The Time We Spend

Here we are, in the throes of summer.  Man, has it been busy.  Between the garden and fixing up the old farm house, I haven’t had many spare minutes.  When I do, we head to the beach.  Colorado gave me the mountains, but robbed me of the ocean.  I have to say that I prefer the latter of the two.

I beach comb while the kids are in the water.  In the winter, they wander the beach with me.  The beach in the winter sometimes reminds me of the Cormac McCarthy book, The Road.  Lonely.  Desolate.  Still pretty awesome, though.


I find a lot of wood.  Take a state with a working coastline, and it’s no shock that the weather beaten remnants of dock structures wash up on shore from time to time.  We’ve scavenged from Belfast to Old Orchard.  The treasures on every beach are different.


I’ve been trying to shake the money tree a little harder.  Why?  AR-15s, that’s why.  Components are cheap right now.  The other brother on this blog, B&A, made me an AR pistol in .300 AAC Blackout back in late May.  I’ve been hooked ever since.  I might add that prices are dropping since Trump took office.  I’ll review the pistol in a later post.


Anyhow, I’ve started selling these signs.  I print the letters, align them, trace them on, route them out, then paint them in.  I’ve sold a few.  I’m not breaking the bank, but I am making a little extra scratch.


I’ve also had the idea to try and utilize drift wood and scrap metal.  These can hang on the wall, to hang coasts and such from, or they can lay flat as their own artistic piece.  Personally, I think most art is a bunch of hooey.  These things aren’t any sort of expression of my inner child or any bologna like that.  I just like drift wood and composition.


If anyone is still reading, check in.  Even if you’re new.  Let us know what’s up in your world.  Me and that B&A bastard have been busy with kids and such, but I’m going to make a better effort to check in here and there.

Mike, Oscar, Hotel….out.


Problems and Solutions



We’ve been cutting a lot of wood on the back acreage.  I bought a 1991 Arctic Cat Lynx 300 last fall and it’s the best $700 I’ve spent on homestead equipment.  I was a Polaris man growing up.  This Arctic Cat has expanded my horizons.

We’ve had an easy winter.  Lots of rain and not much snow.  That makes it hard on the old snowmobile, especially in the sink holes.  We ran into a slight problem yesterday.

20 minutes with the Echo Timberwolf 590  chainsaw and a little grunt work and we made ourselves a solution.

She’s saying, “I’m gonna get mud splattered, I’m gonna get mud splattered!” I told her that if mama had a fit, she could blame me. 😉

Mike, Oscar, Hotel…..out.

Feet Per Second

I’ve got yard rabbits.  Like, rabbits that I let loose in 2014, expecting they’d be eaten by the fox during the night.  They’ve been here ever since.  Many rabbit folk say that a domestic rabbit can’t live on forage alone.  They’re wrong.  The two girls in my yard have done just fine.  In fact, they’re fat with hardly any help from me.

I caught one last year in a live trap and bred her to a buck.  Just to see if it worked.  It did.  A month later, I saw her pull fur.  Four weeks after that, I saw pea-sized bunny babies skittering out from under my shed.  There were seven in all.  All but one were killed by predators.  The last one we figured was a buck, due to the way he was built.  We called him Thunder.

Thunder was about a year old.  Rabbits can breed at 4 months (that’s pushing it a bit), but we’d seen no action between he and the girls until recently.  When he did mount them, they kicked him off.

Apparently, he closed the deal with one of the does, though.  I caught her pulling fur and stashing it under the deck the other day. Being that we’re selling the house, that isn’t ideal.

I went to Sportsman’s Warehouse to pick up some .22 shorts.  I usually buy CCI shorts and look for something in the neighborhood of 710 fps. I know those rounds are quiet and I can do basic jobs without being heard around the house.  They were out of CCIs.  All they had were these.


None of the boxes listed feet per second.  Based on grains, I thought I’d be be okay with the 20 grain rounds, but the sales guy pushed me to buy the subsonics.  I grabbed the Super Extra Shorts figuring they’d be pretty close to the 20 grains and pack a little more punch at 29 grains.

When I got home, Thunder was out in the yard.  I got the kids’ bolt action Davey Crickett .22 and nailed him in the head with a 20 grain.  It was over long before he knew what was happening.  I looked him over.  He was very healthy.  He had never spent a day in a cage and I’d fed him vegetable scraps at most.  He was a self-made bunny.  He was as big as my cage raised rabbits, if not larger.


Afterwards, I decided to try the Super Extra Shorts, thinking they would be similar to the 20 grains.  Man, was I wrong.  I stood in the dining room and fired out the back door and the gun made quite a *crack*.  I laughed and slid the door shut quickly and my wife scolded me for a moment.  I’m certainly glad I didn’t try the subsonics.  The .20 grains will do for now.  Though at $5.00 a box, they’re a little cost prohibitive.

I didn’t worry about the cops showing up.  I learned that lesson through my dad.  He came to visit a few years back and was working on my black powder rifle on the back deck.  He got something stuck somewhere and ended up firing off a shot in the back yard with no lead.  It was pretty loud.  I freaked out, but the old man just stood out there, still working on the gun.  Nobody came.  Mind you, my neighbors are probably 150 feet away.  I asked what he was going to do when the cops came and he said he would tell them exactly what happened and ask them if they wanted to fire off a shot.  By that age, he was at the point where he didn’t give a crap.  Now I understand why.

Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,

Mike, Oscar, Hotel….out.





DIY Concealed Carry Holster

Michael, over at the Isserfiq blog, recently commented that he needed to make a holster for a piece that he has.  I’ve made a few holsters and decided to share this one that I made years ago on and posted to one of the old blogs.  It is an IWB holster that I used for a Rock Island 1911 and a CZ-52, both of which I’ve gotten rid of since.
I found a soft, supple leather, since it was going to to be IWB.  Hard leather would likely not ride comfortably.  I figured out that per piece I paid about $2.75 for the materials.  It is comfortable and works well.  Here are a few pictures.
As you can see, I double layered the back so that the snap wouldn’t rub on the weapon.
The strap hooks around my belt loop and snaps.  This prevents the holster from coming out when I draw.
I also double and triple stiched with faux sinew to make sure it was nice and strong.
It fit both my CZ-52 and my compact 1911 when I had them.
I tend to carry at 4 to 5 o’clock .


 Easy to make!  It took me about 25 minutes to cut and stitch.  If you can’t afford a good holster, try making your own.  It’s easy.
 Mike, Oscar, Hotel……out.

How to Make a Book Safe by Using a Router


I have been refining my technique, and I think I have a pretty good way to build a book safe. There are a lot more ways to do it, but this one seems to work well for me.

First things first, go buy a book. I like going to Libraries, they usually have a book sale where you can pick up something thick, old, and cheap (much like me). You can go to yard sales, book stores, all sorts of places. Pick a good book too. If you have a serious library, with Naughty Nanny and the Fanny Folly’s sticking out of a series of treatises regarding Edgar Allen Poe, someone will know what is up. Pick for what you want to put in it, too. If you want to smuggle a Colt 1911, get something large – a Gideon pocket New Testament won’t hide much.


List of Materials:


Modge Podge

Small Foam brush

Wax paper

2 to 4 clamps of some sort


Router with regular drill bit looking type bit


Razor knife/box cutter

Spare time

1 piece of wood, 2”X16ish”

2 pieces 2”X6ish”

1 piece 1”x16”

I piece, 8”wide by 16” long (these wood sizes aren’t accurate, it’s what I had lying around that worked for me

4 2.5 – 3 inch wood screws

Drill bit slightly larger than the screw shank


Table saw


First step, thumb a few pages into the book, probably 20 or so. Slide a wide piece of waxed paper between the first 20 pages and the rest of the book, wrap and fold it back around and tape the wax paper to itself, like you are making an old school book cover. Do kids even still do that? I know it isn’t worth it in college, they’ll come out with the next edition before you can dog ear page one, because accounting principles change oh so much. $400 a pop, I’m in the wrong line of work.


Repeat this step for the last 20 pages of the book. Now the pages and the book cover are wrapped in wax paper.

Step 2: Break out the Modge Podge. I clamp it down, to keep it from flapping open when I move it around. Wipe the foam brush around the edge of the binding, getting a good, thick coat in. I let it set for an hour or so, and coat it three times. After you let it set for a few hours that last time, use the razor knife to help you separate the waxed paper covered bits from the glued bit. Trim any glue that is hanging out or overlapping.


Step 3: Open thine book up to the first glued page. With the pencil, trace out your shape. Use rough shapes, we’ll do details with the router later. Then get your razor out and get busy. Keep tracing and cutting, a few pages at a time. It is easier if you do a big shape, smaller ones take forever. Don’t tear the pages at all, make sure you cut every bit. Try to keep the same line, but even if you don’t, a lot will be fixed in editing (routing) later. You can do partial thickness if you’d like, but I go through the entire glued section. When I know I’m getting close to the bottom, I flip it over and cut up into the already cut-out bit so that I don’t cut into my 20 free pages at the end. I also put the larger wood piece down, after folding back the 20 pages and back cover.



Step 4: Once you’ve cut out as much as you are going to, assemble your wood. It’s a good idea to route (I use the table saw) the wood where it will join, so that it gives you a single layer. Use the thin piece against the fold, the short pieces for the side, and the longer, thicker piece for the outside long edge. Drill holes in the overhang section of the 2 long pieces – slightly larger than the shank of the screw you will drive down through them. Frame the area you will route (I find it easier to work in sections, rather than do the whole book edge at once) with the wood fame. Flip the back and back 20 all the way back, and put the larger piece of wood back there – screw the frame into it.


Step 5: Route! Rout? Using the router, work on your edges. If it is going to be too deep for the router bit, do everything on one side then flip the book over, reapply the frame, and redo. If you are only going partial thickness, take care to stay at the depth you set, or you’ll be full thickness before you know it. The frame keeps the book tight, so the pages don’t separate, as well as giving you a platform to keep the router level with. I made one book for my brother, so he would have a place to store his 1911. The router came in super handy for the hammer area, muzzle area, and sights. Of course, he doesn’t actually store his gun there because he has kids, and all guns need to be stored in a safe, locked area, and separate from any sources of ammo (be told). But in theory, he totally could!


When you are routing, make sure not to move too fast, or the pages will tear. Also, don’t stay too long in one place, or you will start burning the paper. Keep edging into the paper, if you go for too much at once, you will either burn the paper, tear it, or push scraps of paper into the glued section, which will make it bulge and you will have to go get another book. Take your time, pay close attention to detail, and leave room for error.

Step 6: Once your book internals are finished, take apart everything and look it over. I had to re-glue, so I wrapped the 20 and covers in wax paper, used 2 boards and the clamps, and re-applied Modge Podge and let it sit overnight. Once it is done to your liking, lightly brush a little glue onto the free page at the top and bottom of the glued section. Using the razor knife, cut the top page into a nice, neat final draft. This page will cover up the pencil marks, burn marks, and any other little oopsies you may have caused.


Congrats! You are done! Now fill with your favorite flask, cigars, ammo, weed, gun fund, naughty playing cards, or anything else that you need to keep from prying eyes. I may have one at my office with Fireball Mini shots for rough afternoons, who can say!