29 December 2013

Dear Google

All I want to do is check my mail. If I wanted to know what was going on with Facebook, I'd look at Facebook. If I wanted to know what was trending on Twitter, I'd look at twitter. If I wanted to know what was going on in the world of news, I'd turn on the idiot box.

All I want to do is check my mail. But is it on the main page? Noooooo! Is it on a hot link, or on a button that is easily and intuitively located? NOOOO!!! It's on the Apps tab (WTF??? I'm not on my phone or a tablet here!!!) buried under tons of other bullshit.

All I want to do is check my mail!!! But you jackasses have set the page up to do everything BUT check the mail! The only reason I even have a gmail account is because my phone and cell carrier for some reason insists on using your crap products, but because of your company policies and the asinine way you have everything set up I avoid your sites whenever possible.

That's why I don't use my gmail address for anything.


On any military installation I've ever been on, the possession and/or carry of personal firearms is strictly verboten. One may bring firearms on the base according to the base commanders discretion for certain events at certain locations under certain very strict conditions, but the 2nd Amendment is for all intents and purposes non-existent onboard any military installation.

This applies to most of the other Amendments as well, for what it's worth. A base commander's authority over his/her installation is almost God-like, subject only to the whims of those in positions of authority over his own, but most higher authorities choose to leave a lot of personal discretion to the base commander.

This tickles me somewhat because the military is an organization formed and dedicated to the preservation and defense of one Constitution of the United States, which as one of it's attachments expressly forbids the .gov from prohibiting the firearms ownership and carry of the citizens thereof (not that this has stopped them, of course).

Furthermore, this military installation is staffed by the various military members who have all taken an oath to support and defend this same aforementioned Constitution Of against all who threaten it, domestically or otherwise. Presumably this also means the Amendments, since they are part and parcel of the entire document as a whole.

Lastly, such servicepersons are lengthily lectured and trained to recognize their duties with regards to the carrying out of certain orders, to include the recognition of lawful and unlawful ones. First and foremost, for an order to be lawful, IT MUST NOT VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.

Given the above points, tell me how the prohibition of carry on military installations is not an unlawful order?

This is merely a theoretical exercise of course. That camel's nose is not only under the tent, the entire camel is sleeping on your cot and making babies in your socks.

On The Road Again

Looks like I'll be heading off to the Great Midwest the middle of next week. The folks will celebrate 50 years together and my distaff sibs are putting together a shindig for it. I have the time, and if I ignore some of the bills (I'm paid ahead on all of them anyway) I have the cash, so I'm going to show up for it.

Current plans are to head west on 40 from Raleigh and overnight in Millington TN, then head north and further west from there. Yes, I know that it's farther than going through the Peoples Republic of Illinois but going the route I've chosen means I don't have to stop at the Indiana border to disarm and then drive unarmed through St Louis.

I'm thinking really hard on riding the pony. It's not really Mustang weather in the midwest right now and the Scooby's AWD would definitely be more suited for this time of year. But they do have a few paved roads in Iowa, and they do know a thing or two about snow removal there, so I should be OK.

Either way I'm looking forward to the trip. I need a break, and it's been a while since I've seen the folks. I really need to get out there more often, they aren't getting any younger and now that I'm the only one left out this far it's better that I do the traveling these days instead of them.

No one has told Mom. I think she'll be pleasantly surprised.

26 December 2013

Paul Ryan Can Snarfle The Garthog.

It takes a lot of stones to beg a retired military guy for money after breaking one off in all of us.  Chief Master Sergeant Wooten says all that needs to be said (although quite a bit less profanely than most of us would have said it. This, BTW, is how I knew it wasn't MSgt B in disguise).

Well said Zoomie.

25 December 2013


As if I needed another reason to go to the range...we've got fun and games!

I  think I may need a new set of sights for the 9mm...

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

For unto you is born this day in the city of David...

 a Saviour.

Merry Christmas everyone.

23 December 2013

One Of Those Nights

Four machines down in the first hour (the first two within the first five minutes) and my co worker isn't here yet.

Sometimes it isn't worth getting out of bed...

20 December 2013

Of Ducks And Men

A&E suspending Phil Robertson may have been a bad move financially, time will tell, but I won't shed any tears for Phil. The Robertsons did not make their money on Duck Dynasty, and long after the show is but an interesting footnote in Duck Commander's company history the ducks will still be flocking to their calls.

With that being said, A&E's decision is NOT censorship, any more than was the Dixie Chick's label dropping them, any more than Alec Baldwin losing his show, any more than GEICO dropping the Gunny, or any company's decision to not continue a professional relationship with any of their spokesmen. A&E didn't tell Phil Robertson to shut up, they merely said "you can't say that on our time."

For it to be true censorship...you need a government to use the power of the purse to audit you, the power of regulation to harass you, and the power of the boot to crush you. No matter what poncy Brit twit Piers Morgan says, that is what the First Amendment is all about.

Incidentally, the Second Amendment is all about the people telling the government "you can't do that on our time."

Try to keep that in mind.

Dear Santa

For Christmas this year I would like .22 long rifle ammo. I have been very good sort of good depends on your definition of good never mind how I've been fat man, just deliver the goods and no one gets hurt.

Your friend,
blah blah blah

UPDATE: My ammo order has been pushed from December 31st to the end of June.

Hey, I warned you. Now things have gotta get ugly...


17 December 2013

Another One Bites The Dust

Mi compadre at work has turned in his notice. He's accepted another position closer to where he lives.

And he didn't even offer to take me with him, the bastitch. (I'm only half joking here. See previous post. Note that I didn't know he was leaving until I got in today.)

Good luck Jason, it was a pleasure working with you.


I'm really beginning to think I'm ready for a new job. Maybe in a new location. A change of pace, as it were.

If it weren't for the fact that I'm the answer to everyone elses problems I would likely have already pulled up stakes and moved on.

Four more years. It's coming.

Obamacare in Pictures


Apparently we haz one.

You see, it's NC Governor Pat McCrory's 25th anniversary, and for this special occasion he's taking his lady somewhere nice and leaving the LT Governor in charge.

Somewhere nice is apparently other than NC, since the LTG is in charge, and that's where the kerfuffle is. Our chattering class here is aghast that he wouldn't spend his vacation in North Carolina, after all we have nice places, too.

I don't see what the problem is, after all it's Christmas and the legislature isn't in session anyway so it's not like he has something really really important to do...other than celebrate his 25th anniversary with the woman that has put up with him that long, that is.

Besides, if it were me I'd be out of state even if I was in-state IYKWIMAITYD.

I guess if that's all they have to complain about everything must be going pretty good.

14 December 2013


I'm a subscriber to the Grass Roots North Carolina's E-mailed Gun Blast newsletter, and one of the features therein is the latest quotable quote from the anti-gun crowd, called squibs. This episode's squib comes to you courtesy of National Gun Victims Action Council, and says "Merry Christmas, North Carolinians! Thanks to laws passed this summer which just went into effect this month, the guy sitting in the bar next to you can carry a concealed firearm. Don’t piss him off."

This sounds like good advice regardless of if the guy next to you is armed or not. The famous and oft-repeated Heinlein quote is "an armed society is a polite society" but I oftentimes think that if we had a more polite society we wouldn't have as much need for an armed one.

Which leads me to the famous and oft-repeated (well, if it isn't it should be) GEN James Mattis, USMC (ret) quote, "be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet."

Merry Christmas everyone. Remember to be polite.

10 December 2013


Favorite Niece and Eldest Daughter both had birthdays today.

Favorite Niece's boyfriend got her an engagement ring for her birthday. From what I can tell she liked it, not that there was any doubt.

Eldest Daughter called me this evening with some sad news, though. Laura's best friend is not expected to last the night.

I have known this woman for 20 years. Sometimes she makes me crazy. She has been dying of something  or other since I've known her, and sometimes I've thought she would outlive us all in spite of herself. It looks like that will not be the case after all.

I will call her husband tomorrow when I get off work and offer my condolences. In spite of everything they have always been there. I wish I didn't know so well what tonight holds for him.

Go in peace, best friend of my best friend...and when you see her, tell her I love her.

Today's Earworm

You're welcome.

08 December 2013

December Redhead

I've been remiss. The first week in December has come and gone and I'm just now getting around to changing the header.

As per an earlier suggestion, December's Redhead of the Month is:

Rose Leslie, AKA Ygritte from Game of Thrones.


This N' That

Friday it was 70 + degrees out, so instead of changing the oil in the Subaru I drove around with the top down for a while. I also grilled some of Bambi, which turned out pretty darn good. Unfortunately I also hit a dog, which didn't turn out all that good. He darted out in front of me and all the ABS in the world couldn't stop me in time.

That evening Daughter let me know that I had a fog lamp out, and when I checked it out Saturday morning I found out that the impact had broken the mount, so the entire light assembly has to be replaced. This means the front bumper cover has to come off, which isn't really as hard to do as it sounds, it's just a PITA.*

Also on Saturday morning I braved the cold long enough to do the Subaru's oil change, and while I was at it I decided I'd put in the mirror that I broke the day before Thanksgiving. Yep, heading to work in the dark, someone had their trash can right on the white line and I tagged it with the passenger mirror and shattered the glass. Thankfully nothing else got damaged.

The oil change went well, but I wasn't able to get the mirror glass in, in fact I broke it trying to get it to go into the frame that it was supposedly perfectly cut to fit, right. So, another has been ordered and I have the sanding tools on the Dremil standing by to carve it down to size. In the meantime I bought one of those 4" bugeye mirrors to stick on the backing plate. It's working pretty well, but it looks awful funny.

After all was said and done I was supposed to go to Lenoir for a toy run, but Youngest Boy had come down with a cold, and I was wet and cold from laying on the ground (Friday's almost 80 degree day turned into a rainy 56 degree overnight, which turned into a damp and steadily cooling Saturday), and I had a Bambi stew going, and a fire in the fireplace, so I just stayed at home.

And that's my exciting life.

*Update: the bumper cover is also cracked around the area where the fog light resides. The damaged portion is almost completely covered by the fascia and the only part you can see is from underneath the car, but I know it's there. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $165 for the bumper cover and probably $500 for paint if it ends up being equivalent to previous incidents. Plus, where the fascia attaches to the left inner wheelwell splash guard, the hole is pulled open on one side, but the captive nut can still be put on in such a way it holds everything together.

The dog lived, by the way. The neighbors have invited me to come hit it again, apparently it isn't a well-loved animal in the neighborhood.  

04 December 2013


She's been gone for three and a half of them.

28 November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

It could have been worse...

27 November 2013

Here's Something

I just got an interesting email:

Eric here from over at Ammoman.com, congrats to you and hunting partner and bagging some deer this year. Things are just heating up up here in terms of the gun season and I'm hoping to get out to fill my tag this weekend.

I'm writing to give you a heads up about something pretty cool we're doing Friday. Basically, we'll have ammo for dirt-cheap after clearing out our warehouse, salvaging cosmetically damaged ammo from dented/scratched boxes and loose-packing the rounds for pretty ridiculous prices. (For example - 2100 rounds of .22 delivered in an ammo can for $99).

You can see all the details and calibers we'll have in stock here if you think it's worth passing along to other shooters: http://www.ammoman.com/ammo-by-the-pound

If you think it's worth sharing, the ammo will be put "in-stock" on Friday morning at midnight. We're limiting each caliber to one per customer since it is kind of a unique deal and we want to help as many shooters as possible. Just thought you might be interested.

Take care, thanks for taking the time, and have a great Thanksgiving --- I hope some venison will be on the table!



Note to FTC: I have no professional relationship with ammoman.com and I have not been compensated in any way for this post, but I will certainly be spending some of my money there Friday morning.

24 November 2013


HT: The Smallest Minority


50 years ago this past Friday some silly little communist shot a politician in a Texas city and all sorts of legends and bullshit was spawned. Mostly bullshit, as far as I can tell.

Spare me. The only thing of significance Jack Kennedy ever did was die.

In fact, the best of the Kennedys died in a B17 over Europe, and I suspect he only gets the "best of" award because he didn't live long enough to muck it up. The rest of them haven't been worth a tinkers damn, and the littlest one should have been imprisoned for manslaughter. In a perfect world that would have saved him from being shot for treason.

But in this world the SOB's are idolized.

The best thing I can think to say about any of them is they can do no further harm.

Playing the Ponies

I don't follow the whole Brony thing, but what I appreciate about the ponies is...

they aren't too terribly concerned over what I think about them.

Not a bad way to look at things, all things considered.

Rock on, little ponies.

This Just In

Turning deer into serving size portions is much less fun than turning deer into big pieces of meat.

I spent the day processing and packaging deer meat, which is a long all-day tedious affair. After soaking it all night in vinegar, salt and water it wasn't an especially messy job (like cleaning it was) but cutting all the membranes and such out of it takes some time. I can see why Brother takes his to the butcher.

That's fine though, another skill gained that might come in handy during the Zombie Apocalypse. It's in the freezer now and I'm glad that job is over.

23 November 2013

Oh, Deer

Apparently the secret to bagging Bambi is to leave half your gear at home and drive the car you don't want to get blood and guts in.

It was only a spike yearling buck, maybe a hundred pounds on the hoof, but he's in the cooler now.

Hunting Partner (different guy than Range Partner) got one as well, the first ever for his Weatherby, using his reloaded ammo.

All in all, a pretty good day in the woods. (For us, not so much for Bambi.)

21 November 2013

Bound To Happen

Keep pushing your luck thugsters.

16 November 2013

The Last Refuge Thermometer

Inspired by this and this:

70+ = ah, just right
60-70 = acceptable during daylight hours if the sun is shining
50-60 = cold
40-50 = f'n cold
40 and below = that sh!t just ain't right

Can you tell that it's been a while since I've endured an Iowa winter?

15 November 2013


This is what I started with. The Arisaka is battle-sighted at 300 meters, which means it shoots insanely high at 100 yards. The idea was to put a long eye relief scope on it so that I could actually hit something with it without resorting to permanent modifications.

Removing the old sight is easily done by driving out the pivot pin with a pin punch and lifting it off.

The spring is held on by a single screw. Removing the screw allows for the removal of the spring.

The spring is removed by driving it forward with a hammer and punch until it comes loose.

The old sight is removed and the scout mount can be installed.

The mount was made for a Type 99 or a Type 38 full length rifle, not for the Type 30 carbine. A new hole had to be machined 18mm behind the old one in order to mount it on the carbine.

The "top hat" nut is inserted, small end first, into the spring mount. It is tapered so it tightens up as it is driven in to the right spot.

Two screws are driven in where the pivot pin was driven out to hold the scope mount

and then a single screw is driven through the new hole into the top hat nut in the spring mount.

An allen screw is used to tighten the mount against the rear mounting screws to make sure nothing moves.

The scope rings come with the mount and are held on with four allen head screws, the screws can be used to adjust the scope left to right for initial alignment.

I wanted to be able to use the stripper clips, so before I tightened the scope down I put a loaded stripper clip in to make sure I had enough clearance. I then put a borescope light in the chamber, pointed it at a convenient wall, and adjusted the scope crosshairs to the light spot.

The next thing to do is take it to the range and zero it in.

UPDATE: 11/23 - I took the rifle to Hunting Partner's house to see if it was close enough to stalk the elusive North American Hoofed Rat and it was still shooting insanely high. We cranked the adjustment down just as far as it would go but it was still 10-12" high. So, the trusty 12 gauge had to do the deed for deer and the Arisaka came back home in the case.

Once home I took the mount back off and took the file to it. There was a ridge halfway between the top hat hole and the rear mounting screw hole that had to come off, then the mount went back on and the scope back atop it. With the scope adjustment set to approximately mid (there are 8 full turns from tight to loose, I tightened the adjustment as tight as I was comfortable with and backed it off 4 full turns)  the horizontal crosshair is slightly lower than it was at full tight on the un-modified mount, so I think this is going to work.

Range time next Saturday (and of course I just got the word that there is going to be a CMP Rimfire match that day, too, so I'll miss that again) so the scope will get dialed in then. After that perhaps we will see if it is a successful hunter, but I'll just be glad if I can actually hit where I'm aiming with it.


Now that I'm trying to put a scope on the Arisaka I was wanting to adjust the scope position so I could reload with the stripper clips.

I've looked high and low and I can't find the damn things. I thought I knew right where they were, but I've torn up the gun safe in a fruitless effort to locate them.

I guess I don't really need them, but I wantses them, my precious...and the fact I can't immediately lay my hands on them bothers me just a little...mostly because I was so sure I knew right where they were...

I know they will turn up when I'm not looking for them.
UPDATE: In the cabinet, over the reloading bench, with the empty brass. Thanks Stephen!


A scout mount designed for a T99 full length battle rifle will not fit on a carbine length T30. My hope is that a local machine shop can put a hole where I need it so that I can end up using it anyway, I've taken some measurements and I'll check with them today.

One scuffed wheel on the 'stang turned into one scuffed wheel and one bent wheel. After work yesterday morning I stopped by the tire store to have the scuffed one taken care of and they found the bent one while they were checking the balance to rotate the other 3 wheels. Almost twice what I was expecting to pay, but now they are right again.

Yesterday I wanted some spaghetti and meatballs. I loaded the meatballs into the crock pot, covered them with sauce and turned them on to cook. About then I remembered my son-in-law telling me the stove had suffered a catastrophic failure, he was using the oven, heard a pop and saw a flash of light, and everything died.  It was the control panel, when I removed it and looked at the backside of the board the frying was quite evident. Almost 100 FRN's (thanks for that expression Range Partner!) and it will be here this morning. Fortunately meatball subs are good, too.

Sunday it was 70 degrees. Monday evening/Tuesday morning it was f'n cold, and by Tuesday evening there were snow flurries in the forecast. When I left work for the tire store yesterday morning at 7 AM it was 26 degrees. This Sunday they're saying it could be back up to 70. When the weather changes here, it doesn't muck about.

And that's life at the Refuge. Hope your days have been good ones.

11 November 2013

Happy Veterans Day

And for the rest of the world, Happy Armistice Day!

10 November 2013

Happy Birthday Marines!

238 years of striking terror into the heart of our enemies.

Well done.

09 November 2013

Yes I Know

political posts have been thin on the ground here lately (but there are all kinds of new recipes!). You want the latest in politics go see Ace or RSM. I'm trying to watch the blood pressure (of course, some of the aforementioned recipes probably aren't helping in that regard).

So what I did this weekend...I put the boards up that I had painted for the corner of the house I knocked off with the lawnmower, that's done and it looks presentable. I actually painted them last Saturday when the weather was warmer and, I kid you not, as the last swipe of paint went on a rain shower came through and ruined all my work, so instead of hanging them last Sunday before going to work I scraped and painted instead. Son In Law helped me hang them and caulk them and I think it looks pretty good for the work of a couple of amateurs.

I also went in to the tire store and made an appointment to get a curbed wheel fixed on the 'stang. Right front yet again. It was a little dinged anyway, but when I took Eldest Son to the courthouse to pay a bit on his fines I got it really good pulling into the parking spot. That poor wheel catches hell, and it's funny because the tire store guy says it's usually the right rear that gets it. No sidewall on the tire means that any contact, however slight, gouges the wheel up. It gets fixed Thursday morning, and the tires get rotated, so the next one that gets gouged will be the one that is on the rear right now. (note to the car gods, that's a joke, alright?)

And now I'm working Saturday instead of my normal Wednesday because one of the opposite night shift worker bees is taking some well deserved time off. Thus begins my working week then, 5 in a row this time.

I hope you have a good week!


I don't have time to spend 12 hours in front of a smoker, but I have a crock pot and I'm not afraid to use it!

Slow Cooker Carolina BBQ

1 bone in pork shoulder, about 5 lbs or so
1 T salt (I use a McCormicks Sea Salt spice weasel)
1 T pepper (McCormicks Peppercorn Medley spice weasel)
3/4 C white vinegar
3/4 C apple cider vinegar
2 T liquid smoke
1 T Try Me Tiger Sauce (or hot sauce of your choice)
[edit] OPTIONAL: 1 drop Dave's Insanity Sauce
1/4 C brown sugar
2 T cayenne pepper
2 T crushed red pepper flakes

1. Rinse the pork shoulder and put it in the crock pot. Season with salt and pepper. Mix the white and apple cider vinegar, then stir the liquid smoke and Tiger Sauce into the vinegar. [edit] OPTIONAL: Stir in 1 drop of Dave's Insanity Sauce. Pour this concoction all around the pork roast. Cover and let it cook on low for 8-10 hours, turning once (carefully) at the halfway point.

2. Remove the pork shoulder from the crock pot, leaving the liquid in the pot, and put it in a big bowl. Remove all of the bones and shred the pork. I use a couple of barbecue forks for this purpose.

3. Mix the crock pot liquid up to combine the ingredients and save 2 cups, discarding the rest (or save it and make more sauce, waste not want not). Stir in the brown sugar, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes (doesn't this look familiar?).

4. Stir the shredded pork back into the sauce in the crock pot  and continue to stir until the sauce is thoroughly mixed in with the pork. Serve on hamburger buns with slaw.

I usually go the really easy route and use the Allegro Hickory Smoke marinade, but I ran across this recipe looking for something else and thought it looked interesting. I changed it up a bit where I thought it needed it, I think it should go well with the East Carolina BBQ sauce I make.

It's in the cooker now. I'll go take a little nap (I don't usually get more that 5-6 hours of sleep anyway) and when I wake up I'll turn the roast and go get the slaw ingredients. When I get back I'll make the slaw and then it should be about time to remove and shred.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

EDIT: I added the Insanity Sauce and another T of liquid smoke, it was pretty good but spicy. Reduce the cayenne and crushed red pepper flakes to 1 T each and omit the Insanity Sauce for a milder recipe.

08 November 2013

Enhancing Optics

I've just ordered one of these and one of these for the Arisaka.

The mount is for a 7.7 (type 99) but the description says it will fit the Type 38 (but not the Type 44 carbine). I'm hoping since mine is a Type 30, which is very close to the 38, that it will fit without issues.

I'll let you know when everything gets here.

07 November 2013

Dear Harris Teeter,

As one of North Carolinas concealed weapons permit holders, I'd like to thank you for not posting.

There is a new store that just opened near Wake Forest, it's on my way home from work. Although it is a bit far away for my regular weekend shopping it will certainly be my go-to store for any day-to-day needs that pop up.

(I'll be discreet and carry concealed.)

Last Refuge of a Scoundrel

Let's Roll

These were the last words that Todd Beemer said to his wife on September 11, 2001. They were the last known words of a man that had a lot to live for, a man that did not want to die that day but was willing to trade his life for those of his fellow countrymen, for a chance to deny the enemy a clean victory and maybe, just maybe, sidestep what Fate had planned for him. They were the words of an average joe in a difficult place.

They were the words of a hero.

Contrast these words to the ones spoken by an eyewitness to the recent LAX shooting: "I knew I was going to die . . . I took out my cell phone to call my wife and tell her and the kids good-bye . . .”

Bill over at Eastern Iowa Firearms Training heard those words on a newscast and felt his blood pressure spike

I left a comment on the original post, but I thought it deserved some additional ruminations.

The average joe wandering around is not a warrior. Even those of us who may have spent time in the military and have our concealed weapons permit, though we may be sheep-doggish, aren't necessarily warriors. To be a warrior encompasses a certain mindset that has been drilled out of us by the constant admonition to play nice and the constant threat of lawsuits. We are a nation of sheeple, sorry to say, and I believe we are that way because that is the way we have been shaped.

Some of us just don't listen very well

(More of them are linked on the sidebar to your right. Go ahead and check them out.)

I don't know what I would have done if I had been at LAX on that fateful day. I will give credit where credit is due and say it was TSA's finest moment, and I say that without an ounce of snarkery. I would have likely knelt and said a little prayer ("Lord I pray that this is not my day to die, but if it is then let me face it on my feet"), then started looking for a way out of harms way. I like to think that I would have tried to bring as many of the innocent to safety with me as I could while looking for a way to stop the rampage.

I find it shameful that the TSA agents had to be placed in such a spot, but was a trap they had helped to forge. They are but one of many .gov agencies on all levels that, through regulation and "persuasion", have encouraged us to abdicate our responsibility to protect ourselves. We find out that once again, not only are these agencies unable to protect those of us they have denied the right of self protection to, they are also not legally obligated to protect those of us they have disarmed.

When the nameless shooter (go look for your fame somewhere else would-be assholes, there's only room for one asshole on this here blog and that's me) opened fire, he did so secure in the knowledge that at that moment in time no one was able to oppose him. LAX is an unarmed victim zone inside an unarmed victim zone. But unarmed does not necessarily mean helpless, and this is the thing that got Bill's ire. Rather than find another (admittedly less effective) tool, this un-named commenter sat down to die. 

Just as he had been trained to do. 

Train like you fight, fight like you train.

If that day ever finds me, I pray that I will be a Todd Beemer and not an un-named commenter. I pray that I will find the strength within myself to do what I can to make a difference, if not for myself then for the innocent, to at least deny the enemy a clean victory. I pray for the courage to at least try. If I must die this day, let me face it on my feet. 

I'm no hero. I'm just too fat to run, too old to fight and too damn good looking to die.

Cracking Up

If you copied off the recipe below, take a look at it. I've made a few changes to it, as well as to the basic recipe I posted here.

The biggest bugaboo to cheesecake baking is cracks. The cake will crack if the temperature changes too rapidly because the air trapped in the eggs expands. The secret, then, is to prevent large temperature swings, but there are a few other things you can do as well.

The first thing is to add the eggs to the batter last. Mix the batter well before adding the eggs to smooth it out, then add the eggs and mix only enough to blend them in. This will minimize the amount of air that gets trapped in the egg whites, thus minimizing the chances for cracking.

Another tip is to add a few tablespoons of flour or cornstarch. The "sciency" explanation is that the starches in the cornstarch or flour blocks the proteins in the egg whites from over-coagulating, which keeps them from setting too soon and causing cracks. This seems like cheating to me, but if it works without affecting the taste...as one of my old chiefs used to say, if you aren't cheating at least a little bit you aren't trying.

Overbaking a cheesecake can also cause cracking. You want to turn the oven off or remove the cheesecake from the oven when the middle is still slightly undone. Turning the oven temperature down to 325 during the baking lets the cake heat up slowly, further preventing the large temperature swings. Letting the cake cool in the oven with the temperature turned off for an hour or so helps as well.

Speaking of temperature swings, something else I found was baking the cake in a water bath. The water bath tends to regulate the temperature and prevent hot spots. To do this, wrap your springform pan in heavy aluminum foil to prevent leaking and put the filled pan inside a larger pan (a foil baking pan should work well for this) that is at least 3-4 inches high. Put a kettle on to boil with the lid removed while you are preheating the oven and take it off the heat when steam starts to form, before the water actually boils. Put the cake inside its two pans into the preheated oven. Fill the outer pan 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep and bake the cake as directed.

Another tip when using a springform pan is to run a thin-bladed knife around the edges to separate the cake from the pan sides when you take it out of the oven. This lets the cake shrink from the sides of the pan which will also help to prevent cracking.

If all else fails, the crack usually appears near enough to the center to serve as a starting point for cutting. If it isn't, fill it with topping.

The best thing about cheesecakes is even if it does crack...you get to eat your mistakes.


06 November 2013

So Many Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potatoes taste so good in a pie that I wondered how they would fare in a cheesecake. The verdict: you really have to try this.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake


1 lb sweet potatoes
1/2 c softened butter
2 (8 oz) packages Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 t vanilla extract
2 T flour or cornstarch (optional, helps to prevent cracking)
2 eggs


1 c crushed graham crackers
2 T white sugar
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
4 T melted butter


1. Boil the sweet potatoes whole in skin for 40-50 minutes or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potatoes and remove the skin.

 2. While the potatoes boil, mix the first four crust ingredients until well blended. Add the melted butter, mix thoroughly. Press into the bottom of a 9” springform or 9” pie pan.

3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

4. Break the sweet potatoes apart in a bowl. Add butter and cream cheese and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and flour/cornstarch (optional). Mix on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs, mixing only enough to blend them in. Pour into crust.

5. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes until center is almost set, then turn off the oven and allow to sit for another hour. Remove from oven. If you are using a springform pan, run a knife around the edges to separate the cake from the pan. Remove from oven, invert a plate over the pan and cool at room temperature until cool to the touch. Refrigerate overnight. Serve with whipped cream topping.

Books and Bad Guys

Last night I did something that I've never done before. I deleted a book from my Kindle reader.

The book was called "Navy SEAL Sniper" and predictably it was about snipers. More to the point it was about the technical aspects of being a sniper, from the ammunition and weaponry to the mindset required to do the job. Because I'm an overweight over 40 casual shooter at best I found the material kind of hard to slog through, but when I got about halfway through the book the author started bemoaning the fact that there is no standardized training for police department SWAT team snipers. This is where I stopped reading and deleted the book.

I do not deny the need of snipers for training. What I deny is the need of police departments for snipers.

Friend and fellow blogger Mark of a Free Man ran a post once upon a time about a police force acquiring tactical armored vehicles for their SWAT teams (I would spend the time to dig for a link, but it's early and I've been up all night). His contention was that there was no need for a local police department to have such equipment, a sentiment I happen to share and for the very same reasons. In my opinion police departments need to base their training more on the teachings of Robert Peel and less on the teachings of Robert Rogers.

The long and short of it is this; when your only tool is a hammer all of your problems start to resemble nails.

Local police department SWAT teams (and this can be expanded to include sheriffs departments as well) are usually trained (to varying degrees of "training") and equipped at high taxpayer cost. Before too long you have a lot of money riding around in tactical black clothing and large Chevrolet vans, and it isn't too awfully long afterwards that the questions start coming from politicians and constituents alike...namely, what benefit are we getting out of the money we are spending?

Very soon afterwards all of a sudden a crop of nails starts sprouting up, and the next thing you know you are killing Grandma at 3AM over Japanese maples because some low-life scum sucking toad traded information that she was growing pot plants on her back patio for a reduced sentence.* If it wasn't a problem we wouldn't be talking about it, unfortunately the fact that we are talking about it is another excuse for the "us vs them" mentality. It has to stop because history shows this path leads to some very dark places.

Police departments need to be intimately attached to the communities they serve. Every police officer needs to remember that the person in his crosshairs (yes I'm being sexist. My blog, piss off) is a citizen of these United States, not a foreign combatant, and as such deserves the right to a trial if he/she can be apprehended instead of swift dispatch by the crack of a supersonic round.** Police are first and foremost civilians just like us, not military, no matter how paramilitary they act (refer once again to Robert Peel's teachings).

I will not deny that occasionally there is a need for snipers. I will only say that should such expertise be needed it should be gotten from the nearest Nat'l Guard unit or SBI or FBI office, and if you really need a bullseye shooter quicker than you can find one from those sources, surely someone knows a deer hunter that owns a scoped Remington 700 and never misses who can be deputized for the purpose. I'm quite certain that in most areas of the country one can be found in the very same police/sheriffs departments that are needing the services of a sniper at such short notice.

But in all cases the police need to abide by this very basic tenet: "the police are the people and the people are the police".

*The war on drugs is yet another subject, but while we're touching on it...still think you don't have a dog in this fight?

**I will also acknowledge the fact that some folks just need a good killing, and in these instances the police are in the completely un-enviable position of having to make split second life or death decisions. It's a fine line and it's easy to be the armchair quarterback. Hand me the remote, will ya?

03 November 2013

Daylight Savings Time

The clocks went back 1 hour at 2:00 AM this morning. The first 2:00 AM that is.

Someone at AoSHQ said something about DST and time zones, which made me think of this question.

Why were time zones created?

Anyone know?

See What Happens

when you don't check your links regularly?


(That sound you heard was dreams shattering all over the interwebs. Not admitting to a damn thing, but one of them might have been somewhat nearby.)


I'm thinking of seeing if this or this will fit my Type 30 Arisaka carbine.

This is my favorite gun, but I can't hit the broad side of a barn from the inside with it, mostly due I think to a combination of old eyes and battlefield sighting (300 meters). It shoots insanely high at 100 yards, so much so that I have to aim under the target to hit paper. A good piece of glass should alleviate both of these problems.

The S&K runs $81 before shipping, the Accumount runs $89 shipped, but I don't know which one would be best. I think I like the looks of the S&K a little better, but the Accumount has the advantage of being a Weaver rail (and thus, greater number of choices for optic types).

The downside to this is that I would no longer be able to use this rifle for the VMBAR matches...not that I've been to one yet, and with the aforementioned eyes and elevation issues I don't imagine I would do very well anyway. Plus, I'd have to invest in a good piece of glass. I don't think the $20 Tasco .22 caliber Mart of Walls scope would hold up so well under the 6.5x50 recoil.

On the plus side, the mount looks like it should go right on without having to modify the rifle (screws through the old rear sight pivot pin holes and a special fastener installed in place of the rear sight leaf spring) so neither require modification past removing the old rear sight (a bonus to collectors who cringe in horror at the thought). The Type 30 is not a lot different from the Type 38, the biggest difference being in the bolt, so I think it should work.

I'm just not all that excited about dropping nearly a C note to find out.

UPDATE: Well, I done dood it...let's see how it turns out.

02 November 2013

Sweet Potato Pie

Sis had a bunch of sweet potatoes and insisted that I take some. I don't know how many I have, but after measuring out 2 pounds I still have more than 11 pounds left. I know this because my kitchen scales will measure 11 pounds, and the bag of potatoes overloads the scale.

So what do you do with 2 pounds of sweet potatoes? You make two sweet potato pies, of course!


1 lb sweet potatoes
1/2 c softened butter
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c half and half
2 eggs, separated
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 t vanilla extract
1 unbaked pie crust, 9"


Boil the sweet potatoes whole in skin for 40-50 minutes or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potatoes and remove the skin.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Break the sweet potatoes apart in a bowl. Add softened butter and mix well with mixer. Add sugar, half and half, egg yokes, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla, beat on medium speed until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff, fold into sweet potato mixture. Pour into unbaked pie crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Pie will puff up as it bakes and then sink down as it cools. Serve with whipped cream.

November redhead

This month's header brought to you by...

St Brigid

Patron saint of sailors, bastards and other low-lifes (for some reason Daughter wanted to know who the patron saint of sailors was and I thought the answer was funny).

And now off to bed with my drunken ass, where I probably should have been before posting this...

31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!

27 October 2013


Saturday was supposed to start with shooty goodness. It started instead with frost.

I mean to tell you it was f*@king cold out there yesterday morning (defined as anything below 40 degrees).

We met Range Partner at the range only to find out it was a maintenance day so shooting wouldn't start until noon. Also, I had borrowed an AC vacuum pump and gauge set from RP and was supposed to bring it to him. Of course I had forgotten it. I also had a Meetup shindig scheduled for the afternoon, for which I had baked a pumpkin cheesecake, and I had left that at home as well.

Since no shooting would occur, and since I am such a forgetful cuss, RP came back to the house with me to get his pump and I got my cheesecake and went on to the shindig. It was kind of out of the way but the GPS app on the 'droid took me right there. I love living in this technologically advanced age. But I digress...

Along for the trip was every rifle and pistol I own, only the shotguns stayed at home. The G36 and the Mosin stayed in un-fired conditions but everything else got a few rounds through them...except the Marlin 60.

This rifle usually eats anything without any complaints, in fact I've only had one time where it didn't want to load properly. Today, after seven months of trouble-free operation, we had more fail to feed issues...but that mystery was soon solved (and as you might have surmised, it was all about the USER ERROR...).

I have a confession. I don't really like to clean guns. Especially semi-auto rifles. I don't like taking bolts apart either, but that's more due to the fact that there are ten distinct parts to an Arisaka Model 30 bolt, which was the primary reason it was replaced by the Type 38 so quickly in its service career. But once again I digress...

The RO, a one-eyed ex Army firearms instructor, took one look at the action (specifically the feed ramp) and said "When was the last time you cleaned this rifle?" "Last time I fired it." "How did you clean it?" "I ran a boresnake down it and put it in the safe." *pained look* "When was the last time you took it down and cleaned the action?" "Oh, why didn't you say so? That would have been...let me think...never." *apoplectic look* "You need to take this rifle down and clean it."

Truth of the matter is, I had never ever had the thing apart (the closest I got to taking it down was when I removed the action from the stock to drill it for the sling swivels. Drilled the stock, that is, not the action). I didn't know how it was done to be quite honest (dead simple as it turns out), I bought it used and didn't get a manual with it. Fortunately Marlin looks out for us idiots, so when I got home I downloaded the manual and took it apart for cleaning.

Damn was that thing dirty.

The manual says not to take it apart any further than removing the action (on the Model 60 that includes the feed mechanism for the tubular magazine), but the action was so gritty that it had to come apart. Good thing someone else looks after us idiots as well.

In retrospect I probably could have just hosed it down repeatedly with brake parts or carb cleaner and moved everything around until the grit was gone, but I thought it was better to do it this way. When it went back together everything was smooth like buttah and cleaner than I have ever seen it.

The only thing that makes me feel less guilty about my lack of cleaning on this rifle is looking at comment threads on multiple gun boards and seeing that I'm not the only one. Turns out that most folks with Model 60 Marlins boresnake them after shooting and call it good, although using Q tips with some Hoppes to clean the feed ramps is mentioned.

At any rate it is nicely cleaned and lightly oiled, and as penance I also took the Model 795 down (same action on both, the only difference is the tube magazine feed mechanism on the 60 as opposed to the detachable box magazine on the 795) and cleaned it really good as well. The next time we go to the range I expect it will feed like a brand new one. I also expect that I will have to put it on the stand and sight the scope in again.

'Tis a burden that must be borne, I guess...

And for the record, the shindig (hosted by Old School Protection in Clayton at their range) was a rousing success. If you are local to that area and want to take a firearms class, check them out. (FTC note, I was not given anything of monetary value to say this, the rope you can piss up is hanging over there in the corner.)

25 October 2013

Something For the Tech Weineis...

I have an Acer Aspire 5610Z with Windoze Vista on it. For some reason a couple of years ago it decided to just shut off as if you had dropped the battery and pulled the plug on it. A system restore back to the point before the service packs were installed fixed it for a little while, but after a few months it did it again.

It got to the point where I was having to restore it every month or so, so I reloaded Vista on it and it was OK for a while..except that the camera hasn't worked right for a long time now (I've replaced it once and downloaded/reinstalled the drivers many times). Well, it's doing it again and this time I get maybe 24 hours out of it. Tech support has been...less than helpful...through the whole incident.

So yesterday I went and got a new 500GB hard drive and Windoze 7. I am not going to put any of my old files on the new computer (I have everything I wanted to keep backed up to my removable hard drive anyway). I have it installed and I'm loading the OS. After this I'll download the drivers for the accessories (touch pad, camera, wireless network adapter, etc.).

We'll see how this goes.

This Makes Me A Little Sad

Forrestal was my first floating home, from 1986 to 1990, while I was with VF-31. Lots of memories made on this ship, some good and some not so good. I am saddened that she will face the scrappers torch, and her final sale price is just the last insult to such a proud vessel.

She was first offered to Baltimore as a museum but the association that was formed to accept her could not raise the funds to build the mooring and supporting structures. Then she was designated to become a reef, far enough out to prevent divers from reaching her. Now she will become scrap metal, never to feel the sea on her skin again. In my opinion it would have been better for her to become that reef.

Farewell old friend. You served your nation and your Navy well. You shall not be forgotten.

21 October 2013

Happy Birthday

USS Constitution.

Launched this day in 1797 she was one of six frigates built for the newly reconstituted US Navy. She is still on active duty today and is the oldest commissioned warship still afloat (only the HMS Victory is older, but she is permanently drydocked).

19 October 2013

Dyno II

Piedmont Custom Motorsports had a dyno day today so I took the Firefly down to see how much difference the tune made.

Last time the numbers were 357.80 and 336.60 HP and torque respectively, not bad on a stock car with 15K on the clock.

Today's numbers were 372.94 and 341.71, a gain of 15 HP and 5 lb/ft respectively. Adding in the estimated 16.5% loss from the automatic driveline gives me 446.6 HP and 409.2 lb/ft at the crank. This squares with the fact I put up better numbers than an unmodified Boss, which is rated at 444HP at the crank. It also verifies what the seat-of-the-pants dyno suggested, that the tune made a noticeable difference.

I think I like it.

17 October 2013

Some Days

the only good thing you can say about them is that they are over.

This is one of those days.

I'm going to go drink myself to sleep now and try to forget it ever happened.

(nothing serious, just a rough day...well, night...at work)

15 October 2013

On The Shut-down

I am reminded of a limerick. Stop me if you've heard it.

"There was a Cro-Magnon named Dave..."

Yep, it's all about the cave. I'm disappointed, but not surprised.

13 October 2013

Happy Birthday

US Navy.

238 years. Life, liberty and the pursuit of all who threaten it.

And on a related note:

They stormed the beaches in places like Normandy and Inchon. A few barrycades certainly didn't stop them.

07 October 2013

Submitted Without Further Comment

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

The Gods of the Copybook Headings by Rudyard Kipling

06 October 2013

October Redhead

Molly Quinn:

Cars n Coffee 10-5-13

01 October 2013

The Bright Spot

At least I'll finally be able to enjoy a spaghetti dinner without having to resort to criminal behavior, starting today.

It doesn't quite make up for the $625 a year kick in the nuts the US.gov just gave me, but it's something at least.

Thanks 52!

I just got the Obamacare bill.

Youngest Son's premiums are increasing by 50%.

Affordable Care Act my aching ass.

Bastards. DIAF.

20 September 2013

Adding To The List

AR-15 shotgun!

Because AR-15 shotgun ZOMG!!!

Also, Vepr Tactical Sniper Rifle, because you just can't have too many guns that eat Mosin ammo.

And I'm going to have to try these.  I had fairly good luck with these after I finally got them seated properly.

19 September 2013

Second Chances

My drive-in didn't win.

But there are now four more chances.

Hit this button now!

Tam Gets Her Gun

Evil Black Shotgun, that is.

Yeah, I'm late. Shut it.

And They Lived Happily Ever After

That's the way the story is supposed to end, right?

Fair winds and following seas A Girl, thanks for letting us ride along.

18 September 2013

Breaking News

Starbucks is tired of being ground zero on the gun debate and wishes gun owners to stop carrying in their stores. And to drive home the point that we are our own worst enemies, gun owners decide to be dicks about it.

UPDATE: EDIT TO ADD: The whole point behind the open carry movement is to let the citizenry see us out and about amongst them doing normal people things, JUST LIKE THEM, except with a sidearm. Our goal is to make them comfortable with us carrying, or at least not terrified of us just because ZOMG!!! GUN!!! We never expected to convince the antis, our goal was to convince the fence sitters. How do you think we did in this instance? END EDIT

I'm sure that the carry of pistols wasn't such a big deal, but the first jackass that brought a rifle in started the decline. Seriously people, just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should, and rather than just thank them for their position we chose to make them a battleground.

And now Starbucks will likely adopt the policy that the anti-gunners wanted them to adopt all along and post their stores, therefore making it illegal to carry in their stores, and it will be our fault. We have effectively moved Starbucks from the "neutral" column towards the "enemies" column.

Well done.

15 September 2013

No Excuses

No I didn't post anything for 9/11. If you don't know by now what my feelings are regarding the occurrences of that day you haven't been paying attention.

It's September, which means it's Kilted to Kick Cancer time again. Donate to Team McThag, cause seriously, Jay and AD don't need the help.

I haven't been posting anything lately, and I haven't been visiting the blogs that I usually check up on. Shame on me.

No excuses, I haven't been overly busy away from work or anything else, I've just been feeling lazy lately.

If it's content you're after there's a whole blogroll over there to the right.

09 September 2013

Promise Kept?

BarryO said if he was elected the planet would start to cool. Looks like he got that one right at least.

(No, I don't for a minute think one has anything to do with the other. You can stop worrying now.)

07 September 2013

Range Day

The new Grok shoots well but both Daughter and I need to work with it. I started with the 36 and was putting them pretty close to center but too far left and slightly down. Daughter started with the 19 and was shooting down and right. When I shot the 19 I was shooting down and left. Pretty safe to say that was me and not the guns. Range Partner tried it out and was shooting dead center but high. I only brought 100 rounds, I should have brought at least twice and maybe three times that much, so we really didn't get to shoot it as much as we wanted to.

We did pick up more brass than we shot, so now I need to get the 9mm dies and projectiles. On the way home we stopped by the Mart of Walls and got a 9mm boresnake for cleaning and also scored another 200 rounds of 9mm, one 100 round box and two 50 rounders. So not only did we bring home more 9mm brass than we left with, we also brought more 9mm ammo home than we left with.

The EBS shot way low to begin and we had a bit of a dilemma when I went to adjust the sight, it takes an allen wrench and I didn't bring any. Fortunately I had a Torx tip that worked and I was able to get the gun to pattern pretty much right where the sight said it should be. Once again I am done with the modifications on this gun, and I really mean it this time!

Smoke and noise and a chance to meet up with Range Partner always makes for a good day.