28 February 2013

For Mrs. B

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commands, and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. Then they cry to the LORD in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses. He makes the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he brings them to their desired haven. 

Psalms 107:23-30

Someone Is Paying Attention

I've had a Marlin 795 on my Guns I Want list for a while now to make a Liberty Training Rifle for Appleseed out of. The Marlin only needs sights and a sling to make it a good LTR while the more popular Ruger 10/22 seems to need an extensive list of modifications to make it a good shooter. All told I figure the Marlin fully modified would cost about as much as a Ruger out of the box.

Someone at Marlin has apparently been paying attention to the Appleseed Project because now they are getting ready to offer the 795 in an Appleseed configuration. It will come complete with the sights and sling, a spare magazine, and some fancy etching on the side. The only thing it would need to be absolutely perfect would be a wooden stock, but unfortunately that is not offered on any of the 795 models.

At first I thought the $300 asking price was a little bit on the steep side, but then I noticed that there is a certificate for an Appleseed weekend that goes along with it. In my opinion that makes the asking price more than reasonable. I've got my info in to be contacted when they come available.

I certainly hope I won't have to wait too long.

UPDATE: The wait was too much to bear. For a little less, and without the engraving, I have the rifle I want.

HT: Bob Owens

26 February 2013


So I'm driving in to work last night, got my smarter-than-me phone plugged in to the charger so I can have the neato GPS map up (I have an app for that!) and the damn thing goes dark. It's not supposed to do that while it's on the charger.

So when I get to the stoplight I check it out, and it's not charging. I fiddle with the wires some and it starts charging again. As soon as the car starts moving it stops. Wiggling the wires gets it to charge some more and then, hit a bump and it stops. Repeat, ad nauseum.

By the time I got to work it wasn't even trying. When I got home I plugged it in to two different chargers. No joy, the damn thing won't charge. I've had it for three whole months.

Fortunately it's insured, so I call the insurance place and get a replacement on the way. The good news, it will be here tomorrow. The bad news, it will cost me $99.00 on a phone I only paid $150 for after the discounts.

Tell me again how these damn things are so wonderful.

UPDATE: So I get a suggestion in comments to remove the battery for a half a minute or so, problem is with the 'droid the battery is non-removable. I can, however, shut it off and power it back up.  I do so and voila, it's charging again.

Of course since the claim is already processed I have a shiny new phone already on its way to me. When it gets here tomorrow I have to tell the driver to send it back, however since I'll likely be sleeping when he gets here I'll have to take it back down to whatever shipper it arrived with and have them send it back. I'll get my refund then and everything should be back to status quo.

Then again, Eldest Son should be out wrenching on the Subaru when it gets here, so I'll have him handle it if he's out there when the driver shows up. He ought to be able to say "no" I think.

Shame they couldn't just push a few buttons and make it all go away...

UPDATE II: The darn thing stopped charging in the car again so I ended up keeping the new one. Then, the new one wouldn't charge in the car...the charger was bad. I'm thinking the bad car charger made the charging circuitry lose its little electronic mind. If I had just replaced the car charger...

and if flies carried .45's, frogs wouldn't f**k with them.

24 February 2013

Fresh Starts

I spent the day yesterday unloading content from my ailing laptop (it goes through phases where it shuts off for no good reason and I have to perform a system restore on it) so that I could do something drastic.

When we got the laptop we got no software with it since it was all pre-loaded. We didn't think to make a backup disc for it of course, so I didn't have one to fix any problems when Vista went sideways (the darn thing shuts off by itself, then it has to be started in safe mode and restored to the last known good point; when it's on the fritz if you start it up in regular mode you won't have time to do the restore before it shuts off again. Microsoft has been less than helpful, telling me "it shouldn't do that..." Yeah, I got that, thanks). I ordered one from Ebay and it arrived yesterday, so I set out to use it.

I had no idea that I had so much stuff stored on the laptop, and it won't all transfer (the computer stubbornly insist there isn't enough room on a 32MB flash drive for 17MB worth of video files), but I did get everything else (including lots of stuff I'll never use, but its on the external hard drive now with all the rest).

I then did a fresh install of Windoze Vista, ordering a format of the C drive to do so. I still have my D and E drive partitions, I haven't figured out how to combine them yet, but for the first time in a long time there is plenty of room on the laptop. I finished off my day by reloading all the software that got nuked with the format, including the Acer drivers for the camera.

The camera works when it wants to, but today I did take the lid apart to look at the wiring. I didn't see anything obvious, but it's working now so I'll leave it alone. I'll take Yes for an answer. I was also able to install the Adobe PDF reader that wouldn't install before, so I can read PDFs on the laptop again.

So far so good, I'm happy with the decision. The desktop looks a bit different than it did before so I wonder if I got another version of Vista, but it seems to work, the old product key activated it with no problems and I have been able to find everything I need. It might have something to do with the fact that the Acer management software got nuked at the same time and I didn't have a way to reload it, not that I used it anyway so I don't miss it.

That reminds me though, one of the things I'll have to put on my list of things for my friends to do for me should something tragic happen is to nuke the external hard drive...

More Kindle-ing

Poor Man's Fight by Elliot Kay

Space Eldritch, a compilation

Old Habits by Christopher Taylor

The Flux Engine by Dan Willis

I think at least two of them have been hawked by Larry Correia on his website, one of the others is a commenter at Ace of Spades (lots of moronblogger books on my Kindle), and the last one just looked interesting.

It's kind of nice having reading material at my immediate disposal, before I had to actually hike myself out of the chair, go to the bookstore and look through the stacks. Now all I have to do is log onto the Amazon Kindle site and browse to my hearts content, downloading whatever I want.

This could get to be an expensive habit.

22 February 2013

This Just In

Armalite employee is a festering douchepile.

If AR indeed stands for Armalite I guess I'll be taking AR off of my "Guns I Want" list.

HT: Sean at An NC Gun Blog, who has been doing yeoman's work keeping track of who's been naughty or nice.

20 February 2013

Scooby Down

If it isn't one thing it's another...

Subaru has a nasty rep with it's 2.5L flat four motors, they tend to leak at the head gaskets.  Fortunately for me leaking at the head gaskets for the early 2000 and up models means external leaks, not internal ones like the earlier versions, but it's still something that needs to be fixed.

I was hoping that the valve cover gaskets would take care of the oil leak, and it may have, but now it is being overshadowed by the coolant leak. The head gasket set is an order item at the local parts store, if there isn't anything wrong with the heads (there usually isn't) a quick check with the straightedge should be all that is needed to put it all back together again. Since there hasn't been any overheating or other problems I'm guessing the heads are OK, if not then it will cost a bit more and take a little longer. I'm hoping to get it done for a few hundred bucks tops, that's the advantage to doing your own work.

It isn't something I was intending to do but it looks like the boat is on it's own schedule (why should it be any different). At any rate the forecast looks like crap with an extended chance of crap this weekend, so it won't get done then. Hopefully I can get it done next weekend, I was intending to haul the trailer out to Range Partner's new abode to help him clean up a bit the weekend after next and it's hard to do that without a trailer hitch equipped vehicle.

(No. Don't even suggest it. Ain't gonna happen.)

Until then, I guess I'm riding the pony. It seems like there is a silver lining to this cloud after all...

16 February 2013

Starting Early

It's snowing here already. It wasn't supposed to do that until later on this evening.

Looking at the weather across the state it looks like the snow started several hours early everywhere.

I was supposed to go to Charlotte today. Looks like I'll be postponing that trip.

I have chili already made, and it's a good day for a fire.

Everyone stay safe wherever you are.

(The picture has a blurry spot cause I took it through the window.)

UPDATE: Final tally, about 2" of snow accumulated on the soft surfaces, a light skim of ice on some of the hard surfaces this morning, all of it burned off by the afternoon along with most of the snow, the snow remaining is in shady patches. And thus ends the Great February Snowmageddon of 2013. As far as the snow goes, it was great snowball/snowman snow, so we had fun playing in it. I'm not a big fan of snow in general, but if we gotta have it, this is a good way to get it.

15 February 2013


One of the few things I never liked about the 2010-2012 Mustang was the tail-lights, I thought they looked terrible with the two white backup sections between the three red sections. I first saw the Raxioms on a car cruising down the highway and decided I needed a pair of them.

One of the Mustang Forums guys is changing his lights out to the 2013 style, so he was letting the Raxioms go at a good price. As an added bonus, they are smoked lights which look great with the GT/CS blackout panel on the trunk lid.

This is the first obvious mod to the exterior I've done, most folks miss the hood spears. I think this one will stand out.

14 February 2013

Oh, Yeah

 Happy Valentine's Day! Have some hearts and flowers.

Photo shamelessly stolen from Aggie, where she got it I know not.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

3/4 tsp of the first two and half a tsp of the last, along with a half a tsp each of ground black pepper and minced garlic, mixed in with a half a pound each of sliced carrots and celery, two or three pounds of diced potatoes, one or two diced onions, and three or four pounds of boneless chicken breast cut up into bite-sized chunks in a crock pot. Pour four cups or so of chicken broth over the top and put that crock pot on low. Stir it up to mix the ingredients and then let it go for eight hours.

I'll stir it up once about noon or so just to make sure everything is mixed up real good and then leave it for another four hours. After that I'll put in a tablespoon or two of flour to thicken it up a bit, stir it up to shred the chicken, and serve it up with some biscuits.

That should shut them up for a while.

UPDATE: It's gone already, so they must have liked it.

11 February 2013

Say What???


Billions of years from now when the sun goes supernova and swallows the Earth, the singularity of stupid from this statement will still be sucking the intelligence off of the planet.

10 February 2013

Drooling of the Three

More dancing monkeys heard from.

1) He ain't my boss, and he certainly ain't my Pa.

2) My life has just as much value as anyones, and it is my right to protect it.

3) You still around?

Shut up and dance.

09 February 2013

Scooby Fixing

I've mentioned it a couple of times, but the Subaru has been a bit under the weather as of late.

It started with a power loss, something that was very subtle but noticeable. When the weather turned nice and I pulled the Mustang out for a couple of days the Subaru sat, and when I got back in it there was a dead miss. I ended up driving the Mustang the rest of the week.

When we pulled the plugs out the number 4 plug was fouled. Number 2 was slightly better, numbers 1 and 3 looked fine. I had Eldest Son change out the plugs and put valve cover gaskets in (the left cover gasket had been leaking for some time) and then change out an O2 sensor that had been throwing a "check engine" light that I had been ignoring for a couple of months.

A fresh filter and crankcase of clean oil and it ran better than it ever had before. When I got it there was a noticeable stutter at the low speeds which was almost (but not all) eliminated with a good tune up. Now that the 02 sensor has been changed the stutter is completely gone. I think it had been in the process of going bad for a while and it had been the cause of my previous problems with it (a "check engine" light that called out an Idle Air Control Valve, which going by the price must be made out of platinum plated diamonds. I got one off of Ebay for about 20 bucks that fixed it for a while, but it came back, and then the old one fixed it).

A couple of days later, sitting at a stoplight on the way to work, it coughed once. It sort of startled me, it had been running so smoothly for the past couple of days, but when the light turned green it took off without a hitch and did not stumble again at the next light. I figured it was an abberation and put it out of my mind.

On the way home, however, every time I'd come to a stop behind the school bus I was following it would idle fine for about 30 seconds and then start to cough and stumble. It would run fine as long as it wasn't idling, but it surely didn't like to sit still for long. When I got in it to go to work that night, however, the power loss (but not the light!) was back and the miss was evident from idle on up.

Eldest Son pulled the plugs out of it and sure enough that number 4 plug was fouled again. We cleaned the plugs and I got a set of spark plug wires for it and the stumble was gone again. I drove it this morning out to Range Partner's place, about 50 miles away, and it was fine out and back.

We will see how it does this week, but I think it's back to 100% now.

Range Morning

Range Partner emailed last night, seems that he had an unexpected day off and asked if I would like to put a few shells through the EBS Project. Of course I would, so bright and early I quaffed down a shot of DayQuil and loaded up the freshly repaired Subaru (it ate another plug last week, so I had to clean and gap them again and put on a set of wires; we'll see how it does next week).

I don't know how crazy I am about that new stock. I like the fact I can adjust it, and I set it to a couple of different lengths during the elimination of a box of shells, but the stock is now straight enough I can't get a good look down the barrel. The front sight bead might as well not even be on there, I have a feeling this stock is meant for some sort of optics. I might have to switch it out for one of these instead.

UPDATE: I just ordered a drop spacer for it, we'll see how that does.

I also put a box of CCI's through grand-dad's Hi Standard and a box of 50 Tulas through the Glock, and then I was done. Range Partner brought a shotgun, too, a semi-auto Benelli, that he used to take the center out of a round target. It was, without a doubt, the right tool for the job. I also put a few rounds through his .357, but the .454 had some ammo related problems (reloaded, old powder) so it didn't stay out and play very long. We were done by late morning, something we both agreed was unusual for us.

Feeling a bit under the weather I decided I really didn't want to do much cooking, so before I left the house I chucked about 4 lbs of boneless chicken breasts in the crock pot with a bottle of Carribean Jerk marinade and set it on low to slow-cook for 8 hours. On the way home I got the ingredients for slaw and a couple of packages of hamburger buns. After the eight hour cooking time had elapsed I took the chicken out of the pot, stirred it up with my barbecue fork to shred it, and poured about half of the cooking juice back in to moisten it up.

That's a tasty sandwich!

And now I'm off to self-medicate some more. Night, all!

08 February 2013


I've been keeping the deliveryman busy this week.

The company I work for had a pretty good quarter, so I got a quarterly bonus. It's obviously gone now, between necessary Subaru repairs and...toys!

The first thing that arrived was the forward tri-rail. I don't have a sling swivel for it yet, but it's on the list. I suppose I should get a sling for it, too, while I'm at it. I was planning on mounting it between the barrel and magazine, but it's not the right size for that. It was designed for a flashlight, so I put my old work flashlight on it. It will do, I guess.

The second thing that arrived (with the tri-rail, in fact) was the cheek piece and ammo holder. Putting that on had to wait until the stock arrived. That came in the next day.

The stock went on easily and works great, but I'm sad to say the same can't be said of the cheek piece. I really didn't like the tall one, it raised my point of sight so far up the front bead might has well not even existed. It took a pair of flatblade screwdrivers to take it back off once it was installed. So, I took the tall piece off and tried just the short piece. Better, but still a bit tall. I had to have it for the shell holder though, so it stayed on.

When I tried to put the shells in the shell holder they wouldn't fit. I understand that you want the fit tight enough so the shells won't fall out, but a twelve gauge shell should be able to fit in a twelve gauge shell holder without pulling the damn thing off the stock...the same setup that required two flatblade screwdrivers to take off when I wanted to take it off pops right off when you try to push the shells up ito the shell holder. So, it's staying off.

Next project is getting the sling swivels for it, and then a sling. I'm looking at one of these since the cheek piece/shell holder was such a loser.

In the final analysis my Tacticool Mall-Ninja Evil Black Shotgun project is going pretty well. I'm thinking about a forward pistol grip, I've been warned that it can bend up the action bars but I'd have to change the action tube assembly to even contemplate it. The stock came with a foregrip, but unfortunately there are two different lengths of action tube and nothing in the package tells me which length the foregrip takes.

But that's a project for another day.
The last thing to come in this week was the package of materials to begin obtaining my Associates in Applied Science degree in Electronics Engineering Technology. Yeah, I'm finally getting it done. It's something I should have done years and years ago, but I suppose better late than never. Thanks to previous course work I'm already over half-done, so hopefully it won't take all that long.

The next thing I'm expecting is "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil". I've been wanting to see it for a while, it looks pretty good. According to the tracking data it should be here Monday...when I'm at work...

I guess that gives me something to do next week!

05 February 2013

Book Review: Amy Lynn

Author Jack July comments as Oldsailors Poet at Ace of Spades HQ. He can be found on the infamous Overnight Threads, where I have enjoyed many a comment from him.  Morons, we call each other there, but the commenters on the ONT are anything but. Many of them, it seems, are writing something, and sometimes those things make their way into print. "Amy Lynn" is one of those things.

At first it was only available in print format, and since I had just gotten the smarter-than-me phone with the Kindle app I was looking for electronic books. Then one ONT I found out that it was available as a Kindle book (Oldsailors Poet, Author of Amy Lynn available on KINDLE finally) and went over to take a look. It didn't really seem like a book I would be interested in, but still I downloaded it if for no other reason than to support a fellow Moron.

And then I read the book.

When we first meet Amy Lynn Braxton she is a 12 year old girl growing up in rural Alabama amidst heartbreak and tragedy - in other words, real life. Her older brother Kerry, whom she admires greatly, has just drowned and left her as the oldest child, as well as being the woman of the house following her mother's death some time earlier.

As she dances from tragedy to tragedy she is helped along the way by friends and family. We meet her family, her father Leon, her Uncle Jack and Aunt Carla Jo, her younger brother, and all the other characters in her life that influence her in one way or another, good or bad. Some of those characters come with their own stories, several which are tantalizingly brief and worthy, one can hope, of their own books.

We find that life is not always pretty - in fact it can be downright ugly and brutal - but joys can be found in many ways. Life is a journey after all, and we are privileged to follow along as Amy makes her journey, through tragedy it is true, but also through triumph. As I read the book I found it was less about growing up than it was about redemption. We all are shaped by the events in our lives, but in the end what happens to us is not nearly as important as what we do with them.  That is what makes all the difference.

And then one day Amy finds herself in the situation that she has unknowingly been preparing for her entire life. What she does next is both expected...and yet completely unexpected. She is left with the consequences of her actions and a fresh set of tragedies to deal with. She does so with the help of friends and family, just as she has all along, and so the tale ends with all the strings tied up (even if frayed at the ends and sticking out a bit here and there) and most of the conflicts resolved.  Most, I say, because in real life the story continues.

But that is a tale for another day. Life may continue, but the book, regretfully, does not.

And when I had reached the final page and saw written upon it "The End" I quite literally screamed in frustration. I simply must know what happens next. Must, I say. I MUST know.

I salute you OSP, you magnificent bastard. I have read your book. I pray it is not your last.

01 February 2013

Just Quit It

I just got an email (in my junk folder, where it certainly belonged) saying that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.

Twenty six fresh graves proclaim that theory to be a lie, and I will not be a party to dancing on those graves.

Seriously folks, this is the kind of thing we laugh at the Loose Change people about. Knock it off already.

Taking Stock, Part 2

Last quarter was a good one so my workplace issued a bonus.

It was enough to get everything I wanted for this.

Pics and details when everything arrives and gets installed.

Also, I was at Big Box Store early enough to score some 50 rd boxes of Winchester 185gr FMJ target ammo, there were three boxes but I was nice and only took two of them. I may regret that later. The nice lady at the counter said they got some .223 in yesterday but it was gone by noon.

There was enough of my bonus left over to get the things I needed for the Subaru, so hopefully it will be back at 100% soon.