November 2005 | DECEMBER 2005 | January 2006
1017 - Saturday, 3 December 2005: Zzzzzzzzz.


(Wake up, roll over)


Okay, survived one week without income (with sis' charity, again), and with what's left I should make it to the 8th without overwhelming difficulty.

No (significant) engine heating, or (significant) coolant loss, Thursday or Friday. Cruffler sends detailed car tips, advises to replace all hoses on principle. Reader warns not to open the radiator cap on a warm engine, except the radiator cap isn't getting particularly warm and there's little or no pressure behind it.

Gas prices truly dropping! Still in the $2.1s locally (ARCO $2.13), but near work it was $2.07 Monday, creeping down to $2.04 Friday morning, and one station (Space Age, 135th & Hwy 224, for area readers) was $1.99 Friday afternoon! One Shell near the library is $2.09.

Laundromat, on a Saturday afternoon, double-ick. Groceries for another week. Car still not heating or losing coolant at this point.

Slogging through backed-up email.

Holy crap, December already. Lately, wind & rain, alternating with rain & wind. Nothing freezing locally yet.

Dumpster still in driveway, naturally.

Wrapping up Turtledove's Drive to the East. I complain about his writing style, but I keep reading his books. (To recap, this is the tenth in his alternate-Confederate series, starting with How Few Remain, which deals with the Second Mexican War in the 1880s, where the CSA purchases Sonora and Chihuahua from the Empire of Mexico to get a Pacific coast, a strategic advantage the USA disapproves; the prologue defines the turning point as Antietam and the not-lost copy of Special Order 191.) Next in the queue is The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century, edited by Turtledove and the ubiquitous Martin H. Greenberg.

Later, Cruffler reports that there is now something bigger than the BMG. In response to which I point out the Barrett XM109 25mm "payload rifle", which is available (not to us peasants, though - but that's not Ronnie's fault) as a conversion upper for the M107. Want. -Hey, the real world catches up with Hollywood! Remember the "Cobra Assault Cannon" in the original RoboCop? That was just a plain Barrett M82.

Speaking of the .50, now comes word of an attempt, once again, to replace the Browning M2. "I don't think so, Tim." Supplement, maybe. Supplant? Not for another generation at least, I'd bet. Says right there in the article, "the USA has had to ramp up .50 cal ammunition production because ‘Ma Deuce' remains one of the most requested weapons in the Iraqi theater of war. Truly a hard act to follow...." That much, at least, was true, from that "report" that is still going around the lists about weapons and tactics in Iraq.

1018 - Sunday, 4 December 2005: Zzz.

In the news: crap. And another story on some previously mentioned crap. Never Giving Up Car. EVER.

Won't be doing any Christma$ $hopping this year, but on the other hand I'm still motorized and still not homeless. Sis has some cool presents coming, if I can ever afford them.... And my other sister is not being proactive about leaving the ranks of the defenseless, hm. More browbeating is in order. First sis has been working on it.

Nothing particularly exciting on Gun Talk, though Tom Gresham and his guests continue to discuss the Blueshirt Problem out loud, which I find somewhat reassuring. Oh wait, there was something intriguing - Federal is introducing the .338 Federal, a necked-up .308. Innnteresting. A .358 Winchester (necked-up .308) and/or a .35 Whelen (necked-up .30-06) has been on my vaporware list (for the VZ actions still in Cruffler's garage) for some time - I believe it was Jeff Cooper who, when asked about a .300 Whosis Magnum, advised, "More bullet, not more bottle." Hm, Federal's first offerings are 180 to 210 grains (Nosler & Barnes), while Sierra's lightest .338 bullet is 215.

Another PayPal donation, right outta the blue! Thanks!

Contacted plate match director, got the correct spelling for his name (ahem), he implies there will be a plate match in January.

1019 - Wednesday, Pearl Harbor Day, 7 December 2005:

Naval Historical Center's Pearl Harbor Pages

Wreck of Japanese Battleship Yamato

Cause and effect, baby. Speaking of which, new bumper sticker:

Another temp service calls, possible soldering/cable job in Wilsonville - long commute again, but (a little) more pay and I wouldn't be sorting screws and dodging forklifts, hm. Phone tag.

Long, detailed, and fascinating discussion of battleships and their place in the 21st Century, on the Homeland Defense Rifles list.

1020 - Thursday, 8 December 2005: Payday, such as. Storage rent, car insurance, slightly ahead on groceries for a change (sis, viewing fridge, exclaims "It's empty, it's empty!" My freezer is full and the microwave hasn't blown up yet). Also some 9x19mm factory rounds on sale at Bi-Mart (UMC, 115FMJ $5.99/50, 115JHP $8.99/50); I'm going to have to start doing regular Bi-Mart posts to CheapShooting in addition to the Big 5 stuff (then all you people who don't have Bi-Marts in your area can see how much Big 5's ammunition is overpriced).

Car behaving itself; slow and slight coolant loss over the last few days, temperature needle has rarely passed ¼ and then dropped down again with airflow, so I'm largely convinced the water pump and radiator are all right at least. Got another gallon of glyco while $plurging, into the trunk. Regular still $1.99 several places. Dumpster still in driveway.

Now wind sans rain. I'm now seeing some standing water freezing, so if anything precipitates we'll likely have another icemare. The hovel's bathroom has an ancient electric heater in the wall, and for a wonder it still works, even switching on and off with it's thermostat; I've left it on at about ¼, partly to help keep the pipes from freezing and partly ‘cause it's right where Fuji perches on the rim of the sink (which is doubtless how he got into that habit, in previous winters).

No further word from temp service. Ambivalent; current job is semi-autonomous and a shorter commute; increased fuel costs, to and from Wilsonville, would probably negate the slight increase in pay I was told of.

Actually there is one gift I might get for sis, which I'm pretty sure she'd like and use, and which I'm fairly certain I can afford if I can otherwise re$train myself....

Might go shooting this weekend, unless the dumpster is gone (unlikely) in which case I'll muck with the car maybe. Want to get those H380 Mosin loads used up so I can reload the brass with IMR4064 before I go up north for Christmas.

1021 - Friday, 9 December 2005: Sunny today and yesterday, but cold, and wind chill.

In the news, Canada may ban handguns; one of (hopefully!) many places to join the resistance is here.

Rumor has it that Tom Selleck, star of gunfolk favorite Quigley Down Under and a few other good westerns, target of the infamous Rosie O'Donnell on-air ambush for his membership in the National Rifle Association, is active in Cowboy Action shooting and "ain't no slouch".

Oh, I am sooo jealous. Well actually I think I'd rather have an MG3 or Steyr MG74 (NATO-ized MG42) (more easily usable as an LMG, & faster barrel change), but still, that there's the Full Set. Owner must be burstingly proud.

Actually I don't like time-travel stories much and returned the anthology after reading through the Golden Age classics. Moving sideways in time, like Turtledove or H. Beam Piper, or, um, diagonally like Flint & co.'s 1632, is more appealing to me. So, I've been out of book for a few days. Fortunately, about a week ago I splurged on the latest American Handgunner, and while I can pick nits about spelling and punctuation, it gave me some good reading material. Also I have the 40th Anniversary issue of Guns & Ammo, from the stack salvaged from cable-neighbor's cleanout. None of my holds coming through at the library yet, grabbed Triple, some Ken Follett cold-war thing from the free-paperbacks shelf.

1022 - Saturday, 10 December 2005: Zzz. Oh yeah, Barberton today. Snrk. Might as well go up to the club and burn some Mosin loads while I'm on that side of the river.

Woo Hoo! Met with ACSW officers to get details for their page - and I got paid actual money for web design! Then, since I happen to have the camera along, I go around taking pictures of the exhibition hall and one of the custom knifemakers may be a future customer! This... is momentous. Something I enjoy doing, or at least don't mind; something I think I'm reasonably good at; something I can get paid for. Hmmmm. Now I have to look into How to Be a Web Designer, what to charge, what features the market expects, etc. And of course I'll have to learn more about HTML. Meanwhile Cruffler gives a tip for a domain registration outfit.

Sightings: scruffy Marlin 336, $200; Chinese SKS, stamped/pinned, lug but no bayonet, $180, another $150. Marlin 39A w/small Bushnell scope, $300; as-new M39 Cowboy, $495. (Still bummed about missing that M39M in Spring ‘04.) Mystery o' the show, SMLE #1MkIII, .303, RFI... 1986. Stamped on the stock ring!

Up to the range, car still okay. Not too crowded. Some lingering snow in shaded spots but roads clear, except for one shaded patch of slippery frost. Burned up 60 rounds of H380 Mosin loads at 25 yards - I dunno, some strings grouped rather well, others didn't. Need Mojo sight and trigger work. No noticeable difference in point-of-impact or group size between S&B and Winchester brass. I know the IMR4064 load is good, and that's what I gave sis. Anyway all that I have is empty now.

Back to hovel, laundromat, ick again. Hardware store, finally (with an unexpected, uh, undisclosed sum in the bank) got can of expanding foam so I can at least pretend I'm weather-sealing the hovel; also an outlet timer so I can have a heater running at night for Fuji while I'm away, hopefully without burning the hovel down. -Later, that foam stuff really works! Plugged a couple nasty drafts. And I hope it poisons the mouse I can hear trying to dig through it.

1023 - Sunday, 11 December 2005: Zzz.

Gun Talk - Hornady introduces LEVERevolution high-performance ammunition for tube magazines; rumor via TheOutDoorWire.com that Wal-Mart, under PC pressure, has quietly cancelled many orders for firearms, which could disrupt the whole industry. Also rumor that Remington is deeply in debt and over-invested in Wal-Mart.

Elsewhere in the news, L.A. Greenshirts Extort from Gunowners; and this blueshirt story from Britain just... makes me shake my head. And, Vin Suprynowicz blasts blueshirts from another direction.

1024 - Monday, 12 December 2005: Calling all over town trying to find that particular Christmas gift for sis, but it looks like they're all sold out. Eh, I'll find something. Also, for my ownself, net-shopping for a bigger memory card for the camera - think I found a good deal at a store near the hovel.

Car heated today but I can blame that on traffic. Supposedly the dumpster will leave on or about Wednesday, then I can get at the thermostat. Forecast is dry so far.

Also picked up a copy of The Complete Book of the Model 1911, "all new edition". -Okay, I admit to having seen the film Wayne's World. You know the part where they meet Alice Cooper and fall to their knees chanting, "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!" One of the Someday activities on the list to share with sis is to visit the Browning museum, and, well, I'll try not to mortally embarrass her.... (Say, that would be a cool gag to video for a gunfolk group trip though....)

1025 - Wednesday, 14 December 2005: Hate work, hate cities, etc. At least the person I work directly with is compatibly cynical. Meanwhile, down the aisle, a lady in packaging, where I've filled in during slow moments, wants to poach me from the screw-sorting department as I've shocked and awed her with the speed of my work. Sigh. I find this not flattering, anymore, but depressing, that something that seems to come so naturally to me should be thought so unusual in today's workforce.

Argh, 5am overtime tomorrow and Friday. In no po$ition to refuse.

Another temp service calls, the same from the other day - possible electro/mechanical assembly position in Beaverton. Longer commute than present, but not as long as Wilsonville; $10/hour, which beats $8.50. Whipping out updated resume to email. I dunno.

Car behaving. Dumpster still present but Very Full. Some scrap lumber, ah, appropriated. One of these days I have to get one of those cordless drill/drivers, and maybe a little circular saw. After my apprenticeship with Woodworker, I could do a lot with those (like finally build that powder-measure stand over the progressive press so I can load handgun ammunition even faster).

Forecast Even Colder for tonight.

Planning trip to Everett, hope to depart the evening of the 23rd. Probably the hardest part of the trip will be getting the 300-odd meters from the hovel to the freeway without melting the Corolla's engine. Hopefully they'll get the dumpster out of the way and I can spend this weekend fussing with it. See, first, I'll have to drain the coolant, then remove the thermostat, then photograph it carefully alongside a ruler for scale so I can get the right one at the parts store, then put it back together and refill the coolant, drive to the store to get the new thermostat, come back to the hovel and do it all over. And there's still the hoses to worry about. As for which engine is actually in the car, Cruffler advises I go to a Toyota dealer and have them read the codes on it, which might obviate the back-and-fill described above.

You know what I find myself liking even better than shrimp rings? Fake crab meat from Grocery Outlet, "filament style", Pacific whitefish formed into sticks, 8oz. for a buck. And cocktail sauce. The only drawback is it's from China....

Reader sends this link showing How Not to Do It. One of the comments is, "Damn, can you imagine what a couple of Americans with scoped rifles could do over there?" Snort. Up against that I wouldn't even need Mojos.

Elsewhere, China to Launch Moon Mission, well crap. And, Fonda's at it again. Dudes! Article III, Section 3? Hello!!??!

1026 - Thursday, Bill of Rights Day, 15 December 2005: The hovel has been robbed.

I left at about 4:30 this morning for work, and Mr. Troublesome's car was still here. It's gone now. I did a little shopping after depositing my paycheck and got back around a quarter past 5. The screen on the front window was displaced and the kitchen light was on... and the door was unlocked.

Inside, stuff was strewn everywhere.

Known missing so far are:

Ruger GP100, 4" stainless, adjustable sights, #173-68107
Mossberg M590, parkerized, ghost-ring sights, speedfeed stock, M7 bayonet, #P463244
Reproduction 1851 Colt percussion revolver - no serial number recorded
Reproduction 1861 Colt percussion revolver - no serial number recorded
Reproduction Remington New Army percussion revolver, #E44229
Reproduction Colt 3rd Dragoon percussion revolver, #A37194
Previously-unregistered Russian SKS, w/(4) 30-round & (1) 10-round "long-nose" or "duckbill" magazines, #CN1495K/9918976

A clock fell from its precarious perch on the defunct thermostat dial, and stopped at about 7:07. Checking with Veteran neighbor, he left at his usual time of 6:30am and got back before 4pm.

Fuji's all right. They left the computer (obviously), the crummy old TV, the low-end DVD and VCR, the Dremel kit, most if not all the ammunition, apparently all the reloading stuff, and, fortunately, sis' birthday gift to me, the digital camera, which I put right to work. (No, I'm not going to ‘blog the pictures. The place was a mess before this.) The ignorant doofus or doofi also left the Hungarian M44 carbine (still in its sock from the last range trip), the MojoVZ, the FR8, the flintlock pistol, the percussion derringer, the sabre, and, fortunately, they missed the P35, so I have something to keep at bedside. Full boxes of factory ammunition also left.

Looks like they got in through the front window, breaking its latch, did their business, and left through the door. Phone blueshirt non-emergency number. About half an hour later officer Mako arrives and takes initial report; by this time I've gone through receipts and original boxes and such and gathered all the serial numbers I had; whipped up a printout. He leaves, saying that a forensics team is "on the way."

Looks like they tried and failed to get into the cheesy Homak cabinets. One of the big paddle latches is popped right off, but the vertical bar on the bottom of the door held. Nothing appears to be missing from either of those, though the remaining lock on the most-damaged one is defunct and I can't get it open.

Well crap.

I guess I'll make copies of the printout with the descriptions & serial numbers and spread them around gun stores and pawn shops.



7pm, phone in to expedite the forensics team, "the call has been taken off the log so they should be en route." Hmph.

And the dumpster's still in the way, which no doubt provided cover for the operation by blocking the view from the street. Also looks like the work crew didn't touch a thing all day.

Around 7:45 officers G. Smith and Singh arrive, and find no fingerprints. They also express puzzlement as to how the window was breached. The window latch is now broken; I've made a blocking stick for the sill (sliding type window) from scrap. I am advised to contact East Precinct detectives on Monday. Provided printout of stolen firearms - nothing else of significance appears to be missing. Officer Smith, perhaps a smidgen sympathetic (Singh didn't say much), says that with serial numbers, I have a better chance of getting the pieces back.

I suspect Mr. Troublesome, and gave the property owner's contact information to the officer.

I am, of course, in a killing mood.

Ah, now I notice a pink paper taped to Troublesome's door, a court order having to do with restitution or suchlike, and now I have his name, Willie Johnson. Black male, maybe 5'8 or 9", I'm guessing about 160lbs. Close-cropped hair, thin mustache, no beard, no glasses. Drove a gray-green Ford Taurus sedan, '90something I guess, and I think the license plate was 542ABT. One of the rear door windows broken out. Of course I'll be passing that information along when my case percolates through the Portland Police Bureau-cracy.

Meanwhile, this cheered me up a (very) little.

Oh, before some of my relatives who read this rush out and buy them for me, the shopping I was doing was for a cordless drill/driver, $10 (yes, ten bucks, and flying out the door), and a Ryobi circular saw, $20. Saw the Home Depot newspaper ad in the break room and couldn't resist.

Finally, when I went to leave a trickle running in the shower before going to bed I found that it was already partly frozen. Ran it full on hot for a minute, hope it'll be all right.

1027 - Friday, 16 December 2005: And then I got out of bed at 4am and went back to work. At least the shower pipes didn't freeze overnight, though I had the garden hose, sink-faucet adapter, and duct tape ready.

Phone property owner from work, got office-lady, got disconnected, sigh. Back to hovel, no messages waiting. (Monday? Call the detectives Monday? Riiight, crimes never happen on weekends, and nobody ever has anything else to do during the week. Snarl.) Phone again - recording.


At least there appear to have been no further violations. Willie probably hit the road with the loot.

Dumpster still in the driveway, which means it'll be here all weekend at least, and this weekend was my last chance to work on the car before the trip north - if I'm even still going, leaving the hovel unattended, after this. Looks like there's been no work done here for the past three days at least.

And the shower pipes, upon testing, appear to be half-frozen again. Due to the sloppy, decrepit, hovel-fied nature of the fixture, it takes a couple minutes of careful nudging to get a proper trickle flowing, which are often a couple minutes I don't have in the morning....

Back out again, for photocopies of the STOLEN GUNS printout for distribution (Cruffler has graciously accepted my request to distribute it on his side of the river (emailed as attachment - use the 'net, my fellow Gunfolk! Looka here!)), and then I still want that larger memory card for the digital camera. It's at Best Buy, and their online price is $4 less than the in-store price I checked yesterday (it's right next to the Home Depot where I got the power tools). Website says free shipping but I want to be sure it's in-hand before (if) I head north (yeah, probably...). Take printout - price-match, cool, 256Mb for $35.99. Now the batteries will likely run out before I fill the card with motion video! And it comes already formatted. Over an hour of video at low resolution (17+ minutes at high), and hundreds of stills, over a hundred even at the highest setting. Next, AC adapter. The ones at Best Buy didn't seem quite right, but, fighting a) Friday and b) holiday traffic, got to a CompUSA about 400 meters from the Best Buy and found a "universal" digital camera AC adapter, "Fits most Fuji cameras", $35 - better research online first. Meanwhile I have lots of batteries.

Also, I am now obligated - by way of being paid - to set up a less-cumbersome domain for ACSW. Cruffler recommends Dotster.com, which he uses for his own business. Looks like low rates, will investigate over the weekend.

Slacking on email.

1028 - Saturday, 17 December 2005: Zzzz. With the P35 cocked-and-locked where the GP100 is supposed to be.

No frozen pipes yet. Cold but dry; clear and sunny but very windy. One speck of humidity and this whole town will shut down.

Can't afford replacement gun cabinets now, or a proper safe, with rent coming due and all the usual daily expenses (like a mound of quarters for a semi-ritual post-violation huge load at the laundromat, and I'll need new shoes again any day now). One of the Homaks is still mostly functional, the other I might be able to repair if I had replacement lock guts and beat on it with a hammer for a couple hours.

But, I have well over $100 still in checking, not quite $30 in savings, I have another paycheck already on the way including four hours overtime, another week's work and pay for it before the rent is due - that's a little over $500 in income by the end of the month. I can make it, without charity, if I don't take another hit. By February I might even be able to $queeze out enough for a proper gun safe (Bi-Mart often has them on sale under $300).

Meeting at work on Thursday (while I was still ignorantly blissful), the plant will shut down for all of Christmas week, and will let out a half-hour early on the 23rd besides.

Hm, need to load a pile of assorted ammunition for the trip, including some of my special superlight 12 gauge - see, Willie (or whoever - yeah right) didn't get the side-by-side, ‘cause it's on loan to my other sister, whose entire household is "socially nekkid", except the first sister has been having all the fun with it ‘cause the second sister has procrastinated getting trained up on it - until now. So I imagine there's somewhat less than the 100 rounds I sent up there with it, left (and, as it's at least 70+ years old, I don't want my sisters to find out the hard way if it's safe with modern factory loads - hence my ~5,000psi loads from Cowboy Action data). It feels like my familial duty to keep them supplied. (Hm, might need more shotgun primers....)

First, up to the bank to get a couple rolls of quarters. The bank is inside a Fred Meyer store and they have an electronics department, so I take a quick look - and there's the exact same AC adapter CompUSA wanted $35 for, marked $19.99. And when I swipe my debit card I discover it's been further discounted $3. So that's done.

Then, it's Saturday at the laundromat and the "undocumented workers" are doing clothes for the entire province of Sonora while their brats run around screeching. And then a breaker trips and a full quarter of the dryers are out of order. So that took a while.

And then drive all over town distributing STOLEN GUNS printouts. -One pawn shop counter-creature said, "Whaddaya want me to do about it?" They won't be getting my business again. However, both the most sympathetic and most helpful reception was found at Silver Lining on NE Sandy Blvd., the same pawn shop where I found the double, the Remington percussion, and the P35, where I missed the Marlin M39M .22 lever-action, and where I liquidated a couple bolt-actions during past bouts of unemployment. The counter-guy there pointed out that if the police have the information already, it goes into a database and comes up when any licenced shop receives the items; and if it's missed that time it also comes up under NICS, the government's illegal and otherwise-reprehensible firearm-registration scheme; which gave me an excuse to not have to go downtown to visit the big pawn shop there. And then he looked up the Remington's serial number in the shop's records (E44229) so I can add that information. So that shop is still on my list of places to do business.

Then, down to Sportsman's Warehouse for .357 projectiles (going back to plated, now that they have them again), ‘cause sis still uses one and I'm keeping her supplied; and they're still out of Federal 12S0 shotgun wads for my superlight loads, but I still have some WAA12SL that seem to work all right. I also grabbed one box each of the Speer .38 plastic practice bullets & cases, which take large pistol primers and no powder (see Speer manual (pg. 595 in #13) for details), ‘cause I told sis I would so she could get practice in the garage or something maybe. And on the way down there I spotted a 76 station with Regular priced $1.91. Mobbed of course, but most other stations are between $1.99 and $2.05 (some Chevrons as high as $2.13), and by this time the Corolla's FUEL light was on, so I took my turn in line and topped off.

And as soon as I make it to Wyoming you could nuke every population center on the west coast for all I care. Evil Disgusting Cityfolk. I'm going to have to write a Jeffersonian Code Duello....

Severe wind, with attendant chill. Sky scrubbed clean.

1029 - Sunday, 18 December 2005: OAC show, leave printouts. Nothing suitable (that I could afford) for a gift for sis (there was another PPK...). Sighting: Norwegian M1912, first licensed copy of the Browning/Colt M1911. Funky dropped-down extended slide lock lever, for use with winter gloves. This one was marked "COLT" on the slide.

Dollar store for comfort food (they have these particular chocolate wafer things, and a canned beef-vegetable soup I like). Severe wind, grabbed my hat a few times just crossing the parking lot.

Gun Talk - Ronnie Barrett! More political and moral courage than the rest of the industry combined, sez me. Tom Gresham suggests he be named gunfolk man of the year.

In email, this report on police procedures from another burglary victim:

It may be about as hard to get your property back from the Portland Police Bureau as from the thieves...

We lost a few tools last Fall, due to local pilfering. We found most of our things [and neighbors' things] strewn around the neighboring yards. In the process of getting the ones back that had been turned over to the Portland Police, we discovered that the Police Property Dept. has recently changed its rules in two ways vital to those who want to recover items.

Firstly, you now have only 30 DAYS to recover your items, once the police get them. This used to be at least 60 days. And they do NOT call you when they recover something. [In most cases, of course, they would not know who to call... but evidently even if your stuff is properly marked or has serial numbers, the rule remains the same.] :-(

Secondly, and acting very poorly in concert with the first, you now have to get the ORIGINAL reporting officer down to the Property room, physically, while you are also there, to sign off the release of your property once everyone has agreed it's been identified. It is no longer allowed for people to initial things separately as they have time.

This sounds simpler than it is. In our case, we spoke with the officer who interviewed us, assuming he was the correct one. As it turned out, the original officer investigated over on the neighboring street and we'd never even seen her. [I only knew she existed because I had spent more time gabbing with the neighbors.] "Our" officer did not know who made the original report, either!

[Name] identified his stuff ASAP, the Property Room clerk agreed it had to be ours [over the phone, it was so obvious]. [Name] called the Police Bureau. Bureaucracy ensued.... By the time we had identified the correct officer, by giving a physical description gotten from a neighbor, and she had failed to return our calls several times, [they are kept very busy] there was less than a week left. If we hadn't known of the short time we had, and had, say, gone away over the weekend, we would not have been returned those items.

The time was reduced because the Property Room is always bulging at the seams, and unless you have stuff to recover, it seems a perfectly good solution. If you do, good luck!

If you have anything stolen, it will be your responsibility to keep calling Property, to identify the original reporting officer, which may be more difficult then you expect, and to arrange a timely visit to Property to coincide with said officer if anything is recovered.

No wonder so little stuff is returned. :-(

Everyone was very polite, and the officers we met and the Property clerk were all very nice and sympathetic, but they will not bend the rules.

Also, other departments will have other rules and it pays to find them out beforehand!

So it's not enough that some social parasite has violated my home and stolen my most prized possessions, now I have to worry about the "defenders of society" auctioning off said possessions to buy themselves new uniforms - or simply melting them down for political reasons - or even adding them to their personal collections. And then there's this story. Tell me again what I get for my tax dollars?

~1:30pm - ohhh, crap, here it comes. Sleet. Retrieve tire chains from trunk, examine and carefully repack in box, place in front passenger footwell where I won't have to dig for them. Likewise the jack and handle. 2pm, Gun Talk is over and I have to go back out to the library and Big 5 and get some groceries, and it's a mess. Two hours for what's usually a half-hour series of Sunday errands, and by that time the sleet has turned into real snow. Didn't put the chains on, didn't need them. Clutch and throttle, baby. Subtlety. Finesse. See previous comment on cityfolk and nuking.

8:15pm and "Vicky" from the Portland Police Records Division calls for more details on the stolen firearms. And, like most police, she's disturbingly ignorant regarding firearms. "About the Colt Dragoon, is that an automatic?" "Oh, you have a serial number for the Remington rifle?"

Argh. Anyway got phone numbers for the detectives and learned that I "should" be notified if the items are recovered. Also got case number.

Previously at work, got memo about foul-weather policy. Called number, got normal recording, no word on closures.

1030 - Monday, 19 December 2005: Back to work. Leave early, didn't have to leave that early. Still didn't use chains. No difficulty for me but several vehicles off the road. Not much sympathy in my heart - I only started driving regularly a couple years ago and I can handle this stuff, some of these cityfolk must have been driving for decades and the weather was worse than this the last two years, they shoulda figured it out by now.

9am, break time, phone police - switchboard incompetence. Finally get the number for a Detective Sergeant Dave Anderson - voice mail. Of course. Left message. Phone property owner - recording, didn't bother leaving message. Phone again at lunch and second break - recordings.

Roads mostly clear by quitting time, "normal" (-ly frustrating) drive back to hovel. Dumpster still, no progress still. No messages. Phone Anderson again - voicemail again. Phone property office, reach office-lady, sympathetic (also didn't like Willie), work order in process to fix damaged window, complained about dumpster and lack of work by remodellers, discussed suspects (Willie, Willie, maybe someone on the reconstruction crew, and Willie).

Out to hardware store for 3/4" dowels for window sticks.

Really crushing depression hovering just beyond my flimsy curtain of denial. Feeling some cartilage and/or vertebrae squishing and popping beneath my fingers would be highly therapeutic about now.

Several readers sending their sympathies and helpful tips, thank you all.

Caught up on email.

1031 - Tuesday, 20 December 2005: "We're not going to investigate your case because you're not paying enough taxes."

Not in so many words of course, but that's what I heard. Too disgusted to ‘blog.

Well okay, I did get some more information. The name of the woman Willie was living with was Alice Walters. Willie's record includes disorderly conduct, family disturbance, shoplifting, a burglary at age 12, and he's a suspected drug dealer with a warrant for his arrest in downtown's "Drug Free Zone". Police have another suspect, a vagrant wanted for several area burglaries - I may have seen him but couldn't describe him. Veteran neighbor has seen him too.

Detective Anderson ("I just now got your message" - and where the hell were you when I left that message twenty-four hours ago? I MADE IT INTO WORK YESTERDAY SO I COULD EARN INCOME TO BE TAXED TO PAY YOUR SALARY!) was neither sympathetic nor apologetic and seemed more interested in talking about himself than my case - "I've been on the force 21 years... 2,430 burglaries in this city this year and only four detectives... not enough funding for public safety... Mayor... city council... 21 years I've been on this force...." He would not give a straight answer as to whether I would be notified if my property was recovered and I don't think he bothered to record the additional information I gave him on Willie.

It took years to accumulate those pieces, between windfalls and pitfalls. I trusted that GP100 with my life. The 1861 Colt was beautiful. I was going to use the Mossberg with my superlight loads for training my other sister.

Let's see now, I spent much of 2005 unemployed; my first car died; my other car is sick; I've been hassled by greenshirts just because they could; I'm now robbed of my most prized possessions and the blueshirts are no help whatsoever; I'm sorting screws for not much more than minimum wage. If I take one more hit....

And as for possessions:

"The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence." - John Adams
Anyone who tells me, "They're only things, material possessions aren't important in life," does so, as Kipling said, at the risk of the head which is on his shoulders.

Less cold, more wet. Dumpster still. Looks like some work has been started on Willie's ex-place.

1032 - Wednesday, 21 December 2005: Sigh.

Meanwhile, more bigotry from Democrats; in a not-necessarily-unrelated story, churches are arming. The 20th Century saw a Jewish holocaust. I think it possible that the 21st could see a Christian one. "...and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."

In Shotgun News, I note that Numrich is listing an ambidextrous/extended safety for the P35 for under $30. That's already on the li$t.

Had enough stuff to make 20 more superlight 12 gauge 6/OO rounds, and 25 7/8oz. (‘cause that's the smallest shot bushing the Load All II came with and I'm not about to weigh out 3/4oz. shot charges on the scale all night long - but that load is in the same Cowboy Action data I derived my 6/OO loads from) #6. This, combined with what's left from the last hundred, should give second sis enough to practice with and enough left over for business.

No time! Work, then back to the hovel and I'm tired and depressed, but I still have to pack and do laundry and take stuff to storage - in fact the last thing I do as I leave will be to unhook the computer's chassis and park it in my locker, ‘cause if someone made off with all my files, on top of the violations to date, well. (And then I'll have to fight that many more blocks of traffic to get to the freeway from the storage place.)

I also was going to make up some more IMR/Mosin loads - I processed the brass yesterday and tumbled it this evening - but it'll take forever to measure out the charges, and sis probably still has all 50 rounds I sent back with her in November. Must get the Pact/RCBS electronic measure/scale combo (which was also written up in a recent American Handgunner). And, I think there's enough of my mild .357 plate loads left for both my sisters, using the Taurus - I'll bring empties back with me and make a big batch with plated bullets later. Haven't made that powder measure stand for the progressive press yet either (the power tools I bought on the day I was burglarized are still hiding in my car's trunk). However I have reason to believe I should make a batch of 147gr lead in 9x19mm - I should have enough fully-processed brass for that, and if not I happen to have some factory FMJ and JHP.

1033 - Thursday, 22 December 2005: Got paycheck and blew about half of it on a Sentry C1212 cabinet, up late transferring stuff around.

And on the way back from the laundromat, about 9pm, I'm pretty sure I saw Willie's car. Now, he's been evicted. This is a dead-end street. There is no reason for him to be here unless he's casing the place for another hit. Alerted Veteran, contacted property owner office-lady, and left angry voicemail (crime never sleeps, but detectives sure do) with Detective Sergeant Dave Anderson, Portland Police Bureau East Precinct, who didn't think there was sufficient evidence to investigate my case at all, much less Willie specifically.

Emailed sis - I will delay departure until Saturday morning at least, if I go at all at this point. Considering skipping work tomorrow - the last break-in was a half-hour after Veteran and I usually leave.

Oh, Willie's license plate number is 542ABT (I previously said 342, which I've gone back and changed), and it's the left-rear door window that's broken.

1034 - Friday, 23 December 2005: After last night's Willie sighting, I called in to work (and the temp service) explaining the situation and telling them I would be late. Just before this, I got up at the usual time and did the usual morning routine and drove away in my car... and parked at the hardware store seven blocks away and walked back, where I settled down to wait, with the P35 and the digital camera, until daylight. Also described this plan to Veteran.

While waiting, used online banking to balance my checkbook - three month's worth of ISP checks haven't cleared yet and everything else adds up.

Oh, when exactly is sunrise? Here.

Looks like Veteran is staying in town for the weekend, so the hovel won't be entirely unattended. And he is... not socially nekkid.

Depart about 9am. Only two hours at work, temps aren't entirely welcome on the last work day of the year with the "team parties," left at 11:30. Driving to work on the freeway, I saw a car with "LJDCREATIONS.COM - STAINED GLASS" in vinyl letters on the back window. And in a corner of that same window was an NRA life-member decal. So there's the link.

Finally someone in the GOP is waking up to a possibility that I suggested over a year ago.

Also picked up David McCullough's 1776 at library. Finished Follett's Triple a couple days ago, didn't suck.

Messages from another temp service - a Beaverton electronics job, $10, wants to phone-interview me. -Done, I dunno. Would start on the 2nd. Regular day shift. Sounds like I'll be taking apart old monitors or similar displays and refurbishing them.

No message from Detective Anderson of course. He's probably already on vacation.

Temp rep calls back - I have the job! In Hillsboro actually, possibly my longest commute yet, but it's a $1.50/hour raise and I'll be neither sorting screws nor dodging forklifts. Over to temp office for map and timecard and such - yech, Friday/Christmas get-out-of-town traffic already nasty at 2pm. Glad I decided to not leave until tomorrow, if at all.

And look, even more Democrat bigotry.

Ah, the library has, by some miraculous lapse of their usual political correctness, ordered Vin Suprynowicz' The Black Arrow! (Reviewed in Shotgun News some months ago, it's in approximately the same genre as John Ross' Unintended Consequences.) Into the hold queue.

No more online updates, since above this line, until the weekend is over, against the extremely unlikely possibility that the thief is following this ‘blog. See, I lied; Veteran is leaving town for the weekend. Stopped at hardware store, got a couple more appliance timers, gave to Veteran.

1035 - Tuesday, 27 December 2005: Weekend with family 200 miles away, reacquainted with relatives I hadn't seen in over twenty years.

‘Nuff said there.

Sis gave me the FM "Detective" upper for the P35! Ordered from Sarco, arrived in 10 days. Packaging was discouraging but the product itself arrived in good order. Tested at Sam's in Everett - my P35 is REALLY fixed now. 200 rounds, 100 of UMC 115gr FMJ, 50 each of UMC and Win/USA 115JHP, in four magazines from two makers, and zero malfunctions. Also much better accuracy, particularly with the FMJ. The UMC JHP was slightly more accurate than the USA, but the UMC had a Pronounced Muzzle Flash (although the UMC FMJ did not). Whew. They got my trusted GP100 but now I have another handgun I can trust. More testing, and more detailed reports, in the near future. Also got another big(ger!) fat(ter!) store gift card from second sis, which will handily cover the upcoming one-week gap in my income. (First sis also shoved more cash at me. I really must recover those other VZ actions and build her a custom rifle....)

Sunday night, phoned cable-ex-neighbor and she graciously inspected the hovel, pronouncing it un-re-violated and putting my mind and my stomach acid at ease, so I stayed another night. Monday, went arms-shopping with both sisters. Second sis is moving toward abandoning her social nekkidness; examined several options, including my P35, new Taurus compact revolvers, and one of those old S&W M10s, as well as assorted shotguns. First sis will be training second sis with the side-by-side as a stopgap, and I also delivered the leftover .357 plate loads for more practice there.

Planning on making another trip up there for Memorial Day weekend, and both sisters, brother-in-law, and possibly a nephew or two may be trekking down here before that - first sis, hooked on plate shooting (and, like, ditto), more likely to be down for possible plate match in February (26th) and expected match in March (26th).

I've had better Christmases, and worse. This one started out pretty crappy but I reckon I broke even.

The new P35 upper comes with 3-dot fixed sights, dovetailed rear, staked front. With the UMC FMJ it's Close Enough to point-of-aim (I may just use MegaPacks for plate matches to save time and labor handloading - or not), and with both JHPs it will do at the expected engagement distances, will leave it well enough alone for now (carries better too, and the balance may be slightly improved and certainly isn't worse) - though, after recent events, I'm inclined to obliterate the "DETECTIVE" rollmark on the starboard side of the slide....

And finally... zzzzz.

Later, NRA membership pack in mail. Discounts on two nearby lodgings, for sis' next visit. Special offer, extending membership for another year for reduced rate of $25. That and first installment ($40) of Clark Rifles membership in the mail tomorrow, after I photocopy the NRA card as the club requires.

And a window decal, of course.

1036 - Wednesday, 28 December 2005: Zzzz.

In the news, Sheriff's Deputy Robs Pharmacy. Hm, maybe it was Multnomah Deputies Burton and/or Swail who robbed my apartment...? While looking for a story link, I found this. I really must wipe the "DETECTIVE" off the P35's new slide, but I don't have a mill, or even a drill press - I'll have it done by a professional. What should I put in its place, "LIBERTY"? "INDEPENDENCE"? "CITIZEN"? Then there's the problem of having the piece out of service while the work is being done - it's now my only modern handgun; for that matter my only repeating handgun.

The more I fondle the shortened P35, the more I think the balance is improved. Or maybe it's the psychological effect of knowing I can trust it now.

Got Quigley on DVD last night, sis has my VHS copy. -You know how, in interviews and featurettes, most actors and actresses come across as complete dimbulbs, without the benefit of scripts and directors to hold their hands and put individual syllables in their mouths? And you know how most of those same actors are liberals? Selleck comes across as intelligent, articulate, aware and in command of the world around him - and he's a conservative.

Flooding around town. Anyone says "drought" in my presence next year gets smacked.

Next three major purchases, barring impulse, are decided: a real gun safe (as opposed to a sheetmetal cabinet), a CMP Garand before they run out, and a 1911 (probably start with a ~$300 Rock Island and add thing$). And soon I'll be making $10/hour again. Meanwhile, sis is Doomed, Doooommed to spend some huge future sum on her own high-end 1911. She spends hours on GunBroker and elsewhere on the web salivating over Kimbers and Wilsons and Les Baers.

Am I out of small pistol primers again? Well, I have been supplying two revolvers with .357 plate loads, and will still be supplying one. I'll get a brick at Bi-Mart, I need some new $10 jeans there anyway.

I suppose I'll have to replace the GP100 someday too, though elsewhere I said I'd be leaning toward a 7-shot like a pre-HUD, or at least pre-Zit, S&W 686 Plus, or a Taurus Tracker. A pre-HUD 6-shot 686 would do; I could use the speedloaders and even the holsters that I had for the GP. The Mossberg M590 is also on the to-be-replaced list.

Out to laundromat about 2pm - and finally there's a work crew at Willie's old unit when I get back around 4. I ask when the dumpster will be removed... and they don't know because they "don't work with" the crew for cable-neighbor's ex-place. Grump.

In list discussion the past couple days, Demagoguery in NYC over hollowpoint ammunition. Methinks their water supply is too close to the Hudson River. Over here in Oregon, the variety stores put hollowpoint rounds in their coupon books, and it's law enforcement officers who go around sticking places up. I gotta say, I'm having increasing difficulty keeping my fangs tucked in where Da Law is concerned. Every time I hear a blueshirt siren go by on the street outside, I reach for a weapon. I hiss and snarl like my cat facing a raccoon, when I pass a city police or county sheriff cruiser on the road.

1037 - Thursday, 29 December 2005: Zzz.

Fight the San Francisco Handgun Ban.

Christian and Jewish Faiths Dictate Self-Defense.

Canada Sucks.

A reader alerts me to National Bullet Company. With sources like this, UMC MegaPacks, and now similar offerings from Winchester and Federal, on the market, reloading for 9x19mm and other common handgun calibers may be more trouble than it's worth... but it's good to have the capacity to do so.

Failure analysis on the Homaks: the shaft, which connects the cylinder lock to the big galvanized steel paddle, which in turn is connected to the vertical bar, is the break point. With new locks both cabinets would be back in service, though some pressure would have to be applied to get the bent doors shut. The bottom vertical bar held in both cases, as gravity held it in place against the body of the cabinet and through its slot in the door, even though the lock itself was broken; a brighter thief would have flexed the door outward far enough to reach in and pluck the bar assembly out of its slot, thus opening the door, as I did to transfer the contents to the new cabinet.

Out to get paycheck (won't get another ‘til, heh, Friday the 13th), and finally got another DVD from the library (Serenity, the feature-film sequel to the aborted television series Firefly, which the library also has on DVD, which has republitarian moments, or at least appeals to my Confederate sympathies).

Finally taking the circular saw out of its box and starting to build the powder-measure stand. And here it is, clamped to a card table for clarity, with embarrassing hovel bits blacked out:

No measurements, nothing fancy. Scrap lumber, and the same sack o' screws I used to secure the hovel for the weekend. Circular saw to whack off pieces of approximately-correct size and shape, cordless driver to assemble. Two larger C-clamps to fix it to the table, and a third, smaller clamp to adjust the two-piece unit so the case just kisses the output spout when the press' ram is all the way up. So:

1) Size/deprime/expand all cases in progressive press. Sizer/decapper die in first station (of three), expander in second, third empty. Fill the case feeder and work the lever.

2) Tumble cases clean. Separate media with cheap Frankford Arsenal sieve designed to fit common 5-gallon bucket. Inspect all flash holes, clear with toothpick as needed.

3) Prime cleaned cases with hand tool, i.e. Lee Auto-Prime.

4) Run fully-processed cases through progressive press again. First turret station empty. Powder measure positioned over second station, also otherwise empty. Seating die in third station. Trusted RCBS Uniflow measure replaces inaccurate Auto-Disk.
4a) Fill case feeder with fully-processed cases. Run lever down, up, down again; first case positioned under powder measure.
4b) Leave press lever down & ram up. Cycle powder measure lever. Case is now charged with powder.
4c) Raise press lever to lower ram. Not too fast; centrifugal force may toss powder out of the case as the turntable rotates. First charged case indexes to next station.
4d) Place bullet in expanded case mouth for seating. Lower press lever to raise ram. First case has bullet seated and crimped as appropriate in third turret station; next case now positioned under powder measure in second station.
4e) Repeat from 4b and finished cartridges tumble out of the press.

Not the most elegant solution but it does save even more time over how I was doing it. My reloading capacity has increased.

More bigotry against Christians. I repeat, I am not Christian; I am comfortably agnostic. But, as I previously mentioned, I see in the world around me an increasing possibility of a Christian holocaust to match the Jewish one, and I don't have to be a Christian to want that to not happen, because history proves that whoever starts wiping out one group never stops with just that particular group. Any Christian who believes in restrictions on the right to bear arms, or who believes that violence, even in self-defense, is always wrong, is "lining up to be a hot lunch."

The new loading system works. Whipped out over 300 rounds 9x19mm, 147gr RNL (plated) over 3.7gr W231. Will try some .357 tomorrow. Digging out the three 15-round KRD magazines the P35 came with from the pawn shop, now that everything else is fixed I can take another look at them. No such thing as too many magazines.

1038 - Friday, 30 December 2005: Zzzzz.

Bigotry against Gunfolk. Like we don't expect such.

Sympathies and assorted tips still coming in from my readers. One sends word of regular plate matches in sis' area, cool!

Wire taps. Seems like all the conservative radio talk people are saying "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about" - and the libertarian in me is worrying. Again I say, what happens when Hillary gets her hands on these powers? Now, in fairness, President Bush is using these powers in a very narrowly-focused way for specific ends, not like the massive Orwellian fishing expedition we saw in the Clinton years with Carnivore and Echelon and the like. But still, this has got to be the wrong path for the last free nation on Earth to follow. -What happens when the War on Terror is over? Will these surveillance programs be ended, or cut back to allow proper due process and the rule of law? Not likely - there are reports of States of Emergency still in effect, going back to WWII or even further.

Grump. And no starships being built neither. Double-grump. That Simonov was specifically for use against armored jack-booted thugs. Might have to put a Yugo M59/66 on layaway at Big 5 - but those come with muzzle brakes, not true grenade launchers. Grump.

Blew out all processed .357 brass, 491 rounds, 125gr FPL (plated) over 4.5gr Bullseye. Sis gets that on her next visit. New progressive-reloading setup works well, though my "bench" needs serious reorganization.

Shooting tomorrow I think, though I may wimp out with all the rain and the need to conserve gas money for the next two weeks. Also I want to get some more factory rounds to test with, before I start pouring hundreds of handloads through the P35.

Rent on the way.

Using the store gift card, got Braveheart on DVD for ten bucks! (I originally inherited cable-neighbor's VHS copy when she got it on DVD.) Four or five paychecks from now I'll blow a hundred-odd on a new TV, Bi-Mart or Fred Meyer or Wal-Mart or Target usually have something like a 20" stereo in that price range - no hurry though, all I watch anymore is videos from the library or from my collection. With remote of course, then I won't have to get out of bed to adjust the volume or switch the darn thing off.

Hm, I think I will wimp out on shooting this weekend and process some more 9x19mm. More details on the new loading setup: I have three turrets for the Pro 1000. One has a carbide sizer/decapper for .38/.357, and a 9x19mm expander adjusted out for .357. That is left as-is and simply swapped in when needed; I run spent .357 brass through this and from there it goes right into the tumbler. Another turret has a 9x19mm Lee powder-through-expander die, and a 9x19mm seating die presently set for the 147gr plated lead I'm currently using; this also is not disturbed, though I have a powder funnel taped to the PTE die and the new powder measure stand is adjusted to dispense into that funnel. In the third turret I swap dies as needed; either a 9x19mm carbide sizer/decapper, or my .357 crimp seater, each by itself. These dies' locking rings are adjusted so I can just slap one into the turret. So, the green text above actually describes the method I'm using for loading .357; for 9x19mm the brass is not expanded before it goes through the tumbler or is primed, and is instead expanded as each case is charged with powder. Still want another turret or three, and another set of .38 dies so I can also load .38 Special, but that can wait.

Ah, another project, I think I'll build my own brass-catcher, patterned after the one the club has. With improvements of course, that one leaves something to be desired. Now that I'm switching from revolver to autoloader....

Just realized I have eleven magazines for the P35 so far: two pairs of 13s, from two different and unidentified makers; three presumably Argentine 15s; a stainless or nickel 20 that came with the Marlin Camp Carbine, originally meant for the S&W 59xx series, now with an extra magazine catch slot cut for the P35; likewise three 33s, purchased for the Marlin but not a good fit, now working reasonably well in the P35 with new catch slots and small screws in the followers to engage the slide lock. The 33s aren't very practical in the real world - there's an article in a recent periodical, Shotgun News I think, about that - but you can't have too many.

1039 - Saturday, New Year's Eve, 31 December 2005: Zzz.

Another real journalist.

Support our Troops.

More opinionated cartoons.

No celebrations planned for New Year's. No resolutions, phooey, after the last year planning on another trip north in May might be too optimistic.

Ugh, back to work Monday. Traffic shouldn't be too bad going out but coming back, getting stuck on 26, might blow up the Corolla. Will also seek alternate route(s). Discussed car problems with car-experienced brother, now believe bypassing the fan switch may be adequate, but will probably replace thermostat anyway. Get that *#@% dumpster out of the @#$% driveway!

All .357 brass loaded, only 11 projectiles left, not counting some 110gr Speer JHP I got on sale, but now I have nothing to develop a load in. All prepped 9x19mm brass loaded but still have buckets to be processed, and a couple hundred 147s to put in them. Some Mosin brass to be tumbled too. Must get Mojo for the M44 before the PIG.

Oo! I can use that appliance timer on my case tumbler, and have it running while I'm at work! -Or not; the tumbler uses a 3-prong plug and the timer has a 2-prong socket and I'm not going to blow another $15-odd on the higher-rated grounded timer (at the moment). But it's still a good idea.

All Mosin brass fully processed, will load it tomorrow maybe. Made another couple hundred 147/9x19mm, all 9mm projectiles used. Happiness... eludes me the past couple years but relative contentment is a big heap of cartridges.

November 2005 | DECEMBER 2005 | January 2006

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