Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Britney's little (and by little, I mean SIXTEEN year old) sister has found herself in a family way. Apparently she was absolutely shocked when she found out. I guess she learned the hard way how babies are made. To top it all, her mother is currently writing a book on parenting. Hmm... I'll be sure to pick that one up; after all, with such stellar examples, I'm sure there's plenty to learn from this family about child rearing.
I've come to expect poor choices and disastrous examples from celebrities, but seeing this from a star of a CHILDREN'S network (Nickelodeon for those who don't know) is a new low.
Since we didn't go that route, however, Whiny Boy needs to suck it up and sit out his sentence.
I especially like the lawyer's take... now that we're not as "fearful" as we were after 9-11, he thinks Johnny has a better shot at getting out without serving his time. Fearful? It wasn't our fear that got this dude twenty years.
It was our RAGE.
RAGE against a clear act of treason.
RAGE against someone who grew up in a privileged home, denounced it all and rejected every American value to WAGE WAR AGAINST HIS COUNTRY OF BIRTH.
Let the weasel rot.
Sorry about the picture quality, but my camera is crap. Hopefully that will be rectified this December 25th...
Friday, December 14, 2007
Well, in the run up to the holidays, there's always so much to do; add in buying and selling a house and its frikken INSANE.
Looks like we're getting the house... probably moving in around the first of Feb. Still hasn't really sunk in yet, although I drive by it fairly often. One time the owner was out in the front yard and saw us - I felt a little weird about it, and my wife gave him an embarrassed wave...
Picked up my new Beretta on Wednesday... wanna see a picture?
Pretty, ain't it? Kinda looks like some pistol out of a sci-fi movie... I'm not much of a handgunner, and I'm hoping practice with this will help me improve without bankrupting me... I will probably not have enough time to get out to the range before the end of the year, but we'll see. Can't wait to try it out...
Monday, December 03, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Rather than confront the guy, I called the cops, who took their sweet time getting there - about an hour. By the time they showed up, the truck was gone. I checked throughout the evening, but still no sign. I'll check today on my way out.
I did get the plate number, which I handed off to the cops, but I'm not sure where this is going to go. I have a sinking feeling that I'll be eating this repair.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
We called the cops who came out and pretty much said "Gee, that sucks", and split. Not that I have any expectations, but at least the wreck is on record.
Called around and found another rear hatch plus tire carrier for $275, so I'll pick it up Monday and put it in myself. It's green, and our Sportage is black, so it's going to look like shit but oh well. Better than plastic sheeting in the back.
The Kia is insured, but only with liability, because it's not worth all that much now - it's a 2001 with a pile of miles - and anyway, the damage is extensive enough that an insurer would total the car, which is just silly, since it drives just fine... just needs a new back door. I can live with jacked-up bumpers for a while.
As you may surmise, I am rather pissed off about this, but there's nothing more I can do about it other than clean up the mess and fix what I can. Just glad no-one was in the car when that prick tried to go through it.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I love the rain, myself; I know how desperately this part of the world needs it, and I'm always hoping for more... besides which, it never rains hard enough here to make me miserable - coming from the northern UK, I have a distinct idea of what hard, driving rain feels like, and it's nothing like the warm gentle showers that make everyone here wet themselves...
Friday, November 23, 2007
So I must stand, and applaud you selfless ladies of the left. Bring on the steriliaztion! We may yet be able to save the planet after all. Keep up the good work!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
The French Unions are like a huge frigging python wrapped around the French economy, squeezing the life out of it. Bunch of coddled bitches sucking off the public tit, not caring about whether it'll dry up, as long as they get theirs!
How the hell is it OK to expect a lifetime of pay after a few years of mediocre performance on a public sector job? Mediocre because there's no incentive to excel and you have to screw up spectacularly to get reprimanded, let alone fired.
I hate the French. But I admire Sarkozy, and what he's trying to accomplish. Must be because of his Hungarian heritage - he's not really French...
Good luck, Sarkozy! Go Reagan on their asses! With an 8% unemployment rate, it's not like you'd have any difficulty finding replacements.
Friday, November 16, 2007
We did a LOT to our house to get it ready to show, and I don't have much vacation time saved at the salt mine, so it all had to happen after a full work day... so where does it give? In sleep time of course!
My Little Princess' room has been completely made over - wall patched, new paint, new bed, new blinds, new lighting...
Number One Son's room got decluttered, new furniture (well, mine and my wife's old furniture), cleaned up...
Guest bathroom got touched up, deep-cleaned..
Master bathroom got repainted...
Master bedroom got decluttered...
Garage got reorganized (If you'd ever seen my garage, you'd know how huge this task really was! I'd really like to work toward something like this...'cept my dirtbike's a Honda...)
Side yard got decluttered, trashed out and the humongous brush pile shredded...
Kitchen decluttered, furniture removed or moved...
Dog kennel got moved, dog run sorted out...
Front trim on house touched up...
Front yard "remodeled"...
Add into the mix about 20 trips to Home Depot/Lowes, a half dozen trips to storage and hopefully you can see why I haven't been posting much...
But I have tried to keep up on reading the blogs on my daily list... this blogging addiction is hard to shake - if I can't post, I can still find time to read and maybe comment...
We've still got a pile to do, but the pace is slowing some, hence tonight's post...
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
So, things that I have learned over the last few days...
- A reciprocating saw is a marvelous tool to have - just make sure you have plenty of blades on hand because they dull out pretty quickly...
- The local landfill now wants us to separate out our trash and put metal in its own area... not a big deal I suppose, but it adds time to my day...
- My kids had way more crap than I ever realized - crap that they never used or played with.
- I had more crap than I ever realized - crap that I never used or played with.
- Cutting out and replacing drywall to repair holes - cake. Adding tape, mud and texture to make it invisible - not so much...
- I still hate yard work.
- Chipper/shredders are loud, scary, dangerous and just won't stay put once you fire them up, but man will they reduce a brush pile...
- A paste of Oxy-Clean and water will get most of the oil off your driveway, in the absence of a pressure washer...
- Smoke detectors may be mounted on a wall, as long as they're within 12 inches of your old-school, popcorn-covered, vaulted ceiling...
- It's amazing how much crap you can stuff into a 10X15 storage unit...
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
This is already turning out to be a gut-churning experience. Everything is contingent on us selling our pad, and to be honest, I'm not that optimistic right now. Well, we'll see...
So, this is the goal. We'll work towards it, and if it's meant to be, it'll work out.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Wow. 1600 structures up in smoke, 1 MILLION people forced to evacuate and this bastard wants to score political points right now, with a theory that has so many holes in it you could drive a semi through?
Well, I would say the carbon output of these fires has pretty much eclipsed car emissions for the Southland for quite a while, so we should see a dramatic increase in Global Warming now, right? A positive feedback loop?
Every time Reid opens his mouth, he sprays stupid.
I wonder exactly how the "Democrats' comprehensive energy package" would have prevented this...
Found at Drudge...
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Coaching flag football has been a blast for me. I've really taken to it and I've been pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy it. Man, I live and die by these kids. If we win a game, I'm on a high all weekend. Conversely, if we lose, I'm in a funk for just as long. We're 2 and 2 right now, these kids are playing their hearts out and I'm very proud of them.
Work has been interesting. We've got some new stuff coming down the pike; namely UCMR2 that we have to get ready for come the new year, and part of that is my needing to learn a new analysis on new equipment, which I enjoy doing...
Anyway, that's where I'm at and why I haven't been posting much of late. Hopefully I'll be able to post more this week...
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
So. We're giving it some thought. The market's pretty much in the toilet right now, and it looks like this property has been out there for a while (the date stamp on the photos on the realtor's website show June), so I don't think we have to jump right away... besides, we'd have to sell our current domicile, and I'm really not looking forward to all the hassle that goes with that.
We were lucky in that we bought in 1999, right before the housing market went completely insane here in the Southland, so even in these depressed times I think we can set a fairly low price and still walk away with equity, but still... still a hassle.
We'll have to see... see how much we can qualify for, see how desperate the seller is to get out (he wants to get his retirement in Havasu started already), see how much we can sell our place for, see how much BS we have to put up with to make this all work...
**Forgot to mention...
I was talking with the homeowner, who was present when we went to look at the house. He seemed like a real nice older guy, had a lot of toys (two Harleys, a Corvette, an off-road Jeep and a couple of old hot rods) and we got to talking about common interests. I was developing what I thought to be a good rapport with the guy, right up until the moment Number One Son bounced his mini football off the back of the poor dude's head. Yeah. He's gonna be real flexible on the price now... Gotta love kids, man.
Monday, October 15, 2007
- 5 minutes with a file
- Take your new handgun to the range and put enough rounds through it to wear out the microstamp. Shoot, check your brass – repeat as necessary until it’s gone
- Steal someone elses gun
- Pick up someone elses brass at the range to drop at the crime scene
- Use a revolver to commit the crime
- Use a rifle to commit the crime
- Use a shotgun to commit the crime
- Pick up your own brass at the scene
- When performing the drive-by, shoot from inside the car, so the brass is not left at the scene
- Buy a new firing pin from out of state
- Buy your semi auto handgun out of state
- Use the handgun you acquired prior to the passing of this bill
This wee list took me about five minutes... can you think of any more?
I am so disgusted, I don't know what to say, except that this "REPUBLICAN" has done more harm to our gun rights than the last DEMOCRAT in office.
Arnold, you are a pandering, sellout FOOL. You will win no loyalty from the left for this, and you've alienated your own party.
I like Sebastian's take - all handgun manufacturers should stop sales of handguns in California to civilians AND police immediately.
I need out of this state.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
My first attempt was with the $50 SKS package that comes with a 4X scope, the mount and 10 stripper clips. I didn't like it at all - the mount replaced the stock bolt cover in the back, so every time you have to clean it, the mount cover has to come off and you have to rezero.
Witness my second attempt:
A little research on the web led me to these guys and I ordered the mount for the SKS... $60 plus change w/shipping, and I got it today! So, I got right to work...
First off, I removed the original rear sight, by pushing down on the front and pulling it toward the rear. There's a leaf spring underneath providing tension, and this needs to stay in place.
Installing the new sight base: almost the reverse of the removal above, but there's a pin to push in on the side - flat spot up, so the tightening screw will depress enough to get out of the way of the notch that runs the length of the base. This notch can serve as a rear sight in a pinch... a feature that I like, so I have both options immediately available.
Next step, push in the rail and fasten in place by way of four screws...
Add a red-dot sight, adjust to ensure the ammo can load correctly, and you're done! 10-15 minutes tops, no drilling, no tapping, no gunsmithery... If I can do this, anyone can. Now, I'll have to get it to the range and sight it in. Oh darn; more shooting...
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Right off the bat, the museum's children's curator just flat out rubbed me wrong. I really don't think she's a good fit for that particular position, given her attitude and impatience towards the kids, an attitude that seemed to have also worn off on her "junior docents", who were helping out.
The theme of the museum right now is prints - various styles and techniques were on display...
The curator informed us that "The first known print was made in India around 3,000 years Before the Common Era".
Excuse me? The "common era"? Common to what, exactly? And at what point does the count for this "common era" start? Around, oh, I don't know... AD 1? The birth of Christ?
What the hell is wrong with BC? Are there really people out there who just cannot handle knowing that our measurements of time originate from the date of this individuals birth? People that cannot even stand to say the guy's name without soiling themselves? Is it truly oppressive to acknowledge this, whether you accept his divinity or not? Is that so unreasonable?
A little while later, we were in another room and the curator asked all the kids to gather round and sit down on the floor. Some of the kids started to sit on a bench nearby, which was apparently not on. The curator checked that right away with, "No, no, everyone must sit on the ground. That way it's more egalitarian". I shit you not. Che Guevara, reincarnated as a dumpy, bespectacled middle aged white chick just panting to fill the kids' heads with the dialectic.
Maybe I'm overreacting, but this lady just got right on my tits today. Maybe what I'm hearing about the public school system lately isn't an exaggeration...
Crap, all I wanted to do was wander around and look at some nice pictures.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Wow, Greenpeace seems quite uninterested in the fact that the kangaroo population has halved in the last five years... now what kind of self-respecting environmental organization would disregard that? I suppose one species tossed upon the altar of Global Warming is a small price to pay to save Our Mother... just so long as it isn't whales, m'kay?
I wonder what roo tastes like, anyway?
I think I'll have to try to find out...
Link found at Drudge.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. An organization that will hand out peace prizes to the likes of Yasser Arafat has obviously lost its way, as well as any credibility to the sane among us.
Monday, October 08, 2007
I'm so pissed at myself. I got up there, a 12 hour drive, got all set up, got out into the boonies and whipped out my camera to take some shots of some absolutely breathtaking scenery. No fucking memory card! Unbelievable! I brought up something like 5 sets of batteries because its a juice hog, but I left the goddamn card plugged into my computer! Gah!
Fortunately, some of the other guys had their cameras, so I'll beg some pictures from them... we'll see how successful that is - after all, one of them still has shots of my kill last season that I haven't managed to get a hold of...
More about my trip later, hopefully accompanied by some pictures that I did not take...
Unfortunately, no amount of psychological screening or invasive "flashlight-up-the-butt" questioning can guarantee this won't happen. I'm sure the Wisconsin deputy passed all of these with flying colors; otherwise he wouldn't have been on the force.
Cops are human, just like the rest of us; most are good, some are bad. We have a tendency to put cops, firefighters and other such public servants on a pedestal because of the difficult and dangerous jobs they have chosen to do, but at the end of the day they are just as fallible as the rest of us. Because they ARE us.
Sometimes the sheepdogs we charge with our protection turn out to be wolves. Thankfully that's a very rare occurrence.
Friday, September 28, 2007
I'll be taking a couple of rifles; a 30-30 lever "brush gun", and a scoped .308 for more open areas, depending on where I find myself...
Come Sunday morning, I'll be out on the prowl, looking to cap on some furry woodland creatures. Wish me luck! (Hopefully it'll take my mind off the impending slaughter of my Rams at the hands of the Cowboys...)
Oh yeah - I'll DEFINITELY have pictures this time around...
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The league that my son is in is very new (started out this summer), and they're having a hard time with getting into an organized routine. Flaky parents don't help either. That's how I got pulled into coaching one week before the season began.
I'll still manage to go on my hunting trip, but I will just have to cut it short. Instead of Friday through Saturday (8 days), I'll go Saturday to Wednesday, possibly Thursday.
What I'm finding out is that I'm enjoying this much more than I expected. The kids that I'm coaching are enthusiastic and pick up on new concepts really quickly. I've had two practice sessions already, and my kids have already learned six pass routes and four plays.
I'm trying to keep them busy, running, passing, catching and pulling flags, as well as keeping it fun. So far that's easier than I thought.
Oh, and I'm not going it alone. One of my co-workers very kindly offered to come out and help me out - so far she's been a great help. She's helping with the conditioning (14 years of soccer would make you pretty darn good at that) as well as being there to offer objective opinions about player placement, plays and such - something I really can't get from the parents.
Sure, I'm new to this, but if I keep a couple of steps ahead of the kids, it shouldn't show, right?
Who'd have thought I'd be having this much fun?
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Item1: It sure takes a lot to make the ultra-liberal federal judges in this part of the country look like reasoned, scholarly, objective and impartial members of the bench, but CA state attorney Jerry Brown makes it easy with his flat out batshit insane Global Warming Lawsuit Against the EEEvil Automakers for Ruining The Planet. Only a gibbering idiot would let something like that go to trial with a straight face. See DirtCrashr and RNS for more details.
Item 2: Sitting on the Governors desk right now is AB1471, the microstamping bill that apparently sailed through the state legislature regardless of the total, complete and utter lack of solid science behind it. This bill requires that all handguns have a laser-engraved microstamp on the tip of the firing pin that will deliver a unique imprint to the cartridge upon firing. The obvious fact that this "investigative aid" can be overcome in a variety of ways - 5 minutes with a file, picking up your cartridges at the scene of the crime or picking up other people's cartridges from the gun range and dropping them as "evidence" to name just 3 off the top of my head - has not deterred the primates that pass for our legislators suggests to me that they're less concerned about current criminals than they are about creating a whole new class of criminal - namely law-abiding gun-owners. "Hey, it's an unworkable solution that has no place in reality, but if it delivers yet another kick to the nuts of the CA gun-owner, it can't be all bad".
Item 3: Another one gracing Ahhnuld's desk is AB821, the lead ammo ban to SAVE THE CALIFORNIA CONDOR, MAN! Despite all our conservation efforts, this species still just cannot make it on its own. The high levels of lead toxicity in the blood of Condors has led the environmental crowd to blame hunters for the problem. Now this may or may not be true - I don't think there's a definitive study out there that proves it beyond a doubt; besides which, there are plenty of other carrion-eating species out here in the great state of California, and I don't hear any others being decimated in this manner. Shit, sometimes I think we're being overrun by coyotes from some of the news stories I hear, and everwhere I look when I'm hiking I see crows and ravens. Anyway, regardless of whether science has reached a conclusion or not, our esteemed legislature has determined that WE MUST DO SOMETHING! That something? Well, criminalize a bunch of hunters of course! "Hey, it's an unworkable solution that has no place in reality, but if it delivers yet another kick to the nuts of the CA gun-owner, it can't be all bad".
Now, with a Republican governor at the helm, one would be tempted to think "Well, this is a man of reason and discernment; obviously he will just veto this nonsense and we'll continue about our day"... except this is Arnold Schwarzenegger we're talking about. You know, the one who said "The Global Warming debate is over", the one who signed into law AB50, the Eevil 50BMG rifle ban. His veto is by no means a slam dunk in this matter, especially given the amount of democratic ass he has to kiss on a daily basis to get ANYTHING done in Sacramento - or anything in the bedroom, since he's married to a Kennedy.
Hey dude, maybe you should include the rest of the Trinity? That way they can't do an end run around your injunction...
I share the man's frustration with frivolous lawsuits, but I'm not sure what he expects to achieve as a result of this.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Obviously, they're desperate for coaches, and he asked me to help out. I have a hunting trip planned for the beginning of October and a trip to Arizona mid-month which means I'd miss 3 weekends out of a 9-10 week season as well as a full weeks practice. I'm having somewhat of a crisis of conscience, wondering if I should back out of the hunting trip (there's no way I'll miss the AZ trip) and take this on? I don't want the kids to miss out, but having a coach that would miss 3 of their games is flat out not fair to them. So - should I back out of the trip and step up, or should I pass, and expect someone else to do it?
Monday, September 17, 2007
I've been a Rams fan since I was 15, and was first introduced to the wonder and glory of American Football in high school, back in the UK. I stayed a fan even when that evil witch Georgia Frontiere ripped them away from Anaheim to new lands far away. I even stayed a fan throughout the 90's, when they vied with Cincinnati for the title of suckiest team in the NFL. I was so stoked when my patience and loyalty finally paid off with a Superbowl win in 2000, thinking we finally had a world class team. Well, that didn't last too frigging long, did it?
The way players get traded around the league these days, it's a damn miracle there's any kind of team cohesion anymore. Most of the guys who were instrumental in that Superbowl win are no longer on the Rams. The defense has really suffered. All the big defensive stars have been long gone, and the leadership seems to change hands every year, so there's no real foundation to build on.
I had high hopes, but I think it's gonna be a long season... well, a short one actually, since I doubt they're headed to the playoffs...
Maybe I'm being too pessimistic - maybe two defeats right out the gate is what we need for the defense to pull their heads out of their asses... yeah, "maybe I'm a Chinese jet pilot..."
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Here's what I brung - my trusty 10/22, and my old SKS, who's been needing some attention lately. She'd been on the back burner some since I got my scary black rifle, so I took her out and fell in love all over again. I'm such a tramp.
This was my best grouping of the day, courtesy of the 10/22, at fifty yards. Scopes certainly make it easier!
All in all - a good time, and I'd go there again; too bad it's way too far to visit more often.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
My prof, Dr Z, was studying the morphological characteristics of Red Jungle Fowl and how they related to mating behavior.
Red Jungle Fowl are the precursors to modern day chickens and are found wild in South East Asia, where the chicken was first domesticated. They are virtually indistinguishable from regular chickens as far as I could remember; possibly the roosters were more colorful, but very similar in every other aspect.
So, what we were measuring was the size of the birds, the size and color of the combs and wattles, brightness of plumage and eyes as indicators of the bird's general health, and to see if the healthier, brighter birds would attract more females.
On the flip side, we also introduced parasites to some of the males to see if this had an adverse affect on their physical appearance and if this too had an affect on their desirability to females. We would also draw blood and get red blood cell counts of our roosters, another indicator of health.
For a Bio major who was into zoology as much as I, this was all fascinating stuff. I was involved in all aspects of this research, and I thought it would look great on my resume. I was part of a group of four or five students who help out taking these measurements, and taking care of the animals.
We kept the birds off-campus in the Agricultural Operations "allotment" a couple of blocks from school. My school started out as a citrus research station, and there's still a lot of agricultural research done there. At the time, I didn't have a car (I had a motorcycle, but it was inoperable for most of my employment there) so I was allowed to use one of the university's old Suburbans to drive over there and do what I had to do.
The birds were kept in little cages, cubes about four feet on a side, two females or one male per cage. We also had a couple of larger cages with more females in together.
Each cage required feed and water on a daily basis, and we worked on a rota to get it done, sharing the responsibilities out between the students. We also pitched in on the maintenance/repair/building of the cages.
If you have never dealt with chickens, let me assure you that you probably don't want to. The females aren't so bad, but they can still be unpleasant at times.
The roosters, however; well, they're just a little ball of feathers and hate. They hate EVERYTHING. They'll attack ANYTHING. I've never seen so much mean stuffed into such a little package, and when it comes around to mating time, they are exponentially worse.
To put it bluntly, these Red Jungle Fowl roosters were evil little bastards. They still had their spurs, and they'd sharpen them against the wires of their cage, all the while looking at you with an "I'll get you sooner or later, motherfucker" glint in their eye...
When they attacked, they'd fly at you full speed, legs extended and spurs up and towards you. And they were FAST. When you were feeding them, you had to be fast, too. Pop that cage open, drop in the food, close it again. Oh yeah. They had no problem biting the hand that feeds, that's for sure.
A few weeks of this, and I had a rhythm. I knew when to open the cages and give the food before I could get nailed, and I did get hit a couple of times that weren't so bad.
I think that was my downfall right there - I got a little complacent. Sure, I avoided the attacks - who wouldn't - but hey, they're chickens, right?
Well, one day, either my timing was off, or this rooster's was right on the money. He must have been waiting for me. Right as I opened the gate to his cage, he was airborne, ricocheting off the gate like some frikking chicken pinball and right into me, two inch spurs extended, just as I was bending my knee to drop the food.
This little bastard jammed one of his spurs right through the denim of the Levis I was wearing, right through the skin of my knee and right up underneath my kneecap. It was over in an instant - he was gone, leaving nothing but a bloody hole and some torn denim.
To my credit, I believe my scream was quite brief, and not very girly at all. Of course, I was there by myself, so you'll only have my word for that.
I had to take my temper in both hands and hold on very tightly, because if I let go, my prof was going to be down one hyperaggressive rooster. I finished up my chores without killing the little shit, drove home and popped a beer. My knee locked up, and I had a stiff leg for a couple of days, which drew gales of mirth from my friends when I had to explain what happened to me.
And that, dear friends, is how I got my ass kicked by a chicken.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
"Yeah?" I answer, groggily.
It's my sister. "Turn on the news".
"Huh? Do you know what time it is?"
"Turn on the news, dammit!"
I stumble out of bed, eliciting a sleepy "What's going on?" from my wife.
"Sis called. She said to turn on the TV."
Rubbing my eyes, I make my way into the front room, turn on the TV and switch the channel to CNN.
Just in time to see the second plane hit.
I will never forget.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Only, it seems like no-one told those high-dollar goverment biologists that the Greenback Cutthroat Trout has a - you guessed it! - GREEN BACK.
Sigh. A TWENTY YEAR environmental program. Have you any idea how much this has cost the taxpayer?
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
We've been having some crazy weather the last few days, extreme highs with humidity interspersed with showers. I got caught in one of those "storms", driving through heavy (for SoCal) rain followed by hail! Weird!
We got down to El Centro, where I met my buddy's folks who were real nice and kept us well fed and in beer. I got to listen to some of his uncle's hunting stories, learned about the area and had a good time, turning in around midnight only slightly intoxicated.
At 4am, we dragged ourselves out of bed and into the truck to go meet the rest of the crew - two of his buddies, M and T, and T's dad D. These boys were country to the core - jeans, shirts, boots and hats. T works as a ranch hand (which was very instrumental in our getting the prime hunting spots) and one of his pastimes is bull-riding. His dad reminded me of Boomhauer on "King of the Hill" - real thick accent, I got maybe every other word he was saying.
We made our introductions, then saddled up and followed them down to Calexico, where T had staked out a nice spot on a friend's farm. We got our gear all sorted, broke out the shotguns and waited for dawn - officially at 5:45.
Right at 5:45, all hell broke loose through the valley - I swear it sounded like we were in Beirut or something! I thought opening day of deer season was bad - Oh no... Our spot started out pretty slow, but in short order I had learned to tell a dove's flight from other birds and we were knocking them down. We stayed there for about an hour or so, then headed over to a feed lot where another of T's buddies worked. This place was insane! there were tons of birds and we were dropping them left right and center, climbing into the pens to get our quarry, grabbing them out of the canal that ran by the property.
Seeing the birds come overhead, tracking and then nailing them was quite a bit more intense than skeet... harder, too, since the birds tend to fly a little erratically, especially once they start getting shot at...
We ended our hunt at the feed lot where T works (since he actually had to go to work that day) and bagged a couple more while we waited. Things were slowing down at this point, the sun was beating down on us mercilessly and I'm pretty sure the birds had headed for shade.
We dropped off T's dad and headed over to Denny's for a beer and some late breakfast (it was about 11:30 by then), after which I was introduced to the task of cleaning the doves.
Since I had plans to spend the rest of Labor Day weekend with my family, I reluctantly got my gear together and headed on home.
All in all, I had an excellent time. Shooting doves was a real test of my abilities - I shot way more times than I hit, let me tell you! - but it was a fun, exciting way to spend a late summer morning. I can see why these guys come out here and do it religiously. The guys I went with were friendly, down-to-earth people who treated me as one of their own. I'd be happy to hunt with them again anytime.
Oh, and in case you're wondering... I shot four that I'm sure of, with another that may have been mine (two of us shot at it at the same time). I came home with ten all told (I could have had more, since they wanted me to take them all, but I didn't want to chance getting stopped with more than the legal limit in possession).
And, no, ten doves is not a lot of meat at all. Pretty damn tasty though...
Friday, August 31, 2007
We'll see how I do... it's been a LONG time since I've done skeet, so I'm thinking I'll be pretty rusty. I guess tomorrow will determine whether I want to do this again or not. Hopefully I remember the camera this time...
This will be my very first bird hunt; wish me luck!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Because they are frigging worse than we are, that's why!
I found this courtesy of RNS, because I've heard sweet FA about this elsewhere. Nor will I, I imagine. It doesn't fit the narrative very well, does it?
Government steps in to save the day, and the citizens get buggered. Yes, let's copy that fine example!
That's it. I'll be driving my 6L diesel tomorrow. With the AC cranked to "Arctic Blast". It's real hot out there with all that Global Warming, after all...
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
He beats that guy from Norco HANDS DOWN...
Thing is, the guy's a felon, which barred him from possession, besides which he had some stuff that was a definite no-no, like a live hand grenade and, oh, 35 machine guns(!).
I don't care for victimless laws that ban things, but the guy's stated reason for possession (he was preparing for an invasion of Cuba?) is a little out there. But, should one have to state a reason beyond what's explained in the 2nd?
I don't know about this one. Seems a bit wacky, but he doesn't seem to be a threat to anyone except for possibly Castro...
The guy's getting 65 months in Federal prison, so I guess this goes beyond California laws...
One quote in particular got my attention:
The judge said the weapons in the indictment included machine guns, a live grenade and "guns with silencers. There's only one reason to have a gun with silencers, and it's not for protection."
Um actually, in many other countries, most notably Finland, it's considered neighborly to use silencers, to keep the noise level down at the range. Not every gun-owner is a potential murderer, jackass.
Another addition has to be Shrink-Wrapped Scream, a fellow Brit living the good life over there in the Isle of Man and throwing out some compelling reading.
Found via GuyK's place...
I've just started reading the book and its been ages since I read it, so I can't remember the storyline, which is good, because I'll be discovering it all over again...
Speaking of Halo, Halo 3 is coming out soon - Sept 25th. Halo was the sole reason I bought my XBOX, and Halo 3 is the sole reason I got my XBOX 360. Sure, Gears of War is great, as are most of the other XBOX360 games I've acquired thus far, but the bottom line is if Halo 3 was offered in regular XBOX format, I would probably never have gotten - nor desired - an XBOX 360.
Whatever else you may think of Microsoft, those guys sure know how to market their stuff.
I'll probably reserve my copy today sometime...
We had a total of five rifles to try out - I brought four, and one of the newbies brought his newly acquired Mosin Nagant 91/30 to shoot for the first time.
The rifles used were a Ruger 10/22, a Yugo SKS, a Marlin 30/30, and my newest, the STG-58 FAL.
I made sure everyone got to try each rifle, at ranges of 50 to 100 yards. (I also set up a small metal spinning target, which was very disappointing because it did not spin when hit - it just fell over. I'm thinking I'll just have to make my own).
The 22 was a big hit - it has a scope, and of course no recoil - but I think the FAL was quite popular too. Sunday was the first outing for the SKS in quite a while, and I confirmed that it's much easier to load than the FAL. I'm getting better at it though!
All in all, a good time was had... next up will be handguns I expect - I've already had a request...
Although I forgot to bring a camera, one of my coworkers didn't, and if I remember to bring the disk back from work, I'll post some pictures.
All in all, it seemed as though a good time was had. I'm always very happy to take new folks to the range - so much so that I'll spring for the ammo (although not the range fee, I'm afraid). The more people that have this experience, the better for the shooting sports and the Second Amendment in general. Who knows? Maybe somewhere down the line, they may become gun owners themselves. One already has...
On a more sour note, I learned from the rangemaster that my range is being sued. Apparently, a developer bought land to the side and behind the range for condos and wants to shut the range down. The fact that it's been there since 1944 is immaterial I suppose.
Hmmm... I'll stick with ammo...
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Animal cruelty? Dude, you are radioactive now. No-one will want to touch you. This'll be a long time wearing off.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
There is no law in existence that can prevent a criminal from carrying and using a gun. A criminal, by definition, ignores the law.
Laws exist to punish bad behavior, not prevent it. Laws are not some magic talisman that will make everything clean and bright and wholesome just by being on the books.
This is, of course, assuming that anti-gunners have nothing but our best interests at heart, and don't actually want to strip gun owners' rights so that the government can preserve its monopoly on violence.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
AP) LOS ANGELES An illegal immigrant who stayed in a Chicago church for a year to avoid separation from her 8-year-old son, a U.S. citizen, was arrested Sunday and being processed for deportation.
Actually, no; she's free to take her son back to Mexico with her. No-one is stopping her from doing that.
Elvira Arellano, who arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday after leaving her sanctuary to campaign for immigration reform, was arrested around 1:30 p.m. outside Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church where she had been speaking to reporters, said the Rev. Walter Coleman, pastor of Adalberto United Methodist, the Chicago church.
This has been a long time coming. Not a big fan of sanctuary for criminals, myself. While I look askance at many of the "separation of church and state" issues brought up nowadays (usually by those ACLU asshats), this church took a little too much interest in politics for my liking.
Arellano was "being processed for removal to Mexico based upon a deportation order originally issued by a federal immigration judge in 1997," U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a news release.
Wow, a mere ten years later. Government efficiency never ceases to amaze me. You know, if they'd gotten on the ball ten years ago, we wouldn't have this "illegal mother of a U.S. citizen" brouhaha now.
Immigration activists promised protests and vigils to support her.
Good luck with that. Let me know how that works out for you.
"We are sad, but at the same time we are angry," said Javier Rodriguez, a Chicago immigration activist who worked with her. "How dare they arrest this woman?"
Oh, I don't know; maybe because SHE BROKE THE FUCKING LAW?
Anti-illegal immigrant groups said the arrest was long overdue. "Just because the woman has gone public and made an issue of the fact that she is defying law doesn't mean the government doesn't have to do its job," said Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which favors limits on immigration.
Um, am I the only one who thinks this is a reasonable position?
Arellano, 32, has become a symbol of the struggles of illegal immigrant parents and a source of controversy. She had said Saturday she was not afraid of being taken into custody by immigration agents.
Of course not. Compared to Mexico's federales, I'm sure she's going to be treated with kid gloves. Glad to see the article actually used the phrase illegal immigrant. That's a rarity anymore.
"From the time I took sanctuary the possibility has existed that they arrest me in the place and time they want," she said in Spanish. "I only have two choices. I either go to my country, Mexico, or stay and keep fighting. I decided to stay and fight."
And now you get to go. Buh-bye. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out. Oh, and by the way - you may want to take your SON with you; assuming you're any kind of decent parent, that is. Oh, wait - he may still have a use as a bargaining chip over HERE. You know, the sympathy factor - how the eeeevillll US (that everyone seems to WANT to come to) is keeping a family split up.
At an afternoon news conference in Los Angeles, Arellano's son, Saul, hid behind Coleman's wife, Emma Lozano, and wiped away tears. Lozano said she is the boy's legal guardian.
"He's taking it better than we thought he would," said Lozano, the head of an immigration rights group in Chicago.
Sympathy factor already. You know, my son is the same age as this kid, and it tears me up to see this little boy go through this. He has no understanding of what's going on. He just wants to be with his mommy. Problem is, she only wants to be with him on HER terms. Poor kid, to have a mom like that. And no, I don't want to hear that she's keeping him in the States for his best interest. His best interest at age 8 is to be with his mom. He's already a U.S. citizen, so once he comes of age, he's perfectly entitled to live here... but right now he needs his mom more than the US.
Arellano came to Washington state illegally in 1997. She was deported to Mexico shortly after, but returned and moved to Illinois in 2000, taking a job cleaning planes at O'Hare International Airport. She was arrested in 2002 at O'Hare and convicted of working under a false Social Security number. She was to surrender to authorities last August.
A repeat offender. Toss identity theft into the mix, and this is really someone that I am quite happy NOT extending the privilege of U.S. citizenship to. If our laws are an inconvenience to you, why stop there? Why obey any of them? Naa... good riddance. Go to the back of the line. Course, if I had my way, you would have forfeited ANY chance of getting citizenship after you pissed all over our laws.
She sought refuge at the storefront church on Chicago's West Side Aug. 15, 2006. She had not left the church property until deciding to be driven to Los Angeles, Coleman said. As news of her arrest spread Sunday, members of the Chicago church began arriving to pray. "People will be sad about what happened to Elvira," said Catherine Archibald, a member of the congregation and a friend of Elvira's. "But I think it is very important now that we mobilize and push even harder."
And those of us who actually respect the rule of law will just push back. We either have a civil society, or we don't. Like I said here, why are illegals more deserving of citizenship than those of us who wait in line, pay the fees and jump through the hoops?
When you have to work at something, cough up hard cash for it, you tend to cherish and appreciate it somewhat more than if it was just thrown at you.
Illegal immigrants have no appreciation for this country or its institutions. That much is glaringly obvious to me, and I really don't want people like that for my neighbors. There's already too many of that sort in here. We call them liberals.
Thing is, I had to go from 6a-3p to 12noon-whenever... and with a lot of new folks needing help and asking questions, that whenever seems to stretch just a little further than I'd like. The OT's good, I suppose, but when I work shifts like this, I don't get to see my kids. They're off to school when I wake up, and out cold when I get home.
Man, I really do not miss this shift at all, nor this department. I'm happy to be able to lend a hand, but I reckon two weeks is plenty.
For the first six years of our marriage, my wife and I worked opposite shifts to pay the bills and dodge the day-care bullet. I have absolutely no desire to return to those days. I'll be extremely glad when this week is over with...
Hmmm... maybe I'll blow my OT on another gun... I know, it's a sickness... but that stainless Puma lever action in .357 just keeps taunting me...
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Wow. Had to think back there... waaayyyy back....
I first met Keren H. in primary school, when we were ten or so. We went our separate ways, she to West Craven High School, I to Ermysted's Grammar School. I didn't see her again for three more years, until I was walking home from the bus stop after school, and saw her waving at me from the front window of her house - I didn't even know she lived there!
Those last three years had been very good to her; she had filled out quite nicely, I remember noticing...
I smiled at her and waved back, and continued on my merry way. At fourteen, I had had very little experience with members of the fairer sex, and attending an all-boys high school didn't help much (didn't hinder too much as I got a little older, either, but that's a story for another time...).
A couple of days later, my sister (four years my junior) passed me a note from Keren, via her brother (they attended the same primary school), asking me out on a date!
I was jazzed! This little hottie had asked me on a date! Obviously, I had to accept!
I met her later that week, we talked, and things seemed great. We ended the meeting with my very first French kiss! I gotta tell you, I was on cloud nine...
We arranged to meet up the next Saturday, and we took the bus into Colne, a town nearby (we lived in Barnoldswick at the time).
It was a very awkward date, I didn't know what to say or do, and wound up not saying a whole lot - way different from our first meetup. I bought her a brooch that she was admiring at the market, because I knew you were suppose to do nice things, but I was basically clueless.
By the time we got to the bus ride home, Keren apparently couldn't stand it any more, and got off the bus at the top of town, preferring to walk the rest of the way home rather than ride with me. It was that bad and awkward.
I got home and was devastated. I didn't know what I'd done wrong, didn't know how to fix it and was just miserable for the next couple of days. I never saw her again.
I did hear about her a year or so down the road, when she started dating a guy in the year above me at my school - Steevo - who smugly informed me that I had been the absolute most boring date she'd ever had. Stick it in and twist, why dontcha! I was more pissed at Steevo than Keren, though - he was a royal prat.
So, at fourteen, obviously I had a long way to go as far as being a success with the ladies...
As for what I'd say to her today?
Oh, I don't know; I wish her well wherever she is. I don't have any hard feelings about the situation - I'm really chuckling as I write this, thinking how awkward and fumbling I was way back then. All part of the learning curve... I at least learned how NOT to act on a first date, after all...
So, Keren H., wherever you are; best wishes, and I hope life has turned out as well for you as it has for me.
What really gets me is that these clowns were pissed that the museum didn't inform them ahead of time - as though the museum answers to them.
Political correctness makes me want to puke.
Monday, August 13, 2007
One of the guys who came out had a bit of a rough time. He had just bought a Savage in 7mm magnum that needed a scope. He bought one, and waited until range day to try and mount it. No dice. The scope was too short to fit with the mounts on his rifle, so he had to jet over to the nearest Turners for another one. He wound up dropping close to $300 on a pretty fancy one - a lot nicer than any I possess, at any rate...
Poor guy thought his ordeal was over -- alas, no. He loaded his rifle, fired a round, worked the bolt... and no case came out. WTF?
The case was still in the chamber. We had to push a cleaning rod down the front of the barrel to push it out.
He fired another, worked the bolt... same thing happened. We pulled the bolt and checked it out. No frigging extractor! Huh? I've never heard of this! This was a BRAND NEW Savage from Big 5...
We still have time - maybe 6 weeks or so - but if he has to send the rifle back to the factory, it may be problematic... not good. Poor bugger was pushing that cleaning rod down the barrel every shot - he was determined to at least get his rifle sighted in! Good practice for muzzleloading, maybe...
I would be a lot more pissed about it than he seemed to be...
Took the STG-58 out again; I'm getting better at loading with those stripper clips, but I think switching mags would be much better...
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
On a more serious note, Phlemmy is still well and truly laid up. My thoughts are with her. Pneumonia is no joke.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I love taking my kids to the range; they enjoy themselves immensely, and they soften up the grouchy old grumps who run the place. One of them took me aside at the end of the day to thank me for bringing them - they love to see a new generation learn to shoot, and he said he'd be happy to help with pointers next time around...
On to the report...
Whipping out my evil black rifle did not cause any stirs, which was pleasing... I have seen AR 15s here, and I don't think the range guys much care what you shoot...
I tried loading with a five-round stripper - wouldn't fit.
Tried a ten-rounder - it fit, I got maybe two rounds in, then the rest just fell everywhere. Looking like a tool, I sheepishly picked them up. This was nowhere NEAR as easy as loading my SKS; after all, this rifle WAS designed to take magazines. Sigh. With this modification, the DOJ get exactly what they wanted - this rifle cannot be reloaded quickly. Thank you California.
That said, once I loaded my rounds (one by one) and got to shooting, I was very pleased.
The recoil was directed straight back along the plane of the rifle as I had read, which kept the sights pretty much on point after firing. It was also fairly mild, which is unsurprising really, given that the rifle weighs in at 10lbs. I was very happy with that.
Accuracy was everything I could hope for. The model I have is a carbine with a shortened barrel, but I was ringing that 200 yard gong with no problems over iron sights. (The gong is a 12X18 inch rectangle; at 200 yards, it looks thinner than
the front post of my sight).
Overall, I'm liking this rifle, but loading it leaves a little to be desired,
to say the least...
No range pics I'm afraid, because like a moron I forgot to bring a camera. Forgot to bring back my targets, too. Well, there's always next time...
Friday, August 03, 2007
The Evolution of Teaching Math in America
Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for
$1.58. The counter girl took my $2 and I was digging
for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket
and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the
nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on
her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to
tell her to just give me two quarters, but she
hailed the manager for help. While he tried to
explain the transaction to her, she stood there and
cried. Why do I tell you this?
Because of the evolution in teaching math since the
1. Teaching Math In 1950
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his
2. Teaching Math In 1960
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What
is his profit?
3. Teaching Math In 1970
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?
4. Teaching Math In 1980
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20.
Your assignment: Underline the number 20.
5. Teaching Math In 1990
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is
selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the
habitat of animals or the preservation of our
woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit
of $20. What do you think of this way of making a
living? Topic for class participation after
answering the question: How did the birds and
squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes?
(There are no wrong answers )
6. Teaching Math In 2006
Un hachero vende una carretada de maderapara $100.
El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha
...ripped from an email sent by Nature Chick...
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Saturday morning was spent watching my son play flag football (something I'm actually really beginning to enjoy and look forward to), and although I was chomping at the bit to get to the gun store, I acceded to my wife's request to jam over to Costco first.
Finally, we made our way to the gun store where my wife dropped me off (she made a beeline for Barnes and Noble).
I went straight to the counter, whipped out my receipt and waited as the guy went in the back to get...
Uhhh... where's my rifle?
Apparently the warehouse had not shipped it to the store. Unbelievable.
The clerk who saw me first then started telling me that the gun was iffy as far as DOJ goes, that they hadn't decided whether or not to proclaim it as an assault weapon yet. This kind of talk really started to make me a little nervous, if you know what I mean. I do NOT want to blow it with regards to CA gun laws. He suggested that I roll the money I had over into a Springfield M1A, which was the second choice on my short list.
The clerk who had originally sold me the gun overheard this whole conversation, and finally broke in with an exasperated,"Guys! That's a legal gun! The DOJ agent who gave the store so much grief had to make a formal, public apology to the store!" He went on to point out that he could forward me some correspondence showing that the DOJ had in fact attested to the legality of the gun I was buying. I'll post the link here, for anyone who's interested. Be warned - it's 26 pages...
Bottom line, my gun was unavailable for pick-up, and I was not happy (and a little bit spooked by the first guy).
The manager told me he'd jam out to the warehouse Sunday morning and have the gun here for me by noonish. I couldn't really do much else than say OK. Didn't care much to throw a fit, it wasn't his fault and throwing a tantrum wouldn't get it here any quicker anyway...
Sunday rolled around, and I got a call...
"Do you know what I'm looking at right now?"
"Hope its an STG-58"
"Be there in 30 minutes!"
Shot back to the store, checked out my rifle (I'd bought it sight unseen), signed off on it, got a free box of ammo for my trouble and left with a shit-eating grin and a new rifle...
The magazine is fixed in place by both a screw and a spot-weld I was told. That's the way it'll stay, too, unless I move out of CA (or at least get some property out-of-state).
Now, if anyone's got a line on some cheap .308 ammo, I'd certainly appreciate a heads-up.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Thus began the greatest chapter in my life - my transition from degenerate bachelor to responsible husband and parent (all growed up!) - what a ride!
I've been having so much fun I can't believe it's been nine years already! (Although that would explain the 8yr old son... conceived on the honeymoon, no less!).
I am truly a very fortunate man, to have found such a wonderful woman and to have her as my companion on life's journey.
Here's hoping the next nine years go a little slower, so I can savor them more...