Saturday, July 30, 2011

Really, ATF? REALLY?

I have no idea why a spokesperson for the ATF would believe that the theft from a military facility of a couple dozen AK-74s and a Dragunov would be a "public safety issue with the guns getting out on the street".  In other news, some apples are RED.

I don't know if the antis realize it, but THIS is how criminals get their guns.  You know, if they would have just passed that law..  no, that wouldn't have helped.  Oh, then what about the one that...  no, that wouldn't have helped either.  Criminals break laws.  It's kind of their "thing".  I can kind of understand why the ATF wouldn't think this was such a big deal and decided to wait a couple of weeks to let someone know about it.  I mean, it's not like it was a couple THOUSAND guns getting into the wrong hands or anything.   *crickets*

Now, if that ever happened it would probably be a big deal.

Here, Melson demonstrates how they planned to use "the force" to keep track of firearms

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Citrus Iced Tea

This turned out just awesome.  I highly recommend it.  It's perfect on a hot summer day.

What you need:

2 Clementine Tangerines (or a medium orange)
1 Lime
microplaner for zesting
Loose tea for making iced tea

Boil about 1/2 gallon of water.  Here's a tip/trick:  Using filtered or bottled water for the brewing portion will yield much clearer tea.  You tend to get cloudier tea if you use high mineral content tap water.

While the water is coming to a boil, fill the tea ball with your loose leaf tea.  While you CAN use tea in bags, you will taste the paper and the tea loses flavor sitting in packages for months.

Zest the mandarins and the lime completely and put the zest in the bottom of a heat-safe bowl.

Pour boiling water into bowl and put teaball with tea into water.

Let the tea steep for at least 5 minutes (or per directions on tea).

Strain tea and chill.  Serve over ice.

For a little fun, peel the tangerines and lime and freeze them solid, then cut them into wedges and serve them as ice cubes in the tea.

This turned out so well, I had to make another pitcher the same day.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Protect your stuff - from EVERYONE

Short and sweet.  Gun safes have a lot of different functions.  They keep little fingers off of things they shouldn't be touching.  They do the obvious of protecting your stuff from criminals and fire.  Oh, and one last thing.  It can be one last layer of 4th Amendment protection for you at your most vulnerable moment.

Soooo...  It's a justified self-defense shooting.  I don't know why in the world law enforcement would take it upon themselves to confiscate firearms and ammunition that were not involved in a shooting.  Maybe there were other circumstances (ie felon in possession), but I would think you'd be reading about the arrest of the homeowner as well.  I'm not even a fan that they would confiscate the firearm used in a self-defense shooting in a home.  This is a perfect example of why Clint Smith and Massad Ayoob say you should have a scripted response for after an incident and then say you will cooperate fully after you speak to your attorney.  And no, you cannot take anything from my home without a warrant or without speaking to my attorney.  No, I'm not opening that safe without a warrant.  Now the homeowner is potentially defenseless against the retribution from thug friends and/or family.  Good police work there, Barney.

Also, based on the comments of the Commonwealth's Attorney, Virginia is in dire need of a well-written Castle Doctrine.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


There was a recent birthday in the family and that is a great reason to drop the kids off with the grandparents and head to the nearest big city and eat everything in sight.  I wanted Mrs. 45er to have a good one, so I got recommendations for places which we had never been and planned out the entire day.  As usual, the best laid plans and all... 

Still, we had a fantastic time and I just had to share a few of the high points.  Advice that I will give, since you didn't ask for it, is not to be afraid of trying new places.  Take a laptop with you and park next to places with free Wifi if you get stuck for things to do.  It really paid off for us this trip.

So, the first place we went was a trendy little place, not usually our thing but it came with a recommendation and sounded great.  We opted for a big brunch and skipping lunch so we wouldn't be stuffed for dinner.  All I can say WOW when the food came.

Sweet, sweet nectar
Our first stop was Max's Wine Dive.  We thought it best to start with orange juice mimosas.  That is, until we saw they had Prickly Pear Mimosas.  Well, I'll have one of those TOO, please.

I will just say that I could not resist the temptation of trying their fried wings and pancakes.  What I was expecting was a few wings (like bar wings), you know tiny little things, on top of pancakes.  What I got instead...

Dear Lord, I give up already
So, when they set down the plate, I almost gave it my wallet and backed away.  It was that intimidating.  That is 4 full-sized wings.  Or, better described as the WHOLE darn chicken arm.  They soak them in jalapeno buttermilk, fry them up and serve them over two huge fluffy pancakes.  Mrs. 45er and I each ordered a side of applewood smoked bacon.  Well, because why the heck not?  It was the best bacon EVAR.  And I've eaten a LOT of bacon.

That is my orange mimosa and prickly pear mimosa haunting the background in the above picture.  We went for a nice shopping walk after this brunch battle.

So, what did Mrs. 45er have for her special day?

Get thee behind me, breakfast

White Chocolate Raspberry French Toast.  I was allowed one bite and it was magnificent.  Also ordered with a side of bacon, and orange and prickly pear mimosa.

After the glut-fest we did some walking and shopping in a nearby shopping area and then saw a movie (loved it).  I'm surprised we didn't just sleep through the thing.  After that, on to the Japanese Tea Gardens.

Revisionist and stereotyping, a two-fer!

I know, wait I thought he said...

I did say Japanese Tea Gardens.  We have a bad habit of being revisionist with our history.  During World War II, the Japanese family that was living in the Gardens and were the caretakers were shipped off to an internment camp.  They put up the sign so no one would think it had anything to do with Japan.  I'm glad they left it up so people would be curious and confused and, hopefully, ask questions.  Learn history and do not repeat it.

The rock-work is quite amazing.  And, so is the duckwork...

Someone has their wings full

After spending a little time in the tiring heat, we headed over to Orange Leaf Yogurt.  This was a place we visited while on vacation in another state.  Self-serve frozen yogurt and great toppings.  I'm glad we found it, it's just awesome.

So, here plans took a twist.  The restaurant we chose ended up being closed that night, so we found a free Wifi spot and found a great fish place.  We ended up at Wildfish. 

We shared a warm goat cheese arugula and endive salad with fresh-made honey mustard dressing and wild mushrooms sauteed in butter.  The goat cheese almost turned me off, as I can find it a little too tangy for my taste sometimes.  I'm glad we went with the waiter's recommendation on this one.  It was great.  My entree was seared Ahi Tuna.  I told the waiter to have the chef show it the grill on the way out.  It was cooked to perfection and served with wasabi mashed potatoes on a sweet chili sauce.

Mrs. 45er indulged in broiled Red Snapper with lump Jonas Crab meat and butter sauce.  We ordered a side of scalloped potatoes to go with hers and they were good, too.

Then came the pineapple upside down cake with Amy's Butter Pecan Ice cream (out of Austin), alight with Bacardi 151.

The perfect ending, pyrotechnics and dessert
Just wow.  The flaming rum caramelized the syrup a little (and lit the cake on fire a little, too - seen bottom right).  We put it all out and dived in.  It was just amazing.

All in all, a great birthday trip for Mrs. 45er (and me, too).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

SAVE yourself (buy a book)

A while back, I fell all over myself talking about a new book coming out from Larry Correia.  Then, a shorter while back Larry put out his own begging post trying to get some more attention for his newest book-child.  Trust me and do yourself a favor.  Run to the computer and put this one on order.  While you're at it, if you haven't read the first two, save shipping and put them all on the same order.  Don't say, "yeah, yeah I've heard how good books were before, but..."  No "buts", this is an awesome book series.  You're falling behind.  Here's what is going to happen:  You're going to wait and then you're finally going to succumb to the temptation because you just HAVE to know what the big deal is.  Then, you're going to get sucked into the crack that is the writing of Correia and have to read 5 or 6 books in a row without being able to put them down.  It's going to affect your whole life.  Your wife/husband/partner will despise you for sitting in the chair reading all of the time (or EXTRA time from all of the video game playing they normally put up with).  You might lose your job because you take so much time off just because you can't put them down.  Oh, my goodness.  Do yourself a favor and start now before it's too late.  Save your marriage and your job and order now before you're in the weeds.

See what I did there?  That's my version of Obama's "the social security checks might not go out".

But, really.  Do it for your own sake, if not your family and friends.


Heart of a Lion

I'm not a fan of Chihuahuas.  However, this little guy wins the internet for the David and Goliath stand he took.  There is obvious distraction on the part of the bad guy.  Then the little ball of fury takes the fight to them all the way out.  Awesome.

Monday, July 18, 2011

CZ P-01 Range Report

Ahh, CZ.  Ceska Zbrojovka.  A well made, solid line of firearms from the Czech Republic that has been making in-roads with a lot of sport and defensive shooters for years.  I have to say that I've been pretty impressed with the experience that I've had with them and a friend of mine over at Rock in a Sea of Chaos has a few of these and they're great guns.  The ergonomics are one of the first things I noticed.  They fit the hand pretty well.  They're steel framed, so they have some heft to them and it tames recoil pretty well.


So, I made it to the range with a little bit of a different handgun this weekend, The CZ 75 P-01 (or just CZ P-01).  I asked to borrow this one so I could do a review because I haven't had any actual hands on with this particular model.  I've had trigger time with the larger CZ 75s, but not the CZ P-01.  I have to say, I was pretty impressed.  So, for those of you wondering how to pronounce it, here is a video (not the best audio) from The Firearm Blog of the name of the company being pronounced by a native.

Blue Box of Goodess
And here are some pictures to give you an idea of how it fits in the hand.

It feels good as you would expect a CZ to feel.  It has some heft, but the size is very nice.  I could easily see switching this for a mid-size Glock or XD.  The trade-off would be in the weight with the CZ being noticeably heavier.  You would gain a little bit of recoil dampening with the weight.

This is a double action/single action handgun with a decocker and no safety.  That is different for me.  I have had experience with decockers, but do not own any handguns with them.  The first thing I had to do was orient myself with this style of handgun.  I found later that time spent getting to know the P-01 was very important for safety reasons.  When you start shooting and stop to do some things you realize, "uh, this is cocked on single-action with no safety".  That's where the decocker comes in.  I had to adjust my routine to remember to decock when I stopped shooting or before I re-holstered. 

Or until you shoot it to lock-back
And shooting to lock-back is so much more fun.  The gun comes with two mags that are 14 rounds each.  One thing I noticed was that the grip was pretty large.  All that steel and double-stacked mag goodness made for a pretty big grip to wrap hands around.  For me it wasn't too large, but it could be an issue for some.

The sights were on the small side, but not difficult to use.  Below is the front sight as seen on target.  It wasn't difficult to bring the sight back into play under recoil.  I didn't think that would be the case, but follow-up shots were not an issue.

How accurate were the sights?

Smoking hole
A ten shot group from 10 yards freehand.  That is really not bad at all.  I would attribute that to the sights and single action trigger.  It is really nice to shoot on SA.  Speaking of triggers, the DA pull is firm but smooth.  Exactly what you want.  The SA is light and crisp.  When you are used to shooting either DA OR SA the light, crisp second shot can catch you by surprise.  I hope that didn't show too much.

I also decided to do a video to show the gun under recoil.  It gives the reader a good idea of how the gun acts in your hand.  I threw a mag-change in for good measure.  I was pretty happy with how easy it was to pick up the gun and go.  I thought I did ok for only putting 50 rounds through the gun.

So, I'm not surprised I was happy with the performance of the P-01.  They make a good product and I can definitely see how they have pulled in a following of loyal users.  This definitely goes on my recommended list.

linkback love to SayUncle.  Thanks for the link.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Molecular Gastronomy Kit - It's HERE!

I thought I'd give it a try.  I have a lot of chemistry under my belt and I'm a geek about it.  That and cooking.  So, I ordered a Molecular Gastronomy kit.  It has some pretty cool recipes.  My first round of tinkering will be with cocktails.  That Guy and I have talked out some really interesting ideas.  I'll keep you apprised.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Honor, Dedication and Technology - Story of the recent Medal of Honor recipient

This is just a really cool story from beginning to end.  The reporters account of meeting the Medal of Honor recipient is humorous, touching and respectful.  As I read on, though, and learned of how excited the soldier is about the attachments for his new bionic hand I just knew I had to share.  Bow hunting release attachment?  Attachment for culinary knives?  What a great way to give a hero his life back (and pretty amazing, too).

Then, there is his account of the story.  It is so difficult to grasp the kind of person that deals with this kind of thing with such amazing resolve.  This is a great read.

"Enough people telling me I can't do it anymore, I should probably listen to them. And that's when I found out, when they cut off my uniform, that I was shot through both legs."

What a truly amazing person.

Fun with "journalists"

This is called getting the photo op of your choosing.  I thought it was absolutely hilarious that he decides to show the semi-auto hunting rifle as an example for the story to a journalist.  I can hear it now:  "Isn't this what you mean?  It's semi-auto AND a rifle."  Note: all of the "EBR"s* on the wall, but the guy picks this one for the shot.  Nice play, my friend.  Nice play. 

To the journalist: kudos on getting the other side of the story and reporting it, but in the gun community we know we don't get to review the article before it is published.  Better safe than sorry.

Here's the article.  The photog looks like she snapped her own shot for the EBR portion of the article.

In the end, a reasonably balanced article.  Color me surprised.  This is the exception lately.

*for those not indoctrinated to the phrases used by those that wish to take away the 2nd Amendment, EBR stands for "Evil Black Rifle".  It is used in a sarcastic manner by firearm enthusiasts.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bad Milk Pancakes

Or, as they are usually called, "Buttermilk Pancakes".  My grandmother and mother drink the stuff *gag*.  I find it fantastic for cooking and soaking chicken for frying and that's just about as much as I can stand it. 

These are pretty darn good pancakes.  I have been using this recipe for special occasion breakfasts for a while now.  I really dig them for the right time (or any time).  I have a regular pancake recipe that I'll post in the future, but these are just too good to pass up.

Prep: About 15 - 20 minutes
Cook:  About 4 minutes per batch

Some hints:  Get a reasonable electric griddle if you can.  I got one on sale for about $30 and it has been a great purchase.  Pans are rough for cooking pancakes unless they are more like a flat griddle.  If you're fortunate enough to have a griddle for your stove-top, even better.  Also, a nice wide spatula for flipping pancakes.  If you don't make the pancakes crazy big it's not a disaster with a normal one, but a good spatula makes all the difference in the world.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm, butter

The stuff:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, or 1 cup plain yogurt plus 1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted (use butter)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
vegetable oil or butter for brushing pan or griddle

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Use whisk to quickly blend dry ingredients.  I also usually break the egg into the buttermilk in the measuring cup and whisk it together.  It saves dirty dishes and makes mom happy.  You want to stir the batter as little as possible to avoid tough pancakes, thus the pre-beating of the egg.   Add buttermilk, melted butter, and egg.  Stir with whisk until flour is moistened.

Do not freak about lumps, just make sure there is not visible dry ingredients and it is pretty well incorporated.  Let the batter stand for a few minutes while griddle/pan is heating.

Soooooo close

Heat griddle or 12-inch skillet over medium heat until drop of water sizzles; brush lightly with oil (or butter, I've also found this to be optional if you have a good non-stick surface).  Pour batter by scant 1/4 cups onto hot griddle (a ladle helps here), making a few pancakes at a time.  Cook until tops are bubbly, some bubbles burst, and edges look dry.  With wide spatula, turn and cook until underside is golden.  Transfer to platter; keep warm.  Pancakes can be "held" in oven on lowest setting with towel covering pancakes.

Repeat with remaining batter, brushing griddle with more oil/butter if necessary.

Makes 3 servings.

Slather with butter and drizzle with favorite pancake eatin' juice (syrup).  Bacon is, of course, generally required with pancakes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rules violations are rules violations, no excuses

While I love to have people on our side in the law making process, this kind of thing is not what we need.  A state senator from Arizona playing show and tell in a room full of people doesn't make the gun community look good and it doesn't make proponents of carry happy.  Your gun goes in your holster at the beginning of the day and out at the end.  Unless you have a specific reason to handle it in the middle at some point, then don't touch.  Show and tell is not a good reason.  That is for private time in a controlled environment.

If a laser sight is pointed at someone, then the gun is pointed at them.  That person is in danger regardless of if you are touching a trigger.  You've violated one or more of the major rules.  What happened is that you handled your firearm in an environment that you cannot control.  Someone walking in front of your muzzle in this situation is still your fault.  This is how tragedy occurs and just imagine what you have given gun control proponents if something happens.  That's a gift wrapped gun control law waiting to happen.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Newark, New Jersey: A lesson in how to defy logic

Making the "unpossible" possible.  That should be the new slogan for Newark, New Jersey.  You see, Newark is in New Jersey.  New Jersey has some of the strictest firearms laws in the country.  So, this is one of those states where they have decided that "guns are bad, mmmkay?".  The blame is laid entirely at the feet of the tool and the people that actually care enough about the law to follow it.  Enter: Newark.  Newark has decided that guns are the ANSWER to the crime problem.  I know, I know but just follow me on this.  They are actually wanting to force business owners to pay armed security guards to protect their businesses.  This is because the city can't control crime even though this is a utopian place where unicorns regularly graze.  I mean, they are one of the strictest in the country for gun control laws.  Heck, they even restrict the type of ammunition you can own.  I can hear the city officials now, "How is gun crime even possible here?"  They are called criminals, ya jackwad.  Their career is built around breaking your laws, meanwhile the poor law-abiding citizens in your state are effectively neutered when it comes to protecting themselves.  Well, that is until they are mandated to pay out of pocket for something they should be allowed under the 2nd Amendment to do anyway.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Perspective with a side of humility

Sometimes, we lose sight of the most important things in life.  You know, the big things like spending time with family, keeping up with friends, really interacting with our loved ones.  I have made a concerted effort to spend as much time as possible with my kids.  This is the time you cannot get back.  I will not be someone that wakes up one day regretting that he missed spending time with his kids and now they are teenagers or adults with their own families.  Then along comes a story like this.  Perspective can really slap you in the face sometimes.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t have passion about other things.  I certainly do.  It’s just that some things are so much more important in life.  This sweet little girl is the purest example of why you should cherish what you have.  She is a gift for however long she is in the lives of her loved ones, and I wish them the very best.  Go spend time with your kids.  They are only little for a short while.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Video of Bomb Squad Officer in explosion (Thailand)

It didn't happen in the U.S., but how long will it be before we're dealing with this kind of thing on a regular basis?  They were dealing with three separate incidents when this one happened.  Thank goodness for the suit and thank goodness it sounds like he is ok.  I'm sure this was followed by "oof", "ow", and a string of things I can't repeat here.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kel Tec P3AT Range Report

So the general consensus is that I'm very happy with the new P3AT and so is Mrs. 45er.  The recoil was manageable but I would not call it light.  Mostly, it is the lack of much grip on the gun that makes it feel a little snappy.  With a proper and firm grip, it is just fine.  With the magazine/grip extension it was much nicer to handle.
Also, I guess the adage from Clint Smith: "Two is one and one is none" applies to cameras as well.  I was getting all prepared this morning and charging batteries, then failed to put the battery back in the fancy camera.  Luckily, I brought the back up for video in front of the muzzle so it took place as primary.

Ammo specs:

Blazer 95 gr TMJ (total metal jacket), aluminum case.  The cheap stuff.
Independence 95 gr FMJ (full metal jacket), brass case (still Blazer).  Medium quality stuff.
Hornady Critical Defense 90 gr FTX (bullet trademarked name, Flex Tip)

Gun stats (as weighed on digital scale):

gun unloaded, no mag - 7.90 oz
gun unloaded with empy 6 round mag - 9.10 oz
gun with loaded 6 round mag + 1 in chamber - 11.35 oz
gun with unloaded 9 round mag - 9.55 oz
gun with loaded 9 round mag + 1 in chamber - 13.00 oz

For comparison to some things we recognize:

12 oz can of soda - 13.55 oz
standard bottle of tobasco sauce (2oz) - 5.00 oz

So, on to the good stuff:

Just a little handful

In the DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster


I'm not going to make this post as wordy as some of my other diatribes that I've submitted you to because I have a TON of pictures and a video that I think tell the story.  Above is me taking the first shots using the 9 round extended mag.  I really like the grip extension.  If I'm not pocket carrying, that will be in the gun. Speaking of pocket carry, the DeSantis holster did great.  I've drawn both fast and slow and it hasn't pulled from my pocket in loose shorts, dress pants or blue jeans.

Front sight focus, if you can find it.

Yeah, the sights aren't huge.  However...

 Not bad.  We were shooting at about 6 yards, which is what I would consider medium-ish range with a pocket pistol.  That is 10 shots, so I'm pretty happy.  I also wasn't "bullseye" shooting.  I'm thrilled.  Then, along comes Mrs. 45er:

Do ya feel lucky, punk?
 She was very happy with controllability.  Of course, the 9 rounder with the grip extension felt much better for her.  She still did great with the 6 rounder.  As a matter of fact...

Well, do ya?
...she royally handed me my rear end.  She put a round or two in the center of mass square and wasn't happy that she couldn't track her shots in the group, so she decided to switch to the head square.  Show off.

So, here are some specifics.  I was using two types of plinking ammunition.  One (Blazer) is bottom of the barrel.  I probably won't buy it again, but thought testing with the cheapest would give me an idea of the worst that could happen.  I had 3 jams in about 25 rounds with the cheapest ammo and an unfired gun.  For now, that's fine.  I'll keep an eye on that if it doesn't improve.

The Blazer aluminum case ammunition is gone and isn't coming back.  The Independence did just fine (about 25 rounds fired).  The Hornady did fantastic.  The FTX bullet design has more of a rubber insert, the "Flex Tip" as opposed to the normal polymer insert you're used to seeing.  The bullet performance was pretty impressive.

I really liked the hydrostatic performance.  Yes, it didn't blow the thing in half like a 230 grain Hydrashok from a .45 ACP, but this is what I was hoping to see from good defense ammunition in a .380.  Now, the aftermath.

The bullet on the right penetrated through one jug of water and into a second but didn't exit.  The bullet on the left penetrated one jug of water and stopped against a phone book, hence the slight flattening at the front.  The bullet to the rear still has a date with destiny.  The red things are the rubber inserts (flex tip) in the FTX bullet.

Nice form, sir.

So, the final analysis is that I'm really happy with the gun.  I'm also satisfied with the performance of the Critical Defense.  This is what I want to see a defense round look like when it does its job.  The Hornady was flawless in function in the gun as well.  I'll be happy to carry this for defense.

For my initial thoughts when we first got the P3AT and more pics, you can see them here.

EDIT:  I wanted to add a video of the gun so you could judge recoil and a picture of the extended magazine with the new paint job.