Archive for November, 2006

Thanksgiving

The stars were properly aligned for me to make it home for Thanksgiving this year, so I did just that. Good food all around, I probably ate three times more than I should have but I don’t think I’m in any danger of putting on too much weight anytime soon. The weekend is far from over just yet, but the highlight for me has passed already. It was only about 2 hours, but that is better than nothing. Any time I get to spend with Amanda is better than any time I’m not with her.

WLC – complete.

Tuesday afternoon I yelled “Maintain the Standard” for the last time as I graduated the Warrior Leader’s Course. All in all I lost an entire month of my life, and got a head start on destroying my left knee. I met a few cool people, but for the most part I learned nothing. Counseling at my unit is complete joke, and I learned just exactly how administratively FUBAR we really are. Otherwise, throughout the course other Infantrymen and I were called upon to teach various tactical classes to the non-combat arms soldiers. Training that should have been conducted by the NCO Academy, but was pawned off on the students with any knowledge in the matters. To everyone at the course, that presented an image of lazy instructors and a serious lack of planning. Over the course of a normal day, I spent at least 4 hours doing absolutely nothing. Did WLC need to be an entire month long? No – we could have adequately covered everything we were tested on in a week, and tested on it the following week.

At no point did I go above and beyond anything more than waking up, getting dressed, and making it to formation on time – yet I still made the Commandant’s List. That should say enough about the quality of training.

Army Strong….

Holster Complete

The vast majority of my time yesterday was spent forming and stitching leather for a magazine pouch and holster for my Kel-Tec P11. Stitching the magazine pouch took forever, being the first piece of leather I’ve ever stitched. The holster went by much more quickly and I believe the stitching itself is stronger as I changed my method. For a while I wondered how the heck a single holster could cost so much money, after making a small holster that won’t be winning any asthetics competitions, I am well aware of the reason. This takes a lot of time, even to do it just to functional standards.

All in all I spent about $50 on materials and supplies, and nearly 6 hours straight. Even at a low $10/hr for labor that would be a $110 holster. Granted your real holster makers already have the tools, and likely have bulk deals on leather – they probably also don’t work for $10/hr. Enough babbling though, I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Kel-Tec P11 Holster Project

Kel-Tec P11 Holster Project

Kel-Tec P11 Holster Project

Kel-Tec P11 Holster Project

Kel-Tec P11 Holster Project

Kel-Tec P11 Holster Project

Kel-Tec P11 Holster Project

Kel-Tec P11 Holster Project

There are a few more photos here

Oh shit.

Well the voting is done, and I am now a soldier under a largely democrat controlled congress. It is indeed time for me to stock up on standard capacity (likely to become “assault” or “high capacity” magazines again thanks to the way the ballots turned out.) It is also time to kiss any hopes of sane wages or better medical care for my enlisted ass goodbye, while quite probably seeing absolutely no decrease in mission requirements for personnel – but a large cutback in the number of troops serving. History repeats itself, and we prove time and time again that we are far to stupid to learn from what has happened in the past.

Naturally, there are cordial talks of intent to “work together as a bipartisan congress”, and everyone that believes that will happen is more than welcome to test my theory that gravity has no effect from the center of the Brooklyn Bridge between the hours of 2231 and 2248 on the 3rd Friday of each month – by jumping off head first. The new ringleader in the HOR is no saint. Some could rationally argue she lacks any moral fibre at all. If you are personally guilty of an act fully lacking integrity and honor – how exactly do you hoist the flaming pitchfork towards another for the very same act? Personally, I don’t have an answer for that – but I’m sure Pelosi has some insight, she seems very good at doing just that.

To be completely honest, if I am to be deployed again – it should be to Capitol Hill. I swore to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. For most of my adolescent and adult life – the single largest threat to that which I swore to defend has had offices in the Capitol Building, taking turns raping our rights under the guise of “better good” or “safety.” Our system needs a serious overhaul, I just don’t know if there’s a technician qualified enough to fix the damage that has been done.

Paying some attention to the P11.

Those that know me well are fully aware of the fact that I love to shoot. They also know that I do not own any firearms that I do not, or will not shoot. Unfortunately, there has been very little time for me to shoot my Kel-Tec P11, even though it is my presently designated concealed carry pistol of choice. Topping the short list of reasons is a lack of a dedicated means for carry. I have a holster for my Colt Combat Commander, but I lack a holster of any type for my P11. Also lacking from my bin of firearm related junk, are any spare magazines for the P11 – and I prefer to carry at least one reload.

Fixing the magazine problem was too easy, a quick trip to CDNN Sports, Inc. got me 2x S&W 69 series blued 12rd magazines. They may need new springs and followers, but a trip to the range will quickly reveal any problems with the magazines. My biggest problem comes from the availability of holsters for the Kel-Tec P11. It is not a lack of options that causes a problem for me, it is a lack of options I actually like that is a problem. How do I solve that problem? Looks like I’ll have to go back in time and brush off a skill I was briefly introduced to over a decade ago. Leatherworking.

Way, way back in the day before life was complicated, or I had any idea where the heck the Great Wall of China was (much less had any photos of me standing on it) – I was a Cub Scout. They have crazy camps and other things to keep hyperactive boys under “control” – during at least one of these camps we learned how to do some leatherworking. Easy stuff, like making belts, or cases for things like pocket knives, sharpening stones and the like. A holster is just a carrying case for a pistol, and the Kel-Tec P11 is more like a GameBoy Advance than an Xbox in terms of size – so that’s the solution. I will buy some leather, some needles and thread, and a few different attatchment options (belt clips and snaps), and I will see if I can come up with a decent IWB holster for my pistol. Last night I broke out my old drafting tools, and got to work on making a pattern that should work, provided I don’t screw anything up. Now all I need are the supplies.

Obviously I will photograph the various steps of construction – regardless of the outcome. So stay tuned.

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