Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ballseye's Gun Shots 55 - Reloading Kits - Time To Make A Decision...

...and if you know anything about reloading, I could use your help.

Now that I am back home from Phoenix, and since I have read the ABC's of Reloading, I am ready to pick up a reloading kit. The ones I am considering are listed below. Note, I am not going to necessarily buy them from Midway USA but am just using links to their site because they have all the ones in which I have an interest right now. Once I decide on which one to get, I will shop around for price, for example Cabela's has the RCBS kit at about $23 less than Midway.

Here are the ones I am considering right now:

1. Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press Kit -

2. RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press Master Kit

3. Lyman Crusher 2 Single Stage Press Expert Kit

4. Lyman Crusher 2 Single Stage Press Deluxe Expert Kit 110 Volt

5. Redding Big Boss Single Stage Press Deluxe Kit

Feel free to leave comments, based upon your own reloading experience, about which you think is the better deal.

Glenn B

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Revolution Of Sorts May Not Be As Far Off As I Thought...

...after all just watch the video at this link:

Now, tell me - that is if you are a working and tax paying American Citizen - whether or not this video gets your blood boiling even if it is supposed to be comedy - which I truly doubt. It disgusts me because so far only Bill Maher has had so called comedy, that is really poorly disguised political commentary, as tasteless as this before and because apparently a lot of people really feel exactly the same way - that they deserve the fruits of the hard working tax payer for nothing. I think the person in the video probably truly believes all she is saying whether or not she is a YouTube wonder. I also think a lot of other leeches people in this country feel likewise. It may be time to stop them in their tracks before they suck the rest of us dry because all too soon it will be too late.

I hope more liberal socialist bloodsuckers people, who feel the same way as the lady woman in the video will make similar videos and inundate us with them. Keep them coming and make them as vile and as base as was, in my opinion, this one. Pump em out at least several times a month or more, right up through November. The revolution that comes may not be violent at all, except maybe for the politicians who shoot themselves after their fiefdoms crumble in the elections in November and the other side takes control of the government, but I do think it is coming in one form or another. With people like this out there, sucking the rest of us dry, a revolution seems inevitable - after all it would be self defense of a sorts - wouldn't it? Mind you, I am not condoning a revolution, not a violent one anyway, just predicting one. Hopefully it can be accomplished in the voting booth.

All the best,
Glenn B

Shooting Plans Shot Down... one of the shooters because he got home from a night out at about 0600 and slept until about noon. Oh well, I guess that is youth for you. I don't think he was out drinking either just hanging out with friends otherwise he would have slept longer and anyway he said he wasn't. Oh well, next week. Of course we had a long father son talk, it lasted about 6 hours - really it did. Sometime in the mid afternoon, I got him into the car but only after asking him a question in the house first. The question was: "North, east, south or west?". After asking several times and just telling him to pick one he picked north. That was our direction once we got into the Ford.

We headed up to Clarence Fahnestock (I would swear they have recently changed the spelling of this name) Memorial State park off of the Taconic Parkway and route 301, about 1 1/2 hours from where we live. Once there we parked at one of our favorite ponds and decided to take a hike, then proceeded to check out the pond on the first stretch of our hike. We spotted several Red Spotted Newts, most males with their enlarged tails for the mating season. We did see at least one female in the act of mating with a male as another male swam by to investigate or maybe to try to steal away the female for himself. We also saw quite a few sunfish, and I spotted what looked like some sort of a gar. I later checked and saw that only the Longnose Gar is found naturally in NY but they usually are found in rivers or streams. This could be a transplant or could be a natural but I suppose also could have been a pike or pickerel although I doubt it because it had that distinctive gar like snout and appeared to be silver in color. We also saw a couple of green frogs and a lot of newly hatched insects skirting the water's surface and providing food for the frogs, fish and newts.

On we went into the woods and up an unmarked trail toward another pond I knew of that is by my estimation about 1 1/2 miles into the forest. We got there after a short detour. The detour was simply us following one trail a bit too far without breaking off onto a smaller less used side trail that led to the other pond. While on our trek we came across an old abandoned and flooded mine entrance, a chipmunk or two scampering about, several small birds fluttering here and there, and a forest that was coming to life with new buds and leaves opening all around us. It was pretty amazing how almost bare the trees looked compared to some along the highway just 15 miles or so south of where we were in the park. That was great as it was because it gave us some views of the park we have not seen before. While Brendan may not remember the vistas all that well, I have been visiting Clarence Fahnestock State Park for many years, since I was about 9 years old or so. I love it there, it is truly a wonderful getaway from life in or around NYC. I have taken Brendan there before, but I do believe it has been too long since he was there with me for a fishing trip or a camp-out. Hopefully that will be something we can fix this spring, summer and fall.

We walked, we talked, it was good being together with one another after my having been gone for so long while I was in Phoenix. The bonding thing is always good suppose and when you can do it in wonderful surroundings like the forests of NY state then it is all the better. We finally arrived at that other pond, stayed for a short spell admiring the sound of some Canada Geese in the distance. at first, I did not see them at all but Brendan with his younger and keener eyes told me where they were and I finally caught a glimpse of them after having searched them out for several minutes. We watched the pond surface and saw several fish surfacing and even jumping. Whether they were jumping to get away from a predator like a large bass or to zero in on and gobble up an insect on the surface we did not know. While there we also heard the call of a few frogs. Two sounded like green Frogs to me though Brendan thought one was a Bullfrog. As we left we also heard another frog out in the woods, maybe a Spring Peeper but I am not sure.

We made our way back to the car only to realize we had stayed on the wrong trail when we should have taken another fork back some ways. It did not matter as I was sure this trail came out on the road on which our car was parked. In fact it brought us closer to our car than i thought it would have done. Thing was there were a few signs on the trail saying it was closed due to dangerous conditions. I suppose the fact that the two dams,on the upper pond near the road, were both out was the reason for the signs. We made our way over or around the one further from the road and the other one we avoided because it did look to be pretty dangerous and we crossed the stream under it on a bridge of stones that someone had been nice enough to have built. Only reason we stayed on that trail once we saw the signs was because we were so far from the one we should have been on and it was getting late enough to worry about darkness falling if we turned around and went back and had any other delay.

Once back on the road we headed right to the car only a short distance away, maybe even closer to the car than where the path began that we had first set out on. Not a bad mistake taking the 'wrong' fork in the trails as we did. We met a fisherman and his lady companion and their large canine friend. he said he had been trying for trout with no luck. I have fished that pond for over 45 years and have not once pulled out a trout or seen anyone else do it either. Maybe he was misinformed that it was stocked with trout, or maybe that is a new thing. I am sure that even if he did not catch any fish he had a better time than he would have had at work - unless maybe he fishes for a living.

After that it was homeward bound for us. Once we were back in the neighborhood so to speak, we stopped at a local Chinese restaurant and had ourselves a small feast. That made for a nice way to end our day spent together. Hopefully though, the next time we plan to go to the range we will actually do it. Still though, I have absolutely no complaints about how the day turned out and i think neither does Brendan.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, April 23, 2010

Going Shooting Tomorrow...

...even though I had hoped to be going fishing. Of course, since I will be shooting with Brendan it will be a good thing nonetheless. He will be trying out his Stag Arms AR rifle for the first time since he got it back from the dealer who supposedly sent it to the factory for repair. The dealer says they put a new front sight on the rifle at the Stag Arms factory but failed to give my son any documentation to that effect. For all I know he slapped on some after-market piece of junk hoping it would solve the problems that Brendan was having with the rifle. We will see what is the effect and I will be sure to contact both the dealer and the factory to make sure it was indeed the factory who worked on the rifle. Sound cynical on my part - you bet-ya it does because I do not trust this dealer as far as I can spit into a gale force wind. Prior dealings with him you know!

Whatever the case, we will have fun shooting, more fun if Brendan's Stag is shooting where he aims. I plan to increase our fun by bringing along a decent variety of what we have to shoot. I figure to tote along maybe a couple or three of our 22 rifles, probably a Nagant, maybe my SKS and Brendan's AK47 and if I am up for punishment then I'll bring the 870 too.

I'll let you know how it turns out and if my memory serves me well tomorrow in the AM then I'll remember to bring my camera along to take pictures to show to you too.

All the best,

Getting Back Into The...

...rut groove again now that I am back home and at my usual place of work has not been quite the fluid change that I had expected. I will not be going to go into it in depth and will not be boring you with what makes or does not make my day at work or at home but let me just say it ain't been easy. As a result, I have not been blogging one heck of a lot - heck only once this week before today. That will change, either this weekend or early next week. I'll try to at least get back to a decent post every other day and hopefully I will get right back in there with daily post as I used to do. That said, I suppose I'll have to go out and do something this weekend worthy of a good write up.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, April 18, 2010

You'd do the same...wouldn't you?

I found this YouTube video of a firearms related news report embedded over at Xavier Thoughts - Nurse With A Gun and decided it was worth sharing with you if you have not seen it already.

Whether or not you believe that the right to keep and bear arms is one that should be exercised by all you should watch this video. When you watch it, make sure you have the sound turned up so you can hear everything the man has to say. Pay attention to what his relative says too. Pay attention to the man's reported medical condition and pay attention to his age and pay attention to his head. Guess what the marks are on his head before you see the close up - I thought they were related to his diabetes. I was wrong. Watch and see for yourself and as I said, pay attention to the video - pay careful attention to his question for the reporter. The question, or at least part of it, is the title of this post. How would you have answered him?

All I can say is that it was amazing this man survived and he only did so because he was READY to do what needed to be done. READY = he had a gun, he was willing to use it, and he used it.

All the best,
Glenn B

Home At Last...

...and Arizona is in my past. It was a long day yesterday getting up at about 0330 and then leaving for the airport at 0415. The taxi ride to the airport was okay. Then check-in at the American Airlines sucked. it seems the three weird sisters from MacBeth were behind the counter and if you waited on the check-in line instead of using the self check-in machines - well, you were just treated in a much less than respectful way. An awful lot of folks on that line were pretty pissed off by the time they got to the counter. I am sending off a registered letter to AA CEO to lodge a complaint. The woman, only one of the three actually would assist anyone who waited on line, who issued my ticket and checked in my baggage actually raised her voice to me because I told her I was flying armed and presented my credentials to her. She then harshly admonished me for walking up top the counter after the last person had left and demanded I go back to wait on line because she was not ready. Then she walked to the end of the counter and did nothing. The other two did likewise frequently, that is did nothing as people waited, then they would help only those who had used the self check-in. They were all quite nasty about it too, their voices in no uncertain tones of outright nastiness. Then when she finally called me over, I explained too her as I normally would do, that I would be flying armed as I am a federal agent. That infuriated her. She immediately went into a tirade, in a pretty raised voice - I suppose actually qualifying as a low yell - so all could hear - that I should not have told her I was an armed federal agent because that is a secret between me and the flight crew! I was flabbergasted to say the least but I kept my calm because I wanted to get on the plane. I then started to whisper to her and she got madder because now people who were watching from the line were laughing. I asked her what I should do in the future, and asked if I should hand over a note identifying myself or if I should whisper as I was doing to keep it all a secret? She stammered something that was unintelligible and finally got about her business.

Never in about 31 years of flying as an armed federal agent have I met an arsehat like her at check-in but there is more to the story. I suppose she thought she was being cute by charging me a $50 overweight fee for my luggage. Now mind you, this was the same exact luggage I flew with on my way from NY to Phoenix on the first part of my trip months ago. The bag did not get any heavier but I had not been charged the extra fee back then. In fact, I know with an absolute certainty that the bag was several pounds lighter than when I flew from NY to Phoenix. The reason for that was I threw out at least one pair of pants, and had sent three box fulls of items from that suitcase to NY via Priority mail because I wanted my bag to be lighter and easier to manage on the return trip. I guess maybe the scales work differently in Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport than they do on New York's LaGuardia Airport - maybe that is due to the change in atmospheric pressure to to the raise in elevation - or to a toe pressing down on the scale - or whatever other reason there could be for such a discrepancy. I paid, but that will not be the end of it!

Before leaving, I asked her her name and she simply refused to give it to me and her name tag, if she wore one, was under her sweater. Of course, she was logged in on the computer terminal when she checked me in and I am pretty sure the airline can find out who checked me in. The reason I asked her name is because I will be sending a registered letter to the CEO of American Airlines about her behavior and about the behavior of the other two check-in women who did not assist one person who waited on line. Funny how each position at the check-in desk, all three of them, had a Self Check In sign over it. As opposed to what one of them kept hollering out, that everyone except someone paying by cash for a ticket could use self check-in, I was not allowed to check in via the self check-in kiosks because I was armed. As I said, it was apparent they were pretty upset that regardless of what they were hollering out about using those kiosks, there were several people waiting on the check-in line for their assistance and only one of them helped those folks on the line. Simply put, she was quite bitchy, so were the other two. I now have the name of the CEO and the head of customer service for American Airlines, and their addresses. The letter will be mailed out tomorrow. Who knows, as a result of their having received my imminent complaint, maybe they will give me free peanuts if I ever fly with them again.

The flights were okay but packed. I had to fly through Chicago and change planes. We g0t there about 20 minutes before my second flight took off and it was boarded about 3/4 full by the time I got onto it. The flight attendant took the boarding pass, with the attached pass showing I was flying armed and said okay and handed it back to me after showing it to another flight attendant. I asked her if maybe she wanted to give it to the captain and she said no. Then after I had made progress down the aisle she called me back to gingerly snatch it out of my hand (with a smile on her face, one of those oh I just goofed sort of smiles) to give it to the captain. At least she was pleasant about it even though somewhat goofy in not having known, at first, what to do with it. Both flights went well though. I tried to sleep through them but for most of each all I got were short spurts of sleep interrupted by waking and nodding and waking and nodding. Still though, the flights went well and the one on which they gave me a free beverage was almost heavenly (that was the shorter of the two legs between Chicago and NY). Go figure but they charged for sodas between Phoenix and Chicago and that was a 3 hour flight as opposed to the later 1 1/2 hour connecting flight. Luckily I had a bottle of lemonade with me that I brought onto the first flight.

The flight to NY got NY about 25 minutes early. Luckily when I got there I only had to wait about 15 minutes for my luggage. I went outside and about 5 minutes later, Brendan (my son) was there to pick me up. Of course that was the best part of the whole flying thing, being met by him at the airport. He brought along Pepe (one of our Chihuahuas) and we had a nice, fairly traffic free (for NY) ride home.

Once at home I got a big hug from Linda, who seemed genuinely happy to see me, as I was to see her. Three and a half months is a fair amount of time to be away from one another. Before she could give me a big hug she had to wait for the competition to get done with me outside the side entrance to the house. The other three dogs, Mimi, Lucy and Roxie came out to greet me. Mimi went ballistic and whined, wagged, jumped up and down and wet the concrete in her excitement over seeing me. It was hard to keep her from jumping all over me. Lucy was fairly excited too. Roxie was more reserved. Linda only got her while I was away last spring and I knew her only for about 5 months before I was off again to AZ. She did remember me though and was apparently happy to see me but a bit shy. She has not been shy at all today.

Shortly after I got home, Celina and her boyfriend Dirk, got there too. We all sat down to a nice big meal and all is well again in the life of Glenn. I would probably have been miserable had no one been available to pick me up or to be there at home when I got there. That whole airport thing would have just pestered me all afternoon and evening. As it was, I forgot all about it until I sat down to blog today. I do not think I even mentioned it to the family and I suppose that is a good thing. Sorry dear reader to have bored you with it but that is how it worked out. You can rest assured though, I will also bore the CEO with the same story, this time with lots more details - you got the shortened version so it is not so bad at that.

Tomorrow, I suppose it is back to work for me. Only one day off this weekend sucks (especially since I get no pay for yesterday) but I can live with that. It will be nice to see some of my coworkers again, I have some good friends on the job.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, April 16, 2010

Heading Home Tomorrow...

...and Phoenix will soon be left behind by me. I will miss Arizona even though I must say Phoenix is far from my favorite spot in this state. Still though it was nice, I had a good time here, most people were respectful if not downright friendly and I met a few special people I will never forget bar something like dementia. While I will miss some great people - both coworkers while here - and people I met socially - I am happy to be getting home. In total, since late March 2009 through today, I have spent 7 1/2 months in Arizona - 4 in Tucson and 3 1/2 here in Phoenix. I was lucky enough to be able to have a nice break in the middle where I was back home for several months before I volunteered to come out here for this most recent stay.

I already said goodbye to coworkers, now I would like to say farewell to some people I met socially. I wish all the best to Krystal and Sturgis of The Waters Band. I was not able to say goodbye in person nor even able to see them perform over the past few weeks so I miss them already. I must also say may the wind always be at your backs and the sun shining down on your faces to the staff at The Turf Accountant Pub where I had a few meals and enjoyed several Jameson's and several pints. All the best to Aaron, Natalie, Joanie, Melissa and everyone else who were so kind to me there. I will miss you all, you always had a smile and a kind word and you all made me feel at home even though I was thousands of miles from it.

To the staff at the apartment complex where I stayed, I wish you all well - especially Jennifer the house cleaner. Nice lady and a great worker. Also a fond farewell to those at Oakwood who arranged for my stay at the apartment and who took care of any problems. I never met any of them except on the phone but they were all great and made a long stay an easier one.

Finally - farewell to Rumpshot. This man was a nice gentleman with whom I have conversed on an online gun forum The Gun Counter. Well, I finally met him here in Phoenix at the Ben Avery Range. We had a nice conversation and he is a true gentleman. Did I say finally? How could I forget to say something about the great folks at Ben Avery Shooting Facility??? Everyone I met there, from the lady who collected the range fees, to the guys in the command booth, to the range officers along the line were all great folks. Thanks for several enjoyable days at the range. You guys were all great.

Finally, and this time I mean it, farewell to both Cap'n Bob and the Damsel whom I met one day in Apache Junction for lunch while they were visiting the area from southern California. They are two really swell people, very nice indeed.

Of course there were other people who were very nice, but these folks I just mentioned deserve my heartfelt thanks for going out of their way to make my stay here all the much nicer than it would have been had I not met them.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

“Sic semper tyrannis!” - Today in History...

...those words were shouted out by John Wilkes Booth as he jumped from President Abraham Lincoln's theater box onto the stage within the Ford Theater just a moment he fatally shot Lincoln on April 14, 1865. Thus Always Tyrants, what irony that Lincoln was considered a tyrant in that he strove to preserve the Union and to abolish slavery. The real irony of it all though may be much more visible today than it was at that time in that tyranny seem to be raising its ugly head within our federal government what with its absolute disregard of the majority on many current issues and it was the history changing assassination of Lincoln that may have paved the way for this to take place. You see, Lincoln forever changed the balance of power in this country from that of a group of what was then often called 'These United States', each with equal states rights, to that of the Federal Government of what forever after was referred to solely as The United States; that centralized government being a central power with ultimate authority over all of the states. I am sure Lincoln never envisioned what form of government would result, the one we are currently under, even if one of his dreams may have been fulfilled in the freedom of African Americans resulting in our first black president. I am sure that john Wilkes Booth never imagined either that such a result would partially be due to his assassination of Lincoln whereby the popularity of Lincoln, due in part to sympathy of over his death, led to policies of strong central government being forever cemented into our way of life.

Read more, at the links below, about Booth and the assassination of Lincoln and the other failed assassinations of that same evening (assassinations of Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward had also been planned):

All the best,

Glenn B

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ballseye's Gun Shots 54 - Firearms Disassembly - Be Careful To Follow Instructions...

...because when they tell you something about being careful not to lose that tiny little spring - well, they usually mean it. My guess is that they mean it not only because those itty-bitty springs are easy to lose but maybe because they have actually lost them before and they are trying to teach us though their experience. With that said let me also warn you - be careful not to lose that tiny little spring. Yes, you guessed it, that is exactly what I did.

Recently, I had been having problems disassembling my Henry Survival Rifle as per the instruction manual. I was unable to remove the bolt for cleaning - and it really needed cleaning. It was jet black. I figure I had fired at least 750 rounds through the gun without removing the bolt for cleaning. Since I could not get it out, as per the manual's instructions, I decided to disassemble the rifle for a detail strip and cleaning. Two days ago, I did just that. Before attempting it I found a set of illustrated online instructions, not the manufacturer's instructions mind you, and I went to work. As I worked, I remember wishing that the instructions had more illustrations and that they gave better step by step text. For some reason the instuctions seemed lacking; I supose not so much because they were not good enough but because my self confidence in my ability to do the job was not all that great. They did mention one thing though to which I should have paid more attention, they mentioned that easy to lose spring:

"Once the hammer and trigger assembly clear the receiver, remove the magazine catch with caution. The tiny spring is very easy to lose"

Well, I didn't lose it when disassembling the rifle. I lost it during reassembly. Let's just say I tried to reinsert the spring at the same time as the magazine catch/release lever and there it went leaping tall buildings in a single bound. I spent a lot of that day and the next and the morning of the next searching the carpeting of my living room for a tiny little spring before finally quitting and heading to the range without the Henry Survival Rifle. I just took the parts I did have and dumped em all into a Zip-Lock freezer bag figuring I would order a spring from Henry Repeating Arms once I was back in NY. Not a big loss, only $2.00 as shown on their website but an embarrassment and unnecessary pain in the neck nonetheless.

Yesterday, after getting back to my place from the range and shooting my shotgun, I made myself something to eat and headed to the couch to plop down my behind and watch some TV. Just as I got to the couch, the heel of my left foot came down on something in the carpet that felt like a tiny sharp pebble. Hope springs eternal and I carefully raised my foot and felt the heel of my sock - nothing there. Then I set about scanning the carpet, on hands and knees, where I had just stepped. After several minutes of search, there it was - that pesky - disappearing - tiny spring. I cannot and will not say that, it was right where I lost it since I lost it. I am sure I crawled around that spot on my hands and knees searching for the spring and that I went over that area at least twice if not three times without luck (and it was in the opposite direction of where I thought it would be). Maybe I kicked it up from from another area in the room or maybe it had been there all along right out in the open - it would be small enough to miss, especially atop or in the shag of the carpet, but now it is found - and hopefully it will stay that way.

As per another set of somewhat
more detailed instructions that I later came up with - at least as far as reassembly goes - they mention yet another easy to lose spring but since that one is much bigger, I am none too concerned with losing it too. You can bet though, I'll be careful with it. You also can bet that I will be much more careful when I do get around to reassembling the rifle and inserting that tiny little spring, the one I lost once already!

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Shotgunning...

...was about all accomplished today at the range. I had planned to do some pistol shooting along with making sure my issued Remington 870 was zeroed in at 25 yards but 30 rounds of the 12 gauge wound up being all I shot. I almost did not shoot that because I have been feeling a bit under the weather lately - just plumb run down. Since I carry the 12 gauge at work, on occasion, I figured it best be sighted in in the event the need for it ever arose. Last time I qualified with it I was shooting somewhat low at the twenty-five. Today I set up two 8 inch Shoot'N C Targets on the backer board and then let loose with 30 rounds that I had with me. I started off shooting standing, unsupported. I got a couple out of the 5 five shots right on target but could not make out where the other 3 went. I figured I was probably anticipating recoil and I concentrated on holding on target and squeezing off the trigger and also supported myself on the bench for the next 2 shots. They were almost dead center. Not the fault of the sights that my other shots, as i saw later when I retrieved my target, had gone low! After that I once again shot while standing, unsupported but using the other target. That time I got 7 out of 8 in the pie plate so to speak, and the 8th just nicking the edge of it.

That left me 15 rounds that I shot alternating back and forth between targets while do reloading drills. I loaded with 2 or 3 rounds, fired them off then reloaded with 2 or three and fired them off all in rapid succession. Most of them hit the 8 inch targets though a few went and inch or so low but were still pretty much centered laterally.

Apparently, when I qualified last, I was anticipating recoil and shot low. I had thought it might have been the rear sight - because it had literally fallen off of the receiver just before I left home to come to Phoenix. When I put it back on, I set it midway on its ramp. I found out today that I had gotten the sight set in just the right spot and that my shooting low during quals was just due to me anticipating recoil - or in other words was due to shooter error. It just took a little practice to overcome that problem. When I did not flinch today the shots were right in the targets in about a large fist sized to 3/4 open hand sized groups. That is okay in my book with a slug gun at 25 yards shooting unsupported; more than good enough for government work, so to speak. They all would have hit the torso of a man sized target. I hope I never need to use it that way but I have one issued to me for a reason - so I may as well be ready to use it and proficient with it if need ever arises.

After a job well done, I quit and headed back to my apartment and took a long nap.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, April 9, 2010

Vegas Can Wait - It Will be Shotgun Shooting this Weekend

I figure it this way: I am goiung to Vegas this fall for an NRA Police Firearms Instructor School (Handgun & Shotgun) and will be there then for a week to 10 days.

I may need to depend upon my shotgun as a defensive weapon in relation to my job at any time.

So I can give up a weekend, even to vegas, to make sure that the shotgun is functioning properly and that I am as proficient with it as I should be.

Sometimes I just hate being sensible because it ruins most of the fun, but in this case being less than sensible could ruin the rest of my life. So, tomorrow or Sunday, I will be acting responsibly and putting off the Lost Wages trip and will be at the range, probably Ben Avery Shooting Facility, making sure the issued shotgun is sighted in as well as it can be. Of course, since I will be shooting, I will be having a different type of fun than Vegas would have been while at the same time making sure that I will be ready for the worst case scenario should it raises its ugly head.

All the best,
Glenn B

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Shotgun Practice or Las Vegas - that is the question!

So here I am in Phoenix, with too long but yet not all that much longer to go, and I am at a loss for how to spend this coming weekend here. I guess I am really at a loss as to whether I should spend it here or not. I was thinking of going to Las Vegas. Then I checked the airfare and it was prohibitive (on only a few days notice). Then I checked a rental car and while the price was okay, the airport location which is open 24/7 only rents to people who flew in within the last 72 hours and the other nearby locations close so early on Sunday as to make it not worth my while to rent a car and then have to try to hurry back to get it turned in on time. Then there is Greyhound. I could not find a bus junket trip to Vegas from Phoenix; instead I found a few forum type posts complaining about how they are not available as they are from places like NYC to Atlantic city so I checked Greyhound. The web discount fare was about $88.00 round trip. Now get this, the regular fare is $59.00 round trip. Try to figure that one out. I double checked - those are the prices - or close to them as I recall em right now. I am tempted but then again I remember Greyhound from those days when I did not own a car and from days when my first clunkers were broken down wrecks and I had to go by bus. Greyhound buses often live up to their names, or did way back when, as they smell like kennels. Not nice but at least someone else is doing the driving. The trip is about 9 hours, I suppose I could catch the one tomorrow night and sleep until arrival sometime between 6 and 7 AM.

The only reasons I am thinking of going to Vegas is to get out of here for a weekend and because I have been watching Pawn Stars lately on the History Channel (no not Porn Stars but PAWN Stars, about a Las Vegas pawn shop). I would not mind visiting their shop but I heard they are on the outskirts of Las Vegas and the taxi fare could be prohibitive from the downtown bus terminal. I'll have to think on it.

Now, I also need to recheck the sights on my issued Remington 870. I did qualify with it awhile back but was shooting a bit low. Don't know if that was me or the sights. I imagine I could do this on a workday but I would rather take more time and enjoy myself shooting on a weekend when I do it - so that is another option for this weekend. Thing is - there is nothing else keeping me in Phoenix this weekend right now so a Vegas solo vacation (even if only for a day or two) looks promising. Then again, I just stopped by the Turf Accountant and had an enjoyable dinner. (I forgave them their rude treatment on St. Patrick's Day and started enjoying the place and the company and conversation of the nice people who work there (for the most part they are very nice as opposed to the 2 assholes there on the front door on St. Patrick's Day.) I was served by Natalie - a young lass who is definitely my favorite waitress west of the Mississippi, maybe even east of it. She is a great waitress, pleasant to behold and is just a really nice person. The Turf Account, and the nice folks who work there like Natalie (no I am not implying any hanky panky), are thus another reason for me to stay in Phoenix this weekend instead of making a long trip in an uncomfortable and possibly quite smelly Greyhound bus. That and the chances being I am not likely to lose hundreds of dollars in the Turf Accountant as I might be in a casino in Vegas.

I suppose, as often is the case, time will tell. If I do go to Vegas - I am hopeful I will keep my gambling to a minimum. I used to like taking trips like that but that was when I was younger, a bit more adventurous, and less likely to be uncomfortable while crammed into a bus seat for hour after hour after hour. I'll let you know how it turns out.

All the best,

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lee-Enfield Update 2

I was hopeful this morning when I saw that the Lee-Enfield I wanted was still shown as available on the Classic Arms website and that the site had been update, since I last looked at it, and was dated as current for today. I called them right away only to be told "They are all gone but we have other ones". I did not want another one not in as good a condition as the one advertised.

I called again one more time to make sure that the lady who told me it was gone would realize I had called yesterday leaving them a message asking them to hold it for me. Again I got the same first half of her reply "They are all gone". There was only one shown as a rifle of the day so how they are all gone is beyond me. That was a big disappointment. I do not know if I want one that was not in as good a condition as was the one they advertised, nor do I know if I want to buy from a place advertising something for sale that they no longer have in stock and then have them tell me they have others ones not in as good a condition. That is called bait and switch and it is not a good business practice and I would hope not what they were doing.

Edited to add: When I got back to my apartment after work, I checked the website again. The ad for the Rifle of the Day was gone, so maybe it is not bait and switch after all, at least not done intentionally, and it just took them quite some time to remove the ad. Hopefully they will find another in like condition, advertise it, and I will be the lucky one to get it.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lee-Enfield Update

Well, it is Monday morning, April 5th, 8:37 my time - I called the dealer to make the purchase of the Lee-Enfield I wrote about in my previous post. They are still closed because of Easter and will not open until tomorrow. I left a message asking that they hold the rifle for me but I have no idea how many others may have done likewise. Hopefully I am number 1 on the list and will have first shot at it.

All the best,

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ballseye's Gun Shots 53 - Lee-Enfield No. 4 MK1

As you may know, I have been hemming and hawing and wanting to buy a new rifle for some time now. While I want to get a brand new rifle I am also always on the lookout for military surplus rifles that I can buy using my Curios & Relics FFL License. Years ago I considered buying an Enfield but hesitated then suddenly the market pretty much seemed to dry up for ones in decent condition. The Lee-Enfield appealed to me because it was a workhorse of the British Empire from the Boer War through WWI, up through WWII, and into the 1950 when it was finally given up in favor of a self loading rifle. There were many different designations/models of this fine rifle, the No. 4 Mk 1 beginning to be manufactured during WWII in about 1939 with widespread distribution beginning in 1941. Compared to its predecessor, it had improvements such as a strengthened receiver, heavier barrel and a peep sight built into the receiver that was micrometer adjustable.

In essence the Lee-Enfield No. 4 MK1 is a bolt action repeating rifle with a wood stock that is loaded from a 10 round box magazine. The magazine can be loaded using two five round clips or by hand. The rifle is chambered for the .303 British cartridge. The cartridge is suitable as a military cartridge and as a big game getter for animals such as whitetail and mule deer here in the USA. Some hunters have actually used this cartridge on dangerous game such as the African Lion but me thinks I would want something with a bit more punch when facing one of those beasties.

Recently, an online firearms dealer started to advertise these rifles for sale. At $239.95, I thought they were pretty expensive for Enfields since I remember seeing then for $79.00 apiece some years ago. Then again, all firearms prices have skyrocketed and Enfields are no longer available in good numbers. Tonight I looked at the dealer's web page again and saw they had one in particular that they are selling for $259.95. It looks to be in darned good condition and they claim it has an excellent bore. I am hoping this one is actually a No. 4 MK1 and not the No. 4 MK1* model which started production in 1944 and replaced the peep sight with a flip up sight. If it is the No. 4 MK1 I will probably order it tomorrow if they confirm its condition to be up to my expectations. That is I will order it if they can accept an emailed or faxed copy of my C&R; I hope so.

For more info on Lee-Enfield rifles see:

All the best,
Glenn B

The Easter Bunny Lives...

...and as proof of that I offer these facts:

1. Late this afternoon I heard a soft pitter-pattering noise outside my apartment door, just like one would expect the sound of furry tiny feet to make if a bunny were hopping its way down the hallway.

2. I opened my door, looked up and down the hallway but saw nothing, and since the Easter Bunny is a mythical beast - would you expect me to actually have seen it!

3. I then looked down at my door step and there on the floor just outside my doorway I found what is pictured.

4. Chickens do not lay green eggs with squiggly white lines, only the Easter Bunny is capable of such a feat.

5. Not only did the egg have squiggly lines but the egg was sitting atop a bed of phony grass which was cellulose green in appearance - the favorite basket filler of the Easter Bunny - and the grass and egg were in a small green Easter Basket - and everyone knows Spring Green is one of the Easter Bunny's favorite colors (maybe it looks blue in the pic but I think that is due to the flash).

6. Besides leaving behind Easter eggs, the Easter Bunny usually also leaves behind chocolate. Hidden in the grass, inside of the basket, were 4 Hershey's chocolate kisses.

I once again believe in the Easter Bunny! Do you?

All the best,
Glenn B

Simple But Sumptuous - Easter Dinner

I decided to cook myself a very nice Easter Dinner today. I planned to keep it simple and I think I accomplished that while at the same time having it come out tasting heavenly. The picture does not do the taste of it justice. The meal consisted of roast boned leg of lamb salted/peppered/and sprinkled with garlic powder then later basted with red wine (1/2 of one, I saved the other half for stew for next week), pan roasted fingerling potatoes (including white, red and dark purple potatoes) that were lightly covered with olive oil/salt/pepper and garlic powder (cooked at the same time but apart from the lamb in their own baking pan in the oven), broccoli steamed in butter in the microwave, and a salad consisting of lettuce, onions cucumber and dressing. To wash it all down, I enjoyed a fine beverage - one of my favorites - Ommegang Abbey Ale. Yes, I guess I also had a small glass of the red wine while I was cooking and using it to baste the lamb but then I am over 21 and am allowed.

As for those potatoes, the purple ones - yes they really were purple. The skin is either black or very deep dark purple, and the inside is a lighter purple but still pretty dark. They taste great despite looking weird. I once heard there are over 25 varieties of potato native to the Americas and we normally eat only a very small number of that variety. These are delicious, tasting a lot like regular potatoes but just somewhat stronger and earthier. The photo is not edited and is just as it came out.

As I have said before, I love fairly simple meals the best. Today's was no exception from that rule and I devoured it with gusto. I guess it helps that I like my own cooking but it was also a plus that the meat came out medium to medium rare (depending on where it was cut), so it was nice an juicy, there were plenty of drippings left in the pan for added flavor, the fat on the outside of the roast came out crispy, and it was pretty tender. Add to that the delicious flavor of a good lamb roast and it was truly a gastronomical delight. I only wish I had family or friends with me to enjoy it. Sharing a meal like that with special people always makes for a better dinning experience and I would swear it makes it taste better too (not that this needed to taste any better but sharing something that good is definitely the way to go if at all possible). While I may not have had any dining companions with whom to share it I suppose that means I will have more leftovers for myself. That is not a bad thing at all - I love lamb; and did I mention I love my own cooking - at least when I get it right - and this was ever so right.

Hope your meal today was at least as half as good tasting as mine and I also hope you at had good company there with you to share it. If you were really lucky then your company helped clean your dishes; me I had to clean my own.

All the best,
Glenn B

Happy Easter

I want to wish all of you who celebrate it a very happy Easter. I was raised Catholic but have not celebrated or participated in religious services for a long time. I recently realized I do, for a fact, believe in a higher power, in God, though it is likely not in the same respect as do most who are followers of organized religion. Regardless of how I believe, I also believe in many of the bedrock tenets of Christianity. One of those in which I hold a firm belief is to do unto others as you would have them do unto yourself.

Today, as I sometimes have done before, I decided to go out and do unto another as I would hope someone would do for me if I were in need. I drove around downtown Phoenix looking for the most down trodden soul I could find. It wasn't long before I came across a guy walking the streets who was dirtier than any bum I have seen in Phoenix since I got here. His clothes were covered in dirt and somewhat tattered, his hands were literally black with grime, and it looked as if his spirit was just as bad off. He was just standing in the middle of the street (the traffic lanes) on Monroe street (or maybe it was Adams) looking at a large hotel and the people leaving it apparently to go to Easter Services. I don't know if it was hope or despair he was feeling. maybe hope that someone there would give him a handout, maybe despair over remembering better times. As I drove up from behind him he walked onto the sidewalk and past the people standing there, they ignored him just as I often ignore street people.

There was a difference today, for me and for him. drove to the corner and pulled over where I could do so safely and waited for him to walk up next to my car. I called out to him to ask him if he wanted something to eat. This guy was o street savvy bum from New York City. He was not making it living on the streets and leeching off of homeless shelters - this guy was obviously hungry and in need of a meal. His eyes widened and he ran the several feet to my car. As I handed him the bag of things i was giving him, I told him what was inside - a couple of pieces of roast chicken, a few pieces of bread, an apple, a bottle of water and a can of soda - I forgot to mention there was a pair of socks too (I'll get back to them and why they were in the bag). He took the bag, looked into it, looked at me, was saying thanks and cutting him off, I said here is ten bucks to help you. He replied "You're frickin great man, thanks" or something to that effect. I was happy, he was happy and he looked as if I had just given him a king's ransom. I wish I could recall his exact words to share with you but somehow, over the last 15 or 20 minutes since i gave him that meager bit of food and money I have forgotten already. I don't think though that I will ever forget how he reacted, how totally amazed and happy he was to get a small handout like that.

I do something similar now and then up in NYC and sometimes give a twenty to a homeless guy but doing that has never made me feel like what I did today. Only one guy in NYC ever really came even close to the appreciation shown in this guys eyes today. Most have never shown anything even close. I think that maybe because the homeless in NYC are used to begging, used to leeching and used to receiving. This young man today, and my guess is he was around 25 years old, did not seem used to anything but despair and dirt and certainly did not look like he had been expecting anything good to come out of today or tomorrow. When he walked away fro my car, he walked away with a look of sheer anticipation on his face, anticipation of enjoyment, or of a full belly, or of the sweetness of can of soda or for whatever he might use that ten bucks. I think I walked away a different man myself and in that there is something i don't think I will ever forget either. That something else I will not forget is how I felt after giving it to him. I felt a little less burdened, a little bit happy, a little more Christian (in a idealistic manner) - and and certainly a little bit better for it. It probably made me feel as happy as almost anything else since I have been here in Phoenix.

Now, I am not telling you this to blow my own horn. I am not patting myself on the back. Neither am I preaching to you on what you should or should not do. What I did today was minimal and was certainly no great effort on my part and no great expense to me. I guess the reason I am telling you this at all is to suggest, that you too can go out an enjoy your celebration of Easter, or of your Christian heritage, or of any religion that believes in goodness and doing unto others as you would have them do unto yourself, by going out and helping someone in need. To tell you the truth think today did me more good than would 100 visits to church. I can tell you without a doubt that going to church never did anything to uplift my soul like that little bit of charity I did today. Imagine if we all went out, maybe once a month, or a few times a year at the holidays, and did something like this. We and they we help would be better off for it. I'll be doing it again - now and then - but I doubt very much I will ever feel the same as I did today. Today showed me that maybe I ought to be helping more. I count my blessings this Easter in that I found someone I could help even if just a bit and that in so doing I am sure to have helped myself too.

Oh, before I forget, I did promise to tell you about the socks. The socks,r at least a request for them, is what prompted me to go out today and look for someone in need. You see, yesterday there was a guy begging outside of the entrance to my apartment building. He asked a couple of young ladies for food or a dollar. one of the gave him some money. As I walked into the building he asked me if i had any socks i could give him. I just ignored him and walked into the building. he was pretty bad off looking but I was not about to give handouts to a homeless person outside my apartment building, I think it is a dangerous thing to do. Something funny though happened as I walked by him. I guess my shirt had ridden up a bit exposing the badge on my belt. As I walked by he asked "Hey are you with Customs?". That almost floored me, how could he know that - most people who see an ICE badge would ask if you are with Immigration or with ICE. Being that I came from the Customs Service and was merged into ICE when it was created after 9/11, I just kept wondering how he had arrived at asking that question once I had gotten inside. I was curious and keeping thinking about that got me to thinking I ought to help out the poor slob with something. After about 10 or 15 minutes inside, I decided to give him something and got together my little care package including the socks. I only was going to give it to him if he first assured me he would leave the area. This guy looked pretty rough and was apparently scaring other tenants with his forwardness as they approached the building entrance, thus the reason the cops showed up showing so much interest in the building entrances (you will see what I mean in a moment). Well, he was not there when I went to look for him. I drove around a bit and dd not see him but did see two police officers on bicycle patrol probably also looking for him as they drove around the block a few times paying close attention to all the entrances to my building. I decided to put the food into the fridge still in the bag I had it in and then to go out today to look for someone needy. The socks were still in there today and though they might have been a little bit cold from having been in the fridge, I am sure they will help warm up the guy I gave em to. For all I know, the guy today was the same guy as yesterday. I really did not pay attention yesterday but am happy that I paid attention today in that I went out to look for someone needy to help out even if just a bit.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ballseye's Gun Shots 52 - Firearms Training For This Year

If you shoot, and shoot well, then you know that you cannot get enough practice and neither can you get enough training. I shoot four times a year to qualify for my job and usually at least a half dozen times to many more than that for fun and practice and training. The thing is though, when I shoot away from work - any training I do is self taught. It's not bad, basically it is practice of things I have learned over the years with some new innovations or twists that I add now and then. This year is going to be a bit different for me, the reason it will be different is because I am planning on retiring at the end of the year (if all goes as planned). Once I retire a lot of the training that is available to me now as an LEO will not be available. I am not getting it for free or at a discount, it is just that some training outfits require you to be an LEO to take their courses.

For example, I have registered, paid for and been excepted for the NRA Law Enforcement Instructor for Handgun and Shotgun course being given in Las Vegas, NV this coming October. While they will sometimes allow a non-law enforcement person to take this training, it is much more likely that you will be excepted if currently in service. I am taking it now in anticipation of being able to supplement my income once I retire by training others - both LEOs and non-LEOs. How I talked my wife into letting me go to this one is easy to explain - she is coming along for the trip. It is a 5 day course and I expect to be in Vegas for 7 or 8 days. I have got to start making reservations for shows now, last time we were there we did not see any of the headline shows because almost all of them were sold out 6 months in advance.

Another course, that I just signed up for is one that I was taking at the moment of the attacks on 9/11. I was not in my office at the WTC but was instead in CT at Glock Armorers' School. A coworker and I left once we heard the news and headed back to the Customs office at JFK Airport to see what we could help with. he was lucky enough to go back to another school, I missed out. So now, I will wind up paying for it myself. That is okay by me, it will be another feather to add to my cap in retirement - something else that might help me turn a buck now and then. The Glock Armorers' School is being offered just a fairly short ride from where I live up in Peekskill, NY. Basically it will be the cost of the class, gasoline and tolls and maybe lunch.

I may sign up for a couple or few more firearms' training courses throughout the course of the year. I am especially looking toward instructor qualification courses so more courses along those lines will be sought out by me as time goes on. Maybe something line Home Defense Training Instructor, or rifle instructor and so on would be called for. I may also look into something like Front Sight, although that one may be a bit too expensive for me. Time will tell.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, April 2, 2010

Letter To U.S. Congressman Ryan Causes Brouhaha

Well, maybe it was not the letter as much as it was the envelope. It seems an angry constituent mailed a letter of complaint to the Ohio Congressman in an envelope marked "critical information" and "requested information" on the outside, while at the same time omitting a return address. See the article here.

I think the man or woman who sent the letter without a return address may have hit on a great idea without realizing it. I will give the idea some serious thought before acting if I decide to do so at all. If I decide to take some action on this, I will begin a letter writing campaign to my elected Congressmen/women, maybe even to the Senators of all 50 states. Each letter I write will be sent in an envelope marked something to the effect of: Read Immediately & Response Required & Tea Party Supporter on the envelope and, of course, I will omit my return address from the envelope (but probably not from the actual letter it carries). By the way, my letter will express my concerns that we are becoming a socialized nation and that such things as the health care reform bill are unconstitutional. It will be quite proper and respectful (at least with all due respect) but it will insist that Congress and the president start representing We The people instead of trying to rule us as if we were their subjects instead of their employers!

Would my doing such be illegal? I do not think it is illegal to send letters without a return address.

What would the effect be? Would I be denounced? Would I be investigated? Would the cops or FBI check every letter I sent in this fashion? Would some moronic politician demand that I stop doing such or that I be arrested to stop me? Would a less than sharp politician say something to the effect that I am overstepping my Constitutional rights and liberties?

What would be the media coverage? Think of it, a good number of Congressional representatives and senators receiving such letters - pretty much all at the same time - would it cause a stir? Would there be a massive over reaction by both politicians, law enforcement and the media or would my letters, sent in such a manner, actually be taken for what they actually would be - correspondence from a citizen of the United States of America to elected government officials?

I may have to give this a try. It certainly seems like it could be one way to make certain that politicians pay attention to letters I have sent them. After all, with all the media attention it could potentially spark, wouldn't it be likely that at least one journalist with half a brain would ask the question: "So Senator Schumer (I use him as an example because he is the senior senator for my state), what exactly was it that was in the letter(s)?"

Now imagine it on a larger scale. What would happen if a few hundred or even a few thousand people did this all at about the same time? Would the media be all over it. Would there be an attempt at by the government to officially put an end to such mailings? Would the socialist and communist tendencies of our current administration be brought fully into the light? Would politicians actually start reading our letters and paying attention to the content. Would our message be more likely to get across.

I think I will give it a try. What do you think?

All the best,
Glenn B

04/02/2010 at 2150, edited to add: I guess a return address is not mandatory nor is it a legal requirement on your mail. I say this because I just checked this page at the U.S. Postal Service site and as you can see for yourself they recommend using a return address so if your mail is undeliverable it can be returned to you. They do not say it is mandatory.

You Picked A Fine Time To Lead Us Barack

A fairly new video from what I can tell - one that hits it on the head. Nice to see the young folks of America realize that our government \ leaders are so flawed. Hopefully the message will go a long way to make some change in November. Thanks to Rich M for giving me the heads up about it.

Funny thing about Barack Hussein Obama being our president. I now own more guns and ammunition than ever before in my life and plan to buy more. I also plan to restock my survival supplies quite possibly doubling or tripling the amount I have on hand. In addition to that, I just recently started doing something I have not done in years - go to church. I have also been rethinking a lot of what I do with a goal in mind of trying to become a better person and all of that has me becoming more and more conservative. He is bringing about change indeed - change that seems to be turning more and more people back toward conservative ideals; I guess I am one of them - not that I was not already somewhat conservative but I surely am more so now and so it seems are lots of other folks. God Bless America.

All the best,
Glenn B