15 December 2019

Since We Last Spoke

 Yes, the Baja is broken again. This time it is rod bearings so not an easy fix, the motor will have to come all the way out and I just don't have time to deal with it. Fortunately this time I was only 5 miles from home so it didn't cost me an arm and a testicle to get it home.

 And when I got it home I mentioned to Mrs Hades that perhaps, instead of fixing the Baja, I should just replace it. If nothing else I should maybe get something else to drive until I have time to deal with the Baja. Something that can handle the weather, unlike the 440 HP beast that is the Mustang.

Her being a Jeep gal she said maybe I should do that. And so I idly searched the interwebs while I talked to her and voila! what to my wondering eyes (or wandering eyes, as it may be) should appear but this little beauty, on a very local dealers lot, for a reasonable price. I went by to see it on the 9th, went home and filled out some loan paperwork online with Navy Federal Credit Union, and was approved immediately (much to my surprise; if you ever get a chance to cosign a student loan...don't) so the next day I exchanged cash for keys and now the bank and I are Jeep owners.

And speaking of testicles, on the day I went to pick this up I went to the doc for my annual checkup and found out I'm herniated. So I have that going for me. Surgery to follow on a day yet to be determined.

Also, the North Raleigh Model Railroad Club is once again having a display at Raleigh's Union Station, weekends from 10 AM to 5 PM. If you get a chance please do stop in and see it.

21 September 2019


Today Mrs Hades bought her first ever holster.

She got an IWB holster for her new Sig and she's excited about trying it out tomorrow. I told her to not be upset if she doesn't like it and told her all about the box of holsters that every gun owner has that he/she liked less than was hoped for. I told her that it's OK if she has to go through a holster or five to find the one she likes, and not let anyone elses opinions of her final choice sway her.

I carry the Glock in a Galco Stow n Go, I also have a Tuck n Go that I don't like as much. I have another IWB holster that was custom made that I don't like as much as I wanted to and a SOB holster that I really wanted to like better than I do, as well as a few OWB holsters that run the gamut from really like to "WTH was I thinking". The Sig I really only have two holsters for, but it fits in the custom OWB I had made for the Glock 36 so it works out OK.

At any rate, she has her new EDC and holster and tomorrow it will get a full range test.

UPDATE: The range test went well, she carried it all day and indicates that she will likely do so in the future if we are out and about and she's not off to her unarmed victim zone for the day. Also, I'm happy to say the Glock 36 works with the new barrel, I put 200 rounds through it without incident and it's back on my hip again.

18 September 2019

Mission Accomplished

I got my Sig back today. :)

09 September 2019


I approached this weekend with the best of intentions.

I was going to get the lawn mowed and get the oil changed in both of my cars.

Yeah...didn't happen.

So what did I do instead?

I took Mrs Hades shooting of course. My ulterior motive was to find something for her so that I could get my Sig back. But to do that it looks like I'm going to have to buy another Sig.

A little bit about Triangle Shooting Academy first, it's a fairly new place with an indoor range that opened up a few years ago that has a pretty nice selection of guns to rent. That's really the best way to get to try them out before you buy them, you can see what the gun is like to shoot before putting down your hard earned coin. Also, if you have a mind to do so, they have a selection of full rock-and-roll guns you can rent.

And by that I don't mean AR-15 ermuhgerd scary black "assault weapon" rifles, I mean no bullshit M-16 assault rifles with the rock and roll setting. They also had an AK and a Thompson, those were the ones I recognized right off, and their price listing includes a belt fed. So there you go.

But we went to look at handguns for the missus.

One thing I don't like about TSA is you have to be unloaded and no concealed carry in their facility. I understand the reasoning even though I don't like it; they cater to the new shooter and the casual crowd, the ones that either really aren't down with the gun thing or that are just getting into it, so not the group that is intimately familiar with their firearms. But I knew that going in, so I was ready for it and left my hardware locked up in the car.

On the plus side their staff is friendly and helpful, and not once did I hear any of them tell Mrs Hades that what she needed was a .38 Chief's Special. Instead they listened to what she wanted and helped her find what she was looking for.

What she was originally looking for was a Glock 43, which they had. She put a magazine through it and decided that she had really wanted to like it much more than she actually did, and after putting a magazine through it myself I was inclined to agree with her. That is one evil handling little firearm, tons of recoil and not much grip. And if that's not enough of a kick to the shorts, it (like the Glock 36) only has a 6 round magazine. It's perfect for pocket carry or as a backup but not something I personally would choose for an every day carry item.

The next thing she wanted to see was the Sig P365, and they had that as well. Two flavors of it in fact, one regular and one XL. The regular has a shorter barrel and grip with a 10+1 magazine and a curved trigger. The one we tried out had the 12 round magazine which has an extension on the bottom, which worked well but as you fired the gun the magazine would rock slightly and pinch the palm of your hand near the pinky finger. It was a good little gun but IMHO not quite great.

The XL on the other hand is slightly longer in both grip and barrel with a 12 round flush bottom magazine and a flat trigger. It's nice to shoot, it has a distinguished recoil but it's not snappy and uncomfortable like the Glock, and because it has a full length grip there are no problems with pinching. Even though it's slightly bigger than the standard 365 it's still plenty small enough to conceal easily, even on Mrs Hades' small frame. It retails for around $580 so the price isn't too bad, either. Some of the reviews I've read say it has a problem with going back into battery, but the one that we fired was flawless.

The one she REALLY liked, however, was the P229 Legion Compact. It has a full metal frame and is nice and heavy, meaning recoil is laughable and the gun pulls right back down onto target quick as a thought. It's a really nice gun, but being as big as it is (even though it's a "compact") it wouldn't be easy for her to conceal. So, even though it might be a really nice gun to have, and something that I might carry, it isn't ideal for her. Still, she really did like it. But it's also a bit over twice the price of the XL.

Anyway, it looks like she's a Sig girl, so if I want to get my P220 back I'll have to buy her a P365 XL. And even then I might still have to fight her for the P220, she really loves that gun. At any rate we had a great time at Triangle Shooting Academy and if you are in the Briar Creek area of Raleigh NC and looking to try out some guns I would recommend it.

I've also got another barrel for the Glock 36 on it's way in an attempt to cure the FTE problems that gun has. I really would like to love that gun, but as long as I'm having issues with it that won't happen. I've read that barrel changes sometimes fix the problem, and another thing I've read about is the ejector rod. I'll try those two things before I give up on it completely. I really hope the barrel fixes the issue though.

Sunday was spent at the hair cuttery and grocery store and afterwards standing in front of the grill.

There are worse ways to spend a weekend.

23 July 2019


Refuge Mobile is back online!

We're back and better than ever, in fact. After doing some research I decided to go with a solid state hard drive rather than replacing it with the same type of standard disk as came out of it. It's a bit more expensive but all I read said it was both faster and more robust. While I was at it I decided I'd upgrade the size, so I went from 750G to a 1T drive.

The only issue I was having was with the software. The computer was delivered with Windows 8, but did not have the installation disks, nor did it have the software key. I had a copy of Windows 7, which I prefer over 8 anyway, so I just figured I would install 7 and be done with it.

Not so fast.

The copy of 7 I had was a 32 bit, this is a 64 bit computer. No problems, you can change the boot to take a legacy system. Bah. It just doesn't look good on the new computers. So, remove the hard drive, connect to the desktop, wipe it and download a copy of Windows 8 from the Microsoft website (the only thing you have to purchase is the key now). Then I shot a message off to tech support and found that the product registration key is programmed into the BIOS on the motherboard.

Load 8 and be done then, right? Yeah...no. I had some sort of error about the software not being able to load because the file system isn't right. Fortunately the Internet had the answer, I was able to reconfigure the hard drive and load the software from the CD and all is well.

A bit of Classic Shell to restore the start menu button and I'm all set. Now all I have to do is find and reinstall the rest of the software I want.

I also still have the boot disk, so I'm all set there.

19 July 2019

Wow (an update)

Mrs Hades got her tub installed yesterday.

Not one of those cheap Home Depot tubs, oh no, one of those walk-in tubs with the heaters and water jets and air bubblers.

Problem is, when they went to hook the electrics up for it there wasn't enough room in the breaker panel for the new circuits. So now we're paying an electrician to come in and install a bigger panel.

Add to that the ductwork has been smelling kinda moldy so we had someone come out to see what it would take to clean the ducts. Turns out that when I paid good money to have a new AC system installed nine years ago the ductwork was...let's just say, less than optimal. So it all had to come completely out and be replaced.

So! Tub, ductwork, electrical, all told comes to a little over 25K.

I'm beginning to think it would have been cheaper to burn this bitch down and put a new one on the foundation.

15 July 2019

Computers Are Supposed To Make Your Life Easier

ya right.

So Refuge Mobile has had what looks like a catastrophic failure of its hard drive. Honestly I've been looking for it to happen for a while, it got really unstable a few months ago and I had to do a recover on it. Fortunately at that time I recovered all of the data to a USB stick that I wanted so nothing important is lost. But the hard drive is toast, it will boot up Windoze (8) after a long while but then it does nothing. Click on all the buttons you want, fool, you will get nothing and LIKE IT!

Off to Amazon where a new exact replacement hard drive was 40 USD's and it's on its way. But, then I started thinking about solid state drives...more expensive but if they are better (and faster) that might be the way to go. Maybe another day.

The second issue is software, specifically the OS. I dislike Windoze 8 (it's better if you have the Classic Shell installed) but I loathe 10 (we have it on some of the work computers) and the last one I really liked was 7. So I'm thinking about Linux again.

I have been told that no one who has ever switched has disliked it, but I know there are some compatibility issues with software that was made for Windoze and some of the software I have I don't know if it will work (for example I have Photo Transfer App to move my pictures off of the cell phone through the wifi). I still have the desktop for all of that and I've heard there are emulators to make that software work with Linux.

The two versions of Linux I am looking at are Mint and Zorin. I've heard very good things about Mint and Zorin looks like it's very familiar and intuitive for us Windoze refugees. When the hard drive arrives I'll put some Zorin on it and experiment. If I don't like it I guess I will become a Mac user. Either way I think I'm done with Windoze.

29 June 2019


Mrs Hades just inked the deal for a new walk-in tub, the kind with the door, that has the jets and heaters and all of that, installed. She was expecting a price of X, I was expecting a price of 2X, but it came in at a little over 3X.

I'm sure she will really like it, and after a while the 3X price will seem more and more reasonable (she has RA and so we expect her mobility to decrease over time), but right now she's experiencing some severe sticker shock.

But tomorrow I have a wall to take out so that the tub will have a place to live.

10 June 2019

Old Dogs

Laura will be getting her dog back today.

On his last check up Boots had some swelling the docs wanted to take a closer look at, so today I dropped him off at their office for some Xrays and ultrasounds.

Dropped him in truth on the way out the door, actually, so he went in with a limp, the poor thing. His paw got caught in my shirt pocket as I went to put him down and he fell out of my arms. Xrays showed a broken outer toe in his left front paw.

Once there the tests showed that he has Cushing's Disease, an overproduction of cortisol. It causes a number of issues including tumors on the adrenal glands in some dogs, and of course he is one of them. The tumor is impinging on his heart as well.

So with the broken foot, his age (he's 14), and the extensive treatments needed for Cushing's it was determined that it would be kinder to just let him go.

So long buddy. Mommy is waiting.

06 June 2019

I Hate To Do It

but it looks like I'm going to have to purge my Wall O' Shame due to some of you not posting anything for years.

I mean, I'm lax as all get-out, but at least I will put SOMETHING up now and again.

24 May 2019


I've been off for a few days, Mrs Hades is still in school but The Boy has been gone all week. So I've managed to finish off a few projects and get some things done around the house.

Back to work tonight. All good things must end.

30 April 2019


It's been a while.

It's not that there isn't anything going on. It's that there hasn't been anything going on that I've considered worth talking about. But it has been a half a year since I've graced these pages, and I have something on my mind for a future post, so I figured I'd play some catch up.

First off, M's new ride has a few blemishes on it courtesy of yours truly. First I ran it off the side of the road and scraped up the new wheels on the left. It was then we discovered that the warranty we had paid extra for to cover the wheels...didn't in fact cover cosmetic damage, only structural. Big surprise, the dealer lied, and the only thing that we can do about it is fume. Bastards.

Second, and worse, last week M and I were on vacation, and Friday I scarred up the corner of her new ride. We were in a rest area with diagonal parking spots directly across from each other and the guy in the one behind me started backing out at the same time as I did, we were both in each other's blind spots and we met in the middle. No injuries, just dents and scrapes which can be repaired. The backup camera (required by Federal law in all new vehicles starting in 2015 or so) was completely useless and so was the collision avoidance beepers; it went off a split second before the impact. I was able to push the bumper cover back into place but the scrapes remain, fortunately they are on the plastic bumper cover so no worries about corrosion. She's never going to let me drive her car again...

I also told you about my A1C levels being elevated. So a little more about that. Normal is actually under 5.7, the docs (as they are wont to do) have decided that they aren't making enough dough off of us (that's unfair I know, but I have a deep suspicion of the medical "experts" sometimes) so they have invented a thing called "pre diabetes" which means an A1C of 5.8 through 6.9. Funny thing is, the year before my A1C was at 6.4 and the doc said absolutely nothing about it.

Quick note, I've seen a different doc every year at the place where I used to go...which is nothing new for me, the Navy is good at rotating docs around, too. But I digress.

Anyway this one lost her ever-lovin' mind at me. She wanted me to go on three different kinds of medication (heart, even though I have no heart problems; blood pressure, which was a bit high but in spec; and cholesterol, which is also in normal range) and start going to the gym for an hour a day every day and see the dietician.

I told her that I'm not really fond of the idea of taking medicine every day for the rest of my life and expressed the opinion that maybe we should see what the diet does before doing anything drastic. I also told her that unless dieticians had learned something different in the past 15 years I wasn't going to bother because I've heard it already. I left out the part where I walk 3 times a week and that's all she's going to get.

Her response? Doctors ORDERS.

My response? I stopped taking doctors ADVICE as orders the minute my doctors were no longer commissioned officers.

Long story short, I have a new doctor and the diet is going well, my A1C in December, 3 months after I started the diet, was at 6.3 so I'm no longer going to die of diabetes tomorrow. I'm a bit curious to see what my A1C is going to be after I've been on the new diet for a year, I'm hoping for something under 5.7 - not that I'm going to revert, it looks like the low carb thing is going to be a lifetime commitment, but given the results so far I think I'm OK with that.

As a happy side effect, I've lost a bit over 50 pounds and my blood pressure has dropped back down into the normal ranges as well. I've even been able to put my old Navy uniform on, it's not a comfortable fit yet but it does fit. Another reason to keep the low carb lifestyle going...but I did gain back about 7 pounds on our recent vacation so I need to get serious about it again. Too much eating out during vacation, you really do need to cook to do the low carb thing because you really don't know what's in the food that you get at restaurants, most everything nowadays has some kind of breading or something on it anymore it seems. I'd like to lose another 50-60 pounds just to see if I can, but I'll be happy with another 25-30. The weight loss has slowed lately but I think that's more as a result of me getting comfortable and cheating on my diet a bit. Like I said, I need to get serious about it again.

I got the new barrel for the Glock 19 installed and got a range day to get it sighted in, and the results are greatly improved. I can actually consistently hit the broad side of a barn with it now. I want to get a barrel for the Glock 36 next and see if it cures the persistent FTE problems. I have a suspicion that it will, but I'll have to make a purchase and schedule another play date to see for sure.

M and I took a trip last week for the Easter/Spring Break holidays, we went from here to see her folks for a day in PA, to Iowa to see my folks, then down to Branson MO for a couple of days, and finally to Gatlinburg TN for a few days before making our way back. We had a lot of fun, we spent way too much money, and we were glad to get back home.

And now I have a large pile of laundry to do.