Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cop Stories

I remember a time in the mid '90s, in Chinquapin, LA  (No, Chinguapin isn't a real place).  A gas station on the south side of town and a guy stops in about midnight to fill up his vehicle, a Ford Econoline van.  No windows, just a basic delivery van.  White, it looked like a crackerbox on wheels.

He goes inside to pay for his gasoline before he pumps it and when he comes back outside, the van is gone.  Stolen.  He goes inside and reports his van stolen and they call the police.  Luckily, a Chinquapin PD unit was close by and rolled into the store in less than a minute.

The police officer, a seasoned veteran (we'll call him Cop A) of small town policing, interviews the victim, gets a description of the vehicle, and calls it in.  In just a few minutes, there is another call on the radio.  Cop B has the vehicle shut down, about two miles away, and it appears to be out of gas.  Cop A puts the victim in the police unit to take him to identify the vehicle, and sure enough, as they roll up, the victim identifies the vehicle as his.

Cop A and the victim get out of the unit, and the victim positively identifies his vehicle.  The car thief is in custody in the back of the cruiser, charged with Theft of A Movable, being the vehicle in question.  Cop B asks the victim for the third time if he's absolutely, positively sure that the vehicle is his, and the victim identifies the vehicle as his.  Produces his registration from the vehicle glove box, which is checked against his driver's license.  Sure enough, he's the registered owner of the vehicle.

At which time Cop B puts the victim in handcuffs and reads him the Mirada warning.  Cop A is considerably confused until Cop B explains that the rear of the panel van contains a fully working meth lab, bubbling happily away.  The car t hief is charged with car theft, and the victim is charged with Production of Methamphetamine, which carries a much stiffer sentence.

Sometimes it doesn't pay to ist your vehicle as stolen.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Rainy on Saturday, and the dog didn't get outside much.  He prefers to sit beside Milady's chair during bad weather.

It'll be all right, dog, just wait till the rain is over.  As I type this, Milady is eating lunch and the dog is turning his nose up at two of his favorites, flour tortillas and doritos.  Unbelievable.  This weather has him all screwed up.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

World's Record Alligator

At fifteen feet, nine inches and a thousand pounds, that's one helluva alligator.

It looks like it put up a fight.
The Alabama alligator was caught by the Stokes family after battling with it for more than five hours. It was hooked in a creek about 80 miles west of Montgomery.
According to the story, the weight destroyed the winch normally used to weigh 'gators, and they had to use a backhoe to get it off the ground.  The previous record was 14 feet, 8 inches from a gator caught in Texas.

Saturday Weather

Woke this morning to a gentle rain.  During my morning coffee, I see that it's intensified to a general downpour.  The ditches are running and the dog is under Milady's chair.  A look at the weather map gives me this interesting graphic.

 It looks like it's going to be with us for several more hours, and I'm very glad that I mowed grass yesterday afternoon.  There's plenty of work to do inside, and Milady and I can spend a morning in our slippers.  This ain't bad, it ain't bad at all.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Where Does Mary Live?

Interesting question, considering that our senior senator, Mary Landrieu is asking us for another term  Hot Air's Mary Katherine Ham takes a look at the question.
On a statement of candidacy Landrieu filed with the Federal Election Commission in January, she listed her Capitol Hill home as her address. But when qualifying for the ballot in Louisiana last week, she listed the family’s raised-basement home here on South Prieur Street.
Senator Landrieu and her husband built a home in Washington.  That makes sense, rather than pay rent, but the question of residency remains.  Mary, of course, wants to be a Louisiana resident so that folks will vote for her, so she uses her parents address in New Orleans.  Everyone knows that the Landrieu family hails from New Orleans, her dad was mayor there, but where does she reside?
“I don’t think she lives there,” said Fontaine Wells, 65, pointing at the Landrieu home. “She might come visit, but come on now — she lives in D.C. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her.”
I don't think it's too much to ask our senator to live in Louisiana and commute to Washington.  Rent an apartment, if necessary, but live in Louisiana.  It's no secret that I'm not a Mary Landrieu fan, and don't intend to vote for her.  I believe that she's too beholden to special interests, both inside and out of our state.  However, I do like the way that Mary Katherine concludes her discussion of Mary's residency problem.
On the upside, Landrieu could certainly argue she better understands the hardships of the Obama economy because she’s living in her parents’ basement. 
Heh!  Indeed.  If anyone asks, PawPaw is voting for Rob Maness, at least in the primary. 

Cop Stories

Cross-posted from a forum I frequent, I was recalling a cop story from my early days in law enforcement.
 Early '80s, a local yokel decides to hold up the local bank, downtown in Natchitoches, LA one morning about 9:00. He strides in, gives the cashier a note, she gives him the dye pack. He turns around and leaves the bank. As he 's going out the door, he stuffs the dye pack down the front of his pants and while going through the second door, actually has the door held open for him by young police detective, there to make a deposit for his wife.
This young detective has never seen a dye pack, and is considerably surprised when he hears a pop and dye shoots up the front of the guy he's holding the door for. The robber takes about two more steps and collapses on the sidewalk, 'cause things are getting hot in his crotch.(A dye pack gets very hot when it goes off, normally burning the fake cash as it catches fire).  The detective is considerably confused at the gymnastics this guy is doing, flopping and crying on the sidewalk,  until the bank manager comes to the door and tells the cop that the guy just robbed the bank.
Suddenly, the light goes on, and the young detective springs into action, doing all the right things, making the arrest, getting an ambulance, etc, etc. So, this young detective gets to be a local hero, foiling a bank heist and getting his photo in the paper. Of course, the rest of us know that he was simply in the right place at the opportune time and had it not been for the dye pack, the robber would have escaped while he held the door open for him.
No, the cop wasn't me.  And, it's better to be lucky than smart although the young detective was smart enough.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


If you live in Louisiana, this time of year you start watching the weather maps.  Hurricane intensity increases in September, taking advantage of the warm water in the Gulf of Mexico that's been warming all summer.  So, one of my daily reads this time of year is the National Hurricane Center, where we find this lovely graphic this morning.

Three items of interest this morning.  Hurricane Cristobal appears to tracking the east coast where it will eventually get over cold water and lose its rotation.  The Rio Grande Valley looks to be targeted for a drenching, and there's another disturbance near the Antilles that bears watching.  We'll be keeping a weather-eye on that one for sure.  Those of us in hurricane country remember Katrina, which started in late August and came ashore on August 29th, and we remember Rita, two weeks later, which was stronger than Katrina but came ashore in an area where people understood hurricanes and didn't cry about getting run over by one.

Sure, hurricane season starts in June, but I don't really get concerned  until the last week of August.  Then I keep an eye peeled until the first week of October.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Ferguson Debacle

Jack Murphy, over at PJMedia, makes some good points in his current piece.  He deconstructs some myths and defines some of the players with a razor sharp pen.  For example:
There is no carnival so vulgar that it cannot be made more so with the appearance of Al Sharpton, a man whose rise to prominence began with a fraud and has continued without a trace of shame along the same lines ever since.  His act is so predictable and so tiresome that by now it’s a wonder anyone pays attention to him at all.  He would leap over the dead bodies of all 60 black men killed by other black men to get to the one who had been killed by a cop, and his only concern in doing so would be to get there before Jesse Jackson did.
That's got to leave a mark, but I doubt that Sharpton can bruise, anymore.

Go, (as they say) and read the whole thing.  It's worth the fifteen minutes you'll spend.  And yes, I agree with him that police should leave the camouflage at home.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A virtual Choir

Cloistered Carmelite nuns from all over the world.  Singing a prayer of God.

Beautiful, simply beautiful, made all the more compelling by the engineering prowess necessary to put it all together.  The Virtual Musician's Group put it all together, and Hot Air introduced it to me.

Worthy Causes

From Mostly Cajun

Heh!  Stay thirsty, my friend.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chicago Crime Down?

That's what Hot Air is reporting this morning, citing recent stats that lead us to an inescapable conclusion. From the source article:
Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.
That's certainly good news, but we have to ask if there were any other changes that might account for the lowering crime numbers.
“It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers.”
So, the only change we see is that the state allows concealed carry, and crime numbers are dropping.  That's a pretty good indicator of what is driving the change in the numbers.

Any good news out of Chicago is good news indeed, and having changed just a single law, the crime rate drops  For many of the folks on my side of the debate, it's a stunning reinforcement of our belief that gun rights save lives.

Let Freedom Ring!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Morning Dawg

A videi Dawg this morning, Beau and Smokey wrestling on a settee in the morning sun.

Y'all have a blessed Sunday.  In another hour I'm going to put some chickens on the smoker, then get cleaned up for church.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


I need one of these.  No particular reason, everybody needs one in the family.

Think of the trouble we could get into.

Saturday Afternoon Song

Neal McCoy and Trace Atkins doing an old Charlie Pride song.  This one makes me smile every time I hear it, and I heard Neal McCoy do it last weekend.

Such a pretty tune.

Flyover Country

Flyover country, huh?  Well, I've lived in the rural areas of Louisiana all my life.  Many times I've wished I could fly over parts of it, like Superman, especially when I was stuck in the middle of a muddy road with only a hand winch.  Flying would have been quite the improvement.

However, some use it as an insult, and those guys deserve all the push-back we can give them.  We rednecks (another term used sometimes as an insult) know how to push back.  Our little club, the National Rifle Association is pushing back, so PawPaw is going to embed this little ad, to give it all the air-time it deserves.

Oh, and Rahm Emmanuel can bite my ass, too.

Food Stamp Fraud Rampant

That's what a GAO (Government Accounting Office) report says.  My first response was a hearty "No Shit!" because food stamp fraud has been rampant for as long as I've been a police officer.

Back in the day when food stamps were actually pieces of paper, given out in little books, they were traded like cash on the underground market.

Nowadays, the paper food stamp is long gone, dead as Het, and benefits are transferred on an EBT card, but it's still easy to defraud the system.  Either through unscrupulous merchants, or through simple consumer fraud.

Several months ago, Milady was shopping at the grocers when she was approached by a woman with an EBT card.  The lady had benefits, but wanted cash, so she offered to pay for MIlady's groceries on the card, then settle-up for cash outside the store.  Milady, of course, declined, and told store managers that the woman was running a scam.

But, the point of the post is when the government publishes a report that says benefit fraud is rampant, any thinking taxpayer will conclude that the report itself is a waste of time and money.  Of course food stamp fraud is rampant.  It always has been.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Just My Luck

It appears that I've bent the shaft on my old pushmower.  It's a little 22" that's been rebuilt more than any machine needs to be rebuilt, and it's about 10 years old.  I'm tough on push mowers and it looks like tomorrow morning I'll be hunting the usual places for another one.

Well, hell.

Hyping the Weather

It seems that there is some internet hype about a huge hurricane about to ravage the Gulf Coast, and it's certainly the season for that, but the weather map simply doesn't support it.
The National Hurricane Center warns of an "increase in Internet hype" surrounding non-credible predictions popping up online.
There's always hurricane hype this time of ye ar and your best source for hurricane information is the National Hurricane Center, who says this today.
There's one little disturbance out there that they are watching.  It has a chance to become a tropical storm, but it's way to soon to know if it will become a hurricane.  Certainly, keep a weather eye out, but don't believe everything you read on the internet.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pop-Up Thunderstorms

I came home today with the good intentions of mowing the grass, but we've been tormented lately with pop-up thunderstorms that seem to come in the late afternoon.  Today is the third such this week.

Ain't gonna be any grass mowed today.  I guess it will wait till tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gratuitous Gun Pron

Six years ago, our Sheriff decided to issue pistols, and the Sheriff at the time liked the Smith and Wesson M&P in .45 ACP.  He bought a bunch of them and issued them to the deputies.  As time went on, I came to like the M&P.  I found it to be an easy to shoot pistol, and the more I shot it, the better the trigger got.  What I especially liked about it was that the barrel had standard rifling, so i could use cast bullets, and I shot a bunch of cast through it.

Come two years ago, we had an election and one Sheriff lost and another Sheriff won, as happens during elections.  The new Sheriff decided that he liked Glock pistols, so after a suitable negotiation, he bought a bunch of Glock pistols and issued them.  We turned in the M&P pistols, with the understanding that we could buy our guns if we wanted them.  But, we had to bring a money order or check, and wait unti the dealer that had the contract was able to process them in accordance with any applicable ATF regulations.  I turned mine in, in June past, and waited patiently for it to come home.

Today I got the call and went to pick up my M&P.  the same one I was issued six years ago, and the one that I carried every duty day.  It's good to have it home.

Three magazines, three backstraps, tritium sights, all the LEO goodies.  Plus, a special engraving on the slide.

Our agency identifier and badge on the left side of the slide.  Very cool.  I couldn't let that old friend go to some nameless customer as a police trade-in.  Now, it will have a good home for a long, long time.


I was in Sears today, looking for a deep-well, 1/2 drive, 3/4 inch socket.  I found it and started looking at tools, when I noticed an adjustable oil filter plier.  Well damn.  Gotta have one of those.

Big ol' hateful looking plier.  The last time I was changing the oil on the pickup truck, I was having trouble with the oil filter, and my second son handed me his oil filter plier.  Oh, yeah, it came right off, easy-peasy.  I told myself that I needed one of those because second son was keeping a close eye on me with his pliers.  His are Snap-On, and he's had them for years.

Don't worry, Tiger, I'm not stealing yours, I've got a set of my own.  I better put my initials on them.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

More Government

Apropos of nothing whatsoever, we find these two pictures floating about the internet.

And this one.

Be careful what you vote for, you just might get it.

Fuse Replacement

Back in the day, I had a house that had an old-fashioned fuse box, (not these new-fangled circuit breakers).  Occasionally, I'd be out of fuses so would have to use a field expedient (like a penny under the fuse).  If you find yourself without fuses, here is a handy expedient guide to help you with your selection.

 Hat tip to Boned Jello.  I don't necessarily recommend these fise expedients, but I'm sure they'd work until your house burned down.

Hot? Really?

It looks like August is back to normal, as this graphic from Accuweather shows.

The legend "Hot Air Expands" is right over my house, indeed over the whole state of Louisiana.
A zone of high pressure is forecast to build at most levels of the atmosphere, which will gradually tone down the number of showers and thunderstorms and reduce cloud cover.
Yeah, it's hot in August, and it's about time for me to pull my boots on and get out amongst it.  Y'all have a great day, and remember to drink plenty of water.

Monday, August 18, 2014


It seems like birds flying near a new plant in the Mohave Desert are igniting in mid air.  Via CBS News.
Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays - "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.
 Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one "streamer" every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator's application to build a still-bigger version.
They're catching fire in mid-flight?  That's kind of tough on the local wildlife population, isn't it?

I don't think hat's what they mean by green energy.

Spider Gasket

Evidently, in the multiport valve on the swimming pool is something called a spider gasket.  Mine went out, so I went to YouTube to learn how to fix it.  You can learn anything on YouTube.

So, I took out the old spider gasket and went to the pool supply.  Evidently what I need is a Pentair, Gasket Praher Top, #271104.  Not that any of you care, but when I need another one, a simple Google search on this blog will bring me to the part number.  This information is for me, not for you.  You can even find it on Amazon.  Go figure.

I'm waiting for an hour for the adhesive to season, then we'll turn it on and see if it's fixed.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rubber Bullets, Really???

It seems that there are folks reporting on the ground in Ferguson who have no idea what they're looking at when they see common shooting paraphernalia.  Like this idiot, a HuffPo reporter named Ryan Reilly.

Those are earplugs, you dumbass.  All of my grandchildren know about earplugs.  Who educated you?

Jeez, where do reporters come from these days?  Are they all idiots?  Or just this one?

Sunday Morning Dawg

It's August in Louisiana, the dog days where heat shimmies off of asphalt roads and every living thing seeks shade. Our patio, the project we completed in July, catches the full morning sun and in the summertime when it's 80-by-eight, the hottest times on the porch are between 8:00 -10:00 a.m.  Full sun on brick and concrete, so the dog has found a spot under Milady's chair that offers a modicum of shade.

That's normally where the dog can be found on a hot summer morning, under Milady's chair, helping her with the crossword puzzle.  Morning sun is a great feature of that porch in the wintertime, but in the summer it's best to wait until noon when it's fully in shade.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Elio

The Elio is a three wheel commuter car, soon to be built in Shreveport, LA.

It's a two seater, completely enclosed, with an MSRP of under $7,000.  Interesting.
The Elio, a three-wheeled prototype vehicle, is shown in traffic in Royal Oak, Mich., Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. Instead of spending $20,000 on a new car, Paul Elio is offering commuters a cheaper option to drive to work. His three-wheeled vehicle The Elio will sell for $6,800 car and can save on gas with fuel economy of 84 mpg. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) 
It looks like a fairly interesting little grocery-getter.  More at the link above.


Skeet was my first love in the shooting sports.  Way back in 1965 I was hired as a skeet boy at the McBride Rod and Gun Club, England AFB, LA, for the princely sum of 50 cents per hour.  I was 12 years old.  The club had intramural shoots on Saturday and it was the duty of the skeet boys to lug cases of clays to the trap houses and keep the machines running.  At the end of the day we got to shoot a little, before the range master closed the range.  Great stuff for a 12 year old kid.

With the advent of sporting clays, five-stand, and the other sports, skeet kind of fell by the wayside. but I've always had a love for the semicircular range with eight positions.

I thought that skeet in this area was dead, a long-ago sport that I'd never see again.  Until I opened our local rag yesterday and found that there is a club nearby.  Not much information, but the Bayou Boeuf Skeet Club is located at 120 Meeker Road, Lecompte, LA.  318-776-9301.  Very little information about them on the NSSF page above, but now I've got their address and phone number.  I'll have to call them and see what they're all about.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Date Night

Milady and I are slipping off tonight to see a Neal McCoy concert.  Whatever else needs doing can wait.

It's time for my lady and I to have a little fun.  Y'all play nice until I get back.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Pontchartrain is a lake just north of New Orleans.  It's briny, almost salt water and it maintains a healthy population of bull sharks.  It seems that a boy was bitten last week, nothing life threatening, but he got a good dose of teeth marks on his heel.  Of course, this is big news, and we're all concerned for the lad.  However, my daughter commented on Facebook about the incident.
Friend: Hey, (Daughter's name) wanna join me for a swim tomorrow in Pontchartrain? Lol
Daughter: Sure! Ill bring the chum!

She ain't right.  I wonder where she gets her sense of humor?

Golf Ball Launcher?

Aw, jeez!

I was surfing this forum this morning, when the subject of a golf ball launcher came into the conversation.
A friend of mine comes by the other day and hands me a few 5x56 blanks and says "Do you have a golf ball launcher for your AR?" My first thought was what the hell would I want with a golf ball launcher? Anyway long story short, it arrived yesterday and now I'm out of blanks just that fast. Giggles for sure. Did you know that you can get about 150 golf balls on e-bay for $40 bucks? Do now.
Aw, hell.  I didn't realize that such things existed, but it flung a whole 'nuther line of wondering on me.  I wonder, for example, what might happen if I showed up at the next law enforcement golf tournament with a golf bag, an AR-15, and a putter?

The rules would be simple.  Launch the golf ball off the tee or fairway with the AR.  Anything not on the green would be launched by rifle and the player would have to use Kentucky windage to get the ball to the green. On the fairway (perhaps), the butt of the rifle would be placed on the ground and the rifle used like a mortar. On the green, the ball is putted like regulation play.

I can't be the first fellow to have thought about this, but the possibilities are interesting.  It would give the Modern Sporting Rifle a whole new market.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cartridge, Blank, M200

The US cartridge, blank, M200 is ubiquitous in Army training.  Designed to give the port pressures of standard US 5.56mm ammo, it is used in training with a blank adapter to realistically replicate the sound and function of ball ammunition.  It's very effective in familiarizing folks with the sound of an M16.

Recently, I got a heads-up that I may be asked to do some training in which it might be effective to show folks what common 5.56mm ammo sounds like, so I started casting about for a source of blank ammo.  I was somewhat surprised that Ammo To Go stocks the stuff, so I gave them a credit card number and they promptly sent me some.  It came in today.

I was mildly surprised to find that it ships in the common, brown cardboard box that was so familiar to me in the early '70s.  Same stuff I shot in basic training, in officer training, and on multiple training exercises over about 25 years of soldiering.  That old cardboard box is an old friend, I've personally probably shot a couple of pallets of the stuff over those years.

Talk about a trip down memory lane.  Now, I just have to find a blank adapter.  Amazon sells them, but I think I'll look around before I make an order.  If any of you old soldiers has one, I'll make you a good deal on it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Justice - And Outrage

I don't know if you've been following the problems in Ferguson, MO, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead, by a police officer, and the rioting that has resulted from that incident.  We don't know all the circumstances and we don't know the facts (was there a struggle for the gun?), and the justice system will sort all that out.  It does no good to speculate at this point.

However, Charles C.W. Cooke at National Review  penned a couple of good paragraphs this morning, worthy of consideration.
“Justice,” Benjamin Franklin suggested, “will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” There is no virtue to playing judge, jury, and executioner before the facts are known. Nor is there anything to be achieved by turning a dispassionate process into a partisan game. No doubt, as in the cases of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, we will witness sects forming where they do not belong. Conservatives should resist indulging in this at all costs. But they should also resist appearing uninterested. By asking those who wish to talk about authority what they think about civil society instead, many among us are giving off the impression that there is no circumstance in which Franklin’s outrage is going to be forthcoming — however clear-cut the guilt might be. The question of who guards the guardians pertains now as keenly as it ever has. The Right’s answer should be “we do” — and we’re happy to hang them high if we know that they have transgressed.
I concur.  As they say, go read the whole thing.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Afternoon

We hosted a birthday party this afternoon for grandson, Zach, who recently turned 12 years old.  Swimming pools and birthday cakes go well on the new patio and today everything worked out fine.  Hamburgers for lunch, then the kids hit the pool until we could transition from hamburgers to birthday cake.

That's an ice-cream cake from Dairy Queen.  This is the first time we've tried that, and it worked out fine.  After cake and presents, the kids got back in the pool until a thunderstorm made PawPaw invoke the thunder rule.  (When it's thundering close, everyone out of the pool.)

Sunday Morning Dawg

Sometimes, having a dog is like having a rambunctious three-year-old.  You've got to watch them constantly, because they get into places they know they shouldn't be.

Yesterday morning, the dog and I went out to check the mail.  After I got to the box, I turned to walk back to the house, and the dog thought he'd wander across the street.   He knows he's not allowed in the street, but he figured he could get away with it, before I hollered at him.  "Get back over here!"

That's the dark asphalt street behind him, and the lighter concrete driveway in the foreground.  He's moving fast, still picking up speed.  He knows he's been caught.

He's fully in the driveway now, in a dead sprint.  I couldn't help but chuckle as he headed to the carport door.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Dirty Jobs

An interview with Mike Rowe, on Reason TV, talking about the skilled trades and opportunities today.

Great quote:  In the beginning, a freelancer was a knight who served no lord.  His lance wasn't free, but it was sold to the highest bidder.

Another quote:  If I depended on a skilled work force, I wouldn't depend on the public education system to provide it.

It's great stuff, it's forty minutes, and it covers a broad range of subjects.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Brady Dies, ruled Homicide

USA Today is reporting that the death of James Brady, the former press secretary of president Ronald Reagan, is a homicide, stemming from the shooting that left Brady partially paralyzed in 1981.
WASHINGTON--The death of James Brady has been ruled a homicide resulting from John Hinckley Jr.'s attempted 1981 assassination of President Ronald Reagan, the Virginia Medical Examiner ruled Friday.
As a result, D.C. Metropolitan Police are investigating the death of the former White House press secretary and gun control icon. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the shooting that left Brady partially paralyzed.
 So, why are the DC Police investigating?  We know that Hinckley shot Brady.  He's been tried for the crime and was found not guilty by reason of insanity.  That ship has left the port.  It's done, it's over.

My condolences to the Brady family.  From all accounts, James Brady was a honorable, decent man.  He and I may have disagreed on a number of issues, but that doesn't detract from his honor, or his decency.  May he rest in peace.


Crazy at work today.  Not bad crazy, just steady crazy.  School starts next week, on Tuesday, and lots of parents in the School Board offices, getting information.  Teacher in-services going on, bus driver in-services going on, food service in-services going on.  It's been crazy for the past two days.

Between answering questions and directing people who seemed lost, I've been updating my research on school shootings.  I'm the subject matter expert, so I've got to stay on top of the material, and I've heard a rumor that I'll be asked to in-service the central office staff in a couple of weeks.  We'll see if that happens, but it never hurts to stay current.  You never know when the boss will want to play show-and-tell.

But, now it's Friday afternoon.  As soon as Milady gets home, I"m declaring happy hour.

Thursday, August 07, 2014


It's been my karma lately to do a couple of brake jobs for friends and loved ones who don't have the cash to take the car to the shop, and I don't mind.  Normally, brake jobs are easy with disc brakes, a lot easier than the old drum brakes I worked on at my grandfather's knee.  However, yesterday I saw something I thought I'd never see.  My friend told me that she had a shade-tree brake job done in December, last, and that she was hearing a grinding in the back end, suspected the brakes.  I drove the truck and agreed.  Something wrong back there.

Got home from work, our friend brought the truck over, and I jacked it up and took off the left rear tire. My son showed up to help, a very capable school trained mechanic.  Yep, brakes are shot, so I inspected the rotor as well..  Yep, it's shot too.  Still, she had a full brake job eight months ago, what's up with bad brakes on the truck?   I went around to the right side, jacked it up, took the tire off.  Those brakes look great, nearly new.  Whazzup with that?  New brakes on the right, horrible bad brakes on the left?  Maybe a bad caliper.

Consulted with my son, a SAE trained mechanic.  First class wrench-bender.  Sounds like a bad caliper to him as well.  So, he's there, helping, and we go to the parts store (and my friend had her receipts from December), and we talked to the parts guy, got a new rotor, new brake pads, and a new caliper.  Came back to the house, installed them.  Bled the system, tested the brakes.  She's good for another couple of years.

Friend called her last shade-tree mechanic, told him what we'd found, and he told her that he had only done a right-side brake job.

Whatthehell?  Who does a right-side brake job and doesn't do the left?  That's the damndest thing I've ever heard.  My grand-daddy (and my father, for that matter) would be shaking their heads in disbelief.   A right-side brake job?  I'm still shaking my head in disbelief.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Laser Strikes

It seems that a California court has sentenced a man for striking a police helicopter with a laser beam.
The man, Brett Lee Scott of Buttonwillow, took a plea deal with federal prosecutors according to a May 5, 2014 court filing. Scott explained his actions by saying that he was “bored.”
It's dangerous to shoot laser beams at airplanes, helicopters and the like  It's also  illegal.  What many people don't know is that it's dangerous to fire a laser beam at a person.  Laser beams are tough on eyes, and if you strike a person in the face, it can blind them.  Even the toy lasers sold in beach-front gift shops are cumulatively dangerous.

I was explaining that to a person once, and they remonstrated, "They sell those things in toy shops, how can that be dangerous?  It's perfectly legal to buy a laser"

I replied.  "They sell rifles at Wal-Mart.  Perfectly legal.  Do you want me pointing my rifle at you?"

This is simply a public service announcement  Lasers are dangerous.  Treat them like they're dangerous.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Timex Alarm Clock

I've got a Timex Alarm Clock on my nightstand.  A common, black alarm clock,   Very simple, analog, it runs on batteries.  It looks a lot like this.

Mine's black, this one is sliver.  Same clock.  Point being that once a year I change the battery in that clock, and I did so this afternoon.  You see, tomorrow I go back to work after my summer break, and while the alarm clock hasn't been set since late May, it'll be set tonite.  And tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m., I'll get up and make coffee.

It's time to put on my boots and go back to work.  Just Damn.

Sunday Morning Dawg

A file shot, if you will, taken Friday morning, of the dog watching it rain.  He's not a big fan of the rain, but he's okay in the garage where he can watch from dry concrete.

It's okay, pup, rain doesn't last forever.

Friday, August 01, 2014


Gene Hill once wrote that rain is probably the oldest sound to reach the porches of man's ears.  I like the sentiment, and I like the visual image, and that's what I woke to this morning.  Rain.  It's been coming down steadily since before daylight.

Not the angry, thundering, lightning-strewn rain, but the grey sky, steady drenching rain that lasts all day.  And, the weather maps tell me that it's likely to last all day.  The ditches are running, and everything is drenched, and that's okay with me.  The rain held off when I was doing my projects.  For that I am grateful.  I had some things scheduled for today, but they can easily be put on hold.  Rain is God's way of telling me to take a break, and I'm okay with that too.

I've got some piddling I can do inside, and later today, after Milady gets off from work, we'll slip off to the auction, and maybe after that slip off to have some fun.  But, in the meantime, there are piddling tasks I can take care of inside, and the sound of rain on a metal roof is always a good sound to reach the porches of my ears.

I think I"ll sit on the patio for a few minutes and watch it rain.