3.31.2014

On Buying a Car

Mr. Denninger has a great post on what to think about and do when considering the purchase of a new (or used) car.  Good info and good to keep in mind.   Too many times I have let my emotions get in the way when purchasing new and used vehicles and man, it only took 3 or 4 times but I learned my lesson! (yes, I am a slow learner!)
 
 
 
 
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12.31.2013

Sad News

Sitting here bawling my stupid eyes out at work after reading John Mosby’s latest post.
 
I have never met the man but have hoped to get in good enough shape (seriously) to go take one of his classes and not stumble and fumble around like an armchair wanna-be ninja warrior.  His website is a daily stop – the information and education he gives us is truly priceless.  
 
I will be honor his son by following his request:
 
1) Hug your children—no matter how old—and tell them you love them.
2) Offer whatever prayers you believe are worthy to your God(s).
3) Take advantage of the fact that you were blessed at birth with a heart that works. Go do some fucking PT.
 
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12.09.2013

Ford Truck Service Manual

Adding this link here so I don’t lose it!
 
 
 
 
 
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11.25.2013

Checking in - November 2013

Still here – checking in on folks when I can.  Lots of stuff going on with the family and school and work – pretty much the same for everyone everywhere.  Haven’t felt the need to opine on things lately as many others who are much smarter than I am are doing a much better job than I ever could.
 
The garden has been put to sleep for a couple of weeks – a week or so of hard frosts took care of the last bits.  The garden has never been huge but we have learned a lot over the past few years from it.  Food from the garden always tastes better.
 
Family and pets are all doing good.  Sage is moving a little slower and that is starting to concern me.  I know that her days are numbered, as all of ours are, but it is still difficult.  Read something a while ago about old pets and I think about it daily.  Quality of life is more important to pets than quantity of life.  Sage doesn’t mark her years with a celebration each year – all she knows is that “YES!!! I get a treat this morning!” or “YES!!! I get to take a lap around the block and sniff and smell and see what the other dogs are up to!!”  I need to do more of that with her.
 
The gals are all doing great.  L is still a handful and keeps us on our toes at all times.  B is doing great as well – I am a very lucky man to have her in my life.
 
I have more to write, of course, but need to cut this one short.  Original intent was just to say hello and that yes, we are all still alive out here!  I hope that you and yours are all doing well also!  Take care.
 
Jason
 
 
 
 
 
 

9.09.2013

September Update - Married!!

Where do I start?
 
Have not been on here for some time, life is trucking right along, keeping me busy!
 
First things first – I got hitched!  Yep, on September 1st, I got married in Spokane on a beautiful day in front of friends and family to my wonderful wife Brigid.  The wedding was fantastic - planned and coordinated down to the moment.  I could not be any happier to have found this wonderful woman to spend my life with. 
 
What else is new?  Bought a new old truck.  Found a 1990 Ford F350 Crew Cab 4x4, 5 speed with just over a 100,000 miles on it.  For most of the truck’s life, it lived in Colorado so the body is in great shape with zero rust and a handful of dents collected over the years.  Fellow had it listed on CL and would take part cash and part trade so we made a deal and I think we both feel like we came out good on the transaction.
 
Winchester Model 12’s = my newest addiction.  Wow, how in the world have I managed to be around this long and not have a stack of Model 12’s in my collection?  Cabela’s is practically over-flowing with them, I imagine that kids or grandkids are inheriting dad or grandpa’s old guns and the kids would rather have the cash or a newer shotgun, not realizing what they have in their hands is a modern masterpiece.  At the moment I have a 30 “ Heavy Duck with a solid vent rib built in 1951 in the collection and a couple of older, well used M12’s.  The Heavy Duck looks like it was just put on the rack at the True Value hardware store – all original right down to the red rubber butt pad and 8 oz of lead in the stock to put the balance point right at the takedown joint and to help handle some of the recoil from the 3 inch magnum shells.  They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore.
 
Sage the pup is doing well.  She stayed at the kennel while we were out of town getting hitched and she had a grand time there.  The gals at the clinic love to see Sage as she is just about the sweetest dog you will ever meet (excluding your own, of course).
 
Books – too many read to mention.  Lots of zombie books and end-of-the-world earthquakes and EMP’s and financial armageddon.   Doom and gloom stuff but it gets my mind working, thinking of the possibilities.
 
Even though life is good I am still saving, preparing, learning, training, practicing, failing and trying again at many things.  I sure hope nothing happens and that folks like Mosby and Max and the LizardFarmer and the like get to live out happy, conflict free lives, to see their kids have kids and to happily retire.  But if not, I don’t think any of us could ever repay them for the service that they are providing.  Go read their sites, print out the good stuff, think about it, practice, practice, practice, go take some training, store away some seeds.  Maybe in 40 or 50 years, my grandkids will take my old Colts or Sigs to Cabela’s and trade them in on whatever the newest, coolest thing is, maybe the latest in .75 ACP or something.  I can only hope and pray that happens.
 
Take care
 
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6.03.2013

11 Years?

Just realized I missed my blog anniversary again.  11 years I have been puttering away at this site.  Hard to believe!
 
Thanks again to all of you that still swing by here every now and then to check in on me.
 
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5.31.2013

Checking in

Oh boy, I am slacking off again!  I go through spurts of activity on here and then go too long in between updates.  I don’t have time today to do a full accounting of everything that is going on but here is a quick rundown of things I plan on writing more about soon:
 
My Mom shoots better than your Mom! – Mom attended an Appleseed event back home in Missouri and had a great time.  During the event, the staff asked how folks came to be there and quite a few mentioned that they had been inspired by Bob Owens.  Bob’s site is one of those ‘check every few hours’ sites and I recommend it to everyone I know who is like-minded as well as some folks that aren’t. 
 
My fiancĂ© and a friend of hers attended an all-day women-only shooting class at the local range.  She had a great time and shot well.  She likes the Glock 19 so-so but really-really liked the Glock 34 someone had there.  It took signing her up 3 or 4 months ago to get her in the class as it is very popular and there is apparently a great market for this type of training out here and around the country.  If you are in the area, I highly recommend this bunch:  Lock and Load Em, Firearms Training for Women, by Women.
 
Have another new addition to the collection.  Future brother-in-law swung by for a visit and he is a big collector/seller of sxs shotguns, old lever guns, old Winchesters in general.  We made a trip to the local Cabela’s and he found a great Winchester Model 12, 32 inch barrel, solid rib for a great price.  He had just picked up a Winchester 1886 at the Cabela’s north of Seattle so he was hemming and hawing on the M12 and decided not to get it.  Sooo, well, you know the rest of the story. 
 
Busy with wedding stuff, end of school year stuff, got the garden planted and it is looking good, just need some sun out this way.
 
Ok, back to some chores for me.  Need to bust out the mower before the grass gets too tall!
 
Take care and I hope all is well!
 
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5.07.2013

Spokane

Had a great time in Spokane this past weekend.  We had lots of wedding-related chores to take care of but I also got spend some time with one of my future brother-in-laws on Saturday, eating BBQ, doing some shooting and watching some little league ball games. 
 
On Sunday Brigid and I did the Bloomsday run which was my 5th.  The weather was great – a little warm – but blue skies and beautiful.
 
Was pleasantly surprised when we went shooting at a local range/gun store that they had a pallet of Federal 5.56 for $550 per thousand!  That is about the cheapest I have seen in a while, other than the 5 boxes at a time deal at Cabela’s - Federal for $10 per 20.  The Cabela’s stuff barely had time to weigh the shelf down before it was snatched up but that bulk Federal was still sitting there when we left. 
 
As with all my visits over there, I really enjoyed Spokane and hope that we end up over there sooner rather than later.  Great town with lots of great people.  My kind of place.
 
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4.04.2013

Junior Deputy Mize - I like it!!

Great story in the Spokesman Review about a 65 year old gal holding an intruder at gunpoint using a pistol she hasn’t shot in 30 years

Glad it turned out ok and that the Police Chief is a sensible man:

“Having a firearm in your home for personal protection, I guess we got to see the value of that last night,” said Police Chief Frank Straub.

Also -

“In this case, this guy was at least half her age and twice her size,” he said. (Lt. Dean Sprague)

Damn right. 

Junior Deputy Sandra Mize needs to head out to the range too!

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4.03.2013

Ammo Report

Took the day off Monday.  Swung past one of the local Wally Worlds and they actually had Tula 5.56 at normal prices.  The rub was that you could only buy 3 boxes.  The clerk told me that I could come back after 1 and pick up 3 more as there was another person coming on shift.  The vague possibility of maybe getting 3 boxes of steel cased Tula was not enough to get me back there.

However, I went to the other Wally World (yes, there are two) later in the afternoon to pick up a couple of other things and in the ammo case there, they had Tula 9mm for $10.95/50 and 45 ACP for $15.95/50, limit of 3 boxes total, so, I picked up 3 more.  Yes, it is steel cased but I have never had any issues with it. 

Later in the afternoon, I got an email notification that some ammo I ordered online from Cabela’s was in so I stopped to pick up 250 rounds of Czech manufactured Herter brass-cased 45 ACP and 250 rounds of the same in 38 special.  Not a bad haul for one day.

While at Cabela’s I saw that they had quite a few (7 or 8) AR’s on hand – they are packaging them with optics now – you can’t buy one of the ‘cheap’ ones without some kind of scope or red dot on it.  Cheap being $900 for the rifle and anywhere from $200 - $600 for the optic/scope.  They also had a full shelf of Glocks in FDE (19’s, 22’s, 34’s, etc) and a full shelf of S&W M&P 9mm pistols.  I have heard good things about those M&P’s but I have quite a bit invested in Glocks of various sizes and a bushel basket of mags and other accouterments so I am going to stick with those for now.  They are the Crescent Wrenches of my collection.  They aren’t pretty but they always work.

Speaking of pretty – saw one of the Cabela’s Turnbull 1911’s – damn that was a beautiful work of art!  It was displayed next to a Zombie-fied Remington R1 (green and black, seriously) and a tarted up Sig 1911 SXRTPWDRTZQ or some-such.  That Turnbull was something to behold and put those other 1911’s to shame.  I was able to handle it and admire the workmanship, sighed and gave it back to the clerk.  20 minutes later it was gone which is a good thing as I was contemplating….

Ok – that is the report from out here!  Hope everyone is doing well out there.

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4.02.2013

John S. Wilson's Traveler Review and Recommendation


I have read a lot of books.  For the past several years I have spent most of my time reading end-of-the-world, zombie, TSHTF, apocalyptic, survival-themed books.  I have read some great books and I have read some books that were not great and some that were not edited or if they were, they were edited by Ms. Johnson’s 7th grade creative writing class. I have read books that left major plot threads hanging in the wind, hanging out here unfulfilled.  If you could plot them all out on a bell curve, there would be some on the left side of that curve that are just plain horrible, a big chunk of them are ok and then there are the rare few on the far right of the curve that are memorable and thought-provoking and John S. Wilson’s book Traveler falls in with that group.  John posts over at his site WilsonBlog.
 
 

Despite the fact that I could be the president of the Fan Club, John S. Wilson’s new book, Traveler, is one of the best I have read.  I will try not to reveal any plot spoilers but it is the first book of the genre that I have read that takes the reader on a deep trip to the other side and we get to ride along with the antagonists.  Most of these books are written from the point of view of the intrepid hero and his plucky gang of fellow survivors.  Not Wilson’s book.  The majority of this book is uncomfortable – it will make you squirm in your chair and it will make you think about and explore those gray areas that are unpleasant.  What would you really do to survive?  What choices would you really make?  Who would you align yourself with?  What would you do if you were part of this group and your ‘leader’ was a manipulative sociopath?  It sure gives you some things to think about, including some thoughts on security and keeping the ones you love and care for safe.
 
This was a very enjoyable book and I highly recommend it.  It was thought-provoking, twisty-turny with a few ‘HOLY CRAP!’ revelations, very entertaining and hard to put down at night.  I hope that John has more books in him as I enjoy his perspective and his writing style.  The genre needs more books like this.

Disclosure: I got a note from John that his new book was out and immediately bought it for the Kindle and read it over three days.  I must admit that I am a big fan of Joshua, John’s first novel (Free on Kindle right now) – he posted chapters of that book on his site as he went along and I eagerly read them all.  In fact, you should know that John included a couple of characters in the new book  based on my fiancĂ© and me – he did make us younger than we really are (thanks John!) and at Brigid’s request, we didn’t perish in a gruesome and horrible manner!  Thanks again!
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3.18.2013

Future PowerBall Winner....

Well, my run of luck at Cabela’s continues.  Stopped by there over the weekend and while waiting with my number to look over something else, saw a guy looking over a new Ruger 10/22 take down.  My eyes lit up and just about everyone else who was close by got a sweaty look on their face and rushed to get a number from the Serving Customer # so-and-so dispenser.  Luckily, I only had to wait 45 minutes for my # to get called and I asked the guy “so, can I look at one of the take down Rugers?”.  He said that the one the guy was looking at was a special order that he had put in a few months ago but he would take a look.  My level of excitement deflated somewhat at that, figuring there were probably about 4,000 people ahead of me on any Ruger 10/22 wait list.

He tried the computer and it wasn’t working right and then he said he would take a look in back (thank you thank you thank you!) and after 10 minutes, here he comes with the short, squat Ruger box!  They had got a pallet of them in and had not had time to bring them out for display I got lucky, being at the right place at the right time - I have one on lay-away now.

As I did the law-away paper work, I saw 4 or 5 more Rugers come out of the back room at customer request.

Also – saw about 4 or 5 guys buy AR’s of one sort or the other while I was there.  They had quite a few out for sale which was surprising.  Prices were still a little inflated, but getting lower. 

Gun rights people always talk about the “Fuds” – those are the guys who only use rifles and side-by-sides for hunting and don’t give a flip about black rifles or pistols of any kind and the stereotype is that they would gladly toss AR owners under the gun control bus.  Well, I actually observed a proto-typical Fud buy an evil black rifle.  He was outfitted in a red and black plaid shirt, high-water jeans, Browning-style field boots, suspenders and seriously, a hat with ear flaps.  Only thing missing was his hunting vest.

He looked at and proceeded to purchase a DPMS 308 outfitted with a tactical scope of some kind.  It took him about 30 seconds to make up his mind on the purchase.  Later on, I saw him with his AR-10 in his shopping cart and a new rifle case and a pile of other stuff.  Good for him.

With my good fortune and steady run of luck at Cabela’s, I did stop at the convenience store on the way home and bought a PowerBall ticket too….heck, you never know.

Hope all is well out there.

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3.13.2013

Gramps and Saipan

Mom and Gramps are almost home after a wonderful trip to revisit Saipan.  He hasn’t been there since 1945 where he flew 37 missions in a B-29 bomber in the 878th Squadron, 499th Bomb Group.  They were treated like royalty all the way there and back by the pilots and staff of United Airlines, got to spend some time in Hawaii and see the Flight Museum there and enjoy the warm weather.  I will write more about this as I come to grips with the overwhelming emotion this trip fills me with.

Here are a couple of great stories posted in the local news websites out there about his trip:

Saipan Tribune:  Two WWII Veterans Honored During Saipan Visit

Marianas Variety: WWII B-29 Co-pilot LeRoy Florence visits Saipan  (a bit of error in the story – Gramps sold AIRPLANES not Air Conditioning!  He will get a kick out of that)

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3.11.2013

Primers and Pistols and Takedown Rifles

Hard to believe that I am the only dude in the area that is buying shotgun primers went back to Cabela’s this weekend and was surprised to see that they still had a few thousand 209 primers for sale.  Of course, I picked up another brick of 1000 to add to the my supplies. 

The biggest surprise were the Glock 17’s and S&W M&P 9 mm’s they had in stock and available at normal prices.  I am still on the lookout for a Ruger 10/22 Takedown but those are hard to find right now.  One of those and the slick AGP folding stock would be a great little packing rifle, even better if it was the threaded barrel model

It is starting to feel like things are loosening up but then I take a gander at GunBot.net and look at what is available ammo-wise and it is all fairly depressing.  Glad I have what I have, but could always use more.

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3.04.2013

Jackpot

I hit the jackpot over the weekend.  Stopped in at Cabela’s to get a first-hand look at how things are looking in the ammo and firearm sales area.  Lots of shotguns, lots of deer rifles, no AR’s, no 22’s other than a pink chipmunk and an AR-7.  They had quite a few pistols as long as you wanted a .40 or a surplus Glock 45 – no 9 mm pistols at all.   It was rather depressing. 

I wandered over to the reloading area and holy smokes, they had 209 shotgun primers.  I grabbed a couple of bricks of those and also picked up the last bottle of International Clays.  Bird in the hand and all that.  As I wandered the store, a couple of guys saw what I was carrying and quickly scurried off to get some themselves.

Must just be living right.

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2.28.2013

In stock!!

We need something like Midway USA or Brownells out here on the West Coast.  I am getting a little frustrated at waking up at 6 in the morning only to see that Midway sent me an “in stock” notification for some item at 3 in the morning Pacific Time! 

I reckon those places are running 24/7 right now so I am not too ticked off.  We did it to ourselves and only have that person in the mirror to blame for the yahoos we sent to Washington.  We were sold a bill of goods by modern-day snake oil salesmen and con men.  There are maybe one or two out of the whole bunch whoScratch that, there isn’t a single one of them that isn’t in it for the power or the ego trip.

Bolt Carrier Groups??!!!  Has DHS or the FBI or the Department of Agriculture secretly sent out a procurement request for every single available BCG in the country?  Sure seems like it.  The few extras I have are now locked away in a secret, biometrically accessed vault somewhere deep in the Cascade Mountain Range!


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2.27.2013

Too Long

This whole updating once a month thing is pretty lame and I apologize. 

Lots going on out here – we are busy ‘girding our loins’ as just about anyone who is paying attention is also doing the same.  Putting stuff by, stocking up, being fairly frugal in most all areas.

Sold one of the trucks shown above the red and white Ford.  It went to a young guy at Fort Lewis who had been looking for a 1976 Ford for quite a while.  He was pretty damn excited to buy the truck and didn’t even dicker on the price.  I was sad to see it go, but glad that it is going to someone who has the time to fix it up and restore it as it should be.  Next on the block is the red IH shown up top – need to do a few minor things and get it sold too.  I have passed the age and time in my life where I have time to work on project trucks. 

The money from the Ford and the IH are going into a pot to get something more ‘wash and wear’ ideally an early to mid 1990’s Ford Crew 4x4 with manual transmission, manual windows, etc.  Still hemming and hawing on the gas vs diesel thing, there are pros and cons either way.

My little Saturn commuter shot craps a couple of weeks ago too!  It has needed a $1500 head gasket change for over a year and was still drivable for my 3 mile commute and running errands around town.  I didn’t want to drop $1500 into a $500 car so I pushed it as far as it would go.  It will be sold soon as well with the $ going in to the truck pot.

So, with no wheels, I have been taking the bus to work the past few weeks.  Not too bad of an experience and not too many odd bus people you know what I am talking about – unless I am the odd one! 

I hope everyone is doing well out there.  I stop by every now and then when I get a chance to see what everyone is up and yes, there is definitely an air of anxiousness out there.  Keep your powder dry, keep stocking up and turning those bucks in to tangibles, get your garden starts going.  Take care.

1.23.2013

Happy Birthday JMB!

Happy Birthday John Moses Browning!  You were a genius and possibly an alien from another planet with crazy engineering and design skills! 

I have always wondered how you came up with the designs for the 1903 and 1908 pistols – pure genius or mad scientist take your pick – maybe some of both! 

Thank God you did though.

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Paying it Back

A good reminder from Brigid over at Home on the Range please give blood whenever you can, especially if you have  type O as it is the most universal and all recipients can accept type O.

Unfortunately, I am one of those that can’t donate blood anymore due to the medications I take.  Her story about her dad donating his time and energy to volunteer is inspirational and, as always with Brigid’s writing, you should click over there and read.

And please take a moment to say a prayer for her brother who is battling cancer.

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1.16.2013

"Now is the Time"

Echoing the sickening “Never let a crisis go to waste” statement, the Obama administration has titled the full White House report detailing Zero’s Executive Orders “Now is the Time”.

Make sure you go read the whole thing because what the press and most pundits are talking about and the list of 23 items that I have seen posted elsewhere are fleshed out in this PDF.  Banning assault weapons, mags over 10 rounds, bulk ammo purchase ‘registration’, requiring NICS checks on private sales, canceling/reworking the Curio and Relic provisions, etc etc etc are covered in more detail in the PDF.

I imagine Zero hopes that a weakened, brow-beaten Congress will get all wobbly at the knees and fold when it comes to Feinstein’s bill and other legislation but I have no doubt that he will follow Clinton and others if he ‘needs’ to ban imports, ‘assault’ weapons, and ammo purchases, restrict magazine capacity, etc with an executive order.

Call and email your representatives, local, state and federal.  Join the NRA, the GOA – get involved.  This isn’t going to be like 1994.

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1.10.2013

Ammo

Did a fairly comprehensive, top-to-bottom inventory of the ammo I have on hand over the past couple of weekends.  I am looking pretty good in most areas and of course, I will always wish I had more, especially if things get bad, or worse.  The prices on some of the most popular cartridges have me rethinking my storage and I may need to get a lockable safe if the shortage continues and the prices continue to rise!!

I think I have mentioned this before, and I was reminded again last weekend as I saw prices on some of the ammo I had stored away  why the heck didn’t I buy more 45 ACP and 9mm when it was $7.99 and $5.99 per 50 back when I could?  Hindsight is 20-20.  I really, really hope we don’t look back fondly at the days when you could purchase a case of .223 for $1000.

I did something this morning that I have never done before though I bought a case of ammo in a caliber I don’t shoot, just because it was available and affordable.  I was surprised it was available as it is a popular cartridge and I have some friends that shoot that caliber so I will keep it on hand in case it becomes necessary to distribute.  I do have a box of surplus mags for that caliber too should have bought something to use them with long ago when it could be had for $399 all day long, not the $1200 - $1500 they are going for right now!

Super crazy prices haven’t hit reloading components yet, as far as I can tell, so stock up on that stuff too before the EPA makes it all illegal.  Pay cash.

Crazy times.

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