'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

26 March 2012


3 years ago today I started down the path that brought me here. My first post was on March 26, 2009. This was that post. Looking at it now it's quite the obscene rant but in my defense I was a bit peeved at the time. I'm still angry but I do try and keep the bad language to a minimum these days.

In those three years I've had a chance to meet, talk to and generally interact with a lot of great folks. All of you have become friends, however far away you may be. It's been a very interesting journey, one I had no clear concept of when I started out.

Thank you to all of you who have and still do visit me and leave me your thoughts, guidance and ideas. If not for your kindness and involvement here I'd have given it up long ago. I don't tend to have anything of great import to say but I do enjoy having a place to write and share my thoughts and experiences. For what they are worth.

This next year should be portentous. Frankly I'm just hoping we all can continue to speak our minds in a free and open society and that I even feel the need to write that tells you all you need to know about how I'm viewing our future. We do indeed live in interesting times.

I'm not completely sure what I'll be doing and posting here during this next year. Since I'm ready to re-start the house remodel with the onset of better weather I suspect I'll be filling these pages with a lot of posts on roofing, plumbing, framing and wiring. I just got a new bicycle so I plan on doing a lot more off road riding and documenting the great southern Utah trails. I've also been deep into changing my armory a bit. I'm selling quite a bit of my current stock and I'll be adding to it as I go along (though I seem to be downsizing just a bit). Mostly it'll be the usual lame attempts at humor, insight and bad war stories. Hey, I am who I am :)

Thank you again for visiting and befriending me. I cannot say how much that and all of you mean to me. Here's to another great year.


25 March 2012

Sunday Kipling

The Car Guy came in Friday evening. His daughter's car melted down and she needed something to haul her family around in. By coincidence the DO had her van here for sale. The Car Guy bought it and we ferried it out to Albuquerque on Saturday then turned around and came home. We got in about 0315 this morning, 22 plus hours straight. After just a little sleep he's now on his way home to California and I'm feeling just a bit logy. The Car Guy also brought me something very cool that I bought from him. I'll be blogging about it later this week. All I'll say is it has two wheels and is Sweeeeet!

I think I'm going to take a nap now. Hope you all have a great day.

Evarra And His Gods 

This is the story of Evarra -- man --
Maker of Gods in lands beyond the sea.
 Because the city gave him of her gold,
Because the caravans brought turquoises,
Because his life was sheltered by the King,
So that no man should maim him, none should steal,
Or break his rest with babble in the streets
When he was weary after toil, he made
An image of his God in gold and pearl,
With turquoise diadem and human eyes,
A wonder in the sunshine, known afar,
And worshiped by the King; but, drunk with pride,
Because the city bowed to him for God,
He wrote above the shrine:
"Thus Gods are made,
And whoso makes them otherwise shall die."
And all the city praised him. . . . Then he died.
Read here the story of Evarra -- man --

Maker of Gods in lands beyond the sea.
Because the city had no wealth to give,
 Because the caravans were spoiled afar,
Because his life was threatened by the King,
So that all men despised him in the streets,
He hewed the living rock, with sweat and tears,
And reared a God against the morning-gold,
A terror in the sunshine, seen afar,
And worshiped by the King; but, drunk with pride,
Because the city fawned to bring him back,
He carved upon the plinth: "Thus Gods are made,
And whoso makes them otherwise shall die."
And all the people praised him. . . . Then he died.

Read here the story of Evarra -- man --
Maker of Gods in lands beyond the sea.
Because he lived among a simple folk,
Because his village was between the hills,
Because he smeared his cheeks with blood of ewes,
He cut an idol from a fallen pine,
Smeared blood upon its cheeks, and wedged a shell
Above its brows for eyes, and gave it hair
Of trailing moss, and plaited straw for crown.
And all the village praised him for this craft,
And brought him butter, honey, milk, and curds.
Wherefore, because the shoutings drove him mad,
He scratched upon that log: "Thus Gods are made,
And whoso makes them otherwise shall die."
And all the people praised him. . . . Then he died.

Read here the story of Evarra -- man --
Maker of Gods in lands beyond the sea.
Because his God decreed one clot of blood
Should swerve one hair's-breadth from the pulse's path,
And chafe his brain, Evarra mowed alone,
Rag-wrapped, among the cattle in the fields,
Counting his fingers, jesting with the trees,
And mocking at the mist, until his God Drove him to labour.
Out of dung and horns Dropped in the mire he made a monstrous God,
Abhorrent, shapeless, crowned with plantain tufts,
And when the cattle lowed at twilight-time,
He dreamed it was the clamour of lost crowds,
And howled among the beasts: "Thus Gods are made,
And whoso makes them otherwise shall die."
Thereat the cattle bellowed. . . . Then he died.

Yet at the last he came to Paradise,
And found his own four Gods, and that he wrote;
And marveled, being very near to God,
What oaf on earth had made his toil God's law,
Till God said mocking: "Mock not. These be thine."
Then cried Evarra: "I have sinned!" -- "Not so.
If thou hadst written otherwise, thy Gods
Had rested in the mountain and the mine,
And I were poorer by four wondrous Gods,
And thy more wondrous law, Evarra. Thine,
Servant of shouting crowds and lowing kine.
"Thereat, with laughing mouth, but tear-wet eyes,
Evarra cast his Gods from Paradise.
This is the story of Evarra -- man --
Maker of Gods in lands beyond the sea.

20 March 2012

It's Spring! Gooseberry Mesa

The weather is starting to warm and our rainy season is now mostly over. It's time to get the bikes out, knock off the rust and get riding again. Toward that end, last weekend Lu and I went to one of my favorite places; Gooseberry Mesa.

Gooseberry is one of the most beautiful and technical rides anywhere. It's become a destination ride location for mountain bikers from across the country. It's also about half an hour from my front door. Yeah, there are some benefits from living in Southern Utah. Here's a good link for the ride.

We loaded up and headed out on Saturday. The weather was bright, warm and clear. We decided on Windmill Trail. This was Lu's first visit and only my second. The first was with Car Guy a few years ago. Since that time he's become an MTB master who can ride me into the ground. I'm counting on the elevation working to my benefit when he visits again and I bring him back up here.

First up the obligatory touristy picture. Hi Lu! Isn't she cute?

Why is it called the Windmill Trail? I have no idea but this structure is at the trail head.

Six, you get down from there immediately! Have you lost your mind? Er wait...Lu? Kids, can't take them anywhere. You'd think she'd know better than that. And be more mature. And stop teasing me about being a big sissy.

Windmill runs along the west side of the mesa with 1000 foot drop offs and spectacular vistas.

As I said the trail runs right along the rim edge. It's fun but you do have to exercise at least a modicum of caution.

Hey, I said exercise a modicum of caution! Sheesh, she really is making me look like a weenie. 

It's not all rim riding. Most of the trails are either moderate or advanced technical. Fun but dicey at times. I endo'd at least once (that I will admit publicly). That's Lu coming out of the trees and approaching a rough section of singletrack.

Which she cleaned! Steady guys, she's taken.

There are steps and stairs everywhere. Fun going down but going up? Not so much. Luckily we hit at least as many step downs as climbs. The ride is slow but full of great obstacles and fantastic terrain.

It's not all breathtaking views and technical trail. We hit some doubletrack and fire road on the way back. Fast if a bit boring.

The trail ends back at the windmill. I took a few more photos of the works.

I have no idea who Red jacket is. Don't they have a TV show?

The pump has lines that run to a concrete cistern.

Which is old enough that it's collapsed. The mesa is at 5200 feet and is in the middle of nowhere. Everything used to build this site was trucked or otherwise carried in by hand. I have absolutely no idea what the water table is here or to what use they put the water pumped though I suspect it was cattle based. 8 feet wide, 15 long and 5 deep.

Yes, I was actually there and here's the proof. That's me standing on the cliff edge and most definitely NOT being a big wiener.

It was our first MTB ride of the year and a good excuse to scout the trails. The Car Guy and his lovely wife will be visiting soon and bringing me my new bike! When he upgraded I bought his Giant full suspension to replace my rigid frame Gary Fisher. As soon as I get my sweaty paws on it the Fisher will be finding a new home. We had a great time and even stopped for lunch at a small stop&rob/diner just down the road in Apple Valley. The food was so so but the menu was all firearms and famous gun guys related. When they come I'll do another post and get some photos of that menu. It's classic and a sure sign I'm now living in Free America.


18 March 2012

Sunday Kipling

Have a fine Sunday my friends.

Chartres Windows

Colour fulfils where Music has no power:
 By each man's light the unjudging glass betrays
All men's surrender, each man's holiest hour And all the lit confusion of our days-
Purfled with iron, traced in dusk and fire,
Challenging ordered Time who, at the last,
Shall bring it, grozed and leaded and wedged fast,
To the cold stone that curbs or crowns desire.
Yet on the pavement that all feet have trod-
 Even as the Spirit, in her deeps and heights,
Turns only, and that voiceless, to her God-
There falls no tincture from those anguished lights.
And Heaven's one light, behind them, striking through
Blazons what each man dreamed no other knew.

16 March 2012

Man Cave Update

With everything that has been going on, not to mention my innate tendency toward procrastination, the Man Cave has been neglected. It became kind of a dumping ground for all my stuff. You know, an "I'll sort this out later" kinda thing. Well at long last I've finally managed to wade through 30 years of collected crap and the detritus of a life spent in a uniform and I've got it pretty well in hand. Just some minor clean up to do and I'll sort that out later. Wait, where have I heard that before? No matter. On with the pics because I know you're just dying to see it!

The Cave is in our smallish basement. I love it because it stays nice and cool in summer though it does get a bit chilly come winter time. To enter you go down these stairs. I decided to set the tone early and put up some posters on the walls and ceiling going down. Hey Dirtcrashr, those look familiar?

Wait, is that the lovely Lu I spot?  It is! Accompanied and guarded by the ever present Young Black Dog. Chewing on something. Again. I do not want to know.

At the bottom of the stairs are some patches, a copper poster and a map of the Monterey Bay. I used to collect patches but turned most of them over to Sarge because he has a much larger and nicer collection.

The back wall. If you look over to the right you'll see part of the wooden shelves that used to go all across the wall. I took most of it out to fit my safes in and added those steel shelves. They're from Costco and at 60 bucks for a 4x6 shelf they're a steal. I love them and use 'em everywhere. There's about 10,000 rounds of ammo just on that one shelf and room for a lot more. Sometime in the not too distant future I'll tear out the wooden shelf remnant and add in a final steel one. Some time.

On the far wall is a poster of the old Ft. Ord reservation along with another poster and the Corkboard Of Honor. There's something special going up there later.Just to the left is an old, green wooden Army file cabinet I rescued from the trash heap when Ft. Ord was mothballed and trashed and some range bags I'm going to review.

A close up of the Corkboard Of Honor. That print is from Kratmann and Ringo's book Yellow Eyes. The original cover art work was atrocious so a bunch of us got together and paid the artist to come up with this. As a reward we got signed prints limited to those of us who contributed.

I decided against an I Love Me wall, there's just too much for that (he said in completely false modesty) so I put the major stuff up on a shelf. See, it even says ILOVEME right there. Aren't I clever? Don't you just want to punch me right in the snotlocker for being such a douche?

The main area. That table was also rescued from the Ft. Ord trash pile. It used to be on the left, facing 90 degrees from where it is now. This ended up working better and allowed me to put in another shelf on the right. The press is bolted in place and all the makings are on still another set of shelves above the work station. Now I just need to sit down and do some, you know, actual work. Brigid, I took your advice and moved the brass cleaner out. It's in my shop at the moment but I'm building a small covered table outside to run it in. I have enough mental issues from being old, I don't need to add lead poisoning to the mix.

The Army flag hanging in a place of prominence. Too bad It's hung facing the wrong way. Sigh. I just noticed that. Add it to the list.

Hats, we got 'em! If you spend a career in uniform you'll wear a lot of hats. Here are a few of mine. That helmet was the one I was wearing when I totaled a brand new PD BMW and very nearly ended my career just a bit prematurely and messily.The back side of it is cracked and ground down where I hit the pavement and went sliding at 50 mph plus. I keep it to remind me that life is fleeting and it can end suddenly and unexpectedly at any time.

This is what bitchin' Motor Boots look like. After I blew out my Achilles (are we sensing a theme here?) I couldn't put them on any more so I had to have the local boot repair shop install those zippers. Worked pretty well.

I've been on a simplification mission lately. I started after I realized that I could no longer close and lock either of my gun safes. They were filled with guns I really no longer shot and some I absolutely hated. Which ones? Ok, don't yell at me but I sold an AK, an SMLE and a Jungle Carbine (with 1600 rounds of ammo), an 870 of which I have two and really didn't need three, a Romanian bolt .22 I still don't know why I bought, a Glock 26, a Glock 19 and a Sig P230. There's few more to go yet (including at least one AR, one Remington 700 and a Savage 12FV) but at least I can now close my safes. The DO will be taking her Mini 30, Model 66 and 870 when she makes her final trek to her new home in Florida in May.

Of course that will actually leave me with some room and some expendable cash from those sales. I wonder what to do? Well Lu is even now in talks with Michael at Michael's Custom Holsters for a rig for her Airweight. There's definitely an Airweight in my immediate future. Instinct and I have been discussing and planning some grips for my Redhawk. I want to add a lathe and mill to my shop. The house needs a roof reconstruction, wiring, plumbing and an additional bathroom.

Man, I need to get to work!


13 March 2012

Apparently Capital One Thinks An Image Of A Gun Is Socially Unacceptable Or Discriminatory

I was visiting with my buddy Bruce today, talking guns and prices. Bruce is the owner of OFS Tactical and he's been helping me out by selling a few of my no longer needed/wanted firearms. As we were discussing the latest batch I left him he dropped this nice little hoplophobic number on me.

He is in the process of obtaining a company credit card from Capital One. He sent in his information and the image he wanted displayed. It's his company logo. It's an M4 in black silhouette with his company name, OFS Tactical below. They sent this in response.

Sorry, we were unable to approve
 the image you submitted
Sorry the image you submitted for
your Capital One®
Image CardSM has been rejected.
We will not approve any images
that contain the following:

Socially unacceptable or discriminatory
behavior, signs or statements
(e.g. gangs, hatred, drugs/alcohol abuse,
tobacco, graffiti, or illegal firearms use)

If you believe that you
have been declined in error,
please call us at 1-866-381-0451.

Please visit www.capitalone.com/imagecard
to upload a new image.


Please note the reasons given for denial. Bruce sent this right back. (Note: As most of you know I am a Luddite so I'm re-typing this from the PDF Bruce sent to me instead of copying and pasting. I'm not leaving anything out except for some images and not adding anything in.)

This card image I selected is my logo for my company and been since April of 2009. I am a federally licensed dealer of firearms and sell to the UNITED STATES MILITARY, LAW ENFORCEMENT and 28 agencies of the Government.

My company advocates for the freedom of the Second Amendment and SAFE USE AND HANDLING of firearms. We are a family of veterans who have fought and died for your individual rights and FREEDOMS, please don't take ours away. The simple image of a firearm in no way, shape or form infringes on "Socially unacceptable or discriminatory behavior, signs or statements (e.g. gangs, hatred, drugs/alcohol abuse, tobacco, graffiti, or illegal firearms use) and if you feel so inclined to make that argument I would like you to explain Vikings running through a village, pillaging and wielding battle axes and swords. What's in your wallet?

(Here Bruce included two captured images from the Capital One ads showing the rampaging Vikings)

I like Capital One but the political correctness must stop and I implore you to reconsider your initial judgement. I am prepared to take this argument as far as needs be; NRA, FOX News, Blogs, Second Amendment rights activists, YouTube, etc. And I have a pretty good my military and law enforcement buddies nation wide will support me by boycotting your fine establishment.

Now Bruce and OFS Tactical are a classic small business, really it's just him, trying to make his mark and maybe enough money to pay the bills. But the size of the dog is irrelevant. What Capital One is in essence saying is that the very image of a gun (and thereby all guns themselves) is so offensive that they refuse to allow a company logo credit card to show one. The language they used left me indignant to the point of anger and perhaps the use of some bad language. Socially unacceptable behavior, signs or statements. Wow. Just Wow.

So here's my response to Capital One, which I will be sending after I've finished this post along with a link for their perusal. Please feel free to let them know how you feel in comments.

Dear Capital One:

I was recently made aware of your rejection of the image of a legal firearm on an Image Card credit card for OFS Tactical. Your stated reason was the following;

Socially unacceptable or discriminatory behavior, signs or statements (e.g. gangs, hatred, drugs/alcohol abuse, tobacco, graffiti, or illegal firearms use)

What I find offensive and discriminatory is your rejection of the image for no more reason than that you don't like it. The simple image of a legal firearm is no more socially unacceptable that a sword or a battle ax which I believe you are more than happy to show in your commercials. Even when in the hands of a child. A weapon is a weapon and is no more dangerous than the hand that wields it. If a company or individual are law abiding and the image is not one of violence and mayhem (that's a subtle hint right there. Did you get it?) then a shadow image of the weapon that has secured freedom for more people than any other in mankind's history is not unacceptable or discriminatory except in the close minded. I am not a Capital One customer at this time nor will I ever be if this is your stance. I am also a veteran and a retired police officer who runs a modest little blog and who is going to shout to the internet and anyone who will listen as to your actions. I urge you to reconsider and work with the owner of OFS tactical to resolve this issue. I have written about this incident. I am including a link to that post. We firearm owners are neither stupid nor non-discretionary. We have funds to spend and credit cards to use and we are very aware of who is actively opposing the lawful exercise of our rights and who is not. It's your company and you can certainly run it any way you see fit but it's our money and we can handle it the same way. And, somehow, I doubt very much that this is the first time such has occurred.

What's in your wallet indeed.


12 March 2012

Angus Is Clearly Suffering From Stress

I mean, the boy just can't seem to relax.
It's terribly how badly we treat him. Quick, someone call the ASPCA!


11 March 2012

Sunday Kipling

It's a warm and sunny day here at Casa Six. Grandpa cooked eggs with bacon and toast with a nice tall glass of frosty cold milk. The kids are outside playing in the Pirate Ship and enjoying Spring. Angus is following along hoping for a game of tug-o-war. I hope this day finds you all warm and content. Kiss your loved ones and have a great day.

I thought this particular poem was apropos in this election cycle. Some things never change it seems.


Pagett, M.P.

The toad beneath the harrow knows
Exactly where eath tooth-point goes.
The butterfly upon the road
Preaches contentment to that toad.

Pagett, M.P., was a liar, and a fluent liar therewith --
He spoke of the heat of India as the "Asian Solar Myth";
Came on a four months' visit, to "study the East," in November,
And I got him to sign an agreement vowing to stay till September.

March came in with the koil. Pagett was cool and gay,
Called me a "bloated Brahmin," talked of my "princely pay."
March went out with the roses. "Where is your heat?" said he.
"Coming," said I to Pagett, "Skittles!" said Pagett, M.P.

April began with the punkah, coolies, and prickly-heat, --
Pagett was dear to mosquitoes, sandflies found him a treat.
He grew speckled and mumpy-hammered, I grieve to say,
Aryan brothers who fanned him, in an illiberal way.

May set in with a dust-storm, -- Pagett went down with the sun.
All the delights of the season tickled him one by one.
Imprimis -- ten day's "liver" -- due to his drinking beer;
Later, a dose of fever --slight, but he called it severe.

Dysent'ry touched him in June, after the Chota Bursat --
Lowered his portly person -- made him yearn to depart.
He didn't call me a "Brahmin," or "bloated," or "overpaid,"
But seemed to think it a wonder that any one stayed.

July was a trifle unhealthy, -- Pagett was ill with fear.
'Called it the "Cholera Morbus," hinted that life was dear.
He babbled of "Eastern Exile," and mentioned his home with tears;
But I haven't seen my children for close upon seven years.

We reached a hundred and twenty once in the Court at noon,
(I've mentioned Pagett was portly) Pagett, went off in a swoon.
That was an end to the business; Pagett, the perjured, fled
With a practical, working knowledge of "Solar Myths" in his head.

And I laughed as I drove from the station, but the mirth died out on my lips
As I thought of the fools like Pagett who write of their "Eastern trips,"
And the sneers of the traveled idiots who duly misgovern the land,
And I prayed to the Lord to deliver another one into my hand.

10 March 2012

Please Carry

The anti 2A folks must be proud of themselves today after watching this video. I mean it's much better that she didn't have the means to defend herself against a violent thug rather than being safe. Better to let him have what he wants rather than shoot and possibly kill him. Right? Except that what he wanted was her and she's now missing after being beaten and thrown into his car.

If you're a member of the disarmament crowd this is indeed your fault. Yours. Step up and take credit.

From the story;
In this surveillance video, the man police are seeking is seen knocking down a woman who had just exited a LIRR train. The two then exchanged words inside a shop before he forced her to leave the store. Once outside, he again knocked her down and dragged her off camera. According to witnesses, after the video ends, the man placed the victim over his shoulder and threw her in the back seat of a nearby car against her will. The suspect then drove away in the direction of the Long Island Expressway.

Please carry. If all you have is a .22 then that's all you have but please carry it and use it if you must. That woman's life is important as is yours and all the panty wadding and hand wringing by those who wish to control all aspects of our lives and put us in the hands of the violent and deranged is just a cover for an ongoing war on freedom. Don't fall for it. The casual person on the street cannot be counted on to preserve your life in a crisis. It does happen but all too often they'll pass by without a thought to intervene. You are the final arbiter of your fate and don't ever forget it.

A prayer goes out to that woman. May she be found alive and may her attacker pay the penalty. Preferably terminally.


A New Home For The Artwork

First, thank you all for chiming in. I really appreciate your thoughts and ideas. We're going to incorporate most of them in the decision on what happens to it.

In reading your responses it became clear to me  that destroying it was a non starter and flat out wrong. Preserving it and either going ahead and displaying it or finding it a new home was the popular advice and seems like a good idea. I still cannot bring myself to display it here so we needed a new home. Enter The Sarge.

Sarge is a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and past president of the local chapter. He called the treasurer and they agreed that it's something they'd love to have, either to auction it off to raise funds to help veterans or to display in their own building. You guys are right, it's too good a piece to simply destroy and Rietsch and Carl too honorable men and warriors to discard. I thought that turning the piece over to Vietnam Veterans was right and proper. Ed is absolutely correct, "Not all aces were heroic and not all heroes were aces. But history doesn't distinguish morality of the players." I'm happy to turn Cunningham's judgement over to the men and women he served with, however distantly.

So I turned the piece over to Sarge who will present it to the VVA with my thanks and no strings attached. They may judge the value of it as they deem fit and do with it as seems proper to them. I am both relieved and happy to have found honorable and fitting caretakers for what is an awesome work of art.

Thank you all again for weighing in on this. I know that it seems to be a minor thing but matters of honor and integrity are important and need to be given the weight they deserve. Thanks for getting my head straight on this.


09 March 2012

Need Some Advice

I've made no secret that I admire combat fighter pilots and am in awe of their skills and bravery. A few years ago, at the Salinas, California Air how I bought this picture. It's called "Flying The Jolly Roger" and it's by Robert Watts.

This is part of the artist's description;

A pair of navy F-4 Phantoms of VF84 prepare to recover aboard the carrier U.S.S. Independence....Seen against a beautiful Yankee Station sundown, an element of F-4s decelerate in preparation for deck landing following a combat mission in 1965. 

The print, #508/1000 is signed by three aces; Commander Randall 'Duke' Cunningham, MG Marion Carl and Colonel Manfred Rietsch. And therein lies the problem.MG Carl and Colonel Rietsch shouldn't have to endure being associated with Cunningham in any way, shape or form.

Cunningham is scum of the first order. I included a link to a Wikipedia page on him and while they're not exactly the finest purveyors of the truth I think they got this one pretty close. I followed the story when it was ongoing and took down this picture from my den wall and put it in a closet where it has remained. There is absolutely no way I'm going to display something signed by him. I briefly considered burning it and sending him a photo to his prison cell but decided to wait. After his sentencing in 2006 I looked at the picture again and knew for certain that I'd never again display it. I toyed with selling it but never got any further than that.

It is an absolutely beautiful work and the artist is talented. He's hardly to blame for what Cunningham did. Yet my quandary remains. What to do with it? I am not keeping it, that is settled, so I'm turning to you and asking for input. What would you do with it? I want everyone's thoughts but I'm especially interested in veterans who would care to chime in. Have a favorite military or veteran charity who would take it, perhaps to auction it off and use the proceeds to do some good for our vets and current service? Should I use it as a manifestation of my disgust with corruption and burn it publicly? Anyone just want the damn thing?

Maybe I'm overreacting? I don't think so but I'm willing to take all opinions to heart. I love the work, I really do but it has to go. I can't abide the thought of having anything that man even touched in my house any longer. If I don't figure something out I'm just going to take it out to the secret test range and see how many rounds of 12 gauge it takes to obliterate it.

What do you think?


07 March 2012

Traditions And Messages

There is so much of her grandmother in Baby Girl. Among them they are both traditionalists. Things are supposed to be a certain way, always and forever. Heck, the DO is cut from the exact same cloth for that matter. There is a strong pioneer streak, handed down from mother to daughter for generations, that runs through Lu's family. They had a large part in settling this part of Southern Utah more than a century ago. But what messages do our traditions send to our beloved children?

Is it one of alcohol and abuse and contempt for law and society and our neighbors? Because those are indeed things that are handed down, subtly or not so much, to our progeny. Attitudes as poisonous as a rattlesnake.

Is it one of family and the shared happiness and sorrow that comes with being together, tight in our bonds of love? 

In our everyday interactions with each other and our children what are we telling them?

I like to think that Lu and I are the keepers of the family lore. The guardians of family traditions. It's our job to pass along that knowledge the kids need to understand their place in, not only our family but the greater American family.

It's an awesome responsibility, knowing that you have such an ability to guide and teach and influence.Much of their future is in our hands. What messages do we send?

Is it simply a Christmas stocking for the newest member of the family or is there a greater message? Something beyond the excitement of creating and the learning of a new skill?

Perhaps she is learning that two sets of hands makes a task go quicker and easier. That a shared joy is increased beyond measure. That patience and listening will be rewarded. That giving is more satisfying than receiving. That works of the heart carry a greater value than a store bought trinket.

Perhaps all we ever truly pass along is love. The joys of just being together as family. That sometimes a warm lap and a shared smile are enough.

In the end all we ever really have is each other. Spend your time together well and remember the messages we truly send for it is that which will stay with our children the longest and shape their futures more certainly than any outside force.

May God grant me the strength and wisdom to be the messenger I need to be.


05 March 2012

Hey Dad, What's This Thing? A Puppy's Tale

I heard Lu chuckling as she came into the living room. "There's a pigeon on the roof of the outbuilding and Angus is going crazy". By the time I got to a window the bird was gone but Angus rushed into the room to breathlessly let me know what had just happened. I patted him on the head and gave him a Good Boy.

A few minutes later I heard the ruckus begin again. Sure enough Mister Pigeon was back. He was just sitting on the edge of the roof, watching Angus with a haughty look on his face. I watched for a minute and decided that Angus needed a little back up.

This is Angus being subtle. "Look, look! See? I told you. There he is right there! What is that thing?"

"It's a bird my son," I told him.

"A bird huh? Let me think on this for just a bit. Hmmm. What do I do now?"

"I know. I'll wag my tail and invite him down to play. Hooray, I'm a genius!"

"No huh? Now what?"

"OK fine. I'll go back to barking and running around like a crazy dog. Maybe that'll work."

But no matter how hard he tried, for some reason Mister Pigeon never came down. He just sat there and sat there and taunted poor Angus.

Until Daddy got his BB gun. And let that be a lesson to all you Pigeons out there. Don't taunt the bird dog and the guy who owns the bird dog. And a gun.

Of course Daddy missed but it's the thought that counts.

Damn flying rats.


Borepatch Is A Genius

Remember all those internet and computer security posts BP has where he highly recommends against internet explorer? Yeah, I must have breezed right past those. I certainly disregarded his professional advise. Then I lost the ability to access my blog and nothing was working. At all. Error messages as far as the eye could see. So what did I do? I hollered to BP for help which he graciously provided and now I've downloaded Firefox and what do you know? My blog works again.

You're a genius BP. My eternal thanks. The Internets are a smarter place today thanks to you. I promise whenever you post Internet and computer security advice I will read, heed and act immediately. I swear.

I do believe I mentioned some sort of compensation? You have several choices here. SMLE stripper clips, a challenge coin from my blue suit days or a semi nude picture of me riding a camel on a very cold day. I recommend either of the first two but hey, I'm not judging. I do look kinda cute in a fat, hairy European guy kinda way.

Thanks again.


03 March 2012

Sunday Kipling

It's supposed to be in the high 60s today. If so I may just load up wife, kids and dogs and see what kind of trouble we can get into. Maybe char some beef on the grill. Should be a fine day.

In the meantime one of my favorites and a poem recommended by one of my favorite authors, John Ringo. Have a great day.

The Explorer

There's no sense in going further -- it's the edge of cultivation,"
So they said, and I believed it -- broke my land and sowed my crop --
Built my barns and strung my fences in the little border station
Tucked away below the foothills where the trails run out and stop:

Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated -- so:
"Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges --
"Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and wating for you. Go!"

So I went, worn out of patience; never told my nearest neighbours --
Stole away with pack and ponies -- left 'em drinking in the town;
And the faith that moveth mountains didn't seem to help my labours
As I faced the sheer main-ranges, whipping up and leading down.

March by march I puzzled through 'em, turning flanks and dodging shoulders,
Hurried on in hope of water, headed back for lack of grass;
Till I camped above the tree-line -- drifted snow and naked boulders --
Felt free air astir to windward -- knew I'd stumbled on the Pass.

'Thought to name it for the finder: but that night the Norther found me --
Froze and killed the plains-bred ponies; so I called the camp Despair
(It's the Railway Gap to-day, though). Then my Whisper waked to hound me: --
"Something lost behind the Ranges. Over yonder! Go you there!"

Then I knew, the while I doubted -- knew His Hand was certain o'er me.
Still -- it might be self-delusion -- scores of better men had died --
I could reach the township living, but....e knows what terror tore me...
But I didn't... but I didn't. I went down the other side.

Till the snow ran out in flowers, and the flowers turned to aloes,
And the aloes sprung to thickets and a brimming stream ran by;
But the thickets dwined to thorn-scrub, and the water drained to shallows,
And I dropped again on desert -- blasted earth, and blasting sky....

I remember lighting fires; I remember sitting by 'em;
I remember seeing faces, hearing voices, through the smoke;
I remember they were fancy -- for I threw a stone to try 'em.
"Something lost behind the Ranges" was the only word they spoke.

I remember going crazy. I remember that I knew it
When I heard myself hallooing to the funny folk I saw.
'Very full of dreams that desert, but my two legs took me through it...
And I used to watch 'em moving with the toes all black and raw.

But at last the country altered -- White Man's country past disputing --
Rolling grass and open timber, with a hint of hills behind --
There I found me food and water, and I lay a week recruiting.
Got my strength and lost my nightmares. Then I entered on my find.

Thence I ran my first rough survey -- chose my trees and blazed and ringed 'em --
Week by week I pried and sampled -- week by week my findings grew.
Saul he went to look for donkeys, and by God he found a kingdom!
But by God, who sent His Whisper, I had struck the worth of two!

Up along the hostile mountains, where the hair-poised snowslide shivers --
Down and through the big fat marshes that the virgin ore-bed stains,
Till I heard the mile-wide mutterings of unimagined rivers,
And beyond the nameless timber saw illimitable plains!

'Plotted sites of future cities, traced the easy grades between 'em;
Watched unharnessed rapids wasting fifty thousand head an hour;
Counted leagues of water-frontage through the axe-ripe woods that screen 'em --
Saw the plant to feed a people -- up and waiting for the power!

Well, I know who'll take the credit -- all the clever chaps that followed --
Came, a dozen men together -- never knew my desert-fears;
Tracked me by the camps I'd quitted, used the water-holes I hollowed.
They'll go back and do the talking. They'll be called the Pioneers!

They will find my sites of townships -- not the cities that I set there.
They will rediscover rivers -- not my rivers heard at night.
By my own old marks and bearings they will show me how to get there,
By the lonely cairns I builded they will guide my feet aright.

Have I named one single river? Have I claimed one single acre?
Have I kept one single nugget -- (barring samples)? No, not I!
Because my price was paid me ten times over by my Maker.
But you wouldn't understand it. You go up and occupy.

Ores you'll find there; wood and cattle; water-transit sure and steady
(That should keep the railway rates down), coal and iron at your doors.
God took care to hide that country till He judged His people ready,
Then He chose me for His Whisper, and I've found it, and it's yours!

Yes, your "Never-never country" -- yes, your "edge of cultivation"
And "no sense in going further" -- till I crossed the range to see.
God forgive me! No, I didn't. It's God's present to our nation.
Anybody might have found it, but -- His Whisper came to Me!

02 March 2012

Reproductive Health And Me

Hi, my name is Six and I'm a victim of the vast left wing contraception conspiracy. Let me explain.

See, many years ago Lu and I decided that we were done having children. She'd had an implant but we were concerned that it might fail. That's when I fell into the vile clutches of the contraceptive crowd.

"It's easy, simple and painless" they said. "Contraception is also the man's responsibility" they said. "Vasectomy is quick, non-invasive and virtually guaranteed to work" they said. "Think of the worry and guilt free sex" they said. "Don't be a putz, get your plumb bobbed. Now" they said.

And, in my folly I listened. I allowed myself to be swayed and convinced by the heartless left and the evil Vasectomy/Contraception complex. I had 'the procedure' done and it wasn't quick, painless or non-invasive. It was eternities long, embarrassing as all get out and more than moderately painful. Not to mention the horrible sound of Snip Snip. Now my seed is gone. All the dozens of little Six offspring that will never be. How could they be so heartlessly cruel?

I've suffered, oh how I've suffered. Pain and Suffering if you will. Humiliation and lost income potential from reality TV. No Six + Six + Six on Bravo for me. And my sex life. Altered beyond description. Casual tumbles in the hay. Impromptu dalliances on the kitchen table. Harsh demands from a wife no longer concerned about fertility, just her own carnal lusts and desires. Yes, all that and so much more. How can it be borne?

And I have seen the faces of my fellow men. The pale, wan, drained looks that tell the tale of unspeakable late night bedroom horrors. Tired, always tired. I've seen them at the mall, those sad empty nesters, frittering away their free income on baubles and shame. Addicted to the quick rush of new cars and jewelry and quiet evenings out to dinner. Ah, the ignominy.

Where is Oprah? Where is Michelle to comfort us and speak soothing words and whisper to us that we're not alone? Where is the outrage and Congressional hearings and the tears of the downtrodden and over sexed men who have been blatantly taken advantage of by their unfeeling wives as seen on CNN with commentary by Wolf Blitzer? More importantly, where is the money?

But there has been no money, no sympathy, no national stage to express our victimhood. I say no more! I refuse to allow the big Democrat Vasectomy/Contraception cartel to silence me any longer. I've been hurt, injured beyond a cure. Except maybe a little cash. That might ease my pain. But only slightly and really it's not about the money anyway. It's just a metaphor for my suffering, indeed the suffering of millions of other men out there just like me. Sad, abused, sleep deprived and utterly spent. Cash or Cashiers check only.

Years after the act of mutilation that was done upon my fragile person by a doctor (who was doubtless in league with the Evil and heartless Democratic Party) I still suffer pain. My balls, yes my very own precious balls, still hurt from time to time. Reminders of the ravages perpetrated against me in the name of contraception and casual sex. Will no one feel my pain? Oh Bill Clinton, where art thou? Won't you speak for me Sandra?

That's why I demand immediate reparations as well as free access to reproductive health care (Paid for by my employer and since I'm no longer employed then by someone else. Anyone else. I'm looking at you here). It's only fair and after all it's my right to be compensated for my sadness, pain and all those times I was required, yea verily forced, to perform sexually for a wife who now views me as nothing more than a piece of meat there to satisfy her every disgusting whim and perversion. The money I spent on Playboy and Penthouse Forum (Those stories are all totally true). The time I spent reading the Kama Sutra and viewing online porn. That stuff's not free you know. Someone has to pay and it sure ain't gonna be me!

So I appeal to the president and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Succor me and my brethren lest we die at the hands of our middle aged wives who are only now coming into their peak sexual years and have been eyeballing us all day with that look in their eyes. I want my vasectomy reversed so she'll keep her hands off me and let me get some sleep.

Well, not really but I do want the money. I can always hire her a boy toy but I ain't having no more kids! But don't let that put you off. I'm sincere. I swear.


01 March 2012

Now, This Looks Like Fun

To watch anyway. UTB, Ultimate Tak Ball. Looks like an unholy mix of football, soccer and rugby with stun guns thrown in just for that added chance to really hurt someone. They talk about Tasers but what I saw was actually stun guns. Still, I've been hit with a stun gun and it does hurt.

So, who's up for a game?