Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rivrdog's home safe

I was kinda worried when he didn't post anything for a few days; turns out he just stopped on the way home to visit his Sis and left the laptop in its bag.

Apparently some BBQ that didn't measure up to what he's had recently welcomed him home (actually, I called him last night as he was getting back to his house from that restaurant, and he said the ribs were ok, but that's about it).

He did, however, take the time to email me some pics he took of me shooting my .45, and several follow-up emails critiquing my grip and stance, so... THANKS, Rivrdog! I'll be checking and adjusting as necessary during practice in the coming days/weeks/months before my CHL re-qual, and I do indeed intend to shoot a 250 out of 250 when I renew my license, and I'll do it with full-house loads out of the .45 I carry every day.

And while we're at it - everybody send good wishes/thoughts/prayers to the RivrDaughter, who's getting the last of the reconstructive steel out of her leg tomorrow, while Rivrdog stands watch.

Democongs = Saddam's Three Stooges?

Read, and I'll leave it to you whether to laugh, weep, or just shake your head and wish we could bring back the tar and feathers (I did the latter).

Actually, I think an enthusiastic (and frequent) application of tar and feathers would probably go a long way toward fixing a lot of problems. Both with elected officials and unelected bureaucraps.

Oh boy... eggs for breakfast, meat for the stewpot, and feathers for the politicians... Chickens may replace pigs (aka bacon, sausage, pork roast, etc) as my favorite eatin' animal.

Great Thoughts

Doc Russia has a great idea about the Heller case. Go read.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

No, nothing here once I thought about it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Back to Basics

Low Ready - GO
Front Sight-Press
Front Sight-Press
Front Sight-Press
Front Sight-Press
Front Sight-Press
Low Ready - GO
Front Sight-Press
Front Sight-Press
Front Sight-Press
Front Sight-Press
Front Sight-Press

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Rebuilding my "muscle memory" to shoot accurately. It's a work in progress.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hash Browns

I haven't been doing any foodblogging lately, but when I took Rivrdog on his first trip to Cabela's Tuesday, we spotted something we both wanted to try out:

Nonpareil Dehydrated Hash Browns

Thought about it for a minute, and in all the freeze-dried meals I've had, potatoes usually reconstituted very well. At $10 for 8 boxes, each of which makes slightly more than 1 pound of hash browns, we each figured it was worth a try. I made some yesterday, while Rivrdog was out on the highway headed west, and here's my review:

As I mentioned, at Cabela's they were $9.99 for 8 boxes (net wt 4.5 oz each). From Nonpareil directly, it's $11 for 12 boxes (plus shipping). They also have a package of 6 1-gallon boxes for $28.35, if you're planning on feeding a BUNCH of people (66 3-oz servings per gallon box).

Very simple; the directions are clear and straightforward. I added a very small amount of salt and pepper, could have used a little more, but that's individual taste. I also added about 1-2 tablespoons of canola oil to the cast-iron skillet I fried them in while it was pre-heating.

I've not yet made hash browns from scratch, only from frozen, but I couldn't tell the difference between frozen and dehydrated. Quite good. Also good as leftovers - nuked some for Lisa when she got home from work last night, she agreed with the "more salt" I mentioned above, but also agreed they tasted fine. I also threw a few spoonfuls of leftovers into the skillet this morning, across from an egg and a slice of Canadian Bacon - separated from each other, but cooking/reheating simultaneously, and they were good reheated that way as well.

They come sealed in a Tetra-Pak, and do not need refrigeration prior to opening them. There is no "Best By" date on the carton. Nonpareil recommends a shelf life of 1-2 years for best taste, but says as long as they're kept dry, they won't go bad. BTW, I had to call Nonpareil to get that information - and the 800# got answered on the third ring by a HUMAN who could answer my question in unaccented English at 10:00pm Central Time - surprised the crap out of me!

Side Note:
I suspect one could closely duplicate this product by shredding peeled potatoes (either with a food processor, or using a cheese grater) and then dehydrating them on a cookie sheet in the oven on its lowest setting or by using a commercially-available dehydrator. Vacuum-sealing the dehydrated potato shreds should keep them from absorbing any moisture from the atmosphere. If my potato plants do as well as I hope this year, I'll try it once the harvest is in.

Overall Verdict:
Excellent. Cabela's was a little bit more expensive than buying them from Nonpareil's website, but still not expensive. No refrigeration needed, so excellent for storage against power outages. Does require a significant amount of heat to prepare, so keep that in mind - but could be done on a gas stove, or Coleman camp stove, even if your water heater and stove are electric. A single container weighs 5.35 ounces, and, as I said, makes just over a pound of hash browns (verified on my food prep scale), so great for backpacking. Great taste, even as leftovers.

I'll be buying more of these; they get a slot in my long-term food storage, and I KNOW I won't have a problem keeping these rotated - they're also going to go on my breakfast plate on a regular basis.

Maybe my write-in for President

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ted Nugent.
(approx 16 minutes, but it doesn't seem that long)
(appears to require Quicktime)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Farewell and Safe Travels

Rivrdog left early this morning; he's headed back home to Oregon.

I think he stayed longer than he had planned; we had a NASTY storm move through early this week (I think it's affecting places as far away as New York now).

I told him when he got here "Hospitality here is open-ended"; he wisely decided to hang around here, have a break from the road, and let this storm roll by rather than trying to drive through it.

I think we had some fun, and he's documented it pretty well. Some good food, visiting with friends, some shooting, a trip to Cabela's, and Rivrdog, Lisa and I doing some sitting/standing around and just shooting the shit with each other. Good times :)

Alex and I waved bye-bye as he left this morning in the LBT... I was sorry to see him go, but I know from personal experience, heading home is usually the best part of any trip.

Keep it between the ditches, and shiny side up, greasy side down.

Godspeed, Rivrdog, and we may be up to see you before too long :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Long Way to Go

I hate to admit it, but it's been a while since I did any shooting. Last time was using a shotgun loaded with light buckshot to "clean up" some feral dogs who had taken up residence at Dad's. Bad times, 'nuff said.

Before that, was early in Lisa's pregnancy with Alex... so over a year ago. Taking care of a wife on bed rest, then an infant, now a crawler and nearly- toddler... yeah.

So Rivrdog and I did a little shooting out at Dad's today. VERY impromptu range, but safe backstop, and it served ok.

I got to put a few rounds through Snuffy... nice, handy little rifle! Shooting from standing, with my left elbow resting on the side of my truck bed, I figured I did ok for minute-of-goblin. With an unfamiliar rifle, I'll take that. I do like that rifle though; it's accurate, low-recoil, and for a truck gun, capable of delivering a good punch.

Then I got my .45 out - my carry gun. And proceeded to suck.

I'm going to have to get serious about practice - my handgunning today was flat-out awful; Rivrdog took several pictures, and if I'm lucky, he'll only say "We went out shooting today". My accuracy was, honestly, horrible. I MIGHT have been able to stop an attacker at 15 yards, but it would have been iffy.

This was a wake-up call... nice that I could hit with an unfamiliar rifle; BAD that I couldn't hit for love nor money with my OWN carry pistol. I have a LOT of work to do to make up lost ground on my skill with my .45.

I am now thoroughly embarrassed, in front of Rivrdog. But... I'll be doing better shortly, and you can bet on that.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Company on the way

Rivrdog is on his way to North Texas... I'll get a chance to show off some good Texas Hospitality!

He's already visited a couple of people in Texas, but I intend to show what old-fashioned hospitality REALLY is :)

Got plans for food all laid out; guest bedroom is just about ready. And the BBQ Across Texas should get a pretty good post once he gets here; I've enlisted the help of a true expert.

Good steaks and great BBQ (thanks to Cap'n Mo) are on the menu, some good breakfasts, a private shooting range, visits with some good solid folks... I'm gonna try to make this area a vacation destination for Rivrdog in the future :)

Rivrdog posted stuff for me back before I had my own blog, just because he thought what I was doing was worth something. He's the one who convinced me that what I had to say was worth something; I guess he's my blogfather.

So we'll see what he has to say once he gets here :)

Got a bit more tidying up to do, but the guest room is ready, and we'll show what open-ended Texas Hospitality is all about :)