Friday, January 30, 2009

Overheard in Austin

Texas conservatives and gunnies often like to comment (generally in a derogatory way) on the political and social climate of my hometown, Austin. A bastion of liberal hedonism, replete with the lack of personal responsibility and respect for the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, it is often called.

Funny thing about that. I came into my love for guns in this town, surrounded by folks who would be immediately pegged as through-and-through modern liberals by those residing in the rest of the state. My first experience with rifles and pistols was under the guidance of a local friend who frequents the same coffee shop as I do. I've gone to the range with "liberals" who'd get no respect if they wandered into a Republican fundraising event.

The assumption that Austin is a place that simply going to hate guns and the RKBA is simply proving itself untrue the more of my gun-owning life I live here.

I was sitting at a table at my favorite local coffee house with a friend, tapping away at my laptop. A young lady acquaintance of my friend shows up and they start a conversation. The subject matter turns to recent local criminal activity, with references to particular predatory and violent crimes against persons in the neighborhood area of our location as of late.

What caught my interest was a statement from the young lady:

"It's gotten to the point where I got a gun, and I carry it with me."

I'm sure a little smile planted itself on my face. The only response I could give was "good".

Folks, when the coffee-swilling liberals in Austin coffee houses are recognizing the fundamental need to go about armed for personal protection, things are looking up. There's been a lot of defeatist chatter on the gun blogosphere and forums about the inevitable gun bans coming from Obama and Congress and how the country is going to hell in a handbasket. I think they watch too much TV.

There are a lot more of us out there than most folks realize.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I've seen several people posting their own creations on the Obama propaganda art theme, so I though I'd make one of my own.

I think I may revise the graphics to match the fonts used in the original propaganda, but here's my first attempt.

You can check out the propaganda generator over at

Monday, January 26, 2009

Is that a pistol in your pocket...

Taking a cue from Brigid, I'm not sufficiently inspired (and lack the time anyway) for a proper post, but am making a (yet another) quick meme post. As Brigid put it, "Empty Your Pockets". So... here's a picture of exactly what sits in my pockets during the day.

Everything is pretty self-explanatory. That black thing at the right is a portable knife sharpener that goes with me everywhere I go. This actually caught me on a light day - I will usually have a sharpie, usb flash drive, and some other assorted items with me. There's, of course, the point-and-shoot which generally travels with me, but was taking the picture. Now, what's in your pockets?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Photographer's Taste In Art

At risk of becoming a meme-poster, I read Bayou Renaissance Man's recent What Your Taste In Art Says About You quiz results post and decided to take the quiz myself. The results are somewhat expected, and as a photographer - the ideals of impressionism in reflecting reality in one's art are kindred to the visual nature of most photographic work.

There are exceptions in more abstract photography techniques, but even those are generally extrapolations of visual reality. One such technique is called Camera Tossing, a movement headed up by my good friend Ryan Gallagher, which involves capturing the natural physical motion of a tossed camera during flight. You can view much of his own work at Kinetic Photography. Go ahead, click the links - it's quite beautiful and intriguing stuff. I'll make a more extensive post devoted to the technique and my own camera toss work soon.

Anyhow, here's my results:

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

7 Impressionist, -4 Islamic, 3 Ukiyo-e, -25 Cubist, -19 Abstract and 7 Renaissance!

Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.

People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test
at HelloQuizzy

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Lowly Milsurp Rifle

Military Surplus Rifles. For some, they are collectors items; relics of wars past that remind us of the struggles and conflicts of wars gone by. For others, they make the purchase of a rifle affordable, especially for the first-time buyer. Many are examples of the innovations in technology fueled by the need for a better weapon. Others are examples of utilitarian simplicity and ruggedness. They have been tools in the movements of oppression and liberty for centuries past. These rifles are a reminder of the spirit and struggles so many men have made in the pursuit of life and liberty.

The first rifle I fired was a Schmidt-Rubin K31, offered to me by the good friend who first got me into firearms. It was a beautiful specimen of Swiss engineering, six decades old. I was quite impressed.

I was still very new to firearms in general, and decided I wanted to purchase my own. I researched and found a surplus dealer online, and decided to buy my first gun. Actually, I bought two: The Mosin-Nagant 91/30 and Mosin-Nagant M44. Both were WWII production guns, and the sense of history was appealing. The fact that surplus ammunition could be found for around 11 cents/round at the time made them affordable shooters. I ordered them, picked them up at a local FFL, and became a gun owner for the first time in my life.

The 91/30 became my first love, and remains my favorite firearm to this day. It has stayed as it came to me, with the exception of a change in sights from the old blade-and-notch to a set of drop-in dual-aperture "SnapSights" from Mojo Sighting Systems. These sights give a more defined sight picture with quicker target acquisition, resulting in more accurate shots. The gun has excellent balance, and I practice with it almost every visit to the gun range. It has been with me on my continuing journey as a gun-owning American. I expect it to stay with me for the duration of my life.

Most recently, it accompanied me on my first large game hunt: a walking deer hunt with two of my new hunting buddies on the last day of White-Tail Deer season here in Central Texas. Most hunters will balk at walking around hunting deer with an 8 1/2 pound gun and iron sights, but my familiarity with the gun gives me the confidence to make my shots with accuracy. Most of the hunt had been fruitless, with nothing more than a rabbit or two spotted up until that point. The light was close to fading, so we decided to try flushing the deer out into the open, where I waited crouched in some brush. Sure enough, after a bit of a wait - a string of deer came crashing through the trees, jumped a fence, and ran around in front of me into the clearing where we had expected them to go. I took my shot on a doe close to the end of the group, as they ran perpendicular to me at a range of about 40 yards. She had made it just to the tree line when I heard her stumbling and crashing though brush. My bullet had hit its mark. It was getting dark, so I waited for the others to catch up. We followed the blood trail, and found that she had made it just 20 feet past the tree line before she dropped for good. We discovered I had hit the back of the lungs, although I barely managed to make a dreaded "gut shot" at the very front of the stomach. It turned out to not be much of an issue when it came to cleaning the deer, as the hit to the stomach was minor. Not bad for a first-timer in low light with iron sights on a running deer, I was told. I can certainly say that I would not have been able to make that shot with a scoped "deer rifle" under those conditions. The 91/30 had served me well.

The milsurp rifle is often under-appreciated in the general shooting community. It serves a great purpose by introducing new shooters to the love of firearms, and remains a utilitarian tool for many.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

First Post

With the encouragement of some folks over on Gunblogger Conspiracy, I've decided to start a gun blog of my own.

I've found myself wanting to document my experiences and opinions on a few subjects recently, and discussed the prospect of a gun blog with my girlfriend over dinner at the new burger joint in town last night. We talked about the kinds of things I wanted to write about - namely guns, food, and photography. I then came to the realization that a great many of the gun blogs cover this same set of subjects - The Lawdog Files and Home On The Range being a couple of prime examples. I asked my girlfriend why she thought this was, and her response was simply, "...because that's all you really need". And so I had a name for my blog.

And now, a brief bit of background about myself:

I'm a man in his early 30s living in Austin, Texas. I am by no means a firearms expert - in fact I have only owned guns for the past two years of my life. In that time, however, I have come to have a great respect and appreciation for firearms and the people who excersize the rights and responsibilites of keeping and bearing arms.

I enjoy good food and cooking, and am currently exploring game recipes.

Photography is a subject I formally studied and for five years, and a skill I utilize for the occasional odd job and for the simple pleasure of seeking out, capturing, and creating a beautiful image for others to enjoy.

I've got a duck hunt to make in a few hours, so this concludes my first post.