Meeting an old friend for the first time

Last Saturday, Miss D. and I drove down to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to meet someone with whom I’ve had contact online for something like twenty years, but never actually met. Kim du Toit is well known in the blogosphere and shooting fraternity, and is also a writer.  He used to blog at The Other Side of Kim, but that went away some years ago.  To my great pleasure, he started blogging again a couple of years ago at his new online home, Splendid Isolation.  He’s recently remarried, after the death of his first wife, and his lady (also from South Africa) is settling down and

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Gun crime and lead poisoning – a link?

No, not the kind of lead poisoning that comes from getting shot.  A Milwaukee report suggests a different kind of linkage. More than half of the people who were perpetrators or victims of gun violence in Milwaukee in recent years had elevated blood lead levels as children, according to a study released Friday by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The study of nearly 90,000 residents, conducted at the University’s Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, suggests a link between early childhood lead exposure and gun violence in later years. . . . Lindsay R. Emer, the study’s lead author … said that while the

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A serious warning about firearms security

It’s long been the practice among security-conscious firearms owners to obscure the serial numbers in any photographs of firearms they put up on the Internet.  This is because unscrupulous characters have been known to note the serial numbers, report “their” firearm stolen (with that same serial number), and claim the loss against their own insurance policies.  The insurance company/ies then keep the firearm on the stolen property lists, and if there’s ever an inspection (for example, you’re stopped while driving, and the policeman checks your firearm serial number against his database), you may find yourself in trouble.  Alternatively, if you

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Fake news – shooting sports edition

“Don’t believe everything on the Internet” is an overworked statement, but remains as true as ever.  It was proven again by a 2017 forum post, which is making the rounds in the shooting community at present (example). This guy and his co workers were discussing whether a steel toe boot would withstand a round from a .45, so what do do you think would be the best way to test this theory? YUP, you guessed it. Good thing he wasn’t testing his hard hat. There’s more at the link, including pictures of the perforated foot. The only thing is, it’s not

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Blogorado 2019, Day 5

Yesterday (Monday) saw the end of our gathering for this year.  Some folks had to leave on Sunday, due to work commitments, but the rest of us gathered for a final breakfast at the Obligatory Cow Reference before heading out in all directions.  I tackled their Western Omelet, which was as delicious as everything else on their menu.  Their breakfasts are a highlight of our get-togethers, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone complain about their quantity or quality. Miss D. and I headed south to Amarillo, where we met up with Alma Boykin and Old NFO for lunch.  As always, it was a

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Blogorado 2019, Day 4

Another fine, sunny day, with temperatures in the 70’s, much nicer than when we arrived!  We gathered for our usual breakfast at the Obligatory Cow Reference.  (To explain its name:  the restaurant isn’t actually called that, of course, but has a cow-related name.  Early in our Blogorado history, someone remarked that it was like an obligatory cow reference in a town that was, after all, founded towards the end of the great cattle drive period of Old West history.  The name stuck.)  I treated myself to their breakfast tacos and a short stack of flapjacks, which I couldn’t finish – they

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Blogorado 2019, Day 3

We kicked off Saturday, as usual, with breakfast at the Obligatory Cow Reference.  I renewed my acquaintance with their chicken-fried steak, topped with a generous helping of their spicy chili verde.  Accompanied by cottage fries and a couple of eggs, it was delicious. We headed out to the farm, where a couple of hours was spent preparing for the wedding celebration that afternoon.  Two of our long-term associates have decided to tie the knot, using another of our members to officiate.  FarmDad has welded together an entrance arch for the bride out of wheels from antique farm implements (which are apparently

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Blogorado 2019, Day 2

The cold snap left very cold temperatures in its wake.  When I got up yesterday (Friday) morning, the thermometer read a balmy 9 degrees Fahrenheit!  Needless to say, with that sort of cold, nobody did anything too strenuous on Friday.  We waited for the warmth to return.  We spent the day at the FarmFamily residence, eating, drinking and batting the breeze. Two of our number are getting married at this year’s Blogorado.  Farmdad has assembled a triumphal arch for them, with the aid of a number of old steel wagon wheels and his trusty welding torch.  It was moved into

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On the road to Blogorado 2019

Miss D. and I left this morning on our journey to Colorado, where we’ll join a group of fellow bloggers, writers and shooting enthusiasts for our annual Blogorado gathering. We’re not looking forward to the weather!  Yesterday the temperature at our destination dropped by almost 60 degrees (Fahrenheit), and tonight it’s supposed to be in the teens.  In contrast, here in north Texas we’ve had days in the mid- to upper 80’s for the past week or two, and pleasantly (but not excessively) cool nights.  We’re not packing our open-toed sandals for Colorado, but rather warm shoes, heavy jackets, gloves and other anti-shivering

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Cashing in on mental health by depriving patients of freedom?

The Tampa Bay Times has a disturbing report about a local mental health institution, North Tampa Behavioral Health, and its alleged habit of keeping them as long as possible – whether they need it or not. More than two thousand people arrive each year at North Tampa Behavioral Health in extreme crisis. They are checked in under a state law that lets mental health centers keep people who might hurt themselves or others for up to 72 hours. But when that time is over, some patients find themselves held captive by the place that is supposed to protect them. Priya Sarran-Persad had

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