Dry Day

The sun came out to flirt, and we scooted down to Costco for provisions. Steaks for the freezer, nuts for the larder, whiskey for the bar: Bulleit Rye since they were out of Knob Creek Rye and they don’t carry Tin Cup.
Went up to the other end of town, and at Tractor Supply picked up two 4’x8′ pieces of utility fencing panels in order to make a giant tomato cage for the upcoming crop. A snip with the bolt-cutters here, a bend there, and I should be able to make a 6-foot tall square stairway to heaven.
A couple snips off the bottom cross-rungs and it will be free to poke into the loamy raised-bed.
Meanwhile it’s gonna rain again Sunday so enjoy it while it lasts:

UPDATE: Well that was weird. It clouded-up and snowed big fluff, blobby, bits of snow — then it turned to sleet and covered the pasture.
I awoke to a deck still covered in slush, but everything else melted – and it’s cold. Brrr!

Moar Inundation

Today we’re already good for 1.12″ at this hour, since it deluged last night. Looking at around four more inches in the next 24-hour period. Miner’s Inches I guess, though I never figured-out the math on that since I do pictures and graphics not number-puzzles – and even yet, it still just doesn’t square up with me. I guess I’m not really a very smart person.
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Anyhow we got more numbers:
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Bits and Funky Pieces

More heavy weather, so anyhow I was working on converting my now seldom-used Match Rifle to what I call a “California Neutral” condition – and it only took a couple things: an Exile Machine “Headbutt” grip-adapter and my old Mossberg shotty-stock, and lacking a backing plate on the A2 rifle-length buffer-tube, a 4-40 tap and a 4-40 x 1/8″ set-screw available at your local TrueValue hardware store. A dab of grease on the tap and the shavings are collected and wiped away. Take it easy and use your fingertips to guide the tap like a pencil, it only takes about seven threads in depth. Luckily I had a teeny-tiny allen-wrench to insert the set-screw. Remember to cut the spring because you don’t need as much length.
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Yeh the rifle looks horrible and stupid but the grip is actually pretty comfortable and there’s my Mossberg stock back in action instead of sitting in a box under the table.
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It looks stupid but returns to me a functioning mag release instead of the dreaded “bullet-button.”
You see, the raving bat-shit crazy nitwits in the One-Party Stupidslature got so wound up about the “bullet-button” that they issued a host of ridiculous and incomprehensible directives, some of which the pulled-back when threatened by the NRA and CRPA lawyers – but we always await further nonsense from the Moron League (and my apologies to real Morons).

Time out…

Mom’s going into hospice.

UPDATE: That was fast. She died peacefully this morning (Friday, 2/17) around 10:00AM.

UPDATE-UPDATE: Thank you all for the kind words and condolences, I realize I am very fortunate to have had such a generous amount of time with my folks and family before anyone has take leave.
I know many people, my wife included, who’s time with parents’ has been cut short for one reason or another.

Sunny and Mild

It’s nice to be safe and up-hill from the torrents, and drying out. The flows coming down from the mountains have presented particular challenges to the Oroville, dam which many of you may have noticed in the News-cycle. The Folsom damn has opened the gates and is releasing water in anticipation of more water coming down off the mountains, given the current state of the snow-pack. It’s all just math.
In a normal situation or in a normal state, given that EVERYBODY knows that we we have a LONG history of flooding including 100-year floods – despite being a recently colonized state – the math would add-up and the “Drought” would be over, because water reclamation projects are a signature event and staple of Civilization, going back to ancient times and dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the cradle of Civilization. The ancient city of Babylon had elevated gardens fed by an intricate and well-engineered hydraulic system, and also the remote, rock-carved city of Petra.
But California Uber Alles, we live in a post-modern, neo-tribal, identity-politic pseudo-Progressive Society and State where the ass-backwards Hippies in San Frandisco want to drain their only water source because Lurv Teh Environment. California has had all sorts of water projects denied and derailed by Environmentalism, with some even weirder ones going forward like the gigantic water-tunnels in the Delta. And the Delta is called that because it floods with regularity and is cross-crossed by multiple series of containment dykes and levees. And don’t get me started on an insignificant baitfish, the equivalent of the so-called Spotted Owl…
Here there is a failure to do the math on the part of Progressive Politics, which requires that the Elites feed money to the various identity groups they keep leashed-up in the cities and use like fighting-dogs to divide and conquer. Money that might have been better spent on infrastructure improvements and “dirty jobs nobody wants to do” (except they pay well), is spent on trivial things to amuse, distract and sometimes annoy the masses – or appease special interest groups. So instead of fixing levees we get a vanity-project like the high-speed choo-choo train to nowhere that nobody really wants or needs at wildly escalating costs…
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So anyhow we’re uphill from the flooding that may or may not occur. If it were a real “Ark” event things would be even worse. And no, we’re not up in the Sutter Butes, we’re off to the right.
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Weather Window Shut

An entire week of rain has shuttered the weather window. Some yesterday, two and a third inches today (tonight), and a constant near-term future of slatting-down cold rain. 46-degrees feels like 36 – feet of snow in the Sierra. Meanwhile a brown river is running across the acre+ pasture, a seasonal creek I believe they call it.
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To while away my time yesterday before ignoring the Stupor Bowl, I commenced to replacing receptacles on the kitchen back-splash. We are changing color from hospital white to oil-rubbed bronze, to match the faucet and other hardware things and because it also hides them better than a bold white square and they blend into the background. UPDATE:
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And it was a job highlighted on the Home Inspection report – make ’em all GFI. It’s not really necessary from a safety standpoint because one GFI stands sentinel over the others in the circuit, but what the hell.
Oopsies: One loose wire hiding behind a plate of switches rendered the refrigerator mute, so it was pulled from its dusty recess and plugged into the island where current flowed – enabling a much needed cleaning of the mysterious land-behind-the-refrigerator – and today that wiring issue was corrected. So a few band-aids were issued: one stab-in-the-hand by an errant screwdriver, and a finger-tip hooked by sharp copper when the insulation came free. Not too bad on the old back either.

Weather Window Treework

The early AM temps still hover in the 31-degree range, but with clear skies and dry weather the afternoons have shot up to shirt-sleeve temps – almost 70-degerees yesterday, so we attacked the plum trees, or at least the most egregious one that was reaching up into the power-lines.
I got out the Stilh semi-pro Kombi tool-motor, the chainsaw-on-a-stick part, and the shaft extension – and joined them all together. It got longer and heavier but the balance was not too bad.
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All together the motor (model KM 90 R – 10lbs), the pole-cutting saw (model HT-KM – 4lbs), and the 37″ shaft extension (a couple? pounds) combined to weigh-in at around sixteen lbs. total with juice in it, and it is 10-feet, six-inches long.
The motivating power of the KM-90 R motor displaces just 28.4cc’s and puts out a petulant 1-and-a-quarter+ hp, but it ripped through 3-inch branches with ease and we rapidly had a pile of “waterspouts” and other branches ready and loaded to make a dump-run. Also it was a workout. After being cooped-up all winter I was feeling in my shoulders, biceps and triceps- also the radius and the ulna and lower fore-arm where leverage goes to work… Phew!
So two more plums and a crepe-myrtle tree to go – as weather allows. Rain coming Thursday.

Thanks Mike, punches have consequences!

For Christmas my friend COEMike-from-Back-East sent me a neat little book: Gunsmithing with simple hand tools, by Andrew Dubino, © 1987 Stackpole Books – obviously with the intent to torture me. Just right. In my Grandfather’s estate a whole selection of small files and stuff came to me, and apparently I’m not adverse to torture.
Did I show you the new vise? You see how things are coming along? It’s an incredible and clean NOS unit, just needs soft-jaws and some parallel machinist clamps…
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So I was working on “squaring up” the details of the ’53 International Harvester M1 Garand, and in particular the rear sight that was boogered-up with a very non-standard Marbles-type peep-something. I appreciate the effort to thread the vestigial aperture post-hole, but there’s just not enough meat on the bone.
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The threads for the peep were cut pretty coarse and non-squarely, and that could mean all kinds of things at over 100-yards.
Looking in my bin-of-stuff (and finally organizing it) I found a leftover base (and pinion knobs) from the CMP ’43 Springfield Armory Garand – and so acquired a National Match hooded aperture from Brownells. Some material needed to be removed. So I bought a fine-grade India stone.
Nice, Garnet is my birthstone, so I began to hone-down each side. It takes a while as each side needs to be dressed until it fits in the channel, and it stresses your finger-tips to control and push smoothly across the stone to make a smooth surface-cut and remove material.
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And that is where I ran into the staking/punch marks, as they penetrated the channel – and had to drive (cut) past them. Those punch-marks, presumably to tighten-up the old sight, left real serious dimples on the inner wall of the aperture channel.
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Until I honed-down the aperture side rails enough, the dimples from the staking/punching prevented the aperture rail to move freely.
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Now we’re good to go.
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Chicken Dinner

Had a wonderful evening-out at the Gun Club Banquet last night. Ran into the same couple from last year, and two additional guys who traded flying stories, deployment stories, and stories from our former location and our new home. Bought a few $1 raffle tickets and won a gift certificate to one of our favorite locations, and then when the guns started up my name was called for the Stoeger Coach Gun! Woo-hoo!!
Now I have the necessary trifecta for Cowboy Action shootin’ – a single action Vaquero, the Rossi lever, and now a shorty scattergun. HBTM!