"Heaven" and "Hell," engraved Ruger Old Armies get their own page

September 2009 Journal

August 31, 2009

Monday

Took the bus to Cummins for a generator service, the non-functioning PAC Brake, and the broken radiator shield. Generator service (A) $200, PAC Brake was open circuit. Took 2 technicians all afternoon to trouble-shoot it and to fix the broken wire. $200. Troubleshooting electrics is time and materials, not flat rate, and they neglected to come to me and say, "excuse me, sir, but we've spent $1000 in labor. Do you want us to keep looking?" The manager compromised at 2 hours. Total with tax $442. In at 10, out at 5. If there's anything more exhausting than sitting in a waiting room, I'm not sure what it is. Running a marathon in full field gear? Ranger school? Trigonometry finals?

August 30, 2009

Sunday

Went to the 5th Sunday Rio Grande Renegades match, 4 stages starting at 12:30. Yesterday they wanted one posse with 20. Today they wanted 2 with 10 each. Is a puzzlement. I still haven't shot a good match at RGR. Stages were pretty good. Simple. Cowboy Clay's birthday was today. 13. In addition to having a cake, he was allowed to say a starting line from Appaloosa which ended with "son-of-a-bitch."

August 29, 2009

Saturday

My Turn in the Barrel

Tex, shooting his '87 replica I wanted a picture while it's working.

I put on the match at Rio Grande Renegades. Worked very hard to make 6 simple, quick stages. People make their own mistakes. No need to get cute.

All stages were ambidextrous.

Pistol targets were painted red. Rifle targets were painted black. Rifle/pistol targets were painted half red, half black.

No target was further than 10 yards away.

Target order was as unspecific as possible. NO NAMED SWEEPS were used. Direction was never specified. The word "Sweep" was used in one stage. "Engage" was a popular word. "Engage 5 rifle targets twice each, no double taps," for example.

It's a gunfight, not a memory contest or a spelling bee.

Once the whistle blew, the only thing the shooter had to do was fight the battle. No throwing tomahawks, diapering babies, or singing badly.

I used the biggest targets they have. Very few meet SASS guidelines of 15" x 15" or larger. Were I buying the targets they would all be bigger. We're in the entertainment business, and people like to hit targets. We're not training policemen or snipers or even teaching self-defense. We're making people smile.

Example:

Stage 1: “Varmit.”


Ammunition:
Rifle-10 Rounds, staged on table at jail
Pistol-10 Rounds, holstered
Shotgun-staged on table at corral with at least 4 rounds on person

--------------(10 yds)-----0-0-0-0-0

------------(7 yds)------------------------------0-0-0-0

---0-0-0-0-0---(5 yds)

Bank (A)--------------Jail(B)----------corral(C)

Starting position, A, B, or C, shooters choice, standing fully erect, hands at sides. May be within arms length of the nearest table.

Starting line: (All lines dedicated to that great western hero Yosemite Sam) “Say your prayers varmint.”

Course of fire: Pistol targets must be engaged from window in bank. Rifle targets must be engaged from window in jail. Shotgun targets must be engaged from table at corral. Shooters choice of order in which bank of targets is engaged.
Pistols, engage each pistol target once with each pistol (5 pistol targets in a row at 5 paces. Some high, some low, but all close, big squares)
Rifle, engage each rifle target twice, no double taps. MAY NOT END WITH RIFLE (5 rifle targets-a train-at 10 paces. These were the biggest targets I could find.)
Shotgun, engage shotgun targets in any order. May be reengaged until down. (4 shotgun targets at 5-7 paces.)

It didn't get much more complicated than that. Much consternation occurred on a stage with 3 pistol targets and 3 rifle targets. You were told to engage the pistol targets in 3 sweeps, from either direction, then one on target 2. Same on the rifle but the 10th round was a reload. This was no problem, but the pistols got a few people. Instead of doing 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3-2, several people, myself included, decided it was faster to do 1-2-3-3-2-1-1-2-3-2. But of course, with 2 pistols it gets confusing. 1-2-3-3-2 first pistol, 1-1-2-3-2 with the second one. At least one person got a procedural there.

You don't have to write difficult stages. People make it difficult on themselves.

One stage had 3 pistol targets at 5 yards, 2 pistol/rifle targets at 7 yards, and 3 rifle targets at 10 yards. The pistol targets for the entire match were painted red, and the rifle targets black. Pistol/rifle targets were half red, half black. You shot the 3 pistol targets and 2 pistol/rifle targets with the first pistol, then 2 pistol/rifle targets and 3 rifle targets with the rifle and 5 on RP2. Tex shot the pistol targets with the rifle.

A favorite stage, with no procedurals, had 4 pistol/rifle targets at 7 yards with a shotgun target on each side. Shooters choice of weapon order except can't end with rifle. Put at least 2 rounds but no more than 3 rounds on each R/P target with pistols, same with rifles, shotguns any order. The fastest way was the simplest. Starting position was hands firmly on table, so the rifle was closest. Rifle 1-1-2-2-2-3-3-4-4-4. Repeat with pistols, shotgun. Several (not me) in the teens. Some did Nevada sweeps.

I got many compliments and no complaints. Several people shot clean, including World Champion Lady Wrangler Texas Tiger, who was quite fast but controlled throughout. She smiled a lot, too.

My attempts to make the stages fully symmetrical were semi-successful. The sets are laid out for right-handers, so there's only so much I can do. I didn't put shotgun targets where the set was designed for pistol or rifle targets, so if you started on the right side, you started with the shotgun first. I asked Tex why he ran one left to right, being left-handed. He said he wanted to end on the shotgun because it uses large muscles, where the pistols use fine muscles. By the end of the stage the big muscles work better than the fine muscles. This is true, so I can't argue. Additionally if you ran right to left on a couple you'd be running up range from the shotgun. You weren't carrying a gun, so it was okay, just more difficult than running downrange.

Amber Ale told me I should be putting on the stages all the time. Hey, when a beautiful woman with a great smile tells you something like that, it makes it all worthwhile. But I won't be doing anymore until next year.

Texas Tiger

Texas Tiger is the new World Champion Lady Wrangler. She shoots fast but within the limits of her front sight. She shot EOT clean. Usually watching her is watching a textbook performance. So here's a textbook example.

Here's the "big" picture. Starting position is against rear fence, arms at side, standing fully erect

Buzzer buzzes, both hands move. Gun comes up. Weak hand is there to meet strong hand for 2 handed grip

Weak hand assumes grip, and she cocks the weapon as it is pointed downrange. As her arms extend to a good Weaver stance, and, as she acquires the sights on the target, she fires.

 

Back to the big picture. Did you notice what else she is doing right? Something most of us don't do.

Well, perhaps this picture of Amber Ale will help:

Figured it out?

Amber went into the window. It wasn't necessary in order to get a clear shot at the 5 yard targets. We all do it. Windows and doors draw us in. Sometimes we need to. We did at the next window for the rifle. But we didn't this time. If you go into a window, you have to get out. This both takes time and adds the danger of hitting something and knocking your gun out of your hand.

Amber is quite good, by the way.

August 28, 2009

Friday

Was at Ron Petersen's Gun Shop. Covered in people, all buying. Little in reloading supplies. No HP38 or WW231 for .45 ACP. They had WST. Must research that. Not sure if I have enough HP38 to load the 1,000 bullets I have. I believe I have more brass than that. Eventual plan is to load all the brass, so I'll need more bullets. It's a never-ending quest.

I've been looking for better wheels for the gun cart. "The Bike Shop" wanted about $30,000 for 4 sixteen inch wheels with knobby tires and tubes. I checked WalMart. Nothing in their gardening department except rock moving equipment. I've finally realized they just don't have lawns here, so wheels for garden equipment aren't a biggie seller. Here's the history of the wheels on the gun cart:

Built with 14" wood spoke wheels with rubber tires. EOT '06 totaled them.

Bought Northern wire spoke wheels, 12" dia tires. Noted that at Hell on Wheels 2007 the tires were splitting. Put them together with cable ties.

Found ugly but strong wheels at Lowe's somewhere. Put them on.

2009, couldn't stand them any longer. Just too ugly. Gave them away.

Bought Northern 16" wire wheels/solid rubber tires.

Totaled them at EOT 2009. Frantically went to the nearest Lowe's and bought 16" garden wheels at Lowe's. These are even uglier than the Lowe's wheels I had before.

At Utah State Championship three tires came off the wheels due to the terrain. (Think Afghanistan for gun carts). Put the tires on with cable ties. The wheels flex too much.

This week noticed that though I had put 6 cable ties on each wheel the rears had two left. Time to put on 12 cable ties per wheel until I can find something that'll work.

August 27, 2009

Thursday

Had an eye appointment at the VA. Kind of scary. The exam was done by a 14 year old optometrist who did the primary tests, dilated my eyes, then called in an ophthalmologist. Both of them marveled at the "high tech" multi focal eye implants. The government doesn't put them in. Makes me worry what they do for pacemakers, maybe models that use 12 volt car batteries?

Amazingly the 14 year old girl optometrist told me I was 20/25 minus corrected. Two words:

FAT CHANCE.

This left me with eyes dilated, which kept me from doing anything productive the rest of the day.

August 26, 2009

Wednesday

Went to the Renegades practice session. Got the targets out with help. Several people were there. Then most of them went to the other berm to either work on something, smoke crack, or have a meeting of their secret society, not sure. Two guys watched me practice, but they picked up brass. Got in a lot of practice.

Went to the secret source of reloading equipment in ABQ, code name Bike Shop. No small pistol primers, but got some Wolf large pistol primers and Remington 209s, 25 lb. shot.

August 25, 2009

Tuesday

Fixed the door into the bedroom. The bottom hinge was broken, and the top one was bent and about to break. I put in new OEM hinges. Found them at a Mobile Home supply house online. Now the door is well hung.

Then finally put up the holster Jack Houston had made for the bus:

You can't put a holster against a left wall for a left-handed shooter because he can't grip the gun. You either have to angle it out from the wall or do like I did here.

While I was at it I put in this Life Hammer copy Mac McCoy gave me when I spent a gaziillion dollars on the fire protection system in the bus.

This is a rescue and escape tool. The point will break tempered glass, the kind most usually used for side and rear glass. There's a seat belt slitter, and a hammer, and a flashlight.

After that I worked in the garage. Inventoried ammo, 4500 rounds of .38 special, 700 .45 ACP, 2000 .45 Colt. Loaded 150 shot shells, Goex Cowboy, STS hulls. Out of .38 bullets. I have 2000 200 gr. bullets but only 1300 large pistol primers. While I'm loading shot shells I'll be looking for primers. Ordered .38 bullets.

August 24, 2009

Worked on the October Dispatches column and in the garage loading up all my .38 bullets. Must be doing something wrong. I have brass and primers left, and powder. But at least I can get bullets.

August 23, 2009

Sunday

Went to the Renegades match. I still haven't shot well at a Renegades match.

August 22, 2009

Saturday

GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD

1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional..
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

Went to the Renegades demonstration/display at the outdoor expo. We demonstrated Cowboy Action Shooting by shooting all of the children who came in to get us to punch their cards so they could be in a drawing for a gazillion dollars and a new trolling motor.

Actually we had some .22 Henry rifles and .22 revolvers and let kids and adults shoot them at CAS targets. It was supposed to be free, but I charged $50 when I could get away with it. I made $2000. Albuquerquians are very gullible, as evidenced by the fact that they let sadistic Mexican restaurateurs sell them food covered in sauce that would fry the taste buds of a Caterpillar Tractor. The food under the hot sauce is awful, but the locals never find that out because they only pretend to eat it. Outlanders order the green chili on the side and learn the truth. You just think that beef fajita has beef in it.

Anyway, over 400 people tried out CAS briefly today.

August 21, 2009

Friday

Ran errands. Took the "loaner" tire back to Discount and got the one they didn't have when we left on our trip. Took the brass tumbler back to Harbor Freight for warranty replacement. No problems. Took 10 minutes. Went to Lowe's for various items. Found a camera store to get a replacement 52 mm lens hood for the 50 mm lens on the Nikon. Went to Sportsman's for a gun case because there was some kind of sidewalk sale at Ron Peterson's, and I couldn't park within blocks. Picked up a fireproof power strip at Home Depot and finally got back home, tired. Worked in the garage reloading and cleaning brass using both tumblers.

Finally took some pictures of the engraved ROAs. They get their own page. Click on the picture below:

August 20, 2009

Thursday

Went to the VA for an "evaluation." Not fun. Worked on the article for the Chronicle.

August 19, 2009

Wednesday

Went to the Renegades practice session. Worked on the article for the Chronicle.

August 18, 2009

Tuesday

Worked in the garage, began reloading .38s. Worked on the article for the Chronicle.

August 17, 2009

Monday

Worked on the article for the Cowboy Chronicle.

August 16, 2009

Sunday

Outlaw Trail, Shootoff and Awards Day

Went to the Dutch oven breakfast at the Belle Union. It was as good as I remember it from last year. Watched the shootoffs, one for cowboy guns,one for Wild Bunch. The awards presentation was done well, with little time wasted. I won Frontiersman. Dawgtooth Dave was second, and Shaky Shooter was third. Larsen E. Pettifogger won Frontier Cartridge Duelist. Sagebrush Molly won Ladies Classic Cowboy. Long Hunter won overall. J. T. Wild was Regional champion. Half-a-Hand Henry won ladies overall and Regional championship. The rest of the results are on the Outlaw Trail website (at least they are now. May not be by the time you read this.)

Packed up the trailer and the ML and moved back to Enchanted Trail. Very tired. Good week, though. It's always good to win, but it's better when the event was a blast.

August 15, 2009

Saturday

The Ruger Old Armies, after engraving by Aspen Filly worked much better, as engraved guns always do, with no misses and no percussion pistol bobbles. The excellent holsters by Jack Houston's Lone Rider Leather worked perfectly. Only the user was s-l-o-w.

Singin' Sue is new to SASS. She and her husband are locals t the area. She had a lot of problems with her shotgun, and several of us loaned her ours. When she used my SKB100 it didn't hiccup. It didn't for me, either, 25 stages including warm up and plainsman without having to reengage any targets, and only one hull hung up.

Bear with me. There's a point to this. First, this was an ambidextrous stage, allowing me to run from right to left with the shotgun. I've just shot two rounds at that end of the stage, and I'm reaching for two more rounds.

Now I've planted my feet and inserted the rounds and am raising the gun to firing position.

When I finished shooting the shotgun, I drew the left pistol and shot it, not wasting time to put the shotgun don on the low shelf. An advantage of duelists is you don't have to put down your long gun to shoot one pistol if you do things right.

Happy Jack shot clean, a singular achievement considering the event was 18 stages, and several of the targets were not easy, a mover, small round rifle knockdowns on a plate rack, not much bigger cowboys on another plate rack, and the @!$&%! stars.

 

J D Alsup was new to Black Powder, shooting Frontier Cartridge Duelist for the first time with .45 Colts using American Pioneer Powder and shotgun rounds from Edward R. S. Canby. Do you think he made the smoke standard?

Sagebrush Molly, shooting Classic Cowgirl

Did this guy make the smoke standard?

Well?

This, by the way, is what the black sheep of the Maverick family might have looked at. The hat was copied from the TV series "Bret Maverick" from the early 80s. It as done by Brims & Trims. We're still working on a shirt and vest that more accurately follows the TV series.

The style is essentially a telescope crown, which was very popular in the late 19th century. The front of the crown is pointed slightly as t would be if the hat was picked up by the crown a lot. Brims could be bent any way, so it's both TV-Western accurate and historically accurate. Brims & Trims worked long and hard on it.

Photos of James Garner looking much better in the original:

Figuring out the hatband was the hard part. Rick at Brims & Trims figured out that it was silver leather.

 

The other difficult part about the hatband was how it was tied together. Close ups of same in the TV series were rare to non-existent. From this and others we decided it was a buckle with a silver tip. We could be wrong.

Shot semi-decent. Finished match with 4 misses, average time 34.48 seconds. No real train wrecks. I did have a pretty bad stage when the lever closed up on the rifle, and the timer operator didn't say anything. A spotter yelled "Lever!" in time, and I reached back and opened it. That slowed me down 5 seconds or so, and a miss capped it off as officially my worst stage.

Bought a SKB 200E that had been tuned by Shotgunner before he stopped doing it from Gunz Brokus. Now I have a backup. Gunz Brokus is the SKB supplier to SASS.Most of the Texans (and others) in the shootoff who shot SKBs were shooting guns bought from him.He has 10 left, but no more tuned by Shotgunner. Happy Jack bought a nickeled receiver one with a barrel shorter than I like. That leaves one for Gunz to shoot.

Dinner was fajita buffet at the Belle Union. I remember it as being better last year. My left foot has started acting up. It was injured in my misspent youth and not properly treated, and occasionally it gives me hell when I abuse it at SASS matches.

August 14, 2009

Friday

Outlaw Trail—Second Main Match Day

Gunz Brokus

Gunz Brokus shot Senior Gunfighter. This was one of the few gunfighter friendly stages.

Sagebrush Molly

Sagebrush Molly had trouble with her '87

Well, the white buffalo died today. Jack Houston had been harassing me for shooting in the 20s in practice and in the 30s at matches, so I figured I could do the first stage in the 20s. I could, but not after the 5 seconds was added for the miss. But I shot the next 2 in the 20s, the rest in the 30s until the last one, 35 + 5. Once you have one miss, another one doesn't matter.

We started an hour late because of rain that left the field muddy.

Great stages, no Procedural traps, no long distant targets. We did have to shoot at the rifle swinger with the pistols for 6 shots, but that wasn't that hard.

Several people over for Margaritas.

 

August 13, 2009

Thursday

Outlaw Trail, first Main Match Day

Six stages of main match, excellent stages. Then 3 stages of Plainsman match. Photos of the Plainsman match:

The Unknown Cowboy

Dawgtooth Dave shoots a .45-70 Trapdoor Springfield carbine, and he loads it really fast.

You'd think a Handi-Rifle in .45-70 would be faster. It was until it failed to eject, shortly after this picture was taken. There's a brass rod in my belt in the back that I throw down the barrel to knock the stuck round out. Doesn't take much, but three of us were about 10 seconds apart until then. Oh, well

Tex, on the other hand, had few problems. His Handi-rifle worked for him, but not for the Unknown Cowboy (Tex Jr.)

August 12, 2009

Wednesday

Outlaw Trail, Warm up, Wild Bunch

Shot 4 stages of Warm up in the morning, 6 stages of Wild Bunch in the afternoon. Finished after 5.

Aspen Filly had my primary ROAs in time for the Warm up She wanted them back at noon to do something to blacken the engraving, but she was gone on an emergency trip to get a printer. My next window of opportunity was after 5, and I needed to get them ready for the morning. We'll get it done. They look fantastic. Photos will follow when I get time.

Too busy to get many photos at the Wild Bunch match. Gunz Brokus was very helpful in photographing me. Ironically, my photos of him were wildly over-exposed. Yeah, stuff happens.

A draw from condition 3 (hammer down, empty chamber, magazine loaded), properly done, is only .2 or so slower than from condition 1. This demonstrates that the weak hand grabs the slide as close to the holster as possible. Then, in what would have been the next frame if the motor drive on the old Nikon wasn't getting finicky, would have shown the strong hand punching forward. The weak hand does not pull back. Using this method small women without much upper body strength can load a 1911 this way.

A reload. Reloads are the most important part of Wild Bunch that you can practice in your garage with dummy ammunition. A good reload from shot to shot with the slide locked back is 2.0 seconds or less. The difference between a reload with the slide forward and at slide lock is .2-.5, but practice reduces that. Yes, the average reload was closer to 5 seconds. Most of mine were quick. A couple were pathetic. Stuff happens.

Long Hunter shot his first Wild Bunch match under the SASS Wild Bunch Handbook rules. This put me in the unique situation of looking at his gun, ammunition, and magazines to determine why it wasn't working properly. Usually it's more likely to be the other way around. He was really high on Wild Bunch, talking about the adrenalin rush he got and how much fun it was. Getting the grin off his face took forcing him to watch a video of President Obama lying about supporting the Second Amendment.

Everybody must've been equally tired after all this. No one came for free Margaritas. This is terrible. I have to drink the leftovers.

August 11, 2009

Tuesday

Got the guns ready for tomorrow. Giggles came by and showed me the posse list. Looks good. Lots of RVs at the event. Had Gunz Brokus and wife over for Margaritas and war stories. A good day.

August 10, 2009

Monday

Went out to Founders Ranch and set up for Outlaw Trail.

August 9, 2009

Sunday

Went to HDD match at Founders Ranch. Good match. Missed one on last stage. Finished about 3 hours earlier than last week's BRR match.

August 8, 2009

Saturday

Went to Irish Jack Clary's funeral, a SASS funeral. We all went in cowboy clothes. His boy scout troop (he was assistant scoutmaster) went in uniform. It was also a scout funeral with 3 fingered salute and broken arrow. Full funeral home. He had lots of friends. He'll be missed.

August 7, 2009

Friday

The Redhead's Day Off

Took The Redhead to Garcia's Kitchen for breakfast. It was shown in "In Plain Sight" last episode, with the "Garcia's Cafe" lighted sign above, there from Route 66 days. Not bad. Atmosphere. Good food and service.

Then we went to see The Proposal" with Sandra Bullock. She had a PG13 nude scene. She played a really neurotic woman. The love interest was Ryan Reynolds, a 12 year old with good genes. Sandra is 44. He's not 12, but he's not 44. Women should like the flick. I liked it. I would have liked it better with an R nude scene.

Joke Du Jour

In Heaven: The cooks are French, The policemen are English, The mechanics are German, The lovers are Italian, The bankers are Swiss.
In Hell: The cooks are English, The policemen are German, The mechanics are French, The lovers are Swiss, The bankers are Italian.
In Computer Heaven: The management is from Intel, The design and construction is done by Apple, The marketing is done by Microsoft,IBM provides the support,Gateway determines the pricing.
In Computer Hell: The management is from Apple, Microsoft does design and construction, IBM handles the marketing,The support is from Gateway, Intel sets the price.

August 6, 2009

Thursday

Took The Redhead to the casino and went to Zia. Put up a pop-up bird launching knockdown and shot until out of ammunition. I didn't quite adjust correctly. I ran out of shells and still had a stack of birds. Now I've got to put up with that big box until the next session, and there aren't enough for another session, so I'll have to buy another box, and I'll have some of those leftover. It's an endless procession.

Then ran errands and worked in the garage until The Redhead called for the C Rich taxi service.

Jack Houston's Purple Gun Cart

Jack doesn't shoot Frontiersman and has to get to matches in a KIA, so he built a minimalist cart.He planned on a brighter color of yellow for the wheels, but paint happens. Still he should be able to find it. Yes, it has left stagger. He's a Nascar fan.

August 5, 2009

Wednesday

Went to the Renegades practice session. No one else showed up till 1030. Advertised starting time was 10. I was contemplating what the hell else I was going to do (Zia is closed Wed till noon for maintenance) when some others showed up. I set a rifle target up at 50 yards and shot at it until frustrated. That's how I've felt at several events. Don't think Outlaw Trail will have that problem. Moved it to 30 yards. Much better. Then the 20 yard pistol targets the others set up were much easier. I shot them with the pistols as well. As long as there are match directors who think we're shooting Cowboy BULLSEYE Shooting, and I have to be prepared for them.

Worked in the shop in the PM making shot shells. I've concluded I'll run out of Goex 3F before I run out of match grade hulls. I have some Express 3f, Express 2f, Pyrodex P, Goex Cartridge, and Goex 2f plus a lot of APP 3f. I'll come up with something.

August 4, 2009

Tuesday

Ran errands. Sportsman's Warehouse actually had: orange Claybuster wads, #7.5 shot, a big plastic bucket with 20 lb. ground corn cob for an almost reasonable price (and I liked the bucket for storage of corn cob as opposed to the bags it comes in at PetSmart), a .357 caliber stainless bore brush, and Federal 209A primers (!). They have a 2,000 primer limit per customer per day, and they had 2,000 primers, tempting me to get them all, but I only got one.

They seemed to have more ammunition than recently, but I don't usually buy ammunition, just components.

But Harbor Freight didn't have any more of the $6.99 garden umbrellas. Haven't found one at any price since that one blew away.

Loaded match-grade shot shells.

Today's Fable:

$100 bill

It is the month of August, a resort town sits next to the shores of a lake. It is raining, and the little town looks totally deserted. It is tough times, everybody is in debt and everybody lives on credit.

Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to town. He enters the only hotel, lays a 100-dollar bill on the reception counter and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one.

The hotel proprietor takes the 100-dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the butcher.

The Butcher takes the 100-dollar bill, and runs to pay his debt to the pig raiser.

The pig raiser takes the 100-dollar bill, and runs to pay his debt to the supplier of his feed and fuel.

The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the town's prostitute that in these hard times, gave her "services" on credit.

The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100-dollar bill to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she brought her clients there.

The hotel proprietor then lays the 100-dollar bill back on the counter so that the rich tourist will not suspect anything.

At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and takes his 100-dollar bill, after saying that he did not like any of the rooms, and leaves town.

No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and looks to the future with a lot of optimism.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the United States government is doing business today.

August 3, 2009

Monday

The Redhead took the car to Santa Ana Casino and errands. I planned to work in the garage but first returned Lou Ann's call (Cimarron Lou, SASS). We worked on the arrangements for my seminars at the SASS Convention in December. She needs new synopses for the online flier because I've changed the seminars a little. Chiseler had changed "Authentic Men's Shooting Costumes" to "Winning Men's Shooting Costumes." I changed it to "Authentic Men's Costumes" because I spend some time in a vain attempt to get SASS men to dress for parties without Gus hats and pants legs inside boots. "Black Powder Substitutes for Dummies" becomes "Black Powder for Dummies." So I spent the rest of the morning writing the new synopses and trying to email them to her. Finally they went through. Not sure what the problem was, probably with my web hosting service. Problems pop up occasionally. I call and complain. They say there's nothing wrong. Then the problem goes away with no changes on my part.

Got into the shop for the afternoon. Cleaned the guns from Sunday and detail cleaned the back up '73. I'm doing a test for an article on All Temp Tactical Lube, a product I picked up from a vendor at the Utah State Championship. It's obviously a small company and rather secretive. But I'm looking for something that'll make cleaning the nipples and nipple cutouts, the recoil shield, hammer, and hammer slot of the ROAs. I tried it on one ROA Sunday and think it was easier to clean up. So I used it on the '73. Now I'll shoot it. When I get the primary ROAs back, I'll use it on them with new Treso nipples and see how long it works.

Got everything set up to start loading shot shells and then took the rest of the day off, if you consider working on "Black Powder for Dummies" and this blog until 10 PM.

August 2, 2009

Sunday

Took The Redhead to Casino Sandia. Went to the BRR match at Founders Ranch. 2 pretty good sized posses, including several first timers. Fortunately the first timers all left at lunch. I say this because the fourth stage was one of the worst I've seen since I stopped shooting at THSS.

Start at left side of fence, 5 pistol knockdowns. Move to center. 5 pistol knockdowns front to rear, no problem so far. Pick up rifle, and shoot 2 shots at 8" plate at 25 paces, then at 30 paces there were 4 silhouettes with small flippers, 6" I think. Some guys went to their cars for rifles with small front sights. The Baby Moon hubcap Grabber Front Sight I got from Manatee covered the whole target, and I don't have a rifle set up for such situations. Shoot each silhouette once and each flipper once. 5 second bonus for a hit on the flipper, 5 second miss for a miss, so miss all 4 of the little bitty targets and earn 40 seconds penalties. The little targets were pretty hard to see, and I'm pretty sure a couple of shooters got hits for misses that hit the main target. The flipper bounced when that happened.

Put down rifle, move to right side, engage 5 knockdown shotgun targets. RETURN to center, and reload rifle 5 times and shoot at buffalo at 20 paces. Put down rifle. Pick up pistol. Reload and shoot one at buffalo.

No one on our posse shot it clean or close to a minute. One of the better shooters shot it in 77 seconds with several misses. I was over 100 with 6 misses, 2 bonuses.

But by the time I shot it I was fried, no fault of the stage. I had gotten distracted when charging pistols (gotta get a sign saying, "DANGER. CHARGING PISTOLS. KEEP AWAY 10 ft.") 5 chambers with no powder but balls. This was the first pistol, fortunately, so I got a reshoot. But I was shooting near the end of the posse, and I had to empty and recharge the cylinder. My CO2 discharger ran out of CO2 after 3, and the spare cylinder didn't work, so I had to go next door, unscrew the nipples, pour powder in, tighten the nipples, put caps on, and fire the balls down range. Then I could reload the pistol. The next posse had caught up with us, of course. I barely made it. The posse was going down the hill to the first stage, and 4 guys stayed and timed me.

We had 2 more stages, which I didn't do very well. But by then I was pretty tired. It was well after 4 when we finished. I didn't wait for the awards presentation.

The long stage was not without controversy. One shooter quit and went to an unused stage and practiced. The RO said, "Give him a Spirit of the Game." It was pointed out that since he left, he would have 3 999s, another 30 wouldn't matter. Outlaw Trail, a Regional, starts on the 12th. It will be at Founders Ranch. Quite reasonably the shooter wanted to practice for it. I would have thought that 6 stages in the style of, say, last year's Outlaw Trail, would have been a good idea for this match. I did get the impression that others had tried to convince the stage writer (not sure if he wrote all of the stages) to change that one but gave up yesterday when they put the targets up. (I knew I should have been there. Would have if I hadn't just landed.) .

I'm reminded of my first SASS match, at THSS in 1999. It had a full pistol reload in one stage, and the winner had 10-12 misses in 6 stages. All of the stages had difficulties more appropriate to the era, 100 yard rifle targets, 15 yard pistol targets, life-sized prairie dog targets, flying birds, and a rolling rabbit. If I hadn't already bought my guns, I would have quit right then. I hope this match doesn't run off any new shooters. This doesn't represent SASS at 97% of the clubs, maybe more. (As the military says, "there's always that 3% who don't get the word.") I'm sure the stage writer learned that this isn't the way to win friends and influence people in SASS. The 95-95 rule is a good one. Each target should be hittable by 95% of the shooters 95% of the time. The 10% rule is also a good one. If your match, assuming a normal contingent of shooter talent, doesn't have 10% clean matches, it's too hard and not within the spirit of the game.

Picked up The Redhead after 5. Margaritas at 6.

August 1, 2009

Saturday

Took The Redhead to breakfast at Cracker Barrel, then found someone who cuts hair who isn't on drugs to the point of incoherence or covered in tattoos or piercings, Liz at ABQ Hair Studio. Liked the place and treatment. Will probably get the next haircut there.

Took The Redhead to Route 66 Casino. She's been sans casino for 6 weeks. Worked in the garage getting guns ready for BRR match tomorrow.

Not a Smart Car (I FELL FOR IT):

Smart Car on display

The Smart Car, the future for all of us if the Obama administration has its waybut it's not the car in the photo below:

Smart Car sandwich

NOT a Smart car, but a Ford Escape after 2 trucks had their way in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, near New Orleans

This, too, is the future for all of us if the Obama administration has its way.

Want one?

This was sent to me in an Email. A few days later Snopes.com put out a page on it saying it was a Ford Escape, not a Smart Car. I had checked with them before posting it, and they had nothing at the time.

I'm kind of glad it wasn't a Smart Car. I want one for a gun cart.