08 December 2008

AD: an After-Action Review

Well, this post hurts my pride, and was something I hoped to never have to post about.

At approximately 2140EST on 06DEC08, as I was clearing my normal carry sidearm (a Taurus Millenium Pro in .45ACP) in preparation for cleaning it, it discharged, sending one round of .45ACP JHP through one interior wall and 2X4 and through the exterior wall and siding, exiting the structure.

I KNOW I kept my finger off the trigger. Without a doubt in my head, I did- I'm very good about that.

Since day one this weapon has had extractor issues. It will extract a snapcap without problem. However a loaded round of 45, no matter the make, will hang up on extraction every time. The extractor won't even fit the rim of the cartridge well enough to hold the round in place with the slide off the weapon.

What I SUSPECT happened:

I dropped the mag, racked the slide, and failed to confirm extraction/ejection. dropped the slide and either had a slamfire, or put my finger on the trigger.

Lessons learned:

-drop the mag and put it away.
-rack the slide, observe the chamber, and account for the chambered round. I normally do this to the point of being OCD about it.
-BE OCD about it. EVERY time.
-NO, I am NOT "Good enough" to do this without ammo anywhere in the room

Weapon is going back to the manufacturer for a full going over, and the extractor WILL be right this time.

So in review, the problem was a combination of mechanical failure and wetware complacency.

As well, I failed at least 1 of the 4 Laws:

2. Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you are not willing to destroy

On examining the entry and exit holes in the exterior wall, I find that I was about 10 degrees on the lucky side of going through an apartment building about 75 yards from my house. While possible the heavy and slow 45ACP hollowpoint would have struck the siding and embedded itself in it while doing no further damage, it's not something I would want to risk.

I got VERY lucky. This can NOT happen again.

I shook, hard, for three hours after the event, keeping my ears pricked up for sirens and the like. Heard nothing, have kept an eye on the news, and noone's been hurt. Yes, I would have owned up to it had someone been.

09 November 2008

Sorry I've been gone...

I note from Statcounter that my traffic is up. WAY up. I even had comments to moderate. :)

Apparently my 2 visitors told someone, and they told someone, and now I've got folks that seem to be regularly returning to see if I've tripped my fingers round the keyboard and imparted my own brand of idiocy to the Internet. I am flattered!

I apologize for no new content in the last (does the math) 2.5 weeks. I've been pretty swamped at work as I've been shifting my hours around more than usual, so I'm either working or sleeping.

OK, so it's more like working, or supposed-to-be-sleeping-but-playing-Second-Life-instead. For the longest, I said I'd never participate in one of those MMORPG's, because "I know me... I'll lose sleep and not get anything done round the house". This was in response to the guys at work trying to get me to play World of Warcrack, and apparently I didn't apply the rule to SL.

No, I will not tell you who I am in the game so you can say "Hi", either. There are lines that must be drawn- this is one of 'em ;P

23 October 2008

19 October 2008

Just lost all respect for Colin Powell

So Powell's done what there's been rumor of for months, and come out supporting Obama.

While I don't think it's "just because he's black", I do believe that it indicates that Powell's not showing the best judgement.

I hereby retract any and all indicators of support for Powell in my previous posts or comments (both personally and in the blogosphere), and am strongly considering retracting my opinion of him as "a good man".

REMARKABLY ill-advised, General. I'm glad you didn't this lack of judgement when I served under you. Sir.

14 October 2008

13 October 2008

Worth remembering

4-wheeling Monday

Let's start the week off on a high note, shall we?

If this song doesn't stick in your head, nothing will...



Note how the TJ just walks right on past the H1 in the rock field.

Fair disclosure: I drive a 90 XJ. Yep, I'm a Jeep guy.

12 October 2008

Thomas Paine talks Common Sense



Most important part of the video is at the end.

"Choose to be part of the Second American Revolution- not of bullets and of violence, but of Pressure! Pressure!Pressure! Call the Congressional Switchboard every day at 1-866-340-9281"

EDIT: perhaps the video is a bit dated. The 866 number didn't work for me. The verified number is 202-224-3121.

I'm not condoning a violent revolution by ANY means. I'd love to see a Voting Revolution- clear all the dead wood out of office and let them know if they don't respect the Constitution and the will of the people they WILL be replaced.

The stuff that's happening now is the sort of stuff that leads to violent revolution. It is my sincere wish that we can avoid that.

EDIT: not sure what that "Download video" crap is about.

11 October 2008

Heimliched the pooch...

So I'm sitting there talking to my wife about some things while all three dogs are chewing on their new toys.

Suddenly Kylie (my Aussie) comes running at me, fullspeed, and claws me full on in the chest several times, hard. I look at her, wondering what's the matter, and notice she's making this motion like she's trying to bark, hard, but nothing's coming out.

I realize she's choking, and give her a healthy swat on both sides at once. Being rather alarmed, afraid I was about to lose my buddy, it was all I could think to do.

GACK!! A loud cough and apparently the bit of her chewie that was stuck in her windpipe dislodged and was swallowed. TONS of hugs and kisses after. Yes, she actually does hug.

Close one. I'd have missed my little girl. She's an amazing dog, and sharp as a tack. Besides, who else is going to keep the Lab Boys (bka the Idjuts) in line?

Holster-making gallery (56K death!)

If you've got dialup, you might want to go grab a coffee...

This is in response to several folks that have asked for more info regarding the stitching and so on.

Here you see that I've gone round the back wing, drilling holes with my Dremel first, then doing a simple lock-stitch. Note that the holes are, frankly, too large. I couldn't find my smallest drill bit at the time. I ended up doing a second trip around the stitching to make up for the gaping holes in the leather left by the drill, and my less-than-optimum control of the awl. If you look closely, you can see where some of the knots have come through the front. VERY amateur, but I learned quickly!

Another, closer, view of same. Also note the T-nut that I forgot to mention installing. Install is simple: drill hole (come to think, that was already done, too- did I mention Nate made this EASY?), insert T-nut, then glue the two halves together. Closer stitch detail, too. See what I mean about the knots coming through the front? Beginner mistake!

Closeup mainly to show the size of the line I am using. It's too big to call thread, too small to call rope. Waxed polyester, has a pretty hefty breaking strength. Yeah, it'll work! BTW- if you're looking for a sewing awl, by no means go buy one at your local boater's shop. I paid $27 for one at West Marine (well, I needed it THEN, to repair my ruck, going camping with the kid the next day). I could have gotten one for $13 online, and I stumbled across one VERY similar in Harbor Freight, with a 100-yard (as opposed to 30) skein of line, for $5 a few weeks later. Hell yes I bought it- I can't even get the line itself that cheap elsewhere. Need one? Drop me a line! (You see, how I made that little pun there... I am a kidder. I kid)

I should have mocked this one up better. What you are looking at is how the lockstitch works. Basically, poke the awl through the holes, then pull out a quantity of line on the back side, at least enough to go around the perimeter 1.5 times or you'll be cutting and retracing your route often to get a good lock. Getting the string to the back is easier said than done unless those holes are WAY too big. Solution: Punch awl all the way through. Pull it about halfway out. Use the tip of a spitzer round (or a pen, chopstick, whatever's handy) to grab that loop, and pull the awl through. Now pull the bitter (loose) end of the line through. Poke the awl through the next hole, withdraw, and run the bitter end through the loop. Pull on both lines, you've made a stitch!

I'm not real clear on the proper way to terminate the stitch. I backstitch two stitches, then run the bitter end through the loop three times, then pull. Cut flush, and apply brief heat to the remaining bit of the line. This ought to work.

Second lap of stitching on the back wing, completed. Looks a lot better now. For production use, I will run a double row of stitching up against the weapon as it's a high-stress area. Otherwise, single will be fine.

Front wing completed now, too. Can you notice the difference? I found my smaller (smallest) bit, so only had to run one loop. Also, I had figured out how to run the awl properly at this point, ending up with the locks in the middle of the holes, not on the front or back. MUCH more professional. Almost looks like I know what I am doing, huh?

I've wet the leather, just to the point that it's darker-brown. Literally a minute in very hot bathwater. Put it in the tub and swish it around- when it is uniformly dark, it's ready. It's very much like working with stiff clay at this point. You can see I've started the boning process, the trigger guard, dust cover, and takedown lever are most evident. Yes, I am a man that wears jewelry. Celtic stuff, mainly. Shaddup.

In the name of safety, and not wanting an AD when reholstering, I use an ultra high-tech, precision-engineered Trigger Guard Embossing device. OK, so it's my thumb. This ain't rocket science, folks. As a famous holster-maker once said "There's only so many ways to wrap leather around a fuckin' gun". Curmudgeonly fellow, that. I think I'd enjoy his company.

Hey, if it's stupid but works... it ain't stupid. 'Nuff said.

As you can see, there's a VERY snug, secure fit. This weapon won't come out unless you mean to use it.

YES, I know. Shut up! I am flat-out OUT of ammo for this weapon at this time, the safety is on, the trigger is covered, and my finger is nowhere near the trigger. Also, I cleared the weapon three times before putting it in the holster. I'm not a complete idiot (there are parts missing!). Nice view to show how the boning is split between the halves of the holster, to suck it into the hip more. Also, all the better to marvel at these cheap 6MP cameras that are out now. Why did I wait so long?

Two shots of attempting to bone the ejection port with my thumb. Fail. While it's good enough for some folks, I like a holster with a well-defined ejection port- better retention. Hmm.. what can I use to better emboss this? If I only had some more deer antler left over I could make a tool with my Dremel tool...

That's the ticket! A Fisher compact Space pen. Not only does it write in zero-g, vacuum, upside down, and prevent global thermonuclear war while saving the Apollo-13 astronauts- it also makes a damn fine embossing tool for wet leather. OK, so would a AA battery. But darn, now I have these nasty over-emphasized embossing marks around the port that look like crap. This would be easy to fix it this was really wet clay. Hmmm...

Nice! Apparently the wet clay metaphor was more accurate than I realized.


A very well-boned holster.

I've got to invest in a better backdrop. Are you folks tired of seeing my keyboard and desk yet?

Finished product shots


It wears well, too!

Made a holster!

I have to say, I am pretty damn pleased with myself on this one...

First off- thanks to Nate at UBGHolsters for providing the die-cuts. He made this project REALLY easy, and confidence-inspiring.

This all came about because I wanted an IWB holster for my Tanfoglio TZ75 in 10mm. It's similar to the CZ, but different enough 'round the trigger guard that he wasn't sure it would work. So the whole "thought about building your own?" idea came about, and we ran with it from there.

He sent me a set of die-cuts (think, flats cut from cowhide, shaped like a holster but without the molding), a set of straps (which he was nice enough to assemble as I didn't have the press, belt clips (unrelated to the project but thrown in because he's a nice guy), and instructions. He's also taken great effort to reply to 40+ emails in the course of the discussion.

I provided the tools -a 7.62X39 round (get the bitter end of the line started), a Fisher Space Pen (for boning), rubber cement, a Dremel, draftsman's dividers, and a Sewing Awl- and effort. This was very much a "use what ya got laying about" effort. There are purpose built tools for this sort of work, but they're not needed.

To assemble the holster, I took the diecuts and lined them up all around the perimeter. Nate was good enough to mark out the glued area by way of using his CZ75 as a model for the TZ that now takes its place. I applied rubber cement to each side in accordance with the directions for a permanent bond, and let the joined pieces sit overnight under my rangebag with a few pistols in it. I measured off 5 millimeters (about as close as I could figure to 1/5 of an inch) and locked my dividers in, then followed the stitchline with them as if I was plotting a course, which if you think about it, I was.

I took the joined pieces, a 2X4 bit of scrap, my Dremel, and a TINY bit (about 1/32 if I recall- it's too small to read), and drilled at each mark the dividers had left. I used my sewing awl to sew up each stitchline, and then tried to testfit the weapon- it will NOT go, dry, don't even try it.


So then I wet the holster thoroughly in hot bath water. You don't want to let it sit in there for any more than a minute or so- I actually just grabbed it and slid it around in the water till it was visibly wet through (watch for the color change). At this point the leather will have the consistency of wet clay. I took my well-oiled gun and slid it into the holster- it will go with a little effort- and then started on the boning.

You use your fingers and smooth the leather around all the points of the weapon- the safety, the triggerguard, and so on. With automatics, pay particular attention to the ejection port and the trigger guard- this is where your retention comes from. Now is a good time to set the holster in terms of it's curvature, as well- it's going to have to curve to go around the body part it's designed to fit (round my waist in this case). Once happy, pull the weapon out, and set the holster in front of a fan for a few hours to a few days, depending on how wet you got the leather. Now- go dry, clean, and oil your weapon, particularly if you've got a parkerized finish!


As this is my first go at this, and I used natural polyester waxed thread (read- it won't take dye), I'm going to leave this holster in the natural. Next one will be sewed with my preferred black thread, and will be dyed black. I have no experience with that as of yet, but I'm told to use oil-based dyes and a sealer.

Not bad for a first go, all things considered. I learned a lot here.

I can not thank Nate of UBGHolsters enough for his encouragement, parts, advice and overall brain-dump when it came to my numerous stupid questions. He made what could have been a disaster, easy. I've been wanting to try this for years and after all his effort the hardest part of the job was sewing the leather. By the way- he gave me all this info all the while knowing that I was considering starting up a holster-making business.

07 October 2008

Bugs, Mr. Rico!!!

OK, so I've got this...thing... about critters with more than 4 legs or less than 2.

So I get home about 2200 this evening and as usual keep the lights off so as to avoid waking the wife, who's a light sleeper.

I get about halfway across the living room- it's not quite pitch black, mind- and something brushes across the top of my skull. My bald skull- I shave my head to complete the job Mother Nature began. I grab my flashlight off my belt and investigate, and find this-
right overhead. Except not lit anywhere NEAR as well as it is in the picture.

There follows a moment of sheer terror when the primitive lizardbrain part of me quickly recognizes two body segments and EIGHT FREAKING HAIR LEGS, six inches from my face. This all happens in a few microseconds and while I'm happy to report I didn't scream (THIS time!), I did express my surprise in a much loftier manner:

NNNGGUUUAAARRRGGGHHH... Ah, shit. Goddamnit.

The giggling from the back of the house from my son, and the loudly whispered "Ha! We got him!" accompanied by a sound that can only be a high-five tell the rest of the story. I have been set up. I have been "punked", by my lovely wife and most-loved son.

I'm NOT amused. Looking at that damn thing still creeps me out, even with all the lights on in the room.

04 October 2008

What kind of leading man are you?

I really thought I'd be more of the John Wayne type, but:

Humphrey Bogart

You scored 62% Tough, 5% Roguish, 33% Friendly, and 5% Charming!

You're the original man of honor, rough and tough but willing to stick your neck out when you need to, despite what you might say to the contrary. You're a complex character full of spit and vinegar, but with a soft heart and a tender streak that you try to hide. There's usually a complicated dame in the picture, someone who sees the real you behind all the tough talk and can dish it out as well as you can. You're not easy to get next to, but when you find the right partner, you're caring and loyal to a fault. A big fault. But you take it on the chin and move on, nursing your pain inside and maintaining your armor...until the next dame walks in. Or possibly the same dame, and of all the gin joints in all the world, it had to be yours. Co-stars include Ingrid Bergman and Lauren Bacall, hot chicks with problems.


huh.

I NEVER wear a suit. The most formal I get is a pair of khakis without cargo pockets, and a pilot's shirt.

But yeah, the rest of it's pretty much nailed me.

Geekin' out with the kid...

Today I made a stove for camping with the rugrat.

Out of two soda cans!

No, seriously...



Tested it by boiling water for the kid and I for hot cocoa. Took 6 minutes to boil half a liter of water. I'd call it a success! By the way, it uses high-proof alcohol (70% or better, isopropyl, methanol, or drinking)for fuel.

Will build a bigger one shortly, as I've just reached the bottom of the second can of Foster's Lager...

Yes, I could have bought a whole messkit WITH a stove very similar, that is able to be capped and reclosed, for $30. I still may, for the ability to be able to stop and start the stove at will with fuel still inside. If interested, I believe they're called Trangia stoves.

This was mainly an intellectual exercise in figuring out how the thing works, if it works well, and to do something with my kid while instilling a thirst for knowledge and ability to reason through problems that might be encountered. Cost was really $0- I pulled the cans out of the trash.

Success, on all fronts, beyond measure. I'm gonna have to run this up the flagpole at the next Scout campout and see if they would like me to teach the boys how to do it (with adult help, of course).

28 September 2008

Good day at the Range...

Having arrived home last night after 1800 and gotten in quite the rush preparing a promised cookout for my son (ie: grilling burgers, dogs, steaks, and chicken by the light of a headlamp from my jump bag, I hopped online finally around 2200, to find a friend I haven't talked to regularly in about 4 years had IM'd me: "Hubby wants to go to the range tomorrow, I mentioned you had an AR. Can you come along with it?"

What? Impromptu range session? Well HELL yeah!!!

Spent the next couple hours going over weapons, making a packing list (I took the 303, the 30-30, AK, AR, .22LR, 12gauge and what I thought was some old dove loads (BLOODY HELL!!!!), and a couple pistols.

Went over to their house, all of 2 miles away, about 2330. Took a couple rifles because they wanted to take a look. Ended up being there till about 0300, as he was cleaning his Colt Gold Cup Match Elite (can you say, drool?) and it came up that it had never even been field stripped to clean it properly. So I proceeded to disassemble the slide and frame, from memory. Many comments ensued about the weapon never working again- well, it does, and is much cleaner now, to boot. ;)

I managed to only forget the ammo for the .303 Lee-Enfield, which kinda sucked because that was the one I wanted to fire the most. Also, a friend brought his Lee-Enfield (1918 model to my 1941 No4Mk1). I am thinking that's likely an Ishapore, but I am not an expert, and being that his was missing the upper wood and didn't have the foreband to protect the sites I'm thinking it is probably sporterized like mine. Still, wouldn't mind firing it and perhaps even having it, as the chamber on it feels tight. There's corrosion in the barrel which is to be expected if you're familiar with the 303 and the lack of boiling-hot water in the trenches to clean corrosive residue during a war. Some shooting and firelapping would most likely take care of that. If he keeps that weapon, he's gonna need to reload for it.

My son went along, and did extremely well. So well, in fact, that I felt comfortable enough to let him run the .22 rifle by himself, as I sat at the station next to him (less than arm's reach away, safety mommies, so can it!). He has gotten good enough with the rifle to realize the scope really needs to be sighted in. In fact, that's something he started to bug me about- can't blame him. He doesn't realize this is something that can't really be done at a busy public range without a spotter scope, so that's next on the horizon for gunnie-type shopping. He obviously felt like a really big boy, though, when the family that set up next to us wouldn't even let their (much older- my son is 8) children touch the weapons till Dad had set down with each of them and given them instruction in safety and operation. He was positively beaming when the 13-year-old boy was overheard during a lull in the firing "But dad, why can't I? That little kid next to us is shooting all by himself and doing a good job of it".

This prompted the parents to look over at us, I just smiled and told the young man "that's because he's a good listener, and follows the rules his parents set, so we trust him to respect the weapon".

Definitely must remember to take the 303 ammo next time... and stop for a couple bags of out-of-date oranges and the like to use as reactive targets.

EDIT: friends IM'd me a bit ago: "We've a few friends that want to learn to shoot but are afraid of guns. Can you teach them?" Why sure. Maybe it's time to fast-track that NRA cert...

25 September 2008

Once again, Harpo has knocked it out of the park.....

I don't want to sound like I'm doubting the man's abilities, but if he's writing this, he has missed his calling. He should be a writer or at the very least be regularly submitting Op-Eds to the papers, instead of working in what he's working in.

Well done, sir.

Came across this on a discussion thread I scanned through- interesting...

It's a plan to address the economic and fuel woes we're presently experiencing.

"Here the plan-

1)The government passes legislation to lift the bans on offshore drilling.

2)Pass legislation making ANWR immediately accessible for drilling.

3)Incorporate the ANWR drilling sites and Offshore drilling sites under one corporation. Make the corporation public. The government can buy a couple hundred billion dollars worth of shares. The value of the shares will increase rapidly as American oil will be replacing foreign oil.

4) The government can sell their shares gradually. This will result in the government making a substantial profit which can be pumped into the economy."

I'm sure no financial expert, but this is very intriguing to me. Why wouldn't it work? Of course the immediate reason is, #2 stands a snowball's chance in hell. But if it came to pass, why wouldn't the rest work?

23 September 2008

The Pocket Meme...


Can't recall where I saw this, but I've been meaning to do it for a week or so...

rules are simple:
-take everything out of your pockets (OK, lint and lunch receipts need not apply)
-take a pic of it
-tell us about it...

Starting at the upper right, that's a pocket office with a rite-in-rain notepad with a black Fisher bullet SpacePen and a blue Pilot G2, Motorola Razr (work cell, can't stand it), Taurus Millenium Pro PT145 (.45ACP) leather All-Ett (Best.Wallet.EVER) with a Spyderco Byrd (Fynch?) and Zippo I bought in Benning atop it, Spyderco Byrd (Cara Cara), a leather coin purse my grandfather bought for me 30 years ago, Victorinox SwissTool, and Surefire G2 with a 3-watt aftermarket LED.

With the exception of the firearm, I use all of this stuff daily. In the case of the firearm, I'm hoping to never need it.

I carry all of this everywhere I go, except for the firearm, which is carried anywhere I legally can. Sadly, that precludes my carrying it the one place I'm most likely to ever need it (work is in a bad part of town, but I'm not allowed to carry on Federal property). Unfortunately, the reality of needing a dry place to sleep and to eat regularly means I have to break the 1st rule of Concealed Carry: "If you are going somewhere you think you need a weapon, stay home!"

*2 knives? Yes- the large goes on weak side clipped to the pocket and is for larger tasks as well as a last-ditch defense against a gun-grab, and the small stainless goes in the strong side pocket and gets pulled out for day-to-day tasks. Some of the folks I work with get a bit skittish if I pull out a 3" long black and stainless blade along the likes of a Spyderco. Man, they'd have a conniption if they saw my rifles :)

Aussie woman trapped in house by wild pig

So there's this woman, trapped in a house with a giant pig...
Much hand-wringing ensues, the lady feeds the wild pig, soothes its wounds and... ends up getting bitten for her trouble. Worse, the pig won't let her leave.

MORE hand-wringing, and "oh no, let's not harm the pig!"

I'm thinking that's a good chance for the nice lady to stock her freezer with ham for the next year or so. Probably her friends' freezers, too.

Mmmmm, bacon...

Given an ideal solution, we'd take the hide and sew a dead muji in it. Pigskin and all that, you know. ;)

(Where's a proper Aussie bloke larakin when you need one?)

and no, I'm not even going to comment on an opposable-thumb-equipped, tool-using human being outwitted and held captive by an animal that has none of those advantages... it's just too easy.

15 September 2008

... Insomniac all night....

Well after a two week vacation, it's back to work here in a couple hours.

Errm, crap. In exactly 4 hours.

I've defaulted to what I think is my normal sleep pattern. I say "think", because after 5 years on this project, my sleep pattern is anything but normal. My hours change every week- it begins to drag on you after a bit, which is why I took these last 2 weeks off. So I've been pretty much narcoleptic nocturnal the last two weeks, up till about 0300, getting up 'round 1000.

Problem: I have to be up in about 2 1/2 hours, and at work by 0545.

It is now 0150.

I slept today yesterday, off and on, from 0300 to 0430. The wife started watching something in the den, which woke me up (I've taken to sleeping in the den when my schedule is opposite hers, as to not wake her- she is a light sleeper). So then I was up for two hours, and slept on and off till 1100. All told I might have gotten 5 hours. No nap during the day, which in itself is strange for me on this schedule, and about 1900 I started getting a little tired.

I SHOULD have laid down. But then my nocturnal side noticed the sun was down, and it was off to the races!

Spent the last 4 hours cleaning my office. In fact I tore it apart over the last couple days, to put in a much larger, nicer desk. I am in geek heaven now- two machines up, seperate keyboards and everything- so I can actually mess with Mandrake Linux without having to hop back and forth between the two machines via my KVM. Makes research and learning a new system MUCH easier. I even have room to setup my work laptop and work from home efficiently now! I'll have even more room once I get rid of the 17" Land-Yacht of a monitor and replace it with another Acer 19" flatscreen like the one my best friend just gave me. I loved the old Nokia before, but now that I've experienced LCD Lovin', there's no going back.

I even have storage in this room now. The desk is actually a bit of office cubicle furniture from a company that closed their VA office. Seen "Office Space"? Same stuff. Don't knock it, it's super sturdy and roomy- I have 6 times the deskspace I had before. Now I just have to deny my natural proclivity to fill all horizontal space with stuff. To that end, I've thrown away a lot of stuff I no longer use, too.

The wife probably is wondering where her husband's gone off to, because I have to admit that it's unlike me to try to tidy up and get things in order. High time I change that.

Next thing to organize: the garage. Yikes. This would help a great deal towards that end. It's 6 feet tall! It's got a radio built-in! With speakers! With a power distribution panel! Hell, it's got a refrigerator built in, for crying out loud!!

Oh yes.... I will have it.... ;)

13 September 2008

Watching Foxnews now-- apparently the storm eyewall is hitting Galveston's Pleasure Pier (!?) at the moment. It's 40 miles wide, and there's a 20 foot surge with it.

They're expecting gasoline to TRIPLE in price, as Galveston is apparently one of the major processing points for gasoline in the US.

Wonderful. I'm just going to LOVE paying #300 in gasoline to ride my motorbike to work this month.

I'd ride the bicycle, but have a lot of gear that goes to work with me, and more to the point, I go through the worst area of town to get to work. I've already had a few hairy situations at 0500 in the morning going to work, don't want to think about those when I'm dealing with pedal-power.

As a bonus- I am prevented from going through this area while armed, as it's not legal to carry a weapon on the premises or have it in my vehicle.

New Orleans Gun seizures STILL going on

This info comes to us from XavierThoughts:

The upshot (err, down-shot??)- The NOPD is back to their old tricks. Apparently they've been asking folks during routine traffic stops if they have any weapons- bear in mind that it's LEGAL to carry a weapon in Louisiana. When the citizen (who's done nothing more than a moving violation, if that) declares their weapon, they are asked if they have a receipt. Of course, they don't. The weapon is seized and the owner told they can get their weapon back after producing the receipt at such-and-such police station. They show up and- surprise, surprise- the weapon cannot be found.

Absolutely asinine. Why is this blatant violation of people's rights allowed to continue? This is by no means all that stinks in Louisiana- there's loads of evidence of corruption.

There's much more info at the above hyperlink. Please visit it and get the details.

12 September 2008

Hurricane Ike making landfall now

According to the projections, Ike should be making landfall now, around Galveston, Texas.

Storm surge is projected to be 20+ feet. Right over Galveston.

Local authorities estimate that 90,000 people in three counties refused to evacuate.

Trust in your $deity, folks, but take precautions to stay alive. I know that during Hugo we lost a few folks that decided to ride out the storm on the front beach- they've not been seen since.

Here's hoping the morning does not reveal a human catastrophe by way of thousands of dead and trapped. This could get very bad.

Are you an "entropy whiner"?

Ran across this on View From The Porch

Are you a person who keeps things working, or just whines about them breaking?

I suppose I'm an Entropy fighter. My newest car is a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee (the wife's Jeep and DD). I have a 1990 Jeep Cherokee (wheeling toy, currently down for an engine swap), a 1989 Blazer (daily driver, when I don't take the bike, and needs an overhaul of the suspension and the tranny needs to be looked at), a 1998 Kawasaki KLR650 (daily commuter and all around 2-wheeled-Jeep), a 1987 Pontiac Fiero (I swear I'm gonna get to it. Some day) and a 2006 Ninja 650R (my first bike). Then there's the house needing paint inside and out, the back yard needs to be half dug up to install better drainage, I really need to frame up and pour that 70' driveway, and let's not forget the 25X25' workshop I want out back.

All while working 70 hours a week on rotating schedules. Oh joy.

What if...

Thoughts on issues effecting us...

What if-

- a liberal, touchy-feely, it-will-all-be-ok-if-you-just-let-the-government-handle-it politician was elected to POTUS?

-a fully socialized medical system is implemented in the US?

- the climate models which support the Global Warming theory religion were all wrong... and NOT in a good way?

- a Superbug along the lines of Captain Tripps (any King fans out there?), but much deadlier, strikes the global community and rapidly kills off 60% or more of the population?

- The US and its Allies are involved in a war in Iran... and the enemy has our weapons (such as the Abrams tank). Things rapidly go to hell, to the point that units of the US military are encircled, cut off from any support whatsoever, and go rogue. All while the MSM's cameras are rolling and their footage editors are busily putting their own spin on the situation.

Any of these issues alone makes for good reading if you enjoy the Apocolyptic genre or are one with a mind to preparedness.

Now then, how about if ALL of this happens at once?

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If this interests you at all, I suggest you pick up a copy of "The Last Centurion" by John Ringo. It's newly out (still in hardback), and makes for fascinating reading. What makes it more impressive is that the author goes into depth explaining the problems with socialized medicine, climate models, military tactics and engagements, and the like. I've not gotten very far into it- just the first 10 chapters, but am enthralled.

I realize $25 for a book can be a bit hard to take, especially if you're not a reader. Even more so if you're a voracious reader. I NEVER buy hardback books, due to the size, the price, and the fact that I don't read books, I consume them (I'm not allowed to borrow at the library anymore... wife's orders ;) ). But I read the first 8 chapters after a friend suggested that I take a look (thank you, R!) and was prompted to go ahead and pick up the book while grabbing some books for the wife's birthday recently. I can't put the book down now.

11 September 2008

Thoughts on biking with a canine?

I've been wanting to do this for a while, both to give me some much-needed exercise, and to give my Australian Shepherd some exercise as well.

From what I've found, there's a couple thoughts on the subject:
-buy a special attachment that bolts to the rear triangle and holds the dog's leader at a level near the axle, where it has little mechanical advantage and is subject to the master's full weight to resist it. Probably not an issue if you're a thin female with a 180-pound Mastiff along for the run, but I don't have that problem. My buddy is an Australian Shepherd, and I outweigh her by a fair margin. Ok, a more than fair margin. Shaddup. The examples I've seen run about $60, like the BikeDog (which it seems I now can't find the link to)

-similar to the above, except attaches to the seat tube. The WalkyDog is an example of this, about $50. More mechanical advantage for the pup, but it's not likely to be an issue with my riding partner and myself. The biggest thing I have against this is the $50- I have a welder, and regularly fab stuff with webbing (slings and similar), shouldn't be a problem to make the soft part). More to the point, it's been out of stock for at least the last year, near as I can tell. It looks like it's just a dressed-up pneumatic QD fitting and a post. I may have to take a look around Lowes and see what I can cobble up.

-use a standard 6'foot leash. Put the loop around your right bicep, curl it around the headset, and then to the dog. I see lots of opportunity for problems here: the dog has mechanical advantage against the pivot point (tire/ground interface) of the bike/rider assembly. Also there's an issue with the lead possibly fowling in the chainring or at least being a hindrance to the rider's leg. I know a couople folks that've had problems with otherwise-calm dogs bolting at the sight of a squirrel and causing injuries with this sort of setup. I know Xavier doesn't have a problem with this arrangement- I'm just not comfortable with the idea. While my Aussie is very calm (I can walk her without a leash and she has never left my side), I don't want to go this route.

Anyone have other thoughts or input?

DIY Slings

While typing up the previous entry, I received a box o' goodies from Slingworks. 50 feet of 1.5" OD webbing, 5 feet of velcro, HK hooks and other assorted odds and ends.

I'll be making a sling adaptor and a 3-point sling for my AR and my AK (1 sling for each). The sling adaptors move the sling from the bottom of the AR to the top, enabling the weapon to hang at the ready. During 6 years of humping an M16 in the Army, that was alwas the thing that bothered me the most- we had to jury-rig a proper tac sling out of paracord and the issue parade sling. I'm not sure if the 3-point design was around then- I got out in 1994- but it sure would have been handy. Most folks will think it a bit silly to make a tac sling for a civilian-owned AR15. Well, to an extent, yes. This is the same argument that can be made for owning an AR15, or for that matter, for owning car insurance or a fire extinguisher.

-Have I ever needed it? No.

-Do I expect to ever need it? Not really.

-Then why do you have it? Because if I ever need it, I'm going to need it DESPERATELY, RIGHT THE HELL NOW, and it'll be too late to get it.

After I've made the tac slings, I'll try my hand at making a Scout Sling, along the lines of Colonel Jeff Coopers thoughts on the subject of slings and shooting, and will put it on my Marlin 30-30 and SMLE No1MK4 Sporter.

Best businessman ever

I really can't say enough about the gent that runs Ugly Bald Guy Holsters.

First off- the product is excellent- hand crafted, extremely durable, and the way a holster should be. Without being all gross about it- I carry my weapon IWB (that's Inside Waist Band- think of "Mexican Carry"- just jammed down the pants- except with a covered triggerguard and holster to keep the weapon in place). I've been doing a lot of yard work the last few weeks and with the high humidity and 90+ degree heat, things get a bit moist. So having a slab of cowhide against my hide, it obviously gets soaked. I haven't been able to note and soaking of the leather, and it's been exceedingly comfortable through me bending, twisting, and moving about as I work on a minor construction project. The first few days I got a chafe spot until I learned to move the weapon to 3:30 instead of 3 o'clock, but even that wouldn't have been an issue had I worn an undershirt or something to go between the front edge of the holster and my hip, like boxers.

I've already ordered two holsters from him, and recommended his gear to several friends. I was ordering another, for my Tanfoglio 10mm pistol for hunting duty ('cuz I want to have a way to address Mr Bear if he should show up and claim the deer I take), when he suggested during the conversation that since he's not able to make the holster (the weapon is a CZ75 clone, but differs enough in the trigger guard that it won't fit the same holster), so why not send me a "kit" consisting of a couple of precut slabs of leather, so I can give a try at making my own holster. Got to discussing the idea, he packaged everything up, and I mentioned it to a few gunnies in passing. They turn out to have a couple weapons they want to have holsters for, like Makarovs and other oddball weaponry, and next thing I know I have a few orders for holsters... and I've not made one yet!

I mentioned this in passing, and next I know the guy that runs the show at UBGHolsters is giving me a data-dump on tips and tricks to make a holster- even mentioning that I should consider a side business of holster-making... the work is relaxing, and it's very good money to be had.

We shall see. The kit should arrive this week. Other than what's in the box, if I decide to get into this on even a personal level, just making holsters for my knives, I'll be busy. I'm going to have to order a shoulder of hide and see what I can swing on my own.

I'll post pics of the process once I get the kit.

08 September 2008

The Survival Mindset

Interesting article I ran across on Foxnews.com:

By John Blake
CNN

(CNN) -- Deborah Scaling Kiley still can't break free from that night.

She can't shake the screams, the image of the frothing water turning red, and the sounds of sharks attacking the man who had just been sitting next to her.

She still can't forget blurting out the Lord's Prayer to block out the cries of the man dying in front of her.

"As long as I kept saying those words, I knew I was all right," she says today. "It was my only proof that I had not gone mad."

Kiley would survive that night, clinging to a dingy in the Atlantic Ocean for five days without food and water. But so have others in circumstances that seemed as hopeless. They are the amazing characters who seem to surface during every manmade or natural disaster -- those who survive against all odds.

What do these survivors share in common? That's the question that the author Laurence Gonzales has long tried to answer. Whenever a disaster hits -- a cyclone in Myanmar; an earthquake in China; a climbing accident in Alaska -- Gonzales scans the headlines for the stories of those survivors who made it out alive when all others perished.

"I know when something big happens, I know the kind of stories that are playing out and the people who emerge from them with similar stories," he says.

Gonzales looks for people like Ma Yuanjiang, a 31-year-old power plant executive who survived seven days buried under rubble by drinking his urine and eating paper after a massive earthquake struck China in May. He studies survivors like Ari Afrizal, a construction worker who survived the 2005 Tsunami by clinging to a raft for two weeks in the Indian Ocean.

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Gonzales explains what makes these survivors special in "Deep Survival," a book that dissects the psychological and spiritual transformation that takes place within people who survive against all odds.

Most of these survivors share the same traits, Gonzales says.

"These are people who tend to have a view of the world that does not paint them as a victim," he says. "They're not whiners who are always complaining about the bad things that are happening to them and expecting to get rescued."

Gonzales says at least 75 percent of people caught in a catastrophe either freeze or simply wander in a daze.

"The first thing people do when something bad happens is to be in denial," Gonzales says. "People who make good survivors tend to get through that phase quickly. They accept the evidence of their senses."

'The Rambo types are the first to go'

Gonzales says many of the disaster survivors he studied weren't the most skilled, the strongest or the most experienced in their group.

Those who seemed best suited for survival -- the strongest or most skilled -- were often the first to die off in life-or-death struggles, he says. Experience and physical strength can lead to carelessness. The Rambo types, a Navy SEAL tells Gonzales, are often the first to go.

Small children and inexperienced climbers, for example, often survive emergencies in the wilderness far better than their stronger or adult counterparts, he says.

They survive because they're humble, Gonzales says. They know when to rest, when they shouldn't try something beyond their capabilities, when it's wise to be afraid.

"Humility can keep you out of trouble," Gonzales says. "If you go busting into the wilderness with the attitude that you know what's going on, you're liable to miss important cues."

Survivors tend to be independent thinkers as well. When hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, hundreds of workers were trapped in the towers. Gonzales says security told many of them to stay put and wait for rescue.

Most of those who heeded the directions from security died, he says. Most of the survivors decided to ignore security protocol. They headed downstairs through a smoke-filled stairwell and didn't wait to be rescued.

"They were not rule followers, they thought for themselves and had an independent frame of mind," Gonzales says.

Survivors also shared another trait -- strong family bonds. Many reported they were motivated to endure hardships by a desire to see a loved one, Gonzales says.

Gonzales cites the story of Viktor Frankl, author of "Man's Search for Meaning." Frankl survived three years in Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps because he was driven by the thought of seeing his wife again.

"He spent a great deal of time thinking of his wife and motivating himself through his wife," Gonzales says.

Survivors also pay attention to their intuition, Gonzales says. If something tells them that the mountain isn't safe to climb that day, they'll back out even if they've planned the trip for months, he says.

Gonzales followed his intuition once and it saved his life. In 1979, a writing colleague asked him to fly with him on a flight from Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles, California. Gonzales declined when he learned that he would fly on a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, which had a spotty safety record. His decision was unusual -- a boss personally asked him to fly with him that day -- but he stuck with it.

Gonzales says he was sitting in his kitchen later that day when someone called him and told him to turn on his television. The plane he was supposed to be on had just crashed on takeoff, killing all 271 people onboard, including several of Gonzales colleagues. It was one of the worst aviation disasters in the nation's history.

Knowing what to do was not enough for him, Gonzales says.

"It's a story about having the information and using it," he says. "So when this trip came up, I was prepared to do something out of the ordinary."

'I closed my eyes and prayed and waited to die'

Kiley, now 50, also had misgivings about going on the trip that almost cost her life.

It was October 1982 and she was 26 years old when she boarded a sailing yacht in Maine. She joined three men and another woman who planned to sail to Florida. But there were signs early on that the trip would not be smooth. The men bickered, the yacht's captain was lazy, and the ship wasn't properly maintained, Kiley says.

The yacht was soon caught in a fierce storm. It was tossed by 60-knot winds and huge waves. The yacht sank so quickly that the five-member crew barely had time to alert the U.S. Coast Guard and inflate the rubber dinghy, she says.

During the next five days, the survivors battled dehydration, hunger, exposure and massive infections. No ships spotted the rubber dinghy and they drifted alone in an open boat.

The crew eventually divided into two camps, Kiley says. Two men in the boat started arguing with and assaulting the others. They were falling apart emotionally and physically.

Then the crew began to die. Two men couldn't take their thirst anymore and drank salt water. They became delusional and started hallucinating. Both of them calmly slid off the dinghy into a sea full of sharks, convinced they were going to the store for cigarettes. They were killed by sharks -- one right underneath Kiley's dinghy, she says.

A third crew member, a woman who suffered ghastly wounds to her leg when the yacht sank, soon died, Kiley says.

Kiley wondered if she would be next. When sharks attacked one of the men in front of her, Kiley says that she thought she was going to have a nervous breakdown.

"I closed my eyes and prayed and waited to die," she wrote in "The Sinking," an account of her survival.

The sharks moved on, but Kiley had already made a series of small decisions that helped save her life, she says. Instead of expending much of her energy bemoaning her fate, she planned for survival. She covered herself with seaweed for warmth. She took on the role of protector, watching out for another man in the boat.

She also made a ruthless decision. She kept her distance from two male companions in the boat who bickered and cursed with the others. She sensed that they were going to die and she didn't want to waste precious energy fighting with them.

Even the act of prayer was a survival strategy. Kiley didn't know if she believe in God, but her prayer helped her avoid the loss of control that doomed some of her companions in the boat.

"Surviving is about keeping your wits when everything is falling apart," she says.

Kiley says she was also conditioned to be a survivor from her childhood. She grew up in rural Texas where she learned to survive in the outdoors. Her mother was married several times and was a victim of domestic violence.

"I learned as child how to live and adapt to the environment I was in," she says. "You never knew what was going to come up."

After five days in the open ocean, Kiley and another man were finally spotted and rescued by a passing freighter.

She says the accident changed her. "I learned to accept people for who they are and who they're not," she says. "God doesn't need me to judge anyone else."

Gonzales, who examined Kiley's survival in his book, says Kiley's background helped her survive.

"She grew up having to fend for herself," he says. "She was also a very independent thinker and has strong ties at home to her mother. She had the whole package and was able to use her own anger to motivate herself."

Kiley still sails when she can today. But she says there's hardly a day where she still doesn't think about the accident. She still has flashbacks from that night at sea that come at the oddest of times.

"One minute I would be standing in the shower washing my hair and the next minute sitting in the tub sobbing uncontrollably," she wrote in her book. "And I was never free of the dreams."

Today she lives in Texas where she is a fitness specialist and a yoga instructor. A Discovery Channel documentary was made about her ordeal at sea and she continues to lecture about her experiences while raising money for domestic violence charities.

More than anything, she says, it was her will to live that helped her survive.

"You can never give up," she says. "No matter how bad it gets, something good is going to come out of it."

A little anger also helped her push through, she says.

"At the point you're alone and scared, you have to create a vision for the future," she says. "The vision I had was washing ashore and going to the Coast Guard office and saying, 'Where the hell have you been!'

"It was enough to help me survive."

Temptation

I don't know what it is about this area, but there are TONS of rabbits running 'round the area this year. I don't live in a rural area, either- I am pretty much smack-dab in the middle of North Charleston, SC. Not exactly the back 40.

Every night when I get off the late shift and head home, the last mile or so will find not less than 5 fuzzy white cottontails hopping out of the outer edge of my bike's headlight.

I've been VERY tempted to pick up a 600-FPS or so air pistol and go for walks at night. I know I could very easily harvest a couple rabbits each week without trying very hard. Hell, I've done it in my back yard, and that was just while trying to cut the grass. Rabbits are apparently NOT bright at all. Here's this noisy-as-hell lawnmower in the yard and I see the little critter hopping 'round the other end of the yard. I go inside, grab my air rifle, and without even trying hard I take them at about 30 yards. One shot one kill.. THWUP!... and it's hossenpfeffer for the stewpot.

Hell, if I was a bit more rural, I'd just pick up a Walther P22 and shoot CBs out of it.

Hmmm, speaking of- I need to cook up the two rabbits I have in the freezer this week. ;)

Stupidest movie you ever saw?

I'm watching "Charlie's Angels" at present.

Well, not so much watching, as wasting the electricity.

I don't know where to begin. I don't know why everyone gets so animated about Cameron Diaz, she's not at all attractive to me. Drew Barrymore is nice to look at and I've got a thing for redheads, but dumb as a brick and this comes through in any role she plays. The Asian woman, meh- just far too vague in her "Acting".

Hmmm... the Asian chic is now in black leather and heels playing an efficiency expert. Perhaps I was too hasty to dismiss her... ;)

Moonbats crying about dead trees

Linked this way because I haven't bothered to learn how to imbed Youtube video yet:

http://www.the-two-malcontents.com/2008/09/08/hippies-crying-over-dead-trees/

One state away from me. I thought they kept these fruitcakes in California. It's almost like they're acting, not grieving.

06 September 2008

We're. All. Stars now. In the gun show....

Went to the gun show with a friend, and took my son along with me.

He got a bit fussy about halfway through- until one of the vendors was nice enough to give him a little three-blade (drop point, file, scissors) cheapie Swiss Army knife.

You'd have thought it was the keys to a Lamborghini. He wouldn't stop thanking the guy, and gave me no more trouble.

Lesson learned: you want a quiet kid, bribe 'em.

Found a smokin' deal on powder, and put in an order for the next gun show to be delivered there (2 months hence). Also found a new bite valve for one of my hydropacks- the Camelback affair with the on/off lever. My valve on my most-used pack wore out to the point it leaked water all over the carpet at work a few weeks ago, so I've been riding without water. Couple hanks of paracord at 1/2 the going rate, made a lanyard for my son's new knife as we had lunch, and fondled some new hardware. Since I had the kid with me, I had him try a couple ARs with collapsible stocks to see if he could get a proper cheek weld. He could, so it looks like I'm finally off the fence with regards swapping out the fixed stock on my M4-gery. Sportsman's Guide has a set- collapsible stock and carbine forestock- for $39. Considering they were asking $50 and up for the collapsible stock alone at this gun show and everywhere else on the web, that's a deal.

Found a good deal on triox bars as well, so I grabbed 4 boxes for $2. Hell of a firestarter, that.

Found some tumbler media in the proper fine-ground walnut, so I grabbed it as well. Won't have to go picking that crap out of my brass now. Opted to skip the brass polish they sell- I use NuFinish car wax and it works great, and the brass will not tarnish after.

Had a bit of indecision when approaching the gate of the show. SC requires no CCW in sporting events and "public gatherings". I am not 100% on the definition of that, and since this show always takes place in what might be considered a sporting event area (well, there IS a rodeo on the adjacent grounds every year), I wasn't sure how the law looked at it. Decided since folks walk about freely with rifles and such out of cases, I would be fine if I cleared the weapon, put the mag in my vest, and carried the weapon with the slide locked back. Went through the regstration area where you pay your fee- they have an officer there to make sure all weapons are clear, with a HUGE jar of rounds taken out of "empty" weapons. I asked him how this should be handled and he said it would have been fine to just keep it concealed as I normally do, declare it when I came up to him, and clear it there. Good to know for future reference. He takes your weapon, puts a tiewrap through or around the action in such a way as to hinder it's employment, and hands it back to you.

Oh sure, every redneck there has a knife that'll cut a tiewrap, and some of us more than the one. But the point is, to make the weapon obviously clear, and to make another step that has to be done to bring the weapon into action. "Keep the honest man honest". OK, I'm fine with that. Especially looking at some of the "Thugs 4 Life" sorts that were there. One of whom even asked me if I'd buy him a weapon so he wouldn't have to clear the mandatory Federal background check...

the answer? A look that said: "Not only no, but hell fucking NO, have you lost your fucking mind? Have you really smoked yourself that retarded????" I wanted so bad to be a Federal officer at that time, just to look at his face as I showed him my badge and got him off the street. However, not my job, so of course I didn't, and I certainly didn't give any sort of indication that I was. Some folks just look at me and think "Cop". Why, I have NO idea. I'm short, fat, and unimposing. :shrug: I suppose this may have occurred to him, as he quickly vacated the area.

When leaving, I came back and he cut the tie wrap and watched as I locked and loaded the weapon in front of him, safed and reholstered.

VERY STRANGE FEELING, having a law enforcement official watch me lock and load and then stash away a weapon!! I quite honestly expected someone to shout "GUN!". Uh, yeah. LOTS of em, sparky...

I need to blog about how I've come to the decision to take on the responsibility of carrying arms in the civilian world at some point. What a long strange trip it's been.

moving in...

Just a placeholder really. I'm moving over here from another address due to my making a typo and finding there's at least 3 other peremutations of the old address.

I don't want to have to explain the typo every time I tell someone the link, or have them get to the wrong blog by mistake, so this is easier...
I'll be bringing over my old posts and format. Not that it's anything terribly earth shattering in them- it's not- but just for sake of completeness.

Storm, what storm??

Seems I slept through the wimpiest tropical storm ever.

:yawn: wish I'd known it was going to be much ado about nothing. That's $400 I'd be able to use at the gun show today. Ah well, better to have it and not need it at the moment, than to not have it when I do eventually need it.

Besides, was a lot of fun to demo the old fence with a chainsaw, all the while growling like leatherface.

My neighbors don't talk to me much. Wonder why?

Obama given access to state secrets...

What.The fuck.OVER?

First of all, I am amazed that someone who's admitted to cocaine use can even GET a security clearance, as I know someone who recently was pulled from a project after admitting recreational marijuana use, resulting in his inabilty to get a MUCH lower security clearance rating. Nevermind Obama's association with Anti-American persons and admitted terrorists.

The federal government provides a “Questionnaire for National Security Positions” to people eligible for a security clearance. There are several requests for information that Obama might find difficult to answer. They include “Other names used” by applicant, “Citizenship of your relatives and associates,” “Your foreign activities,” and “Your use of illegal drugs and drug activity.” I'd dearly love to see those answers.

Article that's prompted this post: http://www.the-two-malcontents.com/2008/09/05/bush-gives-state-secrets-to-obama/

Gunbunny Friday!!

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w00t!
Nice... umm... eyes.

As I said, I'm unabashedly male. You were warned ;P

05 September 2008

Looks like it's our turn.... TS Hanna on the way

Well we're in it now.

... though it's a lot less than it could have been.

Yup. I'm pretty much yawning about the whole Hanna thing. But I'm using it as a practice run.

I don't expect much more than wind and wet. Not a big deal. But I just went out and bought a chainsaw I've been looking at for about a month now, and used it to demo most of the old fenceline at the house as a way to test it out, get the work done, and make sure I know how to safely use it. I've never used a chainsaw with a bar brake on it before- took some getting used to, but it's DEFINITELY a good feature to have.

Also noted Lowes has these 6.5 gallon water jugs, for $10 a piece, Bought 4 of them. They have a "safe fill line"- not sure what that's about, as any temperature we humans will be ok in won't cause undue pressurization of the jug if you fill it to the brim. So I think I can actually get 7.5 gallons of water in each one. Have about 70 gallons of water for drinking on hand now. So that'd keep us good to go without outside help on the water front for about 17 days, and that's being conservative. I figure a gallon a day, each, for me, the kid, and the wife, and a gallon a day between the dogs (80 pound English Lab, 75 pound American Lab, 45 pound Aussie, and a 10 pound Pekingese.

I think that's generous for the dogs, and the kid likely doesn't drink a gallon a day. He's about 65 pounds last I recall. I know when I ride the bike during summer I drink about 3 liters of water in the camelback if I'm out in it, plus incidentals. That's about 2 gallons- but I'm also out sweating in the height of summer, so I think calling it a gallon would be good for me in this case. Never got an idea of the wife's intake, but I think a gallon ought to do it. Worse come to it, I can always gather, sift, boil, and bleach.

Also grabbed a couple 24-packs of AAs, I have a ton of AAAs from a previous stockup (though granted, they're a hodgepodge of dollarstore brands so I expect some duds, but ought to be fine for LED headlights and flashlights. They'll be replaced with Energizers shortly. Got the kid a headlight as well and showed him how it works. He's excited about tonight, so he can try it out with the red LEDs so he'll be "like the soldiers on TV".

I'll probably stay up late tonight/tomorrow morning to keep an eye on things. There's a picnic table outside that I figure if it comes to it and it looks like it's gonna take off, I'll flip upside down so it loses any sort of aerodynamic advantage against it's own weight.

About the only thing I'd like to have is a stock of Mountain House meals, or MREs. I noted that sportsmansguide has MREs on sale for $30 per case of 12. Very good deal, and if you break them down the way we used to in our rucks, they are pretty compact.

Yeah, I know that the chances are I'll never need all this stuff. But if I ever do, I'll need it VERY bad.

04 September 2008

Any excuse to post a redhead is a good one...

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I'm watching Pink Cadillac at the moment, with Clint Eastwood and Bernadette Peters.

What's not to like about her? She's like a modern Ginger Rogers.

Someone once said of Ginger Rogers (I'm paraphrasing, from memory): "She can do everything Fred Astaire can do. Backwards and in high heels"

Yup, pretty much covers it. ;)

I'll leave any sort of exposition on my fascination with redheads for the audience to figure out on their own. No sense running folk off quite so soon.

So much for running a keyboard...

Alert Reader Dingus points out:

You realize that reads as Do No Tread On Me, or Do Not Read On Me… You are missing a T ya dipshit.


Yeah, well. So much for my amazing skill with the keyboard. We'll just chalk it up to a concession that had to be made to make the blog name fit.
(we'll entirely whitewash the fact that I'm a dumbass for the time being. If I get any readers, that'll become all too obvious, I'm sure)

So here we go...

I've been wanting to have a place to gather my Blogroll and such, and figure this is as good a way as any.

I don't pretend to know much about the inner workings of politics, but damnit, I can run a keyboard as well as most of 'em. ;)

My starting a blog is largely prompted by the leftists' behaviour on so many fronts. I suppose you could say I'm one of those that "cling to their God(s) and guns" as Barrack Hussein Obama said.

You may agree with me. You may not. We all have the right to that in this country- let's keep it respectful though.

A little about me:
-Politically, I am in the center. Only very slightly in the Republican camp. I vote mostly Republican, only because that party has been less hijacked by the extremists than has the Democratic party. I vote for the man, not the party. It so happens I find myself agreeing with the Republicans more than the Democrats.

-I'm not Christian.
.. so right off the bat, let's dismiss some of the most common misconceptions:

-I am not vegan. In fact, I hunt. I loves me a cheeseburger. Too much. :^/

-I do not believe the bunk that is Human-caused global warming. It is NOT science, it is NOT a theory, it is a religion more than anything.

-I am not gay. If anything, I am asexual, if you must know. (A, meaning without, for those who don't recall their biology root words). Moving along...

-I do not use drugs. In fact I'm against their use. I don't believe we need to be filling our courts and prisons with minor cases of simple possession and such, while also letting out hardened felons along the order of murderers, rapists, and so on.

-I do not support gun control. Funny situation, there: I used to. This is an entirely other blog post...

-I do bathe, thanks. At least twice a day in fact. ;)

-I support the GWOT. I support the extermination by any means necessary, of all enemies of Western Democracy. If the enemy wants to be treated in accord with the Geneva Convention and Hague Accords, they need to man up, shoulder a weapon AND don a uniform, and meet us on the field of battle, like men and warriors, not the cowards they are.
(Don't bother running, you'll only die tired)

-I do not support Big Government, Socialized Medicine, or anti-abortion laws. While I, personally, am against the latter, it is not Government's place to tell a woman what she can do with her body. I do understand that this is a sticky situation, either way, though.

-I support the 2nd Amendment, and the individual right to keep and bear arms. Again, a future blog post...

- and in case you haven't figured it out by now- I'm NOT AT ALL "politically correct"...

there will be references to shapely females, firearms, an occasional wee dram o' Scotch, perhaps a fine cigar now and again, and bawdy jokes and limericks posted in this space now 'n again.

Can't deal? Now would be a good time to find another blog.


Just a bit to get started... more later...