Saturday, June 20, 2015

Yep, The 10-rounders Are the Problem

It's the magazines.  Only one hitch out of 50 rounds using the magazine I thought was good, and that wasn't the mag.  A round fired, but didn't eject.  And when I checked the shell was black with carbon.  Thinking the bullet didn't seat quite right, which let some of the powder explosion seep out, leaving it with not enough force to eject.

Was reminded of how hot a freshly ejected cartridge is when one somehow dropped behind my glasses onto that sensitive skin just under the eye.  Of course, the glasses then trapped it there.  Ow.

I've been wanting to go hiking or biking but our temps have soared so fast that unless I got out at the crack of dawn those would be very toasty enterprises.  Getting splashed with river water seems a better idea for such hot days.  So yesterday a couple friends and I loaded the kayaks and did a shuttle that let us put in at Taylor's Landing on the MD side of the Potomac and take out in Shepherdstown, WV.    Unloaded kayaks and gear and then discovered that I'd left my paddle at home.  Sigh.  Fortunately there's a kayak/bike shop right up from where we were going to leave that second car.  I guess I can't complain about having a spare. 

I'm not sure how far it is - one source says five miles, but if you calculate using the C&O Canal Towpath mile posts it comes out about 8.  Whatever, a lovely 3 hours.

Next week I think I'll head upstream from our put in spot and see what there is to see.

But now I gotta go make more ammo. Or mow the lawn.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

R.e. Charleston, SC

I'd make a comparison to buzzards, but buzzards serve a useful purpose.

Of course he's on his way.

h/t ihatediscus2

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Houston, We Have A Problem...Update...

Feral.  As if there weren't enough of them on my list for trapping and neutering.

Update - 4!

Friday, June 12, 2015


I've had the necessities for a while now.  First I set up in the laundry room.  That would be the room with no windows and the cat pans.  Not an appealing place to spend time. 

So I finally moved it a few months ago.  Into the library downstairs.

Much better ambiance.   Very cold during the Winter - I don't spend much time downstairs because it's not pleasant - but a space heater can deal with that well enough.  But I had so much going on that I really didn't get going until the last couple weeks.

So now I've been testing. 

Three failures to load, two different magazines.  But if I simply throw them in again they fire fine.  I think it's the magazines. 

Now I need to make the shooter better.  I'm pulling left.   Can't feel it or see it except the end results on the target.  Sometimes over-compensate to the right.  Can't feel that or see that except for the end results on the target, either.  Kinda funny.   But getting better.

Discovered today that clearing a jam while shooting on a +90 degree day can be a bit of a challenge.  After standing in the full sun to shoot for a half hour I was sweating so much I couldn't get a solid grip on the slide.  Thought I was going to have to go into the office and have Jerry do it.  Or sit in the AC and pet Lucy until my palms were dry enough.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

And then...

It rained.  It's Thursday night and it's been raining since Monday afternoon.  Granted, I've worked on family geneology stuff and actually may have created ammunition in the last few days.  But really.  Enough with the rain.

And I carried a passenger home from last Friday's hike.  Didn't find it until Saturday night and I thought I got the head out.  But now the side of my head I pulled the tick out of is tender and swollen clean down to my shoulder.  I can feel a lymph node in my neck.

I hate ticks.  I've been treated for Lyme disease twice and Rocky Mountain spotted fever once already.  I really hate ticks.

But I'm glad we have a good walk-in medical clinic in town.  Because that may be my next stop after my oil change on Monday.

I. Hate. Ticks.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Is It Possible... be dead of exhaustion and just not fall over?

I've kinda been asking myself that question now and again.  For years I said that work was getting in the way of my real life, and I didn't understand people who worked into their 70s because they didn't know what they'd do when they retired.

Yeesh.  There aren't enough hours in the day for all the things I want to do.  Then add the things I NEED to do and you have one tired puppy some days.  But smiling.  All those years stuck on a computer in an office job left me feeling like Scooter does about being inside.

Now, as Spring rolls into Summer, I can sit on the porch pretty much any ol' time I want. 

The lawn still needs mowed. Frequently.  And the house needs work.  There are things that seemed like a good idea at the time but need maintenance work that has been put off because STUPID JOB!...  Like retreating the decks.  That would be the double decks in back and porch in front.  It's been so long that I'm having to strip a lot of gunk off with the power washer, then I'm going to have to do some sanding.

Completed portion on right.  I thought it would take me a week.  Maybe it would if I didn't stop for other things.  I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do about the algae covered sections hanging out over the 2 stories of sloped weeds and rocks known as my back yard.   I suppose it will involve borrowed extension ladders and bungee cords.  And maybe a neighbor to hold the ladder.

But other, more important things keep getting in the way.  Like today, when Bruce and ML rescued me from power washing.  I mean, it was going to rain this afternoon anyway, so it really wasn't worth pulling the washer out, was it?

At least I've found that, if not the best, I'm not the world's worst M1 carbine shooter.  It would help a lot if the sights wouldn't keep drifting to the right.  Which is pretty amazing, considering how much oomph it took me to knock them back the last time it happened.  Tells you a bit about the energy going into recoil. 

And Thank You Dick's For Tremendous Sales! - I finally got a kayak.  All these years living near two rivers and I didn't have a boat.  I've been watching - I needed one that not only handled well on the river but that I also could also get up on the SUV on my own.  The Pelican 100 Trailblazer fit the bill perfectly.

Oh, what I was missing.  The first hour out paddling upstream from Shepherdstown on the Potomac I saw such a variety of wildlife - so much more than I had ever seen from the C & O Canal Towpath that runs right along it.  An eagle, wood ducks - both male and females with ducklings - cormorants fishing.  None of these are my photos - valuable things like my cell phone stay safely in a dry sack in the storage compartment - but you get the idea.

And then there's hiking.  Friday I headed out to investigate a place I've passed many times on my way south - Sky Meadows State Park.  Turns out it's an absolute gem.

Numerous well marked, well kept trails, connecting in such a way as to allow for building of hikes of a variety of lengths. 

I connected the dots for a 7 mile walk.  The first thing I learned is that the park has a huge population of my favorite woodpecker, the red-headed. Gorgeous birds.

The park's name is appropriate, whether you stay at the low elevations or climb to the ridge and connect with the Appalachian Trail. 

Spring wildflowers like trillium are done, but early summer ones are booming.

And there was dancing.  Of the kind caused by glimpsing movement out of the corner of the eye.  A sudden movement on the right side of foot, quick shuffle left as tail is seen slipping under rock.  Movement on the left and a quick step forward and to the right - the snakey shuffle.

Patterned, living along a stream, reasonably sure they weren't copperheads - thinking northern water snake.  Non-venomous, but startling when you suddenly have three of them, two not so small, moving near your feet. 

And then, whaddaya know, a week's gone.  A far better sort of week than I would have had this time last year.