Box O’Holsters

UPDATE: Two days working under the oleanders in moderate temps (85-degrees) wearing the Comp-Tac, and and the sweat has helped soften the leather and make it more comfortable. Plus I got six yard-bags filled with cuttings and the silk-tree is becoming more visible. I know oleanders can-or-are supposed to cause a reaction since they’re poisonous, but I’m wearing gloves and guess I’m not getting any of that.
the oleanders

I’m sorta on the fence about the laser-pointer. On the one hand it’s great in the dark, it’s tiny and doesn’t add weight and you don;’t need to use the sights — but on the other it adds an element of doo-hicky-ness, and the Comp-Tac holster combination isn’t breaking in very fast. The additional wide-dimension and bulk that the laser-holster requires spreads the pressure-points around a wider arc (good) so it takes up more space (bad). One of the belt clips is nearly center-of-back.
The Blade-Tech Nano holster is smaller and more comfortable to wear on a constant basis, but the stiff polymer isn’t THAT comfortable in certain positions, like driving, however it is smooth and that is nice and the retention click is very good.
Maybe I need a second, “Night Gun” with the laser. Maybe I need to wear the laser-holster combo when I’m out cutting into the oleanders and get all sweaty in order to break it in faster. There are belt-loops instead of clips I can get for the Comp-Tac that might make it fit better, if I can get them to attach – they’re not directly made for this model.

Fruit of the Grill

Since temperatures have plummeted down into the Mid-90’s we decided to grill. Chicken thighs were rubbed with a fine-grained, spicy curry-turmeric rub, and another batch with a McCormick “Cowboy Rub” that is much more coarse.
Also a Pasilla pepper was roasted to remove the tough skin and prepare it for Gazpacho, and a red-onion was cut into two pieces for the same – but we ate half of it anyhow. And there were hot-dogs too, and lastly bacon to slow-grill.
UPDATE: I like chicken thighs (boneless-skinless) because they are not so sensitive to drying-out as breasts. Get ’em up to 160-degrees on the thermometer, yank them off the grill and pop them in the pan where they will continue to cook – and they’ll stay juicy.

EDC upgrade

Got the M16 knife and it’s very comfortable and sure-handed as I noticed today while doing repairs to the Low Granite Outcropping’s drip-lines. Nice and lightweight too! The little flashlight is a powerful LED unit, and the Shield wears a LaserMax pointer now, chosen because it has an ambidexterous master on-off switch and is not an instant-on, because a friend has a Crimson Trace instant-on and he can’t get through a range workout without burning through a battery or two. Whatever.
The pointer was a match-up to a little Comp-Tac MERC (whatever…) IWB holster from Midway, and I was comfortable with that since I’m OK with my other Comp-Tac holsters. I’ve been playing around with cant and angles, since it’s different than the BladeTech “Nano” all-kydex (or polymer) holster that doesn’t accommodate a laser-pointer but just seems to disappear in my pants – until I feel an uncomfortable poke while moving around – driving mainly.
The leather backing on the Comp-Tac may be more forgiving once it breaks in but it does require a break-in time. We’ll see how it all works out and what goes into the Box-‘O’-Holsters-&-Crap…
Meanwhile, outside temperature is 102.

The Buzz

It’s the middle of summer and at 9:30AM in 90+ degree heat, the crepe myrtle is bursting at the seams. As I went to do some weeding in the shade before the solar furnace got really turned-on, I could hear the tree from across the lawn. If people have been wondering where all the bees went, I can answer that question: they’re right here!

Munich Muslim Mayhem & Murder

UPDATE: Another Islam-inspired attack by a machete wielding Muslim “migrant” in Reutlingen kills a pregnant woman and injures two others before being run-over by a BMW driver and subdued. Now in Ansbach, another Syrian-Muslim suicide bomber exploded outside a wine-bar killing one and injuring at least twelve.
Islam is a virtual disease, a parasite upon the host-body of Mankind and metastasizing.

I am saddened because Bavaria is like Germany’s Texas, and the old city of Munich is beautiful and cultured. But the placid, Germanic, surroundings and exurbs that radiate out from the Stadt-Zentrum are not particularly noteworthy except as examples of Teutonic countryside. My last visit was the alp-ride tour, back in ’98 and I will probably never return.
Munich Rathaus
My recollections are of the warmth of Summertime and the rolling hills that mass-up, piling higher and higher into the Alps. My happy memories are of Paulaner lager and country Biergartens with tents on a lawn, and heaps of food on a picnic table, of Gothic spires and towers with automatons that played the glockenspiel at noon to count the hours.

But I also recollect the short train-trip from the airport to the ‘burbs where the biker gang gathered, through a mean industrial landscape of harsh concrete – and Muslim women in near full burkhas keeping a sullen distance. I was not impressed with what Germany had become in that respect, requiring “guest-workers” to propel their industrial might while lazy liberal Burghers whiled away their retirement.

My German high-school exchange-student friend lives up in the north, near Cologne and far from Bavaria, in a somewhat drab town that was re-built literally from scratch after the war, as some of the most intense fighting had occurred in the surrounding area and most of the cities had been leveled to sticks. His job in a big housewares company has seen him succeed up the ladder of the upper-middle class, and his family is as Liberal as can possibly be imagined. They vacation mostly in Spain with a set of German friends, and he has a wife and a mistress – and I don’t really feel like I know him anymore…

Apex trigger – Toaster Parts.

toaster partsUPDATE: For a wrinkle in time, all praises and thanks to Tam’s blog and her gunsmith friend for the notation, “toaster-parts.” After the events of the day I thought it was time to take the gun apart as far as possible, lube that which needed lubing, and install the metal trigger. I set the recoil assembly aside to marinate in a bath of slippery juice, and watched the Apex video closely. Hmm – not too hard.
With my Craftsman magnetic parts-holder as a catch-basin and a piece of thin birch-wood as a block, I got out my punches and little brass hammer and proceeded to get to the fiddly bits. Tap-tappty-tap! TAP-TAP-TAP! The main body pin was a bit tough, but the others were easier.
toaster parts02
The way the trigger spring goes on and off was important (hook up on the small coil) and how the take-down lever fits in at 10-degrees off horizontal. Then the reassembly with the locking block and a bit of fiddling until it came back together.
apex trigger02
The metal trigger movement is free and un-encumbered, and less spongy and more linear than the polymer trigger – no filing or use of an emery cloth was required. Image shown with take-down lever still to be inserted.
There was a lot less effort required than I imagined or feared.apex trigger right-side

The little green spud was supplied as a place-holder for the spring and trigger pin.
The trigger is still relatively heavy as I did not (yet) get the Duty/Carry Action Enhancement kit that requires removal of the rear sight, which is a royal bitch from everyone I’ve been told (including my buddy) as the base is Loc-tited and needs a bit of torch on it, and a BIG hammer.
We’ll shoot it and see.

220 Rounds, Day-1

UPDATED: After a week of carry it was time to run some rounds through the Shield-9. I had a TWO 50-count box of Wally-World Winchester 124 grain JHP’s (and I had already loaded my 6, 8-round magazines and two 7-round mags with the JHP’s), a 100-rounds of Winchester 115gr. FMJ – and a 20-count box of $$ Federal 150gr HST JHP’s. (end edit)
At the range we set targets at 7-yards and proceeded to load magazines and blast away, and see where the points of impact varied. The difference was slight between the 150-HST’s and the 124-JHP’s, and I seemed to be tossing everything low and left.
I was mixing rounds too. Some of the blunts with some of the JHP’s interspersed, just to see what effect that might make and where they might string. It was an experiment on my part with no scientific basis or scoring, with a factory-fresh gun with factory-fresh magazines.
Several magazines later I tried loading one, ejecting the magazine and re-filling it, and re-seating the magazine – and I got a light-strike. Stoppage! No Bang! Hmmm…
So rack the slide and catch the round, what do I see but a dimpled primer. Are they hard primers or seated low? I proceeded to fire-off the magazine and re-loaded the (FMJ) in another batch of rounds and everything fired-off OK.
More shooty goodness and several magazines later another light strike. Huh?
Thinking “Factory Fresh” I thought, “What about lube?” So to rectify that dry-feel, I took of the slide and got out my Brownell’s “Friction Defense” gun-oil with the pink tint that looks suspiciously like ATF and dribbled some on the barrel-hood and rails.
More shooting ensued, then another stoppage, a failure to eject. This is getting interesting!
WTF? My buddy in the neighboring lane had told me that his recoil assembly had taken a dump (it broke, and he had to get a new one) and that it required a lot of lube to make the double-coil springs run right. So the top comes off again and along with some Shooter’s Choice ere-grease on the rails, I re-oiled the barrel hood, and slopped a bunch on the recoil-spring assembly.
More gunny-goodness until the brass runs out and we depart. I need to buy more ammo.
One thing we noticed, the striker seems to leave a drag mark – or the pin is longitudinal shaped like a Glock? My buddies ejected brass had the same shape.
At home I decided to change the trigger…


Wrestling with the big and heavy 3200psi Briggs & Stratton powered machine was not the cup of Gin that She Who Must Be Obeyed appreciates. Fighting the heavy powered-up hoses amid the noise and din when we did the Low Granite Outcropping’s steep sidewalk, the machine threatened to runaway downhill, and she almost burnt her hand on the hot exhaust. So the sidewalk was cleaned of slippery moss and algae, and enough off that for now anyhow.
Until crossing the parking lot to go to lunch at a local restaurant, She noticed a staffer hosing down the back steps with a lightweight Ryobi electric unit, and thus an idea was born.
Back at the Ranch, after a minimal amount of “some assembly required,” I took-to the deck’s brightwork that had grayed down to a dull dirty finish – the pine edging. Careful! The new unit only displaces 2000psi but that’s plenty enough to put an unwanted trough in the wood and/or raise the grain – and now I need a couple gallons of Thompson Water-seal to finish the wood against the elements. I also shot some of the Trex decking, but it’s not as stained as at the Low Granite Outcropping. So then I handed off to She Who Must Be Obeyed who tried it out on the Sam’s Club teak (or something) bench that had dulled-down to a silvery gray, and that I was using as a cover for the irrigation valves:
Power bench02
A lot less effort to operate, and there’s a “soap” setting and a medium-high pressure nozzle besides the Astro-Blaster nozzle. Easy-peasy.


I got the Shield 9mm, and some more magazines are coming – and a replacement recoil-assembly. It’s so petite in the Bladetech Nano. Now I need to stock-up on this new-to-me caliber. Moar ammo!
So with that in mind another chore: I re-stocked and re-organized my ammo-shelves and cans, a worthwhile project. Maybe a laser-pointer in the future.

Tomatos & Cucumbers = Gazpacho

I am hardly a gardener much less a farmer, and I’m lucky thins thing isn’t dead already. I got the drip-system back up and running, so it’s responsible for the moisture not me.
Now the Early Girl plant has shot-up in crazy-height, out-growing its square cage-surround, and has begun to produce fruits. Yay!
Also the cucumbers have sprouted. Some nubby variety that my wife likes and remembers her Aunt having grown, down in Sutter Creek when she was a child.
So far the subterranean crawler-creatures (voles?) have not yet eaten the tender roots of either plant-lings, but they have attacked my neighbor’s much more extensive garden. I found a dead one up on the embankment this spring when we attacked that site, which was probably run-over by garden equipment or the weedwacker.

Gazpacho can be a bit messy to make and we tried some shortcuts. Also I got some quart-size “Kerr” jars to handle the excess and put in the ‘fridge. I’m not big advocate of home canning, but the jars are useful if you run out of beer-mugs.
Vitamix Gazpacho:
Dump in a bunch of V-8 juice.
Add a chopped and peeled cucumber.
Add a medium tomato or two.
Throw-in a small container (5 or 6oz.) of Pico de Gallo from the grocery store.
1/3rd cup cheap red-wine vinegar.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
Splash a bunch of hot-sauce on top.
Add a few inches of ice to make cold.
Run the blender on high.
Gazpacho! Is it a soup, or a food, or a bar-mix? You decide.