What's the weather like in Doug's neighborhood?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Return of the 552

Return to the blog as well I suppose...

Well after 21 weeks I paid a small ransom and got the Remington 552 back from the "Remington Service Center" in Birmingham. Kind of a crock, for the money I spent I received the rifle back in no better shape and with the same glitch it had when I dropped it off. Regardless it is a beautiful rifle and shoots nice tight groups.

Despite the ordeal and the glitches which are still present I am happy to have the gun back. In spite of the mechanical issues the rifle fires very accurate groups. Here are a couple from today:

These were from a standing lane, me kneeling and bracing the gun by hand

Obviously the gun is more accurate than I am...

Same distance, just shooting from a standing position free hand.
Obviously from a standing position with nothing to brace myself on I am a mess and have no business shooting anything smaller than a rabbit out past about 40yd with the 4X scope. I can live with that.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Taking another dump

Dang constipated blog. Same story, months gone by and the blog goes neglected. Sorry to the 3 people who actually follow this train wreck. Life is really just not that entertaining at the moment. I am not spending much time rehashing on things that I am doing.

That said, life has been moving on. We have had a banner Winter with respect to snow and ice, so much so that I totalled my truck in one of the storms. On a more positive note we have been able to take advantage of the recreational side to all this white stuff.

(Yes, that is a boogie board with a trash bag on it. So what, it works.)

As things have started to warm up a bit I have been able to get out to the range a bit more. I actually managed to complete the test firing of all the guns I brought back in November. That was no small task to feed the guns their desired ammunitions and to find the time. Several of these guns haven't been fired in years, a couple are more than a decade without action, and one had never even fired a round. Good times. Here is my Grandpa Brummett's Remington 721 (probably the first brass cycled through it in 10-15 years).

Then of course there is the 45 Long Colt. Not a cheap cartridge. I will most likely have to invest in a hand loading press for this round if I want to shoot it much. Fortunately the Ruger Blackhawk comes with a 2nd cylinder that is chambered for the more economical 45ACP bullets.

In other news, I have decided to take a short break from cycling. I shipped off the Home Wrecker V8.0 last month to its new home in the NE.

I will miss the riding, but it is a necessary evil. For one it allows a bit of time for the shoulder to finish healing. The second reason is that it is easier not to spend money on bikes if I do not have one.

Last item to hit is the hiatus from woodworking. Yes, there is a trend here. No hobby, no hobby spending. Over the last couple of months I have cleared out most of my large power tools from the garage. Now there is a lot more floor space available for bikes and crap. Yes, we still have bikes in the house. Erin and the kids are riding now. I did put my 20in bmx bike back together to ride with them around the neighborhood.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dead silent

Okay, not much activity here. Life has been on hold somewhat since the beginning of October. I put Erin and the kids on a plane on the 7th IIRC. At that time work situation was looking pretty grim with layoffs lurking in the near future. On the 15th of October my contract was canceled with TBE.

On the 16th Clay, Gary, Cam, and I headed out on the ride that was just not meant to be. First off as we are driving up 72 a rock kicks up and cracks Gary's windshield. Then upon arrival in Chattanooga everyone piles out and starts getting bikes ready. A couple of minutes later a better parking spot opens up so Gary jumps back in the truck and ends up running over Cam's back wheel. At this point we really should be careful and watch out for what would be next. However we soldiered on, got Cam's wheel rideable, and headed off down the trail.

Just a couple of miles into the ride we enter the "Chunk" section of the trail, an experts only playground with drops, jumps, and good dh speed. Things start off well and I am finding a groove. We stop and eye up one of the big rock drops up top and I decided to hit it. It went off without a hitch, a good 4-5ft drop into a steep dh landing. I was feeling pretty good after nailing that one, so as we headed down the trail I was packing a lot of speed taking the jumps and trying to remember what comes next. I drop into a valley and pick up speed for an upcoming jump out the other side of it. Well long and short of it is that I ran a lot of speed into a near vertical jump and pussed on the takeoff. This resulted in me catching 5-6ft of air. Unfortunately since I didn't pull up hard enough on takeoff the front end did not get as much lift as the rear. This put my landing fully on the front wheel. I death gripped it and tried to ride it out, but in the end the bars twisted and I ended up pile driving my shoulder into the hard dry dirt.

I knew pretty soon that something was not right in my arm/shoulder. Lifting it was excruciating and I could hear/feel stuff moving around that shouldn't have been moving. The guys helped me adjust my backpack into a sling and Gary and I hiked back out to the cars. I was pretty rough and apparently a bit pale. Fortunately we ran into a couple at the lot who offered to guide us down to the hospital in Chattanooga.

From there things went as expected. Lots of waiting. Some excruciating x-ray contortions. Then a few hours later I sent off with an immobilization sling and a prescription for narcotics. We then spent a couple of hours trying to track down a 24hr pharmacy in TN as we had been warned that AL wouldn't fill the out of state prescription. I gotta hand it to Gary. He was really helpful and nice throughout the whole ordeal. Definitely a good test of friendship.

On the 5th of November I went in for some hardware. I was put under and the doctor made fast work of it. When I woke my throat hurt and my arm was completely numb from the nerve block. It came to life in the middle of the night and the pain really picked up. At least the clicking and thumping of the bones had stopped. I was left looking a bit Frankenstiened.

and still bruised...

The bruising on this side is mostly due to the original crash 3 weeks earlier.

I managed to tough it out by myself up to this point. Lots of pain meds and some help from friends here and there. But by in large I spent most of my time medicated and zombie'd out. Sleep was not very good/comfortable, I was not coherent enough to surf the web much, so I watched a lot of movies.

On the 12th I headed out to CA to meet Erin and the kids. It was my first time back in CA since moving out in 2007. Lots of family visiting over the next couple of weeks. We were able to stay for Thanks Giving, which was nice. After 3 meals I was officially turkey'd out...

I was able to spend quite a bit of time with my Dad, which was one of the main reasons for making it out to CA. Our best conversations seemed to be gun-centric. Guns are something I am starting to get into shooting at the range and hopefully I will be able to do some hunting here in AL as well. We spent a lot of time going over my Granddad's and his collections. I was even able to do a bit of shopping. I brought a few home with me. I gotta say I was a bit concerned about flying with firearms, but overall it was uneventful.

Here is a good video on the topic:

Here is the rifle case:

The shotgun is an 80's vintage autoloader that looks to have never actually been fired. The rifle was Grandpa Brummett's and it originally left the factory in 1952. I am pretty excited to have some family firearms around to use/enjoy. Since getting them home I have been trying to get them cleaned, lubed, and tested out at the range.

Of course Christmas was thrown in there somewhere...

We were spoiled by the family. Lots of presents under the tree. It took a bit longer than I expected to make it through all of them. Mom and Dad gave us a family gift of a game console. Amazingly it didn't get turned on until around 2pm. After that Austin got a bit sucked in.

Erin and I managed to pull off a somewhat more traditional meal this year. We invited the Lawson's over to share the evening and the dinner.

Okay, mix in some vegging out, a trip to Ikea, a lame New Years Eve and you are now up to date with my life for the most part.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Almost October

and you know what that means...

Squirrel hunting season. Redneck jokes and all. I love this guy:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Okay, really slacking on the blog. Guess I don't get over here as much these days. Oh well, life goes on and the blog is obviously not much of a priority. NBD.

So what have we been up to? Check out Erin's blog. She has been very active in posting since she stopped working at the preschool.

Summer is coming to an end. We have had a taste of Fall weather and honestly I want more. It is nice to have the return of low humidity and temps in the 70-80*F range. We have had a couple of hot and humid days mixed in and the difference is major. Once you get a taste of the cooler weather the hot and muggy is not fun to revisit.

Riding is picking up as the weather waxes to cool. It is becoming enjoyable to get out and ride again. I haven't been too obsessive about riding, which I am sure is appreciated by the rest of the house. The ride log has just passed the 1 year mark and the verdict is in, just over 1,000mi in the saddle for the year. Meh, that's just how it rolls out when the typical ride is <10mi. Oddly I don't think that my ride times are much less than they have been over the last 5-6 years, just a bit more rugged terrain.

I have gone back and forth on wheels and tires over the last 3 years in AL. The terrain really does demand beefier tires, but on the flip side it sucks to push them back up the hill at the end of the ride. If you can handle pinging off the rocks on the downhills and getting a bit beat in the rough then the lighter tires/wheels help keep speed up in the flats while making the uphills a lot less work. In the end I run a wheelset that is heavier than a lot of peoples downhill race wheels with UST tubeless tires. I don't spend much time truing my wheels or fixing flats though, so I guess it all works out.

This weekend I managed to make it out to the rifle range in Madison. It was fun to get out and plink off a couple hundred rounds of .22cal, but also a bit frustrating. The scope on the Remington 552 is way off. It is going to take a bit more time and prep to get it shimmed in. The gun itself is nice, when working correctly. But it was having an issue with jamming/ejecting on missfire rounds, which were plentiful on the 2-3 year oxidized old ammunition I had. It was getting better with use, but I may need to disassemble the gun and clean/lube it for best results. By the end of the day I was pretty proficient at clearing it when it jammed. On the other hand the old bolt action single shot was performing like a champ. Matt and Mike plinked out nearly as many rounds as I did despite the speed handicap of having to chamber one round at a time. Guess messing with the scope settings and gun jams is more of a handicap. Needless to say there were no bullseyes fired with the Remington.

Around the house? Nothing much new. Erin went full-bore on the bathroom face lift. The aesthetic portion is covered in her blog, so I won't rehash it here. Biggest issue turned out to be changing out the faucet. First issue was that Erin neglected to pick up connecting hardware. Not a big deal. After a quick run to HD I fitted it up and turned the shutoff valves on. Crap! Water spraying everywhere from one of the new connectors and a drip out of the valve on the other. Back to HD to exchange the flex connector with the bad seal and to grab some new shutoff valves. Can of worms officially opened. So there I am with water all over the place, cursing and crammed under the sink trying to release 10-20 year corroded swage fittings. I hate this part since the water to the house has to be off until I get valves back on. Instead of cutting off the old swage and nuts I re-used them on the new valves. I ended up tightening the heck out of them and still had some very slow drips. But I was ready to call it a day and grab a beer.

Well about an hour and a half later I walk in to find water spraying out all over. F*%_(_*(&*(^%!! One of the nuts that I over-torqued cracked. This is not good. Basically I have only one option at hand. I can remove the valve and cut back the pipe 1/4-1/2in to get a swage on fresh tubing. Okay, I skipped the step where I cut off the old swage and tried to just swage with a new crush ring and nut. That didn't work due to the mangled nature of the pipe. Obviously I am not the first monkey to wrangle with this pipe. Right about here is where we called in backup. Fortunately Mike was available to come over and solder on a new section of pipe. So by around 9pm we were in good shape. He came back in the morning and extended the other pipe as well. Done deal.

Man, I do hate it when things go awry on home repair.

That's about all I got at the moment. Already a fairly lengthy post at any rate and no pictures or anything really exciting to show for it. Thanks for reading.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Working hard or hardly working

I started this posting a couple of weeks ago and never posted it up...

I have been thrown under the bus. Seriously, every thing I touch in my new position here at NASA is either behind or on a very tight schedule.

This week I have been fighting with my computer solid for over 40hrs. My current model loads up at over 10gb, so despite my machines best effort the pidly 8gb of RAM just wasn't cutting it. Now I am squatting over in another building on a 16gb machine. Only issue with it, only a quad core.

(yes, that is all 4 cores totally pegged)

Things are going better, but these huge models really to grind PC workstations to a snail pace.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Nuther' One for Friday

First time on a surfboard. Who would have thought it would be in Alabama :-)

The family headed out at the end of July for the annual company lake party. Like most company functions, the more you participate the more fun it is. I was out swimming, surfing, and chaufering eveyone on the waverunner. Erin and Austin managed to snare a couple of tiny Brim, which is pretty good considering they really weren't biting much this year (maybe the higher temps drove most of the fish to deeper water).

Overall it was a great way to spend the afternoon and yet another reminder of how great of a company I work for. If you are ever heading my way, N. Alabama, let me know and I will forward your resume on to the boss for consideration.