Friday, October 31, 2008

A Powerful Video - A Powerful Message

As my friend Dennis M said when he emailed me the link to this video, I also will say: I have to hand it to the Catholic Church for putting out the video for which I supply the link below. Sorry I cannot because of restrictions placed on the use of this video reproduce it here. However, I can and am giving you a link to the site that has what is one of the most powerful videos about voting that I have ever seen. Once upon a time, I used to be a Catholic, but the Church and I have since parted ways. Still though, this video speaks to me, as it should to most people who hold some sort of moral values within themselves, and that applies whether you are Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, Mormon, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic or even an atheist.

Yes it mostly speaks about catholic values, but the ones they mention are also shared, with the same level of importance as given in the film, to some great extent by just about everyone on the planet. That is except maybe by ultra liberals, ultra conservatives, or out and out psychos. Watch it and you will see what I mean; and be aware beforehand that it is a powerful piece of visionary work that just may get you to make sure to vote on election day.

http://www.catholicvote.com/

I hope they keep this video on their home page so it is easy to find, it truly is worth watching.

All the best,
Glenn B

Happy Halloween

Here is my entry for a Halloween scare:


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ballseye's Firearms Training & Tactics - My Way Or The Highway Absolutes...

...are just about absolute bullshit balderdash when it comes to training someone in how to use a firearm, and when it comes to using one to protect yourself. Whether or not you should aim with your sights in a gunfight is a real hot question among firearms instructors, shooters, law enforcement officers, gun bloggers, and so one. It simply amazes me that so many folks will either argue yes you should virtually always use your sights (except when in contact distance with your adversary), or no you should not use them in almost all situations out to 25 yards. Now I realize everyone has an opinion, heck what I am about to write is going to be my opinion. Yet, just like everyone has a behind, they do not need to show off their behinds to everyone as if their behinds were perfect in size and form. Neither does anyone need to make their opinion known to everyone as if it was as absolute fact. That is especially so when it is out and out factually and tactically wrong as to its absoluteness. When someone does that it is just so much testosterone or estrogen driven balderdash.

A blog I was reading got off track of the sight thing, and wound up making, what is, in my opinion, an over generalized statement, a statement of absoluteness regarding your, my, any one's competence to carry firearms. When someone in essence tells us that you have no business carrying a firearms for self defense if you can not get a hit on target with each and every shot you fire, well I get fired up and take a shot at statements like that. Of course that statement was made with the implication behind it that if you use your sights you would not miss. A person who tells you a thing like that, and who implies the other, is telling you their opinion but in such a way as to make it an absolute. Opinions are not absolutes. My guess is that the person telling you such is either an self-inflated pompous blowhard, or is someone who means well but does not have enough practical training and or experience to know otherwise. I have received a lot of firearms training, and I have been there and done that practical experience wise more than once and even my opinion is not an absolute.

I have been shooting handguns for over 29 years. I have received distinguished expert status with them many a time. I have attended several firearms training courses. Some of them, in rough chronological order, were: U.S. Border Patrol Academy, a California Highway Patrol tactical course, U.S. Customs Patrol Academy, NRA Police Firearms Instructor training (rifle, shotgun and pistol), U.S. Customs Investigator Training Academy, NYPD Armed Encounter Training, U.S. Customs Service MP-5 Submachine-gun training, NYPD Tactical Entry Training, U.S. Customs Service MP-5 Submachine-gun Instructor training, U.S. Customs Service Firearms Instructor Recertification training, Federal Air Marshal Training. I also have received firearms training at least 4 times per year in each of those 29 years, and that is in addition to the above mentioned training courses that I attended. The quarterly training includes such things as weapons retention, weapons take away, cover and concealment, officer down, one handed reloading, defense against a knife attack, low light shooting, push off shooting, hip shooting, point shooting, and tactical exercises using the aforementioned techniques. Overall, I was a firearms range officer and firearms instructor for about 14 years, and have been training and shooting on my job for over 29 years. Those are my credentials training wise.

I also have limited practical experience. I have drawn my gun on several occasions, thankfully without having to fire it. Sadly though I have also been forced to fire my gun at least three times in self defense. The first time was in the line of duty, and I missed the guy at whom I was shooting. Funny how no one, and I mean absolutely no one at the time, even suggested that I was not worthy of carrying a gun because my shot had missed. Second time was a warning shot. Yep, a strictly forbidden by the Border Patrol firearms policy warning shot, and according to my Patrol Agent In Charge when interviewed by the press, it saved my life as far as he could tell. The third time I shot in a scary situation, well let's just say that is how I got the name Ballseye. Each time I was in those situations it was scary.

The first time I was almost blinded; but luckily only had the slightest scratch on the white of my eye and inside my lower eyelid rim. I was under attack from 5 or 7 guys throwing rocks and chunks of concrete at me, and they came darned close to hurting me badly when one piece hit my windshield and glass went in my face. My vehicle stalled and I was broadside to them. I was scared and my vision was blurry - but I took the best opportunity I had to save myself from serious bodily harm or death. I aimed in and fired. What would you have done? Was I wrong to have done so? I actually had my shot aimed in and the guy moved just as I fired because he was throwing another rock at me and I missed. Yeah it was darned difficult with the glass in my eyes, but I was able to aim with the sights and cranked one off. I was found to have been 100% justified. I was not even required to attend any remedial firearms training. Can you imagine that.

The second time time I fired my weapon in self defense was not at a guy but just over his head, actually aiming at the side of a concrete building. Close to his head though, I saw his hair go swoosh from the muzzle blast. Why? Darned if I know why I gave him that warning shot. Maybe because he was unarmed. I do know that I was already hurting bad at that point. I had several minutes prior had one hell of a fight with a guy I was arresting, and he drop kicked me from his position on a fence a few times in my chest. I got him though after whacking him several times with my portable radio as he tried to entangle me in the barbed wire at the top of the International Boundary Fence. Then, the guy whose hair I had not yet parted with the warning shot, and a few of his amigos in crime tried to get my prisoner away from me and in doing so beat me up pretty good. So I had gotten two good beatings, and was feeling pretty miserable, and probably not thinking to well at the time. Funny though, wound up I did not have a noticeable bruise on me when I went to the hospital that night, just some redness and a scratch or two. It was one heck of a couple of beatings though I can assure of that. Next day I did cough up copious amounts of blood from the beating I had taken, and was diagnosed with a fractured sternum, then with a fractured Zyphoid Process, then with nothing if only because the docs were aresehats. My sternum and Zyphoid process had both been cracked as I learned later for sure.


So when this guy came at me the second time, and was urging his buddies to come and get me a second time, but this time to kill me, why a warning shot? I do not know for sure. I was young, I was scared, I did not want to have to kill anyone, I hoped with all my might that he would run away and so would the other guys, and I think that somewhere in that jumble of fast moving thoughts that course through your gray cells at such a time I figured if I shot him maybe it would enrage the others and they would kill me but if I scared him off they would be scared off too, and I had been beaten up and was feeling like shit and not thinking right. I fired, he fled as fast as any man I have ever seen run, climb a fence, and run some more. His buddies, they fled too. It worked, but I now would not recommend it, and I would probably never do it again. Next time - two to the chest and maybe one to the head.

The third time, the shot with which I connected, I was off duty and out for a walk. Two guys pull up in a car, one gets out with a crumpled up sweater in his hands, pulls the sweater back with one hand and exposes a rifle barrel. Then he says: "Don't move mother fucker". I was just about shitting myself because it looked to me as if a guy had just leveled a 30 caliber rifle barrel at my gut and told me what he did. It was obvious I was in a life threatening situation and was about to get hurt badly. So what did I do. I moved, so did he he, I shot without ever getting the pistol anywhere near the level of my eyes to sight it in. I shot almost as soon as the gun cleared leather and was pointed at the bad guy. Guess what, I hit him too, or to be exact the bullet hit him. Yes it wound up giving me the name Ballseye because of where it hit him. Went in his right thigh, deflected to his left. Yes it came out of the thigh and kept going, right into his scrotum, then exited the sack, and then entered the left thigh and traveled down toward his knee where it lodged. Was it the best placed shot in the world - nope, but it stopped him from doing me harm, and I suppose gave his cousin who was his accomplice second thoughts too. My second shot definitely gave the cousin second thoughts and even though the round was demolished by hitting the windshield, he took off in the car in reverse.



Would I have been a really bad guy who did not deserve to carry a gun had I missed the shot altogether - hell no. Would it been bad had I killed an innocent person a block away, sure it would have. Would I have been justified in having shot without using my sights even if the result had been an outright miss with maybe a hit on an unintended target. Yes I would have been justified even if the result had been a bad one. Why, because I had been trained to shoot without using sights close in. I was trained to shoot like that for speed when needed and this guy had the drop on me. I was trained to shoot like that to avoid having my gun taken away and this guy was close to me. Less than 7 yards, probably closer than 3 yards, maybe as close as about 7 feet. It was hard to tell once the adrenalin got flowing and to tell the truth it has been so long I have forgotten what I thought back then about distance except he was too darned close to me. I shot, I hit him, just as trained for doing. Nope not a great shot for a paper target or a competitive pistol match, not one at at center mass, but by using vertical tracking and firing as soon as I had cleared leather it hit him, and it hit him hard and hurt him badly - no sights involved in how I aimed - but yes it was a form of aiming. If I had fired a second shot at him by vertically tracking up to center of mass, as I did track with the pistol, I would likely have killed him but it was almost instantly obvious he was not as much a threat as he had just been a moment before, so I avoided making the mistake of tunnel vision and looked to his accomplice who was just turning in his seat to exit their car with a handgun in his right hand. Another shot fired, this one hitting the windshield of the car right at the level of the driver's head somehow, and both fled. I never used my sights as I recall although the second shot was point shooting if I remember right.

Could I have missed. Sure I could have. Would it have been due to me not using my sights, I think not. It would more likely have been due to the absolute super rush of adrenalin in my system, or to the fact that my sphincter muscles were squeezing together hard to hold in my bowel contents (the pucker factor), or because some other muscle group was keeping me from wetting my pants, or simply because I was scared almost shitless and wanted to run away or cry like a baby. What if I had used my sights. The split second more to raise my pistol to eye level, and the couple to few more moments to focus on the sights and align them on target, and then squeeze one off would likely have gotten me killed if the guy had a real gun, and it would also have allowed his cousin time enough to get the drop on me. It turned out the first guy was holding a pipe making it look like a gun. Pretty convincing too because it had about a .30 hole in the end of it. Oh well. I did it right, and I got him, and I was unharmed by either him with his fake gun, or his cousin with his real revolver. Yes it was real. Wound up they had robbed someone before me, and that guy described to police the bullets he had seen in the chambers of the cylinder of the revolver.

Now before you go and start accusing me of blowing my own horn, or of being full of myself, allow to to tell you why I pointed out all of the above about myself. It is because that is my training and experience, well some of it. I have lots more experience using guns as when going on raids and such but thankfully not having to shoot them. Those are my qualifications so to speak. With my qualifications in mind - I think I am somewhat qualified to say what I am about to say.


Folks I just cannot stress enough there are practical times not to use sights, and practical times to use sights. Just because someone is more than arms reach away from you does not make it necessarily so that you use your sights. Just because someone is an arms reach away, or 3, or 4, or 6, or 9, or even 21 feet away does not always make it safe for you to bring your gun up and out in front of you to use the sights. Anyone who tells you that you should always use your sights at any of those distance is, I think, foolish. It may be great for shooting holes into paper, but it can be something very different when facing a bad guy.

Sure, you should learn how to shoot first using your sights. Then once you are a fair to good shooter that way you should graduate to learn how to point shoot. Then once you are pretty fair to good at that, learn how to shoot from the hip (no like like in old west movies at a guy 30 feet away but as in when you do not want to offer your pistol to the bad guy who is close enough to grab it), and learn how to do push off shooting. Learn some honest to goodness self defense shooting for all ranges from touching your opponent to out to at least 25 yards away. Get training from a certified tactical instructor, or at least someone who had such a certification in the past. They will show you more than one way to plug a scoundrel who is apparently intent on doing serious bodily harm to you. That will include when to use sights and when not to use them and you will learn there can be various times that the two methods can overlap and you need to decide to use sights or not to use them based upon your own best assessment of the situation as it is happening. By learning varying methods you are allowing for yourself to be able to improvise among those methods when you need to based upon any situation in which you may find yourself.

Try to stay away from all the all knowing testosterone or estrogen driven super gun guru types who generalize about such situations. You know the type, the ones who claim to know it all, and claim or imply that they are worthy of carrying a gun because they can hit anything at which they shoot each and every time they shoot, and who wind up telling you that it is absolutely their way or no way. They may just get themselves or you killed. The thing about shooting in defensive situations is that there is usually more than one way, and are sometimes several ways to do it. You may also find though practical experience that you will be able - after being trained well - to improvise upon your training and come up with a solutions that will work in situations that were not addressed in your training. No I do not mean one single solution that will work in each and every situation, but that by having learned varying methods you will have allowed for yourself to be able to improvise among those methods when you need to based upon many a situation in which you may find yourself, even those for which you have not specifically trained.


Before you can do that you need to realize that you cannot improvise based upon your experience and training if your training and experience have been to do the same exact thing each and every time. You see, in the real world the solutions may be a bit different each time just as are the situations in which you may find yourself. Will that solution ever wind up being the absolute one way that some firearms guru type has insisted is the only way? Sure it will - maybe even more times than not - but you probably can safely bet your last pair of clean undies that when you are in a situation that makes the pucker factor fail it will not happen exactly that absolute one way. The law of averages is just not wired that way, and a check of the facts surrounding a large number of shootings will bear me out on this one. A different day, different time of day, different place, different attacker, different number of antagonists, different lighting, different weather, different distances, different positions, different weapons, and so on, will make each and every situation, and your response(s) to it, different. Heck you may have taken a fall in a bad encounter and bent your front sight - what would you do then if you only knew how to shoot by sighting in. Think it cannot happen - well if that is what you want to believe keeping thinking that way, but only think that way if you lead a charmed life. If Murphy is one of your buddies though, then be prepared for the worst.

So why not make yourself ready for that worst case scenario, or that different set of circumstances, and go out and sign up for some self defense handgun training. Then once you have completed the first course sign up for another with another instructor at a different range, or at least for a different level of instruction from the same instructor if you cannot find another instructor. If the instructor is worth what you are paying for the course you will learn a bunch of different ways to shoot using and not using your sights, and if he does not teach you along those lines - well then look for another instructor and see what he or she teaches you. The varying methods they teach you, combined with a little bit of smarts and good situational assessment by you, combined with a lot of practice on your part, may someday keep your undies clean, and you from bleeding, because you got it right before you were all puckered out and all shot up.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Week To Go Until The Election...

...and a week, or maybe 8 days, until we find out just how far our nation has descended into the maelstrom or insanity, the sewer of a lack of basic morality, the pit of respectlessness that society has become. I mean just look at the two candidates who are running for the presidency of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth. One is, at least in my opinion and the opinion of many others, an absolute unrepentant liar who lacks any sense of respect for the voters and citizens of his country and who also lacks any apparent sense of respect or duty toward the Constitution upon which our nationhood is based. The other is, in my opinion, a basically bumbling fool who wants to appease everyone even his worst enemies, even the other guy running for president the friend of the reported terrorist William Ayers.

It has gotten so crazy that I wonder, if the more liberal of the two wins, will our great nation actually become a communist/socialist haven in the west! It seems so to me. Yet, even if the other guy wins it seems that we will not be far from the same once all of Mexico's poor swarm across our borders to be embraced by him. I also wonder how far are we from becoming a nation like Venezuela, or a nation like France, or a nation like the once Great, and now not so Great, Britain, or how long it will be until we are totally devastated and wind up like Mexico or Haiti or maybe even Iraq. Whoever wins, I think we lose. Of course I think we lose more if Obama wins, much more as I see it; but regardless we lose with either of them as president.

You see we lost already when these were the two people chosen to be the candidates. We have decayed as a nation if we depend on two choices such as these to be our leaders. They are apologists - yes both of them are. McCain makes apologies for everyone, and Obama makes apologies for socialists, radicals, haters, terrorists and ultra liberals. They are also apologists for themselves and their radical ideas of how to run our country. It is simply enough to make me sick. I am almost saddened that it is not over already and that Hillary Clinton is not our president - please note I said almost.

Just had to get that off of my chest because I just saw this:

The only thing that cartoon did not get right is that it called us the People when it should have said the assholes gullible!

Start thinking about 2012 folks, think about it really hard too because after this election we are going to take it where the sun does not shine tax wise, defense wise, loss of rights wise, immigration wise, jobs wise, culture wise, and so forth. Next time around, I hope that we will pick two candidates who are truly better qualified for the job, guys who make sense in their approaches to running the country, and guys with true executive experience under their belts. Ex or current governors would have been much better choices, so too would have been ex-mayors as candidates, at least on the Republican side. Just look at what we have now!

All the best,

Glenn B

List Of Shooters Willing To Help You Learn To Shoot

Today I received an email from Mulligan of Do Over: http://outofoptions.wordpress.com/ asking if it was okay to include my info on a list of folks willing to help new shooters learn to shoot. Of course, I said yes.

Now for the good news: If you are a new shooter, in need of some instruction, there is a place for you to look where you can get an idea of those who are willing to give you a hand with the basics across the USA. The list covers people in 13 or 14 states who apparently are willing to help new shooters learn firearms basics. I cannot vouch for any of them as to shooting abilities or instructor abilities that is except for myself, and while I am not on that list yet I imagine I soon will be there. The thing is though, these folks are willing to give you some personal instruction in the use of firearms, and as far as I am aware they are doing so at no charge for their services. As I said, I cannot speak for each of them but I do at least know I am not charging anything.

If you have been looking for someone to teach you the basics, why not go to this link: http://outofoptions.wordpress.com/mentors/ to see if there is someone listed in your area. It may be that you find that for which you have been looking. Even if you decide not to take advantage of the free instruction offered by these folks and you decide to seek professional instruction for a fee, the chances are that some of these guys and gals could get you on target for that too.

Happy and safe shooting.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Shopping For A Saiga In 7.62x39

Today, the son and I went out to a few local gun stores looking for a Saiga in 7.62x39. Yes he has saved up enough money for one of these, with quite a bit left over for ammo too.

The first store we went to had one used, pretty beat up, so we did not even ask about the price. Next store claimed they had one in stock and sent a guy to the basement to look for it. He was down there with us waiting about 15 minutes, and his flashlight bulb burned out. They did not have another bulb, and apparently have a dark basement - can you imagine that in a well stocked gun store! Wound up one of the clerks asked us if we were just browsing or wanted to buy it. I said we wanted to buy it now, and he suggested calling us once they found it in the basement among the 3,000 other guns he claims are down there. I asked for the price. The price he told me was "ABOUT $375 to $380 for it with a 20" barrel and about $15 less for the 16" barreled model". Now since they only had one in stock you would think they would give me THE price on that one. I had to ask which they had, and it wound up it is the 16" barreled model. That is the one Brendan wants, but with questions like: ‘do you want to browse or want to buy’, and the attitude of ‘we will call you when we find it’, well we moved on. Before leaving I told him we would look elsewhere, and that if we did not find it less expensive we would tell them to start digging.

Drove to another shop about 15 miles away. Went in looked around, and while I checked out how much it would cost to restring and recable a bow, Brendan asked about the Saiga. He got a price quote of ABOUT $410. Funny how no one can give an exact price quote. I don't know if Brendan laughed in the guy's face for that price, but once I came out of the archery pro-shop, where they told me it would be $70 to put a new string and cable on my bow, we left in a hurry. I will have to learn how to string and cable the bow myself. As for the Saiga, we headed home to the gun shop a few block from our house.

The guys at the closest gun shop to home actually had one in stock, on the rack, in the main part of the store. The thing was that it was in .223 and the front sight was properly lined up atop the barrel. It had a distinct cant to the left. Oh well! I should not that one actually had a price tag on it with the actual price of $344. They said they are getting in models in 7.62x39 next week. I will have to call them back and tell them to hold one for Brendan. I think we will get it from them. Not my gun store of choice, but they seem okay. I mean at least they had the rifle on display, had a price on it, and were able to tell us new ones would be in within the week. I think they also gave us an ABOUT figure for those not yet in stock, but that is understandable. What I do not understand is how the dimwits at the other store, the one with it in stock but lost in the basement with the 3,000 other guns they have down there, could not give me a hard and fast price on something they claim is in stock.

Now that I got that off of my chest, let me ask you my readers:


The 7.62x39 comes in a 16” barreled version, and a 20”. Anyone have experience with both who can tell me if either barrel length effects accuracy all that much in this caliber? Or if you have experience with either one, how is the accuracy with yours.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Birthday and 3 Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Cards...

...and I wound up with a bunch of stuff for this coming hunting season.

Yep, I was another year older not all that long ago, and I scored three gift cards for Dick's Sporting Goods from my family. Not a bad haul at a total of about $145. My wife threw me a $50 card. She also got me two pairs of Levi's jeans at $44.00 a pair. Unholy deluxe denims Batman! Yes that was for regular Levi's 505 jeans at Sears. They are on sale now at $29.99 a pair and if I can find the receipts, off to Sears I go to get $28, plus tax, back in our pockets. But I digress. Where was I before I got off to Sears? Oh yes, the daughter gave me a $30 gift card, and the son gave me a $65 gift card. bet you can tell which one is paying her own way through grad school. Not a bad little haul.

So I have made a few trips to Dick's over the past week. Three trips to be exact. I debated getting something like a pair of hunting boots, but did not see any that suited my fancy. I also thought maybe I would get a nice set of camo rain gear, but again nothing made think I wanted to spend any money on what they were selling in that department. Most of it looked like junk, and what was good was way high in price. As it turned out I wound up having to pay their prices because I had their gift cards, but I was not about to go overboard on something that was way too high priced for me.

I also looked at sleeping bags, none that would be up to my standards, not a big selection anyhow. I would want one that would last for years, and keep me or someone else warm down to about 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and the only one they had with that cold rating had a cotton outside and lining. Are they kidding - cotton? I also checked out the fishing department, but to tell the truth the prices were again too high. That stuff ought to be on sale at this time of the year, but not at Dick's. Oh well back to the hunting and shooting stuff.

I decided that I would spend my plastic on things I could use for the upcoming hunting season, and that is just what I did. I got a bunch of things. See the pic, click to enlarge. I picked up a deer scent - deer scent drag double combo pack (two bottles of deer scent - yep deer piss in bottles - and scent drags to make a scent trail as I walk along in the woods), a bottle of pure doe in heat urine (drives the bucks wild), orange trail marking tape (great to put strips of this on trees in a circle around your stand to let other hunters know you are nearby), Hunter's Specialties laundry detergent, Hunter's Specialties body wash & shampoo (really works to get rid of human odor, I have used it for years), a value pack of hand warmers, a 20 pack of plastic gloves (used when gutting deer or handling scents), a single pack of arm length deer gutting gloves (it gets messy inside the body cavity of an animal you are gutting), two 2 packs of wool blend socks, a nice pair of scent blocking hunting gloves, a silicone embedded gun cloth (great to use on firearms you take hunting to keep any water from rusting your gun), 2 knife sharpeners (only one shown in the pic, but both are the same thing), and a Buck Bantam 285 BLW knife. I figure the 4 things that I will get the most use of over the next few years will be the socks (one set of two pair, I'll probably put the other set into a care package for one of our troops in Afghanistan), the gloves, the knife sharpeners, and the knife.

The knife is where I may have been ripped off. It went for $24.95 plus tax.. I have seen it as low as $10.78 online, and even with shipping it would be nowhere nearly as expensive as $24.95. As a matter of fact it was offered at $10.78 with shipping adding only 5.03 for a total of $15.83. Who knows when it would have arrived though. If you are interested in the knife at that price, see:

http://www.knivesunlimited.com/folding-knives/everyday-knives/bucknanobantamblw285bk1.cfm

Of course most places online seem to have it for about $18 to $19, so maybe $24.95 in a store was not that bad when you consider shipping added on to the cost of the online knives. Oh well, I bought it not knowing how little it went for elsewhere. Cannot bring it back now either as I opened it already - well I could bring it back - but why be a pain in the behind.

I think I will enjoy the knife for years to come so long as I do not drop it anywhere in the leaf litter on the forest floor. It might be hard to find again if I drop it there. Note the blade is not dark as it looks like in this photo, just regular looking steel. There is a pocket clip on the other side. There is also something on the other side that was rather disheartening - the word: CHINA. I had not realized that even Buck Knives was now making their products in China. What a disgrace, and what a shame. I would rather have gotten a knife made in the USA, next time I'll have to read the package info.

As it is this knife has a 3 1/8" drop-point blade made from 420HC steel, with a hardness of Rc 58. It is supposedly easy to sharpen. I hope so as I am not all that great at sharpening knives. I get the job done on a nice Arkansas Soft Stone I have, but almost always wind up scratching the sides of the blades I sharpen. The knife sharpeners I bought at Dick are only for quick sharpening out in the field, I use the large stone at home. The handle is plastic, or what they call thermoplastic (what's the difference). The handle is on the small side for my liking. It gets two narrow from top to bottom at the butt end for my liking, but it will still afford a good enough grip for the purposes for which I am likely to use it such as gutting deer, camp cutting, or daily cutting chores. It is a lockback knife with the lock at mid grip. There is a thumb stud for one handed opening, but I find it almost impossible to open this with my right hand using just that hand. Funny I can open more it easily with my left hand, and I am right handed. Go figure, but I imagine it will be easier to open as it wears in a bit. Overall it will be a useful knife, and it appears well made. I hope so.

Now all I need to do is to get a deer. Not as easy as you may think when hunting on public land, not even with all this stuff.

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye's Firearms Accessories Tournament # 1.1

Yes folks, we'll keep this as tournament number 1 with the add on '.1' for now.

The prize will be the same as offered the first time around. It is a cleaning kit in a hard clam shell style case. Probably is military surplus from what I can make of it. Also, from what I can tell, it looks to be in as new condition, unused. It consists of a pull through chain bore snake, two bore brushes, a small hand held brush, and an oil bottle (no oil). Click on the pic to make it bigger.

As for the contest, well it is going to be run pretty much the same as the first time around, this time though comments to my blog should be moderated so if anyone sends their answer to me via comment instead of email (as per the rules an email is required to enter the contest and send me your answer) I should be able to catch it and delete it. This will keep it fair for all.

Here is the contest:

Ballseye's Firearms' Accessories Tournament #1.1 (aka: the contest) is as follows:

To enter send me an email (click on the word email or view my complete profile over to the right side of my blog to get an email link) with your complete name, and that also gives your best guess as to what is the item appearing in the picture within this post (yes that pic to the right, not the pic of the prize). If you want to guess but do not want to enter the contest, you can send it to me in an email without entering - just let me know it is not an entry, or you can discuss it among friends, or you can keep it to yourself; but please do not try to post your guess to the comments section of this blog post.
Hint - the item is definitely firearms related. The more specific you are, then maybe the better your chance of winning, that is so long as your specifics are correct. So if you think it is a firing pin, you can say "It is a firing pin"; but of course a better answer might be that it is a firing pin for a model 1697 Schnauzer Shooting repeating rifle (I love Schnauzers - really do). Of course, if it actually is a firing pin, and if no one else guesses it is a firing pin, well then saying "it is a firing pin" could have you as the winner (hint: it is not a firing pin), but if two people say it's a firing pin and one of them adds: "for a Schnauzer Shooting repeating rifle" (and if that is right) then the guy who was more specific will win. Note, I'll be keeping the specific thing within reason. See general rules regarding ties.


As for the item pictured, you are only getting a view of part of the item, and it may or may not be somewhat distorted by camera quirks and or flash quirks and or quirks of me not knowing how to use the camera. The answer must tell me what is the entire item disregarding any extraneous inclusion in the pic that is not gun related, and regardless of any distortion in the photo. There are no intentional distortions, and this shot looks like a pretty good representation of part of the item in question.

This contest opens upon my publication of this post to my blog, and it closes on Friday October 31, 2008 at 11:59 PM my time. I am in NY near NY City, you figure it out as compared to your time. All entries must be received by 11:59 PM on October 25, 2008. I will announce the winner, if any, on or about Saturday November 1, 2008 or as soon after as is practical for me to do so.

There is no entry fee, and there is no postage or shipping fee for the prize in this particular contest if a prize is awarded. There is a pic of the prize above; however I reserve the right to substitute for any prize at my discretion (like if it gets lost between now and whenever I announce a winner, or if the new puppy gets it and chews it to shreds). As far as I can tell, the cleaning kit offered as a prize is new as in never been used, but I am not sure. At least I have never used it, and the brushes look new. It maybe some sort of military surplus. Condition as is, but it looks to be one nifty, excellent condition as far as I can see, little cleaning kit for use in the field. Click on pic for larger view (sorry that does not work on the above pic of the item you need to guess about).

All general contest rules apply as are posted in the link at the top right side of my blog and at http://ballseyesboomers.blogspot.com/2008/10/ballseyes-firearms-accessories.html. Remember as per the general rules only one entry per person, so give it some thought before answering. Please read the general rules at least once. They are fairly long, but still pretty simple. Once you read them you will probably not need to again and by reading them you are more assured of getting it right when you enter. If you win, and do not comply with the rules, someone else will be selected as the winner or the contest will be done over.

PLEASE DO NOT POST A COMMENT TO THIS OR ANOTHER OF MY BLOG ENTRIES TELLING PEOPLE WHAT YOU THINK IS IT. Yeah, I know comment moderation is supposed to be on and working, but with my luck such a comment would somehow get through.


Good luck.


All the best,
Glenn B

Comment Moderation Being Turned On...

...and I'd tip my hat, if I wore one, to Jen from Pen Of Jen and Double Nickel Farm because she is the one who suggested it. It is not being turned on because of any nasty comments or to deny anyone their chance to say what they want in reply to my blog, but rather to make sure that when I run a Ballseye's Firearms Accessories Tournament that no one inadvertently (or purposefully) puts their answer (when an answer is wht is required) in the comments section. As per the rules of the first contest, the answer was to be emailed to me by the contestants; however someone who just wanted to make a guess without entering left an answer. I beleieve that violated the spirit of the game if not the rules, and that it was not fair to the potential contestants, so I have decided to stick with cancelling it and will post a new version of the game.

No big deal though, and now there is a potential solution. We will soon see how it works because I should be posting a new contest either later today or tomorrow.

Now if someone would send me a comment, I'll be able to verify that I have comment moderation turned on properly. Thanks.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

CONTEST CANCELLED - Ballseye's Firearms Accessories Tournament # 1 - CONTEST CANCELLED

CONTEST CANCELLED: SEE COMMENTS FOR THE REASON

Okay folks here it is, the not so long awaited, brand spanking new, Ballseye's Firearms' Accessories Tournament in which maybe you can win the prize. To enter the contest you must comply with all particular rules as found in this particular blog post, and all general contest rules at: http://ballseyesboomers.blogspot.com/2008/10/ballseyes-firearms-accessories.html.



*****



Ballseye's Firearms' Accessories Tournament #1 (aka: the contest) is as follows:



To enter send me an email (click on view my complete profile over to the right side of my blog to get an email link) with your complete name, and that also gives your best guess as to what is the item appearing in the picture within this post (yes that pic to the left, not the pic of the prize). Hint - the item is definitely firearms related. The more specific you are, then maybe the better your chance of winning, that is so long as your specifics are correct. So if you think it is a firing pin, well then a better answer might be that it is a firing pin for a model 1697 Schnauzer Shooting repeating rifle. Of course, if it actually is a firing pin, and if no one else guesses it is a firing pin, well then saying "it is a firing pin" could have you as the winner (hint: it is not a firing pin). See general rules regarding ties.



Note: You are only getting a view of part of the item, and it may or may not be true to color due to camera quirks and or flash quirks. The answer must tell me what is the entire item disregarding any extraneous inclusion in the pic that is not gun related, and regardless of any distortion in the photo. There are no intentional distortions. Any distortions, such as the color thing I just mentioned are inadvertent. By the way, maybe that is a hint that the color, or at least some of it, did not come out right.



Entry must be in understandable English, that I understand (no foul language permitted, keep it clean and courteous please).



This contest opens upon my publication of this post to my blog, and it closes on Saturday October 25, 2008 at 11:59 PM my time. I am in NY near NY City, you figure it out as compared to your time. All entries must be received by 11:59 PM on October 25, 2008. I will announce the winner, if any, on or about Sunday October 26, 2008 or as soon after as is practical for me to do so.



There is no entry fee, and there is no postage or shipping fee for the prize in this particular contest if a prize is awarded.



There is a pic of the prize to the right; however I reserve the right to substitute for any prize at my discretion (like if it gets lost between now and whenever I announce a winner if anyone wins). As far as I can tell, the cleaning kit offered as a prize is new as in never been used, but I am not sure. At least I have never used it, and the brushes look new. It maybe some sort of military surplus. Condition as is, but it looks to be one nifty, excellent condition as far as I can see, little cleaning kit for use in the field. Click on pic for larger view (sorry that does not work on the above pic of the item you need to guess about).


All general contest rules apply as are posted in the link at the top right side of my blog and at http://ballseyesboomers.blogspot.com/2008/10/ballseyes-firearms-accessories.html. Remember as per the general rules only one entry per person, so give it some thought before answering.



Good luck.



All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye's Firearms Accessories Tournament Rules Revised 11/06/08

Ballseye's Firearms Accessories Tournament Rules: (Ballseye's Firearms Accessories Tournament will be henceforth referred to by that name, or as the contest, or as the contests, or as Ballseye's FAT, or whatever else I decide to call it):

1. Glenn Bartley, aka Ballseye, is the one and only person who makes up the rules, who can change the rules, and who makes the determinations as to applicability of the rules in any given situation relative to this tournament. I am always right with regard to the contest.

2. Glenn Bartley (that would be me) has the absolute and only say regarding any disputes about the contest; and my decision is final.


3. You must be at least 18 years old to participate in the contest. By participating in the contest you are affirming that you are at least 18 years old.

4. The contest is open to U.S. Citizens, and legal resident aliens of the U.S.A., residing within the 50 U.S. States only; and by your participation in the tournament/contest you are affirming you fit into one of these categories.

5. Shipment of a prize, if any, will only be within the 50 states of the U.S.A..

6. Any prize will only be awarded to those who assure me that receiving and possession of the prize is legal for them at the address they send to me.

7. You are limited to one entry per contest and this will be on the honor system. I am not responsible for anyone who cheats, or someone wo enters more than once, and if I award such a person the prize because of their cheating or multiple entries I am in no way responsible to award a prize to someone else who followed the rules.

8. There will be one and only one prize winner per contest. In the event of a tie, I will choose the tie breaker by random drawing from among the tied contestants.

9. There is no entry fee for the contest. The winner may be required to pay shipping for prizes being sent to either Hawaii or Alaska.

10. In order to enter the contest, you must send me an email showing your full name, and meeting the criteria for actual contest into which you are entering. I am not responsible for emails I do not receive or that get routed to my junk mail box. You must also follow the rules for that particular contest as they will appear on my blog: http:ballseyesboomers.blogspot.com. Winners will be announced on my blog.

11. In order for a winner to claim a prize, winner must send me your full name, and mailing address. I may require proof of age, residence and name before I ship a prize to you. If you do not supply the required info to me within 3 days of my request you forfeit any claim to the prize. You must reply to me by the same email address by which you entered the contest.

12. I am not responsible for any prize lost, destroyed, damaged, stolen or delayed in shipment or at any other time.

13. By your entry into the contest, you agree to hold me harmless and indemnify me for any claim against you as the winner or user of a prize, or against me as the contest organizer, promoter or giver or shipper of the prize, that is directly or indirectly related to the contest or subsequent use, by anyone, of the prize won. Sorry but such is today's world in which we live - a legal nightmare.

14. The terms contest, contests, Ballseye's Firearms' Accessories Tournament and other similar terms used by me to describe the firearms accessories contest I am running, or may run, refers to each individual contest, and to the overall tournament I run using the terminology Ballseye's Firearms' Accessories Tournament (or the other terms listed above) to describe it or them singularly or as a group.

15. You are not afforded or guaranteed any rights by my offering to run a contest, by my holding a contest, or by your participation in any contest should I run one or more contests. I may cancel, stop, cease the contest(s) at any time, for any reason, change the rules at any time without prior notification, not award a prize for any reason I deem appropriate, and my decision is final.

16. If you do not agree to the above rules, and to the particular rules which will appear in my blog for any for any contest I run, you are not permitted to participate in the contest/tournament.


All the best,
GB

Firearms' Accessories Giveaway...

...now wait just a cotton pickin minute, I am not going to give any contest I run a name from which the acronym F.A.G. can be gotten. Sorry, no pun intended, no animosity intended either, that was the first name I thought up, and soon after I typed it above, like about a split second later, I realized the acronym in that name.

Okay, let's try another:

Gun Accessories Giveaway - Nope not that one either since that would amount to G.A.G. and this is no joke, and I hope nothing on which to choke.

Firearms' Accessories Contest - Mmm, maybe, or maybe not.

Accessories Rencounter Madness - Nah, too corny, and who in Hades would get the meaning of rencounter!

Ballseye's Firearms Accessories Tournament - okay, I like that one. BFAT, or in other words Ballseye's FAT. My wife and kids would get it, and I have it around the waist and on my neck! Well as it applies to my gun stuff, let's just say I have it there too, a bit too much extra gun stuff laying around in the basement; and soon that stuff could possibly be yours, well some of it anyhow if you are a contest winner of my new contest.

All the best,
Glenn B

I'll Be Trying Something New...

...here at Ballseye's Boomers. It will either be a monthly or weekly thing, not quite sure yet but probably monthly as I am no millionaire. The reason that my not being a millionaire matters is that it will be a gun related giveaway, and I'll probably be supplying the items to give away and the postage for them. No I will not be giving away gun, probably not ammunition either; but I will be giving away some accessories that go well with guns, things possibly like a bottle of Hoppes, some Breakfree CLP, a cleaning kit, a holster, a gun rag (soft gun case), a silicone impregnated cloth, a bore light, and so forth.

Right now I am working on the idea, and am figuring that it will be some sort of a monthly contest (or weekly if I can afford it). If I deccide to do it for sure, I'll type up some rules in the near future and post about it most likely by this weekend. I'll likely also have the first contest up by this coming weekend.

If it looks as if the contest is going to take off, I may make arrangements to collect donations to keep it going. Anything I collect will go 100% toward the giveaway and or shipping of the prizes. I will not keep even one cent of the money. Then again, I may just keep it inexpensive and pay for it all myself. Of course it might also be nice if people would send me the cost of postage once they receive their prize. That way all I would get hit up for would be the cost of the prizes, and you would know that you are sending me exactly what it cost me to ship the item to you, well for postage anyhow. Time will tell how this works out.

For now I already have a few small items I can use as prizes. One of the first may be this nifty little cleaning kit (click on pic to view larger size) consisting of a chain bore snake, a bore brush with both brass and nylon bristles on the same brush, another nylon chamber or bore brush, a bottle for oil, and a hand held brush to clean off whatever. All of those things come in a clam shell style green case. It apparently has never been used, though I cannot claim it is new. I imagine it is military surplus and that it has laid around on a shelf somewhere for years. I got it as an unexpected bonus that came with a gun related order I placed some months back. I imagine that something like this would go well inside of a grab and go pack, or in a range bag. It would probably also be a god thing to have along on a hunting trip. The forest knows I have fallen my fair share of times while out hunting and sometimes wound up having to clean out the muzzle end of my shotgun or rifle.

More on this over the next few days.
All the best,
Glenn B


Monday, October 20, 2008

Three Words Kind Of Say It All:

After hearing Joe Wurzelbacher, aka: Joe The Plumber, on The Sean Hannity radio show earlier this evening, all I can say is I was impressed by him, and aghast at the treatment he has received not only from the mud slinging media, but also from Obama and Biden. They should all be ashamed of themselves for treating this man like they have just because he asked a good, honest, yet tough question of Obama. Mind you it was not a staged question, Obama went down this man's block unannounced, and went up to him. The whole fallacy of the Obama campaign was revealed in how Obama answered this man when he asked his question. If you are still undecided, then find out what he asked and how it was answered. Don't let me sway you by telling you, then you will only have the Obama side call me a liar. It was all recorded for posterity, and now the media is doing a scalp job on this guy as if he were a candidate. Amazing the lengths to which they and Obama have gone to make this guy look less than credible when all he did was ask a question for which the so called messiah could not give a good answer.

All the best,
Glenn B



Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bearded Whats?

Bearded Dragons, that's what. I have a few of them, 4 to be exact. Two of them are only about 3 to 4 months old, the other two are adults at just about 1.5 years old. Yep they mature quickly but then again they only live about 12 years. The two smaller ones that I have, I bought hoping to sell. No dice so I am stuck with them for now. That is okay, when they mature they will be worth a lot more, and I'll probably trade them anyhow. Trade em for what? Well other reptiles or amphibians - what else!

As for the two adults, well I got one of em for free. Got him from a gent at my local herpetological society. He asked me if I would take it, and i really did not want it but he could not care for it any longer and told me it was okay to give it away to someone who knows how to take care of it. I asked if he would mind me selling it and giving the money to the
Long Island Herpetological Society as a donation and he was fine with that. Well it has been months now, maybe even a half of a year or more and I have him still. I just have not found any takers, so he was sharing an outside pen in the warmer weather, and now an inside tank with my other Bearded Dragon adult. Yes he is definitely a he.

As for the other one, if you know anything about BD's then yo know you usually cannot keep two males together unless you have a really large enclosure for them because they are just too territorial with one another. I don't have one that big, so you guessed it, the other one is a female. Males and females usually get along just fine together, and you could keep one male with a harem of several females if you wanted with no problems. That is so long as you kept them in a large enough enclosure, but that would still be one smaller than two males together would require. I cannot recall where I got the female. I remember I bought it from someone. It was not expensive, as I recall only $25.00; that was a steal. Yet the person who sold it to me knew its value and just wanted to make something off of it, and was otherwise basically adopting it out. I also figured I would sell her for a nice profit. I have had her for at least 4 to 5 months now. Wow that means I have had the male longer than 6 months, at least the way I figure it. It doesn't mater, I am stuck with em both.

Just three days or so ago, I noticed the female was starting to get very active, and was digging in the sand in the bottom of her enclosure. That along with the fact that she looked as if she had swallowed a bag of marbles was a sure sign that she was ready to lay eggs. Chances are she laid eggs once before, in the pen in my backyard over the summer. I never saw any hatchling, but if they hatched and I did not notice, I suppose they were dinner for mama and papa. What can I say. This time though she was inside, and I noticed she was gravid, and I placed a box full of slightly moistened sand and coconut fiber into her tank. After a day or two she was digging in that. I think it was this past Thursday night or Friday morning she laid her eggs. I was not too sure if she had more to lay, so on the second evening I placed a heat lamp over the area where the eggs had been laid and left it on throughout the clock. They wound up going through one night and part of the next day without added heat except for the tank lights during the day, but should be okay. I got them into an incubator today. I was really surprised to find 26 eggs in all. That is a good sized amount of eggs for a first or second clutch. They were all laid in the same area so I suppose she laid them all at once, instead of digging holes at different times to lay some each time.

If they all hatch out, and I should know in about 55 - 60 days I will be a happy made. I can possibly sell them for $20 apiece, maybe even a little more. I have not sold squat this year, so that would be good. If they start to develop nice color they will go for even more than a little more. That would be nice, but I ain't counting my chickens dragons until they have hatched. Even they the mortality rate is higher until they reach about 5 to 6 weeks at which time I can be pretty sure those that have survived will make it to adulthood. With any luck the eggs should start hatching by about December 16 - just in time for the Christmas rush. I will not even try to sell them then, they wont be sellable, as far as I am concerned, until they hit 5 or 6 weeks at the youngest. It is even better to wait until they reach 8 weeks old before buying one, especially if you are a first time Bearded Dragon person.

As far as them being pets, Bearded Dragons are probably the best common pet lizard that there is in the trade today. They are not difficult to care for so long as you follow so pretty basic guidelines such as lighting, heat, caging and feeding. They are also pretty mellow as far as lizards go. Sometimes you would think they are fake such as when you see someone walking around at a reptile expo with one on his or her shoulder, and the lizard is simply not fazed by almost anything. Of course you can always get the rare psychopathic Bearded Dragon, but they are few and far between.

They grow to about 18-20 inches on average, a lot of that being tail, and one or two adults can be kept in a 30 gallon long tank at a bare minimum. Bigger is better. I have two in a similarly sized tank now, but they share a much larger pen in my backyard during the warmer months from May or June through September. They require special lighting that gives off UVA and UVB radiation like the sun, and also require a hot spot in their enclosure up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit for basking. You can accomplish that with a combination of a heat lamp and UV bulbs, but I get by with a single bulb - a self ballasted mercury vapor bulb (made especially for lizard keeping). The lighting and tank are the most expensive items, and even tho0ugh each of the bulb cost me about $25, I saved money because I do not need two types of bulbs and therefore two separate fixtures. Actually I sue three types of bulbs on their tank but I could get away with just the one. I use the mercury vapor lamp over their basking sight, an incandescent bulb of much less wattage than the MV lamp over the center of the tank for some heat there, and a florescent lamp with a reptile bulb running from the center of the tank toward the other end. That way I am sure wherever they are in the tank they are getting the UVA and UVB they need. Now if you think about the set up of the lights I just mentioned you will realize one end of the tank is hot, the center is warm, and the other end is just about room temp. That temperature gradient is extremely important for bearded dragons as they are cold blooded and they thermoregulate (adjust their body temperature) by moving from warm to cool areas and vice versa. At night they do not require heat or light so long as temps do not go below the mid sixties Fahrenheit.

I give them some bricks on one end as a basking spot, a branch spans center tank and there is a brick and a piece of bark on the other cooler end for them to rest on. As to substrate I use fine 'play sand'. A good and secure screen cover goes over the top of the tank both to keep them in and to keep other pets like cats out. I place there food bowl for greens and other vegetables in the center of the tank. Feeding them is easy, they are usually hungry. As adults I feed them crickets about 3 to 4 times per week. I'll throw about 20 to 30 crickets in there that often. I also feed them greens daily. When I got the male I was told he rarely ate greens. he eats them now. I just stopped feeding him crickets for a week to 1o days, and he got hungry and ate the greens. Now he likes em, and that is the way it should be. Babies eat crickets at least 2x per day, and fresh greens should also be available at all times. As I have been told, 25 babies can easily go through a thousand 1/4" crickets in a week. As they grow older you feed them crickets less often, until as adults they get em as mine do now - 3 to 4x per week. As adults they eat adult crickets. I supplement the diet of crickets, and greens with: Superworms, Mealworms, Waxworms, vegetable (for convenience I use frozen mixed vegetable, thawed out first of course). The greens I feed them consist of leaf lettuce, mustard greens, dandelion greens, collard greens, turnip greens, broccoli rabe, and so forth. Not too much spinach should ever be given as it has a chemical which apparently prevents absorption of calcium in lizards. I spray my adults with water about 1 or 2x per week, that is it. Babies need to be sprayed a bit 2 to 3x per day, otherwise they can dehydrate.

Remember if you keep reptiles as pets, they can spread certain diseases to people such as Salmonella. Don't be too alarmed though; I have kept reptiles and amphibians for well over 45 years and have not contracted anything from they yet. Nor do I know firsthand of anyone else ever getting sick from them. From what I can tell by reading the Food and Drug Administration's website concerning salmonella (they are the ones responsible for the 4" turtle law), salmonella is much more likely to be caught from dairy products, undercooked eggs or chicken. You may also recall the salmonella scare this past summer where pepper were found to be the agent that was spreading this disease. The key to not catching salmonella seems to be good hygiene, so wash your hands and use alcohol gel after handling pets of any type, even your cats, dogs and birds. Keeping very young children away from such pets may also be advisable. If you have a concern go to
FDA.gov and read up on it there, or go to there page about kids, reptiles and salmonella here. (Let me just point out that page has what I am pretty sure is some incorrect info, as in iguanas being the number one reptile pet. That seems far fetched to me as the popularity of iguanas as pets has declined markedly since they make poor pets, and dealers at reptile expos usually let people know this, most dealers not even selling them at all.)

If you want more detailed info on their care, you can find it here (I will only recommend the first one based on my opinion of and personal experience with it and the author, but you may also want to read the others.):

http://www.lihs.org/files/caresheets/P_vitticeps.htm (This is a good one written by a man who knows his bearded dragons. He was a breeder of them for many years and produced some prize winning animals. I ask him for advice all of the time, and he gladly gives it to me.)

http://www.beardeddragoncare.net/ (Apparently a whole website dedicated to bearded dragon care. I don't know if it is good info or not, but it is one that is out there.)

http://www.beardeddragon.org/articles/caresheet/

http://www.sundialreptile.com/care%20sheet--bearded%20dragon.htm (I goofed, I'll also recommend this one as it comes from a trusted source in my opinion.)

http://www.kingsnake.com/gladescs/bearded/

All the best,
GB

Today In History - Freedom's Bell Rung

Well maybe it wasn't the Liberty Bell (Freedom's Bell after all), and maybe there weren't even any bells ringing even though that would have been almost a sure thing to have happened, but the fact remains that today was the effective day that the United States of America won the war of revolution against Great Britain. It was October 19, 1781 when General Lord Charles Cornwallis signed surrender papers at Yorktown, VA. This was the second major surrender by the British in the Revolution. In all, at Yorktown, about 8,000 troops were taken captive by the Americans led by General George Washington, and all of Great Britain's hopes of winning the war were lost. For this victory we owe a lot to the French, for it was only with an assist from Commander Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur comte de Rochambeau and Admiral Francois de Grasse that this victory was achieved. Of course the treaty that truly ended the war was not signed until 1783, but the siege of Yorktown culminating with the surrender of Cornwallis' army marked freedom for the U.S.A..

For more info see:

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/

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

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, October 17, 2008

So You Are About To Board A Plane...

...here in a commercial airport within the United States of America. It is in the post 9/11 era. In fact, the events on 9/11 were not all that long ago, so it is likely that virtually everyone with a fairly functioning brain knows about what happened that day. Those same people should also know about certain regulations and restrictions that went into effect after 9/11 to prevent hijacking of commercial aircraft. I mean this is the 21st century, we do have television, radio, email, cell phones with text messaging, the Internet, lots of news media broadcasts and so on.

Yet somehow, maybe just by some quirk of a possibly forgetful memory, or maybe by way of heinous intent, a young man reportedly attempts to pass through airport security with a pipe bomb in his carry on luggage. A man identified as Steven Nobles - as reported by Newsday.com - just yesterday reportedly forgot that he had a pipe bomb inside of his carry on luggage at MacArthur Airport in Islip, NY. A bomb he reportedly admitted having full knowledge of and which he reportedly said he made himself. One which he reportedly said he expected would: "cause a giant smoke cloud, a flash of light and hopefully a loud noise,". Wow, can you imagine a bomb doing that! He reportedly also carried, within his carry on-luggage: "... "explosive fireworks, electrical circuit boards, a battery with electrical tape and 14 ... .22-caliber rounds used in a nail gun to drive nails into concrete," ..."

So what does his lawyer say about all of this. Well what would you expect the scum of the earth to say about something like this, because I think what his lawyer said is about the same thing. As reported the lawyer said something to the effect: "Nobles, 20, had not intended to harm anyone and inadvertently placed the device in his luggage as he was returning to visit his mother after a year of working on Long Island." (that is a quote from the paper about what the lawyer said, not a quote from the lawyer.)

According to the FBI, as reported by Newsday.com, Nobles "denied" meaning to set this off on the aircraft, and said he had "inadvertently carried it to the airport".

Now come on folks, tell me and be truthful: Is it just that I am one cynical son of a gun, or does this sound like this guy boarded the plane with the quite possible intent of trying to hijack the plane, and maybe even to blow it up. I mean let's not forget that this reportedly was a pipe BOMB that was found IN HIS CARRY ON LUGGAGE. Also, let's not forget that before the bomb was found, the screeners reportedly also found a 7 inch long knife in his luggage. Okay, maybe I could forget I had a 7 inch long knife in my luggage. Heck I hunt, I fish, I carry knives on a fairly regular basis for work too. I keep knives in grab and go bags and sometimes even grab that bag for use as a carry on, but I check them before I pack em. Of course, maybe I could forget to check to see what was in there before I added more stuff. Thereby I could miss a knife that otherwise would be quite legal to own, and to use when hunting or fishing, or carving the Thanksgiving bird; you know it would be forgetting something that was otherwise legal. Yet to forget the whereabouts a homemade pipe bomb is far fetched. To forget something that is as far as I know absolutely illegal, and is potentially an extremely dangerous device, that could maybe blow up a plane and cause death and destruction of many people, and then inadvertently attempt to carry it in my carry-on luggage while getting ready to board a commercial aircraft full of other people in this post 9/11 world - well I have got to say that even with my muddled middle aged memory it would be pretty darned near impossible for me to forget something like that was in my bag. So how was it forgotten by a young man of 20?

A bomb is made to do one thing - to blow up. He reportedly brought it to a place where it had the potential to do an awful lot of damage, and he brought a knife too - both illegal items to bring onto a commercial aircraft in carry on luggage. Understandably I suppose, his family probably wants to believe him very much. His sister has already reportedly come out with a statement that her brother is a nice guy, who would not harm anyone, and that all of the stuff must have been from his job doing electrical work and she does not think it had anything to do with a bomb. Of course she apparently said that even after her brother admitted it was in fact a bomb, so she would have a very difficult time indeed of convincing me that this guy's intent was not to commit foul play aboard the plane he was about to have boarded before being stopped by authorities.

The truly sad thing is though, without further evidence being uncovered, evidence such as a written plot, a suicide note, nefarious emails, someone coming forward to say yes this man told them he wanted to go out in a blaze of glory, proof of bad blood between him and the airlines, a prior criminal record for violence or other stuff like that, well then my bet is he will get off the hook with only a conviction for carrying these illegal items if in fact he is convicted at all. Yet the fact of the mater as reported so far is that it appears he attempted to board a commercial passenger aircraft carrying a knife and a pipe bomb, and other items that could possibly have been used to dangerous and possibly deadly effect. I think they should put him away for as long as possible if he is convicted.

In closing let me just say this: Thank goodness.

Oh are you wondering why I said thank goodness. Well thank goodness he did not make it to the plane. Thank goodness the headlines on my local newspaper this morning, the ones that caught my eye were what they were instead of reading: Passenger Aircraft en route to Las Vegas Blows Up in Mid Flight. Thank goodness that he did not make it through to the plane and then hijack it and fly it into a building full of office workers. Thank goodness no one was injured. Thank goodness your busy day at the airport, or your already late flight, was not interrupted by all the airports in the USA being closed down because of a terrorist attack.

Most of all folks, thank goodness (and even thank George W. Bush) for the TSA, and for the TSA screeners who discovered this stuff in this guys carry-on luggage. Thank goodness they were being pains in the ass, morons, jerk offs, scumbags, dickheads, jerks, assholes, fuck offs, nosy bastards, storm troopers, useless government employees and whatever other name by which they have been called by hundreds of thousands of irate passengers waiting to board planes. Thank goodness because if they had not been all of those things, all those things that made them vigilant hard working employees who work a truly thankless job, who delay you, who examine your luggage, who randomly search your person, who try to prevent catastrophes, well then you and I would quite possibly have awakened to have 10/16 forever branded into our little gray cells and into our hearts and souls just as we did with 9/11. Maybe the next time you fly, and one of the TSA guys or gals stop you and searches you more than another person, maybe, yep just maybe you ought to look that TSA screener right in the eyes, give him or her a big smile and say: 'Officer, thanks for doing your job and keeping us safe, I appreciate it'. And while you are at it, why not mean it when you say it.

All the best,
Glenn B

reference: http://www.newsday.com/services/newspaper/printedition/friday/news/ny-limac175886742oct17,0,2381010.story

Obama Supporters - Is Their Support Based On Race Or On The Issues?

Boomp3.com

Now you gotta admit, that is just outright funny in a way. Yet it is sad too, even something to make you angry, when you think about such morons everyday people casting their votes based upon absolutely nothing that has to do with the issues as the candidates see them, and probably everything to do with the race of the guy who claims to be black when he is in fact mulatto.

There seems to be some problem with the icon above, if you want you can go to this link to hear the audio: http://boomp3.com/listen/c1hbq1ljl_8/stern-2008-10-01cf.

All the best,
GB

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Does The HighRoad.ORG Have Something To Hide?

The post I mentioned in my last blog, about the problems between Oleg Volk and Derek Zeanah has been removed from TheHighRoad.org.

I also posted the following thread, and it too was either moved or removed:

The High Road - A Schizoprhenic Mess (later changed to Our Community In Trouble)

Since I am about to talk about a gun forum, would hope that the moderators do not shut this down. An earlier thread started by someone else was shut down because it was in the wrong forum when it could just have easily been switched to an appropriate forum by the moderator. This one, placed here, could not be more appropriate since it deals with The High Road forums which are definitely gun related. That other thread was at:

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=400102 (The thread has since been removed, I guess someone wants to hide the truth of the goings on here at this site, and the new mirror site.)

The High Road is currently involved in a legal battle, or should I say are the site administrators Derek Zeanah and Oleg Volk. Oleg has gone as far as filing a complaint in Federal District Court if I understand correctly, and he has started a new High Road at TheHighRoad.US.The new site can be seen here:
http://www.thehighroad.us According to the complaint the name TheHighRoad.org belongs to Oleg, as does this site. You can see the complaint here:http://www.geovario.com/legal/Complaint1.pdf

I have heard at least part of Oleg's side of the story. To be fair, before making a decision as to which site if either I would like to frequent, I would hope that Derek would give us his side of the story. What say you Derek?

We the users of TheHighRoad.org are a community of firearms enthusiasts who came together because of this site run by both of you. Why not clue us in to your side of the story in the hopes that we can help you guys find a solution to the problem, and so that we can remain a single community instead of separate smaller memberships at different sites.

All the best,
Glenn B

Here is the message I received from one of the site administrators at TheHighRoad.org regarding them moving (or was it removing since I cannot find it and they did not say to where it was moved):

Mr. Bartley,

Derek has deliberately not posted about this because he does not want to wage any sort of public fight, because he thinks such fights are not "The High Road" and because he thinks they are bad for the board. Which they are.

Your post has been moved.

John

Public fights bad for the board - what is bad for the board? My thread was not a fight public or otherwise. My post was an inquiry to find out Derek's side of the story, and a try at helping them find an amenable solution to their problems. It seems though that Derek Zeanah and his minions would rather shroud this whole mess in secrecy, and keep the site membership ignorant of the fact that there has been a parting of ways between him and Oleg Volk.

I must say, now that I have seen how Mr. Zeanah apparently wants to treat the membership of The High Road, all I can say is that it appears some credence has been given to Oleg Volk's side of the story if only because Oleg brought it out into the light of day, and it seems Derek would keep it locked in a dark basement. If not then why is it that Derek Zeanah and his administrators and moderators are moving or deleting threads in which THR members are telling the rest of the membership about this affair. That they don't think a public fight is High Road sounds like pure balderdash to me when it seems by their actions that their plan is obvious - they evidently want to cover all of this up in an attempt to keep the membership ignorant of the fact that there is a problem.

I look forward to using Mr. Volk's forum as opposed to that of Mr. Zeanah since it appears my posts on the subject will be deleted from the site of Mr. Zeanah, and it appears as if Mr. Zeanah prefers secrecy to being open. I would have preferred, as I noted in my earlier blog, to use both sites until this mess was decided by the courts, or by mutual agreement between Derek and Oleg, but it appears as if Derek or his administrator(s) would like to keep me and others like me in the dark. I am not a mushroom, I do not like being kept in the dark and being fed bullshit.

All the best,
Glenn B