Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Watchdog fail on St. Josephs' Day

The dogs are usually hyper alert to things outside. Their beds are by the window and Belle in particular sits and gazes out all day long. When either one of them sees or hears anything suspicious--a passing cat, someone walking a rival dog past (Oh no they didn't!) or something really threatening like the UPS truck, a school bus, a garbage truck or their personal nemesis the mailman, they sound off in tandem like it's World War Three.

But last night, they were completely silent as I worked on assembling a dresser in my bedroom. They didn't even react to the drums and the chants outside that finally caught MY ear and made me go look. Sure enough, Murphy was still napping and Belle was casually watching as a dozen Mardi Gras Indians from the 7th Ward's Monogram Hunters paraded right up the street, with half the neighborhood following them.

Excuse the poor quality shots--it was getting dark out and the camera phone wasn't making it happen.
Indian culture is big in "real" New Orleans, beyond the facade that the tourists and those in nice gentrified neighborhoods see. They've been doing it since before WW1, and they work all year on these elaborate suits made of beads and feathers just for Mardi Gras, St. Jospeh's Day and "Super Sunday", which was supposed to have been this past Sunday but will now be this coming Sunday due to bad weather last week-end. This tribe is the 7th Ward Monogram Hunters, one of the oldest tribes. Several of my neighbors are members.

This probably explains why the watchdogs did not bark--they knew it was our own tribe passing by. At least that's the excuse I'm making for their lazy asses today.

Come back Sunday for a ton more Indian shots and lore as I'll be up at Super Sunday for that.

Not boring around here...not boring at all.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Sunday in New Orleans

Sunday started off with me getting up and out the door just in time for church. Then another crawfish boil for lunch.

Went home after that and took a nice Sunday nap. Got up, cleaned a couple of rifles on the back steps, then got cleaned up and went to a pig roast for dinner courtesy of a neighborhood bar celebrating it's three-year anniversary..
Damn, that pig was sublime. Cut it with a sharp look and so tender and tasty.

Had a few drinks, went home, headed to bed early, then suddenly got a call. Some nice young ladies that I know needed help as a show that they were doing. Could I come help at the door? Well sure. Of course I could. Because I'm helpful like that. So I headed over and put a couple hours in for a good cause. Because I just can't say no to damsels in distress.

Got back home about 0200 or so, but I made enough money to pay for both the crawfish boil and the pig roast, plus I got free drinks. So my whole Sunday cost me nothing.

Life in New Orleans is seldom boring, lemme tell ya. But it works if you put the effort in.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

St. Patricks Day, New Orleans

Yeah I know...we've been celebrating it for a week and a half already...but yesterday we got serious with the Irish Channel parade on Magazine Street. Naturally, your roving reporter was there.

This parade is a long one and take a few hours, mainly because everyone watching and most people in it are drinking. There were 30 floats this year, and numerous marching groups, bands and dance krewes in between each one. I was fortunate enough to be invited to two different parties a block apart, so I spent my day bouncing back and forth and freely enjoying the libations provided at each one.

The riders on the floats throw handy stuff, to include cabbages, potatoes, onions and soap (Irish Spring, naturally). I got a ton of the stuff, and one of the women I was there with is going to teach me how to cook the cabbage, because, until yesterday, I had no idea what to do with one. But now I have four of them.

Go to a parade, make groceries. It's the Irish way in New Orleans.

Some of the highlights:

As is typical, you get right up on the floats as they pass by in order to catch the goodies. Parades in this city are audience participation events and also full-contact at times if you're not careful. I have been beaned several times by throws off the floats that I didn't see coming or caught poorly due to "environmental factors"

It was a great day, and this was only one of several parades going on in the area. It was the biggest though and I was feeling quite good when it was over. Bless St. Jameson indeed!

But no rest for the wicked. Had another crawfish boil to get to last night.
Tasty looking little suckers, ain't they?

In they go!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Thanks for the entertainment, Navy and Air Force!

One of the nice things about living here is the proximity to New Orleans NAS in Belle Chase and Keesler AFB over near Biloxi, Missibama. Thanks to those two, I get a pretty good air show most week-ends and some week-days as F-15, F-16 and F-18 aircraft overfly the city, often coming right over my house at pretty low altitude. Elements of two and four fighters often fly overhead and the sight and sound is fantastic, especially when they kick in some power.

But that's only half the fun. The other hald is looking at my neighborhood's social media page, aka the "bitch and whine" site. Every time the jets come over more than once or twice, the posts start:

"Anyone have any idea why all the military planes are flying so low over the city?"

"Those planes are shaking my house again! Why are they doing this?"

"I'm calling my councilman again. Those WAR machines have no business over our city!"

And my favorite: "Anyone notice how it's much more frequent since 45 (President Trump) got in? It's like he's trying to show us all that he's in charge!"

Yes, snowflakes. All of that proficiency training is just The Man trying to keep you personally down. And they actually say this stuff. Under their own names. Because they believe it. And they support and validate each other and each thread becomes more ludicrous. "They're training to go to Afghanistan to kill innocent people!" "They're desensitizing us for when they declare martial law!"

And so on. It would be laughable if these people weren't also allowed to vote in elections and raise kids.

Cue the heretic. Enter me, stage right.

"Man, don't you all just love those jets this morning? That's the sound of FREEDOM, right there! God bless our military aviators who are up there keeping us safe today!"

And this, dear readers, is why the dogs and I don't get invited to too many neighborhood parties.

They also seem to get a tad touchy when I try to sympathize with them. "Yeah, I know. It sucks when you move into a city and the Navy and Air Force come along and build bases right down the road, don't it?"
I've even helpfully reminded then that moving vans go both ways. But the ungrateful bastards still don't appreciate me for some reason.

One of my favorite ones is Muffin. Yes, I swear to God, her parents actually named her "Muffin" and now in her early thirties, she still goes by it. Of course her occupation, per all of her social media feed, is also "artist", so you get the idea. Muffin, a former New Yorker, is one of the hordes of transplants who rushed into this city after Katrina when it became hip and fashionable to do so. They bought or rented properties cheap in formerly black neighborhoods like the Bywater and then sat around accusing everyone else who moved in after they did of "gentrifying" the neighborhoods. And this is the crowd that hates President Trump, and statues of Civil War heroes, and the police that they nonetheless call every time someone steals their crappy bike, and the military.

But back to Muffin. Muffin is now demanding to know how much it costs to fly these planes over the city. Specifically, she wants to know how much gas they burn per hour, because that's the only real cost associated with flying a jet fighter. I helpfully tried to point out that fuel costs were minimal compared to the other costs associated with aircraft operation, and try to form, Muffin posted back: "I'm not an idiot. I know that they have to be worked on. I just want to know about the fuel costs, because people in this gas and oil crazy state will understand when I point out how much gas and oil they waste flying around like this every day!"

Muffin has also claimed that it's dangerous for these jets to fly over the populated cities, because when one has a problem, there's nowhere it can go except into a neighborhood. I told her that she had a great point and that we should probably close Louis Armstrong International Airport in neighboring Kenner too, because all of those passenger jets fly right over the same neighborhoods every day. This only seemed to make her madder though. She responded that passenger jets are worth the risk because there is a public benefit to them, "but MACHINES OF WAR (and yes, she always capitalizes that) have only one purpose, and it's to kill people and terrorize the populace."

Admittedly I took the cheap shot and pointed out that that was two purposes. Pretty sure that she hates me right up there with President Trump, the police, the jet pilots and Robert E. Lee right now. But at least I'm in good company.

PS--I wish Ed Rasimus was still here. I'd seriously go to the trouble of getting him signed up to our community forum just to watch the fireworks.

Monday, March 12, 2018

1903 Springfield good to go

So as to that 1903 Springfield I bought a while back that came with a seriously cracked stock...

I got a new stock for it, cleaned it up, gave it several coats of linseed oil, and reassembled it. To be honest, I'm fair well pleased with it.

It's still a bit light, but it'll darken.

I took it out to the range a couple weeks ago, and it shot dead-on, hitting the 8" steel plate at 100 yards every single time. Not only was I hitting more consistently than the guys with the AR rifles to either side of me, but that .30M2 round rings the gong with a lot more authority. I was very happy with it. And as usual, I was shooting prone from a mat and the only one at the range doing that. Everyone else sits at those benches that will, I'm sure, be all over the place for shooters to use during the next revolution which will almost certainly follow Hillary Clinton's next defeat in 2020...or her unlikely victory.

And now it's home with it's kin, shown center left here, with two 1903's to it's right and three 1903A3's to it's left.

I confess to having an affinity for these rifles, even over the M1 Garand, but that puts me in good company, Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller thought the 1903 was more accurate and an all-around better infantry rifle, at least as far as his Marines were concerned.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Gone and back again

So this past week, my job sent me to Atlanta. I knew I'd be busy during the day but figured that come evening, I could catch up on some backlogged blogging.

No such luck. My work laptop immediately crashed and ceased to function as soon as I got there, and my iPad refused to connect to the hotel's wifi no matter what I tried.

So it was another blogless week.

I got back yesterday, and after the long drive, I needed to hustle off to my part-time job.
After "work", I was called out to another show as special guest of the producer, so there was no gracefully dodging that one.
By the time I was heading home, even some of the security guards on Bourbon Street had apparently had enough.

I got home around 3AM and slept well until I had to get up to attend a crawfish boil for lunch. It was raining and we were outside in it, but crawfish. Some things are worth getting wet for.

This, for those of you not from around here, is a crawfish, cooked and ready to eat. (And it was tasty.)

And of course while I was gone, the dogs apparently deposed me, as I came home to find both of them comfortably ensconced on my living room furniture, with Murphy on my couch and Belle in my chair. Per the dog sitter, they've been doing it all week and she didn't think to wonder if they were supposed to or not. They've always snuck and done it, but now they're being totally brazen about it, at least until the corrections begin.

But today was a new day, and Bourbon Street was back to normal.
Not much to see here...move along.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Lulled into a false sense of security, I was...

It's been peacful around the Lair for a while, with no dog breaks and precious little other K9 drama as of late. It's like they were trying to be good to get me to take my eyes off them for a bit...and it worked

On Friday, I was in the shower and the dogs were outside. I never used to leave them out in the yard while I was busy doing something else, but like I said, they'd been good for so long. I figured out that Belle was only tunneling out because she hates being left outside alone and her goal has always been to get to the front of the house so she'd get taken back inside. But since she learned to get in by scratching on the door several months back (and by "scratching" I mean clawing it down to bare metal like a freaking wolverine), we haven't had a problem. She scratches, I open the door, and they both come in.

Well this time I didn't show up and open the door, so she went back to the original method--she opened up a secret exit through the latticework that she'd apparently been working on for a bit and her and Murphy skated under the house and into the big world.

My first inclination that something was wrong was when I got out of the shower and heard familiar barking from the FRONT of the house and lots of loud yelling in spanish. Oh, that can't be good, I thought. Sure enough, the dogs her "treed" the entire construction crew that was working on the new house two doors down. They were all sitting up on the roof of that building yelling in what sounded like illegalese while Murphy and Belle circled the ladder and barked up at them in a manner that would have make Joe Arpaio proud. (Disclaimer: I don't know for sure that all of those non-English-speaking laborers that the contractor brings over in a cargo van each day are in the country illegally, but...)

So I hurriedly THREW SOME CLOTHES ON and opened up the door. Belle looks over at me and trots happily inside, her life goal achieved. Murphy on the other hand... "See ya, boss!" and down the street he goes. So I get to jump in the car and chase him around for a few minutes, going the wrong way down one-way streets and through two vacant lots before I finally manage to corner him in a third vacant but fenced lot. (Dammit dog, if I ever hit something in that tall grass and tear up the underside of my Toyota chasing you, we're going straight to that Korean BBQ in the Bywater!)

So yesterday, the latticework got replaced, and I fronted it with new paving stones that should keep digging paws from getting a start at it. Seriously, I've put in so much fencing and concrete just to keep these dogs in that my back yard is starting to look like the old border between East and West Berlin. Still, it looks pretty good, but I'm kicking myself for not going next store and offering the poor victimized workers a case of beer and telling them that I could make their DREAMs of a dog-free work-place a reality if they'd have all come over and given me half an hour each working on MY border wall.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Complaint over AR-15 pic

So I got a complaint after posting the AR-15 pics the other day.

It was a #metoo complaint.

Seems my Mini-14 felt left out.

What can I say? I apologize to my little Ruger friend and I want to reaffirm my commitment to diversity.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Never pretend to throw the ball...

Fortunately not a problem here, as Murphy chases whatever I throw, grabs it, and then having caught it, typically drops it right there and walks off.
Belle meanwhile just gives me a look that says "Great throw!" and then just sits there.

Fetch...not what my two are good at.