Saturday, March 28, 2009

Leapin' Lizards

I went for a hike today at Madera Canyon. Not a long hike, just over 3 miles round trip, but a pretty steep trail for an old fart hefting an extra 20 or 25 pounds in a pack on his back. Still though, it was Paradise. The temps were in the mid to high 60s, and it was enough to bring out the lizards. At least it was enough to bring out some spiny lizards, I think they were yarrow's Spiny Lizards. Well I have a photo of one here for you to gawk at. Pretty colors, even prettier during mating season when the males take on some awesome blue hues on their dorsal scales. They also have a year round blue throat patch. This little guy was almost friendly. I saw him near the bottom of the trail on my walk down the mountain. Actually I heard him first as I walked by and he scampered through the dry leaves and under a rock (into that shady area to his left). A second or two of me waiting and he was already back out from hiding! These guys are pretty brazen, and this one should know better. Notice the duller rear half of its tail? That section of tail was lost and has regenerated. probably grabbed by a predator like a bird or snake, and the tail broke off still wriggling while the rest of the lizard scampered away to safety.

I saw a couple of others too, and I also got photos of them. it is a royal pain in the rear to post pics from the hotel computer, they only allow MS Paint to edit it. They do not have a photo editing program. I am sure there is one on the PC, they just do not have it set up to use it.

Maybe next time I'll get lucky and see a rattler.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tucson - First Day Off

Okay, today is my first full day off while out this way and I am going to make the most of it starting with a full breakfast right after I get done with the blogging. The hotel has a decent set-up for breakfast, and everything is mmm delicious. I have eaten breakfast every day that I have been here, which for me is unusual, but while not the norm it has an advantage because I have cut out almost all snacking. By 'almost all snacking' I mean I have completely cut out: candies, cakes, cookies, pretzels, chips, ice cream and just about whatever other junk you can think of. I have replaced them with breakfast and with a handful of nuts per day and a piece or two of fruit per day. No more smacking for 2 -3 hours per night as I watch the tube. I figure if I can do that for 3 months I should lose at least a pound or two!

After I eat I plan to head out somewhere. I am not too sure yet just where I'll be going, maybe to Nogales to become refamiliarized with the border area (a work related drive) and then maybe to Madera Canyon for a hike (my PT or the day). I already have hiked part of Pima Canyon, which is the closest trail to my hotel. I was going to post on that this morning but the pics I downloaded onto the hotel PC last night have been deleted. Oh well, I'll download them tonight or tomorrow and then upload them to my blog immediately. The desert is in bloom, and I got a few nice shots of flowers, and more of cacti and other desert plants. I have not seen a herp yet, but my bet is I may find some today.

Time to go now, I will write more tonight or tomorrow.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Trip West...

...went pretty well, all things considered. I woke up at about 0400 to start getting ready to go and Brendan actually got up after my first knock on his door at 0425. That was nice. We had a quick cup of coffee and Brendan had a quick bite to eat. Then we packed the car and almost headed to the airport. Thank you Brendan for asking me if I had everything. I had to go back inside and grab the shotgun case - jeesh! We were off in no time and got to the airport in little time since there was very little traffic on the road at that hour. The thing is though there still was traffic, not as i jam, but as in people already going to work either in the Big Apple or further east on Long Island.


Once at the airport it was a quick goodbye to Brendan and he was off back toward home, hopefully he could get a few winks before leaving again for school. I headed to the check in counter and man what a line! There were literally hundreds of people in the Delta terminal on one line or another. Luckily most people do self check in and do not require the services of a check in person as did I. Of course I need to let them know I fly armed and then sign the forms, wait to have my ID checked by the police, have the shotgun checked by TSA and so on. When the police officer arrived he checked my ID, then asked me to open the shotgun case, then told me I could absolutely, positively not have ammunition in with the shotgun. I explained the TSA and Delta regulations saying yes I could carry the ammo in the same hard sided case as the shotgun so long as the ammo was in either metal, plastic or fiber (cardboard) containers; I also offered to show him a copy of the regulations for both TSA and the airline that I had in my pocket. he refused to look at them and told me that this airport had special rules telling me I was dead wrong because when traveling through LaGuardia airport things were different. Funny how LEOS and people in general always feel that where they work is special with special rules that supersede the rules for the rest of us. He escorted me to TSA and he immediately told the guy at TSA that I had ammo then asked isn't that against the rules. The guy at TSA took a look and said 'Nope, that's okay because he packed it correctly'! TSA had me lock up the case and I was off with the cop to be walked through security. Luckily for me I had not said what was on my mind to the officer because I still had to have him escort me through security - lol. Actually he was pretty decent and courteous, just misinformed.


Once through security I met a NYPD officer with whom I used to work at JFK Airport when with Customs. That was a nice surprise. We chatted for a bit and went off to our gates. I had only a brief wait and was preboarded, always a nice touch. Then we were off to Atlanta for my connecting flight. Te trip to Atlanta was brief and pleasant. The wait once there was a bit longer tan the one I had had in NY but thankfully I did not have to go through security again. The flight from Atlanta itself was not so good. It was full, and I do mean full. It appeared as if every seat was taken. The seats, all three across, were pretty narrow and we were packed like sardines. It would have been ore bearable had the flight been a brief one like the initial leg to Atlanta, but this one wound up over 4 hours long. Getting on the ground was a relief, well that is until I got my luggage. When my shotgun case came out, i noticed the locks had been broken off of it. Two good locks gone, and then I had to fill out a claim with Delta. I now have 30 days to go to their repair shop to have it fixed or replaced. I imagine it will need to be replaced, but time will tell.

After that I hopped into a taxi and made my way to the hotel. my taxi driver - Miguel - was a great guy, and his driving was great too - nothing like a NY City cab driver. We got to the hotel pretty quickly and the fare was $42.00; he seemed happily surprised to get an $8 tip. I did not think it all that much since he helped me with my bags and all and was a good conversationalist (in English that I could understand). Oh well. Once in the hotel I was checked in quickly and courteously by Ruth the front desk clerk. Shortly after that I was in my room and somewhat disappointed. The room was nice, but had to have the worst layout of any hotel room in which I have ever been. The bedroom door only would open halfway because the dresser was crammed behind it. It opened into the bedroom, and I actually walked into the edge of it while dialing my cell phone. In the bathroom you had to close the door from the bedroom to be able to open the closet door, and you could not stand in front of the door when opening it because you would be backed up against the sink and there would not be enough clearance to get it open all the way.

Later on, I saw a room across from mine was open and unoccupied. The door was left ajar and held open with a chair because they were allowing the carpet to dry after being cleaned. I decided to take a peek. it was a much better layout. I called the front desk and the night clerk Chris helped me out. he told me that after 8 I could change to that room if I wanted. So at about 8:30, I called him and he brought the new card key to my room after changing my room number in the hotel system. I had already repacked my stuff and made the change in a couple of minutes. My new room is nicer and larger than the old, and overlooks the pool area. I like it.

This morning I had breakfast, cooked to order at the hotel. It was delicious and free. It is too bad the hotel only serve breakfast, it doe snot have a full service restaurant. restaurants might be a problem around our hotel; I was told they are all upscale and very expensive. So i guess I'll be driving a lot to find decent places to eat within a reasonable price range. I can live with that, at least I'll be eating.

As fr work, I went to the Tucson office yesterday. I got a car assigned to me. Its a 2002 with over 90 thousand miles on it, but it seems to work. It needed a jump start at first, but once going ran okay, the AC worked, the good time radio worked, and the brakes worked. If it doesn't rain while i am out here I may never know whether or not the windshield wipers work. I have got to go over to the office soon, so for now that is pretty much it.

I am still hopeful I'll be able to hook up with some local bloggers and shooting enthusiasts, and maybe some local herpers for some fun times.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Battlestar Galactica

One good ting about not having to leave for AZ already was that I got to watch the final episode of Battlestar Galactica. For me that was a BIG DEAL! Maybe not the best of all possible endings, but a hopeful one - sort of. If those two were angels, well then I'll settle for warmer climes when I pass to the great beyond.

Later for you,
GB

Okay, so I havn't blogged in a bit...

...but that is only because I have been busy getting ready for my trip to Arizona this coming Monday. Hopefully once I am at my hotel they will have a computer or two available for guests and I'll be able to get off at least a few blogs a week while I'm in AZ. I'll try to get out something this weekend, but no promises, just to busy getting things done I should have done weeks ago plus my packing.

All the best,
GB

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Not Driving...

...but will be flying. Sorry about that but things change. So I will not get to stop by to see any of you as I had hoped to do along my way west.

All the best,
GB

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Biweekly Gun Shots 10 - American Derringer Standard

This edition of Biweekly Gun Shots is going small. Not miniaturized mind you, just small as in size of a real working gun. The one I would like to talk about is the High Standard Derringer in .22 Magnum. Sadly, that one, I am pretty certain, is out of production.

So the one I am left with to write about is the American Derringer Standard, and that may not be bad at all. From what I can see from the American Derringer Standard is a look alike when compared to a High Standard that was made back around my Border Patrol years (1979-1983). I had wanted one of those HS derringers back then, but somehow chose the Beretta Jetfire in .25 Auto instead. The Beretta was a good choice for a pocket pistol, but I still regret not also getting the HS. Now that they are gone, it seems that American Derringer has taken their place.

From what I can gather on the American derringer web site, they pride themselves in producing high quality firearms made in America from American parts. Imagine an old fashioned idea like that in business today here in the 21st century - I like it! The business was fonded by Robert A. Saunders back in 1980; and after his untimely passing in 1993 the business was transferred to Elizabeth Saunders, aka: Lady Derringer. Elizabeth is responsible for getting the pistol in question, the Derringer Standard, into production. My guess is she was a fan of the High Standard derringer too because even the American Derringer web site mentions the similarity between the two. If I am ever out that way, and who knows I may soon be, I'd like to visit their premises at 127 North Lacy Drive in Waco, TX.

As for the American Derringer Standard, its specs are as follow:

Chambered for 22 Magnum, double action, 2 shots, blue finish, 5" long by 3" high (no width supplied, but as I recall the HS was pretty thin and so I imagine is this one too), 1/4 or 1/3 trigger guard (in other words the trigger guard is minimal and there is no guard forward of the trigger, so be careful with the nose picking finger). As I recall the HS had a pretty heavy trigger pull, if this one has likewise then that minimalist trigger guard does not matter all that much.

I would love to own one of these; and I would carry it everywhere as a last ditch defensive weapon. It makes a great boot gun. It also has potential as a good pocket gun, especially in an inside the pocket holster. They (as in some holster manufacturer) used to make a holster for this (for the HS anyway) that resembled a wallet. too bad but I think they are illegal now. Then again maybe that was under the assault weapons ban that sunsetted under GWB. Check on that before buying or using such a holster.

American Derringer makes a variety of derringers in different sizes, and some of em are geared especially toward lady shooters. Check out their web site here, read about the history here and read a message from Lady Derringer and about her story from the links found on this page. They even have General Firearms Safety and Children & Firearms Safety links on that page - all worth a read. To me it sounds as if this lady has her act and her company together, and by that I mean that they are probably, as they claim, producing high quality firearms.

Now all I have to do is be really, really good until Christmas, and just keep wishing; and of course - saving some money might help here too.

All the best,
GB

Sunday, March 15, 2009

So Just What Do You Pack...

...for a 5 or 6 day road trip and an extended stay away from home (and you thought I was asking about what type of pistol you pack - weren't you). I am of the opinion that one should travel light, but I'll be damned if I virtually ever do it that way. While traveling light is nice when backpacking, I find that redundancy is a good thing if you can bear the extra load in any type of travel situation.

Let me give you a few examples of my ideas along the lines of redundancy when it comes to travel. When I backpack or hike or hunt I take along two compasses - one in a pocket, one in my pack. I also take at least two bottles of water, two methods of fire starting (matches and a magnesium bar with flint striker), and of course extra socks. When I fly somewhere, well I prefer to travel light, and I pack as if I am going to do just that but then wind up doubling things like my socks and skivvies; and I also pack a change or two of clothes into my carry one besides what I have in my checked in luggage.

If I go on a trip for work, well then I almost always pack a second or backup pistol in addition to anything else on which I have doubled up. Sometimes I bring three guns, the third being a long arm.

When traveling anywhere by car I tend to pack most redundantly of all. I mean why not, if the car can take then I can bring it right! While there have been times that I regretted packing too much for a trip when I have flown somewhere, or even when I have gone on a hike up a mountain, the times I have regretted over packing my trunk, and all the other open spaces in my car, have been few and far between. One thing I make certain of when I do pack my car, so as to avoid becoming unhappy about having too much in there, is to always leave enough room for gifts I may pick up while traveling. Other than that I stuff it to the max.

If I was to go on a road trip of a few days duration here are some of the things I would pack:


Car Stuff:

Flares (at least 6 of them)

Emergency reflectors (at lest a few of them)

2 first aid kits one smaller - one larger

Flat Fix (at least 2 cans and large ones at that)

Extra Windshield Washer fluid in the trunk

Maps (yep at least two in case I lose one)

My GPS with charger (another form of map)

Water (a case for me and any passengers and possibly for the car so I included it hear)

Spare cash hidden in the car just for gas money (I once went hunting, got a deer, paid for it to be butchered and had exactly enough cash to gas up to make it home by sputtering on fumes).

A blanket in the trunk (in case I break down and my clothing is not enough to keep me warm)

MREs in the trunk

An old set of windshield wiper blades in the trunk

Battery cables

Jack and spare (no room for 2)

Flashlights, yep 2 of em

I do not bring tools for the car except for duct tape and nylon ties, as I am not a mechanic at all.

I do bring my Triple A card and the redundancy there is I also have towing on my insurance plan, but I prefer AAA.

For my own enjoyment I also bring along as many music CDs as I can. My collection is at about 125 or more, and all I can say it sure is nice to have a wide variety of music that you like when the radio is not picking up a signal or all the stations suck.

Pens and paper - in case I break down and have to leave the car, I can leave a note for the police.

Personal Gear:

Enough clothing to last 10 days without a trip to the laundromat (this is for an anticipated trip of a few days up to a couple of weeks) A jacket for warmth is included as is a hat if I need them or not.

Toiletries to last the trip, and an extra comb because I always seem to lose or forget them

A few pairs of shoes as in: one pair of running shoes or sneakers I am wearing, another pair for running or in case the first pair gets ruined, and a pair of boots for getting out (also dress shoes if an anticipated need)

My personal cell phone, and my work cell phone

Chargers for the phones

My credit cards, with one in the glove compartment in case I lose my wallet, and that stash of cash for gas, and my ATM card

Regarding prescription meds, enough meds to last me a week beyond the anticipated length of my trip

Two pocket knives

A day pack and a Camelback style day pack with emergency first aid kits and other emergency supplies and enough room in the main compartments for other stuff

Pocket flashlight, usually 2 of them

Extra car keys

Extra batteries for the flashlight

Extra bulbs in caps of flashlights

Camera with extra batteries.


Food and Drink:

A case of water like Poland Spring in the trunk.

A 6 pack of water in the cabin.

At least a 6 pack of soft drinks or juice.

A cooler with lunch and fruit.

Snacks including more fruit.

MREs in the trunk for an emergency.


Work Gear:

At least two extra magazines for my primary pistol

A backup pistol with at least two extra magazines

Extra pistol ammo to the tune of a couple hundred rounds

Shotgun with plenty of ammo (depending on the nature of the given assignment)

Gun Cleaning kit (usually a spare one is in my trunk and then I bring yet another)

Extra handcuffs and keys and two sets of leg irons

Flex ties

2 sets of binoculars (not just for work but also brought along on vacation trips)

Portable radio with 2 extra batteries

Body Armor with additional trauma plate and soft trauma pad, and two body armor carriers (the outer garment in which the Kevlar is placed) - one carrier nondescript for concealed wear and the other which identifies me as an LEO for outer wear.

Outer garment identifying me as a LEO (this in in addition to my body armor carrier) that is labelled likewise.

Large MagLight type flashlight and extra batteries and extra bulb.


The above is not at all inclusive list, but it covers a lot of the stuff I bring with me on a road trip. Remember one thing about redundancy, you can always lighten the load if need be, but if you don't have it in the first place - well that can be a big problem when you need it.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Mom Song

A friend sent this to me in an email, hat tip to Pat S. I have embedded it here from YouTube. This has got to be one of the most amusing songs I have ever heard and every bit of it is true because when it comes to the average mom these are the things you hear from her as you grow up! Sit back, turn on the volume, and enjoy.


Of course the above could not have gone unanswered for long, and apaprently did not. Below is the 'kids' response to the Mom Song. It too is great. Where the Mom Song had me smiling and actually brought a tear to my eye thinking back to when my mom told me all that stuff, the kids' reply almost had me fall off the chair laughing. Great stuff.

If both of those did not at leasdt make you smile, well then you must be having a miserable day indeed.

All the best,
Glenn B

Biweekly Gun Shots 9 - Kimber Model 82 .22LR

If any of you know got to shoot with me you would soon realize, if you have not figured it already, that I have an affinity for firearms chambered in .22LR. I don't know if its because they were the first firearms I ever shot, or because of the great variety of them, or because you can shoot em all day without hurting either your budget or your shoulder, or simply because they are lots of fun. I do know I like em, and I am always on the lookout for another good bargain when it comes to them.

One really good bargain on a surplus rifle in .22LR can be had over at the CMP. CMP stands for Civilian Marksmanship Program. Let me use there own words from their
About Us page to describe them:

The CMP was created by the U.S. Congress. The original purpose was to provide civilians an opportunity to learn and practice marksmanship skills so they would be skilled marksmen if later called on to serve the U.S. military. Over the years the emphasis of the program shifted to focus on youth development through marksmanship. From 1916 until 1996 the CMP was administered by the U.S. Army. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996 (TITLE XVI) created the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice & Firearms Safety, Inc. (CPRPFS) to take over administration and promotion of the CMP. The CPRPFS is a tax exempt not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that derives its mission from public law.

Now let me tell you they have some good deals on surplus rifles, although good deal does not necessarily mean inexpensive. One of the rifles they have up for sale is the Kimber Model 82 in .22LR. It looks like a fine rifle at that, and they are virtually new. What I mean by virtually new is that they have been in storage for quite sometime, and are taken out now and again for inspection or cleaning, but are all unfired. The Kimber is a bolt action, single shot, target rifle. It comes equipped with an adjustable trigger, 3 butt plate spacers, a hand stop assembly, front sight, and a Kimber rear aperture sight with inserts. It has a hefty weight of 10.75 lbs and overall length of 43 inches. The price is $600 plus $29.95 for shipping per rifle.

My guess is that the price is a good one. I'd probably get one myself if the budget was a bit better, and if I didn't have about 20 other gun purchases in mind right now. Yes, I will be playing the Mega Millions tonight, who knows! Seriously though, the price is a fair one for this rifle, especially in as new condition. I bought a Mossberg Model 44 from the CMP some years back, and that is a tack driver. It was not in new condition when I purchased it, all of the Mossberg M44s offered by the CMP were well used and very old but well worth their price. If I had a mind to sell it, I could easily triple what I paid for the Mossberg; while I doubt the same would be true of the Kimber, my bet is it is worth more than the CMP selling price. By the way, they again have Mossbergs for sale too, they are only $175 each plus shipping. I highly recommend them even though they may require some parts replacements.

All the best,
Glenn B

Westward Ho

As it stands right now, I should soon be trekking off to Arizona within the near future. My method of travel will most likely be automobile, and I figure it for a 5 day trip from my home to my destination. I am hopeful that along the way I may be able to stop by to meet one or two of you who read my blog; just a brief get together for a cup of coffee or lunch at a local diner in your neck of the woods as I pass through. So if any of you might be along a likely route from NY to AZ, and are not afraid to be seen in public with a middle aged geezer like me, let me know.

All the best,
GB

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Today In History - "Mr. Watson — come here — I want to see you. "

It was March 10, 1876 when those words were shouted into the mouthpiece of a contraption that has since become indispensable in modern day life. Yes, those were the words spoken by Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant Thomas A. Watson (photo was dated 1876 and is actually one of Bell speaking into a prototype of the telephone). Watson quickly obeyed Bell's command to come to him for he had heard Bell's words clearly. While Watson was only as far away as the next room, he may as well have been a world away for the means by which he had heard Bell was the first telephone, and the telephone has definitely bridged a gap as wide as the world when it comes to communication. As a matter of fact, in 1915, when Bell was invited to participate in the celebration of the completed transcontinental telephone lines, he again uttered those same words to his faithful assistant Watson. This time Watson replied that it would take at least a week for him to do so. You see Watson was in San Fransicko Francisco at the time and Bell was calling him from New York City!

For more info see:

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trr002.html

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/today.html (go to March 10 if this brings up another day).

All the best,
Glenn B

NYC's Mayor Bloomberg Bites Off More Than He Can Chew

In my blog post immediately prior to this one I wrote the figurative words: "Choke on it Bloomberg" relating to the Henry Repeating Arms 22 pump action rifle being made within New York City. I suppose the mayor of the big apple once again has bitten off more than he can chew and he again has something else to choke on. This time though it is not the fact that a firearms manufacturer is legally producing firearms within NYC, but rather that a lawsuit filed by New York City against legal manufacturers has just been slapped down by the Supreme Court.

Here is the content of an email sent to me by the NRA. it is about time this country and our courts start to view firearms liability as being a problem of lawbreakers and not of they who legally manufacture or distribute firearms.

"NYC Lawsuit Against America's Firearms
Manufacturers Denied By U.S. Supreme Court

Fairfax, Va. -

On Monday, March 9, the U.S. Supreme Court denied consideration of New York City and Washington, D.C. lawsuits, New York v. Beretta and Lawson v. Beretta, respectively, that tried to hold American gun manufacturers responsible for the acts of criminals. The Court 's order leaves standing a pair of decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and District of Columbia Court of Appeals, both of which found that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), enacted in 2005, prevents these types of lawsuits against lawful firearms manufacturers and dealers.

"Big city mayors conceived these lawsuits to try and litigate American gun manufacturers - who President Roosevelt referred to as "the arsenal of democracy" - out of business," said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. "NRA has always believed the courts would agree with Congress that the PLCAA rightfully stops these reckless and politically motivated lawsuits."

In 2000, New York City, Washington, D.C. and several individual plaintiffs sued gun manufacturers, based on the idea that although they manufactured a legal product, forcing them to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees just to prove their innocence in court would drive them into bankruptcy. In addition to being based on a bogus legal theory, these lawsuits endangered American armed forces and law enforcement. During congressional debate over the PLCAA, the Department of Defense agreed with the NRA that bankrupting U.S. gun makers and making us dependent on foreign countries like France, Russia or China for small arms is a threat to America's domestic and international security.

"We are pleased that the courts have recognized the misguided intent of these lawsuits," concluded Cox. " America's law-abiding firearms manufacturers must be protected from reckless suits that have no legal merit."

-NRA- "

I truly enjoyed reading that, I hope you did too.

All the best,
Glenn B

Biweekly Gun Shots 8 - Henry Pump Action Octagon in .22LR

I have always wanted a 22 rifle in pump action, but just have never gotten around to buying one. Most of the ones have seen over the years are many years older than me, and that is pretty darned old since I am passed the half century mark by a few. Then Taurus came out with one, but I was not impressed by write-ups I read, nor by what other shooters told me about them. Now Henry Repeating Arms Company is producing one that is a reminder of a bygone era of when these rifles were often seen and shot at carnivals, or seen accompanying boys on bicycles as they headed out down the road a ways to hunt squirrels.

Just take a look at this rifle (click on the pic to enlarge). I hope Henry does not mind me using their pic to illustrate it; it is a beauty. From the deeply blued octagonal barrel to the richly finished and wonderfully grained walnut stock, I think you have to admit it is one fine looking rifle. Besides that, what with the pump action fed by a 15 round tube magazine and it being chambered in .22LR (also chambered in .22 Magnum) it must be one heck of a fun plinker, target shooter or squirrel slayer. My bet is that it would put those bushy tails in the pot but if you prefer punching holes in paper I'll bet it would do the trick. It is not an inexpensive rifle for sure, what with a SRP of $515.00 (in .22LR), but that just makes me think it is a well made one. This would be a great find under the Christmas tree next Christmas; of course, it would also be nice as a birthday present so I could get in some squirrel hunting with it this coming fall. A man can wish, can't he!

For more info about it visit the Henry site at:

http://www.henryrepeating.com/h003tm_pumpoctagon.cfm

Of course there is a thing or two that makes the Henry Pump action rifle even more special. It is made in America, and better yet it is made in Brooklyn - and for those of you who don't know -yes Brooklyn is inside of New York City. Choke on it Bloomberg!

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, March 8, 2009

He Had The Eyes of an Eagle and the Heart to Match

Not much I can add to the story at the below link except maybe that it will or should bring tears to your eyes:

Sippican Cottage: My Father Asks For Nothing

I think you can gather that this was one heck of a man and one great American patriot. Wherever he is now, I am willing to bet he got there by flying.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wolf Ammo

Ah, just time for one more post before Battlestar Galactica begins. My latest acquisition of ammo arrived yesterday via UPS. I checked it out today, and it is as ordered. That is I just received another 1,000 rounds of 7.62x39 FMJ. I got it for $245 shipped. Not bad at current prices, but way over last year. At least President Obama is helping one industry, or maybe two at that - the ammunition industry and the firearms industry because they are selling their wares like beers at the Munich Oktoberfest. By the way, I got it from sportsmansguide.com and as far as I am aware they are already out of it again..

I think that will be the last purchase of 7.62x39 for me and Brendan for awhile now.

All the best,
GB

PC Problems Have Me Asking: Where Has All My Blogging Gone...

...I mean for this week. Heck - has it really been since Monday that I last posted anything here! I don't know what happened to all of the time inbetween. Well, I did have some computer problems and I guess that had something but certainly not everything to do with my lack of blogging. I bought a couple of games for my PC last week or last weekend. I picked up Silent Hunter Wolves of the Pacific, and I also purchased Fallout 3. Silent Hunter was innstalled without anhirch, but Fallout 3 caused all sorts of problems. First of all I got a bad disc. I had to return it for another and what a pain in the behind did ,strike>Worst Best Buy make that; it was an ordeal of over 2 hours for a simple exchange in the store. Never, I repeat NEVER, buy something from Best Buy by paying online and then arranging for in store pick-up - especial;y is using a gift card as did I. I had to make a 1/2 hour long phone call to have the online customer service for best Buy call the store manager to have him agree to make an even exchange instead of giving my gift card a refund. I did not want the extra wait of the refund, you see apparently it takes over a week for the money to show back up on the gift card or so the clerk told me. Then when I was back at my local Best Buy store I had to wait another 45 minutes just for a manager to saunter over, after having been called for about 10 times by the clerk, with his friggin nose in the stratosphere (maybe in a heavenly body's ass) to punch a 4 number code into the register to give the clerk the okay to make an exchange. I would not have shopped there had it not been my darling wife had bought me gift cards there! never again if I think of this!

Oh well, finally had the new disc, brought it home and put it into the DVD on my PC, and it screwed everything up. A blue screen and a call to Dell XPS Tech Service later (about another 45 minutes or so), and I was again able to use the computer but not install Fallout 3. The tech guy at Dell told me to try again, and if I got a blue screen again to give them another call and they would wipe my system clean and reinstall everything from the beginning. I did not want that, not at all since I did it once before and it took at least a few hours. Lucky for me, I told a friend at work about the problem, and that Dell had said they believed it to be a software conflict caused by a corrupt file, and Mike T (my buddy at work) told me to go online and download CCleaner. Well, after reading up on it a bit, I decided to give it a shot. It supposedly would clean my hard disk, my Windows registry, of corrupted files and of a lot of junk left behind after visiting the Internet. I had figured I was good with my Norton 360, and with AdAware, but he said nope to my feeling of security. I have a lot of faith in Mike and when it comes to computers he knows his stuff. So I downloaded CCleaner.

Let me tell you, it appears to have worked like a charm. My computer was running faster right after the first use of it - a lot faster. Programs like MS Word, that had been taking a couple to a few seconds to open up (acting that way for over a couple of years now) opened in the blink of an eye. My PC starts up faster, in about 1/2 to 1/4 the time than before. Then I tried to load Fallout 3. Yes it loaded, and I have been playing it. The anticlimax is that so far I think this game absolutely sucks but that will be another blog post. Just allow me to say that when you are in combat in this game, and want to switch to another weapon, it seems you have to hit tab, go a menu, hit items, go to another menu, hit weapons, then select a weapon and then go back to combat. What a friggin waste of time and what a way to ruin the excitement of the game. Certainly nothing like Thief 1 or 2, or Doom 3, or like Half Life, but I guess I am dating myself as to the last good games I purchased before these. I hope Halo or Crysis will be better, I plan to get both. For now I will continue with Fallout 3 for awhile to see if it gets any better; and of course I will be diving and firing torpedoes in Silent Hunter - Wolves of the Pacific.

I also promise to post some more this weekend. Maybe a gun post tomorrow night and another on Sunday. No more time tonight, I have to get some animals ready for a reptile show tomorrow here on Long Island.

Before I go, my thanks to Mike T - way too go. Now I am off to get ready to watch Battlestar Galactica, starts in about 10 minutes.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, March 2, 2009

In Like a Lion And 10" Strong So Far

Yep, we have a good ten inches of snow so far, actually more between the time I took the photo of the snow depth up until the time I started writing this piece. There has got to be another 1/2" to 1" more out there by now. A lot of white stuff, certainly for Western Long Island and the New York City area. Of course, my job is open and I will soon be leaving for work. Not too long ago I finished digging out my government car so I can drive it into work, now I am waiting for my back to stop hurting, seems I twisted or pulled it while shoveling out the G ride. That drive should be a joy today as my guess is that 90% of folks have either banged in sick, or on a vacation or personal day, or were lucky enough to have their bosses tell them to take the day off. As for we Feds, well as I have been told by those who work for or with other agencies, at least 2 other major federal agencies have given their people off today because of the weather. Not ICE though because, well because of who runs the show I would guess. We were told all offices open for business as usual. Of course we were given an option to working at an office closer to home, but I would rather avoid JFK Airport if possible on a day like today and would rather brave the LIE into Manhattan.

One thing keeps bugging me, I had not heard that Al Gore was doing a tour of the SE up through the NE from yesterday through today, but I am almost willing to bet he is somewhere close by. This weather seems to follow him almost everywhere!

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Biweekly Gun Shots 7 - Remington 870 Express Super Magnum Waterfowl Camo

Is there anything I need to say about the Remington 870 shotgun other than I think it is a great shotgun. Now I am not the only one of that opinion, there are plenty of others who think the same way about it as witnessed by the fact that the 870 is one of the most popular pump action shotguns of all time. Despite that praise I guess I'll have to say a few things about it, otherwise my blog would not be much of a blog.

The particular model I have pictured is the Remington 870 Express Super Mag Waterfowl Camo. It is obviously being marketed for shooting waterfowl, but my guess is that it would make a great turkey gun too. That camo job in Mossy Oak Duck Blind might look like reeds at pond side, but my guess is that it would make it hard to see for waterfowl, turkey, and even a hunter who may have put down the shotgun while answering another call of nature other than that of a game animal while out hunting. The specs on this gun as supplied by Remington are:

Gauge: 12
Chamber: 3 1/2"
Magazine Capacity: 3 (3 1/2")4 (2 3/4" & 3")
Barrel Length: 28"
Camo Design: Mossy Oak® Duck Blind™
Choke: Vent Rib Rem™ Choke
Overall Length: 48"
Average Weight: 7 1/2 lbs.

Of course, if I got one of these, I would use it mostly for hunting waterfowl and turkey. Why? Well I already have an 870 Express Combo that I can use for everything else. The 870 Express Combo comes with two barrels (yes the barrels are interchangeable). I have had mine for about 25 years now. Mine came with a 28" vent rib barrel and a 20" smoothbore deer barrel with rifle sights. It has taken one heck of a beating out in the woods hunting, and has fired thousands of rounds (I used to qualify with it for my job when carrying a personally owned shotgun was within regulations) and it has never failed me. Of course the finish on the metal parts of the one I own is pretty worn and the gun could use a refinishing, and same is true for the wood (I even redid the wood once myself and it still looks pretty good). I have got to say that this gun is one of the most reliable ones that I own. It is only when I look at this older version of the 870 that I can bring any fault to bear on the newer models. I am currently issued a Remington 870 for my job, it is an 870 Express Synthetic with Ghost Ring sights (absolutely great sights for quick target acquisition). It being a newer model lacks the magazine spring retention cap of the old models, and on that point alone I can find a lot of fault to shoot over in Remington's direction. Why all the fuss over one little piece being removed. Well when they removed it they also altered the magazine tube so it would not be able to accept the magazine spring retention caps at all. Now if you want to disassemble the shotgun you had best have your hand ready to capture the magazine spring or it will go flying. This is not all that bad, but what truly is a pain in the neck is the reassembly because you have to force the spring back into place each time, and then get the magazine end cap screwed back on without allowing the spring to come loose. Houdini might have had a bit of difficulty with this maneuver. For the life of me I just don't get it when a company like Remington has a good thing going and then goes out to improve something by fixing something that is not broken! The result in this case was a pain in the ass neck reassembly procedure. Remington also apparently went to nylon or polymer trigger guards on some guns, or so I have heard. I think they went back to metal trigger guards after quite a bit of discontent being expressed by the peon who buy the Express, but you may want to check on that. Now if only they would go back to the magazine spring retention caps!

I suppose, when you think about it, a small complaint like the one I just expressed (was that a pun) is not too bad. My guess would be that someone becoming familiar with this gun for the first time would not even notice the shortcomings I just wrote about. What they would likely notice is the great reliability of this gun to function properly time and time again, and the quality that goes into making them. They would also probably notice the decent price that makes the Remington 870 Express models pretty easy on the pocket book. The 870 Express Super MagnumWaterfowl Camo has an MSRP of $577. The 870 Express Super Magnum Combo with Extra Deer Barrel & Rifle Sights also comes in at an MSRP of $577. Wow, what a great buy with that extra barrel when compared to the Waterfowl model!, and my guess is they are less expensive in the gun store.

Remington offers a lot more choices when it comes to the 870 than the few I mentioned above. If you want more information on the Remington 870 shotguns that are available, go to:


All the best,
Glenn B