Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday Man Movie

in 1966, John Wayne starred in El Dorado, basically a remake of his earlier Rio Bravo. Both movies centered around a sheriff and friends battling a rich rancher who has them outnumbered and outgunned. In Rio Bravo, he's got Dean Martin, Walter Brennan and Ricky Nelson to help him. In this one, he's backing up Robert Mitchum, Arthur Hunnicutt and a young James Caan makes an appearance and then stays to help. And here's Caan's entrance, as "Mississippi".

Frankly I'm not sure which of the two I like best, because both were great. This one is special to me though because it's the last movie my father and I watched together back in September, 2012. I'd flown up to spend the week-end with him, and we watched the Tigers lose another game, then this came on, and I stayed to watch it even though it was getting late. We enjoyed this movie, and he seemed to be doing so good. We made plans for my next trip up, but it was only a couple of weeks later that I got the call and flew back again, this time for the funeral. So I guess I like this movie better than the other one, if for no reason than because watching it was the last thing I ever got to do with my father.

Another great scene:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I hate dogs.

Until I cool off, Murphy and Belle are now "outdoors dogs". They can live in the pen forever now.

Because it was so hot when I went to work, I decided to do the nice thing for the dogs and leave the basement door open so that they could go down and lie on the cool concrete floor while I was gone. Normally they don't go down there but these last few days I've seen them coming down while I was reloading or working in my basement shop just to flop on the cold concrete. So since there's nothing really down there for them to get into, I figured why not just give them that option while I'm gone. It sure beats leaving the whole house air conditioning on for them, right?

Not even factored into my decision was the laundry tub containing some new storage food that I'd bought to put up. This particular tub, covered with a lid but not yet sealed, contained large sacks of rice and pinto beans and a couple of cans of oatmeal--2.5lb. cans of oatmeal, to be precise. The big ones.

The dogs have never messed with this stuff before even though there has always been right at their level in my kitchen pantry every day. But there's a first time for everything, and when I arrived home, the basement looked like a Rocky Mountain pass in January--it was covered in white flakes, and there I found the remains of two of the large oatmeal cans. The dogs had opened the tub and gone to town on the oatmeal.

Damned dogs, I thought as I went upstairs. But at least the oatmeal cans only cost me two dollars each and they'd left the bigger, more expensive sacks of rice and beans alone.

Lesson learned by me, right? Oh, but there was a bigger one coming, one that I wasn't thinking as I walked up the stairs into the house proper. This lesson concerned the effects of several pounds of dried oatmeal inside of two German Shepherd dogs who apparently also drank a lot of water. Apparently all of that oatmeal really expands when water is added inside a dog, just like it does in a bowl, and the end result is about ten pounds of oatmeal barf and dog crap on the floor in quantities and locations that leave me no doubt that both dogs were equally guilty in the oatmeal theft.
Yeah, I'm not really a dog fan right now. I don't even know of any local pet stores with hamsters but maybe the feed store in town will swap me even up, two Shepherds for a box of ducklings. Failing that, I may just go visit that guy at the new Chinese restaurant in town and see if his cash offer on them is still good.

And thanks to Bob for the pic. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I curse the state of West Virginia

And the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in particular.

I recently bought a new (to me) SUV, and today was my day to go down and get it's tags and put the title in my name.

First off, I went during a normal working day, so the office was chock full of teen moms with screaming kids and what looked to be about half of the population of Tijuana. In fact, between the caterwauling kids (whose moms all seemed to be too busy talking in their phones to pay any attention to them) and the "Gwaba, gwaba, gwaba..." of what sounded to me like illegal alienese, it was all I could do to hear my own number called, roughly an hour and a half after I walked into Kearneysville's version of the Mos Eisley Spaceport cantina.

Part of the problem. Deportations have been replaced with signs like this one:
"Welcome to America. Don't forget to press 1 for English."

Service was hardly what I'd call prompt, since the office has nine customer service (ha!) windows but only staffs three or four of them at any given time. But I finally got up there and had the privilege of giving over the cost of a decent rifle in the form of a 5% sales tax on my vehicle. Hell, for that much money, I'd better see one of those state-paid muppets show up at my house once a week to wash the damned thing! And what exactly do I get back from West Virginia in return for that shakedown again? And it doesn't even include the "personal property tax" that the county will be strong-arming out of me every year from now on for the same damned vehicle!

How many more years again until I can retire, move out west, and form my own little sovereign nation-states?

At least I got to finish The Road by Jack London while I waited. I recommend it, and it's free.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Too smart for her own good

I just finished filling yet another one of Belle's bolt-holes under the fence with big rocks. This was a good hole, I have to admit. It took me quite a while to find it, and in the meantime, she was enjoying pretty much free reign of the adjoining woods and yards. This one was tough, too. I'd walked the pen line half a dozen times and not spotted it, because she'd just dug out enough under the bottom of the fence so that she could push the fence out when she wanted to leave, but absent the pushing on it, the fence just dropped back into it's normal straight alignment and I couldn't tell just walking past it, especially because there was a log on the other side of the fence (put there by me months ago specifically to prevent push-outs) but the log had moved back from the fence a bit, just enough to allow this particular push-out while also helping camouflage it wonderfully.

So I found this one the old-fashioned way: I walked up into the woods behind the pen, letting her see me. Then I called her. Sure enough...she went right to her escape hatch and came out to see me. So she got some petting and a cookie, and her latest hole got filled in with big rocks.

And as much as I appreciate the helpful advice offered be several of you to just bury the bottom of the fence, it's on very rocky terrain with lots of trees and tree roots added in, and a suitable fence-trench cannot be dug onto this ground. So the bottom of the fence necessarily sits on the ground, depending on tautness of the fence-line and rocks and logs along the lower edge to keep tunnelers at bay.

And to be fair, neither Murphy nor Lagniappe before him were diggers, so Belle represents a new sort of challenge here.

But Belle did get her comeuppance yesterday during another one of her excursions. I put the dogs out, had my breakfast, filled their dishes, and then brought them in for their breakfast. However, when I opened the door to the pen...just one dog was in the pen--Murphy--and Belle was sitting nicely just the other side of the fence, as if she expected me to just bring her dish out and reach over the fence to set it down in front of her. So I brought Murphy in, and Belle, knowing the game well, ran around to the kitchen door to be let in as well.
Before I got to the door, however, Murphy raced into the kitchen for his breakfast. Rather than going to his bowl though, he stopped, looked at Belle standing outside looking back in, and it was as if a light bulb came on in his opportunistic little head. Right in front of Belle, he walked over to her dish, looked at her again, then took a bite of her food.

Belle. Went. Nuts.

Now Murphy's not stupid. He knows that she's going to get in sooner or later, and that when she does, she's going to kick his ass. So he takes one more mouthful and heads on over to his own dish and his breakfast.

I had to leave her out there for a few more seconds just to cool her down before I could bring her back in. There was no canine retaliation but hopefully she learned a thing or two about sneaking out before meals at least.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day when we remember our veterans who served--and sometimes died--for our country and the freedoms that we enjoy today.

When you ask people about veterans' cemeteries in Washington, DC, most people think of Arlington National Cemetery just across the river. But there's another one, this one in Northwest DC, and it's the United States Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery, final resting place of about 14,000 veterans.
It's open to the public, and you can walk around it every day of the year, from 0800 to 1700 (8AM to 5pm). Most days, you'll likely be the only one there though. But that'll give you plenty of peace and quit and time to reflect on all of the men interred here and their stories.

Lt. Hall would have flown some of our first biplanes against the Germans.

General Henry Hunt, known as a renowned artillery officer and tactician during the Civil War.
His tactics and brilliant use of field guns likely brought about Union wins at close-fought battles such as Fredericksburg, Antietam and Gettysburg.
He had an uncle who was Mayor of Detroit, MI too.

General Hunt had a son, who went into the Navy.

On Veterans' Day, the Army places wreaths on each of the graves, just like at Arlington.

The rest of the year, they tend the sites, trim the grass, and keep the markers straight.

There are twenty one Medal of Honor recipients resting here. I found the following five and looked into their stories briefly:

Sgt. William Osborn. "For gallant conduct in campaigns against the Apaches".

First Sergeant Charles Taylor. Gallantry in Action At Big Dry Wash, Ariz., 17 July 1862.

Sgt. Cornelius Donovan. Sergeant, Company E, 8th U.S. Cavalry. For Gallantry in Action at Agua Fria River, Ariz., 25 August 1869.

Sgt. Thomas Murray. Company B, 7th Cavalry. "Brought up the pack train, and in the second day, the rations, under heavy fire from the enemy." At Little Bighorn, 25 June, 1876!

First Sergeant William D. Edwards. "For Bravery in Action." At Big Hole, Mont., 9 August 1877.

There are sixteen more Medal of Honor recipients here. And nearly 13,979 others whose stories are generally known only to God.

If you ever get to Washington, DC. you should consider a visit to this place. It's a bit off the beaten path, and no tour bus runs here from the National Mall, but 14,000 veterans would likely say "Thank you."
It's located at 21 Harewood Rd. NW, in Washington, D.C.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Armed "victim" turns tables on would-be car-jacker

In Atlanta, Edgar Horn slid into the passenger seat of Hashim Fannin's car and said "you know what this is."

Fannin knew, all right. He knew that Horn was announcing a car-jacking. But Fannin knew something else, something that Horn did not. Fannin knew that he had a licensed concealed weapon on his person, and he promptly shared that information with Horn by pulling the sidearm and forcing Horn to lie face down on the parking lot while Fannin called the police.

Man holds suspected carjacker at gunpoint until police arrive

Horn of course tried to play it off by claiming that he thought that he was getting into the car of "a friend" abd begged fannin to let him go, but Fannin didn't buy it and held him for the police.

“I told him no, there’s no leaving, leaving was before you hopped into my car ... at this point there is not leaving,” Fannin said.

The car owner kept the suspect, Edgar Horn, 61, at gunpoint face down in the parking lot for several minutes until police arrived.

“You were not trying to rob me,” Fannin said to the man on cellphone video of the incident. “Do you just get into random people's cars ... you thought I was your friend … you thought I was your friend ... so you woke up stupid this morning?”

When police arrived, you can see Fannin wave them over, and put his gun down. The police officer shakes his hand, before putting the suspect in handcuffs.

“Honestly, I look at it like this. That is one less guy I got to worry about bothering my mom when she’s out grocery shopping,” Fannin said.

Somewhere out there, Shannon Watts is crying and dipping into her third carton of Haagen-Dazs. She really hates it when guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens stop crimes and save lives.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

And my head explodes.

The City of Ferguson, MO, so recently destroyed by local savages and outside leftist agitators, is putting up a permanent memorial to homegrown thug Michael Brown, famous for robbing a store than attacking a police officer and getting shot in the process.

Michael Brown Gets Memorial Plaque In Ferguson

Yeah, he deserves a memorial plaque like Michael jackson deserves to have a daycare center named after him. This is nothing but a blatant attempt by city officials to appease the Usual Suspects and if I were a taxpayer in Ferguson--assuming that there still are any there--I'd be incensed and make it my goal to vote each and every one of those cowards and spendthrifts right out of office.

The plaque will replace a garbage pile of empty liquor bottles and moldy stuffed animals that other losers have left behind as a "tribute" to this goon who, as far as I can tell, never did anything good for anyone other than possibly the local dope dealers.

This "memorial" will have a pithy saying on it, too:

I would like the memory of Michael Brown to be a happy one.
He left an afterglow of smiles when life was done.
He leaves and echo whispering softly down the ways,
of happy and loving times and bright sunny days.
He’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before
the sun of happy memories that he left
behind when life was done.

Personally I'd like to see it slightly altered to better reflect reality"

I would like the memory of Michael Brown to be an honest one.
He left a chalk outline on the street when his life was done.
He leaves an echo of police sirens screaming down the ways,
of pot smoke and lies about "hands up" lingering for days.
He'd like to get high and live off EBT, but he attacked a store clerk
and an armed police officer and his death, like his life,
counted for nothing when he was done.

They put a bird on the memorial, too. It's supposed to be a dove, but I'm thinking that it's really just a pigeon, and that would be appropriate because Mike Brown was nothing but a shitbird, just going around crapping on everything and demanding that others give him stuff.

If there's any justice, it won't be long before some Michael Brown clone comes along and steals the bronze plaque for scrap. Then maybe we can replace it was a monument to Officer Darren Wilson. The quote on that one should simply be: "I did my job and survived the attack."

As for me, I'm going to go to Ferguson, MO one day just so I can let Murphy piss on this thing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Washington DC gun law struck down AGAIN

Once more, a judge has ruled that Washington, DC is in violation of the US Constitution for it's practice of requiring applicants for concealed weapons permits to show a documented need.

Federal Judge Says DC Gun Carry Law is Unconstitutional
A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction saying the District of Columbia’s new concealed carry law is unconstitutional.

The order, issued Monday by Judge Frederick J. Scullin, was the second decision in less than a year declaring the Washington, D.C., gun carry laws to be unconstitutional. In October of 2014, the same judge ruled that the district’s complete ban on gun carry was also in violation of the Constitution.

Scullin barred DC Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier from enforcing the city’s requirement that a person applying for a concealed carry permit must prove they have a “good reason” to need one. This requirement created a system where only those with police reports detailing violent threats against them could obtain a permit.

There's more at the link. And while it's good to see citizens triumph when their rights are denied them by our own "public servants", I still have to shake my head at the DC voters who elect and re-elect the same candidates for mayor and city council year after year despite the fact that this city government more than almost any other works so hard to deny it's citizens basic rights while working just as hard to create "rights" out of whole cloth for thousands of illegal aliens who are not even supposed to be in this country.

D.C. to Illegal Immigrants: Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell – Don’t Worry

Washington DC Grants Driver's Licenses to Illegal Immigrants

What was that saying about how we get the government that we deserve again?

Oh--and on the gun side of things, yesterday Proud Hillbilly and I had the pleasure of meeting blogger Jon from The steel Bookshelf. A great guy, and if you like books, check out his site.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Tribute to the Fallen Heroes. Police Week Memorial 2015

Since this is Police Week, police officers from all across the country--and around the world--are in Washington, DC for the memorial activities. Sadly I missed the candlelight vigil Wednesday night--and I missed watching anti-cop Obama preen for a photo op in front of thousands of the cops that he's insulted and demeaned over the past seven years, but I got down there last night for some pics at the Law Enforcement Memorial. Unfortunately I'm just down to my camera phone now since primary camera took a nose-dive on the concrete on the way there. And it was dusk when I got there, but hopefully these pics capture some of the solemnity.
Many officers are here to remember their fallen comrades.

And many family members come to remember their lost loved ones. And they bring photos, posters and other memorabilia. The heroes are never forgotten. So here are just a few of the countless names on the wall.

Officer Tanjia King, Orlando Fl, Police Dept. Officer Tanja King was killed when her cruiser struck a light pole while she was responding to an emergency assistance call.

Deputy John Mecklenburg, Hernando County Sheriff's Office, Florida. Killed in a crash during a vehicle pursuit.
He was a US Army vet who left behind a wife and two small children.

Officer Robert Hornsby, Killeen Police Department, Texas. Police Officer Bobby Hornsby was shot and killed by a savage with an AK-47 while participating in a SWAT deployment at an apartment complex.
Another officer was wounded at the same time, but the officers returned fire and killed the shooter.

Sergeant Brian Dulle, Warren County Sheriff's Office, Ohio. Hit by the suspect's vehicle while deploying stop sticks to end a pursuit.

Officer Shawn Schneider, Lake City Police Department, Minnesota. Shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call.
He left behind a wife and three children.

Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, has lost a lot of heroes over the years.
So has Nashville, Tennesee.

Sergeant William Morris, Miami County Sheriff's Department, Ohio. Shot and killed by a sixteen year old car thief with an M1 carbine.

Corporal Jason Harwood,Topeka Police Department, Kansas. Shot and killed during a traffic stop when one of the occupants of a car that he was approaching ambushed him.
Lots of stories here at the Memorial. None of them have happy endings.

Deputy Jesse Valdez, III, Harris County Sheriff's Office, Texas. Hit head-on by an SUV driven by a woman high on drugs. She'd just been released from prison three weeks prior after an earlier conviction for doing the same thing.
He was a single dad to a ten-year old boy.

Officer Kevin Ambrose, Springfield Police Department, Massachusetts. Shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call.
His killer then shot and killed the woman he'd been assaulting, then shot himself. Officer Ambrose had served for 36 years and was both a father and a grandfather.

Detective David White, Clay County Sheriff's Office, Florida. Shot and killed by a suspect during a drug raid.
Because drug offenders are never violent and drug crimes are "victimless".

"In Valor there is Hope."

Officer Sean Collier, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Department, Massachusetts. Ambushed and murdered by the Boston Marathon Boming terrorists as he sat in his cruiser.
The surviving terrorist, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was just sentenced to death today. Justice!

Border Patrol Agent, Alexander Giannini. Car crash in I-10 in Arizona.

Canada is not immune from police murders, either.

3 RCMP officers shot dead, 2 wounded in Moncton, N.B.

Officer Specialist Timothy Schock, Chesapeake Police Department, Virginia. Died during a training dive while a member of the department's dive team.

Patrolman Thomas J. McMeekin, Jr., Atlantic City Police Department, New Jersey. Struck and killed by a bus while directing traffic, leaving a wife and two-year old daughter to get by without him.

Special Agent James Watson, Drug Enforcement Administration. Stabbed to death on Bogota, Columbia while trying to keep drugs out of our country.

Officer Denise Holden, Raleigh Police Department, North Carolina. Died in a car crash while responding to a call for help from another officer.

Sergeant Derek Johnson, Draper Police Department, Utah. Ambushed while stopping to check on a parked car.
The shooter and his female accomplice were transients with criminal records who'd been living out of the car. Senseless.

Wildlife Officer Joel Campora, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Drowned along with Scott County Sheriff Cody Carpenter while trying to rescue flash flood victims from a submerging home.

Officer Jessica Nagle-Wilson, Hazel Park, MI PD. Officer Jessica Nagle-Wilson was shot and killed when she responded to an animal complaint.
As she exited her patrol car, a man standing on the porch suddenly opened fire on her with a shotgun, striking her in the face, neck, and stomach. Mortally wounded, she was still able to return fire and wounded the suspect.
The suspect was taken into custody at the hospital and sentenced to life in prison. At least she got the bastard.

Too many stories indeed. And too many friends and family members left behind. But on this week, the survivors come together to remember, and to try to heal.
We are not forgotten until the last person affected by the last good deed wo do is gone. And in the case of these selfless men and women, they'll rightfully be remembered forever.