Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shotty 1, Bad Guys 0

I have never been an advocate of the line of reasoning that "the sound of a shotgun will send someone running".  I agree it is very likely to occur, but if you are in harm's way you'd better be chambering a live round to stop a threat, not pumping a shotgun just to sound scary.  On the other hand, apparently sometimes that sound is enough to scare someone pretty badly.  So badly, in fact, that not only do they A. run, but also B. forget how to drive.  To the homeowner's credit, he sounded like he was fully prepared to repel boarders and was fortunate that they abandoned all hope when they realized this.  Other good news is that because he chose to defend his home, no one found out what the BGs' plans were with those bats and that machete.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Brand Spankin' New Pocket Popper

Yep, I've been wanting something really concealable for a long time now.  I have some mid-size carry guns and a medium frame revolver, but have been lacking in a real deep-cover concealable pocket gun or back-up gun (BUG).  I've been threatening to do this for a long time and finally pulled the trigger (so to speak) and went with the Kel Tec P3AT-T (tan).  I asked Mrs. 45er for some input since this will probably be carried by her at times as well.  She liked the Coyote Tan.  I have to say I agreed with her.  It was really sight unseen since I got it through a friend that is highly considerate to have a dealer's license and allow me to buy from him.  I picked it up today and saw her for the first time.  She's purdy...

You're the one for me
Initial thoughts:

This thing is LIGHT.  It's easy to forget you have it.

Nice, aggressive checkering.  It fits well in the hand.  I don't mind the "pinky swing" that some people can't stand from the short grip.  I've adapted my standard grip and don't try to hold with the pinky, just use the left hand as a vice over the right.  It works really well and clamps the gun in with little notice of the short grip. 

Ok... sights.  What are you going to do on a pocket .380?  I wouldn't really want tall, sharp snaggerific sights.  I've seen a little better on comparable guns.

Trigger pull is firm, but smooth.  It is a long double action only and it feels safe to carry chambered without risk of any discharge.  The DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster is in the mail.

I like the tan finish, it looks good, not cheesy.

You'll notice I got the 9 round mag with the grip extension.  I was conflicted about that purchase.  Early versions of this mag dropped the floorplate pretty immediately after the first few shots were fired.  I consider that a "catastrophic" failure.  My emails to Kel Tec didn't give me the warm fuzzies that they had a handle on positively knowing this issue had been resolved other than they aren't getting as many returns as they used to.  Yay.  Well, my plan is to work this thing over with a LOT of ammo to make me feel confident.

Regarding mag color, they only had black at the distributor.  I've done some searching and haven't really been able to find tan.  I have personally seen the green one, but don't know about tan.  That Guy from Rock in a Sea of Chaos and I are going to "rattlecan" it as he puts it.  If the color matches, he has some tan Brownell's Alumahyde spray paint.  Mrs. 45er would prefer things to match.  I'm thrilled that she has an opinion.

I have a couple of different flavors of FMJ and Hornady Critical Defense ammo to test.  I will have a range report after the weekend.  I plan on doing a function test of the gun and the defense ammo (stacked water jugs with wet phonebooks to catch the rounds if they over-penetrate.  So that will (hopefully) be an informative post.  I look forward to doing that one.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ballistic Soulmate

So, I got the idea from a commercial.  A guy holding a 1911, saying that it was his "ballistic soulmate" and how he got it on Gunbroker.  It made me chuckle and I obviously remembered it, so it must have been a good ad.  So, on to the point.  What is your "ballistic soulmate"?

This is not just a gun porn or "look at my gun(s)" post.  It is more born of my curiosity about the connection we have with these tools.  I'm just very interested in how some firearms seem to "speak" to certain people.  It doesn't have to be particularly fancy or expensive to feel like an extension of you.  It may not even be the one you carry all of the time.  For me it certainly isn't.  It's just the one that always seems to "feel" right.  It seems to almost shoot itself. 

Don't look at me like that, I know you know what I'm talking about.

Here is my conundrum on this post:  I can't decide, so I went with a handgun and and long gun.  I'm already blowing up my own meme, I know.  So, moving on to the meat of the matter, this is my handgun that just absolutely is my ballistic soulmate.

Love at first sight
It is my Les Baer Custom Comanche 1911.  It was sold to me at cost as a tip from a client waaay back when I was hunting guide.  The extra-special tip was the 3,000 rounds of .45 ACP that came with it (long since gone).  The gun also came with advice regarding the high thumb grip which improved my performance dramatically.  This gun holds my hand when I pick it up.  When my wife reads this I'll probably have to be supervised around it from now on.  I love to carry it, but as we know sometimes it just isn't practical and that's why we tend to have a gun safe full of options.  At least that's my excuse.  These aren't all toys, they're options.

In a more recent picture:  The new grips are Cocobolo and are inset with a Texas quarter.  They were a gift from a friend on last year's big shooting trip that we do annually.  They're awesome.  I also acquired some Chip McCormick Power Mags, though I also still use the Wilson mags that came with it.

So, moving on to my other love...
Uhhh, hey baby

It is an engraved Remington 700 BDL in 7mm STW (Shooting Times Westerner).  What a love/hate relationship this has been.  I love it when I shoot it, I hate it when I try to find ammunition.  My wallet generally despises this rifle.  It is the main reason I've been considering getting into reloading.  Two years ago (out of desperation) I scoped my AR-15 for deer season.  It turned out to be an awesome culling rifle and I saved a ton, but it didn't "do" anything for me. 

Comparison: 7mm STW (top) and .223 (bottom) - obviously

The Two Towers
7mm STW (L) .223 (R)
Then a situation transpired that put the STW back into my hands.  Last season we were culling a lot of trash bucks and one particular fork was being a persistent pain in the hind quarters.  I didn't shoot him early in the season while I was still trying to monitor and determine the worst offenders for which to use my limited tags.  D'oh!  This guy became a legend on the lease within the next month.  He would literally run through the hunting area and you had no chance to react.  Why he even continued to move through the same area if he was so spooked is beyond me.  Well, out came big Mr. 7 and a change in tactics. I moved from the blind up the hill.  The above picture was taken sitting on an overlook where he came through.  I ended up shooting a different deer that day, but it was so much more memorable than all of the deer I shot the year before with the AR.  A friend ended up finally getting the fork later in the season.  The STW has taken Aoudad at 400 yards and Red Stag at 50 yards.  It has taken 6 Axis from the same herd in one sitting.  Now, that was a wild time with a rifle that holds 2+1 (3+1 if you really squeeze them in).  The point is that gun made the hunt fun again.  I just seem to exude confidence when I use it, but not in me... in the rifle.

With Versa-Pod
So, tell me if you have a "ballistic soulmate".  Is it just a "feeling", or are you more left-brained about the technical reasons?  The curiosity regarding guns that "speak" to their owners has stirred me and I'd love to hear more.
Mmmmm, Axis

Monday, June 20, 2011

Don't mind the crazy

It's just me dancing over a new book release.

Something else about me is I'm an avid (ok, insanely voracious) reader.  I'll read just about anything IF it is good.  By no means am I a hard-core science fiction fan, but I do enjoy any well written book.  All of that aside, there hasn't been a series of books that I have actually stalked until Larry Correia started his Monster Hunter International (MHI) series.  I started reading the first little hints of the idea on The High Road.  Then I jumped at the chance to get a copy when it was self published.  It seems like that was forever ago.  Now, here I am haunting his blog waiting for the very mention of when the next book might be released.  I have read many series of books by many authors, but I've never stalked their books.  Correia is a gun nut firearms enthusiast first, so it's great to not have to worry about slides on revolvers interrupting your reading.  That or just the very general gun descriptions that are almost as irritating.  The other thing that is really interesting is that Correia offers to sign copies of his books for those that follow him.  He's done it since the very beginning and it has really impressed me that he has stuck with the demand and even tried to find the best way to continue doing it as long as he can.  At some point I'm sure the demand will be overwhelming, but for now I'm buying at least 2 autographed copies of everything he releases.  Give MHI a try, you'll thank me.  If that isn't your speed (trust me, you're just hurting yourself by not trying it) then Dead Six will be up your alley.  It's more along the fiction/military action/awesome gunplay road.  I read the very early releases of this one as he and co-writer Mike Kupari were putting out little bits at a time and it was incredible.  I'm sure the book version is by far better (not that the story I read wasn't awesome).  At least that's what Larry is telling his readership.  He hasn't steered me wrong, yet.

So, here is the release of the third installment, MHI: Alpha.  Go here and keep reading.  He's a great writer.

Oh, yeah.  I have no vested interest whatsoever in the success of this series of books other than being utterly selfish and wanting to read more.  Larry has no idea who I am other than a stark-raving mad fan.  I'm sure he'll have visions of Misery if he ever reads this, though he'll be infinitely more prepared to deal with the threat.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

MORE range time

I've been trying to really hit the range more, so even though we spent a full day at it last week, I scheduled time with another buddy to get out again.  We went out just for the morning and worked on some basics.  I just got back a little bit ago and probably still smell like a migrating wildebeest.  In case you aren't aware, it's freaking hot in June in Texas at 10 in the morning.  This friend is a relatively new shooter and has already gotten himself a pretty good collection going.  Most importantly, he is eager to learn and wants to know how to do things correctly and safely.  We sighted in his red dot, then worked on carbine skills and handgun.  He has a nice little Springfield XDm in 9mm.  While I appreciate Springfield's effort to provide a full package with a holster and mag holders, that holster has to be the most horrible thing for a new shooter to deal with.  Anyways, he has another one and I had him switch out pretty immediately.
Turning money into sound

And mag changes

So, we did all of that.  I got in a little time myself.  In full geek regalia.  The MHI shirt is a tip of the hat to Larry Correia.  The boonie was a lesson learned from last week.  I got a lot of sun, even with sunscreen.

Hey, Sun.  Get up off Mah neck!

Not a bad day at all.
Even if I'd missed horribly, a day at the range is still not a bad day.  Not at all.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bullet List

I saw Rockinaseaofchaos doing a bucket list with guns called a "Bullet List" that The Miller has started.  What a cool idea.  I'm sure we all have wishes and wants, but to condense it down to about 10 biggies is a great idea.  It's also one that might actually help me focus on the things I really want to get done instead of being pulled in different directions.  Oh look, something SHINY!!  Yeah, that's me.  I have accomplished a few of the things on my list in the last few years, but I have a few left.

1.  Get my kids into shooting and the wife to the range more.  This one is coming up quick.  My oldest daughter is just about to the point where we will start working on basics with air guns.  I couldn't imagine where I'd be if I would have had correct training from a very young age.

2.  Get into the Class III scene.  In my group of shooting buddies, there are only a couple of us left that are Class III virgins.  I really, REALLY want to get my collection going.  It's just that whole expense thing.  It will happen.

3.  Sort out and clean up my gun collection.  I know I've mentioned that I really don't like selling anything.  On the other hand, there are a couple of items I could stand to move that could be converted into items I would be MUCH happier to have and actually use.

4.  Get all the little gun projects done.  I have a few projects that could stand to be completed before I go getting more guns, but new guns are just too tempting.

5.  Get a reloading kit and get good at it.  That Guy from Rockinaseaofchaos has been tempting me with constant emails with various sales for reloading equipment.  He is a professional enabler in case he hasn't mentioned it.  I dabbled in the past and got pretty good with what I had, but just didn't have enough equipment.

6.  Work more on long range stuff.  I've done a bit of it in the past and I'm not half-bad, but I really need to take a class and work on how to get my dope worked up.

7.  Take more classes.  We do a class whenever we can, but I could stand to take more.  A lot more.

8.  Get more people involved in shooting.  I've gotten a few people into the sport and even helped half a dozen of them get their concealed handgun license, but there is always the next one.

9.  Go on a big hunting trip with my dad.  We've been hunting together since I can remember.  I know he wants to go Elk hunting.  I would just love to make it happen someday.

10.  Set up more practice/training trips with my shooting buddies.  We just did a big one down here and we're talking about making it regular.  I want to make that happen and I'm already planning a spring trip including the wives. 

Well, it's a wordy one, but that just about covers it.  It's kind of good to have goals.  I still have a feeling I'll circumvent the big list for the low hanging fruit like a new gun when I can get one.  Thanks, Miller.  Great idea!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shadetree Jihadist

I happened to click on a Fox News story today about an Al Qaeda website that has published a hit list of some organizations.  First off, fine, but if these guys could do some serious damage to anyone in the US, they would have already done it without needing a "hit list".  So, here is the article, and here is the real point for the post:

This scope angle allows me to shoot back in time.
 You have got to be freaking kidding me.  Straight from the website where the threats are coming (no I did NOT go there, just the news article alone scared me into thinking they'd kick down my door for just typing it into Google), I bring you the shadetree jihadist.  You see, I've been kind of looking around for a nice scope mount for my CETME.  Maybe a nice Stanag, or heck I don't know I haven't even decided yet.  I just want something pretty solid.  Orrrrrr, I can go with the "flat piece of steel bent into a curve and somehow hooked into the receiver with the rear scope ring kind of angled over touching and the scope at a 20 degree angle from the barrel" mount.  I know, I know.  NEVER underestimate your enemy.  I know, I really do.  But it's hard not to think these guys are the freaking Keystone Cops of evildoers.  And that's all for now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

Now, normally I’m not a “commenter” on any kind of news story, I just read them for entertainment.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE comments on news stories.   They range from making me laugh, to making me think (rarely), to making me weep in regards to the education level of people that have internet access.  With that disclaimer, a “news” story that seems to continually pop up has been a burr in my saddle lately.  It drove me to actually take the time to throw my opinion out into the random internet comments where it will be lost forever and not change one mind.

I’m sure everyone remembers the multitude of stories that were pushed so hard the last couple of  years regarding "90% of firearms recovered in Mexico from drug cartels being ‘traceable’ to the U.S.”  Old news, right?  I’m also sure most people have seen that statistic easily refuted, but it continued to keep making the rounds.  I mean, just Google "90% of guns in Mexico come from US" and you have to sort through a couple of pages of stories refuting the claim just to get to the original claim.  It seemed like the story just wouldn’t flush.

It’s what a friend called “The Big Lie”.  Lie, ignore evidence, repeat until it becomes accepted as the truth.  Then, all of a sudden it dissipated with the first drips (then flood) of stories about the BATFE and their Project Fast and Furious.

I know, Vin, I wish they wouldn't have done it, either.

I admit I was a little miffed that the government and all of its agencies were pointing the fingers at private business, all the while knowing that they were actually allowing this to happen.  Well, just when I thought that all of that was behind us, the numbers have been recycled and spewed forth yet again.  Unbelievably, I saw this article today that didn’t just spit the same old wrong information back again; they are getting NEW numbers somewhere and running them against a baseline of the old WRONG numbers.  Are you baffled like me?

If you follow the links in the Atlantic Wire, it takes you to an article from February of this year talking about those numbers AGAIN.  It's like these journalists are walking around with a box on their head.  Do you know what is happening in Congress right now?  Are the perpetrators of these numbers and the politicians trying to push their agenda so conceded that they think it will STILL work in the face of BATFE hearings in Congress?  Apparently, so.

So, what is the deal with these “90%” and “over 70%” numbers, you say?  Why are they so wrong?  Here’s the killer:  It’s not that they are wrong, it’s that you aren’t being given ALL of the information.  The U.S. is one of the only countries that actually traces their firearms, so naturally a high percentage of “traceable” firearms will be from the U.S.  What if I find 1,000 firearms (Oh, happy happy day for me - but I digress) and only 100 are traceable because the U.S. tracks them?  Well, then 100% of “traceable” firearms came from here, but no one knows where they hell the other 900 came from.  In addition, you should notice that any time you see a news story, there are items in all of the pictures that could not have possibly been purchased from Ole Mom and Pop Local Gun Store.  Well, the U.S. Government sells to the militaries for Mexico and many Latin American countries.  The controls on their inventory is scary, to say the least.  Add to that the fact that the Zetas originated in the Mexican Military and the tap is on full for firearms being routed to the cartel.  Guess what?  ALL of those firearms are traceable to the U.S.  Oops, but we won’t separate out those numbers, just lump them into the percentage.  Over 70%?  Yikes, someone might make a big deal about that.  Let’s make a big deal first and blame someone else.

Here’s the thing: I have a background in the sciences.  I took statistics in college (actually, Biostatistics).  I’m not a “Nobel Prize" award recipient by any stretch of the imagination (whatever that means anymore).  However, I know what statistics ARE and what they are NOT.  What they are NOT is guilty of anything in this scenario.  I feel sorry for statistics.  I especially feel bad for percentages.  Percentages are like the AK-47s (and WASR 10s) of the stat world.  Everyone has them and most people don’t even know how to use them properly.  Either that or they willfully misapply them.  Statistics don’t have their own amendment to protect them from being banned.  I mean, normally when a tool is abused this much people want to ban them all over the place.  At the very least we should put some kind of ban on assault percentages.  You know… the spray and pray kind.  The ones thrown out without categorization or explanation.  Those things are just dangerous.  Sadly, stats don’t tell lies to people, people do.

You can have my spreadsheet when you pry it from my cold, dead hands

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teachable Moments

Coming to you from the triple digit Texas Summer is a group gathering for some brush-up and training with which only serious (or certifiable) shooters have a tendency to involve themselves.  That reminds me, That Guy was there and has a great post as well.  Practice and training are one of those things that you just have to do at some level if you take your personal defense seriously.  I am not professing to be anyone that is a master of anything.  I just recognize the importance of learning - and learning correctly.  There are some things that are personal preference and some things that, if done improperly, will get you hurt or worse.  At least twice a year our small group of friends gets together to have fun and get in some serious training.  We each get our at home and regular range practice in between that.  The last couple of years it has involved traveling and paying for training for both carbine classes and defensive handgun classes.  This year a combination of all of the things that seem to keep us all from doing what we love (finances, logistics, timing) seemed like it would throw a wet blanket on what has become our annual serious training trip.  Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity, we decided that training all day in June in Texas in a caliche pit was the smartest idea EVAR.

Reach out and touch the solar flares
Future trips WILL be better planned for timing.  Regardless, we accomplished our task.  I’m fortunate that our group has good shooters with some great training and experience.  The important thing is that you can learn from your friends that have taken training if you can’t afford to or make the time to hit up a professional.

and for my next trick...  levitating magazines
Probably the most important piece of advice I can give is cross reference what you learn.  I don’t care if it is from a “professional” that you paid to teach you, or your buddy that took a class himself; make sure and check out your basics against some trusted sources.  AND if it doesn’t sound or feel right, it probably isn’t.  By the way, the friend running ours did an awesome job.  He showed me something that will probably shave about 1/2 second off my mag change. We'll see since I have to do about 1,000 repetitions at home to unlearn and learn.  Moral there is be open to learning things.  Don't ever think you know it all.  Lastly, for goodness sake, HAVE FUN.

How can this NOT be fun??  (Rossi Ranch Hand in .357 Mag)

So, we ran basics first, then stepped into mag changes and right into multiple target acquisitions WITH mag changes.  Timers are fun to have just to test your progress and/or induce stress.  From there, we did some drills working around corners while engaging a target in a hostage situation.  Next was shooting and changing magazines on the move.  Finally came just playing with toys.

It's like holding puppies, kittens and fuzzy ducklings all at once!

For some reason this, naturally, takes up a pretty good block of time.  You just have to let the fun time happen.  If you crack a whip on training then it isn’t something you’re going to want to do on a regular basis and you will lose your new learners.  Not everyone is hardcore and you have to remember that.
I stand corrected.

Safety is that boring subject that is the most important piece of any shooting trip.  Learn it, teach it, enforce it.  Speak up and don’t get upset when someone points out something that could be unsafe.  Understand and discuss what is best to keep everyone safe and if someone can’t deal with a strict safety regimen, don’t shoot with them.  And then remember... HAVE FUN!

Brass!  Get yer red-hot brass!

Well, or casings (because we were mostly using steel), but it just didn't sound as good.  Stay safe, shoot lots and learn something.  The fun will happen.  There is almost no way to stop it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How I caught the bug

So, this is the reason I finally jumped into blogging.  A friend that has been doing it for sometime (quite well, I might add) was prompted by a gifted blogger named Jennifer to tell his story about how he got into the shooting sports.  Since I was "instrumental in" or "guilty of" his introduction into shooting sports depending on which way you swing, he has been prompting me to post mine as well.  Here goes...

I was born into a hunting family.  The trip is not that simple, but that is where it starts.  I honestly cannot remember the first time I pulled a trigger, but I know it was a Remington 550-1 semi-auto .22 LR.  This is the sick place I am now that it matters what gun it was.  It was and still is a great little rifle.  I do know that my first deer was taken when I was about 8 years old with a Savage 99 lever action chambered in .243 Win with a rotary magazine (yes, I have a problem).  It is just such a sweet shooting rifle.  I eventually worked hard and saved up and bought my own Savage 110 bolt action in .243.  I loved hunting every season with my dad and can't stress enough how important it is to spend that kind of time with your kids.  My dad taught me everything he knew about riflery and I took it from there and ran.  From a solid base of instruction I read books and craved to know more.  I learned how breathing and trigger control was so important.  My love of firearms grew.  Eventually, a friend (you remember the friend that dragged me into this) that I had known since elementary school showed interest in the same passion I had.  He would come to our house where we could shoot just about every weekend and we went through a lot of .22 LR together.  My dad took him under his wing as well and we started our trip down this road together. 

Meanwhile, I was loving hunting local whitetail deer every season and reaping the fruits of wonderful venison and our own homemade sausage.  My interest in rifles grew into an overall interest in all things that launch/shoot/fire anything.  On came the bows.

4H archery led to quite a few trophies and ribbons and I stepped into an impromptu air pistol competition that piqued my interest in pistol shooting.  My dad never really taught me much about handguns.  Back then it just wasn't something a traditional hunting family dealt with much.  I wouldn't understand the huge importance and critical nature of a handgun while hunting until years later.  I was really wanting to get into handguns, so on my 19th birthday my mother bought me a full-size 1911 made by Thompson.  I loved that gun and still own it, though it is semi-retired now.

Off to college and my favorite sport pretty much took a back seat for a while, although I did take archery as an elective class and loved it.  I graduated with a degree in Zoology and started looking for a job anywhere I could find one.  I found a huge local hunting ranch and the match couldn't have been more perfect.  I spent the next few years shooting a variety of firearms that I would never have gotten my hands on in any other profession.  I honed my scoped-rifle shooting skills and bought a couple more handguns for back ups in the field.  A stainless Taurus 605 .357 Mag loaded with .38 Spcl and rat-shot was my bang around gun on the ranch.  It took many rattlesnakes and saved me from serious injury (or possibly worse) while being charged by a huge, wounded 8-point whitetail.  I don't think I've ever hunted without a sidearm since then.  A life-changing event occurred when a client tipped me with a Les Baer .45 and the even more important tip of the high-thumb grip.  That changed everything.

For brevity's sake I had to change professions to a more family-friendly career, but I was essentially "all in" with guns by this time in my life and I was at the full-bore firearm collection stage.  I love them all.  I just can't sell them.  I regret the only time I sold one from my collection.  A S&W model 27 with a tuned trigger in single action.

Now I shoot and train with a great group of friends.  There is nothing better than a group that share this interest.  We get to try out each others' firearms and toys and really enjoy spending that time together.  We learn from each other and train with each other.  There really is no turning back now.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Brownies with.. wait, what???

So, there are a few types of barrels and smoke I like.  Wood barrels tend to produce something else I'm fond of.  I'm trying a new recipe for the guys coming down this weekend.  After a hard day of training at the range, it's time to sit down to a nice meal and then a nice dessert of...  Whiskey Brownies?  Heck, yes.  Let's hope it's as awesome as the concept.

Edit:  Success!  The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of whiskey.  it seemed like a lot, but with a relatively good quality liquor it really complements the chocolate well.



3/4 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 tbs water
2 eggs
1 (6 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whiskey
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Chocolate topping:

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 package (6oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat the oven to 350F and grease a 9 x 9 inch pan.  I used an 8 x 8 and it worked great.  Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.  In a saucepan combine sugar, shortening and water.  Cook on low heat until boiling gently.  Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla.  Here, the recipe calls for beating in the eggs one at a time.  That makes me nervous.  I always recommend tempering eggs before adding them to something hot, otherwise you get scrambled egg bits.  So, add some of the hot mixture to a slightly beaten egg while whisking and add that back to the pan.  Repeat for the other egg.  Add flour mixture and stir well.  At this time  you can add the nuts if you choose to do so and stir.

Pour mixture into pan and bake for 30 minutes.

After brownies have cooled, sprinkle the whiskey on top and let it soak in.  If you aren't serving them right away, I recommend to wait on this step (and the topping) until about an hour or two before serving).

To make the topping, heat the cream in the microwave for 45 seconds.  Pour hot cream on top of chocolate chips and stir.  If the chocolate does not melt, put mixture into microwave for 10 seconds at a time until smooth and spread on top of brownies.  Allow to cool for soft topping or put in refrigerator if you prefer the topping to be more firm.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Breaking it in...

So, I guess I'm being dragged kicking and screaming into the blogosphere.  Sure, I follow some blogs and it's how I keep up with one of my favorite authors, but I never really thought I would want to share my thoughts all...  out there like that.  Well, a recent request by someone that a good friend follows made me decide to jump in with both feet.  Here is his account of how he became hooked on the sport of launching various projectiles in the general direction of whatever will stand still enough to hit.  More to come soon (I hope).