19 December 2014

Lazy Today

Go read this guy a bit. He's a recent addition to the Wall o' Shame and has a lot of stories and links on gun related matters.

After that there's a lot more links on the sidebar. I should probably hit a few of them up today myself, maybe it will prompt me to write something substantial.

You can't say you don't get your moneys worth here. :D

18 December 2014

NOW it's Christmas!

Larry Correia has just put up the latest installment of Christmas Noun.



Merry Christmas everyone!

11 December 2014

Note To Prospective Advertisers

I'm not looking to make money off of my blog.

I'm not interested in making you any money off of my blog either.

That's not to say I won't review products that I buy, but I'm not interested in becoming a billboard.

Thanks for your interest, but no thanks.

05 December 2014

Party Time

Mustang Club and company parties both tomorrow, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

I have a cheesecake in the oven for the Mustang Club party right now. I've pulled a couple out of the book that I've never tried before, one peppermint and one eggnog. The peppermint has candy sprinkles on the top that didn't work as well as I had hoped, they melted and sunk down in causing holes in the top. If I ever make this one again I'll put the sprinkles on after the cake has baked. I also made this one in the springform pan and it didn't work out as well as I had hoped, I'll use a pie pan crust next time.

The second is in the oven now, I'll have to see how it worked out when it is done. It smells pretty good in the oven, though.

Peppermint Cheesecake

To the basic recipe add 1/2 cup peppermint candies that have been crushed fine, I used a food processor to do the deed and found that 16-18 candies made a half a cup. Bake the pie at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, sprinkle another 1/4 cup (8 candies or so) crushed peppermints on top, then allow to cool.

Eggnog Cheesecake

This one is for the springform pan, but if you want to use ready made pie crusts it would work the same. If you use a springform pan the recipe says to press the crust up the sides of the pan 1 1/2 inches.

To the basic recipe (for the pie crusts) add 1 1/2 tablespoons flour when you blend the sugar and vanilla in. Only use one egg, then add 1 1/2 tablespoons rum, 1/2 cup heavy cream and two egg yokes. Bake at 325 for an hour. For the springform pan double everything and bake at 325 for 75 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the cake to cool in the oven, this should help to prevent cracks.

If they taste as good as they smell they shouldn't last very long.

04 December 2014

21

She was a red-headed hellion, but she was MY red-headed hellion.

I am grateful for the sixteen years I had her.

01 December 2014

December


28 November 2014

Splashdown

We have returned.

The car has been unloaded and that's as close to unpacked as I'm getting tonight. Tomorrow everything reverts back to normal routine.

On the way down I dropped off Grand-dads High Standard to be fitted for a holster, and on the way back I picked it up. It is a very nice piece, but I've been asked to hold off doing a review or publishing pics until I have the matching belt. Suffice it to say that I like it well enough to order a matching one for the Sig.

Review will happen when the goods are in hand.

Note to FTC, I'm buying these with my own cash, so piss off.

26 November 2014

Apprehension

Youngest Son will be meeting his birth father for the first time today.

I'm not quite sure how that will go, and even less sure of how I feel about it.

Ultimately it isn't about me, it is about Youngest Son, and he does deserve to know.

I just pray that the cost of knowing does not exceed the value of it.

25 November 2014

Fun Time

Youngest Son and I hit the road bright and early Monday morning heading to Jacksonville FL for Thanksgiving.

Middle Daughter and Son In Law have recently purchased a pair of S&W semis, one in .40 and one in 9mm, so today we took them out to put them through their paces. Also along for the ride was the .22 revolver that Son In Law found at Pops.

Youngest Son begged off, but I took Grandson and his friend for their very first range time. After a 4 Rules drill and proper handling techniques they fired all that was available, but they liked the .22 the best.

The last firearm to make an appearance was a rental that Son In Law's brother just had to try; a .50 caliber Smith and Wesson 500 revolver. The rounds were $5.00 each, and after he had fired two I knew I had to try it as well.

Yeah, it was fun. I'm glad the barrel was ported though.

All in all it was a good time.

14 November 2014

A Message From Our Sponsors


We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

11 November 2014

Happy Veterans Day

from an old fat retired squid. Thanks for your service, be it 2 years or twenty.

09 November 2014

Gender Wars

So I was reading through a thoroughly enjoyable Attack of the Correiakin on Brad Torgersen’s Facebook page where he was destroying a troll over the whole Republican/conservative “war on women” hashtag twitter battle thing. One of the things the troll kept bringing up was the whole gender-gap pay-gap meme.

I’m not going to look for links, do your own damn homework, but that has been pretty much proven to be bunkum. It has to do with leave of absence due to child rearing, which is something that most women choose to do, combined with the fact that mothers are going to be more likely to take days off for family things and the like. The problem with that is it leaves a huge gap in your resume with the resulting decrease in pay due to less time in service and smaller paychecks due to not being compensated for all the days that are taken off.

It strikes me as funny that this should be an ongoing issue when the matter has been so thoroughly explained, but it keeps coming up time and again as proof that old white men hate women or some such thing as that. What I find so funny is that this is what the womyn have been agitating for all along...equality. If a man has a gap in his resume he also is going to experience lesser pay because of it. If he takes time off for family things he is not going to be paid for all of those days.

Congratulations ladies, you have reached parity, you have attained your goal, you are now being treated exactly as your male counterparts would be treated given the same set of circumstances. This is what you have striven for, is it not? Hear you roar! Or is that...why are you crying? Isn’t this what you wanted?

No?

Welcome to the real world. Very often what we think we want and what we actually attain are two separate and sometimes diametrically opposed things.

In this particular case you are faced with a choice, as we all are. Either your kids are worth the sacrifice so you chose a decrease in pay later on in return for the rewards of watching them grow, or you accept what has traditionally been the male parents burden of missing out on everything while you try to make a living, only to wake up one day and realize this is the day you are to walk your daughter down the aisle; that she has grown up quite without your consent and you have missed the whole thing.

I completely agree with the notion that one parent should be a stay-at-home parent, studies have proven that kids who have a parent at home are going to do better in school which translates to doing better at life in general. Traditionally this role has been filled by the female parent, but more and more the roles are being reversed. Either way, one parent is going to watch the child grow and the other is going to miss quite a bit of it as they earn the family's daily bread. The bottom line is, nothing is free, all things have a price.

Take what you have paid for.

05 November 2014

Historical

So it was a pretty good election day for the Republicans, not so much for the Democrats.

The Republicans picked up eight seats in the Senate, sixteen additional House seats (18 new ones minus two losses), and added four new governors as well. When the new Congress is seated in January it will be firmly in Republican control once again. Time will tell if they have the sense to hold it this time.

Everyone is talking about that, but there are a few things that it seems no one is talking about. Historical things, things that are happening for the first time ever.

One of those things is the election of a black man from the South, Senator Elect Tim Scott. He is not the first black Senator from the South, there have been others that were appointed in the years following the Civil War, but he is the first one elected to his position.

In the Congress Utah now has a solid Republican bench, re-electing three and adding one, Mia Love, who becomes the first black Republican woman ever.

Elsewhere, in New York Elise Stefanik becomes the youngest woman Congressperson ever and Senator Elect Joni Ernst is the first woman veteran elected to the Senate, and with that my birth state of Iowa now has two Republican senators for the first time in as long as I can remember.

Not bad for a bunch of sexist racist mouth-breathing gun-toting sister-swapping rednecks (and those are some of the more polite names I have been called).



And on another note so long/good riddance to the junior Senator from North Carolina, Kay Hagen, who was unable to win over Republican Thom Tillis even though the Democrats poured more money into her re-election campaign than has ever been spent in any election anywhere in the US.

What makes this particularly special is...I don't even particularly like Thom Tillis, and neither do a great number of North Carolina gun owners who remember his duplicity in stalling gun related bills in the NC state house, but as long as he remembers to stay bought he should be OK.

And last but certainly not least, since it is November it is the month of Thanksgiving. In that spirit, I leave you with something to be thankful for, this month's ROTM.


26 October 2014

Reading Room

Old NFO has a new book out.

Get it for your kindle here, or if you prefer the hard copy, here.

25 October 2014

A Chill Is In The Air

As Autumn rolls in with its cool days and chilly nights it's getting about that time. Yes, you know what I mean...SOUP SEASON!

So without further ado, here is my recipe for stupid easy chicken corn chowder:

4-6 slices bacon
1 clove garlic, minced (I use the kind out of the jar. Stupid easy, remember?)
2 cans 12.5 oz chicken breast, drained
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 can 29 oz mixed vegetables, I use Allens Veg-All large cut homestyle veggies
1 can 15 oz whole kernel corn
2 cups heavy cream
Dash of nutmeg
Salt
Pepper

Fry the bacon crisp in a 10" cast iron skillet. Remove from pan, leaving the grease. Saute the garlic in the bacon grease for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook it until it is hot and falls apart. Add the 1/2 cup flour and stir until the flour is completely mixed in and the liquid is absorbed.

Add 1 cup of the chicken broth and stir until smooth. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a soup pot. Add in the rest of the chicken broth, mixed vegetables and corn. Stir until smooth. On high heat bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent burning, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the mixture has thickened, stirring occasionally.

Add the heavy cream and dash of nutmeg. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir to mix ingredients, then continue to simmer on low heat for 10-15, stirring occasionally, until heated clear through. Serve hot with biscuits.

19 October 2014

It's Official

This was waiting for me when I got home. I have been transferred from USN-FLTRES (Fleet Reserve) to the retired list, so when I sign my name USN-Ret. it's completely correct now.


I must admit that I am somewhat curious as to why it took so long to mail the certificate and letter to my house, but what the heck, it's done.

15 October 2014

Lets See How This Works Out

Youngest Son's biological father wants to contact him.

With his permission, I have passed on the phone number.

Youngest Son is upset that it has been 15 years. I told him that maybe it took that long for him to pull his head out of his ass and to be polite, respectful and give the man a chance to explain himself.

We will see what happens.

Last Port Of Call

Tomorrow we pick Pop up and take him to Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell FL, where he will rejoin his wife and his only child.

14 October 2014

Brief Interlude

We're having a bit of liquid sunshine here in the Sunshine State.

Grandson's football game is tonight. I sure hope the lightning goes away soon.

08 October 2014

A Ray of Sunshine

We have finally gotten everything clear to get Pop to the crematorium, we are waiting for the coroners signature and then we can finally lay him to rest. This has been more of a nightmare than this simple paragraph suggests, for a variety of reasons, but it is done now.

One of the things we had to deal with was a next of kin. Since Pop did not have a living will that we know of designating a next of kin we had to contact his sister out of state to make some phone calls and sign some papers. We have been searching for various papers at Pop's house as well, with varying results. We suspect that some of the papers were in a safe that is believed to have been stolen along with his household electronics.

But there is at least a little relief. It seems that one of Aunt D's many children was Pop's estate planner, and he called Eldest Daughter as soon as his mom told him the news. He has everything we need except the will, and he has verified that one was done after Mother In Law and Laura passed, so the executor of the estate is going to be either me or Eldest Daughter.

We have a safety deposit box key, and our hope is once we locate that box we will have located the will as well. That is my project for tomorrow.

I swear that I will not put my children through this. First thing when I get home I'm calling an estate planner and getting all my ducks in one row.

UPDATE: The safety deposit box is in the same branch of the bank he used there in town and Eldest Daughter is on the list to access it. I like easy.

04 October 2014

Passing

The inevitable has happened. Middle Daughter called early this morning with the news, Pop has passed without ever regaining consciousness following his stroke.

He was a heartbroken and weary man, when Mother In Law died it took his heart and when Laura died it took his soul. He is with them now, the two people in his life that really mattered to him; his heart is at rest and his soul is at peace.

Farewell John Donald Primavere, thank you for letting be a part of your life, if only for a little while.


02 October 2014

Fisher House

Reports of Pop's demise are somewhat exaggerated.

He is not well, he has suffered a stroke, but he has pulled back from death's door. Where it goes from here is anyone's guess.

So while he is in the hospital we are staying at the Fisher House right across the parking lot.






 This is a really nice place.

The story behind Fisher House is in 1990 Pauline Trost, wife of then CNO Admiral Carlisle Trost, approached Zachary Fisher with an idea to establish places for the families of veterans to stay while their vet was being treated on an inpatient basis at VA hospitals.

Zachary Fisher was a construction magnate who had a strong affinity for the military, even though he was medically disqualified from service himself. Most notably Zachary Fisher was instrumental in establishing the Intrepid Museum Foundation which resulted in the saving of that ship from the scrappers to be turned into a museum.

Being the patriot that he was, he and his wife Elizabeth wasted no time in founding the Fisher House Program, opening the first two Fisher Houses at Naval Medical Facility Bethesda and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. At present there are 64 Fisher Houses at various locations, the newest one in Gainsville FL.


I will certainly be remembering their generosity.

Dying Of The Light

I got the call a little over an hour ago, Eldest Daughter is on her way to Gainsville. Pop (Laura's Dad) is in the hospital and not expected to last the night.

Pray not for recovery, but for an easy passage. Pop is a heartbroken and weary man, he has buried his wife and his only child and he deserves peace. He will not rage against the dying of the light. He will ask it why took so long.

Goodbye Pop. Say hello to my favorite mother-in-law.

And tell Laura I love her.

01 October 2014

La Belleza Pelirroja

Happy Autumn!

25 September 2014


19 September 2014

The Saga Continues

So in our last installment I mentioned the transmission whine. A look on the forums suggested that, given the symptoms, the problem was most likely the center drive bearings.

Center drive is AWD speak for transfer case. The center drive is basically a limited slip differential with a viscous coupler that is driven on one side by the transmission and on the other side it drives the rear wheels. Under normal operations everything turns at the same speed, but in corners it allows the wheels to turn different speeds.

Like when you are pulling into a parking spot, for instance.

Fortunately you can dig into the center drive without pulling the transmission, it's about a two to three hour process to do so but it's not difficult. So I broke out the took set and pulled the tailshaft cover off of the transmission to check the bearings and sure enough I found two of them to be bad.

But wait, there's more.

Not only were two of the bearings bad, the center differential has come apart as well...which means it has gone bad, too, which is why I was getting the clunk in the front end during the tight turns. With the center diff locked up as it was the car is basically a 4WD instead of AWD, which is why on dry pavement the front tires would slip and cause the clunking noise.

Not struts.
Not driveshafts.
Not wheel bearings.
Oh no, that would be too easy and cheap.

Yeah...that's a $500+ part...but fortunately I found it for $411 shipped.

Looks like it will go back together next week then.

I did dodge one bullet, though, in that I didn't drive the truck too long after the clunking had stopped (the clunking stopped when the center differential viscous clutch came apart. At that point the center differential was no longer locked up and the rear wheels were no longer being driven at full power). It seems that generally when the snap ring comes off the center diff (which is what happened) it usually gets sucked into the gears. Because I didn't drive the truck very far in that condition, the gears were spared.

If they hadn't been, this might be a shorter story.

14 September 2014

One Damn Thing After Another

Eldest Son has been driving the Baja for a little over a month now, he took it to Florida and then he's been driving it back and forth to work since he moved back in. This weekend he got himself a little Honda to drive so I get my scoobytruck back. This is good because winter is coming and the Mustang is more of a fair weather friend.

Last weekend he changed out the front struts in the latest attempt to eliminate the front end clunk that first we thought were drive axles and then we thought were wheel bearings.  I took it down to get the alignment done and noticed that it has developed a gear whine in the final drive. I put that in the "deal with it later" category and took it on in to the alignment shop.

When it came down from the rack the machine showed everything (except the right rear where there is no adjustment) is straight, but it pulled to the right. I checked the tire pressure and the right tire was low. So, I fired up the air compressor and topped off the tire pressures all the way around and took it down the road to check it out.

Nope, still pulls to the right darn it, so at the end of the road I crank the wheels hard left to turn around...and all of a sudden now it pulls to the left.

?

When I got to the next intersection I cranked the wheels hard right and brought it about, and then it pulled to the right again but not as hard. Back to the turnaround, hard to the left, and the pull is completely gone now.

Back to the house, up on the jackstands, and check every bolt. Everything is nice and tight, the clunk is gone and the truck tracks straight and true with no pull. All's well that ends well, I guess everything just needed to be settled into place or something.

And now for that gear whine. Eldest Son didn't notice it at all, which suggests that it came about slowly as he drove it for the past month...slowly enough that he didn't identify it as something new. Since I hadn't driven it in over a month I noticed it right away.

The forums (not only is there a forum for the Baja, but there is a book of faces for it, too. Scary right?) suggest the whine may be coming from either the center drive (where the front axles connect) or transfer case bearings. There are detailed instructions on how to change out these four bearings. It looks like a PITA and I really don't want to do it, but it needs to be done.

Fortunately the forums also say it's not something that has to be done immediately, so I can hold off a while doing it until I can build up the car fixing fund again. It will have to be built up quite a bit because the Mustang is going to need another set of $1200 tires soon. I've gotten about 35K out of this set and I hope to get another couple of months out of them at least. Either way the Continentals have outlasted both sets of Pirellis so I'm happy with them and will certainly replace them with another set.

Several sayings about things with wheels come to mind...none of which are polite enough to share.

13 September 2014

Additions

Not a Brick in the Wall, added to the Morons of the HQ Kind Blogroll.

For better or for worse...

12 September 2014

A Day In Review

Pig for breakfast, pig for lunch and pig for dinner.

New rotors on the Mustang to get rid of the shake n' brake, and new pads because new rotors. Next payday I'll get the back rotors and the proper caliper compressor and do the back brakes.

Eldest Son got a car today, a 2000 Honda Accord, nice little car. The first place he took it, literally straight from the license plate office, was to work. Gotta make those payments, you know.

That means he will stop driving the Subaru, so I'll be getting it lined back up (we changed the front struts last weekend) and then I'll start driving it to work again. You know, to keep the miles off of the Mustang. Because that's worked so well for me so far.

And that was it.

You can live your life in fear or you can live your life in defiance. Make your choice.

11 September 2014

10 September 2014

Hey, Range Partner!

This Jones fellow, he sounds like a sensible sort of person.

This Womack guy sounds like he might have a clue or two as well.

How do I get them to move up here closer to the Refuge?

If we had folks like that here in Franklin County maybe that new range would have opened up here instead of over in Nash County.

And if flies carried .45's...

08 September 2014

Brought To You

by the War on Certain Drugs and exacerbated by the anti-Patriot Act: wholesale violation of your fourth amendment rights!

Libertarians have long gotten to be the butt of jokes because they argue against the drug war, and I have often said they are approaching it from the wrong angle. The problem isn't so much that you have the right to put various toxic substances into your body - you do -  the problem is the extremes to which authoritarian totalitarians are willing to go to in order to prevent you from doing so.

And once you get the nod for extremism against one thing that makes you feel ooky the door is wide open to do the same thing to other things you find ooky...like that pesky second amendment thing, or the belief that you actually have the right to keep some of your own money.

Note to Deputy Ron Hain of Kane County IL, your advocacy of “turning our police forces into present-day Robin Hoods” is fallacious at it's core.

Robin Hood, so the story goes, fought illegal seizure of the populace's money and goods by a government out of control. Today's police forces are being turned into a very stark example of that out of control government.

In other words, they are turning into the Sheriff of Nottingham.

But hey, if you aren't doing anything wrong...