Ruger SR9c – My First Purchase!

SR9c - rt_sideOn about the 15th of July, 2015, Travis called to tell me that Gander Mountain had a new ad out and that I should look at it on-line.  He said they had the Ruger SR9c on sale for $359 which was about $100 cheaper than he paid for Patricia’s SR9c.  He said I should go buy one.

Well, I told him that wasn’t going to happen, not with his Mom’s attitude about guns.  Although she had recently said that having a weapon in the house wasn’t a bad idea, I already had a Colt Defender in a safe in the Master Closet.  I told Travis that I’d like to have that pistol since I had shot Pat’s during my CHL test and really liked it.

About the same time Travis and I were talking, Ramona walked into my study.  She asked what we were talking about and I told her.  She said that if I wanted to buy this pistol, then to go ahead and do so.  Was I ever shocked!  I told Travis, that’s what she said and he was shocked too!

The price quoted in the ad was a one-day only sale for 18 July.  That was a Saturday, so Travis came over early and we took his Tahoe across town to the Gander Mountain store.  When we arrived there weren’t very many cars around so I figured they might not have sold out already.

Sure enough, they had them in stock. The counter guy brought one out and I looked it over.  It had a steel slide which I was surprised that it came that way.  Pat’s was all black and I kind of preferred the all black.  But, the price was so good and I was standing there so I told the guy I’d take it.  He said he’d have to do a background check and then ring up the pistol.  I though we might have to come back another day, but after filling out a bunch of paperwork and waiting for about 10 minutes, I paid for the pistol and we headed back home.Ruger SR9c - lft_side

Back to the present day.  I’ve bought about three holsters for the SR9c and I’ve shot it about three times.  It shoots very well.  I still have to work on my trigger control, but that will come with time.  It doesn’t recoil all that badly and as a 9mm, I wouldn’t expect it to.  The Safariland 578 GLS Pro Fit is a level two holster with an index finger release.  It’s also a paddle holster which is easy to put on and take off, although it sticks out a little too far.  I’ve been using that for carrying the SR9c around and it works pretty well.

I wanted to get the slide cerakoted and found a place to do it for about $75.  Travis then said he was going to paint one of his pistol slides and said he’d do mine at the same time.  Three months later, it was done, but not very well.  He didn’t even let me see it.  He said he was going to take it to a place that does cerakoting and pay whatever to have them done right.  I told him that I’d still pay the $75 if that’s what he was going to do.  It took the place about a week.  I finally got the SR9c back after well over three months.  It was in pieces!  Still, putting it together wasn’t a big deal.  Once back together, it looked really good.  The barrel is still steel, but only a small portion of that shows.  The sights were also cerakoted which means they painted over the white color.  Also, the red making for the safety is gone.  Travis managed to get the red safety mark back on since it was just a sticker, but the sights are still messed up.  I tried putting some white nail polish on and it works, but not that great.  I might just have new sights put on anyway.

So far, it surprises me that I really like the way this pistol shoots.  I shot it with my LC9s Pro and my H&K VP40, and of the three, I like this SR9c the best, so far that is.

Had My Throat Slit, Again!

Yeah, this sounds kind of gruesome, but since you weren’t there, you didn’t feel a thing, right? Well, I certainly did!

pain and agonyI don’t know why, but pain and agony has been following me around for quite some time now. I mean, they’re not with me constantly, but every so often, “WHAM”, I get hit right in the stomach, hand, knee, or this time, my neck.

Actually, this time, it wasn’t as bad as a “WHAM”, but more of a, “You’re gonna’ have to do something about this, and today is the day.”

You see, I’ve had this, ah, “bump” on my neck for quite some time. I can’t exactly say when it got there. I think it was probably the results of one of those alien abductions I was exposed to at a pretty young age. I always thought that it was an alien interstellar communications device and someday, I’d get a call from something. So far it hasn’t happened and now it never will.

Now, I’m not saying I was abducted by aliens because to say that, I might get put away, permanently. But, I just don’t know how to explain the “bump” thing growing on my neck from just after I started shaving. Yeah, I know most of you think I started shaving when I was 3, but that’s not true and that’s not very nice!

Anyway, this “bump” has actually been pretty benign for quite some time. I did have kind of a flare-up a while back, several years ago, in fact, and I went to my doctor to have him look at it. His diagnosis was that it is or was a “sebaceous cyst”. He said it needed to be cleaned out, but I’m not going to tell you why. He and his nurse did this procedure while wearing some highly questionable clothing, the type you see in a quarantine area, breathing masks and all!

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Rip! There Goes Another Body Part!

[CAUTION:  This is an extremely long, long article.  Please set aside about a week to read it.  If you give up, I won’t blame you!]

You’re coasting along during a normal week, not having a whole lot of worries; everything seems to be just fine…and then, suddenly, you fall into the Twilight Zone!

twilight_zoneMy week of 13 July started out just like any other week. I was working at my hobby which was and still is sleeping. I get up each morning around 9 or 10 or whatever time Ramona tells me to, shave, shower and go eat breakfast. By 11 I’m ready to brush my teeth so I’ll be ready for lunch!

Day in day out; nothing much changes. Don’t call me before 10 am because I’ll be asleep. Don’t call me after 10 pm because I’ll be asleep. I know this sounds terribly exciting, but I am Army and Navy trained so I know how to sleep through anything.

Then Thursday came. Yeah, that Thursday. The day that, for me, will live in infamy (whatever that means).

We had run some errands and then stopped at McAlister’s for dinner. Now this is not usually a heavy dinner because this is a delicatessen restaurant and we both have our favorite sandwiches. Except today!

I had to try something different. I noticed they had a nacho basket which I was surprised to see but it sounded great so I ordered that.

Super-Cheesy-NachosI was kind of surprised when two waiters, excuse me, servers, brought my plate out.  I didn’t think it really took to guys to carry my nachos, but they were kind of wimpy looking.  In retrospect, it was a rather large plate of nachos, but I have many, many years of eating experience so I thought, no problem.  There were a lot of nacho chips covered with melted cheese and mountains of jalapeños, but I had a large drink filled with Dr. Pepper, so I dug in.

I’m not saying I ate too much, but strangely, I’ve never ordered that plate again!  By the time I stopped the plate was almost, but not quite cleaned up.  Ramona commented on the fact that I had tried to finish off the entire plate.   She said I shouldn’t be hungry any more.  Well, ha!  I already knew that I wasn’t hungry any more and probably wouldn’t eat ever again!

We left McAlister’s and headed back home. Usually after dinner we both sit down in the living room for some TV until around 10:30 and then we go to bed.

I think around 7 pm I started to feel kind of uncomfortable. My stomach felt like it held a huge block of cheese, but I knew that couldn’t be because all the cheese I had, had been melted.  I decided to implement the solution to most all my stomach problems.  I went to the bathroom, quickly.

After about an hour, I realized this solution wasn’t going to work!  I won’t go into details, thank me, but I wasn’t feeling any better.

I made my way back to the living room, realizing that while my stomach was still hurting, my legs were having a tough time moving.  Seems like when you sit on the toilet for a while, your legs can go to sleep.  I’m sure most of you have never had that happen, but for us men, it can happen quite often.  Still, I made it back to my recliner in front of the TV.

I wasn’t feeling any better and the TV shows weren’t doing me any good either.  I think we were watching an old movie titled, “The Man Who Ate Too Much!”.  Not a very funny movie.  So I decide that I should go to bed and let my stomach fix itself over night.

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HEB – The Place Where Stupid Hangs Out!


I just made a post on Facebook!  Yeah, that’s a momentous occasion!  I don’t usually make Facebook posts, and when I do, they’re usually just short amazingly witty phrases, usually!  Well, today I believe I posted the “mother of all post”.  I am including it here so you won’t have to hunt around for it.  It is an epic.

“We have really come to like our HEB on Wilderness Oaks in San Antonio. It is a smaller HEB which I think caters well to those who don’t wish to walk a country mile just buying groceries. Yes, the superstores have a few more items than this one, but we can make do very fine anyway.

We just shopped on Thursday and I must say the store was very well stocked. It was very nice to see all the shelves full of merchandise and even better, the stuff we liked to buy. While there were cases in some of the aisles, most were wide enough to not cause a problem. Shopping on weekdays is always the best and we can do that since we’re retired.

Now, not everything is roses. HEB has a real serious problem with it’s baggers (or whatever you call them today). My wife and I started working in the grocery business many, many years ago as young people needing jobs. Back then, we were in a training period of about two-weeks just to see if we could work out. She became a cashier and I was a bagger/stocker. Both of us worked in this business for about four and three years, respectively.

I have come to believe your baggers are idiots! I’m sorry to say this, but there is a way to bag groceries and it’s not the way your baggers do it. We just bought almost $300 worth of groceries and do so every month. We have a ton of red cold storage bags and another ton of regular cloth bags. I purposely fill one cart with cold stuff and then a second cart with everything else.

So what happens at the checkout? Your idiot baggers stand there and start stuffing everything possible into cloth bags, totally ignoring the red insulated bags. I watched the latest one do this until I couldn’t stand it and had to jump in and start taking things out of the cloth bags and telling him to use the red bags for cold stuff! How complicated can that be? They do this practically every time. He also has no idea what is edible food and what is not. He just crams as much as he can in every bag. He crammed a bag full of chips and set it in the bottom of our cart and then dropped a heavy bag right on top of it. We got cleaning chemicals in with candy bags, cereal and other edible stuff that clearly shouldn’t be mixed together. This is just not using any common sense.

Then when I got all the bags re-packed and we’re standing there with two full carts, he asks if we need help out! Well, good night, after spending almost $300, don’t you think it would be natural to just help these good customers to their car and load up their groceries? We never get anyone to volunteer to do that. We always have to ask. Dumb!

OK, I’ve vented enough. We’ll continue to shop at HEB because you’ve about run the competition out of town. I would hope that some day you’ll hire or start training your baggers just a little. Even just tell them to be nice and use some common sense. Heck, I’d even volunteer to come in and train them for you!

Ain’t Facebook great for venting? Let me know if you want to talk about this!”

So there it.  I think that’s about the longest post ever made on Facebook.  I wonder how long it will stay on their page?  If you just happen to shop at HEB, it would be nice to hit that “Like” button on my post, if it’s still up.

Oh, and if they contact me about this, I’ll be sure and let you know.  I might have a job pretty soon!

Review of the Plugable Pro8 Docking Station with the Dell Venue 8 Pro

I bought the Dell Venue 8 Pro a while back off of  That’s the new XDA buy and sell service which is pretty nice.  If you have a cell phone or tablet you need to get rid of, Swappa is a great way to do that; not the only way, but a great way to get honest offers for your gear.

I was tinkering with the Dell Venue 8 and was just wondering what I could do with it besides just use it as a tablet.  As you probably know, the Dell Venue 8 Pro is a Windows 8.1 tablet.  It’s a full fledge Windows tablet running a full version of Windows 8.1.  So, you have a minicomputer in your hand that is really much more1427396818_thumb.jpeg capable than just being a handheld tablet.  I bought the latest stylus for the Venue 8 since I heard they had finally fixed it to work properly.  This is the latest version of this stylus has a black lower barrel and a silver upper (Manufacturer Part# : K5J52 | Dell Part# : 750-AAGN).  It works just great.  I don’t know what was wrong with the previous stylus since I never had one, but this one is a must for this tablet.

I also bought and installed a 64GB MicroSD card.  You’re definitely going to need one.   The Venue 8 Pro I bought comes with only 32GB of storage memory which after installing Windows leaves at best 5 or 6GB unless you want to mess with removing the Recovery Partition and gain back about 10GB. I did that and I’m glad I did, but how to do that is another story.  Just say you’re going to need more storage space.

2015-03-26 12.14.08In my research on improving the memory situation, I found an article that discussed the Plugable Pro8 Docking Station (  This dock allows you to finally power the Dell Venue 8 while at the same time, plug in thumb drives or other USB storage devices, an ethernet cable and a DVI monitor.  It obviously comes with its own power brick, but this is about the only way you’re going to be able power the Dell Venue and anything else at the same time.  The Dell Venue has only one MicroUSB port and that’s intended for power, nothing else.  Yes, you can buy an OTG cable, even one from Dell, but you won’t get the monitor ability.

So, I 2015-03-26 12.14.13bought the Plugable and started hooking it up.  I bought a cheap Dell ST2010 HDMI/VGA monitor at a local discount PC store for about $100.  It’s a 20 inch LCD and looks great.  I took an HDMI cable which I had laying around and plugged it into the back of the monitor.  Then I added a DVI-to-HDMI adapter that was in the Plugable box (very convenient) and plugged that into the back of the Plugable unit.  Then I used the special MicroUSB-to-MicroUSB cable also provided by Plugable to hook up the Dell Venue with the Plugable device.

There are 4-USB 2.0 ports, two-front and two-back, on the Plugable.  I happened to have a Western Digital 320GB hard drive in an enclosure that wasn’t getting much use.  I wondered if this would work with the Plugable since it was a  USB enclosure.  The thing is, this enclosure only had the one USB connection and no power.   Apparently, the Plugable couldn’t power the hard drive and use it for data with the same USB port.  So, again, I had another enclosure that had a USB 3.0 Plugable_with_USB_2_0_hard_drivecable output, but the other end had two USB connectors.  Using the two USB 2.0 ports at the back of the Plugable, I hooked this drive up.  Now remember that Windows doesn’t like hot-swapping USB devices.  So you have to turn off everything and then hook your USB devices up and then restart.

Upon restart, I checked my storage devices, and there was the 320GB hard drive ready for use!  I also had two ports on the front for two thumb drives which I immediately used one by plugging in a Sandisk 64GB Cruiser.  That did show up immediately.  Now I think all my storage needs should be met!

Ok, I remember the instructions about the Plugable Dock saying that the DVI cable doesn’t provide sound so I had to hook an audio cable from the front of the Plugable to the Dell Speaker bar that I also happened to have laying around.  (Yeah, I know, I got a lot of stuff just lying around!)  Now I had sound and turning on the monitor, I had a Windows 8.1 desktop!

Getting out my Logitech Tablet Keyboard that’s Bluetooth and using  a previously bought Logitech Bluetooth mouse, I paired both to the Dell Venue 8 tablet and away I went.  The tablet and mouse work just great.  2015-03-26 12.12.47

So, now I have a complete desktop computer setup.  Of course, there are some limitations.  The Dell Venue 8 has only 2GB of ram and you’re using a USB video signal via DisplayLink to run the graphics.  That means you’re not going to get blazing graphics at least for most games.  I can play Civ V but slowly, but Half Life 2 though Steam seems very playable.  I tired Fallout New Vegas, but it wouldn’t even start!  Still, for everything else, this works fine.

I have to admit, the Dell screen is just gorgeous.  It’s a 16:9 screen with a resolution of 1600 X 900.  I’m only using this setup to troubleshoot Windows 8.1 problems because my wife insists on using her Window PC!  I’m a Mac guy and wouldn’t think of using this or any Windows for my main PC.  How horrible that would be.  Been there, done that.  I will try Windows 10 out on this setup when it’s available.

So there you go.  That’s my setup with the Plugable Pro8 Docking Station.  It was all remarkably easy to hook up once you have all the parts and pieces. It works just great for my purposes.  If you buy one, I think you’ll be very happy with it.

Review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Tablet

Summary –

Pros:  Fantastic tablet with a fantastic screen.  Easy to hold since it’s so light weight. Perfect size for a small tablet.  A pleasure to use.

Cons:  Buttons at the bottom are very touchy.  I kept hitting the home button since there’s very little room to hold on to the tablet at the bottom.

1420836667_full.jpegI recently decided to buy one of these through Amazon.  I was wanting to replace my LG G Pad 8.3 with something that was a little easier to handle.  I had seen a number of advertisements about this new device and having been familiar with Samsung tablets in the past, I decided it was time to buy a new one.

I believe I paid $383.23 for this tablet.  Amazon now charges taxes so it’s not quiet as nice to buy things from them as it used to be.  They do offer rapid shipment on their products as long as you’re a Prime member which I am.  The rapid delivery didn’t live up to it’s reputations this time though!

Anyway, about the tablet.  It is a really, really nice tablet.  By far the best one I have seen or used in a very long time.  The screen is just amazing.  In comparing it to the LG G Pad 8.3, the Tab S wins hands down, even thought the LG G Pad has an very, very nice screen.  The colors on the Tab S just pop out and everything is colored correctly.  It’s hard to actually describe the true greatness of this screen without seeing it.

1420836474_full.jpegIt’s also very skinny.  I think this tablet is skinner than the new iPhone 6 (0.28”) at .026”.  Yeah, that’s not much but compared to the LG G Pad at 0.33”, that’s a very noticeable difference.  Length and width wise, the Tab S is 8.38” x 4.94” while the LG G Pad measures 8.54” x 4.98” which means the LG G Pad is bigger but with a smaller screen.  Now weight is another thing entirely.  The Tab S weights in at 10.51 oz while the G Pad is 11.92 oz.  You can very much tell the difference.  I still can hold either tablet in one or both hands very easily for quite awhile.

I got my Tab S in bronze.  I think it looks very classy in that color.  The back is dimpled which gives it some texture.  Overall this tablet is really stunning and a pleasure to use, most of the time!

Now for the bad news!  There isn’t much of a bezel on the sides so holding it in a vertical position will require you to hold it with one hand.  Otherwise you’ll probably be putting a part of you hand on the screen by accident.  Holding it horizontally is easier although this is where I had most of my problems.  The home button is a physical button in the bottom frame with the back and recall buttons showing up as lights on either side.  I kept hitting these buttons when I got tired of holding the tablet by its sides and wanted to place my hand elsewhere!  This would result in closing whatever I was doing and going to the home screen in most cases.  It got very frustrating especially when reading a book on the Kindle app.  Lightly touching the bottom of the tablet would close my book and send me back to the home screen!  Just madding!  It got so bad that I was turning the tablet upside down to read books and use it for other things.  This felt really funny and didn’t always work that well.

1420836521_full.jpegThe tablet also uses a MicroSD card up to 128GB.  I only had a 32GB card.  I would assume I could use the card to transfer some of my data files to it and save on the on-board storage.  While I could do that with pictures and stuff, moving apps proved to be a puzzle.  I think I found an app that did move some apps to the SD card but for some reason, Android 4.4.2 won’t let that happen without some special app.  I think I figured it out but I’m not really sure.  Still, I have absolutely no problems with storage while I used the tablet.  I doubt anyone else will either.

I’m not going to get into TouchWiz and all that stuff.  You can or cannot use it.  There are tons of Android Launchers that will take the place of TouchWiz but I didn’t find TouchWiz to be that bad.  I believe I used Nova Launcher most of the time.

Ok, after saying how great this tablet was and it definitely was, why did I return it to Amazon?  Well, I simply wanted this very nice package in a large screen size, so I have now purchased the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5!  I’m awaiting it’s delivery from Newegg tomorrow!  I think this will solve my problem with the buttons since this tablet is normally used in the horizontal position and it has plenty of space for your hands to hold on to it.  It’s also lighter than my iPad Air and almost as light as the iPad Air 2.  I’ll provide a review of it soon.