30 July 2013

Rule 35

If a car exists, there is a forum for it.

29 July 2013

It's Almost As If

those crazy lunatic gun nuts...weren't so crazy after all...


Submitted without comment...because really, what more can be said?

28 July 2013

Navy Hymn

For those of you who have never heard it, this is a great version put on by the Navy's country band, courtesy of commenter Tim.


Thanks for the link shipmate!

27 July 2013


This came in today:

I think it goes pretty well with the back window stickers, don't you?

Also, I have verified that both of my new downhill neighbors are not only shooters, but he is also a member of the Mosin Militia. I'll have to invite him and his wife out to the Triangle Open Carry meetups.

That's worth knowing.

This Makes Me Sad

Pretty redheaded girls who have to take their own pictures. There should be some way they can get someone else to take their pictures so that they can just act natural...meaning, be beautiful.

Consider this an open offer ladies, I may not be a professional but I do know what buttons to push.

And while we're on the subject...what the hell is wrong with millionaires?  Give me a couple of M's to toss around and watch me change that perception toot-sweet.

Picture obviously stolen from Bob at the Chive. Bob is a genius, he has redheads sending their pictures to him all the time. How do I get a gig like that?

26 July 2013

EBS Project: The Finale

I finally got the last pieces I needed for the EBS project.

I needed a sling, and since the buttstock cheek adapter with shell holder was such a bust on all points I decided the best thing would be a sling with shell loops. Imagine my surprise when I discovered, at the local mart of walls, a Blackhawk sling that has 15 loops for an assortment of shotgun shells.

I put a forward sling swivel on the tac rail and bought a set of sling swivels, using only one, for the stock so that the sling would have a place to attach. The sling has been installed and the initial impression is that it should fill the bill quite nicely.

I also put another spacer on the stock, and now I can get a cheek weld immediately without having to adjust my position on it, so it seems that was exactly what I needed to fix that issue. I'm thinking the next pattern session, whenever that ends up being, will go swimmingly.

And with these components, the Evil Black Shotgun project is now complete...for now...

Please Tell Me

why you would buy a convertible and ride around when the sun is shining and it is above 65 degrees with the top up?

Below 65 I can see, it gets kind of chilly especially when the sun starts to sink, but when it's bright and sunny and warm I can't see any sense to it at all.

I didn't pay extra for a drop-top so I could ride around in the shade.

23 July 2013

I Wish I Was Still On Vacation

My Sith apprentice is out sick for the week. Fortunately the folks from the opposite shift agree to fill in for him, which is very good since we've been busy all week.

Last week I was sitting on the beach. This week I'm up to my armpits in grime. Yay me.

I hope my Sith apprentice gets better soon.

21 July 2013

What's A Grit?

You don't live south of the Mason-Dixon line without at least hearing about grits, a staple of Southern breakfast in the same manner that cream of wheat or oatmeal is in northern climes. There are probably as many ways to serve grits as Bubba Gump knows how to fix shrimp, and one of those ways is shrimp and grits.

Shrimp and grits are a favorite on the coast, not surprisingly, where the boats come in loaded with fresh seafood which is generally frozen and packaged for sale inland. The catch that would not survive the trip inland often found its way into various recipes on the seashore. I had not heard of shrimp and grits until I moved to North Carolina, even though I have been south of the Mason-Dixon almost exclusively since I was 18.

On our foray to the coast I happened to spot a restaurant that was so proud of its grits that they put them in their name, so I knew the time had come to sample shrimp and grits. Afterwards the only regret I had was not having them earlier.

Of course as soon as I got back home the first thing I did (well, the second, after walking my dog who was insanely glad to see me, as always) was look up recipes for shrimp and grits. It amused me to note that there seems to be as many recipes for shrimp and grits as there are shrimp in the sea. They go all the way from ostentatious to simple, this one seemed pretty simple but I finally pieced together my own recipe from bits of other ones. It's not quite what I had at the coast, but although different it was just as good.

And without further ado, here we go!

Shrimp and Grits

Prep time: 30 to 45 minutes

The cheesy grits, which are good all by themselves if you so desire:
1 cup grits. You can use quick grits, but like the man said, no self respecting Southerner would ever eat instant grits.
2 cups shrimp stock (see below). You can also use 2 cups of water with 1/2 tablespoon salt if you don't want to make the shrimp stock, but don't add any salt if using shrimp stock. It doesn't need it.
2 cups milk
4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, finely shredded
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded
4 drops Tabasco sauce (optional)

The shrimp:
1 pound unpeeled, medium-size shrimp, bonus points if you get them fresh from the boat
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
4 strips of bacon
6 ounces sliced mushrooms, about 3 cups
8-10 green onion bulbs, chopped fine
1 medium sweet red (or yellow or orange) bell pepper, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup shrimp stock (or chicken broth if you don't make shrimp stock)
Tops of green onions, thinly cut on diagonal for garnish

Peel and de-vein shrimp, saving the shells to make the shrimp stock if desired. Do this by boiling the shrimp shells in 4-5 cups lightly salted water for as long as it takes you to chop the vegetables (helpful hint, slice up the green onion tops for the garnish first, then chop the bulbs). Strain out the shells and retain the broth.

Bring 2 cups shrimp stock and the milk to a low boil and gradually stir in the grits. Cover and cook until thickened, stirring frequently. For quick grits this will take 5-10 minutes, for regular grits it can take 30 minutes or so. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese and hot sauce. Stir well to fully mix in the melted cheese, then cover to retain heat and moisture and set aside.

Fry the bacon until crisp in a 10" cast iron skillet. Remove bacon from skillet, leaving the drippings in the skillet. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel to cool.

Combine the peeled shrimp, lemon juice, salt, and ground red pepper in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside while you cook the vegetables. Do not let the shrimp sit any longer than 20 minutes or the citrus will begin to cook the shrimp.

Add the mushrooms, onion and bell pepper to the bacon drippings and cook, tossing and stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, add the garlic and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring well. Sprinkle flour over vegetables, mix well and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes or until flour begins to brown.

Add the shrimp mixture and 3/4 cup shrimp stock and cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp turns pink and the gravy is smooth (about 6 minutes). If the gravy is too thick add shrimp stock as necessary. Crumble the bacon and blend it in.

Dish the grits into individual bowls and top with the shrimp mixture. Garnish with green onion tops. Serves 4-6.


Much of the above recipe was adapted from one I found at My Carolina Kitchen. Lots of good eats over there, go check them out.

20 July 2013

What I Did On My Summer Vacation, Part 2

Thursday morning Boy and I loaded up the Scoobytruck and headed east to the outer banks. We got to the Oregon Inlet Campground, Cape Hatteras National Seashore about 2 PM and started to make camp.

Our Coleman tent poles suffered from broken elastic, it's the first time we've had the tent out this year. Fortunately, we had duck tape (made from real ducks?)

Tent up and ready for occupancy.

Wright Brothers monument, Kill Devil Hill NC

Replica of the 1903 Wright Brothers flyer. This is an operational reproduction that has actual flight hours minutes logged on its airframe.

Bodie Island Lighthouse

These kites are being used as motive power for surfboards. It's called kitesurfing.

You never know what you're gonna see. Yes, that's a cow kite.

Saturday morning we headed on home. Tomorrow vacation is over and I get to go back to work.

It was nice while it lasted.

16 July 2013


We don't  need no steenking bodges!

In an effort to further irritate certain people (not really but it will probably have that effect) I've ordered one of these.

The four tabs I've chosen are: camping, fishing, military and 100K miles. In another 45K I'll order the 200K mile tab.

I also suggested a shooting sports tab, but truthfully I don't expect anything to come of that.

When it comes in I'll take some pics.

15 July 2013

What I Did On My Summer Vacation, Part 1

Yesterday Boy and I loaded up the Subaru and went fishing.

The catch of the day was 3 catfish ranging from 8 to 10 inches and a 8 1/2 inch white bass. There was also a 6" striped bass that immediately went back into the lake to get bigger. Boy only managed to snag his line 4 times, losing the same amount of tackle. That's a switch, usually he gets the fish and I only get my worms stolen.

I didn't feel like cleaning them, so back into the lake they went.

This morning we both got up and did our homework, his was sent home for him to keep him sharp while Sis is out, and mine I've been neglecting for my associates degree. Calculus, oh what fun. After that we went to various places to get various things, including a 4MB RAM stick for the new computer and some games for Boy.

And speaking of games, when I got home this had come in the mail:

 I put it right in, following the instructions on the screen it was simplicity itself, and then I went for a ride to test it out. My main intent was to tighten the transmission up, and it certainly did that; no more delays on the throttle when almost stopped and it hits a lot harder at the shift points. I can get a satisfying little chirp out of the tires when the trans shifts at WOT.

The only thing I noticed different from stock (besides the crisper shifts and lack of irritating throttle delay); when moving slow the transmission stays in the lower gears, it works real hard at keeping the RPM's between 1 and 2K when you are not on the throttle. Otherwise everything seems to work just as it did before, only better.

I think I like this vacation so far.

14 July 2013


Unlike Range Partner, I'm on a break this week to burn up some time off to keep from losing it at the end of the month. I will have a total of ten days off, starting last Thursday.

I plan to drown a lot of worms and maybe take Youngest Son camping on the Outer Banks where we will climb a lighthouse or two and see where the Wright Bro's made their world-changing flight.

Maybe I'll even get a blog post or two in.

Not Guilty

MSM, LIV's hardest hit.

12 July 2013

New Computer

The old one is completely dead. I have disconnected everything that I had previously connected, including a second hard drive, external hard drive and video card. At this point it was completely returned to its as-delivered configuration. Any time it would attempt to boot I would get a hardware failure. Reloading the hard drive did no good, so I swapped in a completely different hard drive and got the same exact failure. Prognosis...it was old and needed to be replaced anyway.

Off to the computer store I went. I settled on a Lenovo H430 but I put my wireless keyboard and mouse on instead of the supplied wired units. I thought at first it had an internal wireless card, but if it does I don't know how to turn it on. No biggie, the wireless adapter I had works just fine. Twice the RAM as the old unit, 1 TB HDD and a 3.4G clock gives me a lot more bang than the old one, and for less than 4 bills.

It'll do I guess.

10 July 2013

Spammers Must Die

Horribly and painfully.

Today I got a spam email with my dead wife's name in the "from" line.

I don't think there's a jury in the land that would convict me.

Now What

It looks like the main computer is on the fritz now.

It started when Grandbaby-Boy pulled the monitor cord out of the back. My fault for not screwing it down, I guess, but I could have sworn I did that when I put it in. Anyhoo, when I put that monitor on the 'puter it needed a new video card to drive it. I plugged it into the old port when I tried to reconnect it, and when it didn't work I rebooted the computer.

Bad mistake.

By the time I had figured out that I needed to plug the monitor into the new video card output the computer was stuck in a loop, it would start to boot up and then kick back out into the start screen (the one where you have the option to get into the BIOS), then it would start to boot up and kick back into the start screen, over and over and over again.

So I tried a repair on the XP installation. That didn't work. So then I tried a reinstall without a format. That didn't work either, and now I get a blue screen of text telling me about a critical error involving a new hardware installation, which there isn't one.

Last chance, I'm going to try an install with format. Since everything is backed up to the external hard drive (where most everything is stored anyway) I shouldn't lose anything but time.

If this doesn't work it looks like I'll be computer shopping.

08 July 2013


Dog has had the squirts all day, a fact I found out much to my amusement when I got up this afternoon. I've been busy with the carpet cleaner for a while as a result, and I swear the next kid that thinks it's a good idea to bring an animal into this house is going to have a bad case of resoled lower colon.

I keep this dog because he was Eldest Daughters Christmas present to her mom when we first moved into the house (that smelled like fresh paint and new carpet at the time). He's not a bad dog as dogs go, but he certainly does deserve a better owner, one that has the time to spend with him.

After this memorable start, though, the day has to get better...even if I do have to go to work.


I'm starting to wonder if we are ever again going to see a day without rain. It has rained at least a little, and usually lots more than that, every day for the past couple of weeks and the weatherguessers say it will continue to be this way at least for the next week.

I'm thinking instead of an RV I might want to get a houseboat...and then again, if it keeps up like this I might have a houseboat whether I wanted one or not. The EPA will likely be around in a bit to tell me I can no longer mow my lawn because it's become a wetland. I have a feeling that Boy wouldn't complain.

Yes, I know, there are some of you out there that would kill for rain. Believe me, I'd like to send it to you.

06 July 2013

Gun Post

I really need to get back into my dry-firing routine.

In other news, I'm slightly considering joining a range that has opened up somewhat close-ish to me. $400 initiation fees and $250 a year. Seems a bit steep to me, and it's about as far to the east of me as Range Partner's range is to the west of me, hence the "slightly considering" aspect of the whole deal.

On a positive note, I've figured out the trick to shooting the Arisaka. If you line the sights up in the traditional manner it shoots all manners of high. However, if you level the ears on each side of the front sight on the rear sight you still have the point of the front sight visible in the V of the rear sight, and that puts the bullets right on target.

I only shot it at a 25 yard range, adjusting the windage and my technique until all the shots consistently went into the black, but given that it's the first range session I've been able to accomplish even that I'm overjoyed. I'm also overjoyed that on a bench rest rather than in my shaky hands it groups excellently.

Next time I'll bring more ammo and shoot out to a 100 yard range, then maybe try it out to 200 yards as well. If I can get it to target and group as well at 100 and 200 yards as it did at 25 I'll take it Bambi-missing and maybe to one of the Vintage Military Bolt Action Rifle matches I've been meaning to attend.

The range also had a new steel target, and Boy and I had a great time with the Saiga making it ring.

I also patterned the EBS Project following an addition of a spacer to the stock. Without the spacer I wasn't able to get a good cheek weld. With the spacer it's better, but maybe just one more spacer would do the trick. Also, the Glock continues to eat factory loads without any troubles after the spring change, if you have an early G-36 with FTF/FTE issues I highly recommend the spring change to cure it of that particular evil.

Afterwards we helped Range Partner with some building materials relocation. Another great day making smoke and noise, and an outstanding way to celebrate on this Independence Day weekend.

01 July 2013


Rudely awoken at 2:30 PM by the telephone, a bill collector trying to collect on Favorite Niece's student loan (I'm a co-signer, a decision I've had cause to regret every 2 or 3 months) even though 1) she's still in school and 2) she's been paying on it. Lest you forget, I work nights, 12 hour shifts, so I sleep during the day.

This is particularly annoying since it's an ongoing thing. Every 2 or 3 months they call me, and I call Favorite Niece, who calls them and gets it all straightened out, only to have it happen again 2 or 3 months later. Apparently their records aren't geared to have payments made early; she makes early payments that are credited, but not applied towards the current month. Don't ask me how that works, I don't know.

The worst part, of course, is now I'm sleep deficient for my long night at work since once I'm awake I can't get back to sleep.

It's gonna be a long night...

Miss July

If this doesn't make you feel patriotic, nothing will.