Friday, April 30, 2010

Citizen / Soldier

I have to admit the first time I saw this at the theater, it brought a tear to my eye. 3 Doors Down has been a band I've enjoyed listening to since they hit it big with "Kryptonite".
The video for "Citizen/Soldier" was shot mostly at Camp Roberts, using active Guard members as the actors.
God bless and protect all our military personnel.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

L.A. Times QOTW

This one really busted me up, but I'm laughing tears of sorrow because it's so true.

Quote of the Week - L.A. Times

"Frankly, I don't know what it is about California , but we seem to have a strange urge to elect really obnoxious women to high office. I'm not bragging, you understand, but no other state, including Maine , even comes close. When it comes to sending left-wing dingbats to Washington , we're number one. There's no getting around the fact that the last time anyone saw the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, and Nancy Pelosi, they were stirring a cauldron when the curtain went up on 'Macbeth'. The three of them are like jackasses who happen to possess the gift of blab. You don't know if you should condemn them for their stupidity or simply marvel at their ability to form words."

--Columnist: Burt Prelutsky , LA Times

And here's a link to his blog.

Maybe we have a least a *little* sanity left out here on The Left Coast!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

They Live.....

I was going through our collection of DVD's to cull the herd a bit, and came across "They Live", one of my personal faves. I know Roddy Piper has been is a bunch of movies, but this is one moviedom's all-time great quotes.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My Dogs........

This has probably been around quite a while, but it made me chuckle, so I though I'd pass it on.

This morning I went to sign my dogs up for welfare. At first the lady said, "Dogs are not eligible to draw welfare". So I explained to her that my dogs are mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can't speak English and have no clue who their daddies are. They expect me to feed them, provide them with housing and medical care, and feel guilty because they are dogs.

So she looked in her policy book to see what it takes to qualify. My dogs get their first checks Friday.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Miami Vice

"Miami Vice" is one of my favorite TV programs. It was really ahead of its time, and set new standards for TV production with its innovative blending of video action and popular music.
I've been wanting to buy the complete boxed set for sometime now since I saw it at Best Buy, but the $150 price put me off a bit. Well, by carefully shopping around, I found the complete set, new in the shrink-wrap, for $55, plus $4 for shipping. Since I have a lot of 'couch time' these days (well, not really, but some people *think* I do), I opened the set and started watching.
The second disk of Season One has an episode called "Calderone's Return, Part II" with an opening sequence that just blew me away. In case you don't remember who Calderone is, he's "The Columbian" who was responsible for the death of Tubbs' older brother back in New York, and is the major player in the drug trade in Southern Florida. They track him down in the Bahamas, and Sonny and Rico take off in Sonny's Cris Craft Stinger 390X to do a little surveillance on him, and maybe get him extradited back to the US. This also the episode where their Captain, Lou Rodriguez (played by Gregory Sierra) dies, to be replaced by Marty Castillo (Edward James Olmos) in the next episode.
Enjoy the opening sequence, it's masterfully done!
The complete, uncut-for-editing song from Russ Ballard is available here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Very Bad News From A Close Friend

My best buddy from my college days just emailed me. His youngest brother had gone back to Chicago to visit with his daughter and another of the brothers. Saturday night they went out to dinner and had a great time.
On his way back to his hotel room, he was robbed at gunpoint, and then shot in the stomach even though he fully complied with the robber.
The bullet passed through his colon and is lodged in his hip. He's in the ICU, where they're keeping him heavily sedated so he doesn't move around much and damage the repair job they did.
So much for Chicago gun laws, and "Give them what they want" keeping the citizens safe, eh?
We've all read and heard stories like this, but this is the first time it's hit this close to me.

One Six Right

My buddy The Wandering Minstrel has a post about the Aeronca Champ, or as we used to call them, "Air Knockers". In my younger days as a Junior Birdman I had in ride in a Champ, and I still remember it. Never got a ride in a J3 Cub, but maybe one of these days......
Anyway, in remembering the Champ, my mind wandered back to one of my favorite films, called "One Six Right". It's the story of General Aviation, and specifically, the Van Nuys Airport, which is the busiest General Aviation airport in the world.
Now General Aviation airports run the gamut from little out-of-the-way grass strips, to bustling hubs of activity like Van Nuys, and they're wonderful things. They're usually places you can just go and hang out if you love airplanes like I do, although the biggest of them can resemble a full-fledged airport like LAX, ORD, or JFK, with all the attendant security that makes big airports a little harder to just go hang out at.
But back to the film......
"One Six Right" is more a love story than a documentary, written, directed, and produced by a guy who loves aviation, and the thrill of flying. It was originally shot in High Definition, and has been shown on PBS stations, and some of the larger cable networks, and the videography is just absolutely stunning, along with some beautifully done original music. The interviews are great, too, and you'll see some rather famous people talking about their love of flying. And all woven in with these is the history of Van Nuys Airport, from the bean field it stated as to the bustling giant it is today.
It's been released in DVD and HD-DVD formats, but no Blu-Ray. The DVD version is available from Netflix, and the streaming version is available on HULU.
If you love aviation, it's one of those "Must See" movies, especially in High Definition if you can find a showing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Retro Man Caves

My buddy Jeffro over at The Poor Farm clued me in to a blog with a really nice write-up on "Bullitt", one of my favorite movies, and a bunch about the "Bullitt Mustang". In looking through the blog, I found this article on Retro Man Caves. Some of them look really sweet, like the one with all the clocks and wall maps (I thought it needed some Collins Radio S-Line gear instead of fishing rods!), and the one with the Eames Lounge Chair is *really* schweet, while some of them are rather....uh....shall we say "pimpy"? on over the The Selvedge Yard, and check it out. A very interesting and eclectic collection, to say the least!

Monday, April 12, 2010

New Toy....Marlin 336W-W/S

My most recent acquisition is a scoped Marlin 336 in 30-30, but since I haven't taken her out to the range, I can't report on how well she shoots. Seems to be made very nicely, though, and the walnut stock is one of the nicest pieces of wood I've seen in a long time. I've had furniture that wasn't made as nice! The action is smooth and solid, and it goes to shoulder naturally. I did a complete disassembly and cleaning when I got it, and it seems to be made better than my Marlin 1894CB. I had to stone off a bunch of rough spots on that one, and work the action a whole bunch with some "Gun Slick" to make it nice and smooth. The 336 needed just a good cleaning and lube, although I'm sure it will smooth up even more with some use.
The only decent ranges around here (that *I* know of) are a good hour's drive. So, after the YF gets back from her vacation, we'll be packing up the 336, a big box of ammo, the spotting scope, some targets, a nice picnic lunch and beverages, and heading out to site it in, and see how it handles. The pistol range I go to has some brochures for a place that has hunting weekends not too terribly far from here, and I'm considering going hunting for either a deer, or maybe take one of their "Wild Boar Weekends".
I know a 30-30 is fine for deer, but I'll have to see about using one on wild boar.
Oh, and I'll be taking her S&W TRR8 in 357 mag for my 'backup' gun. Just have to find a holster that fits that bad boy, and get a couple of more speed loaders for it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Area 51" Vets Talk

Fascinating article in the Seattle Times about a group of "Old Farts" (like me!) talking about their activities at Area 51.
Go check it out, it's a good read!
Actually, I qualify as an "Old Crow", and if you know what that means I'm sure I'll hear from you!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Major Earthquake in Baja, California

I was coming in from the garage, and the YF asked me if I felt it. The house was still moving, and continued to do so for several minutes.
According to the USGS, it was a 6.9 in Baja. That's a pretty big belt, and to feel it in Long Beach for *several minutes* means things must have gotten really rattled in San Diego.
Hope everybody is OK down there.
USGS wbsite

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Investigation reveals numerous bogus claims on Obama resume

This could be one of the most interesting stories of the year.
I wonder how long it will take the lamestream media to try and defuse it?
We still haven't seen a REAL birth certificate.
He still won't release his school records and transcripts.
We have a fraud and liar in the White House, doing more real damage to the United States than the former USSR ever did.
Conservative Examiner

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Long Lines

No, not a a grocery store. The term "Long Lines" is (was?) used in telecommunications to designate Long Haul Paths, which are those paths not associated with Local Exchanges, and they were handled by Interexchange Carriers. Now reading and watching all the Science Fiction stories, movies, and TV shows that I did, I was always fascinated with big dish antennas and the equipment that went with them. My Mom used to take my sister and I swimming at Dad's bosses house, and we always drove right by Andrew Corporation in Orland Park, Illinois. The antenna range that Andrew had was right along the highway we took, and I always used to stare at those big antennas and wonder who they were talking to with those big "SciFi" dishes. When I was 10 years old or so, about the time I got seriously interested in radio and other forms of communications, my Dad introduced me to a friend of his who worked for the AT&T Long Lines department. I'd also been to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry that summer, and saw an exhibit sponsored by Western Electric called "The Wonder of Waveguide", and it fascinated me. So, getting a chance to meet somebody who actually worked with all that neat stuff was quite a treat for an inquisitive 10 year old! I decided then and there that when I "grew up" (still waiting for that to happen...) I was going to work for AT&T Long Lines. The Long Lines department was spun off in 1984 to become AT&T Long Distance, and eventually became AT&T Communications, slowly going to fiber optic, and shutting down all their C-Band Terrestrial Microwave activity. I never got to work for them, but the fascination of all things radio, and in particular VHF/UHF/Microwaves stayed with me all my life. One of the links I have in my huge collection is a glimpse at what the AT&T Long Lines System was all about. These guys handled everything, including military and Presidential secure links. I'm sure if you're my age +/- a few years, you've seen the huge microwave towers out in the country, and the antennas on top of large buildings in major metropolitan areas. A lot of that communications traffic has since moved to satellites, as you can put up a VSAT station, and have more bandwidth for less cost, than you could in the old "Leased Line" days.
Anywhoo...without further fanfare, I present you with a link to a magical place......

Enjoy the trip back through time....I know I do!

Meet Luna!

 Great name for our new pup, eh? She's camera shy, and "Red Eye Removal" doesn't work for dogs! She's two years old, p...