July 2011 Journal

The momento given to EOT posse marshals

The gun case given to EOT Posse Marshals. Very nice. From Action Targets. The Wild Bunch match gave each contestant a Wild Bunch gun case. I had purchased 2 EOT cases with my name on them. So I have 4 new gun cases, none of which will hold a 5-12" barreled Ruger Old Army.

June 30, 2011, Thursday

I've been working in the shop on and off all week. I'm cleaning out compartments one at a time and re-stowing. Of course, at one point, it looked like this:

Shop Chaos

shop chaos front view

We went BACK to a Best Buy, looking at 32" TVs. The really good Samsung wasn't there to look at, and 37s still look better, but I know if we put one in we'll be cursing it quickly because it'll take up too much room. It'll have to be slid over to open one cabinet door, etc. (mounts take care of that).

At EOT Mose and Bella were gold plating guns. Having wanted gold front sights on my pistols for some time, so I shuttled 6 revolvers through them and shot the main match with 2 gold-sighted guns. The one pistol miss was due to a mini-hang-fire, not invisible sights.

Gold front sight


Also I had them plate my 12 year old SASS gold life member's badge, which had been on my gun belt or a pouch on the belt and had lost all of its plating. I wish I had photographed it before they worked on it.

Gold plated badge

The 12 year old previously de-plated badge after replating

June 29, 2011, Wednesday

The Redhead decided 40" was too big, so we went looking for 37s. Sears online had several. At the store they had one, Panasonic, one John Polk warned against (Better than Westinghouse, worse than Sony. Top is Samsung, 2nd LG. John is my electronics guru since the early 80s.) The kid at Sears is overpaid at minimum wage. Went to Best Buy and met another knowledgeable sales person.

Then, after lunch (Olive Garden), we went home, and I made mockups of 40" and 37" TVs and checked the fit in the bedroom. We could make them work, but they're really too big. I made one of 32", and, as much as we want a bigger screen, that's what will fit. So, we're starting over.

The DirecTV unit came in, and I installed it with little in the way of problems. Nice to have REAL TV again. Recorded Michael Bane's new show, Gun Stories.

June 28, 2011, Tuesday

Had an appointment at the VA. Before they'll do another hearing test, they want my ears cleaned out, and I've been putting drops in 3 times a day for a week. The nurse cleaned my ears out, removing ear wax and Jimmy Hoffa, just in case you wondered where he was hidden. The ear is still substandard and has tinnitus. Now if I touch the ear it's as if a tuning fork is being held near my ear.

Checked the other Best Buy. Slightly different stock, including a Westinghouse 37" LCD TV for $379. This was so far below the good stuff to be suspicious.

June 27, 2011, Monday

Went searching for a new DirecTV receiver/DVR. It turns out that, in Albuquerque, the only way to get them, I was told (incorrectly), is to get one from DirecTV. The good news is they send one for free if you send the old box back. The bad news is they ship 2 day, which, in Albuquerque, normally means 3 day.

Went to Best Buy off Coors and talked to Don, who seemed quite knowledgeable. He mentioned (wink, wink) that an antenna digital converter box would be returnable for 30 days. We got one, and I installed it, and we watched network TV.

Thank God for Satellite TV, Daytime network TV is AWFUL.

EOT 2011

June 17, 2011, Friday

Moved to Founders Ranch for EOT.

June 16, 2011, Thursday

Led Prairie Mary to the Zia Rifle and Pistol Club so she could shoot her Goatneck Clem prepared Cimarron single trigger 12 ga. hammerless double. It wasn't opening enough for her, making it hard to load. I suggested she put a box through it and reassess. After that she deemed it EOT ready.

I wasn't so lucky. "Next To Heaven" was still unreliable. "Heaven" was my definition of a ready to race ROA. Looking at things positively, that means I have 3 ROAs ready for EOT. I also shot 40 rounds through the Plainsman Handi-Rifle. Loading the rifle efficiently is the key to Plainsman (and, of course, hitting all of the targets quickly). The rest of the match is just Frontiersman.

Back by noon. Our RV repair guy was here replacing the water heater and working on the washer-dryer. The Good Sam extended service plan covered most of the damage. I was pleased with that .

Worked in the garage getting it ready to travel. It's ready to hook up in the AM. We hadn't hooked it up when we got back from the body shop because we were going to take it to Cummins for generator servicing, but checking the records indicated we have enough hours to do EOT and get it serviced afterwards without going over. The generator needs an oil change every 150 hours.

The Redhead worked feverishly doing laundry (at the park's laundry since our washer-dryer wasn't fixed yet), cleaning AC vents, defrosting the fridge, filling the water tank, emptying and rinsing the grey and black tanks, going to the store, and storing the results. We have a lot to do to move the circus in the morning.

Made the mistake of following Jack Houston's link to a thread in the SASS Wire with a video of the Posse Marshals' Briefing of stage 6 of EOT. Jack can't go to EOT, so he's stirring the pot.

The stage looks good to me, with an optional bonus for shooting one of the "hostage taker" targets. It looks very familiar to the same stage at Buffalo Stampede. It went well then, and I liked it. (But then I hit the bonus). If you read the thread, you'd think that they're having us shoot at nuns and babies, that we're all going to die from sweeping ourselves picking up a rifle from the mover-actuating rifle rack, THE SAME ONE WE'VE BEEN USING SUCCESSFULLY FOR SEVERAL YEARS, and the world will come to an end. One complainer complained it was stuff like that stage that kept him from going to EOT. I did suggest that the complainer who doesn't go to EOT work on some of the Frontiersman hotshots and convince them to stay away, too. Now that would be a positive outcome from the thread.

LeBoeuf Headband by LoneRider Leather

Jack Houston sent this picture of his version of the LeBoeuf double buckle headband in True Grit. $50 plain, $60 with border tooling. Spots and conchos extra. I think he wants a lot less for it than Baron Hats, who did the hat for the movie, does for theirs, which probably only comes with the hat.

Baron Hats LeBoeuf

The Baron Hats version, hat included, $698 (100% Fur Felt)
$998 (200XXX 100% Beaver)

Baron Hats claims Matt Damon  designed the double buckle hatband as an

Baron Hats claims Matt Damon invented the double buckle hatband

Double buckle hatband in 1895 Montgomery Wards catalog

If so, Damon is older than I thought. Here is a double buckle hatband in the 1895 Montgomery Wards catalog

A double buckle hatband in the 1870s

And here is one in t he 1870s.

June 15, 2011, Wednesday

Spent much of the day at the VA Hospital. My neurosurgeon is no longer with the VA, so that follow up appointment was with the nurse. I'm released.

The annual physical with the primary care physician was the usual frustration. Won't bore you with it.

June 14, 2011, Tuesday

First I should mention that yesterday when I was on the roof, The Redhead was there, too. She made a few hundred trips up and down the ladder. If she knew one tool from another she might have been asked to make more. As it was I made a few hundred trips up and down the latter. She was as tired as I was. Most of the time she was holding the iPhone ready to get an iMovie if I fell off the edge so she wouldn't get accused of pushing me.

And she was up there today when I caulked the flue cap again, then some hours later when I reinstalled the solar cover.

38°F.  It was 34 when I first opened the door to add Cokes.

This is the result of all that work. The temp was 34°F when I opened the door to put in Cokes. When I went back with the camera it had gotten up to 38°F. We didn't see that much in the heat of summer. The Redhead noted it's set on 6, which is middle cold, not max. RV refrigerators are not like your residential model.

Then I went to Home Depot and got some dowels, which I glued into the holes in the plywood that the couch is screwed to. I added 4 more holes in the couch frame, making 10 lag screws holding it in now. I managed without the expensive right angle drill by mounting it loosely with the 6 original screws, marking the spots to drill the ply, removing the couch, drilling pilot holes, then replacing the couch and screwing all 10 lag screws in tight. We'll still be very careful when it's down into a bed, which it often is so I can watch TV without crowding the dog. It should be noted that for me to work under the couch The Redhead was holding the couch seat up. It wants to be down, either as a couch or a bed. Whenever I tried to work without her holding it, it would collapse and trap me with the couch seat pushing down on my neck and a steel cross member on the other side of the neck. Then The Redhead would have to find a time when she could leave the online poker tournament and lift the couch off my neck. She even managed to do it before I passed out. After that I had her hold it up with one hand and play poker with the other. She is an excellent multitasker.

2 days of climbing and lifting. I'll be in great shape for EOT.

"Heaven" and "The Ruger Formerly Known As Hell" returned from Lee's Gunsmithing. Rowdy Yates is definitely THE guy to do your percussion pistols. I recommend his gunsmithing without reservation. I'm hoping to be able to test them Thursday. If not I'll shoot the warm up match with them. Now all 4 guns are smooth and as light as a percussion pistol can be expected to be and still pop caps. Rowdy warned me "Hell" as aptly named and still wasn't up to his standards of working if the caps are just put on, not seated firmly. He said it worked with the caps seated firmly. I would like to shoot this pair, but the other pair are known reliable. If I put in powder, balls, and caps and pull the hammer all the way back, they go off as often as cartridge pistols. (Bad primers occur in the best of families.) "Heaven" is the same way. We are officially renaming "The Ruger Formerly Known As Hell." Henceforth the guns shall be called "Heaven" and "Next to Heaven."

Heaven and Next to Heaven

"Heaven" and "Next to Heaven"

Why Taking Gun Photos is difficult at Camp Baylor:

Angelique and Heaven and Next to Heaven

Seen at the RV Park

Mother Road LLC


This photo is not reversed

The photo is not reversed;.

June 13, 2011, Monday

Friday the 13th came on Monday this month.

First thing in the morning I went to Camping World and got another solar powered fan kit and took the solar panel off it and put it on the other one, making it able to handle 2 fans. I don't want to have to do this twice.

This is what you see when you pull the cover off.

This is what you see when you pull the cover off. To get the fans inside, this has to come off. I've started removing the caulk to get to the 244 screws with buggered Phillips heads

Removing the screws

Removing the screws took the longest. A couple didn't respond to Craftsman's best tools for removing stuck screws. Getting the caulk off was no slouch. Yes, the edge of the roof is right there, and it would hurt to fall off.

The installed fans

There are 3 recommended locations for putting the exhaust fans. This is second best. Best is below the coils just below where these are. But it's not accessible when everything is assembled and in place. Putting them there wasn't too difficult. The area is very narrow, requiring a very short screwdriver and making it very difficult to start the self-tapping screws (it didn't come with self-tapping screws).This is the test of the solar power. Both fans are blowing hot air out at a surprising rate.

Solar panels in the cover

The completed unit. I didn't have the proper caulk, so I assembled it and got caulk from Camping World after drinking 4 gallons of Gator Aid and 12 gallons of water. Outside temp was in the 90s and dry as a bone while we were working. I'll caulk in the morning.

Then, after going to Camping World, I went off in a quest for a right angle electric drill. All of my battery powered tools are Craftsman, so I went to Sears for the right-angle drill. That way I didn't need a new battery. They were out at the Sears at Coronado Mall. On the way to the next one I tried Lowe's, nothing, and Home Depot, where they had several that required the battery and charger, making them all $120+. The other Sears was out of the right angle head unless you bought a combo pack with a drill (have 2), and a Ni-Cad charger and 2 Ni-Cads. I have 2 Ni-Cad chargers and 3 or 4 batteries. It was $140. If it had had the Lithium Ion charger and a battery or 2, I would have gotten it. They get $119 for that. Bought another Ni-Cad because mine don't hold a charge long, being over 4 years old, and gave up. Tomorrow.

The fridge quickly got the interior temp down to 40°F, right on target. Those fans should be standard equipment.

June 12, 2011, Sunday

More work in the garage. Started getting the shop clean for movement. The fridge stopped cooling, and the leather sofa pulled out of its moorings—again. It's been repaired under warranty twice, but that was in another life. I have a solar powdered fan for the refrigerator flue that I've been putting off installing because of the arm. I tried fixing the couch. First I had to go Home Depot (don't ever do that on Sunday afternoon. The zombies come out) and get some oversized lag screws. Yes, the damn thing is held in with 6 1/4" lag screws. I could replace 4 with 3/8", but the steel frame of the couch only had 1/4" holes in the middle holes. So I put in the 4.

They lasted an hour before popping out again.

June 11, 2011, Saturday

Worked in the garage, loading shotgun shells for EOT. Weighed every completed shell and boxed the heaviest as EOT match.

The annual Airstream restoration rally was here, with a whole bunch of old Airstreams, the oldest I saw being 1953.


If I got the right one, the one on the right was part of a run made for a trip to China in the 80's. They're narrower than normal and had several unique features. They stayed in China. This one missed the boat.

53 Airstream

beautiful '53

53 Airstream

Rear view of the '53

Airstream Pickup camper

This was the only pickup camper. It was pulling a Bambi

63 Bambi

A '63 Bambi. There were at least 10 Bambis, ranging from starter projects to really nice restorations. The weekend was full of classes on restoration and get together's. On Sunday experts came to people who signed up and gave them tips on how to handle problems. The place was full of aluminum this weekend. Most of the trailers had dogs, ranging from a Doberman to multiple yip dogs.


June 10, 2011, Friday

Dentist. I'm just a glutton for punishment. Then breakfast. Then accompany The Redhead to the grocery store, where she abuses me and runs over me. No, I don't know what makes that different from the rest of the time.

June 9, 2011, Thursday

Va to get blood test at 0720. Arrived, and they were calling #19. I pulled my number. 4 digits. So what could I do other than pull a fire alarm handle. Then got my blood drawn, breakfast (these damn fasting blood letting's), then see the civilian hand surgeon.

June 8, 2011, Wednesday

Shot the Wednesday match at RGR. Someday I'll do well at an RGR match. This is the last match before EOT. Coyote Calhoun cancelled the BRR Wild Bunch and High Desert Drifters matches at Founders Ranch next weekend, and the USPSA High Desert Classic uses up all of the city range until after EOT. I don't know if I'll be able to practice elsewhere. Lots to do otherwise.

The RV repairman had to order a water heater, none in town. Water heater is free, but shipping is $30,000*. The part for the washer-dryer isn't in, either. He got one but broke it. Both items should be on the same deductible at least, leaving us out only $10,000* or so.

*Slight exaggeration for effect.

June 7, 2011, Tuesday

More working in the garage. Made a trip to Sportsman's Warehouse.

Finally got the RV Repairman out for the leaking water heater. He's going to get another water heater so that when he takes this one out, he'll have one to put in. If this one can be fixed, then he'll take it back.

June 6, 2011, Monday

On this date in 1944 the amphibious invasion of Nazi held France started, the largest amphibious assault in history. Today the French are going to make the sea off the coast a large windmill farm. Sigh.

Dressed to clean ROA nipples.

Cleaning black powder is no big deal. It takes less time than cleaning up after a lot of smokeless shooting—unless you can't see in a poorly lit shop and wear glasses with LED lights (Lowe's), and you can't see small things, so you wear a flip down magnifier (Harbor Freight), and the air conditioner overwhelms the tiny speaker on the tiny TV in the shop, so you wear wireless headphones to hear the TV. Oh, the mask? That's for robbing a bank so you can afford the diesel to get to matches.

Just kidding. I'm trying something cleaning the nipples that kind of works but isn't fun to breathe, Barkeeper's Friend (liquid). Hence the mask. I've been searching for something non-flammable, non-carcinogenic that will take the carbon off the nipples and cut outs for years. I've tried somewhere between umpty umph and lebendy leben, and nothing works very well.

Worked in the shop cleaning guns and making match .45 ACP Wild Bunch ammunition. I use Trail Boss because, among other things, you can't double charge. My load almost fills the case:

5.3 gr. Trail Boss in .45 ACP case

The load, here 5.3 gr. of Trail Boss almost fills a .45 ACP case.

This causes a problem on a progressive machine, the fluffy powder flies out at the slightest provocation. So I do several things to keep that from happening. I lube the cases (Hornady One Shot or Dillon Case Lube as available), which helps stop the sticking of the case at stage 1, causing a pop when you pull it out, which shakes the other cases and shakes out the powder. Then:

covering the case going from station 2 to station 3

As the shell plate starts to rotate, I put the bullet in the case going from station 3 to 4 and cover the one going from 2 to 3

Covering the case as it goes to station 3

This keeps powder inside the case

All of the completed rounds get inserted in a 7 round minimum chamber check gauge. Those that stick go to the practice box. Now the next part is where I got in trouble, but I'll mention it again anyway. The match ammo gets tumbled in dry corn cob media for 15 minutes, just enough to get the lube off and any excess bullet lube, etc.

Itasca Sprinter-based Class A

Mercedes/Dodge/Freightliner Sprinter based Class B and C RVs are very popular, but Winnebago/Itasca has gone to the next step with a Class A on the Sprinter chassis. This is the Itasca version. No slide outs. Looks like a good part-time rig for going to SASS matches

Itasca Sprinter based Class A

I would think you wouldn't want to tow a 6,000 pound pickup, but something small and light should be okay. I didn't see what this one towed in.

Chevy HHR Towed

Speaking of Toads, there were several Chevy HHRs in the park this week. A neighbor had one with a dead battery due to miswiring from the tow vehicle, and I learned a lot about them. Apparently you only need to pull one fuse to flat-tow. They're lightweight, inexpensive, and roomy. Some companies and models cater to RVers (Saturn did, making its loss even more tragic). Some don't. You can save 50¢ per vehicle, times the 5,000,000 car production run if you don't make them flat towable, and bean counters at car makers around the world get bonuses for doing that sort of thing. Thus we see a lot of Jeeps because they're all easily flat towable.

June 5, 2011, Sunday

Buffalo Range Riders Monthly Match

Two large posses. Tex and Cat were on mine. Good stages. Shot 3 clean, 3 misses, shooting Frontiersman. I think all 3 misses were pistol. One was on one of the fore and aft plate racks, near the back, where the target is playing card size. Nothing very fast, just tried to stay in control and not overdo the hand or arm. This is a tiring match to go to, 41 miles each way, shoot from 9 to 4. Too bad The Redhead doesn't shoot. She could drive back.

June 4, 2011, Saturday

Another day in the shop. Got the gear ready for the Buffalo Range Riders match tomorrow. Shooting Frontiersman, so more "stuff" to get ready. Put everything in the Jeep.

Then switched the XL650 to .45 ACP and started loading match Wild Bunch ammunition. I didn't have problems with .45 ACP at Buffalo Stampede, but I don't want any, either. I'm loading 5.3 gr. Trail Boss now, 200 gr. LRNFP. This is a full case load like BP, just enough room for the bullet. I would call it a compressed charge but Trail Boss is so "fluffy," it's just taking the fluff out. 5.5 is the book maximum.

June 3, 2011, Friday

Smart Cows

I might have found a herd of smart cows. When I first passed this sign the shaded area was larger, and the cows had all moved out of the sun. When I passed again, they were crowded into this small area as the sun got higher. Then one of them said, "he's onto us. Disperse."

Smart cows dispersing

So they quickly (for cows) spread out and tried to look normal. No doubt the lookout who failed to notice me until it was too late has been consigned to other duties.

Spent much of the day reloading .45 Colt Wild Bunch ammunition. At Buffalo Stampede one of my randomly selected rounds for chrono testing recorded as 530 ft./sec.*, scaring the heck out of me because failure to make the power factor is a match DQ. The other 4 rounds were hot enough to give a PF in the low 150s. So now I'm making ammunition that is hotter, and I'm doing it very slowly and carefully, with a lot more weighing of charges (and, of course, watching the powder check die like a hawk). My 1990s Cimarron '73 carbine needs an OAL of 1.58 or less (when spec. is 1.60). Sp I adjust the dies for 1.57 and check every few rounds. Every round goes into a minimum spec. chamber checker. Made up 500 rounds like that.

* The official chronograph, an excellent CED chrono, wouldn't work, and one of the contestants offered his chrono, a Chrony, for testing. I've owned a Chrony before. I use an Oehler 35P that has a 3rd screen for a proof channel. If it gives a significantly different reading from the normal channel, then the reading doesn't record. My Chrony was near junk, giving very erratic readings which I attributed to problems with BP smoke until I had the good sense to run Winchester factory ammo through it. The readings were erratic. Winchester factory ammo is not erratic. The same ammo through the Oehler gave consistent readings.

If one wanted to check the accuracy of the Chrony used at Buffalo Stampede, that option disappeared when Crazy Kurt and Matt Masterson shot it, ending the chrono session.

June 2, 2011, Thursday

Not a fun day. Had to repack the car and check out by noon. Then the bus wouldn't be ready until after 2. I had a (CIVILIAN) doctor's appointment (second opinion on the hand surgery) at 3, so there was no way to pick the bus up at 2, get it to the RV park, and back to Presbyterian by 3. So at 2 we put the animals in the bus and started the generator and air conditioner and locked it up. Then we drove to Presbyterian. At 3:40 we were told the doctor was running late. No kidding. Didn't get out until after 5:30. The body shop manager, Gonzo, waited for us (and the Progressive check), and we drove the bus to the RV Park. Parked it in one try. Got the slides out, the utilities plugged in, the hats put up, the car unpacked, the animals taken care of, etc. Then The Redhead said she wasn't cooking, so I drove her to Applebee's as the smoke cloud from the Arizona wildfire blew through. She had one of their "Perfect" Margaritas (a Margarita in a Martini glass, comes with an ice shaker so there's no ice in the glass, 2 olives!--total abomination of a Margarita, but she likes it.) Then a neighboring couple said they had ordered too many strawberry "Perfect" Margaritas and would we take the last one, and, oh, here's an extra shot of Tequila we can't handle. I looked at their table, 4 empty glasses and 3 shakers. They were probably wises to stop then. They were off the road by the time we left. Anyway, The Redhead was much more mellow then. She had gotten a little stressed. I don't know why.

June 1, 2011, Wednesday

Zrthur tries out Angelique's new cat perch

Arthur tries out the new cat perch/scratching post we got for Angelique while Angelique looks on (in our hotel room)

I went to the RGR practice session. It takes a lot of work to get any useful practice there. Today it got crowded. But I shot up a couple of boxes of shotgun shells at pop-up aerials. I have about a 75% chance of hitting any aerials they throw at us at EOT.

Meanwhile back at the hotel room the EOT posse assignments came. I'm a Posse Marshal for the main match and the Wild Bunch match. Several people I want on my posse weren't on it, and I had to make phone calls and do emails with CD Tom. Tom is always accommodating and works very hard to get things the way we want them. I got Larsen E. Pettifogger, Dan Diamond, Weaver Gal, and Shirley and Shaky Shooter moved to my posse, giving me at least 2 good timer operators and two good scoring people. I don't know a lot of the posse members. I'm hoping for one more good timer operator, maybe two. With 2 I can stand around and look for trouble instead of timing. I don't let one timer operator time more than 5 shooters because they get tired and may not be quick enough to avoid a problem.