Saturday, December 23, 2006

Mount Up!

The Team rides!

Well, flies, actually. We leave tomorrow at Omigoodness thirty from Salt Lake International bound for Ohio and Mrs. Tmj's sister's house.

We'll be on the road until the thirtieth.

Here's wishing you and yours a joyous Christmas and happy, successful New Year.

And to all our servicemen and women, wherever you are, thank you and God bless you for the sacrifice you are making and the duty you are so admirably executing.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Here I Am

The lady in Maine gets it:

"Any proposed solution to the current conflict with Islamic totalitarianism that fails to take into account its worldwide scope, relentless nature, and willingness to fight very dirty, is going to be a half-baked effort. In order to mount a "successful" campaign with an effective plan, we not only need creativity and intelligence, we need commitment, focus, and an understanding that this will be a long hard fight."

The following is a comment I posted to "The definition of "success" in war: Part II (colonialism and occupation)", over at neo-neocon:

Bravo, Neo.

I agree with Kurt's sentiments here:

"I've been a supporter of the war from the beginning, and yet, I think you've overstated the case of the unknowns about the costs involved with this war from the beginning. Before the war, one of the arguments against it was simply that we had an insufficient plan for what would happen after Saddam was toppled."

Iraq is a front in a larger war. Creating a democratic Iraq, whole cloth as in something that a majority of Americans would instantly recognize, is simply not going to happen as long as the prime movers of Islamic fascism are in business.

The same is true for the Long War.

Whether or not Iraq becomes a functioning democracy in X number of years is secondary to what remains to be done if we are serious about ending Islamic fascism. State support makes possible the exporting of murder to worldwide targets. Decapitating the states that are behind that industry is the first logical step that must be taken but won't happen until some pivotal event, or confluence of events, occurs to make what's left of the West act in earnest.

We don't have enough troops or contractors or money to WalMart every shithole like Afghanistan or Iraq. I believe that Democratization as a plan was the bravest, most liberal foreign policy initiative put forth by any U.S. president since the Marshall Plan. But Democratization relied on unity of effort and a willingness to name the enemy... neither of which has been very much in evidence.

But we've got more than enough offensive capability to totally destroy any number of nations' ability to function as a nation state. We can project force on a point anywhere on the planet. And the nature of our most lethal, overt adversaries - Iran, the Royal's Wahabbist cancer in KSA, the Assad regime - dictatorships all - means that cutting the head off means an opportunity for different leadership to rise up.

I reject the Powell Doctrine where Arab/muslim countries that host Islamist terror are concerned. By attacking them, we aren't breaking anything that wasn't already lethally broken already, at least where the possibility that we could ever peacefully coexist with them is concerned.

Decapitate the regimes. Maintain training and readiness to deal with the opportunists (China and Russia) who will surely seek leverage in the disarray to follow.

We can always offer help to genuine reform movements. We do charity better than anyone. But the people that want to kill us... we must take them at their word sooner rather than later and take the fight to them first. They celebrate every pointless murder as victory. Let us return some very pointed killing and show them what debt their martyrs are incurring.

There is too much money in the hands of too many barbarians chasing way, way too many flavors of lethal weapons around the world. It is only time that waits to be filled before those who aren't interested in war find out how true it is that war is, indeed, interested in them.

Disclaimer: I believe that the western Left and legacy media killed Democratization out of fear that its success would favor George Bush, and by extension the United States. I also believe that history's judgement will come pretty close to acknowledging it, too.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Range Reports

I shot the M44 twice last weekend.

On Friday afternoon I was able to paper a two inch group three inches left of my aiming point at fifty yards with the bayonet folded. After extending it, the group moved right almost nuts on to my point of aim, so the lore that it was designed to be shot with the blade extended seems to be supported.

I went back Saturday morning with some friends to zero their .270 and to try the M44 and my SMLE on the hundred yard range.

Details would only be embarassing. Just know that there would have been no dead Nazis in front of my fighting hole that day. I had brought the horrible Pakistani manufacture .303 ammo in order to just get rid of it, and it lived up to my worst expectations with hangfires on every round that actually worked, and there were darned few of those. As for the M44, all I can say is that I expected a three or four inch group somewhat left of center and ended up off the paper. Off the paper continuously, about forty rounds worth with only two hits. Gaaaah.

In the past I've made it a point to not shoot on consecutive days. Especially after having a good one. Last weekend's experience will be on my mind whenever I shoot matches again. If you are going to have a bad day, make it in the middle of the week BEFORE scoring day...

Today I went up to Lee Kay to get some pistol-only time in. Last night I reloaded a bunch of .45 230gr ball with 5.9gr of Winchester 231. My old load was for 5.7gr and shot almost five inches lower (at 25 yards) than my carry rounds, which are +P 185gr Golden Sabres. My Springer is near stock, but I have installed a ceramic 18.5lb action spring, overtravel adjustable trigger, and Bomar grips. I had experienced some FTF's due to short stroking with the plink loads before I upped the charge; no problems at all on that front today. Action was crisp, feeding flawless, and point of impact was less than two inches lower than that of the carry rounds.

I also shot fifty rounds of 9mm parabellum through our Ruger P89DC. This is the wife's semi, and she doesn't like it much beyond the fact that it's ours and it's a hi-cap. And that she shoots very well with it, at paper. It's too big for her to carry and neither of us like the safety/decocker, which functions reversed from the "sweep down and shoot" on the 1911.

There is a later version of this pistol that has a "decock only" safety. On this model you rack a round into the chamber, which cocks the hammer back, and then sweep down the decocker lever which lowers the hammer, and then the lever returns to its "up" position leaving the pistol ready to fire in double-action mode. I wish there was a way to retrofit ours but I don't think there is. On the bright side, Rugers have never been thought of as slick or sexy as most other pistols, so they generally are pretty economical buys when used. Maybe not slick, nor sexy, but I'll settle for rock solid reliable and delightfully accurate any day.

We will be getting a Glock or possibly a KelTec in nine at some future date.

Today I picked up an app to be a volunteer at the range. It's only eight hours a month, and they always have problems getting Sundays covered. We'll see what develops.

Gratuitous advice: If you bring a bunch of kids (under age twelve) to the range, make sure you have one adult for every firing point you intend to use. And clean the rifles first, especially if they are semiautos. Nothing loses a kid's interest like watching Dad or Uncle wrestle a stovepiped round out of the rifle every third shot.

Other than that, let 'em shoot until they get tired. Don't buy the turkey or squirrel targets with the tiny bullseyes. A big black bullseye like the NRA 25 yard pistol target is a better aiming point, and their hits will show clearly. Sneak in advice without being bossy. Get the safety habit ingrained first. Keep coming back to the range and they'll be shooting in fine form before you know it.


No jack frost nipping at red noses. No spirit of the season. No appreciation for the delicate patterns on the bedroom window in the morning.

Everything takes longer. And everything hurts.

Happy winter from the land of construction survey, to all.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Friday morning I’m picking up my 1945 manufacture M44 from Big5. Ninety dollars or so after tax - it’s a sale week!

Matching numbers on the stock, bolt, and receiver. There’s a stock repair on the lower edge of the butt, but it looks to be an arsenal fix. The bore is sharp and clean, exterior metal is evenly worn with very little pitting and the wood to metal fit is surprisingly good.

I stopped in on my way home from work just to check their inventory. I do this often on Fridays when the traffic is bad. I thought the Yugos were the only sale running this week and was surprised to see the Russki up there with a pink tag on it. The clerk handed me two paper towels before handing over the rifle. It’s nasty with cosmo. They won’t take off the trigger locks unless you are actually buying the weapon so I wasn’t able to pull the bolt out. Turning the bolt and running it back was kind of disgusting - slime oozing out coming and going.

But damn, it felt a LOT more solid than any other Moisin action I’d handled before…

Wiped off the worst of the gunk and went through a few more cycles. Damn. Like my Remington 700. Almost as slick as my Lee Enfield, but with even less play. In and out a few times more. Very good… look down the bore (somebody else has to have been in there - the bore was mostly clean) and see nice sharp lands and grooves.

Picked a spot on the far wall and shouldered it for a look over the sights.

Then I handed it back to the clerk, thanked him for his time, and headed for home.

And mom said yes about ten minutes ago, so if it’s still there at nine on Friday morning, it’s mine. If it’s gone, I probably won’t buy another one. The one I handled tonight is the one.

Yeah, that’s why I collect these things. Millions of them were made. But some of them were made just for me.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday Reading

Frome "The Bold and Magnificent Dream", by Bruce and William B. Catton:

They deliberately meant, in other words, to speak for all humanity in that preamble. When they wrote it, there were large numbers of Americans who could claim little or no share in the rights being enunciated. But the door was being left ajar for them, and for voicless, faceless legions of their kind the world over, and for millions yet unborn. It was being left open consciously, because all-inclusiveness- a better life and a stake in society for everyone (author's italics), regardless of race or sex or creed or previous condition- was what the American dream at its highest had already come to mean.


Here lay the basis of a faith that could move mountains. The course of human events had reached one of its decisive turning points, and a great deal of human history for the next two centuries (and beyond) was going to be different because the men of 1776 had first enunciated the dream, in phrases that still contain fire- libery, equality, pursuit of happiness, unalienable human rights- and had then proceeded to show that it just might work. Whoever chose that tune for Lord Cornwallis' military bands at Yorktown had known what he was about.

The tune mentioned above was, of course, "The World Turned Upside Down", and was played as the Redcoats grounded their arms and colors between the ranks of American Continentals and French Regulars after the victory at Yorktown.

The new nation that went forward from that day has never been perfect, and has never claimed to be. But the hopes, dreams, and intentions of the founders have stood the tests of the last couple of centuries better than any other representative governement, anywhere, by any measure. I guess that in an age of instant gratification and almost universal historical illiteracy, that's just not good enough.

But when did half of America decide that we are the enemy?

Where will we find the Washingtons, Jeffersons, Lincolns, and Reagans we so desperately need today?

I worry for my family and my nation. This is not a fear of the senseless violence sure to come as a result of our inability to correctly address today's Islamofascists, or whatever tomorrow's superpower conflicts turn out to be. No foreign power will deprive us our liberty. If that day ever comes it will be our own sloth and shortsightedness manipulated by C-team politicians, intelligentsia, and media that destroy this grand experiment.

Today the magninicent dream continues. For how long, though... for how long?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Vote Thing

It could be worse.

My family could have been Iraqi or Afghani instead of Americans, safe in Utah. For now.

Or a U.S. service member. Sorry, guys; the Republicans didn't get beat, they gave it away.

The Long War continues.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Word From Devil's Island

Over there in my "About Me" I told you I was a land surveyor.

I began my current gig as project/site surveyor for a high-value golf course resort subdivision project located in the mountains east of Park City, Utah almost two years ago. To give you an idea of the scale here, consider that the developer has pledged $200,000,000 for county infrastructure improvements above and beyond the golf course(s) and housing. That's all roads, water tanks and mains, wastewater plants, power transmission and distribution, and storm water systems.

My daily commute to the site is eighty miles one way, in the company truck, and I get to do Parley's Canyon ten times a week in all weathers. Base elevation at the club house is right around 6900 feet and some of the lots are above 7400. I can look directly west at the ski runs in Park City.

There's been some stress. And I'm a little old for the production staking role - you can only get so good at knocking hubs and then you are just beating yourself up. With the coming of winter it's usually just my second man and myself on the site; during the summer we may run as many as three or four crews. The most important professional decision I've made in the last year has been to admit that I probably can't run my second men or the other crews into the ground any more - but I can train them to be as accurate and fast as I ever was. Even better than I ever was.

That's kept me going so far. My family life has suffered. My kids need more of my time than they've been getting, and my wife, well, just know that she only asks for my I.D. sometimes when I show up at the door covered with mud around eight or nine on a rainy night...

Just this past summer my crew, along with others, oversaw construction of several miles of roads, thousands of linear feet of curb, sewer, water, and storm drain, laid out a score of million-dollar houses and staked literally hundreds of building lots. I've mapped miles of terrain for new plats and worked with the golf course architect to tweak the existing course so "Tiger likes the look". Yeah, he's got a lot up here, too.

Meanwhile, here at the house I've got ten square feet of sink surround in my bathroom that's needed tile since spring. My neighbor (another surveyor, by the way) and I share a fence line that needs about four new posts set before the ground freezes. That's been the case since spring's windstorms and neither of us has had time to make it happen. Did I mention the drywall finishing around the new kitchen light? Nope. And there's still more.

I have power tools in my garage that are still in last Christmas' boxes.

Today's dance card had sewer staking in one phase, mapping in another, and I had promised to stake the temporary parking lot and the second swimming pool/jacuzzi in the main common area. One thing led to another (four things, actually - just a normal day) and I ended up running almost two hours behind in getting to the pool.

We parked on the top of an embankment overlooking the area where our structures were supposed to go. The normal activity level in this part of the site makes the construction of the pyramids look like a kid's refrigerator box fort on a rainy afternoon. It's busy with the dirt guys working right against the buildings where the carpenters, plumbers, ironworkers, electricians, and fire suppression troops are busy fighting for turf.

I shouted down to the foreman that we were on the way down, and would he please see about moving the roofers' manlift and that damned huge crane and that bunk of copper sheathing that wasn't there this morning, and we'd get his stakes in the ground.

A minute to assemble the staff that carries my GPS rover, one last look at the paper plan with my second man and some quick directions to him on what stakes and paint to pack down the hill, and off I went in my baggy khakis bouncing on the blue suspenders under the grubby orange vest and scarred hardhat, over the edge, with the trademark "LET'S GOOoooooo!".... and almost ran down a dozen suits and a couple of skirts (heels on a construction site! They never learn.), all wearing their spotless shiny hardhats and pristine orange vests.

One of the banes of a high-value site is the certainty that mid-level client reps will show up to Contribute. They have Blackberries but really want a company car or gold membership in the going club, and to get that they have to Contribute. One or two at a time they are usually manageable. When you get a whole herd they invariably come up with at the very least (best case) a Keen Insight like directing a change to trim color on an existing building. That only screws up a few days' production for the finish carpenters. The other end of the rainbow comes when they look out at the featureless expanse where the new ten thousand foot activity building is going to be and Chet the second assistant VP for countertops, who is visiting from the LA office suggests (brightly! - he's Contributing!) it be moved/rotated/lifted/lowered. Then you have to explain, with tact and diplomacy, that doing that would mean that all the utilities under the featureless expanse would have to be moved and shifting the building would ultimately mean that the club dressing rooms would end up halfway into the eighth fairway.

But I left you halfway through the herd of suits.

I didn't recognize any of them. I kept moving - my second guy knows that his place is on my heels and sure enough he came sailing down right behind me.

I heard one of the ladies ask "Who is that???" One of the Dockers boys said "I've never met him, but that must be "(Tmj) with (my company)"".

Heh. Fame. Minor, but still kind of cool. Cool enough to get me back in the saddle come Monday.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, November 06, 2006


When you go to the polls tomorrow remember that you are executing a power denied to the vast majority of your fellow humans.

You are not voicing an opinion when you vote. You are determining the course, and perhaps the fate, of our nation.

Choose carefully.

We are long past the false "end of history" and the next chapter is going to be pretty dark no matter which course we choose.

Surrender is not an option. But it is a possibility, none the less.

Friday, October 06, 2006

They Wish

A whole lotta anticipation in evidence out there:

"Analysts said the timing of the scandal, a month before the November 7 elections, could be trouble for Republicans who already have been feeling heat from voters over the
Iraq war.


"He said this campaign season "is starting to feel like 1974" when the Watergate scandal costs Republicans a lot of seats."

Here's some free clues:

However reprehensible Rep. Foley's behaviour was, I still don't see any statute criminal behaviour out there - yet, of course. The emphasis of that story is rapidly shifting away from the alleged acivities of the congressman in favor of just who knew what when

I've been less than impressed by Dennis Hastert (and Bill Frist, while I'm at it) for years, and thought he should have resigned after whining about the FBI search warrant served on Rep. William Jefferson 's office. The guy with the high-end lasagna - remember?

Remember reforming social security? Border security and meaningful immigration reform? Judicial appointments? Permament repeal of the death tax, and making permament other existing tax cuts? Allowing and in some cases championing the grant of Article III protections to captured terrorists who are already de facto illegal combatants by any honest interpetation under Conventions. Pretty weak show for the majority party in both houses, I think.

The current Republican majority has proven itself feckless where domestic politics is concerned and all but absent of anything resembling adult supervision. Or worse. At any other time in history (were that it was say, 1992, again...) I'd make plans to be fishing or shooting come this election day, and have steeled myself for two years of unrestrained moonbattery to motivate a new class of conservatives to come forward to fix the damage.

That's not an option this time. We can't survive a Pelosi/Reid tag team at this stage of the Long War; we just can't. I could sit back on savings for two or three years while Dems destroy construction spending (we ALWAYS know first when the economy is in trouble) via overregulation, taxes, and spiralling interest rates. Many, many people wouldn't have the same means I do, and it would be terrible for them.

But cutting back on vacations and toys is not the same as consciously participating in surrender to an enemy on a battlefield, and that's exactly what a Dem majority in the house or senate means. And I've never seen myself in that roll, nor will I ever.

I chose "I Wish" for the title of this post because I think that this latest brouhaha is just that - much incoherent noise about not much at all. I think the real entertainment value in all this is just beginning to manifest. I believe the blogosphere will distill "who knew what when" and the "timing" of this little exercise down to levels understandable to just about anybody on the street. Then we'll know "why", not just "what".

But we'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Belated Range And Incident Report

It's Sunday here in Utah. So far today the Team has been doing the chores that fell through the cracks over the last week.

The Goddesses have collectively mowed the back forty, spent a half hour or more on their rooms, and have done all their normal chores. They are making a snack now and getting ready to punch out homework. After that we (the parental units) have been warned that they wish to Entertain Guests at dinner...

More Nice Young Men. Feh. Good thing it's spaghetti night - and good that I have to complete the third cleaning of the rifles I was shooting this day last Sunday.

I spent the morning finishing the refinishing of our living room coffee table. It had a leg fall victim to youthful exuberance a few weeks ago and I took the opportunity to refinish it while repairing the leg. I also mowed the front lawn, washed up the sink dishes, have two loads of laundry downrange, and washed my truck.

Mrs. Utah fixed our main desktop computer this morning - reinstalled the video driver that continuously tries to wander off. Good thing we have another PC and two laptops to fall back on. She's off doing the shopping at this time. We have decided to augment our water storage with flats of bottled drinking water instead of buying more barrels.

Where's the Range & Incident Report, you are wondering? Here it is:

I kiboshed my responsibilities last Sunday in order to run up to the Lee Kay Center for some quality time with my MilSurp rifles. I took Carl G. the Swede, Karl the Kar98, Tommy Savage the American made Lee Enfield Mk4No.II, and as an afterthought my Remington 700 ADL in .30-'06 with the game-friendly Burris 3X9 power scope.

The hundred yard range was full up with (mostly) muzzle loader shooters sighting in for the blackpowder hunts, so I found a spot on the fifty yard range and got ready to get to work. There were two kids to my right (well, o.k., a twenty-something and his fifteenish year old brother shooting a couple of milsurps. After taking a closer look, I realized that they were shooting one of these. Their grandpa brought it back from Europe after World War II. Their other rifle was a Kar98, same origin, with all matching numbers plus SS markings. They didn't know much about the tech of either rifle (showed them how to pull the bolt out of the Kar98) but at least they were shooting modern factory 8mm ammo, so corrosive primer damage to the gas system of the G43 wasn't an issue; collectors pay upwards from a thousand dollars for those.

How did I do? You want to know how I shot?

I had a clinic day. Offhand or bench, I got consistent, very acceptable groups from each weapon. Effortlessly. The scoped Remington shoots Winchester XP3 180gr softips through a hole the size of a quarter at fifty yards, from the bench. The offhand group came in smaller. Go figure that.

Shooting offhand with a hasty sling and a glove at fifty yards I was able to group five rounds under three inches with the Kar (I really think the ammo is too hot in this case) and near two inches (ragged holes w/ one or two tight flyers) with the Swede and the Lee Enfield. I was well pleased. I didn't use an eyepatch; maybe my eyes are getting better than they were the last few years.

I picked up a bandolier of FN 56 - headstamped ammo in five-round strippers when we went through Winnemucca a few weeks ago. If you own a .303 I cannot recommend it strongly enough. If I'd known how consistent and reliable the stuff was, I would have bought at least two or three more bandoliers. I assume it's still corrosive (it is Berdan primed) and clean up still begins with boiling water.

The incident: I was just packing up to go when there was a loud(er than normal) BOOM from the other end of the firing line. Looking right, down the line, I saw a large man hitting the concrete rightside first, his back to me, in a cloud of smoke. The coaches immediately called cease fire/step away from the line. The injured shooter had been shooting a sidelock CVA .54 muzzleloader. It failed at the breech as he was firing from the standing position, blowing the sideplate, lockwork, breechplug, and tang completely apart. I walked down to the action to offer assistance if needed, but the injured shooter was already taken under care by the shooter from his right. It turned out that that shooter was a state-certified Hunter Ed instructor and had just finished his Red Cross recertification the day before. The line safety officers basically kept out of his way, called 911, set about collecting the scattered parts, and went up and down the line ensuring all shooters' weapons were complete safe weapons. It was ten minutes to five at that time, so there weren't any hard feelings about missing range time (/sarcasm).

The injured shooter had burns to his face EXCEPT for where his safety glasses covered his eyes and the bridge of his nose. A portion of the tang (the metal strap that affixes to the top of the stock to anchor the barrel) was briefly embedded in his forehead just over his right eye but he knocked that out before he hit the concrete.

Listen up: I have until now been content to wear my street glasses alone when I shoot. Yes, they are ballistic polycarbonate - but they are styled for wear on the street. There is a gap over the bridge of my nose and they only cover from just under my eyebrows to just under my eyes. The safety glasses worn by the injured shooter were burned black - black like two coats of flat black primer on a Dodge quarterpanel. (The same was true of his forehead and cheeks.)The right lens had a deformation just above and right of center but it did not fail - this deformation was likely from a corner of the tang striking the lens at the moment the breechplug failed. If he had been wearing glasses like mine, burning powder would undoubtedly have shot into both his eyes and the right lens most certainly would have been knocked inward, out of its oval frame, and into his eye. Blinded, without a doubt.

I went down to a local welders' supply on Tuesday and picked up two pairs of optic-clear polycarbonate safety glasses. They fit over all but the largest glasses or work just fine by themselves. ANSI single piece lenses at eight bucks and change is cheap insurance for your eyes. I wish I'd had a camera; a couple thousand words will have to do.

Two more points:

1. The range did not have FIRST AID KITS in place. None. The samaritan staunched the blood with a wad of dampened paper towels until EMS responded - which was almost fifteen minutes after the accident.

2. I have the equivalent of a trauma-response first aid pack that lives in my truck. Gloves, pressure dressings, abdominal pads, burn dressings, tape, betadine solution and swabs, some in- case- of- femoral- bleeding- size hemostats and a GI field surgery kit, along with bandaids, triple antibiotic ointment, burn gel, and right on top a good first aid guide with a very good "do this first!" checklist on the back cover. There is also included other such miscellenous stuff all clumsy people who camp or shoot or just travel should never be without. This collection lives in an O.D. nylon toolbag marked with red crosses. I also carry a random Tijuana cotton blanket as a part of the kit. It's always good to keep the victim off the ground, and you never know when you'll need a furniture pad.

Forgot about it completely. Didn't think of it at all until the rescue squad was actually rolling into the parking lot. Duh.

I had intended to write this post sooner, but I tossed my back out Tuesday and just haven't had the will to get much done until this weekend.

All else is well here in the home of TmjUtah. I hope the same is true whereever you are.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Still Here

Just not making much noise.

No prob with the mole. "Benign" is surely one of the most beautiful words one can hear in a medical setting. Wife and I took the Labor Day weekend on the road - four days in all, all the way to Sacramento by way of Tahoe. Lovely.

We had our first snow Saturday.

I hate the winter. Everything hurts. Problem is I already hurt all through this summer. Old age may be catching up with me.

No. Caught me, kicked me in the fork, and is winding up for a few more good ones...

I can't find any energy for war or politics. They are not seperate issues, of course. The democrats just want to surrender and get back to power until they destroy our economy or the until the next mass casualty attack (there ought to be a pool on that), the republicans (for the most part) don't want to lose but are too busy doing a performance art project called "gormless" and nobody wants to speak of how the fight will really be decided, anyway. This is not entirely the rep's fault in that the media, pop culture, and academia of the west are monolithically against standing up for silly old democracy, even if it is the basis for their decadence first and riches second.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

We Are LEAVING....!

Yesterday was Mom and Pa Utah's 19th anniversary and Mom's XXth birthday.

Dinner at Tucano's Brazillian Grill last night, and today we are just getting the hell out of dodge (in the Dodge, oddly enough) until sometime tomorrow. We are thinking Moab and then back up through central Utah on blue highways - Cedar Breaks, Panquitch, whatever.

We didn't have time to get presents, no cake. Between work and end of summer socializing for the Goddesses, we have been way too busy.

So, we go. Then, we come back.

Hope the war doesn't start while we are on the road. Trying to wait it out or predict with any certainty is futile, though, so, WE GO!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Corpsman Up

I grew up in West Texas and have worked outside exclusively since leaving home. Over the years I have had regular visits to my GP for sessions with the liquid nitrogen bottle. The docs have never found anything to freeze but patches of actinic keratosis until today.

This afternoon the Physicians Assistant zorched about twenty patches on my arms, face, and back. He pushed his fingertip between my shoulderblades for a moment then asked if my family had any history of melanoma. I'm adopted, but my father (adopted) was taken by the diesease in '91. Five months from diagonosis to death.

Seems I had a mole back there. Now that's not surprising - my wife has mentioned it to me before, and it's been seen by my doctor before, too. Today it was both irregular and varicolored, and about eight millimeters across. It's gone now. He made two passes with the sharp pointy implements in order to remove all traces of the growth and then closed with two stitches.

I get the biopsy results back in a week or ten days.

How 'bout that U.N. ceasefire, eh?

More news later, if necessary.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Read It

From the Sandmonkey:

"I think the problem is that those people don't have any dignity, or at least have the wrong definition of dignity. Don't be hard on them, god knows I was one of them before I saw the light. I always thought the definition of dignity was that you have a good job, a decent house, could afford your kids a decent living in a peacefull country with a future. What american zionist propaganda. Dignity is getting attacked due to the actions of your leader, to the point of losing everything, and still refusing to hold that leader

Via: Little Green Footballs.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Coming Soon

244 Marines.

Chunks hanging from a bridge.

A retired Jewish guy in a wheelchair.

Various diplomats, journalists, people flying to grandma's house, and miscelleneous stockbrokers, DoD civilian and military folks, NYPD/NYFD.

Multiple embassies.

Rangers in Somalia.

A Navy diver on leave.

A Navy ship making a port visit.

Air Force in Saudi Arabia.

You know, I started to put links to all the germaine backstories connected to the subjects of the above fragments but then I though "why bother?". If you read blogs, chances are you know history and know what my random recollections have in common.

The list was easily twice what you see above - but I threw out Sbarro's, Munich, and the like. Or kaytushas. And mentally deficient Palestinian teenagers. Honor killings in Holland, dead movie directors, and burning cars in Paris suburbs, and decapitated Thai Bhuddists, and dead Aussies carpeting dance floors in Bali.

And so on, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. What does it take, when you get right down to it, to ignore (as a culture) a threat as real as a knife against your own throat?

History runs in cycles. I don't have all the answers, but even I can recognise the pattern so clearly unrolling before us. The enemy has not only published his intentions, but has provided communiques and graphic video on practicaly a daily basis for literally generations in case we miss the point.

I'm with Mr. Batchelor:

"There is a strange parallel right now to the first days of December 1941, before the Japanese sneak attack. America was still not in the war in Asia and Europe, but it was busy getting ready for a momentous calamity and was filled with the presentiment of doom."

The U.N. is Sudetenland; we allowed the enemy to occupy that particular (un)real estate because all it seemed to cost us in the short term was money. But the next step in the cycle we see repeating - serving up real estate populated by real people in order to feed the wolf - is where things are breaking down. Israel is no Czechoslovakia. They have teeth and will not go quietly again into the ditches - not for france or stability or good press from the Beeb.

Given any thought as to where you will be on August 22d? The day after?

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Michael Totten is back, and from northern Iraq this time around.

Mr. Totten is one of four bloggers I've ever supported financially.

Worth much, MUCH more than I paid, every time.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Nobody Knows

What the world will look like in two weeks.

I feel a change on the wind.

Don't know what it could be, though. Not a clue.

I'm refreshing our water stores tonight, and we are laying in more canned stuff.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Chester Thinks...

... about a lot of different options playing out in Lebanon:

"Hence the Israeli dilemma: Hezbollah cannot be destroyed unless its facilities, camps and logistics dumps in the Beka'a are destroyed. To create a buffer zone in south Lebanon is only to cause Hezbollah to seek longer-range rockets or missiles in the future. But, a ground assault to destroy that logistics infrastructure requires that the risk of Syrian interference be mitigated somehow. There are many ways to do so."

It's a damned good post, and the comments make for a very intriguing read. My opinion is down near the bottom of the thread.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Required Reading

From Grim's Hall:

"Such a complete failure to understand America is not reasonable. No culture on earth has such a complete hatred of the idea of failure. Indeed, if there is any common culture that can be called American at all, it would have to be the culture of success -- the notion that a man should take care of himself, and that his failure to do so was a moral as well as a practical failure."

Read the rest here.

I haven't commented much on the current situation. History says that irreconciable differences between neighbors are always resolved by war. We are here, and war is now.

I think that events have come to the point I've been looking for for decades. Reality has finally narrowed down the options available to us regarding confronting fundamentalist Islam threat - despite the best efforts of lotus eaters across the west to try to frame this situation as some sort of disagreement between equals.

If good v. evil is too utopic, or just isn't acceptable, try light v. dark. We are here, and war is now.

(via Argghhh!)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Odds and Ends on Saturday

Performance evaluation on Friday morning:

It went quite well this time. The scoring system has been drastically refined in that the numerical rankings don't blindside people like me who are more used to seeing percentile rankings. In the world of my current employer, fifty percent is average.

I did comfortably better than that. We'll see about pay the next check.

Oh, and after the pleasurable interview I had a mas aggravating day up on the site. I had FOUR crews with specific jobs all lined out, and that schedule was scrapped before we even got the base set up. Just goes to show that there are never really any laurels to rest on in this world. We adjusted and overcame, and today...

Saturday Drive:

I was up before seven with Mrs. Tmj and we decided to take a drive in the mountains. There was an airshow up in Heber and she's never even seen my company's office(s), much less my project site. The weather was perfect for the airshow. Wispy high clouds provided great contrast to pick out the different aerobats doing their thing and we took a few good photos. I spoke with a man who trained B 25 bomber pilots during the war, and the pilot of a restored Mig 15 that is actually based in Heber.

We strolled on up between Kamas and Park City via the rural back way through Francis and spent almost an hour driving around my project. The Mrs. noted the prolific presence of survey stakes, and how they are adorned with flagging all the colors of the rainbow. Roads, buildings, utilities, oh my...

She doesn't think I'm nuts anymore. She KNOWS I'm nuts.

We looped down Parley's Canyon to Salt Lake City after visiting the project. Coming through Salt Lake valley always prompts a few shopping sidetrips and today was pretty productive. I've gotten into old military surplus rifles in a modest way over the last couple of years. Big 5 has a relationship with SAMCO international and they run sales every month or so on different flavors of old military rifles. I have already checked out the stock in their Utah county stores for the special they are running on U.S. marked Lee Enfield rifles, but had found out that their Sandy stores were showing four in stock. The ones in Utah county were in pretty ropy condition, but then again that's to be expected for the price.

Mrs. Tmj approved the stop since I "just wanted to look". Oh my goodness...

The weapon they had on the display was dinged, dark, and had some pretty serious corrosion issues. The clerk confirmed he had two more left, in boxes, and brought 'em out. Remember "just wanted to look", now. The first rifle out of the box was mostly cosmoline-free. Wood clean and tight, one nickel-sized ding on the rightside forestock. U.S. ordnance markings on the receiver, top of the barrel, and stamped on the bolt. Beautiful - and I mean the best I've seen on any war production Enfield - bright bore and clean crown, two groove rifling with no discernible pitting and a chamber showing nothing in the way of "Enfield throat", which is a common problem because of the wide use of corrosive ammo in Brit weapons. Nice clean stamps for "U.S. Property" and "SMLE Mk..." .

And the bolt serial number matched the one stamped on the receiver. A truly nice specimen.


Oy. Am I a lucky guy, or what?

I cooked sausages on the grill for supper. I think the rest of the evening is going to be spent finding one more pair of brass hooks to fit on the MilSurp rack down in the gun room.

Right after I clean up the kitchen, take out the trash, and kiss the wife.

Goodnight, all.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Yesterday's barbeque was another great day with friends. Beautiful, just beautiful.

Please check out Mrs. Tmj's account here.

Ribs were great. Weather was semi-clement but didn't interfere beyond moving some socializing (and eating) inside for a short while.

Cannon shooting was GREAT! (Again, see above link).

I did performance art yesterday - "Dominant Male Lion After Eating Wildebeast". I think I slept in my lawn chair for an hour or two. This through the hubbub of twenty kids, a dozen adults, and the nonstop pyro happening in the culdesac. I'm told I conducted a spirited discourse on the history of the Declaration, but shucks if I can remember.

My daughters and their friends were OUT IN FRONT of all the "hide from the weather" and "clean up the trash" stuff. I am getting old, I am Iam....

I have my annual employee review tomorrow at 0615. I'm intrigued as to how the company is going to approach this, this time around. Back in December they used a system that graded me at ...well, hell, it's too embarassing to say. They were attempting to grade with an eye to "encourage improvement"*. The best I can say is that when I read the numerical score (1-100 scale) I wondered why I was employed there. The value was about two orders of magnitude lower than anything I thought would have been accurate.

But they couldn't identify where I should improve. Funny, that.

More on this later.

* or discourage discussions about compensation.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, America

This one day every year I extend a public prayer:

God bless our nation, and keep our people and leaders safe and wise. We are just men, but given time and opportunity to rise above our weaknesses we have wrought the most free nation on the earth. We owe more than any one of us can pay for this blessing.

God bless our Soldiers, Sailors, Coasties, Airmen, and Marines, and keep them safe and victorious.

God keep and bless you all. Amen.

And now I'm off to cook ribs - about six hours of mesquite smoke. Dutch oven cherry cobbler w/whipped cream for desert. Cannon shooting at five in Cherry Hill Park. Do stop by and say hi if you are in the area.

That is all.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Saturday Pre Fourth of July

Not much to blog about these days; just too damned busy getting ready for important stuff like celebrating our independence from England.

Israel? I think they have decided that victory is the answer to their problems. Hope the Jordanians and Egyptians have a lot of spare hotel rooms.

What about "return to flight" for the space shuttle? I hope everything works, but we are a long time past needing a replacement system. I've got NASA TV running live now - just an hour and change to go, barring weather.

Anyway, here we are getting ready for our Independence Day celebration: a culdesac barbeque we've held since around 1992 or 93. I have yet to clean the garage and the ribs are still in the cold case down at Sam's Club. We plan to start socializing around two, eat at three, and shoot cannon in Cherry Hill Park (the south end), after five.

If you are in the area, please stop by to say hi and enjoy a rib or two. Email for directions to the house, please.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Item: The Supremes followed law and precedent and ruled that the President overstepped his authority by establishing military tribunals for terrorists.

That they referred to Geneva in how prisoners - in this case individuals who are clearly illegal combatants under Geneva - should be treated is probably going to be revisited under seperate brief just shortly after ...

Item: The Supremes didn't even hint at relief. This Court contains a majority of constitutionalist jurists. Not conservative - constitutionalist. This matter is going to the Congress. That body that was established to solve critical issues through legislation but has for a long time now often retired behind judges cloaks or cynically acquiesced to executive orders, instead, when the issues were... complicated.

Four months before elections now. Less, actually.

So who is serious about prosecuting this war? Who will put down in law just what price illegal combatants will pay when they wage war against Americans? What will the debate look like?

Item: Karl Rove, you maginificent bastard*!

* He'll get credit, at least from the enemy.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Confluence Leads to Cusp

Happy Sunday, random traveler. It's an achingly beautiful day here in Utah. Blue skies, ninety degrees, and a whisper of a breeze that cools sufficient for comfort as long as you've got a shred of shade to relax in.

We live in wondrous times. I am grateful to be aware of and part of just how wondrous they truly are, one day at a time.

The twenty second day of June 2006 marked the sixth anniversary of my last beer. The past six years haven't been perfect by any stretch of the imagination, much less without challenges and stresses, but at least I've been alive during the time. Knowledge is thought to be a curse by some; our reality based polity has certainly gone out of their way to avoid the burden, with ample support from their putative leadership and chosen information portals.

Back in 2001 I watched and listened along with millions of other people as we finally entered combat in the Long War against militant Islam. I told Mrs. Tmj that we were at war the moment we watched the second WTC strike.

I also told her I don't know if we have what it takes to win. That's still very much an open question.

Back in 2001 the enemy attacked based on a lot of perceptions, some valid and others wildly off. Our flagship media told the world on a daily basis that our presidency was illegitimate, that our economy was in shambles, and that our civil liberties were vanishing - none of which were true then, and are most certainly not true even today. The enemy also had observed literally decades of non-response to their best efforts at striking us. Embassy bombings, bombing the WTC the first time around, the COLE incident in Yemen, Somalia, and all the random murders that pass for diplomatic discourse when Islamists are involved... even the widely circulated OBL declaration of war on the infidel world failed to provoke any meaningful response from us. They thought that our leadership was paralyzed, and that our people wouldn't fight.

The decade of the nineties seemed to demonstrate that domestic U.S. political considerations were perceived by most office holders to trump national security cold, and worse, national honor and credibility were tossed where inconvenient allies such as the Kurds or Israelis were concerned. That the jihadis overreached in their analysis is a fact - but it's on open question on just how far. Post 9/11, the situation remains in flux still, sadly.

Our self-proclaimed progressives and their hostage Democrat party are committed to defeat. Not because our cause is unjust, nor because our enemy is by any stretch a victim of any policy of ours. The Democrats cannot win national elections when the economy is robust, when people can work and save and succeed on their own, when citizens base their relationships on character and not color, and when the citizenry sees foreign threats as direct and personal dangers to their family's' lives.

They see beating one political opponent - Bush, who can't even run for office again - as important enough to repeat the disasters that marked the end of Vietnam. They will again serve up millions of former allies for reeducation and murder. They will abandon a satellite battlefield and millions of allies not to an evil, if mostly rational, state that was even then teetering on the brink of ideological and economic stagnation, but instead to an ascendant international cult of mystic madness that will be funded by the free world's own energy purchases for decades to come.

Now in 2006 we have a robust economy to the point that employers can't fill the jobs they have open, but you couldn't tell it from cursory reading of newspapers or watching TV. Iraq has an elected government, as does Afghanistan; both countries are seeing violence on a daily basis but the enemy can only resist - never win - unless we leave before the governments of those two countries are ready to provide their own security. Bush's numbers are down. Regardless of whether they are down because people think he's not doing enough to fight the war, or because we are fighting the war, is never discussed by MSM. Flagship MSM, in alliance with political opponents to the president within various government agencies, is sabotaging our best intelligence weapons against the enemy. The Democrats are now public that we are the enemy, and not the jihadis. MSM also reports that we can't handle North Korea if push comes to shove - because we are too busy elsewhere - which is unmitigated bullshit. Handle, yes, without cost and pain, no, especially to central South Korea, but since conflict = defeat to the MSM, the story continues to be told. But Reuters and AP and Time and the NYT are all over stories quoting Republicans that we can't get by without direct talks with the Norks.

Iran won't be allowed a nuclear arsenal by this administration. DoD's recent statements linking Iran's security services to the Iraqi insurgency must be a clear signal that we are about to begin taking steps to bring down the mullahs. They know we can do it, too...

It seems to me we are about due for an attack here at home, or at least the jihadis will give it their best shot. Confluence again - we have elections coming this November, and I fear the jihadis still don't understand that what works in Spain won't work here at all. But they've got nothing else to try. Maybe they feel beholden to their best allies. They should.

We are in a war that will end only with the annihilation of Islam as a state religion in any country on the planet. In the end, that is what it took to kill Nazism and Japanese militarism. The fact that militant Islam is so decentralized, and so psychotic, means that the threat will manifest in random murder more often than mass casualty attacks just means that it will take still more time for the civilized world to recognize and embrace the one path that will lead to victory, then peace.

It's a beautiful day here. I hope that yours is, too.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Heads Up!

Bill Whittle has a new post up.

"We are not blind, and we are not crippled, and the world is not a novel or a treatise or a theory or a manifesto. It exists. We can go look for ourselves. And on the way up, when those desperate elitist bastards start clutching at your ankles and implore you to stay below where it’s safe and argue some more…be sure to kick those sons of bitches right in the teeth. Their blind obedience to their Big Ideas have killed more people in history than anything except disease. Boot to the the teeth, I say."

Too bad we won't really fight until thousands more die on the "intellectuals'" tab, though. All luxuries come with a price; we foot the bill for intelligentsia devoid of intellect and their host, the higher education industry, which is more concerned with maintaining dogma than any Inquisition that ever set out to supress a Galileo or Copernicus.

We live in wondrous times. Interesting times. Dangerous times.

(via The Geek With A .45)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Range Date

I am going to be at the Lee Kay Hunter Education Center in West Valley City, Utah from 0800 to about noon this Saturday (3 June). Mrs. Tmj, The Goddesses, and some family/work friends and their friends will be in attendance. We will be shooting everything from .22 to 8mm Mauser and I'm bringing enough ammo for everybody to get a lick in.

We'll be shooting on both the pistol and centerfire rifle ranges. If you would like to partake, just show up and look behind the firing line for a wheeled wooden cart stuffed with rifles. I will be on the firing point in front of that, or coaching near it. I'll be wearing a khaki vest with a Springfield Armory patch on the back. Ask for Andy.

Bring your own hearing/eye protection, or buy it at the check in desk. The same goes for targets - but I prefer NRA 100 YD smallbore bullseye targets over what the range sells. I recommend a long sleeve shirt or jacket if you intend to shoot high power rifle from their benches - the concrete can tear up your elbows even when shooting from bags.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

The beautiful young girl offered me coffee. The first taste peeled back many years...

"I finally met the Turk one moonless night. His caravan was camped at a nameless oasis at the mouth of a wahdi many miles east of Marakesh. He had no love for me, but his hatred for Dar Mahmoud was deeper than any well. He poured syrupy black coffee into tiny cups with his own hand, splashing the inky brew over the rim of mine onto the saucer. A spoon would almost stand in my cup. The Sahara wind cooled as it blew in across the oasis and made the fug in the tent almost pleasant. I relaxed and listened with half an ear to the Turk recite Mahmoud's crimes, real and imagined, and to what the Turk proposed he and I would do to mete out justice. And garner profit at the same time, of course..."

"Dad, I know it's strong, o.k.? There's half and half in the fridge."

Mom got waffles with strawberries this morning, and a sewing machine one cut below industrial grade with which to make the curtains she's been planning on "just as soon as I can get this tensioning problem fixed" with her old machine.

I'm off to watch "Serenity" with her. Remember, treat your mother well!

Hurry Hurry Hurry


Voted for Cannon and Hatch yesterday, at the convention. Voted Cannon twice - runoff with Jacobs in June.

I spent forty minutes on the phone with Mr. Cannon on Thursday night, got my questions answered, got some context (with references to applicable sources) to some particularly egregious soundbites attributed to Mr. Cannon, and made my call. We'll see how things play out in the runoff election.

Oh, and in the body of the linked article there is this:

"Overall, it was not a happy convention as former U.S. Rep. Enid Greene, now state party vice chairwoman, was loudly booed and shouted at as she tried to conduct a morning vote on a controversial party constitutional amendment."

The amendment in question was supposed to clarify which level of the party, state or county, had primacy in determining how delegates were chosen. I think the language was amphorous, at best, and voted against the measure on that basis. But to call the entire convention "unhappy" was inaccurate. The calls and boos from the floor were from a few hundred out of over three thousand attendees - probably the same folks who were handing out the "No New World Order" and "Stop Being Duped About Terror" handouts in front of the hall. One of Senator Hatch's opponents ran soley to get his seven minutes at the podium to condemn the "sexual and physical torture" at Abu Grhaib and Gitmo. Go figure.

An interesting day.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Well, Howdy!

I'm not blogging much these days.

It's ten minutes to nine in the evening as I write this. I got home from work fifty minutes ago. I'll leave the house tomorrow at five thirty a.m., as usual.

It's going to be a beautiful project when it's done, four or five years down the road.


I attended a candidates debate between Cannon, Cook, and Jacob last Saturday night. As of this moment, I see no good reason to return Mr. Cannon, and by extension the majority of Republican multi-term incumbents, to Washington. Mr. Cannon let drop a line in the debate that effectively removed him from consideration for my support:

"We can't deport twelve million illegals."

No, we can't. But we can sure as hell disincentivize employers hiring them, concurrent with reforming our INS to effectively deal with a LEGAL immigrant population. NO amnesty, NO worker program, NO "it can't be done". They don't have work, they deport themselves. Then we talk about legal entry.

He doesn't see border security as a priority - that's my considered opinion, not a quote of his. It's just the impression that I get.

I hope that Republican state nominating convention delegates across the country feel exactly the same way, too.

I am not worried that conservatives will stay home and allow the Democrats majorities in either house. If you have to choose between a flighty baby sitter who runs up long distance bills on your home phone and orders movies on your cable network or John Wayne Gacy, the choice is simple. Staying home is not an option, and neither are third parties.

BUT I think there's a whisper of fear running through Republican staff offices as nominating season approaches. I hope there is. The party has behaved abominably with the trust it has been afforded, and there has got to be some way of correcting the trend despite incumbency, short of shooting the damned horse by allowing Democrats any chance at national power.


The new windows rock. My sprinkler system didn't erupt into fountains when I tripped the valve; after fixing the two bum sprinkler heads, I now have a chance at keeping the rolling plains around my house somewhat green this year.


Each day Mrs. Tmj leaves her software QA job just like Sherman left Atlanta. The code boys and girls at her company have NEVER dealt with a woman who loves to break software as much as my lady does.

The kids are all passing their classes. Oldest Goddess gets her driver's license this week or next. Youngest Goddess is pushing hard for a room remodel - floor to ceiling in a black/pink motif.

I still have plantar fasciitis, but the Columbia boot company is going to see one of my C-notes real, real soon and I hope the situation improves after that.


You must read Protein Wisdom (and donate, if you think it's worth it - it's fundraising time there) and American Digest DAILY.

O.K., daily - please. Great stuff, both places.

And now - y'all have a fine night, and a better tomorrow.

We live, after all, in wondrous times.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Saturday Random

Yet another sixty hour week out on the job is in the books. No blizzard this week. The snow is almost gone from all but the shadiest slopes. We have two herds of deer in residence now - almost fifty of them altogether. Two nesting pairs of Golden eagles have returned to their favorite power poles and have begun improving their massive nests. Redtail hawks, a few falcons, and the buzzards are back, as well. I haven't been across the highway to the north to check on the lynx I saw up there last year, but the head Real Estate Professional on the project claims to have seen a big cat carrying a rabbit into the bushes up there. The ants and bees are returning, too. Soon it will be time to slide the snake gaiters on over my boots. This is rattlesnake country.

I have purchased this year's silly surveying hat. Mom burned last year's edition in the fireplace.

The contractor is placing subgrade material on the roads we installed utilities in all winter long.

Health is much improved except for this plantar fasciitis thing happening in my right heel. If you've never had this problem, go and drive a 6d box nail through a scrap pine board and then jump off a table, driving the point into your right heel. Yeah, that's EXACTLY what it feels like the first half hour of my day. Last spring it was both heels, so I'm ahead of the game. Getting old sucks.

I have two crews on site every day now. I usually run with two rodmen and work the roads, and have the other two man crew cover other stuff like setting property corners, staking out buildings, mapping, and whatever else will keep the client happy.

The grounds crew for the golf course and the landscapers all showed up on Monday. The number of vehicles onsite has tripled or quadrupled. We also have increasing numbers of high-end private and client-owned SUV's showing up in construction areas as the Real Estate season cranks up.

On the home front, we eagerly await Monday which is when the contractor shows up at Team headquarters to install our new vinyl windows. We are cleaning house and clearing the areas around the windows so the contractors can work. Today is beautiful. I'm going to spend four hours or so laying down soil amendments and fertilizer in the yard and cleaning out and prepping the front flower bed for Mom's choice of flowers.

Mom got promoted at work which is not bad for being on the job for four months. The Goddesses and our foster Goddess are passing all their classes.

I hope your world is looking up, too.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Range Report: 98k (8mm Mauser) Mauser (Russian Capture)

(The following is a comment I left on one of Kim DuToit's forums.)

I took the stripped Kar98 up to Lee Kay yesterday, along with a stack of other iron, and shot for zero at 100 yards.

Kim DuToit groups the 8mm in the family of “manly calibers”, and rightfully so. I brought all my gear (bags, notebook, spotting scope, eyepatch) except for a the stout longsleeve denim shirt I usually wear in lieu of a shooting jacket. First round downrage I tore a patch of skin off my right elbow on the concrete table and got a love tap from the stock under my right eye; tshirt + slick steel buttplate is a crappy combination. Most military rifles I have fired are designed to be shot while wearing bulky combat clothing, and thus have a relatively short length of pull - the Lee Enfield carbines are the worst fitting rifles I’ve come across for this - and the Kar stock length is not a lot better.

I spread a blanket on the back of the table and got down to business. Nine further rounds, and still nothing on paper. The three gents on the tables around me (all shooting milsurps, too, btw) let me know I was high, off the paper, and that it was common for Euro bolties to be TWO FEET above aiming point at one hundred yards. Seems that Euroes aimed at beltlines, and two feet high was considered an effective method for getting hits out to three hundred yards from zero. There are resources that offer replacement front sight blades to correct point of aim to point of impact, and I will look them up by the by…

Feh. We think it’s better to hit where we aim, they just think of hitting. No wonder the Germans were shocked when the Marines showed up in the trenches in 1917.

I placed a four inch round flourescent orange sticker on the frame two feet below the centers of my bullseye targets (NRA 100 yd smallbore) and got back to it. Four inches is tough for fortyfive year old eyes to see, but they got the job done well enough. Windage was very close to center - an inch right if anything, and I put the next twenty rounds in a rectangle about five inches wide and a foot tall, on the lower half of the targets. I think the front sight height correction could be made for a foot and a half, vice two feet. I don’t like the trigger much, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. My barrel band tried to travel, too, but I think that may be a function of the wood being slick and bare for refinishing. I’ll probably build up the wood with putty underneath the band until it’s a stout, hammer tap fit to get it on.

I shot my Swede and K31 afterward with decent result - both shoot close to point of aim at hundred meter sight settings. My elbow was hamburger by the end of the strings, even with the blanket, and I woke up with a vestigal black eye this morning. I was too beat up to even think of the Garand and shooting the Bushmaster would have meant another rifle to clean for no good purpose - that one is a tack driver and already zeroed.

My next purchases are going to be an adjustable front rest, some industrial non-skid adhesive strips for my steel buttplate stocks, and a shooting jacket with padded elbows and shoulders.

I shot a dimegroup with another shooter’s new, scoped Ruger boltie in 7mm WSM, at a hundred. It didn’t seem to me to be as punishing as the traditional magnum (but I’ve never been a fan of recoil, anyway), but it was enough to finish me for the day.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

On This Day

in 1981 I was celebrating my twentieth birthday on the island of Okinawa, Japan. The Far East Radio network was wall to wall with the news of the attempted assassination of President Reagan. One of the reporters we heard a lot from was Sam Donaldson. I have always found his delivery annoying.

This morning when the numbers on my bedside clock radio kicked (no, they don't do that anymore - it's all digital these days) over to five a.m. the first words out of the speaker were those I had heard spoken by Mr. Donaldson all those years ago.

I heard that voice reporting "there has been an attack on the president" and my eyes snapped wide open. I felt a moment of confusion; the ceiling above me was not the institutional light puke green of a concrete squadbay (Marine speak for "barracks") but instead textured drywall, and holy Moses I was big as a house... and who was this woman next to me???...

Time passes.

I have been stopping at the same convenience store on my way out of West Valley City every morning since December. I know the employees and manager by first name, and only have to pay for my coffee every third or fourth time.

This morning the manager of the store overheard one of my fellow surveyors wishing me happy birthday, and we started talking about how fast the years go by. She just turned forty five herself a week ago. I mentioned the gestalt I got from the morning radio broadcast and she did a Lon Chaney werewolf in the moonlight thing on me:

"I sure wish that somebody would shoot that (*&^^%!!( #$^ sonofa(*&@ we've got now!"

From affable acquaintance to full blown BDS in two seconds. Eyes bulging, lips white, and a great red rush that ran up her neck and exploded across her cheeks.

"You mean that, don't you? You really do."

"Hey, I'm SORRY if your a REPUBLICAN but somebody should... "

I put my morning muffin back on the rack. The coffee cup was already filled, and I didn't feel like dumping it in the sink with her in such a state. So I went to the counter and paid (had to insist) and walked out.

I guess I have to start carrying a thermos again. Oh, and I won't be buying thirty gallons of fuel there every third day, either.

Folks like her hated Uncle Ronnie, too. The same hate, and for all sorts of reasons, but in the end they hated him for being right where it counted. And winning. I reckon that's how Bush will end up, too, when the serious books are finally written.

Trying day at work; in my experience working on your birthday always boils down to either a cake walk or a shit sandwich. Today I got the double hoagie special. Arrived home with the sunset to a Happy Birthday Chorus from my family in the driveway, and went out to Sizzler for a great dinner. We were too full to eat any birthday cake but it will still be there tomorrow.

I'm a lucky guy. It was a beaut of a day and now I'm off to bed.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Interestingly Enough

The Town Hall was held at the Provo City Library which is located in the refurbished Brigham Young Academy, which was the institution that preceded Brigham Young University. There were over a hundred people in attendance. Mr. Hatch hit the threshold at 1400 sharp and opened the meeting by thanking us for giving up a fine Saturday afternoon to show up for politics.

Senator Hatch mentioned blogs during both the open Town Hall and the by-invitation dessert meeting afterward. He recommended Powerline and Hugh Hewitt in particular, and Michelle Malkin was mentioned as well. As far as media goes, his statements surprised me a bit. Not much subtlety or temporizing in "The media dislikes conservatives and hates this president". He proposed that blog impact has little to do with the agenda of any single blog; rather, the self-correction and fact checking between widely disparate blogs improves the quality of information available to those who actively follow current events.

But he was up front that is was nice to have friends in blog places, none the less.

Questions from the crowd ranged from border security to if Harry Reid still attended church. Laughs on the latter question, and laughs on the Senator's reply to same. Mr. Hatch and Mr. Reid are both LDS, as were probably ninety five percent of the folks in attendance. Hatch said that Mr. Reid did indeed attend, and that we should consider for a moment the constituency Mr. Reid was trying to represent. That brought a moment of pin-drop silence and some thoughtful shaking of heads.

(I agree that trying to stay in front of the Left must be a frustrating chore. Cat herding would be easier. But that still doesn't affect my personal conviction that Harry Reid and his party are a threat to the country on a level that Al Qaeda could only dream of being...)

Economic issues affecting Utah were discussed at length. Without a senior senator in Washington, Utah would probably have already lost the Utah Test and Training Range to the environmentalists, and with it Hill AFB. Ditto access to a huge bulk of our public lands as well - big state feds (not to mention a recent president) have always looked toward western states to give up land as gestures to the Greens. On those same lines, the Senator detailed his opposition to storing high level radioactive wastes in Utah. He has been in the Senate since before Yucca Mountain, Nevada was put forward as a repository site, and decried the Democrats' decision to use the facility for political posturing AFTER all the billions have been spent in studying, planning, and building the facility. The crux of the matter is that the first state that willingly accepts interstate delivery of highlevel wastes will be THE state that handles the rest. Politically and in terms of permits, costs, and the very real and pressing need to secure unsafe sites that now exist across the country, it just can't work out any other way. Mr. Hatch mentioned "other alternatives" in process for dealing with materials in situ; no details were given but I believe he may have been alluding to vitrification, a method shot down by Jimmy Carter at the behest of environmentalists. Instead of encasing tons of waste in glass, we now store the bulk of spent fuel roads in above-ground water tanks. And those tanks are failing.

Energy policy was discussed. Senator Hatch pointed out that Canada represents our first, largest supplier of imported petroleum products. Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming together have three or four times as much oil in shale as do the Canadians in their tar sands, and technology is coming on line that makes recovery of shale oil only slightly more expensive than it is for tar sand now. He stated that biofuels, hydrogen, and ethanol only make sense in the long term if there is clean energy available to produce them, and that means expanding our nuclear generating capability. France was used as a data point here: they get almost seventy percent of their electrical power from nuclear generation now. ANWR, too, was mentioned. Hatch pointed out that the surface acreage to be explored was smaller than Provo.

Illegal immigration and border security were discussed at length, both separately and as the same issue. Senator Hatch was adamant that the President's guest worker program was not amnesty; I don't think the room bought it. I know I didn't.

Near the end of the allotted hour the senator called for any questions on the domestic surveillance issue. He explained the timeline of the program, and the congressional oversight/periodic review that had been built into the system at its inception. He was adamant that the program has effective in the war and has not violated any citizens' civil rights. He expressed surprise that there hadn't been any so far. A gentleman standing in the aisle next to me asked why the program hadn't been legislated via congress. Senator Hatch replied that at its inception, the administration had presented it as in keeping with the execution of the President's Article II powers during wartime, and supported by precedents from Lincoln to Roosevelt (FDR). Hatch also stated that he was convinced that any move to legislate at this time would simply degenerate into political theater on the part of the minority - he further pointed out that no serious court challenge to domestic surveillance was being pursued in spite of all the media noise on the subject - and predicted that courts would come down on the side of Article II if push came to shove.

After the meeting ended the gentleman who asked the FISA question and I met in the hall and talked further on the details of the issue. One of the staffers stopped by to chat, and shortly after we were both invited up to the dessert meeting.

And that is for tomorrow's post.

Springtime And Gunfire. Plus Treachery And Politics, Too!

I've been almost manic since yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday, a brilliant clear Friday, I did not head up the road to Salt Lake nor did I drive up Parley's Canyon to the job. I did not set up my GPS set with the rising sun. I didn't call my queue of contractors (which caused them all to call me before eight a.m.). There was no rush to record newly-constructed sewer or water connections. No staking hundreds of feet of line for blasting or for construction. I did not visit Lot 7 in Pod X2 to replace the stakes that the excavator had blown out while the form crew stood waiting. I did not wade through crotch deep snow setting rebar with caps on rear property corners. I did not drive my F-150 over house-high piles of freshly shattered rock in the wake of a D9N Caterpillar bulldozer in order to get from one end of the project to the other.

I stayed home. The contractor came and measured my windows for vinyl replacements. We cleaned the living room and kitchen. My garage - MY garage - is navigable without guides and bearers! So is the driveway where I park my work rig; an hour with shovel, broom and hose to remove the dried mud shed there over the past winter. The infinitely better half and I signed powers of attorney to serve as guardian for a friend's daughter to attend high school down here with our girls instead of the blackboard jungle she dropped out of in Salt Lake. We ordered a new dresser for our guest room for her use; it should be at the warehouse to pick up as soon as I finish this post.

I visited my local gun store during a break in the action. They've finally got a selection of Kar-98 German Mausers in stock, almost all of them WW2 production. I pointed out to the proprietor that some of them were cartouched for Kriegsmarine (Navy) contracts and should be worth a little more than the others to collectors, even if the Nazi Waffenbrink markings had all been stamped out. I wouldn't have a Swastika stamped weapon in my home, anyway, but some people like that sort of thing. That got me a twenty buck discount should I wish to buy one of the others.

A passing knowledge of history can be profitable in ways other than making good political choices.

Closed the day by meeting with my surveying partner up at Doug's Shooting Sports indoor range in West Valley. Some days you shoot smooth, accurate, and safe. Others you manage not to hurt yourself or anybody else. I did o.k. keeping most of the rounds on paper but never really got comfortable. I'm almost a year into my latest glasses and my right eye is the one changing with age. Grrrrr... so I coached the kid on the line next to me on rifle. He was there with his dad to practice for his Shooter's Safety range test (probably up at Lee Kay right now, matter of fact) and was fighting his rifle more than shooting it.

He went from shotgun pattern down to a consistent three - inch group over the course of the next half hour or so. If given the choice between a bad rest and no rest, shoot offhand, and aim with your feet whenever possible. His dad asked who I worked for (I was wearing a polo with our company logo on the sleeve) and it turns out dad is an engineer and works closely with one of the owners of my company! Small world, and it never hurts to give a good impression.

On the treachery side , we have the perfidious Russians aiding Saddam Hussein during OIF. I guess Pootey Poot isn't all that much of a friend after all. Hell, he'll probably get his own log-in at The Huffington Post.

And for politics I have a two o'clock Town Hall with Senator Hatch down in Provo.

Y'all have a fine one.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Straw boater, with red/white/blue bunting hatband. Check.

Navy blazer, wool/silk, with U.S. colors lapel pin. Check.

Dark blue Oxford button-down shirt, new regimental tie in scarlet, utility green, and gold, gold Marine Corps emblem tie tack.


Blue slacks, shade to be determined after consulting with my handler (thirteen year old daughter), with black belt or suspenders.

Black street service Oxford with new ortho inserts and comfy black socks.

Laptop from the wife or oldest Goddess. May go with PDA if venue isn't wireless-equipped.

Mark calendar: 28 April, Payson High School: State Republican Convention.

I have been elected as one of four delegates from my Republican precinct to attend the state convention. I will be casting votes for our federal house and senate races.

The incumbents are Congressman Chris Cannon and Senator Orrin Hatch. My three fellow delegates are our precinct chair, vice chair, and a gentleman who runs his own public relations/marketing outfit. All have literally decades of experience in politics, local, state, and national.

I have a lot of homework to do. I am honored to have been chosen.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


In other news, last Friday I ran two crews out on my project. We staked a thousand feet of road for blast: curbs, storm drain, water and sewer mains and services. We mark the locations to be shot with two foot tall grade stakes laid out on fifty foot stations in tangents, twentyfive in curves. The end result is a multicolored forest of stakes. You can drive down the middle of the road in a truck, or even a grader if you fold the blade as close as you can.

But you can't do anything else with the road until after the blasters do their thing and the grading contractor comes in and cleans up the overburden.

We've got a foot of snow in the valley since last night. The mountains surely got more. I truly don't want to replace those stakes.

I spent a few hours at a rock and mineral show down in Spanish Fork yesterday. I paid a buck to run a pan of gold-bearing sand. I talked with the proprietor of a prospecting shop while I worked the light stuff off the top.

He's working a claim out on the Nevada/Utah line. He brought that up just when as I arrived at the moment when you tap your ring against the rim of the almost-empty pan to "jump" the gold out of the remaining tablespoon of black sand. He's looking for help, on a shares basis.

No real prospector ever forgets the first time he found color in a pan. Not a one. And folks who truly have the bug get a pleasurable echo every time it happens ,too, even if they are standing over a trough in an exhibit hall and not squatting in a stream twenty miles back up the mountain.

More on this later. I've got to go clean my work truck and GPS set and then get our documents together for our tax guy.

Reading For A Snowy Day

Wretchard is all over the aftermath of Operation Swarmer. He ends his post with a truth that applies far, far beyond what has happened to the jihadis in Iraq:

"The enemy in reading the leading newspapers of the West remained ignorant of the doom descending upon their heads, confirmed in their eventual victory even as catastrophe overwhelmed them. Thank you MSM."

Hollywood. Democrats. Jihadis. All are connected by a common tendency to believe their own press releases.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


How can you tell you worked an eleven and a half hour day? That began in a blizzard?

You have to turn down the rearview mirror in your F-150 to see traffic behind you on the way home.

I'm some beat down. Have a good night, all.

Monday, March 13, 2006


for DU votes.

I may just go out and buy another rifle. Or two. I'm collecting milsurps and have my eye on an SMLE Mk4 right at the moment...granted, it's rather ratty, and a bolty...

Nah. Maybe something evil.

No. REALLY evil.

Hell and death; there's already one in my safe!

I guess I'll just have to settle for buying some more hi-cap mags for my pistols. And maybe reload some more rounds for the M1 Garand. Mom needs a small frame 9mm for carry, too...

Spring is sprung here in Utah. No, really it has. Ignore the blizzard conditions on my jobsite and the low double-digit overnight temps here at the house and you can almost hear the buds ripening on the trees.

Just as soon as I can see at least two hundred yards in any direction, I'm taking the rifles across the lake to get the dust out of the bores.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Old News.

Iranians have been killing Americans with bombs since 1983.

ABC has a story up about the shaped charge/copper jet IED's that Iran has been smuggling into Iraq:

"I think the evidence is strong that the Iranian government is making these IEDs, and the Iranian government is sending them across the border and they are killing U.S. troops once they get there," says Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism chief and an ABC News consultant. "I think it's very hard to escape the conclusion that, in all probability, the Iranian government is knowingly killing U.S. troops."

Mr. Clark, it's not hard at all if you think that defeating Islamofascist terror comes a distant second to winning house races.

This news came out months ago. The linked article mentions Ocotober of last year as when the deadlier Iranian imports began showing up. Dan Darling at Winds of Change wrote an excellent post detailing Iranian involvement. This was from August 2005:

"U.S. military and intelligence officials tell NBC News that American soldiers intercepted a large shipment of high explosives, smuggled into northeastern Iraq from Iran only last week.

The officials say the shipment contained dozens of "shaped charges" manufactured recently. Shaped charges are especially lethal because they’re designed to concentrate and direct a more powerful blast into a small area."

Read all the links.

Why the resurgence of interest by ABC? Don't know. If Iran attempting to subvert our efforts in Iraq is a valid causus belli, we should have gone to Tehran in 2004. As it stands now, a sizeable minority within the government have no interest at all in pursuing terrorists where they live, anywhere in the world.

(via Captain's Quarters)

Sunday, March 05, 2006


It's been almost a month. I better do an events dump to clue in anyone who wanders by here...

1. Bronchitis since December.

2. Averaging sixty hours a week on the job. Yes, I work outside, in Utah. The base elevation for my project is 6500 feet.

3. Emergency room visit first week of February. Was forced to admit "yes, chest does hurt". Result: Left side cardiac catheterization that day, endoscopy exam the next. Diagnosis: pre-ulcerous conditions in stomach. Result: drugs. Lots of drugs.

4. GP visit one week later, after fainting in the shower after a coughing spell. Diagnosis: bronchitis (still) and sinus infection. Result: more drugs; steroidal inhaler, cough suppressants (pill and liquid), antibiotic pills the size of .38 special cartridges.

5. We've had three visits from window contractors. Each one has provided a bid for replacing the existing seventeen aluminum storm windows we use to heat our neighborhood. Bids have ranged from astronomical to merely daunting, so far.

4. Youngest Goddess turned thirteen on the 25th and had her party here at the house. Fifteen eighth graders. Oldest Goddess turned sixteen two days later, and we had her party here on Friday the third, with eighteen highschoolers.

5. Externally, I've watched the cartoon flap, Cheneygate, the mosque bombings, the latest iteration of Bush-killed-New Orleans, Iran's march to nuclear arms, and Terry Taliban Goes To Yale, all with an increasing sense of detachment.

I've decided that a sad majority of Americans aren't serious about fighting this war. Not yet. It doesn't help that media, Hollywood, and The Democrats are still willfully blind to the threat beyond opportunities for them to exploit for personal gain. The administration's strategy has worked well enough to prevent another 9/11 so far. The opposition (beyond the previously mentioned) has wisely invested most of its domestic efforts in media moves.

And that's o.k. We'll arrive at the 2006 midterms with a Republican caucus fearing righteous revolt by their base. The Democrat caucus continues operating in an abject vacuum of ideas or principles, and will be even more beholden to their base.

For what it's worth, I think we'll see Iraq stabilize enough over the next six months that we move a lot of troops out of theater. The remaining coalition units will be dispersed widely throughout the country. Less of a strategic target when the ultimate suicide bombing begins.

Will we strike at Iran before then? I have my doubts. The smart move would be a coordinated air and ground mission conducted within the next two weeks... but the decision may have been made to allow the Iranians to conduct a test, first. A pragmatic political decision, but inherent in such is the acceptance that the inevitable conflict with Iran will be nuclear.

9/11 wasn't enough to mobilize the West. Well, we'll not have that pesky WMD argument the next time around.

The price of victory is going to be more than anyone dared think. Sad, that.

Posts will continue to be infrequent, and will probably be more of the "I cleaned my garage today" flavor than any political or strategic musings. I am in better shape now than since before Christmas but find that concentrating on tasks I can actually lay hands on makes me feel better than beating my head against a wall.

Have a fine one. I'm off to the garage.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cross Traffic: The Officers' Club: Meanwhile Back in Iran

There's an interesting post up at Officers' Club by a Mr. Charlie Munn. It it, he opines on what a possible scenario for an Israeli attack on Iran would look like:

"The attack would definitely be a single, massive air strike the likes of which the MidEast has never seen. Here is how I think it would go down. It is widely believed that Iran is out of range of Israeli fighters and bombers. The range problem could be ameliorated by mid-air re-fuelers, but that would cause problems. Israel only has 5 KC-130 re-fuelers, and the idea of refueling over enemy airspace would complicate an already complicated plan. The solution to this problem is to establish forward landing areas close to Iran, in order to “leap-frog” into Iran. This would, of course, be an act of war against (speculating here) either Saudi Arabia or Syria.
I believe that the Israelis would attempt to bypass Turkish, and Iraqi airspace. They would have to either seize an airfield, or construct one themselves. Paratroopers would insert into the area, secure the airfield, and set up a defensive perimeter. Then the transport aircraft would begin to land and set up a FARP (forward area re-arm/re-fuel point). I assume we’ll have passed the “international incident” by this point, and all out war will be declared by one (or many countries against Israel.

I disagreed. It can't be done the way the author proposes. Too elaborate, too exposed, and most of all it is predicated on Israel abandoning control of its immediate airspace for several days (even assuming the IDF doesn't suffer crushing losses executing the strikes) exactly at the moment its neighbors will be determined to attack. All that risk, both military and political, to achieve only a delay in the mullahs' quest for what they (the mullahs) consider the ultimate weapons? The law of diminishing returns looms large here.

No way - and I give my opinion why in my post.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Required Reading

A fine Monday morning essay by Victor Davis Hanson:

"It is not the capability but the will power of the Europeans that has been missing in this war so far. But while pundits argue over whether the European demographic crisis, lack of faith, stalled economy, or multiculturalism are at the root of the continent’s impotence, we should never forget that if aroused and pushed, a rearmed and powerful Europe could still be at the side of the United States in joint efforts against the jihadists."

Read it all.

(via Instapundit, and there are more good links in his post, too.)

Sunday, February 05, 2006


I am reading "The Guns of August" by Barbara Tuchman. It is the best book I've ever read where people, diplomacy, ambitions, agendas, and mistakes are all combined to explain the origins of the first industrial war.

I can't help but be chagrined that the next one may finally kick off because of cartoons.

Maybe it's just a sign of the times.

Cartoons and Consequences

Is the progressive Left intellectually incapable of recognising the threat posed by Islamist terror? Or is it just habit they side with anyone who isn't white, conservative, and Christian?

If it was just them I wouldn't be that torn up. But they still comprise such a huge minority of the American polity (and sadly, majorities in much of European societies) they may just be enough of a distraction to enable the jihadis to commit even more tremendous, unthinkable acts before we finally own up to the work before us.

There is no muslim Martin Luther in the offing. Even if there were, the contemporary powers that be in the Muslim world would not let one live if he (or she) appeared.

The duty of the United States government to the people is to provide security. The threat from Islamic terror is about as far removed from arguments about what level of entitlements and pork should be considered "security" or even general welfare as it can be.

I don't think that the Islamofascists can win this fight. I am certain that the more time we let pass before acting forcefully to end the fight will only increase the eventual cost. I'd like to see us get it right, just once, when faced with a world war.

Must we destroy Islam? No. But we must arrive at a point where people using Islam as a causus belli no longer pose a threat. Europe may already be lost. I have no interest in seeing my daughters or their kids ever shedding blood "over there" in another babysitting exercise. We must act now to prevent the possibility of that ever happening again.

We didn't have to kill all the Germans. Nor all the Japanese. But we killed as many as it took to stop the fight AND preserve our freedom. We didn't kill hardly any Soviets, but the Soviets were operating on a political agenda - not a mystic morass of suicide and murder.

We are wasting time. Time that will be paid for in lives.

Faster, please.

(apologies to Mr. Ledeen for using his postscript)