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.