Thursday, November 29, 2007

Behold! The Power Of The Cookies

I've blogged before about Linda Lou's oatmeal raisin cookies. They are her Grandma Hagen's recipe and they are a hit everywhere they go. I sometimes take a bag of them as a reward for those who do me favors. Like my gunsmith. My '92 Winchester clone is very difficult to detail strip and get it back together and I like to shoot black powder cartridges in it. So, a couple times a year I have to detail strip it and clean the black powder residue off the small parts and out of the nooks and crannies. Well, a dozen oatmeal raisin cookies gets me a spot to strip it down, clean it up and, when needed, help getting it back together. Price ten minutes of a professional gunsmith's time and see what a bargain those cookies bring me.

Well, I took a baker's dozen of those cookies with me to my Cardiologist's offices yesterday, I figure anybody keeping me alive deserves a few cookies.

Every month my insurance company sends me a statement about how much I pay and how much they pay for my medications. Since I am on social security disability, the government pays for my premiums. I am always careful to thank the taxpayers in the store when I pick up my meds. Well, anyhow after the Doc got his bag of cookies (enough to share with the staff) he had his nurses dig around and fill a bag with physician's samples of over two months of one expesive scrip and three months of another.

This is some five hundred dollars worth of pills. Of course my out of pocket cost is five dollars and thirty-five cents per month per scrip, so I guess the taxpayers should send me a card or something. Or not. The reality is that a bag of cookies is a nice surprise for those who do good things for us and sometimes the reward is great.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Carbon Footprint?

So I was listening to the radio and it seems that a ship, owned by an eco-warrior friend of Algore, had a batch of eco-tourists on board to check out the ravages of glow-ball worming. So they go down to Antarctica, run in to an iceberg, sink with 48,000 gallons of marine diesel in the tanks. So what is the carbon footprint?

Why do I suspect that the world would be a better place had we saved the diesel fuel and let the eco-warriors sink?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving, 2007

We drove up to Plano for Thanksgiving dinner with Dean and Stephanie and the kids. As usual I have much to be thankful for, the finest family a man could have is the start of it.
Actually my family is the last of it, the beginning was a few hundred years ago when a bunch of people got tired of the old country. Somehow they built The United States of America. It wasn't perfect but it was good enough that my ancestors called it Golden America. Since then my family helped to keep building and we are not through yet. Those kids will keep building Golden America, better than they found her. For that I give thanks.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Doggie Friday.

The dogs were having a feeding frenzy, Daddy had a BOWL! Did you know that dogs just love instant vanilla pudding?

I've read that any reference to Ron Paul will drive up traffic for a blog. Now I am not really a Ron Paul expert, Ron Paul comes from the Houston area. Houston is where God would apply the deodorant. Now Ron Paul is not the reason I don't go to Houston for free. I don't go there because big cities suck, I do not think that is Ron Paul's fault. I do not think that Ron Paul helps, though.

Now if Ron Paul came by the house, Ming would bark at Ron Paul. Eddie would jump in Ron Paul's lap. CAP would sniff at Ron Paul's crotch. CAP sniffs every one's crotch, Ron Paul would be no exception. Linda Lou says that it is because CAP's nose is right at Ron Paul's crotch level.

Now if anyone is interested, I don't have anything against Ron Paul except Ron Paul's stance on the war. Now I have no problem with someone being against this war, the thing is Ron Paul is being dishonest about it. Now Congress approved the "use of force". Ron Paul says that we need a declaration of war. I hate to break the bad news to Ron Paul and the Ron Paul supporters but there is no wording required for it to be a declaration of war. Once Congress approved the use of force, that is all that was needed.

Ron Paul should read the Constitution.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Black Powder .45 Colt Shotshells

On one of the Cowboy Action Bulletin Boards I am a member of a Pard was wondering about .45 Colt shotshells. Now I load a few shotshells, with smokeless powder, in both .45 and .38 Special for snakes so I got curious.

Now when I get curious I head for the reloading room and get busy. Many have said that in order to load .45 Colt shotshells you need to start with .444 Marlin rifle cases and cut them down to the cylinder length of the .45, then run the cut down cases through a .44 Special or .44 Mag die to get the front bit of the case to fit the front end of the chamber, then fireform the case.

After all that, then you have to take the fireformed cases and drop the black powder in, then a stiff card wad or, better yet, a gascheck, then add the shot, then another wad or gas check, and crimp everything down. That is a lot of work.

Now, I thought it would be easier to simply drop in some black powder and just seat a Speer Shotcap over the powder. Today I finally tried it. Now the first problem is that black powder is a whole lot bulkier than smokeless. One of the common smokeless loads is 7.5 grains of Unique, remember a "grain " is not an individual speck of powder but a weight measure, 7,000th of a pound. Now there simply isn't room for a normal charge of black powder under a Speer shotcap, this is one of the reasons that black powder almost disappeared in Gramps' day.

I could only get 20 grains of Black in, my .45s usually carry some 35 grains. But then my usual bullet weight in 250 grains and these shotcaps weighed some 169 grains or a little more an a single .45 caliber round ball.

Now there is a Pard that "invented" the .45 Cowboy cartridge, what he did was order a bunch of cases from the Starline Brass people. These cases have the .45 Colt rim and diameter but are only as long as the .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. Another cowboy action Pard devloped a Big Lube Boolit that weighed the same as a round ball but has that great big lube groove, and a more normal, although very short of course, shape. This bullet is named after him, the El Paso Pete bullet.

Another Pard decided to try the Cowboy Cartridge with black powder, he mamaged to put in about 18.5 grains and the El Paso Pete bullet and got over 900 fps. Well, it seemed to me that a little more powder and the same payload weight ought to work for shotshells.

It does. At least at "there's a SNAKE!" range. I took a gunfull of these out with my usual targets, a couple of Linda Lou's plastic soda bottles and let fly. At normal SNAKE! ranges the bottles were nicely speckled with birshot holes. Now after the bottles were hit and flew a bit all the birdshot didn't exit the bottles, I suspect it was those shot that hit the part of the bottle on the ground.

At any rate I shall stick to the more normal smokeless powders for these shotshells. It's not that a smokey shotshells WON'T kill a close up snake, the higher velocity of the smokeless powder would give better penetration at the longer range, though, and after shooting real black your shootin' iron needs to be cleaned fairly quickly while smokeless gives a little more time. But if Black was all I had...

My Head Is Cold

I needed a haircut, badly and we didn't have ten dollars to spare. So, is my hair short enough?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Has It Really Been 232 Years?

It was 1775 that the Continental Congress approved a Corps of Marines to give our sailing ships the power of infantry. Since then the men, and now women, have stood on the ramparts of freedom.

If it's November Tenth it must be our anniversary, Linda Lou didn't want me to forget it. Not much danger of that. Not after nine grandchildren.

Speaking of grandchildren, number ten is due on June 13th, if all goes well. We haven't really been married for 232 years, not even all my life. We've only been married for the part of my life worth remembering.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I've noticed that the Dems are all up in the air over waterboarding again. I don't understand. From what I have read we've only waterboarded three people lately, all done by the CIA and none since 2003.

Now, excuse me for being a poor dumb redneck but wasn't the CIA still being run by that Democrat-appointed George Tenet back then? Now I don't particularly care if we waterboard a few AlQ types, for all of me we can gouge out their gonads and make them eat them, but then I am not real fond of those who would put my granddaughter in a burqua. However I am aware that a lot of folks don't agree. Or is it that they just don't agree when there is a Republican in the White House?

Anyway, here is my proposal: Every time someone starts screeching about torture we agree how horrible it was that the Clinton appointed Director of the CIA used to allow it but now that Bush has his man in the office that it is all over.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Morgan Shot In The Back And The Vendetta Ride Begins

After Virgil was shot things calmed down a little in Tombstone. The Earps and their wives all were living in the Cosmopolitan Hotel with Turkey Creek Jack Johnson, Texas Jack Vermillion, Sherman McMasters and a few other fellers guarding the hall.

This was when Wyatt's "marriage" to Mattie really fell apart and his romance with Josephine Sarah Marcus really took off. Sadie, as she was known was an actress/singer and perhaps also a lady of the evening. To make the politics/personal situation even more interesting Sadie dumped Johnny Behan for Wyatt. Well, at least she dumped Behan, he had a wandering eye, did Johnny, and it seemed that the other body parts wandered, too. No one is sure of the exact order of the Behan Dumping-Wyatt romancing.

Wyatt's "wife", Mattie was strung out on Laudanum, that is a drinkable morphine concoction, much used back then. Seems that Aspirin hadn't been invented. I have "wife" in quotes because there is no record of Mattie ever marrying. The Earps had a rather lurid family life. Seems that older brother James Earp had a wife named Nellie who also ran a sportin' house. Mattie worked in that sportin' house and it was there she met Wyatt.

Virgil's wife Allie was also a saloon girl as was Morgan's Louisa. Well, it stands to reason, the Earps main business was gambler/saloon keeper. Who would they meet?

So, we have Virgil healing, slowly, Morgan and Wyatt both with Federal law enforcement commissions but mostly working as gamblers and the tension rising. In February, 1882 Morgan sent his wife, Louisa to Colton, California to his parents.

By the night of March 18, 1882 men had to hire small boys to walk the streets ahead of them, cutting holes in the tension, just so they could get around. It is ten PM and Wyatt and Morg are killing time, waiting to close out the Faro Table at the Oriental Saloon. They are in the back room of Cambell and Hatch, a billiard parlor and card room, shooting pool.

In this room are Morg and Hatch, playing pool, Wyatt and George A. B. Berry, watching. There is a back door, solid on the bottom with the top half in four glass panes, the bottom two glass panes painted over, the top two clear. This so men could see inside while children could not, remember all those saloon girls.

Suddenly rifle fire burst out, a shot goes through Morgan's spine, exiting it lodged in George Berry's thigh, causing a painful flesh wound.

The other shot went high, right through Wyatt's hat but missing him. Morgan lived an hour, Wyatt, Sherm McMaster and someone named Tipton carried Morgan to a clear spot of floor where Doctors Matthews, Goodfellow and Millar all examined him and pronounced his wound fatal. They then moved him to a couch. He died about an hour later, surrounded by his brothers James, Wyatt, Warren and even Virgil, who was just begining to move around. Also were Allie and Nellie Earp, and a few other friends like Doc Holliday. Doc was raging and went through the town kicking in doors looking for various cow-boys. Morgan's last words were "I can't stand it...I've shot my last game of pool." The I can't stand it was from them trying to stand him up.

The best evidence points to Curly Bill Brocius and Frank Stillwell as the shooters with Indian Charlie, real name Florintino Cruz as the lookout.

The next day Morgan's body was shipped to Colton to be buried. The day after that Virgil, still very weak and sick, started his journey to Colton, also.He had to be carried up the steps of the train. An interesting historical note is that Allie wore his gunbelt so that he had access to a weapon.

When the train stopped at Tuscon Wyatt and Doc spotted Frank Stillwell on a flatcar, Wyatt and maybe Doc and Warren filled him with holes, beginning the Vendetta Ride.

Wyatt, Doc, Warren, Sherm McMaster and Turkey Creek Jack returned to Tombstone with a warrant out for them for Stillwell's death. We are told that this was a murder warrant although the reality is that they were merely wanted for questioning as Stillwell was a murder suspect himself and Wyatt was a Federal Officer. The Sheriff in Tuscon, Ron Paul, had worked with Wyatt for Wells Fargo, they were old friends. Had Wyatt stayed in Tuscon he would surely have beat the rap. Instead they left on the train with Virgil, getting off up the line and riding a freight train back to Benson where their horses were.

Returning to Tombstone they met up with Sheriff Behan as they were leaving town. This is when that famous conversation took place with Behan saying "Wyatt, I need to see you."

Earp replied "if you aren't careful you will see me once too often." The Earp Posse rode out of town, Behan then put together a posse of his own, consisting of at least one of the Clanton bothers, Fin, Johnny Ringo and about twenty of the cow-boys.

Here is where the history gets confusing. Including Stillwell history puts the death toll on the vendetta ride as somewhere between four and fifteen. We know that Indian Charlie was the next to go, he was cutting wood on Pete Spence's place. Now the Earp Posse wanted Spence, too as they were pretty sure that he was involved in shooting Virgil. What they didn't know was that Spence had turned himself in and was safe in jail in Tombstone.

There was more riding around by both posses and then Wyatt's posse rode up to Iron Springs where they were supposed to meet up with a friend with supplies. Instead they found Curly Bill and some of his pals. Shooting from cover, the first thing the Earp Posse knew was when the bullets started flying. Turkey Creek Jack's horse was killed, Wyatt came down off his horse and let two blasts of buckshot into Curly Bill. This spoiled Curly Bill's plans for running Cochise County, another shot went into Johnny Barnes, another cow-boy. Johnny died some two weeks later.

With all this shooting one would think that Wyatt would have been blown to doll rags. He had a bullet througfh his boot heel, several through his coat tails and pant legs and one through his saddle horn. No bullet touched his skin. Doc picked up Turkey Creek Jack and the Earp posse went to Henry Hooker's ranch to rest up and refit.

Meanwhile the Behan Posse returned to Tombstone having done nothing but spend a lot of the county's money.

From there the Posse moved out of Arizona and the vendetta ride was over, or was it? Nor the next few months several of the cow-boys met mysterious ends, not least Johnny Ringo. On July 14, 18982 Ringo's body was found by a teamster, John Yoast. Ringo was leaned against a tree with his gun in his hand and a bullet through his brain.

Now it is normal to think that he shot himself, there are a couple of details wrong, with that. Suicides are almost never found with the gun in their hand after shooting themselves through the head. The gun is still recoiling when the bullet takes out the brain, the hand muscles relax and the gun goes flying. Plus part of Ringo's hair and scalp had been cut off his head with a knife.

His boots were gone and his feet were wrapped in an undershirt. And one of his cartridge belts was buckled on upside down.

The one person we know for sure that had nothing to do with Ringo's death was Doc Holliday, he was in court on a larceny charge in Colorado during this. Buckskin Frank Leslie confessed to a guard in Yuma Territorial Prison that he did it, many claim that Wyatt Earp did it. I think Ringo killed himself but I wouldn't bet the rent on it.

A few years later the silver mines of Tombstone flooded and Tombstone went from growing city to a small town. Now it exist only to remove money from tourists, but once...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Wyatt Goes To Court

We last left The Earp Doc Holliday in the vacant lot between Fly's Boarding House and Harwood's Boarding house. The McLaury brothers and Billy Clanton are seriously dead, Virgil hit through one leg and Morgan hit across the back messing up the flesh over both shoulder blades and chipping a vertebrae. Doc had a bloody chunk blown out of the flesh over his hip.

The brave Sheriff comes out from the cover of Fly's Boarding House and places the Earp Party under arrest, and then scurries away when Wyatt tells him that he will "not be arrested by you". Shortly thereafter Wyatt and Doc post bond while Morg and Virgil are recovering at home.

This brings us to Judge Wells Spicer's court. Spicer, the Justice of the Peace, conducted an examining trial to see if there was enough evidence to hold Doc and the Earps over for trial. Something that is not much known today is that Spicer was from Monmouth, Illinois, the city of Wyatt Earp's birth. I have seen, in various websites, that Spicer and the Earps were related, although I can find no statements as to exactly how.

At any rate the Spicer hearing is very well known, with the transcript available on line. The keys to the Earps not being held to a murder trial are actually pretty simple. The anti-Earp faction claims that the Eaps and Holiday shot these men while they had their hands up, surrendering. They claim that the McLaury brothers and Billy Clanton were unarmed.One can, perhaps, forgive sarcastic old Doc Holliday for asking if Virg and Morg shot themselves.

Now about midway through this hearing, Will McLaury showed up. Will was a lawyer from Fort Worth, Texas and brother to Frank and Tom. He was pretty sure he could make the Earps and Doc do that funny dance at the end of a rope. He was wrong. Judge Spicer said that Virgil was acting as a law officer and that he was legitimately making an arrest. He then blistered Virgil for letting Doc into the party and wasn't too happy about Wyatt, either, him having just buffaloed Frank. Still, although Judge Spicer was critical about Virgil's choice of Deputies, he did have the right to deputise anyone he wanted so, case closed.

Ike and Will tried three times to get the case reopened, no one else wanted the case so, the Earps were free. Virgil was ambushed by shotgun wielding assassins. Witnesses reported five or six shotgun blasts, Virgil picked up some twenty buckshot pellets, wit another twenty-odd pellets hitting the Eagle Brewery and the Crystal Palace Saloon. This was the night of December 28th, 1881.

The lion's share of those buckshot pellets went through his upper left arm. He was crippled for the rest of his life although that did not prevent him from continuing as a law enforcement officer in several cities. Some five and a half inches of shattern bone and fragments was removed from Virgil's arm and it was thought that Virgil was going to die.

It was at this time that US Marshall Crawley C. Dake issued Wyatt his Deputy marshall's commission. Now Wyatt and Morgan were both Federal Officers.

Left at the ambush scene was a hat with Ike Clanton's name written on the inside. This intensified the feud.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Welcome To The World, Christopher James

Grandchild number nine made his appearance at 1240 AM Eastern Daylight time tonight. Christopher James XXXX born in a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina. Nothing unusual to report about the labor, those kids seem to have making boy babies down to a science. The new boy joins his three brothers.

At eight pounds and seven ounces and 20 and a half inches he seems to be a sturdy young feller. he should fit right in to my squad in the Army of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

I shall post pictures when we get them. These grandchildren are why I do not view the left as more than a passing pain in the kazoo. Liberals have one baby, late in life. We are outbreeding them. So we see four grandparents with two grandchildren on the Lib side and us with nine, so far.

Oh, I took the picture of the gun down and my blog went back to normal. I'll repost the picture later and see what happens.