Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Reformers: "Il faut cultiver notre jardin."

I stumbled upon this quote by Albert Jay Nock, a devotee of Voltaire.

"The only thing that the psychically-human being can do to improve society is to present society with one improved unit. In a word, ages of experience testify that the only way society can be improved is by the individualist method which Jesus apparently regarded as the only one whereby the Kingdom of Heaven can be established as a going concern; that is, the method of each one doing his very best to improve one."

I'll have to find more of Nock's work. It will be good reading during the 100-day party. It is change I can believe in.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A warning to any deranged person ...

including any loco relatives:

Plan well. Don't bring just a flashlight, chunk of firewood and a pocket knife to a fight. There's some bitter people attached to medical implants who cling to guns.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


If Obama administration officials and Congressional investigators truly want to uncover all the details about the Bush Administration's interrogation procedures following Sept.11, 2001, they should waterboard members of Congress such as Nancy Pelosi, Jay Rockefeller, Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and others, who as members of House and Senate intelligence committees were briefed about waterboarding and other aspects of interrogation.

Their memories must be a bit foggy. Momma always said a splash of cold water to the face every morning would refresh me.

For those out there in the intelligence community looking for a waterboarding alternative, try forcing those enemy combatants or whatever they're currently called to watch congressional hearings via C-SPAN. Just five minutes of experiencing Rep. Henry Waxman's twitching nose hairs or hearing Rep. Barney Frank lament his weight gain should knock the secrets right out of the perps.

Horses and Snakes

I'm partial to the classics. I'll walk along the glass cases at gun stores, quickly scanning the rows of bland-looking Glocks, XDs, S&W polymer M&Ps, CZs, etc. I'll spend some time looking at some of the 1911s and Sig Sauers in 9mm and .45 ACP. Any Browning 9mm Hi-Power deserves some attention.

I spend the most time in front of revolvers. It's less crowded there unless there's some mulling S&W J-frame snubs for CCW. There, I'm particularly drawn to Colt D-frame revolvers in any skin--Cobras, Diamondbacks, Detective Specials, Agents, Vipers, Police Positive Specials and more.

They're getting more and more difficult to find. Some of my favorites, such as Diamondback .22 revolvers with 4 or 6-inch barrels, commonly sell in excess of $1,000. A few of the D frames shipped with 3-inch barrels. One that's always eluded me is a Colt Cobra 3-inch chambered in .22 LR. I'm still in mourning after Colt dropped the D frames from its product line in 1995.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

One eyeball down, one to go ...

And are you relieved you're not reading a blog by a guy possessing more than two eyeballs?

I had the left cataract removed today. Everything appears lopsided, which explains why I bumped off the wall earlier. I plan to go outside tomorrow and test the results by scoping out the blooming redbud and pear trees.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Save your ... copper.

"If I were to place the earth upon a scale and balance it with a single copper coin; and if I were to become so great that I could not be contained, and if I were to control and lead all; and if I were to possess so much power within my mind that I could cause others to do my bidding--so what?"--a passage from the Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib

The days when most wouldn't bother stooping to pick up a lowly, pre-1982 copper penny or to steal coppers off a dead man's eyes have passed. That's change for you, me and the Chinese, who have stopped buying U.S. Treasury securities. In fact, China's State Reserves Bureau is moving out of dollars and into industrial metals such as copper, which value has increased nearly 50 percent this year.

"China has woken up. The West is a black hole with all this money being printed. The Chinese are buying raw materials because it is a much better way to use their $1.9 trillion of reserves. They get ten times the impact, and can cover their infrastructure for 50 years."

The Atlas that is China is shrugging. The motors that move the world are filled with copper.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Goat Grudge Match

When I first saw this photo, I wondered how PETA activists break up pit-goat fighting operations in countries that discourage activism. Maybe Madonna could be persuaded to adopt and save Chinese fighting goats now that her quest to adopt another Malawian child was thwarted. It's a different continent, a different species, but goats need a "loving family environment" as well.

Photo taken on April 13, 2009, shows two goats locked in their horns at Wadian Township, Linquan County, Anhui Province, China. More than 200 of them took part in a goat-fighting match on this day. (Xinhua Photo)

No, we shouldn't focus solely on fight-goat fans in South China. PETA hasn't been able to encourage a "brilliant", Columbia and Harvard-educated president or his vice president to rescue a single pound dog. One would think the activists in angst over Alaskan wolves being slaughtered last fall would now be marching on D.C. holding vials of fake blood.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Those that have brought me home ....

"I'm just the byline. The heroes are the Navy, the Seals and those that have brought me home."
--Capt. Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama.

President Obama first gave the Defense Department authorization to use lethal force to protect the captain's life Friday night. He extended authority again Saturday morning, according to press reports. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I'm no fan of the president. Along with appointing former Marine Commandant Gen. James L. Jones as his national security advisor Jan. 20, I'll say President Obama has done two things right.

A team of Seal snipers at the range, Guam, 1997

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I spent part of the day after Good Friday--LĂ„ngfredag (Long Friday) for anyone with Scandinavian roots--docking and doctoring honey locust and Osage Orange shoots in the east pasture. The honey locust vastly outnumbered the Osage Orange. That's unfortunate because the honey locust thorns are longer. The thorns play hell on tires. The horses and cattle don't appreciate finding the stalks in their winter rations, either.

There's a tale how the Thunder Spirit was able to detect his son by his ability to painlessly sit on honey locust barbs. How did the boy develop the calluses on his rear end? The answer has been lost in the depths of time.

As I lopped off those thorny problems just above the ground and treated the stumps with Tordon® RTU, I couldn't help but think of the crown of thorns Jesus wore on Long Friday. Then I thought about the origin of the saplings I was whacking. They are descendants of trees planted by the second wave of immigrants, those of European descent, to the Osage Cuestas.

Nineteenth-century policy wonks encouraged tree planting. One had to prove up on a homestead by planting trees and crops, erecting fences and buildings, and remaining on the land for at least five years. The environmental activists of that era latched on to fences of tight-planted Osage Orange trees, which were pruned every year so that they would remain "horse high, bull strong and hog tight". That ended after the event of barbed wire.

Now, those unruly Osage Orange rows bother experts. They're bulldozed, pinched off, sawed down, burned, and blasted. Then the stumps and root systems are killed by government-licensed chemical applicators so more neighborly fences and carefully planned and landscaped subdivisions can emerge.

Even today the government promotes the planting of honey locusts for wind breaks and to slow down erosion. Experts have developed a thornless variety, but we still have plenty of the old-fashioned kind. And wonder of wonders, there's a crazy guy who planted old-fashioned prairie grass on 160 acres south of here. It controls erosion and resists drought better than anything the experts replaced it with, he's told neighbors. It's heartening to count the increased number of quail coveys down there each fall.

A .38 doesn't trim trees as fast as a .44, but it works.

Anyhow, if you're the type to be upset about tree killing where God intended few to grow, don't tread on me. If you're seeking passion, I'll point you to a three-foot wide, thorn-clustered, honey locust tree to love.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mow the lawn first. Spend lead later.

I mowed the grass yesterday for the first time this spring. Then my 17-year-old son and I did some revolver shooting along Elm Creek. The east bank is high. It serves perfectly as a backstop at a sharp bend.

There were no fancy targets: some 3-inch Shoot-n-See bulls stuck on a worn piece of plywood at seven yards, two soup cans to roll at 1o or 15 yards, an old bleach bottle left by the last high water at 25 yards, and a steel plate a little more than 75 yards out. My son did some fine shooting with both hands. I don't think he's wired to have a dominant hand when shooting. However, he's left-eye dominant and a right-handed scribbler.

I had a bit of trouble remembering how a lefty should load and eject empties. I muddled through showing him. I've been toting a pistol on my right side since wheel locks came into vogue, so it was even a better lesson for me. It has been a very long time since I've had to teach lefties. Then, too, I've grown careless at keeping the body trained for Plan B--what it should do when a dominant hand or arm fails.

Anyhow, we had fun. We went through 3 boxes of .38 Special reloads before supper time. My son had no trouble ringing the 8" square plate with the 158-grain semi wadcutters. It reminded me how glad I'll be to get these cataracts removed. I could barely see the plate.

If one wants to sell something ...

via a classified ad or an Internet listing, they should practice safe proofreading.

I've been scanning ads looking for serviceable, older S&W and Colt revolvers. It seems as if all of them equipped with "Pachmeyer rubber grips" are either overpriced, appear to be in worse condition that the ad copy suggests, or both.

Frank Pachmayr
, God rest his soul, may come down to Earth with a mighty, 32-oz., ball-peen hammer and minister to all offenders.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A "very significant foreign policy challenge"

Twenty American crew members of the 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama, loaded with emergency relief bound to Mombasa, Kenya, turned the tables on Somali pirates.

No doubt members of the Obama administration, who had been in contact with the shipping company to learn "the who, what, why, where and when" of the hijacking, are busy formulating policy responses to this growing threat via Twitter and their BlackBerry smart phones.

At the time of the hijacking, the nearest U.S. Navy ship was 345 miles away. Navy officials said it was focused on another area and that Navy ships couldn't be everywhere. That makes perfect sense to me. The U.S. can only float a limited number of warships. And some of them are needed to monitor the effects of global warming on the polar ice caps.

Here's an idea that should be floated via Twitter and other digital, transparent portals to the Obama Administration. Put armed crews on cargo ships. Mount some Dillon M134Ds, Ma Deuces, or perhaps a Phalanx MK 15 CIWS on the vessels. That should keep the Somali speedboats at bay.

Why reward anti-social behavior with ransom payments? Most "community activists" from Chicago would have figured this out by now.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

One step back for the Green Movement

The nearest Walgreens is about 30 miles away, so I haven't been in one for some time. Damn it, I've missed out on buying a Chia Obama pet there because it's too racist for some who can't appreciate the Prez growing a green Afro.

Chia Hillary is on the way unless it can be viewed as sexist. Or I can invest in talking, moving Obama stand-up dolls. I particularly like the one that is dash mountable of Barry wearing a flowing, white robe.

Then there's the Obama action figure Tam pointed out on View from the Porch. Power flows from the barrel of Barry's gun. His suit is a bit rumpled, however, and the accessories do not include a Blackberry or teleprompter.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

S&W gun plumbing

I've grown tired of plucking half-ejected empties from the cylinder of my S&W Model 10-5 .38 Special revolver equipped with a 2" barrel and short extractor rod. So yesterday I removed the stubby barrel and replaced it with a pristine, 4" tapered S&W barrel with a 1/8" wide ramp front sight. It was a cloudy, gray April Fool's Day, which freed my eyes from glare.

I ordered the barrel and a longer center pin from Numrich Gun Parts Corporation. The listing said the barrel was used and in excellent condition. Judging by the barrel threads, crown, rifling and forcing cone, it had never been installed. I turned the barrel in with the aid of a vise, hardwood blocks cut to accommodate the barrel profile, and a revolver action wrench.

I reinstalled the cylinder and checked the barrel-cylinder gap. Then I fired some sighting rounds using a piece of copy paper fastened to the end of a 12-deep row of large hay bales as a target. Twice I had to return to the vise to slightly clock the barrel to adjust windage. The elevation was perfect.

I had to install a cylinder locking pin on the new barrel. I used one salvaged from a Model 10-7 that had been abused by a member of the Colombian national police force. It now engages the longer center pin and a new extractor rod obtained from Brownells.

Don't try this at home unless you've invested in learning though courses or manuals and have proper tools such as cup tip punches, gauges to measure barrel-cylinder gap and head space, and an action wrench. Professional pistolsmiths hate to work for people who attempted to bypass them at first. They deserve to make as much money as they can working for April Fools. Then there are ways to break stuff so it can never be repaired such as that Colombian revolver with the bulged barrel, bent side plate and yoke, stripped threads and misaligned extractor.

That K-frame snubbie spent a lot of time on a shelf. It was too large for pocket carry and it's butt heaviness made it flop and print too much in a belt holster. Out of the box, it shot low so the already-difficult-to-see front sight had to be lowered. With the new barrel, the old Smith and Wesson M&P is alive!