A new Perspectives is up

For those who enjoyed the last Perspectives, a new one is up at Law Dog Files, Ambulance Driver, and Babs. Bring Kleenex…

These folks give you a perspective that not many know of, or ever see on the inter-relationships of their jobs dealing with the public sector and how they cope with them.

Go- Read- You will not be bored!

I feel better now…

A couple of us decided to get out an do something to relieve the stress and frustration, so we loaded up and away we went.

It was time to go shoot something…

Of course it is a ‘little’ chilly up here, 38 degrees when we started but not bad.
I took the big boy toy out to check and see if I had put everything back together right and it would actually hit the backstop.

The picture is the M-24 with US Optics SN-6 sitting on the shooting bench. I was shooting .308 FGMM 168 gr.

As you can see, it wasn’t a real bright day, medium overcast with about 5 knots of wind. We traded off spotting for each other so at least someone was getting warm (and we burned about 1/4 tank of gas), but at least the fingers worked most of the time…

One of the guys was trying to figure out why he had missed two deer last weekend, so we started with him. His first round was 11 inches LEFT of the bull!!! No wonder he missed the deer! Somehow his scope had been knocked seriously out of alignment between his sight-in and first shot, so it was back to square one…

Break out the tools, some disassembly required, and ye olde boresight alignment at least got him a little closer. We finally got him pretty much on the bull, when suddenly intermittent rounds started going 2-3 inches low… WTH????

Rechecked everything, all tight, no slop anywhere. Okay, back on the bench- Two rounds in the bull, then one 2 inches low… One of the guys was picking up brass and noticed there were two different headstamps! Turns out he had grabbed his son’s ammo pouch, which had both 150 gr. and 170 gr. rounds! Mystery solved…

The temp was dropping so I only shot about 20 rounds, but I’m happy with the results.

Target on the left is 100 yards, cold bore dead center, total group .78″ for five shots. Target on the right is 300 yards, cold bore dead center, total group with the flyer 2.95″ without the flyer 2.0″. I’ll take that, especially with the cold and numb fingers!

The gunsmith did an OUTSTANDING job of smoothing the trigger out and setting the break at just over 3lb. This rifle is truly a sub-MOA gun, even with me shooting it!

At this point, it was about 34 degrees so we decided to shoot one round each of plates at 15 yards with the carry pieces and loser had to buy the coffee.

I didn’t have to buy!

I don’t know about the rest of the guys, but I feel MUCH better now (or will when I warm up). Now I’ve got to go clean everything…

When you really get lonely for the sea

For all the old Sailors and Marines out there…

A few suggestions on what to do when you really get lonely for the sea

1. Sleep on the shelf in your closet. Replace the closet door with a curtain. Six hours after you go to sleep, have your spouse whip open the curtain, shine a flashlight in your eyes, and mumble “sorry, wrong rack”.
2. Renovate your bathroom; build a wall across the middle of your bathtub and move the shower head down to chest level. When you take showers, make sure you shut off the water while soaping up.
3. Every time there is a thunderstorm, go sit in a wobbly rocking chair and rock as hard as you can until your are nauseous
4. Put lube oil in your humidifier instead of water and set it to “high”.
5. Don’t watch TV except movies in the middle of the night. Also, have your family vote on which movie to watch, then show a different one.
6. Leave the lawn mower running in your living room six hours a day for proper noise level.
7. Have the paper boy give you a haircut.
8. Once a week blow compressed air up through your chimney, making sure the wind carries the soot across and onto your neighbor’s house. Laugh at him when he curses you.
9. Buy a trash compacter and only use it once a week. Store up garbage in the other side of your bathtub.
10. Wake up every night at midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale bread, if anything. (optional: canned ravioli or cold soup)
11. Make up your family menu a week ahead of time without looking in your food cabinets or refrigerator.
12. Set your alarm clock to go off at random times during the night. When it goes off, jump out of bed and get dressed as fast as you can; then run into your yard and break out the garden hose.
13. Once a month take every major appliance completely apart and then put them back together.
14. Use 18 scoops of coffee per pot and allow it to set for 5 hours before drinking. (optional: add a dash of kerosene for taste and the proper oil slick)
15. Invite at least 85 people you don’t really like to come visit for a couple of months.
16. Have a fluorescent lamp installed on the bottom of your coffee table and lie under it to read books.
17. Raise the threshold and lower the top sill on your front and back doors so that you either trip over the threshold or hit your head on the sill every time you pass through one of them.
18. Lockwire the lugnuts on your car.
19. When making cakes, prop up one side of the pan while it is baking. Then spread icing really thick on one side to level off the top.
20. Every so often, throw your cat in the swimming pool, shout “Man overboard, ship recovery!”, run into the kitchen and sweep all the pots/pans/dishes off the counter onto the floor, then yell at your spouse for not having the place” stowed for sea”.
21. Put on the headphones from your stereo (don’t plug them in). Go stand in front of the stove; say, to no one in particular, “Stove manned and ready”. Stand there for 3 or 4 hours; say, to no one in particular, “Stove secured”. Roll up the headphone cord and put them away.

The other option is take out a good bottle of Scotch and pull the cruise book off the shelf 🙂

More shootings… Where does it end

Yet another series of shootings has taken place in Las Vegas, the target, high school kids. My thoughts and prayers go out to those injured and the families of the dead and injured…

Sadly, I can just see the gun grabbers salivating over the incidents of the past two weeks, mark my words, there will be a BIG push for more gun laws as soon as the new year hits; not enforcement of existing, but more laws…

What I find interesting is what is not being reported:

The mall in Omaha was a gun free zone, posted against everyone including concealed carry permits. Did anyone see THAT on the news? I didn’t think so…

How many lives could have been saved if someone had been carrying that day????

The church shootings in Colorado were stopped by an armed female church member who volunteered to assist in standing security watches at the church. It so happens she is a former Minneapolis PD officer and has a concealed carry permit.

How many lives did this lady save??? Who knows, since this was at the end of Sunday services… 50? 100? This punk had already killed five people (two in the church parking lot) and had multiple weapons and plenty of ammunition.

A number of other bloggers Captain America, Wyatt, Better and Better to name a few, who in the public service (read fire/LEO) have chimed in on this, the media coverage and the real issues that are NOT being covered…

To me and my little pea brain, these happenings point out the fact that we are responsible for our own protection- We cannot and should not expect LEO’s to be on the scene immediately, the odds are they will be 5-7 minutes in transit at best. As exhibited by the VT shootings, even with arrival within 3 minutes, the need to set up and control the area prevents any fast response (and 33 deaths and 28 wounded in that case).

To me, if nothing else, these shootings point out that if someone wants to get a gun they will… Mental health cases and criminals do not care about laws; to them they mean nothing. When people like this plan something like this (and yes, I DO believe all these instances are planned) part of that plan is to get a weapon, either steal it, borrow it, or buy it as a last resort. And there are plenty illegal ones available.

In NONE of these cases will more gun laws help. What will help is to actually report mental health cases, stop trying to hide little Johnny’s rage issues and behaviour behind a privacy label. Then enforce the laws already on the books…

The hard parts are- you need more police and that is a major budget issue; overcrowding in the jails, another major budget issue; and plea bargains that get felons off with a slap on the wrist for armed robbery among other things…

Another thing that should be re-instituted is victim’s and protector’s rights. Right now it seems the only rights accrue to the criminal thanks to the American Criminal Liberties Union.

Until the city, county, state leaders step up and pony up the $$, nothing will happen. I really don’t expect to see real enforcement in my lifetime, simply because really doing it right costs too much. We were talking at work today about this, and an interesting point was made- One person believed his Grandchildren will grow up in private enclaves in places like Vermont, Georgia, Texas or Arizona. These places will be armed enclaves because he believes anarchy will happen here in the next 20-30 years… That is a pretty sad indictment on the US and it’s current state of affairs…

As an aside, in the last year or so, there has been a big debate in Virginia over open carry, the Washington Compost ran a couple of articles and man-in-the street type reports- One of those interviewed was a criminal in DC who said something to the effect that he was scared to try to rob somebody in Virginia cause he might get shot!!!

Well, Duh!!! That guy got the point- It’s not so easy if you are not sure you are the only one with a gun… Mr. or Mrs. Soft Target might just turn around and blow your head off.

Another is the cases in both England and Australia, guns banned and/or confiscated nationwide! er… except for the criminals, who are now free to rape/rob/murder without fear of their lives… Brits who defend themselves from criminals with knives are now being prosecuted and criminals go free, because they were able to ditch the gun before being apprehended.

FBI crime statistics revealed drops in major crimes against persons when concealed carry was instituted- Va and Texas both dropped over 30% if I remember correctly. Florida also dropped a considerable amount.

What can we do??? I think it comes down to three choices- learn to protect yourself and your loved ones, get a CCP (and carry religiously), alter your habits to maintain an awareness of surroundings, refuse to do business with places that do not permit concealed carry; or continue to be blissfully ignorant of what is happening in the world around you and be a target for the criminals, or live in fear that ‘something’ is going to happen, or move next door to the police department and hope they can protect you.


Arlington Wreath Project

Since this is December 7th, I can’t think of a better post to make thank this. USS Arizona, Dec 7, 1941 L.B Curtis, L.C. Curtis, RIP…

A Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

‘What are you doing?’ I asked without fear,
‘Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!’

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said ‘Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.’

‘It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,’
Then he sighed, ‘That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.’

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.’
‘So go back inside,’ he said, ‘harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.’

‘But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
‘Give you money,’ I asked, ‘or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.’

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
‘Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.’

PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum , Iraq

Nuff Said…

Everett over at Island Voice has an excellent post up about congresscritters and what they are costing us now, and may cost us in the future.

I am in complete agreement with Ev, but howthehell do we get term limits passed???

At the grassroots level, everyone favors it; but try to go any further and you hit the proverbial brick (read congresscritter) wall. I will be the first to admit I don’t know enough about the law and congress to be confident of this, but I ‘think’ this would take an Amendment to actually get it done for all 50 states.

The US Term Limits organization seems to be about the only one out there that is working the issue, and that is primarily at the state level. If you check out their web site, there are a number of states where the critters are trying to overturn/reword the term limits already passed.

I guess once they see the amount of money they can get out of DC, the average critter just can’t let go…

Look at Kennedy, what 40 years plus now for a slob like that- What the hell are the people in Mass thinking, or are they????

I thought it was rather interesting this past week to watch the flailing about over CNN’s screw up and trying to pawn partisan democrats off as uncommitted voters for the You Tube Republican Debate (debacle was more like it).

It was even more interesting to watch the MSM both print and TV and see the lack of coverage… Anybody still think there is no agenda out there to support liberals and democrats????

What ever happened to just reporting the news, not posturing the news or slanting the news to fit one’s agenda???? Huh????

Where is another Edward R. Murrow when we really need one?

There is still a small plaque in the lobby of CBS headquarters in New York City which contains the image of Edward R. Murrow and the inscription: “He set standards of excellence that remain unsurpassed.” During his 25-year career he made more than 5000 broadcasts; and more than anyone else, he invented the traditions of television news. Murrow and his team essentially created the prototype of the TV documentary with See It Now, and later extended the technological reach of electronic newsgathering in Small World (1958-59), which employed simultaneous hookups around the globe to facilitate unrehearsed discussion among several international opinion leaders. Most of Murrow’s See It Now associates were reassembled to produce CBS Reports in 1961, although Murrow was only an infrequent participant in this new series. Over the years, he had simply provoked too many trying situations for CBS and the network’s hierarchy made a conscious decision to reduce his profile. The apparent irony between Edward R. Murrow’s life and the way that he is subsequently remembered today is that the industry that finally had no place for him, now holds Murrow up as their model citizen — the “patron saint of American broadcasting.”

Instead we get Katie Couric… sigh…

Pardon me while I go bang my head against the wall…

Gotta love Southern Humor

This one is simply too good not to post…

And here is some political humor (more or less) to go with it…

‘If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.’ -Mark Twain

Suppose you were an idiot. And then suppose you were a member of Congress… But then I repeat myself. -Mark Twain

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. – George Bernard Shaw

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. -G. Gordon Liddy

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. -James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. -Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. -P.J. O’Rourke, Civil Libertarian

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. -Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. -Ronald Reagan (1986)

I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. -Will Rogers

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free! -P.J. O’Rourke

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. -Voltaire (1764)

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you Pericles (430 B.C.)

No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. -Mark Twain (1866 )

Talk is cheap…except when Congress does it. -Unknown

The government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. -Ronald Reagan

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. -Winston Churchill

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. -Mark Twain

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of their folly is to fill the world with fools. -Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

There is no distinctly Native American criminal class…save Congress. -Mark Twain

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. -Edward Langley, Artist (1928 – 1995)

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -Thomas Jefferson

Another one of THOSE weeks…

This is one of those weeks I shoulda taken vacation…


Monday- Late in because I had to pick up a prescription that actually had a refill on it (gee what a novel concept). Get my ass chewed because I missed a meeting; said meeting was CALLED at 0800 and I didn’t get to work till 0900… Week is off to a great start, and oh by the way, I have to be in San Diego tomorrow.

Jump through hoops, get plane ticket, early flight, lousy seats; cheeeep hotel close to meeting.

Miss lunch, start meeting at noon which runs till 1600. Play catch up till 1700, go to lunch finally…

Tuesday- Zero dark 30 get up, haul ass to the airport, of course there is a wreck at the airport off ramp… FINALLY get to the airport, run through, get on just before they close the door, manage to finally find a place for the bag (10 rows behind my seat), get a ‘lovely’ middle seat between an over sized lady and some guy that had WAY too much garlic; why does this remind me of the joke about sardines in the can? Two hours of sitting like Jack Benny and I finally get a chance to get up, so I stroll back aft to get a cup of coffee- Flight attendant is NOT having a good day, so I basically get my cup of coffee and a ration of s**t…

Five plus hours later we finally get to San Diego, I find out I’m the default duty driver for all three of us; except that the car rental agency doesn’t have a car for me or the other 10 people in line. Finally get a car an hour later, so much for priority service.

Get t0 the 1230 meeting at 1300, boss is pissed I’ve made him late…

Engineers don’t understand they have to meet deadlines; get into three way pissing contest us, on site program manager and engineer.

Go sit in the corner before I say something I REALLY shouldn’t say…

Five hours later the three hour meeting STILL isn’t over. The boss is in a high hover, the rest of us are just trying to stay out of the frag pattern when he goes off. Decision is made to continue Wed am so tempers can calm down.

Wed- Wide awake at 0300, can’t get back to sleep, so get up handle work email, etc… Take co-worker back to airport at 0600 so he can get home for wife’s birthday, back to hotel, pickup boss, off to the meeting.

Meeting reconvenes at 0800 and off we go again…

I manage to piss off everybody including the boss by injecting reality into the meeting, it is NOT well received…

Note to self: Get tattoo on forehead- Engineers do not understand reality- engineering never ends, there is no requirement to actually produce anything!


Meeting is stopped at 1700 to hold a “management” meeting. I lose the war, but at least I win one battle… okay, maybe a skirmish???

All the way to dinner the boss is gnawing on me, maybe if I get lucky I’ll get fired…

Nope, just get handed a tasker that has every chance to blow up in my face…

Well, at least I don’t have to go back to the meeting tomorrow, I get another sardine can back to the East Coast, no chance in hell of an upgrade, and a 0600 show time.

I get back, I’m gonna go find the masochistic sumbitch that told me I was going to have fun with this job and beat him within .00001 inch of his life…


Interesting perspectives…

Well, I stirred up a can of worms at Thanksgiving lunch by accident…

Let me set the stage here. There were probably 25-30 people present ranging in age from 12-89; of those three were in their 80’s (husband-WWII vet 101st Airborne, wife and wife’s sister), fourteen of us between 50 and 60 (six couples, two stragglers; five veterans- primarily Vietnam), six in their mid-20’s (two couples, two stragglers; one National Guard), and three to seven kids 12-17 at various times.

I was asked by the kid in the Guard, who is just back from a second tour, what my perspective was since I work in DC, I told him based on what I was seeing, we were definitely gaining on the problems in Iraq, and Afghanistan was a break even, better if Bhutto gets back in and gets us into the tribal areas where bin Laden is hiding.

One of the old ladies overheard my comment and basically called me a liar, she said that was NOT what she had seen on the news, or read in the papers and how could I possibly know, etc…

The next question I asked was, “Well, what news are you talking about?”

Her answer, echoed by her sister was CBS, NBC, ABC, they didn’t believe cable news.

The wife of the lawyer in our age group piped up that she agreed, because she listened to NPR and they were ‘official sources’ so they had to be right. She also said she watched a lot of the news shows; Oprah, Dr. Phool, etc. and they all said we were losing.

The former Recon Marine, whose son asked the original question, jumped in and said he agreed with me, so did the rest of the veterans. Of course the lawyer just had to jump in, and he pretty much parrotted the “we’ve lost and need to bring the boys home, it was all about oil and no WMDs, and, and…

The 89 year old rather succinctly called B.S. on the lawyer in language I won’t use here 🙂 He then started in on his wife and sister about how they were being brainwashed by TV and the papers and that they needed to listen to the people who were actually there.

The wife of the kid in the Guard spoke up, and she said everything she was hearing from the other wives was that progress was being made, but it was slow and dangerous. She admitted she had been scared s**tless while her husband had been gone, but believed in him and the Commanders that it was the right thing. The other young couple agreed, and said they were getting their information from the Internet and cable.

One of the wives in our age group chimed in that she listened to talk radio and regularly surfed the Internet to stay abreast of what was happening. She also said they almost never watched the mainstream media, just CNN, Fox News, Discovery and History channels, and sports.

The seventeen year old boy was asked what he thought and he indicated he wanted to go into the Marines like his dad had done. When asked why, he gave a rather interesting answer for a 17 year old- “Well, I see what kind of a man it made my Daddy, and I don’t think I could do better, and a lot of the teachers don’t tell the truth in class. I know I’m not ready to go to college, so if I go in the Marines, I’ll learn a lot and get money for college too. I’m not scared of the fighting, or guns, cause we’ve always had guns and Daddy taught me right.”

Of course Daddy was beaming, and so was Momma, but Grandmother threw an absolute hissy fit…

Bottom line I gathered- Media definitely controls viewpoints. The older generation that is not computer literate and doesn’t watch cable are getting nothing but the MSM point of view. Lawyers and soccer moms are tending the same way adding NPR to the mix. Working parents and veterans are using their experiences, cable news and the Internet to form an opinion based on multiple inputs. The younger generation is living the war with family members going over, and they are using the Internet and networking to get the real scoop unfiltered by any media organizations.