Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lack of Blogger Mojo...

...may be just what I have been experiencing over the past couple of days. Yesterday I was off from work for a medical test, got home about 2PM and fell asleep almost as soon as i got home. I woke up about 9PM or so. I owe a friend an apology because I did not meet him as planned for a get together at 7PM.

Then today, I got stuck at work until now. Yes still there, and just getting this typed before I head home. So I have not had a lot of energy or time to dedicate to my daily rant. Hopefully I will write something tonight, or tomorrow morning before I go to work.

My apologies to those of you who visited and found nothing new.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, October 29, 2007

GO NAVY

GO NAVY, GO NAVY, GO NAVY
If you don't know why I just typed in GO NAVY, see the previous post, and see the donation icon on the top right of my page.
All the best,
Glenn B

Supporting Our Military Personnel...

...is something I feel strongly about, and I think we should all do something for them. I was never in the military service, and I kind of regret that, so I try to help out now and then. Tonight, courtesy of the Grouchy Old Cripple I learned about a fundraiser that Soldier's Angels is holding. I already knew about Soldier's Angels because I am sort of an email pen pal to a soldier in Afghanistan, and I signed up for that through Soldier's Angels. (Hmm, just remembered I have not written to my assigned soldier pen pal in too long). They seem like a worthy organization, worthy of trust, so I think I will make a donation to their fund raiser. Not only will I do that, but I will also encourage my readers to do likewise. As I understand the donations go to buying voice activated lap top computers for those of our military personnel who were wounded (in action I suppose). Go here to read about the project, call Project Valour - IT . Once there you can click on the Valour IT Donations link on the left side of the Valour IT page under Programs, and it will tell you how to donate via Paypal, or you can just click the fancy link on the upper right side of my blog to donate. The link on my page is part of an annual fund raising competition at Soldier's Angels where you can decide to donate to a team made up of Army, Marines. Airf Force, or Navy/Coast Guard. My father and step-father were both in the navy, and a good friend of mine was in the Coast Guard, so I picked that icon for my page. To see more info about the icons, go to this link, or look for the link to it on the left side of the Valour IT Donations Page under the programs links list.

Whichever team you choose to which to donate, and however much of a donation you make, I think it will be worth it for our troops. Bear in mind, as I understand, this so called competition for donations is for fun, that is the competion thing between branches of the military. All of the donations, regardless of to which team you donated, eventually go toward the same general Valour-IT fund to get those laptops for our injured military people regardless of in which branch they served.

All the best,
Glenn B

A Scouting Report...

...is within order, since I spent at least part of two other posts writing about how I would go on a pre-hunt scouting trip this weekend. I did finally manage to get away yesterday. In the wee hours of the morning (and I do mean the wee hours) I went out to the shed and garage and packed up what I would need for a good day in the woods, and was off. I left my house at about 0320 (3:20 AM). The skies had cleared after a few days of rain, the stars were shining brightly, and the chill at that hour of the morning was not all that bad (I guess global warming is making it nicer for us older folks. Yes I am only 52 but I figure that is within the last 1/3 of my life so it makes me older, anyway the aches and pains I get prequalify me to call myself old).

I had a nice ride on roads that were fairly empty. I have to drive through part of Long Island, into part of NYC, and then onto the highway toward upstate. Having any of those roads without a lot of traffic is a good thing, and having them almost empty of cars is even better. I got to the first spot I would scout at about 0645. I made good time for the 190 mile trip, what with the stops for tolls, and with a short stop for gas and a bite to eat. When I got there my first thought was "Wow still kind of dark". Actually it was beginning to get light, but really was still 'kind of dark'. Funny how the shorter days sort of creep up on me once we get into the Fall and hunting season approaches. I think actual sunrise was about 0720 yesterday, up around that way.

As it was I got geared up and out into the woods by about 0700. When I say geared up, I do mean it. When I hunt, or scout, or hike, I go out into the field with a small pack that hold everything I will need to survive if I get stuck there by an emergency, let's say I break a leg, or I get lost, or whatever. I had 3 litres of water in my new Camelback Ranger pack, and along with that a decent supply of essentials. Included in y pack were: two full MREs, 2 bags of peanuts, a few other small snacks, a small first aid kit (one that I made not the prepackaged type, a compass, a signal whistle, a flashlight, extra batteries for the flashlight, glow sticks, matches, a fire starter candle, a magnesium bar fire starter, a good sheath knife (had another on my belt), rope, waxed dental floss (makes a good snare), extra gloves, extra wool socks, extra undies (one never knows), a fleece sweater, medicinal papers arse wipes, head net (comes in handy in a survival situation as a fish net to catch minnows and keeps away bugs, but my main use is for camo while scouting or hunting), deer scent, deer scent pads, deer call, and a few other things. Not much room as I could barely close the pack, but I managed to get it closed without tearing the zippers. Add to all that what I carried or fastened to the back of the pack and it was a bit of added weight, albeit in a somewhat tidy package. On my person I carried a set of rattling antlers (they mimic the sounds of bucks fighting and are used to attract deer), a sheath knife, a bow and arrows (and yes I have an archery stamp on my license). In my pockets I had: a couple of folding knives, a bottle of deer scent, gloves, a snack or two, and whatever else I had. By the way, while I ate a couple of snacks while out in the woods for a few hours, I do not eat em all; they really are for survival if I need them. Add to that the clothes I was wearing: hiking boots, thermal undies top and bottom, regular clothes, all topped off by a camo set of rain gear. This is a great way to exercise, in walking a few miles yesterday I probably lost 4 pounds because of the extra weight I toted.

Even though I carried the extra gear, which meant that extra weight, I got to walk through the woods fairly silently yesterday. The ground was still nice and damp from the good soaking it had received over the past few days. That is a good thing when looking for animals with as keen a sense of hearing as have Whitetail Deer. Besides the dampness of the leaf litter, I know a bit about how to stalk, and if I put my mind to it I can sometimes get amazingly close to wild animals. I have walked up to within 25 to 30 feet of a black bear, within about 15 feet of a Bobcat, about 15 feet from a flock of turkeys, and to with 5 feet of Whitetail Deer. Don't get me wrong, I am nothing special when it comes to this, and the norm is they get spooked and take off long before I even see them, but I have done these things, once with a bear, once with a bobcat, a few times with deer (only once to within as close as 5 feet with other times as close as about 15-20 feet, although once I had a deer walk right up to me and sniff my face from only inches away, and that I can tell you was exhilarating), and with turkeys twice. I just paid attention to all that hooey that I read in Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, and Sports Afield when I was a teenager. Some of it actually works. This weekend though it did not mater much what I seemed to do. I got skunked, no not as in getting sprayed but as in not seeing any game out in the woods except for a single Ruffed Grouse, and a few Gray Squirrels. I did get to see some deer sign, I found a couple of bedding areas that look to have been regularly used by deer. I also came across a few rubs, and more importantly across a few fresh scrapes. So I am hopeful I have located at least some trails that bucks are actively using. Hopefully at least one of them will still be around when the rifle season opens. Of course there are probably does using those trails too being it is now the early side of the rut; those bucks are not using those trails just to make scrapes, they are looking for mates and following doe trails by now. Either a buck or doe is fine by me for some good eating venison, but I am hopeful Brendan gets a decent buck for his first deer (yes I am being a bit confident that he will get a deer).

As it turned out, I had a nice walk around the woods and field edges, got some info on the whereabouts of the deer, and I had time to really enjoy the woods. I walked only a few miles at most in about 6 hours of walking because I walk slowly, very slowly with lots of stopping and waiting/looking, when I stalk or look for deer sign. While doing so you really get to appreciate all the sights, sounds and aromas that appease your senses if only you pay attention to them. I got to see a pretty good number of birds like chickadees, Crows, Blue Jays, and others I cannot name, and I also enjoyed the wide variety of mushrooms I saw (no eating them for me unless store bought, just too risky), and the leaves still left on the trees ranged from dull brown, to bright green, to vibrant yellow, to flaming red and orange. All in all it was a good day. Next weekend I intend to go to another spot, much closer to home, maybe only an hour and half to two hours away. That is the same spot we hunted last year, and there was plenty of deer sign there and I spotted about 5 of them when trying to drive some toward Brendan. of course, they went in the opposite direction, so no luck then. Instead of a bow though, I'll bring a rifle in .22LR, or a shotgun. The woods there are all hardwoods, mostly oaks, and there were lots of acorns last year. My guess is that squirrels and turkeys abound, and I'll be looking for the bushytails if I bring the 22, and for both if I bring the shotgun. A wild turkey sure would be nice for Thanksgiving.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, October 27, 2007

It was a long rainy day...

...and the skies that were supposed to have cleared up by about 2 this afternoon were still pouring down on me, and everyone else up this way till well after 4. So if you were wondering what I have been doing at my computer writing this for you to read, instead of me being upstate to scout for deer, well that is most of the reason why I am still home. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I mind getting wet or anything like that when I am out scouting or hunting deer. As a matter of fact I like to scout on rainy days, and on days that are overcast and damp. The thing is though, I had chores to do, and they too about 2 hours longer than expected. Then I had to head into the west side of Brooklyn to pick something up (yes another snake that someone was adopting out, and I had promised to pick up), then I made a stop in my old neighborhood (I guess I had already sort of decided to delay the scouting trip by then), then I got back home and it was later than I had thought. Later mostly because of weather-wise traffic delays that I had hit along the way, but I will admit my hour stopover in the old neighborhood added to the delay; but as I said by then I was pretty sure the scouting trip was off for today. So I decided that it might be better to wait until tomorrow if I am up early enough, and feeling feisty enough, to make a 3 1/2 to 4 hour trip there, and then scout, and then make the same trip back, all in one day. If I don't go tomorrow, I am making plans to go next weekend regardless of the weather conditions (within reason), and then I'll go on Friday evening so I get all day Saturday out in the woods.

I did find something out today though that perked me up while I stopped in the old neighborhood. I spoke to another guy I know who hunts, and he reminded me it is archery season already. I may drag out my bow for some practice this weekend (whether or not I get upstate), and then try for some venison next weekend. Chances are though, I'll just wait for the firearm's season since I have not had enough practice with the bow in all to long. of course, if I shoot it like Robin hood tomorrow, who knows.

Oh well, there is always tomorrow or next week; but certainly not much time after that.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, October 26, 2007

Today In History - The Shootout At The OK Corral

Yep it was on October 26 in the year 1881 that this famous shootout took place. The story has been told, retold, written up in newspapers, in pulp magazines, in novels telling tales of the west, and on the silver screen again and again and again. So I am not going to tell you about it again. Let it just suffice to say that this was not a pace down the street toward each other, then slap leather, draw and fire television cowboy gunfight. Nope, it was the real thing, down and dirty, and fought by hard men willing to kill one another. In the end the lawmen prevailed.

I will add this: Many years ago, in 1991, I was on a temporary assignment in Tucson, Arizona. Late one Saturday morning when I was off, I decided to take a ride to no place in particular. Driving around the desert back then was nice, mostly because the area between Tucson and Tombstone was virtually empty of houses. When I saw the sign for Tombstone, I got sort of a chill, don't know why. Then I thought it might be nice to go to Tombstone and have a shot of Tequila where the Earp brothers, and Doc Holiday had drank whatever it was they drank. I figured it would be nice to make a toast to them in one of their stomping grounds. It was not an overwhelming urge to have a drink, not even much of an urge for that; but it was a might powerful urge to visit Tombstone in their honor. So off to Tombstone I turned. As I got nearer and nearer, I kept getting the overwhelming feeling that my visit there would be something special; and believe me I do not usually get any sort of special feelings like that, nor do I believe in any of that heebie jeebie hoopla.

I soon arrived in Tombstone, and I parked my car on a back street right away. Then I got out and walked to the main street, and headed toward the main part of town - yes I had been there a few times before and knew the way. As I was making my way up the street, two guys start yelling at each other, then start a shoving match. I stood back and watched, and hoped it would stay at the level it was and not elevate. Suddenly one of the guys pulls out a gun and starts shooting the other guy. No show going on, no one else watching except me and a couple of other tourists. I figured oh shit this is it and I started to make my move behind cover, and started to go for the hip, and was about to say "police don't move" when the guy who was 'shot' started laughing like a hyena. One of these guys had on western garb (but not like for a show, just the hat, boots, jeans, and the other guy looked more like a regular Joe. Neither one of them ever realized how close I came to possibly shooting the shooter. A split second more of that guy playing dying/dead and my pistol quite possibly would have been out, and pointed at the 'bad' guy. What would have happened after that had he not obeyed commands might have resembled the results of that long ago day at the OK Corral. Lucky for me it was not my day to have a 'shootout'.

As it turned out, I headed over to my car, took my pistol apart, locked part of it to the frame of my car with a chain. Figured it was better not to be armed at the bar. Then I went back to the main street and headed to the Crystal Palace Saloon (as I said I had been there before and knew the way). Then I had a Tequila and a large beer. It was very refreshing, and a nice diversion from what could have taken place a few minutes earlier. As I drank, I tipped each glass to those hard men from bygone years. As I was enjoying my beer, I was extremely surprised to learn from the bartender that the particular day I was there was the 110th anniversary of the Shootout at the OK Corral! I decided to have another Tequila and beer, then I wasted spent a couple of hours walking around town and watching a reenactment of the shootout. Guess who played one of the Clanton Gang in the show. Yep you guessed it - the guy who did the fake shooting when I had arrived in town. How ironic it would have been for him had he wound up like they did on that particular day. I was, and still am, quite thankful I never had to take any further action other than I going to get a beer and a shot, and enjoy my day like any other tourist.

All the best,
Glenn B

Finally a Weekend For Some Scouting...

...deer scouting that is. I'll be leaving early tomorrow afternoon (yeah I have chores in the morning). I'll be heading up to around Windsor, NY, come rain or shine, to check on a few places I have hunted before. No luck previously at those spots, but I did have what was about an 8 point buck follow me out of the woods one evening as I left my stand. I guess I should correct my statement about no luck to just bad luck so far at these spots. They are on public land though, and I do not have the luxury of an uncle who owns a farm any longer. Nope I did not lose the uncle, but he sold the farm. I will try the lady who currently owns said farm, and I'll ask her for permission to hunt there this year. Maybe that will do the trick for some venison this year, that farm always has nice deer on it.

Hopefully I'll get a few nice pics of some deer up that way. It would be nice to have something to keep my son fired up over the prospects of this year's hunt. If I do get some pics, I'll post em here on Sunday or Monday.

As for Saturday and Sunday, I am afraid there will be little or no posting by me.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Balleye's Firearms Training & Tactics - Spare Handgun Ammunition

Okay, you have decided to arm yourself with a handgun for self defense, and have obtained a permit if needed. You have purchased and possess one legally - good for you. You have decided on how you will carry it. It is loaded at the ready, on your person, in a holster. You know how to shoot; and are even pretty good at it. So you think you are ready for just about anything. Well if you are not carrying spare ammunition with you, you are quite possibly dead wrong.

There are plenty of gun folks out there who say you don't need extra ammunition. They are usually the macho, all knowing types, the gun gurus. They believe that if you cannot hit that at which are shooting with whatever ammo you have in your gun at any given moment, you may as well forget about having a gun in the first place. That is pretty much abject nonsense. The truth of the matter is that you should always carry spare ammunition if you are carrying a handgun for self defense. There are many reasons for this, some of them being: the probability of multiple attackers in any threatening situation, the possibility of of the bad guy taking multiple hits (even many hits) and the threat not stopping, the chances of having a weapon malfunction that requires you to tap, rack and reload (with a semi-auto), the possibility of you dropping the ammo in your weapon by mistake, and the good old pucker factor making it probable that you will miss more times than you hit your target. Yes folks that good old sphincter muscle tightening itself up, when you are literally just about scared shitless, in order to prevent dirty draws can make you miss. So yes you should carry extra or spare ammunition with you whenever you carry your handgun.

If you agree to that last line above, then it begs the questions: how much spare ammunition should I carry, and how should I carry it. The bare minimum amount of spare ammunition to carry is a practical full reload for each handgun you are carrying. That is a pretty simple formula, but I go beyond that. For example, I usually carry my issued Glock model 19. Fully loaded (as is the way I am required by my job to carry it) it holds 16 rounds of ammunition. By the bare minimum rule of spare ammo, I would then carry a single spare magazine. That is what most of my colleagues at work will do during a normal day. When they go out on a high risk operation such as execution of an arrest warrant they usually carry more spares. I, on the other hand, always carry at least two spare magazines. Why? Well for the reasons I mentioned above, and because if I ever have to reload in a defense situation, I may drop a mag as I try to reload and not be able to retrieve it. Remember that such a situation is one fraught with intensely high stress. If you are using your pistol or revolver to legally defend yourself, your are being threatened with serious bodily injury or death. That is some scary stuff, and when you are scared you maybe shaking or trembling, may start blubbering or crying, may wet your pants, may dirty your draws, and low and behold may even drop your spare ammo while trying to reload. All this stuff not only can happen, it has happened to people in life threatening situations before, and will happen again. That is why I carry at least one beyond a single spare magazine. Sometimes, on certain assignments, I have carried up to 5 or 6 spare magazines, although I think that might be a bit much, let's say overkill, for day to day carry for CCW. I do think though that carrying two spare reloads for your handgun is prudent in everyday carry situations.

That said, you should now be wondering how to carry your spare ammunition. I can tell you one way not to carry it. Do not carry it loose in a pocket. You might think this sounds like ridiculous advice, and you may wonder who on earth would carry like that, but the fact is that too many people do it. It is common among folks who carry revolvers, yet it is a killer, usually of you if you need to reload quickly. If you carry a revolver, I think you should carry spare ammunition in speed loaders, and that the speed loaders should be carried in a speed loader pouch on your belt, and that the puch should have a flap with snap closure over each speedloader. Some people carry in a purse, or in a pocket so as to better conceal a firearm. Then they tend to carry their ammo in the same manner. If you read my earlier piece about holsters, you know I shun such carry methods for handguns; now I am telling you I shun such carry methods for spare ammunition too. If you choose to carry spare revolver ammunition in other than a speed loader, I would suggest at least carry it in speed strips kept in a pouch, in a 2x2x2 speed pouch (not a drop pouch), or in ammo loops - all attached to your belt and easily accessible by either hand keeping in mind that combat reloading is usually done with the strong hand. Don't wear a belt when carrying - your problem - not mine. I suggest you change how you carry for reasons I explained in my post on holsters. Remember though, speed loaders would my my preferred method to reload a revolver.

As for semi-autos, I carry at least 2 spare magazines, each full to capacity. I suggest you do the same, and I highly recommend you carry the spare magazines in a double magazine pouch on your belt. Wherever you carry the mag pouch on your belt (or for that matter wherever you carry the magazines even if off of your belt), the magazines should be accessible with either hand in the even a one handed reload becomes necessary. I used to carry on my weak side, opposite the side where I kept my pistol. I now carry the magazine pouch on the same side, but have since seen the light of others more experienced than I; and I now carry it on that side but on the front of my belt so I can easily reach it with either hand. Sure this means wearing a very loose fitting shirt, a jacket, or a vest to cover it all up, and that is exactly what I do. Remember the gun in a holster on your strong side makes it easy to draw your firearm, and keeps it fairly secure. Same for the magazine if kept as I have described, easier from which to draw a magazine, and somewhat easy to secure.

The type of magazine pouch one carries is another issue. As I said I prefer a double mag pouch. Of course you can use two singles, but I just prefer the double. I want mine to have a positive locking/retention device to maintain my mags inside the pouch with less chance of them falling out. I do not want the to be held in by friction only, so I do not want to use an open topped pouch. What I want is the opening to be at the top (I never wear my mag pouches so that the opening is to the front as you see some do), this way gravity helps keep them in the pouch. I want the mag pouch itself to have individual flap coverings to cover each mag while in the pouch; and I want to to have snap closures - not Velcro. As far as I am concerned, Velcro makes much too much noise, and also gathers much to much lint. In addition I require that any mag pouch I will carry will allow for both mags to be inserted into it in the same direction. What I mean here is that I want to have each magazine available to my reloading hand in the same manner, so that I reload in the same manner each time I reload. In other words, I keep both magazines bottoms up, and so that their fronts are facing the forward part of my body as they ride in the pouch (bullets in the mag pointing forward more or less). You could also keep their back facing the forward part of your body, or could align them left or right, it does not matter all that much in which direction they are, so long as each of them is aligned in the same direction. This way you never need to figure out whether or not you have to turn your mag around before you go to place it into the magazine well on the pistol; or if you have to move your hand in another manner to take hold of this mag or that mag. You wind up reloading consistently each time you reload, and that adds to your speed. When I grab my forward facing magazine, I make sure my index finger rides the front of the mag as I bring it up to place it into the mag well. This makes for not having to look at the pistol and mag to make sure they marry up correctly, therefore you can keep your eyes on the bad guy. It requires some practice, but that pointing finger, pointing the way to the mag well, makes it quicker and easier to accomplish a reload.

Basically that is about it. You have a decision to make about whether or not you carry spare ammo, and how to carry it. My recommendations are above, and the recommendations of others can be found on various blogs and gun forums on the Internet, in gun books and magazines, and at training courses. Whichever way you decide to carry both your firearm and your spare ammo, I suggest you try to be as consistent as possible from day to day. This way you never go to draw your pistol or mag from a place on your belt, and then have to remember oh darn, it is in my pocket, or it is in my bag, or it is in a shoulder holster.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Today In History - The Oldest Surviving Warship...

... afloat in the world was launched at Boston, MA on October 21, 1797. The ship was, and still is, the USS Constitution. There is some irony in the fact that the ship named Old Ironsides (because during the historic battle against HMS Guerriere, at least one cannonball was seen to bounce off of her hull) was launched in Boston harbor and that Boston is in the heart of a state that regularly infringes upon peoples' rights under our Constitution especially by restricted shooting irons (firearms). Yet, I guess there is hope for us all as long as symbols like her, symbols of our great nation, of our freedoms, of our rights, and of our determination to protect them, survive. I have visited this wonderful ship at least once, and if I remember right, maybe twice. Once in Boston, and I am not sure of the other time, but probably also while in Boston. It is a marvelous piece of craftsmanship, and an awe inspiring vision of our nation's power.

An interesting fact about this ship is that it was made up of parts from virtually the whole country at the time it was constructed. Timber from Maine to Georgia was used, some of her cannon were forged in Rhode island, and Paul Revere supplied the copper sheathing for her hull, and also supplied other copper parts such as spikes.

From 1798 (when she first went to sea) until 1830, the Constitution under various commander recorded many victories at sea. These victories included the bombardment of Tripoli in our war against the Barbary Pirates, and numerous sea battles in the War of 1812. In 1830 she was declared unfit for sea duty; and it was recommended that she be scrapped. Over this there was an outcry from the American public as is expressed in the following poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Old Ironsides
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon's roar;
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more.

Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o'er the flood,
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor's tread,
Or know the conquered knee;
The harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!

Oh, better that her shattered bulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!

Thanks in part to the poem, public outrage was fanned, and the Constitution was refitted instead of being scrapped. It then served the Navy until decommissioned in 1882. Since then she was refitted and restored several times. Although towed to many ports as part of an exhibit, the USS Constitution did not again set sail from the 1882 decommission date until about 116 years later, when in 1997 she set sale as part of her 200 year anniversary celebrations. In 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower (a president of the USA for those of you who are too young to remember, or just too poorly versed in US history) and the then Congress, recommissioned her, and assigned her a permanent commission in the U.S. Navy. She currently serves as a United States ship of state, and is manned by a U.S. Navy crew. What an honor it must be to serve aboard her.

If you ever get the chance to visit her, take it, it will be well worth the time and effort.

For more information see:

http://www.ussconstitution.navy.mil/historyupdate.htm#1794-1797

http://www.todayinsci.com/10/10_21.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Constitution

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thank The Heavens For Russians...

...like Dmitri Mendeleev. He was a pretty intelligent man and a really cool dude from what I can gather, and he made a great contribution to the enhancement of lemonade (which was almost an impossibility since lemonade was so good without additional help from anyone).

According to Wikipedia: "He is credited as being the primary creator of the first version of the periodic table of elements. Unlike other contributors to the table, Mendeleev predicted the properties of elements yet to be discovered." Now many of you may not find that to be all that cool, albeit it intelligent. You may even think of his creation, the Periodic table, to have been one of the biggest pains in your keester while you were in high school. I know for a fact it gave me indigestion trying to remember all the elements and their symbols; and once I got them halfway down, what did they do but add more elements. Well good old Dmitri was long since dead before they added new ones, but he was still responsible in a way because he predicted properties of elements yet to be discovered. What a pain in the arse he turned out to be for high school kids all over the world. Yet there was joy to be had from his studies too.


So what is it about the man that I could consider cool. Well it has a lot to do with ice cube and lemonade; but when I say that I mean it in an indirect way. I have always loved lemonade. I lie it sweetened, I like it without sweeteners, I liked it when I was young right from the lemon as in pure lemon juice, and In even liked lemon juice concentrate. I guess I was destined to be a sourpuss! Then as I got older, some where in my teen years, I discovered (in my own way and time) that there were some really good tasting substitutes for natural lemonade. I remember that Wyler's made a great tasting lemonade powder. It was sweetened with real sugar, and in that way was very unlike my standard of today which is artificially flavored and comes under the name of Crystal Lite. (Note I did not say my favorite because real natural lemonade is my favorite.)

I am beginning to digress from Dmitri, so please allow me to get back to him, but I will get to him as I diverged from him, in a round about way with Wyler's lemonade mix. That Wyler's was good stuff. As a matter of fact it went great with Gin and Vodka. Back in my youth, or at least in my teen years and my twenties, I loved anything with Gin and I also liked Vodka. One day I had the notion of mixing Gin with Wyler's lemonade mix. It was great. I liked it, my friends liked it, even people I did not know whom I met at concerts, and to whom I gave it, liked it. My buddy Charlie Vaughn called that drink a 'Legalade' after me. He had nicknamed me Legal Aid because I was going to college an majoring in Police Science. No I was not going to be a lawyer, I was planning on giving legal aid to society and the law, not to dirt bag criminals. That was ironic because Charlie was in jail more times that I got luck back then. Oh well he was a good man, and I loved him as a dear friend. After I created my drink, Charlie created his own using Vodka and Lemonade mix. I'll be damned but I cannot recall, at the moment, what we called them. They were darned good, almost as good as were the Legalades. Then when I went into the Border patrol at the start of my career about 28 years ago, I naturally turned to To-Kill-Ya Tequila, but only the white or clears ones, none of that golden colored swill for me. I wanted it to resemble Gin, or at least that is the way I preferred it, and its taste. Man those 4 years on the southern border were great, but I have to admit those Tequilas, and the Gin I still imbibed, brought me close to trouble a few times. Then again, when I think of it, they probably kept me from getting in trouble a few times too (just too drunk to get in trouble), and maybe even or at least kept me from catching anything nasty (yes alcohol is a great germ killer, especially when you drink straight shots of Tequila).

As luck, or fate, or the Gods would have it, I lived into adulthood. I graduated college, got a job, that turned into a career, got married, and had children with the woman I love. Somewhere along the line I sort of gave up gin, and Tequila, and Vodka, and jack Daniels, and Old Grand-dad, and Mellow Corn (don't ask), and even Yagermeister. Therefore, I also gave up on Legalades. Gin is tough on the body, the mind, and the soul. It is tough to live a normal life and be a die hard gin drinker. As Charlie used to say, and as I whole heatedly agree, Gin is not an alcoholic beverage, it is a state of mind! It is not the state of mind in which you wish to remain if you want to have a lasting marriage and bring up kids, at least not at gung-ho gin drinking levels. If you want to remain in that state of mind and hard core while at it for the long term, your long term winds up being shortened considerably. Heck I gave up all the hard spirits, except for every now and then. As for the Gin, maybe I miss it most, but I fear it most too. I mean after all, if it was the favorite of Charlie Allnut, it was one hell of a drink; and more than good enough for me. Gin was definitely a state of mind as portrayed in that movie, and as I can attest. (By the way, if you do not know to whom I refer when I mention Charlie Allnut, you missed one of the best movies of all time. I liked Mr. Allnut's brand, Gordon's Gin, but I preferred Tanqueray above them all.) Yet this post has little to do with Gin, and Dmitri had nothing to do with it as far as I am aware.

Now it is many years later since I gave up my youthful and almost incessant devotion to the hard spirits. Yet, I have decided to return to imbibing again, but on a much more refined and restricted level than I did in my wanton youth. Therefore, not too long ago, maybe a year and a half ago or maybe even two years ago, I started to drink distilled spirits again on an irregular basis, but not overboard. I started with Scotch, something I never liked as a youngster. It was not bad, but still took some getting used to. It was akin to Bourbon like Old Grand-dad or Wild Turkey, or to sour mash like Jack Daniels (also one of my favorites of my younger days), as far as I am concerned but maybe a bit mellower. I guess the fact that I paid about $80 to $100 dollars for .750ML may explain why it was mellower. Then I tried some Tequila, Sauza Conmemorativo, not bad but not great with my tendency for heartburn. Most recently I decided to try something else. Then I went to Irish Whiskey. Very good, better than Scotch, much more mellow; but still not my thing.

So I wound up debating whether or not I should buy a bottle of Gin, but thankfully I remembered it being a state of mind and not really an alcoholic beverage, and not wanting to be in that state of mind i decided on a bottle of Absolut. It was good. Yet there was something missing. Absolut is, if I am correct, made in Sweden. I wanted something more traditional. So the next time In went out, I picked up a bottle of Stolichnaya. It was great if only because it was Russian, and because I was brought up during the height of the cold war. Russia = Good Vodka. Yeah I know there are others from other places, but you had to live through the air raids, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Kruschev, and all those spy movies and shows to better appreciate the Russian stuff. I am now on my second bottle of the stuff (by the way, only my 5th bottle of hard spirits in almost 2 years). I mix it with crystal Lite and it is wonderful, with OJ it is okay, and neat it is rocket fuel. I like the Vodka thing. Finally, I am getting back to Dmitri and why I like him so much, and why I think he was cool, and what all this has to do with lemonade.
When I bought my first bottle of vodka a month or two ago, I tried it neat, and with with a lot of mixables. I used OJ, Cranberry Juice Cocktail, cherry flavored seltzer (mmmmmmmm good), and lemonade. I guess my favorite is with cherry flavored seltzer, but I only get one I like at Walmart, and I hardly ever shop there, so vodka with lemonade it was and is. Now I guess I am still not being very clear on what the guy who created the Periodic Table has to do with any of this. Well good old Dmitri Mendeleev, who was born in 1834, was a Russian. He was also a scientist specifically a chemist, he created the Periodic table, he did work on and wrote a book about the spectroscope, he survived what was diagnosed as tuberculosis, he taught chemistry at university, and in 1865 after having been married for a few years and at age 31 he earned the title Doctor of Science. His doctorate was based upon his dissertation: "On the Combinations of Water with Alcohol". Now we are getting someplace, and Dmitri was about to, unbeknown to him, earn a place in my heart many years later.

Shortly after all of the above, Dmitri went and fell for a second woman. He wound up getting married a second time, and finalized his divorce from his first wife only after he was married to the second wife in 1882. Way to go Dmitri. Of course this was all forbidden by the Orthodox Church of which he was a member. This had poor consequences for him, and he was not admitted into the Russian Academy of Sciences. Yet his second marriage must have been happy, or at least hot, because he and his new wife had a few children. Again I may seem to digress, but not really. In 1890 he resigned a university position, probably due to the controversy. This probably ultimately led to a position he picked up in 1893, that of Director of the Bureau of Weights and Measures, and this of course put him into government service. While in this position, good old Dmitri had a chance to explore molecular weights, something that had always apparently fascinated him. Guess with what substance he did that. My guess is that it was Vodka because he wound up concluding that the perfect Vodka should be balanced as: "...the ratio of one molecule of ethyl alcohol diluted with two molecules of water, giving a dilution by volume of approximately 38% alcohol to 62% water" His work, or should I hypothesize that it was his lack of work as a government slug and his enjoyment of vodka, led to a new standard for Vodka in Russia. It was thereafter produced at 40% alcohol level (made it easier to tax when the percentage of alcohol was rounded off to 40% instead of 38%). See what a divorce and a second marriage will do, drive you out of your church, mess up your career, push you into government sluggery service, and ultimately to dabble with drink. Yet, both before and after that, he did some other fine work, lots of it. He lived to a ripe old age of about 73, passing away in 1907. That seems to be a good old age for back then, probably because he was well pickled.

Now back to the lemonade; oh heck you must have put 1 & 1 together to come out with 3 like I just did, haven't you! Dmitri, because of his wonderful work on molecular weights, figured out what would become one of the best things that mankind could add to lemonade, other than Gin, to make it taste better. He did it whether he realized it or not, though I must admit I like to think he may have mixed it with the juice of that sunshiny citrus fruit at least now and again. For his efforts with Vodka, I tip my glass to him - NOSTROVIA Dmitri!

My thanks to to Wikipedia wherein I looked up the word Vodka earlier today, just out of idle curiosity to see where it was created. While there, I was sidetracked to the short but very interesting biography man who perfected a blend of alcohol and water to arrive at 80 proof Vodka. Heck had I known about all of this while in high school I may have looked at the Periodic Table and the elements in a whole other light. By the way, I checked several sources and not one other source dedicated to Dmitri mentioned one thing about Vodka and his contribution to the drinkers of the world; nor did any of those other sources connect him with lemonade. Go figure!

All the best,
Glenn B



Friday, October 19, 2007

Woma Python

The latest acquisition in my collection of herps (reptiles and amphibians) is a Woma Python. It is a striking beautiful snake, and its kind comes from Australia. The one I have, and that is pictured here, is an average looking specimen. There are some that look much more striking in that their heads are more yellow, and their bands more contrasting with reddish color in the darker bands. This one even though being an average looking specimen is still spectacular to behold. You may not realize it from the picture, but this guy (I think it is a male) is about 4.5 to 5 feet long. Its body at the widest point is thicker than my wrist. It is a powerful beast, that in its wild habitat eats small to medium rodent sized mammals, birds, lizards, and other snakes. It kills its prey by constriction, and those coils are strong, my hand was feeling the squeeze as I took some pictures. If you don't believe that then carefully look at the color difference between my forearm and my hand, the hand is a bit on the red side. This one will probably not get much bigger as it has hit the average size for the species, but some have been known to grow to longer than 7 feet, and I have heard they can reach about 8 feet (I sure hope not).

I still have to check it to determine if it male or female by probing it (you probably don't want to know). If it is a male, I'll either keep it for a while and sell it, or pick up a female and try to breed them. That is if I can find a female at a reasonable price, and assuming mine is a male. Heck if it is a female, I may just get stud service for it, usually at the cost of the pick of the litter. This one cost me $300. That was a deal. They usually go for between about $500 and $800 each. Prices are coming down though since some people are breeding them regularly. Still though, the investment in a female would be a good one if the male and female wind up being fertile. Babies easily go for $400 to $500 apiece now, and will still be in the hundreds for at least the next few years. I would not be quite that money hungry, and would sell them at a lower price, but not too low (mama may not have raised the brightest kid at school, but mama did not raise a fool).


I know for sure that my new Woma Python has been eating. The lady from whom I bought it said it was eating frozen/thawed rats. (Yes we buy em frozen because they are cheaper in bulk and snakes will eat dead prey as long as it is thawed fully. Always fun when my wife asks what is in the bag in the back of the freezer.) I know mine was eating well because once I got it home and set it up in a tank, one of the first things it did was to answer nature's call. A nice big healthy answer at that. Nuff said, it seems healthy.


Hopefully when I try to feed it, it will eat. I like to let new snakes in my collection settle in before trying to feed them. This particular snake is a bit on the nervous side when in its tank and someone walks by. It has not tried to biter me or even strike at me when I have opened its tank, that is very good because some snakes strike like crazy when something enters their tank. Once you pick it up it is very easy going. I think it will take to the change of homes pretty well, but I still want to give it about 5 to 7 days before I try feeding it. I am hoping it is not sort of addicted to rats and that it will take large mice and other small rodents. I prefer my snakes to eat a variety of prey for health reasons (sort of like a balanced diet, they get different nutrients in different percentages, from varying prey; and in the event I can not get one type of prey item for awhile.


One other thing I have to do now, is figure out how to recoup the $300 I paid for this guy. That chunk of change will take a big bite out of my hunting budget for this year; and it may mean camping out as opposed to staying in a motel for a few nights on this year's hunting trip. Oh well, if I keep it to breed it, it will be worth the expense in the long run.


All the best,

Glenn B


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Have You Seen The BIG News Story About Iraq?

You know the one I am talking about, don't you! The one that was reported all over the Internet today, and all over the front pages of newspapers throughout our country, and all over television news by liberal anti-American asswipes astute reporters and newscasters. Wait a minute, what do you mean you didn't hear any news about Iraq today, let alone the BIG news story about it. What do you mean? haven't you been watching the news, or listening to the radio, or surfing the net? Don't you keep up on what is going on in the war over in Iraq? Well maybe if it had been reported, you would have heard about it.

Heck the news media sure keeps at it, they know what is going on over there on an almost minute to minute basis. They know the body count, they know how many bombs went off at any given moment, they know which sect is attacking which other sect, and on and on. Yet when it came to Thursday, they in essence said, there was no news to report from Iraq. No terror bombings, no terror killings, no terror attacks of any sort. Guess what they said about that. They said there is no news to report! So if you missed the BIG story, one that might point to the fact that things are changing over there at least a little, maybe it is because the mud slinging media only can report on shit when it is bad for us, and when it makes our president look a fool, or when they want to show their support for ultra whackos like Pelosi or Feinstein. It is sad commentary that I had to hear this news on Rush Limbaugh's radio show (and I would hope he got this right), a show to which I do not regularly tune in. It is a shame that he had to play the clip of a lone newscaster telling said story, saying that there was "no news from Iraq"; when in fact if true that there were no terrorist attacks for even just one day that should have been the biggest story in the media. I just don't get it, how can they be so friggin low.

Let's hope it was true even if only for a day.

All the best,
Glenn B

An Unexpected Post...

...as in a post received via the U.S. Postal Service, arrived at my doorstep today. It was mail from my old high school - St. Francis Prep, so I figured it to be junk of no interest to me. They send me things now and then, like a school newspaper, an invitation to a fund raiser, or a solicitation for funds (that is usually what they send), but what I received from them today shocked me almost beyond belief. The envelop was about the size to fit a normal greeting card. As I opened it, I realized it did in fact contain some sort of a card. When I pulled it out and took a look it appeared to be an invitation. In fact that is exactly what it was, an invitation from the Alumni Association for an alumni get together in April 2008. Then, as I read a bit further, my jaw dropped. I have been invited to attend the class reunion for my graduating class, the class of 1973, and therefore the 35th anniversary celebration of my graduation. Just when my day had been going along pretty good, someone from out of my past had to remind me that I am an old fart getting along in years more than I would like to admit. Wow it sure has been a long time since my last day in high school. Maybe I should talk the wife into going, and we can both get a good laugh at the stories I am sure will be told about those care free, kind of psycho days, in an all boy's Catholic high school. There were some wild times indeed. I'll really have to consider attending even though I have shunned such events in the past. It might do me a bit of good to see some people from my past, or at least wind up as interesting anyway. Hmm, time will tell.

All the best,
Glenn B

Things to do today...

...for me include getting back to sleep. Insomnia sicks. Well this may not be insomnia since I fell asleep earlier than usual, and just woke up. Hopefully though I'll be able to get back to dreamland before too long.

Once the sun is well up in the sky, I need to do some painting. Have to finish off painting my entryway. Started about 2 weeks ago, did the scraping and plastering, then the primer, all one day at a time on the weekends; now for the actual paint. Better for me to do it in stages and take my time, less chance of me getting frustrated over something and then screwing up.

After that I'll be off to possibly spend $350 on a Woma Python. Go figure, you would think I'd be buying a gun with that money. The thing is I maybe able to sell the snake for about $200 profit, so I may plunk down the change for it. Then I'll buy the gun.

I also have to get the house ready for my brother-in-law, the older one, who is going into the hospital nearby my home, to possibly get a stent on Friday. He will be staying with us a few days. Supposed to be in and out of the hospital on the same day. When I was younger something like this probably would have required at least a week of hospital food and enemas. Oh the joys of the wonders of modern medicine!

I am also thinking of buying a treestand at a local sporting goods store. Bought one a while back from Sportsmansguide.com, but it arrived in poor shape after UPS apparently manhandled it. They actually managed to bend the steel, so I returned it for a refund. Now Dick's Sporting Goods seems to have a decent one on sale.. I do not like Dick's all that much (That just sounded wrong, almost as if I like em, and not a sporting goods store at that.) I do not like Dick's Sporting Goods all that much, but my options are very limited nearby to my home so I am afraid I'll have to get one there.

After all that, maybe a little mortar repair on the stone work around my small front patio, and maybe a little pointing on my front and side stoops. Always a first time for me to try doing something I have never done. After that I'll probably need a strong libation (LOL).

Yes, I do have tomorrow off from work. Took off mainly to help get the place ready for my brother-in-law, and to pick him up if need be to bring him to our place. On Friday I'll take him to the hospital and pick him up from there when they are done with him. Hopefully all will go well.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Deer Scouting Part 2

Yes folks I do like to get some scouting in before the actual deer hunting season opens up. While Brendan and I have about 3 Doe permits between us this year, we would rather get a nice big buck. At least I would rather that he gets a nice buck. If he does get one, it would be his first deer in two years of deer hunting.

Last year I found some nice deer sign in the area that we hunted. As a matter of fact, there was a lot of deer sign, I guess they loved the acorns that were all over the ground just about wherever we looked. In case you were wondering what one looks for as sign of deer, you should look for: game trails, follow the trails and check them for deer berries droppings, look for scrapes (where bucks have scraped away the top layer of leaf litter with their hooves, and form a bare area usually under a bush or low branches of a tree, and into which the buck urinates), and you look for rubs (where a buck rubs the velvet off of its antlers usually before the hunting season, and where they sometimes take out aggression during the rut or mating period during the hunting season). The picture at the left shows a rub. This particular rub was well used, and probably by a bigger deer than most. A small one could have done this too, but small ones do not usually make ones that are quite that long from top to bottom. By the way, that is my boot in the pic, it is right against the tree, and it is a size 12 or 12 1/2 boot. Most rubs I have found are about 1/2 that size in length. I found this rub in the area we hunted last year. Heck I found about 15 of them within a radius of about 25 yards. I also found a few scrapes. So I settled Brendan down nearby to await a buck, or maybe a doe. No luck though, not with regard to seeing any deer for Brendan. I did get to see about 5 or 6 does, possibly followed by a buck, but they were in extremely heavy cover offering no shot to me (well others may have shot but not me in that situation, I take hunter safety very seriously). I had hoped to spook the deer to Brendan's stand, but they were not cooperative and sauntered away in the opposite direction from him. This year I am hopeful things will go a little bit differently. I am hopeful he at least sees one, let alone bag one. Of course, he if he gets one, that would be nice, and we will eat some well earned venison.

All the best,
Glenn B

Yugo SKS - Price Drop Alert

Classic Arms, like every other Internet firearms dealer I could find, raised their prices on Yugo SKS rifles several months back.

The GOOD NEWS is that they just dropped those prices. An excellent condition Yugo SKS is now going for $179.99 instead of $199.99. I think my order will be going out tomorrow since I have been thinking about a birthday present for someone whom I hope does not read this.

Now where did I put my C&R FFL???????????

All the best,
Glenn B

Deer Scouting...

...is something I have done in the past on trips to my favorite hunting grounds. I didn't have to scout much because those happy hunting grounds were on my uncle's farm, and year after year, deer used the same trails for the most part. For the last several years though, I have hunted on public land since my uncle sold his farm (I should have bought it). Now I try to get upstate NY at least once or twice before the deer season to scout out some areas for deer sign, especially for sign of bucks. I can tell you though, it ain't easy getting away. This year I have not had the chance to get out at all. I am hoping that this weekend may present a chance for me to take a 3 1/2 to 4 hour ride up to where I intend to hunt with my son Brendan. If I am really lucky he will come with me. The idea of having an extra driver (now licensed instead of just a permit) is nice, and it would be nicer to have him with me so we can enjoy a day together in preparation for our hunt. It will be tight time wise this weekend, maybe we can leave Friday night, and come back Saturday night. I have other things to do Sunday, and Brendan works on Sundays.

If not this weekend, then maybe the next, or the next. Not much time after that as hunting season will be upon us before too long. Who knows, if Brendan does not want to make the trip, maybe I can talk my wife Linda into it. She does not hunt, but the promise of a nice walk in the fall woods could be something that appeals to her (yeah right). I can dream anyway.

Oh well....

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Today In History - Death Of Der W├╝stenfuchs

October 14, 1944 was the day that Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, Der W├╝stenfuchs (The Desert Fox), committed suicide instead of facing death by the hands of the SS for himself and his family. He was assured if he committed suicide his family would be left alone, if he did not they would likely have been executed along with him. I view his passing with mixed feelings. He was one of Germany's best commanders during WWII. Had he been in charge of the defenses of Germany, the war in Europe may have lasted longer. So it is with some satisfaction that I think of his death as one that probably saved allied lives.

Then again, one must realize that he was implicated in the attempted but failed assassination of Hitler that took place on July 20, 1944. Because of his having been implicated in the assassination attempt, and because it was obvious that Rommel had become disenchanted with Hitler's vision for Germany when he learned about the extermination of the Jews, witnessed the bombing damage in Germany, and realized that all was lost, Hitler was furious with him. A plan was devised to kill him off so that the people of Germany would not realize he had been killed by his own leader, but rather that he had died of wounds he had received when strafed by allied aircraft on July 17, 1944 (injuries from which he had not yet fully recovered by October 14 of that same year). He poisoned himself, and the people were informed that he had died in hospital as a result of the strafing wounds. He was given a state funeral as a hero.

Too bad the assassination attempt on Hitler was not successful, maybe Rommel and his alleged conspirators would have been seen as some sort of heroes in the eyes of the world; even if not, at least they would have rid the world of a monster before he could have done more evil. Certainly an interesting man for the war buff regardless of how, or why, he died as he was one heck of an outstanding commanding officer when it came to tank warfare. For more info on Rommel, see:

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/rommel.htm and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erwin_Rommel

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ballseye's Training and Tactics - Knife versus Gun

Okay, I am not the greatest artist in the world. In fact my artistic abilities, especially when it comes to music and drawing absolutely stink. Yet I think I have drawn up an illustration that suits the purpose of this rant, or should I say of the question I am about to pose since I will not give my ideas on it quite yet.

Here is the scenario, and my drawing (click on the drawing to enlarge it). You are at home, in a motel, at a friends house (wherever), and you are chilling out in the living room type set-up. You are just coming back from grabbing a nice cold beverage (must be a soda because you are armed) and are headed to the sofa to couch-potato out after a long day at work. You hear a noise, you look to the doorway and see a really bad boogular coming at you with a knife in his hand, raised as if to attack. You go from being in white mode to red alert instantly because you recognize the threat. There is absolutely no doubt in your mind that you are about to be skewered, nor should there be any doubt in a reasonable person's mind that such is about to occur. You are in fear for life and limb. You are armed with a handgun (yes some people do wear them at home).

What do you do? You have to do it right away!

Think quickly, and decide now!

What was it that you decided to do? Did you decide on any of the following, or did you come up with something else.

Do you freeze.

Do you comply with the demands of the bad guy?

Do you draw and fire?

Do you move backwards as you draw then fire?

Do you seek cover, if so where?

Do you attack the bad guy with hand to hand combat?

Do you throw the soda at him?

Do you run away?

Do you cry for mama?

Do you pray?

Do you do something else?

The real question is:
What would you do?

Think about this, and please come up with an answer if you will, then share with all of us. This is a good way to learn the good, the not so good, and the outright bad choices one can make. We can all benefit from this.

There are some outright wrong answers as to how to survive this, and there are some better answers, but probably not a completely right answer as each can have its faults and there are just too many variables. The truth be told though, there is definitely one thing about which you should be thinking of doing in order to increase your odds at surviving this type of attack? The success of almost everything else you do very likely will depend on that one thing. Do you know what it is?

Whatever answer you come up with, don't feel afraid to leave it here. There will be no embarrassment coming from me to you.

I'll add, in a leter post (probably tomorrow or Sunday), what I believe would be my response to such an attack, a response designed to keep me alive and unharmed.

All the best,
Glenn B

My Plan 9as I posted over on TheHighRoad.org:

Yep, 8 feet sure is close isn't it. If the bad guy was approaching me fast, I woulld prepare for hand to knife combat, I would try to sidestep and move away, and try to gain distance. As you sidestep, if he is really close, you may also be able to push him away to the other side, giving you a chance to gain even more distance. You may get cut, but maybe not. If I had the room I would try to sidestep toward my gun side, keeping my gun arm farthest from him. You now are making him react to you in having to change direction to get you, this gives you an edge (no pun intended). Now where to run for you. Right in the direction the bad guy just came from, and while maybe not through the door, because others may be out in the hallway, you could still run off on a diagnoal toward the other corner of the room. Still you can run fastest in that direction because you are facing that way. Remember to that the bad guy has been sidestepped and momentum should have kept him going a step or two past you; he now has to turn around, and you have gained time and distance because of that. If the bad guy was moving very slowly, I would again prepare myself for hand to knife combat, and if I thought of it I would sidestep to the left and rear, move that chair out, if only because it would create distance between us. He cannot come through a chair, he has to come around it, or over it to get me and that is more distance. Then I would continue trying to make distance between us as fast as I could do so. As he tries to go around it to the left, I would sidestep right and run, and the other way around if he went right. Or if need be I would go backward to the door behind me (least preferable route of escape here in my mind) but better than standing your ground.As you make distance, anything that you can put between the two of you without sacrificing a wound is good. If you can get behind real cover at a good distance from the bad guy, do so. Then draw and fire. Why not draw as you are running, that is okay too if you have gained enough distance but not before. Yu may still need bnoth hands for combat, or to move items between the two of you, or to open a dor, or whatever. Enough distance for a draw would be, in my opinion, equivalent to about 27 feet no cover, and 21 feet with cover. Remember though, it will be hard to tell if you have made that distance or not while under attack so practicing, and measuring after each practice scenario would be of help in preparing you for this.Bear in mind, if you move backwards, and draw as you do so, then fire, chances are he will cut you pretty badly if he knows how to use a knife. If you stand your ground and draw you are most likely going to get hurt really badly. If you go to groud with legs raised in front of you and try to draw and fire, chances are you will be cut badly, and maybe even shoot yourself. Even if you drill this exercise from 21 feet, you are not shooting at a real bad guy when you drill. Pumped up with adrenalin, a bad guy who is intent on hurting or killing you has momentum. Even if you could shoot such an assailant multiple times, chances are that his momentum would carry him to you, and you would be cut badly. Do not believe even for a moment that a cut has to happen. Do not allow yourself to be cut because you foolishly believe it inevitable. Use the bad guys momentum against him if you can. If you can gain distance, do so. Distance is your friend, and maybe even your life saver. Remember that distance is sometimes created without you moving, such as moving an object between you, but that distance is usually quickly covered even though it slows the bad guy a bit, so you have to move as you block his path. Also remember another way to create more distance is to sidestep and make the bad guy have to change direction. Again quickly overcome, so you have to keep moving if practical. You can move faster to the side than you can to the rear, and then you can move even faster straight ahead as he passes you (remember he has momentum too).If you have a friend willing to train with you, try this out. See how it works for you. You may still get cut, but your chances of not being cut, and of surviving probably have been increased. Also bear in mind that each situation will be different. You need to be able to improvise, training regularly and changing it each time will help with this.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I can almost feel the knife being thrust into the back...

...of Christianity by a Muslim assailant. Sorry, call me a cynic extraordinaire if you will, but that is how I see the latest overture by the followers of Islam regarding their approach to the west and to Christianity. To many it may seem as if the Muslims are honestly making an offer of peace toward Christians, but I believe that this so called offer is little more than a thinly disguised ultimatum, maybe even a veiled threat. See "Muslim Leaders Warn Pope 'Survival of World' at Stake" @ http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,301116,00.html. Read the article carefully. Read about what Muslims have warned, and what they offer as a solution. I read it three times. if the article is at all correct, then it seems to me that certain Muslims are telling Christian leaders that they are offering Christianity a way out of being attacked by the followers of Islam; and that way out would be for Christianity to justify the essence and actions of Islam by admitting that the two religions are very much alike. If the Christian leaders choose to do so, all they will have accomplished is to have temporarily appeased the Muslim world while at the same time strengthening the position of those followers of Islam who would attempt to conquer the world. Their position would become strengthened because after having received support from Christianity, the fanatical leaders would very likely use this as propaganda to show they had been right all along, even the Christians see it because they agree the religions are alike. In addition such an admission by Christian leaders would weaken the Christian world and the western world because now people of the Christian faith, and many of those in the west, would look to Islam and say: See, it really was not an evil religion after all, and they are not really bent on world domination". Thus we would allow our guard to be brought down, and open ourselves for the influx of Muslim immigrants that would almost be sure to follow. Once established in great enough numbers, my bet is that the true face of Islam, that which we see on a daily basis as Islamists try to dominate the world, would again raise its ugly spectre just as it already has taken place in Europe, and the world would be burning in the name of the prophet.

How can I be so cynical. let me point out a few bits of my reasoning. These Islamistsapparently said nothing about getting together with the Jews. Now if I recall correctly, the Jewish faith preceded both Christianity and Islam. In fact, both of those later religions were basically born out of Judaism. Yet the Muslims make no mention of how similar Judaism is to Islam, and they make no mention of how all three religions should make certain to make peace with one another. Now look at just where they want to have a conference. At a neutral ground, such as at an American University. Tell me which university in the USA is neutral? Of course they could mean in Canada, Mexico,or South America - but do you really think those places are where they meant. They want to have a meeting in a so called neutral place, where as anyone in the USA should know, there is absolutely no neutrality on the subject. The great majority of US universities are breeding grounds for anti-Christian, anti-conservative, anti-American, and anti-Gerorge Bush sentiment. So a conference at one of those locations would certainly be likely to be slanted in favor of any group that has also shown itself as anti those very same things. Could such a group be the followers of Islam? You tell me.

The offer from the Muslims to the Christian world came in a letter. The letter reportedly ends with this quote: "So let our differences not cause hatred and strife between us. Let us vie with each other only in righteousness and good works." As I recall the only righteous works for a Muslim would be to follow the Q'uran, and that would not bode well for Christians as I understand it, nor as history has witnessed. Throughout history, the faith of Islam has shown itself time and time again to be an aggressor that is incapable of change to non-aggression. nation after nation has fallen to Islam, but suddenly they want Christians to believe it would be otherwise if we now join them. Sound to me more like the first steps to conversion, or that that knife in the back.

Of course I still have one more reason not to believe them. If they really want peace, if they truly want to protect Christianity as well as Islam, then why not first send a letter to the Islamo Fascists telling them to cease and desist with all violence against the western and Christian worlds? This brings us full circle right back to the issue of the Jews. They make no mention of peace with them. Heck if we become the ally of the Muslims, on whom will those of the Jewish faith depend for support if the Muslims continue their assault against Judaism! As a matter of fact, they make no reference to Hinduism, nor to Buddhism or to any other religion other than Christianity. Not long ago, Muslims in Thailand (I believe it was Thailand) stated that they were seeking the annihilation of all Buddhists. Muslims often also attack Hindus.

The threat is there as I see things. It is there whether or not the Christian leaders suddenly decide to become stupid trusting and embrace Islam as a religion akin to Christianity. I just find it difficult to believe that Christians would suddenly forget about Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus in favor of a new found friend in the followers of Islam. As I see it, the threat will only worsen if any one in Christianity is quite that trusting of a religion that has continuously itself to be a religion of just about anything but peace; I hope the religious leaders see it too. Maybe I am just a cynic extraordinaire, but if this gets pulled off by the Muslims, come to see me again in 10 years and let me know if I was wrong. My bet is you will be on the run, or converted and hunting me down. I will not be all that easy to find if I make it that long, I'll be living in the hills somewhere in the middle of New Kafiristan (land of the infidel) and doing my best to survive.

Of course you might find me just to let me know I had been wrong all along, it that case I'll buy you a beer and we can laugh about how I made an ass out of myself. I could only hope that it is the case that I am wrong and this latest overture is one truly hoping to achieve harmony, but without all the pieces, such as those other faiths, I just cannot imagine them building a true peace. Heck they are leaving 45% of the world out of the calculation by their own accounting, and if you do not know what this last sentence means, then go and read the darned article to which I linked above.

All the best,
Glenn B

Fred Thompson does not stand a chance...

...of winning the republican nomination unless he does something drastic. Yes, he did well in the debate; but doing well is not going to be enough. He definitely has to liven it up somehow, grab the political bull by the horns, and start wrestling it. Good guy with good views, one can only hope he defeats Rudy G, and Mitt R.

All the best,
Glenn B

First it Was The Mexicans, Now It Is The Canadians...

...who are coming into the USA to have their babies. See: Canada's Expectant Moms Heading to U.S. to Deliver.

This time instead of illegal aliens like from Mexico, the Canadians are apparently coming here legally(?) in order to avoid the crippled health care system in Canada, and to make use of the USA's much better health care system to assure their babies are born healthy. Hmm, as I recall, folks like Michael Moore ala the movie Sicko, and folks like Hillary Clinton, Obama, and other ultra libs, have all claimed that socialized medicine like they have in Mexico, Canada, Great Britain, Germany and other places is the cat's meow. Funny though how all the illegal Mexicans who come here do not go back to Mexico for health care but risk being found out by authorities by going to US health care facilities whenever they need it. Funny how others from around the world flock here for special surgeries they cannot get in their own countries that have socialized medicine. Funny how now even our neighbors to the north, those flag waivers of the banner of liberalism, are also now coming here to use our supposedly corrupt, understaffed, broken, unfair, racist, health care system!

What is it that we have that all of them do not. We have a health care system that works. We have health insurance that works, at least for the most part. We even have free medicine that works for the underprivileged; or should I say it worked for our own citizens and legal immigrants, but is in danger of collapse because of overload by illegal aliens, and those who come here to flee their own inept system(s) of medical care.

Socialized medicine and health care, the likes of which Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama, and jerks like Michael Moore want to see effected in this country, just do not work in the long run. The proof is out there all over the rest of the world. Just open your eyes and read about it, or watch it on television. Medical care based upon socialized medicine sucks. Remember that when you vote in November both this year and next.

All the best,
Glenn B