Monday, June 30, 2014

Hop Stoopid

I am long over due to try something new in the way of an ale and surprisingly enough discovered this afternoon that Costco now sells craft (for want of a better term) ales. They had a decent selection for a store like that, I am guessing at least 15-20 or so different ales for sale just up the aisle a tiny bit from the cases of their regular beers like Bud Light, Heineken, Stella Artois, Corona, and Kirkland Ales among others. Kirkland ales are a great buy at $18.99 a case and much better than swill like Budwiper, made by the same brewery as Saranac brand of ales as I understand . That is on the eastern side of the USA, the use a different brewery out west.

Among the single bottles of ale they offered they had Three Philosophers from Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY) and I put two of them into my cart at $8.99 each. Not a bad price considering what I would pay elsewhere. A few minutes later, I found a three pack box containing one each of brewery Ommegang's  Three Philosophers, Ommegang Abby Ale and Hennepin at $18.99 per box. I grabbed two boxes and put the two single bottles back on the shelf; at $6.33 per bottle that price is hard to beat. The three different ales in those boxes are excellent abbey style ales; Three Philosophers at about 9.7% alcohol, Ommegang Abbey Ale at about 8.5% and Hennepin somewhere around 6.5%.. I also grabbed to cheapies - a couple of bottles of Hop Stoopid by the Lagunitas brewing Company of Petaluma, CA at only $3.99 per bottle but at a decent 8% alcohol. They also had Duvall Ale (no, not Duvel from Belgium, this stuff is from WA or OR - probably grunge beer), Dogfish Head Ale at about 10% alcohol and I think at $10.99 per bottle and several others whose names elude me at the moment. After picking up the the ales, I also grabbed a case of the Kirkland Ales which has  a six-pack each of India Pale Ale, Pale Ale, Brown Ale and German Lager (why they included a lager in there just befuddles me but it tastes like an ale anyway).

Once home, my son saw the two boxes of Ommegang that I had brought into the house. He was impressed. Then I asked him to get the case of Kirkland ales out of the trunk. I guess he missed the two bottles of Hop Stoopid still in the trunk when he got the case. I threw the 6 bottles of the Ommegang ales into the fridge about two hours ago. Left the Kirkland case on the basement floor for later cooling (that's the beer for the BBQ on Independence Day) and just went out maybe 10 minutes ago to grab the two Hop Stoopid bottles. They went into the freezer right after that. I am figuring on giving them an hour in the icebox and then having one for myself and giving the other to my son should he feel like having one. The Hop Stoopid will be the new one for me; I had never heard of it, let alone seen it, before today. I'll clue you all in to just how wonderfully tasty of a beverage it is, unless of course it is unmitigated swill in which case I'll let you know that instead. I figure at the $3.99 per bottle that they charged for it, it is not going to be anything special but one never knows until one takes a few swigs (or a few bottles). Regardless of the taste, at 8% alcohol it was a bargain even if only about 1 pint 6 fluid ounces while the others were 1 pint 9.4 fluid ounces.

Waiting about another 15 minutes for them to have been in the freezer for an hour. Nope, that is wrong, my son pulled them out as I typed the period on the previous sentence. I guess now is the time. Mmmmm - hoppy goodness.

Ale for now.

Later 4 U,

Other Bloggers of Note

My blog list - Other Bloggers of Note - was inadvertently deleted. if your blog was in there or if you recall a blog that was in there, and want it replaced, please let me know. I am sure I will not remember them all or maybe not more than the one I remembered so far. Any help is appreciated, thanks.

All the best,

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I Never Once Shot A Dog... my 32 years plus some as a law enforcement officer / federal agent. I know very few who did during the span of my career.

While in the Border Patrol for four (4) years, I was in and out of peoples front and back yards, on their farms and ranches in their garages, barns, sheds, cattle pens, chicken coops and every imaginable place you might encounter a dog (or an illegal alien) and I had run-ins with plenty of them. The worst I ever had to do was whack one with a mag light because it was lunging at me about to bite me and I hit it square across the top of its snout. I have had them bark and growl at me, bear their teeth while literally within inches of me, snap their jaws, come at me fast and slow, jump over a fence and come at me snarling (probably the second largest Dobermans I have ever seen) and it got very close like feels its breath close and I handled everyone of them without shooting because shooting was not necessary - even when I was just about crapping my pants scared - it never came to that. (As a side note, had it happened today though, being older and wiser and less ballsy, I would probably have shot that Doberman.)

Heck, I don't even think I ever had to shoot one with pepper spray (at last not while in the Border Patrol). I spent the next three years or so in the Customs Patrol, mostly at JFK Airport, but even had a few run-ins with dogs then when on special assignments or while working cases away from the airport. Then I spent the next 25 plus years as a Criminal Investigator/Special Agent mostly with Customs and then some with DHS after 911. I had plenty of additional encounters with dogs during that 25 year span. They came when we were on investigations out on surveillance, or on raids executing search and arrest warrants, primarily in narcotics smuggling and distribution investigations and money laundering cases. Again, I had dogs act aggressively toward me and toward the other LEOS who were with me at least scores if not hundreds of times over the years. Not only did I never find it necessary to shoot one of those dogs but neither did anyone else with me on any of those operations.

Today, it is a different world. You hear or read about one shooting of a dog after another or so it seems. It appears that all too often that a good number of those shooting are questionable as I suppose they should be to some extent though probably not with as much biased attention as animal rights groups or the media gives to them. Take for example the latest dog shooting out in Salt Lake City. The police were entering onto peoples private property(ies) reportedly without warrants and apparently without permission of the owners(s) or resident(s). They may well have been justified to do so because there may have been exigent circumstances; they were reportedly looking for a missing child. The thing is before you enter someone's backyard, unless in hot pursuit of a criminal or attempting to prevent imminent harm to someone, you would under such circumstances knock on the door to ask permission. You would also ask if anyone was back there or if there were any hazards (such as dogs) in the yard. It took me all of my first dog encounter to learn that, let alone the adult tiger with which I came face to face in a shed, on a ranch in the Imperial Valley, CA, when I was a Border Patrol Agent and the circus was in town (but that is another story and I swear it is true).

I also learned that if no one was home and I needed to enter the yard to search it, or even if I was in hot pursuit of a suspect, one of the best things to do besides to take a look before leaping was to make a lot of noise. It could save you, from at best, a hasty retreat with a Doberman Pincer on your trail or worse yet from being bitten by a German Shepard (two very popular dogs when and where I was in the BP and two I faced from time to time).

Now don't get me wrong. Some other guys shot dogs back then and I would have too had it been called for in any given encounter with one or more of them; I almost did it at least a couple of times. With other LEOs with whom I worked, it happened but was rare thing - especially in town. One of the main reasons was because if in town there was usually too much of a chance that you might hit something else than the dog - like someone in the path of the bullet if you missed the dog and mind you, I was and am an excellent shot but still had that concern. Another reason was because there usually are other ways to avoid being attacked and bitten by a dog than to shoot it - some still utilizing potential deadly force and others not, some even not using force against the dog at all. Retreat (fairly to very effective), mace (not very effective), OC spray (very effective), use of an impact weapon (often effective), use of a blocking device (fairly effective to excellent depending on what you use to block), and giving verbal commands such as a sort of growling "NO" or "SIT" often are enough. Those techniques, among others, worked well, so often that in at least the high scores to maybe even hundreds of encounters with dogs I have not shot one yet and not even one of them ever bit me while I was working.

So why is it today that LEOs shooting dogs seems to be common place. I don't know but I imagine it has a lot to do with how they have been trained (or to do with lack of proper training). Also, the attitude of too many police today that the only important part of their job is that they get home safe at night (which they should all strive to do but it is not the only important duty they with which they are obligated) may have a lot to do with it. The police unions evidently pound that into their heads and, I think, are thus fostering the us against them attitude that too many LEOs probably have had since the beginning of law enforcement work. They are making it easier for them to think their lives are almost always threatened by just about anything not in LE - the them or in other words the dog in this case. It may also have to do with unnecessary risks officers take. Did this officer take an unnecessary risk by not shaking a fence, not calling out to see if a dog would respond, not checking with the owners and so on? If so, that could have been because of piss poor training or because the particular officer involved is a risk taker or an idiot.

Then again, it could also have had to do with the dedication and zeal an officer has to doing his duty. After all, in the case at hand, they were looking for a missing child or so it was reported . I am sure that in a missing child case each officer does his best to find that child. I would bet they all thought they were doing their best to find the kid and maybe, just maybe, an officer might overlook a potential threat to get that job done - that is to find the child before harm comes to the young one. 

Of course, the seeming frequency of dog shootings by LEOs could have nothing to do with it actually being more frequent an occurrence today than it used to be many years ago. It could be due to the frequency at which the media reports it in today's world where they might have just ignored it years ago because it was not as sensational back then as it is now with the larger amount of animal rights types in our current world.

Then there is also the possibility of sloppy LE work that could lead to something like this. I am not saying that happened here but it could have and it sometimes does result in catastrophic and sad results. Subsequent to the dog being killed, the missing child was found sleeping in his/her own home. So one has to wonder was sloppy LE work part of the cause. Did someone report the child missing and then LE Officers missed him in his own home during the search of it, did they not even bother to search it, or was it something else altogether like them doing a thorough search and the child snuck back into the home after the search? There are a lot of questions to be asked and some will be answered without any further checking needed but others may require a bit more inquiry. In this case it should center on the shooting of the dog and on the rest of the situation as related to that shooting. The truth is though that dog shootings seem to have become the 'in thing' in way too many LE encounters with them and they are going to be scrutinized more and more by the public and eventually by politicians and then the police if they continue to increase in frequency or if just one results in harm to an innocent person.

Of course, if the officer was justified and could not have prevented or avoided an imminent threat from the dog in another more practical manner, then all is right as rain - as they say. In that case, I say good that he blasted the dog and was not injured himself. Yes if that is the case I would support the officer and I would also empathize with and sympathize for the owner the dog and fully understand his loss and anger over it. But as I said, I would support the officer 100 percent. By the way, I also really feel bad for the dog regardless of how or why this happened - the dog was in fact innocently and by its nature protecting its territory if it threatened the officer as reported. 

In this particular case, I will not cast stones but nor can I lend my support to the officer involved except to give him the benefit of the doubt that he used good judgment and shooting the dog was necessary - that is at least for now. Regardless of how anyone thinks about this shooting of man's best friend, we should question it because to not question a shooting resulting in a fatality, even of a dog, we would be negligent. It is the same thing that his superior officers should be doing. They should be asking tough questions, sort of like the ones I just proposed and implied. If the shooting was not justified several things could come about that could have devastating outcomes later on. Imagine if you will that the officer is allowed to continue to work in an armed capacity but was unjustified in this shooting - will he do it again? Or think about whether or not, by reckless judgment, he put himself in a situation that easily could have been avoided and thus not resulted in an encounter with the dog in the first place yet, it would have gotten the job done as well or better had it done it otherwise. We don't need some type of a yahoo cowboy shooting up Dodge City without justifiable cause nor do we need an officer who unnecessarily puts himself into harm's way and then has to shoot his way out of it to save his own butt. So ask the questions and if the guy did it right - then so be it. On the other hand, if he did it wrong, take care of it.

So at the very least, there should be a complete and professional investigation of what happened - without assumptions made ahead of time. I would like to see the officer coming out smelling like a rose, heck a bunch of roses, and I hope he or she does so. Yet, I realize that since such a shooting may have deeper implications, tough questions need to be asked by an impartial investigator. If there were violations of when to use deadly force against an animal or violations of protocol on entering some one's private property or safety concerns, then measures have to be taken to prevent such from happening again. As I said though, I would hope that all was justified. I wish it had never happened in the first place and for now feel bad for the officer, the dog owner and the dog but I also am quite happy that the child has been reported to be safe and sound.

All the best,
Glenn B


Recharging Silica Desiccant In The Summertime...

...when the weather is high but maybe just a tad too hot to turn on the oven, in your kitchen, for three or so hours - even on low heat - may seem like something that has to wait until September or October. Yet, there is another way to get those suckers completely dried out and ready to suck up all the moisture in your gun safe or tool chest. If you have a gas fired BBQ grill, one big enough to have three or four burners, you can set one burner (one all the way to one side of the grill, not a burner in the center) to it's lowest, or next to lowest setting, to achieve the desired temperature and place the packs of desiccant on the grill all the way on the far side from the lit burner. You will have to monitor the grill for this and luckily mine has a thermometer set in the face of the grill cover so I know the temperature is good when I do it.

A temperature of about 175 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit should do the trick over the course of about two to three hours. Too much higher than that and you may burn some types of the containers holding the desiccant or the dryness indicators (mine are in cardboard or aluminum containers both with dryness indicators inside them) and too little may not sufficiently dry out the desiccant to have made it worth the effort of the gas. Of course, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions as to whether or not you can recharge your silica desiccant and if so then as to how to accomplish it.

Mine will be going onto the grill, this afternoon, once it cools enough after grilling the marinated pork chops (bacon's cousin) that are on today's dinner menu. While the info on the desiccant packs say the stuff is harmless, I take few chances with it and put them atop a piece of aluminum foil to assure none of that stuff gets in my oven. I usually let the oven cool completely before removing and using them, or if taking them out when still hot or warm, I wear an oven mitt to avoid getting burned.

All the best,
Glenn B

Kids Are Not Obese Because Of What The Leftists Tell You

I wasn't obese as a kid - I was skinny. Back then, I ate whatever I wanted if and when I could get it which was fairly frequently and what I wanted was Yodels, Ring Dings, Twinkies, Oreos, McDonalds and White Castle burgers, greasy spoon specials, over stuffed with meat and cheese hero sandwiches, chocolate milk (made with whole milk), real butter on my bread or bagels and plenty of it, real butter and maple syrup on my pancakes and lots of them smothered in it, bacon, bacon, bacon, ;pizza, candy, cake, cookies and whatever. It had nothing to do with the price, we were piss poor and I mean that most earnestly; yet I ate more than enough junk food. Me being skinny lasted until I got married. 

The thing was, when I was a kid and a single adult, I was out and about playing, walking climbing, running, fishing, hunting, flying kites, chasing girls, hopping freight trains (don't do that today kids it is illegal and dangerous) and whatever instead of sitting home on a computer, watching TV for way too long, or afraid a stranger would get me.

Why not worry about that when I was a younger guy? Because if 
stranger (or someone I knew) did something like that to me and the police then caught him, they would beat his arse and he would either go to jail where other inmates would beat and rape him or he would be put to death as in executed for his crime. Otherwise he would have been committed to the loony bin forever - thus little chance of a stranger abducting me back then so no need to worry too much about it. Nowadays that has all changed and parents keep their kids under house arrest. They are not only afraid of abductions but even of the monkey bars and swings at local parks or of normal kids sports like dodge ball. For holy hell's sake - what have we become, we are afraid of our own shadows!

Now, I am older and fatter. I still eat the same stuff so why is it that I am fatter than I should be? Well, I have been brainwashed somewhat by married life and our terrified society 's fears. I sit around on the Internet too much, watch too much TV and am afraid that if I go out a stranger will try something nasty and I may have to blow his shit away in justified self defense (did it once don't want to have to do it again because I don't need the headaches, possible legal fees or nightmares). Too bad we don't treat criminals, especially violent ones who have harmed innocents, with the respect they deserve - execution upon conviction - and that would mean execution without delay.

As for me, I guess I should just load for bear (just to be on the safe side) and start taking walks around town again.

A hat tip to Patrick J for having that pic up on Facebook.

All the best,

Saturday, June 28, 2014

If I Saw and Heard Them Coming...

...I would surrender myself immediately for intense interrogation at their hands. It's not necessarily the uniforms, the fact they are all in mini-skits, or the fact that they are all Chinese and pretty friggin hot but when you combine them all let me just say: Give me five from column A, six from column B, seven from column 8 and for good measure throw in ten from Column D!

A hat tip to Rich M for that one.

All the best,
Glenn B

Gun Tattoos and Really Bad Locations For Them

Recently there was a guy confronted by the police, in part, because he had a tattoo of a handgun on his abdomen near his waistline. When he was not wearing a shirt it looked like he had a gun tucked in his pants. Okay, I can see someone getting a tattoo like that - after all, it is his body. Then again, I could see him having a lot of run ins with the police if he insists on walking around shirtless because people sometimes are going to call that in to 911 believing it is a real gun especially if he scratches his belly or acts like a jerk and starts playing around like he is about to do a quick draw. 

Can you understand how this guy might get shot if doing this in a public place.

Is it okay to get a tattoo like that? Sure, I don't see why not even though I do not understand the desire to get one like it. Just be prepared for the consequences in today's world is all I am saying because the reality is that there likely will be consequences over your lifetime.

While getting a tattoo like the one just described might not be among the best of ideas, nor among the worst, I can think of a gun tattoo in a another particular place and that place is about the most moronic place to ink with a gun image for both the person getting it and the person scribing the ink (think liability for the tattoo artist). With the number of cops out there all carrying firearms, the itchy trigger fingers some of them (the great minority) have, the amount of nuts running around out there both with and without guns, the fear of many of the citizenry of armed individuals whether justified or not, why on earth would you tempt fate by getting realistically sized and fairly real looking tattoo of a gun on your hand???

Think about it, you decide to get a black ink tattoo of a fairly life sized pistol or revolver on the palm side or even the backside of your hand. What could be wrong with that? Most handguns are finished with bluing. Bluing is a controlled corrosion process that make a firearm appear very dark in color, almost black. A tattoo in black ink thus would resemble the real thing in coloration. I have already pointed out it does so in size. Add to that that some folks get very realistic looking depictions of firearms tattooed onto their hand(s) and we have a formula for disaster brewing. Then again even if you get one in pink ink it may look real because pink guns are all the rage today. By the way, it doesn't matter if it is a fantasy gun along the lines of Steam-Punk, or a futuristic one like one from Blade Runner, or an antique looking one - it just has to look like a gun to be a potential for disaster and it does not matter if you are a man or woman who has the tattoo. You are asking for trouble by having a tattoo of a real enough looking gun on your hand. Real enough for what - real enough to make someone else reasonably (under whatever circumstances) think you have a gun in your hand.

Now, consider that the tattoo aficionado, the one with the gun tattooed on her palm is a  mommy just arriving at her kid's school anticipating picking up junior when school lets out. Unbeknown to her, shots were just fired in the school by a crazed armed student. The police were already called. They are arriving just at about the same moment our inked mom gets there. The school is going into lock down mode. As the police arrive and start to order people to do this and that chaos breaks out among the parents when they begin to realize what must be happening. As the police proceed to secure the area and look for the shooter another parent sees our inked mom' palm tattoo, the one that  looks like a real enough gun. That other parent calls out, in a panicky voice, to a nearby officer: "That woman has a gun" and points at our tattooed moma. The gal with the artwork spins around to look for the armed crazy. The officer looks, sees what appears to be a gun in her hand and orders her to drop the gun as he draws his own weapon. The mom does not drop the gun, she cannot drop the gun; so she says something about it not being real or being a tattoo and she pushes her hands out - wide open - to show the officer it is not a real gun. What do you think the officer does. Does he hesitate and take a closer look, does he just stand there telling the gal "POLICE - DON'T MOVE" or does he repeat himself and say "DROP THE GUN" or does he say okay and walk away? Oh, I almost forgot the other option - does he shoot the armed assailant. He may well fire his weapon in what he would believe is self defense and he, in all likelihood, would be justified 100 percent!

Don't think that scenario is likely - okay school shootings actually are not as common as the media would like to portray so lets say you are in your bank and a robbery takes place. You are not happy about what is happening but you don't want to get shot and put your hands up to show you are not offering any resistance. One of the robbers sees the pistol tattoo on your hand and shows absolutely no compunction in shooting you thinking you are a wanna-be armed hero and you wind up dead. Or what about you being stopped by a police officer for questioning after another officer was just shot. He is looking for a male suspect with brown hair, in his twenties, wearing a blue jacket and blue jeans and that fits your description. You were walking with your hands in your pockets and he tells you to slowly remove them from your pockets. You come out with this in your hand:

The cop is excited, all fired up, it is kind of dark, but in what light there is he sees a gun coming out in your hand. He screams "GUN" and "don't move" but you move your hands just a little and he and his partner, who is off to one side and also sees the gun, shoot you down like you were an armed cop killer about to try to kill another one or two. Who could blame them!

The situation, in which you find yourself, could be anything where a gun in the hand could spell trouble for you. Remember - a tattoo of a gun is a gun that you cannot drop and one that can easily appear to be life threatening. I completely understand and agree with they who carry guns for self defense, I do it myself. I also understand and accept many of the reasons that people get inked but why someone would want a real enough inked gun on their hand is beyond the realm of my understanding. Not that I have to understand mind you. As I say: Is it okay to have a gun tattoo on your hand - sure it is if you're willing to accept the consequences of it. Yet, I still cannot fathom why you would want to chance being killed over a tattoo and I think you would be crazy to get one like it but it's your decision - not mine.

All the best,
Glenn B


Friday, June 27, 2014

Shame On You For Jumping To The Wrong Conclusion

The people who misunderstood me on this - FFUUAACC- and then took punitive action against me for using that on their site know who they are and should be ashamed of themselves. Thinking it meant anything otherwise than something righteous and decent was rather prejudicial of you. It stood for: Freedom Fighters Unanimously Urge Action Against Cuomo's Corruption and yes that was a play on your sites brainchild - FUAC, but it was a play of that term that was in better taste than the original.

If you look down below you will see it in my earlier blog post about AIM Surplus, posted quite the while before you saw it elsewhere and got your panties in a wad. And yes I said it doubly, where you saw it, because I believe in it strongly.

I Arrested Plenty Of Aliens... my 32 plus years in federal law enforcement, most from Mexico but also many others from many places around the world like: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Columbia, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Canada, Germany, England, Greece, Thailand, China, Vietnam and from other exotic places. None of the places they were from were quite as exotic as the place that Calquan Dion Burr reportedly said he was from. When he was arrested by Sheriff’s from Muskegon County, Michigan for assault and destruction of police property (after he allegedly threw himself on top of a police car) he told the police he was from a far away place and that place may be a bit more exotic than the typical address for a guy arrested by earthly police. Zoltron, the place he reportedly claimed to be from, is supposedly another planet. I have arrested some far out dudes but never one from as far out as this guy claims to be. More here. If they have landed, all I can say is that I am happy to be retired.

That is all,

Aim Surplus Ammo Alert

Aim Surplus is currently offering Prvi Partizan 45ACP, 230 grain, FMJ, ammo, for $15.95 per box. For my fellow New Yorkers, they will ship to either an FFL or registered ammo dealer in NY State. A free service of FFUUAACC (Freedom Fighters Unanimously Urge Action Against Cuomo's Corruption).

All the best,
Glenn B

Rediscovered Ammo

Back in May 2011, I found a few things in my basement that I had forgotten I had stashed away. One was an ammo/knife collectors pack from Remington (sold that since then), another was a bottle Knappogue Castle single malt Irish whiskey (drank that since then), another was a neat machete (cleaned it and stashed away again since then) and another was a Remington collectors tin containing 400 rounds of Remington 22LR ammo and a deck of Remington playing cards (stashed that away and forgot all about it). Well, today I rediscovered that collectors tin with the ammo. I'll have to add that to my ammo inventory which puts me at about 8K of 22LR. Being that I have often shot as much as 500 rounds of that caliber in a day, and probably as much as 1K rounds in a day at least a few times, it is not all that much to have on hand. Wish I had more but it is about as rare as turtles' teeth at a decent price lately. Being it is hard to come by for a reasonable price, I am more than happy to have rediscovered those 400 rounds. I wonder if there is any more of it hiding around  here.

All the best,

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Bear Facts

One of the biggest and saddest fallacies about bears is that they will leave you alone unless they see you as a threat. With summer upon us, and many people spending time in bear country (which includes at least 30 states in the lower 48 and also Alaska) I have to point out that said belief is one of the most terribly wrong myths concerning bears. That myth is repeatedly and foolishly spread by wildlife officials, biologists and so called bear experts along with extremist animal rights types. In fact some loonies go one or three steps worse and say or imply that bears are friendly if we treat them with respect. One guy, who was as I understand,one of those last types, who spent what probably amounted overall to years with bears in the wild, was killed and eaten by a bear along with his girlfriend earlier in the last decade.

The truth is that bears do hunt people and do eat them. In fact, it is believed that when black bears (yes the very same bear with the widest distribution of all bears in North America) kill people it is almost always due to predation. I zero in on black bears for the moment because many folks wrongly believe black bears never prey on humans and only attack if defending cubs or injured/ill, while it is closer to common knowledge that brown (aka: grizzly bears) attack and sometimes prey on people as do polar bears. Sadly though, many people still have that Bambi-ized feeling for bears and think them harmless if we do not provoke them. Thus, too many people have learned, the hard way, that bears including black bears prey on humans. Some of those folks did not get the chance to pass on that information to others because they learned it way too late.

If you are in bear country and are approached by a lone bear, that does not back off when you let it know you are there, then does not back off if you make a lot of noise and make yourself look bigger and aggressive but instead keeps coming slowly and determined - you are very likely a prey item as seen by that bear. hile bears do not often prey on humans, it does happen. I have had several encounters with black bears in the wild. Luckily they left me alone each time, went out of their way to avoid me. Yet, I did have to scare one of them off that obviously was none too afraid of me. That one, a big male, about 25 to 30 feet from me, was salivating then clicking its teeth as it stared at me. A shot in the air with a Remington 870 scared it off; the next shot if needed would have been right at it. Another time, I tracked a black bear that was apparently tracking another hunter in the woods on my uncle's farm. Whether or not it was talking him as prey or just finding it easier to walk in the snow by walking in that hunter's track, I will never know and thank goodness for that.

Bears, especially males but also females will hunt people and that includes brown bears (aka: grizzlies), polar bears and even black bears. In the case of black bears, probably brown bears too, it is more likely you will be seen as prey by a male than a female but females will prey on humans too, sometimes even when accompanied by cubs. There are several documented cases and more suspected cases of where bears considered humans as prey. The following is a list of some documented bear attacks on people - defensive, territorial and predatory:

Savvy wildlife experts have warned about predation of humans by black bears for decades, maybe even centuries, but the tree huggers and Bambi lovers have almost always silenced them with their tall tales of how nice are the bears and how evil, stupid and ignorant was anyone who stated that bears prey on humans. Mind you, if a hunter is attacked, those same airheads often gleefully say the hunters got what they deserved. With the decades of the animal rights types insisting that bears do not attack unprovoked, and head-cases like the so called Grizzly-Man trying to convince us that bears were, in my understanding of him and what he preached, our benign wild buddies - the public did not know what to believe about the reality of bear encounters. Even some scientists seemed to believe all the hype. Well, Science finally caught up with reality a few years back:

If the following story is true there are lessons to be learned from it. First and foremost that bears will attack you when unprovoked but also that female bears will attack other than to protect cubs such as to prey upon you, that females even with cubs in tow will attack people as prey, that bears sometimes see humans as prey, that they will eat you if you do not successfully defend yourself, and even that if you are armed you may stand a chance. The woman in this story apparently was unarmed but she had a long time to fight had she been armed and maybe could have saved her own life. Read about how long this woman lived, and was conscious and fully aware of her ordeal, while being attacked and eaten alive (a warning to the squeamish, the story told is pretty gruesome):

Here is an another example, of a brown bear predatory attack:

A bear encounter is nothing to trivialize and they sometimes do look at you like their next dinner and as nothing else - not a threat to them or their cubs, not a provocateur, not a toy, not a pest or other annoyance - just as something to eat - even when other food is readily available. A really interesting but only partial article clearly points all of that out:

So what is my point in bring all of this out. Well, I say it in the hope of keeping you safer when you are in an area that is also occupied by bears. My advice would be to arm yourself with legal arms while in bear country: Carry bear spray. Carry a rifle or handgun in one of the larger calibers. The minimum I would recommend would be 44 magnum with at least a 4" barrel. Yet, if you only have a 9mm peashooter, it may be better than nothing. Also carry a knife, I think a fixed blade type carried on a sheath on your belt best but I certainly am not a knife expert. Something with a blade of at least 5 to 6 inches long possibly could help you fight off a bear in a last stand situation. 

In many states, it is difficult to legally carry firearms and maybe even a knife. Anyway, a knife is only good once the bear is on you. Bear spray and or a firearm can end the threat from a bear at a distance. So, if you cannot legally carry a gun or knife, or can legally carry a knife but not a gun, then think of carrying bear spray too. Heck carry bear spray even if you can carry those other weapons - the more weapons the safer you may be and bear spray often, but not always, should be your first line of defense during a bear attack. In many instances, it may just be more effective than even a firearm at keeping you safe from bears but not always. Bear spray is an OC Spray formulated especially for bears and it comes in pretty large cans as compared to those to fend of muggers and other two legged vermin. Always carry bear spray (if legal) in bear country - even if you are carrying other weapons like a firearm or knife.  That reminds me, I need to pick up a couple of cans of it. I used to carry a strong pepper spray, issued to me by my job, but now that I am retired no longer carry it. I want one for me and one for my son as he spends time in the Catskill mountains, known black bear habitat, with his girlfriend.

Bear (no pun intended) in mind that some experts believe bear spray to be much more effective than a firearm at keeping a bear away from you but also bear in mind that bear spray has its limitations. I am not convinced, it is always the best alternative and because I can legally do so - I arm myself with additional weapons while in bear country. I carried pepper spray for years and used it several times, and know that it will not work every time. All the talk about bear spray is well and good until a strong wind is coming right at you along with the bear or until the pepper spray canister does no function properly (and that is known to happen) or if you are not at the right distance and so on. Thus I will say it again, I would (if legal) carry both bear spray and a firearm along with a good knife, the knife as a last ditch defensive weapon. While the bear spray likely would be my first line of defense in most instances, I like redundancy in relation to me being able to protect myself and I like having options available to me to fight back if need be.

All that said, there is another method to protect yourself from bear attacks and this is just as important as carrying a weapon with which to defend yourself - maybe more important. Arm yourself with the knowledge of how to avoid a bear attack if you ever encounter a bear. Some sources of that knowledge are available on line and I am about to provide links to some of them. Before you read the advice at those links, be advised that - I do not vouch for the veracity of any of the information you may glean from them. As you will see, they differ, to some extent, in the advice they offer:

One other thing to think about concerning bears. Bears do not live only in the wilderness. Some live close to cities. In New York State, bears live within 70 miles of New York City, I know - I have seen them that close to NYC. Some even may wander to as close as 45 miles from NYC. In other urban areas, bears actually have been know to walk the streets and have attacked people within the city limits.

Luckily for the woman in the video that accompanies that linked article, she evidently survived and was able to walk away from the attack.

Sometimes you get the bear but sometimes the bear gets you - it is a fact. Try not to let it be the latter because when the bear shits in the woods (or the alley), you sure don't want it its crap to smell like pepper and be full of the bear bells you were wearing!

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's On The Near Horizon

The it would be the 7th Annual NE Bloggershoot at a super-seKrit location in the northeast. Could be northeast China, or Kamchatka, Sweden or the USA, I am not telling.

It is set to go for August 2, a Saturday so Brendan and I have plans to drive up that way (northeast by northeast) on that Friday. We are hoping to spend two nights up in that neck of he woods and Brendan's girlfriend may come along too. That would be nice, she is a shooter and I have never seen her shoot before as far as my little gray cells can recall. Don't know if she has ever shot a pistol before either but m sure she will shoot at least a few of them at the bloggershoot. It will be held where such will be legal. (I guess that rules out China and Sweden - maybe even Kamchatka.) Now I have to decide if we are going the Motel 6 route or the Holiday Inn route. I am thinking a suite at Holiday Inn if Brendan is willing to split the cost with me. If not, then I am staying at Motel 6.

Now that I have gotten about a bushel of my guns cleaned, I guess I am going to have to start thinking about which ones to bring with us. I'll have to make sure I have enough ammo for whatever I decide to bring; guess it would be good to take hat into consideration before making a definite choice of which guns to drag along. I am pretty sure though that I have ammo for every gun I own and almost enough of it too. Oh the decisions a responsible gun owner has to make just to have some fun.

One thing that I am almost certain to bring - for shooty goodness will be unmixed binary explosive components. Legal and safe to transport, it is only an explosive after the two compounds are mixed and need to be detonated by being shot with a bullet from a high powered round. I think I have about 10 pounds of it to spare somewhere around here. The question relative to that stuff is: Should we set it off in one big boom or several moderate booms. I can't wait to hear and feel the answer. Probably will have to do it in moderate booms because the range is not that long and it may pose a real threat we shooters to set off ten pounds at once at too short a distance. Then there also are the neighbors to be considered. Oh well, probably will be several small booms but should be fun that way too and it will be a lot of booms that way - maybe 20 half pounders!

I am getting myself all fired up for this event. I have been to two of them and they are great - an excellent way to spend the day, great people to hang out with, lots of guns to check out and shoot, lots of gun smoke, maybe a chance to shoot a machinegun and lots more gun smoke, a good number of booms, a good lunch together - just a fine day overall. The night before and the night after the event - we should all be getting together for dinner too. I just wish it was closer to home but then again I live in NY and can never imagine NY allowing machine guns to be shot at a private range meet-up or anywhere at all for that matter.

Almost time for me to hit the hay and if I am lucky, I will dream of the bloggershoot tonight.

All the best,

Monotonous Me,...

...I am still cleaning guns. Only got a few done this evening and that is because I took apart my Henry Survival Rifle and had a bit of a hard time putting it back together. Before that though, I had to find the hammer and two pins that went flying when I took it apart and one of the springs sprung because I was not holding it right. I did a search on hands and knees and found the parts pretty quickly. Luckily for me I did not loose the magazine latch spring like I did back in 2010 when it took me a couple of days to find it and an awfully long time to reassemble it; I am or can be The Great Procrastinator.

After finding the parts tonight, I did not hesitate to make an attempt at putting it back together once I cleaned everything up. I searched around for a video on YouTube and found a decent one on how to disassemble and reassemble the receiver.

It was pretty much a snap (yeah right) getting it back together after that or should I say as soon as I realized how much a dental pick would come in hand. Grabbed one and got the trigger spring mounted on its corresponding pin correctly and fairly easily. I could have used a third hand or a vise to help it along but got it done and when I did a function check everything (the bolt, the safety, the trigger, the hammer, mag release) all moved and clicked at the right moment and nothing went crunch. I guess it is back together right. I have to remember to watch the video first next time before trying to take it apart. The last time I took that particular gun down that far may have been in 2012 so I was a little rusty tonight.

Later 4 U,

Coming Home To A Nice Warm Pussy...

...can be a wonderful experience. Take for instance the case of  Fin The Ragdoll greeting his owner Nick when he returns from military drill (source):

Yeah, I know, had I seen that title I would have thought the same thing as most men probably thought and I too would have been a little disappointed when I saw the video. What did you expect, this is a family blog - well, sort of anyway.

All the best,

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hang Em High

I think, if this guy is proven guilty, they should hang him by his balls until the buzzards eat his carcass. Imagine giving false hope to what must be the millions of HIV infected people around the world by, in sum and substance, falsifying lab results to show that you are on the verge of creating an immunization for the HIV. What a sack of shit.

Later 4 U,

Hey Joe - Read This Advertisement

The Joe would be Joe Biden. The ad is below. The reason he should read it is to pay particular attention to what type of weapon is shown and to pay really good attention to the last two sentences. What did Joey-boy say to a woman, named Kate, who asked him how could people defend themselves if assault weapons were banned? He told Kate he had instructed his wife to use a double barrel shotgun for home defense. He then said he told his wife all she had to do was to shoot it to scare away bad guys? Joe also said he had two shotguns and no one was going to take them from him. Of course not, since he is protected by the Secret Service who not only have handguns and shotguns but fully automatic weapons, some of pretty large caliber. Get real Joe, this one pictured below is a real home defense weapon meant for the regular person - not for the elitist politician who already has armed guards 24/7/365. It was not meant to be shot in the air to scare anyone either, it had another use. It was meant to be used to stop the threat by shooting the person(s) posing the threat.

Hey Joe, pay attention to the last two lines.
Click the pic to enlarge.
Oh those Rhodesians - they may not have been politically correct, may have had a partially screwed up idealogy, but they sure were practical when it came to self defense and what to use to achieve it.

All the best,

Living In The Past?

It was primary day for both the Demoncrats and Rebooblikans. I went to vote in the Rebooblikan primary being I was a registered Republican. Note, I said was, they did not have me in the book. They called the county, the lady there told me I used to be a Republican but changed to an independent back in January 2013. Back then my brain was still fried from chemo. So either I forgot or am just Living In The Past.

Later for all of you, my son just asked me to come outside with a few cold ones to supply join him and his buddy who are outside throwing back a few. Now to decide, Mango-Ritas or McKenzies seasonal cider (out of season - but I have two six-packs). At least I have that to look forward to.

All the best,


Another Boring Blog Post

Yeah, I know, it's getting repetitive but I am going to tell you anyway. I am cleaning guns again, more of them. May get done today or maybe tomorrow. At least I am enjoying myself - it sure beats working.

Just got done with my Marlin 336CS. I once made a video, an overly long video with too much BS, but a good video nonetheless on how to take out the bolt for cleaning. I also made another about reassembly, also overly long, but  think a good one. Shame on me for not including something about how to take off and then replace the mag tube but I figured it out today after several moments of fumbling and cursing while trying to get it back together. I did get it back together though and I was quite happy with the result as a function check showed me that I did it right! It's always a good idea to perform a function check, making sure the gun is not loaded, after you reassemble a firearm.

Later 4 U,

Monday, June 23, 2014

I Get To Enjoy Myself Again Tomorrow...

...and maybe Wednesday too, all because I did not even come close to cleaning all of my guns today. I will admit to an even dozen so far, one last night and 11 today, but after today I am not giving out any more numbers. Oh the joy I feel, not necessarily because I am cleaning guns even though I do enjoy it but rather when I reassemble them and realize they went back together right! That is a good feeling indeed.

All the best,

One Of The Greatest Movie Scenes Ever...

...and one of the classic evil characters of all time:

I could wind up that way, not evil but melting, that is if all the gun cleaning solvent I have been using today starts having a weird effect. Now back to gun cleaning and frequent hand washing since I am not wearing gloves and I don't want to wind up melting away.

All the best,


Gun Cleaning - Still Enjoyable After All These Years

For some reason, I have always enjoyed cleaning guns. At first I think it had to do with pride of ownership and pride over knowing I responsibly and properly maintained them. I guess it also had something to do with Hoppe's #9 gun cleaning solvent, the aroma of that stuff is truly invigorating and I know only a few gun owners who do not like how it smells. Nowadays I use Gunzilla although I have a good stock of Hoppe's #9 on hand for when I run out of the Gunzilla. I have got to admit, Gunzilla is not to bad in the aroma department either.

This morning, I've been puttering between cleaning guns and messing around on my laptop. So far, I've cleaned four rifles and I have plenty more to go before the whole job is done.  The whole job consists of cleaning all of my firearms - pistols, revolver, rifles and shotguns. It's not a Herculean task but there are a good number of them to clean. No, I am not telling how many but will say it should take me several hours to field strip them, clean & lubricate the metal parts and also clean the wood on those that have wood stock or grips. Heck, I may run into tomorrow if I spend too much time online but since every day is a another Saturday in Paradise (retired life) all is good in the man-cave and I have time to spare as long as I get the job done within a day or three.

This cleaning fits in with it being early summer. The days are long, warmer and more humid and days like that invite rust, mold, mildew and other nastiness to stealthily creep up on and overcome guns that have been sitting around unused in the ammo locker or safe for any amount of time. It used to be that I would clean my guns after using them and that was about it. Maybe once or twice per year, I also would give some of them a rubdown with solvent and then with oil but to my dismay I found out that was not enough. At least that was the case once I had moved back to NY from the Imperial Valley, CA where it pretty much was bone dry most of the year; NY has much more humidity. I once opened my gun locker, several years ago now, to see a sight I never want to see again. Many of my rifle stocks were at least partially covered by mold or mildew (what the heck is the difference anyway). You know, that fuzzy looking coating that builds up on organic things when they are subject to too much dampness over time. I cleaned it off pronto but it took several cleanings over time for at least one of the rifle stocks not to appear stained from it; the others looked fine as soon as I wiped it off and then used some Orange Glo to clean/polish them up some. (I find Orange Glo to be great for cleaning and preserving wood stocks, but it sure makes them slippery. I speak from experience when I say be careful you don't drop a rifle on your toes when you pick it up right after cleaning the stock with that product.) So now, I clean all of them, whether they have been fired or not since the last cleaning. do that pretty regularly as part of a quarterly maintenance schedule. I also clean them after firing them.

Yep, that means I clean them, just about no matter what, at least four times per year - each and every one of them and I do that regardless of whether or not they look like they need to be cleaned. If nothing else, it keeps them in good shape should I ever decide to sell them. Of course, it also keeps them ready to go should I decide to go shooting. Mind you, I am not perfect, sometimes I miss a scheduled cleaning or two during any given year. That is usually because I forget all about it or maybe skip a cleaning because I am The Great Procrastinator and, before I know it, it is time for the next scheduled cleaning. I also have been accused (by my wife among my accusers) of being lazy but that almost certainly never comes into play when it comes to my guns (fingers crossed as I type). With that in mind, let me say that the two most important times of the year to perform a scheduled cleaning and otherwise maintain your firearms (in my neck of the woods) are at the start of summer (because of increased warmth and humidity) and in the fall before hunting season (in other words right after all that higher humidity of the summer). That is, as I said above whether or not they have been fired. Still though, it is best to maintain them at least four times per year. Guns that have been fired or otherwise subjected to fouling, dirt, dampness to even getting wet, such as a hunting gun taken afield on a lousy rainy day (although, how could a day hunting be a lousy day) may need cleaning right after use to prevent rust. They get what amounts to an essentially unscheduled cleaning almost immediately after use.

Okay, I guess that more than covers it and before any mold, mildew or rust start to cover my guns, it's time for me to get back to work at giving them a good inspection, cleaning and lubrication. I could keep writing forever, you see I am not lazy as my wife claims - just preoccupied with things other than I should be doing.

Later 4 U,
Glenn B

Sunday, June 22, 2014

As A Kid Did Ever Do Sneak In Where You Did Not Belong?

I know I did. We used to sneak onto LIRR property to take a short cut to the local park or just to hangout in the woods. Got our butts kicked by the LIRR Police a few times - nothing serious but enough to make us respect the officers and the dangers of hopping freight trains. Snuck into some old buildings too. Recently, a 12 year old snuck into an abandoned house, on a dare from his friends, and found something that probably will assure he doesn't do it again any time soon and it didn't require any butt kicking. Check out the video at this address:

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, June 21, 2014

At Least 86,000 Arsehats All On Facebook

I have what I believe is definitive (or at least apparent to me) proof that there are a minimum of 86,000 totally idiotic arsehats who use


What is wrong with people today? I just don't get how they can be so enamored by something and someone of that alleged caliber.

All the best,
Glenn B

Mystery Mail

Today, I got an envelope in the mail with no return address but opened it anyway; I hope it was not impregnated with ricin. The envelope contained an article, from the Financial News,  "Retirement Secrets of How To Avoid Being Forced To Work FOREVER Because Of The Economic Meltdown". There was a yellow Post-It note attached, signed with only what looked like the letter J. I have no clue who sent it to me but to that person go my thanks.

I will read it tonight or tomorrow. As far as work goes, I sure could use a job right now. I put in for another 5 of them today, probably 15 to 20 of them this week. I need the cash and I could use something to keep me a bit busy where I am not spending but earning.

All the best,

Friday, June 20, 2014

The How Well Do You Know America Quiz

I took this quiz after seeing a friend of mine posted a link to it on Facebook. It is not difficult but I expected to maybe get one of them wrong because I could not recall with certainty the correct year relative to one particular question; I guessed right though. I scored 15 right out of 15 questions. So how good is your knowledge of the US of A (probably much better than needed to ace this test, at least if you are 40 or older)! Take the test via this link:

A hat tip to Doreen M-D.

All the best,
Glenn B

Eagle Claw Minnow Trap - More Like A Sucker Trap

I bought myself an Eagle Claw Minnow Trap yesterday. Before I tell you about it, I guess I should start at the beginning and tell you why I bought it especially since I already own two other two minnow traps. When I was getting ready on Wednesday morning
to head up to Geneva, NY later that day, to pick up some guns I had the high bid on at an auction there last weekend, I went out to the shed and grabbed both of my minnow traps. I figured I would get in some fishing while I was upstate. Nope, not for trout, or bass or catfish - just for minnows. My water turtles love them. I made sure that each had some line and the clamp that keeps them closed that attaches to the line. Then I went and got my minnow bucket and two battery powered air pumps and some extra batteries for them from my basement. I was set to catch me some minnow.

After I picked up my guns in Geneva, I headed down to Windsor, about 20 miles south east of Binghamton. My uncle used to own a farm there and I spent enough time there to be familiar with the area and with the hot-spots for minnows. When I finally got to the first spot I wanted to try, at about 3PM, I opened the trunk of my car to retrieve the traps. Was I ever bummed out, they were not there. The minnow bucket and air pumps were there but no minnow traps; I guess I forgot to take them along (I need to check around the house cause I have not seen them since before getting home). I thought for a moment of going into Binghamton but figured that Deposit NY and the sports shop there was closer. I went there only to hear the word "nope" when I asked the proprietor if he sold minnow traps. Then I headed toward Binghamton and remembered a garage sale I had passed on a side road earlier in the day. I turned off the highway and headed there. When I asked the lady of the house if she had a minnow trap for sale she said maybe over there and pointed to the inner portion of an old metal minnow bucket - definitely not a minnow trap. She said to ask the man of the house if he had one and he told me he threw one in the lake the day before. I don't know if he was kidding, had just thrown it away or was trying to catch minnows for bait. I excused myself and was outta there headed for Dick's Sporting Good in Binghamton.

When I got to Dick's, I wasted no time. By my estimation, by the time I would be back at the minnow hot-spot it would be about 4:30. That would leave me enough time to hit 3 or 4 spots and also to get in a short hike. I grabbed an Eagle Claw minnow trap, paid for it and was off to catch little fish. When I got to the stream, and started to set up, I noticed that the trap did not close properly.  The opens ends that were supposed to come together to close the trap at its middle were not melding properly. I bent this and that and got it to fit somewhat better but did not want to bend too much and break anything. This minnow trap is not made like my old ones wherein the mesh wire of the trap fits neatly into a rim that is bent over the mesh. There were just steel rings there and the mesh was apparently welded to the rings. I also noticed that the tensioned clamp that keeps the two halves closed and connected was very weak in the tension department. Oh well, made in China - what would you expect - certainly not the quality of stuff made in the USA in the 50s or 60s. After getting the two halves together, I put a 25 foot line on the clamp so I could cast it out a decent distance and then retrieve it. Anyway, I finally got it set up and tossed...whoops what was that?

On my first attempt at tossing it maybe 10 to 15 feet away into a deep spot in the stream on the down stream side of a culvert, I saw something fly behind me. It was half of the trap and luckily it landed on the rocks at stream side. I got it, put it back together, and paid extra attention to the clamp assuring it was on right. I tossed the trap out and left it in the deep spot, then I went looking for crayfish under stones downstream. I did not find even a single crawdad and that is unusual in and of itself, BUT I did trap at least 18 or so minnows, in the minnow trap, while I was doing that.

I put them in the minnow bucket with stream water and turned on the aerator to keep them alive. I tried again but caught only one other minnow - the others having spooked. I moved on to spot two. Once there I tried another deep spot. Nothing ,not one after 10 or 15 minutes but I left the trap  sitting there with hope of catching something. (And yes there was bait in it, I did not forget to bait it, just to mention it sooner.) I walked up stream on the other side of the road under which the stream passed through a culvert. In the shallow water on the other side of the road, I found a school of about 75 or more minnows. I went to the deep spot to grab the trap and while headed that way, I gave one swift sweep with a net  I had with me. I scooped up a couple.

Well, I got the minnow trap out of the deeper water on the other side of the road and was about to head back to that school of minnows when I had the thought to give it 5 or 10 more minutes to let them calm down and re-school since they had been spooked when I netted that couple of them. What to do while waiting, I put new bait into the trap and tossed it out into the deep spot again. That deep spot has got to be about 7 or 8 feet deep. It should have been filled with minnows but all I could see in it after I tossed my trap was two silvery looking buckets of metal about 4 or 5 feet apart. The trap came apart in mid toss and the piece that was not attached to the clamp and line sank to the deepest point, the other half I pulled out still attached to the line.

The half that sank in the deep spot, it just came right off of that weak clamp when I tossed it out there. I was pissed on and off. Had I been of another mind, I might have stripped and dove right in. The water was cold but not that bad. I just was not in the mood and decided to leave; with my luck I a cop would have passed by and arrested me for indecent exposure or something. As for the half of the trap, I will try to retrieve it next time I am up that way if it has not been washed away. If it does wash away, I'll take a hike along the stream to find it. The stream is not more than ankle to knee high for most o the length though the state forest where I was trapping minnows. Now I have an excuse to go back soon. After that, I just left, I did not even go on my hike. I was simply not in the mood.

Now to that minnow trap - need I say much more about it! In my estimation it was an absolute piece of junk and a waste of about $11.00. I have never had one fall apart like that in mid-toss that I can recall. My other two minnow traps have been around for a combined total of at least 30 to 35 years, one of them at least 20 years old. I took a few more looks at the clamp that was supposed to hold the new trap halves together; it really is junk in my opinion, not like what they used to make. I think the clamp was not of the proper length to close securely nor was it strong enough to stay closed when I tossed the trap into the water or otherwise jostled it. As I said earlier, the two halves did not even fit together properly, there had to be at least a half inch gap between them for at least a few inches around their circumferences luckily I was able to squeeze that down to a bit smaller, otherwise I may have caught nothing except the two with my net.

While I cannot take a photo of mine to show you that gap, just look to the right at the photo that Eagle Claw has on their website because it shows it plainly (fair use to educate the potential minnow trap buyer).  Folks, next time I am in the market for one, if I cannot find a new minnow trap built like my old ones, I will look for used ones at garage sales. That should be enough said right there except to add that next time I will try really hard not to forget the old ones I already own.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The New Pistols Have Arrived...

...home with me. I drove up to the Geneva, NY area yesterday. Spent the night at Holiday Inn in Canandaigua, then headed to the Hessney Auction house this morning. When I arrived, almost everyone who works there was busy getting ready for their classic car auction of this coming weekend. One nice lady, a shame I did not get her name, was  inside handling those of us who had the high bids on handguns in last Saturday's auction and who had come in to pick them up and deliver the required paperwork. That was quick and painless, in fact delightful as the lady behind the counter was charming.

The rest of my day consisted of driving through the countryside, making a few stops here and there, catching some minnows to bring home as food for my turtles and the drive home. I am hoping that I will have the guns at the range before the weekend is over but first will have to get them on my pistol license. I am hoping to get that done tomorrow.

All the best,

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Remember Hillary's Concussion...

..well there reportedly was a little heard of conversation between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama shortly after she was supposedly injured.

A hat tip to Jim McK for this one.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Always Have A Good Story Ready...

...because you never know when you may need one and your life may depend on it. The guy in this video could be the best story teller of all time or it could all be the truth. Who knows, certainly not the other guy in the video.

Thanks and a hat tip to Rich M for this one. Great stuff had me laughing my arse off.

All the best,

The Gun Auction

The Hessney Gun Auction that I was at on Saturday, in Geneva, NY, was fairly good but there were only a few great bargains, in my estimation, to be had. I did not get any of those great bargains even though I did have the high bids on a couple of handguns.

Smith & Wesson Model 22A-1, has two mags, new in box.
When I figured it out, I took a hosing on one of them - a Smith & Wesson Model 22A1 and that most definitely because of my own stupidity. I read my own notes wrong and bid too much on it and realized it as soon as I raised my hand that I had read the bid I was willing to offer for the next item on my list. But the bid was in and no one else was bidding higher and there was no retracting it.  Well, I suppose I could have retracted it but sure did not want to be thought of as a total arse-hat by the owner like some folks who had high bids on other guns and then said they had not bid at all on. So, I gritted my teeth and carried on.
With my bid, the 10% auction premium, and with either my expense to either return to Geneva to pick it up or the expense to ship it to a local FFL - I will have wound up spending a bit more than the price at which I could have bought one locally. Can you say brain fart! My local county requires a purchase document from the county be obtained so the transfer can be made and the new gun added to my license. used to be they gave an open purchase document, you went, you bought, you filled out the form and returned to PD with it. Now they only give the form out after you make a handgun purchase so I have to go to my county PD, pick up a couple of purchase documents, fill them out, then get that to the dealer, have the dealer sign off on them, before the gun is actually transferred to me. I will have paid about $25 to $50 more than I should have for a new one in  local gun shop. Oh well, sometimes those brain farts can be expensive. As for the other one, a Taurus Model PT-145 Millennium Pro, with all costs considered as above, I probably got it at about $50-$75 less than I would have had to pay at a local gun store. 
With this PT-145 Millennium Pro, I now
have two pistols in the .45 ACP caliber.
Since I bid on both of these with having fun with them in mind, I am not too worried about paying too much for the one since it was balanced out by the other one. If I was thinking of selling them to support my gun collecting, that would be another story and I would be kicking myself in the butt for losing any chance at making a small profit. Still though, I am  none to happy that I screwed up on the bid on the S&W. I can say, almost without a doubt, that when I go to their future auctions, I probably will no longer be bidding on handguns since it is going to be way to much of an expensive pain in the arse for me to carry out the whole new purchase order process to get them put on my license. Rifles and shotguns are another story and do not require licensing (yet) and thus do not require a purchase document. I guess I will just set my sights on them at the next auction I attend.
The one rifle that was supposed to follow me home but didn't.
I did bid on one rifle for which I had the high bid but alas it did not follow me home. That was a new, in the box, Rock Island Armory (trade name for Armscor in the USA) M20P in .22LR. I realized after winning he bid that it had a 15 round magazine. That is a no-no in NY since the NY unSAFE Act went into effect. I may still get it, that is if I decide to travel back up there to pick up my pistols instead of having them shipped but only if I find out that an Armscor 10 round, 22LR, magazine will fit that rifle and that said mag is the same as the one used for their model 14Y (because I have extras). Of course, only if they still have it but since no other gun auctions are scheduled before I would get back that way, I imagine they will still have it. I bid $130 on it but would offer them $110 or $120 to take it since I cannot take the 15 round mag for it. I have to mention, they took it off the list of items for which I had the high bid and did that without hesitation once I told them it had a 15 round mag (as an FFL they can have it legally but not me as a citizen gun owner).

As for the guns and other items (like ammo) on which I was outbid, let me just say that most of the times I was outbid it was either one of two guys who outbid me. Those guys were racking up the high bids and that means one of two things about either one of them. Either each was a collector or a dealer and both had plenty of bucks or  big credit line. Sure, some other people outbid me on some items, but these two guys (one of them far more than the other) outbid me on most of the items on which I was bidding. Come to think of it there could be a third possible (but improbable) explanation as to what one or the other was, or both of them were, besides dealers or collectors - they could have been shills for the auction house. I am not accusing, not for a moment, I say that only hypothetically as within the realm of possibility. Just for the record, I trust this auction house and I do not believe there was anything shady going on with the bidding a all.

Anyway,  missed out on some really nice firearms and a good deal of ammo. As for the ammo, bricks of 22LR (some very old, some new - it did not matter) were going for bids as high as $120 per 500 rounds of Remington Thunderbolt and as lows as $45 for a box of 525 rounds of bulk packed Federal ammo. That was the least expensive 22 ammo to be had here, $45 for 525 rounds, working out to 8.6 cents per round. I will admit to picking up those two sealed boxes of older Federal bulk pack ammo  at that price. I was bidding $40 not $45 but someone else who bid at the same time as me got in his bid at $40 and mine seen secondly was the $45 bid; bidding was fast and furious especially on 22LR ammo. While it was no great bargain, it was about a little below the low average  price on 22LR ammo lately. I just checked and found out that the lowest price available, on 22LR, as I typed this post was 9 cents per round for 1980s production 22LR ammo loose in an ammo can; that was at J&G. My stuff is from the auction was made in the mid 1990s and is almost 21 years old but has to be in better shape than the stuff at J&G and better than some older stuff I already have in the ammo locker. Since it is copper plated, it will function better than the lead bullets of the older 
ammo I already had in storage. I plan to shoot it up soon, not to save it and if it goes bang, I'll be happy with it even at that price considering the prices nowadays. I already have fresher ammo, purchased within the last year or two that is going the long term storage route. I guess maybe I should sell the even older stuff I have on hand to offset the cost of the ammo I got at the auction. Other ammo on which I bid was just out of this world as to the high bids. Two boxes of Remington Core-lokt .35 Remington went for $30 per box if I remember right. Twenty round boxes of .308 Win. were selling for $30 to $35 per box even though newly manufactured ammo in the same caliber and same general type (soft point) is selling at prices as lows as $20 per box (at least both at Walmart and Gander Mountain in Middletown, NY as of today - Gander tn had 150 grain, SP, Remington Core-Lokt in .308). Maybe the craziest price on ammo, after 22LR, was for .22WMR. Two boxes of older CCI Maxi Mag went for $32.00 per box of 50 rounds! (I can attest with certainty that Walmart (in Middletown, NY) had CCI Maxi Mag today at under $15 per box. I know because I bought four boxes of it.) I may be nuts the way I sometimes bid or buy but praise the gods that I am not that bonkers as to pay $32 per box of 22WMR rounds. The biggest bargain on ammo had to have been a box .38 Special wad-cutters that went for $5.00.

Of course, this was primarily a gun and rod (as in fishing rods, reels and tackle) with the primary focus on guns, so I guess I should zero in on them for a bit. I pre-selected about 60 firearms on which to bid out of the few hundred (282 more or less) that were up for auction and previewed them on Friday night and on Saturday morning before bidding on them commenced. Many of them were brand new, in the box, having come from a gun store that went out of business for whatever reason. Others, that were used, ranged in condition from irreparable parts guns or wall-hangers to almost pristine high end classics. The second gun up was the first on which I was willing to bid. It was a Remington Model 798 in .458 Rem., and was being sold as new. It looked brand new too. I bid up to $450 and stopped there. It sold for $725.

Winchester Model 70 Heavy Varmint, lot 4.

Another that I bid on soon after was a Winchester Model 70 Heavy Varmint, heavy s/s barrel, in .223 caliber. What a nice gun, in almost pristine condition save for one minor mar on the stock's finish that was almost not noticeable. The high bidder's $600 bid outbid me by $150. Now that I am thinking of it, I wish I had been ready to put a bit more into some of the rifles instead of into pistols. What I would have saved without having to pay the transfer fees and shipping for the pistols could have been added to bids on a rifle and maybe could have had me being the high bidder. I regret not having bid higher on this one. A browning BAR MKII Safari, in .270 Win went for way above my measly bid and sold for 1K. A year or two ago, I may have been the high bidder on that one but not this year as I had a lot less cash on had this year compared to the last couple of times at the same auction. (Speaking of which, I will be listing some guns on within the next week, currently have some .223 Rem. ammo for sale there, auction ends tomorrow. I need to pay for my new guns somehow.)

One gun that I had planned to bid on but decided not to after seeing its condition was a Ruger Mini 14 with wood stock and standard sights. Giving it the once over, then a second and third look,  saw that the rifling was pretty much invisible, there was rust where the wood met the metal and where metal met metal, and the rear sight was loose. I guess whoever bid on it either did not notice or didn't care about those failings because it sold for $575.

Weatherby "Orion" model 12 Ga. 3" O/U, 30" vent
ribbed full/modified barrels, in excellent condition.

Another gun on which I bid was a very nice Weatherby Orion 12 gauge O/U shotgun. Once again, I was outbid but this time the bids were a bit closer to one another; my high bid was $575 and the winning bid was $625 (I call it the winning bid but I realize you do not win at an auction, you just bid more than others and then buy at the high bid - I have no illusions about being a prize winner when at an auction.)

Moving on to pistols and revolvers, an extremely nice, as new and in the case, S&W Model 29-2 revolver in .44 magnum went for only $775. I had been thinking of bidding up to about 1K on it but was hesitant because of my cash situation and would have had to put it on plastic. I am debating whether or not I should have bid more than whatever I did bid. It was that nice of a gun and worth every penny of at least 1K. I am sure I could have held onto it for a couple of years and sold it at a nice profit; heck I could have turned around today and sold it at a profit.

Then there was the Walther PPK that was listed as being in stainless steel but I beg to differ. I am almost positive it was chromed making it a bit less valuable. Anyway, I was ready to bid up to $400 on it and it sold for exactly that much. The thing was, the way the bidding worked out, I had the bid of $375, and the next and last person to bid did so at $400. It hit my limit and that was it for me bidding on it. Very nice, new gun. I also bid on a very nice (new) S&W Model 41, a 22LR target pistol. I was thinking of bidding more but only went up to about $650. The high bid was $750 and someone walked away with a truly excellent deal on that one. Another great deal was made by whoever had the high bid on the Precision Small Arms Featherweight (Baby Browning). It was a limited edition, 1 of 250, aluminum alloy frame, stainless slide, in an aluminum case with accessories - a true collectors piece or a really nice vest pocket gun for an uptown pimp or maybe a high end hooker's gun to be held in her garter belt; it was a flashy little thing. It sold for $525 and the going price on them is about $850 to 1K.

All in all there were about 282 guns up for bids. I sat through them all and then through all the ammo and through some of the fishing and miscellaneous items. I was there from about 0800 until about 1530 when it was over and I had paid for my gun and ammo purchases. Sure, I could have bought the same two guns at a local dealer for close to the same I paid for these once all things were considered. I consider my trip expenses as separate because I basically went away for a weekend to have a good time and I did have a good time at the auction. Had I gotten a few rifles and shotguns at prices after which I could have profited it would have been all the better but I am satisfied even though I only bought the two guns this time. The last two times I made out much better and made some cash off of a coupe of my purchases and helped fund my collection.

I have to say that one of the things that makes it a pleasure, (or at least worth it) to drive 6 1/2 hours each way, to pay for a hotel (thank you IHG for points) and food and gas, was the nice group of folks who work for the Hessney Auction Company. If you are looking for an auction house whose employees have excellent business manners and great customer service, the way it should be, you can find it there. Joe Hessney, the owner, is a very personable guy and one heck of an excellent auctioneer to boot. They make being at the auction a nice and memorable day. By the way, if you are interested in classic cars and Coca-Cola memorabilia (like Coke machines), those will be auctioned off this coming weekend. I did not see any of the cars but some of the coke machines and gas station related signs were excellent pieces. A great opportunity for collectors of such. My thanks to Joe and his crew for an enjoyable day.

All the best,