03 December 2010

Do people have brains?

I'm being forced to conclude "no".

We recently had some unpleasantness at Marinette High School, wherein a 15 year old (one Sam Hengel) took a teacher and 25 students hostage. Things finally ended with the hostage-taker shooting himself in the head.

Now, I field badly for the family. They've lost a son, and that's only the start of their problems that will stem from this (reports are that the guns used belonged to the parents). However (quoting from the local paper):

[Quote]The Sam Hengel Memorial Fund has been set up...[/quote]

Since when does a hostage-taking sociopath get a memorial fund?

What kind of message does this send to other sociopaths?

Whatever IS the world coming to?

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19 November 2010


A few around the blogosphere have commented on their "Grail Guns": guns that are hard to find, usually expensive, but what you desperately "must have" in your personal collection.

Sad thing is, my list of "grails" has gotten awfully thin: two of what *I* considered grails, I've already gotten. One of which I've already written about. The other will be in an upcoming installment of Humpday Hardware.

But there are still a couple guns that, given the chance, I'd sell a brother for (ok... I'd sell Rev. That counts, right?).


First off would be "the other Mack Bolan gun": the Beretta 93-R

This is the subgun/machine pistol Mack used to put the hurt on the bad guys in SO many different "men's action/adventure" books. We actually lost count of how large the man's body-count was.

The 93-R is a select-fire subgun built on the frame of the 92 series pistol. From World Guns:

Beretta 93R automatic (or machine) pistol has been in development during the second half of the 1970s, and first appeared circa 1977. The index 93 stands for "9mm, 3rd model", and the suffix "R" means "Raffica" - burst[-firing] in Italian language. This special purpose sidearm was intended for police and military forces who may require improved firepower in compact weapon during the close-quarter combat, such as room-to-room search or VIP protection. Because the compact size and relatively powerful 9mm Parabellum ammunition necessary resulted in high cyclic rate of fire, Beretta designers decided do limit the practical rate of fire by introducing a burst limiter, which allowed only for three shot bursts, in addition to the standard semi-automatic fire. To further improve the control during the burst fire, the pistol was fitted with folding forward grip, and the detachable folding shoulder stock. Early production pistols also featured a ported barrel to decrease barrel climb, but later this feature was dropped. The Beretta 93R is no longer listed in Beretta military & law enforcement catalogs, but it is used by some Italian police and anti-terrorist forces, such as Carabineri's GIS and NOCS, and by some other paramilitary forces. The burs fire mode is of dubious value for anybody but the most professional shooters, who need the improved effectiveness at very short to short ranges; the folding shoulder stock probably can help for long range single shot accuracy.

The basic design of the Beretta 93R machine pistol is based on the famous Beretta 92 pistol; The 93R uses the same short recoil operated, locked breech system with vertically cammed lock. The slide retains typical Beretta-style open-top design. The trigger mechanism, however, is somewhat different from Beretta 92, as it is a single action only, with non-ambidextrous frame mounted safety and additional fire mode selector (both mounted on the same axis, with the selector lever pointing forward and safety lever pointing backward). The mechanism which controls the length of the bursts is located behind the right grip panel. Beretta 93R pistol is supplied with proprietary 20-rounds magazines but also can use standard Beretta 92 type magazines.

Yes... burst firing, but can use standard 92 mags. What's NOT to love?

Oh yeah... the price tag. Last time I heard of one selling at auction, it went for $30K. At the same time, a suppressed MP5 ran $15K... :(

Sad to say, I doubt I'll ever own one. But if the possibility ever manifest, I would be hand-delivering the form 4.

I DID have an airsoft version (back when I did costuming for cons). From an Eagle shoulder rig to ready to fire (including flipping out the shoulder stock) was roughly 3 seconds...


Another that MAY qualify as a grail would be the Le Mat. Although I'm not sure it quals, as reproductions are available (and at a relatively reasonable price).

From Wikipedia:

The LeMat revolver was a .42 or .36 caliber cap & ball black powder revolver invented by Dr. Jean Alexandre LeMat of New Orleans, which featured a rather unusual secondary 16 gauge smoothbore barrel capable of firing buckshot, and saw service with the armed forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War of 1861–1865.

Basically, it consisted of a shotgun barrel surrounded by the cylinder of a nine-shot revolver. Oddly though, it points rather well: I've handled several examples, and am always surprised at how well it points.

The hammer is hinged in the center: you cock it, then pivot the front portion down so it will engage the shot barrel's cap. Making your first shot, well, shot... followed by 9 shots of .42 or .36 caliber lead goodness (or badness, if you're on the other end)...


Odd as it may seem, that's it for my "Grails". There's a LONG list of other guns I WANT to have in my collection... but they're all fairly possible, if not easy (being nothing more than a matter of financing)...

Returning to some regularly scheduled posting...

Just went through some of my old posts, and bringing back some things that I've let fall by the wayside...


Humpday Hardware returns next week. Probably won't be a weekly feature (I only have so much hardware), but I'm going to continue through the Privateer's arms locker.


Gonna cheat a bit for the other "return": Going to go ahead and (like I said I would) steal my brother SOB's "Nostradumbass Award". This SHOULD be a weekly (being posted sometime Friday). This week's took a bit, but only because I already stated that I refuse to cover the TSA's stupidity.

Take a read here. Basic facts of the case:

Off-duty cop in his cruiser, and on his way to a second job, does 26 mph over the posted speed limit. Hits a 12 year old boy, leaving him a quadriplegic in need of constant medical care. Sentence? $185 fine for speeding...

Oddly though, the cop is NOT the Nostradumbass: we've all seen stories of cops doing REALLY stupid (and illegal) things. No shock there.

No... I'm looking at the judge, who had the audacity to declare that this officer wasn't responsible for the child being paralyzed.

Some on the 'net have argued that he wasn't responsible. However, if he hadn't been going almost twice the posted limit, this (most likely) wouldn't have happened. Instead of the non-story of a child crossing the street, we have a story of a child who's life is ruined... and a cop getting a slap on the wrist.

So, Montgomery County District Court judge Whomever (they don't list his Dishonour's name), congratulations! You've just helped perpetuate the "Us v. Them" mentality so many are feeling in our country. And thereby gotten yourself declared this week's Nostradumbass!


Oh... want to learn more about the "Thin Blue Line" thing? Check out this post over at Matt G's place. That's one peace officer I can have respect for!

17 November 2010

BACA news

I'm a little late on the announcement, but I'm proud to let y'all know that BACA has expanded again.

At this past year's International Conference, Italy was granted temp charter status. Well, it seems they have done the work and met the requirements: last week, a representative group from the International Board went over, and granted full-charter status.

Congratulations to my new brothers from Italy! Welcome to the fight!

16 November 2010

Around the blogosphere...

It seems that all the blogosphere is afire with calls for the TSA to be disbanded (or prosecuted, tarred and feathered, and other assorted violations of their persons).

Not going to take time and link every last post I've read about it: would take most of the night.

However, who exactly is surprised that a government agency, given basically limitless power with no oversight or controls, has gone off the deep end? Seriously folks: we saw this coming, if we thought to look.

Here's hoping that we can get away from security theater now...

02 November 2010

update 6

And we're closed. Will post the new balance of power in Wisconsin a little later.

For now, time to go work out.
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update 5

Quick: turns out our new governor's birthday is today. What better birthday present?

Congratulations and Happy Birthday, Mr Governor-Elect!
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update 4

Well, it looks like the makeup of the legislature in Wisconsin is gonna be a bit different from the last few years. Here's how it breaks down currently:

Dem: 18
Rep: 15

Dem: 52
Rep: 46
Ind: 1

Don't have final totals, but we HAVE picked up seats...

I'd like to give a public thank-you to the Manitowoc County Republican Party: great folks, who were VERY helpful with info tonight...
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update 3

Another quick observation, while watching the local tee wee: Wisconsin is going BIG for Republicans.

Maybe this time, we can fix our lack of CCW, leaving Illinois the lone hold-out...
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update 2

Locally, looks like the only Gems winning are those running unopposed. That amuses me...
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update 1

One quick observation: why DOES the media project winners when there's only 1% of the vote in? That make sense to anyone?
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Election night 2010

Sitting at the local Republican headquarters to get the election results. Updates a lil' later.

One interesting fact. Local Assembly race included a bit of a dirty trick. We were looking at a race between a Democrat and an incumbent Independent. Was just informed that one of the local unions played dirty pool to get someone on the ballot... as a Republican.

Anyway... more later...
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16 October 2010

Is Yule coming early?

So I caught a link to this on APS just now...

Oh, boy. Talk about an interesting situation!

The relevant part:

Thank God for the Madison police. Apparently unbeknownst to them, another concealed carry case (Wisconsin v. Joshua D. Schultz) as working it’s way through the court system in Clark county which challenged Wis. Stat. 941.23 as unconstitutional. When the Madison police retrospectively issued disorderly conduct charges against what has become known as “The Madison Five” for patronizing Culvers while lawfully armed, they really proved Schultz’s case for him. Police powers were being used for the mildest of reasons (someone was “disturbed” by just the sight of a gun) to destroy a persons constitutionally protected right. Today, Wis. Stat. 941.23 was ruled unconstitutional.

It's only applicable to Clark County (for now). But it gives precedent for the rest of the state...

14 October 2010

Follow-up on bullying...

So... Sabra posits her theory here. And it got me thinking (never a good thing)...

How much of a role has "social networking" played in these problems? Seems that every time one of these cases hits the news, we hear about all the abuse folks are getting via Facebook/Myspace/Youtube etc. Is that really adding that much to it?

I do know that the current generation is changing the paradigm of relationships, largely on the availability of instant access into each-others' lives. "Facebook stalking" is an actual term, and the feeling I get from many is that kids really don't see anything wrong with it...

There's also the change in break-ups. Used to be, one breaks up with someone, and they would have to make some effort to contact/keep tabs on their ex. Now, your ex knows exactly what you're doing most of the time, just by pulling out the leash in their pocket and checking a networking site (there's a reason I have never turned Facebook on on my Android, or any other phone I've owned). Today's generation seems completely linked into each others' lives, and often almost unable to separate out of it...

Not sure what the solution is, even if there is one. But the first step (regardless) is acknowledging that there IS an issue. We can't start figuring out the parameters of it until we recognize that it's there...

11 October 2010


Ok... we've all seen the reports on the rash of teen suicides currently cropping up. most of which are being blamed on "bullies".

Now, I remember my school years, without any fondness. But it seems we're hearing more and more about how terrible kids are treating each-other, and the suicides that result.

So I have a question: are bullies today really that much worse than previous generations? Or are today's kids thinner skinned? Maybe a little of both?

I imagine the pervasion of "social networking tools" makes it easier for kids to torment each-other, but there almost has to be more to it than that...

09 October 2010

Update on Spoon...

Ok... better late than never, right?

Spoon's doing fine: only injury was a pulled shoulder, which is healing. Interesting factoid: both cars had their front ends smashed, neither airbag deployed. Always nice to know we can count on equipment to function properly!

That's what the Accord looks like now. Spoon is PISSED: she loved that car.

But at least SHE'S ok. Better than the other way around, right?


Yes... like so many of the cool kidz, I changed the font color for Brest Cancer Awareness month...

03 October 2010

... and the excitement continues...

So... Went to the local ABATE meeting today. I rode with my VP, so we could continue discussions. Spoon drove herself.

On the way home, a young lady running late for work felt she didn't need to stop for that stopsign. Which she didn't: hitting Spoon's Accord brought her to a complete halt.

Spoon seems ok, but we're still having her checked out at the ER.

Have to give kudos to the EMTs that took care of her: felt as safe as if AD was taking care of her. Can't think of any higher praise I can give.

Updates as I know more (she's in x-ray as I type this)
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29 September 2010

Just a note

Learned something new...

Don't drop your phone in the toilet. They don't like that.

Learned that all on my own...
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26 September 2010

More poems

As promised, another set of poems by one of our BACA kids.


Quick Sand
Standing in quick sand
Sinking faster and faster
As I struggle to get free
You sit there and watch me
Laughing and pointing in my face
You see that I am scared
But that does not bother you
It's like you want to see me
Being tortured
Being filled with pain
And never being able to escape
Slowly getting closer to my death
And when I finally give up
You act like you are going to help me out
But you just pull me up a little
So you can see me go through the pain
All over again
Standing in quick sand
Sinking faster and faster

Never Ending
Hidden in the darkness
Always in the shadow
And when there is light
I enter to flames
Burning sand
Having no relief
Having no time to think
And to get rid of the heat
I walk right back to the shadow
Where I am alone
No one to comfort me
No one to understand
Just me
Starting the pain all over again


Last one for today is rather... harsh. So we're gonna separate it. Do NOT read this with anything breakable nearby, or if you're at all squeamish. You've been warned...

Every Night
Laying there, knowing what is going to happen
A man walks in
Someone you thought you knew
Sits on your bed and starts up your leg
You begin to breath heavy
Your heart starts to pound
He slowly undresses himself
Smiling, knowing no one is there to stop him
He crawls over your head
And says “open up”
Forcing your mouth open
He picks up your head
Moving his hips back and forth
Making it seem as if you are choking
Your jaw hurts as does your throat
Your eyes start to water
As he wipes the tears away he pushes your head down
Meanwhile taking your shirt off
Then slowly removing your pants
“You’re tight; we need to get you wet.”
He says as he starts kissing you in an area that already hurts
It feels as if he uses sand paper
How does any one enjoy this you think to your self
When he says he had his fill
You know what’s coming next
He starts kissing your stomach
And moves up to your breast, then your lips
He spreads open your legs
While laying on top of you
You feel this hard push
You want to scream because of the pain
But you can’t with his hand over your mouth
“I can’t wait to be a dad” he says
“Your mom can’t give me a child so I’ll take one from you.”
The thing is the he doesn’t know
There is already a baby inside of you
The pain is so unbearable you start to pass out
But he smacks your face
While you silently cry
He finishes what he planed on doing
Stands up, smiles as he gets dressed and goes to bed
As you lay therein more pain then any one knows
Feels like some one is stabbing you repeatedly
You slowly walk to the bathroom and clean yourself off
You get sick like every other night
You go back to your room and cry yourself to sleep
Knowing it is going to happen tomorrow
You soon become numb to everything
The man no longer gets the tears
You no longer suffer the pain
You’re so use to everything
You can’t see it ever changing
It will never end
The constant burden
Will there ever be peace for you
Is there a way out
Until you find it
This man keeps walking in
You still feel everything
You still see everything
You still hear everything

25 September 2010

Guess tonight is "blog link"

Linked via AD, we have something worth reading.

No... I didn't post the link yet. I actually HAVE a heart, unlike a certain bayou-area medic. *I* will warn you to grab a hanky.

Then, go here and read.

Dried your eyes?

I hope to whatever Power is out there, that me and mine only ever interact with folks of Epi's caliber.

Via Lawdog

We get this gem. I think I'll play along...


1. Do you believe that criminals and domestic abusers should be able to buy guns without background checks?

Have you stopped beating your wife yet? That's basically what you're asking.

IF someone has committed such a terrible crime that they can't be trusted to exercise their rights, why on Earth are they wandering around in public?

2. What is your proposal for keeping guns away from criminals, domestic abusers, terrorists and dangerously mentally ill people?

I believe Law Dog covered this one quite well: lock 'em the Hell up.

3. Do you believe that a background check infringes on your constitutional right to "keep and bear arms"?

Hell yes.

4. Do you believe that I and people with whom I work intend to ban your guns?

As soon as you feel you can.

Actually, I seem to recall one Senator Feinstein stating point blank "If I could've gotten the votes..."

5. If yes to #4, how do you think that could happen ( I mean the physical action)?

Again, Law Dog covers this rather well. Look at DC, New York, and Chicago. 'Nuff said.

6. What do you think are the "second amendment remedies" that the tea party GOP candidate for Senate in Nevada( Sharron Angle) has proposed?

No idea: don't live in Nevada

7. Do you believe in the notion that if you don't like what someone is doing or saying, second amendment remedies should be applied?

Say what? "Second Amendment remedies"?

If someone is saying or doing something that I don't like (but that otherwise causes me no actual harm), then they are perfectly within their rights. If they are causing me harm, there are plenty of remedies for this. "Second Amendment remedies" should only be used to preserve against death or imminent bodily harm.

Projecting much?

8. Do you believe it is O.K. to call people with whom you disagree liars and demeaning names?

When the shoe fits. I've also used such terms with people who's beliefs I agree with, when said terms were warranted.

9. If yes to #8, would you do it in a public place to the person's face?

See #8: would, and have.

10. Do you believe that any gun law will take away your constitutional rights?

Replace "any" with "all", and you're right on the money.

11. Do you believe in current gun laws? Do you think they are being enforced? If not, explain.

I believe they exist. I believe their existence is a travesty of Constitutional law.

Yes, they're enforced. Usually against those who they shouldn't be, while those who SHOULD get hammered are let slide.

12. Do you believe that all law-abiding citizens are careful with their guns and would never shoot anybody?

Don't recall anybody who can completely avoid mistakes. It's called "being human".

I believe most are as careful as possible.

13. Do you believe that people who commit suicide with a gun should be included in the gun statistics?

Don't believe there should even BE "gun statistics", anymore than there should be "knife statistics" or "Nerf statistics"...

14. Do you believe that accidental gun deaths should "count" in the total numbers?

See 13

15. Do you believe that sometimes guns, in careless use or an accident, can shoot a bullet without the owner or holder of the gun pulling the trigger?

Machines are no more perfect than the humans who create them. However, that imperfection is just part of life.

16. Do you believe that 30,000 gun deaths a year is too many?

That many guns die every year? Wow... news to me!

Compare the number of people who die via the mechanism of a firearm to almost any other mechanism, and get back to me on this one...

17. How will you help to prevent more shootings in this country?

It's not my job to prevent more shootings". Nor yours, nor any other citizen's.

Shootings are going to happen. Maybe, if we actually locked violent criminals up, there would be fewer criminals out shooting folks?

18. Do you believe the articles that I have posted about actual shootings or do you think I am making them up or that human interest stories about events that have happened should not count when I blog about gun injuries and deaths?

Since I don't really read your blog, I couldn't say for sure. But, as Law dog said: "the plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'"

19. There has been some discussion of the role of the ATF here. Do you believe the ATF wants your guns and wants to harass you personally? If so, provide examples ( some have written a few that need to be further examined).

I believe (from anecdotal evidence) that some ATF agents enjoy the power trip the current crop of "gun laws" allows them...

20. Will you continue a reasonable discussion towards an end that might lead somewhere or is this an exercise in futility?

If by "reasonable" you mean honest give-and-take*, we can talk. If you mean "reasonable" as we keep giving, while y'all keep taking, then I'd say we're done.

*- Which means you give something up (ie: opening the machine gun registry) in exchange for something we give up (ie: background checks).

24 September 2010


Ok... Trying something new: blogger-Droid. Maybe being able to post on the fly via the phone will increase posting frequency. Let's see how it goes...
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17 September 2010

Poems from a BACA child

So, last weekend my chapter adopted a rather remarkable young lady. Orangie Girl is certainly a survivor, moving past her abuse to a better life.

One thing she has been doing to aid that is writing poems as therapy. She mentioned that she wishes they could get spread far-and-wide, so others can read them. I suggested a couple websites, then thought "idiot: you have a blog".

I'll put them up here a couple at a time. And a couple of them are going under a fold: they can get a little brutal...


These first two are her favorites. Feel free to comment on them: I'll forward appropriate comments to her.

Cries of the Little Girl
Who will hear the cry of the little girl
The girl that just wanted a dad
A best friend
Some one to talk to
Some one to hang out with
And most important
Some one to protect her
Who will her the cry of the little girl
When she walks the burning sand
Crying to herself
Not knowing how to escape
Living with endless pain
Believing she is alone
Lost in the world
Who will hear the cry of a little girl
Forgotten by the ones she loves
Hiding so no one sees her suffer
Sitting in her room trying to end it all
Planning her way out
To leave the monster in her heart
So she can be at peace with herself
Who will hear the cry of a little girl

My Meadow
In the depths of the forest
I’m caught wondering around
Trying to find a place for a break
To finally have what peace I need
I look toward a glissen’ of light
And start running to the opening
But something keeps pulling me back
It’s you
The one I looked up to
How could you trip me and make me fall
You are the root of the trees
Sticking out in my way
Not allowing me to finally be at ease
Every turn I make
There you are making me trip and fall
Can there be no path for me
You say you are there to protect me
Standing there tall and strong
With your unbreakable bark
And your beautiful appearance
But that is only your cover
For on the inside you are rotting away
A tree dying from the inside out
So you pull me down to feel stronger
But now as I look around
You are not a forest of trees surrounding me
But you are a lonely tree
Standing by yourself
Cold and alone
You can no longer keep me down
For I have seen my meadow
I have over come the obstacles of your roots
I may have fallen
And I may fall again
But I will get up
For I have seen my meadow
And you can no longer keep me from it

26 August 2010

It's made with honey!

The immortal words spoken to "Ebn", Antonio Banderas' character in 13th Warrior, when he declined a drinking horn due to religious restrictions. What he was being offered was mead.

Now, I grew up with dad brewing elderberry wine by the job lot. And I helped him with it more than once: stuff was always good. But that seemed like more work than I really wanted to do myself, and I thought mead was a little less common (although honestly, I have yet to find anyone else that does a decent elderberry). So I did some research, found some recipes ("3 lbs honey to the gallon" is all the "recipe" I really use), and started experimenting. Turns out, I make a pretty good brew.

Mead brewed with fruit in it is called a melomel. I've done strawberry, plum, and currently have a batch of blueberry going that already tastes delicious. Then a friend asked of I could make an apple/cherry cider.

I don't do cider: I do mead. But hey, that DOES sound good!

Here's the starting ingredients. Honey (now going with 4 lbs per gallon), yeast (I use Cote des Blanc), and fruit. Not pictured is the 3 gallons of spring water that will be added to all this...

That's the cherries and apples. 3 lbs of cherries, 6 lbs of macintosh apples. Damn close to a gallon of fruit alone.

Some folks will use straight fruit juice, and call it a melomel. To me, that's cheating: I add several lbs of fruit to the must, and deal with the hassle. To me, the finished product is worth it.

Spoon pitting the cherries. As she said: "I just popped 160 cherries for you!".

Gotta love my shy, retiring wife.

So... pit cherries. Core and quarter the apples. Run all the fruit through the blender, and pour into the primary fermenter. There goes an hour or so.

Then you have to liquify the honey. We do it by heating spring water in a large kettle, and pour the honey into that. Stir until all the honey is disolved (keep some extra hot water handy to rinse the honey container). Once it's all disolved, add to the must. Drop a thermometer in: the yeast should be added at a little under 105*, which is also when you should take your preliminary hydrometer reading (if you want to know the alchohol content of the finished product)...

Here's the must, all ready to be sealed up. In a couple weeks, we'll strain the pulp out, and transfer everything over to a carboy.

Note: when using fruit pulp, do NOT just pour the must into the carboy. Doing so will result in said pulp rising to the top, trapping the gas. Eventually, the pulp will be pushed up into the vapor lock and blow it. Makes your brewing room smell nice, but is a mess to clean up. Ask me how I know... ;)

This batch should be ready by December, possibly January. I'll post updates on how it goes...

19 August 2010

Not dead yet

No, I'm not dead: just been working WAY too much.

Was playing around online, and found this. Thought some may get a giggle...

11 July 2010

That's odd

Ya know, all this time, I thought Calvin's Mom was somewhere on the Eastern Seaboard. If that's the case, how is it she has a cat somehow related to Law Dog's?

... but where are my flying cars?

So... Spoon and I were out and about today, just sort of spending time together. And I noticed something interesting...

We were looking over the Barnes & Noble Nook (their version of the Kindle), and I got to thinking about the difference 38 years makes.

When I was born, phones were mounted to the wall. Books were on paper. Portable music was a transistor radio. Showing people your vacation photos meant handing them a big album. And, if you needed a shopping list at the store, you had a piece of paper in your hand.

Now, the phone is attached to your belt, and includes; internet access, GPS, memos, and a few hundred other possibilities. You can easily have a few HUNDRED books in your pocket. Your other pocket has a small box with more music than the local radio station (plus other things it can do). Every picture you own can be on either of the above devices, ready to be inflicted on whomever you come across. And your shopping list is probably on one of those devices too.

All those "personal" things, in a couple small packages that fit in your pocket. And those are advancements that took less than 40 years.

What the Hell are the next 40 gonna bring? What kinda "they didn't have that when *I* was a kid" stuff am I going to see hit before I finally shuffle off?

and where the HELL is my flying car, or personal jetpack? And my phaser... they seem to have forgotten that!

26 June 2010

I'll take "What the Hell" for $100, Alex

So, via Tam we find this gem.

Gotta admit, I find the video humorous.

The folks at the Firearms Blog say they don't know what's being advocated, but I think I can see it: getting involved in being proactive for your child's safety. Which IS a nice message. However, I think (if we had kids), I'd like my wife to be able to back up her participation in the AmberWatchAlert.org with her fine lil' Kimber...

Having an alert system for missing children is good. Having would-be abductors know that mothers are likely to shoot them (and get away with it) is even better.

EPIC Douchebaggery

OK... I caught this over at Armed Polite Society. Talk about the epitomy of "douchebag". Basic story:

Guy posts on a car forum that "his girl" is complaining about him buying mods for "his" car. Forgets to log off said forum, and she finds the post. Hilarity ensues... >:)

Some of the highlight posts to check:

#44 (p2): Where "Rachel" posts an open letter to "Billy", using his account

#118 (p3): "Billy" complains about "being made a laughing stock" (never mind he made the original post)

#125 (p4): One of the Mods (apparantly fairly mild-mannered) calls the guy out as a tool

#138 (p4): One of the commentators posts one of the best examples of self-inflicted insults ever seen

#332 (p9): "Billy" digs his hole a little deeper

I think that's enough for now: not going to go through all 114 pages of stuff.

But I figured I'd do my little bit to spread this one far and wide... >:)

23 June 2010

Weren't we here before?

I'm not going to check, but I seem to recall starting this thing in part to deal with my father returning in ill-health.

Unfortunately, his health is now getting worse.

Which would bother me MUCH more if it wasn't, in part, his own doing. He KNEW going back to Thailand would be bad (higher humidity=harder to breath). He KNEW he shouldn't be smoking anymore (I even gave him my e cig, so he wouldn't be taking in smoke: he stopped using it).

He's in the hospital (again). Honestly, I'm half tempted to tell them to keep him this time...


Oh, yeah... I'm baaaaaaack!

09 May 2010

What happened?

Anybody know what happened to Cranky Professor? Suddenly, you need to log in to view her blog, and even then I can't access.

If anybody knows, please email me!

25 April 2010

Alice Day

Well... Jade at The Ultimate Evil has posted her yearly piece on the pedophile's holiday: "Alice Day". Named for Lewis Carroll's character Alice, and the rumored relationship between Lewis (real name Charles Dodgson) and a young woman named Alice Liddell, "Alice Day" has become a day for pedophile activists to promote changes to the laws protecting children from predators who would steal their innocence.

But Jade covers this perfectly well here. Go, read... and enjoy the exchange between her and commenter "Aristotle". He tries, he really does. And comes away in tatters... >:D

20 April 2010


Due to a constant barrage of spam comments from the far east, I've switched on comment moderation.

Lots of stuff coming, once I'm no longer on painkillers...

19 March 2010


Folks that know me in meatspace, know that I have a small problem with my teeth. Namely, they're dying...

Partly it's bad genetics: both mom and dad had bad teeth too. Partly it's poor dental hygiene: I never picked up good habits on brushing (and after a certain point, it just hurt too much). And lastly, it's a failure of dentistry: I have gone through so many dentists that just would NOT listen...

After getting jumped in the Navy, the doc in charge of my facial reconstruction told me "no dental work for a year". Had to threaten a Courts Martial to get the ships dentist to back off on that one.

Next dentist I saw, I told him up front: pull the damn things. He ignored that: "oh no... we can fix them!". Which lasted right up to my last visit, where he looked at me and said "you were right".

Of course, by that time I had lost the job where I got my dental bennies from. BIG help, doc!

Since then, I've just sort of plugged along: teeth would start hurting, I'd take some pain killers, pain would go away. Every couple years, a nasty abscess would start up, putting me down for a couple days. Which is what I'm dealing with right now...

But I'm tired of "just dealing with it". So Monday, I go to Aspen Dental, to see if they can fix my grill (read: remove the damn thing and replace it with new parts).

Wish me luck!

BTW: I'm going to ask for the teeth back. If anyone has kids that don't want to brush, email me: at the least, I can send some fairly graphic pictures to help your cause.

16 March 2010

Stealing from my brother...

Those of you who have listened to the BACA Nation show know that my brother SOB has a segment he calls the "Nostradumbass Award". So-called because "this is so stupid, there's no way you could've seen it comin'".

I think I'm gonna steal it.


Today's recipient
is 20 year old Lee Deitrick from Stark County, Louisville, Ohio. Click the link: words fail me here...

How ANYONE could think that tattooing a 1 year old was a good idea, blows my mind.

And something tells me the parents might just be waiting with a tattoo gun of their own when he gets out...

13 March 2010

Fools below 50*

Got the Kaw fired up today, and went for a little cruise.

Just got back (1847 hrs). 43*, when traveling at 30mph, is freaking COLD!

Just sayin'...

12 March 2010

Crappy movies foretell the future, film at 11...

Marko hits the nail on the head with one of my biggest fears about healthcare reform...

I remember watching Demolition Man when it came out, and getting chills. Looks like it was prophetic...

That, and Idiocracy. Both seem to be coming true, and at a remarkable pace...

17 February 2010

On violence

Yes, I know: light posting. Been busy.

One of the things keeping me busy is the usual rounds of agency meetings, where I try and explain what BACA is, what we do, and how we can help. It's getting easier, but still feels like pulling teeth.

One thing I keep running into is the question of violence. Folks see us, and think we're nothing but "hired guns", or vigilantes. And react accordingly.

Let me quote the part of the Mission Statement that causes this:

...however, if the circumstances arise such that we are the only obstacle protecting a child from further abuse, we stand ready to be that obstacle.

People hear that, and think we're all about beating up abusers.

Folks, everyone who focuses on that sentence completely misses the mission of BACA (indeed, what SHOULD be the mission of advocates in general):

...who focus on empowering children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live.

That, right there, should be the most important factor for advocates: to empower victims to become survivors (and, as was mentioned at our local SARC meeting, "thrivers").

Still, I'm always asked about violence. "Is your group willing to use violence? Because we don't condone..."

Let me set the record straight. We don't condone or encourage violence against abusers. Personally, I would rather never see the abuser in a case except at court. Unfortunately, we sometimes have an abuser who feels they can intimidate our little brothers and sisters off the witness stand.

What are we supposed to tell these children? What would make them feel safer: "The only way Chester is getting to you is through me", or "If Chester comes around, I'll call the police and take notes on everything that happens"?

Were I the child, I'd feel better hearing option one, especially coming from a large intimidating guy. Option two just wouldn't fill me with much confidence.

This is not to say we're looking for a fight: far from it. At least in my chapter, we concentrate on "minimum force": we will use only as much force as is necessary to stop a threat. So far, our mere presence has been enough to deter abusers from going after our kids. I pray that will continue.

But, as I told one lady: "I won't ask my members to be sacrificial lambs. If the perp is known to be violent, we'll do whatever it takes to keep our kids safe".

When asked to clarify, I responded "That may mean my life. It may mean the abuser's. That decision is up to the abuser: I won't seek them out, if they just leave our kids alone".

Seems reasonable to me.

10 February 2010

In light of current weather conditions...

Got the blowsnower back from dad-in-law today: folks we were subletting our berth from moved out, so now we do our own snow removal. Shoveled yesterday, and this morning (bacause the wind thought the snow belonged where I moved it from). Today, I fired up the blower, and cut out a nice little parking area...

Then sent a text out to my BACA Chapter, making a motion to change from "BACA: Wisconsin" to "BACA: Hoth".

I might have to get some t-shirts printed up as a gag. Imagine the graphic, with a guy in leathers sitting on a tauntaun (equiped with ape-hangers, of course)... >:)

07 February 2010

Before I forget

If you're reading this before 7pm Central Time...

Go to www.bacanation.com

click on the listen live link, and enjoy some good tunes and thought-provoking pieces.

Stay out of the chatroom though: sometimes gets a tad silly... ;)

Don't ask, don't tell, don't make a big deal...

A whole passel of other bloggers have mentioned the issue of the military's decision to do away with the don't ask/don't tell policy.

I was talking about it with my local Marine Recruiter, and his take gave me a giggle...

"I'm gonna end up with a premium on gays over straights. From my experience, they take better physical care of themselves, have better grades, and don't get in anywhere NEAR as much trouble. They'll be the perfect recruits!"

Couldn't say it better myself.
Sebastian over at Snowflakes in Hell mentionedthe exchange between the Brady Campaign and Starbucks Coffee.

You have to love it when a fairly "hippy" company like Starbucks tells a liberal group to go pound sand. Makes me want a mocha!

06 February 2010

Air Force Cadets get Pagan Worhip area...

... film at 11! :P

Caught this at Support Your Local Gunfighter. Nice to see that the Air Force is stepping up, and giving the pagans an outdoor location for their religious observances. Now, if the military could just step up and do the same... >:)

On a serious note: SYLG commenter RT made the statement "Much of what is in the Wiccan beliefs and in Paganism is actually Satanic. Plain and simple. I’ve lived both lives. I know this to be true."

Now, I don't know RT, and I get the impression that he might be using a bit of snark here. But I've run into this attitude several times before, without ever getting a decent explanation. Could somebody please enlighten me?

And I'll be kinda weighing in on the DADT thing in a post later today...

01 February 2010

Sometime a cigar...

Sabra has an interesting post up over at her place. The shot that gave me a spark:

My experience--as an outside observer, generally, since most of my friends are guys--is that men actually tend to be very straightforward creatures. We just misinterpret them because we look for hidden meanings that aren't there, and they have problems with us because they expect what's on the surface to be what's there, and frankly that's the way it SHOULD be.

Preach it, sister!

Tell you the truth, there have been times I've had to come out and tell someone "I'm not a lawyer: I don't speak in loopholes". Because quite honestly, that seems to be the way some people think...

If I say "I can't make it to your , car's dead", it means exactly that: I would love to be there, but my transportation is doing a doornail impression. If I didn't WANT to be there, I would've told you "not interested".

Unfortunately, even a straightforward "not interested" gets ignored nowadays. It's almost like some people have become salesmen: if they just try a little bit harder, they'll convince you to do whatever it is you have already said "no" to. What IS it with that?

Thankfully, I don't (generally) have that problem with Spoon: she hears what I say*, takes it at face value, and goes forward. And she's learned to, generally, tell when I start "speaking in code": means there's trouble where we are, and she starts paying more attention to what's going on around us.

Sabra's right on this: start out as you intend to go forward. Folks, you can't have a decent relationship with someone if you're treating every conversation as if it were a high school lit assignment, where you have to figure out the author's intent behind their words. Instead, be open and honest, and expect (if not demand) the same in return.

*THE biggest fights we have are when she starts not hearing what I say, but what she THINKS I'm going to say. Whole other topic, there.

29 January 2010


Peter just reminded me that I had promised to do a write-up on Vibram Fivefingers!

Ok... not me personally: he linked to Labrat at Atomic Nerds, but it reminded me that I had meant to do a piece myself.

Beginning to think that I should go back through the archives, and make sure I haven't missed any other ideas. Then I wouldn't have to worry as much about my muse!



Purchased a pair of the Vibram "KSO" shoes a little less than a year ago. My main plans for them were: a) a work shoe that would be more comfortable and durable; b) a shoe that I could have in the saddlebags, but which wouldn't take up too much space. With that in mind...

I will admit, they take some getting used to: if you're used to walking around in modern shoes, the feeling of being barefoot is odd. Comfortable at first, walking around in an urban setting WILL start to hurt your feet after a bit. Vibram suggests slowly working up to wearing their product all the time, and that's a VERY good suggestion.

Being me, I ignored that: wore them that night when Spoon and I went for a walk. After five miles, my feet HURT. But were fine the next day. And the pain gradually got less, until wearing them all day didn't bother me in the least.

As for my intended purposes...

Using them as a work shoe was interesting. Took my bosses and coworkers quite a while to get used to them, and I was still getting complaints when I finally stored them in the closet (they are NOT a Wisconsin winter shoe!). However, once I had adjusted to the "barefoot feeling", a couple effects were shown (for me, at least):

- felt MUCH less fatigued in my legs after the day was over
- noticed an enhanced level of coordination and balance

How'd they fare as a shoe to change into after riding?

Given their size (VERY compact, take up about the same space as a pair of tube socks), they were able to basically live in my saddlebags. It was nice to be able to take off the heavy armored boots when I arrived at a destination, and wear a comfortable shoe (also cooler: vintage motorcross boots are HOT in summer).

Do I have any complaints? Well, a couple... but they're minor.

First off: I REALLY need to get a pair of their Flow model, and see how it handles cold weather. They had a "boot" version called the Surge, but it's been discontinued. If I find a pair in my size, I'm snagging them.

You also REALLY want to get several pairs of toe-socks for these. Gives you more versatility, temperature wise. Since ordering socks to go with the shoes, I've taken to using the toe-socks as "liners" even now (Coolmax fabric actually between your toes GREATLY reduces the feeling of "sweaty feet". Just sayin').

So... would I recommend them? Not just yes, but hell yes. Honestly, after my riding boots, these were probably the best footwear purchase I've made.


Obligatory FTC disclaimer: Vibram Fivefingers did NOT in any way reimburse the author for this review. The product in question was purchased by the author, and the above review was written entirely as a public service.

Not to say I would turn down a pair or three for "review purposes". Just sayin'... ;)

Wisconsin politics

I still haven't forgotten that I need to post pics from National. Drama has been slowing that down: they'll be done this weekend...


So... while trying to relax from today's drama (I just wanted to enjoy my anniversary), I read this over at Boots and Sabres.

I have to agree with Owen: we need a part-time legislature. Maybe, I should revive my thoughts on running for assembly, with that as one of the planks?

I'll be honest: I start thinking about it every couple of years. Then I remember all the BS I've seen in our Puzzle Factory, and all the time wasted by the clowns we have there. And I realize I just do NOT have the temperament to deal with 'em.


Not gonna touch Obama's STFU (excuse me, SotU) Address. Would rather deal with perps trying to explain away their transgressions: they're more believable...


And another from B&S: Wisconsin is getting money for high-speed rail between Milwaukee and Madison.

Great: so my tax dollar are going to make life easier for liberals to go from one stronghold to another. And there was much rejoicing (yay).

Don't get me wrong: there are times and places where mass transit makes sense to me. Hell, there've been times I've been tempted to use the train to go to National (driving has been more cost effective, so that's been the choice). However, like any business (to my mind), cost and benefits have to be weighed.

San Diego (when I was stationed there) had a fairly effective and useful mass transit system. The trolley went most of the places that folks needed to get to, and the buses took up the slack for those places the trolley didn't hit. Worked out great (for the most part).

Here in WI, there just isn't that much infrastructure. Manitowoc has a bus line, but it's usually empty. Which makes me wonder: who's paying for these buses to drive around? Fuel, maintenance, and the drivers all have to be paid for, but I don't see how the few folks actually riding are making that happen.

Yes... as Owen pointed out, building a rail line will create jobs... in the short term. But eventually, that service has to be paid for. Personally, I don't like the idea of even more tax dollars going to subsidize a system that only benefits a handful of people.

Oh, yeah... that's how MOST government programs work. Silly me!

20 January 2010

BACA International 2010: Aftermath

It's been pointed out that I missed a couple days. Sorry 'bout that.

Saturday night got a lil' foggy. I FINALLY got to be at the banquet: usually working security, last year was passed out. Was much fun, sitting with my little big brother Stinky.

One of these years, I'll remember to actually USE my camera during the conference. Right now, I have to spend some time on facebook, looking for pics to show y'all.

A great deal of fun was had by Spoon and I, as well as a bunch of fun. Some changes were made to policy, bringing us together as one BACA.

The drive home, predictably, sucked. It's always a bit of a let-down, leaving: especially since some of our brothers and sisters were still gonna be there. Next year, we're pulling a couple extra days...

Give me some time to find pics, and I'll get 'em up...

16 January 2010

BACA International 2010: Day Two

Wow... time, it is a-flyin'...

Didn't get TOO drunk last night. Which means I'm NOT passing out in the meeting... even if it is a pain stayin' awake.

Have pictures from the official trip that was made to Europe: even got permission to post a few of 'em. I'll get those up in the next couple days...

15 January 2010

BACA International 2010: Day One

Ok... got through the opening ceremony. For some people, we have some good news: the BACA Nation has grown by two states. Virginia and North Carolina gained full charter: welcome to the family, brothers and sisters!

We also have to more states in temp charter status: New Jersey and Iowa. They've got a long haul ahead of them, but I think they'll be up to the challenge.

One last piece of news: looks like there's a movie telling the story of how BACA started. Working title's Hawk Dances. More as I have more...


14 January 2010

It's that time of year again!

Well... I'm in St Louis yet again. Time for the BACA International Conference!

This year, we've added folks from Italy and the Netherlands. The communication gap is sometimes... interesting.

Came down LATE Wednesday night, arriving here @ 0900. Things don't really get started until tomorrow, although there's a steady flow of arrivals.

More as it happens!

11 January 2010

Beauty Standards

Holly over at the Pervocracy has a brilliant post up about beauty standards. Go, read: it's worth it.

I have a friend who could REALLY learn from this. He's a bigger guy, low self esteem, who will only chase after lithe lil' hotties. He's also always been chronically short on dates: the combination of "oversize" with "low self esteem" doesn't seem all that attractive to women, for some reason...

I've always laughed at folks who ask about "my type". Personally, my head always turns most with athletically built women (slender, small chest, LONG legs). And I've always had a thing for redheads. Usually end up with blondes, who are more on the "stacked" side (go figure).

Folks, "attractiveness" is more a function of chemistry between two people. Get caught up in the packaging, and you'll loose out: trust me on this...

10 January 2010

Around the net

Ok... getting back to the helm after some... drama. more on that later.


Lawdog gives a critique of Dances with Ferngully. And says everything that needs to be said.


Jay G makes a t-shirt of what is probably the most WRONG shooting implement I've ever seen ("uncommon minds", indeed!)


That's it for tonight. Busy with getting ready for the trip to the International conference. And working my tail off.