Saturday, March 15, 2008

Steve is having qualms about shooting cute varmints

like prairie dogs. I never had a chance to go after any myself, but in the farming/ranching area where we lived for some years when I was a kid, the ranchers especially loved having someone come in and thin them out. There were occasional cows and horses with injuries from the holes, and they could flat strip an area to bare dirt.

I've mentioned my great-uncle Ray before, he's the one who went to Europe in WWII(the other, George, was in the Pacific). Ray loved hunting, and the land, and the animals, and when he shot something it was either for food or to protect his crop or buildings. The one thing I ever heard of that he actually disliked(four-legged, that is) was armadillos.

Not for carrying leprosy or other diseases, because of their digging. If you've never seen it, you'd be amazed the size of the holes they can dig. Fast. They'll also dig up newly planted trees to eat the roots(my grandfather hated them, too), and do other damage. What really set Ray against them, though, was the holes. Twice he hit holes he couldn't see in the hay or wheat and damn near had the tractor roll over on him, so he shot them every chance he got. In particular, right after the hay was baled he'd go out at night with a scoped .22 rifle and a spotlight, cruise through the fields slowly in his jeep and pop them.

I only went out with him once(only opportunity), and discovered an oddity about the things. We rolled up on one and it presented a nice stationary target. You'd think an animal would take notice of a jeep with three people in it and a bright light shining on it, but nooooo, it just sat there, digging. So I laid the crosshairs right behind the should and pressed. Bang. And it didn't move.

I mean, at all. I didn't even see a twitch. So it hit it again. And it twitched, but didn't move. At this point I was wondering if that damn scaly skin had some bullet-resistant qualities, and hit him a third time.

THAT time he moved. He jumped, spun around in a circle and took off running. Right at the jeep. Ran past notfour feet away, got about six feet past and rolled over, legs in the air twitching. I walked over and put in a finishing shot to make sure, and- since Dad had asked after the first two if I'd missed- looked at the left side. There was a nice group about an inch across, in the right place to put the shots right through the heart/lung area. I reported this amazing fact and Ray said he'd seen that before, that sometimes they just didn't seem to notice a lethal hit. Or two. In this case Remington hollowpoints.

He kept up his war on the beasts up until health wouldn't let him go after them anymore. Wish I'd been able to go down more and help him out with them.

Speaking of flashlights,

I did NOT need to see this today. Surefire G2 with an LED: 80 lumens output for 12 hours. Son has one of the standard G2 lights, I need to find if they sell the LED lamp assembly to put in the old light: if so, he'll love it. Same batteries but 12 times the runtime, damn.

Also, heard from him the other day. It's now hitting 90's in his area for highs. In March. Yuck.

Prosecutorial bad stuff going on?

Why, would they do that? From past knowledge, oh HELL yes.
Which brings up the rumblings that Tom Kirkendall is reporting on concerning the Enron trial. This is part of a pattern of possible misconduct Tom has been discussing for sometime. Part of the problem is that Enron prosecutors gave Skilling's lawyers only a composite summary of what Andy Fastow told the FBI. The prosecutors said that was ok because the interviews contained no exculpatory information. Yet Fastow's trial testimony was full of the sort of inconsistences that cast doubt on his credibility (see, e.g., this post). Was this stuff in the FBI reports?

Well, it seems not:

The brief reveals suppression of exculpatory evidence by the Enron Task Force of a massive scale. The entire brief is devastating to the Task Force's prosecution of Skilling and the late Enron chairman, Ken Lay. * * *

The implications of this brief reach far beyond the Skilling appeal. For example, the already-reeling prosecution of the four Merrill Lynch bankers in the Enron-related Nigerian Barge case would appear to be over -- the prosecution in that case not only withheld exculpatory evidence, but put on incriminating testimony from former Enron treasurer Ben Glisan that directly contradicted the exculpatory evidence that Fastow provided to Task Force prosecutors during his interviews. Other Enron-related criminal cases -- as well as plea bargains -- could well be affected.

Just freakin' wonderful, isn't it?

And, as the guy says, "...I'm still waiting for this to capture the attention of the press, which had been so rivited on Fastow's testimony at the trial." Of course, at the trial they got to cheer on hanging a Big Corporate Guy, whereas if they take note of this they'll have to at least talk about hanging the prosecutors for breaking the law so as to go after the BCG.

I've just got to take note of this post on Obama

that Insty pointed to, The Obama I know. It comes awful close to the kind of thing Ace(I believe) calls a tongue bath: He is wise, He is tolerant, He loves all, He appeals to all and so on. Including this bit:
In short, Obama's approach is insistently charitable. He assumes decency and good faith on the part of those who disagree with him. And he wants to hear what they have to say. Both in substance and in tone, Obama questions the conventional political distinctions between "the left" and "the right." To the extent that he is attracting support from Republicans and independents, it is largely for this reason.
Kind of interesting to contrast this with his 20-year attendance on a white-hating, America-hating pastor, isn't it?

Obama is, from the sound of it, playing word games

in the finest tradition of Clinton to try to both 'distance' or 'disconnect' himself from his idiot pastor's comments without actually saying bad things about him. You know, like maybe "My pastor has been saying some stupid things, blaming America for all ills in the world not caused by Israel. And I say flatly I disagree with those things, and I'm ashamed my pastor has said them." Which the media and Democrats would be demanding as the bare minimum(before boiling him in oil) for any Republican or conservative who was found to have been listening to this crap for years.
Q: What about this particular statement?
A: Obviously, I disagree with that. Here is what happens when you just cherry-pick statements from a guy who had a 40-year career as a pastor. There are times when people say things that are just wrong. But I think it's important to judge me on what I've said in the past and what I believe.
'Cherry-picking' my ass: the man has been saying these things for years, with Obama & Family sitting in the pews. And since he's attended regularly for a couple of decades, there's no damned way he could not be familiar with this garbage his spiritual leader has been spouting. And as for the people claiming "This is no big deal" and "This is distracting from important matters", I think Ace covers it nicely:
Excuse me, and I don't mean this to be offensive to any of you fine gentlemen in the least, but when you smoked so much tainted rock as to fall into a crack-and-Comet coma and awoke with light to moderate mental retardation and also strange bruises resembling alien sex-probes all over your body for which you can simply not account, did a strange man in black walk into your hospital room and beat you back to stupid with a moron-bat and/or brain-fuck you with the crazy-stick?
This man wants to be the President of the United States; commander of the entire Armed Forces and all, and you people don't think these attitudes matter? If you actually mean that, then the phrase 'useful idiots' definitely has a new group to cover.

As a side point, over at Classical Values he thinks the timing of this coming out, and the way it's being played, may well be bad for McCain in the long run, and quite possibly the Clintons have a hand in it.

If you want to check this out in more depth(recommended), go to Powerline and scroll down, they've got a bunch of posts on this. So does Ace. Right now I seem to be fighting one of the current forms of plague running around(probably invented by the CIA) so you'll have to run through them for yourself.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ref the post about David Codrea being threatened,

my post and link here. Well, War on Guns noted this interesting post:
Well, the hits to the blog spiked yesterday and I found three (3) very curious hits in relation to yesterdays post about David Codrea being threatened. The three hits are direct links without referrer links.

Go take a look at it, see what you think.

Is there a time that Lautenberg has NOT been an anti-Constitutional

The Lautenberg-King measure specifically:

• Provides the Attorney General with discretionary authority to deny the transfer of a firearm or the issuance of a firearm or explosives license or permit when a background check reveals that the purchaser is a known or suspected terrorist and the Attorney General reasonably believes that the person may use a firearm or explosives in connection with terrorism;

Translation: Whomever he/she feels like denying.

• Includes due process safeguards that afford an affected person an opportunity to challenge a denial by the Attorney General; and

Translation: As long as they choose to fund said "safeguard".

Etc. I thought McCain should have been thrown out of office for violating his oath in crafting McCain/Feingold; what could the proper punishment be for this piece of walking crap?

A flagrum, maybe? The Romans only used it on slaves who'd been really naughty and such, but if this clown isn't being- at the very least- extremely naughty...

Have I mentioned that Oleg Volk

is a genius?

Gee, why would we have thought that nice Saddam

would have contacts with those religious nuts?

Mike- and a bunch of others, like Ace(here, here, here) have taken note of this. And the way the various media weenies are trying to spin it:
I had meant to post on this earlier. I am tired of the Clintonian claims about "no direct operational connection," which sounds an awful lot like "no sexual relations." Well, what does "sexual relations" mean? And what does "direct, operational link" mean? The very language itself screams there was in fact a link by denying only a specific, and quite unifying link and, by implication, allowing for links short of the "direct, operational" variety.

What with St. Patrick's Day coming up,

I thought I'd note these Fun Facts About Ireland:
* Ireland was founded in 432 AD by a group of masochists who actually ENJOYED leading bleak lives of hopeless despair. Many of their descendants would later emigrate to Chicago and become Cubs fans.

* In 1998 Danny O'Malley of Dublin created the first internet search engine to specialize in Irish-related information: Alcohoogle.

* Currently, every search term entered returns the Guinness home page.

* To prevent illegal immigration into the country, Irish Border Patrol members guard the country's beaches by hurling empty whiskey bottles at swimmers.

* The Irish possess the most unstoppable Special Forces in the world, which are capable of successfully invading any nation with at least one distillery.

* According to noted zoologist Jonathan Swift, the Irish - unlike rattlesnakes - really DO taste like chicken.

* Ireland has long been famous for the irritable temperament of its inhabitants. It used to be called Angerland, until St. Patrick realized that "ire" was a much more sophisticated-sounding word.

Go check out the rest of them.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A general roundup

I did have something to write, but the current version of plague seems to be attacking, and I'm tired. So roundup it is.

You may have heard about the 800 dogs in a trailer, but if not...

Or the woman who sat on the toilet. For two frikkin' years.

Remember that note a couple of days ago about Chicago? It's the gift that keeps on giving. And it only took till the second paragraph to get to parties, but in an interesting order:
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, a Republican, was the latest high-profile critic to call for Mr. Kilpatrick's resignation, telling a Detroit radio station today that the mayor, a Democrat, is a liar who lost the public trust in using the race card at a Tuesday night State of the City speech.

A couple of comments on the soon-to-be-ex-Governor Spitter's hooker:
If I were not attached to Bitter, and I had the chance, I’d hit it like the fist of a wrathful god.
I don’t think she’s ugly, I just don’t think she justifies $5k.

For that price, she better have a dirtier mind than I do.

The nanny state taken to another idiotic level:
Fire extinguishers are being banned from blocks of flats – after they were branded a health and safety risk. The canisters could be dangerous if people use them without training, risk assessors said. And they could encourage people to stay and tackle a blaze rather than flee.

And if Obama doesn't at least lean toward his pastors' beliefs, why would he keep going to that church? And have his kids baptized there?

And of COURSE there wouldn't be any pressure in the 'encouragement', would there?

And another case of 'only ones' BS.

Maybe it's because of some of the clowns heading to the Dem convention?

Colorado Springs, CO ~ Applications for concealed-weapon permits have skyrocketed in Colorado, with the increase fueled by everything from heavily publicized mass shootings to routine renewals, according to the state's sheriffs.
He said he is not concerned about the growing number of legally armed people in the county. In fact, he said he believes law-abiding citizens make the region safer by getting the permits. "Actually, I wish it was a higher number, because I know from experience that offenders in the jail system tell me they avoid crimes against people because they know there is a very high concealed-carry rate," Maketa said.

It's nice to find there are some judges

who don't have their head up their backside:
“There is no doubt that the jury would find for the defendant,” Judge James Welker wrote in his memorandum decision. “In fact, it is likely that the jury would prefer the option of throwing the plaintiff down the steps of the courthouse.”

Oh hell, we need more like this guy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A troop getting the recognition she deserves

Like a Silver Star.

CAMP SALERNO, Afghanistan (AP) — A 19-year-old medic from Texas will become the first woman in Afghanistan and only the second female soldier since World War II to receive the Silver Star, the nation's third-highest medal for valor.

Army Spc. Monica Lin Brown saved the lives of fellow soldiers after a roadside bomb tore through a convoy of Humvees in the eastern Paktia province in April 2007, the military said.

After the explosion, which wounded five soldiers in her unit, Brown ran through insurgent gunfire and used her body to shield wounded comrades as mortars fell less than 100 yards away, the military said.

Well done, Specialist. And again, if we ever meet, I'll buy the drinks.

Tang, gluing of

I've been trying to get a couple of things done for Medieval Fair(April 4, 5, 6) and remembered to take a picture of this. 'This' being one of the most basic ways of setting a blade tang into a hilt. In this case the blade is about 4", the tang about 2.5". For a bigger blade I'd use a longer tang, for one this size this works quite well.

First you have to cut a slot or drill a hole in the material of the grip(I know, I know, I got in a hurry and forgot, I'll shoot my method on this next chance I get). Ideally it'll be just a touch wider and thicker than the tang: not a 'drive in' fit, because you want to leave space for the glue. In this case, epoxy.

The thing about epoxy is that as it cures it won't shrink or enlarge much, if any(depends on brand, your mileage may vary), so you can do something to increase the strength of the bond. Namely, notch the corners of the tang.

In this case, small notches. And after doing this, you hit the sides with some rough sandpaper to clean and roughen the surface, the better for the glue to grab onto. Then you mix up the stuff, and dribble enough into the hole so that, when the tang is fully seated a little is squeezed out. Then you set the piece aside. Epoxy is very good(when mixed & used properly) about giving a very strong chemical bond between materials, and what the notches do is this: the epoxy fills in the notches and as it cures stays there. Now, even if you don't get a good chemical bond for some reason, you get a very strong mechanical bond. As long as the stuff grabs onto the handle material, even if it doesn't 'grab' the steel it'll be locked into the notches, keeping the tang from pulling out.

Note: as long as the surfaces are prepped(cleaned and roughened) properly, I've never had this stuff not hold. The one problem I had was with horn scales glued and pinned to the sides of a full tang: I sanded the surfaces meeting the tang too smooth, and even the epoxy couldn't grab onto them.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Over at Uncle's place, he pointed to

this. You really need to read it.
Your message has been received loud and clear--along with your warning that you will not hesitate to come down and arrest anyone you suspect of violating this law. Before I give you my reply, I want to make it clear that my response is mine alone. Any retaliation is mine to face, and taking it out on the man who passed your message along at your direction will not be something you can now do outside of a brightly focused light.
I've also speculated that comments that may be perceived as threatening are invariably posted anonymously, and that trolls doing it could very well be
agents provocateur attempting to bring discredit or worse to my site. Heck, they might even work for the DoJ--it's not like you guys don't hang out here at all hours.

But you apparently need to establish a plausible cover story. Let's see--the same mighty BATFU that sends armed invaders smashing into people's homes and businesses is just scared out of their jackboots over what's being said about them on... blogs, so they need to enlist a protector, that would be you, against "Homegrown terrorists". That would be people like me?
I've generally had a good opinion of the U.S. Marshall's Service; crap like this is cutting away at that.

In case you're interested in the Spitter situation

beyond "The arrogant bastard is getting some of what he deserves", here's a few things:

Ace has an interesting bit from a somewhat-famous madam:
"It's so easy not to not get caught," reformed Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss tells Radar, adding that she provided service to many a well known politician her day. "I saw many famous people—more famous than Eliot Spitzer—and you know what, you pay people right, you treat them right, you don't have a problem." The devil, she says, was in Spitzer's particular freak, which left the gals who are alleged to have serviced him describing the governor as "difficult," with demands that involved "things that, like, you might not think were safe."
and, as a side issue, some happenings in Detroit that do not make either the mayor or family or the police department look good:
When the mayor's wife, Carlita Kilpatrick, unexpectedly arrived at the mansion, she saw her husband and the strippers, according to the officer who reported about the party, Harold Nelthrope.

Nelthrope, who was not at the alleged event but learned about it the following day, "further stated that a fight ensued between Ms. Kilpatrick and a dancer and that the dancer received injuries requiring medical attention." Nelthrope does not say who told him about the alleged events.

The dancer -- believed to be Greene -- was taken to a hospital, " ... and the Executive Protection Unit confiscated all activity log sheets (from the police precinct that responded)," Nelthrope said.

And yet more from ace on Spitter here.

And Kim linked to this piece, which includes the following:
Given Spitzer's unfathomable stupidity -- and in light of the fact that he is now the victim of the kinds of overreaching police state tactics that he himself has endlessly championed and utilized -- this can only be regarded as an instance of an especially objectionable, arrogant, overweening, power-mad, vicious son of a bitch himself getting exactly what he has been delightedly happy to dish out to others.

Besides his general "I sit at Gods' right hand and give ordersadvice" attitude, he is also, as I recall, very big on the 'disarm the peasants!' bandwagon. Which makes it even more fun. Though what this is doing to his family is horrendous to think on.

Hmmm, never thought of it that way before

Thanks to the daughter for finding this

Monday, March 10, 2008

Damn, there's a lot of pretty legs

in the Ukranian Army.

I've been thinking about the statement Gov. Spitter made,

and something about it bothers me. And no, generally I wouldn't have noticed this until, say tomorrow, but if you turned ANY news on you heard about it.

Here's the part that bothers me:
"I do not believe that politics in the long run is about individuals. It is about ideas, the public good, and doing what is best for the state of New York."
To me, that seems to be saying "I do not believe individuals really count: it is the Party and the Program that counts."


You must respect the judge!

Even when they're a bigoted jerk.
In denying the Royal High School student delayed entry into the Marine Corps, Children's Court Commissioner Marilyn Mackel reportedly told Sage and a recruiter that she didn't approve of the Iraq war, didn't trust recruiters and didn't support the military.

Gee, and I thought judges were supposed to just go by the law.

Found at Insty

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Was out of town for a couple of days, and since I passed Cabela's

I of course stopped in to drool browse about. I was very good, and only bought a couple of things, this being one of them

It's a fairly new light of theirs. 3 watt led, 60 lumens output and it's supposed to run up to 6 hours on two AA batteries. 60 lumens makes it just a touch less bright than a Surefire G2; I've got no way to measure it, but it passes the 'make you scream and cover your eyes' test*. And it is a white light, no sign of the blue tint most led lights have shown until recently. Turns on at the tailcap, like so many now: turn it all the way down for constant on, back it off a half-turn and press for momentary on.

Since I find myself with a shortage of AA alkaline batteries a ' turn it on and leave it until dead' test will have to wait a day or two. So far I like it.

Oh, did I mention the price? $20.

*No, I did NOT point it at my eyes and key it; I'm comparing it on the wall to my Surefire.