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.