Friday, July 27, 2007

The Birthday Bone

It was Ming's birthday, we did not make a cake. Instead I bought a couple of packages of beef soup bones, the ones with meat and lots of marrow. Eddie and CAP like to fight over the bones, they both leave Ming The Merciless alone.

In other news, the dogs have actually dug a hole through the back door and now run in and out at their discretion, at least until I find some good thick plywood to patch the door. Who knew the back door was made of plastic? Good grief, I leave guns around and someone could have dug through the door with a pocketknife. Or a set of claws.

The house is full of mosquitoes and I am somewhat handicapped, we were cleaning the mud off CAP's paws and somehow she kicked me, right on that lump of bone on the inside of my ankle. She put the claw right there and it's swollen and extremely painful. There is no broken skin. Sure hurts, though. When (if) this ankle heals I'll cut up a couple of pieces of plywood and screw them to what is left of the door. I hope a skunk doesn't sneak in before I fix it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I haven't written anything here about this "Scott Thomas" feller, now we know who he is, an Army E-2 name of Scott Thomas Beauchamp. From what I've read he has been in the Army far longer to have been promoted so it looks as if he's been busted, at least once. From what I've been reading getting busted is now a bigger deal than in my day.

I don't know much about what is happening over in the Sandbox, I read a few Milblogs and Michael Yon, Badgers Forward, Acute Politics, Mudville and Blackfive, a few others. I read Army Wife and Teresa of Technicalities. Truth is, though, I can't really visualise this war, too many things have changed since I wore Uncle's suit.

What hasn't changed are the men, and now women. If anything they are a higher caliber than in my day. When I served a battle scar would not been jeered at. No one would dare speak loud insults about a woman's burn scars, even if someone did get back to the sandbox with scars like that.

I served with men who'd been burned, burned in those older gas powered vehicles, aircraft and shipboard fires, back then the reconsructive plastic surgery wasn't as advanced, either. I knew a man who died after an AK burst went through a WP grenade or two in a pouch he was wearing.

We had a lot of rough , even gallows humor. We did not ever speak badly to those injured. Some of us might have, our buddies would not stand for it.

I would not be surprise about ugly things being done to bodies, assuming there were no NCOs or Officers around. I'm told that there is no way to wear a Fritz helmet with an extra skull in there. If anyone could, it'd be Beauchamp, he seems to be a pinhead. Still, folks who wear those helmets say it can't be done. I don't know, I do know that it would be odd for one guy to be able to do this all day, sooner or later an Officer or NCO would show up and the feces would interface with the rotary air moving device.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dean Barnett Is Not Even Half Right

So if you read Blogs you've read of us baby boomers not answering the phone when the Country called, unlike the greatest generation.

Sorry, Dean. Woodstock got the ink, far more of us were in Viet Nam at that time. Here is a hint that most people don't know, most of us that served in the Southeast Asian War Games were not draftees. Less that half of the Army guys were drafted, none of the Navy or Air Farce and there was only a short time when a few draftees were allowed to join the Corps.

I'm real tired of the face of my generation being that of those spoiled kids in the protest marches, yeah those marches were pretty big. If you totaled up the whole bunch of people who ever attended any of them you'll get almost half of the young men who went to Viet Nam in 1968. Nor does the number of us who "answered the phone" stop there. We had our young men in Germany holding back the Soviets, we had them freezing their hineys off in Korea and chasing the girls of low repute in Okinawa.

The young men and women of this new generation are doing a fine job but there aren't near the numbers that served in my time.I doubt we could put half a million American troops into one combat zone while keeping another quarter million at the ready in Europe, and another couple hundred thousand spread around Asia as we did in my day.

Sorry, Barnett, go count the names on that black wall in Washington.

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Modest Proposal, Sorry J. Swift

We have a problem in America, we can't get anything done. The only way to file taxes, without being in severe danger of being "got" by the IRS is to file the short form, there are so many different addendums to the tax laws that anyone not taking the standard deductions is in danger. Every year we get the news stories about calling the IRS for tax advice and some large percentage is always wrong. Worse, the IRS isn't even required to come flip cigarette buts through the bars to you if you get jacked up over their advice.

The Government asks us to report suspicious behavior yet the Congress has just rejected the "no sue" provision. So, the "flying Imams" have sued everyone in sight, Congress thinks this is okay. So the next time, and there will be a next time, will a bunch of oddball folks succeed in scaring everyone half to death, without reprisal? What if the Imams WERE really a dry run?

No one, even lawyers understands the laws. Worse, lawyers have messed up things written in plain English. The United States of America has a Constitution, written in plain, although somewhat obsolete, English. This Constitution gives certain powers to the Congress, certain powers to the Executive Branch and certain powers to the Judicial Branch. The Constitution also forbids the Government from a whole bunch of things that it is doing, right now.

Nowhere, for instance, does the Constitution give any role for the Federal Government for education. None. Now I think everyone ought to be education at least to reading, writing and 'rithmatic but the Feds should butt out.

I am not sure, having never been to law school, but there seems to be a syllabus in those schools in ignoring plain English. A couple of examples...

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Someone please explain how we get things like the recurring "fairness doctrine" out of that. Or McCain Feingold. How about no baby Jesus at Christmas. A country that is some ninety percent Christian and we lack the ability to put up a manger scene, yet our schools are filled with examples of anti-Christian activity. Something is wrong.

Another example?

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. This seems pretty clear, it doesn't say the right of the National Guard, it doesn't say with the proper permits, it doesn't say after being checked by the ATF, it doesn't say after the waiting period, it says "shall not be infringed".

So, where do we get waiting periods? Where do we get not being able to write, or say that McCain and Feingold are scumbags of the worst order sixty days before the election? Here is a question, if the Constitution says Congress shall make no law about religion, how do the Federal Courts get involved? If Congress can make no law, how does a Federal court get involved? The clear meaning of the Constitution is that the Federal Government should butt out of religion. Period. Especially since many of the States DID have established religions back then. The proper thing for the Federal Court to do would be to say, "we have no jurisdiction, read the Constitution". The Tenth Amendment is pretty clear, if the power doesn't belong to the Feds, it belongs to State or Local Governments, or to the people, that's us. Now I don't need a bunch of lawyers on the Supreme Court telling me that the Constitution permits McCain Feingold. I haven't been to law school so I can still read English.I don't need Ted Kennedy telling me that my guns should be regulated, my guns have killed fewer people than his driving. My guns have stolen far less money that his programs.

Here is my proposal, it's a two parter:

Part One. Close half the law schools. Most of the folks going into law schools are fairly bright, let them enter industry where they can do some good.

Part Two. No lawyers in any branch of Government. Let ordinary people write the laws. Let ordinary people run the courts. If an ordinary, educated human being can't understand a law, send it back to the legislature. Here we have a case where a feller got fired from his job and evicted from his office, IN CANADA, and a Federal Prosecutor in Chicago, USA gets a conviction for obstruction of justice. Excuse me? Someone please explain to me, in simple words, what in the everlovin' blue eyed world gives him the power to convict someone for an act in Canada? Isn't that like some kind of act of war? Last I looked, Canada had it's own laws. I looked at my copy of the Constitution again, had to to get the exact wording of those Amendments and, although it was just a quick glance I saw nothing there about hew a Federal Prosecutor has the power to bust someone for following Canadian law in Canada.

I'm not quite to the point where I like the idea of "First kill all the lawyers", that seems somewhat harsh. We do, however, have too many, doing too much. That's the problem, we have all these lawyers and only so many horse thieves. Each lawyer wants to make a living. So, since there aren't enough horse thieves that need defending they have to sue someone. Or, worse, get elected so they can write a law so complicated that not even other lawyers can understand it.

Don't get me wrong, we need lawyers. Trouble is, just as too many cooks spoil the broth, too many lawyers spoil the laws.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I Don't Understand

So, our guys captured a major AlQ in Iraq bigwig, the news released after the Donk's snoozefest. Heh.

Here is what I don't understand...we have this bunch of moose-limbs that are always saying they will win because they are eager to die. Now I have never claimed to be the smartest guy in the world but if they are so eager to die, how come we capture so many?

If the Democrats are so sure the war is wrong, why don't they stop the funding?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Prayer And A Thank You

Every day we don't get a call from the kids telling us that something awful has happened to the grandchildren. They don't call every day to tell us that the grandkids slept safe in their beds, we know that they did from the lack of a phone call.

We owe a lot of people thanks for that, from the cops to the people keeping the power grid up and the water flowing. And those wearing Uncle's suit, the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen, serving all over.

I worry about these young Americans but I am glad that they are killing this enemy overseas, an enemy that has proven a desire to kill us here. I'm sorry that innocent Iraqis are being hurt in this fight but I can be cold blooded enough to think "better them than mine". I keep reading these Great Humanitarians blathering about how we shouldn't be killing these Muslim murderers, that it's wrong. I am not a Great Humanitarian, I'll trade every one of them to save a scraped knee on any of my grandkids.

I, of course, would prefer no war. The best use of the United States Armed Forces is when they are all just standing around looking so durned mean that nobody in the world wants to mess with us. This is, of course, against the rules, instead we have a government that starts wars and then pulls the rug out from under our young men and women.

I don't want to talk about that, tonight, though. Anyone who has ever seen or read me knows how I feel about those who wear the uniforms of our country. I was once allowed to stand with them and I sometimes measured up. There is another group of Americans, just as important, though, perhaps even more important that I shall speak of. Families, the wives, and now husbands, the children and the parents of those who wear Uncle's suit. In many ways THOSE are the toughest jobs in the Services. When I was overseas my job was sometimes dangerous, not real often, though. Mostly it was tiring and boring. The military invented hurry up and wait, after all. Thing is, my family never knew whether I was filling sandbags or trying to do something stupid. I knew when it was time to be frightened, I'm pretty good at being frightened. Most of the time I was busy being a young American. Even in the combat zone we had time to play.

The wife or mother of a Serviceman never gets to know that today my husband is busy filling sandbags (or supervising that operation for Officers and Sergeants) so is able to relax. There will be a hundred hours of sandbag filling for every minute of fighting, even for an infantryman. For the Rotorheads there will be a hundred "ash and trash" flights for every hot LZ.

We can tell the Service family members this from now until we get hungry, they all know this, intellectually. It doesn't matter. Daddy or Son, and now Mom and Daughter are over there, in danger sometimes and those family members won't know when.

I'm not all that sure that todays improved communications helps or hurts. Didn't get an E-mail or call? Busy? Jammed commo? Or that communications blackout because of an injury or death? Would waiting weeks for a letter be easier?

My blogroll, small as it is, has families of those in harms way, protecting my grandchildren. KD of Life Of The Wife's hubble, Army Wife, Toddler Mom's DH is in school getting ready to go again, Teresa of Technicalities son just left for Iraq to fly around in a fifty year old state of the art airframe, all of those, many thousand more, families get to wait, and worry. And pick up the slack of that family member being thousands of miles away.

I dunno, all I can do is keep praying and hope, with all my heart, that these families know that at least some Americans care. Oh, and thanks.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dear Washington

I've noticed that everyone is mad at you, Dubya's poll numbers are down, Congress has even worse numbers. Let me send you all a clue. Congress, President Bush is not the enemy, we, the voters elected him. Your constant screeching about how he stole the election is insulting to everyone that voted for him.

Congress, you now belong to the Democrats, fine. This was not a repudiation of the war, though. You did not run on the war, you ran on elimination the earmarks and sleaze, remember? The sleaze is thicker than ever, so are the earmarks. Meanwhile you talk about how the election was about the war. Sorry, I was there, remember? The election was not a thousand years ago, it was less than a year.

Congress, I am curious about how Dubya worked so well with the Democrats in Texas. Yet he is unable to work with the Democrats in Washington, even when he lets Ted Kennedy write his bills. Yet you say he is dividing us. Dubya has vetoed exactly how many of the laws you passed? Just who is being divisive? You complain that Bush's tax cuts hurt the deficit yet revenues are through the roof. You complain that Bush's tax cuts hurt the poor when the cuts removed millions of the poor from the tax rolls entirely. Explain, please, how come the rich pay a higher percentage of total taxes now than before those cuts, that hurts the poor. Please use real numbers, not sound bites.

Please explain why you are yelling at Exxon and the other oil companies. Why can China and Cuba drill for oil off Florida's coasts while our companies cannot. Please use small words here because it's very confusing. From here it looks as if you are tripping our companies and then cursing them for falling. When you are through with that, explain why you think you can run the car companies better than Ford, GM and Chrysler.

I read where you have been trying for TWO YEARS to come up with a new intelligence estimate of the actual danger of extremist Muslims. Meanwhile I keep reading about The Religion Of Peace. You know, Washington, I have never claimed to be a particularly peaceful feller but in my sixty years of life I've never strapped explosives to my butt and exploded myself in a crowd of people. Why is it that only The Religion Of Peace do this?

There are about a billion and a half Muslims in this world. You, Washington, claim that only a minority of them are dangerous. Fine. That is nice to hear. I would like a best guess as to how big a minority, though. When I was going to school I read that 49% is a minority, so is one percent. Muslims have been killing us since the '70s, that should be long enough for you to give a better figure than "a minority", I mean if it's one percent there are a million and a half who want to kill my kids. Somehow though I don't think it's only one percent. Ten percent? That's fifteen million potential splodeydopes out there. Twenty percent? Come on Washington, we are paying you trillions of dollars every year, PLEASE tell us what the real risk is.

We'd kind of like to know what you plan on doing about that risk, too. The bigwigs of alQueda are talking about how important it is that they win in Iraq, you are saying that alQ isn't in Iraq. What's wrong with this picture? You claim that Iraq isn't doing any good yet the Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors keep reenlisting. Washington, I know you think that our military is stupid but here is a clue, they are smarter than the average civilian, look how many fail the entrance exams. I do believe that a rifle squad will have a higher IQ than a similar sized group on a college campus. Or Senate committee. Nobody that didn't enlist before 9/11/01 has an excuse for not knowing what they were getting into. This means almost everyone.

We would kind of like it, too, if you will stop trying to lock up Border Patrolmen, Deputy Sheriffs and Marines for doing the jobs we send them out to do. If you don't want Border Patrolmen to try to catch border jumping drug smugglers, fine. Change the law. Put on paper that those drug smugglers can't be shot in the ass after pegging a shot at the Border Patrol. Instead, after the whole Border Patrol Sector is out investigating the shooting, you lock up the Border Patrolmen for not reporting the shooting. I realize that you are lawyers, of course, but the rest of us can't quite understand how they were all investigating that shooting that wasn't reported.

Well, Washington, I have a lot more questions but since you have been trying for TWO YEARS to tell us how serious the splodeydope problem is, get started on those.

Love, Peter.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Links In The Sidebar

Anyone who is interested in shooting or hunting should note the two new links on my left sidebar. The link to Handloader actually links to three magazines, Rifle, Handloader and Successful Hunter. Clicking those links gives us the cover, the table of contents and two complete articles. Each magazine comes out every other month, Rifle one month, Handloader the next. Not being much of a hunter I don't mess with Successful Hunter. I will say that Rifle and Handloader are hands above better than the run of the mill gunzine. Why I don't recall ever seeing a which is best, 9mm or .45acp in either magazine. (hint, the nine is better for some purposes, the .45 for others)
Anyhow the Handloader articles are John Barnsess writing about Berger's VLD bullet for hunting and Brian Pearce's tome on the S&W Model 19/66 and hot loads. Then there is a nice article by Duke Venturino about loading pistol ammo in lever action carbines and an article about the effect of different primers in the .223, on the other end of the caliber spectrum there are articles on Ruger's new .357 Ruger and Marlin's .45-70.

Now, Rifle Magazine is geared more toward the shootin' irons rather than the ammo. Anyhow, click 'em, see what you think.

The other new link is to Handloader's online database. Some years back they started a project of putting every piece of loading data they ever published online, in a searchable set of tables. They claim to have over 100,000 different loads, I haven't counted. There sure are a lot and in cartridges many of us have never heard of, cartridges that haven't been made new since that fracas with the Kaiser, oh, heck, some cartridges that haven't been made new since Geronimo. Still, if you can find, or form, the case, Load Data will have the info. Do you have that old Winchester Model '76 in .45-75? The data is there. Did grandpop bring home a 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Schoenauer from an attic in Germany? A couple of hundred different loads. If it goes, or once went "BANG!" there should be a load.

There are also articles, separate from the magazines.

Check it out, there is a free set of data each month, just to show what they have. Not a bad deal for $29.95 a year. Price one of the big loading manuals.

Update 07/13/07: Thanks for catching that typo, Harv.

Farmer Brown And The Summer Hay

It finally quit raining long enough to start mowing. The grass and weeds were so tall it is still wet down toward the ground, after three or four days of sun. I could only mow like six inches at a stroke, still the mower kept clogging up with wet grass.

It took a good meal to get this operation started so I had a boneless, kinless chicken breast and a mountain of mashed potaoes and gravy, peas on the side. Ming the Merciless was fasciniated by that meal.

Well fortified I climbed on the tractor and start hacking away. About twice a cut I had to stop and clear the mower discharge. I mowed until I was just about to die and then took a shower and a nap.

The next day I waited until well after six PM before trying to mow some more, and got about half of the front and side yards mowed, then the rain came again.

If anyone cares I am about ready to scream from all this rain. I'm sick of wet, muddy dogs. There just ain't nothin' in this world friendlier than a wet muddy dog.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sorry, Mother Earth

I forgot about Live Earth or whatever Algore's series of concerts was called. So I don't know how much "awareness" was raised. Seems to have been a whole lot of jetting, limo-riding and concert fan traveling involved, though.

I did sit home and watch the NASCAR race, instead. Jamie McMurray won his first race in forever, good for him.

I wonder how many earth killing NASCAR races we could have for the carbon footprint of this one big earth saving set of concerts? I wonder if an earth destroying NASCAR race could become green if Algore collected a profit? Seems that since Dale Jr. is moving into Kyle Bush's ride next year maybe Algore could sponsor Kyle's next ride and that four mile a gallon race car would become green...even if it's painted yellow.

I really wish I understood this ecology business. I live in a small house, I drive somewhere two or three days a week. Algore lives in a mansion, flies around in private jets. Shouldn't Gore shup up and let me talk about the environment?

I have thought about this, though. My theory is that if it's good for Algore, either financially or politically, that's environmental. If it's good for ordinary people, who don't live in mansions or fly in private jets, it's detroying Mother Earth. What I don't understand is how come Gore isn't covered in tar and feathers, riding a fence rail out of town.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Saturday Dogs

Today is supposed to be an especially lucky day, 7/7/07. I simply contend that every day is a lucky day for me. I've mentioned how lucky I was to have been born in The United States, then the amazing luck of latching on to Linda Lou. (Don't tell her I said that, I'm still complaining about the wheel)

Today is Robert A. Hienlein's 100th birthday. I've never been a real big sci-fi fanatic but I did love Hienlein. He could still be writing books if it weren't for that stupid death thing.

That Princess critter is still growing. It seems like yesterday that she was smaller than Eddie.
My best guess as to her eventual size is midway between Paris, Texas ans Paris, France. She'll be braver than Paris, France, though. Nothing scares her but Ming.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Help! Help! A Horrible Hefflelump!

Well, actually there are no horrible hefflelumps but I do need a little help. First I need someone who understands code to put two text links up here. It seems the folks from Rifle/Handloader Magazines want a text link here. Rifle/Handloader are the only Gunzines that I even read any more. I sometimes will buy one of the other gunrags when I'm caught out with nothing to read, I go through their articles looking for idiot mistakes, I frequently find them, too. Not in Handloader or Rifle. They also have Load Data, an electronic database of every handload they have published since they started out. In the last month they've put up new loads for fourteen different cartridges.

They are publishing some of my favorite gunwriters, including Mike, "Duke", Venturino, the dean of black powder writers. I do not know if I stole the title of my Blog from him, he stole the title of his column from me or if we just speak the same language and thought them up independantly.

Aside from riches beyond my wildest dreams, well, ten bucks each, the big dogs noticed poor little me. Thing is, I keep screwing up trying to put those things in. Anybody want to put them in for me?

Next, I have a phisher or other crook putting comments in, how do I make them go away?


The Lake Tahoe Fire Is Contained

I read where the Lake Tahoe fore is completely contained, now.

Sixgun Shorty and his collection are all okay. A lot of homes were destroyed and it seems that the idiot government types will be jackasses about some of the rebuilding. Of course the fire was a lot worse that it should have been, no one is allowed to pick up dead wood, etc. Government environmentalists, lamp post, rope. Some assembly required.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Lucky Me

I am one of the three hundred million luckiest people in the world. You see I was born in Golden America. Before my ancestors left the Old Country, that is what they called her, Golden America. It doesn't matter where the Old Country was, we are all lucky.

I was born in a lower middle class family yet we owned our own house, not something you see every day, elsewhere. For that matter, not many other countries even HAD a middle class back then.

Two hundred and thirty one years ago our ancestors started an experiment. It isn't perfect yet, it may never be perfect. I doubt it ever will be as people aren't perfect. I have traveled a lot, though, back in my younger days, courtesy of my Uncle Samuel. Even the places I went where I wasn't blowing stuff up were awful compared to Golden America.

Happy Birthday, America.