Monday, April 27, 2009

We had a good time in Dallas, and I picked up a new toy.

We went to see the King Tut Exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art Saturday. Denise and I slept in, got on the road by around noon, drove up to Big "D" and had a great time.

We'd reserved a room at the Hyatt Summerfield Suites on Harry Hines, near downtown, but we didn't have time to get into the room before the tour started. We got to the museum first, found a close place to park and then had to stand in line for about fifteen minutes to get in. The line was tedious, but what we had to deal with much better than what the other folks there had to deal with. We'd gotten our tickets ahead of time, through Ticketmaster. Most of the exhibit goers apparently didn't and so those poor folks had to spend hours in one of those back and forth, snake type lines that eventually let them into the exhibit.

They limited how many folks could go in at any one time, only letting so many in at a time so that there was less of a crowd as you made your way past the items on display. Truthfully, the whole thing was run pretty well, but I think I'd a been really pissed if I'd had to wait two hours in line to see this stuff. First, they don't have any of his famous masks on display (the ones that covered his mummy), or his coffin, or any of the big items that we associate with King Tut. Most of the items are not even directly associated with Tut, but with his relatives.

Don't get me wrong. The stuff is still cool to see. I loved going through the museum. But if I'd had to stand in line that long, in the heat of Dallas in Spring time, I'd a been pitchin' a fit. "What? You mean we came all this way and stood in line all that time and all we get to see is his Tiara?" Both Denise and I enjoyed the tour, but then we were both blown away by the commercialism of it all. The tour, after a few hours of going through the displays, lands you right in the middle of the souvenir shop. Among all the items for sale, you can buy a hat just like the one Zahi Hawass wears. Please, but since when has he become Indiana Jones?

I mean, I'm not against commercialism, per se, but they had all sorts of silly shit on sale, including some stuff I remember seeing, and buying the last time I was in Egypt. They had a beautiful box just like the one I picked up in Hurghada, back in about 1993. I pissed my sister off back then when I came back and gave it to mom. She's still got it. Has it on display in the house. We looked around and fingered a lot of stuff, but eventually decided that we'd get a magnet for the fridge. Denise liked this one...

But I took one look at it and said I'd be damned if I was gonna have Michael Jackson on my fridge door. No friggin' way. Not gonna happen. Nope. So we went with this image for our magnet (in this case, on the cover of a book).

I told Denise, this one's like the young Michael, before he became a gross, middle aged White pedophile. Anyway, check out the King Tut exhibit if you get the chance. They have a show going on in Atlanta too.

After that we headed over to the hotel and got our room. It was very nice. In fact, it was a better room than we've ever had anywhere else, with a king sized bed in a bedroom, a living room with a couch that turns into another bed, a small kitchen with a sink, fridge and burners, and covered gated parking, all for $108 and change. We were in shock for a bit, what with two nice flat screen TVs in the place, and are determined to head back there when we do this sort of thing again.

After freshening up, we headed out to a place I know about near there. A buddy of mine introduced me to Sal's Pizza, on Wycliff, after a gun show at Market Hall. They make great Strombolis there. We were both starving after spending all day on the road and in the museum. Denise ordered a Stromboli and I ordered Lasagna, with garlic bread and fried Calamari as an appetizer. After all that food, a glass of White Zinfandel for her, and a few beers off the tap for me, we were both very happy campers.

After dinner, I drove Denise around Dallas. We went around Turtle Creek and Downtown, looking at all the lights and sights. I drove her down Mockingbird and she spent some time going through Stein Mart while I perused a comic book store nearby. I needed to catch up on some Spawn and Daredevil, and see whatever else was available.

We'd talked about going to a movie, so I took her over to Mockingbird Station. We parked and wandered up to the Angelica, but the movie Denise wanted to see wasn't playing, so we decided to blow that off. I couldn't interest her in the cool Irish pub next door ether, so we turned and wandered back down and drowned our sorrows at the Marble Slab ice cream place down the street. After that it was back to the room, George Dickel, the comfy couch, the large flat screen TV and the cool cable channels that we don't have at home.

We woke up Sunday to the sound of my phone going off. My buddy Waters was already up and wondering if I'd bought anything at the Gun show. Having no life, he keeps farmers hours... up at friggin' dawn, no matter what, so callin' me at 10AM and findin' out that he'd woken us up was something of a shock to him.

He'd been up there and spent about 5 hours at the show Saturday, while we were going through the museum. He'd gotten himself a bayonet for his new AKM (a fun story yet to be told - wait for it), and had seen some British manufactured .303, but had passed on it. Now, having thought about it for 24 hours, he'd decided he wanted it. So he gave me instructions and told me where to find it at the show. I told him I'd pick it up if I could find it (never did). Then we went back to friggin' bed. I think we rolled out of there, bags in hand, just before noon.

Our next stop was Denny's, and the Moons Over My Hammy, with a big glass of milk. It's a great little breakfast sandwich, with sliced ham and scrambled eggs, Swiss and American cheese, grilled on sourdough bread, with a side of hash brown taters. I also had another side of bacon, just to make it extra healthy. Denise and I had the same thing, only she goes for coffee and OJ.

Then it was off to the Gun Show. The big Market Hall show is always a fun adventure, and this trip was no disappointment. The crowds have been extra thick since the last election, and the prices have been fun too. I'm just glad I got most of the stuff I want before this recent unpleasantness.

However, Waters has recently sparked an interest in me for getting an AR-15. He has one, but bought himself another one a few weeks ago, thinking it had a lower serial number than the one he already had. When he told me he was gonna bring his old one up here and sell it, I decided to buy it from him myself. Well, while I was walking through the show I saw a guy with two of these rifles, both priced under Waters gun.

I checked them out and called Waters to tell him about them, figurin' he'd say somethin' like "I guess I can take a few bucks off this one", but he didn't bite. In stead, he said something like "Well, what are you gonna do with two rifles?" So I walked around and though about it some more. I told myself that I'd probably be better off getting Waters' rifle, for a variety of reasons, including the fact that he's a good friend and we'd shaken hands on the deal. Then I walked back and looked at this other one again.

Yep, I ended up pickin' up a new toy. It's an AR-15 SP1, made back in the early 1970s. It looks just like the early Air Force rifle another buddy of mine used in Vietnam back in the mid-to-late 1960s.

There's ol' Mushy, back when he was a skinny kid, striking a fearsome pose with his very early production M-16. One reason why I was jazzed to have this model, rather than one of the new M-4 type rifles, is because it's just like the one my buddy used back in the day. But, of course, it's not the only reason I wanted one like this. I have my own connections to the Air Force. I grew up around it (my dad was in for 32 years and 9 months), and I've always wanted an AR-15 with these Vietnam era grips. you really don't see that very much any more.

The extra special thing about this one is the low serial number. if you can't make it out, it says 22033. For some reason, Waters wanted one with as low a serial number as he could get. Originally I didn't care one way or the other. But, you know, now that I have this one, I kinda like the fact that it's got such a low number... and I paid $200 less than he did. I guess I'm a prick like that.

Waters called me late Sunday, just as we were getting home and floated the idea that we could trade guns. I'd get his more recent (early 1980s) production rifle and he'd get this one. He paid $1500 for his, while I paid $1300. What do you guys think?

I'd already gone and bought an early production, three pronged muzzle break so I could put it on Waters' gun. That cost me $8, but I went back after getting this rifle and finding out that I wasn't going to need it. This rifle came with the right break already attached. They were cool about it and gave me my money back. Now I need to get a nice bayonet for it, and a few extra items.

Before leaving the show I stopped at one table and picked up a few mags to go with it. Here you can see the 20 rnd mag, and you can see the 30 rnd mag in a few of the other shots above. Of course, the 20 rnd mag is the one that really goes with this rifle, but I loves me a banana clip. You can take the AK guy away from the AK, but you can't... something or other.

Anyway, we drove home late Sunday, stopping for dinner at Las Casas in Temple. They serve sub standard, bland Mexican food, but they make one item we like, so we keep going there now and then. We both agreed after this latest trip, it'll be a long time before we go back.

We got home around 7PM and spent the rest of the day relaxing. We woke up today to heavy rain and the forecast for more of it this week. Maybe the drought is finally over. We'll see.

Well, you guys have a great week, and I'll fill you in on the drama between Waters and I later. Cheers!


Hammer said...

Nice find.

I've not seen any early ARs at the gunshows. Just clones.

What's .223 going for these days?

FHB said...

Really, the price depends on who makes it. I recently got 500 rnds from a guy for $150, but that was a bit low.

kerrcarto said...

Love the gun. Love the rain! We got about three inches in a couple hours earlier today.

JDP said...

Cool AR FHB, I picked up my new Bushmaster ORC M4 AR-15 on Friday. I have been wanting one of these for over thirty years and I figured I better get one now before it is too late.


Grandpa-Old Soldier said...

Man, these things bring back some memories. I would love to have one. I'll bet I can still take them apart in the dark. Glad you got one.

FHB said...

Thanks guys. I love it, and Waters is over the issue.

Kevin said...

Sweet AR, FHB!