MacBourne's Musings

Time to go back to the land: Planning to be as off-grid as I can - in the process there'll be music, guns, guitars, a smattering of politics (really kind of over that), CNC routing, yeah - a bunch of other stuff, too. Conservative with libertarian leanings - no wookie suit, yet. Μολὼν λαβέ - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE

Month: June 2010

Boys and girls go off to war…

…and sometimes they don’t make it back – The Chopping Block: Boys.

Shannon’s post today once again brought home how truly blessed I am. When my son, Chris first told me he was joining the Army, my thoughts and emotions ran the gamut: pride; “it’ll be good for him”; concern; – for the first couple of years while he was stateside it wasn’t bad. But when his unit deployed, “old man worry” really settled in.
My son served two deployments in Iraq – the first was spent writing letters back and forth and waiting for the occasional (often missed the first time) phone call. Bated breath and prayer were constant companions. By the end of his first tour he had access to instant messaging, so we were able to stay in closer touch.

His second deployment ran longer than originally scheduled, but we got him home whole.He’s serving in the reserves now, living with us and back in school. So you see what I mean by “truly blessed”.

For those that didn’t make it home safely –

“Go rest high on that mountain – Son, your work on earth is done”
 – and to their families, my heartfelt condolences.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad

My Dad taught me many things – one of the first things he taught me was the fine art of procrastination, hence why I’m so late on Father’s Day writing this. But along with that lesson, he taught me that when you do get “a round tuit” you need to do the job to the best of your ability – and do it right the first time. Blogging is a lot easier than life – you can have an infinite number of do-overs until the words flow right.

My Dad taught me to treat your fellow man with respect – and that a good business deal didn’t require “getting over” on the other party. In fact, I saw many occasions where Dad did the exact opposite – he saw to it the other fellow got the best end of the deal. My Dad taught me that while it wasn’t always easy to take the high road when dealing with someone you were at odds with, it was always easier knowing that was the path you chose. Dad and I had quite an experience with being at odds with one another back in the day…I’m truly blessed that we worked past that.

When I was a wee tyke, I had special bond with my grandfather. Grandpa passed away when I was six but as I grew older, I came to realize that the things I had so loved about my grandfather lived on in my Dad. I realize now that as his father lived on in him, our Dad will live on in my brother and me. I’m good with that.

My first ever blog entry was back in January of 2009, I wrote a bit about lutherie and Dad then. Might enjoy reading that, I’ll wait.

Lloyd Young McCray was born October 14, 1926 in Louisa County, Virginia. He was a lifelong resident of the county except while he served from 1943 to 1946 in the Marine Corps, and while he was away at school. Dad was a jack of all trades – and master of many – long-haul trucker; insurance agent, service station owner, timber cruiser, logger (woods rat) and steward of the land through farming and tree farming. He was a private pilot  – he had a Piper J-3 Cub until the mid-80’s – you can see the airstrip he built in the background of the picture (above). I mustn’t forget – groundhog, muskrat and beaver eradicator – the man was a deadly shot!


Even in his later years, Dad was still very active – ladder climbing, tree cutting – here he’s just taken down the two pear trees you see in the first picture. Mom snapped these shots of  of the old woods rat in his element.

Those old pears bore fruit for many years – over 150 growth rings. Like the lines on Dad’s face they told the story of a long, hard-working life. Some years leaner than others, but good years nonetheless.

For those of you that have Dads (and Moms) to call today or any other day – please do. You’ll never regret staying close. This will have to serve as my call home and my card to Dad…yep, I still miss you, Pop. I wasn’t quite done with you yet.

(I’ll be talking to Mom tonight for our daily recap).

Please remove liquids from the keyboard area before clicking on the link…

The Transmogrifier Files: Removing hair from overly sensitive areas.

I warned you…

Range Report – 6-5-2010

Another trip to Moss Knob – convenient, well maintained – what’s not to like? Currently it’s free to use from 1/2 hour after sunrise to 1/2 hour before sunset. There is a notice posted that they are evaluating instituting a $3.00 per day/$30.00 per year fee schedule. While free is great, a fee schedule like that would still be a bargain.

When I got to the range, there were three other guys there. Two of them were shooting Ruger 10/22 rifles, and one had a Ruger M77 (.243). I set up my 10/22 with bench bags to start sighting in my new scope – just an entry level Tasco on Weaver See-Thru rings. As I started to try to get something to print on paper, one of the guys offered to show me a sighting in trick an old-timer had taught him. I figured “why not?” so we gave it a try. Four shots later, it was dialed in clean enough for bulls-eye shots at 50 yards. Five minutes later, I was printing clean groups at 100 yards. Dayummm…that was cool!

There was shooting and sharing of guns – I had a chance to shoot the M77, but never did (dangit!). It was tricked out – bipod, stock monopod and a hugemongous scope – a complete tack driver. Add in a little pistol shooting, made for a great day.

Unfortunately as the day wore on, my shots started getting wilder and wilder. The set screws for my Weaver rail had loosened and backed out –  as well as the main take-down screw – so the barrel was wobbling in the stock, too! I knew they made Loctite for a reason (dagnabbit!). So we repeated the procedure so I could shoot a bit more…by this time I’d shot 350 rounds, so I decided to call it quits.

Last night, I field stripped it and did some high level cleaning. This morning I decided to strip the entire trigger group down – for cleaning and to re-familiarize myself with the dissassembly/reassembly. I also pulled the Weaver rail off, cleaned the screw threads in the receiver and remounted the rail – using Loctite this time. I set that aside to cure while I reassembled the trigger group. I got it all back together and lightly lubed – I had a minor headache getting the charging handle and bolt to realign, but I persevered! I got it all back together – with a drop of Loctite on the take-down screw and then slid the scope back on the Weaver rail.

Now  – gotta get back out to the range to sight it in again.

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