Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sticking with Leupold

I had been waffling on the idea of keeping my big caliber rifle, selling or trading it in favor of finishing my AR build or buying a Mossy 590, something basically, that would see a lot more active duty and use than a big bore rifle.

The 300 WSM (Winchester Short Magnum) is something of a niche caliber out this way, with most devotees sticking with the more popular 300 Win Mag or more frequently a .308. This is why, I think, I have not been able to move this gun very easily at a reasonable price online. You gotta want a 300 WSM in a Remmy 700 SPS, just like I did.

But the WSM is a good caliber by all reports. It will get it done in the field. One reason I have not shot my gun is because I had not yet invested in some serious glass.

There has been a recurring discussion over at regarding optics and best bang for the buck, with the end result recommendation of going out to a gun store and looking through as many scopes as possible to get a feel and sense of what you are paying for in each price range.

To my happy surprise, I found that Gander Mt. in Winchester has revamped their weapons area, which now includes a small section of dummy stocks and mounted scopes. It's a brilliant idea, IMO, since it allows the consumer to look through at his leisure all the available scopes without having to pester and feel pressured by the guy behind the gun counter.

To my surprise, I liked Leupold's top end VX-1 the best. The glass was shockingly clear and put everything in nice relief. I'll be purchasing the VX-II in 3-9x40 since that is the top end of what I can afford come tax time. The new VX-IIs are actually the world class vx-IIIs of a several years ago, according to what I have read on the interwebs.

It was also recommended to the check out Nikon. Nikon was nice and clear but not to my taste. I actually preffered the VX-I over Nikon's Monarch and Buckmaster. Maybe that's because I couldn't see them out in the field, but alas, that was to my surprise after everything I've read.

Anyway, I just wanted to put that out there as food for thought. I will also be purchasing a Harris bipod for the rifle and maybe a few other goodies. But right now it's time to think about Turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Words from the Past

First, and most importantly, a brief announcement: Kieran Nicholas Marmalejo was born on November 14, at 6:09am, weighing in at a healthy 8 lbs. 6 oz. and 20 and 1/4 inches long. We are glad to have him and I am very proud.

He's a few days old now, and I am up while everyone else is asleep. This week has been wonderful, but it has been an adjustment too. It's 3 on 2, or, if you prefer, a 3 and 2 year-old verse the home team, or something like that, with a baby brother in reserve. The one thing that has been becoming increasingly and now crystal clear over the past several months is that time is at a premium.

While reflecting on this, and on my many projects, interests and hobbies, I recalled a post I wrote sometime ago on renovating the bathroom, a process which is finally reaching it's conclusion.

The one thing I want to highlight is that as things become more complete, life becomes more sane. Our exterior life is often an accurate reflection of our interior dispositions. Even though things are often crazy around here, when I see things getting organized and getting done, I breathe easier. I see the "tranquility of order" and long for some of that myself.

I just wish it would stay a little longer when it does arrive.

Over and Out,


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rats 1, Nick 0

A year seems like a long time, but the number of items we own often go unused or get brushed aside for a year or longer. My shed is a good example of this.

My shed has mostly been a pathetic disaster of personal items, tools, debris, and who knows what else. Today I took a hard line and began emptying it wholesale. Before I knew it, I had a vast pile of scrap, unused items, and the remnants of a rats' nest. In fact, I could hear the damn things squeaking away every so often as I shoveled their home into Glad bag oblivion.

It was quite a mess. But I was not depressed. Actually, I was fairly juiced because I am starting to see the vision for it as a functional workshop, notwithstanding my rodent problem. In cleaning it out, I created a ton more space, making ample room for the Jet table saw, the Craftsman radial arm saw my dad passed on to me, and my recently acquired Rockwell drill press, which I bought today for a steal ($60!).

In fact, my wood scrap problem has gotten to the point that I have enough wood for functional workbench and and series of shelves. My strategy in dealing with the rat/mouse problem is to remove all goat and chicken grain from the workspace and make the area very spartan. Mice and their ilk tend to love warrens and locations that resemble them. Hopefully, between thoroughly cleaning and emptying the place and putting down poison, this problem will remove itself. Time will tell, but at this point, I kind of expect at least some mouse and rat activity.

The remaining half of my strategy involves keeping everything stored away neatly, in tool boxes, or hanging along the wall, as appropriate. At least this way if the vermin do come, my tools have some protection from their dung and cleanup will be fairly swift. This is the hope anyway. Since I am not made of money, I have to make this space work, like it or not.

I do take some solace in looking at my neighbor's work shed--which is a third the size of mine, but piled in a quasi-organized fashion from floor to ceiling with tools and anything else you might need for building just about anything. If he can make his shop work for him (he does all of his sawing outside), then I can certainly make mine work for me.

Anyway, I am inspired at the moment with my progress. Hopefully, my strategy will deter or kill the emmisaries of the mouse kingdom. If it doesn't, nothing will change, but at least amidst the wasps and mouse dung, I'll be able to find my tools.

Over and Out,