Friday, February 28, 2014

Yesterday's post about starting a fire with flint and steel

                                                 opened a floodgate of memories. I decided to let things roll and try and recall life in the tipi.

Just keeping a fire going was a chore as the amount used depended on the season but was pretty constant. If I wanted a hot meal, I cooked it on a fire. If it was cold and I wanted to stay warm I built a fire.
In short I cut a lot of wood.

One got pretty good about keeping their eyes open for stuff. Tinder is one example. a walk in the woods seldom left me empty handed. If I spotted a cedar tree I'd sluff off some of the loose bark and put it in my possibles bag.

In the late summer when the birds had fledged and vacated their nests I'd see one and a single glance told me if it was made of twigs or grass. Twig nests got left alone. Grass nests got placed between my hands, got shredded and went into the possibles bag.

A mouse nest was a treasure. Two puffs on the char cloth on top of one and they would burst into flames. One of those went into the bag after the turds were flicked out.

There were these mountain cacti and they had little fruits on them. They were good to eat if you didn't mind peeling them. There were all sorts of little goodies out there if you knew about them.

I always had my eye out for game and had a deal with a local that would split a deer with me if I shot one. I did a couple of times and ate well for a long time.

Flints both as firestarters and for my rifle were all over the place if you kept your eyes peeled and knew how to knap them. Many none flint pieces of igneous rock worked well.

The part that is so interesting for me th think of thirty-seven years later is how casual things were. I didn't think of even looking around for things I needed because I seemed to know where they were without looking.

It is amazing how much the past twenty-seven years have dulled my senses to things but not totally. Every so often I flicker back when I'm outside and notice some little odd or end. The other day it rained and I observed the rain wasn't going to last very long. Then I wondered how I knew that after it stopped a few minutes later.

Then I simply I had subconsiously seen what the birds were up to. They know better than I do and generally when they birds disappear when it starts raining it isn't going to last very long.

It is simply amazing how much I have dulled out since I got civilized, yet sometimes it doesn't take a whole lot to snap at least a part of it back in.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Boy, that was fast!

My striker arrived practically overnight and when I opened it I noticed the maker included a pretty hefty sized flint which saved me hunting around outside in the cold to find one.

I had saved the burned up rifle patches to use as charcloth and looked around for some kind of tinder and found an old piece of manila rope which I frayed down to a frazzle to serve as tinder.

The striker is new and hasn't been roughed up yet but the first time I struck it a shower of sparks landed in the charcloth and started glowing.

I guess I'm a but rusty because it took me maybe 15 seconds to get a flame going. Still,I'm not complaining. Not bad for a guy that hasn't lit a fire with flint and steel in over 35 years.

I was wondering what I used to use for a container to keep my charcloth in and remembered I had a nice little brass tobacco/tinderbox with a magnifying glass in it.

I used to be able to light a fire with the magnifying glass.Looking around on eBay I discovered that tinderboxes are too expensive. I recall I won the brass unit at a blackpowder match. Before that I used a Kiwi shoe polish tin. I see a near empty can of Parade Gloss so I suppose that's what I'll use.

I'm going to get some serious tinder and put the kit together and stuff it into my bug-out bag. It's a good thing to have there. I'm not too worried about man made trouble, it's the natural disasters the happen fast.

It's a good idea to keep a three-day pack ready to go and I use it every so often for impromptu trips. It keeps it fresh.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Looking at my log I see I now have French Polynesia in it.

and someone will come along and tell me how lucky I am.

Today's post is not about French Polynesia or ham radio or shooting. It's about the truth of the matter.

I didn't get French Polynesia because I was lucky. It's in my logbook because I am persistent, patient and flexible. It's the same way I have gotten a lot of other things in life.

I've worked for them.

Right now with 160 entities in my log and close to 150 QSL cards to confirm 150 of them the number of new entities has shrunken and getting a new one is like a slug fest.

The first step for getting a new entity is to find it and that means either some knob turning or sometimes checking the DX clusters  on the internet.

If it is located on the web you tune to see if can hear the station, and generally you're disappointed. If you have located the station by dial turning you enter the inevitable pile-up and duke it out until you either get your turn for a quick contact or the band drops out.

More often than not you wind up disappointed and start the process over again.

It's much like hunting for work.

You locate someone that needs something done, enter the hiring process and duke it out to get hired. Not a whole lot of luck to it.

When you're not hired you simply repeat the process until you do get hired. When you are unsuccessful in getting hired you feel a little like you have been knocked down. The trick is getting back up again and repeating the process.

I hate it when someone tells me I got lucky when they see me with something I have worked for. Generally it wasn't luck. It was either skill or persistence.

Generally my success has been a case of getting up one more time than I have been knocked down.

As for French Polynesia?

Another ham told me about him being on the air. I switched to the frequency and got through the small pile up on the second try.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I saw something yesterday that reminded me of something from my checkered past.

I was cleaning my rifle and had a bunch of oily patches to get rid of so I did what I always do. I put them in an old tuna can, took them outside and lit them. I don't like keeping oily waste around the house. It's a fire hazard.

Some of these were not really oily and I noticed that they were charring. It reminded me of the char cloth I used when I lived in the tipi that I used to make fires with.

I had a striker and a flint and would shoot a spark onto the char cloth which would instantly start smoldering and I'd put it into some tinder and blow until I had fire.

I actually got pretty good at it and occasionally I'd light a roll your own cigarette off of the glowing char cloth.

I lit a roll your own with my flint and steel kit in a bar a couple of times and that turned a couple of heads. What turned the heads is not that I did it, but how fast I did it. One strike, a quick puff and I'd stick the smoke into the glow and draw and then put the lid back on my tinderbox to smother it. 

It only took a couple of seconds.

Anyway, I thought about it and looked in vain for my striker and then simply ordered one on line. 

It'll be here in a couple of days and I suppose it will be interesting to see how good I still am at lighting a fire with flint and steel.

While I was at it I ordered a boomerang as it jumped out at me. I have one years ago made by Wham-o and got pretty good with it. 

This one only cost me a couple of bucks and I figure I'll try it out some afternoon and practice until I get bored.

Then I suppose I'll give it to some kid that will likely break a window or something.

Or maybe I'll break a window or something with it and then give it to some little kid so he'll get blamed for it. Who knows?

Anyway it'll be fun to see if I can still get a fire going as fast as I used to be able to.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, February 24, 2014

There is always THAT GUY.

A while ago I posted some of my criminal past of Facebook. I told everyone that I was headed to the top of the nearest gas ball to shoot it out with the fuzz because I cut a tag off of a pillow.

Hilarity ensued. Much of it was in the form of back channel emails to me from relatives that knew the movie in reference and had shared the humor or the little tags on pillows.

Then THAT GUY appeared with a long winded explaination about how it was OK for the final consumer to yank the tag.

THAT GUY had struck again.

There is always someone that has no imagination or sense of humor thart ruins things for everyone else.

Nebby Larry is THAT GUY. Everything I tell him is Gospel. When he asks me what I am doing and I tell him I am looking for land mines in my front yard he calls the bomb squad.

Of course, the local Gendarmes know how to handle Larry's calls. 

 They send a cruiser out and my smartassedness may cost me a cup of coffee if they have time or a wave off if they don't.

Still, there is always THAT GUY.

Tonight I was working a digital mode on my ham rig. The signals are sent out in harmonic tones. Normally I keep the volume down to nil so I don't have to listen to it and just let the visuals on the computer tell me what to do. 

I decided to leave the volume up a bit and listen to the harmonics and enjoy a little Twilight Zone music. It was a pretty good background rhythm. My imagination went into its normal state and I pictured leaving it on while I babysat kids. 

A couple hours of that would make little kids have nightmares I suppose. Actually not really but let's have some fun here.

I posted on my favorite website that I had to babysit a couple of little kids and left the rig on receiving JT-65 signals and then sent them home. I predicted that they would not be able to sleep and would have terrible nightmares.

Of course, my sense of humor on that website is appreciated. One ham chuckled that when he works JT 65 his kids say, "Dad's talking to aliens again."

There were no kids. I didn't babysit. I just set something up and I'm waiting for THAT GUY to show up and start balthering about how that was a terrible thing to do to some poor defenseless little children.

Then again he may not show on that particular website because people there have had about a decade to figure my sense of humor out. It is sick. So draft me.

Of course it THAT GUY does show up his $hit is in the wind because I'll tell him about the time I stuffed the paperboy in the chipper/shredder because he kept missing my porch.

I did that to Nebby Larry a while ago and tols him that I used the kid for fertilizer on my marigolds. Then as the summer went on I pointed out to him that I grew some pretty good marigolds that summer.

I guess he called the local Gendarmes a couple of times over that one but nothing ever came of it.

All of this reminds me that it has been quite some time since I have dressed up a mannequin in fishnets and sexy little fluffy mules and stuffed her in the trash, legs sticking out. We now have a new trash service and I suppose I'd better break the new trash guys in.

I'll get  another visit from the police when THAT GUY reports seeing the legs sticking out of the trash can but I won't know it.
The cop will drive by and rap the legs with a knuckle and drive off.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, February 23, 2014

For rhe love of some old lady

It's Sunday morning and I seem to have forgotten to get up and post this blog!

The cat woke me up at about 0345 asking to be fed which was a pain in the ass. I picked him up and stuffed him under the covers and went back to sleep. He hates that and knows that when I do that it is best for him to shut up.

I got up on schedule, fed the cat and puttered around and spaced out the blog.

I've got the ham rig up and running off of this computer running a program called JT-65 which is good for weak signals. I'm shooting for a specific station in Afghanistan. It is a one in a million longshot but what the hell.

I don't actually have to do anything but check the computer every few minutes and look for a red bar. It transmits for about 20 seconds out of every minute and the only problem I foresee is some dummy with poor reading skills that sees my call and answers it simply because it is there.

I suppose if that happens I'll respond because he may need my area for an award which I can see. I would be apt to do the same thing if I needed his state or country. 

I know the program is working because when I fired it up I contacted a guy in Ecuador with a good signal.

Yesterday I took out the rifle I built up a couple of months ago and had a hell of a time getting a shot on paper. When I finally did it was a piece of cake to get it sighted in at 50 yards. Then I took it out to 200 yards and got a good zero on it. It looks like it's going to be a good shooter.

My 10X fixed scope is set up in mils/mils which is a good deal. I can use the MilDots to figure out adjustments quickly. They sell these scopes in a mils/minutes configuration which makes no sense at all. It's like having a speedometer in kilometers in the States. You have to convert because you are using 2 entirely different units of measurement.

It can get confusing. A minute of angle is about .25 inches at 100 yards and .1 mil is .36 or about 1/3 of an inch at 100 yards. If you know that you're good to go.

Years ago I had a guy that insisted that speed was measured in mph. I explained to him that bullet speeds are measured in feet per second, meters per second and that there were other ways of measuring speed. He didn't seem to get it but the guy with him did.

My favorite measurement of speed is furlongs per fortnight.

Anyway I'll now have to work up an accurate load and get ready for April

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, February 22, 2014

FiFi !! Last airworthy B-29 on the planet is in my logbook.

It's Saturday and Bambi has passed by again in search of something to eat. This has been a cold winter but not too snowy so I suppose there's enough out there to feed Bambi.

No luck yesterday connecting with Afghanistan. I'm just going to fire up the rig and leave it hooked to the laptop and run a JT-65 program today just for the hell of it.

Yesterday I made the contact of a lifetime. I QSO'd FiFi, the last airworthy B 29 on the planet. She was making a pre-air show season test flight yesterday afternoon and  the radio operator had the radios going and was taking calls. I busted through the mother of all pile ups and made the contact.

I THINK he picked my call out of the mess because I was using the WW2 phonetic alphabet which I use when calling WW2 memorial ships and stuff like that.

Log entry: K3NT/B29  2111Z  21Feb2014  18.150Mhz  5x9  FiFi/B29 OK/TX border.

I could clearly hear the radials in the background. I love the sound of a Pratt and Whitney radial engine and the 4 of them were loud. At one point I could hear them really roar as the pilot poured on the coal for a few minutes. Maybe he was climbing. If so the old bird must have climbed like a homesick angel.

I heard somewhere that the CAF (Commemorative Air Force, formerly the Confederate Air Force) was going to put a full-time radio operator on her to put her on the air.  

The radio operator told us between calls that the original government contractor had gone through a couple of the radios and replaced dried up parts. I just remembered something. They must have reworked them for SSB as if I recall they were originally AM sets.

He also explained they were dragging a longwire which they used to do back in the day for HF radio communications.

Incidentally right after the war a lot of hams bought a lot of surplus radios for civilian ham use and the sets from aircraft were popular. Recently I saw a complete set from a B-17 up for sale but I didn't bite. I don't have the skills to keep the old boat anchors up and running.

The request for a FiFi QSL card is in the mail already, you can bet on that.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, February 21, 2014

One of the things people do not know about ham radio is the number of celebrities and public figures that get into it.

The late King Hussein of Jordan was a very active ham up to about the day he died. It was funny in a way. He used to unwind from the pressures of being king by getting on the air to just about anyone that would answer his CQ calls.

Everyone else called him 'Your Majesty' but hams called him by his callsign, JY1, even to his face.

His trips to the States found him amused when people would ask him, "Are you JY1?"

I can picture the Secretary of State doing a slow burn as some Montana sheepherder addresses the head of state of Jordan by his callsign while he/she has to call him 'Your Majesty". Hillary Clinton would probably have a conniption.

One ham that didn't know who he was once commented to him that with such a call sign, he must 'know someone'.
Hussien replied simply and in an unpompous manner that he was the king. That kind of explains things pretty quickly.

The King of Spain is a ham, EA9IE and is active. The former president of Argentina, LU1SM is a ham. So is the former president of Lebanon, OD5LE.

The Sultan of Oman, A41AA, is a ham but I'm not sure he's active these days. I read recently where he has ordered the Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society is to get a permanent home somewhere. 

The Prince of Kuwait is 9K2CS and there are a number of princes in the Arab world that are hams.

Incidentally, hams from the Arab countries are very squared away operators. Most of them are educated men. For the most part their English sounds unaccented and many of them sound like they grew up in Kansas or somewhere unless they learned the language from UK teachers. 

If that is the case, it's perfect British English.

Prime ministers have been hams and I would not be surprised to find that there are one or more Prime Ministers that are actively on the air.

Priscilla Presley was but she let her license lapse. Joe Walsh of the Eagles and the James Gang is still reportedly active as WB6ACU. Art Bell is W6OBB and Ronnie Milsap is WB4KCG.

KA2ORK (old callsign) was a ham that kept the world informed during the Grenada invasion. He transmitted from the second story of the building he was livng in. I believe he was a student at the time studying in Grenada.

Prince Albert of Monaco is supposedly licensed.

You never know who is on the air.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Let them hate us for free. We'll save a bundle.

It seems like we give out a lot of foreign aid money to countries that hate us.

It makes no sense to me. Why do we do that? 

We should just stop giving money out to these nations and let then continue to hate is. They could hate us for free and we'd wind up a whole lot better off.

It sounds pretty good to me. Pakistanis or whoever could have all the anti-US demonstrations they want. They could burn our flag and hang various governmental officials in effigy and do all sorts of carrying on.

It wouldn't bother me a bit.

As it is now it bothers me to see countries that get money from us carry on with anti-US demonstrations after we send them money. Sending many of these hell holes money and then watching  them carry on and hate is makes no sense when you could simply get it for free.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Very busy tonight.

Today will be a day of great busy-ness, not to be mistaken for business.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

There is one group of hams I really like to work and that is Cubans.


Yes. Cubans. You do know what Cubans are, don't you? They're people that live in Cuba. It is an island about 90 miles south of Florida. They speak Spanish. I do not speak Spanish to Cubans, I speak English.

In fact because I am fluent in high school Spanish I refuse to speak Spanish to any other people that speak it unless they speak high school Spanish. This is because the only people on the planet that speak high school Spanish are other Americans that took Spanish in high school. High School Spanish is a different language altogether.

I leaned my lesson in Mexico when I tried to order a steak, potato and a beer. I ordered in my fluent AMerican High School Spanish. A few minutes later the entire staff delivered a baked stuffed elephant, all the trimings and a cask of wine but I digress. Suffice to say I do not speak Spanish to Cubans. Or for that matter, to any native Spanish speakers.

Fortunately Cuban hams speak very good English.

To get a QSL card from a Cuban you generally have to send to their QSL manager, most of them are in Spain.

Cuban hams are for the most part pretty good peoplle and many of them are talented and do amazing things with very little. Some of them are incredible junk pile artists and that is no slight whatsoever. I truly respect that. It takes talent and hard work for some of those guys to get on the air.

I've read and listened to Cuban radio programs for hams there and by hams there. I've read where they take toilet paper tubes and parts from old copiers and antiquated laptops to make units to run digital communications with.

Almost to a man they seem quite happy when they are on the air and most of them are fast operators. There are a couple of them that I have spoken with s few times and now they recognize my callsign and address me by name.

Some Cuban hams mave managed to get their hands on reasonably new rigs. Still, a lot of them that have built their rigs with their hands. Many out of salvaged parts.

From what I have seen, Cuba is a beautiful country and I sure wish those hammerheads in Havana and Washington DC would pull their heads out of their asses and open relations up with the States. 

To tell you the truth I could use a nice visit to Cuba right about now because I am tired of freezing my ass off and shoveling snow. It has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with my sorry frozen ass. Cuba looks like a good place to thaw out.

I suppose the government in Cuba is pretty repressive and I am not permitted to send money to Cuba for return postage for QSL cards for a number of reasons. It is illegal for me to do so because of the economic blockade is one reason. The other is likely that the Cuban government opens incoming foreign mail and pilfers it. I've been told this by more than one ham.

Anyway, I have a lot of respect for Cuban hams and maybe if one of these days the dunderheads in Washington decide to permit Americans to go to Cuba I'll go and pay a visit to a couple of Cuban hams. I'd like to see how some of them build perfectly good radios out of what is basically junk.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, February 17, 2014

I duped myself by mistake. Here's today's post

One morning many years ago I walked up to a constriction site and looked at the boss man and introduced myself.

"What can you do for me?" he asked.

"I can form, frame, sheetrock, roof and finish," I replied.

"We'll see about that," he said. "Put on your tools and start putting together that wall."

I did just that. I buckled on my tool belt and started framing out a wall. I was done before noon and the rest of the crew who were doing other things came by and we stood the wall. I wandered over to the other side of the deck and started building the other wall and shortly after I was told to break for lunch.

It was there I was told I was now making $15 an hour which was pretty close to union scale for a carpenter at the time. He said he paid every two weeks.

Come payday I looked at my check and my brow furrowed. I did a little quick math and found he had paid me $17.50 an hour. I asked him if there was a mistake and he snapped back at me that he knew how to count and grinned.

"You're worth it," he said. I worked for the guy off and on for a couple of years until I moved. It seemed that because of him I was usually busy. He was a pretty straight shooter.

I suppose there isn't a whole lot to this story except for one thing. I went to work for this guy and based on my abilities, my willingness and fairly cheerful attitude, he paid me a wage based on market value at the time.

Construction was booming and there was a shortage of carpenters out there and I was skilled enough to be marketable. He gave me the raise in my first paycheck because he wanted to keep me as he figured someone would come along and offer me more than the $15 an hour he had hired me at. 

I would imagine that if there wasn't a lot of residential construction going on at the time I would not have gotten the job or if I had it would have been for less money. It's called supply and demand.

I had another friend that was pretty envious because he didn't have a whole lot of marketable skills but was a quick study and was willing to work. I mentioned hm to my boss and he told me to have the guy drop by in a couple of days when we were starting another apartment unit. I did and he was hired as a laborer for considerably less than I was making.

It didn't take this guy long to start learning the carpentry trade and he started getting raises based on what he was able to learn and apply. I guess he eventually worked his way up to $15 an hour. 

By that time I was lead man and making $20 an hour. That's because the boss could leave me in charge while he drummed up other work and know the job would be done. In 1984 a pay rate of $20 an hour was nothing to sneeze at.

He bought his hand tools and started building walls and decks with us when he got ahead of hauling the lumber for us. When we were done with that apartment four-plex he was considered to be a pretty good hand because he had made the effort to learn and become marketable.

In the business of life it is all about marketability and the ability to do a job. Little else matters. This guy was no different than most contractors. He was looking for people that could make him money and he was willing to pay people that could simply just to keep them.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, February 16, 2014

It was a long time ago when I saw a guy knock a woman out cold.

I saw the whole thing and watched her drop like a stone. The entire joint went dead silent.

The silence was broken by the bartender. She (yeah, she) simply said, "See if she's still breathing and get her out of here."

So a couple of guys and a woman dragged her out and off of the property and left her there. One of the guys had stuffed a beer in his back pocket and when she was laid down off of the property he poured it on her face. When he came in he reported she showed had started to come around a little.

About an hour later the police came in and none of us knew anything because we had all just conveniently arrived. A couple of us that were questioned gave the policeman a few odd looks that told him he was wasting his time. The cop wasn't stupid. He realized the people had spoken and more than likely justice had been served.

What is interesting about this incident is that it was a case where justice had been long overdue but had been finally administered. I don't care who you are, you just don't go around kneeing guys in the balls and think you're going to get away with it for very long.

Alaska drew all sorts of people to it like the moon draws water. Someone once said to me that when someone came here they were either runnin' from somthing or lookin' for something. I guess she was looking for trouble.

This chick was a troublemaker from the word go. She was a two faced feminazi that had a bad habit of trying to knee a guy in the groin if she didn't like what he had said. She tried it to me once when I referred to someone as being a bitch. 

I was onto her and sidestepped it and told her to get away from me. Truth is I was irresponsible. I should have grabbed behind her knee with my left hand, grabbed her heel with my right and lifted her heel until she fell back onto her ass but I guess I was too much of a gentleman.

Anyway, I knew if I did that I'd have to face being accused of beating up a chick. I figured I couldn't win. I guess I hadn't been raised that way. Whatever. Maybe I just should have slapped her.

When she went down for the count that day I simply ordered a shot of schnapps to celebrate with.

What dragged this from my moldy mind is that earlier today I was reading a comment on domestic violence and had to agree with the commenter.

He said that people tend to marry in their own moral group and as a result, good couples seldom have violence problems while those that don't live that way tend to have violence problems.

It's true.

This is not necessarily a socio-economic problem. There are low lifes in suburbia and princes and princesses in low income areas. It seems to be a product of how people are raised.

I drove cab for a while in an Alaskan town and from time to time the woman's shelter (I called it Battersea Dog's Home) had an account with the cab company. I used to cart some of these women around. I seldom saw a woman that was a lady being taken to the shelter.  Most of these women seemed to have something else wrong with them. Most of these woman seemed to have some emotional problem to begin with.

They simply led lives that were ruled by emotion instead of common sense. They let their emotions rule and married men they shouldn't have. While I can't say that these women deserved to be slapped around, they did bring their dileimma onto themselves simply because they didn't have enough sense to walk away.

I suppose the woman that got cold cocked in the bar deserved it, though. When even the women in the joint agreed she had it coming long overdue it's hard to feel any sympathy.

Many of them knew that they were married to emotionally immature men but as emotionally immature women they let their emotions rule and baited the idiot over something stupid until he snapped.

I got to meet some of the men that were involved in these messes and they were pretty much the same way. They were the type that let their emotions rule them and were constantly into trouble of one sort or another.

Add alcohol, drugs, or adultery into the equation and you have a sure fire recipe for trouble. 

Incidentally, not all of the victims were women. I've seen more than a few guys sporting serious battle damage from sneak attacks.

While there is really no excuse for domestic violence I have seen over a lifetime that there are a lot of people that bring it on themselves. The worst ones are the cornerers or chasers. They corner someone. When someone is cornered animal instinct takes over and all bets are off.

I've had it happen to me  once. You try and walk away and the other person won't let you. I had an angry mean drunk try to pick a fight with me once. When I got up to leave he blocked the door. I asked the bartender for the keys to the back room and walked into it and locked myself in.

The back room had a back door. When I heard something going on outside the back door I simply let myself out of the back room, flipped the bartender the keys and walked out the front door. I knew the guy was waiting for me out back. 

I guess he tried the same stunt with someone else a couple of days later and the guy he tried playing the cornering game with wasn't as clever as I was. He didn't have to be clever. He was bigger than I was and simply charged him. They both went through the door and pulled the whole thing out of the rough opening.

I was in the neighborhood and got called and was paid $75 to rehang it.

I briefly had a girlfriend that was an emotional wreck that would start something and when I started to walk toward the door to walk away she'd block it and scream at me.

I shrugged, opened a window and calmly left that way. I suppose a lot of guys would have tried to gently physically get her away from the door, but things like that escalate. Better to take another path. 

Of course the relationship ended then and there. I wasn't stupid enough to go back. In fact I cussed myself out for even getting involved with her in the first place.

The chasers are the ones that insist on chasing after someone that has walked away. If the guy retreats to the basement they follow him down there. If he retreats into the garage they follow him into the garage. When he heads into the back yard they follow him there.

Sometimes I think there ought to be the law of three retreats. Three retreats and the retreater is legally cornered and can use whatever reasonable force is necessary to get away.

Of course the woman against domestic violence are not going to buy that one for one minute, but it's true. If you get chased then the chaser is bringing the fight to you. It's as simple as that.

I once watched a friend of mine handle a chaser. I think he got home from work late once and she went off on him accusing him of every crime in the book. I heard her explode and decided to hang in case my pard needed a quick Bonnie and Clyde exit. 

He retreated to the garage and she followed him. He bailed out of the garage and hopped into my pickup and we headed to the nearest bar.

I quietly posted myself at the front door, he posted himself at the back door. When she drove up I gave him the high sign. When she started to get near the door to come in and publicly castigate him he ran around and opened the hood of the car she had driven to the bar in and yanked the coil wire and hopped into my pickup. No laws broken. It was his vehicle to begin with.

As she walked around looking for him I silently left and he and I drove off and left town. He camped on my spare bunk for the night. 

The next day he moved her stuff onto the front porch and changed the locks. It was his place to begin with. The relationship ended then and there. I have to admit that my pard and I were both sickos. We both knew the neighbor and sat in his windowed in porch when she returned and watched her throw a hissy fit and walk off.

She returned a few minutes later with a cab and loaded her stuff into it and they drove away. She broke a window before she left and we both shrugged and decided that he had gotten off cheap.

My all time favorite was the guy that had his soon to be ex follow him around one night. He would sneak out the back way and drop into the next joint down the line, order a cup of coffee because he was smart enough not to start drinking. Shortly after she would be walking in the door looking for him. He'd bail out again.

Finally he saw a cop walk through on a routine patrol and stopped him as she came in. She started castigating him in front of everybody. He looked at the cop and asked him, "What do I have to do to get thrown into jail tonight so I can get a good night's sleep? I'm going to wind up in jail one way or the other because if you don't take me to jail now I'm going to knock her silly and then you're going to HAVE to take me to jail!"

So the cop took him to jail.

Forty-five minutes later he was a free man. His wife followed him up to the police station and threw another fit at the police station. This time it was a real conniption.

So they threw her in jail for disturbing the peace or something disturbance related. I heard later that it took several policemen to get that little spitfire into a cell. 

Then they released him. Then they took him back downtown where he bought himself a stiff drink (or three) and walked home.

That was the talk of the town for weeks. Needless to say, he moved out the next day.

I realize that there is going to be friction in any relationship but you have to realize that when it gets to the Jerry Springer level it is simply not worth it. Time to bug out.

After all, who wants to live that way? I don't. I simply refuse to live that way.

I suppose that out of all of this rhetoric, the simple truth is that most people that wind up being victims are far from being snow white. Most people bring their problems on themselves.

Abe Lincoln once said that people are about as happy as they want to be. The older I get the more I realize he was right.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Well, I called that one.

A while ago Connecticut passed a gun registration law and the deadline has come and gone and now the feedbags in Hartford are all upset because they now claim that only 15% of the people registered their guns.

Truth is I figure that 15% is a little high. I think it's closer to 5%, myself.

Let's split the difference and call it 10% for sake of argument.

So what does this mean? This means that there are now an awful lot of guns in Connecticut that are now contraband. Being contraband puts them in the same class as narcotics. They can't be legally sold and if they are stolen they can't be reported.

I suppose a number of these firearms will be sold, traded or passed down as time goes on. You can bet the sales will be murky cash in a dark alley type of deals. After all, they are now contraband.

The numbers of new criminals are astounding. They do not even have enough room in the jails for them if they caught everybody and tried to  lock them up.

This is the beginning of a pretty good sized mess and now the state officials are wondering what to do next. I suppose they'll pass more laws putting people on double secret probation or some damned fooled thing.

The law is already a failure. Nobody is complying with it. All the law has done is to turn otherwise law abiding citizens into criminals.

What is likely to happen at the emergency meetings in Hartford is that the politicians there will up the penalties or put everyone on double secret probation or some damned fool thing. Repealing a law is not an option. It the code of politicians everywhere. After all, repealing a law means they have in their infinite wisdom failed.

Admitting a mistake is out of the  question to an elected official. The proper thing for an elected official when confronted by failure is to add more failure on top of it and when the pile of failure collapses under its own weight you use the rubble as a base to make an even bigger pile of failure.

Of course, that's nothing new for government. Look at the Feds and the Great Society Programs that have failed. All they do is to keep adding more money to the pile until it collapses and add more failure onto the pile. Right now we're so in debt with federal programs that if they stopped right now or grandchildren would never pay it off.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of these so called emergency meetings in Hartford. My guess is that they will find some way to add more to the law that will insure more non compliance.

Actually what is likely to happen is they will tell the police to step up enforcement. That will be interesting because there are an awful lot of policement that have no interest in enforcing the law. Most cops like armed citizens. They tend to make their jobs easier. Most likely the police will pay the law lip service and that's about it.

A couple departments might be gung ho about it but that will stop after a couple of cops get shot while trying to enforce the law. That will mean SWAT tactics will be used for raids and the first time they hit the wrong house the lawsuits will come flying. Dewey, Cheetham and Howe will be right in there to make a killing.

What is likely to happen is that things will wind up like they are in California. It seems that they haven't had a whole lot of luck getting people to comply with their laws, either so they simply keep passing more laws and Californians keep ignoring them.

It would be interesting to see how the SAFE law in New York has been obeyed but the New York politicos are a lot smarter than most. They'll just keep the numbers under their hat.

Anyway, a couple of months  ago I posted that this was likely to be an epic fail and I am surprised. It has turned out to be a bigger fail than I thought.

Frankly I hope the politicos in Hartford are starting to fear for their lives because fear in a politician is a good thing. It makes them think which is clearly what they were not doing when they enacted the registration law.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, February 14, 2014

Shirley Temple Black died recently.

I'm not going to moan over that. She had an 85 year run and did well. As a child she actually saved the studio she was on contract with from bankruptcy and as an adolescent her popularity on the silver screen waned she retired from making films at the age of 22. She then went on to other things.

A recent Facebook encounter brought Shirley up and how she was such a sweetie and I don't doubt that she was. She was a successful woman by any way you want to look at it.

The Facebook exchange also included the doings of one Miley Cyrus in this day and age. The consensus seems to be that Miley Cyrus isn't going to have a very long career. In a couple of years she'll be another has-been and her agent or whatever will likely be pimping out another fresh face to keep the big fast cash running.

When Shirley Temple was making her movies she likely wasn't making as much as actors and actresses do today because back then there was the contract system. A person under contract was paid so much a week for making so many movies a year.

Today I believe an actor is pretty much paid strictly by the movie.

While box office draws like Jack Nicholson can demand a lot more than he would have made under the contract system, there are two sides to this. Nicholson is pretty much on his own. When the movie is made he's likely looking for another job.

On the other hand, the contract actors and actresses were pretty much guarenteed work so long as they drew well at the box office.

Still, child actors seemed to fare pretty well under the contract system because they were schooled through the studios and got basic educations. They were looked after and took care of these people because they were pretty good businessmen.

The truth is that when they had talent they knew the value of the actor or actress. They knew that so long as they were drawing at the box office they were certainly worth investing in. The PR people at the studios were pretty good at keeping their moneymakers out of trouble or at least out of the papers if there was a potential scandal.

The coverups that the Hollywood studios managed to pull off are pretty interesting. For example the public was pretty much unaware of the Katherine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy relationship. It surfaced years later. The movie moguls did their best to keep up appearances.

If the actor was a child you can bet that in addition to the actors parents there were studio people that kept an eye on their budding little star or starlet. They also had a number of conditions written into the contract that gave the studio enough clout to make any recaltricent child actor shape up and fly right.

Of course, the studios knew that kids would be kids, too.

Still, in truth it was a business arrangement.

While Temple retired from the silver screen at the ripe old age of 22, some child actors continued their careers well into adulthood. Still, as some children reached adolescence and stopped drawing at the box office they were simply let go when their contracts ended. 

A lot of the "The Little Rascals" had this happen to them when they got too old to play their parts. The system that guarded them could be cruel when their usefulness ended. Incidentally the so-called "Our Gang Curse" is a hoax. 

While some pf the players did come to an early demise and suffered adulthood problems it proved to be about the same percentage as any other group of kids growing up, according to Snopes. 

The system had drawbacks and disadvantages and while the people running it knew the value of their actors they also knew when they were not useful anymore.

These days most entertainers are pretty much free agents. They hire an agent to keep them employed and are pretty much left to their own personal devices. While they do have more control over their lives, they also have nobody to keep them in line, either. 

I get the feeling that the agents don't value their people the way the studios used to and are often inclined to use their people to generate as much fast cash as they can so they can take their percentages and run.

I'm not advocating that the entertainment business returns to the old contract system. There were evils in it that held successful box office drawing actors and actresses down.

It's just that somewhere along the line some of these agents and other people involved with these stars and starlets ought to look after them and at least make some sort of attempt to keep what they have instead of letting them burn out so fast. It simply strkes me as being good business.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Thursday, February 13, 2014

One of the things I see that a lot of people are not good at

 is the basic ball park guess. I lot of people don't really even know how to figure out a simple basic ballpark ETA.

Too many people have become too reliant on electronics like GPS. When you ask someone when they are going to arrive they'll quote you some amazing exact figure they got off of Google Earth or something. It's generally wrong. They don't figure the little extras that come along.

The other day I was asked what time I was going to arrive somewhere and I replied, "About 200 miles to go. It's 0800 now. Figure about fifty mph. I ought to be there a little before noon."

It worked. I had given the person a reasonable expectation.

While it wasn't an answer like 11:51:13 and he could plan on opening the door for me to magically walk in on at precisely 11:51:14 it gave him something to work with.

I reported in at sometime between 11:45 and 11:50 which was about right. It was a little before noon.

Of course, some readers are thinking that the speed limit is 65 and I should have been there earlier. Yet one has to figure that I had to get off the turnpike as the rendezvous was a few miles off of the pike and I had a town or two to pass through via the old US routhes and state roads.

Couple that with a quick gas/pee/grab a cup of coffee to go stop and that knocks a little more off of the rate.

I think a lot of people don't know how to think very well anymore because they are too busy letting electronics figure everything out for them. While electronics are dead on accurate, they don't take a lot of things into consideration and allow for things like the human factor.

Of course, an accident tying up the lane on a turnpike cah throw this off completely but we're not talking about this sort of thing. We're covering normal conditions here.

A while back I saw a sign saying that somewhere in California was about 2400 miles away and I commented to my passenger that it looked like three days drive or so from where we were.

He commented that it at 60 mph was only 40 hours away. I asked him if he planned on driving straight through with no stops for gas or rest room breaks and he grew a bit silent. He argued that gas stops would only take up an hour or so along the way.

I pointed out that three days would afford a couple of good night's sleeps and some decent meals. It would also insure we didn't fall asleep at the wheel.

While three days is 72 hours and the actual driving would be in the neighborhood of 40 hours you have to figure everything in.

I suppose as a younger man I could have made the trip in 40 hours but I have gotten wiser with age. There's no need to pull a pimplebrained stunt like that these days.

Then I asked him if he planned on starving or living on gas station hotdogs for 42 hours and that aybe a little sleep would make things a little nicer.

Another ballpark estimate I made a few years back is that a GI canteen cup holds about $50 in change. It seems that every time it gets full enough for me to turn into cash I wind up with somewhere in the neighborhood of $50. Generally a little more, but in that neighborhood.

I suppose there are people that would argue that because they either only save pennies which would yield less or they only toss quarters in which would yield more.

I dump all the pocket change in and wind up with about fifty scoots when I cash out. About $50.

I suppose this is the kind of figuring that drives bean counters nuts but I'll do a story on that down the road. Bean counters can't count because goodwill isn't calculable but can pay off in very handsome dividends.

In my line of work I am constantly being asked what time I will be getting started, getting finished or will be ready to do something. Giving a truly accurate figure is impossible. However, coupling experience and a little simple math I can generally come up with a pretty good idea of what time I will be ready to go.

Of course, the office is aware that estimates are just that and knows that we're talking in ball park figures. It could be a little bit each way. Still, it gives everyone some sort of reasonable expectation. When someone says they will arrive on Tuesday, it's a good thing to know which Tuesday he is talking about.

Even though we live in an age of electronics and technology, the best we can hope for is a ballpark figure because technology can't predict the future and fails to take human needs and problems into consideration.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I ought go to go downtown and beat some learning into of one of our local weathermen.

He keeps using the phrase "The storm has blown SAFELY out to sea". 

SAFELY out to sea? 

I suppose if I shanghai him and put him in a 32 foot sailboat and drop him into a Force Ten blow. It'd break him of that habit rather quickly...if he survives. It's what a person like that deserves.

I have never heard Jim Cantore of the weather channel say that and I suppose if he did I would send him a blistering letter. Cantore travels around and get in the middle of things and pretty much knows what is going on.

It's the TV station weathermen that sit in a warm, heated office all damned day that are quick to forget the reality of dealing with foul weather.

I can speak firsthand about this because if any of you have ever seen the movie or read the book "The Perfect Storm" you will understand what I mean when I say I've been in it.

I was in that Halloween blow and off the shore of Kennebunkport we had a cargo hose break loose. Another guy and I had to suit up most riki-tik and get out on deck to tie it down before we lost it. We only had a couple of feet of freeboard.

I was tethered to the boat, got hit by a wave, lifted and spun upside down and landed damned near on my head. Twice.

We got the hose tied down. A gun-deck job if ever there was one. We pulled a cheap and dirty trick of lashing it to a couple of pipeline supports. Then we came inside cold, soaking wet and sore. It took us a long time to get warm again.

That was one storm that didn't blow safely out to sea.

We were lucky. We managed to hide in Portland and sat there for about a week before the seas calmed down enough to continue on.

It angers me to no end when I hear a professional weatherman say something like that because it shows his complete and total ignorance of the world. About 90% of all goods at some time move by water at some point or another.

A couple years ago someone got on my case about how what I do for a living only effects the coast. I knew I was dealing with stupid so I simply pointed out that he might enjoy walkinghome from work and freezing in the dark or maybe watch television by candle light it he was lucky.

I don't mind a weatherman saying a storm has blown out to sea. Some storms do. No storms blow SAFELY out to sea so long as there is a mariner underway in the area the storm headed.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Buy me an alarm clock.

This is a story about a former employer I had. It isn't my story but I remember the incident well. The tug skipper told me the story himself.

There was a scheduled three day seminar for tug officers and the company was supposed to put everyone up in the hotel. The seminar would be held in their conference/seminar room.

Now Lefty lived a couple of miles away from the hotel and the office called him and asked if they had to book him a room seeing he lived so close.

"Not if you buy me an alarm clock," said Lefty.

"We can't buy you an alarm clock. Buy your own alarm clock," said the company person that was organizing the seminar.

"Then I guess you'll have to put me up in the hotel," he said. "If you don't I'll probably be late because I don't have an alarm clock."

"You don't have an alarm clock?" she asked.

"Nope. Don't need one," he replied.

"How do you get up to go on watch?" she asked.

"The mate wakes me," he said. "He'd better if he wants to get off watch on time."

She sounded confused. "How do you know when to come to work?"

"My deckhand calls me when he leaves home," he replied. "That gives me more than enough notice. I get up, have my coffee and drive to work."

"You don't have an alarm clock?" she asked, somewhat confused.

"I already told you that," he replied.

"Well I can't see putting you up in an expensive hotel if you only live a few minutes away," she said, with an air of indignation.

"I guess you're just going to have to buy me an alarm clock then," he replied. "That or put me in a room. One or the other."

"Why can't you simply commute from home?" she asked.

"Because I don't have an alarm clock," he answered.

They went round and round several more times and he  said it was funnier than 'Alice's Restaurant'. They just kept going in circles for almost an hour. She simply didn't have the ability to comprehend.

He wound up staying in a room.

I never figured out why the woman simply didn't tell him to pick up an alarm clock and turn the reciept in to his port captain for reimburstment.

He wasn't looking for a whole lot out of the deal, just a token to remind them that he was saving them a few bucks. The woman running the seminar was just too damned dumb to realize that. 

A couple of years later I had to deal with this woman. There was a companywide seminar and I had to go. It was sort of split up. They were having one in Philly and one in Tampa.

Seeing it was cold out I opted for Tampa. They would fly me down and put me up. 

I got a call asking me why I had opted for Tampa.

"Because the flight for Philly leaves at 0530 and the flight for Tampa leaves at 1600," I replied. 

"What does that have to do with anything?" she asked.

"I'd miss the flight to Philly because my alarm clock just broke," I said.

"I'll put you down for Tampa," she said.

I went to Tampa and had a pretty good time.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, February 10, 2014

Software for a radio

I have finally gotten the software for my 2 meter and 440 rigs and I'm pleased. Both of these radios are a bitch to program by hand.

The 2 meter and .7 meter bands are generally bands that use repeaters. Most of the traffic on these bands uses repeaters and they have to be programed into the sets for them to be useful.

A repeater is another radio that is generally located in the highest place in the area and it takes the sender's signal and rebroadcasts it on a different frequency. It enables the operator to make himself heard on the other side of the mountain, so to speak.

I have a 2 meter rig in my pickup and it works pretty well except that it is a first class brain teaser to program. 

It's a whole lot easier to program the rig with the software. You fill out the channels with the pertinant data, frequencies, offset, tone etc. and plug it into the radio and with a few mouse clicks it installs it into the radio and you're good to go.

If you are planning on a trip you can sit down with the repeater handbook and in a few minutes set the rig up so you can simply select any repeaters within range all along your route. It's a pretty good deal because hams are generally somewhat busybodies and will cheerfully help you out if you get lost.

They'll also tell you where you can get something to eat along the route, too. It's always nice when you are on the road to know which ptomaine pits and botulism botiques to avoid.

Just because a place is called Mom's Diner doesn't mean YOUR mother is running it.  The title 'Mom's Diner' doesn't say which mom.There are a number of mothers out there that are crackheads and/or just plain lousy cooks. Some of them can burn water to a crisp.

I suppose hams will also tip you off where there's a speed trap, too which can save you having to cough up a few unnecessary bucks to some small town tinhorn sheriff in order to pay the jerkwater hellhole's bills. 

It's actually worth it to check in every so often because one time I was lost and another ham heard me ask for directions and he was better than a GPS. He was a local and pointed out a few extra details and got me right back on course, walking me through the route in real time. GPS is good, but you can't beat local knowledge.

Anyway, it's pretty amazing how easy it is to program one of these rigs with the software. It sure beats sitting there pushing dozens of buttons and wondering if you got everything in order or not.

Update: The software works like a charm.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, February 9, 2014

What's good will worth? Put a dollar value on it.

You can't. It's incalculable.

Sometiimes you cast your bread on the water and the ducks eat it. Other times you get back poached eggs on toast.

The other day I ran into a guy that has been in the business about ten years and we spoke about a guy named Ray that retired about 5 years ago.

When the subject of Ray came up he laughed. He said that Ray had told him about a gallon of paint I had given him out of ship's stores about 20 years ago.

Ray was a dockman at one of the docks I sometimes load out of. Back then we loaded there a lot. One day he mantioned that he was trying to find a certain color paint for his garage door. He said he wanted something that was about the color of the patina on old copper.

I had a few opened cans of pretty good marine paint and we looked. There was a pretty full can of white, some blue and some green and we mixed up a can and got it pretty damned close to what he wanted and I gave it to him.

Why not? It was well past painting season and we were going to get rid of it, anyway.

Some idiot mentioned it to my supervisor and I caught hell for it. The idiot said it didn't matter that we were getting rid of it. We were yada yada yada. He just wanted to hear himself jump on someone's case to gratify his ego.

Anyway the next time we tied the vessel up at the dock Ray told me how good his garage door looked. He also told me we were going to have to sit there for 12 hours until they loaded another unit ahead of us.

It was getting near crew change and we wanted to get off with as little fuss as possible. Getting loaded would facilitate the crew change and I casually mentioned it to Ray. He told me to sit still and a few minutes later returnned and said he pulled a few strings. We were to load at once.

When I notified dispatch that we had gone to the front of the line they asked me how I had pulled it off. They too were in a rush to get this job done. I said it had cost us a gallon of paint. The dispatcher laughed and said it was a pretty good deal.

Over the next several years any vessel I was on was treated royally at that dock if Ray was working. Some things came to us magically, and sometimes bad things simply went away.

I can't calculate how much money my employer made over the years because of the favors that were done and I doubt that even the sharpest bean counter couldn't even come close.

What was interesting is that over the years Ray commented that his garage door looked as good as new because it was good marine paint he had used to paint it.

When Ray mentioned that he was getting ready to paint some trim I simply handed him a can of white marine paint and he was tickled pink. The favors kept on coming. We were royalty.

Another time at a different dock I saw a dockman messing with a piece of cheap sisal line the company had issued him. It was too thin to do the job so he used several parts.

I just went below and peeled off fifteen or twenty feer of good, solid 3/4 inch line, put an eye splice in one end and a crown splice in the other and threw it at him.

He was damned grateful and you can beet your boots he treated us well after that for quite some time.

The bean counters would have a hard time calculating how much profit we turned on a loust 20 foot long piece of rope.

It doesn't take much to create good will and it pays, yet it always seems like the bean counters can never figure out good will.

I suppose if you can't figure it out with a calculator they can't figure it out and if they can't see it in black and white it doesn't exist. Most of them can't see that far.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The law of the angry mob.

There is something I would like to see happen every once in a while and it is what I will call the Law of the Angry Mob.

Every now and then someone on the  legal or business profession does something that is just plain dirty and mean that hurts a lot of innocents.

One example of that is that a while ago someone plundered a pension fund leaving a lot of elderly people high and dry. It was a case of some shysters seeing some money that belonged to someone else and using the legal system to steal it.

They stole it and a bunch of people too old to go back to work wound up living on cat food.

There are times I would like too see an angry mob rip thieves like that limb from limb just to teach anyone else with such ideas that it isn't a smart thing to do.

Just because something is legal doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

Sometimes I think that there are a few illegal things out there that are the right thing to do.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, February 7, 2014

I just read where a small outfit

 called American Tactical Imports has just pulled up stakes in New York and has decided to relocate in South Carolina.

I can't say as I blame them because if I were running the outfit I would most likely leave New York, too.

South Carolina now has an estimated 117 job openings and the secondary prosperity that goes along with the creation of those jobs. It's a trickle down effect.

The new job holders will need food, clothing, housing, entertainment and so on. A lot of people will benefit from this.

New York is now going to be out the jobs and the resulting loss of these jobs will trickle down as a loss to the New York community. Rochester, New York and the rest of the state will lose.

People do not realize that the firearms business creates more jobs than General Motors and does billions of dollars a year's worth of business in this country according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). That's a lot of change.

It should also be noted that the figures do not include the offshoot business created by the gunmakers such as clothing, camping gear for hunters, firearm accessories and much, much more.

I have no way of calculating what the trickle down effect of the firearms business is. It isn't chump change.

Part of the reason people are not aware of this is because along with the bigger companies that are known, like Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Colt, Winchester and Remington, there are countless little companies also. Many of whom do either specialty or custom work.

An example of a smaller shop might be the Shiloh Rifle manufacturing in Big Timber, Montana. They specialize in quality handmade reproductions of rifles made in the 1800s. They are not cheap and word is they are busy.

Most people have never heard of them, yet there they are up in Montana running a profitable business and creating jobs.

There are also countless custom shops around the country that specialize in various types of firearms for various shooting disciplines. The range from hunting rifles, target rifles, skeet and trap shotguns and many more firearms for the numerous shooting sports.

Even the matches and hunting trips provide for local economies because contestants have to eat, sleep and otherwise purchase goods and services on the local economy.

The National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio bring a lot of money into the local town of Port Clinton. The merchants there know this and cheerfully take the money of the shooters that arrive there starting in late June through the late part of August.

The shooting sports fields numerous disciplines ranging from huntnig, long range shooting matches, skeet and trap, cowboy action and others too numerous to mention. All of which generate revenue which is taxed.

The NSSF claims the tax revenue alone in excise taxes and state income taxes is well over 5 billion from firearms alone. One can't begin to estimate the tax base created by the accompanying sale of shooting related goods.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY