Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Born in a pair of ramblin' shoes

I heard a song today off of Robert Earl Keen's new album, The Rose Hotel. It was called the "The Man Behind the Drums", and reminded me of "Furnace Fan" and "Out Here in the Middle," but I can't explain exactly how.

I bought Farm Fresh Onions, the album "Furnace Fan" came on the day it came out, but the song never really hit with me until I heard it on the Live at the Ryman album. REK's energy on the live recording finally got me listening to the song and it has stayed near the top of my iPod's most played list ever since. I think this song has the same ability to keep you hanging, waiting to hear what sort of phrase is going to paint the next picture. The one that got my attention and made me listen in this song was "born in a pair of ramblin' shoes."

Anyway, I'll be picking up the album this evening to listen to on a little road trip tomorow.

Never doubt Brownells

Last night I mentioned being discouraged with Brownells' pricing on black PMAGs. This morning my little blog had a visitor. According to Sitemeter this visitor was from Montezuma, Iowa and was using a Brownells ip address. They first visited right after eight o'clock, then came back around eight thirty and left a comment saying check again, the price had been fixed. I looked, and sure enough, the thirty round PMAG's are all the same price, regardless of color. The black twenty rounder is still a dollar more than the others, but I'm willing to call that an oversight.

I think this is a pretty good example of Brownells looking to their customer's needs. Until yesterday's price discrepancy I had never had anything to say about them that wasn't positive. The one negative thing I ever noticed, they sought out and fixed. And realistically, it's not like I have a lot of readers. There are about five people reading this. It's one thing to fix a problem that, say, Tam or Uncle brings up. The mere fact that they read my complaint tells me that they're out there looking to see what people are saying, and acting on what they find.

On the other hand, I sent emails to both Burris and SWFA Sunday night and haven't heard back from them yet. Should have bought that base from Brownells.

Monday, September 28, 2009

PMAGs and Brownells

Everything I've read says PMAGs are the way to go, reliable and indestructible. Plus they are about the most reasonably priced magazines I can find. Simple call, they're the way to go. Load up the Brownells website and order some, right?

Wrong. For some reason, the folks at Brownells, who I usually think the world of, charge an extra buck fifty to order black PMAGs. Green and earth colors are priced competitive with every other place I looked, but not the color I really wanted. It's a little disappointing. Oh well, I'll keep my money in state with LaRue, sales tax be damned.

Why is his mouth still moving?

Isn't it enough that Jimmy Carter is out there running his mouth? Do we really need Bubba Clinton working the circuit too? On the other hand, I think it's kind of funny that with all the talk of Southerners and their racist tendencies hating on Obama, the last two Democrat Presidents were from Georgia and Arkansas.

Anyway, to recap, Clinton never had Vince Foster killed, and anything bad ever attributed to him was just the work of the vast right wing conspiracy.

Interestingly enough, when asked if the republicans will make strides in the midterm 2010 elections, Clinton gave some socialist feel good answers, and then put out the money quote:

"the Democrats haven't taken on the gun lobby like I did."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Doing My Part to Make Sarah Brady Cry

I aquired a SIG 556 this weekend from a friend who needed the money. It worked out well for both of us. I've never even owned a .223/5.56 before, my battle rifles being a US Rifle Cal .30 M1 and a FAL. Now I find myself ordering PMAG's and contemplating the virtues of ACOGs and EOTechs. Life is funny that way.

Attempted Camp 45 Range Report

I intended to write up a good report on the Camp Carbine today, but had a run of bad luck.

The rear sight leaf was bent when the Marlin arrived, so I ordered a Burris FastFire reflex sight. I'd always wanted to try out a red dot sight. Burris makes several bases, but none of them said they're for the camp carbine. I looked around the SWFA website and noticed that the camp carbine and the Marlin 336, 444, and 1895 use the same Weaver rear bases. So it seemed likely that the Burris FastFire mount for the lever actions would also fit the camp carbine. I ordered one to see.

Anyway, this afternoon I put it all on and tried to sight it in. After a dozen or so shots I noticed one of the screws attaching the sight to the base was missing and the other was loose. I looked a little closer and realized that the screws were only long enough to go through the sight and engage the very first round of thread in the base. That one round wasn't enough and had pulled out under recoil. The base is thick enough for a longer screw, I really don't know why it came with such short ones. most of the threads are still good. If nothing else I can go buy some slightly longer screws and probably be alright, but I sent emails to both SWFA and Burris to see if they'll warranty me a new base with entirely good threads.

After making a short story long, that's my excuse for not having a complete range report. I can at least say that I was happy with the gun and sight for those first dozen shots.

UPDATE: You know, I suppose I could have just used the rear sight that I took off of Mjöllnir. What would be the fun in that though?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Night Twofer

In honor of the revenuer, err, fed in Kentucky, how about some Steve Earle?

Friday Night Music

Here's my personal favorite from Waylon By Gawd Jennings.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Better stay away from Copperhead Road

It seems that somebody has taken offense to the feds leaving their strongholds.

The Census has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Too bad they didn't take the hint ninety years ago. Places where they make moonshine=bad for federal anythings. On the other hand, suspending interviews may be positive reinforcement on this.

hat tip to Tam

Ironworker Quote of the Week

"I am not crying about the cold. Well, there are tears in my eyes, but thats because the wind is cold and there's no windshield on this thing."-Waylon

While we're on the subject

I've got safety issues with this story also.

Four were injured and traffic was stopped for four hours Tuesday near San Diego after the border patrol agents fired shots at the vehicles across nine lanes of highway.

Ok, as I understand it, traffic was heavy enough that the vans could not advance, so the feds opened fire across nine lanes of the nation's busiest border crossing. The vans were running into other vehicles, who I have to assume at the very least had drivers in them. And the feds shot at the vans, which likely had these other vehicles on the other side of them. I am all for controlling the borders and stopping crime. I am not for opening fire in an environment rich in non-targets if it can be avoided.

What happened to Rule IV, be sure of your target and what is behind it? I could understand if the vans had been spouting off gunfire like there was no tomorrow, but according to the article there was no return fire. The vans posed a potential threat to American citizens, but not the sort of immediate danger I'd like to see before shots are fired. I realize that the agents on the ground had some fast decisions to make. They had no way of knowing what was in the vans. Obviously, they thought it was important to stop them, and rightly so. My problem is with how they went about it. If that was the only possible way to stop the vans, then there needs to be a policy change. Maybe park a couple patrol cars a little ways down the road. Radio ahead, get them to stop the vans. Remote control spike strips or barricades. Anything to avoid the potentially tragic consequences of opening fire in such a place.

What not to do

I have a problem with the headline to this story:


Imperial man shoots himself in the head while teaching firearms safety

That's a hard way to teach what not to do. He wasn't teaching anything, he was being a dumbass. There are four rules. You have to break at least one for an accident to happen. This guy broke them all. At once. That makes him a lesson, not a teacher.

RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

Friday, September 18, 2009

Beyond Jimmy Carter level dumb

Jimmy Carter has said some pretty dumb things of late. For that matter he's been saying pretty dumb things for seventy years, but that's beside the point. His latest comments, that people disagree with Obama's health care plan because they are racist, have drawn a lot of attention and made a few headlines. Yeah, it was dumb for him to say it, but it's even dumber for people to believe it. Nobody in their right mind could take that statement as anything other than sour grapes. Or could they?

For exhibit A, I give you Mary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun Times, and her article published on Sept. 17.

Say what you will, but former president Jimmy Carter is too old to lie. At 85, he's seen the best and worst of human nature.
Wait, you mean people lose the ability to lie with old age? I did not know that. You'd think this would be common knowledge, like Alzheimer's. Maybe we ought to raise the minimum age for the presidency.


So, when he says the "You lie!" shouted at President Obama during his address to Congress last week was "based on racism," he is speaking with wisdom.
The wisdom of a man able to fight back rampaging bunny rabbits.

The heckler, Rep. Joe Wilson, has apologized to the president, and the South Carolina Republican was formally rebuked by the U.S. House on Tuesday.
However, Carter's comments echoed what a lot of African Americans are thinking.
Would Wilson have heckled a Reagan, or a Bush or a Clinton while these white men were delivering a speech before Congress?
Certainly, no white president has ever been heckled. Except when democrats booed during George W's speeches.

A lot of people believe that Wilson would have bit his tongue before he hurled an insult at a white president.
A lot of people would have held their tongues before stating a lie about a proposal that could be easily checked. Especially in front of the people who had access to the proposal.

Really, it was an unbelievable moment.
I would imagine so. It's not everyday that the television audience gets to play "Jinx 1 2 3" with a Representative from South Carolina.

Wilson shouted that the president of the United States was a liar before the entire Congress and the millions of people who watched the speech on television.
It's not like Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi ever called a president a liar.

Think about that.
Ihave.


President George Bush was so wrong about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction, he should have been impeached.
Except that they had used chemical weapons against the Kurds, and couldn't prove that they didn't still have them. And had plenty of time to move them around while the UN stalled for time.

Thousands of young lives were at stake, and not one elected official ever got angry enough to call Bush a liar during a public speech.
See: Harry Reid(Soc-NV), Peter Stark(Com-CA)

No matter how bad things were going in this country, Bush was respected as the president of the United States.
When things were going good in this country, Bush was shown nothing but disrespect by those on the left.

Carter is daring to suggest that Wilson's behavior was steeped in the old Southern creed that says a black man is not equal to a white man.
Maybe if Robert "KKK" Byrd had made the comment, Carter would have a point.

During a critical address to the Congress, Obama was not given the same level of respect his predecessors were given.
Obama also resorted to a level of audacious lying that would have made Bill Clinton blush. That couldn't have anything to do with it though. No, Obama is the great one, it has to be racism.

Some of his Republican opponents twittered. Some waved signs and booklets. Some sat stone-faced.

Wilson shouted, "You lie!"
A man can only take so much.

"It [racism] has bubbled up to the surface," Carter said, and pointed out that many white people "not just in the South" believed that African Americans are not qualified to lead.
There's maybe a dozen people in this country, of any color, qualified to lead. Most of them are busy being productive and staying away from politics, however.

Only Wilson knows what prompted him to act the way he did. Wilson, and everybody else who has ever lost their temper over a blatant lie going unchallenged.


But given the rancor that led up to the president's speech, I'm not surprised that this Southerner lost control of himself.
Isn't it a little bigoted to make judgements about Wilson based solely on his region of origin?

After all, the South did not go for Obama.
Neither did Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota...

In fact, an expert with the Washington-based Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies put it this way: The South has seceded a second time.
Let me check my pay stub. Yup, they're still taking out social security and income taxes. I'm pretty sure that would stop if Texas seceded. Oh, and there would be battles raging.

But the Obama White House will have nothing to do with a debate involving race.
"The president does not believe that criticism comes based on the color of his skin," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.
Can it be that Obama knows exactly what he has done to bring on the criticism? Or that he knows he lied?

That response doesn't take into account that when Obama ran for the White House, he was dispatched a security detail earlier than any other candidate.
The man's from Chicago. He needed a security detail just to pick up his mail.

Or that near the end of the campaign, racists started showing up at his opponent's rallies.
They showed up at his rallies too. Again, see Robert Byrd.

Unfortunately, the passionate debate over health care has also provided a platform for people who cling to a white supremacy doctrine.
Because even they have sense enough to see that socialized medicine is a bad idea.

These people show up at so-called Tea Parties with racist signs that depict Obama as a Nazi and a witch doctor.
Somebody is missing the point here. Yes, Nazi's were racist, but they also were big on socialized health care.

Hate disguised as partisanship


Recently, I was driving home and inadvertently tuned to a conservative talk radio program.
The vitriolic attacks on the president's health care plan were unnerving. Callers referred to Obama as everything but president.
Did you ever listen to what people said about Bush? The man couldn't even visit his home without moonbat hippies picketing.

Still, Carter's truthfulness will get him nowhere.

Neither will his untruthfulness.
In kinder circles, the former president will be characterized as an aging man who sees America as it was, not as it is.
Two words: Senior dementia

Conservative talk show hosts and GOP leaders will show no mercy.
I can only wish.

But Obama knows there are still a lot of white folks who are having a difficult time accepting that there is a black family in the White House. These people condemn everything from the color of his dog to first lady Michelle Obama's shorts.
Could there be a lot of people who have a difficult time accepting somebody with his extreme views in the White House?

Because Obama chooses to ignore the racism shown toward him, that doesn't mean racism doesn't exist.
Newsflash: the man was elected president. The fact that Mary Mitchell and others insist on referring to him always as a black man, instead of merely as a man, is hindering Martin Luther Kings dream of color not mattering.

As a people, we pay a heavy price when we do not confront racism.
Maybe we should stop making such a big deal of his race. The first time I ever heard of him, I assumed O'bama was an Irish name. Until the media spent the next couple years beating me over the head with his race. I wouldn't like him and more or any less if he were white, purple, or gold, as long as he remained a socialist. On the other hand, my opinion of Reagan wouldn't be any different if he had been black, purple, or gold.

And it becomes harder for someone like Carter to have an honest conversation about race.
The man was attacked by a rabbit. It's hard for him to have an honest conversation about anything.

The old man told a painful and unpopular truth.

I hope the White House doesn't turn this truth into a lie.
If anybody could turn the truth into a lie, it's the folks in the White House

We pay a heavy price when we do not confront racism.
We pay a heavier price when we do not stand up for the truth.


Friday Night Music

It's faster than most of my favorite Joe Ely songs, but still probably manages to be my favorite song from the man.

And on this day in history

Dallas Stoudenmire, the man who tamed El Paso the first time around, was killed in a gunfight with the Manning brothers.

With all of the border difficulties we've got lately, who's going to step up this time around?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

First it was giant burrowing roaches,

then it was giant wooly rats.

It's a dangerous world we live in.

From the Department of Redundancy Department

Heard something interesting on the radio today. The FBI and the BATF are having a cat fight. Obviously, it's great that the federal government gives us not one, but two such groups. After all, nothing bad happens when the feds get involved. Having two agencies handling the same stuff just doubles the greatness.

On the other hand, there is that pesky little Tenth Amendment. So maybe we ought to let the states handle things. Just a thought.

UPDATE:I'm in good company on this.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Additions

Just picked up a Marlin Camp 45 for my Dad. As recommended by everything I read, I ordered the stiffer Wolff spring last week, as well as some new buffers from Blackjack. Now I'm about to go put them in. Range report to follow soon. (hopefully)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Where it's due, part II

Patrick Swayze never did anything publicaly deplorable, as far as I know. He was born and raised in Texas, and, as we all know, went on to star in Red Dawn as the older brother, Jed. After that, he starred in Road House with Sam Elliot. Other than a truck driver movie co-starring the great Meat Loaf, those are the only Patrick Swayze movies I can ever remember seeing. That's three more good things than Kennedy ever did for mankind, and three more things that entertained me than Jackson ever did, so Thank You Mr. Swayze, too. WOLVERINES!

Where it's due

With all the recent attention given to the demise of a wacko who committed improprieties with children, and to an alcoholic who committed improprieties with our Constitution, I thought I'd point something out.

Ed McMahon was a World War II Marine flight instructor, and in Korea he flew 85 combat missions, earning 6 Air Medals. He retired from the reserve in 1966 as a Colonel.

Then he went on to become the sidekick of the funniest late night host there has ever been, and helped out with the Labor Day MDA telethon.

Thank you Mr. McMahon.

Because people need their eggs

It turns out that, among the many things in this world that clever people have thought up, there are egg carton machines that turn out 96 cartons a second, twenty-two hours a day. The process starts at one end with a big blender where you dump a truckload-and-a-half of used card board per day, involves an actual half mile of conveyor belt, and this machine...



...which weighs sixty-thousand pounds and comes from Canada, eh.

I stopped by to watch and help out a little after work. I didn't do much, but as it turned out I was the big hero who lined up the one anchor bolt (of nineteen) that was keeping it from lining up on the south side.

UPDATED: To better show the two huge forklifts. Both of them had telescopic frames. With the frames retracted they could maneuver in tight places, and with the frames extended it moved the counterweight farther out, giving it more leverage.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekend update

Tried to do some cockleburr hunting this weekend, but got rained on instead. Too wet to do any shooting either.

In other news, I've tried muddy roads both ways lately, and I'll take solid axles and manual hubs over two wheel drive any day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Civility

There's been a lot of fuss today about Joe Wilson's statement during Obama's speech last night. It seems as if ol' Joe has done something terrible and unprecedented. Nobody has ever been disrespectful to a president before. Lot's of folks are calling it the end of civility. I haven't heard anybody attack the validity of Wilson's statement, but that's beside the point.

Civility went out a long time ago. With it went telling the truth. And in today's society they aren't coming back...

...unless we bring back the code duello. Just my two bits. Like Heinlein said, an armed society is a polite society.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mjöllnir update

Got to take it out and shoot it. It was a little windy by West Texas standards, but I couldn't hold off any longer.

These were my first three shots, just to try it all out. Standing up at fifty yards. Not to make excuses, but they call it windage for a reason. I think everything's gonna be alright once I crank that rear sight down and to the right.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

linked

One link from JayG, and suddenly I've doubled my high for daily hits. We're talking double digits here. Almost like a real blog now.

Mjöllnir

A while back I mentioned working on a rifle that made me think of Mjöllnir. For anybody out there who had better things to do growing up than read about Norse mythology, Mjöllnir was Thor’s hammer. Depending on the version you read, Loki made a bet with some dwarves to make wonderful things, then tried to trick them and ended up with a shorter than usual handle on the hammer. It possessed some enchantments, among them that it would always return to Thor when it was thrown, and it would pretty much knock down whatever he threw it at. So what good Ol’ Thor had was a weapon that was easy to keep around, shorter than usual, and had a lot of knockdown power. I'd had something like that in mind for a while, but couldn't make up my mind on exactly what I wanted. Finally, I was inspired by a certain well spoken fictional character. It was time to put together something to make even Sam Haven proud.

What better way to start out than to get a Marlin 1895G, unported? I know some people out there like the ported version, but I’m not sure why. I’ll take recoil any day over extra muzzle blast and noise. This isn't a bench gun, something I’m going to shoot fifty times settled into a chair with no give to it. This is a rifle to be shot standing up, where my body can sway a little with the recoil. Even a heavy cartridge such as a .45-70 hurts less than any sort of rough-housing. Playing football in the park, you’re going to get hit harder on any given play without even noticing it. So my motto is “Man up and be prepared for the hordes of zombie buffalo.”

Anyway, even though the rifle was already short, handy, and stout, I still thought it could be improved. I got it partly because it’s fun and partly because you never know when you might have to put down a large angry mammal or get trampled and eaten. At least life would be a little less dull if that were the case. The first order of business when dealing with rampaging Santa Gertrudis is to hit and hit quickly. To that end I required a different sight set up. A quick trip to the Brownell’s website and I had these, from the XS sight company. Then it was time to put ‘em on. Remember your four rules, always make sure a gun is unloaded before working on it.

that white line stands out

do yourself a favor, get a good set of gunsmith screwdrivers

and the rear sight. use a dab of loc-tite on each end

The aperture I’ve got in has a wide opening and a thin rim, a true ghost ring set up of the sort to make Jeff Cooper proud. A smaller opening could probably shoot better groups, but come on. It’s an 18 inch big bore lever action. Speed and power are the goal here. The white line in the front post stands out well in low light. Actually, I had originally intended to have somebody make me a gold line front sight, but David Clements recommended the XS as being better under all light conditions.

I’d learned a few things from researching for previous adventures in Bubba-smithing, and this time I wanted to try a couple more things. A couple google searches turned up nothing but good words for the products of Wild West Guns. So, since I was taking the gun apart to slick it up anyway, I ordered a trigger and an ejector while I was ordering the sights.


for comparison. the factory pieces are on the left, wild west pieces on the right

Instructions for smoothing out lever action Marlins are all over the internet. There used to be a real good write up with pictures on www.leverguns.com, but apparently it was lost a couple years ago when they switched servers. I couldn’t find it this time around. All the write-ups I have read say pretty much the same things. Look for rough spots and burrs, then polish 'em out. Pay attention to the lever where it rides in the bolt, the groove in the reciever that the hammer fits in, and especially the locking bolt. One step I leave out is changing the hammer spring. I really want that primer to fire off every time I pull the trigger, so I don’t take any chance of slowing the hammer down. On the other hand, sanding the hammer down takes a lot of effort out of working the lever. To me the better rifle is the one with the factory hammer spring and the non-factory hammer, but your results may vary. I don’t have anything else to add, except to remind anybody who tries it to take things slow and follow the directions. Well, I have one other thing, but we’ll get to it later*.

take your time and pay attention putting things back together. this is what a rifle looks like without the locking bolt in it. hint:it won't work that way

my faithful shop audience

ta-da

So here we have it, almost complete. I’m going to add a sling and butt cuff from www.levergunleather.com. Also I’ll add one of these and cut the stock down just a little to fit my own short-armed self.




1 I know that the instructions all say not to change the shape of the hammer, but I think there is a little room to play with on that. Don’t take any off where it contacts the firing pin, and don’t take too much off at the part of the curve that contacts the bolt cam when the hammer reaches full cock. That still leaves a little room to make a more gradual slope, giving the cam a little more leverage working against the hammer. The trade off is that you’re working over a longer distance. DON’T TAKE TOO MUCH OFF. A little bit goes a long way to making things better. If you have any doubts at all, DON’T DO IT. Buy a reduced power hammer spring, or snip a coil off the factory spring.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

For absolutely no practical reason...

I really want one of these. Who has ever been cooler than Steve McQueen?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Keith's embarrassing revelation

I don't watch much tv, pretty much only if I happen to be someplace where one is on. The tv at my house isn't even hooked up to any sort of outside input. That being said, there is a show that I like. I saw the pilot episode a few years back while staying in a motel room in Odessa, Texas, and have the first three seasons on dvd as a result. The show is Supernatural. Yes, I see the two guys on the dvd cover. Yes, I know it airs on a channel called The CW. I know how it looks, but, no, I'm not a 16 year old girl.

Basically, the show's about two brothers who travel around in a black '67 Impala killing monsters, demons, and ghosts. While listening to classic rock. With an arsenal of weapons in the trunk. And having the last name "Winchester." No, the arsenal isn't as extensive as some, but the cooler of the two brothers carries a 1911. They also have a special Patterson Colt that was built by Ol' Sam Colt himself, who happens to have been a demon hunter.

Did I mention that Ben Edlund is a writer and producer?

Anyway, mock me if you will, but the fourth season is now out on dvd, and I'm about to go pick it up.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dancing King

This post really isn't related in any way to firearms or politics, and it isn't a rant. But I had a conversation earlier that reminded me of it, and decided to write it down.

My younger brother had a real good friend growing who spent a lot of time around our family. He even worked with us for a time after he got out of school. Then he went of to Colorado to work for Chevron and we only saw him when he came back to visit.

So he came back for Thanksgiving one year, and it just so happened that Reckless Kelly was in town while he was here. A snowstorm also hit town at about the same time Chad did, which lead to some really funny moments, but they really don't belong here. This is a family friendly place, after all. Anyway, the three of us decided we'd go see the show.

Now we need a little background. I weigh two hundred and twenty pounds and have been called "stout" by construction workers on more than one occasion. My little brother is actually a little taller than I am and outweighs me by twenty or thirty pounds, and Chad has a few inches on either of us and probably weighs as much as Steven. Chad is an easy going guy who you really couldn't call loud, while Steven is somebody who you really couldn't call anything but loud. You also couldn't say he isn't entertaining.

The band put on a really good show, and towards the end the three of us were standing off to the side of the dance floor. Which happened to put Steven close to the bar. At the first chorus to "Wild Western Windblown Band" I looked over and saw a horrified expression on Chad's face. He was pushing my thoroughly inebriated brother to arm's length and looking for an out. He caught me looking and spun Steven to face me. Steven grinned and stumbled towards me, swaying into my arms. I was a little shocked.

"Steven, what the hell do you think you're doing!?!"

"Dancing," he replied unfazed.

"What the hell?"

"Dude, its a concert. Just two step like everybody else," he patiently explained to me.

"But why are you dancing with me?" In the state of confusion I found myself in, that was almost a profound question. Shakespearean even.

"Because you're strong and I can't really stand up anymore." This he explained as if it was the most obvious point ever made.

"No." It was all I could think of to say.

"We're brothers,it's ok, we can hug and stuff."

"No." I was getting redundant, but I think it conveyed my meaning.

"It's ok," he told me, but I didn't believe him. I gave him a spin towards the middle of the dance floor. His path was intercepted by a heavyset girl who seemed delighted to have a dancing partner. At first I thought she didn't mind being his structural support, until I realized it was mutual. Alcohol would make sure neither one of them remembered their dance. I only wish I could say the same.

I don't even know where to begin

So I'll let Mr. Correia say it all for me.

The money quote: "I never thought we’d have a president who’d make me look back and wish fondly for the integrity of Bill Clinton."

Go read it all.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Lone Star is hanging at half mast

One of Texas' favorite sons has died. Writer and award winning Texan Elmer Kelton passed away recently in San Angelo. He was the man who received the very first Lone Star award for lifetime Achievement from the Larry McMurtry Center for Arts and Humanities at Midwestern State University. On top of that he was my favorite novelist and a good man.

I had an opportunity to meet him once at a steak house in San Angelo. Despite the fact that several other people walked up to his table to say hello, I stayed in my seat. He had a handshake and a kind word for each of them. I'm fairly shy and really didn't know what to say, so I missed out. I really wish now that I had.

For those who have never read the man, his novel The Time it Never Rained did a lot to shape my thoughts on both manhood and government. It and McMurtry's Lonesome Dove are the two books that I read more than once a year, every year. Stand Proud, The Man Who Rode Midnight, and The Good Ol' Boys are also favorites that I would recommend to anybody.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Utopia Town

New York City, a place so great that they allow citizens to pay a city income tax, claims that 1 in 10 of all New Yorkers contacted swine flu last spring. By their own numbers, that's 800,000 infected yankees, out of something more than a million total Americans infected. So between 80 and 40 percent of all swine flu infections in America have been in New York City. Where the Government will take care of you, because they are there to help.

This is also a place where city rulers, in their wisdom, have outlawed guns so that nothing bad can ever happen and nobody can be shot. Because, again, government has only your safety in mind.

Too bad I live where I do, we don't even have a state income tax. And of course nothing good has ever happened here from guns being legal.

Grr

I don't know who this guy FICA is or what kind of racket he has going with the government, but he better pray to the god of theiving crooks that we never run into each other in a dark alley.