31 December 2011

New Years Eve

Today I went out in the Mustang, with the top down. It was in the mid sixties, a bit on the cool side but OK with a jacket.

This is one of the things I love about living in the South, when it snows here it is An Event. In the Midwest it's just winter. When it snows here it might last a day or two before going away, in the Midwest it isn't unusual to have snow for a couple of weeks at a time.

In my youth it wasn't unusual for the first snows to start before Thanksgiving and to have snow cover until mid February or later.  These days the snow doesn't last as long in southwest Iowa, and the pheasant have moved northward as well I've been told. Sad that, but nothing stays the same. But I digress.

The smoker is fired up, the hickory is soaking, and soon there will be ribs. 2011 is winding down and 2012 is nigh; in 356 days the end of the world is scheduled according to the doomsayers reading the Mayan calendar. I just think the calendar maker got bored and said "Someone else can take it from here."

At any rate, all of us here at the Refuge wish all of you electronic friends in the magic box a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Light A Candle

From Gun Free Zone I followed a link to Extrano's Alley where I read a post referring to a great idea that Weer'd Beard had.

And so, on the eighth of January I'll be doing my part.

Gotta go take some pictures now and put them on the laptop, I'll be in Jacksonville when it all goes down.

30 December 2011

When Does It End?

While doing my rounds I came upon this little tidbit from Guffaw, who linked a bit from from Clayton Cramer, who linked this article in the Washington Times, about how the People's Republic of California has now decreed that you must have a prescription for certain brands of over-the-counter cough syrup because it is being used as a recreational drug.

At first I was just going to write a little blurb to wonder how long it takes the nanny staters on the right (oh, you thought all tyrants were leftists? You thought wrong, there are those on both sides of the aisle who would limit your liberty for your own good) to finally say "Enough already!"

It's worse than I thought.

When I read the entire article I saw that it's not just California and it's not just cough syrup. The quote from Gideon J. Tucker comes to mind: "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session."

I'm thinking that the idea of having a part-time legislature was a darn good one, and not just at the Federal level.


I got a new radio for the Subaru that has bluetooth and can play from both an SD card and a flash drive. Everything is hooked up and it sounds great.

Now I have almost everything in the Subaru that I have in the Mustang, audio-wise. I lack only steering wheel controls (which I do use) and voice commands (which I don't use, except for the phone).

Daughter and Son-In-Law will be taking the Subaru to Florida next week, I'm going to have one or the other of them sync their phones for the trip.

And of course, since they will have the Subaru I will be forced to drive the Mustang.  I guess I will have to learn how to cope.

26 December 2011

The New Toy

So I've been working a bit with my new toy. To recap, it's a High Standard model H-B, Type 1 with a 4 1/2" barrel, manufactured sometime between 1940 and 1941 according to the online references I have found; the age is determined by the lack of a safety lever on the left side of the slide. It was my grandfathers, handed down to my father and now to me.

The slide didn't want to cycle all that well, so I took it off and cleaned and lubed it. It still didn't want to cycle all that well so I did a no-no and removed it then released the tension on the recoil spring. I was then able to spray the recoil spring down with some clean and lube and then I reset it, reinstalled the slide and cycled it a few times. That seems to have loosened it up, now the slide seems to cycle like it should. Being used to the .45 it feels a bit weak, but then again it is a .22 so it doesn't need as much spring tension.

Next I loaded 10 rounds into the magazine and attempted to manually cycle them through, but they would not feed unless I pushed the slide up. I fiddled with the tabs on the magazine and now the rounds cycle through manually without any problems.

I can work the firing pin manually, it moves freely and retracts without any issues. The hammer, according to Dad, was manufactured by a gunsmith to replace the original that was broken and no replacement was available for it. It doesn't match the contours of the gun, but it works just fine.

So with all the preliminary checking out of the way it looks like the gun will function as it should. Next is range time, I'm hoping that a bit of exercise will loosen the action up a bit further. It's probably been 30 years or more since the gun was fired, Dad didn't shoot it much and Brother didn't shoot it at all.

After action report will occur after the range session that I should try to schedule real soon, maybe after getting back from Jacksonville. After I have test fired the gun and verified that it works like it should Middle Daughter wants to learn to shoot. The .45 was a bit much for her to handle but the .22 should be just the thing for her to learn on.

She says she wants to get her concealed permit, and if she still wants to do so after we have some range time on the .22 I'll try to find a .380 or a 9mm for her. I want to check out some of the compact Glock 9's anyway, so this is just another excuse to fondle some firearms (like I needed another one).

I must be doing something right.

Day After Christmas

It was a pretty good Christmas at the Refuge, we didn't do any gift exchanges because we're saving all of that for January in Jacksonville with Eldest Daughter.

It is the second Christmas that Laura has not been with us. We all miss her, but this year wasn't as painful as last year.

I hope all of my friends in the magic box had a great Christmas.

25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

From all of us at the Refuge to all of you imaginary friends that live in the magic box.

Merry Christmas to one and all, may the peace of the season hold you all the rest of the year.

This is my hometown with it's canopy of lights. I found the picture at wunderground.com.

23 December 2011

Home Again

It sure is nice to get into my own shower, and I can't wait to crawl into my own bed tonight. Everyone is glad to see us and we are glad to be home.

22 December 2011

Safe Landing

We got everyone up and around at 11:30 PM for a 12:00 departure. We left about 15 minutes late, par for the course, and traveled over the (Mississippi) river and through the (Hoosier Nat'l Forest) woods from Grandmother's house we go. 17 hours and one time zone change later we landed safe at Sister's house in Salem VA.  I'll be staying the night and continuing on to the Refuge in the morning.

It was a nice trip, but it's always good to be home again.

21 December 2011

It Might Be GM

but someone still has a good advertising department. This commercial has been running here in Iowa since we got here, it almost makes me want a Silverado.

20 December 2011

The Two Reasons

that Ron Paul should never be allowed anywhere near the levers of (international) power.

I'm beginning to think his economic views are just a fluke. To hell with Ron Paul and anyone who thinks having him as President is a good idea.

HT: Ace of Spades HQ

19 December 2011

Idiots Out Wandering Around

Youngest Son had a gift card and some Christmas cash just burning a hole in his pocket, so he wanted to go trade it for something fun.  I wanted to go check on this. A quick check shows that the Wally World in Maryville MO has "limited stock" of the item in question. So, off to Maryville we go!

Voila, the store does indeed carry this rifle, in both collapsible and non-collapsible stock form.  The price tag was in the $850 range, and I was tempted, but (probably fortunately for my budget) I can't buy the gun in Missouri because I don't live in a neighboring state. That's OK though, cause the store in Henderson says they have limited quantities as well!

There was also a .22 long rifle M4 look-alike for about half the price. I'm curious to see if it is available in Henderson, too.

On the way back I wanted to see the windmills. These giants are located astride Highway 59 just north of the Missouri border, about halfway between Tarkio MO and Shenandoah IA, running in a roughly east to west line.

Iowa's agricultural production used to mostly be used  for food (either in vegetables or in feed stock for cows or pigs), but more and more it is being diverted to energy production. The corn is being used for ethanol and now a new form of
produce stands in the fields.

These machines are a funny looking crop, but their output feeds the grid of a power hungry nation. On this cold 36 degree day, even though the wind was blowing, the machines were all still.

Just east of the windmills on the county road, at the junction to the road that leads into tiny little Northboro Iowa, stood a sign pointing to the North Pole. Of course we had to follow the arrow into town to see what it was all about.

I didn't see any snow at the North Pole, but the display was nice anyway.

Thoughts On Carry

The only place I had to disarm all the way across from North Carolina through Virginia to Iowa was in Illinois. I didn't think it would bother me much, but I didn't like it. It's kind of strange, I guess, how it gets to be second nature and when you can't carry you are aware of the lack of that weight and bulk at your side, even though the bulk and weight is relatively small.

In Iowa I can carry just about anywhere. There are doubled fines for committing public offenses when in designated weapons free zones (the area in or on, or within one thousand feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school, or in or on the real property comprising a public park. A weapons free zone shall not include that portion of a public park designated as a hunting area), and I cannot carry on actual school grounds, but carry is not prohibited by Iowa law anywhere else (including, amusingly enough, the aforementioned "weapons free zones". Federal laws still apply of course).

Persons with permits can carry openly or concealed, and the permit also covers other concealed weapons such as blades over 5" in length. I can even have a beer if I want to provided I am not over the limit (0.08). I have not noticed bloodshed in the parks, shootouts in the street, or carnage and mayhem in the restaurants that serve alcohol for consumption on the premises. See North Carolina? It can be done.

There are some times I am proud to say I was born and raised in Iowa (and other times I want to say "Never heard of the place," particularly at election time), they do manage to get some things right. This is one of those things.

Now if the Illinoisians can get carry in their state I will be good all the way across.


If it's Hy Vee, it must be Iowa. I don't think I've seen these anywhere else.

 We first saw gas prices under $3.00 in Missouri, where you can find it for $2.95 pretty regularly. I saw it once for $2.89.  See North Carolina, it can be done!

Baby it's cold out here! Temperatures were in the single digits overnight when we first arrived, it has warmed up a bit since then.

17 December 2011

Merry Christmas To Me?

I mentioned in a previous post that my Dad had an old Hi Standard .22 (I think it's a Model B) plinking pistol. My brother has it now but doesn't do much with it.

I'm hoping to take that gun home with me. Wish me luck.

UPDATE: It's a model HB, no manufacturing date (it says Patent Pending and is serial number 55254) and it is currently stashed in my dry-box.


”When you create Hope in people, you create expectations. When you do not fulfill those expectations, when the change becomes more of the same old, same old, the Hope that was created can only turn to anger, frustration and bitter disappointment.”

Kind of a funny story, but the quote is completely serious.

16 December 2011

Don't Laugh When Mom Is Around

Eldest Sister's Eldest Daughter, Favorite Niece, is having a bit of the back pain. She was in a car wreck last month, nothing serious but it gave her some muscle strain that she's having to deal with and she is still a bit sore.

Anyhow, she was sitting on the couch in pain and Mom asked her "Do you want a vibrator?"

Favorite Niece was, of course, aghast; not only that Grandma knew what such a device was, but that she would even offer something like that.

Turns out the couch she was sitting on has this switch that turns a vibration pad on in the seat back.

Mom doesn't think it is nearly as funny as the rest of us do.

As a side note, not a big fan of the new Blogger setup. I have to keep coming back to reformat my posts, which is more of a pain than it's worth. Unfortunately, once you go full retard there's no stepping it back. Three edits trying to get rid of the extra spacing between the first and second and the second and third paragraphs, and I finally had to do it in HTML. Redonkulous.

14 December 2011


Care for a drink?


Saturday night we got here and I went out and had a drink with my aunt, who is only a few years older than I am.

Sunday I made my Mom very happy and went to church with her and Dad.

Monday Younger Sister and her hubby came over for dinner.

Yesterday we went touring all over southwest Iowa visiting uncles and aunts that I had not seen for 27 years.

Today I went and found some shirts for Grandbaby. Later on Brother will be coming over, Younger Sister is already here, B-I-L will be coming over after he gets off of work, and Brother will be making deer chili.

I told Brother that he needs to give up some of that corn-fed Iowa deer that he has in his freezer so that I can take it back to NC (he says we don't have deer at home, just big dogs). I think I may be able to talk him into it by the time we leave.

Youngest Son is bored to tears, but I'm having a good time.

12 December 2011

A Training Opportunity

A couple of months ago I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in a training class. I learned a lot and it really did help.

Another class has now been scheduled. I'm not going to be able to make this one, but the opportunity is there. If you would like to learn to shoot better - or just shoot, period - you can't do much better than this class.

Shoot Sean an email and he will set you right up.

11 December 2011

Catching Up

We took off from the Refuge on Friday at noon and landed safely in Roanoke at 3 PM. A quick outing to celebrate Favorite Niece's birthday (she's 18 - oh my) and a bit of a nap and at about 2 AM Saturday morning we were off heading west.

We made it to the Ancestral Homestead at about 6 PM local time. Favorite Niece learned to drive a stick in the Banana Boat on the way, so she is very pleased with herself. We left the Mustang at home this trip, Iowa is not a good place for rear wheel drive V-8 powered convertible cars in the wintertime.

Snow and ice on the roads in town, oh joy. I haven't had to deal with that in a while, and I suddenly remember some of the reasons I didn't head right back to the Midwest when I retired from the Navy. The Boat performed as well as expected, it is just as sure-footed in the slick stuff as I thought it would be.

We have a busy week ahead of ourselves, it is always good to see loved ones from far away and I plan on traveling a bit to see some of the uncles I haven't seen in a while. Everyone seems to be doing well.

On a side note, I missed the shindig in the Hoosier City this past weekend even though I was sort of in the area - at around 10:30 AM. Actually I was attempting to navigate my way around the Ohio River bridge being missing on I-64 in Louisville KY, but I did manage to make it on the road that way for a little bit during the detour. It looks like everyone had a good time.

And appropos of nothing I suppose, my last post was number 1000 here at the Refuge. You take your milestones where you can get them I guess.

08 December 2011

Down The Rabbit Hole

So I start checking the blogs out, as I do, and I get as far as here and read this...

and then I start following links...

and before you know it hours have been wasted.

I used to think it might be fun to have trolls, but now I'm content with being small time.

And amusingly enough, following the links led me full circle...

UPDATE: damn, I should have held off a bit...from MattG comes this link, and the best part of it is this in the comments;

I was disappointed after watching the video of Mariah Carey being covered by seamen; it's not what I was expecting.

I am a bad, bad man.

UPDATE II: Don't bother looking for the comment. I swam through 150 pages of Argentinians being assholes about the Falklands and didn't find it.

07 December 2011

Didn't See That Coming...Part II


Pearl Harbor Day

70 years ago today.

Eight battleships, three cruisers, three destroyers, a training ship, a minelayer, 188 aircraft and 2402 Americans died in fire and smoke. All but two of those battleships, USS Arizona and USS Oklahoma, were repaired and returned to service; Arizona still lays where she died and Oklahoma was lost on her way to the mainland under tow for repairs.

All of the other ships save one were also repaired and returned to service.  On the other side of Ford Island from Missouri the former battleship USS Utah, by then a training ship, still holds the last 54 members of her crew.

The Iowa class battleships were built afterwards, and joined their older sisters in avenging the lost. The war began on Arizona's decks and ended on Missouri's.

Today the Mighty Mo watches over the USS Arizona from the spot where USS Oklahoma died.

Traveling Man

I took the pony to work last night. I wasn't going to because it was supposed to rain, and I don't like putting the cover on a wet car. But when I stepped out the door and the temps were still in the high 60s, I just had to do it. This morning the temps were in the mid 60s and it was dry for the trip home, so I got a two-fer and was able to put the cover on it when I got home as well.

I had to take it out and enjoy it, the weather is getting colder for the rest of the week and I haven't had it out for over a week as it is. This weekend we're loading up the Banana Boat and heading for Iowa for a couple of weeks, where the lows are in single digits (Fahrenheit) and the highs aren't warm enough to melt ice. Not a good place for a Mustang convertible, but an AWD Subaru should be able to handle it just fine.

When we get back we will only be here for the week and then it's off to Florida for a week to see Eldest Daughter and Pop. Middle Daughter and hubby are taking the 'Boat, so I'll be forced to drive the Mustang. It looks like we'll be taking a trailer down, too, because Pop is adamant about emptying his garage out.

So I'm looking at a busy month, I'll be missing the Mustang club Christmas party, the company Christmas party, another Christmas party that a co-worker is throwing and a Mustang Forums get-together, all in the next two weeks. I was going to have to skip two of the parties anyway since they were all scheduled on the same night, but it will be good to get out and see the folks, not to mention Brother and Younger Sister.

I think it will be worth it.

04 December 2011

Thoughts on HR 822

From usacarry.com:

Though the bill passed by a wide margin, it was not without controversy on the pro-gun side of the debate. In previous alerts, GOA has pointed out several flaws in the legislation:

  • It forces Vermont residents (who do not need a permit to carry) to either obtain an out-of-state permit or to push their state to pass a more restrictive concealed carry law than it now enjoys;
  • By requiring permits for reciprocity, the bill undermines efforts at the state level to pass constitutional carry (i.e., Vermont-style carry);
  • In restrictive “may issue” states, the bill allows for non-residents to carry firearms in the state while most residents would still be prohibited, and;
  • The bill is yet another example of Congress distorting of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

My thoughts:

Point number one: it does nothing of the sort. Vermont, Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming can enact legislation to establish a permit for reciprocity purposes and specify that it is not required for in-state carry. The permit would likely have to follow the same guidelines as other states (training, background check, etc) in order to be acceptable to them, but there is nothing that says anyone has to have one for in-state carry.

And while we're at it...what's the difference from what they have now? They still have to get a non-resident out-of-state permit to be able to carry in other states, so this changes nothing for them.

Point number two: it does nothing of the sort. See Vermont, Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming above. There is nothing keeping other states from adopting the same type of legislation abolishing the requirement of permits for in-state carry while offering an optional concealed permit for reciprocity purposes. When all the States have Constitutional Carry they can all opt to abandon their permits since no one will ever need one.

Point number three: sounds like a good reason for residents of that state (coff*illinois*coff) to either change their own state laws or move to a less freedom-hating state. Maybe seeing people travel from state to state  without turning the whole country into the "Wild Wild West" will help them get over their irrational fear.

Point number four: bs. It is the Congress telling the States "You see that part in the Tenth Amendment where it says "nor prohibited by it to the States"? Long overdue in my opinion, and it would be nice if Congress could extend the idea of Second Amendment protection over their own areas of responsibility while they are at it...like DC, where the Congress is supposed to be the city government as well as the Federal government.

Bottom line, there is nothing in this bill that the pro-gun people can't live with, and a lot that they can like. As for the rest of you...well, I guess if you gotta have something to complain about to make you happy...

One of the Representatives that voted against the bill was Rob Woodall (R-GA) who had this to say:

“If the Second Amendment protects my rights to carry my concealed weapon from state to state to state, I don’t need another federal law,” Rep. Woodall said.

Absolutely right Rep. Woodall. If. If if if if if. So, tell me, where is your legislation demanding the States all comply with the Second Amendment, to include the District of Columbia?


Yeah. Well, if flies carried .45's...

Further on down there is this little tidbit:

Even worse, you can be sure that anti-gunners will use any excuse, including this study, to push for some type of national carry license.

Oooh! Bring it on! Every anti that I've ever talked to, without fail, says something about drivers licenses whenever this subject comes up. But let's get to the forefront of this debate. We have to lead this horse, not let it trample us. Sure, make us get a license...that is valid any time, any place, any kind of carry, and any firearm I wish to tote.

The license has to be affordable (like driver's licenses) and the requirements to get one cannot be too arduous (like drivers' licenses). The license is only required when you are off private property, whether that be your own or others that you are on with permission, like a drivers license (you don't need one to drive around your neighbors pasture if you have his permission).

I can live with a required class and a proficiency test like a drivers license, and I'll agree to a background check. The fees can't be too ridiculous, and the required class has to be waived for people over the age of 18 as long as they can show proficiency (like a drivers license). In return I get to carry concealed or open, I get to carry anywhere I go; no more restrictions for Government buildings, State parks, banks and all of that nonsense. ALL other firearms laws, Federal, State and local, are abolished.

Not good enough for you? OK, I'll agree to a special endorsement, like a CDL, for fully automatic weapons that require additional training. I can live with that. Once again, the requirements cannot be overly arduous...and that means financially as well. Oh, by the way...that means I get to actually own fully automatic weapons. I'll even agree that I can't tote them off my own or others private property loaded and uncased unless I have the endorsement on my license. Fair is fair, after all.

(Let me have this one and I'll have a pintle-mount for a .50 on the Baja in short order...)

And by the way...no, you can't have a registry of any guns. Forget it. Yes I know cars have license plates. So what. You still can't have a registry of any guns. We're talking about a license to carry, like a drivers license, not license plates for cars. I can have a license to drive and not own a car, so there.

The antis might talk a good show about a national license, but none of them that I have made the above proposal to really wants to fall down that rabbit hole.

Now if we can get Constitutional carry in all 50 States and the District of Columbia like the Second Amendment says I'll be a happy camper. But until then, this bill is a step in the right direction.

Let There Be Lights

The outside lights have been put up.

There are fewer candy canes this year. I will have to find some more. At one time there were enough to line the walkway, but through the years they have been broken and not replaced.

Today would have been our 18th anniversary.

03 December 2011


Herman Cain has called it quits.

I can't say I blame him, he's been getting hit pretty hard with the Bimbo Eruption, and he's decided he doesn't want to put himself or his family through any more of it.

I wish him well in all of his future endeavors.

02 December 2011

The Narrative

I don't usually listen to Hannity on the radio. Nothing against him, he is successful in his chosen field and I wish him the best. He just isn't one of my favorite talk show hosts.

I usually only get about 15 minutes of his show as I'm driving to work, and I can usually only last through five of it or so if he has a caller. The other day he had some guy on who couldn't argue with anything he was saying, exactly, he just didn't like the way it was being said.

This has always annoyed me.  For the life of me I can't figure how we're supposed to stop talking about how you are screwed up like a soup sandwich as soon as I point it out. At that point the conversation should be about how to take the soup out of your sandwich, not about how rude it is for me to point out the chicken and noodles dripping off of your bread.

You don't like it being pointed out to you that you are an incompetent moron. I get that. Now here's a solution for you, instead of complaining about how I'm telling you that you are a mo-tard, how about you stop being one and then both of our problems will be solved.

You can't spell "Fix Yourself" without an F-U.

01 December 2011

Happy Day

As noted below, HB650 takes effect today in North Carolina.

Sean has done the heavy lifting. Go on over there and see what it's all about.

Shooting The Message

In an odd turnabout of the messenger being the cause for the message's demise, there has been a bit of a flap recently in the north of Hoosierville.

It seems that there is a miscreant about, carrying on in a fashion that had certain locals deciding that they have had quite enough of that.

To that end a movement was born, a movement designed to remind said miscreant that the citizens of the Hoosier State enjoy the protections afforded by the carry of personal arms.

Being residents of said village, and being somewhat in the way of toters themselves, this movement was Occupied, as it were, by Tam and Bobbi, who both proclaimed the event a success.

However. Yep, there is always a however.

It seems as if one of the event creators is himself a bit of a bad boy, and that has cast a shadow over the entire affair in the eyes of more than a few.

So this raises the question, is the event now tainted because of the actions of one of it's creators, or is the thought bigger than the thinker? It has happened before, you know - witness Volkswagen, that grew out of the desire of a certain German Chancellor for his Volks to have a wagen they could afford. Fast-forward to the present, the odious little Austrian has long since been relegated to the dustbin of history and VW is still proving that the Fahrvergn├╝gen is greater that the sum of it's creator.

The most unfortunate part of this is that the gentle and gracious Bobbi has had to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous commenting, and as a result she has hung a "Members Only" sign up on the door to her place. You can look in, but if you want to join the crowd you have to prove you aren't the kind to piddle on the rug.  I'm happy to say that I have made the cut, and as a side note this is one of the reasons my comments have always been moderated.

I have high hopes for Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns. I think it is also an idea that is greater than it's creator, and I hope that it will take wings and fly free from the controversy that has covered it. The momentum is going in the right direction; we have reciprocity nationally and here at home HB 650 takes effect today, much to the wailing and gnashing of teeth of the usual suspects. OBRwG is an idea that deserves to prosper.

Even if it's creator is a tubby midwestern Nazi.

You have no idea how badly I would like to link just that comment, but you will have to scroll down to find it.