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Friday, December 31, 2010

This is a STICK up!

From Virgina. The only thing this video needs is the soundtrack from Benny Hill to complete it!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dan Fogelberg,"Same Old Lang Syne"

I do not recommend this post for anyone that gets depressed over the Holidays. I will however say that true artists do make one feel alive. They do so for better or worse, but if they touch you they performed well.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ah... The Classics!

A reinterpretation of a Frank Sinatra Classic! (Present company excepted of course!) 

Monday, December 27, 2010

A letter from the front lines......

In Arizona! In the summer I sent the Pinal County Justice Foundation a modest donation. They were asking for funds to procure weapons for Deputies. So today this showed up in the mailbox (click to enbiggen):

Wow! I have never received any correspondence from any unit of government that ended with "God bless you and, Bless our Country!" All correspondence I get usually has an "Amount Due:" at the bottom! I figure the State Budget might be under a little strain with the upcoming legal fight on the immigration law so I thought I would help in my own humble way. 

And Good on Colt for giving them some "stuff"!  

We CAN make a difference people! You don't even need a Wookie suit either!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Retro Sunday- SNOW!

You can't get any more retro than snow at Christmas! Considering I am about 10 minutes from the border with South Carolina, this event was great! 
(You know the drill, click pic to enbiggen)

Looks like a good six inches of the stuff! 

Here is something I don't think Hallmark could do any better:

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and got the toys they wanted! Apparently Santa has redefined "good" for me this year:

Finally a Moravian Star, a symbol of the season used extensively in my home town, not so much here. 

I hope everyone has a great week!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Message from Instructor Moose..

Merry Christmas everyone!

And from me although I am a newcomer to Blogging I have met some great "virtual" friends here. I have made some mad, but we got over it (I hope). Since the offense started because of here, I posted my apology here.

I have new art in my home because of this connection. I have received great information on one of my passions. I have received words of support in difficult times.  

To Tam, B., Supi, stopsign, and all of the people here and those I follow, thanks and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours!

UPDATE! People have asked what instructor moose carries. Instructor moose carries a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380 in a DeSantis holster!

New Catapult for US Navy?

Looks like the first test of the electromagnet catapult was a success. Prototype launched a F/A18E Super Hornet. Good news for the USS Gerald R Ford - CVN 68 currently under construction as it was designed for this type of catapult rather than traditional steam powered ones.

For some reason the system acronym is EMAILS. Link.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Retro....Monday? The FoMoCo Ornaments!

So a very busy weekend! It was somewhat unexpected and so if you are expecting a Christmas card from me this year, sorry! A repeat of this previous weekend. Congratulations to my 7 new Concealed Carry Handgun students! Even more so for my first time shooters on Saturday! I had a Father, Mother, and Daughter in my CCH class. They were awesome! Good on them!

I did get the tree decorated, but after rearranging a room I could not find the Lionel track that I usually put around the tree. I really don't know why I decorate a tree, Better Homes and Gardens will not be here for a photo shoot ever! Still, here is how I decorate a tree:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Occupational Hazard..

So the "Shots for Tots" event went very well. We raised a thousand dollars cash and two huge boxes of toys! Everyone had a great time and we met some new shooters as well.

I do have a new story to tell however. I guess if you are an RSO or instructor long enough you may get this diagnosis on a form sooner or later:

A totally freak accident, bullet ricochet from a pin while RSO on the right side of the range. It did crack the cheekbone.

I guess if I need to start a story at a bar I can always start off with the "I got shot in the face" story!

Oh, it was a Glock 9mm. Shooter nor audience noticed my injury or leaving the range! No need to scare the horses, right? 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Retro Sunday- Heavy Metal!

First I must say that my social life took an order of magnitude leap up today. Attractive women, children, and men all started conversations with me that I did not initiate. It took me a minute, but if you are walking around the Southern Railway's largest repair facility that has been turned into the North Carolina Transportation Museum (some call it a small state) you may be approached by visitors if you are dressed so (click on any pic to enbiggen):

None of the women wanted a date however. All questions were along the lines of "Where are the restrooms, what building is this, where can I buy tickets for the train ride". For better or worse I could answer every question. 

So I had the uniform on, but to borrow one from J, "I make this look good"! 

So lets start with a symphony in diesel minor. 

This locomotive is running the 2.5 mile run around the museum for visitors. I did not know they were running "Rides with Santa". That explained the crowd.

So, I am here to meet my machine born of fire and powered by it. A 40 ton 0-4-0 locomotive that was placed into service December 1930. Built by Vulcan Iron Works, here is the build sheet. 

Belching smoke, steam, and oil some may be repulsed, I am not. She is beautiful! Another blogger puts this into words much more eloquently than I ever could.  I simply sit beside a space heater (cut down 55 gallon steel drum with some coal and wood in it) and talk to the people assembled. An unassuming gentleman asks if I am here for the ride and I say yes. He asks if I have any experience operating heavy equipment. I say no, so then he asks if I have operated any farm implements and I reply that I don't know if a Ford red belly tractor qualifies. He laughs and says I will do fine.  

My turn and the gentleman that was talking to me says to get in the cab and he is my shotgun engineer! After he loads some Red Man chewing tobacco we begin! 

Simple controls, almost no instrumentation. I wish I had my camera to take a picture of the controls but left it with a museum volunteer for pictures. Sometimes doing stuff alone sucks. He shows me the train brake lever. I note that there is not a train behind us and he nods approvingly. Next is the locomotive brake, the reversing lever, throttle, steam whistle and air whistle. I know the proper signals for starting and reversing a locomotive (two short, three short). Again he nods. We are accompanied by a fireman and a young volunteer that loads coal in small piles on the floor of the cab.    

So we begin! 

Build plate!

Your engineer!

SR 6133 Coming up behind me running the passenger train and all of the children in it were waving like mad (some of the adults too)! 

We all of course waved back and I gave a good blast from the steam whistle to them! 

Going backwards!

Highball signal is lit! Throw the steam to it! 

  I have this figured out and working on the glamor shot!

Here is the view from the left hand side of the cab. One of the largest roundhouses still standing in the US. 

It was very analog. You worked this by touch and feedback from the machine. The quickest 30 minutes of my life! It was a great thrill to run such a beast! She was well behaved and only required brakes one time. My mistake! 

If you get a chance do this! I could not wipe the smile off of my face all day!

Friday, December 10, 2010

They Are Back!

Finally! The Colt side is back with Trijicon sights installed. Was it worth a month and a half without it? YES! Hurriedly threw some Break Free on the rails and went to the range. WOW! Big difference over the black iron sights and dead on it! I am not a Trijicon shill, but this was an upgrade that was worth it. I can see what I need to see!

The Smith and Wesson also arrived. Trigger is still loooooong, but seems to break better. Sights and laser are dead on!

Sight picture on the Colt:

Beats the hell out of black iron sights! The front sight is apparently showing off the tritium to the camera! The sights are marked with the nomenclature for Tritium, date of manufacture, and of course Trijicon.

It appears that these have made the laser take a back seat! That is comforting to a person approaching "pre-geezer" stage!

Monday, December 6, 2010

So- No feedback so I ordered one anyway!

The S&W BodyGuard .380 is on its way back from Springfield. The Combat Commander slide is FINALLY on its way back from Trijicon. I will update later on these two issues. I ordered a Colt Defender in .45ACP today. I look forward to running it! 

Hopefully it will show up soon!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Retro Sunday- Holiday Starting

First this observation on Christmas Trees:

Then the one great thing about driving a totaled 16 year old car is that it can serve many purposes:

Yes it can bring a Christmas tree home!

The tree did not have to travel far to get here either. Alleghany County to the north, about a 2 hour drive.

So now off to get all of the stuff to dress this tree up!

I hope everyone has a great week, and to my student friends I wish good luck for final exams!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Other Side of Teaching

Tonight after lamenting the total "suckitude" of students to friends I have events that have occurred that once again pull me back into this endeavor. First is Christina. I know full well how hard it can be even after almost 30 years after my first 2 year degree. I will say that I have no doubt that she will adapt and overcome. I truly enjoyed her take on the final presentation she and her team made!

The second event was the fact that a student called me tonight and thanked me for my class ending next week.

The third event was that a student emailed me and thanked me for the same and wanted to apologize for missing the final class because she was hired by Microsoft!

I would much rather teach this. 


King's Carolina Bill and Other Updates

Some of you know that next weekend I get to run a steam locomotive. Not just any locomotive but this one. I get to do it at one of my favorite places as a bonus.

Being the person that I am I needed to be properly dressed for the occasion. I remember many relatives from my youth wearing Pointer Brand Bib Overalls. I searched around locally and was not impressed with Tractor Supply or Wal-Mart selections. So I found this:

Yes Pointer Brand work clothes are still made in the USA in Bristol TN. Fast shipment and they look as good as I remember from so many years ago.Other accessories are needed:

Hat, pocket-watch and work gloves added.

So now for King's Carolina Bill. "Around the turn of the century, Landon Clayton King was raising championship birddogs. Seeing a need for tough and durable work clothing, in 1913, he founded The L. C. King Manufacturing Company.

L. C. King believed that if he could raise championship birddogs, he could produce overalls and jeans of the same distinction. Carrying on the family tradition four generations later, Pointer Brand is recognized worldwide.

The L. C. King Manufacturing Company is proud to make everything in the U.S.A. Having survived two floods and a fire, it still operates out of the original location in downtown Bristol, Tennessee. The employees make bib overalls, coveralls, carpenter jeans, hunting apparel and denim chore coats. Several employees have retired after 50 years of service.

Bill was L.C. King's favorite birddog. Born June 20, 1922, he soon became part of the Pointer Brand logo. He won most of the local field trials during his reign. His pups sold for $50 in the mid-1920's. They also were given as prizes at trap shoots in Bristol. On point he was described as very intense and showed excellent style and character."

I am not advertising for them, but I am impressed that they are still there. Good quality and I think I will buy some jeans from them for work. 
Here is the postcard enclosed in the package:

Love it! 

Friday, November 26, 2010


I had a rather unorthodox Thanksgiving. I was invited to the coast to see some really good friends. We had a good time and the hospitality and conversation were excellent! Weather was fantastic with the high yesterday pushing 70+.

I am a gregarious loner, (thanks B. for the perfect term!) but it still helps to jump out there once in a while.

Now I have to unpack!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and whatever it means to you and yours that you celebrated it well!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Friends have invited me to spend Thanksgiving with them on the coast. Be back Friday!

Happy Thanksgiving to all and remember what this Holiday is all about. I have much to be thankful for!

(Extra credit for what appears to be a Sunbeam Mixmaster in that image)

Monday, November 22, 2010

They fought for us.....


Anybody have a Colt Defender? If you do how is it? The S&W Bodyguard is off to the mothership for tweaking. My Colt Combat Commander is STILL at Trijicon for night sights. Coming up on a month up there, GRRR!

Random thoughts......

First, Fall has arrived at humble abode:

Second, basic pistol training and concealed carry training summary:

Basic pistol: 4 hours in the classroom saying: "Keep your finger off the trigger until you have acquired your target and have made the decision to fire." 30 minutes on the range during live fire saying: "GET YOUR FINGER OFF OF THAT TRIGGER!"

CCH: 8 hours in the classroom saying: "Keep your finger off the trigger until you have acquired your target and have made the decision to fire." 30 minutes on the range during live fire saying: "GET YOUR FINGER OFF OF THAT TRIGGER!" 

Seriously though, congratulations to my 8 students that have never shot a pistol before and to my 3 newly minted CCH permit holders!

Amazing that some students have never actually held a revolver!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Shots for Tots!

No not immunizations, a bowling pin match event for the USMC Toys for Tots campaign!

Event information here.

If you would like to donate your time to help host the event or donate a toy, please let me know! 

I get to go get a toy out of the "regular" toy section of a store instead of filling out a ATF 4473! I am thinking Hot Wheels!

Wow, what a great weekend that will be! First go run a train and then this!

Back on the line!

Busy weekend ahead! Basic pistol class tomorrow followed with a Concealed Carry Handgun class Sunday.

New shooter on the line! I truly love this task. More than the monetary compensation, I am truly passionate about getting new shooters trained. Even more important is the Sunday class!

I am packed and ready to go!

Shameless plug, classes are here and slots are still available!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why I carry

Over at Lawyer with a gun are his thoughts on why he carries a handgun. Well said!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Internet Plumbing

China appears to have rerouted 15% of the worlds Internet traffic to it last April for 18 minutes. Link from National Defence Magazine here.

Uh, wow. the amount of data had to be staggering. Is that what they needed this for?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Range Report- Bodyguard 380

Ok, first the preamble. Manual says to field strip and clean before firing. Easy to do!

Then we are off to the range!

Laser works, but not as intuitive as the Crimson Trace jobs. It has usable iron sights that are adjustable for windage at the rear. No adjustment needed, sights and laser seem to be OK at 30 ft. Thumb safety on a DAO with this trigger pull seems superfluous to me, but I am used to seeing them. It has a loaded chamber peephole.

So now to the bad part. The trigger was extremely heavy with an unusually long pull. Even coming off of rest it seemed to be like taking a car out of park. I am calling S&W tomorrow. I don't like to hear a recreation of a gravel truck when I am pulling a trigger!

Bottom line: I like it better than the Kel-Tec P3AT if the trigger can be a little more user friendly!

I will keep you updated! So for now we are back to the old standby. The Colt Detective Special .38 revolver is back on the line.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Range Report Preview

I have mentioned my problems with my Kel-Tec .380 before. I would really rather have my Colt .45 with me but sometimes to just pick up something on the way to the store for a quick trip is nice. So today I finally got this:

Range report tomorrow after I run "cough cough" several rounds through it.

How can you do this to Bacon?

Another sign of the impending apocalypse. Rachael Ray actually has a recipe for microwave bacon here. No EVOO was used! That is not the best part of it though. The reviews are right up there in Three Wolf Moon shirt territory. A sampling:

Tried this recipe last night. The bacon was great, but the paper towels tasted awful.
By LocalBoyMakesGoo on November 11, 2010

That's not what "late night bacon" means in my house.
By Crazy Uncle Dan on November 09, 2010

I don't stay up very late. Can you post a recipe for early morning bacon? Also I'm new to the whole microwave thing. Do you have a recipe for microwave popcorn? The bag says to stop when the interval between pops is 2-3 seconds, but the pops always happen too fast for me to start counting.
By sammy_hagar_pork_n_b on November 10, 2010 


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

A moving video from the NRA. Thanks to all that have served.

Update! Whew!--I have to do this!

I'm IN! Saturday December 12 at 2:30! Do guys squeeeee? 

One more night of teaching to finish out the week! Missed y'all this week! Happy Veterans Day to everyone.

I have to do this:

"At The Throttle" Puts You In the Cab of a Steam Locomotive

            The N.C. Transportation Museum invites you to run a steam locomotive for a once in a lifetime opportunity.  With the return of the Flagg 75 coal engine, the museum is offering a new program called, "At the Throttle".
            This November and December, thirty minute sessions will be available for those purchasing a ticket to power the Flagg 75 engine Flagg 75 Engineeracross the south end of the N.C. Transportation Museum, the former Spencer Shops steam locomotive repair facility.  Additional dates in March and April, 2011 are also planned. 
            No previous locomotive experience is required.  The program is a unique opportunity for rail fans to live their dream of piloting a steam engine, taking a trip back in time to the golden age of railroading.  A qualified engineer will be in the cab at all times, but participants will be operating the engine, following a 30 minute safety and operation session.

Looks like fun huh? Where is my engineer's hat? Sorry I don't have any coveralls and I don't know if you can still get the Pointer brand anyway. 

UPDATE: You sure can still get Pointer Brand coveralls! Out of Bristol, TN no less! Perfectly fitting for the railroad who's slogan was "The Southern Serves the South"!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Blogus Interrruptis

This week for some reason I decided to pick up a CCE (Corporate and Continuing Ed) class to teach. 8 hours split between Monday and Wednesday night.  That coupled with the curriculum classes I teach on Tuesday and Thursday at the same times as the CCE class in addition to the "real job" mean I have a long week ahead.

See you soon!

Retro Sunday -The Mustang GT Part III

So lets get started! Here is a commercial from the New York Worlds Fair and I do have to say in response to Jay when he said "Hey old guys does this still work?" I can say yes.

Lets get to it! Step one drivetrain (Click on any picture to enlarge):

You are looking as if you opened the hood and looking at the engine. Note the attempt to get to the right hand upper control arm by cutting into the shock tower. BZZZT! wrong! But now something to be fixed.

Engine parts below. Engine is in good shape!

Engine done and sporting the correct color, Ford Corporate Blue!

From the front:

Engine is sporting original TriY headers and is ready to go!

Meanwhile other things require attention. The heater box is always a problem:

The pile of crap in the upper center is pine needles, leaves, bugs, and anything else that got sucked into the heater box. Heater core is lower center. Rule one on any old Mustang bypass or replace that immediately!

Meanwhile, transmission gets some care:

Salvageable interior parts are cleaned and panted:

Parts are gathered. Little known fact back then that many NOS (New Old Stock) parts were readily available from Ford, but you had to have the part number to order them from a Ford dealer. Many thanks to an old friend of mine Phil, parts manager of a Lincoln Mercury dealership! He had the knowledge! The love of Mustangs helped too! So I can say that virtually every part replaced was original FoMoCo.

Uh, yeah that is a 1968 Shelby in the background!

So now the fun begins. Strip everything!

Nice interior shot. Notice the hole in the rear drivers floorboard! Left hand side in this ride has not had a good life!

Tam asked about the rear shock towers. Here is the look for the rear access to them:

The left rear quarter was toast as predicted:

Outer fender well toast, inner is marginal and the left rear frame rail toast.

Spot blast what can be saved:

Fix the interior dash from the 8-Track:

Replace the wiring harnesses and the entire left hand floorboard and seat riser:

Epoxy primer and wet sand your shoulder off and then this with no paint booth and in old school enamel:

Now put it back together!

Bonus points if you can pick me out of this picture!

Exterior and interior work going on less than 10 hours away from its first show!

It won!

And now a gratuitous car shot!

I hope everyone has a great week! Stay safe!