Monday, October 06, 2014

"I Ain't Dead Yet."

Yes, I've almost entirely given up on blog posing.   I realize it's going on a year since my last. 

I have an old pal in Dallas that I see all too seldom, and see his charming wife even less often.   Being a good and loyal friend, though, he occasionally phones to check on me and we have a lengthy chat, just catchin' up.  He always mentions, "If you'd just post SOMETHING on your blog from time to time, I could just assume you're still alive." 

Dick and I used to do a lot of shooting in pistol matches, but have both tapered 'way off in recent years.  Oh, we both still shoot the occasional match, but our forays seldom coincide.  There are several excuses, but they mostly boil down to laziness and my being dragged, kicking and screaming into seniorness.  (No, hell, be honest - - I'm already there .)  I have a bad back, and sitting for hours at the loading press makes it hurt.  Same reason makes it uncomfortable to walk around the ranges, unless I tote a folding chair with me.  

My pistol match results at the local club are not at all competitive.  They're more just to force me to shoot under pressure.  The goblins may take down the ole dude one day - - Who among us wouldn't choose that way to go out?  But I'd like to think one or two may have to pay dearly.  The old Norse idea of taking servants to the other side, is really pretty appealing,  So, if I can maintain at least a little proficiency with the "front sight, PRESS," and minor dexterity on reload, I can at least fantasize that I could still be a surprise to someone.

For braggin' rights:  can anyone give the source of the above title? 

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I knew I'd been extremely lazy about blogging in the recent past, but, WOW - -   Nearly a year since my last! 

In a similar vein to my last post - -  we are rapidly approaching the half-century mark since President Kennedy was slain in Dallas.  Yeah, that should go without saying.   The TV people and the print media are warming up for their blitz of publicity, I assume just to imply that they are properly respectful concerning the event.  No, they shouldn't just ignore the significance.  I'm simply not sure that those of us who lived through late November 1963 can tolerate all the "celebrations" and special programming and extra editions to sell ads and souvenirs and trinkets.

I shudder to think that I might for some reason be compelled to drive into Dallas during the "event."  If I'm fortunate, I'll be able to avoid it. 

Perhaps it will seem to you that I'm ignoring a historical occasion.  Not at all.  I'm not trying to convince anyone, least of all myself, that I have forgotten that traumatic time.  I'd simply rather recall it in my own way, without a bunch of others telling me how to think of it. 

If you have no first-hand recall of those unhappy days and weeks, please don't forego the opportunity to wade through at least some of the feature stories this November.  Most of them may be trash, but many will be worthwhile.  Don't forget:  There was a VAST store of misinformation and erroneous reporting circulated in the immediate aftermath of the assassination.  I hope the "new" stuff doesn't all merely rehash-and-repeat the now-refuted material.  Over the ensuing decades, much of that has been set straight.  By the same token, new and even more exciting conspiracy theories have been promulgated, some even less logical than the old ones.  Please consider the sources of what you read this year.   

If you want to believe in conspiracies, if you like to exercise healthy skepticism concerning what the Dot Gov tells you, there is much more, 'way fresher, and FAR better documented material available now.   And, we have ready access to countless items of information through the Internet.  Please, don't stop reading and thinking and discussing.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

22 NOV 2012

For me, there's a double significance to this date.

Primarily, it is the Thanksgiving holiday. I have many things for which to be grateful, most having to do with family and friends. Life’s not perfect, but things are SO much better than they might have been.

Holly’s lovely daughter is hosting the holiday dinner today, a first for her. She is betrothed to a fine young man. Holly’s son has the duty today and lives too distant to come visit for only one day anyway. David, my younger son will be present, but Matt has other commitments today.

I am reminded that 22NOV is the 49th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It seems that most generations have some signal event, one from which we can date ‘most everything that went before or came later. Everyone alive and aware on certain dates can tell where they were and what was happening when they heard of the Pearly Harbor attack, or the terrorist acts of 11SEP2001.

My first such recollection came with the murder of our president. I was a college student at TCU in Fort Worth, and worked full time at a major hospital as a surgical technician. That day, I was running late for my lunch break, having been asked to assist Doctor Joe Wise with removal of a woman’s gall bladder. I was flattered that the old surgeon respected my ability enough to ask for me to help him. In retrospect, perhaps he simply appreciated that I was tall enough to see what he was doing, without getting in his way. It was a simple enough procedure, and it wasn’t necessary to tie up another surgeon as first assistant.

Of that procedure, I recall only that it was proceeding smoothly and that we were something over halfway done. Mrs. Ruby Sargis, RN, was the surgical department supervisor. She stepped inside the door of our OR, holding a mask to her face. She said something like, “President Kennedy has been shot. It happened in downtown Dallas.” She has no other information but said she’d let us know when she learned more.

Doctor Wise was a solid professional, and I like to think that the rest of the staff were steady. We broke no speed records in completing the cholecystectomy, but neither did we tarry. Later, we took turns watching the few (two?) television receivers in the OR suite, but we took care of business. Some employees were released early. As I recall, I finished my shift..

I’ll not rehash the history of that day and those following. If you don’t recall the history, it’s easy to find huge gouts of information --and MISinformation-- on the ’net. None of my observations or memories are of historical value. I’d been within a mile or two of the president as he left Fort Worth an flew to Dallas that morning. I was something over 30 miles distant when he was killed. My activities during that time were of interest only to me, and perhaps a few friends. It was a significant day in my life, but in no way due to anything I did or said.

I’m glad that this Thanksgiving is so much happier that the one in 1963.


Friday, June 15, 2012


I like motion pictures because I like to be entertained. I want to give myself up to the plot, to suspend disbelief. I greatly prefer to watch a well made, well directed and well acted film.

Both of my sons feel much the same, though we differ in our appreciation of various aspects of movies. Despite this, I respect their judgement. Last week at a birthday get-together, Matt said, in essence, "Go see Prometheus. See it in 3-D if you can manage it. DO NOT talk about it with anyone who might tell you anything about the film. Try not to watch any trailers or previews. Don't read any

reviews. Just go see the movie, and we'll talk later."

Well, this is a pretty strong endorsement from him. I did take his advice, and went to see it at first opportunity, consciously avoiding any prior knowledge. All I knew was that it was some kind of science fiction film. It was certainly worth the trip and the price of admission. Please, do yourself a favor. Re-read that last paragraph and follow Matt's admonition.  See Prometheus with just as little pre-knowledge as you can manage. Do it soon, because it'll be practically impossible to avoid hearing about it for very long.

If you care for sci fi or adventure movies at all, I believe you'll like this one. If you can avoid learning about it in advance, I think you'll appreciate it even more. Please, don't write any comments that would disclose ANYTHING of the film, at least for a couple of weeks.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Test Post

After a lengthy period of inactivity, I started getting notifications that my account was about to be terminated. I guess I need to learn what I must do to keep from fading away.

I'll see if just doing such a wortrhless post as this will have a positive result.

Best to all - -

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Cartridges I handload

Friend Tamara is a dedicated shooter and firearms blogger, with an admirable collection of arms, both common and unusual. In her The Arms Room blog, she has written about many exotic and exemplary firearms. Not all of them are everyone's cuppa tea, but she has a way of making them all interesting.

One thing I particularly admire about Tams is that she has very few pure safe queen guns. Practically every one of them is a shooter, even if it's inconvenient to feed some of them.

In her regular
View From the Porch blog, she recently wrote about her personal stash of ammunition -- what she likes to have on hand to feed her guns, or guns she's likely to come across. She listed some 51 separate cartridges she likes to keep on hand. Fascinating. I suggest you give it a read.

I went down her list and noted where our interests coincide, and where they wildly diverge. Elder Son
and I have done some experimenting with many of the more common cartridges, and a few of the lesser used ones. I wandered into my messy reloading room/workshop and got to thinking about the ammo I hand oad, and am ABLE to load. I may not need some of these, but if called upon, I could put together ammo for all these guns. I note that I only load for some 20 of the cartridges Tam lists. They're the ones above the dashed line. I can load an additional 20 cartridges besides.

In fairness, I must acknowledge that it's easy to "double dip" some of these items. For example, Tams lists .38 ACP, which she could shoot in my Super .38 Colt. Also .223 and 5.56x45mm AND the .308 and 7.62x51mm pairs are interchangeable for casual use. My claim that I can load .454 Casull may be reaching, as it is only a matter of readjusting .45 Colt dies. But, is this any less valid than claiming .38 Special/.357 mag and .44 Special/.44 mag as four separate cartridges?

My List:

.44 Magnum
.44 Special
.41 Magnum
.357 Magnum
.38 Special
.455 Webley Auto
.303 Brit
7.62x51 NATO
300 Whisper
.243 Winchester
- - - - - - - - - - -

.38 S&W
.38 Super
.357 Sig
.40 S&W
10 mm auto
.455 revolver
.45 Colt
.45 S&W
.45 Auto Rim
.454 Casull
.222 Remington
.223 Remington
.257 Roberts
.270 Win
.30 US Carbine
.30-30 Win
.308 Win
.300 WinMag
.35 Whelen
.375 H&H

On the other hand, while I could shoot my standard .257 and .30'06 ammo in rifles chambered for the Ackley Improved versions, I don't count these separately.

And I can't believe I have rifles for 7.5 mm Swiss, 7.62x39 mm, .38-40 WCF, and .338 WinMag, but can't handload these.

I freely admit that I'm a hobbyist. There's no way I "need" to handload near all those cartridges. Even as much as I like to shoot, I could get along very well with only a dozen die sets. But, hey, I already have the gear on hand, and it doesn't eat anything while not in use. Yeah, there's a fair bit of money invested in those items, and the presses and related stuff. The spending was spread out over decades, and I don't recall missing but a few meals in all that time. Have you priced a set of good golf clubs or some scuba gear lately?

Hey, this is kinda fun, once I get to going. Maybe I should blog a little more often . . . .

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Maybe Not The Latest and Greatest

Elder Son is about to drive to Nebraska to accept a gracious invitation to a deer hunt. He blogs about certain of his hunting preparations, specifically checking sights and ammo on his firearms.
I fully appreciate that, to stay in business, firearms and ammunition makers occasionally need to introduce new products. At the same time, it's interesting to note the following - -

--The action of Matt's Springfield sporter was made in 1918, some 92 years ago. When he rebarreled it to .35 Whelen, he chose a cartridge first introduced in 1922.

--Apparently that Featherweight Model 70 action sat around the Winchester plant for a couple of years before they screwed in the brand-new .243 barrel in 1955. That was well over a half-century ago.

--Ruger introduced the fine, three-screw Super Blackhawk .44 in 1959 and discontinued it in '72. That powerful and perfectly serviceable sidearm is likely somewhere between 40 and 50 years old.

A while back, I wrote about the difference between obsolete and obsolescent, which is sorta kinda on point. There are those who'll wonder how Matt could possibly make an efficient hunt with those ancient guns . . . .

Matt, convey my greetings to your host. Good hunting and safe home.