July 2009 Journal

June 29-30, 2009

Monday-Tuesday

Headed toward Hell on Wheels in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Monday night at the KOA at Raton, NM. Tuesday night at the KOA at Strasburg, CO. Since we'd put 90 hours on the generator at EOT, we were 30 hours overdue for an oil and filter change. Called, at the suggestion of the folks at the Strasburg KOA, Kevin Barber, 303-918-4782, who came over and changed the oil and took the filter to NAPA, who had 3 different filter numbers for the same model generator, thus causing him to have to take the old one in order to get a new one.

End of Trail gets its own section June 22-28, 2009

June 21, 2009

Sunday

The water pump wouldn't work in the morning. Got Lt. Daniel Lee, who used to run the Freightliner shop, to take it loose and turn the only adjustment screw in it. Then it worked. He left it loose and accessible in case it fails later.

Went down the hill and got my packet.

Several people came in for Margaritas, in three shifts, the last leaving about 9:20.

June 20, 2009

Saturday

Went to the Renegades match. Going somewhere from Founders Ranch to shoot a SASS match seems strange. Started with 4 misses on the first stage. It's the Renegades curse. After that I did semi-okay.

Got back to the ranch. Lawless Lori parked her pickup camper next to us. Redwing is next over. Past that is Big Lou, who has a Freightliner pulling a 12,000 lb. horse trailer turned toy hauler. Talk about overkill.

Mad Dog II dropped by with his dog. Fun as always.

The Redhead had asked me to set up the grille yesterday. Tonight she grilled steaks after I did my fire starting routine. Propane grille. Great steaks.

June 19, 2009

Friday

Got the rig out of the shop. The total bill was enough to give me a nosebleed, but what the hell. They discovered (FINALLY) why the keypad was failing. The actuator was drawing too much current. It would have been nice if they had caught that last year. The new keypad is smaller than the last one, and some scars show as a result. The Redhead went back to Enchanted Trails and got our water hose and sewer, paid the electric bill, and warned them there's still mail coming. Then she went to Founders Ranch.

I had ordered some Wild Bunch uniform stuff from What Price Glory, and they sent it to the Rainbow Drive address in Texas. Theoretically I got it handled to get it FedUped to Enchanted Trails Monday. I need it NLT Tuesday at 0700, when I'll wear the uniform. The Redhead will be going back to Enchanted Trails Monday (probably on the way back from Casino Sandia) to get it. I'll be shooting 6 Wild Bunch stages and 6 Warm Up stages (theoretically. I'm tired just reading about it.)

Drove to Founders Ranch. Shaky Shooter helped me find a level spot on Row 5. As I drove in, a tire on the trailer that had been teasing me with slow leaks turned into a fast leak, from 65 to 33 lb. I pulled it off and took it to Discount on the way to getting groceries. There's a chunk hanging off the inside sidewall. They had to order another tire. I get all the trailer tires from Discount now, E Range (stock was D) Carlysles with the warranty. So I'm getting a new tire for $32 plus the original $15 for the warranty.

Got groceries at the Albertson's next door to Discount Tire. It's an adventure watching The Redhead buy groceries. It's a demonstration of efficiency of the highest order. She goes with everything preplanned, having checked the Albertson's website for specials ($10 off coupon for $100 or more purchase), and she knew everything that was on sale (24 can Cokes, $6.98 vs.2-12s $9) "Some of the milk has always expired," she said. "They're counting on the average customer to not be as methodical as you." Watching her pick a box of strawberries was like watching an expert wood crafter pick wood.

Margaritas were at 5 on row 5. They will be all week except for Tuesday (Wild Bunch costume contest), maybe Monday, depending on when we finish the 12 stages, Friday (Mounted costume contest, where I'm a judge, and best dressed costume contest), and probably Saturday, awards, etc.

June 18, 2009

Thursday

Took the bus and the trailer to Aloha RV. The bus went in for the keyless entry buttons, replaced under warranty, well, the parts were warrantied, at least, because this is the third key pad. Had to send the pad to the manufacturer for testing and pay for R & R. The trailer was there for wheel bearing packing and axle servicing. While there, remembering the fun of having the sewer hose going 35 feet uphill at our current site. Clearing it before disconnecting for the trip took 15 minutes or so. I made them a ridiculous offer on a Sani-Con macerater pump system that had been there 7 months, and they came back close enough to take the offer. I wanted them to install it just because of the electrical installation. In the old days I would have just done it myself. Anyway it was installed for about what Camping World gets for the part.

I expected it to be done mid-afternoon. It wasn't. We spent the night at Aloha RV. We're in a parking place that is so far off plumb, square, and level that there was no leveling the coach. Getting up and going to the john made you think you were drunk.

June 17, 2009

Wednesday

Went to the Renegades practice session. Frustrating as usual. I'd start shooting an exercise using the timer, and someone would start shooting at the next station, and my 10 shot exercise would be 15 shots. I'd go to an empty station to keep out of the lines, and suddenly I had drawn a crowd.

I did get some useful practice, though. I shot the Marlin .45. Might just shoot it in Wild Bunch. Still a little leery of the '73, even though I had a good practice session with it last time, and every round of .45 Colt in the ammo box has been checked for OAL.

Practiced 1911 reloads in the shop with dummy rounds.

June 16, 2009

Tuesday

Finished getting the trailer ready to travel. Cleaned the windshield and side glass on the bus. Invisible Glass, in the foam aerosol can, is still the best. I did a head to head comparison with Griot's Garage Glass Cleaner. It was my champion for years.

Yesterday the website and email went down. This morning, when talking with tech support, though they said it wasn't the cause, I was over 2 Gigs on a 1 Gig site. Since, for reasons I won't go into, I get the site for free, I'm not going to just ask for more space. So I started removing Curt's Newsletter, starting with 1999. I found this in the February 2000 issue and thought it still relevant:

MARKSMEN

Chicago, IL-The Chicago public school system, which has one of the largest junior ROTC programs in the country, has abolished all marksmanship-training and sport-shooting clubs. Students enrolled in JROTC or training for target competitions had been allowed to practice at indoor school ranges under close supervision. They fired pellets from air rifles. The head of the school system said the military training program should promote leadership and teamwork, but not create marksmen.

(Playboy, March 2000)

Right. We wouldn't want any marksmen. It's marksmen who got us where we are today. Marksmen beat the British to create this country. Lots of really terrible Americans have been marksmen, men like Daniel Boone, Davey Crockett, Theodore Roosevelt, Alvin York, Herbert Hanniken, George Patton, Joe Foss, Butch O'Hare, Audie Murphy, Chuck Yeager, Jim Howard, Walter Marm, Dwight Eisenhower, and Chester Nimitz, to name a few. We don't need people like them graduating from our schools.

Of course, my guess is the yo-yo who said that doesn't know who these men are. If you don't, see below:

Daniel Boone--marksman, woodsman, settler. There's a national forest named after him.

Davey Crockett--marksman, woodsman, Congressman, warrior, champion of rights of native Americans. Took 12 Tennesseeans to Texas in late 1835. Died at the Alamo. Without the 13 day long defense of the Alamo, Texas would still belong to Mexico.

Theodore Roosevelt--marksman, cowboy, warrior, conservationist, President of the United States. Started the National Park Service. His face is carved on Mt. Rushmore.

Alvin York--marksman, farmer, warrior. Won the Medal of Honor in WWI by using those marksmanship skills to defeat and capture a large German unit single handed.

Herbert Hanniken--marksman, warrior. Won the Medal of Honor in WWI by using those marksmanship skills to destroy a series of machine gun bunkers pinning down his unit. Before he began his solo attack he gave a letter to his wife to his sergeant for delivery, because his task was impossible to survive. He survived.

George Patton--marksman, warrior, general. Should have won an Olympic Gold Medal, but a "double." two shots in the same hole, was scored as one miss, one hit. He was our most brilliant field commander in WWII.

Joe Foss--marksman, warrior, Marine fighter pilot, Governor of South Dakota. During the darkest days of Guadalcanal shot down 26 Japanese aircraft while firing an obsolete, slow, ungainly F4F Wildcat against horrific odds. Won the Medal of Honor.

Butch O'Hare--marksman, warrior, Navy fighter pilot. Shot down 5 bombers which would have otherwise done horrific damage to the American Fleet. Given the Medal of Honor for his marksmanship, skill, and courage.

Audie Murphy--Texan, marksman, warrior, actor. Joined U.S. Army in WWII underaged, undersized. Highest decorated soldier of WWII. Won the Medal of Honor for his marksmanship skills and courage by standing on a burning tank and stopping a German armor-infantry assault single-handed using the burning tank's machine gun.

Chuck Yeager--marksman, warrior, test pilot. Shot down 5 German fighters in one day. Broke the sound barrier in 1947 in an aircraft with no escape mechanism. Air Force General during Vietnam war.

Jim Howard--marksman, warrior, businessman. Became an ace fighter pilot with the American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) in China and Burma in early 1942, heavily outnumbered and flying obsolete P-40B aircraft. Went to Europe with U. S. Army as a squadron commander of P-51Bs. Won the Medal of Honor using his marksmanship skills and courage in defending a flight of damaged B-17s against an assault by a large number of German fighters, shooting down several despite the fact that only one of his 4 machine guns worked during most of the fight. After the war he built a business worth millions. He died recently of natural causes.

Walter Marm--marksman, warrior, Army officer, "The Alvin York of the Vietnam War." Weighing 130 lbs., described by one of his troops as, "That little runt lieutenant," when his platoon was pinned down by interlocking machine gun nests he reached the point where he could take it no more and took them out one at a time and survived to win the Medal of Honor for his marksmanship skills and courage.

Dwight Eisenhower--marksman, general, President of the United States. Overall commander of Allied Forces for D-Day, commanded brilliantly. As President of the United States got the Interstate Highway System started.

Chester Nimitz--marksman, admiral, commanded naval forces in the Pacific. His victory at Midway changed the course of the war.

I found this photo in the March 2000 issue:

Catitude

From the November 2000 issue:

THE FELINE PARTY

I've been asked to give equal time to another Political Party. It's time to hear from a party of real winners. Here's the platform of the Feline Party:

1. The Feline Party is strongly opposed to claw control. When claws are outlawed only dogs will have claws.

2. The Feline Party, however, is in favor of dog control. Step 1, all dogs must be registered. Step 2. Certain breeds of dogs are "BAD" dogs and must be eliminated, starting with the big, dangerous "assault" dogs such as Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Pit Bulls, then including the "Saturday Night Special" dogs such as Miniature Pinschers, Chihuahuas, Pekinese, etc. After those dangerous dogs are eliminated safe dog storage laws must be enforced, requiring muzzle locks on all remaining dogs or keeping them in a dog safe so they are out of the reach of children and stupid adults. When that fails to curb dog violence, then those dogs must be confiscated through a dog turn in program offering basketball tickets for each dog turned in.

3. The minimum wage for cats must be increased. Most cats are given only room and board, and sometimes just food and forced to sleep outside, not to mention the millions of homeless cats. Starting immediately the following steps must be taken:

a. Cats must be allowed to eat at the table with their human pets.

b. Cats will no longer be required to do tricks such as looking cute or purring without compensation. 1 Pounce Cat Treat per minute of purr or looking cute will be considered the minimum livable wage.

c. Finicky cats must be given a choice of at least 5 different foods every meal, preferably home cooked and warm.

d. Using mice to supplement the diet will be considered cruelty to cats. However, if a cat chooses to hunt mice for sport, no regulations can be enforced, such as seasons or bag limits, and owners must accept them as gifts and praise the cats for their hunting skills..

e. All homeless cats must be adopted. Unadopted cats will be allocated by the Federal government, and the people allocated a cat will be responsible for its well being.

4. Cruelty to cats will be punishable by death, preferably by mauling by tigers or lions. Anti-cat bumper stickers of the variety, "Looking for your cat? Try under my tires" will result in the confiscation of the vehicle and the driver being sentenced to life in prison cleaning the tiger cages at the zoo-while the tigers are in the cages.

5. At least one member of the household will be required to stay at home in order to entertain the cats at all time. Tax rebates of $100,000 per couple will be offered to encourage this.

6. Cats believe in families. Thus divorce should be limited to cases in which one spouse either does not love cats or is hopelessly allergic to cats. Couples who do not own a cat will not be allowed to marry, of course and will be sterilized to prevent more people like them.

7. Medical research has been misguided. Half of the medical schools should be turned into veterinary schools, and most research dollars spent on human ailments should be diverted to curing allergies to cats.

8. Cats are, of course, opposed to spaying and neutering. Would you want your husband neutered? Hmm, let's rephrase that as most wives probably would. Cats are in favor of adoption, not spaying and neutering. Every kitten should be adopted by a loving family.

9. No pet zones must be eliminated. Every hotel and motel must encourage patrons to bring their cats with them.

10. Jaguar Cars, the Exxon Tiger, and Tony the Tiger, etc. must pay royalties to the Feline Party.

Vote Cat. Remember, Cats Rule, Dogs Drool.

Considering how funny this is, I doubt that I wrote it. Probably got it from an email. Of course, when I do that, I always give credit. It's a mystery.

June 15, 2009

Monday

This was our neighbor for a few days. Dissatisfied with F350s, 450s, 550s, 650s, and 750s, this gentleman bought a used Peterbilt cab and chassis with a monster Cat C15 to tow his 5th wheel and a Subaru sedan behind that--triple towing. Texas plates, the 5th wheel bought from Ron Hoover.

 

300 gallon fuel tanks, sleeper turned into a place for the kids, complete with a potty. The 5th wheel is bigger than it looks, a 39 foot 3 slide model. In reality it's too heavy for a normal pickup truck, over 20,000 lb. This one is loaded with things not normally on a 5th wheel, such as in motion satellite TV (for those kids in the sleeper). Unfortunately the owner forgot to upgrade the jacks from electric to hydraulic, and the rears weren't working, so they never disconnected the Peterbilt.

 

With the trailer that far back, there's probably room for a Smart 4Two. The Redhead saw one on another cab and chassis. I don't know how you'd get it up there, but, then, it's not my problem. I get enough spectators watching me load or unload the ML from the trailer. Since they were triple-towing, they had a run-around vehicle, but otherwise think about taking the Peterbilt to WalMart and the Stop and Rob. Of course several states don't allow triple-towing. Don't know what insurance companies think.

Sent the Long Hunter USFA SAA article off to Cat and Tex. The usual trouble sending a big item by email. One end or the other is always a problem. Worked in the garage getting it ready to move Thursday. Also worked on WB ammo. I'd ordered a thingie from Dillon that had 6 minimum spec .45 ACP chambers in it for testing match ammo. Naturally it's backordered. Took the barrel out of the Colt Gumment Model and used it. Ran enough match ammo through it for the match and spares and put it in the top guncart box. The '73 is finicky about over-length .45 Colt rounds. The books say 1.60" is maximum length. But the '73's shell lifter tells me 1.58 is max. So I set the calipers to 1.571 and ran every round through them, checking primers and crimp along the way. At least I didn't have to do anything with the shotgun ammo. I just put in a box of STS Light Targets and a box or B & P2 2.5" shells.

Stowed a lot of stuff away. I have a lot of empty brass, but, of course, it doesn't weigh a lot. I'm down to less than a thousand unloaded 105 bullets and a box of 125s. But then I won't be reloading again till the end of July. Should have time to get bullets then.

June 14, 2009

Sunday

Went to the High Desert Drifters match. Shot clean. One stage at 36, one 37, two at 30, one at 26, two at 25. It rained while we were there. I loaded the guns under the raincoat a couple of times. My Harbor Freight beach umbrella died during the first gust of wind. $6.99 down the drain.

At least 3 clean matches, Shirley Shooter and Lawless Lori, too.

June 13, 2009

Saturday

Went to the Rio Grande Renegades match. 1 miss, 1 stage at 26, 2 at 30, one at 37. I forget how long the one with the miss was. Good match. Written by Irish Jack Clary. He likes the same sort of stages I do.

June 12, 2009

Friday

Spent quality time with The Redhead, mostly breakfast and errands. She rented a car for the weekend so she can go to the casinos she wants to and leave when she wants to.

June 11, 2009

Thursday

Went to Zia range and practiced until I was tired. Probably the last Zia session before EOT. Felt good about it.

June 10, 2009

Wednesday

Went to the Rio Grande Renegades Wild Bunch match. Used this opportunity to finally get some pictures done of the El Paso Saddlery Co #5 Patton Holster I've been trying to do an article on for over a year.

This is the only authentic holster THAT I HAVE FOUND SO FAR that is at all useful in a Wild Bunch match. When it arrived, it was WAY too tight. Eventually I got it wet molded to the gun with enough plastic bags around it to make the holster loose enough that when you pull the gun out, the holster doesn't come with it and tie you up. It needs their military belt of the era, too, for authenticity, or an equivalent 2" belt. It's slipped down here. It should be at trouser belt level. I've lost weight. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it. But don't worry. I'll find it at a Mexican Restaurant.

The M1912 Cavalry swivel holster is a beautiful rig, but you can't get the gun out easily.

 

This one you can. Just snap the strap away from the gun like this. The belt loop is steel lined, so it keeps the holster from flapping or getting out of shape.

 

If you need to do something IPSC-like athletic, you can snap the gun down with the safety strap--maybe. It works on my 1911A!, shown, but it doesn't work on my Baer Thunder Ranch Special with a Commander hammer. Too short.

 

Acquiring a firm, firing grip on the gun is reasonably quick after practice.

 

Drawing the gun requires "breaking" the wrist. Some people don't like to do that, but most people with CCWs know how from wearing a behind-the-hip concealment holster.

 

Tex made me pose like this, pointing at something in the distance. I believe the caption is, "There's a cantina over there that serves great Margaritas. Follow me."

 

I found this in the Osprey Publishing book, U.S. Cavalryman 1891-1920. by Alexander M. Bielakowski, illustrated by Raffaele Ruggeri. This illustrates 1st Lieutenant George S. Patton, Jr. wearing his Colt .45 SAA in a Patton holster suspended from a leather garrison belt. In reality any belt that will fit in the belt loops of the issued trousers of the era is too thin to support the holster. But I suspect the artist wasn't really there. Lt. Patton is wearing 1904 marching shoes and M1911 puttees, with M1911 spurs. General Pershing is wearing custom made boots with M1911 spurs. The artist has drawn front pockets on the general's trousers, but the uniform of the day did not have any. Of course he was a general. General Pershing is saying, "There's a cantina over there that makes excellent margaritas. Get my Dodge Touring car and a few men to guard us in case the Villistas find out we're there, and let's go get some."

 

June 9, 2009

 

Tuesday

Went to Zia to shoot the WB guns. Dollar Bill was there waiting for a berm to open up. It did. We shot 1911s together. He left, and I continued, shooting the .45 Colt '73 carbine and the '97 shotgun. Jacked rounds out of the shotgun when working it quickly. Got the rhythm after a box and a half.

Putting the targets up is even harder than getting them out. There's a small, 2-wheel flatbed trailer for transporting targets. Getting it out is no problem. But getting it back in takes a lot of backing up. The flatbed is so low you can't see it except in the rear view camera. Finally got it backed into the parking place, unloaded it, and unhooked. Without the rear view camera I don't know. Dollar Bill hated it, too. He can't see it behind the tailgate to his truck.

Worked in the garage. Cleaned the WB guns and got the ammo ready for tomorrow's WB match.

June 8, 2009

Monday

Got the tires rotated on the ML and got it washed and detailed. I do this when I can't tell what color it is either inside or outside or both. Worked in the garage. Will shoot WB practice tomorrow at Zia.

June 7, 2009

Sunday

Buffalo Range Riders Monthly Match

Started with a stage with 2 popup birds. Got them both (!). Went 5 stages clean, then was accused of a miss on the last stage, killing a clean match.

But everything went well. I shot the backup Ruger Old Armies and American Pioneer Powder 3f in them. There were several knockdowns, using all the weapons. Using 25 gr. of APP 3f in the ROAs (about 750 ft./sec. PF 108) I failed to knock down 2 targets on the first hit because I was shooting in the center to see if they would go down with a center hit. They both could be made up (one was 8 knockdowns with unfired rounds dumped. The other was 5 knockdowns with 2 pistols, remaining rounds dumped on a stationary target). Upper third hits worked, and the mid-range 125 gr. rifle rounds worked fine on the rifle knockdowns. (1100 ft./sec. PF 138)

Good group, good stages.

Founders Ranch is getting close to being ready for EOT. It's not too late to enter. Entries up to 417, something over 500 with conventioneers. They've added another saloon. We'll have Margaritas at the bus at 5 when I'm not down the hill doing something.

June 6, 2009

Saturday

To everyone who was involved in D-Day, thank you.

Enough went wrong today that I won't even write about it. Instead I'll post this:

Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on
by Regina Brett
Sunday May 28, 2006, 10:13 AM

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Original posted here

I italicized the ones I really liked. #19 is the reason I play cowboy all of the time and live in a bus. #48 was one of the basic rules of my professional life. #41 was a prime rule of most of my adult life. Otherwise I wouldn't have done so many stupid things. But, of course, a lot of them were a lot of fun. A lot of them were just stupid, of course.

 

June 5, 2009

Friday

Lou Graham posted this picture pf a lady dressed as one of the Temperance ladies in The Wild Bunch. As was mentioned before, the only ladies' costumes seem to be Temperance ladies, American Soiled Doves, and Mexican Soiled Doves, sometimes semi-dressed. Guess which I'm hoping to see at the Wild Bunch Costume Contest at EOT.*

Got to Zia at about 1000 for various reasons. Only one practical range was free, and just barely as the previous shooter drove out as I drove up. Went to the target shed and quickly put 3 targets on the trailer and went out to the berm and put them up. I used them for all the guns, first shooting a box of the Major Match loads to make sure they are strong enough to always switch barrels on the SKB. They are. Shot a box of practice ammo, too.

Started shooting at the 3 targets from normal ranges and moved out 2 paces each time until it got ridiculous. One was 5 yards further than the others, so first round was at 15-20 yards for the rifle and 8-13 for the pistol. By the time I was finished I was shooting the pistol targets at 20-25 and the rifle at 40-45. Not all targets at matches will be where I want them to be, so I need to keep in practice doing things I don't like to do. Hell On Wheels, if it runs true to form, will be at semi-long range. Their entries are about half of last year. I'm convinced if they got on the SASS Wire and said, "We've moved the firing line 5 yards closer to the targets. Come on down," they'd get another 100 entries.

That doesn't explain EOT's low turnout. CD Tom sent out the posse lists. I counted 410 entries. The good news is the Earps joined our posse, That's Alvira Sullivan Earp and Virgil Earp. Virgil's a Range Master. Nice people. If I remember correctly she shot clean last year.

Almost half of the Frontiersmen are on the posse. Larsen E. Pettifogger, Six, Silverado Cid, and me. It should be noted that most of the time all three of these guys beat me like a redheaded stepchild.

Anyway, back at the shop I put the dust covers on both loading machines. They're done until August. I would consider myself low on bullets if I weren't going to be traveling through July and have enough loaded ammo for the trip. I am making a lot of empty brass. I guess it's lighter to carry, though. I have plenty of APP 3f, only one can of Goex Cowboy, and 2 or 3 of 3f, 2 of Express 3f, and a few of 2f. A case of Cowboy will be a fall purchase. It's the preferred shotgun and percussion pistol powder. Of course I can use APP 3f for everything. Probably never will buy 2f again. Too many shotgun rounds with less than satisfactory powder in them. That's why they're practice loads. That didn't used to be a problem, at least I don't remember it.

*If you guessed semi-dressed temperance ladies, you get the kewpie doll (figuratively speaking as I have no kewpie dolls to give out, even to semi-dressed temperance ladies..

June 4, 2009

Thursday

Went to Zia, put up the 2 popup launchers and shot up 90 clay targets, actually hitting some of them, especially the last half. It's one of those things. I know what to do to hit popups. Hit the knockdown, and when the bird flies up, chase it with the shotgun, and when the barrel covers the bird, pull the trigger and follow through. Whenever I actually do that and don't jerk the trigger, causing me to miss to the right, and don't stop moving the gun when I pull the trigger, I hit them. These launchers send the targets really high, curving them toward the shooter--to the point I had to move back and shoot from 10 yards or so. Otherwise the missed targets were trying to get even by hitting me on the head. Still when I powdered one, the fragments rained down on me. Very satisfying.

Interesting incident. A target fell to the ground, seemingly undamaged. I picked it up and noticed 2 holes in it. It was supposed to break up! Sure don't want to meet that kind at EOT. Put it in the launcher, and it came out in 3 pieces. Now you break, you @%~#!

Also set up 3 targets for rifle and pistol practice. 2 of the 3 are heavy, hard to transport and hard to set up targets that ring like a bell when hit. The third is an Evil Roy target with the smallest circle on it. It's really hard to tell if you hit it. Very frustrating. Also, since it's small, it's great practice.

Back at the shop finished making "Major Match" shotgun ammo. Weighed every one. Boxed in properly marked boxes. 300 rounds. Should get through the summer. Goex 3f, 50 gr., Claybuster WT12 copy wad, 1-1/8 oz of what shot I could find. 5 boxes of #6, 6 of #7-1/2 (some places don't allow #6)

June 3, 2009

Wednesday

New AARP Card:

Had to see the vampire at the VA so she could take blood. Meant going without sustenance after midnight. Was allowed coffee no cream or sugar. That gives me flashbacks. Usually I was drinking black coffee because some sergeant was handing me a cup trying to wake me up to tell me just how much trouble we were in.

Took The Redhead to breakfast after that and then to Sandia Casino. Went to the mall looking for Bad Haircuts 'R' Us and got a bad haircut. Then to Sportsman's Warehouse. Pathetic place. Virtually nothing in the store. Managed to get some clay targets and Claybuster orange wads. Went to the garage and called Dillon. One guy there, Gary knows SL900s. He suggested changing the new primer lever arm with the last spare. It worked. Machine properly adjusted and doesn't even drop primers onto the floor anymore. Loaded a bunch of "Major Match" rounds for the upcoming 4 matches in 4 weeks starting with EOT. Used Goex 3f for a little more oomph to make sure the trigger switches barrels, and weighed every round before boxing them. The SL900 has no powder check die, so this keeps me from having a squib at a bad time from clumping. APP 2f will clump. In the future I'll only use APP 3f for shot shells when I use APP. Normally it's APP for cartridges and wholly black for percussion and shot shells. Pyrodex is also really good for shot shells because it's consistent and cheap. Picked up The Redhead during Albuquerque's terrible rush hour. Traffic slowed all the way down to 40 mph at times, kind of like 0300 in Houston. Albuquerqueans have no idea how good they have it.

June 2, 2009

Tuesday

Had an appointment with our financial guru. Went from 10 to 1 off and on. Makes it kind of hard to practice. Did some dry firing in the garage and cleaned up the shop, put the 650 in its cover and went to work on the SL900. Broke the primer lever arm. Put a new one on, and the damn thing didn't work. Spent a couple of hours, long enough that The Redhead came to the garage to see if I was still alive. Gave up. Opened the bar.

Awoke at 11ish with gastric reflux. Nothing to do but get vertical, drink milk, and take an antacid. Omeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor, is normally the drug of choice, but an antacid sometimes helps when it fails. (Welcome to the wonderful world of Gumment run health care, folks. You just think you want the best drug. The VA only buys the cheapest stuff from the cheapest supplier.) So I started looking at the 0709 Dispatches from Camp Baylor column. Worked on it until 0100 or so and sent it off to Cat and Tex. I think I spent less time on one of my novels than this 1300 word column.

June 1, 2009

Monday

Took The Redhead to Sandia Casino "on the way" to Zia R & P Club. Set up a rudimentary stage and got good practice for a couple of hours. Went to "The Bike Shop" and bought all the Remington Gold hulls they had, only 300. Their source, it seems, has dried up. Bought a case of Remington STS Light Targets. Worked in garage the rest of the afternoon.