July 24, 2012

Media Incompetence

In case you wondered about the absolute incompetence that has overtaken our "major" media entities, I offer the following picture for your consideration:

July 21, 2012

Aurora Shooting -- Random Thoughts

Permit me, if you'd be so kind, to get the obvious out of the way first.

We gun owners and shooters and firearms enthusiasts are not heartless and we do feel great sympathy for those killed in this act of violence, their grieving families, and those who were there but not killed.  To be amid such violence must be unnerving, and we care for their well being and wish them strength in this most difficult of times.  Their lives will never be the same.  

I'm thankful that nobody was injured by the booby trap bombs at his apartment, and kudos to the local police, bomb squad, and FBI for handling that properly.  But I wonder: If someone HAD been killed because this scumbag mixed some chemicals into a 2 liter bottle and inserted a detonation switch, would people be crying for tighter restrictions on 2 liter bottles?  

Let's also dispense with the usual tripe about "If a law abiding citizen with a legal CCW was there..."  You don't know that, you can't know that, and any such commentary is pure speculation.  I train a fair amount with my EDC pistol (not as much lately, I regret to admit), but I highly doubt that if I was in a crowded theater -- where a flash-bag went off and tear gas is pouring out and people are screaming and running everywhere -- that I could hit much more than the floor.  You're not Jason Bourne.  MAYBE a legal CCW holder MIGHT have been able to stop him sooner.  But we don't KNOW.    

Also, for those that don't know Aurora, CO, odd are that SOMEONE in that theater WAS carrying a concealed pistol.  Perhaps not a legal CCW Permit holder, but in a theater that seats 100, it's pretty safe money that says there was at least one pistol, if not two, on the body of a patron.  

The guy seemed to give up pretty quickly and without much fuss.  I almost wonder if he WANTED to be caught.    

Think about the cops, firefighters, EMTs, Doctors, Nurses, and other healthcare professionals who responded when the call came.  All the folks in the theater are getting assistance, counseling, therapy, and interviews on the tele.  The medical folks who had to respond are getting back to work tonight, gearing up to answer the call of another person in need.  

Read a story on some website or another about how one of the victims that survived went back to the theater to see the movie.  That's the way to do it, young man... you get knocked down and you get back up again and you don't let any crazy sonofabitch or his actions change your life.  

Imagine this young lady's grief.  I don't have the words.  

Finally, while you say a prayer or send some vibes to those injured, and the families of those killed, maybe think about sending one to the parents of the assailant.  Their son killed a dozen people and wounded dozens more, and they're probably sick with grief, wondering "What did we do wrong?"  They'll be under a microscope for the rest of their life, and that can't be fun.  

July 16, 2012

The Weekend That Was

With the near certain forthcoming move to Indiana, it's time to get the house on the market, which means it was time to have my Realtor come by and give it the once-over, find out what I need to do to increase curb and showing appeal.

As an aside, she's also a good friend of mine, and a climbing pal.  Some years ago, her boyfriend died in a freak climbing accident, and he'd once mentioned that he wanted his ashes spread to the winds from atop Redgarden Wall, which is a cliff formation in Eldorado Canyon.  She asked me if I would take her up his favorite route on Redgarden, since it was beyond her ability to do without a stronger climber to lead the way.  I was honored to do so.

She came over, gave me a list of things to do, and I had a couple other things I wanted to finish up before the listing.

Then the water heater decided that THIS would be a good time to spring a leak.

Called a plumbing company here locally, and they could send someone out as soon as I wanted.  Money being somewhat tight because of Missus' recent illness and having to be off work for a month, I delayed the install until Friday (payday).  So at 8 am on Friday, I went to Home Depot and bought the cheapest 40 gallon gas water heater I could find ($350), drove home, and humped that damn thing downstairs to the utility room.  The plumbers showed, and in an hour they had the old one out, drained, carted off, the new one in, connected, and running like a champ.  Then they charged me $620 for that hour.  Sure, it was two guys, but $310 an HOUR?  YHGTBSM.

Friday evening, I had to do some lawn work, like mow and pick up dog shit and such.  Also did some touch-up painting here and there, etc.

Saturday, I had hired a maid service to come over and give my house an absolutely thorough cleaning.  Top to Bottom, everything, make it clean.  While I love the company of my two dogs, I do admit that they make it difficult to keep a clean house.  "Clean enough", sure, I can handle that, but I don't have the time to make it "Open House" clean.

They showed up PROMPTLY at 8am, and started right in.  Ten minutes into it and they had my fridge pulled aside and were sweeping under it, washing windows, walls, etc.  I was amazed and how thorough they were, and it was money well spent. 

While they did their thing, I got busy with yard stuff.  The previous owners had a stupid river rock landscape thing going along the back fence row, and it looked horrible. Imagine a rectangle, seven feet deep by sixty feet long, divided into three sections.  River rock on either end, and a totally different colored flatstone area in the middle.  Just horrid.

I moved all the rock from one side to the other, effectively doubling the amount of stone there, and framed off a raised garden bed with drip irrigation set around the perimeter.  Then I made the first of several trips to Home Depot (JB's Home Improvement Axiom: "There is no home improvement trip that can be completed with fewer than three trips to Home Depot") to get some fill dirt and garden soil.  I mixed in some composting leaves and grass clippings that I had, and began hauling 40 pound bags of dirt to cover.  After 15 bags, it was ALMOST half full.  Back to HD, buy more dirt, haul them one at a time.  At the end, I had
carried about 1200 pounds of dirt.

It was 11:00 am.

Started working on the deck, which is covered with tile.  It looks decent enough, but many of the tiles were loose and most of the grout between needed replaced.  So I pulled all the tiles, managed to break only one, and went back to HD for grout, a trowel, spacers, etc.  Started laying tile, which SUCKS, and finally quit at 9pm when I couldn't lift my arms any longer.

Sunday, started to finish up the tiles, but it began to rain, so I had to quit.  A buddy of mine, Aaron, called, and wanted to know if I'd be interested in shooting some clays.  Would I?  Would I?

Hell. Yes.

We burned through 200+ shells, shooting my Mossberg, his Beretta, and his friend's Marlin.  Single clays, two at a time, two shooters/three clays... LOTS of good recoil therapy.  I discovered a few facts during
this fun:

1) I need to improve my decision making process speed.  Couple times I found myself trying to decide WHICH clay to shoot first, and by the time I decided, they were both on the ground.

2) My Mossberg 12G O/U kicks like a rented mule.  My shoulder is going to be bruised for a couple days.

3) Aaron's Beretta A400 is a suh-weeeet gun.  Mongo LIKE.

4) While n=not enough to be valid, I did manage to shoot better left handed than right... twice I managed to get all three clays in the air.  Never did that right handed.

Body aches, but a decent weekend overall.

July 11, 2012

The Media Version of an AR-15

This is the basic AR-15 platform, if you believe what the media says...

July 10, 2012

YHGTBSM Files, Entry 32

Need new water heater, so figured I'd buy one at Mega Warehouse Home Improvement store.

Called a plumber today to get an estimate on install costs.

Apparently, there are some problems with the existing pipes.  Like not being in compliance with code problems.

$700, plus the cost of the water heater ($330)....


July 8, 2012


The area got some much needed rain the past couple days, with a 70% chance of more rain coming today.  I'll take it.  My lawn was looking rather pathetic, some of the local streams were little more than dry ditches of caked dirt, and the temps have dropped from an abnormal 100+ degrees to a more typical 70-80 range.  

Loads of stuff to do to get the house ready for the market.  I'll be headed to my local Mega-Corporate-Hardware-Store for a purchase or twenty today, and spending the day doing what I can to improve things.

Water heater is going to need replaced.  Local laws say that I have to have a licensed plumber do the work to stay compliant with housing code.  They make no mention, however, of how I'm supposed to PAY for the pleasure of being in compliance with their law.  It can't be difficult: Shut off water and gas, unhook all hoses, let the old water heater drain.  Remove, bring in new one, connect hoses, turn on water and gas, light pilot light.

How many variations can there be on "white paint", anyway?  I need some touch up paint for various pieces of wood trim, and my simpleton brain thinks "white paint is white paint is white paint."  Alas, I am obviously a  moron, for this is not the case.

I've got a favorite coffee mug.  It's the right size to hold about as much coffee as I can drink at my coffee-drinking pace before the last sip is just below acceptable temperature.  Sadly, this morning I noticed it has a crack, and will thus need to be repaired.  Had that mug for almost 6 years, and it's been with me from Arizona to Colorado.  T'was a good run, and I'll find a suitable replacement.  Still, like an old, perfectly formed pair of work boots, you just hate to see it go.

Not much blogging this week.  Y'all check out the folks in the blogroll.  I run a reciprocal blogroll, so if you add me, let me know and I'll add you.

Fair winds.

July 4, 2012

Independence Day

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

More to today than hot dogs and fireworks.  Mind you remember that.

July 1, 2012

Special Operations

My hound, Jake, has a very high prey drive, and if he sees a smaller animal, he's after it.  I've not (yet) had much luck controlling this, but that's mostly because I haven't had enough time with him to really work on things.  He's doing fine on basic obedience, but he still charges the fence when he sees a squirrel.

This morning, I saw him sitting absolutely still, focused on the window well in the back yard.  "Uh, oh" I said to myself, for I know that look.

Recon Platoon, maintaing a watch over the front line. 

A causal glance into the well revealed a baby bunny.  It seems that when I unleashed the hounds this morning for their bathroom break, he chased that bunny into the window well.

OpFor... or is it OpFur?

The bunny could not jump out of the well, Jake can't get into the well.  Folks, this here is what they call a Stalemate.

Being the Master of the House, and the only member with opposable thumbs, it naturally falls to me to remedy the situation.

Commence Operation Bunny Rescue.

After a quick survey of the available items from my TO&E, I selected the Mark 1, Mod 1, Animal Capture Device - Small.  Yes, it looks like an empty 12-pack box, but don't pay that no never mind.  I also opted for the Special Weapons Equipment - Entry Pressure and Energetic Release device, version 3.1 (in 5.56 NATO, natch.)

Yes, the SWEEPER looks like a broom.  What of it?
I prefer the desert tan paint scheme on my SWEEPER instead of Tacti-cool black. 

Now, you might think that building such tactical equipment that looks so simple is a flaw in design, but I assure you that the innocuous appearance of such devices is a stroke of pure genius.  If my SWEEPER is, somehow, malfunctioning, I can always find a ready replacement.  I have three SWEEPERs of different models, and while some folks argue that SWEEPERs should be regulated and controlled, I say that you can have my SWEEPERs when you pry them from my COLD. DEAD. HANDS.


Assuming a prone position in front of the entrenched Rabbit position, I deftly, yet carefully, used my SWEEPER to lay down enough suppressing force to force the enemy troop to the left... right into the Animal Capture Device - Small.

After Action Report revealed zero casualties and a successful release of the POW into the space under the back deck.  

I'm not a bragging fellow, and prefer a measure of humility when recounting my exploits, but I believe that this tactical approach and execution ranks up there with some of the greatest exploits in history.  The Capture of Kiev in 1941... The Inchon Landings...Brecourt Manor... And Operation Bunny Rescue.