Friday, July 31, 2009
Now I don't know if I should scrape up the cash for a thousand rounds from AmmoMan or wait a week or two to see if ammo prices are falling and will soon be even lower. If I wait I could lose out if it is only a fluke. Maybe I'll wait a day. If they still have it on Saturday, and other places prices have not fallen, then maybe I'll order a case from Ammoman. Hopefully they will still have some left.
Wait a minute, did I just say it was a "no brainer". There I was about to go ordering more ammo. Then suddenly I heard a voice say: "Hang on there Glenn - wait one cotton pickun minute - maybe this requires a brain after all". It was my voice, and thankfully it was only in my head as I had said it to myself; then I went thinking again and burned up more of my little gray cells. The thinking got me to checking.
So, I just checked the price of the Wolf 7.62x39 122 grain JHP (black box) at some other online vendors. Cheaperthandirt.com does not even offer it (as I write they only show soft point available from Wolf), ClassicArms.com shows 124 grain (that should be the Military Classic as far as I know) listed for $289 (probably plus shipping) with this Wednesday's date on the web page, and CenterfireSystems.com has it at a lower price than all of them yet - including much lower than Ammoman. Now while AmmonMan advertises it with a Polymer coating, CenterfireSystems does not mention if it is the old lacquer coated ammo or the polymer coated stuff - while that may matter to you, at the offered price it does not matter to me one way or the other.
As for the price at CenterfireSystems: No - I am not telling you the price. What I will tell you is that since I have never ordered ammunition from them before as far as I can remember (that is none too far nowadays) I will call them tomorrow to make sure this ammo is in stock and then order over the telephone. It beats all the others hands down folks is all I will say. Wow what a deal compared to other current prices that I could find!
All the best,
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
As for the actual rifle models of Nagant (as they are commonly called) I will not go into them all here, it would require pages and pages. I will discuss one of them though, not as to details of its history but as to its current availability and shootabilty.
For more info on these rifles, see:
All the best and safe shooting,
Sunday, July 26, 2009
What brings him to noteworthiness today is that he was the last living of all known soldiers to have fought in the trenches during World War I, at 111 years and 38 days he was also the oldest man in England, was also one of the oldest in the world, and he passed away on July 25th. Another thing that made him noteworthy was that he never believed the war was worth the effort. His father was wounded in WWI in 1914 and was returned home where he told Harry of the war's horrors in an attempt to keep his son from voluntarily joining the army. It was to no avail as Harry was called to join (conscripted) in 1916. He stepped foot on the continent in 1917 and faced his first battle then.
During his first engagement that involved an attack, Patch recalls the terrors he experienced. As his unit advanced (he was a machine gunner) he came across another British soldier who begged Harry to kill him because he had been severely wounded. A moment later the soldier cried out for she who which all men call at such times - his mother - and he perished. Patch also described the first German he shot, a soldier during the same engagement. As the German soldier charged, Patch shot him with his Lewis Light Machine Gun. The German dropped his rifle but did not fall and within a couple of seconds Harry decided to shoot him in his leg and ankle with his revolver to stop but not kill him. He recalled later that he had thought of biblical verses of when Moses received the commandments and the commandment: Thou Shalt not kill. Despite his firm religious and ethical beliefs, Patch went to fight - probably because he also believed in service to his country. He served again in WWII but on the home front and not in the military because he was too old at the time. Patch served 4 months in the trenches during WWI before he was wounded in the groin due to an explosion that killed 3 others in his unit. It was a day and an event that would haunt him for the remainder of his life.
It took him over 80 years for him to talk about it or anything else about 'the war to end all wars'. He was interviewed in 1998 for a documentary about World War I and apparently felt it was time to start talking because he realized then he was part of a vanishing breed. I imagine he did not think then he would be the last of them but he began to do several documentaries about WWI. In 2007 though the realization sank home and he made the following observation:
"Any one of them could have been me. Millions of men came to fight in this war and I find it incredible that I am the only one left."
—Commenting on graves at a Flanders war cemetery, July 2007 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Patch)
All the best,
All the best,
4 Suspects Detained In U.S. Border Patrol Agent's Death - Did You Even Realize a BPA Had Been Shot & Killed Recently?
Oh well, enough of me ranting, the important thing is that another LEO has fallen doing his job trying to protect the USA - and also that this was one of the most pointless deaths of all. I mean think of it this way, our borders are like Swiss cheese because the politicians refuse to enact simpler yet stricter laws - they just do not care how many enter illegally or how many bring in drugs or other contraband so long as the flow of illegals fulfills there political agenda for whatever twisted purpose. Yet at the same time we have thousands of Border Patrol and other federal agents working in harm's way along our borders fighting immigration crimes for which none to few are prosecuted. Go figure. Don't spend too much time figuring right now though, instead spend some time trying to honor the fallen agent's memory.
Suspects Detained in Mexico in U.S. Border Agent's Death - Local News News Articles National News US News - FOXNews.com
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Well look at this one below too, it appears I was wrong and the story did come out earlier - well on Saturday anyhow.
Bear in mind though he was shot and killed on Thursday. What a shame that the media is so slow in reporting such news - yet Michael Jackson was on the news almost before he was cold, and he stayed there for what - two weeks or so. Of course we have also heard an awful lot about some guy who got arrested in Cambridge, MA and who cried racism, or was it he screamed racism. We have even heard about that at least two or three times from the President of the United States himself. I wonder, how many statements has he made about Border Patrol Agent Robert Wimer Rosas (or was it Albert Rojas - I have seen it reported both ways)! I have not heard word one from President Obama about this tragic and senseless loss, then again it is possible I missed the news conference he may have held about it. If anyone deserves your prayers, your condolences, you admiration, your attention right now - then it is this fallen agent and his family and other loved ones. Come on President Obama, come on all you Congresspeople, come on all you entertainers, come on you in the Media, come on fellow bloggers, come on all you regular Joes and Janes - give up the time to spare him a thought and a comment or three in his honor.
By the way:
Yeah I know, I only blogged about this in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Then again I am not the media, I am not the President, I am not someone whose job it is to notice such men or honor them. I had been thinking of doing this piece on Friday, but had no time on Friday (unlike the media which has minions to do the reporting). In addition I cannot just take time out of my schedule the way certain politicians can to drop by a baseball game like the All Stars game, or take time to meddle in things like disorderly conduct arrests and make statements about them before even a bit of the facts from BOTH sides are known, or then invite the parties in that petty affair to my home for beers and a kiss and make up session. Nope I actually have some important things to do that I do not have lackeys to do for me; things like like balance my checkbook, or spend time with my mom who was hospitalized today.
Somehow though I found time to honor BPA Robert Wimer Rosas in my own small way because I thought that was very important too. I found time at 1:15 AM to do so. I am not blowing my own horn here, I am just wondering why the heck aren't many others doing likewise especially in politics, government service, and in the media. It boggles my mind, so much so that now I am going to go have a beer and maybe a shot of excellent Irish Whiskey. Why? Because to tell you the truth, after reading about this agent and writing about it myself - then thinking about M. Jackson, and about the whole disorderly conduct arrest of that guy Gates, and President Obama's response to it, and about the response overall or lack of it to the death of BPA Rosas (or apparent lack of it) - well I need both and you can bet I will toast him as I drink them. Heck it could have been me or any other federal agent or LEO but it wasn't - was it. It was Border Patrol Agent Robert Wimer Rosas and we should honor him and grieve with his family.
My condolences go out to his family and loved ones. He is and will remain in my thoughts for some time to come. He is doing Line-Watch of a different sort now, from a much loftier perspective, I suppose.All the best,
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I have to tell you that when I arrived home to find only a couple of grand in the checkbook - when I knew it should have contained at least about $9 0r 10 thousand dollars - I was pissed and I let everyone know it. People three or four blocks away probably heard me. Besides that there was another thing to be p-o'd about. I had opened a new account in December (the one in question) because another account had not balanced correctly and was off in our favor by about 2 or 3 grand. We knew the money in there was legitimately ours because we sought of stash money in the account sometimes by not writing in deposits. Leaves us a windfall if there is ever an emergency. The thing is we just lost track of the right balance and had let it go that way over a year. So I stopped using that account for a couple of months to be certain every check had cleared. I opened a new one to use while it was in essence shut down. The new one was only opened in December 2008, and it was already fouled up big time by the end of my 4 months in Tucson. What a mess; but it got taken care of after about 10 or 11 hours of work at it.
It sure pays to stay on top of things like that, and
Oh, before I forget, lest you think I am rolling in dough - I am not. Most of the money in the newest account is either owed to my government credit card account for my trip, or is money I have on the side for a car. It will soon be time to sell the 1996 Ford Taurus and get a new one. We bought the Taurus new way back in 1996 or maybe it was late 95 (whenever the new cars are out which I think is in the actual year prior to the model year for at least a few months). So I guess we have had it at least 13 years, maybe 14 years. Yes we tend to hang onto our cars for quite the long while before we get another. It took forever to save the approximate 8 grand I have set aside for a down payment and if I can convince my wife to cough up her money from her private account (imagine a husband having a private account - yeah right) then maybe we can buy a new one outright. One can hope.
All the best,
Sunday, July 19, 2009
There is a fly in the ointment with this assignment for me. My soldier has no email address listed with Soldiers' Angels. That means I cannot be in rapid contact with him to find out anything about his needs and wants for a care package for him and his fellow troops. He did put down a list of some items with Soldiers' Angels such as toiletries and cigarettes and dip (smokeless tobacco) since his base has no PX. I imagine I will start shopping in the next day or two. If he is still assigned to me at Christmas you can expect solicitations from me to you for help once again. Although I have a donation button posted on the upper right side of my blog I probably will not really pester anyone before then unless he and his buddies have some special needs that I cannot cover financially. Of course if you want to you can always help out by donating money to my PayPal account using the donate button I just mentioned.
All the best,
It is a shame that so many of us have seem to forgotten that we are at war whether it be because it does not affect us as much as it should or because it is convenient not to mention it such as in the lesser amount of media coverage it currently receives. Of course there are those who do not forget. They who are there on the front lines have not forgotten. They who are here at home who have sons, daughters, husbands, wives, friends or lovers in the midst of a war do not forget. They who have their loved ones return without being able to say goodbye - they do not forget either - and for them the memories will never fade. There are also some others of us who do not forget; as you will see the folks in rural GA certainly remember that we are at war and what it means to be an American and how important it is to honor our troops.
A few lines below this you will find an embedded video of a procession bearing the body of fallen Army National Guardsman Sergeant 1st Class John C. Beale from a small airport just south of Atlanta to his home in McDonough, GA. SSGT. Beale was killed near Kapisa, Afghanistan on June 4, 2009; two other National Guardsmen fell with him that day - Maj. Kevin M. Jenrette and Spc. Jeffrey W. Jordan. All three suffered fatal wounds due to improvised explosives and small arms fire. (As to John C. Beale please note: I have given his rank as Sergeant 1st Class and as Staff Sergeant because I have seen it both ways in reports of his death and because I do not know if there is a distinction.)
Apparently a notice was placed in local town newspapers about the date and time of when the procession would likely take place. Those notices apparently had some great effect, much like the force to topple the first of thousands of dominoes. I never saw this on the television news - but maybe it was reported on, I never heard about it on radio talk shows - but maybe they covered it, I never heard a word about it - not until I received an email from a friend of mine today who had a link to the video. Maybe you have seen it, maybe not. If you have not seen it - watch it and be humbled, maybe even shamed. If you have seen it before, watch it again.
Damn it folks, if tears did not start flowing down your cheeks, or at least well up in your eyes, then there is something wrong with you. If those tears did flow, then there is something you need to do as an American. You can contact a group like: Soldiers' Angels, A Million Thanks, Email Our Military, Tell Them Thanks, Hero Box, Operation Dear Abby, or another one that helps to get you in touch with our troops and start an email/letter writing and care package sending campaign to help keep their spirits high. As for the above, I can only speak about Soldiers' Angels, Email Our Troops and Operation Dear Abby by way of personal experience since I have used those three to contact our troops. With Dear Abby and Email the Troops I never got a reply from the troops but that was okay - supposedly they forwarded my emails to them. With Soldiers' Angels - well that is a different story. You see I 'adopted' a soldier from them twice. They give you privileged information about a serviceman or servicewoman serving our country overseas. Then it becomes your responsibility to stay in contact with, and send care packages to, that person for the duration of his or her deployment. I can tell you this - the soldiers appreciate it very much. Luckily, both of the soldiers that I 'adopted' came home alive and well as opposed to how Sgt. Beale arrived back home. The thing is that Sgt. 1st Class Beale was honored for his sacrifice and I wonder, if while he was in Afghanistan was anyone here among us or among the throng of people who honored his posthumous return home thinking of him then - was anyone thinking of what you, I, we could have done to make his day better while he was still alive and fighting for us over there? I certainly hope that was the case - I hope that at least he knew some of us back home remembered and cared that we had troops in harms way fighting a war many of us seem to have forgotten - I hope someone let him know that by way of sending him a letter now and again, and sending him a care package chocked full of goodies, goodness and hope.
What I am getting at is that if you have a conscience, if you love your country, if you believe in freedom and democracy and our way of life, if you truly want to support our troops, then you had best be thinking of certain things that you can do to help after having watched that video. You had best remember that we are at war, that people like Staff Sergeant John C. Beale serve and die for our country and for us all to regularly while fighting it, that too many of us seem to have forgotten that or just do not care, that it is not one of life's trifles but is an important thing in the line of many that keeps us a free nation, that there is something you can do to help even if you are here sleeping safe and sound in your bed each night, and that it is truly up to you - to us - to get it done.
So get to it now - right now - click on those links over at the right side of my blog under the Support Our Troops header and start supporting them yourself. Having the war or the troops on your mind does not get it done. Saying "I support our troops" or displaying a banner or bumper sticker that says likewise does little to really give them support. Do something tangible to not only show your support but to actually bolster them up and do it now. It will not only benefit our troops and America it will be good for your soul - believe me on that one.
There have been 77 other military personnel who have died while at war (the info at this link is humbling indeed) since the day SSGT Beale was killed in action.Yes folks the war is still going on - our soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines are still fighting and dying for us - have you remembered that lately? Have you done anything to support them?
All the best,
At 4:00 AM I was off to the airport in a limo/cab. It was really a Crown Vic. The driver was from Russia so that made me feel closer to NYC than I had for months - there is a large Russian population in Brooklyn. Nice guy and when I tipped him he was happy. Check-in was a breeze. No one from TSA even looked inside my shotgun case. (They did look in my suitcase and I do think a K-Bar knife is missing; I have to do inventory tonight.) My flight departed on time at 6:10 Am, and I flew into Atlanta where I connected to another flight to LaGuardia in NY. Both flights got in early. When I landed I called my son - he had not left home yet to come to get me. I told him to turn on that engine and get rolling. As it turned out, just as I got all of my luggage, he called and said he was waiting outside - perfect timing. Julia, his girlfriend accompanied him as did our Chihuahua Pepe. The ride home was nice as was getting there. My wife actually seemed happy to see me and I was happy to see her. may not last long but take it for what it is worth because I am doing so.
Thankfully she is doing okay - not good - but okay. We go to the doctor tomorrow and that is when I start asking questions about why she was not hospitalized after first being diagnosed with Swine Flu, and then several days later with pneumonia.
So as it turns out - I had no choice to make about whether or not to try to hike up to the top of Mt. Wrightson at Madera Canyon or if I should go back to Tombstone instead to see the Courthouse Museum. Something else decided for me what I should do, and I knew I had better get home quick to make sure the Frau was okay.
All the best,
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Having Sunday off also means I will not have to hit the hay too early on Saturday night. I have been going to bed at 9 to 10 PM most Saturdays for the past several weeks, if not for a couple of months, because I have to be up at about 5 AM each day for work. The temptation that comes with having a free Saturday night could be too much to endure; I hear the Sirens' song already and it's calling me to have a cold one or two before I leave town. Of course, there is also the prospect of me going out to Tombstone again before I leave. That would cancel any plans for Madera Canyon and the attempt at a hike to the top of Mt. Wrightson. I have really been wanting to visit the Courthouse Museum in Tombstone, but having had Tuesdays and Wednesdays off for quite the while now that was impossible since the place is closed on those two weekdays. If I do go to Tombstone I can get a few things accomplished - like seeing the museum and doing some last minute gift shopping for folks back home and feeling that special feeling each time I visit the place. Along the lines of gift buying for the folks at home, I have already bought a shipping box to ship some of my gear and clothes back home so I will have room in my luggage for any last minute gifts - and folks almost any gift I will buy will be bought at the last minute, I am a Christmas Eve type of shopper. Still though the lure of a successful climb up the Super Trail at Madera Canyon is also extreme but somehow the lure of visiting a place where the likes of Ed Schieffelin, Bat Masterson, Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp and other once lived is also extremely strong. It may all come down to how I feel on Sunday morning- time will tell. Decisions, decisions - I may have to toss a coin.
There are a few other things I would like to do before I leave. One such thing would be for me to visit the Titan Missile silo that is nearby to Madera Canyon; the one open to the public for tours. I might be able to make that after work on Saturday. A stop at the San Xavier Mission on the way back to my hotel might also be in order. I was there already but would like to go again. I also wanted to visit the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum but the only day left that I could possibly do that would be Sunday. Of course I could combine that with Tombstone as I would have to be at the museum as soon as they open in order to see any of the critters they have there; it is just way too hot once it hits about 10 AM. Again all I can say is: Decisions, decisions - I may have to toss a coin.
Finally there is one other thing I would enjoy doing and that would be to toss back a few cold ones with any of my readers who may live in the Tucson or Phoenix areas. I could possibly make that on Saturday night, or if you are near or will be near Tombstone I could make it on Sunday. I know there are a few of you in this area - so if any of you out there who read this drivel are so inclined - let me know ASAP.
All the best,
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I tried to figure out why I could not make it, heck I had been prepping for this hike for awhile now. I imagine some of my failure can be attributed to me still not being used to such high altitudes, I was over 7,500 feet - closer to 8,000, when I gave up. The air is definitely thinner up there and I have only exercised at up to 7,000 feet (the highest point to which i usually hiked) about once every week or two for the past few months. There is also the fact that I hike with a 25 to 30 pound backpack, and maybe just maybe I should have lightened it for the higher altitudes. If I somehow get a chance to go again I may just pack water and a first aid kit. Those extra pounds make a difference. Of course, there is also the fact that I certainly am not in the best of shape. While I have been improving, I guess just not enough for this hike today. I also have not been sleeping all that well and imagine that could have played a part. mostly though I figure it was because I am not in the best of shape.
All in all, whatever the reason(s) for my failure, I know it comes down to me. So I am pretty disappointed whatever the reasons. I really figured I could have mastered it today, or at least gone further, since I had gone farther in the past by about .5 to .75 miles. This was probably my last attempt before I have to go home next week and that is what makes it so disappointing.
All the best,
Friday, July 10, 2009
The critter in question is, of course, a Horned Lizard; but of what species I did not know. A quick check of my field guide revealed that it was a Mountain Short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglassi hernandesi). They can grow to a length of 5 7/8 inches and I wish I had measured this one because I think it may have been close to or surpassed that measurement (well maybe that was just the altitude affecting my senses because I am sure it was smaller than that). No big deal though, not like I'd win a trophy or fame because I found the biggest one. Well anyway, these lizards are pretty neat little creatures. They are found from from Canada down into Mexico (this one and its related subspecies) in all of the states west of Texas (Texas excluded) and in all of the states north of Texas. A distinguishing characteristic of this species is the wide notch in the rear of the skull where the horns are absent. Of course, they get the "horned" part of their name from the horns that adorn their heads. They are out and about during the day and enjoy basking in the warmth of the sun. Apparently this guy was no exception and probably had been right out either on the edge of the leaves or in the middle of the trail when I disturbed it sending it into the leaf litter. This was a pretty healthy looking specimen and I suppose it had been getting its fill of ant and other insects. Unlike some species of horned lizards this one has a varied diet that goes beyond just ants. Along with ants it has also been known to eat a variety of other insects, bugs, snails and so on. My field guide even said they have been know to eat small snakes and I suppose that is possible given the small size of some snake species in the area but my guess is that would be the exception to the rule since they seemed built more for tackling bugs and such.
This was the first live Horned Lizard, of any species, that I have seen in the wild in over 10 years as I recall. They are not as abundant as they once had been but I don't recall them ever being truly abundant at that. So I left this little booger right where it was on the forest floor enjoying the fresh mountain air and bright sunshine and I was on my way.
All the best,
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
There were probably about 20 or so folks from very young to a fair bit older than me trying their luck. The quarry it seemed were stocked Rainbow Trout in what seemed to me to be no more than a 15 acre lake. I walked around the far side of the lake about 2/3 of the way to the small dam that formed it, and found a nice log on which to park my posterior. Then I got down to fishing. I set it all up with a bottom rig for a worm, then realized I had left the worms in the car. Oh well - it would be artificials for the day. I tried everything I had which was not much. I sure did not travel to AZ ready to go trout fishing (or any other type of fishing for that matter). What I had with me I had purchased since getting here, actually once Brendan had come out for his visit. Finally after about 2 hours or so of casting artificial salamanders, worms, spoons, crankbaits and spinners I latched onto a fish. I could tell right away it was bigger than the ones I had seen other catch. Yes that means other folks were catching them - some were reeling them in left and right - and of course, they were using trout worms as bait. Oh well, I finally had one and it was on a spinner bait I had bought when Brendan was here or just before he arrived. The feisty little booger trout was all of 12 inches, and looked like a whopper compared to some others I had seen float by belly up after people released fish that had swallowed too small hooks. Mine I would keep, I mean there was at least an appetizer.
All the best,
As for the second picture - what can I say. I was pretty near breathless watching the sunset last night. Those Monsoon rains with all the water filled clouds and moist skies sure do pretty things to the sunlight.
All the best,
Saturday, July 4, 2009
While I am at it, allow me to tell you something about the folks I wished happy Independence Day, or happy 4th of July to here in the Tucson area yesterday and today. Not one - except for my coworkers and a barmaid at my hotel - greeted me back likewise. In fact a young lady working at a burger joint in South Tucson looked at me quizzically then sneered at me after I wished her a Happy Independence day yesterday. Then this morning, at an overpriced snooty coffee shop that is in business nationwide, when I wished the counter clerk a happy independence day, his response was: "Ha-Hah"! I wish I could relay to you the sarcasm and nastiness that was in that simple little reply to me as he rolled his eyes in the true fashion of what I believe to be an ultra-liberal jerk-off. Other folks just looked at me as if I had two, maybe even three, heads when I wished them likewise.
I do not get it - I thought Tucson and Arizona in general were bastions of freedom loving Americans. now I am none to sure of that. To tell you the truth I was absolutely flabbergasted at the responses or lack of them I got when I wished folks a Happy Independence day or Happy 4th. Even in New York City I would have gotten more enthusiastic and patriotic replies than I did here - many more. As a matter of fact, besides the lack of reciprocal patriotic well wishes for this great day I noticed a few other differences between out here and the rotten apple. In NYC and the surrounding areas you likely would see lots of American Flags flying today, and you would likely hear a good amount of fireworks going off all throughout the day. There was absolutely none of that in area of Tucson, South Tucson or Phoenix that I visited today. Now I am sure there will be some fireworks tonight - those permitted by the government - but what about regular Joes and Janes celebrating the fourth as it has been for over 200 years - with a bang. Heck it is INDEPENDENCE DAY - you would think that if only on this day the citizens would be allowed to show some independence from the government control, wouldn't you! Just does not seem to happen out this way. What a shame - I miss it!
All the best,
Hey - wait a minute, what is it that that guy has in the bag; he's throwing some this way.
Ah come on back Mister - we didn't mean nothin' by sayin you wuz frum NY.
All the best,