Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Robert's Picks


Old Man's War by John Scalzi (very good)

Parliament of Whores by P.J. O'Rourke (unfortunately, all too true)


Stone Cold (excellent)

NCIS: Season 6 (very good)

South Park: Season 5 (good)


Romeo Y Julieta (excellent)


Jack Daniel's (very good)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

On The Range #13: Back in the saddle.

Now that the weather is getting warmer and the seas of my life are calming just a bit I decided yesterday would be a good day to get in some good, long practice/training/fun. It was a beautiful day, if a bit windy.

The first thing I did was take my rifle (S&W M&P15t) out to my range. I practiced shooting from a variety of positions:

Since I'm a limited to iron sights with my rifle for the foreseeable future I did at least half of my practice at close range (25 yards). I realize this is slapping distance with a rifle, but I've found it's a good way to really practice different shooting positions, use of cover, etc. and be able to see exactly how you are doing without having to take a long walk in between each string or keep a spotter or binoculars handy.

I also did a fair amount of shooting out at around 75 yards from various shooting positions. I did some 'move and shot,' practicing taking up different positions as I went and reloading as I changed positions (harder than it sounds!).

All in all, my shooting is pretty good even out at 75 yards using iron sights. Obviously I do my best shooting from kneeling and prone, but I was almost always on target even on the move.

I want to set up some variable distance targets, along with spreading some random cover along my hundred yard range for some more active training as time goes one. I've found I really enjoy this kind of shooting.

Next up I did my 100 Round Pistol Drill (@7yards) in what I hope is it's final evolution:

Warm up-8 rounds from two handed grip, slow
Strong hand only-16 rounds, 8 slow and 8 at normal speed
Weak hand only-16 rounds, 8 slow and 8 at normal speed
The 'Bill Drill'-36 rounds(6x 6 rounds each), 3x slow and 3x normal speed(timed)
Mozambique Drill-18 rounds (6x 3 rounds each), 3x slow and 3x normal speed (timed)
With the remaining six rounds I do either another Bill Drill or a couple of Mozambique's at longer distances.

Slow for me is taking as much time as it takes to make a perfect shot. Normal speed is going as fast as I can and still doing the drill correctly (sometimes this means I rush and screw up, but I like to be able to compare how good I can be to how good I want to be at speed).

My plan is to move the distance out as I get better to keep the challenge on. Hopefully I'll be able to afford enough ammo to keep this regimen up regularly. I'd like to do the 100 Round Drill at least once every two weeks (once a week would be better). My idea is to alternate rifle and pistol training week to week. This will keep down my ammo costs as much as possible while allowing me to get in a some serious training.

In the future I also want to work some rifle to pistol transitions into my practice, as well as doing different drills with the pistol and any new stuff I come across with the rifle.

As time and money allow, I want to take some formal training courses in both rifle and pistol, as well as upgrade some of my gear. I really like my Ultra Raptor, but I think I'd be better served by a commander sized 1911. With a new pistol will of course come a new run of holsters until I find what I like best. I've also need to get some decent optics on my rifle, and while I'd love an ACOG or EOTech, I think I'll end up with this.

I'll be your huckleberry.

So James Cameron wants to shoot global warming 'deniers.'

Where does the line start to take him up on his offer? Will there be a lottery or something?

H/T Breda.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ten authors who've influenced me the most.

The BayouRenaissanceMan has a post up about the ten authors or books that have most influenced his life. The original blog meme called for books, but I'm not the only one who has trouble just listing a single work by an author rather than a long list of that author's works so I'll be listing authors.

Here are my ten, in random order:

1. J.R.R. Tolkien. His Middle Earth works introduced me to a whole new genre of writing, fantasy. I'd read a lot of science fiction when I picked up The Hobbit, but fantasy works opened up a whole new kind of world to me. Aside from being fantastic works in and of themselves, The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings introduced me into a type of world that I previously had never imagined and gave me hours and hours of enjoyment.

2. Robert Jordan. Jordan's Wheel of Time series was epic in proportions. They were, at the time, some of the longest books I'd ever read. Rich with scenery and a plethora of characters I was gifted with some very enjoyable times while reading these books. No author taught me more about honor that Robert Jordan. I was sad to learn of his death before he completed this series. The last book was written by another author, using Jordan's notes, and at some point I will re-read the series and see how the final chapter of the story.

3. Terry Goodkind. Goodkind's Sword of Truth series of novels has probably had more influence on me that any other author. I owe him for helping me to find my way to real moral philosophy, for showing me a world that could be, for showing me how life should be lived. His works take place in a fantasy setting, but are heavily influenced by the philosophy of Ayn Rand.

4. Ayn Rand. No other philosopher that I have read has come closer to nailing my understanding of the world. I do not agree with her to a T, so I do not call myself an Objectivist, but I do think that had I had a few years to discuss her philosophy with her maybe we could have changed that. I think I am one of the few people who actually enjoyed reading her novels. The Fountainhead is my favorite of her fictional works, though I believe John Galt's speech in Atlas Shrugged is one of the single best pieces of the written word in existence.

5. Frank Herbert. Frank Herbert is one of the greatest writers to ever put pen to paper. His Dune novels are legendary. The complexity of his works is staggering, but so very enjoyable. I am to this day fascinated by his ability to weave religion, politics, and society together over the span of eons.

6. Anne Rice. To most people Anne Rice is a vampire author. She is, and probably the best one there is. Her descriptive ability is astounding, and while I enjoyed all of her books that I have read it was her erotica that influenced me the most. I was opened up to new ways of looking at sexual encounters, and she helped me admit some truths to myself that have made life a lot easier to live.

7. Robert A. Heinlein. Heinlein is probably my favorite science fiction author. His works are both entertaining and thought provoking. I've found I agree with him far more often than I disagree, and I wouldn't mind exploring the worlds of Lazarus Long. Starship troopers and The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress are must reads for anyone.

8. John Ross. John Ross's book Unintended Consequences took me from being someone who was interested in guns to being a complete and total gun nut. It's a radical work on guns and their place in American society. The novel is parts historical, parts contemporary fiction. It made me dig deeper into gun issues and is probably responsible for the single biggest shift in my thinking from left leaning moderate to hard line libertarian. While not the best written, it would be hard to point to another single book that had more influence on my life.

9. Jaqueline Carey. Ms. Carey's Kushiel series of books appeal to the romantic in me. They are primarily love stories, but with a historical fantasy background inter-meshed with high adventure and intrigue. I'm a sucker for passionate love, with all of it's ups and downs, and even if you can't always get one I'm going to do what I can to get my happy, romantic ending.

10. John Ringo. John Ringo is an author that I just love to read. His novels are entertaining, full of adventure, plenty of realism, and he challenges my beliefs. I like the fact that he takes issue with the practicality of my philosophy. In many respects I have the same criticisms, but just as often I disagree. But it's good to be challenged, and made to think, all while being entertained by bloody action and gallows humor.

There are so many more I could add to this list: David Weber, Tom Clancy, the numerous authors of Star Wars Novels, but those were the ten that stood out in my mind. A year from now that list might be different, as I suspect it might have been a year past.

Options, lines in the sand, resistance.

There is a lot in the blogs lately about playing nicely with the enemy. I find it annoying, at best. There's a lot of 'let's not stoop to their level' bullshit being said. And it IS bullshit. It comes from irrational people who want things to get fixed but don't want to get dirty. Tough, it's a dirty job. Nut up or shut up.

A popular saying in the blogs is 'insanity is repeating the same action over and over and expecting different results.' What the hell do you get when you vote in a national election? More government, less freedom. It has been that way from day fucking one in the United States of America. Admit that, and we can at least start to move forward; if only intellectually.

It's fighting the last war, instead of the current one.

Liberty died in this land a long time ago. There is a failure in focus among those who want liberty. Far to many are so caught up in trying to preserve what is left that they fail to see that the vast majority is already gone.

The government does what it wants. We bitch, moan, beg, even put a different party into office every few years. The result is always the same. The government gets bigger and freedom is slowly strangled, one way or another.

I'm tired of it. A lot of other people are tired of it. Some are so tired of it that they're willing to use the same force against government as that government will use against every one of us to make us comply. Wrong doesn't stop being wrong when it's a government taking a proscribed action rather than an individual.

Every day we put a new set of chains on. Every day they get a little tighter, a little more restrictive, but because they still allow a fair amount of movement we pretend it's not really all that bad. "He loves me and he say's he's going to change, and besides if I leave him he'll kill me," she says while trying to hide the broken arm, which was preceded by the broken jaw, which was preceded by the stitches in the eyebrow, which were preceded by the the knocked out teeth, which were preceded by the black eye, which was preceded by the swollen, red, slapped cheek....

We're spending too much time looking at how bad it could get and hoping it will get better without any sign that it will, rather than waking up to how bad it is.

There is no way that I can think of to hold off the federal leviathan. Violence won't work. They've got a monopoly on the most effective means. Oh, it could cause a lot of problems, but it won't bring about any real change because it'll be a war of attrition in which one side is vastly outnumbered and doesn't have the advantage of being up against an enemy with bigger worries (the British were more worried about losing the rest of their empire to the French than losing the American colonies to independence. Believe it.)

Voting doesn't work, not on a national scale. Elections on the large scale are an exercise in who can look the best, not who actually is the best.

Hell, most people don't even give a damn one way or another. You can rob them of everything so long as you do it slowly. The ol' frog brought to slow boil.

So what to do?

You can always go out lone wolf style in a blaze of violence. That will do nothing but get you condemned by all sides and make any kind of resistance to repression all the more suspect and distrusted by the rest of the herd. I don't recommend this one.

You can 'vote the bastards out.' Yeah, sure you can. As if the GOP or DNC are going to let that happen. You 'vote 'em out' people are as foolish as those who want to go to the guns. You'll cast your votes and get the same thing you always do; whores bought and paid for in a whorehouse that's so out of your price range you couldn't sell everything you own to cover a hand job.

And before you start clinging to your Ron Pauls and Thaddeus McCotters, the guys on your side, don't forget that they make up a small minority in a Congress that operates on a democratic vote. Those who promise the most convincingly, regardless of their ability to deliver, will always get the most votes.

So, again I ask, what to do?

I humbly suggest that those of us who really value liberty start to think small. Let's really do something, as opposed to pretending to do something by making noise and being ignored. Let's pick a state, and take it.

You want to take back the country? You're going to have to start small. There are people from all fifty states who want liberty, who want to do something. Time to grow up and realize that you're not going to get shit if you're only willing to 'do something' where you're most comfortable right now.

There is no 'Free America,' there is only 'Less Repressed America.' You want freedom? Pick a congressional district in one state and find out how many people you'll need to get ANY CANDIDATE YOU CHOOSE elected. Get that many people to move there. Rinse, repeat.

Don't want to? Stop crying about your 'freedom,' then. If you aren't willing to move to fight for it, then you've already lost it. It's not going to be given to you. You can sit on your little hill all by yourself. It'll be stolen from you one shovel full at a time. You'll bitch and moan and vote for the next guy who promises to only take a half shovel full from now on, and lose it all in the end. Sure, there are more of them than you all by yourself, but that wouldn't have been the case if you and ten of your friends has just picked a single damned hill at random an determined to defend it together.

Hell, I'm wasting my damned time. Trying to herd cats. I'm a dog person anyway.

Speaking of my car...

I got it back yesterday, and it is back to it's ugly old self. I'm glad to have my own car back and to not have to rely on my friend's charity anymore to get around.

My total costs, including those of the ineffectual repairs made by Big Ten Tires, came in at around $2,000. That's quite a bit when you are living damned near pay check to pay check due to the indiscretions of your past.

It's going to take a while for me to get back on track. I just ran out of contacts (and lost of one out of my last pair, damn it!) and my prescription is expired, so that is one thing I'll be doing without for a while. I have to get my bills paid up first. That should only take about two weeks. Then I have to get at least two new tires on my car. Actually, I'll probably get used tires. Maybe I can get some factory pull-offs.

So, I think, my car saga has come to an end. For the time being....

Fobus: reputation isn't everything.

On March third I placed an order for a new holster from Fobus. I had it shipped via USPS because its cheaper and not significantly slower than any other service in my experience.

By the seventeenth I still has not received my holster. I checked the status of my order on their website and found that it was 'Pending Fulfillment.' I hit the 'contact support' link on my account page and asked for an explanation. I got a confirmation email that said:

Thank you for contacting First Samco Inc.[Fobus' parent company] Customer Support.

Your request for assistance has been received. Case #********** - "Order #********" has been created for you. A member of our customer care team will respond to your case as soon as possible.

As of today I've heard nothing from them. I sent them another message, this one demanding that they ship the holster and provide me with tracking information or refund my money. I got the same confirmation email that they received the message, and then I went to the main Fobus website and sent another message with the order number asking for an explanation.

Hopefully I'll hear something soon. If not I'll trying calling the number on the Fobus website. If that doesn't get me anywhere I'm going to see what I can do to get my bank involved.

This has really pissed me off, and I'm disappointed that a company with such a great customer service reputation has left me hanging like this. I guess it just goes to show you that reputation isn't everything.

*Edited to add that after digging a little deeper it doesn't look like they charged my debit card, or that the charged was credited to my account. I know shortly after placing the order I checked and had been charged, so this is new. Now I realize that my demand for a refund was a little out of order, but I damn sure would like to know what is happening, especially since my recent financial situation (massive car repairs) have left my account in such a state that if they do ship the damned thing and charge my debit card I'll have to pay a damned fee because I don't have enough cash in my account to cover it. I'm already paying one damned fee because I had to use my overdraft privilege to cover the last bit of my car repairs. Damn it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

If it weren't for bad luck...

It seems my automobile challenges aren't quite finished.

I've been without my car for some time now while I've been having the head gasket replaced. I've got near a thousand dollars tied up in it, after spending a thousand to attempt to get it fixed once before.

After having the heads machined the mechanic doing the work got it all put back together today. It was running fine, but that lasted only a brief time before it dropped a valve.

Considering the number of miles on it, and how much money I already have tied up in it, the mechanic suggested just replacing the one valve rather than having the heads completely reworked (probably another $250 to $300 that I don't have). I don't know how much replacing the one valve will be, but hopefully not too much.

Maybe this will be the end. One way or another it will have to be. I just don't have any more money to put into it.

On top of additional labor cost I doubt I'm going to have all of the money my mechanic is going to be owed. Maybe he'll let me pay the majority and float the rest for a week, or maybe he'll want to keep my car until I have it all. I don't know.

This is a very frustrating situation. I'm out of time, out of money, and I'm not really sure what options I have left. I don't like this.

Worse comes to worse and I may be selling all my guns in order to get a down payment on another car, which will of course come with an interest rate that is outrageous. That of course will mean my debt will increase rather than decrease, and it will be that much longer before I can do anything about it.

I'll survive. I always do. Damn if I know exactly how I will survive, or what standard of living I'm going to have accept to do it, but I will.

"Sir, it's the Enterprise!"

Something good to report for once:

Virgin Galactic announced today that VSS Enterprise has completed her inaugural captive carry flight from Mojave Air and Spaceport.

This very first captive carry was a huge success and both the mothership and spaceship looked absolutely stunning against the blue back drop of the Mojave skies.

Commenting on the historic flight, Burt Rutan said: “This is a momentous day for the Scaled and Virgin Teams. The captive carry flight signifies the start of what we believe will be extremely exciting and successful spaceship flight test program.”

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Galactic added: “Seeing the finished spaceship in December was a major day for us but watching VSS Enterprise fly for the first time really brings home what beautiful, ground-breaking vehicles Burt and his team have developed for us. It comes as no surprise that the flight went so well; the Scaled team is uniquely qualified to bring this important and incredible dream to reality. Today was another major step along that road and a testament to US engineering and innovation.”

The VSS Enterprise test flight programme will continue though 2010 and 2011, progressing from captive carry to independent glide and then powered flight, prior to the start of commercial operations.

Here's to hoping they name one Defiant.

H/T SnarkyBytes

More Census Bullshit.

At first I was annoyed. Now I'm getting pissed.

I do not respond well to threats and intimidation (I am refering to the nice bold statement "Your response to the U.S. Census Bureau is required by law," on the front of this newest waste of tax payer dollars.

Had I not already mailed my census form back in I'd tear it up and play dumb. Too bad. I'll have to settle for sending a nice scathing letter to the Director of the Census Bureau.

And just in case I fail to have the free time to send out random mailing to those who don't care to recieve them,

Dear Director Robert M. Groves, US Census Bureau


In for a grin.

JayG a felt little levity was needed and delivered a good joke.. I figured I'd join in.

The Pope and Nancy Pelosi are on the same stage in front of a huge crowd at Yankee stadium.

The Pope turns to Pelosi and says, "Do you know that with one little wave of my hand I can make this crowd go wild with joy? This joy will not be a momentary display, but will go deep in their hearts and they will remember this day and rejoice."

Pelosi replied, "I seriously doubt that. One little wave of your hand? Show me."

So the Pope backhanded the bitch.

That is courtesy of a FB friend. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Keep your booger hook off the fucking bang switch.

Here's the news story:

DENVER - An Adams County Sheriff's spokesperson says a man was shot at the Tanner Gun Show at the Denver Merchandise Mart Saturday about 2 p.m.

Police have not said whether the shooting was intentional or an accident. The victim was transported to an area hospital. There is no information on his condition. No other details are being released at this time.

Actually, a fair report. I am honestly surprised.

And here is a description from someone I know who was actually there:

So no shit there I was...
At the gun show...I love guns ...I love gun shows... Today there was a mishap at the gun show I was at here in Denver. Someone who was obviously not observing proper gun handling/safety rules fucked up, and someone got shot because of it. So of course this is making top story news on the local networks. Which has lead to some rather disparaging comments on gun owners and guns in general. This pisses me off. Yes everyone has the right to free speech but ya know what...they can all go FUCK themselves. I have some rather traumatic past experiences with guns but you know what... its not the guns its the people. Can we all stop vilianizing guns and start pointing the finger where it belongs? I am a gun owner, I am a law abiding citizen, therefor I do not commit crimes. Lawful citizens do not commit crimes with guns, criminals do and ya know what... MORE gun control isn't going to fucking change that.

A. Im upset that someone was stupid enough not to follow BASIC gun safety rules B. that Someone was Stupid enough to take a loaded gun into an area that specifically states that NO loaded weapons are permitted and C. the BULLSHIT comments the news story is getting online.... FUCK STUPID PEOPLE. The answer isn't more gun control its teaching basic safety and PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Quote of the Day.

Remember when Barack Obama took office and we got out of Afghanistan and Iraq; ended torture; got lobbyists out of Washington; government became transparent; bills wouldn’t be rushed through so he would delay signing them and they would be put on a webpage so we could all see them; there’d be no no-bid contracts; reformed the political appointment process; repealed DADT; and we all had a Coke and a smile and there was peace on Earth? Me neither.

On The Range #12: Light Rifle Practice

Today has been a beautiful day. After work I decided to do a little rifle shooting with my M&P15.

I took it out to about 75 yards and shot 3 slow groups of five just to see how I was grouping at that distance using iron sights. The answer is 'not well,' but all of my shots were on the silhouette target I was shooting at.

After that I decided to do something a little different...a little shooting on the move.

Standing at 75 yards I took two shots, ran about a quarter of the distance to the target and dropped to a kneeling position and took two shots, ran another quarter of the way and dropped to kneeling again for two more shots, ran to about 25 yards from the target and dropped to prone and took two shots, then jumped up and fired the rest of my magazine into the target while moving right at it.

While my shots were pretty spread out I was happy to see that they were all on target:

And just to prove I wasn't just prancing along and taking my sweet time getting into those positions I got this just below my elbow when I dropped to prone:

It doesn't look so bad here, and isn't, but when it was covered in mud it looked a bit worse.

Anyway, after I was done I couldn't help but think how much fun that had been. I'm going to have to do some more shooting like that soon!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

King of the Wild Frontier.

Davy Crockett was one of my childhood heros, and I have Fess Parker to thank for that. I am saddened to learn that he died today at age 85.

I was born far to late to enjoy the coon skin cap craze of the fifties, but as a young boy I loved watching the Disney movies in which Mr. Parker portrayed Davy Crockett. I remember the thrill of the keel boat race against Mike Fink, and I remember feeling sadness coupled with fierce pride as the screen went black as Davy Crockett was overwhelmed by Mexican soldiers at the Alamo.

I guess I owe Fess Parker credit for teaching me that I may not have any choice about going down, but I can damn sure go down swinging.

Veronica Foster.

I need to find a woman like that!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Want, but can't have.

GPS Jammer

The devices pose serious societal risks, and they're unquestionably illegal to buy and use in the United States. The FCC is bullish about pursuing anyone who buys a GPS jammer and will prosecute and jail anyone who uses one.

That is BULLSHIT! I should be able to use a device that can jam GPS around my person (see Amendment IV, United States Constitution).

Sure, bad people can use these to do bad things. So they made them illegal. And bad people use them to do bad things anyway. Sound familiar?


Magpul iPhone case

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rule change in Afghanistan.

NATO forces will be operating under new set of rules when it comes to detaining potential enemies.

WASHINGTON - A controversial policy that gives U.S. forces in Afghanistan four days to question detainees is being changed to give soldiers more time to interrogate the captives, Gen. David Petraeus said Tuesday.

Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee that American troops will now be able to hold detainees for up to 14 days before either releasing them or turning them over to the Afghan government. In some cases, longer detention will be an option, he said.

Currently, U.S. troops have 96 hours to question people picked up in the field before they must either release them or hand them over to Afghan authorities. The rule is designed to give the Afghan government control over detainees and avoid abuses.

The 4 day rule was put in place to protect detainees from abuse...

The result was something else, at least according the US Army.

CNN began examining the 96-hour rule with the case of Roger Hill, a former Army captain who received a general discharge for his role in the questioning of 12 detainees. Those men, including one who was his trusted interpreter, had worked on his base in Afghanistan.

Hill was the U.S. commander in Wardak Province, in eastern Afghanistan, for much of 2008, and said he feared the enemy was tracking his every move. He suspected an inside threat.

"Out of a 90-man company, we had 30 wounded, to include two killed in action," he said. He said his headquarters sent a team to the base to detect possible spies. The team screened cell phone activity to find out which Afghan civilians working on the base were really working for the Taliban - and his interpreter was one of them.

Angry and frustrated that the interpreter might be the one sabotaging missions, Hill detained all 12 men in a small building on the base. That's when the 96-hour rule went into effect.

Hill said the rule does not work, and many times dangerous suspects are released because there's not enough time to gather evidence. As the clock ticked toward the 96-hour NATO deadline, Hill made a decision that would cost him his military career.

"I decided that I needed to break protocol and interrogate them myself," he said. "I took three gentlemen outside, sat them down, walked away, and fired my weapon into the ground three times, hoping that the men inside, left to their own imagination, would think that they really needed to talk."

Hill walked back inside. "And sure enough, some of the detainees started to talk," he said.

What the detainees told him was enough to persuade the Afghans to take all 12 men into custody, including Hill's interpreter. Hill said he felt he had made the correct decision to protect his soldiers, but the Army charged him with detainee abuse, leading to his discharge from the military.

The 12 men were released, despite the confession, according to Army investigators. No one knows where they are now and what's they're doing.

A hundred years ago Hill wouldn't have fired a few shots into the ground to scare some men in another area into thinking he had executed some others to get them to speak. Instead, he would have had all the men brought outside and started shooting them one by one until they started spilling their guts. Hill found a solution to get the information he needed that did not involve bringing any physical harm to the men he had detained. The result was that the Army lost a commander who obviously cared a great deal for his men.

Had I been in a position similar to Hills after he was shit canned, I do believe some prisoners would have been 'shot while attempting escape.'

I'm glad the new rules are going into effect. I hope they do some good.

Apps you'd like to see.

Here are a couple:

Locate all those dangerous congress critters!

And who wouldn't want to an Obama translator to figure out just what the fuck this asshole is saying?

More here.

You bet your ass it's un-Constitutional!

This really fucking pisses me off, but I have no doubt the law will be deemed un-Constitutional as soon as it gets in front of a judge.

GILBERT, Ariz. — The national Alliance Defense Fund says a town code that bars religious assemblies in private homes in the Arizona community of Gilbert is unconstitutional.

The Oasis of Truth church began meeting at Pastor Joe Sutherland's house in November and rotated homes several times a week for Bible study and fellowship.

A Gilbert code compliance officer hit the church with a violation notice after seeing a sign near a road advertising a Sunday service.

A zoning administrator told the church that Bible studies, church leadership meetings and fellowship activities are not permitted in private homes.

The Alliance Defense Fund's Doug Napier says no neighbors complained.

The Scottsdale-based group has filed an appeal with the town of Gilbert, contending its code violates the U.S. Constitution.

The fact that a town actually managed to pass it is just simple disgusting, and I'm a freakin' atheist!

DADT saves the USAF.

Or not. Follow the rules and get canned anyway.

The story I read said her partner had a warrant in another state. They wanted her to leave work and help them find the other woman. She refused. They paid her back.

Just another example of a bad policy being being abused by a lazy government.

One comment mentioned DADT specifically mentions being in a gay marriage, but that just more bad policy especially when it took a local police force to inform the military.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Uncomfortable confession time.

I am lonely and afraid.

Robert's Picks


Expanded Universe by Robert A. Heinlein (good)

Night of Thunder by Stephen Hunter (good)


Street Kings (very good)

NCIS: Season 5 (excellent)

Magnum, P.I.: Season 2 (good)


Romeo Y Julieta Reserve Maduro Churchill (very good)


Killian's Irish Red (decent)

On The Range #11: Light Practice

I haven't been shooting in a month so today I decided to get off my butt and get a little range time. I'm short on funds so I didn't want to do a full on 100 round practice so I shot 50 rounds of .45 out of my Raptor. I would have liked to have done more, but I don't know when I'll be able to replenish my .45 rounds so I'm going to take it easy for a while.

I did a magazine of slow fire, a magazine each of strong hand and weak hand, and then the rest of my shooting was practicing double taps and Mozambique Drills.

I need to do more dry fire practice, especially from the holster. I'm doing okay, but my shots tend to be grouping low, left from point of aim and I think this is a result of jerking the trigger. I noticed I did better when I slow down, but I tend to rush out of the holster.

I think a different holster would help a little on my draw. The current IWB I have is a great cheap holster, but there are better offering. Sadly, funding problems will keep me from purchasing a better one for a while, although I should have a Fobus OWB coming soon.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I'm having kind of a bad night...

Was supposed to hang out with some friends but due to making a stupid assumptions (that was supported by all the evidence I had!) I arrived way too early and ended up going home. Now I kind of feel like shit and don't have anything to do.

Drank a five hour energy about an hour ago and I feel like I could go to sleep right now, which also kind of sucks.

What I'd really like to do right now is drink a few of these:

And smoke one of these:

But considering how I'm feeling right now I really don't think I'd enjoy either one. Haven't felt this way in a while. I think everything that has been going on lately just kind of hit me hard today. This sucks.

What's keeping me awake on the drive to work.

Top ten most played songs on my iPod:

1. "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse
2. "Hate My Life" by Theory of a Deadman
3. "I Don't Care(feat. Adam Gontier)" by Apocolytica
4. "Highway To Hell" by AC/DC
5. "If You Want Blood(You Got It)" by AC/DC
6. "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers
7. "In The Waiting Line" by Zero 7
8. "Bleed It Out" by Linkin Park
9. "Prelude 12/21" by AFI
10. "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival

So there it is. Whatcha listening too?

Inspired by Tam.

"...in my broken down chevrolet."

For some reason this song is ringing pretty true with me lately.

Need to escape a rapist?

Not allowed to own a gun?

Well, then, I have JUST the solution for you: Jump off a cliff!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Never bring a knife to a gunfight...

...unless your knife is a gun!

What three guns?

The classic pick one pistol, one shotgun, and one rifle, all with no modifications. I'm going with stuff right off manufacturers' websites, and I'm going to take the liberty of assuming adding a scope to my rifle won't be considered a modification.

Pistol: Smith&Wesson 1911PD Gunsite Edition. I'm a big fan of 1911s and 8 think the commander size is just about perfect. I like th way the Smith is put together, and I know I could use it and carry it easily.

Shotgun: I'm not a big shotgun guy, but considering this 3 gun limit I'd take a Remington 870 Express Tactical. I prefer a pump action and this one comes off the line pretty sweet. A combination of '00' Buck and slugs will do me well up close and out to some respectable distances with a little practice. And if I'm stuck with just these three I'll practice.

Rifle: Everyone seems to be for the magazine fed carbines here. Not me. I want to be able to reach out and touch somebody (or hoofed rat). My choice is a Remington 700 SPS Varmint in .308. I just realy like that particular set up. Have not been hands on yet. This is, in my opinion, a good rifle for hunting and for use agai st two legged varmints in a real bad SHTF situation. I feel comfortable with the shotgun for use 100 yards and under, and I'm not really comfortable with an AR type further than a 100...at least not one that isn't heavily customized.

So there you go. That's my list. As a lot of others, like Tam and SayUncle, I wouldn't want just one of each type ever unless I had no choice in the matter. I pretty much approached this list as a post apocolytic scenario rather than just a simple 'we'll be without power for a couple a days' scenario.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Gun Cabinet.

Having nothing to do today and not wanting to sit around feeling sorry for myself I decided to use some of the scrap wood I had in my work shop to build a gun cabinet. It's not exactly pretty, and it's certainly not perfect but...

"That'll do pig. That'll do."

I still have to attach the latch. That is going to take a little noggin' exercise. I need to buy a steel cable and padlock to use to secure rifle's and shotguns inside. I'm going to add some shelves as well at some point. I doubt I'll ever paint the ugly thing. Probably just slap some stickers on it. Thinking of maybe stenciling FRONT TOWARDS ENEMY on the front of it just for laughs. We'll see, I guess, won't we?


Teaching is a good thing, especially teaching your own children. It's your job to teach them how to survive and thrive in this world. Today I came across some helpful tips for teaching your child how to live in our wonderful, free society.

On economics:

You can teach your child about our tax system in a way that is easy to grasp and will allow him to understand the benefits. Offer him, say, $10 to mow the lawn. When he has mowed it and asks to be paid, withhold $5 and explain that this is income tax. Give $1 of this to his younger brother, who has done nothing to deserve it, and tell him that this is "fair" because the younger brother 'needs money too'. Also, explain that you need the other $4 yourself to cover the administrative costs of dividing the money and for various other things you need.

Make him place his $5 in a savings account over which you have authority. Explain that if he is ever naughty, you will remove the money from the account without asking him. Also explain how you will be taking most of the interest he earns on that money, without his permission. Mention that if he tries to hide the money, this, in itself, will be evidence of wrongdoing and will result in you automatically taking the money from him.

On justice:

Conduct random searches of his room in the small hours of the morning. Burst in unannounced. Go through all of his drawers and pockets. If he questions this, tell him you are acting on a tip-off from a friend of his who casually mentioned that they had both earned a bit of spare cash last week. If you find it, confiscate all of that money and also take his stereo and television. Tell him you are selling these and keeping the money to compensate you for having to make the raid. Also lock him in his room for a month as further punishment.

On the rule of law:

Make as many rules as possible. Leave the reasons for them obscure. Enforce them arbitrarily. Accuse your child of breaking rules you have never told him about and carefully explain that ignorance of your rules is not an excuse for breaking them. Keep him anxious that he may be violating commands you haven't yet issued. Instill in him the feeling that rules are utterly irrational. This will prepare him for living under our government.


Quote of the Day.

"If you were caught in an act of war while not wearing a uniform, up until recently, it was likely you would be executed."

Read more at Random Acts of Patriotism

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Taking it easy.

I'm taking it easy tonight. I've had a hell of week, worked six days straight, and I've received bad news at every turn when it comes to my car.

So, my plan is to watch some Magnum, P.I. and then some NCIS while having a few beers, starting with Tommy Knocker Oaked Butt Head Bock. It's not bad, but a little too oakey for my taste.

Later I've got an Oliva Connecticut Reserve cigar to smoke and some Sam Adam's Noble Pils to drink. Maybe I'll make a little something to eat too. Not particularly hungry right now.

The car saga.

Had a real mechanic look at my car this afternoon. He was able to confirm that I had a blown head gasket (at the least) in two minutes. In fact, it was so simple a diagnosis that he, and others I've talked to, believe I was screwed by Big 10 Tires where I'd had my intake gaskets replaced (what I'd believed was the original problem).

I'm at the point where I believe they should have been able to diagnose the head gasket problem before assuming it was something else. Considering the problem I described when I first brought my car to them could have been a head gasket I think they should have told me that it was a possibility and that if that was the case it wasn't something they were equipped to handle.

But instead they took my money and did the little they could when they should have known it wouldn't fix my problem. I fully believe this was done out of ignorance rather than maliciousness, but that doesn't change the fact that they took on a job that was over there heads and I'm going to contact someone a little hire up the food chain to complain.

Don't get me wrong. They did the work they said they would. That was A problem, but it was the ONLY problem as they'd led me to believe. I'd have much rather taken my money to someone else and had them do all the work I needed rather than have spent a good deal thinking I was going to get my car fixed when in fact it was like changing an bad electrical outlet in a house with cut wiring. Sure, the electrical outlet needed changing, but it wasn't the problem.

Pure, unadulterated pride.

This monstrosity in homage to a particularly brutal form of execution is going up in my town (sorta...technically I'm outside city limits).

The new megachurch campus of Gardendale First Baptist Church has been taking shape as construction nears completion along the east side of Interstate 65 about 15 miles north of Birmingham.

Not only will it be big, but it also will be like a roadside beacon.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, workers erected a 125-foot-tall stainless steel cross that will be a dominant feature of the $19.7 million campus expected to open in May. Spotlights will shine upward beneath it, illuminating the cross at night.

"You'll see it for miles," said Executive Pastor Mark Harrison.

After a few years of seeing the hypocrisy inherent in southern churches in my teenage years it didn't take me long to to realize that religion just wasn't for me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.

I feel as if I am being dragged down into a deep, dark pit. This fragile existence which I call life has suffered what may prove to be a mortal blow.

Okay, that's a bit melodramatic, but still!

If you've been paying any attention to this at all you'll know I've been having car problems. After having the problem diagnosed I didn't have any idea where I could quickly get my hands on the money to fix it. I was in despair and convinced that I was going to have to sell most or all of my guns in order to afford my car repairs.

Then fate stepped in, in what seemed to be my salvation. My tax return was going to be just enough to cover my mechanic bill. I was elated.

To quote Morpheus, "Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony."

After spending the vast majority of my tax return on vehicle repair my car now runs worse than ever. It is still overheating, a problem which was supposed to be fixed, and it now appears that I have either a blown head gasket or a cracked cylinder head. And, of course, these two problems are out of the scope of the work which this 'mechanic' does.

I am exactly $963.93 poorer and have nothing but a green receipt listing the work done to show for it. And I really don't know if there is anything to do to improve my situation.

A friend knows someone whose husband has offered to look at it and tell me exactly what is wrong for no charge. He is from all tell a retired mechanic. I guess that's what I will be doing tomorrow after work.

At the moment I am on my second 'cool down' stop on my way home. When I will get there I don't know. Since I am working tomorrow I will have to be up very early to make sure I can get to work on time. After work I'll have to limp my car a little further from home to get it looked at once again. Maybe by then I will have some 'good' news, but the way things are going I sincerely doubt it.

I'll overcome this mountain that's been placed before me just like I have all the others so far. It's not going to be fun, and it won't be easy, but what real adventure ever is?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Today's car adventure.

After recieving my tax return by direct deposit yesterday I attempted to take my car into the shop to get it repaired. It was hard to start, but I figured that was just because it was freezing cold, however it failed to start after my third 'cool down' stop. I let it sit for a bit and tried again. Nothing. It didn't seem like a dead battery but I had no way to test it and NO TIME.

I had it towed to the mechanic shop and it turns out my battery was bad. So, with the towing charge that added a hundred and fifty bucks to my repair expenses. I guess it could have been worse, but that doesn't take away from the intrinsic suck of the situation.

I'd much rather be spending a thousand dollars on a new gun, but I can't ride a new gun to work. More's the pity.

The repairs should be finished by tomorrow. Maybe today if I'm lucky, but I doubt it the way things have gone so far.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Holsters, holsters, holsters.

Unlike most people, when it becomes obvious to me that I probably won't be using a holster much anymore I throw it up on to see if I can make a little money on it. I've sold two Galco OWB holsters that way that I paid a pretty penny for. I just didn't use them that much. I like my IWB holsters.

However, I do on occasion like OWB carry, especially when I'm just farting around on my property so I decided I'd like to have one for each of my 1911 pistols. Looking around on the internets the best of the cheap holsters seem to be Fobus holsters.

I've a had a Fobus double mag holder for a while and I'm pretty pleased with it. There are times when it can get uncomfortable, but I've found this is usually a result of the way I am sitting or the fact that I am also carrying IWB as well.

I want to give these holsters a try, and for under $30 each I can afford too. I'll be placing an order soon.