Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A little rain

We had a little rain.  Not much.  Just overnight, steady showers. It was welcome, but not a lot of help with the drought. I don't know about the fires. I can't smell them outside but I haven't checked the fire maps on line yet.

I tried to buy a new computer during "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" but wasn't able to find one I wanted. There were several I tried to buy, but after tediously and laboriously filling out the orders, the screen would say "on line purchase out of stock" or something like that. Then it would suggest a different computer that cost three or four times as much. After trying Target, Best Buy, QVC and Evine , and having that happen each time, I just quit.  I also noticed that most of the affordable computers that still used Windows 7 or 8 were "refurbished." Thanks, but no thanks. There's a reason they had enough of a particular model to make it cost effective to rebuild them. The reason is that they were garbage to start with.

My son is getting a root canal today. I will be glad when my daughter calls and tells me it is all over and went well. I hate that for him. But it has to be done or the result will be an abscess. Many times worse than getting it fixed before hand.

I bought two boxes of .45 ACP yesterday, for $14.95 each. FMJ, boxer primed, brass cased. They only had two boxes or I would have bought more. We went into town to go to the library after I finished spending the rest of the day getting the place ready for the rain. Could have spared myself the effort in the end.

Fiocchi makes the Perfecta line of pistol ammo.  Good stuff, and very inexpensive.

I have also been buying some Aluminum cased .45 ACP when I can't find any of the brass cased reloadable ammo at a reasonable price. My thought is this. I can load the .45 into a carry gun. It cycles as well as brass cased, throws the same bullet the same speed, and I probably won't be hanging around to pick up my "brass" if I have to use the carry gun.

Blazer has been around a long time. I have a couple of cases of it out in the shop, that I bought years ago.  What I'm buying now is Federal, as the Blazer disappeared from this area a long time back and you don't see it anymore.

I don't often make large quantity purchases of ammo anymore, unless I see a good special on line. But I do pick up a box or two regularly and squirrel it away. Must just be force of habit, because I sure don't need any more.

History Channel has the whole ten part series "Doomsday, 10 Ways the World Will End." on their web page. I sign on using my Direct TV code, and I can watch them on the Kindle. Haven't been watching a lot of tv lately, but sometimes late at night I do like to watch an episode of this or that when I feel like it.

The best episodes so far have been on super volcanoes, nuclear war, and  solar storms (EMP). Some of the guests are very good, like the fellow who wrote "One Second After." But they have this obese, bullet headed paleontologist with lots of ear rings on most of the shows and he irritates me. Even so, it's a good series.

I will say, though, that whoever is writing the episodes doesn't really understand things like EMP. For instance, they have a scenario where a big solar flare hits earth, wipes out the power grid, but everybody is still tooling around in their modern cars. The "survivalists" in that episode are shown having a big barbecue under party lights as off in the distance, Denver burns. They have electricity, intones the narrator, because they have solar power. I always thought an EMP big enough to totally destroy the grid would wipe out maw and paw Kettles solar panels, inverter, etc out on the farm. Apparently not, if you take this as gospel.

But hey, it's still worth watching and there are some things on there I never thought about. For instance, that nuclear power plants would start going off once they ran out of fuel to run the cooling of the fuel rod pools. Not good for me, there are three nuclear power plants up around Chattanooga. Built long after I settled here, but there's little consolation in that. 

Well, time to go up by the fire and sit in my big chair. I have a book I'm struggling through, and I'd like to finish it today.

Hope all's well out there for everybody.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Nothing going on.

Nothing happening here.  Still dry, but getting colder now.  Should have the first snow very soon if the drought will let up.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

190 Miles round trip.

Yesterday we got up really early,  and then headed for a doctor's appointment in Cumming, Ga.  It's on the wrong side of the mountains from us, and a good drive.  When we got down there, the office was all plush and swank. It reminded me more of the lobby of a good London hotel than it did a doctor's office. There was a gourmet coffee bar in the waiting room with everything your heart desired, and a fruit and soda bar with all kinds of exotic drinks.  All gratis.  I knew this guy was going to be expensive.

My wife had her visit with the doctor, who told us that he would have to refer us to another kind of doctor. Of course, we still had to pay his fee but he had two things going for him. One, the good coffee in the waiting room mellowed me out.  Two, all the women working there looked like Victoria's Secret models. They were all so pretty I wondered if this guy had a side business going.  They were really good at pretending they cared about the people coming in. It wouldn't have done me any good to ask why we got referred down here, if we had to now be referred to someone else. Generally   I am a firm believer in being very ugly and unpleasant if I feel like I'm being played.  So this doctor's practice of making you feel like "something special" paid off.

The visit was early, and didn't take long.  So, we went to two big grocery stores. In our town, we have a couple of chain grocery stores but they are pretty small.  Down in Cumming they had a Publix and a Kroger, and nothing would do but that we went and shopped in those. Finally I went out and sat in the car until my wife called me on the cell and told me she was ready for me to come push the buggy out. I usually do that if she is shopping. She did get a lot of nice things to eat and drink that we don't have access to in the mountains, so it was a good deal all around.

Then we went back by Amicolola Falls and had a late lunch. This is a state lodge up on the top of a mountain. It has great views and a good buffet.

You better have good brakes, because otherwise you can get up there but you'll never make it going back down.  

The restaurant has big plate glass windows looking out over the mountains. Since all the land you can see is National Forest, there are no ugly houses or buildings in the view. Just unspoiled mountains and forest. While we were having lunch big hawks were flying by the windows, almost brushing the glass.

This time of year, there are not usually many people at the lodge. There were a great many Japanese and Chinese tourists this time though, which surprised me.  Usually it's almost deserted there in November.  But they have opened a new "zip line" thing where you put on a harness and go zipping through the trees to different tree platforms down the mountain, and that seemed to be doing a land office business.

The falls themselves were not flowing very strongly because of the drought. There is a wooden walkway that goes from the bottom to the top if you are feeling adventurous, but we weren't.

After we left there, we stopped at a couple of stores in small towns on the way back, so my wife could run in. She was willing to go to some gun stores we passed but I was tired and I wanted to get home before dark.  All in all, it was a fun day.

In 1986, Cumming was a farm town. It had one two lane road going North to South, and that was "the highway." It had a couple of feed stores, some little cafe's and shops, and a couple of grocery stores. There was a "Hardy's " burgher place and a "Dairy Queen."

But now Atlanta has swallowed it up. There is a six lane highway going through town. There are massive malls, all kinds of swank doctor and dentist offices, huge grocery stores. We had a little trouble finding the doctor's office and accidentally got into a residential "community" of McMansions. These places all sat on little lots, you could touch the side of your neighbors house from your house. They were all three stories, and all looked fantastically expensive. They were huge. I don't see how people live in a  place like that.

I took some protection down there because we were going to be so far from home.  I have fixed a rifle case on the back of the front seats in the Jeep, until I can figure out something better. That's mainly to stay legal and not have a hassle with Deputy Dog if I get pulled over for something.

I carried my Browning in the shoulder holster,  my SKS paratrooper, and a Mossberg 580 Shotgun.

The Mossberg is not for hunting birds.  It has a heat shield and an extended tube magazine for those situations where being polite doesn't cut the mustard.

The SKS I've mentioned before. Very light, very short (but legal) and 11 rounds of 7.62X39 attitude adjustment ammo.

To tell the truth, by the end of the day I was wishing I hadn't brought the handgun. I have an excellent Jackass Leather Company shoulder rig for it. I've worn it for so many years the leather has faded. But yesterday the cross piece on the holster, which is supposed to distribute the weight across my shoulders, just irked me to death. It kept rubbing.  My wife got me some new khaki "safari" shirts and I half way suspect it had something to do with that, though the shirt itself was really comfortable.

Today we aren't doing anything. We are both worn out, and just taking it easy. I am going to do a little reading and my wife is watching television.  I got her a big soft Indian blanket to get under when she sets up on the couch, so she can be comfortable. The cats like it about as well as she does, so now there are lots of cats keeping her company on the couch.

Thought for the Day:

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cold and windy. A good day for a trip down Memory Lane.

These photos are of a T-28 at a museum out west.  VT-6 was the squadron I flew the T-28 in, and it's a virtual certainty that if I dig my old log books out I flew this aircraft.

VT-6 was one of two T-28 Trojan squadrons out of Milton Florida. The base was called NAS Whiting.

I don't know if they are still flying, or even if Whiting is still an active base. I was there in the mid seventies.

My youngest brother came down to visit me. He was stationed at the Combat Engineer School at Camp Geiger, North Carolina.  I think this was around 1976.

This is a friend of mine, a fellow named John Cowan. He went on to fly CH-46 helicopters. I lost touch with him. Wish I hadn't but you move around a lot in the service and it happens.

After VT-6,  I went to HT -8 and flew the Sea Ranger helicopter. On a hot day, you could hardly get it off the ground. A few years ago, I saw the modern version of the helicopter. It had massive engines and four blades, and the pilot said he could lift an elephant with it if he had to. 

This is just about the only picture I have of my time in VT-5, at NAS Saufley. The field is long gone, I heard it was converted into subsidized low income housing. The T-34 B is long gone too, though I got to fly it pretty frequently throughout my Marine Corps time, because it was at most air stations as a "hack." That means an aircraft you can just fly when you wanted to for fun.

From there I went on to the Bell UH-1 Iroquois , which is what I stayed with.  I wanted to be a fighter pilot but it didn't work out that way.  Everybody wanted to be a fighter pilot, but somebody had to fly tankers, helicopters, FAC aircraft, etc.  Like the song says " you don't always get what you want."

Another old VT-6 aircraft, and this one I am sure I flew.  It hangs from the ceiling of the U.S Naval Aviation Museum  in Pensacola, Florida now.

Here's a T-34B Mentor at Saufley mid 1970's.

Part of the VT-5 flight line at Saufley. As I recall, the other T-34 squadron based there was VT-2.

There weren't any digital cameras back then. I hauled my personal possessions around from Asia to Europe, and in the process some of the pictures got damaged and a lot of them got lost. But still, here's a slightly beat up photo of a T-34 one early morning.

Part of the flight line at VT-6.

Florida was hot, and the big bubble canopy on the T-28 turned the aircraft into a sauna. We kept the canopy open on the ground as much as we could, but in the air it had to be closed. Military aircraft smell like oil, exhaust, fuel, leather, sweat, hot canvas and a lot of other exotic aromas which make a distinctive smell when they are heated up around 90 degrees.

I liked the T-28 best of all the aircraft I flew.  I was just born too late. The right time for me to have been flying was 1941-1945.  This was as close as I ever got.

Well,  Flying was great and I enjoyed it.  Counting both military and civilian flying, I started in November 1973 when I got my civilian license through a Navy program at the college. I finished up around 1994, when I couldn't get a medical certificate anymore.  Good times, but everything ends eventually.

The T-28 was used all over the free world as a fighter bomber.  The USAF secretly operated them, along with A1 Skyraiders, in Laos and Cambodia during the Viet Nam War.  Drury's book is the only one I have ever found that dealt with flying the T-28 in combat, and it's a hard book to find. It's really good reading, though.

There are lots of videos on YouTube of the T-28 because it's popular at Air Shows. I like this one and it's short.

A Little Music:

This song below really captures the anger in America that predicated the outcome of the Presidential election. It's a lot older than this time period, but Americans have been furious over the way things are in this country for at least the last 8 years and by my thinking a lot longer.  There's just one vulgar line in the song, no bad language but it's a bit coarse.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Publications. Cretins. A news story in the "You gotta be shi**ing me!" category.

I haven't posted any of the recent survival magazine or military surplus magazine issues lately. Thought I would catch that up tonight.

I'm getting tired of all this B.S. from Hillary's Legions of the Lost.

This song is dedicated to all those intellectual pygmies whining because they lost the election.

We need to import a lot of these people as soon as possible. It's clear to me from this news story that they would be a real asset to our country and culture.

Monkey attack sets off tribal clashes in Libya, killing at least 20
Published November 21, 2016  

BENGHAZI, Libya –  Activists and medics say tribal clashes that erupted in southern Libya after three young men turned a pet monkey loose on a high school girl have killed at least 20 people.

The girl's family sought revenge after the monkey scratched and bit her last week, and killed all three men along with the animal.

Bader al-Daheli, a civil activist, said Sunday that the two main tribes in the southern city of Sabha, Awlad Suleiman and Gadhadhfa, are each backed by armed groups. Abdel-Rahman Areish, the head of Sabha hospital, said 20 people have been killed and 50 wounded.

Thought for the Day:

Actually, most of my guns are not because I am not really a fan of the "Plastic Fantastic" though I do have some Glocks, a couple of Sigs, things like that. But I liked this .

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Cold and Windy


The wind is really blowing this morning. I don't even want to think about what this will do to the fires burning all across this region.

This is what the smoke is like here.  At night, the security lights here on the mountain top, which are red, make it look like a thick red fog.

None of these are getting "put out" and most of them are not contained.

This is the wind condition today. I can't imagine how the fire fighters (and there are now more than 5000 from seven states working these fires) are going to cope. Many of the fires are in wilderness areas, and due to a shortage of helicopters, the fire fighters are having to hike in as much as 16 miles to reach the fires. Atlanta news affiliates are saying they are working 12 to 24 hour shifts without a break.

If you ever have a fire in your area, here's a good web page that will help you keep track of your status. I've not found any government web pages that can touch this guy for information on wild fires.

This is the link:  Wildfires Today

You'd be surprised how interesting this can be if your area is surrounded by wildfires.

Meanwhile, we got the winter dog house built, so they are set up for the cold coming in tonight.

Up until now, everyone has been sleeping on the dog blankets on the front porch. But they need to get in out of the wind starting tonight.

Now that the post election wind down on ammo and firearms purchasing is in full cry, I think the wife and I may load up and make the loop through the small towns in the adjoining counties, to see if there are any specials or good buys. There are lots of little drug stores that sell guns and ammo, and there are two nice gun stores we can run by.

Heads Up:

If , like so many other American men, you've been wanting a Springfield M1903A3 Sarco is selling some that were used in the mini-series, "The Pacific." They want about 900 per rifles. (Revised 2359 Saturday night) It's a great show, based on "Helmet for my Pillow" and "With the Old Breed", if you haven't seen it. It was produced by the same team that did "Band of Brothers."

In the UP AGAINST THE WALL category:

Link: Passengers Boo and Hiss Gold Star Family on flight.

I have to say, I think this country needs a few more ditch digging machines and back hoes to solve this kind of thing. All these people are good for is compost.

A little music:

I notice lots of people put music they like on their blog.  I'm an "old country western" fan, and I like smooth jazz.

Here's a smooth jazz piece from a band called X. At least, as far as I can tell, as they aren't conventional smooth jazz musicians.

And a little song from Dolly Parton.  She's a very nice person, and did you ever see a woman with such great, big , beautiful....... eyes.