Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fairy Tales

.......Hat tip to SeaLyon

Back in Business, Finally!

At last the series of storms have blown through, and the power company has restored electricity to just about everyone in the area. The lights went out again last night for a while, but they are now back.

Although this series of storms have been a nuisance, we were prepared enough with propane heating and cooking, kerosene lanterns, water, and food that we got along just fine. The biggest irritation was not being able to blog very much. That was because a big marine deep cycle battery I had on hand that I thought was fully charged was getting near it's end of life and didn't have much capacity. It's true I could have charged it up from one of the vehicles, but I just decided that I would rather leave the gas in the tank instead of burning it to charge batteries.

To put this series of power outages in perspective, I can't remember ever having the power out for more than ten or twelve hours. I remember an outage on Thanksgiving day in 1985, I think, when it was out for ten or twelve, and it was a real pain for everyone as the power went out just about the time everyone had started to cook their Thanksgiving turkeys. The only other big outage I can remember was in 1953 or thereabouts, when the storm blew down the Tacoma Narrows bridge. Even then, the power was only out for a number of hours.

Those power outages were all wind storms. The power outages this time were caused by heavy wet snow overloading tree limbs causing them to break and fall across power lines. In short, this was a really unusual storm for our area, almost a once in a lifetime event. We may have another storm just like it next week, or it may not happen again for another forty years, no one knows!

Even so, I now have a portable generator in the garage, just in case, along with an extra five gallons of gas. A couple of squirts of STA-BIL into the gas will keep it from going bad in storage.

Last night I started to set up the oil furnace so I could easily connect it to the generator, but the furnace wiring is kinda odd the way they did it, so I'm checking with an electrician friend before making any changes.

Now I gotta get some work done that got put aside while the lights were out!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Storm Update - Part II (?)

Still no power since yesterday morning. All batteries are just about dead now. Probably no more posts until the power comes back on. The power company says maybe today, maybe tomorrow for power to be restored. This is really unusual for around here, as it's usually wind that knocks out the power, not snow. We usually don't have to deal with too much cold when the power's gone. We're keeping the chill of the house with an industrial sized ppropane heater in the living room. Fortunately the local rental yard has a generator hooked up to their propane bottle filling pump, so I can get refills. The roads aren't to good, but It's only a mile or so along back roads, so It's not a problem. That's it for now, before the battery goes completely flat........

Monday, November 27, 2006

More Snow - No Electricity

It's 2pm and the electricity is still off. It went out before 9 this morning. I've got a big deep cycle battery from a boat hooked up to an inverter to power the DSL router and the laptop, so I can at least check the email and put up a brief post every so often. I've got a big propane heater in the iving room and a full bottle of propane, so we'll keep warm at least! Before the lights went out this morning KeeWee made a big batch of turkey soup and put it i thermos bottles, so all is OK so far....

I'll keepp you posted as this continues.....

Sunday, November 26, 2006

French Gun Blogging

Go check out Manfred's blog post:

Armes et tir passion

If your French isn't to good, click on the Babelfish translator British flag to see it in english.

I wonder if we could set up a trade with France? For every one like Manfred they send us, we'll send them ten liberals. OK, maybe one hundred liberals. Heck, if they go for it right away, we could throw in Quebec!

I'm sure we could negotiate something! least it stopped raining!


Giant wet soggy snowflakes falling,
casting a beautiful white blanket of .........


Afternoon Entertainment

It's a wet, sloppy, and miserable day outside, so Ill just have to sit inside and do some reading, I guess. Midway catalog, YEP! Sportsman's Guide, CHECK! Natchez Shooter's Supply, Right there!' Brownell's #59, Yup, that one too! That should be enough to keep me entertained for a while.

Speaking of Brownell's, all the great folks who attended the Gun Blogger Rendezvous in Reno this past October took up a collection and bought KeeWee and I a Brownell's gift certificate for two hundred bucks! We both owe a HUGE "THANK YOU" to all of the great bloggers and shooters who showed up in Reno to make it such a success! Got to admit that those folks are a lot of things, including eccentric as all get out, but they're ceertainly not cheap!

I guess I could spend the afternoon making up my shopping list for Brownells. Let's see, a scope mount for my new "Pin Cannon", some grip screws for the Sig P-220, another magazine for the Taurus PT92 Econo Race Gun, another High Standard barrel stud, a good dovetail cutter for cutting sight dovetails, maybe another magazine for KeeWee's High Standard. Maybe some grip panels for the Makarov? Decisions, decisions......

Oh well, someone's got to do it, I guess!

Be Careful Out There!

(Clever and insightful caption goes here)

With the Winter weather now upon us, I thought I'd remind you all to be really careful with the slick streets and sidewalks and all. Ice, especially when wet, can be treacherous, as this deer has found out!

This isn't exactly a caption contest, but if you've got a good caption, lay it on us!

Hat tip to Random and Politically Incorrect

Friday, November 24, 2006

Taurus PT92 Econo Race Gun Project -- Pt. III

In our last installment, we chamfered the magwell and re-worked the magazine release. Now we can get the magazines in and out more quickly, but it's time to address some of the other issues, specifically trigger pull.

For the types of competition in which I will be using this Taurus, double action is not needed. Removing the double action capability in itself, will lighten the trigger pull. How? I no longer need as heavy of a trigger return spring to pull against.

Trigger bar limit block installed in the frame.

First thing was to limit the trigger bar travel so it can't travel far enough rearward to "hook" the double action notch in the hammer. I contemplated several ways to do this. Anything that limits the forward travel of the trigger would do the job, or some sort of stop to limit trigger bar travel should do the same thing. After giving it a lot of thought, I finally settled on making a small plastic (Delrin, actually) block to slip into the notch in the frame aft of the trigger bar. A very slight flange on the stop block would keep it from falling into the gun. Exact angles and dimensions are critical, and a lot of careful filing and fitting went into making the part. Although it fit snugly, I figured it could drift forward if it was not secured in place by more than the grip panel, so I filed a small slot in the part and small matching slots in the frame on either side of the stop piece. A short piece of music wire pushed into the slot and a little peening to keep it from falling out when the panel was off solved that problem. I had to do a little bit of Dremel work on the inside of the right grip panel to get it to fit over the stop block, but it didn't take very much carving.

After removing the left grip panel, you can get the slide stop level spring loose, so the trigger pin can be pushed out. With the slide off you can see where the trigger spring sits, so I made sure I knew how to put it back together. I removed the trigger bar, the trigger, and the trigger spring, and had the old spring as a pattern. It's a simple spring to make, and I made one up out of lighter gauge music wire and put it all back together. While I was rooting around in there, I took a little bit of tension out of the sear spring too. Nothing exotic, just bent it a little bit!

With the trigger in single action only position, at least to my preferences, it sat too far rearward. I've always liked the feel of a slightly wider trigger anyway, so I decided a trigger shoe was in order. I bandsawed out a chunk of scrap aluminum to approximate shape, then started milling, filing and carving until it fit to the trigger. I drilled a hole through it and spot-faced in a bit to get the Allen screw's head below the surface. A little final contouring with the Dremel, a quick glass beading for a matte finish, and it was ready to install.

Trigger shoe in place.

I removed the trigger and held the trigger shoe in place so I could mark the spot to drill and tap the hole. I carefully centered the spring loaded centerpunch on the mark and pushed it down to centerpunch the spot. Not a mark at all, and the point of the centerpunch was slightly smooshed (don't you love those high-tech machinist terms!). The dang trigger was as hard as a drill bit. Probably a heat treatable steel in full hardened condition. Guess it's time for some annealing! I hung the trigger from a piece of wire and heated it dull red with the propane torch, then let it slowly cool off. I re-sharpened the centerpunch, and this time it center-punched just fine. A sharp drill drilled the hole, and then I carefully tapped it for the retaining screw. To take it back to it's hardened state, I heated it red again, then quenched it in water. I ran a file across it once it had cooled, and sure enough, it it was too hard to file. I wire brushed it a bit, oiled it, and put it back into the gun. A small drop of loctite on the retaining screw, then trigger shoe in place, and tighten the screw with an Allen wrench.

After cleaning and lubing everything, I put it all back together to see how it felt. Now the trigger was where it felt like it ought to be, and the wide face gave it a nice feel. The pull was noticeably lighter, but not quite as light as I would like, but there's still some more I can do to lighten it a bit more.

It's getting closer to the goal, but still has quite a ways to go.......

This series of posts are a description of what I did to my own personal Taurus PT92 to modify it for my particular useage. This is NOT a Do-It-Yourself instructional series on how to modify YOUR Taurus. What you choose to do to your own Taurus is up to you and your gunsmith. Just because it worked for me is no guarantee it will work for you.

Do not make any modifications to ANY firearm without consulting a knowledgeable gunsmith first!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Navy Drill Team

Some pretty impressive rifle handling, I'd say!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Photo stolen from Cowboy Blob's blog)

KeeWee, Rocket, the bunnies, the goldfish and I

wish you all a Very Happy Thanksgiving!

Car Skeet Shooting !

Somehow skeet shooting has never quite appealed to me, but here's a video of a version of skeet shooting that I think I could get into, that is, if I could afford it.

Thanks to SondraK for finding this and posting about it!

Joke of the Day!

A man and his wife are awakened, at 3 o'clock in the morning by a loud pounding on the door.

The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push.

"Not a chance," says the husband, "it is 3 o'clock in the morning!"

He slams the door and returns to bed.

"Who was that?" asked his wife.

"Just some drunk guy asking for a push," he answers.

"Did you help him?" she asks.

"No, I did not, it is 3 o'clock in the morning and it is pouring out there!"

"Well, you have a short memory," says his wife. "Can't you remember, about three months ago when we broke down, and those two guys helped us? I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself!"

The man does as he is told, gets dressed, and goes out into the pounding rain.

He calls out into the dark, "Hello, are you still there?"

"Yes" comes back the answer.

"Do you still need a push?", calls out the husband.

"Yes, please!" comes the reply from the dark.

"Where are you?" asks the husband.

"Over here on the swing!", replies the drunk.

All blame for this one goes to Eddie in Ireland.......

Character Quiz VII

UPDATE: I guess I stumped you all withsome of these characters. Here's the answers.

Paul Drake was a detective on the Perry Mason show who worked with Perry.

Abner Peabody was one half of the hilarious pair, Lum and Abner, of the radio show of the same name. Worth the time to track down some of their shows on the NET and listen to them!

Andrew Hogg Brown was the second half of the comedy pair Amos and Andy. The show was cancelled because it was not sufficiently politically correct.

Don Wilson was Jack Benny's announcer.

Buttermilk was Dale Evans's horse.

We haven't had a quiz in a while, so here's some "characters" to identify. As usual, additional information on the character is always appreciated.

Here you go:

1. Paul Drake

2. Abner Peabody

3. Andrew Hogg Brown

4. Don Wilson

5. Buttermilk

I've been WAY too easy on you all with the last few quizzes, so these should be a bit tougher!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Charter Arms .38 Revolver

New .38 Police Undercover Revolver from Charter Arms

Press Release from Charter Arms/MKS Supply:
"The six-shot, +P rated, .38 Police Undercover features a stainless finish and weighs approximately 20 ounces. The fixed sights, standard hammer, soft rubber pancake style grips, and the choice of 2.2” or 4” barrel were designed with law enforcement in mind. “The partnership between Charter and law enforcement goes way back,” says MKS Supply President Charles Brown. “A peace officer demands potent stopping power and, above all, reliability. That’s what the Charter Police Undercover provides.”

High quality, American-made and assembled Charter Arms revolvers are available from reputable firearms distributors nationwide, and carry an unconditional lifetime warranty. For more information contact Charter Arms at 866-769-4867 or on the web at

Scheduled for release in Fall 2006, the Police Undercover carries a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $359.00"

American made, +P rated, six shots, good price, and a lifetime warrantee. What more could you want in a small light concealed-carry revolver?

Weather Still Sucks - More Wind & Rain

The wind is blowing again, rattling the house and driving the rain sideways. The electricity has flickered a couple of times, and I suspect we may lose our lights any time. I hope not as I have lots of work to get finished up today, and I've got to have electricity to do it. I'll just have to sit tight and watch it for a while.

I'll keep you posted as the storms progress......

Monday, November 20, 2006

IPSC - Check This One!

IPSC - Check This One!

Somebody put a whole lot of work into this particular stage! It looks like it'd be fun, though.....

Thanks to Manfred for finding it!

Ammo Day Purchase

Unless you've been in the back of a cave somewhere for the last few months, you probably know that November 19th. is National Ammo Day. I, however, was bad, and did not buy any ammo at all. Instead, I bought a new large caliber toy. It should be here in a few days, and then a full report will follow.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Will You Gross Out the World?

Can you be taken out to a meal in other countries without embarrassing your hosts? Just how bad ARE your manners in other countries? Are you going to gross out the locals?

Hat tip to Eddie in Ireland

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Taurus PT92 Econo Race Gun Project -- Pt. II

As I mentioned in Part I, there are a lot of things that needed a little massaging to get my 9mm. Taurus close to where I wanted it to be. One of the first things I addressed was the darn near impossible to actuate magazine release. On the later PT92's, the magazine release is located on the rear edge of the trigger guard where you can actually reach it.

A newer series Taurus PT92 with the "Findable" magazine release.

Unfortunately, the earlier PT92's had the magazine release on the lower left corner of the grip. To make it even worse, the button barely stuck out at all, and it felt like they used a valve spring from a small block Chevrolet under the button. A quick reload just wasn't gonna happen!

Early magazine release location, with button reversed.

The magazine release button is held onto the shaft with a small roll pin. I drove the pin out, and noticed that the hole through button was closer to one end than the other. By turning the button over, it stuck out noticeably farther. Clipping a coil off of the spring lightened it up some, although I think I could have taken a bit more off and have it still hold the magazine firmly.

So to rework the magazine release, all I had to do was shorten the spring and turn over the button. COOL!

I can see that a fancier button that would hang down a bit lower would be easier to find in a hurry, but for now, the improveement was significant!

While I was messing around with magazine details, I bevelled and polished up the sides of the mag well a bit. A little file work and a little polishing with 600 wet-or-dry and the magazines were much easier to insert.

A little filing and polishing to the mag well entry.

The end result will be the combination of little improvements here and there, each one adding to improving the useability of my Taurus PT92. Lots of stuff still to do, but this is a start.....

End of Part II. (Stay tuned!)

This series of posts are a description of what I did to my own personal Taurus PT92 to modify it for my particular useage. This is NOT a Do-It-Yourself instructional series on how to modify YOUR Taurus. What you choose to do to your own Taurus is up to you and your gunsmith. Just because it worked for me is no guarantee it will work for you.

Do not make any modifications to ANY firearm without consulting a knowledgeable gunsmith first!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Gene Pool Improvement Attempt Fails

In Witchita a would be kidnapper made a fairly good attempt to remove himself from the gene pool. When he pushed his handgun into his waistband he managed to discharge the weapon, striking himself in the left testicle. Apparently when he flinched, he managed to fire a second shot, this time into his left calf.

The cops arrested him at the hospital.

Just too bad he didn't take another couple of shots, after all, everyone misses once in a while......

The whole story is here.

Credit to AP for carrying the story, and to Marc for letting me know about it!

Statisticians Go Hunting.......

Found this over at Engineering Johnson's place. Having worked at the "Really Big Airplane Company" it's scary just how close to the truth this probably is!

Three statisticians went deer hunting.

They spied a deer in the woods. The first statistician shot, and missed the deer by being a foot too far to the left. The deer was alarmed but froze in place, giving the second statistician a shot. He missed the deer by being a foot too far to the right.

The third cried, "We hit it!"

Storm Joke

A priest and a pastor from the local churches are standing by the side of the road, pounding a sign into the ground, that reads:

The End is Near!
Turn Yourself Around Now
Before it's Too Late!

As a car sped past them, the driver yelled, "Leave us alone, you religious nuts!"

From the curve they heard screeching tires and a big splash.

The priest turns to the pastor and asks, "Do you think the sign should just say "Bridge Out?"

Hat tip to Uncawho for this one!

After The Storm

The storm has finally blown and rained itself out, and we weathered it without problem, other than now being a bit backed-up as to my workload.

Having a power outage once in a while is actually a good thing, as it makes you use some of your emergency stuff and you get to find out what still works and what doesn't. I have now been reminded to be more careful about keeping my extra 12V. batteries fully charged, and I also need to stock up a bit on flashlight batteries.

Now I have to get back to work.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Washington Storm Report

Since roughly 3am. KeeWee and I have been without electricity due to the series of storms hitting Western Washington. I am blogging from my laptop, with the DSL router plugged into a uninterruptable power supply. I have no idea how long the router will run before the battery is exhausted. I am holding a mini-maglite in my teeth so I can see the keyboard to type! At times like this I certainly do envy touch typists! We are warm and dry, and there has been no damage to the house or outbuildings so far. It sounds like the worst of the storms have been hitting North of us. It's not the wind velocities that are such a problem, as it is the thorough soaking the ground has received over the last few days, loosening the soil and making otherwise stable tree go over in winds they normally would withstand. We are in good shape with plenty of food and water, lots of full propane bttles for the portable heaters, and plenty of guns and ammo. Shouldn't need the guns and ammo, but we're ready, anyhow!

I better get this posted, as I don't know how long the batteries are going to last.

Keep your powder dry!!

UPDATE: The UPS battery expired before I got this posted, so I grabbed the 300W inverter I carry in the RV for emergencies and hooked it up to a fairly good sized 12v. sealed lead acid battery from a big UPS. This got the router going again, so now I can get this posted, I hope......

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Spider Boat Pic's & Cat Blogging Again......

While I was looking for more pictures of the strange and mysterious "Spider Boat" I came across Dave Smock's Blog, and it turns out that he got a chance to take a few pictures of the craft in Anacortes, Washington, where it was built. His blog also has a whole lot of very good pictures about all sorts of stuff, scenery, bridges, fog, boats, you know, just cool pictures! I "Borrowed" the cat picture to give you an idea of the quality you will find on his blog. Go have a look, tell him Mr. Completely sent you, that ought to confuse the daylights out of him!

"No Wait" Emergency rooms!

KeeWee over at KeeWee's Corner has a solution for you if you have to go to the hospital emergency room and don't want to have a long wait. I suspect it would reduce wait times in a lot of other places, too! Check it out!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Jack Palance --- R.I.P.

Jack Palance, one of my favorite movie actors, has died of natural causes at the age of 87. If you are looking for a movie to rent, you might consider "Shane", "City Slickers", or even the quirky independent film "Bagdad Cafe". Each show a completely different side of a very talented actor.

Rest in Peace, "Curly".

Last Pin Shoot of the Year -- SIGH......

KeeWee in the process of retiring LouG from the Rimfire Optical class.

I have no idea how we managed to squeeze in two reasonably nice days, weatherwise, in between all of the wind and rain storms we've had for the last two weeks, but we did. The weather was amazingly pleasant for this time of the year with the sun peeking through from time to time brightening up the day.

In qualifying, we witnessed the shot of the year, and the table of the year, both by LarryF. Chris was timing in with his revolver, and used his first six rounds, leaving several pins still on the table. He reloaded and cleared the table, except for one pin still standing, with his next six rounds. Since you get to discard the times from one table anyway, Chris decided to quit on that particular table. Larry, who was standing behind the firing line, and perhaps eight or ten feet behind the white fence and at least 40 to 45 feet away, picked up a rock and threw it at the sole standing pin. The rock hit the pin squarely on the red emblem with enough force to send it sailing off the pin table! WOW!

When Larry was shooting his .45 in qualifying, he shot the table of the year. His first shot hit the right-most pin on it's edge, sending it into the pin next to it, starting a domino effect which knocked the two left hand pins off of the table, and the shot pin also rolled off of the table, leaving two pins on the table. Larry then used one shot for each remaining pin, ending up clearing five pins from the table with three shots! Again, WOW!

After timing in, we got on with the match. As has been the case lately, "Evil Al" was pretty much unbeatable, so whoever got to shoot against him was done for the day. That means bad news for anyone who qualifies near the top, as you get to meet Al early in the elimination process. In optical sight centerfire I met Al in my first round and got eliminated. Al then eliminated everyone else he met to win the class.

In the revolver class, LouG got to meet Al first, and was quickly eliminated. I got to go against Al next, with the same results. I was hoping to get a chance to shoot revolvers against Lou, but it was not to be. Young Tony managed to win one table from Al, but then Al got serious and kicked Tony's backside soundly. So much for centerfire......

Rimfire Iron sight, a class where I usually do poorly, was about as expected. JimP nocked me out in the first round and went on to win the class, beating Mountain Man Phil in the final.

Rimfire Optical sight class was unusual to say the least! I had a couple of stove-pipes with the long barreled High Standard in qualifying so I ended somewhere down the list a bit. In the first round with my S&W 422 I came up against Rainy (Mrs. Al), and narrowly got eliminated. At least I still had my High Standard in the running. I met up with Tony in the first round and FINALLY managed to not be eliminated in the first dang round! There was a bye in there somewhere, and I ended up in the semi-final.

KeeWee had already dispatched LouG in an earlier round. KeeWee had won the first table, and Lou had a jam on the second table, allowing her to advance. That put me against KeeWee in the semi-final. On the first table she shot a near perfect table, getting five pins with five shots, and in good time, where I had knocked one over and needed a sixth shot to get it off the table. Even so, it was very close. The second table we both used six shots, but she shot quickly, again narrowly winning the table. At least I can take consolation in the fact that I taught her to shoot! KeeWee was in the final!

Al had come up against Rainy in an earlier round, and 'helped' Rainy a bit, allowing her to win the round and also reach the final. It was an 'All Ladies' final. Rainy narrowly won the first table. KeeWee was leading on the second table, and had one pin to go to tie it up when the red dot went out in the sight. Unfortunately that allowed Rainy to win the final, with KeeWee in a very respectable second place.

Rainy better watch out for next year........

For KeeWee's post on the pin shoot, click HERE!

Super Soup?

A pool filled with non-newtonian fluid

Any of you physics geeks out there have a good explanation for this stuff? Is this really just corn starch and water, or is something else going on here?

Found at

Friday, November 10, 2006

Who Do You Believe?

How do you score these statements for credibility and truthfulness?

1. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei:
"Congressional elections a victory for Iran. "

2. Democratic congressional leaders: "......they had no plans for a quick withdrawal of U.S. forces. "

3. Former British Ministry of Defense Chief: "Aliens could attack at any time"

4. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: "..... the Democratic victories were healthy for U.S. politics."

5. Howard Dean: "We Won't Impeach Bush"

Last CWSA Bowling Pin Shoot of the Year

Tomorrow, 11/11/06, is the last scheduled bowling pin match of the year at Central Whidbey Sportsman's Assn. in Coupeville, Washington. Signup is at 9am., with shooting starting after all have signed up.

We will start with all shooters shooting four qualifying tables of five pins per table against the clock to determine first round matchups. After qualifying we will start the single elimination matches. The qualifying process will ensure that your first round opponent will be of a skill level similar to your own skills. You must win two out of three tables against your opponent to advance to the next round, otherwise you are out!

Normal eye and ear protection is required, and full metal jacket bullets are not permitted. Lead bullets, plated bullets, and hollow points are all acceptable.

There will be several classes, including

Full size pins

Optical Sight - Centerfire

Iron Sight - Centerfire

Any Sight - Revolver

6" Pin Tops

Optical Sight - .22 Rimfire

Iron Sight - .22 Rimfire

The shooting stations are covered, so we will shoot rain or shine. This will be the last pin shoot until early next Spring, so come on out and give it a try!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Construction

I got these pictures in an email from MaryS, and to call these spectacular is an understatement! This bridge is being constructed near Tacoma, Washington, across the Tacoma Narrows. The bridge is being built next to the existing bridge to allow for higher traffic volumes.

The tops of both bridges poking through the clouds, with Mount Rainier in the background.

The Tacoma Narrows fills in with fog, just like a river valley.

Looking down on the clouds.

Without the fog, WAY up in the air!

I don't think I'd be too comfortable on those catwalks, not by a long shot!

Another beautiful picture, with Mount Rainier in the distance.

Unfortunately, like a lot of pictures floating around the Internet, the name of the original photographer is unknown. An Internet search failed to turn up the photographer's name.

If you know who took these beautiful pictures, please leave a comment below, so I can give proper credit where a lot of credit is due!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

GO VOTE ! ! !

It's election day, a time when a lot of gun owners do what they usually do on election day, stay home. This is going to be an extremely important election as to our 2nd. Amendment Rights.

Just remember that the Democrats, when in power, gave us the so called "Assault Weapons" ban. The Republicans, when they got into power, removed it. Don't forget which party wants your guns. Without the 2nd. Amendment, the rest of the amendments don't mean much, as history has shown.

Go vote.

Vote for your gun rights.

I'm not too happy with a lot of the Republicans in office, but as bad as some of them are, they're still better than the alternatives........

Monday, November 06, 2006

Now THAT'S a Launch......

10,900 visitors, and still two hours to go. WHEW!

Earlier today I checked in at Sitemeter to see what sort of traffic volume was wandering through the blog. To my amazement it showed something like 8,000 visits today! "Humpff!", I thought, "Sitemeter must be broke...."

I took a look to see how many were looking at the blog at that moment, and it was over one hundred! Yowzers! There really ARE that many folks checking out my blog!

It turns out that my post and pictures on the "Mysterious Spider Boat" had been discovered by a website called, and they linked to the story. Then some others found it on Reddit, and also linked to it. From there it sorta snowballed.

Hope some of them enjoy the other stuff around here and come back once in a while!

Carnival of Cordite

The Carnival of Cordite is now posted for your reading enjoyment.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

CWSA Steel Challenge - 11/05/06

We just managed to sneak our match in between wind storms and rain squalls, but we managed to finish up just before it started raining. Perfect timing! With the iffy weather a lot of shooters stayed home, probably figuring they didn't really want to shoot in the rain.

It was another good day for "Evil Al", who managed to win every class he entered, which was most of them. There were no real surprises in the final results, with everyone finishing about where they usually finish. I managed a second place behind Al in Open Rimfire and a second place, again behind Al, in Open Centerfire. In Open Revolver I was third, behind Al and LouG. Considering I was getting penalized 10 seconds for not using a holster (don't have one!) that's not too bad a placing.

The penalty pretty much guarantees that no matter how well you shoot, you can't win. For example, on the Smoke and Hope stage I would have had to get within roughly a half a second of the world record four times in a row to move into second place on that stage. To win the stage would have required world record times!

The whole idea of the penalty is not to make it a level playing field, but to encourage shooters to get holsters. A couple of good speed holsters and a belt runs about $300, so I'm going to have to think hard about that. Since I just shoot these matches for the fun of it anyway, I'm not sure if it's worth $300 to me to move up the standings a spot or so.

The closest match of the day was in Rimfire Limited class, where JimP and Mountain Man Phil were within a few tenths of a second of each other.

Once the match was completed, we all lent a hand getting the plates and stands and other equipment loaded up and stowed back in the storage shed before the rain started.

We all had a good time, and owe a big "Thanks" to Al, Lou, and Rainy for putting it on!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Mysterious "Spider Boat"

These pictures were taken in the Port of Ilwaco on the Washington State coast. The crew wore civilian clothes but guarded the boat closely and would not answer any questions. It was suggested it may be something Boeing is working on. The pontoons appear to be made of very thick rubber and may be fuel cells. Note that each of the steel spider-like legs are jointed in three places. Perhaps the boat can be lowered in calm seas and raised when it is rough. The boat had no name or number...

A friend who lives there said it arrived out of the fog the night before.

Rivrdog's new yacht?

The crew would not say who they were or where they were from, and were not allowed to discuss the craft. Notice how the rear of the cabin can be lowered into the water but has a very small prop .

One man stayed on the float at all times ... none wore uniforms.

Looking a bit like the bridge of a spacecraft, the mystery vessel's cockpit hangs about 15 feet above the water.

Then on October 6, in San Francisco Bay:

Today's photo of the day is of Marina Bay's newest tenant. A number of readers alerted us to the arrival of this unique craft on Tuesday, so we did some research - or at least tried to. Precious little is publicly available about this craft, but we were able to dig up a few facts: It was designed by prolific Bay Area yacht designer Jim Antrim from Ugo Conti's original concept; it's 100 feet long and 50 feet wide; it's powered by twin diesel engines; the inflatable hulls were built by Arcata's Wing Inflatables; the craft was assembled in Anacortes, WA (where it was spotted several times during apparent sea trials); and it's capable of crossing oceans with "as much, if not more, stability than a normal catamaran," according to Jim Antrim.

As we were snapping this shot a fellow gawker noted, "It looks like a windshield wiper." In reality, it's one of four gigantic shock absorbers.

It's all very hush-hush, but a press conference is forthcoming in the next few weeks that will hopefully answer the most pressing question: "What's it for?" We'll let you know as soon as we find out, built.

Followup: Several places on the web seem to have just about the same information on this interesting craft, but some big questions remain unanswered, such as who owns it, and what do they plan to use it for?. I found one picture that shows the "Aft Cabin" section being a separate unit that can be used as a launch. The picture also shows the craft in motion and by the amount of water thrown up astern, it looks like it's a jetboat, rather than conventional propellers. Although the legs are attached to the hulls with large leaf springs, I don't see any damping, or shock absorbers. I wonder why not?
This post is from an email from MaryS. Original source is not known......

Friday, November 03, 2006

A letter to John F. Kerry:

A letter to John F. Kerry:

Mr. John F. Kerry

Dear Sir:

As you know the elections are almost upon us, with only a few days left. Here in Washington State there are some extremely close races, according to the polls. I realize your schedule is really tight, but there are candidates here in Washington that could really use your help. A personal appearance by you could make all the difference in the world.

If it would be possible for you to come to Washington State and make some public appearances for Maria Cantwell (D), it would be great. We sure would appreciate it!

Thanking you in advance for your help,

...... The Committee to Elect Mike McGavick (R)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

John Says.....

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

3D Deutz engine animation - WOW! Email From Bill

From my friend Bill:


I would like to take the time to write a more substantive piece on this, but I have several appointments to keep across WA state as I leave in just minutes for Pullman WA to be with our daughter Shannon for Dad's Weekend at Washington State University.

Background: I retired fm the U.S. Navy as a Commander (O-5) 13 years ago, having passed on the opportunity for promotion to O-6 rather than serve in the military under then Commander-in-Chief Clinton. The price: giving up $1M+ in pay & benefits over my lifetime, giving up for life senior officer/VIP status, giving up 10 years of (to be frank) easy duty as a senior officer in command & senior staff jobs back here in the USA, and, most importantly, giving up the opportunity to serve our nation & lead our smart, dedicated & courageous Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines & Guardsmen.

Speaking to a college crowd in California, John Kerry recently Swift-Boated himself by saying, "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." Make no mistake --- John Kerry said exactly what he really meant. During my 20 years of service, including duty in Washington DC, I observed, many times, the condescending, disdainful attitude of lightweight (so-called) liberal McGovern-Wing Democrats toward our military & our military people.

In addition, please consider the following facts:
--(So-called) Liberal, McGovern Wing Democrats, by far, dominate the Democrat Party.
--The Democrats have a very weak bench when it comes to National Defense & International Affairs issues. They have little expertise in these areas & very little interest in them...unless they are criticizing Republican efforts to preserve, protect & defend Our Nation.
--Democrats typically under-fund & under-supply our military. Remember the days of Troops on foodstamps under Jimmy Carter & the days of tying up ships & grounding aircraft to cannibalize them for spare parts so other units could operate, also under Jimmy Carter. This while the then Soviet Union was conducting rapid, aggressive military expansion, especially in the areas of naval infrastructure & global naval operations.
--Democrats continually undermine the military from within by pushing for wasteful, sit-around, naval-gazing, touchy-feely social programs within the military & pushing for still more homosexualizing/feminizing/lesbianizing of our military.
--Democrats typically cut the all-up, ready-to-go, go-get-em operating forces of the military & shift many of their missions to the Guard & Reserves. For instance, then Commander-in-Chief Clinton & his party forced the military to do this to a very large degree during his administration. Hence, the situation where, today, the Guard & Reserves deploy regularly on combat & combat support operations in Iraq & Afghanistan doing missions that once would have been done by our, once adequate in number, regular military operating forces.
--Democrats typically do their very best to avoid developing & buying new weapons systems, except on occasion(s) when the weapon system(s) is/are made in their own district(s). Nearly every weapon system we now use in the War On IslamoTerrorism was opposed doggedly & vehemently by the McGovern Wing of the Democrat Party. Why? They wanted/want to waste more money on welfare-state social programs & ridiculous eco-extremism.
--The once great Democrat Party, in the now-far-distant-past, stopped their politics at the US waterline & supported America & long-term American interests. Now they immediately & regularly jump-in with statements & actions calculated to give them short-term political gain while undermining our courageous Troops and giving aid, comfort & propaganda advantage to Our Nation's enemies.

The bottom line: John Kerry said exactly what he really meant & what the McGovern Wing of the Democrat Party means. If you want more of what I outlined in the paragraph immediately above, by all means, vote Democrat.

If you are grateful for & proud of Our Troops, if you want to combat actions such as those in the paragraph above, and if want to aggressively fight IslamoTerrorism far from our own shores --- then vote Republican, and even more importantly, call & email all Republicans & Conservatives you know and urge them, in the very strongest terms, to get out & vote Republican in the upcoming election.

Forward this to anyone who, in your judgement, will use it wisely for Conservative & Republican advantage. I well realize that it will get in the hands of appeasement-minded someone(s) who will disagree or be offended by the facts & that I will receive blowback from them. As usual, I accept responsibility & am ready to handle their problem(s).

God Bless You & God Bless America!

Bill M.

Project Valour-IT - Fund Raising

Project Valour-IT is a fantastic effort to raise money to buy voice actuated laptop computers for use by injured servicemen and women who, due to injuries to their hands and/or arms, are unable to use a regular computer keyboard. This allows them to stay in touch with their friends and loved ones by email, something very important during their recuperation and rehabilitation.

Teams of bloggers have been set up, each named for a particular branch of the service, to allow a bit of friendly competition in terms of the amount of money raised by each team. The finest, wittiest, and clearly the most handsome team is the Navy team, of course, and if you click on the button over on the sidebar you can make a Paypal donation to the project which will be credited to Team Navy.

If, after making a sizeable donation to Team Navy's effort to raise money for project Valour-IT, you still feel like helping the less fortunate teams affiliated with the other branches of the armed forces, you can go HERE and help them out a bit too! It all goes to the same place, regardless of which team you credit.....

Here's links to the fine and upstanding bloggers of Team Navy:

Chaotic Synaptic Activity (Team Leader)

Thoughts by Seawitch





Chaotic Synaptic Activity

Mountain Philosopher

Diggers Realm

Steeljaw Scribe


Media Lies


Random Thoughts Of YetAnother Military Member


Marvin's Word

Lords of Kobol

The Bow Ramp

Morning Coffee

Captain's Quarters

Deus Et Patria

Rants and Raves

Gazing at the Flag

Mr. Completely

Stix Blog


Superhero Historians


Geezerville USA

A Lady's Ruminations

Neptunus Lex


All contents copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and beyond, unless otherwise noted