Life is Hard. Wear a Helmet.

Life is Hard. Wear a Helmet

Virginia State Constitution: Article 1; Section 13
That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

Alabama State Constitution: Article 1: Section 26
That every Citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the State.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31st, 1975

James R. "Jimmy" Hoffa disappeared from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant near Detroit.

His driver at the time, Marvin Elkind, has put out a book where he says Jimmy is entombed in the foundation of the GM headquarters, the Renaissance Center.

Here's a few of the other places Jimmy's body is supposed to be hidden:

The foundation of the NY Giants football stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (What's with the mobsters and cement?)
Buried in a 100 acre gravelpit in Highland, Michigan. Owned by his brother, William.
The foundation of a public works garage in Cadillac, Michigan. (Seeing a trend?)
Under the cement botom of a swimming pool behind a mansion in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Ground up and spread around in a swamp in Florida
Crushed in a car compactor at Central Sanitation Services in Hamtramck, Michigan.
Buried in a field in Waterford Township, Michigan.
Weighted with concrete blocks, and dumped in the Au Sable river in Michigan.
Disintegrated at a fat-rendering plant. (Fight Club anyone?)
Entombed under the helipad at Sheraton Savannah Resort Hotel. (Owned, at the time, by the Teamsters union)
Encased in a steel drum and buried at the Brother Moscatos garbage dump, a toxic waste site in Jersey City.



I heard from a trusted source (on the internet) that the Kennedy clan used rogue CIA hit men to snatch Jimmy and hand him over to the aliens for waterboarding with water from the Chappaquiddick river, because he was actually the second gunman on the grassy knoll. For reals.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday meatsack special

On Monday last week, the USDA put out a snippet in their newsletter, encouraging employees to participate in Meatless Mondays.


So the National Cattlemens Beef Association got wind of it and went full-on tactical response on them.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) got in on the act with his tweeter...
"USDA HQ meatless Mondays!! At the Dept. of Agriculture? Heresy! I'm not grazing there. I will have the double rib-eye Mondays instead." (LOL Love that guy's sense of humor!)

So, basically, the USDA gets out there within three days and pulls their support of Meatless Mondays with a twitter message.

Dorks.

I don't have much of an opinion either way, except to maybe say something like, BACON IS LIFE, MORE IS GOOD.

The idea of some government flunky "suggesting" what I should or should not eat pretty much chaps my ass on any day.
So tonight's menu will include a big, juicy London Broil.

Why London Broil? Because, tobacco, that's why.

Yeah...a London Broil with mashed potatoes and asparagus...with a cigarette and a whiskey for dessert. Then I'm going to go outside and run my chainsaw for a few minutes. I'm not going to cut anything, but it'll feel good to rev up that oil-burning two-stroke for a bit.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday morning sleep-in #12

Hey...my dashboard says I've got 47 people following my blog.

I swear it said 46 the other day. So I go checking out the list and I see a bunch of people who's blogs I read, along with a bunch of other names that I'm pretty sure were already there.

I should pay better attention to stuff like that. I read Stephen's and Duke's blogs, and a bunch of others where they are really good about welcoming people and giving them link-backs if they have a blog.

Sorry. I suck at that sort of thing.

Whoever you are, Welcome. Feel free to drop me a line in comments.

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I first considered Murphy's suggestion for the Saturday Man Movie, but I own that one, and the chance of getting the old lady to sit through it for the umpteenth time were pretty slim. I dug into the Netflix archives to see if there was a nugget of gold hidden under all that crap. Indeed there was, I watched The World's Fastest Indian last night.

Damn me if that's not one of the best movies ever made.

It's the true story of Bert Munro.
I highly recommend this one. When it got to the scene where Bert (Anthony Hopkins) arrives at Bonneville salt flats and stands there reciting all the names of the greats who had been there before him, I gotta admit, I teared up a little bit.

I looked all over YouTube for a clip of that scene so I could inflict it on all of you, but it was nowhere to be found. I did, however, find this little jewel from the 1971 documentary. (Crank up the volume!)


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Woot!     N00b at the range!

Alas, no shooting for me this weekend.

Lucky for me, both the 409 bottle and the Clorox cleaner have "pistol grip" sprayers on top, so I can pretend while I enjoy scrubbing the grungy bathroom. *sigh*

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Morning Coffee #24

Who writes a post like this?

and then follows it up a few days later with this?

This guy does.












"No, I'm not a Bad Mother****er...I'm The Bad Mother****er"
(I have it on good authority he never actually said that, but he should have.)

He wrote a few books you can pick up at Amazon, Here, Here and Here.



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My very first duty station was McGuire AFB, New Jersey. (The armpit of the Air Force) They still did basic training next door at Ft. Dix, and the Guard unit on McGuire was still flying those F-4's every weekend.

We lived in a trailer at the end of the main runway, about 200 yards out from the overun, and just a few yards to the right of centerline.
(Less than a year after we sold that trailer and left, the Air Force decided the whole trailer park was pretty much the most dangerous place to live on base. They told everyone living there that they could not sell their trailers when they PCS'd. They had to pack them up and take them away.)

Every weekend those F-4's would pass right over our trailer pulling into their high-G turns, sideways about 100 feet off the deck, with afterburners going to beat the band.
Man, that whole trailer would shake on it's foundation. (Yeah. I said foundation. There was nothing mobile about that mobile home. It had been sitting there since 1969, and had an addition built on the side, and a screened-in porch added to that.) (I feel sorry for whoever got stuck trying to move that thing off base.)
The windows would rattle in their frames, the dishes would jump in the cabinets and the TV remote would dance across the coffee table. Before he was two, my son learned to sleep through anything.

Contrary to any rumors you may have heard, my wife and I did not intentionally try to time our baby-making activities for when the Guard unit was flying.

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Daughter is going out of town for the weekend.

I need to get up to Quantico and get the grocery trip knocked out, so I can go pantsless the rest of the weekend.

Maybe I could pay Murphy to make some low passes over the house. Try to recapture some of our youth.

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Inappropriate humor in 3....2....







Friday, July 27, 2012

Just need to make it through this one

Sorry folks for spending the week just posting mostly stupid pictures and such.

This heat is killing me, and the plant is running balls-to-the-wall.
I leave for home every day with the sweat soaked all the way through my shirt.

They say hard work is good for the soul.
Well, my soul must be made of cast fucking iron by now.

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I got nothing today, so it's linky time.

There's a Marine officer over at The Sandgram who is looking for the source of an essay.

Anybody know who wrote this?

It wasn't me, I swear, but it reminds me of this one time...

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

More on dreams

I've posted before on dreams.

Mine are pretty boring. I dream about work. Seems that even when I'm asleep, I spend my time trying to keep the machinery running smoothly.

I need to get out more, or something.

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Yesterday morning I was up at my usual time. (0400) I guess my stomping around getting my coffee and such had awakened my better half. She came wandering out to the living room, and I realized right away that she was actually still asleep.

Mrs B - Are you going to fill the freezer?

MSgt B - ???...Um...(realizing she is still dreaming)...sure, Honey.....why don't you go back to bed now?

Mrs B - My side of the bed is still wet!

MSgt B - Uuuuh...Yeah....Uh.....I'm sure it's dry by now, Honey. Go on, go back to sleep now...(using my 'Talking to the Crazy Person' voice)

She went back to bed, but I was intrigued to the point that I had to bring it up again last night after dinner.
I explained what she had done that morning and, of course, she had no memory of it.

MSgt B - So what was your dream about?

Mrs B - I don't remember.

Long pause....long enough that I went back to staring vacantly at whatever mind-sucking crap TV show was on the screen at the time.

Mrs B - There were puppies.

MSgt B - Puppies?

Mrs B - Yeah, hundreds of puppies. German Shepherd puppies. They were all over the house, and we had that plastic fake grass covering all the floors, and they were pooping everywhere.

MSgt B - Wow.

Mrs B - They were pooping so much, I just gave up on trying to clean it up, so there was, like, poop everywhere.

MSgt B - You dreamed of puppy poop?

Mrs B - Yeah, and they kept trying to escape, and I had to keep fetching them back. I would pick them up by the scruff of their necks and, since I wanted to carry more than two, I would hold one in my teeth, like a mama dog does.

MSgt B - That's quite a picture, Honey. Thank you.

Mrs B - You were there.

MSgt B - I was?

Mrs B - Yeah. You were naked.

(I really do need to get out more.)

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Morning News Day

Air Force Instructor Sentenced to 20 years.
 
Good.
 
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Joe Pa's statue took a tumble.

Fair.

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Colorado shooting renews focus on Romney's gun control stance

Bad.

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Wow. I'm impressed at how well he put the point across. Straight forward, no fancy dressing, just the truth.
(and he keeps giving the interviewer the "Are you following me, Stoopid?" look. Priceless!)
I'm assuming this was British TV, and they were looking for him to come across as some sort of thug.
Ice-T puts in a slam-dunk for the Win!
I never did like rap music much, but next time you're in town, drop me a line and we'll go shooting.
 


Hat Tip to Endo for the video.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday morning sleep-in - The author's note

My blog-buddy Heroditus Huxley has gone and published a book on Kindle.

Go visit her blog, and the link to purchase a copy on Amazon is in the right sidebar. It's like three bucks, don't be cheap.

I did it myself, and I even downloaded and installed Kindle reading software on my laptop. How's that for impressive?

Okay. If you're Andy, it's probably not very impressive, but I was simply astounded at my computer programming acumen.

(This one's aimed at you, A Girl. You could read it and put a review up on your blog. *wink wink*)

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Go to Google and type in Where is Chuck Norris? and then select the very first (top of the list) result that comes up.
That shit is funny.

or, for you FaceBook junkies...
in the comment slot on any picture or post, type in  @[4:0]  and see what pops up as your comment.

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My darling daughter, Miss B, got her first tattoo...


It's lyrics from some song by some group that I don't listen to, but Miss B says it's the bestest song in the whole world.

*sigh*

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Innapropriate humor in 3....2.....






Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday Morning Coffee #23

Aurora, Colorado 
July 20th, 2012

Was there not one Browncoat in that theatre?

Not even one?


Friday, July 20, 2012

Worse than Trekkies

Firefly addicts, commonly referred to as Browncoats.

They go around making obscure references to events in the series, and are constantly surprised by the fact that no one gets what they are talking about.

For instance, a fashion disaster is often referred to as a "Jayne's Hat"



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Browncoats consider themselves fiercely independent, and calling one a scoundrel is usually considered a compliment.

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Among Browncoats, Snark is considered to be the highest form of communication, and a Browncoat without a gun is like a fish out of water.




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Don't get the wrong idea, many Browncoats band together to do good things.

The California Browncoats and the Southeastern Browncoats are doing a lot of charity work, not just running around dressed funny at the comic conventions. (Although many feel that's the best part of it.)

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So ends today's lesson.

Next month we'll learn how to talk like a pirate.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I'm no Shepherd, but I like pie

Seems our boy Stroud has posted a recipe for Shepherd's Pie.

Looks pretty good. The ground lamb is going to be hard to come by here in the states. Just reading that reminded me of all the lamb and mutton we used to eat when we lived in England. (Excuse me for a moment while I wipe the drool off the keyboard...bhsgkxd6r7u94w56yhnkm;...there, that's better.) I may have to go with the half-and-half mix of pork and beef.

Seeing that recipe reminded me of Brigid's Guiness Shepherd's Pie that a made just once quite a while ago. I seem to recall it being the best Shepherd's Pie I ever had in my life. (My memory is vague in this area. Drinking one bottle of Guiness, per Brigid's instructions, led to me having to follow that with a few fingers of The Glenlivet to wash down the dark beer. It's an Irish thing.)

I'm going to have to make both of these now and post some comparisons.

Winner takes all.

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Some pics to help you along.

Brigid's Pie -


Stroud's Pie -


Some random (not quite) porn that came up when I was searching for another pie picture -



WTF?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Girls night out

It appears Bobbi has gotten past her flu-like symptoms.

Unfortunately, she seems to have moved into the 'deterioration of the brain' portion of her illness.

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Range fashion Dos and Don'ts.

From A Girl and Her Gun

(MSgt B says don't.....puhleeeeze don't.)

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Poor Tam had to stay up all night to shoot weapons with thermal imaging sights on them.

I feel really bad about you being so tired.

Really.

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The Bitch links to a top-notch blogger, and then.......oompa loompa legs?

WTF?

Thanks Ima...I think.

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Krissy's advice column.

Don't do drugs, don't drink too much and don't act like a freakin twelve year old,

...but as long as you're polite, pants are optional.

Win!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Travelin' Man

We were making our way back out to Okinawa after almost a month in the states visiting family. We had paid our own way to L.A., and were trying to get a seat on the "Freedom Bird" that made the regular run out to Yokota, Seoul and Kadena.  A chartered 747 carrying military personnel. (This was way before 9/11, so it wasn't like "Freedom Fries", it was what took guys home from remote stations.)

Nothing doing. No seats available, and the next one out wasn't for four days. A helpful AF Tech Sergeant at the gate checked his computer and said we should try hopping the shuttle up to Travis AFB. There was a C-5 Galaxy scheduled for Yokota, and if we caught the next shuttle, we could make it there just in time.

So off we run to catch that shuttle. The helpful Tech Sgt carrying a couple bags and one kid. We made the shuttle bus, and spent the next gleeful nine or ten hours trying to get some nap time on a bus full of GIs and their families. (I think this bus ride is what solidified my decision to have a vasectomy, but that's a story for another time.)

The helpful Tech Sgt was right. The bus took us straight to the Travis terminal, and just as we were walking in the door, they were asking for any passengers seeking travel to Yokota AB, Japan. (If we had hit traffic, we'd have missed it.) I walked straight up to the counter with my leave paperwork and everyone's passports, and grabbed us four seats for Yokota.

The ten hour flight went by in a blink. Seriously. We all got in our seats, I blinked, and next thing you know we were landing in Yokota, I think the kids even slept. Everyone was getting pretty tired by this point.

At Yokota, we were dismayed to find that there was nothing scheduled out until the next day, when Southern Air was running an L-100 straight down to Kadena and home. We grabbed our bags and walked the half-mile or so over to billeting, and were again dismayed to find that there were no rooms available. The lady at the desk suggested some local hotels we could try. (Did I mention that I was a young GI with no money? Yeah, a cheap hotel room in the Tokyo area in those days was $150, and that's for a single...a family of four was screwed.) So we wandered our way back to the terminal, stopping at Anthony's Pizza on the way, with a plan to just spend the night sleeping on benches.

Once we had ensconced ourselves in the terminal and staked out the most comfortable benches, I decided it was time for a shower. The terminal at Yokota has great facilities, and I had my shaving kit handy for just such an occasion. The only thing I had forgotten to pack was a towel. Sound familiar? No way was that stopping me from grabbing a shower. We had been traveling for a couple days, and I was feeling pretty ripe by that time. I figured I could just run around naked flapping my arms until I dried off enough to get dressed. (You're picturing that now, aren't you?) That shower was a slice of heaven.

What did I hear as soon as I shut off the water? "All passengers seeking travel to Seoul, South Korea, with a follow-on to Kadena AB, Japan, please report to the ticket counter immediately" Man, I never moved so fast in my life. I dried myself off with handfuls of those crappy brown paper towels that don't actually soak up any water, threw on my clothes, and ran for the counter. It seems a C-130 was leaving that night. The crew hadn't planned on taking any passengers, but when the guy at the ticket counter saw us settling in for the night, he convinced them to open up some jump seats for us. By this time, it was pretty late at night, and we ended up being the only passengers on the flight. We had plenty of room to stretch out on the jump seats alongside the cargo, and the loadmaster didn't even raise an eyebrow when the kids started climbing all over the webbing holding the cargo down.

Of course, being a C-130, as soon as it landed in Seoul it broke down....

I'll end the story there. I could go on for another hour. Suffice it to say it was quite an unforgettable  adventure getting home that time. We still bring it up to this day and laugh about it, whenever we think we're having a tough time on the road somewhere.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Traveling Space-A in the PACRIM

Now I've got traveling on the brain.
More stuff from the old photo albums...

When stationed out in Okinawa, we would take advantage of the Space-A program to hop military cargo and passenger flights on our vacations. The flights all cost about $20 per person, no matter where you were going. This program really opened the world up to a young (perpetually broke) enlisted guy and his family.

Sometimes that amounted to us spending quite a bit of time sitting around in terminals.



 

I saw these and remembered another old war story. I don't have the time to type it up and post it this morning. Tomorrow.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday morning sleep-in #10

Not much sleeping going on.

I got up at my usual weekday time (4am) to catch the celestial event.

Had to wait for the clouds to wander out of the way, but it was worth it. Wish I had a camera that could get a low-light picture like that.

Confused the heck out of the dog. He just wanted to do his business and get back inside to breakfast.

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JPS - The Jean-Paul Sartre navigation system

"As a traveler with volition to soar beyond guidance, you implore me to recalculate. The world spins beneath the satellite’s gaze and all roads re-converge. In four miles, affirm again that there exists no exit. Hell is other commuters."

Click on the text to go read the whole thing. That's funny stuff. Written by Gabriella Cook and Jeremy Richards.

I never did Sartre in school. My mother made me read it.

Thanks, Mom...I think.

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Digging through old photo albums -

Dad, circa 1960-something...

Me, circa thirty years later...
Man, I loved that shirt.

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday Morning Coffee #22

Old NFO found a world-wide version of the map.

and it says I've only covered about 16%.

Truth be told, it's not even close to that. Canada and Australia cover a healthy bit of ground, but I've only ever visited one or two spots in either.

and Alaska? It's just shaded in because it's part of the USA. I really have very little desire to lose toes to frostbite, or spend a month in darkness in the winter. It's just not my thing.



visited 37 states (16.4%)

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Looking at the world map got me thinking. (Ut-oh)

When I retired from the Air Force in 2009, the housing and jobs disaster was just gathering a full head of steam. It was a tough time to go looking for employment.
Truth is, I settled for this job and this area. It was the best offer I had on my plate. I was really hoping to get out into the midwest somewhere. Specifically down south in the Colorado-Utah-Arizona-New Mexico-Texas region.
Although I am a native of Virginia, I joined the Air Force many moons ago to leave here and see the world. I never planned to actually return to my home state, and eight years in Okinawa ruined me for life. I will never again enjoy cold weather, my blood has become too thin.

Don't get me wrong. I'll always love Virginia, and I'm very happy with what I do now and the company that I work for.
This Fall marks three years with that company, and I'm going to start looking for other opportunities with them somewhere a little warmer. I miss my palm trees.

Wish me luck. (or not)

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The most meaningless online quiz I've ever taken.

It says I'm a Cheerios person. Wrong!

Mrs B - Special K (the one with little bits of chocolate, go figure)

Miss B - Kashi Go Lean (twigs and bark)

MSgt B - Corn Pops (Any similarity to actual corn, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)

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Innapropriate humor in 3...2...





It's been a helluva week, and I've made some special plans for tonight.
(To all my blog buddies, this means the drunk-dialing will be starting early this evening.)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Vitamin M

Wow. I'm hittin' the Vitamin M early this morning. Whoever thought rolling out of bed could be such a bitch?

We've been "All Hands on Deck" for the last few days.
It was already going to be a heavy week with some major maintenance planned, then stuff started breaking.

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Standing in the kitchen last night, frying up some corned beef hash and eggs for dinner (with toast)

Mrs B starts pointing out bruises on my arms. She does this by poking them with her finger.

MSgt B - Ow.....Ow.....Ow......Ow......WTF are you doing?

Mrs B - (using her innocent look) Are those bruises?

MSgt B - Yeah. Stop....Ow....stop poking them.

Mrs B - What were you doing when you got them?

MSgt B - Working.

Mrs B - Well, duh...what were you working on?

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I didn't know how to answer her.

Truth is, I really don't remember what I was working on when I got that particular bruise, or that one over there, for that matter...

I just work hard sometimes, and I don't notice any particularly painful event.
I think I've gotten too good at blocking out pain and working through it. (Back problems for the last 5-6 years)

Does anyone else do this? Is it just me?

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Time to get behind the mule, and see if we can wrap this week up and get a couple days off.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Quote of the week

Goes to CTone.

"a rifle that recoils like a donkey punch to the soul"

Seriously, it's been two years since I've fired any of my long guns. I had that wonderful invite to go shoot with Murphy and Proud Hillbilly a couple weeks ago, and that damn storm came along and fouled it.

Now with the "ZOMG Global Warming heatwave!!!11!!1" going on, work is stacked, and I'm not looking at any significant time off until maybe August?

Suckage.

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I do have two events marked already for September.

Sep 15th Larry Correia will be doing a thing at Ft Belvoir. I plan on doing some olympic level squeeing.

Sep. 29th is "Teh Big Fun Show" at Dulles. I heard there's some local bloggers doing a meet-up. More squeeing. (maybe some fondling too)

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Sing it, Tennessee.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Is this week over yet?

My Ops Support Engineer and PLC programmer dood are both on site this week for some "improvements".

Busy busy busy.

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If the damn motor bearings are sealed, why do they have zerk fittings installed and instructions on lubricating?

Bonus question:
What happens to a sealed-bearing motor that's been getting grease pumped into it for two years?

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Mrs B - You got Netflix working again?

MSgt B - (Without taking his eyes from "Medium Raw") Yep.

Mrs B - How'd you do that?

MSgt B - I am "King of the Internets", and I have decreed that Netflix shall work. Now and forevermore.

Mrs B - .....

MSgt B - Don't worry. I shall be a benevolent and loving ruler.
                Netflix for all!
                Now be quiet, the King is watching a movie.

Mrs B - How about "King of the Dishes"?

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday morning sleep-in #...um...whatever

I finally watched Act of Valor last night. (I don't do movie theaters)

Fakest part of the movie: Every time the good guys flew on a C-130, the synchrophasers were all working. Never in my life have I ridden twice in a row on Hercs with the synchrophasers working. They should have had at least one scene where the good guys were getting their fucking teeth rattled right out of their damn heads, and they were unable to talk to each other over the noise without screaming in each others faces like they were 100 yards apart. That would have made it a little more believable.

The rest of the movie was okay.

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Those boys look a little too "reverent of individual liberty". Somebody get a drone over their place, stat.

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday Morning Coffee #21

It sure is nice to have a few minutes to sit around on a Saturday morning...in the A/C...with a fresh cup of coffee.

I hereby declare that last weekend never happened.

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I've got nothing wise or witty this morning. I don't even have anything to be angry and rant about.

Think I'll head up to Q-town and poke around the PX. Hopefully, the place will be swarmed with youngsters from the FBI school, all wandering around in matching khakis and polo shirts.
They're fun to mess with on a slow day.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Sweat as a training aid

Weather report said it was going to get up to 100 Thursday, so I wore a lightweight guayabera style white shirt.

Oops.
Men have nipples too, you know...

So, as a public service, I put on a plain white Tee underneath. (Can't have the chicks throwing themselves at me while I'm at the range...)

It was comfortable enough out in the weather. I sat around on the tailgate of my truck in the parking lot of The Range. Having a couple smokes while I waited for them to open the doors. Sumdood got out of his air-conditioned truck long enough to ask me if I thought they had A/C on the range. I postulated that they probably didn't..."The exhaust fans should help." says I.
Once inside, I picked up 100 rounds of their range ammo and got set up on lane 4 with my Sig Pro in 9mm.

First was two magazines of aimed fire at 10 yards for a warm-up. Good center-mass stuff, all qualifiers. Then I played with the .357 snubby for a few minutes. It's double-action only, so not as pretty as the Sig, but still all qualifiers.
Is it just me, or is it a little warm in here?

Second target I went to work on double-taps. (First round DA - follow-up SA) out at about 12-15 yards (I was guesstimating about half the distance to the backstop on a 25 yard range) Another two magazines through the Sig. As usual, hurrying into my second shot caused me to start pulling a little to the left. Not too shabby. Still all center-mass. (Okay, okay, a few fliers too.) Then some more playing with the .357. Definitely an up-close-and-personal handgun, starting to wander all over the target at that range. I finished of the set with 10 rounds of 9mm to make me feel better, and put the revolver away for the day.
The sweat running down the side of my neck and down my spine is starting to bother me. It's also getting in my eyes a little bit. I reach up to rub my eyes and see all the powder residue and crap on my hands, that's not going to work. I must have a rag around here somewhere. I rummage in my bag, but all I come up with is my cleaning rag, covered in grunge and Hoppe's #9. Definitely a non-starter.

Last set is two magazines at 25 yards, aimed fire, all single-action. As soon as I can get my sight picture lined back up, I send another round downrange. Nice and steady, I feel confident, even though I can't see my hits at this distance. Why do gun ranges all have to be so dim? The only one I've been to with good lighting is at NRA HQ.
By the time I start the second magazine, the sweat is dripping off my unibrow onto the lenses of my glasses. That baby is supposed to act like a rain gutter and divert the sweat over to run down my temples, but it's coming too hard and fast, like a thunderstorm. (Or a Derecho, the popular term now in Virginia)

At the end of the last set, I'm thinking only one thing. Get me out of this damn furnace. I'm cleaning up my mess and packing my goodies away. Every time I bend over to put stuff in my range bag on the floor, I drip a bunch of sweat into the bag along with it. Keep breathing. I pull my target back in to take it down, and give it a cursory inspection. Yeah, yeah, you hit the thing, now get out. Get out!

My one-hour range trip ended up being barely more than 30 minutes. All-in-all a good trip, and a nice reminder of another item I should make sure I add to the range bag. A sweat towel. Fat bastards like me put out an incredible amount of sweat, and I'm not winning any wet T-shirt contests.

Found out later the "Sexy Marine" was there with me, but he was leaving when I hit the parking lot.

The nipples probably scared him off.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Clean coal

Clean coal is real. It's not a joke, and it's not a fantasy.

By something like 2014, any coal fired power plant in the U.S. is going to be required to have a Flue Gas Desulfurization Unit (commonly called a "scrubber") attached.

There's one major problem with this piece of legislation. Scrubbers put out a cloud of water vapor that is much more visible than running the old dry stacks, even though it's much cleaner, it puts out a big "cloud".

So you end up with ignorant butt-monkeys filming the cloud from their car when they're suposed to be paying attention to the damn road.
Then they post the video on YouTube and every common sense-challenged whack job appends their own "ZOMG! pollution! !!1!1elevenses!!""Republicans suck!!" comments to it.




To everyone in the mid-atlantic who's been suffering through this heat with no power over the last week, think of this as a "practice run".

When all those coal plants start going offline because the companies that run them can't afford to put a FGD scrubber on them, rolling blackouts will become the norm.

No one is approving new nuclear plants (and if they did now, it's too late) and windmills and solar panels just aren't going to cut it. You could NOT build them fast enough at this point (or at any point) to make any difference.

Start stocking up on D-cell batteries now. You're going to need a heck of a lot of them.



**Rant Off **

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What's your plan for the holiday?

I'll be celebrating the anniversary of our Declaration of Independence in several different ways today.

I'll start by going to work for a few hours...go figure.

Then I'll be coming home and mowing the yard that was supposed to be done last weekend, but wasn't because we were all so busy melting and I didn't have any A/C to go run and hide in.

Then I'll split some kindling so we can get a fire going in the backyard fire bowl tonight. We'll sit around it and get drunk.
Woot!

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I'm taking Thursday off.

I need to get a few other chores done, but I was thinking of dropping in to The Range for an hour when they open.
I sorely missed shooting last weekend.

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I finally got around to reading the best summary of ObamaCare on the internets.

Written by none other than Larry Correia.

PS - He's going to be at the Ft Belvoir PX on Sep 15th. Calendar has been marked.
Anybody care to join me? Wanna see MSgt B act like a pre-teen girl at a Justin Beiber concert?

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Y'all enjoy your 4th of July festivities. Before you go, be sure to watch this PSA from Caleb at Gun Nuts Media.

Independence

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
 
 
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July 3rd, 1863

The high-water mark of a great and terrible day.

What did it take for those Virginia boys to keep moving forward under the massed musket and artillery fire of the Union army?

Over a half-mile of open ground.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Blurg

So I leave work Friday thinking I'm set up for some well-deserved time off. The plant is running smoothly, the sun is shining, and shooty goodness is in the forecast for the weekend.

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Friday night:
I doze peacefully on the couch.

My wife snuggles in alongside me, her nails gently scratching at my neck and shoulder, her wet nose rubs at my ear....

Wet nose?

WTF?

I awake from my dreams to find a 120 lb German Shepherd trying vainly to hide behind me on the couch, and my daughter standing there giggling.

There is a thunderstorm getting up quite a head of steam outside. The lights flicker a few times and our good friend electricity departs for destinations unknown.

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Saturday:
I wake before dawn, as usual, but this time I start to notice the heat.

The air is still, not a breathe of breeze blows anywhere. I open the windows to let in some fresh air and it does no good.

No power. Not a big deal. I brew coffee too strong in the old camp coffeepot, and pick the grounds out of my teeth for the rest of the day.

On the battery-powered radio, classic Tanya Tucker is interrupted by the news flash "Governer declares State of Emergency" blah blah blah  yada yada

WTF?

It was a thunderstorm...sure, I've got a few branches down, but the neighborhood is fine overall. It wasn't that bad, was it?

Sleep is not restful. The wife and I joke about our first year in Okinawa, when we lived on the local economy in a "Japanese style" home. (i.e. - no air conditioning)

But there was always a breeze in Oki. You could smell the ocean just a klick away.

Now there is no breeze. The air is still as death, and has been all day.

I dream of rotisserie chickens while we slowly bake in our brick oven home.

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Sunday:
Yes, it was that bad. One thunderstorm, and the entire state falls apart.

I'm out early in the truck. No camp coffee this morning.

Breakfast is a cereal bar and extra-large brew of some kind of mud, flavored to taste like coffee.

"Add one of our famous sausage biscuits for only $0.99"

An hour later I find out what it is their sausage biscuits are actually famous for.

It ain't the flavor.

Wasn't I supposed to be shooting today?

WTF?

Our friend electricity comes home at about the same time I do. Everyone is smiling again.

We grill outdoors anyway. House burgers. I am pleased to find the meats in the freezer stayed frozen for a 48 hour outage. A lot of the stuff down in the refrigerator had to go, though.

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Monday:
The 105-quart cooler still sits in the middle of the kitchen.

I sit on it and contemplate life while sipping the first good cup of coffee I've had in three days. I really need to practice with that old camp percolator, but for now, I'll rest on my laurels and enjoy my drip-brewed stuff.

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And getting a text on my cell phone from A Girl and Her Gun, asking me for MSgt B's number.....

...that pretty much set the tone for my weekend. Surreal.

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Still....

Those Dominion Va Power guys have their hands full. Our neighborhood is a bit secluded, so it will probably be Monday at least before we have electricity.

DAY 1


DAY 2


I'm "on the hook", so I'm pretty much stuck at home for the weekend. I expect I'll be blogging from the road soon.

I've really lost my touch with the camp coffeepot. Good thing I'm getting plenty of practice.