Friday, December 30, 2016


Went to see the new star wars movie, in 3D. Usually the only movies I go to the theater for are sci-fi 3D movies. Movie was pretty good. No Ja Ja Binks type nonsense. The cool part was, they totally redid the theater. Prices were the same. I went to matinee since I was off and got in for $6 which isn't bad for the 3D deal on a new release. They had free popcorn as well. I go in and it is amazing. The new seats are electric leather like recliners. Dual personal cup holders. They retract to the point you are lying down. Separate head rest control. Lots of room, including leg room as aisle was made wider as well. Made it through movie without going to sleep, so that was good as well.

Christmas was fun. Went up and saw family and friends. Truck decided to eat some stuff on the way up, so that was some fun I didn't count on. Got a tow a quarter of the way up to my brothers place. Og and my brother gave a big hand and after a new battery and alternator, all was well again. Ate up most of a day I had planned on roaming the local gunstores with my brother and Og, but, we managed to get a couple in on Christmas eve. Have to get up there a day or two earlier next year. Big thanks again to my brother and Og for all the help, especially on a holiday. The alternator must have cooked the headlights as they were very dim after the repairs were made. I changed them out when I got home.

Got to see my grandbaby for his first Christmas. Totally awesome. He was having more fun with the boxes and wrapping paper than the presents, but he was happy and that is what counts. Growing like a weed. My son bought a new to him truck. Nice. They are doing great and are fantastic parents. I wish it was half as easy to photograph and video kids when mine was growing up. With modern digital photography and facebook, it is sooo convenient and easy. I get to see the grandkid grow as well as they frequently post updated videos and pictures. Not the same as being there, but still good.     

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Bricks are back :)

Hit the big gun store down in Owensboro today. They have various brands of .22 by the brick again, and no limits anymore. Awesome. Picked up a couple bricks and checked out the store. They have moved everything around and are working on another huge expansion. They are already the biggest gun store I have ever been in, not sure what they are doing there. Maybe putting in a range. They have silencers on the shelf now as well. Had a larger crowd than I expected seeing as how it is a weekday.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Spikes checkup

Headed to the vet this morning to drop Spike off for his checkup and vaccinations. It is around all the shopping centers. Time to kill, I go to Best Buy and a few other stores. Exactly one week before Christmas, I am expecting a crowd. Lines everywhere. Nope. Yesterday was 67 degrees out. Today, below freezing, a few snow flakes here and there, and, some ice. This seems to be enough to get most people to stay home and indoors. Works for me. I sailed through the line at a couple stores I hit, picked up Spike and headed home. Nice big vat of chili cooking on the stove. Make some cornbread in a few hours and chill out for a bit. I just wanted something for the new grandkid to tear open, everyone else gets gift cards, so I am pretty much done shopping. Can't wait to see the little rugrat again. He is looking much bigger already.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

New addition to the M1 family

A buddy at work told me about a .22 M1 Garand he saw at the local gun store. It is just a modern replica of a Garand in .22, but, it looks and feels cool. Had to have it. Used Ruger magazines, and I saw online where they have the extended magazines for it. They have a M1 magazine over it, which makes it look like a M1A. It will be a fun little plinker. I hit the gun show up again and picked up a case of 1000 9mm ammo. With the 800 from yesterday, I am now restocked for a while. If the drizzle ever quits, I can take the 9mm AR to the range for some fun.

Here is the M1 in .22 on top, M1 Garand , M1A, and my M1 carbine on the bottom. Hope to get a full auto M2 in a year or two to finish out the line up. M14 would be cool, but probably kick like a mule.

This is  a close up of the magazine on the .22 caliber rifle. They were out of the extended magazines, so I will hit up another store tomorrow to see if I can lay my hands on one. It was 67 degrees today, but drizzly. Suppose to cool off tomorrow for a bit. Back up again early in the week though. Hopefully it will dry up a bit. Want to get some range time in while I am off. I remembered to pick up some more ammo for my broomhandle and the m1 carbine while at show. Precision cartridge doesn't advertise them online, but they actually reload a lot of odd wartime calibers.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Finally, vacation time

We are officially done working for the year :)  Got off work and headed to the gun show. Precision ammo reloaders had a booth set up. They are located in Hobart Indiana, near my old homestead, now the other end of the state. I couldn't resist restocking some supplies. Picked up some 9mm and some 45acp. I was just about out of 45 and running low on the 9mm. With the new 9mm AR, I wanted to get stocked up. May hit it up again tomorrow and pick up another 1000 rounds. Want to pop over to one of the local gun shops as well this weekend. Buddy at work told me they have a .22 Garand for sale. Not an old trainer, but a new manufactured rifle that looks just like a garrand, but is a .22 cal. I have to check it out. I found it online, and it looks pretty cool. It feels good to have some down time. I am ready for a bit of rest and recreation.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Long week ahead

Last week before a two week vacation. It is going to be a long, slow week. May have to make Friday a half a day. Still have a half personal day hanging out there. Thursday is a Christmas luncheon which breaks up the week a bit.
So far, no snow :) I couldn't be happier on that front. Overcast and a bit damp, but no ugly white stuff. Hopefully be another couple weeks before I have to deal with that stuff. Shovel is out on the deck just in case. We usually only have to contend with a couple real snow storms a year. Usually melts off in a day or two.  Best perk about moving down here. Grew up in northwest Indiana, where you got the evil lake effect snow. Usually starts early winter and stays through early spring. Don't miss that at all. No snow blower, only shovel a couple times a year. Still a couple times too many. Figure after retirement, I can move to the south side of the Ohio river. Keep going until I hit the zero number of snow storms :)
Next weekend is the last local gun show for this year. Great way to start vacation. Mid vacation, go up and visit my brother, my son and his girl, my new grandson (first Christmas), and hopefully visit with the Og clan. Hoping on a snow free Christmas, but don't really expect one. Doesn't make the long boring drive very pleasant.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

How cool would it be.

You now have a republican controlled house, senate and one in the White House. Trump has already turned down the salary for being president. He is a billionaire and doesn't really need security once retired from being president. Currently, Obama is seeking to increase the annual retirement benefit to him and all retired presidents. People on Social Security get screwed every year on increases and threatened with cut backs at every turn. How cool would it be for Trump to cut back on some of the waste. Like, severely reduce the salary and benefits of retired presidents. Limit the Secret Service protection to just the president and first lady after they retire, not their offspring.  Or get rid of it all together, as they are retired. Major savings. I don't have a personal security detail and they are always looking to disarm the civilians. Instead of increasing the salary per their request, reduce it. They aren't exactly living in poverty and think nothing of cutting social security. It would be great to reduce the pension for retired congress critters as well, but you would never get that approved as the ones effected would be the ones voting on it. But, cutting the expense of retired presidents would be totally doable. It would probably resonate well with the general public as well. Could always put a provision on the ballot and have all people of every state vote to reduce congress critters pay by a certain percentage and then tie future raises to the same percentage they give people on Social Security. May give them insensitive to fix Social Security. Makes no sense to let them vote their own pay raises. I would love to be able to set mine. I would definitely be able to retire early.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mixed opinions

We lost a lot of jobs over the last several years in the area. Good paying jobs. Living wage jobs. They moved Whirlpool to Mexico. Not once have I heard anyone say "thank God they moved my job to Mexico". Instead, a lot of families were tearful, wondering what they were going to live on. Where they were going to go. How they were going to be able to survive. I work with a few of them that came to work for our company when that occurred. The large number of people displaced by the closure were not absorbed by the industry in the area as there just weren't enough skilled openings available.

Recently, they closed most of the Alcoa facility, jobs again leaving the country. My neighbor and his family that live across the street from me were in tears. He was out of work for several months. He found a job to get by recently. He now has to travel forty five minutes each way. It doesn't pay near what he was making, and he gets to work 12 hour shifts that rotate between day and night shift with a one or two day break between swings. Most of his coworkers are still out of work.

Thanks to Obama's "lets put coal miners out of work" plan, most of the mines are being shut down. More people out of work, as well as a lot of the skilled labor that supports those jobs. Again, we hired a mere couple of people out of one of the coal company repair facilities as apprentices for the shop. They got a significant pay decrease and must go to school while working. And again, there are NOW, even less companies to hire the people put out of work as we have lost several industries to this loss of jobs. Hopefully, this part may recover somewhat as Trump will probably roll back a lot of the EPA regs that killed the coal industry down here.

It aggravates me to the core to hear idiots say that the jobs leaving the country are of little value. They are blue collar jobs nobody wants. Bullshit. There are a lot of people effected with each company moving jobs out of country. Many skilled high paying jobs. Many regular blue collar jobs. A whole bunch of supporting industry that supports these jobs. It devastates areas.

I for one, applaud the efforts of Trump for at least trying to salvage some jobs. I would like to see NAFTA scrapped altogether. A lot more jobs probably could have been kept in country simply by telling Carrier that we would be looking elsewhere for products they currently supply to the government, instead of the tax incentives he gave. That also would send a better message to other companies that are relocating overseas.

Labor is only one of many reasons companies go overseas. Regulations on industry in the USA are beyond ridiculous. Anyone that has to deal with OSHA knows how ridiculous they can get with some regulations. Not knocking OSHA, as it is necessary to get companies to comply with a safe environment, but, they take it to ridiculous and ludicrous levels on many of their regulations. It is easier to have a company out of country to get around this.

Another company killing regulation system is ISO 900X. Every year the number changes as do the stupid rules. We are a tool and die shop. We manufacture molds and rebuild molds for our plastics plants throughout the USA, as well as other companies. With ISO rules, every gage block, pin, micrometer, and measuring device of every type HAS to be sent out annually for "calibration" and certified, and recertified every single year. A lot of the stuff sent out is used in a crude fashion during setup. Almost every single thing we make is of high enough precision, it has to be measured and documented (in ISO fashion) on a CMM and paperwork accompanies part as well as filed for our use. So, as stated, most of the blocks and pins and such are for reference on the floor as the CMM is the final check. This does not matter to the ISO rules. What does this mean. Every single thing gets certified annually at great cost and inconvenience as the tools are missing from service during calibration period. If one of these items is off by so much as .0001", if fails and has to be replaced per ISO regulations. One member came up with a cost savings idea. Throw out the sets of pins and gages and buy new every year. Actually would be less costly than certifying tools and replacing individual gage pins and blocks. Nope. They found out this year that even brand new, name brand gages have to be certified. The certificates that come with the new gages is not good enough. The US is way over regulated. ISO is international, but the way it is handled in the US, I would probably move a company out of country if I had to adhere to these stupid regulation. We lose hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to this alone.

I value my blue collar job as do all my coworkers. I once again thank Trump for making an effort to save some jobs from going out of country. I hope in the future, instead of giving tax incentives, he may use government contract loss more of a tool. After all, if Carrier pulls out of country, they are no longer an American company. If you are going to use a foreign supplier, may as well choose one that didn't leave the country. Hit them in the pocket book instead of the taxpayers pocket book. Jobs leaving the country DO MATTER, all of them. Every single one of them.