Monday, February 28, 2005

LA County Gunstores: Wimpey's Pawn, Azusa

I drove out to Azusa the other day to look over the range where I'm taking a class soon (Burro Canyon Shooting Park), and on my up to the site I saw Wimpey's Pawn Shop.

A pawn shop, how interesting--oh, wait, they've got a sign in the window: Guns. screech

Wimpey's is a fairly typical pawn shop, with long counters of the expensive, pricey stuff (watches, rings, cameras, lenses, et cetera) under glass, band instruments on the wall and all the way in the back, guns.

Rifles and shotguns are racked neatly on the wall, handguns are in the display cases. Since I like older guns (new is new, anywhere you go) I zeroed in on the used revolvers. There were two that caught my eye: A Taurus 66 in .357, and a Colt Police Positive in .22.

The Taurus looked well-cared for, but the hammer spring felt really light when I cocked it. Huh.

The Colt was a small-frame (i.e., small grip) revolver with a 6" barrel, and it had not been well-cared for. The muzzle crown was dinged, and the barrel and frame were lightly speckled with rust. The frame screw on the right side was not just buggered, it was dead--half of the head was sheared away, leaving only a miniscule remnant of channel.

The grips seemed to be original (hard rubber?) and the action seemed in good condition (hammer cocked fine in single-action, no cylinder shake, extractor rod moved smoothly).

But for $340, I am not bringing this puppy home.

I'm not, I'm not, I'm not...

The other interesting gun on the back wall was an $80 rifle labeled "New England Westinghouse Company 1915 II". I asked about it, they didn't really know what it was. When I got home, I tried looking it up in my reference books, but no luck.

Googled "Westinghouse rifle" yesterday, found out it's most likely a Model 91 Mosin (7.62 x 54) made 1915-1917 for the Russian government (two contracts were awarded, one to Remington, the other to the above company, which was manufacturing weapons during WWI).

Huh--an American-made Mosin for $80.

Wimpey's Pawn Shop
650 N. Azusa Avenue
Azusa, CA 91702
626 334 9758

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Saturday Poetry

Max Eastman, 1883 - 1969

At the Aquarium

Serene the silver fishes glide,
Stern-lipped, and pale, and wonder-eyed!
As through the aged deeps of ocean,
They glide with wan and wavy motion.
They have no pathway where they go,
They flow like water to and fro,
They watch with never-winking eyes,
They watch with staring, cold surprise,
The level people in the air,
The people peering, peering there:
Who wander also to and fro,
And know not why or where they go,
Yet have a wonder in their eyes,
Sometimes a pale and cold surprise.

Saturday Poetry

Friday, February 25, 2005

John Farnam: Farnam's Quips

From Farnam's Quips for February 11:

"Once again, I encouraged them to carry pistols (and blades) always, concealed if necessary, any time they find themselves in dangerous places, worrying less about "propriety" and more about personal victory. I reminded them that the routine carrying of pistols conveys to the carrier a firm sense of purpose and of nobility and that the daily handling of dangerous weapons reinforces correct habits."


Thursday, February 24, 2005

Kim du Toit: GWB in Euroland

Kim describes the American style of diplomacy:

"Our diplomacy model, thanks to the GWB / Cheney / Halliburton / VRWC junta, is talk-talk-talk, failure, USMC/daisycutters."

Heh, heh, heh...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Capitalist Lion dot com: Gagging on the Socialist Pill

Capitalist Lion dot com

Mr. Lion writes about "...grabastic pieces of socialist goop...", specifically socialists trying to convince (guilt) everybody else to feel horrible about America being more successful than any other country in the world:

"Our country was created with the freedome for the lowest bump on the social stick to reach the top, prevented by absolutely nothing save his own ambition."

"Second, there is nothing special or exclusive about the American way of life."


Friday, February 18, 2005

Saturday Poetry

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

"When I Set Out for Lyonnesse"

When I set out for Lyonnesse,
A hundred miles away,
The rime was on the spray,
And starlight lit my lonesomeness
When I set out for Lyonnesse
A hundred miles away.

What would bechance at Lyonnesse
While I should sojourn there
No prophet durst declare,
Nor did the wisest wizard guess
What would bechance at Lyonnesse
While I should sojourn there.

When I came back from Lyonnesse
With magic in my eyes,
All marked with mute surmise
My radiance rare and fathomless,
When I came back from Lyonnesse
With magic in my eyes!

Saturday Poetry

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Saturday Poetry

Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1872 - 1904

The Debt

This is the debt I pay
Just for one riotous day,
Years of regret and grief,
Sorrow without relief.

Pay it I will to the end --
Until the grave, my friend,
Gives me a true release --
Gives me the clasp of peace.

Slight was the thing I bought,
Small was the debt I thought,
Poor was the loan at best --
God! but the interest!

Saturday Poetry

Friday, February 11, 2005

Politics - Black History Month

I've never liked Black History Month--it's always seemed a patronising pat on the head to a minority culture that for the rest of the year is ignored unless it riots.

I don't really care all that much about black history or culture, either. I'm white, I've got my own culture, and my own sub-cultures within that culture (guns, heterosexuality, conservative politics).

That said, Saturday's poetry is by Paul Laurence Dunbar, a Negro poet of the 19th century.

From The Paul Laurence Dunbar Homepage:

Paul Laurence Dunbar was the first African-American to gain national eminence as a poet. Born in 1872 in Dayton, Ohio, he was the son of ex-slaves and classmate to Orville Wright of aviation fame.

Although he lived to be only 33 years old, Dunbar was prolific, writing short stories, novels, librettos, plays, songs and essays as well as the poetry for which he became well known. He was popular with black and white readers of his day, and his works are celebrated today by scholars and school children alike.

An interesting biographical page is here.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Politics: Los Angeles mayoral race

A recent thread on ca-firearms ( asked about the RKBA positions of the various candidates. After a couple of responses, one poster commented that "Any DemonCrat in LaLa land is against firearms".

My response was "How about taking a candidate shooting? Or a senior aide? Are there any plans afoot by any NRA Members' Councils, or a CRPA committee?"

I've been a science fiction fan for many years and I am dismayed to see how little difference there is between the fannish world and the real world--one is just the other, writ smaller.

But it's an idea worth pursuing!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Saturday Poetry

William Blake, 1757 - 1827

The Tiger

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Saturday Poetry