Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Holster Success Update

OK. So I finally got to take some pictures in sunlight. Here are two pics showing that this thing sucks my Smith & Wesson L-Frame in tight enough that it it undetectable even under a light, cotton shirt:



Here's a better pic of the holster itself in use:


And, the money shot:


As I said before, I'm thrilled about how this one came out. Maybe it was beginner's luck, or maybe I have some natural talent for this kind of work. I'm going to have to make some more holsters to find out!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Holster Success!!!

To both my readers,

Here's my second attempt at a holster. I think it turned out pretty well. I'll try to get some better pics up soon, but please let me know what you think.


It fits the gun very nicely, and wears wonderfully! I have to admit that I far exceeded my expectations for fit and finish. My original intent was to do it straight black, but in the heat of the moment I decided to go with black cherry. I'm not disappointed with that decision.


I am looking forward to the next project. Fortunately, I have a couple lined up already. I need a left-hand holster to match this one, and Jenni still needs a cross-draw. Beyond that, I've been working on some moonclip holders as well.


I have a feeling that I may get some requests as well. If I ever got to the point of doing these semi-full-time, I'd need to get an industrial sewing machine like the shoe-shop guy has...

Hippies vs. Metal

My friend Instinct related this story to me:

We actually had a real drum circle form outside the store yesterday. It started with 2 people and after about two hours there were 10 of them out there in their hippie clothing drumming away. I went over to the manager and let him know what was going on and he looked outside and told me if it started getting out of hand he would ask them to leave but it made one of the girls kind of nervous because she started asking what we would do if they didn’t want to leave.

So I just handed the manager a Slayer CD and said “Put this on. Everyone knows that hippies can’t stand death metal”

Why am I reminded of this?

Classic. Beautiful. Enjoy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Obamabomb II

This dude has to be one of the most frightening things that I've seen in politics. As if it's not bad enough that he has to spout his slanted rhetoric, he has to quote The Scripture out of context to support his Marxist agenda. If we give him power, I'm afraid that we'll have problems that We the People never imagined could happen in a place like The United States of America.

We may as well open trade with Cuba, since we're well on the way to being Communist ourselves. By 2010, we'll have bread lines and religious persecution that will rival that of the old Soviet Union! Yay! Sign your paycheck over the the government because they know what's best for you! You don't need to pay a doctor, let the leaders of our nation be the middle-man for that. Because "everyone has the right to affordable healthcare," nobody has the right to make their own decisions?

I'm sorry, let me get back on track here. So, we not only get to lose our spending power and our guns, but we also need to give up the Ten Commandments as well. -or so he suggests in this little tirade. Yeah. So, essentially we have no rights to anything at all. This guy's a winner for sure.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Work Related Stress

Like most bloggers, I make an effort to keep the workplace out of my blog. I only blog at work from my lunch break. I don't think the powers that be would have a problem with me talking about my job, but there is a particular etiquette that blocks me from doing much of that. That being said, I have a great job. I really can't ask for any better at this point in life. I don't expect to be doing this for the rest of my life, and my boss knows that. He also knows that he may be in the ground before I no longer work for him. I'm not saying that to be morbid, just illustrating that I'm not a short-timer, and he knows it. Every once in a while, I can't help but vaguely blog about work.

Recently, there have been particular stresses at work, well beyond my control. Yesterday afternoon as I was leaving work, I took a swig of my water as I habitually do prior to leaving. For just a split second, that water tasted like tequilla. My first reaction is that it was a psychological reaction to the stress, and apparently I really wanted a small glass of tequila. Then, I realized that it was simply a combination of flavors - the natural minerals in the water that have come through the saturated filter cartridge on the refrigerator and the licorice-flavored salt-water taffy that I had just eaten. Boy, did I feel silly! I didn't want tequila afterall!

There have been a few situations in my relatively short career in the working force in which a supervisor/manager/owner has asked the nearly impossible of me. I'm not going to claim any particular mad skills at being able to turn water to wine or anything like it, but I will say that I am a problem solver. Even then, most of the times that I've been able to come up with a solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem, it's only been through persistence and being in the right place at the right time.

Suffice it to say that I have been faced with one such problem this week, and I think that I've finally got all the answers and the waters are now calming. I think that for some weird reason, God likes me well enough to keep me employed - keeping me in the right place at the right time. Then again, He knows that I've got a family to feed and a life to finance.

Yesterday, I was wondering how you pound an oversize, round peg through an undersize, square hole. Now, I'm going, "Oh. Like that." I don't know why I always get so worked up, as these things have a way of working out. I know that I didn't really tell you much of anything in this post, but I hope that you will both be patient with me until the next one. Thanks again.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

W - The President - Part III

The latest polls indicate that G. W. B.'s approval rating is hovering around the 30% mark. I have to admit that the guy is a little goofy, but he's got class. I think that this viral video clip illustrates both points in that last sentence beautifully. He loves his wife enough to respect her rather than get a cheap feel of some firm, athletic ass, even if his production through the situation is awkward at best. Why do approximately 70% of The American People disapprove of him so? I think that it's a lack of class. Yes, I'm saying that almost three quarters of The American People have no class. This is what feeds the crap that we see on T. V. - think Desperate Housewives, Big Brother, etc. There are tons of these smatterings of fecal matter on the tube that I don't want my 9-year-old to watch.

I'm sure glad that I'm not a direct employee of The American Citizenship who are more interested in following rumors, gossip, and tabloid that journalism currently is than they are to open their minds and accept the facts. What facts? The facts are that a man can make a really good call on all the information available at the time, and when it turns out that the information was flawed, it does not make him a "liar."

The facts and common sense dictate that once we have started a political restructuring in another country, which is going to better the lives of all the people of said country, and we find out that the conditions under which we are there were erroneous, we can't simply pack up and say, "Oh, sorry guys. We thought there was stuff going on here that may or may not have been. We'll just let you get back to your own business then."

The facts are that the presence of yellow cake uranium and hidden fighter jets buried in the desert are a sign of a greater problem in a country that considers us an enemy, and taking out an evil dictator is never a bad idea. I hope that if we were under an evil dictator that was killing us at random, some other country would have the benevolence to take him out for us. Speaking of which and referring back to the media, why is it that I don't remember ever seeing anything about the Russian fighters on the news? Hmm...

The fact is that no matter how much people whine about how bad a president he is, he keeps on trucking and making decisions that his heart tells him are right and best for his people. That's class.

The fact is that he has performed no illegal acts that could get him impeached, unlike his predecessor (who incidentally, lacked such class), much to the utter dismay of that aforementioned 70%.

Well, I'm going to have to cut off my railing for now. Next time maybe we'll look at some other people's class - like John Edwards...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cooking Fail

First of all let me say that my recreational internet time has been more devoted to firearms than kittens recently. That being said, Thanks to the folks over at daily kitten, I had fish tacos on the brain on my way home last night. I didn't go with the recipe cited in the linked thread, but came up with my own recipe on the fly. I decided to do a piece of salmon fillet and a tuna steak, seared on each side and sliced. I was going to wrap them in tortillas with fresh spinach, tomato slices, avocado slices, and diced kalamata olives. This is not what happened.

We went to the store to buy the necessary ingredients. We bought a gorgeous salmon fillet and a beautiful tuna steak. They had some beautiful romas, and although I wanted to buy a smaller quantity of spinach, I contented myself to buy the full bag. We picked the ripest two avocados that we found in the bin and a bag of flour tortillas.

I put the skillet on the stove top to pre-heat it, as the range is a crappy, contractor model that has all of 32-BTU's. While it was heating, I started slicing my avocado. Much to my utter dismay, it was far from ripe. Jenni suggested that I place the rubbery slices in the skillet and maybe the heating would soften them. I had never tried this before. The only time I had cooked avocado previously was when we battered and deep-fried avocado wedges and dipped them in chocolate sauce (and that was freaking amazing). This sounded like a reasonable enough idea to me so I placed them in the skillet, and they quickly became blackened, rubbery, avocado slices.

I frustratedly speared the chunks on my chef knife (which was harder than it sounds) and placed them in the garbage, deciding that their sacrifice would not ruin dinner. I put the two slabs of fish in the skillet with some grapeseed oil. Why grapeseed oil? Grapeseed oil will not burn in a skillet like olive oil will - or so I've been told. Apparently, the 32-BTU's and the thick-bottomed skillet were able to produce enough heat to split atoms as the grapeseed oil immediately started burning and smoked up the entire house. When I got the fish out of the skillet and started slicing them, they were not seared. They were DONE.

I heated the tortillas, but was so flustered over the avocados, grapeseed oil, and fish that I completely forgot to pit and dice my olives. What should have been a very savory dinner turned out to be quite bland and uninteresting. It was pretty, but that doesn't really matter when the food HAS NO FLAVOR.

I still think that my recipe would have been quite delicious if I had followed it, but there wasn't enough left of the original concept once I was through. It was sustenance, and that was all. Next time, I'll prepare all of my veggies (olives included) prior to even heating the skillet. Also, I will use no oil of any kind, and rely on the oils in the fish to lubricate the skillet. It's a non-stick pan, and even if I have to do a little scraping afterward, it will more than justify avoiding the smoke throughout the house. Oh well. I know my next attempt will be better as it could not possibly get much worse.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Those have most power to hurt us, that we love.

--Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, from The Maid's Tragedy. ref.

Life is hard. We go through many painful experiences in life. Most of those that I've been through I would not trade for anything. The experience of being poor and having to figure out how to better myself for example - nobody should be denied that life-shaping experience. There is something about the privilege of facing hopelessness and working one's way out of it successfully that is entirely too rewarding to take away with welfare or inheritance or someone else bailing one out in some way or another. These experiences are character-building. The most beautiful flowers grow on active volcanoes, and the colorful beta lives in polluted, dirty water that you might not think would be fit for habitation.

On the other hand, there are painful experiences that do not make us stronger, but leave us weaker with scars that last years after the fact. These are what I think of as gunslinger's scars. Even after what seems like ages since the incident, these injuries may still be tender and sensitive. No matter how the original injury was inflicted, these scars are those that we keep most secret and the most well-guarded - and for good reason. Nobody wants these injuries to be opened up again. Nothing good came from them in the first place, and we will avoid a recurrence of the experience nearly at any cost.

With this latter type of injury, of course it is those that we love who will irritate the old injury by the very virtue of these people being close. We don't put up our guard against our loved ones as we do strangers or acquaintances for good reason. When a loved one hurts us in one of these sensitive areas, they do not mean to, if the love is requited. But, out of clumsiness or carelessness they are inevitably bound to cause further injury at one time or another. The will to forgive cannot change the pain inflicted. The conundrum therein is that which is most difficult to explain because it sound insincere. "I forgive you, but it still hurts." Rather than the truth that it is, it comes across as sounding like lip-service served with a side of holding it over the other's head. I don't want to think of these as "permanent" scars so much as "persistent" scars. I keep mine well hidden and well protected for the most part. Once in a great while though, a loved-one will brush against these wounds and they hurt in all the bleeding agony as they did when they were first, violently inflicted.

Once in a great while, a product or good is damaged to the point that it must return to the place of manufacture. There are various repair shops at which you can have virtually any high-quality product repaired. However, if your Swiss watch was run over by a truck and shattered, a trip to the local jewelry shop might be as effective as putting a band-aid on third-degree burns. No amount of a run of the mill watchmaker's skill is going to make that watch as it once was. At that point, it might be about time to send the watch back to the manufacturer in Europe to have the original maker see what they can do with it. Sometimes, we experience such deep pain as this. That is why I offer this prayer:

Dear LORD,

Please allow my heart peace. Heal the wounds that I am unable to heal on my own. Comfort my loved ones in the knowledge that I am not embittered against them, but that I do forgive them, and please help them to not irritate the scars any more. I cannot make this journey without you. If the pain never goes away, please give me the strength to bear it. I am not big enough and strong enough to do this on my own, so I go to The Original Maker for repairs. I put my life in your hands.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Gun Physics Lesson - August 2008

To both my readers,

I've learned something with the daily carrying. When I use the toilet and my pants are unfastened, it takes approximately 3-lbs of force on the back of my belt to pull my pants clean off. My gun weighs approximately 2.5-lbs. Yeah. I have to stand funny, and urinals are completely out. It looks like it will be stalls for me from now on. I suppose I'll have to be careful about any other weight I put on my belt. I've been shocked and amazed at how invisible my firearm actually is in my daily routine. Every time I reveal to someone that I am carrying (of course in privacy, only to people that I really know) they are surprised. My dad has observed that even though he knows that I'm carrying, he's always surprised to feel it on my back when he gives me a hug, because it's so well hidden. Not bad for minimal wardrobe change on my 150-lb frame carrying a 7-shot .357 Magnum! I don't even dress like a gangster! I suppose that means that I'm doing it right.

In related news - On Saturday I focused primarily on shooting my carry gun as I shot it terribly in the previous range session. Let me define "terribly" for you. It was accurate enough to get the job done in real-life scenarios, but that's not really good enough for me. I know that there are particular stresses in the heat of the moment that can cause accuracy failures. I want to be dead-accurate without even thinking about it. I HAVE to be dead-accurate without thinking about it. If it ever came down to it (LORD, please shield me from such situations), even the slightest delay or lapse in concentration could mean the difference between living or dying. I did remarkably better in this range session, advancing my target all the way out to about 20-yds and still keeping about a 5-inch group. Albeit, my group center was a little low and to the right, but such things can be easily dealt with once the consistency is there. I didn't have any wild fliers this time around, and the groups were nice and round. I want to keep up this effort until I am able to do sub-3-inch groups at a full 30-yards even with the little 3-inch barrel on my Model 586. I don't think that this is an unreasonable goal. I suppose only time will tell. Until next time...