Tuesday, August 31, 2010

All You Need to Know About the Local Government

Bonner County to adopt $56M budget:

SANDPOINT - Bonner County commissioners are tracking toward the adoption of an austere budget that contains no pay raises, a limited reliance on property taxes and fewer people on the payroll.
"This has been the most horrendous budget session I have ever been through," said county Clerk Marie Scott, who has been in elected office since the early 1990s.
This is how government budgets should be handled.

Of course, the "limited reliance on property taxes" may be due to the fact that property values are still declining, and constituents light up the phone lines whenever they see the slightest increase in their property tax bill.  Just maybe.

The sound outside my window

Just like this intro... Good song too


...'cept I've always loved the rain.

Are you kiddin me? In Mass? He's lucky they didn't set his house on fire...


Of course I live in North Idaho now, and there are no local football franchises or rivalries to deal with. The nearest pro team is the Seahawks, and they're 6 hours away. Closest after that is San Francisco or Oakland.

Frankly, the people up here hate Washington and California so much, they'd rather be caught dead than supporting a team from either state so...

I've got my Sunday ticket ready to go for the 12th (I never watch pre-season).

Monday, August 30, 2010

A week off, and I've got a damn @#$%@&$%!

Work has been rather stressful and exhausting lately. It's been taking up most of my time and energy, especially most of my "writing" type energy.

Combined with my current health issues, which frankly are dulling my brain more than a little bit (my memory, recall, and my normally highly associative and inductive thought processes are especially suffering... all the stuff that makes my writing work...).

At this point, I counted, I've got over 50,000 words of partially written posts saved as drafts right now, and I've just had no energy or motivation to finish them..

This is the first year ever that I've really taken advantage of my companies PTO allocation (25 base days plus five days carryover from last year, plus 11 paid company holidays and two floaters) and I'm actually taking my second full week off for the year (the first was the week of July 4th).

So I've got actually from this past Friday afternoon 'til next Tuesday; to try and relax and recharge a bit.

The kids start school next Tuesday, so we've got all week to play with them, have fun, enjoy, maybe shoot off some rockets, fly the RC plane, swim...

The only problem is, I've got a sinus and upper respiratory infection...

Screw it, that's what chicken soup, hot chili peppers, and sudafed are for.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to Court

I'm heading back to court on Friday.  This will be the 7th court I've been to, for those of you who are counting.

The issue at hand is whether or not Idaho will enforce a 4 year old court order forcing me to take the kids back to Canada, an order than happened without my knowledge due to a hearing without my knowledge.  I don't have a lawyer this time, as the cash hasn't become available (we don't have a boat either, for those of you who will point that out, that deal is long gone).  The opposition has two lawyers appearing at this hearing.

We're tired, cash poor, and fighting someone who hasn't even bothered to contact the children for just shy of 2 years.  I don't have much faith in the legal system left.  Maybe I'll be proven wrong there.

Mel

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Captain Mal with a 50 Cal

This photo is entirely made of awesomewin™


Stolen shamelessly from a forum post, who stole it from a news aggregator who stole it from a geek news site who apparently stole it from http://bobshouseofvideogames.com

Sunday, August 22, 2010

County Officials Protecting You

From the farmer with the fruit stand.  Long story short, farmers in Ada County Idaho were selling produce and goods not from their own farms at their farmstands.  They ran amiss of county regulations banning selling produce from other farms, and the county wanted them to comply.  So they allowed themselves to be annexed by the town of Kuna, which had no problem with such free enterprise.  But that's not what got my attention.

Faced with an increased demand for more local products, Rice wanted to know, "Why can't they change the rules?"
"These requirements are all established with the intent to protect the safety of the public" said county spokeswoman Jessica Donald. "Beyond that, the county and development services staff have always been open to working with impacted groups to explore ways the code can be modified or enhanced to help provide for productive and safe environments."
Wow that's some impressive weasel-wording.

So buying local products from a local farmer who knows the other producers is somehow inherently less safe than going to the grocery store where my produce got flown in from South America?

What's worse is I actually think these people might actually believe their own bullshit, and that farmers are somehow out to poison their friends and neighbors.

Mel

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Neighborhood Deer at Dusk

A not uncommon sight here:






That was a couple hundred feet off the main road, at dusk, from inside the truck with a cell phone.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Actually... It's not that bad...

Dilbert.com

The Droid X on VZWs 3g net has actually provided a pretty good browsing experience. The big screen helps, as does a useful sized keyboard.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teh utter triumph of geek culture. NSFW SF Otaku FTW

VERY NSFW, and somewhat loudly so...


Our Old Friend Pertussis Is Back Again

IM conversation from earlier:
Mel: pertussis outbreak in CA now 
Chris: Fucking Jenny Fucking McCarthy 
Mel: don't forget to get a booster at your next appointment 
Mel: and me too 
Chris: I swear, she should be forced to do a year in prison for every child who gets sick because they weren't vaccinated.
I'm having a hard time disagreeing with that sentiment.

I took Daughter the Older to her new pediatrician this week, one part well-child checkup and one part "please make sure she has the right vaccinations for public school".  I was also a little worried about the new pertussis outbreak in Kootenai and Bonner Counties.

Currently Kootenai and Bonner Counties are experiencing a resurgence of pertussis.  This is due almost entirely to idiots not vaccinating their children.  There's a large contingent of the very religious here (one of my favorite games is Name That Sect!  played at Wal-Mart every time I go) but also a large contingent of "omg everyone is out to make my child autistic!"

Ignoring the absolute stupidity of that statement and the fully discredited, fraudulent, and criminal study behind it, I have a problem with the entire idea. Just the thought that "I'd rather have my baby be dead from a disease we eradicated decades ago than be autistic" makes my head hurt.

It's not just YOUR baby, MORON.  The most susceptible aren't even of vaccination age.  Newborns in hospitals  are dying from something we managed to mostly kill off generations ago.  All because you're afraid it's a conspiracy to make your kid different (the definition of autistic being so loose these days).

THERE IS NO AUTISM EPIDEMIC.

The "skyrocketing" rate of autism isn't because there are lots of new cases; it's a combination of autism awareness programs resulting in more, and earlier, legitimate diagnoses, and the 1994 redefinition of autism from a PROFOUND AND TOTAL DISABILITY, to anything falling into the "autism spectrum"... which includes anyone more than slightly socially awkward or with communications difficulties... Like a lot of geeks for example.

This isn't to deny the real pain and hardship that families with profoundly autistic children go through... It's hard as hell... But that's not what we're talking about here; at least not for the most part.

In the mean time, do me a favor, and keep your unvaccinated kids the hell away from mine.

And yes, the kiddo's vaccinations were up to snuff.  However, when I asked the doc if our kid would be okay with the pertussis outbreak, she said "yes, but when was the last time YOU got a booster?"

Yeah, adults can still get pertussis too, and almost as bad.  Nevermind if you deal with (or live with) the very young.

Something to think about.

Mel

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Health Update

It's been a while since I've written about my health... basically because I didn't have much to say, except it was getting worse.

Last year, we discovered that I had extremely low testosterone (about 10% of normal levels), high cortisol, low thyroid hormones, and high estrogenic hormones (which aggravate all of the above).

This contributed to my rapid weight gain over the past few years, as well as loss of energy, fatigue, lack of focus etc...

I went on hormone therapy to try and balance it out, but the therapy I was on didn't work. We discontinued the therapy, and decided not to start any new therapies until after we moved, and I found a new doctor.

In the mean time, my symptoms have been getting worse... much worse actually; more have appeared, and they've become more distinct.

At this point it has become clear, that I have some kind of LHPA axis disorder; meaning there is a malfunction somewhere in my limbic, hypothalamic, pituitary, or adrenal systems, or in how they interact.

The problem is, there are literally hundreds of identified disorders, and a bunch of other non classified disorders, all in that space.

In particular, the symptoms I have, were looking very much like Cushings syndrome... That's extremely worrisome.

You don't gain 160lbs in four years (plus losing and then gaining back 72lbs, 46lbs, and 34lbs you lost in three different periods of under 1800 calorie a day diet and high exercise for a total of over 300lbs weight gain) on a 2400-2800 calorie diet, without something being profoundly wrong with you.

Run a metabolic calculator for my weight and bodyfat percentage, and I should be burning 3600 calories a day even if I was SLEEPING all 24 hours every day...

That means on my normal diet (and I log everything I put into my mouth. I know exactly how much I'm eating every day) I should be losing a pound every 3-4 days. Instead I'm either sitting still or gaining, depending on the week; and most of the weight is right on my gut, my face, and my back and shoulders (I've developed the "Buffalo Hump" and "moon face" characteristic of several LHPA axis disorders including Cushings).

There are a number of other symptoms I've been experiencing that I wont go into right now, except to say they are extremely unpleasant, and are effecting my life in a very negative way.

Of course it might NOT be Cushings, it might be any number of other problems, or a combination of problems which result in the same symptoms.

So Monday I went in for my next diagnostic appointment, and then Tuesday morning I had 17 different blood tests (6 vials, including one which had to be chilled).

The first round of tests came back today, and the good news is, though my cortisol is very high, it's not high enough to be Cushings.

The bad news is, of course, we have no idea what the problem is now.

There are still a number of other tests waiting to come back, which might help sort this stuff out, but they're not likely to produce any kind of definitive diagnosis.

The funny thing is, for a guy who's 200 pounds overwieght, and has screwed up hormones, I'm otherwise pretty damn healthy.

Look at the basics here:

BP: 122/80
RHR: 74
Total cholesterol: 191 (high normal. Over 200 is borderline problematic)
HDL/LDL: 39/131 (borderline. It's better if the hdl is 40+ and ldl is 130-)
Fasting blood sugar: 120 (high normal. 90-110 is normal 120-125 is borderline pre-diabetic. Above 125 is prediabetic, above 140 is diabetic).

For someone my size, that's frikken incredible. Unfortunately, my cholesterol and blood sugar are considerably worse than they were 9 months ago when I last had them tested (30 points higher on cholesterol, and 10 on blood sugar)... which is very much not incredible.

So it's clear that things are getting worse. Also I think it's clear that the high blood sugar and cholesterol are a symptom not a cause (for example glucose tolerance and high cholesterol are caused or worsened by high cortisol and low testosterone).

The worst thing is though, all of these issues are a self reinforcing circle. The effects of each problem worsen the effects of other problems and cause a third set of problems all of which worsen the original problem etc...

I go back in in three weeks for another round of diagnostics. They'll probably do a glucose and insulin tolerance study, and 5 day 8am fasting and 4pm fed endo study, to check my hormone and glucose levels in response to time, food, stimulus etc...

Most likely the doc is going to want to put me on a statin, metformin, and injectible testosterone instead of the androgel I was on before. I'm OK with the metformin, as I REALLY want to avoid diabetes, and I'm hoping the injectible T will work better than the gel did, but I'm NOT going on a statin.

There are just too many problems with those statins.... and Frankly, for most people taking them, they don't help very much, and they aren't really necessary. More of doctors covering their asses against the "just in case" heart attack, and drug companies pushing them hard because they are big profit centers.

I just wish I knew what was actually wrong with me... what was causing this.

Void During A Black Presidency...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Needs Bacon


Denny's Fried Cheese Melt Pushes Gooey Cheese Tolerance To New Levels:

"The sandwich, which should sell for $4, is "made with four fried mozzarella sticks and melted American cheese grilled between two slices of sourdough bread. It is served with French fries and a side of marinara sauce." It and the other new items should be available starting Aug. 24."

Seriously, add some bacon, and I'm there... Maybe bacon, and chicken strips... 

A submarine sandwich by any other name, in any other town...

Apparently, one of the writers of Rizzoli and Isles is actually from Boston, because in the last episode,  Rizzoli said to Isles "next we'll have you eating a spukie".

The only place on the planet where a sub style sandwich is called a spukie (or a spucky, or a spuckie, or a spuky) is Boston... In particular Chelsea, Charlestown,  the North End, South Boston, East Boston, Roxbury, West Roxbury, Hyde Park, Readville, and Dorchester.... and Revere, Milton, Quincy, and Brockton (where those Italians moved to when the Jews and the blacks took over their neighborhoods... It's a Boston history and culture thing... look it up you'll see what I mean).

Basically anywhere there were a lot of poor Italians living and working from the late 19th century, 'til the late 60s.

Boston as a whole has raised the sub to an art form. Subs are better in Boston than anywhere else on this planet.

Yes, I mean that. And yes, I've been to New York, New Jersey, Philly, Pittsburgh, Chicago, New Orleans, Italy, France, Argentina... and Groton, New London, and New Haven Connecticut (where in theory the "Sub" sandwich was named... because that's where actual submarines were made...) and just about anywhere else they have good sandwiches (good sandwiches require GREAT bread. If a place doesn't do great bread, they don't do good sandwiches never mind great ones)... There are better sandwiches than a Boston sub, but there are no better subs.

To my mind, the very best cold sub you'll ever have, is from Green Gardens Liquor and Deli in Hyde Park. Imagine a whole pound of rare roast beef, with thinly sliced colby cheese, a little bit of red wine vinegar, oregano, black pepper, and extra light olive oil, and a microthin shmear of horseradish, or stone ground hot mustard (all on the bread, with the cheese in between, never touching the meat) on a soft but crusty and chewy 16" italian loaf... and yeah you get the whole loaf. That way you get two heels, wet with the vinnaigrette...

Oh my god it's good... and it's two meals in one (you can't eat a whole Green Gardens sub. Too much good meat and great bread).... and the Italian is just as good (supposedly the prime rib is even better, but I've never had it).

Now, that isn't to say Boston always has the bust sub sandwich of every type there is. New Orleans in particular has their Mufalatta, which is a lot like an italian cold cut sub in boston, with the addition of a ton of olives; and they've got their PoBoy, which comes in many varieties, but the most famous are the fried seafood versions.

Now I might be a bit biased against the Mufalatta, since I don't like olives, and as I understand it, the thing just isn't the same without; but yes, a good Boston sub is a better cold sub than a mufalatta is. Italian cold cut, American cold cut, roast beef and cheese, smoked turkey and bacon... all on that bread...

As for a po-boy... well we don't fry up clams, oysters, softshell crabs, shrimp, or mussels for subs like that up in Boston, so if that's what you're looking for, the PoBoy is king. But if you want a hot meatball sub, or chicken parm, or sweet italian sausage... Boston can't be beat.

I use to love getting a sausage egg and cheese sub from a place that makes their own great italian sausage... Damn, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Then there's the pastrami subs, with the pastrami boiled in mustard water (about 1/3 mustard, 2/3 water... plus the drippings of all the rest of the Pastrami they'd boiled in it since they changed the water) and served on that same crusty italian loaf... And in Boston they use the pastrami from the thinner point of the brislket, which is a little tougher (thus the boiling) but has more flavor, more smoke, more pepper... SO GOOD.

...I mean, I love the New York style braised and flat topped pastrami on rye (Pastrami Club, Katz's, and Carnegie), but the Boston Pastrami sub is a whole different beast entirely (the mustard and pepper flavor infuse everything), and I love it even more.

Or a New England style steak and cheese (not a cheesesteak, that's Philly)... In Boston they still used shaved rib eye, but it's shaved strips not slices. They use more cheese (usually American, but provolone is also common), and they chop it in and mix it in with the steak on the flattop so that you barely need to chew the steak (but you always need to chew the crusty bread) and every bite has a lot of cheese all through it (and onions, peppers, and mushrooms if that's your thing).

In Boston even our chain subs are better than the corner shop subs in other towns. D'Angelos, makes pretty damn good subs for a chain; or at least they did before they were bought by Pepsicos "yum" brands ( the same as pizza hut and taco bell). I heard they got "not as good" during that time... But they were bought by Papa Ginos (THE best chain pizza in the world... one of the very few chains that make actually good pizza) a few years back, so maybe they got good again.

D'Angelos has their normal small, medium, and large sizes... which are pretty good sized already, the large is a 14" sandwich... but the big daddy is "the great divide", which is 29" of meat, cheese, and bread.

...GOOD meat, cheese, and bread (at least compared to every other so called "sub" chain).

Trust me... Boston subs (even D'Angelos) are NOTHING like Subway or Blimpies, or Quiznos, or Port'o'Subs... so unlike as to be a completely different sort of thing really... And far as I'm concerned those chains shouldn't be allowed to call what they sell subs.

You may hear them called subs, grinders, hoagies, and heros... and in Boston you'll hear them called all of those things (though usually not a hero; and grinders and hoagies are usually reserved for hot subs on toasted bread... the hoagie is more of a Philly thing, and the hero more of a New York thing), but Boston is the only place you'll find the spuckie.

There aren't a LOT of places that call subs spuckies anymore, but you go anywhere it was common at one point, and ask for a spuckie, and they'll probably give you what you want.

Ask for a tonic at the same place, you'll get a soda too.

I grew up buying my subs from Spukies & Pizza, in Lower Mills, Dorchester; exactly .9 miles from my childhood home (thankyou google maps).

I still go back there whenever I visit Boston. They aren't the best subs in the area ( not even close. Green Gardens is only 4.5 miles in the other direction), but they're home.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Seen in a local parking lot

Published with Blogger-droid v1.4.9

Shakespeare is the worlds all time champion insulter

Hell he even invented the "Yo Mama" snap.

Here are a few of my favorites:

"Methink thou art a general offence, and every man should beat thee. I think thou wast created for men to breathe themselves upon you"

"He's a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of not one good quality"

"He never broke any mans head but his own, and that was against a post when he was drunk"

"Lets meet as little as we can"

"I desire that we be better strangers"

"I was seeking for a fool when I found you"

"More of your conversation would infect my brain"

"Not Hercules could have knocked out his brains for he had none"

"You are as a candle, the better part burnt out"

"What a disgrace it is to me that I should remember your name"

"On my knee I give heaven thanks that I am not like to thee"

"It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"

"When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast"

"What a drunken knave the sea was to cast thee in our way"

"Out of my sight, thou dost infect mine eyes"

"Thy mothers name is ominous to children"

"Hang, beg, starve, die in the streets"

"He's opposite to humanity"

"Were I like thee, I would throw away myself"

"I'll beat thee, but I should infect my hands"

"If you spend word for word with me, I shall make your wit bankrupt"

"Highly fed and lowly taught"

"all eyes and no sight"

"Not so much brain as ear wax"

'A fusty nut with no kernel"
There are literally thousands more...

Friday, August 06, 2010

It's Amazing How Good Phone Cameras Are Now...

And phone camcorders even more so:



Taken with a Droid X and not futzed with in any way. Remember to switch it to 720p.

Forgive me for saying so....

...but Kickass, really did Kick Major ASS.

I mean, how often do you get to see a cute little girl make dick jokes and kill a bunch of guys (like 20 or so).

Plus, she picks up guns off the bad guys when she kills them, and she never leaves a live one on the ground behind her. That's two of my major action movie pet peeves subverted (in one scene even).

If on the other hand you are offended by the thought of a 10 year old girl swearing like a sailor and blowing peoples heads off...

...Seriously? Why are you reading my web site? Cuz that shit is funny as fuck.

Get it on BluRay... the fountains of blood from the exploding heads really pop.

I think I need this on a t-shirt




Also, you know I've never been a fighter pilot... 'cuz if I was I'd never admit to not having one already... even to God.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Prepare for the most awesome 57 seconds of film you will ever see


Can't wait to see "The Expendables".

Sly... bringin action back.

There's a map for that, and it covers our area...

Very very very irritated at the moment.

I just spent four hours writing a several thousand word post, on the current state of the smartphone market, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of iOS4 vs. Android,  AT&T vs. Verizon. , and todays Android hardware vs the iPhone 4.

I saved drafts the whole way. I checked to make sure those drafts actually saved. Everything was working fine.

It was a great post.

I finished it, and hit publish... and I got a message from blogger about "conflicting edits", so I backed up.... and it had erased all my content. I tried opening an older draft  but no, it was empty as well.

AAAAAARGH!!!!!!

I really don't feel like rewriting all that right now. It's 0340, I'm tired, and I'm pissed.

Yes, I know, I shouldn't trust blogger. I should compose in a third party editor and copy and paste to publish. I should copy the entire post before I hit publish....

I didn't.

Ok, the upshot of the post...

Mel and I were able to, through special offers, buy two Droid X handsets for only $40 more than one single iPhone 4 (buy it online, with a new contract, and use the discount code SMART30, and a new DroidX will only be $169).

We now live in a service area with no 3g from AT&T but great 3G from Verizon. Verizon has lowered their pricing and increased their service on family plans and data plans, and increased the discount I get from my employer. AT&T has lowered their services however, adding data caps. Our AT&T contract is up at the end of this bill. Verizon is now offering us more service than AT&T at the same price as AT&T.

Given that Android 2.2 is about to come out, and that the Droid X seems to be at least as good as the iPhone 4, and given the pricing and network functionality; we decided to switch to Verizon and Android.

As of Monday Mel and I are Android users, on the Droid X.

Any must have apps?

Anyone have a recommendation for a good ebook reader that can handle a lot of formats?

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Most Hated Substance on Earth

I speak not of hard street drugs, nuclear waste, or whatever it is they made Rosie O'Donnell out of...

No gentle readers, I speak of... COSMOLINE

There should be a "Frau Bleucher" moment there when I say that... just imaging dramatic music and a crash of noise or something....

A few days back, someone asked me a question about how best to deal with cosmoline, and since 1. I disagree with much of the "conventional wisdom" that is out there about the stuff, and 2. I haven't seen anyone posting about it recently (not since Surplusrifle.com almost shut down a couple years back and released their archives on CD) I figured, sure what the hell why not.

Alright first, what exactly IS cosmoline?

Basically cosmo is the brown and sticky crap left over when they've cracked all the lighter fuels and solvents out of crude oil. It sticks to everything, and it's a pretty damn effective moisture barrier, so it's a pretty good protective agent against corrosion.

Most major military establishments of the past 120 years have used cosmoline or something like it, to protect their inventories of various metal bits (not just guns. The Navy has been encasing parts in cosmoline for as long as the stuff has existed... you know, having all that salt water to corrode stuff and all).

So, if you have any interest in buying surplus military weapons or gear, you are eventually going to come into contact with cosmoline.

Many of us have "fond" memories of stripping cosmo off our new pride and joy... for hours, and hours... sometimes days or weeks... before we could fire them.

Me and four friends once decosmolined 3 Yugoslavian SKS's one evening in the parking lot of a motel in north central Texas; by sticking them upright into the grass by their bayonets, and repeatedly spraying and scrubbing them down with brake cleaner until we could disassemble them enough to get the smaller bits into cleaning tubs, where we used MORE brake cleaner (about 3 cans worth for three rifles) to try... unsuccessfully I should add... to get enough cosmo off the things to make them shootable for the next day.

Brake cleaner works, but it isn't ideal. Especially if you're just spraying it, brushing with cleaning brushes, and wiping with shop rags. That's just how nasty and persistent cosmoline is.

Have I mentioned that I LOATHE cosmoline with a passion as fierce as the burning of a thousand suns...

Sadly, my loathing is insufficiently hot to actually melt cosmoline off of anything...

Ok, so how DO you get rid of the stuff?

Well, first let me point you to the "Maintenance" section of the aforementioned surplusrifle.com site. They've got a number of guides to decosmoing, as well as just a bunch of good and useful info in general.

Most of what I'm going to say is probably roughly said in one or another of those guides.

But I'll share with you my own personal advice anyway.

The absolute best way to deal with cosmoline is with a hot recirculating solvent at pressure. A heated spray industrial parts washer will do the deed faster and better than anything else. You can decosmo an entire rifle in minutes, including the stock (though you're still going to have to hot box the stock to deal with weeping).

Unfortunately most people don't have the kind of parts washing setup that needs. A decent setup might run you $3000 to start, up to over $10k. That said, you might have a friendly local mechanic or machine shop who does, and will let you borrow or rent time with one.

My recommendation though is the second best way I know of.

The next best way is to use hot, pressurized steam, and a hot water TSP bath. Use the steam to soften stuff up, then scrub a bit with tsp in the tub, then more steam, then more tsp etc...

You don't NEED to use TSP, but it's one of the more effective degreasers out there that you can use in a hot water bath. Also, it doesn't outgas nasty stuff, or blow up, when heated. You could use plain water, but adding a surfactant degreaser like TSP will make your life a lot easier.

If you start off with very hot water to begin with (heated up on a stove or propane burner to over 160 degrees... even up to boiling if you like, and have a cleaning tub that can take the heat) and work quickly, the steam heat will keep things hot enough you don't need a burner under the water/degreaser batch when you're doing the rifle.

The whole process takes a fair bit of effort, but it works VERY well. The important thing is to get the entire mess above 140 degrees, no mater what kind of solvent you're using. Cosmoline melts at between 115 and 125 degrees unless it's fully hardened. When fully hardened it doesn't melt til 130 and 140, and you may need to chip off or scrape through a hardened surface layer that won't melt off at all.

A standard household steam cleaner, if it has a pressure wand or nozzle type attachment, will do the job just fine (a steam upholstery cleaner/drap cleaner or stem iron won't give you enough pressure, or enough volume). My wifes cost $140, and it's overkill. There's a $60 handheld one you can buy from any department store, or amazon, that a lot of people have had great success with.

If you have a propane burner and a pot or tub big enough to hold whatever you want to decosmo, you can also just boil the stuff off.

You can use plain water, but it's much more effective if you put TSP in it. Or washing soda. Or any surfactant of any kind.

Just make sure you rinse with clean water, and then oil the hell out of the piece IMMEDIATELY after you finish cleaning.

Oh and do it outside. There's a risk of fire, and a certainty of a smelly scummy mess.

DO NOT BAKE COSMOLINE OUT IN AN OVEN.

Oh, it can work... In fact every time I see a cosmoline thread, somebody recommends it... but it's a BAD idea.

Cosmoline starts fuming volatiles out above 220 degrees, and will flashover at 350 degrees. Even if you set the oven to 150 degrees, the heating element when it cycles on is going to heat up to over 500 degrees, and that is enough to cause flashover... possibly when you open the oven door to check on everything and a nice burst of fresh oxygen rushes in...

Seriously, if you bake it out in an oven, it is entirely possible you will blow up your oven. Even if you don't, fumes will permeate everything and make them smell like cosmoline for frikking eternity.

You don't want your oven, or your kitchen, to smell like cosmoline, trust me.

Similarly, don't use gasoline to clean off cosmo.

A lot of people use gasoline, because their corporal in 'nam showed them it worked better than the "official" procedure etc... etc...

Generations of servicemen had been assigned to clean cosmoline off rifles as a punishment duty or a "character building exercise". Gasoline was the best way the average private had easily available to them to make it easier (Air Force airmen, and Navy seamen have a lot more access to more exotic solvents).

Sadly, soaking and scrubbing in gasoline isn't a great way of doing it. It's better than trying to use bore cleaner or brake cleaner, but not much.

If you don't mind a big fire, you can actually burn/boil/melt the cosmo off with about 10 gallons of gas in a steel drum (a half barrel is best)... but that's dangerous as hell, and only works on bare metal or parked finishes. Bluing or any kind of paint or epoxy will be screwed up by it. Plus, these days, 10 gallons of gas aint chicken feed.

I've heard guys say "wont that warp the gun or detemper the steel or something?" Nah.. wet gas burning doesn't get that hot for that long. The real problem is the gas boils, and the vapor can make some seriously cool... but horribly dangerous, great big frikken fireballs.

Really... it's a bad idea. Don't do it... at least not with anything you care about... like your eyebrows.

Then there's the long term, slow, but low investment and low effort method.

The steam cleaner method definitely works the best, but it requires diligently working at scrubbing and steam cleaning, up to your elbows in hot water and solvent, getting filthy etc... etc...

I'm lazy. I don't feel like that much work. Unless the thing is totally gummed up to the point where I can't disassemble it, I don't really want to break out the tub and steam cleaner.

When I need to FULLY decosmo something (especially if it's a small to medium sized piece with no wood), I usually pull it out of the stock, detail strip it, and put the action and parts in a piece of pipe or a tub, painted black, sealed all around, and filled with acetone, MEK, TSP, DCM etc... (any number of solvents will do it. Just use one that is OK with the type of container you're using and wont dissolve any parts or finish from the gun).

Then I leave it out in the sun for a few days, or put it in a hotbox (a sealed box with three or four 100 watt bulbs or a flameless heater, preferably one with a fan, and some insulation), and agitate and flip it periodically.

Outside of course. Explosive fumes and all.

It takes a while, at least a couple days to maybe a week, depending on how badly gunked up the weapon is, and how hot you get your container; but it requires very little physical effort and actual scrubbing, and gets the weapon very clean.

With the stocks, you generally need to do it without the solvent, since they'll usually eat the finishes, and may swell the grain of the wood. Unless of course you don't care and plan on refinishing anyway, in which case, solvent away.

Otherwise, it's hotbox for a few hours, then wipe it down with a mild solvent, then hotbox, then solvent etc... for about a week, till all the cosmo weeps out.