Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Staying home tonight. We stopped going out on New Year's Eve a couple of years ago after we came *this close* to being in THREE traffic accidents (not our fault) on our way home.
One avoided accident is good for a pretty exciting adrenaline rush, but three had me pretty freaked out by the time we got home....

So, hope everybody has a Happy New Year, and only 11 more months to go before we can rid ourselves of The Obamanation and his ilk!

Be safe out there tonight! I'm cleaning my firearmas today, and tomorrow I'll be installing a new screen door and garage side door.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Back From The Range

And egads, was it crowded!
The staff said it's been like this all week, with lots of new shooters. We saw several dozen people bringing in new rifles, obviously new because they were in the cardboard box, and still in the plastic when they took them out of the box.
SO...we waited about an hour for my son's cousin to show up, all the while watching to see if any shooting stations opened up.
Finally, about 2pm, we were able to get a stall at the skeet part of the range. I've never shoot skeet before, but using cousin Bryan's 20 gauge Ithaca pump, I scored 10 for 10.
I was astounded.....
And it was fun. I can see why people enjoy shooting skeet.
Then we finally got a shooting bench around 2:45. We were on the long range this time, and although I'm still a "100 yard" shooter, there were people there who were shooting targets at 200, 300, 400, and 500 yards.
And hitting them.....
Only fired my Marlin 30-30 about 10 times, and I was shooting 2" or better groups at 100 yards, so I'm going to consider the scope zeroed for the 150 gr ammo I shoot. I was a lot more anxious to try the new Nikon scope (yes, I mounted it the right way!) on my slug gun. With the previous learning experience, and all my notes from Old_NFO, I was able to get it zeroed at 50 yards with 5 rounds. Then I moved the target out to 100 yards, and all I had to do was use the correct dot on the BDC, and I was on the money.
I was having so much fun with the slug gun, I shot that most of the day.
And I was getting ~2" groups at 100 yards from the Lead Sled, not bad for me!
Then, my son's cousin (ex-brother-in-law's son) opened his other rifle case, and brought out a 1940 Mosin-Nagant in wonderful condition. This was the first time I actually got to shoot one, and Bryan shot the pants off me with it. He was 9-ring or better at 100 yards with the iron sights, and I was "in the black", but no where as good as him or my son.
Oh, to have 26 year old eyes again!
Plus he's shot it a lot, and I haven't, so I'm sure I could get better by turning ammo into skill.
The high point of the day for me was meeting the guy at the next bench. He was shooting an M1 Garand, and when I asked him about it, he told me it was a CMP "Select" grade rifle. Turns out he's an Appleseed instructor, and he gave me an entire package of information on how to get into the CMP so I can get my very own M1.
AND...they have Appleseed instruction up at the range twice a month.
So, I'm going to borrow a 22 rifle, sign up, take the course, join an affiliated club, and get myself an M1!
All in all we had an excellent time, I learned a lot, and my son and his cousin had a ball.
And my right shoulder will be screaming at me tomorrow for shooting 20 or so rounds from the slug gun out of the lead sled!

Range Day!

Off to Angeles Shooting Ranges this morning with my son and his cousin.
I'll post some more after we get back this afternoon.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FEMA Billing Katrina Victims?!?

I just got this link in an email from one of the (many) mailing lists I subscribe to.
Abso-frickin-lutely disgusting!

From the Charlotte Observer

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Busy, Busy!

Well, I got the new scope mounted and "pre-zeroed" on my Remington 1100, and had to take the side-saddle off the 870 to put the mount and 'red-dot' sight on it. Guess I'll get a butt-cuff to hold extra shells, or tinker something up to put the side-saddle back on.
The new doors were delivered today (they wouldn't fit in my Jeep, and I don't like strapping big stuff on the roof!), so tomorrow I'll tackle those.
And I've transferred about 12 record albums to my PC. It's a time-intensive process, as you can only record them as fast as they play. The brand-new LP's I recorded sound great, but a couple of the used ones are going to need some work to clean up the ticks and pops on them. Once I get all of them recorded on my A/V machine, I'll either transfer them to a portable hard disk, or burn them to a data DVD and them clean them up on this PC.
I'm using my Technics SL-1210 turntable, a TCC TC-750 phono preamp, M-Audio Delta 44 sound card, and Audacity to do the recording. I also have Adobe Audition, but it's on the Windoze box I'm using to record, and as my dear wife would like her dining room table back, I don't think I'll be able to leave things set up to do the post-processing using that PC.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry CHRISTmas, Everyone!

Just in case I get busy on the Honey Dew list and don't have time to post.
I have a new back screen door to put on.
I have a new side entrance door for the garage to put on.
I have two new light fixtures to install in the kitchen.
I have an interface board to build to put one of my radios on the Internet for remote control.
I have to get the new Nikon scope mounted on my Remington 1100.
I have a mount and "Red Dot" site to install on my Remington 870.
AND....I'm going to record all my vinyl records to my Audio/Video PC so I can burn some CD's of the them. early MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone who stops by!

Unhappy Muslims....

The conclusion: The Muslims are not happy!!!

· They are not happy in Gaza .
· They are not happy in the West Bank .
· They are not happy in Jerusalem .
· They are not happy in Israel . (There is no equality)
They are not happy in Egypt .
· They are not happy in Libya
· They are not happy in Algeria .
·They are not happy in Tunis .
· They are not happy in Morocco .
· They are not happy in Yemen .
· They are not happy in Iraq
· They are not happy in Afghanistan .
· They are not happy in Syria .
· They are not happy in Lebanon .
· They are not happy in Sudan .
·They are not happy in Jordan .
· They are not happy in Iran ..

Where are the Muslims happy?

They are happy in England.
They are happy in France.

They are happy in Italy.
They are happy in Germany.
They are happy in Sweden.
They are happy in Holland.
They are happy in Denmark.
They are happy in Belgium.
They are happy in Norway.
They are happy in the U.S.
They are happy in Canada.

They are happy in Romania.
They are happy in Hungary.

They are happy in Australia.
They are happy in New Zealand.

They are happy in any other country in the world that is not under Muslim dictatorial rule.

And whom do they blame?

· Not Islam.
· Not their leadership.
· Not themselves.

But the same countries in which they are happy to live.

In a democracy they can live comfortably,
enjoy the high quality of life which they did not build and work for,
they don't have to be productive and earn a living,
they can be wild,
and break the law,
exploit the social services,

wear Burkhas and make a mockery

of our Police and Courts
and generally bite the hand that feeds them.

My question is why do they always try to bring their failed system with them, why do they want to turn every Western democracy into the country they left ....?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Took My NRA Range Saftey Officer Class Today

I enjoy taking training classes, so when my instructor friend informed me last month he was running an NRA RSO class, I signed up.
It covered all the nuts and bolts of operating a range, and dealing with the public, from novice to advanced shooters.
We covered safety, emergency procedures, stoppages and malfunctions, and a variety of other mundane details related to the day-to-day operations on a range.
Didn't get any trigger time, but I did learn a lot, and met some nice people.
Long day, 10am to 8pm, but I got 98% on the written, and should have my RSO credential in 45~60 days.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Decisions 2012

Well......I've been doing my best to vet the Republican candidates as far as who I'm going to support.
Like it matters who *I* support!
It's just something I do to help me decide who I think is most aligned with what I believe in.
I was pretty big on Herman Cain (thanks, wirecutter!), but then he had some baggage that came to light, and decided to withdraw.
I *almost* like Newt, but he's a bit too slick and flippy-floppy for me.
Yes, I know he's very smart, and a studied historian, but I don't think he _really_ supports the 2nd Amendment, and that's pretty important to me.
Romney?? Not in a million freakin' years!!
So, that kinds leaves either Rick Santorum, or Michele Bachmann.
I'm still carefully reading their campaign sites, and burning up Google, and haven't decided yet.
Just have to see how they do in the debates I can find them in.
One thing for sure, four more years of that IDIOT we currently have in the White House will just about do us in.
Keep your powder dry!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Instead of a "Where's Wookie?", How About We Start A "Where's Breda?"


Breda's is one of the very first blogs I started following when I first started doing blogging. She always had great stuff, and since my sister was a Librarian, I felt some kind of empathy.


Where's Breda?

Not a peep in three weeks now......

Hurry back, a lot of us miss your commentary!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

50 Years Ago Today....

The first Amateur Radio satellite, OSCAR-1, was launched from Vandenberg AFB, piggy backed with Discoverer-XXXVI, a "scientific" satellite.
OSCAR 1 only lasted a couple of weeks, and reentered at the end of January, but it was a stunning achievement considering it was built by a bunch of "Hams", in somebody's garage.
Space Today Online has a fairly current History of Amateur Radio Satellites.

And for more info and the current status of all the Amateur Radio satellites, please go to the AMSAT webpage.

Fiocchi "Canned Heat" 45ACP Range Test

Steven over at was kind enough to send me a can of Fiocchi "Canned Heat" ammo for a review/range test.
Not being an "Authorized Journalist", or a well-known 'Competition Shooter', I'm not sure why he chose me to do this, but hey, FREE AMMO!
And although I've bought a lot of stuff from them in the past, the only compensation I'm getting out of this is the 50 round can of 45ACP they sent me.
The packaging is pretty clever (my wife pronounced it as "cute"), and it's supposed to be hermetically sealed. Sure enough when I popped the lid, it hissed at me just like a big tub of Planter's Peanuts, so I assume the seal was intact. One of the things I noticed when I unpacked it from the shipping box is that all the rounds were loose in the can, and they made some rattling noises.
Still, the rounds looked good after I took one out and examined it.
The bullets have a much more brass look to them than the Winchester "White Box" ammo I normally shoot, so I'm not sure what the jackets are made from. I've shot Fiocchi ammo before, and the bullets had the same brass-look to them, so I guess that's just the alloy they use for the jacket.
So, packing up my "Canned Heat" along with some White Box, I headed out to the range. I haven't been pistol shooting for over a month (me bad!), and I knew I'd need some warming up before I could see how well the Fiocchi shot compared to the White Box.
It took me 4 magazines before I was reliably "in the black" at 10 yards! Yep, it's a perishable skill, and I keep saying I should get out more! Still, even the first few shots were well within the "dinner plate" area the NRA says makes you 'good enough' for home defense, but I know I'm better than that.
After I'd loosened up a bit, I wiped my Kimber 1911 down, and loaded the magazines with the Fiocchi ammo.
It shoots just fine, and at 10 yards the accuracy was as good as the White Box stuff. Recoil and report are about the same, and every round fed OK.
No 'flyers' at all, but I did have a couple of failure-to-eject rounds that I'll write off as being caused by my less than clean Kimber.
The other thing I noticed, and I've seen it before shooting Fiocchi, is that it tends to "dirty up" the gun a bit more than some of the other ammo I've fired.
Not bad like one other brand I tried once, but it definitely gets the muzzle end sooty.
The pictures I took are from opening the can at home, to showing the sooty muzzle on my Kimber.
All in all it's decent ammo, and has the advantage of being packed in something better than a cardboard box, which might be important to you if you need to stash a bunch somewhere that has less than adequate climate control.
For long term storage I think I'd still put it in a big Zip Loc bag, as the can is made from cardboard, and night not take kindly to getting soaked.
Thanks again to Steven at for providing me with some FREE AMMO!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


From one of my like-minded friends....

I am truly perplexed that so many of my friends are against a mosque being built at Ground Zero. I think it should be the goal of every American to be tolerant. Thus the Mosque should be allowed, in an effort to promote tolerance.

That is why I also propose that two nightclubs be opened next door to the mosque, thereby promoting tolerance from within the mosque. We could call one of the clubs, "The Turban Cowboy", which would be gay, and the other a topless bar called "You Mecca Me Hot."

Next door should be a butcher shop that specializes in pork, and adjacent to that an open-pit barbeque pork restaurant, called " Iraq o'Ribs."

Across the street there could be a lingerie store called "Victoria Keeps Nothing Secret", with sexy mannequins in the window modeling the goods. Next door to the lingerie shop, a liquor store called "Morehammered."

All of this would encourage the Muslims to demonstrate the tolerance they demand of us, so the mosque problem would be solved. If you agree with promoting tolerance, and you think this is a good plan, please pass it on...For the sake of tolerance!

Friday, December 9, 2011

World's Smallest V-12

This is astounding! I've built lots of things "From Scratch". but nothing like this.
My Dad was a Tool and Die maker, and I know my way around a machine shop, but this just blows me away.
I can't read Italian, but looking at the video, I could tell what the captions meant by seeing what part of the engine he was working on.
Amazing testament to one man's patience.

And here's another guy who makes RUNNING scale-model engines.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

70 Years Ago Today.....

We got blindsided while the politicians fiddled away.
Let us pray it never happens again.
And keep your powder dry!

New Additions to the Bookshelf

The other day as I was cleaning out an office for somebody who's no longer with the company (looong story) I happened to find a well-worn paperback called "Term Limits" by an author I'd never heard of, Vince Flynn. I read a few pages, thought it started off pretty well, and tossed it on my desk to read later.
I really enjoyed it!
Then the other night when I was picking up some prescriptions for the Mrs, I spotted a NEW Vince Flynn book in the rack by the pharmacy, so I grabbed it. It's called "American Assassin", and was an equally good read. thing led to another, I cruised on over to Amazon, and now I have ALL of Vince Flynn's books, with the exception of "Kill Shot", which is due out in February.
Vince writes "political thrillers", and does them very well. His technical accuracy is second only to Tom Clancy, his characters are well-developed, the writing is fast-paced, and I'm really happy I saved that copy of "Term Limits" from going into the trash!
Check him'll probably enjoy his stories as much as I do!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

You Might Be An "Occupier" If.....

1. You moved to a tent in Zucotti Park because you always wanted a nicer place to live.

2. You quit your “job” to attend the protests, but your mother continues your allowance and now does the dishes herself.

3. You are confused that you can’t find the Wal-Mart on Wall Street.

4. You are enraged that the taxpayers had to bail out Wall Street even though you’ve
never paid taxes or know anyone who has.

5. You hate capitalism but expect a capitalist to provide you a good paying job with great benefits.

6. You think Socialism has something to do with Facebook, and Capitalism has to do with Washington , DC .

7. You demand a job, forgetting that you were fired for not doing the one you had.

8. You despise the rich even though they pay your share of taxes.

9. You are very clear in your protest objectives:

“Screw the USA ”
“Save the ______ (fill in the blanks – whales, spotted owls, sturgeon)”
“Self-realization is the first step toward self-actualization”
“Down with … uh… everything!”

10. You think 99 weeks of unemployment is the least the government should give you for the
3 months you put in at McDonalds.

11. You drove a Toyota to the protest, you’re plugged in to a Sony Walkman, talk over a Samsung phone, and play a Yamaha keyboard in a punk band, but you are incensed over jobs being outsourced to other countries.

12. You demand your rights, but can’t quite recall where they are enumerated.

13. You believe you have a right to every penny earned, but the rich do not, and you base your claim on equality.

14. You believe a man is greedy if he worked his way up to CEO on 16-hour days, runs a company employing thousands, and made $10 million last year, but is not greedy if he made $50 million last year for making two motion pictures or shooting a ball through a hoop.

15. You left behind trash, feces, urine-soaked sod, discarded clothing, and used condoms after your “Save the Environment” protest.

16. You know you’re not a Socialist because you stick pretty much to yourself at parties.

17. You don’t pay taxes, but somehow that’s more than your “fair share”.

18. You hate the rich, but hope you win the lottery.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Show Tonight on the Military Channel..."Triggers"

And I've already got our DVR set to record it.

Looks to be pretty good from the previews. Cam & Company were talking about it last night on the Sirius Patriot Channel, and it's one show I don't want to miss!

Military Channel: Triggers

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"Super 8", "Frequency", and Ham Radio

We just finished watching "Super 8" tonight, and there's a town meeting scene in it where an old guy tells the Sheriff that there's been a lot of unusual interference caused by military chatter on his Ham Radio. The Sheriff has everybody bring any and all receivers they own in, and they start monitoring all the frequencies the old Ham gave them. In one scene they show a remarkably well preserved Heathkit Seneca, and they all listen to the Air Force talk about "Operation Walking Distance".
Only one problem.....the Seneca is a TRANSMITTER.
In "Frequency", the character played by James Caviezel talks to his dead father on HF (short-wave) using a Heathkit SB-301.
Only one problem....the SB-301 is a RECEIVER.
Now when my son and I saw "Frequency", I spotted it right away and mentioned it to him, and he laughed and said "Dad, only YOU would spot that!".
Tonight when I told my wife the Seneca was a transmitter, she laughed and said "Jim, only YOU would know that!".
Yeah, but if I know it, there's gotta be other people who know it.
Oh, well....what can we expect from Hollyweird.....

Home Owner Stuff.....

And yes, being in our own home, and NOT underwater with the mortgage, is one of the things we gave thanks for this year.
Anywhoo...We repainted the bathroom earlier this year, and the paint just hasn't been holding up. We've had some peeling, and other spots have turned 'grainy' on us. I had to pull the plastic grille off the bathroom ceiling exhaust fan today to clean it, and as long as I had it off, I dropped the motor down to clean it, too.
Then I decided to check how #1 step-son vented it when he installed it a few years ago, and found out it's NOT properly vented.
He just mounted the motor box in the ceiling, and let it vent into the attic........
Double DUH!
He has a tendency to not do things the right way, and this time it's causing some problems. The moist air from the bathroom just goes into the attic, and raises the humidity to the point that the 'button board' (we have plaster walls and ceilings) has absorbed it. It's not "dripping wet", or even "wet" that I could tell or feel, but all that hot, humid air from 4 people taking showers can't be doing any good up there! I don't think it's a problem in the summer time, as we have both a wind-turbine and a powered ventilator on the roof to draw the hot air out, and the moisture along with it. But in the winter time, the powered ventilator is shut off, and the moist air from the bathroom just collects up there.
NOT good!
So, I went to the local Big Box home improvement place, and bought the 3.25"x10" to 6" round transition that screws on to the motor box, 8' of 6" flex duct, and an outlet to go on the side of the house.
Tomorrow I'll mark the stucco and start making the hole to mount the outlet into, and then I'll have to drop the motor box, screw the transition on, and run the flex hose to the outlet. That should vent the moist air to the outside, and after the attic dries back out, we can repaint the bathroom.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I realized I should be a lot more upbeat today than the previous post implied.
I've had a great life so far, and I'm very thankful to still be here after some of the places I've been, things I've seen, and stunts I've pulled.
I'm healthy, happily married, gainfully employed, and have some wonderful friends.
So Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving 2022

One of my friends sent me this, and despite getting almost 200 ( ! ) emails a day, I haven't seen it before.

So, before you sit down on Thursday to give thanks, keep this little story in mind. Kind of a Twilight Zone preview of "First They Came....."

And Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May God bless you, and keep you safe in the times ahead.

"Winston, come into the dining room, it's time to eat," Julia yelled to her husband.
"In a minute, honey, it's a tie score," he answered.
Actually Winston wasn't very interested in the traditional holiday football game between Detroit and Washington .
Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its "unseemly violence" and the "bad example it sets for the rest of the world", Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be.

Two-hand touch wasn't nearly as exciting.Yet it wasn't the game that Winston was uninterested in.

It was more the thought of eating another Tofu Turkey . Even though it was the best type of VeggieMeat available after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry sauce, and mincemeat pie), it wasn't anything like real turkey.

And ever since the government officially changed the name of "Thanksgiving Day" to "A National Day of Atonement" in 2020, to officially acknowledge the Pilgrims' historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster.

Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam of government-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made the Tofu Turkey look even weirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold.

Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating all thermostats - which were monitored and controlled by the electric company - be kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barely tolerable throughout the entire winter.

Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of the family.

Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up her legal allotment of life-saving medical treatment.

He had had many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced into the government health care program.

And though he demanded she be kept on her treatment, it was a futile effort.

"The RHC's resources are limited", explained the government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on the phone. "Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled. I'm sorry for your loss."

Ed couldn't make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car last night, the only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2021 outlawed the use of the combustion engines - for everyone but government officials.

The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and Ed didn't want to spend a frosty night on the road somewhere between here and there.

Thankfully, Winston's brother, John, and his wife were flying in.

Winston made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for the occasion.

No one complained more than John about the pain of sitting down so soon after the government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severely aggravated his hemorrhoids.

Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added "inconvenience" was an "absolute necessity" in order to stay "one step ahead of the terrorists."

Winston's own body had grown accustomed to such probing ever since the government expanded their scope to just about anywhere a crowd gathered, via Anti-Profiling Act of 2022.

That law made it a crime to single out any group or individual for "unequal scrutiny," even when probable cause was involved.

Thus, cavity searches at malls, train stations, bus depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine.


The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect a Court composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave the law intact.

"A living Constitution is extremely flexible", said the Court's eldest member, Elena Kagan. " Europe has had laws like this one for years. We should learn from their example", she added.

Winston's thoughts turned to his own children. He got along fairly well with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him. Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone at any time, even during Atonement Dinner.

Their only real confrontation had occurred when he limited her to 50,000 texts a month, explaining that was all he could afford.

She whined for a week, but got over it.

His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was the constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming, the bird flu, terrorism, or any of a number of other calamities were "just around the corner", but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude that ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility.

It didn't help that Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking a cigarette in the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being.

Winston paid the $5,000 fine, which might have been considered excessive before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13.

The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiated was, once again, to "spur economic growth."

This time, they promised to push unemployment below its years-long rate of 18%, but Winston was not particularly hopeful.

Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought, before remembering it was a Day of Atonement.

At least, he had his memories.

He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days, long before government promises to make life "fair for everyone" realized their full potential.

Winston, like so many of his fellow Americans, never realized how much things could change when they didn't happen all at once, but little by little, so people could get used to them.

He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while there was still time, maybe back around 201
1, when all the real nonsense began.

"Maybe we wouldn't be where we are today if we'd just said 'enough is enough' when we had the chance," he thought.

Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Three Days to Straighten These Clowns Out...

Saw this over at Steven's place, and just had to share it.
Watch and enjoy....

50* and Raining...I'm Playing RADIO All Day!

And working on the antenna article I've been promising.
Got a new headset/mic last week from Arlan Communications. These have to be the MOST comfortable cans I've ever worn! The gel-filled earcups are a joy, and seal any sound9 leaks around my glasses, and the optional cotton cloth covers will wick away any sweat for those times this summer when it's hot here in the shack. When I first ordered them I'd forgotten that I need a stereo set so I can make use of the binaural output of my Flex 5000A, so I had to send them back to be reworked. The set they sell that does stereo has a one-piece boom for the microphone, and I like the "wire mount" ones as I've found them to be more durable. Since they no longer make the set I wanted in stereo with the wire mount (RS22CF), they had to make up a custom set for me.
These things aren't cheap, but the cost less than the David Clark headset/mics I've been using( and having to modify), and are much more comfy to wear.
Back to radio.....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Few Pictures from The Edwards AFB Museum

I didn't take my "real" camera with me as I didn't know if they'd allow it on the base without some kind of special permission. Seeing as it took us 30 minutes to clear the main gate with our vehicles, it probably wouldn't have been allowed.
BTW...I thanked all the young 'uns doing guard duty, and they all said "You're welcome"!
Some of the pictures were taken at "Century Circle", which is a little park outside the West gate where we waited for our escort. The others were taken outside the museum where they have a small static exhibit of various aircraft. I didn't try to take any pictures inside, as I was too awed at the items in the museum, and just wanted to soak up the experience rather than trying to get some decent pictures with my cellphone camera.
They're taking donations to get a much larger building to house the incredible array of Really Neat Stuff they have in storage, so I dropped $20 into the donation box.
I bought some tee shirts and a nice print called "The Golden Age Of Flight Test" which is numbered and signed by the artist, and six of the test pilots who helped make all this happen.
Enjoy the slide show, meager as it is, and you can learn more about the museum here.
Air Force Flight Test Center Museum

For more information on SR-71A #61-7955, go to SR-71 Online.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

High-Speed *Imaging* Seminar

Well....turns out this seminar covers a whole lot more ground than I was told.
You know that great footage you see on TV showing a bullet coming out of the barrel at, oh, 5000 frames-per-second?
HAH! That stuff is downright SLOW compared to what I saw today, and we're just getting started!
Some of the systems on display here are easily capable of doing ONE-HUNDRED THOUSAND frames-per-second. We set one up and watched a strobe tube fire, and then watched the images. From the initial trigger pulse, to the gas starting to ionize, to the initiation of the main discharge, and this thing didn't even break a sweat.
We also have systems on display here that can do well over ONE MILLION frames-per-second, and one of the companies presenting here has a system that can do ONE BILLION fps!
Astounding stuff, that was "undreamable" just a few short years ago.
And of course, we had footage of APFSDS projectiles coming out of the barrel, the sabot petals peeling back, and the round hitting the target.
And the images are so clear you can read the information printed on the round as it travels downrange.
Kinda makes the 400 fps Milliken camera I brought with me look like a real antique! is still unsurpassed for certain applications, and ours is one of them. We simply don't need the ability to record at a frame rate that's high enough to watch a block of TNT detonate, and accurate color rendition, from a well understood media, is essential for our application.
Still, it's absolutely staggering what these imaging system can do.

And as a preview of what we're going to do Thursday after class concludes, I heard several sonic booms today while I was outside during lunch.

ba-BOOM.....Edwards AFB is only about 20 miles from here, and from the looks of the contrails up there today, our flyboys were out playing.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

High-Speed Camera Seminar Next Week

They popped this on me Thursday morning. The company that services our D.B. Milliken High-Speed film cameras is having a training seminar next week up in Lancaster, CA, and I get to go.
These cameras are mechanical marvels....400 frames-per-second of pin-registered 16mm color film, fully self-contained, except for the lens. I've seen them apart on the bench a few times, and was really impressed with how well they're made.
We have 10 of them running during the launch. Four of them are in two separate blast-proof housings made of 3/8" armor plate covered with ablative coatings, and have a 6" diameter double-pane borosilicate glass window. These are located about six feet from the edge of the flame bucket, and really get hammered during a launch. The windows usually get pitted, broken, melted, or "all of the above", but we have had times where the windows came out unscathed.
Three more are located in an enclosure about thirty feet away, mounted at different angles of elevation. They catch the launch vehicle once it comes up out of the flame bucket and the nozzles start to gimble.
The remainder are located up on the hangar roof and catch the view from a different perspective.
Our partners who build the launch vehicle can tell a lot of things from the flame color, and how the nozzles move during ascent, but that's not my area of expertise. Since I'm in "Operations Support", helping the Range Operations Team includes work with the Photo-Optics guys who document the entire launch process, from integrating the payload, to the launch vehicle going out of sight after liftoff.
It should be an interesting class/seminar, as I enjoy working on this kind of stuff.
And the BEST part is that after we "graduate" Thursday morning, we get a private tour of the Edwards Flight Test Facility!
Should be "just a little" fun to see things that the public doesn't normally get to see.
The embedded video is shot from these cameras, and is a montage of the various views. I think the launch was for the XM-3 mission, or at least that's where I remember the music during that footage.
This video looks like it was ripped from the souvenir "Mission Highlights" DVD that we make for every mission.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Thank you all for serving.
May God bless you and keep you close to Him.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Range Day!

Always good to spend some time at the range!
We had a ball today shooting my Marlin 336/30-30, my son's Savage 17HMR, my "Zombie Zapper MkI", and my son's step-dad's Browning 300 Winchester Magnum.
We also went through about 50 rounds each with our pistols, but that's not why we went.
I finally have a decent bench rest, so I was able to check the zero on my Marlin. Turns out I had it just about spot-on! The picture of the black target was from the first few rounds I fired at 50 yards, and I was pretty happy with it. The picture of the "Shoot-N-See" target was what I fired at 100 yards. I would have liked a closer grouping, but this was around 2pm, and the wind was blowing cross-range pretty hard, about 10~15MPH according to one of the guys there who had a little anemometer. He was shooting a 22-250, and complaining how he was "all over the place" at 100 yards. I looked at his target, and he had around 10 shot is a 2~2-1/2" group! And for the first time, I was also able to hit the steel targets 100% of the time. I think they're about 10" in diameter, and they were at 102 yards, according to my little Bushnell laser rangefinder.
Then we broke out the Browning in 300 Win Mag.
BOOM! It's got quite a kick to it, and my son was right; it just isn't much fun to shoot more than 3 rounds through it. His step-dad has it dialed in at 100 yards (quite a waste), and I was able to hit the 9 ring consistently. It's a beautiful rifle, with a humongous (to me, anyway) Tasco scope on it. I've always heard "Tasco is junk", but it has a beautiful, crisp, clear image, and handles the pounding it gets from the rifle just fine. I don't know how well it would hold up out on a hunt in rough country and bad weather year-after-year, but it seems like a nice scope to me.
As far as my Remington 1100 with the rifled barrel, I was really disappointed with the little Simmons scope I had on it. The images just didn't seem "right", and I felt I would have done much better with ghost-ring sights on it. Really disappointing. We picked up my new Nikon scope on the way back from the range, so after I clean the 1100, I'll put the new scope on it, and we'll head back to the range next month.
The inexpensive slug rounds I bought were quite nice to shoot, and as the first one ejected I was amazed at how light the recoil was. I figured it was the Lead Sled absorbing most of the recoil, so after firing a few more of those, and getting nowhere fast with the Simmons scope, I stepped up to one of the 325 grain, 1800fps Winchester slugs I got the other night.
It roared like a Naval 3-pounder, and knocked the Lead Sled back about 6"!
People turned around and looked every time I fired it. I was missing the steel at 100 yards, but sure raising a huge cloud of dust out of the berm behind the steel!
And then I found out what was going on with the Simmons scope.....
As we were packing up to leave, one of the range officers came over and looked at it. He asked how well I could see with the scope, and I replied not very well, and I wasn't happy at all with it. Then he said "You've got it mounted BACKWARDS. Didn't you notice the image was smaller than one-to-one?".
This little scope has one big lens, and one small lens. I thought the big lens went in the front (gathers more light, you know), and the small lens was the one for your eye.
I don't think I've ever been this embarrassed over something shooting related.
Still, we had a great time, the weather was beautiful, except for the wind, and we met some very nice fellow shooters today.


My son sent me the video he took with his iPhone.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Headed Out To The Range!

My son and I are headed out to Angeles Shooting Range Wednesday morning. I got the barrel swapped out on my Remington 1100, the scope mounted and 'rough zeroed', and a LimbSaver recoil pad added.
I also checked my Marlin 336 out, and re-centered the reticle in the scope on that one. Since I now have a Lead Sled and some shot-filled bags, I'm going to re-zero the scope on that one, too.
The scope on the 1100 is a cheapie Simmons 2.5x20, identical to the one I gave wirecutter to use on his air rifle, but it's called a "Shotgun Scope", so we'll see how well it holds up to the battering an 1100 shooting slugs gives it. When I went to install it Monday afternoon, I realized I had the wrong mounting rings for it. ARRRRGH! I fired off a quick order to Cabela's, and also ordered a 2-7x32 Nikon ProStaff 'Shotgun Hunter' scope, as I have my doubts about the Simmons lasting very long!
Well, like a dummy I ordered it shipped overnite, and right after I clicked "Submit Order", I realized it couldn't possibly be here Tuesday (today), as I ordered it after 11:30 CST, which is Cabela's cut-off time!
SO.....I hopped in the car, and drove over to Turner's Outdoorsman, and picked up a set of Leupold rings for it.
Now this, of course, means another trip up to the outdoor range (Oh, DARN!) to sight in the new scope after it gets here and I swap out the Simmons.
And I picked up a couple of boxes of Winchester "Supreme Elite" (kinda sounds like the current government, eh?) Sabot slugs so I can compare them to the Remington "Premier Copper Solid" Sabot slugs I already have.
The Winchester's have a 375 grain slug, and an "On-The-Box" muzzle velocity of 1800 fps!
I'll bet they kick like a mad mule.
A real MAD mule.
So, looking forward to a nice, pleasant, relaxing ( ! ) day at the range on Wednesday sighting in the Marlin (Thanks OldNFO!!) and seeing if I can even control the slugs out of "Zombie Zapper MkI".
I have a funny feeling my right shoulder is going to be screaming at me all the way home......

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Minor PC Upgrade

Spent a little time this morning giving my PC a minor upgrade. I was running an Intel Core2 Duo E8400 @3GHz, and upgraded it to an Intel Core2 Quad @2.83GHz. The individual cores are about 6% "slower", but now I've got 4 of them.
Should make multiprocessing tasks run a bit quicker, and I got it at a price that was too good to pass up.
Back to work on the antenna article......

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Expedient Antennas for HF (Shortwave) Use

Sometime ago, our good friends over at the Western Rifle Shooters Association had an article on "Anti-Materiel" shooting, and one of the commenters had in his post the necessity of "proven capability to construct field expedient antennaes (sic) and use a HF radio and get out long distance comms".

Well, me being a "Radio Guy", and a proud member of the Unorganized Militia Signal Corps, replied back words to the effect that although I didn't know much about that type of shooting, I was a fairly competent and experienced radio guy.

So, I promised to write something up and submit it to them.

I'm trying my best to write down the things I know work, their advantages and pitfalls, and keep it non-technical enough so that an average guy could implement it. I've got the outline, and some fleshed out sections, and I'll be presenting it here in sections, as well as sending the complete article over to the WRSA, over the next few weeks.

It's a simple matter to make an antenna, but getting one that radiates well, and is repeatable, and usable without a lot of technical knowledge, takes some thought, and is somewhat dependent on what type of radio you'll be using. There are a ton of excellent quality portable antennas on the market (and some real JUNK, too!), so I'll go over those, too, along with some easy, cheap, and reliable ones you can construct for next-to-nothing.

Hang in there, guys, and I'll get something up here over the weekend.

As they say in the broadcasting industry, "Stay Tuned"!

****** UPDATE ******

I've got the intro written, and I'm well along on the "Resources" section. If I get real ambitious on Sunday, I'll get the "Introduction" posted. One of my friends is going over it for me, and he'll give me some feedback on it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Top 10 Mall Ninja Guns

I saw a post over at Tam's place that really cracked me up. It's a piece that includes a link over to the LonelyMachines site where the origins of the term "Mall Ninja" are explained. It cracked me up so hard, that I checked Wikipedia for the term, and *surprise*, they had no listing for it. I knew what it meant from hanging around various forums and blogs, but thought Wikipedia might have a listing.
A Google Search fared much better, and led me to this page with the "Top 10 Mall Ninja Guns".

Now in Days of Old, I did some security consulting for people that thought their offices were being bugged, and as a result of that, I got hooked up with a PPO who wanted me to be his "Tactical Stealth Electronics" operations guy. The owner of this place had this brilliant idea to have a one-stop "Security Mall" where you could hire a Private Investigator (an active-duty LAPD guy, no less!), go to school and get your Guard Card (LONG story on that!), hire his security officers, and pretty much "Take Care of ALL Your Security Needs Under One Roof!". Well, I hung around for a while, made some decent bucks sweeping offices, and got to know a bunch of security guards. Back then, they weren't called "Mall Ninjas", but rather "Cowboys", which considering who the term was applied to, I thought insulted real cowboys!
Some of these guys were freakin' NUTS! There are VERY strict rules for running a PPO (Private Patrol Operator) in Kalifornia, and they cover vehicle types and paint schemes, officer uniforms and badging, and a host of other rules and regulations. To make a long story short, the PPO MUST ensure that his patrol officers CANNOT be mistaken for a Duly-Sworn Peace Officer, a.k.a., a REAL Cop.
This is where the "Cowboy" part comes in. Some of these guys went out of their way to look, and act, like real police. One guy bought a used Kawasaki "Police Special" from the CHP, and bought the correct style pants, boots, shirts, and helmet. He looked scary good, and after being told THREE times by the owner of the place to "Knock it off, or we'll BOTH get in trouble!", he got fired.
Same thing with a "Motor Unit" guy who'd bought himself a used Crown Victoria from the CHP, and outfitted it with all the gear the CHP had, except for the light bar. He had all yellow lenses in his, but again, same thing happened. Repeatedly warned, then canned.
Anyway, I heard one of the line managers mutter something one day, and I asked him what he said. "Goddamn COWBOYS!", and then explained the whole situation to me.
It's funny, but a lot of people seem to want to be police, but either can't or won't make the effort to actually do what it takes to be one.
I see the same thing among Amateur Radio operators who get involved with EMCOMMS, too. Some of these guys just have to have the same style vest, pants and shirt that the real first responders wear, and when they get told they can't, get all hissy about it. Some of these guys even have official looking badges, fer Pete's sake!
Maybe someday the term "Radio Ninja" will enter the popular lexicon, but for now all we have is Mall Ninja.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pouring Lead Shot

Into my Lead Sled shot bags, that is.

Some things I learned, that I *should* have known.

1) #9 lead shot is tiny!
It came streaming out of the 25lb sack like sugar on steroids.
I couldn't control it, and wound up with 10 pounds in the Caldwell bag before I could stop it, and wound up with a handful scattered all over the place.

2) It doesn't pour back out of the Caldwell sack as easily as it went in.
Another handful or two all over the place.

3) If you do this, make sure you have a BIG pan underneath to catch all the shot you will spill.
I tried using the big styrofoam box our latest order from Omaha Steaks came in, and it was barely big enough.

4) Even if you use a scale to weigh the bags as you pour the shot in, the first bag will be heavier than the last (see #1).

5) Next time, buy "BB" size shot as it's much easier to handle!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

TSA Now Grabbing Your Gold and Silver....

Man, this is right out of the "Enemies: Foreign and Domestic" book.
Bob Bullard, anyone?

TSA Thugs In Action

Radio Update!

Well, I'm having excellent results parting out my big Kenwood TS-950SDX station.
So far I've sold the SP-950 speaker, the SM-230 Station Monitor, the DRU-2 Digital Recording Unit, the VS-2 Voice Synthesizer, a couple of 'official' Kenwood Service Manuals, and Inrad Roofing Filter. This gives me almost $1300 in the "FTdx-5000MP" fund, and I haven't sold the radio yet, which should bring about $1800.
I also have an ICom IC-970 VHF/UHF multi-mode radio that's going on the block and should bring in about $1500. Throw in some Handi-Talkies I just sold, and a couple of receivers that went out of here last week, and I'm at over $5k. This puts me withing 'striking distance' of the $5900 cost of the new radio, and cleans out some radios I don't use, neatens up the shack quite a bit, and meets the agreement I made with the YF to "Get Rid Of The Ones You Don't Use Anymore And I Don't Have A Problem With You Getting A New One".
Oh, and she got a new washer and dryer out of the deal, too.
Of course, you NEVER buy your wife a new washer and dryer as a "gift", but rather as "Something We NEED".
Togetherness, 'ya know?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lead Sled is Here....

Put it together tonight, and realized you can't work a lever action rifle while it's in the rest.

One of these days I'll learn to read a bit more before I buy things......
Now, I *suppose* as long as I carefully put the rifle back in position after I take a shot and work the action, it won't really matter, but it kind of bugs me that I didn't research this a bit more.

Hmmmmmm....maybe it's time to buy a nice 308 bolt-action rifle?

Any recommendations?

Monday, October 24, 2011

November 2012 Can't Get Here Soon Enough....

From on of my friends.

If any other of our presidents
had doubled the National Debt, which
had taken more than two centuries
to accumulate, in one year,
would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents
had then proposed to Double
the debt again within 10 years,
would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents
had criticized a State Law that
he admitted he never even read,
would you think that he is
just an ignorant hothead?

If any other of our presidents
joined the country of Mexico and sued a
state in the United States to force that State
to continue to allow Illegal Immigration,
would you question his patriotism
and wonder whose side he was on?

If any other of our presidents
had pronounced the Marine Corps
as if it were the Marine Corpse,
would you think him an idiot?

If any other of our presidents
had put 87,000 workers out of work
by arbitrarily placing a moratorium on
offshore oil drilling on companies that have
one of the best safety records of any industry
because one foreign company had an accident,
would you have agreed?

If any other of our presidents
had used a forged document as the
basis of the moratorium that would render
87,000 American workers unemployed,
would you support him?

If any other of our presidents
had been the first President to need a
teleprompter installed to be able to get through
a press conference, would you have laughed and

said this is more proof of how inept he is on

his own and is really controlled by smarter

men behind the scenes, just like a simple puppet?

If any other of our presidents invited a

rap artist who celebrated killing cops to the

White House, would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents
had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars
of your tax money to take his First Lady to a

play in NYC, would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents
had reduced your retirement plan holdings
of GM stock by 90% and given the
unions a majority stake in GM,
would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents
had made a joke at the expense
of the Special Olympics,
would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents
had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive
and incorrectly formatted DVDs

when Gordon Brown had given him a

thoughtful and historically significant gift,

would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents
had given the Queen of England an
IPod containing videos of his speeches,
would you have thought it to be a
proud moment for America ?

If any other of our presidents
had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia,
would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents
had visited Austria and made reference
to the nonexistent "Austrian language,"
would you have brushed it off
as a minor slip?

If any other of our presidents
had filled his Cabinet and circle of
Advisers with people who cannot seem
to keep current on their Income Taxes,
would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents
had stated that there were 57 states in
the United States, wouldn't you have had
second thoughts about his capabilities?

If any other of our presidents
would have flown all the way to Denmark
to make a five-minute speech about how the

Olympics would benefit him walking out his

front door in his home town, would you not

have thought he was a self-important, conceited, egotistical jerk?

If any other of our presidents
had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to
"Cinco de Cuatro" in front of the Mexican

ambassador when it was "The 5th of May" (Cinco de Mayo)

and then continue to flub it when he tried again,

wouldn't you have winced in embarrassment?

If any other of our presidents
had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel
to go plant a single tree on Earth Day,
would you have concluded he's a hypocrite?

If any other of our presidents'
Administrations had okayed Air Force One
flying low over millions of people followed by
a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing
widespread panic, would you have wondered
whether they actually understood what happened on 9-11?

If any other of our presidents
had failed to send relief aid to flood victims
throughout the Midwest, with more people killed
or made homeless than in New Orleans,

wouldn't you want it made into a major ongoing

political issue with claims of outright racism and incompetence?

If any other of our presidents
had created the positions of 32 Czars
who report directly to him, bypassing
the House and Senate on much of
what is happening in America ,
would you have approved?

If any other of our presidents
had ordered the firing of the CEO
of a major corporation, even though he
had no constitutional authority to do so,
would you have approved?

So, tell me again,
what is it about Obama that
makes him so brilliant and impressive?

Is it the fact he knows all 57 states?

Can't think of anything?
Then you'd better start worrying.
He's done all these things in 30 months --
and you have less than 17 months
to come up with an answer.

Every statement and action in this email
is factual and correctly attributable
to Barack Hussein Obama.
Every bumble is a matter of record
and completely verifiable.

And, all this was done in just 2 (?) years!!?
Somebody was sure working hard!!!

Supras and Stereos.....

 The repairs on the Fisher RS-2010 are proceeding, but a bit slower than I expected. The failed transistor is an obsolete part number, so I ...