Saturday, February 28, 2015

Well, I am not $5.35 richer! Hoo-rah!

Which, I suppose, is better than being $5.35 poorer.

I went snooping around some of the 'find lost money' sites a while ago and they sent me to the Pennsylvania 'lost and found'.

An email to Harrisburg told me I had some money due and that it was under a hundred bucks.

Well, OK. That meant I had between a penny and $99.99 in the pot so I decided to claim it. I filled out the necessary forms and Presto!

A couple of months later a check arrived for $5.35.

I guess you could consider it a kind of lottery ticket where you know you've won something but do not know how much until you claim it.

You'd think the state would have told me how much they had in my name but they didn't. I had to claim it to find out.

It kind of reminds me of Congress passing various bills. You have to pass the bill to be able to see what's in it.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

I have read where the government

 has said that they consider conservatives to be a bigger danger to the nation than foreign terrorists.

I guess that puts me on the list of people they are snooping in on. That really doesn't bother me too much because I am simply going to live my life the way I want to. That's the way it is.

I suppose they can probably trump up some kind of crap to throw me in jail but I figure that I'd likely find good company there. Not all people in jail are true criminals. Some are simply people that broke the law and they decided to jail.

When you look at things carefully we're ALL lawbreakers at some time or another. What the system has done is get so complex and written so many laws that even Mother Teresa could likely wind up in the slam.

Look in your medicine cabinet some time and check any old prescription medication you didn't finish up. If it's over six months old then you have committed a drug offense. It's as easy as that.

If you have a half-pound of nails and a couple pieces of pipe in your garage then you could be tried for having bomb making materiels in your house. 

I guess a whle ago they decided that it was OK for the final user to tear the little tag off of pillows. That means we were given a freedom back. I wonder if someone took that to court or the government was embarrassed into changing it because of all of the jokes that came from that stupidity.

To tell you the truth cutting the tags off of pillows when it was illegal was one of the smug joys I took in life. Every time I would do that I would point my fingers like it was a Tommy gun and say, "Rat-a-tat! They'll never take me alive!" in a James Cagney voice. Since they changed it I simply stuff the tag end into the pillowcase.

The older I get the less liikely they are to use me for jury duty because there are a lot of things I simply don't think are worth sending someone to jail for. For me to send someone up the river there had best be a victim. Someone must have either been robbed, or injured and the injured party for the most part better have pretty damned clean hands.

I don't have time for petty-assed bulll$hit anymore. Sending someone to jail for conspiracy to commit long hair or some other dopey thing isn't going to cut it.

I suppose when you think about it, according to government officials, we're ALL a bunch of terrorists.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

I see that Emily Miller got her handgun permit

 in Washington DC which means she is in a very small group of people that have been issued one.

Sounds like a lot of crap to me. I have a hard time seeing why someone has to go through as much crap as she has just to exercise a very basic Constitutional right. Everyone has a right to self-defense.

Emily has a book out that I would like to read, Emily gets her gun...But Obama wants to take yours. It should be an interesting read.

Quite frankly I wish more states would take the stance that Vermont has taken for years and years. You simply do not have to ask permission to carry a firearm, concealed or otherwise. It makes sense when you think about it and you might find out that Vermont enjoys a pretty low crime rate.

Of course, a part of that is probably because the ethic in Vermont is to live and let live. In short, people leave you alone. They don't go running around looking for petty little things to throw you in jail for. To get thrown in jail you have to work at it.

Still,  Vermont likely enjoys a lower crime rate partly because anyone that wants to be armed probably is.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Years ago when I lived in Kodiak

 a bunch of us bored guys started watching 'General Hospital' at the Anchor Bar. If I recall it was on noon to noon thirty and it got to be contageous to the point where the Anchor was almost packed come noon.

During this period I was working for a contractor building a couple of apartment buildings and the entire crew were GH fans. At lunch we'd race to the Anchor and watch it and the instant it was over we'd race back to work.

If you'd miss a day then as soon as you coud you'd have to run down one of the guys to see what you had missed.

It got to the point where the general contractor actually brought a TV set onto the job site and somehow hooked it up to cable. 

At first he'd shake his head as we ate lunch and made comments about who was zooming who but after a while he was the one that was setting the TV up early and sitting down with us! 

I can remember sitting in the rain with the TV in the job shack facing out the door. The shack was too small for us to get into so we sat outside in the rain and watched it.

The bartender at the Anchor, a woman, thought it was the funniest thing to see construction guys, loggers and fisherman race in so as not to miss the daily episode.

This actually only lasted a couple of months until everyone started to get bored with it but it was one of those things that was fun while it lasted. I guess it was a stupid thing but it really was fun.

What is interesting now is that I don't remember a single episode of it.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Almost missed a day!

I am alive and was busy all day. I'm still busy and will try and make a halfway decent post tomorrow.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

If you want to learn to

 live in a house efficiently then live on a boat for five says a shipmate.

He's right only it doesn't take five years. 

Life on a boat is a disciplined life in order for it to work. You have to set priorities and be willing to get keep things orderly and not collect a whole lot of junk simply because there isn't any room for it.

You have to plan just about everything, from water, fuel, and energy use to meals to when to do laundry. You have to be disciplined.

Storage has to be managed as there is limited storage and life gets down to what you can use. There's no real room for anything else. You have to go through your clothes periodically and get rid of what you don't wear.

Energy management is also a part of it, especially in the summer or winter. You are constantly checking kerosene or propane tanks and making sure that anything not being used at the time is turned off.

Shopping becomes more efficient because if you forget something you are likely out of luck. When you come ashore this ends up saving on fuel because it is a habit and you don't wind up running to the store ever day.

This hold especially true when you are underway. There are no stores out in the middle of the ocean. If you get sloppy and run out of something...anything...while underway you might as well forget about getting a resupply until you are tied up somewhere civilized.

Every drop of water is supplied from shore except for maybe, if you have the mechanism to do this, rain water. After a couple of years on a boat water discipline becomes second nature. When you move ashore you don't let the water run when you brush your teeth.

You also combine loads when you wash clothes and very well may use a clothes line. A cloths line is a solar and wind powered clothes dryer and works like a charm.

The list of things is really almost endless and you bring ashore habits you don't even realize to make life efficient.

Remote ranchers and others that have stores a distance away tend to have a few of these habits but the truth is they don't hold a candle to what a couple of years in a baot will do to someone.

It changes you and makes you efficient.

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

I mentioned I worked Navassa Islend

They want $6 for a directly mailed to you QSL card.

A card via the bureau is still free.

Anyway I heard someone gripe about it.

I pointed out that DXpeditions cost money. In this case the Navassa helicopter bill alone will likely break well over $200,000. It is a real possibility the entire show will wind up costing in the area of $500,000.

The money has to come from somewhere and the guys running it are not rich men.

I sent them a $20 and told them to put the change toward their expenses and suggested the griper do the same.

People never seem to realize that things cost money unless it comes out of THEIR pocket.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015



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Friday, February 20, 2015

The drug dealer that was ready for war. Yeah, right.

I just saw where some druggie type got raided and busted which is something I question to begin with. It looks to me like a bunch of cops risked their hides in yet another battle on our failed never ending war on drugs.

So, of course, police leadership has decided to show the world the evidence as a show of how the officers risk their lives dealing with armed drug dealers. They set up a table and showed all of the deadly weapons they took from the dealer.

As usual, there is a police supervisor type standing there with the Official Look of outraged indignation on his face. It is the self-rightous look you see on the faces of people standing behind someone like Al Sharpton or some other community organizer type when they are giving a speech.

Most likely the rank and file cops not in the picture are rolling their eyes.

There is a pile of weapons on the table along with a small package of whatever drug they seized. At a quick glance it looks impressive. To those that are not in the shooting community it looks impressive.

Members of the shooting community are rolling their eyes if they are disciplined. If they are not, they are rolling on the floor laughing themselves silly.

Let's see what's on the table. There's a whole pile of stuff. The first thing I see are a pair of airsoft pistols. They're not even firearms!

Neither are the pair of AR-15 airsofts. They are not firearms, either.

On the end is a pair of WW2 bring-back Arisakas that that one can't get ammunition for anymore unless you go to a specialty house and spend an arm and a leg. One of the two appears to be missing the bolt, rendering it incapable of firing.

There's a couple of Ninja and Rennisance Fair type fantasy swords next to a set of nunchucks. Beside that is an old Civil war replica cap and ball revolver and a poorly put together flintlock kit pistol. The latter is a replic of a 200 year old pistol that was made before the days of percussion caps. 

There's a rusty machete in the pile. It looks like it came out of the garage and was used for whacking weeds as there seems to be dirt still on it.

There is what appears to be a servicable center fire rifle in the pile, a bolt action deer rifle that looks to be in halfway decent shape. It is nestled between a pair of kind of worn out Daisy Red Ryder BB guns.

Of course the cutline says that this heavily armed drug dealer was ready for a serious fight to the death. The police supervisor there is looking at the pile like it is going to jump up at them.

The working cop that helped set this display up looks somewhat embarrassed. He know that anyone in the shooting community is going to see through the display in a minute.

Of course, the soccer moms and little old ladies are going to look at the display wide-eyed and see that the police are saving them from a fate worse than death.

I wish the police would stop doing things like that because it makes them look foolish. Then again, there are a lot of supervisors in police departments that are kind of foolish. Still, the supervisors ought to run stuff like this past working cops and listen because the guys in the streets know how foolish things like this make them look.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

The other day a couple of us were discussing Jordan's King Abdullah II.

 He's one hell of a leader and one hell of a man. I'd follow him just because of who he is.

When ISIS burned one of his pilots to death he promptly hanged a pair of ISIS terrorists he happened to have sitting around in jail. Actually they were the people ISIS offered to trade for a pilot they had captured.

He doesn't play stupid games. He's makes decisions unlike a lot of our so-called leaders. 

I'm not going to get into the skydiving, beautiful wife he is devoted to, his hobbies of skydiving, motorcycling, scuba diving and the like.

What I will do is say that he learned his trade of being a head of state quite well by getting one hell of an education. He pretty much did this on his own.

This guy is a real deal badass. His military education includes Sandhurst in the UK, and advanced armor school at Fort Knox, KY just to name a part of it. He also ran the Special Operations department in Jordan, as a major general.

He's the kind of guy I would consider it an honor to have him lead me into battle.

On top of that he has worked with two Popes in an effort to bring Islam and Christianity closer and work together for peace. This guy is not just a military man. He's a person interested in making the world an easier place to live.

He's a pretty down to earth guy that was seen in Amman pushing a car out of a snowbank during the a rare middle east cold snap. Truth is, he sounds like a guy that gets things done no matter where he is.

I'm going to watch this guy.

Frankly I wish a lot of people in Washington would watch this guy and take heed to the way this man leads. There is a shortage of that in Washington these days. A BIG shortage.

I think I am going to write this guy a letter.

Incidentally, his father was a ham operator, call sign JY1, beloved by the ham community that was constantly on the air. If you were a ham, then for all intents and purposes you were on a first name basis with a king. 

He visited the States a number of times and it most likely used to irk the hell out of the State Department weenies to have to call him 'Your Highness' when some scruffy looking ham was addressing him by name.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

One of the guys I seem to like is Mike Rowe of 'Dirty Jobs' fame.

The show is pretty good, sometimes pretty interesting and entertaining. It's on for background now and every so often I actually look up at it which is kind of rare for me.

Mike pitches right in and gets dirty himself which is a lot more than I can say for a lot of big shot movie stars.

While watching some guy wallowing around in a sewer or covered with fish entrails may not be particularly appetizing, it should be a must watch for a lot of people.

Right now they are doing a show on concrete and I heard an interesting comment.

There is a warning on 5 gallon plastic pails saying a child could drown in one. One of the guys pointed out that the warning is a typical government waste of time because babies can't read, anyway. Good point.

An awful lot of people think that everything we have in our advnced society is some kind of magic. They seem to forget that there are a lot of people behind the scenes that make things work.

A lot of people also think that a lot of manual labor jobs are so simple anybody can do it. An example of this is sheet rock finishing which is something I can't do very well to save my life.

While I can tape sheet rock, it takes me forever and I have to do an awful lot of sanding and I wind up making a collossal mess. I just don't have a knack for the trowel trades. I'd never be able to make a living at them.

Yet Rowe shows us guys that are very efficient at their trades and worthy of respect. A lot of uppity people don't think so and steer their kids towards college. 

A lot of these dirty jobs come with a pretty good sized  paycheck and don't require a college education. Some dirty jobs do require a college education. Many of these are dirty jobs that keep our society a comfortable place to live.

One of the things that I got a boot out of once was a New Yorker I shared a train with. She was like a lot of people that didn't understand the unfrastructure would collapse without people behind the scenes. 

She saw my duffle bag and asked me if I was a soldier. I told her I was Merchant Marine and moved oil. She started griping about the oil companies.

I pointed out that without us she'd have to walk home and freeze in the dark.

She asked me about life on the boat and when I said something about getting some sleep after a watch she looked shocked. "You sleep on the boat?" she asked.

I sarcastically told her that all across the Atlantic there is a string of Motel 6s and that Tom Bodett leaves the light on for us. She flushed and said, "I suppose you have to." 

She's typical of a lot of people. If they can't see it the don't understand it. A lot of people think that meat comes from the back room of a supermarket. They have no idea of the work that goes on they never see.

Mike Rowe brings the people that do a lot of these things out into the open and puts it on the tube. We're all better off for it. 

It sure beats American Idol.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

It is damned cold out, running around the zero range.

I have been looking at the out of town weather reports and have half a mind just to jump in my pickup and start driving south until the signs in front of the banks read 80 degrees and just sleep in the parking lot of said bank for a few hours to thaw out.

I hate this kind of freeziness. It sucks.

There was a time that it didn't bother me too much but the time has long passed by. I hate this time of year.

If I woke up with no responsibilities tomorrow I really think I'd sell out and move to Florida, living on a small sailboat like I did when I lived in Kodiak. 

That is all.

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

A visit to a federally run whore house.

A visit to a whorehouse seems to me to be a fairly simple operation.

You go in, have a seat at the bar, light a smoke and order a drink You pay for the drink, of course.

Then the ladies wander through, you pick the one that catches your fancy, wander off into her room, cut the deal, consummate the deal and wander off a happy camper.

It's really not that difficult and not very complicated.

Of course, that's probably because whorehouses are private enterprises. They run themselves as they see fit unless they are in certain counties in Nevada. There they follow rules set out by the state or lose their license.

Of course, it is a profitable business as whisky and sex sells. It's kind of hard to screw up a whorehouse or a gin mill if you have any common sense. You also have to remember they are pretty much cash and carry businesses. That should count for something.

What I would like to see is a whorehouse run by the federal government. I could use a laugh about now.

Now you have to remember that being run by the government means that both Republicans and Democrats have input on the rules and regulations pertaining to the governance of such a den of iniquity.

So you wander in only to find that some Republican has wedged his little rule in. He believes in the sanctity of marriage and this means that married men are required to have a notarized permission slip from their wives.

No problem. A block down the road a shifty-eyed gunsel named Blackie has bogus notary stamps from all fifty states. He's also hired couple of secretaries that have just gotten out of the joint for forgery. Forty scoots later you're out the door with a permission slip that's so good your wife will look at it and swear she signed it.

If she finds out about your dalliance, show it to her and tell her she gave you permission. Even the handwriting experts you see on Pawn Stars won't be able to tell the difference!

It should be noted that the feds got into the whorehouse business in part as an effort to curb crime.

So you wander back in with your permission slip and when it passes muster you are given a safety briefing that lasts about an hour. The subject is STDs and the thirty minute film is full of nasty looking sores and other graphic close ups. While watching the movie you also notice the safety rails on the beds. It's an OSHA requirement. There's also a couple of hard hats hanging on pegs above the headboard. As the camera pans back you also notice a pair of steel toed work shoes on the floor next to the bed. More OSHA.

After the safety briefing you are given instruction on how to don the germ-proof scuba type suit you'll be required to wear and issued a 6 ply, steel belted radial condom, made completely out of 100% recycled materiel. 

Not only is the condom made of recycled materiel, the condom itself is recycled. It also comes with a repair kit. The repair kit looks like one of those Camel tire repair kits kids used to repair bicycle inner tubes with.

After that if you are still in the mood you go into the bar. The walls are painted institutional green, the same color your barracks were painted when you went through boot camp. The same color 95% of all other government facilities are painted.

Then you grab a seat at the bar and order a drink from a bartender that, prior to serving you, gives you a ten minute government mandated lecture on the dangers of drinking alcohol. He also informs you of the house one drink limit that is in effect to make sure you don't harm yourself or others.

Lighting up a smoke is definitely out of the question. You have to go off the property to light up. When you return you are given a health lecture.

The bartender, a pretty good guy, is pretty good at giving the customers the score. He's probably not supposed to but he does.

The girls wander in. The first one appears to be close to her nineties and is aided with a walker. She's pretty topheavy and wearing a bra that looks like it was made out of seat-belt nylon. Best guess is that she got a boob job when Carol Doda did, back in '64 when she turned 40. You notice the straps on the bra are straining and cringe at what is likely to fall out when it is removed.

You start to stare agape and the bartender, who has seen this before, explains things.

She's a hooker, all right. She's been hired because by not hiring her it would be age discrimination.

The next hooker to wander through is in a wheelchair and the bartender quietly explains that she's been hired under the Americans with disabilities act. She's drooling, her head hangs to one side and she has a listless look.

The next lady of the evening that wanders through is as ugly as a mud fence and has Marty Feldman eyes. She also has an ass three axe-handles wide. I guess that means obese people are now listed as handicapped and must be hired. The bartender whispers to you, "We call her tons of fun."

You turn to the bartender and ask him if there are any pretty girls working there. He nods. "Junie May isn't too bad. She's only here for the government benefits but you'll be lucky to get her. You really don't have any choice.  When they enacted the 'take what we issue you policy' all of the halfway decent talent went down the street where they could make some money."

You're stunned and ask for an explanation.

Seems you get whoever's turn it is. Nancy Pelosi and company have decided that allowing a client to pick his hooker wasn't fair to the uglier girls. Nobody would pick them. Everything the government does has to be fair.  They have to make sure the business is divided up fairly. This, he explains is the policy that was decreed by the Democrats.

The bartender also explains that the girls can only service their clients missionary position only, thanks to the Republicans. 

You turn to the bartender and he reads the look of shock and outrage on your face. The look on his face says you're not the first outraged client.

You then look and some big blond muscleman comes out parading in drag. Prior to this he was a professional beach bully. You'd hire him to show up on the beach. He'd kick sand in your face like in the old Charles Atlas ads. When you swung on him he'd take a dive to impress your girl. You didn't have to worry about him trying to steal your girl, either. He's gay.

The bartender explains that the government has decreed that gays have right, too and they have to be able to serve everyone.

Then you realize that the room you are in is only a part of what is going on. You look through a portal and see a couple of what look to be cops, and a couple guys in white lab coats. There are also a couple of pretty solid looking indignant women.

So you quietly ask the bartender what the deal is with them. He explains the guys in the lab coats are government inspectors, the guys in uniform are federal marshals assigned to security duty and the women are there as part of a support group for the hookers. They are counselors.

He goes on to explain that the inspectors inspect the working girls after each trick. There's an on-site complete medical lab.

Of course, by now the last thing on your mind is sex, especially here in this place.

He sees you in a look of shock and disgust and quietly tells you that the Lonesome Dove Pleasure Palace is 5 miles down the road. It's a bastion of free enterprise, he explains. If you are headed there tell them Bob sent you and don't bother tipping him.

You thank Bob and as a parting question you ask him how this place could possibly turn a profit. Bob says it loses a couple million a year. He goes on to explain that he works there mainly for the federal insurance and benefits. The pay isn't bad but he says he makes more working a couple evening shifts at the Lonesome Dove than he makes here. Between that and referrals the Lonesome Dove slips him a few bucks for he says he makes out nicely.

Being free enterprise the Lonesome Dove can pay people that send them business. The government can't.

Adios! You're outta there like a shot!

Six minutes and thirty two seconds later you walk into the Lonesome Dove. The madame is working the entry parlor and takes one look at you. She asks you if you just left the government run joint up the road. You nod and tell her Bob sent you.

"Have a drink on us," she smiles and you walk into the bar, sit down and order a double Jim Beam, neat. You need it after what you have just been through.

The bartender looks at you. "When the government opened the joint up the street we were worried we'd lose business, but we were wrong. Since they opened up business has been booming," he says.

You look over your shoulder and see one of the girls wander through. She's a real hottie. She comes by and softly asks if you want to try out her Japanese love swing.

The libido you lost up the street returns instantly. Ah, the pleasures of free enterprise!

And that's about what it would be like if the government ran a whore house.

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

One of the things they do in the medical field

 is a thing called a triage. They teach it in medical school and they teach it to young people that go into the service to become medics.

It's an old system that divided injured people into three categories, routine, priority and beyond help. It's a pretty cold system but as cruel as it is, it saves lives.

The cold hard truth is that it is both a waste of time and a danger to the other injured to waste a whole lot of time on someone that is dead or dying and likely won't make it.

The routine casualties have injuries that are not life threatening. They can wait until the priorities can be taken stablized.

Priorities are those that will likely survive if they can get stablized. These are the people that generally get attention first.

Life is a lot like that when you think about it except that a lot of people are afraid to admit it. Instead they insist on propping up failure through social programs.

The system we have now reminds me of a triage nurse at a disaster that is spending precious assets on the dead and dying rather then the priority patients that will make it if they get attention.We're spending too much money on deadbeats.

It seems to me that we are wasting an awful lot of time and money on individuals that we simply ought to leave to their own devices. We ought to let them start taking care of themselves or let them simply wither away.

The truth is that most people will find their way.

It won't be pretty and it will likely take a couple generations but if we're going to survive as a free nation we're just going to have to buckle down, face the truth and deal with it. 

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Friday, February 13, 2015

I am beat

Let us leave it at that.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Policemen bring out the worst in me sometimes.

 Not all of them, of course, but some of them. 

Keeping a straight face with some of them during a conversation can often be difficult. While I am talking and trying to keep a civil conversation my mind is runnng at about 2750 feet per second giving me ideas.

Of course, it is the smart-ass side of me running in afterburner and dumping raw fuel straight into the mental combustion chamber. 

It is a cross I have had to bear since I was a youngster. Policemen simply bring the smart ass side out in me. I don't dislike policemen, on the contrary. I like most of them.

It takes a lot of discipline on my part to do this because I am a naturally born sarcastic smart-ass.

Of course, there are a lot of other people that bring this out in me but it seems that policemen are the worst. Maybe it has to do with them being in a position of authority because when I was in school teachers brought it out in me.

It was the school teachers that taught me to keep my mouth shut and keep a straight face. A few hours after school taught me that.

Still, even back then as now there were a few times when it became a case of a man just doing what he had to do. One was a case of a pretty good cop with a sense of humor. I could tell during the initial conversation.

I was moving a piece of furniture in the bed of my pickup and it started misting up. I pulled up under a bridge and started to cover the furniture with a tarp when a Trooper pulled up behind me.

He was pleasant and asked me if I was OK. He said, 'Just covering the furniture up, huh?"

"Yes, thanks for stopping," I answered and my smirk gave me away.

"What's so funny?" he asked.

"Oh, Lord," I said. "Where were you ten minutes ago? I was delivering this bridge and I think I threw my back out. I could have used some help."

He chuckled. "Jeff Foxworthy, huh?"

"Yeah, some things a guy can't resist. I've been a smartass all my life. I generally don't mean any harm but I guess that's the way my brain works," I said.

"Do you get in a lot of trouble?" he asked.

"No," I replied. "I can generally tell the goood guys from the jerks. You seemed to be one of the good guys."

He shook his head and smiled. Then he said something that shocked me a bit. "The Three Stooges were my bag," he said. I laughed and went back to work and he left.

I had waded into that one but one time a few years back I dove into one that just plain annoyed me. I'm no different. There is nothing worse than being in the middle of cleaning up a mess and having someone stop you and tell you to clean up the mess you are in the process of cleaning.

I was visiting my sister a few years back and while I was there we got clobbered by a serious snow storm. I think I was kind of a hero because I got the snow blower working. My sister said she hadn't used it in years and I got it going. Maybe my nephew and I did, whatever.

We blew out the driveway and cleaned off the cars.

My pickup was parked in the street and I had just finished digging it out. The next step was to get the snow off of the pickup as it is both illegal and stupid to drive a vehice covered with snow. I had just finished cleaning the hood and windshield off and was getting ready to sweep the snow off of the roof of the cab and tha cap when a cruiser pulled up.

The cop told me to make sure I cleaned the snow off of my pickup before I went anywhere. That did it. I was freezing my ass off, tired, angry and in no mood for crap  like that from some fuzz-nutted rookie. 

An Old Lion of a cop MIGHT have said something tactful like "Don't forget the roof, please. We have to write people up for that. It's a big issue these days."

An Old Lion would have been trying to be helpful and that's a virtue. He was being a policeman to help people out. While if he had caught someone driving snow covered he might have written him up, he was just trying to keep someone out of trouble in the first place.

This was a young stud throwing his weight around.

"Huh?" I replied in my best ignorant hillbilly voice. "I'm takin' the snow on the roof with me to Miami! Them rich people down there pay eight, maybe ten bucks a pound for it!"

An Old Lion of a cop probably would have laughed if I had said that to him. Generally speaking they have a pretty good sense of life. Then again, he wouldn't have thrown his weight around to begin with.

"You better sweep it off," he shot back. "The fine for not cleaning it off is pretty steep!"

"How about if I cover it with a tarp?" I asked. "There's thirty, maybe forty pounds on that roof! I could sell that for enough to pay for my gas and maybe have a case of beer left over! Can I cover it up with a tarp and tie it down good?"

"You some kind of smart ass?" he demanded.

"It does run in the family," I said. "But I have to confess to being annoyed when someone sees me in the middle of doing something and starts telling me to do what I am already doing. Don't worry. It'll be cleaned off before I go anywhere.

Of course, he gave me the usual 'or else' threat. "It better be cleaned off!"

Looking back on it, it was probably a good thing he didn't say, "It had better be cleaned off or else!"

I most likely would have asked, "Or else what?"

Likely he would have said, something like I'd have to pay a $300 fine. I would have simply said that I could afford that. God knows where it would have ended.

Generally if the officer I run into is halfway decent I do bite my tongue. Good cops get enough crap as it is and I don't want to add to it. 

Of course, the downside of my nature has an upside. Because of this I have learned to keep a straight face when I say just about anything. For example, when I tell some nosy fool  that my 90 year old mother won a wet T-shirt contest last week. I can do this with such a straight face that a lot of people believe it.

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 11, 2015

The ring.

This goes back about fifteen years or maybe even more. It's one of the few 'at work' stories I will post because I wasn't working for my present employer. I don't believe in dragging work into the internet. Still, this one's pretty good.

I was working on a now razor blazes old barge at the tme and we were tying up at a dock. It was the mate's watch on the tug and he was competent enough so the captain felt comfortable coming over onto the barge to help us tie up. He said he wanted some exercise.

My partner and I were standing next to him when he tried to throw a deck line over a bitt atop a piling. While he did this the line snagged a loose ring on his finger, pulled ot off. It hit the piling and bounced back, practiaclly into my partner's hand. He caught it, instantly pocketed it and looked at me with a smirk.

The ring also hit a shell or something that fell into the water. When the skipper saw the splash he was bummed. He thought his ring had gone into the drink and was lost forever.

It was a pretty upset skipper that returned to his tugboat. He had told us the ring was a family heirloom.

After we were tied up my partner and I went below and plotted a way to give him his ring back. Of course, it had to be spectacular.

I peeled down to my undershorts and jumped into the shower, soaked myself and grabbed a flashlight and the ring. I stopped outside and scraped up some dirt and put it in my hand.

Carrying the ring, a flashlight, dripping wet I boarded the tug. It was a pretty cold day so I arrived shivering and blue-lipped. I went straight into the galley where the skipper was sitting. I handed him the ring.

"I know it meant a lot to you so I went after it," I said simply and handed it to him.

His face lit up and he was astonished. Before he could say anything I said I was freezing and returned to the barge leaving him stunned.

I dried off, warmed up, got dressed and went on watch and for the rest of my watch I was treated to one sputtering thank you after another. He came by later with a plate of chicken and for the next several months I was treated like a king. My partner and I laughed ourselves silly.

Periodically I would hear about what I had done from someone else asking me if I really had dove over the side and rescued the skipper's ring. I generally answered with, "How else could I have retrieved the damned thing?" This was technically not a lie.

After a while things died off.

About five or six years someone asked my partner about it over beers and he let the cat out of the bag. Of course, the whole story got back to the skipper.

He was pretty decent about it, probably just because we were honest enough to return the ring to him and he didn't mind getting teased about if for a while.

The reason I remembered this and wrote it is because another old salt kidded me about it the other day. He was a deckhand on the tug that day and now he's a tug skipper.

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 10, 2015

Oh, yes. I go there for lunch.

Today a shipmate traced a package he is having delivered and it seemed that the post office couldn't find the address so they were in the process of sending it back.

He called the post office nearest his home and I got to listen to a real interesting conversation that confirms that you can't fix stupid.

He asked the postal woman why they couldn't find the address and she said it wasn't to be found in the area so it must not exist. 

The address is a marina behind a restaurant. In fact it is owned by the restaurant and they share the same address. They went round and round and I was listening because he had put the call on speakerphone for my listening pleasure.

"Ma'am, there is a restaurant about a half-mile from your post office called the Such and such," he said.

"I know, I eat lunch there," she replied.

"So how about the next time you go there for lunch you bring my package and drop it off with the marina office behind the place?" he asked.

"Uh, uh...I guess I could do that," she said. She sounded pretty embarrassed.

Sometimes I wonder about the post office.

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 9, 2015

Every so often I drop in on a police subforum

 on a website I frequent. It's interesting and because I don't act like too much of a jerk on it, most of the guys make me feel welcome.

As you can imagine, most of the members are either active or retired cops. Some of the subjects they talk about are interesting. Some of it is shop talk.

I just went through a thread where the officers were talking about which kind of pen they preferred to use for tickets and reports. One officer made me laugh when he posted a picture of a cheap pen with a flower on top of it.

I can picture Joe Citizen being handed that to sign a 45 over speeding ticket with. Actually it is something I would do if I were a cop and probably part of the reason I'm not a police officer.

When I read the title to the thread I was a bit dubious until I realized that cops do a lot of writing. That's when the thread made sense to me.

Actually that was a rare thread for that forum. 

One of the threads was a discussion of the various bandages available. A couple of officers wanted to add a few things to the first aid kits in their cars. Likely they would be paying for these bandages out of their own pocket.

For the most part it seems to me that these officers are pretty caring guys that are trying to do a good job and serve the public. These guys are swapping notes about which first aid things they should add to their issued kits.

I've posted that there are good and bad apples in the LE community before and likely I will again. Good police officers do nothing but add to the community. They should be rewarded and well treated.

Yes, the bad ones should be gotten rid of but I don't want to cover that one today. I just want to remind us that there are an awful lot of good officers out there that serve the public.

I'm also grateful that the officers in the forum do a pretty good job of making me feel welcome.

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 8, 2015

Hiding behind a piece of paper

 doesn't do anybody a damned bit of good.

One of the Columbine survivors is demanding a repeal to the gun-free zone law in their schools. He wants people with permits to carry firearms to be able to carry in schools.

It makes a lot of sense to me. It would probably serve to make tha schools a little safer for the kids in it. I suppose it would also make it legal for teachers to carry, too and that would make the schools safer yet.

One of the things I see is that a lot of Americans are living in an unreal world. They think that passing a law of some sort is going to make them safer. When they do that they are simply hiding behind a piece of paper. There simply is no way to make anyone obey the law.

 All you can really do is punish someone for disobeying the law if you can apprehend them. Laws really don't prevent a whole lot of bad things from happening. They just punish those that get caught disobeying them.

We have laws against various crimes against people and property yet we still have murders, assaults and thefts.

We have laws against the use of narcotics and dangerous drugs but we still have people running around using these drugs. For that matter, we still have people making illegal liquor and that has been enforced since George Washington's presidency.  We've even created a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to enforce these laws yet we still have moonshiners and cigarette smugglers. Criminals still saw off shotguns and there are still illegal expolsives out there.

In fact the untaxed liquor laws have been flouted so much that there are now a couple of reality shows on mainstream TV covering the activities of moonshiners.

This says something to all of us about how well laws work. They really don't. Hell, back in the day of the $2 parking ticket I used to illegally park because it was cheaper than paying for time in the lot a block away.

I'd even bring two bucks and a stamp with me and fill out the envelope/ticket and drop it off in the mailbox on the way home.

Yet there are a lot of people that think we can legislate behavior to the point where we make ourselves safe. Let's face it, we can't. There are no laws that can be passed that are going to make us safe. None.

Calling a school a gun free zone isn't going to make things safer for anyone. It's going to make it a little more dangerous because the law abiding won't be armed, yet the scofflaws are not going to bother to obey the law.

It strikes me that it is time to stop living in the clouds and face the plain and simple fact that enacting any kind of law is going to make anyone safer. It's time to square up, pull your head out of the sand, face reality and take action that will make us safer, both as individuals and as a society.

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 7, 2015

Navassa Island is now in my logbook

which is kind of cool. Navassa Island is a small island in the Caribbean that is sided by cliffs and is accessible either by cliff climbers or helicopter.

It has been over 20 years since the Island was on the air and word has if that it is not likely that it will go on the air for another ten after the present DXpedition folds up shop.

I actually made two QSOs with the island, one on 17 meters and the other on the 20 meter band but the log only has me listed for the 20 meter contact. I'm not going to contest the 17 meter contact as one contact lets me claim it as a worked entity and that's good enough for me.

Now for the braggadocio. I worked the 20 meter contact with my PRC 320, a 30 watt backpack rig and on top of that the contact was a split. This means that the Navassa guys were transmitting on one frequency and listening on another. 

My home rig is equipped to work this way if I set it up to. It's a simple process. The PC 320 is not.

I had to have fast hands and click the 10 Khz decade switch a click up to transmit and back down to receive and on top of that for some reason my microphone switch started getting sticky in the cold as I was operating outside in the cold.

It took a couple of hours and probably a couple hundred tries. The brief QSO was a panicky circus. I had to smack the handset to get it to stop transmitting along with clicking the decade switch.  Still, I am solidly in their logbook. In a few days I can order my QSL card.

I have to give the operator a lot of credit for fishing my little hushed whisper out of the din and bedlam of the Big Guns that were in the ruckus. Some of the guys I was competing with have tall antenna towers and amplifiers capable of 1500 watts.

The operator was pretty patient. He heard the last three letters of my call sign and repeated them and I jumped in and gave him the first three and a 5x5 signal report. I was rewarded with hearing him repeat my full call and add a 5x9 signal report and say, "You are in the log."

My antenna was a wire hastily thrown up a tree and the PRC 320 is rated at a mere 30 watts. My guess is that I was generating about 10 after losses from a random wire antenna. It wasn't cut to the proper length and wasn't very harmonic. Fortunately the antenna tuner did its job and made it work even though I wasn't running full power.

That's not bad and I'm pretty proud of the feat.

After that the tension started as the log they maintain electronically is not kept in real time and is only posted once a day. Several hours later I checked and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw I was in it.

Anyway, I'm a pretty happy camper.

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 6, 2015

I have repeated time and again

 that I am not a professional sports fan. My sports are competitive shooting and I like to watch certain sailboat races.

Over the past few months I have heard a lot of people talking about nothing but football which is in Pittsburgh routine. Pittsburgh is a town with a serious football program.

In fact, the problem is so bad that I have heard Pittsburghers defending Joe Paterno. Anything to win the Big Game. So what if he was covering for that animal serial pedophile Jerry Sandusky. I do digress...

One of the things I hear a lot about at work from a couple of Patriots fans is that they run a pretty clean team which strikes me as a pretty good thing.

They keep their people in line and don't permit them to badmouth each other or other teams and players on line. They don't tolerate their players getting into legal trouble. They don't tolerate their players creating disturbances off the field. 

Start a brawl in a club or bring discredit to the organization and you are out. They don't allow it.

Over the years I have heard a number of jokes about players getting into trouble off the field and having the club cover to keep the hotshot player on the field the following weekend.

The Patriots don't really put up with that crap and have let a number of hotshot players go over the past several years.

The club has their ways and players are expected to conduct themselves accordingly.

I have to admit that a part of why I have paid little atention to football over the years is because I consider a lot of them to be a bunch of over pampered spoiled brats. The clubs and to an extent, the fans let them get away with this kind of thing.

Quarterback Tom Brady has a pretty good reputation as a family guy and a generally all-around nice guy. He seems pretty down to earth and really seems to be a pretty good role model.

Of course, his detractors will likely be upset that he brought his kids to the recent victory parade. There's always some jerk that would make a mountain out of a mole hill and claim he was exposing his kids to noise and chaos. If that's all they have they might as well just keep quiet. I'd bring my kids if I were him, too.

Another Patriot recently made the news when he stopped at a traffic accident and pitched in. I read that he hauled an injured woman out of her vehicle while aiding the police.

I suppose that if I were to start to get interested in football I'd become a Patriots fan even though I live in Pittsburgh. My Steeler fan neighbors with their football problems can just take a hike.

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 5, 2015

Over 5 years now

I have been at this blog daily for over five years now, posting daily with very few days without a post. Not bad.

My sister set this up for me as a way to pass time when I was visiting over the holidays. The family was working and I was sort of left alone while the tribe went about the business of work and daily life.

My niece's kids were small and she was juggling between work and sitting other kids as several moms had some kind of deal worked out. My niece was working nights so she baby sat for a few kids. I don't remember what the deal was.

Anyway my sister set her computer semi-illiterate brother up with this and I simply ran with it. I figured I'd post when I felt like it but it didn't take long for it to be daily discipline. 

I travel quite a bit and the challenge for a while was to get a post of any sort out while I was on the road or in the air. I managed fairly well. If there was a way, I generally got my post out. However, I have had times when there was simply no internet service when I was at sea in odd places.

Early on I wanted to take the blog on the road so to speak. I wanted to take it to Afghanistan and interview the troops but decided against it. The reasons were interesting.

While the guys I wanted to interview said they wanted me to come, they also said that it would be a bad deal for both them and for me. It wasn't the first termers, Guardsmen, Reservists that were expected to be the problem. It was a case of the higher up officers simply being afraid of me.

Most likely they would not be able to fathom that I was just a regular guy. Questions would be raised and the fear that I might write about something that would raise eyebrows further up the chain. This would likely lead them to start playing stupid games such as the age old game of painting rocks white and making little paths.

I decided to stay put.

Anyway, this has proven to me to be  good discipline has given me a certain sense of purpose. I'm glad I decided to do this. 

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 4, 2015

I am still hearing about the Superbowl.

Stop bothering me about it.

It is a game, it is over and one team won and one lost.

That is all.

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 3, 2015

Something I wrote a while back but didn't get around to posting

The Republican party time and again has done a wonderful job of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I expect to see them do it again in the future.
Actually, for that matter, the Tea Party seems to have followed the example set by them.
And both of them for the same reasons. They tacked too much social junk to their platforms. I suppose while it took the Republicans a longer time to destroy themselves it didn't seem too long for the Tea Party to do the same damned thing.
Get over it. Homosexuals have rights, too. Abortion isn't anyone's business but the woman, her physician and her maker's. Nobody that has a life of their own cares too much what goes on behind closed doors between consenting adults. Those that do care ought to get themselves a life and maybe find someone to do things with behind closed doors.
An awful lot of people don't care if some idiot smokes pot in his living room just so long as he keeps it to himself or maybe a couple of other consenting adults and adultresses.
One may not know it, but there are a lot of conservative gays and their vote is as good as anybody else's. Woman's votes count as do pot smokers and minorities votes.
There are a lot of people out there that work, pay taxes and really do not want to vote to support the Free $hit Army and the Democratic social programs but are almost forced to because they have been booted out of the Republican party.
A few years back I saw a conservative group on a website I frequent greet a gay pro 2nd Amendment group called the Pink Pistols with open arms.
The subject was the 2nd Amendmant and the members of the website were pretty open with it and after discussion they decided to accept the Pink Pistols. They grew stronger for it.
It didn't take very long for the gays that joined to simply become another part of the woodwork and to tell the truth I don't even remember who they are because they are smart enough not drag their sex lives into the forum. That seems fine by everybody there.
While there are not a whole bunch of woman that are really active in the shooting community, the few that have joined are treated like equals.
The Republican party has a well deserved reputation of being a bunch of doddering old angry self-rightous Christian men and they ought to pull the stick out of their ass and smarten up.
As it stands now it they keep this up there is not likely to be another Republican in the White House in my lifetime and it will be their own damned fault.
The first thing they ought to do is tell the Christian coalition and the rest of them to either shut up and leave or get back to fiscal conservatism and small government and leave the agenda somewhere else.
As for the abortion issue, I wonder how a bunch of old men think they have the right to tell young women of child bearing years that they have no control of their reproductive system.
Personally I think abortion is a horrible thing but I'll be damned if I am going to tell someone else what they have to do with their bodies. It's not my place and it certainly isn't the place of a bunch of doddering old men. I do agree that it isn't the government's job to pay for one, though. Pay for it yourself.
I still believe that there are an awfully lot of people out there that believe in fiscal conservatism and that instead of having a $16 trillion debt we ought to have a budget surplus so we can start repairing out worn infastructure.
It makes more sense than borrowing more money from China to give to Syria. Tell Syria and Pakistan to get a job. (Insert Sha-na-na song here. The one called 'Get a job'.)
I also think that there are a lot of people out there that don't really like being on unemployment and would rather be out there on the work force taking care of themselves and being breadwinners.
The reason a lot of these people vote Democratic is because they want to have the government stay out of their bedrooms and healthcare. 
Remember the short-lived Tea party?
The looked pretty good there for a while because they were focusing on one thing. They wanted to get our economy back on an even keel.
It didn't take a long time for them to add the same crap to their platform that has been dragging the Republicans down for the past several decades.
Now they are fighting with the Republicans and there it is. I won't see anyone but liberals in office for the rest of my life, the economy will collapse and there we will be sitting there wondering what happened to a republic

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 2, 2015

I guess there was a football game of some sort yesterday

because when I went it for a quick errand the stores were empty.

I am reasonably assuming it was the Superbowl because it is that time of year. 

Of course everyone and their cousin acts like it is the most important thing in the world but I think it is just a waste of time, effort and money. 

I do have to give the Patriots credit, though. They don't tolerate a whole lot of stupid from their players. If you embarrass the team you're gone.

It is early and in the background there is a DX net on the ham rig and sometimes you can hear Australia and the South Pacific as clear as a bell. It's not a good day for propagation, though.

We've had snow several days now. It's been in dribs and drabs and quite frankly, it just plain sucks. I've blown out the driveway several times just to kind of keep up with it.

Last night it warmed up and gave us a little rain but not enough to really eat a whole lot of snow. We're in kind of a freeze/thaw cycle and that's not a good thing.

For one thing, it creates ice dams on the eaves. They start when the gutters freeze up and things back up. When it thaws the resulting water works its way under the shingles and into the house.

I put ice guard under the shingles when I re-roofed a few years ago to prevent this but I still don't like to deal with ice dams.

I suppose I could find an Avro-Lancaster somewhere and have someone set it up in the Dam Buster configuration and bust the dams. On second thought, maybe 550 pounds of TNT is a little much. Maybe that's not a good idea.

I guess when the weather breaks I'll just put up a couple of heat wires and see what that will do. If I can keep the gutters fro freezing up I should be in pretty good shape. We'll see.

One of the things I hear on the rig as I write is that there is someone yakking away on a nearby frequency and it is bleeding over. It's kind of rude when you think of it. That net has been running for years and its well known. All the other guy has to do is go either up or down a single Khz and he'll not be irritating anyone.

It doesn't happen often but I recall the YLISSB net had to deal with a jerk a while back. There's always one rude person out there and the first thing he'll do is start bellyaching that he has his rights and the frequencies are there for public use.

He's legally right and everyone knows it but there is a thing called manners. The YLs have been there for decades. They are actually a medical service net although these days they're mostly social.

Still, every time there is some kind of disaster the YLs stand by to help where they can. For example, during Katrina the only communication open was ham radio.

The daily net, while social, is actually a drill when you think about it. Arguing with them over the frequency is nothing more than someone being a jerk. People like that deserve to have their coax pinned.

Yesterday I had a chat with a supermarket deli worker and he's pretty pissed off the way the government is headed. We both agree that both parties suck. We also believe that the government is too powerful and ought to be slapped down, and slapped down hard.

It is interesting how many of the younger working people think.   

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this:


Sunday, February 1, 2015

I just read that we now have only 3 Doolittle Raiders left

because flight engineer/gunner, 94,  Ed Saylor just died.

The Doolittle Raid was a retaliatory attack on Japan in April of 1942. It was put together in record time and was executed in a way that was supposed to be impossible. They flew B-25 medium bombers off of the deck of USS Hornet.

All 80 of the men in it were volunteers and were told two things. First, it was a very hazardous mission and secondly that it was being led by Jimmy Doolittle.  Doolittle had been one hell of a civilian aviator and had won numerous flying trophies.

When they heard Doolittle was leading something they flocked to volunteer.

I won't write up the raid, if you want the details just Google it and go to Wikipedia. They had a number of problems, overcame them even though they knew before they flew off Hornet that they were likely to not return. Fifteen of the 16 airplanes either crashed or ditched. One landed ijn Russia. Casualties were 3 dead, and 8 POWs, 4 of whom died in captivity.

Incidentally, I read somewhere that at the last minute FDR ordered Doolittle to pass leadership of the raid onto his second in command and return stateside. Doolittle disobeyed the order and led from the front. 

Anyway, there are now only three Doolittle Raiders left.


It should be carefully noted that after the raid, FDR protected Hornet and her crew from Japanese retaliation by announcing that the planes had taken off from 'Our secret base in Shangri-La'.

This is very much unlike our present administration where Vice President Joe Biden let the cat out of the bag that it was SEAL Team Six that whacked Bin Laden and got a number of our people killed. 

Incidentally I know that SEAL Team Six was renamed back in '87 but the American public still refers to them that way. Ask anyone who DEVGRU is and you'll draw a blank. Ask them about SEAL Team Six and they know who you're referring to.

It is a damned shame that our present leadership doesn't respect the services enough to keep their mouths shut and protect 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