Monday, December 22, 2008

Region reeling from bitter cold, power outages

One of the reasons I left this area many years ago! I never did like single digit temperatures with wind. Wind chill there is now about -20 Deg.F. Brrrr.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Obama's Senate Seat Could Stay Vacant for Months

"Present" votes decline but no meaningful CHANGE noticed in Senate.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fall Deer Hunt

I was drawn for the a whitetail hunt from 11/28 through 12/4 in an area that includes the Santa Rita Mountains. This is one of my favorite areas but I am not inclined to say exactly where.

My old knees sure take a toll in the hills. Swelling, cracking and creaking noises make me wonder how much longer I can do this before submitting to knee replacement surgeries. It may be worthwhile to try some of those fancy braces to try to limit lateral movement. Too many years of basketball, tennis, and running have taken a serious toll on a lot of body parts. I was told many years ago to quit the b-ball if walking was important to me. Back to hunting....

There is no cell phone service in the bottom of the canyon where we were camping. I just had to hike up to a ridge line to call out on Saturday. I needed to get an update from my better half. My mother was having her hip replaced so I was curious as to the status. This was going to be a couple of trips in a row for me. There was the hunt, a couple of days at work, and then pack to go to MI to get Mom settled in when released from the hospital. Back to the ridge line. It is one of those that is about a mile (as the crow flies) from camp. In reality it is about double that with an elevation gain of about 500 feet. Nice little hike that takes its toll on the old knees.

My buddy went up to the ridge line the next day to check with home (they have a 4 month old baby) and left his cell phone on. He was back in camp roaming around and the darn thing buzzed at him. If you stand in exactly one spot, facing the correct direction, on one leg, holding your other hand in the air you can get out. The signal was very weak as it turns out that it had to be reflecting off of a shear rock face. Dang! Really didn't need to hike up to the ridge line.

This was one of those years where you see a lot but can't grow antlers an any of them. My hunting buddy did pass up on one spike and then decided that passing up two was not a good idea. He shot a nice spike. I tend to agree with that sentiment as every time I have passed up a buck looking for a better one was usually the last one I would see that year.

The weather was beautiful with the lows being about 30 and the highs about 55. Too warm to hang a deer in the daytime. My friend had never skinned or sectioned so the morning after was fun. We skinned the buck and sectioned him down far enough to fit in his cooler. This is one of the few times that I got to skin and quarter one that wasn't mine. He was appreciative of the help/lesson but I find this to be fun and not a chore.

My friend took off on Tuesday morning but I had decided to stay at least one more day even though the knees were telling me that I was done hiking all over. I sat in camp one afternoon watching a hillside with an intermittent stream at the bottom. I was just hanging out sitting in my good folding chair all comfortable. I saw eight doe that afternoon over a period of about 3 hours with some actually coming into camp. Still never got to find that buck that you just knew had to be running in the thicker stuff.

I believe that I will need to take the bow for a walk in January to try again. Maybe I should just sit in a chair in that same spot!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Steel Shoot

Yesterday was another steel shoot and a chance to try out the EAA Match. My first error was that I did not know that it was a "regular" shoot versus the challenge match. The regular shoot is set up as a fun shoot with a variety of targets and lots of them. I did not take enough 9mm with me. One stage had two plate racks, Texas star, and six dogs. One rack was missing a plate so we had a total of 22 targets. The other stages had 12 targets each.

The EAA did not like having 17 in the magazine. It is supposed to take 18 but it is so difficult to get that last one in, even with a loader, that I went with 17. It did not want to load the first one. I dropped to 16 and all was fine. Guess that I will leave them loaded up and see if that improves. Other than that, it was a pleasure to shoot and my times were better. Maybe I can start to push Kevin.

I shot one pass on the last stage with the EAA and second pass with the Commander. I was two seconds off with the Commander but there was an extra magazine change. I also had a hot one eject right down my shirt. Darn that was hot on my tummy! I probably lost a little more time pulling my t-shirt out to get rid of the hot brass. The RO was amused. He commented that a couple seconds off wasn't bad with the extra mag and undressing!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Taurus is Gone, Long Live EAA

I received the 24/7 Pro back with a quick note that said, "Replaced firing pin and grips." I take it that means that they had to break the grips off to get inside to free the slide? I went back to the range and it functioned perfectly again but still shot as low as ever. This was mentioned when it was sent in. It is assumed that Taurus figured that I was not using the straight 8 sights correctly. You could cover the target with these sights at ten yards and still be shooting eight inches low. I gave up on it. Over a thousand rounds and still can't shoot it well and I hate the sights.

I traded it in for an EAA Elite Match 9mm on Monday and was off to the range. This handles better than my Commander! It probably doesn't hurt that the barrel is an inch longer. I settled down, after a bit a practice, and found that I could shoot a 10 round 3.5" pattern at 10 yards. Not a bad turnout for my limited talents. It ate a variety of ammo without a hiccup. I even fed it a couple of CCI's shotshells and Magsafe scorchers. Nice.

I guess that I like the 1911 style pistols the best. Switching back and forth with the Commander was no problem. The EAA Match is one smooth operator.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Elections are Over - Groan

I am curious to see if anyone will admit to voting for our new president in a couple of years.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I Like My SKS

I was plinking at the range with my Yugo after the Steel Challenge match. I had bought one of these a year or two ago that was unissued with all matching numbers. I have resisted making it into a bubba. The only mods so far are to replace (extend) the butt plate and put in the firing pin with spring assembly to remove the slam fire possibility.

I have noted some differences since changing the firing pin. The Wolf Military Classic ammo is no longer reliable. There is a FTF about every 8 rounds or so. The primer is dented but no bang. I wait a while, eject it, reload it and it goes bang the next time. I expect that these primer are a little hard and the strike has been weakened by the new setup.

It seems to shoot the other ammo I have just fine. I will have to count and see how much of the Wolf I have left and sell it off. Aside from all that, it is fun to shoot. It is as described by others - minute of mule deer at 100 yards.

October Steel Shoot

Yes, the Taurus is still broken but I did receive a nice letter saying that I might get it back in 7-8 weeks. We are jokingly referring to this as the limited lifetime warranty. It is under lifetime warranty if you live long enough to get it back.

A friend of mine wanted me to take his newly acquired pistol and abuse it. What a deal!! He had purchased a Commander from a retired officer that has been modified a touch. The previous owner apparently shot a little. It has had a trigger job, compensated barrel, magwell, extended mag release, ambidextrous get the idea. It worked flawlessly.

I shot an average of mid sixes for all stages. This an improvement of 4 seconds per stage over the Taurus and put me in the middle of the pack instead of riding drag. I have not decided what to do with the Taurus when it gets back but its Steel Shooting days are over.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Taurus Broke

Last months Steel Workers shoot did it in. I was on the fourth stage. "Make ready" That was as about as far as I got. I loaded a magazine and gave the 24/7 Pro (45cal) a rack but it did not go into battery and actually popped back open a little. It was determined that I was hosed after an attempt or two. I did not have a spare weapon so stated that I was done.

A gent I was shooting with offer the use of his gun. I was hesitant but this was a "friendly" shoot and not a true competition so I used his pistol. We were doing a standard setup of four black plates and red stop plate. I have put about 3000 rounds through the Taurus and still have difficulty with the sights (shoots too low) and fitment. My best round for the first three stages was 10 seconds. Very slow by most standards. It usually takes me six or seven shots to hit five.

I was asked if I ever shot a 1911 style pistol before as this was the style I was borrowing. I have a Commander so the answer was affirmative. I shot a 4.7 second which is quite good for me. I only heard silence from behind me. The RO asked if I thought that I could speed it up a little on the second pass. Not much - 4.6 Seconds.

I voice from the back says, "You can't have it". Those STIs are smooth guns. I promptly announced that I would have a nice double stack 45 for sale in a few weeks.

Back at home I could not even dismantle the weapon for inspection. The slide will go all the way back, snap forward , and then pop open about a half inch. The opening is under spring pressure. Something is lodged/broken or whatever. Sent it to the factory. They claim they will let you know within two weeks. What they mean is that they might let you know that they received it within two weeks. I never heard anything. I called customer support and was told it was there but not opened yet. Taurus has had it for over two weeks and has yet to open the package. They also never sent anything saying they received it. I was told that it would be another couple of weeks before that happened so I still do not know what it broken.

These guys must be really busy. I think it is trade time. Wonder how the Springfield XD is?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Dove Season !!!!!

Dove season here runs September 1st through the 15th. I took my .410 out on Labor Day (opening day). I shoot this shotgun in skeet occasionally and have hunted with it in years past. I have limited out many times with it.

You would have thought that I had never shot it before. A box of shells was gone and I had one bird. Ouch! I went back to the truck and changed for my 20 gauge coach gun and shot the remaining birds in an hour.

The 20 became the go-to gun for a while. I have been going for a little each morning and arriving at work just a little late. The family has to keep eating doves so that I have a legal possession limit in the freezer. Good thing they like them!

I took the 410 for a walk again Saturday and shot 10 but couldn't find the last one. That was good enough as it was getting hot. I have heard people comment that it must be really easy to shoot those doves with a shotgun. This is usually from the non-hunting types that have no concept of trying to shoot something that zig-zags at up to 55 MPH. It would be a lot of fun to get one of these folks to the field for some of that easy as pie bird shooting.

Some days I can shoot better than 50%. I have been known to have a serious case of CHS (can't hit stuff) other days. I need to decide on barbeque or casserole tonight - yumm!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sporting Clays

I decided to take a break from Trap & Skeet on Sunday morning and went over to Tucson Trap & Skeet for a round of Sporting Clays. It is understood that I have a strange idea of taking a break.

Sporting Clays was developed from Trap and Skeet, but it is a completely different game. The game is played in a more natural setting(s) which with several different target presentations from different locations with varying flight paths. Sporting Clays was originally designed to emulate small game hunting. Targets can be thrown as single targets, simultaneous pairs, or report pairs. There are a variety of targets in addition to the standard clay bird. These include small targets, very small targets, "rabbits" that roll and bounce on edge across the ground, arcing birds, and some heavy rockets that are very fast and maintain speed. Targets are launched from one side to the other, quartering away, quartering in, inbound, outbound, overhead, underfoot, or straight up in the air. You get the idea - every whichway.

A round of Sporting Clays will require 100 shots. I did not do all that good but better than my companions. My score was 54 with the others at 34 & 35. People that shoot this competitively will be in the 80-90 range. There are different classifications for the competition. I may have to give one a try in the newbe class. Throwing lead downrange is fun!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Trap & Skeet

Someday I will shoot a straight round. It was not to be yesterday. I usually shoot a couple of round of skeet then a couple of trap. Skeet - 21 & 23 which seems to be about as good as I get. Trap - 24 & 24. 48 out of 50 but I have failed to put 25 in the same round. It will come, eventually!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Steelworkers Shoot

Someone (Kevin) remembered to bring a camera so we could film some of the shoot. I valiantly defended my postion within the ranks although there is little desire for my last place spot by the other shooters. There seems to be a little improvement at each match which is of some benefit. The main thing is that this is FUN!

Boy is this guy slow.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Celebrating the 4th

I was trying to get a few friends and family together to celebrate the 4th. Everyone was sent invitation that informed of fun to be had with games and barbecue with Southwest themes. We even went so far as to have a schedule of events.
1 - Snake Hunt & Pull - kind of like tug-of-war - great fun for everyone. Team with the largest pieces of snake are declared winners. Caution is required for snake selection. Leave the Diamondbacks alone. Picture added for clarification.

Good snake.

Bad snake.

2 - Javelina Toss - self explanatory. How far can you throw that pig?

Oops - wrong picture


3 - Roadrunner Race - Catch the Roadrunner

I hope you have better luck than Wiley E.

4 - It's time to cool down before dinner so it is time for one of my favorites - Bobbing for Bobcats!The tough part is getting them in the tub.

Appetizer - Steamed Skunk Chunks

I actually have a recipe for steamed skunk. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Soup - Pygmy Owl Soup
Have a recipe for this also but it calls for Rat Cheese. Not sure where to find it so I always substitute goat.

Barbecue - Rocky Mountain Oyster Kabobs and Red Squirrel On-A-Stick
Yup - got these recipes too.
Dessert - Chilled Condor Gizzards
Sure are ugly buzzards - no pun intended.

Drink - Coyote Whiz Beer
Like my Daddy always said, "Son, its in the water. That's why its yellow."

After Dinner Games and Papa's favorite - Playing Possum.
Not quite Southwest but who cares.
Quando omni flunkus moritati.

So far - no takers. I guess that I will go shoot a couple of rounds of trap & skeet as the range is open. One of my favorite kinds of aerial booms! Go find something to make noise with! Happy 4th!

Monday, June 30, 2008

16 Accidentally Wounded by French Military in Shooting Demo

Alright - Who is the imbecile that gave the French live ammo?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Skeet Surfing Safari

What could be better than a day at the beach shooting skeet?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Heller 5, Losers 4

What is it about these four losers that they find it so difficult to discover what the 2nd means? Please don't try to explain it as I fully understand that these justices view all items as their politics dictate without regard to their oaths of office.

Every honest constitutional scholar will agree on what the framers meant. Not all like it, but do come to the same conclusion that the 2nd is an individual right.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. Thomas Jefferson

The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.
--- Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution

That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms...
--- Samuel Adams

The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
--- James Madison, The Federalist No. 46

Arms in the hands of citizens (may) be used at individual discression... in private self-defense...
--- John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the Governments of the UAS, 471 (1788)

This can go on and on and on...........

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

SCOTUS Rejects Death Penalty for Raping Children

Decides that the Judas Chair is adequate.

Bill Clinton Offers Support to Obama

Just exactly what kind of helpful support could Bill offer Obama?

Is that an African or European Pigeon?

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A sharp increase in drugs and cellphones found inside a Brazilian prison mystified officials -- until guards spotted some distressed pigeons struggling to stay airborne.

Steel Workers Shoot

I enjoyed myself at another shoot last weekend. This makes the third event I have attended and still failed to take a camera so that a few candid shots can be posted. My event planning needs to be modified slightly. The day before the shoot in May was backyard fence day. Oh joy! Take the old one down and get new posts set. My helpers were wore out by the end of the day and were begging to not have to get up early the next day. (You would think that I was a slave driver or something) I thought this was a great idea. I will go shoot and get everyone up afterwards. I was sore the next morning. I shot a little better than before but I am sure that my times were slower. My speed from station to station would only have impressed a snail.

There was also some error in one station's setup. The wall was upside down placing the shooting window at ankle height! I informed the RM of this mistake and was told that this was correct. It was purposely done to aggravate sore, tall people. I hate kneeling in the gravel especially since I had shorts on, stiff, sore, and knees trashed from years of basketball. I needed all the reasons I could find to account for my normal performance so that my shooting companions would not actually realize my dismal capabilities. For some reason this never seems to work. It did provide entertainment and provoked many kind comments. "Think you can get up? Hahaha!" "Maybe you should lay down and then roll over to the next window." Someday, I hope that they set one high enough to suit me. I would enjoy seeing the others try to jump and shoot at the same time. I had a great time in reality! Then it was off to the house to awake the fence crew. There was also a necessity to convince everyone that applying water seal and erecting fence rails/slats is fun!

I decided to reload 20 gauge shells the day before the June shoot. 500 rounds on a MEC 600Jr. is 3,000 pulls of the lever. Sidenote - I have come to dislike single stage presses. I actually did a little better at the shoot. I do not know if it is due to practice or just getting more comfortable on this type range. Perhaps it is only a mental image of improvement and I am getting more comfortable at being slow! I really don't know as times have never been posted for any of the shoots.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bikini Atoll's Nuked Coral Reef Bounces Back to Life

"Half a century after the atomic blasts that devastated Bikini Atoll, vast expanses of corals in the area seem to be flourishing once again, much to the surprise of scientists."

Also of great surprise to the scientist was the discovery a very large reptile roaming the area which resulted in the scientists immediate evacuation. Some of the Japanese members of the expedition were excitedly exclaiming, "Oh no, there goes Tokyo!".

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Our Presidential Candidates

The Good
"It's been a great ride. But I know how quickly these fads can pass. You all remember the pet rock, the mood ring, Howard Dean."

Hopefully, you will fly away also.

The Bad
"We are going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

Wonder who the commoners are that get the goods?

The Ugly
"Presidential ambition is a disease that can only be cured by embalming fluid."

Looks like it tastes great.

My Choice POTUS
"You morons"

Great evaluation of his political opponents.

I couldn't find a quote that hadn't already been done by John Dingell

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Marines in Berkeley

I can't say that I am a big fan of the Daily Show but even a blind squirrel........


Friday, March 07, 2008

Reno 911 D&D

This is just unbelievable. I actually lol when the officer said, "I hope you've got a magic potion for hot lead".

Monday, February 25, 2008


We went to the trials on Saturday at Firebird. I do like to watch just about anything but bracket racing. My favorites are the Pro-Stock, Funny Cars, and Top Fuel. I did not take a camera this year - oops. I took one last year and was challenged to get the perspective on film that I desired. Trying to take pictures starts to take away from the fun of watching the drags.
There is nothing like being close to a top fuel dragster when the tree goes green!
This weekend was just something else. Drag races on Saturday and then a steel pistol match on Sunday makes for a full couple of days. Gee - drag racin and shootin - almost sounds like it should be a regular.

Steel Match

We went over to Pima Pistol Club to shoot a steel match. I have seen one shot before but this was my first match. My hat's off to PPC and the shooters there. The people were professional and friendly. It was no problem for a first time steel shooter to feel comfortable. I will get my score later after posting but will only use this as a benchmark for future improvement. I did not expect to do well as I am no pistolero but I was pleased in that I did better than anticpated.

Kevin did quite well for a first shoot. He may have other thoughts but I know that he shot at least 30 rounds less than me.

What FUN! We will take some photos and post them the next time. One of the stages had a building facade with windows and door as shooting stations. There were a few comments admiring my form when I needed to crouch down to shoot through the windows. I am a little on the tall side and that window came about to my bellybutton when standing. I thought I had fine form for my squatshot. I know that the snickers I heard from behind me were just from being jealous of my fine form.

The Knack

Head over to The Smallest Minority to watch a great clip of Dilbert.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Space Cowboy!

Space Station Crew Can Access Gun

The article indicates that this is a piece (pun intended) of survival gear for a crash landing. I find this interesting from the aspect that there would probably be very little left intact of the space station after atmosphere re-entry, much less the spectacular surface impact.

Hmmm - wonder if there have been any tests measuring the recoil effect of different ammo in space?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Do Not Run, We Are You Friends!

Look into my eyes, you are getting sleepy, you WILL be my Valentine.

I must put some of the political pictures up as this is just too good to pass on. The semblance is almost scarey. Let me rephrase that as it is definitely scarey. Clinton fans should not be too concerned as I will most likely pick on everyone.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Redistribution of Wealth

Our fearless leaders have decided that a tax rebate would stimulate the economy. This includes a rebate to those who pay no taxes. I would believe that the classic definition of a rebate is: "return of a part of a payment".

There can be no "rebate" if there is no payment. It sounds nicer than saying that the government will take money from those who do pay and give it to those who do not. It is still an agenda including redistribution of wealth no matter how you try to disguise these actions.

I still stand by the quote at the top by Will Rogers.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Scottish Rite 32 Deg. KCCH

For service to the Rite, one is sometimes fortunate enough to receive the honor of becoming a KCCH. I am humbled that my brethren thought enough of me to distinguish me with this honor.

I should also post that previously the brethren presented me with this.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Elk hunting in November was fun!

We had a great camping spot about 30 miles North of Flagstaff. There were enough tall pines to break the winds and plenty of downed Aspen to provide a little firewood. The weather was cold but snow free. We even had decent cell phone coverage.

We went up the day before Thanksgiving to set up camp. My hunting partner left to go back south to host Thanksgiving day at his house. Opening day was the Friday after Thanksgiving so he was returning at 0-dark-thirty Friday morning.

I stayed. I had told my wife that I had been drawn (hurrah!) but it was the hunt that started right after Thanksgiving. My wife asked if I was going up early. We have obviously done this before. She then announced that we must have our family turkey day early. Bless her heart!

I had taken a leftover turkey leg and thigh with me. I sat at the fire pit on Thanksgiving day and enjoyed another round of turkey. A few phone calls were made to wish family happy turkey day. All in all not a bad way to spend the day. I can't say that I would want to spend every Thanksgiving day this way. Well let me rephrase that. I would want this every time unless I was drawn for the elk hunt every time also.

It was nice that there is a heater in the pop-up and we had plenty of propane. Some of the nights were in the teens.

It was the third day of the hunt when this nice little elk had the audacity to try to sneak by me. I do not tree stand hunt as most of those units are built for smaller people. I am 6'7" tall and run about 290 depending on the time of year. There isn't any way that I am going perch in a tree like some little birdie. I find a spot to sit that is hidden a bit or still walk. This time I was still walking.

I know that all of you will envious of my fine red-plaid wool Filson hat. This hat is hard to beat in cold weather!

The shot was a clean heart shot but I was surprised how far an elk can go with a blown heart. It was a stroke of luck at the same time. He went far enough that he dropped near an old two track path that was drivable. Sweet! Field dress him, get the trailer, and load him up.

We went back to camp to wash up and change before heading to the meat processors. A quick inventory showed that I definitely did not have enough personal libations to last through the rest of hunt. In to town we went to drop him off and stock up.

We stayed another 4 days. My hunting buddy did not get lucky but it wasn't for lack of trying. It just works that way sometimes.

I could not figure out a way to make a permanent mount on the Bronco so I took the antlers home and mounted them above the fireplace.