Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Kewl Accessorization (and meat)

I've had a Remington 870 12 Gauge for quite some time, but it has spent a lot of time in the safe.  It makes it to the range a lot because it's just lots of fun.  What it hasn't done is operate in the capacity of a home defense firearm.  "Why?" you say.  "It is one of the most venerable man-stoppers made."  Yes, I do agree.  They have their place in home defense and can be an immediate show stopper.  However, I do not employ anything for home defense in a serious capacity without one of these:






This is what was under the tree today.  I've been seriously looking for a good set-up and just haven't gone for it.  I've even had stuff in the cart on-line, but just not bought it.  It wasn't at the top of the spending list.  Mrs. 45er asked for a list, so I forwarded her the links I had favorited.  I'm liking this set up.


It is an Elzetta mount (which is constructed very well) and a Primary Arms light.  The light is nothing special, just really darn bright.  Primary Arms says 420 lumens and from the purple spots in my vision, I might agree with that.  It's just a single stage light with a click on and off tail cap.  Simple.  You can pulse it on if you want, but I really wanted a light with click-on function since this is a pump gun.  I really need a constant on function because I don't want to be trying to find the pulse switch every time I rack the slide.





It stands off a bit from the barrel, but I'm ok with that.  I didn't want to put a mount on with a rail and then another mount and then clamp the light.  That's a lot of stuff to get loose.  This is a specifically dedicated light mount and there are a heck of a lot of screws holding this on.  I will be taking it out this weekend for some testing.  Fun.

Now, on to the next bit of fun from this week.  I was wandering through a local store and saw some camo wrap on a display.  Nothing special, I thought, until I started looking at it.  It is basically like medical wrap.  Not the old Ace bandage from days past.  This is latex embedded so it sticks to itself.  It also gives a secondary advantage of making the gun you are wrapping a little more "grippy".  Here is the result on my stainless Remington 700:





For perspective, there is a picture of the same rifle at the bottom of the page.  The product is called Camo Form from a company called McNett.  It isn't cheap at $15 a roll.  One roll is supposed to wrap a rifle, mounts and scope.  I'm not a professional at this, so I didn't have a lot left for the scope.  I used what I had.





This is a pretty cool product.  It's re-usable and can just be washed in water and hung to dry.  One of the issues with my stainless rifle is it's super shiny.  Mostly that isn't an issue, but when I am stalking or sitting in the open I'm extra conscious of the potential shine there.  This will help a bit, I think (and it looks kinda cool).

Now, for something completely different:





The Elk is done!  It wasn't cheap, either, but it was worth it.  On the left there is the pencil stick (think skinny dried sausage), in the middle is jalapeno cheese summer sausage (yum) and the right is salami.  We also got regular summer sausage and jerky.  The look on my face was probably hilarious when my dad brought these in the house.  I was thinking something like the little chub of meat you get in the store, you know, about 10 inches long.  The summer sausage and salami was probably 2 feet long or better.  When you thaw one of these babies, you'd better have a dinner party planned or a platoon to feed.  Oh, and it tastes incredible.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to all...

I know, I have been AWOL on here for quite some time.  No excuses, just life.  I've been frustrated with Blogger and when things aren't enjoyable, I tend not to do them.  That aside, we have been having regular amazing family time and all is going well.  Brigid's comment wishing us a Merry Christmas lit a fire under me realizing that even though I've been lazy, people are still out there thinking of others.  You're all great people and I really wish the world was as small as it seems sometimes.  I know we'd have some good times if we could just get together.  For now, everyone have a wonderful and Merry Christmas.  Any other people reading this, have a happy holiday to you, too.  Not being PC, just sincerely wish everyone their own wonderful time in their own way.

A Happy Chanukwanzmas, if you will.  :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

For me, not thee

I'd like you to meet Donne Trotter.

Senator Trotter was arrested for attempting to carry a firearm onto a plane.  A class 4 felony.  That generally sucks.  What makes it worse is that Mr. Trotter is a democratic senator from Illinois that decided to vote against a bill that would allow his constituents to carry a concealed handgun.

To quote The Grinch (Jim Carrey's version)

The audacity.  The unmitigated gaul.

It never ceases to amaze me the hypocrisy of this crowd.  Totally against guns except for themselves or their armed bodyguards.

P.S. Please disregard the terminology in the article.  It was written by a "journalist" after all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Elk Hunt

So, this was what I was so excited about yesterday.  My dad and I were given the opportunity to hunt some Elk on a property near here.  My dad has always wanted a nice Elk bull and I really wanted to get my hands on some good Elk meat, so I wanted to shoot a cow.  Well, this turned into quite the hunt.  Unfortunately, the bulls were having none of it.  We were able to locate a small group and I got a very nice cow out of that one.  My dad ended up spending the night on the ranch and will try again in the morning.  I really hope it is successful.  Here are some pics from today:


It was a truly beautiful animal.  Very healthy and very LARGE.  Handling this size animal is an entirely different experience.  In my past I've been involved in hunts with a lot of large game, but never really the processing all that much.  I've handled literally hundreds of Whitetail and Axis deer, so I have that size game down pat.  It's somewhat the same, but then not really.  From there, we went here:


Now it is quartered from here and hanging in a cooler getting some age on it.  We're still trying to plan out how we're going to tackle this one.  We take pride in processing all of our own game, so we're trying to figure out some facilities and get some time lined up to do it.  I really cannot wait to get some of these steaks into the kitchen.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sausage, Phase 2: The Drying

So, of the 145 rings, 50 went into the drying phase.  This is nothing more than our regular smoked ring hung to dry in a refrigerator.  It takes around a week or so, sometimes more.  It is all done by feel and rings become ready throughout the process depending on size and thickness.  If you're going to try it, here is a tip: wear gloves when handling the rings from this point or it will develop a white layer of mildew.  It's not the end of the world, just slightly unsightly.  A vinegar and water wash will cure it, but that's just extra time that can be avoided by handling them properly during this phase.


Exciting Day Tomorrow

Stay tuned.  I know it's a tease, but it's going to be pretty cool.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

More Charcuterie

It's getting to be that time of the year.  Hunting season and, for us, sausage making season.  We did the whole process this morning and ended up with a whole bunch of rings. 145, to be exact on the first run of the season.  Here it is, pre-smoke.


I can't wait for it to be done.  A good portion, probably around 50 will go straight from smoke into a cooler to dry for about a week.  Nothing beats good dry ring sausage.  Yum.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Beer Tasting or Drinking contest?

Our big shooting/eating/guy's weekend was a few weeks ago.  I know, I haven't posted anything.  I'm am ashamed.  Each night the guns are put away and the food and drink are prepared.  This group of friends happens to be a very beerphilic group.  We each decided to bring a few bottles of great beer for everyone to try.  Of course, since none of us know what moderation even means, it turned into this:

video



The only one missing was the one in the refrigerator which happens to be the beer with a perfect score on Beer Advocate, Deschutes, The Abyss.  There was a total of 33 beers to try and we had to break it up over 3 nights.  Before you say, "oh, that's nothing" there was, of course, other drinks and the average ABV on this group of beers was close to 9%.  There weren't any in this group that were poor representations.  Most were fantastic, some were just really good.  We had a great time experiencing a whole bunch of great beer.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Problem solved with application of high speed lead

Seems a jerk in New Mexico thought he'd tail a woman home and do who-knows-what to some poor, defenseless woman.  Wait, did I say defenseless?

Not quite...  < ---  Clicky, clicky

...the woman says Sandoval grabbed a knife, put the knife to her chin and told her to take off her clothes.  The woman told deputies she then reached under her pillow, grabbed a loaded gun and shot him.

 I have not really been a fan of the idea of keeping your loaded gun under your pillow.  There are more secure ways to have it quickly accessible.  However, I am not going to fault someone for at least having something somewhere.  It worked for her.  The great news is that she will hopefully just need to talk to someone to help her through some of the issues from the invasion, but not anything else.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Some things need killin'

This guy is one of them.


First weekend of hunting season was this last weekend.  I culled an older buck with just forks.  He needed to go, too.  Unfortunately, the nasty bugger above isn't the only one coming to the blind.  I'd love nothing more than to get hold of a night vision scope, but those aren't cheap.  I guess we're going to have to go old fashioned and use lights.  Otherwise, this will be lurking out there tearing stuff up...


...and we can't have that, now can we?

As you can tell by the time stamp, it also means staying up all night to shoot some nasty pigs.  That doesn't send the thrill through me like it used to in my youth.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Baking Powder (easy) Biscuits

I love these because they are really good and really easy to do in the morning.  Granted, buttermilk biscuits are spectacular, but I tend not to have buttermilk just hanging around all of the time.  I honestly think the stuff is detestable on its own.  So unless there is a recipe I plan on using it in or I want to soak some chicken or fish for frying, it isn't in the house.  On the other hand, I always have the ingredients for a quick batch of these biscuits and they are really good.

Butter, please


So, here's the recipe:

Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups of flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup milk

1.  Preheat oven to 450F.  Lay parchment paper on a medium to large baking sheet.  In medium to large bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to incorporate it some.  Drop in the 1/4 vegetable shortening and use two butter knives to "cut in" the shortening to the flour mixture.  This means using the knives in a scissoring motion, drawing them apart to cut the shortening and let the flour mixture coat the shortening.  Ultimately, the shortening should be pea sized or smaller and well incorporated.  At this point, pour in the milk and use your hands to gently turn the mixture into a dough (nitrile gloves help with clean-up).  It will be a pretty solid, dry dough.  I sometimes have to add another shot of milk to get all of the dry flour mixed in.  A word of caution:  work the dough as little as possible.  The more you work it, the tougher the biscuits will be.

2.  Turn the dough out on a clean, lightly floured surface and press out to about 1/2 inch thick.  Some recipes call for kneading here.  I don't do this and don't recommend it.  You can use a rolling pin if you want, but I find that an unnecessary extra thing to clean.

3.  Use a biscuit cutter to cut out the size you prefer, I like at least a 3 inch diameter one (2 inch will work, too).  Move each dough round to the parchment lined baking sheet.  Press them together for soft-sided biscuits, or apart for crusty sides.  You can press the left over trimmings together and re-cut and then press the last bit of dough into the cutter to use it all, but remember to work it as little as possible.

4.  Put the baking sheet loaded with the pre-biscuits into the oven and bake for 12 - 15 minutes.  I usually set the oven to 12 minutes and check it.  In my oven, 13 is the lucky number..  When the tops start to brown slightly, pull the biscuits out.  In order to make sure the bottoms of the biscuits stay tender, take them off the sheet right away.  If you let them sit on the hot baking sheet, they will continue to cook and the bottoms will be hard and tough.  Brush with melted butter if you're into that kind of thing.

This will make about 8 biscuits cut with a 3 inch cutter at 1/2 inch dough round.

Now, stop reading and go enjoy!

Oh, yes...  best served covered with sausage black pepper cream gravy.  But that's another post.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ode to the purple shoulder

Here's a little formula for you    

                 (.30-06 + 7mm STW + .30-30 + (.243 x 2) ) x multiple shots to sight in     
                                    it's almost time for hunting season


Equals:

Ouch
Prone shooting makes it more owie.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Video: Store Owner uses conceal carry to defend store

It happened fast.  Thank goodness it wasn't in the typical "under the counter" situation you hear about so often.  The shots seemed a little errant into the cooler there, but the affect was quite obvious.  The threat was immediately driven away.  I'd like to see this happen more often.

The alternative is something like this.  Seems to be effective in his scenario (though not the best option).  Lotta anger there.  I give props for the fight in the dog on this one.






Sunday, September 23, 2012

Las Vegas on Full... Auto

Well, we're back from Las Vegas (I know, who said we were going?) and the airport part was thankfully nothing to speak of.  Originally, I had a blog post planned to show all kinds of different stuff that went on while we were in Las Vegas.  The problem is it kept growing and growing and I was pretty sure it was going to turn into that slide-show that you have to watch when your aunt and uncle get back from Florida.  Instead of subjecting you all to that, I wanted to hit some highlights one at a time.  I'm going to start with the thing that I really wanted to do again in Vegas.  Fire full-auto firearms.  Instead of spending time typing up a wordy, long-winded post about all the junk we did I spent the time putting together a little video of the full-auto experience.  So, here it is, featuring Elvis because, well - it's Las Vegas.


video


Edit to add, if you're in Las Vegas and want an enjoyable shooting experience, this place can't be beat.  Discount Firearms has treated me very well both times I've gone there.  Dean made the experience fun and educational.  Hey, I learned a few things so even old dogs can learn.  It's a bit of a trip off the strip on foot, so definitely call them to pick you up in the shuttle and save your feet and the cab fare.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Putting on clean underwear

For what I'm sure will be an intimate meeting with the TSA tomorrow.  I can't wait.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekend o' Fun

So, That Guy arrived Friday evening and we caught up, watched some firearm related shows and had a few beers.  This was the line-up.


That Guy brought the Snowmageddon and a pretty serious IPA (not pictured) that he talks a little about over at his place.  I brought out the Timmermans Lambic and the Boulevard Quadruple.  These were all fantastic in their own way.  We enjoyed ourselves a nice run of great beer.  Thankfully, Mrs. 45er helped with the tasting.  Some of these came close to or broke the 10% ABV mark and you could tell.

I'm not going to do a review here for these, but I'll throw a blanket over them all and say they were really good.  Lambics are their own deal, however, and they are a sour beer.  You should wade into those before you go in the deep end.

So, next day was to be spent out prepping for the upcoming hunting season.  We checked some things, cleaned out blinds and at the end decided to sit on a hillside on a beautiful day and call Coyotes.  No action, but who cares when you're enjoying a beautiful view.  That Guy did a great job of posting about it over at his place, complete with pics of the hunt.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Everywhere a Sign

Only, this one is a good sign.

David over at Musings Over a Pint sent a sign my way as a nice gesture.  Kind of like a comment door prize.  Here it is...


So a thanks to David for this.  I'm going to have to find a place of honor for it around here.  I know this is going to make the trip with us next month on our big annual shooting trip.  I will try to incorporate this into our pile o' firearms picture.

Thanks, David.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A place to go

I wasn't going to post about 9/11 today.  I tend to be very reverent about such things and feel such topics are above my capacity for words at times.  Then I read a post asking "where were you?" and it got me thinking.  It's almost a cliche question that is asked of such earth-shattering events.  However, it sent me down a different path of thinking.

I happened to be working at a hunting ranch in South Texas at the time and sat and watched in horror as the events unfolded.  Then the phone started to ring.  Clients living in populated city centers were calling.  They were scared and needed a place to go.  They knew we were prepared to subsist and defend, if necessary.  For goodness sake, we were a group of professional shooters that hunted and prepared game for a living.  Sitting here today, it seems like a bit of over-reaction. However, I distinctly remember the feeling I had that day.  I remember feeling secure in my abilities and preparedness.  It didn't feel so paranoid anymore.  When I sit and wonder if the preparation is too much or a little paranoid, I just remember the feeling of security that day.  Life can obviously change in a heartbeat.  Be prepared.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Brigid's Nuts

I has some.


Honest assessment is that they aren't good.

They are freaking fantastic.

I recommend them highly.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Oh my, more boxed joy

It's so amazing they can fit so much pleasure in such a little box.

Christmas!
I don't know why, but for some reason buying a couple of boxes at the store doesn't quite have the kid-in-a-candy-store feel that the brown parcel company does.  We have an upcoming event that will require burning a lot of this off.  Oh, I guess if I have to...

New Follower, new thanks

Thanks to Mortalis09 for hitting the follow button.


I appreciate your decision and courage to follow senseless ramblings and eclectic posting.  I didn't see a blog in your profile, but if you have one I'll gladly post the link and put it in the sidebar.  Don't hesitate to comment.  I've been slow on the response lately, but promise I'll reply sooner or later.  :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Review: Monster Hunter Legion

The thing I really dislike is a book review with spoilers.  I'm going to do my best to steer clear of that kind of thing.  I mean, what's the point of a book review where you would be reading it to see if maybe you want to read it and there is a bunch of stuff given away.  I will also refrain from just summarizing the book.  I will say this: VEGAS.  It takes place in Las Vegas and since we're about to go on a trip there it seems like everything is oddly Vegas lately.  

For the most part I wasn't a science fantasy or science fiction fan before Larry Correia came along.  What drew me in was the fact that he knows his firearms.  I mean KNOWS his firearms.  I bought his first self-published edition book (Monster Hunter International) and was excited about reading something that wouldn't roundly irritate me with gun errors.  I was more than happy.  I was addicted.  This book carries on that tradition of accuracy.


So, a few books later we arrive at Monster Hunter Legion.  If you are just getting in on this series and are thinking about getting this book, DO IT.  But first, you really need to go back and catch up on the MHI series.  Larry doesn't spend time explaining the past or what things are that he assumes you should remember from previous books (such as his awesome Saiga shotgun named Abomination, for instance).  I actually like this.  Why spend pages and time re-hashing the previous stories?  It's why I like my DVR for some TV shows.  I don't need to know what happened previously.  Saw it.

So, how was the book?  In short - incredible.  The story has plenty of action.  There is a bit of down time in this one, but the humor and snark keep it interesting and funny.  If you're already a fan of Correia's stuff, you'll know what I mean when I say that it lives up to the crackalicious reading for which his previous tomes are known.  Honestly, this stuff is brain candy.  Don't think, just read.  Enjoy.  Lose yourself in the monster killing, buffet hitting, full-auto shooting, chicken sacrificing, sarcasm dripping story.  If you're not already a fan, you will be.  Just start at the beginning (MHI).  I got this Saturday afternoon and finished last night.  You will not be able to put it down.  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Box of Happiness

Something came in the mail today.  Probably not what you expect, although I just sent a couple of heavy boxes hurtling this direction to feed some toys.  No, it was a couple of signed copies of Monster Hunter Legion.  I guess it's time to let Mrs. 45er have the Kindle for a while.  I'll be working on some dead tree versions of a book for the first time in a while.

Yippee

Friday, August 31, 2012

One Lucky Dude

This video is crazy.

I believe what you are seeing fly at the camera is the bark from the tree.  I've seen a few trees that have been hit by lightning and as the pulse travels through the tree and down the trunk, it blows the bark to pieces.  Trees aren't good conductors, so the passing of this much electricity through them is a rather traumatic event.  This is why you don't stand under trees in a rainstorm.  Lucky dude there.



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ammunition microstamping into economic ruin

New York is on a roll now.

The mind of a politician has always confounded me.  They like to wield their bureaucratic power and then act absolutely and completely puzzled when people and businesses don't just fall in line or do something "unfair" like "resist sensible gun legislation."

You see, politicians don't have to make a profit.  Governments rarely have to actually follow the budget they set forth.  It's a foreign concept to them that A. a company has a duty to their shareholders to make a profit and B. a duty to their customers to provide the product and back the ideals the consumers expect.  We all know that we as consumers expect firearms and ammunition manufacturers to not back gun legislation.  It's not especially good for their bottom line.  You can ask Smith and Wesson how that turned out for them some years back.  The politicians are already trying to cast the blame on the businesses for moving and cutting all of those jobs.  Amazing how the company would much rather not spend the money to move the business, retrain a bunch of people and reinvest in a bunch of new equipment.  We all know that they have weighed the cost of all of that versus implementing the microstamping.  Obviously, the cost of the microstamping in addition to the reputational considerations are worse than moving a whole production site out of state.  But a politician just isn't ever going to get that.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Update: The video I promised

I posted it in the original post just in case, but here it is as well.

Now, my original comments went something like this:

I don't know that I'd go charging into a situation in that way.  I also know I wouldn't shoot at a fleeing vehicle unless there was a threat to me.  People go to jail for that kind of thing, even in Texas.  It's hard to know what you would do in that situation, but I can understand the frustration of a neighborhood under siege by worthless trash destroying their hard-earned property.  My actions would have been more along the line of taking a stand (oh, and not with a handgun) at the vehicle.  If they want it back, they'll have to take it.  If they want to run off, fine, but it means I have evidence for the police and they'll be a lot easier to catch on foot.  Now, maybe this just happened too fast and there was no time for that but I just can't get behind shooting at a fleeing vehicle.

On a side-note, great statement by the police officer.  You will find that kind of attitude from a lot of the police in this part of Texas, especially from those in the Sheriffs' Departments.

Just a little note to the guy...

...that left his little girls alone in front of me to go get his cell phone.  Don't worry, it's the safest they've ever been even though you don't have a clue.

For the life of me, I don't understand people.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Neighbor stops burglary using a gun - video

Well, I posted the wrong story and I can't find the one I just saw on the news.  I guess I'm a little to quick on the draw with this news since it's not even on tha interwebs, yet.  Will update very soon.

Update - the video with comments are in the post here.

In the meantime, it's crazy what I found while searching for this one.  Check this out:

Huh, well look here.  Another story very similar with different (and better) results.

Or, you could be unprepared and go about it this way and hope.  Not recommended.

I prefer them to end this way.

Or this one.  The "screaming like a little girl" comment made me laugh, but "led off one round into the ground" sounds suspiciously like a warning shot to me and those are generally not good.

Wow, a bunch of stories of defense in recent news.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Our prophet said we should protect ourselves"

I actually learned something from this article.  It turns out the Sikhs generally have the right mindset when it comes to the relationship between peace, protection of the defenseless and self-protection .  I knew of Sikhism before this madman went stupid, but I honestly didn't know the Kirpan was religiously designated for self-protection and protection of others.  Some of them seem to have consumed the gun control koolaid, but the pro-carry guy quoted in this article really has the right ideas.  He truly understands what his religion expects of him.  Defense of self.  The Kirpan is but a tool and he understands there are other tools that are better suited for this need in today's world.  It is unfortunate more didn't consider this previous to the incident.  Also, notice that some still think four minutes to wait for help from the police is acceptable.  In reality, it is an eternity in a situation like that.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jalapeno Lime Margaritas

I humbly admit, I make a heck of a frozen margarita.  But that's not what this is about.  This is about a cocktail adventure.  That Guy, The Enabler was down this past weekend and we went out with friends and had a great time (sans children).  So, we went to a pretty new cocktail bar in the area and I saw these jalapeno lime margaritas on the menu.  They were incredibly good, but at $6.00 a pop for a short glass, what's the first thing you usually think?  "I can make these."  At least, that's what I usually think.  The list of ingredients for the ones we had were: lime juice, tequila, agave nectar, jalapeno and sugar cane.  The flavor was sweet with a good lime flavor and just a hint of heat at the back of the throat.  They were like crack in a glass.  Well, this is my version, not as sweet because I like a more sour margarita, but if you like - a teaspoon of caster sugar (powdered sugar) or some simple syrup could sweeten it up a bit.  Also, so I don't have to write a novel in the ingredients, use GOOD tequila.  At a minimum, Sauza Gold or something equivalent.  A reposado or anejo are good options.  You don't have to spend a ton of money, but do NOT use Jose Cuervo or your drink will taste like dirt.  This is the secret to being able to crank up the tequila and still have good flavor in your margarita.

Amid the ruins, the prize


Jalapeno Lime Margarita
(Sour Dragon Margarita)

1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice (approx 6 limes)
4 - 5 tablespoons agave nectar
1 part triple sec (I used 1 oz)
3 parts tequila (I used 3 oz of Sauza Anejo Commemorativo)
1/2 jalapeno seeded, chopped then crushed in garlic press
crushed ice
coarse salt (for rim of glass if desired)

If you desire salt on the rim of the glass, cut a slice of lime and run it around the rim, then turn the glass in the salt poured on a plate.  Do this before you put the ice in, please.  Pour all ingredients into a shaker with a strainer and shake well.  Yes, put the crushed jalapeno and its juice in, too.  Strain into glass with ice.  This will make about 4 small glasses (rocks glass size, about 6 ounces each).  This particular recipe yields a bit more of a jalapeno flavor than the ones we had, which I like.  It also yields a pretty strong drink and a couple will make you feel it.  Serve with a lime slice and jalapeno slice.  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Inspiration at Wal Mart

Cruising through the aisles of the local box store, I was inspired to take a shot at some photographic still life art.

I call this one...

Change of Plans

We always see abandoned items in the store, but I thought the ones above told a particularly intriguing story.  Then, there was the decision by the store to pile a variety of items into one display.  This display I call...

Bin of Misery
Or relief, I guess, depending on your perpective.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Great Equalizer - Granny's Gun

I actually laughed out loud when I saw this video.  I didn't think I would.  It's pretty typical to see thugs scatter like roaches when the rounds actually start flying since they are generally a bunch of D-Bag cowards anyway picking on what they assume are defenseless victims.   Therefore, the flipping and falling didn't catch me off guard.  What made me laugh was the cartoon-esque stack up at the egress.  Now THAT is comedy gold.  Seriously, cue Yakety Sax on this video.  Also, nothing like tearing off and leaving some of your buddies behind.  With friends like these...  So, anyway, what you have here is five (you can count them  easily at the stack-up) young thugs plus a getaway driver bravely taking on an older woman.  Then, out comes the equalizer.  All of a sudden, a seriously outnumbered and overpowered lady is able to make a bunch of jerks scramble and wet their panties.  I say good for her.  I'd like to see a lot more of this and maybe a lot more range time for the citizens so they can start making more shots count.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Zombies can be the good guys

I think the majority of the country would just love to face-punch the Westboro church crowd.  While that just means they would go to jail, this group makes me smile.

The sign is the best part.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What a Kwak (of beer)



I had a bit of spare time and wandered over to my local beer guy.  He wasn't there, but I was in the mood for a little something different and they know I like the Belgian stuff, so I had this one recommended to me.


Pauwel Kwak (or just Kwak) is brewed by Brouwerij Bosteels in Belgium.  They call this a Belgian Specialty Ale.  The pour was very nice and smelled of malt and a bit of caramel.  There was a nice off-white head and the beer retained quite a bit of carbonation after the pour.  The color is a cloudy amber.


This was a nice change of pace.  It had a medium-bodied feel with quite a bit of carbonation.  The flavor was just slightly sweet.  It had almost a lambic sour note that went away very quickly and was replaced by a slightly yeasty malt flavor.  This was quite good if you like Belgian Beer.  At 8.4% ABV, it's not a lightweight and I recommend splitting a bottle with a friend.  The brewing process helps explain the high carbonation.  They brew it for a month with two yeasts, then re-ferment it.  It is then bottled and cellared for 9 months, then they remove the yeast.  I like a beer with a bit of back-story and history and Kwak has quite a bit of that.  I mean, look at the glass it is traditionally served in.


From what I read, when you drink to the point that the beer rushes from the bulb at the bottom of the glass (and I'll bet it does) it makes a sound that sounds like "Kwak."  Who knows what stories beer drinkers tell.  Goodness knows they have the time while they are sitting around a tavern with a pint.

In all, this is worth a try.  It is full-bodied, but not heavy.  It is good to have with a salty snack and a friend.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Free Stuff, Girly Guns, The Touch and Melted Things

Yes, I have been away.  Quite a bit out of touch.  The good news is that it was for mostly good reasons.  Work has been tough, but I'm not going to complain about having a job.  July is a big birthday month around here so plans had to be made, gifts were given and time was lost.  First off, a great thing happened to my dad.  A local restaurant needed to replace their cooler and freezer and needed someone to haul away the old one.  My dad got the call and...

FREE STUFF
This is a big deal to us.  With the amount of hunting and game processing that we do, this is a monumental asset to us.  My parents already have an extra refrigerator and two freezers.  In the middle of hunting season that sometimes isn't enough.  I can't wait until we get this up and running this fall.  We're pretty excited.  Now, on to guns.  Kind of...

GIRLY GUN
At this point I will say That Guy is responsible for this.  As a matter of fact, I believe that from this point forward he deserves a different nom de guerre.  From here on he will be known as That Guy The Enabler.  So, That Guy The Enabler emailed me the other day and said, "Hey, Woot has a cool trainer rifle for Little 45er."  I looked and sure enough, they did.  Real cheap (probably because at some point they absorbed some kind of radioactivity and now glow this atrocious color).  So, I went for it.  Little 45er is thrilled, by the way.  I went out to sight it in and...

.177 caliber zombie killer
This was the first target I found to sight it in.  From 20 feet it hit low right.  After moving the sights the wrong way (heh) I walked it back up on the left side and after some adjustment, took the shot on the right side.  This sucker can dot a zombie eye from 20 feet.  Little 45er will be my back up while I am reloading.

So, no pics here but I mentioned The Touch in the title.  This is the real reason I've been so out of it lately.  Mrs. 45er got me a Kindle Touch for my birthday.  I am an avid - ok - rabid reader.  The first thing I did was download a huge amount of free books.  Of course, most of the free books are classics, which is fine with me.  I love classic stuff.  I stumbled upon a free zombie book which was surprisingly good and I even paid a few bucks for the next book from the same author.  I've read those two and I'm engrossed in some Sherlock Holmes right now.  I've been dragged kicking and screaming into the digital book-reading age.  So you can blame Mrs. 45er and Kindle for my prolonged absence.

Finally, the Melted Things.  For our birthday dinner, Mrs. 45er and I went to a restaurant called The Melting Pot.  Remember the 70s and fondue?  I don't, but hey it's a thing again and it is such a fun experience.

Mmmm, cheese
Yes, cheese is the best.  This was a Sam Adams Boston Lager beer bacon cheese fondue.  It was fabulous (and had bacon!)  Speaking of the beer, we chose to do the flight of beers that was paired with each course.

Mmmm, beer
That was a great idea.  The pairings were great and the dessert course was surprisingly wonderful with the Rogue Chocolate Stout.

main course
I've never done full courses of fondue like this.  It was a very cool experience and a whole lot of fun.  The dessert was the best part.  Isn't it always?

the chocolate
It was a wild berry chocolate with crunchy peanut butter.

the pairing
What kind of beer could possibly go with dessert?  Well, if you're eating chocolate fondue this good, I recommend this Rogue Chocolate Stout.  It was phenomenal.

So, now we're just miserably full.  So, what should we do?  Go downtown, get a hotel room and wander around drinking.  This is what I call a nightcap...

Good Lord
That is two 32 ounce glasses, neigh, bowls of margarita there.  Thank goodness it was just a short stroll back to the hotel from here.  So, this is a compilation of my excuses for being out of touch lately.

Concealed handgun owner stops robbery - great video

This is pretty incredible.  I heard about this from my dad a little bit ago and just had to post on it.  I know I haven't been around a while and I'll post on that a little later, but I just had to share.  This is great evidence of someone that has done some training.  I like the stance and the shooting on the move.  He's obviously careful of the bystanders and his field of fire.  He did advance toward the perps, which is kind of a no no, but I'd say it helped to clear his field of fire more and they were moving away, so he did a great job.  This is a perfect example of why to carry.  Who knows what direction this robbery would have taken in there with all of those people.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's for the children

Well, teach them and train them and you are protecting them.

I totally get where the father is at in his mental state.  I would freak if my child had to undergo something like this.  I train with Mrs. 45er and want her to have the ability to defend herself, but if were up to me I'd want to be the one to have to deal with a situation like that.  The mental aftermath is an entirely different kind of thing you have to prepare for.  I don't think 14-year-old has had enough time on this earth to be mentally ready for something like this.  That said, I'd rather it end this way than any other.  That's one quick thinking and smart kid.  Kudos to good parenting.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Heavenly postage - assembly required

A while back, That Guy was telling me about a very cool recipe/cookbook that he was reading.  I expressed great interest and he told me not to get it.  Guy code understood.  I have a birthing celebration coming up and guess what just came in the mail?

Oh, such beauty
Looks like work.  Yummy, yummy work.  And a big thank you to That Guy.  I can't wait to try some of these.  We've been making venison smoked ring for decades and dry ring for a few years.  We've dabbled in jerky and you've seen the bacon escapades here.  There are so many cool things in this book.  Also, they know what they're talking about...

Yes, yes it is
My dad and I have been talking about advancing to summer sausage and there is a pretty cool recipe in here for that.  Venison summer sausage would be a fantastic addition to our normal goodies.  I just can't wait for cooler weather.  Oh, but do I have a surprise that might make hot weather a moot point.  Just wait and see...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grazie

Some thanks are in order for a new follower.  To Tyler North from American and Armed, thanks very much for hitting the button and being subjected to random ramblings.  I welcome comments and always will respond.

Go check it out and check that fancy shotgun shell holder.  :)  That reminds me of taking my Remington 870 Talo with an 18" barrel to a fundraiser skeet shoot.  I do that kind of thing on purpose.  If I'd have known about this, I'd have rocked this look as well.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Pounding Wet Sand

When we were looking at the house we own right now, I remember looking out the back door when it was being shown to us and thinking how the above-ground pool in the back yard was NOT a selling point.  All I could see was maintenance.  Well, we ended up with it.  It's been ok.  We use it.  I do maintain it.  Mostly.

So, this weekend came the series of unfortunate events leading to the multiple project payload.  You know what I'm talking about.

"Hmmmm, that hose is leaking.  Well, to fix that I have to drain the pool down.  Well, since I'm going to have to do that, I may as well replace the leaky inlet which I've been fighting.  Oh, you know since I'm doing that, I really should replace the sand in the filter."  This is where misery is born.

You see, you're supposed to replace that sand every few years.  Well, it's been a few years since we moved in and the previous owner didn't exactly take care of the pool.  The neighbors have told me stories involving tree-rats doing the bloated back-stroke and Swamp Thing colored water.  I can only imagine what has gone through that filter.

The purchase of the supplies was much less painful than I expected.  Therefore, I left the pool supply store much more optimistic than I had any right to be.  I decided to start early in the morning on the project instead of working in 103F heat.  I'm silly that way.  Still, it was HOT.

The inlet replacement was pretty simple.  Hoses took no time to attach.  I'm cranking along, super-happy with myself.  So, then I took the valve off of the filter and gazed into the abyss.  I would spend the next few hours lounging down there with Faust wanting to go in halvsies on the deal he made just to end this thing.

There is 200 pounds of sand in that filter.  That's dry weight.  This sand is wet.  Very wet.  Let's top that with the fact that there is a PVC pipe that comes all the way to the opening of the filter, which is already small.  I can barely fit my hand through.  I started shoveling with the little plastic cup that I had.  That lasted a very short time.  I've learned some things in life.  Don't ignore the voice telling you when you're doing something stupid.  It's always right.  Also, taking time to find a better solution always beats wasting a lot of time doing something and then trying to find a better solution.

I stopped pretty quick and headed to my parents' house to get their shop-vac.  My thoughts were this:  I would use their old shop-vac and if the vacuuming of sand burned it up, I would get them a brand new one.  Better than buying a new one and finding out the hard way.

Back to the house with the sucker.  Things went quite swimmingly until I got down to where the really wet stuff was.  Sadly, I was just starting to get that loving feeling back.  That's when the sand started actually filling up the hose.  Luckily, I had buckets of water I had collected when I drained the pool.  What's a good idea?  Sucking some of that up to clean the hose.  What's a bad idea?  The one I just had.  An even better idea would have been just wrapping tape on that stupid leaky hose that started all this.

So, now I have a very wet, very sand filled shop vac.  I'm on the 4th or 5th emptying of the thing and it's getting messy.  Oh, and really heavy.  So, the decision has to be made to either empty it a lot or blow a gasket every time I empty it.  I emptied it a lot.  A whole lot.  At this point I can't get the sand out of the bottom of the pool filter.  The pipe goes down and fits to a bunch of spokes that I can't get the hose under.  You know what did fit under it?  My hand.  My now very raw hand.  Scraping a bunch of wet sand into a hose has what I will call an exfoliating affect.

Finished sucking!  Now, haul the new sand to the back of the house.  Fifty pound bags of sand.  I'm reminded of hauling a bunch of cattle feed.  Feel the burn.

So, the project is finally complete.

Stupid hose.




Monday, June 18, 2012

Smoke - you complete me

So, there were a few comments requesting the final result of the rub post.  Well, I planned on it but the final results really do need articulation.  There were some issues and then things got weird.  First off, the ribs turned out wonderfully well.  Here is the final product from that project:


Hehe.  Remember these?







Anyways, the pork roast above the ribs was supposed to be pulled pork, remember?  Well, there was a series of unfortunate events.  The internal temperature was rising on pace to make it to the right temperature but we had to go to my parents.  It's a short drive and I had my mom pre-heat her oven and immediately put it in when we got there.  However, that's when it stalled.  I had a heck of a time getting it to get up to 170F.  At this point, I gave up on the pulled pork.  There were two reasons.  I didn't foresee the internal temp making it to the required 200F in time and I started to consider that this was a roast from the rump, not the shoulder.  This means much less fat and these were pretty lean pigs to begin with.  Here's something to remember when you're cooking.  Be flexible.  Adapt and overcome.  Oh, and don't announce your plans (oops on my first post). You might have to change them and then you can't say you did it on purpose.  it's kind of like that perfect shot.  When you make it, just put the gun down and walk away.

What I ended up with was a fantastic smoked pork roast, not a pulled pork sandwich.  The brine made it amazingly moist and juicy.  I sliced it thin and we had it on buns.  I noticed something else strange when we started taste-testing.  I used the exact same rub on both the ribs and roast.  The ribs were great.  Just a hint of heat, a little sweet and perfectly flavored.  The roast was amazing as well, but man was it spicy-hot.  I can only attribute this to the fact that I really packed the rub on the roast.  My thoughts were that when I pulled it apart, the seasoning would incorporate into the meat.  If that actually happened, I think it would have been ok.

All-in-all it was successful.  We had a great Father's Day and good food.



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Aye - There's the pork rub

Well, sometimes you start to brainstorm and simple dinner plans escalate into all-out food insanity.  My mom wanted to have a nice father's day dinner and wanted me to do some grilling, maybe some steaks.  Well, remember, we have all that pork from the pigs we butchered.  (By the way, I have 10 more pounds of bacon curing in the refrigerator).  So, I thought why not some pulled-pork and some ribs?  Ok, so what now?  First, the pork we have is a roast from the ham, not the shoulder.  The shoulders all went into sausage.  That means I need to do a good brine and rub for that.  Might as well make a rub for both the ribs and roast, right?  Well, here is what I have done so far:

First off, this recipe is for a bone-in pork shoulder and I recommend that for the fat content.  This will work for a roast up to about 6 - 8 pounds.

Aye, the rub:

1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup brown sugar

I put all of that into a dish with a tight lid, then shake vigorously.  Remove the lid and crush the larger chunks of brown sugar and shake again.

The brine:

2 quarts of cold water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 bay leaves
3 Tbsp of rub

Pour cold water into bowl, preferably with a spout to pour back out easily.  Add the salt and stir until dissolved.  Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.  Add the rest and stir.  Put the pork roast into a 2 gallon Ziploc bag and pour in brine.  Seal top and put in refrigerator for at least 8 hours.

After brine is complete, pour out and rinse and pat roast.  I put mine in a disposable aluminum pan since I was planning on smoking it.  I wanted to retain as much moisture as possible, and not lose any dripping down through the grate.  Cover the roast liberally with the rub and put on the smoker.  You can use the oven in all honesty, but you'll miss out on the smoke flavor.  Whichever means you decide upon.  Keep the temperature at around 225F and you'll want to cook it for 1.5 to 2 hours per pound.  The internal temperature should reach 200F.  Then, shut off the oven and let the roast slowly cool in the oven until it reaches 170F.  Take it out and use two forks to pull it apart.  This should be very easy at this point.

Yum
So, for right now it just went on the smoke.  I used the rub to coat the ribs as well and I'm cooking them side by side.


Can't wait for dinner.

Monday, June 11, 2012

More Gun Friendly News

Antis and politicians are being left in the dust.  Ruger has been skyrocketing in its stock price.  More guns are being sold now than really ever before.  Now states are trying to attract some of that good business.  It has always left me scratching my head when arms and ammunition manufacturers do business in hostile states.  I understand it costs money to move, but it has to cost some pretty serious change to stay as well.  This is a story on Potlatch, Idaho.  Potlatch is actively campaigning to poach some gun manufacturers from less friendly areas.  They also don't seem to be jumping on the bandwagon now.  Potlatch looks like it might be full of my kind of people and Idaho has been a friendly state for a long time.  Good for them, I say.  Lower cost firearms due to less regulation and headaches for the manufacturers mean lower cost for us.  It also means pulling money out of the pockets of politicians that would use your own money to take your rights away.  I think we would call that a Win-Win.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fries

But do you know what kind of fries?   My uncle is here from West Texas.  They do a lot of ranching.  Along with that comes such delicacies as "fries."

Frozen
Have you figured it out yet?

Yep, what are called calf fries, or mountain oysters among other things.  A lot of people just can't deal with the thought, but on the ranch these are something to look forward to around cutting time.


There are just too many jokes to make and none of them have any tact.  The process is pretty simple.  The cutting is obviously already done.  Then, you peel, slice and season.  A little salt, pepper and garlic powder then...


into the cornmeal.  Turn the heat on under some oil and get it up to around 350F.  Drop these in and fry until just golden.


Done.  Serve with french fries.

I'm curious about the responses I will be getting for this one.  I know everyone has heard of these.  I figured few people have ever seen the process, so I'm here to appease your curiosity.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lazy Blogging

I've been out of pocket for a week on business.  The good news is I was in pocket in That Guy's back yard.  That meant we had to make it to the range at least once.  He and I have both been in the market for a .308 in an AR platform.  Well, he found one.  So, since it's already been posted, I'm going to be lazy let you see it over there.

Blogiversary

It's mine.  It's been a whole one year since I started this.  I have to say the only thing I can say is thank you.  I would never have imagined that people would actually have cared enough to pay attention.  I appreciate that you take the time to peek in.  I do notice.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Many more thanks

Thanks to mojave rat for hitting the follow button.  He is over at mojaveratstwocentsworth.  It's a good place and worth the visit.  Anyone that likes bacon that much is a friend.  :)

Also, a follow up for Mazie over at Who Knew.  Now we have a link!  I didn't have one when I originally posted the thanks, so that has been rectified.  She is working on starting on some basic firearms training, so I know she will be interested in the knowledge of those of you that wish to share.  I know it's so hard to get gunnies to talk about guns, but do your best.  :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Have I somehow missed some thank yous?

Sad panda
I'm a sad panda




I had a new follower today.  At least that is what my counter told me.  I had to dig through to find them and discovered something horrifying.  I believe I missed thanking someone else.  I'm not sure which the newest one is, but I'm thinking it is sradddha54.  Thanks so much for hitting the button.  If you have a blog, please let me know (I can't tell from the follower icon) and I'd love to check it out.

The one I think I missed is donovan_dion_oldsb.  For that I'm sorry.  A belated thank you and as I said to sraddha54, I do not see a blog, so please let me know if there is one I can check out.

I promise to do my best to always respond to comments and I encourage them so please don't be shy.  To all of my other followers, thanks again for checking in.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Meat Miscellany

So, first of all...



The bacon is done!  Well, most of it was done before, but the pieces I wanted to smoke were done yesterday. I didn't have a "bacon hanger" (yes, there is such a thing) nor the desire to get one.  So, I used what we had.  Since we make a lot of sausage, we have a lot of twine.  So, here you go...

Hey, how's it hangin?
The pepper cure is in front and brown sugar in back.  I didn't want a lot of heat under it, so I started a separate fire and put the coals in a pan.  Those were topped with wet wood chips and sawdust.  The wood chips were a mixture of oak and mesquite.  There was also a little pecan in there since that was part of the coals from the fire.  After 2 1/2 hours of waiting...

Beer:  Shortening wait times since 5,000 B.C.
this is the result:


I know it doesn't look much different, but you can just see the color change.  It took on a perfect amount of smoke.  One of the suggestions which I'm glad I paid attention to, was to make sure the surface of the meat is completely dry.  I let it sit, uncovered, in the refrigerator to ensure dryness and it paid off.  The droplets of water collect smoke particles and can cause almost a bitter, smudgy surface.  So, after this I cut it all into nice thick, uniform pieces and vacuum packed them in Ziploc bags.  FYI, if you want a good tip put a few boxes (or more) of Ziploc vacuum bags and a hand pump in your "go" kit.  The possibilities are endless and no batteries or electricity required.  I did a little test before packaging and must say the smoke was the perfect final touch.  Of course, now I wish I would have smoked all of it.


And now, on to more curing.  I mentioned the peameal bacon and it started tonight.


I cleaned up two large back loins (back-straps for you hunters) today and cut the center section of each out for this project.  I'm excited about this because I fell in love with it while visiting Canada and you can't get it down here.  I'm sure this is the item from which the misnomer "Canadian Bacon" was coined.  So, this is step one, curing for 5 days.  More to come.

P.S. I chose the title so kymber would not try to avoid the post.  :)