Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Icky Week So Far

Recession humor:
How do you get an investment banker off your porch?
Pay him for the pizza.

This also works for lawyers.

I just finished a fun 24 hours wearing a blood pressure monitor...sort of like having an annoying pet always pulling at your arm. There doesn't seem to be that much wrong with me, but it still puzzles the cardiologist...and puzzling a cardiologist is a good way to guarantee that you hit your insurance maximum out-of-pocket for the year.

My blood chemistry is great; last year they ran a television camera into my veins (arteries?) and concluded I have 'insignificant blockage;" I exercise pretty much every day and eat a healthy diet (sigh); yet my blood pressure is still on the slightly high side and my weight refuses to drop.

Unfortunately, since we're integrated systems, it all ties into my blown knees. I used to keep my blood pressure low (and my weight down) by running a lot. I am now paying the physiological price for decades of worn out told I need new knees, but prudence demands I stall for as long as I can. Celebrex works on the pain, but raises my blood pressure. Am presently getting hideous recombinant DNA sludge injected into both knees, as industrial hard chroming apparently requires some disassembly. The goal is to be running, at least at a 5K level, by spring. One never knows, does one.

This comes on the heels of a pet medical emergency on Sunday, when Bishop, my green-winged macaw, managed to but the tip off her beak. A big blood vessel runs through a parrots beak, so she began bleeding like the proverbial stuck hog. We couldn't stop the bleeding — and birds don't have all that much blood to begin with — so she had to be rushed to an emergency avian vet. She's fine, but sluggish from the blood loss, so she's headed to the top avian specialist in the area for a full work up.

The net result of all this whining is that blogging has definitely been given short shrift...

Para GI Expert

In Gun I mentioned on the podcast this AM, I'm [b][i]de-evolving[/i][/b] the Para GI Expert I plan to shoot in the End of Trail Wild Bunch match in New Mexico in June. Wild Bunch shooting has 2 classes, Traditional and Modern, and the GI Expert falls easily into the Modern category, which allows bells and whistles. I thought it'd be cool. however, to make the GI Expert over into a WW1/WW2 version.

Old (but nice) GI Warhorse 1911

That means a spur hammer, appropriate grip safety, nubby safety, arched mainspring housing with lanyard ring, short steel trigger and diamond pattern walnut grips (could have gone plastic, but though the retro wood was nicer). All the parts are available from Sarco for kibbles and bits(although Sarco must be the last people on earth to implement Internet ordering!). I'm keeping the Para fixed sights, but I'll probably black out the white dots.

I'm also replacing the Para recoil spring plug with one of the new mil-specs from Cylinder & Slide. Essentially, Bill Laughridge reinvented the wheel. Old recoil spring plugs had a flange on the front so the recoil spring could be wound onto the plug...preventing the dread "plug launch" (I have dents in the ceiling fo the gun room). The GI Expert already has the plain old GI recoil spring recoil guide rod, no buffers, nothing that JB didn't want in the system.

There is, of course, no reason, especially tactical, for this project, just as — and I hate to be the one to tell you this — there hasn't been any reason other than cosmetics for most of the 1911 modifications since, say, 1983. When you get beyond ejection/extraction issues, hi-viz sights and maybe the beavertail, it's all racing stripes and bigger tailfins. I'd probably exempt Wayne Novak's "The Answer" mainspring housing from the tailfin category, as it does away with that excreble bane-of-girlman-hands grip safety.

And yes, I could have bought one of the "modern" GI 1911 — Colt, Springfield, Auto-Ordnance, EMF (not up on the website yet), or wait for Legacy Sports to start bringing in the Chiappa Italian 1911 I handled behind the curtains at SHOT (especially the rumored Evlil Roy version). If I had hit the lottery, I'd be on the phone to Doug Donnelly at U. S. Firearms for one of their heartbreakingly beautiful, exquisitely machined Military Models (left).

$1895 MSRP, but just about as beautiful as they come.

Unfortunately, between my knee, my heart and my parrot, I need to win the lottery just to hit my insurance deductibles.

What's funny here is that the Glock-sters are going, what on earth is all the fuss? They all look alike anyway. Glocks, on the other hand, are infinitely diverse!


Anonymous said...


Hope all goes well with the Parrot.

As far as 1911 and Glocks, yep they all look the same (Glocks to Glocks and 1911 to 1911 that is).

When I get some cash I might get a 1911 and it will be the RIA with no beaver tail for 350 or so. I don't see a reason to spend more.


Anonymous said...

April 8th is National Start Walking day. I'm planning a boycott.

Anonymous said...

"This comes on the heels of a pet medical emergency on Sunday, when Bishop, my green-winged macaw, managed to but the tip off her beak. A big blood vessel runs through a parrots beak, so she began bleeding like the proverbial stuck hog. We couldn't stop the bleeding — and birds don't have all that much blood to begin with"
Dude! I thought I was the only idiot that did that! Styptic pencil works and so does cornstarch.
Oh, and the Knees, Time to get on the bike. Show me an avid runner, and I'll show you a future road biker!

Overload in Colorado said...

Any chance Wild Bunch matches could be expanded to include other old semi-auto guns like Colt 1908, Luger, and Broomhandle Mauser for the pistols, and the same idea for the rifles and shotguns? I think it'd be neat to see someone as Churchill in Boer War uniform.

Anonymous said...

Michael, You're in luck. The best-kept secret, kept by the exercise equipment and gym membership sales people, is that exercise accounts for only a small amount of your weight loss. Just do the math. There are tables that show the various amount of calories worth of food energy that you burn off during various forms of execise and you'll quickly see that there aren't enough hours in a day to burn off what we Americans eat. It's the amount that we eat, that's the problem! Yeah, what we eat is also important, so get on a good diet regiment. Exercise is good for you too, but to lose weight, it's the food intake quantity that counts.
Take it from someone that took off 38 pounds, forty years ago and kept it off. Being an engineer makes it easy to monitor my own weight control program and apply statistical process control techniques. I simply cut back, when I move out a notch on the old belt. That's my "out-of-control" signal and I react. I don't even need to weigh myself; 176 pounds cocsistently, since the "big loss".
Now, getting the pounds off can be kind of painful, but if you honestly cut back, maybe way-back, you will lose the weight. Fortunately, we both share the love for cooking, so I am able to control everything about meal prep', including portions. So can you. Out are the large pots and pans and in are the tiny ones. That way, I can't cook too much, because I will eat it all. I cook for robust flavor and satisfaction and that works for the wife and I.
Oh, by the way, the wife's BP is down now too, she's about to go off from her med's and she's a "convert" too!
Take care of yourself and your sweety. We need you around and so does she.
Isn't a parrot considered poultry?
Life Member

Anonymous said...

I've found that puzzling doctors can be an amusing, if somewhat expensive, hobby. If I discover a way to make it as profitable as it is enjoyable I'll let you know. Hopefully that will be soon as I am weary of spending my shootin' money on medical bills.

Good luck with the health care, chronic and acute, human and avian.

Anonymous said...

phI lost a startling amount of weight -- don't know the poundage, but it was so much that I had to get new pants -- simply by cutting out sugar and working out a half hour daily on a Nordic Track. It can get boring, of course, but I skied to great driving music. This was awhile ago, but I know The Police, Springsteen and Creedence Clearwater were among them.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention that exercising with ski simulators is gentle on the knees. Just smooth back and forth. No impact, like you get pounding along on the pavement.

Haji said...

Man, Michael, that's a lot going on at once! I wish you the best of luck with all that stuff.

"When I get some cash I might get a 1911 and it will be the RIA with no beaver tail for 350 or so. I don't see a reason to spend more."
As a 1911 shooter for about half my life, you can believe me when I say this: if you plan to shoot that gun a lot, you will see the reason in rather short order.

Anonymous said...

The experts say that one pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. So if you could decrease your caloric intake by 250 calories per day and at the same increase your caloric expenditure by 250 calories, you will be in the hole 500 calories per day. Then at the end of a week you will have burnt off that 3,500 calories and one pound of fat.

Dr. Oz... Oprah's doctor says that there is some relationship between waist size...errr. circumference and inseam length. As the two dimensions get farther apart the risk for all sorts of bad conditions or diseases increases exponetially.

Anonymous said...

oooppss ... I forgot to comment on the Glock....

all of a sudden I have a hankerin' for Pepto Bismol...

or is it Nestle's Strawberry Quick milk concoction?

Anonymous said...

RE: Overload. I'm with you on expanding the Wild Bunch pistol choices. I'd also like to see it expanded to include DA revolvers like the old Colt New Services & S&W Triple Locks & M&P's (and the new S&W repros). No speedloaders or moon clips, of course....

As for losing weight, any active exercise will help in that regard. If you can't run, walk. And, if you have access to an indoor pool, you have a year-round exercise method that's easy on the joints and still burns calories. Look into water aerobics or just swimming laps.

Anonymous said...

Glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine chondroitin for the joints....give it six months if they aren't gone too far. Maybe some kelp or chromium picolinate to help with the weight.

Other than Wallysworld is a good source.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a condo on Miami beach, shuffle board and metamucil?

Something tells me your not going to be a happy camper in the nursing home.

EgregiousCharles said...

What's the hideous recombinant DNA sludge? I have bad knees too (from Kung Fu), and have had two surgeries. I'm very interested in anything that may help.

Best I've found so far is food made from joints, like certain soups or souse. I hate the stuff though.

Anonymous said...

I screwed up a knee getting bucked off a horse, the doc says he's impressed I could have one go this bad this fast. I'm now taking two Osteo Bi Flex daily and it really helps.
As far as 1911's I bought my first this year, a used Kimber, and holy cow this thing shoots like it has a lock on anything you point it at, best shooter I've ever owned! But it don't look like something one of the wild bunch woulda carried.
Tell the parrot to be careful, cause your doc wants you to eat more chicken.

Anonymous said...


It sucks to get old.

I know!

Ratcatcher 55

devietro said...

Well thank you, now yet again I need to keep my girlfriend away from your website for if she see's that pink glock she will demand that I find it so she can buy it. She has quite the collection of pink guns and has recently gotten into wanting to CCW. So if she see's a pink duty gun she will demand that she has it.

As to getting old, well thats how life goes.

Anonymous said...

Getting old may be a pain (or a collection of them) But the alternative sucks.
Tom Bogan

Anonymous said...

The plunger tube on that U. S. Firearms 1911 isn't properly supported by the grip.