Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ted Kennedy


“Money can’t buy life.” (Last words of
Bob Marley)

Each of us gauges the world using our own personal units of measure. On January 6, 2009 my uncle,
Otha Logan Zachary, died. Just over seven months later, on August 25, 2009, Ted Kennedy died. Age wise they were a few years apart, both were in their 70s and both had been diagnosed at roughly the same time with the same form of deadly brain cancer, malignant glioma.

My Uncle and Ted Kennedy were at the opposite poles of the financial world. I’ll assume Ted Kennedy had the best health insurance that money could buy while I know my uncle did not. Ted Kennedy had the financial resources and clout needed to compensate for any health insurance shortcomings while my uncle did not. I’ll assume the best medical minds in the world were eager to treat Ted Kennedy and for my uncle I will assume those same experts were not available. If we knew for sure that both men had cancer in the same stage, we might be able to assume that the unlimited resources available to Ted Kennedy bought him over seven months of life that were unavailable to my uncle. As for the true portions of gravel and grain, I suppose it would only be significant if Ted Kennedy’s resources bought him a cure that was not available for my uncle and others. That cure wasn’t to be. If miracles truly happen, they come from a higher authority. Miracles are the only things left that are not for sale to our politicians. “Money can’t buy life.” Indeed.

Otha Logan Zachary, you are not forgotten. Rest in peace and say “Hi” to Ted for us if he is up there.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

2009 Late Summer Hiatus


Summer is winding down and I have many more projects left to do than I have summer-days left to complete them. In order to provide opportunity for my feeble mind to focus and the time for my feeble body to recover from the exertion, I will be going medieval for a while and leaving my computer off except to pay bills.

I will be taking a break from writing and reading blogs until September 1, 2009 (give or take a few days or so). It will be hard for me to resist peeking in on the endless talents of the blogosphere, but pressing obligations beckon. The blog comment moderation will be left on due to spam; any comments posted won’t be approved until I can get back online.

Thank you all for blessing me with visits. I wish you all health and prosperity and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Sincerely,

Zack

Blogroll notes August 9, 2009


Whenever I happen to run across a blog site that has my blog listed, I reciprocate by adding them to the sidebar list here. If I have missed anyone, please drop me an email and I will take corrective measures. Conversely, twice I have had people tell me to remove their site links from the sidebar list of this site, and there was one objection to my linking to a post at yet another site. If I have you linked and you are uncomfortable with it for any reason at all, please let me know and I will remove the link.

Recent reciprocal blogroll additions:

Mongo from over at Mal-fits has a talent for introspective prose and photography. He is a big tough looking gunslinger with a heart of gold; he is not above helping out those in need. There is much to see at his site.

9x19dan from over at The Rewst is a God-loving, prior-service Infantryman from the Great Plains who is now comfortably living the engineer life in Alabama. He is fond of most four-legged critters, a couple of two-legged critters, the pursuit of prowess in vegetative-growth, culinary distractions, peaceful time & things that go Bang.

M.D. Creekmore from over at TheSurvivalistBlog.net is a practicing prepper with many good ideas. A few years a go he got sick of being another rat in the rat race-so he left, bought two acres of land off the grid for $2,000 and set up a 26-foot travel trailer. For power, he uses a small generator, three solar panels, and two 40-gallon propane tanks. As a teenager, he studied Shotokan Karate and earned his black belt in three years. He is a certified gunsmith and first-aid CPR instructor.

Thank you to all for the links and to all who visit here.

Zack

Home security lighting

That’s another amateur home-electrician project out of the way. Four stylish new security light-fixtures have replaced the cheap ratty old coach lights on the front and back of the house, one on the porch, one on each side of the garage door, and one by the patio. Trying to find something that did not detract from the looks of the house was a pain, but I think the new fixtures are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. They produce enough light to act as a crime deterrent while accenting the house and the landscape, but not enough light to irritate the neighbors. Each of the new fixtures can be set to light from dusk-to-dawn via a photocell or light via a motion detector. For now, everything in the front of the house is set for dusk-to-dawn while the rear is set for motion detection. Now I won’t need to remember to turn the outside lights off and on manually. For the past decade, our house was the only one on the street that would leave exterior lights on all night long. Since July 1 of this year, when police arrested residents of a neighboring house for burglarizing cars in the darkness, EVERY HOUSE is lighting up.

My guess is that there are no failsafe crime-prevention methods; the best we can settle for is to be vigilant and invest in deterrence.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Snubnews .38 part 003


Back on May 18 of this year,
Average Joe did a great job reviewing a Ruger LCR range rental (click here). Average Joe has quite an archive of great reviews and photos; it is a site well worth visiting often.

Michael de Bethencourt discusses speedloaders
here and here (including a video of blogger JayG speedloading), and he reviews the Clipdraw here. Whenever I use a double action revolver at the range, I always use speedloaders. I’m not being overly critical when I say that I suck using speedloaders; I need to practice the steps exactly as Michael has outlined.

In a July 21, 2009 Gun Digest article, Massad Ayoob discusses
the tactics of pocket carry (click here).


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Smith & Wesson Model 442 Airweight Centennial





Shown above with a Matt Del Fatti PH3 holster, the S&W 442 Centennial Airweight is a light and easy pocket carry.

Why would any snubslinger buy two revolvers of the same make and model? Well, I purchased the older of these two as soon as S&W came out with the 442 Centennial sometime in the early 1990s (I’m too lazy tonight to dig through my files to find the exact purchase date. EDIT: It was November of 1993). Over the years I hammered the little revolver hard and often with many rounds of standard pressure and +P ammunition. Even though it exhibited no symptoms, I was worried that I was wearing it out. Since it was one of my favorite guns of all time, I decided to buy another as a spare while they were still available without that infernal internal lock
(NOTE: S&W is once again selling the 442 WITHOUT the lock).

At a nominal 15 ounces, the 442 is as light as I care to go with any .38 Special revolver. Yes, I have fired the super-light S&W models and they do not bring me sentient bliss. When the cartridges in the cylinder have the bullets shake loose from their cases because of recoil, my unprofessional opinion is that the handgun is far too light for the load.

For the 442, my preferred non +P practice load is Federal AE38K 130 grain FMJ, which has roughly the same recoil and point of aim as my preferred summertime defense load, the standard pressure Federal P38M 125 grain Nyclad hollowpoint. If the bad guys are wearing winter clothing the .38 Special may need more of the punch provided by any of the major name brand +P 158-grain lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoints. I find the 442 very manageable with +P loads but I will not say that they are a great pleasure for me to shoot. In order not to aggravate the aches of age, when the season calls for +P ammo I usually start pocketing the heavier S&W 640.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Snubnews .38 part 002


Grant Cunningham describes lighting off
a .357 magnum SP101 in a confined space (click here), and mentions an improvement in the quality of Ruger’s SP101 (click here).

Glenn Bartley gives his thoughts on the
Charter Arms Undercover Model 13820 (click here).

Michael de Bethencourt talks us through
revolver tactical reloads (click here).

James Rummel discusses
handgun calibers for defense (click here).

End of the second year of retirement



Two years ago and one day ago, August 3, 2007 was my last day of gainful employment. So far, early retirement has been great. There are no regrets whatsoever; there is always plenty of work and recreation to fill my days. In fact, it is downright difficult fitting everything there is to do into a schedule. Currently I am installing new exterior security lighting at the house; the police recently arrested some of my neighbors for breaking into cars during the wee hours of the morning.

If you find the time,
please click here for last year’s blog entry celebrating the end of my first year of retirement.

Thanks for stopping by!

Zack


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Snub Training survey 01


Everyday a sizeable number of gun lovers flatter this humble blog site with a visit. I’ll assume a goodly number of those visitors legally carry concealed handguns, and that at least a few of those choose to pack some form of snub nose revolver.
Michael Bethencourt of the Snub Training blog is doing a survey; he would like to know what your snub choice is (please click here to participate).