Sunday, March 28, 2010

Grimmest Economic News Yet!

In more news that the economy is going south farther than in 1929-1940, the Marlin Firearms company is closing it's doors next year. This is a company that started in 1870, survived the great depression, as well as several of the big financial panics of the late 19th Century and is still (but not for long) making the oldest continuously produced shoulder arm in the world, the Marlin 39A. This little rifle, alas, is beyond the means of most .22 shooters, having been developed back when rifles were built with lots of hand fitting.

Marlin, today is built mainly around the old fashioned shootin' irons, lot's of neat little .22 rifles and, in centerfire, lever actions. The post Obama election gun boom has mainly been in handguns and autoloading rifles, especially the AR-15 clones. Unfortunately few people today know that one can shoot a good lever action apractice and who take the time to aim.

The rise of Cowboy Action Shooting had given Marlin a new lease on life for a few years, until the Italian clones of the 1866 and 1873 Winchesters became more popular. These rifles are not nearly so strong as the Marlin, or the '92 Winchester clones, due to their design they can't really take pressures much higher than the black powder levels of the 1880s but, due to the "short stroke" kits that SASS allows, they are faster to operate. Nobody in the Cowboy Action Matches much cares about the added weight and low power of these rifles. Most of us who use the rifles for competition, hunting and as a long arm for defense, choose a different gun, either the various Winchester 1892 clones or one model or other of the Marlin 1894.

I have a special fondness for the Marlin 1894 Carbines, as opposed to their rifles with the octagonal barrels, I like the light weight and effortless balance. My little 1894C Carbine is only thirty-six inches long and weighs six pounds. It holds nine .357 Magnum rounds or ten .38 Specials. It is the perfect companion for the person who wears a .357 or .38 revolver. The same is true for the 1894 in .44 for those who like the bigger hole in the barrel.

The 1894 Cowboy rifles are half a pound heavier, other than that they are just as nice. They also come in .45 Colt which the regular 1894s do not come in.

Also going, alas, are the 336 models in .30-30 and .35 Remington. These were the major competition for the Winchester 94 in .30-30, .32 Special and .25-35, which is also defunct.

The demise of Marlin also means that H&R will be gone as they were swallowed up by Marlin some time back, there goes the inexpensive break open single shot rifles and shotguns.

It's pretty sad, more and more, the gun industry, which we once lead, is now moving to Italy and China.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

So, Now We Find Out

Well, it's time we find out whether or not we are the sons and daughters of the men who stormed the beaches at Normandy and Tarawa and the women who built the airplanes and the ships or if our courage has been bred out of us. We'll find out in November.

Obama, Reid and Pelosi think we have somehow become Frenchmen, that we'll take any insult from "our betters" in government. I say different. We have the ballot. Since the government clowns fail to listen to us we will speak with our votes. If, however, they keep pulling tricks like that unfunny clown Franken, we have other means to make them listen. Listen they will, though, whether they want to or not.

It is interesting to see that some on the left are claiming that the Tea Partiers in Washington shouted racial epitaphs at congresscritters on their way to vote in that stacked deck. Oddly, though, Representative Jesse Jackson, Junior was recording the whole thing on one of those little video cameras. One would think if such a thing had happened, the left would be filling the airwaves with the videos. Since they aren't I question the veracity of such statements. More importantly, I question the motives of those making such statements.

Leftists have been telling lies for generations now. With everyone carrying cell phone cameras and cheap video cams those lies have been exposed, over and over. They may want to claim that our side are the racists, meanwhile we know that the loudest voices shouting "nigger!" at a Tea Party event were when those SEIU thugs were beating Kenneth Gladney.

The Democrats have thrown a gauntlet at our feet, after slapping us with it. They think we'll take it. Somehow, I think different.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Kinda Dopey

I went to see a back doctor Thursday, a real adventure as Linda Lou didn't want to be left alone for so long. It started with getting Linda Lou out onto the deck with her walker, then into her chair, down that too steep ramp and then back onto the walker and into the van, then walker and wheelchair into the van. Whew! Naptime! Whoops! Plus Bee Eye Eng Gee Oh! We couldn't go without Bingo T. Pug, now could we?

Anyhow, no time for a nap, we had to drive to Rockwall, TX to one of the offices of the Texas Back Institute. Fortunately we were nice and early because we had the same rigmarole getting Linda Lou out of the car. Once we got in I had about five X-rays on my neck and back and then into an examining room where I met my Doc, who turned out to be a surgeon.

He explained that I have some fairly serious Degenerative Arthritis. I answered with something along the lines of "No scatological expletive, Sherlock, what was your first clue?" The bottom line is I'll see a non-surgical Doc on my follow up visits, and I got some fairly stout muscle relaxants and some pain pills. I am also supposed to go for some physical therapy but that isn't until after Linda Lou is up and around. The Doc is a nice guy and realizes that I have enough on my plate right now.

We then went by the Kroger's over there, Linda Lou stayed in the car with Bingo. There are a few things Kroger's has that Wal-Mart doesn't. From there we went to the newest location of Half Price Books, so new they're not selling anything yet, just buying so they'll have something in stock when they open Monday. Too bad, there are no really good bookstores within about forty miles.

About then I was getting pretty sore so we only made two more stops, to Ded Bath and Beyond to buy a pillow for Linda Lou's wheelchair and Wal Mart for my scrip. Linda Lou got to go into Wal Mart because of the electric buggies they have, it's a lot less work, too, without having to get the wheelchair in and out of the van.

The new pills are making me really dopey, though. I shall not have much to say about anything until I am more acclimated to them or I'm done taking them. They are working though. After each dose wears off I can tell I have a little more range of motion in my neck and a little less pain in my lower back, plus I seem to be able to stand longer before those lower back muscles start to cramp. that should count for something. I am not sure that I'll still need these after a few more days.

Anyhow, that was my big adventure. Monday it's more doctor stuff, this time for Linda Lou. In other important news I made up a nice big cottage pie for a couple-three night's supper.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


It doesn't help that my back has been hurting ever since I pulled Linda Lou up that way to steep ramp so she could come in the house. Not that I have ever particularly wanted a girl so skinny she could bathe in a shotgun barrel.

I have been just flat wore plumb to the bone since Linda Lou came home. Luckily we don't have a slew of kids still at home, just taking care of her and the dogs, plus me, is more than I cared for, really. Oh well, we do what we must, sometimes it's just more work than we expect. I keep reminding myself that someday the situation will be reversed.

Yesterday we got a visit from a county social worker, there will be a volunteer crew out soon to rebuild the ramp. She also checked to find out if Linda Lou's health insurance would rent her a wheelchair, which was delivered that same afternoon. All without that jug eared idiotic Chicago thug "helping". And Michelle didn't help push her from the real hospital to a "neighborhood clinic", either.

I really wish I could have gone to Washington, DC for that big shindig today but even without the broken bone issues, neither of my Senators, nor my House Rep did, or would, vote for this monstrosity. That's something.

Well, while I was whining about all my troubles, here on the blog, my Linda Lou got on her cell phone and made an appointment with her back doctor for me. So I see them day after tomorrow. Somehow that seems faster than under government run health care would be.

Anyhow, nothing much to say, I'm working my way through a mountain of laundry with Linda Lou's instructions. I do a lot better with her instructions but don't tell her that, she'd get the big head.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Home With The Armadillos

It was The Big Day. I started by doing just enough last minute housework to keep Linda Lou from killing me over the state of the house and, remember, we keep house with a long handled pitchfork. Then I finally went out and cleaned the inside of the windshield with Windex, I just couldn't stand it any more.

I got to the hospital right about the time Linda Lou told me to be there, only to discover I was late. Marriage is one of the few institutions where a man can get in trouble for doing exactly as he is told. Once I got there I started thanking Heaven that I had been bringing the laundry home every visit. I made the mistake of taking Linda Lou everything she asked for, forgetting how she takes four suitcases on an overnight trip. Plus one pair of clean socks for me. Anyhow a nice nurses aide (they have a different title now which I disremember) brought me a cart and, eventually, I got everything loaded and on the elevator and down I went, Linda Lou following in her wheelchair.

I simply cannot say enough about the many acts of kindness and caring by the whole staff of Hunt County Memorial Hospital. They have been simply wonderful and I shall go to my grave thanking them. I also have a little something to say about "America's unaffordable and inferior medical system." Now I know that Michelle O. spent a lot of time making good money steering the poor away from what is alleged to be a first class hospital up there in Chicago but then, from what I've read, there is nothing at all honest or first class in that whole county.

Down here in Texas a lower middle class woman can break a couple of bones on the 24th of February and stay in the hospital until the 12th of March, mainly getting physical therapy until she can work her way about the house, unassisted by anything but her walker, which was paid for by our insurance.(along with everything else, so far.

So, after all the loading of baggage and Linda Lou into the car we had to wend our way home. First stop was the prescriptions at Wally World, since she needed them today we got one of the electrical carts for her to sit in and it must have been a Toyota. Every time she pushed the button the wrong way it went backwards instead of forwards or vice versa. Imagine that. She eventually got it straight in her head though. Meanwhile I got milk and such, plus a few of those big Marie Callender's Pot Pies. From there it was over to Brookshires, which for some reason I still call Minyards, they are each medium sized supermarkets which are usually more expensive than Wally World but they have good sales. I bought a couple more of their angus Beef Top Sirloin Steaks for the freezer plus four boxes of maple sausage links and somne pints of ice cream, all on sale.

Lastly a quick stop for Linda Lou's cheeseburger and Tots, another stop to pay the water bill and home! The very start of getting from the car to the house was made more difficult than it should have been by all the rain we've been having, the ground was soft and the "feet" of the walker were trying to sink. then, as I had feared, the ramp is too steep. We finally got Linda Lou's four wheeled walker that she bought some time back, mainly so she always would have a place to sit on trips, onto the ramp, she backed up and sat down and with her pushing with her good foot and me pulling, got her to the deck and then we got her other walker and into the house. Well, except we had to open the door to an hysterical Bingo. Pug. Ming the Merciless just laid in her little doggie bed and barked until Linda Lou was in her chair and had her in her lap. Meanwhile I brought the groceries and some of the luggage in, the rest can sit in the car until I bring it in.

Anyhow, it was an adventure but we've got her home. Thank you Hunt County Memorial and thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Training Day.

Well, today I have to go back to the hospital without any of the dogs. It's the day the Physical Terrorists are going to be teaching Linda Lou to get from the walker into the van so that she will be able to come home Friday.

Please forgive me if today's post is a little disjointed...I took my today's morning pills last night instead of my night time pills. Then when I woke up and wondered what was wrong I noticed it and then stayed up for an hour or three, and took my night time pills without the sleep aid and antidepressants which also help me to sleep.

It was an adventure last night, I stopped and bought a shower transfer bench yesterday and, when I got it home, discovered that the assembly directions were written by Latvians, then translated into Chinese by someone only casually familiar with each language, then translated from the Chinese into English by a Turk who was unfamiliar with Chinese. There were, perhaps, some Urdu speakers involved.

Anyhow, an easy, fifteen minute job took an hour and a week's ration of ugly words, with the dogs hiding. Well, CAP was out in the backyard being a Mud Monster. Bingo, though, may have been abused or maybe he's just sensitive. Whenever I raise my voice he is sure he's done something awful and hides from the coming punishment. In his whole life with us he's never once been hit with anything although I've threatened him with a map of Colorado. And maybe Nebraska, I have a map of Nebraska that I've paddled CAP a few times. They pay attention when you tell 'em they're gonna get beat with Nebraska!

The ramp is built. Trouble is, I think it may be too steep. I do believe, though, that I can take a few more boards and tie it together to make the ramp five or, maybe, ten feet longer with would lesson the angle. This will be a fairly easy job, run some 2x4s underneath to tie the two sections together and, viola! A longer ramp, less steep. Until then, I'll have to stand behind and push or, going down, stand in front of and brake. While all of this goes on I'll try to be too polite to mention that none of all this would be needed had she only not tripped over thin air in an empty hallway.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Keep Out! Construction Zone.

I have the lumber for the ramp to replace the front steps now. Who knew lumber was so expensive these days? I mean lumber grows on trees! I didn't buy enough lumber for the whole world, two 2x10s, two 2x12s and one 4 x4 four and two 2x4s, those last for bracing. Plus a box of wood screws. One hundred and fifteen dollars! If construction wasn't dead we could have snuck 'round and, nah, no sense in me getting shot.

Who, precisely, do we have to thank for this? I wasn't buying old growth redwood or the Cedars of Sinai, I was buying plain, treated lumber. I suspect the Greenies. Somehow, we ordinary Americans need to convince Washington to listen to us for a while instead of every idiot "environmental group", mostly each of those groups consisting of three people and a fax machine, cranking out press releases having nothing to do with the real world. Is that spotted owl family (the ones that only live in old growth forest) still living in that K-Mart sign?

Anyhow, my pal Steve is coming over to do the skilled labor on this ramp contraption. We are using the 2x10s and 2x12s together to make a 44 inch wide ramp, that's what will go between the stairway bannister's. I have a few concrete blocks around and the neighbors have this pile of scrap lumber for additional bracing. I figure we're building a ramp for the ages.

Linda Lou is being discharged from the hospital on this coming Friday. It's high time. I find myself talking to her because I forget she's not sitting in her little chair by the desk. I've been telling her, several times a day, that I like coffee, for instance, just in case she forgets. For a while it made her mad, now she realizes it's just another running joke. I also tell her how I like pie but I don't get that as often as I do coffee.

Anyhow, I'm not used to being single anymore and I'm certainly not used to washing ladies' undergarments. Guy's laundry is easy. White underwear in one pile, colored tee shirts and blue jeans in another and everything else to the cleaners. Just be careful not to get into the great shop towel war with your guy roommates so you don't end up with all pink underwear. (Don't ask how I learned that.) One fairly new red shop towel will turn a whole load of underwear pink and I don't care how much bleach you put in, it takes a bazillion washings for it to be white again. But I digress.

I miss Linda Lou, the dogs miss Linda Lou and, even though I've taken the Pugs with me twice now, it's not the same. Cochise' Apache Princess also misses Linda Lou and I reckon we're stuck with her. Oh well, we'll just have to be extra careful. I'll just have to put CAP out whenever Linda Lou has to get up and wander around with her walker.

Well, it's Sunday morning and I'll be doing some work. I do believe that means I can have french toast and Little Sizzler sausages without penalty. And, if there is a penalty anyway, poo on it.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

At Least Two Senators Dead And Nothing In The News!

Senator Bunning tried to make the Senate obey it's own rules to no avail. It was hard to believe Bunning would actually change things. After all, no one ever expects Democrats to follow the laws they themselves passed. Not when they can instead sit around talking about Republican being hypocrites.Turns out that a lot of Washington Republicans are hipocrites, though.

My two Senators, John Cornyn and Kay Baily Hutchinson, along with every other Republican Senator let Bunning twist slowly in the wind. The amazing thing is that every time Cornyn and Hutchinson talk to Texas they talk about what great fiscal conservatives they are. Here they had their chance and nothing. Nothing. Did they both die and since they are lowly Republicans the Washington Press Corpse didn't find it important enough to print. I would rather believe that than believe that Cornyn and Hutchinson are a couple of lying scumbags who talk one thing in Texas and do quite another thing up there in DC.

That's the problem. The whole Republican delegation in the United States Senate talked about fiscal responsibility. Over and over. At every election cycle. And then? Jim Bunning, alone. Sure, if the entire Republican caucus hadn't died and fought, instead, they would have lost. In losing, though, they would have sent a message to the electorate. An electorate that would have remembered in November. Too bad they died.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Texas Independence Day, Election Day and Other Stories.

I was back into my usual routine, still hadn't gone to bed and was getting ready to go vote and do a little shopping, then home to bed and up in time to go see Linda Lou at the hospital.

So, about 9:00 AM I was dressed and Bingo T. Pug and I went out to go. Bingo wanted to vote in Linda Lou's place and I had her voter registration card. First thing out of the box, flat tire. At least yesterday's rain had blown out but, with the wind straight out of the north, it was no fun. Even less fun is that Linda Lou has the cell phone with her so I couldn't even call the road service...

It was an open question for awhile, which would come first, a coronary or the donut spare put on and the flat put into the back. To make matters worse, the flat had rolled through some fresh dog poop. Some of you might be glad to know that I did not die, It might have been close but sorry, kids, you'll have to wait a while longer for your vast inheritance.

We finally got to the voting place, also known as a local church's special events building. The first thing I did was wash the tire goo off my hands in the "boys room". I then showed my card and voted by machine, most everybody likes those paper ballots but, hey, I'm a 21st Century kind of guy.

The Donks were also having their primary in that same room, on the other side. This is not necessarily indicative of all the precincts all of the day, all over the State, but I walked in, there were one couple at our table, getting signed in, nobody at the Donks. I washed my hands and still, nobody at the Donk's side. A new pair of voters at my side's table. I voted, told 'em about Linda Lou and said that Bingo would be glad to vote in her place, they said fine but he'd have to use the machine and no help. Eh, he probably would have voted for that truther Paultard, Medina, anyway.

From there we went to the tire shop, it took some forty-five minutes but away we went with a fresh tire and I remembered that it was Texas Independence Day so I rolled into the WalMart parking lot singing Texas, Our Texas at the top of my lungs. Bingo must have been mad 'cuz he couldn't vote because he cowered away, it couldn't have been my singing!

I got a big can of coffee, a gallon of milk and some assorted other stuff.
a can of salmon because my mama made salmon patties a lot and then I hadn't had any until I taught myself how to cook 'em. I'm not sure, after all these years, whether or not mine are as good as hers but they're good enough. I don't care how old I get, I still miss my Mama.

Anyhow, I drove home and went to bed about two-thirty or three. I brought CAP in but she had gptten so muddy in the puddles left over from the rain the day before that I put her back out, no WAY was I going to let the Mud Monster into bed with me. And, if she's in the house she at least starts the "night" in the bed. The muddy paw prints are out of control and her favorite places to lay end up covered in dried mud.

Had to get dogs, couldn't get some nice guppies, no! And the woman who said she wanted her hasn't called back so I guess that's out. Too bad.

I only spoke to Linda Lou over the phone a couple of times, depending on how tired I am after we clean out the gunroom and hallway I'll either go see her today or tomorrow. Dean doesn't know it yet but he is going home with my big Forster Bonanza Co-Ax Press will go home with him as well as the .30-06 dies and the Redding Benchrest powder measure. All he will need to load his own will be a powder scale for I am sending about a half tone of powder, bullets, cases and primers with him, as well as a couple of manuals.

I shall also speak to him about starting up a cast bullet business. I have a pal in the scrap metal biz, I think I can get enough scrap lead at a low cost, after all, he shoots the ammo I make for him.

Well, I slept until one AM and so my schedule is borked again. I must figure out a way to get back on a human schedule, I don't think I'm really meant to spend my declineing years as a vampire. Oh well, that was Texas Independence Day.