Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Christmas Post

My friends know what a sucker I am for the whole holiday spirit. That being the case, I have to share my favorite holiday videos. Its all about the classics.



And a couple new ones: Lil Wayne, and the Peter Griffin re-work of this classic original posted above.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

1911's: I've had enough.

I went to an IDPA Classifier match today, intending to get classified with my 1911 in the CDP division. I had my bro Jay ship it out to me (there wasn't enough room in the truck to bring everything here, so it was staying in his safe for a while) for the purpose of competing with it.

I attempted to compete with it today, and shot well with it. The problem is that the dang thing wouldn't run consistently. I had at least four failures to go into battery, and all those malfunctions caused me to take too much time to classify.

Chances are it needs new springs, and perhaps some new magazines. But that's the problem with a hundred year old design. Get a Glock and shoot the recoil spring to death in it, and it'll still run. That'll be true of several new gun designs: they're just engineered from the ground up to have fewer parts and to run with minimal maintenance. That's definitely not the 1911.

The 1911 still has some characteristics that are outstanding: they're typically very accurate guns that are easy to shoot well. A tuned single action trigger in one is an amazing thing. They're only an inch wide, so they're easy to conceal...although a steel 1911 is a heavy beast by the end of the day.

They have other downsides, too: they're magazine finicky, and as Ken Hackathorn has stated, they're "the king of feedway stoppages". Add to that their limited magazine capacity, and I think I'm pretty much done with the 1911. The upside isn't outweighing the downside. I'm beginning the process of considering what to do with the gun. It may end up traded or sold for an MnP .45 or perhaps a Glock 21 or 30. I miss my old 30.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Underrated: favorite movies with a twist

I've been fascinated by how much money movies make for a while now. Part of it is the phenomena of the flop, a movie that had a huge budget but proved not to be a blockbuster. The other is what I like to call the hidden gem or the small budget hit, which is a movie that isn't expected to do a lot at the box office, but turns out to be a huge, huge hit. I can think of several like that: Black Hawk Down and 300 jump to mind. I think those got huge because Hollyweird accidentally made a movie that most people can relate to, as opposed to the dreck they usually serve up with their left wing messages and agendas. That's a post for another time, I think.

What I have been interested in lately are movies that may or may not have been hits at the time, but have been forgotten or pushed to the back because of new material and holiday movies coming to the theater. Some of my favorite movies are classics, or huge blockbuster hits that are older now and neglected. Still others are films that were never big hits, but turned out to be great little movies. TNT calls some of these The New Classics, but some are just classic in and of themselves, regardless of when they were issued.

Since you know already that I'm working towards a list, here it is! I decided that only choosing five total would be more work than I want to put in on a day off, I decided to choose some categories. These may or may not be in order.

Older Action Movies. These can be war movies, gangster flicks, or anything else that pretty much has guns as a central theme. lol!

1. Black Hawk Down. It was a huge hit, but it's such a great demonstration of the American spirit that I have to include it. It should not be forgotten.

2. Hatari. Even though it's not a Western, this is one of my top six John Wayne movies. Red Buttons and many of the character actors that are seen in John Wayne movies are here, and the story is flat out fun.

3. The Big Hit. It's the quirky movie on the action list. Its about hit men, but its part comedy, quasi-love story, and revenge flick all in one.

4. The Buccaneer: Probably my all time favorite movie that doesn't star John Wayne. The cast is epic, the story huge and sweeping, encompassing both a pirate story and a story of the founding of America. What's not to like?

5. The Longest Day. There just aren't that many stars in a movie anymore; it's too expensive. This film is huge, epic and has more stars than fit on the Hollywood Walk of Stars.

Comedies. These had a profound effect on my sense of humor, and I still find them hilarious. Many of these were hits, but they should be considered must-see flicks.

1. Stripes. Deep and profound effect on my sense of humor. While it lacks heavily in realism, it makes up for that in just plain funny.

2. Ghostbusters. The first was funniest. The ending of the second was bad. It is said that there will be a third, with the original cast having singed on to do it.

3. Strange Brew. I think most people don't get Bob and Doug McKenzie, but I still find this movie funny. I have a couple of the McFarland Toys Bob and Doug playsets, too. They're awesome.

4. The Hangover. This one's way over the top and not for everyone. If you're not easily offended, though, it's a terribly funny movie.

5. Ski School. The second one sucked. This one had a particular spirit about it that was pretty dang good. With a "b" movie like this, it's easy to go over the top and ruin the suspension of disbelief, but they minimized that with this flick. It just makes me laugh.

Others. These are movies that I dig but can't fit in just one category. There's cop stories, actioners, sci-fi, and..."other".

1. The Fifth Element. Its not just that I'm a Milla fan. This is a great story with some innovative tricks thrown in. Its funny, it's action packed, it's just plain entertaining.

2. Shaun of the Dead. It's a zombie movie with greatness involved. It's a new classic.

3. In Bruges. It's all kinds of quirky. Not everyone will love it, but if you're kind of into the Guy Ritchie thing, you might dig this.

4. Public Enemies. This didn't do quite as well as it should have. Fantastic cast, and it's different. Normally, a film like this is either from the cop's or robber's POV. This one goes pretty much right up the middle. If you didn't see it, you should have. It releases to DVD in about a week or so.

5. Appaloosa. You have to ignore Renee Zellwegger in this one. Its not about her anyway. This is a great cowboy story of The Reckoning.

6. The Proposition. Another off the beaten path Southern Hemisphere Western. This one's set in Australia. Its a story of choices and family. Powerful and intricate.

7.Bad Boys II. Its a guilty pleasure, and I like it better than the first. I hope they can get together to make a third.

8. Zombieland. Again, not a perfect movie (there will be a LOT more zombies walking around), but very entertaining, and one of the greatest cameos EVER. Like the girl said, "He just gets me". If you don't know what I'm referring to, you have GOT to see this one.

9. The Ghost and the Darkness. Well cast, memorably performed, and classical in subject matter. This one was a moderate hit, but I fell in love with it from the first showing. I got the same rush from the suspenseful moments as I did when I thought I had jumped a black bear while hunting.

These kinds of posts are always changing and variable, because there's always movies I can't remember at the time I'm doing this. I'll have to start taking notes and keeping track of ideas. I'm just not quite there with this list. I'll revisit this later.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Left 4 Dead 2: the song from the commerical

Funny how different a whole song is from the bit used in the commercial. Here's the video that predates the commercial...or they would have used game footage. I would have.

This consecutive music video thing wasn't planned and I don't think it's a trend...yet...I just wanted a record of this song. I like heavy, bluesy rock.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Remember the Classics: Hadji Girl

I know this song is a few years old now, but I believe in remembering the Classics.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Latest 419 Scam: A New Twist

I haven't gotten one of these in a while, which I thought was unusual. Maybe they know that the messages interest me and are trying to formulate new angles to keep me entertained. This one is different in that there's a link in it to what I presume is a news article (I didn't click it) and there's also a PDF that came with this that I didn't open. The article I presume to be regarding the death by accident of the account holder in the message. That's the twist, and I haven't seen one of these before. Interesting.

Good Day,

It's my pleasure to contact you over this transaction and I hope for your assistance on this
Matter.

I discovered a dormant account in my office as a group director with a bank here in London; presently the account is dormant and there is no claim since Nine years from now, and the rightful owner Mr. John Koffie died in a plane accident as shown on the link below.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm

It will be of my interest to transfer this money worth Twenty Four Million United States Dollars in an account offshore. If you can assist me in getting this money transferred out of London then invest with it and also establish partnership.

Email me if you think you can handle such amount and kindly remember that this is very confidential.

I wait to hear from you.

Regards

Charles Vanzandt.


It is unlikely that Charles is related to the Van Zandts of Lynyrd Skynyrd fame.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Where did it all go? Did I even have a weekend?

I don't know where my time off went. It was there on Friday, right about 6:00 p.m., and now it appears to have been absconded with. There was the promise of hours away from work, and now we'll have to check with accounting to see if there's nefarious activity afoot here.

Some of this time is accounted for: there was a reasonable amount of sleep, and some time preparing food. Part of Saturday was consumed by shooting an IDPA match-finishing 5th out of 9-and a little more time was spent at Zaxby's with Taylor, solving all the problems with the government and the armed forces. If all of Sunday had been taken away, that much of Saturday was just about enough. State of Play was viewed, and ultimately found wanting. Of course it was; it's a Hollyweird movie.

Oddly enough, the missing time was continued on to Sunday. An hour and 15 minutes was spent at church, another 40 to 45 minutes were consumed at Wally World. Some small part of the day was used keeping tabs on Football and NASCAR. A full hour and a half was frittered away at the Laundromat. The rest of the time, though...appears to have defected. It has been reported as AWOL until further notice.

Here it is, 8:30 p.m. on Sunday evening, while The Prisoner continues to make little sense and I miss Mad Men already, and I can't quite figure out where my whole weekend went, even though it was completely devoid of alcohol or medication. Weird.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Religion of peace? Ft. Hood is making me rethink my opinion

The events at Fort Hood this week have been very much in the fore of my mind. There was at least one LF forum member that was reported to be in that area, so the situation hit closer to home. Thankfully, he's been heard from since and was not involved. However, the reaction from the leaders of Islam are making me rethink what I thought about Muslims.

I used to believe, or at least want to believe, that there was a difference between Islam and Militant Islam. I don't know a lot of Muslims; being a Christian I don't have a lot of contact with them in my daily life, and certainly not in my spiritual life. So, what I know of Islam has been gleaned through my own limited research and what I have observed of it through the news.

Islam is called the Religion of Peace. That sounds great on the surface, but if the definition of peace I have been told is accurate, that becomes very troubling. According to what I've found, "peace", in terms of the Muslim definition of the word, means "the world under Islamic rule". Till then, there is no peace. We're certainly in the midst of that right now.

Because Islam doesn't come out against, and denounce as being against the teachings of Islam, fanatics like the murderer in Texas-I refuse to publish that waste of skin's name-makes me think they're in favor of it. Because they decry only Islam being painted in a bad light and not acts of murder and terrorism, I'm coming to the conclusion that there's no difference between Militant Islam and the rest of Islam. It appears they may be one and the same. I need to do more research, but as the Magic 8 Ball would say, "signs point to yes".

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's fun to make fun of gummint

Got this in my e-mail from my friend Nick. Pretty good for an e-mail joke.

A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in California when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him.

The driver, a young man in a Armani suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the cowboy, 'If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, Will you give me a calf?'

Bud looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, 'Sure, Why not?'

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer,connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resoluti on photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg , Germany .

Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-Tech Miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the cowboy and says, 'You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.'

'That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,' says Bud..

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then Bud says to the young man, 'Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?'

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, 'Okay, why not?'
This is hilarious, you gotta read it.

'You're a Congressman for the U.S. Government', says Bud.

'Wow! That's correct,' says the yuppie, 'but how did you guess that?'

'No guessing required.' answered the cowboy. 'You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew,to a question I never asked. You tried to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't know a thing about cows...this is a
herd of sheep. . .


Now give me back my dog.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cool photo Men at Work



I love this pic. My friend Jim snapped this while his team was doing assault training at their bad ass facility in Flo'da. Its the moment before things get really exciting. He got a lot of great pics from that event, and some even better training, but this one's my favorite.

Interesting comment on Iran and the American military

One of my Facebook Homies posted a link to a short article about what's going on in Afghanistan of late, which was mostly a photographic essay. Typically, comments on such an article such as this are not worth reading, because the staggering ignorance does nothing but raise one's blood pressure. However, amongst the stupid comments and the attempts to set the stupid comments straight, there was one posted by Mohammad, which said,
"I wish that U.S.A send some of their troops in my country ( Iran ) too,beacase i think that we really need them too.same as Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran need those army too,Anshalh we going to have them im Iran too.God bless us."


Could it be that what we've been told about how the world hates America in the media isn't entirely accurate? I know this is one comment, from one single allegedly Iranian person, but it is interesting, and it does make one think, at least just a little bit.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My friend the Renaissance Chick

This poem was written by my friend the Renaissance Chick, Renee. Her blog, Random Thoughts from a Life in Progress, doesn't get updated as often as I'd like, so I thought I'd see if we can peer pressure her into writing more by allowing both readers of my blog to read it. I know there are some warrior types that read my screed occasionally, so this is of interest to them/you.

This poem is as yet untitled, but I dubbed it the Ballad of the Ass Kicker today. Perhaps The Embattled is better. I dunno; I'll keep working on it. Sometimes I come up with a winner. I'm the guy that can get you one or two, maybe three or as many as four words on a crossword puzzle.

Because I want a copy of it, and in case you didn't click the link above, here's the poem.
I am Romans, Vikings, Vandals
Mongolians on the plain
My march is long
My heart is strong
The tongue I speak is strange

I wear sandals, armor, helmet
Carry carbine, mace and shield
I’ve bayonet
Or Spectre’s threat
Upon the battlefield

I march for king and sovereign
For fiefdom and for pharaoh
Reap what’s sewn
I crack your bones
And feast upon your marrow

For age and age before me
And age after I’m gone
You’ll speak of me
My victory
And recount what I've done.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bleh

It's been dull here for the past several weeks. Outside of the match I shot yesterday-and did poorly in-not much is going on. I'm in a real creative rut at the moment, at least in terms of writing. I haven't even seen a movie in a couple weeks, although Pandorum was fun. When the big excitement is that I got a haircut today, it's pretty easy to tell who's not out living life on the edge right now. LOL!

I have a couple ideas to explore, but I need to get them oriented correctly first. My typical stream of unconsciousness style of writing doesn't work very well for that.

Norv Turner needs to go.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Luciousness

I gotta get this done real quick before my connection takes a dump again. It's been down more often than it's been up this week.

Just got this bad boy back from a little custom work by my friend Jimmy Adams. Jimmy's a hell of a good shot, and a supremely cool dude. Unfortunately, he PCS'd recently, so I can't get him to do more work on this thing unless I bring it to him. I do have some friends relatively close to where he is now...hmmmmm....

Somewhere along the line I was given a Wolff competition spring kit, which my bro Jonny threw in there for me, as well as installing the extended slide stop. The spring kit knocks about a pound off the pull weight. I added the Warren Sevigny FO Competition sights (Glocks are a piece of cake to swap sights on) and extended magazine release. I think the mag release is a bit on the long side, so I think I'll take a file to it and shorten it to the same length as the Tango Down Vickers release that's in my 19. It's just about the perfect length.

Jimmy did the grip texturing, and textured the underside of the trigger guard, while flattening "the hump" where the finger undercut was and rounding the front of it. This is my IDPA competition gun, and I may run it in some USPSA matches somewhere down the line. Currently, I'm only shooting matches at Rattlenake Ridge in Indian Mound, TN, but I may decide to do more of that in the future.

The rest of my competition stuff consists of an Aker leather gun belt that I've had for about five years, a Blade-Tech double magazine pouch, a Safariland 5188 Concealment holster, and the ever popular South Sea Rhythm and Blues Tiki Lounge Hawaiian-style button up shirt. Helpful hint: tape a couple quarters to each side of the shirt, to the inside of the placket, so when you sweep the cover garment out of the way, it'll actually go. You wanna put 'em on both sides, so you can reach both holster and reloads. To the photos!












Saturday, October 03, 2009

Check your ammo!

Just about the time ya don't see anything weird happening with ammo, something really odd pops up. I found this round out of a hundred pack of Winchester White Box that I just got at our local Mega Mart. I've never seen this before, but if ya shoot long enough, pretty much everything will show up. The long and the short of it is: check your ammo!



Killer grub the bachelor way!

Man, dinner was GOOD tonight! And, it was simple to boot. I generally don't use a stove; I do the grill and microwave instead, because...I dunno. I guess if I don't use the stove, there's less stove to clean. We'll go with that.

I found a new product at the market yesterday: Dole has a bag of red skin new potatoes (I just call 'em newpas for short) that can be microwaved and steams right in the bag. I wanna shake the hand of the guy that came up with that idea. Takes about nine minutes to nuke 'em.

Newpas are best when they're salty and buttery, but I wanted a little bit more. So, while I nuked the newpas, I rough chopped some dill and rosemary. Then, I tossed that in a bowl, dumped some butter in it, and added some chopped garlic. That went into the micro to melt together, and I sea-salted and fresh ground peppered the potatoes, which I quartered. I put them in a big bowl, and then poured the mixed herby-butter conglomeration over 'em. I tossed em, and went to turn the chicken over on the grill.

The chicken I got from Wal Mart in the frozen stuff aisle. Its a boneless chicken breast stuffed with cheese and bacon. It's supposed to be baked, but I find that it cooks pretty darn fast on the grill, so that's how I do 'em. Get the grill hot, then turn it down to med-low. Then it's just a matter of not burning it to a crisp.

Add to this a VERY big glass of Arizona Sweet Tea, and...WAH LAH! (yes, I know)Easy, instant-ish mackin' bachelor food! I'm gonna bust out a piece of chocolate creme pie later, after COPS (AKA Boys on the Hood, or The Guy With No Shirt Goes To Jail).

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why pacifism is crap doctrine


Every once in a while, even bet wetting liberals stumble on the truth. Found this cartoon in my e-mail this morning, and realized that this is why pacifism and isolationism don't work and will get you a beat down. Basically, there are people in the world that aren't down with it. Because of that, when it comes to what Clauswitz called "friction", they don't back down. Friction means somebody's gonna lose. I don't agree with it being me, mine or us.

I don't know the artist's politics, so I don't know if he's a bed wetting liberal or an arch conservative. The cartoon is illustrative, though.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A rough weekend.

I haven't felt a whole lot like blogging these last couple days. Found out that a couple of good dudes, one a soldier, one a contractor, were killed over the weekend. One was Javahed, a Lightfighter forum plank owner. He helped shape the community there with his sense of humor and expert information on a variety of matters. The other was one of our regulars at ATS, SSG Shane Angell of 3rd batt, 5th SFG. My friend M4 Guru posted this on LF:
Official word from our CoC after all notifications had occured.


quote:
It is with a heavy heart and deep sense of loss that I report to you we have lost a fellow 3rd Battalion Soldier. SSG Shane Angell, 26, ODA 5*** died of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident at approximately 3:30 PM, 11 SEP 2009 on Hwy 100 (Franklin Road) about six miles east of Russellville, KY. Shane is survived by his wife, Ashley, daughter Skylie, Mother and Father, SGM (Ret) Glenn Angell, 3rd Battalion, 5th SFG(A). I ask that you keep the entire Angell family in your thoughts and prayers
__________________


Shane was a good guy with a lot of potential. We had just returned from OIF which adds to the tragedy.


It's one thing to lose one in the line of duty. It sucks bad, but chances are those that did it will get paid back. When it happens after a deployment, it just goes to show how fragile life really is. Prayers out for the family. This is the part of my job, both with the company and as an admin on the forum, that I can really do without.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

More "My Job Does Not Suck" Ernest Langdon

So I'm at work today, talking about guns and shooting with Jimmy and Matt, and a guy comes in and looks around the store a bit. I treat him like everybody else, asking if he needs any help or is after something particular. We're not very good at the high pressure sales here.

I go on to help a couple other people, sell some parts kits and a Glock 19 (always a fine choice), and once I'm clear Matt says, "Hey Haji, this is Earnest Langdon", and introduces me to The Man. We kept the poor guy in the store for at least an hour (and probably more), talking about guns, shooting, equipment...all that interests me and keeps me working here.

We even got a lesson in things to work on to get better, which was very in depth and supremely helpful. I hope I can put it into action. I wish he was still doing classes regularly, because he knows so much about shooting and all that goes into it, such as neural networks, physiology, and where speed really comes from. On top of all that, he's a hell of nice guy. Why did he stay and talk so long? Because most of our competitors here don't shoot. In contrast, that's pretty much all we do or think about when we're not here.

Monday, September 07, 2009

That was a fun weekend!

Three days off is a great thing. I feel much more rested and ready to get back at it, and had the most fun in a weekend than I've had in a while.

Friday was uneventful, and Saturday broke bright and sunny. I went to the range for a couple hours, and did some work with the timer-AKA the Devil Box, AKA the Brain Scrambler-and some longer distance shooting than I typically do. Overall, I was quite pleased with the results. I went home and did more relaxing than anything else; I also spent the weekend trying to kick the cold symptoms that didn't quite get to full power, but also wouldn't go away.

I had to hit Wally World that evening and replenish my stocks of meds. I hardly ever take medication of any sort, so even small containers go past their expiration date sooner than I use them up. I tossed a bunch of expired stuff and replaced it with another $30 or so of new stuff. New, full potency meds seem to have helped a heck of a lot.

Saturday, I met Joe and Gene at the shop, and we proceeded first to Sonic, then on to an IDPA club match at Rattlesnake Ridge. Joe and Gene had never shot an IDPA style match before, and really seemed to enjoy it. I had a blast with them there. My friend Alan finished first, Matt got fourth and I took fifth, out of about 10. I'm not trying to make finishing in the middle a habit, but I did it again. I shot my MnP because my Glock hasn't been working as I want it to.

My G17 is having some sight issues that I can't quite figure out just yet. I put the Sevigny Competition Fiber Optic sights (FO only on the front) from Warren Tactical on it right before I shot the last match, where I was disappointed with my accuracy, as I dropped at least a point on every stage. Holding dead on the bull at ten yards, I get these very pleasing, small groups that end up in one slightly ragged hole...about an inch to the left of my point of aim. I found that the front sight blade is slighly tilted to the left, but it appears that somebody either lost or took home the front sight wrench from work. I'm going to remove and re-attach the front sight and see what I can find out from there. None of my other guns have done that, so I'm hoping it's a simple anomaly that I can get fixed up quick. I may contact Warren and see what's up. I can run that G17 just a little faster than I can my MnP, and the MnP has a non-IDPA legal CTC grip on it. For a club match, they don't much care as long as it's turned off, but sanctioned IDPA matches are more strict about exacting adherence to the rule book.

I went to bed a little later than I should have, but I fell asleep on the couch for a while yesterday evening, too. Fighting the cold was apparently not finished, as it put me out after I went to the evening Church service. I took a couple Simply Sleep in order to sack out undisturbed, and it worked well. I didn't wake up until after 9:30, which is a lot later than I usually do. Did some chores, did some research on the Intardweb, and went to see Halloween II with Matt this afternoon. It was OK, but very predictable. Not really Rob Zombie's best work, but it didn't suck, either. At any rate, it was fun to get away and watch a movie for the first time in several weeks.

I got some good rest, had a lot of fun, and still haven't beaten this cold completely. I'm gonna go to bed soon!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

One of the coolest shirts ever

Saw this on TV on the Travel Channel, on a show called Steak Paradise. There's a steak house in north Texas that serves a 72 oz. slab of cow. If you can eat it and the side salad, potato and some other side dish, you can get it free...if you survive, I guess. One of the guys that tried-and failed, even with a really valiant effort-had this slogan on his shirt. I had to go seek it out, because this is truly one of the coolest shirts in the history of ever.


This ranks second to my "PETA: People for the Eating of Tasty Animals" shirt, which offended a clerk at 7/11 so much that she didn't say a single word to me during the entire transaction of the purchase of a Super Big Gulp, and scowled at me through most of it once she read the shirt. Yeah, that was a great moment.

I still find it somewhat...I dunno...bemusing, I suppose...that there are people out there who allow their day to be affected by what someone wears. I see some slacker with no job in a Che shirt or "I wanna stick it to the rich with Obama, even though they're the ones who employ people" sticker on a vehicle, I simply think "What a poor, misguided person that is" shortened to one word ("idiot"), and go on merrily thinking about shooting and how great it is not to be represented by a Kennedy. Yet, those who worry about what other people wear instead of really doing anything about what concerns them so, can have their day ruined by a shirt slogan. What an odd way to live a life.

If you wondered what to get me for Christmas, this shirt would be a great idea.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What's happened to style?

Where has style gone? I was watching SportsCenter the other night, probably the very good NFL Today show, and I couldn't believe what was seeing. It looked to me as if the current state of style was the worst of all available eras. It hurts my eyes and my heart.
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man Desktop Wallpaper 1024 x 768

One thing I will always love about Abbott and Costello, besides that they're still funny all these years later, is the clothes. That was a more civil time, when men wore hats that weren't baseball caps, pocket squares were not only stylish but required equipment, and suits looked good. I've always been a fan of that era. It wasn't extreme in color or tailoring, didn't have any extra junk that didn't need to be there, and still had variety. Burberry coats. Double breasted and single breasted suits (although I prefer notched collars to peaked collars, I'd still rock the right peaked collar), narrower ties, and no four in hand or Windsor knots with spread collar shirts. Simple, classic colors and simple, classic tailoring.

Giant knots and spread collars look like ass. Always have, always will. I don't care for that knot or that style of collar under any circumstances, but together they're hideous. I still favor single overhand knots in ties, and it took me a long time to warm up to the trend towards wider ties.

In terms of fashion, it's a lot easier to look good traditionally than it is to look good with flash. Sure, you can get the trendiest suit out there, which will probably be too bright and too shiny, and you'll look fly for a while. Just don't let anybody take pictures of it. Many a torturous moment has been caused by the simple act of breaking out the photo album. One reason I really enjoy Mad Men, besides that it's a great show with great characters doing great-or at least interesting-things, is that the clothes are so awesome.

In searching for this pic (well, a pic like this one):

I came across this article in today's Daily Mail Online, a British online magazine. I had no idea I'd find this, but at least it gives me some hope. I gotta admit, even though it's trendy as can be, I like the current big band swing music. In some ways, I'm hopelessly retro and nostalgic. I very much disagree that the gun isn't required anymore, though.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Health Care...Reform? Suuuuuure it is.

The health care debate is raging right now, and will probably rage even louder as the details are disclosed. It seems that its not as popular right now as it was during the election. What, it's not really completely free? It's going to be crushingly expensive? The gummint's gonna run it so choice will go away? Can it be?

Well...yeah. That's pretty much what can be expected of a gummint run program. Here's the thing: gummint is the least efficient, most expensive way to do ANYTHING. The Post Office, which has a practical monopoly on printed correspondence, loses money every year. Cash For Clunkers ran out of money in about a week. That procurement of cash was supposed to last six more months, and they couldn't even go one month, much less six.

Every time the gummint gets involved in running businesses, the lean efficiency required by the marketplace goes away. Would the industry (such as it was) in the USSR survive if the Politburo hadn't decreed that it would? Of course not. Inefficiency causes businesses to fail, meaning they close their doors and all their employees are out of work. They hemorrhage money, which only gummints can get away with...for a short time. Remember, the USSR eventually failed, too.

Here's the juice: whatever they tell you it'll cost, it'll cost much, much more than that. If they tell us its going to cost $70 trillion, it'll cost $170 trillion (I just pulled these numbers out of thin air). This is shown throughout our history, so there's no reason to think they got the math right with this project. We, the American taxpayer, are on the hook for that. That means those of us that work will have to pay for it. The rich (defined as those that earn $100,000 to $150,000 yearly, according to President Obama's election rhetoric) already pay 3/4 of the tax bill yearly. They can't pay more than they already do and be expected to still live in this country. That means everybody loses their options, their out of pocket costs skyrocket, and their quality of care plummets.

Consider this: right now, being a doctor pays well. It should; consider how much it costs in time and money to become a doctor. That means that the profession draws the best and brightest. If the gummint runs the system, do you really think the best and brightest will still be drawn to the profession? Of course not. They'll go find a field that will reward their investment, as it should be. If you want a second rate doctor, go ahead and sign for this mess. If I have to have a major surgery, I want the best and brightest working on me. That's not the time to find out he's not the best available. That's what you get from socialized, government run programs. I want no part of it. EVER.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Commemorating


A friend of mine had these made up for members of the LF community that have been killed in action. They include Travis Patriquin (look for a book soon on the man), Danish serviceman Christian Raaschou, and the teammate of my friend M4Guru, SSG Justin Whiting. I can't call Justin a friend, but I had met him and talked with him on several occasions. Like all of these gentlemen, he was taken too early in his life, but gave his life for a cause he believed in.

All of these, and more in the service, are better men than we deserve. I fear that we will, once again, leave the job unfinished and do the famous cut and run in the Middle East. I can't believe we're looking at doing that AGAIN. What a waste.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Met another hero today: James Megellas

I was not thrilled to be working on Saturday again, having been at it all week, but once again, I found that my job does not suck. I got to meet another real hero today: James Megallas stopped by the store today with his beautiful and gracious wife. He was over on Fort Campbell visiting the troops, and luckily came by the shop with a few of the 101st Screaming Eagles.

He's a very unassuming, very friendly man. Like many of the heroes of the Second World War, one does not expect the smiling gentleman that just shook their hand to have done what the record shows they've done. James Megallas is currently being reviewed via legislation to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He'd already earned The Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts, Presidential Citation w/cluster, Belgium Fouragere, 6 Campaign Stars, and Master Parachutist for his WWII service. In short, Mr. Megallas is a stud...although I'm sure he'd dispute that.

Once again, I'm fortunate to meet a hero, and in my world, a celebrity of enormous stature. Kinda makes the temper tantrums of more public celebrities seem all the more childish and petty than ever before.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Diagnostic target and The Great Seal.

Here's the diagnostic target I mentioned in a previous post. If I could solve all these problems in my shooting, I'd be pretty good. LOL! The Seal I made a long time ago and found it in a picture folder while looking for the target. I figured it might as well get posted somewhere. See how much more enriched the whole world is because of that? Yeah. Me neither.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A poor performance

Finally shot a match today, for the first time since I shot the IDPA Classifier. And I didn't do very well, which was dismaying, but not wholly unexpected. I finished 6th out of 12, which to me isn't as good as it might seem.

That basically put me last in the group of experienced shooters. Many of the other six were either dealing with a handicap, such as the older man that had a severely broken ankle earlier in his life that hindered his movement and made it difficult or impossible for him to kneel. There was a young lady that had only been shooting for a couple of years. I should finish in front of that group, and should have finished further up than I did...but I didn't.

I found that, once again, mashing the trigger and trying to go faster don't work well together. I dropped some points that I shouldn't have. I caught myself looking at the target instead of the sights a couple times. I missed a relatively easy head shot on the second of three targets, and pretty much center punched the other two. I dropped one point on the hardest stage and felt like I should have gotten that one, too. That's where the points were missing, but it was all my fault. The one I have a hard time living with was the head shot I missed. 5 down on an easy target. I hit the target, but managed to put it outside the perforations. Yeah, it's a talent.

I mentioned expecting a less than stellar performance, and to a degree I did expect it. I was shooting a new Glock 17 with new sights. I'm not dead certain the sights are adjusted to where they need to be, but they worked good on the pepper popper that I hammered with about five rounds. The trigger in that gun is quite a bit different than my MnP, which I shot my Classifier with. It was the new gun and I wanted to run it, so I did, expecting that I might not shoot as good as I might have.

I also ran a new Safariland ALS that was tighter than my MnP ALS is. I didn't practice much with it, and had to borrow my mag pouches, too, as my Blade Tech double mag pouch has come up missing. All that new gear meant that I was going to struggle a little, and in the end, I struggled about as much as I expected to. If there had been mag changes in this match, I would have made up a lot of ground, as some of the malfunctions I saw were not handled expertly. Oddly enough, the ones I saw were with 1911's, with at least one of them being a Kimber. That doesn't mean that Tactical Tupperware shooters wouldn't have had trouble. Its a skill that has to be practiced.

It all comes down to this: you will not rise to the occasion. You will revert to the level of your training.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Figures: cats are easily offended

This is a funny comic for how obvious it is. How many people have you come across that are exactly like Bucky? And how many of them, like Bucky, are bed wetting liberal? lol!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

My job does not suck: Mini Scout

Once again, my job does not suck, and I got a look at a prototype of the new Mini Scout light that Surefire has been messing with. There are five of these in existence, so I didn't get to keep this one, but I did get to hang it on my rifle and run around the store a little bit. I switched the tailcap to the Z71 cap that I have on my full sized Scout (that sounds funny to me) and lemme tell ya, I fell in love. Dunno how far out this bad boy is, but this thing is the HEAT!!!

Its a single 123a battery, and currently about a hundred lumens for about 80 minutes. Those are not final specs; IIRC the target is 120-ish lumens for about an hour continuous.




Sunday, July 05, 2009

July 4th: don't lose perspective of what really happened

I really wanted to add this yesterday, but like a true American patriot, I spent pretty much the whole day shooting. That which was not spent shooting was spent eating a drinking with friends, most of whom are in the Service.

I copied this from Glenn Beck's e-mail newsletter. Glenn is almost as conservative as I, but doesn't claim the GOP as his end-all, be-all party. He's just an American in that sense. He's also a historian, and loves to dig into the culture and truth of historical accounts and matters. I thought he wrote this succinctly and more directly than I could, given the over-fed status I have this weekend. He does a really nice job of explaining what exactly was at stake for the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Let us NEVER forget what the Founding Fathers actually risked to make this nation a reality.

July 3, 2009

Hello America,

Here it is, another Fourth of July. Traditionally, this is a day to gather with friends, maybe fire up the barbeque and play with kids until the sun sets and the fireworks start. But in thinking back on the meaning behind this day, we must never forget that our nation was baptized in the blaze of a very different kind of "fireworks." Yes, this is a day of rest and relaxation, as well it should be, but this year…I'd like to ask you a favor. At some point during the day, I hope you'll take time to think and reflect on what it is we're truly celebrating on the 4th of July -- our Independence Day. Of course the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th, 1776 but it's so much more than that. On this day, 233 short years ago, a small group of men dedicated themselves to a higher purpose, an ideal they believed in so greatly, they signed their name to its expression and in doing so put their very lives at risk.

Never has a simple act of signing one's name carried such weight, such a profound commitment. By signing the Declaration of Independence, 56 men stood in direct defiance of the British government. They became marked men, and willingly so. As I was doing some research on the significance of July 4th, I came across some interesting facts about these men. Today as we all enjoy the freedom our forefathers guaranteed us, join me in honoring the extraordinary sacrifice of 56 extraordinary Americans.

Of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence:

Five were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes burned to the ground. Two lost sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, and two more had sons captured. Nine fought and died in the Revolutionary War.

If you ever feel like your lone voice can never be heard, that the political system isn't set up for "regular" Americans to change the course of history, remember: The signers were flesh and blood, mortal men with a divinely-inspired aim.

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists, eleven were merchants, and nine were farmers and large plantation owners. They were well educated, smart enough to know that by signing the Declaration of Independence, they were signing their own death warrants. They did it anyway, and God bless them for it.

As we enjoy our liberty on this 4th of July, or any day of any month, we must never take that liberty for granted. Too many have given too much. In the words of the Signers themselves, "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

Their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor -- I think that's a price paid worth a few minutes of reflection, don't you? But let's not be solemn in that reflection. I say rejoice and share this information with your friends and family, especially your kids. The Signers asked for nothing in return for their pledge, but I say that we show our thanks with a pledge of our own: To remember, to be grateful, and to carry on in their spirit. America is the greatest country this world has ever and will ever know, and it will stay that way so long as "we the people" remember that just like in 1776.

It's US that surrounds them, and we'll never back down.

Happy Independence Day, and God bless America.

Glenn


How many of us would have the fortitude to do the same thing in those circumstances? I think more of us than one might initially think.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Supply and Demand

I read this post on the Down Range blog by Chris Hodgdon of Hodgdon Powder Company. As most people who's tinfoil hats aren't on too tight, the reason for the shortage is simply high demand. Some folks seem to think it's unusual that powder would be in short supply, but all I can do when I hear that is to throw down my best Spock Eye Brow Move. Why wouldn't gun powder be unavailable when primers, brass and bullets are in the same category? Reloading equipment is hard to find too, for exactly the same reason. There's simply more demand than we've seen in...well...ever. The amount of buying going on is unprecedented, even in comparison to the Clinton years of the original AWB.

Back before the current ownership of my employer took over, Lightfighter Tactical had to deal with these issues. Basically, at the height of the gear buying frenzy in the early years of the GWOT, nylon stuff was in the same boat that ammo and components are now. I can't count the number of times somebody with no background at all in economics suggested that "well, just order some extras" to solve the availability problem. Here's the thing: if one is backordered, what good does it do to order two or three? They're all back ordered; they're not gonna get here till they get here. Same thing with ammo. It just isn't on the shelf to be ordered.

What we're going to see, though, is a slow down in purchasing, which has already started. There's also going to be a swelling of stuff on the secondary market as those that got in on the Hysterical Gun Buying Frenzy of 2008/2009 find that they can't cover the AmEx bill as it comes due. Guns and ammo will be there, and I'm sure accessories from the high end to the low end will be trickling into that market as well.

I think we're going to see an increase in the number of consumers in the primary market, though. Perhaps a better way to put it would be to say that not all the members of that market will leave it as they realize that the predictions of doom and gloom aren't coming true...until after the mid term elections. A lot of people that didn't intend to become shooters, who just wanted a gun for the home, or just because they feared that the government was going to stomp their rights and tell them they couldn't have something (have no illusions; that's where this administration is moving towards) are going to become avid shooters. They're going to find out what we know: shooting is fun, and training to become as proficient as you can is necessary.

That doesn't mean that the ammo shortage makes any of that easier, but Mr. Hodgdon is right: the supply will eventually meet demand. Markets work, as long as they don't get meddled with. It sucks now, but ammo will be available sooner or later. I'd prefer sooner, as I shoot just about every weekend.

I think we're going to find some friends where we didn't necessarily have them before. The unprecedented spending and hardcore liberalism of the current administration are forcing people to be concerned. While they don't shoot or want to own a gun, they realize that we stand together to protect ALL our rights, or we will hang separately.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wisdom

Saw this posted on my forum and had to save it:
"It reminds me of the phrase 'don't confuse enthusiasm with capability'."

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Robot Chicken: What took so long to notice that?

Like a few hundred other people, I've been watching Robot Chicken for quite a while now...or at least as much as a couple season's worth can equal a while. I can't believe it didn't dawn on me earlier, but I had a revelation. I had that revelation a while ago, but I have to sorta present tensify it to make it a bloggable conflagration, both for the sake of the revelation and for the sake of creating a few new words.

The end credits music for Robot Chicken is a chicken bawk version of the same tune that the Dead movies (Day of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Road Trip of the Dead, Weekend in Bora Bora of the Dead, and like that) used. Turns out it's called "The Gonk", and was originally penned by Herbert Chappell. See? You learned something today.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Gun Related Must Have: AK Ice Tray

Found this brousing the AAC blog, and wanted to memorialize it here for both my readers. This is just plain cool: it's an ice tray that shapes the ice into 7.62X39 cartridges. Now if only they did 'em in 6.8 SPC...

Fort Campbell SOF Three Gun Match

My sunburn today is fairly comprehensive! I spent yesterday out at the Rattlenake Ridge range for the FTCKY SOF Three Gun Match. My employer, ATS Tactical Gear, donated a customized Glock 19 as a raffle prize. The custom work was done by a friend of ours from 5th SFG, and it it's impressive. I'll get a pic of it before it gets transfered to the guy who nabbed it this week.

The 5th Group guys were ready for this match; they'd been practicing quite a bit for it. The top spots last year were taken my 160th guys, with Tony Ely winning the match. That guy can shoot, and has been a serious competitive shooter for a long time. I think it's because he's pilot-tall, which means he doesn't have as far to go to present the gun all the way out like I do. That's what I keep telling myself, at least. What the reality ends up being is that he's better than I am and I have a long way to go to get into that league. lol!

Tony has since moved forward in his career and is posted elsewhere these days. Even so, the Group guys had something for them this year. I watched runs by several of my friends that were just plain fast, with really good hits and clean run after clean run.

Special mention, though, really needs to be made of the guy who doesn't want the attention: my brother-frumma-nuther-mother Matt E. Matt's practice consisted of a hundred rounds of pistol drills that we did a week ago. No carbine at all. He was the first shooter on stage 5, which was where his squad started the match, and got his eye pro sprayed with oil from an "excess of lube", as he called it. He was shooting with an occluded eye, and didn't shoot a couple of targets. Right off the bat, he was down 9 points. However, he won every stage his squad shot from that point on, was the only shooter I can remember cleaning the entire steel stage. After that first stage, he shot better than some guys that get paid to shoot. Out of 59 shooters (IIRC) he finished 20th. I'm really, really proud of how well he did, but it means I can't shoot the match now. He set the bar too high for ATS employees! LOL!

Other than Matt, I think the rest of the top 25 were all Group guys. Several of our gunfighter friends finished way up at the top of the standings. They did well, and so did the Nightstalkers. Bottom line is, if you're an enemy of this country, you don't want these guys knowing who you are, much less where you are. It won't end well for you, I promise!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I wish I had video skills. Pelosi is beggin' to be mocked!

I'm sure you've seen the classic Badger Badger Badger movie. It's been on the 'net for quite a while. It's quite funny, really; I like it.

But now is when I wish I had some video editing skills. I saw Nancy Pelosi lying her ass off on TV this morning, saying she didn't know about water boarding, when we all know she was thoroughly briefed on it. She's trying to cover her substantial butt, and the documentation says the opposite of what she's claiming. In the history of the human race, that's been called lying the whole time.

So, that being the case, for some reason the first thing I thought of while watching her lie was the Badger Badger Badger video, but with different lyrics. Something like this:

Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar

Nancy! Nancy!
(repeat)
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
Liar
A snake! A snake! Snake! A snake! Ohhhhh it's a snake!!
Liar
Liar
Liar...

If you have the skills, feel free to use this idea. Just make sure I get to see it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cool Stuff to do in Louisville: The Frazier Museum

A few weeks ago, I visited Louisville, and I'm finally blogging about it.

Upon breakin' my best friend's step-son out of Fort Knox for his Family Day Pass, we decided that there'd be more to do in Louisville than the area directly surrounding the base, so we meandered our way down to that town. Tony's goals for the weekend were pretty simple: eat a bunch of stuff that wasn't completely healthy, and sleep in big time. We succeeded admirably.

We ended up in a hotel over near the airport that was just a few minutes down the freeway from downtown, and another few minutes from the University of Louisville. Being in the area of a University means lots of cheap eats, and the manager at the hotel recommended the 5th Quarter steak house. Turned out to be an excellent suggestion.

Saturday, after a trip to Crack Barrel, we planned to hit the Frazier International Museum, and then wander across the street to the Louisville Slugger museum and factory. Except that we never made it across the street. Turns out that the Frazier is stocked, on three floors, with armor, flails, maces, broadswords, pole arms, pikes, lances, voulges, spears, rapiers, sabers, pistols, revolvers, rifles, carbines, cannons, and some really kick ass dioramas, or tableaus as they seem to prefer to call them. We ended up spending about five hours there, and if they weren't closing, I think I could have spent a few more. This place was everything I love: sharp pointy stuff and things that go BOOM!

They had a really cool exhibition that was done shortly after we reached the third floor. Two living historians gave a demonstration of swordsmanship by way of acting out the scenes from Romeo and Juliet. The point was to describe the fights as they might have actually happened between the Montegues and Capulets, two families that were more or less at war. In addition to acting out the dialogue, they also explained the weapons, even going so far as to tell us something I didn't know: the derivation of the term "swashbuckler". It comes from a fighting style that was common at the time of the Romeo and Juliet. the "swash" refers to the slashing, cutting style of swordsmanship, where the "bucker" refers to the small, round shield used with the weak hand that has that name. Those guys were really, really good. A tip of the ATS hat with the "Kill Bad Guys Like a Champion Today" patch on the back to them.

This is the Armada tableau, depicting the English kickin' the ever lovin' crap out of the Spanish armada. Tactics made the difference once again.


This next one is from the Battle of Balaclava, more famously known as "The Charge of the Light Brigade". Professionalism in the face of blundered leadership. Note the wild eyed look on the face of the horse. They did an excellent job with this one.


This last one I included as much because I thought it was extra cool as for my friend Matt E. who's a big, big fan of the movie Zulu. The Battle of Rourke's Drift. This photo is not, in my opinion, the best angle to see this scene:


The tableau photos are from the Frazier's website. Those are some great quality pics! Much better than I'd be able to do with my digital camera!

After spending all day at the museum, we wandered around a bit and took a drive down River Road. We found Joe's Crab Shack, and despite the crazy long wait-no doubt because of the 50 top they set before us-we ate more than we should have again...which was one of the stated goals. Again, success. The aforementioned hat drew the attention of the manager as he was walking by. He stopped, took a long look at it, and said "That's what I thought that said. I just wanted to be sure". I just grinned and told him "It was a gift from a friend." He left with a disconcerted look on his face. lol!

Sunday meant we had to get him back to base, but we had enough time to hit Crack Barrel again, and went to see "Fighting". Decent movie, but we saw it more because there was nothing else we wanted to see than it being the first choice. :) I dropped Tony back at Fort Knox, and eventually found my way back home. The best news we heard was that somebody got caught by a Captain at Kentucky Kingdom in civilian clothes. The order was Class A's or Class B's all weekend. Oops!

We had a great time, and I'm really, really proud of that young soldier. He's still got about a month of AIT to do, then it's off to Texas to be a Cav Scout. He's a smart young man, and a self starter. He's going to do great things in the service.

He's got another graduation coming, so I'll be up that way in about four weeks or so. I'm really looking forward to that one.

Star Trek: Yup!

Went with Paul J. to see the new Star Trek today. I gotta say, overall its a very enjoyable movie. Even if it was a PG-13 and Simon Pegg wasn't in this one enough, I liked it, especially in contrast to the movies that came before it.

The existing flicks are OK, although I'm not a big fan of the ones with the TV show cast in 'em. Much like the James Bond series and the new Batman franchise, the new one is just better than its predecessors. Bad Attitude Bond and Mean and Nasty Batman are improvements over the previous versions, and in total, so are the cast of the new ST.

There are a couple of character interactions that I thought were outside the canon of the original, and the young Spock isn't as comfortable in the role, in my estimation, than Leonard Nimoy, but those are huge shoes to fill. Still, he was good in the role, and Karl Urban was surprisingly good as Bones. In the past, his performances could be characterized as...how to put it...wooden. As Bones, he channeled just enough of Deforest Kelly to let you know who he was, while still putting his own twist on it. I didn't figure out who Nero was until I looked it up on IMDB. Great performances abounded.

Go see it. Its a good story and quality escapism for a couple hours, and it's just plain fun. I'm looking forward to seeing the others in this franchise.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Consider your heroes

I got to meet a legend, hero and great American today. Tony Pryor was in the store today, meeting another great American who's just become Surefire's Director of Military Sales. Between the two of them, they've killed more people that the plague (they were all bad). Matt and I got to spend a bit of time hanging out with those two, and it was, as it usually is with those kind of dudes, just sitting at the feet of the masters. There's all kinds of stuff to be learned from listening to a couple of pros talk shop.

Once they'd left, Matt and I kinda looked at each other, grinned and just marveled at how cool it was that one of our heroes was hangin' out and buyin' some stuff. I made a comment about how weird it would seem to a run-of-the-mill average citizen that we care so much about a guy like him coming in, and we wouldn't care that much if George Clooney or "some other faggit", in Matt's words, was there. It brings an interesting question to light: who are your heroes?

The older I get, the less I care about celebrities, especially those that are famous for being famous rather than being talented in a particular area. They're just people. Sure, they do things that are entertaining and get well compensated for that, but for the most part, what they give is escapism...and stupid, uninformed political statements. That I may want to go see somebody's performance in a movie doesn't mean that their popularity means anything more than that they are good performers. Most of them don't contribute much to the country as a whole, although there are exceptions.

There are only a few ways that celebrities, whether they be musicians, actors, athletes, or artists, can get my attention, much less respect. One of those is to take their own time and put it in with the USO or visiting troops on posts across the country. There are those, like John Wayne, who used their celebrity to make things better for America's defenders. Others have used their positions to make things better for their fellow citizens, and some put their hands were their mouth is and work. But a lot of Americans consider them to be royalty for being celebrities, and that's just wrong.

Take some time and look at who your heroes are. Consider why exactly they're your heroes, and what they do to make this a better place. If that's not what they do, perhaps you should consider changing the criteria that put them on that pedestal for you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When all else fails, post pics of the kid

I actually had something to do last weekend: I was in Louisville with my best friend's step-son, who I signed out of Fort Knoxxx upon his graduation from Basic. Upon delivering him back to said Fort on Sunday, he begins his six weeks of AIT, and then he's off to Fart Bliss. It is said there is no base in the country that has been more misnamed.

So, since I haven't written about that yet, and I'm not going to now, here's a recent pic of Schwaggie, complete with new tail cap on the Scout light. That's the V61, which doesn't have the "fence" that the stock cap (V59, I think?) has. Much easier to manipulate, but more prone to light ND's.



Monday, April 20, 2009

The "why" of ammo shortages

Got this in a newsletter e-mail from the NSSF:
FAST FACTS . . .
ANSWERS TO AMMUNITION AVAILABILITY QUESTIONS

NSSF has received numerous calls regarding shortages of ammunition. Many of these callers have expressed concern that the supply of ammunition is not able to keep up with the current demand.

In order to provide the best information possible on the issue of ammunition availability, NSSF interviewed ammunition manufacturers across the United States. Here's what we have learned:

Is there truly a shortage of ammunition?

The shortage of ammunition is real and is caused by several factors including:

*

A significant spike in consumer demand
*

Law Enforcement demand for training and readiness
*

Department of Defense demand for training and readiness
*

Higher prices from commodities

What calibers are in the highest demand?

The high demand for ammunition extends across caliber lines. The increase can be seen in most handgun, rifle and rimfire ammunition and on certain shot shell products such as buckshot.

What are manufacturers doing to keep up with demand?

In order to help keep up with demand for ammunition, manufacturers are working at full capacity (24/7). It is believed that any ammunition shortage is likely a temporary issue; however, it will take time for supply to catch up with demand.

How long will it take for supply to catch up with demand?

While it is believed that supply will be increasing, the great unknown is what demand will be later in the year. Since there is no way for manufacturers to predict how long consumer demand will be sustained at its current, unprecedented level, it is impossible for manufacturers to forecast the timeline for when the current backlog will begin to improve.


If that's true, at least it puts the situation in perspective.

The Toughest Man that Ever Was

I've been a Christian most of my life. I didn't realize that I was supposed to keep track of the date, or I would have. I think I was about six, maybe seven when I got saved. I come from a Christian family, my Dad being a Chaplain and pastor since before I was born. I grew up in the church, and have read the Easter story many, many times.

The description in the Bible of the beating that Jesus took is fairly graphic, but the written word sometimes doesn't convey the reality of what it was. I just watched The Passion of the Christ (I know, I'm slow on getting to things sometimes). I think Mel Gibson did a very accurate portrayal, in terms of the description in the Scriptures, of what Jesus had to endure for his task to be completed.

Historians have good records of how things were done in those days. The cat-o-nine-tails is well documented (and far more brutal than popular culture depicts it), as well as there being a pretty good idea of how crucifixion worked and was done. Caning is still done in some parts of the world, but with limited numbers of strokes because it's so painful and damaging. And there was more.

The point I think I'm trying to get at is this: I'm a 6'6", 300 pound gorilla who can take a shot. I've had bad injuries that hurt big time. I used to be an athlete, and I used to actually train at raising my pain threshold. Yeah, I was a weird young man in some respects. But there's no way I could have taken all that Jesus did and made it all the way to the cross. He fell and got up when I don't think a single man ever on the planet still could have. He was near death when the Romans were done beating, whipping, and tearing him, and yet he still managed to carry His cross most of the way to Golgotha. He lived through being nailed to the cross, and was still able to talk coherently to the criminal who asked for forgiveness. Bottom line: no one has ever been tougher than Jesus.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kyle Lamb's thoughts on sights

Shooting while focusing on the target instead of the sights seems to be "coming back around" again. I've been shooting since I was 16. This idea has never really left, but has come and gone in popularity several times in the intervening 26 years of my life. It seems to be coming back into vogue again.

My opinion means squat next to Lamb's, but here's my take on it: if you can't get the gun up to eye level and need to shoot somebody or somebodies, it can be done at waist level, just out of the holster (the Speed Rock). On the occasions that I've done this drill-and I've only ever done it in classes and on the range-I've made same hole hits several times. Perhaps I should shoot from there more often...except that the distances are about as far from the target as one wall is from another, minus the depth of a couple bodies, in a hallway. Otherwise, making hits, especially as distances widen, happens most accurately with sights.


In case you're saying "who's Kyle Lamb?" Here's a thumbnail: retired as a Sergeant Major from the US Army, most of that with Special Forces Operational Detatchment-Delta, AKA The Big Boys, and known in popular parlance as Delta Force. As I understand it, one of the last jobs he did there was as the Force Mod guy. That's the guy that determines what new equipment meets the standards and needs of America's best combat shooters. He was there in some of the worst places American fighting men have ever gone, including Somalia (yeah, he was in the Battle of Mogadishu) and Iraq, among other places that can't be talked about. All that to say, he knows what it's like to be shot at and return fire, and made a career of it at the highest level possible. When Lamb talks, only a fool fails to listen.

And, because its cool and because this the standard of excellence, check out the 2X2X2 drill. Watch Lamb's last run at the end, and realize that these are "A" zone hits; his controlled pairs are right on top of each other at a speed I'm not even near. 1.26 seconds...Wow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Only one post? Well, here's Jura then.

I was scrolling up and down my blog, and noticed in the column at right that there was but one post regarding whisky. Hard to believe, but the numbers don't lie. So, in order to do something about that, I gotta mention Jura 10 Year Old.


The bottle I have was a gift from one of the world's greatest people, Brother Murray. Brother Murray is the MCLMM/Baconforce representative in the beautiful northern land of Scotland. He sent me the bottle of 10 y.o. that came with a cool Jura flask for my birthday. I have been blessed with the best of friends.

Jura is an Islay single malt, but it is much different from the other Islay whiskys, primarily in that it doesn't have the strong peaty smokiness of SMS like Laprohaig. Its a 40% strength, deep amber gold whisky. It has a really great color. For some reason, it reminded me of sunsets in the west. I had a lot of good times related to sunsets in the west; that mental image brings a grin to my face.

The thing I found most interesting about this distilling is the finish. Some single malts have a distinct...ummm....pinch to them when you first put them in yer maw. There's kind of a bite to them, at the edges of the tongue. Jura 10 y.o., though, doesn't do that. It does have an agreeable warmth to it, but not until you swallow. Its unique in that respect; I can't recall another SMS that I've had that has the same characteristic in the same way.

Describing food or drink is difficult for me; I don't understand notes, hints of brine or leather, or basically "get" any of the other pretentious attempts to put into words what is tasted or smelled. Suffice it to say, I like this a lot, and I'm quite humbled that I have friends that are willing to send such gifts to me. I don't deserve them.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

At least I classified.

I went out to Rattlesnake Ridge yesterday with Paul J. and Matt E. to shoot an IDPA Classifier. Matt had already classified with both his Glock and Wilson CQB, whereas Paul and I hadn't. I didn't have any extra .45, so I used my MnP 9mm. We had about ten shooters, and oddly enough, most hadn't heard of the MnP. When chatting with other shooters after I shot and basically waiting around and hanging out, when they asked "What do you shoot?" I answered "MnP 9", and got a quizzical look in return. I typically had to expound "Smith n Wesson MnP 9mm", which got an affirmative response. Maybe I wasn't doing it right.

Paul, as usual, shot like he was using a laser instead of a pistol. He dropped six points on the third stage, where the typical shooter will drop somewhere between 20 and 30. He was shooting deliberately to be accurate, so the only thing that's standing between him and classifying "Expert" is speed. He's pretty phenomenal. Matt improved his time and ended up in sharpshooter again, even though he wasn't happy with his shooting overall. Last match, he placed 3rd, even ahead of some of the best shooters we know.

In discussing it, we decided that we will be working on some of the harder aspects of the Classifier, and tuning up those skills. The Classifier isn't the hardest course of fire ever, but the strings are long-20 or 30 rounds per section of each stage, something like that-and the skills that it tests can't be hidden. You can either do a fast failure drill, or not. You can shoot well one handed, or you can't. It really does an excellent job of showing you where you need to improve. My accuracy was adequate, but there are places I can improve my speed, and I botched my tactical (administrative or reload with retention) reload by not having my plan set ahead of time. I thought I had a plan, but I guess I tried to change it in the middle, and added time. The other areas were probably drawing from concealment and getting that first good shot off faster.

I brought my camera, but totally forgot I had it with me and didn't get any photos. Rats. I also picked up a good sunburn on my face and neck. Since we've been so bundled up all winter long, I kinda forgot how that whole sun thing works again. Oops. At least I looked cool in my Oakley M Frames and Peltor Comtacs. lol!

Now, you've read all this, and now you're wondering: hey Haj, where did you classify? Well, I did indeed classify. I'm smack dab in the middle of the Marksman class. I don't have my score handy, it hasn't been posted yet. On the plus side, at least I didn't just barely make it, but I've got a ways to go to get into the next class, too. Got some practicing to do!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

T.A.L.L.

I've been pondering of late, which is typically a good way to come to some unusual conclusions and topics. Sometimes it's crucially important stuff, like what to do with all the Obama threads on the forum, what is CAG using, or the frequent topic: entertainment.

Pondering entertainment brings one to consider those that entertain. Most are celebrities, because that comes with the territory. Being high profile means that a lot of people know your name-they think they know you, but do they? I don't think so-and know what you look like. While parts of that suck, parts are easy to let go to your head. We see it all the time. Lookit Lindsay Lohan.

LiLo has pretty much trashed her career with her excessive lifestyle. Apparently, movie makers just don't want to put up with it, regardless of how willing she is to get naked. Its such a shame, too. The girl has talent. She might be able to make a comeback if she can get it together. I hope she does, because she does have talent.

Somebody asked Bill Murray once what it was like to be rich and famous. He thought for a moment, and said "why don't you try just being rich, and see if that doesn't do it for ya". I'm thinking he really knows the what's up. LiLo was getting rich, I guess, but being famous seems to have been the downfall.

There are plenty of hot young actresses in Whollyweird these days. Lots of them come and go, but there are a few that seem to be able to handle the rise and avoid the fall. They're the ones I hope have long, long careers and make tons and tons of money. To that end, I think I'm gonna start a series. The first two on the list are two of my faves:
Anne Hathaway


and Jordana Brewster


They are the first of the Anti-Lindsay Lohans. Yeah, I have a thing for brown eyed brunettes. lol!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Yay! New carbine stuff! Surefire Scout Light

I got this little bad boy given to me today. How I got it is a little convoluted, so I'm not gonna go into it, but I will say this: its handy to have connections. lol!

The Scout is based on the Executive Elite series of lights. They have a sub-one inch body diameter, which the 6P and it's cousins have. There's an internal mount that's machined as part of the body, and the head is one of Surefire's new LED lamps and TIR lens that focuses the beam. Expensive, but soooo worth it. Shwaggie looks very sexy with her new light. Chances are more than good that the tail cap is going to be replaced with a non-shrouded one, and the light will probably be moved back. As it is now, I have to change my grip to actuate the light reliably.


Make sure to note the Knight's Armament flash hider, a gift from a high speed friend of mine. Like I said, it's good to have some connections.