Sunday, November 29, 2015

Has it really been two years already?

While doing some cleaning here, I found the "owner surrender" sheet that the idiot who dropped my Belle off at the dog pound filled out two years ago. This is a sheet where they ask all sorts of questions about the dog and the dog's history and habits. It says right on there: "BE HONEST".

So I'm looking at it. Guy claimed that he had her for four years, and that he wasn't her first owner. He said that she was exclusively an outside dog and was not housebroken. He said that she only had "basic" obedience training.

Well one of the first things that I noticed about Belle was that her "house manners" were far better than Murphy's were, once we got over the basic "I'm marking this as mine" bit. Also, she had what appeared to have been some really good obedience training once, as she took right to the leash and behaved better on it than Murphy did (and still does.) Her "Sit", "Down", and "Heel" responses were fantastic right out of the gate, and if this guy who dropped her off never worked with her, it was clear that someone did once.

Then we get to some other questions.
"Does she jump fences?" Liar said no. Belle lives to escape her pen and she's still doing it semi-regularly.
"Does she get into the garbage?" Again, dude marked "no", but history has shown that she will do it every chance that she gets. If she's not escaping, she'd probably plotting to get the trash.

"Does she have a favorite toy?" Guy put "Ball". Belle has never so much as glanced at any ball I've ever offered her and when I throw them, she looks at me as if to say "Nice throw! How you going to get it back now?" The only time she ever wants a ball is if Murphy has one, then she tries to take it just to screw with him.

"Does she have any health problems?" He put "No". I guess that's true if you don't count the heartworm and lyme disease that she had when I took her.

On the bottom of the sheet, he wrote: "Great pet!!"

Well if that was the case, why'd you abandon her at the pound, and threaten to shoot her or put her out by the side of the road if the pound wouldn't waive the surrender fee?

She is a great pet, though. Hard to believe that it's only been two years since she came to join the pack.

Love ya, Miss Memphis Belle. You sure weren't cheap, but you were definitely worth it.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

With apologies to Paul McCartney...

Got this song stuck in my head as I made more repairs to the dog pen fence today.

I made up some new lyrics as I worked though.

I'm fixing a hole where the dog gets out
to stop my Belle from wandering
Where she will go

I'm filling the holes that ran under the fence
to keep my Belle from wandering
Where she will go

And it really doesn't matter
If she's wrong, she's right
Where she belongs she's right
Where she belongs

See the Shepherd ambling there
Who isn't in her pen
And wonder why she isn't at my door

I'm cursing at Belle in a colorful way
because that dog is wandering
There she will go

And it really doesn't matter
If she's wrong, she's right
Where she belongs she's right
Where she belongs

Silly neighbors calling me
They worry and they ask of me
Why I do not keep her in the yard

I'm taking the time to fix me a fence
just like I did yesterday
And she still goes

I'm fixing a hole where the dog gets out
to stop my Belle from wandering
Where she will go
Where she will go

I'm fixing a hole where the dog gets out
to stop my Belle from wandering
Where she will go

And of course after half an hour of work, thinking it done, I went back in the house. Five minutes later, a neighbor called to tell me that she was out again.

Five minutes.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving.

From me and the pack, to all of you.

And in honor of the day, the dogs said that they'll even cook dinner.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Range Day! And Enfield!

Today company came from Virginia in the form of Stretch, and he, Bruce, Proud Hillbilly and I hit the range on a cold November morning.

Here's Stretch with his M1A
Bruce, with the 1916 Spanish Mauser that I sold him after buying it back from the last guy I sold it to. (And it shoots great. What was I thinking?)
PH with her little PH-sized Carbine.

I brought out this Enfield #1Mk3, one of the three that I bought a few months ago from a neighbor down the street.
This is one of the ones that I'm in the middle of refurbishing. It's a straight Mk3, not a Mk3* like most of the ones out there today are.
Made in 1912. Cool, eh?

As such, this one has all the neat sutff that they left off of the Mk3*.

It has volley sights. This was a dumb idea that was intended to let a whole company of riflemen put rounds on a large target--another company of riflemen--up to 2800 yards away.
It didn't really work, and it was eliminated from the rifles by 1916.

It also has a magazine cut-off, another dumb idea of the time. The British army was transitioning from single-shot rifles to magazine-fed repeaters, and the generals who grew up with the old rifles felt that their soldiers would waste ammunition if allowed to fire from the magazine, so this cut-off was put on the rifles to block the magazine. The idea was that with the cut-off in place, the soldiers would still fire the rifle single-shot and conserve ammunition, but when it came time to charge, or if they were being attacked, they could open the cut-off and then use the whole ten-round box.
Yeah, it was dumb. And the US Rifle ,30 Model 1903, aka: the '03 Springfield, had the same cut-off on it's five-round magazine.
1903 Springfield cut-off.

This one also has a fully adjustable rear sight instead of the later elevation-only rears. This was not a dumb idea.

Looking over this rifle, someone was apparently unclear on the concept of the windage-adjustable rear, because they drifted the front sight post. Now I have to remove the nose cap and try to hammer it back where it's supposed to go. But as-is, I was still able to keep my rounds in the nine-ring (4x6") of the target I was firing on at 100 yards...that is until I started getting cold, at which point my accuracy fell off noticeably.

All in all, I'm happy with this one, though. And I'd fight with it if I had to.

It even has a unit-marked ID disc on the stock, dated June of 1912. No idea what NIH stands for though.
Only real "flaw" (if you view it as such) is that it now has a light spot on the left side of the buttstock where I had to sand it down and refinish it with Linseed oil.
The neighbor that I got this from had a house fire some years back and this rifle's stock was scorched. I got it cleaned up but had to take the wood down a fair bit to get past the charring. Scary to think how close this old matching-number, non-import marked vet came from being destroyed in that fire. But she still looks good, and shoots well enough that I'd use it in a foreign service-rifle match any day. Just let me get the sights re-aligned right and she'll be quite the shooter indeed.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Another day, more idiot behavior following a police shooting

So in Minneapolis, MN, the police were forced to shoot yet another life-long miscreant and all-around scumbag with the usual lengthy record of violent crimes against other people. This time, the usual suspects are flipping out because a ten year old boy is claiming that he saw the police shoot the savage thug victim, and his momma--a woman whose own parents named her "Tequila"--is putting the boy in front of every camera that she can find, obviously looking for that pail of cash that comes from ghetto fame. And this time, the Black Lies Matter protesters set up a camp outside the police station--a freaking CAMP--with tents and bedding, so that they can protest twenty four hours a day.

I thought about these losers agitators protesters sitting around outside the police station all day and all night, and I decided to dedicate a song to them.

To my Black Lies Matter protesters everywhere.

Can anyone tell me why so many young black males just cannot obey the police these days?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Women gunnies...HELP!

OK. I was just informed that my sister wants her first handgun and that she intends it for concealed carry. (She already took the class and got the permit.) Apparently she has the plan that she can just keep it in her purse, an idea that sends me right over the edge, as an effective self-defense handgun has to be kept absolutely secure and instantly accessible, and a purse, in my mind, is neither. I may be swayed regarding some of these new "concealed carry purses" but haven't made up my mind yet.

She also doesn't know what she wants yet, and I'm too far away from her to take her shopping at a few gun stores to get a feel for what fits her best.

So this being the case, I'm putting out a call to every red-blooded American woman who carries a firearm for personal protection. Please reply via post and tell us what you carry and how you carry it. I know what works for me--big gun with big bullets in a leather OWB holster--but her needs and shape are different.

Also, if you've tried anything in the past that worked or didn't work well, please share that too, if you don't mind.

All replies will be greatly appreciated. And please pass this link around to ensure that it reaches as many pistol-packing women as possible.

Thanks in advance.

USS The Sullivans

In Buffalo, we visited the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park and paid tribute to the USS Sullivans (DD-537), a Fletcher-class destroyer that fought in World War Two and Korea and participated in the Blockade of Cuba.

This ship was named for the five Sullivan bothers who enlisted together with the stipulation that they all serve on the same ship. They were assigned to the USS Juneau, a cruiser, and all five were killed when the Juneau was sunk by the Japanese on November 13, 1942, during the Battle for Guadalcanal.
The brothers' parents learned of their deaths on January 12, 1943. That morning, the boys' father, Thomas, was preparing for work when three men in uniform – a lieutenant commander, a doctor and a chief petty officer – approached his door. "I have some news for you about your boys," the naval officer said. "Which one?" asked Thomas. "I'm sorry," the officer replied. "All five."
It's notable that, in the wake of these deaths, the Sullivan family's last child, the boys' sister Genevieve, immediately enlisted in the WAVES, and the Sullivan parents, Thomas and Alleta, toured over 200 defense plants and shipyards speaking on behalf of the war effort. (These were real Americans, folks.) And in 1944, Alleta Sullivan participated in the launching of this then-new ship named for her sons.

Once aboard, we roamed the ship, taking plenty of pics.

Radio room.

Combat Information Center. This is where aircraft and other surface ship are monitored and from where targeting information is sent to the guns.

One of the 5"/38cal guns that the ship was originally launched with. Post-war modifications saw one of them removed in the 1950's.

Inside one of the 5" turrets.

Shell handling space below one of the turrets.

Junior Officers' quarters.

Galley, and the life-blood of the military.

Engine room.
Machine shop, where a ship's machinists were expected to repair or fabricate anything that broke while underway.

View of the bridge via a porthole.

Hedgehog anti-submarine launcher.

Conventional depth charges in racks on the stern.

Torpedo launcher, Mark 32. These were a 1960's add-on.

20mm anti-aircraft guns. As built, the ship had seven. POst-war changes reduced it to four.

Twin-mount Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft gun.
Originally launched with five of these mounts, the ship now has two following post-war modifications.

A couple of deck shots taken from the adjacent USS Little Rock.

This ship is 376 feet long, 39 feet wide, and displaced 2,050 tons. She had a crew of 329. 175 of these were built during World War Two. 19 were sunk and most of the rest were subsequently scrapped or given away to other countries later. Only four survive as museum ships today, including USS Kidd in Baton Rouge, LA and USS Cassin Young in Boston. The fourth is ex-USS Charrette, given to Greece and preserved there today as HNS Velos.

This is a wonderful ship, masterfully preserved.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A thought on Paris...and concern for America.

If these two headlines, taken together, do not make you want to join other Americans and storm the White House to throw Obama out of office (and hopefully even America), I don't know what will.

In the first story, we get confirmation that some of the Paris Terrorists entered France under the guise of being "Syrian refugees".

Paris terrorist was a Syrian refugee, says Greek government official

Well shame on the French government for being so quick to let all of these unvetted "refugees", most of whom seem to be military-aged single males, into their country, right?

Then we have this story, dated not quite two weeks ago:

Syrian refugees beginning to arrive in New Orleans

So how long before the Superdome or the French Quarter explodes?

Last I checked, the American people didn't want these immigrants brought here. Congress did not authorize it. But just like Bill Clinton did with boatloads of Somalians during his presidency, Obama said "I'm doing it", and here they are. Suck on that. America.

And lest anyone forget Clinton's Somalians, supposedly they were "Somali Christians" who were being persecuted because they were on the losing end of a civil war there. Yet as soon as these "Christians" got here, they started building mosques. (Can you say "sucker?") And now we're seeing bunches of them returning to Africa to support radical islamic terrorism. The ones that don't leave are giving Minnesota, where the bulk of them were settled (due to that state's generous welfare programs), major crime problems.

Yeah, those Somalians are turning into real assets to our country. And now Obama is trying to double down by bringing in "Syrians", most of whom aren't even from Syria, according to our cousins in Europe who have been checking on the real histories of their new "guests".

Obama promised to "transform America" if elected. And he's certainly doing his best to transform us into a place where we have to live in fear from hostile foreigners who we support with welfare programs while they plot to kill us.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I just can't win.

So today, I put the dogs in the dog pen, and Belle was immediately out and about behind the house. I got her in and went out to check, and I have TWO sections of damaged dog fencing now, one at the bottom of the run and another at the top. Apparently something running up the hill hit the lower fence hard, breaking the section clear of it's connectors and flattening it pretty decently. That something then ran up the hill and pulled the second section down, probably trying to climb out.

Whatever it was, it was bigger than a German Shepherd. I suspect one of the local deer.

Excuse my blunt talk, but I've really fucking had it with those things lately. This is going to take a while to fix, and probably require some new fencing material too. I really don't need this right now.

Some quotes on Veterans' Day

Saw these on the Veterans' Memorial in Buffalo this week-end. They say it better than I can.

Thank you.

Flight up

The weather over our area and much of Pennsylvania could have been better, but it was still VFR so we took off amid light rain showers and overcast. Had a bit of a headwind, so it was slower than I cared for, making about 90kts groundspeed (roughly 100mph) but eventually we broke out into sunshine in New York State, just shy of Lake Erie and Buffalo.
I made contact with Buffalo Approach, even though I planned to stay out of their airspace. Always a good idea to let them know who I am and where I'm going since I was going to be flying close to their airport. Then it was up the shoreline and along the Niagara River.
Oh, look at's the USS Little Rock (CLG-4).
She's a guided missile cruiser that is one of three ships at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park, and one of the other reasons for this trip. There are two other ships there, too, the Destroyer USS The Sullivans (DD-537) and the submarine USS Croaker (SSK-246) but they are inboard of the cruiser and not visible here. I wanted to orbit and photograph all three from above but the buildings on shore and Buffalo International's airspace above prevented that so I just kept on. But it's ok...I'd already reserved a rental car to let us come back and see these all up close.
On up the river we went, enjoying the scenic views.
A neighborhood in Buffalo below.
And then there it was. The Falls are visible ahead.
Alas, here I had to turn in to land at Niagara Falls International. They brought me in on Runway 24, telling me to hustle it up as this Air Guard C-130 was waiting to depart.
Afteer landing, the nice folks at Calspan took care of us and the plane, and we were soon shuffling off to Buffalo to go see those ships.