RIFLEMAN'S JOURNAL - JUNE 2007
On the way to the library for some John Wayne DVDs I hear Lars Larson call lawyers "soulless" and other things like "they lie for a living". Ayup.
On the doorstep when I return is a USPS box containing... a large quantity of LC, LC MATCH and LC NM .30-06 brass! Also some 9x19mm, GI grease pots, a couple oilers and chamber brushes, GI cleaning rods in finger pouches, woo hoo! Thank you!
And this webcomic, with several years of archives, is also quite good and quiet pleasantly right/libertarian. For example.
Oh! And I've had the Queen for one year today!
1498 - Saturday, 2 June 2007: Washougal show first - bigger than last time, tempted by a few things like an Armi San Marco .36 Remington percussion revolver for $150, but exercised self-control. Bought RCBS carbide .40/10mm die set for $15; and for $25, ten ~3lb ingots of metal described as equivalent to Lyman #2 alloy. Can't use that in the Hawken but it'll do for the GP100.
Off to Wilsonville and Blacksmith & Woodworker for car help. After application of a Bigger Torch and some methodical cursing of the Corolla design team, the drums finally came off, I followed the Haynes instructions to install new shoes, and all is well - or will be when the auto-adjustment screwjack inside, the object of the majority of the cursing, catches up. Woodworker thinks he may have some scrap unalloyed lead from vehicle weights from his racing days.
While there Blacksmith's wife gave me, from her overflowing collection of books, The Age of Firearms by Robert Heald, Harper 1957. Ah, something I hadn't seen before, a diagram of a "monk's gun" using pyrite, a precursor to the wheellock as far back as 1400AD. daVinci's drawings, here dated 1480-85; experimental repeaters and breechloaders of various ignition systems and centuries. More details of the snaphaunce/miquelet/flintlock family than I previously recall. Also passing references to artillery, destructive devices, explosive traps, etc. Transcription of text & illustrations from von Steuben's Regulations for the Discipline of the Troops of the United States, 1779, for operation of flintlock muskets. And again I see that streamlined, inline flintlock, dated 1738. Ferguson's breechloader of course, but he wasn't first with that system by decades. Some errors - a Colt 3rd Dragoon captioned as 2nd; an 1860 Henry as an 1866. Book goes quite skimpy shortly after the dawn of percussion, hardly anything in cartridge models at all, but respectably detailed in the flint era. Closing paragraphs bemoan the demise of craftsmanship and the rise of mass-produced skill-less interchangeability.
Guns magazine June 1957 issue.
Newsgroups working with LocalNet dialup, yay.
Quote o' the Day: "Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay--and claims a halo for his dishonesty." - Robert A. Heinlein
Okay, unless I missed it, the line "I'll give you what's in it" is not in The Sons of Katie Elder. But I'm sure that's a John Wayne western line! What film?
1499 - Sunday, 3 June 2007: Zzz.
Reader informs that Wideners now stocks Wolf primers, apparently standard-size Boxer.
A balanced article from the New York Times? Uh?
Quote o' the Day: "Animals can be driven crazy by placing too many in too small a pen. Homo sapiens is the only animal that voluntarily does this to himself." - Robert Heinlein
Local Sportsman's Warehouse getting... some... primers back in stock, but still disturbingly large empty spaces on the shelves. Magtech makes primers now, BTW.
'Dja ever notice, the places you're allowed to carry weapons, you don't need to... and vice-versa?
Heat wave, supposed to break tomorrow. That would have it raining when I'm hiking to the courthouse for the original schedule for my (arrogantly and condescendingly coerced) testimony which the clerk (who was not a native English speaker) said is rescheduled for Tuesday morning. Naturally I'll call again. I wouldn't be surprised if a "clerical error" resulted in a contempt charge. That is, after all, how government "works".
Cruffler points out that the projectiles I'm casting can also be sized to .356 or so for use in 9x19mm, .38 Super, etc. So I guess I'm looking for two sizes of sizer. Cruffler also recommends the Lee push-trough I'd already planned on getting.
Reader points out that Jason Robards said "I'll give you what's in it" in The Ballad of Cable Hogue, which I watched a couple months ago and the line didn't register. I'm morally certain John Wayne said it!
1500 - Monday, 4 June 2007: Phone evil government institution when they're supposed to be open - I'm to appear tomorrow at 8am. With so many examples of government abuse of power I'm making what precautionary arrangements I can. It's bad enough going downtown at all, worse when unarmed, and the courthouse makes my skin crawl. -This city had an Islamic terrorist suspect, now in custody, working in the mayor's office for gods' sakes. Being a white male conservative American here is like being a cat at the dog show. This town and everyone who accepts a paycheck from it is evil.
Sportsman's Warehouse does not carry bullet-sizing gear. They do have pots, including the Lee Production Pot IV which I'm considering but can't justify the $50 for at this point; ingot molds and ladles I don't need; but no bullet molds, no sizing dies, no bullet lube. So far I want Lee's .358 sizer kit and their liquid alox.
Cruffler is not the first of my readers (though he doesn't read much anymore, grumping about "book reviews and sci-fi krap") to suggest casting bullets for income. Those Lee 6-cavity molds make it seem feasible.... At the Washougal show yesterday I also saw a vendor selling brass, i.e. .45ACP, tumbled only, $4/100. Which is why I've been looking for some carbide .40 dies for months - I can pick up lots of .40 at my club, especially after the blueshirts use the place.
Yes, LE uses my club. The current president of the club is a recently-retired county deputy and there's been some tension on that score, but he at least is on our side. At one club meeting he was selling the point that LE cooperation is, in the real-world political environment, necessary for the continued operation of such a club and I accept the realpolitik. But I certainly don't go there when LE does - I want a safe shooting environment.
Hm, looks like the PIG is on 14 July, not this weekend. Well, fine, more time to practice. Speaking of, I need a bunch; the Queen of course, the Witness, I'm inclined to take the MojoMosin and MojoVZ to the training course on the 17th for loaners so I need to test those batches of Mosin rounds I made a couple months ago, and I want more work with the Hawken too. But when? Maybe tomorrow after court, if I get out alive and unfettered - the calendar says that day is empty, and I have RSO access now; Wednesday is open to the public, dunno about that; Thursday is HomeSec and Immigration/Customs, eew for a couple reasons. The next week is packed full of LE on the off days and even the members-only days can be crowded; besides there's hunter ed on Saturday.
1501 - Tuesday, 5 June 2007: Damn sure didn't sleep well.
Departing for courthouse 6:45am, parking offsite, hiking downtown so I need neither park nor drive there (and my car's that much less likely to be violated (by thieves with or without badges)). I hope to have further updates by 3pm Pacific today. If you don't see anything by 6, send in the irregulars.
7:45, arrive courthouse, pass through "security", go to 8th floor. Wait for office to open at 8am, sign in, wait in lounge. 8:15, clerk informs that a jury hasn't even been selected yet and my testimony is rescheduled for 8:30am tomorrow, at which time "you'll get your gun back." I also heard this is a "big case" with "many witnesses". I'm sure the inhuman criminal-loving defense attorney will try to make it all my fault for daring to even have the GP100 locked in my private apartment which Willie Johnson broke into in her socialist utopian city.
Anyhow I'm back for the moment and there's no need to storm the Bastille. Today.
But that time is coming - reader sends a Vin rant on the increasing number of murderous badge-wearing thugs.
Speaking of, has anyone read this book? The blurbs make me cock an eyebrow.
No, not shooting today, saving my strength for the hike tomorrow. Friday maybe.
Here is an example of the difference between "peace officer" and "law enforcement officer", though the source smells a bit iffy.
Hm, a concise etiquette guide for gunfolk.
The new .NAME email is a little off, but I can still access it through mail2web. Emailed GoDaddy support.
Casiiiinnoooos... iiinnnn... SPAAAACCCCEEE.... Most of the technology to do it already exists and has been proven: Salyut, Mir, Skylab, ISS, the entire Apollo program making a half-million-mile round trip several times with only one (in-flight...) mishap and no (in-flight...) casualties, etc. Closed systems, or at least systems that can operate for a significant period without external resupply, we can already do (insert nuclear submarine experience). The problem is transport. And Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne recently put a heck of a dent in that. Now if we can bring back DC/X, and/or scale up those ion drives I understand some of the interplanetary probes have... even a miniscule constant acceleration will slash transit time from Apollo's burn-and-coast method. So:
1) Build a ship capable of making low orbit at a reasonable cost with a useful cargo. Visual aid. Almost there already.
2) Use that ship and her sisters to build an orbital station as a staging area, and which can also be a destination in its own right (imagine Vegas dancing girls in microgravity, with a big shiny blue marble for a backdrop - and there are things, chemical processes for example, you can do in plentiful vacuum and variable acceleration that can't be done on-planet in-atmosphere, so there's more investment capital).
3) Once you're in orbit you're halfway to the rest of the 'verse. Use the station to build, on-orbit, a big ship, with a constant-boost drive, to not visit but colonize Luna - this ship will have separate landers and need not be capable of landing anywhere itself, just ferrying back and forth between the Earth station it was built at and the Lunar station it carries the materials to build.
4) Now we have an Earth station, a Lunar station, and all the stepping stones we need to easily build a permanent Lunar surface installation (including resources on Luna so we don't have to ship every kilogram a quarter-million miles - didn't I read somewhere that the Lunar surface has a Significant Aluminum Content? And there might be ice there, and there was something about cracking oxygen from the rocks too) - and we have a big ship to go between them in, in a reasonable amount of time. Refit, or even not if we built it right, the transfer ship (and her sisters) for paying passengers.
5) Make money. Build more. Repeat.
And we get at least some people off this planet in case Iran or Putin or whoever starts rattling ICBMs again. And we can use all those facilities we just built to push off for further goals like Mars, the Belt, and the gas-giant moons. And with those resources within reach we can build starships, even if we don't have FTL. And that's how it was supposed to have happened a couple &^%$ generations ago dammit! #$%^&* GOVERNMENT! If I win Powerball that's what I'm investing in. If I have to buy an entire third-world country for a place to work (one, of course, which hasn't signed, or under my ownership would renounce, the UN space treaties).
GoDaddy support responds quickly and with detailed instructions for testing something or other from my end so they can look at it. Awaiting further.
Reader points out that my rant above isn't far removed from Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, then takes it the rest of the way. I have cool readers.
1502 - Wednesday, 6 June 2007: This is the 63rd anniversary of the Normandy Invasion.
The armed forces of the United States of America have never been defeated militarily. Oh, a battle or skirmish here or there, sure, but the only wars they ever lost were no fault of theirs. When allowed to fight, the American military always prevails.
Off to the Temple of Authority again, and again, watch for updates in a few hours.
I must admit that was less degrading than expected. -But still insulting: I wasn't called until nearly noon, even I have watched enough courtroom dramas to think of more things the DDA might have done in support of her case, no one ever actually discussed the case with me (except the other prosecutor for the other victim, who I only met (the prosecutor) yesterday, and that very briefly because I wasn't even her witness). At least these defense attorneys (two) didn't call me a racist to my face, but they did call the Simonov an "assault rifle" and the Colt percussion revolvers "rifles", and made much of my choice of hollowpoint ammunition. As for my property, it remains in evidence - didn't even see it today in fact - and "we'll let you know" when it can be recovered (that from the other prosecutor, who I think I would've got along a lot better with). Back to the hovel about 1:30 and supposedly this is the end of this year-and-a-half-long indignity.
Eyugh. I feel like I should take a long hot shower. Maybe now I can look for a job (double eyugh).
Hm, insight into weapon choice for our troops. And why can't we produce a quality weapon domestically? Why do we have to look overseas for the technological descedants of our own designers like Browning and Stoner?
Applying some sight paint to the Witness.
1503 - Thursday, 7 June 2007: Z.
Doing a little email catch-up.
News says the amnesty bill is dying in Congress. What the #$%^& was the GOP thinking? "Bush Surprised at Conservative Criticism." I never voted for him, I voted against the other socialists. Grump.
Still reading Ecological Imperialism, slow going, seems to ramble some. As the author paints it, climate and environment gave European stock the advantages needed to leap ahead technologically and intellectually over other populations, thereby putting them into expansion mode first and keeping them there. The Norse didn't push far enough, with large enough expeditions, largely because their ships weren't adequate for such long voyages and the heavy cargoes needed to establish startup colonies; the Chinese were the only potentially serious competitors but they were crippled by cultural stasis brought on by too-centralized control (I think L. Neil Smith had ancient Chinese crossing the Pacific and colonizing the Americas in one of his novels).
1504 - Friday, 8 June 2007: Zz.
In email, GOA report on Fred Thompson's voting record, hmm. According to this, Thompson supports the McCain-Feingold infringements on the 1st Amendment, hmm. Here is their start page for all candidates. Tancredo looks better.
From the Patriot Post:
Why did the amendment's sponsors insist on adding, "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof"?
For insight, consider the words of Sen. Jacob Howard, co-author of the amendment's citizenship clause. In 1866, he wrote that the amendment "will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, or who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States..."
"There are no failed experiments. There is only new data." The Garand practice went fine, got a sight setting for GI rounds at 200 yards, got some position practice which proved that I should go up a couple clicks in the rapid-fire stage. Mosin testing - the first two loads functioned well, and the second round of the third batch lodged the bullet in the barrel so I was done with the Mosin for the day.
Then the Hawken. Six rounds of .010 patched .530 round ball, three each at 60 and 90gr 2F 777. No difficulty loading, though accuracy at 100yds wasn't what I'd hoped. Last time I fired 11 rounds of PRB with .015 patches, and that was difficult to load in a clean barrel; the thinner patch solves that problem. Then I tried a Hornady sabot with a .429 265gr JSP and that was very difficult to load; the pre-lubed patches really neutralize the fouling. Only managed two of those. Finally a 390gr Hornady Great Plains HBHP, almost impossible to drive down - I had to get the ball-peen hammer from the trunk to eliminate the air gap, and I flinched so bad in apprehension the POI was over a foot away from POA (though it cut a very distinctive hole in the target backing). So: PRB, with pre-lubed patches, works fine for many rounds in this weapon, but other types, lubed or not, it doesn't like in quantity. The saboted bullet is a tight fit just to get started; the HGP even tighter, and was badly deformed by the time I was done with the short starter. Evidently, if I'm using anything but lubed PRB, I'll need to brush the bore every couple of rounds. I hope that when I start casting Minies they'll be enough undersized to get past the fouling, which was the whole idea behind their development. The packaging for these patches (Ox-Yoke) boasts test-firing 2,000 rounds without cleaning. Well, a 224gr ball at 1,700fps, that's got to be adequate for deer, and I'm not about to take ridiculously long shots for meat anyway so accuracy is less of an issue. Even the 60gr load at 1,400, that's .44 Magnum ballistics at close range. If I ever need to fight, that's what the Garand is for, and that's entirely controllable. The Hawken is recreational, not for fighting unless something goes very wrong. PRB at 60gr FFg is mild in recoil; at 90gr controllable, but not very comfortable. It takes getting used to, the eruption of thick white smoke. The 265gr sabot, also at 90gr, kicked about the same as PRB with the same powder; the 390gr HGP, also at 90gr, gives a real shove. No ignition problems at all today, the Dremel treatment on the original nipple worked. Nothing noticeably wrong with the Hawken's ergonomics either. I removed the flash cup and that doesn't seem to matter.
Listened to Atlantis launch on Fox Radio News on the drive back.
On second thought, I really can't afford to go to the Expo show this weekend. Sportsman's Warehouse stocks a synthetic ramrod which should serve, $13, and that can wait.
1505 - Saturday, 9 June 2007: Zz.
Aaand I forgot about the Barberton show, so I got out of bed and went, though I didn't continue to the range as I normally do. Good turnout despite Expo. Tortured myself over a few things, like a Rock Island .38 Super 1911 ($450 "NIB") (squinty little sights though), and a couple old-style thick-built Vaqueros (not like the skinny new ones which you probably can't load as hot) in .45 Colt, one very tastefully and reservedly engraved and inlaid. All I bought was a Hoppe's shotgun cleaning rod, with Hoppe's standard threads, $1.
Here's what chrono data I collected with the Mosin before the squib:
|Round#||44.7gr IMR4895||50.5gr H380||48.6gr W748|
Here's a photo of what came out of the squib case (the bullet is still in the barrel as I type, but I'll address that with one of the GI steel cleaning rods presently ('cause I know from the VZ a couple years ago that Hoppe's aluminum won't survive the effort)):
And here's a textbook-perfect (though out-of-focus) patch from the Hawken, though I don't know if it was at 60 or 90gr powder:
Of the Mosin loads, the IMR4895 was mild, accurate (relatively), and had no ignition problems, but the soot on the case suggests it's underpowered and not generating enough pressure for a good chamber seal. The H380 load, I've tried before, and the cases from it look fine. A little less accurate than the IMR4895 maybe, and quite a different POI, but a lot easier to meter. The one properly-fired case from the W748 load looked the same as the H380. I'll pull the rest of that load and stare at it - I don't recall it using too little case capacity; indeed the Mauser case, even larger, has always worked fine with 49.0gr, with the same primer even. I don't think the powder was contaminated either; all these Mosin rounds were made the same day and stored in the same place. Possibly, as I've heard before, magnum primers are recommended to ignite ball powders - but that doesn't explain why the 49.0gr Mauser load, with the same standard primer, has never done this. Hmm. BL-C(2) in the Mauser did do something a lot like this, but that load left a lot of empty space in the case.
The other day I spent money I shouldn't have on the last box the Vancouver Sportsman's Warehouse had of .45/230gr plated lead RN, to feed the Witness. (I also have a couple different JHPs I grabbed on sale or clearance some other places, and some 200gr plated SWC still.) I've melted down some .358 bullets from the same maker, and the plating on these is quite thick; I had to squish them with pliers to squeeze out the melted lead inside. So I'm not very worried about using this type in a polygonal barrel. Now if I can get the taper crimp right, I shouldn't have any feeding problems in the Witness. Test batches later.
I suppose I'll have to call the temp service(s) Monday or so, bleah.
Still casting bullets, improving my technique. Timing counts, as does temperature. "Keepers" starting to outnumber rejects.
1506 - Sunday, 10 June 2007:
To Get Me.
So I drive all the way up to Longview and I'm getting ready to pull over to check maps and GPS 'cause I've only been to this range a couple times. I stop at the stop sign, then start and make a turn toward a parking lot.
So I put on the flashers and push the Corolla out of the way. Nothing obviously wrong underneath and I think, "Well booger, the clutch is gone." Fortunately I keep the TracFone in the man-purse. I call Woodworker, who's having morning coffee with Blacksmith as usual, and a couple hours later Blacksmith arrives in his big old Suburban and we get ready to tow.
And now I see that the driveaxle, which this car spat out last summer, has been spat out again. Last time, I was crossing an intersection and the load on the suspension was enough to get the axle past a structural member. This time there was no such load and the axle remained up near the engine until we started the tow, at which time the suspension was compressed and it got loose again. Fortunately I knew how to fix this now; raise car, insert jackstand to free the jack, remove wheel for clearance, use jack to compress suspension to get the angle necessary to get the axle past the structure, bolt axle to engine. After driving to a hardware store for bolts of course. Last time, the flange was damaged over two of the six bolt holes; now another third of the flange is broken off, probably on impact when the tow started, leaving only two complete holes on the axle flange. This time some washers were also used to try to bridge that gap. Evidently the nuts, which were supposed to be all-metal locknuts, worked loose; this time I used nylon locknuts.
After much grumbling at fickle and malicious gods, and much grease and road gunk upon my person, the axle was reattached and the Corolla moved under its own power, taking half a load off my mind. I then began the nerve-wracking drive from Longview 40-odd miles back to the hovel, Blacksmith escorting behind, keeping it in the right lane and under 60 (speed limit on I-5 there 70, and normal traffic flow 80+) because when I went faster the vibrations started and at least one bolt let go, bouncing loudly under the vehicle. Eventually I did get the Corolla back to the hovel and I will finish repairs here, getting a complete rebuilt driveaxle with an undamaged flange (besides, a gasket got lost the first time this happened and it's been shedding grease ever since) and claiming my core refund, and going to a Toyota dealer for the proper nuts and bolts to attach axle to engine.
And there goes the financial reserve. But the Car is Important and fixing this one is still cheaper than buying another. -And it's a good reason to finally add a torque wrench to the car kit. Repairs (and price-shopping) start tomorrow. Tonight I'm sitting in the hovel reading webcomics and thinking it's probably just as well I don't use alcohol.
Obviously I didn't make it to the match, nor will I be calling the temp services until I'm motorized again. Actually the Corolla is still driveable now, but only in an emergency. Good thing I don't mind walking, 'cause I do mind the bus.
What The? God tormented Job to test his faith but I'm (non-militantly) agnostic fer cryin' out loud! One! Thing! After! Another!
And because I feel guilty about people sending me stuff I'm not updating for a couple days, by which time I hope to have the thing fixed by my own greasy hands.
Later, starting the search. Schuck's has one for $70 + $35 core deposit; a local chain, Thrifty, open 24/7, has no parts search on their site; phoning, they want less for the axle but a lot more for the deposit - but that's money I get back, hm. In any case I link them because the phone guy was on the ball. NAPA wants more and doesn't seem to offer remanufactured; AutoZone doesn't show them on their site and is closed by the time I think of phoning them.
1507 - Monday, 11 June 2007: Sooo I'm hiking to the parts store(s) (and the library) (and the hardware store first for more hardened bolts, nuts, & washers, just in case) and I cut thorugh a residential zone on surface streets because it's quieter. And who should I encounter but the navy veteran from the shampoo warehouse I worked at near five years ago! He gave me a lift up the street and we did a little catch-up and I confirmed my very ugly thought that, since the same manager is still in charge there, I could probably get a job at the shampoo place in about three minutes, if I really needed income. Eww. Last time, the navy guy (childhood friend of the manager), and me, and the manager himself, were the only people in the whole place who could read and count.
Toyota dealership across from the library, actual factory studs and nuts intended for holding the drive axle onto the engine, on order - got a dozen each for paranoia's sake, near $40. Back and forth between three parts stores, back to Schuck's as usual (good service in my experience, and maybe not the very best price but close, and they have stuff or can get it transferred quickly) - the one their computer told them they had in stock, wasn't right, but a photo on their computer looks right and that part is on order, possibly transferred as early as this afternoon but after all that hiking I'm not leaving the hovel again 'til tomorrow when the studs & nuts should be in.
A bit of lunch, and as long as I'm here and the car's here and neither are going anywhere, I have at the rear (& parking) brakes, which still need adjustment. That was easy enough; now the parking brake works again and after a little driving regular braking should settle down.
While under the car I looked at both drive axles, and all six bolts (or original studs) & nuts are still in place on both sides, so what the heck came out from under the car yesterday? I got all the tools.... Probably tomorrow I'll (carefully) drive to pick up the parts - if it breaks down then, I'll be in the same city, in walking distance of the hovel, and I'll have spare bolts & nuts (bought this morning) in the car already if needed.
Later, parts store phones, drive axle is in. I'll lay eyes on it tomorrow - it may still not be right.
Spare USGI steel cleaning rod, recently donated, pops the stuck bullet out of the Mosin with a couple gentle taps. The bullet almost looks good enough to reuse; it lodged just at the beginning of the rifling and is marked less by that than by the Lee factory crimp die (which, as advertised, creates a cannelure even in bullets without one). No evident damage to the bore.
1508 - Tuesday, 12 June 2007: Zz. The factory studs & nuts are supposed to be in this afternoon and I don't want to make more than one trip with a damaged car. While out hiking yesterday I got The Big Red One on DVD at the library, the 162-minute reconstruction, that will pass some time. That and Rush and his colleagues, and the latest Shotgun News, and maybe even more slogging through Ecological Imperialism. And maybe the left rear brake, which I think I adjusted out a little too far.
I did the brake again, and then FedEx delivers a donated Sony Vaio laptop! Woo Hoo! Be up all night playing with that. And with the mound of goodies, like a USB netlink cable & software which will make switching to a new computer from the ever-slower old Compaq vastly easier. Even some WWII historical-fiction and alternate-history paperbacks, heh.
OMFG what a score. P4, 2.4GHz, 1Gb RAM, 60Gb drive, WinXP Home, CDRW/DVD drive installed, DVD-R/RW included, built-in modem and ethernet, Cisco 340 wireless card with extra antenna (with powerful magnet for automotive use), bunches of software and other extras, and a multi-page explanatory printout. This is the hottest computer I've ever owned and possibly the hottest one I've ever touched outside a store. And there's a conventional tower machine supposed to follow this. Wow. When everything settles down and files get transferred and all, the Compaq will get wiped and redone and given to Veteran Woodcarver neighbor, the NEC laptop might go to Woodworker, and I'll be Much Less Far Behind the technology curve.
About 2:30 and the Toyota dealership hasn't called about my parts. Call them - they're in, and off I go.
Errands complete (drive axle, torque wrench, socket adapter, threadlocker, groceries, and finally the library has the Cowboy Bebop feature film on DVD) and back to the hovel. Decompress (after stressing over every rattle, squeak and thump), eat, begin repairs.
Oh, hey, today is the seventh anniversary of the launching of this site, though this journal came over two years later.
Raise car, install jack stand, remove wheel. -Take more measurements - *&^%$#@. Wrong part of course. At least I didn't have the old one all the way off yet.
#$%^&*. Reassemble, cuss some in the shower, watch DVDs.
But the gods aren't done with me yet! I decide to fire up the Vaio again, because I already tested its DVD drive, so I can watch DVDs in bed and not have to get up to turn off the ancient non-remote TV my DVD player is connected to... and the Vaio, which arrived in good order and worked perfectly when I took it out of the box, now won't power up. At all. One doesn't know whether to laugh or scream. -Some poking & prodding and I think it's either the power switch or the tiny ribbon cable leading from it. -And now the sound doesn't work. Sigh.
1509 - Wednesday, 13 June 2007: Back to the parts store, return & refund the incorrect axle. A couple other places, no progress. Toyota dealership (Ron Tonkin on SE 122nd) for positive identification, and they call Thrifty, right across the street from them and next to the library. Order part from their warehouse about noon, expected delivery about 1:30. Rather than drive more, pass time at library, using their net connection to read webcomics, grab a few things from the shelves, sit and read The Notebooks of Lazarus Long, a Baen large-format paperback, ISBN# 0-7434-8844-X, compiled from Time Enough for Love - I'll have to buy a copy someday, and keep it next to the computer for quick reference. Back to parts store, examine part, take measurements, looks all right so far, back to hovel.
Let car cool. Oh, there is a small coolant leak, it was dripping on me while I was underneath yesterday. But I was already carrying spare coolant (& water) on principle anyway, more important things to worry about.
Also, while at the Toyota dealership they priced an axle - over $460, and I only paid $500 for the car. The remanufactured axle from Thrifty was $113, of which I'll get $53 back from the core deposit. I might make it another month without income if I blow out all reserves.
Email is naturally behind.
In the news, Immigration raid on an area veggie plant yesterday, and Yuri sends what Portland's mayor (and a former chief of police!) had to say about it. Get me out of this filthy commie state!
Begin work again. Hike to hardware store for 1-1/4" socket for hub nut - then realize I should have got 30mm, but this should do. Neighbor applies brake - nut doesn't budge. Apply Kroil, work on other end of axle - detached, read webcomics for an hour or so while Kroil hopefully penetrates.
Aaand it's not budging. More Kroil, lock up the tools, leave overnight, ward off depression with DVDs.
Cruffler sends .PDF of American Handgunner article on sub-$400 1911s from Springfield and High Standard.
1510 - Thursday, Flag Day, 14 June 2007: Apply Excessive Torque, hub nut still doesn't move. Small propane torch - still not budging. Probably risking damage to my brand-new Taiwanese $20 torque wrench. Email Woodworker and Blacksmith.
Pulling the W748 Mosin loads. No evidence of powder contamination; use of case capacity seems reasonable. Maybe I'll try that load again with magnum primers someday.
Fiddling with my Constitution, ripping out some Congressional authority, adding some codicils and further restrictions on government power.
Radio news, Curry County sheriff Mark Metcalf recalled following indictments on multiple counts of sexual harrassment and discrimination. And we're supposed to always trust and obey anyone wearing a badge.
Back to hardware store for 30mm socket after the 1-1/4" slips off the starting-to-deform hub nut. Put wheel back on, lower car, stand on 1/2" drive torque wrench set at maximum (150ft/lbs), bounce up and down on it for a guestimated 300+ ft/lbs (I'm about 220), no movement.
I don't know how I feel about this NewsMax story on the US Army possibly enlisting illegals. I've discussed this with readers in email too. If they serve, learn English, respect our laws thereafter, then, arguably, they will have earned citizenship - even moreso than I have, since I've never served. I've even put explicit provisions for such in my utopian SF story. But I don't know how it would work in the real world with real people.
1511 - Friday, 15 June 2007: Phone Woodworker, says he'll bring breaker bar later today. Apply more Kroil while waiting.
Eyeing match schedule. Money is getting tight now - I probably won't participate in the not-Appleseed this weekend but if I can get the car fixed I'll go up and take photos for the newsletter, maybe do a little coaching.
Skimming through the rest of Ecological Imperialism, of more interest to anthropologists and biologists than to amateur historians such as myself, but still informative.
Woodworker's mate Mechanic arrives with breaker bar & cheater extension - and the nut begins to deform to the point where the 12-point socket won't grip anymore. Back to hardware store - which is closed of course. On the way though, on Woodworker & Mechanic's suggestion, stopped at a service place, ten bucks or so for them to break the thing loose if I can get the car over there. Tomorrow.
Slump. Running out of chocolate too. I intended to start looking for income again a week ago....
BTW, I've finally seen 300, the film based on the Frank Miller graphic novel, and while it did have some admirable plot elements - Western Civilization, free men standing against tyranny - it was rather gratuitous and I still prefer the 1962 version. Eh, I coulda been a filmmaker....
From WoG, another reason to take space exploration away from government.
1512 - Saturday, 16 June 2007: Zzzing the zzz of emotional exhaustion.
Later, reassemble car, finally get 1634: The Baltic War from library, stop at service shop within pistol range of hovel, pay $10 cash to get the hub nut loosened with their superior tools, make sure I can get it off again with the tools I have, drive back to hovel, and by this time it's raining and the engine is hot again so I'll sit and read webcomics while those conditions change. -Getting the hub nut off now though before it decides to rust back on or something.
Recently I watched Blade Runner again, and previously I read the (was it two?) sequel book(s), though I still haven't read the original. "A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies! The chance to begin again, in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!" If only.
Enough whining, back to work. Old driveaxle comes right out with a couple taps from the ball-peen. Compare old driveaxle to new - yes it's the right part finally. Outboard end fits easily. Compress suspension until the car lifts off the jack stand - stack regular wheel and emergency mini-spare under front end for additional safety. Grunt and cuss until inboard end gets past the frame. Now the factory-correct studs & nuts... don't fit. They're correct, but there's a spline on the stud near the head for a nice tight fit, probably pressed or hammered in at the factory, and without the whole car in the air I can't get access to do so. Therefore, brand-new hardened (10.9 metric, ~Grade 8 SAE) conventional bolts, nylon locknuts, & washers which I already bought. And I'll check it from time to time.
The Car is Fixed
again, and after scraping the worst of the grease off me and catching up on email, I'm resuming updates Saturday night.
In the news:
Leftist Professor Gets His Nose Rubbed In It.
Stossel Strikes Again.
Thought Police on Campus.
More Thought Police on Campus.
Tuscon Tom, kind and benevolent donor of the Queen, sends More Sticky-Fingered Badgemen. "Investigators found five weapons that were reported stolen that should have been returned to their rightful owners...." Uh huh.
Jeff Cooper Edition 1911 from Ed Brown.
Louisiana reader sends BayouShooter forums.
Edgewood, CT, gets fed up with useless badges, with predictable media spin: 1, 2.
Boycott Pizza Hut... again.
1513 - Sunday, 17 June 2007: And now the .NAME email isn't working in either direction, though the old Iguanasoft address and the new LocalNet both appear to be functioning.
Off to the rifle training event, with the Queen just in case though I don't intend to participate.
Noticeably fewer vibrations at freeway speed when the driveaxle isn't flopping about loose.
Got many good photos of the rifle event - many kids from Sea Cadets were present, cool. Didn't stay for the whole thing, but did get some Witness practice, fine-tuning rear sight (after tightening set screw for front sight), and in limited testing I think I've solved most of the feeding problems. Still sticky with SWC, but that may be only with one pair of magazines, instead of the other pair, which is a different brand. I think I'm ready to try this in the plate match and on pins.
Scored some HXP brass.
Reader points out that Frankford Arsenal offers an equivalent to Hornady One Shot case lube. But, I'm getting Hornady cheaper at retail.
Plunging into The Baltic War and a literary reference causes a web search which suggests that I am a Son of Martha. And so, I expect, are many of you, my fellow curmodgeons. Whether we like it or not. -The poem also easily applies to our troops, who sleep in mud and get shot at so we don't have to.
Unnhh, Kipling. He had great power. I can see the men working throughout the world, hear the machinery, feel the warmth of a summer sun or the cold of an autumn rain, taste the very dust as they build roads and dams, drill for oil, mine coal, launch ships, dig sewers beneath the great cities, watching and maintaining the uncounted complexities of modern technological life, diverting a thousand catastrophies each day - while the tabloid-reading, TV-watching cityfolk mosey through their mighty works, unaware.
1514 - Monday, 18 June 2007: Zz.
Well, this Kipling is a better, and intentional, fit for our troops, though in the same vein.
Phone temp service, eyugh. -Contacted my regular rep with my regular service (who remembered me even, which is why I called there first - also this rep is at least partly Our Kind); back on their active list.
From the Patriot Post: "Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it." - Woodrow Wilson
Adding The Female of the Species and The Sons of Martha to my Kipling page.
From the lists, this makes me regret less having never served in the military (though I'm pleased to see, adapting and overcoming, the same kind of American individual initiative that plucked triumph from the jaws of a cluster at Normandy, smashing the too-centralized command of the Reich). In my utopia recruits have already learned basic weapon handling as schoolchildren, servicepeople are issued their weapons early and keep them always, are responsible for maintaining them (within the support structure of their service), and muster out with them as their personal and private property, to become members of the unorganized militia and reserve. Williamson, who has served, puts forth a similar philosophy in his utopia, The Weapon.
Clearing off the reloading table to make some .45 rounds for the plate match this Saturday. Good thing I invested in dies and components; at this point I can't afford factory FMJ. Since I also can't afford the fuel to drive up for practice and load development, I'm sticking with the one load I have already, 200gr PLSWC over 5.7gr W231, standard Winchester primer. This exceeds Winchester's published data by .2gr, but I've heard that Winchester data is weak. Now what the heck did I do with my Auto-Prime...? I haven't loaded any rounds for so long, it took half an hour to find it amid the mess. Tweaking the dies, taper crimp improving. Probably I'll make a test batch of 230gr RN too, and maybe some JHP while I'm at it. -Might take the Dremel to the Witness' feed area again too.
Okay, I'm now fully capable of mass-producing .45ACP as long as the components hold out. 281 rounds of SWC, and this month the Auto-Disk is throwing 5.6gr W231 with that cavity. Now 20rnd test batches - 230gr plated LRN over Winchester's published maximum 5.1gr W231, which based on experience will probably be increased later; and, hm, under 230gr Hornady XTP and very old Speer #4477 JHP, the same maximum 5.1gr. -The Auto-Disk chart doesn't have that weight of that powder; switching to the micro-adjustable charge bar, first use of that. ...Nnnnoo, that needs some breaking-in - inconsistent charges, and it sticks in the Auto-Disk some. Probably be better with more use to develop a graphite coating. Back to the regular disks and one cavity throws 5.3gr, which is right in the middle of Sierra's data for jacketed projectiles of that weight.
1515 - Tuesday, 19 June 2007: Z.
DMV registration renewal in mail - oh, I can renew online! -Of course the whole idea of vehicle registration is anti-American and un-Constitutional. -And it's not working. Meaning I'll have to drive to a DMV location. At least local fuel prices are creeping below $3/gallon again.
From rec.guns, astonishing workplace bigotry. You see why I don't want to re-enter the workforce. And minutes later I receive an email fom a reader pointing out this Baen's Bar (free registration required) discussion of the incident. We are everywhere.
And, let's see, of seven library books I have checked out at the moment, four are from Baen. Uh huh.
Fireworks stands going up - no big $how for me this year I guess. But if nothing else happens I should have another month's rent even without income, by which time even I should have income.
1516 - Wednesday, 20 June 2007: Got new tags for the Corolla, $54, two years. Now watch the transmission fall out on the freeway, or something.
Hm, might have to make some hard decision$ about the match schedule. Plate match Saturday, that doesn't cost me anything but fuel, and ammunition I've already stockpiled; Garand match on the 7th, I have rounds for that; the PIG on the 14th and I haven't missed it, nor failed to medal in it, since I started competing four years ago - I should still have rounds for the Queen (and I have a quantity of LC72 as well) and can make enough rounds for the MojoMosin for the second relay, if I can afford the second relay; pins on 21 July, that's a long drive at these fuel prices; then plates again on the 28th and I'm in charge of that.
.NAME email seems to be settling down. Might be on my end, the old Compaq's OS must be a rat's nest by now. I might have to sacrifice all those archived emails (in MSOE v6 under Win98) when I switch over.
Wrote down a phone number for a "CASH FOR JUNK CARS" sign near the hovel, might finally get something for the Escort.
Contemplating processing .40 brass - RCBS sizer & expander dies are set, but if I were to load some, what about powder? Ah, I have two 9x19mm PTE dies, one set for .38/.357 with spacer rings, and 9mm is more trouble that it's worth to handload at the moment - if I expand .40 brass separately then... the .40 case won't fit in the 9mm die anyway, hm. But I also have a Lee rifle powder die, let's look at that - too long, most handgun cases won't reach to actuate the Auto-Disk. I guess I'll order a Lee .40 PTE later, Lee wisely sells them separately. If I needed to make some .40, which I don't expect to, I can set up that wooden powder measure stand again I guess. (Lee's charts say that .40S&W and 10x25mm use the same (Lee) shellholders and shellplates as 9x19mm.)
Followup on the Florida firing over firearms. With pith inserted by forum host Michael Williamson himself.
Meanwhile, in Illinois, from a press release dated 18 June:
Hey, remember that pet food recall, because of Chinese poisons? You might have heard of a similar problem with toothpaste. Link.
1517 - Thursday, Summer Solstice, 21 June 2007: ZzzZZzz. Bleah.
Made some Mosin rounds (H380), enough for the PIG, and to sight-in with if I still have gumption after plates this Saturday or the Garand match in two weeks. Wups, the PIG's COF has increased to 56 rounds! Good thing I made extra then, and reused the components from the pulled W748 load. The course, from the newsletter, is:
Prone: 15 rounds/15 minutes at 200 yards: 5 for sighter and 10 for record. (SR target)
Prone: 5 rounds/30 seconds at 200 yards TWICE (SR target)
Prone/Standing: 15 rounds/15 minutes. 5 rounds for sighters (any position) and 10 rounds standing for record at 100 yards (SR1 target)
Prone: 16 rounds in 160 seconds (must have at least one reload) at 100 yards
I think that's possible with a Mosin... no trouble at all with the Queen of course, especially since this match starts the rapid-fire stages already in position. 10 bonus points for firing the entire match with a bayonet fixed; the last time I fired the Queen with a bayonet the POI was so far off I couldn't adjust the sights for it, but my Hungarian M1944 shows no difference in POI with the bayonet folded or extended. $10 for one relay, +$5 for the second, I should have that much left after rent and the other matches, especially if I liquidate the Escort.
1518 - Saturday, 23 June 2007: Match day! And the Corolla made it up the hill and back down even. Good clean match this month, though a smaller turnout, only 22 entries compared to last month's 29. Nothing for me, though my very first qualifying run with the Witness was 5.06 seconds for six targets, with no misses. But it still doesn't like these semi-wadcutters, and that cost me later. There were many good close pairings, and longtime winner Jim Breen was doubly unseated! For details, download the club newsletter when it's ready in a week or so.
The Witness is definitely bigger in the hand, and the safety is not as easy to reach, compared to the P35. Good accuracy though. The rest is up to me, either at the reloading table or on the firing line. After misfeeds in qualifying and the first head-to-head round I switched to what little factory FMJ I had left, and that functioned perfectly, but I haven't yet bonded sufficiently with the pistol to whup anyone with it.
After, got sight settings, I guess, with the Mosin. Far more confidence in the Queen, even without bonus bayonet points.
1519 - Sunday, 24 June 2007: Off to the OAC show, but only because I get in free with my ACSWW badge. Don't dare buy anything. But I was smart enough to take one of my extra VZs, which I liquidated for food & gas money. -There wasn't much to buy anyway, unless I'd won Powerball in which case I'd've scooped up a $700 SVT40 ('cause it's different) and several revolvers (for loaner/trainers - if I ever do get money I will stockpile .38/357 revolvers against future tyranny) and maybe a nice flint rifle. The theme was Cartridges & Loading Tools, but most such were antique and collectible, and the rest I'd already seen, passed over, or purchased in previous months.
In chat today, much consternation over Tom Gresham softballing NRA-ILA's John Fraser over the NICS "improvement" legislation, and disparaging other RKBA groups.
Later, on rerun, even Hannity is bashing Tony Snow over immigration, while Snow changes the subject every three seconds just like an MSM commie.
Radio ads for US Coast Guard, including during Gun Talk, one spot praising them for busting smugglers - and it strikes me that John Hancock, the first man to sign our Declaration of Independence, was a smuggler and exactly the kind of person whose vessel would be forcibly boarded and siezed today. Now go read the document he signed. And then get more rifle practice.
Wrassling assorted software troubles but I'm still online.
Finished The Baltic War. Boooommm. Starting Retief's Peace, William H. Keith covering Keith Laumer, as he has ably done for much of the Bolo saga.
1520 - Monday, 25 June 2007: From the Patriot Post:
But I get increasingly ticked when I'm at WinCo buying loss-leader tuna casserole boxes and the occasional case of ramen, and some bloated social parasite in line ahead loads up on TV-advertised national brands, paying with an Oregon Trail tax-funded welfare card.
Retief's Peace is humorous, and topical to the Culture War, but overdone. William H. Keith can do Laumer's Bolos, but methinks only Laumer could do Laumer's Retief.
Phone evil government instutition about getting my other GP100 back - and the first detective's voicemail says he's out 'til 10 July. Second detective - leave message.
Phone temp service - nothing there.
In snailspam from the Military Book Club I see that alternate-history team Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen have produced Pearl Harbor: a Novel of December 8th, with not-sunk battleships on the cover. Will seek.
More backed-up email:
Reader sends: Guilty Cop Faints in Court.
Tuscon Tom sends Another Stupid Cop.
From National Review Online, reader sends, Anti-Gun Group Sells Illegal Guns.
Actually Retief's Peace begins to offend with Keith's characterization of the military. -Finished, not as bad as that overall, but I never have been much for comedy. I haven't read much Retief anyway. Starting Stoney Compton's Russian Amerika, an alternate history where North America is chopped up into nine nations or possessions, including the USA, the CSA, two Canadas, Texas, California, New Spain, Deseret, an Indian nation, and the never-been-communist Russian possession of what we would call Alaska. In 1987AD. Yay Baen. Turtledove deserves credit for launching the alt-hist genre but the PC, MSM crap he was turning out by the time I quit reading him really reeked, and more capable authors have left him behind.
1521 - Tuesday, 26 June 2007: No answer from the detective of course. Will call again tomorrow.
Compton's Russian Amerika is shaping up to be a swell action piece. And like Kratman's Yellow Eyes set in Panama, the blurb says Compton has lived in Alaska, and evidently knows what and who he's writing about.
Nifty cover art.
Accounts juggled, rent check dispatched, groceries and a $10 (30-unit, 45-day) TracFone card (on the expiration date - and it went through in minutes) procured. I'll probably see about liquidating the Escort this week.
News, a local ANG F-15 is down off the Oregon coast, cause unknown, pilot status unknown, SAR underway. The hovel is right next to the international airport, and the ANG base is attached to that - I see or hear the Eagles coming and going near every day. (In fact the OAC show I attended Sunday is in an Army NG armory just the other side of the fence.) Radio says the Eagles were on a training mission with some USMCR Hornets; I saw the Hornets come in a week or so ago.
1522 - Wednesday, 27 June 2007: Up late finishing Russian Amerika, not bad for a first novel, lots of room to make a series, if perhaps a bit heavy-handed in spots (i.e. a Confederate general named Carter, and US president Mario Cuomo, even an S.M. Stirling moment with a homosexual supporting character from the Republic of California). Next is James P. Hogan's Echoes of an Alien Sky, an archaeological piece with some twists. -Some of Hogan's work, the libertarian in me has greatly enjoyed, like The Mirror Maze (with the Constitutionalist Party abolishing the income tax) and The Multiplex Man (which took the Prometheus Award in fact), but some of his recent works like The Cradle of Saturn and The Anguished Dawn really bothered me with socialist content. I'll see how this one tastes.
News, F-15 pilot, Major Gregory Young, did not survive, investigation underway.
Hannity tangling with senator Voinovich (RINO-OH) over immigration and the senator's arrogance and elitism must be heard to be believed, boiling down to "Shut up and pay your taxes you ignorant peasants." Visual aid.
Phoning detective - my property remains in police custody for another case, which may take another year and a half to try. Detective says she'll call back with contact information for the DDA assigned to that case.
Hogan paints the USA as the aggressor in a 21st-Century apocalyptic war, hm. Well, it's not like I paid money for the book. -The frequent anti-war tilt is another thing that makes me not entirely libertarian. Some folks need whuppin'. They can't be bought, they can't be talked away; they must be destroyed. And yes, sometimes even preemptively. -Politics aside, the scientific theories - electogravitic propulsion, catastrophic planetary changes from external influences, rapid evolution with ancient survival traits stored in DNA and triggered by local environment - are very interesting.
Yuri invites me to his place for Independence Day, cool! I have some leftover pyro from last year, and a flintlock pistol for a noisemaker of course.
From The Patriot Post:
"Arms are the only true badges of liberty. The possession of arms is the distinction of a free man from a slave." - Andrew Fletcher
"Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper
Radio says the amnesty bill has died in the Senate. Again. Visual aid. Reportedly the Senate phone system crashed.
Processing .40 brass, maybe I can sell some. Also a huge mound of .30-06 to process, for my own use of course - between CMP purchases, range pick-ups, and reader donations, I must have 1,500 pieces or more, plus a couple hundred each of live CMP & Korean surplus. Ideally I'll settle on a load - and I'm close to that with 49.0 BL-C(2) under a Hornady 150gr FMJBT, I want another chrono session with different primers - and stockpile all of it, using a small quantity for matches until it wears out, by which time I'll probably have even more brass.
Finished Echoes of an Alien Sky, interesting scientific theories and a not-bad plot of grand scale, but packaged in what I interpret as socialist utopianism and pacifist wishful thinking. Done with that author. Next is something more my usual flavor, The Complete Hammer's Slammers: Volume Two. -Interesting introduction by David G. Hartwell, in defense of military SF and touching on my own frustrations with Hogan's work.
Snailmail, a $10 increase in hovel rent, $335 in August. Not significant if I have reasonable income.
1524 - Friday, 29 June 2007: Zzz.
Checking Corolla's driveaxle bolts while at laundromat, all seems well. Coolant leak might be worsening but that should be a lot easier to fix, if it's just a hose. Or it might just be summer putting an extra load on the system. The engine seems and sounds fine, FWIW.
Another visual aid on the immigration bill, senate, and GOP. Folks is losin' patience....
1525 - Saturday, 30 June 2007: Up to the range for chrono data, and while I'm there, some photos of the Sharpshooter benchrest match I'm not competing in. (Though, from what I later saw and heard of the results, the Queen might not have done too badly....) It'll take a while to type up the chrono results but some interesting observations were made of my .45ACP handloads vs. factory. Only two misfeeds in about 140 rounds, one with SWC though I'm still not sure exactly where it's hanging up, even though I was looking at it right there in my hand; and one with the old Speer JHP. I fired two ten-round strings for each of seven loads, using one Tanfoglio and one Mec-Gar magazine. Reliability seems to have been mostly fixed with the Witness. I also disposed of the last two Mosin test batches, though the M44 is sighted-in for a different load at present.
Met Yuri, who used his custom 10/22 in the match, yakked some. Spread the word about the plate match to a couple others on the handgun line - I need to make more cards. -I also need to make the prizes for next month's match but the printer's low on ink.
From the CMP newsletter, M1 Garand price increases. And they don't have any ready to sell yet anyway, unless you're physically going to the Nationals.
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