Thursday, May 31, 2018

Final Day, Southern Territorials.

Today was the last day of the  Southern Territorials.  Don't worry, we start the US National tomorrow morning.

PawPaw hugging on Pixie Quick, a shooter out of Fort Worth.
Akarate Zach, relaxing before the finals.
Belle, hugging on Diamondback Billy, a shooter from Pocohontas, AR
And finally, a video of Akarate Zach's last two matches.  He placed 4th in Junior Division, and 62nd out of 90 men.  For his first match shooting wit the men-folk, he did quite well.



We're in the hotel room now, resting.  Tomorrow we start the US Nationals and everyone gets to start over fresh.  It's going to b a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Southern Territorials

Today we shot the main match of the Southern Territorials.  This is a precursor to the US Nationals that we'll shoot on Saturday.  This was a 4X match, which means that if you lose four matches, you ar out of the cometition.

I went out in the 6th round, as did Zach.  Belle hanged in till the 7th round and we are all pleased with our performamce today.  There are some very capable shooters who went-out before we did.

A little video of Zach in the 5th round.



Tomorrow, we shoot brackets, which is a match based on your times that we shot tody.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Amarillo

Belle, Zach, and I are in Amarillo getting ready for the shooting to start tomorrow.  We spent the afternoon helping to set up, then went to eat and are now in the hotel,
The chaos that is setting up.  It will look a lot better tomorrow when we get to the matches.

The Venue:  We're in the Tri-State Fairgrounds.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Angel Flight

Monday, Traveling

We left  home this morning, taking our time.  Not getting into a hurry.  Helluve traffic snafu in Shreveport, LA, I-20 turned into a parking lot for over an hour.  The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful, except for the cluster-fark that is always Fort Worth.

We're northwest of Fort Worth tonight.  In Vernon, TX, about 175 miles from Amarillo.  It's interesting watching the foliage reduce in size once you get past Fort Worth.    Out  here, there aren't any trees; just bushes.


IT's not the first time I've seen these things, but I am amazed every time I roll through a wind farm.  They are gigantic.  Huge.

We'll be in Amarillo tomorrow morning.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Red Beans and Rice

These are so simple, it's totally unbelievable.

Red Beans and Rice

Ingredients
2 lbs dry red beans
2 lbs good smoked sausge
6 cups dry rice
Water
Salt
Pepper

Prep Time 12 hours

Prep and Cooking
Twelve hours before you want red beans, rinse your beans in a colander and put them in the crock pot.  We use an 8-quart cooker.  Cut your sausage into rounds, and add the sausage as well.  Add water to cover the sausage/beans, and add a little salt and pepper.  Put the lid on the crock pot.  and st it on low.  Go to bed.  Seriously, you're done.  We put this pot on about 8:00 pm and I took the picture about 11:00 am the next morning

Shortly before lunch, put on a pot of rice (We make six sups of rice when feeding the family). 

Serve beans/sausage over rice.  Make some cornbread.  It's lunch (or dinner, if you put the beans on when you make coffee in the morning).

We fed fifteen (15) people for lunch today, and all the beans are gone.

Shooting Saturday

The Cross Branded Peacemakers held their monthly match yesterday.  It was a good match, held indoors at our home range, so the rain didn't bother us.  And it rained.  Oh my, how it rained.

The shooting area.  This place is my little slice of heaven.
Our pastor, working the electronics.  Pastors are great announcers.
The spectators area.  The ladies seem to be comfortable.
Belle, Zach and I will be packing this afternoon.  Lots of stuff to gather and get ready to put in the van.  Tomorrow morning we leave for Amarillo, TX, where we'll attend the Southern Territorial Championships and the CFDA US National Championships.  Yesterdays match was a great tune-up because we won't be able to strap up until Wednesday morning.

I'm really looking forward to this trip.  It's time to get out of town, see something we haven't seen, and have a little fun.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Hey, There, Alberto

The first tropical storm of the season, and technically, it's not hurricane season yet.  Tropical Storm Alberto cranked up over the past few days and is threatening to hit the mainland US.  The five day probability is below.

Hurricane season normally runs from June 1 - October 1, but Alberto is pushing the calendar by a few days  When her gets here, Belle and I should be in west Texas.  We'll have a house-sitter here looking after Beau and we'll be talking with her frequently.

The Unfortunate Third Amendment

Amendment III
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Yesterday, I shared a video by Collon Noir, in which he tongue-in-cheek suggested that the
government limit the ability of the press to report on mass shootings.  If you watched the whole video, you learned that he really wasn't suggesting that the government abridge the First Amendment  He was using hyperbole to demonstrate that there are no common-sense laws we could pass that would NOT violate the Constitution.

Just as in the case of the 2nd Amendment there are no "common-sense" laws that would not not infringe on the rights of The People.

Then we come to the Third Amendment.  In times of peace, troops cannot be quartered in priate homes without the consent o the Owner.    No one argues about that.  It's pretty plain.  We consider it one of the bedrock principles of our republic.   Yet, there it sits, forlorn and un-debated.

I agree that the government should nor restrict the ability of the press to report on whatever they choose to report on.

I also agree that soldiers should not be quartered in private homes.

I also agree that the right of The People to keep and bear arms should not be infringed.

I believe that over-reporting mass shootings drives the attention culture and inspires copycat incidents.  But, that's for the press to consider.  Our rabid press should be responsible in the manner in which they report the news.  But, it's not the governments place to limit them.

Later today, I'll be teaching and preaching gun safety.  I have heard reports that we'll have some new shooters today.  Some of them may never have handled a firearm, and it's my responsibility to get it right.  I've also been told that the press may attend, to do a feature on the Cross Branded Peacemakers.  Today is going to be a lot of fun.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Some Photos From Last NIght

Our church has what we call Prayer and  Practice where we let the folks with horses get out in the arena, and practice their skills, and we have a short devotional during that time, to re reflect on the bible while on horseback.

Our pastor, Herb Dickerson, with a tablet studying his scripture.
One of the youth, praying during the devotional.  Her horse was very well behaved.
One of the youth, running the barrels.
Two of the leders discussing the finer points of arena mud.  With all this rain lately, we're becoming expert on arena mud.
We've been getting a lot of pup-up thunderstorms lately, and the arena shows it.  Still, it was good to meet wit the horsey congregation yesterday and do horse things while we prayed.

Tomorrow, the Peacemakers meet for our monthly match.   Then, on Monday, Belle, Zach and I depart for Amarillo, TX.  We'll be there for the Southern Territorials and the US National championships.

Take A Knee

I see that the NFL is revising it's "take a knee" policy, and the usual suspects are outraged.  Hot Air has a good round-up, and the whiney twits are coming out in force.  I say "twits" because they're twitter-ing.

It's racist, and it's all about the First Amendment.


Dude!  Spare me.  These overpaid employees can say whatever they want to say when they're off the clock, but the First Amendment doesn't has limits.  I know, for example, that I criticize my boss at my own peril.  And, I know that the things I say can rear up and bite me on the butt.

Of course, none of this really matters to me on a personal level.  I quit watching the NFL several years ago for reasons just such as the kneeling kerfluffle.  Personally, if someone won't stand for the American flag, I don't have much respect for them anyway. 

Armed Citizen

A good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun.  According to CNN.

Armed citizen kills shooter at Oklahoma City restaurant

That's the headline, and it says it all.

Animals

A new poll conducted by Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll says that President Trump calling MS-13 members "animal" is okay.
Fifty-six percent of American adults in the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll said referring to members of the gang as “animals” is fair, compared to 44 percent who said the characterization was unfair.
Most Americans know that the president was using hyperbole.  Only the screeching harpies in the media and Democratic party (sorry for the redundancy) took exception, but they are still butt-hurt that he is the president. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Want To Stop Mass Shootings?

Collon Noir says we should stop inspiring new killers by mass media coverage.



I agree with him.  Attention-seeking is at an all-time high, and if we quit giving the goblins attention, we just might not inspire others.

I'm the NRA, and I am freedom's safest palce.

New Blood Pressure Guidelines

According to the UPI, the blood pressure guidelines are about to change, and as many as one-third of US adults may need medication under the new regime.
The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association redefined high blood pressure at 130/80 in November, down from the previous level of 140/90, based on new evidence supporting a lower threshold.
My gal, who has been a registered nurse for many years, firmly believes that this sort of thing is a cabal of doctors and pharmaceutical companies simply to sell pills.  She maintains that the numbers she saw when she began nursing were much higher than they are today, and those numbers, generally across the board, caused no real problems.  But, she says, as ad doctors became pill-pushers and pharmaceutical companies learned how very profitable that lower numbers could be, the numbers started dropping so that doctors could sell more pills.

I'm sure that all this can be explained by good science, but just exactly how long do they expect us to live, anyway?

TISAS

The national news is boring me these days, so we're not going to talk about that.

Instead, I saw a short video from Brownell's where they talk about a pistol they saw at SHOT show, the Tisas Regent, which is apparently a clone of the Browning Hi-Power.  I admit that I've never used, carried, or shot a Hi-Power, but those guys I know that have used them say that they are very nice.  I read somewhere, years ago, that the Hi-Power was John Borwning's natural evolution of the 1911.

I may soon be in the market for another semi-auto, and this little piece may be just the ticket.  It has Brownell's seal of approval.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Rep Swalwell: Ban ARs, Prosecute Owners.

Rep Swalwell, a D from CA wants to ban AR rifles, have a buyback, and prosecute those owners who refuse to comply.  Yeah, seriously.

Tucker Carlson takes him to task over his plan.  T here's a great back-and-forth when Tucker asks him why his bodyguards should have better weapons than the general American populace.  Swalwell thinks it's a ridiculous argument, of course.



Swalwell is an elitist twit, a fitting representative of the Democratic Party.

More Comey's Disgrace

To the untrained eye, it's becoming more and more apparent that the FBI, under the direction of James Comey during the Obama administration, became a thoroughly politicized organization  It seems that some agents want subpoenas so that they can testify freely before Congress.
The sources claim there is a demand within the agency to prosecute former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. They also say the bureau has become totally politicized.
If McCabe is preosecutable, then so Comey should be easy to indict.  This happened on his watch.  There is always a certain amount of internal politics in any police agency.  It's the Director's job to keep that tamped down, to make the agency serve the people without regard to political persuasion.  We are supposed to uphold the law without passion or prejudice.  The Obama administration weaponized both the FBI and the IRS against his political opponents.  Comey, McCabe, et al, let it happen.  They are despicable. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mallards

Mallards in the front yard.  In my younger days I hunted them, but nowadays I'm content to let them eat the bugs out of the grass.


Several Things

With the media blitz in the aftermath of the Santa Fe shooting, some wags are calling for more gun restrictions, but they're awfully short on making sense of themselves.  For example, Powerline links to an AP reporter calling exactly that.
[T]he state’s 20-year dominance by the Republican Party all but guarantees the meetings will be dominated by calls to boost school security and “harden” campuses — an idea backed by the NRA — instead of demands for gun restrictions, said Cal Jillson, political science professor at Southern Methodist University.
As one cmmmenter said earlier, the call for solutions to this problem often come from people (reporters) who are least familiar with the problem.  I'd ask which "restrictions" might have solved this problem?  The shooter in Texas used a shotgun and a revolver.  Both of these are technology from the 1800s.   How about a law that prohibits people from bringing guns on campus?  We already have that.  How about a law that criminalizes murder?  We already have that too.

Others talk about hardening schools.  Making it more difficult to get into a school.  The problem with that scenario is that when most schools were designed and built back in the '70s, '80s, or '90s, the state-of-the-art was to make schools look like welcoming places.    The high school I worked in, back at the turn of the century, had 14 different entrances in the main building, with two gymnasiums and one other classroom building.  It also had a city street that ran right through it.  The school was designed for ease of access.  That's not a good thing in the current climate.

But, hardening schools, limiting access, changing traffic flows, costs money, and cash-strapped school districts may mot have the available cash to do the re-design.  Remember, these are government facilities with all the design, permitting, and bureaucratic safeguards to impede rapid progress.  But, trust me, school administrators all across the US are thinking about these things.

As horrific as these incidents are, we have to ask ourselves what is driving them?  It's not the gun, the guns have been around forever.  I can remember a simpler time, where I strapped a shotgun to the handlebars of my bicycle and met friends to go hunting.  Several adolescents rode across a goodly portion of town and no one thought anything about it.

So, what's chagend?  The culture.  We have a sub-culture of kids (and I'm excluding jihadis here) who are emulating the very worst possible examples.  This Santa Fe shooting was almost a carbon-copy of the Columbine script..  The problem is not the guns, it is the culture.  Somehow, we have to change the culture.  It won't be easy and it won't be a quick fix, but we have to change the culture.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Fortunate Son

This is how we rolled when I was a young warrior.  I never made it to the 'Nam, but these are the guys that trained me, and I was Air Cav before I was Armored Cav.



Watching that brings back memories.

Uh, No. Just No

Anyway, I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I now actually do want to take your guns.
All of your guns.
Right now.
Uh, no, I don't think that's going to happen.
So now I’m angry. Now I’m finished trying to reason with you. So now I, a guy who was ambivalent about guns just a few years ago, want to take your guns away. All of them. I want to take them all and melt them down and shape them into a giant sphere and then push it at you so you have to run away from it like Indiana Jones for the rest of your lives. I want Ted Nugent to roam the halls of his gunless house, sighing wearily until he dies. I want to end this thing once and for all, so that all of you who have prioritized the sale of guns over the lives of children have to sit quietly and think about what you’ve done. God help me, I want to take all of your guns out of your hands, by myself, right now.
 We're tired of trying to reason with you too.  Gun control law after gun control law, each passed with the promise of concrete change, and when nothing changed, you wanted more gun control laws. 

Guns aren't the problem.  They're not the answer either.  The problem is disaffected youth who have a low threshold of violence.  And, the left has let this happen.    The anything-goes mentality has finally started to spawn its crop.   But, because you're unwilling to face the problem, unwilling to make the tough choices, you call for yet more gun control.  We've had gun control in this country since 1964 and still you call for more.  Guns aren't the problem. 

I  note, with some sense of irony, that all the mas-murderers lately have been Democrats.  Yet, I don't hear any calls for Democrat control. 

But, you want to take my guns.  You, personally.    It's laughable.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Shop Project - Phase 1 Complete.

For those of you who have been following the shop project, Phase 1 has been complete for a couple of months, and we're just about ready to move on to Phase 2.

So, I put together a little video (7 minutes) that will give you a walk-around inside the building.

I'm suing the new camera, learning all the ins-and-outs of video, along with editing and such.  I probably learned as much in the last two hours as I care to learn for a while.  Scripting is good and "winging" it is bad.  But, here goes.



For a first attempt, I'm satisfied with it.  I have a lot to learn.

The Social Media Drives School Shootings

Interesting article.   Over at National Review.  It links mass shooting events (particularly school shootings) to social media.  He talks about thresholds, which is a part of the Broken Windows theory of policing.
But Granovetter thought it was a mistake to focus on the decision-making processes of each rioter in isolation. In his view, a riot was not a collection of individuals, each of whom arrived independently at the decision to break windows. A riot was a social process, in which people did things in reaction to and in combination with those around them. Social processes are driven by our thresholds—which he defined as the number of people who need to be doing some activity before we agree to join them. In the elegant theoretical model Granovetter proposed, riots were started by people with a threshold of zero—instigators willing to throw a rock through a window at the slightest provocation. Then comes the person who will throw a rock if someone else goes first. He has a threshold of one. Next in is the person with the threshold of two. His qualms are overcome when he sees the instigator and the instigator’s accomplice. Next to him is someone with a threshold of three, who would never break windows and loot stores unless there were three people right in front of him who were already doing that—and so on up to the hundredth person, a righteous upstanding citizen who nonetheless could set his beliefs aside and grab a camera from the broken window of the electronics store if every one around him was grabbing cameras from the electronics store.
So, thresholds get lowered with each repetitive event, like throwing rocks in a riot.   Then, the argument might be that Columbine lowered the threshold.
Then came Columbine. The sociologist Ralph Larkin argues that Harris and Klebold laid down the “cultural script” for the next generation of shooters. They had a Web site. They made home movies starring themselves as hit men. They wrote lengthy manifestos. They recorded their “basement tapes.” Their motivations were spelled out with grandiose specificity: Harris said he wanted to “kick-start a revolution.” Larkin looked at the twelve major school shootings in the United States in the eight years after Columbine, and he found that in eight of those subsequent cases the shooters made explicit reference to Harris and Klebold. Of the eleven school shootings outside the United States between 1999 and 2007, Larkin says six were plainly versions of Columbine; of the eleven cases of thwarted shootings in the same period, Larkin says all were Columbine-inspired.
What has changed since Columbine?  That horrific event occurred in 1999, about the time that social media started the whole Facebook/Twitter/Instagram revolution.    High-scollers and college-age kids are much more conversant in social media than my generation ever was.  Communication is instant, and it is easy to find sites or forums that share interests.  The Columbine shooting has become nearly a template for mayhem, and the threshold had been lowered.
In other contexts, he’s elaborated further. The preparations for massacres are often extremely detailed. Shooters (and wannabe shooters) will often film videos, mimic the dress and poses of the Columbine killers, and otherwise copy the shooters who came before. Gladwell is hardly an NRA conservative — and he believes gun control “has its place” — but he also shares this grim warning: “Let’s not kid ourselves that if we passed the strictest gun control in the world that we would end this particular kind of behavior.”
It's easy to scream for gun control, but in my view, it's misplaced.  The events that we're seeing on a more frequent basis are not about guns, they are about how we communicate.  Communication has changed drastically over the past 20 years, and we're just now starting to grasp the implications.

Sunday Morning

It's supposed to be 92F under partly cloudy skies today.  That's not the record for this date, but it's close.  It's going to be hot today.  A good time to be inside with air conditioning, or alternately, in the shade.

The dog is adjusting to the heat, although as an old man, he doesn't want to spend as much time outside.  He is as happy in his climate-controlled house as we are.


The kids will be over in a little while for lunch.  I'd best get cracking.  Y'all have a nice Sunday.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Show Texas

Belle and Zach and I are going to be in the Panhandle of Texas the last week of May.  The Southern Territorials and US National championship of Cowboy Fast Draw will be held in Amarillo, TX  May 30-June 3rd.

I have heard about this musical at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, and I've heard that it's worth the time.


The link is here, and we're going.  I"ve already bought tickets for Friday, June 1st.

This looks like it's going to be a lot of fun.

Rodeo!

Rodeo is an old cowboy tradition, playing those games that a working cowboy has to master.    Our church is a cowboy church.  We have an arena, and we hold rodeos during the season.  Every 3rd Friday night we rodeo, and if you're just there to watch and enjoy some good, clean fun, it's free.


Pretty girls getting ready for the grand entrance.  Country girls, horses, patriotism and prayer.

They do it all at the church.  Here's a shot of a competitor taking a turn around the barrels.


And, of course, the bulls.  If you're in town, the Cross Branded Cowboy Church has rodeo every 3rd Friday night during the season. We'e at 6906 LA Highway 28 East, Pineville, LA.

The Santa Fe Incident

I'm sure that you've all read, by now, that a school in Santa Fe, TX, suffered a deadly incident yesterday.  Sadly, it's all too familiar. and details are starting to come out.  My prayers ad thoughts, f course, are for the families of the slain, and I hope for a speedy recovery for the wounded.

The goblin, who won't be named here is in police custody, alive and incarcerated.  I'm sure that we'll learn more about his motives in the weeks and months ahead.    As horrific as such things are, we tend to live in an immediate news-cycle.   The less we dwell on this misfit, the better we'll be.  But, there are several indicators that it was a planned event, with preparation.  Authorities have found improvised devices, such as grenades made from discarded CO2 cylinders and Molotov cocktails.  This shows some degree of planning and establishes intent, which will be important during his trial.

When I want generic, generally incorrect news, I go to USAToday.   They, and outher sources are reporting that the goblin used a shotgun and a revolver.  This particular paragraph made me snort.
High-powered rifles such as the AR-15 can be fired more than twice as fast as most handguns. The standard magazine for an AR-15 holds 30 rounds, allowing a shooter to continue firing uninterrupted for longer, making the weapon more lethal than other firearms, though clearly the use of any gun can be deadly, especially a shotgun at close range.
We note, for the record, that the goblin used a shotgun and a revolver.  Why USAToday included the discussion of the AR is a mystery.  It's almost as if they can't help themselves.  This paragraph is gratuitous column-fill and has no place in the article  And, we all know that the AR is not a "high-powered" rifle.  At best, it's an intermediate

But, rather than simply give us the news, USAToday decided to change the subject.  They are nearly as despicable as the goblin.

Friday, May 18, 2018

New Camera

I took the camera to work today to play with it.  When you're carrying a little black camera in your hand, people tend to not notice it.  Most of these photos were in stealth mode.  They had no idea tht I was taking pictures, even as we were talking.


That's my buddy Steve.  He doesn't like his picture to be taken.   Once he told me that, it was Game On.


Another picture of Steve, with a photo of Mr. Metoyer.   These two are custodians where I work, and we generally have bullshit sessions every morning.


Here's the guy we call The Pastor, because he's .... well... a pastor.  Nice guy and one who I counsel with quite a bit.  His cell phone is a continual companion.


Derelict building across the street.  This place used to be a Studebaker dealership.


The bell tower of St. Francis Xavier cathedral, right behind where I work.  And, yeah, they play the bells frequently.

That's enough for now.  It's Friday night, and it's time for a drink.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

New Camera

I found the new camera when I came in today.  Thanks, USPS and Camera Camera and Amazon.  I unboxed it, put the battery on to charge and waited an hour while I ran an errand.

The first thing that surprised me was the tiny size of this thing.  It's tiny, smaller and lighter than my smartphone.


While small in size, it seems to be big on   It will probably never take the place of my DSLR for some things, but it was bought to complement by DSLR, ot replace it.  It will certainly fit in a pocket and it takes good photos.

Zach and I took it out to the shop to see how it would do with low-light.  When we're taking pictures with the DSLR in the shop, with no flash (flash is verboten in CFDA), the   Here's one I took of Zach with the flash.


It's a big file, so you can click on it to embiggen it, but the skin tones are correct and the color of the wall is very, very close.

Here's one Zach took of me, behind the scorer's table, with the flash OFF.  Not bad at all for a tiny point-and-shoot.

I cropped it to get out some extraneous stuff, but the camera did very well, much better than my DSLR does in that situation.  I look a little pale,, and the wall color isn't exactly right.

What impressed me was the quality of the video.  One of the first things I took with it was a short, outdoor video, under our patio.  A friend, Susan had come over, and I took some video of her and Belle talking.



That's raw video, unedited, but I think it did okay.  I'll have to play with this little camera a bit more, but I think I'm going to like it just fine.

For the record, I bought this kit from Camera Camera through Amaon.  It came with a case, a spare battery, a selfie stick an SD card and some other gee-gaws.

After things calmed down around the house, I took the little camera out to the shop, put it on a tripod, and gave it a whirl.  This is probably where the video projects will be shot, and I learned a lot particularly that I'll need to turn off the A/C units while I'm filming.    But, for a first go-round, this isn't half bad.



I have a lot to learn about video work.

Aliens Among Us?

Well, why the hell not?
“Thus the possibility that cryopreserved Squid and/or Octopus eggs, arrived in icy bolides several hundred million years ago should not be discounted as that would be a parsimonious cosmic explanation for the Octopus’ sudden emergence on Earth circa 270 million years ago.”
I've seen a few octopii, and those are some alien looking critters.

Double Standards

A California teacher who had sex with a student will avoid jail time, will not be required to register as a sex offender, and will be able to re-apply to teach.  Yeah, seriously.
Samantha Ciotta pleaded guilty to having sex with a student at Beaumont High School in Beaumont, Calif., where she was a teacher. However, the plea deal offered by the California prosecutors allows her to avoid jail time and Ciotta won't have to register as a sex offender. Putting a cherry on top of the double standard, in a few years, she may be able to re-apply to teach again.
One would wonder what kind of sentence a male teacher would get for the same offense.  If it weren't for double standards, California wouldn't have any standards at all.

Trilling Feminism

Presented without comment.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Camera

I bought my first camera, I guess, at about age 19.  I was in basic training at Fort Knox and bought an Instamatic to take photos.  As I recall, it was inn my foot locker and got dissolved by a bottle of spilled bug dope.  Whatever was in that bug dope ate that camera until all that was left was the metal shutter assembly and a thin film of black plastic goo on the bottom of that drawer.  The Drill Sergeant was impressed.

Fast-forward to the mid '9-s when I bought a Canon SLR, the 35mm film camera.  I loved that camera and still have it, although I have upgraded to the digital version.    I still use that camera, but it's big and bulky.  It takes great photos, but it is big and bulky.  I've taken a few really great photos with this camera, and I don't consider myself a photographer; just a picture-snapper.

That said, I got this particular camera during Christmas 2010,  Canon, and everyone else has made remarkable strides in digital photography since that time.  The old DSLR still has a place in the camera bag, but nowadays I snap more pictures with my smartphone than anything else.  It's the camera I have with me, it's lightweight, it's convenient, and it's with me.  Like anyone else's smartphone, it takes photos and video, sometimes rivaling what is possible with the big bulky DSLR.

Recently, I started looking for a dedicated camera to complement my photo assets.  The companies have made remarkable strides in the technology, and I have a sooper-seekrit project coming up next year.  I wanted a camera to document the project, and one that would take credible video without sacrificing a month's salary.  So, like most modern researchers, I went immediately to YouTube and started looking at reviews.    I knew that I wanted good photos, 1080p video and reasonable sound quality while not stretching the bank account.

I settled on this one.  The Canon Powershot ELPH 360 HS.  It is supposed to be in later this week, and I"ll charge the battery and start playing with it.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the Image Stabilization works, how good the audio quality is, and how best to transfer short video clips.  It'll give me about 10 months to learn the camera before the project kicks off.

Rocket Man Blusters

Little Kim, the murderous "Rocket Man" of the hermit kingdom is threatening to pull out of talks with the US, for reasons that only he can fathom.  He's a paranoid little dictator, but evidently, the joint US/South Korean military exercises are the reason du jour.
North Korea has complained often about U.S. military exercises that partner with Japan or South Korea, characterizing them as rehearsal for an invasion of North Korea.
If I were Trump, I'd send Kim a firm message.  Either he show up at the summit, as agreed, or the US will indeed hold joint exercises with South Korea.... in North Korea.

The best thing that the North Korean people could do is to rise up and hang this little sonofabitch from a short rope in a public square.

Gavel

The shop project continues.  We're using the interior of the building, but the little patch of land between the road and the building was soft.  After a rain, it was yard to get to the building without rutting the yard.  A driveway was necessary, and gravel seemed like the appropriate solution.

Locally, the guys in the trade call this stuff 610.  It's crushed limestone with limestone dust.  After it is spread and has a chance to settle, maybe get a rain on it, it packs very firmly.  And, a $575 for a 15 ton load, it's reasonable.  I contracted for two loads.  The guy delivered one last week, and one yesterday.  I asked for a "gate spread", where he opens the gate of the dump truck just a bit,  raises the bed and drives as it pours out.  There is less manual labor like that.  And, when you're spreading 30 tons of rock, less manual labor is good.


It is 80 feet from the road to the door, and the building is 40 feet wide.  That's pretty good coverage for a gate spread, and I have to move some gravel, but not much.  I can park vehicles three-across now with no danger of miring the vehicles in mud.  Of course, when it's dry, they can park anywhere, but when it's wet, I don't have to worry about bogged vehicles.

A little bit at a time, this project is coming along nicely.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Nikki Haley, our ambassador to the United Nations, strafes the Security Council with reason, then carpet-bombs them with facts. 



I note that Iran is threatening to list the names of people they bribed to get the nuclear deal, along with the amounts paid.    I think that they should name names.

Exit question:  Can we put the entire upper echelon of the Obama administration in jail?

Asking The Easy Questions

It seems that CNN is entirely unable to ask the easy questions.  When I see a report like this:
Dozens of funerals were expected to take place after 60 Palestinians were killed in demonstrations, according to figures provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Among the dead were eight children, including eight-month-old Laila Anwar Ghandour. The health ministry said the baby was asphyxiated by tear gas.
When I see a report like that, the first question that springs to mind is, "What kind of sub-human animal brings a toddler to a violent protest?"   The answer, of course, is that Hamas is well known for their use of human shields.  Eight children dead?  Who thought that bringing children was a good idea?

I have no sympathy for anyone who puts innocent children in danger.  Of course, this is CNN, so the report may not be accurate, nor might even not be based in reality.

Oh, and this can't be Trump's fault.  I've seen his schedule, he wasn't even there.

The Tax Cut and the Economy

So, Politico says that the tax cut is NOT the reason that the economy is booming.  You can go to the link and read the whole thing, but they list a lot of reasons, many of them good reasons, why the tax cut has noting to do with the economy coming back to life.

And, in large part, the author is correct.  The tax cuts haven't had a chance to kick-in yet, to power the economy.  So, we'll give Politico credit for that.  The tax cuts took effect in January, and haven't had a chance to make a measurable difference in the economy.    So, what changed?

Simple.  Corporate confidence.  In January, 2017, the business climate changed.  We went from the oppressive, regulatory Obama administration to the business-friendly Trump administration. Business, both large and small felt confident in the business climate, were able to expand and hire more people, which in effect helped the economy by putting more disposable dollars in the hands of consumers.

The tax cuts will probably start to take effect in the next quarter.  Just in time for the mid-term elections.  We must understand, though, that consumer confidence is very regional.  Business confidence is also regional.  We might see a whole tot more consumer confidence in places like Texas than we might see in deep-blue California.

Wait until the tax cuts start showing an effect.  We're going to Make America Great Again.

UPDATE** Johnathan corrected a mistake above.  The year that Trump took over.  A common typo, and it's been corrected.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Vodka and Tonic

As many of my regular readers know, my usual preferred drink is bourbon and Diet Coke.  It serves me well over many of the months of the year, but occasionally I like something different.  Years ago, as a young Army officer, I learned to drink vodka and tonic.  Refreshing after a long, hot day, it helped settle the dist in my throat.

Yesterday, shopping for groceries, I was on the soft-drink aisle and noticed bottles of tonic water over near the ginger ale.  I bought some on impulse and late yesterday afternoon, when the cocktail hour approached, I pouted a vodka and tonic into my favorite whiskey glass.  Just some cheap-ass old Smirnoff vodka that we had in the liquor rack.  This stuff is even in a plastic bottle.

After the first sip, I remembered why I like it so much.  It doesn't weigh you down, doesn't make you sluggish.  It's crisp and clean.  I suppose it might be better with better vodka, but I doubt I'll ever find out, because I don't buy better vodka.  I did see a bottle of Absout in the server, but the Smirnoff suits me just fine.

When the cocktail hour rolls around today, I may pour myself another.

Total NewSpeak

Just about the time I think that we're getting somewhere, the the academics show me that in many regards, we're living in a fantasy land.  To wit, from PJMedia:
The City University of New York (CUNY)-Guttman recently published a new guide for students that adds “zim,” “ver,” and “emself” to the list of acceptable “gender-inclusive” pronouns that can be used.
The “Gender Identity and Pronouns” guide tells students that the “dichotomy of ‘he and she’ in English does not leave room for other gender identities,” and to fix this, the guide offers a list of alternatives students may use instead. 
Academics (and I assume that CUBY has several) should know that  we have two genders, male and female.  If t hey are confused about the distinction, they should stand naked in front of a mirror and examine their genitalia.  if you have boy parts, you are male.  If you have female parts, you are female.  It is really that simple.

People can identify however they would like to identify, but they shouldn't he offended when I refuse to participate in their particular fantasy.  It is un-scientific, it is unreasonable, and largely, it's laughable.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Cher on Mighty Mo

Great video, filmed July 1, 1989.  Cher performs on the battleship USS Missouri for the ship's crew.  Mo had been nothballed, and was reactivated by President Bush.  It was a timely decision, because about 18 months after this video was shot, Mighty Mo was firing support for us during Desert Storm.



At the time, Mo was docked at Long Beach, CA.

Treason

Treason, under the US Code, is defined as follows:
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
When I read earlier this week that John Kerry was giving aid and comfort to our enemies, I thought that he might be in violation of the Code.

It seems that Sondra K agrees with me.

It's Saturday afternoon.  I'm going to have a drink and consider this.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Graduation

Small town graduations are cool.  Everyone within 50 miles shows up and horrays the graduates.  Lots of scholarships and lots of cheering.  Several guys and gals going directly into the military.


PawPaw had two grandsons graduate tonight.  Ethan and Jeffrey are high school grads and ready to start the next chapter.

Not Surprised

It looks like the FBI might have had a mole in the Trump campaign.  Why?  Well, to entrap people, apparently.
There may have been an FBI spy interacting with the Trump campaign in 2016, Kimberly Strassel reported in the Wall Street Journal Thursday evening, adding fuel to long-held suspicions that an FBI/DOJ mole had attempted to ensnare Trump campaign advisers in some sort of Russian collusion trap.
This is Obama's legacy.  Federal agencies weaponized against American democracy.    It's time to start putting bureaucrats in jail, starting with James Comey.   If he didn't know about it, he should have known about it.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Free Education

Free education ain't free.  According to information freely available on the internet, any citizen can see what K-12 education costs.  For example, my own home parish (county) of Rapides spends $11,486  per student on free education.  How did I come to that conclusion?

Total revenue of $264.2 million
divided by
Total student headcount of 23,000

That revenue figure is a total of federal, state, and local funding, but it's taxpayer dollars and it comes our of our collective pockets.  I do pay federal, state, and local taxes.

Don't get all riled up, because I'm a big supporter of education.  Education is a wonderful thing, and anything that is good, is bound to cost something.  But, it ain't free.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Creepy

I don't know if you've been following the tale of the New York Attorney General who was recently accused of sexual misconduct.    By recently, I mean last night.  The story must have legs, because the time between accusation and resignation was simply a matter of hours.

Turns out, this guy likes his kinks.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called his Sri Lankan girlfriend his “brown slave” and wanted her to refer to him as “Master,” the woman says.
We could play "guess the party", but it's safe to say this guy is a Democrat.  This guy liked to have sex with "brown slaves" and wanted to be called Master. 

When did the Democratic Party become such a cesspool of racism and misogyny?

The Firearms Patriot

My buddy from Kentucky, The Counselor in CFDA has his own YouTube channel where he reviews firearms and related miscellany.  I like leather as much as anything when it comes to holsters and belts, but some manufacturers are doing great things with synthetics and in The Counselor's latest video he reviews a holster made in the USA.



I know that there is a plethora, a surplussage of IWB holsters on the market, but if you're in the market for one, you might give Bare Arms a second look.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Unwavering Hypocrisy

It seems that another of the Hollywood elite is okay with unwavering hypocrisy.  She showed up at an anti-NRA rally with armed bodyguards.  
Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano, whose credits include roles in Who's the Boss? and Charmed, appeared at an anti-NRA rally in Dallas yesterday.
As unremarkable as that is, her appearance was notable because Milano showed up at the rally flanked by armed bodyguards.
Liberals and the Hollywood elite don't seem to understand the utter hypocrisy of such events.  If you're anti-gun, that's fine, but don't bring an armed entourage with you.   It makes you appear either stupid, or clueless, or both.

Is Kerry Violating the Logan Act?

That's the big question:  Is John Kerry violating the Logan Act?  Alan Dershowitz says that he probably is.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry would be violating the Logan Act, if it was enforced, for secretly speaking with foreign leaders about salvaging the Iran nuclear deal during Trump’s presidency, Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz argued Saturday.
No one is going to enforce the Logan Act against Kerry.    Why?  Because we have a two-tier system of justice in the US.  If you're a high-ranking Democrat, you are safe from prosecution. 

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Over heard on the Back Porch

Our back porch conversations on Sunday cover a wide range of topics.  We were talking about Stormy Daniels today and I asked what she had done to get a 130,00 payment.

S1: "What she was supposed to do is keep her mouth shut.  She didn't do that, she should have to give the money back."

S2, "Yeah, we were talking about this at work the other day.  She's like... 39 years old.    That's ancient in porn years."

S1:  "Yeah, porn years re even worse than dog years.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Need?

Seen on the Book of Face


Well, actually, Dianne, we can hunt with them, but you're missing the entire point.   The Founders decided that you don't get to ask what we need them for.  Frankly, and Constitutionally, it's none of your damned business.

But, Dianne, we need them to shoot tyrants like you.  So now you know why we need AR-15s, and AKs and all other semiautos that you mis-label as an assault rifle.

I am the NRA and I am Freedom's safest place.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Wow! The Agenda is Wide Open

Give the liberals enough media attention the left shows just exactly what they want.
Rep. Eric Swalwell wants to have the federal government buy back all “military-style semiautomatic assault weapons,” and prosecute anyone who refuses to participate. Good idea, or basically an ad for the NRA?
 Eric Swalwell is a Donk who represents California's 15th District.

Representative Swalwell should be very, very careful.  He's probably safe in California, but he's proven himself an enemy of freedom.  And, he's probably increased the NRA's membership by 100K.

Analog Time?

A report from Britain, that schools are removing traditional clocks because students can't read them.  That's a failure of the schools as much as it is of the parents. 
“The current generation aren’t as good at reading the traditional clock face as older generations,” Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders in England, told the publication. “Nearly everything they’ve got is digital so youngsters are just exposed to time being given digitally everywhere.”
There was a story making the rounds locally several months ago.  It seems that there was this young engineer, recently graduated from college, who went to work for a local firm.  They had him doing basic research, looking at titles and surveys, and he had trouble doing that work because he couldn't read script and many of the public records prior to the 1950s were written in script.

It is neither terribly difficult to read a clock face, or to read script.  Those are skills I picked up... oh, about the third grade.  Along with my multiplication tables.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Ricky's Gun

So my buddy, the guy who inherited his Dad's Army pistol,  brought it to work this morning for me to evaluate.  When he opened the box, I saw immediately that it was a Colt 1911.



Ricky reported that his Dad carried it during WWII, and when he left the Army, was allowed to keep the pistol.  That was fairly common in those days.  A quick inspection of the gun showed it to be tight and right.  All the safeties work, the gun functions as intended, and it's tight. 



We took it down and it was tight.  Very tight.  The bore is pristine, and it looks like a gun that has been carried a lot and shot very little.  This is a very nice gun, from a mechanical standpoint.  The exterior is a little rough, but we can live with that.

After examining the gun, and pronouncing it safe to shoot, we went to a computer and searched the serial number.  Surprise, surprise, this particular gun was made in 1918, so it may have seen service through WWI and WWII.  All in all, it's a very nice example of a military 1911 from the early 20th century, and it has a family connection to Ricky, who will keep it in the family as an heirloom.

Get Woke, Go Broke

I'm seeing a lot of things that tell me Dick's Sporting Goods is going all-in on gun control.
Dick’s Sporting Goods, which announced in February it would no longer sell rifles to anyone under the age of 21, hired three Beltway lobbyists to lobby Congress for gun control, according to federal records reviewed by The Federalist.
I'm seeing stuff like this all across conservative media, and my email inbox is lighting up from Chris Cox.  Evidently, Dicks is betting that it can piss off the 2nd Amendment crowd and stay in business.  I don't know what percentage of total revenue guns sales represent to Dick's, but I suppose their bean-counters know exactly how much they are set to lose.

It's one thing for a company to decide not to participate in a market segment.  Lots of places don't sell guns.  But to actively lobby against sportsmen can't be a good corporate strategy.

Interview? What Interview?

This whole deal with President Trump and the Mueller witch hunt has been pestering me for a week or so now.  Evidently, Mueller wants to interview Trump, and I can't see any reason why any attorney would let the President get anywhere near Mueller.  Not even on the same hectare.  There is no upside to this interview, and nothing but down-sides.  Absolutely nothing good can come of it.

I see at Hot Air, the President's new attorney is thinking the same thing. Let Mueller do what his is going to do, but don't make his job easier, and for damned-sure don't talk to him.   The President should listen to his counsel.  Nothing good can come from talking to Mueller.

I've been a cop for 37 years, interviewed a lot of people, prospective targets and just plain ol' citizens.  I've seen interviews go horribly sideways.  The President's response should be a simple "Thanks, but no thanks.  I'm busy."

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

So This Guy

So, this guy where I work told me that he has his father's "Army pistol".  The guy is about my age, so his Dad was probably serving in WWII or Korea.  He wants to shoot it, and wants me to give it a once-over to make sure that it is safe to fire.

We played question-and-answer, and I figured out it's probably a 1911, but he really  doesn't know.  According to the guy, his dad brought it home from the service, put it in a box, and it's stayed there for almost the last 70 years.

This guy isn't a gun guy, and the more I think about it, the pistol in question might be anything.  It' might be a 1911, or it might be a captured Mauser, or a Luger, or even a Broomhandle.

I told him to bring it to work tomorrow, and we'd take it out of the box and see what he has.  I'll make sure that it is safe to shoot, and make sure that he has the correct ammo.  Even if it's a GI .45, it will be cool to see.  I'll be sure to take some pictures.

That Didn't Work

Seen on Instapundit.


Heh!  It hasn't worked yet.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Are Indictments Coming?

 William L. Gensert posts a very interesting piece at The American Thinker.  In his view, the Mueller investigation is merely a side-show, and the AG, Jeff Sessions has been looking into questions of impropriety and criminality among prominent Democrats and self-serving bureaucrats.
Since Barack Obama weaponized the FBI, the IRS, the NSA, the FISA court, and the CIA, citizens who believe that America is a nation of laws have been on a collision course with progressives.  Core constitutional tenets including checks and balances, equality under the law, innocent until proven guilty, and no man is above the law have been replaced with identity politics, victim culture, and weakened First and Second Amendments.
His list of possible indictments is very interesting.  It includes people at the very top of the Democratic Party.  And, it includes some folks further down the chain who thought that by ingratiating themselves to the upper crust, they might save their positions.

I particularly liked this part of the article.
 Probably will be indicted, but maybe not:
a. James Comey – Making false statements under oath (18 USC §1001) and mishandling of classified information (18 USC §798) (memos shared with Daniel Richman and Patrick Fitzgerald).  Unauthorized disclosure (leaking) of sensitive FBI information (26 USC §7213)
 It's a fairly inclusive list.  Hopefully in May, we'll see things start happening that should have happened a long time ago.