Post-Memorial Day

My wife described our Memorial Day camping trip twice. A great time was had by all within the confines of living in a fallen world. It rained on us on Sunday, and the rest of our stay was quite damp and humid, even after the sky cleared up. I didn’t drink enough water on Sunday, and woke up Monday dehydrated and hung-over, even though I didn’t drink much the previous night. Shame on me! A water, a coffee, and two additional hours of sleep later, I felt great.

Once we got home, we had wet tents and wet guns to contend with. Several of the blued guns have been kept so oiled that the moisture was not an issue. Several others needed some very light rust scrubbed off of them. The rust just about made me sick, but it cleaned off easily and left no evidence of its attack. We have dried and re-folded the tarps and most of the tent components. Jenni cleaned and oiled both shotguns, I took care of my revolvers and a couple of our rifles, and we still have tent pieces, a rifle, and two more revolvers to clean up after our adventure. With two full-time jobs and other commitments to contend with, it’s been a slow process getting back to the real world.

Last night, I helped the kiddo strip, clean, and oil his 10/22. As he scrubbed the barrel and the receiver, he chatted with me.

Kid – “Dad, I like my gun.”

Me – “I’m glad you like it. I like your gun too. That’s why I bought one like it for Mom and me to shoot.”

Kid – “I’m glad I got to shoot it this weekend.”

Me – “Me too. That was a lot of fun, wasn’t it?”

Kid – “Yeah.”

Me – “And, you always remember your safety rules. I’m really proud that you handle a gun so responsibly!”

Kid – “Thanks, Dad. And, Dad? I kind of like cleaning my gun.”

Me – “It’s a relaxing activity, isn’t it? It’s not something that you would want to have to do twice a day for the rest of your life, but it’s quite enjoyable from time to time.”

Kid – “Yeah. I like cleaning my gun with you.”

Me – “Cleaning guns is a pretty good father and son activity, isn’t it?”

Kid – “Yeah. And, sometimes with Mom too.”

This all took place while Jenni was gone to choir practice. I couldn’t help but laugh at our son. He’s a good kid. Sometimes, his ten-year-old-ness drives me nuts, but he’s very responsible and well-behaved, especially for his age!

Lessons learned this weekend:

1. No matter how badly I want to go camping, if there is the slightest forecast of rain, it will cause a lot of subsequent work.

2. After working all day in the heat without stopping for a water break, don’t go straight to relaxing with a glass of booze. Bad things shall ensue!

3. I need a S&W 629. If I ever have to scrub rust off of my beloved Lust’s trigger again, I’m going to puke!

4. A heavily-oiled gun will resist corrosion where a lightly-oiled gun will speckle with a cinnamon dusting in intense humidity. Although the heavily-oiled gun will attract more dust, this might be a reasonable trade off, depending on the piece.

5. It appears that billiard balls make fine, reusable, reactive targets! It’s fun to watch them fly when hit, and even some of the mightier handgun cartridges won’t damage them much beyond aesthetics.

Open Carry

It’s about high-time I cover this particular subject that I’ve tackled in personal email and in web forums on multiple occasions. I have so-far skirted this thing because I’ve been trying to organize my thoughts so I can actually put something down that’s intellectual and fully portrays my divergent thoughts on it.

Of course, the anti’s are totally opposed to Open Carry, as they are completely opposed to an armed citizen no matter what the carry method, concealed or open. Those that push for greater gun control would rather see women raped, and good people murdered than to see a responsible citizen protect himself and his family (using ‘him’ in the perfectly acceptable, general sense, of course). They will preach that someone with a gun is more likely to shoot themselves or someone they love than they are to stop a crime, and that a victim’s best choice of defense is no defense at all. They will say, ‘don’t fight your attacker, just give them what they want,’ like your money, your body, your life. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy any of that.

The big supporters of Open Carry feel like the mere sight of a firearm will deter most criminals. I feel like this is a very dangerous partial truth. I feel like MOST criminals specifically target those they feel are the weakest, easiest target. It is hard to argue that someone visibly carrying a gun fits the mold of the easy target. However, I also feel like there are some criminals – those who would specifically assault a police officer, for example – who would not be deterred, but may in fact be encouraged by the sight of a sidearm on a potential victim. Think ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ mentality. I don’t ever want to have to use my gun against another human being if I can in any way avoid it, but I sure as heck don’t want to rumble with one of these aforementioned sociopaths.

The gunnies that are opposed to Open Carry cite that it is a tactical disadvantage, as those with ill-intent can tell exactly whom is armed. I will concede that if I’m wearing a visible side-arm, and some thugs come in to the store where I’m shopping, the likelihood of them shooting me down is greatly increased. If they don’t know who in this same store is armed, and who is not, ambiguity and anonymity are my friends. I have now gained the advantage of surprise. There is much merit to this stance, and I respect it.

Now, please allow me to weigh in. Personally, I feel like the masses that have not been educated about firearms safety and the shooting sports gain every ounce of their knowledge from the media. The media is a terrible educator. Between Hollywood (where guns are very nearly as good as completely illegal) and the sensationalistic news, we are taught that there are two types of people who have guns: Cops and Bad Guys. If you find out that someone has a gun, and they aren’t a cop, then guess what that makes them? I’ve had people gain the knowledge that I am a gun owner to elicit the verbal response, “That scares me.”

I feel like if the majority (i. e. more than half) of non-criminal adults routinely Open Carried a handgun, it would serve to completely knock down the negative perception that the media has set up of gun culture. Many would say that taking these people to the gun range would have a similar effect, and I have to agree. However, I can’t take a million people to the gun range. I can take a handful. Among the people that I’ve taken to the gun range that would not have gone otherwise, well over half of them have become gun owners and target shooters themselves. On the other hand, if I was one of many people that were regularly seen carrying a side arm, gun ownership would be normalized to the masses. No longer would the perception be that only cops and bad guys own guns. The perception would quickly shift to one that guns are owned and used by cops, bad guys, and Bob the shoe salesman, Fran the hair-dresser, Chuck the banker, and most of the parents of children who are in your child’s class.

Proposals for anti-gun legislation would broadly be seen as stupid and pointless as they actually are. The anti’s would lose the battle by such a crushing defeat that we would see the creep of legislation go the other way. Class-III weapons would lose their classification as it would widely be realized that these items do indeed have useful purposes in the world beyond inflicting vice and provoking terror. It is my personal opinion that a wide-spread practice of Open Carry would fix, once and for all, the problem of negative gun perception in this country.

But, I digress. This is a pipe-dream. In states where Open Carry is legal, it is not wide-spread, but rather is quite unusually practiced. There are countless testimonies of Open Carriers being stopped by local law enforcement, as not even the officers understand what Open Carry actually is or that it is legal in their jurisdictions. As such, where it exists, Open Carry seems to pose much more of a problem than it does an advantage. What bothers me more than anything else is that I don’t see this as a problem that has a viable solution.

If tomorrow, I woke up as the guy in charge, that is to say if I completely got my way; every, single, last, non-criminal adult would Openly Carry a gun that they were well-trained and well-practiced with. There would be no restrictions on where you could or could not carry, and everyone would be held to the same high standards that they currently already are here in the real world. If you commit an inexcusable crime, you will lose your privilege and right to own or carry a gun, more often than not even after repaying your debt to society.

I don’t need to go into great detail on why this would never work, but allow me to attempt to quickly explain myself. People who vote for the politician who promises with such obvious emptiness that he’ll take care of their medical bills cannot be trusted with an instrument of life and death, in my humble opinion. People who absolutely have to have heated seats, automatic windshield wipers, and automatic headlights don’t have the presence of mind to operate or be responsible with a tool such as a handgun. Individuals that think that carbon dioxide is killing the Earth, and yet if they pay enough money they can be exempt from their own advice don’t deserve to make a life or death decision. Those that don’t see the value in neutralizing a self-declared enemy in foreign lands lack the judgment necessary to make a decision on when to run away or when to stand one’s ground and use the best weapon immediately available. I think I’ve knocked out a pretty good majority of American adult society already.

Besides that, if as many people as I’ve specified were able to train, practice and carry in order to Open Carry, the argument is moot as there would be no one left to educate correctly. If the vast majority of non-criminal adults were already active in the shooting sports, my primary goal of Open Carry would already be achieved. If it was already common knowledge that pretty much everybody you came across was armed, it’s true that concealed carry would be stupid. People would say, ‘We’ve all got them, why don’t we just wear them openly?’ And then, my friends, Open Carry would be the symptom and not the cure.

Thoughts?

Opinions?

Siamese Rose

One of our rose bushes produced a most unique rose this week. Jenni spotted this one early in the week when it was just buds. I trimmed it off today and put it in a vase. When you see this pic, it looks like two roses in the vase:

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But, here’s a close-up of the shared stem:

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This flower (these flowers?) is (are?) one of the more bizarre and yet gorgeous things I’ve seen in person.

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When Jen and I were in a time of life that we were broke broke broke, I bought her an antique, blown, Japanese bud vase for some kind of holiday present with some money that I had squirreled away over a period of time. It wasn’t expensive at the time, but it may as well have been for what we were bringing home. For whatever reason, that vase seemed appropriate for this trimming.

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Like a midget stripper, it’s nearly impossible to look away from this abomination. I think Jen is going to take it to work tomorrow, but I had to get some pics of it before that.

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UPDATE! *cheesy telegraph beeping sound*

I sent the pics to TLC with a WTF?, and this is what they returned to me:

Normal for a first bloom. That sometimes happens when we have late frost. It should correct itself. You may want to use Bayer All in One to control the Black leaf spot. Thanks, Linda and Pat the rose man

Thank you, Linda and Pat the rose man.

New X/Dubba-Deuce

As I’m sure both of you recall, I ran a poll on my blog asking for opinions on what I should do for a rimfire rifle. That landed me one vote for a dedicated upper receiver for an AR15, and six votes for a Ruger 10/22. In the process of writing that post, I had pretty well talked myself into the Ruger anyway. Then, I’m sure you recall me talking about shopping for a used one last weekend. As it turns out, used 10/22’s are really scarce in my neighborhood recently, and sellers want as much as you can get a new one for. So, I decided to get a new one, and here she is:

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A sling, a set of sights, and another magazine or two is all it will take to make this into an Appleseed gun *insert snare cadence*. I have to be honest that this gun is not nearly as nice as the old one that we bought for our son’s birthday. I don’t usually put much stock (as it were) into the phrase, “they don’t make them like they used to,” but it really holds some ground in this case. The overall design of the gun is the same, but the barrel band is plastic instead of steel, the wood the stock is made of is a lower grade than the older sibling, and the general fit and finish of this new gun leaves something to be desired as compared to the boy’s old gun. Even so, it’s everything that I wanted it to be for its place in the family. That other stuff can be fixed, after all.

So, at this point, we have the following three guns for our use this Summer:

Winchester 69A Match with one magazine and a military-style sling. We will still need a handful of magazines for this baby. I’m thinking that four or five more would not be at all unreasonable.

Two Ruger 10/22’s – one with a webbing sling, and six magazines between the two of them – five Ruger, 10-shot, rotary magazines and one worn-out, 25-shot Butler Creek. We’ll need to get Tech Sights for both guns and sling swivels and a sling for the new one. I’d also like to get at least one more 10-shot magazine, and a couple of the steel-lipped Butler Creeks before we get to that point.

I feel a lot closer to the goal now than I did yesterday. We haven’t gotten to shoot her yet, but we will by the end of Memorial weekend. Range report to follow.

Should Have Rented Iron Man.

This evening after work, Jenni and I decided to go out for a burger. We went to Coach’s, one of the few places left on the planet that will still reliably properly undercook a hamburger. As quaint as we are, we decided to rent a movie to watch at home after dinner. We don’t make it to the theater a whole lot for a multitude of reasons. There’s no gum or spilled soda on the living room floor, we don’t have to be fully dressed while watching, and the drinks are much cheaper and have more alcohol in them. So, Blockbuster gets more of our business than AMC. We don’t usually have the problem of a crying baby in our living room, and the random idiot talking loudly on the phone is extremely rare in our humble abode. Plus, there’s a magical ‘pause’ button for bathroom breaks, and I never feel bad about grabbing another drink.

So, we were at the rental place looking for a flick. My brother has told me that Iron Man is awesome, so I have been looking forward to seeing that one. I’ve also been curious about The Punisher. The former is rated PG13 and the latter is rated R, so we picked up The Punisher War Zone with the intent of reading more about Iron Man to see if it would be suitable to watch with our son at a later time. My lovely wife commented that she’s always up for a good action flick. I’m so sorry, Jennifer. I hope you can overcome the disappointment.

Hereafter, the movie shall be referred to as The Punishment, as nobody with a brain should be subjected to such torture. It was basically recycled bits of the original Batman and Batman Returns, but to trick you into thinking that you were seeing something original, they filled in the gaps with gore – and stupid gore at that! It was unoriginal, predictable, and campy – and not in a charming way. They really pulled out all the stops to make it as horrible a movie as possible. To call it a steaming pile is an insult to steaming piles in pastures around the world, and should not be tolerated. Granted, I never read the comics, but if you are a fan and it was an accurate representation, I’m terribly sorry, but you have no future.

First off, the firearms presentation was horrid. They pulled every cheesy, Hollywood firearms trick in the book. People would spin the cylinder on a double-action revolver which would return that ratcheting sound. Our ‘hero,’ Frank Castle carries a whole bunch of guns but seems to have an affinity for full-auto Berettas and Smith & Wesson X-frame revolvers. In one scene, a 9mm makes a .38-inch hole in someone’s head, and in the next scene, their head explodes in a spout of red liquid which is almost, but not quite entirely unlike blood. The two of us kept wondering when he would finally change magazines, as they all seemed to hold at least three times the ammunition that any of ours do. Of course, there was not a single example of good firearms handling in the movie, and bullets would ricochet off of the 1-inch bars that served as stairwell banisters as Frank Castle made his escape up the stairs. One bullet will kill an extra, but the ‘hero’ can absorb many and still fight on, albeit with a wince and a limp. In the final fight, Frank confronts an army of New York gangsters in an abandoned hotel with a full-auto AR fitted with a holographic sight, grenade launcher, and an evidently aesthetic compensator – even though a short-barreled shotgun would have been a far more appropriate weapon for the setting. Although there was what appeared to be a silencer on the rifle, its report was louder and sharper than any of his enemies’ guns – long or hand. They even went so far as to incite the mythical ‘gun-show loophole’ as a source for weapons for the vigilante. All this was humorous on the optimistic end, but more realistically, just plain sad.

Character development? What character development? We know that the villain, ‘Jigsaw’ became such because he was horribly disfigured by falling into a large container of something that would kill anyone else on the planet (much like the Joker). Jigsaw started life as ‘Bobby the Beaut’, an Italian-American pretty-boy, raised in a NYC mafia family. Our ‘hero’ put him in a glass-recycling tumbler and turned it on, which should have ground him up into kibble and pulp – but not Bobby, oh no! He was OK. Just scratched up.

Fortunately, and by his own declaration, he had ‘teh bestest’ plastic surgeon around! So, his doctor evidently had his five-year-old, retarded daughter put his face back together with carpet thread and staples. He was so mad about the faux-pas that he stabbed scissors through the hapless doctor’s skull. Then, he released his remarkably agile, but nuttier-than-a-squirrel-turd brother from the funny farm so they could go kill Frank Castle together. In the meantime, he had to go after the wife and child of the late, undercover agent that had been killed in their midst.

Oh, how the thick plottens!!!

Frank Castle feels a particular attachment to the widow and orphan, as they remind him of his own murdered family, and despite the fact that he killed the undercover agent (dad and husband) himself. So, the orphaned little girl attaches herself to him, the widow remains bitter and yet stable, and Frank goes on with his reservations and personal borders as he slaughters all the bad-guys in formulaic, Hollywood form. There’s a NYCPD employee whose been ‘helping’ Frank under the noses of the precinct for five years, and tracking the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of gangsters executed in that time period. His name escapes me, but he’s kind of like Alfred with no balls. There’s a federal agent of some kind that was the partner of the dead undercover guy who comes around to Frank’s side at the very end and teams up with our Alfred. The partner has two faces – mad and really mad.

Then there’s ‘Micro’ Microchip, played by the guy that was Dennis Nedry in Jurassic Park, the guy that comes up with all of Frank’s cool weapons between taking care of his invalid mother (who gets murdered as we eventually see her with half of her head erect in her chair as the whole head had been earlier in the movie). And then, there’s Micro’s buddy who is a rehabilitated gang-banger that is now in the upstanding position of aiding and abetting a murderous vigilante – which is sooooooo much better than being a petty thug (stay in school, kids). He’s got three scenes before the nuttier-than-a-squirrel-turd mafia brother kills him with an unfortunately-located axe.

Toward the end of the movie, Jenni said, “He’s going to make him choose whether to save either the wife and daughter OR his friend.” I was thinking it, and we were SO right!

Of course, Frank figured out a way to beat the bad-guys anyway. It was pretty stupid. Frank skewered Jigsaw with a conveniently-placed spear, and threw him on a conveniently-placed fire, where his eyes burned and he died. No, I’m not just saying that. It’s the way it happened. For the last twenty minutes of this movie, I couldn’t stop laughing, and it wasn’t an enjoyable laugh.

When the credits came on, the words, “That’s an hour and a half that we’ll never get back,” came from my mouth. We seriously could have stayed home, watched The SpongeBob Square Pants movie, and taken turns hitting each other with blunt objects and it would have been more entertaining.

According to this movie: New York City must have the loudest, juiciest gangsters on the planet, as their weapons-barraged bodies would ‘splut’ and ‘sploosh’ well above the sound of gunfire. Gangsters are divided into embarrassing, insulting, racial stereotypes – the blacks hold their pistols sideways, the asian ones wear their hair long and straight, and the Russians use AK47s and drink from fine crystal (all of them are tattooed). Not to mention the fact that they have nearly an endless supply of gangsters – until they are all suddenly dead. New York cops have to be the stupidest, most incompetent saps in the world as all they would have to do is find that guy walking in the open with all the guns and they would have caught their vigilante. The human body holds about 50-gallons of reddish syrup at 80-psi. When this system is ruptured, it spouts out like Old Faithful. You don’t have to go through a background check to get a machine gun at a Virginia gun show. Gangsters are so stupid that you can band them together or pit them against each other with great and equal ease.

Would I recommend this movie? Watching it will make you say, ‘Yeah, vengeance has a name, but what did I ever do to deserve THAT?” The disk label artwork is pretty cool, so it would make a great coaster in a pinch. Don’t bother watching it. If you are that hard up for entertainment, try poking at a bodily orifice with a sharp object long before giving this abomination a watch. Suffice it to say that I didn’t enjoy this motion picture.

Obama Administration Poll

Alrighty, folks! Let’s see how my readers weigh in on presidential approval. Please also add your own comments as you see fit. I will admit that the answers are a little weighted, but these seem to be the most common comments I’m hearing.

And, the live results:

Wooden AR?

In third-world countries, when the people cannot buy guns, they make their own. How many no-name Soviet AK’s are running around, anyway? In this country, when our right to buy and own guns is taken away, will we resort to this?

(H/T to 230 Grain as featured here.)

300

Zack says:
05/08/2009

A well tuned diesel burning recycled deep-fryer oil has exhaust that smells like popcorn.

There ya go! #300

Hope you score that Ruger.

That’s right! On Friday, I got my three-hundredth comment on my blog. This comment came from a gentleman who has been pimping my holsters for me on his own blog. Thank you, Zack for comment number 300, and for your coverage on my custom holsters!

I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever been around a diesel running recycled oil, but I would imagine that it’s quite the experience. Sadly, I didn’t find the wonderful deal on a Ruger 10/22 that I wanted to. So, the search goes on. I know where I’m going to buy a new one if I can’t find the right deal on a used one. It seems like I’m not the only person in the area that’s looking for guilt-free plinking options, as most of the stores around here are having a hard time keeping 10/22’s in stock. I’m starting to wonder whether I’m going to be able to find a used one in time for Appleseed. If not, I’ll simply bite the bullet and pony up for a new one.

I felt like Zack deserved some kind of prize for being the 300th commenter. As you can probably both deduce from the above paragraph, the budget is stretched a little thin at the moment, so I had to get creative. I hope that both of you are familiar with the guy on the intertoobz that avoided paying a bill by milking a ruse that he was attempting to pay it with a drawing of a spider. If not, you should read about it here. It is completely worth the read for the laughs!

So, Zack – I hope you will enjoy my own special edition rework of the famed spider drawing. This is a Limited-Run, 300, Evyl Robot Edition, Seven-Legged, Spider Drawing. note how the spider grasps the Spartan sword much like those used in the movie 300.

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I can think of few things that could strike more fear into so many hearts as a sword-wielding, ferocious, Spartan spider! Well, maybe a spider with an Uzi….

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Heck, let’s up the ante and combine the two!

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Grief! That IS frightening! I may have nightmares tonight! Good thing I don’t let my son read my blog!