Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 72 - New York State Rifle & Pistol Association

I am now a card carrying LIFE member of the NYSR&PA. Used to be that I paid dues every year, been doing that for maybe 4 or 5 or 6 years now. Last week I realized that once you hit 55 you can get a life membership at only $200. I will hit the double nickels later this year and asked them if they would allow me the reduced life member rate now. They did. Now I have to figure out how to scrounge up an extra $200 in light of my soon to be due hospital, doctor and anesthesia bills for my recent surgery that I somehow managed not to think about when spending on other things lately, other things like this membership. Those bills will amount to well over a grand with insurance taking care of the rest. I guess I won't be buying any new guns for awhile, so maybe I should be happy I just got a couple (well one keeper and one I am sending back). I suppose if I take a refund on that gun - the one going back - there will be the $200 I need for the life membership and a few bucks left over for some ammo for the gun I am keeping. It will work out somehow, otherwise I will just pay the medical bills in installments. At least I will pay as opposed to some illegal alien who might very well just get sewn up and run back across the border.

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 71 - Gun Show Report and Some Yummy Stuff Too

Night came and night passed and Insomnia and her close allies Aches and Pains, were steadfast in their loyalty to me, and kept me company throughout most all of the darkest hours. Despite not getting much sleep, or because of it, I was up at 4:30 to let the dogs outside, then once again tossing and turning while trying to grab at least an hour of silent and dreamy slumber on the couch in the basement. No luck was mine and not much sleep either and I was up and at em at by 5:30. I had a quick breakfast of a buttered roll and some OJ and just after I finished I heard someone else was up and about in the kitchen and I went to investigate. Before I could even get up off the couch, Brendan was calling down to see if I wanted bacon and eggs and some coffee. I guess he was in the domestic mood, or at least hungry, and since mom was not up he was cooking and brewing (or should I say electric dripping). I puttered around in the basement, checked my email, went up and said good morning and grabbed a cup of Joe. Mmm, not bad at all, kid likes it strong like his old man (and his mom); probably used the Sumatran French Roast.

He asked what time I wanted to leave and I said the sooner the better even though it was only about 7:00 and we had originally planned to leave at 8:00. I guess we were off by 7:10, stopped for a quick gas-up, stopped for some cash at our bank's ATM and were on the road by 7:25. We drove 38 miles, or thereabouts, and got to the Westchester County Center in White Plains at about 8:10, parked the car on the street (good thing about getting there early is free parking) and had walked around to the front of the building by 8:15. When we arrived, there were already about 10 to 12 people lounging around on the front steps of the center. We headed to the top of the stairs, stayed to the right side like the signs indicated for the gun show entry, waited behind some guy who we started talking to about guns shows and this and that and within a few to maybe 15 minutes at most others started gravitating toward us and forming a line of more or less about 20 to 25 people. As time progressed so did the length of the line. Early on it was still cool, but soon began warming up a bit and the folks on the greater part of the line were out in the sun. We had it made in the shade which was fine by me and was another advantage of being early. At about ten before nine they started to let some of us in to buy tickets but we had to wait inside another 10 minutes or so before they let us onto the selling floor. By that time the line outside was around the block, probably already had been for about 15 minutes or so.

Much as when a range master gives the command "commence fire", the line we were on inside shot forward into the convention center's main floor when we got the go ahead. It was a familiar place, I have been to many herp (reptile and amphibian) shows in the exact same room over the past several years, maybe even the past decade or more. This time though, the only snakes were Colt Pythons. As soon as we got inside both Brendan and I could see it was not a big show as gun shows go. He has been to at least one big show and me to quite a few. Still though 350 tables would be a good amount for this venue since there had not been a gun show held there for about 11 years, since Columbine and the ensuing anti-gun panic.

We were separated almost as soon as we entered, me with my measly $500 and Brendan with about $1300. He was set on buying an AR style rifle or something of a similar nature. Me, I would be happy with some ammo cans at $6 or $7 a pop and maybe some ammo. Of course, I was keeping and eye out for one or two rifles I had in mind and maybe even a Beretta Jetfire in .25 ACP. I found Brendan in short order, he was at a table buying some pre-ban AR magazines. They looked horrible, all scratched up as if someone had gone at em with a piece of concrete. They went for $15 apiece and he bought two of them.

We made our way around here and there and again were soon split up. Before we split though, I saw some pre-ban AK mags in great condition for $9.99 apiece, limit 2 mags per person. Between us we bought 4 of them. They look to be legitimate pre-bans and I find it hard to believe they were so inexpensive here in NY but that was the price. That made Brendan pretty happy. Then we split and I walked around slowly. I stopped at many tables with firearms even though I would guesstimate only about 60 to 65% had guns on them. Many had knives, some had gun or knife books, others sold war movies and documentary and shooting videos, others had ammo, but amazingly enough I did not see one table with even one piece of beef jerky for sale - what a relief. While I was strolling around looking at this and that, I came across what looked like a very nice Remington Model 8, in 35 Remington, but the guy wanted $575 for it - way too much. I was about to try to haggle when I saw that the wood just behind the tang was badly gouged, almost a deep hole with ragged edges. I just imagined that forming a crack with repeated firing and I walked away. I then looked at Nagants, Remington 870s, SKS's, a few Savage bolt action rifles, an Enfield (and I saw it had one screw where the one I got yesterday did not, so mine is definitely going to be returned), and several other guns that caught my eye. There were no ARs, no AKs and so forth to be seen. Someone told us earlier that the county would not allow sales of them at this show. Oh those evil black rifles! I figured Brendan would be disappointed. Somewhere before I found him again, I found another Remington model 8, this one for an asking price of only $450. It was in at least fine to maybe excellent blue, had really nice wood but was .30 caliber. So much for that, I only want one in .35 Remington so I was and am still looking.

When we ran into one another he was ready to split. We had been there only about an hour or so but he was very disappointed about this show because of the lack of ARs and the like. I told him I wanted to go round a second time and also wait for a couple of my friends to show up and he said "okay" but looked bored. I told him to go round again and take his time and just look at the older stuff or the tamer stuff. He did or started to. He wound up going over to a table where another dealer was selling AR mags and he bought another 8 of the pre-ban hi-cap AR mags at $100 for all 8. This guy said he had had them in storage for years disassembled and he recently put em together again. I imagine he had em apart to keep any tension off the springs though if you know mag springs that wa snot really necessary.

The next thing I knew, I ran into my friend Pete K from CT. He used to be on the job with me but retired several years ago. He told me he had been waiting on line outside since 9:30 and had been on line for about 50 minutes before getting in. Man they were really working at a snail's pace in the ticket booths, and am sure they planned it that way because the place was not crowded and Pete said there was still a big line outside. When they have other shows there, the place fills up like a damn had burst and the flood waters had come inside. We chatted it up awhile and Brendan came over to say hi then disappeared into the crowd. Then Pete glanced over and saw Richie M another friend from our job who retired a few years back. Richie had been our primary firearms' instructor. All three of us were talking up a storm when a bored looking Brendan came over to say hi to Richie. I told him I would be awhile and once we were done jaw-boning I still had a few aisles to review a second time.

When the three of us old friends split up, I made the rounds of the tables I wanted to look at again. Nothing really caught my eye. I had wanted ammo cans but at $10 to $15 apiece for .50 caliber cans all I can say is they can put sardines into em. I sure wasn't going to buy any at that price when I usually get them for $6 to $7 apiece for virtually new ones at another show. I did pick up a couple of boxes of .22 WMR for my Marlin 25MN. Brendan had joined me again just before I bought that ammo. Then we were out of there. I spent a whopping $25 on items I bought at the show. I also paid $10 a head for us to get in, I had promised him if he paid for gassing up the car, I would pay: the tolls ($5.50 each way but somewhat less because we use E-Z Pass), the admission fees (which was actually $11 a head today but I had two $1 off coupons, I think tomorrow is only $10 a head) and for lunch. Brendan, on the other hand, spent about $300 to $340 in total including about $30 for a fill up of gas for the car. He bought 2 AR mags at a total of $30 plus tax from the first dealer, 8 AR mags at a cost of $100 plus tax for all 8 from the other dealer, and at least 4 AK mags at a total of $40 plus tax. That does not work out to anywhere near $340 - does it? Hmm, he had been looking at red dot sights earlier but I thought I talked him out of buying a brand we had never heard of before. Whatever else he purchased, it was none too big. He only left the place with two or three fairly small plastic bags of booty. When I track him down later, I will try to pry it out of him.

We left, and once on the highway we were immediately in heavy traffic. That lasted about 10 minutes or so, not bad, and we were on the move. On the way home I thought of our old neighborhood and a butcher and a baker and a restaurant therein. We made a detour and stopped at Rudy's Pastry Shop in Ridgewood on Seneca Avenue first. I remember this place from way back when I was a teen and maybe even from when I was younger. They bake great German style pastries, cakes, strudels, cookies and so on. I picked up 8 Linzer Torte at a whopping $18 total. Linda loves em, Celina and Brendan love em, and I just devour them. I suppose since I have not had them in so long, it was easy to break my vow not to go to this particular bakery anymore after getting a snooty attitude from one of the counter-women there a couple of years ago. Time and a hankerin' for yummy things overcome all grievances and Rudy's is truly too good to stay away from forever. Click on the name/link above, read the story, look at the pics; in the second pic down, look at the counter in the center top shelf, to your left side of that counter as you face it. See those large sugar powder covered cookies with the raspberry centers - those are the wonderfully tasty Linzer Torte. They were on that same shelf today when I bought mine.

Then we made our way to the butcher, Morscher's Pork Store on Catalpa Avenue, another old time establishment that has been there for years. (Nice to see they have their own website.) It is just down the block and across the street from Miraculous Medal RC Church. I went in with a few things on my mind but one in particular that I wanted pretty badly - Swine Fleisch (aka pig flesh or in this case pork tenderloin - a fairly fatty cut so it roasts nicely in the oven and the only thing they even think of when you tell them you want Swine Fleisch despite them having lots of pork for sale). Another $26 bucks just for that and another $22 for a small liverwurst, some gelb-wurst (gold or yellow wurst - a bologna like treat not really gold or yellow but in a yellow or golden wrapper tasting like bologna but a along the lines of a mildly, that is very mildly, spiced wurst), 8 bratwursts (made by Morscher's because we will have none of that Johnsonville Brat crap stuff for us) and some Lithuanian bread. In all, another $48 bucks spent to help the economy. Then we were off to sate our appetites.

We made our way from the bakery in Ridgewood, to the butcher on the Ridgewood/Glendale border, into central Glendale to one of our favorite restaurants Zum Stammtisch on Myrtle Avenue. Excellent food, great service, and absolutely wonderful bier. Today I took a break from the bier because I was driving but we had some truly good food. Brendan had the Jagerschnitzel and I had 2 Krainerwursts. Not what I expected in a Krainerwurst, nothing like what I am used to at all, but darned tasty anyhow. I ordered them at the restaurant because I forgot to buy a few at the butcher. The ones the butcher sells are to die for, well almost and I only say 'almost' because I don't want to tempt fate. I guess they are made differently by different butchers so the big difference but as I said they were pretty tasty at the restaurant too. They went just fine with sauer kraut and kartuful salat. Brendan's was just fabulous judging by how he went at it and what he said. We left satisfied, well I still could have used a bier but sure did not need one, so a diet coke had to do. That hit me up for another $48 plus an $8 tip.

Not long after that we were home and I was happy not to have to spend another dime. Still - what I spent was well worth the day out I had with Brendan, and will have been well worth the fun we will have shooting using what we bought today, and the meals that the family will enjoy together with the things from the butcher and bakery. When I got home and Linda came downstairs, I surprised her with the bag of goodies from the butcher and surprised her even more when I gave her the bag from the bakery with the smiley face on it and I told her enjoy and have a nice day. She immediately knew what was inside telling me they were Linzer Torte (or as I often call them - Lindser Tarts) and smiling big time when I handed them to her. Maybe for dessert tonight, but more likely at breakfast tomorrow, they will be devoured with nary a crumb left behind. I am pretty sure I'll have at least 1 tonight - I can hardly ever wait til the next day for these delectables.

All the best,
Glenn B

PS: Those bratwurst were nice and tasty tonight when I grilled em. We then had the Linzer Tortes for dessert after the BQ tonight. They made the dinner!

PPS: I destroyed two of the AR mags tonight. After we got home, we realized that the scratched up ones may have had a date code indicating manufacture in 2008. Not 100% certain on that but did not want to risk any problems so I took out the springs, followers and base plates, then hammered away at the mag bodies until they were useless hunks of metal. Threw em in the trash and will keep the springs if needed as repalcements for the pre-ban mags that we did get. If the place was closer to home, and if it would not cost another $7 in gas, about $10 in tolls and the headache of trying to get back into the show without being charged again, I would have gone back for a refund and to ream the dealer out with a size 12 (figuratively speaking of course).