Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Washington Ferry in Rough Water

If you've been a reader here for a while, you are familiar with the fact that KeeWee and I live on a very large island, Whidbey Island. There are three main ways to get on and off of Whidbey, the Deception Pass pridge on the North end, the Keystone Washington State ferry West to Port Townsend, or the Clinton Washington State Ferry on the South end that takes you East towards Everett and Seattle, docking in Mukilteo.

It's not a long ferry ride from Clinton to Mukilteo, perhaps 20 minutes. About ten days ago there was a fairly good wind storm, but nothing spectacular. What WAS spectacular, however, was just how rough Puget Sound was where the ferry crosses to Mukilteo. When you get the tide running one way and the wind going the other way, it can get incredibly rough.

As the ferry Cathlamet was nearing Mukilteo a local photographer took some spectacular photos. These Issaquah 130 Class ferries are over 300 feet long and 78 feet wide and weigh in at 2477 tons (4,954,000 lbs) unloaded.

I've never seen a ferry take that much water over the bow!

All pictures: Click on picture enlarge

I'm glad I wasn't on that particular run. Knowing that the State of Washington had set the specifications for the boat and that it was built by the lowest bidder would not have been very reassuring!

CWSA Falling Plate Match - 10/27/2007

One thing about the CWSA rimfire falling plate matches, you get in a lot of shooting in a relatively short amount of time. It seems like you are either shooting, reloading, helping score, or "On Deck" to go shoot. Saturday was no exception, and the competition was fast and furious. It seemed like just about everyone was shooting faster than usual. It is a round robin head-to-head format, so you shoot three times against every other shooter, and every one of them could beat you if you gave them even the slightest chance. Miss a plate and need a second shot and you most likely will lose that run.

The stop plates, which must be knocked over after the other five plates have been knocked over, were in either position two, or position five, one in from the end. The fastest way, in my opinion, is to shoot the four in a row first, skip over the stop plate for the outside plate, then come back a short distance for the stop plate. This is also the riskiest way, as the last big plate and the stop plate are side by side, and if you miss the big plate, you will already have shot the stop plate before you know you missed the big one, which loses you that run. If you slow up enough to be sure you hit the last big plate, your opponent will get their stop plate ahead of you, so you have to shoot and assume you hit it, and make sure you don't miss! To put it in perspective, reaction time from the buzzer to the first shot for most people is about a second. A reasonable time for all six plates is around 2 1/2 seconds, so that means six shots in a second and a half! Not a lot of time to be thinking about it!

I didn't make any big mistakes until I came up against Rainy, and I missed the big plate, shot the stop plate, and lost the round. I did manage to take the other two, though, but when the results were tallied, this mistake came home to bite me. I even managed to get by Evil Al winning two, and losing one, but they were really close runs. Everything else was going fairly well, until I came up against KeeWee, and I had a failure to fire (good strike on it ,too) but by the time I cleared it she had me. The second table I had a mis-feed after the second shot, and she got me again! I did manage to win the third one, though. Rainy had managed to tie Al on one table.

When the final scores were added up, Al had beat me by one half a point for all the marbles. That one mistake cost me. The failure to fire and the mis-feed cost too, but I still would have been OK.

Some days are like that, but any time I'm even close to Al, I figure I've done OK, and it was a ton of fun giving him a run for it!

Maybe next time..........


Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm still here, sorta......

As I mentioned before, I don't know how it works that I can be all caught up on work, take fours days off to go to the Gun Blogger Rendezvous, and when I return I'm at least two weeks behind! If I can weather the next eight or ten days I should hopefully be caught back up. In the meantime, KeeWee and I are off tomorrow morning to a CWSA rimfire falling plate match. Right after the match we are switching from the car to the mini-RV and heading to South Western Washington to spend all day Sunday working, then back home on Sunday night. I've got a bunch of work to get finished up on Monday and Tuesday, and then Wednesday afternoon I'm off to the Olympic Peninsula with the RV to spend Wednesday afternoon and evening, and most of Thursday at a clients business location. Thursday night I'm back (hopefully) for the Fishin' Club's meeting and annual smoked salmon derby. On Sunday it's back to CWSA for either a hanging plate or a falling plate match, depending on the weather. On Monday KeeWee is off to New Zealand for two weeks to visit family. Blogging will be understandably a bit light.

On Tuesday I don't think I'm even going to get out of bed.........

..... z z z z z z z z z z z z z z !

Reno Automobile museum

While we were in Reno ,we decided to go have a look at thew Reno Automobile museum. Bill Harrah used to have a huge automobile museum in Reno, but when it was going to be sold off, a non-profit group formed to save as much of the collection as possible and keep it in Reno. They've done an admirable job.

This trike was on display in the lobby.

The workmanship on absolutely everything was amazing. I'm sure that some of the cars were actually "Over Restored" and were in far better condition than when they were new.

Big Daddy Roth's original Beatnik Bandit.

Engines don't get much better looking than that!

This engine was probably done by one of Big Daddy's great great grandfathers!

Here's a Renault in beautiful condition.

There were rows and rows of immaculately restored cars, bikes, off road vehicles, racers, salt flats machines, go carts, and more. I could have wandered around in there for an entire day.

A Gas Station on wheels.

There were more antique cars than you could even imagine. Some of them were even prototypes, and were the only one ever built.

The displays boggled the mind.

One of the babes we met sitting in the antique car.

JimmyB and I chatted up a couple of cuties while we were there. You could put on authentic coats and hats, climb into one of the cars there, and take pictures.

Mrs. JimmyB. smiles for the camera.

If you are ever in Reno and have a little time, be sure to go check out this automobile museum. You won't regret it!!


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Terrorist Caught.....

An Arrest at JFK International Airport

NEW YORK -- A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule, and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Senator Edward Kennedy said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

"Al-gebra is a problem for us," Kennedy said."They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country."

As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to every triangle. " When asked to comment on the arrest, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, he would have given us more fingers and toes."

Hillary Clinton told reporters she could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the Congress.

Hat tip to AKAFUZE.....


Gun Blogger Rendezvous Report - Part Three

Here's some more pictures from Range Day at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous in Reno:

KeeWee tries out a 9mm. AR. with Uncle supervising.

"Hey Chris! Where should I aim this 45 Long Colt revolver to hit that 1,000 yard target?" Chris Byrne, the Anarchangel.

KeeWee tries out Mel Byrne's mini-sized 1911 based .380 with Mel instructing.

Joe Huffman's shirt - Joe is the Boomershoot guy!

Chuck Ziegenfuss gives KeeWee some instruction.

Rob from The Kitchen and his rimfire lever gun.

"Dang! Is this this empty again...........?"
JimmyB, The Conservative UAW Guy.

KeeWee finds that the Thompson is fun, too!
That's Fodder from
Ride Fast - Shoot Straight spotting.

All good things must eventually come to an end, and after a long day of sending lead down range we packed the toys and headed back to town.

Once we had returned to the Circus Circus, we cleaned up a bit, grabbed some clean clothes, and headed to the Mandalay Banquet room for our Rendezvous dinner.

I was busy at the banquet being the M/C and keeping everything sort of under control, so I didn't have much time for taking pictures, but KeeWee and some of the other attendees did. For a report on the banquet, check out KeeWee's post here.

The Rendezvous was an incredible amount of fun, lots of food, great conversations, and some of the most interesting people you could ever want to meet. It's time right now to make up your mind that next year you are going to be there too. Don't get stuck in the "maybe I will......" mode and end up waiting too long and missing the Rendezvous. The Rendezvous is unlike any other event in the world, and if you enjoy shooting sports and our freedom to shoot as much as we do, you really should consider attending. Unless of course, if as JimmyB says "You suck!" then don't bother, but if you are reading this it's highly unlikely that you do, so start planning now to join us next October in Reno!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

CWSA Bowling Pin Shoot - 10/20/2007

It was definitely not the nicest of weather for a pin shoot, but fortunately it was only blowing and the rain was mostly holding off for a while. The covered shooting stations were a comfort in case the rain did start falling, but they weren't much help with the wind.

As I have been doing lately, I entered every class so I could get in the maximum amount of shooting. I always shoot in qualifying just as I plan to shoot in the matches, as I figure it's just one more chance to practice and get warmed up. If I'd slow down a little in qualifying I'd draw easier first round opponents, instead of running into Evil Al all the time in the first round. Shooting against the fastest gun in the place forces you to work at being a better shooter, which I prefer.

In Centerfire Open I timed in second behind Al shooting the Taurus PT92 Econo Race Gun, so he was my first round opponent. I shot as fast as I could go, but Al is at a whole different level, and even though I kept it close on one of the tables, he cruised past with little effort. He also smacked down everyone else he met in the class to take the class win.

In Centerfire Iron sight I timed in second with my Charles Daly 1911, and faced Chris C. in the first round. I narrowly won the first round, and was slightly ahead in the second, when with one pin left and one round left to shoot, I got a failure to fire and had to clear the round and change magazines. It was close, but I lost, and that retired me from the class. I think Chris won the class, but I'm not sure.

Centerfire revolver was interesting, as Al had a little trouble timing in and My Taurus 66 and I actually timed in slightly faster than he did! Qualifying times and how you shoot in the match are two different critters, however, and he got me easily on the first table. The second table was really close, but one of my pins required a second shot to get it off the table, and that was about the margin by which I lost. If I would have hit it a little closer to center mass, I would have won the table, a rare occurrence against Al, indeed! So much for centerfire revolver!

Two-and-out was getting to be the pattern for the day, but not a big surprise when you come up against Al. Still to come, however, was big bore revolver, rimfire optic, and rimfire iron sight, three classes where I stand a bit better chance.

Big bore revolver was to be a really interesting contrast between guns and techniques. The pins are set three feet from the back of the table, so you have to hit them pretty hard to get them off the table. Al was shooting a double action Smith & Wesson revolver (I think it's in 45LC using .45ACP and moon clips, but it might have been a .44 Magnum) with iron sights. Al is VERY proficient shooting it double-action. If I remember correctly, he had loaded up 220 grain bullets with a healthy amount of powder behind them. The S&W is relatively small and light, so recoil is an issue, but it's fast to get it on target. On the other hand, I was shooting a Ruger Super Red Hawk .480. I was using 525 grain semi-wad cutters, with a reduced powder load, but still enough oomph to send a WHOLE lot of energy down range. As I am a terrible double-action shooter, I shoot single action, even though it's slower. As the saying goes, fast misses don't count for much! I also have a red dot sight mounted on the Ruger. It was a contrast between lighter bullets with a lot of velocity, or heavier bullets moving slower, between slower but more accurate single action or faster but less accurate double action, between a heavier red dot sighted Ruger, or a lighter and quicker Smith & Wesson.

Timing in didn't do much to answer any questions as to who had the edge for the day. Since there was only a small turn out we only had the two of us entered in the big bore revolver class, but every time we have met in the past it has been really close. Today was going to prove to be no exception. The big bore class has slightly different rules from the other classes, and you are not allowed to reload, limiting you to six shots for the five pins. Needless to say, you don't want to miss!

The first table was close, but Al left a pin on the table, and I was able to get all of mine off, giving me the first round. The second table was REALLY close, each of us hitting the fifth pin with our sixth shot. My last pin found it's way to the ground slightly ahead of Al's, giving me the class win. Dang, those big bores are fun to shoot!

After the centerfire classes were finished, we set up the bowling pin tops for the rimfire classes. We all shot four tables of pin tops against the clock, our worst run of the four was thrown out, and our first round match ups were determined by the times. Al shot times faster than I have ever shot in my life to qualify in first place. I qualified my Long Barrel High Standard second, and my S&W model 422 in fourth. KeeWee was somewhere around sixth. Shooting two guns in the same class it's easy to lose track of what you were shooting and who you shot against. I do remember that I won both first round match ups, one against Al, and one against Chris(?), to advance to the second round against myself, so I retired the 422 and continued on with the High Standard. KeeWee came up against Rainy and they both were trying a little to hard, and neither one of them shot as well as they normally do, but Rainy advanced, and KeeWee was done for the day. The rest of the match is such a blur that I don't even remember who I met in the final! Rainy? Anyhow, I won the final, and we were then on to the Rimfire Iron sight class. We only had three of us in the class, but Jim P., who usually only shoots rimfire, and usually just the iron sight class, was definitely the one to beat. I don't think Jim has lost a Steel Challenge Iron Sight match this year! Our third shooter was Murray, who I was surprised to find out has only been shooting since June. He sure doesn't shoot like it! Anyhow, usually Jim clobbers me, but I got lucky this time and managed to pull out the class win. Not by much ,but I'll take it!!

We had a great time, the weather was actually pleasant by afternoon, and after the match we went to the Oak Harbor Dairy Queen for treats. Have you tried their Banana Cream Pie Blizzard? I love ice cream, and I love banana cream pie, so I was in hog heaven with one of those, in the largest size they make of course.........

On the way home from the DQ we stopped by Al's place to pick up my bullet order from Rainier bullets. We all go together and buy our bullets once or twice a year in bulk to get a slightly better price. Even so, it was $430 worth of bullets. YIKES.........


Gun Blogger Rendezvous Report - Part Two

From all the pictures both here and on other blogs, it would seem that all we did was eat for three days, but that isn't exactly the case. I think I am safe in saying, however, that no one actually LOST weight in Reno! Actually the meals were one of the highlights of the Rendezvous, not for the food, which I enjoyed, but for the conversations underway throughout the meals.

All you can eat - YUMM.......

After lunch on Friday we gathered in the Hospitality room for an informal meeting with Glen Caroline and Ashley Varner from the NRA. We all enjoyed a spirited discussion on ways to best help shooters, 2nd. Amendment rights, and gun rights to continue making positive movements. We talked about the role of the NRA and the differences between the perceptions of the NRA and the realities, and ways to improve the perceptions.

Glen, in the green shirt, and Chris Byrne, discuss perception versus realities of the NRA. Ashley (the second best looking blond lady there) is on the right.

The NRA session was well received, and I think it was a major step in establishing communication and understanding between the NRA and the Gun Bloggers. Hopefully Glen and Ashley will be able to attend the Gun Blogger Rendezvous next year.

Larry Weeks from Brownell's.

Following the NRA session, we went directly into show and tell. Here's a few pictures from show and tell:

Uncle shows off the newly developed stealth M-16. If it weren't for the attached Ko-Tonics 6.8SPC upper you wouldn't even know the rest of it was there.....

Kevin from The Smallest Minority showed of a nifty conversion for a 1911 where you can have it cocked, and still have the hammer down. Uncle showed off the Ko-Tonics 6.8SPC upper for the AR15.

Dirtcrashr from Anthroblogogy showed an antique (but good shooting) 30-40 Krag and a really neat antique .22 caliber top break single shot Colt Olympic pistol.

Dirtcrashr and his 30-40 Krag.

US Citizen from Traction Control showed the .50 caliber AR15 conversion and some other cool accessories for the AR's. Chris Byrne, the Anarchangel showed a number of neato handguns. In short, there was a ton of cool stuff at show and tell, and I'm still probably forgetting some of them! If I failed to mention your stuff, it's because of brain-fade on my part!

Friday night was serious "Hospitality Room" time, and the stories went on well past midnight. I can't really do justice to the night, words fail me. You just had to be there......

Saturday morning, after another big breakfast, we gathered up all the toys and headed out to the range for a day of brass emptying. I got to shoot lots and lots of really nifty stuff!

Larry from Brownell's sends a little lead down range.

Chuck with his M1-A.

US Citizen with his AR, capable of shooting either lead bullets or photon torpedoes.

We all spent the better part of the day shooting all sorts of stuff, and I've got a lot more range pictures still to post. I'll get those posted in Part Three....

......end of Part Two


EAA Race Gun Write-up

EAA Tanfoglio Gold Team Open Class Race Gun.

Even though he's out of town on vacation for the next few months Lou over at Mad Gun has finally managed to get his review of the EAA Tanfoglio limited and open class pistols written and posted.


Friday, October 19, 2007

GBR-II Report Part One

Everyone else who attended the Gun Blogger Rendezvous is way ahead of me as far as getting posts and pictures from the Rendezvous up on their blogs. None the less, better late than never.

This post will be short, as it's past 11pm., and I've got a pin shoot tomorrow at CWSA, so I am going to try to get a little sleep tonight.

On downwind for Reno's airport.

Reno sits down in sort of a big hole, surrounded by either big foothills, or small mountains, depending on where you're from.

Some of the gang piggin' out at breakfast.

In addition to all the other stuff going on, we also did a whole lot of eating. Breakfast buffet, all you can eat, unlimited bacon, everything from biscuits and gravy to cakes and pastries. I wanted to eat some of everything, and tried really hard to do so!

Some of the cakes and pastries.

We all enjoyed sharing several meals together, and the combination of the food and the conversation made meals one of the highlights of the Rendezvous.

End of Part One (I need sleep.....)


Thursday, October 18, 2007

NRA and the Rendezvous

I just received this email from Ashley Varner, who, along with Glen Caroline, also from the NRA, met with the Gun Bloggers in Reno last Friday afternoon at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous:

I just wanted to thank you again for scheduling the happy hour meeting and being such a gracious host with introductions and beverages and allowing some time during your GBR for us to chat and get to know one another. Glen and I really enjoyed the happy hour with you folks, and we hope you feel the same way.

Just as the GBR gives you fellow bloggers a fantastic opportunity to meet and interact in person and make the community feel a bit smaller, it can hopefully have a similar impact on forming a relationship between NRA and the gun blogging community. Personally, I've enjoyed reading the blogs this week after having had personal interaction with of each of you. A small change, perhaps -- but a good development, certainly.

Thank you again for your hospitality and your time. We appreciate it and look forward to continuing the dialogue with you and the rest of the gun blogging community!

Take care and have a great weekend,

Ashley N. Varner
National Rifle Association
Institute for Legislative Action
Public Affairs


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This Month's e-Postal Match is up!

US Citizen at Traction Control has just posted this month's e-Postal match, and it looks like a good one! This month we get to play "Pasture Pool" (well, OK, golf, if you insist) with handguns. There are ladies tees, mens tees, and pro's tees. There are classes for rimfire and centerfire, both iron sighted, and optic sighted, so you can shoot just about every pistol you can get your hands on.

Ahab, who ran away with last month's match, will be required to shoot from a different area code, at night, and in total darkness..............

Anyhow GO HERE for all the information, download the targets, and have fun blasting away!

F O R E ! ! !


How Does This Happen?

So, I get my workload all caught up, take four days off to go to the Gun Blogger Rendezvous, and when I get back home I'm two weeks behind. How does that happen?

I've got a bunch of great pictures from the GBR, and I'll be posting them as I get them sorted out and properly sized.

Once I get caught up...........

How Triumph's Are Made........

Have you ever wondered how high performance motorcycles are made? Triumph has now let the secret out.......

If it doesn't play properly, try Clicking Here.

Hat tip to KeeWee, who got it from Helen!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Back From Reno

KeeWee and I have now returned from the Gun Blogger Rendezvous in Reno, and in a word, we're exhausted! We had a fantastic time, stayed up way too late BS'ing with the other folks, got up way too early, ate way too much, and now we're paying for it. At the range I shot more cool guns in one day than you could shake a stick at. KeeWee even shot Chuck's M1 Garrand. For those of you that don't know, KeeWee is of a "smallish" stature, and the Garrand is a 30-06! WOW!

A number of the other Rondy attendees are getting up a lot of good posts with lots of pictures, so here's a short list of posts to check out about the Rendezvous:

Kevin at The Smallest Minority:

JimmyB The Conservative UAW Guy:

Dirtcrashr at Anthroblogogy:

US Citizen at Traction Control:

Fodder at Ride Fast - Shoot Straight:

KeeWee at KeeWee's Corner:

Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell:

Chuck Ziegenfuss at From My Position - On The Way....

There are some other attendees planning Rondy posts and pictures, and I'll try to add them to the list as I come across them.

Oh yeah, I need to put some posts together, too............


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Short Update

We've been so busy here at the Rendezvous that I haven't had time to do any posting, but US Citizen has some range pictures posted from yesterday's range day.

Gun Blogger Range Day Pictures

There will be lots of reports and pictures posted all this following week.

More later, but we're off to go see the car museum and the river front park for now.......


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gun Blogger Rondy - We've Arrived in Reno!

So far everything has gone smoothly, the shuttle to the airport was on time, the flight left on time, and it even arrived on time. It was cloudy all the way, so only got a couple of pictures from the airplane, coming in to Reno. The wireless internet signal is much improved this year over last.

Everyone else should be arriving over the next several hours......

Stay Tuned!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Last Post Before The Reno Rendezvous

I've got the bags packed, (thanks to KeeWee's help) and there's going to be a lot of very nice door prizes at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous dinner on Saturday night. Uncle will be bringing along that Ko-Tonics 6.8SPC upper for us to shoot on Saturday out at the range, and at the banquet the upper will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. These uppers normally go for about $700 bucks, and the minimum bid will be $400. ANYTHING over $400 will go to project Valour-IT, so here's a chance to pick up a 6.8 SPC upper, save some money, and help out a very worthy cause, all at the same time!

See you in Reno!


A Free Glock - WOO HOO ! ! !

Glock G34 9mm. Pistol

A month or so back I bought my first Glock, a Glock Model 17 9mm., and two days later entered a regional Glock match with it. (Here's the match write-up #1 and match write-up #2) With the iron sights, the short sight radius, and the odd trigger feel, my accuracy sucked, but I was able to shoot it fairly fast, and had a ton of fun blasting my way through the stages with great enthusiasm. In fact, I had faster times on some of the stages than the class winner, but my inaccuracy moved me way down in the standings.

These regional Glock matches, put on by the Glock Shooting Sports Federation, not only give away new Glocks to the class winners, they also give away a number of new Glocks by random drawing from amongst the entries.

To my surprise in yesterday's mail was a form from Glock entitling me to a brand new Glock. I had been chosen as one of the random drawing winners! I could either choose one of the less expensive models, or for a modest upgrade charge I could select anything in their line of handguns. For an additional $107, I can get a new Glock G34, which is their long slide IPSC/IDPA "Limited" class gun, what GSSF calls the "Competition" class. It seems that Glock doesn't make a full out "Open" class gun, but that's OK, as my Glock 22 is probably going to turn into a 9mm. open class, or unlimited 9mm. for next season.

It takes eight weeks for it to arrive. I'll let you know how I like it when it arrives.....


Friday, October 05, 2007

Gun Show - ePostal Match - Pin Shoot This Weekend!

Another week has gone by in a blur! Next week is the Gun Blogger Rendezvous!! WOOO HOOO!! It's going to be a lot of fun, and there will be some new faces there this year, too.

Tomorrow morning I'm heading over to Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club for their gun show. If I come across anything interesting I'll let you know.

After the gun show I'm heading over to the pistol range to shoot up some targets for the e-Postal match. (Click on the link up at the top for the latest match info). Gotta get the targets shot as the match closes Sunday night. The rifle part of the match is shot at 50 feet, and my 'range out in the barn' is only about 35 feet, but the pistol range at HHRG has target stands at 50 feet, but nothing closer, so I'll have to shoot the rifle part at HHRG, and the 25 foot pistol part out in the barn.

After I get back from HHRG I need to hit the reloading bench as I'm low on 9mm pin shoot loads and there's a pin shoot on Sunday. I've still got plenty of .38, .45, and .480, so I don't need to load up any of that for a week or so.

busy -- busy -- busy ! ! !

Do you sometimes laugh at something yet you aren't quite sure why it's actually funny?

Me too........

Cartoon filched from Dave Smock's blog


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Furnace Fun.......

Blogging has been a bit light of late, as I've been busy as all get out trying to get caught up on work, keeping all the guns running, shooting matches, and getting the last minute Gun Blogger Rendezvous stuff taken care of.

It's funny how things seem to fail at the most inconvenient times, and our oil furnace is no exception. It was smelling funny when it would start, and wasn't always starting up, needing the reset button to be pushed.

I phoned a friend of mine who's in the oil furnace business to see if he'd come have a look at it, but he's decided to retire, and his lease is up on the shop in two weeks, so he's busy finishing up loose ends and getting moved out of the shop building. The other furnace guy is a crook, so scratch him off the list. So now I have one more project to fix.

Fortunately I've been doing furnaces for forty years, so they aren't a complete mystery to me. Most of the basic stuff was in good order, as I had replaced the oil filter, the nozzle, and adjusted the electrodes late last Spring, so not very many running hours had elapsed since then, the furnace not being needed much through the summer. When the burner was running, the flame looked pretty normal, so the air adjustment seemed OK. I pulled the burner out and checked the burner tube and it's air vanes/slots, and they looked fine too. The oil burners like this one have a big high voltage 10,000 volt transformer that provides the spark to light the furnace oil and keep it burning. It's a Beckett burner, and W.W. Grainger's Industrial Supply carries the transformer on the shelf, so I had them ship me one. (You DO have a Grainger's catalog, don't you?)

Installing the new transformer is a simple operation, four screws, mount the flame sensor and it's gasket, a pair of wires with wire nuts, and it's installed. After turning the power back on to the furnace, I hit the reset button and it lit right up. After it came up to temperature the limit switch kicked on the blower fan, and heat was a flowin' ! This morning it fired up just like it should.

Heat is a good thing..........

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Everyone In The World......

Whenever I was in London I always spent a fair amount of time sitting on the steps below the statue of Eros in Picadilly Circus. It's been said that if you sit there long enough eventually everyone in the world will walk past. Even though that's a bit of an exaggeration, it's true that Picadilly is one of the best places in the world for people watching.

On Sunday after the falling plate shoot Keewee and I headed over to Burlington to grab some polish sausages on a bun at Costco. Some of the Costco stores in the area have the tables for eating your food under a roof to protect you from the rain, but it's an unheated area, so you get cold sitting there eating your food. The Burlington Costco has the eating tables indoors in the main store building, right next to where everyone walks by from the check out stands to the doors to go outside to the parking lot. That means you don't freeze while eating, so you can take your time and enjoy your meal.

By now you are probably wondering how I started out at Picadilly Circus and ended up eating lunch in a Costco store. The link, of course, is that the Costco makes another great place for people watching. Costco does a lot of business, so there's a never-ending stream of people walking by. We watched folks of all colors and nationalities pass by, spike hair, unusual piercings, punks, goth, old, young, and everything in between. A Sikh walked by with his full beard and head gear, not exactly a turban ,but I don't know the correct name for it.

I wonder if everyone in the world is now bypassing Picadilly, and is shopping at Costco instead.....

Getting Started Reloading

If you've been considering getting into reloading your own ammunition but aren't sure quite where to start, Kevin at Smallest Minority has put together an outstanding post on everything you need to know to start reloading, including what you need, and how it's done, step by step.

Check it out:

Monday, October 01, 2007

..... a busy weekend!

It's Monday morning and it's been a really busy weekend. It seemed like KeeWee and I were on the go all the time. Saturday was a CWSA Bowling Pin shoot. As I have been doing lately I shot every class, using either a Charles Daly 1911 with iron sights, the 9mm.Taurus PT92 'Econo Race Gun', the .357 Taurus Model 66 revolver, the .480 Ruger Super Red Hawk, the High Standard/Volquartzen .22 race gun, or the Smith & Wesson model 422 in .22 caliber. That's a lot of changing back and forth and trying to remember which gun you are shooting at the moment, and where the magazine release is!

Was it Jeff Cooper who said that you should beware the shooter who shoots only one gun? Anyhow, if you shoot only one gun, you can really fine tune your skills for just that one particular gun. If you start shooting many different guns, you will, in my opinion, become a better overall shooter, although your performance with any one particular gun may not be quite as good. A really good shooter can pick up just about anything and shoot it well. Not only that, but the more guns you shoot, and the more classes you enter, the more shooting you get to do in a day, and when you really enjoy shooting, what more could you ask for?

The bowling pin matches are single elimination format, so if you lose against only one other shooter, you are done for the day in that class. Prior to the match we shoot four tables of five pins per table against the clock to determine your first round opponent, fastest qualifier against number two, number three against number four, and so on down the list. Unfortunately with this system, if you have one really outstanding shooter, whoever qualifies second is almost always going to have a very quick exit from the class! In every centerfire class I lost in the first round!

Big bore revolver only had two shooters this time, Evil Al and myself. I talked Al into shooting 3 out of 5 instead of the normal 2 out of 3 so we could do a little bit more shooting, and he agreed. I narrowly won the first table, and also the second. Had it been the regular 2 out of 3, I would have won, but no, it was 3 out of 5, and Al came roaring back and won the next three in a row! Every table was really close, as I was right with him all the way, but he got me every time, but by the smallest of margins. Great fun, and there's something about shooting the big bore revolvers that's particularly enjoyable!

Rimfire pin tops was the last event for the day. I entered both the Long Barreled High Standard and the Smith & Wesson 422, and KeeWee entered with the High Standard Sharpshooter 103. I had a couple of bad runs with the High Standard in qualifying, and was slightly faster with the 422, so once again, I was up against Al in the first round, this time with the 422. Also once again, Al won the round, not by much, retiring the 422 for the day. A few rounds later, however, I was up against Al again, this time with the Long Barreled High Standard pin gun, and it was again really close, but this time I managed to retire Al, rather than the other way around! I ended up with the class win, and KeeWee ended up somewhere around fifth or sixth, I don't remember for sure.

After the pin shoot we headed up to Oak Harbor to the Dairy Queen for something to eat. Have you tried the banana cream pie blizzards? Delicious!

Sunday morning we were back to the CWSA range for a rimfire falling plate match. Like a pin shoot, it's also a head to head match, but unlike pin shoots, it's a round robin format rather than a single elimination. That means you get to shoot three times against every other shooter in the match! You better bring lots of ammo for one of these, as you get in a lot of shooting! Final placing is determined by how many rounds you win. We had thirteen shooters, so everyone got to shoot 36 rounds against other opponents. No times are recorded since it's head to head, but there was a whole lot of amazingly fast shooting going on.

Once the dust had settled, KeeWee and Chris were tied for fifth, Johan was fourth, Tony was third, and Al and I were tied for first with 30.5 points. First place ties are settled by a 2 out of 3 shoot-off. I wasn't very optimistic as Al got me 2 out of 3 in the match itself, and he was definitely shooting faster than I was, but he was missing more plates, too, so there was at least hope that if I shot as fast as I could go without mistakes and if he missed a plate I might get him. It turns out that's exactly how it played out. What a fun way to end a match, in a shootout to break a tie!

After the match we helped put everything away, then drove to Burlington to Costco's for hot polish sausages. I love good hot dogs, and those are even better! From Costco we drove a couple of blocks to the new Sportsman's Warehouse to pick up some ammo. I also picked up three more Glock magazines for the 9mm. Glock.

From Burlington we drove back to Whidbey Island, crossing the Deception Pass bridge to get onto Whidbey. We stopped at Deception Pass bridge and also at the state park so KeeWee could take a few pictures and we could go for a short walk on the beach.

After another 4o minute drive we pulled into the driveway at Completely Castle.

It had been a fun day!

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