Sunday, December 07, 2008

Building At A Breakneck Pace

No time to follow politics. Precious little time to get ready for the arrival of the inlaws come Christmas week. I haven't heard news outside of top-of-the-hour radio this last five weeks.

I am typing this on our new PC. The old one finally cratered a few weeks back and it is only in the last few days that the new beast (suitably Death Star in appearance) has been up and running. Vista. Meh.

Tomorrow we are placing about 1800 square feet of concrete pad. I will be on hand to check grades and assist with any conflict resolution that pops up. Concurrent with that, the pile contractor will be drilling a total of eight seventy foot deep 24" bores for our second tower crane location. The pipe guys (who yesterday buried four connections I needed to shoot for asbuilt purposes, and then disappeared) will be pushing north with two ten inch, one six inch, and two twelve inch lines that I must stake and then map.

I missed my first shot at seeing youngest goddess' Christmas dance concert last Friday; plan A was to be done and gone by four but I ended up hitting the road home around six thirty. This is the magic hour of the Salt Lake commute wherein all Utah drivers remove their brains and sit them in the mason jars on their dashboards. What is a nominal forty five minute commute at five AM becomes by five PM an hour and a half trial by fire. I have my second chance tomorrow, and have already let the powers that be know that I'm leaving by four.

Since the laborers are going to be there by four thirty AM to strip blankets, the carpenters and finishers there by five thirty, myself by six, and the pipe guys by seven, I have a reasonable shot at making it to the show.

Too many people here in Utah are jobless, or know that they soon will be. I met a man last night who lost his state job a few weeks back and whose entire extended family is either laid off or closing their businesses.

He was buying a gun. There's a lot of that going on. I'm buying Christmas presents (on a modest, so modest scale) and more food - the food being for long term storage.

I think that the "in the event of" is just about to hit.

Merry Christmas to you.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dispatched In Haste

Three weeks (including Saturdays) into the new project and aside from aches and pains things are moving right along. We have been blessed with warm and clear weather for the last week and it should stay nice, if cooler, until at least Thanksgiving Day.

We get that one off. Work Friday and SaturdaY, though.

I'm learning AutoCaDD Light. Once I am on the distribution list to receive plan addenda and changes electronically I'll be a lot better positioned to backstop my superintendent(s). Our client (and their architects) don't have an adequate appreciation for just how fast my outfit moves once we've got the word to go to it. If they've got it in their mind to change anything, they better publish it quick before we build right past them.

Politics? What's that? We've still got a commie for president, and looking at how he delegates, not a very bright one, at that.

I've read my history, Mr. Obama, and while you may be mistaken for a sorry Che wannabe in some nutroot fever swamps, you don't even land on the same shelf as Mr. Lincoln.

When I first heard credible reports that Ms. Clinton was being seriously considered for State, I assumed that Obama was just maneuvering her for a killing shot; get her up in front of the microphones once or twice and then release a previously unknown (there's so much we already know) scandal and knock her right off the public stage for good.

Nope. He's not smart enough for that. For a guy from Chicago, he sure doesn't understand winning.

Hope you have a great week! I probably won't be back before next weekend. I am off to make a dent in household chores, and hopefully have enough time left to get out and buy a second pair of boots.

Monday, November 10, 2008


The sole reason for the financial shell game undertaken over the last eighteen months by the federal government was to prevent the collapse of the U.S. economy until AFTER the election.

The numbers are so big now that they are meaningless. And the baldfaced criminal actions of all the public "servants" involved will go unpunished, except for those who screw up their escape plans.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn't require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.

We are at the point where the two Chinese gentlemen were, there in the bottom of their hole selling rocks to each other.

One will end up with all the rocks sooner or later. But he will starve, too, just the same.

Happy Birthday, Chesty

233 years of loyal service. Any clime, any place.

That is all.

Second Monday

The plans make a lot more sense than they did last week.

The weather is still a challenge. Rain all day today.

I watched the collapse of five floors of the building they are demolishing on the north limit of my project. A warning would have been nice, but since there was one bored guy playing a fire hose over the rubble after the dust cleared we reckoned that there wasn't anybody under the pile.

This company lives by "Get it done or go home". There's nothing different about that mindset from any other employer I've had in this business, but here in a straight up construction outfit there are about five hundred of us getting it done simultaneously, from pile drillers to electricians, and all inside of two city blocks. The ethos is amplified. Tact, diplomacy, and the willingness to stand your ground gracefully are all in great demand.

It's a job. I am grateful for it. It will be something to see in six months or so. I will be most happy to see the last of the mud.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Look At It This Way

A comment I left here:

Look at it this way:

The Republican rank and file are bummed because they failed to execute due diligence on their own party. As a result fiscal responsibility, moral leadership, and government dedicated to preserving individual opportunity were all abandoned by their leaders.

But the Democrats are actually in even worse shape.

Their leaders, instead of ensuring that they could continue farming populist divides and manufactured victim groups for personal wealth and power have gone and elected themselves a genuine communist. With a plan.

Watch closely as the Democrat plantation undergoes a renovation that would make Norm Abrams blanch. And then watch as Change really begins to happen.

Now how's that for some shite?

Hope. Change. You betcha.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Better Late Than Never (I Can Hope)

This is the most important post you will read this weekend.

(Via The Other Side Of Kim)


Hey, you bitter clingers out there in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky... and here in Utah, too, actually. Uncle Barak has plans for coal.

Go, watch, and be amazed. Yet more important stuff.

Make sure you vote in your economic interest on Tuesday. Uncle Barak says so!

What? You already early voted? Man, that sucks. If somebody in media had told you about this when the statements were made over a MONTH TEN MONTHS ago, maybe you might have done something different.

What do you call a job killed by the coming socialist economy. It gets choped!


Time is short. Class is almost out and there is going to be an exam.

The study question is this: More ammunition for semi auto rifle, or a backup semi auto rifle, both in a caliber I already own?

I've already procured spares kits for my two primary "evil" rifles. But my only AR is definitely a carbine, and I'd like a full size model for range/varmint/Wolverines!!!11! work.

(That "Wolverines" is for Lisa over at Protein Wisdom, which just so happens is in the middle of a fundraiser.)

I'm looking at rack grade A2 AR platforms, but it appears that idea already occurred to a few hundred of my neighbors. I know of at least two ROMAK Druganov clones in fair shape and do have a grundle of that caliber on hand already, even if the vast majority of it is corrosive. I have also heard mixed reviews on these rifles.

I don't know who is going to win on Tuesday. I am going to vote today to prevent any tension in getting off work and then making it down here from Salt Lake to vote - during the storm already forecast for then.

The test isn't scheduled, but will happen soon after January 20.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Looking Ahead

Looks like the Dow had a good day today. Yahoo shows it up almost 900 for the day, at around 9065 points.

I think it will bottom around 6500 before lunch next Wednesday, myself.

We'll be down there for a bit.

Get ready for some hope and change.

UPDATE: I have a job interview at 0630 tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Almost Forgot


I have no words worth printing this year; too much politics and too much anger.

Semper Fi, brothers.

The Long War continues.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I have spent a few hours spread over the last week to inventory and organize my on-hand ammo components, and to knock out some test lots of .30'06.

I went to the Provo public shooting range this evening to put some groups up out at a hundred yards to find out which loads worked better than the others. When I arrived I found that I had packed some light (125gr TNT bullets) loads I had assembled years ago. After I shot my test groups I decided to see where the old varminter loads were landing and loaded up three rounds in the Remington.

Bang. Feh; I was hitting about an inch right of my aiming point all night, and it was me, not the scope. I spent a few hours this week swinging a hammer for a surveyor friend and as a result it was awfully hard to get a good, relaxed natural point of aim working for me. Bang. Another shot two inches high, about an inch right, maybe a half inch from the first round. *click*. Pause. Open the bolt, see the case sliding back on the end of the bolt, then ejecting onto the table. Pick it up, inspect the primer and find it properly punched. There's no projectile... but there's no soot marks in the neck of the "expended" brass case to show it was recently fired. I pulled the bolt and looked up the bore into... blackness.

I've experienced my first squib load since I began reloading my own metallic cartridges in 1987. This happens when you get clumsy and skip charging a case and seat a bullet on top of a primer only. It's good that it happened at a range and in my hunting rifle. If I'd been shooting my M1 in the field the same situation might have turned out much uglier. I might well have been blasting away and experienced a failure to function and then executed "immediate action", which in the M1 simply means "rack the operating rod to the rear, let fly, and attempt to fire". Firing a round on top of a squib will blow up any rifle, and most pistols, too.

Tonight, the squib bullet was forced about six inches into the bore by the detonation of the primer. I don't carry a sectioned cleaning rod in my range bag, just a few bore snakes in my calibers. That's going to change. I didn't want to bug anybody else so I just packed up and brought every thing home. It took about a minute down in the Temple of Bang to tap out the projectile and then punch the bore with a brush soaked in solvent.

Lessons learned. PAY ATTENTION. Geeze, maybe that's how we get to mid October with a Communist running for the president, for the Democrats.


The single most objectionable statement from the O!during the last presidential debate was about taxes:

“If I can answer the question. Number one, I want to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans. Now, it is true that my friend and supporter, Warren Buffett, for example, could afford to pay a little more in taxes in order…”

This is the mindset that destroys freedom, liberty, and justice. You cannot steal from the rich for any meaningful length of time; the numbers don't work. Commenter Ric Locke put up an elegant essay on this subject here, on a comment thread at Protein Wisdom.

History. It comes, it bites you on the ass, you totter on down the trail… and the next morning you walk the same trail at the same time.

Quite a bit of repetitive reporting on O's! insurmountable poll lead. I don't buy it. We'll all know November 5th.

It occurs to me that an I.D. requirement at polling places coupled with a flat tax would kill the Democrat party deader than Lenin, wouldn't it?

Call Me Joe

(Hat tip to commenter "Neo" on Protein Wisdom)

UPDATE: I can't get trackback to work... but go here and read Iowahawk. I found this after putting up this post this morning.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Back from hunting.

I had intended to write a lengthy, chatty post on the beauty that is the north slope of the Uintah Mountains, the camaraderie of new friends, and the fulfillment and worth of time well spent enjoying the beauty that is our world.

But I returned home yesterday just in time for the mail.

Here's some pics:

This is a pocket lake. The gentleman in the picture is pastor of a new Baptist congregation that meets over in American Fork. His service in the Marines overlapped mine by just a small bit. He served in Gulf War I and it was there that he received his calling that led him to ministry. We shared camp and hunted the high ground for three days. Here's another one:

If you look very carefully at the center of the photo, you can just make out the three point buck that Oldest Goddess and I were looking for last week. There were two deer there, but the second one beat feet before I could get my phone out.

Shucks. Here's one with me smiling:

Sure wish I was up there now.

You got near the same news about your investments and retirement plans as we just did. This catastrophe is an equal opportunity destroyer of dreams and futures. We were positioned "conservatively"; including the girls' education funds.

I cannot speak with my wife of politics any more. I cannot bring myself to argue the same lines on the same forums with the same audiences. I grieve for what was once a great nation as it slides to the abyss.

Let what may come, come. I was pretty impressed when I watched the wall come down in '89. I read today that the G8 and the UN are marshaling their forces to respond to the crisis.

I can't remember when it was ever a good idea to buy more gasoline while you were on fire, but then I'm just an unemployed surveyor in Utah.

Our government has spent more money in the last two weeks attempting to "rescue" this economy than FDR spent in his first term for the New Deal. The regulations requiring lenders to make crap loans with the full understanding that those loans can then become investment instruments that will then eventually end up in the ledgers of Fannie and Freddie haven't been touched.

And our choices for president are Angry McOldguy or the criminal lead character in an unsalable political conspiracy/thriller movie pitch. Somewhere in Hell Vladimir Lenin is laughing, but his cackles are as nothing to the howls coming from the Ayer's residence in Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois.

Good luck. Thanks for stopping by. I do not know if or when TRB will be updated again.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Like a Horse, But With Handlebars

It's the 2008 General Elk Season here in Utah and I've got an Any Bull tag. Posting will be sporadic for the next week or so.

I will be on the North Slope of the Uintahs, or north of the Soapstone Basin. We've had a front through since the muzzle loader hunt so hopefully there may be some elk lower down.

Have a fine one.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Thunderous Flapping Of Pig Wings

Go here.

Hang tough to at LEAST 1:55.

Well said, Mr... Baldwin.

I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd say that. Or link to video with Bill Maher, Christine Amanapour, Alec Baldwin, and Gary Shandling.

It's the End of Times!

Friday, October 03, 2008

It's Going To Be Obama

The radio news just flashed that the House has passed the bail out.

Republicans, you are a ship of cowards and fools and deserve the time you are about to spend in the wilderness.

Democrats, history will judge you harshly. You have fooled the nation for thirty years. You have gutted the spiritual core of what America should be. It took no ability to cajole the Republicans into their own destruction this morning.

You've killed a nation. What challenge a mere party, then?

UPDATE: Cannon voted for the bailout. Bishop and Matheson against. Cannon leaves congress in disgrace, Bishop did the right thing, and Matheson got permission from Pelosi to vote against. He probably reminded her what happened to Bill Orton in the aftermath of the Grand Staircase Affair.

Or not. I'm heading to the range this afternoon, rain or no.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Glimpse (Updated)

Coblenz, Germany
July 18, 1919

Dear Jay,

Just received your letter of July 14 and shall answer at once, as I know Uncle Sam never moves very quickly and you may still be in Brest...

Neatly typed words on this sheet of paper:

This is a letter from Frank Stewart, a son of Price, Utah, to his brother, who was awaiting transport home from France after their Army service in World War One.

The Mormons have a very active church welfare system, and one of the key components of that system is the Deseret Industries chain of thrift stores. These facilities serve as employment centers for unskilled workers, locations for job training and job seeker networking, recyclers on a massive scale of unwanted and gently used household products, and oh by the way are nothing short of an adventure if you are into treasure hunting.

Last year I picked up a mint first edition of Tregaskis' "Guadalcanal Diary" at the Provo store. It still smelled of printer's ink and had a flawless dust jacket. The closing paragraphs of the book were poignant; since they were written in 1943, the cost of victory, if not its certainty, was very much in doubt.

Common to most thrift stores, there is a section of locked cases set aside for higher value items. Today, in the Provo store again, I found a battered steamer trunk with a hand drawn sign that said "World War One Memorabilia $1500" inside one of the cases.

One of the key carrier ladies let me remove the trunk (very carefully) and said I could look at the stuff, but under no circumstances was I to "unroll anything".

How would you like some history? How about a Yank Army newspaper, with front page stories about American success against Bolsheviks, and German negotiators signing preliminary peace terms? Okay - here's your issue of "The Duckboard" from July of 1919, and I apologize for not writing down the date. I really must get a real camera, because my phone just doesn't get the job done:

The trunk is full of brownie photographs of scenes from Mr. Stewart's service. By full I mean they are jumbled in loosely between the twine-bundled stacks of letters and postcards, the old newspapers, the French/English phrasebook, the LDS devotional books printed for the war, and the three tubes containing what must be either class or unit photographs. The trunk itself is roughly a foot wide by eighteen inches long, and eighteen inches deep. The lid is hanging on by the remnants of one hinge, and the bottom metal has worn away, leaving what feels like a paper thin sheet of mahogany plywood as the last bit of protection for the contents.

I intend to go back tomorrow at the opening with a better camera and spend some time trying to put together a package sufficiently persuasive to get a local museum to pick up the collection.

Were the times not so tight, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. It looks like a battered old box.

But it's really a time machine.

Update 0900 3 Oct: I have just gotten off the phone with the Reference Librarian of BYU's Library Special Collections section. I started to explain what I'd found at DI and she exclaimed "Oh, I saw that, too!"; the price tag influenced her to pass it by. She is passing my description of the contents on to the Documents and Photo Archival curators and expects they will be down to look at the box this morning. There is great interest in Saints at War - there is an entire section of their exhibits based on it, actually.

Desert Industries opens at ten; I'll be there, too, for a closer look.

Update 1200 3 Oct: Here are a couple of the pics I took this morning:

After looking through top portion of the trunk for a bit, I realize that most of the photographs don't have much historic value. The little two inch snaps were sold by photographers to soldiers as souveniers. There are many of them in the trunk, though. No journal that I could see, but I didn't disturb any of the envelopes or bundled letters.

I was contacted by one of the BYU folks on my way back home. He was on his way out to look at the exhibit. I hope he finds the collection worthwhile enough to acquire for the school; perhaps DI will bargain.


It all makes sense after this:

(via the PW Pub)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Go watch insanity here:

I fear for my country.

(found at the PW Pub)

Range Report

I picked up another Mosin 91/30 retired PU sniper on Monday. This latest example is a '43 Izhevsk manufacture that appears to be sitting in its original sniper stock; there are very good repairs to the left side of the receiver where the scope mount base used to be, and there are brass shims present on the bearing surfaces inside the stock. Original crown on the barrel, good rifling (more on this below), and a long, heavy, but sweetly breaking trigger. It has a matching number straight bolt of Tula manufacture that works remarkably smoothly.

I sold the High Command (Mrs. Tmj) on the purchase by pledging to sell two of my less-favored milsurps, specifically my Swiss K31 carbine and my Savage-manufacture SMLE No4mk1 (plus whatever rounds for each that I have on hand). I may possibly put up one of my standard 91/30's as a price leader. All of these weapons shoot "minute of Nazi" or better with decent ammunition.

They will be up on classifieds by the weekend.

Yesterday I headed up to the Provo range to check out the new Mosin and generate some targets to include with the adverts for the rifles I intend to sell. Sighting conditions were marginal and deteriorated as the lowering sun was shined low across the firing line from right to left. I arrived with one and a half hours in which to shoot groups for three rifles.

I fired between ten and twenty shots each from the K31 and SMLE, starting with a throw away barrel warmer dumped into the dead paper on a target at 50 yards and then an initial sighting group at the bull on that 50 yard target. Then I fired for representative groups at a standard NRA small bore rifle 100 yard target, holding at six on the bull. The light by this time was sleeting across the genuinely marginal sights on these rifles and I had to dig my pirate patch out in order to lessen the eye strain I was experiencing trying to achieve good sight picture/sight alignment with 47 year old eyes.

Everything ended up on the paper, though, with both rifles:

I am selling off these particular weapons because their ergonomics (specifically the sights) don't match my preferences, because I need to knock back on the number of calibers for which I have to stock or make ammunition, and to allow me to concentrate on my (sad, shameless, and growing) Mosin addiction interest.

And now a bit on the new Mosin. The first four shots were fired at the 50 yard sighter target, with an opener to warm up the barrel aimed at the center bottom edge of the target and three aimed in earnest at the bull center.

It looked like this:

Lo, the Bulgarian Light Ball functioned well, the bolt did not stick, and the three rounds fell under a fifty cent piece even with Mr. Twilight seriously screwing up the sight situation. And it was good.

There was a moment of comic relief: The target holders at the range don't line up all that well with the firing points. The gentleman one firing position to my right didn't know that I was shooting at both 50 and 100 yard distances and he had hung an orange scope sighting target in the center of one of the three paper targets I'd put up on the 100 yard holder. I fired my first shot from the Mosin at that target, and wrote off the difficulty I had in getting a good sharp looking bull over the front sight post as a byproduct of the failing light. The other shooter asked if I was indeed shooting at that target, and I said yes and explained why, and he apologized for having made the mistake in hanging his paper.

He had run out of the load for which his 300 mag was sighted for with his last shot just prior to me putting my first round on the target. (His last two good shots are in the four quadrant of the sighter target he put up.) He spent the rest of his night trying to zero with another brand. I watched through my sighting scope as he tried to put any more bullets on the target, but in vain. Those hyper-velocity .30 cal rounds vary hugely in point of zero between different loads. After he was done firing his scoped, bedded, muzzle braked rifle, I fired three more rounds at the target. This is what it looked like:

Those are my four in the black, quadrants 1 to 3. With open sights. At a hundred yards. At twilight.

And it was better than good. Lo, yea, verily, zounds, etc, etc, etc....

Now to the rifling: I haven't yet slugged any of my barrels, but the common thread between all my Mosins is that they seem to have been rifled with a plow. Seriously. The lands may appear less than razor sharp but you could plant potatoes in the grooves. I did my preliminary cleanup of all three rifles last night, to include boiling water down the bore and over the bolt of the Mosin in order to counter the corrosive qualities of the priming compounds in the surplus ammo. Then I brushed hard with a poly brush and bore cleaner, and then punched with alternating wet/dry patches (bore cleaner) until I started seeing mostly-clean flannel.

This morning I pushed a CLP-soaked patch on jag from the breech to the muzzle on each of the three rifles. The K31 and Enfield patches came out almost white. The Mosin patch came out blacker than truck stop coffee, with stark green lines indicating oxidized gilding material still embedded in the rifling. So out came the Barnes copper/lead/powder solvent out and I followed the label directions for almost twenty minutes. The bore might be clean now... but I won't know until I punch it tonight or tomorrow after it has had a further chance to soak in CLP.

The more I shoot Mosins the more I appreciate the engineering elegance in the base design. This elegance survived and excelled even after decades of Soviet influence on the production of the weapons themselves.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Obama. All In One Package.

Mr. Goldstein has an epic post up on the biography of and cast of characters associated with the Coming of The One:

"What we are seeing, as I have at length tried to hammer home here, is the careful mainstreaming of the New Leftist as a viable leader of the free world, radicalism dressed in empty and evasive bromides and wrapped around charisma and cult of personality, made palatable to the masses by way of a project that included, among other things, a slow takeover of the Democratic party (and the label of “liberal” by way of a self-servingly described “progressive” ideology), thus insuring that life-long Democrats remain convinced that they aren’t changing their own principles; a long and carefully planned reworking of the education system through a linguistic takeover: denaturing the ground for meaning plays directly into the motivations of identity politics and sets the “logical” ground for a multiculturalist social engineering plan, in which meaning is relegated to those whose “authenticity” gives them the essential right to define and control their own group narrative; the breakdown of traditional religion, either by mockery or a re-imagining of religion as the realm of “social justice”; a takeover of the press by j-school grads who are taught that facts are secondary to the lessons to be drawn from the narrative of their framing, giving them power to become advocates rather than reporters."

I sure wish trackback worked.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cheer Up!

You've got more brains than this guy.

Remarks Upon The Failure of Congress To Nationalize The Economy

Good job.

My representative Chris Cannon voted in favor of the bail out, which just reinforced my judgment that he needed to be replaced.

There's nothing easy about what is coming. But I believe that it is better to deal with failure as soon as you recognize it rather than subsidize it for an even more catastrophic failure tomorrow, the next day, or next week.

Nobody reading these words (all none of you) should be surprised by the economy we've found ourselves in.

Good luck.

UPDATE: Interesting after action commentary from Karl Rove on the Gibson radio show here. (found at Johnny Dollar's Place)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fudd 0, Bambi 1

We spent two days hunting in the environs of the Soapstone Basin but came up dry. Oldest Goddess didn't have a tag but joined me for the walk in the woods anyway.

We met wonderful people at every intersection of trails and every wide spot where folks had pulled off to pitch a tent. Or park their forty eight foot long fifth-wheel; to each his own. I discovered that my GI Intermediate Cold sleeping bag is designed for sleek warrior types, and that I really should make room in the garage for a bag loft so I can store the different bags unrolled. I would have been just right had I thought to toss in a poncho liner or even a fleece throw, but it's not really a hunting trip if you don't leave something back to home.

The weather was clear, calm, and mild, with almost no moon. It was nice to see the milky way brushed across the sky. You can't get that look from inside a city. Also, the light winds made the hunting an even more cerebral a task than it always is.

The final tally of seen ungulates came out to eight doe in three sightings. First night out we spied a group of three doe and another deer partially hidden in the bushes; maybe, we thought, we had a chance. It was joyous stalking the edge of the lower Provo river, blowing on a grunt call or having the Goddess flip her can call off to the side. We were never able to put antlers on that fourth deer but what a fine way to spend a misty sunset under the pines. (Deer photo below taken on board some subdivision property - no hunting there!)

I was able to take the Goddess up to the place I helped build, for the first and probably only time. This is the primary survey control point for the golf course subdivision community for which I became the project surveyor. My mornings began here
for almost three straight years. I'm glad I was able to show the Goddess what I had a part of building. And to apologize again for not being there during her high school experience as much as I wanted to be. It took us more than an hour just to drive the roads, and we weren't lolly gagging. This was probably the last time I will ever go out there. I hope my old outfit, and this client, survive the coming financial storms.

Just two days and a night of roughing it were enough to convince me that old age has indeed crept up on me. Snuck up and given me a healthy kick or two, as well as a thorough, if objective, beating. My daughter asked "are you sure you want to go up/down there?" a bit more often than I remember her ever having done before, but probably maybe not as often as she thought she should have.

Well, we're back from the forest and the hills. Oldest Goddess is heading out to look for a day job to supplement her weekend waitressing now that she's done with school until the winter semester. I'm off to Pocatello, Idaho for the One True Love's last race of the season. I have feelers out with a couple of retail outfits but won't know anything about them until the middle of next week.

I give humble thanks to God for giving me these last two days of grace on top of a life so filled with wonderful people and blessings beyond count. I hope your day is filled with light, better than yesterday and just a stepping off point for a great tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vulcan Mating Rituals? Not Even Close.

The general muzzle loader mule deer hunt opens tomorrow at first light.

I will be in the forest north and east of Kamas for the next few days, with my trusty little Hawken sidelock.

I have been told repeatedly over the last few weeks that I'm an anachronism for shooting a patched round ball.

I already knew that. About being an anachronism. Ball or sabot doesn't begin to address the subject.

Good luck to you. Don't run on the bank while I'm gone; if the insurance isn't any good, then your cash isn't, either.

Back on the weekend, unless I fill my tag early.

UPDATE: Heading for the Soapstone Basin. See ya.

UPDATE the second, later, same evening: Oldest Goddess is a High School Grad! Decided to have dinner here, celebrate at Baskin Robins. Was the right thing to do since all the Good Old Boys heading up the canyon were so busy grimly clinging to their guns that enough of them booted securing their trailers or loads to the point that the road was a morass. We leave tomorrow, and will make our way - nay, we will mosey - on up Provo Canyon and head into the wilds of the Northern Region Utah Muzzle Loader General Buck Mule Deer Hunt.

G'night, now.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Honor, High Standards And Principles

Oh.... sorry, none of that stuff to be found in the events and actions revealed here:

Our research suggests that a subdivision of one of the largest public relations firms in the world most likely started and promulgated rumors about Sarah Palin that were known to be false. These rumors were spread in a surreptitious manner to avoid exposure.

The excerpt is from some darn fine work by Dr. Rusty Shackleford and friends over at the Jawa Report.

The Jawa folks usually deal with creeping Islamic evil. It looks like they took a break to shine a little light on some domestic political dirty tricks here.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Between being laid off, stocking up for TEOTWAWKI, and doing chores, I completely skied that the Northern Region Muzzle Loader Mule Deer Hunt starts the 24Th!

Whoops, indeed. The world will have to fall apart without my constant surveillance. I am going to be busy getting my stuff in one bag and figuring out where I am going to go.

No hunt partner. And there's not a tag available for my daughter; she may or may not come along for the walk.

Have a fine one.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Say Hello To The Wizard

Well, our economy might not be worth a bucket of runny excrement in trade right at the moment, but at least the House is laboring mightily to redress our awful domestic energy resource recovery policy.

Or not:

Pelosi's goal in crafting this legislation was three fold. First, an by far the most important, Pelosi wanted to make absolutely certain that no legislation would actually pass. None. No type of energy bill. She wants nothing to help America. The bill had to be designed so that the only outcome would be failure.

Second, the bill had to provide cover for her freshman Red State Democrats. It had to have the illusion of a comprehensive energy plan, including additional oil exploration. The Red Stater's had to be able to go home and say, "I voted for more oil. I voted for lower gas prices. I voted for alternative energy research, I voted for a comprehensive energy plan. See. I'm a good guy."

Lastly, she wanted total failure of the bill to allow her to have an additional Election Issue. She needs to be able to say "See, we Democrats compromised and passed an oil drilling bill. Drill, Baby, Drill. But those mean old Republicans stopped it."

Watching Nancy Pelosi shooting for crafty is like watching Rosie O'Donnell trying to be likable.

Please go visit, and read the whole thing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Well, it's Wednesday, so that must mean the Federal Government is bailing out another financial giant. The following was posted here:

You know, we could toss out Congress six weeks from now. I thought that we might see a sea change in 2010... but we don't have that luxury any more. Social Security? Socialized medicine and confiscatory taxation/predatory regulation, should Obama win? Medicare/Medicaid - how much closer is their insolvency today than it was BEFORE the collapse of the financial sector?

Bueller? BUELLER??

Who here is comfortable facing more future with the Reid and Pelosi show still in town, after having had the chance to do something about it?

I feel like I'm in a science fiction movie.

"It's the only way to be sure."

What other action is open to us? The meltdown is the result of bipartisan trough wallowing extending back decades. Replacing congressmen as they achieve their financial goals and not before is, as we see so clearly this morning, suicidal for the nation.

Computer going off. Taking my sidelock, pouch, and horn across the lake and hunting jack rabbits the rest of the day.

Have a fine one.


More on the meltdown here, and here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This Day

(0riginally published here 11 September, 2005)

Fall is here. We no longer sleep with all the windows open at night. It is still and cool outside, with the bright light falling on leaves that have just begun to dry and fade. Last night my daughter got home from her first Homecoming dance after midnight, so the Team slept in this morning. Mom and Dad didn't really wait up, of course; we just happened to have good books to read.

She was beautiful in her midnight blue satin dress. She wore a silver filigree band over the crown of her head, and strand of fine silver beads were woven through her jet black hair. I'm sure there's a fashion term for the effect, but it wasn't a tiara and I'm certainly no Mr. Blackwell to pull the right word out of the bag. Her date was one of the neighbor kids - one of my former scouts even, from back in the day when our LDS ward drafted me for assistant scoutmaster duties with the twelve year olds.

Talk about "in my wildest dreams"...

She's making pancakes now. It's Sunday and that's what she always does. Last night was a rite of passage, and she said as much this morning while thanking us for the dress and recounting the experiences of pictures and dancing and the silly or embarrassing things that happened to her or around her.

But now it's time for pancakes. Because that is what we do on a Sunday.

Four years ago today was also a brilliantly clear and cool morning. On that Tuesday we were involved in last minute packing for a cross country trip to say a final goodbye to my wife's mother. Services were to be held Thursday in the family church in Burlington, Vermont, and then we'd all go up to the most beautiful hillside in that most beautiful northeastern state and lay her ashes to rest among the plots containing her neighbors and ancestors going back almost three hundred years.

The kids and mom were in the living room putting the last items in their carry-on bags. The TV at the end of the coffee table was probably tuned to Nick or Disney; I don't know.

I was on our bed contemplating a cat nap when my wife literally dragged me to my feet. I was coming out of my doze quickly but still spinning up when I began to understand what she was asking me.

"What kind of bomb did that? What happened?"

I came through the kitchen into the living room. The TV sat on the entertainment center, framed between the still heads of my daughters. The Twin Towers filled the screen - the one on the right scarred by a smoking hole near the top third of the building.

I'm a surveyor. I've staked out a dozen or so commercial buildings, plus bridges, dams, and highways. Nothing on the scale of a genuine skyscraper of course, but I knew just enough about the design of the WTC to confuse the hell out of myself in those first few seconds. The WTC was built with the mass of the structural support in the walls of the building - soaring vertical steel columns spaced narrowly and then tied to floor pans for rigidity. The gaping wound in that building traversed four or five floors - which meant that whatever kind of bomb had been used must have been massive to have punched through so many floors. I wondered why there were any windows left on the floor where the bomb had to have been. The spaces inside the floors were huge and open; what office walls did exist were aesthetic, not structural. The majority of the spaces in there had to be cube farms. Were there multiple bombs? Maybe smuggled in as copiers or computers or office supplies? Blast follows least resistance... so why one big hole and intact windows on each side? The noise from the TV was just that - noise. The commentators were reporting an explosion and ad libbing while they tried to catch up.

"What kind of bomb? What kind of bomb?" My daughters hadn't moved since I came into the room.

Then the second 767 flashed into view, in a skidding bank to port, and disappeared behind the other tower. A blink of awful silent stillness and then the eruption of smoke, flame, and glass filled the screen.

I told my wife "We are at war". And then I cried with my family.

There were other awful moments in that awful day. My girls figured out where the airplanes had come from in less than an hour - and that some had been hijacked from Boston, which was to have been one of our connections. The urge to fight back - to reject the terrorists' goals - drove both my wife and I to head into work shortly after noon. I was on the way to a construction site in my work truck when the President's second statement was broadcast.

The thought struck me that had things gone differently, I could just have well been listening to Al Gore.

I pulled over and threw up.

I've always known that I live in an embarrassment of riches. Random chance placing me here in America has been the greatest blessing a person could ever hope for. Those that feel differently are free to do so. "Free" as in so shielded from the potential of their convictions that they can embrace agendas tantamount to suicide if they should ever be fulfilled.

What a country, eh?

I will continue to do those things that a citizen must do to support and defend our nation, and hope that enough of my fellow citizens do the same. Lincoln was right when he predicted that if we ever fell it would be a failure from within and not the result of some foreign attack.

Jihadis can only kill us. Should we ever lose our liberty, it will be by our own hand and no other's.

It's time for pancakes. Y'all have a fine day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Good Neighbors, GREAT Neighborhood

Here's how a community is supposed to work.

No accident here. It takes work to be a village - if you don't do the work, it's just another bunch of people preying on each other.

Via The Geek With A .45.

He Never Felt It Land

Did you ever watch a fight end a minute before the last punch was thrown? You saw a flurry of jabs and feints and in the crush one or maybe two of the punches land. It doesn't look so bad right at the moment of contact. Both fighters continue to dance and weave... but one is now a half step behind. He's on his feet, but not in the fight except as target practice. Moments later a good ref will have jumped between the fighters.

There is no referee here, just a crowd at the ropes baying for blood. I don't believe there is precedent for a party nominee to withdraw at this late date. Obama is hurt so bad now he's just punching wind, and missing. It's obvious that what little esteem may have existed between Obama and Biden has evaporated, as well. No message discipline, no strategy. They are just showing up for their scheduled appearances and "making it up as they go along".

Initiative. It's all McCain/Palin for the time being. And Media is running, as near as I can tell, almost five days behind the LeftBlogs, and thus is hurting Obama almost more than his own gaffes. The hate and *vitriol leaking from the Leftosphere has become narrative basis for MSM...

Make no mistake about it: no man would put the words "fish" and "stink" in a statement or comment that could possibly be a reference to a woman unless that man is dumber than a doorknob or too clever by half. If you are male, you know this to be true.

I go with the latter in Mr. Obama's case. He doesn't dissemble half as effectively as a Clinton; trouble is, he thinks he does. That just pisses people off.


I am listening to Limbaugh as I write this, and a caller (self identified as "Independant") has just made a case for "fish/stink" to be wholly appropriate and applicable toward the Ms. Palin. Sounds like a twenty - something drop out from barrista school. Limbaugh invited him to repeat the entire charge, including the website the caller slipped in, so the whole country gets a good listen. Caller declined - "They already heard" - and Limbaugh ended the call.

I will update later (here's the link) with the appropriate transcript links from the Rush site, if it's on the public side.

UPDATE: More here, via Protein Wisdom.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

SHTF. I Hope This Is A Drill

Pursuant to this, today we spent over four hundred dollars on canned food and staples.

Tomorrow I pick up three month's worth of the various prescriptions my family has accumulated over the last twenty years. By the time I get home, the water barrels will be done sanitizing and I can refill them and push them into the back of the garage.

I think I may be too late to get the currency I intended to, tomorrow. I was expecting the nationalization of Freddie and Fannie concurrent only with news of some successful government response to some minor disaster somewhere else. However, Gustav flamed out and Bernanke is obviously no longer able to keep the bears cowed.

The financial liability the Federal government just assumed instantly dwarfs the combined values of all the underfunded benefits programs currently administered by them, plus the total existing government debt, by several orders of magnitude.

I have heard the number "5.8 trillion dollars" in more than one place, but the number is actually meaningless next to the fact that beginning at the opening bell tomorrow morning, every financial trader on the planet will act on the knowledge that the future of the U.S. economy is subject to the direct control of the U.S. Congress, prop. N. Pelosi and H. Reid.

I'd be scared if I hadn't seen it coming. Now I'm just sad, and hoping that I'm wrong about what I've prepared for for the past few months.

Good luck.

I Know It's Early

But here is the blog comment of the week, by commenter Spies, Brigands, and Pirates, on a Protein Wisdom Pub thread to a post by Dan Collins:

"Don’t worry, ‘feets. When O! makes Ayers Secretary of Education you’ll be able to see a live one on TV all the time."

It's a punch line. Make sure to read the whole thing at the PW Pub.

Say Congratulations to Maj. John!

Hie thee hence to the humble blog of Maj. John, and contribute to the merry making you will find there.

He's going to be a Lieutenant Colonel, just as soon as the Feds and his state figure out where his records are.

How long until he retires? Hmmmm...

Equine Feces

"And I actually always thought of the military as an ennobling and, you know, honorable option. But keep in mind that I graduated in 1979. The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren't engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it's not an option that I ever decided to pursue."

Mr. Obama... may I call you Barry? Seeing as how were were just that close to being comrades-in-arms? Maybe even in the same service?

Dare I say it... maybe even... bunkies?

My heart trembles... right up until I recall that of all the data in the public eye about your formative years (whether the incidents or events are fact or just something you fancied would look nice on your resume), there is no reference to the military. Not whether or not you might serve, or what you thought about the branches, but no mention at all.

So if you are just mentioning it now, I guess it's because you focus grouped a few ideas and crafting a legend as a mulatto moose hunter on Hilo or maybe an imagined stint hanging high steel over Chicago flew even worse than the military bullshit. But you don't have any options, so golly, the New Thing automatically becomes "I almost joined the service".

Pathetic. You already locked up the oxygen - deprived -as- children vote, bud.
Just how much are you paying all those advisors, anyway? I bet you can't find ONE who served active duty ANYTIME. This latest move gaffe will probably remove a solid, even if statistically insignificant, number of votes you might otherwise have gotten from Democrat-leaning service members.

Once you wear a uniform for awhile, even if you retain some wackaloonish political fantasies, your tolerance for disrespect just about vanishes. I can say without the least reservation that the average IQ of any platoon I ever served in demonstrably exceeds that of your cadre of advisors. Most guys I ever served with would recognize your dishonest pandering for exactly what it is, and find the time to write or call home to talk to the family, or their friends, about what kind of cheap stunt you were trying to pull.

Hey - you'll always have Chicago. That's all you will ever rate.

UPDATE: Mr. Van Der Leun weighs in here:
"Translation: 'At this point, I'm just making this shit up as I go along.'"

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Coffee Break

There is a convenience store exactly halfway to my friend's house. I was heading there to help demolish his old garage and remembered to stop. They sell the good stuff, and nothing starts a day of saw, sledgehammer, and shovel work better than the true Colombian. Coffee, that is.

I pulled in at eight, walked in, and waited for my turn at the coffee urns. The lady in front of me was filling two cups. I heard laughing, and glanced over to see a couple of small boys dart around the corner. Eight a.m. on a warm fall morning, on a Saturday, is a good time to hear laughter. I smiled.

Dad corralled the older boy - maybe six years old, but wiry and tall already, like his dad - had him help bring what had to be picnic supplies up to the register. Mom was still dumping creamers, stirring in sugar. She noticed me and scooted to the side enough for me to grab a carafe and fill my travel cup. Then I added raw sugar and my last remaining vice, french vanilla creamer, to my drink.

"Ya'll going picnicking today?" I ask.

"Yes. Maybe the boys will play enough to sleep tonight." And she says this at eight in the morning?

I hear a giggle and look across the store. There is a row of upside down soft drink cups on a bare counter at the back of the store, just visible over the stock shelves. While I watch, I see another cup tacked up onto the end of the line, two little dark hands carefully placing it just so, then disappearing. I walk over to the end aisle to get a better look.

The youngest kid is maybe four. I watch him pull a medium sized cup out of the dispenser magazine and carry it over to the row already set up on the counter. He sees me and flashes me such a grin that I almost laugh out loud. But he is intense, and a picture of concentration as he stands the cup next in line. Then he heads back down the line, counting each cup. He gets to the end and stops. He looks over his shoulder at me, still smiling, and whispers "fifteen!" and pulls another cup.

I stepped back to the coffee service and said -

"Having a good time, though, right?"

"Yes, of course. It's a beautiful day."

"Your youngest is counting cups. I'll help you put them back. He's being careful."

She chuckles and shakes her head.

"It's okay, ma'am. Boys are ... just boys."

The family is just finishing up at the register when I step into the line. They are heading to the door when a crap blue Ford F-150 screeches to a stop at the curb directly in front of the entrance. The front tires actually bounce off the curb face. There's a dealer temporary plate taped onto the window behind the driver's head. He and his partner tumble out of their doors. They are both tattooed, pierced, guaged, possibly stoned and certainly unwashed. There is a two foot square transparent poster of Che Guevara taped onto the window behind the passenger's seat.

They barge into the door, pushing the doubles almost into Mom, who drops her bag, which causes Dad to straighten up to his full six foot four or five height. It's not so much the height but the fact his shoulders pretty well fill the aisle he stands in... and he's suddenly very still... that cause Laurel and Hardy to finally take notice of their environment. A waft of that old Mary Jane reek rolls over me at the register.

It is very quiet in the store. The ice cream freezer behind the cashier's island needs some work - the whuckawhuckawhucka of the compressor is the only sound in the shop.

"I'm sorry." mumbles the driver.

"Okay." says dad, and picks up his wife's bag. He follows his family out through the door held by the passenger. I hadn't noticed, but both sons had faded all the way to the back of the store, directly behind their dad. That's a family that understands each other.

"Hey, mister, you didn't pay money for that poster, I hope?", I ask.


"That one doesn't have the mickey mouse ears. How can you tell if he was a real communist hero if he doesn't have the ears? A joke is a joke, you know."

The cashier says, "Sir, your coffee is on the house."

And we even went shooting later. What a fine day this was.

Friday, September 05, 2008


As of seven o'clock this evening, there is a 1943 Tula manufacture model 91/30 Mosin Nagant rifle on the rack at the Spanish Fork Big 5 sporting goods store.

This is a retired PU rifle in a laminated stock. Clean, sharp stamps, to include the "CH" on the top center of the barrel above the receiver. Matching numbers on all parts. I didn't see an arsenal stamp on the bolt. I believe the weapon was renumbered during rearsenal process. The crown appears to be the factory original; it has not been counter bored. Distinct rifling. The bore is cleaner than the average Big 5 offering. The toe has a typical repair. Star cartouche on right side of buttstock.

The prices they want for these have gone up recently. I haven't bought a Mosin in months, and it looks like the laminate stock models are going for about twenty dollars more than the straight birch models. This one is currently $209.00; cheaper than ordering one, but even better to wait until it is on sale.

I own two retired PU's. Love them both. If this goes on sale and it drops by fifty, I may try to sell Wife of Utah on the deal....

In other news, there is a 1939 Tula manufacture 91/30 in American Fork. Very clean, not counterbored, and they want $179.00 off sale.

Have a fine weekend.


No matter how convivial the host, or how genteel the house, there comes a time in every adult community when somebody needs to be laid out and put out with the empties. If they prove they can learn a lesson and return to contribute, good for them.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Drudge has some advance blurbs on Governor Palin's speech, to be given later this evening:
"I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town. I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids' public education better. When I ran for city council, I didn't need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too. Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer', except that you have actual responsibilities."

The other snips are great, too.

Popcorn! With butter!

I am half convinced that the Left may have some action planned to attempt to distract from the speech. But... I am a cynic that way.

But it's not like they could offer good faith arguments on issues, is it? They've invested in "America sucks" and now it is coming home to bite them.

That's some serious roosting they've got to deal with. Love it. Just love it.

A Shred of Conscience Remains.

We had dreamed of a world where our 17 years old daughters wouldn't be striped naked and raped on the front page of the New York Times, above the fold.


Read it all. Frankly, I am deeply troubled by the fact I see no bottom to the depravity currently on display by the enemy.

And "enemy" is exactly the right term... which is further tragedy.

(Hat tip to Pablo, at the PW Pub.)


More here.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Choices (Updated & Bumped)

He chose... poorly.

One of the TV ladies calls this an accident. Not so much, I'm thinking.

Update follows:

Progress report from 21 August here:
Kevin Kearney's kite-surfing crash made him an overnight sensation. But two days later, the thrill-seeker laid up with a broken back swears it's a case of mistaken identity.

Then finally this , which contains the happy news that he's been discharged from the hospital and will continue his recovery at home:

"As far as tropical storms and 60 mile an hour wind gusts, next time I'll be putting my helmet on," he said.

A happy ending. Good luck, Mr. Kearney.


Oh yes we CAN.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


I went shooting with a friend last Thursday morning. I had tried to invite another friend but he's booked with the beginning of the school year. What follows is an edited version of the range report I sent to him:

Howdy, J -

I neglected to save your phone number, and I hate just dropping in on somebody.

We had a clinic day. E brought his P17 Enfield and I shot my Remington 700. His rifle began life as an infantry rifle but was later 'sporterized' and he is in the process of restoring it to the military configuration. He's been a plinker and casual shooter for a long time, but we've got him down to about seven inch groups from open sights at two hundred yards... which is a lot better than 'not bad' considering he's shooting full power .30'06 loads.

Shot the Remington (scoped with the famous Bushnell Game Friendly Variable) with two lots of ammo - one Winchester, one Remington, both in 180gr elk loads. Groups were consistent at a fat four inches, with the Winchester hitting on point of aim (which is what I had zeroed with, two years ago - same ammo ) while the Remington ammo grouped well but about three inches below point of aim.

We closed with two twenty round clips each from my Bushmaster. I wanted to see if my gun show tacticool scope would hold close to the zero I had put on it a few months ago, and the answer was a resounding 'hell YES'; I attached the scope, put the rifle to my shoulder and asked E to watch beyond the target stand and tell me where the impact was - and that I was shooting at the water filled 160z energy drink can we had put on top of the frame. Adjusted the stock, gave a tug to the scope to make sure it was firmly attached, shouldered the weapon, and shot the can off the frame first shot.

We worked through the stuff we'd stood up - four more water-filled targets, some paper targets - well before we ran out of bullets. The reticle absolutely sucks for fine work...but I bought it as a straight tactical option for two hundred yard work on man - sized targets and it's absolutely all of that. I might be able to see a coyote; the can I shot was completely occluded by the vertical reticle. I hit it by putting the horizontal reticle about two inches above and parallel with the top of the target frame. I'm well pleased. I haven't tried those heavy loads you bought for me, nor the ones I already had. All our shooting was with Russian steel case ammo or LE reloads, both in 55 grain.

The pictures are both of E with the Bushmaster. (edit - one of E, the other is The Wall of Old Rifles downstairs) Pardon the lack of quality, they are just from my cell phone. The one looking downrange actually shows him hitting the two liter bottle on top of the target frame; it just looks like a white smudge.

The Nephi venue is actually two hundred yards deep and about fifty feet wide, and bounded by berms on three sides. There is a welded steel frame at the end holding a couple sheets of plywood on which to hang targets. There are benches at one and two hundred. I have one free standing target holder and I think I may actually have yet another one buried in my garage somewhere.

So I take it you picked up the rifle? Please call at your convenience and this time I promise I'll add you to my phone book. We'll get out before the winter gets too foul. I may have a coyote shooting venue in the works, and will let you know how that turns out.

Hope that school has started well and that you and yours are enjoying what comes your way -


PS - I'm not sure how smart John McCain is, but he's proven to possess buckets of crafty. At least I can vote for him with a clearer conscience than I could before last week. aj.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tonight's Fare (Updated)

In about thirty minutes, I'm going to sit down with my wife and the daughter who isn't at work to watch Barak Obama give his acceptance speech as the nominee of the Democratic Party for the office of President of the United States.

When I was a kid, I reckoned that the chances for seeing a black man elected president during my lifetime were pretty good. Mrs. Tmj and I spoke of this this evening with the youngest goddess.

We live in a wonderful country. The best one on the planet, actually, and one that still offers a great future for hardworking folks that will fight for freedom.

I wish Mr. Obama were fit for the office he pursues. I wish his party wasn't responsible a large part of the problems facing the nation. Sadly, the victim politics, the race pimping, the identity politics, and the intent to redistribute the wealth of the nation are now cemented as features of the party, not bugs, with Mr. Obama's arrival as The Candidate. I wish the Senator's party didn't hate this country so much, and out of such depths of ignorance of history.

We are a nation of limitless possibilities. We always have been. I wish the Left could see that; but no, it conflicts with The Narrative...

The Constitution declares the power of government to come from the consent of the governed. The Democrats will do well to remember that should they find themselves in possession of both the executive and the legislature. That document also says you just have to be thirty five years of age and a natural citizen to hold the office. Beyond that, the only direction given is contained in the oath of office:

"I, name, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and I will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

We live in interesting times.

Post speech update:

Liberal boilerplate for the most part; I was hoping for better in light of the historic nature of the moment. More than a little red meat for his base - "government that sat on its hands" during Katrina. He had to quash rising chants on two or three occasions. There was some kind of fugly edit between the "make our houses more green" segment and the one that followed; it was jarring. He mentioned clean coal and nuc plants and for all of five seconds you could have heard a gnat fart inside that stadium of filled with seventy thousand bodies. Ditto his promise to bring tax cuts to 95% of the people. Proclaimed his readiness to debate John McCain. It is my understanding that his campaign is actively trying to back out of the previously agreed to schedule.

I wish he hadn't closed with the pledge to "free us from dependence on foreign oil" in ten years. That's such a blatant untruth it kind of soured whatever good feeling I was able to shepherd through the rest of the performance.

Nothing about illegal immigration. Nothing about foreign policy except he pledges to restore our stature. I think Mr. Putin has plans for YOU, Mr. Obama.

No surprises. Not unless you count the amount of botox it must have taken to turn Michelle Obama's forehead into the featureless, deathly still plain that it has become. They were successful in getting rid of the anger crease. Unfortunately, instead of giving the impression of barely restrained rage, her new look is more akin to a state of persistent confusion. And the dress... she's going to expect lots of payback for this night, make no mistake about it.

Now if McCain doesn't absolutely screw the pooch on his VP pick, I can get on with my life.

Monday, August 25, 2008


What follows is a comment I left on this thread at Althouse:

(No edits. Some additional thoughts in the parentheses, is all. It's a rant.)

I predict that the political class of 2012 won't contain any of the people we are talking about here in 2008, with the exception of Jindal and Palin.

We are already well into fantasy land with the two offerings (assuming Hillary doesn't take out O! on Wednesday) currently before the electorate.

Obama and McCain. Imagine that as a little thought sketch. Combine that one with Reid and Pelosi, and then imagine that as a painting.

Now hang that painting up in the ruins of Pompeii. It looks... out of place (should have written "Looks right at home" - ed) , doesn't it?

Our economy is as far away from collapse as the number of wage earners who believe that their retirements and investments are still liquid.

Our national security is being challenged at home by a flood of illegal aliens threatening to overwhelm our social and emergency services while the national government looks the other way because the parties perceive different, but equally damaging and cynical temporary advantage from the current situation. Abroad, Islamism remains to be confronted while the Bear has begun a program of limited empire.

And as soon as China sweeps up the last of the confetti, they are going to be back on the road in pursuit of becoming THE controlling power on the Rim. (And Africa. And looking hard at Central and South America as buffers.)

Energy policy - all of it, from domestic exploration to refinery capacity to clean coal to drastically overburdened generation and transmission structures to nuc - can't be ignored or yammerheaded any longer. Fuel costs NOW are not sustainable for a slim majority of businesses, and by extension the employees of those businesses. Fuel Oil and Ngas are both going to spike with the first frost (BEFORE the election - and that's a bomb waiting to go off) and on top of that increases of forty to sixty percent for food, transportation, and credit (if the last can be had at any price come winter).

Almost all of our coming pain can be attributed directly and unambiguously to government interference in pursuit of interest group support, failure of government to enforce its own laws and regulations, and a decades long "arrangement" that evolved between congress, the courts, and the executive that some time in the past morphed into a full blown conspiracy to contravene the Constitutional limits of government power.

One push will put us into the abyss.

And we've got Obama and McCain to choose between.

2008 is important, make no mistake. But 2010 is when the hard work of recovery will probably really begin.

Neither one of the candidates (okay, the three, until Wednesday) is inclined, but more importantly is not equipped to deal with what is about to happen.

And they could not give a rat's ass. Honestly. The media that camps their every move - that prides themselves on their connectedness and smarts and conventional wisdom - that media is covering the house kerfluffle then the experience kefluffle then the angry white biddy kerfluffle...(The political establishment long ago ceased operating like the real world meant crap where their ambition was concerned.)

Russia has announced that their borders end where their armor stops rolling.

Iraq, with good reason, wants assurances that we'll be gone by 2011. That's to impart to their population, not ours, that the Americans are soon not to be trusted, and there isn't any time to sugar coat the situation. Media is covering that incorrectly, too.

And last, nobody is reading the financial pages, nobody is watching Bernanke daring the bank guys to blink.

We dance on an event horizon and look to cartoons to save us.

Oy. A knowledge of history can bring the sting, baby, and that's no lie.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


This is from a post I wrote back in June of this year (boldface added for today):

"P.S. The impact of fuel and other petrochemical products' costs are moving into areas that will start impacting the economy in direct and catastrophic fashion very soon.

All that federal pork in highway bills is going to look pretty silly when it comes time to pay for all the asphalt they've scheduled to place this year. The cost will be DOUBLE if not more than was budgeted.

Gas at $4.00 a gallon today in central Utah; possibly .30 higher in a week.

Watch the markets. It's going to be one of the three stooges (regarding Clinton's "suspension" of her campaign - I saw no stake; she's waiting for a stumble and will be on the floor in Denver, make no mistake about it)in November and the ONLY certainty is that the federal government is measuring corporations, the middle class, and investors for castration.

Now this from today's news:

"The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) says it has to pick and choose which road projects to work on because of shrinking funding. Other states are much worse off.

Regardless of gas prices, the gas tax hasn't changed since 1997. In that time, steel, asphalt and concrete costs have gone up 220 percent."

And more consequences of our insane energy non-policy:

"The Agriculture Department says people should brace themselves for the biggest increase in food prices in nearly 20 years, and even more pain next year."

The Junior Senator from New York appears to be going through the motions expected of a good party loyalist. Folks in the comments seem to think it may not all be about "unity".

And I'm OFF. See you on Monday. Have a fine weekend.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This Is Why

I found this via The Other Side:

"On June 28, only two days after the Supreme Court announced its 5-4 ruling that Washington, D.C., citizens have the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the Constitution, I found myself standing in a pool of blood in York (Pa - ed.), from a man I had just shot. It was not my intent that evening to test the Second Amendment or kill somebody, but events unfolded to make it necessary for me to draw my weapon to defend myself and others."

I carry a weapon everywhere I go, and it's usually a pistol if I'm out with the family.

Every citizen should be taught from early age that they are responsible for their own safety and further that it is a citizen's duty to come to the aid of others who are victims of criminal acts.

A Citizen should not act as a cop, but as a citizen. I call the non-emergency number for taggers and such. I have called 911 and surveilled more than one drunk driver... and a fight in progress that looked to be mutual combat.

No sane civililian wakes up determined to end a human life. But waking up ready?

Every day.

Mucking About

I've made a few changes to TRB:

1. Main body width has been increased.

2. Archives are now at the bottom of the right sidebar.

3. There is a new class of blog roll links called "Arms, War, Law".

I have some dead blogs on the Purser's List, and both Kim DuToit and Callimachus have both given notice that their blogs will be closing soon. Changes will be made there as necessary.

It's a fine day out there. I'm off to do chores.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Got Your Paradise Right Here

I met Mrs. Tmj through a room mate service in March of 1987. We were engaged in May.

We were married at her family church in Pennsylvania on this day, twenty one years back.

It seems like just yesterday. And not nearly long enough. We have shared so much: two beautiful and smart daughters, a handful of jobs between the two of us, several adventures both at home and on the road, and the financial, emotional, and health challenges that all couples face and overcome to varying degrees of success.

And we're still in love. Still laugh more than we cry. Still make sure we never go to bed angry.

I'm a lucky, lucky guy.

Oh, and she's having a birthday, too. She'll always be my "older woman"; contrary to her sisters' opinion, three years difference is NOT robbing the cradle.

We were supposed to have been married on the seventeenth in order to make it possible for her to say that she was married before (a certain age) but she threw a clot after five or six takeoffs and landings through the eighteen hours it took us to fly to Chester County. At the scheduled hour I went to see her in the ICU, in my Dress Blues.

She'd never seen me in them before that day.

She recovered enough to toe the mark the following day. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Love you, babe. Happy birthday! And I get to wake up with you every day!

UPDATE: Here's Mrs. Tmj's Live Journal entry.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Just damn.

He's dumber than I thought. What's worse, his team makes him look like Einstein.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


There is an interesting thread on the Russian aggression in Georgia on Austin Bay's blog.

Mr. Bay addresses some possible options available in the current situation, as well as some options that clearly aren't.

FWIW, I've never been a fan of "Peace Keeper" Units. You train soldiers to soldier, and if you end up using them for something else, you task it as an additional duty.

Soldiers exist to execute national policy by direct violence. Anything else is just a euphemism. Folks would be much better served if they kept that reality up front.

And you can hit any recent thread over at Belmont Club for more excellent blogging on the subject.

I have a few comments scattered through those discussions, but I'm too depressed to try to put together anything for here.

It's like watching reruns, it is.

The real question is which U.S. political party will be the first to formally surrender Georgia? It looks like President Bush is attempting to insert U.S. (and EU or NATO) forces under the aegis of "relief" as a mechanism to stop the Russian aggression, but the Russians are simply making noises about truces and cease fires as they prepare to consolidate their hold on Georgia permanently.

Aside from candidate posturing, there has been zero press on congressional or senate resistance to the Russian aggression that I have heard about.

I bet that President Bush NEVER thought it would be that lonely at the top.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Common Sense

Denver government is exceeding my modest expectations concerning their preparations for the upcoming onslaught of anarchists, communists, militant LGBT activists, pro- abortion types, race pimps, open border advocates, terrorist supporters, and other members of the Democratic base who are all going to meet in Denver during the Democrat Party convention.

Denver expects to have to provide lodging for some substantial portion of these visitors:

" CBS4 News has learned if mass arrests happen at the Democratic Convention, those taken into custody will be jailed in a warehouse owned by the City of Denver. Investigator Rick Sallinger discovered the location and managed to get inside for a look."

The warehouse option is nothing new; way back in the seventies I spent a night in a church basketball gym in Dallas the night before a Cotton Bowl after I got caught standing in front of the wrong party.

I am not providing any links to ACTUP or Recreate '68 or any of the other moonbat clubs that have published their intent to trash Denver. Once Denver's city council was moved to legislate against the private possession and transport of organic debate tools I reckoned that any snark I might attempt would simply pale against the reality to about to unfold in Cherry Creek.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Time Waster

Here's the comment I left here:

"I love my country more than I hate John McCain, but until today I was going to leave my support at the level of a begrudged vote in November. Instead, I've got a McCain campaign snail mail solicitation opened here on the table in front of me, and my check book.

How much money do I need to donate to McCain '08 to show up on your radar?

I can't afford much, but to get a bunch of feckless douchebags like you into my trench I can dig deep.

Comments are moderated, naturally, so it won't be posted. Liberal bullies and cowards (redundancy alert)operate that way.

Please, join with me, and even if it makes your hair turn white, toss the Republican candidate a buck or two.

In other news, tomorrow is my last day with the outfit. Bad housing market, construction downturn, fuel costs. Back to school, I guess.

(via Mr. Reynolds and Iowahawk)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Go Away For A Weekend

... and I miss the kickoff of this century's cold war*. I swear, catching the video bites on our hotel TV was like watching Saddam invade Kuwait all those years ago.

My two cents:

Russian objectives:


1. Destroy the sovereign status of Georgia.

2. Exercise control over all energy transmission infrastructure now existing in Georgia.


1. Demonstrate that the U.S. is worthless as an ally. There's really nothing else this can be about.

I don't know why Putin pushed this while Bush was still in office; the interlocking military moves executed so far by the Russians clearly demonstrate a pre-planned operation. He (Putin) could have waited for the Community Organizer or Angry McAmnesty; chances are Reid and Pelosi would still be on the stage in the spring. Maybe he is petty enough to want to rub Bush's nose in the fact that the United States suffers from rot at the head and sand at the feet... and has, frankly, just a couple two or three real allies on the face of the earth. Most of our "friends" are really just kids we babysit.

Georgia is one of the real ones, though. They've actually bled with us in battle, in a real, if modest, fashion. Putin is betting we'll stand aside. And if we stand aside there, the EU will most certainly lube themselves up good and quick. And next it will be Turkey... or Poland... or Moldavia... pick a 'stan, any 'stan...

Big week coming up.

My guess on what we'll do? No clue; the only option that would serve our interests involves direct military confrontation in theater, with or without (that is also something Putin is highly interested in, even though he's on pretty safe ground, in my opinion, already writing off the EU and NATO)our feckless EU brats.

I believe that President Bush has got to be very, very tired of doing all the heavy lifting. How'd you feel if you knew that Reid and Pelosi had your back? Right? I thought so.

No call.

Oh, and I'm probably done surveying after tomorrow. Fuel costs, housing price losses, and scarce building credit have done their thing. I intend to go back to school on the fifteenth. Studying... history, of all things.

Have a fine one. Hope you liked that 300+ day on the DOW last week. You might want to put it in your scrap book.

* I will never post a link to Wikipedia intending it to be taken as a scholarly or objective citation of fact. Rather, it will be purely intended as an introduction to a topic.