Wednesday, February 29, 2012

FInally! Alaska QSO!

I now need three states to be able to brag that I have worked all of them.

All I need now are WA, SD, and RI.

Last night I bagged Alaska after a long, drawn out effort that stretched on and on and covered three differet bands an several different frequencies. It was pretty wild, really and I have to give the Alaskan credit because he stayed on task until we got the job done.

What is interesting is that I started using a 100 watt basic rig but when
it was apparent that he could hear me but I could not hear him I swapped out to the PRC 320 which I think has a somewhat better reciever but is only 30 watts.

I could tell by the scratching under the band noise he actually heard me with only 30 watts.

Finally the band lifted up a bit and I could hear him well enough to get his call sign and a signal report so we called it a wrap. He already had my information as he could hear me but not me him until the band lifted.

ALl in all a legal QSO and I hope he validates the eQSL I sent him. His paper card is already in the mail.


I'm in the mood for a cheeseburger. Time to kill a sacred cow because they make the best burgers.

my other blog is:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Well, yesterday's lunch was a circus.

During my physical while the doctor was putting on a rubber glove on one hand my cell rang. Go figure. I reached over and shut it off. Par golf.

During the debrief the doc said I was in amazing shape considering my first fifty years of what he euphrumistically called 'hard living'. We both agreed that the body is amazing in it's ability to heal itself.

Afterwards decided to have lunch to celebrate.

Needless to say I wound up sitting at a table next to a squalling kid which wasn't too bad, really until the kid let out The Screech.

I said something. I told the parents to shut the damned kid up and the mother grew indignant. She ran her mouth a bit in the indignant way some of these mothers do today because their kid is special.

She told me that her little kid was special. I shot back and asked her if her little spawn from hell was so special, how come he wasn't on the short bus. The father, somewhat embarrassed and knowing he simply had to defend his wife even though she was stupid, stood up.

I simply took the case to the court of public opinion. I turned to the rest of the diners and asked them loudly how much they liked listening to the screeching kid and chaos suddenly erupted.

The place was full of guys like roofers, landscapers and other construction types. They started in raising hell over the kids screeching. Just about everybody in the place chimed in. I sat back and looked at my masterpiece and smiled.

One guy made a comment about how the couple should have had what I will refer here to as alternative sex and the father blew up with him, ran his mouth to the man and got himself in well over his head.

The guy, a rather large olive skinned monster got to his feet and started doing the Rocky dance and asking him, "Oh, yeah? You wanna piece a me? Huh? You wanna piece a me? Get that kid outta here! Now!"

He must have had Italian ancestors because the Rocky dance seems generally to be an Italian thing.

Anyway, the father took the kid outside and the wife dutifully followed.

The whole incident lasted only a couple of minutes but it warmed my heart and made my day.

my other blog is:

Monday, February 27, 2012

I am a little keyed up today and this post will not be up to snuff

because I have a physical scheduled for in about an hour. For the first time I am nervous about getting a physical even though I feel pretty good.

Must be old age.

In other news, I bagged Hawaii last night with a 2x2 signal. He QSL'd in minutes electronically. What a gentleman!

All I have left to go are SD, WA, NH, RI and AK. That's 45/50. Not bad.

my other blog is:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My WAS (Worked all States) project is coming along.

I have 42 states logged now and plans to chip away at the remaining eight.

Not all of these are confirmed yet. There are five states I have worked but not confirmed as for some reason they have not sent me a QSL card yet. Of those five I expect two to confirm one way or another.

I realize that QSL cards, postage and the like cost money and that for some it is a hassle but even a hand scribbled note of some sort would do for confirmation. I am not picky. Any type of written or electronic confirmation is fine.

One of the things I have noticed is that the poorer the state the faster the hams there return QSLs. I do not know why that is. One night I stumbled into a somewhat local group of guys in West Virginia and asked if one of them would confirm their state for me, the four of them immediately worked me and two days later the QSL cards came pouring in. Bam!

Mississippi, another of the poorer states of the Union is the same way. I worked Mississippi again the other night and BAM! There was an electronic QSL card in my box about a minute after we broke contact. A paper one showed up a few days later. Maine, another poor state, was the same way.

On the other hand, when you look up the call signs if you see something like 'Dr.' or something the liklihood of getting a response sometimes drops off. I do not know why that is.

There are several states I have worked more than once to get a QSL of any type from. What I do not know is why. Most hams gave computer access, and there are a couple of electronic QSL bureaus out there that are free. I am a member of two of them and neither of them cost me a cent although I have sent both a donation.

Sometimes you have to make it easy for older hams on fixed incomes. My QSL with Colorado was one. While we were gabbing it became apparent that I was communication with an older ham. He told me he had no QSL cards to send me. I sent him one of mine anyway with a nice letter and a SASE asking him if he would please simply send me a handwritten note so I could confirm QSO. Several days later I got a beautiful handmade QSL card that is my pride and joy.

I mentioned this on the ham subsection of a website I frequent and one of the guys there dryly observed that the WAS award should read 'Worked all States eight times'. I admit, I laughed.

Todays outgoing mail includes eight QSL cards, seven of them to states I have already. Last night I bagged Montana through a gut instinct fluke.

I was on a net and heard the man from Montana coming through just barely above the ground noise and when my turn came I put on the cans (headset) so I could concentrate. The band was falling out pretty quickly and I seriously had my doubts.

I called him and when he returned my call I had to jerk the headset off of my head as he was booming in loke he was sitting next to me with a bull horn. We swapped signal reports and I now had Montana under my belt. Two minutes later someone else tried to QSO him and the man from Montana was in the mud again. The other ham could not exchange a signal report with him and he was fairly close to my home.

Sometimes it pays to play your instincts.

Incidentally, I am doing my little WAS project entirely on my own and have not really signed up with any one of the several groups that award anything. I really don't care for plaques and certificates very much. I'm just doing this for my own satisfaction.

Last minute update. I have just joined the OMISS net. A lifetime membership for a measly $7 is something I can not pass up. I also bagged CT last night.

my other blog is:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Now that I am back in town

things have settled back to the basics.

The officer that Nebby Larry called when I was cutting my antenna went driving by and I waved. If you have been following this you might remember that he has a son interested in space exploration and he has asked me a few questions about it.

When I waved I let my body english show I was not adverse to him stopping for a chat if he wanted and he stopped. I tolsd him to expect another possible call from Nebby Larry as sometime in the next few days I was going to take a couple pictures for another project I am working on. Expect guns, radios and things of that nature.

He nodded, and asked me about the project and I told him and I am not going to tell you what I told him so do not ask.

Anyway, I looked at the officer and asked him how come Nebby Larry hasn't figured out that I goad him. "Sure, he's a idiot," I said. "But how can anybody be that stupid?"

He gave me a smirk followed by a serious look.

"You keep him busy," he said, grinning. "You're probably the only person that hasn't tried to strangle him. You just give him what he wants. He wants to be a hero again."


He then went on to explain that Nebby Larry had a touch of some type of autism or something. He is now a retired engineer of some sort and was very well respected for his ability to solve problems. However, for some reason he just never seemed to adapt socially. Apparently he married a very understanding woman who took responsibility for being the street-wise brains of the marriage.

He also went on to explain that there is an old police report deep in the bowels of the station stating that Larry disarmed an armed robber and held him until the police arrived. When he told me that, my eyes must have popped half out of their sockets. When he saw my eyes, he grinned.

"That's what the report in the station says," he said. "He's a hero."

"Huh. Who would have ever guessed?" I said.

"You know Denny Lewis? he asked. Denny is a long retired member of the force.

"Yeah, I do." I replied. "He managed to keep me out of the hoosegow one Fourth of July about twenty years ago. He was a good guy."

"I ran into him over lunch right after the time you told him those mast things were Bangalore torpedoes. I mentioned Larry and he told me the story about how Larry became a hero. He was a rookie when it happened and he was one of the officers that responded."

"That must have been thirty or forty years ago. What happened?" I asked.

"What really happened goes nowhere." he said. "Denny was there. A witness filled him in but he didn't say anything to keep Larry from looking like a idiot." I nodded.

What happened I will not post suffice to say that I was treated to a pretty whacked out tale of an armed robber plowing into Larry and dropping his gun. Larry didn't even know a crime was being committed and reached down and picked it up, probably intending to return it to him. The robber was supposidly so scared of being shot accidentally he hit the dirt and remained there until he could be taken to the safety of a nice jail cell.

"So why are you telling me this?" I asked.

"To keep you from strangling Larry," he chuckled. "Look, just go about your business. Don't make any extra effort to wind him up, just keep on keeping on and everything will be fine."

Then he looked at me. "We have a win-win situation here and let's leave it at that. You entertain Larry and keep him from annoying the neighborhood. We drop by and keep an eye on your place."

I can live with that.

While Larry is going to continue to be a cross to bear, it's ain't a bad deal.

my other blog is:

Friday, February 24, 2012

I have had somewhat of a complaint about this blog. An apology.

I'm sorry. Accept my apologies.

There was no way I could have known that me friends, Moose, Rocky and Vito held a gun to your head and made you read this. I also heard that they took toothpicks and propped your eyelids open and made you read all 985 installments.

I have since had a word with these three and they have promised me not to force you to read this.

This being said, now you don't have to read it so now I don't have to listen to complaints, right?

Of course unless you are just looking for something to complain about and if that's the case I suppose I could just have Rocky and the boys give you something to bellyache and blubber about. Then again I guess I won't. The boys have better things to do than that. After all, there's a nice, fresh unopened bottle of Jameson's they might just want to try and put a dent in.

Now go away.

my other blog is:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dealers plates fall off a lot.

I do not know why they don't fasten them to the cars better.

Yesterday on the drive home the dealers plate on the car in front of me fell off.

This is the second time I have seen this happen in about ten years.

This car was a new one that was probably being transported to another dealership in a trade and some guy had most likely been detailed to deliver it.

I rolled down the passenger's side window and jacked the RPMs up and pulled alongside him. He was busy on some kind of electronic device and it took an awful lot of horn tooting to get his attention. When I did I signaled for him to open his window and was given the finger for my efforts.

I booted it and decided that I had done my good deed for the day.

Several miles later I pulled in for a quick to-go cup of joe and as I was leaving the new car pulled in and parked close to me. I watched the driver get out.

"You lost your plate several miles ago," I said. "Right now it's somewhere between the 202 and the 200 mile marker up alongside the Jersey barrier."

Of course he got upset with me. He asked me why I didn't let him know earlier. I told him that when I tried to he simply gave me the finger.

He started moaning and bellyaching about this and that and how he was going to get into hot water with his employer and so on. I had gotten into my pickup and had the window down and the engine started.

He asked me if I would go back with him and get it for him and I refused as I was wanting to get home and of course he acted like I owed it to him.

"Listen, fool. I tried to tell you when it happened and you gave me the finger. I shouldn't have even told you now. I should have let you find out when you got where you are going and get into hot water with your boss. Instead I have told you you lost it and where to find it. It doesn't get any better than that. You're on your own."

With that I slipped the clutch and drove away.

The other time I saw that happen was on a local highway. I stopped and picked the plate up because I figured the driver was taking the car to the wholesale auction a couple of miles up the road.

I pulled into the auction place, grabbed the plate and walked in.

Now I was a mess at the time because I had been tarring a roof or someother nasty thing so I sure didn't look like a car dealer.

I walked in and some bitchy lady saw me and snapped that I had to be a car dealer to get into the place. I looked at her and said, "Then I can't return the dealer's plate I found on the side of the road? I guess I'll just trash it." and I turned on my heel.

When I got outside I threw it into the trash and shook the can so it worked itself way in. Then I got into my pickup and watched as she came out and started fishing through the trash can.

Twice I have tried to do the right thing only to be punished for it. Twice I have been the jerk for trying to be helpful.

I suppose the next time I see this happen, if there is a next time, I will try and do the right thing. I may catch hell again but at least I will know I am a decent person for it.

my other blog is:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Home is the sailor.

Arrived home at 1610 and opened a Guiness.

All is well.

Neighbor Bob has already dropped by to give me his end of the trip "Don't do it this time!" lecture.

Siihpapp, the gold toothed A-rab that runs the Kit Kat club called to tell me he is hiring a new dancer to replace the one that will surely turn up missing tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow is trash day and I have already taped a small bottle of Jim Beam to the top of the trash can to make damned good and sure he doesn't notice the feet sticking out of the trash can.

All is good here.

my other blog is:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Talking your way out of the presidency

I have been watching Rick Santorum do a marvelous job of talking himself right out of the presidency.

Never in my life have I seen a person that can open his mouth and let so many bats fly out of it. He seems like he has a real talent for it and I would bet that he has already run his mouth enough so that if he gets the nomination that Mr. Obama is going to get re-elected.

Here the Republicans have been handed a golden opportunity to put just about anybody they want into the White house and Santorum is working overtime to not get elected.

We have a president in office now that is just spending us into a major depression, giving money away by the truckload to anyone that wants it and has no idea whatsoever how to fund his brainchildren. He is not very well liked, considered arrogant by many and to put it plainly as possible does not know how to count, or at least balance a checkbook.

Most people have little faith in him. Just about any competent candidate would be able to boot him out come November.

Now Santorum wants to run his mouth about social issues that have no place being dictated by the government in the first place. He talks like he wants to impose his religious values on everyone and Americans do not like that as they consider their religion to be personal. He has also alienated a huge chunk of the female population by trying to redefine their role.

If Santorum would have just shut the hell up and stuck to the two things that the American people seem to be interested in all of us would be better off. We would have a viable candidate to get the spendthrift we now have out of office.

All Rick really has to do is explain to the public how he is going to do two things. First he has to explain how he is going to fix our shattered economy. Secondly he has to assure the public that he will keep government out of our lives.

That's all!

Yes, it really IS that simple.

Right now nobody is really interested in social issues. We have too many people out of work and too much government interference in things.

Yet one and on he goes running his mouth about issues he should stay clear of and digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole he will never get out of come November.

If Santorum gets the candidacy pay attention to the results.
President Obama will be reelected by such a landslide that the Reagan/Mondale election will look like a close call.(Then watch out as Obama starts acting like it was a mandate from God)

I'm not so disgusted with the man for his stand on social issues as I am with his out and out stupidity of bringing them up in the first place.

Then again, I should simply shake my head and walk away because for years I have known one of the truths of life.

You can't fix stupid.

my other blog is:

Monday, February 20, 2012

For trade: B-52 survival kit circa 1963.

This survival kit contains the following.

One forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days' concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings.

Will trade for a pretty good weekend in Vegas.

I was tempted to post this as an ad just for the amusement of others but I have decided against it for pretty good reason.

Of course most people remember this as being the contents of Major Kong's survival kit in the movie "Dr. Strangelove", a Cold War classic movie. Something like this in the want ads would create an awful lot of needed laughter. It is one of the most memorable Slim Pickens scenes that ever hit the silver screen.

However there are quite a few people that are not too bright.

While an ad like this might go over a lot of people's heads that have not seen the movie, most would just either shine it on or ask someone about it and when it was explained to them they would either smirk or even rent the movie on DVD to see what they have missed.

However there are certainly a lot of idiots out there that would start babbling away and take the ad straight down to the local police station and make a stink.

"Look! What's this? Here's some guy trying to sell guns and illegal drugs! Yada yada yada. You gotta do something about this before he ruins the children. What? What? What? Whaddya mean it's some guy's idea of a joke?

This guy is trying to ply narcotics on our kids! Do something!"
Of course any older cop would look at the ad and crack up laughing, but these days you never know about some of the younger ones.

I am not picking on the police when I say this. The truth is that the higher up the chain a complaint of such an ad went, the more serious it would become. This, of course, is no new thing as stupidity tends to work its way up the chain. Just look at Congress. That's enough proof there.

While most working cops would smile at the ad and show it to each other, "Hey! Check this out! I found a good one!" and there would be laughter in the locker room.

"Boy, someone sure has an odd sense of humor."

A sergeant reading it would chuckle.

A lieutenant would grunt.

A captain would scowl and tell narcotics to check the guy that wrote this ad out.

An ADA would look all serious and tell narcotics to get a man on it and track the writer of the ad down.

The DA would start looking at re-election and start to plan a way to take the entire ad out of context and convince a jury that someone out there is trying to ply schoolchildren with narcotics and sell them deadly handguns.

I suppose that if I were hauled in and charged with something I would elect for a jury trial and simply show the jury the scene in the movie and get the case laughed out of court but it sure isn't worth the hassle.

Then again maybe it is. It would sure be fun watching a DA build a huge case only to shoot it down by showing the jury one of the best scenes Hollywood ever produced.

I wonder how much money it would cost to take an ad out in the local paper?
Then again, I suppose it is not worth getting my house torn up for by a couple of detectives with a warrant.

my other blog is:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chronically late people are a pain in the neck

One of the things I have had to deal with are people that are chronically late or dawdle around and make me wait.

I can not for the life of me figure out why people do this.
There are an awful lot of people that do not understand the concept of being in the right place at the right time in the proper attire. This is something I notice does not happen very often at work, but it seems there are an awful lot of people outside the work place that have a hard time with this.

I have never had this problem and readily admit that do not understand it. Even as a young man I didn't really tolorate it very well.
I recall one time I went to pick up a date. I knocked on the door which her dad answered. He led me into the living room. I glanced at my watch and waited about ten minutes and then wordlessly left, hopped into my car and drove off.

This was the third time she had kept me waiting and I simply decided I wasn't going to waste my time continuing any reletionship by spending my life waiting for her.

A couple of days later her dad met bumped into me at the Rexall and asked me why I left so abruptly. He accussed me of standing up his daughter. I told him that she had stood herself up and it was the third time she had kept me waiting and enough was enough.

"But isn't my daughter worth it?" he asked. The old guilt trick and I wasn't going to fall for it.

"No," I said simply. He didn't expect that answer. He went agape. "Why should I want to go out with someone that isn't interested in me?" I continued.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"If she was interested in me she would be ready when I showed up." I answered. "It's really quite simple."

He seemed upset. "Good things are worth waiting for," he countered.

"Good THINGS are," I replied. "Good PEOPLE are on time. Period."

In a way it was sad to see a father have to realize that his daughter was really nobody too special. She was simply like everybody else. I'm sure he had put her up on a pedestal and here I had come along and knocked her off of it. He looked pretty upset.

With that I returned to my business.

One of the truly satisfying things I remember about basic training is watching people learn to be where they are supposed to be and when they are supposed to be there. It doesn't take a good NCO long to teach that lesson and it is generally pretty amusing to watch. Just about every trainee learns that lesson pretty quickly. There are an awful lot of people that ought to learn this valuable lesson.

About a decade or so later I was back in the area for a while between swashbuckling adventures in Alaska and other far flung remote outposts and happened into her father again. He told me his darling daughter had married but the marriage wasn't doing well. I said nothing. I wasn't surprised.

Over the years I have had many good things happen to me simply because I was on time and everyone else seemed to be late. When I was working in Kodiak building houses I was always punctual and employers took note of it. One carpenter that was a little faster than I was once griped when I got a pay raise and he didn't. He pointed out he was a little faster and therefore deserved a raise, too.

He was told that I was the one he could count on to be there ready to go to work and that in the long haul I was more valuable.

Being able to be in the right place at the right time has been a big part of keeping me out of the bread line. I have heard it said that it is a somewhat unusual trait. In my opinion that doesn't speak very highly of the human race.

my other blog is:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Why do we not let talented kids learn at their own rate?

Why do we not spend more money on talented kids?

I just read an article on a particularly talented kid and exceptionally gifted and intelligent kids are the most underfunded children in the Unites States. This actually is not surprising when you think of it.

Our schools have a pretty sad habit of slowing down things to accomodate the average kid and to an extent that is all well and fine because the average kid has to learn, too. What is not well and fine is that they simply don't pull the top 5% out and let them run. These are the guys that will eventually turn society a profit and make it a better place to live.

These are the ones that are going to be the shakers and movers. These people will cure cancer, see us to the moon and back, and create things that will make us all better off.

Instead we hold these people back and leave them in average classrooms full of average kids bored to tears and not coming anywhere close to using even one percent of what they have.

There is nothing whatsoever wrong with being an average kid. There are millions of average and above average kids that will do well and live good lives contributing to society in general and they are the basic backbone of human civilization (somethimes I think that is an oxymoron)

Still, there are a handful of truly brilliant young people out there that should be permitted to let run with what they have.
We spend fortunes on kids that either do not, can not or are just plain unwilling to learn, yet there are few facilities for the truly bright ones.

Several years ago I read a book on the then Soviet army and when their tactics were described they used an example of three companies. One is slowly losing ground, one is in a stalemate and the other is slowly gaining ground. There is a company in reserve. The question of course, is where to commit the reserves.

The correct answer is to commit it to the company that is gaining ground so they can pour on through and relieve the other companies. The tactic works. You reenforce success to create more success.

We make policies like 'no child left behind', but guess what? No matter how much money and effort you put into such a wonderful social program it is not going to work. People are still going to be left behind no matter what you do.

How about if we start reenforcing success?

The few talented children out there if permitted to take the ball and run with it and get ahead will tend to drag all of us ahead with them. There is a bright kid out there just waiting to make all of our lives better by finding a cure for cancer or build a better light bulb or something good for society and he's being held back.

Instead the kid is sitting in a classroom somewhere bored to tears and trying desperately not to fall asleep in class instead of being in a place where he can actually learn something. It's a true waste and we as a people are going to pay for wasting such talent.

Kids like that sould not have to waste their time sitting in a boring arithmetic class when thay can be learning calculus.

While there certainly are not a lot of these kids we ought to invest in them instead of letting talent like that die on the vine.

my other blog is:

Friday, February 17, 2012

A pair of Second Amendment posts

It looks like Mr Obama doesn't like the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States very much.

Seems he is now trying to sneak through a reclaimation of the authority to destroy surplus M-1 Garands and carbines. These rifles have traditionally been shipped to the Civiliam Marksmanship program who has been given the authority to sell these sought after and highly collectable rifles to qualified members of the program after an extensive background check.

Apparently, in addition, the administration wants to order that all fired brass casings be melted down to prevent them from being recycled by CMP shooters who have done this for years. CMP shooters have been recycling surplus property for over a century.

This looks like yet another case of government and their good intentions going after the wrong people.

For one thing there really are not a whole lot of criminals out there, if any, that handload their own ammunition but there are quite a few legitimate sportsmen that do. For another thing the traditional weapons of the criminals element do not generally include obsolete oversized WW2 battle rifles. Criminals prefer easily concealable handguns.

Over the years I have watched politicians do exactly what they should not do. They penalize the honest guy and reenforce failure. This is not necessarily a characteristic of the Democratic party but they sure seem to do more than their fair share of reenforcing failure and punishing success.

I get tired of governmental officials chipping away at my rights because of the behavior of a few people. It strikes me that the thing to do is punish the guilty instead of making the innocent suffer.

Guess what I am doing to do this November?

While I still have not found anyone to vote for, I have certainly found someone to vote against.
Speaking of the Second Amendment, there has been a bit of a circus going on about a decision made by the upper management of Starbucks.

They have refrained by posting 'No Guns Allowed' signs in front of their stores having opted to simply let state and local laws set the pace. In some states the signs are meaningless. In other states they make it so a lgeally licensed person carrying a firearm cannot legally enter the premisises.

Of course the legally armed and registered person is never the problem. The Starbucks people seemed to have recognized that and they simply said that they will permit what is already permitted by state law.
In a way it is like telling people that if your car is registered that you can park in their lot.

Of course, the indignant Sarah Brady bunch started threatening a boycott of Starbucks, which is their right but they were in for somewhat of a surprise. Apparently an awful lot of carry permit holders decided to go to Starbucks that day to make their statements and a quick look at the Facebook page there shows that the Brady Bunch are quite the whiney little minority.

When you think about it for a minute a permit to carry concealed means you can conceal the firearm. In many states concealed means concealed and the little whiners probably do not realize how many times they are in the presence of a firearm. As a general rule if such and such a percentage of the populace is armed than it is a pretty good guess that that is the percentage of the population in the store you are in that are carrying firearms.

Most of the people that bellyache about this are generally unaware of this simply because they don't think. They would probably freak out if they knew that the guy in front of them in the supermarket line was carrying. Ignorance is bliss.

Over the past few years a lot of states have changed the laws to make it so the state 'shall issue' a carry permit unless they can show cause as to why the person shouldn't be issued a permit. Generally a criminal record or mental health issues are the causes for refusal.

In spite of the violence the naysayers have predicted, I have seen no increase in violence. In fact the only thing that seems to have increased is the number of robberies and the like that have been foiled by armed citizens. I have no problems with an armed robber being taken down by a citizen.

Still, the Starbucks people really did nothing as far as taking sides in this issue goes. They simply stated that they were going to accept state and local laws as their policy. What they did is as simple as that.

Gun owners consider this to be a victory. It isn't. The anti-gunners seem to consider this as a loss. It isn't.Neither side has gained anything, neither side has lost anything. It is nothing more or less than a company refusing to get involved in a political issue. The Starbucks people are simply letting people do what the law permits people to do. In a sense that in itself is a refreshing thing.

In a sense all the Starbucks people have said is "Settle it somewhere else!"

my other blog is:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The other day I said the cops in my town are not half bad and I got a few


The other day when I posted about my local police force I had a policeman on another forum comment to me and I think he is right.

He mentioned that the community generally gets the kind of police force that they want, or at least the kind the boisterous want. I got to thinking for a moment or two and I do believe he is spot on. Generally police departments do what they can to take care of the needs of the public. If the people in the community do not consider drunk driving to be an issue the police generally will not enforce the drunk driving laws, or at least with any kind of zealousness.

On the other hand if every civic group and concerned citizens group consider drunk driving to be a major issue then the laws will be zealously enforced.

The same holds true for just about every other aspect of policework. It all goes back to Robert Peel, father of the modern police who said the the product of good policework is the absence of crime and said how the people are really the police.

This hold true to some extent because when you think about it bad neighborhoods exist because the residents there permit it. If they simply didn't permit it the neighborhood would clean itself up. It really wouldn't take a whole lot of time for a neighborhood to clean itself up if they wanted to.

All they would have to do is hammer the mayor a bit and he would hammer the police commmissioner who would in turn assign officers to the area and the process would start.

Hookers, drug dealers and the associated hangers-on are in the businesses they have chosen for the same reason anyone else is. They want to make a buck. In their line of work the name of the game is twofold. They want to make money and stay out of jail. If it looks like they can't make any money and stay out of jail while conducting business in a certain area they will simply go somewhere else or change their line of work.

Instead a lot of neighborhoods that have gotten pretty rough because the residents there are either too cowardly, too lazy or too stupid to take responsibility and band together to get something done. Something like make it clear to the mayor that he had best get the police commissioner to get some officers on the street or come reelection he will be out looking for a job.

On the other hand it is a whole lot easier to sit there and feel sorry for yourselves and complain about the police not doing their jobs and calling them a bunch of doughnut eating fat boys when in reality they probably would like to be out there doing something.

While I do have sympathy individually for residents of bad neighborhoods, collectively the truth is it's their own damned fault for permitting it to be that way. If they don't want to live in a rough neighborhood they can either band together to clean it up or move.

The same holds true for when a police department gets out of hand and becomes revenue collectors instead of poilce officers. Generally it isn't the working cop on the street that is to blame. Like most everyone that works for a living, the working cop generally simply does what he's told. The working cop that is told to start enforcing catch-22 laws and other forms of stupid generally does unless he plans on finding another job.

When a police department gets out of hand there is generally a problem upstairs with the bosses getting either flak from their bosses or they are simply dreaming of expanding their empires. Sometimes this happens around military bases when the city fathers forget that the GIs are their tax base and they start treating them like a plum to suck the juice out of.

From time to time this happens and generally the commanding general simply tells the city fathers that he will put the entire town off-limits to anyone employed on the post. The city fathers generally listen to that one rather carefully and back off. Over the years a few COs have put towns on the off-limits list and it generally took about a month or two before the city fathers came back pleading, offering the general promises to leave the GIs alone.

When the police in a city get out of hand and start becoming revenue collectors it becomes time for the residents to pay a little visit to city hall and remind the mayor that there is an election coming up and if this stupid doesn't come to a halt than there is going to be a nice spot in the unemployment line waiting for him.

I've been told by a number of people that the city fathers watch our department pretty carefully and have let a number of officers go over the years. Like I have posted earlier they are usually pretty good.

This doesn't just hold true to police forces, either. It holds true to all forms of government. We have the government we deserve simply because we elected them.

I think the reason I have a good police force in my town is because the city fathers do a pretty good job of keeping tabs on them. Of course the reason for that is because the townspeople keep an eye on the city fathers.


Here is what another cop said about the post I made the other day. I think he make his point a lot clearer than I did in a lot fewer words. He said he would send me his "Mayberry cops" post and when he does I will post it here.

As a cop I thank you for that. One of the great frustrations is people freaking over every interaction. Odds are I don't know you real well when I contact you. So, you may make Mother Theresa look like a gangbanging thug. I know this how? Even if I do know you every one has bad days. That is a lesson cops learn the hard, painful and sometimes bloody way. Ever had an upstanding citizen lose their mind and do crazy stupid or violent shit? Most cops have. When I try to point that out, most folks (especially on here), just scream thn blue line.

I would also add something I have said on here before, that tends to drive some people frothing at the mouth nuts but I think you might appreciate and/or agree with.

A community will have the police it wants(or perhaps the police the most vocal of its citizens want). There will be unintended consequences and changing will take time, but they will get what they ask for. You and the neighbors call dispatch bitching about speeders in your subdivision on the weekend and the damn cops need to do somehting about it? Don't bitch about revenue generation when you get a ticket through said subdivision for 20 over. Want the cops to do something about vandalism in an area? Don't scream JBT when they stop you walking through that area at 3:00 a.m. Want them to do something about DUI's? No problem.

You say others want those things not you. That you want Andy Griffith and Mayberry(trust me, you probably don't but that is a different commentary) then get off your ass and create that society. Until then you see the problem when you brush your teeth. Because the cops do not make the law. They do not get paid to predict unintended consequences of the laws. They get paid to enforce the law that a community has made.


my other blog is:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

crack a beer and veg out for prostate cancer

Veg out for prostate cancer (or drug abuse or homelessness or whatever)

The other day someone asked me to sponser them to take a 20 mile hike against hunger.

It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Why all the sweat to raise money? You have to go out and take a 20 mile hike to nowhere and get all sweaty and accomplish nothing.

You are generally sponsered by the mile and if you only make it, say, 10 miles you only get paid for 10 miles.

The whole thing makes no sense to me. I would rather pay someone to sit on their ass for a day and do something constructive even if it is to produce empty beer cans for recycling. That makes sense to me.

Figuring a pace of about a mile in 20 minutes it would take a person about 7 hours to cover 20 miles. It makes sense to do this and save the taxpayers a few bucks because the city would not have to cough up a bunch of money for police overtime to patrol the event.

Now there would have to be special rules for a non-march against whatever. You would have to stay home and not go out and use the time shopping or something like that. You would have to dedicate the entire seven hours to doing something that costs the taxpayer nothing but is constructive but not work related.

The only walking you could do is to amble to the refrigerator and mosey over to the bathroom and that's about it. You could meditate, masturbate, surf the web, write letters, and still make money for your special cause.

All in all this sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

My sister went on a march against hunger a while ago and I sponsored her for a few bucks. The next time she does something like this I am going to offer her twice of what I sponsored her the last time simply to stay at home.

I ran this by a shipmate of mine and his responce was, "Sit back and crack a beer for prostate cancer."

Sounds good to me.

Another thing I find that is backwards are parades on Veteran's Day.

Veterans organizations get together and send a busload of veterans that absolutely hated road marches to go out on yet another several mile road march and sweat their ass off and get all stiff and sore.

As a young Boy Scout I once heard an old timer that went over the top with Blackjack Pershing comment that if he had known that twice a year he would wind up on road marches for the rest of his life he would never have enlisted to go to France in the first place. It took a few years but eventually I learned why he said that because I had to hump the receiver of a Browning M-2 for quite a few miles. An M-60 was a piece of cake.

What they ought to do is make everyone else march and let the veterans sit on lawn chairs and kick back to watch the dog and pony show. The comments among the veterans would be priceless.

"Hey, here's the fatties from the Jenny Craig program, guys! Let's watch those porkers sweat like pigs!"

"I can't wait for the 4-Fs and draft dodgers to pass by, says another. This year I brought six dozen eggs to help you Vietnam guys out. I'll help you get your pound of flesh!"

"Hey, the high school band is doing a pretty good job this year. Anyone got a spare beer? I ran out."

"Last year I went all the way to Atlanta to watch Jane Fonda march. I really pasted good her with a couple of tomatoes I bought in August and saved up especially for that one!"


"Yeah. Gave her a pretty good egg shampoo on top of the tomatoes."

"That fixed her. Bet she doesn't go to Kabul to crap on the guys we got over there this time."

The Boy Scouts pass by carrying the flag and everyone in the audience rises and salutes or puts their hat over their heart.

"Good kids," says a veteran. "They'll be here with us in about 8 or 10 years."

"They will after he sees what we do to Barry Montgomery, the little runaway. He split to Canada until Jimmy Carter let him back. He'll be passing by soon."

'We'll fix that guy," says another, checking his supply of beer, rotten tomatoes and rotten eggs. He hefts a particularly over ripe tomato. "Here's the one I've been saving for Old Barry Montgomery."

Of course, unless he is a veteran, the Washington DC Veterans Day parade is to be led by the President of the United States. It the President is a veteran he gets to grab a beer and sit with the boys. The press isn't to be allowed within 500 yards of him so he can enjoy the dog and pony show with the rest of the guys and not hear about it in the news the following day.

I don't know how you readers feel about this but it sounds pretty good to me.

I did my road marches. Now I want to sit on my ass and watch the rest of the world walk by as I have a beer.

my other blog is:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sometimes you just want a cup of coffee and a work truck.

I have a fellow ham who just had his wife swap out his old cell phone when they renewed their contract and the wife tried to do the right thing and seemingly failed miserably. She bought him some kind of super smart phone that you can do all sorts of cool, neat and nifty stuff with including send yourself instant messages from Outer Mongolia and answer them in Inner Slobovia. It also has a program built in that will tell your left hand what your right hand is doing.

I guess the old one you simply made telephone calls on which is all he does with a telephone.

Like me he probably figures that if he has time to text then he has time to call and he most likely figures if he needs a computer he wants a computer with a keyboard instead of a thumb board. I don't blame him because I feel the same way.

Now this guy isn't intimidated with the newer technoogy. He's a ham that is into all sorts of technological things with radios so learning how to use his new phone would probably be a snap for him.

The old phone would take a charge and last for several days before he had to recharge. The new one requires daily charging.

While a lot of people out there are fascinated by the latest technology, I guess thet there are a lot of us that are not. We are just simple souls with simple needs and simple tastes and that is that. We feel no real need to compete in the rat race of technology but we are not afraid to use it if the technology actually fits our needs.

Every time I buy a new vehicle I have the same headache because I wind up having to go all over hell's half acre to find a simple rig to haul myself around with. To me a pickup is a pickup and the purpose of it is to haul me and my stuff around. I do not need power everything to do this with and I happen to prefer driving a clutch.

Of course, everyone and their cousin warns me that I am going to have a hard time with a clutch in heavy traffic and when I am done answering the warner they either feel foolish or are pretty mad at me. I generally point out that I have had a driver's license since long before they were born and have probably 75,000 miles of city driving under my belt and really haven't noticed it.

I just like to keep things simple.

I imagine there are a lot of other people out there that feel the same way but have simply tired of arguing or feel that they have no say in things. You do but you had best be ready to fight for it tooth and nail. The best weapon you have is the fact that it is your money and you can spend it as you see fit. If they want it they have to give you what you want.

Anyway, this has even gotten down to the point where buying a simple cup of coffee is a major chore. This same guy was trying to buy one a while back and got hit with all of his options of cuppacinos, frappacinos, lattes, and God knows what else. All this poor soul wanted was a lousy cup of coffee.

His frustration went into the red and he told the kid that if he didn't just get a simple cup of coffee he was going to rip the kid's head off and empty his colon down his neck. Three seconds later he had his coffee, paid and left.

He and I are not alone in wanting simple things. The guy behind him walked up and snapped, "I want what he just ordered."

I'll bet the guy that was behind him had a cell phone he didn't want, too.

This guy that I am talking about has asked me what to do with the new cell phone that has been imposed on him. My reply was simple.

I told him to kill it with fire. That's what I would do.

Then again I am a seaman and I have the option of sending things like that to Davy Jones' locker. It is a wonderful option I have used several times over the years and I am grateful to have it.

This has been updated: Seems his daughter needs a new phone and his will fit the bill nicely. He just snagged a $30 simple clamshell off of eBay and everything looks like it will come together for him.

my other blog is:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Don't make the arrival of a baby sound like someone got a new car

Women do not understand men. There is something in their voice that when they say something you will always draw the wrong conclusion and give the wrong answer.

The lady of the house wandered in as I was reading the paper. "Shirley Bohm has a new baby," she said.

"Oh, yeah?" I answered. "I wonder what she did with the old one. Throw it in the dumpster? Craigslist it? You know that pretty little blond haired blue eyed old kid of hers would fetch a pretty penny if she sold her to an A-rab oil sheik if she hasn't ditched it already."

"What do you mean by 'what did she do with the old baby?'" she demanded.

"When Neighbor Bob got a new pickup he took the old one to the wrecking yard. Got two hundred skins for it. I just figured when Shirley got a new baby it just made sense to scrap out the old one."

"What do you mean," she cried. "She didn't sell her daughter!"

"Oh, a trade-in, huh?" I asked. "You know, you generally get beaten up pretty badly in a trade. The dealer generally gives you wholesale on a trade-in and ships the kid overseas somewhere. The Japanese have a fascination with blond hair and the A-rabs go nuts over it. If she sells the old baby herself she can make out pretty good. Some of them oil sheiks would cough up some serious change for a little blond haired girl."

"She didn't sell any of her children!" she shrieked. "What are you thinking!"

"Well, generally when you get something new you toss out the old one," I replied. "At least you do when you're just replacing somethin'. Remember when Dick Moran divorced Carol a few years ago? He just remarried and now he has a new wife to replace he old one. Actuallly he got a pretty good deal on the one he just married. He sorta just scrapped Carol out, though. I don't think he'd have gotten anything for her, even on Craigslist. When you think about it, just getting rid of her was a pretty good deal."

"Shirley just had a new baby to add to her growing family," she explained.

"Oh. Why didn't you say so." I replied. "You made it sound like she was trading her four year old daughter in for a new model instead of adding to her family."

I went back to reading my newspaper.

my other blog is:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Right now Superman needs a little help. I'm giving it to him

I am currently looking for an old glass and aluminum telephone booth to set up in my front yard. It will be carefully maintained so that Superman has a place to change out of his Clark Kent working at the Daily Planet blue serge suit and into his official Superman suit.

Ever since the cellular telephone has become popular the number of telephone booths in this great nation of ours has dwindled to about none and now Superman has no place left to change his clothes.

There are times in this great nation of ours when someone has to step up to the plate and accept some responsibility to keep this country running.

While I probably shouldn't run for political office...then again, maybe I should, but I digress.

Anyway politics is out of the question for me. I do not have the proper tact as was shown the other day at crew change when a couple of the guys were standing around talking about raising kids.

Both of them had daughters and one was griping about the number of young men hanging out below the bedroom window baying like dogs in heat. I chuckled and mentioned I never had that problem as I had never raised kids.

The other guy bragged that although his daughter was the same age as the other guy's that he didn't have that problem. This guy is one of those guys that lives in a dream world and everything is just wonderful. I looked at him.

"No guys baying like hound dogs, huh? I wonder how you feel raising a daughter that nobody wants to tumble in a haystack with?" I asked, dryly.

I didn't stick around for the answer and I noticed several guys that heard the conversation turn a little red and sidle away from the scene of the crime.

No, Politics isn't for me.

I guess what I am going to have to do to help keep this great nation of ours on the straight and narrow is set up a phone booth in my front yard so that Superman has a place to change.

The mild mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper needs a place to change so he can continue to fight for truth, justice and the American way and I think I will give it to him.

(AT least as soon as I can find a phone booth somewhere)


The next time you hear a woman talk about So and So's new baby, try asking her what So and so did with the old one.

my other blog is:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Brats and comeuppance

One of the things I have seen a few times over the years is a spoiled brat getting his comeuppance. I think my favorite time was in the army during basic when we had a little brat that kept insistine that we didn't have to do thiings.

Even back then the drill sergeants were not really allowed to get too physical but in extreme cases they sort of forgot that chapter of the book. This little whiney brat wandered into the laundry room and when I saw him stumble out I knew exactly what had happened to him. Someone had given him a pretty good shot in the solar plexus.

I was mopping the floor outside the laundry room at the time and saw the drill sergeant come out shortly thereafter. I simply looked at the mop and concentrated on what I was doing but I must have been smirking. The drill sergeant tried looking like nothing had happened but didn't do the best job I had ever seen of it.

A few hours later I guess the indignant little brat mouthed off to his squad leader what he was going to do in retaliation to having been brutally assaulted by the drill sergeant and got yet another sock in the gut from him. This one was in front of the rest of his squad. When he wimpered to his squad mates that he wanted justice it was funny listening to them all tell him they hadn't seen anything happen. The outrage on his face was precious.

I would like to say this guy became the best soldier in the platoon but I can't. He didn't. However, I can say he figured out that the smartest thing he could do was to keep his mouth shut, stop being selfish and pull his own weight. That wasn't a whole lot to ask for under the circumstances.

I was considered a pretty self-reliant independent trainee and when I was not contributing to the team efforts of the squad I was generally scouting around looking for ways to learn a little more and improve myself. At first it was sort of a hard row to hoe until people figured out that I wasn't shunning the team, just taking what little time I had to myself and using it to stay on top of things. After that I was left alone when I took my time to myself.

I have to say that at least the kid in basic training learned and amended his ways and shaped up enough to become a part of his squad.

Over the years the people that I have seen out in the worlld that leave me in constant consternation are the ones that never seem to learn. I had a neighbor like that once. He would get indignant and raise all sorts of hell over nothing. If a couple kids were wandering up the street tossing a Frisbee across the road as they walked up to the store, you could bet on seeing a cruiser pass by.

I would imaging that he would report that the kids had taken over the street and were using it to play the World Series or something when in fact it was nothing more than a couple of kids with a Frisbee wandering up the street.

Of course, from time to time he would have his place vandalized or be wakened up at 3 am with a cherry bomb tossed on his porch or some other thing. I should have invested in paint remover stock back then and I would have been able to retire in my twenties.

Still, I do not think this guy ever learned.

I recall walking down the street carrying a shotgun and a couple of squirrels and having a cruiser pull up to me and look at me. The officer simply glanced at my hunting license and commented on the squirrels,, asked me where I bagged them and drove off. I saw him pull into the neighbors driveway and get out. Right then I knew what that was all about.

He had most likely reported that I had been walking down the street shooting squirrels out of the stately elms that lined the street. I started to plan a retaliation for that one but thought better of it. I knew the policeman and he was one of the good guys. I knew the cop had probably told him to stuff it. Cops back then generally knew that a kid that spent a lot of time hunting and fishing seldom wound up getting into any real trouble even though they might have a mischievious streak.

For one thing they valued their hunting and fishing privliges and would not do anything to endanger them.

Now this started when I was in grade school and from what I heard it kept up until I was in the the army and he decided to put in an in-ground pool. Someone tossed a home made cherry bomb into it and cracked it.

From what I heard he smartened up shortly thereafter after about two decades. At least to a certain extent. I heard later he was still stupid but not quite as stupid as he had been. He had either grown tired of repairing things or had gotten too old.

These days I tend to see a lot more brats and crybabies running around than I used to. I attribute it to a society that has lost its common sense and takes a lot of stupid stuff more seriously. We seem to as a society miss the entire point and have seemed to have lost our independence.

I'd bet that police departments and the courts now spend an awful lot more time on stupid things they never used to be forced to bother with. I know of one younger guy that has run afoul to the new and improved system. Someone picked a fight with him and I do not mean this was over an insult. This was a
case where the starter upperer of the incident laid hands on this guy. The original layer of hands got a busted nose for his troubles and it should have ended then and there.

Someone went looking for trouble and got it. It should have been end of story then and there.

Enter lawyers and a lawsuit. The defender of himself got wahcked for the cost of repairing the assailant's nose.

This creates an atmosphere where being a barnacle on the ass of society is profitable when Judge Piccolo would have simply tossed the entire case out of court.

From time to time I occasionally see someone get their comeuppance but it ain't like it used to be and I think we are becoming a nation of whiners.

my other blog is:

Friday, February 10, 2012

The cops in my town ain't half bad.

One of the things I think a lot of readers may not understand is that I have nothing against police officers.

They have a job to do and generally they do it as best they can. I figure the average cop is just another fairly decent guy that has chosen to try and make the world a little safer place to live.

While it is true I think there is a lot of stupid and police corruption in places like Philly, the average cop in the average town is just another guy trying to keep things down to a dull roar. The average cop wants to go out and feel he has made a difference.

Police departments seem to have the same headaches as most other organizations and probably suffer the usual 80/20 problems any other organizations seem to suffer. Eighty percent of the problems are generally caused by about 20% of the membership.

As I have posted here I generally draw a lot more police attention than a lot of my fellow citizens.

Much of this is of my own doing as I tend to do things that are a little unusual and the unusual seems to draw attention. Good policemen are curious by nature and tend to stop and check out things that they see as being unusual.

A guy parked in a mall parking lot with some sort of radio set up well after the mall is closed is pretty likely to draw the eyes of the local police who generally patrol mall parking lots after closing hours looking to make sure everything is secure. I would imagine that if they did not at least pull up and ask what is going on that they really would not be doing their job.

You have to expect such things and if you are not ready to deal with a police officer I suppose you ought to simply stay home instead of going hilltopping in a parking lot late at night. There are not a whole lot of hilltopping ham radio operators running around. It is an unusual thing to do and anything unusual is bound to draw attention.

Getting upset with the officer that is doing his job really makes little sense when you think about it because he is probably going to respond just like almost everyone else in the world. If you get all huffy and give him a hard time he is simply going to return the favor. You can't blame him because you would probably do the same thing.

You also can't blame him for being suspicious when you act like you are simply trying to get rid of him because his suspicious nature is going to wonder what you are trying to hide. More often than not a simple honest explaination of what you are doing goes a long way.

I can not recall ever having a police officer show up at my residence looking for me that hasn't been called
by somebody else. Nebby Larry, the chronic cop-caller has been responsible for the majority of it and there is another neighbor a few doors up that does not have a life that I sometimes bait by doing something like drink iced tea out of an old Jack Daniels bottle while cleaning a rifle.

The one up the street has been quiet lately probably because she has made a fool out of herself a few too many times.

A lot of people seem to get pretty resentful when they find themselves dealing with a police officer. Generally I don't find it upsetting in the least because I know that they have to respond to calls, even stupid ones like the ones Nebby Larry makes into the station when I bait him by telling him I am looking for land mines and other such things.

Granted there are a number of police officers on the payroll that really shouldn't be there but you have only to look around and open your eyes and you will see about the same percentage of idiots in just about any other field that don't belong in the field they are in.

One officer I know of fits the bill when I think of him. He is a jerk and should have found something else to do for a living. He makes trouble where there is none and I happen to know that there are a whole lot of officers that do not like him very much because of this.

One of the problems asssociated with a person like this is that he gives the rest of those that try and keep things simple a bad name. Besides making trouble for the public, he makes trouble for the department.

Still, you have to realize that police departments in general are little more than a cross section of the American public and that they have a job to do and are subject to the same problems and headaches as the rest of us have.

My most often read post is the one where I was in a motel and the maid walked in on me and freaked out when she saw me cleaning a service rifle. The police were called and a couple of rookies showed up and freaked out over the fact that I had a couple of service rifles and a pile of ammunition. They got carried away.

While the incident ended well when a sergeant walked in and sorted things out you have to look at the responding officers. Neither of them were at all familiar with the shooting sports and it is entirely possible that the first firearm they ever fired was at the police academy. You also have to remember that this event took place shortly after the Oklahoma City bombing and the media was on a feeding frenzy reporting militias behind every tree.

There are an awful lot of police officers that are not shooters and simply regard their sidearm as something they have to qualify with periodically. A lot of them do not own firearms of their own. They do not hunt. Some are really not comfortable around firearms.

This is to be expected to a degree because, as I have said, the police are nothing more than a cross section of the American public. There are an awful lot of citizens out there that are afraid of firearms for various reasons. I would suppose there are a few officers in this category, too.

When I think of police officers I do not think of heroes, nor do I think of a bunch of bums, either. I simply look at most of them as guys that are just trying to do a good job, take home a paycheck and raise a family as best they can.

We give the average cop a lot of authority that he seldom abuses and a lot of responsibility he generally manages to live up to and really, that ain't all that bad.

When you consider the fact that they are nothing more than human beings and as such are apt to make mistakes it is pretty noteworthy that in general they do as good of a job as they do.

my other blog is:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

This has been a pretty darned mild winter so far

and I really ought to shut the hell up before I hex things.

My snow blower, serviced last November is ready to go. All I have to do is dump a quart or two into the tank and fire it up.

Still, I hope the thing rusts in peace because I do not like snow.

The snowblower is one of those things one buys and prays they never have to use it, sort of like buying a fire extinguisher or a home defense weapon. You buy it as a sort of insurance policy.

So far this winter has been pretty good but it is far from over. A few years back we had a pretty mild one until March came along and then we got clobbered big time. This is going to be one of those years that I do not summerize the snow blower until well after Easter.

The weather Gods can be pretty sneaky.

my other blog is:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It is a new day and I am up early as usual

which I suppose is a product of getting old.

It wasn't all that long ago I could sleep until noon. Now I wake up pretty early.

Then again I tend to hit the rack a little earlier, but not a whole lot earlier, though.

I wonder why this is? Is it that I don't seem to need as much sleep or is it that I have simply changed schedules?

WHo knows? I guess I'll just have to keep an eye on things and see what is happening to me.

I have a lot of paperwork to get done today and I want to get it done on time so this will probably be a short post. Then again I might add to it as the day goes on if I manage to get ahead.

In other news. I just got word that an old shipmate just died of pancreatic cancer. He was one of thosse cheerful guys that was from the south and sort of reminded people of Gomer Pyle.

We both entered the business at about the same time and went through fire fighting school together two decdes ago with another company.

When he first started I found out he was a plumber by trade but really didn't like it for some reason or another. He decided to come out here and give the life a whirl. At first a lot of things came a little slow for him but it didn't take a lot of time for him to pick right up and get with the program.

He was one hell of a good shipmate and a competent seaman. I am going to miss him. He survived an awful lot of stuff over the years.

my other blog is:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A busy day. I have to take care of quite a few things

so I suppose todays post will be just a sort of place holder.

I was outside a minute ago and the patrol car passed by. I recognized the officer as the one that Nebby Larry called on me the other day so I flagged him down to say hello and let him know I am going out of town for the rest of the day.

"I'm going to be out of town until late. See anyone suspicious just take care of him and leave him on the back porch and I'll bury him for you. Oh, yeah. I got half a box of silvertips to replace any rounds you use."

That got a semi-amused look. "How do you know we use silvertips?" he asked.

"I had to replace a couple of rounds for the last officer that had this beat after he...Oh, never mind," I replied. "Anyway if you ever need a shovel I keep one under the porch."

"I'll keep an eye on the place," he said.

Even though the Mrs will be here it is good to know he'll keep an eye on things.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Nebby Larry missed a chance yesterday

Nebby Larry missed one yesterday.

I was rerouting an antenna and needed a piece of paracord strung through a tree so I simply got out the slingshot. The slingschot has a fishing reel mounted on the bottom and I simply shoot a one ounce sinker through a tree, tie a piece of paracord to it and reel it in. Presto!

The problem is that 10 pound test monofilimint is pretty damned hard to see. Especially in some sunlight conditions. When that happens I generally spread my arms and wander around the suspected impact area until it snags on me somewhere.

So there I was, wandering around the side yard with both arms extended looking fo an invisible piece of monofiliment, for all intents looking like I was not rowing with both oars in the water.

This really is nothing new and my immediate neighbors have learned that when they see something like that there is generally a pretty good reason. They know I have different interests and respect it.

The guy across the street wandered out to get his mail and saw me. He knew exactly what was going on.

He looked up and down the street and then looked at me.

"Just checking," he said. "While I know you're trying to find where your sinker landed, Nebby Larry would have a field day with you."

"Looks like he missed one," I replied. "Better luck next time. Maybe I can get a nuclear waste sticker and put it on the trash can and REALLY drive him nuts."

He laughed as he recalled the time years ago when I had a sick cat that had gottten radioactive iodine treatment. I had to keep the kitty litter separate and hold it for sixty days before I could trash it out.

Neighbor Bob had snagged a 'nuclear waste' sticker somewhere and stuck it on the trash can. The pregnant woman a couple of doors away saw the sticker and went into a panic fearing that the 'nuclear waste' would cause her to have a three-headed kid or something. Neighbor Bob was no help in the matter when she asked him about it. He told her I was running a reactor in the basement and selling electricity back to the power company.

She flipped out and called not the local police, but some nuclear regulatory people who showed up and hilarity ensued. The nuclear people tried to bully me around until I got a neighbor over to insure everything was on the up and up. The neighbor just happened to be a special agent with the FBI, an honest to God real, live G-man. He's long since moved which is a shame. He was a really good guy.

The whole incident was a real circus and when one of the nuclear guys opened the trash can and was bowled over by the aroma of old cat urine. He looked up and demanded to know why I didn't simply tell him I had a sick cat. I simply replied that he hadn't asked.

I thought my G-man neighbor was going to die laughing right then and there.

Anyway, yesterday Nebby Larry missed a chance.

Don't worry. I'll make sure the little dweeb get another one.

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Piccolo meets a little old lady.

While I was boat shopping I was in the bread aisle and this little old lady in her 80s was having a hard time putting a loaf of bread back on the shelf.

"That's too much money," she said. (it was)

I put it back for her and she commented on how expensive things have gotten for people on fixed incomes. She gave me a sad look. "I won't be able to help my granddaughter out anymore," she said. "I wonder what I'm going to tell them."

I looked at here and smirked. "Tell them your pregnant and need the money to raise your new child," I said, with an evil grin. "When they tell you they do not believe you simply tell them that it's your story and you're sticking to it."

The look she gave was priceless. The woman was one of the World War 2 generation and raised her kids during the 'Leave it to Beaver' days. She looked a bit shocked but recovered.

"My husband would have a fit if I told the granddaughter such a thing," she said and then suddenly erupted into laughter.

I then told her what I had done at Lowe's the other day with a nosy woman and she treated me to more laughter. She wanted to know what the nebby woman did and I told her. She laughed herself silly.

"Here's what you do," I explained. "Tell them he came home from a bachelor party all drunk up and thought he was 20 again and knocked you up like a cheerleader! Tell them 'You can blame you father for putting me in a family way and giving you a great aunt that is going to be 25 years younger than you are!'"

She laughed. "But he hasn't had a drink in years," she said.

"That makes for an even better story, yet!" I replied.

"But what is going to happen when my granddaughter starts questioning him?" she asked. "He''ll be furious."

'He'll probably look sheepish and grin like an idiot, which is what all men do when asked about things like that. Just because he is a little older doesn't change the fact that he is a man and that is what men do in cases like that."

"I believe you're right." she said. 'He WILL grin like an idiot."

"Listen, you two have been married for as long as you have and you can't tell me there haven't been surprises in your marriage," I said. "Maybe a nice surprise is just what the doctor ordered."

She looked at me thoughtfully for a minute or two and then a truly evil look came over the old woman's face. It lit up and turned delightfully devilish.

For some reason the look was one I always wanted to see on TV but never got to. Back in those days the TV people didn't have the nerve.

She reminded me of June Cleaver, having just snapped after having gotten yet another call from school--the one that finally put her over the edge. She is sitting there with a big, satisfying evil smile slowly honing a butcher knife as she is looking forward to a nice satisfying time of hacking the Beav up when he gets home from class.

I wandered off with a self satisfied grin look as I wondered what kind of monster I had just created.

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Yesterday I went hilltopping at a local mall.

Hilltopping is taking a portable transciever to the highest hill in the area and going on the air. The weather was beautiful and I didn't want to waste it. I bought the PRC 320 just for that.

The original plan was to toss up a wire antenna and go for it and check into the YLISS net as I checked out of it from the homestead before I left.

Next to the mall there is a baseball field with a few light poles around it and the light poles looked perfect for a place to string the antenna wire. One shot with the slingshot lofted a piece of monofiliment perfectly over the pole. As I found out the shot was too perfect. The pole was creosoted wood and the line got snagged in the end grain and I lost my sinker. Here's where I screwed up. I didn't bring any spares.

There were a couple of other places I could have strung the antenna wire but I deemed them either too low or in a place where someone in a vehicle could hit the wire even though it is neon pink.

What? Neon pink?

Yeah. Neon pink. It sticks out and that is exactly what you want something like that to do, be seen so nobody trips over it.

Still, the thing could have a string of lights along it accompanied by sirens and horns blaring out that it was a death wire and still somebody would hit it and state that it is their God Given right to enter this ball field lot even though there are 'No Tresspassing' signs posted all over the place.

The signs are there mainly so that the police have a little leverage if someone like a group of unruly kids is hanging out there and it's a reasonable guess that the local gendarmes only selectively enforce it.

Still, there is a chance that some fuzzy cheeked rookie may amble up and attempt to make an issue of it but even that is somewhat doubtful. For one thing I am an older guy which generally means I am not likely to be up to something like vandalism or other dumb things. For another I have a ham ticket in my pocket and can simply explain thet I'm on an emergency communications drill, which in a sense I am.

We used to say about local rifle matches that they were simply just practice for Camp Perry and hilltopping in the same sense is just practice for if anything happens that requires emergency communications.

The likely scenario is that any policeman that does come to investigate is probably going to be more interested in checking out the equipment than much of anything else. Policemen by nature are curious and while it is likely that one will swing by, I doubt I'll get thrown out of the ball field.

While I could have done something else to set up an antenna wire, I decided to simply use the 2.5 meter battle whip and try my luck that way.

I set the rig up and fired it up using the external pbattery pack I made out of a couple of 12 volt batteries and a .50 cal ammo can. I was on the air in about a minute and tuned the whip up on the antenna tuner. Shortly thereafter I was talking to the net control of the YLISS net. The guy was in Florida.


A cruiser drove by, slowed up a bit and kept moving. I had called it. They have seen me there before so I guess they decided I wasn't worth checking out.

WHile the rig is somewhat underpowered and was using a very short antenna I was getting quite a few signals from all over the place. However, I am generally pretty loathe to bust in on someone's conversations so I tend to wait until the frequency is clear and try to pick up someone that has not either changed frequency or turned their set off.

I left 20 meters and went up to 17 meters and tuned the antenna.

I wasn't having a whole lot of luck but I was enjoying a beautiful day and that is always a good thing.

A fat lady pulled in and paid me little mind as she went over to a picnic table with her lunch. She must have been taking a late lunch hour.

I fooled around a bit and then heard someone calling any station. The call for that is CQ.

I answered his call and found myself yakking with a ham in Northern Ireland!

While it wasn't a full 5x5 signal, it was about a 4x4 at my end and I was speaking fairly loudly into the handset using the phonetic alphabet and general ham abbreviations and Q signals. I looked over and saw te lady was a bit nervous watching me. I guess I could understand why. It looked odd and out of place.

Playing with her head would simply be cruel. She had not bothered me in any way and all she wanted to do is sit about 50 feet away and eat her lunch. She had not been nosy or a pest in any way so after I finished my little chat with the guy in Northern Ireland I settled down fo a second and got calm again. I smiled at here and she relaxed.

It was a pretty good QSO and when it was over I decided to call it a day and go home with a win under my belt.

Northern Ireland on a PRC-320 using a 2.5 meter whai is pretty damned good if you ask me. I simply started packing my rig and headed for the barn.

When I got home as I was pulling into the driveway the officer that had shown up the other day while I was cutting my antenna pulled up behind me. He rolled down the window.

"I'm glad I caught you," he said. "I told my kid about your little space station project and he was real interested. How hard is it to get a license and how much does the radio cost?"

I told him about how fairly inexpensive 2 meter rigs are. Then I pulled the PRC 320 out and showed it to him and told him I had just contacted Ireland with it. He seemed impressed. I explained it was an old military rig I had picked up.

We chatted briefly about his son that seemed to be pretty sharp with a head for science. Then I told him that in order to get through the kid was going to have to work at it and wake up at odd hours.

He asked me what he thought he ought to do and I told him to do nothing until the kid gets a license because it will at least show some kind of commitment. He agreed, and he returned to car and his patrol duties.

A minute later Neighbor Bob showed up and wanted a beer. I handed him one but it was too early for me to join him so we sat and enjoyed some more of a great day.

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Friday, February 3, 2012

This is a collection of stuff I wrote at sea last tour. Long read.

WHile it is already dated you might find it somewhat amusing.

Or maybe not. Whatever.

Blog stuff

Oh, good!

The Giants won and the Superbowl will be the Patriots vs the Giants.

That is a pretty good deal for be because I will get peace and quiet in the Pittsburgh theater of operations. Had it been the Steelers that had made it to the Superbowl I would have to listen to a bunch of idiots asking me why I wasn't wearing a football jersey with the name of my favorite player on the back.

Some time ago I posted about the idiot that bought me such a jersey after I told him that if he did I would simply throw it in the trash. He did and I did. Miffedness ensued and a nose got put out of joint so to speak.

People sometimes learn the hard way that I generally mean what I say.

It would be Steelers this and Steelers that and I would probably wind up in a coat with extra long sleeves being escorted my nice young men in clean white coats for a long rest somewhere.

While probably not watch the game itself I suppose that I will probably want to know who won for the same reason I always check up on who won the world series.

What if I got stuck outside the wire and forgot the password? The guard (according to Hollywood) will probably let me in if I can tell him who won the World Series. The reason I remember who won the Superbowl is in case the guy on guard duty is a football fan.

Speaking of which, I actually remember using that line on guard duty once. It was funny as hell.

The DIvArty CO and Sergeant Major used to not bother getting by with the password and simply saying "It's the Colonel and the Sergeant Major" to get into the battery area.

One new guy challenged them and followed his orders of making sure anyone who entered did so using the proper password. Nobody had told him about the Colonel getting a pass. The Colonel and the Sergeant Major approached late one night and tried to get past him with that line. No dice.

Good Old Private whoever he was and whose name is long forgotten told them to wait and he called the Sergeant of the Guard, who was me. I arrived and knew the Catch-22 of the situation.

If we let them in without the password we could catch hell and if we didn't let them in we'd catch hell. The private knew what was going on and I told him I'd handle it. I looked out into the darkness at the pair of them.

"Sergeant Major, huh?" I said to the guard. Then I looked out toward the pair of them standing out in the dark.

"OK, Mac!" I said, "Who won the world series!?"

The Sergeant Major went right through the roof and started up ranting and raving that a sergeant could be such an idiot as to ask such a hokey question as that. I heard the colonel outright laugh.

"Come on in, Colonel and Sergeant Major," I said.

The Sergeant Major came up to me and started chewing me out like you would not believe. Then he asked me why I would pull the hokiest Hollywood line in the world on him.

I was incontrite. I looked at him and said, "Because I knew you would do just what you did if you were the Sergeant Major. You blew a fuse and got madder than hell at someone for using the hokiest line in the world. If you were someone trying to fake me out you would have told me who won the world series!"

The kid on guard and I almost had to hold the Colonel up he was laughing so hard. He turned to the Sergeant Major. "Surely we can't begrudge the good sergeant for a little quick thinking, can we?"

The Sergeant Major was red and settled down a bit. "I guess you're right, Sir." he said.

The Colonel turned to me, "Good thinking, Sergeant,' he said and the pair of them passed through. I heard him chuckle as they went past and I knew I hadn't heard the last of it.

The following day my First Sergeant saw me and wide eyed asked me why in the name of God I would ask the Sergeant Major who had won the World Series. When I told him my reasoning he laughed like hell.

"You sure got that one right," he said. Then he turned a little red and with sort of a sheepish look grinned at me and asked me for all the gory details. He was quite amused.


I had been out of the army for a couple of months and returned to the Colorado Springs area afer a brief visit home. I had the tipi and was in the process of getting situated in the Ute Pass area when I ran into my old Battery Commander.

I asked him why he had promoted me. Shortly after I had been promoted to E-5 someone had leaked to me that he had sort of put the fix in with the board to get me my stripes.

He was an interesting man and he himself at that time was in the process of getting off of active duty and taking a civvie job of flying some form of aircraft. I asked him why he had pushed so hard to get me promoted.

He told me that a big part of the reason was that he knew I was not planning on making the Army a career. I looked perplexed. He smiled.

He explained that a person like me that wanted to serve his hitch and get an honorable discharge wasn't too likely to do something majorly stupid. On the other hand he also knew that a guy that wasn't making a career of the service was likely to upset a couple of apple carts here and there.

"When I promoted you, I knew that would make you dangerous," he smiled. "I wanted to watch you stir up a few things and you did. Promoting you provided me with a lot of entertainment."

Many years later I saw another dangerous service person. The man had been in the navy for 17 years and been a Chief Petty Officer for seven when he went through Officer's Candidate School and took a commission. When you see a man that was a Chief for 7 years that is wearing the railroad tracks of a full Navy Lieutenant you are looking at someone truly scary.

I do not know if the Navy ought to pass a rule prohibiting such a thing or they ought to pass a rule encouraging it.

I think the Officers in power would probably like to prohibit it, but encouraging such a thing would certainly serve to stir things up a bit.

And that is generally a healthy thing.


I am listening to Mitt Romney now on the tube and after getting clobbered in SC he sounds a bit panicky and appears to be somewhat on the ropes. He has started increasing his attacks on Newt.

This is somewhat predictable when a guy takes a hit like Mitt did. It's now cheap shot time and he is doing something predictable, yet stupid.

He is trying to drag his opponent down instead of lifting himself up by promoting his proposed policies.

Dr. King once said that for every Black man being held down in the gutter there is a white man holding him there. What I see happening now is that Mitt is trying to drag Newt down into the gutter and hold him there. This means Mitt will probably wind up in the gutter holding Newt there if he can.

Another danger is that if Newt can raise himself out of the gutter Mitt is trying to hold him in it will mean Mitt could get stuck there. He very well may.

Mud slinging is a lose-lose situation when you think about it.It makes everyone look stupid, slinger and slingee. One thing that people ask about the slinger is what he is trying to hide and why doesn't he have something positive to say. The time spent slinging mud is time that could have been spent trying to inform the public what your proposals and strengths are.

Instead of trying to stand on his proposals Mitt is spending his energy trying to be a millstone around Newt's neck. Wrong move. It's like a drowning man spending his effort tring to drown his opponent when he should break away and try and keep himself afloat.

Let's see what happens in Florida next weekend.


There is a big to-do about the way Steven Tyler sang the national anthem at the game the other night.

Let's stop and think a minute or two.

Steven Tyler is a rock star. He is going to sing like one. Plan on it.

If you don't like the way rock stars sing the national anthem at a football game then do not give a rock star the job.

Still, Steven Tyler is a little easier on the ear than Kate Smith ever was. Ouch!

Incidentally, one year at Camp Perry during morning colors I was on the ready line and as the cannon fired it was followed by The Star Spangled Banner. As the final notes faded, someone shouted "Play ball!" to the amusement of most. One young E-4 looked offended and said so to the major standing next to him. The major told the young E-4 that he was in the wrong line of work because he was in the service to insure that people could do things like that.

I agree with the major. The last two words of MY national anthem are "Play ball!"

And that is all I have to say about that.


Another area I will enter is the abortion issue. My opinion on it is short and cuts straight to the chase.

I simply do not believe the government should be involved in it whatsoever.

The only ones involded in the issue should be the woman, her physician and her maker.


And that is all I have to say about that.


Herman Cain is babbling away on the tube now. Robin Meade is interviewing him.

Why is she wasting her time with that idiot?

When he dropped out he should have simply disappeared and hidden out in Outer Mongolia or maybe gone on a long trip somewhere. Maybe he could have gone to Switzerland and taken yodeling lessons or something like that.


I just saw where Newt just OWNED the host of the CNN debates.

I gotta say the man is 100% dead on when he pointed out that the media is tearing up people so badly that it makes an awful lot of people not want to enter the political arena.

There are not a whole lot of us that have had Ward and June Cleaver lives and have not done a few things we regret and the media has no business whatsoever dredging things like that up. It is disgraceful and disgusting.

I'd just bet there are several people out there that would make an excellent POTUS that are not even considering getting into the game because they does not want to have their families dragged through the mud.

Remember the time you went over to Delta house to borrow a textbook that Friday night and found you had crashed the Big Party? You just wanted the textbook and had a quick drink while your buddy ran upatairs to get it.

Well, Jimmy-Joe-Bob has a picture he took of you holding the drink before you grabbed your textbook and left four hours before the whole frat house took liberties with the Dean's 17 year old daughter. And here it is thirty years later and the picture majestically appears.

Of course, the result of that little party with the underage girl resulted in a child born long before the days of DNA testing and now all of your political enemies want you to have a DNA test taken because they have 'just happened' to have found the grown up child of that outrageous little shindig.

While the DNA test is going to be negative and you can prove you were on the other end of town during the group copulation, it is still humiliating and isn't worth it to drag your family through such a smear tactic. No matter what the DNA says and the witnesses say people are still going to wonder.

Newt was dead on there. You cannot argue with logic like that and although I think Newt is a snake of sorts he has still put another round right smack dab into the X-ring.

While I have no particular desire to enter the political arena I can assure the reader that if I did there would be a media feeding frenzy of which we have never seen the likes.

Then again, maybe the American public would find it refreshing when I answered the question of the CNN host by asking him, "Whaddya you jealous that I got more nookie than you?" or something along else these lines. "No, I do NOT have a drinking problem. I can kill an entire quart of Jameson's without barfing."

I am sure that there is still someone that remembers some of the things I have said over the years. There was one self rightous preacher there that Iheard say self rightously that so and so was seeing a married woman.

Of course, five years earlier the husband had abscounded with the family savings and had not been heard from since. The woman had not bothered to divorce him although maybe she should have but I suppose she didn't have the funds to divorce someone in absentania.

When the preacher said that in such a self-righous tone, I answered that he sounded jealous that so and so was getting her pearl and he wasn't.

There were an awful lot of people that turned pretty red when I said that. Jaws dropped and I was considered somewhat of a pariah for a while but an awful lot of people that were there quietly chased me down over the next several weeks and told me that besides being the funniest thing they had ever heard that I was probably right.

Both because he was jealous and that the self righous bastard had it coming.

When I look back on things I recall how Camelot back during the JFK reign was pretty much off limits to the media. While I am fairly certain a lot of insiders knew what was going on behind closed doors every time Jackie left the white House You didn't see or hear a single word of it during the entire administration,and there were a string of women sneaking into the White House a mile long.

In fact, during the Camelot years the media worked pretty hard at keeping the Camelot image snow white pure.

What has happened over the past couple of decades is that the media has decided to follow the low road. They have decided to cop to the trashy side and while there is a place for that, the media has taken the trashy route as an SOP.

They have also self rightously done quite a disservice to our service people byrunning their mouths. WHile the most recent incident of Marines urinating on Taliban corpses is going to cost a couple of Marines their careers, letting the public know that Usama bin Laden was whacked by SEAL Team Six very cost us the lives of a number of our SEALs from a retaliatory set up.

FDR had the brains to tell the public the Dolittle raid came from 'our secret base in Shangri La', and if anyone did find out they sure had enough sense to stay quiet about.

While the news of SEAL Team Six was let out by that blabbermouth Joe Biden (who ought to be shot for treason) the media still had the option of keeping their mouth shut. They didn't.

When you consider their First Amendment rights are guarenteed by the US Military it is a disgrace the way the Media turns on the services every chnce they get.

The media had the decency back then to keep their nose out of where it did not belong.

I'm glad Newt said what he did and put that tasteless self-rightous jerk in his place.

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