Saturday, September 24, 2011

Copy-cat topics

I guess I'm a follower, not a leader, that's why my first post in two months is following on the heels of some better bloggers than I am turning out to be. I wanted to post a picture of my daily knife/multitool that use daily. It's an SOG Powerassist with great utility tools. It replaces a well used and abused Gerber.

My next copy-cat post has already been discussed byToddG andTam regarding the Frankenstein's monster of a Sig. I was checking my email earlier this week and seen the joke offer Sig is trying to bait the gun buying public into purchasing before the expiration date clicks by.  I thought to myself then, who would spend their hard earned dollars on a freakish monstrosity like that.  It's kind of like hand painting tits on the Mona Lisa!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Loveless Cafe

Just enjoyed a plate of peach glazed smoked pork chops... sure was good! :-)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Famous Richards

1. Dick Cheney

2. Andy Dick

3. Dick Tracy

4. Dick Clark

Dick Nixon


Mark Halperin suspended over Obama remark on Morning Joe

How many Richards (Dicks) can you name?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Well, work has me on the road again.  I don't usually travel a lot, but this summer, since the first of June, I have been to Cincinnati/Covington, Nashville, and now Kansas City Missouri.  This is my first time to visit Kansas City, MO. and most people would say that if you've been to one city, you have been to 'em all.  I usually concur with that thought.  I have found the people of Kansas City to be very polite and nice.  There are many activities and eating places close to downtown that can keep us occupied.

We visited the Power and Light district in downtown tonight.  There was a small band playing and lots of people milling around.  Tomorrow will be a busy day of work related activities that will be requiring my time through most of the day, and it doesn't look like it will end until late tomorrow night.
Thursday night will be more relaxed with an option to attend a Kansas City Royals baseball game.  I don't know what the deal is with MLB games this summer.  I was offered the same free ballgame deal a couple weeks ago when I was in Cincinnati to see a Reds game.  Unfortunately, I have about as much interest in watching a baseball game as I have in attending an Anthony Weiner press conference.

I do have a nice view from my room overlooking the Bartle Hall and conference center and it's accompanying buildings.  I hope to have some pictures from around town to post later.

I did buy $20 worth of raffle tickets for a 2011 Dyna Super Glide that has been custom painted by Justin Barnes who paints bikes for OCC.  Funny thing about this is I have always been afraid of riding a motorcycle.  I'm sure my 5 tickets won't even be close to the top for the drawing.

Ya'll have a good week,
Blue Steel

Monday, June 13, 2011

Flea Markets and High Explosives

 I admit that I have attended many a trade day and flea market in my time.  My grandfather and I have made many a step around the display tables of one man's trash and another man's treasure.  I have bought, sold, and traded several good and some not so good firearms at flea markets and trade days.  I bought my first Thompson Center Contender with a 14" heavy barrel .223 with a Leupold 4X pistol scope that still resides in my safe till this day.

I will admit that I am a bit of a flea market/trade day snob.  The only things that I was interested in looking at and trading on was either firearms, knife, hunting, or fishing related.  Used dentures, underwear, billy goats, or funnel cakes weren't even on my radar!  It amazed me what people would put on their table to sell, and I was even more amazed by what people would buy.

I guess if I was one of these guys, I would have made this purchase too, and for the low price of $5, they have a great story to tell for quite some time to come!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I hate to piggyback on another blogger's post, but I want to add my two cents to a post by Brigid at HOTR earlier this week discussing attributes of the Springfield Armory XD/XDM series of pistols.

Like many, I have always had and will always have an affinity for the 1911 pistol.  I have had several, but I currently find myself without a 1911 of any kind.  It's the features of the 1911, (external hammer and safety) that appealed to me in my first polymer pistol, the H&K USP in 9mm.  With the USP, I had a lighter polymer carry weapon, high capacity magazine, a tough matte finish, and grip angle and feel that was better than the Glock.  My one and only complaint with the USP was the polygonal rifling made the use of cast lead bullets a problem for practice shooting.

My next polymer pistol was a Glock 20 in 10mm.  I have long since traded away the Glock, but I still have an interest in the 10mm cartridge.  The 10mm is like lightning in a bottle, with the ability to load them 15+ in the magazine and a muzzle velocity of around 1300 fps with 170 gr bullet.

As Brigid discussed, the Glock has to be one of the most recognizable and used polymer guns in the market, but to me, is about ad natural and comfortable as trying to grip and hold a 2 X 4 pine board.  That seems to be one of the most common complaints of most shooters of the Glock.

After I finished my weekly mowing and yard work yesterday, I decided to fire up the grill and throw on some pork chops.  As I was waiting for the coals to burn, I decided to try a little "back yard ballistics" or recoil therapy.  What ever we call it, I hadn't fired a weapon since cold weather was here.  I decided to set up a target and fire of a magazine or two, just to see how rusty I have become since last summer.

Springfield Armory XDm 9mm and XDm .40 S&W

I have a couple of XDm pistols that I have been shooting off and on now for about a year or so.  I got the .40 S&W first, and I liked how it shot so well that I had to buy and try the 9mm.  I have also been trying to find a good practice/target load for both calibers since I started shooting them.  As you will see from my target, I believe I have something that will group well in 9mm, but the .40 S&W will need a little more experimentation.

I had a pretty good group going with the 9mm with 19/20 in the black.  

My group with the .40 S&W was a little sloppier with 17/17 in black, but several shots out in the 8 ring.
I figure, by the time I get through this box of ammo, those groups will be a little tighter and my muscle-memory will be back to the level that I can place may shots where I want rather than close to where I want them.  No doubt, the XDm can do it's part even if I can't always do mine!  If time allows, I might even try some of the F.A.S.T. drills that I've been reading about over at from ToddG.

Now, get out and shoot!
Blue Steel

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Cincinnati from the "Purple Bridge" walkway.

Back from my work update training in Covington, KY.  I got a chance to try the Skyline chili thing ... meh, I wasn't impressed.  This is a picture of my chili 5-way that I tried.  It looks more appetizing than it actually was.

Monday night, the company that was providing the training took a group of us out to restaurant in Newport that was quite nice.  Hofbrauhaus in Newport is a German style beer hall with what I assume is a traditional German style menu.  It reminded me of a more upscale German version of Hooters with young waitresses dressed in a Bavarian style uniform with their assets adding to the atmosphere.
I would recommend Hofbrauhaus if your ever in the Cincinnati/Covington area.

Yesterday, the company trainers held a session at the Kentucky Motor Speedway.  I'm not a big NASCAR racing fan, but was interesting to see the track and be in the pit area.

There wasn't many race teams there yesterday, but we did get a tour of the facilities with all the new updates that they are trying to finish before the next race date.  The track was recently purchased by a man who already owns seven other track around the country.  I could believe that the guy spent 19 million just on the parking lot.  That's mind boggling to me.

I can also say that I have actually driven around a race track.  The only exception to that statement is I was sitting in the second seat from the front of an old school bus loaded with 25 other guys. it only took us 3.5 minutes to complete the mile and a half track.  A big differnce considering that the track record is 221 mph in 24 seconds.

Try to stay cool,
Blue Steel

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Info Dump

I don't know if I will ever get the hang of regular blogging.  I seem to have so much going on that I don't have time to write things down, yet I almost always have time to read my favorite blog writers.  I guess lack-of-time is a good excuse to procrastinate, but it sure doesn't make for very exciting reading when post every "once in a blue moon."  I do have several things to mention, so I'll start in a descending chronological order.

Tomorrow, my work has me headed out of town for some required training.  The training is a requirement, but I don't mind it because I get to visit with some of my colleagues from around the state and there are sure to be some good stories shared around the dinner table along with adult refreshments at the end of the day.  The training sessions have always been held in a the relatively central location of Louisville, but this year, the training will take place in Covington.  This change of location will add about an hour and half onto my already three - four hour drive.  I dread it because the summer heat and humidity have moved in and stalled, giving us heat advisories for the next couple of days.

  Extreme heat has a way of finding the weaknesses in automobile components.  I would sure hate to have a breakdown between points A and B with 90+ degree temperatures and heat indices near 100, so I went and had a tune-up/oil change yesterday in preparation for the trip.
When I'm away from home and in a new area, I like to go out and explore the sites and activities just to kill time and enjoy the scenery.  Since it's going to be so hot and uncomfortable, I doubt I'll do much over the next 3-4 days.  The company presenting the training usually entertains us pretty well after-hours and one of the activities mentioned was a Cincinnati Reds baseball game.  I have just about as much interest in baseball as I have in being shot in the ass with brass tacks!

I do intend to try one of Cincinnati's well known eateries before I head back home.  I understand that Cincinnati is famous for Skyline Chili and Skyline makes some of the best chili that be had.  I like good chili, and I like to believe that I make some really good chili myself.  I guess I'll find out if Skyline has anything to worry about if I decide to start a chili parlor of my own!

Good fences make good neighbors

Earlier in the week, I had several honey-do projects that needed to get done.  As I was working my way down the list, I thought I would go ahead and knock out a few other tasks that I needed to finish, one of which was yard mowing.  In Kentucky, when the days and nights are both hot and humid, the fescue grass that is common in most rural yards grow so fast that you can wear a mower out trying to keep up.  I had all but finished mowing my yard when I had a breakdown.  Thursday evening after work, I repaired my mower and finished my mowing.  As I was about to but my mower away, my neighbor's nine year old son was waving and saying something, but I couldn't hear him over the engine of my mower.  I rode over close to him and shut down my mower and asked him what was up.  Now, my neighbors are the type of people that you really don't want as neighbors.  Let me give you a little insight into my neighbors with a simple bulleted list:

  • 6 dogs that live under the house.
  • 2 broke down vehicles in the yard
  • 140 combined IQ between the the adults in the home
  • 1 International tractor as the main source of transportation (because man of the house lost license due to DUI)
  • 3 packs of cigarretes smoked each day
  • 12-24 cans of bear consumed each day
  • 2 kids with 0 chance of breaking the  cycle of ignorance and government dependence.
This is as good of a picture as I could find to represent what their yard still looks like.
The boy asked me if I would mind mowing their yard since there mower had quite running.  I told him that I would mow his yard if he would pick up all the toys, tools, trash and other stuff that the dogs, kids, and parents had laying around so that I wouldn't tear up my mower in process of cutting their grass.  He said he would ask his mom ( who was sitting in the house doing who-knows-what) if it would be ok.  A minute later, the boy comes back out and says, "mom said you can come over tomorrow and mow, she doesn't want to pick the stuff up out of the yard now cause it's too hot."  I thought, "I don't mind helping people out, but I'll be damn if I pick up their messy yard just so I can mow it for them too!"  So, I told the kid, well, I'm mowing today, not tomorrow so I guess you'll have to wait.  

More to come, hopefully in smaller and more frequent posts,
Blue Steel

Monday, May 16, 2011

Home Again!

This is not a river or lake, it is actually a crop field.
 Since my last post, the rivers in my area flooded and rose to levels that hadn't been seen in this area since 1937.  The Ohio river crested in the area at 55 feet above flood stage.  My wife and were cut off from our usual routes to work due to water over the roads, which caused us to have to drive 40-50 mile detour.  This was an inconvenience for us at the worst, however, gasoline spiked to a high of $3.99 at one point during the last two weeks.  That created an instant drop in income for our family.  Fortunately, my parents live on the side of the river that wasn't disrupted by detours, so we went and stayed with them for the last 10 work days.
There should be corn at least two feet high in this field.
 Let me tell you, living back home was a serious shift back in time.  Except for Direct TV, it was like living at home in the 80's.  No Internet, little to cellphone service, a nosey and overbearing mother, a dad who would spend most of his time outside until being forced in by sunset.  It's been 16 years since I moved out and I can happily say unless another catastrophic flood occurs and the same time gasoline prices escalate through the roof, I believe I can wait another 16 years!
This picture is the flood water on the roadside coming home tonight.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad my parents welcomed us in to help save us lots of time and money for our work commute ... but jeesh my mom can still go from zero to nag in 2.5 seconds.

All last week, the flood water began to fall out, uncovering the roads to home and allowing to come back Friday night after work.  It sure is good to be home.  School has been out for the last two weeks, but it was back in session today.  My son was NOT happy.  He was under the impression that school was just going to stay out for the summer.  Unfortunately for him, they will be in session until June 3 and the instructional day will be extended by and hour.  

Again, we were very fortunate and only inconvenienced at the very worst.  There are many families who have lost possessions, homes, pets, crops and much more.  The worst part of the flooding is the fact that water runs down-stream, and all the good people living along the Mississippi river are now getting the excess water that we have been dealing with.  They are situated much lower than many of us in the hilly country here in Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.  

Before we all know it, it will be mid-summer, and it will be dry as a bone and we will be wishing we could get a little rain, just not a months worth in just a few days!

Ya'll have a good week,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Two Feet High and Rising

The water is rising here in my part of the Bluegrass for sure!  I live in the western part of Kentucky, which is a very beautiful part of the state because it has many attributes that other parts of the bluegrass has as well.  However, one of the negatives to living in the western part of Kentucky is the fact that the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers converge into the Ohio river and the Ohio converges into the Mississippi river.  All these river cause major problems when we get lots and lots of rain.  What's worse is when other parts of the country get lots of rain upstream from us.  Because of our location and the multiple rivers converging in a very short distance of each other, flooding becomes a very common occurrence.  One of the words floods that was documented and still remembered by some was the great flood of 1937.  

Before TVA came into western Kentucky and built the Kentucky and Barkley Dams, there wasn't much that could be done in the way of flood control.  Once those two dams were built, creating the Kentucky and Barkley lakes, along with other dams built on the river-ways, flooding became a bit more predictable and manageable.  As with anything that is man-made, mother nature can show us that she is the one who is in control.  When excessive amounts of rainfall come, and the lakes fill to the point that the dams can't contain the water and the excess rushes over the closed spillways into the already swollen rivers, we get dramatic floods.

In Paducah, the Tennessee river converges with the Ohio river.  The 1937 flood made a mess of the old downtown portion of Paducah, with water getting high enough to fill the first floor of most of the buildings.  There are reminders of the '37 flood as well as other previous floods still in downtown Paducah today.

Market House - Downtown Paducah, 1937

This is what the market house in downtown Paducah looked like with the '37 flood water.  This building is about one block from the Ohio river.

Market House - Downtown Paducah 2008
This is the same market house building from the above picture as it looks today.  It is currently used as a museum and theater. 

In a couple of places along the riverfront in the downtown area, these high water makers are visible on the original buildings that are still standing since the '37 flood.  If you click on the picture, you can see the highest water level measures 60.8 feet.  The last report that I heard yesterday, the Ohio is predicted to crest at 55 feet by mid-day April 27.  Paducah now has flood walls and gates around the city to help protect downtown from ever getting flooded again, but I believe I heard the news people say yesterday that the flood wall was only rated to 52 feet.
1937 Flood level 60.8 feet

This is a picture taken today of the Ohio river showing the Illinois side of the river.  If you look close at the picture on the right side half-way down, you can see a towboat and a bunch of river barges.  They are actually tied to the river bank and all the other water is flood water. 

The picture below is Paducah which is actually across the river from the picture on the right.

 As I sit here and type, I'm listening to the radio and the local weather service just came on an issued a severe weather/tornado warning for my county and the surrounding counties.  I hope I sleep through all the weather tonight, just like I have the last two rough storms we've had in as many days.

I hope all of my blog friends out there remain safe and secure if any of this global warming weather is headed your way or already past through your area.

Be safe,
Blue Steel

Monday, March 14, 2011

There is a man who lives in my area that has the reputation for being one of the best shooters around.  He is extremely proficient in shooting handguns and shotguns, but he is especially well known for his ability to shoot  rifles at long ranges.  I, like many others in my little part of the world, have heard many stories about this man's ability to shoot a rifle at ranges many people around here find unbelievable.  I was lucky enough to meet him about 7-8 years ago.  I got a shooting education.  

This man has forgot more about shooting than I will ever know.  He owned a big farm that ran along the Ohio river.  On a bare strip of ground that paralleled the river, he had a 5'X10' steel plate set at 1000 yards.  When I first went with him to this range, we sat at a solid built bench that he had set in concrete, and looking down at the far end of the field/range was a small white speck... the 5'X10' target.  My new friend and shooting mentor set up the bench with rifles rests, spotting scope, custom loaded ammo, and a Winchester model 70 Laredo rifle in .300 Winchester Magnum.  Until this point, if I shot anything up to 100 yards and hit it, I thought I was doing great.  

On this day, my friend told me I was going to shoot and hit that steel target at the far end of the field that I could only barely see with the naked eye.  As he coached me through the proper way to grip, hold, aim, steady, and fire that big ole' .300 Win Mag, after about 2-3 seconds, I heard the faint ring of bullet impact on steel.  This first exposure to long range shooting was all it took for my desire to root and grow.  I have since fired many, many more long range shots on that range and with my friend.  It is because of this that I have the greatest respect for the men in the following story.  What I have learned to do for fun and as a hobby, these men, as well as others in various branches of military service, do to protect their fellow soldiers and to keep the bad guys out of our own back yards.  

Dead Men Risen: The snipers' story

I certainly thank the men who shoot long range to keep us all safe from evil.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I can prove anything by statistics except the truth. George Canning

Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico

ATF agent says "Fast and Furious" program let guns "walk" into hands of Mexican drug cartels with aim of tracking and breaking a big case

This story was just posted on Drudge Report this evening.  As I read how an ATFE agent has turned to whistle-blower over being order by his superiors to allow weapons to cross into Mexico and be used against innocent people on both sides of the border.  I wonder how many of these same weapons have been used to inflate the numbers of weapons that are supposed to have been recovered from cartels working on the border.  It sure makes it easier for Mayor Bloomberg and his cronies to blame innocent gun owners and try to enforce new pointless gun laws when the people who are parading statistics to support their own agenda are actually boosting the numbers to support their cause.  

Imagine a politician doing that.

Blue Steel

Sunday, February 27, 2011

One Finger Wave

My wife and I have been slowly fixing our house up to get it ready to market and sell.  There was a home and garden show in the little town close to us this weekend, so we decided to go for a little while yesterday to see if we could get some ideas on what to do with our house and maybe meet a contractor willing to do some of the work that we aren't able to do ourselves.  As we were walking around the show, there were several booths that were there just for "filler," booths that sold silver jewelry, German roasted pecans, and such.  As I walked by a booth that had 3-4 women standing around all dressed in uniform-style khaki pants and black polo shirts, one of the ladies said, "excuse me sir," so I stopped long enough to hear her hook.  This is where things went terribly wrong, because what she said and what I thought she said was way different.

Lady at show: ( In a low quiet voice) "Sir, can I check your posture?"

Me: (confused, with a big grin on my dumb face) "I'm sorry ma'am, what did you say?"

Lady at show: "Would you like your posture checked?"

Me: (bigger grin on my dumb face) "Ma'am, I'm embarrassed to say this, but, can I tell you what I thought you said?"

Lady at show: (cautiously agreeing) "What did you think I said?"

Me: I thought you said, "sir, can I check your prostate!"

Lady at show: (now red-faced from embarrassment) OH NO, I don't think we want to do that!!!

Me: Absolutely not, there's way too many people standing around! LOL :-)

My wife was not amused by my interaction with this poor woman who was very concerned about my poor posture.  Other than that, the home and garden show was a major flop.

Ya'll have a good week.
Blue Steel

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Few Pictures from the Kid Rock Concert on 2/18

Kid Rock out on the stage.
I took a few shaky cell phone pictures while at the Kid Rock concert.  I'm gonna have to get me a good little point-n-shoot camera to take to my next concert event.

Jamey Johnson Looks like he's pointing a pistol.

I am easily impressed, so I was drawn in to watching the propane fueled flame throwers on the stage and around the band.

 A couple of times, I thought that Old Glory might have ignited, but we were all reasonably safe.  There was some dude standing beneath the flags acting as a "fire watch."

I didn't get a picture of the lady who had already started the party before she got to the show.  My wife and I got to the show a little late, and we was rushing in to find our seats.  Our tickets had the section, isle and seat numbers listed, but it was so dark that after we found the section we was supposed to be in, we just grabbed the first 2 open seats that we found.  We we sat down, the lady to the left of my wife immediately hugged my wife around the neck and said in a slurry drunk southern voice; "I'm so glad you sat be me, your mind kind of people."  I thought my wife knew her, but nope, she was a complete stranger.  She was very anxious for Kid Rock to come out out on stage.  My wife said that she was graphically describing all the things that she wanted to do to Kid Rock and all the things that wanted Kid Rock to do back to her.  My wife said that at one point, the woman had her boobs out.  I missed that part of the show.

After the show, almost the entire arena headed to the local bars in downtown Nashville.  The police had Broadway blocked to all traffic.  It wasn't a very good picture but you could only see a giant wave of people headed down the street.

Saturday morning, after the train went through and gave us our wake-up call, we decided to get some breakfast.  We had been looking to forward to going to a place in Nashville that a friend of ours took us to once before called Loveless Cafe.

If your ever in Nashville and want to have some good southern style home cooking, try out Loveless Cafe.  It is a bit out of the way, but it is very easy to get to from downtown.  The first thing they bring out to your table is their famous biscuits served with fresh strawberry, peach, and blackberry jam.  It is almost a meal alone.

This is what I was hoping to enjoy after a late night of concert going!
Country ham, eggs, and homemade biscuits... a little red eye gravy and I would have been a happy man!

Unfortunately, I think everyone else in Nashville had the same idea and was wanting some good ham eggs just like we was, and there were people standing and waiting in line to get in.  I was too hungry to wait in a long line, so this is what we was able to get instead  :-(


Ya'll have a good week!

Blue Steel