'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

30 March 2014

Sunday Kipling

Hello and a Happy and blessed Sunday to you all.

Angus is doing well. He's still sore and tripoding around but I think that's mostly to get sympathy and loves from Momma. And treats. Can't forget those. Of course she's a big ol' softy. Unlike me.

Busy week upcoming. I'm shooting the Berry's Steel Shoot on Thursday and Friday and ROing the match as staff on Saturday and Sunday. Monday is stage build day so I'll be at the range a bit. Pics and a write up as soon as I recover. Which may be sometime in October.

The weather has been nice and I'm finally back in the gym. My workouts are in inverse proportion to my remodel schedule. Since I'm being lazy working out seems the least I could do. Well, actually sitting around and eating Cadbury Creme Eggs until I turn into a sugar filled sack of oozing lard would be the least I could do but you know what I mean.

Have a great day everyone. And remember. Love means never having to apologize for lusting after a new gun. I hope.

Since I'm in a silly mood today...

 The Camel's hump is an ugly lump
         Which well you may see at the Zoo;
       But uglier yet is the hump we get
         From having too little to do.

       Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
       If we haven't enough to do-oo-oo,
             We get the hump 
             Cameelious hump 
       The hump that is black and blue!

       We climb out of bed with a frouzly head,
         And a snarly-yarly voice.                        
       We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
         At our bath and our boots and our toys;

       And there ought to be a corner for me
       (And I know' there is one for you)
             When we get the hump 
             Cameelious hump 
       The hump that is black and blue!

       The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
         Or frowst with a book by the fire;
       But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
         And dig  till you gently perspire;
       And then you will find that the sun and the wind,
       And the Djinn of the Garden  too,
         Have lifted the hump    
         The horrible hump 
       The hump that is black and blue!
       I get it as well as you-oo-oo 
         If I haven't enough to do-oo-oo!
         We all get hump 
         Cameelious hump 
       Kiddies and grown-ups too!                
                           How the Camel Got His Hump 

26 March 2014

We're Home

Got to Vegas about 1000, which was supposed to be the time for the pick up. We got moved to 1100 so the surgeon could make a final check on his cutest patient. Paid the bill and noted the surgeon didn't charge us for his time. I thought that was fair and reasonable. One could argue that this was simply a continuation of the first repair surgery and we certainly paid the doc enough for that. Still, in this day and age it was gratifying to see him step up that way. My wallet certainly appreciated it.

1100 rolled around and the discharge nurse went over the doctor's instructions. Same one as last time and she recognized us so that went pretty quick. Then they brought Angus out. To say he was happy to see us is a vast understatement. Especially Momma. He went into immediate Whole Body Happy Wiggle mode. He was actually walking very well and we could really see the difference in his leg with the plate gone. It was so good to see him again. We really missed the little stinker.

He pulled us out the door and took a long and well deserved potty break in the gravel beside the truck. We loaded him up in the back seat with Lu and we were off home with prescriptions for antibiotics, inflammation and pain and 3 happy passengers. The trip home was uneventful and pretty easy. He slept most of the way.

Shaved again. I hope this is the last we'll be seeing of his leg skin. If you look real close you'll see that the stitches are....pink. The nurse says it's so they'll stand out against his black skin and fur but I think it's a Gyno conspiracy. Baby Girl thought they were stylish so there's that. 21 stitches total.

After he expressed his happiness at seeing us and being rescued from the Dungeon of Not Home he made sure to punish us. Angus is a sensitive dog. Not to mention badly spoiled. He'll probably hang his head and sad eye us for a few days just to make absolutely sure we understand how badly we disappointed him before he forgives us.

"Is Daddy looking? Does he look miserable and apologetic yet? Good!"

The leg looks straight to my eye and matches the other one pretty well now. The new incision is right over the old one so at least he'll only have one scar. And the surgeon did have to open it up all the way again to get the plate out.

Oh right. The Cone of Shame. We don't make him wear it when he's in direct and constant supervision of either of us but it's always there just in case. And don't think for a second that he doesn't know it. "I'll be good, I promise!"

After a few minutes at home he settled down and seems to have forgiven us. We're just so happy and grateful to have him back safe and whole. As I write this he's up on our bed, snuggled up with Momma and deep in the sleep of the truly content. It's good to be a family again. Welcome home Little Man.

Thank you all again for your well wishes and prayers. They worked. Once again. But this time I'm going to forgo teasing Murphy and tweaking his nose. We've had enough excitement with this one as it is. I'll just say that at this moment things are good and the future seems bright and leave it at that. That dude just has absolutely no sense of humor.


25 March 2014

Angus Surgery

Got up at the crack of dawn and headed down to Las Vegas. We arrived there at 0700 local. Checked in and had to watch as the nurse led Angus away. For the second time. The nurse at the desk indicated that we might be able to take him home today and promised to call as soon as Angus went in for the operation.

Went to breakfast as we skipped a meal this morning. No way we were going to eat in front of Angus since he was on a no food order as of midnight last night. We decided to just hang around until we knew. About 0930 the nurse called to let us know he was about to go in. She figured about an hour and a half or so. Lu and I walked around a little and said a prayer.

The surgeon called us back around 1130. The operation went well and he was happy. He got the plate off without too many issues and was able to get all the screws as well (He was initially uncertain about the lateral ones that held the split bone together). We talked for a few minutes and he reassured us that Angus had come through well. He did have to open the leg up the length of the old incision but indicated that shouldn't be an issue. He talked about cleaning it all up and flushing the bone and site of the infection. I specifically asked him about the leg bone and he said it looked fine. I asked about picking Angus up but he wanted to keep him overnight.

Lu and I had discussed and prepared for an overnight stay but we agreed. We both wanted to be home. It seemed right somehow. We'll get up early again tomorrow and go back down to bring our little man home. We said a thank you prayer and hopefully we'll get some sleep tonight. Neither of us got much last night.

Thank you all for your encouragement and prayers. They mean the world to us. I'll do another post tomorrow when we get home and a picture or two. Lu and I are still on pins and needles to get Angus home where we can love and care for him. Today Lu reminded me of something I hadn't thought of. We brought Trooper home in January of 1996. Chrisi came home about a year later. Since that day in January 1996 we have only been without a dog in the house twice. The first time was last year when Angus went down for his initial surgery for the break. The second time is today.

The house seems so lonely and empty without him. I can't wait to see him tomorrow.

23 March 2014

Sunday Kipling

Another 3 Gun Match yesterday. I finished mid pack. I'm getting faster and my accuracy is still good but as I speed up my mental mistakes increase. It's expected. I'll stay at my current pace while working on eliminating those errors. Once I'm there I'll attempt to speed up still further. It's a process and a goal. It was still a fine shoot and a great day.

We're both anticipating and dreading Tuesday. Anticipation because we're so hopeful that this will finally be the fix (and last) surgery Angus needs. Thank you for your prayers.

Lu and I are doing well. The early Springtime pollen has kicked her butt but in a month or two, when we switch from pollen to dry Summer dust our places will switch. Joy.

We've been busy and are taking today off. No travel, no work and no worrying. Well....

I hope you're all having a fine Sunday. It's the day to reflect, give thanks for our blessings and hold tight to those we love. Especially to God who is the author of those blessings. May your hand ever be in His.

Today's poem s dedicated to all the Mariners out there. Those who have served and those who still yet brave the seas and yearn to return to we who love them. May the Coastwise Lights ever welcome you home.

The Coastwise Lights

Our brows are bound with spindrift and the weed is on our knees;
Our loins are battered 'neath us by the swinging, smoking seas.
From reef and rock and skerry -- over headland, ness, and voe 
The Coastwise Lights of England watch the ships of England go!
Through the endless summer evenings, on the lineless, level floors;
Through the yelling Channel tempest when the siren hoots and roars 
By day the dipping house-flag and by night the rocket's trail 
As the sheep that graze behind us so we know them where they hail.
We bridge across the dark and bid the helmsman have a care,
The flash that wheeling inland wakes his sleeping wife to prayer;
From our vexed eyries, head to gale, we bind in burning chains
The lover from the sea-rim drawn -- his love in English lanes.

We greet the clippers wing-and-wing that race the Southern wool;
We warn the crawling cargo-tanks of Bremen, Leith, and Hull;
To each and all our equal lamp at peril of the sea 
The white wall-sided war-ships or the whalers of Dundee!

Come up, come in from Eastward, from the guardports of the Morn!
Beat up, beat in from Southerly, O gipsies of the Horn!
Swift shuttles of an Empire's loom that weave us, main to main,
The Coastwise Lights of England give you welcome back again!

Go, get you gone up-Channel with the sea-crust on your plates;
Go, get you into London with the burden of your freights!
Haste, for they talk of Empire there, and say, if any seek,
The Lights of England sent you and by silence shall ye speak! 

20 March 2014

3 Gun Video

Thank you all for your love and support with Angus. As I have said many times (and others before me) a shared burden is a lighter one. Thanks for sharing the burden. I'm trying not to fret and for me humor is usually my outlet. I think it comes from developing that macabre sense of humor all cops eventually develop.

In any case I have been promising a video of my shooting for a while now. I finally just sat down and let YouTube grind it's way through a download using this crappy and slow computer. It took a while but I think you'll agree that there's few things funnier than watching an old fat guy run around on a stage with guns and live ammo.

A few things. This was taken in February I think. I have improved a little since then. A Little. I have also developed a brand new malfunction technique for shotgun. You'll see it near the end. It's called Six's Hammer Fist Of Doom and Shotgun Clearance (Patent Pending).

Without further ado I present the continuing comedic antics of an aging 3 Gun shooter with aspirations of mediocrity.

I'm still raw and new so I use these videos as training tools. What do I need to work on? Well...pretty much everything but shooting faster is pretty high up on that list. I could have (and should have and will in the future) shot those rifle targets standing offhand. They're not that far (ranging from 75 to 125 yards) and I have since been working on my standing shooting. My accuracy is Ok and if I can speed things up I'll be on the right track. I have another match on Saturday. We'll see if I've learned anything.

As always tips, advice and sarcastic remarks are always appreciated!

19 March 2014

Angus Update

Car Guy guessed from my Sunday Kipling post and some of you may have as well. Angus has had a bit of a set back. I've been holding off on this post until I knew more.

That spot is above the area where the plate in his leg is installed. It's a bacterial infection. We've been fighting it with antibiotics since December with mixed results. A few weeks ago we went to the vet who prescribed a new Antibiotic which hasn't done much. Lessened it but didn't knock it out. It would grow with weeping and then subside. Plus, we just weren't getting any answers on what exactly was going on and what we should do about it.

In desperation we went to a different vet for a second opinion. He did an exam and took an X-Ray (something our regular vet didn't do). After looking at it he was of the opinion that 2 of the screws had developed infection in the screw pockets in the bone. He sent the X-Rays off to our surgeon and did a phone consultation with him last Friday. His recommendation (and the request of the surgeon) was a visit back at the surgical facility where the original repair was done. We set the appointment for this morning in Las Vegas.

We met with Angus' surgeon. He'd reviewed the X-Rays and examined his leg. His opinion was that the plate needs to come out. He talked about bacteria forming biotic film (if I understood and got that right) that protects the infection from the full strength of the antibiotics. Bacteria that can develop immunity. He told us that the plate was no longer necessary and that the leg was healed and strong enough to support him without it. His words were to the effect that if he needed that plate for structural support we were all screwed anyway. The purpose of the plate was strength and stability in the healing process and was not necessarily permanent. We could continue to try antibiotics but he held out little hope that such would be efficacious. The plate needed to come out.

This is something we discussed before the original surgery. The idea that the plate may one day have to be removed. It was hoped not but always understood that it was a possibility. We hate to subject Angus to another surgery but Lu and I are now convinced that the only way to permanently resolve his infection issues is to remove that plate so that's where we are.

We have a surgical appointment next Tuesday morning at 7 AM. They'll do the surgery and keep Angus overnight. Lu and I will spend the night down there and bring home sometime on Wednesday. Hopefully. If all goes as planned.

In my heart I know this is the proper course to take for Angus. His leg will never heal properly if he's constantly battling infections. Plus it pains and distresses him. His limp comes out when the infection is at it's worse and he even tripods at times. Occasionally he'll yelp when he pivots or stops hard. Throw in the possibility of him developing an antibiotic immune infection and our choices are limited. We can keep on as we have been or try for a fix. Leaving him in pain and risking his life to an infection we can't fight is clearly unacceptable. The surgeon indicates that this is nothing at all like the original operation. He'll be a little sore and may have a significant incision (depending on how difficult the plate is to remove) but overall it's not a risky procedure. But. Well, we all know that one don't we?

Please keep our little man in your thoughts and well wishes. He's a strong dog and a fighter but this one is beyond what he can directly control. He's come so far and done so well. My fears are controlling me at the moment. I probably won't be around much until next Wednesday.

Thank you all.

18 March 2014

From The Police Story Files

This story is true. Names have been changed to protect the terminally stupid.

So I'm working swings one fine evening, perusing the streets for drunks at just south of 2 AM. I espied an intrepid motorist turn west and head up an eastbound only street. Being a fine example of police officerhood and having extraordinary powers of observation I recognized that this was unusual behavior and that it possibly required further investigation. Cutting down a parallel street I came out behind our antagonist and hit the overhead lights.

Yep, he ran. Shocking I know.

Now this street is arrow straight but ends in a T intersection. Beyond the T is a small parking lot and the shores of Lake El Estero (Literally 'Lake of Questionable Decision Making'). Mister Brilliant Motorist (aka Driver De Intoxicanto or DDI in Six parlance) speeds up and tries to flee my awesomely powerful police cruiser (complete with a speed of light Motorola) in his somewhat ratty Toyota 'Youhavegottobekiddingme' mini pickup powered by what I later learned was an elderly squirrel with a bad cough. Well, not exactly his pickup but more on that later.

Over the course of several blocks DDI manages to coax the plywood, chewing gum and blind faith constructed alleged pickup to as fast as 12 and a half miles per hour in his Bergermeister Beer (Official Motto: Horse Piss Free Since Last Week. We Swear) fueled attempt at vehicular freedom. Problem is traveling at the speed of ooze seemed to have been way too high for him to convince the rubber bands serving as the steering system on the conveyance to turn either left or right. At one point I saw him put his feet on the ground through the floorboard, looking for all the world like a drunken Fred Flintstone, in an attempt at some sort of braking maneuver but, alas, it was to no avail. Across the parking lot he went, leaving a trail of smoking tennis shoe rubber and desperation behind him before going off the bank and into the aforementioned lake.

Have I mentioned that it was a somewhat cool night? Well, it was. Not Global Warming cold but definitely on the chilly side. Plus, the water in that lake has never seen the sunny side of 50 degrees in it's entire existence being taken as it is directly from the frigid waters of the adjacent Monterey Bay (Official Motto: Happily Disappearing Swimmers Testicles Since 1764).

I pulled in behind DDIs launch point, got out and sauntered over (I stopped moseying after the Great Motorcycle Squid Slime Debacle of 1997). I managed to fish out the squirrel with a stick. I didn't detain him as I heard him muttering under his breath something about jamming 'the whole bag of peanuts' up someone's ass. I tended to infer that meant that he was unaware of the actions of his pilot and was just an innocent bystander in the whole sordid affair. Plus it sounded quite painful and I was hoping I'd get to watch.

So. You'd think that by this point our miscreant would have had the time to orient himself and doggie paddle back to shore. Or wade. I mean the depth of that lake is measured in inches, not feet. But no. He was doing his best impression of an Olympic swimmer who has never actually seen water before and has an IQ of 20 and a BA of 2.0.

Me: "So. You gonna come out?"
Me: "You're gonna freeze to death in there and the chances of me going in after you are about that same as you enjoying what that squirrel is going to do to you later."
Me: "Ok then."

DDI then attempted to swim away, toward the far side of the lake. And by swim I mean a kind of drunken, retarded flailing about that involved much splashing if not any actual movement through the water. Think angry 3 legged cat in a muddy bathtub full of really cold water. At some point, through his Mad Dog 20/20 obscured vision, he must have noticed the other officers positioned strategically about the periphery of the lake. Finally, after about 5 minutes of denial and synchronized hypothermia, he gave up. He stood, stumbled to the bank and flopped out gasping and shivering. He was, of course, naked. To this day I have no earthly idea where his clothes went. If my experience is any indicator there's some kind of alien clothing transporter powered by cheap booze and activated by the screaming death of brain cells. If I live to be a thousand I will never understand the public nudity proclivities of the severely inebriated. I cuffed him, cast a wary eye out for a squirrel with a paper bag and wrapped him in the yellow emergency blanket from my trunk. The one that oilynakedguyrunningdownthestreet gave me back after I dropped him off at home a few nights previously. Yeah, that blanket. Seemed only fitting somehow. Passing it on to the next drunken nudist in line as it were.

The pickup was removed by a tow truck and as the cardboard that made up the bulk of the thing seemed to have melted off in the frigid waters it was pretty much a total write off.

As I was introducing DDI to the rear seat of my car, and explaining how his troubles were in fact just beginning, I couldn't help myself. I had to ask him why. He wouldn't respond but he did drop me one nugget of interesting information. It seems DDI was a soldier stationed at the Defense Language Institute and he had 'borrowed' his roommates car for a night of merry making, revelry and unscheduled skinny dipping. His roommate who was also a soldier. A soldier who had just completed his language training in Urdu and was currently at the Army's Marksmanship Training Unit undergoing....wait for it....

Sniper School.

"He's gonna kill me" seemed to be the predominant sentiment. I could only agree. 

I advised him to plead immediately, go AWOL, change his name and appearance and take up regular and heavy prayer. I never got subpoenaed for a trial so I gotta assume he took my advice. Either that or his roommate caught up to him. Or the squirrel.

I'd have chosen the roommate. That squirrel was pissed!

16 March 2014

Sunday Kipling

I'm....not myself today. Have a safe and happy day my friends. See you next week.

L'Envoi to "Life's Handicap"

My new-cut ashlar takes the light
 Where crimson-blank the windows flare;
By my own work, before the night,
 Great Overseer I make my prayer.
If there be good in that I wrought,
 Thy hand compelled it, Master, Thine;
Where I have failed to meet Thy thought
 I know, through Thee, the blame is mine.
One instant's toil to Thee denied
 Stands all Eternity's offence,
Of that I did with Thee to guide
 To Thee, through Thee, be excellence.
Who, lest all thought of Eden fade,
 Bring'st Eden to the craftsman's brain,
Godlike to muse o'er his own trade
 And Manlike stand with God again.
The depth and dream of my desire,
 The bitter paths wherein I stray,
Thou knowest Who hast made the Fire,
 Thou knowest Who hast made the Clay!
One stone the more swings to her place
 In that dread Temple of Thy Worth --
It is enough that through Thy grace
 I saw naught common on Thy earth.
Take not that vision from my ken;
 Oh whatsoe'er may spoil or speed,
Help me to need no aid from men
 That I may help such men as need!

13 March 2014

The Grey Man Is Out!!

Most of you probably already know this but for the one or two that don't our friend and Writer El Supremo Number One, Old NFO,  has his book out. That is so awesome and as an aspiring writer myself I am jealous beyond description :)

Good on ya NFO. I'm going for the dead tree version just so I can get his signature. E-mail inbound NFO.


The Garden

I hate rubbing anyone's nose in something none of us can affect but here in Utah's Dixie Spring has sprung. It was time to see to the garden.

Some of you may remember that last year I built a raised planting bed out of bricks I removed from the Kid's Room remodel for Lu. She tried some late season plantings. She got shoots and some growth but the cold hit us early and everything died or went into hibernation. With the warm weather returning some of her carrots and lettuce seems to have survived. We fertilized the bed and Lu thinks she'll yet get some edibles. I was concerned that the brick bed wouldn't hold but it did, through some pretty bad storms, enormous rains and even quite a bit of freezing temps and snow. Makes me kinda proud.
I decided we needed to improve the garden and expand it a bit this year. Mostly because we have a Black Lab who relishes digging in that dirt next to the wooden fence back there. So a new fence was indicated. I had some old wrought iron fencing laying around so.... The gate is a double swinger just to the left of the raised bed.
This year we're adding some plants. Here's Lu planting the strawberries. Just behind her is the potato area. Red Somethingorothers and Yukon Gold. You can just see some of our peach tree buds on the left. Purty.
I cleaned out all that area and we spread in some cow manure. I still shake my head at that. Someone collects and sells cow poop to people like me. That small tree there is our peach tree. We planted it last Fall. It's budded out and our nursery Gal says we may get fruit this year. Hooray!!
I climbed up on the kids play house for some aerial pictures.
It's not a huge garden but with some careful planning we should do well. Corn and melons (Water and Honeydew) in the large area on the left. Strawberries where Lu is working. Potatoes behind the planter. Carrots, lettuce, cucumbers and probably something I'm forgetting in the bed itself. Oh and tomatoes will be way over on the far left so we can intertwine the vines into the fencing. Add in a few peaches (maybe, I hope) and we're talking some fine vittles.
Of course, someone was feeling left out.
He was already feeling quite put upon for being locked away from his favorite diggy spot and then Daddy goes and climbs up out of reach.
You come down from there right now!!!
So I did. After teasing him. But just a little. I swear.

Strawberries, carrots, lettuce and potatoes are in now. The rest will be planted in April. I need to redo the watering system. I'm taking water out of the back building but the faucet is inside. I need to reroute things so a blowout doesn't soak the game room and gym. Ah, more plumbing. Lovely.

I have to admit this. I'm kinda getting into this gardening foe food thing. I shouldn't be all that surprised though. My grandfather and his forebears back for some time were farmers. Must be a blood thing. I just hope we don't end up with a garden full of dead things. Zombie Carrots I don't need.

10 March 2014

2 Gun Match Pics And Video

Just some fun from the match Saturday. I'm the ugly guy in the blue shirt.

Stage 1. Running backwards with the handgun. A great way to get DQ'd for breaking the 180 rule. After the last match I was quite careful. Quite. Cool red shoes eh?

Running the P226 on Stage 2. You can see the dump box on my left where I ditched the handgun and picked up my rifle.

Stage 3 at the 100 yard line. Those targets were hard to see. I was clean from here.

Then run up to the 50 and shoot them again. I was clean here as well. If you enlarge that picture and look between the silhouette on the right and that flash target to it's left you'll see a very small popper. Not too bad at 50 but barely visible at 100 yards, even a 4 power. The iron sight shooters had fits. From here we went to the pistol for shots and 50 and 25 yards.

Stage 4. The pistol. A modified El Presidente. 6 shots on 3 targets, reload and 6 shots.

Ditch the pistol and go to the rifle. 6 Shots, reload and 6 shots. Fast and fun.

Here's a video done by a buddy. It's an overview of the match. You can see my performance on the 100 yard stage at about 1:07. You can hear the hoots after I went clean. Awesome. Yep, that's my home range.

It was a fun match shot with a bunch of great guys and good shooters. That guy in the last photo with me, wearing the black long sleeve shirt, was the Open shooter who beat me. I hate him :) Really good dude and one heck of a shooter.

Til next match. You all stay safe and go turn some money into smoke and noise.

08 March 2014

Sunday Kipling

It's Spring! At least here. My apologies and sympathies if Winter has yet to loosen her hold on you.

I think Lu and I are going to take a few days off and just enjoy the weather. The bicycles and my BMW are calling our names. Angus is really doing well so I think maybe some long hikes are in order. A good part of my match prep is to try and stay in at least reasonable condition. I have some Winter fat I need to shed.

I still have a post on my 3 Gun optics and lubrication I need to get done. I picked up something new yesterday and still need to test it a bit. That is probably going to be long term testing.

I hope you all have a fine Sunday and that you spend it with the ones you love best. Living well and free is the best response. Never miss the chance to be happy and let others know you are.


Something Artillery related today. For my Redleg brothers in whatever service you found yourself. Have a chuckle and Hoist one for those who came before.

The Jacket

Through the Plagues of Egyp' we was chasin' Arabi,
 Gettin' down an' shovin' in the sun;
An' you might 'ave called us dirty, an' you might ha' called us dry,
 An' you might 'ave 'eard us talkin' at the gun.
But the Captain 'ad 'is jacket, an' the jacket it was new 
 ('Orse Gunners, listen to my song!)
An' the wettin' of the jacket is the proper thing to do,
 Nor we didn't keep 'im waiting very long.
One day they gave us orders for to shell a sand redoubt,
 Loadin' down the axle-arms with case;
But the Captain knew 'is dooty, an' he took the crackers out
 An' he put some proper liquor in its place.
An' the Captain saw the shrapnel, which is six-an'-thirty clear.
 ('Orse Gunners, listen to my song!)
"Will you draw the weight," sez 'e, "or will you draw the beer?"
 An' we didn't keep 'im waitin' very long.
  For the Captain, etc.
Then we trotted gentle, not to break the bloomin' glass,
 Though the Arabites 'ad all their ranges marked;
But we dursn't 'ardly gallop, for the most was bottled Bass,
 An' we'd dreamed of it since we was disembarked,
So we fired economic with the shells we 'ad in 'and,
 ('Orse Gunners, listen to my song!)
But the beggars under cover 'ad the impidence to stand,
 An' we couldn't keep 'em waitin' very long.
  And the Captain, etc.
So we finished 'arf the liquor (an' the Captain took champagne),
 An' the Arabites was shootin' all the while;
An' we left our wounded 'appy with the empties on the plain,
 An' we used the bloomin' guns for projectile!
We limbered up an' galloped -- there were nothin' else to do 
 ('Orse Gunners, listen to my song!)
An' the Battery came a-boundin' like a boundin' kangaroo,
 But they didn't watch us comin' very long.
  As the Captain, etc.
We was goin' most extended -- we was drivin' very fine,
 An' the Arabites were loosin' 'igh an' wide,
Till the Captain took the glacis with a rattlin' "right incline,"
 An' we dropped upon their 'eads the other side.
Then we give 'em quarter -- such as 'adn't up and cut,
 ('Orse Gunners, listen to my song!)
An' the Captain stood a limberful of fizzy somethin' Brutt,
 But we didn't leave it fizzing very long.
  For the Captain, etc.
We might ha' been court-martialled, but it all come out all right
 When they signalled us to join the main command.
There was every round expended, there was every gunner tight,
 An' the Captain waved a corkscrew in 'is 'and.
  But the Captain 'ad 'is jacket, etc.

Match Today - Updated

It's a 2 Gun (pistol and rifle). Registration at 0830, first shots at 9. I'm loaded up and ready. Should be fun. If I don't experience another case of the dropsies or some other such catastrophe. I'll update with results with the usual proviso (If I screw up it never happened. Never heard of it. Match? I have no idea what you're talking about.)

It's supposed to be quite warm and generally pleasant here in Southern Utah. I hope you're all at least starting to get the edges of Spring. If so it's a great day to go shooting!

Second place Overall and first in Tactical Optics Division. The only shooter that beat me was a very experienced guy in Open where you can run about anything, as long as it's expensive. Second on 3 stages and 7th on one (reloading issue). I had a very good day. The match was small but I'll take it. My first Division win and highest overall finish so far. It's a good result that confirms that my hard work and equipment choices are paying off. The DPMS ran perfectly and is really accurate. One stage had us shooting very small poppers (4 inch scoring zone) at 100 yards as well as some 10 inch plates. I was clean, one of the very few who managed that. I am ecstatic with the rifle.

Next up is a 3 Gun at the end of the month. I'll keep training and shooting and see if I can keep my finishes high. I don't expect another Second Place/Division Win because it'll be much larger but so long as I'm moving in the right direction I'll be happy.

06 March 2014

Bathroom Update

We're now up to a half bath. The bathroom is complete except for the shower and some trim but it's usable as is right now. Took long enough.

I went with Pex for the water supply lines. Easy to use, reasonable cost and waaaay easier than sweating copper. When you're running complex runs like I did to multiple outlets (shower, vanity sink and toilet) make sure you keep track of hot and cold lines. I marked all the cold lines with black electrical tape.

Even my supply faucets are Pex. Pex is fastened to studs with plastic, NOT metal.

From there we decided to put down the tile on the main floor, right up to the edge of where the shower threshold will go. We have a system.Lu hates to cut tile so she lays and I do all the cutting and fitting.

Grout and the tile is ready. You can see the shower area there. I have to build my own shower pan due to the odd placement of the drain. At the edge of that tile is where the threshold will go. The shower install will be a post in it's own self.

The finished tile floor.

The drywall actually went in pretty easy. I'm getting the hang of this stuff and all my cuts were right on first time. I'm so proud.

Lu mudded and taped and I hit everything with a good dose of texture.

I ran into a snag and I'm just going to pass this along as information that may or may not be useful to you. I was messing around with the drywall around the recessed light over the shower when I realized the pot light housing was hot. Really, really hot. I checked the others and they were all cool to the touch but that one was so hot I couldn't touch it with bare fingers. I discovered it was the light bulb. This one.
I checked the rest of the house and we had several others in various lamps. All felt warmer to the touch than other 60W bulbs we had. I took this one out of the pot light fixture, put in something cooler and all is well. It's just such a weird thing. I'm not accusing anyone of putting out a bad product but my experience with this bulb was exceedingly negative. It's a real fire hazard in recessed lighting fixtures, especially those in contact with insulation. Word to the wise.

Lu applied one coat of drywall covering primer and two coats of paint and it was time for some installation. Finally.

The vanity and sink. Do yourself a favor and do as much installation and hookups on the faucet as you can before you install the sink on the vanity. It'll save your back. You'll still have to crawl in there for some finals but it's much easier.

And the toilet. That' an American Standard, Champion 4 Max. They claim it'll flush a bucket of golf balls. Not that I ever crap golf balls but you never know. Better safe than sorry is my motto.

It has one of those lids that lets itself down gradually. Angus thought it was alive or magic. Either way it is something that clearly cannot be trusted.

A wide view of the vanity and toilet install from the bedroom. We can now leave that door open without having to look at construction in progress.

Put in the mirror and back splash and we're done with this portion of the build.

Lu chose a vanity with feet. I like the way you can see the tile run under it.

Here's some perspective. This is the layout I did for the bathroom oh so many months ago. After the demo and structural repair. Shower on the left, vanity on the right and X marks the toilet. It went in almost exactly as I laid it out. This is a bathroom put in where none had ever existed before. On a concrete slab floor. It was an incredible amount of work but excessively satisfying to have completed. Well, except for the shower but that's mostly just finish work at this point.

Simple, clean and well built. I'm happy but mostly because Lu is happy. It's my job in life to make her smile and I did that today. Life is good.

Next up will be tackling that shower. I have to make a custom pan from vinyl sheet, install a threshold, put in a base to get the floor up to the drain level and then tile everything. Should be in by next week. Unless I get itchy and spend entirely too much time at the range. But at least we can now wash up and er, drop some golf balls from the master bedroom.

This particular project is very nearly done. If not the rest of the house. Sigh.

03 March 2014

Hand Salute For Ukrainian Soldiers

Whatever your opinion of what's going on over there, courage is a universally respected quality. My opinion is simple, simplistic perhaps. I don't like the Russians. Never have never will. I spent my military career preparing to fight them and I see no reason to change my views of the Red Bear. Yeah, the Ukrainians used to be a part of that military machine but 'used to be' are the operative words.

That's a picture of some Ukrainian soldiers at the Perevalnoye base in the Crimea. Russian soldiers are reported to be just out of the camera view in that shot. They have reportedly refused to surrender after being given an ultimatum by those Russians. As you read that article please note this quote:

“Ukraine and Russia should solve this politically, not this way,” said Viktor Tshaglei who got into several shouting matches with others. “Mr. Putin will unite the Ukrainian nation by his actions.”  

Sometimes it isn't about winning or losing the fight at hand. Sometimes it's enough to spit in their eye, dare them to take their best shot and standing firm in the face of hopeless odds. And the odds here are hopeless indeed.

My respects for the men standing fast in Perevalnoye. May your sacrifice not become necessary but if it does may God be with you.

 Не приймайте раді свої страхи, але твердо в умовах ворогів з все, що ви тримаєте Шановні стояти. Воїн класу стоїть з вами в дусі і коли-небудь буде вшановувати дух і мужність. Мені випала честь називати вас моїх братів.


02 March 2014

Sunday Kipling

It's a lazy day here at Casa Six. I spent it drooling over evil firearms and Lu took young Angus for a trail walk. Pizza and now a movie or to. One of the channels is running a Harold Ramis tribute and Ghostbusters I and II are on. I think it's a fine day to curl up with my two sweeties and let my brain turn into a puddle of mush. The coal mine will be there tomorrow.

Have a great Sunday everyone.

The Young British Soldier

When the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East
'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast,
An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased
   Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier.
      Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
      Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
      Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
         So-oldier OF the Queen!
Now all you recruities what's drafted to-day,
You shut up your rag-box an' 'ark to my lay,
An' I'll sing you a soldier as far as I may:
   A soldier what's fit for a soldier.
      Fit, fit, fit for a soldier . . .
First mind you steer clear o' the grog-sellers' huts,
For they sell you Fixed Bay'nets that rots out your guts --
Ay, drink that 'ud eat the live steel from your butts --
   An' it's bad for the young British soldier.
      Bad, bad, bad for the soldier . . .
When the cholera comes -- as it will past a doubt --
Keep out of the wet and don't go on the shout,
For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out,
   An' it crumples the young British soldier.
      Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier . . .
But the worst o' your foes is the sun over'ead:
You must wear your 'elmet for all that is said:
If 'e finds you uncovered 'e'll knock you down dead,
   An' you'll die like a fool of a soldier.
      Fool, fool, fool of a soldier . . .
If you're cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind,
Don't grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind;
Be handy and civil, and then you will find
   That it's beer for the young British soldier.
      Beer, beer, beer for the soldier . . .
Now, if you must marry, take care she is old --
A troop-sergeant's widow's the nicest I'm told,
For beauty won't help if your rations is cold,
   Nor love ain't enough for a soldier.
      'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier . . .
If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
To shoot when you catch 'em -- you'll swing, on my oath! --
Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er:  that's Hell for them both,
   An' you're shut o' the curse of a soldier.
      Curse, curse, curse of a soldier . . .
When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,
Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,
Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
   And march to your front like a soldier.
      Front, front, front like a soldier . . .
When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch;
She's human as you are -- you treat her as sich,
   An' she'll fight for the young British soldier.
      Fight, fight, fight for the soldier . . .
When shakin' their bustles like ladies so fine,
The guns o' the enemy wheel into line,
Shoot low at the limbers an' don't mind the shine,
   For noise never startles the soldier.
      Start-, start-, startles the soldier . . .
If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
   And wait for supports like a soldier.
      Wait, wait, wait like a soldier . . .
When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
   An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
      Go, go, go like a soldier,
      Go, go, go like a soldier,
      Go, go, go like a soldier,
         So-oldier of the Queen!

01 March 2014


Suffered my first DQ today. I somehow managed to drop my unloaded pistol on the ground after I shot the stage and unloaded. Second stage of 6. Contained herein is my list of excuses. You are free to guess which one fits.
-The sun was in my eyes.
-Lu distracted me by looking so sexy in her 511s.
-It was those hateful Tea Partiers fault for being hating and hatey.
-I ate a whole stick of butter for breakfast and my hands were still a bit greasy.
-I did it on purpose. Occupy The Range! Because the government still won't pay for my trigger control!
-My holster had a hole in the bottom.
-It wasn't my fault. I swear! Fox News just hates me because Racist!
-The American People wanted me to drop my gun. They always have and always will.
-Ooooh! Shiny!
-I'm a moron
Only one answer is correct. Please choose carefully as absolutely nothing is on the line. Except for my dignity.

The bathroom goes slowly but it's going. Drywall and concrete backerboard are up and the main floor is tiled. Next week the shower pan, threshold, tile and wall finishing. We may have a working bathroom by Friday. Provided I'm not distracted by something shiny (see above).

It appears that America's word, in this administration, is completely worthless. In exchange for their nuclear weapons we and Great Britain guaranteed Ukraine's sovereignty. Now that the Russian Bear has begun devouring that country we are reduced to strongly worded warnings and not much else. I guess it's the Ukrainians fault. They trusted us. Putin appears to be actively nut slapping our president. Go figure.

I find myself edging toward hatred for those who constantly beat the "Tribal Bad but Me no Tribal so Me Good" drum. Please do everyone a favor. Stop preaching at us and STFU. Tribal is the default for the entirety of the human race. Always has been always will be. Deal with reality. We all have our biases and preferences. To say you're above such things is both untruthful and narcissistic. Spare me. Your Wookie suit isn't luxurious, it's Unicorn hair and just about as believable. Someone is gonna make me burn my libertarian card, I just know it.

I passed my final exam for my USPSA RO course. Now I are a certified Range Officer. Hooray! After I DQ'd today I stayed on and ran the rest of the shooters through the remaining stages. Good practice but I have a ton to learn. (I'd still have rather shot)

I still haven't received my Switchview from MGM that I won at the UPOA 3 Gun last month. I'll give it another week before sniveling at them and writing nasty posts here.

I'm selling my Sig 1911. I just can't get it to run reliably and shoot it half as well as my P226. I know that some work on the pistol would help as would a lot more practice on my part. The problem is I'm basically a lazy man and will choose the easiest path every time.

In that same vein Lu has added another firearm to her arsenal. My Glock 35. I hate the thing with the purity of a thousand flaming suns. I refuse to so much as touch it lest it infect me with it's unworthiness. Fortunately Lu likes it and wants to add a .40 to her options so at least it's going to a good home.

Two big matches upcoming. The Berry's Steel Challenge in April and the Southwest Multigun in May. Plus I've signed up for a 3 Gun carbine course in June. It's being put on by Tactical Performance Center right here at my home range. Keith Garcia is the lead instructor and since he's probably the top rifle shooter on the 3Gun circuit I anticipate a great learning opportunity.

I hope you're all having a great weekend. It's a bit wet here but it's all good. Except for some cabin fever in a certain black dog.....