Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Knappogue Castle 1994 Irish Single Malt Whiskey - what a find!

So tonight, I made history, at least in the respect that I did something I will not soon forget. I stopped by one of my local purveyors of fine spirits, the one closest to my home and with the best selection around me, to buy a bottle of single malt Scotch. Now I am not a big whiskey drinker, and only started to drink scotch a year or two ago, but I came to like it a bit - now and then. I have had a few of the finer ones, and I have enjoyed them very much.

While at the store tonight, something different caught my eye, and maybe it did because I am at least in part of Irish descent. I spied a bottle of pale colored whiskey, in a boxed set along with a small ceramic ewer. I was not immediately impressed, but as I looked it over, I noted it was a single malt. Hmm, maybe it was for me, then again maybe not since I had come in to buy a bottle of Scotch. I grabbed hold of one, and walked down the aisle a bit to peruse the fine Scotches on hand. They had bottles of single malt ranging in price from $20.99 (no notation as to age) to $169.99 for an 18 year old Macallan. I had about a total of $65.00 in my pocket, and that included my lunch money for lunches at work over the next three days. The Knappogue Castle Irish Single Malt Whiskey was only $32.99. Now I know you often get what you pay for, but sometimes whiskey can be a pleasant surprise. Then I remembered something about Irish single malts, they were somehow made differently than Scotch whiskey. I decided to go with the Irish.

As I opened the bottle, I noted that it has a 1994 distilled date. Thirteen years old right now. Okay, this stuff was bottled sometime between 2004 and 2006, from what I can gather, so it would have been 10 or 12 years old when bottled. I also noted that it is pale in color, much paler than any whiskey I have ever seen before. I opened it and found the aroma to be light, springtime fresh, a bit fruity, and of course with the overall aroma of fine whiskey. Well I just sat down with a nice one over the rocks, and I took a sip, then two, then three. I like it a lot. In fact it is truly the mellowest 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume) whiskey that I have ever imbibed. It goes onto the tongue like silk - it is that smooth; and it goes down the pipes the same way. No harsh aftertaste, no harsh kick. It tastes like fine whiskey with no taste of peat... Hey wait a minute, that's it. No taste of peat, and as I drank I read about Knappogue Castle Irish Single Malt Whiskey on their web site, and they noted that the difference between their single malt and Scotch single malts is that they do not dry the malt using peat! What a heavenly difference in flavor this makes, or at least that is my guess as to why this whiskey is ever so smooth.

Now note, if you decide to run out and buy a bottle, then discover it tastes very different than what I have written here, bear in mind that they already have a new vintage out, the new one distilled in 1995. According to their web site, the 1995 distilled vintage has much more of a "bourbon barrel wood quality" to it. I may try the 1995 someday too. For now though, I kind of think that the 1994 distilled vintage is about the best, and certainly the smoothest, darned sipping whiskey I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying; and that is one heck of nice surprise at only $32.99 a bottle. I may just have to get another of the 1994 distilled vintage, and put it away for a cloudy, damp and cool day.

All the best,
Glenn B

Today In History - A Big Bang Of Sorts...

...was made when Benjamin Chambers was issued a patent on July 31, 1849, for the first patented breech loading cannon. What a coincidence that the area into which a live round is loaded is called the chamber. To see the diagram that the U.S. patent office has on file for this wonderful device, click here.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, July 30, 2007

Maybe This Will Help The Real British To Wake Up...

...and realize that all of their white man's guilt for centuries of the British Empire having been a colonial power is not going to be assuaged by making others, who were once oppressed by the British, British citizens. No it is not surprising that 38% of south Asians who were polled said they do not feel like they are British - see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6921534.stm.

So, many of those Pakistani Muslims are not going to melt in the pot, nor are many of the other folks from places like India, Hong Kong, or anywhere else. Just because you gave them British Citizenship does not mean that they will not seek to destroy your way of life, if by nothing else, then by not assimilating and spreading their own culture within your borders. In fact, as can be witnessed from what is going on across the pond, it seems as if many of those folks would rather destroy the British way of life and replace it with something a bit more fatalistic.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tagged For 8 Things About Me

I have been tagged by Bill from Quill Of Bill to tell 8 things about myself. Before I do that, I think I am supposed to tell you the rules, because after I do all this, I am supposed to tag 8 other bloggers.
***

HERE ARE THE RULES:

01. Post the rules before you give the facts
02. Players start with 8 random facts/habits about themselves
03. People who are tagged need to write their own blog
04. At the end of your blog you need to choose eight people that you tag and list their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment, telling them they are tagged, and to read your blog.
***

8 THINGS ABOUT ME:
1. I just grew my beard back.
2. I often tend to have little self confidence in things like do it yourself home repair.
3. I procrastinate a lot on things I need to get done (probably because of lack of confidence); but I have been getting more things done lately in a timely fashion.
4. I am eligible to retire and am dreaming about it daily; though I hope I can wait until January 2009, when I think one of my biggest debts will be paid in full.
5. I am thinking of becoming a Conservation Officer for a 2nd career.
6. I believe common courtesy as being one of the most important things in living life.
7. I can be quite cantankerous.
8. I would love to move to the country, or to a small country side village, when I retire; and one of the biggest disappointments in my life is that my wife does not want to, and refuses consider such in no uncertain terms.
***
HERE IS THE LIST OF THOSE THAT I AM TAGGING:
***
If any of you do not want to do this, please feel free not to do it. Thanks.
All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dog Piss Stains and the Joys of Carpet Cleaning...

...are among things most on my mind right now - can you imagine what a boring life I lead! Fact is that our oldest dog Sprocket, at about 17 to 18 years old, is pretty darned old and sometimes just can not hold it in while we are at work. (She is the one to your left in the photo.) The carpet in the basement, and the one in the living room, have suffered because of that. While the one on the living room is not looking too bad, the one in the basement has large obvious stains. So off to Home Depot I went last week to rent a carpet shampooer. Silly me for not having called first, they had none on hand. It seemed a lot of folks had flooded basements and needed to clean carpets due to very heavy rains just over a week ago. So I waited, and I called yesterday, and they said 'come on down - we have plenty'.

So far I have spent a few hours moving furniture, vacuuming, and shampooing the carpet. Now I am waiting for the dehumidifier to works it magic, and when the half of the basement carpet that I cleaned is dry, I'll check to see if the stains are gone. If so, then onto the other half of the basement carpet, and probably the living room carpet too. Oh joy.

Later for you, time to check to see how clean it got.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, July 28, 2007

United Parcel Service (UPS) Deliveries...

...can be pretty iffy things, or so it seems to me if you want to receive items in good condition. I recently ordered a Ladder tree Stand from the Sportsmansguide.com. It was apparently delivered to my house yesterday by UPS, who left it on my front stoop. Funny, because my wife was home when it was delivered, yet no one knocked on our door, they just left it there.

The shipping carton was in horrendous shape; and maybe that is why no one knocked on the door to see if someone was home to accept delivery. I am willing to bet the delivery man did not
want to have the delivery "not" accepted. I have told my wife and kids never to accept a package in such shape. The carton itself had several holes in it, some that could easily fit my fist through them, and also had several smaller holes. The middle of the carton was bulged or bent. Parts of the ladder stand were sticking out of the box. The ends of the ladder stand were obviously scratched (I would like the finish intact to resist rust) where the delivery person, or someone else, had probably dragged the heavy box instead of lifting it (approximate weight 78 pounds plus box and packing material). If there are any small parts, and there should be nuts and bolts and such, my bet is some may be missing as I heard some pieces freely falling as I turned the box to take several pictures of it today. What a mess.


The holes shown in the pictures here are just some of them. Every corner of the box was torn open. There also were several smaller tears in the middle of the carton. At one point the box seems bent or bulged, I can only guess at the damage to the item inside, or that parts are likely missing. Well, I contacted the vendor: Sportsmansguide today. They told me to call back on Monday when Customer Service is open. I also sent them an email about this. Then I tried to contact UPS via their web site complaint process. It seems you need to know the extent of the damage before you can report something to them, so I guess I'll wait until Sportsmansguide tells me whether or not to even bother opening it, or to just return it for another.

Sportsmansguide has been good about stuff like this in the past, so I am hopeful they will take care of this right away. I am none too sure though that UPS will deliver another one in any better shape than this one. I know it can easily be lifted by someone in so-so shape, heck I lifted it today to take pictures, and my son carried it into the garage yesterday from the front stoop - never once dropping it, never once dragging it, never once damaging it. To think, the UPS delivery people get paid a darned good salary to leave things in such condition, they ought to be ashamed of themselves!
All the best,
Glenn B

The Immaculate Conception?

The test I just took, as mentioned in the post immediately previous to this one, once again demonstrated to me that many people are unaware of just what was the Immaculate Conception in Christian dogma. In that test of conservatism, they pose a question that in essence asks: If you could go back in time, and bring one thing with you, which choice would you make of the following 6 choices. One of those choices is this:

"The Immaculate Conception—with a video camera."

My guess is that the author of that question wrongly believes that the conception of Jesus Christ was The Immaculate Conception, after all this would be some action which you could see, and of which you might be able to take a video. The fact is that the Immaculate Conception was not the conception of Jesus Christ; nor was it an action of any sort. Do you know what truly was, according to Christianity, the Immaculate Conception? Don't look it up anywhere, just answer yes or no as to whether or not you know for sure. If I get a few answers either way, I'll tell you just what was it. And, yes I know the meaning of the Immaculate Conception even though I do not practice any faith; after all I used to be a practicing Catholic. Hint: it reportedly was revealed to Bernadette at Lourdes.


All the best,
Glenn B

Flag Waving Everyman or Anti-Government Gunslinger

Well, thanks to the Anarchangel, I took the test at: http://www.fightliberals.com/Inside-the-Book/What-Breed-of-Conservative-Are-You.html and I got the following results. Like the Anarchangel, I had an iffy answer. Question number 4 was a toss-up for me, with answers C or E being just as correct in my mind. Changing that one answer from C to E gave a very different result as seen below.

With C as the answer:




My Conservative Identity:

You are a Flag-Waving Everyman, also known as a patriot. You believe in freedom, apple pie, rooting for America at all times, and that God gave us a two-day weekend so we could enjoy football and NASCAR.




With E as the answer:



My Conservative Identity:

You are an Anti-government Gunslinger, also known as a libertarian conservative. You believe in smaller government, states’ rights, gun rights, and that, as Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”




So I guess I am teetering betwixt the two. I prefer to be the patriot, and don't really believe I am anti-government, unless they mean I am against our current brand of assholes politicians in charge of the Congress, the Judiciary and the Executive branches. I hope to help change that next election.

All the best,
Glenn B


Mindless Scribbling of an Insomniac...

...is about to grace this page.

I had some great nights' and days' sleep over the last week and a half when i was down with bronchitis. Now that I am feeling about 85-90% again, I am finding it hard to sleep through the night, or to even fall asleep. So for the last hour or so I have been playing solitaire, reading blogs, and looking at Tag Sale and estate Sale advertisements in the local paper. If I ever get some sleep tonight, when I awaken in the morning (heck I see it is already about an hour into the AM) I will be off to enjoy tearing through someone else's treasures and junk - looking for that find of a lifetime. I don't know what it is about tag sales (not garage sales, but sales in which the entire, or just about the entire, contents of a house are for sale) except maybe that I have bought some 'needful things' in the past that have somehow wound up making me a huge return on my measly investments when I resold them on eBay. I imagine, hypothetically of course, that if I have spent a few hundred dollars on items at tag sales, I have made back at least three to four times the amount. Who knows, but maybe after using all the gas, and after all the wear and tear on my car, I actually may have broken even - almost. It is all for fun, so off I'll probably go when the sun is up.

All the best,
Glenn b

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ballseye's Firearms Training & Tactics - Pistol Nomenclature

In order for a new comer to shooting to understand some of the things I will write about in the furture regarding how to familiarize yourself with and shoot a pistol, you will first need an understanding of basic pistol nomenclature. I have tried my hand at giving you a diagram that shows most of the nomenclature on a Beretta 92FS, double action, semi-automatic pistol. Note the nomenclature may or may not be the same for the type of pistol that you train with or shoot. In fact it may be quite different in some regards, especially with regard to the safety and its function, the hammer (exposed or not exposed), the magazine release (type and location), the slide lock/release (if any) and so forth. Always make sure to read the manufacturer's instruction sheet and pistol diagram to familiarize yourself with any firearm, and if they are not available then try to get them before handling the firearm. If you cannot get them, then ask a competent firearms instructor to familiarize you with the firearm; in fact even if you have the instruction sheet and diagram, it is a good idea to have an instructor familairize you with the firearm.

Sure, I know, the print seems to small to read, and those lines hard to follow; but if you left-click on the image, it should show up as an enlarged version. Any quiestions, leave them in the comments section. Note I only mentioned the parts you will have to understand to learn to shoot. That little metal ring at the bottom of the grips is a laynard loop (my personal opinion - don't bother ever using a laynard, except maybe on a boat). The screws in the grips are grip screws, don't take them ouut, but make sure they are tight. As I said, any questions, contact me via a comment.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Feeling Good Enough Today To Do Some Cooking...

...so I suspect I might get back to work tomorrow. Being out for a week and a half may sound okay, but is is not enjoyable when you cannot do much of anything. I did get to go to the range last Saturday with Brendan, and even though he drove there and back, I guess I should not have gone because it whooped the tar out of me. I thought I was getting better, better than I actually was, and I paid for that few hours of fun with feeling worse the next few days. Oh well, as the doc told me, it will take time for me to fully get better.

I did manage to cook three times this week, and I have not cooked that often in quite some years. First I cooked some really decent steaks my wife had marinated, and I grilled up some young octopus too. Mmmmmm gooood. Day before yesterday, I cooked up one heck of a roast chicken, if I say so myself - but then again Linda and Brendan told me it was great. I mixed up some butter, olive oil, prosciutto, green onions, oregano, paprika, lemon zest, and thyme and used it to stuff the bird under the breast skin (between the skin and breast meat). I added a bunch of baby red potatoes to the roasting pan along with some cut up white turnips, and some of the left over stuffing mixture, and there it was. As for me I really couldn't taste it, I haven't been able to taste almost anything in about a week now, though some of the flavors did get through to me.

Then today I made a mixture of east meets west kind of a meal. I sauteed young octopus in a pan then added halved cherry tomatoes, about 1/2 of a jalapeno pepper, a small green pepper, a bunch of green onions, regular onion, minced garlic, fresh thyme, fresh basil, a leaf or to of fresh spearmint, salt, pepper and the juice of half a lemon and let it cook. Later on I added bean sprouts (the type used in Chinese cooking), and snow pea pods (nice fat ones), and a bit of soy sauce. This time I could taste it a bit. Mmmm good, and Brendan said so to. The wife is about to sit down to try it. My guess is she will say too much salt but that she will like it. The great thing is she complimented me on how clean I kept the kitchen. That means I may start cooking more often. I do love to cook, and I love to eat what I cook even more.


Added Note: The wife sat down to a huge plate of it, all that was left. She ate with some gusto, said too salty and a bit too spicy, but overall was good. Oh well, she ate it all; and I am pleased to have pleased she who must be adored.

All the best,
Glenn B

Today In History: 10 Years of Controversary...

...began on today's date in 1997 when scientists announced that for the very first time human stem cells had been cultured in a lab. A progress report of his work was announced by Dr. John D. Gearheart, prior to his publishing it, in order to begin discussion of ethical guidelines for using stem cells. (see: http://www.todayinsci.com/7/7_25.htm)

I think there is a lot of medical promise in the use of stem cells, but I do not agree that they should be taken from aborted human fetuses. If someone wanted life that badly as to need stem cells from an aborted fetus, why not let the fetus live in the first place? No I am not totally against abortion, I believe there is a just and moral place for it, such as in instances of rape, medical need, and incest, but I also believe it should not be used as birth control for sluts who choose not to keep that pin between their knees. There are however, new methods of culturing stem cells, and I think these should be studied vigorously, and used to the benefit of mankind and the natural world around us.

All the best,
Glenn B

Classic Leading Man Test


Your Score: John Wayne


You scored 54% Tough, 4% Roguish, 23% Friendly, and 19% Charming!



You, my friend, are a man's man, the original true grit, one tough talking, swaggering son of a bitch. You're not a bad guy, on the contrary, you're the ultimate good guy, but you're one tough character, rough and tumble, ready for anything. You call the shots and go your own way, and if some screwy dame is willing to accept your terms, that's just fine by you. Otherwise, you'll just hit the open trail and stay true to yourself. You stand up for what you believe and can handle any situation, usually by rushing into the thick of the action. You're not polished and you're not overly warm, but you're a straight shooter and a real stand up guy. Co-stars include Lauren Bacall and Maureen O'Hara, tough broads who can take care of themselves.

Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the Classic Dames Test.

Link: The Classic Leading Man Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test


Well that is how I rated on the Classic Leading Man Test. If you want to try for yourself, go to:

http://www.okcupid.com/tests/8651547809586515731/Classic-Leading-Man

A Parable...

...as well written as what I am about to show you is a rare thing, especially in today's world; but what I am about to show you is well written indeed. It explains an awful lot about the world we live in, here in the USA and anywhere in the world. I received it in an email from a friend. I do not not know if there is any truth to the fact that it was supposedly written by someone in the U.S. Military to someone in academia, but I think little of that matters. What matters is the content of the parable, and the moral it conveys. Aesop would be proud of the man who wrote this.

Now please note, I don't have permission to reprint it here, then again I do not know if it is copyrighted material. I believe though with all my heart that the person who wrote it would want me to share it with you, and you with others. I hope so, but if he does not, and tells me to pull it from my site, I will do so. Yet I think that very unlikely just from the spirit in which it was written. Read on, it is on the long side, but well worth the read:



***

This letter was written by Charles Grennel and his comrades who are veterans of the Global War On Terror. Grennel is an Army Reservist who spent two years in Iraq and was a principal in putting together the first Iraq elections, January of 2005.

It was written to Jill Edwards, a student at the University of Washington who did not want to honor Medal of Honor winner USMC Colonel Greg Boyington. Ms. Edwards and other students (and faculty) do not think those who serve in the U.S. armed services are good role models.



To: Edwards, Jill (student, UW)Subject: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

Miss Edwards, I read of your "student activity" regarding the proposed memorial to Col. Greg Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. I suspect you will receive a bellyful of angry e-mails from folks like me.

You may be too young to appreciate fully the sacrifices of generations of servicemen and servicewomen on whose shoulders you and your fellow students stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways of youth and your naiveté. It may be that you are, simply, a sheep. There's no dishonor in being a sheep - - as long as you know and accept what you are.

William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997 said: "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

Then there are the wolves and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy. Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

Then there are sheepdogs and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the unchartered path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours. Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa." Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them.

This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door. Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America , more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." You want to be able to make a difference. There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.

There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa , when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself. Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey . Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When they learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd and the other passengers confronted the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

"There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men." - Edmund Burke. Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice.

But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision. If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

This business of being a sheep or a sheepdog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between.

Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. Its ok to be a sheep, but do not kick the sheepdog. Indeed, the sheepdog may just run a little harder, strive to protect a little better and be fully prepared to pay an ultimate price in battle and spirit with the sheep moving from "baa" to "thanks".

We do not call for gifts or freedoms beyond our lot. We just need a small pat on the head, a smile and a thank you to fill the emotional tank which is drained protecting the sheep. And when our number is called by "The Almighty", and day retreats into night, a small prayer before the heavens just may be in order to say thanks for letting you continue to be a sheep. And be grateful for the thousands - - millions - - of American sheepdogs who permit you the freedom to express even bad ideas.


***


It does not matter who wrote this in the end, what matters is the content, the moral contained within. It is masterful. I have not ever heard it said better. I think it should be required reading in grammar school all the way up through post-graduate schools. It should be something that parents read to their pre-school kids. It should be something read from pulpits in churches, synagogues, and mosques throughout the land. It is something that should be posted on billboards in our inner cities and suburbs. It is, I think, something that someone like Garrison Keiler should read on the radio, though I doubt he would ever recite anything as right as this. It is something that should be seen and heard nightly on the news. It is something our politicians, civic, religious and educational leaders need to emphasize. It is something all Americans need to wake up to and take to heart.


My thanks to the supposed person who wrote it: Charles Grennel - or whomever was the author - a true patriot indeed.


All the best,

Glenn B

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Macy's may not tell Gimble's...

.....but it appears as if Macy's has told on themselves! Macy's is reportedly dropping a T-shirt they had for sale reportedly because it could possibly have offended Hispanics. According to Macy's Drops T-Shirt After Possibly Offending Hispanic Community @ http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,290517,00.html Macy's brass made the following statement:

"We are constantly looking for unique and differentiated merchandise that will resonate with our customers as hip, current and trendy. We also continue to work in developing
business relationships with minority vendors to serve the growing diverse customer base. We apologize if customers have found some of the merchandise offensive and have removed the style that they found objectionable."

So what was the offensive T-shirt supposed to be like. Well they say it had a saying on it that goes: Brown Is The New White. Was that considered offensive to Hispanics because Hispanics are not brown but come in all colors of all the racial groups, including white. Or was it supposed to have been deemed offensive to Hispanics because it equated all Hispanics with whites? Well pardon me, I am not Hispanic, yet I am offended by such a message. I am a white male, but you could see that from my picture so you knew it already. So where is the apology from Macy's to me and other whites? Heck where is it that they actually figured out this was offensive to whites? It is not there! I guess Macy's thinks it is okay to show disrespect to white folks so long as they do not offend folks of other ethnic backgrounds. I find it highly offensive to think that Macy's has deemed the Hispanics of the world, especially in the USA where is their major sales base, to now wholly be representative of white America as it is implied inn that logo. This apparent anti-white discrimination, by corporations and government agencies, has gone just about far enough for me. I have a Macy's credit card, but not for long. Allow me to pause a few minutes here while I get something done.

..On the phone holding for an automated system...

...On the phone still holding, still automated...

...Still holding, waiting for a person...

...On with Sanjur in person, who is having a bit of trouble understanding my concern, and who wants to give me a 15% discount to keep my card, and keeps giving me his apologies. After a few more minutes on hold and some confirmation stuff, he informs me my account is closed. They will supposedly send me a mailed confirmation of such and he was unable to give me a confirmation number. He says goodbye, I say good bye, he starts to apologize again telling me I am always welcome to reopen account, I hang up as he is still apologizing.

Okay, I am back with you guys, and I no longer have a Macy's credit card. If a lot more people did what I just did, Macy's would have their corporate head pop out of their corporate ass for a least a moment to take notice, and maybe some things would change.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"Made it Ma, top of the trees!"

Yes I readily admit borrowing from an infamous line from the movie White Heat starring James Cagney, in which he spouts out: Made it ma, top of the world!" just before he is gunned down.


I am hoping though that my saying such will not get me gunned down, but will get my gun pointed down, toward a nice whitetail buck this coming hunting season. I just placed an order, at Sportsmansguide.com, for one of these tree stands. They have it billed as a Guide Gear Buddy 12' Tree stand, Guide gear being the house names for Sportsmansguide products that are manufactured for Sportsmansguide by other companies. I am pretty sure this is manufactured by Hunter's View.

Among its features it all steel square tubular construction, comes with 3 four foot ladder sections sections (which may mean it is really taller than 12', or they got that description wrong on the section sizes), has a 40x13" seat for two (how comfy when freezing out), has a flip up shooting rail, attaches to the trees with two ratchets and a ladder support bar, weighs 78 pounds and supports 500 pounds (I can gain a few more - no way). I am hopeful this is the same one Brendan and I sat in last year while on his bear hunt up in Maine. It was pretty sturdy. I note I saw another that Sportsmansguide.com had, a 16 footer, at 73 pounds. They added height to that one, yet apparently cut back on weight. I would rather have more steel for stronger support over a smaller height, and mine will have an addition 5 pounds of steel even though it is supposed to be 4 feet shorter. Makes me feel more secure.

Of course a good set of safety harnesses will make me feel even safer. I am not sure if they come with this model or not. The ad says the stand comes with "2 tree connection harnesses for safe, secure holding power"; and I don't think these are the ratchet straps used to secure the stand to the tree because they are mentioned separately; so I am hopeful they mean safety harnesses. If not, I'll have to buy a pair. Still this would not be a bad deal. The stand, and a MasterLock eight foot cable with lock (another item on its own) went for $127.43. The breakdown was:

1. Masterlock® 8' Python Adjustable Locking Cable (Product: WCS6-103897)
In Stock.
Quantity: 1, Unit Price: $13.47, Total Price: $13.47

2. Guide Gear® 12' Two - man Ladder Stand (Product: HX7X-120427)
In Stock.
Quantity: 1, Unit Price: $89.97, Total Price: $89.97

Payment Information:
Merchandise Total:
$103.44

Shipping and Handling:
$33.99

Shipping Method:
Ground

Coupon [SG806]:
- $10.00

Grand Total:
$127.43


Yeah, shipping is a big hit, but the thing does weigh 78 pounds, so I can live with the cost on this one. Note the cost of the stand is $99.99 but I got it for $89.99 with my Sportsmansguide buyer's club discount; and I got another $10 for an online coupon. Not a bad deal at all as far as I can tell; that is if I don't wind up falling out of it and breaking something.

I almost cannot wait to find out how you get his thing secured to a tree in the first place. I almost can not imagine me climbing up it while it is still unsecured, in order to secure it to a tree. I guess that is how it works though, sounds like neck breaking fun, doesn't it. I promise to be careful though. I also figure I'll have to bring along a saw to cut off branches that may otherwise be in the way, hope I don't fall off onto the saw. You might be seeing Saw III, starring me. I guess I'll have to be heading upstate soon to begin deer scouting, and to look for suitable trees for this baby. I'll also have to start an exercise program, because lugging this through the woods will certainly be no picnic, not at 78 pounds. Multiple trips to the tree, or help from Brendan. We'll see, yes we will.

All the best,
Glenn B

A fine afternoon....

...for the birds and the bees as they whizzed by on their ways to do whatever it is they really do, with blue skies over head, a few lofty clouds floating by, a warm summer breeze under their wings, and the late day sunshine to guide them. Just enough breeze reaching now and then under the branches of the dogwood tree to fill the air with the voice of the wind chimes, a symphony of sorts when combined with the chirping of the sparrows and house finches, the cooing of the doves, the buzzing of the bees, and the rustling of the leaves above. Add to that the wafting aromas of finely grilled marinated steak, along with the ever so faint aromas of grilled octopus; then take in the site of a table laden with potato salad in vinegar and oil with cukes and onions, bean salad, cuke salad, asparagus spears and good drink; and maybe - just maybe - you begin to think it does not get much better than that. Yet it got better when I was joined by my wife Linda for a nice dinner for two, and I really thought it does not get much better than this, heck I thought it does not get better than this. Even though I still feel pretty miserable, am still somewhat ill from my continuing bout with bronchitis, even though I could barely taste most of the food because my sense of taste is off kilter from my illness, I knew it could not get much better than it was. Life is good sometimes, even when you are down and out, or ill, or grumpy, or sad, or blue, or rotten or whatever. You just have to look around you and take it in for what it is worth. I can tell you, even if some of the days in between were not so great, today was worth saying 'I do' some 21 plus years ago.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, July 21, 2007

"There stands Jackson...

...like a stone wall." Every now and again, I check out today in history. As fate would have it, I did so today and I learned something about the significance of today that I had not known. Yes, I already knew about the above quote, though I would not have remembered it, or who spoke it; but I had no idea at which battle it was uttered, nor on what day or date, nor by whom it was uttered. It was uttered by Confederate General Barnard Bee, on Sunday July 21, 1861, in the (first) Battle of Bull Run, aka: the Battle of Manassas, or just Manassas as it was known by the confederates. After that, Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson was commonly known as: Stonewall Jackson. It is a name, no doubt, with which most of us are familiar, but how many knew the details of how he came by that moniker?

If you want to learn a bit more about it, then go to this link:
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/jul21.html#bullrun

Another site to check out to see 'today in hsitory' is: http://www.historynet.com/today_in_history

Great stuff!

All the best,
Glenn B



Ballseye's Firearms' Training and Tactics - Another Safe Day At The Range

Brendan and I went to the range today and had a blast (whether or not a pun was intended has not yet been determined). We brought along the Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun, the Yugoslavian SKS, the Ruger 10/22 (with untried red dot scope), the Marlin 336 in .35 Remington, and I also had a Glock 19. We took some videos at the range today. I don't know why I never thought of this before, but today it dawned on me that our digital camera takes videos, so why not give it a shot (yes this pun was intentional)!






As you guys have probably figured out by now, I am a bit of a stickler for safety at the range (or anywhere else when firearms are involved). I guess that comes from 5 years of summer camp and lanyards across the thighs if I was unsafe while shooting there, 28 years as an LEO where I got my behind chewed out more than once, 14 years of which included collateral duties as a firearms instructor when I chewed out some people more than once, and because I know that firearms mistakes are often fatal. There are few transgressions of firearms safety rules for which I will not immediately correct someone with whom I am shooting; I like to breathe without extra holes.

Today, Brendan was pretty safe, as he always is when we go to the range. Take a look at the embedded video (I actually joined YouTube today to be able to do this, I hope it works) and watch him load, shoot, then check the 870 after he is finished shooting. Then think about whether or not he did anything wrong safety wise. Please exclude his not wearing a cap, I meant to bring a couple of them, but forgot them; and in our case today one was not needed because no one was next to us so hot brass was not a problem. If you are not a stickler for range safety you may not think he did anything wrong as he follows the basic rules of firearms safety; but he did do/or fail to do at least 1 thing; and had he done otherwise he would have been safer. No criticism of him from me over this, just told him about it; and he did all other things very well safety wise from what I could see. So don't get me wrong and think I am posting this to be critical of him or to embarrass him; but I am posting it to show you how easy it is to do something not safe, or to forget to do something safe. The truth is, he got me on a video forgetting to do something too. Take a look at that one, and see if you can spot it; and I do not mean my stopping to put on my safety glasses that I obviously had forgotten to don before picking up the rifle.




Comments welcome and anticipated.

Thanks,
Glenn B

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Never Forget Tribute

You may have noticed that the Never Forget Tribute I had to the right of my posts has either moved to the bottom of the page on the right, or has disappeared. I moved it down there today because I noticed that when I tried to look at my blog, the tribute and all the other things on the right that normally came after said tribute just did not show up. I deleted my temp Internet files, my cookies, yada-yada, hoping to get rid of whatever bug was causing this, all with no success. Then I thought since the problem was starting right at the tribute, maybe if I delete it or move it that would do the trick. Well sort of yes it did, and sort of no it did not. Once it was moved to the bottom, all the other links lists were again viewable, but the tribute still remains unseen. maybe it will fix itself, I figure it is a problem at the point of origin, which is not this site.

If it starts working again, I'll put it back near the top where it belongs.

All the best,
Glenn B

A Nice Tribute to Our Military Personnel...

...is sometimes a hard thing to find. There is one out there, and thanks to a friend of mine who emailed me the link, I got to see it, and now can share it with you. It is called Remember Me by Lizzie Palmer.

Before seeing this, I did not visit YouTube all that much, figuring it was almost all crap, but after seeing this tribute, I may have to look at YouTube more often from now on. Heck the linked video has been on there for 8 months, I wonder what other good stuff I am missing.

Please pass on the link as I shared it with you, and my friend shared it with me.

Thanks Thor.

All the best,
Glenn B

It didn't even reach...

...98.6 this morning. I woke up this morning soaking wet from sweat, with the AC blasting and set at 67 degrees. I noticed right off that I was able to breathe pretty freely, albeit still a bit weakly, and that overall I felt somewhat better than yesterday. When I took my temp I was happily surprised to see it registered only 98 degrees. Guess I must be well on the road to recovery - woo hoo. Its about time. Man this older aged stuff of taking longer to get over being sick sure sucks, but feeling better cannot be beat, even if it is only a bit better so far.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Some Good News...

...at least for me; my tumor was not cancerous. Actually it was a lump of dead fat, probably from some sort of trauma, but heck I cannot remember anything that whacked me in that spot. Oh well; I live on, but just a bit miserably right now. I have to get a chest x-ray today because my MD now believes I may have pneumonia instead of bronchitis. Oh joy.

The first and the last time I had pneumonia was in the 1980s, and after I recovered I was told what a miracle it was that I had survived because the docs had basically given me up for dead. I guess about 3 days of 103 to 104 temps, followed by about 2 days of 105 - 106 plus temps while at home, then by 3 more similar days of super high temps in the hospital, had them figure I was fried for good. I don't give up that easy though. As is with this time, my initial diagnosis then was not pneumonia, they told me back then it was just a passing virus. Man were they wrong, it was some form of bacterial pneumonia. Hopefully it is not pneumonia now, I certainly don't want a repeat performance, except maybe with my regard to being a survivor. I am scheduled for x-rays later today.

So, sorry but no great deal of blogging coming from me probably at least for a few days.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Okay - just a little bit before I head back to bed...

...and sleep the sleep of fevered dreams.

I just did a little reading on some of the blogs I look to with fair regularity. Over at
Geeks With Guns, I read the first part of this article,:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=465570&in_page_id=1770

Then I read the rest at the link that was supplied. What is written in the article should come as no surprise to anyone who thinks rationally about what has been going on with Islamic terrorists (with all Islamists in fact, and no I am not saying all are terrorists, but all by into a faith that seeks to inherit the earth and convert her people). I guess though there will be some who have a difficult time either believing this, or comprehending it, those like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, most of the far left wackos here in the USA and abroad. Heck the people in the UK are not willing to accept it, they still seemingly prefer to believe it is their fault or our fault that the terrorists are killing them. When will the rest of the world awaken and realize it is the terrorists at fault, and in this case: Islamic terrorists and those in Islam who support them, ignore them, run and hide in fear of them without doing anything to defeat them, of course as well as those among our own nations who sympathize with them or make excuses for them.

All the best,
Glenn B

Nope, today is not a likely day...

...for me to blog in earnest. Fever still at 101.5, still feel like someone beat the tar out of me, I have aches all over, and still mightily congested. Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in soon. This stinks, and for once I can say: Being off from work is not better than being at work, at least in this case.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sorry about the lack of blogging...

...but I guess a bout of bronchitis will get to the best of us, let alone an older geezer like me. Third day, sick since Saturday night, and I am still running a fever, but the doc assured me today that the antibiotics will do the trick within a few days. I can only hope so, because as it is now - everything hurts, and foolish me I thought bronchitis effected ones bronchial tubes. Maybe this is bronchitis with a vengeance.

I expect to be back at it once I am feeling better.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Respect on the Internet...

...is something that is sometimes easy to find, and easy to lose. I guess it is often easy to find if you find yourself in agreement with someone on a blog, or find they agree with your own blog. The sad thing seems to be that it is just as easily lost, often when one person finds himself in disagreement with another. This often causes one or the other of those involved, sometimes both, to lose respect for one another; and you know disagreements should not necessarily do that.

I usually write out my opinion in no uncertain terms. I do so with respect for the other person whom I am addressing or for the audience I am addressing. In the case of the Internet, that audience could be just about anyone. I expect the same back from my readers, or from other bloggers on whose sites I leave comments. I do not always get such. In fact sometimes you get little to no respect at all if you are not a supporter of whomever you are addressing, or of their blog and viewpoints. I find that makes for such a dull, and boring world , and that usually people who expect you to bow down to their opinions and theirs alone (or at least ones that support theirs) are dull and boring no matter how otherwise intelligent they may be. Differences of opinion make for great discussion and great writing, and being able to respect the opinions of others within reason, even when you may disagree with them, goes to show a great person.

When I comment on a post on another's blog, I truly appreciate it when that person allows me to continue to post even though we maybe strongly opposed to one another on some issues. What I do not appreciate is when that other person twists what I have said, or starts name calling or other childish BS, to make it appear as if I am some person not worthy of a readership, or not worthy to leave comments on their blog.

Along those lines, I can say that without a doubt, I do not read any one's blog with the intent of causing trouble by leaving opposing comments, opinions, viewpoints, and ideas; but nor do I go to any one's web site or blog with the intent of getting down on my knees to bow to them as some sort of guru who is the know all be all of whichever subject is at hand. It would be pointless to do either as far as I am concerned, and all it would amount to is animosity or arse kissing.

Of course, sometimes in the source of reading forums, blogs and such, I come across a site that is interesting, wherein the people are usually respectful, and wherein I can leave comments of my own opinion about the issues discussed without having to worry about offending anyone so long as I remain civil. It is often at these sites that I develop what amounts to an association with the person who runs the site, or with the blogger. Many of the blog sites to which I link over on the right are virtually inhabited by folks like that, and although I do not link only to ones like that, I try my best to link to sites wherein I think you will find a respectful attitude should you post a comment therein whether or not it agrees with the mindset of the blogger in question.

The best thing about trying to link to the sites of bloggers who are like that is that you often wind up making a virtual acquaintance that turns out to be surprisingly amicable; like having made a friend. I can say without a doubt that even though I have never personally met any of these bloggers in real life, a few of them seem like old friends already. That is a nice thing about the Internet blogs and forums, and I'll try to keep this blog respectful to the opinions of others even when we do not agree with one another; and I'll try to keep linked to the sites of other bloggers whom to me seem to do likewise.

In closing I'd like to say, thanks to those of you who are respectful commenters and bloggers. You make the Internet a better place, and I am happy to link to your sites here.

Before I close, allow me to say that this post has very little to do with any previous one, and this one is not directed at any particular person I mentioned in a previous post. This one is directed at you folks who make this blog a nicer place to visit, who have your own blog that is worth a visit, and who can share ideas, and voice differences of opinion, and still respect the opinions of others within reason. Thanks.

All the best,
Glenn B

Jim Cirillo - Another Good Man Gone

Jim was killed in an automobile/truck accident on Thursday July 12th. See: http://www.uticaod.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070713/NEWS/70713003 for more details.

I seem to remember I first met Jim Cirillo back in the early to mid 1980's when I worked for the U.S. Customs Service as a patrol officer. I met him at a firearms range in his capacity of Firearms Instructor. Earlier today when I thought back, to those way back times, I had thought I met him at the NYPD range at Rodman's Neck in NYC, but upon further thinking about it, we may have first met at the FLETC either when I was in the Border Patrol Academy in 1979/80, or when I was there for the CPO academy in 1983. Whenever is not so important, what is important, at least to me is that I met him at all, and that he took his time to make me a better shooter and better law enforcement officer.

When we first met, I was almost immediately enthralled by his feisty, yet gentlemanly mannerisms, and by his stories of his time on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) Stakeout Unit (commonly called the Stakeout Squad). I say almost because if I remember right, I at first wondered who was this crusty older guy who was reprimanding me for whatever I had just done wrong regarding how I was aiming, when I figured I had done it right. Boy did I still have a lot to learn about getting it right regarding combat/tactical shooting, and there I was being chewed out, unknown to me at that moment, by one of the all time most experienced shootists the world has known. He got me to pay attention right away, but what else could I have done than pay attention to him with his slightly antagonistic, self assured, yet pleasantly dynamic personality. Despite my thinking I was right, and despite my wondering who was this crusty old geezer (and he was not all that old but I was all that young still in my twenties) he got me to listen to him that very first time, and not only did I listen, I actually learned something. I got better at tactical shooting with the very next shot. Oh those days of blued steel revolvers and the real men who shot them!

Later on, one of the other range officers told me who he was, and told me about him. I was awestruck, and the reason for it was because I just had been in contact with a living legend, but yet a man who considered himself just a regular guy. He was in fact a living legend because of his time on the NYPD Stakeout Unit during which time he was in multiple armed encounters, and during many of which he shot it out with the bad guys - him always coming out the winner as far as I can recall. If I have it right, while he was on the Statkeout Squad from 1968 through 1973 he was involved in 17 shoot outs with bad guys, 11 of which resulted in fatalities (yes - of bad guys).

I was honored to realize he had just taken some time to pay attention to me. After that we were on friendly terms in the way you are friendly with people at work while at work. Jim always had a good story, a good joke, and a good way about him. Over the years, I saw him at FLETC and also at the NYPD range at Rodman's Neck when he visited NY and stopped by to say hi while we Customs folks were using the NYPD range. He always remembered me and I was nicely surprised by that. Up until just before his death, Jim remained active as a firearms instructor. I am sure that many others owe him a debt of gratitude for the skills he taught them.

I will remember him always, he really was a good guy; and the stuff he taught me is still useful to me today. I have been in a few armed encounters in my career, only one where I had to shoot someone and that was while off duty. I am sure what he taught me at least helped me in part to come out a winner.

My condolences to his loved ones and friends, and to all of you, who like me, will miss him.


I also wish to express my hopes that the other driver involved in the accident recover quickly.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, July 13, 2007

Road Trip Photos

I guess I had almost forgotten to post some pics of the road trip that Brendan and I enjoyed a couple of weeks back. I can tell you, and I probably already told you, we had lots of fun. We went fishing, canoeing, hiking, sight seeing, snake hunting, caught toads and frogs, and also caught some crayfish. All in all it was a grand time, but I'll let you judge from among some of the few pictures I took. One of the first things we did after arriving was to go and get some fishing done. On the way to the fishing spot, Brendan caught a garter Snake (and released it). It was a nice sized one, but the picture did not come out well. As for the fishing, well the fish were on the small side and few and far between, although we caught several that first day. Brendan is holding a Sunny he caught, then released. A hook loaded with an earthworm, attached to a line with a float, and you can catch almost any freshwater fish in NY.


The next day we headed out to Ausable Chasm for some sightseeing. The hike through the private park was about 3 miles long, and ended with a tram ride back to the parking lot. The chasm was well worth the $34 or so dollars we paid to get in to see it. First I'll post a pic of Joe Cool, then Joe Not So Cool, then scenery shots. I'll basically let the scenery speak for itself, but I will tell you a bit about each shot. The pic of Joe Cool show the Falls at the head of the chasm. The same goes for the next pic, that of Joe Not So Cool. What can I say, I used to be young, and thin, like Joe Cool; but now about 50 extra pounds and old age have brought me down.


Oh well, I guess that is to be expected as one grow older, though I must point out I recently started hitting the treadmill and the weights again. Maybe by next summer I will look more like Joe Cool does here in the weight department - yeah right!


The next series of pics are scenery shots. As you can see in some of these pics, there is a walkway that you take to see most of the chasm. This walkway has been replaced several times over the years. When I was a kid it was more of a catwalk hanging off the side of the cliffs and over the water. Now there is more of a path that was blasted into the cliff face. I guess the reason for this was the floods they had in the 1990s.

Look closely and the shots with the bent and twisted catwalk. That spot is about 60 feet above the water level when the picture was taken. You guessed it, the floods caused the water to rise high enough to damage that catwalk, and tear down many others. At some points, they told us, it reached 90 feet above the level of where it was when we saw it. Talk about flash floods, man that must have been awesome.

Can you just imagine a river flooding to 90 feet above its normal levels. I guess I had never thought of such a thing before, but when you look down these narrow gorges, it is not all that hard to fathom. The flood actually brought down some bridges elsewhere on the river, and they had a big chunk of one of those bridges on display. I would have loved to have been there, observing from atop the cliffs, as that show was going on, and I would probably have been scared as anything that the cliffs would give way to that great force. Note that if you click on the first one to enlarge it, you will notice little people on a catwalk, about midway vertically in the right hand side of the picture. That will give you an idea of scale as to the chasm depth from the top to the surface of the water - and the water is about 40 feet deep (or was it 60) in some places at this water level, so just imagine another 40 feet of depth to the chasm.

Remember that if you want, you raft or tube the river through the chasm. I think it is about a mile long trip. We chose not to, but I think Brendan may have an idea of trying it out
when he returns there someday. This was my second trip there, I made my initial trip when I was much younger than Brendan, before I was 9 years old. I always wanted to bring my kids there, now at least one of the two have seen it.


You again can see some folks in the next shot to give you an idea of the size of the place. Besides being big, this place was cool, and I mean it literally. It was one of the hottest days of the year so far, and will probably remain one of the hottest ones. Despite that, there were some shady places in the chasm that were almost as if air conditioned. God, mother nature, chaos, luck, whomever or whatever was responsible, certainly figured out how to do it right as far as I am concerned. I don't know if you can see them in any of the pics we took, but there are also a bunch of pigeons in the chasm. Yes those veritable New York City rats with wings live free and wild at Ausable Chasm.

The last two shots are one nearing the end of the chasm but looking back upriver, and another where the chasm ends and opens up to a wider area of river. Since I don't know if you will ever get the chance to see this in person, I thought these were some nice shots to share with you. I don't know about how you feel after seeing the pictures, but if you are not impressed let me say it is still worth going to see the actual chasm. Walking the trail and catwalks while viewing Ausable Chasm is truly a humbling and impressive experience, well worth the trip in my book.


Even when you come to the end of the chasm, or at least this part of the chasm (as I am not sure if it ends here) the view is impressive. This has got to be one of the most scenic things I have ever taken in within the USA, and I have been to an awful lots of places in the lower 48. it is not anywhere on the same scale of the Grand canyon, but it is impressive in its own right. If you ever get the chance to be in northeastern New york state, then a side trip to Ausable Chasm would be well worth a detour. About the only thing I wanted to do while at the chasm, that they just would not allow, was to try my hand at fishing in the river. I was told - no trout here, too swift. The lady who told me that does not know fish, or fisherman; because even if she had been right, a fisherman is always willing to give in to eternal hope and wet a line.

The next day, our last day in the area, we went canoeing in the St. Regis wilderness area. What a nice place, wonderfully crisp fresh air, lots of deep and beautiful forest, crystal clear water, the chance to see wildlife. Maybe not pristine wilderness, but probably as close as you can get to such in New York. Shame on me, I did not take any pictures while out on the lakes canoeing. I guess carrying our canoe to the launching site from the rental store had me huffing and puffing so much I forgot all about taking pictures. We did paddle around on two connected ponds or lakes, and we fished as we did so. Brendan had some impressive hits from big fish, but they both threw the hooks. What we caught were only a couple of small ones each and that was it. One fish he caught was sucker which to me was quite unexpected in one of those lakes. I had only seen them in streams and rivers before. It was about a 12 to 14 incher. I caught a smallmouth bass, maybe 1 pound in weight (if lucky). I also managed to get canoe knees, despite three applications of sunblock. It wasn't too bad, as you can see I survived. Brendan used stronger sunblock, and he had the last laugh on me. Well at least I didn't fall into the water or anything like that, not yet as far as the trip went anyhow.

We left the area that afternoon and headed west toward the Finger Lakes. I'll write more about that in another rant tomorrow or the following day. I figure this one is long enough to have completely bored you by now, much like was our 5 1/2 hour car ride to our next destination.

All the best,
Glenn B