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!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Visiting "Strangers".....

Hmmm....I seem to be getting a lot of hits from Arlington and Fairfax, Virginia.

Did I make "The Big Time"?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Great Afternoon at the Range

It's like the old saying about fishing, "The worst day fishing is better than the best day at work", although I don't think I'd care to have a "Bad Day at the Range"! The last Bad Day I had was a couple of years ago when my wife hit the target support with my 45, and the round came straight back and smacked my in the upper lip!
Anyway....I had a great time this afternoon with my son. I went through about 150 rounds of 45ACP, and he went through about 100 rounds of 40S&W, putting a small dent in the 500 rounds I bought him for his birthday present.
And we BOTH realized we simply MUST get to the range more than "every couple of months"!
I took me a full magazine to get back into the rhythm I usually have, and out of my first 8 shots, 4 were outside the black! They were all within the "Dinner plate at 7 yds" credo, but I'm capable of much better than that.
It took my son a few shots to get back to his usual skill level, but then he wasn't doing rapid double-taps from low ready!
After my first magazine fiasco, I went back to the basics: good grip, good sight alignment, surprise break, and DON'T JERK THE TRIGGER! I showed him some tips about sight alignment, and I think he understands the "Front Sight...PRESS!" mental attitude for defensive shooting better now. We talked about the surprise break, the "thin glass rod" concept, and I explained to him about how being aware of the trigger reset movement will get him to know and understand his pistol better.
By the end of the two hours we were both doing better than when we walked in, and had a great time.
We're going to head up to Angeles Shooting Range in two weeks, after his 17HMR ammo gets here, along with the sabot slugs I want to try in my rebarreled and scoped Remington 1100, my "Goblin Gettin' Zombie Zapper". I also ordered a Caldwell Lead Sled Plus from Midway, and a couple of bags of lead shot to anchor it down. Learning to sight-in from a bench rest is a new thing to me, and I've written down, and printed out, some guidelines on how to do it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Range Time!!

Heading to the indoor range Thursday after work with my son. I got him 500 rds of 40S&W for his Sig P226, and three spare magazines for his birthday, and we're gonna go turn some money into smoke and noise!
I also got him 500 rds of 17HMR for his Savage 93R17-FXP rifle (the one he regularly embarrasses me with!), but we have to hold off on going up to Angeles Shooting Range for a week or so until I can schedule a day off from work. I'm anxious to get up there to try the new rifled barrel, scope, and recoil pad I installed on my Remington 1100. I have a selection of slugs I want to try with it and see how they shoot with a rifled as opposed to smoothbore barrel.
Which reminds me....the "Box-O-Truth" did an article on slugs and buckshot through smooth and rifled barrels, and he shot some of the sabot slugs that are out there. They're about FOUR BUCKS a round ( ! ), so I probably won't order too many to start with.
I also want to try some of the Hornady LEVERevolution polymer-tipped rounds in my Marlin 336 30-30 rifle.
Looks like I'd better get that order in to Cabela's, Midway, or Sportsman's Guide tonight!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Boston's Gun Bible

I'll take one of my (in)famous SWAGs and say that 99% of the people who drop by here know about this book, and have probably read it.
I bought it a while back, thumbed through it, thought "This looks pretty good...", and promptly put it on my book shelf.
Well, I started reading it today, and it's even better than I thought, as it covers so much territory. A lot of it's been covered in numerous other books, and a lot of it echoes what my Instructors have said in the training classes I've taken, so I won't go over it. One of the first things that really grabbed me was a quote in the front of the book from Heraclitus on the Warrior Spirit.
It goes:

Of every One-Hundred men, Ten shouldn't even be there.
Eighty are nothing but targets.
Nine are real fighters...
We are lucky to have them, as they make the battle.
Ah, but the One, the One of them who is a Warrior,
He will bring the others back....

Pretty stout stuff!

I don't think I'm in that "Top Ten", but it gives me strength to know that at least I'm a *bit* more aware of things than most of the sheeple who blindly go through life in Condition White.

Cain vs Obama

As usual, Ramirez nails it!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

UGH....PC Repair....MY OWN

Well, after listen to this thing make strange noises when I first powered it up, and then watching the temperature of the GPU on the video card go over TWO-HUNDRED degrees, I figured it might be a good time to pull this one the desk, take the covers off, and see what was going on.
Sure enough, the fan on the video card was barely turning. I have some good video cards "in stock" here, but I really didn't want to use one as I've had people call me at 6pm on a Sunday night saying they needed their PC fixed RIGHT NOW, and they were wiling to pay a premium for 'after hours' service.
So off to Best Buy to get another video card. I'd much rather get one from Newegg, as they're always 25%~40% cheaper than Best Buy, but what the was a nice day and I wanted to get out of the house.
Blew about 3 pounds of dust bunnies out of this one, and then did the YF's as long as I had the compressor set up (drier on the air outlet, grounding strap on the blow gun to discharge static) to clean PC's.
Got this one all spiffied up, plugged in the new video card, and upgraded the hard disk while I was at it.
I did a fresh install of OpenSUSE 11.4, migrated my data from the old hard disk, and here I am.
The new video card barely breaks 100*, and the new drive is noticeably faster than the old one. Should be good for at least another 50,000 miles....

Friday, October 14, 2011

My First (and other) Car MEME....

Idea courtesy of Old NFO.
The first car I got to drive on a regular basis was my Mom's 1964 Corvair Monza Spyder. Fun little car until my sister got rear-ended by a semi one day. She was OK, but the car was never the same after we got it out of the shop. I learned more than I wanted to know about "Trailing-Throttle Oversteer" in that little guy. It was "Monza Red" with a black interior. It also had one of the neatest radios in it I'd ever seen. It was a Sony MDL-something that had AM, FM, SW, and LW, and it hung under the dash in an accessory bracket that let you pull the radio out, and carry it along as a portable.
I spent many a cold winter night listening to WRVA ("The Lou Dean Show") while laying in bed with the headphones on.
Mom traded that one in for a 1967 Corvair Monza, with the 110 HP engine, and a POWERGLIDE.
Oh, the ignominy of going from a 4-speed to a two-speed AUTOMATIC right when I was getting my driver's license!
The '67 Monza was "Marina Blue", one of the prettiest colors you could ever paint a car.
The next car we got, which was still my Mom's car, was a graduation present for me. We got a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T with the Special Edition package. I was bummed when it came in because the dealer we order it from was a grade school friend of my Mom's, and he checked the "Delete R/T Stripe" on the option box because he didn't think my Mom would like having that big white stripe around the tail. They substituted some chrome and red R/T emblems on the rear fenders, and the thing wound up being a real sleeper. Wit the f-70x14 bias ply tires it wouldn't hook up for sh1t (I could lay rubber for blocks with that thing!) but once it was rolling, hang on!
We kept it for a couple of years, and then the insurance companies came down on "Muscle Cars".....HARD. Even though I was an "A" student, had NO accidents or tickets, and was getting the good driver/good student discount, or insurance went from $186 a year to $483 EVERY SIX MONTHS! The Charger was "T5 Copper Metallic" with a tan interior.
So, we got rid of it, and I moved on to....
A 1971 Ford Capri. It had the 1600 "Kent" engine, with a four speed, and the tiniest one barrel carb I'd ever seen. The "Kent" 1600 was a pretty stout engine (it was the basis for the early Formula Ford cars), but this thing was seriously DE-tuned. It wouldn't pull more than 5000RPM in NEUTRAL! I swear, you could put a brick on the accelerator, walk away for a week, and it would still be running when you came back.
Really a stone, but it handled pretty well, got great mileage, and got me through college in style. It was some kind of non-descript medium blue metallic with a white ( ! ) interior.
I could go on about the cars I've "owned", but these were the ones I was driving during my 'formative years'.
Maybe I'll just do a post listing all the cars I've owned. It covers the gamut, from Corvairs to Jeeps, and Corvettes to El Caminos.....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

For Wirecutter....(among others)....

A buddy of mine sent me this, and I *immediately* thought about Kenny.



While walking down along the Rio Grande this morning, I saw a Muslim extremist fall into the water ; he was struggling to stay afloat because of all the guns and bombs he was carrying. Along with him was a Mexican who was also struggling to stay afloat because of the large backpack of drugs that was strapped to his back. If they didn't get help, they'd surely drown. Being a responsible Texan and abiding by the law to help those in distress, I informed the County Sheriff 's Office and Homeland Security in Austin. It is now 4 PM, both have drowned, and neither authority has responded.

I'm starting to think I wasted a postage stamp...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wow....10 Meters is WIDE OPEN!

I haven't seen the 10 Meter band open like this in YEARS! There's stations calling CQ out past 28.500, and the band is supporting propagation from all over.
I worked T32C earlier today on 10, and then half an hour later worked him on 15.
Great day to play radio!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bullet Impacts Filmed at ONE MILLION Frames Per Second

Amazing stuff!

Steve Jobs -February, 1955 ~ October, 2011-

May the place you go to be Insanely Great beyond your wildest dreams.....

UVB-76, The Russian "Buzzer" Shortwave Station

One of the 'bad' things about going out on launch missions is that I miss about a 3-week chunk of my mail. When I got back Monday, I stopped at my mailbox and picked up my mail, and my latest issue of "WIRED" magazine was there.
Lo and behold, they had an article on the UVB-76 "Buzzer" shortwave station. I've heard this station several times in the past, and first found out about it reading "Monitoring Times" magazine. It's an interesting station, probably in the same category as a numbers station, but transmits a different format of information, consisting of various audio tones, and an occasional human voice. It's pretty boring to listen to, but one of those things I'll have on in the background once in a while.
The WIRED article had a reference to a live audio stream, so I looked it up. It's better than listening to it on my radio, as I really don't have an antenna that's suitable for 4.625 MHz, and the Internet relay is close enough that I don't have to worry about propagation from there to here.
A lot of people are bemoaning that shortwave radio listening is "dead", but there's still a lot of things to listen to.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Floor Has Finally Stopped Moving....

Yep it's true. After you've been out at sea for a few days your inner-ear adjusts to the constant motion it's subjected to, and you compensate for it as you walk. It's a strange feeling at first to be walking down a passageway, only to be walking UP the passageway a few seconds later as the ship rolls a bit.
You know you have your Sea Legs when you can walk down the stairs ("ladders" on a ship) from the mess hall with your left hand on a rail, a full cup of coffee in your right hand, and not spill a drop.
It took most of the morning, but now I can walk a straight line through the house without wandering as I do it!

AND...Sunday on way back in, somewhere in the vicinity of Guadalupe Island, we started hearing jets. I saw some F-18 Hornets around, and wondered what they'd be doing that far out. About an hour later I went up on deck, and was greeted by an Nimitz-class carrier, and an Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer!

I'll post some pix after I get them downloaded from my camera.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Back Home...To A DEAD Battery!

RATS! I forgot to unplug my Kenwood TM-D700 in the Jeep before I left. The radio draws almost nothing when it's off, but the Garmin "Hockey Puck" GPS receiver I have connected to it draws about 65mA, more than enough to drain a battery after 22 days away!
We first tried using one of those jumper boxes with a big GelCell battery in it, but IT was dead, so one of the logistics guys brought over a 400 Amp battery charger/booster, and a Honda Eu2000i generator.

We fired up the generator, connected everything, let it sit for a few minutes, and my Hemi rumbled to life.

It's connected to my trickle charger now, and I hope I didn't damage the battery. Ignition/Starting batteries are NOT meant to have a small, constant load connected to them, and the plates can get sulphated if you do that to them.

Hopefully the trickle charge will clean things up.

And my dogs went absolutely bonkers when I got home. I thoguh they were going to crash through the gate when I pulled in the driveway and got out of the Jeep!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Final Position Report.....

.....Before we drop our satcom link.

We're at 31* 15' N, and 120* 10' W.

We *easily* could have been home today, or even yesterday if they would have spent a few more $$ on fuel.

Oh, well.......

Revised ETA...Home MONDAY at 0800

Well, after realizing they'd have to roust everybody from home, and muster them at Home Port for our arrival Sunday night, The Management decided to slow us down to 14 knots.
This means we'll be at the pier at 0800 Monday morning. What's frustrating to us all, is that if they would have cruised the distance at ONE additional knot, we'd be home already!
And our satcom system will be going down at 1600 since we'll be within 200 miles of CONUS, and our license requires us to be dark within 200 miles.
Glad I brought a good selection of DVD's with me.
I've already watched "Seven Days In May", "THEM!", "Le Mans" with Steve McQueen, "TRON Legacy", and several others.
Maybe I'll watch "Iron Man 2" and/or "Blade Runner" later today. Several people want me to screen "The Enemy Below" in our lounge area, so that will probably be tonight's after dinner entertainment.
At least Saturday was "colored clothes" day for the ship's laundry, so all my laundry is done and packed, and I'm 90% done with packing the rest of my gear up.
Talk to you all later!

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 ...