Friday, March 13, 2020

Thoughts on the Mexican Beer Flu

Well, the whole COVID-19 coronavirus thing has really come to a head, with POTUS declaring a national emergency.

On the one hand, it's been clear that the MSM has been trying to gin up a panic in yet another effort to hurt President Trump. On the other hand, the reaction of all levels of government, who presumably are privy to info us great unwashed cannot see does raise concern. Also, some analysis I've seen on a private forum has me leaning in the direction of, "This is not a drill!"

Local to me, all schools are closed here in Pennsylvania for the next two weeks. It's my understanding that after the three snow days are used up, my kids will be getting homework assignments until Spring break in early April.

My wife teaches in Philadelphia, so she'll be home.

Large public gatherings are prohibited.

Many large corporations are having people who can work remotely do so.

I took off today, but this afternoon after I got back from the range I checked my work email. I saw that I'd missed a couple last minute, mandatory all-hands meetings, so I pinged my director. Starting on Monday, those of us who do not need to be onsite will be working from home until mid-April. I fall into that category. Also for this time, meetings will be held using Cisco Webex or Microsoft Teams and enabling the webcams on our laptops will be mandatory.

This will be an interesting test of my employer's VPN. I hope it can handle the load. There's a fair amount of work I can do without being connected to the VPN because we use public cloud services, but there will be times I need to connect via the VPN to login to various hosts.

As a prepper, I had already ensured that we had provisions laid in. A couple of weeks ago, seeing the possibility of quarantines, I'd added to them with a couple of runs to BJ's (yes, including TP). So, we're in good shape.

I might go out tomorrow and pick up a handle of Wild Turkey, though. ;)

I am a bit concerned about my parent and my MIL, all of whom are in their 70s. My brother and I "grounded" our parents. They are generally homebodies anyway but my MIL is a social butterfly, so hopefully she can find it in herself to stay home.

Stay safe out there.

7.62x39 AR-15 Range Report

Over on Blog O'Stuff.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus Heat Map

Johns Hopkins put out this heat map dashboard tracking the global outbreak. It's worth a look.


Saturday, February 22, 2020

7.62x39 AR-15

Today I finished building my first AR-15 that isn't chambered for 5.56x45mm. It was time for something different.

While I find the 6.5 Grendel to be very interesting, I didn't want to get into a new caliber at this time, so this one is in 7.62x39. I've maintained a good stash of that caliber since before I got into ARs, starting when I bought a Chinese SKS in 1988.

I used the following parts:

The enhanced firing pin is to improve reliability with foreign ammo with hard primers, while the bolt from BRA is supposedly higher quality. One thing 7.62x39 ARs have the reputation for is breaking bolts. I'm hoping to avoid that but in case it happens, I'll have a spare ready to go.

First impressions of the AR-STONER kit were good, except for the poor staking of the carrier key to the bolt carrier, so I restaked the screws.

Here's the assembled carbine on my messy workbench:

And a close up of the receiver. It's my first AR with a graphic on it:

I would have finished it last weekend but managed to shoot a detent spring into the unknown. To complete the rifle I had to wait for an order containing spare detents and springs to arrive from Brownells.

It will be interesting to see what the recoil impulse of an AR-15 in 7.62x39 feels like compared with an SKS, AK, or VZ-2008.

I really hope that eventually Pennsylvania will legalize semiauto rifles for big game hunting. We got semiautos legalized for small game and varmints so hopefully after another year or two the PA Game Commission will realize that it hasn't caused the sky to fall and they'll let us use them for deer. This would make a fine rifle for the ranges encountered in most of PA.

I should be able to put a few rounds through it tomorrow, after which I'll post a follow up report.

Video: Gun Rights Supporters Must Speak Up

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Making Some Beef Jerky Today

Making some beef jerky this weekend. Weis had a 2-fer special on London Broil, so that's what I bought. It came out to a bit more than three pounds of meat. This is half.

The knife is a Terävä Jääkäripuukko 110 carbon steel model from Varusteleka. It came EXTREMELY sharp. I'll do a follow up post on the knife after I get the chance to use it some more.

I put the meat in the freezer for about a half hour before slicing, which made it firm, which in turn helped in cutting uniform slices about 1/8" thick. The puukko went through it like a hot knife through butter.

After slicing the meat I added the Nesco cure and spices, and now it's marinating in the fridge until tomorrow morning.

It should take about 10 - 12 hours in my Nesco dehydrator tomorrow. Gonna be good.

My plan is to freeze about half the jerky to bring with us when we go upstate for deer hunting in a few weeks. The rest will be for snacks until then.