Spit… I’m done with the NFL…

As a veteran, I’ve had it…

The players disrespecting the flag and the NFL ‘supporting’ their right to protest is so much bullshit! Yesterday was Gold Star Mother’s Day, and this is what those mothers saw? Really???

This is the same organization that wouldn’t allow decals in support of the Dallas Police officers killed, or tribute emblems to 9/11 among others, but this is okay?

One report I heard yesterday was that 70% of fans polled DID NOT like the protest, and felt it had no place on the field. It’s also been instructive to see the ‘lack’ of pans through the crowds that we usually see at the games…

The media and everybody else is pandering, saying there is nothing wrong, there’s no impact on anything, everything’s fine, yada, yada, yada…

But those who follow the money are saying something different… From Forbes, HERE; Fortune, HERE; CNN, HERE. And one more, this one is interesting, from Bloomberg Politics, HERE.

Apparently, only ONE Pittsburgh Steeler even showed up for the anthem, and that was Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who’d done three tours downrange. At least HE still respects what the flag and anthem stand for.

US Code does not specify any ‘rule’ about standing and saluting the flag,  it is a guide.  Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8. of the US Code, called “Respect for the Flag,” spells out the dos and don’ts when it comes to the national symbol. Like another section of the US Code, which describes the proper behavior during the singing of the national anthem—“all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart”—the “Respect the Flag” portion is a guide.

There is no federal punishment for violating it, but there is what appears to be a significant ‘financial’ punishment in the offing for what is going on…

But I can’t help but wonder how many of those supporting this and saying they have a right to protest, even if it is their workplace; would be happy if law enforcement, in uniform, started protesting Antifa or others while they were at work…

As for me, I’ll watch college football, at least they haven’t gotten stupid yet, and be happy with golf and racing on Sunday. NASCAR has a different take, HERE.

My response to all the protesters of the National Anthem…

From this day forward I will no longer watch, purchase tickets for events of the NFL, their teams or venues. Additionally, I will also no long support any sponsor of said leagues, their teams or venues including, but not be limited to, merchants, manufacturers, organizations, or vendors of licensed league products.
Signed
A Disgruntled Vietnam Veteran

Stole this from Jay G, but it’s pretty good…

Sigh…

I know better than to go by car shows…

Especially Corvette shows…

‘Fake’ 57, with an LT-1 motor in it… Sigh…

Real 57 Fuelie… With an automatic! The only thing that ‘spoiled’ this one was the hood scoop. But everything else was correct!!!

Pristine 62 Vette, all correct except the paint, lots of chrome, but a multiple show winner! And all the chrome was NOS (New Old Stock), I hate to think what that cost them!!!

Real 67, 427/435 all original except new paint! Beautiful!

The real deal!!!

‘Fake’ 67, with a 67 body dropped over a late model chassis and with an LS-7 powerplant.

Labor of love, this is the 67 GS replica that was destroyed a couple of years ago at an auction, where high winds blew the show tent down, destroying the body on this one. It was a 13 month evolution to restore it!

Even a correct GS frame under it!

And it is drivable and runs like a scalded dog!!! 😀

There were a lot of ‘new’ Corvettes there, but I didn’t waste any pictures on them. It was a really nice show, put on by Lone Star Corvettes, kudos to them, and all those who came out and brought their cars!

While I miss the camaraderie, I don’t miss the efforts to clean the car up after driving in, and I sure as hell don’t miss judging… There was always going to be at least one pissed off person, regardless of the event, the judges, or ‘some’ thing that sets them off!

Friends… Sigh…

Soooo… I’m minding my own business, and I get a text yesterday…

You want a lunch date? X3?

My first thought is who else… Hey, this isn’t the normal number.

Turns out it’s three high school classmates, coming through town, so I say sure! Figuring I’ll have a half hour to figure out what’s happening. Yeah, right…

So I call and ask where they are, of course they just passed the exit I was going to tell them for the restaurant, and I’m 20 minutes away from there.

Sigh… So I give them directions, jump in the car and haul it over to the restaurant and meet them for lunch, only to find that one lady doesn’t like BBQ… Double sigh…

But she likes shrimp! Yea, that’s also on the menu! We had a good time, got to hear of their ‘adventures’ in Colorado, and it was good to see them happy and enjoying themselves!

Sadly lunch was over too quickly, but they were on the tail end of the trip, and wanted to get home to their own beds (trust me, ‘I’ can identify with liking to sleep in your own bed, after a road trip)…

I’m truly glad I got a chance to see them, and it’s funny how, now that we’re approaching the 50th HS reunion in 2 years, folks are getting back in touch, and actually taking time to stop, smell the flowers, and do things like wild hare vacations. Most of us are now fully retired, or close enough for government work, and we’re trying to make up for all those vacations/trips we never got to take during our working careers.

So I’d say, send that text, make that call… You’ll probably make someone’s day, and might even get a free meal out of it! 😀

The Grey Man… Last tease…

Okay, one more tease, and I’m stopping until I finish the book…

As always, unedited….

Underfoot

Jesse huffed a stray strand of hair out of her face, looked around the display area and spotted the old farts as she thought of them, comfortably ensconced around the coffee pot. Walking over, she asked, “Tom, would you mind helping out behind the counter?”

Tom, looked up startled, “Me?”

“Yes Tom, you! You know guns, I’ve seen you helping people on the sly, thinking we aren’t seeing what you’re doing. And I’m too damn busy to help everybody. Besides, it’s time you earned your coffee.”

Ed, Bob, and Joe, the other three old farts laughed, and Ed snickered, “You go Tom. Take one for the team.”

Tom got up slowly, rising to his full five foot six inches, minus the badly bowed legs, which really made him about five foot four. Hitching his jeans up, he asked, “What you want me to do Mizz Jesse?”

“Just what you’ve been doing. Help people. For a broke down old cowboy, and one that claims he hates people, you seem to do a pretty damn good job of guiding people to make good decisions.”

Tom shrugged, “Kinda like herding cows, but they talk back. I jus’ answer their questions.” He stumped over to the end of the counter, followed by Jesse, and asked quietly, “Why me?”

Jesse leaned hipshot on the end of the counter, “Matt’s doing ranch stuff, and Khalil is going to be heading back to school in a month. We’re busier than I thought we would ever be, and I need to keep the books, do the BATF paperwork, and pay the bills. I can’t afford to get distracted in the middle of that. We’ll even pay you, how about twenty dollars an hour, plus coffee?”

Tom’s eyes got big, “You’re going to pay me? Just to stand back here and talk to people?”

Jesse shook her head, “Yes, we’re going to pay you. Why shouldn’t we?”

Tom leaned forward confidentially, “Well, if you’re a gonna pay me, you might want to know Ed and Joe are both retired Army DIs, and Bob is a dab hand tinkerer, he fixed my old Colt after it got out of time.”

Jesse glanced over at the other three, and mumbled, “Damn… Right under our noses…” That thought was interrupted by the cowbell over the door jangling as a mixed bag of folks came through the door as soon as Khalil unlocked it, some making for the coffee pot, others for the gun counter, and a couple of the young ones, for the play area at the far end of the display area.

Tom said, “I ain’t doin’ kids. Don’t know how. I’ll do big people.”

Khalil caught Jesse’s eye and waggled his fingers, asking which direction she wanted him to go. Jesse pointed to the kids’ area, and Khalil started that way with a nod. She hated dumping what she thought of as kiddie patrol on him, but he wasn’t twenty-one yet, so there were issues.

Fernando came through the door in a rush, “Sorry I’m late, had a flat…”

Jesse waved him off, “No problem. Shit happens. I don’t know how busy we’re going to be, but we may be shorthanded. Especially if a lot of folks want to shoot today. If you need help, grab Ed or Joe to help you out, and let me know how they do, okay?”

Fernando grinned, “I can do that. I’ll go get the ranges set up.”

***

At noon, Matt brought tamales, rice and beans, along with the usual jug of iced tea, and set them in the conference room, then walked over to the counter, catching Jesse’s attention, “Soup’s on.”

Jesse sighed, “Good, I’m starved and I haven’t slowed down all morning. This has just been nuts!”

“What’s up?”

“I don’t know for sure, I think it’s folks that are buying while the prices are down. I’ve got ten signed up for a class this weekend, and it’s only Tuesday.”

“Why’s Tom behind the counter?”

“I hired his ass. That old fart knows guns, and turns out he’s damn good with people, too!”

“Hired him?”

Jesse bristled, “Well, who showed up to work today? Me, Khalil, and Fernando. You’re doing ranch stuff, Felicia is watching the kids, Aaron is sleeping, and there were ten people at the door when we got ready to open. I don’t want folks to have to wait, and the old farts have been underfoot, damn near since day one, but they have also been helping out on the side anyway. I may hire all of them!”

Matt held up his hands, “Whoa! I’m not…”

Jesse laid a hand on his arm, “Sorry. It’s… well, that time of the month, and… Dammit, we need help. Apparently it’s been under our noses the entire time, and we just didn’t realize it.”

Matt cocked his head, and Jesse continued, “Two retired Army DIs apparently, both of whom are former range officers, and a shade tree mechanic, who’ve been drinking our coffee since damn near the day we opened.

“Damn… Are you going to put them on the payroll?”

“Of course. Part time, full time, whatever they’ll do. I’ll take care of the paperwork today. We need to find somebody to replace Khalil too, he’s got to go back to school.”

“Let me see if Ernesto has any friends that want to work part time. What are we going to pay them?”

Jesse cocked her head, “Well, we’re paying Fernando twenty an hour, and I don’t think it would be fair to pay them any less.”

Matt winced, “That’s a lot, just to work the counter or do range… Never mind. Safety… I wasn’t thinking.” Glancing at the clock on the wall, he continued, “I gotta go move cows. Tell Fernando we’ll be working north of the thousand yard range this afternoon.”

“You want to close it?”

“Yeah, let’s do that just to be on the safe side.”

“Okay.”

***

Aaron came through the door at a little after five to see Tom, Ed, Bob, and Joe sitting at the table, filling out paperwork, with Jesse standing over them. Aaron cocked his head, “Should I ask?”

Jesse grinned, “Meet our newest employees.”

“What?”

“I hired all these old reprobates today.”

Ed grumbled, “Hey, I resemble that.”

Tom laughed, “You are that, Ed.”

“Ah shaddap, you’re not anything to look at yourself, ya old fart.”

Aaron interrupted, “Why, may I ask?”

Jesse replied, “Well, it’s actually pretty simple. They’ve been drinking free coffee since damn near day one, and we were shorthanded today.  I put Tom behind the counter. Ed and Bob, who, by the way, are both certified NRA instructors and range officers, in addition to being retired Army, worked the ranges with Fernando, and Joe put on five sets of sights and sighted in three rifles for customers. I’ve already told them we’re hiring them as part-time employees, so they can work when they want.”

Aaron took one look at Jesse’s expression, and said, “Yes, dear.”

He was saved as Toad and Cindy came through the front door, surprising everybody. Jesse said, “You’re early!”

Cindy laughed, “I took a half-day, and Toad was done at nine this morning. He’s been frothing at the mouth to get whatever he was working on finish…”

Toad, with an injured expression, interrupted, “I was not frothing, drooling maybe, but not frothing!” He shook hands with Aaron, then slapped him on the back, “How goes it?”

Aaron chuckled, Same o, same o… Another day in the trenches.” Turning to the guys, still sitting at the table and watching the byplay, he said, “And these are our new employees. Tom is…”

Tom got up, whipping off his cowboy hat, Ma’am, Tom Kline. Broke down ol’ cowboy. Now I guess I’m a gun seller.” He shook Toad’s hand, “You’re Matt and Aaron’s buddy, right?”

Toad laughed, “I wonder some times.” Ed, Bob, and Joe got up and introduced themselves, hands were shaken, and Toad disappeared into the back room, with Joe in trail.

Jesse grabbed Cindy, “Come on, let’s go up to the house. You guys finish the paperwork at leave it on the table. I’ll get it in the morning. Aaron, would you make sure everything is closed down and lock the door on your way out?” She gave him a peck on the cheek, as she and Cindy went out the door, whispering and laughing.

Aaron rolled his eyes, “Women…” Prompting a laugh from the guys, as they went back to filling out the paperwork.

Bob said, “I noticed you didn’t say that until they were out of hearing…”

Aaron chuckled, “I have learned a few things. And I do appreciate you guys being willing to help out.”

A loud ‘Gahdammit!’ was heard down the hallway, and Aaron shook his head, “This ain’t good. It usually takes Toad at least fifteen minutes to get this pissed.”

Tom asked, “Why?”

“Toad’s an armorer first, and a gun builder second. Something isn’t fitting exactly like he wants, and he’s getting pissed. Which means he’s about to…”

A loud ‘clang’ echoed down the hall, and Aaron continued, “Get out the big hammer.” He started down the hall, with the guys following him into the shop portion of the building. Tom hung back a little, not sure if he wanted to be in the shop with a pissed off Marine, but finally shrugged and straggled in behind the others.

Toad was standing at the workbench, mumbling to himself as he screwed an action into a barrel held in the barrel vise, while Joe, eyes bugging a little bit, holding a big wrench in his hands. Aaron looked around and asked, “What was that all about?”

Toad glanced up, “Damn McMillan makes their stocks tight,” gesturing at the A5 stock lying on the bench, “I test fitted the action, and couldn’t get the sumbitch back out. Had to have Joe give it a whack. Ain’t doin’ that again until I’ve got a barrel on it, and can get a good grip to pry it out if I need to.”

“Remington seven hundred?”

“Yep, long action. Reamed the receiver threads, squared the receiver lugs, squared the receiver face, lapped the bolt lugs, and squared the bolt face. Once I get this barrel on, I’ll try that again.”

“Schneider?”

With a grunt, Toad put another 1/8th inch turn on the action, then stepped back, “What else? I know his barrels, been using them my entire career. Now comes the fun part.”

“Um, I’m gonna send the guys home, no need for them to stand here and listen to you cuss.”

***

An hour later, Aaron’s phone beeped with a text, YOU COMING TO SUPPER OR NOT? Aaron quickly typed, BE THERE IN 10! Turning to Toad he said, “We’re being summoned. It’s chow now or the couch later.”

Toad looked critically at the almost completely assembled rifle on the bench, “Oh well, I couldn’t sight it in tonight anyway. Guess we might as well go eat.”

Aaron shook his head, “Does Cindy let you get away with that at home?”

“Oh hell no. Most nights I’m cooking, since she’s usually late getting home. I forgot once, that was all it took. Found out she doesn’t like pizza.”

“What? She doesn’t like…”

“Apparently never has, and to quote her, never will, unquote.”

Toad flipped off the light, and followed Aaron out as he locked up the shop. Stepping out on the front porch, they saw that it was already twilight, and Aaron said, “At least the business isn’t losing money.”

Toad looked at him, surprised, “What brought that on?”

“We’ve been running on a shoestring, basically with no employees other than family, and Khalil and Fernando. I guess Jesse’s decided we can’t do anymore ourselves, without… I dunno, burnout? I was getting to the point that I was starting to dread having a day off from the department, knowing I’d have to come work down here. I can’t remember when we actually took a day, maybe the fourth was the last time.”

“Damn, that was four months ago! Y’all haven’t taken a day off since then?”

“Well, technically Sunday and Monday are days off, but we do church, then come back here and do stocking, cleaning and maintenance, and I’m usually on the schedule one way or the other on Monday. And Jesse usually comes in then to do the books, and take any deliveries, so no…”

As they started up the steps, Aaron continued, “Don’t say anything, please.” Toad nodded as they walked in the house, “Lemme dump my junk and I’ll be right there.”

Toad was pounced on by Boo Boo, closely followed by Yogi, then Jace. Toad picked him up and flipped him in the air, prompting childish laughter and, “Again!” Toad continued playing with him as he walked into the kitchen, nodded to the old man and plopped Jace in his high chair.

The old man handed Toad a glass of tea, and smiled, “What are you building now, Toad?”

“Thanks! Putting together an M40A-5 for one of the guys I drill with. He’s a scout sniper, but because of the weird rules, he can’t check his gun out to practice with, other than on drill weekends. So he wants something to take to the range on a more regular basis.”

“Smart move, but kinda expensive isn’t it?”

Toad shrugged, “I’m building it for him at cost, but don’t tell Cindy.”

A pair of arms came around Toad’s chest and Cindy asked, “Don’t tell Cindy what? That you’re not charging Michael for building his rifle? I knew that.” She gave him a hug, then went to help Jesse and Felicia get the food on the plates.

After dinner, the old man took a cup of coffee out to the front porch, enjoying the cool breeze, the starry night, and the momentary peace and quiet as he sat on the steps. Toad came out and asked, “Mind if I join you?”

“Feel free. You ever play with old guns?”

“How old?”

“Late eighteen hundreds. Say eighteen seventy-three and on?”

Toad cocked his head, “What did you have in mind?”

The old man nodded toward the office, “Got a few old ones in the safe that I’d like to get checked out.”

He didn’t see the grin that crossed Toad’s face, but he heard the wistfulness in his voice, “I’d love to, sir. You pick ‘em, I’ll fix ‘em.”

 

TBT…

Looked like we were in for a repeat of yesterday’s weather, but this time I got a picture as it cued up…

Beautiful colors as the sun was setting, but you can see the thunderbumpers building to the west… The sun was low enough that it was hitting the high Cumulus, as the line started building in. the rain actually held off until about 9pm, then came down in buckets for about 5 minutes, then quit…

Weather is fickle, as we’ve seen, and please keep those in Puerto Rico in your prayers, they got hit really hard, and they don’t have the means to recover like we do on the mainland…

Weather…

Living on the dry line is just ‘such’ fun sometimes…

It’s the dotted red line cutting through Kansas, Oklahoma and north Texas. And pretty much right over our houses!

Dry Line, also known as a Marfa line (After Marfa, Texas, which is the ‘southern’ end of the line) is a boundary separating moist and dry air masses, and an important factor in severe weather frequency in the Great Plains. It typically lies north-south across the central and southern high Plains states during the spring and early summer, where it separates moist air from the Gulf of Mexico (to the east) and dry desert air from the southwestern states (to the west). The dry line typically advances eastward during the afternoon and retreats westward at night. However, a strong storm system can sweep the dry line eastward into the Mississippi Valley, or even further east, regardless of the time of day. A typical dry line passage results in a sharp drop in humidity (hence the name), clearing skies, and a wind shift from south or southeasterly to west or southwesterly. (Blowing dust and rising temperatures also may follow, especially if the dry line passes during the daytime. These changes occur in reverse order when the dry line retreats westward. Severe and sometimes tornadic thunderstorms often develop along a dry line or in the moist air just to the east of it, especially when it begins moving eastward.

It pretty much goes right over us in North Texas, and yesterday was a perfect example…

Hot and sunny until about 1540, then ‘pop up’ clouds started forming, pretty much on a north/south line. And it started cooling off, quickly!

94 down to 72 in less than an hour.

And then it sat on top of us for almost two hours, building and building and dumping rain. Right at 1 1/2 inches 1600 to 1730. Add lightning, and winds gusting to probably 40 kts, and it got a little interesting…

But, as far as I know, nothing ‘major’ developed out of this particular one…

Rednecks…

Got this one from a couple of different sources, including Houston, Florida, and South Louisiana today…

Author unknown, but pretty much on the money…

Hundreds and hundreds of small boats pulled by countless pickups and SUVs from across the South are headed for Houston or Florida. Almost all of them driven by men. They’re using their own property, sacrificing their own time, spending their own money, and risking their own lives for one reason: to help total strangers in desperate need.

Most of them are by themselves. Most are dressed like the redneck duck hunters and bass fisherman they are. Many are veterans. Most are wearing well-used gimme-hats, t-shirts, and jeans; and there’s a preponderance of camo. Most are probably gun owners, and most probably voted for Trump.

These are the people the Left loves to hate, the ones Maddow mocks. The ones Maher and Olbermann just *know* they’re so much better than. These are The Quiet Ones. They don’t wear masks and tear down statues. They don’t, as a rule, march and demonstrate.

But they’ll spend the next several days wading in cold, dirty water; dodging gators and water moccasins and fire ants; eating whatever meager rations are available; and sleeping wherever they can in dirty, damp clothes. Their reward is the tears and the hugs and the smiles from the terrified people they help. They’ll deliver one boatload, and then go back for more.

When disaster strikes, it’s what men do. Real men. Heroic men. American men. White men, Black men, Asian men, Hispanic men. And then they’ll knock back a few shots, or a few beers with like-minded men they’ve never met before, and talk about fish, or ten-point bucks, or the benefits of hollow-point ammo, or their F-150.

And the next time they hear someone talk about “the patriarchy”, or “male privilege”, they’ll snort, turn off the TV, if they have one, and go to bed.

In the meantime, they’ll likely be up again before dawn. To do it again. Until the helpless are rescued. And the work’s done.

They’re unlikely to be reimbursed. There won’t be medals. They won’t care. They’re the unsung heroes. And it’s what heroes do, get the job done and move on to the next job, or go home and resume their daily lives.

This is what built America… And NOT what the left wants to hear, or admit… Where are the volunteers from Antifa? Where are their donations to the relief efforts?

Crickets…

Back in Battery…

Country drives…

You find some interesting things…

Like wild marshmallows that need harvesting!

Seriously, I can’t remember seeing this much hay stacked in the fields in a long time! Hay’s going to be cheep this year!

One wag, either bored or tired of waiting for TXDOT, cut the ‘hay’ on the right of way for about 1/4 mile, on 82 between Sherman and Bonham, and got EIGHT rolls of hay!

The other interesting thing is to see an old airliner basically sitting in the middle of nowhere…

It’s an old Martin 404, sitting at a duster strip outside Paris, Texas… It seems totally out of place, as there doesn’t even look like there is an airport there…

However, there IS more to the story…

The former home of the Flying Tiger Airport, Junior Burchinal’s passion, and home of a number of WWII warbirds, in addition to his duster strip. I can remember in the 1960s seeing a variety of ‘strange’ airplanes when we drove by there… You can read more about it, HERE.

Nothing like that could happen today… sigh…

Still busy…

Go read the folks on the sidebar, I should be back in battery tomorrow.

Oh yeah, and always check those grocery bags before you throw them out…

On the road…

Doing some stuff, and had to drive across North Texas heading east. Quite an amazing change from 4 years ago, when I made the same drive. Back then, it was dead grass, empty stock ponds, and no stock to be seen.

Yesterday, it was quite different!  The grass was still green (this time of the year it should be sere, brown and crunchy), the stock ponds were brim full, and therer were some FAT cows chowing down in the green fields…

That one white face is ROUND!!! Wow…

I’m helping friends today and tomorrow, so there will be light commenting and posting. Go read the folks on the sidebar!