A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, March 31, 2008

Home Defense in Frisco

Steve Geddie, 24, of Frisco, Texas, had just gotten home from work and was sitting on the toilet when he heard his back door being smashed in. Geddie had only seconds to act. He moved from his bathroom to his bedroom, where he armed himself with a 12 gauge pistol grip Mossberg 500 shotgun that he kept under his mattress for home defense. He chambered a #1 buckshot round.

In his hallway, Geddie encountered a man wearing a red bandanna over his face. Geddie suddenly found a small revolver pointed at his chest. Geddie moved to the inside of the intruder as the intruder fired his weapon. One of two bullets struck Geddie's left shoulder. Geddie dropped his shotgun, then immediately dove after it. He came up firing at a retreating home invader. Geddie's shot flew wild, penetrating his wall with sixteen pellets. The intruder was lucky the shot was wild. "Otherwise he would have had size one buckshot all through his thighs and butt," said Geddie, "I believe that every home owner should be able to be prepared for self preservation in the event that something like this happens."

Link with video


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Sunday, March 30, 2008

From CNN

Ugly Gun Sunday

Up for examination this Sunday is the awesome five shot pistol grip shotgun. It's hard to believe some Bubba from Czechoslovakia built this thing from copper pipe, but what it more incredible is someone actually shot it.

It's a break open rig, and it appears to be a 12 gauge. The apparent cylinder is merely a reinforcement of the chambers. Each barrel has it's own firing pin. The real question is whether the thing fires one chamber at a time, or whether it has some sort of mechanism to select the firing pin that is struck by the coil spring hammer.

One thing is for certain........I would not want to fire all five rounds at once. Hell, I wouldn't want to have to fire the thing at all!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Red Columbia

Sometimes things don't go as planned. When I first discovered a vintage Columbia bicycle frame with an integral rear rack, my plan was to construct a weathered utility bike. Click to enlargeThe frame, however, had been sanded down and was almost devoid of paint. While chips and scratches do not worry me, I wanted the bike to look like it had lived a working life. A sanded off paint job has no patina of time.

One of my first tasks was to paint the ride. I found a deal on some red wall knobby tires, so I decided to match the color. When my wife saw the frame painted fire engine red, I was forbidden from giving the bike a ride in the back of a pick-up truck down a bumpy road with logging chains and dog chains wrapped around it. The bike would not wear battle scars.

The spousal commandment not to give the bike a suitable patina kind of killed my enthusiasm for the build. Never the less, I installed a Monark springer fork and a "sweetheart" chainwheel. An old lump of a black seat and apehanger handlebars followed along with a few small details. A silver dollar front wheel dangler, a brass coaster brake strap and acorn nut on the seat clincher bolt. Sparkly red dice valve caps.
Click to enlarge
I am still looking for an old Columbia kickstand. It uses a design different from any other vintage bike. I've seen.

I rode the red Columbia on her maiden voyage today. She rode well. Solid. Heavy. The seating posture was definitely upright. The tall apes flexed a bit over the bumps absorbed by the front forks. The frame is cool, a straight bar rear rack combination.

I still want the bike to be weathered. In fact, I want it to bear the evidence of hard use even more now. After it's maiden voyage, I leaned it up against my work bench in the garage. Who knows, maybe a chain or two may fall on it by accident.........

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Surgical Screw-up

I have a feeling a time out was not done here.


The Problem With The Holstervault

It seems You own slight apologies to the Pilot you bashed so quick few posts ago :)...

The problem with the Holstervault is indeed one of a faulty design. The problem with the shot that was fired through the skin of an A319 Airbus over Charlotte North Carolina is the responsibility of the man who caused the firearm to discharge.

It is not unusual to want to point fingers elsewhere when an unexpected bullet is launched. The gunfire aboard Flight 1536 from Denver to Charlotte was not the fault of TSA. It was not the fault of the holster. It was not the fault of the gun. It was not the fault of policy. All these are contributing factors, but........Whether a man has the choice of his weapon and gear, or whether that choice is mandated, he assumes the responsibility of the firearm and the potential for human destruction it contains when he straps it on.

Hat tip to Crime Guns and Videotape.


The Eagle Nebula

Bright blue stars are still forming in the dark pillars of the Eagle Nebula. Made famous by a picture from the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995, the Eagle Nebula shows the dramatic process of star formation. The above picture taken by a 0.8-meter telescope in the Canary Islands captures part of M16, the open cluster of stars that is being created. The high amount of detail in the above image results from it being taken only in specific colors of light emitted by hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. The bright blue stars of M16 have been continually forming over the past 5 million years, most recently in the famous central gas and dust columns that have been informally dubbed the Pillars of Creation and the Fairy. Light takes about 7,000 years to reach us from M16, which spans about 20 light years and can be seen with binoculars toward the constellation of the Serpent (Serpens).

Astronomy Picture of the Day


Friday, March 28, 2008

Paraordnance Torture Test

The Holstervault

It has become apparent that the shot fired over Charlotte, North Carolina, aboard US Airways Flight 1536 may have been from a faulty holster design and ignorant regulations that required pilots to put padlocks ........PADLOCKS through the holster and triggerguard of their sidearm prior to landing the damned plane!

I do not know what nincompoop came up with this idea, but it makes about as much sense to me as a screendoor on a submarine. Here's some advice TSA......If you are going to institute a new policy (guns in cockpits) concerning something you know nothing about (gun safety).......Take a look around you and see what has worked for years for other people. Do you see police officers using this holster and policy? Do you see soldiers using it? Shooting competitors? Do you see anyone using it? You do not need to reinvent the wheel guys. Just do what works for others. Your better idea.......Ain't!

Of course you might want to glue feathers all over your aircraft. After all, birds use less gas, so you can probably save a lot of money........I know! How about Llamas as stewardesses! Caterpillar tracks instead of landing gear! Now there's an idea!

"The design of the holsters that armed commercial pilots use to stow their weapons increases the likelihood of accidental discharge, the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security has concluded.

The investigators recommended that the Transportation Security Administration discontinue the use of the locking holster and consider other ways for armed pilots known as Federal Flight Deck Officers to secure their weapons.

"We examined the holster and observed that its design renders the weapon vulnerable to accidental discharges if improperly handled," the Office of Inspector General said as part of a broader report that it submits to Congress twice a year."


Thursday, March 27, 2008

How Not To Treat A M1911A1

After Heath Maddox's father died unexpectedly in 2006, Maddox was clearing out his dad's belongings when he found a surprise: a U.S. military-issued .45-caliber handgun wrapped in a towel and tucked into a kitchen drawer.
Maddox vaguely recalled a story about his grandfather owning the gun, but he wasn't sure why, or how, it turned up in his father's kitchen.

Yet on a recent Friday evening, two years after the discovery, Maddox stood inside artist John Ricker's San Francisco studio, ready to smash the gun flat with a sledgehammer. "My uncle wanted to keep it in the family," said Maddox, a planner in the city's transportation agency, before he delivered the first blow. "But I knew about John and what he does with guns. ... I wanted it destroyed."

"If you have a gun, you have to envision who you're going to kill," Ricker said. "I want people to think about who they think it's OK to shoot, and where that puts them morally."
OK Mr. Ricker........It's perfectly fine to shoot somebody who is trying to kill you. Who the hell are you to judge a person that has been forced to use a handgun to preserve their life against an animalistic sub-human bent on snuffing the life from their body? That makes the victim of crimes morally........Alive. Handguns save far more lives than they take. Period. Dumbass.

More on this knucklehead here. He has a website and blog full of falsehoods, misrepresentations, and a childish view of reality. I will not provide him with a link here.

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The Steampunk Bicycle

Somethings are just to fantastic to describe. On June 1, 1896, mad bicyclist Sylvester Roper arrived at the Charles River race track in Boston with a contraption that was beyond the scope of anything ridden before. Grafted onto an 1894 Columbia frame was a coal fired steel boiler with a 73 year old inventor on top. That must have been one hot ride........Literally!

A week previously, he had clocked his machine at a breath taking 40MPH. Roper made three laps at an average speed of 30MPH. Then Roper poured on the fire and tragedy struck. From the Boston Daily Globe:
“The machine was cutting out a lively pace on the back stretch when the men seated near the training quarters noticed the bicycle was unsteady. The forward wheel wobbled, and then suddenly, the cycle was deflected from its course and plunged off the track into the sand, throwing the rider and overturning.

All rushed to the assistance of the inventor, who lay motionless beneath his wheel, but as soon as they touched him they perceived that life was extinct. Dr. Welcott was summoned and after an examination gave the opinion that Mr. Roper was dead before the machine left the track.”
A heart attack had ended his eccentric genius. Sylvester Roper left behind a 20 year legacy of steam powered cycles. This one, on which he took his last ride is on display at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame museum in Columbus, Ohio.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gunfire Over Charlotte

It seems the first shot by an armed airline pilot has been fired.......A negligent discharge through the fuselage of an A319 Airbus. According to the MSM, a US Airways pilot reportedly may have been mishandling his sidearm, resulting in a tell tale puncture from within the cockpit to the airspace outside. The so called accident occurred Saturday over Charlotte, North Carolina, aboard Flight 1536 from Denver to Charlotte, as the plane was at about 8,000 feet making it's approach to land. According to investigators, the 124 passengers and five crew members were not placed at risk.

What the Hell?!!! The driver of an air taxi is jacking with his gun in the cockpit and nobody is at risk? The dumbass pulls the trigger and puts a bullet through the aluminum skin of the airborne bird and nobody is at risk? The last time I checked Charlotte North Carolina had a few people on the ground. Perhaps these investigators need to reconsider the law of gravity. The last time I checked, bullets do not disappear once fired, they do not enter Earth's orbit, they do not incinerate on reentry, and they have a disconcerting tendency to continue to travel until their energy is expended or they strike an object they can not penetrate.

So, how do we know said knucklehead was monkeying with his gun rather than doing his job landing his aircraft? All people eligible to carry guns in the cockpit carry the same weapon, the .40S&W H&K USP. The HK USP is not a pistol known for popping off rounds while holstered. As a matter of fact, the HK USP is a handgun known for it's safety and reliability. It has a thumb safety, and is a double action pistol which can be carried cocked and locked if desired. It is doubtful that the pilot carried the USP in this fashion though. Few people who carry a USP take advantage of the C&L option. In fact, the C&L option may not have even been present on the HK variant he carried. HK USPs Click to enlargeIn double action, the pistol has a trigger pull that is long, heavy and gritty. Regardless, the sidearm has a track record of keeping it's bullets safely inside the gun, and "Aw shucks" from never being uttered. The only way for this pistol to "just go off" is for the man who carries it to pull the trigger. Sorry Mr. Pilot sir.........you may fool the gun ignorant suits in the board room, but you ain't fooling anyone who knows the gun you were dinking around with.

"The jet will be grounded at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport for several more days as repairs are made. The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday it won't be involved in looking at why the gun went off but will investigate to make sure the plane is safe before it returns to service.

'We want to make sure there was no structural damage and no systems on board were damaged by the bullet,' said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. 'We want to take a look at the aircraft to make sure it's in an air-worthy condition.'"

Yeah? Well what about the man who pulled the trigger of the gun? Shouldn't he be grounded? How about rescinding his permission to tote a hogleg on an aircraft? Will someone please take away his right to endanger lives with a gun? Do you really think he's professino enuff? And if you think he is, then why is not everybody else?

More information here and here.

Incident Report (pdf file)

Michael Bane's thoughts.

Hattip to The Pawnbroker


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

ER Visit


Monday, March 24, 2008

Fixie Fixations

"I still feel that varable gears are only for people over forty-five.
Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer?
We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"
Henri Desgrange, L'Équipe article of 1902
When I first started riding bikes again, although I purchased a derailleured Raleigh Passage, I eschewed the road bike clubmen. I could just not see myself in multi-colored lycra pedaling away on an overly complicated object of mechanical lust. If I wanted to get somewhere quickly, I would just get in the car. Bicycling for me was to be healthy, but mainly enjoyable.

The more I read about bicycling, (I had never actually read about it before, I just did it), the more I read about fixed gear bikes. I heard there was an almost zen like quality to riding them, a oneness between the man and the machine that other bikes could not really match.

I suppose that before I blather further, I should elucidate on what a fixed gear bicycle is. A fixed gear bike is a bicycle that does not have a freewheel. In other words, there is no coasting. The pedals are always moving when the bike is in motion. Frequently, these bicycles have no brakes, as the riders are generally able to use the pedals themselves to stop the travel of the cycle. While a fixed gear bike can be any type of bicycle, most people who ride them are of a minimalist mindset. They want the simplicity of no derailleur, indeed the simplicity of no brake cables. No coaster brake. The frames are typically those of a Track Bike, tight, strong, tucked in, and light, with horizontal rear-opening fork ends for chain adjustment.

I considered building my first "fixie", and after I added up the expense, even with an old garage sale special 10 speed, the cost to build what I wanted would reach near the range of a new entry level bike. A Bianchi Pista sold for $549, while a Tommaso Agusta cost $399. The Agusta required an additional $89.99 for a brake package. The Pista would require a Shimano or Campagnolo brake set-up, even more expensive. Yes, I wanted brakes on my fixie. There was the Motobecane Messenger on ebay, but it was in horrid colors and the wrong size. I wanted a tall bike, at least 21 inches, with a horizontal top tube. I detest the look of a seatpost cranked up like a television antenna. I wanted real track fork ends, a 1/8 inch chain, a flip-flop hub, 700c wheels, bullhorn handlebars, and a discrete paint job.

I decided to pay a visit to my local bike shop. Last year, I had purchased three four bikes there. I saddled up the Raleigh Passage and rode on over. As I pedaled, I thought about how my perceived biking needs had changed over the past year. I locked my bike outside, and entered the store to take a look around. The owner greeted me, asked if he could help, and I told him what I was interested in. He recommended a Trek T1. I asked if he had one in stock. He did not, but he could order one, since he was a Trek supplier. We looked it up in the catalog, and I gazed on the red rocket that was the T1. I asked how much one would run.........$1200. I asked if there was any fixed gear bike any less expensive. He looked at me as though I had just dropped a dog turd in his bowl of granola. He did not speak very much after that, and he finally left me alone, ignoring me, to ponder what a podknocker I was for not dropping twelve Franklins on his counter while thanking him for the privilege. Worse than a gun shop. I decided to check the classifieds and ebay for any deals on frames and I did not let the door hit my lycraless butt when I exited.

The newspapers yielded three old 10 speed bikes. The first did not have horizontal drop-outs, the second was too small and also lacked horizontal drop-outs, and the third was overpriced as well as matching the first two for not meeting my purpose. I went to ebay. I found a beautiful, ornately lugged Puch Bergmeister frame in a copper color, with a fork, bars, and a bottom bracket attached. I did some calculations.......If I could obtain the frame at less than $100, even with shipping of the components, I just might be able to keep my fixie under $400. It looked like decent new wheels would run between $150 and $200 after shipping, and then there was the issue of converting the rear wheel to a fixie. A Brooks seat would be another $75 off ebay. Cranks and a chain wheel would be needed. It looked like shipping was going to eat my lunch. Damn. I thought about combining the nice ornate frame with one of the used 10 speeds I had looked at. Each example had rusty chrome wheels. I wanted alloy. Then there was tires and tubes. Handlebar tape. The little stuff was going eat a hole in my budget. Finally, I considered the fact that using a 10 speed's chainwheel, cog and chain would result in increased risk of chain dropping due to the shorter tapered teeth designed to slip a chain onto another sprocket. That's not good.

I saw a Trek T1 on ebay........US $499.00 and rising. No telling how high it would go. Frankly, it was too short. I decided not to bid. Several Bianchi Pistas were up for bids, and obviously held their value well. Bike thief bait. I keyed in track bike though and I found........exactly what I wanted.

An outfit in Colorado, Fly Bike Shop, was selling the bike I had in my mind. It was simple, clean, discreet. It even came in my size, 59cm. Reading over their Buyer's Guide to "Fixie" Bicycles, it was quickly apparent they understood the animal. The auction said to call Chris to check availability. I called. The phone conversation was nothing short of thoroughly comforting and convincing. They had the bike in the size I desired. I placed an order. I now wait on the big brown van of joy.

4130 double butted Chromoly frame
Straight blade aluminum fork
Track fork ends
18 tooth flip flop hub
46 tooth crankset.
Bullhorn bars
Tektro dual pivot front and rear brakes
Velo saddle
700c alloy rims with decent rubber

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She Nearly Got the Best of Him.......

She was strong and fit. She had martial arts training. Her dog was with her. She had the wits and the will to survive. She coped with mental torment, beatings, and rape.....For three days. Meredith Emerson forcibly disarmed her captor of both a knife and a baton, suffering two black eyes and a fractured nose in the process.

"That's one thing that broke my heart in this case," Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Clay Bridges said. "She was doing everything she was supposed to do to stay alive, and we didn't get there in time."

Breda said it best.........If only she had a gun. May Meredith Emerson's soul rest in peace.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Case of Ryan Frederick

Ryan Frederick of Cheseapeake, Virginia was turned in early on January 17, 2008. He needed to be awake early the next morning to go to work. Frederick held a job with a soft drink vendor, and routinely started his day before sunrise. Ryan Frederick's HomeA week prior, his home had been broken into, and while nothing was taken, his belongings had been ransacked. Frederick still felt the sting from the violation of his property. Around 8:30 PM, Frederick awoke to his two dogs barking, and suddenly there was a slam against his front door. The door was almost torn from it's hinges, and Frederick saw a figure trying to enter through the lower portion of the door.

Frederick was armed with a .380 pistol. He fired at the figure. The shot killed a police officer, Jarrod Shivers, who was serving a "no knock" search warrant. Shivers was a narcotics detective and a father of three children. Frederick had no prior criminal record, and he was not growing marijuana as a confidential informant had claimed. Frederick was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Two .380 shell casings were recovered, as well as a .223 hull. Judge Thomas M. Ammons III has denied bond. Frederick is represented by attorney James Broccoletti.

In a jailhouse interview, Frederick stated he did not realize the intruders were law enforcement. "I just wish I knew who they were," he said. "I didn’t want any trouble. I thought it was the person who had broken into my house the other day." Frederick is also charged with use of a firearm and possession of marijuana. A small quantity of dope was found in his home. Ryan Fredrick and James BroccolettiProsecutors claim that Detective Shivers was standing in Fredrick's front yard when he was shot. The marijuana that Frederick was supposed to be growing turned out to be a Japanese maple tree.

The loss of a father and police officer is certainly a tragedy, and an event that most law abiding people would want to prevent. So who was it that killed Jarrod Shivers? Was it Ryan Frederick? Frederick did pull the trigger, that is true, but did Frederick do anything a rational homeowner would not do? Or was Shiver's death the result of a dangerous policy of slamming down citizen's doors to capture evidence before it is destroyed? Is securing the evidence of a crime worth that kind of risk to law enforcement? That is a question law enforcement must examine themselves. Or was the real killer of Jarrod Shivers the confidential informant who gave the police bogus information in exchange for favors? If that is the case, then why is the informant still being protected? Was the informant the person who had previously broken into and ransacked Ryan Frederick's home? Time will tell.

One thing is certain.......This nightmare, like that of Cory Maye should be in the back of every home defenders mind. It should also be in the back of every police officer's mind. Bullets are irretrievable. Once fired, the person who ignited the round owns it forever. Lives are snuffed out and other lives are irrevocably altered in an instant of fear and failure to follow Rule Four. I can not fault Ryan Frederick, although I am sickened by Jarrod Shivers' death. I, too, have a small Japanese maple tree. There, but for the grace of a confidential informant and perhaps the common sense of a police officer, go I.

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Ugly Gun Sunday

Click to enlargeFor Easter, we present the unholy holey gun. This is not a factory cutaway, it's some kind of useless lightened custom job. It once was a Sig P-210, I think. Now it's a Faberge' egg.

The holes making the pistol lighter is probably offset by the amount of dirt and lint the thing carries if the pistol is actually used.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Payback.....A Colt WW1 1911

When I was a boy of two, my father died. He was a sportsman and owned a variety of firearms and fishing equipment. Regrettably, my mother was forced to sell much of his belongings to keep our family afloat. Of course, she did not know the fair market value. She trusted the buyers, my father's former friends, to be fair with her. Some were men of honor, others had no scruples about taking advantage of a widow and two toddlers. Such is often the case when a gun owner passes to the 500 yard range in the sky where bulleyes are granted by divine intervention.

Ever since Colt decided to reproduce a WW1 1911 replica, I have lusted after one. I have kept an ear to the ground to no avail trying to find a used one, and the price of the pistol new was hard to justify. Two weeks ago, when I expressed my condolences to a co-worker over the loss of her husband, we got to talking about him. It seemed he was a sporadic gun accumulator, and the lady eventually asked me to have a look at his things. A few days later, I drove over with the expectation of finding a Glock or two, and perhaps a Steven's shotgun.

As I held Vicki's young uncomprehending son in my lap, I knew that someday, he would be where I once was. He would wonder if his father's friend who shook his young hand at church and ruffled his hair on the basketball court really was a friend. There are so many things lost to a boy raised without a father, not the least of which is the guidance needed to determine a true friend.

After a bit of coffee, Vicki and I finally got around to the reason I was there. She told me she had taken David's guns to a dealer in town and sold most of them. She said the pawn broker accepted what the dealer would not. I immediately regretted that I had not asked her to wait for me to evaluate the firearms, but I held my tongue. I knew what had happened. Vicki went on to tell me she had saved me one because she had overheard me talking about my Colt between cases at work. She then removed a white box from atop the refrigerator and handed it to me. On the outside was an orange sticker warning that the pistol inside lacked a firing pin safety. Vicki did not know what that meant, but it did not sound good to her. I could hardly conceal my anticipation as I removed the blue box within, and then the stamped pasteboard box within that.

Inside was the Colt pistol I had long desired. It was pristine, unfired. It appeared to be untouched, except to place it on top of the brown wax paper. Click to enlargeI was likely the first to open the slide and check the chamber. It was empty. I looked the Colt over knowingly, having spent a couple of years researching the cosmetic flaws that sometimes appeared on them. The recoil tunnel was spot on. The rollmarks were precisely done. The finish was immaculate and beautiful.

Then Chase waddled up and said "Cawful cawful bang bang!" I laughed. I let him back in my lap and told Vicki to hold the pistol until I returned from the bank. About an hour later, I returned and purchased the pistol. I doubt I will ever say what I paid for this Colt. That is up to Vicki to relate as she wishes. I will say that I repaid a debt left by unscrupulous men to a fractured family almost half a century ago. Mama, you would be proud.

Colt's World War I U.S. Army Replica

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Dave Pickett's Raleigh Super Course Fixie Build

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fixing Gears

Lord help me. I'm starting to have fixed gear fantasies......

Fixed Gear Testimonials

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A Comment From Renee Haley

"I have been reading your post for several months now and I have wanted to let so many people know what we know. We have had to wait until the preliminary trial was waived to let everyone know what is going on with the case. Of course you have heard we are not happy with the deal to put it mildly.
Renee and Jack Haley await the news conference/announcement

When we took this case to the Cleveland County DA Greg Mashburn, he did not seem to think that any charges were waranted. But he thought that maybe some probationary period might be in order. So we did not agree from the get go. We immediately made it known that we wanted to see jail time happen. What we really wanted is to see a trial happen, but over the months we have found that the DA and his office seem to not want to go to trial for the reason that since he was so graciously given his office by the local FOP [Fraternal Order of Police], he does not want to put away one of their finest. In other words, we do not think that he would put 100% of his efforts or his office efforts into a trial.

It seems like no one wants to address the fact and the stupidity of shooting a snake that was stuck in a bird house. Much less a non-poisonous snake. The snake in question being a black rat snake, by the way, at 2:30 the next morning was still stuck in the bird house and was removed by a Norman Animal control officer. The snake was never hit by a bullet, the stupid rookie missed twice. The second bullet hitting my son. These guys stepped over a shovel, a hoe and some hedge clippers to use a gun to try and hit the snake. They never used those garden tools. Michelle Key the first officer on the scene tried to use the handle of the hoe to no avail, and then when the boy cops showed up, it was time to show off.

Officer Robert Shawn Richardson said and I quote from the OSBI report "I guess we'll have to shoot it" then the rookie Paul Bradley Rogers said "I'll do it, I just got out of CLEET training". I am appaulled at the next bit of information. The rookie said "Fire in the hole" before his first shot. This was a joke to them, they were showing off for the girl cop. These guys were not interested in doing things right this night. If they would have, things would have been different.

My husband was in his shop not more than 60 yards away with his sliding doors open with music up loud, I was mowing our front yard with a push mower the same distance away, my father had just picked up our boys to go fishing at the pond, they had been there 5 minutes when the first shot rang out, 6 seconds later the second shot came. My father two months over a stroke he had, could barely muster the strength to lift my 50lb 5 year old son plus keep my 2 year old in check while they climbed up the hill to get to the 4 wheeler.

We did not know what had happened, until 2 minutes later when he drove up to me in our front yard. I yelled "What", Jack, my husband, came running to find our son bleeding from the head, knowing his life was gone from the first look at his injury. He yelled, what happened, He then began running around yelling "who shot my son?" Finally we heard some people coming from behind some trees, they were wandering what had happened. There were two of the cops, plus some neighbors. They acted like they did not know what was going on, and we were too messed up in our heads to even think it was cops that shot our son. We did not find this out until the Noble Police Chief, Ben Daves, came to the hospital to tell us.
These cops stayed as far away from the carnage they created as they could. They did not even see my son or the fatal injury they caused.

The neighbor that originally called the police about the snake, seems to be siding with the cops, they got to her some how. She won't even talk to us. Her 16 year old daughter got on the internet and fished up some photos of a rattlesnake and told the cops thats what the snake was. The birdhouse was not even in her backyard. It was her neighbors back yard. This neighbor has been extremely stand offish to us. Not even allowing us to talk to her daughter about what happened, we know that both of them are witnesses, other neighbors of theirs saw them watching the cops as they performed their "duties".

The whole mess has turned our lives upside down. My son, Dalton, relives this day everyday. I relive this day everyday. My husband relives this everyday. The only way we have gotten through these days is God. We know that God has our son. We know that God did not take our son from us. We know that God did not cause this to happen. It was the cops, their pride and arrogance killed my son. The cop thinking he could hit a moving target killed my son, the sergeant cop who said lets shoot it killed my son. Continue praying for us as this is still so very difficult for our family. Thank you so much for the uplifting comments. We read them often. Please, help us get the word out. April 30th at 8:45 a.m. is the court date in front of Judge Lucas at Norman, Oklahoma.

This is a video link of my father telling about the tragedy of losing my son. It is heart-wrenching to our family."

Renee Haley

It's so simple even a DA should understand it.

The Four Rules

1. All firearms are always loaded
2. Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you are not willing to destroy
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot
4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it

4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008


BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog's legs are articulated like an animal's, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight.

BigDog has an on-board computer that controls locomotion, servos the legs and handles a wide variety of sensors. BigDog’s control system manages the dynamics of its behavior to keep it balanced, steer, navigate, and regulate energetics as conditions vary. Sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a laser gyroscope, and a stereo vision system. Other sensors focus on the internal state of BigDog, monitoring the hydraulic pressure, oil temperature, engine temperature, rpm, battery charge and others.

In separate trials, BigDog runs at 4 mph, climbs slopes up to 35 degrees, walks across rubble, and carries a 340 lb load.

BigDog is being developed by Boston Dynamics with the goal of creating robots that have rough-terrain mobility that can take them anywhere on Earth that people and animals can go. The program is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA).


Bike More


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Heller v. District of Columbia

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

"What is reasonable about a total ban on possession?" Chief Justice John Roberts

Today's arguments of Heller v. District of Columbia, pdf file.


Steampunk Bike

What can I say? This motor scooter is just to damned cool........Enjoy!


Monday, March 17, 2008

Heller v. District of Columbia

To be argued before SCOTUS tomorrow......


The Smith & Wesson Model 27

The Model 27 is often called the Mona Lisa of Smith & Wesson revolvers. From 1957 to 1994 it reigned at the top of the heap of .357 magnum revolvers. As a finely tuned and polished N frame, it is the direct descendant of the princely Registered Magnum Smith & Wesson. Click to enlargeThere was a period of time from 1948 to 1956 when the .357 magnum Smith & Wesson is known as a "pre-Model 27." In 2000 the Performance Center released the eight shot Model 27-7, but with a frame mounted firing pin and a MIM hammer and trigger, it was not the same.

The Model 27 sold in either highly polished swimming pool deep blue, or resplendent in blindingly smooth mirror like nickel. The big revolver was available with the options of a target trigger and hammer, as well as target stocks. Barrel lengths ranged from three and a half inch snubbies to eight and 3/8 inch target guns. The three and a half inch Model 27s are enjoying a surge in collectibilty, but the five inch guns are actually more scarce. The longer barreled guns wore a Patridge front sight, while the shorter barrels had a Baughman "Quick Draw" sight up front, often with a orange insert. The top strap was checkered from the front sight to the rear adjustable sight. Indeed, the extravagant topstrap checkering is the hallmark of the Model 27.

It is difficult to predict the path that N frame revolvers will take in the marketplace. Whether the prices have reached their limit, or whether they will continue to climb remains to be seen. Most collectors expect the upward trend to continue. One thing is almost certain. Which ever path the prices go, the Mona Lisa of Smith & Wesson will remain on top.

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The Crab Nebula

This is the mess that is left when a star explodes. The Crab Nebula, the result of a supernova seen in 1054 AD, is filled with mysterious filaments. The filaments are not only tremendously complex, but appear to have less mass than expelled in the original supernova and a higher speed than expected from a free explosion. The above image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, is presented in three colors chosen for scientific interest. The Crab Nebula spans about 10 light-years. In the nebula's very center lies a pulsar: a neutron star as massive as the Sun but with only the size of a small town. The Crab Pulsar rotates about 30 times each second.

Astronomy Picture of the Day



Sunday, March 16, 2008

Austin Haley Update

Cleveland County prosecutors are offering deferred sentences to two former Noble police officers, Paul Bradley Rogers and Robert Shawn Richardson who are charged with second degree manslaughter in the death of five year old Austin Haley on August 3, 2007.

Austin was feeding fish from a dock when the infamous snake killers of the Noble Police Department fired two shots at a non-poisonous snake that was stuck in a birdhouse in a residential neighborhood. One of the shots hit the water in front of Austin, the second struck Austin in the head, killing him.

Little Austin Haley died in front of his two year old brother Dalton, and his grandfather, Jack Tracy, as a result of the actions of these two former law enforcement officers idiots with guns. Austin's family is still grieving.

According to James Haley, the idiots will be fined $1000, lose their law enforcement license, and will be put on probation. No jail time will be served, and most appalling of all, after two years have passed, they will be able under Oklahoma law to have the offense expunged from their records. This means that they could return to a position in law enforcement.

If we can do nothing else, let us make certain that a google search performed after a job interview will turn up these officer's names and connect them with this irresponsible and thoroughly unnecessary death of an innocent child. Let us make certain that Paul Bradley Rogers, Robert Shawn Richardson and the other officer on the scene, Michelle Key, have their negligence, incompetence and unsafe gun handling available through a simple googling of their names.

Assistant District Attorney David Brockman can be contacted at:
David M. Brockman OBA# 16109
District Attorney's Office
201 S. Jones, Ste 300
Norman, OK 73069
321-8268 360-4840


Ugly Gun Sunday

OK, I concede the fact. Maurice says I owe my readers one, so, I will pay in triplicate and get ahead again. Last week's ugly gun ended up not being very ugly, nor very gun.

To the right are three ugly but wonderful Czech 9mm grease guns. These three appear to be among others at an open air East European arms market. We can't call it a gun show, those wicked practices only occur in the United States.

The M3 Grease Gun (the original WWII gun) was designed in 1942 by George Hyde and Frederick Sampson. Approximately 680,000 were built to equip paratroopers and Marines. They were full auto only blowback weapons, with an open bolt. The rate of fire was 350-450 rounds/minute. The M3 and M3A1 were officially retired from US military arsenals in 1957, but they saw service in Vietnam, and as late as 1991 by drivers in the 19th Engineer Battalion, during Desert Storm. Why the comeback? They work.

Why do grease guns reappear in various guises in guerrilla wars? They are cheap and easy to build.......And they work.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Laffitte's Gourmet Cajun Pickles

My wife just brought home a jar of these from the Brookshires. I had a hankering for pickles, so I opened the jar and got a fork.

What I found was the most delectable, perfectly made pickle I have ever savored. I have eaten pickles canned at home by many little old ladies. That's a fringe benefit of doing home care nursing in the South. Some were, I dare say, better than the memory of my own Grandmother's pickles. Believe me, I am a connoisseur of fine pickles.

This store bought product whoops them all. It is crispy candy to the palette, with just a hint of twang to the senses. You can not eat just one. No way. Tomorrow, we are going back and buying ten jars. If they are available at your grocer, buy and try them. If they are not, ask why.

Laffittes Foods is located at 506 N Front St Converse, LA. Phone: 318-567-9731



Bicycling takes many strange turns and twists through history. One of the more recent occurred in the mid-1970s during the Great Bike Boom. In Fairfax California, on a mountain road called "Repack" a new form of biking was devised. Click to enlargeOn Repack, not only did the cyclist have to endure a beating, but the bike did as well. The lightweight racing machines of the day were hardly up to the task. The new crop of extreme sportsmen relied on old 1950 cruiser bike frames, modifying them for the rough downhill race. With the addition of racing bike gearing, the ascent was possible as well, and mountain biking was born. The strange contraptions of old and new biking paraphernalia on two wheels were called Clunkers.

I grew up during that time, but we had few mountains in my neighborhood. We did have the luxury of steep drop-offs and stream beds. I could not afford a bike, so I built my own. That is the spirit that my own Clunker is built in. Some bikers would call my conglomeration of disparate parts a "Rat Bike." A Rat Bike, to me, is spawned from the Rat Rod segment of hot rodding. Rat Bikes are in general flat black, with some red mixed in, and are a bit for show in a punky anti-social sort of way. Lucky 13 is a Rat Bike. The Black Bike is a Rat Bike. Click to enlarge

Now that dedicated mountain bikes are readily available on the market, the term Clunker can be reassigned to bikes that are a simple and carefree assembly of old parts to get the rider down the road. Clunkers are liberating. A Clunker can have whimsical elements, but by and large, it is durable transportation that can take a beating, sit out in the rain, and give bike thieves the fear of tetanus. The JC Higgins Colorflow is a Clunker.

I thoroughly enjoy riding this bike. On top a galvanized pipe pedestal, it has a splayed out Brooks B72 seat, with an old oval reflector dangling underneath. I recently found an old chain guard, and it was great to just bolt it on without worrying about the paint. In fact, the paint on the Clunker is battered with rusty nicks. I'm not certain I'll keep the chain guard on the bike, but it's nice to try it out without fear of finish damage. The tires on the Higgins are mismatched, with a street whitewall on a rusty chrome rim out front, while a dirt tire on a white rim brings up the rear. A Winnipeg bicycle license is bolted to the rear axle.

Between the spokes up front is a Liberty Half Dollar concho on black leather.Click to enlarge Black dice cap off the Schrader valves on the rims. Black leather tassels dangle from the Dorcey metal flake grips. It's little details like this that make the bike. Click to enlargeA Monark springer fork absorbs the bumps and potholes efficiently, while the goose neck and handlebars from a kid's BMX bike with a bell provide direction.

All is not as it seems on the Clunker though. The bearings and chain are new. The bike is well maintained. It is a breeze to ride, with an upright posture. It is stable enough to ride with a dog, unlike twitchy mountain and road bikes.

Today, it seems bike companies are putting out "retro" products. Indeed, Electra tested the Clunker waters with their Deluxe Relic and it seems there is a ready market for nostalgia on wheels. It's not the same as building your own though. A Clunker does not come from the local bike store. A Clunker comes from the desire to ride.

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The Next Bike

I've always liked these frames.....A Straightbar with an integral rear rack. This one, I believe, was made by Columbia. My wife has mandated that it be red, not black..... dadgummedwomentakingover

I'm thinking a "sweetheart" chainwheel, ape hanger bars, and maybe red wall tires.....

We can rebuild her......We have the knowledge.


Friday, March 14, 2008

1905 Columbia Shaft Drive

Notice something different about this bike? There is no chain. Shaft driven bicycles are not new. The unusual drivetrain offers several advantages; greater ground clearance, a drive system protected from the elements and trousers protected from the drive system. Over the years, shaft propelled bicycles re-emerge on the market, but they are a more complex system, more expensivee, and they offer the advantages at an approximate 3-5% loss of power.

Still, when I saw this restored Columbia Two Speed on ebay, with a horsehair Christy's seat, and an integral shock absorber, I was impressed. What was old becomes new again every once in a while.

Current bid: US $860.00 Reserve not met

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That damned hospital fire alarm.......Why does it have to be so damned loud? Isn't there an OSHA regulation or something? Those of us who hear will assist those who cannot. We don't want to join them in their deafness!

I mean, come on.......We have a morgue down there.......Dead people........I don't want them waking up and running outside!

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Heart of a Champion

"It is not enough that we do our best. Sometimes we must do what is required." Those words of Winston Churchill resonated with Little Darling this morning, after I gave her my "Rocky" speech. Little Darling had decided to enter a track meet a couple of weeks ago. She signed up for the 400 meter run, thinking it was half the track that ran around the football stadium.

Little Darling had fallen in love with running last year when she saw that she could out pace every girl, and almost every boy in her class. The one boy who could keep up with her became her friend, but her parochial school still did not have a track team. Two weeks ago, at a parent/faculty meeting, it became apparent that some well heeled parents, upset over the six man football team, were prepared to pull their children out of school the following year due to the lack of sports. Suddenly, a track team was thrown together and the accidental coach entered them into a track meet. Little Darling was ecstatic.

Each day after school, we rode our bikes to the stadium to prepare. I coached her, telling her that she only had to beat one person.......the person in front. I instructed her to stay on that person's heels, to put pressure on them, to wear them out. I instructed her to not try to pass them, to hold a reserve of strength until she entered the home stretch. Then, I told her.......smoke 'em. She really did not get the picture, so last night, to illustrate what I meant by holding a reserve I ran against her. I let her lead for most of the race. I had to. I had not run in years. I stayed on her heels though, and when I felt I could finish, I reached down into that pit of strength that is reserved for old bald headed men and I showed her the folly of staying out in front. It's not, I told her, who starts in front, but rather who finishes in front. I hurt all day today from that lesson.

Still, when I got off work, I headed to the track meet. The rag tag group of Episcopal girls had to share jerseys, swapping them out between heats. They were competing against three schools with established track teams. The relays were especially telling, with the other teams handing off the batons like professionals, while the Episcopal girls passed the baton like notes in class. When Little Darling found me, she told me the 400 meter was not half the track, but an entire lap. She had solved the problem though, by transferring over to the 200 meter dash.

As I sat in the stands, I tested my camera. Dead batteries.....Damn. I did not let her know. I pulled out my cell phone. Little Darling lined up against five lanky but conditioned girls. They wore their school colors. Little Darling could not get one of her friends to give up a communal jersey, so she wore her school uniform shirt. With a shot from a starter's pistol, they were off. The lead two girls quickly out paced the rest. Obvious training was their forte. They ran like cats pursued by wolves. There was no catching them. Little Darling came in fourth.

I stayed in the stands, dreading her thoughts. Had I hurt her this morning, with my talk of winning against a stacked deck of cards? Would she think I was disappointed? Angry even? Thankfully, I had gotten a photo with my cell phone. Yet, she did not leave the field. She stayed at the runner's benches.

Finally, it was time for the last event, the girls 400 meter relay. I saw Little Darling put on a blue jersey. She had never run 400 meters. Oh my Gawd. The first wave was off and running with a bang from the starter's pistol, and again, the Episcopal girls were quickly out classed. After each lap and baton exchange, they were left farther and farther behind. Finally, as the fourth and last relay runner, Little Darling entered the lanes. When she accepted the baton, she was a quarter lap behind the girl in front of her. She took off like I had never seen her run. I was standing, cheering, fists in the air. Please God.........Just let her finish. Don't let my girl run out of gas. Don't let her give out. Just let her go the distance.......She was running back to back races. She was the anchor. She had never before run this distance.

The winner finished as Little Darling entered the back stretch. I looked to see my girl keeping her pace, gathering speed. Hang on Darling......Hang on.......Keep coming.......Her stride lengthened. She rounded the corner red faced, her hair a blur behind her. And then........She opened the throttle. She poured on the gas. She lit the fires of desire and reached down to that place that all Champions possess. When she could breathe no more, she stopped breathing. But she kept running. Faster.....Faster.......Ever faster to what she thought was the finish line, dead last. She saw and heard her friends cheering, and she slowed and stopped. The finish line.......Was five strides away. Crap! She took off again and leaped across it.

She was a bit upset with herself when she came walking up to me, unsure of what Daddy's response would be. She told me the girl who was supposed to run the relay had left early. Someone had to run it. She had come in last. She thought she had failed.

No. Darling, this morning, we talked about winning races and champions. We talked about coming from behind and smoking the competition. We talked about confidence and desire. We talked about Rocky and going the distance. Darling, I am here to tell you that you did win. You are a winner. You did not just do your best, you did so much more. You did what was required.........And that, my dear, is what is in the heart of a Champion. And you, sweet girl, are a Champion and my hero.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Second Amendment in Perspective

Monday, March 10, 2008

The CCM Bicycle

I have a thing for old bicycles. I especially like bikes of the old heavy black utilitarian sort. Thus, when I saw this old clunker from Canada Cycle & Motor Co. Ltd on ebay, I salivated. The seller listed it as:
A solid black, antique ladies bicycle made by CCM. Reminiscent of the bicycle in The Wizard of Oz, all you need to add is a basket for Toto (and possibly a witch). A solid frame sits on top of 28 x 1 ½ inch tires, which appear to be original. They hold air, no problem, and it rides well. Also please note the distinctive CCM sprocket.

This one owner bike is from an estate in upstate New York where the bike was stored in a dry basement. There is minor surface rust on the handle bars and stem, but should come off easily. This bike is ready to ride, become a conversation piece, or both.
I looked over the photos. It certainly seemed to be original. It was a bit rusty and dinged up, but it was all there. It was a woman's bike, but that just might be ideal if I ever get knee replacements. The old girl had the long head tube and rake of European ubiquitous bikes, with a steel lugged frame, a double kickstand, and even the original bell and grips on the handlebars. I wouldn't do a thing to it except swap the seat for a sprung Brooks leather saddle.

Wow.....The current bid when I first spotted it was US $20.50 with $51.97 shipping. I could handle that......Plus a little more.

I decided to watch it and lie in wait.....

Yeah, I was going to snipe it........Winning bid: US $265.00. That wasn't me.........

CCM Bike Overhaul

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Chew Toys

She shredded stuffed toys. She gnawed the Kong to rubber shavings. She eats bones. She doesn't just chew them, she consumes them. They said the fire hose toy was so tough no dog could destroy it. Five minutes........

Maybe I should get her a radial tire.


High Life

This seemed fitting........


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Responsibility Drink

Hi Xavier,
It's Sutton from the Wal-Mart thread. Sorry to leave a random comment on this post, but I didn't see an email address. Anyway, I thought you might enjoy my latest column: Little Girl Dead: Going to the Ravalli County Gun Show with Dwayne Smail on My Mind

You might disagree with some of what I say; I hope you'll comment on the article and let me know.
It would be wonderful if gun manufacturers could develop a concentrated personal responsibility drink to place into the case of each firearm they sell. It could even be sold to auto manufacturers, and manufacturers of other items that have the ability to maim or kill.

Of course, if the concentrated personal responsibility drink were inserted into each new gun's case, it would still be up to the purchaser to drink it. Those who drank it would not need it. Those who needed it would never drink it.

In the end, it's all about personal responsibility.

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Night Rider

Treacle likes to ride bikes. Perched on Jenny Smith's handlebars at Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre in Staffordshire, UK, the bird appears calm.

"I think Treacle likes being on the bike because owls are notoriously quite lazy. So this way he doesn't have to do any exercise and he can sit around and look at his surrounding area to see what's going on," said Jenny. "We do fly him and he does enjoy flying. I suppose the bike feels like he's flying but without putting in the effort. We've got a monkey that likes scribbling and a hawk that only likes women, so many of the animals have got funny little traits, but Treacle's our only bike rider."

I wonder if he flaps his wings when the bike hits bumps......


Nursing and Other Blogrolls

NurseI've separated out and posted another hard wired blogroll for my nursing/medical type favorites.

The nursing and medical communities in many parts of the U.S. are politically anti-gun, and vocal. I encourage all rational, thinking gunnies to visit these nursing/medical type blogs and comment. Encourage the medibloggers to come to your own blogs through thoughtful commentary.

I encourage all rational, thinking nurses and physicians to visit these gunnie type blogs and comment. Encourage the gunbloggers to come to your own blogs through thoughtful commentary.

It is only through mutual respect and understanding that we will reach the truth of the human condition and the problems in society. It is only through reaching the truth that we can solve the ailment.

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Ugly Gun Sunday

Click to enlarge
What do you get when a little old lady with an antique shop purchases a Kalashnikov? You get the Delft AK. The little porcelain wooden shoes are just decoration........


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Snow Days

They said it would snow. They thought it would stick. Ilsa at the windowI laughed at their folly. That's just "wintery mix." Calling that snow is like calling gumbo a char-broiled steak. This is Louisiana after all......

No, Doctor B, I'm not washing instruments, and I'm not kissing the water buffalo. I didn't see any snow. I didn't even see any ice except at the Icee machine in the cafeteria. If you have evidence of snowfall, I hope you made it into a ball and stuck it in your freezer for Monday.

Meanwhile, Ilsa knows it's Saturday. She wants to go bike riding. It's excessively cold, at least for this rider. Looking in through the backyard bay window, she exposes her dubious description of the temperature by the frosty breath from her nostrils. The sun is out. Maybe later girl.

I'm going to fire up the crock pot and cook some chilli. I just need some nopales and masa to make it good. Then some chipotles.

Xavier's World Famous Chilli:

• 3 pounds ground chuck, seared
• 1 package stew meat, seared
• 1 big chopped onion
• 3 smashed garlic cloves
• 2 pieces of bacon cut crosswise into pieces
• 2 cans tomato chunks
• 2 cans tomato paste
• 2 cans red kidney beans
• 1 ½ cups of nopales
• 1 ½ cups of frozen or fresh whole kernel corn
• 2 tablespoons of chili powder
• 3/4 cup of shredded Pepper Jack cheese
• 2 tablespoons of Masa
• 1 ½ teaspoons of dried crushed chipotle
• 1 ½ teaspoons of paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
• 1 package fajita mix
• several squirts lime juice
• 3 cups of water
• Sea salt

Mix all this stuff up in a crockpot, and heat for at least two hours to distribute the flavor throughout. Serve hot with corn or tortillia chips of choice.

The crown of my head sweats just thinking about it.....

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