Monday, July 30, 2012

Notes from the gun shop...

The summer doldrums continue but we did do five background checks today.  It still seemed like a slow day.  The only interesting gun which came into the shop (and left) was a Winchester Model 1894, .30 WCF takedown rifle with half-round barrel and express sights (SN # 274xxx).  Finish was about 60%.  It had excellent balance when shouldered. Unfortunately, the fellow who brought it in was getting appraised for his sister-in-law.  I am sorry but the camera wasn't handy.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Visit with godson and family

We went to Richmond for lunch and a visit with our godson, Peter, and his family which include his parents and siblings, Yort, Robin, Abby and Linus.  We talked and ate and played board games and had a wonderful time. 

This is a great family.  Yort and Robin make certain that the kids aren't consumed by video games and such and as a result 6-year old Linus can use "slay" in a sentence and converse with adults.  Robin is one of the new age midwives and Yort has been a librarian (among other things).  They will be camping (real camping) on the way home.  Yort built his own sailboat and his doing the improvements and expansion on the house.  The kids help.  As hippie like as this sounds they are four-square in support of the T.E.A. Party movement. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Smith and Wesson Model 18

The Smith and Wesson Model 18 is a 4-inch barreled, blued steel, double action revolver, with adjustable open sights, and chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. the cylinder has six chambers. This is a .22 caliber version of the Model 15 Combat Masterpiece revolver. It has been popular as a training weapon for those who carried .38 Special and larger caliber revolvers because the Model 18 operates and handles the same way but uses low-recoil, inexpensive .22 rimfire ammunition.

I seem to have gotten on a .22 rimfire kick lately. When John M_____ let it be known that he was going to sell his gunsmith refined Model 18 I was interested but a bit hesitant to get yet another .22 pistol. Eventually I broke down and bought this revolver.

The serial is 211xxx, tapered bbl, raised rib, earlier and correct hammer. The 'smith, Charlie Thompson, does 'Camp Perry' level work. The gun was re-manufactured by Charlie to about zero working-allowance tolerances. The action is not too light, or 'target only' light as Thompson calls it. It has a new white outline rear sight.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I took my pre-18 S&W to the range today. I shot it along with my Tactical Solutions 1911 conversion. Range was 25 yards and the ammo was from the 525 Golden Bullet (Remington) box (item 1622C). Remington bulk doesn't have a great rep but there weren't any faults so far as the ammo goes except it might not have agreed with the guns. Targets are standard slow-fire pistol centers. All shooting was done two-handed standing. I rather think it was me that was the problem. FWIW, I have developing cataracts and sometimes it seems that everything blurs out. I hope it is just the cataracts and not something else! Here's the targets so that you can decide for yourselves.

This first is the single-action using the pre-18 (4" K22). I don't know how many shots were fired but none are off the sheet shown. What I did was to load two mags for the TACSOL conversion for every cylinder-full from the revolver.
This next is the target for the Tactical Solutions conversion. I think it did a bit better but then it had more opportunity, like a 20 to 6 advantage.
This was fired double action at about 40 yards from the revolver. There are two .45 holes in the lower left corner of the image. These were the only 2 rounds of 20 .45 ACP ball fired at this same target from the same 25 yards with the same hold. The pistol used was my Lightweight Officer's ACP. Not sure what is wrong as previously I put them all in the bull at this distance with the same center hold. I didn't think I was pushing the gun. Next time I'm going to take a bunch of ball and the gun to just work on this one problem.

The pre-18 S&W (top) and Tactical Solutions conversion (bottom)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Notes from the gun shop...

Well, it was an average day except for one thing. We had a news crew in from the Harrisonburg ABC station, WHSV, to interview the boss about the Aurora, Colorado shootings. The reporter, Amelia Nahmias, did the interview and asked the right questions expecting different answers. She was completely unaware of the truths behind firearms ownership, ammunition laws and the way the background process works with internet sales (there's still a background check boys and girls). That interview wasn't shown but an earlier one with Boss Man's father-in-law, Jeff Garza was.

Neat guns coming into the shop have been few and far between. I haven't seen any good old guns in a while now. Sooner or later, this will turn around for one reason or another.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Shootings in Aurora, Colorado (cont...)

As expected there have been numerous calls for gun control despite the facts that:
- the shooter's guns were legally purchased with a background check over a period of time
- the shooter's explosive/smoke device was apparently self produced.
- the theater was reportedly a "gun free" zone, i.e. had been posted against carry of concealed firearms. This serves only to disarm the law abiding. Such signage did nothing to stop this shooter.
- the theater had a relatively large police presence on site for crowd control due to the premier of the movie "The Dark Knight Rises".
- the shooter was wearing a fairly complete set of body armor. Exactly what make or performance level is unknown.

Additional information apparently confirms that the shooter came in, unarmed, through the front of the building and then used an emergency exit to leave the theater and re-enter with all or most of the firearms used. When he left he apparently simply sat in his car awaiting the police response. It was then discovered that he had booby-trapped his apartment with numerous self made explosive or incendiary devices.

Counter-measures taken by some theaters were to increase police presence, prohibit costumed (particularly masked) patrons, and to temporarily suspend showings of this particular movie.

I was particularly struck by the preparation of the shooter, that his mother was apparently unsurprised by the news of his involvement in such an act, and that the shooting was apparently scripted by story in a 1986 comic.

Lessons learned:
- be armed everywhere or weigh the risk of not being armed to attend an event because even if police are on site they can not respond quickly enough. Ultimately you and you alone are responsible for your own security.
- be seated to be out of the line of fire but have access to exits. This is difficult in some theaters.
- as always, maintain awareness of your surroundings so that you can respond appropriately (some patrons apparently thought this was some sort publicity stunt).
- while there is some concealment provided seating and partition walls in a theater there is no effective cover. People in adjoining theaters were struck by bullets which penetrated the walls.

As of this morning the toll of this attack was 12 killed and 58 wounded and 6 of those were in critical condition. In contrast, Chicago had had 240 homicides as of July 4th.

Where in the world have you been?

I know you kids have been a bunch of places as well. I just thought I'd share with you where I've been.

visited 6 states (2.66%)
Create your own visited map of The World

visited 48 states (96%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Friday, July 20, 2012

Shootings in Aurora, Colorado

There was a "mass" shooting at a multi-plex theater in Aurora, Colorado. It appears that the suspect, 24-year old James Holmes broke into the theater through a locked emergency exit (meaning that screening of patrons would not have prevented the tragedy) and shot approximately 50 movie-goers of whom we know 12 were killed. He also used some sort of gas or smoke device. This is very sad and the victims and their families are in our prayers.

We understand that Holmes mother was contacted at her home in San Diego and apparently was immediate in confirming her belief that this was her son. This indicates that she has been dealing with problems with her son. How sad for this family. They are also in our prayers.

Already much is being pontificated about this circumstances, causes and means of prevention of future such acts. I'm afraid that many of these great thinkers are no more than publicity hounds. Nobody has all the information necessary to analyze this in a way as to arrive at any logical or meaningful conclusions. This hasn't stopped people from bemoaning the decline of our culture, the availability of firearms, and so forth. I suggest that we sit back and wait for the facts.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What we have is what we choose to have...

What we have now is a President who thinks that you didn't work for anything what you have, the government gave it to you. We have a President who thinks that you are a racist because he and his preacher and his Attorney General are racists. We have a President that thinks that it is the business of government to steal from those that work to give to those that don't/won't work. We have a President who sees this country as all that is wrong with the world. We have a President who sees free speech as something which should be limited to those with whom he agrees. We should categorically reject these wrong ideas. My ancestors did categorically reject these ideas. I categorically reject these ideas.

When you create something, even in concert with others using government as a tool/servant YOU have created it, not government. When you disagree with a person because of their ideas/beliefs, it isn't necessarily because of the color of their skin, where they came from, how they dress, what they eat, it is most likely because you don't agree with their ideas. Free speech applies to everyone and proof that we believe this exists in their long time expression of their wrong ideas without persecution by us.

The truth though is this, that enough people WANTED this man as President that he was elected. Some were deceived by his rhetoric and believed his modern catchy call for "hope" and "change". Some simply wanted to prove to themselves that they weren't racist (no one saw their vote). Some were simply racist, voting for him ONLY because his skin color matched theirs. Some are true believers in his cause, socialism, the state before the individual, the antithesis of our nation's founding. Some were simply selfish, expecting handouts, payments for their vote. I don't doubt that some votes were frauds as his party is working to hard to deny every method of ensuring honest elections, methods they insist on in other countries. All this means that we who oppose this evil must work very hard, without respite, to get out the votes for his opponent.

We must tell the truth. We must ensure that others hear the truth. We must persuade ALL voters to ignore the color of his skin as we do. We must get our people to the polls, we must make them heard in this vote and we must do so in a manner beyond reproach. In doing these things we can honestly defeat this threat to our nation's existence.

What about those who believe in his view or those who want the handouts? I'm afraid that there will always be people who believe that they know better than ourselves how we should live and people who think theft from others is their only chance for a "fair" share of material things without their labor. Education might reduce the numbers in either group but I doubt that they will learn from the example of others if they haven't yet.

The time for choice is here, the time to work to save our country. Another time for choice is coming, the time to choose who will work for us in leading the country. What we will have is what we will choose to have. There will be no one to blame but ourselves.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Notes from the gun shop...

We had a pretty high traffic day albeit not a high dollar day. Got to see Scott F_______, his daughter Meghan, son-in-law Jacob P_____, Kenny W____ and Clint B_____ and his wife all in one day. There's some great people right there.

Can't say that there were many interesting guns in the shop. We do have a couple of .22 WRM Colt revolvers and a Browning 1911-22. We did have a fellow bring in a Polish Radom. A late war gun with German acceptance marks, phosphate finish and grooved wood stocks. To be honest, I've never seen one this good. From a supply sergeant point of view, it appeared to have never been to the field. HOWEVER, the holster that came with it had had the mag pouch removed. The owner wanted $1500. He showed an appraisal at $2200. He did leave with it. The boss couldn't put out that money for a gun which likely won't move from our shop.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Great Grand Aunt Miriam Agnes Thayer Seeley

Miriam and "Miltie"
My great grand aunt Miriam Agnes Thayer Seeley seems to me to be a tragic character. Her father (also my Great-Great-Grandfather, Frederick Albert Thayer) died when she was six. She married a bit later in life had no children and then died at 42 after an illness (of which I can find no details) and was childless. Her husband, Milton John Seeley, remarried a woman they both knew who had attended Wellesley same as she. Indeed, Milton and his new wife (Eva A "Short" Brunelle) went on to become famous for breeding Malamutes. Sad to say that I really knew nothing of her until I started researching the Thayer family and found her photos.

My aunt Dorothy Flint Schell was apparently quite fond of her. They corresponded right up until her death. However, to my recollection nobody in the family mentioned her. Not great-grandma Bertha, not Dorothy, not Grandpa Charles, not Mom (who never knew her but loved to talk about family), nobody. Now that I've found her letters it is quite interesting how accurate my other research of her has been. Still, she was nearly forgotten.

She must have been a hoot. She was apparently athletic being the a professor of physical education for women at Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University). Her husband, Milton, was a professor of chemistry there. She seems to have been tight with a buck and yet a risk taker as demonstrated in her 9000+ mile trip around the country via auto in 1916 (with her husband). The Maxwell auto people even touted her trip and the low cost of repairs (they drove a Maxwell) in their advertising. Her letters, even what appears to have been her last letter in November 1919 mentioning her illness (only very briefly) are up-beat and lively. Interestingly, one of those last letters mentions that "Miltie" wants to get a dog and that she's not sure it is worth the trouble. How ironic that he really makes a name for himself in creating the dog food and breed, Malamutes, used to make the historic explorations of the Arctic and Antarctic AFTER he remarries.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Good cookies - Chocolate Jumbles

I like good cookies. They can be eaten singly for a quick snack, gobbled in bunches in lieu of cakes or pies and combined with ice cream. I lean towards chocolate chip, molasses and the sugar varieties. My grandma P was an all-around great cook and she had some cookies that I had to make. The recipe was fortunately saved and I'm going to share it with you. Try it, if you can get the ingredients, and I think you'll like them. We called them Chocolate Jumbles.

1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
2 egg yolks
2 cup molasses
2 squares chocolate
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoon soda
7 to 8 cup flour
½ cup hot water

Cream sugar and shortening. Stir in egg yolks, molasses, and chocolate, melted. Sift the cinnamon, cloves, and soda with the first few cups of flour and add alternately with the water. Continue adding flour up to the 7 or 8 cups to make a dough stiff enough to roll. Roll and cut with doughnut cutter. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 15 minutes at 375°. When cool, glaze with mixture of confectioners sugar and water.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

I hope we see another as a free people...

The Shenandoah Valley Pipe Band was the ONLY band in the parade. Last year we didn't have any bands.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Just now able to access the internet. We were in the Berkshires (Pittsfield, Hancock and Lenox MA near many unrelated Parslows) since Wednesday and didn't get home until Saturday night at 8:30 or so. Had to drive around the block and move some traffic cones to get to the house. The house is fine, the shed is fine, 4 or 5 of the trees (can't remember the count) are topped and the tops landed in the backyard. See the video. One big limb hit the Nana's car. Really upset her. Otherwise mostly just a mess. No power. No idea when we'll get power. Hotter n' heck. Nana TRIED to sleep in the truck. Of course there are no generators or hotel rooms to be had. One has to go at least 2 hours away for a hotel room, further for generators. The trees and generator (and hook up to house) were on "the list". BUT, the house is fine and we're fine. We have water and gas (meaning hot water for showers). Life is good. I'm typing this at "work" in Verona, VA. Nana is finally sleeping in the AC. I'll soon have to wake her to go home to work.

We called Aunt Deanna in NOVA and she was fine but also without power.  Tried calling you and your parents but got no answer, just went to voice mail.  We are hoping you are all ok especially knowing how windy it normally is on that hill of yours.

We did have a good time on our mystery trip.  We didn't know until we'd almost arrived that we'd be staying at Jiminy Peak in Hancock, Massachusetts.  The first day we went to the Norman Rockwell Museum and Naumkeag in Stockbridge.  We also got a short tour of Tanglewood.  Ate lunch at the Red Lion in Stockbridge.  On the second day we went north to the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown.  Went past Williams College and ate at the Williamstown Inn.  Went back to Jiminy Peak for a nap (Nana and I) and then to the Dakota restaurant for dinner and back to Tanglewood to see the _______ Morris Dance Troupe.  This wasn't in the Shed but in the Ozawa theater (hope I spelled that right, I don't have access to my notes right now).  Rode with all our handicapped fellow travelers from the coach parking to the gate.  I'm sorry, but I wasn't much impressed.

A short trip, we left Saturday morning to come home.  Although we'd seen the news reports of the storm, we had no idea what we'd find.  The level of destruction was about the same as a hurricane in Florida or Alabama.