St. Paddy’s Day Cheer Aftermath

Oklahoma news station KOCO reports the following:

OKLAHOMA CITY —The Myriad Gardens says a synthetic, organic compound was the substance used to turn their water features green this weekend.

Fluorescein is a compound often used as a fluorescent tracer. It was used in 1962 to dye the Chicago River green on St. Patrick’s Day.

Myriad Gardens officials said they will drain the lake to one-fourth its normal depth and will refill it using an underground stream and city water.

The garden is waiting on a final analysis because eventually the dyed water will be dumped into the city sewer system.

Garden officials said cleanup from the prank could cost between $5,000 and $10,000.

Authorities are still looking for the person responsible for the vandalism.

Alright, quit looking at me like that. Although I’d kind of like to claim credit for this ingenuous bit of hilarity, I haven’t been near the Myriad Gardens in years. The best prank I ever pulled off was when I parked a classmate’s car inside the band room in high school. We didn’t break or damage anything, and that was far more harmless fun, although the band director didn’t seem to appreciate it so much. But seriously, that’s a brilliantly demented mind that dumped fluorescein into a major water feature in the city to dye it green for the holiday! Whoever you are, well-played sir. But seriously, next time don’t do something that is so expensive to clean up and has the cops looking for you. 8O

*Corrected title to “Paddy’s” from “Patty’s.” Thanks for the catch, David. I can’t believe I did that!

Another Great Commercial

I’ve explained before that I love a good commercial. Uncreative commercials are boring at best and sometimes outright irritating, but when they are done right, they become a form of entertainment all of their own. When advertisement first hit YouTube heavily, I was not impressed. However in the current format, where you can opt to skip the commercial after the first fifteen seconds, it’s forced many marketers to step up their game. If they can sell you on the commercial in the first fifteen seconds, then you might just watch the rest. This approach causes the quality to come up overall. Check out this Totino’s commercial:

Classic! And, it’s holiday-appropriate too. To that end, do have a happy Halloween. Let’s get some kids all sugared up tonight!

Hmmmmm…

So, tomorrow is Halloween and Teen Bot is out of school on Friday. The excuse is ‘teacher training’ but methinks it’s just so the staff doesn’t have to deal with the sugar hangovers. Perhaps it’s so the teachers can sleep in after partying hard. It’s fine by me one way or another. We’ll let him sleep in to get through his candy coma. When he gets up he can work on whatever homework he has and then can start the weekend with his grandparents early. I’m kind of wishing that we had a party or something to go to. Then again, I don’t really have a costume put together, unlike some other people. I’m sure I could throw something together if something comes up. Sorry for the short post and lack of recent posts. I’ll try to rectify.

Good Times

I revealed earlier that there was some disappointment last weekend. On Monday, MattG, Lawdog, and Phlegmmy came back through to pick up cars and continue on home. The last couple of winters have been sufficient to cycle the peach pits, and although our last peach tree died, there were quite a few sprouts in the yard this spring. Last summer was brutal enough that it killed all but one of the peach sprouts. The reason this works into the story is that we’ve been looking for homes for peach trees. Lawdog and Phlegmmy took three of them and MattG took one home as well.

MattG is insane, by the way. It sounds as though he took off exactly enough time to make the NRA Con. As in, the limiting factor for his arrival at my place on Friday was when he could get off work, and the determining point on when he had to get back home was when his next shift started. So on Monday, he had just enough time to exchange pleasantries, take a red Solo cup full of peach sprout, shoehorn himself into his Civic clown style, and split. Phlegmmy and Lawdog had places to be and puppies to pick up, but at least had enough time that we got to grab a late lunch with them. The food was pretty good, but the company was great! As much as I always appreciate our group get togethers with the bloggers and enough hardware to take over a banana republic, sitting down to a meal just the four of us was a rare treat. We got to enjoy the NRA Con vicariously, and Lawdog tells me that I need to have a booth next year. *sigh* Trade shows are so expensive! Who knows, maybe I’ll be moving enough cash to justify it by this time next year.

Schutenfest was an insane amount of fun, but I’m really looking forward to Phlegmfest. It’s so nice to just sit around and chat. It’s nearly impossible to replicate that experience on the firing line. Unfortunately. Perhaps I should invest more in silencers. Although they wouldn’t work very well on my ported, Magnum revolvers. Perhaps I should invest in a Nagant revolver and put a can on that. But, that’s a tangent of its own. Besides that, the shooting tends to be distracting beyond the noise associated with it. And that’s probably a good thing.

Moving forward, the weather looks pretty good for this weekend so far. We’re still up in the air on whether we’re going to try to make it to Borepatch’s deal. On Sunday, I was able to sight in my bow for twenty, thirty, forty, and fifty yards. I’m here to tell you, fifty yards looks a lot shorter through rifle sights! However, I was able to plant a four-shot group within a dinner plate sized group at that distance. If it hadn’t been so windy, I bet it would have been tighter than that. There are wild creatures that are in more peril now than they were last week. Unfortunately, Jennifer did something mysterious to wrench her back and has been appropriately pathetic since. I took her to the witch doctor chiropractor on Tuesday and she seems to be getting better, but the jury is still out as to whether she’ll be in shotgunning condition by Saturday. I have my doubts that she’ll be up for a full-blown blogshoot though. Additionally, if we can’t get our hands on a car that burns less oil, I don’t see making the drive.

Between meeting with friends on Monday, Taking Jennifer to the doctor on Tuesday, and Teen Bot’s state testing on Friday, I’m not getting much done this week. I’ve actually gotten a whole lot more done than I thought I would though. And I’ve got an engine to rebuild next week. I coveted MattG’s beat up Civic over the weekend. It shouldn’t take very long to overhaul the Tactical Assault Compact Sedan. If we’re lucky I bet we can pull it off in two days. Worst case scenario, I imagine we’ll have it back together by the weekend. We’ve got to get it back together so we can go meet up with our remote friends!

Bummed but Optimistic

Minutes ago, Lawdog, Phlegmmy, and MattG left my home. They stopped by to rub it in and make me jealous consolidate cars on their way to the NRA Convention. They arrived within minutes of each other and stood and chatted on the front sidewalk just long enough to make me remember how much I’ve missed my friends.

I’d like to blame my lack of trying to make the con on finances. But, cash flow is the best it has been since I started working for myself, and I’ve got friends and family in the area that would totally let my family crash with them if we hoofed it out. Honestly, I don’t really know why we didn’t make more of an effort to go. But, it’s probably good that we didn’t, seeing as how we’ve got a car with a blown engine. *Sigh.*

However, as long as the weather holds, Jennifer and I are still planning on going out to hunt turkeys this weekend, just the two of us, so that’s exciting! I was really looking forward to Teen Bot coming with us, but he hasn’t shown much interest in learning to shoot shotgun yet. Maybe this weekend will be a driving factor in him actually learning to shoot it. We’re pitching a tent in our favorite Sooper Seekrit Location tonight, so we can hike up to our already set up blind in the dark before dawn. We have snacks and drinks set aside as well as three shotguns and a bow. Which reminds me, I haven’t posted a follow up to my archery post. I expect we’ll pattern the shotguns this afternoon and generally enjoy each other’s company. In case of hogs, we’ll have a couple of big-bore pistols at the ready.

But, I don’t think the hogs have been on the property for a little while now. People who know more about it might not agree with me, but it is my belief that the hogs ran off the coyotes and the big cats ran off the hogs. We’re seeing less and less of big cats (haven’t seen one of the cougar tracks in quite a few weeks), although the bobcats are still around, and the deer population seems to be coming up again. I’m definitely looking forward to October 1 when deer archery starts along with Fall turkey and rabbit seasons!

We’re supposed to meet up with Lawdog and Phlegmmy on Monday when they come back through town for a meal at the local South American restaurant. Mmmmmm! When I first mentioned this place to Lawdog, his ears perked up and he announced that they would be visiting. We’ve been there with other bloggers before, and have been looking forward to sharing it with more of our friends. I really do want to try their entire menu eventually, but I’m so hooked on their diablo shrimp entree that I haven’t made much headway in that regard. It’s hot and shrimpy and wonderful.

So to recap, I’m jealous and pouty that we aren’t going to the NRA Con this year. We’ll definitely be probing our Houston contacts about next year’s con. Although I’m upset that we won’t make the con, I’m really stoked about our hunting trip. If I see a turkey, I expect we’ll have turkey dinner soon. Wish us luck! I haven’t seen my engine rebuild kit come in yet, but the car seems to be limping along okay, even if it does go through about half a quart of oil for each gallon of gas it burns. Oh, and it misses like crazy since all that oil has so badly fouled the iridium spark plugs. It’s times like these that I really regret not having a second vehicle. It shouldn’t be long before we can address this issue and more though. To all of you going to St. Louis this weekend, have fun and take lots of pics!

Merry Effing Christmas.

Yeah. So on Christmas Eve Eve, we went to sushi with my parents. That was pretty nice. I seriously loaded up on sushi. The day after, on Christmas Eve, we were at Jennifer’s rents’ house with all the ensuing drama. To my glee, nobody too weird showed up this time. I did get quite a bit of Baby Girl snuggles so that was good. On Christmas day we went to my parents’ place (showed up late due to miscommunication) and stayed until about 11:30 playing Wii. Today, we went to my Aunt’s place. My grandparents showed up, and Grandpa traded quips with Great Aunt Eleanor about who was going to die first. They are 91 and 83 respectively. Yeah. That was cool ‘n stuff. And I got in a fight with my mom and aunt respectively. Unintentionally. Tried to skirt it and not disagree with them. Concerning ADD. And meds. Awkward. I was really trying to be good. I really didn’t disagree with anybody at the table, they just didn’t realize it. And Aunt Eleanor said that she wanted the following song played at her funeral because nobody but NOBODY could cry during this song and there was to be no crying during HER funaral!!!!eleven!!:

This video is a cuter video and fits her personality far better. She’s very funny and charming and has a whole lot of spirit. Yeah, not so much – not a dry eye in the house, actually. I’m glad Christmas is over, and looking forward to the new year. I’m going to have to shoot an email to Aunt Jill saying that I don’t think she’s a bad parent for having her kid on ADD meds. How the crap does this happen anyway?

Halloween Redux

This year’s was one of the better Halloweens in recent memory. The company was good at several gatherings, there was good food and drinks, good candy, and good people. Usually we don’t really get to do the whole “Halloween party” thing at all, and then it’s just the three of us for the ‘eve itself. I do usually make it a point to carve a pumpkin, and have come out with some pretty good ones over the years past. Many years ago, I bought a small lamp socket fixture thing and a novelty bulb to go in it. Instead of a standard filament, it has a pink-orange glowing skull and crossbones with a green glowing “DANGER” text over it. I’ve integrated this into several jack-o-lanterns for a pretty sweet effect that can’t be blown out by the wind. I decided to break it out this year.

I’ve been trying to get Wee Bot more involved in the planning and administration side of our plans, and this year’s pumpkin was a prime example. I told him that I wanted to put the DANGER bulb in our jack-o-lantern, so it needed to have wide open holes in it for visibility. What I didn’t tell him was that I was thinking about a skull-like theme. That is, until he said that he thought it should look like a skull. I was thinking a toothy mouth that extended nearly half the circumference of the pumpkin, from the equator down to almost the ground level, a notched hole of a nose, and two very open, round eye sockets located largely on top of the head. Here’s what I wound up with:

DSCN5672

And the light through the mouth:

DSCN5668

And the light through the eye socket:

DSCN5670

I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Jennifer and I attended several Halloweenish parties. We went steampunk-like at the Blogorado dress-up thingy, I dressed in a slightly modified steampunk costume for my brother’s and wife’s birthday bash (they’re only two days apart), we went to a school friend’s costume party all gothed out, but what did I dress as for Halloween night? Well, don’t you hate those people that go ‘as themselves’ for Halloween?

DSCN5677

I went as an evil robot, of course! There was a lot of grease makeup on me. I didn’t want it to smear, and I wanted to add a little bit of sheen for that plasticy look. So, I used one of my wax-based aerosol leather finishes. It felt really weird and probably gave me lung cancer, but it did give the right look and kept me from smudging all over the place. Well, it was also really hard to wash off.

On the night of, we sat in the front yard around the fire pit, eating chili, giving out candy. I walked around the block with B-I-L and his fiance, Wee Bot, and Baby Girl. Wee Bot and Baby Girl collected copious amounts of candy and were generally worn out by the end of the evening. B-I-L didn’t drink all of our liquor or make a scene with his parents, and everyone went home at an astonishingly early hour.

As we were winding down, the older kids came around. “Did you see what SHE was wearing?” I asked Jennifer, “Her butt was technically covered, but her garter straps were hanging out there. Her parents either need to be slapped around for letting her go out like that or for their lack of observation! They don’t even let girls her age go into the stores where they sell that stuff!” In all fairness, she was probably not a minor, but lied about her age so people wouldn’t hassle her about going door to door. This year, those types at least looked like they could be old enough for that much exposure. It hasn’t been so every year. It was inappropriate in any case. But, if that’s the biggest thing that I’ve got to complain about, it was a good celebration. Girls in slutty costumes will be with us every Halloween. All of our kids looked nice. And, we looked fabulous!

Blogorado 2011 Recovery

AEPilot Jim warns us about Post Blogorado Depression. I have to admit that I was a little bummed to have to leave such fine company. PBD really hit me though when we walked in the front door. We discovered that our cats had gotten mad at our absence and sought revenge by relieving themselves under our dining room table. Upon finding the mess, I announced to Jennifer, “Alright. Let’s go back.” :P We did get the cat mess cleaned up promptly and it appears to have been localized right there.

Lucky Gunner Blog Shoot 2011

For a brief background to the story, Jennifer told me about this blog shoot that Lucky Gunner was hosting in TN over Memorial Day weekend. Apparently, we’d register to go. Upon our acceptance, we needed to figure out a way to get there and a place to stay. They were going to provide guns, targets, and ammunition and we were asked to blog about the experience. It sounded like fun, so we jumped aboard. I was looking for blog fodder and a good time, and Lucky Gunner was looking for bloggers to generate more customers for them. Holy expletive. It is quite possible that I’m going to have to buy all of my ammo from them for the rest of my life in addition to giving them extensive and frequent blog time for the same duration in order to repay their investment this weekend. I knew we would have fun. I can go out to a field with a .22 and a few targets and have fun for hours. I would have never imagined what we actually got could even be possible.

On Saturday morning, we met up with the Lucky Gunner people and the other bloggers for breakfast. Angela from Lucky Gunner passed out paperwork and explained the scope of the day. She said that they gathered guns from Multiple sources including manufacturers, local collectors, and reenactors. She said that the reenactors had actually come with fully functional tanks. She pointed to three cute little girls and explained that they were our ‘ammo waitresses’ and would take orders and deliver ammunition and drinking water throughout the weekend. Wait. What? So, not only do we get to shoot other people’s weapons including historical pieces, full-autos, and artillery; not only do we get free ammo for the event to shoot the aforementioned to our hearts’ content from a store of 200,000 rounds; but said ammunition is going to be delivered to us by these lovely young ladies at our beck and call? Un-freaking-believable. I was starting to believe that the rapture had actually taken place and I just woke up in heaven. Yes, in my version of heaven there are cute girls that bring me ammo so I can shoot machine guns. Except in my version of heaven, they also bring beer. Quite understandably, this was not part of the deal. That was my biggest clue that I had not actually entered into the Great Beyond.

When we drove into the range, we were surrounded by old military vehicles, tents, and men and women in uniform. The reenactors had done a remarkable job of creating the atmosphere. For the first ten to twenty minutes after we arrived, Jennifer and I simply stood there, trying to soak it all in. It was just that amazing. Several of the Lucky Gunners and RSOs approached us and told us not to be shy but to get up there and ask if we could shoot some guns. Which we did. And it was awesome. There are pics and videos that I will share, as well as specific reviews on weapons and experiences, but for now I want to get this much down and keep this post to a readable length. On Saturday we shot ourselves stupid and poured into bed. On Sunday, we took a pistol class from Tom Givens of Range Master. As I had been previously warned of his teaching, I learned a lot in just a little bit of time. I realize now that I need a whole lot more pistol training. Anyway, the people were amazing – those of Lucky Gunner and my fellow gun nerds. Many thanks go out to Lucky Gunner, Angela and the other lovely employees who were so very accommodating. Thanks to Magtech and Sellier & Bellot for sponsoring with their ammunition. Thanks to Tom & Lynn Givens and the RSOs for the fantastic pistol class.

Buy a Belt!

Friends, if both of you buy a belt at The Holster Site, I can have dinner tonight. I kid, I kid! But, seriously. This is the best belt I’ve ever handled.

DSCN2509

I’ve been wearing mine for a few weeks now, and it is wearing very nicely. What makes this belt special is that it is two layers of top-grain leather with a nylon webbing reinforced core. It is extremely tough, but it’s also very comfortable. The nylon core reduces stretch and roll, adds strength, and leaves the belt flexible enough that it will shape to your body.

DSCN2506

The three layers are first glued and then stitched together. The belt is then fitted with a buckle with two Chicago screws. For a little extra, you can get all the hardware in solid stainless steel.

DSCN2505

These are priced at $90.00 with chromed hardware or $100.00 with solid stainless steel hardware, but I’ve got them on an introductory half-price sale through Christmas Eve. That means $45.00 for the standard hardware or $50.00 with stainless! This price is against all my better judgment, so needless to say, I just don’t see it happening again.

So, cruise on by The Holster Site and order yours today. If you are so excited you can’t stand to leave this page, simply order your belt here:


Hardware
Please specify color & length




Don’t forget to specify the length needed from where the belt folds over the buckle to the middle adjustment hole!