Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Videos from The Blogger Shoot

At the blogger shoot I palled around with Ryan Finn from thetruthaboutguns.com He was kind enough to shoot some video of me shooting.  Here's some of the fun we had.

First, the venerable M16.  Yes, a real one.  Not an AR:
Then a Thompson.Yep a real Tommy Gun:
Next a M1919:
And an MG34:
Here are some other Toys I shot.  That's me behind the camera this time. And only the Czech's would think that 7.62x54R would make a good machine gun round.
Of course they have to be "fed"
 Other fun:

That's just a taste of what we did ALL DAY LONG !!!  Yep, I'm still smiling and can't wait to go back next year !!!!  Thanks again to LuckyGunner.com for inviting us !!!

Gun Skul

The second day of the LuckyGunner.com Blogger shoot there were to be classes from Rangemaster.com on Defensive Pistol and Defensive Shotgun.  You could sign up for either or both.  These were to be distilled versions of their 16 hour-two day courses that they normally offer.  Keep in mind that we are all gun bloggers and, in theory, should have extensive knowledge, skills, and abilities on both firearms.

Naturally, I arrived on the short bus.  Keep in mind that I live in Illinois, so I don't get a chance to wear the necessary CCW or Open Carry kit every day.  So, I'm not entirely comfortable with my gear, nor is it "broken in", so I'm already handicapped there.  Then the next problem.  I love the 1911 platform, well because:

However, I have short, squat, fat sausages for fingers, and I have the factory grips on the gun.   LynnAnn Givens, one of Rangemasters' instructors quickly pointed out that I definitely need very thin grips. Which also means that double stack magazine guns are just right out for me.

Anywho, Tom Givens is a great instructor, he combines the lesson with some humor to make the point and message stick.  However, this class was like drinking from a firehose.  He taught it "By The Numbers", but there was so much information, especially about the proper grip, stance and the draw sequence to take in, for someone [adjusts dunce's cap] all at once.  I understood the message, but there just wasn't the time to practice enough to get each step, well not perfect, but right.   Especially me, the guy down at the end of the line with the new and improperly fitted  gear.  It wasn't that I was sweeping my neighbor or the line with my gun, but things like:  I needed to get my hand up higher on the gun. My support hand needed to wrapped tighter on my shooting hand.  My thumbs need to be pointed up.  The mechanics of getting the my body, aka  "The Shooting Platform" setup for the shot.   I sucked.  Badly.

The good news is that both Tom and LynnAnn are good instructors and more importantly, I was a willing student.  I didn't go there with the attitude that "I know everything about it."  But instead wanted to learn.   When LynnAnn corrected my thumbs (for the 12th time), it was always with  the idea of instilling knowledge and developing the right skills. 

The good news is that I now have the knowledge.  And as Tom pointed out, most of this can be practiced at home with a unloaded firearm.   Make sure it's unloaded, and then check it again.  Check one more time just to be sure.   But practice each step, then once you master that step, add the next step.   Do that until your doing all the steps perfectly each time.   It may (in my case will) take some time, but once you got all the steps mastered, then two, or four times a week, practice the complete presentation 20-30+ times.   Studies show that you will develop muscle memory, it becomes automatic, once you do the same task ~3,000 times, the same way.   If you take 5 minutes of practice per session, then in roughly 6 months it will become automatic. 

However, the key is perfect practice.  As I always tell Robert, "Amateurs practice until they do it right, Professionals practice until they can't do it wrong."

There were 27 of us in the first class, so Tom and the rest of the Rangemaster instructors had their hands full running two relay of shooters.  Again, it wasn't that people were being unsafe, it was getting the proper techniques and skills ingrained.  You could tell people who had been to Gun School(s) before.  They had just one small jagged hole in their target.   Mine, however, looked more like a sieve, with a nice "shotgun" style pattern to it.

We did not get a chance to shoot shotguns because the range had to close earlier then was initially planned.  So Rangemaster was kind enough to give us Defensive Pistol 2.0 class.  Again, this was focused on doing the fundamentals correctly and working on reloading.   We shot off many a magazine load of ammo (Again, free and provided by LuckyGunner.com) as we worked on getting the techniques down correctly. 

The second class, Pistol 2.0, after lunch, only had 11 students as the rest wandered over to where KRISS Arms was letting us try out their firearms, along with the few folks who were still there with their full auto toys.   Or if you wanted to shoot what you brought, you could do that as well.

The "Final" was a shoot off between two students.   The course of fire was put two into the circle of an IDPA target at three yards and then knock down a reactive target at 5 yards.  The reactive target  being a rubber/plastic human shaped torso wearing a hooded sweatshirt.  Only way to knock down the reactive was with  a Center of Mass hit.  Hit it anywhere else and it would just stand there and mock you.  Since there was an odd number, I was last.  Jennifer from injennifershead.com had shot earlier and had smoked the other guy.  She was High-Fiveing other people while he was still shooting.  I mean as in not even close, her shot string sounded almost like full auto.  Finally it's my turn to shoot and since I was the odd man out, Tom picked Jennifer for me to shoot against.  Great, let's pick on the slow kid.  How about put a "Kick Me" sign on my back, put me in wheelchair and push me off a cliff.  Not only am I going to lose, but I'm going to get curbstomped.  By a girl.

Step up to the line.  Ready, GO !!  And since G-d takes care of drunks and fools, thus making me doubly qualified, everything that LynnAnn had coached me on came into fruition.  I won going away. 
Jennifer is a great sport.  During the class I got to shoot next to her and her husband, her husband being Michael aka Evylrobot of evylrobot.com.  So I got to personally place an order for a belt and holster for a Ruger LCP with Crimson Trace grips with him.  Score !!

So, if Tom and Lynn Ann can pound pistol skills into my thick skull and make them stick, they definitely have what it takes to teach.  Rangemaster gets the Scout26 seal of approval.  I highly recommend taking classes from them.

The Business Model

I did get a chance to sit down with Brian from LuckyGunner and talk about Logistics.  Having spent many years working in the field, I'm always interested in the nuts and bolts of how a company does what they do.  Getting the stuff from the manufacturer to the customer or end user is the heart and soul of most businesses.  The more effective and efficient you are at doing that, the better you take care of your customers and ergo, the more profitable you are.  Many businesses make or break on how well the do the behind the scenes work to "make it happen".

As a caveat here, I will point out that 1) I mostly shoot shotgun; trap, skeet, sporting clays; so 2) I reload mostly shotgun, tailoring my loads to me and the game (to include most of my hunting loads) and the gun.  3) What metallic (Rifle/Pistol) cartridges other then .22LR, I do shot, I also generally reload; .45 ACP, .38 Spl, .32Win Spec. So I haven't ever ordered from LuckyGunner.com

Having said that, here is the business model in a nutshell.  If you see it on their website, it's available to order.  They put their inventory on-line.  WYSIWYG.  Wisseywig is how that's pronounced.  What you see is what you get.  There is no such thing a as back-order.  You click on a caliber or type of ammo and it tells you right there how many they have.  The good news is that you can't over order.  However, the bad news is that if it shows fewer boxes/cases/flat then what you want, you can only get what they have in-stock.   This is a challenge for the management of LuckyGunner.  Inventory sitting on a shelf is the same as money sitting on a shelf.  If you by X ammo, you can't by more Y ammo, until you sell X and then take that money to by Y. Therefore, it is a constant balancing act of trying to figure out what the customers want and having that product on the shelf when the customer wants it.  Having past order history and trends allows them to somewhat predict what they need and then order from the manufacturers.  However, the manufacturers may not have what the models or sales trends predict they need to have.  So they are constantly looking at their inventory and projecting what they need to buy, based on what they are selling and what they project to sell.

Is it prefect.  No.  No system is.  Simply because the market is constantly changing and what was selling like it was going out of style last year, has gone out of style, and now you are stuck with a ton of it on your shelves.  Again, that's money that tied up that you could be using to buy inventory that could be making you money rather then just sitting on the shelf, mocking you and your bad decision making. 

What does that mean for you the shooter/customer?  It's not your problem.  You look at what they have and buy it.  Your order ships complete.  There are no partial orders.  You pay only one freight charge, not multiple ones for two or more shipments.  And there is no frustration of having to wait days/weeks/months waiting for ammo.  All the headaches are on LuckyGunner.

And having met them this weekend, I can attest that they are customer focused, and want to earn your business.

They get the Scout26 stamp of approval.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What do you do at a Full Auto Shoot?

A Small Sample
So you walk up and ask if you can shoot it.  LuckyGunner provides the Free Ammo and then you shoot !!!!

A German G3.  Haven't seen one since Baumholder.
Then ask the other people if you can shoot what they brought.

I know why the M14 didn't last long as the Service rifle.

Something fun, but I can't remember what

Tannerite and bullets makes cars burn.

Many of the owners of the Full Auto guns are also re-enactors and/or have friends that are re-enactors, and/or the re-enactors were invited.  Either way that added some period history and flavor to the various firearms being shot.  Now this clip features the firing of a Civil War cannon. But ignore that.  BTDT at ASC.  Simply listen to the background "music".  And you'll start to get some idea of the fun that was had at the Blogger Shoot.

Yes, Those were Anti-Tank guns in the middle of the firing line.  Yes, they took on cars and the bus.  You got very use to the cannon booms and the sound of the warm summer air being rent by hundreds, nay, thousands of bullets going downrange in very short periods of time, but constantly.

The Halftrack and the M5 Stuart got in on the action after we spent the morning shooting up cars, appliances and a bus, they also take on the school bus.
Ooops, I made a mess

As videos and pictures get upload, there will be much more to come....

On Memorial Day

Several years ago, we were coming back from the American Legion Hall on Memorial Day.  I was in my American Legion uniform, having served in the Honor Guard/Firing Detail detail at the local cemetery for our Memorial Day Observation.  On the way home we had gone into the local Stop&Rob for one thing or another (which put me in bad mood to begin with) and at the check-out the Miss TeenAmericaWannabe at the register wished me a "Happy Memorial Day"

And I unloaded on her.

I didn't yell
or raise my voice
but said this
through tightly clenched teeth:

"There is one NOT g-ddamned thing "Happy" about Memorial Day.  Everyone in this country that isn't in uniform honoring our war dead had damn well be better dressed in black mourning clothes.   I just got back from the cemetery where we paid our respects and begged G-d to care of those 327 mostly 18-20 year old kids who died in mud filled trenches; freezing European forests; crappy little dots of islands; hot, shitty jungles, on some remote mountain or in some G-dforsaken desert.  They died horrible, agonizing deaths all so you could go to the mall and shop without having worry about whether you were in the whites or blacks section, having to show your papieren, bitte and do it in Japanese to buy rancid Russian bread and then worry about being shot as a spy on your way home while wearing your burka.

"Those people gave you their everything for what you have today.

"Look around and ask if you want for anything, because I know those poor bastards would feel cheated if you did.  If you saw Saving Private Ryan, then you probably missed the single most important  lesson of that entire movie.   Remember that cemetery at the end ?  There are about two dozen in Europe, there's another big one on Oahu in Hawaii.  There are quite few here in the US from the Revolutionary War on, and every American's knees should become weak and tears should flow when they visit those places on Memorial Day.

"Because there's no way any of us have "Earned This".

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Daddy like belt fed

Here at  the end of Day One of the LuckeyGunner.com Blogger Shoot, I'm in my hotel room still grinning from ear to ear.  Got a chance to shoot everything, at least twice.  There were many collectors and owners of what are commonly referred to as "Class 3" firearms, meaning that they were in private hands prior to 1986, and owned by people in Free States (Not Illinois).  Because had we done what we did today in Daleystan, we all would have been hauled off to jail for 'possessing' fully automatic firearms.  Instead the Knox County Sheriff's SWAT team flew in on their Huey, landed and then proceeded to blended in with the crowd and get in the lines (very short) to shoot.  This was a private event held on private land.  The owner brought out his toys and invited friends who brought their toys.  Then LuckyGunner.com invited us.  And gave us ammo.  You'd go and see what was being shot were, ask (if you didn't already know) what flavor of ammo the object of your desire ate.  Go and get  a couple of boxes of said ammo from the nice folks at LuckyGunner, or if you were watching, one of the three "Ammo Girls" they brought out would come and ask you if you needed ammo or a bottle of water.  They then went and brought it back to you, so you wouldn't lose you place in line.  Again, the lines consisting of 2 maybe 3 people at the most.

There were a bus, several cars, used appliances, cinder blocks and tannerite targets all over the range.  Several; of the cars were set on fire, and the cars were barely recognizable as such by the end of the day.  

There were Civil War cannons and WWII Anti Tank guns, like a US 37mm and a German 50mm Pak gun.  Here though is the list of what I shot.  For Free
A real M16
M1919 (John Basilone's gun in The Pacific)
A real AK47
Silenced MP5
and I forgot what else.

I haven't turned this much money into smoke and noise since I was in the Army.  And yes, I'm still smiling.

Pictures and Videos to follow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Last post from Chicago.  I'm heading out to spend a couple of days with my parents.  Then heading down to the Luckygunner.com Blogshoot.  Then back to Indy for a few more days with the folks before heading back to Wheaton.

Yeah, you're probably as dizzy as I am.

I'm actually very excited.  Going to get some great classes from Rangemaster on Defensive Handgun and Defensive Shotgun.  Also shoot some machine guns, with Luckygunner.com picking up the ammo tab.  And meet and get to spend some time with people I admire and like Oleg Volk, Tam , Old NFO, and Sebastian among others who'll be there.

They are also sponsoring an awards show in various categories called The Gunnies you can go there and vote for your favorites. 

I've got the laptop so there will be blog posts from the event along with a whirlwind of just trying to keep up with all the goings on.  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 23, 2011

When All You Have Is A Hammer, Every Problem Looks Like A Nail

Over the last 20+ years, many police departments have become, for lack of better word, militarized.  The trend accelerated after 9/11 what with the threat of terrorism.  As a result, a great deal of money has been spent on training and equipment to deal with violent felons and suicidal terrorists.

All of which is well and good.  When there are VERY BAD PEOPLE about to do VERY BAD THINGS.

However, given the dearth of violent felons and suicidal terrorists in most locales, those highly trained folks with their expensive toys sit idle. 

or not.

If you got it, you use it. Often when it should not be used.

Here are the facts:
Jose Guerena, 26, a former Marine who served in Iraq twice in 2003 and 2005, had just gone to bed after working a 12-hour shift at the Asarco Mine in Pima County Arizona.  His wife, Vanessa Guerena says she heard noise outside their home about 9 a.m. Thursday and woke her husband.  Guerena told his wife and son to hide inside a closet and he grabbed the AR-15 rifle and prepared to defend his home and hearth, kit and kin.

When five SWAT members broke through the front door Guerena was crouched down pointing the gun at them, the Deputies began shooting.  The Pima County Regional SWAT team fired 71 shots in seven seconds, striking Guerena 60 times.

After that stories diverge

Some other facts.  The Pima County Sheriffs Office was executing a SEARCH warrant.  Not an ARREST Warrant.  Meaning that the Police only had a suspicion of wrong doing, and NOT on a person whose only other runs in with the law consisted of traffic tickets.

There are also conflicting stories as to why they were executing the search warrant.  Some stories say it was part of a drug investigation, others claim Guerena was part of a burglary crew.   Neither of which, last I checked, had the death penalty as the maximum punishment.

The SWAT team has lawyered up and the search warrant and court documents showing what deputies were looking for and seized from Guerena's home have been sealed by a judge and are unavailable to the public.  The Sheriff's office won't release anything related to what was seized other then to say that gun(s), body armor, and picture of Jesus Malverde found under a bed.  Which, again, last I checked, are NOT illegal for any citizen to own or possess.

Now the PCSO say this was not a "No-knock" warrant.  Yes, they claim that they knocked for 40 seconds before crashing in the front door.  Sorry, 40 seconds isn't long enough.  Was someone timing them?

And why not pinch the guy as he's driving home from the mine.  It wouldn't be hard to pull him over on his way home from work and then execute the warrant.  Removes the danger for both the officers and the citizen.

There was no need for SWAT to ever execute a "Dynamic Entry", unless the evidence is easily destroyed in seconds, there is no reason not to wait for the person to get to the door because there is :
1. A rape or murder in progresss
2. A terrorist act about to take place.
3.  The world is about to end.

Outside of those three there is no reason for police to shoot an innocent-until-proven-guilty-in-a-court-of-law US Citizen SIXTY times in his own home.  With his wife and children cowering in fear in a closet.   We're not even allowed to do it in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our troops in Afghanistan are not allowed to shoot bomb-planting terrorists unless the terrorists shoot first, yet here in America the police are authorized to mow down (without warning) a citizen in his own home who hasn’t even taken the safety off his rifle?
Smashing in doors and taking the lives of citizens should be the last resort of a government, not the first.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Well, There Goes Another Amendment

For those of you not paying attention the Fourth Amendment was repealed this week.  First in Indiana we have a ruling in Barnes v. Indiana where the majority ruled that if the police want to enter your home for any or no reason you can't resist.  Writing for the majority justice Steven David said:
"We believe ... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," David said. "We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest."
Starting with the Magna Carta in 1215, it was common law that
 "The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown. It may be frail - its roof may shake - the wind may blow through it - the storm may enter - the rain may enter - but the King of England cannot enter."
As Prime Minister William Pitt wrote in 1763.
Before and during the American Revolution the Red Coats pretty much busted into any house anytime they chose, because the colonists weren't considered "British Subjects", but "colonists".  Remember the whole "Taxation Without Representation" thing?  That's why they put:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In as Amendment #4. 

So if Johnny Law come busting through your doors and windows and you shoot back, you're now in deep doo-doo.  Doesn't matter if they raided your house because they got the wrong address on the "No-knock" warrant.   Sorry but with the easy availability of police badges and police equipment goblins have taken to "announcing" themselves police when breaking into people's homes so as not to get shot.  This makes it worse.  Fortunately this ruling was just limited to Indiana, but I fear it may spread.

Not to be out done, the US Supreme Court decided that the whole 4th Amendment needs to be tossed.  Bad cases make bad case law and this one is a bad case and this one is a prima facie example of how the 4th SHOULD work.  In all previous 4A cases, if the Police got the wrong house then anything they found was suppressed or tossed out as evidence.  Fruit of the Poisoned Tree was the term, meaning that if the warrant or the search (the "tree") is tainted, then any evidence gained from it (the "fruit") is as well. 
Previously the police needed to get a warrant after convincing a judge that they had probable cause to believe that a crime had been or was about to be committed.  Only then could they enter your home or other property.  Over the years there were "exigent circumstances" permitted:  Someone screaming for help, flames or smoke emanating for the structure, or in hot pursuit of a fleeing felon.  But that those where very narrow and very limited and the police could NOT create them. . And over the years bad people got away with bad things because the police didn't follow the rules.  Evidence illegally obtained was tossed and the perp walked.

Now, police officers and other agents of the state simply need to say "exigent circumstances"  and all evidence is admissible, no matter how badly obtained.  Fruit of the Poisoned Tree is gone.  You have no right to refuse entry to any agent of the state, and anything they find they can use against you in court.  Almost 800 years of Common and Codified Law gone in a moment.

But what really torques me is that:
1)  Justice David was appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels.  So if he decides to run for President this appointment is an albatross around his neck. and
2)  This is one of those very rare times I agree with Justice Ginsberg.

Now before everyone accuses me of being a Cop Basher, remember I was a Military Police Office in the Army. A Combat Cop.  I know a little about Law Enforcement as I was one.  But, I know that my first Duty is too the Constitution.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cutting the Grass

I've been doing it since I was about 10.  It was a chore that was handed down from my father to me.  My brothers all had the job so when it my turn, it was my turn.  I learned to cut straight making neat rows with the wheel marks.  Nice lines that showed I cared about neatness, and I did.

Soon it became a way to earn money.  There was no First National Bank of Mom and Dad.  Yes, they bought food and shelter, clothes and school books, transportation and the occasional vacation.

But we had to make or pay for own fun.  Want one of those neat toys from the back pages of the comics (that we bought with our money), you pay for it from what you've earned.

And what you earned didn't include an allowance.  There was no such thing.  You lived in this house you were expected to contribute.   Back in those days, there were fights, literally, to see who got the paper routes when one came open.  Oh, and they would come open, prove yourself to be undependable or unreliable, and you got fired from being a paper-carrier.  Forever.  No second chances.  Done.  And you would be looked down upon by your peers.  You failed at being a newspaper boy.  That might cost you your friendship, parents would talk bad about the boy.  Now days it adults in cars; then, it was kids on foot or bikes. Humping 40+ pounds of newspapers.   The job sucked; rain, snow, 100 degrees+  it did not matter.  The papers were plopped in bundles at the end of your driveway and you had to get them delivered or risk losing the job.
So you did it.  The first life lesson in "Suck it up, Princess."  You want that fancy new bike, it has a cost.  10 degrees below 0 on a February morning and you better not hit metal part at the bottom of the screen doors and make the dogs bark.   Papers were delivered to the porch, or in between the screen and the front door.  Not tossed in the driveway to get all wet and soggy.

Then you had to go around every week to collect the money.  You had to sell also.  If someone wasn't taking the paper, you knocked on those doors until they told you to never come back, or a new family moved in.  You had to make change and turn in the receipts, and then get yelled out because your still delivering papers to those two or three houses who's owners are never home to collect from, but are the first to call if the paper is so much as a minute late.

It was a different world, you held the job until you got what you wanted out of it.  That new bike or other expensive goody.  You had the job for a couple of years, then you announced that you didn't want to do it any more.  You're older and looking move up to a part time job somewhere.  Anywhere indoors.  And not at 4am every morning.  Every morning.  Not one day off.  Unless you had the Afternoon paper.  Then you got Sunday's off, because they didn't have a Sunday edition. But it paid less. 

And we cut grass in the summer and shoveled snow in the winter.  If they didn't have their own kids too do it,  you could guarantee that they would come and take a gander at your own lawn and see if you trimmed and made straight lines.  It had better look nice or it was "No thanks, kid.  I do it myself."  Sometimes we did not get the job not because we couldn't cut straight lines, but they did it themselves because there just wasn't money in the budget to hire out the neighbor kid.  $5 to cut the grass was a lot of money in those days.  You could feed a family of 4 at McDonalds for $5. And get change back.   

Snow, on the other hand, there always seemed to be money in the budget to hire those two idiot neighbor kids.  $5 between the two of 'em to hand shovel 100+ feet of two cars wide,12 inch deep wet, slushy, driven over snow.  Yep, stay in there where it's warm and then point out all the spots that still need to be chiseled free of ice before paying up.  And guess what, the reason we tore through it in no time is because we both have a crush on your daughter.  And we'd shovel your driveway for free just to impress her as to how strong and tough we are.  But it's getting dark and we have to move on to the next house.  We will hand shovel 10-15 driveways a day after a heavy snow fall.  And come home well after dark, cold, wet, hungry and tired.  Inhale whatever Mom made for dinner, and go back for seconds and thirds; shortly after we'd collapse in bed and thank G-d that we didn't have to get up at 4am any more and deliver newspapers.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm Still Here

It's been an interesting week.  Meaning that Wheaton Park District Baseball is in full swing.  Although for the first time in many years, I'm not coaching or managing a team, I'm still actively involved with Robert and his team.  His coach is very much in-tune with what I look for in a leader.  In this case, it's all about winning.  We had at least 10 practices before the other teams even had one.  We also practice during the week, so with two games a week, plus one or two practices make for lots on time on the ball field.  Oh, and BP starts 45 minutes before game time.  Don't be late.

There's another dad and I who split the cost of taking the boys to the local batting cages to continue to work on their swings.  Robert has his righthanded one down pretty good (still needs some work on his footwork), and is learning to slap-hit left handed.  Since he's a fast runner, this gets him out of the box quicker and puts pressure on the infielders to make the play.  He definitely has the skill to switch hit, now it's just practicing to do it right each time.

Also since the weather has at time been nicer, it's gotten me out of the house.  Tried to go shooting last Friday, but arrived at the range just after the black wall cloud got there.  Got missed by the tornado, but still got wet going into the office.   I wanted to try out my new Ruger LCR that the members of ASC gave me in appreciation of my three years a president.   I was really touched and choked up when they presented it to me.  I still can't thank them enough for their kindness.

I've went back last Tuesday for my first cycle, first dose of Maintenance Chemo.  Since it's Velcade only, it doesn't take as long, only about 2 hours.  Hemoglobin was 9.4, which is worrisome.  After a month of no chemo, I would have expected my red blood cells to have recovered.  I thought I was more tired then "normal"  but was starting to feel "better" before this round.   A shot of Anranesp and I should be back up above 10 this week. 

I'm working on a couple of longer posts, but Blogger has been kind of hit and miss the last couple of days.  I'll finish them up and get them posted this week.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One Week After Bin-Laden's Death

Well, it's been oover a week now since we got to see that iconic photo of Obama watching an Air Force General play Black Ops do something on a computer in the Situation Room at the White House.  Various reports state that they were watching the raid on-line or it was a PowerPoint briefing by Leon Panetta.  The story keeps changing as to what they were watching and why Hillary had her hand over her mouth (Shocked or covering a cough?) .  Nevermind that.  Crazy Ol' Uncle Joe Biden as usual couldn't keep his mouth shut and annouced to the world that it was Navy SEALs (Team 6) supported by the US Army's 160th SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment) that "got 'im".  Even though he was reportedly unarmed in the firefight.

Bravo Zulu to all the folks in uniform and the Intel weenies that made this happen.  I will shed no tears over the death of one greatest perpetrators of terrorism.  It was long overdue and well done.

But let's examine a few points.

1.  The Intel that lead to this event came prisoners we have at Guantanamo Bay.  They may have even given up the lead(s) because of "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques".   Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay within a year of taking office, yet it remains open, and there seem to be no plans to change anything there.   However, the howls of protest from the usual lefty America hating groups have been reduced to crickets chirping.

2. Do you really think there was any way Bin-Laden would have been captured alive?

No matter what, think of the consequences had we captured him alive.

3.  Had we captured Bin-Laden alive what would we have done with him ?  Put him in the SuperMax prison at Florence, CO ?  The US Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth ? or the still open Guantanamo Bay?

4.  After that then what?  A trial in New York?  Washington?  somewhere else in the US?  or Guantanamo Bay?  He would have jumped at the chance to testify in his own defense.  We would then give him an international stage to daily rage/preach/incite against the Great Satan?

5.  And how do we get him an impartial jury anywhere in the US?  And what to do when he had been found guilty, a death sentence?  Life in prison?   Maybe even less then life?  Where?  Ft. Leavenworth?  Florence, CO? or Gitmo again?

6.  Or think if the charges get dismissed or he's found Not Guilty on a technicality or three, then what ?   Put him aboard the next flight to Pakistan?  Afghanistan?  Saudi Arabia?   Think of what would happen to any president who put Bin-Laden on trial and he gets to go free because of a technicality.  

When Bin-Laden moved into that "mansion" six or so odd years ago, he had to know that we was never coming out of there alive.  Because when SEAL Team 6 went into Abbotabad that night, there was no way Bin-Laden was coming out alive.  He had to be killed and his body taken and dumped into the sea.  Proper Muslim Funeral rituals or not, there could be no grave, no monument, no pilgrimage site.  Only one person could give that order, and given all the possible outcomes, it was the only possible order to give.   Frankly, I'm impressed that Obama did.   Again, Bravo Zulu.

Yet, in the aftermath and as a result of Bin-Laden's death, we still remain at Defcon Mauve or whatever the new color scheme is in Terror Level Ver46.0.  We still have a lumbering new bureaucracy in the Department of Homeland Security.  The gropers, perverts and child molesters of the TSA remain a fixture in the nations airports (Total terrorists caught to date: Zero).   Nothing changed for us since his death.  Yet, everything that he caused by his terror remains.

So what did we really accomplish with his death?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Height of Hypocrisy

On the very Day that Illinois House Bill 148 was to be voted on.

On the Day where Illinois would either stand with the 49 other states or stand alone.

On the Day that the Family and Personal Protection Act would allow  me and every other law abiding citizen of this state to protect themselves from the thugs and vermin that infest Chicago.

On the Day that the bill Mayor Daley has railed against.

Fought against.

Twisted arms.

Forged backroom deals.

Lied about it, in every way possible,

Done everything to prevent the good citizens of this state from exercising their fundamental right as outlined in the US Constitution and affirmed, not once, but TWICE, the second time coming against the VERY CITY he was elected to be mayor of and that he SWORE to uphold THAT Constitution.

He has the gall, the audacity, the nerve to ask that taxpayer funded armed men protect him and his family.

I'm writing the mayor a letter, and I promise to be nice, but it will point out all of the above.  If you love liberty and this country, this cannot be allowed to stand.  If we can NOT protect ourselves, then by G-d, I'll be damned if I have to help pay for his.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chivalry and Modern Society.

Every now and again I see something that hits me right between the eyes

That link is to my friend Brigid's blog.  I've read her blog for a couple of years now, and a couple of weekends ago go the chance to briefly meet her at the Indy Blogmeet.  Unfortunately we sat at opposite ends of the table and didn't get a chance to talk.

Anyhow.  I spend roughly every other weekend with my son.  While we do "Dangerous Things" and work on Webelos achievements, the underlying theme in everything I do is to teach him to be a Gentleman.  From If - by Rudyard Kipling, to The Boy Scout Oath, Motto and Law to Henry V to Leonidas and the 300 and how to hunt to provide for his family, to protect and defend that family, to the history of America and the American Revolution by going to Appleseeds to basic manners, saying Sir and Ma'am, telling him about my service as an Army Officer and what it means to be an Officer and a Leader.  I may have been made an Officer by act of Congress, but my parents taught me to be Gentleman. 

But I know I have limited time, so I try to pack as much as can into the limited time we have together.

It's a job that never ends as I still learn and have more to learn from my father.  It's amazing how smart he got as I got older. 
I just hope my son becomes, is and remains one.

Excuses Your Liberal Friends can use.....

#12. I voted Democrat because my head is so firmly planted up my ass, it's unlikely that I'll ever have another point of view
#11. I voted Democrat because while we live in the greatest, most wonderful country in the world, I was promised "HOPE AND CHANGE
#10. I voted Democrat because I think that it's better to pay billions to people who hate us for their oil, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle or gopher.
#9. I voted Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.
#8. I voted Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the Democrats see fit.
#7. I voted Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits.
#6. I voted Democrat because I'm not concerned about millions of babies being aborted so long as we keep all death row inmates alive. 
#5. I voted Democrat because I believe that people who can't tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don't start driving a Prius.               
#4. I voted Democrat because I'm way too irresponsible to own a gun,  and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from  murderers and thieves.
#3. I voted Democrat because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.                      
#2. I voted Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.                         
#1. I voted Democrat because I believe oil companies' profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn't.