>Overheard Instigated In The Home Office

15 Jun

>RX (Reading aloud): “Says here the new ‘Duke Nukem’ game is a ‘a festering irrelevance…that could only endear itself to the sociopathic and mentally maladjusted.'”

Tam: “I’m there!

Me, I am not so much a gamer, having been Baskin-Robbinsed right out of it back when I was a wee tiny critter and spent most of a weekend playing “Star Trek” on some horrible primitive mainframe machine. (That was the version with the torus-shaped universe, thanks to some programmer’s glitch, not that any of us knew at the time, this being before there were graphics or even color). But even I know reviews as negative as the ones linked above constitute a kind of seal of approval for many gamers.


>And You Didn’t Even Bake It A Cake

15 Jun

>Neither did I.

Show of hands — how many of you remembered today was Flag Day? And not just any, either: It’s the sesquicentennial.


(N.B.: I have not flown the Stars and Stripes since the invasion of Iraq; I’m sure I’ll be criticized for that [Tam does] but one ambitious tinpot dictator more or less didn’t seem worth the U.S. being the aggressor then and it still doesn’t now. Am I glad he’s gone? Sure. But I’d rather his own people had strung him up from a lamp-post. As for flags, I started flying the Gadsden flag back then; these days, that symbol’s been preempted right out from under me but that’s okay.)

>Republican Debate (Not With One Another)

14 Jun

>Well, it was called a debate. More like the Miss America competition — and the media have already decided Mr. Romney (RINO governor of some East coast hellhole) is the the pretty one. (See?) The first linked article is chuckleworthy in many ways, not least when it sets R0n P4ul on the “fringe” for bringing up way-out topics “like ‘Keynesian bubble’ and ‘monetary policy.'” OMG. Yeah, what would any understanding of the causes of the ever-deepening (mustn’t call it a depression) recession do us…?

Ah, J-School Barbie, forever whining, “Math is hard. Economics is hard. History is impossible.” Staring at quick and easy histograms and playing an iPod while Western Civ. burns. But flash ’em a Weiner and they’re after it like ducks spotting a June bug!

I don’t think there was a clear winner in the GOP debate but I know who lost and it wasn’t anyone on the stage. It wasn’t any office-holder or journalist, either: it was you and me.

Just like always.

>In Memoriam

13 Jun

>It was unexpected. One of my long-term co-workers, well-liked, good at his job, passed away over the weekend. He was a friend and though it is trite to say, I will miss him and so will everyone else at work.

Schedules had been rearranged and set for weeks in advance, because he was going in for minor surgery — minor, but it would have kept him off work for well over a month. Something went wrong afterward (we’ve all signed the release. It’s not unknown but it is rare).

He leaves behind a loving family — wife, children, grandchildren — and many friends. In a high-pressure business, he brought a kind of steady levelheadedness that is in short supply, calmly dealing with the frequent emergencies and ready for whatever came next.

He was, in short, a good man. He leaves a legacy at work, not only a collection of SOPs that guide operators through all the routine crises but an attitude of dealing with people and events as they are. It is as fine a thing as anyone could hope to leave behind — and makes for very big shoes to fill.

>ECPR: Range Report Under New Management

12 Jun

>Management is new but there were familiar faces among the ROs and we were happy to see them.

Sign-in is more obvious than old system, one stops at the card table and sunshade right at the demarcation between the parking lot and the range proper to pay or present one’s pass.

Note, too that the building is open! Tactical Firearms Training was running a class; I didn’t think to ask if this meant that, maybe, range customers might have access to modern plumbing if we asked nice but I have my hopes![CLICK TO EMBIGGEN]There are new range rules and an additional clearing barrel (at left in photo). IMO, the one to the right of the entrance to the brick training building is better-located, with thick walls on each side and set to point you away from, well, people and (most) property. –And you will be using one or the other, as that rule has not changed: no loaded firearms anywhere but at the firing line. –Most of the rules are essentially the same but everyone gets a refresher, their very own copy and signs for it on their first visit of the season.

The range itself is to the left of the photo, a large, concrete block structure hidden by the classroom trailer; if you look very closely near the truck and green dumpster, you’ll see one of the entrance walls.

Inside it’s pretty nice: two huge bays of 8 lanes each; the “far” bay is generally for classes or overflow, the “near” bay for plain ol’ shooters. Targets are at the seven yard line; you can move them but I figure they should be far enough to make my mistakes show up and close enough that I can see those mistakes from the line.Tam and I set up near the entrance end. That’s her “Zombie Terrorist” target, which sparked spirited discussion among onlookers if it was more apt or less apt in light of recent SEAL pest-control actions. The consensus seemed to be “more,” with a minority holding out for adding gills and fishscales.Here are some of my toys — yes, with Nagant revolver ammo prices down to only mildly painful (“Save that brass!”), I took it along. Y’know, for those people concerned they might shoot someone, the Nagant is about perfect: odds are pretty good you won’t even if you wanted to. Still, if you can keep shots on paper with that long, hard, stack-y trigger pull, you can probably shoot adequately with any DA revolver. –I admit it, I gave up and did about half of ’em single-action, in which mode the Nagant is a soft-shooting revolver with a merely lousy trigger.

Also pictured, my overpolished-but-faithful .38SA 1911 and my Ruger Mk. II .22 with the Pac-Lite upper, both a pleasure to shoot.

It was a pleasant way to pass a morning. The Jack was shooting a few lanes down and after we’d all adjourned a couple hours later, joined us at India Palace for their lunch buffet. Delightful, as ever — and if you have wanted to try Indian food, there is no better way. (First time? Try tandoori chicken, so good The Colonel would steal the recipe if he could. Cold chickpea salad, some naan and/or rice and there you are, a lunch even the most timid palate can enjoy) .

A splendid meal in nice surroundings, especially at the $10.00 per price! –India Palace and Shalimar are owned by Dave Samra and are very much a family business; the food is remarkable, the venue spotless, the service remarkable for both speed and unobtrusiveness.

>We Ate Root Vegetables, Okay?

12 Jun

>We ate ’em and we liked ’em: Breakfast at Roseholme today consisted of what’s-in-the-fridge: a half-dozen slices of bacon, for starters, fried up and resting on a paper towel, followed by:

(Most of) a Rutabaga, in tiny cubes;

A Turnip, likewise;

Three New Potatoes, ditto.

Cook until starting to brown (sprinkle with Cajun seasoning if desired) and add

Sufficient Onion (this depends on the onion; the one I had was a mean, old one and it took less than a quarter);

One Large Carrot (diced)

One Poblano pepper (same)

Stir in, ponder, stir again and push to the sides; turn the heat up to High, grab a chopstick or wooden skewer and add

Egg. !?!?!!! Thought I had three but two were cracked and unhappy. So it goes.

Bacon is mixed back in, shredded, right before you turn off the fire. End result was better than it had any right to be; those who-buys-them root veggies fry up in flavorsome fashion. Season to taste — we’re using Tapatio hot sauce this time ’round and it works well.

Hey, You Guys: I’m Goin’ To The Range

11 Jun

Yep, off to the range! Today is the Grand Re (but first time this year) Opening of Eagle Creek Park Pistol Range.

Tempted to bring my slingshot and the blackpowder ball ammo for it.