Saturday, December 31, 2005
This reminds me of Eric Bana's character in Black Hawk Down. Hoot believed his index finger was his weapons safety. My kind of guy.
One of my relatives is old-school when it comes to guns. No matter what I hand him his trigger finger goes right to the trigger. Scary when it's a Glock...
Friday, December 30, 2005
In Life, First You Kick Ass: Reflections on the 1985 Bears and Wisdom from Da Coach. An interesting look back at "Da Coach's" reign as head of the Chicago Bears. As a life long Bears fan this was an enlightening read.
Warrior Soul by Chuck Pfarrer. This was actually recommended in a thread on LGF. First person account of what it takes to become a SEAL, and what being a SEAL takes out of you. The author was able to share a bit of what life is like as a SEAL. No doubt the best stories are the one's he can't tell.
My FBI by Louis Freeh. I wasn't expecting much from this as I hadn't thought much of Freeh's reign as FBI director. However - the look inside the disfunction of the Clinton Presidency made the book worthwhile. The comparison between the Clinton and Bush (43) administrations made by Freeh were interesting as well. One point that Freeh made a number of times is that the FBI in underfunded. If you look at the information he presents the FBI is in need of a major infusion. Hopefully it'll happen before the next 9/11 style attack occurrs.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Took along my old Ruger Mark II pistol, my last years Christmas present - Glock 17, my Ruger 10/22 with it's new sight,
and this years Christmas present my KelTec Sub2000 9mm carbine.
One interesting feature of the Keltec is that it folds for storage and transportation.
Thing1 spent most of his time with the .22s. He sighted in the 10/22 and went through about 425 rounds. The dot sight made for accurate rapid fire.
He also put a couple of magazines through the Keltec. I tried out the 10/22 as well after he had sighted it in. The dot sight almost makes it too easy.
I spent most of my time and ammo (~300 rounds) with the Glock and the KelTec. Working on close (7-15 yards), rapid fire, with the standard pattern of 2 to the torso and 1 to the head. The Keltec is easy to control in this manner.
I also put a couple of magazines into the chest area of the target with the occasional head shot.
I'm not quite as good with the Glock but it's getting there.
All guns performed well. I had one stovepipe with the Keltec. That was the only problem I've had with it so far. I think it's still in it's break in period. It also needs a good cleaning. The Glock has yet to have a non-operator induced error. Both the 10/22 and Mark II had a failure to extract. Just one each. Time for a real scrubing of both of these. It was a wonderful morning together. The smile on his face as he sighted in the 10/22 and as his group sizes got smaller and smaller - it was great to see. As for me - shooting is a stress reliever. My job gets to me at times and this is my escape.
And what would a trip to the range be without at least one dinosaur target...
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Elgin High School, where I graduated from over 25 years ago, is the host of the tourney. I hadn't been there in over 8 years. I hadn't been in the gym since graduation. It seemed so much bigger then...
We sat, unplanned, in the middle of a lot of Batavia fans with my sister. It was a blast being the lone voice cheering for Hoffman. I kept getting dirty looks from the Batavia fans. Even got a few of them complaining about me as I yelled at the lack of calls by the refs or when I congratulated a Batavia player for missing a shot or a pass. All in good fun of course. No foul language or anything like that. I can't say the same for some of the Batavia fans... I guess some people just don't understand it's only a game.
Thing1 and went and saw the movie on Monday. An excellent movie. Peter Jackson paid attention to detail kept you engrossed in the film.
We had been teasing the kids that, just like Jesus, they were going to get three gifts and we would pick three off their lists for them to get. On Christmas morning they each had three presents to open. The look of shock on their faces was priceless. Once they opened the first one and found the smaller packages inside the shock wore off. It was such fun!
Family started showing up around noon. Soon we had 19 people in our little house. A bit crowded but a good time was had by all. Good food, excellent company, and a Bears win, made for a wonderful day. A day to remember a birth that changed the world.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Thing1 thinks I should watch Firefly and then watch Serenity again and I'll enjoy it more. Since he had the DVDs for both I'll have to give it a try.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Take a look at HTML Slidy. I think I'll do my next presentation this way :-)
Thing1 and I watched together last night. The theme was 'Make A Wish' and started out with the Tuttles in California getting an award from the Make A Wish foundation for their support. My eyes got a bit watery. Not just for the award but because Make a Wish has a special place in my heart.
Thing1 was granted a wish when he was in high school. We had always thought that wishes were for terminally ill kids so we were a bit surprised when a Wish coordinator called one night. After we talked for a bit she explained that wishes were granted to kids with life threatening diseases. Since Thing1 lives with Cystic Fibrosis the care coordinator at the clinic he goes to submitted his name. His initial wish couldn't be granted so he submitted a second request and that was granted when he was 16.
Back to American Chopper. Paul Sr. decided to build a bike for the Make a Wish foundation as well as host a Christmas (yes they said Christmas and not Happy Holidays) for kids from the local Make a Wish chapter. The bike is beautiful and the kids got presents from FAO Schwarz. These guys put a lot of smiles on the faces of these kids. Kids who have so much going on in their lives that can take the happiness right out.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I wonder if I get the money we would have spent on a new door for a new toy?
First stop was CompUSA for a 250GB SATA drive. $60.00 after rebate. In stock and in the car in 10 minutes. Next stop was Circuit City. There was a couple of movies for 9.44 each that I wanted. In and out in under 10 minutes. Over to Dicks Sporting Goods for ammo and a Weaver scope mount. 10 minutes later I had 250 rounds of 9mm and the mount in my car. Only a couple more stops.
Valli's Market. Yummy stuff. Picked up some stuff for Christmas dinner and lunch this week. One more store.
Menards was to be my last scheduled stop. Needed a new lift cable for the garage door. None in stock! :-( Off to the Home Depot. In stock! Picked up a spring safety cable set too. Used the self check out and I was on my way in under 5 minutes. Time to go home and play.
Friday, December 16, 2005
December is different. It's his Christmas tour. He was in our neck of the woods last night so the wife, Thing2, and myself went for dinner and his show. Show might not be the right word as it's music and ministry. Most of the music was Christmas related. A few were 'Dew' related. He had everyone up dancing and praising God. Just as we should.
I've had a real rough time getting into Christmas this year. I don't know why as it's generally one of my favorite times of the year. Too much shopping? Well not for me as I only shop for my wife and a couple of close friends. I don't know what it is. The Christmas pagent last weekend helped and Peder always gets the spirit moving. But I'm just not there. And it really bothers me.
Back to Peder - if you ever get the chance to see him perform please go with a open mind and heart. He will get into both. And I'm don't mean Peder...
Thursday, December 15, 2005
"Family and friends of deployed Marines in Iraq can NOW send a letter to be downloaded, printed, and ready for delivery, usually within 24 hours. THE SERVICE IS FREE, PRIVATE and SECURE."
If you know someone with a Marine in Iraq please let them know about this. For the rest of us they have a "Support the Troops" link so that anyone can post a message to a publicly accessible bulletin board.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Anyways GM has some employee memos that you should read.
Politically Incorrect people will enjoy them!
- But that's not why I'm writing you today. I am begging you to please post about an organization called Salute America's Heroes. They are donating $500 to every wounded Soldier, Sailor, Airmen or Marine who registers with them in the next few days. I don't know when the end date is on this, but they did extend it beyond the date listed on their web site. This has been approved by and coordinated through the Department of Defense office of General Counsel Standards of Conduct office.
See TCOverride for more.
Spread the word.
Digicams are fun. I've had one for a couple of years. Thing1 has had one for a couple of years as well and the wife gets one for Christmas. I think I'll get Thing2 one before vacation. Film still has its place but for most of the photos I shoot digital rocks!
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
The picture is up for Time Magazines Picture of the Year. Please go check out the photos and vote for the one you think is best. My vote went to Michael.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Another thing - is this just a rehash of Making Love? I did see that movie way back when but it was not what we thought it was going to be.
I managed to twist wrong getting the snowblower out and tweaked my back. I think I just aggravated a bulging disc that I have. Spent a lot of time laying down and stretching to try and get to where I could sit in a chair for more than 15 minutes.
The wife took me Christmas shopping on Friday. For the second year in a row she decided to buy me a new gun. It was a toss between a SKS and a Kel-Tec Sub2000. Since both are part of my plan and there isn't a convienent rifle range I decided to go with the Kel-Tec in 9mm and Glock magazines (to match last years present). We had a nice talk with the salesman while he wrote it up. I pick it up tomorrow and intend on putting a couple of hundred rounds through it to make sure it's ok :-).
We stopped at one of those antique malls to wander for a bit. Found a Tickle-Me Elmo and a singing Eyore for Thing1. (yes at 20 he still likes Elmo and Eyore). What a find for $10.00.
Saturday was my shopping for the wife. She wants a digicam so thats what it'll be. Ended up with a Canon SD550. It should be perfect for her. She wanted the large LCD and has a thing for megapixels. I had planned on getting the SD450 but they were no where to be found.
Sunday was the Christmas pagent at church. While Thing1 and Thing2 are too old for Sunday school the wife teaches second grade so we went to watch. As always it was a very enjoyable and invigorating event. I've not really had much in the way of Christmas spirit this year but the pagent got me going.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Sunday, November 27, 2005
As Jack started opening his presents he started with one from Mom and Dad. It was a shirt that read "Big Brother in Training". Next fall Jack will have a little brother or sister and his parents surprised everyone with the news. It was a great way to let everyone know.
Back to Mr. Potter - this is a very good movie. Probably my favorite and it earns the PG-13 rating. Kids under 10 should NOT see this movie. 11 and 12 year olds - it depends on the kid. If they have nightmare problems or scare easily then don't take them. On the other hand if they know fantasy from reality they will probably enjoy this movie.
Friday, November 25, 2005
There were also some items I wanted at Best Buy. Hah! Thing1 and I went there on the day after Thanksgiving a couple years back. Way too many people and not enough registers. Left without buying anything. This year I checked BestBuy.com and the items I wanted were there for the same price and one had free shipping! So for $1.35 more than I would have spend at the store I get my stuff delivered. Way worth it.
Shop safely. Use your computer.
An interesting thing about toll booths. Exiting the booth is like going into turn 1 at Daytona except you're 10 wide going into 3 lanes. Quite possibly the scariest part of the journey. Well till we got to Indiana. 80/294 is torn up (again) so it makes for 'interesting' driving. Not much traffic (for 80/294) so we slid right through and got to our destination safe and sound.
After we settled it we watched some football on their HD big screen. It just make the empty seats in Detroit look so much worse. A great picture - just not a great game.
My sister-in-law is a pretty good cook so there was plenty to go around. Turkey, dressing, potatoes, noodles, etc. Lots of pie, cookies, and other treats for after. A little too much wine for a few people and comedy ensued. Lots of fun to watch.
Soon it was time to head home. I was a bit worried as northbound 294 has been a parking lot when we went south. Much better at night. Cruised right home. Home sweet home.
So what am I thankful for? Family, safe travel, love, and happiness are enough for me.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
I understand our enemies. They crashed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They bombed the USS Cole. They hide behind women and children. They use women and children to attach civilians. Why? They want the United States and the rest of the free world to submit to their brand of Islam or die. Not gonna happen without a fight. Unless the Democrats and the Main Stream Media convince America that we've already lost.
If that happens - we have.
- Update: Mr Matthews is now saying that he didn't say that. Hmmm - where's the transcript of the speech?
But if you want to see a view of Iraq that you will not see on your local TV station go and visit Michael Yon's blog. Be prepared to spend some time there. It's worth it.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Friday, November 18, 2005
While watching Hannity and Colmes on FNC they played a tape of Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio reading a message from a Marine colonel.
"He asked me to send Congress a message - stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message - that cowards cut and run, Marines never do," Schmidt said.
It made me smile. Gotta love those Jarheads.
Anyways the House errupted in boos. It's amazing that Pelosi and company can attack anyone on the right side of aisle by name and a generic reference to cowards brings a reaction like this. One has to wonder if the comment hit close to home...
Found the following on Powerline
LGF has the picture as well with lots of comments.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
But in 1998 he said "Saddam (Hussein) must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons..."
Were mistakes made in planning the Iraq war? Yes. Was it a big mistake? In my opinion no. Freedom has always exacted a high price and it has been paid in Coalition and Iraqi blood.
I suppose that one could go into the whole WMD issue. Small amounts have been found. And if the report is true there were plans to hide existing stocks. I think history will come down on the side of President Bush.
Now if we want to start talking about former President Clinton's mistakes - that might be interesting...
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
- "Dear Lord," the preacher began with arms extended and a rapturous look
on his upturned face, "without you we are but dust..."
He would have continued, but at that moment one very obedient little
girl (who was listening carefully) leaned over to her mother and asked
quite audibly in her little girl voice, "Mommy, WHAT is butt dust?"
Monday, November 14, 2005
I know that Soldiers Angels will put this money to good use.
Whats even more interesting is this
- Somebody with a strong history of "supporting the troops," and the capacity to fund Valour-IT's every goal, is asking very pointed questions about Valour-IT's ultimate goals and needs.
I hope this happens. I have a feeling I know who it is but I don't want to jinx it.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
- CMT chronicles a small-town National Guard battalion as they are called to serve a tour of duty in Iraq, following a group of four weekend warriors who are unexpectedly called to make the ultimate sacrifice for God and country. It's a band of brothers for our times -- an intimate, revealing, real-time look at a group of tightly knit soldiers preparing, deploying and finally fighting through the triumph and torment of war-torn Iraq.
More here. Looks interesting. The wife may be a bit scared when I tell her there is something I want to watch on CMT.
Friday, November 11, 2005
To credit the Air Force
For the Army, go here. Here, here, here
For the Navy, go here.
And for the Marines, go here.
Right now the Army holds a slight lead.
At the time the wife and I got married I worked for a hospital doing electronic maintenance. The department I worked in was run by a retired Air Force Colonel. Like most hospitals we were open on Veterans day and it wasn't a paid holiday. Except for the veterans in our department. They got the day off with pay courtesy of the Colonel. The rest of us just had to work a little harder that day. Mike Royko has it right. Veterans Day should be a day off for veterans. No one else. We didn't earn it.
So - to all the veterans out there.
Without you, your sacrifice, your courage, and your bravery, the world would not be the same.
Gus has a few words as well
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
- For those readers that are coming up to speed with the story, here’s a summary of important developments so far:
The DRM software Sony has been shipping on many CDs since April is cloaked with rootkit technology:
* Sony denies that the rootkit poses a security or reliability threat despite the obvious risks of both
* Sony claims that users don’t care about rootkits because they don’t know what a rootkit is
* The installation provides no way to safely uninstall the software
* Without obtaining consent from the user Sony’s player informs Sony every time it plays a “protected” CD
Sony has told the press that they’ve made a decloaking patch and uninstaller available to customers, however this still leaves the following problems:
* There is no way for customers to find the patch from Sony BMG’s main web page
* The patch decloaks in an unsafe manner that can crash Windows, despite my warning to the First 4 Internet developers
* Access to the uninstaller is gated by two forms and an ActiveX control
* The uninstaller is locked to a single computer, preventing deployment in a corporation
Consumers and antivirus companies are responding:
* F-Secure independently identified the rootkit and provides information on its site
* Computer Associates has labeled the Sony software “spyware”
* A lawfirm has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of California consumers against Sony
* ALCEI-EFI, an Italian digital-rights advocacy group, has formally asked the Italian government to investigate Sony for possible Italian law violations
Go get 'em Mark!
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
Sunday, November 06, 2005
If you haven't make a donation yet - please consider doing so. As a member of Team Army I'd appreciate your support (See the Donate button Top Right). The Marines, Air Force, and Navy have their own teams as well.
To credit the Air Force
For the Army, go here. Here, here, here
For the Navy, go here.
And for the Marines, go here.
He'll be back at Thanksgiving. Back to 'normal' for now.
Friday, November 04, 2005
I think the best way to deal with companies like Sony who do things like this to consumers is to stop supporting them. Just say NO to Sony products. CD's, DVD's, TV's, etc. Just don't buy their products. Let them know why. Contact information is in their FAQ.
For those that like writing letters:
The Sony Corporation of America
550 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Mike Wallster is a great cartoonist.
To credit the Air Force
For the Army, go here. Here, here, here
For the Navy, go here.
And for the Marines, go here.
As a member of Team Army I would appreciate it if you support my team. In the end I'd just be happy if you can help out.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
While I don't shop at Nordstroms I love their policy of not having anything related to Christmas visible in the store until after Thanksgiving. I wish all stores were like that.
After fitting a new screw (size M4 if anyone cares) to the mount I decided to try and bore sight the rifle. I've done this before with my bolt action rifles so it should be easy. Except for the fact that you can't see down the barrel from the receiver...
I didn't have a light source that would work with the bolt locked back so I broke the rifle down. After removing 2 screws and 3 pins the barrel and receiver are free. My little Surefire didn't fit so I tried a AA Maglite.
Not perfect but in a dark garage I was able to see the light on the wall and the dot wasn't that far off. It should be easy to get sighted in at the range.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I've decided to Go Army in this event. While my Dad was a jarhead and other family members are zoomies it was BlackFive who introduced me to SA and inspired me to make my first donation to SA.
What can you do? If you can - donate. I know for some money is tight. Been there and back. Help spread the word. This is a worthy project helping America's wounded heros.
Blackfive has more.
- Update: The button is up at the page above. I've made my donation. How about you?
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Sony is now completely off my buy list. I don't care what the product is. It's easy - just three little words:
No More Sony!
- Update: F-Secure has a detection tool!
Monday, October 31, 2005
I picked up a standard Weaver base today and had to do a little surgury to get the sight to fit. Managed to strip one of the screws on the sight so I'll replace that tomorrow.
Sight picture is fast. No real weight added.
No sure what the camera focused on.
Must go shooting...
GOP Bloggers has the specifics on Judge Alito. Harry Reid has already come out against him. That is usually enough for me :-) Time for Senator Frist to get his act together and get Alito confirmed.
My #1 would have been The Exorcist. That movie scared the, you know, out of me. Still does.
IMDB has a poll going on. Jaws is on it? Great thriller but not a horror movie.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Thing1 sent me this link today. From the article-
- ...Effective immediately, and over student complaints, the teens were told to dismantle their Myspace.com accounts or similar sites with personal profiles and blogs. Defy the order and face suspension, students were told.
While public and private schools routinely block access to noneducational Web sites on school computers, Pope John's order reaches into students' homes....
I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand I like the fact the the school is paying attention to the fact that there are predators online. On the other hand - our kids should have the same first ammendment rights as we do. Unless there is some agreement signed when enrolling at this school that the principal can regulate legal activities outside of school then I think the principal is overstepping his bounds and authority.
The EFF looks to be somewhat involved. I wonder if the ACLU will step in? With Christmas coming they may not have time with all the nativity scenes that will soon be up. I'm sure someone will be offended and the ACLU will sue someone. Or maybe a terrorist detainee will complain that his Koran was mishandled.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
It might be easier to get that short range weasel gun I was thinking about for Christmas now...
I keep my knives away from the wife. She has a habit of trying to remove the tips of her fingers. With her knives she'll start to hurt and stop before she gets all the way through. A band-aid will usually solve the problem.
With mine - she'd be needing stitches.
I watched this a year or two ago on ESPN and it was amazing what these men went through. The online description for tonights episode doesn't say what year they are showing. Hopefully it's the 2005 competition that Blackfive wrote about.
Update: According to Titantv.com it's the 2005 competition. The PVR is set!
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I got asked this as I was walking out of the computer room at work today. I thought for a second and replied two. The questioner figured 3 or 4 or 5. I guess my reputation precedes me. It's always better to have a knife and not need one than to need a knife and not have one.
Here is what I have on my today. Well most days.
A Leatherman Squirt and a SOG Blink. Both are socially acceptable in the workplace. The Blink, since it's an assisted opener, sometimes startles people till you show them it's not an automatic.
Les Voorhies makes my 'Sunday go to Church knife'.
- This count does not include the three in my daypack :-)
Monday, October 17, 2005
The WAP was toast so we were off to Best Buy to do some shopping. On the way there the kids decided they were hungry so we stopped at Uno's for pizza. Their deep dish pie has a great crust. I wish I could get mine to turn out like that. This is probably my favorite 'chain' pizza.
Best Buy was nice enough to have a D-Link 802.11g WAP on sale. $20.00 after rebate. Thing1 looked longingly at the 802.11g PCMCIA card for his Dell. I smiled and said that he could buy it himself if he wanted it. He then came up with the novel idea of me buying it and him giving me the after rebate price in cash. I gave in and added it to the pile.
As we walked to the front I managed to acquire a CD that my wife wanted. Amazingly nothing else. $120.00 later ($70.00 in rebates to send for) we were on the way to Target (one of my least favorite stores) to get some stuff for his room. I looked at CDs and found the Barlow Girl's latest Another Journal Entry. It included a 'Target Exclusive' second CD so I bought it there.
Back at his room we set up the WAP. The DHCP server isn't quite as nice as the Linksys or the NetGear I have at home where you can map MAC addresses to the server. We had to assign a fixed DHCP address to each of his devices that were going to be attached and then set the range to cover those 4 addresses. Otherwise it was easy for others to mooch off his WAP.
And then it was time to go. Had to get home to feed the dog. As we walked out I noticed the way he was carrying himself and talking to others that we passed - he's grown up a lot. He's turning into a fine young man.
Friday, October 14, 2005
This year we've decided to do the same thing. The only question is what to buy? Something for my computers? Don't really need anything there as I just built a new one. Unless I build another? Hmm - maybe a dedicated PVR?
Of course there is the Surefire line. Not sure which one. Or one of these with magazines to match my Glock? Or this?
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Friday, October 07, 2005
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Sunday, October 02, 2005
My new door was like putting together a kids toy on Christmas eve. It's a full length glass door (no picture as a storm blew up just after I got done) that needs to the hinge attached and the frame built. It took ~4 hours to get it right but it looks pretty good. Buffy the Cockatiel Slayer (our Cocker Spaniel) won't go anywhere near it even though she can look right out.
It's real strange - I keep seeing the door out of the corner of my eye and I think its open as there is so much glass. Glass to keep clean... Well - thats the wife's job. :-)
Update: The weather cooperated (it's hot enough for the A/C).
Saturday, October 01, 2005
We have been talking about a new door for the front of the house, well since we bought the house. Sixteen years later we finally got around to it. The orginal door.
An hour later it was all gone.
Old houses are interesting. Even better when they are on slabs. There is no real sill like you have in a house with joists and plywood. Just a little lip made of concrete. Set the door on that and set it square. Couldn't quite make in plumb as the walls aren't really plumb. Got the door to match the wall and screwed it in place. Lots of screws. We decided to replace the locks so the wife went off to Home Depot and brought home a nice Schlage set. Put them in and it looks pretty good.
Tomorrow - paint and a new storm door.
I have to join in his idea of a gun turn in plan.
- If you have a firearm that you no longer want, I will happily accept it. You have my word that I will never use it for any illegal activity. Leave a comment and I'll get back to you.
Don't give them to the goverment just to be destroyed. I'll put them to good use.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Great job by the flight crew!
- The wheels are part of a recurring problem with AirBus planes?
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
So far I havn't been disappointed. The premier episode was good clean fun. The second episode, while not as good, was a good start at doing more than ghost stories. This could be fun.
The best part - Thing2 likes it as well!
Monday, September 19, 2005
Shit: Through the Eyes of the Military
An Army grunt stands in the rain with a 35-pound pack on his back, 15-lb. weapon in his hand, having marched 12 miles, and says, "This is shit."
An Army Airborne Ranger stands in the rain with a 45-pound pack on his back, weapon in hand, after having jumped from a plane and jogged 18 miles, says with a smile, "This is good shit."
A Navy Seal lies in the mud, 55-pound pack on his back, weapon in hand, after swimming 10 miles to shore, crawling through a swamp, and running 25 miles at night past enemy positions, says with a grin, "This is really great shit."
A Marine, up to his nose in the stinking, bug-infested mud of a swamp with a 65-pound pack on his back and weapons in both hands after jumping from an aircraft at high altitude into the ocean, swimming 12 miles to shore, killing several alligators to enter the swamp, then crawling 30 miles through the brush to assault an enemy camp, says, "I love this shit."
An Air Force NCO sits in an easy chair in an air-conditioned, carpeted office in front of his computer and says, "My e-mail is out? What kind of shit is this?"
Saturday, September 17, 2005
From Sky News
"On Thursday, Major General Rick Lynch said security forces had killed 226 militants and captured 757 in recent operations in Mosul and the surrounding area."
PowerLine News had the headline. Hopefully Michael Yon will have more soon.
Friday, September 16, 2005
Sunday, September 11, 2005
A year or so back the wife decided she wanted email. And use the interweb. Being a geek I supported her as it made buying a faster laptop and wireless gear so much easier. I also wanted her to get over her fear of technology. Soon she learned to use Google (as a verb no less) and life hasn't been quite the same since.
Readers will recall that the wife is a country music fan (and I love her anyways) so she's always looking for concert tickets for her favorite bands when they are in the area. Usually this means the Allstate Arena or the United Center as they are fairly close. She has always been a big Brooks and Dunn fan so when they came to town she was disapointed as they were playing the Tweeter Center - which is almost two hours away. She had resigned herself to not seeing them.
Then one night I'm watching American Chopper and she's surfing the web in the other room and I hear a scream. Figuring it's a spider I walk out there and she asks how bad would it be to get to the Tweeter Center. I say (like all good husbands) not too bad. She's been crusing the Ticketmaster web site and found 2 seats for Brooks and Dunn in the 20th row dead center. I logged in and bought them. I think I made her day.
Thing2 went and stayed at her Grandpa's house for the evening. We went down a little early and had lunch with Thing1 as his school is kinda on the way there. After lunch we headed over to theatre. Pretty nice place. The "security patdown" was a joke. Anything in the small of the back would get right in. My wife didn't even get touched. We wandered around for a while signing up for various give-a-ways: CD collections, autographed Big and Rich Guitar, and a Chevy Cobalt. The USO of Illinois was also there doing a raffle for a Custom Harley Davidson Fat Boy. For ten bucks you get a shot at winning the bike. Plus the money stays in Illinois to help Americas best when they need a litle lift. The US Army had a booth there attracting a fair amout of traffic. The recruiters were also in the crowd talking to young men and women. And no one was being disrespectful to them.
After we sat down and the opening band The Warren Brothers were done (Good band, wrong market. They really don't seem very country to me) the guy sitting next to my wife asked if it were just the two of us. She said yes and he explained that he had a friend that had seats in the tenth row and his wife couldn't make it so he wanted to sit with his buddy. After a inspection of the tickets we swapped. The wife was real happy now!
Big and Rich are a real good band. Great show. What I could see of it. The lady in front of use brought her young daughter who stood on the chair. That put her at about 6 foot 5. She had a great view. I saw the back of her head. After the set my wife tried to get the lady's attention to ask her to not have her daughter block my view as I headed off to get some liquid refreshment. When I got back the wife and the lady were in a huge argument. Names and insults flying (mainly at the wife). Eventually security got involved. My wife was accused of shoving the little girl and the woman. She was even threatened with physical violence by the woman. Finally security told the woman that if her daughter blocked anyones view again she would be removed from the theatre. All this because the women wouldn't politely talk to my wife. The woman and her kids went off to get something to drink and a lady sitting a couple of seats down came over (she looked to be about 7.5 months pregnant) and asked since she could see over anyones head if she could stand on the chair in front of us - smiling the whole time. The whole section was laughing. The people around us, who had witnessed everything, were amazed the woman had acted the way she did. After the woman left (about 5 songs into Brooks and Dunn) the guy who was sitting next to her moved over to step up on the chair, smiling the whole time.
Brooks and Dunn put on a great show. They end with "Only in America". It's an incredibly patriotic song. During the song 3 Marines, all dressed up, came out in formation, saluted the crowd, and went back in. The crowd went absolutly nuts. Nice thing about country fans - they love the U.S. of A.
One sad note - Ronnie Dunn has a habit of throwing drumsticks into the crowd when he's playing the cowbell. One went a few rows behind us and hit someone in the head. I think she ended up being taken out for medical attention. Hopefully she's ok.
I'm not a country fan but this was a fun show.
The room was the same size as last year . To be honest I think that a larger space is necessary. 50% larger with some more makers would be great. I'd also like to see makers and purveyors in different aisles with related vendors (materials, sharpeners, etc) around the outer perimiter as it is now. I think it would make the show easier to navigate.
I kind of had an idea of what I wanted before I went. As usual the plan went out the window fairly soon. I was looking for a small 'tactical' folder - like the small Strider but it was just a tad out of my price range. So I decided to look for a 'gents' folder. Something I could take to church or out to dinner and not get stares at my ugly knife. I looked at a lot of them but most were out of my price range (I guess I'm not that much of a gentleman) or were a little on the large size. In the last aisle of the show I found my knife.
ATS34 Blade, Titanium bolsters and liner, Micarta scales. Smooth, locks up tight, looks great and very affordable. The maker, Les Voorhies, was nice to talk with and explaned his knives quite well. He's probably underpriced by 25 to 50% so I'm glad I got one now.
I also decided to pick up a kitchen knife. Since I don't hunt or fish the kitchen is where I do most of my cutting. I have one of Thomas Haslinger's excellent kitchen knives for heavier work so I looked for something for veggies, chicken, and fish. I found one (again in the last aisle)
Made in Japan - this is a sharp knife! The maker tunes the knife up for you as you purchase it.
I picked some micarta and Ivory for a kit knife that I have. It should look nice when it's done.
In wandering around the show it seems to have moved up a bit since last year. Lots of damacus and upscale scales. It seemed like even more knives were out of my price range than last year. On the other hand knives were selling. At one purveyors table I was looking at a small Sebenza and a $4,000.00 deal went down in under a minute next to me. Ernie Emerson has his usual crowd. He has some hand made knives and was holding drawings for the chance to buy one. The production knives are out my price range so I didn't put my name in.
I got a number of comments on the shirt I was wearing. It was my Arizona Cardinal's #40 jersey. This was Pat Tillman's number before he entered the Army after 9/11. Duane Dyer from Strider Knives came up to me, shook my hand, and complimented me on the jersey. I tried to get a discount out of him for the small folder but it didn't work. :-(
Bobby Branton have a short knife throwing exhibition and discussed throwing. Most interesting conversation. He's bringing out a lower cost throwing knife. May have to get some of those.
Overall it was a good show. It needs to be a bit larger. Hopefully the purveyors won't outnumber the makers in the future.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Friday, September 09, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
What kind of a plan am I talking about? A plan to survive. After seeing that Katrina did to the gulf states and how unprepared the local authorities were in Lousiana I decided to review my plan.
Where I live I don't have to worry about hurricanes. We just get tornadoes. And blizzards. Ice storms. Except for tornados we generally have warning and can prepare. Tornados can take a house and then you have to survive. And execute your plan.
Ours was relativly simple. When storms are severe we grab our go bags and double check that we have sufficent cash, clothes, and medication (Medication is critical) and place the bags in our storm shelter. If things get bad we join the bags in the shelter and ride out the storm. If we lose the house and manage to survive we have family and friends that are close by who homes would more than likely not be affected and we'd crash there for a couple of days till insurance kicked in and we got into a hotel. Life would suck for a while but we'd move on.
Ice and snow are a little different. They can strike with little notice so the winter plan involves plenty of bottled water, fire wood, and canned goods. We can easily got 5-7 days without leaving the house.
What does this have to do with Katrina? Plenty if one allows the mind to wander. We're not far from Chicago or O'Hare airport. Either one would be a likely target for a terror attack involving a WMD (dirty bomb, poison gas, etc). This is what my plan needs to address.
While we are upwind are far as prevailing winds go in relation to O'Hare and Chicago every once in a while we get wind from the East - which would be the perfect time to attack for maximum effect. What would we do? Even if we weren't directly affected we'd have to move. Quickly.
The storm go bags would be tossed in the van. The back seat would come out. Still room for the 4 of us and lots of room for storage. Two tents, sleeping bags, a cookstove, pots and pans, and fuel could be in the van in 5 minutes. My daypack and it's attached cutlery go in. The wifes pack with her special things come along as well. The kids each have a pack they can put a few special things in to take along. Bottled water, canned and boxed food go as well. Dog food and a leash for Buffy. All of this is ok if things stay stable where ever we would end up.
What if they don't? Well my Glock 17, Ruger Mark II, Ruger 10/22, and H&R 865 are part of the pack. Sufficent ammo for both calibers is usually in the house. This is fine for close protection and small game. What about larger game? Or human problems at a distance?
I've always wanted a AR15 but the price tag is just too much for me right now. The .223 is in the lite side for de-animation. The M1 or M14 in .308 are awesome (love the SOCOM rifle) but the price is jut too painful right now. AK-47 clones are interesting but scream bad guy. This leads to, it seems to me, the SKS. Available for under $200.00 and a good caliber. Designed as a battle rifle and it doesn't scream 'terrorist'. Thing1 is handy with a rifle so this would be good for him as well. A carbine in 9mm to match the Glock seems like a possibility as well. The Kel-Tec is around $300.00 and would make it easy for the wife to put up a defense if necessary and not have to worry about recoil.
Thing1 and I have talked about tactics a bit. Not enough. Never practiced them either. Gotta find time for that. And bring the wife into this way of thinking. She's not quite there yet.
What am I missing? Outside of the SKS and Kel-Tec. Flashlights. Radio. Batteries. Those would be handy. Sure-Fire or Mag-Lite. Maybe both? Should I take the laptop and digital camera? Water purification? How much ammo? Is three calibers too much? Too little?
What I really need is ideas. I'm sure my fellow CofC writers will put forth their own plans for me to read. I can't wait.
Well said Professor!
In the case of natural disasters - I have to agree. You have to prepare and have a plan. The wife and I are updating our preparations and plan. Maybe even a plan to backup your first plan. Here is Northern Illinois we really only have Tornados to worry about. We'll take into account a terror attack on Chicago or O'Hare but I think we'll focus on surviving nature.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
- "The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating."
So the plan calls for the use of school and municpal buses. So why do we see this?
after Mayor Nagin was screaming for buses? Why weren't the used before Katrina made landfall and then again afterwards?
I know. It's Bush's fault!
Image credits - Sacred Cow Burgers
Sunday, September 04, 2005
After Church today we headed to the location. The event was from 10 - 2. When we arrived at 9:45 there was already enough to fill one truck. A second was already on the way. We put our stuff on the stack and I walked around taking pictures. When I got back the wife had started helping sort and pack boxes. I took that as a hint and started too.
We pack backpacks with clothes, boxes with food, stacked bottled water on pallets, whatever was needed. After a couple of hours we were tired. Fresh volunteers had arrived so we took off. Two trucks were full. 2 or 3 more were on the way. Not only had the deli whose parking lot the event was using contributed time and space but so did Menards (pallets, people, fork lift) and Steak and Shake (people) help out but one guy, who's company was doing construction in the area, brought over this forklift that could put pallets into the back of the trucks. Huge timesaver.
One package got to me. It was full of stuffed animals. Each one had a little message.
Puts one's faith back.
There were people bringing a box of clothes, a box of food, whatever they could afford. One person brought a truckload (and trailer) of bottled water. Probably 3 pallets worth. Another went shopping at Sam's Club and came with over $3000.00 worth of merchandise. Amazing people - responding for a request for assistance.
From the stations website -
"Big John and Ray teamed up with Catom Trucking to fill SIX semi trucks with goods that are now heading south to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Listener response was so massive that local authorities and nearby merchants stepped in to help direct traffic and keep the loading and unloading of donations running smoothly. THANK YOU from everyone at US99.5 for your continued generosity!"
Six trailers full? Awesome!