Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sometimes I wish people would just get their heads out of their asses.

The other day I was in a hurry and needed a 75 cent item. 

I grabbed it, looked at the checkout and saw that Sally was on duty and cringed. I waited my turn, let her ring the item up, slapped a buck down, said 'keep the change' and started to walk out.

Of course, she looked at me and said, "Wait! I don't understand!"

Oh, no! Not this again. I don't have time for this crap.

"What is the problem? The item is 75 cents. I gave you a dollar. That's more than enough."

"But your change..."

"Throw it away," I snapped. I was running late and didn't have time for this kind of stuff.

"I can't," she said.

So I returned, took my change and dropped it on the floor. "Was that hard?" I asked. I was really annoyed. I was running late.  Time, tides and the sun wait for no man and I wanted to get this job done before dark.

"But you just threw your change on the floor!" 

"Correct. I asked you to but you wouldn't so I had to do it myself," I shot back. "Listen, that nineteen cents don't mean squat but the daylight I'm burning does. Time is money and you are costing me money. Adios." 

I left. I finished the job in the dark.

The next time I went there the manager saw me and asked me about the incident. When I explained it to him he nodded. He understood. It's the little aggravations that make a day go to hell.

Today I have faced a bunch and it isn't even 9 AM yet.

I have had computer glitches and a few other things.

One thing brought me satisfaction, though.

There is a floor drain in the basement with a trap in it. It dries out about every year or two. It did it this morning and I got a waft of stink from it.

I grabbed a bucket, put it in the laundry sink, filled it and simply dumped it on the basement floor.

The water hit the floor, went straight to the drain, filled the trap and that was it. Quick fix!

In about an hour the wet spot on the floor will go away and that's done and over with for another year or two.

This hasn't been a good starting day but maybe it will change.


















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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Match season has started for me.

There's a pretty good .22 offhand 100 yard match scheduled for this morning and although I'm coffeed and breakfasted up, I think I'll pass.

My .22 plinker is set up for 50 yards and my .22 match gun is set up for 200 yards and I don't want to have to sight them in under pressure at the beginning of the season.

Besides I do poorly in offhand matches. 

I have to figure out which way I want to go this year. I'm thinking of simply figuring out a holdover for the plinker and using that later in the season so I can keep it set at 50 yards.

The match gun is actually set for 200 yards on the advice of Jim Land. I met him a while ago at Quantico and when I asked him how they managed to operate with the junk they used back in the 60s he laughed. "All the Marines ask me that. That was state of the art equipment back then," he replied.

I laughed and asked what I could do to improve my windage skills. He suggested using a .22 at 200 yards. I sighted my match .22 in for 200 yards and left it there.

Next weekend there is a 40 shot slow fire match, any position and I think I'll take my long rifle to that. I just re-triggered it because of a recall. The manufacturer wanted me to send it in and let them replace the trigger mechanism but I refused the offer. Instead I dropped in a good match grade trigger.

A slow fire match will be better to get me started and ought to give me a chance to get the match season started.

I don't think I am going to get into it as much as I did several years ago when I shot just about every match inside a 5 or 6 state area. I simply can't afford it. 

My biggest expense that year was gasoline. I was either driving to or from a match, shooting it or reloading for the next one. I was a busy boy that year. The season went from March to November.

I think the slow fire match next weekend ought to give me a pretty good chance to wring my long gun out a bit and get rid of a few things.

After the match I'll the NATO load and if that works OK, I'll just chrony it and use that as my match load for this year. It should stay stable out to 1000 yards. 

Anyway, happy Satiddy mawnin'.













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Friday, April 18, 2014

Today is going to be a very busy day.

I might get back to post something later on


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Home at last

after a thrilling tour at sea.

This time home I have a small issue to deal with.

I have a Remington 700 that I have been working on to turn it into a long range competitive rifle and found it is on the recall list because of a faulty trigger mechanism. 

While I suppose the trigger is OK I have decided that sending the rifle to Remington to repair isn't all that good of an idea. 

First of all, I have taken it out of its original configuration and added a few doo-dads here and there. Remington's policy has been reported that they strip everything off, put it in a plastic bag and send you back the rifle in its original configuration.

I suppose I can see why. It's a liability issue that was likely caused by a greedy lawyer and a stupid jury. Most likely they got sued for someone else's stupidity.

Anyway, a lot of people are griping but I am taking this as an opportunity to tune the rifle up a bit.

The truth is that the instant I altered the rifle the day I got it I voided the guarantee. I knew it and did it anyway as do a lot of serious shooters. A rifle fresh out of the box is generally only a platform to build what you want on.

In reality this is the same as a guy buying a vehicle and modifying it for another purpose. In the case of the rifle it is a case of taking an excellent hunting rifle and turning it into a target rifle. It's just a matter of polishing it up a bit.

The fix in this case is not to send the rifle back to the maker. The fix is to simply replace the factory trigger with a better one.

I simply ordered a good match grade trigger and I will install it when it arrived. I have been meaning to do this anyway and this recall is just the excuse I need.

Sometimes you have to look at something bad as an opportunity to make something better.

I'll tell you what happens after I install the damned thing. 




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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Planning ahead and simple solutions

Ya gotta think every so often.

When I was small I lost mittens which I suppose most small children did from time to time. My mother installed a 'runaway strap' which was a cord tied between the mittens. One mitten was then fed up one sleeve and down the other and presto! 

When I took off my mittens they hung off the cord and were there when I wanted to put them back on. They were not stuffed into a pocket that they fell out of and got lost.

Of course, the first time my mother did this she didn't think and made the cord about eleven feet long. I was maybe four feet tall. The mittens dragged on the ground where they snagged on things.

My dad fixed that problem in a nanosecond. He simply grabbed the bight of the cord and tied an overhand knot in it, effectively shortening it to the proper size.

Two quick lessons here. First one should think ahead and plan things and try and foresee the problems before theyhappen.

The other lesson is that quite often there is a simple solution to a problem.






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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I read that

it looks like Remington is leaving New York after all.

They're headed to Alabama and most likely the final nail in the coffin was the SAFE act, but I'm pretty sure taxes and other governmental meddling sure pitched in to make the final decision.

I understand that Remington is relocating a number of workers which is both generous and smart. Machinists and other gunmakers with experience are probably hard to retrain.

I suppose some people will stay in New York but that makes no sense to me as Ilion is likely on their way down the tubes with the largest business in the area leaving. They are taking an awful lot of jobs with them.

If I were running Remington I suppose I would do the same  thing. Taxes in Alabama are lower and so are wages and the cost of living. There's a willing workforce there eager to take the work. Alabama is also a lot more gun friendly.

Corporations generally don't want to move. They enjoy being in a friendly place and being a part of a community. There are a lot of pretty upset people when they do leave and that's not good for public relations.

Corporations are usually forced to move. They seldom want to. Moving is expensive. Like almost all businesses they have to make a profit and when the bottom line goes down they have to make a decision.

Ilion, New York is about to take a pretty big hit because one has to remember that it isn't just Remington employees that are going to get hurt, it's the entire local economy. Most likely Ilion is going to be hurting and hurting pretty bad.

Besides the Remington employees that stay behind being out of jobs there are quite a number of other businesses that are going to feel the impact of the move.

People need gas to get to work. They eat. They go to movies and do all sorts of things. In short the trickle down effect is going to be pretty noticible on the community.

For example, the gas station owner might have to lay off one of his helpers because business is down. The local diner near the factory might have to shrink or may even fail. That's more jobs gone.

Even the supermarkets are going to feel things as the local economy changes. They'll be selling fewer steaks and more tuna noodle casserole ingredients.

The city will also see revenues decrease as the taxes Remington paid locally disappear. People that used to buy things and are not anymore are now no longer paying sales taxes. Wage tax income will also drop off. 

For two centuries Remington has been in New York and has been a local source of pride. Adios.

Of course, when jobs disappear, crime tends to go up and the neighborhoods seem to crumble a bit more and begin the downward spiral. Welfare and EBT applications will increase. People will go on unemployment until thae benefits run out.

On the other hand, down in Alabama Remington will be met with open arms, likely be given tax breaks and the local economy there will pick up.

The employees will pretty much be buying the things they used to buy back in New York. A number of small businesses will open. I suppose that some shrewd guy named 'Sarge' will open a diner outside the gate ot the factory and will do well.

Sarge would be smart to learn a few New york favorites to put on the menu until the displaced New Yorkers acquire a taste for grits, biscuits and gravy.

Then again it probably won't take New Yorkers very long to discover some pretty good southern cusine. 

In a few months the former New Yorkers will be wondering why Remington didn't move down south twenty years ago. Most likely it will take a winter or so before they discover they don't have to go outside in freezing weather to shovel snow.

Meanwhile, back in Ilion.......

Nice work, New York. You brought it on yourselves.




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Monday, April 14, 2014

One of the things they train leaders

 is that you never tell somebody to do something you wouldn't or can't do yourself.

Yet for some rather odd reason we let our politicians do just that. The enact laws and then send someone out to enforce them.

A while ago there was a lieutenant colonel who got his legs shot up doing a routine house sweep over in Iraq. He was leading from the front as an officer should every once in a while to set an example for his men.

While he's not really supposed to be doing things like that on a daily basis because he's supposed to lead and make decisions for his battalion, he is supposed to be able to show his people how its done.

The officer was simply leading by example. It's not the first time it has been done and it's certainly not going to be the last time an officer leads from the front.

Truth is, by soldier standards a lieutenant colonel is an old man and when the younger guys see the old fart out there shooting it out with the bad guys the will generally follow a guy like that anywhere.

Of course you do not see politicians do a whole lot but sit on their fat asses in Washington or their state capitols and tell the rest of us how to live.

Right now governor Cuomo in Albany is looking at the recently enacted SAFE law's registration period coming up and it looks like the citizens of upper New York state are going to ignore it. The state police and the county sheriffs have already stated they will not bother enforcing it.

I don't think that we are going to see Old Andy suit up and lead a SWAT team on house to house searches. We're simply going to see him sit in Albany and pound a table in frustration. 

Well, Governor, you can sit there and pound the table and make an ass of yourself and rant and rave or you can suit up and put together a SWAT team and lead them from the front.

We'll see how this one is going to work. Of course if I were a New Yorker I'd see that the governor got a pretty solid oak table installed in his office because it's likely going to take a pretty good pounding.

He ought to ask governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut for a recommendation because he's already pounding a table.

Then again maybe Malloy is smart enough to quietly sit there with egg on his face and realize he made a mistake. Cuomo isn't likely to sit there quietly as his law is ignored. He'll rant and rave and make a fool out of himself. He simply can't keep his mouth shut.

Watch. You'll see. In a couple of days he'll be standing on the state house steps making all sorts of empty threats to upper state New Yorkers.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

In other news, if you read yesterdays post about how my First Sergeant took away my birthday, a reader has responded.

A serving US military officer has offered to send me the proper paperwork to appeal to the army to have them give me my birthday back.

Just in time. I have been worried about that recently because I am getting close to retirement and I'd have a hell of a time applying for social security still being only 21 years old.


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