November Journal

October 31, 2008


Comin' At'Cha

First Main Match Day

Shot stages 6-10 in the afternoon shift. Jack and I managed to handle the timer for everyone despite my having to charge percussion pistols. We started with 7, which has the little chickens for rifle targets, the only small targets in the match other than the shotgun targets. Shot clean but slow. Had a cap go "Pop" on stage 9, but that was the only all-knockdown stage, so I made it up. Cost me under 3 seconds, but still clean.

At the Friday night party Omaha John won BOTH a 30X Beaver hat from Brims 'N' Trims AND an Island Girl pistol from Taylor's. Jeez!

They had trick-or-treat for the kids, so we had trick-or-treaters to the bus for the first time. Hey, little girl, I've got candy!

October 30, 2008


Comin' At'Cha

Side Match Day

Got packet in the AM. Shooters meeting noonish. Shot everything but long range-badly. Shot SASS Scholarship stage 3 times. Noted Bad Gene Poole had been sandbagging. He'd been telling me how he couldn't shoot because of almost cutting his left arm off with the model airplane engine in April. Watched him shoot the stage. Fast. Accurate.

Shot the Wild Bunch stage. Disorganized. Confusing. Of 3 posses, 2 did some things quite differently, I found out later. In first stage Jack Houston was 4th shooter on our posse. Long Hunter had gotten a procedural already. 20 round pistol stage. From one position double tap 2 targets alternately for 10 shots. Most shot it 1-1-2-2-1, change mags, 1-2-2-1-1. Jack shot 1-1-2-2, change mags with last round from first mag in chamber, 1-1-2-2-1-1. A "tactical" reload is faster than loading from slide lock.

Evil Roy thought that was cool. "Why didn't I think of that?" Note that one posse REQUIRED loading from slide lock. Nothing in the rules or stage description. Long Hunter said, "I just learned something."

Evil Roy decided to shoot it that way. He shot 1-1-2-2 Reload, 1-1-2-2, drop mag and run to next shooting position. Yes, he didn't shoot 2 rounds, and one was in the chamber of the cocked pistol. Stage DQ.

The last stage was shot after dark. The plan was to have spotlights on the rifle targets. They never got installed. Stupidly I didn't get in line to shoot first. By the time I shot the rifle targets were invisible to my bad eyes. T-Bone told me I should have been able to see them. He had on his little sunglasses and took them off, saying he could see them. I told him to put his sunglasses back on. That's my vision. Actually my vision is like having dirty sunglasses on. Anyway, only a problem for me, and I wasn't going to win anything anyway.

They had a "Dutch" category and a "Pike" category. No one entered in Dutch. Makes you want to find a pencil barreled revolver, doesn't it? Don't spend too much. These are local rules, not national.

Both categories shot duelist. On another posse one shooter shot 2 stages using 2 hands and only got a reprimand. At least one shooter on another posse should have gotten a stage DQ for pointing his pistol at his face when reloading. Right-handers shifting the pistol so that the thumb can reach the mag release are risking 170° violations. Most are aware of it and have no problems. Shooters new to the 1911 need to be watched.

Our posse was well-run and had no unpunished safety violations.

We seem to have a battle going between people wanting local rules vs. national rules. Imagine going to a match and finding out that Modern category allowed semi-auto shotguns and rifles, and all of the locals knew it and had purchased guns for it. Imagine that at the next match you had to shoot all categories duelist. SASS has a set of Wild Bunch rules for the World Championships. The matches at Founders Ranch have been wildly popular and well run. Those rules, now tweaked after a year of usage, should be in the SASS Handbook, and Regionals should be using them.

October 28-29, 2008


The internet dish stopped working. It gave messages as if it was the satellite's problem, so The Redhead didn't start working on it for a while. It took her 7 hours on the phone with tech support to get it cured. They finally figured out she had a corrupted file, so they cleared everything and downloaded all of the software from scratch and redid everything.

Meanwhile Omaha John and I went to Paul's Pawn Shop to pick up the USFA SAA Long Hunter sent me for testing. The plan was to set up the Ransom Rest and chrono here and do that part of the testing. Didn't happen. Too ambitious. Too much going on here.

Shot the SASS Scholarship stage until frustration took over. Cleaned guns, prepped for the match coming up.

Mass dinner at Mexican restaurant in Clarksville. Up with gastric reflux. Are you seeing a pattern there?

Wed. mass dinner at Italian restaurant in Clarksville. Larsen E. Pettifogger arrived from shooting Bordertown. He has an Itasca Navion on a Dodge/Mercedes sprinter chassis. Smallish class C, no slideout, but storage room for the gun cart. Well equipped RV for one. Decent gas mileage. Good choice for someone not living in it but has RV only for SASS matches.


October 27, 2008


Ten statements about Halloween that sound dirty, but they’re not:
10. She’s a goblin!
9. I’d like to get a little something in the sack tonight.
8. Just get on your hands and knees and bob your head.
7. She’s got a couple of nice pumpkins on her porch
6. If you just lick it, it’ll last longer.
5. Let me see your big sack!
4. Can I eat your Zagnuts?
3. Have your mom check it before you put it in your mouth.
2. You scared me stiff!
1. He’s got Candy spread out on the living room floor!

Talked with my Military Order of the Purple Heart service officer. The VA is trying to send me to Houston for an "evaluation." They did that last year and cost me about $1500, and the doctor wasn't there. After conferring with him, I changed my address with the VA to the RV park in which we'll winter. Whether that'll work with them or not, I don't know. The evaluation is contracted with a company that makes the Post Office seem like Toyota. If they drug test their employees, the ones I've worked with must carry a vial of clean urine strapped to their thighs.

NOTE TO VETS: If you're not utilizing a service officer from one of the veterans organizations to help you deal with the heartless, soulless gumment regulations, the ones written in a language known only to federal employees and the Devil, you should. The regs don't say what they mean or mean what they say. These guys know the code, and they know where the bodies are buried. They know who to ask for favors, and who to threaten with publishing the pictures.

Omaha John, More or Les, and I shot the SASS Scholarship stage for practice. 2 shotgun targets were added. I had no trouble knocking them down with my 150 gr./1-1/4 oz. shotgun loads.* But the rest of the knockdowns are "challenging." Two of the plate racks are decreasing size fore to aft. That last plate is small, and with the front four down in front of it, only 2-3" vertical remains. One is a pistol rack, one a rifle. The third rack is 5-6" plates, and they're always difficult. This makes for great, though frustrating, practice. I'm kind of in agreement with the founder of the British SAS, (Special Air Service, nothing to do with SASS), who made training exercises easier near the end of training to give his men confidence. I tend to start out with difficult stuff, things I've been having trouble with, and end with simple stuff. Won't have that chance this week. No way to make this easier, well, other than keep practicing.

*Soot lords always SAY they're shooting outrageously hot loads. If you believe them, you should believe me.

October 26, 2008


Dragged my dead ass out of bed and went to help with the 2 shooters who needed to finish up, Cowhand and Bois D'Arc. Bois D'Arc did well. Cowhand did very well. I looked at his score card and figured that all he had to do was shoot the last stage clean to beat T-Bone. T-Bone had beaten him on several stages by a little, but T-Bone had that 1st stage with 15 seconds in penalties. I believe they were pretty even on misses. Cowhand had only 2. Then on the last stage he had 3 misses. T-Bone was seen bitch slapping him afterwards for blowing it.

After that Omaha John and I went to the SASS Scholarship stage, the only stage we are allowed to shoot. It has 3 plate racks, one for rifle, 2 for pistols. Contestants will be allowed to shoot it as often as they want all weekend, and for each shooter the match will donate $1 to the SASS Scholarship Fund, maximum $1000. Note I didn't mention anything about contestants having to dig into their pants under their leather gear to get to their wallets and pay for it. Everything is included at Comin' At'Cha including one hooker per male applicant.

Well, everything but the last item. This is east Texas. If you can find one, you're on your own.

Brisco Kid came by, and I asked about the fact that while I can load over the top on the first Codymatic, the second one's shell lifter drops too far for the bullet to line up as the first one does. I asked if this could be fixed. Correcting that is pretty involved, apparently, and he started telling me alternate ways to load. T-Bone came by and re-showed me his method, as modified for left-handers. He hadn't shown me that version in his school. It works very well. It's more consistent and idiot-proofed than others I've tried. I worked on that for a while with Texas Ghost coaching me, got down under 3 seconds shot to shot (6" plates at 7 yds.) and quit for the day.

NOTE: There IS a rifle reload on this match.

Cleaned guns, had Margaritas.

October 25, 2008


Helped with the workers' shoot. Watching the best of the Dooley Gang shoot is always a treat. Some unassuming guy you don't know, who looks like he should be shooting elder statesman and maybe needs help carrying his long guns turns into Audie Murphy at the beep and finishes in 22 seconds clean. Probably ten of the shooters could shoot in the low twenties to mid teens. They're all students of T-Bone and Nuttin' as evidenced by the way they open their shotguns and reload their rifles among other things. (Both of those techniques, sadly, only work with right handed shooters. Nuttin' told me he couldn't even think "backwards." This is okay, as there are 2 reloading techniques with a '73 that work very well for us guys in our right minds).

It didn't start well, though. T-Bone was the first shooter and got a procedural and a miss. Stage one has a difficult shooting order as far as the pistols go. All of the stages have the same order for pistols and rifle. But dividing some in the middle results in some mind bending. 1-2-2-3-2-2-1-2-2-3 for the rifle becomes 1-2-2-3-2 for pistol 1 and 2-1-2-2-3 for pistol 2. This was a problem for several very fast shooters, including T-Bone. The second shooter failed to stage his pistols. So the first 2 shooters had procedurals. Later on Ringo Fire failed to stage his pistols. A top lady shooter lost 9 rounds in her rifle. Another shooter had problems with his rifle and couldn't get the first shot off. He acted like he would if he were getting a reshoot, but T-Bone was yelling for him to continue, no restarts. Eventually he got it to fire. Rough stage.

By the way, as noted above, they're doing one thing differently here. After you hear the buzzer, there are no restarts. If you failed to load your rifle or it locks up on the first round, you just get a massive penalty. Their theory is in a gunfight you'd be dead. They think this will be the SASS rule next year. This spelled disaster for a couple of shooters.

The stages were all pretty simple. Most of the running is left to right, usually with unloaded shotgun or rifle, I don't remember any running with a loaded rifle. Pistol targets were generally close and big. Rifle targets were mid-range by current SASS standards, not close, but not requiring a telescope or a small-bead front sight. I don't remember any stages with more than 4 shotguns. The shotgun targets, by the way, are small and not close. They're coyotes and steer heads and the like. If you're used to big circles or tombstones, you'll have to really watch the front bead. They all have a sweet spot, and some aren't very big. But they do go down if hit squarely. They and the one stage of all knockdowns had been greased and adjusted so they fell with .32s.

Stage 5 is one to look out for. You shoot from an ore cart which moves from left to right under people power. You shoot one target with 5 pistol rounds, and they move the ore cart to the middle. The rifle target is a big black target with a white target in front of it with Texas cut out. The idea is to keep all rounds within Texas. Hit the white part, and it's a miss. Then the pushers push you to the other side where you empty the other revolver into another dump target. All guns are staged in the cart to the right of the shooter. No provision for equal access by left-handers. Welcome to my world. This stage spelled disaster for Nuttin' Graceful. He made it to the end and drew the second revolver. The barrel hit the plywood wall of the ore cart, and the gun discharged, hitting the wall (and not penetrating!) Match DQ for the second year in a row for the multiple time World Champion. He took it like a champion, endured some ribbing, and worked the timer and such for the rest of the day.

Stage 6 is all chickens and turkeys. 3 rifle chickens are pretty small, and there were a lot of misses.

Stage 9 is all knockdowns, with shotgun used for makeups. W-a-a-a-a-y too many makeups. The knockdowns went down for most hits and all high hits I saw. Great stage, what SASS should be if logistics permitted.

Stage 10 had way too many misses on the easy, big pistol targets that finished it up. People were tired. Several regretted shooting 10 stages in one day. Cowhand and Bois D'Arc didn't. Cowtown quit after 6 after a miss on 5 and one on 6, and Bois D'Arc quit after 5. They'll finish up tomorrow.

Two shooters shot clean.

Jack Houston ran the timer all day and was exhausted. I did several jobs. While I was working the loading table I told several people the secret to winning, just before they went out. After several stages Buffy Lo Gal came to me and told me I needed to remind her again, so I did, on every stage to the end. She shot well, taking my advice most of the time, and two out of three all of the time.

The secret? Write this down:

Shoot Fast, Hit all of the targets. Look good.

Now you know.

A lot of us went to the Mexican Restaurant in Clarksville. Good, cheap food, no bar (dry area). I was up with gastric reflux till 0030. (Paying for my sins.)

October 24, 2008


Older Than Dirt Quiz: Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about Ratings at the bottom.

1. Blackjack chewing gum
2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
3. Candy cigarettes
4. Pop machines that dispensed glass bottles
5. Coffee shops with tableside juke boxes
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
7. Party lines
8. Newsreels before the movie
9. P. F. Flyers
10. Butch wax
11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (OLive-6933)
12. Peashooters
13. Howdy Doody
14. 45 RPM records
15. S&H Green Stamps
16 Hi-fi's
17. Metal ice trays with lever
18. Mimeograph paper
19 Blue flashbulb
20. Packards
21. Roller skate keys
22. Cork popguns
23. Drive-ins
24 Studebakers
25 Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-5 = You're still young
If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older
If you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age,
If you remembered 16-25 = You're older than dirt!

Found the IHOP in Tyler and waited in line. If you're wondering where all of East Texas' heaviest people are on Friday morning, just go to the Tyler IHOP. You'll see them eating their 10 egg omelets and a side of beef and such.

Then we drove to Badlands Bar 3 and parked the bus in "our" spot. We left the trailer far enough behind the coach that a truck can tow it to where it has to stay for the weekend. Lefty Rhodes told us they would tow it with a truck. I guess I'll be working in the shop without electricity.

We have 30 amp service, no water or sewer, but there is water for filling the tank some distance away. We have enough hose to reach it if we need to.

Omaha John and his wife came over for Margaritas to find Jack Houston was already here.

Later T-Bone invited us to have pizza in their new clubhouse, a bar built in the barn to resemble the Little Rascals playhouse. If you scored 16 or above you know what that looked like. Much discussion. Some bad news. They're not going to work EOT next year. They were overworked this year, and, apparently, underappreciated. For example, no one bothered to tell them there was a hospitality room for the entertainers. This sort of thing is par for the course for clubs of all types. They find willing and talented workers and work them to death and fail to appreciate them. They worked to exhaustion about 5 nights in a row, to the detriment of their match shooting. Little things mounted up. Their entries were comped, but no side match tickets. This is similar to the convention. Our entries are comped because I do 4 seminars, but I have to pay for the Wax Bullet Championship. Perhaps we all just work too cheap.

But it might be similar to the Max Shulman character in "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," the novel, not the TV show. One girl left the whorehouse when she learned the other girls were getting paid.

They've been asked to put on a major match at the facility at Sparta, Illinois, a mega shooting complex with 1000 or so RV sites with 50 amp power, 12 separate berms with targets and such. It's owned by the state, and the local clubs have infought so much that the people running the range came to T-Bone and Nuttin'. Look for The U.S. Open in the schedule. As much as I hate the thought of going to Illinois for anything, we might have to go.

The barn has been improved since last year. There is seating for 351, for example.

Comin' At'cha is unique. They're giving away 26 guns, for example. T-Bone and Nuttin' have a really enthusiastic bunch of workers. Several are world champions. They shoot all over the country, so they see what works and what doesn't. They're VERY aware that shooters are spending VACATION DOLLARS to shoot here.

Caught up on some of the sleep lost last night.

October 23, 2008


Got on the road around 2 PM. Once more cheated chaos and straightened out the shop and loaded the ML in it. At Tyler went to the...

Five Star RV Park (mini-review)

They have only 25 spaces, but they're nice. For the first time ever, when I went to level the bus, the panel indicated the bus was already level and just put down all 4 jacks at once. Shirley seems to be running it all by herself. No problems, everything clean and working. Neighbors quiet to non-existent if you don't count the dead body in the Airstream.

(Just kidding.)

Took the ML out and went searching for Gander Mountain. Big mistake. Nothing in the reloading department I could use. I had found some Mexican Restaurants online, and we went to Mercados, a big, nice family Mexican Restaurant, only a tad overpriced. Good Tex-Mex. Good chips and dip. The Grande Margarita is the proper size. Loved the glasses, but they're HEAVY, so I won't be buying a set for the bus.

But I paid for the Mexican food. Awakened by gastric reflux at 0100. Up until 2. Back to bed. Up with a worse attack at 2:30. Up till 3:30.

October 22, 2008


Last practice session. The 777 3f rounds worked very well. Smoke was a problem early on, swirling, standing, attacking. Again I did exercises. I've been working on one shot reloads with the '73. I'm left-handed. Long Hunter told me I should reload with the right hand into the loading port. After a lot of practice, I've plateaued at 3.5 seconds with occasional 3.1-2. With the straight stock '73 I can reload with the left hand into the ejection port. (Open the lever all the way. Grab the bullet with the strong hand. Place it flat on the shell lifter. Push down. Close lever. Fire.) I had practiced it a lot last winter. I still remembered how. 2.5-3 seconds consistently, more toward 3 than 2.5, but it happened. This only works on the straight stock '73. The pistol-grip stock model is a tad out of time for this, and pushing down on the shell lifter results in the bullet not quite lining up. So with that gun I HAVE to use the other hand and load through the loading gate--until I get that adjusted.

Started shooting stages as the wind came up. By then, though, I was running out of ammo. I carry about 300 rounds to keep from practicing until I'm too tired to push the cart back up the hill. But, like an addict, I dug out match ammo from the shooting cart and shot a few more stages. Then, when the .38 ammo was gone, I shot the shotgun until I was out of shotgun ammo, having shot 125 rounds.

Boy, was that push up the hill long and hard.

After I recovered, I went back to the garage and reloaded some more, solving one problem after another. Worked on the switch in the case feeder until it was reliable again. I still can't fill the case feeder up. The old motor will just stall. So I'm throwing a handful of brass in every few minutes. Switched to the other priming system and tweaked a while. Then it worked well. Had problems with station 2. The lever that holds the shell in place got out of adjustment, and cases were getting chunks crushed. Got that adjusted. Then I could gin out some ammo. I'd planned on doing 4-5,000 rounds while here, but that was when we were going to stay until Monday. Now we're leaving tomorrow, spending the night at an undisclosed location, and then going on to the RV spot with our name on it (near Baylor Parkway) for 9 days. I used up 1600 primers, meaning 1600 rounds less lost primers, bent primers, crushed primers, crushed brass with primers, rounds that didn't pass inspection, etc., meaning 5 rounds. Just kidding. Not much for 3 afternoons. Had 300 rounds. Found another 50. Shot 900-1000. Net, 1000 rounds±.

The shop is pure chaos. I'll have to straighten it out in the morning, and we'll leave in the PM.

October 21, 2008


Practiced in the morning again. Went first to stage 4. Shot one stage. Looked like Gettysburg at Little Round Top. Might as well have put a white sheet between me and the targets. Moved up the hill to the sun. A little better. Did a lot of exercises that could be done with serious smoke interference.

Spent the afternoon reloading again. Lots of little problems with the Dillon XL650. Many of them were caused, I eventually discovered, by having the large primer tube in the priming system. Got that corrected. Fought with the RF100. Changed from the "A" plate to the "B" plate, and it started running like a train. The case feeder is more finicky than a sorority queen on a date.

Ran out of APP 3f. Loaded some 777 3f instead. A case of APP 3f is allegedly on its way.

October 20, 2008


Practiced in the AM. Shot up the last 300 rounds of practice .38 ammo. The SKB worked using the old light 12 ga. rounds that hadn't worked in competition. No problems. ???? I'll still restrict it to practice.

The SKB uses a single trigger. It switches barrels via recoil. BP recoils softer than smokeless, and light BP isn't 100% reliable. I upped from 36 gr. Cowboy to 45, and it works. 45 of APP 2f isn't 100%. I have a lot of 36 gr. rounds made up.

Practicing here is always frustrating because of the smoke. Most of the range is down in a hollow, with heavy trees. Sometimes the smoke billows and expands and covers everything. Sometime it doesn't. Sometimes it drifts right. Sometimes it drifts left. The rifle targets are painted white and in the trees, and they become invisible easily.

Since this occurs at other venues, it's a good place to practice, just frustrating.

I shot the Taylor's Smoke Wagon finally. It has a 4 lb. trigger and a 5-1/2" barrel. My Evil Roys have 4-3/4" barrels and 2-1/2 lb. triggers. The Smoke Wagon doesn't quite fit in my holsters. Were I going to keep it, I'd wet mold the holsters. Instead I'll just deal with it, leaving the gun loose in the holster. It's more difficult to reholster as a result, but no problem. The "heavy" trigger was no problem. I expected it to be since the other gun would have a lighter trigger, but it wasn't.

Eureka Moment

I finally saw what the difference is in the "Stagecoach" hammer. I'll take pictures later and display it.

No problems with either the Smoke Wagon or the newly repaired ER. Occasionally I hit targets with them.

Why Cowboys Didn't Wear Ball Caps

Stupidly, with 15 cowboy hats in the bus and trailer, I wore an End of Trail cap to practice. I also wore a band collar shirt, which uses a stud, which I didn't have, meaning I couldn't button up the collar. I shoot a '73. Get the picture? Figured out what happened yet?

A very hot '38 Special BP case hit the cap, rolled off, and went inside the collar, down my back, burning all of the way down to the small of my back, where it burned a cartridge shaped blister before I could get the shirt tail out and retrieve the round.

Stupidly, I kept shooting the rifle. It happened again. Then I got smart-too-late and stuffed a shop towel down the collar of the shirt and continued.

Memo to self:

Idiot--Wear a Cowboy hat and a scarf when shooting your '73. You remember when you practiced with your Marlin and burned your right arm because you wore a T-shirt, and the anti-left-hander Marlin attacked your right arm? You're a !#$!%!## slow learner.

Spent the afternoon loading .38s. Some problems with the 650. The casefeeder motor is so weak it'll only turn with a few rounds in it, meaning I have to resupply it often. The primer feed mechanism gave me enough trouble I finally switched to the spare, having changed most of the parts of the primary.

Finally got several hundred rounds out. Got lots to go. I have a LOT of empty .38 brass and bullets. A case of APP 3f is supposed to be on its way. Otherwise I'll have to use Triple 7 soon.

October 19, 2008


Fort Parker Monthly Match 2

Shot six different stages. This time one posse, so I could shoot with Omaha John. I shot clean. He didn't. Good stages, better than yesterday. Lot's of fun. They had one bonus, a reload rifle and shoot at small target at tree line. Originally it was 5 seconds until I mentioned most people would do better to take the miss. They changed it to 10 seconds. I can normally reload and hit such a target in 5 seconds or less. Practice.

I now know the secret of finishing in the top ten: Enter small matches.

From an email:

Note: The Marines are in the front, as usual.

In case you missed this week's issue of the Army Times here are the results of the Army Times' poll of Military personnel re the election (in percent):

McCain Obama

Overall 68 23

Army 68 23

Navy 69 24

Air Force 67 24

Marines 75 18

Retirees 72 20

White Non-Hispanic 76 17

Hispanic 63 27

Black/African-American 12 79

Enlisted 67 24

Officers 70 22

Somehow I missed seeing this in the New York Times.

October 18, 2008


Fort Parker monthly match

Went to Fort Parker, about 60 miles. Only about 20 people there. They made 2 posses out of it. Omaha John was there shooting Frontiersman but was put on the other posse, so I don't know how he did. Goody and Spur Roberts and daughter were on mine. Good group. Fast, close stages. Some strange sweeps, lots of carrying of loaded rifles. No real problems. Shot clean in the 20s and 30s. Worst problem was short stroking a pistol and having to go around. (Humidity=slippery hands. Didn't put the grip enhancing stuff on my hands). That makes 16 straight clean stages at Fort Parker. Must be shooting too slow.

October 17, 2008


Drove to Oakwood. Oakwood is THE hardest place we have to park in. Basically, if it wasn't Oakwood, we wouldn't do it. Oakwood is in a forest. First we go through a narrow gate on a twisty road with ditches on the side (recently improved), wind up a hill full of obstacles, then wind your way through trees to the fenced in RV Parking area with 30 amp plugs on the back fence. The parking places are back-ins 90° to the road in, which is twisty and about 3/4 lane. There really isn't enough room to turn a 65' rig 90° to the right, get the trailer straightened out, and back into the one spot we'll fit in. It took 50 minutes, no doubt to the annoyance of Gunslinger's school going on down at the range. But the trailer and bus are correctly aligned and spaced now. The parking place exceeds the amount of slope that the leveling system can handle, so we're going slightly down hill toward the nose. This year we're prepared for the distant power plugs. We use all of our cables, 50 and 30 amp to get the bus and the trailer attached to 2 30 amp plugs. It's probably a good idea for a full-timing SASS shooter to have enough 30 amp cable to reach the next county for both coach and trailer. Having 2 50 to 30 amp adapters, 2 30 to 15 amp adapters, and a Russian 3-way anal adaptor is probably a good idea, too, all except for the last one, whatever that is. Additionally if you have a coach with a trailer, you will eventually need enough sewer hose to go around the coach twice and down to the park across the street. RV parks put their sewer plugs at the damnedest places, from the back of a 70' space to the front of a 105' space to down to the corner of the row. And yes, you'll need to be able to route sewage uphill.

Gunslinger came by after his school with the Evil Roys. The problem with one gun is sn 185 has the cylinder from 186. Gunslinger called Cimarron, found out who did the gun, Lonnie Amman, and called him. "Yes, I might have mixed up the cylinders, but I don't know where it went. I send everything back to Cimarron." So he timed the gun to the 186 cylinder and put in a Wolff Bolt Spring. The other gun was fine, but he changed bolt springs on it, too, to get the desired trigger pull. The guns came with light triggers, lighter than I like, and they got below a pound with wear. Removing the leather pad upped them to almost 2 lb. I asked for 2 lb 8 oz. One has 2 lb. 10 oz. The other has 2 lb. 11 oz. I don't know about Gunslinger. Doesn't follow instructions too well, does he? ;)

His price for all this was quite low. I'll use his services again as needed.

Texas Aline came by with a Brownell's package and stayed for a Margarita. Fortunately she asked me if I was going to Fort Parker tomorrow. I didn't know they were having a match. They are, Saturday and Sunday.

So I packed the stuff into the ML so I can leave at 0800 tomorrow.

October 16, 2008


Took the bus to Ron Hoover. Bruce, a new service advisor, did a great job. The work was done by noon. Got the mirror parts installed, $75 parts, $251 labor, and the slide topper (awning) on the driver's side front slide tension adjusted. It had gotten so far out of adjustment that I had to stand on the 12 foot ladder and hold the cap up while it retracted, or the cap would jam the slide. $105. Also got an anode for the water heater (it is not a hot water heater. Hot water doesn't need heating.) $10.

Bruce looked to see if any of the parts ordered last October were still there. The sink for the lavatory was, but they had sent the wrong one. We're stuck with the one with the chip in the porcelain, I guess.

Reattached the trailer when we got back. As usual, got it on the first try. Just don't sing the old song while doing it. "Backing up is hard to do."

October 15, 2008


Rained all day. Over 1-1/2" by 1000. Not used to that anymore. Worked in the garage all day while The Redhead took Arthur Pendragon in for his annual checkup and purring license renewal. The test was tough, but he passed.

Brittany at Ron Hoover RV called. The parts are in. We'll take the bus in tomorrow.

October 14, 2008


Quote of the Day:

"I envy people in other countries where guns are legal." Zheng Zhoujian, 18 year old Chinese student

Took The Redhead in for her annual service and oil change. At the doctor's office from 0900 to 1300. But she got the stress test and bone density test done in additional to the usual. Had lunch at the nearby Olive Garden and went to see American Carol. If you're a lunatic fringe radical liberal, you absolutely must see this.

The Redhead critiqued it properly by saying it wasn't that funny because it was too close to the truth.

When we got back to the bus Richard Young's business card was stuck in the bus door. That's Tequila to SASS people. He had seen the rig on a trip to Houston to consign his old trailer at PTL, and he stopped by on the way back. Missed him. Darn. He and his wife want to fulltime as soon as they can.

The Redhead has a comment that should be posted on the refrigerator of everyone working to be a fulltimer in the future.


As I've said before, RVing requires agility, strength, and basically good health. If you're getting older, don't count on that forever (said by a man who went blind without warning at 49). Fortunately some vision came back, but if I lose any at all, my RVing days are over.

October 13, 2008


Very Funny "Boston Legal" scene

Finished cleaning out/straightening up the shop. It might not look too straight under close inspection, but fitting all of the "stuff" in there is kind off like fitting Rosie O'Donnell into a size 10 dress. You know it won't look good. You just hope you can do it without too much falling out or the dress splitting wide open.

Called Ron Hoover RV. One part hadn't come in, and Brittany couldn't tell me any more. Newmar closes at 3 PM Central now, so it'll be tomorrow morning before we find out when we'll get the part. This screws everything up. We won't be taking the bus in tomorrow, and we won't be moving to Oakwood Wednesday. In short, we're stuck here until we get these parts. We have enough slack in the schedule to make it work, but we're not happy being out in Columbus. Spending a few days more at Brookshire wouldn't be as much of a problem.

October 12, 2008


John Polk

John Polk, my audio-visual electronics guru, and one of my oldest friends, drove all the way out to Columbus on SUNDAY to work on my rig. Heck of a guy. I've known him since the early '80s when he put alarms in one vehicle after another, then built-in radar detectors, and neat gadgets for the speed-limit wars. He was on my crew for One Lap of America, and, despite my terrible treatment of the crew, still talks to me. He did the "Future Proof" wiring in the house when we built it and did a lot of work on my home theater system. I had 8 TVs, 2 DirecTV receivers, and had the capability of watching either receiver or VTR on any particular TV while The Redhead watched something else, and both DVRs recorded separate programs. When we moved into the bus, he put some neat little fans in the cabinet where the electronics boxes hide. The DirecTV box was overheating. I later found out that other Newmar customers had gotten this condition warranted. I guess I'm just not forceful enough. He also made it possible for me to control the DirecTV box from either room with the stock remote using a Infra-red to RF converter.

The reason for this visit was the wonderful people at Camping World who had put the super-whammy Winegard Satellite dish had screwed up the cabinet with the DirecTV box. They put the Winegard control box to the right of the DirecTV box, moving the receiving port on the DirecTV box behind wood. To change channels, etc. from the living room required standing on tippy toes and leaning 30° to the right while standing in one specific spot. Additionally the cables were in chaos.

John works in minefield filled boxes of wires all the time. In no time he had fixed everything. While he was here I had him install a Cobra CB/Weatherband radio. If I'd known how easy it was to find the wires, I'd have done it myself, but he didn't charge much and did a very neat job.

John and his lovely wife Lynda are neat people. She has made a career of her hobby of timing race cars. She did it for Champ Cars before they went under and does it for the American Le Mans Series now.

Back to the stuck nipples

Built a jig using a vise for a drill press, an adapter that stuck into the back of a 1/4" drive 3/16" socket that enabled an open end wrench to fit on it, a wooden fixture to go between the vise and the cylinder's front end to hold it in place, and a device to keep it from turning. Then, with the vise holding the 3/16" hex socket turned into a 3/16" slot nipple wrench tightly into the cylinder, I could turn the wrench and remove the nipple.

By the time I was finished, all of the sockets were broken, but all of the nipples were out (4 on 2 cylinders). No, I've never had trouble with stuck nipples before, and yes, I'm still unsure of what caused it. Future solution: I put in 10 new Treso nipples with liberal amounts of Never Seize in the threads. I didn't tighten them too much. The plan is to go back to turning them 180° and wire-brushing the back side, then re-tightening them after every shooting session. I'll renew the Never Seize periodically.

Crudely made nipple wrench

Crudely made nipple wrench. Craftsman 3/16" nut driver cut with Dremel cut off tool and some filing until sides extended 3/16" flats so as to fit Treso nipples.

There is a small but real market for some machinist to take high quality 3/16" nut drivers and sockets and make them into tight fitting, high quality nipple wrenches.

After the time I've spent on getting these stuck nipples out I'll be putting serious effort into never having to do this again.

October 11, 2008


Went to town. Retrieved the Rolex from the repair shop. Very painful. But then this Rolex is quite old. Like me the repairs get more expensive. I'm totally naked without it, having worn it much of my adult life.

Dropped in Carter's Country, the local chain of gun stores. Found 10 boxes of .457 round balls at prices that, a couple of years ago, I would have run from ($10.30-$11.95). But Bass Pro Shop was $19.95/box. I presume the clientele at BPS is ignorant fools. Lead Dobber had offered me 1,000 Hornady or Speer (can't remember which), at a good price, to be picked up at Comin' Atcha, but I can't find him on the entry list anymore.

Stuck Nipples

Spent too much at Sears. Here's the problem. Suddenly I'm having problems with stuck Treso nipples in the Ruger Old Armies. The nipple wrenches are junk, and the damn Tresos don't use a 3/16" hex nut pattern like the stock Rugers. They have 3/16" flats, making it impossible to use a hex socket. But a hex socket could easily b milled to be a wrench with 3/16" flats. Alas, I have no milling machine in the trailer, and I need the nipples to be removed now, not after searching out a machinist who could do it. So I used a Dremel cut-off wheel to cut a slot in 1/4" drive 3/16" sockets, and I say sockets because I anticipated needing more than one. I also got 2 nut drivers for modification.

More tomorrow.

October 10, 2008


To make a long story short, I needed to get fingerprinted again for the CHL, and The Redhead needed fingerprinting, so we went to a F.A.S.T. site where they did it with a digital imager, no ink. Wasted a day and a lot of diesel.

The good news, if this is that, is we found a gas war, 2 stations selling diesel at 3.49.9. When we drove by the second time it was 3.48.9 at one of the 2. We bought on the first pass.

October 9, 2008


Another day in the garage, working on the 5 drawer tool chest. Getting there, but slowly. Filled a Rubbermaid box with things that I won't need every day. They'll be in the basement, meaning I'll try to work without them. Then, one by one, I'll put many of them back in the chest and go through this all again. Of course the fact that the box will be deep in the basement will make its contents even more inaccessible. The proper thing would be to throw the box away, but then I'd need something the next day.

October 8, 2008


Thought for today:

Mustang Ranch

Back in 1990, the Government seized the famed "Mustang Ranch" brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed miserably ....and it closed.

Now we are trusting the economy of our country to a pack of nit-wits who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling booze?

Worked in the garage all day trying (in vain) to reorganize the 5 drawer tool cabinet. I need about ten drawers of the same size. Don't have them. Won't have them. All I can do is organize the best I can, moving less essential tools to Rubbermaid boxes in the basement, then forgetting which box has what, thus putting myself through a lot of heavy lifting and low-crawling into the underbelly of the beast when I need to find the Forstner bits, etc.

The Redhead went to Houston to have lunch with the friend who bought her SLK 230 Sport. She cried when she saw it. It has a good home and looks great. If we had a place to put it, we'd buy it back in a minute. It was the biggest sacrifice she made to adopt this lifestyle.


Jack Houston shooting Frontier Cartridge Duelist at Defend Old Fort Parker. Jack got involved in this Pale Rider concept for Comin' Atcha. Manatee started a thread on it on the SASS Wire (more proof there should be a breathalyzer test instead of a password to get on the SASS Wire). Gunfighter, BP, big bore, hot loads, big bullets. Jack got roped into entering it, and I ended up supplying him the guns and ammo, my Ruger .45s and '73 .45. Jack won Frontier Cartridge Duelist shooting these loads. I failed to mention this in the blog. I should have. It was pretty impressive. FCD was a big category. I also failed to talk about the new rig Jack made for me that I shot with during the match. I'll have photos later. Great looking rig. Black leather and white stitching, hand carved rose pattern. The holsters are very stiff and stick out away from my pudgy, cuddly body. They're low cut and angled forward 5° or so. He was expecting that I would have to wet mold them to my ROAs, but they fit perfectly. We've seen several match DQs due to loaded revolvers falling out of holsters. These allow a fast, snag free draw, but, if the guns are stuffed in hard, they're held tight. I did a 1 and a half gainer when I ran into a wooden sidewalk in a building (no peripheral vision, slow transition from light to dark). The guns didn't have the hammer straps on, but they stayed in as if they did.

He also made a really neat shotgun belt that was ready to go out of the box, no snag, and quick retrieval of shotgun and rifle rounds. (I jacked out a round from the '73s and loaded one without much loss of time.)

We'll have pictures sometime.

October 7, 2008


Ran errands in Houston. Put 150+ miles on the car. Mirror ordered by Ron Hoover. Arrival Friday or Monday. Appointment Tuesday. Put Rolex GMT in shop, due out Saturday. Etc. Etc. Saw Appaloosa. Not bad, but dragged in places an had a strange ending. I believe I dated Renée Zelwegger's character in High School.

October 6, 2008


Drove to the Columbus KOA, the closest place we can get to Houston. Fun drive. Lots of two lane roads. One narrow two lane bridge was really exciting. An oncoming 18-wheeler's mirror hit ours, taking out the glass. I had no place to pull off and had to drive the rest of the way with no left-side mirror. When we got to the RV park I was able to get the mirror housing back into position where I could get the remaining glass aimed where it would be useful when I drive the bus to get the mirror repaired.

That might be problematic. I called Ron Hoover RV, and service has not called me back.

"Do you exercise, Mr. Rich?"

The RV lifestyle requires agility and a certain amount of physical strength. Getting the rig ready to move, for instance, includes the following: Pull big door down on trailer. Drive truck in. Climb out of truck and exit through escape door. This involves a 3 ft. jump to the ground. Climb under truck and attach rear tie-downs. Climb back up via escape door and enter truck. Move truck forward to mark to tighten rear tie downs. Climb back out of truck and jump again. (I do move an entry step into place when I remember it and think I need it that day). Attach front ratcheting tie downs. Close all the doors and lock them. Unattach and roll up power cable from trailer to either shore power or the basement power outlet in the truck. Unattach and roll up TV cable from TV outlet in basement to the trailer. (I haven't mentioned what is involved in getting the inside of the trailer cleaned up and stowed for flight).

Not every day, obviously, but as needed, I get out the 12 ft. ladder and clean the huge bus-like windshield, side glass, and mirrors.

Put Bear's photo on bed. Put hats on bed. Put pillows, sit-up pillow, and printer on bed. Put extraneous reading matter and other temporary miscellany on the bed. Put my computer in pocket behind driver's seat. Take leaf out of table and stow. Stow chairs. The Redhead has a long list of things to do inside. Some of them are included here. Some aren't.

Put cat box in cat crate. Find Arthur Pendragon. Put him in crate. Zip up same. Stow Satellite internet dish. Stow satellite TV dish. Put Munchies on driver's side panel. Retract slide outs. The Redhead watches outside. I do the switches inside. The driver's side front slide-out has an awning attached to the top. It has been blown out of position by a high wind, and it retracts at an angle. Then the cover won't slide over it, and it all gets jammed up. Sometimes The Redhead has to use a wire tool that's used normally to pull out and retract the manual awnings. If she pushes the awning cover up at the right time, it will cover the awning, and all's okay. Today I had to get the Little Giant (12 ft.) ladder out and climb up, holding the awning cover over the awning as it closes.

Then retract the power cable and stow. Disconnect water an sewer and stow accordingly. (Rubber gloves, wash hands like you're about to do surgery afterwards).

I'll usually do a walk-around inspection then. The Redhead does one as well, usually locking all basement doors just before I need something from one of them.

I'll check in the engine compartment, looking for oily spots, frayed belts, etc. I check the oil periodically, but not every time I start the engine. Lacking evidence of an oil leak, I don't check it more than once a month. It has been at the same mark since day one. The transmission must be checked when the fluid is hot. You push the up an down arrows simultaneously and read the code that runs through the shift indicator. I keep the book with the code handy.

Start engine. Retract jacks. If pads have been put under jacks (usually anywhere but a gravel or concrete RV spot), crawl under bus and remove and store them. Store auxiliary steps used for when the last step from the bus is longer than normal, and one is used at the trailer. Store trailer's power cables, leveling jack, chocks, etc. Sometimes 2' sections of 2" x 10" pine are used under some of the jacks. These have to be stowed.

Check brakes. Usually The Redhead is outside, and I'm inside. This is usually done just after I start the engine and start retracting the jacks. That means the jacks down squealer is going full blast. This annoys the dog, so he starts barking loudly. My putting my foot on the brakes annoys him, and he barks louder.

When all of this is done I do at least one walk-around. I'll check the trailer hitch, safety chains, etc., all 10 tires, all awnings. I'll pull every basement door and every basement door handle. I'll make sure both dishes have been retracted completely.

I check the tire pressures with the Pressure Pro electronic tire pressure monitor. I have an air compressor in the curbside front basement compartment. Occasionally I need to adjust pressures to spec. The bus tires need very little. Trailer tires, of course, are another matter.

The Redhead consults a written checklist on her computer. I'll turn on the rear view camera that tells me the trailer is still there. If needed The Redhead ground guides me out. We now have working Midland Walkie-Talkies (courtesy of Tame Bill, who works for Midland). This helps.

Finally we're on the road. The Redhead uses a Garmin and Co-Pilot to keep us more or less on course. Today Co-Pilot told us to turn left, not noting that to turn left you had to be in the right lane and turn right, then right again. That caused us to have to make a left and three rights in a small town, terrifying the locals and The Redhead.

The dog sleeps. The cat complains until let out at the other end of the trip.

Los Cabos Mexican Grille

We went to beautiful downtown Columbus looking for the Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant, where I've had good Mexican food in the past. Sadly, it is no more. We found Los Cabos Mexican Grille just south of town on the main road. New looking place, good looking, big, with a lot of cars in the parking lot at 5:30 PM Monday night. All good signs. Inside we were seated in a booth immediately.. The house Margaritas were excellent, as were the chips an dip. Both of us perused the (for me) hard to read menu and picked the Guadalajara Dinner without consulting. One of almost everything, taco, chalupa, chili con queso puff, guacamole, enchilada, tamale, rice and beans. All excellent. The waitress must've checked on us six times. Cheap bill, too, under $30 before lavish tip was added.

It's nice to be back where we can get Tex-Mex.

October 5, 2008


Posse 8 at Defend Old Fort Parker


Panorama of contestants at Defend Old Fort Parker

Photos by Major Photography

Defend Old Fort Parker

Match Day 2

Charity Shoot:

This is a charity shoot. Old Fort Parker is a sacred place in Texas History. Cynthia Ann Parker and others were kidnapped by Comanche here in 1836. The Texas Legislature, in its infinite wisdom, pulled funding from the restoration. City and county support is all there is. Old Fort Parker Patriots have built a great 10 stage CAS range in limited space, with the fort overlooking it. They have this charity match annually to raise money for the fort. They couldn't do it without Sarah, the lady who runs the fort with inadequate funds. She works herself and her helpers half to death. All meals except Saturday night are cooked by them, and meals for all shooters is part of the entry package.

It's always a pleasant, enjoyable match. The few workers from the local club work themselves half to death, too, and it shows.

Evil Roy Pistols

Left both pistols with Gunslinger with instructions to do whatever was needed to make them match and practice ready for another year or so of hard usage. He had noted something that took me a while for notice. One pistol had the cylinder of another pistol, and has had since I got it. The SN ends in 5, and the cylinder ends in 6. The other gun is correct. With my vision I had to use a magnifying glass to figure this out.

Birthday Present

I got a pretty good birthday present. Shot the match clean. Won the category by 15 seconds. Not bad for an old fart. Cowtown Scout was second. Omaha John was third.

Everyone got belt buckles. Nice ending for a great match.

VERY tired. Won't try driving to Columbus tonight. Tomorrow...

October 4, 2008


Defend Old Fort Parker

Match day 1

Shot 6 stages, on Brisco Kid and Kiamichi Queen's posse, with Omaha John and Jack Houston. Several really fast shooters on the posse. 3 of them blocked access to the shooting positions most of the time as they tried to work out the fastest way to shoot each stage. A certain amount of that is okay, and I try to glean whatever knowledge I can out of it. But when you can't get to see the @$!# targets because they're always standing in the shooting positions and walking back and forth, it's a problem. Otherwise it's a very good group.

Shot clean, low time in the 20s, most in the low 30s. Omaha John had some problems. Jack Houston was preparing for the upcoming "Pale Rider" sub-category at Comin' Atcha. This is a category promoted by Manatee. The thread on the SASS Wire on it is multiple pages, mostly of insults back and forth. Jack said he'd shoot it if he had the guns. People started offering him guns, so he said he'd shoot it. Naturally they all fell through, and he's shooting my .45 Colt Ruger Vaqueros, my '73 Carbine in .45 Colt, and his shotgun. Here he shot Frontier Cartridge Duelist as there is no Frontier Cartridge Gunfighter or Pale Rider.

Pale Rider

Basically, Pale Rider is Gunfighter, shooting Black Powder in all guns, .40 or larger pistols and rifle. 30 gr. BP, 200 gr. bullet, 65 gr. BP shotgun loads. I supplied the guns and ammo. Jack noted that there is recoil and smoke with these loads.

Indeed, but the targets do move when you hit them. Of course, the copious amounts of smoke made it difficult for spotters.


Shot Plainsman, 3 stages, after the main match. Really exhausted afterwards. I was competitive until a round stuck under the ejector in the Handi-Rifle, and I had left my brass rod in the gun cart. 20 seconds, my only misses. Reverend Trinity was faster than all of us anyway. He won. Cowtown Scout was second. Two Gun Johnnie, shooting Remingtons, was third.

Wild Bunch

Jack shot the Wild Bunch match, at the same time as Plainsman. He used my '97 and his Rock Island pistol. This one uses DIFFERENT rules from SASS or from Colorado. Silver Sam wrote them. Duelist style only. Dutch category with pencil barreled revolvers, Pike with 1911s--or a whole bunch of different old semi-autos. Any main match rifle, A whole bunch of shotguns, some semi-autos.

Dinner was at Cowboys, a local honky tonk. It was BYOB. We brought a big bottle of Margaritas. They didn't last long. Buffet food, chicken fried steak.

Cowtown Scout, in a 1876 US Army dress uniform with a lot of gold braid, won Best Dressed Military. They had a John Wayne look-a-like contest and John Wayne leading lady contest. Amazingly, Brisco Kid, dressed as McClintock, didn't win. Kiamichi Queen, dressed as Maureen O'Hara in McClintock, won her category, though.

I didn't win any of the 312 guns given away (exaggerating-10 Cobra derringers, 2 Henry .22 rifles, a matched set of Percussion pistols. They were marked '51 Navies, (Uberti), but they had round barrels and looked like .36 cal. Dragoon copies. Good actions and springs, though. Probably missed a gun or three.)

VERY Tired. Awakened by Gastric Reflux. Spent an hour and a half on the computer in the middle of the night waiting it out. Then woke at 0500. So much for sleep.

October 3, 2008


Defend Old Fort Parker

Side Match Day

In the morning I went to Mexia to get fingerprinted by the local police department for my CHL application. Then in the evening Reverend Trinity, my instructor, said they should have done 2 sets. The state only sent me one set of paperwork. Also I should have gotten the officer who took the prints to sign the back of my photographs. So I'll be going back to Mexia Monday morning. The good news is since this is my 3rd renewal, I don't have to take the class and qualify this time. Ditto The Redhead.

In the afternoon I shot the side matches, badly. I had traded Joe Brisco one of the old Stoegers for a Bond derringer. I shot it. 1.18. Joe shot it 1.04, and Jack Houston shot 1.04. The winner had a time of .68 I believe. Practice is in order. This one has the competition spring and has been smoothed. .38 spcl of course. Used some Ten-X 105 gr. ammo that chronoed at 40 out of a 4-3/4" barreled revolver. Perfect for a slide match.

The Evil Roy pistol still malfunctioned. At Joe Brisco's suggestion I changed the pawl spring. Not good enough. The gun will go to Gunslinger. (Actually both of them will. It's time for a tune-up.)

Omaha John, Pat, and Jack Houston came over for Margaritas. We didn't go to the Friday Night fish fry, which, I learned, was a good thing. There were problems.

October 2, 2008


Drove to Old Fort Parker. The last mile or so is always fun. Narrow, twisty road with low, overhanging tree branches. It's impossible to get through without brushing some of them. Sarah had us parked at site 20, about the only place we can fit into on the front side. We could park parallel to the fence. The power there is 30 amps and spotty, especially when all of the sites are full.

Omaha John and Pat came by for Margaritas. Hadn't seen them since WR. John doesn't think they'll make WR next year. Too far, too expensive in bad times. Too bad.

We went over to the Fort for hamburgers for dinner.

October 1, 2008


Worked in the shop. Put the replacement hand spring in the Smoke Wagon. It has been threaded for a tiny set screw just like the Cimarron. A Cimarron set screw screwed right in. But since I don't get to keep it, I didn't put a humongous effort into getting the set screw in over the spring. Had it been my gun I would have. It doesn't affect functioning. I figure I would have launched at least 3 set screws and 2 springs into oblivion before getting one in.

Cleaned out the lower storage compartment in the front of the trailer. Was a mess. Now a lot less of a mess. Stowed the gun cart in there for the trip tomorrow. Put the ML in the trailer.


Hurricane Ike has caught up with us. The plan was to move to Houston West RV Park Sunday after Defend Old Fort Parker. They're full. Their waiting list is full. They don't even answer the phone, just let the answering machine take all calls.

There aren't too many RV Parks in Houston that'll take a rig our size. KOA Central can't fit us in. KOA Lake Conroe can, but 3 weeks would be $777. So we're contemplating going to Columbus for enough time to get The Redhead's physical done in Houston, then move to Oakwood.

This'll make it hard to have dinner with our Houston friends, and I'd planned on having my electronics guru do some work on the bus. This might be difficult with the bus in Columbus. We'll see.