Range Report

Shooting Buddy and I had a range date yesterday morning after I got off work. We started the day on the 300-yard rifle range.

Remember that Barska astronomy telescope that I bought several months ago to use as a spotting scope? Well, it sucks. Breathing near the eyepiece makes it shake violently, or so it seems at high magnification. And I couldn’t figure out how to step up the power to the next level, leaving me with only slightly higher magnification than the 36X scope on the rifle. I’ll read the manual, and will try it one more time, but I don’t have great expectations. Did I mention that the image is reversed? So even if I am able to use it, I’ll have to remember that when making adjustments. Splatter targets coupled with the 300 yard limitation will completely eliminate the need for a second optical device anyway.

Despite the issues with the telescope, the day was a success. I had a few rounds completely miss the target immediately after a shot within an inch of dead center. I had the rifle on a solid rest, so it wasn’t shaking significantly. I’m not sure what happened. After five or six rounds and getting the scope close, I started shooting at the man-sized (or slightly smaller) steel silhouettes. I never missed at 200 or 300. BOOM! … Thump! Every time. Shooting Buddy even nailed the steel at 300 on his first try.

I plan to return and work on fine tuning the scope and tightening up my pattern on a day that I don’t have to work the night before. But for now, I am happy with being able to ring steel consistently from over one sixth of a mile away. The rifle is capable of doing that at six or eight times that distance, so today was no great feat. Even so, I was pleased.

SB had stolen a Sig 220 recently ($400 for the gun and three magazines – that’s a steal in anybody’s book), so we moved to the pistol pit next door. While he demonstrated quite acceptable performance with his new toy, I knocked down the steel plates at the back of the pit repeatedly with my Glock 22LR conversion.

Just before we called it a day, SB wanted to take a hit from the recoil machine, also known as Cassie, my Ruger Alaskan in 454 Casull. He touched off five rounds, saving the last one in the cylinder for his youngest son who had accompanied him on the outing. Both of them handled it well, but neither wanted more. Wimps!

All in all, it was a very enjoyable time. Several hours later, the day went severely sideways for me, but I’ll whine about that later.

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Back in April, I contacted a surveyor and asked him to come mark the corners of my property.  Since it is  a corner lot, there are really only three corners and two lines to mark.  He charges a minimum of two hours at a rate of $75 per hour for such jobs.  I figured that he never showed, since I never received a bill, and I never saw evidence of the corners being marked.

Some time later, I did notice that the back line was marked, but there was nothing marking the other line or front corner.  I dismissed it as something that my neighbor had requested, and wrote the dude off as just another asshole who didn’t want my money.

Last week, I got a “second notice” bill from the guy.  I was a bit miffed, since not only had I never received a “first notice”, but the work was never done – at least not completely.  I wrote a letter back, informing him that I would be happy to pay his invoice as soon as he completed the work described therein.  I also included a rough sketch of my lot, on which I indicated what was and what wasn’t marked.

This morning when I got home from work, I noticed that the ribbons marking the upper line appeared new.  I guess he got my letter.  I walked down to the front corner, and miracle of miracles, there was a stake in the ground with a ribbon on it.  I know that none was there before, because I would have seen it while mowing, which I have done several times since April.  It is down a steep, rocky bank, so I know that the local kids didn’t fuck with it.

I put a check in the mail fifteen minutes later.

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Garmin GPS

Garmin can fuck the fuck off with a baseball bat embedded with rusty nails.

I own a Garmin GPS.  One of the ones that comes with “Lifetime Maps”.  The difference in price between one with lifetime updates included and one for which updates must be purchased separately is less than the very overpriced cost of a single update.  So, buying one with the updates included was a no-brainer. Until today.

It’s bad enough that the stupid, elitist fuckers refuse to make an update tool for Linux, and my google-fu is incapable of finding a work-around.  But I did purchase a copy of Windoze XP back in the day, and I have it installed as a second boot option so I can do the handful of things that simply won’t work on Linux.

Today I tried to update my map data for the first time in a little over a year.  I booted up my slow ass XP installation, and brought up the updater program.  As soon as it opened, a message popped up saying that I had to install a newer version of the update tool/app/program/whatever.  The old version refused to work.  So much for what should have only taken a few minutes to initiate.

I clicked on the button to install the new version.  It went through the download process at a snail’s pace, and then finally started the installation.  Which failed.  I assumed that something got corrupted during the download, so I repeated the process.  And got the exact same result.  Two more times.

I finally gave up and went to the Garmin website.  I figured I’d download it directly from there instead of letting the old program guide the process.  As soon as I got to the download page, the fucking thing rudely informed me that my operating system is incompatible with the damn program.  Vista or newer is required.

I can’t have any more of the updates that I bought and paid for, of which I’ve only gotten one. Unless I shell out a significant amount of cash to MicroShit for an abysmally horrible program that I won’t use more than a couple times per year, and probably less than a dozen times total before it, too, is deemed obsolete. At which time, it will become lather, rinse, repeat.

Garmin can lick my nasty, hairy, sweaty ass after a hard day’s work, from my taint to the top of my crack.  I’ll buy a fucking holder for my phone and use its navigation feature.  That option sucks, because the screen is half the size, the navigation app lacks many of the little features to which I’ve grown accustomed, and who knows how much information google will collect on me and later sell to the highest bidder or give to the NSA while I have the Location function enabled.

Wait a fucking minute!  I already paid for the updates for this model when I bought it.  I don’t plan to ever buy another one of their products, but I should be able to get what I paid for.  I wonder how I can make this work.  Torrentz+VM? Maybe.  There has to be a way, and I will find it.

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Roast Rabbit

Remember this recipe?  Yesterday, I tried it with Thumper instead of a chunk of cow.  Honestly, it turned out better than I expected, but it wasn’t perfect.

Since rabbit is all white meat, and is much leaner than beef, I added the strained drippings from the last time I made the recipe with beef (about a cup and a half) to make sure there was enough liquid. That was a good idea.

I need a crock pot with more temperature settings.  Mine only has “keep warm”, “low”, and “high”.  I ran it on low, which works very well when using beef.  However, the outer layer of the rabbit, both bottom and top, toughened up to near jerky consistency.  I think that a lower setting would have had less of a drying/toughening effect on the meat. I only lost a couple ounces, and I probably could have finished drying it into jerky, but I didn’t think of that until just now.

The flavor was very good.  It is by far the best rabbit dish I’ve made to date.  It could have done with a smaller quantity of spices, since Thumper was only a little over two pounds without his bones, and I usually buy three to four pound slices of Bessie. Also, the drippings had leftover spices in them.  I probably would have been fine with two cups of water and a bullion cube or two, which is what I will try next time.  Trying it with no extra liquid would have definitely been a mistake.

All in all, the experiment was a success. I’ll keep tweaking until I get it right.  Fortunately I have several of Thumper’s relatives in the freezer.

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I Needed That

I had this past weekend off, although I wasn’t supposed to. I knew we were running, but the boss failed to print and post a schedule, and none of the people he informed ever officially told me, so I played dumb and didn’t show up Friday night.  Boss called 17 times between 2320 and 2355.  He started calling/texting again Saturday morning around 0900, asking why I pulled a “no call, no show” and would I please call him back and let him know what was going on.  Hell, he even woke up one of the HR folks, had her pull up my emergency contact information, and called Ex-Roomie to see if she knew where I was.  Finally, I emailed him early Saturday afternoon.  Basically, I asked when the decision was made to run my machine this weekend, and why wasn’t I told.  I pointed out the lack of a posted schedule, and loudly proclaimed my ignorance.

My story: No schedule = weekend off unless otherwise notified, which I wasn’t. After work Friday morning, I showered, called family to inform them of my good fortune, and headed towards VA (where most of my family lives).  I forgot my cell phone charger, and the battery went dead – hence the inability to contact.  I was still out of town and wouldn’t be able to make it back in for Saturday night.  I expressed my belief that I should neither be in trouble nor be charged personal days since I was never informed that I was supposed to work.

Most of that was true-ish.  I did shower and call family – Ex-Roomie.  She is technically my sister-in-law, after all.  Then I headed to Ex-Roomie’s to install a memory upgrade for her laptop that she had been pestering me to do for her.  Her place of abode is north of my current hometown, and therefore “towards VA”.  I did leave my wall charger at home, but I had a cord and there is a USB port in the car, so it wasn’t necessary.  The phone battery did go dead, but only because I forgot to plug it in.  I felt it vibrate when it shut down, and plugged it in immediately, so it wasn’t dead when he made all the calls to me.  I was asleep and the ringer was off.  And, I was still at Ex-Roomie’s place when I sent the email, which is indeed out of town, just not as far away as I implied.

He admitted that he didn’t post a schedule, and although he did claim to have informed the day shift Wednesday afternoon, since the information never reached me, I would suffer no disciplinary action or be charged any personal days.  He asked that in the future, if there is no schedule posted, please contact him to confirm.

Whatever.  The dipshit never did put in my promotion paperwork despite telling me over a month ago that it was waiting for approval, and probably never would have if I hadn’t went to his boss week before last asking about it.  So, fuck him!  He stepped on his dick, and I got a weekend off out of the deal.  It was last minute, and it cost me several hundred dollars of potential earnings, but I needed the time off.

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Some Days

… it doesn’t pay to get out of bed.  Last night was one of those days.

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Pink Panties

Remember my coworker that I affectionately refer to as Pink Panties, due to his tendency to get his panties in a wad over every little thing? It would appear that his problems are more serious than I realized.

If he is to be believed, he’s had quite the run of bad luck. He’s had a couple major dental issues recently, including a current one that prompted this post. He’s in a custody fight for his daughter. As part of that, he has no bank account. He has convinced FaucetCompany to FedEx him live checks every week in exception to the mandatory direct deposit rule.

He claims to have his money in gift cards, but he always seems to be hitting people up for cash. Whether it is five dollars for lunch or thirty-five for a prescription, it’s a common occurrence. So common, in fact, that not only has he lost any shame that he may have once had, but he won’t hesitate to badger one relentlessly if they decline to help him.

I have loaned him money a few times, despite my better judgment. You see, I have a hard time saying no. Even to people I’m not all that fond of. Two weeks ago, I loaned him $35, supposedly for a prescription. He paid me back on payday, which is Thursday. By last Tuesday, he was out of money again, and he wheedled me out of $20.

On Saturday, he dutifully repaid me. Last night, he started calling me two hours before I was scheduled to start my shift. I honestly missed the first couple calls, since I turn the ringer off when I go to bed. He called every five to ten minutes for an hour and a half. This is a sure sign that he wants money.

I moved what little cash I had to a hidden area of my wallet, and waited until I was at work to “realize” that my ringer was still off, and that I had missed his calls. I probably shouldn’t have responded at all, but it wouldn’t have mattered. He was already at work, waiting for me. I guess I’ve said yes a little too often, so he made the drive, assuming that I would probably do so again.

As expected, after the initial greeting, he asked for money. I feigned ignorance of what was in my wallet, and opened it in a way that he could see the empty bill compartment. I hadn’t yet clocked in, but it was too close to my shift start time to leave and go to an ATM. Sorry, man. I can’t help you.

Did I mention that he reeked of booze?

That’s when the sob stories started.

I lost the cap on my tooth last week, but my dentist can’t see me until Thursday. It’s infected, and I am in so much pain. I have this prescription for pain medicine…

It’s 2250 at this point. MyHometown has few if any true 24-hour pharmacies. I pointed this out to PP. He mumbled something about buying something off the street. Then he mentioned the pharmaceutical use of alcohol. Sorry, man. As you saw, I don’t have any cash. I don’t have time to go to an ATM before I have to clock in. Maybe I can hit an ATM after my shift, but that’s the best I can do.

But it hurts so bad. What do you suggest that I do? I need something tonight. Can you clock in and then go somewhere and get some cash?

I don’t fucking think so. No, I’m not comfortable doing that.

Can you loan me your ATM card? I swear I will bring it right back with the receipt and everything.

Have you completely and totally taken leave of your senses? There is no fucking way that I am going to give my debit card and PIN to a drunk, annoying coworker. No, I can’t do that.

This went on for a while. He followed me to the time clock and up onto my machine, begging the entire time. After I refused to give in, he started pestering everyone else in the building that he knew.

Finally, one guy put the fear of God in him with this statement, and he left:

How can you come up in here, drunk off your ass, asking people for money? I smelled you twenty feet away. If the wrong person notices, they will walk you the fuck up out of here, whether you are on the clock or not.

Two people came up to me later, asking about him. According to both of them, he admitted wanting the money to buy booze. For medicinal purposes, of course.

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