December 2011 Journal and more on the 10th and possibly last SASS Convention

November 30, 2011, Wednesday

SASS Convention

Registered, then snuck onto the convention floor in order to talk to vendors before it got crowded. A lot, of course, weren't set up or even there yet. Some were.

Katie's Millinery

Katie's Millinery is displaying a new costume for lady shooters. You are guaranteed to shoot clean in most posses in these outfits. They were selling like hotcakes.

Buckaroo Bobbins

Buckaroo Bobbins displayed a pair of light weight chaps. I'd been suggesting such for 4-5 years to them, but their chap maker wouldn't make any until he was shown my article on lightweight chaps for SASS. These look quite well made. They have leather wrap buttons so you can put them on over your boots. I never did get to ask why these have a left-handed belt

Dinner with The Redhead, Redwing and Karen at the "R Steakhouse", which used to be Kristofer's. Food was good, but service was bad enough for me to complain to the manager, who offered me a free meal if I'd come back. I seldom complain at restaurants, but we had been eating at Kristofer's for 9 years and loved it. This was very disappointing.

November 29, 2011, Tuesday

Breakfast at "The Poolside Cafe," formerly Kady's. Then we took the double decker to the Venetian and walked about 30 miles in circles.

At Gilley's, The Redhead finally met John Wayne, and someone had apparently given his body to a taxidermist and made it into a slot machine

Vegas has gone Kardashian crazy. She's everywhere. This is the Mirage. One place is hosting a Kardashian New Year's Eve Party, and The Riv is showing her tape on the adult channel for $12.99

You see this sign: a naked Asian lady, and the caption "Always a happy ending," and you wonder what they're advertising. Of course! A restaurant. Right

November 28, 2011. Monday

Quote of the day:

"The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living."

The Redhead decided we were going to leave today for Vegas. By the time the pet sitter returned our call and said she could come this evening and walk George, it was 1 pm. Left at 1:30. Arrived just before 6 pm PST.

The Redhead driving at Jeep Flank towards Vegas

Dinner with Master Guns Scott at the British Pub in the Riv. Better menu than last year. Cute waitress.

November 27, 2011, Sunday

For the upcoming column on the 1873 Levi's replicas he makes, Matt Hamilton sent me a pair of the replicas Levi's made briefly in 2002 or so. They sold for over $200, but some didn't sell fast enough and wound up at Mervyn's close-out rack for $10. I couldn't find any at the time in Houston, but a few lucky SASS members found some elsewhere.

No worry about my sending these back when the article is done. Way too big. They differ in some details from the Hamilton replicas; mostly different colored stitching and the trademarked items Hamilton couldn't do. The originals had rivets with the patent date on them. Neither replicas have that.

They duplicated the original leather label. This is one you wouldn't want to remove despite my recommendations to take the labels off your pants.

Levi's also could and did add the double arch to the pocket. It tells aficionados these were made by Levi's even if the label is removed. The $46,532 pair were found covered in dried mud. Ron Hamilton put them in cold water to start removing the mud. The label floated to the surface, and that's when they realized they had Levi's. Lynn Downey at Levi's soaked them in about 7 baths of cold tap water to get them clean without destroying them. Once she verified that they were, in fact, original 1873 pattern Levi's, she went online and won the bid on eBay. The bid went from $25,000 to $46,532 in 30 seconds, and Downey won in the last 5 seconds. The originals are in a fireproof safe with other historic Levi's.

We flew to several SASS Conventions. It was always a hassle. One year I forgot my Civil War boots. I had to get a neighbor to ship them overnight—$100! Going in the Jeep shares some of that hassle, without the weight and baggage limits. The Civil War boots are already packed. But I have to go over every day's clothing in detail so I don't forget, say, collar studs or suspenders. Since the Jeep is carrying the bags, and the Riv has bellhops, I'm carrying multiples of a lot of things. This way, say, a breakfast catastrophe that covers my outfit in maple syrup is lessened by a trip to the room. This is one way in which taking the bus would be easier. But that's about the only way. The bus has to park in Circus Circus KOA at fees that are as high as a room at the Riv, and then we have to get back and forth to/from the Riv. Staying there makes things much easier. Getting there is one tank of regular in the Jeep, and about 5 hours of driving. In the bus it's longer and more difficult, with few places to park the bus on the route. And it gets 6 mpg of diesel.

Ironically enough, one thing that is easier is the fact I'm a costume contest judge. So I won't be taking a Confederate uniform—or a sword. There are many pieces to said uniforms, and they can be left at home by mistake. Been there, done that, no t-shirt.

Instead of the sword, I'll carry a cheerful cane:

It's smiling

November 26, 2011, Saturday

Quote of the day:

“If you put off everything till you're sure of it, you'll never get anything done.” Norman Vincent Peale

November 23-25, 2011

The Journal was closed for Thanksgiving.

November 22, 2011, Tuesday

Gary Kieft (Mogollion Drifter), of Dillon, used to give a seminar at the SASS Convention on maintaining the Dillon XL650. While looking for something else in my computer this morning, I found this, apparently the notes he gave attendees. He doesn't do it anymore, and the SASS Convention is dying from lack of attendance. Cause and effect?

Dillon 650 Cleaning and lubrication

1) Cleaning of 650
a) Use 409 or similar detergent cleaner to clean interior of case feeder. Never use petroleum-based solvents on any plastics
b) Use alcohol on a small patch to clean interior of primer magazine and pickup tubes.
c) Use orange oil based “Gunk” hand cleaner to clean interior of powder hopper, to lighten it after extended powder storage in tube.
d) Use alcohol to wipe off powder bars, and swab out interior of powder measure body where bars slide. Also use alcohol to clean interior of powder drop tube, powder funnel.
e) Use alcohol to periodically wipe off primer disc, primer seating punch.

2) Reassembly of 650, emphasis on lube points
a) lube shaft w/ 30 wt motor oil
b) lube all pivot pins with grease-show grease grooves in pins, lube holes in crank and link arms. Don’t forget mainshaft pivot pin.
c) lightly grease interior of ring indexer, camming surface of ring indexer and indexer block.
d) lightly grease the primer cam on the upper right side of the frame.
e) lightly grease angled cam surface on slide cam
f) lightly grease platform rails where case insert slide rides
g) lightly grease ramp on case insert slide, where camming pin contacts it
h) lightly grease underside of shellplate bolt, where it contacts top of shellplate.
i) lightly grease rails on connector body collar
j) lightly grease roller on connector body collar
k) lightly grease primer disc pin
l) heavily grease underside of station one locator, where it fits into platform extension

Speaking of Dillons, this morning I called one of Wild Bodie Tom's friends at Dillon. Tom told me he had the cure to a problem my SL900 has. It does not resize the bases small enough to fit in the shell checker gauge TL and Cowboys and Indians sell, or the "Go" gauge from MEC. My rounds work, but this still bugs me. His solution was for me to send him the sizer die, and they would replace it with one that sized a little smaller. So I took it off, boxed, it, and went back to the Post Orifice and sent it to him. Susy was still there, amazingly. I'm stunned she hasn't been fired for being nice to customers.

Returned, and a case of APP 3F had arrived. Couldn't load shotshells, so I started loading .38s. Among the problems encountered, the brass-tipped set screw on the side of the mainshaft disappeared. I have a case of set screws. None were that size, and the size wasn't specified in the owners manual. So I called Dillon, this time taking the guy who answered the phone, who I call "Bad Gary." There are several Gary's there. When I told him I needed that product, he said, "It should be on the side of the mainshaft." "Well, it isn't." "Well, where is it?" This is where the calm, nice, retired me is much better than the old me. What I wanted to do was to drive to Scottsdale and waterboard Gary until he promised to never do that again. Instead I politely said I didn't know. Very condescendingly he agreed to send me one. I also asked for a blue insert for the RF100 primer tube filler. He acted as though he didn't know what the hell I was talking about and finally said, "You mean the blue bushing?" Yes. They wear out every few thousand rounds or so, and usually the guy on the phone sends me several. He went through the explanation of how they're supposed to work. I explained this one, the last of the bag the last guy sent me, wasn't sliding up and down and scrubbing it with alcohol per instructions wasn't working. The inventor of the unit, Randy Shelly, had given me instructions and told me at the time that the bushing/insert/whatever would need to be replaced periodically. Eventually Gary said he would send one.


Anyway, with the setscrew missing I knew the shell plate wouldn't stay in adjustment, so I gave up on reloading.

November 21, 2011, Monday

Took my SportEars to the Post Orifice. Sent them to the factory for reprogramming to my current audiogram. Don't hear anything out of the left one. We'll see what they can do.

Bulletin: The lady who waited on me was friendly, polite, and helpful. Her nametag read "SUSY." This was at the Anthem, AZ post orifice. This probably should make national news.

November 20, 2011, Sunday

Went to the Cowtown Wild Bunch match. Bad news: in January the match will be moved from the 3rd Sunday to the first Saturday, the day before the first Sunday Cowtown cowboy match. This conflicts with the Rio Salado cowboy match. The reason for the change is some interstate WB series planned, and Nevada needs the 3rd Sunday. Nevada? How a monthly match in mid-Arizona conflicts with a Nevada monthly match is beyond me. I guess I'm slow. Anyway, both are matches I normally attend, so I'll have to miss one. Being able to shoot 5 matches a month, more if I travel out of town 60-80 miles is one of the things I like about wintering in Phoenix.

Reported Without Comment:

Another shooter had a bad day. A round apparently went off with enough noise that the TO and the shooter didn't realize it was a squib, and the next round hit it, bulging the barrel pretty badly. It turned out that the loader was using filler, Cream of Wheat I believe. Another shooter, who uses Cream of Wheat with his smokeless loads said what the loader did wrong was not putting enough filler in, allowing it to migrate and interfere with the powder. The trick, he said, is to fill the case with filler and stuff in the bullet, as you would do with light black powder loads. Then it won't migrate. The loader mentioned that when he added the filler velocity increased 200 ft./sec., requiring him to lower the charge. (Disclaimer: All of the manufacturers prohibit adding fillers to smokeless, claiming that increases in pressure result. This journal does not recommend any loads that are not in loading manuals.)

November 19, 2011, Saturday

Went to the Cowtown match. Shot badly, 5 misses, 2 clean stages.

Wore new "Old '73" jeans from Hamilton Dry Goods, replicas of 1873 Levi's "Waist Overalls" copied from an original pair Hamilton Dry Goods sold to Levi's on an eBay auction for $46,532. Matt Hamilton is producing them again for $59.

The originals had rivets for reinforcement (1873 patent). These duplicate those. Miners would use the pockets for tools and to carry nuggets, and unreinforced pockets would rip off.

Even the watch pocket had a rivet. During WWII that rivet and the one at the point of the fly opening would be eliminated by the rationing board to save on copper. The one at the base of the fly was unpopular with cowboys because it overheated when you warmed up before an open fire, burning an important body part

The pocket rivets would scratch furniture and saddles and would eventually be omitted from later production

November 18, 2011, Friday

Went to Cabelas and Sportsman's Warehouse for supplies with only limited success.

November 16-17, 2011

This letter was left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington:

In case you can't read it, it says:

Vaughn Hines,

Above is a photo of the puppy you owned at Can Tho, Vietnam, September 1967. She would not stop looking for you. We could not make her understand you would not be returning after your aircraft crashed and took you from this life.

Your men in the platoon took good care of her after your loss. Hopefully the Good Lord has reunited the two of you in Heaven. You were one of the finest soldiers I ever served with. God Bless you!

"J" Donley

SFC, Ret

Not all war heroes are soldiers.

Thanks to my old friend SFC Scott for sending me this.

On a lighter note:

I got up at midnight to download IOS 5.0.1. When I left the upgrade it was telling me it would take 3 hours. I went back at 0300, and the download was processing or something like that. At 0600 the iPhone was turned off, and Safari was locked up. Restarted Safari. Datastorm told me I had 100% of download capacity left. That was good. But the iPhone wouldn't turn on. Tried several things. Went online and found one of the 342 Apple stores in the Phoenix area, none within 20 miles of me, and made an appointment for the "Genius Bar" at 1000. Took coffee to The Redhead. I told her of the problem and invited her to breakfast on the way to Arrowhead Center. She said, "Did you try rebooting it?" No, I didn't remember that at all. Tried it, and it worked. It also works on WiFi. Didn't keep the appointment. Breakfast here. Loaded 1100 rounds of .38 Special. Took the rest of the day off.

November 13-15, 2011

Quote of the day:

Life isn't about how you survived the storm...
it's about how you danced in the rain!

Monday morning my iPhone asked me if I wanted to upgrade from IOS 5.0 to 5.0.1. Yeah. 5.0 has a big problem. I can no longer hook up to WiFi. I was planning on going to the Apple Store whenever I had the time to schedule it, but, just maybe, 5.0.1 fixes this. This required hooking the iPhone to the Powerbook and downloading it. Unlike every other program, this one doesn't tell me how big it is. In the past I used The Redhead's Verizon MiFi. But it's limited to 10 gig/month, and we're at 8 with a week to go. So we've been just using the satellite internet, which is slower.

So I tried to download it. Before it completely downloaded, the satellite shut us down for using more than 360 mb/day. That meant 24 hours with internet the speed of dial up. Midnight to 0400 is unlimited, so we had to wait 28 hours to use it again, not needing it between midnight and 0400.

So, not using the internet for a day upped the unread total on one of my email addresses to 2200. Of course, most of those 2200 are spam I can't block, but, still, I have to go through the list to delete 2100 or so. What a waste of time! I have email addresses for friends. This one works. Now, for people who have previously posted my email address on websites such as the SASS Wire, I will request you don't do that. Spammers use email mining programs that go through websites and copy all listed email addresses. Hence I use a link instead of posting. For Facebook I use an address that can be changed if it starts getting weird.

Loaded shotshells. Most passed the "match grade" testing when done, indicating the SL900 is well adjusted. I'm no, but it is. It takes more time to do that than to make the ammo in the first place. Each round that looks good goes into the check gauge. Nearly all passed. Then they're wiped down with Break Free and boxed. The others are in a "practice" box. Evil Roy cured me of putting practice cartridges in 50 round ammo boxes. They're just dumped into bullet boxes. Match grade is a different story. Most of the shotgun ammo I make is match grade.

November 12, 2011, Saturday

Went to the ACSA match. Excellent match. One stage was all shotgun and 1st, middle, and last got a certificate for a turkey. Missed it by that much.

I shot Frontier Cartridge. Usually that would put me in a category of 8-10 around here. But it was a small field for ACSA, 3 or 4 posses. I was the only FC. Judah Macabee and I were on the same posse. He shot Frontiersman. Palo Verde, as a joke, entered his son, Chuckwalla Kid, in FC then tried to have him MDQed for shooting out of category. He shoots in Cowboy. Apparently this never got straightened out at scoring. At the awards Chuckwalla Kid was called out as the only Frontier Cartridge shooter. Both Chuckwalla Kid and Palo Verde had left already. They had me down as first Frontiersman and Judah Macabee as second. It took a little work to straighten it out. I shot clean.

Interestingly enough, someone asked what the difference between Frontier Cartridge and Frontiersman was.

I used practice ammo for this match. At one stage a split case got past me and into the rifle. It locked up. I used the Screwknife to clear the jam. The timer operator had me at 15 seconds shot to shot. The necessary reload at the end of the string added another 3 or so. I haven't been practicing it lately. I felt pretty good about the time it took to solve the problem. It saved a few seconds compared to losing 6 rounds and saved the clean match. 55 seconds as a result. The other stages were in the 20s and 30s.

Nov. 11 added

I wrote the Veterans Day page Thursday night. This morning The Redhead asked me what I wanted to do on Veterans Day. I said I wanted to go shooting, so I went to Cowtown and shot 300 rounds+, good practice session. Then The Redhead and I went to Chili's for lunch. Vets got free main courses. Excellent.

November 11, 2011, Friday, Veterans Day

Veterans Day and Memorial Day mess with my head. I remember the guys I knew who went to Vietnam but didn't come home. Actually, none of us came home. Some got killed. Some got maimed. Some didn't. But the guys and girls who went to Vietnam didn't come home. Different people did. We had crossed a divide that we could never re-cross, and those who hadn't been in war couldn't cross to our side. My Zippo had a positive spin on it: You haven't lived till you almost died. For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know.

I was very lucky. We lost as many to booby traps as combat. We hadn't invented a neat military term, IEDs. They were just booby traps. Every time I see a vet with a limb or more missing I think, "there but for the grace of God or just sheer chance go I."

Captain Rich, 1969-70:


1IT Rich, September 1969. First ARVN Armored Cav HQ. This was the job I'd been originally assigned to, but the day before I arrived, a lieutenant in an advisory team with a battalion in the 8th ARVN Infantry Regiment was killed. The guy I was replacing in the armored unit had a month to go, so I spent a month in the infantry unit before being assigned as senior advisor to 1st Squadron 1st ARVN Armored Cavalry. The armored helicopter chair at the back of the M113 was my office. The ARVNs had gasoline burners, and they were inadequately armored for RPG or RPD attacks, so the CO and his advisor sat on top. My interpreter had slept in one of them when it was destroyed in an attack. so I had no interpreter. My replacement was killed in that seat. He had replaced me because I'd been fired for "failing to get along with my Vietnamese counterpart." As punishment I was given a job I really didn't want.


I was assigned as Senior Advisor to an ARVN Recon company. Among the "experimental" things we did was to go "upriver" in 3 Navy monitors. I didn't know they were monitors, but some years later I showed this picture to Jack Klepper, who commanded a PBR, and he said this was way to sophisticated for a PBR. John O'Neal, who commanded Swift Boats, identified it as a monitor. Compared to some of the other tasks we were assigned, this one wasn't all that hairy. When the company got down to 39 effectives, it was sent to Vung Tau for 6 months re-equipping and retraining with 60 or so replacements. Sadly I wasn't invited along. Vung Tau was an in-country R and R site.

CPT Rich and Birddog

Late '69 at Advisory Team 70's HQ at Lam Son, 60 miles northwest of Saigon. That's a Cessna Bird Dog. I had a brief stint as G3 Air Advisor, a nice desk job in an underground bunker. Nobody ever got killed there. An Air Force Lieutenant named Ritch walked in one day with a Pentax Spotmatic camera and said, "anybody know how to use one of these?" I replied I had one just like it. He asked me to go with him to photograph bomb damage. He was a Forward Air Controller. FAC's act as translators between ground troops and fighter-bombers so they could give us close air support without killing us. The close air support fighters of 1969 were 1954 vintage F100s. Several times they were the difference between victory and annihilation. Since I was on the night shift, I had nothing to do during the day, so I went along. That's the issued 1911A1 on my left hip. The holster was made in the local village. Yes, I do look incredibly young. I only kept the G3 Air job for a couple of weeks. When on the night shift I flew with this guy in the daytime. When on the day shift I flew in a Firefly, a Huey with twin M60s on the right side with 6 aircraft landing lights coaxial with the machine gun. We went hunting very dangerous game. No, I have no @#$!ing idea what the hell made me volunteer for either mission. A shrink would probably say survivor's guilt for getting a desk job.

Spring, 1970, Hwy 13 north of Dong Xoai, III Corps. I was on an advisory team with a Vietnamese infantry battalion again, 8th Infantry Regiment, 5th ARVN Division. The photo was taken by my radio operator/Jeep driver, Mike Hatter using my camera.

I went on R and R in March, leaving my Pentax camera and lenses with my wife. I had a Pen half frame camera that took 72 pictures on a roll and fit in an ammo pouch, but it was eaten up by some jungle fungus, and I took no more pictures. On April 7th at 0100 a large NVA force attacked Fire Support Base Mary, then occupied by one company from my battalion and a troop of ARVN armored cavalry. Both units were way under strength. I believe we had only 105 ARVNs on the base. Only two advisors were present, Sergeant First Class Armand Spignardo and me. He was with the armor. I was with the infantry. 3 of those gas burning M113s were hit by RPG's and burned catastrophically. During the battle I controlled the air assets, a lot of those wonderful F100s, a slew of helicopters and a Shadow gunship. I also controlled 2 night Medevacs, evacuating 14 of our men, including the armor CO. The next morning 14 more of our men were found dead, and all of the enemy attackers were dead except one lucky 17 year old who survived all of that lying under a log. For this I was rewarded by being given command of my own team with an infantry battalion in the 9th regiment. I would take them to Cambodia. 399 went on the combat assault. 6 weeks later 299 walked back to Vietnam. If you can tell me the difference between punishment and reward in this, you're ahead of me.

Every veteran has a story. Most are never told. Happy Veterans Day.

November 10, 2011, Thursday

Clarification on RF100 adjustment:

The little plastic insert slides up and down in its slot. The above is all the way down

This is when it's all the way up. It should slide freely. The screw should be adjusted to let it slide down about twice as far as it sits when up. The insert fills half of the space when up. The screw should not be tightened. If it's ever tightened on the insert, it leaves an imprint. If this happens, replace the insert.

The little blue (small primer) and orange (large primer) inserts need to be cleaned often and changed when they stop working correctly. Get several from Dillon. It's a warranty item.

More reloading. I can't have too many .38 Special rounds. A good practice session is 300 rounds, and Cowtown is 11 miles away.

November 9, 2011, Wednesday

The stuff that takes the longest reloading isn't the reloading process. It's the preparation. If you mess that up, it takes forever. And then there's the broken index spring in the Dillon XL650. That's the one that goes around the main shaft, attaching at one end to a stud off the platform and the other end a plastic stud off the ring indexer. Today the one installed just broke. Putting in another one is kind of like defusing a bomb. Just when you think you've got it, the thing blows up in your face. Or, in the case of the spring, it slips off something and goes where bad little springs go to hide from their owners. I keep several spares. Most of them are now somewhere in the shop. I'll find them when I'm cleaning it up for movement next time. I spent fifteen minutes retrieving one because I had a drawer to the 5-drawer tool chest open below it when it went sproing. It's small, and the drawer had a lot in it. The Dillon approved method is to put a string through the end loop and use that to thread it around the main shaft and inside the primer seating assembly. We didn't have any string. Thread doesn't work all that well. It's in there now, but I didn't get much loading done in the afternoon.

A lot of problems can be avoided by running all brass through a brass sorter (Dillon, Unique Tek). It won't eliminate .357 Mag brass in your .38s, but it catches the .45 and .32. Well, it's supposed to catch .32s, but apparently I didn't shake this batch enough. Now I use the sorter before I put the brass in the brass cleaner and again when I take it out and put it in a box. The ammo is stored in big ammo cans. I put it in smaller boxes to transfer it to the case feeder. I put it the second box a handful at a time so I can shake it in my hand. Then I MIGHT catch the odd .357 round, and I'll catch the split cases because they make a tinny tinkling sound when shaken with other brass. The 2 rounds on the floor are a split case and a dud round. When the little box is filled I'll dump it into the case feeder.

The RF100 is important in volume loading. That's the electric gadget that fills primer tubes. If yours is old, call Dillon and see if it hasn't gotten the upgrade, and buy the variable speed controller. It's an easy install. The A and B tabs have been redesigned, so get new ones. The blue and orange tube adapters need to be cleaned with alcohol and the hole they fit in, too. The adapter should move up and down about half the distance to the screw holding it in place. If it's been tightened once, throw it away. Get several from Dillon. Randy Shelly designed it, and he gave me good lessons on its use. Upside down primers are almost a thing of the past, maybe 1 out of 1,000 if I do everything right. I know some of you are saying, "Why, I never had an upside down primer in my life because I load them into primer tubes by hand." You also spend a lot of time filling primer tubes. Volume loading requires all the good equipment as well as good technique developed over time or learned from an experienced reloader.

I'm using American Pioneer Powder, new production this year. It's black, not grey, and it doesn't dust as much as it used to. I need to clean the shell plate area with compressed air every 100-200 rounds now instead of 50.

November 8, 2011, Tuesday

Leveled the trailer. This RV spot isn't level (as if any are). When the bus is level, then the trailer is going downhill. Chocked the wheels. Removed the trailer hitch. Lowered the front A LOT. Then put jack stands in rear. Now the floor is level both ways, or at least close.

Then started loading .38 Specials. Tried the new Lee Factory Crimp die. 38s needed it the least, but I got it when I got the .45 ACP and .45/70. Not sure I'm going to keep it in. It makes the operation feel rough, as if a round is out of position in station 1 or 2, which results in a destroyed case. The resulting round has a slight constriction below the bullet to about 1/4" from the rim. I expected it to resize closer to the rim. I had to replace the lock nut with a thinner Dillon one in order to get the die all the way down until it touches the shell plate. I don't have any problems with the rounds made with the Dillon dies, and they look a bit better. The Factory Crimp die resizes the round as it crimps it. Good looking crimp, but looks just like the crimp on the Dillon die.

November 7, 2011, Monday

Breakfast at The Good Egg.

Worked on the Outlaw Trail article and photos and the 01-12 column. Sent them all to Tex and Cat. The hands are in considerable pain from the typing. Could be worse. Handwriting REALLY hurts.

November 6, 2011

George S. Patton, Jr. and his new friend. The new dog doesn't eat much and hasn't bitten any small children yet.

Went to the Cowtown monthly match. They had decided that Bordertown was over, so no more close rifle targets except on one stage with no alternatives. The rifle targets were mostly up the hill on the other side of the "navigable waterway" (according to the EPA. It's a ditch.) It ate my lunch, 6 misses, 2 clean stages. Fun group, as usual, and fun match despite my newfound inability to hit rifle targets. The smoke was like the first stage of Bordertown most of the day. Cross light from the sun, no rain, and targets close together, so after I'd triple tapped the close targets I couldn't see the hill, much less the target way up the hill.

This B-Western cowgirl wore a custom made outfit her mother made her out of what looked like material for a child's pajamas. Cowgirl cartoons. Unique.

November 5, 2011

Went to Rio Salado's "Anniversary" match, with dinner by Famous Dave's. 7 stages, 1 rifle only, 1 pistols only, 1 shotgun only. 13 rounds, 15 rounds, and 10 rounds respectively. They had awards for winning each of those plus a rifle/pistol stage. Entered Frontiersman, but when I got there, I was the only one, so I moved to FC, where there was a cast of thousands, or four or five, not sure.

After Bordertown it was a shock:

Claudia Feather shoots the long range stage. Oh, wait, no, it's just a regular stage. The pistol targets were at about 10-15 yards, or half a mile. The rifle targets, the ones in the back, were further than they appear as the cowboys, for example, were 6 ft. tall, and the Buffalo were full-sized.

Missed on on the first stage so I could shoot fast on the rest without worrying about a clean match. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it. Won FC. Forgot to take a photo of the 6 ft. tall trophy.

This is a Rugged Gear 4-gun cart with the screw removed, the holes drilled out, and a pin inserted to hold the cart together. Hmm...

November 4, 2011

Drove to our winter home.

If you're wondering why we're not traveling much...

Setup at Pioneer RV. Yes, that's an ominous sky behind us. We came from Tombstone with the Weather Channel warning of high winds that would flip big, tall vehicles and zero visibility from blowing sand that would cause 300 car accidents, zombies, and liberal politicians running amok. We arrived without incident. It was one of the least incidental trips we've made, and we like it that way. Well, there was the Great Flying J robbery, as documented above. We paid for a month at the RV spot, so it was an expensive day.

November 1-3, 2011

Recovered from Bordertown. Got the rig ready to travel to Phoenix. Also worked on January column and the Outlaw Trail article. Left hand and arm hurt like hell all of the time now. Don't know if it's too much shooting one handed or too much typing from an uncomfortable position. It hurts a bit less to type with the keyboard on my lap, so I got a lapboard for same.

Bullet sent this photo from the Bordertown awards presentation:

On the right is Hugo Bear. He's holding the Arizona State Champion belt buckle, one of the nicest in SASS. Fortunately the first place trophy is one of the nicest in SASS, and about the nicest I've won. When I was national champion in SCCA rallying the last time, in 1991, the plaque was a lot smaller and cheaper.

I don't remember any other match sending photos to the winners. Very nice. But then Bordertown did everything well, well, other than failing to control the weather Friday morning, but I'll give them a pass on that.