Almost out of the Great Plains

Miss D. and I arrived in Wichita Falls this afternoon after a pleasant drive from Amarillo.  We were warned about the speed-trapping proclivities of various towns along the route, some of which appear to balance their budgets by means of tickets issued to those passing through.  For that reason we kept our cruise control locked on to the speed limit, and took care to observe the progressively lower limits every time we entered a town. This seemed to cause some . . . concern . . . to other motorists.  You see, our rented car is a model used by

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“The greatest thank you gift in English history”

That’s how the Telegraph describes the Crystal Scepter of the City of London, that’s about to go on public display. The Crystal Sceptre was given in thanks by King Henry V to the City of London for funding his forces against the French at the Battle of Agincourt, in 1415. It is safe to say that without the men, arms and equipment those funds purchased– and in particular the longbow archers whose arrows proved so fatal to the French – the course of English history would have been very different. Now the gift with which Henry showed his gratitude to

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A very interesting mead

Miss D. and I are fond of the occasional glass of mead.  Before our marriage she lived close to, and volunteered occasionally to help with bottling at, Celestial Meads in Anchorage, Alaska.  She took me there a few times, and introduced me to some of her favorite flavors.  Since then we’ve made several visits to New Day Craft in Indianapolis, Indiana, during visits to that city, and come to appreciate some of their meads. Therefore, at Blogorado last weekend I was intrigued to find one of the attendees drinking a bottle of Viking Blod, a mead from Dansk Mjod in

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“Show me the way to Amarillo . . . “

I’m sure many readers know Tony Christie’s hit song from 1971.  Listening to it in South Africa at the time, I couldn’t help being amused that an English singer had a hit with a song about an American city.  Be that as it may, Amarillo is where Miss D. and I are tonight. We rendezvoused with the remaining Blogoradans for a final breakfast together.  It was, as always on the last morning, a bittersweet occasion.  We had a wonderful time together (I think this year’s Blogorado is the best I can remember out of all those I’ve attended), but it’s

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Torture-testing two Taurus .44 Magnum revolvers

As I mentioned in one of my Blogorado reports, I’ve been testing two Taurus .44 Magnum revolvers.  One is an Model 44 large-frame six-shot revolver with a 6½” barrel, like this one: I replaced its factory grips, as illustrated above, with Hogue rubber grips, which fit my hand much better. The other is a Tracker five-shot medium-frame revolver with a 4″ barrel, like this one: I retained its factory Ribber grips, because I hadn’t used them before and wanted to see how comfortable and manageable they’d be under heavy recoil. These tests were inspired by requests from some of the

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Blogorado, Day 4

Another great day on the plains of Colorado . . . and, sadly, the last full day of Blogorado for this year. We met as usual for our breakfast session at a local eatery.  I don’t know whether to be sorry for the poor waitress who’s assigned to handle a party of 20-30 hungry, happy, loud people in a side room, or be happy for her because we tip more generously than the locals.  I’ve no idea how much money our Blogorado gathering puts into the economy of this small town every year, but it’s probably enough to be a

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Blogorado, Day 3

Lots of fun yesterday.  Miss D. and I didn’t get to visit the kittens, due to other things intervening, but we hope to do that this morning after breakfast. After another great breakfast rendezvous, we headed for the farm, loaded up with shooty and bangity goodness, then went on to the range.  A new arrival had brought some full-auto weapons, a bowling ball mortar and some sticks that went BANG! very enthusiastically and destructively when hit by bullets of the right size and velocity.  Loud explosions and the weird whistling noises produced by bowling balls in a ballistic arc were

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I think the Pope is right on this one

Pope Francis has issued a warning that I find completely accurate from my own experience, and very appropriate for today’s morally rudderless world. In his homily … the Pope said that in the spiritual life “temptations always return, the evil spirit never gets tired.” If he has been kicked out once, he is patient, waiting to return, and “If you let him in, you fall into a worse situation.” In fact, Francis said, in the gospel story, at first it was clear that it was the devil who was causing problems. But afterward, “The evil one conceals himself, and comes

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Blogorado, Day 2

I had a wonderful time at Blogorado on Friday. It’s less than a month since my second kidney stone procedure, so I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to cope, but things worked out bearably.  My painkillers came in for some punishment last night, but I needed only half as many today. In fact, given the limitations to mobility imposed by my 2004 spinal injury, I spent more time on my feet on Friday than I’ve done for months.  Sure, I was limping and moving slowly, but there are people with similar injuries who can’t walk at all.  Counting

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