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July 31, 2011, Sunday

Shot the RGR 5th Sunday match. Different match director, Grubstake Charlie. Pistols and shotguns were closer, and scenarios were simpler. Despite this I screwed the pooch on the first 3, winding up with 3 misses, a procedural, and a safety. The procedural was on a goofy sweep called, "are you smarter than a 5th grader?" I guess not, or I just wasn't concentrating, which is more likely. Then I shot clean and progressively faster, ending with a 25.

Did one more Smoke Standard test, on Pepper Jack's .45 load, 15 gr. (vol) 777 FFg, cornmeal filler, 200 gr. bullet. The judges agreed this was about equal to the smoke standard load.

The goal is a blind taste test with loads I don't expect to pass up to the ones that do. Pyrodex is next, and I'll have to make some up.

So far 10.5 gr. APP 3f and any bullet from 105 up should pass, as the 15 gr. 777 load above. Remember that corn meal filler adds to smoke. Ill make up test loads of Pyrodex using caulk backer rod.

Doc's Old West lightweight chaps

At EOT I walked into Doc's Old West and made a pitch I've been making for 5 years to every chap maker I've met: "Make chaps out of thin upholstery leather for SASS shooters. We don't bulldog steers, we run 10 yard dashes with guns, and working weight chaps are to hot and too heavy for most of us. If you make them, I'll write about them and make you famous in the Cowboy Chronicle."

The guys who wear full weight chaps and brag about it are usually the guys who shoot full charge loads duelist and badmouth other shooters. They're not guys we see at the awards presentation.

Most chap makers insisted they had to make chaps for the 3 guys at EOT who would wear full weight chaps. A couple said, "But you'd tear 'em up bulldoggin' steers."

Yeah, I'd burn them up if I walked into a blast furnace, but I'm not planning on either.

One guy wanted me to pay him $525 to make a pair and then write about it.

But C. W. Akins of Doc's Old West said, "I had a couple of pair of lightweight chaps, and they sold the first day."

"If you had a rack full, you'd have sold them, too." I suggested he make replicas of Menea chaps like the ones you see in museums.

FA Menea chaps in museum

1880's F A Menea chaps at Nelson Museum of the Old West in Cheyenne, WY, 2008. These were plain chaps for a working cowboy who didn't carry a gun. The pockets would be in the way.

 

Doc's Old West Chaps closeup

These chaps just arrived from Doc's Old West. Mr. Akins agreed to make them for someone who wears guns, with lowered pockets. He understands us! I asked for working fringe and the ability to open them up in order to step into them with boots on. These are simple working chaps, but pounds lighter and a lot cooler, yet authentic in style

Doc's Old West Chaps, side view

These would fit right in a display of old west chaps

Do these chaps make my butt look fat?

Do these chaps make my butt look fat?

Now if I hadn't told you these are lightweight, thin chaps, would you have thought it?

Almost hidden buttons

Stepping into them with boots on is possible because of these almost hidden wrapped leather buttons that button to leather tabs. They were easy to get on and off. I'll be trying them out at matches ASAP

Doc's Old West 719-850-9029 docsoldwest@yahoo.com

Texas cowboy, 1880s, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Boss of the Plains hat with Texas stars, 6 button bib shirt (still available from River Junction Trade Co., and shotgun chaps

A bar in Tascosa, Texas, the most dangerous town in Texas about 2890

Here are 5 cowboys in a bar in Tascosa, Texas, the most dangerous town in Texas about 1890. All 5 pair are a little different, but all are shotgun chaps, not batwings, a 20th century invention.

Chaps in the 1895 Montgomery Wards catalog

Chaps in the 1895 Montgomery Wards Catalog

A brief history of chaps

 

Chap styles, front and back, Shotgun on top, Batwings (20th century), and woolies for cold weather

Cowboy with all the gear, Boss of the Plains hat, vest, chaps, Winchester, spurs, Colt revolver

1880s cowboy, narrow brimmed Boss of the Plains hat, wild rag, vest, Colt SAA with 7-1/2" barrel,Winchester 73, shotgun chaps, Mexican spurs, high heeled cowboy boots.

Buck Taylor, a Buffalo Bill Wild West Performer, "King of the Cow-boys," 1890, wearing a Gus crease hat (rare in the 19th century, and shotgun chaps.

Joe Ming, Helena, Montana, 1888, the ubiquitous 6-button bib shirt, Boss of the Plains hat, Smith And Wesson, and shotgun chaps

July 30, 2011, Saturday

Shot the RGR match. It's J D Calendar's annual. He moved the targets out and had a couple of aerials about 17 yards out. Nothing was close. I expected it and set out to shoot as clean as possible under such circumstances. Shot the first one clean. Most people's clean match ended on that one, nothing difficult, just not close. The second one was worse with an aerial and 4 bonus targets, small white flippers beside the head of a IPSC sized head/torso target. Only one shot was required at the flipper, and JD didn't understand that when you add a bonus it's mandatory. Not trying it is 5 seconds slower than someone who hits it. Missing it was 5 seconds, making each a 10 second target in effect.

It got really confusing. If a shooter missed the target cleanly, no problem. It's a miss. But one hit the big target on the shoulder twice and was given a procedural for not engaging the target. Someone said, "But he engaged it. He just missed it." The light bulb went off over my head, and I stated that he should be getting a miss, not a procedural. Tex agreed, and we got the score changed. Those tricky little rules are important, aren't they?

I shot it clean, one of 3, the other being REALLY good shooters.

Then things went semi-to hell. I got a miss on the next one when I edged a bell with the rifle. So the clean match, not realistic anyway, was over.

That one had 5 little bitty plates out at 10-12 yards for the pistol. You had 10 rounds to take them down. I think it took me 9. I should have used the hot rounds then. I had to hit them near the top or they just bounced. My rounds are 80+ PF.

Then another miss on the next one, another on the next, then ended clean. Nothing spectacular. No one shot clean.

Almost forgot. One stage had you shooting a little orange square thingie with triangular intersecting walls, made out of something with something self-healing. It was set at 10 yards or so, and you had 10 rounds to knock it to 15 yards. Apparently, aside from hitting the ground just in front of it, the trick was to use light ammo. Tex, shooting his usual 44-40 full charge ammo couldn't move it far enough. Others had no problem. I didn't make it with full-charge 777 loads with 125 gr. rounds. 10 second procedural. Some made it in 6-9 rounds and got to shoot the rest at a pistol target for a 1 second bonus. 12 of us got procedurals. 18 procedurals altogether out of one large posse. Karma: JW Calendar got a procedural on the little orange thingie.

Then we tested the smoke Standard rounds. I alternated them and no one could tell the difference in smoke. Then I compared the standard rounds to my weakest practice ammunition (10.5 gr. (weight) APP 3f, 105 gr. bullets) was indistinguishable from the smoke standard rounds. More testing to come, of course. We were just getting a baseline and a reliable standard round.

It was nearly 4 when I got back to the bus. Without caffeine, I could hardly function to resupply for tomorrow's match. Then I had to pick up The Redhead from the casino. No caffeine, Prednisone enhanced insomnia, what fun!

July 29, 2011, Friday

The Redhead and I had breakfast out, then went to "Cowboys and Aliens," then had lunch out. When we got back to the RV Park bullets arrived from Black Dawge/Powder Inc., so I made up 20 Smoke Standard rounds. The bullets look quite good, with 2 lube grooves filled with SPG. They're packed in styrofoam so that the lube doesn't melt off. They're expensive, but I see where the money goes. 145 gr. by the way.

That's deep enough that 1 CC of Goex FFG just reached the base of the bullet with little or no compression. The smoke standard calls for a light compression. So I made 10 with Caulk Backer Rod fillers on top (about 1/4" uncompressed). then compressed with the bullet. This takes a lot of time when you're making a lot of ammo. But any granular filler, such as corn meal or ground corn cob (Black Dawge filler) are completely consumed with the explosion of the BP, but this ADDS TO THE SMOKE.

Then I made 10 with no filler. We'll see if there is a difference in smoke. If there isn't, I'll make future Smoke Standard rounds with them. I'll be testing tomorrow at the RGR match.

July 28, 2011, Thursday

Spent over an hour getting the $4 prescription filled at Wally World. Not at all comparable to the same time spent with 2 porn queens.

Caffeine withdrawal is not much more fun than a week at Wally World. The hour with 2 porn queens sounds pretty good, but I'd probably fall asleep.

July 27, 2011, Wednesday

The nearest fastest ENT doctor that would see me is in Santa, at 3 PM. I also had a little problem with one of the clear bra panels and made an appointment to get it fixed. It only took a few minutes, and there we were in Santa Fe with nothing to do until nearly 3. So we took our last voluntary trip to the Plaza in our lifetime. The parking has gotten worse. The sidewalks have itinerant musicians and beggars blocking the sidewalks. The shops have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. I'm not sure we walked into any of the shops. If we did, I blanked it out. We gave up and left the Plaza for lunch, at an Olive Garden.

The doctor decided that the sudden loss of my left ear's hearing, and, frankly, more important, the noise, pressure, pain, etc. could have several causes, including trauma from the ear cleaning. I know, I know, but that is what happened just before things went from bad to worse. If a black bird flies over and someone dies, it may not be the black bird's fault, so I'm not saying cause and effect. It might be a virus, or it might be Meniere's Disease. If it's trauma, the sooner that Prednisone can be administered, the better, preferably within 24 hours. After about 2 weeks, it's a waste of time. Remember, the VA won't see me until August 19th. So he gave me a prescription for prednisone. It's almost too late. For Meniere's disease, the only treatment is low sodium and low caffeine diet.

So while I'm writing this I'm in full caffeine withdrawal. The sodium is no problem. 1200 mg/day is doable. I just have to limit bacon at my once a week or so breakfasts out a week, and, since our water is softened with table salt, not drink too much of it. I prefer WC Fields' motto. "Water. Never drink it. Fish fuck in it."

He wants an MRI, but time isn't critical, so I'll see if I can get one from the VA instead of Medicare and a $2,000,000 deductible under Obamacare.

 

July 25-26, 2011

1930 Ford Model A

1930 Ford Model A. It didn't have a trailer hitch, so I don't think it towed the little trailer behind it.

1958 Ford Fairlane

1958 Ford Fairlane 2 door hard top and a vintage trailer, This Ford did tow the trailer

Dirty brass after American Pioneer Powder

This time I remembered to get a picture of dirty brass after shooting American Pioneer Powder

Brass after overnight soak in vinegar

This is what it looked like after an overnight soak in white vinegar

Brass after tumbling

After tumbling 6 hours

While working in the garage I started dry fire practice with the shotgun and pistols. I made up some fresh shotgun dummy rounds, red hulls, just to make sure I don't pick up a live round. I just put wads in for stiffening and then crimped the hulls. No matter what you do to come up with a cushion for the firing pin, a few blows will make it worthless. Some of the expensive snap caps with a spring under the primer area won't wear out immediately, but they're not really suitable for reloading practice.You want to use empties because they eject like empties. Rounds with weight in them will come out too easily. I've made rounds filled with corn meal and the primer pocket filled with silicone and the crimp end sealed with silicone. Pretty soon you have a lot of corn meal on the floor and worn out dummies. Making them with just wads takes just a few seconds a round, so when whey wear out, I throw them away.

Then I started half an hour a day of loading practice. I'm trying T Bone Dooley's method of opening the gun with the weak hand because it's easier on my strong thumb. Tuesday I did 2 sessions, so that's about an hour and a half altogether. I think I got the movement to get the rounds to shuck out consistently down in the last session. I also worked on loading with the strong hand. The only time I would have a use for this is when the weak hand gets free first, such as running to the right and replacing a rifle on a vertical rack, with a shotgun to the right of it to pick up. Restaging the rifle with my weak hand and picking up the shotgun with my strong hand, easy for a right-hander, is crossed up for a left-hander. Thus put the rifle down with strong (left) hand while moving right, pick up shotgun with weak (right) hand while grabbing ammo with strong hand. Load, holding barrel near firing position, and pull butt to shoulder, closing the action, and fire.

T bone's loading method is shoot with weak hand under forearm. Then slide hand on top of barrel until you reach the lever. I open the lever with my (right hand) fingers pulling the lever open. Right-handers push with their weak thumb. T bone, shooting a hammer double, cocks the hammers with the front edge of his weak hand while doing this. This works with the left-thumb, not as well with the right hand. Since your weak hand isn't there to help pull the barrel open, you have to do that with your strong hand. T bone shoots a hammer double, so the barrels fall open easily. Hammerless doubles cock the hammers on opening the barrels, so sometimes they don't flop open. It takes a bit more wrist action to make it reliable.

I spent another half hour per day drawing the pistols and dry firing. Just muscle memory and trying to not pull the #$%&! trigger unless the front sight is on the target. I have 5 little dayglo dots on the back of the trailer. Lots of single draws with a timer with a par time, then draw one, 5 shots, reholster while drawing the other, and 5 shots with it, using the par time feature again.

"You lose matches with the pistol, break even with the rifle, and win with the shotgun."--Tequila.

Things to come:

Sunday Tex thought another BP shooter's loads (15 gr. 777 2f) weren't smoking enough. We didn't have any "smoke standard" loads. I've ordered the bullets from Black Dawge Cartridge Co./Powder Inc. The standard has been changed recently due to the discontinuation of Goex Cowboy:

The black powder standard was developed using the following loading data:

• Standard .38 Special case

• 1cc Goex 2F Powder

• Federal Standard primer • 145-grain bullet lubed with SPG

• Powder litely compressed with a medium roll crimp. (I know, it's spelled "lightly", but I left it the way it is in the handbook.)

Black Dawge is the only source I know of for that bullet with that lube. It's a 2-groove bullet. I'll make up a bunch of those and various loads of APP, 777, and Pyrodex, maybe some Swiss and Goex Express, code them so I can tell them apart, and have a session with 3 witnesses voting on what passes and what doesn't. Then maybe I can better answer the question, "What load will pass the smoke standard with_______ powder."

I also need to do a chrono/group test of Evil Roy Ammunition.

Coho Kid of Ted Blocker Leather sent me a Wild Bunch rig for an article. VERY nice holster, a little drop, a little muzzle forward cant. This makes the holster and the draw very comfortable, no "breaking" the wrist. Just grab the gun and pull up, bending the elbow, not the wrist. Very fast.

July 24, 2011, Sunday

Shot the RGR match today. Did better than recently. 2 misses, some stages in the 20s, including one 25 on a stage that involved a long run.

Review: High Noon Restaurant

Don't go.

July 23, 2011, Saturday

Why a Margaritaville Pirate flag? Well, Wild Horse John gave me one, and I've been unable to get Mose N Bella to make something like this:

Naked oowgirls shoot clean

This was taken from a True West cartoon

When I put the Margarita flag in here I got an email telling me I should have a SUYT flag under it. I had to look it up. I don't understand. It's the name of a band.

July 22, 2011, Friday

Talked with Rattler John. I was tasked with writing about Tin Star powder by Vihta Vuori, and I heard he had been experimenting with it. They have little loading information on their website, just max loads with a few calibers and bullets. He's been loading .38 H & R Mag and .38 Special. So I could get some starting loads from him. I'll be doing .38s and .45 Colts. He's done a lot of work including muzzle flip measurement, and he knows someone with a pressure barrel who is doing pressure testing. He's agreed to give me all his data in September. I loaded up 50 rounds using his starting 105 gr. load. (The 105 gr. LTC is called the Rattler bullet by its original producer, Meister). 3.2 gr. The 50 are very precisely made, with about half of the charges weighed, not just thrown and checked with the powder check die. I'll chrono those and group them if they're an appropriate power factor. Then I'll decide what loads to make next. I have to chrono and group test the Evil Roy ammunition. The 1911 grip insert for the Ransom Rest arrived today from Brownells.

I took the brass out of the tumbler after 9 hours tumbling in corncob with Iosso brass polish.

Brass after tumbling after vinegar soak

This is about as good as i have gotten brass that's been black powder stained (APP in this case). I've gotten it this clean using Iosso Brass cleaner, but it's about $20/gallon instead of 2, and it's a pain in the ass to deal with. Vinegar isn't, well, it wouldn't be if the stainless steel container didn't have an invisible leak. It's still more of a pain in the ass than simple tumbling, but tumbling, even using everybody's secret best polishing agent, doesn't get all of the stains off and some of the green corrosion. I neglected to photograph this brass before cleaning it. It would be more impressive if I had. Now that I have a gun cart that has a mesh bag for brass, I don't get it into a liquid until I get back to the shop, and sometimes I forget that. Putting it into vinegar after shooting is probably the best idea, probably better than detergent or just water. BP and all of the subs are basic, so the mild acid gets rid of the corrosion better. Using a rotary tumbler with ceramic media in liquid is probably the best, but I don't have one and don't want to pay for one.

July 21, 2011, Thursday

Talked with Don Ziegler of APP. He had a stroke and was just now leaving the hospital after 6 weeks, right side paralyzed. They are making the new, improved APP. Eventually I'll do a comparison to a bottle of late 2010 production.

A while back I was watching Gun Stories on TV and paid attention to one of Larry Potterfield's Midway commercials. He was using antique brass shotgun shells. To clean them he soaked them in warm vinegar and dried them before tumbling. So I bought some vinegar.

dirty brass soaking in vinegar

Dirty brass with white vinegar covering it. If you don't cover it completely there will be water, er vinegar lines. Since I don't allow anything that makes much heat in the shop (gee, wonder why?) the vinegar was only warmed by putting the bottle in the sun.

brass after soaking in vinegar

After soaking an hour or so I poured the vinegar out and rinsed the brass. Then I dried it and put it in the tumbler overnight.

 

July 19-20, 2011

Phone calls to the VA to cancel the hand surgery, which they finally scheduled for late August. Transferred at least 7 times before someone took the message. Then someone else called back to tell me the person who scheduled surgery was gone till Tuesday.

The shrink had cancelled his appointment via form letter. Called that department. On hold 17 minutes. Then got to someone who told me it was rescheduled to late August. It's a good thing I was already crazy. Otherwise I would be now.

Put in the new DirecTV box. This one has an internal fan that works. The other one never made a fan noise. It also has taller feet, so air circulates better. I made sure the temperature sensor for the fan in the cabinet was under the unit. It works.

Practiced at RGR Wednesday. Very productive.

July 17-18, 2011

Sunday worked on the column. If they were all this hard I wouldn't be doing a column. But some are coming up that'll be easier to write.

Spent much of Monday on the phone with several people, including a lot of medical offices. I'm going to have to go to Santa Fe to see an ENT doctor, and not until next week. Going back to Texas, where there are actual doctors, is looking pretty good. I guess the lack of money in New Mexico is affecting the availability of doctors. The ENTs in Albuquerque were all booked up until September.

If you think that's bad, give Obamacare a few years. All care will be end stage because it'll take so long to see a doctor.

July 16, 2011, Saturday

Baylor with the Purple Gun Cart and the pirate flag

The Purple Gun Cart stripped down for Frontier Cartridge. That cuts about 150 lb. from the load. The Margaritaville Pirate Flag enables me to find it in the sea of Rugged Gear carts on the average big match stage.

The Mernickle Rig I won at Winter Range

The Mernickle Rig I won at Winter Range. The holsters were made for ROAs, but the New Vaqueros fit fine, which is lucky because that'll be what I'm shooting the most for a while at least.

Shot the RGR match. Had a few good stages, but nothing great and 5 misses on 2 stages. Oh, well.

Close up of the Margaritaville Flag

A close up of the Margaritaville flag

July 14-15, 2011

Was told I had to go through audiology before I could see an ENT at the VA. The left ear has really gone to hell since the lady cleaned my ears out. It makes noises, and I can't hear anything through it, and sometimes it hurts. The Audiology department rather haughtily told me October for an appointment. When I complained, the jerk told me I could go to the private sector if I didn't like it. I believe this was a test of my anger management skills. Just when the shrink lady told me I was handling anger management very well I had to deal with this jerk. To skip to the end of the story, when he called back in lieu of his supervisor, the appointment was moved to August. This is still ridiculous. I'm pretty sure that by now the damage is permanent, but it really will be then.

July 13, 2011, Wednesday

Sat down for breakfast and checked emails. The city range is open, so RGR was having a practice session. Took The Redhead to the casino and went shooting, 2 hands, cartridge pistols. Had a few good stages, good enough that I won't mention the time here lest Jack Houston do an apples to watermelon comparison next time my scores are posted from a harder, more complicated match and harass me for it. Anyway, it felt good.

July 11-12, 2011

Worked on my column and got evaluated for PTSD treatment at the VA. Spent a couple of hours being convinced they don't have an answer.

July 10, 2011, Sunday

Went to the Wild Bunch match at Founders Ranch.

July 9, 2011, Saturday

Went to the HDD match at Founder's Ranch, moved to Saturdays now for some reason. Shirley and Shaky Shooter have taken over the reins. They shot stages 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 of EOT as best as they could considering a lot of the props have been removed, and some targets removed/changed. I shot Frontier Cartridge using the new rig from Mernickle, the Winter Range prize. It worked well. Photos whenever I remember to take the Nikon.

I shot Frontier Cartridge. Was doing okay until a split case locked up the rifle, and, for some reason, I didn't grab the screw knife and clear it but lost 5 rounds. Then missed 2 on the next stage, clean otherwise, avg 29 sec. Slow for FC, but I'm working on it. At least I shot with both hands and didn't short-stroke a pistol. Shooting with 2 hands and light cocking pistols with cartridges seems like cheating. Leaves time on my hands. No snide comments telling me to learn how to score or something, as happened before. I learned how to score when I was 14 or so. Oh, score a SASS match. Know that, too. I won't do it because writing is exceedingly painful with the thumb problem, but I know how to do the other jobs, too. I managed to be a posse marshal at EOT shooting Frontiersman (twice so far). But right now I'm taking it easy.

July 8, 2011, Friday

Right now the Phillips 66 station at the Route 66 Casino has some of the cheapest gas and diesel in Albuquerque. They have been selling diesel especially cheap in order to entice truckers to fill up and spend the night at the casino. Regular was 3.339, mid 3.439, premium 3.539, and diesel 3.639. By comparison, the Flying J 10 miles east of the casino was 3.459 for regular and 3.779 for diesel. The Love's a few more miles east had diesel at 3.819. The Redhead keeps me informed of prices at the casino, and I use the Gas-Buddy app for comparisons. Gas Buddy had the Flying J at 3.299 for regular, but that's not what I saw 5 hours ago. Their information was stated at 7 hours old. I've noted that most really low prices turn out to be bogus or non-obtainable. We hunted one down and decided the legal fees after defending ourselves from the gang-bangers surrounding the station would have negated any savings.

The DirecTV unit has been overheating and shutting down. The previous one didn't because John Polk put a fan in the equipment cabinet. The new box didn't seem to have feet on it high enough to take it out of the carpet on the floor of the shelf and allow air to circulate underneath, so I added some and raised it up. It still overheated today, so I went looking for a small clip-on fan. It must be a common problem as Camping World was sold out. So I went to Flying J. It makes you glad you're not a trucker. They had the same fan, for $21.95 instead of Camping World's $14.95. But then they had it, and Camping World didn't. They had another fan that looked nicer and was on sale for $19.95, so I got it and got at the end of one of the 3 checkout lines, all with 12-15 people in each. After waiting long enough for the Klondike bar I'd bought to melt, I was charged $21.95 for the fan. Truckers were having problem with a kiosk where they could order showers. It was taking their money or their loyalty card points and just eating them. High prices, long lines, and bad treatment, sure sounds enticing to me.

The fan works well. All of the electronics gear is cool. It's a bit noisy, but we shouldn't need it when the temp isn't 97°F outside.

July 7, 2011, Thursday

Removed the old TV in the bedroom,a 21" CRT Sony Trinitron and installed the 32" Samsung. The new TV is so bright it's hard to take a picture:

A photo of the new TV with exposure adjusted for the TV

Adjust exposure for the TV, and the room is dark (iPhone photo)

TV with exposure set for the room

Adjust the exposure for the room, and the TV is wildly over-exposed (iPhone photo)

The TV mount

To mount the TV we removed the big old TV from the cabinet, then put in a plywood mount that allows access to the innards of the cabinet from the right side. I could, for example, store clothes, etc. in there. On that we mounted a full-motion wall mount. This allows access to the back of the TV and to the cabinet I'll need to lock it down for travel. I used blue Loctite on the bolts holding the TV to the mount. (iPhone photo)

July 6, 2011, Wednesday

Ever since the VA nurse cleaned my ears in preparation for scheduling another hearing test, the left ear has been making strange noises. I have tinnitus, and this is different. Tinnitus is an annoying, high-pitched whine in your head. Now I have pressure in the left ear and sometimes sounds of a tuning fork, sometimes rushing water, but the latest is driving me crazy. Now I'm hearing a seat-belt warning chime every 2 seconds, rhythmically. Sometimes I hear the other sounds, too.

The TV arrived, and I went to Camping World to pick up the wall mount. But their full motion mount had 100 mm mounting points, and the TV has 200. I was pretty sure it had 200, so I (a) felt stupid, and (b) had to get a mount. I went onto Best Buy, and they had one for $70.99 that looked good. The site said both stores in town had it, so I drove to the West ABQ store, about 13 miles away. The same part # was $129.99. So I pulled out the iPhone, went to the Best Buy website and ordered it for in store pickup. They sent me a text message when it was ready for pickup.

Everything was like that, harder than it needed to be. I got home with the TV and brought it in, noting that one foot was sticking on the floor. Examination showed a trail of a string of pink bubble gum up the steps and across the floor. So I got a rag and Goof Off and cleaned the steps, the floor, and the sole of the offending shoe.

The holsters arrived from Mernickle for the Winter Range prize rig. The originals had been made for Old Vaqueros instead of Old Armies. These fit much better. Naturally, that was too easy. I'm sure Bob Mernickle will be calling me if he reads this, but I want to be able to use my New Vaqueros in them. I'm trying FC for a while, saving the left thumb as well as giving me a new challenge, remembering how to shoot with 2 hands, the way I did from 1967 to 2002.

July 5, 2011, Tuesday

"Never underestimate the stupidity of 5 people too stupid to get out of jury duty." I don't remember who said it, but I sure thought of it today.

July 4, 2011, Monday

Drove the Turquoise Trail. Madrid (of "Wild Hogs" fame) was so packed we didn't stop--except for foot traffic, which overwhelmed the roadway.

July 3, 2011, Sunday

The "One of 20" Purple Gun Cart

The "One of 20" Purple gun cart from Rugged Gear with the name badge Mose & Bella made for me.

name plate on the gun cart

Mose & Bella told me to get iron on material from Wally World, which I did yesterday. The Redhead and I worked on it for some time. The iron on stuff stuck to the badge, but not to the lid. The lid is lined with stiff plastic of cardboard or something, and you can only get heat on from the front. Still, I think it's the Cordura nylon that won't stick, but what do I know. I had also gotten iron on fabric cement. It didn't work, either, and made a mess. I gave up and riveted it on and cleaned up the mess.

Went to the Buffalo Range Riders match at Founders Ranch. 2 posses, but a lot of familiar names missing. With Hell on Wheels and Railhead this weekend, I suppose they're there. What else could they possibly do on 4th of July weekend.

Shot the Vaqueros in FC. 3 misses, one round jacked out of the rifle, one shotgun shell didn't fall out and had to be pulled out, short-stroked the rifle once, short stroked the pistol once, and two or three times I started to shoot the first pistol one handed.

July 2, 2011, Saturday

Got the gear ready for the Buffalo Range Riders match tomorrow.

July 1, 2011, Friday

More working in the garage. It's a mess, but I'm working on it. Just too much stuff in it.

Gold sight on Ruger Vaquerop

More photos of Mose and Bella's gold plated sights, this time a Ruger New Vaquero. It appears in the photo that the rear sight is plated, but it isn't.

Gold front sight on Ruger New Vaquero

I'm hoping these sights will take 15 seconds off my stage times, but then I hope to win the Powerball lottery twice a week, too.