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.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Good News In Green

We just got our first letter from our friend AJ. He went to high school with our oldest daughter and was our guest for many a lazy Sunday and also helped out immensely with our recent living room remodel. Well, he graduated last spring and and has been out at Ft. Jackson, SC for most of the summer learning how to be a soldier.

AJ and his friend Casey came out shooting with us on a couple of occasions, and I was happy to let them both get a feel for our Bushmaster carbine. I warned them that the Army and Navy would have their own training and that they should not put too much weight on anything I might pass along. It's not that I would give them bum data, but that "different" can and does happen.

AJ sent:

"Papa: I got the Sharp Shooter award, the highest marksmanship (score?) in my platoon, and the second highest in the company. I've got to thank you for teaching me how to shoot with that Bushmaster.

It's cool when a whole family helps a friend be a better person. There are many traits I've picked up from the Jones family. I've learned to be accepting of people, to be patient, to be a good leader, and to work hard to get where I need to be...

He also got to shoot a live AT-4. Feh, next he'll try to impress me with stories about his personal helicopter.

All Marines know how the Army hands their toys out. Geeze.

Casey leaves for the Navy in September. He thinks he wants to spend a lot of time getting wet and sandy. We shall see. I already know he'll do okay with a rifle.

I am very proud of the both of them.

Adios, Hombre

Good news from Texas tonight:

"Medellin was sentenced to death for the 1993 rape and murder of two girls, aged 14 and 16, in Houston, Texas. "

In case you didn't know, the actual criminal event was a multi hour gang rape/torture/murder. Back in 1993. This animal had already been scheduled for execution and then rode the appeal merry go round a few times. Further, Senor Hombre liked to brag about the virginity of his victims out in the yard, right up until his lawyers finally got him to shut up.

Armedariz said she hoped her cousin's body would now be transferred to the family home in Nuevo Laredo. "We can't leave him there. They don't want him. They killed him," she said."

If it's all the same to you, ma'am, we'd have been more than happy if he'd never come here in the first place.

Attention: Mr. Moon, currently latched onto the top teat at the UN, and to the president of Mexico, to various "human rights" NGO's, and the ICJ :

You all can go fuck yourselves.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Zoom Zoom. Maybe. Maybe Not.

Well, we went out to Wendover for the ProSolo SCCA event this weekend.

I need opinions:

1. C stock class suspension set up. Konis or KYB's?. Replace the factory springs? The Miata is six years old but only has about thirty K miles on it.

2. Front sway bar. What maker, what size? I'll be replacing ALL the bushings I can with Delrin.

3. Under hood body brace. What maker?

In addition, we are going to buy a set of Falken Azenis high performance street tires (17" - arrghh limitied edition!) on a set of light utility racing wheels.

I don't drive. I just do the maintenance.

Mrs. Tmj set the course record for the C-stock ladies class at the Wendover Solo2 National Event back in ... '95?... co-driving her boss's '91 Miata. That was on race rubber and with the max suspension work that would leave the car in the stock class.

We have been back in the mix with her current car, a showroom stock 2001 Miata Limited Edition, for two seasons... and Mom has seen enough tail lights. She wants to be competitive.

Strike that. She wants to dominate, because she's a racer. And I think that she will at least triple her enjoyment once we get the car just a little stickier on the ground. Speed and power are never the problems with a Miata - it's managing those two factors and staying on the course.

It's nice to see friends and smell the smoke and burned rubber. But trophies... they make every thing a little more worthwhile.