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Monday, November 29, 2010

Screwed Again

When leaving physical therapy today there were a stack of papers on the desk for any who wanted one. The sheet of paper states that physician pay for Medicare and Tricare (military) will be cut 23% Dec. 1st, and that another cut comes Jan. 1, 2011. I knew a cut was coming, but I didn't know it was that much.

Several doctors in my area have made it public that they will not accept any new Medicare patients due to the cut in payments. I'm sure others will raise their fees for non-medicare patients to help make the difference.

In the past I've stated that I can't see a way to reduce the cost of health care due to the increasing demand of an aging society. I've seen the lite. Now I understand. The demand is reduced by eliminating the supply. If doctors won't accept Medicare payments, then a large portion of the aging will be forced into not getting any health care.

Once again the Dems, helpers of the poor, are in fact putting the screws to the poor.


For the past 6 months I've been paying $400/month out of pocket to continue medical coverage. We were just informed that will increase to $468/month this month, and then to $1500/month in May. So when June rolls around we will be without any medical coverage unless I happen to land a direct hire position. The present Federal policies are making that less and less likely.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

357 to 44

The guy that repaired my Kimber told me about an interesting project he's working on. The customer has requested he convert a Ruger GP100 357 to 44 special. Due to frame size, it'll end up being a 5 shot. Being a fan of the old 44 cartridge, I hope to see the result.

I'm guessing the customer wants a medium framed carry gun with good stopping performance, controllable, and lacking the sharp muzzle blast. Sounds like a compact 1911 to me, but there are still some wheel gun carriers out there.

I happen to have a Charter Arms 44 special. I simply wanted a 44 special, and that's what I found. One of the most uncomfortable guns I've ever shot. Due to the thin grips and light weight, 240 grain bullets in the neighborhood of 650 f/s is about as much as I can stand.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


For years I've voiced my opinion that the so-called security checks at airports are nothing more than an effort to make the uninformed feel good. The metal detectors are useless against anyone with a little information concerning plastics. It's simple to make a non-metallic knife and tape it to your body. Today they're commercially available.

Even the more technically inclined can make a plastic gun that will fire non-metallic ammunition.

I suppose those old screening techniques do keep the uneducated from bringing a weapon aboard.

And so now the TSA is going to either body scan or grope all passengers. This invasion of personal space is more effective, but still won't make all flights safe. People do have cavities that can hide plastic explosive.

If anyone wants to be truly safe then all passengers must be naked and submit to body cavity searches.

Another way to prevent hijacking is to allow anyone who wants, to carry a gun on board.

Related to the above is this story.

It seems a total travesty to treat returning soldiers in this manner. This was a chartered flight containing only soldiers that have put their lives on the line for us. And they were treated like shit. The TSA should be ashamed. After the initial screening leave them alone! Any US soldier with military ID shouldn't be put through the indignity of security screening at all, anywhere in this country.

Getting Stronger

Getting into the car, as a passenger, after surgery required a special technique. I had to move the seat back to get extra space then sit my butt on the seat with both feet still outside the car. I'd then pull myself in as far as I could, and rotate my legs inside. My initial efforts getting behind the wheel were similar.

Yesterday the boss and I were running some errands. I walked up to the car, put my weak leg behind the wheel and sat down, just like I've always done, before the surgery. I didn't think about it. I just did it.

Friday night I walked down the stairs into the basement and back up without using my cane for support for the first time. I didn't think about that either. I just did it.

Today I walked the dog for a distance of about half a mile, on relatively flat ground. I didn't start limping until about 3/4 the way back.

Obviously the damaged muscles are getting stronger.

Three cheers for physical therapy, though I still can't put a sock on my foot without a mechanical aid. We're working on that.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Humor ??

Via e-mail comes this little snippet.
Real? Who knows, but it's fun.

President BARACK OBAMA was invited to address a major gathering of the American Indian Nation two weeks ago in upstate New York .

He spoke for almost an hour about his plans for increasing every Native American's present standard of living. He referred to his time as a U.S. Senator and how he had voted for every Native American issue that came to the floor of the Senate.

Although President Obama was vague about the details of his plans, he seemed most enthusiastic and spoke eloquently about his ideas for helping his "red sisters and brothers."

At the conclusion of his speech, the Tribes presented Obama with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name, "Walking Eagle."

The proud President Obama accepted the plaque and then departed in his motorcade to a fundraiser, waving to the crowds.

A news reporter later asked the group of chiefs how they came to select the new name they had given to the President.

They explained that "Walking Eagle" is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This & That

Physical therapy today was the roughest yet. Four new exercises were added, and the old ones had more repetitions and/or increased weight. Two hours produced some sweat running down my temples...That was this morning. I've been stiff and sore all afternoon, at home. I learned my lesson about going to work after therapy. I did that just one time, and it was way too much.

I picked up my repaired Kimber this afternoon. The broken cast safety and the cast slide stop have now been replaced with machined parts from Ed Brown. The extractor was already a machined part. Parts and labor totaled at $160. I paid $750 for it 5-6 years ago when the local retail price was around $1200. The same for my 3" version, so having to drop another $160 doesn't bother me, except for the reliability factor. I'll probably have the same thing done to my 3" Kimber in the not too distant future. The possibility of the same failure on my carry gun is disturbing.

On the way home from the gun shop I stopped at a florist and bought 6 roses for the Boss. She's done a bang-up job of taking care of me after surgery. Sure put a smile on her face that was a pleasure to see.

While I was non-mobile after surgery there were several interesting local engineering jobs posted. I basically ignored them because I was in no shape for interviewing. I saw a position of interest last night and sent in a resume. I feel a little guilty about that. My present contract employer has treated me well and even held my position for me while I was off due to surgery. Even now there's no complaint about me working part time while continuing to heal. They're not obligated to do any of that, but they did. The trouble is, I need the benefits that a direct hire position has. A person must look out for himself and family first. Personal experience has taught me that truth.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Socialist Leader

I find it hard to believe that the witch of Kalifornia will retain her Dem leadership position in the House. That's a prime example of how far the Dems have strayed from the ideals of America.

If I recall correctly there was a USSR communist leader who claimed that the US will fall to communism from within. Sure looks to me like the Dem leadership is trying to make that prediction come true.

He's Been a Bad Boy

So what will the ethics committee do as punishment to Rangel? It certainly won't be what I'd like to see happen. Anybody convicted of 11 counts of ethic violations should be kicked out of congress, but that sure as hell won't happen. They'll probably kick him off of some committees and tell him to be nice in the future, then he'll just continue his corrupt ways.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rookies in Town

So the newly elected are visiting their future place of employment this week. Let's hope they aren't too impressed with the palace of corruption.

Two years ago The People voiced their displeasure with the Fed by kicking the Reps out of Washington. The Dems in their arrogance thought The People chose them, when it was actually a rejection of the status.

Now The People have once again voiced their displeasure through rejection. Let's hope the Reps don't repeat the mistake of the last 2 years.

Oh, . . . . and while the Bush era tax cuts are expiring, our lustrous electorate are concerned with some sort of political resolution. A really fine job they're doing there.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Going Armed

A couple of decades ago, the Boss, our 2 young boys and I enjoyed little float trips down a local river about once a month weather permitting. We'd bring lunch, drinks and snacks because we'd be out most of the day. I'd fish a little while floating through the farm fields and wooded lots. We'd ground the boat at shallow spots and I'd wade fish while the boys and Boss played in the shallows chasing crayfish and the like. It was good family time and an escape from the realities of daily life. I sure miss those days.

An encounter with 3 drunken young guys at our get-out spot temporarily ruined those peaceful river trips until I decided that unsavory and potentially dangerous characters were not going to stop us from enjoying the outdoors as a family. Since it's legal here, I started openly carrying a handgun on our trips. After that a 6" barreled 357Mag was strapped to my hip on every river trip or long walk in the state forest. As far as I could tell, none of the other outdoors people we encountered thought anything about that gun on my hip. The only comment I remember was a young boy saying something like "hey Dad he's got a gun". His father replied "don't worry about it, he's not going to hurt anybody".

Though it's very legal to open carry, doing so while going about my daily routine would most likely result in panic by some and a few discussions with local law enforcement. Since I don't want to panic the sheep, nor hassle with the uniforms, I carry concealed.

When I decided to carry concealed, it raised my awareness of my surroundings. I've become more aware of what others are doing and assess the level of threat, if any. Now that I'm physically weakened since surgery, I'm even more aware. I feel like an easy mark for the bad guy. When first venturing out with the Boss I needed a walker to get around, and was unarmed. I was very uneasy about this and vulnerable. I couldn't protect myself let alone the Boss if the need arose. I'm now using a cane and carrying a gun again. This is a better situation. Though I'm still slow as a turtle, and we still look like an easy target, I feel a whole lot better about the situation. Having a bum leg doesn't effect my shooting much.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back to work, part time

This morning was physical therapy once again, and this afternoon was back to work for the first time since surgery. The combination of therapy and work kicked my butt.

I drove the Boss's car because of the softer seats that are less aggressive buckets than the truck I normally drive. There was still pressure on the sore spot on the side of my upper leg, but was acceptable.

One co-worker acused me of sitting in a recliner all day dry firing a 44 Mag. Only in my mind.

I told the manager that I plan on working partial days the first week and no more than half days on therapy days. Any more than that will depend on how things go. He didn't comment, which is acceptance from this guy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

De-Stress Yourself

Some time ago a friend asked me to try an experiment while sitting in my tree stand deer hunting. He said to try and think about something related to my work. I tried and found that I could only keep my mind on work for seconds at a time. I think that's the biggest reason that I enjoy bow hunting for deer, and in years past squirrel hunting. There's something about being in the woods, trying to become part of nature, that clears the mind of all the worries and troubles of life It's refreshing and revitalizing.

It's not quite the same nor as effective, but I get a similar effect when at the shooting range. Concentrating on safe gun handling and the challenge of improving my marksmanship clears the mind. My outlook is always improved afterward.

This comes to mind due to an article in a men's health magazine the Boss got free when ordering something on-line. It's reported that meditation helps clear the brains RAM (random access memory in computer terms), allowing quicker and more effective analysis. I suppose this is similar to the effect I get from shooting or spending time in the woods.

I think everyone needs an escape from the stress of daily life. If you don't have a method of de-stressing yourself, I suggest you find something that works for you. You'll be a better and happier person because of it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What The Hell

Before going to the range Wednesday I had the friend handle most of my handguns to narrow the field a little for what he wanted to try. During what I consider normal handling the thumb safety of my full sized Kimber broke. What the hell? It was cast stainless with a little bit of porosity. Today I took it to a part time smith that I trust. He told me that the thumb safety, slide lock and extractor are all cast material on Kimbers. I decided to have him replace all 3 with Ed Brown parts. When I get it back I may have him do the same on my UltraCarry, which hasn't had nearly as many rounds put through it. The likelihood of a similar failure on my main carry gun is troubling.

While there I picked up a cheap IWB holster that I can probably convert to cross draw carry with minimal effort. I'm not fond of that method, having short arms and wide body, but sometimes compromises are in order. My repaired hip is way too sore for my preferred strong side carry.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Range Day

Yesterday late morning I went with a friend to a local shooring range. He was trying to decide what chambering to get in a semi-auto. I supplied two 9mm and two 45 pistols for him to try. I have each in full sized all steel, and compact light weight. I don't own a 40, though he did rent a full sized Glock in 40.

He shot my two 1911s and HiPower fairly well. The Glock didn't suit him even a little bit, even less than the tiny Kahr PM9.

The decision has yet to be made, but I suspect he's going to end up with a full sized, all steel 9mm. He really liked my HiPower.

A guy behind the counter at the range said, with authority, that the 1911 is not a suitable carry gun, even if you like 1911s. Isn't it interesting how an opinion can become gospel in some minds? I think my aluminum framed , 3" 1911 is the perfect carry weapon, . . . for me anyway. I only carry plastic (Kahr PM9) when something smaller and lighter is required. If I could get a 1911 in that size and weight in 9mm, that would be my choice.

Oh, and mostly standing on my feet for a couple of hours was exhausting. And my personal markmanship didn't degrade as much as I thought it would without shooting for maybe 3 months.

A Little Strange

Being behind the wheel for the first time in about 5 weeks. The biggest challenge was actually getting in the vehicle with a bad right hip. I have to sit on the seat with both feet outside, then pull myself inside far enough thst rotating my body also rotates my legs under the wheel. Once there I did OK.

I've always liked bucket type seats. The wings on each side hug the hips and provide good stability when cornering. Right now not so much. That same seat feature now pushes on a sore area of my hip. It's sure not comfortable now.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Rap on The Knuckles

Now that the Reps have taken a large majority in the House, and are basically even in the Senate, I sure hope some of the Nanny state BS that's grown over the last several years can be mitigated a bit. Those policies and laws have surely been destroying this country, but it can only happen if the Reps keep in mind this happened because The People no longer want the type of Fed government that's been prevalent for the last decade, regardless of political party.

The Reps need to remember that this wasn't because The People want Reps instead of Dems in power, just like the last wasn't because The People wanted Dems instead of Reps. This election and the one 2 years ago were all about the reduction of Big Government. We've had enough of the Nanny state. We don't want to be like European countries.

In years past I've celebrated Fed government gridlock that happens when the legislature is split between parties. It's usually been better for the country when the Fed does nothing rather than screw things up like the norm. This time I pray that those newly elected and those still keeping their jobs at least reverse some of the BS that's been signed into law in the last 2 years and long before.

Thanks to the TEA people, we're now seeing a glimmer that, as a country, we're moving back towards where this country should be. Just like 2 years ago, the Fed has had a rap on the knuckles. Maybe this time, Big Nanny will pay attention.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Voted Today

The Boss drove me to the local polling place this morning, and I voted for mostly Republican candidates. I'm hoping the TEA movement will turn the Republican party back into Republicans once again.

In 2 cases I held my nose and voted for Democrats strictly due to the Republican candidates poor record concerning firearm laws. Any politician that wants to restrict my gun ownership rights has no trust or respect for The People, nor respect for the rights of The People. Those do not represent me, nor do they have any business being in authority, at least in this country.