August 2010 Journal

Email Wisdom:

Ten Thoughts to Ponder ~

Number 10
Life is sexually transmitted.

Number 9
Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

Number 8
Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny.
If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich.

Number 7
Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.

Number 6
Some people are like a Slinky ...not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

Number 5
Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals, dying of nothing.

Number 4
All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

Number 3
Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200.00, and a substantial tax cut saves you $30.00?

Number 2
In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

And The Number 1 Thought
Life is like a jar of Jalapeno peppers; what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.

- - - and as someone recently said to me: "Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last long."

July 31, 2010, Saturday

Went to the RGR match. Texas Tiger was shooting Wild Bunch, too. As usual I didn't have a good match there. But the WB guns worked. Both '97s buttstocks keep coming loose. The Winchester has a new stock, as described. The stock on the Cimarron isn't in great shape, either. Tightened both when I got back to the bus.

Tutoring a World Champion:

Texas Tiger is new to Wild Bunch. English Lyn bought her a good Series 70 Colt with the big sights and 11 magazines, and full Mernickle Evil Roy leather gear. She's shooting traditional. She's got it down pretty well, very fast mag changes, good rifle work (with my rifle. Hers is still in Italy, though ordered a couple of months ago. She had another borrowed rifle, but it didn't work for her. Mine did. We shot a lot more pistol rounds than the stages called for and got a good workout. Then we kept some targets and a table set up, and I gave her a course in malfunction clearance. She picked it up quickly. BRR match tomorrow. We'll continue the WB practice/training session.

July 30, 2010, Friday

Took The Redhead to Le Peep for breakfast. We got back to the exit for Enchanted Trails when she realized she had left her sweater at the restaurant (15 miles away). She dropped me off, picked up a copy of "Common Valor" going out to a purchaser, and returned to Le Peep, retrieved her sweater, and went up Louisiana to the Post Office allegedly at 4016 Louisiana NE. Nothing there. Nothing at address #2, all gotten from Google because the USPS.com locator still returns an "internal server error." I believe that's been the case for over a year. Won't gumment run health care be wonderful?

Does the gumment do anything efficiently?

Don't answer that. Profanity isn't needed.

Worked in the garage while she went to Route 66 Casino. Reassembled a 1911 I'd cannibalized for a sear spring and sear pin when I needed them for the WB gun. When i went to install the stock on the '97 I eventually came to the conclusion that the maker had not drilled the countersink hole quite far enough for the long bolt that holds the stock in. Thus the bolt couldn't reach the tubular nut it was to screw into. Now, if I had time, I would either (a) call Brownell's for a return, or (b) call a gunsmith. But i didn't. The old one fell apart like the One Horse Shay when I took it off—3 pieces. I need it over the weekend and starting next Thursday. Its smoothness (Coyote Cap action job 2001) makes it fastest of the 2. I do have a long 1/2" drill purchased for drilling one hole when prepping a car for One Lap of America in 1994, and I used it to lengthen the countersink 1/4". The head of the screw is a bit larger than 1/2", so I had to widen the hole slightly. Then the bolt could reach the threads. The stock is on tight now. Whew. Is anything ever easy?

Cleaned the shop. Close to the last layer.

July 29, 2010, Thursday

Went to Zia. After hooking up the target trailer, a little flat-bed 2 wheel trailer, I opened the target trailer and realized that someone, I presume Dollar Bill, had disassembled the 4 Evil Roy targets. I presume he did so to get them in his truck. I put them on the trailer and went to the Conex to get a table, now that I know where they go. The lock hadn't been used much, and once I got it open, I couldn't get it to close. Put it in the truck to work on it with Break Free. Then opening the Conex was a gold-filled bitch. None of the parts had been lubricated in this century, and I couldn't reach the top of the mechanism. Got the table out, put it in the trailer, and closed the Conex. I just THOUGHT opening it was difficult. This was a solid gold, platinum plated bitch. Finally got it.

While I was doing this someone grabbed the bay I'd planned on using. Grabbed the only one left and set up, assembling 4 Evil Roy targets and setting them up. Then I got the guns out, using the trailer and the table. Then I moved the ML out of splatter range (not really a problem with ER targets, but the back glass is probably $1200 since it has IR shielding as well as a defroster grid.

Then I painted the targets and shot groups from the pistol and rifle to make sure they shoot to point of aim. They do. Then shot exercises, 5+1 pistol, 1+1 rifle, 5 rifle (single, double, 2-round sweep), a box of 6-round shotgun exercises. The Winchester with Dooley Gang STS Light Target ammo is the fastest combination. More 5+1 pistol, mini-stages: 5+1 pistol, 5+1 rifle, 6 shotgun. Then, after several of those, pick up brass. I'd been picking up brass after each "set." Lots of brass and hulls. Then Put everything away, guns, ammo, etc. I reattached the trailer and put the targets on it. Then came the fun part, backing that short-coupled 2-wheel trailer into its "spot." It took all of 15 minutes and left me frustrated and exhausted. Then put the club stuff up. I did NOT disassemble the targets but laid them in their "spot." Putting up the table hadn't gotten any easier. I had oiled the lock with Break Free and could, with some difficulty, make it work, but the latching mechanism was a rusted mess. Break Free helped, but I needed it at the top lock. Finally got it locked.

Then drove 1/2 hour to get back to the bus. By then I was exhausted.

The above explains why most SASS champions have their own ranges and can shoot without putting out a maximum effort.

Worked in the shop cleaning it up all afternoon. An ordered buttstock for the Winchester '97 was in the mail. The 60 year old original is on its last legs. Jack Diamond had Gorilla glued it together, but that didn't last. Tomorrow.

July 28, 2010, Wednesday

Took The Redhead to Casino Sandia, then went to the Renegades practice session. Several people there, but I managed to get in good practice. Then I helped Lawless Lori Sue with her percussion Remingtons.

Back at the shop I finished loading .45 Colt. Checked ammo supplies. With 2 more practice days and 2 monthly matches to go before Outlaw Trail, I have enough ammunition to get me through OT. I guess it's time to start cleaning up the shop.

Yes, I did pick up The Redhead and bring her back to the bus in time for Margaritas.

I've learned to put the word "Obama" in each month's blog. Then, when I do spellcheck, I get to punch "Ignore Obama."

July 27, 2010, Tuesday

Some of the additions to the longhorn herd at Founder Ranch:

 

Went practicing at Zia. English Lynn was returning targets Texas Tiger had used. One was a popup, with clays. So I took it to the range along with 4 Evil Roy targets. Shot exercises, single shots with the rifle from the table, doubles, and two round sweeps, 5 pistol shots, reload, fire one. i did this a lot. I shot almost 2 boxes of 12 ga. at the popup, finally getting a long string of hits by going back to Long Hunter's advice: Keep the muzzle on the knockdown after firing at it. When the flyer becomes visible, smoothly raise the shotgun until the muzzle covers the target. Then shoot and follow through, keeping the shotgun moving up.

It worked! It should be noted that this bird thrower threw them VERY high, in an arc toward me. I had to move the target 15 yards away to keep from getting hit by the bird if I missed. I don't know if this technique will work for me on popups that only go up a couple of yards. I need one of those to practice on.

Back at the shop reloaded more .45 Colt.

Had a neighbor and his wife over for Margaritas. He was in the Ia Drang Valley fights that were immortalized in the movie We Were Soldiers. His battalion lost 145 men one sunny afternoon. He was a point man who never got wounded. Impressive. More proof that anything you can do in combat can get you killed, including doing nothing. The opposite is also true. People live through the damnedest things in combat while people around them get killed. Once I realized that I stopped worrying. He got a Bronze Star with V for actions there—4 years ago. If figures. A Bronze Star was pinned on me in Lai Khe, but I never saw a citation. I guess I'm still waiting. (Not. Don't care anymore. Too late.) Fortunately I have a spare with all the paperwork for the night Fire Base Mary was hit. His truck has Bronze Star plates, from Illinois. Texas wasn't doing those when I became an ex pat. Of course, I could get free Disabled Vet plates for the ML. The bus has the free Purple Heart plates because I'm not an idiot. Free ($4 actually) is less than $400+, the normal registration for a 40 ft. bus. I have to pay regular price for the ML plates, but I ran it through my calculator, and $65 is less than $400+. $4 is less than $65, but I'm used to the PH plates. Anyway, there are a lot more disabled vets than live vets with Purple Hearts. But then, most Vietnam Vets are dead already. The average life expectancy being 57.

July 26, 2010, Monday

Took the ML in for service. At 65,000 miles there are things that wear. I'll need new rear brake pads soon, and replacing the belt will be prudent. They didn't have one today. Additionally Mercedes now recommends replacing the "lifetime" transmission and rear axle fluids at 39,000 miles, something they didn't recommend when I was selling them. This goes back to '97 models, the year they started putting in synthetic everything.

Stopped at Camping World. They have a 2008 Dutch Star, a 43 footer. We looked at it. It has a full-length slide on the driver's side and a bedroom slide on the right. It has the bath behind the bedroom and a half bath next to the kitchen. Looked great. Has a computer workstation, 2 big TVs. BUT it actually has a lot less room than our 40 footer. The full-length slide doesn't make up for the lack of a kitchen slide. The kitchen cabinets are are thus more shallow than ours. It's seriously lacking in closet space. One basement compartment, the cable spool, has to be moved from behind the rear wheels to in front, costing one compartment. The Hydro Hot costs one compartment, and a rather useless outside TV costs one compartment. Too bad.

July 25, 2010, Sunday

Shot the RGR match, started at 12, ended at 4:40. Apparently RGR members don't like to go to Sunday evening services.

Good match. Lawless Lori Sue did the stages. All good, no procedural traps, mostly semi-close targets, one 30 yard bonus. Shot it Wild Bunch Traditional. One miss, #!%!$!!, on a 10-10-2 stage that I had a raw time of 21 something! Minor problems on some stages: jacked a round out of the rifle on one, inserted a magazine in my usual lightning fashion, and the slide closed before the round got there on one, missed an aerial and had to shoot the makeup snake once.

Problems with both '97 stocks. The Winchester is splitting again. The Cimarron is loose, and I don't have a screwdriver blade long enough.

Ammo worked fine.

July 24, 2010, Saturday

The Redhead took the ML to Sandia. I loaded .45 Colt. If you lube the cases a bit, .45 Colt is easy to lead. Otherwise it's hell on the shoulder. Ran the first 200 through 15 minutes of tumbling to remove the lube, then dropped them into the chamber checker. Most passed, almost 100%. Checked length of several, 1.57 being the target. Ran a couple of 1.584 through the '73 and verified they would work. 1.59 doesn't. Those that passed were put into boxes marked match. Since I'm getting the Rugged Gear cart, and it has pouches for shotgun shell boxes, I'm loading match ammo in shotshell boxes. 120 .45 ACP, or 100 .45 Colt in a box, bottom taped to prevent it falling apart from the weight. This also is working well in my stripped down 4-wheel cart. I did away with the top box and stripped several things out of the bottom box. This left room for ammo. There are 3 compartments. The middle compartment is the width of a shotshell box. The other two compartments aren't wide enough. They were designed for .45 Colt boxes and the fired case bottle respectively. So 3 shotshell boxes in the middle SHOULD take care of a 5 stage (like Outlaw Trail) day. I'll carry an extra shotshell box in one of the outside compartments sideways. Magazines are kept in a shotshell box (open) stored sideways in that compartment. Screwdrivers, etc. are in the other compartment. Safety glasses and the ear protector box are on that side. I've put a small can of Break Free, a shotgun chamber brush and mop, a .38 and a .45 chamber brush, a spritzer bottle of Captain Baylor's Magic Black Powder Elixir in a bag that hangs off one of the knobs. I'll grab it and take it to the unloading table and do a quick chamber cleaning of the shotgun and chamber oiling/cleaning of the .38 rifle when shooting Frontiersman. The 45 caliber rifle gets a spritz every other stage, probably excessive since it's shooting heathen smokeless.

Anyway, when I finished, all fired .45 Colt cases were either cleaned or already loaded. Several hundred rounds area awaiting cleaning and sorting. I'll finish with the available cases next loading session.

July 23, 2010, Friday

George got sick last night. Apparently he ate something plastic, and he threw up all over the place. This morning, after keeping him from food, he was better. Seems okay tonight.

Worked in the garage. I had ordered 200 gr. LRNFP bullets a couple of weeks ago from Moulton Lead (Island Pond Paul). It's a small outfit, just him and his wife. They don't do internet orders. You have to mail them a check. But they're really cheap, so I've been getting bullets from them. After I called to check on the order, and no one called back, this Monday night/Tuesday morning I ordered from S & S Casting. They're a bit more expensive, and they have an online ordering system that drives me crazy, but they sent a receipt saying the order had been shipped a few hours later (0720 MDT). The online system uses a 7-12 digit password, and every time I go to use it, it makes me change it, and it won't allow me to use an old one. This isn't the Bank of England or the CI Bleeping A! I probably wouldn't have been bothered as much if I hadn't been ordering at 0200 Tuesday.

Anyway, Thursday afternoon both orders arrived.

This morning I started loading the S & S bullets. They weighed 200 gr.+. Pretty soon I ran out of cases. When I was finished loading and tumbling the completed ammunition to take the bullet lube off, then I ran them through the EGW. Much better results than with the bullets from Sportsman's (the last 250 of which went directly to the "practice" box). When the sorting and packaging was done I had 1380 rounds of newly minted .45 ACP. I did a spreadsheet of the planned practice and matches through Outlaw Trail. Outlaw Trail has 20 stages, 5 warm up, 15 main match. Assume 20 rounds/stage, 400 rounds, say 500. I have 3 local matches, 180 rounds, making 680 match rounds. Practice calls for 1200. I had 300 rounds or so leftover. So I have 1680. Odds are I won't be able to get in all the practice I want to, so I'm set for .45 ACP. If not, I can load some more next week.

Tomorrow, I'll catch up on .45 Colt.

July 22, 2010, Thursday

Went to the VA, annual eye exam. I've gotten used to the fact that the head of the department comes in to (a) look at the atypical manifestation of anterior bilateral ischemic optic neuropathy and the pseudohole in the left eye, and (b) look at the multifocal lens implants, something they never see in the VA system because the @%!%^!^!!! VA is !$!$%!$!! CHEAP!

Unfortunately, I've also gotten used to being told they can do nothing with either anterior bilateral ischemic optic neuropathy and the pseudohole.

July 21, 2010, Wednesday

Went to the RGR practice session. Several beginners there. Wound up giving lessons. *God help them."

Shot the Winchester '97 and had feeding problems. The round was tipping down and nosing into the mag tube because the follower wasn't going all the way to the end. Called Jim Bowie, and he knew what the problem was immediately. He had put that follower in at EOT. It needed its old follower back in, but he hadn't given it back. He talked me through removing the mag spring and follower so I could measure this one. It's a takedown model, and I had no clue. I have his video, but it won't play in either Mac. Anyway, you push the pin down and rotate it until you can see a flat spring that goes lengthwise. Push in with a small flat blade screwdriver and pull the pin out completely. PPUT THE PIN IN YOUR MAGNETIC DISH. Then remove one of the screws holding the end plate on. PUT THAT SCREW IN YOUR MAGNETIC DISH. Then, with a little pressure on the end plate so it won't pop out under spring pressure, remove the second screw and PUT THAT SCREW IN YOUR MAGNETIC DISH. Then pull the end plate off and remove the spring and follower. I put the calipers to it, and he said he would mail the correct one that day. Great guy!

I tumbled the .45 ACP ammo I made yesterday for 25 minutes to get the lube off. Then I chamber checked it in the EGW Chamber Checker. Normally I'll get 90%+ that will fit in flush and drop out when the checker is turned upside down. But I was getting considerably worse results, 4 out of 7, 5 out of 7, etc. I tried several things, starting with cleaning the chamber checker to see if it had case lube or bullet lube build up. Nope. Then I started checking stations on the Dillon. #1, the full-length resizer was as far down as it can go. #2 wasn't belling the cases much, so I added a little to that. #3 and 4 had nothing to do with the problem. #5, of all things, had a bullet stuck in it. Got that out, adjusted it for maximum taper crimp. New rounds seem to be a higher pass rate.

Most of the "failures" run fine when shot. But about one out of 100 is oversized and won't chamber in the real gun. I mark the failures with one red stripe, the really big ones with a red cross. They all go in the "practice only" box. So far all of the red crosses have stuck half way in the chamber. I'm keeping them for practicing malfunction clearance drills. All of the red stripes have worked fine. Still they're practice rounds.

July 20, 2010, Tuesday

Went to Zia and practiced. Then went to Sportsman's. Bullets haven't arrived yet, so broke down and bought all the 200 gr. LRNFP .452 bullets they had (500). !%*@&! Cost more than 1,000 from S & S Casting, and S & S isn't the cheapest, just reliable. When I ordered from them Sunday night the confirmation email Monday morning said they'd shipped them. My former prime supplier doesn't answer the phone, but no bullets have shown up yet.

Loaded 250 of the bullets. They weigh 196-198 gr. each, by the way. Don't think this'll ever be a problem at a SASS match, but if they weigh bullets you don't want to be close to the minimum and find your bullet was 4 gr. light. If you shoot 180 gr. bullets this could get you a MDQ.

July 19, 2010, Monday

Went to Zia R & P Club to practice. Got there at 0830 and actually didn't have to wait to get a bay. They now have 4 Evil Roy targets in the cowboy targets shed. These are great for practice. They're compact and easy to put on the trailer, easy to put up and take down. For match targets they're not so good because they're pretty dead. Finished up 11ish.

Tex and Cat hadn't gotten the stuff I sent yesterday. I received a failure notice from AOL and realized it was from the Brisco Kid. AOL is blocking my account again.

Being blocked by the world's worst email client is probably not a disgrace. This used to happen with Curt's Newsletter. I'd call them up. They'd tell me that anyone sending an email to 200 addresses had to be a spammer. I would explain that, no, those were customers. They'd "whitelist" me for a month or 2, and I'd have to do it again.

Sent the article and pictures to The Redhead's Hotmail account, and she forwarded them. It worked. I then set up a hotmail account for sending articles to Cat and Tex--and replying to AOL addresses.

Worked in the garage until the outside temp reached triple digits, and inside the shop with the AC on flat out it's just a little behind.

1400 Calories

The VA has me on 1400 calories a day. It only takes 1900 calories for me to maintain my weight. 1900 calories isn't much. I went to a website to see what 1400 calories is:

One tortilla chip is 1400 calories--unless you dip it in queso. Then it's 2000.

Looking at a carton of Bluebell Homemade Vanilla is 1400 calories.

An Oreo crumb is 1400 calories.

Three Triscuits are 1400 calories.

A peanut butter sandwich is 1400 calories, 2000 if it's the low-fat Jif.

Water is 1400 calories.

Three cat treats are 1400 calories. Why the cats don't weigh 40 lb. each I don't know.

July 18, 2010, Sunday

The Redhead went to the casino. I worked in the garage until the heat got excessive. It's over 100°F here.

But it's a dry heat.

Still having trouble getting stuff to Cat and Tex. AOL doesn't like my web address.

July 17, 2010, Saturday

Shot the RGR match in 100° heat. My bad match streak at RGR continues, not one good match since I've started shooting there. 1 clean stage out of 5, and that was only because a popup shotgun target came out broken. Shot Wild Bunch. All of the guns worked, which was refreshing. I only had to use one '97, the Cimarron. Saving the Winchester for the big match. '97s do break, you know. The top 5 in each category will be people who shoot fast, shoot clean, don't have guns break, and make the power factor. They will also be people who show up, and probably people who don't get the "special" Margaritas, at least the Traditional winners.

The computer problems continue differently. Not my computer, but my problem. Cat and Tex were there and hadn't gotten all of the stuff I sent them after all. I've gotten 3 failure notices from AOL about emails I've sent them. They dropped by the bus to get the rest in a flash drive. But the photos that they hadn't gotten were unfindable in either computer. I had to re-make them (from the original unedited copies) and try sending them in more emails. Odds of them getting them are about 50/50.

July 10-16, 2010

The Week of Computer Hell

Using the spare computer caused all kinds of fun. Things had to be upgraded. Articles had to be retrieved from backup. Some things can't be retrieved from backup without actually doing a restore, apparently. For example, the contents of the Address book.

So I was on the computer a lot more than I wanted to be. The hands can't take it. Tuesday night the lady from the Apple Store called. The computer was ready and only $331! :D It took a while to get it. The Apple Store is a money printing machine, extremely busy. Usually I make an appointment. It's necessary for anything but a simple purchase.

Several things on the computer required re-setup. Moving the changed articles back from the little computer was harder than anticipated. Most I just put on a flash drive. But the new column (see below) was saved somewhere I couldn't retrieve the pictures with it. I could retrieve it by pulling it up in "Open Recent", but the folder it was in didn't show up in the finder. Solution was to go back to the original photos and redo the mods I'd done to make them in the first place. Would have taken less time if I'd just done that in the first place.

Went to the HDD match Sunday. The engraved ROAs malfunctioned 3 times. I have heavier springs on order. Good match. A lot of fun. Somebody's learned how to write stages. 2 misses.

Went to the VA Monday (weight loss)

Went to the RGR Wednesday match and shot Wild Bunch, which I'm going to do through Outlaw Trail.

That's part of the reason for no blogging. The rest was that at the HDD match Sunday the 11th, Tex told me the EOT article needed to be done for the September issue. So that meant moving the Burgess article to October, writing the EOT article and a different column, Wild Bunch for Dummies, Ammunition, because of the chronographing problems at EOT.

Then Thursday the computer stopped sending emails again. An hour on the phone with tech support, no help.

Called back Friday after I got back from the VA (Physical Therapy). Another hour on the phone with tech support, and no success. This happens every couple of years. They'll blame it on my ISP and my mail client. I'll tell them that for ISP I use satellite, wi-fi, and a Verizon card, and the damn thing's not working with either. As for mail client, I try both Entourage and Mail.

Now this time, the first time it stopped working, after 2 hours on the phone the tech told me to turn on password authentication on the outgoing server, and, voila, it worked.

Fast forward to after this Friday's wasted afternoon, I got up from TV, restarted the computer, and opened Mail. It told me my server did not support authentication, so I turned the password OFF, and now it's working. (Among the things tried included the tech changing my main password. The good news is I'll never divulge the password under torture. It's not something I'd ever choose, and I won't remember it.)

Worked on the gun cart. More on that later.

July 9, 2010, Friday

Worked on articles for the Cowboy Chronicle from 0100 to 0230 then from about 0900 to 1300. Then got to the garage and worked on a project to be discussed later. Thank Goodness for Time Machine backup. It isn't perfect. I can't seem to figure out how to get the Address Book out of it. But getting articles and pictures worked well.

July 8, 2010, Thursday

Spent a couple of hours with tech support for my web hosting co. Finally the problem was discovered and solved. Danny did a great jog. I can send emails. Then the computer failed completely. Took it to the Apple Store. Main logic board fried, $1200+, 5 days. Computer goes to Apple and gets all the innards replaced. The tech said it could be $310 unless there was liquid damage. Oops. Some time back Angelique knocked a Margarita over. So much for her being a free kitten. I'm working on the backup computer. Thank goodness for backups.

Cleaned the floor in the trailer and mopped. Looks halfway decent now. Worked on the gun cart. Replaced 1/4" pivot bolts with 1/2". Put screw reinforcements on right side mirror of where left side failed.

July 7, 2010, Wednesday

Drove to Enchanted Trails and set up. Long drive in a 65 ft. rig.

July 6, 2010, Tuesday

Received this today:

Hey George (Curt)
This is Joe Lafives (duh) - thought I'd forward some pics and vid from EOT for you.

BTW - on your comments on WR you mentioned only one gun given away. You may want to change this. I won two myself and know quite a few other folks that won a gun.

Today I got the trailer ready to load. Then we took the trailer wheel and destroyed tire to the nearest Discount Tire at Flagstaff. Got a new one mounted and balanced for $37. Drove back, had (expensive) lunch at Cruiser's, a diners in Route 66 decor. Then I had to put the gun cart back into the ML, that and the "new in the box" Rugged Gear gun cart. It fits in the back seat fortunately.

July 5, 2010, Monday

Went to the Grand Canyon. Turned right instead of left and went to Desert View in hopes of finding smaller crowds.

Redneck RV

There's a picture of Obama with the caption: "Nope"

"Hey, baby. What say we fly united?"

"Nevermore."

"Bitch!"

European tourists lining up for bungee jumping. The guy on the left has attached a rope to one of the guy in the pale blue shirt's legs. In a few seconds the jumper is going to realize the rope wasn't connected at the other end.

The Dog Torturer, episode 1 "Hey, lady, can you rescue me from this jerk. This is hotter'n hell on my paws. Give me air conditioning, and I'll lick your face forever."

The Redhead displays her famous pose from her days as a supermodel

The Watchtower, inhabited solely by Jehovah's Witnesses

Hopi art inside the Watchtower tells the story of early Jehovah's Witnesses on their visits

Paris Hilton in a past life

View out of one of the windows of the top floor of the Watchtower

Different window

The Dog Torturer, Episode 2, "Water, water. You're drinkin' iced Pepsis, and you can't give me a sip of water? If I wasn't so dry I'd bite your damn leg off. When we get home, if I live, I'm gonna chew up your Nikes."

July 4, 2010, Sunday

Happy Independence Day

Railhead

Wild Bunch and Awards

0700-Wild Bunch=Yes, I did have to get up early to put the gun cart back together. 4 stages. The rocks are getting to me. Getting around is very difficult, especially pushing a gun cart through the large rocks.

Speaking of gun carts, I won a Rugged Gear cart last night in the raffle.

Did fine through 2 stages, blew 2. Out of contention.

Wild Bunch shooters have needed a loading strip for their needs, one that holds 6 shotgun shells and 10 big bore shells. Jack Houston, LoneRider Leather made this one. It has a flap on the back and slips over the belt when not in use. It works very well. I believe he only wants $3000 for it, but he'll probably negotiate.

Coho Kid, Ted Blocker Leather, shows off his Wild Bunch rig.

The angle of the photo doesn't show the low cut front, to the bottom of the ejection port. The rig, sans the bling, reminds me of 1980s IPSC rigs.

Went to get the gun cart. It turned out to be the 2 gun model that holds 2 long guns muzzle down, butt up. Nothing I can use. Will sell or trade.

The awards ceremony was a BYOC (bring your own chair). I was one of the 3 guys not in on the joke.

The Awards Ceremony. All of the people with chairs got the secret memo.

Terrible finish. 5th Frontiersman. Larsen was a surprising 3rd. Whenever I see written results I'll tell who was 1, 2, and 4. Don't know. This is one of those events where everyone got an award, so I know there were 9 Frontiersmen.

Talked with the guy at Unique Tek. Took some things to evaluate for a future column.

Took pictures of Jim Bowie's trailer. Jim is one of Cowboy Action Shooting's premier gunsmiths, and every EOT and Winter Range he sets up shop with West Fargo, and they fix people's guns, sometimes working into the night. They do a lot of little but important things for free (or the tip jar). Yes, he gets a lot of business from it, a lot of guns to take back and do action work, etc. But, to most competitors, the important thing is he fixes guns t hey need for the next day's shooting.

 

24' Haulmark, 12,500 lb. capacity. Window on left side for talking with customers at events. The awning is deliberately 19th century looking. Putting it up is a bear, though. So don't be surprised if it shows up at an event with a RV awning. Normally canvas covers the wheels, so it looks 19th century and blends in with all of the tents.

Jim has everything he needs to fix guns, including TIG welding. The welder requires a REALLY big generator. The rest of the time a small, quiet Honda generator runs all of the other machines. When everything is put away and folded up his Yukon can fit inside. But his wife's Chevy HHR weighs 3000 lb instead of 6800. So they take that now. Of course, the Yukon can tow the trailer (with the equalizer hitch he's installed) in case of necessity.

Drill press/milling machine, lots of tool and parts storage and workbench space

A bank of necessary machines and stuff

The important thing, a customer paying for a short stroke and action job.

Without Jim's shop at EOT, with him and West Fargo in attendance, a lot of shooters would have gone without guns. They're fixtures at EOT and absolutely necessary.

Back at the bus worked on the screen door some more. Put in the improved bushing system I couldn't before. It required a bigger hole than what was there. Had to enlarge it with a file. No drill bits that big.

Jim Bowie reminded us there was a 4th of July parade downtown at 6, and we'd been asked to march in cowboy clothes with guns. But by then I was too tired, and parking in town this weekend is an absolute nightmare. The Redhead wanted to cocoon, so we stayed in.

Talked with The Brisco Kid, who is a Rugged Gear dealer. He will take the 2 gun cart in trade (unopened, etc.) on a 4 gun cart. Told him I want one of the special edition purple ones so I can find it in a sea of Rugged Gear carts. He said he's gone to the wrong cart several times. The damn things all look alike. I'm still not sold on the concept of bags for everything instead of boxes, but they're lightweight, easy to push on rough terrain, etc. He only sells the ones with flat free tires.

Rugged Gear is sold out of carts until mid-August. Their Chinese (of course) parts suppliers screwed up, and they're out of key parts. According to Brisco, who I trust, they're like Dillon in warranty parts. They'll send a return label and want the old parts back so they can go to the suppliers and get the parts improved so they don't break. I'll see Brisco in September when we head east, and we'll do the trade then.

July 3, 2010, Saturday

Railhead

Main Match Day 2

Today was worse than yesterday. 2 misses. Some slow stages. One 29. Larsen had a few train wrecks, mostly due to the Lightning, an original 1884 Colt. Of course he had no problems with the ROAs.

My gun cart broke, splitting along the side through the holes where the verticals are attached. Got it back to the trailer, Gorilla glue and wood screws. Left it to dry.

Dinner and such at Wild West Junction. They were a little overwhelmed by us, losing thousands of dollars in bar business because the line to the bar was about 15 minutes. The food, BBQ, was great. Scott Anderson dropped by with a friend. They had attended the match, I heard, "Not bad for somebody in t he ARMY!" and "When I grow up, I want to join the Army." It was Scott, of course.

Won best dressed gentleman in the costume contest--roving judges. There was a prize attached, a carriage ride. Others got Grand Canyon Railway tickets. Just as well. It's a long ride.

July 2, 2010, Friday

Railhead

Main match day 1

The range is carved out of the side of a hill. A round over the berm would need a mortar.

The afternoon shift's shooters meeting. Note the rocks This is part of the smooth area. You can see a little grey trail by the tents. That's fine gravel. The whole area was supposed to be that, but the city ran out of money.

 

Blew the clean match with a procedural from brain fade. I'm shooting with Larsen E. Pettifogger. He's shooting Frontiersman, usually about 10 seconds a stage faster than me. I like to shoot with Frontiersmen who can beat me like a rented mule because it gives me inspiration, and I learn a lot. I tried the engraved ROAs for one stage and had a failure to fire a cap the first time. I went to the backups. Larsen shot the engraved pair for one stage without a malfunction. A simple cure is to go to a spring 1 pound higher, but neither of us have one with us.

The match was pretty straight forward. We did have one popup, an 8 ounce soda can.

Cleaned all the guns in the afternoon. Then we went to the poker tournament. The Redhead talked me into entering, too. Not a great idea. I knew I had a flush, and it was time to raise heavily, but she was the only one still in with me. Didn't raise. Won the pot, but would have gotten a lot bigger pot if the other player was someone else.

The hip couldn't take the awful chair after some hours, and the lighting was terrible for my eyes. Next time I'll let her play. She was 4th. I was 7th. Prizes for first 3, nothing we wanted. Little Guns was first.

July 1, 2010, Thursday

Railhead, Williams, Arizona

Practice Day

The range is in a forest, cut out of a hillside. The floor is volcanic rock, with some fine gravel over heavily traveled areas. The club would like to have more, but the City of Williams ran out of money and laid off its road crews. There are 4 bays. One is wide enough for 2 stages. The others hold one. Two allow downrange movement.

When I got there I was looking for the "warm up" stage. I was told they didn't have it, that the only thing I could shoot was fastest rifle, pistol, and shotgun, but I could shoot them over and over. So I did. The (engraved) pistols (with new innards) worked fine for 5 stages, then had a few misfires. Larsen told me I was seating the caps wrong. My response is ????? It worked before, and it works on the other pistols.

Then I was told that the "warm up" or "practice" stage was up and running, $1 a run. I went there to shoot it 4-5 times, but a series of people who wanted to talk took so long I just did it once. One of the people who wanted to talk was Buzz Mills, owner of Gunsite and candidate for governor. He's attending every shooting event he can. He has a built in voting block there. When told that the range was incomplete because of a lack of funds he told the club president that the NRA has a fund for that, and he could apply online. Since he is on the board and on the committee that approves that he suggested the club president apply, and it would be favorably considered.

We told him about Cowtown and I asked, "Doesn't the NRA have lawyers to help with that?" He said yes and gave the name of the person to contact to one of the Cowtown club officers.

I don't know if he has a chance of becoming governor of Arizona, but I'm glad he's working for the NRA. I'd vote for him if I could vote in Arizona, but being a Republican, I can only vote legally, which means in Texas.

I managed to shoot the stage once, and 039 didn't pop one cap on first try. Went back to the trailer and cleaned the guns.

Jack Houston called, terribly hurt. I hadn't mentioned him in the EOT article. Yes, he did drive up at the last minute after multiple phone calls to make sure he could enter late. He had both me and The Redhead doing recon. I talked to 4 people at SASS and got 4 different answers. Yes, he did sleep in the trailer. Yes, he was on Texas Jack Daniels' posse. Yes, he buckled in senior duelist, 8th, despite rifle problems. Okay, Jack. Are you happy now? :)*

He is also available for custom leather making projects with no waiting. I guess that not advertising is working really well. That's why you never see a Coca Cola ad on TV, right?

Dan Diamond and Larsen E. Pettifogger came by for their EOT loot. I guess I forgot promising them I'd get it. Oh, I remember. I didn't. I believe all of their awards were announced when I was out getting our Frontiersman group picture taken. That reminds me. When did you ever see any of those photos of 10 smiling shooters holding belt buckles? I can't remember. Anyway, we know they'll get them in time for the SASS Convention.

*Sometimes it's hard to tell in print when you're not really serious. He wasn't really upset… I think. Oh, yes. Coca Cola really does advertise. Really.