Friday, September 22, 2017

Bless her little heart

Miss Memphis Belle, after years of sitting patiently on the doorstep waiting for me to open the door and inquire as to her desire to come in, has suddenly learned to scratch on the door when she wants in. (Murphy has still not figured this out, BTW..)

The problem is that she does not gently skritch at the door like a normal dog would. Oh no. She claws into that door like Freddie Krueger holding an ice pick, and her first few tentative "May I come in, please?" scratches have taken the paint off the door right down to bare metal.

This girl. Right here.
This is 50% of why I can't have nice things.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I don't get it.

Seems like there's hardly a day goes by here when I'm not running across social media posts made by those in my area who are attacking white people. They blame white people for genocide, blast all white people for being racist and greedy, and even state right out that white people are the worst thing that ever happened to this city/country/planet. The contempt and outright hatred for white people as a whole among these people is total.

The part I don't get? The carpers are almost all WHITE MILLENNIAL GIRLS, with a few rather effeminate white millennial guys who are doubtless just trying to be included.

I've popped in on three Black Live Matters rallies here in the past year or so, and each of then was 90-95% white girl, with the black participation pretty much limited to the speakers and the ones passing the donation buckets through the crowd. If not for white girl purchasing, the local BLM T-shirt seller would have sold maybe three shirts in the last two years based on what I see while walking around. I live and work in a very diverse area but the only ones I see who are flying the BLM flags and hating on white people as a group are...white millennials, most of whom only recently moved here from northern or mid-western states, based on the ones I know or have talked to. And there's a lot of them. And they are passionate. These are the ones demanding that our historical statues to great leaders of the past be pulled down across our country and masking their faces and attacking our police at public speaking events on the grounds of universities that very few of them even attend.

I definitely don't get this, and it makes me wonder where we're going as a nation.

EDITED: No sooner do I write this than I find this story about a midnight attack on a Thomas Jefferson statue because "he's a racist". And by the looks of the's mostly white kids.

Monday, September 11, 2017

SPR coming along

I finally decided on a scope for my new rifle project. I went with the Leupold Mark AR 3-9x40mm after all. My basic intent with this project was to mirror the US military's Mk 12 Special Purpose Rifle, only without dropping $4,000+ on the thing.

First off, I want to thank everyone who gave other suggestions. I checked them all out, and from those found even more to look at, but I finally drifted back to the Leupold. And after taking it out just once, I'm glad I bought it. The clarity is amazing, and in the 3x setting, it still functions like a traditional red dot thanks to the Leupold Fire Dot, an adjustable electronic sighting dot in the middle of the mil-dot reticle.
That green dot draws your eye right to reticle center FAST even at low setting. It's much handier than I thought it would be.

I mounted it on a LaRue Tactical SPR/M4 QD mount and it mounted with very little difficulty. (Full disclosure, I had scope rattle in the mount at first but a quick call to LaRue's customer service line and they diagnosed the problem--you need to tighten the bottom screws first instead of doing them cross-pattern like car lug nuts, which I had done. Once I undid it and redid it their way...rock solid!)
Once zeroed, it was just a matter of placing this dot in the 10-ring of the 100M target and depressing the trigger. Best group from the bench with my range bag for a rest was four out of five rounds touching in the middle of the 10-ring with basic 55gr handloads. And when cranked up to 9x, I can actually see my 5.56 bullet holes on the target, eliminating a need for the spotting scope at 100M. At longer ranges, I foresee great things coming from the mil-dot and serious ammunition. And since it's the same reticle system as my Savage M110's Super Sniper 10x, I don't have to try to learn another sighting system.
Now all it needs is a Harris bipod, a quality sling and mounts, and a suppressor, and it'll be all set.

Oh--and perhaps a case of two of 77gr. Mk262 ammo.

Set up thusly, I think she'll do anything I want done out to 600M or so. Anything past's the Savage, at least until I get the next planned project rifle in 6.5 Creedmore completed.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Dog Day Out

Because it was finally a nice day--under 90 degrees--I took the dogs out for breakfast.

We hit a local place with sidewalk dining and they hung out while I had breakfast. Then we wandered the French Quarter for a while and hit a few stores.

Belle found another dog in one that looked strangely familiar.

Murphy was not fooled, however.

Then we stopped by the local dog bakery for treats...and a drink.

Thirsty dogs.
Then on to an art gallery that they like.

Next, it was off to see our friend Anastasia...and get another drink.
You'd think I never give these dogs any water. I mean, I just gave them some yesterday. Sheesh.

Then a small second-line came by, attracting Belle's attention.
After Anastasia and I had coffee, I headed for home, doges in tow. And on the way we stopped off for a burger and a beer (for me) and bacon (for them) at another dog-friendly pub on the way home.
Happy dogs.

Now they're dead to the world and I can get some work done...right after my afternoon nap.'s good.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Sad end to a noble warship

So I was driving across the industrial canal the other day when I happened to catch a glimpse of a ship moored at the Lake Ponchartrain end. Lots of ships here, being one of America's largest seaports, but this one, what little I could see of it, had the sharp prow and superstructure of a warship. Those are NOT common here.

So yesterday I did a bit of exploring and found myself at the gate of the EMR scrap yard. I could see the ship back in there, but how to get to it? These places typically have pretty good security.

Sure enough, not two minutes into me reconnoiter, I was approached by their security guard, who wanted to know what I was doing there. Well screw it--I'm already blown, so I tried something new: I asked him about the ship. He said that it came in a few weeks ago for scrapping and that it was a "Desert Storm ship", but he didn't know anything else about it. I asked him if I could take a look at the ship and he threw me a bone and let me drive inside their outer fence to "turn around" so I could leave.

And I got these shots.

Coming home, a little internet snoopery turned up the information that this ship is the Ticonderoga-class cruiser, ex-Thomas S. Gates, (CG-51), being scrapped by EMR here in the city, the last of five warships that they were contracted to dispose of.

A sad end to a ship that only served for 18 years.

More on ex-Thomas S. Gates here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

And speaking of the AN-2.

This comes out the day after I post about one. Coincidence?

North Korea's antique airplane could be its most dangerous weapon yet

I think I need to get one now.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Yankee Air Museum (Pt. 2)

Other aircraft on display at the Yankee Air Museum are this nifty Spad S.XIII. It's a hand-built replica, but still pretty sharp.

And they've got a Republic F-84F "Thunderstreak" inside, too. This is one of two that they have.
This one is decked out on the colors of the Thurderbirds, the Air Force's exhibition team. The Thunderbirds actually started out flying the straightwinged version of this aircraft their first two years (1q953-1954) and transitioned to this model in 1955 when they were commanded by Jacksel Broughton, who had a very interesting Air Force career. (Get his books, Thud Ridge and Rupert Red Two.)
Here's a nice halftrack inside.
Brings back memories. In the late 80's, while still a teen living at home, I acquired title to one in much worse shape. Oh, the plans and dreams I had for that thing. But my father for some reason would not let me put it in our suburban back yard until I could make it run so I had to sell it where it was. Sigh. I think I got $300 for it.

Here's the other Thunderstreak outside, an RF-84K photo-reconnaissance variant known as the "Thunderflash". This one here was the last one to fly with the Michigan Air National Guard from nearly Selfridge ANGB.

Also outside is this Russian AN-2R Antonov biplane, a rugged utility aircraft produced in the Soviet Union from 1946 until 2001 and still in use around the world. It's known for being sturdy and dependable and able to carry heavy loads in and out of very small, rough strips.

Hopefully they get her moved indoors and cleaned up when their new museum building is finished.

If you're ever near Ypsilanti, Michigan, stop over and see this place. Just look for the B-52 out front.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Phound a Phantom (and other things with wings)!

So a brief visit into the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, MI, brought me into contact with this:
F-4 Phantom II, McDonnell-Douglas's finest creation--and proof that even a brick will fly if you give it big enough engines.

Hey Juvat, this button you told me about--it don't do anything. (I made sure to stand well off to the side when checking it out though.)

Yo, Old AF Sarge...Any of this look familiar?

I wonder why they would paint something like this on the aircraft?

This was in there, too.

Be still, my heart. It's a Cessna O-2A.
This humble warbird may not have had the power and punch of a Phantom or a Thud, but then again, it was the brains of airstrike, telling the fast-moving heavies where to put the bombs and rockets.
Two engines, centerline thrust. And three hundred pounds of radios allowing a very busy pilot to talk to units on the ground, fighter-bombers in the air and ATC and command back at base, all while trying to spot targets and dodge ground fire while flying low and slow right over the enemy.

Twice now I have seriously contemplated buying one. And someday perhaps...

They have a heckiflopter, too.
Bell UH-1D "Iroquois", better known as "Huey".
(Look familiar, Old NFO? I seem to recall a few of your stories revolving around these.)

They just got this one in:

A-4C Skyhawk! Cute little sucker, ain't it? Introduced in the mid-1950's, it could carry more bombs that a World War 2 B-17 and deliver them more accurately. It was also the smallest aircraft that could deliver a nuclear weapon at that time.

They did it up as Paul Galanti's bird. That's an honor well-deserved. (Hey Sarge, you might want to consider this warrior for your blog Honor Wall too.)

More later. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Well that was quick...but airplanes!

So Wednesday I flew up to Michigan to see family. But then as soon as I leave...Hurricane. So I had to call the airline up and turn around and come back on Friday. I need to be here for work and my friends and my stuff.

But while I was there, I saw THIS at Willow Run Airport.
Out on the ramp by the FBO--A Super Constellation!!

This Lockheed Constellation was the Navy variant of the old EC-121D "Warning Star" Early Warning aircraft, known in Navy talk as a WV-2 (because they always gotta rename everything). They were the military version of the Lockheed L-1049, a mediocre airliner that became a military classic.

Of course I had to go through the FBO and sweet-talk them into ramp access to go see it up close. Just to see if Old NFO's name was written on it somewhere, of course.

Looking a bit worse for the wear back here, but certainly fixable easily enough. I didn't know those control surfaces were fabric.

Super Connie nose. So sleek and tall. If planes were dogs, the Connie would be a greyhound.

Engines looking good. Pratt and Whitney R3550 powerplants and from where I stood I could see nothing missing on any of them. Love to try to spin one up.

Another engine view, with the dorsal radar antenna visible on top of the fuselage.

Big radome underneath too.
These things could monitor all sorts of radio communications, track numerous other flying aircraft (and missiles) and do all sorts of Secret Squirrel stuff back in their Cold War days.

Needs a little work, but the Yankee air Museum plans to make it fly again and put it on the airshow circuit in the next year or two!!

They just got this one here in July. Looks like it's last flight was back in 1983 though, and that one apparently didn't go too well.

History of BuN 141311

Can't wait to see it fly again. I'll support the Yankee Air Museum just for this!