Blogging to you from the Northeastern Badlands of Lake County, Illinois USA, WELCOME TO THE NEXT CHAPTER! 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 trophy 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, distilled spirits, recreational pharmaceuticals, 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 RECURRING UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS of ALL FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL POLITICIANS (including but not limited to school records, acquaintances, employment history, Social Media, financial, drug, and psychiatric screenings). Please consider 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)

Friday, December 31, 2010

To those days gone by


As I grow ever older, it is more difficult for me to remember those profound people, places, and events that molded me during my younger years.

Here is a year-end toast to those fading memories. Promising never to forget was a vow I could not keep.


Our snow is gone…


This is a great way to end 2010! Except for a pile here and there, our snow is GONE! The temperature was in the 40s yesterday; currently it is 54F and BEAUTIFUL outside. I used this thaw as an opportunity to take down all outside Christmas decorations and to plant a few more tulips and daffodils (the gardens froze in sooner than I expected in the fall so I did not finish my planting).

We had snow on the ground for Christmas, and then added another 10’’ to it Christmas night. The morning after Christmas I was busy clearing my driveway and those of three neighbors (two were out of town and one cares for his sick wife).

We wish a Happy New Years Eve to all! Party hearty but responsibly.

A NOTE FOR THE CLIMATE CHANGE ZEALOTS: While our mild temperature today was more than 20 degrees higher than normal for the final day of December, it was still well below the 68-degree record set in 1875.  Tomorrow we are supposed be back to a high temperature of 29F, which is normal for this time of year.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rocky River Leather Company


I am proud to welcome Rocky River Leather Company to our growing sidebar list of Gun Holster and Custom Leather websites. Rocky River is a full-blown custom leather shop, with a list of goods that will make your eyes bug out. If you can dream it, they can do it.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Broken links


I know that many of the links in many of my older posts are now dead. On rare occasion I can find an alternative source for the news item (or video) and re-link; most of the time any such effort is futile. Yes, I know that some of the older posts make no sense at all without the original link; please accept my apologies. When I find the time, I do edit or delete the ones brought to my attention.

I can understand a blogger taking a site down or accidently dumping archives, but for the life of me, I will never understand why a news organization posts a story, along with obligatory warning against copying, and then purges it from their server within a matter of weeks or months. Is storage still that expensive? I would think that making stories permanently available would add exposure to their paid advertising. It just does not seem logical for a news organization to copyright articles then yank them from public view. Methinks they are depriving themselves of many moneymaking mouse clicks… and encouraging copyright infringement.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

A 2010 Merry Christmas to ALL!


Merry Christmas! A hearty "Thank You!" for visiting. I am honored and humbled beyond words and promise to pay your kindness forward. Be sure and visit the blogs listed on the side bar of this site; those bloggers are all far better writers than I am and know far more about most everything than I ever will.

Over the past year, a number of folks from 164 countries other than the USA have stumbled upon this obscure little blog site. I find that unbelievably cool! Wherever you may be, below are Season's Greetings to all y'all! May there be peace on earth...

Afrikaans: Geseënde Kersfees
Afrikander: Een Plesierige Kerfees
African/ Eritrean/ Tigrinja: Rehus-Beal-Ledeats
Albanian:Gezur Krislinjden
Arabic: Milad Majid
Argentine: Feliz Navidad
Armenian: Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Azeri: Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun
Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Hari Natal
Basque: Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!
Bengali: Shuvo Naba Barsha
Bohemian: Vesele Vanoce
Bosnian: (BOSANSKI) Cestit Bozic i Sretna Nova godina
Brazilian: Feliz Natal
Breton: Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat
Bulgarian: Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
Catalan: Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!
Chile: Feliz Navidad
Chinese: (Cantonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
Chinese: (Mandarin) Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Choctaw: Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
Columbia: Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
Cornish: Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth
Corsian: Pace e salute
Crazanian: Rot Yikji Dol La Roo
Cree: Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
Croatian: Sretan Bozic
Czech: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish: Glædelig Jul
Duri: Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak
Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast
English: Merry Christmas
Eskimo: (inupik) Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!
Esperanto: Gajan Kristnaskon
Estonian: Rõõmsaid Jõulupühi
Ethiopian: (Amharic) Melkin Yelidet Beaal
Faeroese: Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!
Farsi: Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad
Finnish: Hyvaa joulua
Flemish: Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
French: Joyeux Noel
Frisian: Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!
Galician: Bo Nada
Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!
German: Fröhliche Weihnachten
Greek: Kala Christouyenna!
Haiti: (Creole) Jwaye Nowel or to Jesus Edo Bri'cho o Rish D'Shato Brichto
Hausa: Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
Hawaiian: Mele Kalikimaka
Hebrew: Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
Hindi: Shub Naya Baras (good New Year not Merry Christmas)
Hungarian: Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket
Icelandic: Gledileg Jol
Indonesian: Selamat Hari Natal
Iraqi: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Irish: Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat
Iroquois: Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut. Ojenyunyat osrasay.
Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie
Japanese: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Jiberish: Mithag Crithagsigathmithags
Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Lao: souksan van Christmas
Latin: Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!
Latvian: Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu!
Lausitzian:Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto
Lettish: Priecigus Ziemassvetkus
Lithuanian: Linksmu Kaledu
Low Saxon: Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar
Luxembourgish: Schèine Chreschtdaag an e gudde Rutsch
Macedonian: Sreken Bozhik
Maltese: IL-Milied It-tajjeb
Manx: Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa
Maori: Meri Kirihimete
Marathi: Shub Naya Varsh (good New Year not Merry Christmas)
Navajo: Merry Keshmish
Norwegian: God Jul, or Gledelig Jul
Occitan: Pulit nadal e bona annado
Papiamento: Bon Pasco
Papua New Guinea: Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu
Pennsylvania German: En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!
Peru: Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo
Philippines: Maligayang Pasko!
Polish: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie
Portuguese:Feliz Natal
Pushto: Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha
Rapa-Nui (Easter Island): Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua
Rhetian: Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn
Romanche: (sursilvan dialect): Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn!
Rumanian: Sarbatori vesele or Craciun fericit
Russian: Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
Sami: Buorrit Juovllat
Samoan: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Sardinian: Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou
Scots Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil huibh
Serbian: Hristos se rodi.
Singhalese: Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Slovak: Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovene: Vesele Bozicne Praznike Srecno Novo Leto or Vesel Bozic in srecno Novo leto
Spanish: Feliz Navidad
Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År
Tagalog: Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon
Tamil: (Tamizh) Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal (good New Year not Merry Christmas)
Trukeese: (Micronesian) Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!
Thai: Sawadee Pee Mai or souksan wan Christmas
Turkish: Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian: Srozhdestvom Kristovym or Z RIZDVOM HRYSTOVYM
Urdu: Naya Saal Mubarak Ho (good New Year not Merry Christmas)
Vietnamese: Chuc Mung Giang Sinh
Welsh: Nadolig Llawen
Yoruba: E ku odun, e ku iye'dun!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve!


Here it is, Christmas Eve. (ahem) I suppose I best go do that shopping... first... I gotta make a list...

JUST KIDDING!  Shopping is all done...


Monday, December 20, 2010

Note to self 12/20/2010


I guess that maybe I should think about doing my Christmas shopping soon; I don’t want to be among the fools waiting until the last minute.  Yep, that's what I'll do... I'll think about it.  First I need to make a list... then check it twice...


Sunday, December 19, 2010

WE’RE #1! WE’RE #1! Illinois is the worst state to live in for retirees!


Of the ten worst states for retirees, Illinois tops the list. Some folks may be just a might skeptical when I make such claims. This MarketWatch story carriers a bit more clout than my ramblings do.

Why do I stay? Family reasons, mostly. The final chapter of my retirement years is still a rough draft, so I’ll stay put for a while longer. However, the state and local taxes may just force me out sooner than later.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Carteach0 reviews reduced recoil 12 gauge Rio Royal 00 Buckshot


To read his report and watch the video, CLICK HERE.

Use coupon code 12gaXMAS for $15 off a 250 round order of 12ga Rio Royal Buckshot Ammo from The offer expires on 12/26/2010.

FULL DISCLOSURE: This is NOT a paid advertisement (no money, no free ammo, or special discounts) and I have no affiliation with or Rio.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chic Gaylord, holster artisan extraordinaire and top gun of his time

Charles "Chic" Gaylord 8/21/1914 - 6/8/1992 R.I.P.

How many of you out there remember Chic Gaylord? Okay then; how many of you have never even heard of him at all? Yeah, that’s pretty much what I thought; some people should never be forgotten yet they seemed destined to fade into obscurity. My guess is that few people alive today knew Charles “Chic” Gaylord as well as did Lefty Lewis of Bell Charter Oak; they were friends during an era when the friendship was something sacred. My hope is that Mr. Lewis someday will put to pen all he remembers of Chic Gaylord the man.

Somewhere in the archives of the major gun-publications are articles on Chic Gaylord that deserve a home on the web. Until then, the best collection of Chic Gaylord information that I have found is at The Fishing Musician blog.

Click HERE for Chic Gaylord Part 1
Click HERE for Chic Gaylord Part 2
Click HERE for Chic Gaylord Part 3

EDIT 11/19/2016:  Click HERE for Taffin article!


A one-word review of 2010 for President Obama


Sunday, December 12, 2010

For the 12 gauge of Christmas, my true love gave to me, more blammunition, for use on reindeer and zombies…


Use the coupon code 12gaXMAS for $15 off 250 rounds of 12ga Rio Royal Buckshot Ammo from Expires on 12/26/2010, so don’t be scrooged. Please pass the word.

WARNING: using buckshot on reindeer may not be legal in all areas, even if they are defecating on your roof or threatening you with grave bodily harm. Check with you local conservation department and all other relevant law enforcement agencies beforehand.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cowboys & Aliens; my 2011 must see movie


This is my kind of movie! Cowboys, armed with sixguns, shotguns, and what look to be 1892 Winchesters, battling invading space aliens undocumented interstellar immigrants in 1873 Arizona.

Click here for IMDb


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

See Mel Gibson in Jodie Foster’s Beaver


CLICK HERE for the movie trailer.


Mentally ill Mad Max meets Muppet. Jodie Foster directed this film and costars in it with Mel Gibson. My instincts tell me that the best parts of the movie are in the trailer; hopefully, the rest of the film is not just syrupy “chick movie” filler. Due to Mel Gibson’s private life upstaging the movie’s plot, the release date has not yet been set in stone.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Revolver Malfunctions


I struggle to avoid arguments over whether pistols are better than revolvers. Choosing one handgun over another is a personal choice; what works for one person may not work for another. However, it is especially hard for me to remain quiet when I hear that “revolvers NEVER jam” or that “revolvers are 100% reliable.” My experience, however limited compared to that of many other revolver shooters, is that it is more than a bit of a stretch for anyone to declare that revolvers NEVER jam and/or that they are 100% reliable.

CLICK HERE to learn remedial measures to take in case “NEVER” and “100%” fail to prove true with your wheel gun. Regarding operator error, CLICK HERE to learn what happens when you “short stroke” the trigger.


Monday, November 29, 2010

1999 GMC AWD Safari Van November 2010 service report


This is more of a personal journal entry than it is a general-interest blog entry; I am finding that blogging is a very convenient way to keep track of things.

11/11/2010 odometer 163,785 miles
Lube, oil, and filter (yep, this old dinosaur has grease fittings)
AC compressor and clutch replaced (it may seem winter is a strange time to be doing this, but the windows fog up inside during cold weather without the AC compressor running during defrost)
Serpentine belt replaced
Radiator replaced (corrosion problem; leaking at the seams, a uniform oozing)
Front brake pads and rotors replaced
Rear brakes cleaned and adjusted
Ball joints
Idler arms (last replaced around 100,000 miles on the odometer)
Transfer case fluid change
Front differential gear-lube change
Rear differential gear-lube change
Rear differential spider gears replaced

11/29/2010, odometer 164,363 miles
New front and rear tires

I think the old GMC Safari is (for the most part) ready for another winter. This trip to the certified GM shop solved one mystery. It has been two years (maybe three) since an intermittent noise started coming from the rear of the vehicle. It sounded a bit like rocks clanging inside a hubcap, sometimes sounding like tree branches wrapped around the drive shaft, sometimes a bit like broken brake components rattling around inside a brake drum, sometimes it growled like a bad wheel bearing. The noises would last only a short while and often would not reoccur until after thousand of miles of driving. Mechanics (at different shops) were at a loss to find the cause. During this visit, they said the rear brakes and wheel bearings were fine, could detect nothing wrong with the vehicle on the rack, and could not hear any problems during the test drive. Mileage wise, the van was due for front and rear differential lube change so I asked that they pull the rear differential inspection plate and peek inside. Voila, they found broken spider gears.

Most of the cost for this list of repairs is routine stuff, brakes, belts, gearbox lube, idler arms, etc. The unanswered question is how long and how far I want to push my luck with this old vehicle; the spreadsheet shows that keeping this one on the road is still more affordable than buying something new. How many miles will it go before there is something that is prohibitively expensive? This van, between the end of the transmission and the rear bumper, is a unibody vehicle with no external frame. While the body looks to be in excellent shape, once the rust takes hold (and northern Illinois winter road salt makes that inevitable), the structural strength will not be enough for continued heavy use. Other than the unibody, my guess is that little irritations will continue. Maybe the heater core will start leaking; corrosion could cause leaks in the AC system and perhaps the transmission oil cooler. The electrical system connectors have been corroding away; GM no longer sells many of them so replacements must be improvised. There is an intermittent problem with the heater/AC blower yet to solve; it could be a bad connection, a near-dead blower motor, a bad switch, a bad resister card, or all of the above. Little irritations I can tolerate and afford; the cost of a rebuilt transmission or engine would be hard to justify because I doubt that the unibody has more than four or five years left.

As it sits now, barring a catastrophic failure of body, engine, or transmission, my goal is to run the van until November of the year 2014 or when the odometer hits 200,000+ miles (whichever comes first) and then send it off to clunker heaven or find it a place somewhere on Jason’s Old Truck Ranch. I am not one of the super dedicated fans of the GMC Safari / Chevy Astro Van; it has been a useful utility vehicle for me but I have no desire to spend the money needed for a rotisserie restoration. There has to be a line in the sands of time after which I find a suitable (and affordable) replacement. Perhaps by the end of 2014, my heavy landscape projects here at home will be complete and I can go with something smaller, a bit less robust, with better gas mileage.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pet Preparedness


What plans have you made for your critters to survive a crisis?  What happens if you cannot get home for three days or more?  Do they have enough food and water for the duration?


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So much to be thankful for


The list is far too long to put in here but not too long to put in a prayer.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Contagion related shooting reported near Waukegan lakefront, Amstutz Expressway closed. Two government Black Hawk helicopters overhead this afternoon.


Steven Soderbergh's thriller “Contagion” is expected to be released in October of 2011. Film crews today shot action scenes of Black Hawk helicopters zooming along the Amstutz, a very popular piece of highway with filmmakers because it is low-use (part of an incomplete project, it goes nowhere and is only used for local traffic). Film crews should be finished shooting by 6:00 AM tomorrow and the expressway reopened to public.

Only two things could get me to the theater for yet another “OMG, WE ALL GONNA DIE” mutant killer virus movie; Steven Soderbergh has the talent to make it less cliché than all of the others, and Laurence Fishburne NEVER fails in any role.

As awesome as they are to see, I have to say that it is a bit unnerving to have a pair of Black Hawks thunder low over my house.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saint Peter, don’t you call me, ‘cause I can’t go; I have to finish this patio…


I lost track of how much material I hauled in my old all-wheel-drive 1999 GMC Safari Van for my yard projects this year. A glance at the tickets for last month alone shows 1200 lbs of boulders and 6000 lbs of gravel. I try to limit the weight per trip to no more than 1000 lbs, for the sake of my back and the longevity of the old van. As consideration for my neighbors, I only bring in enough material for two or three days work. Having stockpiles of bricks, boulders, sand, and gravel in the yard would be an eyesore.

Both the old van and I need a break. Next week the GMC goes in for a host of repairs including a coolant leak, tie-rod ends, front and rear brakes, drive belt, etc. After she gets out of the repair shop, I will then mosey her down the road and purchase new tires. Once she is again roadworthy, on every fair weather day that remain in this year, I will either be down at the landscape center loading up or back home putting it all in place.

I sure hate to keep putting money into a vehicle that I could not sell for half of what I will spend on these repairs but even with 163,000 miles on the odometer, the old GMC continues to be the perfect mule for what I need to do. After the repairs, I still will not trust it for long trips. However, for muscling material and equipment around locally, and for clawing through winter snow, I cannot readily find anything better.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A blogger has gone silent. RIP John D. Solomon of In Case Of Emergency, Read Blog


Several months ago, I ran across the blog and it became one of my favorites, “A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness.” Well written and ever enlightening, I will miss John D. Solomon’s words and wisdom.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ammo availability


I haven’t yet heard a declaration that the ammo shortage is over but availability seems to be going up while prices edge ever lower.

If you are looking to add to your inventory, our friends at BULKAMMO.COM have a wide selection of ammo brands in all of the popular pistol and rifle calibers.

Bulk .40 S&W ammo
Bulk 9mm ammo
Bulk .45 ACP ammo

You name it; they seem to have quite a spread of it.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

U.S. at historic low in global corruption index

(Reuters) - The United States has dropped out of the "top 20" in a global league table of least corrupt nations, tarnished by financial scandals and the influence of money in politics...

Heh.  We need a new name for the USA.  Maybe we should be called Shenaniganistan.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Gun blogging will continue someday soon…


It has been a while since I dusted off anything from inside the gun locker, clicked a couple of photos, and jotted down my thoughts. I am not sure how many firearms that I have not yet blathered about are on the rack; my guess is there are maybe a dozen or so. Most are just good old utility grade guns purchased for whatever mundane purpose or vicarious impulse that motivated me at the time. Completion of my gun blog entries will give me some closure; it will be my cue to, however reluctantly, do some estate planning. I need to formulate a timetable for the gainful disposal of my guns and the recreationally disposal of my ammo before the keeper of the master actuarial table calls my number. If I expire before properly disposing of my humble collection, my heirs will most likely give everything away to newly found “best friends” who offer to rid them of all that nasty ordnance.

Eventually the time will come for most of us to walk away from what we want and downsize to what we need; for me, during any stage of my life, five firearms with a few hundred rounds of ammo for each would have been bountiful. Idyllically, there is a good long life still ahead for me to do plenty of shooting and the time left to sell off the collection at a leisurely pace of a couple of guns every year. Whether my horizon is near or far, I will savor every blessing. The simple guns that I started with will be the ones I keep and cherish until the end.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Via early voting, my 2010 voting obligation is over; I voted today.


How did I vote? I did my homework and made what I consider informed choices across party lines. In most races, I voted against incumbents, although I did stand by a couple of them. I voted for one Green and one Libertarian because the Republican and Democrat choices in those two races sucked beyond any measure.

I again undervoted (cast a ballot that does not include votes for one or more races; it is legal in Illinois; check with your election judge) because I refuse to add to the vote total for any unopposed candidate.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Today I am just being lazy


I am beat so I took the day off; the most physical exertion for me today was driving to the store to pickup a replacement power supply for my laptop. Putting in all of that paving brick and base is just kicking my butt; it will be weeks before I am finished. I decided just to spend the day lounging around and blogging about whatever popped into my head. I suppose I could work on the dozen or so half-written blog entries that are in the queue, but I am far too lazy even for that.


Would I consider buying an electric car?


Yes, I’ll be in the market for an electric car as soon as they get

1) components (including batteries) with warranties of no less than five years
2) a full charge driving range of 400 miles
3) a crossover SUV design no smaller than the Chevy Equinox
4) an MSRP comparable to that of an equal size gasoline powered vehicle
5) recharge stations in convenient travel locations
6) recharge time of less than 5-minutes

It is interesting to see how this all is evolving. For right now, gasoline-electric hybrids are the best bet. I am curious to see if the infrastructure needed along our interstate highways (primarily the recharge stations) will fall into place for the all-electric-cars. Heck, I am old enough to remember a time when every roadside mom and pop store had a gasoline pump at the curbside. As for the current crop of short-range electric commuter cars, I am wondering whether some of our more enterprising corporations (such as Wal-Mart) will start offering free (or cheap) “recharge while you shop.”

I am not a “greenie” trying to save the world from real or imagined climate catastrophe; I simply do not like our buying oil from people who hate our guts. The sooner we can say goodbye to foreign oil, the better off we will be.


Tesla Roadster sighting


I saw my first Tesla Roadster yesterday. It was in Vernon Hills, Illinois, southbound on Milwaukee Avenue heading toward Lincolnshire. I was tailgating for a while, trying to get a cell phone photo of the backside of the car and the license plate (the photos were not clear). The owner is making a statement while driving that cool looking electric powered car; his Illinois license plate is “NO OIL.”


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Helping out a neighbor


One of my next-door neighbor ladies accidentally set herself on fire a couple of weeks ago. It happened around midnight the eve of our departure for Florida and I slept through the noise and lights from the police, fire trucks, and the ambulance; I didn’t learn of the incident until yesterday. Initially the ambulance took her to the emergency room of a local hospital where her condition was judged as beyond their scope of services. Flight For Life was called in to helicopter her to the Loyola Medical Center Burn Unit. She is in very critical condition. Over the past couple of weeks, she has undergone radical treatments including a series of skin grafts; they finally were able to wean her from the breathing tube today.

The family’s only source of income is the husband’s pension. Over the years, I have helped them out with a few bucks and favors such as snow removal, helping to change the starter on their pickup truck, and mowing their lawn when the husband was sick. When the husband finished relating the story of their latest tragedy, I handed him $50 for gas money to help him make his daily drives from here to Maywood and told him I would take care of his lawn for the rest of this season. He won’t receive another pension check until November 1st; I’ll be slipping him another $50 next week.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Frost warning fall 2010; goodbye flowers


It is the dark side of morning and I just came in from outside; I had to take one last look at the impatiens and other annuals. They have given me great pleasure throughout the spring, summer, and fall but likely will all be dead by sunrise; I am not going to cover them. It is time to let nature have its way so I can begin preparing the beds for next season. I did take one large pot of petunias and one flowerbox of marigolds into the garage in an attempt to salvage some color for the time between now and when the nightly freezes begin. Next year I will use more containers for planting annuals to thwart the sporadic frost events of spring and fall.

This afternoon while I was laboring on setting more bricks for the front yard garden-apron/walkway (I will remember this year as “the year of 1,000 bricks”) I saw a mouse scurry into the garage. I chased it around for a while but failed to extricate the rodent; I will be picking up some mouse sticky-pads and poison to remedy the situation.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Is the economy getting better, worse, or stagnating?


The following is a quick view of the USA as seen from our Chevrolet.

We just completed another road-trip vacation to Florida and back; we usually do this once or twice a year, the times based on the whims of my wife; she has a knack for craving Florida sunshine during hurricane season.

We especially like traveling during the times of major economic malaise because there is less car and truck traffic plus the hotels are cheaper and less crowded. Anecdotally, I’d say the economy is doing better now than it was a year ago as evidenced by the number of freight-hauling trucks that made our driving downright contentious. The hotel rates are still relatively cheap but we found that reservations filled up early in the day. Most of the travelers we saw in the hotels were business travelers. As far as off-season vacation travelers, we noticed that often the highways had more trucks than cars on them and our favorite sleepy little Florida town was sleepier than normal.

My guess is that the economic recovery is progressing, albeit SLOWLY. Jobs are still scarce; we noticed that many of the hotel staff members and restaurant employees (jobs that usually have a high turnover rate) were the same folks we met on our last trip.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Running out of summertime


Jeez, I have been putting in hours of yard-work most everyday since April and I still have many major projects that either are in progress or totally untouched. While I have not been diligent on keeping up with my blog entries, for the most part I have kept up reading the blogs listed on my sidebar. In order to finish out some of my projects I am going to need to leave my laptop OFF and keep painting and digging even after sunset.

Since I quit smoking and started dieting I find I have a little more money than I planned; as a reward to myself, I paid cash for a brand new, made in the USA, Toro Timecutter Z4200 Zero Turn riding mower. It took HOURS off my weekly mowing. I have a small yard but over many years I planted more than a hundred trees and shrubs that create quite an obstacle course; the 21’’ push mower just was too much work for my old knees to handle. The new zero turn rider with the 42’’ mower deck zips through the job in less than two hours. Simply AWESOME, it gives me far more time to work on other things.

I am hoping I can spend more time online beginning in October or so. I am looking forward to reading my favorite bloggers again soon.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

My final thoughts on the 2010 National Preparedness Month

Non-profit organizations and the Local, State, and Federal Governments cannot do it all. People who can take care of themselves lighten the load on available public resources.

During any active emergency and during the recovery period following a disaster there is a good chance you will be on your own for quite some time. An event that was supposed to last a few hours may last days, weeks, or months. I don’t mean to sound preachy but you may want to give some serious thought beforehand on how to survive a variety of situations. Stock some supplies and make plans for different possibilities. Have plans to bug-out as well as plans to shelter in place. You may find it best to follow instructions issued by emergency agencies. For example, should the authorities say to evacuate due to an approaching Category-5 Hurricane with 30 ft. tidal surge, you may want to pack up and make the run to higher ground.

Include plans and provisions to save your pets. While agency-run disaster shelters may have room for you, I doubt that they will accommodate your critters.


Mexican Independence Day 2010

I’d like to wish a Happy Bicentennial Independence Day to all of my Mexican and Mexican-American friends and neighbors.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

As of this moment, Numrich has magazines for the Remington 522 Viper


I already put my order in for two of them; my guess is that they will sell out quickly. These are the steel-body magazines; some folks attribute many of the problems with the 522 Viper to when Remington switched to the plastic magazines. If you have a Viper that has feeding problems but is otherwise functional, consider trying one of these.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

As of this moment, CDNN has magazines for the HK P7 PSP.

It has been a long time coming; I finally was able to score two spare mags for my H&K P7. These mags have been hot items for quite some time; availability has been very spotty.

This was my first purchase from CDNN (yet another Texas outfit); everything went well.

Click HERE for CDNN’s HK P7PSP 9mm 8rd Blue Mag w/Bottom Release New Factory


Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2001 plus nine years

Throughout the spectrum of humanity, people of God continue the acts of godless people. Nothing has changed; hate justifies hate. 

It is profane to pretend that a deity gives sanction to any of our insanity. Religion justifies nothing; our sins are our own. War is indeed hell, and we are at war. Welcome to hell.

Report: US must deal with domestic radical problem  (Associated Press)

U.S. faces "Americanization" of terror threat  (Reuters)


Wednesday, September 8, 2010 GRAND OPENING!

NOTE: The following coupon code (GrandOpening) is good for $25 off your first order over $200!

If your typical day at the range does not end until you are up to your ass in empty brass, you better be shooting reloads or getting good deals buying BULK AMMO. was founded to provide serious shooters and training professionals with a reliable, economically priced source for bulk ammunition. They shoot many rounds (just like you) and they understand the frustrations and inconveniences of finding good suppliers who consistently have ammo in the needed calibers at good prices.

One member of their staff, Steven, is a former Marine armorer who became a customer before coming to work at Other members of the team have experience in law enforcement, law enforcement training, military, and just plain ole range time. When it comes to supplying large quantities of ammunition to serious shooters, their staff is experienced and well prepared. Other team members of are very skilled at developing software systems that provide seamless corporate efficiency so that they can keep their prices low. Using a well-established shopping cart system, their website displays only the items in stock and ready for immediate shipment. You can shop their site confidently knowing that what you see is what is available; it is that simple. What's more is that once you place your order, their system closely tracks your shipment to make sure it gets into the hands of a carrier quickly (same day in most cases) and ultimately on your doorstep.

If you have any further questions, just call them at (800) 720-6035 or send an e-mail by clicking here. If they do not pick up the phone right away, just leave a message and they will return your call promptly.
PO Box 66738 #45605
Saint Louis, MO 63166-6738
Phone - (800) 720-6035
Fax - (800) 460-1657
Email -


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Two years of abstinence

It has been two years without smoke. I don’t miss cigarettes (none since 1997) but I do get real itchy-tingly whenever I drive by a cigar store.

Click HERE for last year’s progress report.

Should I live to have an eightieth birthday, my family is to arrange for me to resume my self-destructive habits of smoking, drinking, and over-eating. Until then, I will do my level best to behave.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The only hospital I ever stayed in overnight was the one where I was born, Augustana Hospital, Chicago, IL.


That is a cool old postcard. I found it over at Chuckman’s Collection. Nothing lasts forever; that hospital is long gone, demolished for urban renewal. Townhomes now occupy the site.

My aging carcass cannot keep up its run of good luck forever. Sooner or later, some hospital will strap me down for an extended stay and subject me to both the miracles and the barbarities of modern medicine. There were a couple of emergency room visits during the past few years when they wanted to keep me overnight for observation; against doctor’s advice, I declined. I am as hardheaded as Mom and Dad were when it comes to doctors. Maybe that is not a good thing; my folks might still be around if they had followed the doctors’ orders. Then again, maybe nothing would have changed.

Many people in my world have passed recently; among them were family, friends, and former coworkers. Life is precious. Nobody gets off this big spinning rock alive; all we can do is live and love while we can.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Holster Maker Dennis Yoder has passed away…

Sad news; I found that Dennis Yoder’s website ( was down and, after some searching, ran across the following obituary HERE.


February 17, 2010

Dennis A. Yoder, 58, of Hamburg, died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

He was the husband of Sallie A. Reppert Yoder. They were married on June 28, 1969, and celebrated 40 years of marriage.

Born in West Reading, he was the son of Maude C. Heckman Yoder, Hamburg, and the late Guy W. Yoder Jr. He was a 1969 graduate of Schuylkill Haven High School.

Dennis owned and operated Dennis A. Yoder Custom Leather, Hamburg, since 1992.

He was a well-known leather craftsman throughout the country. He has acquired and leaves behind many friends.

Dennis was an endowment member of the National Rifle Association; a member of the Hamburg Rifle and Pistol Club, where he served as president for three years; and a member of the Lenhartsville, Port Clinton and Shartlesville fish and game associations. He was also a member of the Ponderosa Hunting Club, Port Clinton.

Surviving, in addition to his wife and mother, are a son, Eric A., husband of Michelle L. Correll Yoder, Port Clinton; a grandson, Toby A. Yoder; and a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, William A. and Anna A. Reppert Neifert, West Brunswick Township.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday from Leibensperger Funeral Homes Inc., Hamburg, with off-street parking in rear. Burial will follow in St. John's Cemetery, Hamburg. A visitation with the family will be held in the funeral home from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. The family suggests memorial contributions may be sent to Hamburg Rifle and Pistol Club, P.O. Box 12, Hamburg, PA 19526.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

September 2010 National Preparedness Month

SOURCE pdf for the following.


National Preparedness Month (NPM) is sponsored by the Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Advertising Council. NPM is held each September to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities. September 2010 is the seventh annual NPM. This year will focus on encouraging Americans to work together to take concrete actions toward emergency preparedness. We are encouraging all Americans to join the readiness team and truly help themselves, their neighbors, and their communities be Ready.
• NPM Coalition membership is open to all public and private sector organizations. Groups can register to become an NPM Coalition Member by visiting and clicking on the NPM banner.
• In 2009, nearly 2,700 organizations joined the Ready Campaign in promoting the readiness message across the country in homes, schools, businesses, and communities to highlight the importance of individual and community public emergency preparedness throughout September.
• During NPM, Coalition Members share preparedness information with their members, customers, employees, and communities. Members spearhead activities that encourage specific steps for individual, neighborhood, and community preparedness.
• Throughout the year, the Ready Campaign promotes individual emergency preparedness. Ready is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign, produced in partnership with The Advertising Council, to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.
• The Campaign’s Web sites ( and and toll-free numbers (1-800-BE-READY, TTY 1-800-462-7585, and 1-888-SE-LISTO) provide Americans with free emergency preparedness information.
• Citizen Corps is FEMA's grassroots strategy to bring together government and community leaders to involve citizens in all-hazards emergency preparedness and resilience. Local Citizen Corps Councils enable collaborative planning between government and civic leaders and provide localized support for: outreach and educational efforts to the public; training and exercises that effectively integrate all sectors of the community; and volunteer programs that augment the full range of emergency response services. For more information about Citizen Corps, visit

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Knock knock knock knock knock…

“HI! I’m from Comcast…”

I don’t care; this door is clearly marked “NO SOLICITORS.”

“Do you get many solicitors?”

No. Most people can read.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Snub Gunner Alert! Federal Nyclad 125 grain .38 Special available at Cheaper Than Dirt.

CLICK HERE for .38 Special Federal Personal Defense Nyclad Hollow Point 125 Grain 830 fps 20 Round Box. This stuff is great to use in vintage alloy frame revolvers not rated for +P loads.

NOTE: CTD lists the manufacturer # as Federal P38HS2 and that sounds strange, almost like a Hydra-Shok number (P38HS2G is the 147 grain +P+ .38 Special Hydra-Shok).  However, their description does sound like it is the “Chief’s Special” load once listed as Federal P38M.


Jason’s Old Truck Ranch blog

If, as I do, you have a love for old trucks, give a click HERE to visit Jason’s new site.

There once was a time when only ruffians, rednecks, farmers, hunters, and construction workers drove pickup trucks or 4X4 utility vehicles. My first was a well-worn 1966 International Scout 4-cylinder 4X4, used for work, hunting, and my sideline snowplowing business. The interior was stark, unpadded sheet metal.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nanay is gone.

My Mother in law passed away on Monday Morning. She was in the intensive care unit of a local hospital for just over the past couple of weeks, suffering from a number of senescent ailments; she was 93 92 years old. She lived a good long life but the end was not kind to her. We visited her every day during her suffering and it all has been very hard on my wife; Moms are supposed to live forever. Moms are not supposed to endure excruciating agony.

Blogging here will continue to be light due to my familial obligations.

Many thanks,



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bullet Design and Semi-Auto Pistol Reliability

Some emails that I receive pertain to pistol reliability problems. This is one of the countless topics where I have opinions but no expertise. Of course, there can always be a mechanical problem with a pistol or its magazine, but the overall cartridge length and bullet shape can be contributory. Some pistols are forgiving while others are finicky. What you feed them can make a difference.

CLICK HERE for the best article I have yet read on the subject.

Although posted on his 38 Super website, this Brad Miller article is NOT specific to the .38 Super; it addresses issues pertaining to semi-automatic pistols of all calibers. It is well worth the read for any pistolero.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Survival of the fattest, a game of ounces and inches; my summer 2010 diet progress

Other than the minor detail of my inside the waistband holsters being far more comfortable to wear, this post has nothing to do with guns. Since my stature only casts a short shadow in any light of day, excess weight is an unattractive accessory for me to leave hanging on my frame.

While still far from svelte, I can now comfortably wear pants with a 34’’ waist; down from the 36’’ waist pants that I wedged and wiggled into when weighing between 215 – 240 lbs (at some point during the upper end of my weight gain I should have moved up to 38’’ waist pants but I was too vain). Progress has been slow. I have only managed to drop 15 lbs from the 210 lbs on March 1 to my current weight of 195. Even losing that small amount has made quite a difference in my stamina. Breaking through the 200 lbs barrier was stone cold torture, but having successfully maintained 195 lbs for just over a month makes me believe that I am safely beyond that quagmire. In retrospect, dropping from 240 lbs to 220 lbs was much easier. For years, my doctor and I were both happy with my staying at or just below 220 lbs, but my advancing years with the added inactivity from being retired has made corpulence and good health mutually exclusive; there is a huge difference between being “fat but fit” and just being “fat.”

The diet plan I am on is nothing exotic, simply to have a minimum number of active hours per day and avoid rich food. If it tastes good, it is food to avoid. Ye gads, I am sick to death of salads.

If I ever again weigh 175 lbs, I’ll declare victory but achieving that goal could take another couple of years; I didn’t put on all of this weight in a rush so I don’t expect to lose it any faster than I gained it. From here on out it will be a slow grind. To return to anything near the form I had over a quarter-century ago, I’ll need grudgingly to dust off the barbells, unwind my jump rope, and pound the heavy-bag as I did in the old days, although the arthritis in my right hand makes weight training and boxing near insufferable. Regardless of my methods, somehow I need to move my activity up to a higher level if I hope ever to drop another 20 lbs.

One promising sign is that I am no longer preoccupied with food. I don’t have the same appetite and cravings that plagued me for years. In an earlier life, after recovering from the poverty caused by a divorce-settlement, eating became a celebration of success, a declaration of independence. I was making a bold statement to myself that I could afford to eat and drink whatever I wanted whenever I chose to. My body suffered from the indulgences; it turns out that what I could afford to eat my body could not afford carry. Now I just eat a small meal whenever I get hungry; I no longer eat on a schedule.

No cigars, no alcohol, and no satiating food; the old axiom is spot on, "Getting old is not for sissies."

EDIT:  IWB holster by Del Fatti Leather


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Snubnose revolver training in Hellertown, PA on Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1, 2010

Snub revolvers are handily concealable and their function is relatively easy to understand, making them ever-popular choices for concealed carry and home defense. Learning to shoot a snub well enough for self-defense may take a bit of coaching for a new shooter. Mr. or Ms. Average Snub Shooter may feel a need for some coaching in order to put the odds more in their favor. Advanced shooters may benefit from taking a refresher course from time to time.

Most any new shooter can take a snub revolver and readily hit a stationary target the size of a cantaloupe out to a range of a couple of feet or so beyond arms length. Move Mr. Melon back five feet and a few of those same new shooters might start finding it harder to score hits 100% of the time. Mr. Melon becomes ever safer from the snub-shooter as the distance grows to ten feet, fifteen feet, twenty feet, and beyond. If the evil Mr. Melon is smart enough to duck in and out of cover or move from side to side, he may just run the snub-shooter out of ammo; how fast can you reload a revolver under stress?

Michael de Bethencourt of has his Secrets of the Concealed Snub and Mastering the Concealed Snub classes returning to Hellertown, PA on Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1, 2010. Michael notes that the classroom and range exercises for both the Secrets of the Concealed Snub and the Mastering the Concealed Snub classes has been improved and expanded. The new drills were tested in Bridgeport CT and Kittery, ME and both classes were an overwhelming success.

Additionally, Crimson Trace, LaserMax, Surefire, and have also updated the supply of loaner laser stocks, tactical lights, and custom snub holsters.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Will Amtrak survive when the federal government starts slashing budgets?


Of all of our government’s inefficiencies, I have a soft spot in my heart for Amtrak; I dearly love to travel by rail. Someday our cross-country passenger rail system may disappear. Before that happens, take a ride on Amtrak if you ever have the opportunity. Rail travel offers some great adventures and the memories last a lifetime.

Syd Weedon has a post about the Iron Horse and includes some of his great photo-art.

On September 11, 2001, all of the air transportation in the USA came to an abrupt stop. For around one week nobody traveled anywhere in this country via air. The thousands upon thousands of stranded travelers were on their own to find a way to their destinations. Amtrak was a readymade answer for many travelers during this crisis, moving vast hordes across the nation, proving itself an integral part of our national security.

It seems there are relatively few politicians that feel Amtrak is worthy of continued subsidy from the federal government. Without subsidies, Amtrak would vanish, as would our interstate highway system and our airports. In the deep green sea of federal spending Amtrak is but a drop, but each new administration eventually views the death of Amtrak as a key part of their fiscal mission.

Passenger trains helped build this nation and IMHO passenger trains continue to help keep this nation strong. Face it, not everyone can fly or drive. A substantial number of Americans need Amtrak to get them to where they need to be. Let us hope there is never another national emergency like September 11, 2001. Let us hope Amtrak continues to exist to serve us all in case there is.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ah, nuts!

I may be getting one of those red-light-camera traffic tickets in the mail soon. This afternoon at Buckley Road and Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville, I drove a full car-length past the white line before stopping for the red light and then making my right-turn on red. The white line at most of these intersections is set too far back to see anything so many of us have gotten into the habit of driving past it to a point where we can see the traffic. I pretty much broke myself of that habit but this afternoon I had a mental lapse. Durn it.

EDIT:  SPRINGFIELD — Traffic tickets from much-despised red-light cameras will be a little easier to fight next year under legislation signed Friday by Gov. Pat Quinn.

The new law gives motorists more leeway in filing an appeal to a red-light citation and requires independent verification of an alleged violation before a ticket is issued.

The measure bans the city of Chicago and suburbs from tacking on a fee to the standard $100 fine if a ticket is appealed, a common practice that can deter a motorist from fighting the charge.

Thank you for your long and enlightening email. I am very sorry for offending you. Hereafter, I will no longer use the terms “Illegal Immigrant” or “Illegal Alien.”

Seriously, from here on out I will make every attempt to be more sensitive to the feelings of others.


EDIT:  I did all kinds of searches on this only to find that the CORRECT LEGAL TERM is ILLEGAL ALIENCLICK HERE for an example.  Please disregard my apology. 


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The state of Illegal Immigration, America’s 51st state


The numbers are real; currently there are 12-million illegal immigrants in the USA. That is roughly equal to the entire population of Pennsylvania. I can find no consensus on what this costs our society but I will speculate that the dollar amount is significant.

Republicans have failed to secure our borders. Democrats have failed to secure our borders. Some say that secure borders are impossible. I offer that many elected and appointed public servants deserve dismissal for not doing their jobs.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We need to quit relying on the SCOTUS to do our voting for us.


We have the right to keep and bear arms. We have the right to vote. Just how many people exercise both rights? It cannot be very many or control-freak politicians such as Chicago’s Richard M. Daley would not be in office.

My enthusiasm was tepid with the 5 - 4 Heller ruling. I am equally underwhelmed with the 5 – 4 McDonald ruling. Yes, both were significant decisions, but they are nothing more than a pair of steps on what most likely will be a never-ending journey. For as long as many who keep and bear arms refuse to exercise their right to vote, there will be anti-gun politicians in office forever finding ways to infringe.

EDIT:  Click here for views from The Gun Zone.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I found nothing more profound said about today’s SCOTUS ruling than these words from Otis McDonald

“I was feeling the poor blacks who years ago had their guns taken away from them and were killed as someone wished. That was a long time ago, but I feel their spirit. That's what I was feeling in the courtroom. It was rough on me that way…”



Sunday, June 27, 2010

Anger-management counselor turns gunslinger

In January, in Fairfax County, Virginia, a former priest and respected anger-management counselor pulled a gun during a traffic dispute with two men who turned out to be U.S. Marshals. Fortuitously, during the altercation the U.S. Marshalls did not choose to perforate Mr. Anger Management’s anatomy with extreme prejudice.

Fifty-seven-year-old Jose Luis Avila of Annandale pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to assaulting a federal officer and received a one-year prison sentence.

Avila was driving by the marshals who were on assignment near his home. He honked his horn because he believed they were standing in the road. He then thought one of the marshals made an obscene gesture at him (the U.S. Marshalls say they were waving him to pass on by). Apparently, Avila’s anger management skills told him that was the appropriate moment to pull out a loaded handgun; predictably, the situation spiraled south for him.

Court records show that Avila has a CCW permit, issued in 2005, which Fairfax prosecutors moved to suspend. State records show that Avila has been a licensed professional counselor since 1994 and a licensed marriage and family therapist since 1998.

On top of his 12-month prison sentence, Avila has been reflecting on the wisdom of his actions from the confines of a local jail cell since January and he now has a court order to undergo… anger-management counseling.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Intelligent Armour Limited (U.K. based tactical gear firm)

Intelligent Armour Limited provides tactical equipment solutions for individuals and teams. Our clients range from Government Agencies, Armed Forces, Police, and the Private Security / Close Protection sectors Worldwide.

Our aim is to supply the correct operational equipment at the best possible price, we seek to supply the most up to date field tested tactical products and body armour.

We offer 10% discount to all members of the Armed forces and Police Services; please contact us for full details.

Intelligent Armour Limited provides a large range of tactical gear including Lowa Boots, 5.11 Tactical, Danner Boots, HanWag Boots, Blackhawk, Oakley SI, Gerber and ESS

Our online store transactions are dealt with via Paypal or SagePay. These card payment services are secure and Intelligent Armour Limited does not hold any card information on any of our systems. Intelligent Armour Limited website is fully secured by both VeriSign and McAfee SECURE, to ensure that the security of your information is not compromised.”

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Will a magazine for a Beretta U22 Neos work in the Colt .22 stainless pistols?

I bought one of the Neos mags from here and tried it in my Colt .22 pistol at the range on June 15, 2010. I put 120-rounds of Remington Thunderbolt (low-end ammo) through the pistol, 40-rounds each through the pair of Colt mags that originally came with the pistol and 40-rounds through the new Neos mag. The only feed failures that I experienced while using the lower quality Thunderbolt ammo were with the Colt mags. Except for the black plastic floor plate, the Neos mags do look to be identical to the Colt mags. The Neos mags also seem to do a better job locking in the slide stop after the last round than do the Colt mags, which seem a little weak, often barely pushing the stop lever into the slide stop notch.

Since a 40-round test of the Neos mag is hardly exhaustive, I am not going to guarantee to the entire world that it is perfect in fit and function for the Colt .22. However, the next time CTD has the Neos mags in stock I am going to purchase a couple more of them.

Why did I only shoot 120-rounds through the pistol for this test? The lower quality Remington Thunderbolt ammo leaded the bore of the pistol so badly that accuracy disappeared; the slugs were keyholing into the target (more on that in a subsequent post).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Remington 522 Viper

10 round .22 LR
Manufactured from 1993 - 1998

I may never forgive Remington for dropping the classic Nylon 66 from their product line. Their 522 Viper is unworthy of consideration as any sort of successor to the beloved Nylon 66. If you care to Google “Remington 522 Viper,” you will pull up links leading to a mix of forum comments; while some comments are favorable many are not. It was several years ago when I bought this rifle, only because a friend needed some money. At best, I find it to be suitable as a knockabout plinker; I would never willingly put my trust in it for survival. Sometimes it is a fun shooter, sometimes it is “challenging.”

Most of the Vipers that I see for sale nowadays are on the gun store bargain racks offered, “As is.” Caveat emptor, if you wind up buying an unreliable or broken 522 Viper you may be sunk. Magazines for the Viper are rare and there are (usually) no guarantees on the quality of those that you may find on the market. I have four plastic mags for my Viper and only one of them is any good. Gunsmiths should advise you that repairs on the Viper may cost you more than the market price of the gun; don’t be surprised if a gunsmith flat refuses to work on this model. If you want to try to do your own repairs, some parts are available from Numrich.

If you happen to be stuck with an inoperative Viper, you may be able to find someone online who is looking for a parts-gun. Heck, if you have no other option, some municipal “gun buy back” program may even give you between $50 and $100 for it (but you may want to forget to mention that it doesn’t work; some “buy back” programs only pay for functional guns).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Where can I buy spare magazines for my Beretta 950 Jetfire or my Browning Baby?

Queries such as that bring a fair number of hits to this site; the least I can do is point to a source.

The mags that I recently bought (for both pistols) were excellent quality items made by Mec-Gar of Italy. You can order them direct from their website, or (as I did) order them from Cheaper Than Dirt.

CLICK HERE for the Browning Baby mag

CLICK HERE for the Beretta Jetfire mag


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Today we welcome (AKA Gazelle Holsters); 117 Holster Websites are now on our sidebar list

As Gazelle Holsters, has been manufacturing holsters since 1966. Their USA division imports holsters from their factory located in Turkey. The company also owns a factory currently producing shotguns sold under US brand names. All of their holsters are hand made from top grain cowhide. Their gunleather product line has shoulder holsters, belt holsters, IWB holsters, along with tactical and duty holsters. They have quite a selection and are well worth a look if you are shopping for a new holster.

For those of you who are entrepreneurs, is establishing a dealer network and is seeking dealer inquiries and website affiliates.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Secure our borders, ALL OF THEM.

For the sake of discussion, let’s remove the issue of illegal Mexican immigration. Now let’s ask the question, “Why should we secure our borders?” I can come up with two obvious answers.

1) If the U.S. Government is sincere about their “war on drugs,” borders must be secure.
2) If the U.S. Government is sincere about “Homeland Security,” borders must be secure.

CLICK HERE for lawman Massad Ayoob’s take on our southern border areas.
I lifted the following local article in its entirety from here (because it will become a dead link soon).
June 3, 2010

Federal immigration agents have arrested 72 foreign nationals from 17 countries in the Chicago area, including Lake County.

Sweeps by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Fugitive Operations teams were made between May 10 and May 28 targeting immigration fugitives and criminal aliens.

In Waukegan, agents arrested a 54-year-old Jamaican national May 25 outside his Waukegan residence. He had a prior criminal conviction for possessing a firearm and he had a loaded pistol at the time of his arrest.

Also arrested was a 50-year-old previously deported Mexican national. He was arrested May 24 in Waukegan because he had prior convictions for cocaine possession and retail theft.

Both individuals remain in ICE custody pending removal. For privacy reasons, ICE does not release the names of aliens arrested on administrative immigration charges.

Besides Waukegan, other county arrests were made in Mundelein, North Chicago and Round Lake.

Of the 72 arrested, 59 are fugitives with outstanding deportation orders. Immigration fugitives are aliens who fail to appear for their immigration hearings, or who abscond after being ordered by a federal immigration judge to leave the country. The remaining 13 were arrested based on their prior criminal or immigration histories. Some of their convictions and arrests were for drug possession, domestic battery, drunken driving, retail theft, residential burglary and larceny. Seven of those arrested were previously deported aliens.

Those arrested, 65 men and seven women, represent the following countries: China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Israel, Jamaica, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia and South Korea.

"A top priority for the ICE is to enhance public safety by locating and arresting criminal aliens and fugitives, with the ultimate goal of removing them from our country in a safe and humane manner," said Ricardo Wong, field office director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in Chicago. 

"ICE is dedicated to arresting violators who blatantly flout our nation's immigration laws," he said.

The arrestees will be processed administratively for removal from the United States.

Fugitives with outstanding deportation orders, and those who returned to the U.S. illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. All others are pending a hearing before an immigration judge.

Last year, ICE agents made more than 35,000 arrests nationwide. More than 31,000 of those arrests, or nearly 89 percent, involved immigration fugitives and aliens with prior criminal convictions.

ICE's Fugitive Operations Program is just one facet of the Department of Homeland Security's broader strategy to heighten the federal government's effectiveness at identifying and removing dangerous criminal aliens from the United States.
Note from Zack: 35,000 arrests nationwide in one year is a drop in the bucket. Politicians need to FUND and STAFF the agencies responsible for securing our borders or shut the hell up. Any act of terrorism by a foreign national on our soil is a failure by our politicians to do the jobs they were elected to do.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010


On foreign soil or at home, the sacrifices you made are beyond the power of our words to describe and the ability of our souls to comprehend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hundreds of shots fired during wild Texas shootout. Nobody injured.

I’m very late with this story; James Rummel has already covered it in detail here.

Husband and wife Texas bloggers Art and Helen Burnett recently gave a participatory live-fire gun seminar for writers. Handguns, rifles, and shotguns featured were those of the type used by heroes and villains during the 1920s and 1930s. Art has a collection of guns that would give Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley apoplexy.

Stressing safety first, Art and Helen’s events give people a chance to shoot different types of firearms and are immense fun and very educational. Helen’s sacrificial Ford Festiva is evidence that cars offer only marginal protection against bullets.

You can visit Helen’s blog here and visit Art’s blog here. They are great folks.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ghillie Suit Source

Do you need a Ghillie Suit for hunting, wildlife photography, law enforcement, paintball competition, or as part of your survival kit? CLICK HERE to peruse the wares of the Ghillie Suit Source website.

Heck, I am thinking of getting one just to scare the daylights out of the trick-or-treaters and their parents on Halloween.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

A killing frost / hard freeze possible overnight in Chicago area

In the Eastern Tennessee section of Heaven, my parents are smiling down on me as they tenderly whisper, “we told you never to plant annuals before Mother’s Day.”

Mom and Dad, never does a day go by without me thinking of you. I love flowers because they bring you back. You both deserved better lives than you lived, especially considering the dues that you paid. I should have cherished you before you became nothing more than cherished memories.

As for the flowers, the temperature outside might drop to 30F tonight. Yeah, I know, “weather ain’t climate” and high IQ people guarantee that we are all doomed to cook in our anthropogenic heat wave, but I sincerely doubt that will be happening before morning. The temperature is supposed to drop when the cloud cover breaks around midnight; the weather service predicts temperatures may stay below freezing until after 8 A.M. I covered all of the annuals but they may not make it through several hours of hard freeze; I have thwarted four frosts so far this spring but my luck may be running thin.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Too many things going on…

There will be very few blog entries at this site for the near future, maybe one a month.

I sincerely thank you for stopping by.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Glock 17

Aside from a zombieclipse or other such calamity requiring a handgun with max firepower, the best reason that I can give for my owning a Glock 17 is because it is an affordable, durable, reliable, wickedly fun plinker. 9MM ammo was once dirt-cheap and few things were more fun and inexpensive than an afternoon blasting away with the G17. It is an easy pistol to shoot; most new shooters who I spent time with could readily put all of their first shots near point of aim. A full standard magazine of 17-rounds along with a 33-round extended mag reload holds the contents of a full box of 50-cartridges. New shooters loved emptying the mags but universally hated refilling them.

The Glock 17 is surprisingly light until you tank up the magazine with cartridges. Even with a fully stoked mag, I wouldn’t consider the pistol a burdensome carry. Inside-the-waistband (IWB) carry of Glock pistols does not work for me; I wear blue jeans that are too tight to squeeze in a thick Glock, at least comfortably. IMHO, holsters are essential for all handguns. Something as cheap and simple as the old Brauer Brothers nylon holster in the above photo can keep the pistol from sliding down the leg of your baggy gansta pants when you are out for a night of clubbing with your posse. Tucking an un-holstered pistol into your waistband may be macho and culturally cool but it is fraught with all kinds of unpleasant possibilities including an explosive sex change. NOTE: When holstering any handgun (not just Glocks) care must be used not to catch the trigger on a finger, shirttail, jacket drawstring, or any other items reported to contribute to negligent discharges.

For range blammunition, I will shoot any quality 9MM ball ammo that I can find on sale. A month or so back, CTD had my preferred defense hollowpoint selling for near the price of quality ball ammo of other major brands.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pepper Spray Failure

A security guard first tried pepper spray on a man wielding a knife in the Austin area of Chicago then went to Plan-B and put a bullet in the dude’s leg. Click here to read the Chicago Sun-Times article.

I haven’t been in the Austin area in 18-years and don’t intend on going back soon; it was like visiting the worst of the third world.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

89-year-old woman foils home invasion

Don’t go bashing through Granny’s door when she has that gun in her hand. Click here for the AP story.

Seriously, old folks do not need to be easy prey. It is heart warming to hear of them fighting back, and winning.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Frost warning, again.

Argh! I knew global warming would fail me when I needed it most; the temperature is supposed to drop to 32F before morning, same as it did last night. The flowers are once again in peril. Note to self: Never again plant flowers before May 1.

The neighbors will once again wake up to the sight of my front yard flower beds shrouded with sheets of translucent plastic. I hope it is enough to hold in the heat and keep out the cold…

Friday, April 16, 2010

Federal 9BP at Cheaper Than Dirt

Standard pressure (NON +P or +P+) 9MM 115 grain hollowpoint

There are rumors that some police departments still issue this old load which is somewhat surprising, it goes all the way back to the beginnings of law enforcement transitioning from revolvers to semi-auto pistols. The 9BP earned a reputation as a decent stopper that would feed in finicky pistols. Every time I think that this particular load is forever gone, I find a batch for sale by one of the major suppliers. Since selling all of my finicky 9MM pistols, I haven’t had a real need for this load so I usually take a pass when I see it available; I am well stocked with its successor, the +P+ 9BPLE. Recently I had a hankering to return a small batch of it to the ammo raft so I scored 500 rounds from Cheaper Than Dirt a couple of days ago. As of this moment, 9BP is still listed in stock but the supply probably won’t last too much longer. Grab yourself some.

Click here for a classic Stephen A. Camp article about the 9BP and the Browning Hi Power.



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