, and prepare myself to avoid trouble.

This is my submission for this week's Carnival of Cordite.

* IED = Improvised Explosive Device; the stage title was in homage to Pink Floyd.

Women's Work

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Sunday, April 03, 2005

A Little Tech Help, Please

I test-fired my Remington 870 a couple of weeks ago by shooting a half dozen heavy slugs. No problem. At the match today, I brought it and a box of Winchester-X shells that my Rem. 1100 autoloader won't cycle. (My friend's Benelli doesn't like them either.) Anyway, after four shots, the action decided to freeze closed and required a great deal of effort to rack open. This occurred several times during the stage and, needless to say, I scored a miserable time. What I'm asking is, does this problem ring a bell with any of you readers? How do you remove the action work from an 870? Sure, I could find this out using Google and a gunsmith, but why don't we let this Blogosphere thing go to work on it for a bit? Any He-Man Pumpgun Gurus out there?

Quit Peeing in my closet!

I had a half case of Wolf .40 S&W and a half case of 9-mm in my hall closet. After chewing on the cardboard (see teethmarks) and the plastic, Lenny (left) and Squiggy decided the boxes made nice little ferret beds.

Why did they suddenly decide the smaller 9-mm box was the place to be? Ferret logic evades me. This pic was when I discovered the weasels had been saving themselves trips to the litter box. Arghh! Get the Lysol! Into the garbage can went two urine-soaked gun locks that they "give free" with gun purchases. Never did find a use for them.

One ferret, ready for shipping!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Willpower Weakened...Self-Control Lost....

Screw the itty-bitty free revolver...I bought a gun for BAG Day! I mean, a gun bought in early April counts for a BAG Day purchase, right? I don't need to buy it on April 15th, do I? What? Doh!

Anyway, care to guess what I bought? Make and specific model wins a month-long custom Blog Ad on my sidebar! Two guesses per person (this ought be be quick...maybe).

Other BAG Day bloggers are:
List stolen from Zendo Deb at TFS Magnum, another fine BAG Day blog.

Friday, April 01, 2005

American Streets

Do you know what is the most common street name in the US? Your first thought is probably "Main Street," but that would be wrong. The most common street name is "Second Street." "Main" and "First" are nowhere near the top. Now, can you name the most common thoroughfare named after a person? Washington? Franklin? King? How about Frontage?

Emil Frontage was a French engineer who was befriended by General Dwight Eisenhower during World War 2. It was Frontage (pronounced like "fromage") who pointed out the strong points of the German Autobahn to Ike who, in turn, would establish the National Defense (or Interstate) Highway System to link America's cities by roadways. It's a rare city that doesn't honor Emil with at least one Frontage Road, although the pronunciation has been Americanized over the years.

Happy Fools Day!

I renamed the blog in homage to April Fools Day, plus I've been getting too many Google hits from people trying to build their own humidor (true!). Heck, my Google traffic should be waaay down with the change.

Seriously, I quit smoking (pipe...again) this week, so the humidor might be gone for good if I can maintain the willpower. I'm also trying to cut down on the drinking, but the saloon shall stay, I promise. I'm cutting back mainly to lose weight, even after I bought new "fat shorts" for summer. My bout of laziness this week is helping in this regard (although it hasn't helped me exercise); my fridge is almost empty of non-condiment food and my pantry has little of interest. What I do have is a full bag of coffee beans and a freshly opened can of Ultra Slimfast mix. Let's see how long I can live on that (and freezer/pantry remains) until I need to make a commissary run. The absolute duration is marked by the six rolls of TP in the bathroom. Sure, I can bust open some MRE knicknack packs for emergency TP, but let's just see if I can last six rolls.

The bad thing about quitting drinking is the rotten sleep I get. Sleep is touch-and-go and dreams come way too readily and are way too boring...would you believe I dreamed of blogging a review of the book I just read? (See previous post.) I need to spend some more time away from the computer! This weekend should help, although I'll probably need a few drinks to guarantee at least a few hours sleep before Sunday's match (got four hours last night and two hours nap after my first post). Enough of this personal drivel...have a Happy Fools Day!

Lazy Slug and Ferret Poop

My, I've been a lazy blogger this week! Well...not just blogger. Besides doing some front yard work to keep the Lawn Nazis off my case, I did very little constructive this week. Okay, I read a book. Still must clean guns. Got a busy weekend coming up; Gun Show and/or Aviation and Arizona Day Saturday, then monthly Cactus match Sunday.

Much frustration from the weasels, but it's mostly my lazy ass' fault. I cracked their plexiglas barrier in half with my clumsy foot (it was already cracking at the top and it was bowed across the doorway) so my interim fix was to put up the other, larger piece across the hallway. It gave them a few more square feet to romp also gave them access to my hallway closet, whose door they easily slithered under (vinyl floors under a door built for carpet). They took to this new area with gusto and discovered some bulk ammo I'd been storing on the closet floor. What could a ferret do with that? I wondered. How about tearing open a heavy plastic "battle pack" and scattering the 20-round boxes of .308 over the floor? I'm surprised they didn't bust open the boxes. Maybe plastic is more their thing. For some reason, they decided that sleeping jammed in half a case of Russian 9-mm was much more comfy than their bed of old T-shirts in their room (pictures Sunday). That was fine and even amusing until they decided that their litterboxes were too far away and just pooped in the closet corner! Arggh! All the more reason to replace their plexiglas door today and render the closet off-limits! Gawd, I hate poop! It could be could be cat or dog poop. Back when I had the girls, their dainty little poop would dry out quickly and not resemble so much the steaming turds these males squeeze out that give my queasy gag reflex a hard time. As a result, I don't clean their litterbox daily, as I should. Hey, who wants to gag their guts up on a daily basis?

Well, I've got lots of stuff to do today and haven't even surfed the blogs yet. I wonder which will win out?
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