Friday, December 31, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
We sent the Turkey home with Matt a few days ago to avoid it getting chilled in transport. I will make the Cherry Cream Pudding in the morning. I'm not really sure what else will be there, but Matt knows how to feed a crowd and I think they have already started cooking. Ask me how hard wife and I fought to have this at our house.
Part of the entertainment will be the movie "How to Train Your Dragon". I have made a point of watching it here first. I love our grandchildren, but they are not capable of watching a movie in a manner that will allow anyone else to keep track of what is on the screen.
After that Helene and I will return home for our own gift exchange, attended by Bear Dog and the Cats. Everyone has their special Christmas Movie, ours is Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.
The evening will finish up with Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas Live by candle light. Bear will be in my lap (still thinks he's a puppy) while Helene will be buried under Cats. Both will expect their fair share of what snacks we might have intended for our selves.
Santa still drops little things for us to find in the morning. Do I believe it's Santa? Yes I do.
In the words of Helene's father, "If you don't believe, you don't find any presents!"
Sunday, December 19, 2010
A young boy survived the crash, but that was almost a cruel joke. He died the next day of injuries. I pray his passing was easy.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I know winter. I was born in Dumas, up in the Texas panhandle. There are two windmills and a barbed wire fence between us and the North Pole. Hell, for me, would be standing in a long line in a blizzard. When friends told me it didn't snow in Houston I went home and started packing.
We are now one hundred and eighty plus miles north of Houston and I am horrified to say we have snow that stays on the ground over night here. It has happened twice in ten years, but it's worth it to live in the country.
I have been suffering (loudly) with over night lows in the twenties the last couple of weeks. The above photograph is of Don's thermoneter in Wisconsin. He is bragging!
There's really no place like home.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
So, Calvert is a town without law? Not quite.
The theory is that the Robinson County Sheriff's department and Constables are going to take up the slack, in all that spair time they have? They are estimating a responce time of 15 minutes due to distance. Too bad betting it Texas is against the law, I would take some of that action. This will be an instresting social experiment to watch from a distance.
Truth be told, problems with the Calvert PD are nothing new. Without going into the sort of details that would come back to haunt me, they have "parted ways" with a number of excellent officers over the years because they were doing the job they were hired to do.
Make of it what you will.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
These were one of the aircraft Mrs. Florence Watson used to deliver for the Ferry Command as a WASP. She told me many of the planes came from the factory in Russian markings and with instruments marked in Russian. A mechanic would get up on the wing while the ferry pilots settled in and mark the instruments with a grease pencil to show the safe operating ranges.
From the Bell Factory they would take the planes to an airfield in Montana built near the Canadian Border. For reasons I have never understood the Russians were not allowed to take possession of the planes in the United States. Furthermore, the ferry pilots could not fly the planes into Canada. The planes could not be taxied across the border (which was clearly marked) into Canada. They could not even be towed with a tractor or gas powered tug. Tow bars were attached and the planes were hauled into Canada with horses or oxen. If any of my readers know the reasoning for this I would be grateful if you would clue me in.
Mrs. Watson told me often getting the planes from the Bell Factory to Russia was an ‘all girl operation’. A large number of the Russian ferry pilots who took the planes after they had been towed into Canada were women.
It seems that there was no middle ground when it came to pilots feelings toward the P-39’s. Chuck Yeager speaks fondly of them in his autobiography. My friend, Mrs. Watson, does not have pleasant memories. Love them or hate them, it’s nice to know a few survived.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
With or without the permit if a person flashes their firearm, accidently or otherwise, there is hell to pay - at least in Texas. My position has always been, if I'm going to carry a weapon it will be something I can actually defend myself with. I mean, if not - why bother.
As some of you will know from an earlier post, the Smith & Wesson Model 10 here was a constant companion for years. My early training was on revolvers and still consider them a good choice for folks who are not experienced shooters. These are simple to use and reliable as the day is long. I know of one case of one binding or jamming, and I think that was due to some really nasty range reloads. The .38 special cartridge is large enough to do the job.
On the other hand we have this wonderful little Colt 1908 in .25 caliber. These are historic, well made and just as cute as they grow them. In my humble opinion, for self defense it's completely useless. Blazing Saddles fans will remember the line "bullets make Mongo angry." Bullets from this would make Pee Wee Herman angry.
That's not to say they were never carried for self defense. They were small and light and women loved them. Sometimes the just pointing a gun, any gun, is enough. These things are really loud indoors. Feel free to bet your life on something like this, but I won't. This is the gun you throw at people.
Again, folks who have followed me for a while, know I am in love with the Colt 1911 .45 Automatic. It is my personal choice for a carry weapon. The 1911 is reliable and hard hitting. It isn't a small weapon by any means, but being a 'full sized American' I don't have any trouble concealing it.
One of the attractions of the 1911 is that they aren't real expensive. They aren't the only choice for the budget minded. I throw no rocks at folks who need to save money but do your homework.
The picture below is a 1911 with a Cz. 52. The Czech pistol is an excellent military sidearm. The cartridge is hard hitting and they are fairly reliable.
The thing to know is that the 1911 has three safeties built into the weapon. I suppose it's possible the Colt will discharge when dropped, but I have never heard of it. I know for a fact that the Cz 52 will. I wrote about it back in February. Follow the link below to see the results.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I loved Halloween and Trick-or-Treating. Dressing up in costumes and collecting candy! Can it get any better than that?
Next came Thanksgiving. The gathering of the family, and the feast that followed seemed to get better every year. We would start the day gathered around the TV to watch the Macys Thanksgiving Day parade. The meal was a late lunch. As much as I loved the Thanksgiving meal, I always saved room for desert. Thanksgiving and Christmas were the only two time of the year my Mom and Grandmother would make Cherry Cream Pie.
This was not your standard Cherry Cream Pie. The Cherries are suspended in a sweet cream filling. It isn’t cooked; the cream solution is set up in a chemical reaction. It was one of Mom’s favorites when she was a little girl. If memory serves me correctly Ma Moo got the instructions off a can of Eagle Brand Condensed Milk in the 1930’s. Sadly, neither of them are available to call and ask anymore.
I’m not a Pie guy, but I learned how to make this one for myself while I was in Junior High. Like Mom and Ma Moo (my Grandmother’s nick name) I make it between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Why? If I made it any more often I would weigh 1,000 pounds. When folks would ask me about it I would refer them to the Eagle Brand people. I can’t always recall everything off the top of my head. Recently I got a call asking me, “Did your pie have cream cheese in it?”
A quick check of the web site confirmed they had “improved” my favorite childhood desert. I hate to suggest people that make such wonderful products are stupid, but what were they thinking?
To serve Humanity and preserve Cherry Cream Pie I am listing the original instructions. You will need;
1 can of Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
1 can of water packed Tart Pitted Cherries
¼ cup of Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon of Vanilla
1/8 teaspoon of Almond Extract
Combine the Eagle Brand Condensed Milk, Lemon Juice, Vanilla and Almond Extract in a mixing bowl. Drain the cherries and add them to the contents of the mixing bowl, then pour the mixture into a chilled pie shell. I still lick the bowl.
To be fair, I also make changes. First, I serve the Cherry Cream as a pudding. After a couple of hours pie shells get soggy, and I hate that. Second, I always make a double batch. A single batch isn’t enough to go around our family gatherings.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Captain Allcorn didn't get very far with his first flight during Operation Torch, but the other two cubs did.
Fighters of the day carried four to six machine guns. Bombers carried a couple of tons of bombs early in the war. But the L-4 Pilot and Radio Operator directed the guns of one battle ship, to an entire task force. When spotting for the Army the could call fire from over 100 + guns at times down on a target.
After their combat trial in North Africa the Army wanted more of the liaison planes as 'eyes in the sky' for future invasions.
The L-4 next became the only plane in history that had an aircraft carrier designed just for it. The Navy needed it's carriers for their own aircraft, so LST's were converted with a plywood deck laid the length of the ship. There were six slanted parking ramps, three on each side, to store planes prior to launch. I believe the plan was to keep four planes lashed down to the rear of the flight deck, figuring they would still have room to take off.
Officers who didn't fly, and weren't flying in the cubs, were sure they could crowed six and still get off OK. The best I can say to that logic is that cubs take care of their people. No one seems to be sure how many LSTs were converted in this manner.
The biggest drawback to the LST carriers is that the L-4s were on a one way trip. The little planes had no arresting gear and the LSTs had no cable system. They could not land back on the LST after launching. In fact, after the last plane was off, the plywood deck was torn apart and pushed overboard in most cases.
Below is a photograph from the National Archives taken aboard one of the converted LSTs, #906, in the harbor of Naples, Italy. It shows the liaison plane crews gathered in front of an L-4. I treasure this photo because the names of the men are listed.
In the Pacific there were places the L-birds had no choice but to return to the ship. My friends, you ain't gonna believe the answer they came up with!
Note: I found these photos on the net. If the owners object to my use of them, drop me an E-mail and I will take them down.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Say hello to my new little friend.
A couple of weeks ago a local man brought me an SKS, belonging to a friend, that wouldn't chamber rounds. He didn't have any details beyond that. There could have been a number of problems.
I took the beastie home and broke it down for a good cleaning. There was no change. After about three days of this I thought maybe there was a blockage in the chamber, and figgured I knew what.
I never realized just how hard it was to get a broken case (shell) extractor. No one local had one for sale. I tried an auction site and I am still waiting for the tool I ordered there.
I finally contacted one of the online vendors that came highly recomended. They had the extractor, with shipping it would have run twenty plus dollars and wouldn't be in until next week (after the first of November).
So I contacted Cheaper than Dirt, some Texas boys out of Ft. Worth. With shipping the extractor was just over half to first quote. They mailed it the next day and it was at the post office Thursday.
After fighting with this thing for almost three weeks I was eager to try the extractor. On the first attempt nothing happened. So I unscrewed it a couple of turns and tried again. This time the action on the SKS locked solid.
I finally resorted to the offically discouraged, sargent recomended practice of kicking down on the bolt like the kickstart on a motorcycle. You can see the results.
The entire neck of a SKS case had been torn off and stuck in the chamber. I ran twenty rounds through it and re-cleaned it before taking it back.
With all the shooting I've done this was the first time I have ever needed a broken case extractor. After this experience I will be in the market for several more.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
TV consisted of nothing interesting, so I went to the DVDs. If the cats had any suggestions they kept them to themselves once the Catnip came out. As you may have guessed, I elected to watch El Dorado.
You may as well say John Wayne made this movie three time, the others being Rio Bravo and Rio Lobo. This one has always been my favorite.
I noticed this evening that El Dorado is turning into a ghost story. Most of the head liners are gone now. James Caan is still working, I'm told he used his old handle, Alan Bourdillion Traherne, recently on an episode of Las Vegas. I would have liked to have seen that.
Guns are always a big part of any western, this one was no different. I'm not sure when John Wayne started carrying the large loop Winchester, but it was featured here. Of course, the main reason this is my favorite version of this story is Mississippi's shotgun. There are many firearms I want, one of these I will someday have. In the meantime I get a lot of mileage from my little howdah pistol.
Another interesting Firearm that shows up in this one is Bull's (Arthur Hunnicutt) Colt revolving rifle. To the best of my knowledge this is the only movie featuring one of these beasties. If anyone out there knows of another, give us a shout.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The good news is I got an email from someone with a Remington Model 8 rifle. It is at his home in another part of the state, but he will bring it back to central Texas next time he visits.
The bad news, the folks who wanted to use the Motorcycle for the photo shot cancled. Pitty, it sounded like a fun trip.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
The other state quarters showed up in time, even the hard to find Philadelphia's. All, that is, except of the Utah Philadelphia. It remained the only gap in the State Quarter Book for almost three years.
Tonight I found it! Don't ask me where it came from. The routine is to drop all my pocket change into a jar in the evening, then sort it on the weekend. There were three Utah's, I couldn't believe it when I flipped the first one over and found the P.
So they are out there friends and neighbors! Just keep looking.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
As much as I enjoyed Tony's movies I was more impressed with his early history. He was one of the young men that didn't wait to be drafted in World War Two, but joined the US Navy after seeing Destination Tokyo and Crash Dive.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
We have been chasing parts, and recently discovered a fule leak, so I thought I was sunk. It turns out the job is a photo shoot with models posing on and around the vehicles, so as long as it looks good, that's all that matters. He asked for pictures, this is one of the photos we sent.
Tom will be taking a Willys Jeep. When he was asked about a Motorcycle with Sidecar he thought of ours. Tom is a pro, and a good friend I have worked for in the past. His vehicles work on a regular basis, so I have a good feeling about this.
This is a still photo shot so the bike not running isn't a problem. If the photographer likes the photos of the bike I sent him, I may have an interested project to report on in the near future.
Monday, September 20, 2010
The rifle is a Remington Model 8, a classic dating back before World War I.
I have admired these iconic weapons pretty much all my life, but have never had the pleasure and honor of fireing one. I need to change that and hope some of you folks might be able to give me a hand.
Last month I posted Them Bank Robbers is Worth Money about the Dead Bank Robbers Reward Program and asked if any readers had additional information. I got an excellent lead, thanks Bob.
In the same story I have a character using a Remington Model 8. I have read a couple dozen articles about the rifle. The shooters reading this know that won't tell me half as much as getting together with someone who has one and running a box of cartridges through it.
So, if anyone in the Central Texas Area has one of these rifles and would like to go shooting some time, please email me at P47f6f@aol.com and let me know when. If some of you folks out of the area know of anyone who lives here, please pass them my information.
I realize getting the guns wrong has never kept anything out of print, but I want to do the Remington Model 8 justice.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday Morning my wife likes to watch CBS Sunday Morning to get her day started. Fifteen minutes into the program the power went out. That time they had service restored within an hour. Annoying, but livible.
This evening we had settled down to select viewing for the night, about five thirty PM, and the lights went out again. This time I plug the entertainment center into what Sportsmans Guide called a "Generator Cart."
It's a 1000 Watt Inverter mounted on a housing that I installed a Marine Deep Cycle Battery into. I have no idea why they discontinued this wonderful beastie. It's good for about four hours fully charged, depending on how you use it. It turned out I was only going to have about an hour on it, which should have been enough.
I called the (unnamed, at least for this entry) power company and got an estimate of fourty five minutes to an hour to have service restored. When the generator cart gave out I plugged it and the entertainment center into the Gas Generator. After making the switch I came back in and called the power company again. This time their best guess was by three AM.
If I seem a little over the top on the subject, it's because of Ike. I think it was two years ago the hurricane hit the Texas Coast. No one has yet explained to me why folks in Central Texas should be without power for most of a week when a hurricane hits the coast. For most of the first day they kept insisting we would have power back on in two or three hours. The most annoying part was driving past houses, in the country or other towns, served by other companies with lights on the entire time. So, we waited.
Finally the power was restored. The part I find really galling is when they drop the ball, it happens and we should live with it.
BUT TRY BEING LATE WITH A PAYMENT!
The power company actually got the power back on an hour early, two AM rather than three AM,
It seems in this case I need to cut them a little slack. The power outage was due to some fool in Calvert, Texas shooting up the relay station. One can only hope they are found. They should hope the locals aren't the ones that find them. They are even more upset than I was.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The worse I have delt with health wise up to this year was a really bad flu that sent me to see the doctor several times before it ran it's course. Then of course there was the nerve damage I wrote about not too long ago. I seem to be making up for lost time.
The arm is doing fine, in fact I don't even notice any problems from it these days. I made another visit to my good friend Dr. Sterling last week, who assures me I do not have a broken rib.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I was put in mind of some OSS types working with tribesmen in the CBI. They requested headquarters to sent them shotguns to equip the tribesmen rather sub machine guns. Their reasoning being sub machine guns were more complex than the tribesmen were comfortable with, but they were quite at home with the shotgun the OSS types had with them.
The shipment was delayed so the "experts" at headquarters (who had never been closer to a jungle than the Central Park Zoo and/or Tarzan movies) could confirm they really wanted shotguns. Their 'research' showed sub machine guns were much better suited to jungle warfare.
After the screaming fit the OSS types sent back a message saying “What we really wanted was muzzle loading muskets. The tribesmen could scrounge powder from enemy ammunition and they could load river pebbles and nuts and bolts from wreaks they encountered in the jungle for shot. But we didn't think you would send us muskets so we settled for shotguns."
Three guesses what was airdropped to them about a month later. Evidently there where tons of Civil War Muskets in warehouses around Washington. The OSS types screamed themselves horse when they saw the muskets.
But, you know what - the tribesmen loved them! They could scrounge powder from enemy ammo and they could shoot river pebbles and nuts and bolts from wreaks they encountered in the jungle. After cutting the barrels down to a more convenient length they were their preferred weapons to the end of the war.
I love a happy ending.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
For a couple of months I had been trying to chase down details. Was this an urban myth or real? Who offered the reward, and when? What were the details? I kept striking out. Finally someone in the writers group suggested I write the Library of Congress and ask. I hit pay dirt!
To start with I was trying to be too fancy with my wording. I was asking about 'Bounties' paid on Texas bank robbers, or rewards offered for bank robbers in the State of Texas. No, the Texas Bankers Association (TBA) was much more basic. They called it THE DEAD BANK ROBBERS REWARD PROGRAM.
Texas country folks had been having hard times long before Black Thursday in October of 1929 when the rest of the country caught up. Bank robbery had become very popular, to the tune of two or three a day state wide. In 1926 a reward of $500.00 was offered for any bank robber killed in the act. In 1927 the reward was raised to $5,000.00 dollars.
Does this sound fantastic? It gets better. To clear up any misunderstanding the statement went on to say the TBA would not pay a penny for bank robbers captured or wounded. Bank Robbers were worth $5,000.00 dead - each!
Of course, Texans being enterprising folk, were not always content to sit around waiting for someone to rob a bank. There are always a couple of good ol' boys, not real bright but greedy. Combine them with the town thugs, equally greedy and ruthless, and you get the idea. When the good ol' boys come out of the bank with the money, their friends that were suppose to cover their getaway shoot them down like dogs.
Bloodthirsty? Oh Yeah! In the end there was only one side of the story told. Pretty good return, considering some of these robberies would have netted way less than $1,000.00 dollars. Beside that there was the practical side to consider. You didn't want to go taking pot shots at Dillinger or Bonnie and Clyde. Those crazy bastards would kill you.
This became extremely wide spread, to the point that the Texas Rangers sent no less than Frank Hamer, later of Bonnie and Clyde fame, to investigate. When he reported that a large number of the people being slaughtered in these robberies were set up, the TBA was unmoved. They argued anyone who could be talked into taking part in a bank robbery should be killed.
There was so much bad press on the subject that the TBA did reword their statement to read they would pay the reward only on 'Legal Kills'. The shootings started being investigated seriously. Bank Robbery became a Federal Crime in the mid 1930's and the FBI got involved. At that point collecting on the Dead Bank Robbers Reward Program just got to be too much like work. So, did the reward go away? Yes - in 1964!
At this point, I could use some help. As you might guess City Fathers don't put this sort of thing on their city web pages. I know this happened, a lot. If I know where, I can work backwards and get details. So, if any of you know of a Texas town where such a Bank Robbery Scam took place I would be grateful if you left a comment or emailed me at P47f6f@aol.com
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The worst part is I asked Helene to take this photo. I wish she had at least told me to close my mouth.
At the moment, here at HomePlace, we are harvesting and processing pears. We have everything close to the ground. I'm going for those higher. But the point of the photo is my little friend - the 1911. In the eleven years we have been here, either this handgun or something similar has been my constant companion.
Does that sound melodramatic? We are very much alone out here. There are two towns within ten miles of HomePlace, and neither have jurisdiction to respond to a 911 call out here. If a problem requiring a firearm shows up, I need it now. We aren't talking a big back yard, HomePlace is thirty five acres. I don't have time to run back to the house for a gun.
The problems in the past have been dog digging into the chicken pens. If I chase them off, they just come back later, then there is a pen full of dead birds. Talking to the owners accomplishes nothing.
Other times it's been a Copperhead or other type of snake. If I find them out in the woods where God intended, I leave them be, even the poisonous ones. But they love baby rabbits, chicken and eggs. Few thrills compare with discovering a snake in a nest you're collecting eggs from. They also lurk in bushes near paths where dog, cats, wife and grandchildren play. I don't need anyone accidently stepping on one. If they are around the house, they're toast.
From time to time I have an unfamiliar vehicle show up. I am friendly, I never make reference to the weapon, but it is always noticed. Sometimes it's just someone wanting directions. Sometimes it's not. Either way word gets around that there are easier pickings elsewhere.
Evidently sometimes that's not enough. Bear has been barking a lot lately at night. Sometimes it's the cat's bugging him. Sometimes it's stray dogs. At least twice in the last week it's been a car making the circle that didn't stop. As a matter of fact, took off when the porch light came on.
A couple of nights ago I lit them up with a Q-beam from the M-37. They almost hit a tree on the way out. We haven't seen them since.
Still, they may be back. My little friend and I may need to arrange a surprise.
Of course by little friend, I mean the 1911. Fluffum isn't much for outdoor heroics.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
My second apology is for anyone who has ever suffered nerve damage. I mean nerve damage, that's where you have a numbness in extremities like fingers - maybe some tingling - right? Some of you are going to know that's a real stupid question. Trust me folks, since April I've gotten a lot smarter on the subject.
One afternoon I was working on the computer, elbows resting on the chair arms when it felt like someone hit the right elbow with a board and a flash-bang went off behind my eyes. My right arm of course, no sense doing anything halfway. Over the next hour I discovered this was serious.
Tingling? The two fingers on my right hand, the little finger and that nameless finger next to it, were numb. Movement was clumsy and awkward. I discovered I had no strength in my right hand. My grip strenght between thumb and fore finger was extremely weak. How weak? I could not use my right hand to unlock my vehicle door. My penmenship, never great, actually got worse. Fine work that required dexterity was out the window.
This was with our Cops and Robbers event looming on the horizon. Tip for folks who practice unusual cirmcumstances when shooting, off hand with a handgun is good. Teach yourself to load magazines with the off hand. It's something I had never thought about, and is harder than you might think.
My biggest fear was that I could not handle handguns . I discovered I could handle handguns safely. One of the few benifits of the injury was a dandy excuse for bad shooting. So I did what I could and had my range assistances take over a lot of the demos. That program I littery could not have done without them.
The pain has been constant and nagging. One part that bothered me most was that I could no longer sleep with one arm over my wife. I had to be on my right side to get any sleep at all. What sleep I got was fitful bits and snaches.
The pain ran along the bottom of the arm from my little finger to the elbow and up into the shoulders and neck. I remember "rolling my neck" and feeling like some big angry dude was jerking a cable that ran from the little finger up. Not plesant.
There was really no comfortable position to hold the arm in. I gave up on a sling after only a few minutes. Driving was all kinds of fun. I have a small pillow in the truck to rest my arm on, but not the elbow. I rest the elbow on nothing. Before I even got to the doctor I was taking so much over the counter pain medication we wife was concerned.
Over the next six weeks there were several visits to Dr. Sterling - in my personal openion better than Bones from Star Trek even without the fancy gaggets. X-rays and my first MRI later he explained that a nerve was probably pinched, most likely in the elbow.
Dr. Sterling explained about nerve induction test. This would answer all manner of questions. He described the test as shoving a knitting needle into the nerve and hooking it up to a battery charger. He also explained the surgery that would correct the situation - maybe. And them he advised me to wait on both and explained this sort of thing will sometimes correct it's self. That was hard, but he made a good argument. He ended the session by prescribing medication with all manner of scarie side effects.
Most of the time the pain in my arm was between the elbow and the little finger. Other times it would run all the way up to my neck. A pillow to rest the arm on became my constant companion.
So "the arm" and I took off to work the 2010 Census. Driving all over Robinson County, Texas chasing down addresses was actually fun. Finding an unnumbered house, on an unmarked road, based on a map a five year old would be embarassed to claim, gives one a real sence of accomplishment.
There were good and bad days. The day our son, Matt, and I crawled under the truck to change the fuel tank almost killed me. Other days I don't think about "the arm". The pain is constant, just different levels. Thing is, when you get busy you don't think about the pain. You take it one day at a time and try not to dwell on the problems.
Then one day last week I realized I had unlocked the pickup with my right hand. I have been able to do so everyday since. There is no more tingling or numbness. The pain at the moment is in my hand and wrist, but it's managable. It isn't over yet, but I can see improvement.
So I'm back folks. Please forgive my absents, it won't happen again.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Today my thoughts are of the men I've had the privilege of knowing who took part in D-Day 66 years ago today. They would be the first to point out everyone, in and out of the service, contributed where ever they were.
These were ordinary folks, uprooted from their lives, who faced the dragon of the 20th. Century and met it head on. Afterwards they buried their dead, healed their wounded and returned to their lives.
I thought they would last forever, but I only have to look at the guy with gray hair in the mirror to understand no one does.
Embrace the World War Two vets we still have with us, and say a prayer for those who have gone to their rewards.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
At the Marlin Courthouse we have a tradition of ringing the bell to honor fallen heroes. This year I started off by ringing the bell for James Coryell. Then I rang the bell for Richard Penny, a United States Marine who fell in Afghanistan early in May of this year. It is a sad truth that the bill for the freedoms we enjoy is paid by men like Coryell and Penny.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Our son Matt and his son 'Spud' moved heaven and earth to get the range ready. He was also one of the range masters that worked with new shooters. He has a gift for this as anyone will discover watching him teaching his own children.
Hangman has been my best friend for over 20 years. He is a storehouse of knowledge and has always given me free run of his firearms collection. These programs wouldn't be near as good without him.
The real glue that holds it all together is my loving bride Helene. Once the event started she handled registration and handed out ammunition. It was the easiest day she had in months.
Not pictured is our ace photographer Amy Sharp. This is because she is usually behind the camers. We use photographs from other people but for quality and volume Amy can't be beat. I would love to make her our offical photographer.
The folks who attended are also part of what makes this fun. Our friend Jean Marie was there along with her Dad. George spent many years as a competative shooter and is quite knowledgeable about firearms and shooting. Having him there felt a bit like defending a thesis, but being a gentelman, if he disaggreeded with anything I said he gave me a pass.
One of the new faces was a man I nicknamed 'The Rifleman' seen here with my 30-30. I believe he had met one of these before!
To paraprase the late great Gorden R. Dixon "Firearms come to Mark's hands like friendly dogs." For someone who hasn't shot much he doesn't miss much either. Here he is making friends with my Mk. VI Webley. If I ever run short on instructors he and I may need to talk.
After hearing how much fun Mark had at THE GREAT PUMPKIN SHOOT his wife Mary Fran wasn't about to be left home again! Here she is learning about the .45 Colt trapper from Matt.
For months we had been hinting at a suprise finally. Once everyone had checked out on the various firearms they were ready.