31 May 2013

Let The Fun Begin

Boy and I landed in NoVa around noon and got checked in early, then went to get something to eat. Afterwards we took a quick look around and then settled in for a few hours before meeting the crowd for dinner.

As I pulled up to the restaurant I mentioned that, having never met any of these folks before, I really didn't know how I was going to recognize any of them. About that time I noticed the Dodge 4x4 with the Massachusetts plates and suddenly I knew how I was going to know where everyone was.

I can now say that I am not the only person on the planet that doesn't know Old NFO, so that mission at least is accomplished. I can also place faces to names for Bubblehead Les, Dr. Mike and of course the infamous and previously mentioned Massachusetts Madman himself.

We had a bit of pasta, discussed plumbing issues, had a little birthday party, and then went to the home of Our Lovely Hostess for a show-what-ye-brung. I think for sheer numbers JayG wins, which is why he said he didn't bring his convertible (as he admired mine, and dammit I really need to get my FXR running again). We also formulated a plan for setting up the range and repairing the aforementioned plumbing issues, then started the BS session. These folks have lived interesting lives.

We will be up early for a 9 AM muster to put the plans in action (remember what they say about plans and first contact), so I'm off to bed. I'll make an after action report in the morning.

29 May 2013

What's Up

I broke a tooth last night so I'm waiting for the dentists office to open. I actually cracked this one a while back I think, but since the crack/break was lengthwise and not crosswise the dentist couldn't see it. I know it's been bothering me for a while so hopefully it will get taken care of soon. It would be exceedingly nice to have it taken care of by this weekend.

This Saturday I'll be going to a kids shoot. No, we're not going to actually shoot kids, we're going to let them do the shooting. I'll be bringing along the new 795 Marlin to let them sight it in, and I'll also bring the 60 Marlin with its new scope and let them sight it in as well. Grand-dad's pistol will be making the trip as well. Youngest Son is looking forward to the shooting, and I'm looking forward to meeting Old NFO and Jay G and Our Lovely Hostess along with everyone else.

Then I'll be able to say "Yeah, I know Old NFO" like the rest of the cool kids.

Last but not least, the laptop has taken to shutting down again. I know for sure its software-related because it has sat on the bedside table booted up in safe mode for the past 3 days with no issues. I guess it's time again to nuke it back down to the BIOS and install Windoze all over again. I'm thinking about going with Windoze 7, I've had about all of Vista I could take.

(Yeah I know, I could always go with Linux, but I don't want to have to work that hard.)

27 May 2013

26 May 2013

Sunday Morning Coffee

Might as well, since I'm up anyway.

Title idea shamelessly stolen from MSgt B (and I might have stolen the picture from him as well, can't say that I remember for certain).

This got me thinking the other day. I have had the great fortune to have won the love of a few good women (and a few not-so-good IYKWIM, I will leave it to the reader to decide which is better), and if I never have another I guess I have had my share.

Not my fill, you understand, but perhaps my share.

Have a great day!

18 May 2013

Additional Grease Requested

I don't know how I missed this.

See what you can do, please?

MOB Show 2013

Today was the Mustangs of Burlington car show. It's usually a pretty well attended event, but the rain negatively affected attendance.

Five cars from the Heart of Carolina Mustang Club made it to the show, which was enough for a club participation award. (Last year we had nine and got beat out by another club.)

Weather notwithstanding, there was still an interesting assortment of cars.

And I'm glad to say, all of yesterday's hard work paid off.

More photos here.

17 May 2013

16 May 2013

Reading List

On the advice of Tin Can Assassin:

The Last Pendragon by Holly Chism. It's an Arthurian tale with a twist set in the modern world.

The biggest "WTF?" moment for me was when their location was given as in the Blue Ridge Mountains "not too far from Raleigh" (3-4 hours as the Mustang speeds, depending on blue light density) but as the tale progresses it sort of makes sense. No spoilers, read the book.

And for the record, even though I'm in the neighborhood (sort of) I certainly did NOT go to Chapel Hill to find the bookstore owned by dragons (although that would be totally cool - and OK, one spoiler but you still have to read the book to see where it fits), but if I had, it would have been nice to have had better directions.

Anyway, if you have any interest at all in the legend of King Arthur check this one out, it will be well worth your time.

Also please note the addition of the anti-soma blog to the blogroll. You can find more of her books there.

Laurel Mill, Louisburg NC


This came in the mail today:

Going by the Appleseed brochure, it's easy to see that Tech Sights know their target audience (I cut the top of it off when I cut the package open).

 The sights came pre-assembled and ready for installation, but the instructions show how to break them down if needed.

Installation was a snap, requiring only a flat blade screwdriver. First, remove the factory front sight by removing the mounting screw. It lifts right off.

Put a dab of LocTite on the new front sight mounting screw and tighten the new front sight down right where the old one came off.

The new front sight is taller than the factory sight and consists of a post with protective ears on each side. The allen screw in the front tightens the front post down.

The rear sight is even easier to install because nothing has to come off. Just put the rear sight down on the cast-in rail and tighten the mounting nut with a flat blade screwdriver.

Elevation adjustments are made by turning the knob just under the sight. It has white hash marks on it. Note the azimuth hash marks underneath the elevation adjustment knob.

Adjust the azimuth with a flat bladed screwdriver. (Pay no attention to the green crayon marks.)

I can't wait to get this rifle to the range so I can sight it in and have a bit of fun with it!

Note to the FTC: I paid for these sights with my own money, for my own use. The rope is hanging in the corner right over there.

15 May 2013


Saturday was the Heart of Carolina car show.

Sunday we were putting everything away from the car show.

Monday I went to get my new rifle.

Yesterday I got a new string trimmer and did some trimming and hedge work, cut through the electric cord for the hedge trimmer, got a new cord, and finished trimming the hedges.

Today I'm going to get a leaf blower, visit my jailbird son, level the riding lawn mower deck and mow the yard.

Tomorrow I have nothing planned, and I intend to do it all day (unless something else comes up).

Friday I'm actually going to clean the car up for a car show.

Saturday is the Mustangs of Burlington car show (the link is to last year's show).

Sunday my vacation is over and I'll have to go back to work.

It's been a pretty good week, all things considered.

14 May 2013

Adventures In BBQ

Saturday night at the HQ we were discussing different BBQ sauces and how the method of preparing the meat differs from one place to the other. One of the commenters was talking (writing?) about the Lexington dip, while another opined that any time you put ketchup in the sauce you have committed a grave and mortal sin (I wrote about the different sauces you find in the Carolinas here). South Carolina mustard sauce was not even mentioned.

Yet a third claimed that any type of pork that was shredded/chopped was an Abomination Unto Nuggan, and that the proper way to serve smoked pork was sliced with a Kansas City style of thick sauce. He was immediately banished as a troll, as everyone knows Carolina barbecue is king.

At any rate it woke a craving for pulled pork, and I decided I'd give the Lexington dip a chance.

1 C distilled vinegar
1/4 C ketchup
1/4 C apple juice (not cider)
1 t. hot sauce (I used this)
3 T. light brown sugar
1/2 T. salt
1 t. crushed red pepper
1 t. finely ground black pepper

Put all the ingredients in a Mason jar, put the lid on it and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are combined. Let it sit for at least 3 hours. I let mine sit for six while the pig was absorbing the rub.

You are supposed to baste (mop) the meat with this mixture while it is cooking, but I just rubbed a pork shoulder and let it sit for a couple of hours, put it in a 250 degree oven for 4 hours while I ran off to do my errands, then put it on a smoky fire over indirect heat for another 4 hours, spraying it down every hour with apple juice.

The sauce itself is a little thicker than the East Carolina sauce due to the ketchup, but isn't nearly as thick as the Kansas City style sauces. It's also sweeter due to both the tomatoes and the extra 2 T. of brown sugar in the mix (actually, the recipe has to be doubled to approximate the same volume as the East Carolina sauce, so by volume there is 6x the sugar in it). There is still a bit of the kick to it due to the Cajun Sunshine hot sauce and the red pepper, but not nearly as much as the East Carolina sauce (of course, I didn't put any Insanity Sauce in it, either...which reminds me, I've really got to try this).

My verdict...I liked it. Not more than the East Carolina sauce, but as much at least.

Next I'm going to have to try my hand at making both types of slaw.

13 May 2013

One Off The List

This morning I set out with the singular goal of purchasing a firearm.

I have long wanted a Marlin 795 to make an Appleseed gun out of, but I saw a Savage 64F in the local mart of walls for a pretty reasonable price. I decided that if the 795 was not available I would opt for the Savage instead.

My first stop was at the aforementioned mart of walls to ensure the Savage was still there, and much to my delight, there in the ammo case, was .45ACP and 5.56 Winchester white boxes! The 5.56 was in 20 round boxes, but there was a whole pile of them. The .45ACP was in the 100 round white boxes, a sight I had not beheld in quite some time.

Limited to 3 boxes total, I opted for two of Gods Own Caliber and one of the 5.56. I'll have to pop in tomorrow early and see if there is any of the 5.56 left, if so I'll get three more boxes. I'm not expecting them to be there, but I can hope.

With the availability of the Savage determined I was off to Gander Mountain in search of the elusive Marlin. When I stepped up to the gun counter what should my wandering eyes see but...the very object of my desire, front and center in the display rack! When the clerk stepped over to me I pointed and said "I'll take that one right there."

We went over to the BATFE(IEIO) desk and filled out the proper paperwork, and before you could say "Mark Kelly is a sad panda" I was carrying the box out to the car. I don't know if the BATFE(IEIO) was aware of my existence before but now they can tell for sure that I own one firearm, and I can say that my carry permit made the process much more streamlined.

Along with the ammo purchases at the mart of walls I had also picked up a set of sling swivels and a cheapo nylon sling in anticipation of my acquisition. As soon as I got it home (well, after I walked the dog that was ecstatic to see that I had made it home safely) I put its new accessories on.

First impressions: It's shorter than the Model 60, but it's obvious to even the most casual observer that the actions are the same, the biggest difference is the magazines.

The Model 60 sports the traditional wood stock while the Model 795 has a synthetic stock. I prefer the looks of the wood stock, but the synthetic stock makes for a lighter rifle. The 795 weighs in at a mere 4.5 lbs, a full pound lighter than it's wood stocked sibling. The synthetic stock is just a touch longer, but not long enough to make up for the Model 60's barrel length advantage.

Another very obvious difference is the bolt release. Pressing the tab up on the 60 releases the bolt, pressing the lever down on the 795 accomplishes that purpose. Both have the last-shot open feature, and pulling the bolt clear back and pushing the handle inward locks both bolts fully open.

A look at the top of the receiver further illustrates the similarity of the two rifles. I had not noticed the integrated rail on the Model 60 until I looked at the 795, but the two are identical.

On the previous models of the 795 the swivel studs were the traditional screw-in post type, but on this model they are molded into the stock. I'm not sure how much I like that...

but they worked well. The swivels mounted up with no issues, and if they do end up being troublesome I can always drill and install the studs that came with the swivels.

It needs some Tech-Sights TSM200 aperture sights (on order) and then it's all ready for Appleseed. It won't have the fancy engraving, but I think I can live without it.

All told the final cost was as follows: rifle, $160.11 with tax; sling swivels, $9.97 (tax not included); el-cheapo WallyWorld sling, $6.97 (tax not included); Tech-Sights TSM200 sights, $75.00 shipped, total cost approximately $255 (estimating the tax for the sling and swivels). Add a $20.00 magazine (the standard Marlin magazines are about the same price as a ProMag 25 rounder) and the cost ends up being in the neighborhood of $275, Appleseed ready. Not bad, considering the Ruger 10/22 will cost you around $250 for the basic rifle, and then you have to add the sights, sling and swivels to it as well...and this is before the trigger and barrel mods are done to the gun (I don't know that it absolutely needs them, but apparently everyone does them so there must be something to it).

Now all I need to do is put some .22LR through it.

11 May 2013

My Smart-Assed Friends

The Heart of Carolina Mustang Club had their 20th annual car show today, and I have to say it went off pretty well.  We were worried that we were going to get rained out, but when we got to the site the sun was shining and the skies, while not exactly clear, were non-threatening.

We had reserved the option to end everything early, but we ended not having to exercise it.  We had a goodly number of cars and everyone seemed to have a good time. The only complaint I heard was that we didn't put a registration deadline on the flyers so when the deadline came at 12 noon we still had a handful of people show up that wanted to be in the show.

There was no judging, instead we opted for a People's Choice sort of thing where everybody got a ballot and voted for the cars of their choice. We had four categories: Best Ford, Best GM, Best Mopar and Best Import. We only had three Mopars show up (two classic Challengers and an Indy 500 truck) but we had a pretty good number of Fords and GM's. We unfortunately had no imports.

When the ballots were counted this happened:

Yep, that's my banana boat, bird droppings on the hood and all. Three of my club mates saw the little Subaru sitting off to the side with a generator running in the back powering the DJ equipment and wrote it in. With no competition (there was one, a Pontiac G8 made by GM subsidiary Holden in Australia, that was disqualified because it was entered as a GM) it won in a landslide (100 percent of the three votes cast).

It's probably a good thing my little Firefly is such a good sport.

10 May 2013


This month's Redhead Of The Month:

I can't remember where I got it, some wallpaper site I think.


And as a little teaser...I think you're reeally going to like the ROTM for July.

09 May 2013

Free At Last

I'm taking some use-it-or-lose-it vacation time, so I have the next ten days off.

I don't have anywhere to go or anything to do, outside of the Heart of Carolina car show on Saturday (the only day in the next ten, incidentally, where the chance of rain exceeds 20%). I do have some yard work to do.

Other than that I plan to spend a lot of my vacation surfing internet pr0n.

The rest of it I'll probably just waste.

08 May 2013

Shameful Conclusion

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this incident that happened not too very far from the Refuge. Long story short, kid went shooting over the weekend and left the gun in the car, took the car to school, realized what had happened and called his Mom to come and get it. The call was overheard and the kid was expelled and arrested.

Sure, the suspension was itself suspended so he will graduate on time, but he still faces charges...and in North Carolina they are felony charges. There is a chance that he won't be on that stage for his graduation because he will be behind bars. The time to celebrate will be if the outcome in court is positive (he's scheduled for a hearing on May 16th).

The shameful conclusion that I have reached is, if you have done something wrong don't say a damn thing to anyone (a lesson that criminals and politicians already know...but I repeat myself). If he hadn't called his mother no one would have ever known the gun was in the car. Denials, lies and obfuscation gets the rewards, trying to do the right thing gets the punishments.

This is not really the lesson I'd like to teach my kids.

05 May 2013

Good Causes

Help a moron* out.

*AoSHQ commenter

03 May 2013

What The Hell

have I been doing lately, you might have wondered, and why the lack of posting?

I can't blame the weather this time, it's been uniformly crappy since Sunday. I'll blame work instead.

Last Friday I went to help Range Partner put outside doors in his house. Just so you know, ready-to-install doors aren't so much, especially when you are talking about a 50+ year old brick house. Fortunately it didn't take a lot to make them ready-to-install, but the craftmanship in the door frames left a bit to be desired. Nothing that can't be corrected, just a PITA to have to do it.

The front door will take a bit more work to make it weather-tight, but the back door went fairly well, at least it went fairly well after we got the old one out. The frame on the back door wasn't as sturdy as the frame on the front door, so the previous owner had used a lot of screws and some kind of caulk/weatherstrip/glue that pulled the brick off in places when we tried to take it out. Range Partner fastened them both in with many substantial screws, so any home intruder would have to be very determined to get in...not that it would do any good. I don't refer to him as "Range Partner" for no reason, after all (this is the guy that carries a gun chambered in a caliber suitable for truck engines).

After that I put the top down and headed to Fort Mills, SC to join the Carolina Chapter of the Mustang Forums for a car show to benefit Gaston County Hospice at Pro Dyno. Friday's trip down was in the sunshine and very agreeable, but Saturday was cloudy all day and the rain started about the time we were handing out the awards and wrapping everything up.

Side note here, I'm not as good about washing the car as I once was, when I first got it I would wash it two or three times a week. Two years dealing with the pollen storm every spring has pretty much broken me of that, now I figure that clean is for those who don't drive them.  I told you that so I can say this, at two of our Mustang Forums events I've bought drawing tickets, and both of the events I won cleaning supplies. Who says God doesn't have a sick and twisted sense of humor?

Anyway, about halfway home Saturday the clouds and rain were gone so I was able to put the top back down for the last half of the trip. By the time to go to work Sunday the clouds had caught back up, and regardless of the weatherman's foul lies prediction that they would be gone and the sunshine would return by Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday afternoon I haven't seen the light in a week. Maybe today though, the clouds cleared off just after sunset last night.

This weekend the Heart of Carolina Mustang Club is having their spring display at Crossroads Ford in Cary, but I won't be there. The company I work for has determined that everyone needs to do at least one day of overtime per pay period, and I've elected to do mine on my short weekends (so I don't mess up my 4 day weekends). Unfortunately since I've had things scheduled for Thursdays I couldn't work those days, so I've been taking Fridays...which is right dead in the middle of that 3 day weekend, which pretty much ruins the whole damn weekend for me, hence the dearth of postings lately.

Next weekend is the Heart of Carolina Car Show, and then I'll be taking a couple of weeks of vacation before I lose them. I'm not planning on going anywhere, so maybe I'll get a chance to relax.

Yeah, right. Look for the flying monkeys, but word of advice...don't smell them cause you won't like where they've been.

Public Service Announcement

from MB Studios:

Carry your guns, people, and learn how to do quick reloads.

HT: The Rott

01 May 2013

Working Like An Idiot

Content when there is time, until then amuse yourselves amongst the sidebar listings.

Just one thing before I go...

Mighty big shoes to fill there.