Thursday, January 31, 2008

As If In Answer To The Question...

...that I posed here, I saw this headline tonight: Pelosi, Boehner say econ bill won't benefit illegal immigrants. Could they be getting the message, or is it just going to be this way because it is an election year, and them arranging tax rebates for illegal aliens would guarantee an ultra leftist demoncrat Democrat not getting into The Whitehouse. Heck, I am no lib on this issue for sure, but I could almost see giving tax rebates to illegal aliens who actually paid taxes before giving rebates to citizens who paid no taxes because they did not earn enough money. But then again, if we did give rebates to illegal aliens, then I think the law should be written that said money immediately must go to pay for their air or bus tickets to facilitate their deportations. Of course,, that is just my personal opinion, and not my government employee opinion; and in no way does my opinion - quite obviously - reflect the opinion of the United States Government, the President, The Vice president, The Head of ICE which is my agency, or any political candiadte likely to win their party'snomination. If only my opinion did reflect theirs though (or should I say that theirs should be reflective of mine), things might be better in this country for her citizens and legal resident aliens.

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye The Happy Homemaker...

...or so you might believe after the amazing feat of wax removal I did from my ears basement carpet today. It seems that last week, someone lit a large candle, but had placed it only in a shallow dish, atop our entertainment center in the basement. I thought nothing of it when I later went down into the cellar to watch the tube for a bit. Never gave even a small thought to the dish being too shallow that is, I did know the candle was burning and enjoyed its rose scented aroma.

Well as things would have it, I fell asleep on the couch. When I awoke in the morning, the candle, what was left of it, was still burning. As it turned out, it had a hole melted in its side, and the melted wax had run out of it, into and overflowing the dish, onto the top of the entertainment center, and down over the front of it onto the floor. Lucky me there was no fire. Unlucky me though because now I took the blame for htis mess, and I had not put the candle in that small dish, nor had I lit it. I did not blow it out either, but I often let candles burn all night, ones that I have placed into a proper candle holder for such. Oh well, today, after about a week of procrastination, and waiting to see if my eager as a beaver son Brendan would do anything to clean it up, I got down to business, and that was carpet cleaning 303. Yes this was advanced stuff therefore that 303 designation instead of 101 or 202. Lucky for me I watch those two English birds on the BBC channel. You know them don't you? Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie who do the show - How Clean is Your House. I thought I remembered something about using an iron to clean the wax up, but I'd be darned if I could remember the method. So what to do but to check on the Internet! I found two sets of instructions, both very similar in nature. In essence each said to scrape off as much wax as possible without damaging the carpet. Then to warm up the clothes iron, take a clean cloth, place it over the mess, and iron over the cloth until the wax melted and could be soaked up into the cloth. Repeat as needed until there is no more wax. Okay, I tried it, but I decided that if I would try it to try it with minimal heat first, and then increase the heat, instead of setting the iron on high steam heat right off. At the minimum setting it did little good, so I then set my iron at about the halfway mark for heat. Just under the lowest steam seeting on mine. I ironed over the cloth that was laid above the top of the mess, then took a peek, and as things would have it, most of the wax appeared to be gone. I could see some of it in the cloth, but surely some must have drained further into the carpet. I didn't and don't care, I went at it again. Then a third and final time, and it looked as good as new.

My carpet is nylon. It can melt, and that is why I started at a low heat setting and worked up. The cloth between the carpet and iron probably helps prevent damage to the carpet, but I would think you need to be very carefuul if you try this, not to burn or melt the carpet fibers (or yourself). As for the cloth, I used an old terry cloth cotton towel.


Right now, all candles have been removed from our basement, incense sticks too. I would hate to wake up choking on smoke some night after falling asleep while watching the Twilight Zone.

All the best,
Glenn B

The World Is My Oyster...

... to borrow that phrase. Every now and then I tell you about some far away places from wherein people are viewing my blog. It always surprizes me that folks in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, The Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Korea, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Venezuela, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, and many other exotic a location stop by for a read. Of course I also get hits, the largest number of them, from all over the USA. It amazes me when folks who view my site return for a second look, or even third looks, and more. Someone out there must at least like some of what I write, and for me that is a good feeling.

Today I was pleased to see, from my Site Meter account, that I have at least one pearl in each continent today except for Antarctica. In the last 100 hits on my site, there have been people visitng it from: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America (most of you), and South America. I can say without a doubt - that is neat, just a good feeling.



Thanks,
Glenn B

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Seafood/Pork/Beef Combo Whatzitcalled...

One nice chunk of pork belly, about 1 pound, cut into small pieces, about a pound of the meat from beef short ribs, also cut into small pieces (about 1/2x1/2"), one pound of baby octopus cleaned and cut into small mouth sized pieces, one pound of squid cleaned and cut like the octopus, one pound of cleaned shrimp (25-30 count per pound), one small can tomato paste, two 8 ounce cans of plain tomato sauce, garlic powder to taste, sea salt to taste, black pepper about 1/2 teaspoon, two large dollops of hot pepper sauce with garlic to taste (some stuff I picked up in Chinatown), a few sprinkles of cinnamon (maybe even a 1/8 teaspoon), a bit or oregano (only a few sprinkles), about 6 green onions diced at least from the bottom to halfway up the greens), about 1/2 pound of very small potatoes (this were about the size of walnuts) cut into halves or quarters.

I browned the pork to crispy on the outside, then the beef in the same pan in just a squirt of olive oil. Then added the octopus and squid to it and let it cook for a while in a deep pan. I did this as I got the other ingredients ready. I added all the other ingredients, except the shrimp, into a large pot, put the browned the beef, pork belly, octopus and squid into the pot with the sauce ingredients, and then brought it to a boil. As soon as brought to a boil, I lowered flame and let it simmer for one hour. Then I added the shrimp for about 5 minutes. All the while, as this was cooking I kept checking to make sure it did not boil over, and I stirred every 15 to 10 minutes for just a bit.

Whatzitcalled - who knows: but boy does it taste good right out of the pot. Tomorrow it will be for my lunch over a bit of white rice. My son thought it was good too, and especially liked the hot flavoring I added. Next time though, only the other spices, no really hot stuff, I want to enjoy the taste of the seafood more than the hot stuff. Next time, I think I'll use fresh tomatoes, maybe some fresh basil leaves, and no to very little sauce or paste.

All the best,
GB

McCain Wins Florida...

...and all I can think is yikes. I cannot tell you for whom I think you should vote (as federal LEO, not permitted by the Hatch Act), but I can tell you for whom I do not want to have to vote. That would be John Amnesty/Anti-Gun/No Business Savvy/Ted Kennedy Buddy McCain. Does that mean it will come down to a choice, for me, between Romney and Huckabee at the Republican primary here in NY? On the one hand I could vote for an anti-gun, tax increasing by way of socialized medicine for all, governor from an ultra far left wing state (the one that keeps voting in Kennedy), or I could vote for a guy who probably believes that if dinosaurs ever lived they walked the earth within the last 5,000 years with Adam and Eve, or I suppose I could vote for McCain if I somehow get hit on the head and wind up at the polling place rather disorientated. What a choice of three knuckleheads, but any of them (well maybe not McCain) have got to be better that Mrs. Senator Rodham-Clinton or Senator B. Obama.

Whatever happened to real men, who could take over the reins as real leaders? I miss President Ronald Wilson Reagan, and I miss him a whole lot at that. He was a good man, a very good leader, and a great American.

All the best,
Glenn B

Taxes Suck...

...and will apparently suck big time for me this year. I have all my necessary tax records except the W2 from one of my wife's two jobs. Since that job is roughly the same amount of hours as her other one, and the pay will work out the same, I am assuming that the same amount of tax was deducted from each job. My wife has them take out too little, not by my advice mind you. I was all ready to take her on a 6 day Caribbean cruise in April for our 22nd year married, but that looks as if it about to sink. From my best estimation, to my worst, we will owe between $2,500 and $3,300 in state and federal taxes. Being that on just my salary alone we would have been owed over $3,000 in refunds you can figure they took way too little out of her pay. She does not make all that much in a year, but when added to my salary, it gets to the point where we lose some very nice deductions (such as the deduction for college loan interest). Subtract from our deductions/credits because Brendan turned 18, so we lost the child credit, we no longer have our daughter listed as a dependent (well we can, but it may be much more advantageous for her to claim herself instead of me claiming her as she can get a great credit for her college tuition, and we cannot claim it even if she is listed as our dependent) and we wind up getting raked over the taxman's coals this year.

I am a little bit, no let me say a whole lot, pissed off that the wife did not put in new withholding forms last year! Hell, I had filed my withholding last year so a set amount of extra cash would be taken from each of my paychecks, and I also claimed 'married, but withhold at the higher single rate', all hoping that would do the trick. It surely did not. Now the money has to come from somewhere. So we probably have to tap the savings account which is not a whole heck of a lot. Our bank account probably has about 2.5 times, or less, of the amount we will owe in taxes. I hate to do that to our savings, but I sure hope the wife learns a lesson from this. Some of the money we have in the bank was marked for a tree removal (they want $2,000 to chop it down and haul it away - a big oak tree), and more for my son's bedroom furniture (his set was literally falling apart) and more for needed electrical work in our house. If we pay off the taxes with the savings, it will leave very little after those other expenses are also subtracted from it, and then up pops the question of the cruise. No cruise for us, not if I am right about how much we will owe in taxes, and how diminished our savings are about to become.

Oh well, life goes on, and is pretty good without the cruise; but it sure would have been a nice boost to the morale of the marriage. As it is now, we have to tighten our belts a bit, and start saving to boost up the funds, not go on the cruise, and keep grating on each others' nerves. Maybe a nice vacation to Hoboken this year (if you ever lived in Brooklyn, you have probably heard that line before)! It, that is the belt tightening, will not be easy with the bills as they are now, but it definitely is something we can and will have to do in the upcoming year if I am really to retire at the end of it. Taxes suck. Maybe I can sell some guns at the gun show this weekend, although I hate to even consider it. Then again, maybe I can avoid that if I strike it rich - ha ha. Still, I have definitely got to get some time out with my metal detector. Really though, the way it looks now, I should not have bought the metal detector even though the money I paid for it all came from Christmas presents. Now I see I should have put that money to better use now that I realize my probable tax liability - 20/20 hindsight. Did I say taxes suck!

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, January 28, 2008

3:10 To Yuma - A Very Disappointing Movie

IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS MOVIE, AND DO NOT WANT IT RUINED FOR YOU, THEN DON'T READ THIS.

Last night my son rented 3:10 To Yuma. It was a movie I had recommended that he watch. A movie as I remembered that was about good versus bad, morality versus immorality, doing right versus doing wrong; and the guy who winds up being the good guy was indifferent at first, but really figuratively got on the white horse after all. Am I that forgetful that such is how I recall the original from way back when, even when in that original the bad guy helps the good guy out of the mess and into the train. The thing is in this new version, the good guy is made to look morally inferior not to the bad guy, but to his own set of morality. Then he is gunned down in front of his son. Then the bad guy is made to look moral, in a perverse twisted sort of a way, by shooting his own gang, then putting himself behind bars on the train. Finally to add insult to injury as if something out of Roy Rogers he whistles for his faithful horse to follow as he is off to the territorial prison at Yuma. Please tell that was as screwed up as I saw it to be, let me know there is some decency left, if not in Hollywood, then in the hearts, minds, and souls of we who get duped into watching crap like that.

Yeah it could have been a great movie, if only the idiot who took the liberty with the movie had not taken liberties with the roots of morality by illustrating good and evil partnered up in one of the most depraved mergers of the two that I have ever witnessed. What a shame that people see it that way today.

Maybe I am too old fashioned, maybe too much of a dreamer; hell no - I know there is real good out there, and real evil too - and this movie was an absolute pervsion of the whole concept of either. Truly a disappointment in that regard, otherwise a good action, albeit very violent, movie.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Let's See - my checklist:

I've got my:

heavy clothing
boots
metal detector
batteries
directions for the M/D
carry bag
screen sifter
small shovel (garden variety, one hand, small size)
larger shovel (army type, folding)
gas in the car
cell phone (in case I strike it rich and need to called for armed backup)

Heck, except for some presents I'll be picking up for my mom along the way - that should just about do me fine.

I'm off............
Glenn B


All that did not matter one bit, it was too dark by the time I got to the beach! Oh well, next weekend.

Adventure...

...is a worthy cause for its own sake, and one heck of a good way to spend at least part of the day. I do it at my job now and then, and though it has been over 28 years a career now, going out after bad guys is still an adventure each and every time. Today's journey though will included with it an adventure of a different nature. Today I go to visit my mom in a rehab center, Its about a 70 -80 mile drive, so I have only gotten there on the weekends, which was last weekend, the weekend before I was ill and could not make it to see her in a hospital out that way. Well I'll be seeing her today and that in and of itself is always an adventure. Sometime it can be one much like two cavaliers drawing swords and going at it for a half hour or so, at other times more like to armies facing each other off with machine guns, and yet at others more like a sailboat adrift on calm seas meeting a beautiful rose colored sunset. Yeah sometimes we rub each other the wrong way, but hopefully not today. It will be an adventure just finding out.

After the visit, I be taking my amply butt down to the beach for a nice long walk. "What beach?" you ask. Does not matter to me, I'll pick one as I go along, that will be part of the other adventure which I will enjoy today. Probably one with few if any people on it, though in the summertime that would be another story. Yet I will admit, some of the beaches around here, while not full of sun worshippers in January, do get their fair share of strollers who love the smell of salt in the air, the crashing of the waves on the shore, and the squealing of the gulls in flight. While I find some pleasure in those things, my goal today is too look at the beach in another way, as a treasure trove of: gold doubloons, necklaces torn loose by a wave, gold and silver rings all slipped from a finger, coins of the realm (whether this one or from a hundred years gone by); and all these things finally washed ashore after thousand upon thousands of waves have swept them hither and tither, and finally to within my grasp unseen neath the sands.

You got it folks, the metal detector arrived on Friday, and after I visit my mom today for a few hours, I will be out and about testing it out. If I come up with anything other than old fashioned soda/beer can pull tabs, rusty nails, and bottle caps, well then I'll share the view of my booty right here on this blog. (Yes, of course I mean booty in the pirate sense, and not the rapper sense, though I will agree I understand how both can be deemed treasure.)

Well, enough ranting from me. Time is wasting and I need to get myself cleaned up and on the road. Of course, I guess I should dress up warmly too since it is about 32 degrees Fahrenheit out there today, and with the wind they say it feels like 22 degrees. I am guessing it will feel all the much colder at the beach. Boot too, I think I should wear. Since I have about an hour and a half to a two hour ride ahead of me, depending on traffic, let me finish by saying "Later for all of you".

Have a good day,
Glenn B

New Haven, CT Aldermen - 25 of You Should Be Ashamed of Yourselves

Let's Help Then Stay illegally... and then try to make the federal agency responsible for enforcement of Immigration laws look like they have done something bad when they enforce the law of the land, (Why did you do cast blame on immigration and Customs Enforcement - was it to cover up your own shameful act?) Are you saying, 'let's disrespect the memory of someone like hero Senior Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar Jr., who is less than a week deceased because of doing his job and trying to capture suspected illegal aliens and drug smugglers, by not honoring his memory, but instead calling federal agents vindictive when they do their jobs and arrest illegal aliens in New Haven, CT'? It suurely seems that is what you are trying to say.

I say that instead of helping illegals, you should be praising Aguilar as his fellow border patrol agents for trying to keep our nation free of illegal aliens, many of whose first act on our soil is a crime. I say this not as an ICE Agent, but as my personal opinion as a citizen of the United States of America.

To the people of New Haven, CT who support giving identity cards to illegal aliens to help facilitate their stay within the United States of America, and especially to the New Haven board of aldermen, the 25 of you who voted 25 - 1 in favor of this - I say, as part of my personal opinion:


YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO YOUR NATION
YOU, ALL 25, SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES


To the one person who voted against it, you are a good man or woman. As for the vote of the others, this vote is, in my opinion, abject disrespect for the laws of our great nation, and for legal immigrants and U.S. Citizens. It makes me think the time is nearing for some sort of a revolt. 'We The People' really need to wake up, because the term 'We The People' was never meant to include invaders, or those who collaborate with them; and that is exactly how I perceive illegal aliens - as invaders, and those who help them as collaborators. My prediction, as seen in my post immediately previous to this one can be seen as already unfolding in stories like this one. If you do not know what I am writing about, see:

http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Jan26/0,4670,ImmigrantsIDCards,00.html

With Hope Yet,
for a better America,
Glenn B

Saturday, January 26, 2008

An Arrest Was Made - Does it Matter To Anyone?

As reported by CNN, Mexican authorities arrested a suspect, Jesus Navarro-Montes in the slaying of heroic U.S. Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar Jr.. The arrest was made on January 22? Did any of you know that. Heck it was reported online by CNN - can you imagine all of the space they must have given to such an important arrest: go here and take a look yourself.

The media, heck just CNN alone, gave what seems to me to have been at least 20 times more space to Paris Hilton's panty-less private parts. What a sad commentary. In addition another sad thing, Mexico may not extradite this guy to the USA unless it is guaranteed that he will not face the executioner's hand if found guilty of the murder of BPA Aguilar.

Look at this guy, study him well. Does he remind you of anyone working on your front lawn, painting a neighborhood house, delivering groceries. This short haircut with scraggly half a man's mustache, with half sleeve rolled up, the tattoos, this is a classic look of gang member. Yes they are all over the USA in great numbers. Contact your elected officials, don't allow them to think for a moment that you tolerate illegal aliens, and criminal aliens within the USA. If deportation was good enough for Italian organized crime members back in the 1930s, it should be more than good enough for scum who commit crimes like that of which this guy has been accused, that is after he is convicted, and executed. Then we can deport him posthumously. Of course he has to be extradited from Mexico, and actually convicted first - but if he is convicted I think he should fry.

Before any of that though, the press and our elected officials - all of them who made the big stink when the drug smuggler was shot - ought to be making even more noise now to make sure that this guy has his day in court, and if found guilty - has his day meeting his maker sooner than later. Of course, unless there is some sudden outcry from the public, that would be you and I, no one will make such a brouhaha over this as they did when those 2 BPAs shot that smuggler.

If the death of BPA Aguilar is not enough for you to be outraged, then please click on this link and read the article:
Things described in the article are commonplace in Mexico, and no kidding the police shoot to kill down there - yet the drug gangs are thriving and blatantly executing police officers and other officials. Want to know why you should make an outcry now, because very soon it will be just that way here in the USA. You don't believe it, well believe this - there are over 20 million illegal aliens here in the USA, and probably 80% of them of more come from Mexico based upon what I have read. Now do some searching and check out the stats on how many people in jail in the USA, especially the southwestern states, are illegal aliens and how many are Mexican.

They keep coming folks, because our border security and our immigration policy are ludicrous, just a joke if anything. Don't get me wrong, legal Mexican immigrants should be welcomed with open arms - they would be the ones who do not illegally enter the USA, who do not smuggle drugs or commit other crimes. But as for the the illegals, the drug smugglers, and the gang members already here who rape, pillage and plunder, our laws are an absolute joke and they know it. They also know our whole criminal justice system is a joke (heck if they did not all they had to do was watch the news about those 2 Border patrol Agent who shot the drug smuggler). Yes it is a joke and they know it. They are coming here to take over, to make this place like their home, to live like they do in what is seemingly one of the most crime ridden and corrupt nations on the face of the earth; and they can do it within a decade or two, and yes they know it! They also know they will get no resistance from the so called good Mexicans who are here, because those good Mexicans already fled Mexico to in part get away from these criminals and all their raping, killing, pillaging, and plundering. Yes the criminal Mexican aliens know it!

When are you going to "know it" too, and do something about it? Will it be before it is too late, think about that but not for too long. Do something about it, and pronto!

All the best,
Glenn B

Border Patrol Agent's Death Ignored? It Is a Gosh Awful Disgrace...

...when the death of a United States Border Patrol Agent goes virtually ignored in light of the facts that:

1) He was doing his job at the time of his death, trying to protect the nation from alien or drug smugglers, and who knows maybe even terrorists.

2) One of his last actions was to motion innocent bystanders out of the way of oncoming harm.

3) His last action, was to lay road spikes in an attempt to stop the suspect(s).

4) His last encounter on the face of this earth was to be run down and killed by a suspected smuggler.

5) The news media coverage of this tragic death was scant to say the least about it. When looked at in the light of how much news coverage was given to an actor who recently died, whose biggest claim to fame was his kissing another male actor in a gay caballero movie, and how little coverage was given to this real life American hero who sacrificed his life for the security of our great nation - well something is truly sad about that, and maybe indicative that our nation is not as great as it would want to appear to be in the first place.

6) When the media coverage of this agent's death is compared to the mud slinging, yellow journalistic, coverage that was given when two Border Patrol Agents were accused of wrongfully shooting a drug smuggler, I think people should realize that something in our lives, and in the media coverage in this country is terribly askew. No let me rephrase that, something is really fucked up would be a better to describe it, if not a better way to say it.

7) When I have not heard one word about his out of the mouth of the President of the United States of America. I think it truly embarrassing - as I am a government employee tasked with Immigration and Customs duties among others, and I started my career as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent not many miles from where this agent was killed; and when I think of the President as my ultimate executive officer - which he is in fact!

8) When I realize I have not heard one Senator, one Representative from the House of Representatives, demand that the person(s) responsible be extradited from Mexico back into the USA. I am appalled, because many of them sure made a stink in wanting to basically those two agents who shot a smuggler.

9) When I do not hear from the President of Los Estados Unidos de Mexico demanding justice in this case, and condemning the killing and the killer(s), I realize that he is a hypocrite extraordinaire, much like many of our own politicians in this same regard.

Do any of you know about the story about which I am writing? Hav eyou heard about it in the news? Yes it made the news, but I have spoken to several people who have no clue about it. I guess that is because things like the suspected probable overdose death of an actor is more important to many than is the death of someone tasked with the duty of protecting our nation and her borders. Shame on you if you are one of them who finds such absolute trivia to be more important than national security, than securing our borders, than the well being of our public servants who lay down their lives for you and yours.

I did not write about this last week because I wanted to wait to see if my guess about how it would be handled would prove true. I figured it would be largely ignored and quickly pushed aside for what would be deemed more important news, yet news that was truly trivial in light of this killing. I wanted to wait to see how it would be covered in the media, and how it was addressed by our so called leaders. My guess then was correct, as can be seen if you look back over the past week to see how it was reported, and how our elected officials addressed it.

'We The People' had best wake up, and wake up quickly. The important news of the day is not whether or not Paris Hilton wore panties (how many weeks did that make the news), or whether or not Britany Spears took another overdose today, or if an actor who was not particularly good overdosed on pills. I have heard over and over again about those much less than important events, and about who I consider to be less than important people. I have also heard way to much of how the two supposedly big bad Border patrol Agents had no just cause to shoot a Mexican drug smuggler. Did they have just cause, maybe and maybe not; but I can tell you that the Border Patrol Agent who was run down and killed in the line of duty last Saturday had just cause to do what he did - there is no doubt about it. Why is he, and his death, not being given the attention it deserves. I guess it does not matter to the media - they can sensationalize the death of an actor who played queer cowboy, so why bother reporting on a real American hero. They can show blurred out pics of the inside of Paris Hilton's thighs, so why show pictures of the fallen agent! They can give daily Britany reports, so why bother with a few more about this tragic event. I guess too that it does not matter all that much to most of our elected officials in the federal government. Why should it? He was just another Border patrol Agent, why should they care. he was just trying to secure our borders and make life safer for our citizens - do politicians really care about any of that? Does it matter to them? Does it matter to you?

I wonder, have any of you asked yourselves - what is the name of this fallen hero? His name was: Luis Aguilar Jr., a U.S. Border Patrol Senior Agent. Does it matter to you? I wonder did any of you ask yourselves what about his family, did he have one? Yes he is, or was, a husband and a father of two children. Does it matter to you? I wonder, have any of you even thought of his family? Do it matter to you? I wonder, have any of you asked yourselves, what about the guy(s) who mowed him down, have they been captured, has anyone even seriously looked for them? No they have not yet been arrested, but there are prime suspects, and they reside in Mexico, where as reported by the Mexican media, the search is on; but where in the Mexican media they also reportedly have been praised as heroes for killing one of our own. Does it matter to you?

It matters to me; and apparently it mattered to at least some in the media, though seemingly not those in the main stream media. "It mattered a lot last Saturday to Dukeshier, 31, an air-conditioning installer from Peoria, and to John Jamison, 39, a Phoenix insurance adjuster." If you don't know why it mattered to these two men, then see this article: Take the time to remember a border hero, in The Arizona Republic at
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0126roberts0126.html where you will get the explanation. Damn it, it ought to mater an awful lot more, to a whole lot more of people than it seems to. Take 10 minutes or so, look to the government links on the right side of my blog's home page. Then click on the links to contact the president, the vice president, your senators and your representative in the House. Write to them all about this and ask why it apparently does not matter, or at least not matter more to them. Demand that they speak out as loudly about this as they did about the shooting of the drug smuggler. Demand that they seek justice in this case, justice over the death of an American Citizen, over the death of an American Hero, over the death of a united States Border Patrol Agent, as much as they did over the shooting in the buttocks of a suspected drug smuggler slimeball. If you do not do at least that, then the answer to all those "Does it matter to you?" questions is simply - No you do not! If that is the case, shame on you for ever thinking yourself a decent person.

With true heartfelt sadness at the state we are in, I implore you to help make things better. Contact your elected officials and express your outrage, and outraged you should be, over this whole lack of attention to the falling of this hero. At least let this man's family know we care about him, and about them, our fellow Americans - do your part to help bring his killer(s) to justice by contacting your elected officials and demanding swift action, and swifter justice.

All the best,
Glenn B

I Could Not Stand The Heat...

...so I got out of the kitchen; and I sat down in the living room with a Scotch on the rocks. The aroma of the 1o year old Speyside was heavy, but nowhere near as fragrant as the unseen hints of exotic spices, apples, and baking pie crust that made there way to me from the kitchen. I had spent the half hour or so, before sitting down with my libation, preparing a breakfast delight for my wife - one of her favorites - homemade apple pie. I hope she thinks it as good as ones I have made in the past, since it has been a while. I can tell you it sure smells and looks wonderful. Maybe it is not as pretty as a pie made by a professional chef, or even a regular Sallie the Home Maker type, but it usually tastes pretty darned delicious if I must say so myself. I almost cannot wait to have a piece, so I had better get off the computer, and head to bed; if I stay up any longer, the pie will not make it through the night unscathed.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, January 25, 2008

Balleye's Firearms Tactics & Training: Push Off - Hip Shooting

Disclaimer: Let me start this one by saying that this is a potentially dangerous shooting technique for the shooter, for any bad guy adversary, and for bystanders, although it can also be a quite effective and desirable self defense technique under the proper conditions. It should only be employed in life threatening situations or in situations where you, or another innocent, have been threatened with serious bodily harm. It should only be practiced at a firearms range, and initially only under the supervision of a qualified tactical firearms instructor. Do not try what I am about to describe unless you are under the tutelage of a qualified tactical firearms instructor who is thoroughly familiar with the technique and who can demonstrate it to you, and supervise you in its use properly. If you do try this defensive shooting technique without, or even with, proper instruction - you do so at your own risk. If you read the following, in part or whole, you agree to hold me harmless, and indemnify me, for any outcome directly or indirectly related to your use, in any manner, of the following information, and your attempt to use or teach the following described shooting technique.

Most of us who have learned any manners at all probably have learned that it is impolite to point, but if you have also learned to shoot handguns, then you know that pointing your gun at the target is the only way to hit it directly (as opposed to ricochet shots). Along those lines tactical and defensive handgun shooting courses teach the shooter how to point the handgun at the target, how to acquire a proper sight alignment, and about proper sight picture. A little more down the road, a more advanced form of shooting often is taught, one that advocates a not aiming with the sights but rather aiming overt he top of the gun or down the length of your arms. This type of shooting is fine for fairly close in shooting (probably out to 10 yards for most shooters) and is called Point Shooting. Both aimed fire and point shooting essentially require the firearm to come into a position extended out in front of the shooter. This is all well and fine, that is if the adversary at whom you are shooting is far enough away not to be able to take your gun away from you when you extend it. If on the other hand you are in extremely close quarters (say three feet or less) to someone who is threatening you with deadly force and you fear imminent loss of life, or serious bodily harm, and you decide to shoot - well then either of those methods would be pointless (no pun intended).

So what is it you would do in such a situation. If you handgun is still holstered, then depending on the proximity of the bad guy, you may decide to try hand to armed combat - you using your hands to try to disarm your adversary. It simply may make more sense to do so than to try to draw your own weapon, but this is a consideration for another day and lesson. Today I am going to write about a situation in which you have either already have gun in hand, or have decided to draw it and shoot to defend yourself (or another innocent party). Here is the scenario - an adversary is very close to you - and you have need to shoot him/her. Before you start thinking, "Hey, wait a minute, I know distance is my friend in a gun fight, I am not going to get that close to a bad guy, forget about it because he has brought the fight to you and IS that close. For example, you are leaning against the outer wall of a building waiting for the local bus. A guy who is walking by suddenly turns to you, screams obscenities, and goes for a pistol. You see it coming out of his waistband. What do you do. Distance would be nice, but this guy is less than 3 feet away and is approaching you, while drawing a gun. You are in effect between a rock and a hard place. What do you do?

If you try to draw while running to get distance or get behind cover you may make it, but may put yourself more at risk. You must make a decision on what to do based upon the actual situation, and the totality of the circumstances including your prior training. If cover is literally a step away, you may want to go for it, then again. maybe you meed to do something else before you can get to it. There is another way to handle this situation which could provide you with more of a chance of survival should you decide to draw and fire while for the moment choosing or being forced (if cornered) to stand your ground. You can try to throw your opponent off balance or stride, make him react to you by you controlling the action, instead of you simply reacting to everything he does, and shoot him at the same time. You do this through the technique of push off hip shooting.

You immediately push out with your open weak hand (or the hand that does not draw your weapon), and you whack the bad guy as hard as you can in the upper body as high as you can without missing. In the process your hand will likely be coming up from your side and you may be given another target other than his upper body which to strike - his gun hand or gun. Don't go for it if you intend to shoot (this is my personal preference, though some would say 'sure, grab the bad guy's gun if you can'). Instead aim at the upper side of his chest on the same side (to you) as is your hand that is pushing out and up. Make sure you do this as you draw your weapon with your other hand, and keep that weak hand up in a defensive high position after you do so (the reason should become obvious but if not I will explain). Simultaneously draw your weapon with your strong (or other hand as some now say)hand but DO NOT EXTEND IT OUT IN FRONT OF YOU (because doing so only offers a gun take away opportunity to your adversary). Instead of extending it, as soon as the muzzle clears the holster or waist band, bring the blade of the shooting hand to your hip on the same side as your strong hand (much easier with a strong side draw holster than with cross draw, but possible with both), cant the top of your firearm out away from your body with blade of hand toward hip or actually your hip, point muzzle at your opponent from that position and fire. Remember in most, or at least many, cases you will want to point the muzzle up and in a bit, toward the center of mass of the bad guy, to compensate for it being off to your side and so low against your hip. Remember this is a close in firing technique, one where you are both within reach of one another - you do not want to start firing from the hip when the bad guy is too far off to hit with reliability - that would be a potential danger to others, and a waste of ammo. You also do not want to shoot yourself in your weak side arm or hand, thus the reason I told you to keep it high once you strike. I have actually seen a guy using this technique with right hand shooting his pistol, and left hand held low and getting powder burns - he was that close to shooting himself because he did not do it right. I would swear some of the bullets had to go through between his spread fingers!

If you manage to do so successfully, you will have then accomplished a few things. You will have taken control of the action, you will have made physical contact with a close in opponent and quite possibly stunned him and thrown him off his mark, you will have shot him and possibly stopped him. You are also now in a stronger weapon retention stance against this adversary than had you placed the firearm out in front of you. So, he has less chance of grabbing your weapon and you have it in a stronger position (closer to your body) to be able to more effectively retain it should he grab it. You also may well have opened up a line of retreat for you to seek cover by pushing him out of the way.

This is a technique that requires a lot of practice. When you first try it out, you should do so with a dummy gun - one that is absolutely incapable of firing. If you do not have one, try it with your strong hand in the classic stance of kids round the world, and use your index finger as the barrel of your imaginary pistol. This dry practice, and a lot of it with a non-firing gun, is essential to assure that you have gotten down the proper coordination of this technique. You see, if you do not correctly coordinate the movement of your off shooting hand, the one with which you push your attacker, then when you draw your handgun to fire there will be way too much of a chance that you will shoot yourself in that hand or arm. This is an inherently dangerous move, not just to your adversary if you do it right, but also to you if you do it wrong. The best way to learn it is not by reading about it here, but by asking a professional firearms instructor to teach you how to do push off hip shooting. Note most instructors call it something like push off shooting, but I stress adding hip to that terminology because I recommend you only shoot from the hip or just above it against your body, if in such a situation. Some shooter try to hold the gun in front of them, sort on on their bellies. This again offers the gun, your gun, to the bad guy for a takeaway, and if a pistol, the slide may come back, hit you flab or jacket or coat, and fail to eject or feed. Clothing interfering with the function of a pistol is also the reason I told you to place the blade of your hand on or near your hip, and slightly cant the top of the firearm away from your body just before you shoot.

Remember do not try this without proper instruction, if you do, you do so at your own risk.

All the best,
Glenn B

Something I Wonder About The Proposed Tax Rebate

I was wondering, since the Democrats seem so much in favor of giving people Tax Rebates, who have not paid taxes, does that mean that they also will be giving Tax Rebates to illegal aliens? Something to ponder, and I'll see if any of them will answer that question. Hmm, 20 million illegals x $300 each = $6,000,000,000. Let's hope this is not part of the Tax Rebate - Economic Bailout Plan because that would be per rebate year, so if this happens at all, then goes on more than a year - ouch to our economy - again thanks to idiotic politicians and more illegals. Wouldn't that just be grand! Hell no. We could use that money to round em up and deport em, and probably have something left over if we did it with fiscal responsibility.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Favorite Song - The Highwayman

Thanks to You Tube, and someone who uploaded this on that site, I can share it with you all:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw1bHaUk1CM

Jen, over at Pen of Jen, asked a few questions of her readers in her blog today. One of them was whether or not you believe in an afterlife. Sure I do, just listen to this song, and you will know perfectly what I mean. And as I told her , if this song is not right, then there are the worms who will lick my bones, and in that way, life surely goes on after we are gone, life taken from our lives, so yes it is an afterlife of sorts. Hopefully though, it will be more like Johnny cash sings it in the last stanza of that song - The Highwayman, by the Highwaymen.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tax Rebates Like This Are Why Ultra Leftist Democrats Often Sicken Me

No I am not upset about there being a bailout plan, but nor am I thrilled by it. I think it would make better sense to let the economy, the banks, the other lenders, and the idiots who took out ridiculous mortgages to have to bail themselves out through use of a somewhat lost good trait - that of hard work. Foolish people who do foolish things with money should not be rewarded, and sometime should have to stew in the vile sludge of their own making so their eyes will be opened about making sound judgements in the future. I will accept though that the economy is in dire straits. I saw it coming and pulled my thrift savings money (sort of a government employee's 401K plan) out of the funds with risky investments and put them into government securities. Not much interest for sure, but much safer. Why others could not see this is beyond me as I am certainly no money guru, I tend to play it safe. Maybe others did not see it for whatever reason, and now they are socked down with bad debt; and now their bad judgements will ripple over to us and we will be effected negatively by a bad economy too. They need some help, and we need some help. Okay that could make sense. Both sides of the House and the President went with that way of thinking, now for the full House vote, then for the Senate.

If they all vote in the TAX REBATES I can say okay fine, someone who was a tax payer needs help, and if you are going to bail out the taxpayer who screwed up his finances, then you ought to reward the taxpayer who handled his or her finances without messing them up. The economy is getting tough on all them, so okay give all the TAX PAYERS a REBATE. Of course, that is not what the Democrats in the House of Representatives wanted, and demanded, in order for them to agree with the President's national economic bailout plan. They wanted more. They wanted not only to help out the TAX PAYER with a REBATE but they demanded that the REBATE of TAXES also be given to those who did not make enough to pay taxes! Here is what the Associated Press reported on this point:

"In a key concession to Democrats, 35 million families who make at least $3,000 but don't pay taxes would get $300 rebates." (see:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22782454?GT1=10755).

Now correct me if I am wrong, but that will be a lot of money just for those who DID NOT PAY TAXES. Also correct me if I am wrong about this: a REBATE is pretty much money paid back to someone usually because they OVERPAID, or because they are in some way entitled to a REFUND of money that they PAID. I mean here it is in black and white from the dictionary at Encarta:

"re·bate [ r bàyt ]
noun (plural re·bates)
Definition:
money paid back: money that is paid back, e.g. because somebody has overpaid a tax or is entitled to a refund"


So what I need to ask, what every taxpayer in this country should need to ask, both of the President, and of the Congress, is just how in hell are people who did not pay any taxes, because their income was too low to have them do so, going to receive a REBATE of their taxes? Only a liberal minded politician with political interests in mind could demand something like this, and only a liberal left leaning RINO (Republican In Name Only) like George W. Bush could have said okay to it.

I am not big on the concept of public relief, but I do realize that sometimes people need it. If these people, who earned up to $3,000 but yet did not earn enough to pay taxes need help in these fiscally tough times, then give them fucking public assistance and call it just that. Do not disguise it as a REBATE of taxes when in fact they paid no taxes, and therefore it would be impossible to give them a rebate of taxes. I predict that somehow, in some sneaky manner that is now in the works, those same demoncrats who demanded this so called concession by the president in order to pass this bailout package, will in the future try to give these same people tax rebate after rebate, even when they have decided to cease giving rebates to those who actually worked for a living and paid their taxes. So, I will be writing to my Congressional representatives (in the House and the Senate) to pitch a bitch about this, and I'll write to the president, and vice president (is he still alive - have not heard a peep out of him in a long time - have we). I am going to demand, as a citizen, working member of society, tax payer, and voter, that at least this one part of the plan - the SO CALLED REBATE TO THOSE WHO DID NOT PAY TAXES - be taken out of the bailout plan. If they want a friggin rebate - then they should work like the rest of us, and pay taxes on their incomes like the rest of us - and therefore be eligible for a REBATE in the first place - like the rest of us. If they do not earn enough money to pay taxes, then no rebates for them, at least not until they start to pay for them like the rest of us. If they need welfare or food stamps or other forms of public assistance - and can prove they NEED it, then give it to them - but do not reward the millions in that 35 million who always expect to get something for nothing - and expect we taxpayers to foot the bill. Yes folks that is exactly what we taxpayers will have done should this bailout measure actually be voted in. We will have paid for those rebates - by virtue of having paid our taxes. Those other folks - they did nothing to pay for anything, and yet the democrats want to give them a reward for just that - for doing nothing! It makes me want to puke all over Nancy Pelosi and her whole entourage.

Am I pissed off - you bet - and if you are a regular reader of my stuff you know I am because I usually do not blog using the type of foul language that is peppered throughout my rant above (don't get me wrong, I use foul language regularly, just not here all that much); but you know what - I paid my taxes and am entitled to be mad about this, as are you if you are a taxpayer. Friggin Democrats who are like Pelosi and twist everything to their unreal way of seeing things are, in my personal taxpaying opinion, assholes!

All the best to my fellow taxpayers,
Glenn B

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Just Two More Days...

...until I receive my metal detector if all goes as scheduled according to UPS tracking of my package. Now that I am free of working on the flooring in my son's room, I think I can safely leave some other chores until the weekend after this one coming up, and that means that maybe this weekend I'll get out, do some sweeping with the MD, do some digging in the dirt, get myself dirty and maybe rich at the same time. Nah, I don't believe the rich part, but it may really be fun to get out there every now and then and search for buried treasure. Who can truly say that there was not at least one time in their lifetimes that they did not think of prospecting or searching for treasure. Maybe Mother Teresa could have said it, but certainly none of you - at one time or another, from childhood through old age, it crosses the minds of all of us (well that is my guess anyhow). Finally, I am going to do something about those urges which have afflicted me since my very young years. Who knows, maybe - just maybe - I'll find Blackbeard's treasure or better. Chances are though I'll come up with something like an old rusty nail, but then again if it is holding together a treasure chest.........

Just dreaming, and sharing the dream with you.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rorke's Drift and Friedrich Von Martini

Friedrich von Martini may not be all that familiar a name to most of us, and among military buffs and gun collectors his name may be somewhat more familiar; but I can assure you that those who fought at Rorke's Drift on January 22, 1879 knew his name well. He was the man who in essence made it possible for about 140 British Soldiers to hold off an onslaught of approximately 4,000 Zulu Warriors, many of those warriors armed with modern rifles (for the time) as were the British. You see, earlier that same day, the Zulus Warriors led by King Cetshwayo kaMpande resoundingly defeated approximately 1,500 British forces Isandhlwana, where British General Lord Chelmsford greatly, and foolishly in the way only a snobbish British Lord could do, underestimated the fighting prowess of his enemy. According to a dispatch to the British government by Chelmsford after the battle, he stated that the Zulus had, in overwhelming numbers, launched a highly disciplined attack... That attack resulted in about 1,100 dead British forces, only 400 survivors, and only about 80 of them British or other European. This was the worst defeat of the British in history; and it reportedly resulted in the loss to the Zulus of many Martini-Henry breech loading rifles (though this is disputed by some, it was fact that the Zulus were well armed with rifles, and did establish harassing fire on the British during the battle of Rorke's drift later that same day).

Regardless of which rifle the Zulus used, it was that same breech loading rifle, the Martini-Henry, with which the British forces at Roarke's Drift (a supply/trading station, chapel, and filed hospital) were armed, when later that same day a large contingent of the Zulu army (called an impi) attacked. This impi, led by Prince Dabulamanzi kaMpande, headed to Rorke's Drift against the orders of their king. It was a decision that Dabulamanzi would later regret. The British at Rorke's Drift had been made aware of the defeat of Chelmsford's forces, and prepared for battle. A decision was made by the three ranking officers: Lieutenant John Chard, Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, and Acting Assistant Commissary James Langley Dalton that the British would remain within Rorke's Drift rather than try to flee the Zulus through open country, which most assuredly would have resulted in their deaths. So with approximately a force of 140 British soldiers, only about 100 of them fit to do battle, and a fairly large native force of the Natal Native Contingent commanded by European officers, the men at Rorke's Drift busied themselves and prepared for the worst.

Lookouts were posted high upon a hill overlooked the drift. Sometime, late that afternoon, one of the British lookouts upon spotting the advance of the Zulu Warriors was reported to have said: "Here they come thick as grass, and black as hell". This to my knowledge has only been widely disputed in the few decades, and as seen in Wikipedia it is now held by some that Sergeant Henry Gallagher yelled "Here they come, as thick as grass and as black as thunder!". If he actually said it either way, then he was right about them being as thick as grass (in overwhelming number of forces), and also right about equating their arrival with hell or thunder (because of the battle that they would wage). The photo above is an actual late 18th century picture of Zulu Warriors in full battle gear (Europeans behind them in the shot). The Zulus who approached Rorke's Drift numbered about 4,500 men, all disciplined and seasoned fighters, and as I said, many were armed with Martini-Henry Rifles. Of course, they did not know the intricacies of how to perform battlefield techniques with the rifle as they did with their own and more familiar weapons; but the British had been thoroughly trained in their use. While that training, weighted down by the poor decision making of lord Chelmsford, had done the British little good at Isandhlwana earlier that same day; the British at Rorke's Drift had something going for them other than those Martini-Henry rifles. They had officers who improvised, and who did not wear blinders seemingly as did Lord Chelmsford when it came to estimating the fighting skills of their enemy.

Through the use of standard defensive techniques such as barricading, and the use of volley fire, and through improvised use of handing out ammunition without the required signed chits (yes the British could be very anal about such things even requiring requisition forms in the heat of a battle - but not during this one), the British held off wave after wave of Zulu Warriors. However, all too soon for the British, the Zulus were successful in reaching weak points in the British defenses - including the hospital. During the hand to hand combat that then ensued, the Zulus set the hospital afire, and then relentlessly attacked it. Soon the British had to pull back further into the compound at which point they abandoned part of the hospital, and the British soldiers who were inside of it. At that point, not only did the wounded in the hospital fight for their lives, but as they held off the Zulu Warriors, one of the hospital patients started to hack his way through the walls, room to room, while his fellow patients defended their rear. While several soldiers in the hospital perished at the hands of their enemy, many of them were able to escape the hospital because of these actions. The action within the hospital was some of the fiercest of the whole battle.

The fighting continued throughout the night, though the relentless waves of attacks ceased in the early hours of the next morning to be supplemented by harassing Zulu fire from the hills overlooking the compound. This also ended a couple of hours later, still in the wee hours of the morning of the 23rd. At dawn, the British were astonished to see that the Zulus had departed the area, leaving their dead. A count of about 351 Zulu dead was made. The British had fought for over 10 hours against a vastly superior force, and now that force was gone. Then at about 0700, anther impi was spotted, but luckily for the British, no attack followed. At about 0800, Lord Chelmsford arrived on the scene with a large number of British troops, and it was then assured that no further battle would take place. All very lucky for them indeed because they were low on ammo, almost everyone of them had been wounded, and there was little hope they could have held out much longer. As it turned out though, they held out long enough, thanks in no small part to Friedrich Von Martini, and his Martini-Henry breech loading rifle. Because of that rifle, in the hands of those trained to use it, and because of absolutely outstanding defensive tactics and acts of courage (or desperation - they are close to, but not exactly, the same thing under such circumstances), the British losses were held to 15 dead, 8 seriously wounded, and just about all, if not all, of the remaining men wounded to some degree.

The Victoria Cross, Britain's highest military award was initiated by Queen Victoria in about 1856 because to honor the valor shown in the Crimean War. Since that time, up until today, only about 1,356 of those medals have been awarded. Due to their courage at Rorke's drift, 11 British soldiers were awarded the Victoria Cross, more such awards for a single action (one battle) than in any other single engagement by British forces throughout the history of if the medal.

I really am no big history buff, and don't know a whole lot about military history, but this battle is certainly inspirational for anyone who may ever have to face the dangers of being attacked by a well disciplined enemy, and one in overwhelming number at that. To those in such positions today, such as those in our military services, or those in law enforcement, I say this: Train now as if your life depends upon your training, then train some more, but always be willing to use your brain to best apply that training; and never give up. That may just may save your life, and the life of your fellow serviceman or officer. Never forget, you are not only fighting to save yourself, but more importantly you are fighting to save the guy next to you, because as you are saving his life, he is likely doing the same for you. Now it is almost time for me to pull out a cold one out of my fridge, sit down to relax, and watch one of my favorite movies of all time: Zulu. Sure they take some liberties with the story, but it is surprisingly close to the reality of it, especially for Hollywood. It is now 129 years later, and I salute the memory of the men of both sides, for their bravery, determination, and patriotism, in what surely was, is, and will remain one of the most memorable battles of all time.

All the best,
Glenn B

For more info on Martini-Henry Rifles, and the Battle of Rorke's Drift, see these links:

http://www.martinihenry.com/index.html (lots of the above info, and the pic of Martini, ans one of his rifles were found there).


http://www.rorkesdriftvc.com/myths/myths.htm (Lots of info there, even about current tourism to the site of the battle)

First Tom Tancredo, Now Fred Thompson...

Either one of them could easily have gotten my vote. Now all I can lament is: 'For whom is a guy to vote'? I know I am not going to vote for anyone on the left, so that rules out all the Dems, and also rules out all of the RINOs. So whom does that leave me? I hate it when it comes down to having a selection of what I consider to be two evils for whom to vote, and therefore being either forced to vote for the better of the two, or not vote at all. I think it may be time to send a donation to whom I see as the last viable candidate, if you want to know who that could be, then just check their records on gun rights. I'll vote for the one who truly believes gun control is being able to hit your target, that is if any of them believe it. Now I'll really have to do my homework and study up on each of them, because from what I know right now, none of them are friends of our right to keep and bear arms.

All the best,
Glenn B

The Pledge of Alelgiance and Patriotism - under God or not

I think it is rather defeating of our nation, this whole thing about the word God in the pledge of allegiance. Not that the words under God are included or excluded, but the unholy stink being made over it by supposed holy people. It was fine when those words were not there for over 60 years, since the poem was first said like this:

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."

The poem, only much later known as the Pledge of Allegiance (see: http://www.legion.org/national/americanflag/flagcode), was never intended to be a prayer when first penned, never intended to be a confirmation of a nation's or person's belief in God, never meant to be anything but a pledge of patriotism to make us all stand together as good Americans. If I want to be religious, I can go to church, or synagogue, or temple, or just get naked in the woods or meadows and whoop it up to the almighty spirit in the sky (but only if I was totally smashed of course). When I dedicate myself to my country, it is to my whole country, that 'We The People' thing, that 'United States of America' thing, that each and every citizen in the country thing - all regardless of our religious beliefs or lack of them. It was not written only for those who believe in any one God in particular, or to those who ever held a belief in any God at all, but rather was written with patriotism in mind. That is one of the reasons America is so great, you can be a patriot and believe in Jesus Christ, or be a patriot and believe in the God of the burning bush, or be a patriot and not believe in God at all - yet the people of this great country do their best to defend the lives and welfare of other Americans, and of our nation itself. Having differing religious beliefs, or not having any at all, and being able to pledge allegiance to our flag, and to our republic, an indivisible nation, despite all of our religious differences, that is a grand thing indeed. It is too bad, and truly sad, that ones belief in their God, in their brand of dogma, often puts one man at the throat of another, even at the risk of destroying that to which we have pledged our allegiance in this great nation. Too bad indeed, because if it keeps going the way it is, there is no hope at all for our nation surviving as we once knew it, and as we hope it to remain.

Don't get me wrong; I do not mind the words under God in the pledge, but nor do I condemn anyone who would rather pledge his or her allegiance to this country without bringing God into it. The latter type of person can be just as much, and even more, of an American Patriot than some who feverishly demand God be be put into the picture, and then believes it is his particular religion's God that is being named as the one mentioned in the pledge. If anyone was being true to their religion about this kind of a thing, they would know it is not for them to take it upon themselves to judge others under God's law, but rather it would be God who is to be the judge. As for determining who is a true Patriot, well those who live by the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, with or without the words under God, they are, in my opinion, true patriots and defenders of our nation.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, January 21, 2008

I put down some hard wood and finally laid the floor!

Now wait a minute, that may not be exactly as it sounds! What I mean to say is I finally have finished putting in (or laying) the plank flooring in one of the bedrooms, and yes the wood was hard indeed - solid oak. There are still some other things to do, like the 1/4 round molding, as trim all around the floor to molding edges, but that is nothing compared to all the splinters I have gotten already, and heck that will probably be clear pine. Much less likely to splinter, and easier with which to work.

Now back to Home Depot with two excess boxes of oak flooring (@ $59.80 each plus tax, you can bet I want a refund). I probably needed only one extra box to make sure there was a good measure in case of screwups, but I got 2 being the worry wart I am. Half of the wood in one of the boxes being returned is going back because it was warped so badly in one direction or another it could not be used, some other pieces were cracked (right out of the box), and others cut wrong at the mill. It pays to buy at least 10% extra when working with wood to cope with things just like that.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Guzzling, the Grub, and the Games...

...were more fun for me than I had expected they would turn out. I limited myself to only 3 beers before the end of the first game (I would be driving home later), but I pigged out more than I should have done. That was not surprising for me, but maybe little risky since I had a case of medium heartburn, aka: GERD, when Brendan, Julia and I arrived at Onkel Hans' place. I was smart enough to ask Hansie for a heartburn pill, and he was kind enough to give me something, before I started to chow down and wash it down with the Hefe Weisse Bier.

Once we got to his house though, first things came first and we were off to pick up the food for the night at a local pizzeria, and Hans started cooking some meatballs he would be making for us. Again, thank goodness, and Hans, for the heartburn med. The television/gameside fare consisted of eggplant rolatini, baked ziti, and chicken wings from the pizzeria; meatballs and jalapeno poppers (jalapenos overloaded with a shrimp stuffing), mozzarella sticks, chips, pretzels and nuts. On the side there were a few assorted dips consisting of pineapple/jalapeno sauce, chipoltle (spellling?) sauce, hot sauce for the wings and maybe one or two others. There was a decent choice of beverages from orange soda, to coke, to Dr. Pepper, to Kentucky Whiskey, rum, vodka and a choice of a few different beers. Not a bad set up for free (for free for us anyhow, uncle Hans footed the bill).

As for the games, let me clear the air outright - I am no sports fan - though I used to watch football fairly regularly about 20 or more years ago. The last game I watched before this afternoon's was last year during the playoffs, also at Hans' place. In essence I had no real favorites tonight except for the local team - The Giants, though I will say that was a tough call to make because I used to be a Greenbay fan long ago. First things first though, and let me redirect myself to things as they played out in order. The first game between New England and San Diego could only be seen as a good game if you won money, and or if you were a new England fan. Otherwise it out and out sucked as far as it went in the excitement department. It was plain boring for almost all the game. Can you spell lackluster!

Game number 2 for the day though was a different story. From the outright dirty play of the jerk on Green Bay with the dreadlocks (trying his best to look either like a pumped up Bob Marly or a Predator from the film by the same name), to the poor calls or lack of calls by the officials (what offsides, what pass interference, what unsportsman like conduct, and so on), to the see-saw and always close score, to the multitude of turnovers, to the down to the final seconds suspense as to whether or not someone could get it through the uprights, to Brendan and Julia each ribbing each other over who would win (Julia being a Giants fan, and Brendan probably rooting for the Packers just to be the typical boyfriend), it was one hell of an exciting game. I don't care for whom you were rooting, or if like me you were not necessarily a fan of anyone, or even of football; if you watched that game and had a pulse, you know it was exciting. Man oh man it had my heart pounding and my vocal chords straining, as it did all of us. Of course, those 3 scantily clad babes, who were in the stands, wearing yellow bikini tops in -24 degrees temps warmed things up a bit too.

Uncle Hans go to the point of not really caring, but had the Giants gotten that field goal in regulation time, and had it ended there, without going into O/T, he and his brother would have been 3,000 points the better off. As it turned out they had won already one for a quarter in the first game, then another in the second game; so they did okay. Since Hans did not have to drive anywhere, he was already home, he also had the luxury of being able to get tanked, which he did with some abandon. All in all a fun night for all of us there.

I wonder, should I break my habit this year and watch the Super Bowl? Maybe, just maybe, it could be another good game, especially if the Giants play as they did tonight and give the Pats a run for the money. That would be exciting whoever wins.


All the best,
GB

Hefe Weisse Bier, Good Eats, and Football...

...are on the agenda for today over at Onkel Han's house. This will be the first game of this season that I will have watched, but if the Giants win, maybe not the last. More blogging later. Right now I have got to run.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Today In History - Edgar Allan Poe

...was born on January 19, 1809. He died on or about October 7, 1849 in a state of delirium, the official cause of death listed as 'congestion of the brain' During the 40 years of his life span, Poe was one of the most accomplished authors of his time, and has gone down in history as one of the most accomplished American authors of all time. As most of you should well know, he was and remains famous for his depictions of various terrifying scenes, be they of the realm of possibility, or of the realm of fantasy. His works included poetry, short stories, newspaper and magazine articles, essays, and one novel or novella. He is probably best known for such works as: The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, The Fall of The House of Usher, The Pit and The Pendulum; but he was also instrumental in the creation a tale of another type - the modern detective story.

Poe is quite possibly my favorite author; and he at least was certainly my favorite author when I was still endowed with youth of body and of spirit. I have read all of his poetry, all of his short stories, and his one novel. My favorite of Poe's works, from all of those that I have read, would have to be the detective stories. The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget, and, The Purloined Letter.I can tell you that Sherlock Holmes had nothing by way of detecting ability over C. Auguste Dupin. I have often wondered, was it a coincidence that his initials spelled out 'cad', which by definition is "an ungentlemanly man whose conduct in regard to woman is unscrupulous..."; or was Poe actually implying that a man with such a powerful facility of detection is by some requirement of nature destined to treat women in such a way. Furthermore is it a coincidence that the character of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's (funny how Dupin and Doyle had the same initials albeit not in the same order) Sherlock Holmes later followed this trait in his dealings with women! But I digress from Poe, and lest I sully his memory with that of another great writer, let me return to my praise of him.

Poe was a literary genius, with few if any modern equals. He led a difficult and trying life, that was at times given the opportunity to come round the bend into the sunlight of happiness and wealth; but in the end Poe died as he wrote, troubled and tortured. For more information about him and his great works, see: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/today/jan19.html, and http://www.eapoe.org/index.htm. The second site listed having copies of many of his literary works available online.
All the best,
Glenn B




Something New But Not A Gun...

...should soon be on its way to me in the mail. I just ordered a Bounty Hunter Land Star metal detector. Hopefully the price I ordered it at matches the model I ordered. You see, Dick's Sporting Gods has the Land Star metal detector advertised on their web page with 2 totally different prices. It lists it under one listing with a price of $299.99, and under another listing with a price of $379.99, see: http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=bounty%20hunter%20land%20star&origkw=bounty%20hunter%20land%20star&sr=1. Now as far as I am aware, Bounty Hunter only makes one Land Star model, and that can be seen here: http://www.detecting.com/products/product.cmdl?c=378c73459a2911d4. I hope Dick's is not screwing around and playing some sort of a game with a different model, which of course, will go back to them pronto for a refund. I have seen the Land Star at other places for the lower $299.99 price, so I am hoping that is right. With a $10 off coupon I had, and with a $40 gift card I also had, the price in total for me was $249.99 (with free shipping).

Once I get this uber goober nerdy device, you will be able to find me at the beach this winter, especially after storms at low tide, searching for washed up coins and the like. I may try it out first in my backyard, but last time I used my brother's metal detector back there I came up with a metal box filled with crushed/burned animal bones (there were enough little bits and pieces to assure me the stuff in there was bones). Maybe a buried pet's remains, regardless it was something I would rather not have found. Who knows what other 'treasure' awaits me in my own backyard! Well anyway, I figure having a metal detector will be something that will help me go out to get some sorely needed exercise. Walking and digging should do something to help out in that regard. I have a few locations in mind in upstate NY too, place in the forest where there are old ruins, and these are places that not many people ever visit because they are far off the beaten path.

Now as for actually finding anything of value with this thing, finding a nice item or two right off the bat would also probably assure that I keep at it. Then again I do not expect to get rich, but just wish to have some fun prospecting. If I do find anything of value, so much the better.

Now before it gets here, I had better scrounge up the cash, to put into the checking account, to pay the AMEX bill; and of the $249.99 I will owe because of it, I have about $200 of it now. So I only need to come up with $50 more so that my wife doesn't clobber me.

Holy cow it is 0340 (as in, in the morning). Can you say "insomnia", I had best be off to the sack.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Geography of Blogging

I was just looking over my site traffick on my SiteMeter.com account. I am always interested, in simply a curious sort of way, to see where in the world people are located when they are reading my blog.

I listed the most recent 10 below, well I took out the first because each day that I sign on it shows me too. (I have to figure out how to get it to ignore my signons, anyone know how?)

2
United States
3
United States
Saint Petersburg, Florida
4
United States
Berryville, Virginia
5
Germany
Geeste, Niedersachsen
6
United States
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
7
United States
Crossville, Tennessee
8
United States
Hanover, Pennsylvania
9
United States
Baltimore, Maryland
10
Taiwan
Taipei, T'ai-pei
11
Australia
Sydney, New South Wales
12
United States
Henderson, Nevada
13
Japan
Tokyo
14
United States
North Brunswick, New Jersey
15
United States
Santa Ana, California
16
United States
Denver, Colorado
17
United States
Redmond, Washington
18
United States
Fulton, New York
19
Indonesia
Jakarta, Jawa Barat
20
United States

Of course, the great majority of the hits on my site come from the United States of America. It is soothing to know that it is mostly other Americans who read my stuff, heck it is geared toward you here in the USA. It is also kind of fascinating to see just in how many places around the world others have stopped by, have taken a load off of their feet for a few minutes, and relaxed with my blog in front of them. It is also a curiosity of mine to see what people from other countries read in my blogs. I usually get at least3 or 4 foreign hits per day, and as far as I can remember they have come in from all of the continents with the exception of Antarctica. Receiving one from way down that way (or is it way up that way) would be pretty neat.

I guess that after the USA, the country from where I get the most hits would be Canada. Next would be the United Kingdom (broken down further, specifically places in England). The next would be Australia. After that, my guess is, that most come from Germany, South Africa and Indonesia (all about equally). I get them from lots of other places now and then too. I got one today, or yesterday from a location I do not recall seeing in my hit list before - Israel! Whomever it was over there entered my blog at this page: http://ballseyesboomers.blogspot.com/2007/03/aiming-versus-point-shooting-in.html. If the person actually read what I wrote, then I can only hope he or she will put my thoughts on the subject to good and just use if the need ever arises. I hope you are one of the good guys, and not some over zealous nut on either side. Shalom.

All the best,
Glenn B