Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Dogwood

There is a tree hereabout, the dogwood tree that blooms every year before Easter.  It is a small tree, a decorative that blooms in the understory of a forest.  We see them in these latitudes standing among the other trees, normally quiet and unassuming among the forest giants, but early each spring, they flower into glorious blooms, reminding us that spring is here and life flows anew.



I have heard a story since my childhood that originally the Romans used the dogwood tree to make the cross on which they crucified Jesus.  The dogwood tree, horrified that its wood would be used to kill the Savior, vowed to remain small, humble, useless for construction, because it never again wanted to be used for evil.  But, once a year it would gloriously flower into bloom to remind the world that Jesus is risen.

The dogwoods have flowered this year, right on time as always.  I see the dogwoods in the forest, even as Easter is early this year and I am reminded of the story of the crucifiction and resurrection, and the humble dogwood telling the story that I heard so long ago.  It is the dogwoods penance and its glory.  Jesus is risen.

Happy Easter, everyone.  Jesus is risen!

Sunday Morning Dawg

During weeks when school is out and parents have to work, the dog does double-duty entertaining grandkids who might spend the night.

Sometimes it's one of them.

Sometimes it's another.  You just never know who's going to show up at PawPaw's house.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Today in History

I am reminded, that today, March 29th in 1911 the Colt pistol was adopted as the standard sidearm of the US Army.  I have one and it is as good a fighting pistol today as it was in 1911.

It's still a damned fine pistol.

Insufficient Coolant

The check-engine light came on on the old man car and while I was running errands, I took it to Auto Zone so they could plug in their little gizmo and tell me what the trouble might be.

"Insufficient coolant" the guy said, to which I promptly replied "bullshit."  The car runs cool, the little temp gage in the lower part of the range, but we opened the radiator (or what passes for a radiator in newer cars) and looked inside.  The coolant looked muddy. so I figure maybe it's time to flush the radiator, burp the system, and add new coolant.

I did that this morning.  The old coolant looked like muddy water so I ran the water hose through the radiator and knocked out most of the crud, then I refilled it with new coolant, ran the engine for a little while (until the defroster blew hot), then topped off the system.  We'll check the coolant for a few days, make sure everything is good to go, then if the light stays on, we'll take it back and get them to re-check it.  My mechanic tells me that the light will stay on for several cycles after the fault is cured, unless you've to a gizmo to turn it off.

In other news, I took my pickup truck to the dealership yesterday.  The check engine light is on, and it's running rough.  It seems that Ford decided to install a coolant line as part of the intake manifold, a gasket in there blew and flooded coolant into the spark-plug wells of the #1 and #2 cylinder.  Apparently, the only way to fix that glitch is to install a new intake manifold.  Google 2001 Ford intake and you'll start reading all sorts of horror stories about that engineering change.  Evidently, for a while they used a plastic intake manifold that caused all manner of hellish problems.

But, the wrench at the dealership tells me that a new intake manifold will solve all my problems, so I told him to install on.  He'll change the plugs and coil-packs while he's in there, and I should be good to go on the pickup.  I haven't paid a truck note in five years and if I can get four or five more years out of this pickup, I'll feel like I've done good.  $1300.00 is a bitter pill to swallow, but that's only three or four months of pickup note payments.  I'll swallow that pill and not have a note.

Boneheaded Commenters

Once in a while I do a post, where someone takes issue with an opinion or an observation.  That's not a problem, as I am not infallible, and I've learned things from my commenters.  Occasionally, a commenter turns up who either can't read, or can't understand that I haven't seen everything under the sun.  One such example turned up yesterday when I was talking about the Associated Press and their 35 round drum magazines.  I've personally never seen a 35 round shotgun magazine, and I've played with some exotic toys in my career.

Yet this one bozo commenter comes online with this comment.
So, you've never seen a 35 round shotgun mag, how about a 30 round one? ONE GOOGLE SEARCH YOU GOOSE,18px;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e_CTvJ4F3w
So, I went to the video and they're showing a 30 round drum for a Saiga. Yeah, I've seen those.  They're bulky, heavy, and generally unreliable, but they exist.

So, to my commenter, who thinks I'm a goose, I repeat.  I've never seen a 35 round shotgun magazine, have you?  Or is it simply that you can't read, or can't count?  Or is the difference between 30 and 35 your IQ?  I bet you were abused as a child and never learned manners.  Too bad, so sad, don't come wandering in here with zero reading comprehension and expect that we'll all be impressed with your googling skills.  30 still doesn't make 35 and trying to impress us with that video is infantile.  It's one thing to be anonymous, it's another thing entirely to be anonymous and rude.  It's a third thing to be anonymous, rude, and stupid.  In this case, anonymous, you got all three in a three-line comment.

Come back anytime son, when you think you can play with the big boys.  Until then, sit down, shut up, and pay attention.  Count on your fingers and you might learn something.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

35 round Shotgun Magazine

That asshole at Newtown (I refuse to use his name) seemed to have some strange, exotic weaponry when he launched his cowardly assault on first-grade children and unarmed teachers.  According to the AP:
A loaded 12-gauge shotgun was found in the Honda Civic Lanza drove to the school with two magazines containing 70 rounds of Winchester 12-gauge shotgun rounds.
Really?  Two magazines containing 70 rounds of 12 gauge shotgun ammo?  I've been playing with shotguns for a long time, but I've never seen a 35 round shotgun magazine.  That thing must weigh several pounds and stick out the bottom of the shotgun for a pretty good distance.

Okay, so evidently the AP is correcting this article on the fly.  According to my buddies at this forum, the article originally said this:
A loaded 12-gauge shotgun was found in the glove compartment of the Honda Civic Lanza drove to the school with two magazines containing 70 rounds of Winchester 12-gauge shotgun rounds.
Uuuh, yeah!  I've got kids who drive Honda Civics, and I don't believe that a shotgun will fit in the glove compartment.  Especially a shotgun with a 35 round magazine. That would be quite a glove compartment.

All those layers of editors and fact-checkers at the Associated Press are doing one hell of a job.  Perhaps they'd do better if they actually knew whatthehell they were talking about.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fishing With the Boy-O

I've been entertaining a grandson for the past couple of days and this morning we decided we'd take the boat out for a little fishing.  He's fairly new to boats, but fishes off a dock with his other grandpa, who lives in Florida.  After a little shake-down on boating etiquette, and the proper way to operate a fishing pole, we settled down to watch a bobber.

That old boat was manufactured by the Appleby Manufacturing Co of Lebanon, MO in the mid '60s and originally belonged to my grandad.  It's been rebuilt several times, the transom replaced a dozen times that I know about, but the boat is still in service, still watertight, still educating grandkids.

After he tired of fishing, we had a quick lesson on paddling a flat-bottomed boat.

 His form isn't real good, but what can you expect from a four-year-old?  Still we got a lesson in about steering inputs in front of the tiller. That's a valuable lesson for anyone.

As I was putting the boat away, I happened to notice the initials in the bow of the boat and marveled that they're still there, still visible.  With my grandson, he's the fifth generation of this family who has used this boat.  My grandad, my father, my generation, my kids, and my grandkids.

Those white initials are ELD and were put there by my grandfather.  The MSRP on that little boat was about $200, which was a pretty good sum in those days.  I believe we've gotten our money's worth out of that little fishing boat.

Pineville Debates Alcohol

There's a debate raging in Pineville, LA right now about whether or not to allow businesses to sell alcohol.  Yep, that's right, Pineville is dry.  Pineville has been dry for as long as I can remember, except for one short time in 1980 when the Louisiana Supreme Court invalidated the alcohol prohibition laws in the state and called for new elections.  For a short time, Pineville and every other "dry" jurisdiction in Louisiana was wet, leading to such bizarre businesses as "Bobs Auto Parts and Package Liquor".  The citizens of Pineville ultimately voted the town dry again, except for one small precinct which voted to allow low-alcohol package sales.  In that precinct, you can buy beer.  Not surprisingly, the beer stores in that precinct do a landslide business, because the beer drinkers don't have to cross the river into Alexandria.

Just across the river, Alexandria is wet.  Wide open, it allows alcohol sales in bars and restaurants, package stores, grocery stores and convenience stores.  All they need is a license.

Recently, a local developer told the city of Pineville that he was hanging-fire on several development deals.  Hotels and restaurants wanted to come into the area, but that they want to be able to sell alcohol and that the prohibition on the Pineville side of the river was the deal-breaker.  As regards the city itself, tax revenues are flat, but costs keep increasing.  Pineville is simply not able to compete with businesses across the river because of the alcohol prohibition and that prohibition is stifling development.

The usual suspects are against alcohol.  They're vocal, committed, and powerful.  As are the proponents of development.  Pineville held a town-hall meeting yesterday to discuss the issue, and both sides of the argument were allowed to air their opinions.

I note, with some interest, that the demographic in the affected area has changed since the last vote in 1980.  Pineville and the area northwest of the river has experienced huge growth since the last vote, with lots of folks taking advantage of better land prices and a more rural environment.  As one long-tern resident told me, ":There are houses in places where I never knew there were places to put a house."  Indeed, PawPaw lives in a subdivision that wasn't here fifteen years ago.

Whether you're "fer it or ag'in it", it's time for this issue to come before the people.  Pineville and the area north of the river has changed dramatically since 1980 and it is time again to revisit this issue.  Put it before a vote and let The People decide.  Let Freedom Ring.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jardines

The US Supreme Court issued an opinion this morning, relative to the use of police dogs to find evidence of narcotics trafficking.

Police took a drug-sniffing dog to Jardines’ front porch, where the dog gave a positive alert for narcotics. Based on the alert, the officers obtained a warrant for a search, which revealed marijuana plants; Jardines was charged with trafficking in cannabis. The Supreme Court of Florida approved the trial court’s decision to suppress the evidence, holding that the officers had engaged in a Fourth Amendment search unsupported by probable cause.
I'm no lawyer, to the contrary, I'm just a common police officer, but I've been around police dogs when they were searching for contraband.  At issue seemed to be whether the police dog, upon smelling marijuana in the residence, constituted enough probable cause for the officers to obtain a warrant.  The reasoning seemed to rest on the expectation of privacy and the legal concept of curtilage.  Justice Scalia authored the majority opinion.

It seems to hold that the use of a dog to sniff at the front door violated Jardine's expectation of privacy, that the marijuana in the residence would not have been found without the use of the superior olfactory glands of the dog and the police would not have had reason to ask for a warrant.  It's one thing to approach someone's front door for a knock-and-talk, it's another thing entirely to bring a drug-sniffing dog with you.

The implications are significant.  There have been times when I have stopped a vehicle for a legitimate traffic stop, became suspicious, and had a dog do a walk-around of the vehicle.  If that dog alerted, that gave me probable cause to increase my intrusion.  However, in Louisiana as in many jurisdictions, the vehicle is considered an extension of the home.  If a sniff at the front door of a residence is not enough, then will it be enough for a sniff at the driver's door of the vehicle?  That's a question that will take time to sort out.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.  Let Freedom Ring!

Ig'nernt White Boys

Sitting at the DMV yesterday, waiting for the bureaucrats to finish their break, or pedicure, or whatever the hell they were doing instead of serving the public, I began observing the crowd in particular.  There was the normal smattering of old farts trying to get something done, a couple of well-dressed professional women checking their email on smartphones, a couple of teens with parents, texting like crazy.  Then I noticed two young white men, early 20s, and I caught a snippet of conversation.  As I started paying attention, it seemed that they were debating the various preferences, pros and cons of Work Release vs House Arrest.

One was saying that the downside of Work Release is that you've got to spend every night in jail, and the other was saying that the downside of House Arrest is that you've got to wear that ankle bracelet, have a curfew, and the deputy might come over for an unannounced visit.

Really?!?  You know, you have the right to remain silent all the time, not just when some cop is putting the steel bracelets on you for a little ride downtown.

Monday, March 25, 2013

DMV

I spent several hours this morning taking the paperwork for the Old Man Package to the DMV to get the title, registration, and a new plate switched over into my name.  If there is a more aggravating place to spend two hours than a Louisiana DMV office, I've yet to see it.  The thing about DMV offices is that we have to use them, indeed we're mandated by state law, so it's not an option, and DMV offices worldwide are not noted for exemplary customer service.

Take a number, have a seat.  Yet for the first 45 minutes they didn't call any numbers, it appeared that everyone had gone to lunch.  Sometime after 1:00 they started calling numbers again, and it was so bad in the waiting room that when a number was called, people would clap and cheer.  Of course, the woman who pulled a number before I pulled mine had three pre-school kids with her.  They were fairly well behaved, but pre-school kids don't do well in waiting rooms of any stripe.

The lady who waited on me was pleasant and professional, but that didn't make up for the long wait time.  She could have been waiting on people during that first 45 minutes and still been pleasant and professional.  I see that the Commissioner of OMV is somebody named Campbell.  I may have to draft a harshly worded memo to remind him who he is supposed to be serving.

Old Man Package

For the last twenty years, the Ford Crown Vic has been the pre-eminent police car.  Ford made millions of them and they gave good service to police agencies all over the US.  Rather than yearly model changes, they continued to refine the vehicle over the life of the model and the car became a staple of police departments everywhere.  Everyone drove Crown Vics.  Sadly, Ford discontinued the Crown Vic in 2011, but the vehicle will continue in police service until the rolling examples reach the end of their service life.  I have driven dozens of Crown Vics over my career and I'm comfortable in the drivers seat of the big Ford.



Ford called the car a Police Package, which had a larger radiator, a stronger alternator, and stiffer suspension.  Even after Ford discontinued the Crown Victoria as a consumer product, they continued to make the vehicle and badged it as the Mercury Grand Marquis, with some creature comfort upgrades.  It is a vehicle platform with lots of aftermarket support, a proven engine, good drivetrain and plenty of room in a classic sedan.

I'm a pickup truck guy.  I've been driving pickup trucks my entire adult life, but several months ago I began jonesing for a smaller vehicle, not to replace my aging 2001 Ford F150, but to complement it.  I wanted a spare vehicle, something to run errands, something that didn't suck as much gasoline as that big 5.4 truck engine, something a little shorter that I could park in a standard parking lot without having to plan where I'd park.  That long-wheelbase pickup requires a 10 acre field to turn it around.

Just about the time I began my search  for a smaller, more nimble vehicle, my sister-in-law decided to sell her car.  She had a stroke nine months ago and she and brother-in-law decided that they didn't need two vehicles. I mentioned that I was looking for a smaller vehicle and they made me a heck of a deal on a good clean used car.  A 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis.


It's low mileage for a 2001 sedan, with 87,000 miles on the odometer.  Because it's a Mercury, it isn't a Police Package, and I can feel the difference in the suspension and the handling.  The ride is a lot smoother than the police version, and I bet that if I took it through the pursuit driving course, the cones would have to be further apart in the turns.

In a strangely accidental alignment of the cosmos, both my truck and the Mercury are painted the same color and they're both built in 2001.  I've got a matched pair.  I've got to dig out the owner's manual on the Merc and acquaint myself with some bells and whistles on the dashboard of the sedan.  It's got a lot of gee-gaws that I'm not familiar with, but it should meet my needs nicely while keeping the miles off the pickup truck.  I think I'm going to enjoy this ride for several years.

It ain't a Police Package, it's an Old Man Package.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sorry, Colorado

Colorado recently went all gun un-friendly, and Michael Bane has notified them that he won't be filming there any more.

Oh, too bad, so sad.

Palm Sunday

Sunday Morning Dawg

The dog finally made it to the groomer's this week.  He looks a lot more comfortable, and I'm sure that he can see better.

You can actually see the eyes in his head, which is a welcome change.  And the groomer gave him a stylish red bandanna, which is a nice touch.

Yeah, I'd say that's a little bit better.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Listening to the Dryer

I'm surfing the internets, waiting for the dryer to finish drying my tee shirts and socks. I've been looking at the news, and I've become convinced that all our elected officials, at least at the national level, are simply batshit crazy.  I mean, c'mon, if you want to balance a budget you've got to tighten your belt and spend less money.  If you want to reduce crime, you've got to make it painful.  If you subsidize something, you get more of it, and we've been subsidizing lazy and stupid folks for years, so we've got more lazy and stupid folks.  Including those in Congress.

So, being disgusted with the state of the current news cycle,  I went to Rachel Lucas place for something lighthearted and found just the thing.



You're welcome

Preventive Maintenance

It's a wonderful thing when you winterize an engine.  I took out both lawnmowers this morning.  I knew the riding mower needed blades so I went to my local small-engine guy and bought blades, installed them on the mower, added fresh non-ethanol gasoline, then sat on the seat and turned the key.  She fired right up.  So, I put the riding mower away and got out the push mower.  Checked the oil, added fresh gasoline, then found a problem with the blade-brake cable.  I went back to the small-engine place, got a cable and installed it.  Primed the engine and it fired up on the first pull.

It's now nearly 1100 hrs, and I'm done with my scheduled chores for the day.   I'll spend the rest of the day doing what I want to do.  Y'all get out and enjoy Saturday, there's bound to be something fun in your local area.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Unintended Consequences

Sometimes we do something to strengthen freedom and it has consequences that we never intended.  For example, in November of last year, the voters in Louisiana strengthened our Constitution as it pertains to gun rights.  The text of the amendment is as follows:
The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.
Sounds great, doesn't it?  Except we've been having a big debate about what that means, and what is now illegal and what is not?  According to Eugene Volokh, a state district judge gave us a possible answer this week.
Today, Louisiana Judge Darryl A. Derbigny, in State v. Draughter (La. Crim. Dist. Ct. Mar. 21, 2012), held that the Louisiana ban on felon possession of guns violates this provision. 
Go to the link for a complete analysis, but the Court's reasoning is that Louisiana's statute forbidding felons from owning guns is unconstitutional because it is overly broad and doesn't meet the test for strict scrutiny, which much preserve a compelling government interest before being upheld.  I'm not a lawyer, but I know that Louisiana  like other states, has felonies that don't  require force, violence, or drugs.

I'm sure that the state will appeal, but when you make possession of a firearm a fundamental right, you've got to make sure that all your other ducks are in a row.   Let Freedom Ring!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wrong Pump, Fool!

It looks like President Obama's ride is on the way to the shop.  Someone filled it with diesel rather than gasoline.  That's a bone-headed mistake.  The President is in Israel today, and of course, the Air Force is having to fly in another limo, at great expense.
The agency has denied that the wrong fuel was used but didn't elaborate about what led to the mishap.
Well, of course they denied it.  What did you expect them to say?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Magpul Moving

Magpul  has announced that it is moving from Colorado if the Governor signs the bill limiting magazine capacity.  The governor has said he'd sign it, so it looks like Magpul is moving. From the Magpul Facebook page:
We expect the first PMAGs to be made outside CO within 30 days of the signing, with the rest to follow in phases. We will likely become a multi-state operation as a result of this move, and not all locations have been selected. We have made some initial contacts and evaluated a list of new potential locations for additional manufacturing and the new company headquarters, and we will begin talks with various state representatives in earnest if the Governor indeed signs this legislation. Although we are agile for a company of our size, it is still a significant footprint, and we will perform this move in a manner that is best for the company and our employees.
For those of you who may not know, Magpul is the premier manufacturer of AR magazines, and they have extensive lines of other gun accessories, to include stocks, forends and gee-gaws for rifles and shotguns.  They made their name and their fortune selling the PMag, the first reliable, durable, plastic magazine for the AR series rifles and they've sold millions of them to the military, the governments, and civilians shooters around the world.

 Now, Colorado has decided to make their product illegal to own in the state it is manufactured.  As a result, several hundred jobs are leaving the state along with a very profitable business.  This is a case of a state government cutting off it's nose to spite its face.

Several states are courting Magpul, and if Louisiana isn't one of them, our governor needs his ass kicked.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hummers

I saw a hummingbird zip through the back yard today, so I took down the hummer feeders, cleaned and filled them with sugar water.

We also noticed that the pecan trees have budded out.  I suspect that winter is over and springtime is upon us.

The Anti-Christ

If you've been watching the miniseries on the History Channel, The Bible, you know that last night Christ went into the wilderness and was tempted by the Devil himself.

Some folks are taking umbrage, saying that the actor that played the Devil looked a lot like President Obama.

The actor on the left is a white guy,   He's a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor, Mehdi Ouzaani.   The actor on the right is our president.  He doesn't do a very good job at the role, and frankly, he's a terrible stage personality.  The actor on the left is highly acclaimed.  Here's the History Channel's statement.
History channel has the highest respect for President Obama,” the network said in a statement. “It's unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. History’s ‘The Bible’ is meant to enlighten people on its rich stories and deep history.”
Were I the History Channel, here's how I would have responded:
We regret that some viewers can't tell the difference between a white guy in makeup and the President of the United States.  We think that President Obama would be mis-cast as Satan, but we hope our audience will recognize him when we get to the episode about the Anti-Christ.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Clean Water

It appears that Lockheed Martin has made a breakthrough.
Cheap, clean water may soon be available for the whole planet. According to Reuters, defense contractor Lockheed Martin has developed a filter that will hugely reduce the amount of energy necessary to turn sea water into fresh water. The filter, which is five hundred times thinner then others currently available, lets water pass through but blocks all salt molecules. It will use almost 100 times less energy than other methods for making salt water drinkable, giving third world countries another way of expanding access to drinking water without having to create costly pumping stations.
That's good news that might have tremendous applications in large cities close to the ocean, or in the oil and gas industry, or in third-world countries that might have a problem with obtaining inexpensive drinking water.
As the article points out, this impressive tech is coming just in time:
This sort of technology always comes "just in time".  Humans find a way to solve problems, but if we don't see a problem, we have a hard time solving it.  That's our nature.  Still, an easier, cheaper, more accesible way to make potable water can only improve the human condition.  Water is our most basic necessity.

Sunday Morning Dawg

There is nothing like a good, early-morning belly-scratching to get a dog going.  Here, grandson Elyas scratches the dog's belly after breakfast.

We'll try to get the pup to the groomer's this week, we really will.  Scratching my own head, I can tell it's time for me to get to the groomer's as well.  I'm starting to get shaggy myself.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Imagine That!

Imagine that!  The Pope is Catholic.  Much to the dismay of many liberal commentators.
BURNETT: He opposed same-sex marriage in Argentina. He opposed free contraception.
LOPEZ: He follows a conservative line. He opposes, uh, same-sex marriages. He is conservative on birth control.
PIERS MORGAN: He is known to be, duh, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage.
MARIA TERESA KUMAR: He has been against contraception. He's been against marriage equality.
In other news, bears shit in the woods.  This should come as a surprise to no one.  He's the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church.

Cake Batter

Milady is cooking a cake in anticipation of our bi-weekly family get together.  Three types of chocolate, and Irish Cream.   Elyas spent the night and he's helping his grandma clean the beaters from the mixer.

There is nothing like licking cake batter off a beater.  It's good stuff.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Hour

Simply thinking about Michael Moore (hack, spit), made me decide to declare Happy Hour.  This declaration in part because I am home, in blue jeans, and it is in fact, Friday afternoon, and it's 5:00 somewhere.

My preferred libation today is Canadian and Coke.  Because my doctor has me off sugar, we're forced to improvise.

Canadian and Coke

In a pint Mason jar,

Fill with ice
2 ounces cheap, rotgut Canadian Whiskey
Fill with Diet Coke.

If you don't have an appropriate Mason Jar, then find a jelly glass.  Or tupperware glass, or even a Red Solo Cup.

Michael Moore - Despicable.

I understand that Michael Moore wants to use the crime scene photos from Sandy Hook to further gun control efforts.  Really.  Dead children, violated in their most vulnerable moment.
The left-wing social critic wrote in his blog Wednesday an item titled "America, You Must Not Look Away (How to Finish Off the NRA)," in which he recommended releasing the undoubtedly gruesome photos of the 20 children killed on Dec. 14, 2012, some of whom were shot up to 11 times. Moore said the fact that Americans have “done nothing to revise or repeal” the Second Amendment “makes us responsible.”
Predictably, the parents of those children are horrified, as are most of the rest of us.  The idea of using crime scene photos of dead children for political purposes is horrifying to normal, sane people.  I've got a better idea, though.  How about we take nude photos of Mr. Moore to highlight obesity in the US.

Michael Moore is truly a despicable human being.  Why anyone  patronizes his work is a mystery to me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Francis I

The new pope is a Jesuit, and comes from Argentina.  On the first full day of balloting.  Wow!

I wish the new Holy Father well, and hope that his papacy is long and fruitful.  And, for those who were hoping for an American pope, it looks like you have one.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.  Be careful what you pray for.

Belt Grinder

Several months ago at an auction, I bought a belt grinder.  A Craftsman belt grinder.  It featured a 1" x 42" belt and an 8" disc sander.  I got it at a good price and thought that, being a Craftsman I could run to Sears and get belts for it.

Not so fast.  When I went to Sears, they looked at me like I'd grown a tail.  Evidently they haven't sold this belt grinder in several dozen years.  So, I went over to Ace Hardware.  No luck, no joy.  The other day I was in Lowe's and wandered through their abrasives.  I spotted two packs of 1" x 42" belts, so I picked them up, then I found some 8" discs.  I picked those up too.

It's sitting in the shop now, oiled, adjusted, and ready to go.  I'll have to keep my eyes open for those belts when I go to Lowe's but I've got a supply that should last several years.    A belt sander is a wonderful thing to have handy when you're working on almost anything.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Racism at DOJ

J. Christian Adams at Pajamas Media tells us about the Inspector General's report that details racism at DOJ.  The investigation was originally started to uncover the facts about the New Black Panther case, but the more they looked the more they found systemic racism in Eric Holder's department.
Though the report took almost four years to complete, it was worth the wait. Though the report commenced as an investigation into the New Black Panther dismissal, seemingly every rock the investigators turned over resulted in more creatures fleeing the sunshine. The final report captures a range of outrageous conduct,
More at the link, but it appears that Holder's DOJ, and specifically the Voting Rights section, doesn't believe that black defendants can violate the Voting Rights Act.
Additionally, some of these individuals, including one current manager, admitted to us that, while they believed that the text of the Voting Rights Act is race-neutral and applied to all races, they did not believe the Voting Section should pursue cases on behalf of White victims.”
Isn't that special?  Racism in the Justice Department.  Who'd have thunk it?

Basesball

I grew up playing baseball as a kid.  Civitan league, Dixie Youth, just about any place I could find to play baseball, I played.  Now, as an old fart, and especially as a high-school cop I spend a lot of time at the ball park.  Last night I watched a great game.  Bolton hosted Marksville and the game went an extra inning.  Tied at three runs for several innings, we went to the eighth inning.  Marksville batted first, as the visitors do and couldn't get anything going.  Then, Bolton got to bat, loaded the bases with singles, then a strong hit to left-center field brought in the winning run.

It was a little cool last night at the ball park, with temps in the 40s.  The ladies were wrapped up with blankets.  But, everyone had a great time, watched some good baseball, and hot dogs were only a dollar.  When's the last time you saw a $1.00 hot dog at a ball park?  That's a screaming deal.

If you live near a high school, go find their baseball schedule and support your local baseball team.  It's a great way to spend an afternoon and the team could use the money you'll spend on admission and concessions.  Generally, at a high school, you can get an afternoon of baseball for under $10.00, you'll support local kids, and the memories will be so close and so thick, you'll brush them from your face like flies.

I never regret the time I spend at a ball park.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mark Kelly, Hypocrite

If you're not familiar with the name Mark Kelly, that's okay.  I wasn't familiar with it either, but he's the husband of former US Representative Gabby Giffords who was horrifically attacked and shot.  Her husband Mark Kelly is an outspoken gun critic, lobbying and speaking on the need to ban AR15 rifles and high capacity magazines.

It seems Breitbart caught him red-handed, buying an AR15, and high capacity magazines.

Mark E. Kelly, made purchases which included an AR-15--sometimes described as an "assault rifle"--at 3:30 pm on the afternoon of March 5 at Diamondback Police Supply, 170 S. Kolb Street, Tucson, AZ. According to McCabe, witnesses to the purchases claimed Kelly purchased "high capacity" magazines as well.
So, after speaking against the most popular rifle in the US today, he runs out and buys one, along with several standard magazines. Maybe he's becoming and enthusiast? Not likely. Shortly after being caught red-handed, he posted on Facebook:
I just had a background check a few days ago when I went to my local gun store to buy a .45. As I was leaving, I noticed a used AR-15. Bought that too. Even to buy an assault weapon, the background check only takes a matter of minutes. I don't have possession of it yet but I'll be turning it over to the Tucson PD when I do.
Uuuh, yeah, as soon as you pick it up, you're turning it over to the Tuscon PD? For what?  You've got money to burn?  Or, are you simply embarrassed?  The Facebook answer is purely bullshit, reminiscent of a teenage boy caught with his first beer.  We know you wanted the AR rifle, were drawn by the allure of a very common firearm.

It's okay, Mark, embrace freedom.  With your new .45 and your new AR, you've got two-thirds of a 3-gun match.  Get yourself a shotgun, and find a range that will teach you to shoot them.  You'll meet wonderfully nice people who will show you how to get the most out of your new weapons.  They'll teach you gun safety, instill in you the joy of being with like-minded people, and help you come fully into Constitutional citizenship.

Leave the Dark Side, Mark and embrace freedom.  You'll be a better American for it.

Or, just remain another hypocritical piece of crap.  Either way.  Your choice.

The List

There are a number of gun companies, including companies who sell accessories and paraphernalia as part of the gun industry who are placing governmental in the same consumer category as those governments put the citizens of those states.  In short, if a law-abiding citizen can't buy it, then the company won't sell to those governments.  The whole list of those companies can be found at The Police Loophole.  The whole list of companies that have come out against restrictive government is at the link.

One of the big players in that market is Wilson Combat, a manufacturer of high-end magazines and firearms. Wilson Combat recently joined that list of companies with this announcement.
Wilson Combat will no longer provide any products or services to any State Government imposing legislation that infringes on the second amendment rights of its law abiding citizens. This includes any Law Enforcement Department, Law Enforcement Officers, or any State Government Entity or Employee of such an entity. This also applies to any local municipality imposing such infringements.
I applaud this policy, as I've always believed that the police and state agencies of a local or state government should live and play by the same rules as the citizens it serves.  Kudos to Wilson Combat.  Oh, and if you're in the market for a fine 1911 magazine, you can't do any better than Wilson's #47 magazine.  They're truly the very best 1911 magazine on the market today.

Sunday Morning Dawg

PawPaw was at the ball park all day yesterday and when he came home, the dawg was waiting patiently by the coffee table, in all his hirsute glory. The dawg wishes to remind everyone that today is the day that begins Daylight Savings Time and if you haven't set your clock forward one hour, you're liable to be late for church.


Whether you agree or disagree that it's time to end the bi-annual madness of changing our clocks, we're certain that the dog needs a haircut and will probably get one this week.  Check your time and make sure that your clock is on the same tick as everyone else.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Saturday Morning

Another ten minutes and I'm going to pull on my boots and head, not for the schoolhouse, but for the ball park.  It's time for the annual softball tournament that our school sponsors every year, and PawPaw will be providing a law enforcement presence.  There's no telling what time I'll be home tonite, as these things aren't noted for iron-clad scheduling.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Quarter Life Crisis?

Reading Instapundit, I'm led to this bullshit article on a quarter-life crisis.  It seems that thirty-somethings are melting down.
If you're in the 25-to-35 age range and this is resonating, congrats: You're officially having a quarter-life crisis, something two thirds of young adults experience. Experts describe a QLC as a sense of panic that your life-career, relationships, etc.-isn't where you want it to be. 
Oh, bullshit!  To begin with, you jazzbos probably won't live to be 100 years old, so a quarter life crisis should occur when you're 17-18 years old (70/4), so if you're having your quarter life crisis when you're 25-30, you're late.  Get over yourself and get to work.  If your life/career/relationship isn't what you want it to be, get off your ass, reach between your legs to make sure you have a pair, and make it better..

Or, to quote Lee Ermy:  "Maybe we should chug on over to mamby pamby land where maybe we can find some self confidence for you, you jack wagon!"

You dumb sons of bitches.

Gun Guys

Gun Guys is the title of a book by Dan Baum, a self-described New Jersey liberal who also likes guns.  So, he grabs his gun and heads across country to try and understand the American fascination, and to reconcile his liberal tendencies with his affection for firearms.  He did an interview over at The Atlantic, and it's worth reading.
These are precisely the kind of people the Democratic Party says it exists to serve. Over and over, people I met on my trip would say, "I don't get it. Democrats are the party of the working man. How can the Democrats do this?" They feel so alienated that they won't listen to the Democrats on climate change or health care or immigration or anything else. As a Democrat, it broke my heart to hear this over and over and over again. These are our guys. These are our people, and they hate us. We take this anti-gun position and we're giving these people away, and we're getting nothing in exchange. We are not making the country safer.
It's a thoughtful interview, where he discusses open carry vs concealed carry, how he feels when he's packing a gun, and how other people interact with him.
 In some ways I really liked it. It's physically uncomfortable, it's heavy and it digs into you, and you have to be very conscious of your clothing to make sure you're not displaying it, because you really don't want anyone knowing you're carrying it. But it kept me vigilant. You really have your shit together when you're carrying a gun. You never forget you're wearing it. Maybe cops who've been wearing a gun for 30 years forget they're wearing it, but I certainly never did, and I wore it for about 18 months.
It sounds like he needs to get a better holster, because a gun shouldn't be uncomfortable, but I think he's starting to get it.   Go read the whole interview.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Gun-Control Thuggishness

Instapundit wonders, as do I, if anyone has noticed that the more pro-gun-control a politician might be, the more apt he or she is to be thuggish and corrupt?  Go read the links, but it appears that the Milwaukee Chief of Police is the very worst example.  He's instructed his officers to assault folks who legally carry firearms, and he's embroiled in scandal over cooking the books on crime stats.

It's gotten so bad that the Sheriff of the county has written a letter apologizing for Chief Flynn's rudeness and thuggery.  Milwaukee's Chief Flynn is a lawsuit begging for a plaintiff.  This is a bad example of police bureaucracy gone crazy and a black eye to good cops everywhere.  Chief Flynn should re-examine his oath and be reminded who he serves.

Sour Grapes

It looks like our President is having a case of the vapors over the sequestration, which was his idea in the first place.  If he can't have everything his way, and if the cuts don't immediately cripple the government, then his narrative is in danger and one thing that can't happen is for the narrative to fail.  So, he's making the cuts as painful as possible.  Like cancelling White House tours.
The White House announced Tuesday that it was canceling all public tours of the president’s home because of the sequester spending cuts.
Never mind that the White House belongs to The People, and he's just the current caretaker.  We can't even tour our own house because we cut about 2% of the money.  And, Fox News reports that a leaked email says that any cuts shouldn't derail the current narrative about how draconian these cuts might be.
Griffin told Fox News on Wednesday that the bosses effectively said, “You can’t do anything that is inconsistent with the negative impact that we’ve told everybody these cuts are going to have.”
These tiny cuts in the reduction of federal spending would hardly be felt if they were managed properly.  Interestingly we wouldn't need any of this drama if the government had a budget, something we have't had for four years.  Our government subsists on continuing resolutions because our Congress, specifically the Democratically controlled US Senate has not passed a budget in over four years.

This "sour grapes" mode of government highlights just how petulant and childish our President has become.  It appears that he is actively trying to damage the government simply because he can't have his way on budget issues.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Revelation 19:11


Stolen from my good friend Doug, who posted it on Facebook.

You Can't Make This Up!

From the You Can't Make This Stuff Up department, we find that a school was put on lockdown over a cellpphone alert tone.
Schools in a Pennsylvania county were put on lockdown after a receptionist misunderstood the words of the theme song to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” which a student had as his cellphone greeting, and thought the teen was going to commit violence.
Then there's the poor kid who got into trouble because he had a pastry that might have looked like a gun.
 A 7-year-old boy Baltimore boy was suspended from school after his teacher complained that the boy chewed a breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun, the boy's father says.
Then there's this kid suspended for having a picture of a gun on his computer.
FLORENCE, AZ -  A high school student in Florence said he has been suspended because of a picture of a gun.
Daniel McClaine Jr., a freshman at Poston Butte High School, said he saved the picture as his desktop background on his school-issued computer.
I am told that folks who work in schools are college educated, but it seems to me that they're having problems separating reality from non-reality.  A pictcure, a pastry, and a song are no reason to get the vapors.  Get a grip, folks.  Those things aren't guns.  They don't look like guns and in the case of the pastry, they certainly don't taste like guns.

I agree with Instapundit on this one: "If you aren’t smart enough to distinguish reality from non-reality, you shouldn’t be allowed around kids."

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Sunday Morning Dawg

Yesterday morning the dog came to me whining and pestering and moving toward the door.  I went with him and opened the carport door.  He kicked it into high gear and ran into the front yard, so I followed him.

Geese in the yard!  A pair of Canada geese had the effrontery to land in his front yard, and he could not let that challenge go unmet.  He charged the geese and they took flight, literally, up the road toward the highway.  Then, the dawg turned and strutted back to me, the last dog in the fight.

Yeah, he's a scrapper, no doubt about it.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Relaxation

Stolen from Madeline, a Facebook friend.


Ha!  Yeah, good honest exercise will relieve stress.  I swear to God, Sheriff, he was dead when I found him.

Starter Pistol

I worked the track meet last night, and once again I am un-impressed with the quality of todays starter pistols.  The last three or four I've seen haven't been able to make it through a whole meet without failure.  Seriously, the track meet had maybe thirty times when they needed a BANG to start the race and the crappy little starter pistol couldn't be counted on to fill the need.

A starter pistol has several absolute requirements.  First, it cannot be a real gun, for all sorts of good reasons.  No one wants a functioning pistol in the hands of a coach at a high school meet.  Next, it must provide bang, flash, and smoke.  Sound travels much more slowly than light and when the starter is near the finish line the timers can start their clocks when they hear the bang, but if the starter is down the track, or across the stadium, the timers have to see a flash or smoke to start their clocks.

Still, the crappy little pistols they've been using are simply incapable of providing a good starting signal for 30 consecutive starts.  That's terrible, and it's got me to pondering.  If I could find an old caplock, single-shot pistol for cheap, I'd modify it to use winged musket caps.  That would certainly provide bang ans flash, and I could have the barrel plugged very easily.

This problem has me pondering an easy, inexpensive, durable way to solve a problem that we've yet been unable to solve.