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...