I haven’t been to Sportsman’s Warehouse in a long time, so it was pleasant to visit with a few friends today, including two female friends who are interested in buying guns for themselves — one hitchhikes around (she’s the adventuresome type) and wants to have something in case she needs to protect herself, the other is interested in fun Shooty Goodness trips at the range. They got to handle a few different guns, but didn’t buy anything today.
Interestingly enough, powder prices have stayed the same over the last year or so — it’s about $21 for one pound of IMR 4064 (Is there a more versatile powder? I think not.), just as it was a year ago. Not bad for retail pricing; I’d have to buy a considerable quantity of powder online to save any money per pound, and with a limited budget I simply can’t afford to save that much money. 🙂
In addition to the pound of powder, I also picked up a 12 gauge boresnake, as my poor Mossberg 500 is in need of some attention. I haven’t cleaned it in about a year…of course it still works flawlessly, but I think it’s been long enough.
After returning, I had a date with the kitchen: a bunch of friends came over to my tiny studio apartment and we were going to make pies (I make a pretty tasty apple pie, if I do say so myself).
Unfortunately, the pie-making was delayed by an hour due to freakishly intense thunderstorms. One friend was trapped in her car in a parking lot a few blocks away due to flash-flooding of the streets around her — Tucson has very few storm drains, and flooded roads are quite common. After nearly an hour, the waters subsided enough for her to travel the few remaining blocks to my apartment.
(Photo credit: Tucson Citizen)
Another friend was delayed as the storms prevented him from crossing the 100 yard distance separating our two apartment complexes. The rains were simply too intense, and the lightning too close.
In getting from their cars to my apartment (maybe a 25 yard walk), a few friends got extremely soaked (I said the rain was intense!) and had to borrow some clean, dry clothes. Fortunately, I just did laundry the other day, so I had plenty…though it was rather amusing to see two slender females wearing me-sized t-shirts and shorts. My garments were entirely too large, but they were evidently preferable than wet clothes.
During most storms, I take no additional precautions, but this one was different. My Honda generator was prepared and waiting by the door, computers were shut down and unplugged, and the only things plugged in were the lights, fish tank stuff, and the electric ignitor for my gas oven. One of the lights was plugged into a UPS so that if the power was to go out, there would be sufficient light for us to locate the flashlights and get the generator running. Fortunately, the power only flickered a few times, but never actually went out. My compliments to Tucson Electric Power.
I also need to find a way to protect the generator from the elements while it’s outside. During moderate storms, I have it sit under the overhang outside, where it’s protected from falling rain. However, with the intensity of the wind this evening, there was no place untouched by rain. I should look into securing a small umbrella to the generator with duct tape, so as to keep water away from its sensitive parts.
I discovered a troublesome vulnerability with my apartment: intense wind-driven rain can flood the track in my sliding window, and thus flow into the apartment itself. It required several towels to absorb the incoming water, though at the time it was not possible to actually stop the water from entering in the first place. When the rain subsided a little, I fashioned a small deflector shield with duct tape and affixed it to the outside of the window so as to direct rainwater away from the window track. This seems to have been successful: when the rain returned later, it did not enter the apartment. Since I rarely open the window (air conditioning doesn’t work well with an open window, and I use AC about 80% of the year), I should see if there’s a better, semi-permanent way of sealing the window track. Any suggestions?
As for the pie, my friend Louis made his chilled pumpkin cream pie, which was quite delicious. Since it’s a “cold” pie, no cooking was necessary — simply combine the ingredients, mix, and place in the freezer for an hour or so. My apple pie was moderately good, but in my haste (never make pie when hungry!) I prepared it in a somewhat sub-standard way: the butter in the handmade crust was not distributed evening, and so there were a few spots in the crust with excess butter. Additionally, we ate the pie shortly after it came out of the oven, so it didn’t have time to cool properly, and so lacked some of the distinct apple pie texture. Oh well. It seemed to go over well with the guests, particularly when combined with Blue Moon.
More smokeless powder, a big storm, friendly guests, tasty pies, and ale: what more can one ask for?