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


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...

04 September 2014


and my first day off of the month, my joy knows no bounds.

So first, some admin stuff, which starts out with a story. Today walking out of the building when I got off work I spied a co-worker who I had not seen for a while. I mentioned this and he said he had been out just a few days shy of six months.

With prostate cancer.

I mentioned that September is prostate cancer awareness month, and if I wasn't at work that I would be wearing a kilt to commemorate it. He laughed at that and said he had no need to wear a kilt now.

This story fortunately has a happy ending, they caught it in time and he is going to be fine, but there were some ominous shadows in the story...starting with the one where he had to go to two different urologists and insist on having his prostate checked the old fashioned way before they finally caught it.

The first urologist didn't  have the slightest clue what the problem was and the second diagnosed an enlarged prostate and wanted to just cut it up a bit, which very likely would have ended up in the cancer spreading instead of being caught. If you didn't get slightly bug-eyed at that you aren't paying attention.

Statistically speaking prostate cancer is as easy to treat, and as survivable, as breast cancer. The problem is catching it in time, and since most men are a little leery of the finger they may not be so eager to get checked. Not to worry though, it's not all bad. The recommended check used to be annually and digitally (and no, this doesn't mean by using a camera or a computer), now it is every two years by blood test. If you are over 50, or if you are in an increased risk group, it's worth the effort.

One in seven. Get checked. The kilt is on and the hot button is on the sidebar.

Me and Sis, breast cancer survivor

In commemoration of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and in view of the Kilted to Kick Cancer campaign, this month's redhead shares the stage with three other kilted lassies. Sorry for the poor picture, it's the best one I had to pick from. I really should have gotten a better one of her, but they all had to go back to work.

And last but not least, twenty eight years ago tomorrow I got a telegram. I was on the ship and a long way from home, and even though the news was expected it still came as a shock to this 20 year old sailor boy. It was that day that I realized that I would have to kill every male child on the planet.

Happy Birthday Youngest Daughter!

And with that, it's off to bed.

21 August 2014

11 August 2014

Stones or Stupid

The definition of which I leave up to you, the reader. It's either one or the other.

03 August 2014


By way of Guffaw I found this article which I was reading to Eldest Son.

When I got to the end of the fourth paragraph, where it says "When they got here and found work, in the main, they taught their kids to be thankful for America and they raised their kids to be good citizens. That’s not what we are dealing with today" Eldest Son, who is not noted for his tact or political correctness, said "No, they're coming here now to suck the welfare donkey's d**k."

The statement was simultaneously crudely vulgar and yet completely correct.

If there weren't already lots of good reasons for me going to Hell, laughing at that would probably do it.

02 August 2014


Before gfa gets here!

*whew* that was close...


Yay me.

So I got myself this. You should get one, too.

ADD: Oh, and look...Feral Irishman got me something, too! (deliciously NSFW)

20 July 2014

So Long Jim

James Garner has passed at the age of 86.

I remember him from The Rockford Files, but I think my favorite of his movies was Space Cowboys.

19 July 2014

Vampire Books

The Tome of Bill.

Man, that's some funny stuff.

18 July 2014

Hey! There's A Bandwagon!

I have a range session next weekend, so I'm going out to shoot at least two of the 5 most dangerous guns in America, maybe more if things work out well.

First up, since it will be the inaugural run of the Sig, I'm going to shoot the first most dangerous gun in America, the pistol. I will go so far as to bring my Glocks to play, so two of the three of the pistols I shoot will be Glocks. This will pretty well coincide with the articles statement that "65 percent of the market share of handguns for United States law enforcement agencies" is filled by Glock, even though neither one of mine to the best of my knowledge was ever used by any law enforcement agency...but the Sig was.

If Range Partner brings his Alaskan I might even shoot the second most dangerous gun in America, the revolver. I'm only going to shoot it once, though, because a .454 Casull in that short frame really hurts to shoot. That's why he says he carries it, he only wants to have to shoot it once. After all, if I'm going to shoot a dangerous gun it might as well be a really dangerous gun.

I'll probably bring at least one of the long guns out of the safe, so I'm certain that I'll put a few rounds through the third most dangerous gun in America, the rifle. The only question is, which one? I haven't brought the Nazi killer out to play lately, so maybe there's a fireball in my future. That should amp the danger meter up some.

Next, perhaps I'll drag the EBS out for some fun and games so that I can shoot the fourth most dangerous gun in America, the shotgun. It's been a while since I've put anything through it, so maybe it's due. Also I need some more/better pictures of it in its current configuration, so it has to come out of the safe anyway. Since it was built with the specific purpose of scaring the gun grabbers it definitely belongs on the dangerous list.

Unfortunately neither one of us has a derringer, so I won't be shooting the fifth most dangerous gun in America.

And now I'm going to get something to try to wash away the memory of reading that article. The things I do for cheap hits...


I did get that motherboard installed in the dearly departed Acer, but the electron gods spit in my eye (at least I hope it was just spit) and when I tried to fire it up nothing at all worked. So I boxed it all up, bought a new laptop and forgot about it. The only thing I really missed about the old Acer was the built-in camera that could be turned to face away and the non-Windoze 8 OS.

Eldest Boy was looking for a laptop so I handed him the box full of Acer parts and told him have at it, he was going to take it to a computer guru he knows to see if life could be breathed into the old girl. As it works the computer guru was indeed able to resurrect the Acer and now it soldiers on...with Windoze 8, even though my brand new copy of Windoze 7 was in the box.

So I told Eldest Boy if Computer Guru wasn't going to put 7 on the Acer I wanted the disk back, after all I paid good money for it. He brought it back and now it sits on my desk as I contemplate. I'd have to pull the hard drive out and plug it into my adapter on the desktop to wipe it, but I'm seriously considering putting 7 on the laptop. If it annoys me any more I just might do it.

16 July 2014


I do not think this word means what you think it means.

Family court is like one of those daytime hatefest shows (Springer, Povich, etc). If you are male you don't want to be anywhere near it.

I'm seriously glad I'm out of the kid raising business. If I were in my 20's right now and faced with the possibility of raising teenage girls I'd castrate myself and join the monastery.

I can't count the number of times one of our sailors would find out he was getting divorced (not always due to his own actions, but to be fair not always not either) and then get hit with a child endangerment charge as well just as an added "f**k you" to keep him away from his kids. Most of them had the "wink wink nudge nudge" implication that if he didn't contest the divorce/custody hearing that charge would quietly go away.

One of them told me once upon a time that when he heard all the things he was supposed to have done he cursed himself for a perverted sonofabitch, so he knew he didn't have a chance but to let her have everything she wanted - and he had all boy children. Talk about rape-rape, he really got his ass handed to him in divorce court.

And it happened all the time.

Makes me wonder how we are even able to propagate the species.

As an aside, I'll spare you the rant on "blaming the victim" here.

12 July 2014

On The Reading List

So I bought this for myself on the 4th of July to have and to hold on the Kindle list.

At the same time I got this one.

The first thing I'm going to do is be blasphemous and say I overpaid for both of them. Principles of Personal Defense is exceedingly good in its explanation of the mindset one should adopt regardless of weapon choice but at 80 pages isn't worth the ten bucks it sells for. To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth is chock full of good bits but tends to ramble a bit towards the end of each section as the subject gives way to short personal stories.

With that said, they are good books and should be read by all who have a passing regard for firearms and 2A matters.

I also come away with the impression that the good LCOL was exceedingly fond of the M1911 and God's Own Caliber and h8ses the 9mm like mayonnaise on hamburgers.

11 July 2014

Her Friends

must really be smokin'.

Seriously, they must be so blazing hot they melt camera lenses, which would explain why we have never seen pictures of them.

I guess we'll just have to make do with second best then.

05 July 2014

Why Why Why

As is my wont, now that I actually own a Sig P220 I'm doing a bit of research on it. So why would I do my research afterwards instead of before? That's one of life's little mysteries, isn't it. At any rate, I've lost track of the number of "ur gun sux get m&p with apex trigger" comments.

My question has to do with the latter part of that comment...the part about "with apex trigger".

I don't own an M&P, and in fact I haven't ever shot one, but from everything I've heard they are good guns. I just don't see the point of buying one that I have to modify right out of the box to make it acceptable. What's so great about a gun you have to immediately modify in order to make it worth a damn?

The same question applies to Ruger 10/22 fans, by the way.

03 July 2014

Happy Day

Payday, and now that the bills are all settled and the dust has cleared I'm broke again.

For various definitions of broke, I guess...I'm doing pretty well, all things considered; the cars all have gas, my pantry is well stocked, my utilities are still on and the bank isn't throwing me out of my house. I just don't have as much free cash as I'd like to have.

It's all my own damn fault, though.

The book came in Tuesday and I haven't had a chance to read any of it since I've been working. I plan on rectifying that situation this weekend. The Sig was acquired a couple of hours ago on the side of the road in a deal which I'm sure would have appeared very suspicious if the seller had not been in a blue and white Charger. I only say this to make the anti-gunners cringe.

I admit I really didn't need the Sig, but it was literally an offer that I could not refuse. It was a duty weapon for a local PD; when they traded weapons out one of the neighboring city policemen bought it, about the same time his baby girl was born, and then realized he could only afford one. He sold it to me, with the three magazines, at his cost, which was a very attractive price to say the least. Let's just say I paid more for each of the Glocks than I did for the Sig and leave it at that.

It's a P220 chambered in God's Own Caliber, no rails as you can see, so it's a base model not the P220R. It does, however, have the night sights installed so that's nice. The outside of the barrel shows some signs of wear but the rifling is nice and crisp, and the best thing about it is, since it's DA/SA, I can put a snap cap in it and dry-fire to my heart's content without having to stop and reset the trigger. I've slacked off on my dry-firing just because the Glock has to have its trigger reset between pulls and it broke my concentration to have to do that. Now that excuse is gone.

It's a bit bigger than the Glocks, but not really as much as I had feared. It's longer of course, but the biggest difference in the way it feels is in the shape of the grip. The Glocks seem to have a more pronounced bulge further up the grip at the back than the Sig does, the 36 has a bigger bulge than the 19. The grip really isn't that much longer than the G-19, and the G-36 is actually a bit longer with the extended magazine installed.

I can actually wrap my hands around the Sig better than I can either of the Glocks, and the Sig has an 8 round magazine instead of the 6+1 of the G-36, so now I can carry 25 rounds (3x8 plus one in the pipe) instead of 22 (3x7+1). I don't know if those extra 3 rounds will ever make a difference...I hope to never have to find out...but I guess it's better to have them than not.

One thing the Sig is not, is combat Tupperware. The frame is aluminum instead of polymer, I don't know how much difference that is going to make in recoil but I do know that the magazines are easier to eject from the Sig than they are for the G-36 (but about the same for the G-19). I still have to hold the muzzle with my left hand so I can turn my right hand enough to hit the magazine release, but I don't have to pull the heel of my hand away from the magazine to let it fall.

I had a tough time finding a holster locally for the Sig, it looks like I'll have to order online to get another one for it. For now I'm using a Bianchi Minimalist, I'd like to have more coverage on the trigger but that's about the only thing I could find right away to fit it. I'll probably opt for a custom holster for it, I hear tell of a few places where I might could have one made.

I do like the way this Sig fits my hand, and I can't wait to see how it shoots.

UPDATE: Bonus! The Sig fits the Galco Tuck n' Go that I have, but not the Stow n' Go. Kind of odd since both of them were purchased for the same gun (the Glock 36, although the G-19 fits both of them as well). It's a little tight but it works pretty well. That means now I have a holster I can remove when I need to, it covers the trigger better, and it rides a little lower as well which means it's more comfortable to carry. I haven't been using the Tuck n' Go lately so it looks like it belongs to the Sig now.


I have been working all week so I didn't get a chance to put this up earlier. It amused me this month while perusing the web for suitable images that so many of them looked familiar...because they were links to this site, particularly the ROTM posts. Ah, what price fame...

At any rate, and without further ado, I give you the Redhead of the Month for July, the lovely Kimber Lee:

Happy 4th of July everyone!

25 June 2014

Reading From the Same Playbook

 Now the EPA has also lost emails due to hard drive crashes?

Someone please tell me what brand of hard drive the .gov is using...so I can put all the evidence on one.

20 June 2014

Range Day AAR

I got the G-19 sighted in, barely. Of course I left the handy dandy Glock tool at home so I had to use a knife blade to adjust it. It will now shoot bullseye from a bench rest.

I, however, still suck at shooting it.

First things first, Youngest Son and I tried the Battleship targets at 50 yards with the Marlins first, but my old eyes wouldn't let me line up properly (I was using the 795 with iron sights, Youngest Boy was using the Model 60 with the scope) so we pulled them back to 25 yards. After going through a full box of .22LR (325 rounds) neither of us had won but I was closer.

Next I put a few rounds through the Arisaka and the Mossberg at 100 yards while Youngest Son peppered a zombie clown target with the Saiga. The Arisaka is still a handful, it groups in a 5" circle at 100 yards but I'm pretty certain that most of the problem is me since I'm not using a bipod with it.

The Mossberg shoots 1.5 MOA at 100 from the bipod and it likes 51 grains of IMR 4064 with its 165 grain Hornady SST's. I've heard that a Boyds wooden stock will bring the groups down to sub-MOA but 1.5 is still minute of Bambi so I'm satisfied with it.

After that Range Partner and I tried out the Battleship targets. RP won, finally, after we had gone through all the 9mm I brought (should have brought more since I was sighting the 9mm in, along with the tool...but I digress) and then switched to the G-36...and then went through all but 4 rounds of all the .45ACP that I brought.

It was pretty glaringly obvious that we both needed the practice, and I'm somewhat concerned that the G19 needed so much adjustment with its sights. Maybe a new barrel would set it right, irritating with a new gun but it puts holes where its pointed now so it's all good. Best of all was the stress reduction achieved through recoil therapy, I think that was probably needed more than the practice.

Mexican for lunch, inspection and tag renewal for the Pony and lawn mowing followed, and now I'm in skating ring hell as Boy shmoozes the chicks.

Eh. Life could be worse.

19 June 2014

Sights, PT 2

Installing Glock sights on a Glock is simplicity itself. Drive the old ones off, drive the new ones on, no muss no fuss.

In fact, the hardest part to installing the sights was finding a brass punch. I never did find one, but the local craft store had brass shapes that were suitable for cutting up to use as punches.

The guns are cased and ready to be put in the car tomorrow, I'll be sighting in the G-19 and trying my reloads out in the Mossy 30-06. I'm also taking along some of the toys I haven't played with in a while.

A day at the range is always a good day.

14 June 2014


I just ordered a set of adjustable rear sights for the Glock 19, I'm hoping that I can get the POA and POI to intersect. They should be here next week, I should be able to get them installed pretty quickly and then it's off to the range on Friday to dial them in.

AAR will occur...after.

13 June 2014

This Just In

This sauce makes a pretty good marinade for deer meat.

11 June 2014

Good Lord

Can somebody please explain to me what it was that Miss Nevada/Miss USA said that was so damn controversial? Sounds to me like she's got her gray matter in place and fully engaged.

08 June 2014

Party Time!

The company I work for had a summer picnic on Friday, and the best part was I got paid to be there (I was on the medical response team, fortunately we had no customers).

Here's a little taste of what we saw:


 and sand castles

 and FOOOD!!!

 and bouncy houses

 and pretty girls on stilts

 and water baloons

and henna tattoos

 and rock wall climbing

and lights.

All in all, it was a pretty good time.

07 June 2014


Sausage gravy and biscuits, mmm...and so easy to make, too.

1 lb sausage
Salt and pepper

Notice there are no quantities listed for flour and milk. This is one of those things that you have to play by ear, so to speak. I use a 10" cast iron skillet to make this.

First, fry the sausage up, crumbling it as you cook it. When it is done clear through, stir in flour one heaping spoonful at a time (I use a serving spoon, just like my mother used to use) until the grease is all absorbed. Be careful not to put too much flour in, you want the mixture to be moist.

Stirring constantly, add milk until you get to the desired consistency. You will probably have to add more milk as the mixture cooks down because it will thicken as it heats. Cook until it is warmed clear through. Salt and pepper to taste (I also add a couple of turns of the Italian herb spice weasel).

Serve over freshly baked biscuits. (I cheat and use wompum biscuits...those are the kind where you peel the label and wompum on the counter...)

06 June 2014

Today In History

1942: The US Navy's Battle of Midway winds down as surface fleet combatants move to disengage, the Japanese lost four carriers to the American's one. Yorktown was under tow on the 6th, expected to once again be salvaged, when she was discovered and attacked by a Japanese submarine; she was lost early the 7th.

As the Navy's battle wound down the Marine's battle was just beginning; Marine air elements began to engage the remnants of the Japanese fleet on the 6th. These battles were the first large-scale Allied victories against the Japanese juggernaut and although hard fighting was yet ahead they signaled the beginning of the end of Japanese dominance in the Pacific.

1944: D Day invasion of France at Normandy; the allies landed on Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches beginning at 6:30 AM, establishing beach-heads for continued operations and sustaining 4,414 casualties by the days end. This is the largest amphibious operation in history to date, and if God is merciful it will be the largest one ever.

Every day we lose more and more of these men, and the world is left poorer by their passing.

And finally, I would be remiss at this time if I did not acknowledge the last of the Navajo code-talkers, Chester Nez, who passed on the 4th at the age of 93. Well done Marine, Semper Fi.

04 June 2014


Yesterday. Doesn't seem like it was that long ago.