Friday, September 29, 2017

Seen On Facbook

Copied and pasted in it's entirety for y from the Book of Face.   If it's fake news, then let me know, if it's a valid picture, then the NFL has bigger problems than I can explain.


Terry Anton
Yesterday ·

Fascist Seahawks burning our flag! Make this go viral and boycott these assholes!

If this is true, I don't know how it got out.   Snopes says it's false, but I'm not sure I trust them.

Friday Thoughts

I wonder how many NFL players are going to kneel this weekend.? Not that I care, just wondering.  I won't be watching.  It seems that one NFL player has told fans that if they're upset, just don't come to the game.  It will be interesting to see how many people take his advice.  Insty says that NFL ticket sales are down.  That sounds about right to me.

This week, the bullshit has been intense, but I'm an old hand at bureaucratic nonsense. Just let it slide off.  It's Friday and I get to go home, spend Happy Hour with my favorite gal, and watch the sun set.   As the old comedy show advised, "that was the week that was, it's over let it go."

Tomorrow, I plan to get into a gunfight, or at least practice at gunfighting.  The guns are cleaned, the ammo is loaded, and the weekend is upon me. 

Popcorn Time

It's Boy Scout popcorn time, and if you don't have a scout to support, support mine.  He's linked here.

The Boy Scouts have been selling popcorn for years, and it's pretty good popcorn.  I personally like the Premium Caramel Corn with Almonds, Cashews, and Peanuts.  But, they have just about anything to please any palate, including just regular microwave popcorn.

This is the first time I've bought popcorn long-distance.  It's a great way to support Scouting.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Out Of Touch With Reality

Madame Justice Ginsberg, out of touch with reality, want on a TV show and proclaimed that Hillary's loss was due to sexism.  I kid you not.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave an interview to CBS News’ Charlie Rose Tuesday in which she said sexism was a “major factor” in Hillary’s 2016 loss.
No, Madame Justice, Hillary's loss had nothing to do with sexism.  If you consider her "extremely careless" approach to national security, the loss of thousands of emails, the four souls lost in Benghazi, the fact that the stayed with Bill after his flings, the way she destroyed women who accused him of rape, the fact that she lost her law license to unsavory behavior,  and the fact that she's a lying, conniving, backstabbing, vituperative,  corrupt, and vindictive.  That and the fact that she lost two "lay-up" elections to political newcomers.  She is absolutely unfit to be the President.

Oh, and no one told her not to campaign in Wisconsin.  We can add stupid to the list.

But, there are two women I would have voted for, given the chance.  I'd vote for Condoleesa Rice for anything, including president.  And, I would have voted for Carly Fiorina.

But, no, Madame Justice, Hillary Clinton was the worst possible candidate the Democrats could have put up. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Contractors

I just talked to another contractor, the second one this week.   Belle and I are getting estimates on a steel building, a shop (if you will) that we've been planning for several years. 

When we bought this place in '04, we bought enough land to put in a shop building, and recently we've gotten our money together to the point where the planning can be more immediate, so I'm talking to contractors and getting estimates.

Google Maps view of the property.  New shop will be approximately where the red rectangle is.

The shop will be on a concrete slab, of all-weld metal construction, either 30X50 or40X50, depending on the estimates.  It will have 10 foot eaves, one 12' roll up door and one man door.   I also want the contractor to frame for two (2) wall mounted A/C units.

Tomorrow, on my lunch break, I'm going to the planning commission to talk with them to see exactly what information they are going to need for the permits and how much the permitting is going to cost me.

Belle and I are excited about this.

BONEs on Guam

Rocket Man had best start paying attention. 

Twelve U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB), S.D. and the 9th EBS deployed from Dyess AFB Texas, line the airfield at Andersen AFB, Guam, July 31, 2017. The aircraft are deployed in support of U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence operations. These aircraft, and the men and women who fly and support them, provide a significant capability that enables our readiness and commitment to deterrence, provides assurances to our allies, and strengthens regional security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger)

The B-1B is just one of the Trump-cards in our strategic deck.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hard Data, Hollow Protests

John Tierney, over at Istapundit, links to an article that highlights the FBI crime data for 2016.  It appears that the Black Lives Matter bunch had best do their homework.

Granted, every death is a tragedy, but the statistics of police related shootings are very interesting.
In 2015, a police officer was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was to be killed by a police officer. Black males have made up 42 percent of all cop-killers over the last decade, though they are only 6 percent of the population
The data available classifies only 16 black male victims of police shootings as "unarmed", and if so those are 16 too many.  Still, the problem is not nearly as big as many people want to think it is.

Go read the whole thing at the link above.

Cleaning Brass - Wax bullet edition.

My family is amazing.  I can't think of a single area in which one member or another doesn't have the expertise that expertise that we can apply to any problem.  From basic plumbing to advanced medicine, we've got it covered.  Someone knows the answer, or the technique, or can point us in the right direction.

For example, my youngest son's wife is a scientist, currently in veterinarian school at LSU.  She's taken all the "ologies".  So, one day last year during our Sunday get-togethers I posed the question; "What will dissolve wax bullet residue from cartridge casings?"

She took out her smartphone and asked the question, then scrolled around for a bit.  "A volatile hydrocarbon."  Then she launched into this explanation with multi-syllable words that started to sound like yada-yada-yada.

I stopped her.  "Break it down for me, sweetie."

"Charcoal lighter fluid.  Soak them in charcoal lighter fluid."

So, I did.  I found an empty "butter bucket,", dropped the cases in and covered them with charcoal lighter fluid.  I sat it in a sunny spot and over the next three or four hours, swirled them around every time I thought about it.    Later that afternoon, I drained the lighter fluid and put the casings in the sun to dry.  They came out clean as a whistle.

I've since passed this on to other shooters and it seems to work just fine for everyone who tries it.  Better living through chemistry..  Being the frugal sort that I am, I funnel the lighter fluid back into the bottle and use it as usual for lighting charcoal.  You can't taste in on your burgers.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Chortling Here, Boss

Insty sends us to a link about Top Twelve Male Grooming Myths Exposed.  Lets look at some, shall we?

1.  Shaving makes your facial hair grow faster.
I don't care, I shave every morning.  It doesn't matter how fast it grows, I'm going to slice it off at daylight.

2.   Using multiple skincare products gives you spots.
What?  Men use skin care products?  Who knew?

3. Too much exfoliation damages skin.
Huh?  Men don't exfoliate.  Or, rather, no one I know exfoliates.

4. You have to stick to skincare products marketed at men
When I was in the Army, I'd keep a bottle of medicated powder in my duffle to ward off jungle rot.  Other than soap, that is the only skin care product I've ever used.

5. Beards don't need to be washed as much as other hair
You go ahead with that, stinky-beard.  How does one wash their face without washing their beard?  I don't grow beards, so I'm not sure about this one at all.

6. It's necessary to moisturise after every shower
HAHAHA.  Seriously?

7. Barbers understand your trimmer's grading system
As long as my barber understands what a #2 haircut is, we'll get along just fine.  I don't own a trimmer.  That's why I go tot he barber shop.

8. Home trimmers don't require any maintenance
Every mechanical device requires maintenance.  Period.

9. Hair grows faster on holiday
Heh! Okay, if you say so.  Which leads us to:

10. The difference between a $10 haircut and a $50 haircut is a cup of coffee
No, the difference is $40.  And the culture that lets someone charge $50 for a haircut.

I could go on here, but what's the use?  I have no idea what these people are talking about.

This Bears Watching

I've never heard of this volcano, but it bears watching.  Apparently, Mount Aguing on the island of Bali is showing signs of eruption.
The island has cleared people from within nearly 8 miles of the volcano, with the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation noting that heightened activity sent tremors through nearby areas and pushed smoke out of the mountain's crater.
Of course, when a volcano erupts, it tends to cool the earth as ash and  vapor get into the atmosphere.  They don't know yet what the volcano is going to do, but it certainly bears watching.

Nonsensical

The big news this morning is the spreading NFL protest and the fans reaction to it.  Talks of boycotts and fans burning NFL memorabilia.  It's all quite controversial.

And, I admit that I'm a bit confused.  Evidently, it's about blacks being repressed, although I'm hard pressed to understand how overpaid, muiti-millionaires can say that they're being oppressed.  So, I did some Googling and found the article.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
That seems to be a nonsensical reason to take a knee during the national anthem.   It looks to me like it is protest for the sake of protest.  Some folks defend it as a First Amendment right.  I aslo note with some amusement that the guy who started it doesn't have a job this year.

The other players joining the protest should remember that.  Your protest might cost you your job.  When you start hurting the bottom line of your company, you're likely to find yourself protesting in the unemployment line.  I firmly stand with the players right to protest.  I also firmly stand with the owners right to run their sorry assess up the road.

I also stand my my right to laugh at the whole thing.  It's silliness, a protest without any real goals.  It's controversy for the sake of controversy.  No one expects anything to change, and I can't see that the players are taking any actions that would lead to change.  Yet, that's their right.  In America, you have the right to be nonsensical, but you don't have the right to expect me to take you seriously.

As for myself, I boycotted the NFL twenty years ago.  I had better things to do on a Sunday afternoon than watch a bunch of overpaid athletes screw up a good game.  I'm glad to see that more of America is taking up my boycott.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

September Shoot

The Cross Branded Peacemakers held their September shoot at the backyard range at Major D's place.  We opened a four-lane range and held a 3X match, using the Nevada 8 format.  After you've lost three rounds, you have three Xs and you can go sit down.  You're done.

The Nevada 8 is an interesting format that is becoming more familiar as clubs adopt it.  It's nominally a five-shot match, and as in all CFDA matches, three winning shots wins.  But, in the Nevada 8, whoever is ahead after five shots wins it.  If the shooters are ties after five shots, then they have three additional shots to break the tie.  If, after 8 shots they are still tied, then both shooters get an X.   I've been shooting this format for a year, and in that time I've only seen one match where two Xs were awarded.

We started shooting at 4:00 pm and were finished by 6:00.

L-R Squirrel Girl, Blue Eyed Bele

L-R Cajun Greg, Gator, Maor D, Akarate Zach, and Big Bill.
We didn't stress pure CFDA attire at this shoot, we bowed to the weather.    Even though we're a club affiliated with the CFDA, we're a church club first and foremost.

From the comments I received, it appears that folks like this venue.  My back yard is my little slice of heaven and I try to make it as comfortable as the weather allows.  I have plenty of shade awnings, a nice big fan, and readily available restroom facilities.

I think we;ll shoot there until we get a bigger, more permanent venue.  And that is inn the plans.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saturday Shooting

We're hasting the Peacemakers over here this afternoon for our bi-weekly meeting.

It's a whole lot easier to do it here than it is to load everything and take it to the church.


Everything is set up and tested.  Now, we wait until the shooters arrive at 4:00.

Friday, September 22, 2017

When the Water Recedes

I've seen a couple of these around, but this is one of the problems of getting people out of flood zones.  You're never really sure what's under the water, especially in a residential area.


I took this one off of Wirecutter's site, but I've seen several of these.  The car is already totaled  but running an outboard prop down the roof doesn't do any good to the vehicle, or the outboard motor.

It does make an interesting pattern going down the roof line.

Barber Shop

Court went well yesterday.  I ran into some people I had worked with 20 years ago, the testimony was easy and I got out of there early.

Early enough that I got home, put on a uniform and went to work.  Got there before noon and finished the day.  Decided I needed a hair cut and stopped at the barber shop on the way home.

A good barber shop is a thing of joy.  You never know what might be the topic of discussion, and when I got there a young man was in the chair talking about his studies.  He's studying religion at the local preacher college.  To finance his studies he's managing a coffee shop not far from the college, and was talking about marketing strategies.

It came my turn to get a chair, and the barber asked me what I wanted.  A standard Number 2 has served me well for years.  It's quick, an efficient use of my barber dollars, and hard to screw-up..  I opted for that.  Afterward, she shaved my neck, then applied a hot towel.

That hot towel is one of the great things about going to a barber shop.  It drained all the tension out of my body, made me feel loose as a goose.  It took great effort to stand up so that I could pay the lady.

A good barber shop is a treat to the body and soul.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Floral Engraving

My boy has been playing with floral engraving.  Click on the picture for a larger image.


Oh, my.  I don't know where he got his artistic talent, but that's fine floral engraving.

Geez, that's pretty.  I blew the pic up as large as I can get it and the detail is amazing.

Good work, son.

Court

Court is the bane of every police officer.  Over the years I've spent countless hours in a courtroom, testifying to one thing or another.  Court is not where we make our living, but it is where justice is served and we have to be there to testify as to the actions of ourselves or others.

Since I've been a school resource officer, I've spent very little time in court.

Tomorrow, I have to be in Court in Natchitoches, LA, to perfect the record on a case that was settled in 1999.  These things happen sometimes, and I have to testify not to my actions, but to the record.  So, I've refreshed my memory of the record and gone back through lots of old memories of that particular case.

I won't be in uniform.  Back in the past century, I wore plain clothes, and m current agency has nothing to do with this particular case, so I"ll put on a coat and tie.

Hopefully tomorrow, I can put this particular case to bed forever.

I'm A Rascist? Really?

According to Ashley Shsckelford, I'm a racist and always will be.  Yeah, really.



This offends me on so many levels that I hesitate to enumerate them.  I'm not sure where to begin, but if you watch that video and look at the makeup of the audience, you'll note that it is pretty much white.

It's bullshit like this that has caused the accusation of racism to lose its sting.  If there is nothing I can do about being racist, then there is no real reason to try to change my thoughts.  According to Ashley, I'll always be a racist, so I will also be evil.    Unworthy of redemption,

Now, we all know that I'm not a racist, and therefore not evil, but if we wanted to define evil (and racism) it would be a simple matter to define a racist as someone who groups people based on skin color and ascribes certain attributes to that group.

Ashley Shackelford is evil.  She divides people by race.  Then she tries to intellectually explain those divisions.  She's probably a graduate of a racial studies department at some liberal university.  Worse, Ashley is a direct by-product of the post-racial Obama era.

But, if I'm racist and always will be I have no hope of redemption, I have no reason to change.  That message is evil to its core.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Principled Realism

I'm told that President Trump gave a speech at the UN earlier today to outline his philosophy of "principled realism" in US foreign policy, but I doubt that the assembled diplomats were prepared for how real it would get.  Somehow, I don't think that they've ever heard a speech quite like that.

He laid into Iran pretty good:
Pres. Trump: "It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran's gov't end its pursuit of death and destruction."
But, he saved the best line for North Korea's fat little dictator
Trump on Kim Jong Un: "Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime"
Rocket Man!  Heh.  I like that.

Update**
“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented. It is that socialism has been faithfully implemented."
That has to be the best line in the whole speech.  I see that the Dems are going crazy about our plain-spoken President, but for myself, I think he did great.

Heros

I've seen this around, but it bears repeating.
Hundreds and hundreds of small boats pulled by countless pickups and SUVs from across the South are headed for Houston or Florida. Almost all of them driven by men. They’re using their own property, sacrificing their own time, spending their own money, and risking their own lives for one reason: to help total strangers in desperate need.
Most of them are by themselves. Most are dressed like the redneck duck hunters and bass fisherman they are. Many are veterans. Most are wearing well-used gimme-hats, t-shirts, and jeans; and there’s a preponderance of camo. Most are probably gun owners, and most probably voted for Trump.
These are the people the Left loves to hate, the ones Maddow mocks. The ones Maher and Olbermann just *know* they’re so much better than. These are The Quiet Ones. They don’t wear masks and tear down statues. They don’t, as a rule, march and demonstrate.
But they’ll spend the next several days wading in cold, dirty water; dodging gators and water moccasins and fire ants; eating whatever meager rations are available; and sleeping wherever they can in dirty, damp clothes. Their reward is the tears and the hugs and the smiles from the terrified people they help. They’ll deliver one boatload, and then go back for more.
When disaster strikes, it’s what men do. Real men. Heroic men. American men. White men, Black men, Asian men, Hispanic men. And then they’ll knock back a few shots, or a few beers with like-minded men they’ve never met before, and talk about fish, or ten-point bucks, or the benefits of hollow-point ammo, or their F-150.
And the next time they hear someone talk about “the patriarchy”, or “male privilege”, they’ll snort, turn off the TV, if they have one, and go to bed.
In the meantime, they’ll likely be up again before dawn. To do it again. Until the helpless are rescued. And the work’s done.
They’re unlikely to be reimbursed. There won’t be medals. They won’t care. They’re the unsung heroes. And it’s what heroes do, get the job done and move on to the next job, or go home and resume their daily lives.
They started out as the Cajun Navy, a group of volunteers out of Louisiana during the Denham Springs flood last year.  Since then, they've gotten a little better organized, and they can put together a team on short notice.  These guys are fishermen, or hunters, and know how to operate small boats in congested waters.  They can launch anywhere, even in a flooded roadway (which is nothing more, really, than a nice bat-launch ramp).

  Other folks, who don't have boats, bring outdoor cooking ear, big pots, and set up kitchens near the launch ramps.  The volunteers are going to need food, and the victims are going to be hungry, and if Cajuns know anything, it's how to feed a crowd cheaply and serve a hot meal in almost any conditions.  Beans are cheap, and with just a little meat, some onions and bell pepper, and some flour, I can whip up a gumbo in a couple of hours. It may not be the best I've ever made, and I may have to serve it in Dixie cups.

The Cajun Navy (and the Texas Navy, and I'm sure now, the Florida Navy) are better equipped than the federal government, more nimble than a bloated bureaucracy, and a whole lot less expensive.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Tired

After coming back from Kentucky last week (had it only been a week?) PawPaw and Belle have been running wide open.  We have two unfinished pieces of legal business I'm trying to clear up, and Belle's brother was int he hospital.

He's home now, thanks for asking.  But his recovery isn't over.  It's going to be okay, but there is a lot on our plate.

Belle and I took off tonight and went to church.  We needed a little time with our church family.  We go to a Cowboy church, and the folks there are the finest people I've ever met.  Salt of the earth.  Every bit as good as out Cowboy Fast Draw family.

After church, Belle collapsed in the bed, while I finished up some business.  In another twenty minutes, I'll be passed out beside her.    It's going to be okay, I'm just give-out.  And, the alrrm will ring at 5:00 a.m.

Two Things - Healthcare

The Senate is working on a plan to stabilize Obamacare markets.
The leaders of the Senate Health Committee expressed optimism Thursday that a bipartisan deal to stabilize the insurance markets was within reach.
How Bernie Care hurts working people.
Medicare for All doesn’t just offer government health insurance to the needy. It makes private coverage illegal, including the health coverage you get at your job. Employers are prohibited from covering workers, retirees and their families.
I really wish someone would, rationally, explain to me why the federal government has any business in health care at all.   I've looked through the Constitution and don't see anything about health care at all.

The Gorilla Guro (Constitution)

I wish I could find a link to attribute this to.  I saw if over at Sondra K's place.


"Nuff said.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Afternoon Projject

We always have a project around here, and this Sunday was no different.  My second son had bought a nice piece of wood to make a tabletop that his wife wanted, and after we cut the tabletop, we has some scrap.

As it turned out, I needed a piece of scrap for another project, a microphone stand for the scoring table at Cowboy Fast Draw shoots.  I had scrounged the hardware, so in just a few minutes we turned a piece of scrap lumber into that microphone sand I had wanted.


A little sanding, three screws, and the application of a decal.  It was done.  That's one less thing on my list of piddling pojects.  Total cost - Zero.

Wow! Weather

I pretty much took off  Friday afternoon when I left work.  Belle and I have been wide=open ever since.  Haven't had time to look at the internets.

Get up this morning, drinking coffee, and look to see what the Hurricane season looks like.  Just Wow!  Three named systems out there, chugging along.

Jose is still ding his thing  out in the Atlantic.  He's not much of a threat, but he will bring wind and surf to the eastern seaboard.


Then there is Marie, who is following a suspicious track.  She bears watching over the next several days.  Those of you who remember current events might recall that Hurricane Irma followed this track closely before she savaged Florida earlier  this week.



Lastly, there's a system that they're calling Lee.  He's off to the east of Marie, but also bears watching.


Today is going to be another busy day, and when I finish this coffee, I have to get cranking.  But,, the 2017 hurricane season is far from over.  Y'all have a great Sunday and I'll be checking in from time to time.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Bernie's Big Fat, Health Plan

Pore ol;' Bernie.  You gotta feel sorry for him.  An aging socialist who lost the Democratic nomination to the very worst candidate ever put forward by a major party, he did ride a wave of populist enthusiasm until the wave battered itself against the shore of the voting booth.  It was his high-water mark, and he should savor it and slip gracefully into retirement.

He's unable to do that , though, because he likes the attention, and his followers are gullible.  They want free stuff, and Bernie wants to provide it in the form of "Medicare For All."  It sounds great from the podium, but when you put the numbers together, it sucks
The Sanders bill would add hundreds of millions of people into an already financially-strapped program while making it more generous — within four years. At no point in the legislation does he describe how he would expect to pay for this ambitious idea or deal with massive disruption it would mean for businesses, workers, and those trying to access care.
The problem is, that Americans like free stuff, and a politician who will give them free stuff..  Bernie could just as easily promised "forty acres and a mule", or "a chicken in every pot".  But, those two populist canards have been used for too long.  I guess he needed to come up with something new, so Universal Health Care is the latest rallying cry.  I'm surprised that otherwise intelligent people fall for it.

I know that we have problems in health care.  Americans spend about 17% of GDP on healthcare, probably more than any other developed nation.  Bernie supporters tout Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand as examples of universal health care, but if you look closely at those countries, they all have problems.  It's not pie-in-the-sky.  It's witchcraft economics, and one of these days we are going to run out of other people's money.

Bernie Sanders represents the very worst of American politics.  Populism has been decried for generations, but Americans still fall for it.

Heh

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Metal Roofs

In 2006, Milady and I put a metal roof on our house.  It's guaranteed for 50 years, which means I'll never replace it, and I've been very happy with it.  You can see it in the background of another project picture I took two years ago.


We've been very pleased with it.  Durable and maintenance free, it cost a bit more than a traditional shingled roof, but in our minds, it is well worth the extra cost.

Then comes this picture from Hurricane Irma, in the Caribbean.


The roof blew off, but otherwise seems undamaged.  That's a pretty good testament to the durability of steel roofs.  Your mileage may vary, but we've been really pleased with ours.

The Dreamers and the Deal Maker

I see that President Trump met with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to talk about the Dreamers, those folks who came to the US as minors and want to stay.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a joint statement at roughly the same time as Trump was speaking to the press that his tweets were not inconsistent with what they'd claimed.
They said last night after a White House dinner that an agreement had been brokered that would protect the 800,000 immigrants who benefited from former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
They may be disappointed.  President Trump, if he knows anything at all, knows the art of the deal.  Plenty of folks have left meeting with him over the years thinking that they had a deal, but were later disappointed.  Schumer and Pelosi are no different.
Trump had put the program on a six-month sunset and urged Congress to pass legislation in that window to keep Dreamers, as they are called, in the U.S. permanently.
That sounds reasonable.  Give Congress six months to sort it out and put legislation on his desk.  They've had plenty of time to do that in the past, and never could seem to get it done.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Big Ugly and I

When you first attend a Cowboy Fast Draw match, it is somewhat confusing. Normally, there will be two or more six-lane ranges in use and it is hard to sort out exactly what is happening.  In essence, what you are watching is a number of individual matches.

In the large matches, the individual contests are  arranged by computer.  It matches individuals up against each other, randomly.  The match officials post the matches on the board, and we read the printout and go to our assigned range. After the shots are fired and the winner of the match is decided, the winner gets nothing and the loser gets an X on his score card.  Normally a state level match is a 4X match, which means that you have to lose four times before you are out of the competition. It looks confusing the first time you see it, but after a while, it starts to make sense.

So, on Sunday morning, I had three (3) Xs.  I was bleeding bad and dragging a leg, but I was still in it.    On the board, first thing Sunday, I saw that I had drawn Big Ugly Malone, a shooter out of Virginia.    Big Ugly is a fine fellow, soft spoken, a gentleman of the old tradition.  But, he's also fast.

A shooter's "lean" is an individual thing.  Some folks lean, some stand straight.  Big Ugly, as tall as he is, has a distinctive lean.    He's the guy in the photo below.

Big Ugly, center, in the maroon shirt.  Major D in the black vest.
So, I had drawn Big Ugly, a top competitor, fast as lightning, and I knew that the only chance I had was to hit the plate.  Repeatedly.

First shot, my light blinked, which told me I had won the shot.  Second shot, my light blinked, so I had Big Ugly 0-2.   That was in interesting development.  I tried not to get excited.  Stay calm, keep putting them o the plate.

Third shot, we both hit the plate.  Big Ugly's bullet got there four-tenths of a second faster than mine, so the score was 1-2.  Keep calm, keep shooting.  Fourth shot, Big Ugly's light blinked, but he put his hand in the air.   I had missed that shot, and I admit I was baffled.

Cowboy Fast Draw is about fairness, and Big Ugly questioned whether his shot was a valid hit.  If Big Ugly had kept quiet, we'd be tied, 2-2, but he didn't want anything he didn't earn, so he questioned the shot.  The judges went down and  inspected the target.  The hit was not valid, so we were back to 1-2.

By this time, Big Ugly had found the target.  The next two shots were his.  I hit the plate, but not fast enough.  Big Ugly won that match, fair and square.  Major D shook his hand, congratulated him, and went over to the shade canopy to take off my gun.  It was over, and I had bled out.

Major D, blowing smoke.
We hung around for a while.  I helped hand-judge the ninth round, and even hand-judged for Big Ugly, when he gave someone else an X.  He was on fire Sunday morning and put on a memorable performance.  Eventually winning the whole shebang.  Big Ugly Malone is now the current Kentucky State Champion of Cowboy Fast Draw.

Some matches are memorable.  That was a fun match.  Thanks, Big Ugly, I hope we can do it again, soon.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Blame Game

It seems that the failed politician, Hillary Clinton just can't get her head around the idea that the majority of people in 33 states didn't want her as President.  She, the veteran of numerous political races, lost to a newcomer, someone who had never before held elective office.

It couldn't have been her fault, right?  It had to be someone else's fault.    Now, it's Bernie Sanders fault, because he drew-out the nomination process.
“I didn’t get anything like that respect from Sanders and his supporters,” Clinton said. “And it hurt. You know, to have basically captured the nomination, ending up with more than 4 million votes than he had. And he dragged it out.”
It hurt, did it?  Cry me a river.

No, darlin', what happened is you lost.  The American people rejected you completely.  Once touted as "the most qualified candidate in history", by a man who also trounced you in a Presidential election (a man, I might add, that was also a political newcomer).

Hillary, you have no moral character.  The simple fact that you're still married to Slick Willie testifies to that fact.  Your character flaws are deep and well documented, especially apparent that you are unfit for leadership.

We rejected you, Hillary, and the fact that you're still whining about it shows how unfit, how un-electable you are.  You are a pathetic shell of a woman, driven by greed and avarice.

Do the nation a final service Hillary, and just shut up.

Karl Gustaf, You Say?

The Firearm Blog is reporting that the US Army has approved the new M3E1 Karl Gustaf recoilless rifle for acquisition.
Good things come in lightweight, 84mm packages: Following its fielding of the M3 MAAWS last year, the US Army has announced its decision to sole-source 1,111 improved lightweight M3E1 MAAWS recoilless rifles from Saab Dynamics, in a listing at FBO.gov. The new weapon is based on the Saab Dynamics M4 variant of the venerable Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle, which improves over the previous M3 by reducing weight by 30% (22 pounds down to 15.4 pounds) and length by 14% (1,100mm down to 950mm). The M3E1 is expected to be type classified as the M3A1 Multi-Role Anti-Armor/Anti-Personnel Weapon System (MAAWS).
Back in the day, when I was in the walking-around Army ('73-75) we had recoilless rifles in the inventory.  I actually got to fire an M20, 75 mm recoilless rifle at Fort Riley during pre-commissioning  training.  It was a cool rifle, deadly and noisy as hell, and after that I never saw one in use.

The Army at that time was smitten with rocketry and the old M72A1 LAW rocket was ubiquitous during my early days as a platoon leader.   The infantry also had the  M47 Dragon system in several variants.   Of course, the most iconic rocket grenade in use worldwide is the old Russian RPG-7, the anti-armor weapon of peasants worldwide.

I had thought that the recoilless rifle had gone the way of bolt-action rifles and steel-pot helmets, a fond memory of an old warrior, but it seems that what is old is new again.


That should give the light infantry a good anti-armor punch.  It should be useful for vehicles, bunkers, buildings, anything that needs several pounds of high explosive remodeling.  In the anti-personnel, I bet that a buckshot or flechette round would be devastating.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Yet Another Cluster in Mississippi.

Mississippi cops have to b some of the most incompetent in the US.

After the abysmal performance last night in Grenada, where they shut down an entire interstate for four hour because some loser was throwing a tantrum, Belle and I checked into a hotel  You can read all about it here.  But, we sent four hours in traffic and on back roads to go maybe 20 miles, throwing everyone behind schedule and costing thousands of people, collectively,  millions o dollars.

But, we spent the night in a hotel, and got up this morning, ready for a relaxing drive home.  Never again will I be so naive.  Just about the time we got on I-55, we got a traffic alert about an accident near milepost 119, which was 90 miles (or so) from us.  I commented that any barely competent cop, fresh out of the academy, should be able to clear a wreck inside of 90 minutes.  Boy, was I wrong.

About ten miles from the crash site, the travel shuts down.  We're on a standard four-lane interstate,  with two travel lanes in each direction.  We start creeping, about one miler per hour, and traffic piles up quickly.  As we approach the crash site, after about 40 minutes, I see that the highway is expanding as we get into Jackson, MS, and when we get to the crash site,  I  observe two motorcycle units and about five patrol units.    One of the crashed vehicles is on a tilt-bed wrecker  There is nothing in any of those five travel lanes, but cops standing around, scratching their asses and picking their noses.  One fat cop is standing in the lane near the fast lane, directing us through the crash site.

If he had taken three steps back, he would have had two travel lanes to move traffic, but that was obviously too apparent for him to notice.     I started to run the sonsofbitch  over to remind him what his primary consideration should be.  But,  Belle insisted that they'd probably close the interstate for another hour before they dragged his sorry ass to the shoulder.

So, the cops in Mississippi have twice, in 24 hours, on the same piece of road, ailed to keep it open.

And really, traffic management is that simple.  Keep the road open.  Protect life and keep the travel lanes open.    There is no, I repeat NO reason to close a highway to clear a wreck.

Geez, the Governor of Mississippi needs to hire a whole  new police force.    Seriously, no a one I've seen has any idea how to do the job.  In the past 24 hours I have seen the police in Mississippi put the motoring public at risk on two separate occasions, simply because they don't know how to clear a traffic lane.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

What A Cluster

So, Belle and I were driving home this afternoon, planning to make Vicksburg, but about 20 miles north of Grenada, MS, the traffic on I-55 just shut down.    This about 5:30 pm.  We figure it's a wreck and spend our time stuck in traffic, a cop and an RN, dreaming up scenarios thatmight explain the delay.

So, we're creeping along at 2 mph, and after an hour or so, two police cars shunt us off onto a little country road, a pig trail if you will.  It's long past dark by now and we're on this little pig-trail, barely paved, with all of the I-55 traffic.  We finally get into Grenada, and we find out t what the story is.

It seems lie this disaffected military critter decided to go apeshit, take a a hostage, and get into a standoff with the Mississippi constabulary on the interstate highway.

So, of course, they decide to close the interstate.  Public safety.  They called the SWAT team, which is always a bad idea.  I've been a cop for over 35 years, and if I've leaned one thing, it's that SWAT is great in concept, but terrible in execution.  They never get it right.

The critter decided to kill himself, which was a great idea.  I've linked one article here.  That ended the standoff, which is how these things normally end, by the way.  By the time it was over, Belle and I had been stuck in horrible traffic for over four hours, driving down pig-trails and possum-trots, and frankly I don't have any sympathy for the sonofabitch.

This critter screwed up the Sunday afternoon of Belle, which is an unforgivable sin.  He also screwed up the Sunday afternoon of thousands of innocent people, out for a Sunday drive, and the truck drivers who make a living carrying the freight that we all depend on.    He caused countless thousands of people inconvenience and economic loss.

Now, I don't want to hear anyone whining that he might have had PTSD.  We don't now anything about him, and even if he did have battlefield trauma, he should have handled it better.  I know lots of guys who were battlefield stressed, and they didn't ruin anyone's afternoon.

Screw him, and the horse he rode in on.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll have a stiff drink before I go off on a rant.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Kentucky State - Day 4

Not many pictures today.  The match was run very well, meaning that everyone stayed busy from start to finish.  PawPaw is still alive after seven (7) rounds, which means that I'm in it tomorrow.  With three (3) Xs, I'm bleeding bad and limping, but I'm still in it.

The only picture I took today was of my CFDA pastor, Stainless Steel, who ministers to us when we're on the road.  Stainless is a good pastor, worrying about all of us, and a pretty good shooter.  I haven't come up against him today, but I still owe him an X from a match last year.

Stainless Steel, the unofficial pastor of the Eastern and Southern Territories.
Belle and I are in the room now, cooing off and cleaning up.  The banquet is tonight and we'll meet at a nearby hall to spoof each other and they'll hand out the trophies won already.

Tomorrow, we'll finish the main match.  Then we'll hug necks, shake hands and head toward the house.  I'll try to post some pictures after the banquet tonight.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Kentucky State - Day 3

I didn't fill myself with glory today, but we had a good time  PawPaw had trouble finding the target and was out about the fifth round, but that's okay, we had a ball.

Shooter's Meeting, Safety Briefing.  77 shooters today.
Belle, hand-judging, prior to shooting.
Wildfire, out assistant Match Director
L-R: Pixie Quick, Blue Eyed Belle, and Fancy Pants.
A whiskey barrel lid, engraved with the CFDA logo.  It would look good in my shop.
Tomorrow starts the main match.  Belle and I are back at the hotel, enjoying Happy Hour.   I may be wrong, but I do believe that Belle locked down a minor trophy today.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Kentucky State - Day 1

We showed up at the range this morning and registered, then shot a practice match that will benefit the local Veteran's Honor Guard, who provides military honor guards for veterans funerals.  It's a worthy group and we support such organizations.

Belle and I before the match
Lots there to salute.
Pixie Quick, out of north Texas (DFW club)
Slowpoke, out of Virginia.  A top gun in this game.
Gabe and Skagway jawing.
Of course, none of the names used here are their given names.  It's all aliases in this organization.

Thursday Already?

Awoke in Kentucky this morning, turned on the Weather Channel, and booted up the computer.

The track on Irma is firming up, and it looks like this.


As bad as Harvey was (and the recovery will go on or years), the body count was fairly light.  If Irma comes across the densely packed Miami-Dade area with hurricane force winds, the toll will likely be much worse.

The track will start becoming more clear today and tonight.  Pray for the folks in the cross-hairs.  This one is going to be bad.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Arrive'!

We have arrived in the thriving metropolis of Beaver Dam, KY.  The trip up was uneventful, if you call being dead-stopped in the middle of I-40 a non-event.  And, of course, when we came trough Nashville at 5:00 it was gridlocked for about 30 miles.

We're currently ensconced in the Beaver Dam Inn, the only hotel in the  metroplex.  There is both a Denny's and a Wendy's in the parking lot, so we're good for restaurants.  We stayed here last year for Kentucky State, and it's a nice little roadside inn.  Nothing fancy; clean sheets and a friendly staff.

More later.  I'm going to have a sip of bourbon, and surf the intertubes for a bit.  The shoot starts tomorrow, and we'll take pictures.

Devestation Bleg

Like many of you, I've been following the devastation that is following Hurricane Harvey.  For many of us, it's something we see on the internet, but for the folks in the cross-hairs, it's something they live with every day.

I know, personally, families that are being affected today.  Some of these folks are hurting, and we try to do what we can to help.  If you want to donate, Miss Betty, of the West Texas Rangers, a CFDA club in Odessa, TX, has started a Go Fund Me page targeting the club in Silsbee, TX  I've kicked in, as have others, and if you want to drop some cash in the bucket, it would be specifically sent to folks I know, rather than to a nameless, faceless charity.

The Go Fund Me is here.  Anything is appreciated.  Paw Paw kicked in, because I know that these folks are hurting and that the money will go to folks I call friends, and family.

Thanks, in advance.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Busy Day

It's been a busy day, what with regular duty and taking care of the public, and working a detail, but it worked out all right.

Tomorrow morning, as soon as we can get moving, Belle and I will be enroute to Hartford KY, of the Kentucky State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw.

 Belle is packing right now, and I will be as soon as I take care of a few administrative details.    I'll try to update y'all as time permits, but Belle and I have a six-day extended weekend.  I promised the boss that I'd be back for duty on Tuesday.

Irma Answers

Hurricane Irma is a huge, deadly storm, but we just don't have many answers right now.  All of the meteorologists will tell you that it's too early to nail down a track, but it is a storm that keeps us paying attention.

Here's an embed from a station in southern Florida with the current information tonight.

 
Everyone seems to be in agreement that it is going to make a northerly turn, but the question is when and where will it make impact.

This is a bad one, folks,  The hurricane season is heating up.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Irma

There's a new track out for hurricane Irma, and it looks threatening.


It's still too early to really know anything, but this storm bears watching.  It could go anywhere, but we don't need it coming to coastal Louisiana or Texas.

But, God sends storms in His time and in His will.  If it comes here, we'll just have to weather it.

Spider Lilly

Several years ago I came into possession of some white Spider Lilly bulbs.    Red are very common, but the white is something kind of rare, so I planted them along the fence on the side yard.  And, occasionally, one of them blooms.


I always think that it's cooler-than-hell when spider lillys bloom.    You never see them come up, you just notice one day that they have bloomed.  I planted a half-dozen bulbs against that fence line, and spider lillys are noted for multiplying themselves.  I never know how many are going to come up, but occasionally I get a dozen or more blooms.  We'll just have to wait and see.

The Field

Wirecutter talks about being in the field, in the Army.  That's what the Army is for; going out in the field and training to defeat our nation's enemies.  We don't go to the Super 8 to sleep, although I spent a portion of my career as a REMF. But, I started in the field, and I ended my career in the field.  A garrison posting was gravy, but the simple fact is that an Army learns its job in the field.

When I was a young'un, I was a Boy Scout.  We were a fairly hardcore troop of kids, spent a lot of time hiking, camping, getting familiar with the woods, creeks, and forests around central Louisiana.  By the time I went into the Army, I was comfortable in the woods.  I learned all kinds of neat stuff in the Boy Scouts, things that kept me in good stead in the Army, but the first thing I learned in the Army is that camping with the Boy Scots was fun while camping with the Army sucked.    It was work, and there were very few creature comforts.

Wirecutter talks about sleeping in a GP Medium tent, and if you go to the link, you'll see a picture of this thing.

US Army, GP Medium
It's a nice tent, but in Armor or Cav units, we never saw one.  It was too permanent, meaning that when you get ordered to move, packing up takes valuable time.  We learned to sleep wherever we could find space to get horizontal.  I spent a few nights sleeping on the back deck of the tank, still in my CVC helmet with a long spaghetti cord, so I could listen to the radio.  In the Cav, we'd often sleep in the back of an M113,, or in whatever vehicle we were assigned.  I even knew a Chaplain who slept on the roof of his HMMWV, but I never understood how that was even marginally comfortable.

When I got promoted to Major, I was in charge of the battalion TOC, an assemblage of staff M577 vehicles where we coordinated the activities of the battalion.  It came with a shelter, and looked something like this.

Random Photo, slurped from the internet
There was always room in the TOC to set up a cot, and I spent a lot of nights on a cot in the TOC.  It was a decided "step up" from sleeping on the back of a tank, or crashed in the back of a 5-ton.  I remember one night in the TOC, a cold, wintry night and sometime during the witching hour, a truck pulled up outside on a logistics run..  They were bringing mid-rats (midnight rations) t the companies, and dropped off a mermite container and a platter of ham sandwiches   The mermite was filled with fresh chicken soup.  Big chunks of chicken, noodles, carrots, it was a god-send and my TOC watch crew went through that soup like the ravenous horde that field soldiers are.

I don't know how the Army goes to the field today.  It's been twenty years since I was a field soldier.  I'm sure that they do it differently today with the focus on the desert, rather tan the woodlands that we trained in.  It was a different time, and a different Army.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Hallelujan

Leonard Cohen's song Hallelujah is an iconic composition, almost an earworm.  It gets stuck in your head and revolves constantly.

A Navy veteran has re-written it as an anthem for veterans.  I like it.



I like it.

Sunday - Grill Day

After nearly two solid weeks of rain ad hateful weather, the sun is out, everything is drying up, and PawPaw is hungry for a hamburger.  The grill is clean, the cook table is back in place, and when the kids get here in an hour or so, I'll light the charcoal.


We'll do hamburgers, and some sausage that made its way home form the grocers.

I noticed, in passing, that Belle's hydrangea is blooming.  We were hoping for blue, but it appears that we got "a hint of rose".


Tomorrow, of course, is Labor Day, and I plan to labor.  Belle is working and I'm going to try and get caught up on the lawn.  It's in serious need of trimming.  We need to get packed up and ready to roll Wednesday morning.  We're going to Hartford, KY, for the Showdown In The Bluegrrass, the Kentucky State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw.


She and I haven't taken a road trip since May, and it's time to go look at something else.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

How Floods Work

A great piece here on how floods work.    It's about upstream, downstream and development.    Go read the whole thing for a full explanation, but I'll excerpt some of it.
Texas can be divided into roughly three major drainage areas. Those places that eventually flow into the Rio Grande, those that feed into the Brazos and Trinity, and those that supply the Red. Many of those streams drain south and east into the plains around what is now Houston – Port Arthur.
This is a huge file.  Click for larger.
Major cities are normally built near ports.  Houston is no exception.
So Houston was developed on wetlands, or specifically on higher areas within wetlands and streams called bayous. Buffalo Bayou is one of the best known, but there are scads of them, or were. Houston also sits on sediment that is slowly sliding down into the Gulf of Mexico and has been since the end of the last ice age. To compound the problem, in the ’50s and ’60s, groundwater pumping was tried to augment Houston and some of the surrounding towns’ water supplies, and that lowered a few areas almost below sea level before pumping stopped.
We all know that grass, trees and open spaces absorb rain.  Conversely, buildings, parking lots and  roads to not absorb rain.  That rain has to go somewhere and that's what we call "drainage".
Buildings, parking lots, and streets do not absorb rain. So the water must be directed somewhere, through storm sewers usually, and sent away. To make a long story really short and simple, a lot of urban areas have so much pavement (impermeable surface) as compared to absorbent ground that hard, fast rainfall causes street flooding. Denver, Amarillo, Garden City in KS, LA, anywhere you get a lot of rain in a short period of time can have minor flooding.
Major cities tend to grow, and developers like to build on flat areas.  Houses, roads, shopping malls, all contribute to moving water.  When all the bayous, creeks, and sloughs fill up, the water quits moving.  And, the folks upstream start seeing their water quit moving.    Which contributes to flooding in places that don't normally see flooding.    When you have a catastrophic storm like Harvey, or Katrina, or Sandy, we see flooding in areas that didn't flood 50 years ago.
The problem with Houston and the surrounding area is that over the past 150 years or so, more and more has been built on the bayous and wetlands along the Texas Gulf Coast, and upstream. So not only has there been far too much rainfall for the ground to absorb (30″ in 36 hours is too much even on absorbent ground), but it is falling upstream and filling the rivers that drain into the lower areas. And the development in that part of the state has covered over the soil and streams, reducing the amount of vegetation, and so it flooded
Go read the whole thing, It's worth the time,  

Friday, September 01, 2017

The Tubman Twenty

I see that there is a movement afoot by the liberals to take Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill and replace him with Harriet Tubman.  Jackson, or course, was a slave holder, and he was rude to the Native Americans

Jackson was also, if I remember my history correctly, one of the founders of the Democratic Party.  So, if we want to replace Jackson with someone a little more politically correct, I suppose that Tubman is as good as any.  She was a strong woman with deeply held beliefs and acted on those beliefs at great personal risk.

Here is a design I can get behind.


President Trump should just order it.