Wednesday, March 26, 2008

1000 words.

I'll just let the photos do the speaking. This is at CCA.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


So, it was then gun cleaning time, and everything was brought forth from behind lock and key and laid out to be molested with an oily rag.

And, with such a complete family reunion in place (only missing four pistols), of course I had to take photos.


There's over a hundred years of history sitting there, artifacts of times past... they were actually *there*, the only closer ties I can imagine would be to speak with the owners. And every - single - one still functions, most of them almost like brand new.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Well there's your problem...

Yup, that'll do it... "it" being a rough idle, long start, and bucking.

Maybe the mileage will improve... hell, it's already a hair above 30mpg.

Monday, March 17, 2008


This... this clip is *precisely* why I love the Venture Brothers.

Just some news.

Not much to say here, just some updates.

- I'm now a member of VRPC.

I now have some place to try out the rifles, which of course means my collecting will invariably shift towards pistols...

- I have what I think is an excellent lead on standard and extended magazines for Frankengun. They're Para .45acp magazines, but the feedlips are close enough together to feed 10mm just fine; I know because I tried one. I may soon be coming home with 5 16 round mags and 2 19 round mags...

- the VRPC membership is also the last key towards unlocking the CMP's door. Unfortunately by the time my little accelerated loan payoff scheme is done, they may not have much left but ragged M1 carbines and parts.

That is all; resume your normal workday activities.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Now, I'm being lazy... below is a copy and paste from my other, more private blog and there's a back story to it; I've taken to cooking for two week's worth of lunches at a time, and I've come home from the grocery today with 16 pounds of meat for the stellar price of $20.

This is the first, possibly last post from the seconday mad scientists lab... the kitchen of doom.


Ok... the three pound roast got cut in half, one half was cut through the thickness to make two steaks, which I tenderized... cooked and ate. *ohhh full*. The other pound and a half I cubed and sauteed in a little tenderizer, garlic powder, and chili powder. That will go in the chili.

Also going in the chili is the pound of ground beef I have in the fridge now, the middle of a three pound roll... the ends are in bags in the freezer. The beef for the moment is sitting in the refrigerator with a little pepper sauce and worcestershire on the end, trickling down through.

The chicken... Since i can't exactly trust chicken at $0.59 a pound, I washed everything in cold water right out of the bag. Four legs got skinned and set aside, the rest is in individual bags in the fridge. My god, what a deal... just a little extra work to process. The four skinned went into the pressure cooker with garlic powder and water, and when they finished I stripped them and right now the meat's in the fridge and the bones and stock are in the pressure cooker, pressin'.

When that's done and I set it aside to cool, I can brown the ground beef and then I'll stick that in the fridge for tomorrow... I'll run out of time tonight to make the chili.

Once the stock cools, I'll filter it and put it in my big pot... toss in ingredients and start simmering the soup.

In another pot, there's a pound of kidney beans and a pound of small reds soaking overnight. Tomorrow, half of those will go into the chili with all the meat (lot of meat, wow) after a short stint in the pressure cooker, and half will go into the pressure cooker with onion and the smoked pork neck I picked up today... that's gonna be yummy, yessirree.

And that, all told, should be more than enough to have 11 days of lunches with some left over to feed me this weekend. Phew. And, for next weekend I have split peas for soup; a can o' potatoes and a can o' carrots round that out.

Why... why do I get the feeling I should own a restaurant? I mean, if it weren't for the dry beans I'd only be making... uhm... *figures in head* about 3-4 gallons of food tonight...

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I took the range's Kimber .22 target 1911 conversion out tonight with some leftover mini-mags.

Not bad for no warmup, one-hand shooting at 25 yards.

I also spotted something in the sales case and just had to arrange and photo-ize:

1918 -- 2008 , and damn near identical. The only things I could find on the new Colt reproduction that are off are the prancing horse, the tilt of the slide serrations, and the magazine is fully blued rather than half-dipped like an original.

I want one, badly... It'd probably never get shot either, I'd put it in a nice presentation case with some period memorabilia and leave it at that. Alas, that's impractical *and* impracticable.

I *MUST* stick to the fiscal plan...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One man's trash...

There I was, Knoxville, 2008...

Ok, enough of that. I was at the shop yesterday and I noticed there was a box full of old, patinaed ammunition sitting in the back. A cursory glance showed some odd stuff, though I didn't go rooting, till I asked about it.

It turns out an older lady dropped it off earlier; she'd said it was all corroded, that it had been her husband's and she didn't want it any more. Did I want it? Hell yes.

And with that, I immediately started rooting and getting my hands covered in white lead oxide (which is why the gods invented soap, and I don't chew my fingernails).

A snippet of what was in the box, in quantities of at least one and generally a handful:

.22 rimfire, heeled, extra long, unidentified
.32 rimfire
.32 WCF
.32 S&W long (LONG long, as in I'm puzzled it's that long and still called "S&W Long" long)
.38 ACP
.41 long colt, and a LOT of it
8mm Mannlicher-Schonauer
.41 swiss rimfire (VETTERLI!)
.375 H&H
A rimfire cartridge in the low .38 caliber range
.45 S&W short (maybe, may be a "bulldog" caliber, there's no headstamp and I haven't measured it, is heeled)
One fresh rifle cartridge, unidentified, with a deep inverted rim, around 11mm, with headstamp to investigate later

And there may be more, but we were leaving by then and the stuff is filthy. I'll be looking into perhaps what lightweight media I could use in a vibe tumbler to clear all the crap off of these, maybe I could get some good headstamps after that.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Resourcefulness and logic.

The day before yesterday, I was presented with a gentleman's Norinco AK of some variety. The gun wasn't the point of interest; it was the recoil spring. It had come apart and no effort so far had gotten it back together, and the owner was convinced that the spring retainer was broken.

Ah, not so. I looked at the retainer (a twisted metal wire oval about 1/8" wide and 6" long or so) and noted that the open end was cut, not broken. "Ok, so I have all the parts here, how does this work..."

I tried looking at the other AKs in the store but the only one left was an Arsenal and it uses a solid metal retainer. No go.

Poking around, I noticed that when the two sides of the open end butted together, it was too wide to go through the spring. Aha! The little metal clip held the two ends together and nestled in the end of the spring... That's how it goes!

But, getting the retainer through the spring was fruitless, it snagged. How to avoid snags?

I overlapped the ends and wrapped it with scotch tape. Much less snagless now, but it still binds. So, I tied a string to it. But how to get the string to drop through the spring? Another strip of scotch tape, this time wrapped around the end of the string as a weight. Viola! It comes through!

At that point I bundled as much spring up on the main part of the spring guide and had a third hand pull the string till the end of the loose part of the guide was out. Then I simply stripped the tape off, put the clip on the end and gently let the spring out to it. Success!

Guy left happy, I was ecstatic (it was like solving a puzzle or playing a game to me, and I won), and there's another functional weapon "on the streets".

*That* is why I like guns.

Points and pondering.

Just a few little point updates.

-the doc is behaving like a good small-government type and emulating a decent economics package; I'm trimming and moving programs in order to reduce fiduciary outlay, in order to reduce debtload for a planned movement in purchasing power.

Essentially, I'm buying next to nothing (including a workable (!) scheme to eat healthily for $100 a month) and trimming what I normally overpay into my various loans and bills, in order to knock out one particular loan by August. Asides from the mortgage (which, like the national debt, is large enough to make a severe cost reduction program unfeasible due to long term effects), this loan is my largest and frankly my most embarrasing... I asked the bank if they would offer me a loan to pay off every-single-one of the credit cards that had been used to get me through college and a bit beyond, and they agreed.

Once the program is complete, I'll perform a similar but less severe trick on my vehicle loan (since it has collateral behind it, it's not as bad a risk as the unsecured loan), and then the same with the mortgage.

The benefits: greater spending power. I'm tired of watching guns pass through the shop or looking up something odd on gunbroker and *finding* it and not having the free funds to pick it up.

-How to eat on $100 a month, reasonably healthily, and lose weight doing so: Well, I'm halfway through the first month of the experiment and it's going beautifully so far. Twice a month I'll make a big pot of chili, soup, beans, whatever. When it's done, I immediately ladle it into 9oz containers and toss them in the freezer. The last haul was 11 of those, split between chili and chicken soup made with turkey stock from thanksgiving last.

Breakfast is one egg, done however I like, with a dabbling of leftovers from weekend food and some raw vegetables (mostly broccoli/carrots, it keeps long enough). Lunch is the container meal. Dinner is a sandwich, due to cash concerns this run it's bologna and cheese on whole wheat (real cheese too, it's not tha tmuch more expensive and far better for you).

On the weekends I make some off meals... pasta, lentils, stuff that doesn't freeze well but can cook up in a 2-3 day batch, and have that instead of the soups. There's two cans of "light" canned fruit in the pantry as well, which will augment.

This beats the pants off ramen or even canned soups... I get to control how much salt and how much spice goes in (little salt, much spice), and it just tastes better overall. I figure a big pot of chili like I made runs me something less than $10, for what's proving to be about a week's worth of food.

-Yesterday I went down to the John Sevier range and became a member of the Volunteer rifle and pistol club... looks like it may be worthwhile. I still have to go back on the 16'th for orientation and live fire demo, which I hope will actually happen because I'm scheduled at the shop that day.

View into my mindset: upon learning that there's a live fire demo required, thought #1 wasn't about my capabilities or accuracy... first thought, heck, current thought was "Wow, what will I bring? I could bring the Arisaka but ammo's pricey, could bring a Mosin but my ammo's corrosive... hate to waste a trip to the range with a pistol... the Marlin is still somewhat broken... "

I think I'll just bring the CZ75 compact. First gun's still the one I shoot best with :)

-The white shadow: Project's actually complete, and I ran the numbers and it may behoove me to go ahead and start driving it now instead of waiting for the insurance policy rollover. At today's prices, if I can manage the expected 32mpg then I'll be saving $30 a month in gas... my daily trip takes me 55 to 57 miles depending on which way I go, and the truck's mileage is suffering from old age. Trouble is, the plates haven't arrived yet, but I expect it soon. If they haven't arrived by monday I'll go raise hell at the dealer.