Friday, September 17, 2010

Damn, I'm bad at this!

Anyway, so as mentioned in my last bried, I was going to write a brief synopsis of the Second Float Trip of 2010. It turned out to just be three of us, Andy, Bill, and RT, of course. Being late summer, the Jack's Fork was too low, so we floated the Current about 28 miles. It was overcast when we started and rained a bit during the afternoon, but we made great time since we weren't stopping in the rain. Fortunately it stopped after an hour or so and Saturday and Sunday were perfect river days.

With just the three of us, we decided to do precooked meals for simplification. Bill brought Chili for Friday night, Andy provided a most excellent beef stew for Saturday, and your humble narrator brought sausage gravy for Saturday and Sunday morning. A big bag of biscuits and we were set. I happened to have a pot that was just right, and boom, all our evening and morning meals were done. The simplicity was beautiful. A great idea that we executed quite well. A word; milk gravy tends to be pretty thin after freezing, so it needs to heat quite a while in the morning.
Happy Shooting,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gizzard Vindaloo - A How-to For You

As was mentioned briefly on FB recently, RT found himself in need of some Vindaloo. Vegetable was out, Chicken's great, but I wanted something else. You're probably thinking, pork? Too fat. Beef, same thing. Hmmm, gizzards are meaty, but still chicken and therefore healthy, right? That's what I thought, too. Add potatoes and how bad could it be?
It turned out to be pretty damn tasty. The gizzards were tender and meaty, but they lost most of the gizzard flavor and absorbed the Vindaloo. I think it would also work well with Crawfish. However, I used too many potatoes, so I'll reflect that in the recipe.
Dump One pound(ish) Chicken Gizzards in a pot. Add:1 can tomato sauce
1 can water
1 cup (or 2) white wine
1/4 cup cider vinegar (white recommended, apple is fine)
2 Tbs Minced Ginger
2 Tbs Curry powder
2 Tbs Cumin
3 dashes Cinnamon
1 Tbs Crushed red pepper (optional)
1-2 Tbs La. Hot Sauce

Let the gizzards simmer at a low boil for an hour or so. When they're tender add:
2 large or 3 small Red Potatoes
1 Large Onion (chunked 8 -12 pieces)
1 can Chickpeas
Any Amount of Anything else you like.

Let boil for another hour or so, stirring fairly often. Add water to maintain the consistency you like, and serve over rice.

Since you're undoubtedly asking, "why would you convert(subvert/pervert) an Indian stew to a Rural Americanized Stew and not add carrots. Well, obviously my carrots had gone bad, but they're on the list.

So, take the above recipe and substitute, add, and/or change, anything you like, and have a lot of fun with it.
Good Eatin'

Friday, June 25, 2010


So, I'm in Columbia visiting some friends, right? Several months ago, it was still cold.

So one night, Andy, Bill, and I were deciding on evening entertainment and being gaming sorts eventually settled on Tequila shots for refreshment and Cribbage for sport. The suggestion was made that we should throw in a dollar a game to make it more interesting. Great. I've got singles. Andy had one or two singles, enough if you jump out early. Bad night for Andy. RT was getting some pretty bodacious cards. Bill got a lot, too. Andy had to throw in IOUs rather than walking out to his car to get additional one dollar bills.

Anyway, after several games I came out a dollar or two ahead, everybody was pretty close, as you'd expect as you get a decent sample size. However, I managed to end up with an IOU from Andy. (I'm kind of liking the idea) After going to his car when we went out to smoke, he came in gave Bill a dollar for his IOU, and handed a dollar to me. I didn't take it. I just grinned. "I don't want your money, I'm keeping this IOU forever. You'll owe me for eternity!" Or something close to that.

As you can see, I finally got it framed. It's been on my refrigerator door for months with Mini Tornado's artwork.

He tried again at the float trip this year. I don't remember my exact words, but it was something that clearly related negative acknowledgment. It's possible that it rhymed with truck tow, but I can't remember exactly.
Happy Shooting,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Jack's Fork River and plenty of sunscreen

Last Friday,[by the time this posts, it will actually be Friday before last. Sorry George.) five intrepid adventurers set off for three days of floating and two nights of camping on the Jack's Fork river near Eminence Missouri. That's not an exact total count on the river, just the only ones I'm sure of. Seeking to be on the river around noon, the plan was to meet at Harvey's canoe rental at 11:00. Your humble narrator arrived promptly at 10:36 (don't trust mapquest, btw) and proceeded to pay Harvey his rental fee, eat peanuts, drink beer, smoke and photograph hummingbirds for the next hour or so until my droogs, that is, the rest of the party arrived. (Ed. If you need a cheap point and shoot camera, I highly recommend the
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP1. $140 delivered from

This is not all presented as an accurate timeline. I reserve the right to relate stories, anecdotes, or thoughts as they come to me. That may not necessarily be in precise chronological order. However, I'll strive to keep the play-by-play in order, at least.

Anyway, we embarked on the canoe trip around 1:00, so we had plenty of time. We got a light sprinkle about an hour or two after we got on the water, which coincided with lunch. We collected a bit of firewood while George took a brief nap. One of the most critical aspects of river camping is making sure you have enough firewood. That entails collecting it wherever you find it throughout the day and porting it downriver until you find your campsite. This is will come up again.
After a nice break-in afternoon of canoeing, we found a good campsite about five (5) miles downriver from our starting point. We did 24
miles, it should be mentioned. That's listed as a two day float, but we figured on two days worth of rowing and a day worth of partying so it worked out just right. Plus, it's the same trip as last year, so we knew what we were looking at. Mostly. We had adequate wood, good supper, cocktails, and conversation which all combined for a great first night. No rain, but the air was amazingly thick. I was raised in a swamp and I still couldn't breathe. Sleep was challenging. Getting up to go to the toilet is a pain when there's no toilet. But, at least nobody shit on far as we know.

Day two (we referred to it as Saturday, in our catchy river slang) started out beautifully.

The fog had lifted, the sun was shining, and it was getting hot enough by 9:00 that we pulled our chairs back into the shade behind the campsite. Much nicer. (RT and Bill demonstrate the pose and position.)

Around 11:00 we had eaten, smoked, relaxed, and got everything packed and started meandering back toward the river. Getting going again is one of those things that's never really stated, it just sort of happens. Someone loads a tent on their canoe. Someone else loads a bucket later on. Eventually everything is half packed, everyone's eaten, you've had your forth smoke and second shit of the day already (or more) and everyone knows it's time to go. [It's all guys, there are shit jokes, deal with it.] This spontaneous exodus is amazingly consistent with the occurrence of the temperature becoming too fucking hot to sit on the sand anymore. (I'm not saying there's a causal relationship, just pointing out the coincidence.) Now, some of you anal types may hop up, eat, pack, and go. That mostly defeats the true enjoyment of canoeing and camping...the relaxation of not being on a schedule. Well...not being on a schedule...along with beer, not showering for days, and no cell phones, traffic, work, or signs of civilization. Just hanging with the boys with no plans except to keep matriculating downstream.

At this point, I should point out the wisdom of sunscreen. Click here for an excellent treatment of the subject. I got the speech from Sadie, and there are questions as to the origin, but it appears to be Baz Luhrman presenting it. Anyway, during the Saturday morning prep, as Bill was applying sunscreen he noticed that there is an expiration date on it. Wow! Who knew? Sunscreen expires?!? I was amazed. Anyway, the expiration was sometime in 2008. We judged it still good, since we weren't the guinea pigs, but Bill would provide an excellent test subject. However, I was reminded that I also needed to apply some high SPF. Digging out the BullFrog 30, I looked for an expiration date, something it never crossed my mind to do before. Hmm, 2001. Probably still good right? Everyone agreed, especially since I was the one risking lobsterization from inadequate sun protection. And believe me, I turn red. I mean fucking REEEEDDD. I fucking glow in the dark. So, I was quite happy to conclude that for the record, I don't think it expires. I came in Sunday afternoon with no burn whatsoever. And if my pasty white ass doesn't burn, the sunscreen is good. Damn good. Moving right along......

Dammit! I just lost two pages of shit because fucking blogger wouldn't save. I'm less than thrilled. The "national park concealed carry and Bill's colon" rant just bit the dust. Fuck. I may try to recreate it later. For now, narrative.

So an hour of typing later, I'm still, Moving right along...
Sunscreened, fed, and rested we set out for beautiful day of rowing. We were hoping to make it farther than last year, when we left far too much to do on Sunday. We also starting drinking, some more than others. RT decided this year that no particular hard liquor sounded good, so I just took beer. The other guys went more the other way, with lemonade and vodka being the prevailing theme, with little (Sean) or no (Andy, George, Bill) beer. The downside of drinking hard liquor is this. The river. The sun. It's hot. You sweat. You drink a lot. It's got vodka in it. Oops. Which I believe is what George said when he told me Andy went over. Mostly. Had to drag the canoe out and dump it, but didn't get a complete submersion of the canoe. Considering his BAC at that point, it's actually quite an accomplishment.

Here's Venus from Friday night.

George and I found a nice shady soft beach and pulled in for lunch. Everyone else eventually caught up, and we took a break in the shade. I proceeded to sample natures most perfect food, the MRE. It was some kind of chicken stuff and was quite fulfilling. It even had coffee. Sweeeet. Meanwhile, after a few staggering trips between canoe and shade, Andy finally found his comfortable place flat on his back in the rocks. (Unfortunately, I didn't get the camera unpacked. Damn shame, that.) He was still conscious, so we let him be. Until he started snoring, then we woke him up with wisecracks, some of which may have included the point that we didn't really need to haul him, we just needed his canoe.
Then, from the middle of the beach came a bellow from Bill, "GET HIS WOOD!" (Remember porting firewood, Andy is very dedicated to the craft. He had a shitload.) Anyway, that started us all on a laughing jag like a bunch of crazed hyenas. Andy even laughed uncontrollably flat on his back with his eyes closed, so we figured he'd be better after his nap. And indeed he was, and came out better for it with the wisdom he gained. The wisdom which is this...
[Long had I known the secret, but none would believe my knowledge. But I alone had the experience and I alone knew the truth. Then Friday afternoon, George also learned this astounding knowledge, and we two knew the secret. The last to gain entrance into the circle of knowledge was Andy, and on Saturday afternoon, he too learned that the sandy/rock beaches of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways are as soft and comfortable as the welcoming bosom of Mother Earth can be. It conforms to your body and holds you as gently as the long grass holds the fawn.] This is especially relevant in certain situations, such as when one is drunk. Sometimes on the river the heat and rowing can make you 'over tired' as well. And if you're 'over tired' or OT'd, the beach is especially welcoming. I discovered this the first time I OT'd a couple of years ago and have tried to share the knowledge since. Now two others know the truth. If you're drunk or OT'd, just find a spot on the beach. I predict RT's SIL will need this information next weekend, so I'm pleased to be able to pass it along.

After we were all squared away, we set out making some really good time. We passed the beach where we camped last year and I was personally hoping for 6 more miles, or so. We got 'em. We started looking for beaches about 4:30 and didn't find one we deemed acceptable until close to 7:00. We were pretty much done eating before full dark, and we had a lot of firewood. I estimate approximately a metric fuckload, or somewhere in the vicinity. Plus Andy's camp chair gave up the ghost, so that's more fast burning fuel. Let's just say, we had to move the chairs back from the fire a couple of times.

Sunday morning dawned and that was most of the excitement, except I did catch one bass. Sean fished seriously and got a bunch, but I only got the one to be able to claim I fished, as well. So, we packed up, and got underway in no particular hurry. Some light rowing and we were making pretty good time. Found a nice spot with some shade for lunch and about a mile before the end we found a most excellent swimming hole. The current was steady, but it got over 8' deep in the middle and felt wonderful for about a half hour.

We hit the takeout point about 4:00 and got packed and on the road with plans to hopefully be able to fit in another trip later this summer. I'll mention it if it happens.
Good shooting,

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Supply and Demand, it's the law!

I read a post on THR the other day on one of the interminable ammo threads discussing the .380 shortage, wherein someone commented that (paraphrased) "the supply will come back up even if new producers have to pop up, it's supply and demand."

WRONG!!! Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

The law of Supply and Demand only says that quantity demanded and quantity supplied will reach an equilibrium price and quantity. An equilibrium has been reached. It's at the same quantity as before Obama but at a much higher price due to a massive increase in the demand curve. (If I could draw a graph on this blog, I would.) Due to the inelasticity of the supply curve, an increase in demand (demand curve moving right) results in a huge increase in price, (which, btw, also means suppliers are making much more money, ceteris paribus.) In fact, due to production schedules, .380 ammo supply is very close to perfect inelasticity. That results in the same quantity supplied and same quantity demanded which defines equilibrium at the same quantity as before, but at a much higher price. To wit, a 50 round box of .380 is about $30-35, whereas pre-General Secretary Obama, it was $15-18 per box. See how that works? Increase in demand creates shortages, which drives up the price, which is too high for some people so quantity demanded at the new price point falls, until equilibrium is reached. Either there will be .380 on the shelves or the price will continue to climb until there is.

Of course, if there are excess profits in the market that will entice new entrants to the market, but I won't go into barriers to entry, factors of production, etc. I could talk about it all day, but I'm not typing that much. Plus I've heard rumors (unsubstantiated, of course) that economic theory discussions aren't that interesting to everybody. ?!?!? Yeah! I couldn't believe it, either!

So, in short, can we all just agree that if you are making a comment about the economy or society in general, and you don't know the difference between demand and quantity demanded, supply and quantity supplied, and can't explain the mechanism to reach equilibrium, then you are not allowed to make the offhand comment, "it's supply and demand." It doesn't make you sound wise or makes you sound like an idiot with nothing to offer but a sound bite. A sound bite you probably don't understand.
Happy shooting,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Not much happening lately

At least nothing I've deemed blog worthy. So, I just thought I'd share a (de)motivational poster I found on Facebook.
Happy shooting,

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Good Friday

I made this a general GF post, because my muse for this post, Hank Johnson D-GA, has already been posted to death. Lawdog and others have already posted, so I'll leave it alone. I was prepared to wax eloquent on the fallacy of electing retarded congressmen, as well as the phallacy of electing dicks. Fucktard. Anyway....

The weather's beautiful and I had a great day dying eggs with Mini Tornado and playing in the park. Much fun was had by all.

And to my great excitement, my plunger arrived! Oh...what plunger? From the S&W story posted previously, I only received 2 out of 3 parts, as one was on back order. It may have mentioned that on the packing list, but I didn't really look that closely. So after calling again and getting another very helpful rep, the plunger that goes between the extractor and spring arrived. After Mini Tornado went to a cousins house this evening, I assembled the parts correctly on my S&W 22A and made a quick run to the range for function testing. Perfect. I only ran through about 100 rounds, emptied the trash cans, burned the trash and made it back home before dark. Had a great dinner "that couldn't be beat" and now I think I'll settle in for the Laker game with a cocktail. What a day!
Happy shooting,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tonka Mighty Dump Truck

As I was walking through the local Wal-Mart a while back (or walmarts as it's referred to locally) I saw a familiar yellow shape on a kiosk in the big center aisle next to toys. "Wow", I said to myself, "they're still making Tonka big yellow dump trucks." Alas, the next thing I said was "Oh hell no!" Yep, I actually said that, Oh. Hell. No. Why my dismay, you might ask? It was made of plastic. The whole thing, not just the wheels and headlights. Ugh. That's on par with a fat-free snickers's just wrong. It's like making a gun out of plastic. (Oh, sorry Glock.) Tonkas are tin and steel and last forever, or should be and should.

My disgust at the situation, reminded me of the countless hours I spent with my Tonkas as a kid and I remembered that they survived dozens of nieces and nephews and were shoved in the shed at the old home place. I made a point of picking up my Mighty Dump Truck the next time I was over there with an intent to refinish it, of course. Here's what it looked like.

It's a little rough, but it's a 1968 model. It's holding up better than a lot of 42 year olds I've seen here in the meth capital of the known universe. Hmmm, missing grill, blotchy scabby skin, emaciated looking?!?! Naaaaww, my Tonka would never do meth. It's just got a nasty case of exposure.

Being a tech savvy Luddite I set out to find replacement parts online. All I really needed were the grill, bumper, and windshield/steering wheel assembly. Let me save you the trouble, you won't find them. There are a few places that do complete refinishing for you, but the quote I got was for $350. *cough, kill my hairy red ass, cough* I don't want a collector piece I want a work truck. Basically something that Mini Tornado can play with in the dirt and sand this summer. Ultimately, the broken pieces would just get broken again, so screw 'em, as long as there are no sharp edges you don't need a grill on a work truck. Or a windshield...there's not even a real driver. D'uh!

So I took it apart using a hammer, screwdriver, pliers, channel locks, and vise grips. These damn things are put together for real. Remember when things were made to last? Fortunately the metal screws, end caps, etc. were located at the local hardware store. Remember those? Small joint downtown where as soon as you walk in the door someone says, "What can we help you with?" And then they have it? Not pre-packaged, but as many or as few as you need in a little drawer in one of those cabinets. This may be the last one, but they were the standard back when things were made to last.

After much judicious use of a wire brush and sandpaper and more wire brushing and finally just saying to hell with it, I decided it was good enough. It's amazing how much pleasure can be derived by just saying "good enough." A complete and thorough wash in hot soapy water with additional judicious use of a cleaning brush, and it was ready to paint. I used Rust-Oleum for maximum protection from the elements. I couldn't get the bed off of the frame with out drilling out the rivets and since I've never assembled anything with rivets, I decided to leave it alone. However, this necessitated painting the black frame with a brush after I'd spray painted everything else. It's not professional, but then neither am I. Long story short...oops way too late for that. But I'm leaving out the painting story as this is already unreasonably long. Let me just say, RustOleum doesn't dry in 15 minutes and reading the can before use is probably not the worst idea you could have. Anyway, this is what the finished product looks like now.

Better, right? I thought I had a bottle of white model paint for the headlights, but if I did it's gone now. I'll get one next time I'm in a town where it's available and touch up the lights then. For now, I'm plenty happy with it.

It was all worth it when Mini Tornado was here next and I brought it out. She did what every kid who ever had a Mighty Dump Truck has done. Put one hand on each side of the bed, took off down the hall running full blast, and started loading up her toys. Yep, it's a work truck.
Happy shooting,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Human Rights

In reading Pawpaw's House today, pointed to an article from that makes a lot of sense. I agree wholeheartedly and am going to keep this going. The following is quoted from Pawpaw, quoted from, quoted from the U.S. Constitution.

Self defense is a human right, probably the most basic of human rights. Whether individual or collective, we have the right to defend ourselves and that right is codified in the 2nd Amendment. Guns, in and of themselves, have no rights. They are simply tools.
On one hand, we preach that guns are mere machines, inanimate objects and tools. On the other, we appear to be attempting to give ‘rights’ to these inanimate machines.

I submit to you a request; that we remove the phrase “gun rights” from our vocabulary and replace it with the more human, and more accurate, “gun-owner rights.”
It's a good point and might be a grammatical nit-pic, but the psychological impact is undeniable. Humans have rights. Tools don't. Yet, when someone seeks to limit my access to a tool, what they're doing is controlling me.

These gun-owner control advocates are demonizing an object in order to control the people while pretending that they're not invading our rights, just gun rights. Clever bastards. It's time we started forcing them to use the correct terminology.
Happy shooting,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Yes, Virginia, customer service does exist!

RT had two excellent examples of customer service in the gun industry in the past few weeks, Federal ammunition and S&W responding to issues with his ammo and pistol, respectively.

Federal 750s and Remington Golden bullet are bulk 22LR ammo packed in boxes of 550 cartridges. They are the most common and least expensive low cost bulk ammo available in my neck of the swamps. These are the two that account for most of your plinking and high volume shooting. Going up a step in price and quality is Federal Automatch. It's about the same price, but more consistent and a bit more accurate in most rifles. In choosing standard ammo for his Liberty Training Rifle (LTR, which will be discussed at length in a later post) RT dug out a box of Automatch to do some testing. In short, it was horrible. Approximately 15-20% misfires and 20-25% under powered rounds. Ouch! This was surprising as AM has shown great consistency in the past. So, I went on the Federal web site under the guise of my real identity and reported the problem, including the lot number and all relevant data. The next day I received an email from Federal apologizing for the problem and informing me that two (2) boxes of replacement Automatch had been ordered for me. Wow. Great answer! It arrived a week later and has performed as excellently as anticipated. It was also plenty accurate for my purposes and is now officially my new LTR ammo. RT happy!!!

My problem was with my Smith and Wesson 22A pistol. It's a 22LR pistol, which I may review later, in short, I really like it. However, RT's buddy came down to visit and a range session was one of the activities. I had a few misfires (from another brand of cheap ammo) but it wouldn't eject when the slide was retracted. RT examined the pistol and determined that the extractor slot should very likely have an extractor install in it. Hmmm. It used to have one. So, I called S&W the next day. Their response? "What's your address; we'll send you a parts kit." Wow. Great answer! That's exactly what I considered the best answer possible. It arrived and included an extractor and spring as well as a replacement firing pin and spring. Now I just have to put them in and I'm good to go. RT happy!!!

People bitch and moan a lot about bad service, and I may in the future, but I wanted to spread tales of excellent companies that care about their customers. Federal and S&W, your service gets an RT rating of F5. (That's on the Fujita scale, btw.)
Happy Shooting,

Friday, March 12, 2010

My first gun post will concern the pictured Izhmash Biathlon Basic 7-2. It's a Russian sporter produced, not surprisingly, at the Izhmash factory. Aside from my horrible photographic skills (really, it's in focus in real life) it is a photo of one of the least known but best values in the gun world today, IMHBCO.

If I could only have one firearm, this would be in strong consideration for that singular honor (not counting family heirlooms, of course.) It's not perfect, but it's close. Allow me to elaborate. Oh, it's my blog, what I should say is, "I'll elaborate if I damn well please!" And I do please.

Although details are hard to tell from my picture, it is a bolt action chambered in .22 long rifle. However, instead of the standard bolt action it is equipped with the Fortner straight pull bolt. If you watch the Olympic biathlon competition, the competitors were using rifles with this style of action. Whereas they were using $4000 Anschutz model 1827's, the BB goes for around $350.

On most target rifles having a 'heavy barrel', the barrel measures about .920" in diameter. Although not 'always' more accurate, the heavy barrel does allow greater stability and disperses more heat when firing several rounds in a relatively short period of time. They are typically quite long to increase the sight radius which helps aiming but also makes them very heavy. It's rare when a sporter rifle can shoot with a target rifle...but the BB can.

The BB barrel is a medium heavy barrel of .720" in diameter and I believe 18" length. (My memory is fuzzy, but the length is in that neighborhood.) It gives the accuracy of some target rifles while maintaining a light enough weight to be an excellent hunting rifle. It's possibly the perfect squirrel rifle, if that's your thing. Personally, I don't have the patience for squirrel hunting, but I'll have a great aptitude for squirrel eating if you have any extra. I'll even bring beer. And BBQ sauce.

Moving right along, the thing is stupid accurate for what it costs. The limiting factor is the "nut behind the bolt" in shooter parlance. I basically suck and I've gotten 1/2" groups at 50 yards. But put it in the hands of G.I. Jenny or Range Officer Ralph and it's a damn laser beam. They all go through the same hole.

There are only two possible downsides. One, there are no iron sights, but that's not really a problem, because a rifle like this begs for a scope anyway. Two, it's too damn short...the buttstock that is. Why is that? Are Russians mutated runts who can't handle a full size rifle? No. Do they have major differences in their shooting styles mandating a short length of pull(LOP)? No. Is Siberia so fucking cold that they have on eight layers of clothes adding two inches to their shoulder padding? Ding ding ding! We have a winner! So, in places where we have seasons other than Winter and Almost Winter the LOP needs to be extended. You can tell from the picture that I added a spacer which I just cut out of scrap wood and painted black. It's not necessary, but at my height (approximately 6'6") (It's the internet, I can be as tall as I want) it just made it even better.

One other incredible aspect of the BB is the trigger. In short, it's phenomenal. It came under two pounds and I adjusted down one turn so it's probably in the one pound range. I don't have a trigger pull gauge to verify, but suffice to say, you don't get trigger pulls like this on many hunting rifles.

If you ever find yourself in the ass end of nowhere, stop by and I'll be happy to take you to the range and let you try it for yourself.

Happy Shooting.