Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fun is Good

Been doing some shooting and some knitting. Stitch per stitch and round per round more knitting than shooting.

We went to the outdoor range Saturday afternoon and I put a whopping twelve rounds downrange with my .308. That means only six more rounds, cleaning the barrel between each round. Then I can move on to TEN!! rounds before I have to clean the barrel. I didn't bother doing anything to the scope today either. It was sunny and about 5°F. warmer than it was last Saturday afternoon. Made a huge difference. The range also wasn't as crowded and it was just Mr WK and myself today.

Mr WK brought his Mossberg 30-06 and his Bushmaster .223. I stayed (mostly) with my DPMS. I wanted to work through as many rounds as possible and I did shoot five more than last week. When Mr WK was at the pistol range up the road a bit trying to work through some issues with his .40 (see below) I'd put five rounds through his .223 while my barrel cooled between rounds.

Mr WK has been having some feed issues with his M&P .40. We thought it was the ammo as he had no problems with a box of commercial ammo. But why would our handloads suddenly have issues? And sometimes the same rounds would feed when the slide was released and sometimes they wouldn't. Mr WK thoroughly cleaned all of his magazines this evening so he'll try them the next time we go to the range, maybe Sunday.

Near the end of the afternoon, I'd taken to shooting the gong at 200 yards. At one point I was getting ready to take a shot, I settled in, flipped up the covers on my scope, inserted the magazine with my ONE round, hit the bolt release and concentrated on locating the gong through the scope. I found the hundred yard targets and moved the rifle up a bit to the 200 yard range, over a bit to the gong . . . There was a deer standing in front of the gong.

No, I didn't take the shot. They're so tame there and used to the sound of gunfire. When the deer moved off about 20 yards to the left I did hit the gong. It didn't seem bother the deer. They didn't even startle.

At the end of the day, we were both pleased with our rifles and our shooting.

The only knitting that's seen any action has been Mr WK's Gentleman's Plain Sock with Dutch Heel. The foot is just over one-third complete with 24 rounds knit out of 65. Just plain stockinette, round and round in a solid color.

blogging to: Memories 89

reading: The Murder Room by P D James (an Adam Dalgliesh mystery)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

"CNN calls them teabaggers, which is the gayest term I've ever heard on CNN other than Anderson Cooper." ~ Ann Coulter in her remarks at CPAC 2010.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When the Moon is in the Seventh House

Me, Mr WK & a couple of friends actually made it to the range Saturday afternoon. The weather wasn't ideal with temps around freezing and a light snow but whatever. Layers and activity kept us warm until we called it quits in the late afternoon.

Both of our new rifles have now been initiated. Mr WK's new Mossberg 30-06 with our Cabela's Bargain Cave Nikon scope has been sighted in. That one packs a bit of a wallop but it didn't seem to bother any of the guys. They all enjoyed shooting it.

My DPMS Panther LR-308 with the 24" stainless bull barrel was a little slower. As I mentioned in my last post, DPMS recommends that for the first 25 rounds you clean the barrel between each shot then after each 10 rounds for the next 100 shots. Seven shots were fired and I cleaned the barrel between each one. I let everyone in our group take a shot but *I* cleaned it after every shot.

Neither of us had any feed or any other issues. Bore sighting your rifle before you go to the range, particularly if it's going to be cold and snowing really cuts down on the time you have to fiddle with the teeny scope knobs with no gloves. Just sayin'. Mr WK's is sighted in at 100 yards (so far) and mine, is pretty close. With having to discombobulate after every round to clean the barrel, I wasn't too focused on getting it exact. It's a couple of inches high at 100 yards but close enough for now. It's good enough that I was able to hit the gong at 200 yards.

One of our shooty buddys brought his buddy's AK-47. It had some feed issues with a couple of the magazines and we determined that the mags were the problem and not the gun. Now Mr WK wants one.

It's always amazing to me how much stuff we take when we go to the outdoor range. True when we go to the indoor range, we can skinny down so we only have to pack for one pistol each; one box of ammo each (100 rounds each of handloads), a half a dozen targets and our hearing protectors. We can fit all of this (except for the targets) into one range bag which is already pre-stocked with other range essentials like pens, markers, a couple of small screwdrivers (common and phillips), a set of small allen
wrenches, small hammer, target pasters, lens brush, chamber flags, brass bag, three-piece cleaning rod, small bottle of gun oil, shooting glasses, handful of foam earplugs, extra batteries for the the optics, flashlights and electronic hearing protectors, spare flashlight, UpLula and a Glock loader.

When we go to the outdoor range, especially in the winter; layers
hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, shooting vests and heavy coats most of which are donned at the range and doffed before we get back in the car for the trip home. This time I knew we would be cleaning my rifle after each shot so the cleaning kit which includes a large square of white cotton flannel for patches, scissors, rods, jags, brushes, bore snakes, the cleaning box with all the solvents and gun oil along with two boxes of latex gloves (small for me and large for Mr WK) came with us. We also have the outdoor box with two staple guns (regular and heavy duty), extra staples for each, box cutter (for cardboard), sun block, a small first aid kit and an extra pocket knife.

Everything for the rifles is bigger and heavier than for the pistols. There are the rifles themselves; even if we're only bringing two rifles
which now that we have the 30 calibers that's probably going to be a thing of the past that's at least two long cases for each rifle or one very large, heavy double case if we only bring the .223s. Then there's the stuff you put on the rifles, which also fit in the double rifle case, two scopes, carry handle, red dot optic and fore-grip for the .223s. That doesn't include the slings or the half a dozen shooting rests of various sizes. Then there's the spotting scope and the tall tripod two separate pieces. The scope came with a table top tripod that fits in the case with the scope but we had a very sturdy one for the camera which gets the scope off the shooting bench—so two pieces. And the camera bag along with a selection of targets depending on what we want to do.

Then there's the ammo. The smallest ammo can is our .223 range ammo can filled with a variety of .223 handloads on stripper clips along with two spoons, a strip Lula and an extra front sight tool. It holds enough ammo for several folks to have an afternoon of unbridled shooting. The full magazines are in one of the large ammo cans; you don't want to run out and have to leave before you're absolutely ready. And we take the range bag and the electronic hearing protectors that are great outside but not so good at the indoor range. And once we get handloads figured out for the 30 caliber rifles, we'll have ammo cans just for them. For now the small amount of test handloads and commercial ammo for the 30 cals travel in the plastic ammo can. Yeah, plastic ammo cans have a lot of volume but they can't handle much ammo. And don't forget the bottled water and some snacks. If it's been snowing or wet we also take extra cardboard and a couple of old fender cloths in case the seats are wet. Keep in mind we haven't started shooting prone yet.

It all gets packed up at home in the car or truck so neatly. When we leave the range, for some reason, it's just not as neat. You'd think with fewer or no paper targets coming back and less ammo (but brass instead) it would be less stuff but it feels like we take more home. We can also pull all this together at home in 30 minutes or less but it seems like it takes us two days to put everything back where it was. And I'm not even talking about sorting the brass, updating the shooting diary or cleaning the guns.

But, my gosh it *is* satisfying to look back at the close of the day and reflect on how much fun it was and look forward to when we can go again.

And the knitting — the second Dr Who Scarf is 46% complete. And again for those in the Dr Who Scarf know, starting from the edge with the shorter purple stripe, I'm six rows into the fourth red stripe. It's getting longer but sometimes it doesn't seem like I'm getting any closer to the end. I haven't knit on it for several days.

I've had a couple days of car trips to KC or Topeka so Mr WK's Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel has gotten all the attention. The heel flap and heel are done. I've picked up the gusset stitches and re-established knitting in the round. Now it's going to be smooth stockinette sailing on the foot stitches.

However between the shooting on Saturday, shoveling the driveway on Monday and all the knitting last week my shoulders and forearms ache. So I haven't done much knitting in the past few days.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Murder Room by P D James (an Adam Dalgliesh mystery)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Keith Olbermann is a girl." ~ Ann Coulter, 2010 CPAC speech
Quote Source at the very end of part 2

Friday, February 19, 2010

When the Pace of Life is Slow

Well . . . except for today.

Plodding along here although from this vantage point it doesn't feel like plodding. Prior to today the only knitting to get any serious face time has been the second Dr Who Scarf.
It is satisfying to see literally yards of knitting, albeit only 10½" wide spilling from your needles. Based on row count knit vs total row count [not counting the tassels], the scarf is 40% complete. For those in the Dr Who Scarf know, starting from the end with the shorter purple stripe, I just completed the third tan stripe. I haven't woven in any of the ends yet. There will be a TV afternoon and that will be just the thing.

Today we made a trip to Cabela's to pick up a can of Birchwood Casey Bore Scrubber along with a can of Butch's Bore Shine. I don't know which will work better or which we'll prefer so we bought one of each.
Apparently, the copper from the projectiles fouls bores (the things you pick up on the internet) and since we're going to be shooting two new rifles — Mr WK's Mossberg 30-06 - scroll down to part #26360 and my DPMS Panther LR-308 — we're going to start 'em out right. We'll also be using this to clean the bores on the rest of our toys.

Barring the snow storm that's to blow in tomorrow evening snowing up early it looks like we're going to try 'em out Saturday afternoon. I'm going to be doing more cleaning than shooting tomorrow. The break-in directions for my DPMS "suggest" that for the first 25 rounds, you clean the bore after every round and then every ten rounds up to 100 rounds. And Mr WK has decided that's how he's going to break in his Mossberg. We over stocked the cleaning kit this evening so we'll have plenty of supplies along with a small hammer and punch. The pins on the DPMS are very tight and even the owner's manual suggests using a hammer and punch on them. Should be an interesting day. For a break in the action, we're also bringing along our .223s.

We also managed to work in a trip to the range in Topeka late this afternoon. Since we began reloading .380's I've been shooting it more so I took it along with my Glock 19 [9mm], S&W 1911 .45 and Mr WK's M&Ps
9mm, .40 and .45. I love shooting my 1911s. My little Sig P238 looks like the S&W's mod younger sibling. When I bring a selection like this, I usually start with the larger calibers and work down. But I really missed shooting the Sig so I began with it and finished up with my .45. As I was already a bit tired, it made me work harder to get the same amount of accuracy with the S&W 1911 .45 that I'm used to. But it was worth it and we had a great time. As usual, we came home with way more brass than we shot. Hat's off to all you non-reloaders out there that shoot brass or nickel ammo!

I had lots of car passenger time today and I worked on the heel of Mr WK's Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel. I'm on the second sock. The heel flap is almost finished. I just started on the heel flap decreases.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Concealed Handgun Manual: How to Choose, Carry, and Shoot a Gun in Self Defense by Chris Bird
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: '"Somebody needs to tell Barack Obama he's starting to sound like Tiger Woods. We know that he's lying, we know he's lying about everything." ~ Rush Limbaugh from today's show.

Monday, February 15, 2010

She Lets Her Knowledge Out a Bit at a Time*

The cuff and leg are complete on Mr WK's second Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel. I'm four rows into the heel flap. It's being knit in a soft wool; Reynolds Sea Wool in a dark slate blue. Stockinette round and round goes quickly, especially when you're a passenger. This one seems like it's taking longer. The first sock took 18 days. We're on day 15 of this one but my attention is split between this sock and the second Dr Who Scarf, which by the way, was going backwards but is now fine.

I was 12 or so rows shy of the next stripe when I picked it up this past Thursday evening and discovered a very nice hole about six rows back. A nice YO hole. With rows and rows of stockinette to compare there was no way to disguise or fix it so I frogged it back. After I picked up the stitches I screwed up on the one end—I did slip the first stitch as if to purl but I didn't bring the yarn to the back and so now a few rows past that little end piece stuck out and looked different. Would the recipient notice? With all that length (160") and colors (seven) and stripes (53) and literally yards (13 1/3) of stockinette, probably not. But I did and it would bug me. I set the whole thing down until Saturday evening when I frogged it back again and put it all back on the needles. So, yes. For a while there negative progress on the second Dr Who Scarf.

Evidently whatever bad mojo was on the scarf had fled and so over the weekend there was definitely forward motion. The scarf is now 25% complete which has nothing to do with the 36 tassels. For those familiar with the scarf, starting at the end with the shorter purple stripe, I'm almost done with the third purple stripe. Next up is a wide green / khaki stripe.

We didn't get to the outdoor range this past weekend; cold, windy and wet and a mild but achy cold kept Mr WK and me inside. Friday afternoon, however, we did get to KC and an indoor range. Together we put a more satisfactory 200 rounds downrange. I worked with my tactical flashlight practicing some of the techniques we learned in class last month and did some strong hand and weak hand shooting drills.

Mr WK and I are in our late-winter hunker down mode. It's cold outside, grey and often windy and damp. We don't want to get out and are perfectly happy not doing so.

* a Dr Who quote

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: A Picture of Guilt by James Brownley (an Alison Glasby mystery)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "So the temperatures are not warmer, causing all of this snow, ladies and gentlemen. And it’s hilarious for me to watch all this. Global warming, they say, causes more snow, right? Well, then global cooling would cause less snow? I mean, different ways of saying the same thing, right? As one who is possessed with a tremendous amount of logic and critical thinking capability that would have to be true. But when there is less snow, the alarmists say that’s because of global warming. When there is more snow, they say it’s because of global warming. Now, you cannot have it both ways, otherwise you’re contradicting yourself and proving that all you are is on a political mission. Now, we’ve heard from all the experts, all the members of Congress, all the experts in the media telling us that these record snowfalls are just proof of global warming." ~ Rush Limbaugh from today's show.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Need Some Cheese to go with that Whine

I haven't done any knitting for a couple of days. But I've managed to get some in today on the way to the target range. The 55 round leg on Mr WK's second Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel is now over half finished. I'm on round 30. The Dr Who Scarf is not a good traveler so it's the sock that gets to go places.

For the most part, though, all the knitting rested while I organized stuff for taxes. It wasn't that bad. I keep a spreadsheet and I had November's & December's numbers to input. Got those done on Tuesday and I decided to plow on and do January's and February's to date.

So now that it's all in the spreadsheet I can pluck out the numbers I need and assemble another very simple spreadsheet for the lucky H&R Block person who gets to do our taxes. We're not that complicated anymore but they're pretty good about ferreting out things we can deduct so we keep going back. We like to wait until mid to late February so they can have some practice and get familiar with whatever changes happened tax-wise and software-wise since last year.

We have been makin' ammo; 9mm, .40 cal & test loads for our new 30 caliber rifles. Up until a few hours ago we weren't supposed to get any snow for the weekend but now they are calling for snow on both days. I guess we'll see what's happening on Saturday and Sunday. A weather rock would more accurate and as timely.

We shot a little this afternoon. Between the two of us we only put 66 rounds down range. We were going to shoot in our semi-monthly IDPA match this evening but Mr WK got a service call a few minutes before the match was to begin. So we packed up and bugged out. Good thing we practiced, huh. We hadn't shot in a match since the one the first part of December. The last time we shot just for fun was almost a month ago.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Death in Holy Orders by P D James (an Adam Dalgliesh mystery)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "I guarantee you that Obama and his people are among the elites who think that you are stupid. And why wouldn't they? They fooled enough people to get elected." ~ Rush Limbaugh from today's show

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Still Makin' Stuff

Two more yarn colors are available for the acrylic Dr Who Scarf. I have the purple, green and dark gray; the yellow and brown are now available and I'll order those before the weekend is done. All I lack are the brick red and tan. These colors aren't as close as the Cascade 220 wool but close enough. I could start gauge swatches just any time as I do have three colors . . .

On the other hand progress is being made on the second wool Dr Who Scarf. I'm just over half finished with the fifth stripe which means I'm 100 rows into the scarf. Only 942 more to go! At only 40 stitches wide it's a fairly quick, if boring knit. This is great TV knitting. Not so much knitting between chapters reading as this takes next to no concentration.

I'm keeping up with my one day on the sock and the next day on the scarf then back to the sock schedule. Some days one item gets more face time than the other, but it all works out in the end.

The 50 round cuff on Mr WK's Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel is almost done — seven more rounds until I start the leg.

After Mr WK's sock is done he'll have five pair of wool or wool blend socks, six if I include the pair that is almost too small. It's knit from Reynolds Wool Cotton. The socks are thick and warm but even with hand washing and air drying they've shrunk a bit.

My next socks to knit will be a pair of Cookie A's Monkey Socks for my SIL. I have three skeins of a fabulous dark raspberry colored yarn, Panda Silk for that project. After that, maybe a pair of the Plain Winter Socks with Dutch Heel for myself.

And one of these days, I'll pick up the red lace scarf again and the cotton blue and white afghan. I haven't touched that afghan in over a year.

Beginning Sunday afternoon and ending sometime Monday evening, we're to get snow and ice. Or is it ice and snow? The weather folks keep changing their minds as to when it will start, what it will be and how much we're to get. Currently, it's 7-10" with a nice under layer of ice in the form of freezing drizzle with 15-20 mph winds with frequent gusts over 30 mph. Lovely. I want Algore's home number.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Fall of a Cosmonaut by Stuart M Kamiksky (a Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov mystery)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "This sentence from this morning’s New York Times is probably going to resonate for a while and enter the national dialogue: 'By President Obama’s own optimistic projections, American deficits will not return to what are widely considered sustainable levels over the next 10 years.'

Hey, 'unsustainable' is the new “normal." ~ Jim Geraghty

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Price Far Above Rubies

Monday I officially cast on for the second wool Dr Who Scarf. I'm halfway through the fourth stripe, which puts me about at about 80 rows. This one will be a walk in the park. No yarn to research and hunt down and purchase. No gauge swatches to knit. It's the exact same length, width and yarn as the first one. I have plenty of yarn left over. Apparently, I bought enough for two scarves of this size. The recipient of this second scarf is even a bit taller than the recipient of the first Dr Who Scarf.

The recipient of the first scarf is still over the moon about his. He wears it everywhere and despite the weeks snow and wet weather we've had since he took possession, even the fringe is spotless. This is the kind of person you love to knit for. He loves the scarf. He loves that it was handknit for him. He tells everyone about it. He wears it all the time. He's careful with it but doesn't treat it like a museum piece. I swear the Tiger Blue Socks I knit for my CIL only get worn when I'm going to be there. She keeps telling me "They're too nice to wear." So I guess it's a good thing that Dr Who didn't wear a pair of fancy knit socks. They'd be worn through by now.

still waiting on the rest of the yarn for the acrylic scarf. If I get bored with these two projects (see below) I can start gauge swatches for the acrylic Dr Who Scarf as I do have the purple yarn.

I've decided to work on the scarf and Mr WK's sock in tandem. Monday was the scarf and Tuesday was the sock's turn. Today it's ba
ck to the scarf.

Tuesday, I cast on for the mate to Mr WK's Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel on Tuesday. With 21 rounds on the cuff complete the cuff is almost half finish

Mr WK did try on the first sock and it fits. He says that he can't feel the heel — at least in stocking feet and house shoes. I remembered earlier enough in the day and was able to get a picture of the finished sock. The second photo shows the heel. The heel turn is done with only five stitches per row. I think I'm going to make me a pair of these. This would make a great stoplight knitting project.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: One Under by Graham Hurley (a DI Joe Faraday and DC Paul Winters mystery)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "It's getting hard to keep up with all the lies being discovered in the global warming story." ~ Rush Limbaugh