Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Carnival of Computing #1

Being a geek for a living I really enjoy working with computers. They have been part of my life, in one way or another, for almost 30 years. If you're like me (or just like playing with computers) take some time and read the first ever Carnival of Computing!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

From LGF

    10,000 dead in New Orleans..................check
    50,000 body bags coming out of Iraq......check
    500,000 anti-freedom protesters in DC...check

    /being able to laugh hysterically at Moonbats...priceless

See this for the rest of the thread

Four Paragraphs

Thats how much of a news story the average person reads unless it really grabs your attention. GM Roper has more. I guess our short attention span is being used against us...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Automated Home Defense

Found a link to this on Blackfive.

A school project based on the Phalanx mini-gun.

Add facial recognition to the software, replace the Airsoft gun with a paintball gun and one would have a great way to keep certain relatives away...

Great Line

Every morning when I wake up, I read the Bible and the Newspaper... Because I want to know what both sides are up to.

From Jason Smith

He has a great comparison on how the buses are being used in Texas vs. how they weren't used in New Orleans

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Jet Blue

Thing2 is at Confirmation and the wife is at Bible study. A quiet night to get caught up on Monster Garage and American Chopper. While setting the computer to record something for Thing1 I saw a plane having a problem circling LAX on Fox News. The front gear is locked 90 degrees off center. Just watched the plane land ala the space shuttle. Nose up till the last minute. Lots of sparks flying and the plane is down safe and sound. No rubber left on the front rims. Well - no rims left either.

Great job by the flight crew!

    The wheels are part of a recurring problem with AirBus planes?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I've always liked a good scary movie. Even the cheap thrills like 'Friday the 13th' were fun way back when we (the wife and I) were young and just dating. The wife has lost her taste for such things and I don't like watching them alone. So when the previews were on for WB's Supernatural I was intrigued. Good scary fun.

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!

Military Bumper Sticker

If you can read this thank a teacher.
If you can read this in English thank a soldier.

HELP! MOM! There are LIBERALS Under My Bed!

I used to worry about all kinds of Monsters. Todays kids have it so much worse. I wish we would have had this book when the kids were younger to help explain it all.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Through Military Eyes

Rated PG-13. My dad (USMC 1944-1947) would have loved this. My brothers and sisters that were Air Force (over 40 years between 3 of them) might not like it. They'll probably agree but not like it.


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

Go Get 'em Marines

I'm sure the Iraqi Army had a lead role in this one.

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.

Philosophical Musings

Chris Byrne has a few you should read

Friday, September 16, 2005

Carnival of Cordite #30

That was a quick week. Too much work not enough play.

Go and read

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Deuces Wild

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.

Chicago Custom Knife Show

I had planned to go on Saturday but the wife decided that a concert in Tinley Park was a better was to spend Saturday so I took some time off from work and went on Friday.

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

Carnival of Cordite special double edition!

This week, we feature a special disaster preparedness section and breaking news on gun confiscations in New Orleans.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Have a Plan

This has always been in my mind. Have a plan. No matter what - when there is something to be done - have a plan. This doesn't keep me from spending the day doing nothing (great plan!) every once in a while but otherwise - gotta have a plan.

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.

A different view of the events in Lousiana

Drumwaster looks to have it down. And in my opinion he's got it just about right.

Instapundit Speaks

"If you are not willing to take care of yourself you deserve to die." - Glenn Reynolds on the radio - 9/7/2005

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


Much has been written about the lack of transportation out of New Orleans for those unable to provide their own. According to the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Evacuation & Sheltering Plan (p13 of EOPSupplement1a.pdf )
    "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!

Maybe not.

Image credits - Sacred Cow Burgers

Two Tribes

Bill Whittle is an awesome writer. I'd like to have stuff that is as good as what he edits out. Go read Two Tribes.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


The wife listens to country music. By assocation I get to listen to it as well. On her way home from Church on Saturday with Thing2 she heard an announcement on the radio for an event to load up a semi-trailer with non-perishables for those affected by Katrina. She stopped on the way home and picked up some blankets, shampoo, etc. After she got home we went through our closets looking for clothes that other might need. Filled up a couple of bags and put them in the van.

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.

    Update 9/6/2005
    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!

Painting .eq. car wash

It was a simple plan. Go to church and spend some time painting trim around the windows in our old sanctuary. A couple hours of work on a beautiful Saturday morning.

Get to church and there are signs for a hurricane relief car wash. Tables are set up in the area I was going to be painting. Was is the word as painting would wait. So I got my car washed and headed home.

Not too much later one of the youth leaders from church called looking for Thing2. More help was needed. We got her moving and the wife took her to church. The line was out of the parking lot and down the street. When Thing2 made it home 5 hours later she was wiped. And she had a smile on her face. Hard work for a good cause is the best kind of work.

Today at church the Pastor announced the totals: 245 cars washed raising $5,000.00. Not bad for a free will payment plan. Toss in Thrivents 1 for 2 matching and that is $7,500.00 on its way to help out.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Russia, Japan, Canada, France, Honduras, Germany, Venezuela, Jamaica, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Guatemala, Paraguay, Belgium, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Italy, Guyana, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Austria, Lithuania, Spain, Dominica, Norway, Cuba and the Bahamas.

Every bit helps.

About time

That someone grew a spine.

Troops Arrive in New Orleans With Shoot-To-Kill Orders

How about tasking Cobra gunships with the SAR choppers as well?