28 September 2016

Stop Thinking So Hard

This group is at 7-yards fired double action from Willard's new (to him) S&W Model 12-2 Airweight; fired as fast as I could reacquire the sights and target (about three seconds total).

What's interesting is this is about 1/8th the size of the carefully aimed single-action group at the same distance taking all the time in the world between shots!

Double action, the gun feels so much like my familiar 640-3 that Zen descends and the groups look like I practiced.  Which I have with the 640.

The Perfecta 158gr .38 Special in the 12-2 feels remarkably similar to 125gr .357 Magnum from the 640-3...

Unrelated, the 12-2 was very nearly an unfired example yesterday.  If it has more than one box more ammo through it than we fired today I would be shocked.

How The Rachet Works

Democrats want more gubmint, so they hire gubmint workers when they're in charge.

Republicans try to pay lip service to smaller gubmint, so they don't hire when they're in charge.

So we end up with a civil service hired entirely by one side.


27 September 2016

One Night In Westworld

A show everything but Yul Brenner.

I Am Apt To Be Blamed

I wanted to get an Xbox...

I got an Xbox...

Willard got guns.

Willard didn't come along to get guns.

But Willard got guns anyway.

Somehow I know this is my fault.

Going Round In Circles Flying High Like Bird Up In The Sky

Posting lyrics fragments to Facebook is my drunk texting.

26 September 2016


It's kind of telling.

In tonight's debate Donald Trump has to watch his mouth; Hillary Clinton has to watch her bio-medical data.

Just Because

Too Soon

I made the obvious joke about Arnold Palmer knowing something about Hillary Clinton on Facebook and got told "too soon".

Too soon for what?

He's obviously very famous, I've heard of him and know he was a golfer, despite the fact that I don't follow or play golf.

To me Arnold Palmer is a golfer and a drink named for him.

And that is ALL he is to me.  Another dead dancing monkey.

He became rich and famous chasing a ball around a field with a stick.

All of the reports of his death either assume I already know why he's famous, or mention the "golf legend" thing; but never a reason I should have even one iota of respect for him except "dancing monkey that played sports".

I don't respect dancing monkeys.  Especially professional sports dancing monkeys.

Because of that, I'm not observing the mourning period for your dancing monkey hero.

25 September 2016

Probably Not What Was Meant

One of the speakers at GRPC cautioned that the liberals and anti-gunners make moves with payoffs in 50 years.

He proudly mentioned that in Massivetwoshits they got the definition of assault weapon made the same as the 1994 Federal AWB and that they managed to get the language of one law changed from "suitable person" to "prohibited person".

Folks, this shit is exactly what I mean about fighting an expert holding action, yet never being on the offensive.

The best we have been able to manage at the Federal level since 1986 has been to let a law sunset and two (it seems) easily twisted to not do anything Supreme Court decisions?

There was a lot bad for NFA attached to the FOPA along with the good, and much of the good has been downright eliminated in the places it was supposed to help the most.

We're not even doing much holding in this holding action!  We're subverted at every turn.

GRPC in their OUR resolutions session resolved that an attack on one kind of gun is now an attack all kinds of guns.  That's NFA, that's scoped FUDD, that's evil-baby-killing black guns, everything!

I am appalled that we "had" the president and congress and not ONE pro-gun bill made it to Bush's desk.

Not one.


Goose egg.



Why would they submit such bills?  They get an 'A' rating without doing anything at all.  Where's their incentive to actually fight FOR us?  They get the highest rating for merely not fighting against us, and we don't understand why they do nothing?

The NRA rating has an incumbent bias, preventing worthy primary challengers from mounting serious challenges.  It also has a huge blind spot in focusing solely on the gun voting record of candidates and ignoring votes that come back to bite guns later.  If you're going to call it "America's First Freedom" you have to pay attention to the others.

We have to start doing better than the status quo.  We have to advance, even if in inches, rather than be proud we weren't defeated.

History is littered with examples of people who were never defeated, yet still lost the war.

Simple Pleasures

Aquavit and olives.

I much prefer savory to sweet and aquavit does such a good job of being savory!

Cooperative Creativity

What sets tabletop role playing apart from writing fiction is the player is your co-author.

The players are participants in the creation of the story and setting and not mere consumers of what the gamemaster has authored.

In the best games the players add to the world.  In computer "role playing" games the player has no opportunity to add to the world, they merely select a playing piece and consume what the developers made.

In a universe as expansive as Traveller, a player can make a lasting contribution to the setting merely by declaring their character is from a particular world and defining cultural norms attached to that world.

They can do this within the confines of the canon world descriptions because there's not much actual detail for nearly all of the Imperium.

But it's not just Traveller.

Almost any game benefits from giving the players a bit of freedom in defining their characters rather than applying rigid strait-jackets.  Else why let them make the character, since you're so much better at it?

The canon descriptions in most games for settings, nations, races and cultures are usually not even an outline for them.  Often, at most, you get a page of information to use.

Sometimes you get lucky and get a whole book on the subject, like the Traveller Alien Modules.  Sometimes you get even luckier and get a player willing to tackle the nuances while staying inside the canon lines.  Those are sparking times indeed.

There are limits, of course.  Too much freedom leads to anarchy.  The parts the players make must fit the world the GM has laid before them.


I just realized something about this conference.

Where is the press?

Other than us bloggers and specialists.

I guess they know when they're not welcome?

Or is it that this doesn't conform to the narrative?

Wanna Bet

I'm willing to bet that despite all the guns that are likely here today, not a shot will be fired.

Just a hunch.

Almost as if gun owners are exceptionally law abiding, and all those guns deter criminals from trying for it.

Not Quite The Same

I have two snap caps in .270 Win.

With the magazine that came with Agnes, if you the two snap caps into the magazine and insert the magazine on a closed bolt, the top round would pop clear of the bolt head and out of the gun on slow closing or get caught by the bolt on a fast closing.

The magazine I got at Bass Pro this evening, doesn't do this.

Neither magazine behaves this way with live ammunition.

I smushed the recalcitrant original magazine a little with finger pressure and now it feeds snap caps right.  No effect on live ammo, still works correctly.

24 September 2016

Made It

Just in time for John Lott!

Thanks to Sean D Sorrentino for finding me parking!

I Never Get To Play But...

I backed the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Kickstarter anyways.

I deeply regret not backing the Ogre one (another game I never get to play) so I am going to overspend a bit and back THIS one.

There's still time for you to back it too!


Misophonia is the hatred of some sounds, common noises really.

It includes a spectrum of small movements and twitches.

It's characterized by an inability to filter out sense memory and then having that sensory input trigger an out of proportion anger response.

It makes being around people very difficult.

There's a dissonance from knowing what manners requires of us and wanting to scream, "chew with your fucking mouth closed, sit still and spit out the fucking gum!"

Among a small group of people you can at least ask, "would you kindly stop, please?"  The more people, the less likely it is you can ask, let alone get, them to stop.

So you develop crutches to get you through the day.

Today I realized that I depend on others exhorting me to come to social events before I can confront my affliction and be around a mob of people.

Guess what didn't happen with GRPC...

There's nobody attending who's saying, "C'mon Thag!  It'll be fun!"  I didn't realize I needed someone to say that before I could even try to get my shit together and go, until today.

I realize that I was dropping hints at a couple people, who didn't pick them up, and probably didn't even realize I was hinting.  I can be wonderfully self-defeatingly vague when hinting.

23 September 2016


Today Willard made sure his father's Savage 99 was still zeroed after a barrel recrowning.

It wasn't.

But it took less than a $45 box of .300 Savage to get it centered.

It's not everyday you see a 99 anymore.  Even less often do you get offered five rounds!

The 99 feels strange.  Willard nailed the feeling as being more akin to a 1930's shotgun than a rifle at all.

Recoil is mild, as befitting a round that's slightly less powerful than .308.  Because it felt odd, I wasn't grouping like I'd like.  The problem with getting used to it is the $45 per box of 20 rounds, and spotty availability.

I Hate Crowds

I hate them to the point of not wanting to go to this Gun Rights Policy Conference I signed up to go to.

There's nobody going that's expressed an interest in meeting up with me, so nobody will be put out if I don't show.

I already know I'm out of synch with other pro-gun folks on lots of issues because I feel like we're fighting an expert holding action and not really an offensive in too many places.

22 September 2016


Will it be lame?

Will I meet new and interesting people?

Will they meet me?

Tune in tomorrowish.

QD Socket

Yesterday I learned that the near ubiquitous QD socket you see on almost every tacticool piece of furniture is a lot older than I thought.

Willard's father's Savage 99 has them embedded in the wood.  He indicated they'd been there as long as he could remember.

Of course, this is a piece of trivia that the internet does poorly at sussing out.  You search for the history and you end up with every vendor selling them.

The socket seems to date from 1948!

Everything old is new again!


It's something noticed, but not much commented on by the "members".

We talk among ourselves on some topics, and shut up when outsiders are present.

There's special bottles.

There's strata to the "memberships".

I remember when I was allowed to stay in the room.

I remember when I was allowed to speak as a "member" and remain seated when "lower" members were expected to leave.

I remember that first drink from the special bottle.

While it can define some friendships you have to remember that it doesn't affect the price of a cup of coffee.

There's people who're really bugged that you're in "the club" and there's no way for them to join.  Never mind that the dues suck and the initiation rites are brutal.

Some "members" stumbled into it and some actively sought it out.

Some regret they qualify for membership and some who exult in it.  For some it's the biggest small accomplishment they've ever made.  For others it's one of many.

Some are heroes, some are cowards.

Some are liars hiding their truth.  Some are honest, hiding their lies.

Some feel shame, some feel pride.

Some sleep well, some have nightmares.

Some keep extensive documentation, even memorials.  Some merely keep their memories.

Quick Summation

Minimum wage is a government mandate that allows people who've never worked to price themselves out of the labor market.

If you really want to talk about free trade, you're going to have to address this largest elephant in the room and talk about freedom to set prices.

Yes, that includes setting the price on what you'll pay someone who has never worked before.

Yes, that wage might be far below what someone can live on, comfortably or not.

Free trade is, at it's core, about the market finding the actual value of a good or service.

"But how will I know I'm offering enough pay for the job I need done without government to tell me?"

That one's easy, if you're not paying enough, you don't get applicants for the job.  Or rather, you don't get quality applicants.  In the case of no-skill positions, there's very little quality required.

Where it gets really sticky is when you create a situation where a middle-schooler with no experience has to be paid the same wages as a degreed engineer; but only in YOUR locale.  If there's middle schoolers in, say, India who can be paid far less... guess where that job will relocate.  Go on, guess.

At some point, in a nation state paradigm, we have to begin to say that our laws should be to the benefit of our people first and foremost.  Offshoring jobs generally doesn't benefit the unskilled and untrained.  Eliminating the no skills or training required jobs also eliminates a valuable school where a person can acquire the skills and ethics as an employee that will serve them in good stead as they gain skills and training for higher paying positions.

Importing skilled and trained workers is merely a variation on offshoring.

This open-border, "free-trade", globalization thing is the rest of the world operating on the traditional nation-state level and winning an economic war on our duped asses.  You might not live to regret supporting it, but your kids will.

The funny thing is, it has to start with getting the government out of the infrastate and interstate pricing of labor and get them back into setting tariffs, tolls and pricing international labor to where our own economy benefits rather than exporting the accumulated wealth of people who were unhampered by the excessive regulatory burdens of today.

Fall For You

Today is the vernal equinox!

It's autumn!

It's fall!

It's Florida, so no change!

21 September 2016

Evil Overlord Note # 105

When planting a surreptitious tracking device in a camera or similar mundane device...

Do not use one with a blinking strobe that beeps, no matter how good a deal you get on them with Amazon Prime.

Love This One

Legally The Same?

Let's take a picture of your Savage!

Which one?

The one with the Bushnell scope.

Which one?

The ninety series...

Which one?

The rimfire!

Oh, the 93!

Left Overs

The scope that was on the Winchester Model 70 has been transplanted to Willard's Savage 93F.

The old Bushnell Sportview 3-9x32mm is a good fit.

Used new Weaver #16 mounts (from Marv) and Weaver rings (from Wal Mart) to stick it on and viola!

The more I play around with scopes the more I see that there's not anything actually wrong with most old glass.  In many cases cheap glass from days gone by is better than cheap glass today with regards to color transmission and distortion.  The exit pupil is HUGE on this Bushnell, and a better field of view than my Vortex 2-7x32.

It's worth noting that these old Bushnells are out there for almost nothing on ebay.  It's a decent alternative to cheaper glass, if you can stand being unstylish about your scope.

I forgot to take a picture...  Maybe an update in a bit.



It just hit me that manufacturing has been very consistent for a very long time.

The scope bases I used on that Win model 70 are new purchased for a gun made in 1948...

And they work!

This is why I pursued a career in engineering/drafting rather than journalism or computers.

20 September 2016

On The Level On The Square

With a Weaver #46M on front and a Weaver #47M on back...

... eliminating the elevation difference from two #46's...

We can now mount the Weaver Quad-Lock rings.

And then the Leupold Rifleman 3-9x40mm.

A fine scope for such an old girl!

Gunsmith Tips

When shopping for scope bases, check the manufacturer's application table twice.  The front and rear mounts might not match.

Use rings in matched pairs!

This will save you from having to shim and shave the mounts and rings to get the scope close to level.

Though you have to admire the Yankee Ingenuity that goes into making the wrong rear mount and mismatched rings work, and work for years.

This project comes tinged with regret.

The original low-power scope and single piece base from the 1950's was long ago discarded.  A collector's item worth more than the gun today.

We discovered today that a Weaver #46 base is correct for the front of a long-action pre-64 Model 70, but not the rear.  A #47 is what's required there because the rear is lower than the front.

We also discovered that Weaver's Quad-Lock rings don't like the old #46 bases that were extant on the gun.

Considering that said bases are like $5 each...  Easily fixed.

19 September 2016


My Vortex scope I put on Wilma has a slightly canted reticule.

With the bases level and the turret level, there's about a 3˚ cant.

That meant I just zeroed it with a canted scope!  Durn it.

I could curse the Chinese manufacturer, of course...

Verily It Doth Boggle

The graphic does a great job of showing it.

In 30 years we've gone from 16 no issue states and 1 constitutional carry to zero no-issue states and 11 constitutional carry.

The constitutional carry states now out number the may-issue states!


And crime is generally down in those 30 years too.

It might not be down because of guns.  Correlation is not causation.

But we do know that it isn't up despite huge increases in gun ownership and sales.  There's no correlation between increased guns and increase crime.

But enough about the pro-gun side...

We should give the anti-gun side equal time.  Does anyone know any dick jokes?

It Would Appear His Fundraiser Was Unsuccessful

Cold Fury seems to have gone dark.

Hopefully it's temporary!

From Tha Top With Feelin' B'like

Fifteen Men on a dead man's chest. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.
the mate was fixed by the bosun's pike
The bosun brained with a marlinspike
And cookey's throat was marked belike
It had been gripped by fingers ten;
And there they lay, all good dead men
Like break o'day in a boozing ken, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Fifteen men of the whole ship's list, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Dead and be damned and the rest gone whist!
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
The skipper lay with his nob in gore
Where the scullion's axe his cheek had shore
And the scullion he was stabbed times four
And there they lay, and the soggy skies
Dripped down in up-staring eyes
In murk sunset and foul sunrise, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Fifteen men of 'em stiff and stark, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Ten of the crew had the murder mark! Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
'Twas a cutlass swipe or an ounce of lead
Or a yawing hole in a battered head
And the scuppers' glut with a rotting red
And there they lay, aye, damn my eyes
Looking up at paradise
All souls bound just contrawise, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Fifteen men of 'em good and true, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Ev'ry man jack could ha' sailed with Old Pew,
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
There was chest on chest of Spanish gold
With a ton of plate in the middle hold
And the cabins riot of stuff untold,
And they lay there that took the plum
With sightless glare and their lips struck dumb
While we shared all by the rule of thumb,
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

More was seen through a sternlight screen...
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Chartings undoubt where a woman had been
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
'Twas a flimsy shift on a bunker cot
With a dirk slit sheer through the bosom spot
And the lace stiff dry in a purplish blot
Oh was she wench or some shudderin' maid
That dared the knife and took the blade
By God! she had stuff for a plucky jade, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

Fifteen men on a dead man's chest, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
We wrapped 'em all in a mains'l tight
With twice ten turns of a hawser's bight
And we heaved 'em over and out of sight
With a Yo-Heave-Ho! and a fare-you-well
And a sudden plunge in the sullen swell
Ten fathoms deep on the road to hell, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

18 September 2016

It's Like .30-06 But For Men

 L -> R  .30-378 Weatherby, .30-06, 7.62x51mm, 7.62x39mm.

FuzzyGeff, you're into Weatherby... I bought you some ammo (one round) you buy the gun!

165gr bullet zipping along at 3,500 feet per second.  That's got some "thump!"

In GURPS terms that seems to come to 9d+2 pi and 1,260/5,500 for range.  Rcl has to be in the 6-8 range!

End Of LIfe

I bought an Eye-Fi wireless SD card not too long after they came out.

It was handy to beam my pictures straight to my computer without removing the card from the camera!

What I did not understand was how it did it.

The card transmitted your picture to Eye-Fi's server, then back to your computer.

Recently they decided that they weren't going to keep the server running, so all the cards would be just SD cards from that date on.

They did release a version of their software that allowed a direct transfer from the card to the computer, which is what I THOUGHT I was buying when I got the card.

Well, they ended support and it's just an SD card now.

My main machine is not supported by the direct transmission and I don't want to set up the laptop for it.

Back to card readers, huh?  Not too onerous, really, and often faster.

Another Gun Free Zone?

The Crossroads Center in St Cloud, Minnesota is owned by General Growth Properties.

They've put up "No Firearms Allowed" signage before on their properties before, and I have not heard anywhere that they've stopped the practice.

Conscientious good guys with guns avoid places so marked, so they will be very thin on the ground if there's a need of them; thus with a vinyl sticker on glass a sanctuary for violence is created.

Is there a law that specifically insulates the property owners from prosecution for creating such an attractive nuisance when people are injured or killed there?

I'm spitballing, but I don't recall any mass shootings or stabbings happening at a gun shop or range.  The SHOT show and NRA annual meetings seem remarkably free from such violence, as are gun shows!

I worry that places like Disney will get targeted as they change their security to better catch the people who CCW despite the signs.  Eventually not even the pleas of the children will get a gunowner to risk losing their investment in their vacation and they will not even attempt to pack into the park, assuming they want to give money to someone who forbids them to be armed.

This thinning of good guys eventually brings violence from what I've observed.

It's embarrassing to be killed for a lack of shooting back.

17 September 2016

Buck And Ball Is Back

Winchester now loads it as Supreme Elite PDX1.

Of course, they don't call it buck and ball, that'd be archaic and not-tactical.

Stiff And Sore

Crossfit ain't got nothing on doing your own wrenchin'!

One of the things about getting a reliable car is you stop getting the crawl under the car workout.

Back On The Road

The starter was the proximate cause of the trouble.  It is replaced with a reman'd limited lifetime item.

The corroded cables probably weren't helping anyone, so they're replaced too.

The battery, which probably wasn't bad, has been replaced.

The stud I broke because I was too lazy to grab the PB Blaster and wait a few minutes has been replaced.

The single use gasket between the manifold and the catalytic convertor has been replaced.  Likewise the single use nuts that hold it up.

Time and again when dealing with The Precious and her wiring I've asked, "why didn't GM give me any dang slack when moving parts that are connected with wires."  Without slack you can't get to connectors and there's never space to unplug something when it's still attached.

I relocated and rerouted the wiring for the cat-detector O2 sensor.  This is because the connector has a locking tab and a latch.  The tab holds the latch closed.  With the cat dangling from the wire you have just enough room to unplug the tab and unlatch the connector.  Gravity is on your side!

But to get it plugged back in, there's no room to manipulate the latch and get the connector seated so you can get the locking tab in.  So I moved the plug lower and zip tied the wires in a better for me-the-owner location than the better for the assembly line position it came in.

16 September 2016

Zero Accomplishment

Ten shots, 25 yards.  I could get the cannonball shinier, but to what end?

Willard points out that I am presently in the glow of having successfully completed a project.

This greeted our exit from the range.  I think my project is approved.

On the down side, the 10 round magazines for the 93F are sensitive to getting rim locked.  You've to load them carefully or they don't feed.

Exhaust Stud Removed!

My friend, CorvetteCaddillacMini-Van JT had a set of these sockets which are for getting at rounded off bolts.

Works on studs too!

Adding It Up

The Savage 93F was $99 plus taxes and background.  $110.93.

The AccuTrigger was $58.85.

I am expecting a $25 rebate.

Grand total: $144.78.

What distinguishes the Wal Mart model from the normal 93F is that AccuTrigger.

I've seen the normal model for sale for $269...

Buying the cheap model and modding is quite a deal!

Now with New York illegal 10-round magazine!

Poetry Corner

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.

Ernest Hemingway

Always Something

To get the starter out, you have to drop the passenger side catalytic convertor.

That's two nuts where it meets the manifold and two where it joins the X-pipe.

Those nuts thread onto studs.

On the manifold end, one of the studs threaded out with the nut, the other broke the stud.

Now I have to get that stud out before I can put the exhaust back together.


It's a tedious chore getting a rust-welded stud out of exhaust parts.  You'd think that a big company like GM could afford some damn anti-seize.  Stop laughing!

It's soaking in some PB Blaster overnight now.  Fingers crossed.

The battery cables arrive sometime tomorrow anyways.

15 September 2016

Working On It

That's something you don't see everyday!

Yes, Mom, I'm using jack stands!

In case you're curious, this is what that starter was supposed to look like.

Smoke From The Starter

Replaced the battery.

Car cranked fine a couple of times, but once the voltage was way too low.

I measured the voltage from the alternator and it was super low.

So I shut off the car, double checked the connections and fired it back up.

Voltage seemed better, but when I went to check at the alternator, I smelled wiring burning.

I finally found some smoke coming off one the connections near the starter solenoid.


On my Vette the positive lead goes from the battery in two branches.  One goes to the underhood fuse and power distribution center, the other goes to the starter and then to the alternator.

If something is shorted in the starter, it's not going to be able to charge!

There goes another $155 plus tax on a starter and exhaust gasket.  I get some of it back from a core charge though!

The battery cables are in rough shape.  Even if they aren't causing problems, they will soon enough.

The battery might be OK, but probably not.

The starter is sick and because it's daisy chained into the charging system, and that's where the smoke was, that's prolly the problem.


Yup, that's the problem!

Savage Appearance

The Savage 110 is described in many places as being ugly or funny looking.

I think I figured out why.  The bolt handle is at the extreme rear of the bolt.  Most other bolt guns have a shroud behind it, and that balances the looks summat.

Fluent Vargr!


Missouri is the 11th state to go Constitutional Carry!

Remember when it was Vermont Carry and that was the only one?

The Battery Too

In preparation for the arrival of new cables, I removed the old Optima 35 (redtop) and put it on the charger.

Two hours of charging and the charge indicator has not budged off the 25% line, which is where the red zone on the gauge starts.

I think the battery is toast.

I ran up to Autozone and got one of their Duralast Gold 85 batteries.  Popped it in and got one failure to crank, then it fired right up.  I shut it off and fired it up again.

Voltage reads 14.2 volts with everything running, headlights, fan, AC...  14.4 with all that shut off.

My confidence is not restored, but this is a good sign.

The doubts are sown by the push-button starting.  You push it and the car literally boots up.  A failure to crank with a near dead battery causes an interruption in the boot cycle and you don't know why it failed to crank.

With an old fashioned key you got to the "boot" portion when you passed through the "run" position and the cranking position was just cranking.

It makes troubleshooting much simpler.

AC Delco Batteries The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Way back in May of 2010 I replaced the battery in The Precious

AC Delco batteries all puke.  ALL.  If yours hasn't yet, replace it NOW.  If it has... Take note of part two of this story.

The battery acid wicked up the battery cables.

I tried to neutralize the acid with baking soda and water:

Tonight I discovered that for the past six and half years that acid has been working on my cables and tonight they called it quits.

Luckily the positive and negative battery assembly is not a complicated R&R.  Part number 20835504 is even affordable from Amazon and thanks to Prime, fast shipping.

Friday I find out if I need a battery as well.