Just way too much bad news in the country today, I just have to lighten the mood a bit. Hope this one helps:

For those of you that do not follow racing, F1 is the fastest of the fast, the most advanced cars on the planet. Driving a passenger car, you can tell Riccardo Patrese is not even pushing the car much- engine isn't even reving much. Not that extreme G-forces, either- even his wife is not moving around much. (Probably wanted to make sure he stayed married!) Imagine what it would be like if he'd really pushed the car to the limit- F1 drivers routinely pull over 5 g's in turns, and acelerate from 30 mph turns to 220 mph straights in seconds.

Oh, forget all that. The one "MAMA MIA" with added hand gestures pretty much says it all.

The worst part of getting older, is watching the people who made the songs of our youth go the way of all Flesh...

Dan Seals was 61, and died from complications of cancer (lymphoma)

I know, I know- I haven't been at this long enough to slow down already. Unfortunately earning a living in these perilous times must come first, and I've been lucky enough to find employment that pays well above the average for my area, not an easy task when the unemployment rate for my county currently is the 3rd worst in the state. So please accept my apologies for not posting the next few days, and I will try to do a good one this weekend.

If you have not done so already, please feel free to read some of the prior posts archived on the left.

Thanks again for taking the time to visit my humble home here in blogland, I do appreciate your company.

I have been sitting around for some days now, attempting to think of a good story to tell that wouldn’t involve an activity that in these enlightened times would be considered ‘politically incorrect.’ I came up with a few, but quite frankly they all seemed boring. So after much deliberation and thought I’ve decided to just go ahead and tell you the truth about some things that happened. All of this was perfectly legal at the time, and no one got hurt. It was a lot of fun, too. Overly protective nanny types, take note: I still have all my fingers and toes, and grew up to be a productive member of society.

Grandpa Clyde was the kind of grandpa every kid should have. He delighted in making all of us laugh, and his favorite thing to do when we were munchkins was to screw up his face into wild contortions, stick his false teeth out of his lower jaw, and open his eyes wide- invariably greeted with howls of laughter by us, and stern rebukes from grandma. He’d ignore those, of course, and proceed to do something else fun to keep us entertained. Somewhere in this time he got the nickname ‘Clyde Crash cup’, after a popular black and white carton of the time. It fit. Clyde Crash cup was the best kind of grandpa ever.

As the years passed, I was helping out more at the machine shop, and on my other grandpa’s farm. One of my favorite things to do was stump blasting, the easiest way to remove a field full of stumps from newly logged fields. For those of you who think the only way to pull stumps is to bring in an expensive, heavy backhoe and spend hours per tree digging, let me enlighten you- before political correctness and the nanny state got carried away, the way to pull a stump was explosives. Much cheaper- about $2 per stump back then- much faster, and as side benefits you loosened up a lot of dirt, and the explosives used (still used today, if you are properly licensed) are great fertilizer for the soil, so it was a win-win situation. The fireworks aspect of it were just icing on the cake for a teen age boy working for the family farm. Everybody back then loved things that went ‘boom.’

Grandpa Clyde had a small house in a somewhat rural area away from town, typical of the time. Situated at the bottom of a hill, it was about 75 feet below the area church, which sat beside the parsonage and another house, which my mother had been raised in along with my great-grandmother and grandparents. At Clyde’s house, the main features were a very small wooden garage (just big enough for a model T, and used for a workshop then) and a couple of wooden chicken houses, for grandpa enjoyed trading chickens and raising them. The chicken house was about 35 feet from a large, dying apple tree, and the house itself was slightly farther than that from the same tree. Remember those relations, please- they will be important.

The apple tree wasn’t good for much of anything. The apples were sour, and likely to send you to the bathroom for an extended stay if you ate one. There were few enough of them, as the tree was all but completely dead. The branches were so low as to make getting under it a problem. It needed to go away, and grandpa one Saturday pulled out his trusty chainsaw and sawed off all of the big limbs and branches, leaving about a 10 foot section of trunk sticking at an ugly angle from the ground. He then tried to pull the tree/stump out of the ground with a logging chain and his old Dodge pickup, with predictable results: a couple of slick spin marks in the grass, and an unmoved apple tree trunk. He called my dad, and asked a question he would forever remember as an understatement: did we know of a good way to get that tree out of the ground? Uh, well, yes, in fact we did. Oh, yes, we certainly did. And we’d be over shortly to help him out.

On arrival my dad went directly to the smoke house, which in years passed had been used to smoke pork meat after slaughter, but now was used as storage for yard tools and fertilizer. As you might expect there were several bags of various types of same, and to my dad’s delight there was a 50 lb. bag of one of his favorites. He handed me a shovel and a pick, and followed me into the yard with the fertilizer bag over his shoulder. Grandpa came out of the house, and followed us down. He looked puzzled when he saw the fertilizer, and told dad he didn’t want to make the old tree grow, he wanted it out of the ground so he could get rid of it. I got the impression he’d expected dad to come over with a bigger truck and a stronger chain to pull the big stump out of the ground. Dad’s response was to pull a 1/3 stick of kinny pack (a type of explosive) out of his jacket pocket, and smile. This concerned Clyde, of course, being so close to the house and even closer to the chicken coops, although at the time I don’t think there were any chickens in it- it must have been one of the days he’d sold out everything and not bought any new ones. Clyde’s biggest concern was the chicken coops- he absolutely did not want to get any dirt on the chicken house. Was that possible? Sure, dad told him. I won’t get any dirt on the chicken house. Not a bit. You watch. Son, he ordered, get the pick and start digging right there- he marked a spot with his boot, and I went to work. I soon had a perfect round hole all the way to the tap root, which is what you have to break to get an apple tree out of the ground. I stopped digging, thinking I was done. Nope- dad ordered me to keep digging, a little more room and a little deeper, please. This puzzled me, as I’d done enough of this to know what I had was plenty big for a small charge to get things done. Then I noticed dad had on a poker face, yet I could detect a slight smile behind it. Something was up, and from his look, it was going to be fun. I kept quiet and paid attention. Soon I was handed a Merida Bread wrapper, and stuffed it with a couple of handfuls of fertilizer, thinking that was plenty, and pushed it deep into the hole I’d dug. Dad told me to put in another handful, and another, until I was looking at him with wide eyes and a questioning stare- are you sure about this? Finally he was satisfied, and I back filled the hole with dirt and packed it carefully and tight. Dad had always been famous for smoking cigars, big ones, and as grandpa was walking back to the carport he looked a me, and with a swagger that would have made Babe Ruth proud, pointed to a spot in the exact middle of the field next to the house- it’ll land right THERE, he announced, and smiled mightily. Yes, I asked, but how high will it go? I couldn’t help but ask, and my answer to that was hearty laugh and ‘that’s a good question, I guess we’ll find out soon, won’t we?’

I guess this is as good a time as any to point out the obvious: Kids, don’t try this at home, and never, ever try to make things that go boom without proper education and advice. My family had been doing this a long time, and dad had a gift for estimating things of this nature. This is not the sort of thing you learn by trail and error, ok? Nuff said.

The wires were run back to the carport, where the single, lone light fixture hung from the ceiling. Making sure the power was off, we hooked the end into the plug, and with a devilish grin dad simply told Clyde when he wanted to get rid of the tree, just pull the chain on the light fixture. Without a thought, Clyde yanked the chain. It was, in a word, magnificent. The entire house shook, the ground seemed to raise under our feet, and the shock wave took the very breath out of your lungs and rattled off the surrounding hills… stepping out from the carport and looking up, I watched the tree doing a perfect spiral, turning like a properly thrown football, arcing ever upward, higher than the surrounding hills, and peaking just over the altitude of the church and parsonage nearest us. I heard through the grapevine later that the pastor had been out doing yardwork around this time, and turning to see what the noise was, was very surprised indeed to see a large apple tree trunk hanging in mid air, with no visible means of support, then gently, slowly, dropping from view and out of sight. Back at the foot of the hill, the noise and shock wave had just died out, and suddenly with a mighty THUMP the tree landed- exactly where predicted, in the center of the field. Then, it began to rain. Softly at first, then a downpour of dirt. Mainly loose dirt, but a few fist sized dirt clods thrown in for good measure. All raining down on the main house- as promised, not a speck, not a particle, fell on the prized chicken house. Clyde was standing there, wide eyed and open mouthed, as he stared at a crater nearly big enough to bury the tree in. Dad had by this time grabbed me and put me back in the car, and was getting in himself, when Clyde regained his senses, and turned to start asking questions. The first, obvious question came as dad closed his door- “What in world do I tell people when they asked what happened?” To which came the expected reply “Tell ‘em you heard it too, and have no idea what it was” and away we went.

It was some time before I got to visit at grandpa’s again, but when I did, I remember clearly opening the smoke house door to check on something, and finding a big, empty space where the fertilizer had been. Grandpa had taken all of it to the land fill that same day, having decided that having such things in close proximity to the main house was not a good idea, especially with crazy people like us around.

Fight back

It's been a while since I posted anything gun related. Mainly because there are good people out there writing better stuff than I do right now.

For instance, the good folks at Dillon Press have an entire library of articles, such as this one. The article in question has been up for a long time, but it is more true today than ever. You might argue the best way to accomplish the task, but the basic idea is beyond argument: give them nothing. Fight back. Yes, you may die- but at least you'll die fighting, not lying on the floor begging like a coward.

You have to love the wisdom of Jeff Cooper. His response to the statement 'violence begets violence' was classic Cooper- 'I should hope so.'

I should hope so, indeed.

Go read the story and watch the video here. I'll wait.

I love it when professional drivers finally get some respect from the media. Usually the big rig drivers are only shown in the news as menaces to safety when a wreck occurs, usually because some rush-hour dolt trying to play race car driver caused a wreck. In reality truck drivers are much safer than automobile drivers, as you might expect when these hard working men and women are entrusted with everything from tomorrow's bread and beans to nuclear weapons. (Yes, they ship those by truck- how do you think they get from the airport to the missile silos?)

Do me a favor today- on the way home from work, give the big trucks a little extra room. If you can, give 'em a thumbs up, and try to make their life a little easier. They do a difficult job, do it well, and without them you wouldn't have any of the many things you buy at the grocery store, Wal-Mart, or anywhere else. They deserve your thanks.

It’s almost a daily thing now. But fear not, I have a solution:

Escaped lion shot dead at zoo
CANBERRA (Reuters) – Staff at an Australian zoo have received hate mail after shooting dead a lioness that escaped from its enclosure near a coastal resort and wandered toward visitors, the zoo owner said on Wednesday.
Visitors to Mogo Zoo, around 280 kms (174 miles) south of Sydney, were locked in safe houses for protection after a nine-year-old lioness named Jameila escaped. Staff were forced to shoot the wandering cat.
"I've never had to make that decision ever in my entire life, in a blink of an eye, and I did yesterday and everybody is safe," zoo owner Sally Padey told state radio.
Padey said she had received hate mail from people upset the animal, much-loved by zoo-goers, was killed rather than disabled with a tranquillizer dart to be re-confined.
"When you've got to make a split decision like I had to yesterday, especially with a lion that's so very dear to me, it's not easy," she said.
Zoo spokesman John Appleby said Jamelia had been raised from birth at the zoo and it was the first escape by one of its star big cats.
"She was moving quite slowly toward a public area, but under the circumstances a decision was made to put her down," Appleby told Australian Associated Press. (Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by Bill Tarrant)

Ok, those of us old enough to remember looking forward to “Wild Kingdom” on Sunday nights saw Marlin Perkins hit the wild elephant from the helicopter with the crossbow loaded with narcotic-tipped bolts. Elephant goes sleepy-bye, and wakes up with a helluva hangover and a radio transponder, ear tag, and ‘vote democratic’ tattooed into her backside. But no real harm done, right? Sigh. Can somebody please explain to these emotion-filled morons how this stuff really works? Or would even that make a difference? I’m pretty sure some of the animal-lovers writing the hate mail would be happy to sacrifice a couple of humans- what’s mom and the kids compared to a magnificent caged lion anyhow?- to keep the zoo critters happy and healthy. Hey, we could start feeding kids under 12 to the felines to combat global warming! Why not?
Seriously, if you don’t think the zoo personell made the right call, consider a few facts: You were not there. You have no idea how close the lioness was to zoo visitors, nor do you know what the lioness may have done. Dart guns work instantly only in the movies- in real life it can take minutes to put a large animal down, and in the meantime the shock of being stuck with a sharp needle can startle a big cat into going into unhappy mode. A big cat can kill a strong man in seconds. A smaller person, woman, or child, won’t have a chance. And animal activists aside, a human life is more important than an animals, even a majestic lion. I’m sorry the animal had to be put down, and I certainly hope they figure out where the security went wrong and keep it from happening again. But the zookeepers made the right call. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to learn about wildlife first hand: drop yourself off in Africa and wander around the brush for a few weeks, and talk to all the animals you want. Get up close, perhaps the pretty kitty will let you pet her. There is a saying in the Dark Continent: Nothing in Africa dies of old age.

I was blessed in many ways growing up. I got to hang around with some very talented and intelligent men, work with machine shop tools, and generally do a lot of things that I didn’t really appreciate until later on in life. Some things just tend to stand out in life though, and for me those things usually went ‘boom.’

This incident took place back in the old days of the machine shop, when it was in the little wooden building by the railroad tracks. As I described earlier in my post Mr. Ralph, we were doing a good business with case hardening parts for a local factory, and part of this process involved washing the parts down after heat treating them, and of course the waste water was then treated and flushed down into the city sewer system. This system had worked well for several years, until at last one long day Ralph forgot to clean out the system and left some residue in the pipe. This residue had set up, hardening to a solid mass as solid as rock. This pipe was either 6” or 12” cast iron, I can’t remember which right now, but it was underneath the floor- a full 8” of poured concrete. To put it simply, replacing the pipe was not an option- not unless you wanted to rent a jackhammer and waste a few days busting concrete, pulling heavy iron pipe out of the ground, and refilling the whole mess and pouring concrete again. No, not an option at all. Nor was this going to be as easy as using a plumber’s snake or drain cleaner- the residue from the cleaning part of the process looked a lot like set concrete itself, and was nearly as hard- although considerably more brittle. That was a nice property for the proposed solution.

I’m guessing I would have been around 7 or 8 when this happened, but I may have been as old as 10. Details get fuzzy when you go back that far, but suffice to say I was a kid. Dad was not only running the shop at the time, he was doing a lot of the machine work as well, and wore a blue and white uniform with his name over the pocket, just like everyone else in the shop. About this time we’d gotten a contract- I think it was for a short run of government vehicles, but I’m not sure- and the product we were supposed to produce was the rear end housing for a small vehicle, something like a Cushman scooter or the like. Usually in Detroit parts like this are made either by punch press, or by hydraulic injection- either way tremendous force is applied to make the metal flow into a prescribed shape. Of course, we didn’t have this option- the part run was way too small to make setting up and tooling for that profitable at all. Dad had come up with a much simpler way of doing it, and was quite proud of the result: a round plate was drilled and bolted to a heavy steel block, which had a concave area machined in the center. In the bottom of this dip was a carefully measured amount of very fine black powder, with an electric squib wired in the bottom. Once set up, and behind a big shield of boiler plate, the switch was thrown, and POP- perfect dome shaped rear end cover, ready for painting. I think we made a few hundred this way, and I’d pay real money to find one today and have for my ‘collection.’ I wonder if anybody changing the rear end lube in one of the little vehicles ever took notice of how the covers were made. (Wildcat cartridge shooters are well familiar with this process, often called ‘fired fitting’ brass.)

For this reason we had several metal gallon cans of very fine black powder in the storage room at this time, and a good portion of it was about to be put to use. Long after the regular employees had left for home, dad brought me into the shop and into the back room where the case hardening furnaces and equipment stood, cold and quiet after a long week of heat and noise. It seemed a little spooky, being used to the usual clamor or the shop, to be there in the dark late at night. (This also marked one of the first times I stayed up past bedtime as well.) I was then introduced to what was to become a hallmark of my dad’s: The Merita Bread Bag, or wrapper. I don’t know why he always used that particular brand of bread bag, or why I remember it so clearly, but we always used the exact same kind. As I watched, thrilled with the excitement only a kid can feel, dad carefully poured black powder into the bag, with what seemed to me to be a rather large quantity of the explosive mixture. Then came an old electrical cord, wires stripped and copper wire tangled and ready to short out and produce sparks. Finally he wrapped the entire mess with sticky black electrical tape and bagged it again to keep it all dry when it was submersed into the standing water in the pipe. Carefully he lowered the charge into the clogged pipe, and measured how far it had proceeded into the system by counting the number of hands of cord going into the pipe. Satisfied it was where it needed to be, he covered the opening with a big square of boiler plate, and rolled a stump with an anvil bolted to it over the boiler plate. We were all set.

Safely behind yet another square of boiler plate, to my undisguised glee dad handed me the extension cord, and told me to be prepared for some noise when I plugged it in. With the impatience of youth I found the receptacle, and as long as I live I will never forget the wonderful sound and feel of what happened next. There is nothing in this world quite like a black powder explosion going off, and nothing as unique as your first experience with one. The sound, the boom, is overwhelming. The new feeling of having solid earth move under your feet, and the distinct smell of black powder smoke is addictive to a young man, having experienced it once, you just have to do it again. I was hooked. But it wasn’t over yet, not by a long shot. The force of the powder going off had shot the standing water back out of the pipe with such force as to lift the boiler plate, stump, and anvil together, and the anvil actually shot up high enough to let me see it over the shield, almost reaching the ceiling in the room. As it hung in mid air, the water that had propelled it there reached us, and a dark rain of greasy water showered down on us both. What comes up must come down, of course, and the first thing to hit the ground was the boiler plate, with a mighty metallic clang that echoed through the neighborhood. A millisecond later the stump/anvil combination repeated the performance, and seconds later it was very, very quiet, with only the acrid smell of smoke hanging heavy in the air showing what had happened. Then, as our ears cleared from the noise, you could hear it.. faintly at first, then louder… the unmistakable sound of water draining freely down a drain pipe. Our clog, to put it mildly, was cleared.

The fun wasn’t quite over yet. Our shop was in the city limits, and in a quasi-residential neighborhood- several houses down the street on the other side of the railroad tracks. It was near 11 pm, and all decent folk had long ago gone to bed. Suddenly lights began to come on in these houses, and before long a local police car slid to a stop in front of the building. I’m pretty sure he was the only policeman on duty in town, but I guess there may have been another somewhere. At that time we had a pair of heavy wooden sliding doors that opened from the machine shop to the street, to unload trucks from, and as dad slid the doors open the black smoke literally rolled out from the shop into the cool night air. The policeman was one of dads good friends, back then everybody knew everybody else in our town. The sergeant spoke first, obviously concerned someone may have been injured. “We’ve had calls there was an explosion down here. What happened?”

Fanning the smoke out of his face and the building, my dad uttered a phrase that was to be repeated over and over at family gatherings for years to come. With a deadly serious poker face, he stared directly at the local law enforcement officer and said, quote: “yeah, I heard something too- I think it came from over there somewhere….”

The Sergeant just rolled his eyes up into his head, looked down, got back in his car, and drove away.

Next week: We help Grandpa launch an apple tree into space.

When I get the same idea from two sources as different as the Freeholder and Facebook in the same hour, it must mean something. In both places today were laments on the lack of reading present in today's society. Very true, and very unfortunate- as a people these days we are reading less than ever before, and what we do read is often of dubious quality and content. While some of this can be blamed on modern technology like computers, cable television, and other distractions, I believe there is a more unpleasant aspect of it as well: laziness. It takes time, effort, and concentration to sit down and go through 800 pages on one subject, writen by a single author. Much easier to plop down in front of the labotomy box and let the mindless twittering kill off those few remaining brain cells. Much like taking that first step to losing weight, it won't be easy to relight the fires of learing in some of us, but we need to try. As usefull as short blogposts or news articles can be, there is nothing like a well thought out novel or educational book to help concentrate the mind. Or better yet, a classic novel from years past to bring the history to life, or the adventure to the heart.

With that in mind, in coming weeks I hope to start posting some books in the left hand column that I consider the best, books that I'd loan to a friend if I wanted to help them become a more enlightened person. Not everyone will like every book I recomend, of course, but if you find even one 'great' book in the list, perhaps it will be worth the effort. I hope so. And of course if you have a great one you'd like me to read, by all means post it in the comments section.


Once again, Dad sends us a funny one worthy of a 'keyboard alert.'

Animals that were formerly self-sufficient are now showing signs of belonging to the Democratic Party... as they have apparently learned to just sit and wait for the government to step in and provide for their care and sustenance.
This photo is of a Democrat black bear in Montana nicknamed, Bearack Obearma

I think I have figured out part of the problem we are facing with humanity today. Or at least part of it. It seems that a large percentage of the population has become so far removed from reality that they no longer understand how things work, at least as far as the laws of nature are concerned. Several examples spring to my mind, but let’s start with this latest bit of insanity:
Lake rescue aborted; coyote presumed drowned
So let me get this straight- the City of Chicago brings out a helicopter, at least a couple of fire trucks, ambulances, ice divers, and paramedic crews to save a coyote?
Onlookers are outraged when the rescue attempt is called off for the safety of the crews? And my favorite quote from the story: "The coyote would have acted just like a dog," she said. "It would have clung to the person trying to save it." This wisdom is from CeAnn Lambert, who runs the Indiana Coyote Rescue Center. I have to wonder just how many wild animals Ms. Lambert has really rescued when she equates a coyote with a dog. (Perhaps it’s like The Humane Society of the United States, which uses a name that sounds a lot like another organization to raise money, but in reality is a political organization that tries to ban hunting and firearms. That’s just a guess on my part, though.) Personally, I’m still trying to get my arms around the need for an organization to rescue predators that are causing havoc in nearly every state of the USA, and costing millions of dollars to farmers and landowners as well. Just a couple of ‘for instance’ stories from a local news source, WXII. First, this one.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A Winston-Salem farmer said coyote attacks on his livestock are starting to cost him thousands of dollars.
Overnight Thursday, a coyote attacked and killed one of Thomasville Road farmer Mac Tymball's cows.
Animal control officials said coyote sightings and attacks across Winston-Salem are on the rise.
He said wild dogs and coyotes have killed five cows since December.
"I have lost five cows at $600 a piece, and that hurts you in the pocket," he said.
Forsyth County Animal Control officers said that, in recent months, they've received an increase in coyote complaints within Winston city limits.
"They're killing my cows and calves," he said. "You're in the city limits. You can't shoot them. What're you supposed to do?"

Please note that last sentence, which no doubt was placed near the end of the story on purpose. No, you can’t protect your property any more. You must wait for professionals from the government to come and use a humane trap, tag the loveable little critter, nurse it back to health, and release it back into the wild- so it can return and munch down on a few more calves. Yeah, that makes sense.

If that doesn’t convince you, check out these other stories all from the same news source, in the same area:

· December 10, 2008: Coyotes! Danger To Pets
· July 12, 2006: Forsyth Community Concerned About Coyotes
· March 4, 2005: Troxler Pet Put To Sleep After Wild Animal Attack
· March 2, 2005: Ag Commissioner's Wife Injured In Coyote Attack

I’d love to see the bill for the attempted rescue. Helicopters aren’t cheap, say a few hundred per hour- never mind paying the pilots. Fire trucks, paramedics, cops, etc. run the bill up in a hurry. And I do hope we didn’t have too many humans waiting in line for a crew to become available to help them out with a minor problem like a heart attack or stroke. The decision to call off this nonsense was the correct call. Personally, I think the humane thing to have done would have been to give Mr. Coyote a mercy shot to the head, at least sparing the creature a prolonged and painful death from drowning. Of course, that could never be an option with an audience of city dwellers who get all their information on animal behavior from cartoons and cable television. As the saying goes, there’s your problem right there- people who don’t understand nature keep trying to tell those who do how to solve the problem.

Via http://www.drudgereport.com/

Russian media has been poking fun at US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after she gave her Russian counterpart a "reset" button with an ironic misspelling.
Clinton's gift to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at their meeting in Geneva on Friday evening was meant to underscore the Obama administration's readiness to "to press the reset button" in ties with Moscow.
But instead of the Russian word for "reset" (perezagruzka) it featured a slightly different word meaning "overload" or "overcharged" (peregruzka).
Daily newspaper Kommersant put a prominent picture of the fake red button on its front page and declared: "Sergei Lavrov and Hillary Clinton pushed the wrong button."
A correspondent for NTV television called it a "symbolic mistake," pointing out that US-Russian ties had become overcharged in recent years due to discord over such issues as missile defence and last summer's war in Georgia.
"The friendly US gesture was upturned by a small amusing incident," the news website RBC.ru wrote in an article posted late Friday evening.
"Yet this curious episode did not stop Clinton and Lavrov from pushing the button in front of television cameras."
US Vice-President Joe Biden spoke of pressing the "reset button" on relations between Moscow and Washington during a speech in Germany last month. It has since been repeated in various forms by both US and Russian officials.

The US media has pretty much laughed off this gaffe, and made excuses about how hard Hillary has been working and how little sleep she has had while toiling tirelessly 'for the good of the country.' Yeah, right.

Ask yourself a question: What if this had been Dan Quayle? Or Ronald Regan? You know the answer. We'd never hear the end of it, along with endless commentary on how dangerous it is to have such an intellectual lightweight in an important government position. No wonder the new administration is so desperate to shut down any and all voices that might oppose them: they can't handle the truth getting out. They need a compliant and lazy media to cover up what a bunch of arrogant impostors they really are. Luckily for them, they are blessed with a mainstream media that borders on religious zealotry. Unfortunately, even that isn't enough to cover up the obvious: they don't have a freakin' clue.

Thanks Freeholder

Just a quick note of appreciation to The Freeholder for helping me figure out some of the HTML labels here on the blog. I'm still very much on the learning curve here, and I'll take all the help I can get. Hopefully then I can devote more time to blog content and original postings.

For those of you in the same situation, check out this resource.

In case you missed it, The Armed School Teacher did a wonderful job with the latest 'sky is falling' bemoanings from the hoplophobic crowd. Apparently, carrying a concealed weapon is 'abnormal behavior.' Scary, too.

Sometimes, you just have to laugh. I would hate to go through life so afraid that I felt the need to drag everyone else down to my level, rather than try to overcome my fears. Unfortunately that is what liberalism is all about though- making everyone equally miserable by making sure no one- especially YOU- are allowed to do anything that might make the emotion-based elitists feel inferior.

Ok, just in case the economy and unemployment have you down, just remember, things could be worse- a lot worse:

An asteroid of a similar size to a rock that exploded above Siberia in 1908 with the force of a thousand atomic bombs whizzed close past Earth on Monday, astronomers said on Tuesday.
2009 DD45, estimated to be between 21 and 47 meters (68 and 152 feet) across, raced by at 1344 GMT on Monday, the Planetary Society and astronomers' blogs reported. The gap was just 72,000 kilometers (44,750 miles), or a fifth of the distance between Earth and the Moon and only twice the height of satellites in geosynchronous orbit, the website space.com said.
The estimated size is similar to that of an asteroid or comet that exploded above Tunguska, Siberia, on June 30 1908, flattening 80 million trees in a swathe of more than 2,000 square kilometres (800 square miles).
2009 DD45 was spotted last Saturday by astronomers at the Siding Spring survey in Australia, and was verified by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Centre (MPC), which catalogues Solar System rocks. The closest flyby listed by the MPC is 2004 FU162, a small asteroid about six metres (20 feet) across which came within about 6,500 kms (4,000 miles) of us in March 2004.

If you need to picture what a rock that size can do, go here: http://www.carloslabs.com/projects/200712B/GroundZero.html
Try a couple of 'strategic nuclear devices' then go for 'asteroid.' Yeah, things aren't all that bad, if you look at it that way.

Yes, joy of joys, today's date is a perfect square: 3/3/09. (3x3=9)

Read more here. And, of course, you'll be needing one of these.

If you've never used a slide rule, find someone old enough to show you how, and then think really hard about this: A bunch of guys with nothing more than slide rules, trig and log tables, and courage took us to another world in less than a decade... and along the way designed the first working electronic computers, space Satellites, intercontinental communications, and a whole lot more. In short, they changed the world. We need more men like that today.

Never get from Amazon what you can get from Alibris:


Probably one of the best written books on the subject, should you be interested in Model Rocketry, of course much of the electronics information is terribly outdated. The Rocket designs, in particular the nozzles, nose cones, safety instructions (Critical!) are just as good today as they were back then.

The author is better known for the "Adventures of the Mad Scientist Club" series, which deserves a post of it's own. Check back later for that.

Via http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/showthread.php?p=3286832&posted=1#post3286832

Short version is, an eight year old girl has been accused of ‘bringing a weapon to school’ when jack booted thugs school officials searched her back pack and found- horror of horrors- a POPSICLE STICK and A RUBBER BAND. The fun part is, the little girl didn't even understand how these things could be used as a weapon- UNTIL SCHOOL OFFICIALS SHOWED HER HOW. Morons. Of course this potential felon will suffer dire consequences, and the dreaded ‘permanent record’ will show her to be a threat to society. The sad thing is, such idiocy is so commonplace now that it doesn’t even surprise the public anymore, and some folks are so brainwashed that they will make excuses like ‘well, we have to be careful with all this violence going on…”


For the record, here is a list of things they were in my school locker, 6th grade, June 1971. I remember clearly having to bring things home over a three day period as my locker was completely full. (They were huge back then, floor to about 5’ high, not the half lockers you see now.) Like most kids of that time, I was thrilled with the moon landing in 1969, and loved guns, explosives, and Star Trek.
Partial list:partial coil of dynamite fuse
3 quart containers of home made black powder
bottle rockets
"USS Enterprise" photo cut from front of AMT model kit
Book, “Rocket manual for amateurs, by Bertrand R Brinley (http://www.amazon.com/Rocket-manual-amateurs-Ballantine-books/dp/B0007E5M1Q ) By the way I bought my copy used for 50 cents back then. I had no idea what it was worth today until I looked it up just now – dang. And no, HELL no, my copy is not for sale. (still in mint condition, btw.)
50' coil of nichrome wire (for rocket igniters)
big box of loose .22 LR rounds.
Oh, yeah, probably some school books and papers in there somewhere.

Our School principle had no issues with any of this. Liberals, sit down for this next part: She- our dear principle- ORDERED some of these supplies FOR US through the school science program. In addition to letting us build things like small rockets, ignition boxes, and the like for the 'rocket program', she also gave our 'science club' some buzzers, bells, switches, and wire to help us learn about electricity- which probably helped lead me into my chosen profession later on.

Later on, I'll tell you about the big rocket I built in high school. I don't think some of my readers could handle that just yet, though.

Somehow, I never killed anyone, blew anything up (that I didn’t mean to blow up) nor did my delicate brain suffer any ill effects from being exposed to ‘the gun culture.’I rode my bike or walked the three miles to school most days, through the black section of town- without any concern of safety. Our friend Mr. Ralph (http://confederatesharpshooter.blogspot.com/2009/02/sunday-morning-biographies-mr-ralph-or.html ) lived just a few houses down from the school- often I’d see some of his grandkids in the yard as I’d pass.)I often took some of the items listed above on the school bus when riding home with my best friend, where we'd make all kinds of explosive fun- usually involving the demise of model boats or aircraft. On one particular day I recall wiring up over a dozen home made explosive devices wired to a series of nails driven in an old board, where we could fire them sequentially by touching them with wires from a battery. The ‘depth charges’ were sunk in a fat creek at my best friends house, and some old in the tooth model boats- a PT-109, the Bismark, and a USS North Carolina if I recall correctly- were given proper Viking funerals rather than allowed to be ignominiously dumped into a trash can.

We never locked our doors at night.
Gun safe? Who needs a gun safe?
If a stranger came to the door, needing to use the phone due to car trouble, you let them use the phone- then went out to see if you could fix the car.
Yeah, things sure have changed.
Prayer is banned in classrooms. You no longer read from the Holy Bible when learning to read in grade school. Children are no longer taken hunting at an early age, nor are they taught the fundamentals of firearm safety and marksmanship. Instead we have the ‘liberal agenda’ which I can’t speak of here without getting angry. In fact, I seriously debated if I should post what I have written here, lest some government agency decide that I should be prosecuted for being a normal kid 30 plus years ago. Yeah, things sure are safer now that the elite are in charge... and if we don't stop them, one day we'll wake up and be so safe we'll be afraid to speak out loud or help a neighbor in trouble. That day is nearly upon us, and I for one intend on doing everything possible to turn things around and stop this political madness while I am free to try. I suggest you do the same.

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