Monday, November 30, 2009

talking to myself...

Ephesians 5:20
...always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 2:7
...rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tommy this and Tommy that...

This came from my brother overseas in response to yesterday's post.

"Thanks for your part in defending our country on active duty. Our country errs most often on the side of being away from evil in these matters. This sure seems like one of those errors and I hope for justice. I cringe for those from countries where this error is never made."

I responded...

Amen. Evidence of American Exceptionalism.

Many of our countrymen mistakenly assign moral equivalence to other cultures and (implicitly) reject the notion of American exceptionalism. "American Imperialism" is the cry -- as if on balance that's a bad thing. Looking back through the at eras of empire and eras that lacked empire I know which era(s) I would generally prefer to live and travel in.

What we see since the Vietnam era is a far tilt toward toward being too public about matters of military battlefield discipline. It is morbid introspection on a national scale. Ironically, those who oppose us intend these public displays to expose America's flawed character. However, it actually proves our core national character and goodwill. In a sense it argues for American exceptionalism.

All that's academic and arguable. What must be a given is that we are indeed at war. Men and women are in harms way - now. It was not a war of our choosing. It was declared upon we who live in Dar el Harb. In these media matters we forget we are at war; that this is an information war, a war on national morale, occasionally interrupted by firefights and explosions. It is a war of "wills." We win by breaking the enemies will to fight. They win by "not losing" and fighting on long enough to break our will to fight.

To that end, we consistently give too much "aid and comfort" to the enemy and bolster their will to fight. On our side, too public a treatment of matters like this severely diminishes morale of those "rough men" who in go in harms way on our behalf. It energizes the enemy who seek another media event and costs American lives, coalition lives and lives of innocents who are used by terrorists as shields and pawns.

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

- Winston Churchill

First fight. Then fiddle. Ply the slipping string
With feathery sorcery; muzzle the note
With hurting love; the music that they wrote
Bewitch, bewilder. Qualify to sing
Threadwise. Devise no salt, no hempen thing
For the dear instrument to bear. Devote
The bow to silks and honey. Be remote
A while from malice and from murdering.
But first to arms, to armour. Carry hate
In front of you and harmony behind.
Be deaf to music and to beauty blind.
Win war. Rise bloody, maybe not too late
For having first to civilize a space
Wherein to play your violin with grace.

- Gwendolyn Brooks

Friday, November 27, 2009

Punch a Terrorist. Go to Jail.

What's the bumpersticker say?
"If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention"

That was originally directed at Bush '43 but we've got a new
Commander in Chief. As far as I know the buck still stops in the Oval Office.

Punch a terrorist, go to jail?

Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told


That is "IF" they punched him. He did spend time in Iraqi custody. In any case...

I learned my lesson from Chief Von Tersch in boot camp well, "Seaman
Recruit, you can delegate authority but you CANNOT delegate

Other than that, how was your Thanksgiving? :-) Hope it was a happy and thankful time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

lite blogging

been busier than the proverbial one armed paper hanger. Mostly car troubles. Counting daughter #1's car at one point we were 3 for 4 vehicles this week (3 down and out).

Daughter's car is going to require dropping the fuel tank.

Got the TDI Beetle going again (thankfully a simple repair to low pressure fuel injector return) and troubleshot flashing glow plug light. Who'd a thunk that the glow plug circuit would be tied in with the brake pedal switch? Gotta get that part on order.

4WD Montero front brakes and bearings are going, going, gone. Got passenger side hub parts on order earlier this week and finished putting it together late today -- except for a factory shim I need to order to set/tighten up the axle endplay.

In the middle of this a missionary friend up from Mexico pulled in with his van front bearings screaming. That was easy, fun even. Working together we had him back on the road with new bearing on both front wheels in a couple or 3 hours.

On top of that had to run up to OC for all day meeting Tuesday. Then today made a morning run up and back to Cucamonga to get the Son&Heir. He had his own adventures with vehicle breakdowns on the late night roadtrip down from the Bay Area. Friends radiator ran drive at top of the Grapevine. Just made it (coasted. literally) into a station in Gorman in time for the stations lights to switch off for the night.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday details and interruptions

Started off the day digging (footings for retaining wall to be poured). That used up the morning (and me). Figured I should make use of a leftover half sack of concrete mix before it got damp and was wasted.

The wall footings will need blocks to keep the steel off the bottom of the trench. Let's see what we can do with some scrap wood.

Wire inserted.

Voila. Dobies. Well, sorta. Not an unqualified success. The gravel in the mix made it tough score deeply. Got a few crumbling.

There's some left over mortar mix sitting too. We'll see if that works out better.

Off to run errands and hit up my toy store (Home Depot) for some odd bits and pieces. Heading home to get the Montero on jacks and start removing front hubs and rotors for to do a complete brake rebuild when a call comes from the ladies at the mall. "The Beetle is smoking or steaming or something. Whatta we do Dad?"

Got to the mall. Found it dripping diesel. Ruh-roh, is it that new injector pump installed earlier this year (at great expense)? Fired it up. See fuel washing the side of the engine. Trace it up to above the pump and see a cracked glow plug spewing.
Whew. Thank you Lord and thank you Triple A.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dog for sale

A guy is driving around the back woods of Montana and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house: 'Talking Dog For Sale ' He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard.

The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting there.

'You talk?' he asks.

'Yep,' the Lab replies.

After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says 'So, what's your story?'
The Lab looks up and says, 'Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA. In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.'
'I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals.' 'I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired.'

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

'Ten dollars,' the guy says.

'Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?'

'Because he's a liar. He never did any of that stuff.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Morning light

Lit the woodstove for the first time this fall. Morning coffee. Morning light.

Big weekend behind us. Youth conference at church wrapped up. Guests gone home.
Camp trailer hooked up in the nick of time Friday, empty now. Waiting for next call to duty.

Friday, November 13, 2009

beatin' the rain

Took the day off and rented a bobcat today. Got a lot of cleanup done on the lower drive. Prepping for a house (and trailer) full of company this weekend. Youth conference at church. Lots of folks coming from out of town.

Big part of the effort was getting piles of fill, gravel and concrete rubble out of this area.

Also relocated all the keystone blocks lower on the lot: out of the way and closer to where they'll be used.

Took advantage of the bobcat to run gravel to the upper lot driveway and then by wheelbarrow over the wall to cover this drainage area at the foot of the grand retaining wall.

The crowning achievement of the day was getting the trailer (24') moved from the house driveway and down to the lower lot and the new RV hookups. It was dark by the time I got that done -- no pix. Still had to load the bobcat in the dark. One of the tie-down chain tensions jammed and I had to go persuade it in my vise. I reaaaally wanted to be done by then.
I'm beat.
John Lott does yeoman duty reporting the facts. Bookmark him for a daily read if you haven't already. Just be sure to be up on all your meds -- esp your blood pressure pill.

This (and other) tidbits on his recent blog showing the dirty details of the bill passed by the House last Saturday night (hack, spit)...

Buried in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 1,990-page bill is a provision that provides "incentive payments" to each state that develops an "alternative medical liability law" that encourages "fair resolution" of disputes and "maintains access to affordable liability insurance." Sounds encouraging. Read on, however, and you come to this nugget: The state only qualifies if its new law "does not limit attorneys' fees or impose caps on damages." . . .

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Heavenly medical care

A man suffered a serious heart attack and had open heart bypass surgery. He awakened from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at a Catholic Hospital . As he was recovering, a nun asked him questions regarding how he was going to pay for his treatment.

She asked, 'Do you have health insurance?'
He replied in a raspy voice, 'No health insurance.'

The nun asked, 'Do you have money in the bank?'
He replied, 'No money in the bank.'

The nun asked, 'Do you have a relative who could help you?'
He said, 'I only have a spinster sister, who is a nun.'

The nun became agitated and announced loudly, 'Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God.'

The patient replied, 'Send the bill to my brother-in-law.'

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

90 years ago...

90 years ago today marxists on Tower Ave in Centralia who were wanting to "transform America" by force of arms, killed 4 veterans on parade during the first remembrance of Armistice Day.

One of the killers who was caught that day, made it safely to jail but didn't see the light of another day -- thanks to some young vets who took matters into their own hands in the dark of night.

Did they do the right thing? Those Vets with their midnight justice?
Certainly not by today's standards.

Put yourself in the historical context...
Sons of pioneers who'd settled hostile lands and fought Indian wars;
just returned from a war in Europe;
some like Warren Grimm who'd served in Russia and seen first hand the reality of a rising communist tide.
What did the threat of armed takeover of the US by IWW communists look like to them?

If not the "right thing," did they do the necessary thing?

Given their setting and worldview could they have done anything less?

Here we are today. 90 years later. What's changed?

Now there are Marxists still wanting to transform America, but, they've made it from Tower Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue. They have learned to use a different type of power and have a complicit media and the power of earmarks to bribe the self serving in Congress.

The spirit of the Wobblies lives on in America -- does the spirit of Warren Grimm?.

It ain't over yet...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

hey Pun'kin!

Been a lot on my mind. Was up in the wee hours last night thinking some things through -- life, church, a long time loved one who's gone astray, self examination.

Puttered in the garden today. Backfilled a bit of drain line trench. Planted some palms and a dwarf seedless Mexican lime tree by the pool. Ran drip lines to a couple beds around the pool perimeter..

Came inside mid-afternoon and puttered in the kitchen. Got hit with memories from the smells of autumn. Memories of Mom and life on Cooks Hill.
Smell links to memory stronger than our other senses...

I was past due to get the pumpkins from our patch off the porch. Tossed a couple that didn't smell as fresh as I liked. Sliced and gutted the rest and put them in the oven. Skinned them after cooking and ran the meat through the Kitchenaide shredder. 8 cups to the freezer -- enough for 4 pies at the holidays.

Daughter #1 jumped to, separated seeds, salted them and got in the hot oven after that.

Some garden and kitchen time. Refreshed. Life is good. God is better.

Costs of Defensive Medicine

A woman brought a very limp duck to the veterinary. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said; "I'm sorry, your duck (Cuddles) has passed away.."

The distressed woman wailed; "Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead." replied the vet.

"How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around, and left the room.

He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever.. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table, and sniffed the duck from top to bottom.

He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room.

A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly, and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said; "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman. The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried; "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!?"

The vet shrugged; "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but.....with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $150.

Word 'o day

"Fifth Column" A concept tarred and feathered as un-PC and McCarthy-ite to even consider?

Put this on your reading list,
“* Navy Signalman Hassan Abujihaad last year was convicted of tipping off al-Qaida to battle group movements in the Persian Gulf, including disclosing classified documents detailing the group’s vulnerability to terror attack.

• Army reservist Jeffrey Battle in 2003 pleaded guilty to conspiring to wage war against the U.S., confessing he enlisted “to receive military training to use against America.”

• Army reservist Semi Osman in 2002 was arrested for providing material support to al-Qaida and pleaded guilty to weapons charges after agreeing to testify against other terror suspects.

* Marine Abdul Raheem al-Arshad Ali trained at a suspected al-Qaida camp and was charged with selling a semi-automatic handgun to Osman.

• Army Sgt. Ali Mohamed trained Green Berets at Fort Bragg’s elite special warfare school before stealing military secrets for al-Qaida and helping plan bombings at three U.S. embassies in 1998.

• Army Spec. Ryan Anderson in 2004 was convicted of leaking military intelligence to al-Qaida terrorists, including sensitive information about the vulnerabilities of armored Humvees.

• Army sniper John Muhammad was put on death row after fatally shooting 10 in the nation’s capital a year after 9/11.”

h/t to Lex. This showed up in comments

Friday, November 6, 2009

full plate

some sticky stuff at church to deal with, the jihadi attack on our troops at Ft Hood, the MSM's and .Gov's denial of connection to the enemy we're at war with...

pass the pink liquid. All I can say at the moment is "arm our military." Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? Arm our military? How many died yesterday because soldiers weren't allowed to bear arms on a military base. Absurd. How have we come to this?

That makes about 100 troops who've been killed by jihadis in their midst who wore the same uniform.

this tally from Zane's comment in response to this blog by Lex:
May I ask a favor of the readership? By my estimate, since 2001 we’ve lost over a hundred soldiers, and likely many hundreds more, to Islamic traitors. Help me name them all (I stink at names).

Start with Ali Mohamed, the Egyptian trained at Fort Bragg.

The Marine from Lebanon who invented his own kidnapping to escape his HET team in the field, was recaptured, and who fled the country when allowed out of brig in Christmas charity.

Perfidious interpreters such as some I knew of can be added to the list, if they were American citizens.

The soldier who rolled the grenade in Kuwait.

The soldier recently convicted of years of rapes.

The Beltway Sniper, trained in the Army.

Jihad Johnny, who knew the attack was coming, had multiple opportunities to tell his American captors, and chose Islam instead.

How about that OS who changed his name to Jihad (hey DivO, think that’s a clue to something?) and tried to pass location data on Lex’s battle group to the muj?

gimme a minute I'll back with bells on. At moment though I'm thinking some dark thoughts as I grieve with the families of our fallen (unarmed) warriors at Ft Hood.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Four more years

To quote an old friend who fwd'd this to me, "Even the Canucks have figured this one out."

"OBAMA WILL PROBABLY NOT FINISH HIS 4-YEAR TERM, at least not in a conventional way." the whole article

Monday, November 2, 2009

Making Sausage and Tax Laws

Somethings you're just better off not seeing. Here's another. The insides of my Taurus 85UL, 38 Special +P revolver.

It's said that a snub is the hardest handgun to shoot well. To get and stay proficient requires practice. I've done that. Lots of rounds have gone through this revolver. Tonight I finally took off the sideplate to give it a deep cleaning and see what lubing it up with the recent batch I bought of wonderlube "Slipstream" does for it.

Sort of wish I'd left well enough alone. Even inspecting without the benefit of magnification I see why so many smiths refuse to work on Taurus revolvers. I may be sending this back to Taurus and asking for them to clean up some ugliness on functional surfaces. The roughness on the cylinder pawls alone make me want to run to Brownells website and see if a replacement part is available. The hammer torques so much in DA mode that when it comes down it's striking the sideplate and sliding down it until it hits the transfer bar. yechhhh.

I got this about 3 years ago. Lots of guys base on Taurus quality but I've had a .357 Taurus since the 80's that's been a peach so I went ahead and got this 38.

Since then it's my primary carry piece. All in all I've been very happy with it. Yeah the double action trigger is notchy and varies widely from one cylinder to the the next but I shoot it pretty pickin' well if I do say so myself. Practice, practice, practice.

It's a nice compromise in size and weight for a snub. Fills my hand better than the benchmark lightweight S&W J-frame (a good thing when shooting +P loads). However, due to the alloy frame still much lighter than the Ruger SP101 I almost bought instead of this piece. I'm glad for the lighter weight.

I'll sleep on it but odds are I'll be checking into Taurus warranty.