29 April 2007

Guns VII

Last night I got into the break-top S&W from earlier. I want to bring her back to life, you see.

below, inside.

below, outside.

and, finally...

It amazes me what they were capable of doing with steel over 110 years ago, without all of that equipment that makes my own work so much easier.

25 April 2007


While at MCC for the 50th anniversary celebration Saturday.

Do you like trees as much as I?
The Druids believed that rebirth as a tree was the highest form of reincarnation.

23 April 2007


A few pictures a few years old.

All taken at or en route to the bus stop.

22 April 2007

Guns VI

All those present are still with us.

Thinking about family these days... those who are no longer present.

I remember the one time I went out to shoot skeet. My dad took me out to Missouri Bottoms Gun Club with his Beretta and the Winchester he had bought for me. I had a blast. I believe we went with Mr. Crowley and his son. No relation to Ozzy. That was the only time I have ever fired either of these two shotguns. It must have been '86 or so. I'm pretty sure I was in 7th grade. Right when he moved back to St. Louis from Winchester Wisconsin.

Above: Dad and me. Approx 1974.

Below: Dad. Approx the same time. Still in Troy, MO I believe.I don't know what rank that is he's wearing (maj?), but he ended as a LTC when he left the service in about '82.

His Beretta BL-3. As a 7th grader, I remember it kicking pretty hard.

My Winchester Ranger 140. 20ga. Sem-automatic. Long, but fairly lightweight.

I remember that it was a lot of fun.

Grammy IV

It's been a bit busy around here.

Thursday we took the kids down to the home to see Grammy. Her condition had only been getting worse.

I don't know why all of that visiting seems to be exhausting, what with mostly just sitting there, but it is.

While getting ready for bed, the phone rang. I was told that the home had called and Grammy had passed. We headed down to the home.

We arrived to find her still breathing. They said that she had stopped breathing so they called, but when they went to arrange her and tuck her in, she began to breathe again. We were there with family until about midnight.

Friday night Misty and I went down there. We took some new pictures of the kids for her wall. She helped to turn her which they were doing often because she had begun to get bedsores. She wouldn't squeeze my hand anymore and her hand was bluish and rather cold.

She used to always wear a small bell on a chain around her neck. A lucky bell. I could hear her approaching. When I was gradeschool age, I used to sit in her lap and she'd let me ring it.

Saturday morning as I prepared for work, the phone rang. This time it was real. I called off of work and went down to be with my mom and aunt Murry.

Grammy will be buried in Jefferson Barracks memorial cemetary, directly on top of Papa. She had paid extra to have him buried deep so that she could do it.

They will be together again.

18 April 2007

Guns V

Next, I thought I'd talk about my smallest.
It's a North American Arms .32 ACP Guardian.
I bought it off of Gunbroker for about $185 plus shipping plus transfer fee plus background check fee. Still a decent price.

Plenty of fun to shoot at short range, but I understand why the Gutter Snipe sights would be useful. I was thinking about doing a "melt" job at the shop.

Above; on the lanai table.
Below; where it belongs.

Fits pretty nicely into the coin pocket on many of my pants. Not all, though, so I am looking for an IWB (inside the waistband) holster for those circumstances.

Grammy III

She’s on Atavan now. I suppose it’s like being mildly sedated, so that she doesn’t have to be so anxious, upset, and scared. Unfortunately, we can all only guess at what is going on inside her mind. Is her behavior sub- or even unconscious? Is it a conscious reaction to the effects of the final stages of Alzheimer’s on her brain?
Well, she looked much more comfortable than last time I saw her. She was holding onto a purple teddy bear, still in the fetal position but much more peaceful.

This was always on their dresser. The Edelweiss collar doesn't give away her German heritage, does it? Her parents came over from Germany. They owned a coal mine in Illinois and had ten (10!!!) children. Her mother would not allow them to speak English (which they learned in school) in the house.
1910... She has lived through a lot. World War I. Prohibition. The Great Depression. The Hindenburg Disaster. World War II. The Golden '50s. Korea. Vietnam. The foundation and dissolution of the Soviet Union. Both Iraq wars. 17 U.S. Presidents. The entire history of civil aviation.

16 April 2007

Grammy II

Went to see her again last night. She took a little water from her sponge, which she hadn't done all day.

I told her that if I thought she'd drink it, I'd sneak her in a shot of Jack Daniel's. For medicinal purposes.

She always had a bottle in the kitchen pantry. She'd pour a little bit into one of her sherry glasses and sip it when she had digestive troubles. I never saw her drink otherwise.

When she was 16, prohibition was on. Her 19 year old friend took her to a speakeasy. I remember her telling me about that and laughing in that way that you can almost see someone reliving the whole event in their head. She never told me that she was 16, I guess because I was a kid, but my mom told me that part last night.

Regarding the wedding day pic : They met about 6 months before he went off to the war in Europe. He wanted to get married before he left, but she refused. She told him to come back and then they would talk about it again.
One day, 5 years later, she was looking down from her balcony apartment on Delmar (a street in St. Louis) to where the trollys let out just down the road and saw a lone soldier get off the car. He looked around, getting his bearings, and then headed straight toward her building. She recognized him by the particular way he held his right hand when he walked.
He did what he had to. He converted from methodist to catholic and she married him.

I sure am glad that all worked out!

15 April 2007

Guns IV (or, How I Learned to Love not Trading)

The other guy called off the trade.


I would have done it, but I would have regretted it. Fair enough trade, but I'd have missed her!

...so I still need to get a S&W model 60, if anyone out there doesn't want theirs anymore.

Brew VI

Well, I bottled the mead too early. What didn't explode had to be put in the fridge to stop the secondary fermentation from getting carried away. Now I have a few bottles of bubbly, sweet mead. Not too bad, but not what I wanted.

As for the "live fast, die young". It died young alright. I did not boil it to see what difference it made. It was like sniffing a flower shop, I swear! BIG nose. Quite dry. Perhaps it should have lived longer if only to see its potential.

The cherry/white grape only made 2 bottles. I drank the first at bottling time and it was surprisingly good. The other is in the cellar (closet) waiting for Misty. It's a light pink color, reminiscent of a very pale WZin.

Reverend Olson's Chapple Wine was a hit for all who tried it. Perhaps next cherry season I'll make a full 5 or 6 instead of just 1 gallon.

We drank a bottle from the citrus flor (renamed "Sunshine Citrus") early- it's not cleared and was kind of harsh. It was really good for such a young drink. I look forward to drinking it as soon as I start making another batch next January or so.

The Strapple is sitting contently in the corner not bothering anyone. Waiting patiently. Looking tasty.

The pyment was quite good. Dry, but fruity. Big concord flavor, maybe would age out if I let it.

I started a "Big Pink Grapefruit" back at the Vernal Equinox. It's a varietal because all the fruit came from one tree. I used more juice than most recipes call for and just a touch more sugar as well. 1.5 gallons juice, 10 lbs white sugar, 2 lbs brown, 2 packets Premier Cuvee yeast to make 6 gallons. We'll see!

Guns III

A continuance of Guns II.

As you can see below, it is no longer rusted shut. It is also not yet in any sort of shape to be fired, but I hope to remedy that and take it out to Bob's ranch for a test firing session.

There's also this next photo. I almost forgot about it. Bob found this at the flea market and said the very first thing he thougt was "Arn".

Guns II

I'll be meeting tomorrow to look at making that trade. I'm sure I'll miss the Winchester if it goes through, but maybe I'll add a semi-auto to replace her later.

Anyway, all this gun-think has led me to post another picture and probably another and another and another... ad absurdum...

I'll start with my oldest: a gift from Bob. About a year ago and for about 3 years, I ran the night shift at the shop where I work. He was my press brake operator. Quite a guy. Before I show the gun, I'll show some Bob related pics:

This is a part Bob bent up. Good work, Bob!

This is Bob's car (one of them). It's a Zimmer. He likes to call it "Big Shiny Red".

This is Bob's lawn mower for the new ranch.

While he was packing up and moving out to the ranch, Bob came across this revolver. It was rusted shut and well pitted, but he knew I'd see the beauty in it. He was right. I do like my Smiths! This gun was one of the only things Bob got from his dad's estate before his uncle came in and swiped it all.

to be continued...

13 April 2007


Wedding day, 1946. My maternal grandparents. "Grammy and Papa" She was born in 1910, and he in 1914 (if I remember correctly).
He was a big fan of Pavarotti and would sit in his recliner and sing along sometimes after dinner. While I was on gradeschool spring break with my dad in the mid-80s he died of heart failure.
She always spoke plainly about dying. Maybe after he was gone, she realized her children were grown and the rest of life was just waiting around- I don't really know because we were all sort of wierded out by the way she would talk and never really talked with her about it.
Misty and I went to see her with my mom a couple of nights ago. She hardly looks like herself. She was always small, but now she's not eating and has become tiny- and the effect is magnified by the fact that she lies in the fetal position. It's hard for me to see her that way. I remember her best working in the kitchen after I got out of school. She was always making something for someone and she was great at it. The alzheimer's disease took most of her away a long time ago, and it just isn't stopping.
I've missed her for a long time.

12 April 2007

Considering a Trade...

I always get so emotional. I don't know if I can let her go.
Winchester 1300 Defender. We bought it new at the first gun show Misty and I ever went to together. I have added the sidesaddle, heatshield, and pressure switch mini-mag light.
Factory black synthetic stock. 12 ga. 8rds, magnum capable.
But the Smith and Wesson model 60 is a classic. I'd probably use it more, too. Plus it's just like my old Chief's Special, but made Florida-friendly by stainless steel.
I have to go, I'm feeling nauseous.

11 April 2007

No, I haven't forgotten about the blog

I just forgot to download my photos. I also haven't taken too many so far this year.

So....... here is a selection of pictures from the last couple of weeks:

Candle. Duh!

Mantle. My mom gave us the prayer flags. They were blessed by the Dalai Lama. My dad bought the brass table in Iran while in the Air Force in the '80s. I bought the KwanYin for Misty and she got me the Buddah.

Kevin's shined shoes. All dressed up and only the Military Ball to attend.