Thursday, September 30, 2010

Range Report/Video - Somebody get me a file!

Took the Schofield to the range today. First time I've been to the range since back in June. Way too long, and I could sure tell. I only took two guns this trip. My Thunderer and the new Schofield. After a brief flirtation with the yips on the first couple of rounds... my performance with the Thunderer was pretty good. I shot just as well as I did last time, even with the 3+ month hiatus. I love that gun more and more every time I shoot it :)

I moved on to the Schofield after that. I won't even bother to post a pic of my first target.... can you say EM-BARR-ASS-ING? Shortly after I started my second target, I determined what the problem was, and I began to correct for it.

Here's my second target, followed by my analysis:


Pretty big spread, yes?

My Thunderer has a short front sight compared to the Schofield. Pointing characteristics of the Thunderer are so instinctual for me that I don't really consciously aim the thing. Its like pointing my finger. The Schofield and I don't have that kind of relationship, it would seem. When I line up the front and rear sight normally, my rounds go low.

Way low.

I had to "walk" my hits up from the bottom by progressively aiming higher and higher on the target. By the time I was scoring hits near the bullseye, I couldn't even see the bullseye when I pulled the trigger. I kept having to dip the gun down to find the bullseye, and then raise my point of aim a good bit before pulling the trigger.

That's some crazy shit.

The gun performed flawlessly, aside from that. Smooth ejection, solid lockup, and the trigger is pretty decent for right out of the box. I'm planning to make another trip to the range soon - maybe in Mid October when I'm off for my birthday - and I'll experiment some more with point of aim. If my theory holds true, then I'll be filing a bit off the front sight after that, so that point of aim is dead on.

I think I'll eventually shoot well with this gun. It will be interesting to compare later targets with this one.

I shot a short video of how the top break action works on the Schofield, for those that aren't familiar with the unusual operation. I can definitely see how this method would have been a tactical advantage over people shooting side gate loading revolvers back in the day. I'm new to it, but I'm pretty confident that I could unload and reload the Schofield in about the same time it would take me just to unload the Thunderer.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Gun

Well, I did it. After coveting and saving and yearning for a Schofield for several years now, I finally took the plunge.

uberti schofield

That's my new Uberti Schofield revolver with a 5 inch barrel. It's a single action, top break revolver based on the Original Smith & Wesson guns made in 1875. Mine is chambered in 38 special (additionally marked for 38 colt). You can also get these in 45 colt... which may be more "authentic". I know that's one reason that a lot of CAS shooters had guns chambered in 45 Long Colt.

There's a very good reason that I chose to go with 38 special instead, though. Its the same reason that lots of CAS participants are selling off their 45 Colt guns and switching over to 38 special.

Via Ammunition to Go, just as an example:

45 Long Colt Lead Round Nose, 50 round box, $33 a box.
38 Special Lead Round Nose, 50 round box, $16.95 a box.

With a little judicious shopping, I can get range fodder for the 38 special even cheaper. Doesn't take a degree in accounting to see I'll enjoy shooting the dang thing a lot more when I'm paying half as much at the range. 45 Colt was hard enough to find before the arrival of the Taurus Judge revolver. Now its just ridiculously hard to find and expensive when you find it.

Besides... I shoot .38 in my Cimarron Thunderer most of the time anyway, so its one less caliber to stock.

I've yet to take her to the range, but if the stars align and I have good weather and opportunity later this week I'll take her for a spin and come back with a range report. Right now I love the way she looks, and she seems really solid. The bluing is nice and the case colored parts look great.

uberti schofield 2

Anybody know a particular speed loader that will fit the hole spacing in the cylinder on one of these? I bet I could find one trial and error, but I'd prefer not to have to re-invent the wheel.

This Winter I may make a holster for this, as well as my Thunderer. If I do, I'll take pics and do a walk through of how I make gunleather. I'm not an expert leather worker by any stretch of the imagination, but my stuff has gotten the job done so far.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Enthiran (Robot) - the movie

I think I'm gonna have to go see this movie if it ever makes it to the U.S. ....

I'm not big on foreign films, usually, but this looks just campy enough to be a hoot. Don't know that I would see it in a theater, but I'd rent the DVD.

Besides.. the leading lady is a former Girl Friday - Aishwarya Rai

aishwarya rai 2

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I have known many gods. He who denies them is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply. I seek not beyond death. It may be the blackness averred by the Nemedian skeptics, or Crom’s realm of ice and cloud, or the snowy plains and vaulted halls of the Nordheimer’s Valhalla. I know not, nor do I care.

Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion.

I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.
-Robert E. Howard

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Style Saturday - 9/25/2010

I've posted about men's hats before. I have to say that I've grown pretty fond of Women's hats too.
Gabrielle Ray
Gabrielle Ray (above and below)

Gabrielle Ray 2

Friday, September 24, 2010

Girl Friday 9/24/2010 - Lana Turner 2

A couple of weeks ago, Girl Friday backed up and took another look at Gene Tierney. She was certainly worth another visit, and so is this week's Girl Friday:

Lana Turner

lana turner hot
That's my favorite Pic of Lana.

lt joan blondell
With Joan Blondell


The nice thing about posting new pics of a past Girl Friday, is that I don't have to do any research. Its the pictures that really matter anyway, right? :)

LT4 john garfield fhte
With John Garfield, in From Here to Eternity



Previous Lana Turner Girl Friday appearance.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Winners and Losers

This may be old news to some of you, but I just read about it myself.

This is Irena Sendler.

Irena Sendler

Irena Sendler

During WWII, Irena worked in the Warsaw Ghetto as a plumbing/sewer specialist. Irena smuggled Jewish children out; infants in the bottom of the tool box she carried and older children in a burlap sack she carried in the back of her truck. She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the kids’ and infants’ noises.

Irena managed to smuggle out and save 2500 children. She eventually was caught, and the Nazis broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar buried under a tree in her backyard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and reunited some of the families. Most had been killed. She helped those children get placement into foster family homes or adopted.

In 2007, Irena was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected. Al Gore won - for a slide show on Global Warming. Irena passed away in 2008. Sadly, Al Gore still walks among us.

When I first read this, I was disgusted. Then I was angry.

Aside from the obvious observations, the only thing I have to add in the way of commentary is this:

Irena Sendler most likely didn't give a rat's ass about the Nobel Peace Prize. She didn't care about the esteem, or prestige, or recognition. She didn't care about the nice little chunk of change that a Nobel Prize would bring by adding its mantel of legitimacy to her cause. She did the amazing things that she did, not for recognition and fame, but because they were the right things to do.

And that, my friends, is the real difference between people like Irena Sendler and creatures like Al Gore. It's pretty clear to me who the real Winner is.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

In Sheep's Clothing

In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," he (Colin Powell) said a path to legal status should be offered to illegal immigrants because they "are doing things we need done in this country."
He added: "They're all over my house, doing things whenever I call for repairs, and I'm sure you've seen them at your house. We've got to find a way to bring these people out of the darkness and give them some kind of status."

Immigration, he said, offers the U.S. a chance to maintain a youthful population in contrast with the aging of Europe and Japan.

There's a way for us to have an invigorating influx of new immigrants, Mr. Powell. Its called LEGAL immigration.

And he said the tea party may not become an enduring force unless it moves beyond slogans and promotes an agenda that people "can see, touch and actually believe in." It's not enough, he said, to call for goals that most Americans support, such as controlled federal spending and adherence to the Constitution.

The former secretary of state said he still sees Obama as a transformational figure, if one who has lost some of his ability to connect with people.

Powell said he's not giving up on the GOP, even in the face of a rightward drift, and says it might actually help Obama if Republicans win the House in November and gain responsibility for driving policy, not just opposing Democrats.

Please, for the Love of God, will someone convince him its OK if he gives up on the Republican Party completely and just goes away.



Be cautious how you engage in badinage in the presence of dull people; they will either get out of temper in consequence of taking what you say literally, or else will stare and wonder at you for being such a "strange man".

- Chesterfield’s art of letter-writing simplified - 1857

*Standard Disclaimer: Appreciation for a specific, singular concept or idea does not constitute an endorsement of an individual person's entire life work. IOW - Just because I like the quote does not necessarily mean that I like the author.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Style Saturday - 09/18/2010

A mother's love and pride in her son NEVER goes out of style:

proud mother

That's Lelia Gordon Barnett, wife of the Marine Corps commandant, and her son Basil Gordon in 1916.

Basil went on to become the first man to crash an airplane in the District of Columbia in 1923, but I'll bet her pride in him never wavered, regardless :)

Pic via Shorpy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Girl Friday - 9/17/2010 - Deepika Padukone

This week's Girl Friday is another exotic gem from India...

Deepika Padukone

deepika padukone 4

deepika padukone 3

I did a little poking around to see what I could find out about her. Basically I came up with this:

1. She's Hot.

2. She's an Indian model turned actress who has been in several movies, none of which I've seen (and probably never will).

3. Did I mention she's hot?

deepika padukone 2

deepika padukone

I did find one little tidbit of info that I found interesting. Her father was an internationally famous professional Badminton player.... WTF? Is Badminton a real sport like baseball and tennis? I thought people just played badminton in their backyards like they did when I was a kid in the 60's and 70's. I had no idea people actually played it professionally.

Huh... Girl Friday. Entertaining AND Educational.

deepika padukone 5

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Summer's Long

I hope all my Northern friends are enjoying the approach of Fall. As for us living on the shores of Hell, Summer isn't giving up without a fight.

shade birds

That's a truck I saw in a parking lot yesterday afternoon. See all those little blobs underneath it?

shade birds 2

Yeah.... in Texas, you take your shade where you can find it and you're thankful for it. This week we have the added benefit of high humidity too... so we've got that going for us.

Work continues to be a major drain in this heat. I know I'll feel better about life once some cooler weather gets here but for now its just beating me down. I've very little patience with people and their general silliness. I have to bite back my natural tendency toward sarcasm on a regular basis.

I went to a house this week in the most expensive part of town. We're talking furniture that is worth more than the house that I live in. The resident was a grown woman that was panicked and terrified over a snake inside her house.

Understandable reaction, you might say. Not at all an unreasonable response, thought I. That was until I arrived and assessed the situation.

tiny snake

People are so helpless and stupid sometimes I just want to take a dump on their porch when I'm leaving. I don't, of course, but the thought comforts me through the day somewhat. As I was leaving, the resident literally in tears over the idea that this monster could have "bitten her doggie", I recalled that I had been here at this same address last spring on another "snake" call.

That time I arrived to find the woman and her mother staring gog-eyed at the black rubber gasket that surrounded one of the underwater spotlights in their enormous swimming pool. They had probably seen that same gasket a million times, but for some reason that time they decided that it was a dangerous snake lurking in their pool.

Its truly a wonder that we continue to exist as a species.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

10 Questions - My Responses

I was "tagged" a couple of days ago by my buddy, Xmichra, with ten questions to answer. I've been snowed under with Life, so I'm just now getting around to it. Here they are, and my answers (better late than never):

1-What do you value most, as a trait, in other people?

A sense of Honor.

If you have a strong sense of honor, it covers a multitude of desirable traits - honesty, trustworthiness, dependability. I think a strong code of honor is missing, or shriveled in lots of people today. Maybe it wasn't as prevalent in people in the past as I like to think either, but I just seem to notice an erosion of Honor among people these days. This probably is one of the reasons that I'm not close with a large number of people. I know lots of people. I'm on friendly terms with lots of people. But I'm not "Friends" with many.

How can you be Friends with a dishonorable person that you can't respect?

If I say I'm going to do something, I do it. If I say I'm not, I won't. If you give your word, keep it.

2-Do believe that people are inherently good or bad?

I think most folks are essentially good people, though we all have flaws. I also think there are really bad people, who may occasionally have a bright spot of non-crappiness that peeks out of the blackness. I also think there is potential for either group to go either way, given the right circumstances, and that it is exceedingly rare for someone to be monochromatically "good" or "bad", even though it is convenient to think of them that way. I do that sometimes, myself. People are annoyingly inconsistent - especially the ones that claim not to be.

Its important to note, however, that "badness" weighs more than "goodness" in how I evaluate people. In other words, I don't find the fact that Hitler liked dogs a redeeming quality that lessens his hideous badness.

3- If you could only see black and white except for one color, what color would you choose to see?

Blue. My Wife, Daughter, and Granddaughter all have Blue Eyes. If I lost all other colors, I'd miss seeing that the most.

4-If you could have a room filled with *_______*, what would that blank be?

If we're talking concrete, tangible, things... then Gold. If we're talking about a concept, then Wisdom.

5-How do you deal with someone you don't like?

If I have to work with them, I just do it. I can detach and not care one way or the other about people that I work with. If it is someone from a social situation, then I cut ties with them. Life is too short to burden yourself with distasteful people.

When I was younger, there might be punching and kicking involved. Time has softened my edges like a stone in a stream :)

6- What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

Start my own business, doing something artistic and creating beautiful things that would affect people in positive ways. That.. or be a writer (fiction).

7-What's your favorite song? Why?

At the moment?... "How I Got To Be This Way" - Justin Moore . Why? Because it rocks right along and the lyrics are about learning things the hard way and how that makes you into the person that you are - tougher and smarter for the experience.

Yeah... it's a Country Song, Xmichra . If you listen to it your head will 'prolly explode :)

8- What is the best advice you've ever given and received?

To paraphrase advice given to me by my Father and later by me to my Daughter:

Do your best and keep moving forward.

That, or Don't Fall Off the Ladder.

9-How do you personally define "Right" from "Wrong"?

Geez.... Why can't you ask something easy, like what is the meaning of life?....

I have a set of rules that I try to live by. A Code, so to speak. It's specific to me, though the individual elements of my Code are pretty commonly found among lots of different people. I'll share it here one day, but this post is wordy enough as it is.

To simply and briefly summarize the part dealing with Right and Wrong:

I'm prepared to not care what you do, as long as you let me. Live your life how you see fit, and leave me and mine alone thankyouverymuch.

If you make me care, I promise things will not go well for you. If what you do affects my family, my small circle of Friends, little kids/defenseless people, or me in a potentially negative way .... then I'll do what I have to do.

10- If you and I met up for an IRL coffee (tea,whatev) date, what would you most want to talk about?

It would be a toss up:

1. Why is Canadian Bacon round... while ours is long and skinny.


2. Is there a God, and if there is - what's he up to.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Amish Auction Roadtrip

The Amish really should step up their internet presence.... no blog, no facebook page. What's up with that? Its almost as if they have an aversion to modern technology

.... go figure.

Every year, the Amish community in Coal County Oklahoma have a huge auction and sale day at the Ben Troyer Farm on highway 48 - on the second Saturday of September. Without fail, I forget about it until its either already over or right at the last minute - which is what happened this year.

amish food tent

We made the trip up Saturday morning with absolutely ZERO disposable cash available to buy anything. Ok, almost no disposable cash. We did manage to score some homemade ice cream to eat while walking around in the heat and humidity and some peanut butter cookies to much on the way home.

amish canned goods

They have fleamarket style booths with folks selling all sorts of stuff, and several great auctions where you can get some great bargains on interesting stuff. Everything from small items like tools and antiques, antique furniture, buggies and carriages, livestock, and beautiful handmade quilts.

amish buggy auction

amish auctioneers

Next year we are hopefully going to be a little better prepared (funded) and able to take advantage of some of the auctions.

amish bent wood rockers

I love these bentwood rockers. We looked at them two years ago and I've been coveting them ever since. They were priced at $180, which I thought was a pretty good price given the quality of them. Next year I'm setting my sights on one of these babies.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Brass shines as fair to the ignorant as gold to the goldsmiths.

-Queen Elizabeth I of England

*Standard Disclaimer: Appreciation for a specific, singular concept or idea does not constitute an endorsement of an individual person's entire life work. IOW - Just because I like the quote does not necessarily mean that I like the author.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Girl Friday - 9/10/2010 - Gene Tierney 2

She's been here before, but can you ever get enough Gene Tierney? I sure can't. I caught Leave Her to Heaven recently on TCM, and to be honest I think I could have been content just to watch her on the screen without any sound at all.

Gene Tierney

gene tierney

gene tierney 2

I thought Gene Tierney certainly deserved another appearance as Girl Friday, once I found new pictures to post. Heaven knows she didn't get all that many breaks in life.

gene tierney 3

gene tierney 4

I touched on Gene Tierney's troubled life in my previous post. You can read about it there, or via her Wiki entry. Suffice to say her's wasn't an easy life, but by many accounts she found peace and love before it was done.

gene tierney 6

gene tierney 7

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Paladin's Random Crap - Steampunk lamp 2.0

I finished up the Steampunk Lamp project today. I used most of the parts that I had been gathering, and it came together pretty well. There are a couple of details that I may change at some point, but for now she's done.

splamp 4

splamp 8

The various parts that I used for this lamp varied in composition. The base and the central column were solid brass. The swing arm was a combination of brass plated steel and brass painted potmetal. The cage and base of the mechanic's light were steel. The presented a question of exactly how to meld all those various pieces into one coherent end result.

I had thought about painting the entire piece so that everything matched. Flat black paint with an over coat of metallic brass or copper paint ragged on to give the look of aged metal. I've been somewhat successful using this technique in the past on smaller projects like shelf brackets, but I wasn't too enthused about using that technique on the lamp project. I also didn't want to shine all the true brass parts up completely, and then have that in stark contrast with the parts that I couldn't equally shine - like the painted pot metal bits and the brass plated parts (some of which was not only tarnished, but had the plating worn through in places).

So... my end solution was to clean and polish the brass parts only so far, and try to reach some sort of middle ground with the rest of the parts. This left tarnish and wear in places that I technically could have polished out. I kind of prefer that sort of look now, for the most part. It gives the visual appeal of polished brass but makes it clear that you're looking at something that's actually OLD. Not some pristine, lacquered, modern creation that tries to mimic something old.

splamp 6

splamp 5

splamp 1

The hardest part of it all was working the new cord through the swing arm. There are access screws on the top and bottom of the swing arm pivot that can be removed to help - but snaking through those right angle turns with no room to work was a bitch. For the most part, everything else came together fairly easily. I used a lamp pipe, which is a hollow pipe that is threaded on the outside for its entire length, down the center to hold the swing arm, base, and central column together. Obviously, the cord runs through that pipe. The swingarm attachment was a different size from the pipe, but a $2 brass plumbing bushing fixed that problem.

splamp 2

splamp 3

A word here about the lightbulb - which really adds to the piece in my opinion. It is a reproduction of a Squirrel Cage bulb that you would have found in use during the early 20th century. It doesn't put out much light compared to modern bulbs, but it really adds a warm unique glow to the lamp's light. They aren't cheap, coming in at $13.00 each, plus shipping. You can find this and similar bulbs via House of Antique Hardware online.

splamp 7

Of course, I can use a modern bulb if I want. If I ever do, I'll probably utilize the copper colander that I showed you in the parts box earlier, as a lampshade. I decided not to use it on this current version of the lamp since it covered up too much of the Squirrel Cage bulb.

The cage finish I'm not entirely happy with, but it will do for now. I went with flat black, although I may try for an antique brass paint treatment at some point. I need to practice some different techniques first, though. The other possible change in the future is the switch. I went with a pull chain socket, with plans to replace the plain ball end with a brass clock gear or somesuch... but I may try to figure out another type of switch all together. Perhaps a base mounted switch using an ornamental, fancy knob?... I dunno yet. The pull chain works fine and looks OK, but the links do drag on the cage somewhat when you pull it. It's not smooth.

We'll see....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Laugh of the day - Watermelon Catapult Vs Face

Found Via Geekologie.

The glee comes the first time about 25 seconds in and then you get to see it again in slo-motion - several times.

I sometimes worry when bad things make me laugh....

Rain Delay

Geez.... I'm on vacation and ITS RAINING CONTINUOUSLY!!!!

This little guy wasn't digging it either...

wet bird

He's clinging to the mullion separating the panes in my back door window. Any port in a storm, I guess, and the Cat was too fat to jump up and scare him away.

The first part of my vacation week was Baily-centric, since we kept here while her Mom and Dad were off relaxing for a couple of days sans-baby. I got absolutely nothing productive done while she was here - and I loved every minute of it :) She had fun too....

9042010 bailey donut

Donut holes are GOOD.

I have managed to get some stuff done in the workshop yesterday and today, but really need to make a run to the hardware store. It's raining buckets, though, and I'm hoping to dash out and back during a break in the weather if one ever comes. The rain gauge overflowed at 6 inches sometime this morning and I'm not sloshing out there to dump it out.

Here's the hat rack that I knocked together yesterday. The Coke mirror is a reproduction, of course, but looks pretty good. That's my tweed 8 panel cap hanging on one of the hooks. I couldn't find a hat rack with hooks spaced far enough apart so I made one myself.

hat rack

This morning I started my second steampunk desk lamp project. Here's my box 'o parts that I'm starting with.

lamp parts box

I've been tossing interesting bits of stuff into the box as I came across it, waiting for the workshop to cool down enough to allow me to work on it. I'll need some odds and ends, of course, like sockets, cords, etc. Everything is pretty dirty and tarnished right now. Its kind of an odd process that I go through deciding just how much to clean stuff up.

lamp parts

The base is the burner from a parlor heater project that I electrified. The swing arm is from an old floor lamp. You'll also notice the cage/mechanics light that I picked up at a fleamarket a while back. And yes.... that is a copper colander :)

We'll see how she looks when I'm done.