November 21, 2017

The Five Year AR-15 Build

Back in 2012, I won an AR-15 lower and matching flat top upper from Dreadnaught Industries as a prize package for Kilted to Kick Cancer.

Since I already had one AR-15, I wasn't in any big hurry to build this one out, and the budget being what it was for many years, parts were hard to afford and came piecemeal: One year, I managed to scrape together some coin and I bought a .300 BLK barrel for it at the NRAAM in Nashville.  A year later, I bought a lower parts kit after stashing away a couple bucks from each paycheck.  This past year, I picked up a bolt carrier group with firing pin and a telescoping stock, buffer tube and spring, and a few other parts for the upper.

I'm finally down to the last few items: Gas tube and block, compensator, and a free float handguard are all that remain.

So this past weekend, Friday being payday and all, I went to my LGS and picked up a gas tube and block.  I was reasonably sure it was a 9 inch tube that I needed.

I was wrong.

So back to the LGS I go, and I picked up a 7 inch gas tube.  Spent an hour trying to get the rolling pin into the block and tube, finally gave up.  I'll probably take the upper to the gunsmith and ask him to install it for me, along with the dust cover.  In the interest of safety, I'll probably have him give the entire thing a once-over to ensure it's built correctly before I fire it.

And yes, I have different magazines for the .300BLK rounds and my 5.56 NATO rounds.  My 5.56 AR-15 is all black (because of course, right?) while I purposely built my .300BLK in Flat Dark Earth accessories (stock, grip, and will get a FDE fore end), so I figure FDE magazines would be a good way to determine which mag has which round.

At any rate, I think I can have this done by the end of the year, thus bringing to a close a 5 year long AR-15 build project.

November 15, 2017

Oh My Aching Legs

We've got a new "client" of sorts at work.

The business is an assisted living facility type place, and the corporation that owns it uses an IT company out of Oregon.  They, in turn, have sub-contracted with us to build the infrastructure and do the work that cannot be done remotely... Build and configure the server rack, install switches in the rack, patch cables between server and switches and firewalls and so forth, deploy and set up PCs, and that sort of thing.

I started on the project on Monday, and that was the easy day: Build the server rack, get the APC and server and switches into the rack, and connect to the internet.  Easy peasy, mac and cheesy.

Tuesday and today, however, involved a lot of walking.  Down the hall, up a ladder, find the data drop in the ceiling tiles, pull the tile, down the ladder, walk back to my work area, mount an access point, walk back down the hall, back up the ladder, put the tile with AP in place, back down the ladder, down the hall to the next location.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

For 14 different wireless AP locations.

Today was PC deployment.  Grab a computer, walk to the proper location, install the PC and monitor and so forth, back to the supply room, another computer, walk to the next location... You get the idea.

Fitness app on my phone says I walked 10,984 steps yesterday and 13,390 steps today.  Given my normal step is about 3 feet, that works out to just shy of 14 miles walked.

In two days.

Which kinda explains why my legs are sore.

November 14, 2017

That Was... Odd

Had a dream last night that was... odd.

My buddy Micah and I were out hunting elk in the north central mountains of Colorado.  It was a lovely day, bright sun, just enough chill in the air to make elk want to get up and move to generate heat, and you could see your breath as you walked.

We'd left a grove of aspens, rich in color (which is odd, because all the leaves have dropped by now) and were looking over a small pond about 200 yards away.  A small group of elk had come in for a drink, and we were just waiting for a bull, because out OTC tags only allow us to take a bull elk.

Micah saw a nice bull, took a good shot with his 300 WSM, and dropped the elk on the spot.  I told him I'd go get the ATV from camp (also odd, since neither of us owns an ATV) and meet him at the elk, while he goes forward and starts gutting the thing and getting ready for transport.

Shouldering my rifle, I ran back to camp (odd, since I don't run) and got the ATV, then headed back to where Micah dropped the elk.  When I approached, I saw what looked like a black bear running towards him.  But the bear was running on two feet, instead of all four (odd, because... well, bears don't run on two feet, duh).

I grabbed my 30.06, made sure I had a round in the chamber, and lined up the scope, just to get a better picture of what was going on (odd, since I had binoculars, and I never use my scope to glass).  The "bear" lept at Micah, and I saw the bottom of the bear's feet... "Is that?... Are those?... Is that bear wearing Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers?  Da fuq?"

I ran up to the "bear" and butt stroked it once on the back, which caused it to cease beating up my buddy and turn towards me.  Somehow, in the tussle, Micah had grabbed the bear's ears, and when the bear rolled away and faced me, the mask came off and I saw a human face under the bear costume.

Then I woke up.

November 11, 2017

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day

Today is Veteran's Day, when we honor those who wore the uniform of our country's armed forces.

"Thank you" is inadequate to express our ever lasting gratitude, but their sacrifice calls for us to show appreciation in some fashion.

For all who served, I'm going to find a politician or two deserving of it and I'm gonna kick 'em right in the junk.

For you, soldier. 

November 9, 2017

Texas, Facts, and Keeping Your Pie Hole Shut

I've been trying lately to be a bit more patient and deliberate when I hear any news story pop up that perks my interest.  It's what LawDog and Old NFO call the 72 hour rule -- Everything you hear or see or read in the first 72 hours is likely to be wrong.  Keep your trap shut, wait for the facts to come out, and don't repeat stuff you hear during the first 72 hours.

I've seen liberals doing the blood dance, calling for more gun control even before 24 hours had passed.  I've seen conservatives sharing claims that the shooter* in Texas had converted to Islam and joined ISIS (this was shared by several people I know by NOON on Sunday).  

This is what is wrong with us today.  We have our beliefs, we often steadfastly refuse to listen to other ideas or accept facts that don't fit, and we're quick to share things that affirm our pre-conceived notions before we've verified their authenticity.  We use biased sources to support our statements.  We live and breathe in an echo chamber, and that's a recipe for disaster.  

I don't know if the shooter converted to Islam or not.  I don't particularly care.  Doesn't make a damn bit of difference.  It's that we don't know if it is true yet.  

But that doesn't stop us from parroting that which we simply want to believe.  

Remember the "Antifa day of uprising" that was supposed to happen last weekend?  Yeah, about that...

I would encourage all of my readers to consider this the next time you hear some story.  Don't believe everything you hear or read, and for the first 72 hours, keep an open mind and a closed mouth.

* This author does not publish the names of criminals, terrorists, or scumbags.  The church shooter in Texas meets all three of those criteria.  

November 3, 2017

This is CNN?

Notice the ad on the side of the van and the SUV with the open tailgate.

CNN is trying to pass this off as two reporters in different locations, but in reality they're probably no more than 5 feet apart.

And then they wonder why we have such a low level of trust in the media.

November 2, 2017

The Fragile Generation

I stumbled across an interesting article yesterday that discusses the way our current society treats and views children, and examines the potential this has for the future years.  You can read the article here, if you wish.

A few excerpts:

We've had the best of intentions, of course. But efforts to protect our children may be backfiring. When we raise kids unaccustomed to facing anything on their own, including risk, failure, and hurt feelings, our society and even our economy are threatened. Yet modern child-rearing practices and laws seem all but designed to cultivate this lack of preparedness. There's the fear that everything children see, do, eat, hear, and lick could hurt them. And there's a newer belief that has been spreading through higher education that words and ideas themselves can be traumatizing.
How did we come to think a generation of kids can't handle the basic challenges of growing up?
Beginning in the 1980s, American childhood changed. For a variety of reasons—including shifts in parenting norms, new academic expectations, increased regulation, technological advances, and especially a heightened fear of abduction (missing kids on milk cartons made it feel as if this exceedingly rare crime was rampant)—children largely lost the experience of having large swaths of unsupervised time to play, explore, and resolve conflicts on their own. This has left them more fragile, more easily offended, and more reliant on others. They have been taught to seek authority figures to solve their problems and shield them from discomfort, a condition sociologists call "moral dependency."
This poses a threat to the kind of open-mindedness and flexibility young people need to thrive at college and beyond. If they arrive at school or start careers unaccustomed to frustration and misunderstandings, we can expect them to be hypersensitive. And if they don't develop the resources to work through obstacles, molehills come to look like mountains.
And yet it doesn't feel safer. A 2010 study found "kidnapping" to be the top parental fear, despite the fact that merely being a passenger in a car is far more dangerous. Nine kids were kidnapped and murdered by strangers in 2011, while 1,140 died in vehicles that same year. While Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker writes in 2011's The Better Angels of Our Nature that life in most countries is safer today than at any time in human history, the press keeps pushing paranoia. This makes stepping back feel doubly risky: There's the fear of child kidnappers and the fear of Child Protective Services.
At times, it seems like our culture is conjuring dangers out of thin air, just to have something new to worry about. Thus, the Boulder Public Library in Colorado recently forbade anyone under 12 to enter without an adult, because "children may encounter hazards such as stairs, elevators, doors, furniture, electrical equipment, or other library patrons." Ah, yes, kids and library furniture. Always a lethal combo.
Happily, the library backed off that rule, perhaps thanks to merciless mocking in the media. But saner minds don't always prevail. At Mesa Elementary School, which also happens to be in Boulder, students got a list of the items they could not bring to the science fair. These included "chemicals," "plants in soil," and "organisms (living or dead)." And we wonder why American children score so low on international tests.

There's a LOT more at the link.

I really can't find much to fault in the article.  I know that my childhood was far different than what I see frequently now.  Granted, much of that is due to the incredible changes in technology that have happened over the past 30+ years, but even setting that aside, there's been a tidal shift in the way adults perceive children between then and now.

October 26, 2017

Gun Raffle Fundraiser

Old NFO is leading the charge on a fundraiser for family of dear friends.

Short version is that the daughter in law of the Farm Fam, who host Blogorado every year, is facing some medical issues.  She had a stroke back in August that was misdiagnosed, and thus caused a delay in treatment.

It's going to take her a good length of time in Physical Therapy to get back to normal, and we're trying to help with some expenses.

And because it's the Tribe, we're doing it by raffling off some guns.

Head over to Old NFO's blog for details.  Donate as you can, please, and maybe pick yourself up a new gun in the process.

October 25, 2017

Giggle Snort

Would you care for barbecue sauce with that crow?

October 20, 2017

I've Chosen... Wisely

One year returns on my IRA Portfolio:

Yep, just shy of 30%.