The Battery

As a firearms aficionado I was lucky to (be working and have enough money) and first acquire The Complete Basic-Battery: Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun. So there I was with my gats: a Smith’ Model-10, a 1900’s-era Krag-Jorgenson (in an un-useable very 60’s Monte Carlo stock, but not cut-down), and a ’54 Belgian Browning Light-Twelve that was once my Grandfather’s. What a beauty. With gold wash still on the trigger and an un-blemished receiver, it was made a few years before my birth and it is a Revered Family Heirloom (even for those non-gunny types), and I’m just the most recent caretaker.

How did you start out? What’s your basic-basic?

Since that time I have filled out my Basic Battery at various locations and with assorted permutations; Colt and Sig added to S&W, M1 Garand and M1 Carbine (Postal Meter now sold, dammit) added to Krag-Jorgenson – but a profound vacancy remained.
I was afraid to ruin Grandpa’s old beauty, and nobody on my old Shootin’ Club even fired shotguns so I got no encouragement there. But I had shot Chris AnarchAngel Byrne’s DiFi Hater-Gun – the Dianne Feinstein Memorial Assault Shotgun, the Shotty from Hell with the rotary magazine, and it was FUN! But if anyone ever said, “Let’s go play 3-Gun!” I would have come up short, my Battery was vacant at that location.
So today I went up to Hangtown, to Big-5 and slapped plastic down on a Mossberg 590. Besides, I got the Mossberg hat at the Gunblogger Rendezvous when Remington didn’t give squat. It’s not a wrist-cracking “cruiser” nor does it have a gigantic drum magazine, but it does have something AWFUL, a bayonet lug. So for a hundred bucks or so I can get an Ontario M9 that makes it pokey-slicey and adds to my bayonet collection.
Maybe they need to open up “3-Gun” and make it slashy: “3-Gun and BAAYONET!”

Grail-Grail, Puzzle-Pieces

When you start building a project, whether it’s a rifle or a vehicle, you need to begin with the propellant/power-plant unit in mind. I know everybody builds Fords and Chevys, but where I can find a 1918 Hispano-Suiza V-8?  – or maybe here? 300-something HP seems to be the goal for the motor, not sure about the weight… Some awesome Kiwis built a few.

After that a reproduction kit, or something. A few hundered hours spinning wrenches and slapping dope on silk, volia!
Since I live on a hill, when it’s done it will be relatively simple to get it push-started and off down to the airport below, no?
If I had a ranch in Texas and a Class III stamp (and a dozen Dillons set up for .303 British) the Lewis gun would be cool (and the synchronized Vickers too), and I could fly around with it and rat-a-tat to my hearts content.
With a few lights and some IR stuff it would be an awesome-bitchin’ night-fighter shootin’ wild hogs – as long as the exhaust and engine heat-plume didn’t make the IR bloom…
And of course it would be cool to have a ridin’/flyin’ buddy to join along. I know there’s a bunch of Aero-Gunny types out there besides Bridgid, like Murphy’s Law for instance…


In the evening  the Low-Grade 101 fever returned.  Feeling dull as dishwater, I attempted to take a nap – and began shivering in bed.  Convulsively.  My neck was cold and with the chest-wall pain there was nowhere to turn, or turn-over and find comfort.  I couldn’t lay flat, I couldn’t lay on either side.  The chills escalated into muscles spasms that yanked at every corner – Yowww!

I understand Fever, it’s your body actively burning off the crud and nasty goop that’s hanging around too long, but what’s with Chills and Shivers?   Is it the semi-passive lymph system trying to shake-off and physically process that cast-off crud and goobers?

I also remember this happened last time after the motocross incident – and it was also after a few days of going around semi-normal but with pain and general listlessness.  Wham!  The chills,  I also remember that after that episode, things all started to march along – it signaled the end of it all and the beginning of an upward curve.  So good, we’ll be all happy-dappy soon enough.

Decided also that the only way to get any sleep would be to  sleep sitting-up, it’s like an airplane with more leg-room. So we got a cushion from the couch and brought it in to the bedroom.  I can do this. More ibuprofen and went to bed with the alarm set to wake me in 5-hours when it was time to take another dose.  Sleep was forthcoming, gradually.

UPDATE: Awoke feeling all chipper and much better.  No chills and the chest-wall was almost sound.  Amazing.  Had a green smoothie and went down to Folsom Kaiser for a past-due eye-exam.  Now that we’re retired it’s all Kaiser all the time.  Could be worse, the facility is unlike the BayAryan one in many-many positive (too me) respects.  Our eyes are 100% and the necessary correction showed improvement – which needed a slight reduction.

Worst thing about the visit was the magazines to read: Hunting & Fishing (I guess we REALLY aren’t in the BayArea!), Home Decor, Airplanes!  Someomne had left an AOPA Pilot magazine to read.  I live near the airport, the little planes fly over, maybe I should learn to fly – besides, with a truck and a motorcycle we really don’t need a second car.  Not gonna live forever and we don’t have any heirs, and certainly not gonna waste good money on Bad Gov.


Out and About

I remembered I had stashed-away a No-Fear elastic kidney-belt from my years of enduro riding, so I dug it out and strapped it up onto my chest – compression helps with the pain and shifting, so I guess this isn’t my liver going-off, howling at me… I hope.

The old belt survives because the build-quality is far better than the cheap Home-Depot crap.  The rigid part says rigid and the “corset-stays” are well sewn-in and don’t come out, the mesh section breathes and the Velcro still holds.  So we’re a happy camper.  But the pain is still there, absent any bruising or outwardly visible manifestation.  The last time I had some popped ribs you could easily count the purple stripes.

Went for a drive up to Apple Hill and bought some fall deliciousness.  Fujis and Mutsu:- a cross between a Granny Smith and a Golden Delicious that doesn’t make it to the stores because they bruise easily and the losses from mishandling are too great.

Happy Columbus Day everybody!  Think good-thoughts for all the Native Americans who were freed from the barbaric slavery, constant violence, disease and deprivations – and human sacrifice perpetrated by the Aztec regime.  Nobody living around Tenochtitlan liked those brutal thugs, they made life nasty.

Civilization and the Grail

Probably most of you are familiar with Marko’s essay on Why the Gun is Civilization, (also widely copied and mistakenly attributed to some unknown “Maj. Caudill” ) and maybe also with the “Grail-Gun” series at Borepatch by, ASM826 – which  got me thinking about how many of my own guns are “Grail-Guns,” and it seems to me that the Holy Grail was really the chalice of Civilization, so grail-guns are really our way of holding onto that surprising Relic.  Interesting confluence, that.

My first rifle, the Krag-Jorgenson M1898 inspired me to learn to shoot – and I almost got into re-enacting.  I was bent on acquiring several pieces of Soldiers’ kit, but while looking around the whole turn-of-the-century military re-enacting “scene” pretty much dissolved.  So now I have a hat that’s worthy of the era, and an old leather belt and holster, and a 1900-dated Krag bayonet – because before the Gun was Civilization there was The Knife – and it’s a big one!  I also set to reading and studying to learn more about the conflict in the Philippines where the Krag rifle saw the most action.   I had never known or been taught anything about that time before, and the enthusiasm of it all inspired me to obtain the appropriate side-arm – but not the weak Colt .38 that caused the adoption of the 1911,  only its immediate predecessor would do, the M1909 Colt New Service.

I enjoyed firing the old rifle in bolt-action matches at my gun-club (that I joined because my dirt-ridin’ friend who helped me learn to shoot was a member), and thereupon came the second grail; an 1944 M1 Garand from the CMP.  And with the fire of Civilization ignited within me, I sought out the companion side-arm, a Colt M1911a1.  Had I been from a family of Marines an Ithaca or a Remington-Rand might have been the Grail, but my dad was Navy.  And it didn’t stop there, because my brother had an M1 Carbine I had to have one too.  His was a Rock-O-La, and mine became a National Postal Meter Carbine.  And I also needed bayonets for each rifle and carbine, and the book War Baby detailing the development and wartime production of the carbine, distributed among ten different contractors.

And as an aside for the Garand, while my Father-in-Law was dying a few years ago his roommate (briefly) at the sanitarium was an old soldier who had served in the Pacific Theater as an original Army Ranger.  His short term memory wasn’t much better than the FIL, but he could go on at length about his war experience, hiking up and down the mountains of New Guinea in the mud.  He said that years later he was at a WWII museum in Hawaii where a rifle was on display, and he recognized the serial-number – it was his own Garand.  And so I read The Ghost Mountain Boys, about the New Guinea campaign and then Sledge’s “With the Old Breed” about the fighting at Peleliu and on Okinawa.

But apart from these small bits of study and besides reading about WWI aircraft as a kid, my Military History and tactics knowledge is slim, thus NotClauswitz – which I even spelled wrong.  I was never good at playing RISK either.


Ailments of Age

All the work has been enjoyable to a certain degree, and necessary and worthwhile.  With the abundance of overgrowth we almost always fill two large, green, wheeled, yard-waste bins with tree trimmings and shrubbery-bits.  In order to make (all) that stuff fit into the bins, I grab a pair of 1-3/4″ by-pass loping shears and attack the contents of the bins as a human chipper while my Beloved throws-in the airy branches.  The result is a home-done chipping job with a densely packed can – the real trick is later pushing the now-heavy can up the steep driveway for pickup.

So my shoulder and arm muscles are getting a workout worthy of a gym, without having to share space with sweaty people and their messy secretions and  contagions.  Bending around the tree-branches and finding awkward positions to do work is another kind of stretching exercise, too.  And so the other night after all the work was done, while shifting in my chair to watch TV, I suddenly felt like I had just pulled all the muscles in my right side from back to hip.  My first thought was whether I had somehow dislocated a few ribs,and how?  It felt exactly like the busted-ribs episode on the Motocross track fifteen years ago… Alternatively it was like a right-rear-rib total impingement syndrome.  Yow!  It hurt like hell and ibuprofen and ice was summoned.  Sleep was a fidgety affair aided by a glass or two of wine.

Then this morning I awoke at 4:54 (Casull?) with a repeat occurrence.  Also I had to go to the bathroom.  Now I was a bit more worried since I had read somewhere that the liver is in that region and could be acting up.  The glucosamine-chondroitin I’ve been taking has really had no discernible effects, so I had quit taking it – could this be a withdrawl symptom? Anyhow we will attempt a detoxifying regimen with green smoothies and assorted liver-placating fluids and diet, just to see how that works.  Should also slough off a few unnecessary pounds in the process.

Also the winds have shifted and temperatures have dropped out of the 90’s – the atmospherics are indicating Summer is really now over, so it’s a chance to rest and recuperate after all the work.  My shoulders are sore but my knee is much better – time to go riding in this mild Mid-80’s weather.

UPDATE: What mule kicked me in the ribs?  Ow, this is not very fun.  Pain is only the feeling of WORK leaving the body…

UPDATE-UPDATE: If this doesn’t start getting better I may have to do down to see the Doc, meanwhile more ice and ibuprofen and my kidney-belt for compression.  Reminds me of the late 1990’s motocross incident. Ow.