Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why I Love Elderly Patients

There's nothing quite as endearing as a five foot, five inch man in his eighties. Especially when he sweet talks the staff with the following:

"You're a dirty fucking jew!" to Senior Female Technologist.

"I'll kick your ass!" to Large Breasted Nurse.

"I'll get both my nephews to kick all your asses!" to the same nurse, who wanted to know, "Do your nephews beat up women often?", with response of "You're not a woman, you're a half-man". Not the top half, I'm sure of that.

"Help, I'm being kidnapped!" to various people in the hallway.

"I'll sue all of you, and you won't get a damn penny from your soybeans!" to Fed Up Male Nurse on the floor.

I received some especially charming words after pinning his bony butt to the guerney after his attempt to punch Large Breasted Nurse. He was mad that she wouldn't stand still long enough for him to connect with his foot to her head. Thus, the staff received a display of rapid geriatric roping courtesy of me. And that was the high point of the day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We're #1!

As is right and proper.

Yay for us.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ugly Gun Sunday

I guess I can compliment them on actually bothering to remove the metal (most of it) before hitting it with the cans of spray paint.

Friday, August 24, 2007

It's All Fun And Games Until Someone Gets Their Head Cut Off

It's clear to me now that if you really want the liberal media to respect your beliefs, all you need to do is riot and issue death threats (also known as fatwas) over anything that offends you.

Good luck, Berkeley. You've probably just become the Salman Rushdie of the Sunday funnies:

Note to Opus readers: The Opus strips for August 26 and September 2 have been withheld from publication by a large number of client newspapers across the country, including Opus' host paper The Washington Post. The strips may be viewed in a large format on their respective dates at

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Where's My Salad Suit?

I need to motivate my ass off the couch to go up to the attic to dig out a set of BDUs for my first drill weekend in over a year. The thing is, for wearing camouflage, I'll really stand out. While BDUs are still authorized, I haven't seen anyone in the Iowa Guard wear them in over a year, as they're all in ACUs.

I'll be spending most of my time hanging out in an ambulance in case someone has an oops with their rifle or pistol. Circumstances permitting, I may weasel my way into a pistol competition slot if there's any open. Nothing says you can't pull medical support and shoot on the same day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Got the gutters down from the porch after putting up the new posts. With the gutters down, I'm stripping the fascia down to bare wood. Two layers of turd brown paint over "have a nice day" yellow, over primer. Heat guns are slow, but a lot nicer than breathing a constant cloud of atomized paint particles ejected by a belt sander.

What's a real pain in the ass is pulling on a loose piece of fascia and having come out with with an explosion of damp wood bits. And clearing that out and finding a structural 2x4 with serious rot behind the first rotten board. The porch project just got a lot longer.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Weather Gods Hate Me.......

I have a nice new batch of cast bullet .303 for my P-14 that I loaded up last night, and I was planning on chronographing them. Until the light rapidly diminished in five minutes while I was in my living room. So, while I reconsidered loading up all the gear, it started coming down so hard and fast that we suddenly had a river running in front of our house. Another shooting session shot to hell and gone.


I see Fox News is advertising that Geraldo will be doing an in-depth investigation of exorcisms in America. Really, I think it's demeaning they stick him with this kind of crap. He should be working the premiere stories, like alien bovine anal probes.

Sunday Ugly Gun Post

I'd like to see what the original owner's sense of personal fashion was like.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Thirty minutes before heading out to the range, I was paged in to work. A vena cava filter placement for someone at risk for throwing a clot. This one took longer than usual usual, as the patient is in his eighties, and has a number of other health problems that complicated the case. So I missed out on range time; on the other hand, I was able to talk to the patient about his military experience in China during '42-'43 driving supply mules for the Army until he was sent back to the States with active TB. Where he spent another year and a half recovering at a sanatorium.
I don't mind missing the range time when I can listen to stories like that.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Joys Of Summer

One of the joys of owning an older home is that it will usually have unique characteristics, unlike modern tract home developments. The downside is that as well built as many older homes were, aging and wear are still a constant. In my case, the house was built in 1895. Although it's mainly brick, there's the usual wood trim outside, and also a porch dating at least to the 1960's, although possible older in it's original form. According to one of my neighbors, the trim on my home had not been painted since he built his house in the late '60s. Which would explain why about 25% of the trim was bare weathered wood.
As The Wife and I have worked on this over the last couple of years, we've hoped to upgrade our front porch. The oldest picture we've found of our home dates to 1976, and it notes that the colors of the house were the same as when we bought it. Also present are the wrought iron rails and supports on the porch. When we notice that the weight-bearing wrought iron was starting to look like this on the bottom:

we thought it was time to replace the iron ASAP (this actually isn't the worst one by any means).
While we've tried to keep improvements to the in character with it's original design, sometimes original materials are just too difficult to work with. We'd considered wooden posts, but the amount of finish labor necessary to give an acceptable appearance was excessive. Also the nature of wood in an Iowa environment isn't desirable: expansion/contraction with temperature and humidity, cracking, wood rot, etc. We eventually settled on steel core/fiberglass exterior posts. They're paintable (I loathe the current trend to make fences, rails, etc out of white pvc), have minimal expansion/contraction, and bear 2500 lbs per post.

Other than finding out a part that had been unsupported since the porch was built was three inches lower than the rest of the porch, and the interesting snaps and pops when I leveled it up, the process went a lot faster than I'd anticipated.
Now we start stripping the remaining paint of the porch trim. I'm guessing this will take a lot longer than installing the new posts.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ugly Gun Sunday

Exactly what environment is this supposed to blend in with? Is there a country somewhere that has primarily blue vegetation? Why is there a SAW buttstock? Was he planning on using his off hand on the SAW stock recess to steady it during automatic fire while looking through the scope in the offhand?

Or has somebody been reading too many "tactical" gun magazines?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Schlocky Goodness

Off work early today to help my son register at high school in my town. Got that done, found out my kid wants to change his last name to some made-up crap. Told the ex no way in hell, kiss my ass, and went for a long ride to lower the blood pressure, then picked up a six of Foster's. Turned on the vintage movie channel, and got this combination: Vincent Price marathon and a six-pack. Couch Potato heaven.
Sometimes, you just gotta say fuck it, and drink a bunch of beer.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Boozin' It Up In The Hawkeye State

Way to go, guys. One, I can accept the state having licensing powers for bars, stores, etc to ensure that the stuff won't make you blind (with normal use). But I don't see a reason for the government to be the middleman between distillers and sellers. Two, government is not supposed to be a for-profit organization. Ideally, it should be break even proposition, with emphasis on (don't laugh too much) minimal interference in daily life and maximum efficiency in the tasks it is allowed.
This, however, serves neither. It's a gross waste of funds for an exercise in vanity for the bureaucrats in Des Moines. I could build the State of Iowa a display case for liquor like this and install it for less than $3,000, and still come out ahead. And it would still be wrong.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Rimfire Silhouette Match

The club's first silhouette match at the new range occurred this Sunday. I was disappointed that only six showed up, but I notice that new events tend to attract only a few shooter at first, with more becoming interested as word spreads. There was a considerable spread in rifles, with bolts, semis and even a lever action:

This was the first time I've shot one of these, and it was much more challenging than I expected. I wasn't aware that it's all standing unsupported, with no jackets, gloves, slings, etc. Very dependent on the shooter's fitness and the quality of the rifle's trigger. I was shooting my '30s era Winchester 52B with the scope set to 10x for most of the match. It's damn hard to steady a rifle intended for prone (lots of weight) in the unsupported standing. I won the match, with the incredibly impressive score of 11 out of 40. Out of six competitors. Yes, I'm impressed too.

Given the number of shots where the trigger broke as I was sweeping through the target so that the shot was nowhere near the target, I'm seriously in need of standing practice before the winter four-position season. Then again, a shooting jacket and glove make a world of difference. Anyway, I'm hoping the guys running the match continue doing these. It's difficult, but enjoyable and casual.

Following the match, I got a little recreational time in. First, twenty rounds of Romanian 7.9 x 57mm through a '20s vintage Brno Gewehr 1898. Basically, fun to shoot, but don't expect too much for accuracy. Some Turk went to town on the muzzle with a cleaning rod after the Czechs sold them off. Still, it's always a good time playing with a vintage rifle.

Following that, a Spanish M43 in 7.9 x 57mm. This one was shooting groups of about eight inches at a hundred yards. Yes, not great, but three factors to consider: I was shooting prone unsupported (no sling, rest, etc.), the top of the front sight (if you know Mausers, you know how wonderful that front sight is at it's even at it's best) was a nice, bright silver, as the bluing had worn off. And I didn't bring my sharpie to darken it up, so it pretty much disappeared on the target; and I got a little flinch after a pierced primer on round three dispersed a lot of smoke and gas into my glasses. I'll be doing a little file work on this one later this week.

Now, a little elbow grease to get all the nice thirty year old mercuric salts out of the barrels. The joys of surplus ammo.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Friday, August 3, 2007

Gimme That Old Time Islam!

If I'd known they had this much fun at their services, maybe I would've gone to a couple. Then again, probably not. He's most likely working himself up to a frenzy of throat cutting.

H/t to Dymphna (enjoy the opiates while you can get them).

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Change of Status

As of 1730 hrs, my status is no longer "former" National Guard; thanks to a number of people still in who felt I was worth the effort, especially Chad, and the recruiting sergeants willing to give a somewhat beat-up and creaky individual another go around. And on the flip side....up yours, Jerry. I'm back.