Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sheriff Piccolo and the squatter

I just read where some squatter has decided to move into a 2.5 million dollar mansion and claims it as his own.

The inevitible 3-ring circus has begun and I imagine this bum has a mouthpiece and theis is going to be a long drawn out eviction.

There are time I think I should run for county sheriff in places like this. I could save the taxpayers a lot of money.

Right now this event looks like it is going to cost a lot of time, effort and money and only Good knows what else.

Enter Sheriff Piccolo, who gets out of his car.

The guy's lawyer runs up and asks what I am doing and I tell him I am placing his client under arrest for illegal entry of the manor in question. He gets in front of me to block me.

"Counselor, would you please got out of my way. You are interfering with an officer in the line of duty," Says Sheriff Pic.

"But..." and counselor J. Poopley Potts, Esquire gets a shot of taser. It lasts a good five or ten seconds, just long enough so his deputy gets a good whiff of burning hair.

"Now, Couselor, would you please get out of my way? Pretty please with sugar and strawberries on top? Thank you, Counselor. You are so kind." Says Sheriff Pic.

He turns to his deputy, "Hook him up, read him his rights and stuff him in the car."

Sheriff Pic turns to his other deputy. "Let's go," he says.

They enter the premises and approach the squatter.

"You're under arrest for unlawful entry of a premises," says the sheriff.

"But..." protests the squatter.

The squatter is treated to a good twenty second shot of taser, creating much smoking hair and huge popped out eyes. It is clear that he is now giving the sheriff his full, undivided attention.

"Would you be so kind as to go out and get ito the back seat of that squad car over there? I would appreciate it if you were so kind as to do so," says Sheriff Piccolo. "Nice hair ya got there. Nice and curly."

The squatter runs out to the car, opens the door, get in and sits down next to his mouthpiece a mass of quivering jelly. No handcuffs necessary, he WANTS to get put into a nice, safe jail cell.

Off they both go to the pokey to cool off for a while. If they behave themselves and promise to simply leave town Sheriff probably won't press charges. Let's keeep this simple.

Total time invested here is under five minutes.

Sheriff Piccolo doesn't have time for a bunch of foolishness. He has important things to do. After all, Mrs Swan is making pies for the church rummage sale and she wants him to drop by and inspect one of them.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Go down one.

I posted todays post 10 minutes early so skip this placeholder and read the right post that I posted 10 minutes ago.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Of smokeshops, liberals and Charlie Chan

The other day I made a post about smuggling.

One of the things I happened to notice at the smokeshop down in West Virginia was that judging by the bumper stickers on the out of state cars there were just about as many Obama stickers as there were Romney stickers.

As I sit here thinking about it what I saw strikes me as hippocracy in a way. The very people that want all sorts of governmental intervention in their lives seem to not be willing to pay for it.

Government programs cost money and the money comes to the governments in the way of taxes. The government levies taxes on things, people pay taxes and the government has the money to use or give away to those that are either too lazy or too stupid to earn their own way.

Now it occurs to me that I can account for the Romney stickers I saw at the smokeshop. These were likely people that feel that they are being taxed too heavily and resent the way the government is wasting their money by supporting the Free $hit Army. These are (rightfully) angry people. I can see their point.

On the other hand I'd like to know one thing. What were the Obama voters doing there?

Could it be that they were trying to cheat their respective state governments out of the money that they need to pay for the social programs etc that they voted to support?

Of course, most of these are the people that always wanted to know if I had enough gum for everyone when I was a kid back in school.

This sounds like an interesting mystery to me.

I wonder why the very people that vote for things that increase our taxes go out and cheat on theirs. You'd think that they'd certainly go out of the way to pay their fair share.

Maybe we ought to call Charlie Chan to swing by the smokeshop just across the West Virginia border and solve this mystery.

Then again getting ahold of Charlie might be somewhat of a problem. A few years back I wrote a letter to the Honolulu Police Department asking them for his whereabouts.

I got a letter back from them telling me that he skipped out of town with a Rio showgirl back in '53. They are still looking for him for back child support on all of those children he had with his little wife.

If any of you readers out there know how to get in touch with Charlie, let me know so we can solve this mystery.

Then again, maybe we can try ourselves.

I'll venture a guess that the reason I saw so many out of state Obama stickered cars at the smokeshop. It is because the liberals really want to spend SOMEONE ELSE'S money.

I think I'll stick with that answer until we can get in touch with Detective Chan to see if I'm wrong.

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Smokes run about $12 a pack

 in New York these days according to a site I found on the web. That's about $120 per carton.

They also run about $5.50 for the same pack in North Carolina and for that matter about $4.75 in West Virginia.

A while ago I took a run down to Cabelas in Wheeling and noticed an awful lot ot Pennsylvania plates outside of a smoke shop. Seems a lot of Pennsylvanians were pulling in to save a few bucks to feed their habits. Smokes are a lttle more in Pennsylvania.

I can't help but wonder how many people are driving down to either North Carolina or West Virginia in vans or box trucks and picking up huge quantities of cigarettes for resale in New York.

Interstate 95 over the years has a reputation for being a pipeline of narcotics from Florida to points north annd I've heard that a lot of state troopers have nailed a lot of smugglers simply by routine traffic stops for little dopey things like speeding.

While I do not wonder that a cop would cheerfully nail someone for narcotics I am curious if, for example, a Virginia cop would make much of an issue of a van loaded with cigarettes bearing New Jersey plates headed home. After all, we're not talking narcotics here and it's highly likely the guy from Jersey isn't planning on selling cigarettes in Virginia.

I might be wrong here but I think that smuggling cigarettes into New York really isn't all that risky for the guy driving the van up and down the interstate if he doesn't get in too much of a hurry and go like the hammers of hell and get nailed for speeding. The police probably have bigger fish to fry.

People do this, I can tell because I have been ashore in the Big Apple any number of times and have actuallly done business with one of these people.

I was walking up the street with another guy off of another boat from another company and mentioned that my shipmate had handed me $40 to grab him three packs of Marlboro reds. The other guy, an engineer, said to me that he could do a lot better than that and told me to follow him.

He took me into a Mom and Pop store and looked at the clerk and told him I was a freind of his and wanted five packs of Marlboro reds. The appeared on the counter and the clerk simply said to give him $40 which I did. I noticed that the clerk put the money in a cash box instead of the register and at that minute it occurred to me that the smokes were most likely smuggled goods.

Either that or stolen, but I tend to think that they were smuggled in from down south because hijacking a truck is a lot riskier.

When I got back to the boat and gave then to my shipmate I'd have sworn he acted like he won the Powerball lottery.

Still, it proved to me that there is an awful lot of smuggling going on out there to avoid taxes.

Most moonshiners that get caught do not go to jail for making whisky. They get charged with tax evasion which is pretty much what moonshine is. It is untaxed spirits.

You can buy legal moonshine whisky. Georgia Moon is one brand and it really is terrible. I've tasted it. I suppose that for the most part it is sold as a novelty item.

People may get aghast when they think about smuggling to avoid taxes but the truth is Americans have been smugglers since long before we became a country. Prior to our indeppendence we smuggled a lot of things.

Rum, glass, slaves, tea, molasses, you name it. If the Crown taxed it, Americans smuggled it in. The practice has gone on since in one way or another and in this day and age we still smuggle illegal whisky, narcotics, slaves by human traffickers, and a myraid of other things.

My favorite smuggler of all time was a then 91 year old woman.

This old woman had just had her toilet replaced with one of the recently federally mandated one gallon per flush toilets. It didn't work as her outfall plumbing didn't have enough slope to it.

She took a little run up to Canada and smuggled a five gallon per flusher across the border.

What's funny about it is that she was pretty slick. She also bought one more bottle of Canadian whisky than she could bring back duty-free and declared it. She said she needed one more than the duty-free laws permitted so that all of her grandchidren would get one.

When the customs agent told her to just pass on through she told the customs guy she didn't want to do anything illegal but the customs guy assured her it was OK and passed her through.

I'd bet she had to pull over in the next rest area to laugh herself silly. I would have had to.

Smuggling is nothing new.

While virtually every state taxes liquor and tobacco to some extent, it seems that a lot of state governments are greedier than others.

New York City has tried to legislate smoking out of existince but I still see evidence of their failure to do so by seeing smokers and cigarette butts allover the parts of the city I have visited.

Of course, the unintended consequence has been smugglers and criminal activity, neither of which they really have any control over.

Back in the 80s I saw something interesting. I saw a case where the police had a certain amount of control over prostitution. It was illegal but the police decided to have a quiet little talk with the madam and they worked out a deal of sorts whereby the police would not raid the joint in exchange for the madam and the girls so employed obeying a few rules.

The girls were given 'health checks' a couple of times a week, the brothel was honestly run and there was no rough stuff. The rules were adhered to simply because if they were disobeyed the police would shut the joint down.

In return the police would bust any hookers that tried to ply their trade outside of the protected brothel. The madam had an intelligence network that shamed the KGB and found out about competition as soon as it appeared and would call the chief of police who would have the competing pavement princess jailed or run out of town.

All of this served a purpose and that was for the local police to have at least some control over prostitution to keep the violence, more serious crime and disease out of things. When I look back on it they were actually doing the public a service by the way they handled things.

The deal went on for many years until one of the local church activist preachers raised cain with the state police and forced the hand of the local department to close the place down.

Shortly after prostitution returned but it with no control on things the police were unable to keep the drugs, violence and disease out of things. I guess the preacher and his little group never figured on that happening.

Back to New York City. I wonder how many packs of legal versus illegal smokes are sold there in any given day. It would be interesting to know how much they are actually averaging per pack sold legally and illegally.

Right now the excise taxes on smokes in NYC total $5.85. The city has added a $1.50 tax to the state tax which is $4.35 per pack of 20.

When you consider that you can legally buy a pack in North Carolina for less than half that, even after paying taxes on them there it is no wonder that someone would enter the racket. North Carolina really isn't too worried about what someone does with the cigarettes they purchased there because North Carolina has had their taxes paid. They have their money.

I suppose a North Carolina cop really isn't too interested in busting a New York cigarette smuggler that has legally purchased smokes there because his paycheck likely comes from the tax money his state has collected. No use biting the hand that feeds you. Most likely unless the driver is really hauling ass or is drunk the cop is likely simply to tell the smuggler to have a good day and send him on his merry way.

As far as Joe Smoker in Brooklyn goes, he could care less if the city gets their tax money if he can save a few bucks by purchasing his smokes at One-Eye Bob's kiosk for three bucks less than at the local legal smokeshop. Joe Smoker gets his butts and saves a few bucks and that is that.

It would be interesting to find out how many members of New York's Finest get their smokes from One-Eye Bob's. Probably quite a few. Many of them may even press Old One-Eye for a discount. Who knows?

How much of this that goes on is incalculable and as much as the city officials rant and rave and threaten violators with fines and imprisonment something like this is probably largely ignored. It's quite possible that one or more of the ranters and ravers get their smokes free from Old One-Eye. Old One-Eye ain't stupid.

It would be interesting to be able to calculate the incalculable and figure out how much the Big Apple is being cheated out of in cigarette taxes daily by smugglers. My guess is that it's a bunch.

As for the Mayor of the Big Apple's plan to make people stop smoking by taxing it to death, it didn't look to me like it was working out all that well. I saw plenty of smokers there a couple of weeks ago.

The little Mom and Pop store was still open, too and my shipmate reported that Marlboro Reds there were still eight bucks a pack.


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Monday, January 28, 2013

The great colossal mess of June 8, 2011

Now the Great Colossal Mess of June 8, 2011 really manifested itself on March 27th, 2011 but it was actually created February 12, 2011. The story of the mess was written at sea on February 19, 2011 when I discovered the mess which had not manifested itself yet.



I have just gotten on board an hour or so ago and my relief told me that the newbie has overfilled the starboard lube oil tank and that when I change the generator oil to make sure I get the oil out of the port lube oil tank so as to make sure that when the starboard oil tank heats up it will make a mess.

He wants to teach a little school, I guess.

My prediction is that there is going to be a godawful mess made when the oil in the tank expands and forces itself out of the vent. With any luck it will happen when the diesel is running and the fans will splatter it all over hell.

We'll see what happens.


I am home now and just got a call. It is March 30th and apparently the mess,which I had predicted for sometime in early June has happened and is now cleaned up. According to my relief the newbie spent over 30 hours cleaning the mess up. Apparently it was pretty spectacular and the youngster has learned a valuable lesson regarding the expansion characteristics of oil.

I'm disappointed in a way because I would like to have seen the mess because the way my relief told me the story it would have been hilarious to see.  After all I didn't have to clean it up. He said it was pretty spectacular. Readers can use their imaginations and visualize 5 gallons of lube oil being propelled by a huge fan from a roaring diesel.

As of now I know that if I ever sail with the newbie I can safely assign him the duty of filling the fuel tank because I know he will leave at least six inches of dead air space to allow for expansion.

The reader can say that my relief and I are cruel for doing this to a newbie but we are not. Some lessons for some people have to be learned the hard way and this newbie is simply one of those people.

For him this was a relatively cheap lesson because there is no room for error in the fuel and cargo end of things. This guy from now on will never overload a tank again.

He'll also make it a point to check the engine room nore often during pump-offs.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

There is a Federal agancy that is

dedicated to the three things that Americans love, alcohol, tobacco and firearms.
Right now there is, in congress, a move to outlaw semi automatic firearms and I can see something happening that congress most likely hasn't thought of and is likely to deny.

On of the things that people do not think of is the law of unintended consequences. They do something for what they think is a good reason and bad things happen as a result.

A great example is the Volstead act that outlawed the sale, posession and maufacture of alcoholic beverages. It was done with the best of intentions and the results of the act were a whole lot different than had been anticipated.

Entire criminal empires flourished by supplying alcohol, the most famous gangster to rise to power being Al Capone.

Another unintended consequence of the Volstead act was that with no control over alcohol because it was illegal anyway was the number of moonshiners and bathtub gin manufacturers out there that produced questionable and even dangerous alcoholic beverages. A lot of people wend blind and a few died drinking poorly made hootch.

A lot more died in turf wars over alcohol.

I say this because if Congress does pass a so-called assault weapons ban that it will create a vacuum for these weapons.

We can see now that by sales that people want these weapons and are willing to pay a lot of money for them. With the number of federal checks totalling over 2.8 MILLLION in December it says that the demand is there, especially if you add the number of sales made in states that use their own instant check system instead of the Federal system. That doesn't even include the face to face transfers that are permitted in several states.

It's possible that during December the number of firearms that changes hands was between 5 and 6 million, many of them being so-called assault weapons.

This is a pretty good indicator that there is a market out there for these things and it is pretty likely that the market will be there if they are outlawed.

Enter criminal enterprise which for some odd reason does not obey the rules and regulations set down by governing bodies.

A criminal enterprise is set up for the same porpose any other enertprise is set up for. It is set up simply to make the entrenpreneur a few bucks. The person setting up an enterprise wants to make money.

Where there is a market there is generally someone out there willing to take a few risks to fill the market. Dairy farmers produce milk to (legally) sell to people that want it and drug dealers (illegally) sell narcotics to people that want them.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that a firearm ban is going to create a vacuum and that someone is simply going to hop in there and start a business of some sort to supply the demand.

Seeing that arms dealers right now work outside of the law, all a ban is likely to do is increase business for them and is likely to create more criminal enterprises.

Of course because the criminal enterprises are criminal they will not be playing by the rules that legal businesses play by and you can expect to see a few more casualties accumulate from turf wars and things of this nature. Criminals tend to play a little of the rough side.

It makes sense. After all if you are cheated in a deal of something legal you can go to the police or the courts. When you are dealing in, for example, cocaine and you get cheated in a deal you have to enforce the deal yourself. Generally violence results in deals gone sour in the underground narcotic business.

Look what happend during prohibition. The St. Valentine's Day massacre is a classic example of enforcement by those dealing outside of the law.

I see that the people in power that are planning on trying to ban a few firearms are thinking that doing so will simply make violence go away but it most likely isn't.

This effort to reduce violence is very likely to have the unintended consequence of increasing it to higher levels.

Of course that will lead to other bans which will lead to more illegal enterprises and more violence.

The truth of the matter is that any gun ban is going to have the unintended consequence of an increase in crime and associated violence.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

I have a box of this stuff coming

Stay tuned to see whay kind of mischief I can get into with a box of Zombie ammunition.(No, I am not going to shoot anything unless a zombie pops up out of nowhere)

I haven't jerked Nebby Larry's chain in a while. Beside I want a word with my local officer. I want to see if his kid has contacted the International Space Station yet.

The fastest way to get ahold of him is to jerk Nebby Larry's chain.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

I wonder how true this is?

I got the main body of today's post in an email and I generally ignore them, but this one interested me.

If this is crap then someone should be taken out and beaten with sledge hammer handles because I hate disinformation with a passion and it is another case of a sore whining loser.

Disinformationists on either side of the aisle should simply be taken outside and beaten into a bloody clot on the sidewalk. It is a case of lying and shows a lack of character.

On the other hand if this is true than a lot of people should be tried for capital treason and executed, starting as far up the chain as the corruption started.

It very well may come to the time where we need another Battle of Athens, Tennessee on a national level to insure honest elections.

I have nothing whatsoever against putting people that undermine the system the country is based on to death and this goes from top organizer down to the union guy that gets on the bus to illegally vote in the next county. They're all just as bad and they're all just as guilty.

Joe Stalin said that it doesn't matter who votes. What matters is who counts the votes.

Now if the contents of this post are nothing more then the whinings of a sore loser than he ought to be beaten to within an inch of his life for stirring up unnecessery crap.

Here it is.




can this be possible?

If this is true it is the beginning of the end of the republic

Date: 2013-01-15, 12:57PM

From Bill O'Reilly's message board:

Most everyone suspected fraud, but these numbers prove it and our government and media refuse to do anything about it.

As each state reported their final election details, the evidence of voter fraud is astounding. Massive voter fraud has been reported in areas of OH and FL, with PA, WI and VA, all are deploying personnel to investigate election results.

Here are just a few examples of what has surfaced with much more to come.

* In 59 voting districts in the Philadelphia region, Obama
received 100% of the votes with not even a single vote recorded for
Romney. (A mathematical and statistical impossibility).

* In 21 districts in Wood County Ohio, Obama received 100% of
the votes where GOP inspectors were illegally removed from their
polling locations - and not one single vote was recorded for Romney.
(Another statistical impossibility).

* In Wood County Ohio, 106,258 voted in a county with only
98,213 eligible voters.

* In St. Lucie County, FL, there were 175,574 registered
eligible voters but 247,713 votes were cast.

* The National SEAL Museum, a polling location in St. Lucie
County, FL had a 158% voter turnout.

* Palm Beach County, FL had a 141% voter turnout.

* In Ohio County, Obama won by 108% of the total number of
eligible voters.

NOTE: Obama won in every state that did not require a Photo ID and lost in every state that did require a Photo ID in order to vote.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Years ago I had a now long dead shipmate that stuttered.

. It wasn't a little one, it was a classic stammer and a very serious speech impediment. Interestingly enough, it disappeared when push turned into shove. In any kind of an emergency or near emergency he spoke as clear as anyone else, possibly clearer.

He was popular out here and pretty good at his trade and I worked under him for a couple of years until the bottle got ahold of him, he got canned and then he drank himself to death.

He's been dead and gone for fifteen years and I still miss him in a way because he was a real character

He was well liked to the point where the guys out here never referred to his teriffic stammer as anything else but an 'accent'. It was a rare act of special kindness seldom shown in a world where people call things pretty much exactly what they are.

One day he looked at me and told me that he thought it was pretty neat the guys covered for him, but tht truth is he stuttered.

Over the years I have known a number of Down's Syndrone people and to tell you the truth I have never once met a person with this affliction that I didn't like and enjoy the company of.

Almost every single one of them had more decency and kindness in them than most of the rest of the human race and I look at the affliction as a very mixed blessing.

The kindness and social grace that I have seen from Down's people has floored me at times and the simplicity with the way they look at things can be humbling.

I was in Ketchikan, Alaska one day talking with a Down's person one day and it was a gloomy day and raining like it does a lot there. It's the rain capital of Alaska.

"Don't you get depressed in this rainy weather," I asked her.

"No, I get wet," she replied, simply.

It made me have to think about how I was feeling sorry for myself for having to deal with the weather, something I have no control of whatsoever. That one piece of brilliance from a Down's person changed my attitude forever. Now when it rains I simply get wet.

Quite frankly I would not mind having a Down's person as a roomate if I were living in a barracks-type situation because they would likely be a lot more considerate than a lot of other people.

Thes people are slow. Slow to anger, slow to lose their mien, slow to lose their cool and slow to do dirt to their fellow man.

I enjoy being around them.

Now we have to face the truth as ugly as it is.

My shipmate had a teriffic stutter and Down's people are retarded.

Both of these are plain and simply undeniable truths and to deny it is a lie, plain and simple.

The truth is that having a stammer or Down's does not make you a bad person, it simply makes you what you are and there is nothing wrong with that.

Of course, there are those that put things into a cruel context and generally they get jumped on with both feet by me, but when someone simply refers to it in a truthful context I have to agree.

One of the things we do is try and either deny or whitewash the truth and that bothers me because I'd rather face the truth and get the occasional ugliness of it behind me and get on with things.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I am a pariah among many of my classmates

which is nothing new when I look back on things because I grew up in Massachusetts back in the 50s and 60s.
I think that what makes me different is that I actually learned a couple of things in school. For one thing I actually learned to count numbers. I can add, subtract, multiply and divide which I imagine a lot of my classmates seem to have a lot of trouble with because they keep supporting more government.

Government costs money and things have to be paid for. The government has no money save what they get from the people in the form of taxes. They get it from us and to continue the present rate of spending the people that are paying taxes now would have to have their taxes at least doubled.

I suppose they think that Obamaphones pay for themselves, maybe. I don't know, but there are an awful lot of people I went to school with that got degrees and other forms of formal education that make me wonder about the educational system because they do not know how to count.

I had a conversation with one of my classmates a couple of years back and after I listened to this talk of grey power and how we will be able to vote ourselves raises in social security and so on.

That's awful nice of him trying to give himself a raise, isn't it?

It's that very attitude that has gotten us into all of this trouble in the first place.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

One of the things lawmakers do

 when they decide to enact something is they look at things from their own perspective. They buy their meat from the store, they don't know how to catch a fish and they think the rest of the world lives that way.
Harry Truman once said that the Capitol ought to be moved to the center of the country and that there ought to be no nearby airport so that the various senators and representatives would have to drive to get there. That way they'd have to see what the rest of the country looks like.

The statement has a lot of merit.

A lot of our elected officials have no clue as too what it is like living out of a city where someone has to drive 20 miles to get something as simple as a can of beans.

When I was in basic training there were a lot of city kids there and quite a few of us country bumpkins. It wa interesting the way things went. The city kids thought they knew everything but were really humbled by the rubes who had experienced the outdoors all of their lives.

It was funny watching some Philly tough guy or New Yorker thinking he knew how to shoot from the movies or pitch a tent only to watch the city boy humbled on bivouac or on the rifle range. Some of those hillbillies could really shoot, and I had my tent up in seconds having been a camper since I was in single digits.

I remember that a Philly kid saw a garter snake and went into a panic and ran away from it. I headed toward it because I knew it was good to eat. Then again, I'll eat just about anything. The city kids thought I was crazy while my fellow bumpkins didn't bat an eyelash.

This is a diverse country and I am not talking abut all fo the politically correst racial crap that the government advertises all the time telling us how different we are because of some dopey thing like skin color or religion.

We are diverse in how we live.

In the cities that seem to run the country there are a lot more services and government institutions available to the average city dweller than there are out in rural areas. Simple things the city dwellers take for granted are available.

Want a pizza? Two blocks down, open until 1 am if you are in the city. If you are in a rural setting it may be 45 minutes away, with three quarters of the way being on dirt roads.

Having a break-in? Just dial 911 and the police are on their way if you are a city dweller and if you are in an upscale suburban neighborhood it's sometimes a whole lot faster.

Out in the sticks a 911 call may mean a county sheriff or deputy may have to crawl out of bed and drive for 30 minutes or longer to respond. In the event of a break-in or something threatening a country dweller is pretty much on their own and will likely have to grab the rifle they used last week to drop the coyote that was trying to harm their livestock and fend for themselves until help arrives.

These are totally different worlds.

The city peope are pretty fast to say that more educated people live there than out in the rural areas and if you define education as the amount of time they have spent in schools this is likely 100% correct. You don't need a PhD to raise beef or run a dairy or grow produce and although there are likely a number of people running farms and ranches that have degrees, the number is probably low.

Running the farm doesn't require a college education. What it does require is an education of a different type consisting of actually doing the job and learning as you go.

It's actually a pretty risky venture and takes a certain independent breed to run an agricultural lifestyle with any success. It only takes a storm or a disease to run through an area and an aggie can lose an entire season's worth of crops or several years worth of livestock.

When that happens you're screwed. If you lose a job in the city you can likely find another one, at least unless there's a major recession of some sort.

One of the things that I have seen over the years and most recently with Hurricane Sandy is the way many city dwellers went to pieces and didn't have clue one as to what to do.

Many people, used to shopping daily didn't even have enough sense to grab a week of canned goods to tide them over.

Generally when there is a weather event of some sort headed to the country, the people there board up or take whatever precautions they do for such an event. They likely don't bother to head to town because they already have a lot of food stored.

Frankly when push comes to shove in most situations I would look to the country resident to lend me a hand. They have a clearer idea of what to do.

(Of course, in the suburbs when a storm is brewing the womanfolk clean out all the eggs bread and milk before the storm so they can live on French Toast while the storm rages.)

Anyway, if you look at the people that get elected to public office you see that for the most part they have law school backgrounds and have urban or suburban backgrounds and have no clue as to what it is like living out in the country.

They equate the entire rest of the country to their experiences and enact laws, rules and regulations based on that. They have little if any respect for the very people that keep them fed.

They also have no clue.

When they try and keep parents from letting their children help out of t family farm or ranch they are really doing nothing but what politicians excel at. They get in the way.

Harry Truman had a point when he said they ought to move the capitol to a spot closer to the center of the country and make the elected officials have to drive but today I don't think that it would work because our senators and representatives are pretty spoiled. They'd just insulate themselves. They'd simpy be driven in some kind of a limo and arrive there having met nobody but a hotel clerk or a waiter in a fancy restaurant.

Then again, what do you expect.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Professor Piccolo

One of the things I do from time to time is teach and I have figured out one of the best ways to do this with an intelligent crewman is simply to let him figure it out himself.

Generally when I do this it seats things in his head better than anything else I can do and it stays with the man.

I work with a lot of numbers and teaching a guy that has basic math skills can generally figure out what has to be done if he sits down and does things on paper Old School style.

It also makes my job a lot easier, too as all my job becomes is a matter of keeping things on track and supplying him with the necessary information.

This isn't a classroom situation. We're talking about on the job as things happen out here.

I have a friend that one time took a guy that didn't even know how to count and turned him into a pretty good hand once by going right down to one of the flat basics of life flat basics. He used the buck. The dollar bill.

His student, like everyone else, has sure figured out how the dollar bill works. It is divided into pennies and dimes, meaning it is set up on a decimal system. I wonder if I'd have thought that quickly and used the dollar as a training aid. It's a pretty good one.

Anyway, as I am writing this I am up early and with short sleep because I have to check up on my recent students. They didn't wake me to do something, they woke me to check their work and it looked good to me.

Most people do not know that oil is traded at 60 degrees farenheit. A barrel of oil is 42 US gallons at 60 degrees. Like just about everything else things expand with heat and contract in the cold and when you are talking about the volumes we deal with here the amount of tank space required to hold, say, 50,000 barrels of oil at 60 degrees can take up 51,500 barrels worth of space if the cargo is running hot enough. The same 50,000 at 60 degrees can also fit into a space that would be 49,000 if the product is cold enough.

We use factor tables to figure this out based on specific API gravity and temperature. It's pretty accurate.

Anyway, I am here trying to make sure the guys have it figured out all right and they do.

When I was teaching the pair of them I suppose I was probably too colorful for the public classroom. I looked at the pair and said, "Hold hands, you lovebirds. I am Piccolo the marriage counselor. You sit there, and you sit over there."

The younger one snickered and the older one blushed a bit. Usually it's the other way around. The younger one generally blushes.

"You're both going to figure this out seperately and then you're going to compare answers. You two are going to check each other."

Then the scribbling began and both of them sat down and started the tedious business of figuring a fairly complex load out. They had to, on paper, show me how they would mix three different oils together to make a final product.

It took a while but they both arrived with the same figures which is somewhat surprising because generally there is a discrepancy here and there due to rounding of decimals.

When I ran the numbers myself to check them they were good to go and right now they are out on deck freezing their asses off loading the compartments.

While I was teaching them how to do this the other day it was mildly surprising how fast they figured things out. I just gave them the basic amounts based on 60 degrees and a formula to work with and explained to them what they were doing and they figured it out pretty quickly on their own.

Generally with good people you have to tell them what they are trying to do and give them the tools to work with and they'll figure things out.

The lazy and stupid won't.

Then again, there are a lot of lazy people out there that will try and play stupid and when you force them you would be surprised to find out how smart they can be.

If the government would stop making things so easy for the lazy and stupid they would generally figure out a way to smarten up and take care of themselves like my guys do.

You reward success, not failure.

My guys are now out on deck being successful. They will be rewarded with a paycheck.

Failures do not get one.

Or didn't until the government stepped in and started rewarding failure which is another story.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

This guy is an immigrant from China and he gets it.

One of the things that frosts my ass to no end are the people that start by saying, "I support the Second Amendment BUT people shouldn't have such and such a firearm or such and such high capacity magazines.

Don't pi$$ on my back and tell me it's raining. Tell the truth.

Come out and say, "I'm a socialist (or whatever) and I don't support the Second Amendment."

This guy get it. He was at a peaceful rally in tiananmen square back in '89 and was fired upon by Chinese troops.

He was naturalized in 2007 and became a gun owner in 2008. "...Not for sporting or hunting it is an instrument of freedom."

I wish to hell this guy would move out of Boston and move into my neighborhood.

He's a damned eloquent speaker.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Back in 1986 I got over my fear of dying.


It was about the 17th of August and I was in my 24'7" sailboat in the middle of the Gulf of Alaska and an early fall storm blew up and the seas got wild.

The guy I was sailing with got a little panicky and asked me what I was going to do. I told him to go below and pour us both a drink of Glenlivit 12 and open a couple of bottles of Guiness stout.

"How can you even think of having a drink at such a time!" he cried.

"Because these may very well be the last drinks we have together on this planet," I answered calmly.

He did what he was told and I ducked below to savor the good scotch and climbed back into the cockpit with a bottle of Guiness, the neck of which I kept covered with my thumb.

He knocked back the scotch in one untasting gulp and chug-a-lugged the beer and I guess it settled him down a bit and the two of us sat in the cockpit and watched the storm rage.

Sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes God lets the storm rage and calms his child.

This time God chose to let the storm rage and I have been grateful for that ever since. He calmed me instead.

I was in the middle of a storm in the Gulf of Alaska because I had put myself there and had nobody to blame but myself. My crewman was in the same boat, literally and figuratively. I hadn't shanghai'd him, he had come along as a volunteer.

Neither of us had anyone to blame but ourselves.

We sat there in the weather looking at the seas and contemplating our demise and discussed it calmly. We discussed the fact that if we lost the boat we would be in the middle of the Gulf of Alaska in survival suits and that we would likely pass slowly of hypothermia, our remains would end up as fish food and we would have simply disappeared.

We both agreed that we would not expidite matters while there was still hope. We would see it to the end and die as small shivering men in neoprene suits shivering like a junkie in a blanket.

To me it didn't seem like all that awful way to go because it was while doing something that most people are too cowardly to do. I was making an open ocean crossing in a small boat and was the captain of my own ship and the master of my own fate.

I had sailed into waters in a small boat and was at the mercy of Mother Nature. All she had to do was turn her head and it would be curtains for the pair of us.

That was the day I lost my fear of dying.

While I most certainly am not suicidal and very much like being alive, I learned that every life has a beginning, a middle and an end. As time goes on and I get closer by the second to the end of my life I consider the lesson I learned aboard my little boat to be one of the most important things I have ever learned in my life.

Had I lost my life back during that fateful storm back in '86 I think I most likely would have met my maker with no regrets because I was doing something interesting. The thought at the time of dying of Alzheimer's was and still is fearful.

Of course, I have had a number of good years since but that's immateriel. At least I would have gone in a way the the sheltered will never know, adventuring for the joy of it.

It changed me considerably and one day it made me a better person.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

I do not want safe!!


I do not want to live in a bubble and have all sorts of safety nets out there for me because I don't do my best if I do.

I don't want to have Uncle Sam offer me a free phone if I can't afford my own. I don't want government housing. I don't have a right to steal from everyone else and use the government as my thug to take money from people that have earned it.

I want a place where I can go as far as my talents will take me and climb as far as I can. I don't want to support someone who is either too lazy or too stupid to take care of themself.

If I do something stupid or make the wrong choice the choice was mine and I want to live with it.

I also want what's mine. No, I did not bring enough gum for everyone. Buy your own.

I spent the years from the time I got out of the army living the life of a homeless person but I knew the choice was mine. I lived in a tipi, a camper and finally a sailboat before I moved into an apartment at the age of 36.

I lived on salmon, venison, halibut and king crab that I either shot or caught because I was poor. Actually it galled a few of the rich folk because they were too busy chasing the buck to have the time to hunt or fish. I wasn't rich, but it was my choice.

I didn't start my present career until I was damned near forty years old, but it was my choice. I could have gone to college on my GI bill but I didn't and it was my choice.

I made a lot of choices, right and wrong and have lived with them and I don't have anyone to blame but myself and I'll be damned if I ever asked the government to bail me out. They can kiss my ass.

I don't want a safe place free of danger and access to dangerous things. I want my pickup to be able to go 100 miles an hour if I want it to and if I get into trouble with it, I will pay the piper.

I don't want to have my head in the sand and hope the forces of evil pass me by because I want to face them down and create my own safety. I'll do it myself.

It's not the job of the government to feed me, clothe me or shelter me. It's my job.


It's also my job to try and make things better for the generation coming up behind me and it just galls the living hell out of me to see that so many of my peers have taken union jobs in the public sector and have pulled a 20 and out pension and are sitting around doing nothing useful and I'm paying for it. They stopped working and started collecting and many of them will likely collect for twice as long as they worked.

Of course, the younger generation will pay for it and that is just plain wrong.

Jack Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" and a lot of my classmates seem to have forgotten about that.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

One of the things that has

happened to all of us is that we have failed to think about where things like even simple trash collection comes from. We don't have our trash hauled away magically, we pay someone else to do this for us by paying taxes.
Trash removal is something a lot of people take for granted and every week we haul our trash cans, herby-curbys, rubbish tins, whatever out to the curb and it magically disappears.

Of course when the municipality send us the bill in whatever form, we gripe for a few minutes, pay it and give it no mind.

I've lived in places where there is no curbside service and you take your own trash to the dump. The dump is generally managed by the municipality and we pay for being able to take our trash there i the same way we pay for curbside service but because there isn't a fleet of trucks and trash guys to pay for it's generally a whole lot cheaper.

Personally I like taking my trash to the dump. Saturday mornings I get to meet a lot of peole doing the same thing and sometimes people are throwing something out that I can use.

More than once I have come home wth about as much as I brought with me.

Still, it's whole lot cheaper to take your own trash to the dump on your own. For another thing you can take it there when you feel like it and don't have to wake up and remember that it's trash day. If i decide to go every two weeks or so it's cheaper yet.

Another thing a lot of us take for granted is paved roads. Most of us live alongside one, and we take it for granted.

As someone that has lived in a lot of far flung remote outposts I can say that to me there really isn't a whole lot of difference and in a way unpaved can be a whole lot safer.

Unpaved roads often set their own speed limits because they are not anywhere near as smooth as paved roads. On turnpikes I have to constantly look at my speedometer to see how fast I am going. On unpaved roads my butt tells me when I am going too fast. They are a lot cheaper to build and maintain and in most places they serve the purpose about as well as their paved equivilent.

I know a guy that lives in West Virginia and one day he commented, "I pay about $35 a year in property taxes and about once every year or so they run a scraper down my unpaved roads. That's worth about $35."

He seems happy enough with that arrangement.

So let's take today's post to North Carolina which is a pretty laid back place to live and because in many parts the government doesn't provide a whole lot of services. The result of the unpaved secondary roads and trash dumps means lower taxes.

Meanwhile back in New Jersey where people have trash pickup and almost every road in the state is paved, nice and civilized we have Joe Jerseyite looking at how wonderful it must be like to live in Mayberry, North Carolina and not get wallopped with the taxes he has to cough up in New Jersey.

Over the years I have posted here that one of my pet peeves is someone that moves from a cesspool (like New Jersey) to a nice place (like North Carolina) and brings his cesspool ways with him and starts demanding paved side roads, weekly trash pickup service and then wonders why all of the locals hate him for driving their taxes up.

Right now I am sitting here wondering why stupidity like this happens and I have come to the conclusion that most people thing of the government as an unlimited source of money to be used to make their lives easier.

I can see why when you consider that that seems to be what government has done over the years. They have spent an awful lot of money and spend it twice as fast as they collect our taxes.

Most people don't think much about it because they simply look at the net on their paychecks.

What we ought to do to straighten up the mess we are in is to simply stop taking weekly taxes out of paychecks and simply handing out the IRS form 1040s come April.

After a year or two of people having to write a check of that size to the IRS you can bet that a lot of attitudes toward governmental spending would change and change fast.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Am I alone? Am I nuts?

I think that I am getting ready to see Rome burn and that I am one of a very few that can see what is going on because I am not watching American Idol, playing with an X-box or getting fat sitting around eating potato chips purchased on an EBT card.

Congress has just upped my taxes a little and in turn spent umpteen times more money than they are going to take in, the debt keeps climbing and nobody has even once mentioned that maybe it's time to tell the Free Stuff Army that it is time to stand down.

We simply can not keep going on this way.

In addition to this there is a movement out there to simply run all over the teeth of the Constitution with yet another end run of the Second Amendment, which a lot of people do not have a clue over.

The ones Iike are the people that say, "I support the Second Amendment, BUT people shouldn't have such and such a weapon."

When I hear that I realize that the person in question doesn't even KNOW what the Second Amendment is all about much less support it. If you explained it to them they would say something like, "Well, I never heard of that! That's dangerous! They ought to repeal it! I don't want to lose my free stuff!"

Can't have that happening. It would be a damned shame if someone had to get up off of their ass and get a job and have to buy their own telephone or groceries. Worse yet, rent (or buy) their own place to live on the current market.

While the gun issue is very much a part of things it really isn't the entire issue. It's the whole attitude.

Jack Kennedy back in '60 said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!"

Right after 22 November, 1963 Lyndon Johnson was sworn in and the seeds of the Free Stuff Army were sown. We were going to create a Great Society. Here we are, broke and angry with a shattered economy having given everything away. The first thing Johnson did was to plunder the Social Security account and blow every cent of it in less than two years on both a war and giveaway programs, most of which required nothing in return.

Right now we have a populace divided in about half. Half of which are providing and half of which are taking from the government treasury. The upcoming confrontation will likely be between these two groups. The FSA will keep wanting more and more and the poor bastard that has to either cough up or watch the nation go down the tubes. There is a collision in the offing between the two forces and it is inevitable.

My guess that the side that has more members in favor of tearing up the Second Amendment is the side of the FSA because they likely fear the providers. Of course, a lot of politicians fear this, too as they want to be able to keep the masses in line, especially the providers because they are their only source on income.

Then again the FSA people do not know that they are slaves to the Free stuff they get.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Looks like Delaware is trying to get their schoolkids killed.

I didn't get the full story, just a part of it as the minute I saw the part about declaring a school to be a gun free zone I knew the drill immediately. They want their children murdered by a whacko and are facilitating it.

There was the usual scene of 'Top Men' sitting at a long table. Elected officials and a couple of police chiefs with serious, authorative looks that are likely to assure soccer moms that they are going to make things safe for everyone. Hah! Fat chance!

Of course, it's likely that any working cops that are home and watching this bad joke are rolling their eyes because working cops know that the old 'These premises protected by this sign' trick is an exercise in idiocy.  For some reason criminals do not obey such signs. Perhaps they can't read or something.

Of course you can bet that the children of those chiefs of police and elected officials don't send THEIR kids to public schools. No way in hell. THEIR kids go to a prep school somewhere and it is likely that the security guards at the school are armed to the teeth. In the case of the chiefs of police it is very possible that he has discretely detailed an officer or three to guard his kids.

Then you look at the long table and the look of authortative determination of the people sitting at the table and you know, you just know that what that panel needs and deserves is an outrage of some sort to occur.

A streaker would be perfect.

A streaker would cause looks of helpless outrage and make them look as vulnurable and stupid as they really are. It would victimize them and maybe make them look as stupid as they really are. Of course the working cop would be howling with laughter to see that spectacle because the working cop knows that whack jobs and criminals do not obey signs and laws. The only thing they understand is force.

Which reminds me. People say you can never find a cop when you need one.

The same I guess holds true for streakers because one wass needed desperately at Delaware's little news conference.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Obama takes the lead

President Obama is now leading from the front and is setting a fine example for Gun control.

He has ordered the entire White House staff and his Secret Service detail to turn in their guns and become unarmed escorts. The Marine guards will no longer be carrying their traditional M1s on guard duty and have turned them in to Quantico.

For the first time in history a head of state will be ecorted by unarmed guards.


Vice President Joe Biden says he supports this move 100%.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Not MY child

Yesterday I saw a kid going through my recyclables bin which doesn't bother me, but he was making a mess of things and that did bother me. I suppose a nice person would assume he was gathering cans for a fund raiser. I am of a different bent. I assume he was probably gathering aluminum to make thermite with so as to be able to destroy something.

 It was just stupid kid stuff and the proper way to handle it is to rant and rave which I did, using some of those word I heard in basic training.

It wasn't long before there was a knock on the door and the kid's dad appeared before me standing there with the kid. I told him what happened and the father went into complete denial. "My kid doesn't do things like that," he said.

I pointed at the kid and said, "That's the kid that was making a mess in my driveway. If your kid doesn't do things like that and that kid did then it appears your wife has been screwing the postman!"

He didn't like that very much and I do not think I will be seeing either of them in the foreseeable future.

That ain't a bad deal.

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Still busy

Jammed up. Will resume when I can.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Jammed up today

I might have something to say later on.

I had someone say something about hoping for a gun ban when I was shopping yesterday.

I asked them how banning crack cocaine has worked out.


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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Home again

To an awful lot of things I have to get done.

I have to run like hell all day and STILL make time for the cat tho is top priority.

The rest of the stuff I have to deal with is money and just plain stuff which is of a secondary nature as the cat is a living thing. If you are not willing to serve a cat do not get one.

Anyway, I am sort of trapped as I am waiting for a package that I have to sign for.

All in all a jump through my ass day is in the making.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

One of the things we ought to do is open up more trade schools.

 The kinds of places that actually teach young people to actually do something.

Almost daily I hear people gripe about how much it costs to hire someone competent to do something for them. Just yesterday I read a rant about how some guy had three HVAC guys come in and give them a bid to fix his furnace. The cheapest one he was given came to the sum of $1200.

Now the fact that the guy doing the ranting went out and bought the part for $80 and installed it himself speaks highly of the guy but is neither here nor there.

Not a whole lot of people are competent like he is and can install the necessary parts. Most people these days are klutzes when it comes to fixing things unlike the previous generations.

Still, there is quite a market out there for people that can do things and a plumber, electrician or repairman will never go hungry unless the market floods which is not likely.

There are an awful lot of people out there with little or no skills that are working at jobs that can be performed by people living in mud huts and the truth is that in a free economy a person that can be replaced by a person living in a mud hut really has two choices. He can either live in a mud hut or learn a skill.

There are an awful lot of young people out there that are not of the ilk to go to college for any number of reasons yet would make very capable tradesmen. A talented cabinetmaker can do quite well working in a custom shop and I have heard that good cabinetmakers are hard to find.

One of the things about the building trades is that many of them are interchangable because if you know how to use a square you can do an awful lot. You can form, frame, sheetrock, do finish carpentry, additions and remodels.

A person with those skills can do well and take care of himself and his family.

Back in the day the local Vo-Tech was looked down upon because when my father went to school Vo-Techs were generally places that taught the learning disabled how to do a few things. (My father said that back in his day they taught idiots how to tinker with broken alarm clocks)

Yet when I was growing up they had changed and even my dad agreed that Vo-Tech schools were pretty good places for young people to learn a trade. I've met a number of Vo-Tech grads and they all seemed pretty sharp to me.

Still, when I was a kid people that went to Vocational schools were looked still down on somewhat.

Funny thing is that a lot of those kids I grew up with that went the vocational school route did well for themselves.

There are a lot of kids out there that have an aptitude for working with their hands and the present day schools smply do not interest them. School never really interested me, either except for a few courses yet when I got out in the real world I discovered a number of things that I had an aptitude for and went after it.

I kept adding skills as I developed interests and finally became what I am today which is a wayward sailor, but I suppose that's OK. There is somewhat a shortage of good sailors and a definite shortage of wayward ones and that seems to have kept me employed for the past few decades.

Still, I attribute my mild success to being able to do something that fullfills a need and that there are a large number of kids getting out of high school that can't even tie their own shoes.

I know a teacher in a Vo-Tech school and he told me of a mother that told him that she was thinking of sending her son to the school because he lacked math skills.

"Then he'll do poorly here," he told her. "Because when things go wrong on the job you have to take out your pencil and grab a scrap of wood or paper and figure the numbers out."

He also pointed out to her that part of the course included classes in bidding jobs and general business classes for running a small construction outfit. If her kid couldn't count he'd do poorly in the course.

There really isn't a whole lot of room for dummies in todays Vo-Tech education.

One of the problems of getting people interested in sending their kids to a Vo-Tech is that parents seem to have an unrealistic attitude. It seems to be "Tech school is OK for Bobby down the street, but MY kid is going to college."

That's fine if their kid has real plans on getting a useful education but the truth is we are already well overstocked with puppetry, photography, English and basket weaving majors. We have enough of those to staff every third-world nation in the world including Chicago and California.

I can look at the guy that mows lawns in my area to use as an example. He got a four year degree by mowing lawns to put himself through school and when he graduated he saw what he could do financially with his degree so he expanded the lawn mowing business that put him through school and that is what he does now.

We need hard science people in this country and we need them bad. We're importing engineers from India as fast as the airplanes land at JFK.

My neighbor's daughter just graduated from college as a civil engineer and I had to go outside and help her beat the people offering her jobs away with my baseball bat. I got the guy from the Minnesota DPW with a pretty good one upside the head because he offered her only about 75K to start.

Still, that little girl had some sense. She looked for a need and got a degree that was needed to fill the need. Her sister is doing the same thing. She's headed into mechanical engineering. Betcha their dad is looking forward to having his kids support him in his old age with the leftover pocket change the kids toss his way.

Still, there are a lot of that either don't have the desire, the aptitude or the interest to spend four years in the classroom and leaving high school with no particular skills really isn't a path to immediate success.

One of the the guys that fixed my pickup is also a part time teacher in a local Vo-Tech, actually the Vocational department of the local community college told me that all of the competent and a lot of the not so competent grads of the body and fender school are snapped right up by businesses all over town

He also told me that the same holds true for the youngsters that complete the auto mechanics course. Incidentally cars these days are complicated and most people can't fix their own anymore so there is going to always be a need for mechanics for as long as we drive cars.

Parents are going to have to stop and take a look at their kids and rethink a minute. Unless their kid has a plan and a marketable degree in mind sending him or her off to the college of their choice is only going to be a waste of money.

There is nothing in the world wrong with being a tradesman and what is funny to think of is that in many instances the person hiring the tradesman he is hoping his kids do not become is in fact financially better off than he is.

As time passes and we keep sending kids off to college to get unmarketable degrees we may see the light but I'll bet it isn't coming soon to a theater near you.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

There seems to be a movement out there

 to make gun ownership a matter of pubic record since the paper in New York published the nice little map listing every pistol permit in a county or two.

An elected official in Connecticut is proposing to make the lists of all firearm owners public.

All this is going to do is result in more violence.

It will do no more than give burglars a nice little list of which houses to hit. If the people are gun owners, then you do not hit them during the night because you are likely to get shot.

What you do is hit the gun owners when they are at work and then you have a nice collection of firearms to peddle on the street to gangs and other criminals.

As things go now being a burglar after normal working hours is a somewhat risky business. You take a chance that the homeowner is armed and is willing to engage. What it has done is keep a lot of criminal types out of the burglary business and in other safer forms of criminal enterprise.

Several years ago I was headed off to a match when a new (and short lived) neighbor saw me loading up. I was casing up an M-14 I owned at the time heading off to a 7.62 match in the driveway and they were walking their dog.

The instant the rifle was cased and in the truck the clown walked up to me and started give me a lecture that they thought gun ownership made the neighbor hood unsafe.

I shot back that it was gun ownership that MADE the neighborhood safe and started pointing to the houses indicating who did what.

"Joe there, Deer hunter. Neighbor Bob, bird hunter. Larry, target shooter. Nurse Connie, owns a piece for self-defense."

I went on a bit and the neighborhood newbie was agape. Then I pointed down the street at another house.

"After Colombine that idiot tried to blame us gunowners for it. They went so far as to post a 'Gun free home' sticker in the front window. I have lived here for over 15 years and they have been the only burglary victims on the street. Happened about a couple of weeks after they posted the sign."

He stood agape and I went on.

"You live under an umbrella of protection provided by armed neighbors. If you would like I can tell the rest of the neighbors that you don't want us to look after you, your wife and children. We can just let whoever do what they want to you and yours. Want that? It's a dangerous world out there and we, the locals have taken action to make this neighborhood a little more safer. Want me to have the rest of us let whatever happens to you and yours just run it's course?"

"Uh, no..." he responded.

"Then why dont you just shut the hell up. Better yet, why not put a couple of boxes of NATO 7.62 Federal Match on my doorstep some time so I can practice a little more. Next time you see a cop drive by, flag him down and ask him. He'll tell you."

I turned back to what I was doing.

Later that afternoon I was sitting on the porch cleaning my rifle after the match and he saw me and nodded. He looked a little embarrassed. I never gave it much thought and wonder if he had figured it out but I never did find out beacuse a couple months later he moved.

Now our elected officials want to make it easier for criminals to figure out which houses are profitable to rob and which ones are unsafe.

All I can say it that with stupid elected officials like that the people in this country ought to go out and buy a carton of cigarettes and start saving rags for use as blindfolds.


Incidentally, speaking of cigarettes and blindfolds, I wonder if the custom of giving out cigarettes to those faced with death by musketry is a good idea. Cigarettes are bad for the health. When you think of it, we have a responsibility of looking out for the health of those facing capital punishment. After all, they do sterilize the needle before they lethally inject someone.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

I flunked sophomore English and I am perversely proud of it.

I was assigned a teacher who I did not get along with right off the bat because she talked to me like I was a first grader and carried herself like she was the smartest elite on the face of the earth.

She had a bad habit of trying to drag things out of something when there was nothing there and make mountains out of molehills. Of course, to her, the most important thing we could learn was sophomore English.

By the time I got into her class I was already literate and on top of that I could count which when you think about it is about 95% of the schooling a person really needs to get by.

Mark Twain once said that he never let his schooling get in the way of his education and I think he was right. In fact I once said that to her and sat back and triumphantly watched the fireworks. It killed an entire class which was a pretty good deal.

Early of I told her just to give me an F and leave me alone. For the first semester she only gave me half my wish. She failed me but kept bugging me.

It was late in the quarter and the class was studying the American transcendental movement which was big in the Boston area in the 1830s with Emerson, Thoreau and that gang. She told me to stand up and describe the intrinsic mechanism.

"By means of levers and cogwheels Charlie Blackburn puts the mechanism into gear where it turns a gypsy head. The retrieval line from the lobster pot is run through a snatch block and wound twice around the gypsy head where it is allowed to slip to keep from working its way off of the gypsy head, yet with enough line tension to provide for pulling the lobster pot aboard," came off the top of my head.

"That's not the intrinsic mechanism!" she said, horrorfied.

"That's what Charlie Blackburn calls the gypsyhead setup on Alicia V," I replied.

Charlie Blackburn was an interesting town character. He was born before the turn of the 20th century and graduated from high school and was granted a full scholarship to Harvard where he majored in Divinity just before the Forst World War broke out. He accepted a commission and led a company going over the top with Blackjack Pershing.

He returned and decided he didn't want to be a preacher and took up lobster fishing and drinking cheap whiskey and when drunk, which was most of the time, was given to singing bawdy sea chanties.

Then in his seventies he went out fishing every day and drunk or sober it was said he was the best boat handler on the South Shore. Nobody over the age of six called him anything but Charlie unless they were in front of their parents.

A lifelong bachelor, he named his boats Alicia after a whore me met in France back in 1918. Alcia V was his current boat.

Charlie was also feared at the annual town meeting and there were an awful lot of people that had been burned to cinders for making the mistake of writing Charlie off as a drunken lobsterman in a twenty five year old suit with a pint bottle of Seagrams in the pocket. He had a sharp as a razor and didn't give a damn who thought what. Five years earlier he had taken the side of a 12 year old kid and gotten a teacher fired.

Come to think of it, even the town moderator walked on eggs when Charlie got up to speak.

"It's run off of a Briggs and Stratton 7 horsepower horizontal shaft engine which runs a hydraulic power steering pump from a 58 Olds and forces Dextron II ATF through the lines powering a hydraulic motor," I continued.

She glared at me when one of the guys spoke up. "He's right about how it works and that's what Charlie calls it. He calls it the intrinsic mechanism."

I was told to sit down and she never bothered me after that.

I simply opened a book and read.

While I failed that class, I have to say that of all of my classes I learned more there than I did in most of the others put together because instead of sitting there pretending to be interested, I read.

For five days a week, forty-five or so minutes a day I sat in that class and read. When I was handed a test I would turn it in blank and when it was corrected I would receive a zero unless there was an odd number of questions and you got a point or two for putting your name on right. When that happened I would get a grade below zero because I never bothered.

Still, I read for 45 minutes a day and managed to learn more in that class than I did in most of the others I took.

I still think she was a lousy teacher to this day and gloated a year or two after graduation when I heard she got knocked up by the vice principal, who was another one I crossed swords with but that's another story.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Got a call from a local pastor

I got a call sometime just before Thanksgiving from the preacher of a local church I used to help out a while ago.

A few years back I used to help out a couple weeknights a month at a homeless shelter downtown. I would generally help set up the chow line, serve chow and help clean up.

The shelter took in homeless men and would open at about 1700 and serve chow at 1800. During the first hour bedding would be issued and the guys would grab a rack and make up their bunks. Then they would be fed a meal.

At first I enjoyed it but as time went on I grew disgusted as I had asked any number of them if they wanted work and none of them seemed interested. I needed help with a downed tree just stacking things up as I bucked it up and nobody wanted to help me. There were a few other things I needed done and offered a very generous wage but got no takers.

Some time back when I was a more active hunter I would generally bag a buck and a doe and one or the other (generally the buck) would wind up being sent to the church to be used to feed the guys at the shelter. Seeing as to how my work schedule was a mess whe I couldn't get out someone else I knew would take up the slack.

I'd just schlep whoever supplied the deer the processing fee out of generosity.

The venison we supplied would provide a number of meals between Thanksgiving and New Year's and the homeless guys loved it. Any time the shelter served venison it would disappear in a heartbeat. There were never any leftovers.

I haven't been out in a few years but I have scraped up a couple of deer for the church each year until last the season a year ago when I stopped.

I stopped because I got a call from one of the hunters that used to attend that particular church. I haven't been to the church itself in years for a service.

My friend told me that John, the pastor there had given a sermon on the evils of firearm ownership and that he had walked out in the middle of the sermon.

When he got up he glared at John and made him uncomfortable in his pulpit John asked him what was wrong and my friend asked Pastor John if he thought the deer we supplied the homeless shelter just jumped into the truck and hopped into the butcher shop.

It as an uncomfortable moment to say the least and my friend simply walked out. The next day he called me and the group of us simply stopped supplying any venison for the church to serve to the shelter.

A couple of months later I heard that the program took a pretty good chunk of change in the form of the grant from either the state or the county so I stopped making my annual donation to the church.

I simply forgot about it and went about my business.

Over this last Thanksgiving holiday I got a call from Pastor John. He was wondering why the guys had stopped supplying venison.

"Because you bit the hand that fed you, Pastor," I replied. "You told the very hunter that was feeding you to turn in his gun. Actions have consequences. You alienated every single hunter and gun owner in the church. Bet the following Sunday you were shy a few members."

There was a silence as he gathered his thoughts. "I also noticed that donations for the program are down," he said. Then he asked, "Do you know why?"

"In my case my donation stopped when the shelter itself took a governmental grant," I explained. "I generally only donate to private charties because as soon as they accept government money they don't need mine because they already have it."

"I don't understand," he said.

"Pastor, actions have consquences. When you told Tom Lewis to turn in his deer rifle, what did you expect? When I made it clear to you that I only donate to private institutions that take no government money what did you expect when the shelter took government money? To put a point on it, Pastor, you seem to think you can just go on your merry way and expect everyone to go along with whatever half-baked idea you come up with," I answered. "It's not all peace, love and earth flags. Someone's got to get up in the morning and go to work and although the working guy can be generous he doesn't like being taken advantage of."

"I don't understand," he stammered.

"Understand this, Pastor," I said. "I used to cough up my hundred bucks and on top of that, pay the money to have the deer butchered and packaged out of my own pocket. I did this to be kind and because nobody told me I had to."

I continued. "When the shelter took the grant they were getting my money that the government had taken from me by force in the form of taxes. They then give it to whomever and I have no say as to where it goes. You have my money. It was given to you by the government and since you have my money already I'm certainly not going to give you more."

He asked me why I no longer help out there and pointed that I got along pretty well with the guys and I told him I was disgusted because every time I had offered them something to do and make a few bucks they fed me excuses. I tried to help and they didn't want it, preferring to take what they could get for little or no work.

Next he asked me why I seemed to get along so well with the homeless.

I told him that I had been there before in a similar way, living in the elements and eating what I could scrape up. The difference between us was that I decided to change my ways and start taking better care of myself. I also told him I was 38 years old when I embarked on my present career.

He asked me if we could get together and I agreed to it after I got back to town. He did, too.

When he showed up I offered him a little taste but he refused as he said he had another call to make that evening. He did accept a diet coke and I poured myself a dallop of Jameson's.

One thing he asked me is what would happen if the shelter closed. I knew it was an effort to tug at my heartstrings but he found differently.

"A small few that truly can't take care of themselves will be in trouble," I admitted. "The rest will likely find another shelter. If they all closed it actually might be a good thing for most of these guys. They will be given more choices. They will either be forced to start taking care of themselves of continue on the drug and alcohol road. Nothing wrong with a bit of tough love. You do know that it is entirely possible that one of the younger ones might make something of himself and invent something or cure a disease or something. At the least they will start taking care of themselves and even if they wind up working in a warehouse or as a landscaper they'll stop being a drain on the rest of us."

"You really believe that?" It was clear he was dubious. "How about that guy you spent time with there? The little guy that was a light skinned black man?"

"Oh, him? I answered. "Interesting man. He wasn't from around here. He was a former Navy third class and he had a bellyfull of living on the streets. We batted a few ideas around and he found himself a job. Remember when he came back a few months later visiting?"

" I think I recall that," said Pastor John.

"He was looking for people that wanted to work in the warehouse that hired him. Needless to say he found none," I said. "He's a good man and I met him downtown by mistake a while back and he has an apartment and looked good."

"Why is that," asked Pastor John.

"Because he made the choice between being a bum and being something. It was all up to him," I replied. "Look, Pastor here's what you can do if you want to help those people. Burn the shelter down and replace it with an office and get someone to simply take calls and messages for them. Put in a shower or two and a couple of washing machines. Find some tough broad to run it that they can't walk over and make them responsible to take care of the place. A few of these guys are actually worth saving and the biggest thing they need is some sort of address where they can be found when they are needed. If they are any good, that's all they need. These guys need a hand-up and not a handout."

We discussed the issue for a while longer but the truth is that it was a waste of time. I don't think Pastor John really wanted to learn anything so I figure I really didn't teach him anything.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother.



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Saturday, January 5, 2013

During the Vietnam war the Marine Corps

 had no designated or standardized sniper rifle in the inventory. Snipers were sent into the field with various different rifles ranging from old 1903 Springfields to purchased on the open market civilian rifles.

In 1966 in an effort to standardize a few things they approached the Remington arms company and purchased 700 of their model 40X -700 bolt action rifles that had been designed for target shooting and varmint hunting. The basic model the 700 had been around for years even back then. It's still quite popular today with hunters and target shooters.

The Marines, being pretty cheap with the taxpayers dollar, opted not for blued finishes and stained and varnished stocks. Instead they had the metal parkerized to prevent rusting and had the rifles fitted with plain walnut stocks with a linseed oil finish. They also had somewhat expensive recoil pads replaced with a simpler and cheaper steel buttplate.

They topped the rifles off with a fairly common telescopic sight made by Redfield and called it a day.

The rifle was designated the M40.

The bottom line is that the Marine Scout/Snipers went off to war with their daddy's hunting rifles. As a bonus the Marines didn't have to do a whole lot of training because a lot of the Scout/Snipers were hunters and were already familiar with these rifles. Likely a number of them had them at home for hunting deer or varmints.

As time wore on the wooden stocks on these rifles warped and had to be replaced. To prevent future warpage the Marines looked to the hunting community again and began replacing the aging wooden stocks with a synthetic stock and upgrading the telescopic sights with one more durable.

The synthetic stock rifle was designated the m40a1 and was nothing more than the action of the earlier M40 being put in a new stock. They have, over the years replaced the telescopic sight with a fixed 10 power Unertl scope instead of the variable power Redfields and

It was and is to this day nothing more than a hunting rifle.

As time went on, the armorers would rebuild these rifles as various components wore out and there have been rebuilt several times and it is likely that many of the original 700 rifles are still in the Marine Corps supply system having been rebuilt numerous times.

A few years ago the Corps changed the stock again to make it adjustable to the individual shooter and took another thing from the hunting community, the bipod which allows the shooter to be more stable while shooting in the prone position.

In short, the Marine Scout/Snipers are still going off to war with their daddy's deer rifles. It's true. Feel free to look it up.

The reason I post this is because the American public is pretty gullible. After the anti second amendment people decided to rename sport/utility rifles with the ominous name of 'assault rifles' the next thing they will go after is the basic hunting rifle.

Of course, they won't go after the basic hunting rifle because the American public will sympathize with the guy that likes to hunt deer and varmints. What they will simply do is rename the hunting rifle. They will rename it the 'deadly sniper rifle'.

And that, Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public is how those that want to disarm the American people will prey on your ignorance and gullibility.

Don't be fooled again.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

A few quotes that fit the general mood AND a story of a guy I met.

It baffles me over this whole liberal mindset. They are the same people constantly reminding you of what the government did to the Indians yet they want the government to take care of them as well. ~cornman


A man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him had better take a closer look at the American Indian. ---Henry Ford.

Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them. ~ Thomas Paine.

To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. ~ Richard Henry Lee - 1787

Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth. ~ George Washington

The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good. ~ George Washington

About 12 or 13 years ago outside of Baltimore I picked up a hitch hiker that without a doubt is one of the most interesting people I have ever met in my life. I was almost 50 at the time and this guy had just gotten out of prison and had spent more time in the joint than I had on the planet.

It was an interesting ride. It was obvious that he was overwhelmed by things. He didn't understand getting gas with a credit card, but he did understand Windows 95 which was a current program at the time.

He had been out of confinement only a couple of days when I met him and was on his way to hisson'e where he was supposed to have a job of sorts as a landscaper or whatever.

I did ask him what he was in for and he told me something like "Bank robbery and disrespect towards federal officers."

When I told him that 15 years was tos for bank robbery he pointed out that the disrespectful conversation with the federal officers had been conducted with Tommy guns.

He told me the plan had been laid out when he was a draftee sitting in s hole in the slick brown mud of Korea. It was an interesting story.

I dropped the old guy off at his son's house and left, I had only gone maybe 30 minutes out of my way and didn't stick around because I figured it might be an akward moment.

Now I didn't say this guy was an example to look up to, but he was interesting and interesting keeps my mind occupied a lot more than some bore that wants to tell me about some dopey sports event or something. So when I say interesting I simply mean interesting.

Still, I thought about this old man today and wonder what happened to him. Is he still working as a landscaper and maybe planting flowers? Is he dead?

Maybe he couldn't hack it on the outside and did something to get his parole yanked or maybe he just hanged himself somewhere.

Still, I hope he is out there somewhere planting flowers in the spring and watching the seasons change as a free man because I always wish the best on people. He paid his debt to society and the liklihood of him hurting anyone seemed slim so I suppose he deserves to be able to live out the remainder his life planting flowers and watching things grow.

Whatever. I just thought about an interesting character I met a while back.


For what it's worth, there are people out there that think Sandy Hook was a government contrived plot of some sort and a couple have suggested that nobody died.

Bull!  Real children died there and real parents are aat a terrible loss for their children.

As to media skulduggery, I checked with Snopes and things are not final yet, some of the accusations have not been confirmed either way.

Still, the fact that a number of people believe it speaks loudly for people's contempt for both the government and the media.

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