Wednesday, April 23, 2014

President Reagan cracks jokes

And as was his style, no teleprompter.

I miss this man.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sometimes being stupid has consequences.

Can't say as I feel sorry for this pinhead...nope. Not one bit.

Man must pay $489,000 after false distress call

A couple of years ago, Danik Kumar of Sandusky, Ohio, thought that it would be cool to call the Coast Guard and report seeing a fishing boat with four people on board sending up flares on Lake Erie as he was flying a small plane overhead. Both the US and Canadian Coast Guard responded, mobilizing 70 people and sending out three boats, a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft to search. Eventually they called it off, and when they pressed Kumar, he finally admitted that he lied and said that he kept reporting it because he didn't want to sound stupid and ruin his chances of becoming a Coast Guard aviator.

Well it's probably a safe bet that he'll never get that job, especially after he was convicted of making a false distress call, after which the judge sentenced him to three months in jail and ordered him to pay a whopping $277,000 to the U.S. Coast Guard and $212,000 to the Canadian Coast Guard to cover the cost of their Search and Rescue efforts.

And like everyone who takes full responsibility for their actions, Kumar appealed this sentence to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, arguing that it was too harsh. But bless that 6th Circuit, as they came back with a 2-1 ruling that said that although the ruling is "an onerous burden on the shoulders of a young man," U.S. law was intended to deal harshly with hoaxes to help deter future ones.

The government's prosecutor, Michelle Baeppler, argued that Kumar needed to be held responsible for every cost associated with the search, from the gas used in the boats and aircraft to maintenance and depreciation costs incurred from their use.

"His claim that he should only have to pay for a few items ... is truly a simplistic and naive notion of the cost involved in conducting a search and rescue operation," Baeppler wrote.

And that's the honest truth. What if one of the Coast Guardsman had been injured or died during this search for someone who was never in trouble? What if someone else called for real help and died because the Coast Guard was out of position? How do you put a price tag on that sort of loss? That's why the penalty for this sort of stuff is meant to be a swift kick in the junk--to make the next guy think twice before faking a distress call.

Still, Kumar's lawyer, Edmund Searby, sheds tears for him, because in liberal lawyer-land, people like Kumar are the victims, not society. Searby said Kumar had to drop out of Bowling Green State University's aviation program and is figuring out what to do next.

"Danik's dream has long been to be a pilot, but it's unclear now whether that dream can be realized," Searby said. "I'd hate for it to end like this."

Speaking as a pilot and one who frequently flies over that part of Lake Erie, I'm not bothered by this guy not being able to occupy the same airspace as me. I depend on that same Coast Guard should I ever have trouble on those flights, and while I hope that I never have to call upon them, I'd hate to think that if I ever needed to reach out to them for a quick response that they were busy elsewhere chasing shadows cast by some punk kid for kicks.

Yeah, it's a heck of a fine he's got to pay, but then again, stupid is supposed to hurt.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Now here's an idea. What if the polar ice caps did melt?

Per this article, the sea level would rise about 260 feet, wiping out an awful lot of coastal real estate around the world.

Would YOU be underwater if the polar caps melted? Map reveals what our planet would look like if sea levels rose by 260ft

Well I looked to see if I'd be ok, and I would. The new "coastline" in this area would be the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and I reside on the reverse slope of that range, decently above elevation 260. I might be walking distance to the new beaches but I'd come through ok. Washington DC would be gone though. and so would much of the eastern seaboard, including New York City, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and pretty much all of Florida. New Orleans would be gone and Houston would, too. Over on the Left Coast, San Diego, much of Los Angeles and San Francisco would be gone, and so would places like Portland and Seattle. In fact, much of the concentrated Blue that makes those areas politically cancerous for America would be wiped out.

Now I'd miss New Orleans, but I'd be willing to call it a fair trade. The question shouldn't be "what if..." but "how can we make this happen?"

Of course I assume that the rise in water levels will be gradual enough to allow us to evacuate the decent, hard-working Americans who live in those areas right along with the contents of the libraries, the art galleries, and the equipment of the businesses in those areas. Naturally we'd have to put up barrier walls and screen who we let come out of those areas though, just to make sure that we don't re-create more blue states inside the perimeter of our new America. If you've got a job and a solid work history, or are a retiree, come on over and welcome. If you've got a lengthy criminal record, spent your life on welfare or if you're a career politician, here's a set of water wings. Good luck. And if you're dumb enough to show up at a checkpoint with a medical marijuana card or an "Obama" or "Hillary" sticker on your car, just turn around, because we're already at capacity for morons over here. In fact, stick around, because we'll probably deport a few that were living here already and they can ride back with you. And Senator Joe Manchin? You can think about how sorry you are for selling every gun-owning, Obamacare-hating West Virginian out as you and Nancy Pelosi dog-paddle towards Europe. But hey, if you get tired, we hear that Kim Kardashian can be used as a floatation device.

Yeah, I'm liking the thought of a smaller, redder America. How many of our nukes would it take to melt all of that ice, do you reckon? And who else should we bar admittance to or kick out?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

He is Risen

He was resurrected. He came back. And many people saw him.

Jesus appeared 12 times to different group sizes ranging from just one person to 500 people.

1) Mary Magdalene (Mark 16.9-11; John 20.11-18), Peter in Jerusalem (Luke 24.34; 1 Cor. 15.5), Jesus' brother (insider skeptic) James (1 Cor. 15.7). "And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any [man]; for they were afraid" (Mark 16.8). Some of the New Testament authors explicitly claimed to be eyewitnesses to Jesus' resurrection (and transfiguration). Peter said, "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty" (2 Pet. 2.16). John also said, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched...we proclaim to you what we have seen and heard" (1 John 1.1,3).

2) The other women at the tomb (Matthew 28.8-10).

3) The two travelers on the road (Mark 16.12,13; Luke 24.13-34).

4) Ten disciples behind closed doors (Mark 16.14; Luke 24.35-43; John 20.19-25).

5) All the disciples, with Thomas, excluding Judas Iscariot (John 20.26-31; 1 Cor. 15.5).

6) Seven disciples while fishing (John 21.1-14).

7) Eleven disciples on the mountain (Matthew 28.16-20).

8) A crowd of 500 "most of whom are still alive" at the time of Paul writing (1 Cor. 15.6). This may have been the same group as in Matt. 28.16: the rendezvous was to "to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them." Unlike the other accounts which were unexpected and by surprise, and to gather such a large number of people, this meeting was held outdoors. The women were told to tell the disciples to meet Jesus in Galilee as well. "And when they saw him, they worshiped him: but some doubted" (Matt. 28.17) may be a reference to many present, both believers and non-believers. Paul had firsthand contact with them. So it was not a legend. He knew some of the people had died in the interim, but most were still alive. He is saying in effect they are still around to be questioned. You can talk to some of the witnesses. He never could have made this challenge if this event had not occurred.

9) "Then to all the apostles" (1 Cor. 15.7) which includes the Twelve plus all the other apostles.

10) Jesus appeared to the disciples in Jerusalem (Luke 24.44-49).

11) Those who watched Jesus ascend to heaven (Mark 16.19,20; Luke 24.50-53; Acts 1.3-8).

12) Least of all Paul (outsider skeptic) with others present and as though he was not living in the proper time (1 Cor. 15.8-9; Gal. 1.13-16; Acts 9.1-8, 22.9, read all of chapters 22 and 26; 13.30-37; 1 Cor. 15.10-20; Gal. 2.1-10).

And equally noteworthy is the fact that many who saw him were subsequently imprisoned and/or tortured to death, but NOT ONE OF THEM ever renounced their claims to having seen Jesus back among the living. If YOU were facing a gruesome torture death, would you die for a lie? Fact is, too many people saw Jesus again for there to be any doubt as to his resurrection. He came back. And on this day we celebrate his return, and his promise to return again.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Patriot's Day. A Good Time Was Had By Most.

So in commemoration of those brave Americans who stood their ground on Lexington Common in 1775, the day that the "shot heard round the world" was fired as British troops sought to seize American cannon and powder stores in Concord, Old NFO, Proud Hillbilly and I went out to the range to burn some powder of our own.

We got out there a bit before noon, and the place was packed, notably with a group of yammerheads who took much delight in sitting on the 25-yard pistol range and firing AR-15s as fast as they could jerk the triggers. Here's a tip, AR guys: If you put out half a dozen sporting clays on the berm 25 yards away and three of you empty your thirty-round magazines as fast as you can at them, and when you're done most of the clays are STILL THERE, you're doing it wrong. Just saying.

But it was M1 Carbine day for the three of us. Jim had a wonderful old Winchester that seemed to have missed most of the upgrade modifications, PH had her post-war carbine, and I brought my CMP Rock-Ola carbine, just because I wanted to fit in. I also brought out my Remington Rolling Block .50-70, and we fired off the few black powder rounds that I'd loaded up for it. I've got the load down pretty good--now I've just got to adjust the rifle's sights to it. (And that .50-70 sure gets your shoulder's attention after a few rounds.)

Then Jim and I fired a few rounds of .22LR for effect, me with my trusty old Ruger 10-22 and him with a sweet vintage Colt Woodsman and his Savage .22 rifle.

Next, we switched to pistols for a bit. I had my Uberti SAA and Walther PPK out, Jim had a beautiful Colt Match Target .38 Special, and PH...Eh. Just a Glock. (But she shoots it well.) ;-) But by the time we started shooting these, a rather large group of what looked like college kids showed up and the range staff put them on two pistols and two AR rifles on either side of us. It was immediately obvious that none of them had shot before, so, after we did our duty to new shooters and coached a few of them, we called it quits for the day and adjourned to a local restaurant for lunch.

My rifles:
Top to bottom: Remington Rolling Block, Model 1871 made for NY State Militia; US Carbine, .30 M1 made by the Rock-Ola Corp.; Ruger 10-22.

My pistols:
Uberti Cattleman, .45 Long Colt (top) and Walther PPK (bottom).

Ah, that PPK. Packs a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window, or so sayeth Ian Flemming when he had James Bond issued one in Dr. No.

It was a much-needed relaxing day out for the three of us, and a great way to celebrate Patriot's Day.

So who didn't have a good time today?

Well when we got back to my house, Murphy met us at the door. Alone. Where was Belle? I called, but no Belle came. Quickly, Jim and I looked around the house. No Belle. Damn, she was in here when we left. Where could she have gone?

And then I heard something whine and scratch at the inside of the closed bathroom door off the kitchen. Yep. Poor Memphis Belle had managed to get in there after we'd left, no doubt to raid the dog food bag that I keep in there or to sample the kitchen scraps in the trash bag that was in there. (Both bags were in there specifically to keep them away from two dogs, BTW.) Well Miss Belle managed to knock the door shut while she was in there, trapping herself quite nicely. She may have been in there for up to four hours, and let me tell you, she destroyed the place during that time. The trash? Scattered everywhere. Dog hair and paw-prints? Everywhere. There were scratches on the inside of the door and paw-prints in the bath tub, up on the top of the toilet tank, and even on the sink. I even found claw marks on the window sill five feet off the floor as Belle apparently climbed on the toilet in an unsuccessful attempt to try to get out the window. Poor girl. She was a little upset when I finally sprung her to say the least. But she got over it quick enough when she saw her new friend Jim there and her and Murphy both jostled each other to get some petting from him. I'm still mad at her though. And I'm blaming Murphy for it, too. I can't prove it, but I'm sure that he was somehow at least partly responsible.

Now I'm off to clean guns. Have a great Patriot's Day, everyone.

Saturday Man Movie

Charles Bronson is on a train with an all-star cast in Breakheart Pass (1975).
People are dying, but no one knows why, or who is doing it. Can Bronson figure it out after he finishes fighting with Archie Moore on the roof of that train? (And BTW, that fight scene was filmed atop a real moving train. No CGI there.)
Also in this movie: Richard Crenna, David Huddleston, Charles Durning, Ed Lauter (a pal of Bronson, they starred in several movies together), Jill Ireland, Robert Tessier, and Ben Johnson.

And if you like steam trains, you really need to see this one. Truly a great movie, made back when movies were worth seeing.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Flyday Friday

After a long week of physical therapy and dealing with Caninus Annoyus x 2, I really needed some flytime.

I had a planned photo flight all plotted out, but once I got aloft, it was just too hazy in the mountains to the west and my target for the photo flight was an hour and some change into those mountains, so I chucked the flight plan and just went off to play local, flying up and down the mountain ridges between VA and WV just to see what I might find. (Click on the pics to enlarge.)

Here's Capon Bridge, WV.
I'm thinking that the green structure crossing the river is the actual Capon Bridge. If so, they didn't really put a lot of thought into that town's name, in my opinion.

Next, here's a train tunnel just to the east of Paw Paw, WV.
The river that you see there? That's the mighty Potomac River. It tends to look a bit more humble the farther upstream that you get from Washington, DC.

The Potomac meanders. The railroad, not so much.
Over the river, right through the ridge, then over the river again.

I followed the river north (more or less) until all of a sudden it pulled a sharp right and headed east here at Great Cacapon.
Next stop: Hancock, MD. And here's a marshaling yard just west of there, complete with Mr. Peabody's Coal Train arriving.
Rolling in hot! Or not. Sigh. Need rockets on this Cessna.

I shot a couple of landings at Hancock's Potomac Airpark, just because it was lined up nicely with the wind and because I haven't hit this strip as much as I have the other area ones. The only other "traffic" there was a guy with a huge remote-controlled pane that looked big enough to carry a small child...or a German Shepherd. But his bird was on the ground as he was no doubt waiting for me to quit my landings and go away. I waved on each go-round but he never waved back. Not terribly friendly.

A flag just east of Hancock. 'Murica!
A nice view of downtown Hancock seen out the window on my base leg.
And, I'm off. Heading east again back down the Potomac on my last take-off.

Hey, here's Fort Fredneck Frederick.
Hmmm. Come bad times, I'm wondering if I could hold this place with a machine gun and a couple of German Shepherds.

Looking at it, it'd be tough to defend by one person. I might need a small army of well-armed hot chicks to help. Applications will be accepted.

Coming down over Martinsburg, WV, I spy with my little eye...the old Martinsburg Railroad Roundhouse.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad used this facility from before the Civil War until 1988. Now it's being restored. Looks like there's still a bit of work to be done, but it is open for tours by appointment. I'm thinking that I might have to check that out next time visitors come.

Heading back into home field. Not sure what this structure is. They put it up a few years ago and it's right in the way for a base approach to Runway 26 from the north.

And here's a local brickyard, with old round brick kilns apparently still in use.

On landing, I spot this nifty Boeing 727 that came in. What's that say on the side?
"First Class Equine Air Travel". Freaking HORSES fly on JET AIRCRAFT? Geez! Per the FBO crew, it comes in regularly when there are big races at the local track. Some of the horses fly in from Texas and California on jets like this. And the jockeys fly in on other jets. I'm guessing on much smaller jets. Because jockeys are small. Get it?

Anyway...Now I'm down and home. 1.6 flying hours logged, and I feel fantastic. And ribs are on the grill as I type this, so you all have a great night.

It begins. First man arrested in CT for not registering his rifle.

It all began, apparently, with a shot at a squirrel.
MILFORD >> A 65-year-old man faces an array of charges after shooting a squirrel in his yard Monday morning, police said in a press release.

James Toigo, 258 Housatonic Dr., was charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, cruelty to an animal, first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree breach of peace, failure to register an assault rifle and three counts of possessing large-capacity magazines, according to a police press release from Officer Jeffrey Nielsen.

Police officers were directing traffic in the area of Housatonic Drive when they heard a gunshot nearby, according to the release.

Upon investigation, Toigo was taken into custody after police said he shot the squirrel.

Police said they also found an unregistered assault rifle, as well as three large-capacity magazines, in Toigo’s home. Both the firearms and the magazines were taken, the release said.

Nielsen said the assault riffle was not the gun Toigo shot the squirrel with.

“As the investigation progressed the officers seized several firearms from the home for safe keeping,” Nielsen said. “That included the assault rifle and the three high capacity magazine he did not have registered.”

Nielsen said he believes the majority of the seized firearms were registered. Those weapons will remain in police custody until Toigo’s case is heard, Nielsen said. Depending on the outcome, Toigo will need to petition the police department to have his guns returned.

Toigo was released on a promise to appear May 13 in court.
Now I don't know where he lives. Maybe he was too close to neighboring houses to shoot a squirrel and maybe he was not. But the piling on of charges--including cruelty to an animal, presumably over the shot squirrel--and just about everything else they could throw at him in addition to the felony charge for possessing an "unregistered" weapon that was not required to be registered when he purchased it and which they only discovered during the investigation of the squirrel murder that was allegedly committed with a different firearm entirely, suggests that local authorities there plan to make an example of Mr. Toigo to show the rest of Connecticut's serfs what will happen to them if they continue to defy their elected overlords.

The question to be asked here, independent of Mr. Toigo's guilt or innocence or his judgement in shooting the squirrel in his yard in the firs place, is if they get away with this prosecution, how long until some other power-mad "public servant" tries to pass and enforce a similar law in your state or mine?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

And Detroit residents take out the trash again with another home invader killed.

In the last two months, I think that more home invaders have been shot in Detroit than US troops in Afghanistan.

Suspect dead after crash, shooting following break-in in Detroit

In addition to this one:

There have been at least five shootings by homeowners in the past two months:

■On March 6, a would-be burglar was fatally shot by a homeowner in the 8200 block of Penrod when two men tried to break into a home.

■On Feb. 28, a woman shot and killed a man trying to break into her home in the 22000 block of Grove.

■On Feb. 22, two home invaders were killed on the city’s southwest side. Earlier that same day, a woman shot and killed a man after he confronted her as she pulled into her garage.

■On Feb. 17, a woman opened fire on three teens who kicked in the door to her home. The teens, ages 14, 14 and 15, weren’t hit and were later arrested by police.

Police Chief James Craig caused a national stir in January when he told The Detroit News he felt the city’s crime rate would go down if more people were armed because it would make criminals think twice about breaking into their homes or attacking them.

Apparently the criminal class is still slow to get the message. Maybe Detroit needs to change it's motto from: "Will the last taxpayer to leave please turn out the lights?" to something a bit more representative.
Maybe: "Detroit: Where we whack 'em and stack 'em."

Off to the range with Henry

I stopped by the range this afternoon, just to do a bit of plinking on the steel targets.
This time, I brought my pal, Henry along.
Antiquated magazine-tube loading from the front aside, I still think that they make some of the smoothest-functioning lever guns ever.

Plus they're made here. And if you have a problem, Henry Repeating Arms stands behind their products.

Fun was had.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Now there's a good way to get shot.

So you're sitting in a park, minding your own business. It's a nice day. Other people are out there with their kids. Maybe your kids are playing with their kids. Suddenly a van screeches to a stop by the kids. A masked men leaps out, grab one of the toddlers, and runs back to the van, then the van rockets off. What do you do?

VIDEO: Outrage as parents fake child abduction in U.S. park

In Washington State, a trio of dumbasses decided to stage a kidnapping in the public park just to film other peoples' reactions. And as the video at the link above shows, they're actually proud of the fact that they got a lot of other parents and their kids upset. (Gotta get your fifteen minutes of fame somehow, right?)

Lucky for these dim bulbs, there was no one there with a concealed carry permit. And at the end of the video, a man speaking to them, either a police officer or an outraged parent--it's not clear which--tells them straight up "I was fully prepared to kill whoever was in the front seat of that van."

I think that a lot of us, in that same situation, would have reacted similarly.

Talk about dodging a bullet. These idiots claim that they did it to "raise public awareness..." but if you look at their Youtube channel, (and I won't dignify them with a link) they've made several others where they "prank" unsuspecting people, including a fake robbery, another fake abduction and apparently even a couple where they randomly fart at people. So they're just jerks trying to get reactions out of people. They need to be charged criminally for this one, IMHO.

If you agree, the city attorney can be reached at: (360) 681-6611 or emailed at:

"The Stupid! It burns!"

Seen today in town:
Some people apparently never learn.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pressing on.

Nothing beats a nice, restful evening down in the shop, loading up ammunition on the trusty Dillon press.

Of course I've got good music playing:

And as always, the helpers are close at hand.

Sounds fair to me.

In Texas, a guy just got 18 months in jail for peeing on The Alamo in San Antonio.

Man who 'whizzed' on Alamo to do time

18 months, with no chance of early parole. Can you imagine what it's going to be like to be this guy when the other inmates start asking him what he's in for and how long he's gonna be there?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tank you very much.

I really got nothing today, so here--watch some well-restored classic 70 year old iron doing it's thing.

Once there were thousands of each type. (About 6,000 Pathers alone were produced.) Now, operational survivors of both types can be counted on one hand combined. Like so much else from those days, efforts to preserve any specimens for future generations to see were nonexistent, and the very few survivors escaped the scrappers' torches by accident.