Saturday, October 24, 2009

OK, so I went to the gun show

And couldn't find a freaking gun to buy.

This isn't really a knock on this weekend's Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Charlotte. It's a good show, and I actually saw some very good deals. If I'd been looking for a Springfield XD-45 I could have brought one home for $500. I saw evil black rifles, good brands, for as low as $600. I saw a Smith and Wesson that just begged to come home with me. I regretfully told it "no" and left it whimpering on the table.

I also saw MREs with pack dates 2 years past for full price and guys with thousand round boxes of .223 ammo for the bargain price of only $50 over what I could buy it on the net for including shipping. You have to love optimists, I suppose.

But I couldn't find one freaking over and under shotgun that pointed well for me, in 20 gauge, with screw-in chokes with extractors to buy. Not new and not used.

I did find several nice used ones that were close. There was the Browning Citori with the nasty stock ding that was $200 overpriced. Everything I wanted except it had ejectors. The stock ding could have been repaired and the ejectors lived with, but an arrogant dealer who ignores potential customers and overprices the stock simply isn't someone I typically want to do business with. When I finally got someone's attention, he couldn't talk business and I had to wait for Her Majesty The Owner to tell him what it could sell for. After causing her the inconvenience of actually having to calculate a price, she was willing to knock off $50. No thanks, sis.

Then there was the very nice gentleman who was willing to talk both business and guns, with an Italian gun from a maker I've never heard of and can't Google up. The price was good, but ejectors and fixed chokes (improved cylinder and modified). I know I haven't heard of all good shotgun brands, but I've heard of most of them, and the unrecognized name and fixed chokes killed that one for me.

Then there is the one that I'm sure I'll be told I foolishly let get away. Nice older gentleman and his wife with a great selection of both shotguns and rifles. A very nice older Ruger Red Label at a very nice price, but again with fixed chokes and ejectors. I stopped by that table three times. I mounted that gun probably 30 times. Every time, the thing was right where it should be. I really though hard about it. He gave every indication of being willing to bargain, but I decided to pass.

After returning to Daughter's dorm room for a break and a short rest before supper, I did some Intertubz research, and found at that there is an easy way to change Citori ejectors to extractors. I have to wonder if something similar could be done with the Red Label.

I was able to buy 4# of Hogdon International Clays powder for reloading. And Daughter and I were able to enjoy the day together. I shouldn't complain.

But I'm still frustrated.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Oh, I wish I was in the Land of Cotton

And so I shall be tomorrow, at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Charlotte, NC at the Metrolina Expo Center.

I'll be the one looking for a 20 gauge pump or over-and-under for clays shooting. No, I still haven't decided.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm not sure why, but...

I continue to be amazed at the level of duplicity and hypocrisy in North Carolina's government. The latest case in point is the new commander of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. In a speech given to the entire patrol last month, Patrol Commander Randy Glover told the troopers that they needed to be "morally and ethically beyond reproach." One assumes this speech was made to address a few instances in recent history where the patrol operated at a standard that was, shall we say, a bit lower.

How he meets that high standard, given his past, is the subject of some debate. Governor Dimples seems to think that we're horrible people for bringing this out in the open.

I'm not for shooting the guy over a marital affair 22 years ago, but I do question how, in his mind and the mind of those under his command, he meets the standard that he has laid out for their behavior.

There's a lot of ways this discussion could go. Should the guy be disqualified from the job of the affair? After 22 years is it relevant to his ability to serve as Patrol Commander? Will it color his judgement if he must discipline a trooper for a similar problem? Is an extra-marital affair even a big deal at all?

But to be told we aren't allowed to discuss it at all rankles. Governor Dimples may bite me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Woo-hoo, hold me back, boys!

"...a Democratic aide told The Associated Press that House Democrats have cut the cost of their health care bill from more than $1 trillion over 10 years to $871 billion over a decade."

Well hot-diggity-dayum, just look at how much money they're saving! Why, the next thing you know they're going to be paying us to get insured!

Of course, we aren't going to note that the last big government health care program, Medicare, runs from 200 - 1200% over the original cost estimates, depending on just what part you're looking at.

And don't anyone dare point to Medicare Part D, because that has private competition built into it, unlike what La Pelosi & Co. are proposing.

The useful idiots in Congress are going to bankrupt us all.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shocked! I'm shocked, I tell you!

(Via SurvivalBlog)

Texas industries find that a lack of Federal red tape means that they can be more efficient and innovative.

Whoda thunk it?

Building the pantry on a budget

We all know that you can drop a wheelbarrow of money on a Mountain House Foods dealer and get a ready-made supply of freeze-dried food, good for 20-30+ years of storage in the ever popular cool, dry place. This sort of food has a place in my storage plan, but trying to have enough to feed more than 1 or 2 people for a year is going to eave a huge dent in your wallet. It's also going to get more than a little boring. Despite the fact that the food is of good quality and quite palatable, the menu is rather short.

Most of the food you can buy in the grocery store is either good for a couple of years, or will require special repackaging in order to keep longer. This strategy works, but at a considerable cost in time and effort, something many folks may not have to spare. Face it, dehydrating, packing buckets and the like are time intensive, and the materials are not available at the local Big Box Mart of your choice. You're going to order them from somewhere on the Intertubz, and there goes some of your savings. Add in your time, and the Mountain House route starts looking better (except for that mountain-size ding in your budget).

Bison Survival Blog has a good guest post listing some of the grocery store items that can be stored in quantity for long periods of time without special preparations. There are other items out there as well that aren't on that list, such as white rice. (Sorry, brown rice lovers, it just doesn't keep as well over time.)

There are numerous sites out there catering to the prepper on a budget (Google something like "long term budget food storage" and stand back), so I'm not covering this in any depth. I just want to point out to any strangers who might be happening by the place that preparing for bad times doesn't have to cost an inordinate amount of money--indeed, it can be done with relatively little effect on your budget when done well.

Which means there is no excuse for not having at least 3 months of food on hand.

Greetings to the CIA

In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media.

Say hello to the boys at ATF and the FBI for me, will ya?