21 November 2015

Road Worthy

Yesterday I washed M's car and vacuumed it out for her. While I was at it I checked the oil and lights. This morning I got up and scraped the windows clean for her.

 I do these things not because I want her to leave, but because I want her to be safe.

She headed out for Pennsylvania about an hour ago to spend the first part of the week with her family. I will join her Thursday for Thanksgiving at her brother's house in Virginia.

 As she drives, my heart rides with her.

17 November 2015


I wanted something that wouldn't keep me awake for hours and didn't have a whole lot of sugar, so I got one of these.

This sh!t sucks. I don't think I'll be getting another any time soon...like ever.

14 November 2015

What I Did Today

Today I watched M do this:

She used the Sig and did very well, as I expected since she did very well with it the first time she shot it. The next step will be to actually get the permit, but this step is done.

While I watched her do this I also sat through the class to refresh my own knowledge since I have to renew my permit in February.

It was a good day.

01 November 2015


For November the ROTM is a classy lady who passed recently.

Farewell to Maureen O'Hara. Say Hi to John for us.

24 October 2015

What If

My "adopted sister" who is a black woman 15 years older than I am lost her grandson a little more than a year ago. He answered a knock at the door and was gunned down. I don't know the details to that case, and I don't know if they ever caught the gunman.

Last week another one of her young relatives was shot eight times in an armed robbery. He saw the robbers face, you see, and the robber didn't want him to be able to identify him to the police. This young man is alive today only by the grace of God and the miracle of modern medicine.

You have heard it all before; give them what they want, it's not worth your life, better that you be beaten, robbed and raped than lose your life, it's only possessions and what possession could possibly be worth your life (an assessment that I am in vehement disagreement with, BTW). But what if what they want IS your life? What then?

I carry because I set the amount of my own worth, and the worth of those I love, and I set that value far above that price which most criminals would be willing to pay. It is up to me to enforce that price.

So what is your life worth?

Think about it.

10 October 2015

Stop n' Go

While on the Blue Ridge last week the front brakes on the 'stang started scraping. By the time we got through NoVa and back home they were scraping badly and the left rotor was showing signs of metal on metal contact.

Yesterday afternoon I put brand-new brake pads and rotors on the front. The left outside pad was down to metal but the rest of them looked practically new (they are only a bit over a year old). I checked the sliders and they moved easily.

I put on the new anti-rattle clips, cleaned and greased the sliders and put everything back together, I'll keep a close eye on it and see what happens. If all else fails I'll replace the left hose and caliper but I'm hoping the fresh grease and new clips will fix the issue.

And of course, since I couldn't drive the car all week the sun came back out to play but today and tomorrow it is supposed to rain again.

I'm In

Erin has an interesting invitation.

I have two or three carry holsters, depending on what I'm doing or where I'm going (today I'll be open carrying to a luncheon but later I'll be concealing). Here's my open carry rig.

What do you say? Show them off!

07 October 2015

Here's Something

I don't have the time nor the place (I really need to look into joining a range, too bad there isn't one close by) to do this, but one of you might.

Basically you take a new shooter to the range and then you get free ammo. Details are here.

One of these days I really need to get out to the range, but the short-term prospects for doing so aren't looking too good.

05 October 2015

What I Did This Weekend

The Blue Ridge Parkway was wet, foggy and cold. It rained the whole time and all of the Parkway north of Floyd VA was closed due to high winds and water.

I had a great weekend.

And Now, Without Further Ado

October's ROTM is brought to you by quartets.

I hope the extra content makes up for the wait.

30 September 2015

It Begins

We left the Refuge in the rain, heading to Gatlinburg TN by way of Dunkin Donuts, but somewhere along the way M called an audible and we went to Asheville NC instead. Given the weather and time constraints we (in the collective sense) decided to start out from Asheville instead of Cherokee and skip the first part of the Blue Ridge Parkway in favor of sleeping in a little later and being able to take some more time during our first day traveling.

Tomorrow will see us on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville to our stop in Boone in time for a bit of rest and refreshment before we have to be at the chapel. This is the only scheduled event on our trip, besides being the entire reason for it.

Friday and Saturday we will drive the rest of the Parkway and the Skyline Drive, ending up in Winchester VA to see Favorite Niece sometime Saturday afternoon and Reston VA to visit Brother In Law on Saturday evening.

Sunday we will head back to the Refuge. From there...the sky is the limit.

Public Service Announcement

The ROTM posting for the month of October will be delayed due to nuptials. October's ROTM will be posted as soon as possible upon my return.

Sorry GFA.

20 September 2015

Bubba Dog

Doglet had an appointment with the doggy dentist on Friday.

He's been on antibiotics all week because he had some infection in his teeth and Friday the vet pulled all six incisors on the top jaw and the two middle ones on the bottom. He now has a large gap between the canines on the top and a smaller one on the bottom.

Now all he needs is a banjo.

17 September 2015


Doglet was getting pretty fuzzy and matted so he had to go get a haircut.

I think he's looking pretty good.

I Am Intrigued By Your Views

and wish to know if you have a newsletter to which I may subscribe...

Oh, you do! Welcome to the Refuge Wall o' Shame!

08 September 2015

Redhead Days

On the first weekend of every September there is a redhead festival in Breda in the Netherlands.

This year there will also be one the weekend following in the UK.

I cannot imagine a more worthy event.

And so in the spirit of this festival, I present to you...sunflowers!

And since it is September, it is also Kilted to Kick Cancer Month. Drop by AD's place to join in the fun.

04 September 2015


Da roof ain't on fire, but it was a big mess.

See that dormer off to the left? It's been leaking right into the main roof where it joins and the big hole in the center is the result. I noticed water coming in the window right below, and when I checked it out I realized my plans for a lazy weekend were for naught.

So, this morning I went around collecting tools and materials and right after lunch I climbed the ladder and started ripping down shingles.  What I found wasn't as bad as it could have been, it ended up being 12" x 30" with some underlaying rafter damage.

I trimmed the hole up square and cut a new piece of plywood. Then I undercut the rafters 1 1/2 inches down from where the tops would have been if there had been tops and laid a 2x4 cut 34 inches long across them, slipping the ends underneath the good sheathing on each side.

This gave me a good foundation to attach the 12x30" plywood, then on went the shingles. After the shingles were all on I applied a liberal coat of screen-door-in-the-bottom-of-the-boat sealer all over everything until all the visible joints between flashing and shingles were covered.

The thunder was rolling in by that point, so all the tools went into the truck until the rain stops. A quick shower and all is right with the world.

Later on I'll have more projects to do, but for now bring it on Mother Nature, I want to see how good a job I did.

28 August 2015

Grey Man

OldNFO has a third book out. Go check it out.


22 August 2015

One More Time

This is the last time I'm going to do this.

The deed will be done October the first.

14 August 2015


I'm in Florida at the moment, we've had the two oldest grandkids for the week and brought them back Wednesday. Yesterday we met the youngest grandchild for the first time.

Laura Ann was born Monday, August 10th just in time for my mother's birthday which was on the 11th. Her mother was the one who swore she would never have kids, and that if she ever got the maternal instinct she would borrow one of her nephews and get over it. Both of the ones in the last two pictures are hers.

Welcome to the world baby girl, your PopPop loves you.

04 August 2015


Back home, another year older, and back to work.

Oh well, vacation was nice while it lasted.

Maybe this will cheer me up...

Yeah...that helps.

Have a great day everyone!

31 July 2015

Breaking Fast

'Tis a small enough kitchen, more of a galley really,

 But 'twill suffice.

29 July 2015

17 July 2015

Funny French Words

It's almost as pretty as she is.

(she said yes)

11 July 2015

While I Was Away

June turned into July.

Sorry for the absence and the delays, it's been a busy week. First we had the 4th of July celebration at M's parents in Pennsylvania, it was a great time and I got to meet her dads side of the family. There was shooting and laughter and fireworks and much fun had by all involved, M demonstrated her targeting skills once more and "didn't embarrass myself" and I got put on grille duty and didn't embarrass myself, so all is good. We finally got back home Wednesday.

Thursday we cleaned out the kitchen cabinets and did some cooking out on the grill. Also Thursday the control panel went out in the stove again with smoke and sizzling, the second one in the past couple of years, and unfortunately it controls everything. And of course I didn't try to find one until today and all the appliance parts places that might have one are closed until 8 AM Monday. Good thing the microwave still works.

Friday we delivered some end tables to one of M's co-workers (hers this time so it isn't just my stuff that is being replaced) and got the call that the ring was ready. We went and picked it up and I've ordered the diamonds for the side stones, when they come in I'll take it to a jewelry shop in Wake Forest and have them put in. In the meantime the pink sapphire looks great and she loves it.

Today is a retirement party for one of the Mustang Forum members, so we'll be in Fayetteville for the afternoon. But before I go, a bit of necessary business.

No, I don't know who she is but she does look patriotic, doesn't she?

Have a great July everyone!

28 June 2015


If you are automatically tagged a cross burner because you are a white guy that shows up somewhere in a beat up 62 Chevy pickup with Iowa tags, is that racism? Damn right it is. You don't have to be white to be a racist and you don't have to be black to be a victim of it.

The Southern Cross, more accurately known as the Tennessee Battle Flag (which is very similar to the Army of the Potomac's Battle Flag) is a symbol of the Confederacy because it shows up in so many paintings and movies (mostly because many of the more famous battles were fought in Virginia where the AoP operated). It was never an official flag of the Confederate States of America, although it was used as the union in the second and third Confederate flags and was also used as the second Naval Jack and Ensign.

South Carolina should either use the first Confederate flag or its own Sovereignty flag over the war memorial on its Capitol grounds to get rid of the strawman that the Southern Cross has become. Changing the flag won't change attitudes, but as long as we concentrate on the symbols I guess we can ignore the substance.

26 June 2015

Range Day

Today we took some time out with Range Partner to sling some lead downrange. It was the first time M and Range Partner had met and the first time M has gone shooting with me (and as far as I know, only the second time she has ever shot handguns).

Along for the ride was Grand-Dad's High Standard, both the Glocks and the Sig. Range Partner brought a Glock of his own at my request, a Glock 21 with a .22 caliber conversion kit. Younger Son also came along, but he and Range Partner took turns with a .357 Taurus snubbie that Range Partner brought along.

After a review of the Four Rules (the first time M had ever heard them, so we went over them pretty extensively) and some basic instruction on grip, sights, stance and operation (I was ever grateful for the instruction I received at Tigerswan because all I did was review with her what I remembered from learning there) we loaded up and started putting rounds downrange.

First up was the 9mm Glock 19, followed by the Glock 21 with the .22 conversion kit installed. I wish I could say these were my targets...but no. Two fliers, one .22 and one 9mm, in the eight ring and the rest in the black, with two of the .22 and one 9mm solidly in the X.

Next up was the .45 Sig. She wasn't sure if she really wanted to shoot it, but she at least wanted to try it out. Four rounds went into the Sig, and when the smoke cleared two of them were in the eight ring and two in the ten. Next up she wanted to try the Glock 21 in Gods Own Caliber. So, off came the .22 conversion and on went the .45 slide and magazine, five rounds in the magazine...and as you can plainly see, two in the nine, two in the ten and one in the X.

Not bad shooting...for a guuuuurl.

Yeah. Not bad shooting for anyone, and when you consider this was her second time at the gun range to shoot handguns (and since the first time was a "here, point this that way and pull the trigger" you may as well say it was her first time) you could say that was pretty excellent shooting. Hell, she out-shot me, and I couldn't be prouder.

I really wish I could send her to one of Kathy Jackson's classes to learn how to shoot properly, but I will certainly find some instruction for her somewhere. I was OK with showing her the basics, but I'm not an instructor and everyone can do with some instruction. (Speaking of which Sean...isn't it about time for another Tigerswan class?)

There just might have to be a Glock 21 in her future as well.

19 June 2015


$275 to change the plugs, right around $200 for the transmission service (which is really the only thing I wanted to have done; everything else I can do myself and certainly will do in the future) and $50 for the oil change. And just for those three items I sat in the dealers waiting room for a little over four hours. That's with an appointment.

And that isn't everything Ford recommends at 100K, oh no, there is also the rear differential, the coolant system flush and fill and the fuel system servicing which would run another $400 or so. And that doesn't include having them look at the little issues I'm having with the car, such as the blend door actuator needing calibration or the oil life monitor staying at 100%.

When they asked me why I hadn't brought the car in to them for a while I just laughed and said "Gee, I don't know." Fortunately I have a full set of tools, basic mechanical knowledge, and a whole slew of friends who love Mustangs and know how to do everything associated with them, so it's not likely they will see it again for another long time.

13 June 2015

And So We Begin

I am now the proud owner of a three stone setting in white gold that is on its way to the jeweler to have the topazes removed and a pink sapphire installed in the center.

After the sapphire is in I will be getting an estimate to install diamonds into the outer settings.

M is the proud owner of a bundle of nerves.

10 June 2015


100,030 miles on the pony now. I need to schedule it for its 100K mile check-up.

I also need to schedule a dentists appointment for myself.

I also need to schedule a vet visit for doglet.

I wonder which one will get done first...

09 June 2015

You Know...

He's right.

Mother tried to raise me to be polite and kind, regardless of my failures in these areas, but it does seem as if the squeaky wheels get the grease.

After all, look at the recent social issue upheavals. They got what they wanted by being dicks, even though they are but a small percentage of the population. Hell, even the American Revolution was start, fought and won by a bare 3 percent of the population, if the stories are correct.

Makes you think.

08 June 2015


I finally made it back up to Lenoir NC this past weekend for the monthly cruise-in. There weren't as many cars this time as there usually is, but we still had a good crowd. This time was different because it wasn't just me and Youngest Son; M came along as well which was nice.

And while we were out and about wandering the streets and looking at things we happened upon this quaint little shoppe...

Of course M had to go in and check out their stock of yarn and whatnots. There were a bunch of people sitting inside knitting and talking, too. Apparently every Cruise-In day they open early and stay open late just so the ladies who have no interest in cars but have husbands/significant others who do have someplace to go and have fun in their own way.

On the plus side, M says we can go back every month.

05 June 2015

A Time to Bake

M was feeling a little depressed the other day. Seems as if she was in the mood for cookies, so she went and got some pre-made chocolate chip cookie batter and tried to bake them...and they got burned.

So while she is at work I am busy making some cookies for her, using my own recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 C flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 C butter, softened (that's two sticks)
3/4 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C white sugar
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 T vanilla extract
2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

2. In a large bowl cream the softened butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat in the dry instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Drop cookie batter by rounded spoonfuls onto a cool ungreased cookie sheet. Press down to flatten the cookies out, they will not flatten out as they bake (but they will spread, so leave plenty of room between them). Bake only as long as needed for the edges to turn golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.

Makes 2 - 2 1/2 dozen cookies (I got 30 out of this batch).

I didn't leave enough room between them for these batches...but I have the feeling they will get eaten anyway.

I also had some bananas turning brown, so I made some banana bread for Eldest Son. I substituted rum for the vanilla as per a recipe I got from Eldest Sister, so I'm curious how it turns out. It smells good anyway.

04 June 2015


Time rolls by, another month gone and it has been more than half a month since I've touched these pages. Good thing you aren't paying for this.

So, what's been happening you ask (or not). First things first, M has started the arduous process of moving in. Yes, she agreed to it, and now we're getting it done.

The house is being cleaned one room at a time and as we re-arrange we are moving some of her things in and some of the old things out. There isn't much of it, and what we are moving out needed to go anyway. I expect that process to take a while but we hope to have the bulk of it done by August.

Last weekend I went to a rimfire rifle shooting match at Crosse Creek Rifle and Pistol Club just outside of Fayetteville where I shot my Marlin 795. You may remember I equipped it with the EOTech sights for Appleseed, although I have not yet been to Appleseed.

I sucked at it.

I didn't suck as bad when I got the sights dialed in (one click up, one click left) but the only reason I didn't finish dead last in the modified sights category is Youngest Son was shooting with the scoped Marlin 60. The scope was off as well, and he did better once we got it sighted in (8 clicks left), but he still managed to score dead last.

I'm sure that if we had taken them out a couple of days before and sighted them in we both would have done better but unfortunately I don't have a place close by to do so. Nevertheless I do really need to get out to the range more. I also need a spotting scope.

School is out in a couple of weeks and that will kick off travel season here at the Refuge. There are a couple of Pennsylvania trips scheduled and at least two Florida trips as well in August. We're also hoping to make an Iowa trip around Christmastime.

But in the meantime a new month brings a new ROTM.

May I present to you the lovely Magdelena Jasek. You can see more of her here.

And now I'm off to take Eldest Son to the dentist. The fun just never stops here at the Refuge.