Sunday, November 30, 2008

Impulse bird

Walking through Costco yesterday I spotted what turkeys they had left selling for .49c/lb. Whattya gonna do?

22lb'r went home with me. Straight to the BBQ. Nothing to do but wait 3 1/2 hours.

Went off to the range with the Son&Heir and his freshly minted Marine friend. Introduced them to the joys of 45 Colt in a 5 1/2" Ruger Single Action.
Shot the 1911 45ACP too -- just for the sake of "diversity training" doncha know.

Came home. Bird was done. Stripped it and into the fridge in 20 minutes. Yeah baby!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Thursday

I got so busy w/ mitigating erosion on the recently graded lower lot I forgot what shopping day it was until I pulled in to the Home Depot for to buy some more sand bags and annual rye.

Oy! I'd forgotten that Home Depot has become a Christmas shopping destination. Silly me -- every manly man who still has his man card, his wife, mother, girlfriend or daughter were there. The Venetian ladies have either figured their Martian men out or they'vde learned to dig the place themselves.

Yeah, the local HD is my kind of Xmas store -- and it's only 3-4 blocks to El Cajon Gun Exchange. /heh :-)

Online's fine (I do most of mine online) but some shopping is better with Bricks and Mortar for the tactile (and tactical) element.

Speaking of tactical, the EBR crowd is hustling to catch up with post Election day demand. The Brown truck of happiness showed up with five 10rd AR mags from C Products yesterday.

Also, got a call from Addax updating backlog status on AR lower kit (that's whole 'nother post -- .223 varmint buildup). Just last week his e-mail was saying at least 4 weeks. Now he's saying week and a half. Looks like they're working hard to pull in their orders to suppliers. They're being real proactive updating customer status; probably concerned I'll go elsewhere and canx my order -- leaving them with inventory.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

All done...

right at 3 1/2 hours. By the looks of the white meat might have left it on a bit long -- even for a 20 lb'er.

Table cleared and clean. Everyone a bit glassy eyed from all the calories. Bird picked clean and packed up for the fridge...

20 minute bird setup

First clean up the briquets that busted out of the bag bottom...

and get them set up for indirect heat of the bird...

get a little crazy with the starter fluid...

Wash and salt the bird down in and out.
Cover the wings and drumsticks w/ foil to keep them from cooking to fast and drying out.
Insert thermometer in the turkey breast.

Drip pan under the bird if you like...

Fire and forget. I'm guessing it'll be hitting 180F in about 3 1/2 hours.

Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart

This Thanksgiving a word about the woman who not only taught me about thankfulness but personified it, my mother.

She grew up poor in Boston during the Great Depression. The daughter of a widowed Scot immigrant woman who worked as a domestic to support 4 children and her elderly parents. Mom and her siblings would carry laundry home for Grandma to wash for extra money.

Mom started married life after WWII by driving with Dad to Alaska up the newly opened Alcan Highway.
It took them 30 days from Boston in a 31 Durant to a children's home outside Wasilla, Alaska. They camped along the way, and cooked beside the road.

There at the Children's Home they farmed and fished to feed abandoned and orphaned children. It was subsistence level living. On top of that Mom had her hands full with most of the children under 5 still not being potty trained.

/heh Mom never would clean fish by the time I came around.

You'd think that poverty living would make for a grasping hungry heart later in life. Nope, not Mom. She was the very picture of happy hospitality to the end. When challenged by daily life she'd respond with thankfulness and faith in the God who provides. "Jehovah Jirah, God will provide" was on the plaque above the kitchen table -- she believed it. She had experienced it. She lived it -- in ways most can't imagine through many lean years. Even if the provision was abandoned cabin.

Dad used up the rest of his savings from the Navy to put this place back together in time for winter.

She and Dad gave joyfully (and discretely) to the needy and church all their days together. They walked in faith in the promise to those who give that "God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory."

God did. She was thankful. When faced by a challenge she'd maybe groan but then would revert in faith to believing God would provide. In faith she would be thankful in the moment of need for a God she could trust for provision here and now -- and in eternity.

She's been gone over 30 years but I can still hear her singing,

Count your blessings, count them one by one.
Count your blessings, see what God has done.
Count your blessings count them one by one.
Count your many blessing see what God has done.

Count your blessings, name them two by two.
Count your blessings, see what God can do.
Count your blessings name them two by two.
Count your many blessings see what God can do.

dang, got something in my eye...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oy vey

Wonder if this question of birthplace/eligibility of "The One" for "The Office" is getting traction? The MSM is totally silent on it but it seems like legal challenges are being filed all over the place.

By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

A lawyer who is playing a key role in a California lawsuit urging officials to prevent the state's 55 Electoral College votes from being recorded for Barack Obama until questions about his citizenship are resolved says he's organizing plans to challenge,


Wonder what happens if it does (get traction)... I shudder to think.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Change you can count on

Fellow Business Executives:

As the CFO of this business that employees 140 people, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barrack Obama will be our next President, and that our taxes and government fees will increase in a BIG way.

To compensate for these increases, I figure that the Clients will have to see an increase in our fees to them of about 8% but since we cannot increase our fees right now due to the dismal state of our economy, we will have to lay off six of our employees instead. This has really been eating at me for a while, as we believe we are family here and I didn't know how to choose who will have to go.

So, this is what I did. I strolled thru our parking lot and found 8 Obama bumper stickers on our employees' cars and have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off. I can't think of a more fair way to approach this problem. These folks wanted change; I gave it to them.

If you have a better idea, let me know.



Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday gun pron

Why? No why. Just because.

This one is still in cosmoline. Been most of a year since it arrived. Really need to do something 'bout that...

What you're looking at there is the result of the genius of John C. Garand. I think I'm just savoring it for now. Patton called it "The greatest battle implement ever." Huh...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Piles be gone

Just have the top corner by the street to cover now. Another 10 yds ought'a do it. Then I'll see about jury rigging up that old power pole for a log drag.

Slow and imprecise w/ that narrow box but just keep chipping away at it. Having trouble getting a good level in the gravel at top of that back slope. When pulling uphill the box lifts up above grade as the tractor rolls onto the top level. When pulling down hill the box tends to cut in as the tractor rolls onto the incline. Got to where I'd cut across the transition on an angle and that worked reasonably well.

I s'pose it'd either be amusing or frustrating for a skilled operator to watch me working during amateur hour. /heh

That'd be OK with me. It's cheaper than therapy.


Took off work (and blogging) yesterday. The Son&Heir and I went down for big doings at MCRD. His close friend and my old Sunday School student graduated Boot Camp.

Seems at times the past coupla years like we were half raising this young man. He'd be overnight at our place most weekends and holidays. His folks have had some bumps w/ medical problems and consequently a few rough patches keeping regular work. His dad was in the Navy same time as me. In fact, was the first local friend I made at church when the Navy transfered me out to San Diego in '85.

I'll claim the honor of having taught this (now) Marine to shoot trap. We three (son, he, I) went together to the local range quite a bit. He'd got a good start with firearm safety training in Boy Scout Troop #1(that's right troop #1!). He led his company at the rifle range on prequal day but fell off the top on qual day. It was really windy and he had to make something like 10 wind calls -- didn't get all his wind dope good enough that day.

Musta been the wind or maybe some dust in the air. Keep getting something in my eye... /ahem

May we, as a nation, be worthy of them and their committment.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Foundations shaken?

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (New American Standard Bible)

7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD
And whose trust is the LORD.
8 "For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.

Thanks. I needed that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tractor therapy

Been picking away at the rock piles in the lower drive. It's dark after work now so have to wait for weekends or sneak in a few passes before work. Got the back uphill slope pretty well done. Now to working on the level top straightaway(front stretch).

I s'pect it's going to take another 20 yds to finish out to the road and the front uphill slope.

It slows the process down when the box/blade is narrower than the tractor's track. Don't want to go shopping for a wider box (time -- much less the cash out), but have been thinking about ways to mod the box on the cheap. Not clear what the most direct solution is to that.

Fab/bolt on some outriggers/wings?
Bolt a tough beam/board across the bottom back of the box? Maybe with some angle on it to protect the cutting edge?
Hit the local scrap yard in search of a 6' chunk of steel?

Probably will just finish the job before I get any mod done. I've got an old power pole laying in the lot that's 6-7" thick and at least 15' long. Maybe I'll just cut that in 2 or 3 and make a log drag out of it. Now I'm wishing I'd kept that length of scrap chain link that recently went to the dump. It'd have been perfect for a log drag...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Speaking of preachin'

That's where I've been and why I've been light on posting this weekend.

Had a doozy to put together on The Lord's Supper and Worship. Needed to address some traditions in our church practice that have become dogma. It's been a long time coming. Lot's of fuss and fun leading up to this the past several weeks, including an unfortunate e-mail sent my way that cc'd select church members.

Looked like a coup in the making by an older man who felt like the palladium of the old ways -- guardian of our precious PB distinctives. Maybe was a bit of that division brewing, but, after meeting with the brother we understand there was some serious fear and misunderstanding on his part. Pointed out a pretty good plank in my eye too. /ouch

Actually worked for the good since it out'ed the issue and gave us a chance to deal with the man for restoration (mindful of Paul's instruction to Timothy "don't sharply rebuke an older man but appeal to him as a father."). Also, set up this morning's preaching which topic had already been planned -- put the simmering problem front, center and current. Enemy mean't it for evil but God used it for good.

Sermon should be posted online later this week. I think I went 7-8 minutes overtime (arrggh). It was a struggle right up to last night to pare it down as far as I did. Was cutting and slashing down to core points til almost midnight. As usual my storytelling and compounding of analogies (my strength) became a weakness. Seemed to be well received though among all demographics we were concerned with reaching.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Amen. Preach it! Get goin'!

A young minister in Kentucky was asked by a funeral
director to hold a grave-side service for a homeless man,
who had no family or friends. The funeral was to be held at
a new cemetery way back in the country and this man would be
the first to be buried there.

He was not familiar with the backwoods area and soon
became lost. Being a typical man, he did not stop to ask for
directions. Finally, he arrived an hour late. He saw the
backhoe and the open grave, but the hearse was nowhere in sight.

The digging crew was eating lunch. He apologized to the
workers for his tardiness,and stepped to the side of the
open grave. There he saw the vault lid already in place. He assured the workers he would not hold them up for long, and
told them that this was the proper thing to do.

The workers gathered around the grave and stood silently,
as he began to pour out his heart and soul. As he preached
about "looking forward to a brighter tomorrow and the glory
that is to come," the workers began to say "Amen, Praise the
Lord and Glory!" The fervor of these men truly inspired him.
So, he preached and he preached like he had never preached before,
all the way from Genesis to Revelations. Finally, he closed the
lengthy service with a prayer, thanked the men and walked to his car.

As he was opening the door and taking off his coat, he heard
one of the workers say to another, "I ain't NEVER seen nothin'
like that before and I've been puttin' in septic tanks for thirty years!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mo' piles

Another 20 tons of aggregate landed today.

Managed to knock the piles mostly down before it got totally dark. Too dark for a shot of that. It'll be interesting to see by dawn's early light what sort of mess I made.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

16 tons and whattya get?

Actually that's a little over 20 tons in piles.

The "Eyesore" warming up. Greased, gassed, and ready to give the Zane Thang a proper test grading the drive.

Wearing down the piles. Got a little exciting a couple times working close to the edge with 2 uphill wheels cutting into the piles. Cutting brake saved me from rolling off the edge at least once at the far bottom corner.

Oh yeah, say hallo to my leetle friend.

Looks like it'll take another 30 or 40 tons or rock to cover the rest of the racetrack drive. That took a bit over an hour for this amateur operator. Pretty good workout w/out power steering. I actually broke a bit of a sweat.

Actually it's salvaged (reground) concrete. Smells like it too when you stir it up. If it works as planned it'll pack really tight when it gets damp and driven on. The road up to my local shooting range has this material. It's also like a dusty paved road it packs in so tight. The residual cement must do some bonding.

Time for change at RNC?

Yeah, I'd say so. That's just my free and unsolicited opinion. It's worth every penny you paid for it.

A behind-the-scenes battle to take the reins of the Republican National Committee is taking off between former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele.


I recognize Michael Steele's name but don't really know much about him. On the other hand Newt definitely is a man with excellent ideas and a record of leading an opposition party back to the front.

Newt's leadership just recently on the campaign to "Drill Here, Drill Now" is ample proof for me that he's got the ideas, energy and communication skills to energize voters well beyond the traditional Republican base.

Looks like a no-brainer to me but we'll just have to wait and see whether the RINO establishment is still strong enough to keep the man they dislike and envy (Newt) out of this job.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Winning the Future?

Have you read Newt's book by that title? Ya should. Get it here.

Read it, then pass it on. If you have read it whattya think of the ideas he puts forward?

Do you have his website up for your daily perusal? Ya should. Bookmark this.

This from Newsmax:
Newt Gingrich says he's ready, willing and able to serve as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“If a majority of the RNC thought he was needed, he would accept that appointment,” Randy Evans, Gingrich’s close friend, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He fully appreciates the urgency of the moment. The RNC has to do some soul-searching and decide what level of change is necessary. If that answer is bold, energetic change led by someone who has done it before, then Newt would be a good choice.”


I can dream I can't I? (gee that'd be a great title for a song) I've always liked the the Glenn Miller version although Karen Carpenter knocked out of the park too.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Stinkin' punishment

Once there was a little boy that lived in the country. They had to use
an outhouse, and the little boy hated it because it was hot in the
summer and cold in the winter and stank all the time. The outhouse was
sitting on the bank of a creek and the boy determined that one day he
would push that outhouse into the creek. One day after a spring rain,
the creek was swollen so the little boy decided today was the day to
push the outhouse into the creek. So he got a large stick and started
pushing. Finally, the outhouse toppled into the creek and floated

That night his dad told him they were going to the woodshed
after supper. Knowing that meant a spanking, the little boy asked why.

The dad replied, "Someone pushed the outhouse into the creek today. It
was you, wasn't it son?"

The boy answered yes. Then he thought a
moment and said, "Dad, I read in school today that George Washington
chopped down a cherry tree and didn't get into trouble because he told
the truth."

The dad replied, "Well, son, George Washington's father
wasn't in the cherry tree."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ceiling or Floor?

Really was grabbed by this quote from Ken Blackwell's column today...

Racial preferences harm minorities. Quotas—the purest form of racial preference—often disadvantage the very people they are intended to help. They are originally intended as floors. If a school has a 20% African-American quota, then the school must have at least 20%. But studies show that the floor eventually becomes a ceiling.

...whole article

I have not been a fan of quotas. Blackwell's turn of phrase stopped me cold and got me to thinking. You could say it was a "striking thought."

I've seen the way quotas harmed men I served with in the Navy (and later in industry) who'd been to very fine colleges. Some were Officers, others were enlisted who'd quit college to enlist. The men of color I'm thinking of had made it to college on their merits. Schools like Stanford...

Sadly their achievement was tarnished by the impression that maybe they'd needed a hand up to be accepted to those colleges. In fact, they'd often outdone, out achieved and worked to a higher standard to get to the same level as their lighter pigmented brothers peers.

I knew these men, respected and loved them based on the content of their character. I resented the shadow cast on their accomplishments by quota systems at the colleges they attended.

On the upside, their military accomplishments were never called into question. The US military is as close to a pure meritocracy as you'll find in our culture. For the most part, in the military -- if you earn it, you wear it.

It used to be if you had an African-American doctor you know you had the best and brightest -- he'd swam upstream all the way and had to out perform at every level just to get a fair shake. Now because of quotas you might wonder if perhaps he had gotten to this place based on some consideration for his ethnicity rather than just his merits. Not good. Not good at all. Not good for him or his patient.

The floor becomes the ceiling.

"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights..."


Here's hoping that internship pays off. The rest of it will have to be OJT (On The Job) training.

Obama Undertakes Presidential Internship To Ease Concerns About His Lack Of Experience

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

There's got to be a morning after

So an African-American is now President-elect. He did it. The symbolism of that for America is huge. Yea for us. Let's hope that heals some wounds and closes the door a bit more on America's "original sin."

I pray that symbolism is mostly satisfied now and I rejoice with those who have felt that hurt and lived with it the sense of disenfranchisement. For that much I am grateful.

NOW moving from symbolism to substance:

What now for conservatives?

Can we finally have a national debate about ideas and what "The One" really wants to change and what his associations say about the security risk he poses to the US? The man's positions are amazingly far to the left.

Will the fair media scrutiny "The One" was spared during the election years finally begin? The man's associations would not have allowed him to get the basic security clearance I needed in the Navy to do my electronics job.

Michele Malkin gets it right...

We gird our loins, to borrow a phrase from our Vice President-elect.

We lock and load our ideological ammunition.

We fight.


First assignment for fiscal conservatives in Washington:

1) Oppose the Democrats’ next stimulus boondoggle.
2) Oppose Obama’s windfall profits tax proposal.
3) Oppose new bailouts for states deep in debt.
4) Oppose new foreclosure prevention measures that will simply provide perverse incentives for borrowers to walk away and delay a needed market correction.
5) No more federal loan guarantees for corporations given that Washington has no idea whether the AIG bailout is “working.”
Game on!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

PawPaw's House: Rifle choices

PawPaw's House: Rifle choices

All the gun you'll ever need?

That's the question that's launched a thousand debates around the hunting camp fire.
For me it's always been the 30-06 I inherited from Dad. It was and still is a magnificent, if plain, old rifle. It's a Winchester Model 70 made in '47. That model has been enshrined by gunwriters as the "Rifleman's Rifle." It has it limitations though.

To be realistic, growing up hunting in the tight wet jungle woods of Western Washington it was really too much rifle and too much cartridge for those close quarters.

Ah, but it was Dad's rifle from our years in Alaska! No barrel too long or cartridge too powerful to satify the romantic notions of a 14-15 yr old boy, tying himself to his father by carrying the rifle he hoped one day to inherit.

This was a working rifle in the wet and cold of Alaska and Washington. The blue was getting to be in sad shape when I finally inherited it after returning from the Navy. I had it reblued -- to a higher finish than original even though that probably would disappoint a proper collector.

Next up I'll refinish the stock. The wood is in good shape but the old organic finish is breaking down and can get sticky when damp. My friend Mr Formby and I have already done a test patch and it should strip easily and will take a coats of Tung or Tru oil nicely.

That's it in the middle. The dull buttstock is where I test stripped the old finish. Below it is the Son&Heir's .270 caliber Model 70 in a custom maple stock (more on that later). That270 was made within weeks of Dad's rifle. Above it an early 90's vintage .300 Win Mag Model 70 "Classic" Super Grade.

Argueably, all 3 rifles are "All the gun you'll ever need."

Dad shot Old Charlie with that rifle (so named by we children -- a grizzled old 54" Bull) during one excursion up the Charlie River. I have an antler tip off that rack at my office desk. The rest of the rack went in as filler in a concrete pour of our front porch in Fairbanks. Imagine that...! I'd love to have that rack on the wall here with me now. But I digress (as my wife breathes a huge sigh of relief)...

Dad took several other moose with his "Rifleman's Rifle" along the Yukon and it's tributaries. All with iron sights, at least one as far as 150 yds away with the old rear peep. Dad shot as well as he bowled -- pretty fair.

Then Paw Paw got me to thinking a coupla' years ago about the venerable "Thutty Thutty" (30-30). He had an interesting post about casting bullets for his 30-30 to use on deer and wild pigs.

The 30-30 is the cartridge that really started the modern era of high velocity hunting cartridges. Oh sure you can argue about this other cartridge and that other cartridge. When it gets down to it every North American hunting cartridge gets compared to either the 30-30, the 30-06, or both.

The 30-30 had taken more deer in North America than any other round. It's really about all the gun you'll ever need. Sure, there's times when you'd want more but with the right load and in the hands of a competent rifleman at a reasonable range it'll git 'er done.

So when I saw a nice, barely used older Marlin 336 in caliber 30-30 sitting in a local Pawnshop for a ridiculous price... Well you can probably guess. /heh

How does a fella rationalize a rifle purchase when his safe is already in need of a tighter packing algorithim AND he and his son both already have "All the gun they'll ever need"?

(that's where the Son&Heir and his .270 comes back into this ramble)

Turns out the Son&Heir is what they call "cross dominant." That is to say in his case, he's right handed with a dominant left eye. That makes for some funny choices when shooting. Mostly he shoots lefthanded. Always from the left with a shotgun. Either hand but mostly lefthanded with a handgun and goes either way with a rifle. Even being righthanded he shoots a scoped rifle better from the left. A right handed boltie, like (magnificent Pre-64 Winchester .270 above) suboptimal for him. He shoots it well enough, but it's just not quite right.

Sooooo, when I see a lever action 30-30 sitting there in a Pawnshop for that ridiculous price...,

what could I do but do what any kind hearted compassionate conservative would do?

I bought it for the children.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Speaking of chickens

Two South American birds of a feather not so funny...

Hugo, Evo -- both playing the populist, Marxist card

Bolivia's President Morales says he is suspending "indefinitely" the
operations of the US anti-drug officials in his country.

Full story

Wonder how this will play out in the saner "Texan" areas of Bolivia? Dunno if it plays into the autonomy struggle at all. Related earlier posts