RIFLEMAN'S JOURNAL - MARCH 2006


February 2006 | MARCH 2006 | April 2006
1086 - Thursday, 2 March 2006: Work. Tired. Email all backed up.

¢arefully juggling accounts until the next direct-deposit, then I should be able to start saving. ...After car insurance and the county income tax and the phone & electric bills and.... >:-[

Fuji complaining of kittythritis. :(

Mice eating his food. 4-packs of traditional traps at dollar store - bait is useless, but placing them in the mouse's obvious path, funneled by assorted hovel debris, has the desired effect.

And some ants, tiny black ones on the kitchen counter. At least it's not roaches.

Spring approaching, often somewhat violent here.

Car hasn't blown up yet but I still can't really work on it, fifty meters away and out of sight of the hovel door. Dumpster has blocked the driveway for over three months now. Every two or three days the debris from the alleged reconstruction of the last unoccupied unit gets stirred a little.

New neighbors nearly invisible, suits me.

Thomas' Robert E. Lee still not sucking. Now about half through and on 1 June 1862 near Richmond, Lee takes command of and renames the Army of Northern Virginia. The author paints Lee as far more complex, and even conflicted, than is commonly thought. Decent read so far, and informative. (I still miss the History Channel - I used to catch every episode of Civil War Journal. But cable TV is a luxury, and a pile of "Main Stream" Media garbage, that I can otherwise do without.) Not the most flattering picture but far from a hit-piece.

Boy am I looking forward to sleeping in this weekend.

1087 - Friday, 3 March 2006: Ugh, made it through another week.

In The Federalist Patriot:


Conservatives expected President Bush and his congressional majorities to lead the charge on behalf of individual liberty, the restoration of constitutionally-constrained limits on government, and the promotion of free enterprise and traditional American values, as outlined in The Patriot's Statement of Principles. But they have not.

Increasingly, Americans can't distinguish Republicans from Democrats, on key issues....


I don't like Bush, for the reasons above. But I'll be on his side of the barricades, bayonet fixed, against these creatures. I may be reduced to voting against instead of voting for, but I still vote dammit.

1088 - Saturday, 4 March 2006: Zzz.

Paid bills. Yay internet, no stamps, no running around.

Registered a domain name for my second web-design client. I think I like GoDaddy better than Dotster - the former at least comes with free hosting, even if it does include advertisements, so at least something can be put on the web almost immediately (it takes a day or so to percolate through before I can access it with WsFTP or whatnot).

And now I'm out of money again - over $160 in bills (not counting the domain, but that was only $17.80 for two years (promotion on .US names, plus business registration for better search results), and the paycheck was less than $240 because of the unpaid holiday, so no web-hosting purchases yet. Eh, I still haven't chosen a service for that. At least I got off my butt and registered the name.

Gas prices creeping back up but still within spitting distance of $2/gallon for Regular. ARCO still cheapest, usually,

Probably not shooting this weekend, planning on next weekend after Barberton. Will load stuff this weekend - a little .357/Unique, from the brass Margo returned at the match, some Mauser, some 12ga superlight for second sis. All Mosin brass is full, 50 for first sis (she still has 15 as I recall, not counting some Prvi Partizan, now known as Wolf Gold) and 58 for me. Next paycheck I order the Mojo, I think. And maybe some apertures for it.

Trying again to tackle backed-up email.

From the lists, a speech made by Winston Churchill in 1899 regarding Islam:


"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!

"Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

"A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

"Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome."


Both in kind and in contrast, a recent bit via The Federalist Patriot:
"Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered...the courageous soldiers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of al-Zarqawi's followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3rd ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them. To the courageous men and women of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life, to the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months, to those who spread smiles on the faces of our children and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city... God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget... Let America, their families and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life."
- Najim Abdullah Abid Al-Jubouri, mayor of Tall Afar in the Iraqi province of Nineveh
(Tall Afar was the main base of operations for the terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi)

And elsewhere, a bit of more-ancient wisdom:
You should not have a favorite weapon. To become over-familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well.
- Miyamoto Mushashi 1584 - 1645
- From The Book of Five Rings

One reader sends, "I know what Bill Ruger did, yet I still own and buy his firearms. Why? Because they work extremely well at a price I can afford." To which I responded, "Well... yeah."

Second sis closing in on a piece, current-production Taurus M66 7-shot, 6" stainless, probably well under $400 final NIB via one of the FFLs on GunBroker. I'd'a got 4" for a little more versatility, namely the ability to carry concealed (I managed it a few times with the GP100), but the 6" should be more controllable, at least theoretically more accurate, and will still be entirely appropriate for a house piece. I note that Jim Irion, against whom I'm rather evenly matched on plates, uses a 6" S&W 686.

Another reader sends:

From the CMP e-newsletter - gotta get one.

And, readers send more Bads & Stupids, like this local doofus - "The sheriff's office has no policy or regulations concerning [leaving a purse containing a badge and a weapon in a car in plain sight just begging to be robbed]." The exact sort of thing they'd hassle us for. Or this, from the Bill Clinton Method of Law Enforcement. Then there's this useful link - I could be up all night adding these to my own page, I'll add just the link in the Other section. And here's a related rant.

And speaking of bad cops, in the latest Shotgun News, JPFO offers this.

1089 - Sunday, 5 March 2006: Zzz.

Thomas' Robert E. Lee, Antietam/Sharpsburg, Lee might not have rolled over McClellan after all (as Turtledove's alternate history has him do) as the Army of Northern Virginia was already suffering severe logistical problems and some disorganization (and political infighting). But I still blame McClellan for prolonging the war by being such a bloody incompetent with Lee's Special Order 191 in his hands. McClellan, within a few days' march of Richmond, could have ended the war right there and prevented another 2½ years of slaughter, or Lee might have managed what Turtledove suggested, made the strategic thrust toward Washington and secured Southern independence. Either way I feel this was the critical point in the war; after this the Union's industry and manpower were getting ponderously up to speed (look up the Willow Run aircraft factory in WW2) and the South was logistically doomed. -For another WW2 parallel, look at Yamamoto, who promised his emperor six months of victory, and delivered. Like Lee, Yamamoto knew he had a brief window of opportunity to achieve strategic goals, after which he would be crushed by numbers and industrial capacity.

Sez me.

Reader alerts me to the arrest of KABA founder Angel Shamaya.

Gun Talk, interview with Kimber honcho, selling M84 rifle as a replacement for the soon-to-be-discontinued Winchester M70. Interview with Alan Gottlieb on the San Francisco handgun prohibition and the New Orleans confiscations, the latter specifically bashing NOPD for corruption and outright lies about their actions. Hate cities. They are traveling The Road to Damascus.

I don't watch television; I think most of us know why. But the Mallard Fillmore comic strip has recently praised the series Veronica Mars, and I found the first season on DVD at the library, and it's Not Sucking.

I may have to set the Thomas aside for a while to read some new Turtledove before the hold queue catches up with it - End of the Beginning, second in his alternate Pearl Harbor (more anachronistic cover art with Grumman F6F Hellcats in, presumably, early 1942), and In High Places, third in the Crosstime Traffic series and with great trepidation I await discovering how wimpy and incompetent CT's operatives are this time around - though from the jacket blurb it seems their blundering is catching up with them.

1090 - Tuesday, 7 March 2006: Still some lingering email backed up. Tired from work, getting up at 5:30 every day and charging 20-odd miles across town on deadly freeways in the dark.

Thomas' Robert E. Lee: Gettysburg. Author blames Lee for the Confederate defeat, for not taking more direct and positive command, for his hands-off, suggest-rather-than-order leadership style. (Gingrich & Forstchen addressed this in their alternate trilogy (Gettysburg, Grant Comes East, Never Call Retreat).) Thomas spreads the blame some, to Stuart for haring off after that supply convoy and then dragging it along after him, instead of giving Lee the screening and reconnaissance he needed; to Longstreet for dragging his feet; and to Ewell for not taking the high ground of Cemetery Hill when there was still a chance to do so. But Lee was not a stupid man and he himself took the blame: "Your men have done all that men could do; the fault is entirely my own...."

And I'm stopping there, setting Lee aside to start some Turtledove (End of the Beginning) that I can't renew indefinitely ‘cause there are other Turtledove addicts with library cards and knowledge of hold queues.

Okay, my second web-design client has his site now, but my first doesn't ‘cause I haven't chosen (and can't presently afford) hosting. Definitely prefer GoDaddy to Dotster. Interesting that the .NAME domain has the banner ad on top but the .US name apparently doesn't. Shrug, at least it works. I just got it to percolate through today, maybe the ads will come after more percolating and then I'll worry about separate hosting. Meanwhile it's up and there's pictures & prices & contact information and the guy can tell the printer what to put on his business cards and so on.

Oh, and while hosing the underside of the kitchen sink with Raid for the ants, I found the old butane emergency stove, right where I crammed it probably two Novembers ago when I mucked out the hovel for my sister's first visit. So now I have two. (Should get more fuel, next time I'm at the dollar store.) Might keep one in the car, I dunno.

1091 - Wednesday, 8 March 2006: Wind & rain, typical Pacific Northwest near-spring.

Gas prices rising, ARCO passing $2.1something.

...Well shucks. An officer Zylawi (that's, like, the sixth or seventh name I've heard from, none more than once except the detective's email) leaves a message saying the Portland Police may have found one of my stolen weapons if I can identify it. Dial the indicated number... hold... hold... hooollld.... And he's "out on patrol", message sent to his car.

That's at 4:15pm.

End of the Beginning is, aside from Turtledove's cluttered writing style, a good story. To recap, in the first volume, Days of Infamy, there was a third wave at Pearl Harbor, followed by invasion and occupation, followed by the first American attempt at liberation getting it's ass handed to it and losing two (and a half) of three carriers. The second volume has some recap, reintroduction of the characters, and description of the conditions under occupation. One thing I notice about this series so far, in contrast to, for example, his Worldwar/Colonization saga, is that he rarely portrays high-level personalities like presidents and such - a little Yamamoto, but not from that character's point of view. So far it seems none of the main characters have been above the rank of Colonel or naval Captain. Anyway we're gearing up, again, to take the islands back and the POWs are wondering if any of them will be left by the time that happens. And there's the collaborators and the dissidents and the neutrals and so on.

Okay, about 4:35 Zylawi calls back... it's the Dragoon, reportedly found in a dumpster by a drunk in... the part of town where Willie likely has relations. Drunk takes weapon into house or yard, waves it drunkenly around, drunk's cousin relieves drunk of weapon and calls police, and somehow the right hand and the left in the Portland Police Bureau were sufficiently acquainted to take action. Got number for evidence room - they closed at 4pm, don't open ‘til 10am, will play phone tag from work.

I almost let myself get excited that it might be the GP100.

Probably a rusted mess.

Sigh.

Got one of the new $10 bills today. Pretty, but it would be prettier with someone other than elitist Hamilton on it.

Later, I learn that my second sister's husband's brother (whom I'm not sure I ever met) was killed in a traffic accident (his motorcycle vs. some doofus in something larger who pulled in front of him at an intersection) on Monday afternoon. I never know what to say in such situations. Anyway they're still intending to come down on the 25th-26th pending arrangements.

Word via the lists that Indiana is getting lifetime concealed-carry permits. Look up some Suprynowicz, and perhaps some Clayton Cramer, for a purist/absolutist condemnation of the entire licensing concept, but still, this is not a step back for the Cause. Maybe not a step forward. Sideways let's say.

The other day I heard on the radio that this Bad Cop was indicted for Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter or some such. Does that mean he's no longer on leave with pay?

1092 - Thursday, 9 March 2006: And snow, a couple inches dumped in the higher parts of town in the morning but mostly melted by afternoon. Didn't affect my commute any but some people are doofuses and others declare a national emergency when a single flake hits their windshield.

Phone- and bureau-tag from work, no progress. Back to hovel, no messages. Call evidence room again before they close, finally got a receipt number for the Dragoon; called the other number, sent third message of the day to Zylawi.

Turtledove, the cover art may not be anachronistic this time after all as it's mid-1943 in the middle of the book and, except for our version of U-boat strangulation strategy and some harassment missions (by US flying boats refueled at sea by submarines), we haven't come near the Hawaiian Islands since the first, defeated attempt in the last book. But, Turtledove points out the same thing I did when I compared Yamamoto to Lee: once the United States gets her industry up to speed she can crush anybody, and both Yamamoto and Lee knew it. No sugarcoating the occupation, either: mass execution of POWs by forced labor, in this case digging a tunnel on Oahu with picks and shovels (wasn't there a similar atrocity in our own timeline, in the Philippines if I recall correctly? I seem to remember seeing the face of the unfinished excavation in the jungle on some History Channel program); and now "comfort houses" featuring American women grabbed off the street.

A reader wrote to thank me for this link. ...The idea of nuking the Japanese Empire to end the war has never bothered me a whole lot. Every time I'm reminded of that war's bloody details, like in this series or Bill Sloan's Given Up for Dead (about the siege of Wake Island) or Alfred Coppel's Burning Mountain (a standalone alternate about the conventional invasion of the Japanese mainland necessitated by the failure of the Trinity test), it bothers me even less.

Started building a separate page to detail the progress (or lack) of my burglary case, to keep it all in one place for my own convenience and to possibly be of use to fellow gunfolk who may have to go through the same thing. Not ready yet.

For some time I've also been thinking of collating my book and film reviews on separate pages. I should really do something about the backed-up email first though.

Keeping the phone line open in case Zylawi calls. Just after 5pm, just as I'm about to either go online or go out for gasoline (ARCO now $2.15), he does, asking me to repeat the property receipt number that he should have received in the last message I left. Anyway he says he'll write the release and I should be able to contact the evidence room tomorrow and arrange to claim it.

1093 - Friday, 10 March 2006: Another week, maybe another millimeter of ulcer.

The release for the Dragoon has not come through yet and, O surprise, the officer in question has today off and naturally the evidence room is closed over the weekend. Not that I could've reached it (wherever it is) before closing in Friday traffic anyway.

Portgate, bleah. Now a shell game with the companies involved. How many of our ports are operated by communist China? Not that it's a good thing but there's some selective blindness here methinks.

I dunno. It sure would be nice to have a conservative in the White House, for a change. How about a nationalist? When's the last time we had one of those, TR? (Recently watched The Wind and the Lion, which would have been even more entertaining if I hadn't been aware of Connery's and Bergen's leftism.)

And, Turtledove, Midway in reverse as we make our second attempt, in mid-1943, to retake Hawaii. F6F Hellcats in action and the A6M pilots don't like it. Anything more would be spoilers.

Yesterday on impulse I grabbed the latest (May) issue of Aviation History magazine, not least because of an email conversation featuring our strategic bombers and a cover blurb for an article on one of them, the B-36 Peacemaker. Anyway the cover art is the Ki.84 Hayate (Gale) (our code name Frank), Japan's last (conventional) fighter (I once had the Aces of the Pacific game with the 1946 add-on with the Kikka and Shiden), looks a lot like a P-47. I have, on and off, been an aviation enthusiast for many years. Feature article on aviatrix Hanna Reitsch, "Hitler's test pilot"; review of new history book, Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully - which is described as quite revisionist regarding Yamamoto, hm. Lots of advertisements for models, books, computer games, etc. that I would blow lots of money on if I were wealthy.

And every other page there's a spread of luscious artwork for sale! One I particularly like is Dru Blair's Thunderstruck, an A-10 doing what it was meant to.

On the radio, the city council, never having its hand deep enough in my pocket, now wants (again) to tax cell phones. I don't even own one and I (still) think it's a bad idea.

As if the border weren't bad enough, there are bad cops there too.

Direct deposit works at least and now it's time to buy, or at least price, some hosting space. Azteca... Bravenet... Telana... Dotster... and GoDaddy offers 5Gb for under $4/month and that looks like a winner. Furthermore, no yearly commitment required, nor setup fee. Now, let's see if I can figure out this process, especially since I have ACSWW.ORG registered through a different service... ah, I'll start by buying hosting for my own new address, which is through GoDaddy. And then in the checkout process I see I can get 24 months at $2.77/month, which their end calculates as $66.36. Okay, buy the hosting account, then go back to my customer account and set up the hosting account - um, that last bit not quite working. But, GoDaddy strikes me as quite user-friendly, not least as they have a heap o' .PDFs, including ones purporting to instruct how to transfer a domain name from their competitors, including Dotster. So some downloading and then some reading and then some sleep and I should be able to answer some clients' questions at Barberton tomorrow.

1094 - Saturday, 11 March 2006: Zzz.

I suspect my new hosting account needs a couple business days to percolate through, before I can assign it to my domain name or vice-versa.

I was planning on some shooting after Barberton this weekend but I'll wimp out on that, largely ‘cause I procrastinated on loading more Mauser rounds. Next weekend, really.

Hit the road about 8:45, get cash, transfer $20 to savings, pay storage rent, then to the show. Met both web clients, touched base. Saw:

Rossi Puma lever-action carbine (Win92 clone), .357, $365
Allegedly NIB Win94s, $480! Just a month ago Big 5 had them for $320, but of course now they're going out of production
S&W M65, $350
S&W M41 w/scope base, $650
S&W M422 (.22LR autoloader), 6" I think, $245
1st-generation S&W M39, $325
S&W M29, 6.5", $450
Chinese SKS, lug but no bayonet, $150
Old Lyman electric powder measure/scale, balance-bar type, not the new digital stuff, $100 - Cruffler dissuaded
A couple Marlin M39M straight-stock carbines (like the one I'm still bummed about missing for $189 at the pawn shop a couple years ago), $300-$400
Rossi single-shot combo, .22LR & 20ga barrels, w/4x scope & padded case, $165
S&W M581 w/ProPoint red-dot scope, $375 (gawd poverty sucks ‘cause that piece is ready to race)
The ubiquitous Marlin 336 in .30-30, w/3-9x Bushnell, $285

Rarity - Union Fire Arms Co. automatic revolver, .32S&W, never heard of it:

And, Certified Masochist Cruffler proudly showing off his freshly-shortened single-shot 10 gauge:

Face concealed to protect the masochisticWhat can you say except, ‘God Bless America'?

He shoots slugs from this. And he's having an 8-bore built.

Second sis reports she has chosen a Taurus 24/7 in 9x19mm for under $400. I looked it up and I think the only thing I don't like about it is the polymer frame (and the built-in lock of course). If I read the .PDF manual and the website blurbs right, it's striker-fired single-action all the time (with a proper Browning-pattern manual safety), unless there's a failure to ignite in which case it instantly goes to double-action. I think I like that. (However I still think my vaporware VolksPistole would be DAO-striker for simplicity of use and of manufacture.) And hey, 17 rounds!

New club newsletter (including my now-regular writeup of the plate match) and on the second weekend of April there is a two-day freestyle Vintage Military Rifle Shoot. I am so there. Maybe first sis can bring her Mosin.

And crap, UMC MegaPacks at Bi-Mart have had a price increase!

1095 - Sunday, 12 March 2006: Zzz.

Up late finishing End of the Beginning. Turtledove could end the series there but doesn't have to. Starting In High Places, third in the Crosstime Traffic series, where late-21st Century Earth's depleted resources are augmented by trade from alternates - this one is set in France in 2096AD, year 715 of the New Revelation, in which God sent His Second Son, Henri, to save the world from the Black Death, which in this timeline wiped out about 80% of Europe. Technology isn't past matchlocks, "don't drink the water" is a matter of life and death as no one's ever heard of Louis Pasteur, and the American continents are just now being discovered (remember, the plague started hitting Europe a century and a half before Columbus set sail). The Muslims have Italy, Spain, the Balkans, and southern France, and are creeping north. Life is nasty, brutish, and short. -And people from the home timeline are still citified, politically-correct wimps, even by early-21st Century standards.

Gun Talk, focusing on personal defense: laws, tools and tactics therefor. Also mention of an upcoming TV show on the same topic. And of course, more on the Blueshirt Problem.

I have finished Return to Castle Wolfenstein, all the way through at all difficulty settings, finding all secrets and treasure (with a little help). The donated system came with another game, Soldier of Fortune: Platinum Edition, which I'll be getting to soon.

Finally hitting the rest of the backed-up email, some of which is nearly a month old. [chagrin]

This spectacular incident has been on the net for some time, but it recently got sent to me again and I thought this time I'd 'blog it in the interest of science. Follow the other links throughout the article for details (and accounts of similar incidents) and an analysis by the renowned Fulton Armory.

I notice that I'm getting plenty of Bad/Stupid Cops stories sent to me, but none for Crimes of the Left. This tells me two things: first, lots of gunfolk are really angry at the law-enforcement community; and second, gunfolk are not nearly politically-aware enough.

Possibly addressing the latter, here's another conservative website (including a gunfolk section).

Three nights in a row now, Fuji has asked to use the Big Litter Box! He still appears to have arthritis in his hindquarters, but he still eats & grooms and displays other signs of otherwise-good health. Hopefully some fresh air and exercise will help, as the season turns.

1096 - Monday, 13 March 2006: Bleah.

Phone evidence room - no release. Phone officer - message.

While leaving phone line open (in vain) ‘til the end of business hours, loading 100 rounds, total 110 counting leftovers, for VZ, 49.0gr easy-metering W748 (second, salvaged, RCBS measure working fine) under the usual Sierra 150gr Pro Hunter, 3.0" COL. 16 live cases left, looking for data for a test batch for the 180gr boattail Noslers I've had for over a year - hm, Sierra V has their 175gr flat-base over 44.8 to 48.8gr of the same powder. Starting load it is, listed at 2,300fps, 3.13" COL (these are long bullets - looks like they'll feed from the magazine all right at this depth), just to see what happens. Probably not enough velocity for reliable expansion, eh, like I'm going hunting tomorrow. This is an experiment. Anyway, out of Mauser projectiles and live brass, should be around 150 spent cases.

Halfway through In High Places and I wonder where Turtledove is going with all the PC wimpiness. I'm hoping he's going to show it as a cultural weakness in the face of enemies who don't share it. As for the plot, I know where I'd take it from this point.... Ringo's Kildar, sequel to Ghost and second in an ongoing series (the third, Choosers of the Slain, already in my hold queue), already waiting.

Still trapping mice on the path between wall and cat-feeder.

First sis expresses interest in the Vintage Military Rifle shoot, second weekend of April.

D'oh! I completely spaced the OAC show on the morning of the last plate match! Theme was Rimfires, eh, I have a couple. This month is Swords & Knives, which my nephew would like, but there's another event he'll be attending instead.

Still fighting the reinstall with Win98 and the all-in-one mainboard in the donated system. I'll get it eventually. I'm just so burned out from work most afternoons, and from driving back and forth across the Entire Metro Area every day, all I want to do is veg.

Shotgun News, article on former-Yugoslavian arms and munitions makers including Prvi Partizan, now known as Wolf Gold, reloadable ammunition in nifty old calibers like Mosin, Swedish Mauser, Swiss Schmidt-Rubin, etc., with more on the way like Nagant revolver (I still want one of those...). And, some funky photos from a tour of a Dutch army museum.

1097 - Tuesday, 14 March 2006: Encore l'bleah.

Didn't phone police today - no message at hovel. Will pester again tomorrow.

In High Places ended closer to where I feared it would than where I wanted it to. -Ya know, I'm starting to sour on Turtledove. He takes us to new and different places, sure, but really he's just rehashing our own history with different stage settings. In the Presence of Mine Enemies was the collapse of the Soviet Union, except with swastikas instead of red stars; his Pearl Harbor alternate wasn't much shuffled from the Philippine occupation or the later Pacific island battles; the current stretch of his Confederate universe is our own Second World War with different maps. Okay, Ruled Britannia was pretty original, but largely it seems to me he's not coming up with anything really new, plotwise.

Picked up Ringo's Kildar.

Bi-Mart and sort of a score, in the clearance bin, deeply discounted, Lyman Shotshell Reloading Handbook, 4th ed., and Krause Reloading for Shotgunners, also 4th ed. No such thing as too much load data.

Savage bashing welfare and foodstamps and related social parasitism (before he's cut off for local basketball).

New bumper sticker:

Okay, see, Ringo's writing style is far more engaging than Turtledove's cluttered prose and clumsy dialogue. Reaches out and grabs you, then carries you smoothly along and you're actually going someplace.

Another reason I need to replace the GP100 is so I can test loads dammit! Did 60 rounds (+ 19 previously) .357, 125gr plated lead over 5.5gr Unique and I have no idea how they'll perform. And that's all the .357 brass I have (though I expect my sisters to bring, and generate, more at the end of the month). And, I have a heap of .38 brass which I've done absolutely nothing with. If I'm going to be supplying two sisters and a brother-in-law and maybe Margo with plate loads I'll need to use all available assets.

Hm, loading .38 Special. The carbide sizing/decapping die needs no adjustment from .357 to .38; I'm already using an RCBS 9x19mm expander die in my .357 setup and I have another die just like it - marking with different color felt pens to indicate which is set for what, then I just slap them into the Lee Pro 1000 turrets in whatever combination is needed. So there's for processing the brass, and of course the same Lee Auto Prime doesn't care how long the case is if it fits in the same shellholder. Seating, now. I have some old Herters dies, a ".38 Speed Seater" which I don't think will crimp properly, and a separate .38/.357 taper crimp die. Presently I have the powder measure in the second of three turret positions. I should be able to put it in the first hole, the seating die in the second, and the crimp die in the third, then otherwise continue with my current method. Hmm. Looks like I'll be sacrificing a few bullets for dummy cartridges for setup. -Well, only one, really; all the dies are set now and the powder measure (and then, data) is the last concern before I can start pouring out .38 rounds.

I load .357 down to .38 levels for two reasons: one, to control recoil for various ends like shot-to-shot recovery in competition, and subversion; and two, to avoid the buildup of residue in .357 chambers that results from using shorter .38 cases for the aforementioned ends. But what the heck, I've got hundreds of pieces of .38 brass and there's all these .38/.357 revolvers everywhere. Just wish I still had my own....

Okay, getting into this .38 thing, not answering today's email, processing 50 pieces for a test batch, not taking the time to tumble them (and most are either once-fired or once-fired-since-remanufactured - not sorting them by headstamp either (in .357, so far I'm using all Winchester brass, AFAIK all from the Q4204 110gr JHP load)). Size/decap, prime. (Gaah, almost out of WSP again!) Now what load? Previously found Alliant Cowboy data of 4.5-6.0gr Unique under 125gr lead, okay. Shorter .38 case won't have the ignition problems I had with the longer, emptier .357 case, okay. 50 rounds of 125gr plated lead (Xtreme Bullets, formerly West Coast Bullets) over 4.5gr Unique, okay. There, now I'm loading yet another cartridge. Now if I only had something to test them in.

Gaah, up late fiddling with the .38, up later getting sucked into Kildar.

1098 - Wednesday, 15 March 2006: Still no release, haven't heard from Zylawi since Thursday.

Sizing .38 brass.

Kildar not off to as racy a start as Ghost - about a quarter through and there's no real action yet. But I'm not complaining, it's Very Readable. When you get your copy, read the "This is a work of fiction" disclaimer thoroughly. :)

~4:20pm, Zylawi calls, says he wrote the release Thursday at the end of his shift and left it on his superior's desk, then found it in his own mailbox Monday morning, then sent it back to the evidence room yesterday. Ohhh yeah, these are the only people smart and professional enough to be trusted with weapons. Hsss.

Local ARCO $2.25 yesterday. At least the Corolla can get through a whole week of regular commuting on a single tank.

1099 - Thursday, 16 March 2006: Guess what! The release for the Dragoon still hasn't come through! What a *#^% surprise!

Kildar compares in many ways with Frankowski's Conrad Stargard series; in many ways it's quite different; and it's all pretty damn good. Even though there's very little actual combat at more than three quarters through. Ringo is spending a lot of time setting up this particular world and doing a very competent job of it. SCAdians would get a kick, if they can make it through all the non-Period buildup. I'll finish it tomorrow unless I can't resist finishing tonight, then back to Thomas' Lee.

With the Vintage Military Rifle Shoot in early April, I've changed my mind and decided to attend April's Plate Match instead of the FAL match.

1100 - Saturday, 18 March 2006: Zzz.

Didn't call evidence room yesterday, will try again Monday.

Hate Friday freeway traffic.

Big Expo show this weekend, can't afford it, hate crowds.

Bills - ISP, Shotgun News renewal, OFF renewal. Buying another Mojo sight for the Mosin carbine, finally. Then I get groceries, a case of motor oil on sale for my next three oil changes (at least it doesn't leak), wire and a switch to bypass the Corolla's engine fans (which I'll have to do soon whether the dumpster is removed or not), and local ARCOs are now $2.33, another further out is $2.27, twenty-three bucks to fill up and poof the paycheck's gone.

On the net, mention of this shim for .38/.357 dies, so you set your dies for .38, then put the shim in for .357 (also offered for .44/.44) - but between the item's cost and shipping, and then depending on your setup you may need another shim (one for the expander, one for the seater/crimper), you might as well buy a used die set at a show. Which is what I did.

Finally another story for my Crimes of the Left page, it's been a while since I had anything for it.

Email backed up again. I just don't have anything left after work and commuting.

Vegging today. Shooting tomorrow I guess. Not getting as much enjoyment since the burglary, probably partly since the P35 is not and will not be as accurate as the GP100 (which is one reason Garth whupped me on plates last month). I'll probably get interested again when the M44's Mojo arrives. Anyway, the P35 and the MojoVZ tomorrow, is the plan. Unless I wimp out again.

Finished Kildar, action at the end but this volume is mostly world-building and setup for the next book. But that's okay. Back to Thomas' Robert E. Lee.

1101 - Sunday, 19 March 2006: Snrk. Up before 8, then laundry, yech. At least I got there before (most) of the icky cityfolk.

Examine club newsletter calendar - yesterday was a Cast Bullet rifle match but today should be clear. But I notice there are a lot of blueshirts using the range on off days, Camas police, Vancouver police in the past but not on this calendar, Department of Corrections, Homeland Security - NOAA? What the heck does NOAA need armed personnel for? Anyway the shirts of whatever shade tend to leave a mess - spent cases, mangled target holders, used targets, etc. New activities director says he'll cut back on that some, ostensibly to let the R/Os have the range to themselves those days (which certainly sounds fair considering what the R/Os are putting up with since English Pit closed, and those days were not open to public or members anyway). Also, membership rules changes, fewer walk-in days, walk-in fee increased (no change for guests of members), now members-only days.

Aaannnd I'm wimping out again. I'll be doing lots of shooting next weekend, I'll save the ammunition (and the fuel) until then.

Gun Talk, interview with Kay Clark-Miculek, umpty-time champion action-handgun shooter and wife of world revolver speed record holder Jerry Miculek - promoting women's instruction courses. End of show, caller mentions the .416 Barrett, a necked-down .50BMG to circumvent California's .50 prohibition. I've seen the print ads for a month or two and the wording was disturbing; I had thought that Barrett would sell the .416 to California blueshirts - but on page 62 of the April 2006 American Rifleman, there's an ad for the .416 (on the M99 single-shot bullpup bolt-action), with the same wording, but also including the separate blurb stating that "Barrett will not sell to or service any California government agencies." Okay.

Fuji spending more time outside, whether he wants to or not.

Fuji spending all his time inside either in my lap or rubbing up against the heater-fan grill, filling the hovel with the scent of singed cat fur.

Up late attacking taxes, federal e-file works, I chose the first option, OLT, which (eventually) generated a .PDF of the completed 1040EZ that I saved on my drive. I grossed $10,581.74 last year. No wonder I'm in a crappy mood all the time. Refunds due, as usual, from state and federal but I'll believe that when the checks are in my hand, a pessimist can only be pleasantly surprised. County income tax - one of the four temp services I was with last year actually withheld some, so the amount they're stealing from me outright is $53.32, which I can actually afford. And I'll send it in, too, as soon as I get my printer working again:

TAXATION IS THEFT!

Ah screw it, I just want it over with. There, taxes done. ...But I did write WASTE, GREED, EXTORTION & THEFT on the check and the envelope. And I put the American flag stamp on upside-down. Choke on it you thieving commie bastards.

And no, I'm not going to spend my putative refunds on a .416 Barrett. Gun safe, car/Garand, Garand/car, GP100.

1102 - Monday, 20 March 2006: Spring.

And still no release on the Dragoon. Getting ticked. Left another message for Zylawi, who according to the evidence room clerk ("Jacob") claims to have given the release to his supervisor. If I ever do hear from Zylawi again I'll get the supervisor's name and number.

Hsss.

Attacking email again, caught up I think.

Work schedule: Wednesday and Thursday it's suggested the crew work two extra hours to compensate for a half-day Friday. Up even earlier, ugh. And/or traffic even later, double-ugh.

Soldier of Fortune (Activision 2000) is on its technical merits a good game, graphics, sound, action, etc., but the story is slightly ludicrous for an informed American patriot - terrorists attack the UN, and the UN actually does something about it (by hiring you as a deniable mercenary). The UN building in New York is probably the safest place on Earth as far as terrorist attacks are concerned.

1103 - Tuesday, 21 March 2006: Still no release.

The extra-hours thing is for next week and the consensus is that everyone come in an hour early Monday through Thursday, then start the regular time (6:30) Friday and leave at 10:30.

Message waiting from officer Zylawi who reports having gone into his supervisor's office, found the signed release form on her desk and hand-delivered it to the evidence room. I'll find out tomorrow.

Finished Thomas' Robert E. Lee, a decent and balanced read, neither deifying nor deconstructing, and in the end more than a little sympathetic to the man, if not to his cause. Starting Michael Z. Williamson (coauthor of The Hero in Ringo's Posleen universe)'s The Weapon, apparently the sequel to Freehold, which the library doesn't have but I think it will work as a standalone. Also picked up third season of Have Gun, Will Travel on DVD!

There was one more step to the federal tax, an e-file confirmation form (generated .PDF) must be printed and mailed. Got the printer (and Adobe reader, conveniently included on the SoF CD) working on the clean copy of Win98 on the other hard drive (power off, open chassis, move jumper, power on), done. Modem and such, on that drive, awaiting gumption, which I'm really short on lately.

1104 - Wednesday, 22 March 2006: I have recovered what's left of the Dragoon. It was disassembled, probably the wrong way, reportedly by officer Zylawi, as a "safety measure," then placed, in pieces without padding, in a paper sack. The wedge and it's retaining screw are missing and the hammer is jammed. Left another message for Zylawi for the missing parts.

More dents and scratches of course:

Dented frame

Including evidence of very clumsy attempts to release the wedge:

Clumsy wedge removal

Clumsy wedge removal

I have also long heard of an unwritten and widespread policy among law enforcement to disable, or outright break, any firearm that enters their custody under whatever circumstances (examples appreciated, please send). There is also evidence of rough handling of the grip frame screws, which would give access to the mainspring and other inner workings. Disassembling - frontstrap is loose relative to the frame, as though disassembled and not fully reassembled.

The hammer face is peened on one side so that it will not clear the frame:

Peened hammer face

That's probably the result of out-of-battery dry-firing (note also the battering of the hammer face - I rarely dry-fired the Dragoon, which may be the third new-in-box firearm I ever purchased), probably by an ignorant dumpster-diving drunk, as the hammer face strikes the edge of the nipple recess on the rear of the cylinder. Two of the pin safeties between the chambers, which the notch in the hammer face rests over, are nearly flattened, and a third also damaged (these may be repaired by drilling & tapping, then driving in an appropriately-modified screw shaft, or simply drilling and silver-soldering a regular pin - past time to get that drill press). None of the internals appear to be damaged and a little careful file or Dremel work should release the hammer (later, done). So a replacement wedge and screw should put the Dragoon back in service.

Zylawi calls and claims no parts were removed when the weapon was disassembled by officer Panter, but the wedge is what holds Colt percussion revolvers together and if it was found without the wedge it probably would have been found without the barrel and cylinder. When I get the correct spelling for Panter's name, Zylawi asks if I'll criticize that officer in this journal as well, then declares ‘you have issues' and ‘there is no conspiracy to deprive you of your gun.'"

Flame On!

"No conspiracy." Not counting the stated policy positions of most urban police forces to deprive all citizens of all firearms, of course, for example their consistent opposition to concealed-carry permits or licenses (which are proven to reduce crime rates, which is what police say they're all about) and their equally-consistent support of registration schemes (which only have one real purpose). Here's a free clue for the law enforcement community: criminals don't get carry permits, nor do they register their weapons. And here's another: people who go through the expensive and insulting process to get said permit usually practice more in a weekend than you do in a year. Most gunfolk laugh out loud when they hear a description of your "qualification" requirements. And yet your leadership has the ARROGANCE to frequently state that you're the only ones qualified to carry firearms!

Officer Zylawi sounds offended by this journal, and perhaps some of my venom which has splashed on him more properly belongs on his supervisor, who appears to have left the release form sitting on her desk for about a week. But my more-general animosity toward police is shared by many in the Gun Culture, and backed up with a constantly-growing body of evidence. Especially from New Orleans, where NOPD only recently admitted to confiscating weapons from innocent citizens, and only at the point of a contempt-of-court charge. Based on these facts, I make the following generalization: police view, and treat, anyone with a firearm, who is not one of their class, as a criminal. And we're damn sick of it.

I have nothing personal against officer Zylawi, for who he is; it's what he is that brings out my fangs. It's not just him and it's not just me. Lots of firearm owners really don't like police, and we have lots of reasons, and The Law had better wake up to that fact. You are making us hate you.

I'll ask a question of officer Zylawi, and any other law enforcement officer reading this journal: if you were ordered to go door-to-door confiscating firearms from innocent citizens, as was done in New Orleans, would you do it? (Or do "innocent" and "gun owner" even fit in the same part of your brain?)

What order would you not obey? What law would you not enforce? Is this your idea of "Protect and Serve"? (Oh, she's suing, good for her! Here's more.) Will you denounce such acts, or embrace them? The time has come to ask yourselves these questions, and to determine whose side you're really on.

Here endeth the rant, for now.

Well almost. Thinking of Lee (who issued a local emancipation proclamation a few days before Lincoln's useless one, and who, on the issue of offering slaves freedom in exchange for service to the Confederacy - that freedom to be given upon Confederate victory - insisted it instead be given upon enlistment), and the biography of him I just finished reading; and even on non-firearm issues, like media bias, recent callers to talk radio have used the words "civil war." My side won't shoot first but we will by God shoot back, and we're better shots.

Innnteresting, S&W Considers Buying Winchester. Now that would be Full Circle. S&W made the Volcanic lever-action pistols & rifles, which became the Henry, which became the Winchester.

Hm, pins on Dragoon frame, which engage and align the barrel extension, also battered, as though someone couldn't figure out how to get it back together. Also some dents and one rather deep gouge in the cylinder, aligned with the dents on the frame in the first picture above:

Cylinder damage

Anyway it looks like the wedge & screw will make it run again.

...I have "issues." Sounds like someone is a little short on reading comprehension.

1105 - Thursday, 23 March 2006: And the hits keep coming! At the usual crew meeting this morning at work, all the temps were given an unofficial one-week warning that we'll be laid off due to lack of parts.

THAT'S!
JUST!!
SWELL!!!

Just when I was starting to ¢atch up. But it was cool of our (really quite good) crew boss to give us more warning than the officecritters would have.

Next week is either four 9-hour days and one 4-hour, or maybe four 10s and Friday off. Ambivalent, or perhaps simply apathetic. Meanwhile a reader some days ago gave me a tip on a Beaverton job possibility, investigating. (Okay, it's actually still Hillsboro, as far or farther than I'm commuting now, shrug. Biotech, never done bio but I have done tech. Actually, it looks like they're planning on building a plant there which might be running in a couple years. Oh well, I'm still signed up with three temp services.)

Williamson's The Weapon (and presumably the first volume, Freehold) is the story I wanted to write, and then some. Though I wouldn't have been that libertarian. Though Williamson does seem to be addressing the too-pacifist-for-their-own-good angle. Author is also, like Ringo, explicitly pro-RKBA:


Caledonian law prohibited foreign nationals, and almost all Caledonian citizens, from being armed in the royal presence. Hard to believe, I know. Who'd want to live in a society where the rulers don't trust the ruled?
Who indeed? And he doesn't seem to like cops either:
I sincerely hope you never get apprehended by your local police as a "guaranteed dirtbag" or any other term meaning they're sure you're guilty. There's maybe four [star] systems where you won't be sexually abused, and we're [The Freehold of Grainne] one of them. [And UN-dominated Earth, c.2500AD, isn't.]
Cops need to pull their collective heads out of their backsides and wake the hell up to how evil they are so widely perceived as being. There's another story, where- ah, LAPD will no longer release names of officers involved in shootings. And yet they tell us that if we're not guilty we have nothing to hide. "...[R]eleasing the names in reports may violate [officers'] privacy protections." What part of "public servant" don't you understand? You don't like being a target, find another line of work. And I can protect my own self without your "service," thanks. Like you ever show up in time to do more than rack up overtime pay anyway.

Anyway the book (engagingly written in first-person) is nice & zippy, with Stuff going on, and I'll have to hunt down a copy of Freehold.

And now I have to clean ("clean") the hovel for the family visit this weekend. Ugh, procrastinating.

Later, from the lists, Kansas gets shall-issue concealed carry after a dozen-year battle with the rape-enablers, including, of course, the state association of chiefs of police (and one list member puts it in perspective: "Kansas now allows its citizens to rent part of their rights for $150 per four year period. A step in the right direction, even if it remains an afront to the US Constitution for the time being..."). And, Indiana gets Stand-Your-Ground.

But the Bad Cops just won't go away; indeed it seems I'm hearing about them more often. In Mississippi, Cops Raid Wrong House, Rough Up Elderly Couple; in Texas, Cops Arrest Hotel Guests for Drinking in Hotel Bars. I guess next they'll be arresting customers at car dealerships because they might break the speed limit or turn without signaling. And police wonder why they are so hated. And these weren't even sent to me. (Actually Cruffler did forward the second to me, but I also got it off two email lists in the same download.) It's other innocent American citizens who are sick and tired of these jack-booted thugs, disseminating these news articles. I'm not the one with "issues." Law enforcement readers, look up the dictionary definition of "psychotic," then go look in a mirror. Or at least here. You are dangerously disconnected from the real world. If you think I'm being too critical, you should see what's being said about you on the lists, like Guns_Concealed_Carry_RKBA, Backwoodsman, HomelandDefense-Rifles, Battle-Rifle, etc.

1106 - Friday, 24 March 2006: Dreadful Friday Traffic.

Fox News' John Gibson has an evening talk radio show, and the morning news has a blurb from it - ripping the Texas Alcohol Control Board and the blueshirts who provided muscle for them. And I'm the one who has "issues."

Layoff not confirmed yet, some may stay and I've already impressed at least one supervisor with my work. Haven't contacted temp service(s) yet. Starting an hour earlier next week, yech. And no traditional weekend mega-zzz this time either, with shopping and shooting and the match and all.

Second sis and brother-in-law arriving this evening, first sis tomorrow morning. Cleaning, which consists of sweeping up the stray cat food (and drifted fur) and rearranging the clutter. (Eh, $295 a month, the roof doesn't leak, no roaches, haven't seen a mouse for a while, and Raid in the cracks keeps the ants at bay.)

Portgate II, this time with communist China. Barry Goldwater, Your Country Needs You!

8:10pm and detective Anderson calls to report that Willie Johnson has been arrested and charged with burglarizing my apartment! Arrested about a week ago on another charge, and for some reason (probably a plea bargain) he confessed to the buglary. Reportedly he was upset with me for hitting the stroller with my car (after the uncivilized creatures left it in my way for weeks at a time (deliberately - see Larry Elder's The Ten Things You Can't Say in America, the chapter titled "Blacks are More Racist than Whites")), and for breaking his car window (which some other lowlife did). I was told to expect a subpoena to a grand jury in about five days. Nothing firm about recovering my property (hints that one is in the hands of a gang member) but I'd already given up on that.

A pessimist can only be pleasantly surprised. And I am. ...There are... things... I could say at this point, taking into account the history of the case thus far... but I'll refrain.

Phone tag with family, meeting for breakfast tomorrow.

1107 - Sunday, 26 March 2006: Match day! Wimped out on the OAC show.

Two sisters and a brother-in-law down for the weekend, practice yesterday. Second sis chose a blued 9x19mm Taurus 24/7. I am prejudiced against polymer and was very disappointed in the allegedly-single-action trigger, however, sis, having never fired the weapon before yesterday, is naturally talented (though her grip needs a lot of work) and had two perfect runs in qualifying this morning! "First comes good, then comes fast. Again, Hattie, again!"

Fifteen shooters, two double-entered for a total of 17 entries. 7 revolvers, 9 autoloaders and a single .22 which was put in with the revolvers for match purposes. Too much action to ‘blog! Though if I wasn't busy shooting I could record the whole thing with my nifty digital camera, complete with commentary, then transfer it to VHS (which I will in fact do for private use (though at only 320x240 it'll kinda suck for quality (though the stills turn out real nice) - a real camcorder has been on the wish list for years, but it's a luxury item near the bottom of said list)). Anyway here's the official write-up I submitted for the club newsletter:


Fifteen shooters braved cold and some intermittent rain for the Steel Plate Shoot on Sunday, March 26th. A variety of handguns was used, from a Ruger 22/45 to a Kahr K9 to a .357 Desert Eagle! November newcomers Jeff and Brandon Comfort also returned with a beautiful classic Colt Python.

The overall winner was Jim Breen, with a Ruger GP100 revolver, who came from behind in the Loser's Bracket to narrowly defeat former winner Jason Woodside, returning from a long absence from this match, who took the Autoloader division and Second overall with a Desert Eagle in .357 Magnum. Jim Irion took Third overall and the Revolver division with his usual S&W 686. Karl Leffler took second in the Autoloader division with a composite Browning Hi-Power, and Susan Elmore also came from behind to take second place in the Revolver division with a classic Taurus 66. New shooters were also welcomed, including Joe and Linda Nichols, Jim and Marjie Sell, Doug Nelson (who took the .22 division by default), and Gregg Weinbendor. We hope to see you all again next month!

The next plate matches will be on 23 April, 28 May, 25 June, and the fourth Sunday of every month except December. Signup and setup starts at 9am and qualifying runs begin at about 9:45. Match fee is $7 per entry and shooters may enter in more than one division (Autoloader, Revolver, & .22). Nearly any handgun can be used and no special equipment (other than standard eye and ear protection) is required. At least 100 rounds of ammunition is recommended per entry, as well as at least two magazines for autoloaders or at least two speedloaders for revolvers.

For further information, contact Plate Match Director Jim Irion at (360)256-8776 or jdirion (at) earthlink.net.


Today was the best shooting I've done with the P35 so far and I can feel the Bond finally begin to develop. I didn't have any perfect runs (that I recall) but I came close a couple times and I might have beaten Jason (who won the first plate match I was ever in, April last year) if I hadn't had a misfire (one of two) with UMC MegaPack 115gr FMJ during my first run against him in the semifinal round. I did beat him in the second regular round of the autoloader division and instantly became very warm and fuzzy, but he came back through the loser's bracket to narrowly whup me.

In other news, I have a windfall: my pathologically generous first sister has browbeaten me into accepting an undisclosed but Significant sum from a windfall of her own. (She started the browbeating in email on Thursday, continued in a long-distance phone call Friday, in person all day yesterday, and I finally broke down and took the charity this morning. For a moment I feared(/hoped) she had gone completely nuts and bought me a replacement GP100.) This, combined with my tax refunds (if I actually get them), will go toward a Car That Doesn't Suck, and if it doesn't pass DEQ the first time I'm not buying it. (The Corolla and what's left of the Escort will then be liquidated.) This Suckless (or at least Less Suck) car will come right after a Real Gun Safe which will of course be bolted to the *&^% floor, the next time Bi-Mart has them on sale. Or maybe this time. Better find out if I'm still employed first, and figure that in.

Email - Garand matches 3 June and 9 September, yes please. Already requested a club loaner rifle but hope to track down my own ammunition. To do so, will probably have to attend some of the larger shows and perhaps even Expo, which I haven't been to in maybe a year, for the Miwall or similar tables. At least I have plenty of clips. (Though I should also look for a 2-shot, last time I borrowed one.)

Sis hopes to come down for the Vintage Military Rifle shoot, 8-9 April (which means she can also attend the Barberton show). I'm having second thoughts about going up for Memorial Day weekend, mainly regarding traffic (and the ubiquitous revenuers). And there's a plate match down here that weekend.

And I have to get up at 4:30 tomorrow morning, extra-triple-bleah.

For paranoia's sake, will email OFF for advice about the grand jury subpoena. By exercising my First Amendment rights I may have ticked off the blueshirts enough to make them want to entrap me. Wouldn't be the first time that's happened, do a search for what BATF tried to do to John Ross over his novel Unintended Consequences. I'm just sayin', cops have been jerking around, if not outright murdering, gunfolk, since long before Kenyon Ballew. It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.

1108 - Monday, 27 March 2006: Yup, unemployment looms again, the layoff is confirmed. I could live off the windfall for a while until this job hires me back, but 1) chyaright, and 2) that's not what the windfall is for. So, phone temp service. Update resume, email to temp rep. Ugh, that means I have to get MS Word running on the computer again (sometimes the installation crashes). And then I have to compose an email to OFF, then do my regular net session, and I still have to do laundry, and then I have to go to bed earlier ‘cause getting up at 4:30 sucks, and....

The latest Mojo sight (for the Mosin carbine) has arrived! So now I have two tuneable highpower rifles again, though sis' Izhevsk 91/30 has a better trigger than my Hungarian M1944. This, combined with my nifty performance yesterday with the P35, should help shake off the bad associations toward firearms created in my subconscious since the burglary.

Activated burglary page, emailed OFF for advice.

With the extra hours this week resulting in less sleep, email will probably back up for a few days.

1109 - Tuesday, 28 March 2006: Nearly out of work, as in things to do. Might not get 40 hours this week. (I hate make-work, I want to accomplish things.) At least the rent's already covered by this Friday's pay for last week's work. The bulk (over 80%) of the windfall into savings (I can do that online!). No major purchases (i.e. gun safe, car, Garand) until I'm sure I have income again.

Message from temp service, a possibility already, mechanical assembly, in Beaverton which is still across town but not as far. And day shift. No details yet.

The dumpster's gone! Exactly four months to the calendar day from its arrival. (Unless they bring another - it was simply full.) Some shuffling of new neighbor's vehicles tomorrow and I can finally park at my door again. Engine fan bypass switch is first priority, to keep the Corolla from blowing up until I can replace it.

Veteran neighbor (feigning heart attack on the occasion of the dumpster's disappearance) already got his federal tax refund, dunno when (or if) I'll get mine. At least I'm not one of those doofi who will be lining up at the post office at 11:43pm on the 17th.

Oh, zero malfunctions with second sis' new Taurus 24/7, or with my FrankenP35 not counting misfires.

Grunting and cussing and installing Mojo over 53-year-old Hungarian spring.

Preparing for Large Reloading Session, mainly .357 (bought more Bullseye, I have a proven load and don't want to muck with it) and, pending a report from first sis who has the test batch, some .38. (First sis also has the .357/Unique test batch, awaiting report on that too.) Second sis, now equipped (and on her way to being armed, which is not the same thing), returned the old double, I fondled it briefly, and sent it back with first sis again, so I'll also be making more 12 gauge superlight (i.e. 6/OO & 7/8oz #6).

Mail: "In the name of the State of Oregon you are commanded to appear as a witness on behalf of the State of Oregon in Multnomah County Circuit Court... Regarding: State of Oregon v. Willie Lee Johnson... Charge: BURGLARY IN THE FIRST DEGREE." Downtown (yech), 11am this Friday the 31st. Well, it doesn't look like entrapment....

Email, OFF responds with the advice that the state is probably more interested in bagging Willie than in bagging me. I'll send OFF another check, on principle (a bigger one this time, on principle), as soon as income resumes.

Processing some .38 brass. Nearly out of Winchester primers; bought a brick of CCI #500 at Sportsman's Warehouse, lower price, may switch permanently. Anyway I can tell them apart in a loaded cartridge by color; CCI is silver, Winchester is brass-colored. (This bit of forensic trivia may also help a nitpicker determine whether a particular case scavenged from the range is once-fired factory or a reload; if it's a Winchester-family headstamp with a silver-colored primer, it's probably not factory. Also I believe Winchester is alone in using that color for primers, so a brass-colored primer in someone else's headstamp also indicates a reload.)

Speaking of Sportsman's Warehouse, at the match I heard a rumor that they will be opening a store in Orchards (northeastern Vancouver), then emailed that rumor to Cruffler, who emailed the corporation, who responded Yes, around this autumn. But the one on my side of the river still won't have sales tax. :)

Williamson's The Weapon is simultaneously highly entertaining, 'cause it's good, and depressing, 'cause I wanted to write it. It's not the same universe I have in my head, but it is a similar size and shape. Oh well, maybe it'll wake up my muse.

1110 - Wednesday, 29 March 2006: Back trouble the last couple days. More air in the mattress, ibuprofen for pain, antacid for ibuprofen. Crap, getting old.

At least Fuji seems more active and less pained as winter recedes.

Tomorrow is my last day at work (starting at 5:30 again, meaning getting up at 4:30 again, but if they somehow find enough work to do it should be a 35.5-hour paycheck on the 7th). Team lunch event, not sure who's paying, but even with the bulk of the windfall in savings there's some comforting slack in checking at the moment, and I have two more paychecks in the pipeline (one of which will be negated by rent, but still).

Anxiety over the approaching court date - can't carry so much as a pocketknife into the courthouse and I know the only people with weapons there aren't qualified to safely carry them. -I suspect that if I lived in a rural area, instead of a major city, I might have less cause to be critical of law enforcement; population density and basic human competency appear inversely proportional. -I also suspect that useless parasitic wastes-of-oxygen like Willie are quite rare in such areas and I'd have less need to interact with law enforcement. Cities suck. Get out if you can.

No word from temp service.

Gaah, impulse buy of two special-edition DVDs for $7 each: Hondo, which I might have seen once decades ago, the library had it on VHS but all copies are long since missing; and director's cut, plus extras, of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which is as good as Trek ever got or ever will get (though some of the TNG episodes, particularly the Klingon succession war, had their moments).

Vehicles shuffled, I can park (near) my door again (will set some scrap lumber or a rock or something on the ground for a parking cue, to bump a tire). New neighbors' semi-derelict (?) truck is, at my suggestion, off the street and out of sight next to my dead hatchback. Too tired and sore to work on the Corolla right now though, this weekend for the fan switch I hope. The fourth unit may also be occupied now but I can't tell if it's a real renter or someone on the reconstruction crew.

One of the things I anticipate at the grand jury, however that works, is the implication from some defense attorney that I'm a racist and that it's somehow my fault that Willie is a lowlife scumbag whose hand should be chopped off with a scimitar (even Islam has its good points...). Well, it's not just me calling a scumbag a scumbag. Some of you may remember Bill Cosby's shocking, off-the-reservation comments last year on the inferiority and self-destructiveness of black culture. Here it is, transcribed and Snoped even.

1111 - Thursday, 30 March 2006: And I'm unemployed again. At least I didn't quit this time. Amicable parting so I could go back there if and when, but they were talking about a plant shutdown even for the permanent employees, so not counting on that.

No word from temp service.

Juggled drives and software long enough to print burglary-relevant files for assistance at the grand jury. So there's a side-benefit of ‘blogging and another reason I rank personal computers near personal automobiles and microwave ovens as the Greatest Inventions Ever.

Back trouble still. Maybe catching up on sleep some will help.

Hundreds of .357 cases in the tumbler, running it a good long time. Will use all CCI primers in this huge batch, and the proven 4.5gr Bullseye load under the preferred 125gr Xtreme plated RN/FPL (which I'll probably need another ~$30, 500-piece box of before I'm done).

Think about that. I buy 9x19mm by the 250-round economy box, and I reload .357 in batches at least as large. And police... fire 50 or 100 rounds a year. I fire twice that on the fourth Sunday of every month, not counting practice and subversion and pure recreation in between. And they think they're qualified and I'm not. Certainly none have answered my challenge, or if so they haven't identified themselves. By my figuring I took fourth place overall in the last match, in a field of 17 (and first sis was right behind me in fifth overall, by my reckoning) including at least one past winner.

Corolla oil change due, procrastinating ‘til weekend when I'll also work on the fan bypass. If I get out of the courthouse alive and unpersecuted.

On the lists, Nebraska gets shall-issue concealed carry, congratulations!

Recalling the last family visit, I'm now told the Indian blood, last suspected to be 1/8 Sioux, may be and/or 1/8 Cherokee. Nifty.

Not too anxious about getting another job right away, I wouldn't mind a week or so off at this point. More than a week, I'd $tart to mind.

1112 - Friday, 31 March 2006: Zzz.

Check online banking - direct deposit okay, rent check on the way. So that's done.

Gaah, enemy territory. Parking away from downtown, hiking in. Decent weather at least. Subpoena, ‘blog printout, notebook, tape recorder (says so right on the back of the subpoena, "You may want to take notes of the conversation or have it recorded"). Book to read (the Williamson still; I wonder if they'll let me in with that title?). Umbrella (this is Oregon, and maybe I can use it as a baton, since all my other tools have to be left behind - anything is a weapon if you hold it right). Therapeutically killing time before departure by processing .357 brass.

And it's over with. Arrived about 10:30, kept fangs in during security screening, found designated room a few minutes later. Read Victims' Rights Guide, read book, guesstimate value of stolen property at ~$2,000. Shortly after 11, Deputy District Attorney meets, briefs me on what to expect, warns of another subpoena for trial in about a month and of probable shifts in court dates. Inside - about 8 people seated around the witness chair. No fangs, no entrapment (though the detective (a different one) also called to this grand jury may have been giving off a Vibe over this journal) - they want Willie, and want my help getting him. Questions on the basics of the case, some backstory, details. Sketched them a map of the hovelplex even. Gave DDA the copy of the STOLEN GUNS printout I brought for that purpose, annotated with estimated values and that the Dragoon was (mostly) recovered. Left about 11:30 without further incident.

Except, of course, Icky! Downtown! People! Moonbats for blocks on end! It's bad enough when I have to take the center lane from Hwy 26 and go over the Burnside or some other bridge, when I-405 and I-84 are backed up, but this time I was on foot and I could... smell them! Gack!

It was some hike from where I parked, but I could probably use the exercise (I hate running, but I can walk a long, long way) and it was a nice day otherwise (left umbrella in car actually). (Sword-umbrellas are available, BTW, but they're probably flimsy gimmicks that won't hold up in a real fight....) Back to hovel about 12:30, decompress, eat, then work on car - fan bypass, then oil change, then test drive/groceries/library.

Fan bypass: from Bi-Mart, wire (14 gauge, which turned out to be bigger than I really needed), crimp-on blade connectors, switch with appropriate blade terminals. Risk further back injury (actually it may have been therapeutic) staring under instrument panel and at engine compartment firewall. Locate... something... already going through firewall with a big black rubber grommet. Poke hole through grommet alongside whatever's already going through it, with plier tips of Leatherman tool. Shove wire through self-sealing hole - no need to drill a new breach in the firewall, or worry about how to seal it or whether the sharp edge will eat through the wires' insulation. Shove second piece of wire through same hole. Select blank option-slot on console, pop out cover, drill hole in cover, install switch with threaded collar. Risk even further back injury stretching under console to tease wires through option-slot, connect to switch in the obvious manner. In engine compartment, cut single wire from coolant temperature sensor and strip both cut ends. Likewise strip free ends of both newly-installed wires. Twist one wire to each end of sensor wire - simple single-pull, single-throw, closed/open switch, doesn't matter which wire goes where. From previous project, twist wire nuts over twisted wire joints. And... it works! Pop option-slot cover, with attached switch, back into console, label with Dymo or something, done! Then the oil change, then the test drive, then a live-test of the fan switch - yes, it has the desired effect, the temperature needle drops almost fast enough to watch, so the Corolla is less likely to blow up before I can replace it. The option-cover is a little loose and wants to come out whenever the switch is used, big deal.

I could say, "Life sucks less," but every time I do something bad happens about a week later....

Temp service calls - possible job in Hillsboro, perhaps even further than the last, but 1. tech (as opposed to, for example, heaving boxes or crawling under houses); 2. day shift (8am-5pm); and 3. did I hear fourteen dollars an hour?! I'd drive pretty far for that.... They're sending my resume, I'm awaiting further word.

Temp service calls back on aforementioned Beaverton job, phone interview Tuesday 10am. Still haven't called other two temp services.


February 2006 | MARCH 2006 | April 2006

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