Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Humpday Link'n'Logs

Thunder6 answers some "fan" mail.

Jeff Soyer expands his gun collection.

For a 0ne-year-old Dinosaur, Billy Budd gets kinda snippy.

Chrenkoff: Flood Aid from Hugo?

SMASH gets a thumbs up from our Dark Overlord for his counter demonstration.

El Capitan at Dude, Where's the Beach? points to the damage Katrina did to the USAF.

Geekwitha45 discusses ammo choices for short-barrelled .45s.

Les Jones points to a conflict of interest in the fetal pain study.

MrCompletely has pics of a great rifle for the little lady in your life.

Kim du Toit announces the bad news: he's slacking off blogging...again.

Bane reminisces about days when saying "One Riot, One Ranger" applied.

Some aircraft carrier pr0n at My Side of the Puddle.

The many Katrina posts are depressing me, so I shall not link them all. Give a hand, give blood at the Red Cross...shoot a looter.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Careful with that Howitzer, Eugene

This was back before the USAF and US Army figured out what a bad idea it was to fire missions while aircraft were in the firebase takeoff pattern.

Click to enlarge.

h/t Lil Bro.

Music Meme II

A variation of the Music Meme...go to the same site and search for the year you were born.

Erase all the oldies you don't like. Underline your favorite.

1. I Fall To Pieces, Patsy Cline
4. Cryin', Roy Orbison
19. Hit The Road Jack, Ray Charles
20. (Will You Love Me) Tomorrow, Shirelles
33. Calendar Girl, Neil Sedaka
38. Wings Of A Dove, Ferlin Husky
40. Blue Moon, Marcels
45. Hello Walls, Faron Young
46. Runaround Sue, Dion
63. Stand By Me, Ben E. King
64. Spanish Harlem, Ben E. King
86. Big Bad John, Jimmy Dean
96. Are You Lonesome Tonight, Elvis Presley
99. You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby, Bobby Darin

Music Meme

Ooh, boy, I'm showing my age now.

A.) Go to
B.) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function at the upper left and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year.
C.) Bold the songs you liked, strike through the ones you hated, underline your favorite. Do nothing to the ones you don’t remember (or don’t care about).

1. My Sharona, The Knack
2. Bad Girls, Donna Summer
3. Le Freak, Chic
4. Da Ya Think I'm Sexy, Rod Stewart
5. Reunited, Peaches and Herb
6. I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor
7. Hot Stuff, Donna Summer
8. Y.M.C.A., Village People
9. Ring My Bell, Anita Ward

10. Sad Eyes, Robert John
11. Too Much Heaven, Bee Gees
12. MacArthur Park, Donna Summer
13. When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman, Dr. Hook

14. Makin' It, David Naughton
15. Fire, Pointer Sisters
16. Tragedy, Bee Gees

17. A Little More Love, Olivia Newton-John
18. Heart Of Glass, Blondie
19. What A Fool Believes, Doobie Brothers
20. Good Times, Chic
21. You Don't Bring Me Flowers, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond
22. Knock On Wood, Amii Stewart
23. Stumblin' In, Suzi Quatro and Chris Norman
24. Lead Me On, Maxine Nightingale
25. Shake Your Body, Jacksons
26. Don't Cry Out Loud, Melissa Manchester
27. The Logical Song, Supertramp
28. My Life, Billy Joel
29. Just When I Needed You Most, Randy Vanwarmer

30. You Can't Change That, Raydio
31. Shake Your Groove Thing, Peaches and Herb
32. I'll Never Love This Way Again, Dionne Warwick
33. Love You Inside Out, Bee Gees
34. I Want You To Want Me, Cheap Trick
35. The Main Event (Fight), Barbra Streisand
36. Mama Can't Buy You Love, Elton John
37. I Was Made For Dancin', Leif Garrett
38. After The Love Has Gone, Earth, Wind and Fire
39. Heaven Knows, Donna Summer and Brooklyn Dreams
40. The Gambler, Kenny Rogers
41. Lotta Love, Nicolette Larson
42. Lady, Little River Band

43. Heaven Must Have Sent You, Bonnie Pointer
44. Hold The Line, Toto
45. He's The Greatest Dancer, Sister Sledge
46. Sharing The Night Together, Dr. Hook
47. She Believes In Me, Kenny Rogers
48. In The Navy, Village People
49. Music Box Dancer, Frank Mills
50. The Devil Went Down To Georgia, Charlie Daniels Band
51. Gold, John Stewart
52. Goodnight Tonight, Wings
53. We Are Family, Sister Sledge
54. Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy, Bad Company
55. Every 1's A Winner, Hot Chocolate

56. Take Me Home, Cher
57. Boogie Wonderland, Earth, Wind and Fire
58. (Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away, Andy Gibb
59. What You Won't Do For Love, Bobby Caldwell
60. New York Groove, Ace Frehley
61. Sultans Of Swing, Dire Straits
62. I Want Your Love, Chic
63. Chuck E's In Love, Rickie Lee Jones
64. I Love The Night Life, Alicia Bridges

65. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now, McFadden and Whitehead
66. Lonesome Loser, Little River Band
67. Renegade, Styx

68. Love Is The Answer, England Dan and John Ford Coley
69. Got To Be Real, Cheryl Lynn
70. Born To Be Alive, Patrick Hernandez
71. Shine A Little Love, Electric Light Orchestra
72. I Just Fall In Love Again, Anne Murray

73. Shake It, Ian Matthews
74. I Was Made For Lovin' You, Kiss
75. I Just Wanna Stop, Gino Vannelli

76. Disco Nights, G.Q.
77. Ooh Baby Baby, Linda Ronstadt
78. September, Earth, Wind and Fire
79. Time Passages, Al Stewart

80. Rise, Herb Alpert
81. Don't Bring Me Down, Electric Light Orchestra
82. Promises, Eric Clapton
83. Get Used To It, Roger Voudouris
84. How Much I Feel, Ambrosia
85. Suspicions, Eddie Rabbitt
86. You Take My Breath Away, Rex Smith
87. How You Gonna See Me Now, Alice Cooper
88. Double Vision, Foreigner
89. Every Time I Think Of You, Babys

90. I Got My Mind Made Up, Instant Funk
91. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, Michael Jackson
92. Bad Case Of Lovin' You, Robert Palmer
93. Somewhere In The Night, Barry Manilow
94. We've Got Tonite, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
95. Dance The Night Away, Van Halen
96. Dancing Shoes, Nigel Olsson
97. The Boss, Diana Ross
98. Sail On, Commodores
99. I Do Love You, G.Q.
100. Strange Way, Firefall

Yes, folks, I do know how to use the strike-through, but I hadn't learned to hate popular music yet. Hat tip to Chris, the Anarchangel.

Monday, August 29, 2005

On the Way

Picture making the "rounds." Click for larger view.


If you think your raccoon problem is bad, think on a Namibian farmer's baboon dilemma. My pen pal said that his friend's dog had been severely bitten by one 3 weeks earlier. Look at those teeth! I'm sure that farmer would rather have rats and raccoons!

Heh. Funny how a post named "Varmints" would be the target of 10 Comment SPAM attempts in the past hour. I had no trouble deleting them, you morons!

Lenny, You Miserable Shit

Sure, I couldn't fault Lenny and Squiggy for wanting to escape the land of the seldomly changed litterbox. I lost my cookies while I was changing the cage papers before the weekend. Yeah, my gag reflex is bad, so ferret clean-up missions are better started in the early morning. Lenny is the miserable shit who will wait for me to pull out all the newspaper in the cage before taking a running dump in the cage corner. He looks cute, but beware. Don't trust him.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

That's Why They Call it a Practice Match

Although, I was almost able to call today a match that doesn't count, lots of my fellow shooters took full advantage of the relaxed nature of the match league's 4th Sunday 3-Gun Practice match to work out the kinks in their game. first. Now I absolutely know not use Winchester-Western shells in anything but my double-barrel. They don't cycle in my Remington 1100 and they stick in both of my 870 pumps. Sure, I figured my old rescue project might have some bugs, but when my pristine First Gun started hiccupping on the things, it's time to consign W-W to the back of the odd ammo drawer. Oh, yeah, I also misread one stage description, which cost me lots of time, but I recovered to get all my hits.

Jon (pictured above) joined me in practice for next year's Superstition 3-Gun Match, going Heavy Metal (single-stack .45, 12 gauge pump, .308 iron-sight rifle) to satisfy some All-American, meat-eating, uber-Neanderthal urge to handicap ourselves to the point that our shoulders are guaranteed to sport bruises like this and this and we'd be reloading mofos shooting great big manly .45 ACP cartridges. Jon learned not to trust M1A magazines as being "GI Spec" and even his trusty 30-rounder betrayed him.

One guy who squadded with us had a tricked out Carbon-15 racegun with an ambidextrous safety. Although right-handed, he used the right-side safety switch, losing precious seconds adjusting his grip. We pointed out he'd done the same thing last month. Rob was a good sport and confessed it was a mental bloc. Friendly reinforcement! We beat him to a bloody pulp for being such a loon! Oh, no, we didn't. But it's making my sleep-deprived mind giggle like crazy. More after the results are posted.

Update: Predictably, Jon and I finished at the bottom of the rifle roster; he because of magazine troubles, me because of that brain fart on the stage description (I beat Jon on one stage by half a second, but his magazine problems were faster than my brain fart on the other rifle stage). That, and we were the only two not armed with poodle-shooters. We were surprised at the number of Pump Gunners that showed; six to the two auto-gunners playing the game. Jon and I finished first and third, respectively. Jon's time even beat one of the auto-gunners!

Criminal Number 1

I was packing up my match gear last night when a brown blur zipped across the living room. I'd heard no commotion beforehand, but I checked the barrier and it was intact with Squiggy on the other side. After I tracked Lenny down, he immediately re-demonstrated his new talent. He leapt at the top of the barrier and muscled his way up with his paws, then rolled over the top of the plexiglas. And this right before an overnight trip. Into the cage he went. I let Squiggy have freedom of the room, but I erected the other barrier in the hallway; this one stands straight across the hall with heavy boxes anchoring diggable edges like the other one. Turns out I needed it. When I returned, I found Squiggy curled up inside a case of shotgun shells in the hallway closet. The cage for both of them tonight!

Update: I was merciful. After only one leaping attempt (met with a squirtgun attempt), the inmates became rather docile and chummy. I think the separation affected them somewhat; it was the only time they had ever been separated from each other.

Three Hours Sleep!

I hate me! After all the run and coke and pounding the Canadian Army last night, you'd think I could sleep until the 8 a.m. alarm? Even after getting to bed after 3 a.m.? Try 0630. Then I start digging around in my stuff and found that I left all my pistol mag pouches at home! At least I have stress to keep me awake now! Maybe I can borrow some from Jon's brother.

We were playing Steel Panthers II last night on the old rickety Gateway. We were the Greek Army being assaulted by the Canadians in 1962. What fun! I bought two rifle companies, six platoons of 155-mm howitzers, an ordnance section, and mines. Jon stiffened our defense with a rifle company, two M-47 tanks, some engineers, spare bazooka teams (our rifle companies had recoilless rifles) and more mines! We saved the game after 3 a.m. while the computer enemy still had a lot of armor left (Centurions and Sherman dozer-engineer tanks), but it was all sitting at the edge of my beautifully placed minefield.

Jon dug up some single pouches and handed me a double and a single...what a pal! I'll probably let him beat me in the match today.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Saddling Up

Just waiting for the sun to go down before heading up to PHX for tomorrow's shoot. I-10 west is murder on the eyes before sundown and I'd rather load up the guns in the dark. Not that I'm worried about my neighbors knowing I have guns; it's just none of their business.

Doing the Heavy Metal thang in the 4th Sunday 3-Gun Practice Match tomorrow. BoG 1.2: Electric Bugaloo won't be ready for a while, so the not-BoG Afterthought Colt, his adopted twin brother, gets to ride in the holster. First Gun and Latest Gun round out the triad. I'll certainly try to take pictures, and if they actually used my latest batch of stage designs, you'll get those too! The 1st Sunday USPSA match is off the calendar due to the Holiday...just gotta try to find something else to occupy myself. Yard work, anybody?

Carnival of Cordite at Gullyborg

It's up. I had nothing worthy...maybe next week.

I Don't Heart Rat

Friday, August 26, 2005

Move Over, Ernie Pyle

My parents' generation had Ernie Pyle to bring the human side of the the War to them in the tyepset pages of a magazine. We both watched the Dan Rather-types reporting on Vietnam, facing the TV camera with the war behind them. Now, my generation of blog junkies gets the story from a man behind the camera.

Michael Yon is a combat correspondent and author in Iraq who makes the FOBbits from the network news look like pampered studio talking heads. In his latest dispatch, he's followed Army Lt. Col. Kurilla (left) to what might be the Colonel's last gunfight (for a while). Kurilla is already a hero in my book, but Yon's coverage of the heroes of Duece Four paints a colorful picture of the valor and competence of these men, warts and all. In this dispatch, Kurilla is sherpherding two newbies to combat through the battlefield when he's engaged by terrorist ragtards in a shop. The newbies froze, so Yon grabbed a weapon (a no-no) to help the man he's been shadowing for so long; fortunately, the Command Sergeant Major showed up and mopped up the tango. Go read! Check out his great pictures, a small sample I've included here. Most of all, hit his PayPal link to support this awesome reporting.

I hope Michael survives this war, because this needs to be made into a movie and he needs to write the screenplay...maybe even star in it.


From the Dayton Daily News:

Like their Army counterparts the day before, the Marines staged an urban assault, equipped with helicopters lowering troops to rooftops, tanks, machine guns, the works. I asked a Marine major if he could explain to me the difference between the Marines and the Army Rangers we had met the day before.

"The Rangers are very good," he allowed. "I'd rate the best of the Rangers about equal to the average Marine."

"I would have been a Marine," a Ranger told me, "but I couldn't fit my head in a jar."

Rivalries between the services are legendary, of course, but the soldiers of the Army and the Marines do have one thing in common: They both make funny noises, which is endearing, because most of what they do for a living isn't the least bit funny.

We were at dinner and a general was holding forth on the challenges facing the Army in the post-Cold War world, when from the back of the room came this grunting, coughing sound as if someone was struggling with a belch or was about to hurl.

"Hoooahh." One too many toddies before dinner, I assumed. Then it happened again.

Another guy. "Hoooahh." Then another. And another. I soon learned this is the Army's equivalent of shouting "Amen, brother!" in church. Depending on how you say it, "Hoooahh" means "right on." Or it means "darn shame, ain't it." For all I know, it can also mean "pass the ketchup."

Marines, likewise, do the same thing. Only theirs is "Ooorah."
"Men, we're going on a 20-mile run."
"Then, we're going to do 500 pushups."
'Afterwards, I'm buying the beer."

Since the Air Force was the next stop on our tour, I asked an Air Force major if members of his service were into this kind of noise-making. You guys have something you say? I asked.

Sure, he replied. "FORE."

I Heart Rat

Thursday, August 25, 2005


VALOUR IT Status Report

At the Cool Blue Blog.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Three-Nap Wednesday

Note to self: when selecting a book to help you fall asleep, pick a book on a dry subject. Definitely don't take out something from your favorite author that you haven't read for five to 10 years. I learned this last night when I went to bed, eyes tired from ferret allergies, but brain running too fast for sleep. I pulled out Seventh Son, by Orson Scott Card, and proceeded to read it from cover to cover. The sun was just coming up when I finished and reached for Red Prophet...fortunately, Book Two stepped away from the protagonist Alvin Maker's storyline and let my sleep-deprived brain run over the secondary story, finally winding down enough to let me sleep. For three hours. Then my eyes slammed open with full consciousness; no sleeping in for me, not with the weasels soon to be beating on the barrier.

Brought in the garbage can, and scoured some more weeds in the front yard. The back yard is still pretty muddy. Checked Email, read some blogs and comics. Read some Orson. Nap. Made a sandwich and surfed some more. Nap. Tomorrow, I'll work on reducing the fallen mesquite tree's almost small enough that I can throw it into the truck and drive it out to the desert, but I'm tempted to just drag it into the back yard and use it piecemeal for barbequeing...that is, if someone doesn't steal it before then for just that purpose. The bottles of weed killer are still sitting on the barstool, laughing at me. If I turn up the Diamondbacks game, I can almost drown them out.

Goings On at the Saloon

Squiggy broke out last night...Lenny must have slept through it. First noticed when he stuck his nose on my left hip as I was surfing the net last night. I reversed the plexiglas since it seemed to have been fatigued curved one-way for so long. What a butthead. Squiggy got a great laugh out of it since he was free and clear for about half an hour. He was dancing and giggling for those moments he wasn't diving under furniture.

I'm postponing my roadtrip back to PA until November, mostly due to the great big a/c repair bill I just got. No, I don't need to bleg or get a job right away, but I can drive without the truck a/c on part of the way and I can hope gas prices have fallen by then. I shouldn't be forced into a motel due to the heat that time of year. This will also allow me to be home for a real--rather than family-manufactured--holiday. I'll also be home for departed Dad's birthday and wedding anniversary.

Tried to work in my monsoon-submerged yard today (I finally had an a/c-cooled house to retreat to. Scoured the front to placate the neighborhood yard Nazis, then turned to the back. That dark stuff by the back fence will turn to tumbleweeds in November. Since any steps off the back porch sank ankle-deep into mud...I'll try again in a few days.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Kick Ass, Mike

Don't You Just Hate When....

You get something you ordered in the mail right when you need it, but it's the wrong size...and they also sent you something you didn't order...and of course, they charged you for it?

I told them how they can make me happy. My 4th Sunday Match post will have all the details.


Give the gift of communication to a wounded combat veteran!

Anime Aircraft Pr0n

Woohoo! Got it working! Too busy admiring the view to get much destruction done!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Slumber Party

Somewhere in there: Gracie, Coco, Ripley, Nessie, and Victoria.

Into the Crawford Mess

Catfish from Texican Tattler went to a USPSA shooting match today and posted a great big article. I was a bit disappointed that it all centered on his trip by Crawford, Texas! Good story, any way.

Nebraska is a Quagmire

Chuck Hagel's senatorial tenure has destabilized the Midwest, which is looking more like Vietnam. People are dying in Nebraska! The death toll continues to climb while Senator Hagel enjoys his vacation! There is instability in Nebraska and the longer Hagel remains in office, the instability will continue! Throw Chuck out!

Chuck is just sucking up to the anti-war crowd, mouthing half-truths to gussy up his campaign platflorm. Hey, Chuck...death tolls climb! That's all they can do until we invent resurrection!

Hey, about you elect a real Republican next time. One with balls.

Linked to Mudville Gazette's Open Post.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Cowboy to the Rescue: 2 Miracles 2 Much 2 Ask

From the Propwash Gang

For those of us in the Intel Business from the 60s to the 90s, the SR-71 had a
special place in our hearts--not just for the the intel she collected, but for the
intel she generated by her presence near the airspace of our enemies. Where did she
fly? I don't think I'll be revealing any national secrets by revealing the orbit
named "AOTFP." Here's a story from one of the brave pilots of the Blackbird.

Bill Weaver : SR-71 BREAKUP

And I thought MY quirks were bad....

Check out Michele's at A Small Victory.

To propagate the viral meme, here are the ones I'm aware of:

I'm a lazy slob and a pack rat. I'm afraid of heights. I'm a nervous gagger; I can't go out in public on a full stomach and when eating in public, I sometimes get anxious enough to start gagging. Things guaranteed to get me making preparatory trips to the toilet or waste can: Dating, Public Speaking, Shooting Matches, Dentist trips. I avoid opened umbrellas unless I'm safely under them. I clam up when talking to women for fear of saying something stupid (except to Lisa the Biker Chick...I practice saying stupid things to her). I sometimes get nauseous looking at my own cooking. I collect movie DVDs but rarely watch them alone. I read too many blogs. I spend too much time at the computer. On road trips, I do not stop to ask for directions, nor do I check out tourist vistas, historical markers, or interesting restaurants. I will stop at chain restaurants and truckstops convenient to the interstate. I've never had a committed romantic relationship.

I hoard photographs, binary files, video tape, etc., and only a tiny percentage of these are pornographic. I've amassed a great quantity of fired brass, but haven't touched my reloading presses in ages. When seated in public, I prefer a seat that faces the door (ol' saloon habit), preferably, the whole room. For all my nausea issues, I've never been seasick or airsick. I did the ol' gag routine before every one of my training flights, however (but none of the others). I have an unhealthy appetite for rum and caffeine-free Diet Coke.

I know you're wondering how I could function in the Air Force for so long with these quirks. I was actually a podium instructor of note at Tech School and when teaching from a syllabus on subjects on which I was either expert or merely conversant, that was not public speaking. Being Master of Ceremonies at the class graduation sent me to the boys room every time. My dental anxiety took a while to manifest; I had a very bad episode at the dentist clinic once and on my next appointment a year later, the gag was there. The gag stopped the procedure, which reinforced itself in my mind. The last time I had fillings filled, I was under drugs for my wisdom teeth removal.

Pass it on.

First Handgun

Blogger Anika! of Annika's Journals has found the Holy Homeland of Happy Hoplophiles and is seriously considering residiency. Although physically residing in the DPRKalifornia, she'll join a population of law-abiding citizens who realize that whatever weal or woe that is derived from a handgun comes from the hand that wields it.

Weal...that means prosperity or happiness. Yes, guns can be fun and I know lots of folks who can make a living competing with them. I wonder if it feels like work to them?

It seems Annika! wondered if the SIG-Sauer P226 would be a good first gun for her. Well, judging from her first target at the above link, I would think so! If she can afford a Sig. She said she already knows 9-mm would be a lot less expensive to practice with. Merely liking it and shooting well with it ought to be enough. Here's my response:
Thanks for the Email, Annika!

Congrats on joining the ranks of Happy Hoplophiles! As far as selecting your
first gun, if you like the
P226 (and can afford it), how can you go wrong?
As in my example, even a great gun can't be everything to you. My Sig is a
great target shooter and very
reliable carry piece but I can't shoot it for
durations; my Glock is a match champ, but I didn't want to pack it home
after a long match without
cleaning it (it's a liability thing).

Yes, 9-mm is waaaay cheaper to practice with and there are many good brands
of premium defensive ammo made
for it. Make sure to practice with the defensive
too, to ensure your gun feeds it reliably.

Between my two favorite brands, the Sig is better for a beginner only because
the long, stiff trigger pull
makes it less likely for this no-manual-safety-
equipped firearm to hurt you
accidently. I personally think these guns are
for the beginner if they pound it into their skulls first:
"Absolutely nothing inside the trigger guard until I'm ready to shoot!"
"The gun gets my undivided
attention while holstering."
If you think this is bad, think about guns with manual safeties. The *bad*
thing is that you have to train yourself to use the safety. If I had a nickel
for every 10th of a second
I'd lost squeezing a immovable trigger, I might be
able to buy a card for my funeral if it had been a
real situation and not a
match. Safeties also let the
shooter relax just a you want to relax
with a
loaded firearm in your hand? I'd rather put it in a holster.

The Europeans aren't the only ones who make quality firearms and don't restrict
yourself to auto-loaders,
unless you really want to. My first handgun was a Dan
Wesson revolver. I could shoot inexpensive .38 Special ammo to practice and
also load .357 Magnum
jacketed hollow-points for self-defense. I rarely
shoot it any more.
Your first self-selected handgun is an important choice only if it stands to become
your last gun.

If you're counting on it defending your life and it fails you in some way, you will
buy no more, because you're dead.

If you buy it to have fun at the range and it's an inaccurate jam-o-matic that turns
you off to the sport, you will buy no more.

Choose wisely and don't be afraid to try other things.

Friday, August 19, 2005

What's with Curry?

I love curry, but only made it once with a packet my cousin the Nippophile sent me. Last week I found some in the commissary and decided to try a few recipes. I was looking forward to the "Hot" variety, since the stuff I made before was kind of tame. Plus, since I'm projectile sweating all day, why not give the ol' pores a workout?

Color me disappointed.

Oh, it's tasty! But what about "Hot?" Doesn't that imply some flavorful stimulation resembling heat? Has kimchi and picante sauce deadened my taste buds forever? Or is "Hot" Japanese for something else? What say you S&B Golden Curry?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

AC Issues

Jose the AC Guy scratched his head on his third visit. I made it through yesterday with no problem (other than some unusual humidity), then today it got clammy again and the temp started rising despite the unit chugging away all day. The unit is putting out cold air, but it's only noticeably coming out the vents on the furnace side of the house. Unfortunately, the attic ends where the vaulted ceiling divides the house and there's no separate attic opening on the ferret side of the house. I'm a bit scared to start carving on my ceiling at this point. We couldn't feel anything blowing from the guest room vent, but when I closed the door to minimize the area to be cooled, I could feel cool air rushing through under the door. I don't know...maybe since I've never spent a whole summer hanging out in the house, I never noticed the AC getting behind the temp curve in the afternoon. Or my AC is dying. Damn, house, don't make me get a job just to fix you!

I am this far away from taking Lenny up into the attic with a fiber-optic camera stuck on his harness and send him through the duct work. I heard they used ferrets to wire ICBM silos....

Update: Oh, great! Now it's blowing room temp air! I'd put a remote thermometer sensor up on the kitchen vent (closest to the furnace) yesterday to ensure there really was cool air being generated. There was...yesterday! I changed the filter on the first of the month but don't see anything coming out of the drop faucet outside. I might have to make my own venture into the attic-space.

It Only Comes Out at Night - No, not the Edgar Winter Group album, my A/C! After turning it off for a few hours, it's now blowing at 77 degs F which might get the house down to a sleepable temp by the time I pass out from too many rums and lemonade.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Rolls in the Garage

Long before I discovered the mid-size Glock frame as the greatest carry gun in the world, my marginally legal carry arrangement was a used Canadian Browning High-Power in a case kept in my truck (I was living in the DPRM at the time). It had a tiny, old-style safety, but I liked the firepower the 12+1 capacity it offered over the 7+1 of my .45 and the 6+0 of my .357 Magnum. Way back then, I had only one (maybe two) of each...imagine! Then something called the .40 S&W cartridge came out. Finally, one could carry a more powerful round than the 9-mm and still have a good reserve of ammunition after double-tapping multiple opponents. Right about then, I'd just received an assignment to Korea (my 4th, I think) and I needed something to cheer myself up.

Enter gun shop, stage left. I wasn't particularly looking for a .40, just eye-shopping when I spotted a stainless steel Colt Anaconda .44 Magnum priced to sell! I wouldn't have to double-tap with that! The clerk said it was being sold for a Clinton staffer moving into the area who wanted to "walk the walk" of Slick Willy's administration. I slapped my credit card down quickly and was halfway through the paperwork when I took a closer look at the tag...I could scarcely read "SOLD" in the brighter light outside the display case. The clerk apologized profusely while I tried to calm my shaking disappointment (kinda like Ed McMahon coming to your door with a big check with your neighbor's name written on it). The staffer also had a Desert Eagle .50 AE on sale there, but I wasn't interested; I'd racked (or tried to...) the slide of one of those before and would wait for years to buy my first Israeli weaponry.

Moving on, I checked out a two-tone BHP "Competition" model with a nice, oversized safety. Then I picked up a SiG-Sauer P229 in the new .40 caliber...this was too sweet! It didn't snuggle into my hand like a Walther P-38 or a 1911, but it had a slide release and mag release I could reach with my short thumb (with a little adjusting). It's a German-framed gun priced as the Rolls Royce of Handguns (and this Maryland, which tacked more on the price); it would be the most expensive handgun I'd bought to that date. What the heck...I'd get to shoot the finest handgun available for a few months before spending a year in Korea not shooting at all. Back then, I'd shoot rarely at the local indoor range or at the gun club down the road from my parents up in PA on long weekends. I'd seen one IPSC match at the Fort Meade Gun Club, but never took the opportunity to try it. My only competition was with my little brother, from whom I won bragging rights in every discipline but clay pigeons. Well, the Rolls Royce of Handguns turned out to be the most accurate handgun I owned! Something to look forward to!

As my tour in Korea wound down, I landed an assignment to Tucson, where my good friend Jon was already stationed. We'd gone shooting/camping there when I'd taken my first non-hometown vacation to Tucson and San Diego. Jon was into IPSC and I was looking forward to getting a concealed carry permit (though I loved open carry in AZ, sometimes it's better to keep your gat under wraps). After I drove my guns down from PA (never let anybody else move your guns!), I took the CCW class and brought my P229 for the qualifying range time. I was confident I'd breeze through very simple course of fire from five and 10 yards. First shot-- (double action, of course) boom! out of the generous scoring area! Where the heck did that come from? I settled down and grouped the rest mighty tightly (thanks to the SiG's light single-action pull) and qualified for my CCW with only one miss.

For my first venture into IPSC, my only real choices were the P229, my Colt Series 80 Enhanced, Glock 21, or ParaOrdnance P14-45. There was no way I would shoot minor (pride, ya know), although I still had the BHP with the tiny safety. This was pre-Limited 10 IPSC, so the SiG was the logical choice, since I hadn't amassed enough of the pricey P14 magazines yet and had no holster for the G21 either. I shot my Tyro match with the best in German engineering, only to be undone by Slovak-German genetics. By the end of the long match, my right index finger was having trouble with the looonng double-action trigger pull...I would learn the same applies to the big Glock 20/21; they're great guns for carry or light shooting, but in my hands they would take too much out of my weakling trigger finger over a long day of shooting. Methinks this also kept me from making Expert with the M9; I'd begin by clover-leafing my hits on target, then after hauling the wooden target frames out to the farther ranges, fatigue would slow down my trigger finger.

What to do? Shoot super-handicapped with the single-stack, single-action .45? Pay through the nose for Para magazines (actually, I did later)? Spend the crazy single Master Sergeant money (not getting flight pay yet) on a new pistol? Yes! The Glock 23 turned out to be the answer to my problem of putting a major caliber, high-capacity handgun into my little gurly hand, and snuggled its way into my carry rotation too! I shot the heck out of it for a year in the matches. Actually, I grew too fond of it for carry that I had night sights put on it and got a factory refinished .40 Glock 22 with two refurbished 15-round mags for a steal and dedicated it to competition.

When the flight pay finally started rolling in (on top of language proficiency pay I was already getting), I added several more handguns to my collection, including some big-body Glocks (20 and 30) and a Glock 19...because Jon kicked ass with his when he had occasional urge to shoot minor super-fast. Sadly, I shoot the G19 slower than the G22 for some reason, so the G19 found its way to the lower rear stack of Combat Tupperware in my gun safe.

After I retired, I came back to Tucson and when it was time to get a new CCW (I let the old one expire since I couldn't be certain I'd return to AZ), I dug back into the safe and got the G19 out. I was attending the class with Lisa the Biker Chick who also packs a G19 (and is a mighty fine shot when she wears her contact lenses). As you can see, I had four "flyers" out of 10 shots with a pistol I'd rarely shot. I attribute some of this accuracy to our instructor, Phil, who taught me how to defeat cross-eye dominance, but everything else goes to Glock accuracy...well, I might have some talent, too.

Nyuk, Nyuk...I still have the target stuck on my refrigerator with magnets. Hey, I don't have any kids! Note: I am not a beginning shooter, so if you are, a Glock might not be right for you. Its lack of an external safety and light trigger pull, relative to the double-action of the SiG, requires it be kept in a rigid holster covering the trigger guard. If you can keep things from leaping in front of the trigger as you holster it, it's a safe, accurate, and reliable carry/competition piece.

And the P229? For me, it's a sweet range gun which I'd carry as my Sunday-Go-To-Meeting-Piece (I later got a smaller P239 with night sights), sort of like a "Dress Gun"...oh, yeah, like I ever go out any more. But for me, the Rolls Royce of Handguns takes a back seat to the Austrian BMW from Gaston Glock, especially the mid-sized ones.

Submitted to the Carnival of Cordite.

None Shall Pass!

If Lenny looks a little wet, it's because he tried a little too aggressively to pop the plexiglas barrier open. He almost made it, but got a big squirt from the water bottle (not the squirt gun). That gave him a shock...then he squirreled around alternately licking the floor and doing the Backwards War Weasel Dance.

Squiggy beats on the plexiglas for attention, but Lenny pries at the corners to make good his escape from captivity. The Lenster slipped into my gun safe this week; I pulled him out before he could tear up the foam rubber flooring. After he was frustrated at the plexiglas, I surreptiously caught him digging at the safe door. I don't know where he thinks it leads. Hopefully, a can of Chinese .308 will block any further escape attempts.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

See...I Get Out

Of course, my house was 90 degrees inside and humid! The AC guy came back today and declared that it was working, despite the fact that it climbed up to 87 degrees before he arrived. It's started to cool down again...I wonder what he did to it.

Jon and I were really looking forward to doing the postal match this morning, but the local range is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays! I knew about the Mondays part, but not Tuesdays until we reached the gate. Jon's social schedule was too tight to truck all the way out to the Tucson Rifle Club, so we'll shoot it separately later in the week.

Oh, yeah...the Hermit Cowboy actually did some socializing! Jon called up a mutual friend down here who was hoping to have dinner with Jon while he's here, so they set up a meet. Chris was a student in my favorite Tech School class; now he's holding down the job Jon retired from. They grow up so fast...he's a MSgt with 18 years in! Feeling old.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Well, the boys pulled one tonight. One side of the plexiglas had been compromised by a digging devil and I found myself stalked by TWO evil weasels! Squiggy I recaptured immediately, while I needed to shake a plastic shopping sack to lure Lenny into captivity! All this after I tried to do some housecleaning in anticipation of Jon's visit tomorrow. Screw that. Jon might have to sit around while I scrub and vacuum tomorrow.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Happiness is a Cluttered Closet

At least it's kept them from pooping everywhere in there!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Got Another Road Trip Coming Up

Might need to get a Pennsylvania Non-Resident License for dove season. Mmm...dove. Haven't been bunny hunting for years. I started out using the .22 pistol like every one else, but learned that the 12 gauge Stevens coachgun made the perfect Elmer Fudd gun. Did you know the EFG started out as Jon's? Not for this picture, though, since he harvested this bunny with his first wife's Taurus .44 Magnum (hunting for javelina originally). He used the .44 and the coach gun in a Cactus monthly USPSA match...I provided the Bag o' Speedloaders and he shovelled out the style points. Steel was slammed down by factory magnum loads and the riotgun stage was laughable for its anachronism. The range officer was super-helpful in his tactical advice...before he saw the fun-gun Jon had packed that weekend. Sadly, shooting both barrels from the hip failed to drop the last two steel. I've got that on my Sony Handycam, but I really need a Hi-8 player since the camera's player seems to have gone the way of so much of my electronic stuff lately.

Oh, yeah, gotta love what he's using for a game bag! BTW, we came back from this trip with no javalina, but lots of bunny meat. Gotta love the long Arizona white-meat season.

Tucson...even our bugs are tougher!

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - An 83-year-old woman is recovering after being stung 400 times by bees, authorities said. The woman, whose name was not released, was attacked Friday by bees coming from the wall of a storage building outside her home, said Fire Department Capt. Paul McDonough.

A handyman sprayed her with water from a hose until the bees turned on him. He ran and called 911.

Firefighters found the woman lying face down and unconscious in the street. They sprayed the bees with foam, then took her to the hospital, McDonough said.

She was out of intensive care and in fair condition Friday night.

"She was stung 400 times," said University Medical Center clinical supervisor Kim Hilty. "Everyone was surprised how well she's doing."

Via Drudge and My Way News

Recreational Shooting

Looks like I might get out and do some plinking this week.

Cosmic Timing

What better time for my central air conditioner to start crapping out than on an Arizona summer Saturday night right before I'm expecting houseguests? It started at lunch when I was surpised by how much the chili was making me sweat. A full-body sweat. I checked the thermostat and sure enough, it was 3 degs above the set temperature. Only three degrees...proves it's not the heat, it's the humidity. It's been hazy/cloudy all day today, but no rain. I just hope I can get the AC guy out here early enough Monday morning.

Binker Ribbet!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Studious Binking

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Click the Link

Keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Other Black Rifle (A Bushie Commercial)

With all that SOCOM-16 blogging I've been doing, you'd think that was only rifle I compete with. Not so! In fact, my old workhorse Bushmaster Shorty (XM17E2) has been with me at every 3-Gun match and most Cactus matches I've attended. It's light, short, fast! and has held up under the thousands of rounds I've put through it. Ya know, if it wasn't a .223 poodle-shooter, I'd go to war with this weapon! Well...since Cactus monthlies usually require us to triple-tap everything (to bring the round count up), it and I might be ready for war yet. If I had run into a 16-inch Bushie .308 before I found the SOCOM-16, I probably would have bought it instead.

The sight is a zero-power Trijicon Reflex II with an amber triangle reticle. Mounted where it is, you can use the iron sights through it. In fact, you don't even need to range sight the scope as long as your iron sights are accurate; just adjust the reticle to superimpose over the front sight when viewed through the rear sight. I'll stay with this configuration for as long as my eyes remain young.

I'll keep the Redi-Mag attached unless somehow I get a few C-Mags for Christmas (not holding my breath on that one). I think I've got enough ammo stored up to shoot the Bushie on First Sundays and the SOCOM on 4th Sundays for the rest of the year. Maybe it's ammo I need for Christmas.

Update: Some of my readers had things to say about the loudness of the AK muzzle brake employed by the Bushie. The ear assault by the AK brake is nothing compared to the teeth-rattling concussion of the JP brake at the left. I've seen this on many of the space-guns brought by upper-tier shooters, so I know it must be effective.

Submitted to the Carnival of Cordite.

Dusting off my Fusileer Uniform

Carren and CPT Chuck Ziegenfuss, inspiration for Valour IT.

Project VALOUR IT is an effort to get Voice-to-text software and voice-activated computers to our wounded soldiers who need them to stay electronically connected to friends, family, and their buddies back at the sharp end. Complete OP Order and details at Castle Argghhh!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Saloon, Smokehouse, Shooting Gallery, Internet Resource!

Wouldn't you know the most common search entry to find my blog was to a post I didn't write?

Keltec sub 2000 carbine (zooks of them!)
Glock carbine
Uberti millenium
Cowboy pics (multiple)
DLI challenge coins
Ed Cameron pistolsmith

Hey, Ed, I hope all the business I'm sending your way doesn't slow down your work on BoRG!
Pictures of Songtan South Korea
Lindy Cooper wisdom
22 pistols
USAF raincoat
Drippy nose pics
Operation American Hiroshima
How to annoy Beaners
Cowboy language
FIE 22 revolver
Cowboy hat graphic
Wall-to-wall counseling

What do YOU want for Christmas?

Mail Call!

2Slick answers his mail. Some funny stuff.

you will burn in hell for your deeds.

No argument there- let's just say I was young and needed the money.

Monday, August 08, 2005


Box o' Rusty Gun

I left my trusty rusty single-stack with Jon so he could drop it off to my favorite gunsmith, Ed Cameron, this week. I could have done it myself, but I hate bothering the guy on a weekend, unless I run into him at a match. He's offered to sschmooth out the edges on the adjustable sight (that's sliced open my hand twice) and I'd like him to cut some cocking serrations on the forward slide and install an expanded magazine well.

I wonder if seeing BoRG again will give him nightmares....

Speaking of rust, I'm shopping around for slide finishes (obviously, bare metal isn't gonna cut it). I've been looking at NP3 by Robar ever since I began the project. Now that I live closer to Robar (I think they're in Scottsdale), they have the inside track. Any other suggestions?

Cheaters Never Prosper

Ya know, I've done it back when I was a noob and tried to rectify when I discovered the sins I committed. But the biggest blog in the Left Wing Blogosphere (who I shall not link)??

Via Little Green Footballs from Mudville Gazette


Had a great weekend! Did a gaming session with Jon's family (we're all D&D geeks) and chowed down on some great cooking (I didn't even have room for dessert!). Fortunately, there was some crumbcake left over for lunch after the match.

The rare same-night results posting is becoming even more rare, but that's okay. I'm certain Jon crushed me in all three disciplines, but carbine was the only weapon we fired in the same category. Jon has a Bushie Shorty which he feeds with a C-Mag (100-round drum magazine). I've got a Redi-Mag, so I only lost a second and change in my reload. Jon was shooting a beauty of a custom .45 in Limited 10 while I shot, no contest. In riotgun, Jon went to his Benelli semi-auto, while I (fed up with my balky Rem. 870 composite gun) put the rifle sight barrel and a mag extension on my beautiful First Gun, the 870 with shiny wood furniture. I was a bit more slow there, too, naturally.

Update: Next-day score posting is good! Kudos to the stat crew! Jon took first place in Carbine (out of six gunners) and I took third! right behind Mr. Two-Scope Grand Master Spacegunner. I'm stoked...behind me were two Masters and a D Class shooter. There were seven riotgunners on the way-cool assault stage and two M/GM space-gunners (with 10+1 magazines) finished ahead of Jon and me (woohoo!) which means my First Gun and I shot faster than three other shooters! These were new guys and I was closer to them than to Jon in points. I'm happy with the First Gun; I'm now leary of defacing it by adding the six-shell, side-car shellholder that's currently on the Black 870. It would have sped up my reloading a bit. I think I'll pattern it at the local range soon; I missed the first mini-popper at close range. Let that be a lesson to those who think you can't miss with a shotgun! Below is a pic of part of the assault stage (it doglegs to the right, ending with a Texas Star). Jon knocked down both mini-poppers with one shot, as all the good shooters did, I'm sure. The paper targets were for pistol use only.

Oh, yeah...Revolver. Once again, I was the only Wheelgunner playing, but I wasn't exactly at the very bottom of the Cactus Match food chain this time. I placed ahead of two "C" Production gunners, one D Limited, and one Unclassified shooter.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Squigster

Friday, August 05, 2005


Thunder6 and Sgt B both have beautiful, well-written tributes to the foot soldier on their blogs in the wake of the spate of Marine casualties in Iraq. I've always had a great admiration for the Army infantry and Marine riflemen, especially since I've usually been in mediocre shape and always had small, flat feet.

I've also envied the visibility and respect their branches enjoyed among the general populace. But this post is not about them; this is about the grunts of the intelligence community. You see, that envy of the infantry bordered on jealousy, as I was in a quiet, low-visibility career field that may have been treasured by select O-6s "in the know," but to most folks, we were just the squadron with the best softball team on base. And we hauled away most of the "lumber" at Leadership School graduations. And we had a lot of relatively junior NCOs in base housing at our "remote" overseas location. And we were the guys talking the Korean shopkeepers' prices down in their own language...and, boy, were we resented for all these by the first-remote-tour, I-miss-my-wife, no command-sponsorship havin', kimchi's-too-spicy thinkin' Sad Sacks who shared the base with us. And we were a smug, tight-lipped, but tight-with-our-buddies bunch...because we had to be. Our performance reports, decorations, and awards write-ups were so scrubbed of classified details that a layman often could not guess what we really did. We weren't gonna tell them, because we're Silent Warriors.

Conspicuously, we didn't wear a PACAF patch and sometimes we were exempted from base exercises because of our real-world mission. But when the ROK Presidential Unit Citation was handed down, everybody on base got to wear it...but us. And we just stuck another oak leaf cluster onto our Short Tour Ribbon.

Some people couldn't handle this compartmentalized world and some just moved on to something else. It was a shame to see a young airman leave the service because he didn't like being a Korean linguist and wanted to retrain (as he was entitled), but the Air Force said he could become an Arabic linguist or nothing! Hey, Big Blue! He said he didn't want to be a linguist! Best of luck to ya, Sean! Many marriages disintegrated because of the high turnaround rate back to Korea; some weren't even saved by accompanying the spouse to Korea.

One benefit of this career field was that it was one of the first opened to women (a benefit unless they all work for you). It was also the cause of many marriages and divorces in the career field. Most of the young, unmarried females dated within the squadron, either because they've known the guy for a year since they went to school together, or they're on the same screwy work schedule, or they just like smart guys. Some would intentionally date outside the unit because they "like 'em big and dumb." I quote. Don't get mad at me! She said it. Anyway, I'm getting off on a tangent here...the operations floor isn't like the battlefield where the upper body strength of a man is more conducive to survival. In Ops, upper noggin strength rules the day, and most of the ladies could hold their own. The crucible was the intense pressure of sifting through real-time intelligence, which often came in a jumbled avalanche. In this world, crying won't make it stop or slow down...I've seen both men and women try it. The pressure has been compared to that felt by an air traffic controller on a busy day. Now, go home and don't talk about it.

This graphic is actually what the job looked like when I first enlisted (except we had ashtrays!). Today, everything is digital and computerized, which makes many things easier for the operator, but actually increases the flow of raw intelligence into the poor airman's noggin. The ashtrays are gone now and don't you even go near that keyboard with a beverage!

But why do I call these folks grunts? They're sitting on the frontline of the signals intelligence battlefield, converting murmurs in the static no computer program could translate into anything from chunks of data that will sit in the electronic equivalent of the warehouse where they store the Ark of the critical intelligence dropped on the desk of the President. Personally, most of my chunks went to the warehouse, but the few that reached the President, or 7AF Commander, made my career worthwhile...and that's all the satisfaction a grunt needs.

Update: Looks like Prairiebiker outted me to the Prop Wash Gang, a motley assortment of zipper-suited Sun Gods, Beaners, MIMIs, MAs *SPIT!*, Doggers, and ne'er-do-wells. I didn't address the world of the "self-loading baggage"here because I didn't really live in that world (much). Only 229 hours on the aircraft and that wasn't even as a Silent Warrior. They are all the same high-speed kind of grunts, but they get to annoy flight crews as a bonus.

Update Too: To catch a glimpse into the world of Nomex-clad Nomads, check out their web site, including their collection of "war stories." If they're anything like Airman Jiminez, they will entertain you for hours!

Grand Slam

Dave at Garfield Ridge has an entertaining Nats Diary post today. More fun than actually watching baseball, but not as much fun as actually watching sweaty co-eds "dressed only in baby tees and daisy dukes."

Cowgirl Gun Pr0n

Bug at An Indian Summer (The Last Cowgirls) posted some pics of her Homeland Defense Weapon, a Mauser with bayonet attached; not something you'd normally associate with a Cowgirl. I'm sure there're lots of Mauserphiles out there hungry for more information. Go pay a visit!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

American Hiroshima, the Day After

At first impulse, I would have been all for reducing Mecca to a dirty glass parking lot after the launch of an American Hiroshima, the detonation of suitcase nukes in cities throughout the US. After great reflection and a few vodka-lemonades, I realize that striking a Muslim holy site with no military value would not be productive. Now, allow me to put on my Gen. "Buck" Turgidson hat to poke some pins into the map for a productive retributive strike.

Operation Roto-Tiller: In close cooperation with President-General Musharraf, we'll identify those remote border areas of Pakistan where his government has no sway. Osama bin Laden is most likely hiding in one of these havens and there are certainly terrorist training areas and breeding grounds in these mountainous regions. This is the only instance I can justify "carpet bombing" since it is more area denial than attacking a population. We should sew those traffickable areas with penetrating munitions and low-yield nuclear weapons. Then, instead of racial profiling, we can profile for swarthy men with heavy burns and bleeding gums.

Operation Urgent Burqa: If New York goes up in smoke, Teheran, Iran, must be flattened. Other targets include their nuclear processing facilities and their air and ground forces' centers of gravity. Arms and "resistance kits" should be inserted with Special Forces in regions not entirely under the theocratic thumb of the mullahs. Let the Revolution begin!

Operation Raging Mama Bear:
Time to let everyone else be terrified! Scramble half the bomber fleet to Diego Garcia, Guam, and Alaska (Alaska to get the Norks' attention) and let the world know we're pissed. We'll back-channel our nuclear friends and pseudo-friends to let them know we're not threatening them unless they're feeling froggy. If we can get our Allies in on this, we can get a flight of Aussie F-111s to impersonate a squadron of B-1s approaching Indonesia and give the Muslim world a taste of what they'll get for launching jihad against the United States. We might need an extra nuke or two for Syrian military targets or a Roto-tiller mission to the mountains of Afghanistan, but I think this will get the ragtards' attention. Meanwhile, the FBI can be monitoring the phonetaps for local imams giggling like schoolgirls over the burning American cities. I hope I'll still be alive to take up the sub-contract to help mop those bastards up.

At Least I'm Not a Fool of a Took

Visits Since September 11, 2004