Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas from El Fisho!

I just want to wish a very Merry Christmas to those who visit this blog on occasion and to those great friends like Zach and Ed that I've made writing this blog. I actually have some time on my hands this merry night, and have a few new stories to tell.

Happy Holidays, Kwanzaa and all other varieties of Christian and Interfaith celebration!

Friday, October 2, 2015


I took the summer off the blog, quite unintentionally. I meant to sit down and do some writing many times, but never even got as far as pulling up the page.

I took the title from a 1983/4-ish answering machine message my former roommate and friend Roberto and his then wife had on their machine when they were living in San Diego in a nice condo with NO AIR CONDITIONING during a record heat wave.  Of course, being from Houston, he ran out and obtained the largest window unit he could find, and in violation of deed restrictions and  such, installed it in the bedroom window.

"Hi. We're hiding in the shadows in the bedroom during the day during this heat wave. We'll be happy to return your call when the sun goes down and it's safe but yet still unconfortably hot to go into the living room where the phone is. So please leave a message."

It wasn't the record hot/draught summer we had a few years ago that was so totally unbearable with over 100 consecutive days of 100 degree + temps and no rain (if I recall correctly, something like that), but there were many day this summer that it was mis-er-a-ble outside.

Frankly, we've just been busy. Nothing horrid this summer, although for sure it was a horrid year for a death in the family, the loss of my dear mother, and that's cast a shadow over lots that's been going on. We are grandparents now, and that of course requires a certain amount of effort. We still have one at home, El Fisho Jr., who is an extremely talented and active kid with no behavior or teenage issues at all. None. No drama at all.

One of my dear friends became a famous Judge last year of a very important court, and I'm so proud of him. Good fortune has shined on us as a family this year, despite some minor (in the scheme of things) medical stuff that as per usual with us and a highly athletic kid. We had WAY LESS medical stuff this year than in the previous two years, so again we've been blessed.

So I've got another post to write at least tonight, but wanted to say Hey. HEY!

Saturday, May 2, 2015


I put two adventurers but really there were three main characters in the two stories, plus lots of
other adventures with the story of the Amazon Jungle explorers some 55 years ago.

You can read here about the extraordinary but deadly adventure that Richard Mason took with a fellow named Kit Lambert who later managed the wonderful rock band The Who, apparently in their early rise to fame as Mr. Lambert died at a young age.

The Mason adventure took place decades ago, long before the next adventurer I'll talk about was born. Yet, although one was venturing through unknown jungle territory, the other ventures alone through open oceans and seas and does so not as a trust fund kid but as a regular person really living a dream.

I like reading some of the stories in the Daily Mail, although I'd complain they've gone a bit more sensational over the past several years, which to many Daily Mail readers is apparently no new thing. Even the subscription newspapers, the few left of some repute yet almost with an entirely liberal bent, do cover more of the hard news, but I like to read a variety of news sources in order to get a balanced idea of what's going on in the world.

I like a good human interest story. There is so much war and death and destruction and absolute inhumanity of all kinds that is violating millions around the world that it's nice to hear the story of someone who escaped the 9 to 5 and has actually discovered a fantastic way of life.

 A young 34 year old woman named Liz Clark has been sailing solo on a Catalina 40 for much of the last 10 years, surfing in lots of exotic locales and just generally leading an enviable life for those of us who have enjoyed sailing and like beaches and fishing and the feeling of floating with the wind on a gorgeous day on the ocean or water.

Ms. Clark has some advantages. The story goes that after graduating from college and bar waitress working she meets a retired professor who gives her a Catalina 40 with the promise she'll document her travels, and he gifts this to her because he never got to live his dream of doing that and wanted someone to that shared that dream to actually do it in that boat.

What a great man. Apparently she's been at it off and on, doing about 25,000 miles since 2005. She takes time off, and apparently on one trip home to California a few years ago she broke her neck surfing, after already sailing thousands of miles around the world solo with no similar injuries. And apparently she got right back on that horse, so to speak, and has been back world traveling via her boat and surfing like nobody's business all over the globe.

So I don't say, what a strong woman, no, I say what a strong person. Man or woman, I don't care who you are, that's an impressive accomplishment SOLO for that many years. Dangerous. Scary. Mother Nature can be very nasty, and trust me on this, a 40 sailboat is but a mere speck on the water thousands of miles from land in any direction. Ballsy, at the very least.

Feel free to google her. There's several articles from other mags and on the Patagonia website, one of her sponsors. She has all the facebook and instagram and other pages but I didn't look at them. She does have a great blog I want to look at some time.

And the kind of guy I am, and how I earned the moniker I use here on this blog, namely El Fishing Musician a/k/a El Fishing Musicano, being an inveterate fisherman.

One of the pics in the article linked above shows her with a huge fish she caught. 

I see she's all into surfing and more power to her but I'm into fishing as much as she is into surfing and I could just imagine the fun of fishing for all kinds of fish, both saltwater with the added bonus of some jungle freshwater fish at some of the places visited.

Me and Wife and the family, not perhaps crusing the ocean blue as Ms. Clark does, would love as a bucket list item to do some of the more protected area cruising in island chains or along certain coastlines. 

Can you imagine spending a few months in wonderful waters with all kinds of other worldly scenery and pristine beaches, particularly in some of the parts of Asia with scenery from James Bond or other movies or in the Fiji chain or around Tahiti or even the legendary fishing in the Christmas Islands? 

Yes, yes I can that. An emphatic yes. And the wife is such a beach fanatic and would love living on a decent sized boat ( as long as she is in charge of all below deck matters, decorations, fixtures, ovens, fridge, arrangements, etc. 

You've got to give it to someone like Clark. She's young enough, were she inclined to start a family in a few years, she and her family could come back and find employment and live that workaday life we all do.

But you'd almost hope they'd live as they are doing. Maybe having some ports of call during infancy, but nothing says the trip around the world has to be a race around the world. Without checking Wiki or the web, I'm sure there are lots of women or at least some who have sailed solo around the world in a certain record amount of days. Perhaps it's record frequently broken. I don't follow such things.

But I like Ms. Clark's approach. General Destination and see what happens. I'm pretty sure had I been lucky enough to be her that I might have found a place I might have wanted to hang for awhile by now. Maybe even if it were more of a home base from which to continue her worldly trek. But man, some of the places she's been and shown look so ideal to live such a wonderful life on.

I once had a friend like Ms. Clark named Kathy. She passed on some 17 years ago, from breast cancer. I know she had fought it once before I met her. Kathy was about the age of Ms. Clark now.

Kathy too had acquired a Catalina sailboat, hers a 27 footer, identical to the one I spent my youth learning to sail in. 

Kathy's  dream was to do the same the Ms. Carter is doing now, but Kathy was using the 27 footer that she had bought cheaply as a trainer in the Gulf of Mexico before she invested in a larger boat. Her plans were for a 50 foot boat as I recall and she was doing shopping around for one when I was spending time with her.

I met her in my twenties and she had already been in a fight with breast cancer of some sort. She really didn't want to talk about it much, and was fortunate to have an extremely high paying job where she was stashing away incredible amounts of money in her plan for world travel and buying a much larger boat.

Unfortunately, she never got to make that trip. The monster returned and claimed her life. So I know Kathy would be envious that Ms. Carter is living that dream, which is obviously a dream that more than one person shares.

Anyway, Ms. Carter does some pretty hardcore maintenance work on her craft and obviously has been doing well in the McGyver department when need be. You can imagine the perils of open sea travel and breakage or equipment issues occur. Not only must you find a way to remedy the issues, but sometimes you may be doing repairs in rough seas whilst trying to pilot the boat in a safe fashion.

I suspect there are plenty of long days and sleepless nights during bad weather and such, but I bet they are damn worth it when those good days on the water come together.

Monday, April 13, 2015


I have checked with every Glock dealer and connection I know in several large Texas cities, and all of their are saying their suppliers are saying mid-to-late summers the long awaited single stack Glock 43 will appear in stores. Likely, the first several months will make them hard to get due to initial demand, as with the Model 42.  But I have my name on the top o' several waiting lists and will be getting one and reviewing it here.

I think I've written before about how so many of my friends, particularly those who live in rural locales on acreage and have hog problems, have gone to the 10mm as their sidearm for dealing with hogs.

Most of these folks who are serious about hog control are carrying fully outfitted .308 bolt and semi-auto as well as .556 guns, all scoped and in many cases, "whispered" as they say with a suppressor. All legal of course, as this is Texas after all. Just pay the fed tax. My friend Cowboy's M-4 with a short barrel and suppressor (with separate tax stamps and fees for each of those features) is quiet quiet quiet...literally just the action cycling, as he whispers in the ears of hogs with his scoped gun.

Lots of these folks are the ranching and farming business, either full or part time. Lots of family places that are generations old. My friend Cowboy's place is just shy of 284 acres, sharing that with his siblings and parents, and has an adjacent place of his own that is about 20 acres or so. Land in that part of my world is hard to get if you're not from that particular community. He was lucky to get that 20 acre swath directly adjacent to his 150 year family place.

I'm gonna get to the Glock 10mm Texas story here in a minute, but let me set up the back story for you on why the Glocks in 10mm have become a big favorite with hog hunters. Many of my friends traditionally carried .357 or .44 magnum revolvers for chance hog encounters or for back up when hunting them. Now most have moved on to Glock 10mm pistols instead.

A retiree, Cowboy's dad runs a significant amount of cattle out there, as he has all of his life, maybe 250 head, and his working horses, and Cowboy, being a cowboy despite a family and a real life high dollar high prestige job, rides his own several horses quite a bit. I believe his mom and siblings each have several acre gardens that are quite productive with a variety of crops providing holistic food for their families. One of his brothers built a home out there and also has his own horses and a larger garden than the others since they just live nearby.

It can take a group of hogs, or a "sounder" or any other number of names for a herd or pack or group of feral hogs, just a few minutes to absolutely destroy a field that you've worked on for months. What kind of dollar value do you put on crops you will consume that have been organically grown and grown with tlc for the family. 

Likewise, I know his mom and maybe his younger brother run sheep and goats on part of the property as well. All this is pretty common in lots of historic Texas families that still possess the old family place and cherish it and continue to respect their ancestors and the wild challenges they faced in this part of Texas in the early to mid 1800's to settle this land they now enjoy.

So most of my friends carry rifles with them on the place. One very successful friend, we'll call him Chris, with a large family ranch in the Texas Hill Country, has a mile long road on his place leading from the entrance to his place to the house itself. Usually, coming or going, he sees hogs. He keeps one of many different types of rifles in his truck and like every one else, tries to keep the sometimes huge hogs away from his gardens and livestock. Again, Chris and I believe his siblings carry on their family traditions despite having important business careers as their main job. 

So the point is, all these guys have switched to the Glock 10mm for their gun of choice when hunting hogs. Chris tells a story of his wife being out of town one weekend, allowing him to roam his family place with his dogs and his new night vision scope on his high end rifle. As he approaches one of several large ponds in deeply wooded areas, and his family place is also many hundreds of acres, he said he heard a huge thrashing sound in the water.

Chris is also a big saltwater fisherman, hitting the bays of Texas as I enjoy chasing speckled trout and redfish. He likely well knows the sound of a huge school of tens of thousands of shrimp being chased and fed upon by a school of trout or reds, often times in the wee small hours of the early morning, just before sunrise.

Chris said the sound also reminded him of the jungle movies of our youth, which I've spoken about before, where a hunk of meat, like a quarter of a cow, was stuck in some third world tropical river and devoured by hundreds of thrashing piranhas in minutes.

Chris had his new big dollar high end night sight on some kind of .308 AR platform semi-auto rifle, and looked at the pond and found there to be about a hundred hogs, mostly small and medium with a few large ones. The good eating ones are the smaller ones but generally the big ones are the ones to go for. The big breeders.

Chris said they weren't feeding but bathing and wallowing around in the muddy edges of the ponds, trampled with where the cows and other wildlife normally come to water. But to his amazement, some were swimming and sort of bathing by swimming and just making a big amount of racket with all this wallowing. Chris grew up on this place, and is in his 50's, and had never seen anything like it before or since.

He began taking out the larger and most vulnerable hogs but his rifle was unsupressed and his well trained dogs, silent until the firing began, be raising holy hell. His rifle ultimately had some sort of real bad jam in it, and about that time the moonlight showed enough that a passel of those feral hogs were headed his way, despite his couple of dogs going crazy barking.

He had his Model 20sf and turned on the gunlight he has rail mounted on it and managed to take at least one out and wound another and with the muzzle blast, he surmised, managed to detour the rest around he and his dogs. He has well trained dogs, who despite every doggie instinct they possess wanted to tangle with those hogs, yet they followed command and stayed heeled. So well trained but they couldn't resist barking to attempt to repel the approaching hogs.

He's a big believer in the Glock 10mm. He recently upgraded to the new 6" barrel model Gen 4 10mm, coming optical sight ready. Several of my other friends have as well, and those who just don't care for the 10mm like Cowboy will opt for the .45 ACP version and just shoot some hot hunting ammo by Cor-Bon or Buffalo Bore or another like ammo out of the .45 ACP.

I've handled only the .45 ACP version, with a slightly less than 6" barrel as with the 10mm version. They are both Gen 4, and I don't quite understand the Gen 4 grip system in comparion to the Gen 3 SF versions of the .45 ACP and the 10mm. Although I shot a Gen 2 .45 ACP Model 21 for 15 years, and about 3 of those years on a weekly competitive combat shooting basis, I do prefer the SF fit for my hand. 

All in all, feral hogs are a great problem to some residential areas as well as farming and agriculture in this state. The large capacity and reliability of the Glock and the hard hitting projectile of the 10mm have won over more than one of my friends living on farms and ranches with hog issues.

Let me close discussing those surprise hog situations, like my friend Chris above had when his rifle jammed and bunch of scared hogs came charging his way. That's when the sidearm came in handy.

Our family owned some hog infested land back from the late 1960's until recently. It had a large creek that traversed it, a year round creek. I never saw it get lower than six feet, in times of severe drought. 

It was a magnet for all kinds of deep East Texas animals at the beginning and end of the day, and during the night time. Panthers, bobcats, several different types of feral hogs, deer, armadillos, raccoons, water moccasins, copperheads, gators and all other kinds of critters. 

The property had some fairly deep ravines where runoff drained into the creek from the surrounding lands. A lot of different critters made their lairs in these ravines, which were often choked with brush and downed trees and mostly impassible. 

But you could rummage around the edges of it, sometimes jumping a large feral hog. Well, one day my comrades and I, in our young teens, jumped several large feral hogs and unfortunately they were headed our way as we had boxed them into a corner, and our way was the only way out. Squealing, snorting and making noises as they smashed through downed brush and shall trees. We were under gunned. We had double barrel shotguns loaded with buckshot and finally took out most of them but not without some frenzied reloading. 

I'd-a sure liked to have had me a nice Glock 10mm in a shoulder holster that day. With a laser guide rod and a nice little red dot scope on it, I suspect it would've solved all hog problems that day.

Some recent show I saw on cable talking about Mutant Hogs, and actually the show focused on areas in close proximity to where I dwell. One large toll road area, maybe 10 miles southeast of the Austin Airport,  running through Central Texas had had several fatal and serious injury accidents from folks driving the posted speed limit of 80 mph at night and encountering 20 or 30 LARGE hogs blocking the road. 

So in addition to being a threat not only to crops and livestock but to house pets and even a human, they're just reproducing at fast rates and causing all kinds of problems. Like those flying fish they have in the rivers up in the Mid-West U.S.

So we've got the M43 coming soon for those time when lightweight and very low profile carry are the order of the day. And that's good news. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015


I've written on numerous occasions on this blog as have numerous others about how what the world does need now IS a CCH sized Glock in 9mm.

For years, as I've written repeatedly, I've carried the Glock M36. I declared it a marvel in gunmaking and comfort some 15 years ago, publicly and privately, after 8 years of carrying CCH a Glock M21 simply because I've always been a 45 ACP fan.

Since that time, I've become a fan of the G19/26 and 23 guns. But the 9mm are so fun to shoot, and I shoot so well with them. I'm a fan of all the Glock handguns, and wish I owned one of each, except maybe the .45 GAP, but maybe that has it's purpose.

Lots of my friends here in Texas carry Glocks, either as cops on and off duty and citizens. It's a reliable gun that many folks shoot very well with and it holds many bullets. True, the smaller M43 holds fewer rounds, but that's the trade-off for the situations or people where size does matter. Just carry "extree boohlets" as a friend of mine used to say.

The Glock M42 shoots well, but there is so much more that a 9mm in a defensive configuration can do than a .380 can.

Here in Texas, it's fixing to get hot. Hot hot hot. Hot weather means many of us dress in thin shirts and shorts, not risque mind you, or at least not me, but thin. Breezy. I like a lot of the shirts made of moisture wicking fabric that wick moisture away, but they are thin fabrics prone to printing a larger handgun, even in an IWB holster. 

Wearing a +1 t-shirt or polo can conceal a Glock Model 19/24 or better a M26 or a 3"1911 or a J frame revolver, but a smaller gun does conceal much better. And sometimes larger shirts are just hotter shirts.

And suits are an entire different story. A suit cut to fit a larger handgun in a IWB such as the High Noon Mr. Softy or the Alessi equivalent, such as a Glock M19/23, which will often also accommodate a fit on guns such as the H&K P7, H&KP30s, and 1911 Commanders. In some cases, some cuts of a jacket and pant will even conceal a larger weapon like the FN 5.7 or a Glock M20/21 or a 1911 Government, not to mention K and 

Yes, on most occasions I prefer a larger gun, and most of the year I carry a larger gun, even a Government 1911 on lots of occasions. Under the right clothing, it's very concealable. 

But again, there are those times when having a smaller handgun is a necessity. I enjoy my lighter weight J frames and Colt snubbies, but you can't deny how much easier the Glock M42 in a IWB holster is than a .38 snubbie.

So post on up what you think about the Glock M43. You can go to All Outdoors dot com and read about it and see a video with gun guru Massad Ayoob talking about it.

But hopefully we'll see these new guns in stores soon. Glock says next week. Sure to be a hot seller, I'd predict, best get on a waiting list at your favorite store that sells Glocks regularly

Friday, March 6, 2015


This weeks news about the spectacular find in the Honduran Jungle of a Lost City, and apparently as the explorers suspect, there are more Lost Cities, was so cool to me. National Geographic also has a short piece on it.



I'm 50-something, and growing up in the 1960's when my Saturday mornings started on Houston ABC affiliate Channel 13 KTRK with the 7:00 AM Bugs Bunny hour and then the 8:00 A.M. Saturday morning adventure movie, sometimes in black and white, involving adventurers making their way through some jungles somewhere on varied quests involving rescue of someone or some such noble task like taking medicine past a hostile tribe or crooked bunch of businessmen to aid an ailing and isolated tribe.

These movies would commonly involve guys in Safari outfits with bolt action big game rifles and usually some kind of belt carried larger revolver. Jungle Jim was one of the movie characters with a string of movies and there were other knock off types of movies along the same theme.

We had a BIG color TV at our house by the mid-60's. A Curtis Mathis. A real nice one. My sister and I would gather in the den, often with our parents taking a late snooze on a Saturday, and we'd watch whatever feature came on eating cereal and such.

My friends all watched those shows too. We'd gather after those movies finished and head off on our Stingray bikes with our Daisy bb guns to one of several wooded locales. We had a large bayou nearby that was full of snakes both poisonous and non-poisonous as well as some nearby wooded hills referred to as Hamburger Hills, a bike motocross type of place where we hung out. We'd have our expedition.

Over the years, I've had my fair share if not more of adventures, both intended and otherwise. I haven't had any good adventures lately, but I'm definitely ready for something, although I'm not craving anything perilous. 

I'm didn't grow up to be an international adventurer or archaeologist, and I guess these adventurers involved in this discovery probably don't get out in the field as much as they'd like. That's one of those trips, however, that'd I sure pay to go on as a worker bee for the archaeological exploration that will follow.

It'd be highly interesting to discover something like this. I'm not sure what the ultimate total sum of the meaning of finding this Lost City is for humanity but there is no telling what kind of ancient wisdom or at least history we might learn.

The articles indicate that they were accompanied by 16 members of the Honduran Army Special Forces. That's good because apparently the Honduras is a mighty dangerous place for a multitude of reasons. But the National Geographic and other articles make numerous reference to them having ex-British army SAS fellows with them.

Damn good idea. My kind of expeditionary outfit. No messing around. Bring your own SAS and leave the driving to them.

And if anyone remembers the names of some of those old 50's and 60's jungle expedition adventure movies and their stars, let me know. I've seen some Jungle Jim dvds for sale but have not bought them yet but it's on my list.

Friday, February 6, 2015


Since my last post about stuff I would've liked to see at SHOT show 2015, I thought of a few more items.

For whatever reason, I sure do like the Sig Sauer 220 line in 10mm with the 5" barrel that was introduced, particularly the ones in SAO. I've seen their various smaller offerings in the 220 line in SAO have have almost bought one a time or two, but I'd sure love to see a .45 ACP in the same size frame as the 10mm with the longer barrel.

And although for years, like so many others, I've been asking Glock to make a single stack 9mm that actually was thinner than the 17/19/26 series. They gave us a .380 instead. But a couple of other guns I'd like to see are some thinner single stack but full size 10mm and 45 ACP with a 5" barrel. If they could figure out a way to get that width down just a bit and knock the grip size down to a single stack size, it'd be a great carry gun.


Since my January was one of the most dreadful months I have endured in slightly over a half century on this planet, I have recently declared that MY new year officially began February 1st and I have dubbed it The Year of El Fisho.

Without going into details, if you knew them, you'd certainly agree that my January sucked more than a high dollar Dyson vacuum cleaner. That being said, at some point I'll have a post on it, because someone very near and dear to me passed on.

After the funeral, my longtime friend Billy Ray and I were standing in my driveway. He'd driven me and the family around to and from the funeral. He'd come in from out of town and after being great friends for the past 34 years, well, he came through yet again.

As we were enjoying the rare nice late afternoon day with lots of sunshine, we were both ruminating on how little fishing we'd done lately, and in particular, how little fishing we'd done over the past several decades of the type we like. We began to talk about where we wished we were living right now, instead of where we actually live.

I pointed to the driveway, two cars wide, and said I just want to live near a good size creek about the width of my driveway in some area where trout live year round, not like here in Texas where they get stocked in winter and die in the spring once it warms up. I'd like it to be a creek rather than a river because if I'd like something small enough that if I fell in I wouldn't be swept away or drown, something 2 or 3 feet deep.

We both agreed that such a creek with smaller trout would be just fine and that we didn't need some quest for giant, legendary sized trout. We both use lots of ultralight tackle and again, our love of fishing isn't entirely about the catching. Sure, I like to catch fish, but give me a bunch of miniscule trout on a 1 weight rod any day over stalking some huge old fish that needs to be left alone in his elder years. Besides, especially on super ultra light weight tackle, small fish not only fight well but are also more likely to recover from the stress of being caught due to their age. We're mostly catch and release with barbless hook kinda fishermen with the occasional steamside meal of fresh butter fried or grilled trout. 

So to have that, i.e. the mystical creek, I have to move somewhere north of the snow line. Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho are three places where my professional license will transfer and I can work, and there are appealing locations in all of those states. And jobs for me in all three states. I've been in my retirement system for awhile, and am still young enough that, God willing, I could vest in another government retirement system as well by the time I'm ready to take down my shingle.

And there's lots of places for sale that fit the bill. Near towns where I could work. Some have ponds, creeks and cabins or small homes. It's always a big plus when you have electricity and water and septic set up, so even if you plan to build your own place, having a nice, tolerable house to start with would really be ideal. 

The caveat that goes along with living on property with a creek is that you want to be residing HIGH UP above that creek, so that should the creek have a 100 year flood you would still be high and dry. Also, the creek should not limit your road access to your property when flooded, meaning no low water bridges between your place and the highway. You want a place you won't getting flooded out of or into.

I'd like a pond to go along with the creek, and  a fresh water spring to me is one of the main things I want in a property. A pond means that trout and smallmouth bass could be fished for when creek fishing wasn't great or when you felt like some still water fishing. A spring fed pond would be great, and from experience I know that you don't want your creek too close to your pond in case of flooding and your pond fish get washed into the creek. But in these times of concern about water, a live spring would be a great thing, even if you also have a water well and/or piped in water and a water catchment system.

I've mentioned before a friend in East Texas has a very nice spring on his place. He uses mostly solar power to pump the water from where it arises in the earth up to his house and his purification system. His well water is ok, but it's nothing like the stuff coming out of the ground. Funny how two sources of water on the same place can differ in taste and smell. His spring flows from a small pond into a much larger multi-acre lake that overflows through a complex set of screens and a waterfall made of rocks into a small seasonal creek.

He backs that all up with a water catchment system, and used that filtered water through the drought of recent years to keep his garden in great shape, his smaller pool nice and fresh and the yard around his home nice and green. If you know anything about gardening, you know nothing grows nature like rainwater.

On one of the Alaska homesteading shows, I saw a very simple power generation system based on flowing water being diverted through a series of large pvc pipes containing electric generators using gravity and the slope of the hill it was on to drive the water into and back out into the creek after cranking out some pretty serious power. 

Likewise, although still I think any significant amount of solar power and battery storage systems they would require are out of our financial reach, some use of solar panels could probably take care of some needs without significant battery storage system investment. 

We had a solar water heating system in the late 90's for about 5 years. We had problems with it, but I think a lot of those issues have been resolved in the newer systems they have. When it was working, our gas bills for the backup home water heater and storage unit were tiny tiny tiny. The sun did most of the work, even powering the pump that brought the water up through the collector on the roof.

We don't want to live off the grid but we'd like to BE ABLE TO live off the grid if we had to, power and water wise. Foodwise too, but that's another post.

We'd like to be on some small acreage, something manageable. Something big enough to shoot guns on, although the only hunting I'm interested in is predator control. I'm not into game hunting of any sort, although I've done my fair share and enjoyed it in my younger years. 

Nowadays, I'm fascinated with animals. Not only our cats and dogs, but wild animals in particular. The chance to observe from afar how other mammals and other animals and creatures live just captivates me.  I watched this same thing fascinate my father decades ago when he was the age I am now, and animals are very cool to watch. 

I let a HUGE water moccasin go recently while fishing on the San Marcos River, mainly because it went the other way when it became aware of us. I've never been bitten by a poisonous snake, but have been with folks who have, and it's not pretty. Minutes later, I caught a nice sized bass under a lily pad right where the snake had been, and had I shot the snake the bass surely would've been gone baby gone.

So yes, unavoidable predator hunting is part of the package when living in the sticks, but other than that my shooting would be for paper, wood and steel targets. So a nice ravine or cliff would be great for locating an extremely safe shooting area with no danger of escaping bullets, and lots of the places in our range that I've looked at have similar terrain on the property for safe shooting.

The areas we've been looking at have vast amounts of public land near them, and sometime adjacent to them. This means lots and lots of various fishing and shooting locales in addition to what's on your own place.

So yeah, for the The Year of El Fisho, I'm gonna find a place where we can get to as soon as possible with a creek and maybe a pond and small house, with trout nearby.

Friday, January 30, 2015


I want to blog a bit about the Mosin rifles I have. I have one the is the Model 91/30 with the 28" barrel configuration and one that is a Model1938 carbine with an 18" barrel. I think the 91/30 was made around 1917 or so. I looked up some internet information regarding design and stamps and serial numbers and so on. 

The M1938 carbine will remain mostly unaltered. It is in excellent condition. I was so impressed by a recent drop in trigger module, and they swear it IS actually a drop in trigger replacement, for the Mosin (in a post over at All Outdoors where a guy spends a grand to get a pretty rocking Mosin) that I'd like to have the trigger addition. 

I'm lucky. Both of my guns, which cost a combined total of less than $200, are in great shape. The trigger on the 91/30 is fair, but it's the one I'd like to replace first. The bonus about this replacement trigger I read about is that it has a nice safety built in, so you don't have to use the cumbersome safety of the Mosin.

For all the Mosin or Russian gun haters out there, I have more expensive, more attractive and very nice rifles that rival every aspect of the Mosin but one: incredibly cheap ammo, that happens to be a highly effective large feral hog round. Cheap ammo means lots of practice at long range predatory hog shooting. 

The M1938 is a solid gun. It's iron sights are highly accurate, and for what it is, i.e. a five round mag carbine powerhouse, it's a great gun. Visually, to some extent, the Mosin Nagant carbines with their shorter barrels reminds me of the more expensive H-K hunting rifles of the 1980's. 

 I like having iron sights on a carbine. I'd like to have it machined to accept a shoot through mount for a scope, where I could still use the stock sights. A

The trigger on my M1938 compares with any fine rifle I've shot. A great trigger. I don't want to replace it, but I'm just going to have to add the above-mentioned trigger module that includes a built in safety, just to avoid the onerous safety on the Mosin. I just don't have complete confidence in it, and it's just not conducive for me to use. Some like it, others don't. I'm in the latter.

 Likewise, I've been using a slip on recoil pad, but would like to fit a Pachmayr pad to it and cover the small stock with a big cheekrest in a leather cover. I really do like the fit and feel of the regular stock on this gun, and with a substantial recoil pad the LOP is just right for me. The grooves in the forestock are in just the right places for my fingers for shooting the carbine, or so I have found.

As far as the 91/30 goes, I'd like to put a modern, lighter weight stock with a bi-pod for the long and heavy barrel. Something with a nice adjustable, padded cheekrest. As did the author in the All Outdoors post, I'd like to get the bolt modified for scope use and have the receiver milled for a shoot through scope mount, because even though the trigger is not near as nice on this gun as on the M1938, it does shoot well and is quite accurate.

El Fisho Jr. hit a knot in a recently downed tree on the Brazos River shoreline a few years ago, and dang if that hit didn't put a substantial crack in that still green and hard tree. I've seen the damage the round can do with a large feral hog, and it's a good round for them. Some of my friends with farms who suffer damage yearly from these hungry and overpopulated hogs like their Mosins for the power and the cheap ammo.

So I want to get the 91/30 milled for a scope and I want to use a shoot through mount so that the stock sights can be used alternatively. I've had this type mount on my first deer gun, a Marlin 30-30, and have always used the shoot through when possible.

Of course, the 91/30 will need a mounted folding bi-pod. It's a big and heavy gun.

Anyone the least bit knowledgeable about Mosin rifles and carbines know that the bolt must be altered so that a conventionally positioned scope can be mounted. There's companies that will take your bolt and rework it to a bend 
bolt handle to accomodate a scope.

For those not wanting to go to that trouble, there is some sort of scout scope type mount that replaces the rear sight mount on the gun, thus removing the rear sight. I have been really impressed with the stock sights of these guns. 

Both of these guns have proven their reliability over time. The Glock did it in relatively few years, but guns like the Mosin rifles and AK-47's and Smith and Wesson and Colt revolvers and the 1911, to name a few, are still shooting many decades after they were made.

The spare parts, of course, are good to keep around, properly labeled and stored away with proper procedures like greasing or oiling if necessary.

So I'll update you on just how far I get with either one. I've got a rubber bolt on replacement pad for the M1938, that's frankly not much improvement over the metal butt end of the stock gun and I've been using a slip on recoil pad from a junior sized .410 shotgun. The pad fits well but the rubber sleeve is too big for the odd shaped Mosin stock and it's not a big problem as it stays put but I'd like to trim the rubber sleeve down or cover it in a leather cover. 

The recoil pad issue is the main improvement needed for the M1938, because frankly everything else is working excellently.

These days, for a hundred dollar gun, more or less since the carbines do sell for a bit more most places, it's a great gun. Also considering you can buy 440 rounds for a $100 and get some change back. It's a great camp gun to have handy to deal with a surprise crazy hog or rabid skunk or bobcat who doesn't want to stay away from you as most normal wild animals do. My M1938 is handy enough and light enough and certainly accurate enough to take out any poisonous snake that won't leave you alone, although some kind of shotgun is always the preferred weapon for me with large, fast moving, poisonous snakes.

Again I'll state that I'm not a hunter, but I do fish a lot in wild places that feature critters that are sometimes sick or aggressive and in those cases, when it's me or the critter, and I'll do everything I can to avoid an encounter, but if unavoidable in a fishing camp a good 12 gauge shotgun with buckshot and a large caliber rifle are two good things to have handy for wild surprises. 

The Mosin Nagant rifle and carbines remind of an earlier times, when these were state of the art weapons. Later, as they were replaced by the SKS and the AK-47 and the Dragonov and the PSL rifles, as I understand it they made their way to countless third world nations and rebels and just everywhere. I think I saw a Mosin in the hands of a rebel in one of the numerous African uprisings and unrest on a web photo.

Certainly, you see PSL and AK-47's of many variants in the various mid-east wars going on. I noted some of the Kurdish fighters had PSL rifles, and remembered how much I like it's stock design. The PSL is no Dragonov, but it's a great rifle, shooting the same cartridge used by the Mosin-Nagant.

So I'll update if and when I get around to working on the Mosin rifle and carbine. I do think I'll take the M1938 out shooting tomorrow.

Friday, January 23, 2015



First of all, I'd like to see what I call the Browning Bare BAR Bear gun. Years ago, noted gun writer Massad Ayoob gave his opinion for those out backpacking or fishing as far as bear protection, particularly from a charging bear. Mr. Ayoob opined that the venerable BAR rifle in one of it's hard core big calibers fired rapidly four times into the bear's center of mass was the best weapon for that circumstance.

From what I've read about Alaskan bush pilots and homesteaders and those who live off the grid, a combination of large caliber rifles and hard kicking handguns are their choice. Some that come to mind from recent readings include the Glock 10mm, the Ruger  Smith and Wesson .44 Magnum and the S&W .500, a 12 gauge pump shotgun shooting slugs or any number of rifles.

Lever and bolt actions I've read about backwoodsmen near grizzly's include .45-70 and others.

And just to make it clear, I'm not talking about hunting bears in any way, shape or form. I believe in avoiding them when fishing or getting to/from fishing spots. But if an encounter is unavoidable, I'd like to be the one walking away.

I agree with Mr. Ayoob. A reliable semi-auto BAR in a large big animal hunting caliber with at least 4 rounds is probably great, backed up by a S&W Model (6)29 or a Glock Model 20. 

So although Browning makes an interesting hog hunting gun, it's not in big enough calibers for bear defense.   It's also built sorta like a tactical shotgun would be, with a pistol grip. And by the way, the same suggestions below would make an awesome lesser caliber gun for hog hunting, instead of the tactical grip camo one you're selling now. The one EXCELLENT idea on your current hog BAR is the extended magazine.

Just expand this mag size to bigger guns. It doesn't even have to be detachable. Just replaces the stock mag. 10 rounds of .300 Win Mag would be plenty for a charging grizzly or any other number of ill meaning predators.

Here's my suggestions for the Browning Bare BAR Bear gun:

1. I call it Bare because it has a minimum of finish frills and is ultra heavy duty. It's a gun built for the woods. But by the same token, it include the bare necessities that a gun of this nature needs.

2. Make the stock like the Ruger Gunsite with add on fitting pieces and plenty of recoil padding.

3. Consider developing a higher capacity magazine for the large calibers that traditionally hold 3 in the magazine. I noticed the Hog BAR has a quick detach magazine. This gun isn't for combat, but if a charging bear were coming at you, how many rounds would you want on tap? 3? 5? 10? I'd think five was so much better than 3 and if it held 10 it'd be great. Make it a ten round fixed mag if you must, like an SKS. 

4. Of course, detachable stock rails for the front and top of the rifle to mount a red dot if desired (fold down sights) and a laser/light on the foregrip.

5. I'm thinking traditional wood stock design, maybe with a synthetic option. Perhaps an ultra lightweight model featuring a skeletal kind of folding stock.

6. 16" or 18" barrel.


Browning, restore this gun to some level of greatness, and see your sales boom. I have one, and have owned several, and desire to own a few more.

First, just where is that Hi-Power replica in .22 LR that you've made so well regarding the 1911-22? The 1911-22 is the finest .22 auto I've shot since my Huntsman and Woodsman and Ruger Marks. Enough said. You're sitting on another little goldmine with a Hi-Power scaled down .22.

As far as full size Hi-Powers, I'm just glad you're still making them. 

Secondly, please make a gloss blue finish Hi-Power with FIXED SIGHTS. Your current high end model with the blued finish has adjustables, which are great but add the option. Perhaps consider the converse for those buying the cheaper gun that might want adjustable sights.

Third, the use of the BHP as a concealed carry handgun AND a weapon of soldiers (see many pictures of Prince Harry and his Hi-Power) proves the BHP is a relevant defensive weapon still to this day. 

How about a factory model that has some great features for those of use who couldn't afford a Novak custom back in the day. Let's see a REAL BHP Practical model with the Novak FBI modifications. As I recall, there were other models but the Novak stands out.

Fourth, bring back the consumer level BHP practical from the early 90's, both with fixed and adjustable sights. One of my favorites ever.

Fifth, how about re-introducing the compact line? Along with that, I am aware that some lightweight BHP frames were recently on the market, possibly from some foreign maker like Israel. An alloy framed full size BHP would be a very attractive carry gun for me personally, and I am on the lookout for an alloy frame to constuct my own lightweight model in the near future.

Sixth, I wish the beavertail was a tad big longer. Barring that, and I doubt that would change, including the option of an extra round hammer for those of us who, despite the greatest of care and lots of BHP shooting experience, have been "hammer bit" with the traditional hammer.

The BHP is a great gun, and given the huge 1911 market, and the 1911 market in 9mm guns, I really think some innovative introductions to your product line would be well received and profitable.

While my sister might think the 1911 model in .380 is a great idea for her, I'd sure love to have a full size alloy framed deep blued BHP with fixed sights.

And of course, I've always longed for a BHP with a deep, gorgeous blue finish on with a gold plated hammer, trigger, safety, slide release, mag release and a custom buttplate on the bottom of the magazine. Some pimped out thin-ish ivory grips with my initials inlaid wouldn't be so bad either.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I recently got a couple of comments I haven't published seeking contact with a legendary musician friend from Houston. I decided I would screen that person and refer their info to the mysterious drummer and guitarist and vocalist from too many Houston bands of note to mention for five decades.

SO Mac, send a comment with your real name and an email address and I'll get it to L Bar for you. Read on to see just how arduous that will be.

His name is El Bar, or also spelled as L Bar. I've also been known to call him El Barrio if I've had a few Jack Daniels. There's a long and complex and frankly, a quite boring story attached to how a man we'll call John Doe became known to his friends as L Bar. Of course, as the seasoned reader might imagine, it might possibly have some slight connection to a bar, as in a bar where Coors Light and liquor flows, or as in bars, meaning multiple such establishments. Mostly bars where live music is played but generally any bar will do.

He's a slippery one in recent years. His fans from his music days will not give him peace. In the what seem like long ago now, in those pre-cartel days on Mexico's west coast in a small fishing village north of Acapulco, he found much solace from those who sought his counsel and advice. But after the cartel violence started, he had to relocate.

Sadly, his absence from Houston and the music scene for the past 10 years has not waned the desires of his fans. If anything, they became and are still more obsessed with locating him.

Lots of folks don't know that before Ron Wood was asked to replace Mick Taylor in the Stones 40 years ago, L Bar was asked and refused. Yep. Little known fact. The past few years, in between the adventures he's been having as outlined below, he's been filling in for Ronnie Wood on the perpetual world tour that the Stones have been on now for the past 15 years or so when Wood was illing. L Bar slaps on a bad wig and nobody notices the difference. Sometimes, Keith Richards doesn't even notice that it's not Ronnie Wood playing. L Bar even did one gig on the drums when Watts had a prior conflict.

For awhile in the not too distant past, he was in Belieze with wildman and virus software pioneer John McAfee, before things went south for McAfee down there. Look closely in some of the photos from those carefree first days when McAfee could do no wrong with the government there, and there's some shadowy fellow always in the background that to me looks a lot like L Bar.

After that, a few months before McAfee and the authorities there got crossways, L Bar could see some kind of trouble coming and he bid that crew goodbye. 

L Bar next surfaced in Australia, winning a cross continent motor cycle race on his fancy-dancy Aprilla dual sport. It's a nice one. After taking up with some kind of Aborigine go-go dancer while there, he decided to take up surfing and headed up to Asia. Apparently, he also achieved some notoriety as a kangaroo wrangler in his down time down under, and was referred to as that "Roo-Rangler wanker" by his friends.

After that, it was on to Goa, where the Indian beaches have lured hippies worldwide since the sixties. He won some kind of contest there for having the most back hair, even around a bunch of hippies who have not shaved in decades. I hear that he gave an impromptu "unplugged" gig there after a few too many Coors Lights and blew his identity and had to move on.

Next, L Bar was in Ibiza, and it seemed he had found his place in modern music. He was doing DJ'ing at some of the biggest spots on the island, and almost all the private parties there. For awhile, I heard he had an identity crisis and began calling himself Herr Von Elle Baer and fancied himself to be Dutch. He really got into Dutch clogging as a hobby then merged it with his DJ act and then accidently whacked himself in the head with an errant clog and gave that up. But for a few months, he was heralded as the "great white hope of Ibizian DJ clogging" for the future.

After that, he next surfaced in one South American country after another. You know the story. One broken heart after another. For awhile, some friends and I went looking for him on our vacations. Peru. Columbia. Argentina. Chile. Brazil. 

We were always one step behind him at every port of call, an trail of crushed Coors Light cans, the silver bullet, empty, like the trail leading to the next locale of L Bar.

He ended up somehow on the Faulkland Islands, trying to broker an agreement between the UK and Argentina. The President of Argentina, Christine whatshername, is a big fan of L Bar. Likewise, half of Parliament and their parents were raised on bootleg tapes of L Bar playing with Euro favorites like I.P. Sweatt.
So L Bar was a natural and after some negotiation it appears secret agreements have been reached.

I'm sure there are spots I've missed. Lots of his work can't be talked about.

I know that if this commenter forwards their information, It'll take a few weeks for me to make arrangements to fly to large city in Asia. From there, it will be small planes, trains and automobiles to get me near to the remote beachside jungle where L Bar now resides. Three more days by animal, several more upriver by boat and another two on foot and there he resides, the great L Bar. Far from internet, cell phones and for the most part, civilization.

The final part of the journey to see L Bar involves one of those scary trips up a cliffside in a rope pulled basket, after being screened down below by the former Mexican Navy Special Forces female bodyguards who now guard L Bar. 

You've seen those towering islands of rock off the coast of Thailand? Well, you go past those by plane early in the journey. His place is many days past there.

Like some kind of Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now. Sitting on a throne of Coors Light cans.