Thursday, May 30, 2013


As the days go by, I'll let you know when Governor Perry signs the switchblade law into effect. At least I hope he does, and all indications are that he will.

First order of business will be to order a Microtech Halo V. 

Second order of business will be to contact Rob, Amica and Stefi over at Stefi's Blog and get some advice on some traditional stiletto knives like the Frank Bertrame knives they have written about previously. I have been looking at the FB knives as well, and there are some very nice knives there.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


All we are waiting on now is the signature of the Governor. It passed the Senate on the 22nd of this month, having previously passed the House with a vote of 141/1. I forget the Senate vote, but it was similar.

All it needs to be is signed by the Governor himself. Then it's law as of September 1, 2013. Then all those people who don't own switchblades can begin carrying their switchblades legally.

And why not? I've been in law enforcement for right at 30 years and I've seen just a couple of switchblades being carried, both being transported by kids bringing them back from the border. Not ever have I seen a switchblade used in a crime or even carried by a known criminal. They prefer guns these days.  I see lots of Glocks and lots of cheap crap handguns in my duties with bad guys. No blades ever.

So Plueeeezzzzzzeeeee Governor Perry, sign that bill. Perry is a second amendment kind of guy, and I know he's aware that the fairly respectable knife and collectors lobbies as well as ordinary joes like myself are in favor of this law.

My State Rep is a very 2nd Amendment type of guy. Big gun owner. Rancher and has a hog problem like nearly every other rural landowner in Texas. If you had a suppressor, a nightscope and maybe a portable stand, you could nail hogs in the double digits easy on his place.

I know he voted for it. He's that type of guy. Great guy.

I did write to the Governor, as well as other reps back when it was in committee. It's not likely he saw my letter, although I am known to him as a person who works in his campaigns. He has an uncanny ability to remember names, and a Judge friend of mine who attended Texas A & M with him said he had that ability then.

Think of it. The Governor knows how many tens of thousands of people..several tens of thousands, I suspect. He once saw me after seeing me some three or four years before, fleetingly I might add, and called me by name. It was an impromptu encounter, so he couldn't have prepared for it.

And in the scheme of things as far as he is concerned, I am a nobody. I command no massive block of votes. I have no money to speak of  to give him for his campaigns, although I've given him campaign donations I'm not a big or ever frequent donor. I'm on the low end of his donor list. Way low.

And yet the dude remembers my name. It impressed me. Despite liberal media portrayals, he is a genius type fellow and just had a bad time in the debates. If you spoke to him one on one, you would like him and think he was very sincere. And I swear it's not an act.

He really needs to be our next president.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Switchblades were outlawed in Texas in the 1950's out of fear of their use by gangs, but we never really had that widespread of a gang culture until the 1980's. Now, it looks like they have a good chance of being legal in Texas.

The Austin American Statesman today reports that the measure introduced by State Representative Harold Dutton (D) of Houston. Mr. Dutton says that he introduced the bill to conjure some gun control talk, but instead knife collectors, outdoorspeople, conservative republicans and just the average guy like me who has always wanted to own a switchblade or two but couldn't because they were illegal.

When Stefi's Blog was going and a blowing on a regular basis, I'd often read and learn a great deal from Rob, Stefi and the other great folks over there. Rob, Stefi and Amica know a great deal about knives and what makes a good one. 

From what I learned from them, I'm ready to do some online switchblade buyin' of the Frank Beltrane variety and maybe even a nice microtech.

Although the Microtech knives are expensive, if they were legal and could be carried I'd certainly opt for one of those for a backup self-defense weapon to a handgun. I've known folks who've owned high end switchblades but what was the purpose? You can't carry them or use them in any situation. 

So hopefully that will change. I've seen lots of nice knives from different makers I'd like to have, in addition to the Beltranes and the Microtechs.

I'd also like a custom made Buck 110 auto.


I enjoyed Gangster Squad the movie. It's real loosely based on more or less real events. There was a Gangster Squad at LAPD back in those days, and Mickey Cohen was a real mobster that the LAPD did battle with. Of course, the real story is far less dramatic and in real life, the Gangster Squad existed for more than a decade and was not the free running unit it is in the movie.

Yet, I thought the screenplay was good, since I like the Dirty Harry variety of policing in my cop movies. It's been panned all over, but as I state below, I really enjoyed it. I watched it two days in a row, and I rarely watch a movie twice these days. The last movie I felt inclined to immediately watch again was the latest Bourne movie, which of course was without Bourne.

Nonetheless, the acting is really good. I hate to admit that I like Penn's acting. I liked him in his Jeff Spicoli days but since then his politics have overshadowed any liking I had for him. Still, I find his Cohen role compelling and well performed, because it's not hard to imagine him being a villain worthy of not liking. He actually  into some Pacino "Scarface" territory when Cohen utters the phrase "Makes me Giddy". 

When Cohen says that, it's scary... real scary.

Brolin plays a great WWII vet/hero turned cop. A devoted and honorable lawman. I especially like the John Patrick character of Hopalong, who is quick on the draw and shoots like Redford's Sundance Kid with his Colt SAA. The casting, wardrobe and of course the probably digital settings and scenes from days of old in LA were very well done. Certainly in a noir way, but well done.

I thought it better than other LA movies dealing with that era, like LA CONFIDENTIAL. A quick perusal of various movie critic sites showed they panned it. I disagree and give it five stars. Yeah, it does some rehashing of past flicks but it is well acted and the battles were well done. And with the great good triumphs against evil, sorta, well it's a time honored recipe for success.

There was a very good seven part series on Mickey Cohen and The Gangster Squad in the LA Times beginning in October of 2008. I was out in LA at the time, and read one of the stories in the series in the actual paper then caught the others online. Great writing and very interesting stuff from the history of America and LA.

It's a well written story and after I read one of the installments over breakfast one morning, later in the day when I had the chance I got online and read the rest of the seven installments and just thought it was excellent investigative reporting and writing. Well documented facts.

In the movie, cops, politicos and a judge are on the take from Cohen. Good does triumph over evil in the show, but it wasn't as clear cut in real life.

I'll be buying it soon, when the price drops, because I'll enjoy seeing it a few more times.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Fresh on the magazine rack at the local grocery is the May/June 2003 issue of Backwoods Magazine. I picked it up tonight, and as I was relaxed and reading the magazine I came across a great article by none other than a fellow Texas blogger who actually sorta lives nearby kinda sorta, Mr. Wild Ed himself!

He may very well be a frequent writer for them, as I've only been reading this magazine for a couple of years now.

I've mentioned this magazine before. I lay no claim to being a backwoodsman, but I do come from a backwoodsman background and had lots of East Texas farm and ranch running around and summers to learn lots of the backwoods ways.

I find reading about all that stuff interesting, and as an outdoorsman and fisherman, I do find many useful tips and ads in every issue that more than pays for the cost of the magazine. 

When I was a little kid, my dad's mom still had an outhouse. A well with cool, fresh and clean spring water right outside the kitchen door. She had running water and an indoor shower and they got electricity about 1940 when my dad was eight.  I watched her churn butter, cook (or was it cured) lard, kill-clean-prepare chickens, dress hogs and cows and all kinds of real pioneer woman stuff.

As an aside, when my dad graduated from law school and became a prosecutor in Houston, first thing he did was got his mom a bathroom addition with a real toilet and an outside septic system. He loved his mom.

Point is, this is my heritage. My family was country living, farm working rural Texans from 1821 until more than 100 years later when my dad joined the Air Force at age 18 in 1950, and they lived the backwoodsman lifestyle.

They were not the rich and privileged folk, but the hard working folks.

So if you notice Wild Ed in my blogroll to the right on the screen, you'll see I'm already a fan of his. He's given me some good advice about muzzleloaders and I want to follow in his "custom BB gun buildin'" efforts in the near future. He does the kind of fishin' I like to do and I always like what's over on his blog.

So even if you don't regularly read Backwoodsman, or read it at all, check out their website and maybe his article will appear there, or catch it at your magazine vendor and read it there on the spot. 

It's a great tutorial about Wild Ed's Texas style link sausage, how it's made and the different ways it can be prepared. This article will surely be copied for the wife and her collection of recipe and food processing ideas. There's a venison sausage recipe that sets it out in detail how to mix it up.

Seeing somebody I've actually spoken with (albeit by email), that has written an article for a magazine makes me proud of him. He's a great writer and it's often difficult to get into any type of media writing at all because competition is fierce. But as I said, he's a great writer and so it's not that big of a surprise really to see an article by him in a cool magazine.

Yee haw, Wild Ed!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I know I've been having a tough time finding ammo since mid-December. It's like way back 20 years ago, in the early 1990's, during the Clinton gun ban years.

Because of the resultant price increases on ammo, I ain't been buying much at all, compared to my normal purchases. In addition to little or no availability of just plain shootin' ammo in a wide variety of calibers (.22 Long Rifle, .38 special, .357, 9mm, .223, 7.62 x 39, to name a few), you've had to go to multiple stores in a several town area to find small caches of the caliber you want.

My friend Max correctly observes that he didn't learn his lesson during the Clinton gun ban years, because there was an ammo shortage then but plenty of .40 caliber available. I agree with this thought. I've noticed tons of .40 caliber ammo (well, maybe not TONS, but compared to the other ammo in short supply it is dang near plentiful).

So consequently, I haven't been doing as much shooting this year because of the lack of ammo. One shooting range that I visited a few weeks ago on spring break had a good supply of decent ball ammo in several calibers and at fair prices, but for range use only. 

One of my co-workers ordered a large amount of .40 caliber from Lucky Gunner, and she was very pleased with the price of the ammo. 

So that led to me doing some trading of some older H&R .22 revolvers that I had (I kept the best ones) for a used Glock 23. So I'm once again in the .40 caliber orbit. I had a very nice Firestar SA in .40 caliber back in the 90's, but sold it to a friend who had to have it and who still has it and carries it as a primary CHL weapon to this day. 

So all that aside, I need to go to Lucky Gunner and get me some ammo instead of running all over my town and several nearby ones. Yes, this is a shameless plug but I've been pleased with their service as has my friend. Good folks.