Monday, August 31, 2009

looking back for some mellow

been busy and a lot of intense emotions lately. Big season of life change and stuff breaking at the same time. Throw in 115F+ heat. Blogging? /meh not so much.

Took a minute to scan these old photos while getting a bite of lunch at my desk today.

Dawn patrol memories from the mid-90's.
Really had to step back and lean to get that board lined up in time for the beach break lip to come over. Not much rocker in that stick and a single fin made it interesting to turn in a hurry.

Same crew, different morning spot. Oh Danny boy, it's good to see you there in the background.

Love that hot coffee thermos after cold winter morning surf.

That board was stolen some time later. My "little brother from another Mother" has moved on to adventures and life from Alaska to Argentina. Miss the board. Miss my brother Dan even more.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mr Fix-it

Busy, busy. Stuff to fix.

Dishwasher, hot water heater, pool heater, relationships, stuff at church, anti-freeze in the drive under a car tonight (that needs to carry kids to a church event up north tomorrow), and so on.

Spent good money a few years ago on a new dishwasher only to have the racks rust out in short order. Found replacements on line. They ain't cheap. Finally got around to ordering. Arrived today and installed after work. Looking good.
It's good to be alive. I mean considering the alternative. /heh

Brown truck of happiness also dropped on this box. This does NOT fall under the heading of necessity. It's a diversion -- more on that later. Any guesses?

In other news, we're having a heatwave. Over 105F the last couple days. Enjoying the pool (while we can).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Let me get this straight

We're going to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose head says he doesn't understand it,

Passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it,

Signed by a president that also hasn't read it and who smokes,

With funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes,

Overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and

financed by a country that's nearly broke.

What could possibly go wrong?

Monday, August 24, 2009

College course crashers

First day of classes at the local college. These two got to crash before they even made it to first day of Fall term classes needing "crashed."

I was just a bit behind daughter #1 and her Taurus this morning on my way to work. I didn't actually see it happen but did see the great cloud of smoke from skidding tires. It was like the first turn at Daytona. Traffic backed up as the college turn off approached and then slowed suddenly -- too suddenly for the young woman behind her in the Chevy Cobalt.

The Chevy got the worst of it -- and should get the bill. /heh

ooo, owie, owie...

I was glad I was there to help them get off the road -- they were a bit amp'd up and hadn't thought to step over the railing to a safer spot. The traffic was crazy out there.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sleep deprivation... really underrated as a drug.
We picked up the Son&Heir at the airport upon his return from first NROTC camp.

The fuzzy dim picture is appropriate. Pretty much sums up the way these young men were feeling after 4 days and nights of drill and Gunny_up_in_your face culture shock on 2-3 hours of sleep.

Rocked his world.

Growth experience. :-)

Want to have a little fun this morning? Stand at the foot of his bed and holler "'tention on DECK" /heh

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rahm's Roundup

Lex posted a dandy roundup of the Democrat's dilemma on healthcare -- maintaining th necessary coalition of votes while not losing their Congressional majority in 2010.

I wonder if some of the electorate are starting to ask themselves “What healthcare crisis?”

I wonder how many of them saw the study that reported that on average the uninsured American is more satisfied with the healthcare they receive than the average Canadian who gets “the government option?”

Deo Volente, enough folks are questioning just how big a change we should risk in order to fix a 5% problem.

I watched my Dad as a hospital adminstrator in the 70's struggle with increasing government controls (Nixon's wage and price controls not the least of it). I learned a lot about the market distortions and unintended consequences of government involvement.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Regaining Opus' perspective

helpful after the last coupla days and posts...

A moment this morning with the pumpkin and rose patch.

"Perfecta" in perfect form...

God's green earth. Refreshment.

Monday, August 17, 2009

blank stare...

a bit of melancholy today...

A young man, taking a grown man's oath. On his own. Hundreds of miles from home in a room full of complete strangers. Like many thousands before him.

No photo op for Mom.

Did you hear the apron strings snap?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Time passages

Running out to the airport between services at church this morning. The Son&Heir is flying off for his first ROTC event; a 4 day indoc camp before starting freshman year.

This time tomorrow he will have raised his right hand, taken an oath and written all of us a blank check with his life for the next 8 years or so.

And so the adventure begins...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A small thing

Doesn't look like much, just a patch in flagstone were the trench was cut to run water and drain for the new patio. But, it is a first for me -- cutting and setting stone in mortar (over a concrete base).

It took a lot more mortar than I expected. I had to mix a 2nd batch halfway through.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pucker up

Man, you just blink and those little finger sized pickles are too large for canning and you've got to make spears or chips of them.
12 qts tonight. A respectable 1st effort if I do say so myself.
Plenty of dill and garlic in these. Now to wait and see how they taste. A bit concerned about sealing of 2nd batch -- it's late and I'm wondering if I got the rings tight enough and the headspace right.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Range day

First up the AR15. Check out the nifty brass catcher bag!

Bought the M16A2 front sight tool online and cranked the front post all the way down. From what we saw a couple weeks ago at the 25yd line we estimated it needed at least 10 clicks down. Maybe 12. Only got 8 or 9 clicks before bottoming out the adjustment. I'll need to file it down if it needs to move more.

Next up the .270 Winchester Model 70. We've been meaning for the Son&Heir to make this his primary hunting rifle since I got it a couple years ago and sighted it in. Somehow or other we hadn't got it to the range with him. This is his first shot with with it -- just for familiarization.

Ok. So both of them are on the paper at 50 yds.

...and some actions shots. It's a blur! Slinging that bolt like Tommy with his SMLE during a mad minute!

...and now that he's a bit more familiar with the rifle and the larger round -- a leaning supported offhand.
No pic of the paper for those shots but still minute of goblin at 50yds. Prolly about an 8 ring effort.

Check out the figure in that custom maple stock. Yeah. Eat yer heart out Roy Weatherby!

A different sort of pickle

This is the morning view at my desk.

I finally got around to getting a new camera for my 'scopes. The unit was a goner and I couldn't interface economically to a video micrometer measurement system. That's it in the eyepiece of the overarm inspection style scope. It also attaches directly to the C-mount on my trinocular metallurgical scope at the back/left of the photo.

This is one of the new fangled USB style cameras. The prices are an order of magnitude lower than for the old systems (esp when you take into account the value of the measurement capability integrated with the camera software). It came with nifty software for onscreen measurement. No more messing with the old IEEE 1394 lines, convertor and powersupply hardware to get the CCD image converted to a format the PC can handle. That old system made for quite a rats nest of cables around the scope.

The new camera should not only get me back online but with less clutter on the bench(and higher resolution) -- if I can just get it to work. No joy on first tries after loading the software on my PC.

Got dill?

I'm in a pickle -- at least I will be if I don't find Grandma Moore's dill pickle recipe before this evening.

This was the morning scene in the sink after a quick trip to the garden. A couple of those larger ones about got away from me. Just this weekend they were no larger than my thumb. I'll have to make spears or chips out of some of the larger ones.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

back to blogging

been away a few days -- was tied up with a wedding (rehearsal Sunday, ceremony Monday afternoon).

Woke up to this view through the living room window.
A merry mess of rose and pumpkin blossoms.

Monday, August 10, 2009

That'll do pig

Not much more to say about home grown and canned sauce. Already said 'nuff about the amazing qty of tomatoes, time, water and heat required to produce a few jars of sauce.

Just a pic of the end use.
Sweet to my taste. Literally and metaphorically.

A bit too sweet for M'lady but I liked it and the kids made short work of it.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Jack is takin' over!

Jack o' Lantern that is...

The pumpkin plant is taking over the rose bed. I planted it there on a whim and am getting a kick out of seeing it take over the world. There's at least one pumpkin under there already the size of a soccer ball.

I love to put up pumpkin in the freezer. Maybe read up on canning it this year. The Wife and Significant Other has rockin' recipes for pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread.

At the other end of the new patio we're getting some nice blooms from the little antique rose. The bell pepper plant is finally busting out and putting on a couple blooms too.

In the meantime I'm turning some tomatoes into canned juice on the stove at the moment. The weekend cook is typing this waiting for the water to get hot for spaghetti noodles and sauce made from the first tomato canning adventure. Should be close to a gallon to put up.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Coming back

From personal finance writers the "Dolans"

12 things making a comeback in this recession.

1. Layaways Return
2. Cold Hard Cash
3. Coupons -- with a twist
4. Making your own heat
5. Cloth diapers (*ed: this idea stinks)
6. Seller Financing
7. Lease to buy
8. Christmas Clubs
9. Ironing
10. Family dinners and homegrown food
11. Public transportation
12. Pre-paid phones

Good stuff. Getting away from fretting and into practical_take_charge_John_Galt_action.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Parts is parts

The Red, White & Blue Truck of Happiness came yesterday with some odd bits needed to dial in the Son&Heirs AR15 the rest of the way.

We got to the range last weekend and functioned tested it. The windage adjust dialed in quickly. However, the elevation adjustment is on the front sight post. We need to move it down about 12 clicks. It can be done with .223 FMJ bullet tip but we didn't want to risk marking up the finish on the sight.

There's an M16A2 style front sight adjust tool in that pile. Also there is a "bullet button" mag release and a nifty little "bullet button tool" keychain. The CA legal mag release we installed requires an allen wrench every time the mag is pulled. It is a ridiculous bit of hardware. This style release should be a nice upgrade.

There's a new extended upper action release pin in the pile too. I have a spare lower parts kit that was missing that pin so figured I get one in on this order on the same postage charge.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

blowing in the wind (?)

A Leaderless Revolution
The real problem the politicians face is that there is no opposition leader. In fact, there are no leaders at all. The hallmark of the grassroots uprising now befuddling and deflating the Washington political elite (and their mainstream media factotums) is that they are flying in the face of a Leaderless Revolution soundlessly inundating the very air they breathe.

It is amorphous. It is dauntless. It is unyielding. And it needs no person or party to state its case or fight its cause.

h/t NetRightNation

Monday, August 3, 2009

Traction? You gotta be joking

Yeah. No joke.

This is the sort of thing that can get some traction in the collective consciousness.

The part of the me that attempts to be a dispassionate observer says, "Brillant and elegant in it's simplicity."

The right of center part of me screams, "YEAH BABY!"

h/t Newsbusters

Will it get any traction?

It could.