Short Sunday Blog

We had our annual Christmas dinner at church today. My wife took her home-made giblet gravy. As an aside, anyone realize how hard it is to buy just giblets? We’re having ham for Christmas and she didn’t want to buy a turkey just for the giblets. So she bought a whole baking chicken that said giblets include. Wrong! She finally scrounged some.

It was four degrees when we left for church and ten when we got home. The dungeon is cold. After the obligatory Sunday afternoon nap, I came downstairs to do some surfin’ and blog readin’. Even with the space heater on max and only two feet away, it’s still cold. I’m finishing this and going upstairs, grab a cat, and get warm. (Who needs dogs when you have a couple a cats nearby?)

I have a early circuit turn-up tomorrow, four trunk groups, 33 DS1s. It will be a long day. I’m taking the rest of the year off when I finish.

Ummm, ummmh, toasty—now


I have a touch of claustrophobia. More like cabin fever than a panicky feeling of unlighted closets. I try to get out of the house at least once a day.

Most days, I’m sitting here in the dungeon with my trusty space heater at my side. I work at home as a telecom engineer. That means I design, order and project manage the installation and disconnenction of circuits used internally by my company.

My usual day is be tied to a hot keyboard, wearing a headset for conference calls with an occasional IM chat on the side. Comes noontime, I’m getting a bit twitchy.

It’s not too bad during the summer. I can always walk out the back door, watch the birds or squirrels, take some photos of weapons and stuff, al’a Brigid and others, or just sit in an old rocker on the patio. I can’t do that during the winter.

Today, my wife left before noon to visit a friend for lunch. I was on my own, so I decided to visit the local greasy spoon to see what their special fare for today might be. I visit there a lot, know most of the waitresses. I soon as I sit down, they appear with a cup of coffee and take my order. I frequently get a cup of soup on the side.

Today was no different. I had a cup of Clam Chowder, a hot roast beef sandwich, a cup (OK, several cups) of coffee and a paperback. Perfection.

I sit with my right side towards the wall. I carry a S&W 442 in a pocket holster if I know I’ll be taking off my jacket while I’m out. No one appears to have noticed the bulge in my front jeans pocket. At one visit, I sat with with left side to the wall and one of the local cops who had stopped for lunch gave me a once over—several times. I think he finally decided I was carrying, but didn’t do more than look. I now sit with my right to the wall if possible.

Yesterday, we had a 46 degree temperature drop. It was 60 around 9:00AM yesterday morning. By nightfall, it had dropped to 14. This morning when I got up, it was 4. At noontime the temperature had risen all the way up to 10.

On the way home, I stopped to top off my tank. During cold weather, I try not to let the tank get below 1/3 full. If there is room in the tank, you can get condensation inside the tank and if the car is left out for long, such as in a parking lot, you could get a frozen fuel line.

That happened to me once when I was flying a Piper Cherokee 140. I was doing the preflight and got interrupted. I forgot to check the fuel sumps. In a Cherokee, each wing tank has a sump and drain. There is another in the engine compartment. I checked the right drain and the engine drain and when I returned, I started with the stall warning flap and missed the drain. POINT: use a check-list and check off each item. I discovered the frozen fuel line when I switched tanks prior to the mag-check run-up. Glad it quit then than a few moments later at an altitude of only a few hundred feet. Your options are limited at that point.

Anyway, I’ve digressed.

I stopped for gas, got out, ran the card through the pump and grasped the pump handle. I think I left most of my palm on it. I’d neglected to put on gloves. So, I standing there, watching the dollars ring off and the wind starts. IT’S BLOODY, BLEEDIN’ COLD!

No hat. My ears hurt. I’ve a leather jacket that blocks some of the wind, but my hands are freezing. I have to hold the pump because the auto-release isn’t working. The pistol in my jeans feels like I’ve stored it in the freezer overnight. My eyes are watering. I think my eyes are frozen open.

Oh, man. I miss summer.

Thursday Thoughts…

It’s been a slow work day. I’m in the position of having to wait for others to complete their tasks before I can do mine. It’s a bit chilly here in the basement/family room/home office. I have a space heater on, but it’s only keeping my right side warm.

I don’t like cold weather. It’s a pain—literally. I’ve seen 60 come and go. When I get cold, I get stiff, I hurt. Today is such a day. I can easily understand why the cats are lazing around in a sun spot, nice and toasty. I’m jealous envious.

***

Last weekend I tried to get time to visit Cabelas to get some carry ammo for the M&P Compact. The Universe conspired against me so I ordered some via Cabelas’ website. The order arrived yesterday! That’s a three days service. Pre-Christmas rush and all. Can’t beat that!

I have a preference for Hornady Ammo. I’m cheap and I like the fact that Hornady ammo comes 25 rounds in a box, unlike the 20 rounds for Federal, Remington and Speer. I’ve been unable to determine that the other carry ammo is better in any way than carry ammo from Hornady. Not only does Hornady provide five additional rounds, it’s also $2 cheaper than Federal for the same type ammo (147gr JHP)

***

There has been some discussion on other blogs and forums whether the Mumbai Massacre could happen in the US. It seems that just about everything has been discussed by the MSM, our open borders, lack of an area for training that wouldn’t be noticeable, and other obstacles, would prevent a similar attack from happening here.

I notice they ignore the fact that the majority of states have concealed carry. In some of these states, CCW holders are obligated to assist law enforcement. However, folks in New York and Chicago are on their own. They can’t carry except for the elite few. Guess the common folks just have to be resolved to being targets unlike their aristos.

***

Open Carry for Texas.

Campaign asks Texans to support open-carry law for handguns

By ANNA M. TINSLEY
atinsley@star-telegram.com

They're setting their sights on Texas and coming out firing.

More than a month before the legislative session starts Jan. 13, gun-rights supporters are asking state lawmakers to pass an "open carry" law to let Texans stop covering up the guns they carry and wear them openly. They are putting their message on billboards, on banners on cabs and in radio ads, asking others to sign on to the cause.

"We are targeting Texas," said Mike Stollenwerk, co-founder of www.opencarry.org, a champion of the growing nationwide effort. "Texas is probably the most pro-gun state, but doesn't have open-carry laws.

"As Texans realize how restrictive their rights are...there will be an awakening. Get ready for a showdown in Austin come January."

Texas is somewhat of an open-carry battleground because it is one of only six states where handguns cannot, in some form, legally be worn in plain view. Texas residents may carry concealed handguns if they have a permit. More than 28,000 people have signed an online petition asking Gov. Rick Perry and the Legislature to make Texas an open-carry state.

"The only place we are spending money is Texas," said Stollenwerk, who owns a home in Killeen. "Who knows if we'll be successful? But at least it's on the agenda."

Some fear that pushing for open carry could bring more problems than solutions. "What are they trying to do?" Richard Leal of Texans for Gun Safety Laws told the Star-Telegram earlier this year. "Go back to Texas gunslinger days?"

Upcoming battle

When lawmakers get back to work in January, it will have been 14 years since they passed a concealed-carry law. Supporters say open carry is needed because under the concealed-carry law, gun owners can get in trouble for displaying their weapon even inadvertently, such as if a jacket covering it up blows back enough to show the gun.

"I want to be able to remove my suit jacket in the middle of a hot Texas August day without being labeled a criminal," said Ralph Carroll, who lives in Van Zandt County and works in Dallas. "I can drive east or west one state over, remove my jacket in the heat of the day and still be a perfectly legal citizen. But that same act in Texas will brand me a criminal — for no reason other than I live in Texas."

The other states that either don't allow, or highly restrict, the open carrying of handguns in public are New York, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina, according to OpenCarry.org. More than a dozen states require a license for open carry, and 11 more allow it but don't require licenses. Other states generally permit it, but with various restrictions.

Stollenwerk said a draft of a bill to allow open carry in Texas has been prepared. While several Texas lawmakers have said they'll support such a bill, none have stepped up to carry it.

"This is crunchtime before the session starts," Stollenwerk said. "If no legislator steps forward, we will try to amend a bill midstream to get it in somewhere."

Reaching out

OpenCarry.org kicks off its Texas campaign Tuesday with the message "We don't hide our colors, do we?" in Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin. The ad encourages Texans to sign an online petition asking lawmakers to make Texas an open-carry state.

"We believe that law-abiding Texans should be free to proudly enforce their rights," the radio ad states.

Ian McCarthy of Dallas posted the online petition in November 2007. He said he forgot about it until www.opencarry.org picked up the effort this summer, and thousands of Texans began signing.

"It was just me trying to reach out to people," he said.

Carroll, a 48-year-old father of three, said many people's fears about the concealed-carry law — shootouts at four-way stop signs, mayhem in the streets — haven't come to pass. Similar fears about an open-carry law won't either, he said.

"I just simply want to ensure I have self-protection if the need arises," Carroll said. "The same reason I wear my seat belt, carry a spare tire and have a working fire extinguisher.".