Wednesday, December 13, 2017

First Look

In 2004, Belle and I bought this place.  It came with a spare lot, which we though would be just perfect for a shop/party area/entertaining spot.  In 2014 we took up Cowboy Fast Draw and wanted out own indoor range where we could host shoots, and have club activities without worrying about the weather.

Dreams do come true, and the building is coming up.

Dreams do come true.  In God's time.

.357 Magnum, Heavy Bullets, Dwell Time

The .357 Smith and Wesson Magnum is one of the more interesting cartridges I've ever encountered.  A shooter can go from mild to wild in the caliber, shooting everything from mild wadcutter target loads to full-house magnum loads, and do it in the same cylinder of cartridges if he wants to.

Back in my early law enforcement days, the revolver was king, and the .357 magnum ruled the roost.  And, we noticed something.  That fixed-sight revolvers were generally regulated for a standard 158 grain bullet traveling about 1200 fps.  When we changed to the 125 grain hollowpoint, the revolver tended to shoot low.  On a man-sized silhouette, shots aimed at the chest would tend to hit about the belt buckle, depending on the range.  We finally realized that what we were seeing we defined as "dwell time".  Those little 125 grain bullets were screaming, at over 1400 fps and while the little bullets had less momentum recoil, they were a lot faster, so the barrel of the gun tended to rise less while the bullet was actually in the barrel.  Hence, they shot low.

The converse was also true.  Heavy cast bullet loads tended to shoot higher.  If you had a 180 grain bullet traveling close to 1200 fps, the gun had more recoil due to the heavier bullet and the barrel rose more while the bullet was traveling down the barrel, so the revolver tended to print the bullets higher on the target.  Dwell time.  Pure physics.  While the bullet is in the barrel, the barrel is rising, and the bullet goes higher.

Those of us with adjustable sights simply adjusted the sights.  Those with fixed sights either found a load the printed to the point of aim, or made adjustments based on their knowledge of the gun.  Either way, you had to hit what you aimed at.

Several years ago, I stumbled on a heavy 180 grain load that used L'il Gun powder.  I talk about it here.  It's a recoil hoss.  My son tried it in his Uberti Cattleman, and reported that it shoots a bit high.  I cogitated on it, not realizing what I was seeing, and told him I'd think about it.    Today, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Dwell time.  I happen to have a box of factory 125 grain fodder, which generally shoots low in a standard .357 magnum.  Lighter bullet, faster travel, less dwell time.

He's coming up this weekend, and I told him to bring the Uberti.  Maybe we'll get a chance to do some shooting.

Jones Wins

It looks like Doug Jones beat Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race.  It is instructive to look at the results and study the numbers.

Jones did better with women, black, and young voters.   With all the talk of sex scandals, it's no surprise that Jones bested Moore with women and young voters.  The groping/harassment scandals make a lot of waves in an election and we see this here.  What we also see is that black voters cast ballots almost in a block.  This is nothing new, but if Republicans want to do better in tight races, they've got to reach out to black voters.

Here we see the vote broken down by race.  It's the same story as the table above, and it tells the tale of who voted in this race.  This reminds me of the last Louisiana governor election.  It came down to the Democrat, John Bel Edwards, and the Republican, David Vitter.  I would not vote for Edwards, as I believed that he was wrong for Louisiana.  I could not vote for Vitter because when elected to the US Senate, he ran on a family values platform and was immediately embroiled in a prostitution scandal.  So, I sat it out. 

The Democrat won, and the Democrats chortled over the win, but the fact of the matter was that Vitter was a piss-poor candidate.  Edwards, being the Democrat that he is, is trying to flush the state down the budget hole.  Taxes are up, spending is up, and the state is in a perpetual budget crisis.  Hopefully, the Republicans will field a better candidate next time.

Alabama will get a do-over in six years.  Hopefully, the Republicans will field a better candidate.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Some Good News

Some Good News for a change.  The American economy is booming.

CAIR? Who Cares?

In minor, amusing news, it seems that the head poo-bah of CAIR, a group that worships a pedophile prophet, is moaning about Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 
 Nihad Awad, executive director and founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), argued that President Trump is “empowering Christian religious extremism in the United States” by announcing his intention to move the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
To my mind, it's a no-brainer.  Jerusalem was the capital of Israel for several millennia before the Arab occupation of 637.  The Israelis took it back in 1967.  I wouldn't blame the Jews at all if they tore down the mosque and re-established their Temple. 

I don't have much sympathy for CAIR.

Conservative Woke

I've seen this "woke" thing bandied about, and evidently, if you read the Huffington Post regularly, you are "woke".

If you are conservative and you understand that when you vote conservative, the other side considers you a hateful, racist, misogynistic, LGBTQWTF baiting, NRA card-toting, spiteful ignoramus, then you become Conservative Woke.
And when you’re conservative woke, you’re ready to deploy the most powerful non-bullet firing weapon in your liberty-loving arsenal – your devastating capability not to give a damn what the liberals and their Conservative, Inc., cruise-shilling Benedict Arnold buddies say.
If I don't care what they think about me, they got nothing.  And frankly, that's where I am at this point in my life.  Frankly, I don't care what they think about me.    I'm no longer afraid of being called a racist, because I know it's not true, Their taunts are meaningless.  Whether it is free health-care, or immigration, or voting fraud, or tax reform, or any other liberal knee-jerk topic, I really don't care what they think.  They've lost their power.

I've argued with friends and acquaintances who think that we should be more liberal, and I've shown them where their arguments fall apart.  It's all a pipe dream, designed to keep the liberal icons in power.  That's what it is about. Power, and I refuse to give them any power over me.

Their arguments don't make any sense and their taunts are meaningless.

Upddate** I sense a movement starting.  John Hawkins, over at Townhall, talks about this very thing.
There are always people in D.C. who think they have a better idea of what to do with my life and my money than I do. I don’t need any “help” from the government and I’m not okay with the government using my money to help people who should be helping themselves. When I want to give to charity, tithe to my church or buy Christmas gifts for a poor family, I do it. We may all have to pool our money to pay for street signs, the police and the military, but I don’t see any reason my money should go to people on welfare for years, the families of anchor babies or scammers doing Crossfit right before the government hands them a disability check for their “intolerable” pain. Go work for a living like the rest of us.
Go, as they say, and read the whole thing. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

10 Things

I'm glad I don't date anymore.  I've been happily married for a long time, and while I take my gal on dates, it certainly can't be considered a "first date".  But, Insty leads me to an article on 10 things every intersectional feminist should ask on a first date.

It deserves a good fisking, sho here goes:

1. Do you believe that Black Lives Matter?  Yeah, like I believe that white lives matter.

2. What are your thoughts on gender and sexual orientation?  There are two genders.  That is simple biology.  Sexual orientation is more complex.  Just so we're clear, can I see your boobs?

3. How do you work to dismantle sexism and misogyny in your life?    Are you going to pick up the tab?  Or do you intend to perpetuate societal conventions?

4. What are your thoughts on sex work?  I had to give it up when I turned 40.

5. Are you a supporter of the BDS movement?  No, President Bush has been gone a long time.  (to the waiter)  Check, please!

6. What is your understanding of settler colonialism and indigenous rights?  Most of that happened locally, long before I was born.  However, the indig folks nearby seem to be doing well with the casinos.   Do you prefer blackjack, or craps?

7. Do you think capitalism is exploitative?  Not nearly as exploitative as socialism.  Have you noticed any toilet paper shortages around here? 

8. Can any human be illegal?  Oh, yeah!  If you don't believe that, walk over near the waiters station and holler "Immigration Enforcement" and see how long it takes us to get our drink order.  We'll be in here on Wednesday morning, waiting for them to hire new staff.

9. Do you support Muslim Americans and non-Muslim people from Islamic countries?  No, I'd prefer that they support themselves.  I'm tired of paying taxes to support people who come over here and won't work to make a living.

10. Does your allyship include disabled folks?  Hell, some of my best friends are disabled folks. 

Do people actually talk like this on a first date?  But, my answers to the first three would probably have her running for the door.

The Death of Daniel Shaver

The trial is over, so we can talk about this.  The Wiki article is here and I'll excerpt from it to save a lot of typing.  It is important to remember that the Vegas shooting happened after this incident, while this incident was percolating through the courts.    Bit, the background goes something like this:
According to a police report, Daniel Leetin Shaver (December 29, 1989 – January 18, 2016), a pest-control worker and resident of Granbury, Texas, had been staying at a Mesa La Quinta Inn & Suites on business. He invited two acquaintances to his room for drinks. There he showed them a scoped air rifle he was using to exterminate birds inside grocery stores. At one point the gun was pointed outside his hotel window, prompting a witness to notify the front desk; the police were immediately called. Upon arrival, police gave Shaver and his acquaintances detailed orders for several minutes, with frequent admonitions that failing to comply with them would get them shot. Eventually, Shaver was ordered to crawl on the floor towards them. While complying with their request, Shaver, who was intoxicated and could be heard sobbing, begging officers, "Please don't shoot," brought his hands toward his waist. Brailsford yelled at Shaver that if Shaver did anything whatsoever that deviated from his instructions he would shoot him and he probably wouldn't survive. The officer told Shaver to put his hands up in the air and not to bring them down for any reason. A few seconds later, the officer ordered Shaver to crawl towards him, to which Shaver complied. Shaver then reached his right hand back towards his waistband, at which point Brailsford can be heard yelling "Don't!" while simultaneously opening fire with his AR-15 rifle, striking Shaver five times and killing him almost instantly. Shaver was unarmed.
The body camera footage is disturbing.  Watch it if you must but be forewarned.  It's graphic and a main dies.  At trail, Officer Brailsford was acquitted of all charges, but has to live with the fact that the took a man's life. 

I've been a police officer for over 35 years, and it has long been my practice to refrain from second-guessing other police officers.  If you weren't there, you don't understand the dynamic of what might happen at any given time.  Lots of people are second-guessing the scenario and that is dangerous.    But, we can learn from other people's misfortune, and while Shaver's death is regrettable, it may in the end, save lives.  You can bet that police academies all over the country are watching the video, trying to learn lessons that can be applied.

I often tell people that my main job is to be the adult in the room.  When folks call the police, they're either scared, or hurt, or in some sort of emotional distress.  It's our job to provide a calming influence, to defuse a crisis, to take control of the situation.  Our job is sometimes dangerous, but we have to be in control of ourselves before we can hope to control anyone else, much less to control what might be a lethal encounter. 

As I watched the video, it seemed to me that everyone was scared.  And, it's okay to be scared in a lethal force encounter.  But, we have to overcome the fear, take a breath and become heroic, which is simply doing your job when you are scared spitless.  In my career, I've been involved in two lethal force encounters.  Luckily, my partner and I had each other's backs and we got through it with no one being harmed.  And, in my career, I've buried two good friends and a small number of acquaintances who did not survive lethal force encounters.    I know how quickly these things can go wrong, horribly, irretrievably wrong.  Yet, we studied these encounters and learned from them.  In the end, they saved lives.

So, in the end, the death of Daniel Shaver, as regrettable as it is, will save lives.    This may be small comfort, but it is the best we can do.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Small Town Christmas

Belle and I took a couple of the grandids to the Buckeye Christmas parade this afternoon.  A small-town parade, we had the high school marching band, we had horses and old cars and floats and a fire truck.

I have a grandson, Zach, in that band somewhere.  He plays the trombone.  I never did get a clear shot at him.

But, the floats were nice, the Shiners had their little go-cart trucks, and the candy thrown to the kids was excessive.  Our youngest, Lucas, managed to score the bigger portion of a Wal-Mart bag full of candy and gee-dunk.  After the parade, we took him to his momma, who was amazed at the amount of tooth-rot he was bringing in the house.  He'll be on a sugar high for a week.

Small town Christmas parades.  I love 'em..

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Army-Navy Game

Today, the Black Knights of the USMA will face off against the Midshipmen of USNA.


That is all.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Rye? Why Not?

Casting about on the liquor aisle, I wanted something different, unlike my usual bottom-shelf gut-rot bourbon.  I'm a bourbon drinker and consider even the gut-rot to be better than most Canadian whiskeys.  I'm not a snob, but I know what I like.  I was looking for Buffalo Trace, which I've heard good things about, but the store didn't carry it.  Then, I spotted this.

Why the hell not?  Knob Creek makes good bourbon, so why not rye?  I bought the bottle and tok it home, and I'll get into it this weekend.  Maybe when the boys are over on Sunday. 

I divide my whiskey's into two major groups.  Those that get mixed with cola, and those that don't.  Knob Creek doesn't get mixed with anything.  It's just fine neat, and over ice.  I looked for reviews on this rye whiskey, and Men's Journal gives it high marks.  We'll see.

The Weather

Mark D says in comments:
Those of us from the Northern states get quite a kick out of it when Southerners shut down over an amount of snow which wouldn't be a valid excuse to be late to work up here.
Then again, we freak out over 60 mph winds......
Heh!  I recall when I was a shavetail Lieutenant at Fort Knox.  Middle of January, 1977.  My platoon sergeant mentioned one afternoon that it looked like it might snow.  I had grown up in the Deep South and had only seen snow infrequently.  Sure enough, the next morning there was snow on the ground.  I called the company to see what's up?

The First Sergeant answered the phone.  "Get your ass in here, Lieutenant.   The Army is working today."

And, we worked every day that it snowed.  Shortly thereafter I bought a used Volkswagen Beetle off the PX parking lot for $500.00.  That thing was great in the snow and ice.  And, it was so cheap that I wasn't worried if I slid into something.  Two years later I sold it for the same $500.

So, yeah, Mark, we have different weather traumas in different areas of the country.  If it snows in the Deep South, almost everything shuts down until folks can catch their breath and take stock of the situation.


UPDATE:  At 6:00 a.m., the superintendent finally decided that schools should be closed today.  Good call.  Folks in Louisiana simply are not prepared to deal with snow.  It's not a skill set that we have ever adopted.  When it snows, we shut down.

The weather channel is reporting thunder snow in Baton Rouge and I know that my daughter-in-law, a Florida native, is thrilled.  The weather channel is reporting that this is the first year they can remember, where Corpus Christi got show before Boston.

It's snowing in central Louisiana on the morning of December 8th.

Yeah, really.

No word yet on whether school will be closed today.  In another half-hour, I'll pull on my boots.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

More on Comey's Disgrace

Remember the post from yesterday?  I'm not the only one who has noticed.

From Townhall.
Add this infamy to all the other crimes of the liberal establishment – its poisonous influence has converted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in the eyes of the American people, from a proud institution dedicated to upholding the law into just another suppurating bureaucratic pustule. Where once we saw FBI agents as heroes – many of us ancients grew up watching Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., every Sunday night – now we see careerist hacks looking to suck-up to the Democrat elite while bending the law and subverting justice to do it. Truly, everything liberals touch dies.
It's a hellluva note, but I have a topic label entitled Comey's Disgrace.

So.... If....

Big Al Franken says that he is going to resign in a couple of weeks.  Yeah, okay.

So, if Roy Moore wins the Alabama race, is Franken going to walk-back his resignation?

This whole thing is getting curiouser and curiouser. 

I know that folks I'm talking to are mildly amused by this whole shenanigan, and that the #MeToo movement has claimed some high-profile victims, but lots of folks are getting tired of all the 10, 20, 30 year old claims.  As amusing as it is, it's starting to get tedious.

Thursday's Thoughts

If I'm reading the weather map correctly, it's snowing in Dallas.  Locally, we're expecting a wintry mix tonight,whatever that means.

In the early morning, the bets are running about even as to whether or not Fanken will resign or hang on.  It'll be interesting to watch, whatever the outcome.

In CFDA news, an early morning email from the commish, talks about holster angle and how we are going to interpret the rules on that.  Last year, at Louisiana State, we had a very experienced holster maker at the equipment-check table looking at holster angle.  From what I'm reading in the email attachment, I'll probably have to buy an angle gauge to have on-hand this year for the competition.

Louisiana is the second titled championship of the competition season.  I'll have to watch closely how Texas State handles the new rule changes.

The motto of the CFDA is Safety, Fun, Competition.  We list competition third in the motto for a specific reason.    I understand that we have to have rules.  But, if we're not having fun, then what's the point?  Still, there are enough people concerned about holster angle that the Commish feels a need to address it.