Friday, December 31, 2004

Baaad timing

A few years ago my then-girlfriend and I decided to make dinner for the next evening; I was going to put a roast in the crockpot when I went to work the next morning, and bring it over that evening while she made the veggies. I had cable at the time, and there was a show I had taped that we both wanted to see, so we'd watch it after dinner.

The roast came out fine, one of those 'open the front door, inhale, salivate' marvelous things. Load it up, grab the tape and head to her house. Where she had a green bean casserole waiting.

Dinner was great, and when done we sat down in the living room and put on the tape. About fifteen minutes later I felt a little queasy and excused myself, and reached the bathroom just in time to get rid of dinner, though not in the usual way. After I finished throwing up, I cleaned up a bit and went back to the living room.

For about five minutes.

The third time I hit the bathroom, after trying to throw up the inseam of my jeans I was so dizzy I couldn't even sit up straight. By this time the lady was in the doorway asking if I needed an ambulance. "No, just give me a minute", the usual. I hate going to the doctor for a checkup, getting hauled away in an ambulance was just not something I wanted to do. She gave the the minute, and I still couldn't stand up, says she "I'm calling the ambulance!".

"No, I don't need that!"
"Then I'm taking you to the emergency room!"
Pause. "That might be a good idea".

So we drive there, after managing to maneuver me into the car. Having her on one side and the wall on the other helped there. Have you ever gone to an er? Unless you're hemorrhaging as they drag you in, you are directed to a seat while they decide who has to do the paperwork on you. Then they do the paperwork- often grudgingly- and finally someone decides they have to look you over("Go on, John, it's your turn. You know how bad it looks on our stats when they die before we've taken their temperature") So they take you into an examining room and check you out. In my case this started with the discovery that if I laid down at an angle greater than about 45 degrees, the room began to travel around me. Then they stuck three contacts on me and hooked up the ekg.

Now, by this time I was feeling slightly better. Not good enough to get up, but no cold sweats anymore. Then the nurse doctor studied my ekg for a minute, looked at my girlfriend and asked, "Has he ever had heart trouble before?"

She said the ekg bounced the pen of both sides like a pinball; I couldn't see that, but my first thought was "Not until you said that!" Not helpful, I promise you. Especially after he said that my rhythm looked perfectly normal (until you said that, you bastard!) and he just wondered if I might have had an 'episode'. I wished I'd been less washed out, so that I could have described and 'episode' to him. Involving his ancestry.

By the time all the er stuff was done, I was really washed out, but better. As a precaution they kept me over night, second time I'd ever had to sleep at a hospital. By morning, I was tired, hungry and more thirsty than I could ever remember being. All I could have was water or apple juice until the doctor came by, and I drank all the juice they'd give me. About noon my ex and kids came by, and when I mentioned that I was starving("no food until the doctor sees you again") she dug some money out of my pants and went down to the cafeteria, coming back with stew and ice cream. Which, of course, I was finishing as the doctor finally came in. He wasn't overly pleased, but not too put out since I had 'stabilized' nicely and they couldn't find anything wrong. His final thought was that that there was a stomach virus going around, and I just happened to be one of the rare people who, instead of feeling ratty for three days, got whacked hard. And I started laughing.

He asked what was so funny about that? and I explained about the entertainment the evening before. The show I'd taped? It was a documentary.

About ebola.

Oooh, bike!

Partly to wash the bad taste of U.N. out of my mouth, and partly because his mention of The Diplomad made me go there this morning, I went over to the Dog and Pony Show, where he has a pic of his Betty. His mention of paint reminded me of a job I saw at a bike swap meet here a while back. This artist did the tank in layers of flames so that as it or you moved, it looked like the flames were rippling over the surface of the tank. One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen on a bike.

One of these days I'm going to take the tank & fenders off mine and take them to this man to have him work his magic on them. To quote Kiki, "Oooh, shiny!".

Further 'Why to tell the U.N. to kiss our backside'

From the Diplomad, who turns out to be in one of the countries hit by the tsunamis, we get a first-hand look at what the U.N. is accomplishing: dick. In need of Viagra, yet.

They're "hosting a 'coordination' meeting of donors to announce that UNDP has another large "assessment and coordination team" arriving". In less fancy words, they're holding meetings to announce that they're going to decide what needs to be done. Oh, and "To address the psycho-social needs of children throughout nearly a dozen countries devastated by the tsunami, selective in-service teacher training will be supported to equip teachers with specific methods and activities, UNICEF said".

These kids are starving, without clothes or clean water, and UNICEF is holding meetings and planning teacher training for their 'psycho-social needs'. God, can there be ANYTHING more illustrative of why these bastards should not have peoples lives in their hands?!?!

There are people from a number of countries working their butts off DOING SOMETHING, and what is the comment from the U.N. supporters? "Only really the U.N. can do that job,", and "It is the only body that has the moral authority". Oh, yes, we're really impressed by the moral authority of a body that's trying to cover up one of the biggest corruption scandals in history, and has 'peacekeepers' screwing children in exchange for food. And trying to cover that up, too.

My hands are shaking a bit right now, and I will close with a reponse to Clare Short: Kiss My Redneck Ass, madam.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

This is about all I can take

There've been a lot of video and stills from the wave zones. Some of videos give a certain feeling of detachment- "Oh, look at the water flowing by". Some are considerably worse. And some of the stills...

Note: Steve has a link to American Jewish World Services; they seem like a good group to donate to. And the pictures came from Free Republic; one of his commenters left the link. These are the only two I'll post, and part of me screams to look at them. I think the words are, "Jesus wept".

Terror Posted by Hello

The hand Posted by Hello

Stirring up a fuss about AIDS

is Dean Esmay. Interesting site I like to visit.

A couple of days ago he had a post about AIDS that apparently got him yelled at by a lot of people, to the point of being accused of being a threat to the public. So today he has a followup that addresses some points. And they're serious points about some serious problems in how AIDS has been addressed.

It's got too much in it to throw a couple of quotes in, so I'm just providing links. I think he raises serious points here that need to be dealt with.

Being somewhat lazy at times, I've mostly gone with what I've heard or read in news articles on the subject, but I think I'll try to find the books he refers to and read them. The idea that the medical profession has chased down a wrong track and out of stupidity/stubbornness/greed/etc. won't come back up to the fork in the road to look around doesn't surprise me; there's been far too many cases of this in the past. For that matter, it was pillars of the medical profession that tried to ruin Louis Pasteur over the germ-theory of disease, and after Jenner began vaccinating for smallpox the same thing happened to him. I guess it's part of the same 'how dare you question our wisdom?' attitude that causes so many doctors to treat their patients with contempt when they ask questions.

I've not known anyone with AIDS; I have known people with friends/relatives who had it. And I have read of problems with some of the drugs tried for treating it. It's a subject that apparently needs someone to start whacking 'accepted' knowledge down like weeds and looking at it afresh, and they'll have a nasty fight on their hands to do it, but God only knows how many lives are involved.

One example of problem fighting it: the idea that just because a lot of people in some regions of Africa are HIV+, what's killing them is assumed to be AIDS. But what if some questioners are right and a lot of is is malaria? Among other things that would cause more people to push for the use of DDT to kill mosquitos, and that would be attacked by both the medical/political people who have decided that it's AIDS, and by the enviro-weenies who get the vapors at the mere mention of DDT. And if a lot of locals die while they're defending their stand? Well, that's just the price they're willing to pay to keep their diagnosis/enviromental stand in place, now isn't it?

Yeah, I'm cynical about a lot of this. There are far too many people who are willing to see a lot of people die(preferably somewhere else) if it will allow them to keep their position going.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

General commentary

The Washington Post says the president is 'insensitive' because he's on his ranch in Crawford instead of in D.C. shedding tears for the cameras. Screw the Post. He's got the communications gear to do the job from there. So if they want tears, maybe they can find Bill Clinton to emote for them.

From a commentor at Hog on Ice found this site, which has some nice information on earthquakes and tsunamis.

It seems the perennial coddler of dictators and mass murderers Ramsey Clark is joining the legal team of Saddam Hussein. I'm not surprised considering his past words and performances. If we're lucky Saddam will bite him and give him distemper.

Corrosion-X seems to be a very good cleaner. I'm going to help my daughter take down her pistol and clean/lube it with this stuff; it really cleaned mine up well.

Speaking of cleaning, I tried using nylon brushes for some bore cleaning. Seems if you have mainly some stubborn powder fouling they'll do the job, but for anything else I still get the best results from bronze bristles.

Speaking of Clinton, he was mentioned on the news earlier today, lecturing about how someone needs to be in control of the aid efforts. He's either lobbying for a job as head of the U.N., or wanting a position created for him so he can run aid efforts whenever/wherever. I don't think he's as corrupt as Kofi Annan and company, but he's bad enough. And I'd rather have the work going on as it is; there may be some duplication, but there's probably somewhat less corruption this way.

Last week this time, the high was about 30 degrees, today it was 60. December in Oklahoma, oh my.

I was over at Silent Running and found his piece about having helped out in Papua New Guinea after a tsunami hit the north coast in 1998. One of the nastier things mentioned was this:
"For example, there were actually many survivors in the jungle who were too badly injured to move or defend themselves against the wild pigs, dogs and crocodiles. Quite a few were eaten by animals, and they weren't always completely dead first."
Think about that. There are tigers and leopards and the omnipresent crocodiles in the hard-hit areas. He's right in one of his comments, some things don't need to be talked about right now.

A short version of how things fell apart in Britain

on the subject of self-defense. This article by Joyce Lee Malcolm covers it.

Check this out:
"The practical removal of the right to self defence began with Britain's 1920 Firearms Act, the first serious limitation on privately-owned firearms. It was motivated by fear of a Bolshevik-type revolution rather than concerns about householders defending themselves against robbers. Anyone wanting to keep a firearm had to get a certificate from his local police chief certifying that he was a suitable person to own a weapon and had a good reason to have it. The definition of "good reason", left to the police, was gradually narrowed until, in 1969, the Home Office decided "it should never be necessary for anyone to possess a firearm for the protection of his house or person". Since these guidelines were classified until 1989, there was no opportunity for public debate."

The guidelines were "classified", so the public couldn't know them, and since the police could change them at any time...
Note: this is one of the reasons that making law should NEVER be left to the bureaucrats; they're unaccountable and will screw you over in a hearbeat.

100,000 dead, and rising

Think about that number; one hundred thousand, and try to image that pile of bodies.

O.U. Medieval Fair will have more than that over a three-day weekend, so it's like every single human that goes through the fair over three days, dead in the space of a few minutes. And the number keeps rising.

Drudge linked to a report on the current situation. There are areas they still have no communications with, so no idea of numbers of dead and missing there(and let's be serious, 'missing' in this situation means 'dead but we don't have a body). I'm thinking that by the time this is done, there'll be about 150,000 dead as the accepted number. Then we get to add in the people sick/dead of disease from bad water, bad food, and parasites & mosquitos breeding in the stagnant water.

I mentioned in an earlier post video a tourist shot from a clubhouse at a resort when the wave hit there; this was a low wave, and people in the partial shelter of the clubhouse were washed away, along with the railing they were holding on to. Every year, we see people die because their car or truck was washed away when they tried to drive through running water 12-18" deep. Think of a wave ten, or twenty, or thirty feet high moving at floodwater speeds or above coming through; the mind boggles.

That's about it for now, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the numbers.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Range time!

Took my daughter to the range this evening. Handguns only tonight, didn't want to mess with taking any rifles. We went to H&H, a nice indoor range here in town, and a good time was had by all.

I really ought to get a digital camera, if for no other reason than posting pictures of her targets. She doesn't get to shoot often, but she seems to hold on to her skill level quite well. Aside from an odd dislike of revolvers(no accounting for taste), she does just fine. Only real problem is that when she moves out to her own place, what she'd really like to take is my Kimber. Well, she can't have mine, and I can't afford to buy one for her, so she'll have to settle for something else for a while.

One thing we tried out tonight was a Makarov. If you're not familiar with it, it's a Russian modification of the Walther PPK design. It fires it's own cartridge, the 9x18mm. Standard 9mm is 9x19, the .380 is 9x17, so the Makarov cartridge is between the two. Overall, I'm impressed with the thing. Quite accurate, and I've now put several hundred rounds of ball and a box of Hornady hollow points through it without any jam, fail to feed, nothing. Not the stopping power of a .45, but solidly reliable and practice ammo is relatively cheap.

Now, soon as I can get the cat off the table, I can start cleaning...

Animation of the waves

Belmont Club has this link to an animation of how the tsunamis propagated from the quake site across the Bay of Bengal. Watch this, and watch the time count, it gives a feel for the speed of these things.

A while back Discovery Channel, I believe, had a show on these waves, and noted that in the open ocean they can travel as much as 500 mph. Think about that. A jet airliner doesn't make that speed, and fighters & attack planes don't unless they're actually on a strike run. An energy pulse moving through the water at 500 mph, then reaching shallower water and slowing/building in height until it's moving across the shore and is tens of feet high.

The power involved is amazing. I remember as a kid hearing about the big quake in Alaska in 1964. That was from a 9.2 quake, as I recall, and they've now settled on 9.0 for this one.

Tim Blair has a list of charities/agencies you can donate to for aid to the people in the region. Personally, as Steve puts it, after what came out after 9/11 I wouldn't give a wooden nickel to the Red Cross if their headquarters was on fire. But there are others who can help out.

Note: Confirmed death toll is now 55,000. Which means it'll be much higher.

Once more, why we should tell the U.N. to go to hell

I just read two things. One, they now think the death toll from the quake and waves may be more than 40 thousand. Two, some pissy little jackass from the U.N. says that the U.S. is being 'stingy' with our aid, and we need to raise our taxes so we will 'have' more money to give.

I have overall tried to be fairly civil in my language on this blog, but this calls for an exception. Mr. Egeland? FUCK YOU! You sorry, pissy little jerk! The U.N. would fall apart if we didn't keep funding it(and I don't know why we do). WE put more money into relief for many things than the rest of the world combined. And a lot of that does not come from the government taking money out of our pockets, it comes from citazens giving money and time to charities who help people in trouble. And you call us stingy?!?

WE, for the most part, don't want to give more money to the U.N. because a: it's a hugely corrupt organization, as the Oil-for-Food scandal has pushed into focus and b: we don't want to fund a bunch of thugs who will tell children that if they want to eat, they have to spread their legs.

As far as our taxes? Screw you, weenie. You, last I heard, have a stagnant economy largely because of your taxes and socialist government. We are overtaxed now, and still have managed to keep a growing economy going. Let me point something out to you: the less the government takes out of our pockets in taxes, the more people have to give to charities they trust to spend the money wisely. Unlike most government agencies, which when honest just waste a lot, and when corrupt(U.N.) steal most of it.

By the time this is done, probably the U.S. will have- again- given more money and food and material to relief efforts than anyone else. And assholes like you will still bitch and whine that we aren't doing enough.

Again, Screw You, Mr. Egeland, and the high horse you rode in on. This is one more reason we should tell the U.N. to move, and get along without our support, and we should start an organization of free nations to actually do something, instead of taking bribes and abusing children and adults and insulting the people who keep it going.

Update: Mr. Chickenshit has crawfished publicly on his comments.

Monday, December 27, 2004

21,000 and counting up

It's a hard number of bodies to comprehend. All in the space of a few minutes, caused by something that happened about 6 miles underground a long ways off.

The quake move the friggin' ISLAND of Sumatra about 100 feet, and shifted the rotation of the earth a touch. The energy involved has too many zeros for me to think about without getting a headache.

Waves moving in at more than 100mph, and building to many feet high as they move up the slope to the beach.

I was looking at the U.S. Geological Survey site at the info, and they're now saying it was a 9.0. There are five tectonic plates that interact in the region and produced this thing, and it says that about 600 miles of plate boundary moved in this quake.

A Small Victory has a lot of information for people who want to contribute to relief efforts.

That's about all I can say about this right now.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

My response to people who don't like being wished "Merry Christmas"

Picture stolen from Denny Posted by Hello

Christmas is done

and it was nice. It's always nice to visit family, especially this time of year. And I got stuffed, so there's two good things together.

Of course, the stuffing means I need to put in some extra time in the gym over the next week or so, but I needed to do that anyway, so...

I've decided that where I really, really want to be when word arrives that Fidel Castro died is Miami. Why? Check out what Steve and friends did for Christmas. I get the feeling Fidel-in-a-box will trigger the biggest damn party the world has seen in God knows when.

Anyway, hope your Christmas was good. If you do Hannukah or Mid-Winter or whatever, hope it was good. And if being wished Merry Christmas pisses you off, see above.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

And we're supposed to like socialism because?

"In January 1849, months before he migrated to London, Karl Marx published an article by Friedrich Engels in Die Neue Rheinische Zeitung announcing that in Central Europe only Germans, Hungarians and Poles counted as bearers of progress. The rest must go. "The chief mission of all other races and peoples, large and small, is to perish in the revolutionary holocaust."

Genocide arose out of Marx's master-theory of history -- feudalism giving place inevitably to capitalism, capitalism to socialism. The lesser races of Europe -- Basques, Serbs, Bretons and others -- being sunk in feudalism, were counter-revolutionary; having failed to develop a bourgeoisie, they would be two steps behind in the historical process. Engels dismissed them as left-overs and ethnic trash (Voelkerabfall), and called for their extinction.

So genocide was born as a doctrine in the German Rhineland in January 1849, in a Europe still reeling from the revolutions of 1848. It was to become the beacon light of socialism, proudly held and proudly proclaimed."

Found at Dissecting the Left

When is it time to be scared?

Smallest Minority has a piece on 'thought crimes', and ramifications thereof. And it's worrisome.

A few years ago I would not have been really worried about it; concerned, yes, but not worried. But things have changed. In all too many places- in this country- you can wind up being arrested for saying or doing something that hurts someone's feelings; that's a hate crime, now. Point out a few inconvenient facts, speak on opinion that's not PC, and you just might go to jail.

Over the years, now, official attitudes toward criticism have gotten worse. You could almost always get in trouble for actually threatening the government, or an agency, but now... say something someone decides is too critical, and various initial-agencies are looking into your finances, what letters and e-mail you send, what groups you belong to.

And I'm worried about it.

Government has become more, almost immune, to action by people who have been wronged. How may cases have we heard of over the last couple of years where some law enforcement agency raided the wrong house and killed someone? and then everyone involved walked away from any official action because 'departmental guidelines were followed '. The family may be able to sue, but it'll cost a fortune, and drag on... and in some cases, you may have to get a judge to give you permission to sue.
And, if you become a pest, the agency may decide that something they saw while they were ransacking your home(that they broke into by mistake) is enough to charge you with something. And so forth.

Add to that the fact that more and more, some people become actually scared at the thought of finding themselves on some government watch list because they said, or wrote, something some beaurocrat or law enforcement type objected to.

Sir Robert Peel wrote his Principles of Policing (scroll down a bit) in what was a fairly homogenous society, but the priciples worked pretty good here, too, for quite a while. Read Mr. Copper's whole post; what's gone wrong in Britain is wrong here, too. The biggest one, maybe, being the extent of the "Us-Them" attitude. It means people are less likely to cooperate with an officer/s who obviously hold them in contempt; it makes it a lot easier for a bad cop to get away with things, and makes a good cop more likely to do bad things. And a follow-on, judges who, more than ever, see themselves as Holy Men of the Law giving the peasants the word on how to behave.

This rambles on a bit, but it's connected. When various government reps feel they can put you on a list for saying something objectionable; when cops feel they can treat anyone like crap for what boils down to 'because I feel like it'; when judges can basically say the Constitution says what they think it does; when government agencies can make law with elected officials either not having say in it or not caring; and when all the above think that as soon as they show their ID you're supposed to abase yourself before them, no matter what, then we have some very big problems.

It remains to be seen whether enough of we the people care enough to use our votes to straighten it out.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Ignorance of this country

As in ignorance of what this country is and where it's been. Smallest Minority links to an article by a university professor about the truly abysmal ignorance of most of his students of American History. It really is appalling.

My daughter brought this to my attention when she was in eighth grade. That was when I found out she'd had Chinese, and African, and all the PC history, but not a single American history class. I was really pissed of by this, and proceeded to remedy it by telling her some things- over time- and showing her some materials I had. One advantage of messing with Buckskinning was having had a subscription to 'Muzzleloader' and 'Muzzleblasts' magazines; lots of articles on early U.S. and colonial history, generally told with good style, and she ate them up. Same for my son.

Another problem; she had a history teacher who was dismissive of anything he hadn't heard of, and if shown the proof got downright hostile. A teacher should be glad to learn of new facts, new stories, not mad about it.

I really don't understand how someone can look at this country, warts and all, and not like it. Especially I don't get those who speak of how awful we are and then heap praises on people like Fidel Castro. (and they get really hostile when you point out what a bastard he is. They also don't like it when you point out that the British and Canadian healthcare systems are pretty bad; they're FREE! and that's all that matters, apparently) Criticize problems, yes. Want to fix them? Sure. But to condemn everything about this country because it doesn't meet some intellectual definition of 'perfect' is a load of crap.

What do you want to bet many/most of those students in the article saw 'Farenheit 9-11' and believed it? And probably never saw any of the listings of falsehoods in it?

One of the things that struck me in the article was how the students thought having to open a book 'is an exotic and particularly cruel form of punishment'. Oh, God, how can you NOT like to read?!?!

If I didn't have to go to work I'd head for the range.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Some years have gone by when... refer to a new music release as an 'album' and people look at you funny. of your daughters high school friends is dancing in a nookie bar to help pay her tuition. notice some of your favorite music is only played on 'classic rock' stations. look under the hood of a car and think, "Jeez, what is al this crap?" first hear the word 'blog' and think it's some D&D critter. realize many of the Saturday morning cartoons were made for adults, not kids.
...somebody tells you you dress 'retro'.
...somebody freaks out because you carry a pocketknife.
...they'd REALLY freak out if they knew about the .45.
and so on...

The San Francisco idiocy

in wanting to ban handgun ownership and forbid transfer of other firearms has been well and truly whacked on by a number of people. Alphecca not only does that, he ties in a lot of other news, including a really flawed study on firearms ownership. Read it, I'll not try to condense.

Smallest Minority hits on the issues, too. Including the memorandum from the Justice Department affirming that the 2nd Amendment right to arms is, indeed, an individual right. As a lot of people have pointed out for a long time, there are two dangers with the 'collective-right' argument; first, that somehow language that speaks of individual rights in all other amendments somehow morphs into a 'collective' right in this case; and second, that the same arguments could be used by others to trash our other rights as only being 'collective'.

I still find it amazing how people who call themselves 'progressive' seem to think that means 'we are for all freedoms(except the one's we don't approve of, bacause they don't really count, you see)'.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Cat as alarm clock

If I could put a timer on the little furball, she might actually come in useful. As it is, when she thinks I'm about to wake up- or thinks I should- she jumps up on the bed, sits by my head and starts patting me on the eye.

The patting beats the other thing, though. If a hand or shoulder is showing, she starts ticking at it with her claws. Which does wake me up, and also causes her to levitate when I yell and jump.

Let's see, a nice purr instead of paws/claws, timer so you can keep her from starting this crap when you don't need to get up ("I'll feed you when I'm awake, dammit!").

Or I could get a water pistol.

I hate wrapping Christmas presents

One of the things I picked up is going to be hard to wrap, and I'm about out of paper anyway, and I hate winding up with rolls of the stuff to put away 'till next time...

Crap on that. Some of this stuff is going in bags. Brown paper bags. Or something simple.

Also, it's about to get cold again. Which has nothing to do with wrapping paper, but Steve was bitching about how cold it was in Florida a couple of days ago. "It's only 50-something, I'm freezing!" Suck it up, man! Our HIGHS the last while have been 40's & 50's. For Thursday & Friday this week they're saying highs in the 20's. Why don't you pluck Marv and stuff the feathers in your shirt? That'll give you some insulation. Although with all the habeneros you eat, I'm surprised you can get cold.

Last time I went to the range I discovered that the ventilators blow out from the firing line toward the range. Therefore, in December, you get a damn cold draft into the back of your neck and head. That does not aid in good shooting.

I will, however, stop saying nasty things about Steve if he invites me to ManCamp. Sounds kind of like what my great-uncle used to do with a fish fry on occasion.

I now have to find enough paper to wrap one thing, it's too small for the paper bag, and leaving it in a glorious wrapping that announces "Wal-Mart" just doesn't seem right.

Friday, December 17, 2004

How to clean your guns

First, you require a dirty gun. You should not drop one in the garden or the vacuum cleaner bag; you need one dirty from shooting; not only is this the proper way to get your gun dirty, it's a lot more fun. And noisy.

Now you need cleaning supplies. Oil and/or bore cleaner, cleaning patches, a cleaning rod, the jag to hold your patches, and a large flat space to lay things out on. This surface should not be one that is easily stained or damaged, or should be one you can hide. If you're married, you already know why(if you're not, you'll find out one day)

First, make sure the firearm to be cleaned is unloaded, with no cartridge left in the chamber. Not doing this could be noisy, and lead to more damage-cover problems.

Second, take it apart enough to clean it. There are two levels of this:
Field-stripping means taking it apart just enough to clean things off.
Detail-stripping means taking the whole damn thing apart; barrel, screws, stock, springs and all. This method is much more fun, allowing you to clean everything and giving much more opportunity to lose things and practice your language skills. Especially if you've lost the directions to put it back together.

For most needs, field-strip the thing and lay the parts out in order.
Remove the cat from the table.
Wet a patch with your chosen cleaning agent and wipe things off, setting them down in order. Put a patch on your cleaning rod, wet it down, and run it through the bore. Repeat, and set aside.

About this time you'll find that either a: the cat has returned to the table, or b: you're out of patches. Take a moment to either throw the beast off or dig out some more patches. You don't have more? Find that old t-shirt and start cutting. By the time you finish this, you're thirsty, so you have to wash your hands and get a drink. Do wash first; gun oil/cleaner does not help the taste of any drink known to man. And put the bottle down, you can have that after you're done.

Return. If you detail-stripped the piece, you'll likely find that either the cat came back to visit and is batting things around, or you bumped the table and things rolled around. This is your first opportunity to practice your language skills. Which, if you have kids, may also get you a lecture you really don't need right now.

Take a rag and wipe all the parts off, hopefully taking off all the fouling. Then wipe them down again with a clean patch & oil. Push a couple of clean patches through the bore, hopefully wiping all the crud out of the bore. If not, run a couple more wet patches through and wipe out again.

You should also have a couple of spare rags handy, or a roll of paper towels. This is to wipe up the spill when you knock the bottle over. You will do this either when a: you reach for it, or b: when the !*(@)#*&^^@ cat jumps back up on the table. If yours is a really fiendish beast, it WILL jump up where reaching for it will cause you to knock the damn bottle over.

Wipe up spill, and mutter language lesson, then run clean patches through bore. Unless you're shooting really crappy ammo or have let it get really nasty, this should do it.

Wipe all excess oil off all parts, and reassemble. And you're done!

Unless, of course, you detail-stripped it. Then you get to look for all the parts that have rolled/fallen somewhere, and try to find your directions(which you then get to try to open up without getting oily fingerprints all over it, causing further display of verbal skill). After finding all necessary parts/materials, then you get to put it all back together.

And now, flush with success, you get to put the firearm away, head back to the sink to wash your hands off- followed by washing out the sink so you don't receive a language lesson.

There are variations on this basic routine. Usually involving parts not being found, falling over the cat/dog, and sometimes ending with screamed imprecations at the pet, the parts involved, and possibly the ancestry of whoever designed the damn thing in the first place.

Now is the time to retire to a chair with a bottle of suitable drink.

Wasn't that easy?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Battle of the Bulge

Started 60 years ago. A site called Jewish World Review has an article about it.

Besides the stubbornness of some units- cut off from support, cold, short on supplies and ammunition- refusing to surrender or run, I read once that Patton managing to turn the entire 3rd Army and start it off in the new axis of attack in the time taken to do it was marvelous.
(I also read that Patton did not want to meet the German forces head-on; he wanted to run up their eastern flank for about 15 miles and then cut east, cutting the German forces off from support and resupply. Would probably have worked).

Take a look at it, and say a prayer for the memory of those men, and for the few who are still with us.

Ref the size of 'Oil, etc.'

Yes, I know the letters shrink as it nears the end. No, I haven't been able to fix it.


Update: Thank you, Noddy, it worked

Injuries on two wheels

I've been riding motorcycles since I was 14. I've burned myself on mufflers and header pipes, I've gotten cut and scraped working on them, but the worst injury I've ever had was a cut lip and some bruises. It took a damn bicycle to actually hurt me.

In good weather, when I've got time, I like to take my bicycle to the store, or the library. On this occasion I'd been working 0100 to 0900(1a.m. to 9a.m. for you non-24hour clock folks). It's Sunday evening and I don't have to be at work until 9a.m. There was a guitar magazine with an article on Heart- the group- that I wanted to get for my daughter. Nice weather, so I jumped on the bike and headed for Barnes & Noble.

Got there, they were out. There's a Borders about a half-mile away, so I headed for there. You either take back streets, or try to avoid being run over on two major streets, so I took the back way. And all was fine, until I cut through the hotel parking lot. Other times I'd have been fine, but I was tired and my reactions were off when I clipped the speed bump. Big sucker. Front banged and wobbled, but it was when the back hit that I lost it. I had one of those frozen moments when you know what has happened, you know what's going to happen, and you know you can't do a damn thing about it.

Bang. I went over sideways to the right, and had just enough reaction left to guide the fall a bit with my hand (thankfully, had gloves on) and take the impact on arm, shoulder and hip. I slid about three feet, and as I stopped and lay there my first thought was, "I'm going to have a hard time putting a shirt on tomorrow". This because I was in shorts and a tank top. However, when I pulled myself up I found only a couple of small scratches. Sore, but still ambulatory. So I got back on the bike(scrape on seat, no other damage), went into Borders- they were out of the damn magazine- then rode home, cleaned up and went to bed.

Morning comes, and I woke up and tried to sit up. 'Tried' because I could not really move my right leg, and could not raise my right arm. I had to roll to the edge of the bed and swing my legs over, hobble to the phone and call the doctor for an appointment, then call work to say 'I ain't gonna be there'.

Ever tried to drive a standard transmission truck with no right leg?

I had not broken anything, but had bruised my shoulder and hip so badly I was off work for three days. And my shoulder gives me trouble to this day.

Followup on this was I'd told my supervisor I'd had a bike accident, and everybody thought I'd crashed my new motorcycle.

I still ride bicycles, but not when I'm that tired.

Do you hate the weather weenies?

I'm talking about those idiots on TV and radio. I'm talking about the clowns who think they have to work in practice for their stand-up routine while they're supposed to be giving you facts.

I'm talking about the assholes who come on at the start of the news and say something like, "Nice weather for today, but is there a threat of death from the sky tomorrow? Details later in the broadcast."

I'm talking about the jerks who come on your radio and talk about how you should 'enjoy the weather today, because it's going to turn extremely cold next week' and worry the crap out of you. Until you find out that it's expected to be a bit colder than the average for this time of year. And that's it.

I hate these people.

There's a meteorologist here named Gary England. Overall he seems to be quite competent, but he has a tendency to do the above. What really used to tick me off was Spike the Weather Pig. He got a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig for a pet and gave it the above name. Now, I can see having a little blurb about it, but it didn't stop there. He'd come on to /supposedly/ do the weather report, and start off spending a few minutes showing pictures/video of Spike. In the spring/summer, when the sky looks certain ways and the air has a certain feel to it, people around here turn on the weather to find out if God's vacuum cleaner is about to lower a hose down on their neighborhood. One day when the conditions looked, shall we say, not good, I turned on the TV to see what was happening. No, I don't have cable or satellite for the Weather Channel. So I turned on channel 9 just as his report came on, and he spent the first few minutes with crap about that damn pig!

I'm wondering if we can expect the high winds, hail and maybe tornados the sky leads me to expect, and this idiot is spending time showing pictures of his PIG! He finally got to what I actually needed to hear- yes, the sky might indeed fall on us through tonight- but when it was over I was still steamed.

It was after this that I told a friend that the next time he pulled this crap, I was going to kidnap the pig and mail Gary a slab of ribs with a note: Stop showing Spike when you're supposed to be talking about the weather, or the pig gets it. Happily, right after that the pig stopped showing up; someone told me that it'd grown so big he had to send it to the family farm to live. So I was saved from becoming a pignapper.

But I'm still pissed at the weather weenies.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Just because I like it. Posted by Hello

Oil and grease and lube, oh my!

No, dammit, not that kind. For machinery.

One of the side effects of often not being able to leave things alone is experimenting. In this case, different oils, etc., for guns and knives. With a knife the main issue is protection from rust; since I sometimes have blades out for people to look over, and they handle them, this is a big issue. With folding knives(a drop in the pivot points) and firearms, lubrication is also important. And there's a lot of stuff out there.

There's Break Free, and TriFlow, and Militech, and Eezox, and Remoil, and Rig, and LSA, and the list goes on. Some say they're CLP- cleaner, lubricant, protectant- others are lube or protectant only. Cosmoline is a protectant only, it's not expected to lubricate. And it works, but unless you're storing something for a long time, you don't want it. Most of them will do some light cleaning, but if you have real copper or lead or plastic fouling in a weapon, you have to clean it out with a cleaner, then use the other stuff to finish off the cleaning and lube it.

There's Microlon Gun Juice. It's primarily a dry lube; shake it up well, wipe the parts and let them dry. Repeat four times, and it's done. It seems to slick things up nicely, and on .22 barrels it is a wonder; treat the barrel according to instructions, and fouling just wipes out. I had a pistol that fouled the barrel badly after about 50-75 rounds, and this cured it. Doesn't seem much of a cleaner compared to other things, but for bores and triggers and such, it's wonderful stuff.

I've used Break Free, and Triflow and Eezox. They all work pretty well, for cleaning and lubing (with the caveat noted above). I gave Militech a quick try. It's supposed to be a dry lubricant only, wipe it on, warm a bit, then wipe the excess off. Mad Ogre had a link to some tests that showed it did little as a corrosion preventive though, so I didn't use it much. I'm fairly chicken about blades that took a long time to make, or firearms I don't want damaged. Eezox seems pretty good. It's another 'dry' lube, you clean and lube, then let the parts sit till it drys, leaving a film of dry lube. Seems a pretty good protectant, does a decent job cleaning, seems a decent lube.

Recently I got a bottle of Corrosion-X. It's a CLP, and I'd read some pretty good reports on it. It's also supposed to be a very good penetrant, good at breaking loose frozen nuts, screws, etc. And that's what I really needed. I've been working on an old .22 rifle that was supposed to be a take-down; barrel unscrews from the receiver so it could be more easily packed when travelling. This one had probably not been taken apart for at least sixty years, quite likely more, and the barrel was frozen in place. I had oiled, soaked with different penetrating oils, and nothing seemed to do it.(yes, I did consider taking it to a gunsmith, but until/unless I had to give up, I wanted to do it myself)
So I got a bottle of this. I stripped it down to barrel & receiver and sprayed a liberal amount at the joint where barrel meets receiver, and around the breech end of the barrel where it came through the wall, then propped it up and left it for a week. Every day I'd put a few more drops around the inside seam. After a week I took it to the post vise (heavy steel vise for blacksmith work) and clamped the barrel up, with the receiver just clear of the jaws and two pieces of 1/4" plywood for barrel pads. Wrapped a piece of thin leather around the receiver for padding and clamped a 12" pipe wrench to it. Then, with a slight prayer, took a steel rod I keep for such things and whacked the wrench handle.

And it moved.

Understand, I'd done this before with no result. I stood there looking at it for a few seconds, then checked to see if the barrel had slipped in the vise- it hadn't- then grabbed the handle and swung it around a turn. The receiver turned freely, and I finished removing it by hand. Surprisingly there was no trace of rust on the threads of receiver or barrel shank, and they were oily; they'd apparently been protected from the rust that had hit the outside of the piece, and it looked like the Corrosion-X had penetrated. Close examination showed that the rust that froze it had been the bit between the barrel shoulders and receiver, and it wasn't too bad. Cleaned everything thoroughly, lubed it, and put it all back together. It now takes down and reassembles with no problem.

This may have worked due to the other stuff, over time, having an effect, but I don't think so. I think the Corrosion-X did the job. I've tried it on a couple of seriously dirty- from firing- guns and it seemed to clean quite well, taking some lead fouling out of a pistol barrel as well as the best other stuff I've tried, so I'm going to keep working with it. If it takes copper fouling out, I'll be extremely pleased with it. I'm trying some things now to see how it works as a lube, we'll see how it comes out.

And I'm sure I'll hear of some other wonder product down the road, and I'll ahve to give it a try. For now I'm going to give the Corrosion-X a serious workout.

(no, they're not paying me for this. I wish someone was)

Why can't there just be a different viewpoint?

There's a /apparently/ large group of people out there, to whom there is no such thing as someone with a different viewpoint; if you oppose theirs, you're part of some group/conspiracy out there TRYING TO DO EVIL! Chrenkoff has examples.

I could put up with a lot of this, but when someone decides the only reason an Iraqi would say good things about U.S. troops is because they're being paid to-threatened into- part of some U.S.G. agency, well my tolerance goes out the window. It's in the same groupthink that says anyone who voted for Bush/supports the war is obviously too stupid to understand the truth.

Large loads of crap out there.

Monday, December 13, 2004

And the temp goes up & down & up & down...

Steve is bitching that it's only in the 50's! in his part of Florida, and he's about to pluck the birds to stuff a coat. Suck it up, boy. You're stuffed with ManCamp leftovers, heat some up and tell Marvin to hush.

Saturday & Sunday here were high 50's--low 60's, and people were walking around in shorts. The rest of this week they're predicting lows in the 20's-30's and highs in the 40's.

Ever worked on a roof? They were re-roofing the house next door, and the weather was a blessing for them. 60's when on a roof can be pretty warm; 70's and you sweat buckets. Better them than I, I'm not fond of working on a housetop.

Side note: Stuff called Corrosion-X is pretty good penetrating lubricant.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Stick a fork in me, I'm done

And stuffed. Took my son for his birthday dinner tonight. He picked Johnny Carrino's for the third year in a row. The sign says 'Italian country cooking'; I can't say about that, but I can say that it's well done. Good food and plenty of it. This time I did stop eating while I could still walk out, as opposed to feeling like I need to be set on a dolly for the trip outside. Leftovers in the fridge.

My daughter, who's starting a personal chef business, checked out a book on pork recipes, as she's never done much with oinkers before. Considering the other stuff she turns out, good stuff in the offing.

As a side note, some of the people bidding on stuff on Ebay are insane.

Now, I think I shall wobble to the bathroom and clean up for bed.
'Wobble' being the operative word, pasta sneaks up on you.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

You just can't trust 'em after they leave the force

Ravenwood notes that Chicago doesn't think retired cops are safe to own, let alone carry, firearms.

So the peasants aren't to be trusted, and once you leave the force you become one of the peasants. Wonderful.

One more reason never to want to live there.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Oh, the wonder!

I got a new screen, and the thing is marvelous! No blurring of letters the longer it's on! No fuzzy images! It's a 17" flatscreen monitor, and after the store discount and the rebates, it's $69.95 (plus tax, of course).

Hmm, maybe I should ask Steve where he finds his midget porn... Nah, probably not.

More idiocy from the TSA

What purpose is served by ordering air marshals to wear suits all the time? To blend in? Nonsense.

There once was a man in charge of a state law enforcement agency in Oklahoma who ordered that all agents had to wear coat and tie all the time- including those working undercover. When the undercover people protested that this could get them killed, they were lectured about the necessity of their being dressed 'profesionally' at all times.

Happily, they got rid of that clown before anyone died/not in the best of ways, that's a different story/; hopefully this nonsense will be changed, too. Sounds like one more bureaucrat who's more interested in 'policy and procedure' than in getting the job done.

Kind of like the U.N.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Why do I write so much on this?

Because self-defense is a universal human right, but it's also one of the most damaged by many governments.

My dad was in law enforcement for many years. One of the things I picked up as a kid was that on the occasions we ate out, he'd generally try to sit where he could see either the whole place or the register. I took it as a given that he'd often carry a sidearm when off-duty, and it didn't surprise me that many people did. If he and the other local authorities had arrested everyone who had a handgun in the car, pocket or purse, at some point they'd have arrested most of the people in the county I think. Generally it wasn't considered a problem; bad guys with any weapon were a problem. Rarely did anyone have to use them, because the knowledge that breaking into someone's home, or trying to grab them at their car, would get you shot kept that to a rare occurance.

Years later, it was really a surprise to me how many cops were very hostile to the idea of citazens carrying for self-defense. It still bothers me. The honest people are not a threat, and the bad guys are often unable to legally touch a firearm for any reason. But a lot of them REALLY don't like it. Even in the home.

Occasionally some agency will raid the wrong house and wind up shooting, sometimes killing, someone who lives there. And one of their excuses for the shooting is usually something like, "He came down the stairs/out of the room with a gun". Hell yes, he did. You smashed in his door in the middle of the night, he's scared for his family and himself, he sees someone in black with a gun and acts to protect his home. And you not only shot him, if he lives the prosecutor just might try to charge him with something. And then the chief and/or some jerk from the Brady group will speak sadly of how this points out the dangers of people having guns, and the department usually says something like 'they were following normal procedures, so no action will be taken against the officers'. And there damn well should be against someone, folks, you hit the wrong place and shot/killed an innocent! And every time it's excused, it makes more people mutter something about 'damn cops' and trust them that much less.

Yes, this is a bit of a rant. This is my place for it. I think a lot of agencies need to post Robert Peel's Principles of Policing, and make everybody read the damn things.

Mark Steyn says it very well

"That this most basic right should be something for which he has to organise a campaign is disgraceful."

He's speaking of self-defense, of course, in the wake of another victim being stabbed to death when he opened the door. Apparently this is a common method of home-invasion burglary in Britain right now. And why, even without a gun, do so few fight back?
'Four years ago, Shirley Best, proprietor of the Rolander Fashion emporium, whose clients include Zara Phillips, was ironing some clothes when the proverbial two youths showed up. They pressed the hot iron into her flesh, burning her badly, and then stole her watch. "I was frightened to defend myself," said Miss Best. "I thought if I did anything I would be arrested." '

One of the worst indicators I can think of for a society is people fearing to protect themselves because the government might charge them with a crime. It is also flat disgusting.

Found at Tim Blair's place.

Monday, December 06, 2004

More on hate crime laws

at Captains Quarters. As a commenter says, "When Mr. Bean is the voice of reason..."

More on self-defense in Britain

over at Smallest Minority. One of the key quotes;
At a lunch the other day a very senior member of the Civil Service said to me: "Your campaign will never succeed. It goes against the entire administrative culture in this country."

And God know you can't go against the 'aministrative culture' just because people are murdered in their homes.

Another thing; from some of the letters to the paper, people recognize that the most effective way for people to protect themselves is a gun, but no, can't have that! Someone might get hurt!

Read it all.

Note to Senator McCain


This clown sees ANYTHING any more, he wants right in the middle of it so he can propose some new law.

AZ needs to start that recall petition back up.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

And by the way...

I wrote earlier about attitudes toward firearms, and there's something I've never understood.

I used to play in the Society for Creative Anachronism a lot, did both heavy-weapons and light. I knew people who kept axes, swords and/or knives by the bed in case of burglars. One of the most popular stories was about a guy in Houston who met a group of burglars with a katana and cut them up. But many of these people professed to dislike (loathe, in many cases) guns.

I've never understood the apparent (to them) moral distinction between sharp steel and a bullet. Slice someones guts open with a sharp edge? Stick a point through them? Hey, no problem! But shoot them?!?! How could you hold such disgusting ideas? How could you do that?

Partly it was due to lots of people in the SCA being very PC in many ways, but it also seemed to be rooted in the ideal of 'honorable combat' and distance weapons being 'less honorable'. Which I thought was idiotic then, and still do. Honorable combat in a duel has not one damn thing to do with dealing with an attacker in your home. But it really seemed to be important to those who insisted on it. Myself, I reiterate; anyone who deliberately lets an attacker within arms-reach of themselves, when they have a choice in the matter, is a fool. Especially when you have others to protect.

More on self defense in Britain; changes coming?

Clayton Cramer links to an arItalicticle in the Telegraph on proposed changes to give homeowners an 'unqualified right of self-defense'.

It's a good start for a major paper to be pushing for this, but at best they've got an uphill fight with the brakes on. The British government is mostly headed by people who don't think individuals should do much of anything without government approval, and they don't approve of the peasants taking such action.

And they have a further problem. As I mentioned before, all the BS aside, the best weapon for most people for self-defense is a gun; and the British government has spent years making it damn near impossible for anyone to own them. Especially when it is wanted for self-defense.

But at least it is a start. With the way the British crime rate keeps going, and with home-invasion burglaries at better than 50 percent guaranteeing more people injured, crippled and dead, there should be more pressure to make some changes.

IF they can force their government to make the changes.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Ways things change

I've been thinking about some of the ways things change, and the things that drive the changes.

Right at the moment, firearms are in mind. Lots of people get hung up on the 'guns are bad' idea and either cannot or won't see it any other way.

Once, armies were a core of nobles and attendants, supported by lots of peasants and slaves. When going to war they often took a lot of peasant levies along, but they were mostly for work parties and to get in the way of the enemy.

Then the gun arrived.

When they stopped being clumsy, unreliable toys, they became essential. First cannon, then individual arms. And they changed armies, and the society they were supported by/created by. It takes years to learn to use a sword and shield well; add in a horse and lance, longer, it's best to grow up learning it(nobles). The bow is the same, years of practice to become skilled enough to be useful. And able to handle a bow strong enough to be really useful in a fight. Think Welsh, and Mongol, growing up with stronger bows every year. /side note: it would be interesting to find out how many people wound up with repetitive-stress injuries; sword and bow and axe practice means a lot of the same motions/
But you can train someone to the point of useful skill with a musket in a few weeks. You don't need untrained peasants to wave sticks now, you need people who can take and follow orders and train to be steady under fire. Long term, that means more than changes in an army, it means changes in the society as well.

A gun means you don't have to be big and strong, or spend at least an hour a day practicing, to be able to protect yourself. Yes, bad guys used guns; they've always used the weapons available. Now you had a weapon that made you able to fight a big bad guy even if you were small. /side note: I don't care what people say about empty-hand martial arts, and stun guns, and batons; anyone who lets a bad guy get within reach, if you don't have to, is a fool. The idea is to protect yourself; leave ideas like 'honorable combat' where they belong, which is not in your head when someone attacks you in your home, or a parking lot, or wherever/

Much has been made of the Japanese being the people 'who gave up the gun' because it didn't suit their warrior ethic. Horsecrap. The Samurai used guns, and very effectively, when it suited them. Where the gun did not suit them was in the hands of peasants; it's hard to be a noble samurai, lopping the heads off insolent peasants, if the peasant can shoot you before you're in reach of your sword. They had already banned peasants having weapons of war, firearms were just included in the ban.

Especially as guns became more generally useful, you could tell more about the relative freedom, and respect for the individual, in a society by the attitude toward them. Many places, only military/police/nobles were allowed them most of the time(peasants; Britain, in contrast, pretty much integrated them as more of the arms a subject was supposed to have/know how to use in time of need (yes, I know they did have some restrictions, especially as to religeon of owners; it was still generally expected that a loyal subject of the crown had the right to arms and self-defense. It wasn't until the 1900's that British law began restricting the ownership of arms from honest subjects)

For a lot of people who emigrated to North America, it was a given that you would possess arms, and practice with them. It was considered important enough that when the 2nd Amendment was first proposed, most states though it unnecessary; the right of free men to arms seemed so basic to them that they thought it didn't even need to be mentioned. A couple of states insisted they would not ratify the Constitution unless it was, and so- thank you, founders- we have the 2nd Amendment. Otherwise we might well have gone the way of Britain and Canada and Australia.

This is a short & dirty bit of thought on the matter, but I think it holds true.
I may add to it later.

Status of the world

Well, Bambi is still in the forest, little bugger evaded me this time. (But wait 'till next time, hahahahahhaa)

We've now had several days of below-freezing lows, so hopefully I won't have to mow again. This does mean getting some gas stabilizer to keep the carb in the mower from gumming up over the winter. I may add some to the bike also, just to be on the safe side.
Interesting thing about Oklahoma, in the middle of winter you can get days where, with jacket & gloves, you can ride comfortably; sometimes chaps help. So I don't like to take it out of commission for the season, since I may get some chances to ride.

Cats are insane (see TwoLumps) A dog might decide "I'm gonna go check out the other room" and wander off to do it. A cat jumps up and screams "I've gotta be somewhere else RIGHT NOW!!!" and takes off like you just stuck a stun gun to their tail.

I wrote about the baby-killing in the Netherlands. There's probably no country more steadfastly opposed to the death penalty, for any crime, than the Netherlands. But they can quite calmly write a protocol for how to kill infants and children. Oh, those sophisticated Europeans, why can't we be like them?

The U.N. is trying to push new rules ordering /ORDERING, I SAY!/ that no country can take any kind of military action, no matter what, without U.N. approval. This from an organization that won't take action to stop actual genocides. "We won't do anything about the murder of your citazens, but we won't approve you doing anything, either!" This is one of the reasons why any U.S. politician who says we should subordinate ourselves to the U.N. should be thrown out of office- possibly at the end of a rope.
Further on this, the U.N. has been trying for years to totally ban the ownership of 'small arms' by private citazens of any country. They include all handguns, rifles and shotguns in that category. A big part of their reasoning is that this would keep insurgents from acting against existing governments.
Think about that; no matter how corrupt, cruel, oppressive a government is, the U.N. would rather have it 'stable' than see people have a chance to rebel against it. Oh, no, you have to to through the U.N. to do something about it! We won't act, especially if there's money in not acting, but they damn sure don't want the peasants to do anything about it.
Personal opinion, you have two things at work here. One is the attitude of an organization to gather power to itself no matter the consequences to anyone else. And I think the other is the carryover from a lot of European/royalist/communist attitudes that you cannot let the commoners do anything without approval. The mess in Bosnia was one demonstration of this, I think; remember all the countries that wanted someone(else) to do something, but at the mention of giving arms to people to protect themselves they practically gave birth to purple cows? They'd rather have seen that go on for years than actually 'allow' anyone arms with which to defend themselves. The U.N. has that attitude and is continually trying to make it impossible for anyone to do anything without their approval.
Screw the U.N.

I've got a big holly bush at each front corner of the house, practically covered with berries. I need to prune them back, but I'll wait 'till spring; the berries make the birds happy.

Have you ever actually moved through a house with a sword, seeing how you'd use one in the event of a burglar? I'll take firearms, thank you.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Stick that fork in Britain again

Check out Nanny Knows Best, for the latest in how the all-knowing minions of government are making sure the British subject is properly controlled- er, taken care of.

Can't trust peasants to change their own light bulbs, you know.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Up-to-date European Healthcare

At Wizbang, found this.

I am at a loss. That a society can slide to this and simply take it in stride...

Both my kids were premature. Both of them might well have been murdered by these 'doctors' because of their health problems. They are 22 and 20 now, and doing quite well.

If some doctor had informed me that he killed my child because 'their health problems would have kept them from having a proper life', or I found out about it later, said doctor better have his will made out. Because I would have killed him. No question.

Someone once pointed out that if a government does not/refuses to protect citazens from crime, the citazens have a right to take the law into their own hands. Well, if doctors/government decide they can kill your child and you have no say because
"A parent's role is limited under the protocol. While experts and critics familiar with the policy said a parent's wishes to let a child live or die naturally most likely would be considered, they note that the decision must be professional, so rests with doctors"
then a parent has the right to take what actions are necessary to protect their children. And other's children.

Yes I'm writing this in the heat of the moment. I hope I never lose that heat at the idea of such things being done.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Life do keep things busy

The weather has now dried out a bit, no rain for a few days, but with temperatures bouncing between 20's-30's for lows and 40's & 50's for highs, alternating dry north winds and humid southerly winds, the ground isn't going to dry out anytime soon. This means, among other things, that the grass will keep growing /I may have to mow again/ and the ground will remain soft, making it hard to mow in some places. Most of the time I could get out to chase deer, it was wet enough, or another front coming through, that the critters were bedded down and not moving. And the jacket that feels so nice in the morning may be damn hot in the afternoon.

I have a niece who in the past has had liver trouble. She's now basically in liver failure, as I understand it, and they're setting up to transfer her to Pittsburg. There's a world-class transplant center here in town, but the doctor they want to use is in Pittsburg, so...

So far, grocery shopping hasn't been too bad; either I've been there before/after the crowd, or the crowd is at the other end of the store. It won't last, but it's nice while it does.

I was going to send in a target for Neanderpundit's postal match, but with the above stuff combined with work, there won't be time/weather to get to the range. Dammit.

At least Day by Day is back up.

Monday, November 29, 2004

"Can I search your vehicle?"

Kim du Toit has a link to a story about a Brit who was asked if the cops could search his vehicle for 'training purposes'. They arrested him for having a Swiss Army knife in his case. That's in Britain, where owning damn near anything is illegal anymore, but similar things happen here.

A lot of agencies/cops are real big on "Do you have any guns/drugs/whatever in your car? Can I search it?". If you say yes, anything- ANYTHING- they may find can be used against you. A lot of them don't care if you're traveling through, and your offense is not having a legal firearm cased properly according to local/state law, they'll bust you.
And if you say no...
I've heard far too many stories- including from people in the law enforcement community- about how they bully/threaten people to push them into saying yes. And they can make you sit on the side of the road for a time while they summon a drug dog to sniff around the car, and if he alerts on anything- including prescription meds- they'll use that as cause to take the car apart. And from what I've heard, they'll use the various criminal history databases in ways they're not supposed to be used to try to find 'cause' for a search.

There's far too many people with badges out there who have gone completely into the "us vs. them" attitude toward EVERYONE; and it's costing all the way around. The cops look with distrust/contempt on anyone not a member of the club; citazens treated with obvious contempt tend to return it; and someone who gets their vehicle taken apart because they dared say 'no' to a search are going to have a bad attitude toward law enforcement ever after in many cases. Doesn't do to tell them 'it was just one jerk', because after that the attitude of other cops that they may have glossed over in the past now becomes obvious and resented.

In some ways the Patriot Act has made it worse. Yes, I know there's no record of it being actually abused(that I know of), but the fact that some agencies can do damn near anything and blanket it under that- even theoretically- really pisses a lot of people off. The actions of a lot of the TSA people at airports is a good example; they can do something really egregious, and if you object you can be arrested. Doesn't matter that they were wrong, WE'RE THE TSA, PEOPLE, and you better put up with anything we do or else! And it is abused, and people rightly resent it, and that takes things further downhill.

Personally, I would never agree to a search of my vehicle. If they think they have legal reason to search my vehicle- or house, for that matter- they can damn well get a search warrant. I know I'm not a legal scholar, and there's so many complications in this/one of the damn problems/ that there's probably ways they can search without a warrant. But I'll not agree to help them, and if they go outside the bounds I will file a complaint, or get a lawyer if I think it's warranted.

I keep remembering Martha Stewart went to prison for "lying to a federal investigator". She wasn't under oath, wasn't in a courtroom, but they were able to convince a jury that she 'lied' to an investigator in an informal interview about a crime they can't prove she committed.

Ain't all this wonderful?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

This ain't dissent

Insty has a link /no, I'm not going to put it up/ to a post saying the goal for the left is to make sure we lose in Iraq.

This clown is specifically wanting to see the terrorists and mideast Nazis win.

As somebody put it, there's a big difference between dissenting and being on the other side.

Ok, this is amazing!

This article tells about a woman who is walking, years after a spinal cord injury, after therapy using umbilical cord stem cells.

If this pans out to be more than a one-time thing, it's bloody wonderful. I've read that fetal stem cells have not really worked out well, but umbilical cells are a different matter. They seem to work much better, and don't involve the ethical problems with fetal cells.

I hope this works out.

Found at Instapundit

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Evening thoughts

It's turning cold again after a nice day and-a-half, and there's a chance of more rain tomorrow afternoon. Oh joy. At least I got the yard mowed this afternoon before it got too dark, though I hope it'll be dry enough tomorrow to let me use the weedeater around the stone edging I built around the beds in front.

A cat in the lap is warm, but can make it damn hard to type.

The dog loves a thick bed of straw in the house, but drags a lot of it out as she enters and exits. Good thing I have the rest of the bale.

James Doss is a good writer, and Charlie Moon is a fine character. So is his aunt Daisy.

I could go broke in an evening on Or Brownells. Or Museum Replicas. Or...

I'm so glad I got the furnace taken care of BEFORE it turned cold. And wet.

I got rid of a lot of stuff when I moved eight years ago, and again when I moved here. Ever notice how the crap multiplies?

I need to put a shed in the back yard for various tools. And I'd like to have some kind of storm shelter; sometimes the wind doesn't just sweep down the plains here, it vacuums too.

Celtic Crossing, just a shot or so, goes very well in pecan pie.

And I need to get to the range. It always burns off some stress, and I enjoy it.

I STILL want to see a good picture of Sondra K. Hey lady, I gave you one of me! How 'bout it?

That's it for now.

Interesting stuff

One of the odd things that's always interested me is the subject of poisons, and how they work. Lots of stuff in movies and books- most of that of little or no accuracy- and lots of folklore.

Barking Moonbat Early Warning System found an article about a poison old in its region, new to everyone else(which is often how it works). From a tree, effects much like foxglove, but not detected the same way. Next edition of 'Deadly Doses' is going to have to add this in.

Also at BMEWS, Christmas Controversies

The Wisconsin hunter murders

Gunwatch has some more info on the mess, and it adds a whole new dimension to it. Go there, and read the whole thing.

Hate crimes

Having finally digested the Thanksgiving dinner that some friends forced upon me/you don't think I'd eat that much all on my OWN, do you?/, I want to put some thoughts down.

Ann Althouse has a piece about a show 20/20 was doing about the Matthew Shepard murder. Basically, it points out that it was a lot less due to the supposed hate of homosexuals, and a lot more to do with simple robbery and murder related to drugs. And about all the screaming by people who've used the 'approved version' of the murder to push their political vision, and don't want their tear-jerking fund-raising story challenged.

For a lot of people, it's not enough that it be a horrible murder; it has to be a horrible murder committed for the 'right' reasons, so it can be used to push an agenda. Which is another reason I don't like the idea of hate-crimes laws.

This was, no mistake, a terrible act. But it's supposed to have been worse because, in the way it was originally put forth, it was committed because Shepard was homosexual. He's no more dead because the reason for the act was one thing or another; it was no more or less horrible a way to die; but we're supposed to be especially outraged because of what the murderers had in their minds when they did it.

This would mean that a: we're supposed to figure out exactly what someone was thinking when an incident happened, and b: that there are classes of victim that are more important than others. The one is usually impossible, and the other is despicable.

Someone punches another guy; turns out the guy punched was gay; therefore it's a worse crime than if a straight guy was punched? Horsecrap. Besides the fact that he's no more damaged than anyone else, how the hell to you prove what the puncher was thinking? He may have punched for some reason that has nothing to do with with sex, but it will be automatically assumed by many that it did. Especially by those who stand to gain; a prosecutor making a reputation as a 'defender of minorities', activists who need someone new as a victim to trumpet, and so forth.

There's a reason our laws are based on what you do, not what you think. Thinking about something is not a crime; actually planning an act can be. There's a big difference. If you commit an assault or murder, I don't really care what was in your mind, I care that the crime be punished, the punishment being for the act, not for your supposed thoughts.

Yes, I know that someone can plan to do something for a stupid/evil reason. Doesn't make what they did to someone any worse. If someone plans to torture someone to death because of something they are, it doesn't make the act any worse than if they picked someone at random. It can show that the actor had premeditated the crime, and that should affect punishment. But to me, that should be the extent of it.

For what it's worth.

Update: Althouse says the 20/20 piece was less than convincing to her. I didn't see it, so I can't say. Doesn't affect my opinion on the matter of 'hate-crime' legislation. Whether as part of a robbery or because Shepard was homosexual, or a mix of both, he's dead. And the ones who did it are in prison with the maximum penalties a jury would give. Saying their state of mind at the time of the crime was unapproved wouldn't change either the death or their punishment.
Another thing that bothered me was that when it was announced that 20/20 was going to do this segment, they caught a lot of grief from people, basically for daring to put out something that challenged the 'approved' version of the story. Happily, they went ahead. If their information is bad that'll come out, and if they put out information people should know about this, that's to the good. I do not like news being censored either by screaming or by people in a newsroom more concerned with being PC than with getting facts out.

Further update: Clayton Cramer has some more on this, and saw the 20/20 piece a bit differently than Althouse.

More: forgot about this article at Reason on the Shepard case

Thursday, November 25, 2004

And a politician admits it

Next time you read something about how the media is prejudiced toward conservatives, remember this. Wizbang has the link to a Democrat politician saying this:
SANCHEZ: I agree with Jesse. I agree with my colleague. I believe that we made mistakes. The media certainly is not in our hands any longer, and, in particular, radio talk shows where that is completely in the opposition's hands, and they use it effectively against us.
BLITZER: But, Loretta, when you say the media -- when you say the media is not in your hands, are you saying that ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN are hostile to Democrats?
SANCHEZ: No, that's not what I said. I'm saying that -- if you would let me finish -- that the majority of people are now receiving a lot of their information out of radio. And the radio isn't in the hands of the Democrats anymore.

"The media is certainly not in our hands any longer". Here's a Democrat politician stating flatly that it was in their hands up 'till now.

As they say, 'Read the Whole Thing'


is one of the diseases that tends to bring out the horror in people. It's one of the nastiest ones, with no real treatment.

'Till now.

Ann Althouse links to an article about a girl who was successfully treated for rabies after she had developed gross symptoms. Which is amazing; up until very recently, if you developed any symptoms before getting the vaccine, you were dead. In this case, she being too far along for the vaccine, they induced a coma to help her survive while the disease ran its course.

The vaccine for animals is now much better, there's even a form that can be given orally; I've read that they put it in bait and air-drop in areas to treat the wildlife in areas where it is/is becoming a problem. The vaccine given to humans before symptoms show is 100%. Some things are definately getting better.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

By the way... can one small cat produce so much stuff in a litterbox.

And so much smell?

Hard to hunt when you're sinking

Into the ground, that is. It's STILL raining off & on here, and the woods are as soggy as a sponge just taken out of the water. Was able to spend a few hours out yesterday. I can take wet, and I can take cold; when they combine, it gets to be a little too much. When the mist and the occasional drop or two turned to rain, I gave up and hiked in.

There's some real nice hunting rain gear out there, but it's a bit expensive, like a couple of hundred dollars. I don't have enough chance to use it to be able to justify paying that. Besides, when the weather kicks up like that the deer bed down, and unless you trip over one, you'll never see them. Woods that are normally alive with stuff, I saw one squirrel.

Well, the season continues for a bit, so there should be more chance to get out. And it's actually supposed to stop raining this afternoon, at least for the next few days. Damn time, too, according to what I've read we are now either tied or have surpassed some records for November rainfall.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Dan Rather is going!.....


Just heard on the news that he's going to step down- in the SPRING- but will stay on 60 Minutes.

Ok, so after one more piece of BS reporting, this involving counterfeit documents and coverups, there's still no investigation by C BS that we're aware of, and he's stepping down from the evening news in SEVERAL MONTHS but staying on the payroll on a NEWS SHOW.

To be blunt, I call bullshit. It's more 'now all you peasants go away and shut up'.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Ah, encouragement from your 'friends'

The neighbors of Iraq are saying they need to decide if the Iraqi elections will take place on time. Including the comment that "Dates are not sacred. What is sacred is the process.".

Number one, dipsticks, it's not YOUR decision to make, it is the decision of the Iraqi interim government.

Second, there's nothing 'sacred' about the process you want to follow, which is basically telling the Iraqis how they will run their country. Screw you.

Lastly, "If the elections took place but were boycotted, there would be a lack of equilibrium in the Sunni representation," he warned. That was from an arab delegate who requested anonymity. Again, screw you. If a bunch of the Sunni boycott the election, then they won't get to vote. Period. The people calling for the boycott are the same ones who support the terrorists who think torturing and murdering aid workers shows their devotion to God (and their devotion to staying on top of the country, let's not forget that part). They don't want to vote? Fine. They'll let the Shia and Kurds and Christians and Jews and whoever else select the national government.

And you think that government will be real tolerant of the crap the Sunni troublemakers are causing? Somehow, I don't think so.

Sunday, November 21, 2004


...are one thing I do truly enjoy. At least when the weather allows.

I'm fairly flexible on weather. I don't like getting caught in rain- I have issues with traction- and hail is definately not fun. Too cold keeps me off; coldest I've ridden in is about 25F, had to get to work and the bike was my only transport, and yes, I DID freeze my bahoogies off(or at least it felt like it). I wouldn't like a serious highway trip below, say, 45; even with chaps, boots, etc., it gets too damn cold. But above that, not too bad, just put on the chaps, gloves, etc. Not going too far? Can do without the chaps, then.

I admit I'm a bit chicken about riding in cold anymore, may hands stiffen up. But cool is a delight. One of the finest mornings I ever had was coming back from Dallas. At highway speeds before the sun came up was a touch cool, almost uncomfortable. But the sun did come up and after that... it was wonderful. The wind was light, traffic on the interstate was light, no black&whites around, I repeat, wonderful. Especially going through the Arbuckle Mountains. Curves, uphill & down, and nobody in the way. I found that a Vulcan 750 will cruise at 80 through this with no strain, and on the level ground a throttle lock is very nice to have.

I've never had a Harley. Most of them, used in good condition or new, cost too much, and I haven't really cared for the styling; also, up 'till the last few years they tended to leak. I've owned Hondas and now a Kawasaki, the above-mentioned Vulcan, and they've all worked well. Now that Harley has solved the leakage problems I may look at one for my next bike; most of the cruiser-style bikes at other makes are big, heavy, and I don't really care for their looks.

I've been real happy with the Vulcan. In cool-cold weather, the liquid cooling lets it warm up better than air-cooled bikes I've ridden. The shaft-drive is very nice, no chain or belt to adjust and lube. The only problems I've had were a:, the seat and b: the charging system.
After one trip to Texas I swore I was going to replace the factory seat, and it now sports a Mustang; much better. And the charging system, especially in cold weather, doesn't seem up to keeping the lights running and the battery at full charge. I've found a site that has a fix for the electrical problem, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
I do wish more after-market parts people made stuff for the 750; I'd really like some hard saddlebags, but the Kawasaki ones are small and won't hold much, and I haven't found any others that I can be sure would fit without a lot of fiddling.

Come spring, I'll be putting on new radiator hoses and a new clutch, and with any luck next summer will find me at Sturgis. I'd like to see that rally.

Neat sites & links

Just ran across FreedomSight, if anyone's out there they ought to take a look. It includes the following quote:

"Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a public safety hazard don't see the danger in the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the constitution they don't like."
Alan Dershowitz

and a link to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
He also had a nice takedown of one of those clowns who claims to be for gun ownership, and then goes on to say all the guns he thinks should be banned.

I'm sitting here adding these because it's raining lightly- again- and the fog has developed, and it's the fifth or sixth day in a row with some level of rain, and the bloody grass is going to have to be mowed again /if it ever dries out/ and I can't fire the forge, and .... to quote somebody, "Just Damn!"

Froggy Ruminations, a blog by a former SEAL and customs agent. Good stuff here.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

What language in a country?

Clayton Cramer has a link to an article about the European Union calling for all immigrants to learn the local language and customs, and go by them. Which is reasonable. In fact, should be required.

If you came to the U.S. from another country, and with family & friends want to speak the old language, go ahead. You run a business and a lot of customers also know, and want to speak, that language, no problem. You're with friends in a restaurant and speak to each other in that language, doesn't bother me.

BUT, when you are doing any kind of official business- city/county/state paperwork, licenses, that should be done in English. You don't like that? Tough shit.

If I moved to Mexico, I'd be expected to learn Spanish. To Germany, German, and so forth. That so many come to the U.S. and expect all documents, business, etc., to be done in their language so they don't have to learn English, is disgusting. You should not get to take a drivers license test in any other language, and for damn sure a voting ballot should be in only one language.

If you want to live and work in this country, learn the damn language.

Or leave.