31 March 2010

Appleseed

I signed up for an Appleseed event in my neck of the woods.

Was curious as to what all the internet buzz is about.

Will report back after the event.

Go Read

I came across this Post, and you need to go read it.

Gunslinger now added to the blog roll.

30 March 2010

New forum

For those in the Evergreen State, check out www.washingtonguntrader.com for a free buy/sell/trade opportunities.

It's currently small, but growing.

28 March 2010

Survival Cooking

Learning to cook without a digitally controlled oven is not that hard. Learning to do it well just requires practice.

We cooked some dried beans, first by boiling them for three minutes and then letting stand overnight. According to the California Dry Bean Advisory Board this will get rid of many of the starches responsible for causing the toots.

After that I triple rinsed the beans and stuck them in fresh water for another overnight soak. The beans then went into a chili. I still got the toots. Evidently getting rid of most of the indigestible starches isn't getting rid of enough.

Next step will be to to boil the beans for five minutes, soak overnight, rinse and set in fresh water, then boil for forty five minutes before using.

Training

From Tam:

Standing in a booth in an indoor shooting range is training for a pistol fight the way sitting in your garage and moving your car's shift lever around with the engine off is training for Le Mans.

I hate to point it out that a pistol fight is normally nothing like Le Mans.

In a road race the other racers are professionals, people who train diligently and are at the top of their game. The cream of the crop of racers.

In a pistol fight it is normally one person who is trying to defend their life or the lives of others, and someone intent on doing harm. There are no professional pistol fighters. There are professional pistol shooters, ISPCA, IDPA, Olympic Rapid Fire Pistol, etc. But the metric of competition is time and accuracy.

In a fight the metric of success is surviving without too serious of an injury to yourself. You can't train for every scenario, but you CAN train. Tam is serious about dry training, and I agree.

Yesterday I spent a hundred miles in my truck carrying my 1911 in the small of my back. There was no way I could quickly and easily draw, rack, aim, and fire my pistol. But the first rule of winning a gunfight is to have a gun. The next rule of winning a gunfight is to "get there firstest with the mostest" which means being fast and accurate which is where training comes into play.

So go forth and train.

I'm flipping tired of being called names

But name calling isn't going to stop any time soon.

Citizens of the Urban Archipelago reject heartland "values" like xenophobia, sexism, racism, and homophobia, as well as the more intolerant strains of Christianity that have taken root in this country. And we are the real Americans. They--rural, red-state voters, the denizens of the exurbs--are not real Americans. They are rubes, fools, and hate-mongers.

For Democrats, it's the cities, stupid--not the rural areas, not the prickly, hateful "heartland," but the sane, sensible cities--including the cities trapped in the heartland
.

You know I haven't met too many city folk who can do an honest days work. I know, I went to college so I didn't have to do an honest days work, I have NCO's and lower enlisted soldiers to "lead and manage" while they do the work.

Mainly my rather well paying job is to sit on my butt and update other "leaders and managers" on the status of work being done by those under me.

But every time I utter an off color comment under my breath at the stupidity of some meeting I'm in, I realize that I really am in out of my comfort zone. When you work on a farm you start work when you get up, and you stop work when it's done. Normally "when it's done" is way after the sun goes down.

I wonder how all those urban dwellers would keep their cities running without us backwards conservatives. Ever see an Art Major design a bridge? Would you want to be the one who went on it? Sure engineers make mistakes, but when they do OTHER engineers study their mistake so that they don't repeat it.

I really hope that these jackasses get what they want, a fractured city where they can have their gun free paradise, just like the entire UK where there are no handguns, and therefore no handgun violence.

How to use a sling

The rifle sling is many things to many different people. From "single point tacticool firearm retention device" to shooting aid to the ever popular carrying strap.

How you use your sling really depends on HOW FAR and HOW ACCURATELY you are going to shoot. The guys who use "single point slings" are not in the quest for "one ragged hole" at 100 meters.

The guys and gals who take the time to cuff up their support arm and lean in tight to the sling are probably not kicking in doors in Baghdad.

The guy who is going to be walking all dang day to get one shot at a trophy animal is much more interested in how the sling acts as a carrying strap than anything else. And believe me, unless you hunt from a stand, hunting is a lot of walking.

If you are going to carry a rifle for a long ways and expect to do things other than shoot, a carrying strap "two point" sling or three point sling are your best bet. These slings allow you to position the rifle on your back, or off to the side conveniently.

If you are doing anything long range, get a sling that cuffs your support arm if you don't want the added weight of a bipod on your rifle. A standard "web sling" can be routed to provide a cuff, but that generally destroys the usefulness as a carrying strap.

I did a quick search of sling prices, and I've used a lot of what is out there, do not pay more than thirty dollars US for a sling. I don't care what the brand name says, a sling isn't going to do your shooting for you. I've paid more for slings in the past because it was a "NEED IT NOW" situation. If you can't find a sling that fits your purposes for less than thirty bucks, you ain't trying.

Now I've been using a particular sling for years, and I was wondering if I could find it again. Turns out it looks like a "Butler Creek Quick Carry Sling" in realtree. What I like about it is that I can use it as a standard two point carrying strap style web sling, and then cuff my arm without too much fuss. The sling is designed with no hooks or loops, just slides. Much easier to put on a rifle than a leather sling, and plenty good for me.

Although if I can get my hands on one I'd like to compare it with the Browning X-Cellerator sling.

26 March 2010

Remington Model 5 mag adaption


Over at rimfirecentral.net I found basic instructions on how to convert a 10 round Mossberg Plinkster magazine for use in a Remington Model 5 (or it's fellow cross branded equivalent rifles).

I simply used a 10 inch mill file to make the modifications and a bench vise to hold the magazine steady.

The divot on the right side of the magazine just needs to be filed flat, and a new catch needs to be filed about 9/16ths of an inch below the top latch catch.

I plan to make three more of these babies.

Healthcare

I was talking with a good friend of mine about health care reform. His experience working with the legal firm that handled the caseload for a major Hospital network in Michigan pointed out the practice of "dumping".

Dumping is when an ER refuses treatment to a patient by saying they are full, take the patient somewhere else. In Detroit this was normally used on young males with gunshot wounds. The hospital staff was afraid that if they treated a young male with a gunshot wound that he might be a gang member, and the rival gang might show up and try to finish the job. So to avoid potentially turning their hospital into a war zone, they "dump" the patient to other ER's until they wind up at the UM medical center or other last resort.

I asked him how "Obamacare" would affect dumping and he said it probably wouldn't.

Having worked in an Army Combat Support Hospital and my wife having worked for more than a decade in medical billing and office management, the bottom line is this. Access to insurance is NOT access to medical care.

You can't increase the patient load (which really won't change) without increasing the provider capacity and expect quality care.

The reason why patient load won't change, in terms of numbers, is that the X million uninsured who will now be covered are not going to find providers that will accept their insurance.

Let's use Tricare as an example. Tricare is government health insurance available to members of the military and their families. Good luck finding a Doctor who will accept new patients with Tricare. Here in Olympia, WA there are very few providers who can afford to take on patients with Tricare. Please note that "Tricare" is considered a "Cadillac Plan" subject to extra taxation under Obamacare.

The medical and legal professions have billing in common. There is supposedly a "fixed hourly rate" for a Lawyer, but there will be clients that do not pay that rate. Insurance reimbursement is the same, some insurance will pay more for a service than other plans. Just like a Lawyer mixes their clients so that the ones who can afford to pay supplement the ones who can't pay a Doctor has to balance their patient list to stay financially solvent.

Now, lets look at "Cadillac Plans" verses "catastrophic insurance". Since I can't think of three General Motors companies that rebrand the same vehicle I'll use Ford. For example the real difference between a Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and a Lincoln Towncar.

If everyone in a particular insurance pool has to pay in at a base rate for the "Ford Plan" that covers a catastrophic insurance (major hospitalizations, surgery, cancer, etc) and the next level of insurance is the "Mercury" level which adds a prescription drug plan and vision, and the top level is the "Lincoln" plan where you get vision, dental, drug, catastrophic, and routine care, the price breakdown normally gives those with the best reimbursement a chunk of the money put into the pot by the "Ford" and "Mercury" plan participants.

If the money going into the pot is sucked out to the "Lincoln" plan holders the critics argue that people who can afford to buy "Lincoln" plans really should be paying out of pocket, and not using insurance to supplement their own income. Insurance should be for catastrophic events they say, not for taking money from those who can pay the least to fund the routine care of those who can afford the best.

I don't buy this argument for two reasons.

First reason; Insurance companies routinely have around 6% profit. This is no where near the 30% profit routinely experienced by the Auto Insurance industry. Why is this? Well no one expects their auto insurance to pay for an oil change, but people do expect their insurance to pay for their yearly physical. So there are no "obscene" profits for the insurance companies, and their insurance payouts are not draining the pool (except in strange cases that are statistically rare).

Second reason; the Cadillac plans may in fact suck money from the poor to the wealthy in terms of individual services, but remember that Doctors have to balance their patient load to provide their OWN redistribution of cost in order to provide care to those that are not beneficial to the bottom line. Since medical providers are redistributing costs already, reform to redistribute costs on the insurance side of the house will more than likely penalize the poor who can't supplement their insurance reimbursement with a cash co-pay.

Then again I do not have a crystal ball and cannot predict the future. But I do expect that this attempt at social engineering will fail miserably to provide what the social engineers promised.

25 March 2010

Revolvers and Pistols

So I was reading through an Al Quaeda training manual and in it is a rather succinct section on the strengths and weaknesses of semi-auto pistols and revolvers.

To sum up:

Revolver Pros: Reliable, doesn't leave brass on the ground
Revolver Cons: slow reload, low round count

Pistol Pros: High round count, quick to reload
Pistol Cons: slow to clear jams, leaves brass on the ground

What was really interesting to me is that there was no information on shotguns or sniper rifles. It seems the operational model for the particular training cell focused on blending in with the local population.

And where was this training manual found? In the handgun free zone of Great Britain.

11 March 2010

Back in the gym

I've been trying to get back into the rhythm of exercise that I was in Iraq, and so far that hasn't happened.

There is just so much more work to be done here. But today I did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, maxed out my heart rate at 184 bpm, and I feel pretty good. Going to start hitting the pavement to start working on getting the knees used to the impact.

09 March 2010

Zen and the Art of old truck Maintenance....

In the last two weeks I've changed out cap, rotor, plugs, wires, adjusted the ignition timing, changed brake pads, brake caliper, and lastly a brake line.

All because the truck was "running a little ragged".

It only took two calls to my Dad who is a much better mechanic than I. The brakes are still a little spongy, so I'll bleed them again at some point in the future. Right now the truck stops properly, but brake pedal travel is further than it used to be.

Happiness is:

Not screwing up a job so badly that you can't fix it.
Hot soup on a cold rainy evening.
Kisses and hugs from my wife and son.
Finally getting a job done, at least for a while.