'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

30 December 2010


By LCDR Roberto J Prinselaar
From the book, Tears of Ink

I think of death and its rewards
Forever peace without doupt
Or will it bring my strife renewed
Or is it the way out

I'm not allowed to seek my death
In that I have no voice
My God will take me That I know
In that I have no choice

My life has not been without sin
But not without regret
So many things were not the best
And evil I have met

Oh God, my God, Please hear my prayer
Please let me live in peace
Please take away the awful hurts
And let my troubles cease

29 December 2010

But....I Hate That Guy!

Please pardon me for a minute while I go on a rant. We will return to Happy Six and the Faerie Faerts momentarily.

A couple of days ago I was surfing around and came upon a reference to an author named John Scalzi. I own and have read most of his books. At least right up to the point where I discovered his personal website and his personal politics. In reading his take on politics, the Tea Party, Republicans, Conservatives and a host of things that have meaning for me I found myself disagreeing with everything and not a little taken aback by both his stances and his opinion of those opposing his views, both expressed and implied. I consider him exceedingly intelligent (though maybe not quite as smart as he deems himself) but lacking in common sense. He's arrogant with (very) limited tolerance for those who disagree with him, preferring sycophants to honest debate. I won't quote him here because I have a strong suspicion that he's litigious but I saw him write that when the revolution came and the proletariat put him against the wall he wouldn't cry about how his wealth trickled down but rather he'd ask what took them so long. The clear implication is that he expects and supports the deaths of anyone who disagrees with his world view. That means many of us and our families. He mocks other's definition of him but you can read his political writings and make up your own mind if the elitist/socialist tags fit. I admit it, he got my goat, at least a little bit and I'm not sure what that says about me.

He's hardly alone. You can't watch a movie or television without seeing actors, writers, directors, producers, etc. who are cut from the same cloth. I've tried to adopt the Dance Monkey, Dance attitude toward these people but it's getting harder.

My question is what is the moral response? A commenter to one of Scalzi's posts wrote that he'd spent his last dime on anything Scalzi did. Scalzi's response was mockery and disdain. So what do I do now? Refuse to buy his books? Completely boycott Scalzi and anyone who is in business with him? Do I stop watching Johnny Depp movies and refuse my dollar to anyone who supports him? Tell people to stay away from him?

Let's take Ed Rasimus for example. I like Ed and his take on politics and the world. I love his writing. He has two great books out on his experiences as a Fighter Pilot in the Vietnam War, Palace Cobra and When Thunder Rolled. They're politically neutral and tell his stories from his perspective. He also co-wrote the biography of one of the finest men America has ever produced in Robin Olds in a book called Fighter Pilot. I'd love for liberals and those on the far left to read those books and I'd recommend them to anyone, regardless of political affiliation. How do I justify dis commending Scalzi's books while trying to convince him to read Ed's? I like both though my feelings on the authors couldn't be more diametrically opposed.

Maybe it's 'Line In The Sand' time?

If I decide that I just can't buy or read Scalzi's books any more then what do I do with his books I've already bought? Donate them so someone I don't know can discover them and be influenced in turn by a man who's views I find repugnant and anti-American? I can't burn them or otherwise destroy them. That's absolutely amoral in my view but every time I look at them I can't help but be reminded of who he really is and I can't bring myself to introduce anyone else to the man. So they remain in a box, unread and a waste of paper and space but I love them. Do I refuse to watch the newest Pirates movie because Depp is a deluded oxygen thief as a human being but a first rate actor in a series I also love?

Let me be clear here. Scalzi writes first rate science fiction. I've enjoyed every one of his books I've read. I'm having a hard time getting past his politics and world view, especially where America is concerned. But that can be said of many authors and entertainers, most of whom I don't read or watch because their writing or movies are crap. Someone else might read those authors and watch those programs and disagree. Then it's a case of who's opinion is more valid, theirs or mine?

I love John Ringo and Tom Kratman and RAH (PBUH) and Larry Correia and I hate it when I see those on the left skewer them and call for boycotts and all manner of vile retributuion against them because they hate their politics and what they choose to write about. Ask John Ringo sometime about what was said about him and Kratman when they wrote Watch on the Rhine. It's mind boggling.

Should I ignore politics in entertainers altogether? Some of them have powerful voices that reach to the very highest levels of government. Does my financial support grease the way for them to exert undue influence in the political arena? If so what's my moral responsibility? One problem is that true conservatives (who are in fact actually true liberals or Libertarians) have a live and let live attitude I try and emulate. Flap your gums to your hearts content, I can parse fact from fiction.

I recognize that this is essentially an act of navel gazing or perhaps grief over losing respect for an author I've enjoyed for years but the essential issue remains. I love that book/movie/song/ show/etc. but I hate that guy. What do I do? Stick my fingers in my ears where their politics are concerned and shout LaLaLaLa at the top of my lungs to avoid knowing who these people really are? I can't do that so I'm left with boycott or acceptance and moving on.

I've come to this conclusion. There is simply no way that I'm ever going to agree with most people on everything. Maybe even most things. We're all people, fallible and flawed human beings trying to get through life as best we can. Some I disagree with more vehemently than others but I can say with reasonable certainty that there isn't a single person on the planet with whom I'd agree on everything. I'm going to take my entertainers one by one. Those who's views are so skewed from mine as to be intolerable and who may have influence at a policy level will be boycotted. Those I view as simply kooks who can have no real effect on my life and the lives of those I love will be ignored until they produce something I enjoy and wish to watch or read or listen to. I will spend exactly what I have to on their entertainment and not a penny more and I will take every opportunity I can to remind them that they are indeed pretenders who owe their livelihoods and indeed their entire existence, to people just like me. I think Jennifer said it best here and I'm going to follow her lead on this. Dance Monkey, Dance indeed.

So to John Scalzi. John, you're a kook. Your politics are as out of touch with the majority of Americans as they are arrogant, narrow minded and intolerant. But. I don't think you have any real effect on policy or the views of anyone outside your limited coterie of hangers on and ass kissers. As such you pose no real threat to me or mine so I'm essentially going to ignore you and your rantings. When you produce something I deem readable I'll probably go to the library and check it out. If forced to do so I'll drop a few bucks on a book and do so without any pangs of guilt. I'll enjoy the entertainment you provide and rest well in the knowledge that, in the end, your political views will end up where they belong. In the garbage destined for also ran status.

That goes for the rest of Hollywood and the entertainment industry. You can rant and spew your brand of inanity and bile all you want but the days of your influence are passing and like the mighty Dodo you're in danger of becoming extinct.


ht to Borepatch for the link and my thanks to Jennifer for saying it so well.

28 December 2010


As hard as I try to be funny, Innominatus actually is. Wait, does that sentence even make any sense?

Anyway. Inno has a post up about grandkids and Christmas. You can read it here. It makes me want to sic the rabid hamsters on him.

Not that I'm jealous or anything.


Indians For Guns RKBA Article

Right to Protection- A Fundamental Responsibility & Failure of the Indian State
By- Vikram, Kona

That is an article I read on the Indians For Guns website the other day. It's a look at the RKBA issues from the perspective of an Indian gun rights activist. As I read I was struck more by our similarities than our differences. The article is by Vikram, Kona and, in my opinion, it's a brilliant treatise on gun rights and the duties and limitations of the state. It's a little long so I'm going to simply link to the PDF of the article. 11 pages and worth every one of them.

Vikram covers crime, policing, guns in India and more. I highly recommend it as well as their attendant website. Vikram is a fine writer who knows the material and is as passionate about RKBA as anyone I've ever read.

Vikram has given me permission to reproduce it here and send it out so if you have any problems seeing it please let me know and I'll e-mail you the article.

More brothers and sisters in the fight for our basic human rights. We can never have too many friends. Well done Vikram.


goin' high tech

Well, Santa launched both the Sarge and I into the high tech age with two of these:I'll admit that I've avoided one until now. The Airman (my hubby, an E-6 in the AF) got one last January and loves the danged thing, but not me! Nope, I didn't need that newfangled crap. I love books. The feel, the smell. No, I didn't like reading on a computer and I sure as shit wasn't going to spend that kind of cash on one! Then I realized one day that it sure would come in handy for school. School only, mind you, where I'm already reading books online for papers, and I don't much care about having a hard copy book. It wasn't like it was for pleasure, it was all work! And that was the Airman's hook. He bought me one, and I figured since I actually had the damned thing I'd actually try it out. So I bought a book. And I read. And I fell in love.

And then this gift doubled, as it allowed me to buy another book, a book I haven't read in a long time.

See, there's this book, the first truly grown up book I read as a kid. Castle Perilous is a scifi/fantasy crossover about a strange castle, magic and mayhem. It rocked and I fell in love. I was already a reader, but this truly sent me over the edge. The original copy, read back in the day (1988 if you must know, meaning I was 9) has disintegrated over the years. I've since replaced it, and watched that one come apart as well. So, there I was, the day after Christmas, in Hungary, and I occurred to me to look for it for the Kindle, and there it was.

$9 and several hours of reading later, this gift brought me back to my childhood and gave me access to something I was afraid I would eventually lose forever. Not only that, my beat up copies are in a box in Hurricane somewhere, far from where I am now. I've been working at school for 7 months with one week off int hat time. I'm a history major so there are upwards of 100 pages of text to read a week, 2+ pages to write each week, response to other students and to the instructor each week, and every 8 weeks a 10 page paper. Times two. Needless to say, I haven't read for fun in a long time. This Christmas was different. I'm taking a sabbatical to get back my sanity, undig my house, rediscover my waistline... And now, to get acquainted with John DeChancie and his worlds.

It wasn't the gift this Christmas that was important. It was the hope on the Airman's part that this would be a way for my life to be less difficult and more fun. The ultimate gift, though, was that it reconnected me to my ultimate gift, given by the Six and Lu, my folks. Truly the gift of joy of reading is immeasurable!

-The DO

*Do I need a disclaimer? I'm not sure, so here goes... I don't care if you buy one of these, and I have nothing whatsoever to do with DeChancie or Amazon, apart from spending an ass ton of cash there. Seriously, this post isn't even about the Kindle, really. It's about books in general. Those, I do think you should buy, though sadly the books aren't paying me to say that. K... We good?

27 December 2010


On Christmas Eve the weather finally cleared so Lu and I decided that a ride was in order. It's still pretty wet so a trail ride was out so we busted out the road bikes. There's some great roads right outside our house. I know I keep saying things like this but I'm loving living in a place where a great ride starts from our front door.

This is an area that still has a lot of agriculture and ranching. I took this photo of Lu just a couple of miles into the ride. You can see the snow on Pine Valley in the distance with an irrigation wheel just behind her.

Just a bit further down the road is the Hurricane Airport, Elevation 3347 feet. It's a small airport catering to small, private aircraft with some hangers and some tie downs. About 7 miles down the road is a small community called Sky Ranch. It's a fly in subdivision with it's own air strip. each home has it's own hanger. Pretty cool. I'll post some photos next time we ride out that way.

South of the Airport and atop the hills behind and west of it is Mollies Nipple. I have no idea who Molly was but I think the descriptive origination of the name is obvious. When I was in High School this area was much as it is now but even less inhabited. Many a kegger and Jungle Juice party was thrown in the shadow of the inimitable Miss Mollie's famous protuberance. Not that I'd know. I heard is all. I swear.

It was a great day and a fantastic ride. The road is sparsely traveled and the drivers are polite and careful. Such a change from California where the drivers seem to take a perverse pleasure in seeing how close they can get without actually running you over.

It's started raining again but I think we're going to be able to ride year round. Mostly. As we ride and explore I am going to take the time to photo and document much of the area. It's beautiful country and the local government works hard to insure public access to all of it. Public access to public lands. What a concept.

I hope you all had a great Christmas. New Years is right around the corner. Then the real fun begins. Have I mentioned how much work I have to do on this house?

It's gonna be a great year.


26 December 2010

Sunday Kipling

The Broken Men

For things we never mention,
For Art misunderstood
For excellent intention
That did not turn to good;
From ancient tales' renewing,
From clouds we would not clear
Beyond the Law's pursuing
We fled, and settled here.

We took no tearful leaving,
We bade no long good-byes.
Men talked of crime and thieving,
Men wrote of fraud and lies.
To save our injured feelings
'Twas time and time to go
Behind was dock and Dartmoor,
Ahead lay Callao!

The widow and the orphan
That pray for ten per cent,
They clapped their trailers on us
To spy the road we went.
They watched the foreign sailings
(They scan the shipping still),
And that's your Christian people
Returning good for ill!

God bless the thoughtful islands
Where never warrants come;
God bless the just Republics
That give a man a home,
That ask no foolish questions,
But set him on his feet;
And save his wife and daughters
From the workhouse and the street!

On church and square and market
The noonday silence falls;
You'll hear the drowsy mutter
Of the fountain in our halls.
Asleep amid the yuccas
The city takes her ease
Till twilight brings the land-wind
To the clicking jalousies.

Day long the diamond weather,
The high, unaltered blue
The smell of goats and incense
And the mule-bells tinkling through.
Day long the warder ocean
That keeps us from our kin,
And once a month our levee
When the English mail comes in.

You'll find us up and waiting
To treat you at the bar;
You'll find us less exclusive
Than the average English are.
We'll meet you with a carriage,
Too glad to show you round,
But -- we do not lunch on steamers,
For they are English ground.

We sail o' nights to England
And join our smiling Boards
Our wives go in with Viscounts
And our daughters dance with Lords,
But behind our princely doings,
And behind each coup we make,
We feel there's Something Waiting,
And -- we meet It when we wake.

Ah, God! One sniff of England
To greet our flesh and blood
To hear the traffic slurring
Once more through London mud!
Our towns of wasted honour --
Our streets of lost delight!
How stands the old Lord Warden?
Are Dover's cliffs still white?

24 December 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope this Day finds you all happy and healthy. Sarge, the Mom in Law, Sis in Law and her husband are coming over tonight for the Six household tradition of Oyster soup on Christmas Eve. The Grandchildren are tucked into their beds in far off Hungary, dreaming of Christmas morning. The DO will put them on Skype tomorrow so we can see them and hear all about what Santa brought them.

I am content. I am grateful. Was there ever a man so blessed?

For our soldiers, both here and overseas, our Police Officers, Fire Fighters, EMT/Paramedics, for all those who must do their duty on this Eve and Day may God bless each of you and your families. Keep the faith and come home to those of us who love you so much. I pray God's love and care for you today and indeed all days.

For all of you, my friends, may you have a very Merry Christmas. Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family this past year. May the joy and blessings of this day find you and those you love wherever you may be.


23 December 2010

More Kanani On PTSD

Kanani has an interesting post up here about alternative treatment for PTSD. I love her for pulling no punches where the health and well being of our soldiers is concerned. Kanani has an MD Warrior husband and has herself been intimately involved in the healthcare system for a very long time.

I'm an Army veteran but not a combat vet. However I am also a 24 year veteran police officer who has seen and done...much. As such I have more than a passing familiarity with the effects of stress and Traumatic Events. Medication is often at least an answer but stress relief takes many forms. To discount and discard ANY strikes me as being short sighted and driven by motivations divorced from the needs of the individual. Giving our stricken warriors every tool that could conceivably help them isn't just a good idea it's a moral imperative.

Keep up the good work Kanani. Sooner or later (and let's hope it's sooner) you and the others fighting this battle will win.


21 December 2010

America's Number One Export

That is the web site of Indians For Guns. They're currently accepting membership into NAGRI, National Association for Gun Rights India which patterns itself after the NRA. The group is very individual rights and RKBA oriented and pro American. The members are passionate, committed and active. I joined IFG because they're an absolute breath of fresh air and appreciative of their rights. I love reading the forums.

I'm also open to purchasing a historic SMLE if I happen across one. That's a hint for any of my new Indian friends who happen by.

We're winning, not just here but in other nations. Keep up the Skeer my friends. We've got brothers and sisters all over the world.


19 December 2010

Sunday Kipling

(A Victorian Ode)

God of our fathers, known of old --
Lord of our far-flung battle line --
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine --
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget -- lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies --
The Captains and the Kings depart --
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget -- lest we forget!

Far-called our navies melt away --
On dune and headland sinks the fire --
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget -- lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe --
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law --
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget -- lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard --
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!


16 December 2010

Big Bullets and Six Guns

The first handgun I ever bought was a stainless, 5.5 inch Ruger Redhawk in 44 magnum. I purchased it from the Ft. Ord Rod and Gun club in 1982. I still have it and it would be absolutely the last gun I ever got rid of. Not because it's the be all end all of modern handguns but because it was my first and has the place of primacy in my heart.

I bought that gun after careful and considered thought. In the course of my research I came across the writings and musings of one Elmer Keith and he ended up having a fairly profound impact on my views and opinions about all firearms and especially handguns.

When faced with the choice between calibers I invariably choose the larger and tend toward heavier bullets. I believe that the marksman is the true decider but something (or someone) hit with bigger notices it more immediately. Shot placement is king but big bullets tend to make more reliably lethal wounds with the tendency for all things mechanical in nature to fail at inopportune times. It's just my personal choice. Your mileage may vary.

Elmer used to write for Guns and Ammo, among others and that is where I was introduced to him. Keith was a proponent of six guns. He was instrumental in developing the 44 Special into what would become the 44 magnum. Keith was a six gun guru and became the man I most listened to when it came to big bore handguns. John Taffin has a great article about Keith and his six guns here. He designed a bullet design still in wide use today. When you hear or read 'Keith Style Bullets' this is what they mean. Love him or hate him (and there are many on both sides of that argument), Keith was instrumental in the further development of big bore revolvers.

It wasn't until years later, when I became a patrol officer and had to hand over my 4 inch 686 for an HK P7, that I lost my way and strayed from the revolver path for the sinful life of 9mm and semi auto pistols. Since then I've begun my way back to the land of big guns and big bullets. I've recently added a 4.5 inch Ruger New Model Blackhawk in 45 LC to the armory. I got to shoot it the other day. Here it is almost full recoil. I was shooting Cor Bon 335 grain hardcast. They list them at 1050 fps. I've got 500 260 grain semi wadcutters and an open reloading manual on the loading bench as we speak. I'm pretty sure I can get at least close to 1200 fps without leading but we shall see.

The real question now is how far am I going to go with this? I've been eyelusting after the S&W 500 Magnum. It's a monster but maybe a bit of overkill? How about the 475 Linebaugh? A 454 Casull perhaps? The problem is that these handguns are very narrowly focused, and yes I do include both my Redhawk and Blackhawk in that categorization. They are big bore handguns that are also, well...kinda big. Unwieldy comes readily to mind but concealable and handy do not. They're handguns and cartridges designed primarily for hunting, frightening small children and impressing your friends ("Look how big mine is!"). Forget personal defense unless it's tripod mounted and fed by a squad of native porters and gun bearers. Whenever I strap on my Redhawk I have to wear a balancing gun on the other side.

Still, I cannot deny that the allure of the big bore handgun draws me like 'Possums to headlights. Big booms, big holes and sprained wrists. What's not to love? Those guns and calibers have authority. When you touch one off there is absolutely no doubt in your mind that you have a gun in your hand. They feel solid and lethal. Thor's Hammer come down from Valhalla and taken mortal form. Plastic can't even be used on a holster for one much less the actual gun. It'll melt in pure shame upon the simple touch of a true big bore revolver.

Leather is the only accoutrement they need and whole cows are often necessary to craft one. Hip holsters that might have some fine tooling and a silver concho or two and a belt with cartridge loops. Nothing more. Throwbacks to our western heritage and a time when a man could go about his business carrying the implement that safeguarded his freedom around his waist.

We have gone far, far down the road toward emasculation but we're not there yet. Not so long as we possess the means but more importantly the mindset, to resist. Make mine in Big Bore please.

I'm in the mood to resist.


14 December 2010

Happy Birthday Sarge

It's my favorite father-in-law's birthday today. What do you get such a man? I did the only thing I could think of. A couple of days ago I took him out to sight in his AR. I brought along my as yet unfired M1A1. I asked this 2 tour Vietnam veteran, a man who carried it's older brother the M14 in combat, to break her in and fire the first shot. It was my way of honoring his service and sacrifice and was absolutely the best way I could think of to let him know how I feel about him.

Love you Pop.
Happy birthday.


12 December 2010

Sunday Kipling

I apologize for being so late today. Lu and I got into some great trail on our ride today and I completely lost track of time.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run --
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!

11 December 2010

Army Navy And Ruminations On Turkey Dogs

Chrisi was wandering around last night, casting her sad puppydog eyes at Lu and I. I'm still not sure what she wanted but I decided she needed a treat. I opened a new package of Turkey dogs and gave her one. She slurped it down (really, did you even taste that!?) and politely inquired if perhaps she could have another. Well, she's 14 now and Lu and I tend to not deny her about anything she wants at this stage so I gave her another. And another. 8 turkey dogs later she had consumed 1 pound of the things and still gave me the sad eyes. I figured a pound was probably enough though she seemed to disagree.

Last night she fell asleep on the floor on my side of the bed. And farted her way through the night. You know those gaseous dog emanations where you can actually see the results? Yeah, hers were a glowing green mist that seemed to hover over the bed, bathing Lu and I in a soft, radioactive blanket of Turkey dog farts. Silent but truly deadly. Who knew turkey Dogs were so dangerous?

But Chrisi's intestinal Krytonite is not why we're here today. Today is the college football game of the year, the only game I truly have any great interest in. It's Army vs Navy and a game I freely admit I love.

These kids will, almost without exception, never play a down of professional football and they know it. There are a few but the number is now so small as to be statistically insignificant. Those kids play for the joy of the game, for the honor of representing their service and for each other. It's still the purest form of amateur athletics left in America. Most of the Seniors will be in combat within the year or even sooner and all will take their commission and go on to serve their country. I hold these young men in great respect and admiration. I will cry when the National Anthem is sung and again at the end of the game when the two teams stand together for the singing of their Academy songs. They are truly worthy representatives of America.

So. With all due respect to my brothers and sisters in the Navy (You know I love you all)

Go Army, Beat Navy!

Game's on at 1230 Mountain Time.


Update: 24-7 Navy at the half. Ouch.
Final: 31-17 Navy. 9 years straight. ORPO will never let me live it down.

10 December 2010

Been Busy

Excuses, excuses. I have many. The posting has been light lately but we've been swamped. I have mentioned how much work is waiting on this house. Lu and I decided we'd wait until after the first of the new year to get started to give us time to finish unpacking and get settled. There were a few things I just could no longer stand though.

For some reason the shower head (we have only the one bathroom at present) was set at about 4 feet high. I have no explanation. Lu had attached a hand held and a bracket set to a proper height but it wasn't adjustable and pointed straight down. It had to go. I opened the sheet rock in the bathroom and removed the shower head but it was obvious I needed to go further. The house was built in stages out of slope stone and cinder block which means many of my interior walls are masonry. Luckily this particular one is not. I had to tear the back side out from the floor to above the shower head to get at the plumbing. The plumbing is a combination of cast iron and copper. With no anodes. Yeah. I tore it out and found that the plumbing also passed through horizontal wall supports. I said screw it and just tore everything out that I could reach and replaced it with Pex. I did a temporary wall repair because I'm going to have to do more plumbing work when I redo the bathroom but the shower is now sized for humans. I am so happy.

Got Lu's washer installed and working. Got the pantry covered. Rebuilt the toilet. Nothing major just a bunch of niggling little things that were driving us nuts and that we couldn't take any more. I think the front door is next. It hollow core and an odd size. I'm going to have to buy a solid core and size it to fit but that shouldn't be too bad. Maybe next week.

We're trying to decide what major job to tackle first. The kitchen needs a complete redo. It has no dishwasher or disposal, carpeted floors and weird cabinets. The plumbing is atrocious. We can't run the toaster and microwave at the same time and the rest of the house is badly under wired. Every outlet in the house is two prong so a complete re-wire is in order. We desperately need a second bathroom. I have the spot but it's on a concrete slab so I'm going to have to jack hammer out the plumbing runs. I need a garage.

I know, whine and snivel. It's not all bad. Lu and I were determined to get out for some trigger time the other day. We were going to invite Sarge but he's been down with some sort of creeping crud (get better soon Sarge). There's some BLM land just a few miles from our front door. We loaded up the Ford and headed out.

I brought my AR and the flat top I just put together for Lu. Turns out she hated it. Well, hate might be too strong but she definitely wasn't having a lot of fun. We took a break and I brought out the truck gun, a 1942 vintage Moisin Nagant 91/59 in 7.62x54R. I cranked off 5 rounds and asked Lu if she wanted a try. She said maybe later. Couple more shots and she was by my side ogling the thing. "Hey, let me give that a go." For those who don't know the 91/59 is handy little carbine shooting a pretty substantial cartridge. They're a hoot but they're also kinda hard on the shoulder.

Turns out Lu loved it. She shot the rest of the ammunition I brought, about 25 rounds, and was disappointed I didn't have any more. Yeah, it's her gun now. She's also eyeballing my Jungle Carbine, 03A3 and Mauser. I've created a monster. On the plus side it looks like I now have a new AR flat top.

Lu shot her Glock 19 and I put a few through my G35 in anticipation of that sweet new rig from Michael. Not that I'm anxious or anything.

All in all a fine day. It's so great to live in an area where I can travel 15 minutes from my house and shoot anything in my arsenal without anyone having a coronary and calling the local constabulary on me.

Bring it on house, we can take anything you got. Lu and I are here for the long run.


07 December 2010

December 7th

There is little I can add to what has been written and told by those far better that me. So I will do what I can to remember and honor those who fought and died on this day in 1941. Lu and I will exercise one of our fundamental rights as an American Citizen. We're going out to the Arizona Strip to confirm our Second Amendment rights and remind those who would still yet take away our freedoms that the Greatest Generation may be passing but they are not forgotten nor are their lessons. We who came after still know how to keep what is ours and punish the enemies of America. We will never forget.
God Bless you all.

06 December 2010


A few things that popped up on the radar this weekend.

I just joined the Patriot Guard Riders. I hate the necessity but am honored to have a chance to give service to those who have given their last true measure of devotion. I've added a link to them in the Warrior Roll.

The continuing erosion of freedom aka Dumpster diving. Forget that california is dead broke. Forget that LA has had to cut back on Fire, library and abandoned child care services. How about someone in that state recognizing the concept of personal privacy and a sense of priorities. Another reason (of many) that I'm glad we escaped that cesspool.

This is almost too funny. I don't know. $14.95 to read something I already knew?

I'm now living in an area that gets some snow and can get pretty dang cold. We're adjusting but re-learning things we used to know. Brigid hits another home run with this post on cold weather preparations. Thanks Brigid.


05 December 2010


Fred is another of those shooters I pay attention to. When he speaks I listen (or read). Here's his reminder on the necessity of checking your ammunition. If it goes click when it was supposed to go boom it's a club not a firearm.


Sunday Kipling

This poem was brought to mind by Ed Rasimus in a recent post. It's one of my favorites.


I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

04 December 2010

Final Sweet Baby Schwinn

I'm tired this morning so I'm going to post the end of the Sweet Baby Schwinn build and take a nap.
The bike is done and I'm back on my meds again. Lu will be so happy.
When last we left our project it was basically done but not yet together. Let's now join Insane Crazy Welder Boy, already in progress.
Ok. Assembly day.
Here's the crank in place. It went in easy as pie with only a little grease and even less swearing. It's off the donor and yeah, it's a single gear. It's not rusty and simplifies the build considerably because I don't have to come up with a working front derailleur. That's a good thing because I seem to be short exactly 1 front derailleur. Also a close up of the repair, sanded and painted.
I gathered all the brake pieces I had and put them in a 1 big pile. Then I seperated them into 2 smaller piles; Parts I recognize and parts that are obviously from a crashed UFO. I took the parts I recognized and managed to make 2 brake systems. I even managed to use the old, hard rubber pads. If you put them on the grinder and go past the outer hardness there is a whole new layer of nice rubber goodness underneath. And joy of joys, they're all schwinn.
Here's those bars I cobbled together with levers and some grips I had laying around. Doesn't saying I have stuff 'laying around' sound a little too convenient? It's all true. I swear. The levers went on with only a little prying and crying. And some hammering. Again.
Here it is with bars, crank, pedals and seat.
It seemed to be missing something....
I kept the Schwinn World badge from the original bike. I carefully polished it but otherwise left it alone. It's things like this that make me love this bike.
A couple of very, very small screws in hands better suited to holding heated metal make for a comedy of dropped things and colorful language. Even the dogs left in disgust.
Ah. Schwinney goodness!
Rear wheel with derailleur and chain. The chain is from the donor. I got to use my new tool, the chain breaker and a masterlink that kinda, sorta works. I think the anvil and a ball peen hammer are on the upgrade list. Notice the black painted hub shield. Dewd, it like rocks and stuff. Totally.
Cables all hooked up and a thumb shifter from...you guessed it, the donor. I hate that frame but I shamelessly stole its parts.
And here it is in all it's beautiful blue Schwinn glory. The brakes brake, derailleur derails, pedals pedal and crank...uh, cranks. The frame is solid and the wheels spin easy if not exactly up to Gary Fisher trueness specs. The rust is all gone and the paint is moderately attractive. It has a seat and a very unique handlebar.
Is it road worthy? Is it safe? Beats me. I'm certainly not going to go first. I enlisted a lovely and far too trusting test pilot. "Hey honey, can you come here for a second?"
Nothing broke. Everything worked and a good time was had by all. In fact, Lu immediately put her claim on it and declared it was just the thing for casual rides with her mom. Now that's misplaced confidence!
Lu's Tribute Collage
Before. Ewww.
After. Mmmm.
All attempted humor aside, I'm very proud of the work I did on this project. I took a pile of rust and bentness that was headed for the recycle (heh heh) bin, another donor someone also left in a field to rot like the Schwinn, 31 dollars in parts and about 16 hours of actual work time and got a pretty neat bicycle.
It's not a trainer or racer. You'll never see someone doing a century on it. It'll never see a hill higher than what the local streets can offer. It's got ancient brakes, 27 inch tires and a handlebar that's a phrenologists dream. It's a 5 speed instead of 10. It has an ungainly lump in the frame that causes people to ask "what the heck is that for?"
But everything works and she rides just fine.
In my eyes she's beautiful. Maybe because in a very real sense, I created her. I took some parts and an idea and made something of value. Maybe only valuable to me and the missus but valued all the same. To me this is way more than just a Schwinn World Traveler with some different and unusual parts and repairs.
Oh, the Schwinn is still in there, don't doubt it for a second. In fact I think she's aware of her new lease on life. Her escape from the oblivion of being melted down to provide steel for some hipster doofus' nose bolt. I think she's proud of her new clothes and her new purpose. I think she's pleased.
I know I am.
I've never had so much fun. The hours I spent totally engrossed in her and completely unaware of job, personal problems, world problems, stresses or even my surroundings were some of the most pleasant I've spent in years. So much so that I'm looking for another challenge.
To all my friends who have encouraged me and commented on my progress, thank you again. I hope you are happy with the results.
It has been an absolute ball and I have no idea what's next.
Now if you'll excuse me, I hear Sweet Baby Schwinn calling my name.
I'm think I'm going for a ride.


03 December 2010


If you've been wondering where the skittle crapping, rainbow farting Unicorn the left is depending on, it's apparently in China.



Global Warm... Er... What's that again?

This is the view out my front door this morning. Oh, and I had already shoveled that walk to get the kids to school! That's the snow that fell between 745 and 9 am. Sigh.

So, this is my issue with Global Warming... This season has already produced massive early season snow, out-of-the-ordinary winter conditions, here in Europe and it's only the 3rd of December. Do I believe in global temperature change? Yes. Do I believe in global warming? Please see above photo for my answer.

Why? Global temperatures have fluctuated for eons, and to assume that the recent trends indicate anything other then the Earth going through another temperature shift is astronomically dumb. That the temperatures in recent times have been mild has been a lovely thing, however, that was not destined to last. The ice record tells us, if nothing else, that the Earth has never maintained constant mild weather systems; rather it's history is filled with massive temperature fluctuations. I'm not going to cite any of this information; it is both well known and easy to find. The fact that it is both well known and easy to find, yet seems to be totally ignored in our modern culture, is shocking to me. This intense winter cold may very well be attributed to the Iceland volcanic activity of the spring, as was the little ice age of the 1790's. The mechanisms of global temperatures and fluctuations are so complex that no sane person should ever claim to understand them.

So, please, don't use the fact that this last summer was really hot to claim that SUVs are evil and making the polar caps melt. Though Mar's polar caps are dry ice, and not water, they are receding as well. Why? Increase exposure to sunlight. Shockingly there aren't a bunch of SUV's on Mars, and yet temperatures have changed to the point that the frozen CO2 is evaporating. Wow, okay, so our solar neighbor is being hit with more sunlight, yet OUR global temperature fluctuation couldn't possibly be related to the big glowing thing in the sky. Right.

I'm not claiming that human activity hasn't had a negative impact on the world, or the creatures contained thereon. All I'm saying is that the global warming, now revised as global temperature change, hype has created an idea of black and white within nature. That all evil is attributed to people, and that we are in control of a system as massively complex as the weather. Talk about arrogant. It has also led to a serious issue of hate between people, of sides, and of right and wrong. The vitriol and anger leveled at the "deniers" by the "hypers" has become an evil all its own, and is so sad to see. Instead of having real conversations about honest issues, it all comes down to who is in power, and who is in control. Just ask them man who uses enough energy to power a small town, yet has made an enormous fortune bashing those "destroying the earth". Is it scientific truth, or is it political power?

So anyway, to those of you not fighting snow to get to school or work, I envy you! And to those of you with even more snow then me, I empathize.And to all of you, I hope your season is filled with joy!

-The DO
(The skull sorta kinda caved, but just slap a hat on and no one will notice! Oh, and the nose kept falling off. And it's only two snowballs tall cause the third one fell off. So this snowman really is proof that joy is locked within attitude. With all that, we still smiled, laughed, and thought this was a most handsome snowman!)

01 December 2010

Wounds Of War

From the book Tears of Ink, by LCDR Roberto J. Prinselaar, U.S. Coast Guard (ret)

Wounds Of War

Some wounds of war

Are never seen

They're buried deep within

No open wound

No Purple heart

No blemish on the skin

But these are wounds

That leave a scar

Upon our very soul

They tear our hearts

Cause misery

And take a heavy toll

Our bloodless wounds

Cause us to ask

Oh God, what was it for

We go through life

Not knowing why

We have these wounds of war