A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, August 31, 2009

Click to enlarge

Prettiest AK I ever saw..........


Overbided Pentaprism

A plain old Nikon F pentaprism for $219.50?!!!
Nuts! You can buy the entire Nikon F in good working condition for that!

In fact, this black Nikon F body with the Nippon/Kogak/Tokyo emblem went for $158. Somebody in Holland is dancing for joy........


Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Yashica Electro 35 GT

The classic black Yashica Electro 35 GT rangefinder camera was introduced in 1970. It was available both as the chrome satin Electro 35 GS and the black enamel finish Electro 35 GT. Yashica marketed this camera as the “Gold Mecanica”. All the electrical contact points were gold plated to increase the efficiency of the electrical current flow, and to prevent oxidation from forming which could possibly impede that flow over the course of time.

The Yashica Electro 35 GT came with a relatively fast 45mm ƒ1.7 Yashinon DX lens. The lens sported six elements in four groups, and had "COLOR" embossed in the rim to assure customers the glass was corrected for color film which was just coming into vogue. The GT also heralded the switch over to a simulated leather grain skin.The combination film door release / rewind handle on the GS and GT rangefinders mimics the release found on SLR cameras. The flash shoe is non functional. A socket is on the side of the camera for a flash synch cable. The ASA scale was extended to range from 25 to 1000.

Yashica called it " A Revolutionary Concept in Exposure Control;" a solid- state "electronic brain" measures light and automatically sets the Electronic Stepless Shutter to the exact speed the CdS sensor calls for, be it 1/184 sec., or 26 seconds. It has no moving parts, ensures perfect accuracy in any position and will change the speed even during exposure, should the light vary. The electric contact points of this automatic electronic exposure control system are finished in gold for maximum conductivity and precision."

I found this example at an estate sale today. For five dollars, I took it home. I'm not sure what I will do with it. They call it GAS.......Gear Acquisition Syndrome. I'm a junkie, I guess... More information on Yashica rangefinder cameras can be found here.


Thursday, August 27, 2009


The first portrait session with Michael DeVault went well. Michael DeVaultMichael approached me for a few portraits after seeing some of my work online. I took photos of him in his office, as well as in a friend's courtyard.

So far, I have not relied on strobes or typical photographer's lighting gear. I rely on sunlight. I'm cheap and low tech, I guess. That's the main reason. I suppose investing in some lighting equipment would give me more flexibility, enabling me to shoot when and how I would like. It would also involve managing more gear however, and also invest in the time required to learn to use it well. I like to see what I am getting when I press the shutter. I do own a collapsible reflector. I haven't used it much....

Michael is a novelist, currently working on his third book. He is the author of Anything But Ordinary and Thunder in the Distance. The shots I took will be used on the "about the author" section of the book jacket on subsequent books. These two frames are my personal favorites, and aren't necessarily the ones he will chose to use.

I find that I enjoy the spontaneity and serendipity of shooting environmental portraiture. Being able to adjust to available lighting conditions and still squeeze out a decent shot is what excites me. Taking a bunch of supplemental lighting gear up a couple of flights of stairs does not. If I continue to shoot portraiture for profit though, I may have to readjust my way of thinking........

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Truth About Arms Trafficking in Mexico


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I have been very surprised at the level of interest in my photography. I have recieved several commissions and requests for head shots. I am devoting a good bit of my spare time to that area.

I am still riding and shooting.

Will blog when possible.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ugly Gun Sunday

I suppose there are some who would argue that the Llama pictured here really isn't that ugly. I suppose it could be painted with blue metalflake, or be engraved with toilet stall nudes, but the truth is, I'm struggling to find a gun of sufficient ugly quality this Sunday morning. For those who fail to find the Llama shocking enough, I present Samuel.

That ought to suffice. Carry on.........

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

A New Target

The City of New York and Mayor Bloomberg are wanting Michael Littlejohn's rifle, but so far he has been able to say ""from my cold, dead hands." According to the Penal Law of New York:
The Penal Law definition of antique firearm is generally applied to muzzle loading black powder firearms, but also applies to pistols or revolvers "that use fixed cartridges which are no longer available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade".

Muzzle loading pistols or revolvers do not have to be registered on a pistol permit if the owner never intends to fire them.

If they are possessed in a loaded condition or are simply possessed simultaneously with the components necessary to make them fire, they must first be registered on a valid pistol permit.

Note: Should a manufacturer begin to produce ammunition for a pistol or revolver for which ammunition had not been available previously, that weapon no longer meets the criteria of an antique weapon and is required to be registered. A pistol or revolver, regardless of age, when possessed with the ammunition necessary to make it discharge, is required to be registered.
So, as long as Mr. Littlejohn does not purchase any black powder or pick up a piece of flint on the street, he appears to be untouchable. That hasn't stopped Mayor Bloomberg from sending out his detectives to harass a legal gun owner in New York.

A flintlock rifle with no powder is no more a threat than a push broom, but hatred of firearms is irrational and runs deep. Contempt of gun owners knows no bounds. If gun owners abide by the law, gun control nuts will simply twist and manipulate the law to try to violate the rights of the gun owner anyway.

For years, the ability to own antique and replica antique firearms has existed unnoticed by New York's gun control activists. No more. When a convicted felon shot State Trooper Amanda Reif with a black powder rifle a few years back, the gun control nuts got out their pitchforks.

Never mind that a convicted felon could not legally own the rifle. Never mind having the rifle in a condition to fire, indeed, owning the rifle in conjunction with gun powder without a license is illegal in New York. In response, the gun control militants have decided to pursue law abiding citizens who legally possess such rifles, investigate them, and trample on their rights. Of course, portraying law abiding citizens as criminals and taking their property is easier than disarming criminals.....


Thursday, August 13, 2009

That Knucklehead with the Gun

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Monday, August 10, 2009


The city of New Orleans has agreed to a settlement of an undisclosed amount with Robert Davis. After he was beat, stomped and kicked bloody in the streets of the French Quarter several weeks after Hurricane Katrina, Davis sued the city and the police officers responsible. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman dismissed some of the claims Davis filed against the city, but refused to throw out the entire case against the city or dismiss former New Orleans police officer Robert Evangelist as a defendant.

Evangelist and other police officers were accused of using excessive force while arresting Davis on Oct. 8, 2005. The beating was filmed by an Associated Press Television News crew covering the aftermath of the hurricane.

Davis, then 64, was in town checking on property he owned. He heard there was a curfew, so he stopped to ask a police officer on Bourbon Street about the curfew. Davis claimed Evangelist intervened and slammed him against a wall, where he was kicked and beaten. Evangelist claimed Davis seemed disoriented and elbowed him in the chest when he approached him. "The video of the incident is chilling," Feldman wrote in his ruling. "While Evangelist states in his deposition that he never hit Davis in the head ... the video at best is clear on a central point: Davis was kicked (and) beaten by one or more police officers."

Trial was set to begin today. "It was a situation wherein it was in the best interests of all parties to resolve this matter," said Franz Zibilich, an attorney for the city.

Yep. I guess so........


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Ugly Gun Sunday

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Pacific

Band of Brothers is far and away one of my favorite movies, if one could call an HBO mini-series a movie. HBO is seeking to recreate the success of Band of Brothers with a new WWII mini-series based on the Pacific campaign. Note to self: Watch this.......


Friday, August 07, 2009

The Ballio Case

I occasionally get wind and emails about firearms related incidents. This post is about one such incident. Fact: Louisiana law states that a citizen who can legally own a firearm (as in a non-felon) can carry that firearm inside their vehicle either openly or concealed within the confines of a vehicle.
LRS 14:95.2: "Any constitutionally protected activity which cannot be regulated by the state, such as a firearm contained entirely within a motor vehicle."
If the citizen has a valid Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit, a handgun can be concealed on their person in the vehicle. The Louisiana citizen with a CHP has the duty to inform an officer of the law who approaches them on official business of the presence of a handgun concealed on their person.

This politician, the mayor of Shreveport Louisiana, Cedric Glover, apparently fails to understand that. This politician seems to believe that when his police officers stop a citizen for an innocuous traffic offense, the citizen forfeits their constitutional rights.

According to another blog, when Robert Baillio was pulled over for failure to use his turn signal, "the only questions the officer had for Baillio concerned guns; Whether he had a gun, where the gun was, and if he was a member of the NRA. No requests for a driver's licence, proof of insurance, or vehicle registration, and no discussion of a turn signal." Robert Ballio was driving a pick-up truck with several pro-gun stickers prominently displayed on the rear glass, along with Stars and Stripes. He holds a valid Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit.

When Mr. Ballio called Shreveport's mayor to complain about the confiscation of his firearm, he recorded the conversation. It would appear Cedric Glover is woefully ignorant of the law, and is directing his officers to violate the constitutional rights of Louisiana citizens. An excerpt of Glover's reply to Mr. Ballio: "Sir, you have no right, when you have been pulled over by a police officer for a potential criminal offense to stand there with your weapon at your side in your hand because of your second amendment rights, sir. That does not mean at that point your second amendment right has been taken away; it means at that particular point in time, it has been suspended." Of course, Mr. Ballio did not imply that he desired to have the handgun in his hand. He simply felt as though he was being profiled because of the pro-gun emblems on the rear glass of his truck. Unfortunately, it does not seem as though Mr. Ballio is a second ammendment scholar either.

Cedric Glover knew that Mr. Ballio's handgun was nowhere near his reach. Cedric Glover knew that the handgun did not present a threat to the officer. Cedric Glover simply did not have a clue as to what he was talking about. But......... That is no excuse. He is the mayor. He is in charge. If tweaking a moron's whiskers is your thing, here is Glover's address.

Office of the Mayor
505 Travis Street, Suite 200
Shreveport, LA 71101
(318) 673-5050
Email: mayor@shreveportla.gov

If a person wants to examine things further however, here is Robert Ballio's statement:
"Here in Shreveport, LA, a little more than a week ago, to be exact, it was Friday, June 5th, about 9:45 in the evening. I was driving my pick-up from the Downtown Airport to my home. My wife had called and asked me to pick up an order she had called in to a local restaurant. I was about a block and a half from the restaurant when I noticed flashing lights behind me. I can honestly say that I didn’t have a clue as to why I was being stopped, but I instantly pulled over.

Right after I stopped, I got out of my truck and walked toward the tailgate. I kept my hands where he could see them and I stopped right there by the back bumper. Right there I was directly in his headlights, and I wanted to be sure he could see that I wasn’t carrying any kind of weapon, and I didn’t pose any type of threat to him.

Well he got out of his vehicle and walked toward me. He stopped a little short of what I’d consider conversation distance, and he looked at me and said, “Do you have any firearms in your vehicle?”

I didn’t really expect him to ask me that. And I didn’t know why he asked, but I answered and said “Yes” He asked where they were. And I really didn’t understand why he was asking me these questions. But I told him the truth, and I said “My pistol is between the drivers seat and the console.

He instantly turned and walked to the drivers side door, opened it, and removed my pistol. I stayed at the back of the truck. He approached me, held my HK 45 Compact up, and dropped the magazine. He then asked if there was a shell in the chamber, and I said, “Yes sir, there is.” He ejected it onto the ground, locked the slide back, and walked back to his patrol unit and got in it.

After the stop was completed, and my gun was was returned, I thought about the events that had happened. I called the mayor of Shreveport, on Monday June 8th. Late in the day he finally called me back. I told him that I was very uncomfortable standing on a busy street without my hand gun, and I did not believe the officer had any reason, or right to remove it from my vehicle.

He told me that during a traffic stop "My rights were suspended." At first I couldn't believe he said that. Then, I thought “no one is going to believe me when I tell them he said that” so I turned on my digital recorder and recorded the rest of our conversation. He said my right to drive off after a policeman stops me was suspended. He was comparing my Constitutional Rights with driving off after a policeman stops you - something that is against the law."
On review of the cruiser's dash cam video, it is immediately apparent that the officer is not an anti-gun policeman. Mr. Ballio stepped out of his pick-up truck before the officer approached the vehicle. The officer immediately asked Mr. Ballio to close his pick-up truck's door, limiting his ability to access anything inside. The officer knew there was a potential firearm present because of the pro-gun stickers, and he probably already knew Mr. Ballio had a Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit. He asked if Mr. Ballio had any firearms in the vehicle. He did not ask if Mr. Ballio had any firearms concealed on his person. He did not ask to see a driver's license. Mr. Ballio was outside the truck, leaning on the bed when the officer turns his back to him, reaches inside and retrieves the weapon.

The officer asks if there is a round in the chamber, when Mr. Ballio responds he would not carry it any other way, the officer responds "That's true." The officer clears the weapon, and then turns his back to Ballio again to retrieve the ejected round from the ground. He asks Mr. Ballio if he is a member of the NRA, and when Mr. Ballio responds affirmatively, the officer says "Excellent." This is not a gun ignorant gun hating cop. It is also clear, after the officer has turned his back to Ballio twice, that he does not feel threatened by Mr. Ballio. So the question of why he felt the need to secure the weapon can be raised.

Under Louisiana law, during a traffic stop, it is the officer's prerogative whether he will secure a weapon he has been informed of. This officer chose to exercise his right to secure the weapon. There is nothing illegal about that. The pistol and ammunition were returned to Mr. Ballio at the conclusion of the traffic stop.

I have had my handgun secured twice at traffic stops. There have been an even greater number of times that the officer allowed me to retain my weapon throughout the stop. (Keep in mind I have possessed a Parish or Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit since 1984, I'm not that bad a driver......) Each time I am pulled over, I follow a simple procedure. First and foremost, I turn off the engine and stay inside the vehicle unless the officer asks me to exit. When the officer approaches, I keep my hands in plain view. Prior to pulling over, I remove my wallet and place it on the dash so my hands always remain in view. I have my driver's license and Concealed Handgun Permit ready for the officer when he approaches my door. I hand them both to him. The only actions taken by this officer that warrant scrutiny is turning his back to Mr. Ballio. If Mr. Ballio was as concerned about his safety as he states he should have remained inside his vehicle, or moved to the sidewalk.

Yes, Cedric Glover is a buffoon ignorant of the law, but aren't most politicians? Cedric Glover's ignorance is only exceeded by his arrogance. He is contemptable. It would serve him well to become better acquainted with the law before he discusses it. Other than that, I'm not seeing much meat on this bone. There are more important anti-gun politicians to focus on.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

200 More

I took the Clark Custom Commander out this afternoon and fired another 200 trouble-free rounds through it. Not even a hiccup. The matte hard chrome makes presentation from a holster slick as hog snot, and clean-up afterwards is a breeze. This pistol is nearing the top of my favorites list.

For those who are wondering, it's a Colt Combat Commander, a Series 70 gun with the lightened slide. The hammer has been replaced with a Nowlin Speed Demon, and the trigger is a McCormick. Thumb safety is a single sided Ed Brown tactical, and the mainspring housing is an aluminum SW1911 checkered unit. The rear sight is likely a Safariland, while the front is a serrated ramp with an orange insert. The grips are cocobolo from Fusion. The pistol has been melted by Clark's and hard chromed. All else is bone stock Colt. If anything, such as the slide stop looks custom, it's because Clark Custom melted it.

Thanks, Doc, for letting me shoot a bit at your place.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Speicher Found/Identified

LtCdr. Michael Scott Speicher, of VFA 81, who was shot down over Iraq on the night of January 16, 1991, has been found. On August 2, 2009, the US Navy announced that his remains had been positively identified.

LtCdr Speicher was the first casualty of Operation Desert Storm. His F-18 Strike Fighter aircraft was shot down by a surface to air missle during the first manned air strike near an area known as Wadi Thumayal. Other intelligence gathering indicated his jet was shot down by a MiG-25 flown by Lt. Zuhair Dawood, 84th squadron of the IQAF. LtCdr. Speicher was declared "Killed-In-Action/Body-Not-Recovered" in May 1991. His status was changed in 2001 to MIA, and then to Missing/Captured in 2002 based on reported sighting in Iraq. Those sightings have since been discredited.

Acting on information provided by an Iraqi citizen in early July, US Marines stationed in Al Anbar Province went to a location in the desert which was believed to be the crash site of Captain Speicher's jet. The Iraqi citizen stated he knew of two Iraqi citizens who recalled an American jet impacting the desert and the remains of the pilot being buried in the desert. One of these Iraqi citizens stated that they were present when Captain Speicher was found dead at the crash site by Bedouins and his remains buried. The Iraqi citizens led US Marines to the site and they searched the area. Remains were recovered over several days during the past week and flown to Dover Air Force Base for scientific identification by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner. Positive identification was made by comparing Captain Speicher's dental records with the jawbone recovered at the site. The teeth are a match, both visually and radiographically.

He apparently was not captured, died at the crash site, and was buried by Bedouins. May God rest his soul and heal his family.