Blogging to you from the northeastern badlands of Lake County, Illinois USA, WELCOME TO THE NEXT CHAPTER! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! ALL FORMS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ARE ADDICTIVE; EXCESSIVE USE MAY LEAD TO MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS, REDUCED JOB PRODUCTIVITY, LACK OF SLEEP, SOCIAL ALIENATION, BIRTH DEFECTS, BLINDNESS, SEXUAL IMPOTENCY, AND / OR DEVIANT FUNAMBULISM. NOTICE: NO GUNS OR AMMUNITION ARE FOR SALE VIA THIS BLOG. (No, I will not trade my Colt Python for some lubricious adventures with your hot looking wife and a future first-round draft pick.) CAVEAT: This blog is not suitable for viewing while at work, while inside a public library, while inside any public or private school, or while inside any public or private restroom. Do not view this blog while driving a motor vehicle or while piloting an aircraft. Viewing this blog may be illegal inside the EU, Chicago, and other parts of the Third World. THIS BLOG CONTAINS (albeit often very childish) ADULT-CONTENT. DISCLAIMER: This blog is a hobby, it is not a livelihood. Even though much of what I blog about relates to firearms collecting and recreational shooting, I am not an expert (by any measure) on any facet of guns, shooting, hunting, or personal defense. Entries at this blog are akin to good old-fashioned campfire chats or post hunt bourbon-fueled barroom-bluster; I offer no opinion on what you should or should not purchase, or what you should be using or doing. What does or does not work for me could be rugged-country-miles away from your tastes and your needs. All products, places, and miscellany that I review for this blog are purchased / rented / leased at retail price by me. I do not accept payment, gifts, discounts, freebies, products on loan, demon alcohol, drugs, plea-bargains, probation, parole, Papal Blessings, Presidential Pardons, or sexual favors for doing any review or blog post. TRACKING COOKIES: Google et al stick tracking cookies on everybody. If you are online, you are being spied on via one method or another, for one reason or another; 'nuff said. You may be able to minimize your online DNA residue by using Tor and Duck Duck Go. Vive la liberté! Vive all y'all! Ante omnia armari. To each of you, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it!
Please consider supporting RECURRING UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS of ALL FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL POLITICIANS (including but not limited to school records, acquaintances, employment history, fingerprints, DNA, Social Media, financial, drug, and psychiatric screenings). Please consider supporting TERM LIMITS; political power corrupts.

'We the Politicians of the United States, in Order to avoid a more perfect Union, manipulate Justice, destroy domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common offense, promote general Warfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Progeny, do blaspheme and eviscerate this Constitution of the United States of America." ("Zack," circa 1966 -1970)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

NRA Board of Directors

My NRA Board of Directors ballot is now stamped and ready to mail

Thanks to sound recommendations made at some of the gunny blogs, I was able to mark 18 candidates. The ballot allows for 25, but for some reason many candidates did not have anything pro or con written about them; I hate to throw darts to choose names.

I have done my duty.

James A. Zachary Jr.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stop the pending "Assault Weapons Ban"

To those politicians supporting ANY ANTI-GUN LAW, including any “assault weapons ban” I PROMISE TO VOTE AGAINST YOU AND I PROMISE TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST YOU. If you are appointed instead of elected, I will oppose whoever appointed you. That is my pledge.

“It’s only common sense!” If the existing gun laws do not work, new gun laws will not work. Quit wasting our time. Don’t pass new laws turning us into criminals just because you are impotent against Mexican drug lords. Quit lying to the citizens. Secure our borders. “It’s only common sense!”

In case you haven’t heard, the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting.

Election Day in November of 2010 is not too far off. Go ahead. Vote for an “assault weapons ban.” Make my day. Maybe you’ll be reelected, maybe you won’t.

Dear Republicans, quit taking the vote of gun-owners for granted.

Dear Democrats, don’t underestimate the voting power of pissed off gun-owners.

Dear gun-owners, bless you if you are voters, and please learn to vote if you are not. Don’t ever think that your rights cannot vanish. If you are a big talker and don’t vote, you are only breaking wind.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Barney Frank versus the Northern Trust

Barney Frank is getting all horny over the Northern Trust throwing a lavish promotion for its PGA event. Barney needs to shut the hell up.

First, the Northern Trust is NOT a troubled bank, it was not one of the players causing the meltdown of our financial system.

For some reason, perhaps it was a rare attempt to reward GOOD BEHAVIOR, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke and former Treasury Secretary Paulson ASKED the Northern Trust to take a share of the TARP funds. If Barney Frank wants to do some bitch slapping, he needs to hunt down Paulson and Bernanke.

The Northern Trust is part of the solution and NOT part of the problem. Under TARP, Northern Trust sold the U.S. Treasury $1.6 billion in preferred stock and warrants. The company pays the Treasury $19.7 million in dividends each quarter. The U.S. Government will get no less than 100% of OUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS back from the Northern Trust. My guess is the U.S. Government will make quite a profit on the deal and it will help offset losses on the TARP money “loaned” to the troubled banks.

The Northern Trust’s PGA event is “business as usual” and requires no apology. It is good for their business, and it is good for the charities that rely on the Northern Trust.

As an interesting historical perspective, on March 6, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt
closed all the banks in the United States. When they reopened, the people in line outside the Northern bank offices were there to deposit money instead of withdraw it. Some things haven’t changed.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Legendary holster maker Lou Alessi has passed away.

Another legend is gone.
Louis F. Alessi

Born in Buffalo, NY on Oct. 28, 1944

Departed on Feb. 21, 2009 and resided in (G) Getzville, NY.

ALESSI - Louis F. February 21, 2009. Beloved husband of Idamarie (nee Taglialegami) Alessi; beloved father of Alexandra P. Alessi; son-in-law of Martha Taglialegami; brother-in-law of Kenneth (LuAnn) Moliterno; uncle of Matthew Moliterno. Friends received Monday and Tuesday 2-4 and 7-9 PM at the GRECO FUNERAL HOME, 2909 Elmwood Ave. (near Sheridan Dr.), where Funeral Services will be held Wednesday at 9 AM and in St. Pius X Church at 10 AM. Mr. Alessi was a Vietnam War veteran. Share your condolences

Friday, February 20, 2009

Smith and Wesson Walther PPK and PPK/S Recall

Smith & Wesson has identified a condition that may exist in certain PPK and PPK/S pistols which may permit a round to be discharged without the trigger being pulled. When the manual safety is disengaged, Smith & Wesson’s Product Engineering Group has determined that the possibility exists in certain firearms that lowering the hammer may cause a chambered round to fire.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More intrigue from The Banana Republic of Illinois

Roland Burris has been kind enough to provide support for my contention that ALL ILLINOIS POLITICIANS ARE CORRUPT. The FBI should wiretap every stinking one of them. The Burris story is below.

Illinois GOP leader calls on Sen. Burris to resign
By RUPA SHENOY, Associated Press Writer

Just as Illinois was moving past the agony and embarrassment of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's ousting, the fellow Democrat whom Blagojevich appointed to the U.S. Senate was hearing calls for his own resignation Sunday amid allegations he lied to legislators.

Freshman Sen. Roland Burris released an affidavit on Saturday that contradicts his statements last month to a House committee investigating Blagojevich's impeachment.

"I can't believe anything that comes out of Mr. Burris at this point," Rep. Jim Durkin, the impeachment committee's ranking Republican, said at a news conference Sunday. "I think it would be in the best interest of the state if he resigned because I don't think the state can stand this anymore."
(CLICK HERE to read the full article.)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

“Buy her diamonds,” say the commercials on radio, television, and the internet. Cram it, it ain’t gonna happen. I don’t care how much these commercials try to shame me into feeling cheap or unsuccessful, there ain’t gonna be any Valentine’s Diamond. Nor will there be a new Lexus in the driveway, wrapped in a big red heart-shaped ribbon.

Many women, if not most, hate Valentine’s Day. Not having a significant other, or having one that doesn’t deliver a gift, can be painful. Valentine’s Day is a cruel day of angst. Even if she has a love, and he has righteously shown up with a dozen roses year after year, eventually she will wonder why the loser hasn’t bought her a Rolex like Mr. Successful in the TV commercials.

The only guys that like Valentine’s Day are trying to get laid. Most guys hate Valentine’s Day. Roses can jump to $100 a dozen in some areas, and giving the obligatory heart of chocolates is cliché and considered cheap. When she says she doesn’t want anything, you guys best know that you had better show up with something, and you had better hope she did not see that damn Lexus commercial.

The legend says St. Valentine died by execution. I am sure it wasn’t just revenge for womanizing. Once Valentine started giving out the gifts, he was doomed; the other men knew women would expect gifts forever. If Val had quietly jumped from bed to bed, he would have died a worn out old man. Nope, he just had to start handing out his flowery business cards. The horny little bastard got what was coming to him; that short, fat, bald, incontinent hit man named Cupid put an arrow through Valentine’s cheatin’ heart.

We now need to find out if the fool that started Sweetest Day is still around, and if he is, we need to lynch his sorry ass.

With eternal love, and all of that other saccharin rot, “Your Valentine,”

James A. Zachary Jr.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chicago: Third most miserable city in the USA

According to Forbes,
Chicago rates at the third most miserable city in the USA (click here to read the full article).

Below are some highlights.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois, which includes Chicago, has been very busy in recent years. They convicted 385 public officials of crimes over the past decade, a per capita rate that puts it in the bottom third of big U.S. metros.

The Northern District office boasts of recent successful prosecutions, including "a corrupt former governor of Illinois, Chicago officials who rigged city hiring, individuals who lied about their support of foreign terrorism, corporate executives who cheated public shareholders and traditional organized-crime bosses who were responsible for notorious murders."

Illinois' record of public corruption, particularly in the governor's office, is staggering. Five of the past nine governors have been charged with crimes, and three, as of now, have served time in prison. Whether former Gov. Blagojevich will do any jail time is still to be determined”

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rossi 20-Gauge Double Barrel Coach Gun

Here is a
Rossi (Overland, AKA Overlund), 20-gauge side-by-side shotgun, a nice little coach gun I picked up as part of an estate sale several years ago. It will chamber 2 3/4" or 3" shells, and has a 20" barrel. Made in Brazil and imported until somewhere around 1988, it was also available in 12-gauge. It has functional dual hammers and dual triggers. There is a definite choke in the barrel, but there is no way for me to measure how much choke; it seems a bit more than improved cylinder but that is just a guess.

Participants of
“Cowboy Action Shooting,” aka CAS, are the most common owners these guns. Some people think they are ideal for home defense, others think they are an abomination. Although it is not a Lupara, its legal compactness could have some advantages for a defender. Some feel the external hammers make it safer and offer tactical advantages while others disagree. My humble opinion is that almost any gun can serve for home defense if the owner does his or her part. What is ideal for others may not be ideal for you. Some say the 20-gauge is too light for home defense, other say the lower recoil is an asset. All choices are for you to make. It is nice to have options. Click here for article evaluating the 20-gauge for home defense.

I have read where some people have used these Rossi guns heavily with no problems, and I have also read where the external portion of the firing pin peens readily; one writer said 50 rounds, another said in 250 rounds. If you are considering buying and using a gun that is no longer made, be forewarned that repair parts may be difficult to arrange.

For safety reasons, in 1960
Federal began to set the standard in the U.S.A. of using the color yellow for 20-gauge shotshells. Some may notice the blue color of the 2 ¾’’ 20-gauge shotshells in the photo. These 0 buckshot loads were made in Mexico.

Click here to read some history of the shotshell.

EDIT 5/16/2009

This blog entry gets a lot of attention, and the Rossi gun is no longer available factory new. If you are considering a coach gun for home defense, take a good look at the Stoeger Double Defender as profiled on The Firearm Blog (Click here).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hard Times Investing: Update

During the months of December 2008 and January 2009, I did not buy any equity funds. The markets in December looked too much like a false rally for me to have any interest. In January the markets did not drop low enough for me to squeeze the buy trigger.

Many pundits are saying that the markets are making a bottom, and that we should be making purchases in the S&P-500 range of 750 – 850. I get a little nervous when pundits are nearing a consensus on a market bottom; it often means we will suffer another 10% - 20% drop. Until there is substantial credit available for investors to buy on margin, our markets will not sustain a rally. Leverage is what makes the big money in investing, and it moves markets. For now, the “range traders” remain hard at work.

Just for the fun of it, I will act as a public fool and make the dire prediction that the markets will bottom around the range of 675 for the S&P-500. When the headlines read, “Markets doubt Obama,” and the Obama administration starts spending a great deal of airtime defending their actions, the markets will have hit a bottom. I seem to recall reading that headline during the tenures of all of the Presidents that served during my lifetime. The markets turned upwards at that point for most of them.

Currently my portfolio is down 18% from its high point. With my mix of funds, I believe the portfolio is positioned to be substantially in positive territory by the time the S&P-500 reaches 1200. That would not be too bad of a recovery for me, considering the S&P-500 has crashed from the mid 1500s. 49% of my portfolio is cash. Should the markets decide that this truly is the bottom and go up from here, I will do quite well. If the market trades sideways for the next year or more, I may attempt a couple of short term “range trades.” If the market drops to the range of 750 for the S&P-500, I will most likely buy. If the S&P-500 drops to 675, I will likely buy some more.

If you see me selling my belongings at the roadside, you can safely assume that I was very wrong. Several short and mid-term worst-case scenarios worry me.

1) Another terrorist attack on U.S. soil
2) War with Iran or Korea (or both)
3) The Democrats in Congress continue emasculating their own President, leading to a sequel of the Jimmy Carter regime.
4) This insane orgy of spending on bailouts and economic-stimulus not working as intended. If it does work, we will likely run headlong into an inflationary period that will shorten the life of a newly stimulated economy. Yes, there is a strong possibility of a whipsaw, boom and bust economic cycle.

Remember, nothing I wrote in this entry is advice, so keep you lawyer on a leash.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Waiting for the Obasm

The economy is still naked and unresponsive. As far as stimulus, we all are waiting to see the true size of Obama’s package, which Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank lovingly helped to prepare. They promise it as being huge compared to Bush’s package. Time will tell whether bigger is better. Bush’s idea was to stimulate with multiple short jabs and plenty of promises. For the most part, he let his aging staff do the work while he slept. Obama says that for anything to explode, he needs to move fast and provide multiple hard strokes aimed at injecting stimulus into a variety of areas, including toxic assets. He says we can expect some pain before things begin to flow smoothly and that results will take time to trickle down. So far, we have seen little response to his dry lip service. Obama is reluctant to let Senators have a hand enhancing his package by adding pork, so for now it just hangs there. Until there is something solid, we can do nothing but wait. Bush or Obama, big package or small, fast or slow, as always we the taxpayers will eventually get it in the end.

Thank you, Illinois Sheriff’s Association.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Harrington and Richardson Topper

Watching the highlights of the Clint Smith defensive shotgun / firearms videos brought a Cheshire Cat grin to my face. There was a time in my life when the only heavy artillery I could afford for hunting and home defense was a single-shot break action shotgun. One of those old guns I still have, an approximately 27 years old, single barrel 12 gauge H&R Topper, much like the one Clint Smith was demonstrating in his videos. I even used a stock mounted shell holder similar to what Clint had on his demo gun. My Kolpin shell holder has lost all elasticity over the past quarter century and no longer will fit snug to the stock, but I still keep it even though it has no tactical or practical use. I’ve made a note to buy a new one.

Back then, my hunting companions were forgiving, no one every kidded me about “the poor man’s gun” although I referred to it as my “peasant pheasant gun.” I sported it for wing shooting while my companions all carried expensive Browning shotguns. No, I will not lie and say that I shot as well with my Topper as they did with their classy guns; I am a lousy wing-shot with any gun, but for me hitting a running rabbit was usually a sure thing with the Topper.

As a kid, I noted that almost every home we visited in Tennessee had a single-shot 12 gauge leaning in a corner. Every barn also seemed to have one. My parents grew up in an era when a shotgun often kept a family from going hungry. Poor farmers made due with the basics, and the single-shot shotgun was often all they could afford. They are the most basic utility shotguns available and their simplicity is a thing of beauty to me. They are a part of my family heritage.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lawyer Up

No matter how innocent you believe you are, whenever it comes time to talk to the police, it is imperative that you
remember your constitutional right to SHUT THE HELL UP until your lawyer advises you otherwise.

EDIT: The highlighted end of the above sentence is a link to a site with a couple of very informative videos. Nope, I'm not in any trouble.  

EDIT  2/13/2016:  The old link went dead so I relinked elsewhere.


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