Sunday, November 20, 2011

Erands and Projects

I've been the Denver Trail Runners moderator for the month of November. It's not so hard when there's no races in my schedule.

I've been very busy doing things that I kept putting off while racing all the time. It's been years since I've bought any civilian clothing, like jeans. I ran out of things like shaving razor blades and shampoo. So I've been doing lots of shopping instead of lots of running.
My brothers and I have wanted a 1qt-1gal gallon paint sprayer, so I shopped online and found some with real good reviews. Finally, I bought one.

I also got to do some computer work for an old friend I hadn't seen in a couple of years. It's nice to catch-up.

My brothers and I are going to try to get several of our engineering ideas patented. Then maybe we can get some things into production. These are long-term plans we hope will allow us to be self-employed.

My Colt Navy 1851 revolver was missing the barrel catch for the reload plunger. I tried to order one from Dixie Gunworks, but instead of coming, I got an invoice that stated it was canceled - no explanation as to why. But my powder flask came. Well, I really, REALLY needed that barrel-catch! No kidding! So why didn't' they call or email? The order asked for my phone#. So I was pissed - partly because they charged $7.95 postage and handling and all I got was one item. I guess I won't be doing business with them ever again.
So I looked into my junk, grabbed a piece of metal, started sawing and grinding and filing and sanding. Geez, it only took me an hour to make the damn thing from scratch, and even had a bottle of gun-blue to darken it. I hammered it into place and now my Navy 1851 is whole again.
The flask had three set-screws that were loose. I had to take them out and apply Lock-tite before reassembling and filling with powder.
Then I made a percussion cap nipple-wrench from a piece of steel tubing and made a handle out of brass.

This working-with-my-hands stuff is what I have always liked. I don't have a real workshop, but I do have tools. I just do what I can with what I have.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to shoot it for the first time.

I now want an old-fashioned straight-razor. Extra shaving cartridges were on my list. What a scam! Ten cost $20.59 at Target. But I can buy 4 disposables of slightly better quality, also by Gillette, for $6.59 ($1.65ea.) This is moronic. The small cartridges cost nearly twice as much as disposables that will add 300% more crap to our landfills. I can't fathom why they do it this way. They also made deals so that no cheaper store-brand knock-offs are made to compete. This is kind of good in that crap Asian stuff doesn't push out the quality items, but it's still a racket that has a different kind of penalty. Shaving stuff has been this way for many years. The industry rewards you for choosing the big, wasteful packaging with more disposable junk.
So I'm ready to give up. Just give me a straight razor and some soap. I'll shave the old-fashioned way. I already have a brush.
I'll still be trimming with my little Wahl beard-trimmer, but the shaving-to-the-skin will be done with a blade.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Twice a week

I run twice a week, Wed & Thurs evenings. Maybe every three weeks, I'll also run a Monday.
Being rested, when I do run, I tend to run faster than I've been accustomed to. I regularly run 8:00 or faster, concentrating on using my feet to propel myself a couple of extra inches each stride. This keeps me springy, keeps me from trashing my knees, and strengthens my feet, especially my arches.

Weekends have been spent recreating in less strenuous ways. I've been shooting, shopping online for gun parts to repair or upgrade.

I bought a Navy 1851 black-powder revolver that's as old as I am. This is something I've been wanting for many years. I bought it in Victor Colorado, near Cripple Creek.

This instigated much research on my part. Mine is a brass frame - apparently Confederates used more brass, where Union troops had mostly steel frames. Also, the term "Navy" was gleaned from the caliber: .36. Mine is a .44, which has a step in the cylinder for the bigger loads. So at a glance, you can tell the difference by looking for the step in the cylinder. Obviously the .44 doesn't hold true to the original Colt design.
I've always wanted three black-powder guns, the Navy 1851, a single-shot flintlock pistol, and a .50 Hawken that I insist on building myself from a kit. I want to do the stock myself, and I'm not sure I'll even use the wood stock that comes with the kit - depends on what design customizations I chose. I want it to be a freakin' masterpiece. I used to be a silversmith, in another life, and a tool&die machinist later, so I have the skills. But I need a bigger workshop for that project.

Back to running, there's been lots of talk about Fat Ass wannabes. There is a greater demand than there are races. So maybe I'll slap something together not too far from Denver, and not too high - so that weather can't derail the plans.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Differnet Strokes

I have only been running Wed and Thurs, mostly, since Sept.

Large feasts are rare, to avoid gaining weight.

Last Monday, I somehow managed to run 8 miles faster than I think I have in 32 years.

Arthritis in my right foot is getting pretty bad, and causes me to limp a lot, but not while running.

I've been shooting my guns often. This is something I did many years ago, but since my son was born I haven't done much. I used to be an incredible shot with my Glock 17 and Glock 19. It was a natural ability that became better with practice, but I found that neither my natural nor my practiced abilities exist anymore. I guess I'll have to actually train to become good again.
My new AR-15 is very fun to shoot, but I'm having a hard time figuring it out. At 100 yards many shots strayed, but at 508 yards, I shot 20 rounds within about 5" while standing free and shooting fairly rapidly. Go figure. We'll see if I can continue that sort of accuracy the next time.
I wish I had a longer range to shoot at. I would like the opportunity to shoot 7.62mm out to half a mile, if only I could find a safe and legal place to shoot that far.
I used to reload lots of 9mm, but I now need to reload 9mm, .40S&W, 5.56mm, 7.62x39, and if I get the gun of my dreams, 7.62x51 also.

Shooting ranges are getting closed all over the place. There are too many idiots, and all it takes is a couple of idiots to ruin things for everyone else. People take TVs and computers to free outdoor ranges and shoot them up and leave the junk. So these places get posted - no shooting. I have taught my son, always leave with more junk than you showed up with. Always show respect and be safe.

I will return to more camping, like in previous years. Winter used to be my favorite time of year to camp. Maybe it will be again. Hopefully I'm not a wimpy old geezer yet!