23 February 2008


The Mister just left to go see Mamasan for his weekly haircut. Sparky got to go along.

This has caused major concern among the Bigger Dogs. Casey seems to be getting over it pretty quickly, but Jack is dashing around whining and more or less freaking out.

I'm almost tempted to take Casey along on the errand I have to run, but I think that would push Jack over the end and he might burn the house down in his panic and concern.

22 February 2008

Werewolves on the phone

It's not quite a full moon today, but good lord...the office was brutal.

Angry, crazy, confused, mean and irrational people. All day long.

I spent about 20 minutes on the phone with a man who is, without a doubt, the biggest asshole in Montana.

Two entirely separate women who seemed to be befuddled by the days of the week, and the concept (which I thought was fairly basic) of the "weekend." Thus, both of them had ordered things shipped Federal Express Second Day Air on Thursday. And were they ever pissed to find that those packages were going to be delivered Monday. Like I made up the idea of Saturday and Sunday just to amuse myself.


I have never before been tempted to threaten a customer, but today it was on the tip of my tongue a couple of times:

I have your home address, your phone number and all your credit card information. Do you think it's really wise to try to see exactly how much abuse I am willing to take?

I would never do such a thing, but I would love to suggest it just once.

Our military in the news

It's been a busy couple of days, and the separate branches have all been up to different things.

Things got real stupid in Belgrade, but apparently someone forgot that U.S. embassies are guarded by U.S. Marines.

One charred body -- a male protester -- was found in the U.S. Embassy compound, embassy spokesman in Belgrade William Wanlund said.

The only Americans at the embassy during the violence were Marines, who are all said to be accounted for.

We especially approve of the part where all the Marines are accounted for. Good stuff.

Meanwhile, our faboulous Navy is destroying stuff in space.
The video showed the three-stage SM-3 missile launching from the USS Lake Erie at 10:26 p.m. EST Wednesday northwest of Hawaii, and of the missile's small "kill vehicle" — a non-explosive device at the tip — maneuvering into the path of the satellite and colliding spectacularly.

Cartwright said the satellite and the kill vehicle collided at a combined speed of 22,000 mph about 130 miles above Earth's surface, and that the collision was confirmed at a space operations center at 10:50 p.m. EST.

Color me impressed. The Navy - if they're not killing pirates, they shooting things out of orbit.

It looks like the Army got the short end of the stick: U.S. senators forced to make emergency landing in Afghanistan
Oh, the Senators were fine. But get this - someone had to convoy out, pick them up, and take them back to Bagram.
The military helicopter [was] carrying Democratic Sens. Joseph Biden of Delaware and John Kerry of Massachusetts, and Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska

I would have been absolutely thrilled to be roused out of a warm, snuggly cot to roll out and drive through a combat zone to pick that crew up, let me tell you. We don't actually know it was the Army, but it seems a pretty safe guess.

No word on what the other two branches were up to. We can assume the Coasties were saving people and shooting up drug runners and all their usual sort of thing. But I get a little more nervous when we don't hear from the Air Force. Are they all hiding out on midwestern bases, fondling their nuclear bombs and reminiscing about the Cold War?

20 February 2008

A heads up for my Texans

Listen, y'all, I don't know what makes you tick. But me...

I'd leave my husband for Travis McGee, and, when all is evil around me, I turn to Jimmy Buffett.

Well now that was just the start of
a well-deserved over due binge
Meanwhile back in the city certain
people are starting to cringe
His lawyers are calling his parents
His girlfriend doesn't know what to think
His partners are studying their options
He's just singing and ordering drinks

Seriously, if your life has never been dark enough to warrant escapism, well...good for you. But mine has, and Jimmy has been there for me.

Jimmy will be playing in Frisco at the end of April. Tickets on sale soon....

This job...

I swear to God, I spent about 40 minutes this evening explaining to a very confused gentleman that he could not shoot this ammo

In this pistol.

[insert sound of head hitting desk]

Sir, that's a gorgeous pistol. Did you get some rounds with it when you bought it? Ok. Set one of those down, now set one of the Wolf .45s down next to it. Are they the same? No? Well, listen. Every round you buy has to look exactly like the one you bought with the gun, okay?

Fortunately, that was following by margaritas with the girls from work, and now the Mister and I are having steaks and beer. Which makes it all better, until tomorrow.

19 February 2008

Well, crap


I swear, the Civilian Marksmanship Program people exist only to torment me.

We have been discussing the new pistol issue, right? Back and forth, and I've been getting some good input, and some thoughts on local gunshops that might not be populated entirely by Trolls.

And then what comes from the CMP today?

Other than that, I mean. And before you ask, I can only wish they delivered root beer.

No - they sent the periodic CMP Sales Update.

Allow me to quote you an excerpt:

CHANGE TO CARBINE SALES DATES: Inspection & Repair and grading of M1 carbines has progressed faster than expected. CMP will now accept mail orders for Saginaw, Saginaw S'G', and National Postal Meter carbines on 28 April, 2008. Order acceptance date for Standard Products and IBM has now been set as 7 July, 2008...

I now have two options:
1 - Budget responsibly and put off the pistol purchase, devoting my "fun gun money" to the carbine.
2 - Buy new pistol as scheduled, then act surprised at the April release of the Saginaw S'G' carbines. Sell blood, risque online dog pics, and Mr. Abby's stuff to fund that purchase.

Methinks I'll go with number two.

One little step closer

Someday, I'm going drink mojitos on the beach at Maria la Gorda.

And that day just got a little closer.

Fidel Castro announced his resignation as president of Cuba and commander in chief of Cuba's military Tuesday, according to a letter published in the state-run newspaper, Granma.

I bet they'll be whooping it up in Miami tonight.

18 February 2008


The only thing more fun than Monday with the public is Monday with the public after a short weekend.

I wonder what the average useful lifespan of a customer service representative is? I am rapidly approaching the end of mine. I'd think there always comes a day when a CSR says, with a sigh, "This company sucks. All its customers suck. And I have no interest in helping either group any longer."

I'm fairly sure I'm not allowed to set up beer bottles in the back yard and shoot them in the name of stress relief. I'm also fairly sure that diving into a wading pool of cheap American beer would only lead to a headache tomorrow.

So I think I'm going to work some Sparky Zen and get right with the world in the same way he does. A nap.

It might be worth a try.

17 February 2008

More gun discussion

Barney brought up a good point in the comments on my "which pistol" post below. The Pro Carry does "feature" a full-length guide rod and a "bushingless" bull barrel.

A full-size 1911 with a GI (that is, partial) length guide rod takes about five seconds to field strip (and that's if you allow a little time for fumbling). The only tool I use is a plastic bushing wrench, and that's on one pistol with a tight bushing. It's not necessary, but it does save some time wrestling that little piece off.

It's that little silver-colored bit under the right end of the spring that we're talking about - that's the guide rod. It fits into that end of the spring, which sits under the barrel. The other end of the spring goes into the plug (which you can see under the left end of the spring). This is a "GI-length" guide rod setup, and the entire thing rides under the barrel, and the plug is held in place by the bushing (the black thing between the guide rod and the plug, below the spring).

Cosmetically, when it's assembled and the slide is locked to the rear, you can see the difference top image in that the guide rod does not protrude.

I've read several exhaustive discussions on the topic - the full-length guide rod requires a tool for assembly and disassemly, and that might be evil. It may be more prone to becoming screwed-up (if something full length bends, even a ilttle, the whole mechanism will be off).

However, that's really kinda irrelevant. If one wants an off-the-shelf lightweight 4-inch 1911, it's going to come with a full-length guide rod. One has some options, from several good names, if it's a major hangup.

I'm over it, though. I'll have a gunshop guy (assuming I can find a shop not populated by the dreaded Evil Gunshop Trolls) demonstrate the takedown, and if it's not rocket science, I'll work with it.

Incidentally, I assume a similar tool requirement for the Walther I'm contemplating. It seems to be of the same design as the P22, and there's nothing painless about field stripping that. Well, the stripping is painless, but the reassembly requires one to curse like a sailor.