Sunday, July 31, 2016

Apropos of Nothing

I was going through some old photos today. They are scattered  around the place. Some in boxes in the barn, some in old photo albums here and there in the house.

I figure that the paper pictures will eventually be discarded, but the digital ones should stay on here for the kids.

The rifle range at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina in the summer of 1979. All Marines had to qualify with the rifle once a year, no matter what their MOS (military occupational speciality.)  Camp Lejeune maintained the ranges used by the main base, by New River Air Station, and by Camp Geiger.

It was always hot and humid, and there was a lot of pressure. Competition among shooters to qualify as "Expert" was intense. It may give you some idea just how intense, to know that the badge for "Marksman", the lowest passing qualification, was universally known as the "toilet seat."

 The rifle is the M16A1.  It was a good rifle, with none of the frills they have today. But it was the precursor to all the fancy versions. I actually liked the M14 better. When I went through OCS in 1973, the M16A1 was general issue in the fleet, but the M14 was still issued at OCS (officer candidate school.)

There may have been carbine style M16's in use in the late 70's, but I never saw one.  Officers and crew served weapons Marines carried the Colt M1911A1 pistol.

Infantry officers often carried the rifle as well as the pistol, since not having the rifle on the battlefield indicated to the opposition that you might be someone worth shooting.

Every Marine in those days was trained as a rifleman. Even the women qualified on the range, although they were not allowed in combat billets back then. However, there was always the possibility of being overrun, and then it's all hands to the pumps.

The range lasted two weeks. The first week was just snapping in and getting "the dope" on your rifle. That means zeroing in the weapon.  To "zero " you fire a shot, adjust your sights, and repeat the process. When you are in the black, you have the dope for that rifle, for that range. You have a little book called a "range book" that you use to record your shots and your "dope."  You have different sight settings for the 100, 200 and 500 yard targets.  You shoot standing, sitting, kneeling and prone. In my day, only the Marine Corps trained all hands to fire out to 500 yards. The next week was shooting for qualification. You usually had to be at the range by 0600 in the morning. Shooting was over by noon.  Then you went back and did your normal job. The work load did not decrease, so you stayed late, which made getting up early even harder.  But that was the way it worked. I have no idea how they do it these days.

This is Camp Foster, Okinawa in Feb of 1981.   We were about to go over to the Air Station, and be lifted by C-130 to the Korean AFB in Yechon.

Yechon was a purely Korean AFB.  No permanent U.S. personnel.  We deployed for a two month exercise, and lived in a tent city.  If you have never had the experience, you don't know what you are missing. Nor would you want to.

Yechon was bitterly cold.  No one could ever get warm, even though each tent had a diesel burning stove. It smoked a lot and turned the inside of your nose black. All night, "fire watches" walked up and down the streets of the tent city, because every other week or so, one of the stove pipes would overheat and burn down the tent. You couldn't put the tent out if it got started burning, but the fire watch could wake up the people inside and sound the alarm so it didn't spread to the tents on either side.

The stoves sooted up, so they had to be cleaned about every third day. This fell to the lot of the lowest on the totem pole. I can't remember the name of the blond WM (woman Marine) on the left, but she was a nice young lady. She married the Sergeant who is helping her clean the stove. He ran the risk of being reprimanded for doing that kind of work, but everyone knew he was "interested" in her and nobody rebuked him.  Good thing for him the Wing Sergeant Major didn't pass by.

When I was a new Second Lieutenant, at New River waiting to go to Pensacola, I was told to take a detail out and set some tents up. There was a Corporal to actually run everything.  When the men were unloading the trucks, I was embarrassed to just stand there like God Almighty with my arms folded, and I started helping unload. The Corporal told me that was not a good idea.  I told him I would just help with the one  truck. But before I finished, the Squadron Sergeant Major came up in his jeep with his driver.

He explained to me why that was not satisfactory.  Then the Sergeant Major started to go after the Corporal for letting me do this. The Corporal said nothing but I told the Sergeant Major the Corporal had asked me to stop.  So the Sergeant Major told me that the reason the Corporal was there was that he knew what he was doing and I should listen to him.  The implication was both clear, and true. Forty some years later, my ears still turn red when I even think about it. But you find me a person who was a Second Lieutenant and never "stepped on his crank" and I'll show you a liar. It takes you a solid year, with good NCO's to become a good officer. Some people never do.

All of the vehicles in this picture are long since museum pieces, there were none of the vehicles they use today. But the old M151 jeep was a nice machine, and the "Gamma Goat" on the left would get you where you wanted to go.

Two friends of mine.  On the left is a WM Captain, Gloria Moyer.  On the  right is a Warrant Officer, Frank Foster.  After I left Okinawa I never ran into either of them again, but that's how the military is.

Awards ceremony in the mud and sleet at Yechon.  Life went on just like you were back at your garrison. It just wasn't as comfortable. I was in Korea in winter, and summer.  Winter was cold and the wind cut right through you. Summer everything smelled like feces, because back then the Koreans put "night soil" on all their fields.

The main thing I remember about tent city in Korea is that I was hungry a lot of the time. In the Marine Corps, officers don't eat until all the enlisted men and women have eaten. Since the cooks are reprimanded for wasting food, they always erred on the side of caution when it came to how much to make. If everybody showed up for meals, and if there were transients eating in the mess  tents ( like air crew, convoy personnel, etc) then the people who ate last got smaller and smaller amounts of food as the cooks stretched what they had. I wasn't married then so I only got packages from home when my mom sent them. On the other hand, there were 10 of us in a GP tent, so somebody got a package from their wife, or mom, or girl friend about every other day.  Everybody shared, so you could get something to eat that way. 

That's the God's Truth. The Air Force and Navy had wonderful food.

Well, no thought for the day. I have enough thoughts by looking at these old pictures. Sorry they aren't really relevant, but as I say I'm trying to have some family history here for my kids once in a while.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

This is why you need multiple scanners.

I'm sure most people know this, but on the off chance someone doesn't, a "scanner" is a vhf/uhf radio that runs through programmed frequencies.
When it detects a transmission, it stops and lets you listen in.

I use scanners to keep up to speed with what's going on in this county.  I listen to the forest service, the sheriffs department, fire and rescue, and several others.

I always have a dedicated scanner for law enforcement, and another for fire and rescue. Usually, the other frequencies are pretty quiet so I have one scanner that does roll through those for me.


All of my scanner equipment is quite old.  Some of it dates back to the mid eighties. But it works beautifully.  If you live in a city, this equipment would not be of much use to you. Most government agencies now used "trunked" systems , which are much more complex. In urban areas, the police transmissions are often encrypted as well.  Out here, with terrain masking and repeaters, encryption isn't really a viable option, so the transmissions are "in the clear."

One of my scanners is so old, it uses crystals.  That means, you have to buy a little crystal plug in for each channel you want to listen to. I don't know if you can even get the crystals anymore. But the old scanner that uses them is my most reliable. It will pull the signals in when the others are being broken up by static.

It may seem common sense that if you  have a scanner that will cover 200 frequencies, you would not need any others. However, I had an example today of why you need dedicated radios.

I was sitting in my easy chair in the living room. The cats were asleep. The ferrets were asleep. I had the curtains open on one window, the one that looks out into the mountains over the forest. The others were all drawn, and I was half asleep.

Then I heard the county emergency dispatch come on the air, and they were talking about the dirt county road I use to get to my jeep trail.  I had never had that happen before.  Dispatch was sending two Sheriff's deputies, a fire and rescue truck and an ambulance out there. Listening to her give directions over the air, I realized they were going right to the curve where I turn off the forest service road.

Nobody lives down there. But, the road makes a steep turn, and if you drive too far to the left (it's one lane) you'll go over the cliff and down into a ravine with a big creek in it.  I put those reflectors on poles along that turn because it's so dangerous. People would, from time to time, steal them and I would replace them.

Turns out, some fellow out "exploring" went too far onto the shoulder, over the cliff, and got hung up on some trees. Couldn't get out of the car. He called 911, and how he got a signal from down in that hole is beyond me. He must live right.

So, I listened to all the traffic to and from the fire and rescue, sheriff's department, and dispatch. Sometimes they were all talking at once, but if you have done some flying in your life, especially military flying, you get used to picking out what you want to hear from radio pandemonium. If I had had only one scanner, I could only have listened to one transmission at a time. While the scanner locked on the fire and rescue, I couldn't have heard the Sheriff's deputies. This way, I could listen to all of them at once.

I hope the wrecker didn't back into my gate and smash it up when he tried to pull the guy out. I quit listening once I knew they had him out of the vehicle. Just because you have a new jeep does not mean you ought to be out driving on old broken down back roads you know nothing about.  If he hadn't gotten a cell signal, he'd probably not have been found until I went out to check the mail on Monday. Would have made for a long wait.

Must have been nice in the old times!

Thought for the Day:

Friday, July 29, 2016

Moving Right Along.

A word of warning. This post pulls up ok on my computer, but when I pulled it up on my Kindle, (android operating system) it was totally messed up. Pieces of old posts all mixed in with this new one. I have no idea why. As far as I know, it's never happened before.

 The Democrats have had their street circus. Now maybe every time I turn on the news, it won't be a round table discussion of how wonderful Hillary is.

I can't figure out why the news channels feel that anyone cares what their "experts" have to say. I never heard of those people before, and I'll never hear from them again. What does it matter what Joe Shit the Ragman from the Bakersfield Illegal Immigrant Exaltation Foundation thinks?

I watched some of the Democratic Convention.  It was fairly bizarre. As were the attendees. On the final day, Bernie Limp Member's erstwhile supporters decided to stage a "fart in." I'm not making this up. There was a segment on Fox poking fun at them for it. The idea was that everyone would eat copious quantities of pork and beans before Hillary gave her acceptance speech, and then on cue they would all pass gas.

I've always said liberals stink, but I never meant it literally before today.

I have been having a hell of a time adjusting the coverage zone of the new security equipment I installed. If you live in the woods, you have to make sure the scanning zone of these things does not reach down to the ground. If you don't, ever time a squirrel, wandering chicken, raccoon, possum, rabbit or other small animal goes by the alert goes off in the house. It's pretty much a matter of hit and miss, so it takes a while to get it right. If a human or a bear comes through, I want the system to alert me. If a bunch of wild hogs are going by, I don't particularly want to know, especially at three in the morning.

A decent security system is built of a number of components.

Ranked in order, I'd say a good weapon and one or more good dogs is the bare minimum.

Then physical barriers are helpful. But you have to remember the old adage used by Combat Engineers. An obstacle not covered by fire is no obstacle. What they mean is that my gate, solid steel bars and concrete notwithstanding, won't keep anyone out that really want's in because it's not within range of rifle fire from my house. It can be defeated, given time and the proper equipment. My gate keeps out the stupid and curious, and it tells me that anyone coming up that trail knowingly circumvented the gate and I am free to act accordingly.

The electronic equipment is the hardest to maintain, the most expensive, and the least reliable. I used to have an electric fence around all the buildings, but it was impossible to keep it running. Every storm knocked it out.  My early warning systems take a real beating from the climate here. Only the military grade systems last any time, and they are almost impossible to get now. At the very least, you have to be able to adjust the coverage area and the sensitivity of the gear. If not, every time a mouse comes by it goes off, and when it snows the snow sets it off.

Here's a news video from the Atlanta news yesterday.  This guy could have cut them up. They got off lucky.

Thought for the Day:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

White People to the Back! Updated Thursday 0400.

Today in Roswell, Georgia the politically correct police chief fired an officer who had been on the force for more than 20 years.  He did so because a black "preacher" (if you live here you know the type exactly), made a complaint about an officer flying a Confederate Flag at her home. 

The news carried the story, replete with the "preacher" exulting over the firing. He said she was fired because that flag has been appropriated by racists and haters. Well, then let's fire every Roswell police officer who has an American flag flying as well at their home. Same rationale.

What business is it of this sanctimonious little prig what she does on her own property?  The whole thing sickens me. That's why you need to stay out of cities in Georgia. They are run by the left wing, and it's special protected ethnic groups. You run afoul of them and you are going to get short shrift. Better to stay out in the countryside where common sense still prevails.

Unbelievable.    Link to story.  There are similar stories all over the New York papers. Must be a slow news day up there.

Trump said at a news conference today that he hopes the Russians find the missing 31,000 emails from Hillary's server. So do I, as a matter of fact. But on every news channel this evening they are saying that Trump intentionally invited the Russians to interfere in the election by saying this.

Some tart from the press got her 15 seconds of fame by having a little hysterical episode over him saying that during the press conference. It just spread from there.  And we are still at the point where the only thing indicating any Russian connection to the embarrassing email leaks are the "unidentified government officials" and "unnamed security" sources. It boggles the mind.

"The British in 1942 did not expect the Japanese to invade Singapore because they reckoned that the Malayan jungle protected them from an attack from the north. If an attack came they were sure it would be by sea—so the big guns were all pointing south. It was inconceivable to British military planners that the island could be attacked any other way—least of all, through the jungle and mangrove swamps of the Malay Peninsula"

In setting up the security for this place, I have always relied on the density of the forest to keep me from having unwelcome visitors. I have taken security measures along the jeep trail, which is really the only practical way of finding this place short of an unlikely air assault by helicopters into the meadow. I don't worry much about that eventuality.

But I have always been uneasy about my assumption that no one can get through the woods.  I'm not talking about professional soldiers here, I'm thinking of the kind of intruders I might find myself dealing with in "the real world." There are the bandits,  who rob homes all across North Georgia  for things to sell at the Hispanic flea market in Pendergrass, Georgia. There are the dope dealers who use the national forest for transacting their business. There are the random criminals who sometimes frequent this county. In the event of social disorders there might be other types of problem children.

 The slope coming up  the mountain from the old forest service road is worrisome. The brush and the trees are so thick, someone would have to push their way through and be heard a mile away in doing so. In some places it isn't physically possible to do so because of mountain laurel thickets.  Then they would have to find the place in this dense forest, and that would be a good trick.  Even if they had GPS and knew my coordinates, try getting from point A to point B using a GPS on steep, heavily wooded terrain sometime.

Even so, it's a potential problem. I put two electronic security systems out along that axis of approach today.  Expensive, time consuming, and a real pain because you have to deconflict systems for frequency interference. But it's done now, and I am that much more secure up here.

That's about all I accomplished today, but it's enough.

Thought for the Day:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Blogger is acting up again.

Blogger is giving me trouble with comments. I had to do a cut and paste from the dashboard comment file to get one comment on the blog even though it shows as posting.  Just an admin note.

The political shenanigans have become so bizarre I'm having trouble following up on all of it.

The Democrats, in 65 speeches yesterday, did not mention ISIS once. They are trying to refute Trumps allegations about the dangers facing America by ignoring them. Taking a play out of Obama's play book, as it were. As Twshooz and some other people mentioned, it doesn't matter who released the emails from the DNC, as long as they were released. All this hoopla about the Russians is a smoke screen to divert attention from the content of the emails. So much for that.

The latest ISIS attack in France, in which an elderly priest had his throat cut in his own church, and hostages were harmed before the police could kill the terrorists, has gotten a 14 word line on the ticker at the bottom of the screen. It does't go well with what the Dems are selling, i.e. that we are all worried about nothing and Trump's warnings are just an attempt to manipulate the masses. I am amazed at the control the Dems exercise over MSM, even after years of experiencing it. I am also amazed at the naivety and ignorance of current events the rank and file of the Democratic party evidence on a daily basis.

As for events here, far less frenetic than in Philadelphia.  I left my gas cap on the pump at a gas station in Chattanooga, so I had to go into town this morning and get a new one.  Never go into an auto parts store in the South unless you have a couple of hours to spare. It's worse than the barbershop.

The parts store is where the old guys go to hang out when it's too hot to sit on the town square. Some old geezer about 85 or so was in there picking up a tractor part. He had to tell the whole life story of his tractor. Then how the  aforenamed part broke.   How hard it was to get off. How they ordered the wrong part the first time. All about how important it is to keep the box when you order parts...and on, and on, and on.  There was only one clerk. The number of people waiting to be helped grew longer, and longer. But no one said one thing. First, it's considered the privilege of the elderly (this guy was 85 if a day) to babble on and on. Second, it's rude to suggest that you might have something else to do today, despite the riveting story he's telling. Third, you don't know whose grandpa this old man might be, It's unwise to offend people you don't know in the South. Extended families can be murder, quite literally.

Finally he shut up and meandered out of the shop. I bet I was in there half an hour, at least, and it took me 3 minutes to pay the for the gas cap. I called ahead and it was sitting there on the counter waiting for me.

ANY WAY.....

I'm still running low on steam, so I am going to read some blogs and then take a nap.

Every so often I reprint this letter from my little brother. He lives inland, in Oregon, where he went to University on the Navy Nickel like his two brothers. But he has a house on the beach along the coast.

They had a tsunami event some years back, and it did not go well. Here's his description. I repost it for anyone who hasn't seen it before.

 original  posted on the old Hermanos blog Friday, March 11, 2011. 

Today was surreal, and I will try to describe it as best I can because I know you guys are going to love the story. I should start by letting you know it's all good here, people got killed down the coast a ways, but we didn't and are back home now. No damage was done and we are no worse for wear.
For me it started at about 5:30, more or less, when my cell phone went off, later determined to be RXXX calling in a warning. I had been hearing sirens going off in my subconscious, but had blown them off. When I saw I had a message from   RXXX I knew it was bad news, I just figured somebody else had died. Once I heard the message, I sprung into action. I looked outside and people were running in and out of their houses in pajamas throwing shit into their cars. I saw a black man dragging three small dogs into a car, shrieking "hurry hurry!" Police cars and fire trucks were going up and down out street blaring out muffled warnings, something about a tsunami, and evacuate immediately. It was total chaos. Then my neighbor lady calls me on my cellphone and shouts, "What should I do, what should I do?!!" I said, and I quote, "Hell Katie you've lived here your whole damn life, and I got here in September, how the hell should I know? But if I was you I would get out!" She did.
I ran and woke Jenny up, yelled there is a tsunami coming and we have to get out, pack some stuff. She said, "What stuff?". I was forced to reply, "I don't know, so food and shit". It was a bad scene, nobody knew exactly what to take, so we ended up taking the following, and I know this because when we got home I looked.
  - pajamas and a blanket- a pack of macaroni and cheese- my shaving kit and two pairs of drawers- Jenny brought her jewelry box- a hair dryer, hair products, make up - a bag of important family photos and our check book.- Beretta 92F and one full magazine
T.J. was in charge of food, no shit, and on his own he filled a bucket with 5 granola bars, two cans of coke, and a bag of baby carrots. This is the sum total of what we fled with. I left the cats to fend for themselves.
We joined the stampede to Hwy 101 intent on heading east to Corvallis. When we reached 101, it was like rush hour traffic. The first thing I saw was a full sized pickup hauling a huge travel trailer make a crazy left turn through the intersection dragging his safety chain causing sparks to fly behind him. He had no tail lights. The Shell station on the corner was lined with cars to the street, all directions, probably 50 vehicles, parked all different angles and directions. Two grown men were in a fistfight in front a gas pump. I heard a cacophony of horns and yelling. We surged into the steaming masses and were swept into the line of vehicles, which soon came to a crashing halt in a bumper to bumper mass traffic jam. One asshole couldn't wait, and fishtailed into the gravel on the shoulder and tried to pass the crowd on the right for high ground. He got by me but somebody else was having none of it and blocked his path with his vehicle. At that point I realized that getting out of town, on the one and only road out, was not going to happen. I made a tactical decision to head for my friend Jeff's house, he lives high on a hill above the bay. I know the town well enough that I took a back road, and arrived there shortly thereafter. The police and fire trucks continued to blare out muffled warnings. Lot's of cars were on the roads.
Once at Jeff's, we had a tsunami party, he has a perfect view of the bay and ocean from his front window, and he has a big telescope. Jeff made pancakes and sausage, Mimosa's, and coffee. We just sat there and ate and waited for the big one. It never came.
Then, at about 8:30, my mailman buddy who is also a volunteer fireman, calls and says the tsunami hit and he's boogie boarded on bigger waves than that. Then he says, they're cutting half of us loose from the fire department, "Dude, let's go crabbing, we'll have the whole bay to ourselves!" I said, "Right on, Jenny has to go to work anyway." So I loaded up the family and went home. We drove down by the state park and saw a bunch of people standing there looking out to sea, waiting for the big one. Everything was mellow on my street. Jenny went to work, I took T.J. to school, and then met my buddy at the boat ramp with my boat. It was awesome, we had all the great spots to ourselves, and shared a 6 pack of beer. There was nobody else crabbing, so we cleaned up. He did have his fireman radio with him though, so if another wave came our plan was to firewall my boat away from the wave, catch the crest, and ride it all the way up the river to Corvallis. I figured if I died out there, I would become family legend, "Yeah old Unkie Txxx died in Newport crabbing during a tsunami." There are a lot worse ways to go.

Things are back to normal now, and no harm, but I did learn a huge lesson today. That lesson is this: Bad shit can happen, and happen really fast, and you better believe it can happen and be prepared to deal with it when it does. I was woefully unprepared, (as was everybody else from what I saw) and it could have cost me. Jenny and I both realize just how poorly we were prepared, so now are going to take the steps needed to make that right. To conclude, I have to say, today was like something you see in a movie, it was unbelievable how fast things degenerated and it became every man for himself faster than you can imagine. I was lucky, it could have gotten really ugly.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Worn down to the nub.

This will be a short post. I was gone most of the day, and it was a tiring one. I went to Chattanooga to pick up a ferret that a friend told me he knew of.  The young person who was taking care of "Sir Percival" or "Percy" for short, could no longer do so and was trying to place him in a forever home. I was glad to get him.

So I drove over there, picked him, and we came home. The heat was terrible. I was worried that it was so hot the air conditioning might give out, and ferrets can't live in those temperatures. I had emergency plans in my mind, like getting a motel room and then leaving after dark this evening when it cooled down, but all went well.

I don't have a picture of Percy yet but will post one soon. He is getting alone fine with Spike,
and with the cats. He likes the house and seems to enjoy not having to be in a cage sometimes. He is fitting right in. He uses the cats potty box, which is strange in a way, but the cats don't seem to mind.

art by Stef

 I'm really glad to have him, and Spike is glad he's here.

I appreciate the friend who helped set this up.

Percy is young and strong. Most of my ferrets are either old, sick , or both when they come to me. It's been a long time since I had a young healthy one.

Percy about wore Spike out "dooking" and doing a war dance. Eventually Spike ran out of steam, and went back in the snuggy bag. But the kittens and Percy played until even the kittens were worn out.

Tomorrow I am not going anywhere, unless I make a short run into town.  Chattanooga is two hours over and two hours back, and that's about enough traveling for me, especially in this horrendous heat.

What with all this nonsense about the Russian security services hacking into the DNC files to help Trump win the election, CC said something in a comment that reminded me of this scene. Seem sto fit the bill.

There's a lot to say about events going on now, in Germany, here, and in Japan. But Bernie the Fire Brand is going to speak in a few minutes, and I want to watch that. I hope his minions refuse to obey his "bow down to Hillary" speech.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

What a day for news. Seriously , you couldn't make this stuff up.

The Democrats are still hammering away at Trumps warnings, saying that all is light and rainbows, and there is no call for people to be anxious. I think they should adopt this song as their convention theme music.


In the meantime,  the Iranian shooter in Munich, Ali Sonboly, has everyone perplexed. Why would a Moslem just go off and kill Germans. Only white Germans, as far as I can tell.  The press was attributing the shootings to "Nazi's" but that didn't pan out too well for them. Turns out the guy used a Glock 17.  It's virtually impossible for a German to buy a Glock 17 legally, and it's totally impossible for a 19 year old to do so.  But this character got one.  Kind of goes along with the thought that banning guns disarms law abiding people, but doesn't inconvenience bad guys who want one, overly much.

Today in Reutlingen, Germany, a Syrian refugee attacked people on the street with a machete. He carved up three people, one of whom, a young pregnant woman, died. The German police are not calling this a terror attack either.  Of course, if they did call either of these Islamic Terror, it would not go down well with Merkel. Got to cover your rear if you work for the government, so you do what you're told.

Here in the U.S., it's "guns" not Islamic Terrorism.  In Germany, it's "the Nazi's."  The French are about the only people willing to call a spade a spade.

What about those evil Russians! Can you believe they hacked into the Democratic National Party headquarters and then planted a bunch of emails making it look like the DNC was doing all it could to stab Sanders in the back, and get the nomination for Hillary!   Then they leaked the fake messages so Hillary would look bad!  My God, the insidious devils!

Well, at least that is what the Democratics Big Wheels are saying. ABC , one of the most left wing of the MSM and a big fan of Hillary's, is apparently not buying it. When they did the story, both the host and the special reporter started laughing right there on the screen. The special reporter said that there was not one shred of evidence to back up "their story" which I found an interesting choice of words.

It's clearly B.S.   Everybody knew that was going on, but it was fun hearing some of the particulars. Like the plan to plant a correspondent in a news conference who would ask Sanders if he was an atheist. The DNC official writing that one "sensed" that Sanders was not a "real Jew" and should be outed as an atheist.

But lets blame the Russians anyway. That's what our government has been doing every time it needs to distract people in this country from some new screw up or faux pau.

In the category of problems that "just happened" this heat wave is rough.

Couldn't take Spike out at all today. Ferrets can be killed by excessive heat , they have no tolerance for it. To tell the truth, I didn't go out much either. But watching the news, across the country things are really tough.  Thousands of people are out of power in New York, while the city is roasting them with the urban heat plume. In the west horrific fires are burning in several states , People are losing their homes, and the news says some of them didn't bail out soon enough and got burnt alive. The fire people already found one vehicle that didn't make it and expect more.

After much travail, I got my can of 5.56 I ordered this week delivered, it came yesterday. I met the FED EX guy down by the mailboxes. Since we have no one to maintain the "county road" it has gone to hell. The old guy who used to do it with his tractor is no more.  I doubt the FED EX truck could have gotten up even the first climb, let alone to my gate. I don't want those guys to start gaffing off my deliveries because it's such a problem getting to my place., It has already happened once. So I am meeting them down on the hard surface road now.

I took 44 rounds and was going to put them through my two AR-15's today. But it was just too hot, even under the trees. Another time. All this ammo is reloadable so it's not so bad to fire some of it, just to make sure everything is "Ichiban". 一番

So that's it. Nothing else to report from the mountains.

Thought for  the Day:

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A man with no class and no clue.

What planet has this man been living on for the last eight years?  Certainly not the same one I have.

Next time I go to Chattanooga I'll invite him to take a ride down Gun Barrel Road with me. He clearly needs to get off the golf course and smell the roses out in the real world.

The German political establishment is searching for a "motive" behind the Iranian shooters attack in Munich. Wonder what it could be?  They say he had no known associations with Islamic terrorists. Not the first time we've heard that, is it.

Green Forest by P.E. Travers

My ammo from Sportsman's Guide is supposed to be delivered today.  FEDEX has started sending drivers out here that are always different, and the last time I had ammo coming in, it was a problem. Instead of leaving it at the gate, the driver took it back to Cleveland, TN and left me a "notice of failed delivery". So this morning I got up at 0600, and drove down to the gate. I left it open and they will just have to come up here. Too bad for them.  Not so easy to get up the mountain when the road is all wet and slick, and very difficult to turn one of their trucks around.  The last guy who tried that knocked his outside mirror off the truck.  Really misty and wet here today, I doubt I'll be going outside much.

Thought for the Day:

Friday, July 22, 2016

This is getting to be routine.

I went in to make a sandwich, and turned on the news.  There has been a shooting attack on a mall in Munich, Germany. It's the second Islamist terror attack in Germany this week.  All the news is saying is that the shooter/shooters got away, and there are multiple dead among the civilians who were in the mall.

It's always possible this was not Islamic Terror, as the news shows here are bending over backwards to stress. But I'd give them 10 to 1 odds on it.

Makes me wonder who would vote for Hillary Clinton. She won't do any more than Obama to keep us secure here, which amounts to zilch.

No, it's more than that, Obama has made our situation worse. Hillary promises to follow in his footsteps.

Ave Caesar ! Morituri te Salutant!

I want to believe!

I stayed up last night and watched the speeches at the Republican convention. There was a black preacher who gave a really good speech. I think his name was Burns. The rest of the speeches leading up  the main event were fairly good. Trumps daughter ,  Ivanka, gave a good speech and introduction for her father.

Trumps speech was excellent. He hit on a lot of things, but these stuck in my mind:

  • Rebuild the military, which has withered away to nearly 1940 numbers. Right now the Marine Corps is scavenging parts for the F-18 fleet from the boneyard in Arizona, and 75 percent of the F-18 aircraft in the Marine Corps air wings are down for maintenance. Obama and his crowd did this.
  • Restore Law and Order. Trump isn't going to tolerate or encourage riots in the streets and he isn't going to pay lip service to law enforcement and do nothing else, as Obama does.
  • Secure the borders. No one can stop illegal immigration completely, but he will try. Obama has aided and abetted illegal immigration as part of his social engineering project.
  • Destroy ISIS.  Obama largely created the conditions that gave rise to this world wide terror network. His efforts to combat it, such as they are, are pathetic. Trump will take a more proactive stance.
  • Make NATO pay it's fair share. We have a 14 trillion dollar deficit and we are still paying Germany for basing and transit rights? What the hell? That kind of thing has to stop.
  • Trump thanked the NRA for it's endorsement and promised to support the Second Amendment. Unlike Obama, who promised the same thing and lied, Trump will keep his promise.
  • Safety for the American citizen in this country.  Obama blows smoke and wants to keep importing potential Moslem terrorists. Trump says "no more" until they can be adequate vetted. He mentioned Hillary's stated goal of increasing immigrants from Syria by 500% on top of the quotas Obama has been sneaking  through on the sly.
  • Jobs. Trump says he will put people back to work. I believe him. At least he can come at the problem from a real world standpoint, and not the Cloud Coo Coo land perspective of the Democrats, most of whom have never held a working class job.

He said we no longer have time for political correctness. You can tell he's not a career politician, and that is one of the things I really like best about the man.

There was a lot more, and I'm sure I've forgotten things, but the speech ran an hour and fifteen minutes.

I still think it is a very uphill battle. This morning the MSM is ranting and raving against Trump. They are really shaken by the way the convention went off. The liberal talking heads  are also almost deranged over the suggestion that independents (which I guess I am now) and some middle of the road Democrats will vote for Trump.

But I feel better. I liked the speech. I liked the reaction of the thousands in the arena, because it made me realize that my concerns are shared by more people than I thought.  Maybe there is hope after all.
Can one man change all those things, fix all those problems? No.  But Trump is willing to try. Clinton wants to keep doing more of what Obama has done, on a vastly larger scale.

As for the Republican Big Wigs who stayed home and pouted because the common people chose a candidate that wasn't one of the club, well, you know what they say about people who can't take a joke.

On the home front, too hot to walk at the lake yesterday.  Worked out on the elliptical but I hate the thing. I don't think I will use it anymore as one of the kittens got behind the piston and almost got squashed. 

Spike and I went out at dawn to walk.  He walked towards the edge of the meadow, stopping here and there to roll, or stretch in the grass. I just trundled along behind him. When we got near the treeline, I tried to pick him up. He looked at me. I looked at him. I knew instantly what was about to happen. He took off like a bat out of hell, trying to get into the forest. If he ever gets in those woods I'll never catch him. Just before he got out of the grass I managed to get him, but he tried to escape and accidentally gave me a good scratch on the arm. Time to clip his claws again. Can't say I blame him, the woods would be heaven for a ferret. Until he got eaten by a bobcat, or a red wolf, or a hawk, or a coyote, or an owl, or just starved to death. My wife never  takes him out without his harness. It's like a T-10 parachute rig attached to a leash.  M doesn't want to be running through the meadow after a fleeing Spike.

There's some good news on the ferret front.

With any luck, another ferret will be coming to join us up here on the mountain this weekend. We are trying to coordinate the logistics of picking him up in Chattanooga.  Ferrets really need other ferrets. A friend from South Carolina recently planned to pick up a ferret while he was on a business trip , and then we were going to meet half way between his place and mine, and I was going to bring the ferret home. But the lady who said she needed a home for Panda, in reality wanted money for him and wasn't willing to accept that I would send her a check.. But it's ok, since she was taking care of him and wasn't going to dump him off. She just wanted cash. I'd have paid, but she wouldn't give the ferret to my friend without cash up front. Some people are hard to understand.

Once I had seven ferrets, but as the years passed, one by one they went to "The Rainbow Bridge."

I remember and miss them all.  They were great friends.  They have a place to rest up in the corner of the meadow, with a nice view and a pine tree over them. They have cairns made of quartz stones. Everybody gets some coins, some of their favorite toys, some sparklies, and some food in little pots, as well as a soft cloth to sleep on. The dirt can't get to them. 

What's the point of being an eccentric recluse if you can't take care of your pals? And nobody knows what happens after you die.

* all the artwork on this page is done by my friend Stef. She lets me use her paintings and drawing, for which I am grateful.

Ferret Art by Stef

Link to her page.