'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

29 September 2011

Cue The Butthurt In 5..4..3..2..1..

It's the Onion for Ghu's sake.

Congress takes group of schoolchildren hostage.

My favorite line?

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) suddenly burst into the National Statuary Hall with a pair of black panty hose over his head and began firing a Beretta 9 mm handgun into the air, shouting, "Everybody down! Everybody get the fuck down!"

I'd pay good money to see ol' Harry with black panty hose over his head.

Of course, someone is going to be intimidated or threatened or offended or something.


You May Be Using That Particular Device Wrong

Just saying.

27 September 2011

What Is Beauty?

Is it youth and exuberance?

Is it an ability to make friends, no matter how unusual?

Maybe it's found in someone who know exactly who they are.

Or just how to have a good time.

Is it serenity?

Or the ability to accept things the way they are without worrying themselves to death?

Is it love? Those who love know love in return.

It's said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If that's true then Chrisi is the most beautiful dog in the world. She's old and grey now but her peaceful nature, her innate sweetness, her love of pack and life still shines through. The glow of her inner beauty far surpasses the outer indications of her advancing years. Age may be just a number but Chrisi wouldn't care even if she could count. She may be slower, weaker but she's still out there doing her best to run with the big dogs. And when she can't she promptly puts it away and looks forward to the next chance to experience life. A lesson I wish I could learn. Companion. Sister. Best friend. Lu's Chrisimas Surprise. A gift that has given far more than we could ever return. Special is far too small a word for such as She. As is Thank you.

Chrisi. She's still my girl. I love her and always will.


25 September 2011

Sunday Kipling

Man, I am so late today. Lu and I went out to the Secret Test Site for some trigger time and a penetration test (More on that later this week). Got home and took care of the important business: cow patties on the grill. Here's a little something that I hope puts a smile on your face. Have a great Sunday.

The Post That Fitted

Though tangled and twisted the course of true love
This ditty explains,
No tangle's so tangled it cannot improve
If the Lover has brains.

Ere the steamer bore him Eastward, Sleary was engaged to marry
An attractive girl at Tunbridge, whom he called "my little Carrie."
Sleary's pay was very modest; Sleary was the other way.
Who can cook a two-plate dinner on eight poor rupees a day?

Long he pondered o'er the question in his scantly furnished quarters
Then proposed to Minnie Boffkin, eldest of Judge Boffkin's daughters.
Certainly an impecunious Subaltern was not a catch,
But the Boffkins knew that Minnie mightn't make another match.

So they recognised the business and, to feed and clothe the bride,
Got him made a Something Something somewhere on the Bombay side.
Anyhow, the billet carried pay enough for him to marry
As the artless Sleary put it: -- "Just the thing for me and Carrie."

Did he, therefore, jilt Miss Boffkin -- impulse of a baser mind?
No! He started epileptic fits of an appalling kind.
[Of his modus operandi only this much I could gather:
"Pears's shaving sticks will give you little taste and lots of lather."]

Frequently in public places his affliction used to smite
Sleary with distressing vigour -- always in the Boffkins' sight.
Ere a week was over Minnie weepingly returned his ring,
Told him his "unhappy weakness" stopped all thought of marrying.

Sleary bore the information with a chastened holy joy,
Epileptic fits don't matter in Political employ,
Wired three short words to Carrie -- took his ticket, packed his kit
Bade farewell to Minnie Boffkin in one last, long, lingering fit.

Four weeks later, Carrie Sleary read -- and laughed until she wept
Mrs. Boffkin's warning letter on the "wretched epilept."
Year by year, in pious patience, vengeful Mrs. Boffkin sits
Waiting for the Sleary babies to develop Sleary's fits.

24 September 2011

Please Excuse Me While I Go Off

Listen lady. Yeah, you. The one with the 110 pound yellow dog. The one who charged out from behind your house with no leash and you nowhere to be seen. Growling and threatening my wife, myself, my elderly crippled 15 year old dog and my 35 pound 4 month old puppy. You have no idea how lucky you are.

See, my dogs can't defend themselves from that but I can. In fact, they depend on me for that. it's part of our pact. They turn themselves over to me heart and soul and I protect them, teach them, care for them and love them all their living days.

I will defend them, my wife and myself from all threats. All threats. With or without the legal, concealed firearm I habitually carry. It's why I put myself in between him and them. It's why my wife moved herself and our old dog away. She wasn't retreating (she's have cleaned any clock in need of such herself had I not been there), she was moving out of my field of fire. She's smart like that.

People like you really piss me off. You have a bad tempered dog who's animal aggressive and what do you do? Do you keep him under control at all times? Do you keep him contained in a fenced yard? Do you keep him on a leash? Will he even listen to you when you try to verbally control him? Have you ever even heard of the concepts of training and socialization? Apparently not because he charged me and mine and almost paid for that little indiscretion with his life.

I don't want to kill your dog. Really I don't. But 5 feet. That's all that separated him from being dead. 5 lousy feet and it would have been totally and completely your fault. Besides, I love dogs, all kinds of dogs. I even love yours (much more than you do from what I can see) and if I had him for a couple of weeks he'd be a better and happier animal for it. I'd train him and teach him and love him and socialize him. He'd be more secure and better equipped to handle the every day occurrences that every well trained and loved dog can pull off without a conscious thought.

You apparently think your dog is happy because you exert not the slightest bit of control over him nor expect the least bit of obedience from him. I have news for you. He's not happy he's insecure. A good dog is a happy dog. A happy and well adjusted dog knows exactly, precisely what his role in the pack is and what his handler's expectations are. He isn't dog aggressive. He doesn't charge 4 month old puppies, elderly dogs and their owners barking and growling and generally threatening them with a mauling. A good dog is one that is not only well integrated into the family, he can also be trusted with the neighbor children and strange dogs, especially those smaller than him. For God's sake lady, if you don't want him or can't control give him to someone who wants him and will love him enough to teach and train him. The most loving and best bonding times you can spend with your dog is when you're learning things together. Put down the pie and turn off wrestling. Grab (or buy) a leash and take your dog for a nice walk. While you're doing that do some simple training. Easy commands like COME and SIT and maybe NO. Buy a book and read up on dog training. Maybe stop spending hours visiting the Hollywood websites where you can read up on the doings of the beautiful people and do a google search for dog training tips. See, I don't hate your dog. I want the very best for your dog. I just despise you, you arrogant, stupid, vapid piece of excrement.

Oh and the sidewalk and street around your particular little slice of white trash heaven are not "his territory". It's public space that I have every right to use with the expectation that your dog will not escape your scanty, greasy, fat fingered, remote control indented fingers to attack me. I will go out of my way to avoid that corner but if I find myself back in your neighborhood, walking my well trained and well behaved dogs, I will be on the watch for you and your dog. If you love your dog like I love mine he'd best be either trained or restrained.

Please don't make me kill your dog lady. It would absolutely break my heart. I'd be miserable and I'd hate myself. But make no mistake. If he makes it that 5 extra feet I will defend my dogs, my wife and myself. And it won't be pretty.


New Contest. Go. Fight. Win!

The lovely Jennifer has a contest up on her blog In Jennifer's Head. It's pretty straight forward and requires no other skill than the ability to wildly guess. The prize looks pretty dang cool.

And if you don't win you could always cruise by her husbands place. I have it on excellent authority that he makes some quite snazzy holsters.


Patrick Leahy Is Eric Holder's Punkass Flunky Boy.

Patrick Leahy Is Eric Holder's Punkass Flunky Boy.

For Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Agent Jaime Zapata, for everything the are, were and represent.

23 September 2011

Congratulations Brew Crew & Rangers

On winning the NL Central and AL West and a tip of the cap to Fred over at Guns & Coffee and Ed Rasimus over at Thunder Tales).

My Giants are done. They're just waiting for the Diamondbacks and Braves to stick a fork in them (Update: Diamondbacks just won the NL West). It was a good year, my first rooting for a defending World Champion, but the Giants didn't have enough offense for the long run. The Diamondbacks are just renting that title. We're gonna want it back next year so don't get anything on it.

I love baseball. I played it in my younger days and have been a fan forever. I'll watch the playoffs and Series but someone, anyone, please beat the Yankees. I don't think I could stand seeing them in the World Series again. I'll be rooting for a Texas vs Milwaukee World Series.


22 September 2011

New Cookbook

Angus was not amused.


21 September 2011

This Is My Knife

It's a Spiderco Native III. You can tell it's my daily carry/use knife by the schmutz near the tip. This is my everyday knife but I also carry a variety of folders, depending on what I'm doing. I am not a knife snob. I normally just wait for one of the sporting stores to have a blowout and buy as many marked down to $9.99 knives as they have. I'm horribly absent minded and tend to lose them with infuriating regularity. I really like the Spiderco and really, really hope I can hang on to it for a while.


20 September 2011

This Is Why We Have Dogs

You know it's true. Can't trust 'em. Sneaky damn Kitties.


19 September 2011

In Memoriam Kenneth Webb

We remember Major Kenneth Webb, Killed in close action with the enemy on this date, September 19, 2005, near Mosul Iraq.

Ken left behind a wife, 2 kids, mother and father, 3 brothers, 1 sister, a slew of nieces, nephews and cousins and the friends only exceptional people accrue over a life devoted to service to country. There are also now 3 grandchildren he never got a chance to meet in this life.

Beloved son, husband, father, brother, uncle, friend and soldier. Ken did his job to the bitter end and went out as what he was, a Hero and a Warrior. Ken did not go softly into that night, he went down fighting. No warrior can ask for a better epitaph.

We still grieve for our loss but remember that there was no better soldier, hell there was no better man than Ken.

We will ever hold him in our hearts and minds. His loss left a huge and unfillable hole in our lives but such is ever the fate of those who love a warrior. They do not lead lives devoted to self preservation. They seek out and confront evil wherever it may reside and in whatever form it manifests. They and those who love them pay a price, Lord God they do pay a price. The bill will be paid, whether soon or late, and they will be taken from us before we are ready to let them go. As ever, Ken has led the way to a place we dare not follow too quickly.

If you are so inclined I would ask you all to remember Lu and the rest of Ken's family on this day and to keep them in your prayers that they may find peace. While you're at it, please include the families of all our military men and women who have given their 'last true measure of devotion'. And may those still in harms way come home safely to us and their families.



Wounded Warrior Fundraiser

Brigid points us to Carteach0 and his fundraiser for The Wounded Warrior Project. It's full of Win as well as a batch of really nice prizes (and seemingly growing every day). Times are tough all over but if you've got a spare 5 bucks laying around that you don't know what to do with this is a very worthy organization doing angels work.


18 September 2011

Sunday Kipling

Running a bit late today. Lu, I, Chrisi and Angus went for a nice trail hike out on the Strip. Lu's at work and I'm settling down to watch a little football. Maybe fire up the grill for some seared cow. You all have a fine Sunday and a great week.

The Law of the Jungle
(From The Jungle Book)

Now this is the Law of the Jungle -- as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back --
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep;
And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep.
The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the Wolf is a Hunter -- go forth and get food of thine own.
Keep peace withe Lords of the Jungle -- the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear.
And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair.
When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken -- it may be fair words shall prevail.
When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home,
Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,
The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.
If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away.
Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man!
If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride;
Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.
The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack. Ye must eat where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.
The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf. He may do what he will;
But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill.
Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claim
Full-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.
Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same.
Cave-Right is the right of the Father -- to hunt by himself for his own:
He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone.
Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law.

Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is -- Obey!

17 September 2011

Islamic Pacifism

Ok, I'm fixin' to get myself into a whole pool of hot water here.

I'm sure you've all seen the hubbub over the FBI training concerning Islam and it's adherents. Here's a link to the Wired article if you haven't. Apparently the FBI is now disavowing the training and trainer. I agree that we as a nation tend to produce far fewer radicalized Muslims than others. The main reason for that is the very fact that we don't single out any specific demographic one hundred percent for extra scrutiny. It's basically a good policy and one I support. But. There's just one small problem for me.

If you look at the major world religions, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism (I'm only talking about the Big Four here) you'll find strong pacifistic streaks, or at least the presence of pacifism, and sects in all but one. Islam.

Christianity? Check.
Judaism? Check.
Hinduism? Check.

What about Pacifism in Islam?
They have the Ahmadis (Ahmadiyya) but they're not specifically pacifistic believing in self defense and wars against evil and to preserve freedom. Orthodox Muslims also consider them as heretics and non-Muslim so as such cannot claim them as a pacifist sect.
Baha'I Faith. Again, not strictly pacifist and considered to be apostates from Islam. Indeed, they have been badly persecuted in both Egypt and Iran.
Sufism. They tend to view Jihad as an internal struggle against the ego but have historically engaged in armed resistance in such conflicts as Chechna, Algeria, Bosnia and Iraq.
Ismailism. They gave birth to the Nizari (who were once had an order called the Hashashins). Definitely not strict Pacifists.
Druze. Nope. Whatever their current actions they do have a military history and were even considered 'powerful warriors' during the Crusades.

The truth is you can find thousands of sects, offshoots and orders related to Islam and Muslims without finding a single one that denounces all forms of violence, including that of self defence. You can't throw a dead cat at a crowd of Muslims without hitting at least one that mainstream Islam would consider apostate. All that adds up to a religion that gives lip service to the idea of Peace On Earth but will not denounce the use of force in situations where they believe it's justified. All that's just fine with me. I'm definitely not a pacifist in any way, shape or form and I don't hold anyone else to that standard. But if you're going to argue that teaching law enforcement that Islam is inherently violent and Muslims should be approached with caution is wrong you're going to have to prove that to me. The case against Muslims, and most definitely including mainstream so called moderate Muslims, believing that violence is the answer in some situations is inescapable. The question then becomes in what situations? What will the average Muslim consider dire enough to resort to violence? I'm just using the pacifist argument here to show that every other major religion has sects where one of the primary tenets is absolute pacifism. Show me a strictly pacifistic Muslim sect, just one, that's more than simply mouthing words from a book and I'll reconsider. Hell, show me a single pacifistic Muslim period. The presence of a pacifist sect within a religion in no way is an indicator of the behavior of the rest who do not adhere to that particulat tenet but the complete absence of such is instructive. It's that very lack (actions speak louder than words don't you know) that is a clear indicator that the religion in question views such behavior as worthy of no more than greasy lip service, easily set aside in favor of situational ethics.

So you'll forgive me if I look at that FBI training and say. "Yeah. And?" We need to focus our attention and energies effeciently and where they belong. Yes, there are, have been and will be instances of terrorism and shocking violence by followers of every major religion but the modern day champions of the slaughter of innocents are adherents of Shia and Sunni Islam and pointing that out is hardly a hate crime. I would have a much softer view of Islam if I knew there were pacifists within it's ranks that were arguing against violence in all it's forms. I simply have a very difficult time trusting a group that's some billion plus strong that can't find anyone who practices what they preach.

You are now free to call me racist and Islamophobic and a hater.


16 September 2011


For the last few years, the Third Friday in Sept has been listed as MIA/POW day. This year as expected the bamster choose to sign the proclamation late yesterday. Unless you are one who keeps up on such matters it might have just slipped by with-out notice. This day since Vietnam anyway has been important to me and I fly the MIA/POW flag directly below the American flag in my front yard as a reminder of those who suffered so much and who may still be missing. Just a small reminder thanks.

15 September 2011

Lifting heavy things makes you a bad bad man...

Because, apparently, grunting is "intimidating".  So much so that a national fitness chain has banned it from the gym.  No, really.  Seriously, what is with the state of this country?!?!?  Now, I don't normally watch the Daily Show (for obvious reasons) but I came across this video during my travels.  I thought it was totally made up.  It isn't.

Turns out that it is totally true.  The part that bothers me isn't that they don't allow activity in their gym, they have that right.  No, what bothers me is the pussification of our nation!  Notice the language, the "animals" can go lift in a gym and the "people" can work out here.  Seriously?   Lifting heaving things, being strong, and being aggressive is so terrifying to these walking estrogen factories that they've banned it?  That any self respecting lifter would lift there is shocking to me.  And why, pray tell, isn't this hate language??

Now, I'm a big lifter, and a chick.  I deadlift (which isn't allowed in these "fitness" places) and in the process I grunt (it's genetic, the Six does it too) so I can tell you with a thread of knowledge that this place would be a sucky place to lift.  Shockingly I don't want to be intimidated and harassed either, yet if I grunt in here I get the humiliation of being thrown out?  And they call the heavy lifters douches.

Well, darn...  Can't lift here cause I grunt, can't go to restaurant cause I have kids.  Huh.  Anyone else tired of taking the blame for all bad things because they're, well, normal??

11 September 2011

Kipling On 9/11

Like Borepatch, I'm still angry. This photo sums up why. I get angrier every time I look at it or watch those horrible videos. I look at it often to remind me of just how personal and horrific the attacks on that day were.
That is an American plumeting to his death on that evil day. Whether he jumped or simply fell, trying to escape the killing smoke and flames, matters not at all. That is my countryman. A fellow American. My brother, my father, my son. Killed by evil men who rest not to this day. A fate he didn't choose but accepted when it was thrust upon him. Caught unawares by the cowardly.

10 years.  Time has failed to dim my wrath or that of my fellows. I count not the timid, weak, cowardly and apologetic. They are not my brothers and sisters. This man is my brother. Those who lost their lives on that day and those who selflessly gave theirs on the battlefields fighting against the rising tide of evil are. Yes, I served on that day and many after. No, I will never be worthy of their sacrifices, honor and bravery.

I will remember. I will honor them. I will never surrender. For their memory if for no other reason.


We thought we ranked above the chance of ill.
Others might fall, not we, for we were wise
Merchants in freedom. So, of our free-will
We let our servants drug our strength with lies.
The pleasure and the poison had its way
On us as on the meanest, till we learned
That he who lies will steal, who steals will slay.
Neither God's judgment nor man's heart was turned.

Yet there remains His Mercy--to be sought
Through wrath and peril till we cleanse the wrong
By that last right which our forefathers claimed
When their Law failed them and its stewards were bought.
This is our cause. God help us, and make strong
Our will to meet Him later, unashamed!

May it ever be so. May our enemies, those who attacked us and killed us and those that remain taste the bitter tears of death down to the least of them. May we remember and meet our Maker and our Forefathers unashamed. The fight goes on.


10 September 2011

Carry As Much Gun As You Can

It's that old, much debated and wildly opined topic. How much gun to carry.

What's got me on this morning is that I've finally seen one too many of those ads for a certain instructor/instruction that begin with "The 9mm can't stop anything. Our intrepid and extreme ninja-like instructor once saw a teammate attacked by a Bolivian Death Mosquito. He shot the rampaging beast 7 times center of mass with a 9mm handgun. The flying death dealer shrugged the hits off and bored in, sinking his Barbed Proboscis of Calamity into the victim, sucking him dry instantly. It's true, we swear it. The 9mm won't ever stop any attacker anywhere under any circumstances. Ever. At all. We swear. Sign up for our amazing instruction and newsletter now!"

You see it everywhere.
Never carry a handgun the caliber of which doesn't begin with at least a 4.
The .25 can't penetrate tissue paper.
.380 is only good for making loud noises.
We/I have the only sure fire way to fight with a firearm and not be immediately disemboweled by your opponents superior MallFu
If you violate any of the above maxims you'll die within 25 minutes of stepping foot out your front door.

Now I generally agree with those first three. But. Here's the problem for those of us who may be asked for assistance in answering some of those questions. What if that's all they have?

I've seen it and I'm betting a lot of you have as well, especially in this economy. Some variation on obtaining a pistol through inheritance, given by a friend or maybe found in a box in the back of the closet. No money to buy something better or maybe just a case of 'Hey, this is what I got and that's that'. They come to you for advice. What do you tell them? Don't carry that pistol because it's actually worse than not carrying at all?

I'm not going to go that route. Carry what you can. Carry what you have. But carry. Maybe I can help.

Not all ammunition is created alike. 115 grain Ball is different from 147 grain Jacketed Hollow Point in 9mm. What do you have? What can you afford? Maybe the gun came with one box of 50 rounds and it's 35 grain FMJ. That's what we've got to work with. Is it time to give up? Say, forget it, go unarmed?

How much training do they have? How much training ammo do we have access to? Maybe it's just that 50 rounds. In which case we're going to hold back enough to fill the pistol, do a lot of dry fire exercises and expend the rest on careful and intelligent instruction. How good an instructor are you?

We might very well be range limited by the caliber and bullet we've got to work with. Understand the weapon you're carrying and it's limitations. Research is free. Do a lot of it. Don't try a 50 yard head shot with that Tomcat. You might very well have to get into bad breath distance for you to be sure you're going to get good hits. You might get hurt. You might get killed. But you have a fighting chance. That's better that waiting and watching as certain death approaches isn't it? Is a .25 in the hand is worth two .40's in the guncase? I think it is.

This is my advice.
Be Smart.
Carry all the gun you can afford but carry.
Buy as much performance as you can but then carry it.
Get trained. Find a good instructor. If what you have is a good friend and 43 rounds to expend at the public range then that's what you've got. Be Smart and get all the bang for your 43 rounds that you can. Then load up the rest and carry it.
Understand the limitations of what you're carrying.
Upgrade gun/ammo/instruction as soon as possible.
Carry it all the time and every where you go. Do your homework and Be Smart but carry it.

And ignore all those scare ads on the Internet. They're all trying to sell you something and trust me, it ain't a better mousetrap. Make no mistake. I'm not saying a .25 or a .380 or even a 9mm is an ideal carry caliber but if that's what you have then that is the reality you must deal with. If you're going to be undergunned you must be smarter, meaner, tougher and better prepared than your opponent.


09 September 2011

Angus And Water Retrieving

Prior to painting the hall Lu and I decided we've been ignoring the doggies. It was time for a swim so we loaded up and headed to Sand Hollow Res. It's about a 20 minute drive and by the time we got there Angus was trying to crawl out the window to get to the water.

I've been negligent on updating Angus' progress. He's doing very well though he's now entered a shy period. He's solid with COME, SIT, MARK, BACK and DOWN by voice, hand and whistle. He's not so good with STAY and HEEL and he hasn't learned to honor at all. I decided to incorporate some training time in with the swim.

Angus at HEEL just after MARK and preparatory to BACK. MARK alerts him to an imminent retrieve and lets him know it's time to be watching for the fall. BACK sends him on his way. Please ignore the fat bald man. He's just a convenient bumper launch vehicle. Angus is slightly forward of where he should be but that's puppy enthusiasm. It's called creep and he'll get better with time and practice. Now is not the time to squelch enthusiasm with excessive control. Note how focused he is on the MARK.

And he's off.

Hitting the water with style, head up and eyes on the MARK. He's a very enthusiastic Retriever.                   

Heading out for the retrieve.

And delivery to hand. It's important at this stage to be very happy and keep calling him in. Don't give him a chance to stop and shake or drop the bumper in the water. We best avoid bad habits by not letting them develop. Coax him all the way up. He's not going to want to give that bumper up so set him up for the next MARK as soon as you take it away from him. Angus is getting the idea that if he gives it up he'll get to go again sooner.

Taking a line is important. It's also very hard to teach. It's much easier with a dog who keeps his head up and naturally takes a good line. You can't see it here but Angus had to go over an underwater obstacle and still kept his line. Retrieves are still short. Lots of success, minimal correction.

Here's a better look at a line on a longer retrieve. Angus is a very strong swimmer and takes a very good line. He's on that bumper. When he misses he circles and searches. If he still can't find it he looks to me. We'll be learning OVER shortly but I'm encouraged that he's already developed the trust that's so vital as we progress in his training.

The capture. He's completely unafraid to dunk his face.

Isn't he cute? I love that little guy.

If you look closely just ahead of my feet you'll see a small black dog with all four feet in the air, chasing the bumper and diving into the water. The bumper is still in the air just ahead of us. That's enthusiasm!

Miscellaneous Angus swimming and retrieving photos. Remember, this dog is only 15 weeks old.

A good time was had by all. I'm constantly amazed by how quickly Angus learns and how naturally he takes to retrieving. I shouldn't be, this is what he was bred to do but I can't help it. Every time he does something cool without input or with minimal training I giggle like a six year old. I'm a firm believer in letting a dog do what he was bred for. It makes for a happier, better adjusted and more even tempered dog. A retriever has just gotta retrieve. Apparently Angus is good at it. Now we'll see if the trainer is worthy of the pupil.


08 September 2011

What's On My Bookshelf

Brigid asks the question and it's a good one. I've picked up more than one good book and author from reading all of your blogs and that is a very good thing.

I do have a fairly extensive library. Most of it is still packed away from the move. No special reason, I'm just kinda lazy. Still, I do have a couple of bookshelves full at the moment.

I tend to do most of my reading for pleasure. Yes, I do research but I try to keep it online. No sullying up my me time. Nothing like stretching out in a comfortable chair, a loyal dog asleep at my feet and a good yarn in my hands. I have admitted before that I'm addicted to pulp fiction, especially series. I have most of W.E.B. Griffin's stuff. He hooked me with his Brotherhood of War series. I really need to read them again. He's a fine writer who has series about both the military and police. I guess it's small wonder he's one of my favorites.

There's Tolkein, Heinlein (PBUH), Niven, Ringo, Asimov, DeChancie and Correia in there among many others. Ringworld, Riverworld, The Mote, Castle Perilous. All places I've visited and spent good times. Full of characters I've come to know and love.

One of the first series I read as a yonker was Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan. Burroughs was a master. Forget the cheesy movies and TV shows. The original books are dark, fast paced, thrilling and very well written. I'm hoping to introduce them to my grandson some day. Me and the boy sitting and reading about the amazing adventures of the King of the Jungle together? Heaven.

If you look closely you'll find Holmes, Achilles, Harrington, Centaurs, Powered Armor, Space Ships, Doomsday Devices and a host of heroes and villains.
You'll find a certain book that's sure to be banned by the nanny staters some day but that every boy, no matter how old, must have.
There's a book on War written by a fine man we lost this year. Sebastian, you will be missed. I grieve for your stories that will remain unwritten.
Limbaugh is in there because love him or hate him he's right more often than not. Armstrong not because of his bike but because he's one of the most effective campaigners against the scourge of cancer. I'll always love him for that.

I tend to keep my professional books and papers hidden away, not because I don't want them to fall into the wrong hands but because that part of my life is done and I hate looking back. But still, I never throw anything away that someone might someday find a use for.
I have my signed copy of SOG by Major John Plaster. Special because it was given to my by the author for graduating his sniper course as top shot. Yes, I'm bragging but it was a tough course and he was a hell of an instructor.
Ambrose, MacDonald, Broughton, Hathcock, Murphy. I'm a warrior and a soldier and I admire those who have been there and done that. I can't forget Ed Rasimus. Man's man and Fighter Pilot's Fighter Pilot. He's not a half bad writer either. I have all his books.

I was also a cop and involved with the LA riots in 92 so I have both Chief by Gates and Presumed Guilty by Koon. Hey, it effected me directly. I considered it research.

The master dog trainer, Richard Wolter, has a special place on my shelves. Water Dog was the seminal work on training retrievers.

I love books. I'll probably invest in an E-reader someday but I hope I never lose my love for a real book. Paper and ink and dreams. Fanciful covers that only hint at the wonders contained within. No matter how old or how challenged you can still be The Hero.  No matter how far away you are a book is a  little piece of home and a cure for the lonlies. A chance to teach and learn and just enjoy. May you never lack for a good book.


07 September 2011

GOP Debate

I watched as much as I could stomach. No one is standing out. No one grabs my attention and interest. It's a sea of weakness though I liked Perry's defense of Texas' death penalty record and his refusal to back down from it.

Maybe I'm expecting too much. It doesn't help that it's on MSNBC.

I can't help it, every time Romney opens his mouth I found myself hitting the guide to see what else was on.

Maybe it's just me.

06 September 2011

Business Practices

Murphy's Law at Lagniappe's Lair has a post up here about the Dealer Showroom out of Klamath, Oregon and it's owner, John Bush. Now I've never done business with these people but I trust Murphy's Law's judgement and after reading about his experiences with this company and owner I can safely say I'll never do business with them unless and until they radically change their customer service practices.

Lu and I have a rule. We'll pay a little extra for excellent service and refuse to give our hard earned money to any individual or company who treats customers as irritations or sources of one time only income.

Don't give money to anyone who hasn't earned it. Sounds like an indictment of the government now that I think on it.


04 September 2011

Sunday Kipling

Took the dogs out for a run and some trigger time. Back home in time to do mesquite chicken on the grill for Lu. Have a great Sunday everyone.

The Clerks and the Bells

Oxford in 1920

THE merry clerks of Oxenford they stretch themselves at ease
Unhelmeted on unbleached sward beneath unshrivelled trees.
For the leaves, the leaves, are on the bough, the bark is on the
And East and West men's housen stand all even-roofed and
whole ...
(Men's housen doored and glazed and floored and whole at every
And so the Bells of Oxenford ring:-"Time it is to learn!"

The merry clerks of Oxenford they read and they are told
Of famous men who drew the sword in furious fights of old.
They heark and mark it faithfully, but never clerk will write
What vision rides 'twixt book and eye from any nearer fight.
(Whose supplication rends the soul? Whose night-long cries
And so the Bells of Oxenford ring:-"Time it is to eat!"

The merry clerks of Oxenford they set them down anon
At tables fair with silver-ware and naperies thereon,
Free to refuse or dainty choose what dish shall seem them good
For they have done with single meats, and waters streaked blood ...
(That three days' fast is overpast when all those guns said "Nay”!)
And so the Bells of Oxenford ring:-"Time it is to play!"

The merry clerks of Oxenford they hasten one by one
Or band in companies abroad to ride, or row, or run
By waters level with fair meads all goldenly bespread,
Where flash June's clashing dragon-flies-but no man bows his head,
(Though bullet-wise June's dragon-flies deride the fearless air!}
And so the Bells of Oxenford ring:-"Time it is for pray!”

The pious clerks of Oxenford they kneel at twilight-tide
For to receive and well believe the Word of Him Who died.
And, though no present wings of Death hawk hungry round
that place,
Their brows are bent upon their hands that none may see their face-
(Who set aside the world and died? What life shall please Him best?)
And so the Bells of Oxenford ring:-"Time it is to rest!"

The merry clerks of Oxenford lie under bolt and bar
Lest they should rake the midnight clouds or chase a sliding star.
In fear of fine and dread rebuke, they round their full-night sleep,
And leave that world which once they took for older men to keep.
(Who walks by dreams what ghostly wood in search of play-
mate slain?)
Until the Bells of Oxenford ring in the light again.

Unburdened breeze, unstricken trees, and all God's works re-
In this way live the merry clerks,-the clerks of Oxenford!

03 September 2011

Bathroom Remodel Part 4. Floor

We went ahead and installed the flooring in the hall at the same time as the bathroom. That means we have to be more careful painting but we were both sick and tired of walking on the ripped up surface.

This is the finished floor in the bathroom, leading to the hall.

Because we started in the bathroom I went straight out into the hall. That's the water heater on the right. I'll be building a closet around it a bit later.

From there it was forward toward the guest bedroom and the basement.

This is how the floor is installed. Those grey strips are the adhesive. They go under the corresponding side on the preceeding plank and are pressed together. There's a problem some of you may have spotted. When laying the floor it's usual to go from top to bottom, laying the following planks atop the ones previously laid. When we did this room we had to start in the bathroom because of the cutouts around the tub. That meant that I had to lay this section of floor backwards. It required lifting up the proceeding planks and laying the following ones under as you can see. It was a pain but the room was square so it went fairly quickly in spite of the colorful language.

That's the guest bedroom on the left and the stairs down to the Bat Cave where the bald man is standing looking confused.

The completed floor, including the Small Black Dog.
And the Large Black Dog.

This is looking toward the bathroom. You can see how well the floor flows. You can also see the new vanity.

From the guest bedroom, looking toward the living room. Later I'll be pulling that carpet up and continuing the same flooring all the way through the living room and into the kitchen. That water heater on the left will be enclosed in a closet.

This is from the bathroom, looking into the hall.

The bathroom is essentially done. I still need to do some baseboards and trim but that will have to wait until we get the hall painted. Hall paint sometime this week. I'll do a compare and contrast post as soon as everything is finally done.

Getting close. Of course I've been saying that for a couple of weeks now. If it's not one thing it's three others.


01 September 2011

What Lu And I Will Be Doing On 9/11

Whilst perusing SayUncle today I came across his post on how best to remember the tenth anniversary of 9/11. He linked to this page, Bacon and Boomsticks. The idea is to remind the adherents of radical Islam that we remember and will not submit. I like it. To that end I'm grabbing Lu, loading up numerous firearms and buckets of ammunition and heading out to the Secret Range for the day. We'll bring along the dogs (because we all know how much they love our 4 legged companions) and pack along some nice pork products. I'm thinking BLT's. Maybe some nice chops or hot dogs on the grill afterward.

ASM826 at Random Acts of Patriotism reminds us to tell those who want to manage this day that we're still Americans and we'll do things the way that seems best to each of us individually.

To the obama administration and the apologists I say Piss Off. I am supremely uninterested in your opinions on what this day means or how I should feel about it. I'm simply in no mood for any more of your disingenuous bullshit.

I'll post on the day and there will be many pictures of 2 still free Americans exercising some of their natural Rights.