Sunday, December 16, 2007

OY!

In the face of a mountain of very necessary chores... I elect instead to head up to Lee Kay and break in the latest Mosin - a 91/59.

I can Christmas shop on the way back.

Here are two recent comments in other places: Belmont Club and Protein Wisdom.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Not Sure If I Agree

with this:

"To the perverse jihadis who constitute large numbers of Muslims, the existence of the female sex is threatening, hence women are treated as little more than cattle, with fewer rights than some lower animals. Why do Western feminists keep their mouths shut? Because many are themselves leftist utopian perverts, who also cannot tolerate the existence of two sexes and secretly long to submit to the appealing sadism of the jihadis."

But the article is interesting and worth a read.

(hat tip:Castle Arrgghhh!)

What It Comes Down To.

I've been kicking around ideas for an essay on what I am looking for from the next election cycle.

What are the issues that must be addressed, in my opinion, by the next gaggle of elected office holders?

Sovereignty.

Solvency.

Security.

Sovereignty covers but is not limited to our relationship with multinational organizations (for instance, the Hudson Mafia), our various trade agreements, and immigration.

I think that education belongs under "sovereignty", too, since we need to rectify the choice of covering U.S. History as an indictment rather than a celebration.

Solvency covers un- or underfunded benefits and mandates with Social Security at the top of the list. Attention to sane tax policy with explicit acknowledgement that Keynesian tax systems are well and truly dead, and ending estate taxes.

Security... well, crap, the best I can come up with off the cuff is that we should shoot Islamist terrorists in the head when we find them and that it wouldn't be a bad thing if elected democrats stopped aiding the enemy from the floors of the house and senate.

I realize this missive is short on nuance. But the three issues stand for what I'm concerned about.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Gift Opportunity

If you lived in central Utah, you could head over to the American Fork Big 5 and check out the two nicest Mosin Nagant 91/30's I've ever seen. Perhaps you know somebody who is of good moral character; someone manly and disgustingly free of vice or human failings Why don't you get him hooked on old Russian rifles?

The world can always use another Cruffler!

About the rifles: The first is a pre-war assembled Tula with all matching numbers, a straight, very clean stock with pronounced figuring for birch. The cartouches indicate it may have finished service in Bulgaria. The crown appears to be original and not rearsenalled.

The bore is... perfect. Not "clean with service wear" but absolutely crisp, bright, and clean.

The second rifle has just as clean a bore and it, too, appears to have its original crown. It is a 1943 manufacture featuring the round, low wall receiver and was produced at Izhvesk. The serial is six numbers, vice the more usual two Cyrillic characters followed by four numbers. The wartime production stock has two repairs - one on the left side of the receiver with the second at the forward edge of the magazine well. IMO the first repair suggests that the stock, at least, was once a part of a sniper rig. The wood is clean and well figured, and remarkable free of dings. The stock repairs are so well executed as to almost disappear under the arsenal shellac treatment.

And here's the kicker: the second rifle's bolt and trigger are about what my Remington 700BDL was like before I slicked it up. If you have spent much time around Mosins, you would know that the bolts are kind of hit and miss at best.

Hmmmm. I already own four 91/30's. As I type this we are waiting for the rain to turn to snow. The met boys say six to eight inches by tomorrow and the streets of Utah County are filled with Christmas shopping zombies.

Oy. The OTL doesn't know rifle beyond "Bang OUCH"... but she knows art when she sees it.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Not Quite, Pilgrim...

Geeze. Let us start at the beginning:

"Sen. Hillary Clinton has a trust problem. Polls in Iowa and New Hampshire show that voters give her very low marks for being trustworthy and honest. The media and her opponents have built and reinforced the charge."

I never supported the Hope grifters, but I didn't become an opponent until after they proved themselves inveterate liars. They aren't just liars, they are both pathological liars. Hillary "Everest" Clinton, I did not inhale, billing records, the Sixty Minutes CYA (that was the incident that cemented Bill's commitment to Hill's presidential ambitions, IMO), and the totality of the eight year long shameless manipulation of the Executive branch of government into a codependency enabling tool for two very, very flawed people and their posse...

"It's not that voters and her opponents think Clinton's experienced and competent, and they don't like or trust her. It's that they think she's experienced and competent and that's why they don't like or trust her."


The bar is pretty low here. Being her husband's pimp and the backdoor connection for political corruption in the Arkansas governor's office are about the only two things she's ever done that actually showed initiative or commitment on her part. She failed to socialize healthcare.

The Republicans pushed through welfare reform, and sizable chunks of the Contract with America.

"Is there evidence proving that Hillary Clinton can't be trusted? To quote one of the great presidential debate responses: "No."".

Huh?

You must read the entire article. Paragraph by paragraph it is a paean to Madam Hillary, Smartest Feminist To Ever Stride The Earth. I kept on looking for "It was my sophmore summer at a small midwestern college, and I had never been so lonely..."

"What's a woman running for president to do? Pull the gender card out of the deck and hold it up high. Most people are unaware of their bias or don't want to recognize or acknowledge it. "

Hillary, you go ahead and lay that one down. I've got bad news: Edwards already has you beat on that front.

The only woman you remind most men of is their first wife.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I'm Not Cynical - It's Clinical!

Early last week I had blood drawn for a scad of "geeze, that bastards getting older" tests, as a part of a general physical exam.

The doc told me at the time that he strongly doubted any issues of clinical depression but he didn't want to venture any further opinion with some labs. Turns out he was right on the depression side, and his eyeball/handson diagnosis that he declined to share was pretty good, too.

I've got a thyroid issue. Probably hereditary, but easily identified and easily treated through a one - a - day medication.

I wasn't able to pick up the scrip but the OTL did. Whenever we start a new pharm we always get feedback from our pharmacist. When she asked about this stuff, that gentleman warned her to warn me that I should brace myself for change:

Within a week, my weight should stabilize and begin to decrease.

Within a week, my sleep patterns will begin to return to something more normal than they are now.

Within a week I should notice a decrease in lethargy and perhaps improvement in mental acuity.



Wow. Each of those boons would be cool by themselves. I am praying most for release from the lethargy, with winter coming on and all.

What a fine day this is. I hope that yours is going well, too.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Snapshot

I need to fill in a few blanks opened up by the " Lassitude" post.

I didn't do much of anything that I'd planned. I never in my life had such an incidence of depression as that what began on my first big day off last Friday morning and then intensified through the weekend. I would never, ever wish the state I descended to on anybody else, ever.

I managed to get out on Saturday with the my wife and oldest daughter to the Gem Show. I did go gold panning for a few hours on Sunday, with the results of just a few colors for about six or eight pans. Didn't work on the rifles at all. Didn't go shooting. Monday I barely managed to get out of bed, and was back in it before eight p.m.. I had to leave work early Tuesday and Wednesday. Saw my Orthodontist on Thursday and was diagnosed with a return of the upper jaw bone infection that the surgery of July was supposed to have addressed. Once I had a few days of the antibiotics behind me the lethargy and ill ease cleared up (mostly) and I am now pretty much back up to normal cruising speed. I went ahead and touched base with my GP on Monday and had some bloodwork done to backstop the Ortho's diagnosis. Little chance that my funk was clinical in any classical sense. Doc thinks it was probably the infection since the depression came on like gangbusters then went away just as quick once I started the antis. The blood work package is what any relatively healthy middle aged guy would get with a physical, plus a Lyme disease panel since I work in the mountains.

Silver linings:

The One True Love and I haven't smoked in over eleven weeks. If you know a smoker who is trying to quit, by all means tell him or her about Chantix. No adverse side affects here but for a few vivid dreams. Okay, and I've picked up a wee bit of weight (that I expected to and accepted in advance) that makes me a tidal hazard in this solar system.

Happy Birthday, Chesty, Wherever You Are

November 10, 1775. A bar in Boston. A recruiter.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

The United States Marine Corps has survived courts-martialed Commandants, misguided presidents, offended functionaries, and questionable priorities...

... and still, after 232 years, continues to triumph over any adversity and all enemies .

Happy Birthday, Gents, and have a pink gin on me.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lassitude of Necessity

I am taking four consecutive days off from the Great Work. The paving is done for the year, the contractor is tying up loose ends and we have taken care of the client's marketing - related monumentation and story-poling.

This is not a planned event. Even though there is a cannon party scheduled for this weekend I have no clue as to how many of the Californios will be able to make it in light of the fires near the coast. It's too cold to go gold panning up above American Fork (see pages 20-22) and I just don't have it in me to spend the time around the house.

I need to get out. Do something a little different than I have been doing... for the last three years. Mom and the Goddesses all agree on this point. So...

There are some cool things happening around the central Utah area, though:

1. The Wasatch Gem Society rock show is going on up at the State Fair Park in Salt Lake.

2. UDOT is replacing the bridge spanning I-215 East at 4500 South using some truly bleeding edge technology .

3. And there's always Lee Kay, where I intend to spend a fair chunk of tomorrow beginning at nine a.m. sharp.

I might just stop by there this afternoon on my way to the gem show. There is no plan.

Since I don't update but once every other geologic epoch, any readers who stumble in here will most certainly see this post as history. However, anyone interested in rec shooting or even informal instruction in the central Utah area is welcome to contact me at tmjutah@hotmail.com.

I need to broaden my horizons beyond work and chores. I've been smoke free for almost two months. I go to bed before ten most nights. I've uninstalled all the computer games from my pc. The swamp cooler is winterized, I'm half way through refinishing the stock on my K31 and hope it works out even half as well as did my effort with Ludmilla, the now - blond Mosin.

One thing I'm NOT going to invest in politics, either as a participant or activist, for the foreseeable future. I hope that Chris Cannon fails of reelection, and that Hatch and Bennett apologize for there failures to perform and resign their offices... none of which will probably happen.

Don't even get me started on national politics. If the Democrats weren't so damned dangerous their mendacity, incompetence and lunacy could only manifest as a sitcom, maybe tucked in between Sci-Fi Channel's other sterling Friday night offerings.

Color me Romney for now, as far as choices between the Republicans go. But don't think I'm overjoyed about any of them.

Y'all have a great weekend. There may be pictures come Tuesday, after I get back.

Friday, October 19, 2007

What's The Word...?

"Never did we think that this letter would bring money of this nature. And, for the cause, Madam President, it is extremely good. Now, everyone knows that Rush Limbaugh and I don't agree on everything in life and maybe that is kind of an understatement. But without qualification, Mark May [sic] -- the owner of the network that has Rush Limbaugh -- and Rush Limbaugh should know that this letter that they're auctioning is going to be something that raises money for a worthwhile cause."

We've given the communists a majority. That they are breathtakingly incompetent on top of the whole anti-American EVERYTHING thing stings mightily; more embarrassing than terrifying, if you get my drift.

There are three deep cover ex-KGB guys hanging out in an assisted living clubhouse down in Florida watching CSpan, and they are just shaking their heads over their tea and vodka.

"We won! Twenty years late, but WE WON!"

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Comment

The following was posted in response to NRSC Live Blog With John Ensign over at Captain's Quarters:



I haven't missed a presidential election since 1980 but I may well sit 2008 out. Reagan twice, Bush 1, Perot (MGFM), Dole, and Bush 2 twice.

Is it stupid to do so? Probably. Beyond stupid, how about unpatriotic? Un-American? Yep, probably. But maybe I want to feel like a congressman...

Both parties have abandoned their oaths to support and defend the constitution and the security of the country.

I heard Orrin Hatch defend SCHIP today.

Sometimes you just have to let the wheels come off. I don't think the Republicans have a clue what is about to happen to them. Or what harm is about to befall the citizens they swore to represent as a result of their cowardly, yet strangely cheerful abandonment of any pretense of principle or statesmanship.

And I've got more news for the Republicans:

When the next mass-casualty attack by al Q or whatever nutjob Islamist happens, it's going to happen because our border security SUCKS because both parties are afraid of offending potential pander targets OR fundraising sources, to include foreign governments.

But it was the Republican majorities and chief executive that had the conn on 9/11 and for six years after.

When our friends or families are killed, we won't be looking to burn the neighborhood Saudi-funded mosque.

Not first, anyway.

Democrats are expected to f*ck up national security, race relations, and the economy. It's a feature, not a bug. It's just that this time the bodies aren't going to be back in a Cambodian jungle and the only power that will have the economic clout to ease an economic crisis here is RED CHINA.(They've dumped maybe six or seven mill into the political mix - that we can sorta/kinda track - over the last two decades and now they OWN our debt AND the leading socialist candidate. Now THAT'S wise investing!).

Thus far the Reid and Pelosi Show has demonstrated a level of delusion normally seen only on a DU thread about the VP's links to Satan, or maybe in the words of RNC strategists who peddle tripe like what you cited in your post. The Dems didn't win anything. The Republicans gave it away.

The worst of it all: the Republicans show no sign that they are aware in the least - none, zero, zilch, nada - that they still have a few floors left before the sidewalk.

What a sad way to start a century. The last remaining hope for Western Civ melting down in a kindergarten squabble over who can be more socialist before the eighth century barbarians or the New Communist Empires strike.

Pathetic.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I Agree

This is what I've always understood the Iraq part of the Long War to be about.

Though I will admit to wondering why we haven't gone to Iran yet.

Time fills.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Important

Hie thee hence to Protein Wisdom, and read the words of Karl.

Yea, lo, verily - it will be good!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Briefly

I called the Provo office of Rep. Chris Cannon on Saturday morning intending to inform him (or his staff) that they wouldn't have to call me, send me post cards or emails, or go through any of that political courting bullshit since I will not be attending the June nominating convention.

The staffer I spoke to sounded harried. Good, I thought, maybe they are getting traffic even at the local level in the aftermath of the announcement of surrender on immigration.

The gentleman on the other end of the line started to spiel about Rep. Cannon's history of "strong positions" on immigration... and I cut him off with a profanity.

Chris Cannon has been in Washington longer than the Republican's had majorities in both houses. The first words Chris Cannon ever said to me about illegal immigration were "We can't deport twelve million people".

Do we have permanent tax cuts? No.

Do we have social security reform? No.

Do we have a sane and workable energy policy? One that ensures the continued growth of our economy without a choke chain in the hands of terror - supporting nations?

Hell no.

After five years of the GWOT do we have border security better than, say, Mexico's southern border?

FUCK NO.

I tried to explain to the staffer that my number one gripe about illegal immigration has never been anything akin to racist in any way shape or form; I object to the overt acquiescence of our government in providing a safety valve/economic boon to the rulers of Mexico at the cost of creating a third-tier demographic of unrepresented persons who are liable to exploitation and who suffer injustice at every turn.

This crime of government is bought and paid for in the eyes of the left by another victim group to prey on, and on the part of the Republicans (who aren't right or left or conservative; just hack bastards any more)as markers in a fundraising game with businesses that want cheap labor.

But as I tried to gather my thoughts through the pain meds, it struck me that I was suddenly one with the peons.

I don't have anyone in Washington anymore, either... if I ever did at all. Certainly nobody there is interested in safeguarding our borders if it means pissing off ADM or La Raza.

I am too angry to put into words what these past few days have meant to me.



This bill must not pass. It must not.


This administration has been an unmitigated disaster; our government across the board is filled with timeservers and hacks, and only the congress has performed worse than the executive. We've ended up with some judges that don't appear on their face to be absolute failures... but time always fills.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

No, It's NOT Safe To Swim In the Pool...

Not until they get the water in. Not for a while yet. But I've always been forward thinking and enthusiastic. And clumsy.

I was doing some check measurements to make sure my pool slide layout was going to work for the contractor...


***

I just deleted three rambling paragraphs explaining how I came to fall into the basin of the swimming pool and how my right thigh took a shot on the edge and my left shoulder broke my fall on the bottom, six feet later.

I think I'll leave out the ambulance ride. But the volunteers from the Kamas FD remembered me from February.

Nothing is broken. I'm to monitor my bathroom trips for blood in my byproducts and am off work until at least Monday. I feel like it's the morning after I've played a whole season of football in one day. LorTab is on the menu for the next few days.

Which is why I deleted the aforementioned paragraphs.

I know I screwed up. I know better than to dance on the edge and I'm too old to do the body bounce thing. I won't make the same mistake again.

Why can't Republican senators figure out the same thing?

I am going to speak with my precinct chair here in Orem 48. I am done with the Republican party.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Upon Reflection

Here's some required reading:

"In short, progressives habitually turn an existential defect into a virtue, since politics is their religion, 24/7/365. To “remember” the sabbath would mean forgetting about the revolution, and that would be a political sin. They cannot separate church and state because the state is their church."

One of those "things" that people know about me - like I whistle "Girl From Epanema" under my breath when thinking through a problem, or merely waiting for the next thing to happen - is that I tend to spout "we live in wondrous times" whenever the mood strikes. Usually right after checking email on my laptop in the middle of a forest, or maybe flushing a toilet. Going to work and coming home from a job eighty miles a way, daily, is right up there, too.

Make time for your Sabbath. However you should choose. Just make the time.

(Via American Digest)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Another One For The Books

I am forty and six years old, plus a day or so.

Yesterday while I was shaving I noticed some dry brown patches up around my hairline.

My THICK, DARK, and FULL hairline, even though I keep it cut short.

I showed the wife and she kindly informed me about "liver spots" and such...

She's always there for me when I stumble or am unsure. A hayhook under the short ribs will get anybody up on their feet toot sweet.

Today the Team is heading up to Lee Kay to punch some paper.

I hope you have a fine day, too.

Monday update:

I won't be reaching for my SMLE if the midden hits the windmill. Horrible vertical string at one hundred yards and just couldn't get comfortable behind that stock at all. Yes, yes, vertical means breathing. The ammo was modern Serbian manufacture hunting rounds so I don't think it was velocity variance.

I just don't like that one as much as I had hoped.

I've developed a tremor originating in my left elbow. It only manifests when shooting offhand/weak hand with pistol. Which used to be my favorite cap to a range day.

BUT... Mrs. Tmj and the Goddesses shot until they were tired and we all had a fine time.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mr. Steyn

If only...

"I mean, Iran surprises us all the time. It seizes sailors, it takes out hit contracts on British subjects like Salman Rushdie, it blows up community centers in Argentina, it seizes the U.S. Embassy. Iran doesn’t threaten to do that, it just gets on with it and does it. And maybe there’s a case to be said for well, maybe we should just do something against Iran. Maybe we should just take out that refinery, and they can wake up to it, and see it smoking when it happens, and then they’ll realize we’re serious."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Can You Hear It?

That rumbling in the distance...is it muffled laughter from deep within caves in Pakistan? More likely from the executive suite at what passes for a Hilton in Tehran, of course...

Nope.

We are having our last hurrah of winter but in my front yard the strawberries are surging up through the mulch and already showing blossoms.

Happy spring, everybody.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Whoa...

Over a month since last I put something in here. Where to start?

1. I've gone from two-plus packs of smokes to two or four cigarettes a day. And lots of chewing gum. Yes, I'll be Jabba the Hutt by summer but I'll be able to breathe.

2. The season is definitely changing. Up on the site the methane ice sheets are almost melted. We've hired two more crews which means I may finally be able to commute from Utah county to Summit County via Provo Canyon instead of having to go to West Valley City every morning.

3. In politics the Democrats are one vital step closer to realizing their most cherished dreams regarding the war for civilization. Getting what they want will kill their party, but hey, we all make choices. Nancy Pelosi has negatively exceeded even my ridiculously low expectations as speaker.

4. On the war front Iran has gone back to 1979 for another bucket of hostage stew. I don't think the Brits are going to do a thing. Maggie is dead and Tony's military probably couldn't beat Argentina this time around.

The enemy remains unnamed. We are still killing and being killed in a rehearsal for the real conflict.

Such is the way of the world.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Letter To A Bank

To Whom It May Concern:

B of A's decision to exploit the illegal alien market is possible only because the amortized risk will redound to LEGAL American customers.

You may be pursuing a fair chance of profit; the legal risk is probably minimal. It's obvious the federal and state governments responsible for dealing with illegal immigration aren't doing their jobs and show no sign of doing so in any near future - so, why not you?

Maybe... because your actions will directly and negatively influence how many illegals come to this country? How many instant invisible serfs you will create? You pay welfare mothers to have kids... and they have more kids. You extend credit to business and business expands (hopefully). You extend credit to someone in this country illegally, and you make it easier for them to remain here. Illegally.

Illegal aliens figure in over half the felony crimes committed in California, your home state. Illegal aliens overwhelmingly use public hospital Emergency Rooms as their family practice/GP clinics, driving any chance of profit malpractice lawyers may have left right out the window.

But...you won't see those costs directly, right? Not until the wheels fall completely off and it's too expensive for anyone to do any business in your state... right?

You, gentlemen, are scoundrels and will never count myself, nor anyone I can educate as to your short-sighted avarice and cynicism but especially the undeniable downstream costs of your "pilot program" that will actually accrue to legal residents of this country.

I am interested to see what kind of second quarter you have. I have already instructed my FP to analyze my portfolio and shift funds that may be associated with your business.

A.R. Jones
Orem, Utah

Monday, February 05, 2007

Place Holder Post

Well, I didn't deliver on the range report. Not even a picture.

Nor did I blog about the clearing and warming of the weather here, and more importantly, up at Devil's Island where I work.

I didn't even get a note in about yesterday's range visit and the, if I may say so myself, excellent results with all the different weapons: M44, M91/30 Moisins, and the freshly re-sprung (Wolff Service Pack) M1 Garand.

And another thing that didn't get talked about was the ambulance ride Last Monday. Or morphine, for that matter, either.

Things are o.k.; just another week in the life of a surveyor gone in the books.

Hope your life is less full than mine.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007

Who?

I am:
Hal Clement (Harry C. Stubbs)
A quiet and underrated master of "hard science" fiction who, among other things, foresaw integrated circuits back in the 1940s.


Which science fiction writer are you?



Never heard of him. And I thought I was into "hard science" fiction. More books to find...

(via Flares Into Darkness)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday Sunday

I went to the Lee Kay range today and broke in Pytor Bangovich, my recently acquired Mosin Nagant M91/30. Money WELL spent! Even with the famous Mosin trigger, my groups were pleasantly tight at both twenty five and fifty yards. I highly recommend Albanian Light Ball (brass case) cartidges. They can be had here in Orem for less than fifty dollars for a spam can of four hundred forty rounds.

The holosight I purchased at last week's gunshow for my Bushmaster turned out to be not that great a deal at all. The LED isn't bright enough to be seen in full daylight; that's why it only cost seventy five bucks, where a real tactical sight usually costs upwards of three hundred. I was able to zero it at the max brightness setting but acquiring the red dot on any background other than dead black was impossible.

I might be able to use it to pop coyotes on cloudy days. Maybe not. I'm glad I figured this out at a range and not someplace where it mattered.

The pics of the Mosin groups will be up early next week.

If you are looking for scintillating (or at least lengthy) political discourse, you might try here. Watch out, though - some of those commenters do go on and on and on...

I hope you had a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Paperwork

I signed this.

I am a delegate for my Republican precinct caucus here in Orem. I haven't sent a dime to the RNC since about six months before last election, including member dues.

I've explained (at length) why not in numerous letters and email messages to my state and the national Republican powers - that - be.

They will get my money for doing things that remotely support, oh, I don't know, the party platform or maybe get serious about Illegal immigration.

Social security reform would have been nice. Of course, it would have been a lot easier to sell back in the mists of time (say, two or three years back right after the Republicans gained seats in the midterms...). Have you taken a look at the markets lately? (that's a live link and will change with time - today's DOW is another record at 12621.77). Go here to look at employment numbers. WE ARE AT FULL EMPLOYMENT nationally, with some regional outliers in areas dependent on auto manufacturing or trapped at the top of housing/real estate bubbles. Amazing economy, isn't it? Just what did the nominally Republican majority government do to make these things happen?

It began to fight back in the Long War. It cut taxes in ways that most benefited those people who make jobs happen for other people. No sweeping government babysitting programs. No "investments" in nannystatism (well, o.k., there's TSA... and the Medicare Prescription benefit, even though the latter may actually be more efficient than first thought). But all that was before America decided that Republicans weren't governing as conservatives. That's Republicans from the President all the way down.

My last five trips to the Emergency room, either as a patient or taking somebody in, I waited behind illegal immigrants. Granted, once I admitted that my chest MIGHT hurt that one time I shot right into treatment. I don't expect to see more than pennies on any of my of Social Security dollars, if that - the math is patently unworkable that the system can be maintained as it is run now.

But boy you can buy a lot of votes selling bridges to old folks, if you are in to that kind of thing. Alaska isn't the only place they build bridges to nowhere.

The Republicans in particular and conservatives in general are in the grasp of a leadership crisis.

We need new blood to bring back the old ideals - Reagan's ideals - to the leading edge of American political thought.

The GOP got lazy and got righteously thumped. The stakes are too high to merely allow the Democrats the next two years to embarass themselves; the country cannot afford a seventies flashback. Not with a nuclear Iran and still with a chance to end Islamic fascism without having to irradiate a quarter of the world's surface.

GOP - if you want me on your donor rolls, get back to being Republican. If that is too much to ask, just don't bother calling.

(via Instapundit )

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My Office



Note the absence of secretaries. Or comfy chairs.

But I don't have a desk. And not many corner offices could compete with the view.

Tomorrow's high temperature: 12F.

The above picture was snapped this last Friday around four in the afternoon. The temp then was 10F. I had just stripped off the top two layers for the drive home.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Revelation.

(Disclaimer: I just spent yet another day working in blowing wet snow, dealing with uncharacteristically troublesome subcontractors, wrestling with vexing plan conflicts, and a total commute time of five hours plus the five actually billable to the job. Then there's the looming symptoms of this year's bought of bronchitis, too...)



February will mark the beginning of my third year up at Devil's Island, the large construction project that lives at the halfway point of my daily two hundred miles. My family life has taken a hit, but the money has helped offset some of that particular stress. Of all the life changes associated with my work up there the one that really ticks me off is the fact that lately I find I can't write a coherent thought to save my life. (SEE? What kind of sentence is THAT?)

I just spent a half hour Googling back through some of my past posts and comments. There are quite a few pieces that I can't believe I actually authored. I mean that they are actually enjoyable to read. They make sense.

I can't write like that any more.

Back during the period I was at home most of the time I let slide getting chores done because I was reading, posting, or commenting. There was also some writing of story ideas plus doing scads of research.

For the last year or so I haven't done much more than rear up from the virtual table in the back of the virtual bar to shout at the virtual TV. And I haven't even had a drink since 2000.

I never intended to pursue a lot of traffic with TRB (got that wish in spades - lol). My main reason for starting my own blog was to have the ability to expand on ideas I had encountered in other places. Yes, Virginia, I do like the sound of my own voice, but what I am trying to say is that back at the beginning of TRB I was finding my urge to argue was outstripping my ability to research. I ended up arguing the same points ad infinitum across multiple forums without the benefit of learning anything new. Or maybe I wanted to start debates instead of participating in them. Could be a little bit of both I guess.

Anyway, back to basics. Here's some "givens" that I operate on:

1. Without my family (the Mrs and the Goddesses. And the cats.) I am less than nothing.

2. I am personally committed to the pursuit of the ideals upon which the American style of representative democracy is based upon.

3. I base my opinions on a lifetime spent reading history, leavened with military service, and influenced by working in a trade that demands tangible results for capital expenditure.

4. I thought that the fall of the Wall ended the period of "Interesting Times" for my generation, until about half way through the Clinton years.

5. I believe that Lincoln was right when he declared that it would never be a foreign enemy that would threaten our liberty, but it would instead be the failure of our own citizenry to preserve it. I believe that Lincoln would instantly recognise our contemporary domestic political situation as evidence of his declaration.

*Sigh*

It sure would be nice to write something (again) based upon those givens that would be worth someone else's time to read...

In the coming year I will endeavor to rise to that goal.


Criminy. That is all.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Jumble

Christmas in Ohio was wonderful. Mild weather, fantastic relatives, and at least two episodes of laugh - so - hard - we - got - out - the - chair - protectors.

Air travel out and back was seamless. American Airlines's flight attendants couldn't make it as comedians like most of Southwest's... but the legroom made up for the missing comedy.

I found Mrs. TmjUtah the Perfect Gift. Not diamonds, but Portuguese flannel jammies and a matching robe. In return, she put one right through the uprights: after a year of shaking her head at my growing addiction to military surplus rifles she dropped a Big 5 gift card in my stocking, which has already morphed into a M91/30 Mosin Nagant rifle. It has matching receiver, barrel, bottom metal, and buttplate numbers... and the reciever itself is a finely executed hexagonal version that was machined for the Tsar in 1896. At least that's what the stamp beneath the tang says.

Lessee...Saddam got the short sharp drop. Good.

Gerald Ford passed into history. I found it hard to watch the media coverage after the Woodward interview was made public; instantly the late president was suddenly up on a pedestal with FDR or Jesus. ( That would be the unitarian, non-religious iconoclastic Jesus, not to be confused with any Christianist historical figure of note.) All the time I was going through adolescence the media treated Ford like an idiot in need of training wheels. At the same time they failed to mention that we were reneging on our treaty commitments to those pesky South Vietnamese folks. Priorities.

Politics in general: I watched a few minutes of coverage on the Democrats' ascension to power. Ascension to power, not responsibility. Can't be having anything like that.

I can take a joke as well as the next guy... but Pelosi? Reid? It must be popcorn and champagne time in select caves in the Tribal Areas, and in the nicer salons in Tehran.

Well, we've got two years to figure out what to do. Maybe the Reps will clean a little house and get us some statesmen. At least the right still has a bench to go to. I figure Bush will just warm up the veto pen and sign a lot of hunting licenses.

As far as work goes during the Worst Economy Since Haliburton Killed The Last Dodo , I missed Friday due to something akin to the flu. Same place, same stuff, just a wee bit cool the next slice of forever. Still feel like crap but I'll be back out there Monday.

I hope you have a happy and prosperous 2007.