Saturday, August 30, 2008


...for possible deployment to New Orleans or the Gulf Coast area if it gets hit hard enough by whatever hurricane that is headed that way right now. I suppose the President learned something from the last hurricane to devastate that area, otherwise why would my agency have just called me to ask if I was available to go on standby? When my group supervisor asked if I was interested in being put on stand-by to travel to New Orleans, I at first said I was not interested. He then asked if I had traveled to Atlanta before on standby to go to New Orleans (that was after Katrina), and explained this current detail was just in case the expected hurricane hits them hard again. I had thought it was for something to do with rounding up illegal aliens; but once I heard what it was really for, to help out if there is hurricane devastation, I volunteered without further question. Now I have to go round up some gear I may need to have ready just in case I actually have to go.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sarah Palin - Experience Or lack Of It

Here is the scoop. No matter how much Barack Obama will cry foul, no matter how much he will now whine that John McCain has hammered him for lack of experience, no matter how much Obama will try to make it look as if Sarah Palin has less acceptable experience toward running for executive office than himself - the absolute truth of the matter is that Sarah Palin has years more experience as a chief executive officer in government than has Barack Obama. She is the current governor of Alaska, she is the curretn Commander of The Alaska National Guard, she was elected as mayor twice. (I seem to recall lkiberals, independents, and some moderate or left leaning republicans hoping Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York would run for office.)

Granted her stint as mayor was in a village; however, the fact is she was the chief executive of thousands of folks in that town, and not once but twice; and she has worked her way through the ploiitical maze, and up the political ladder step by step. Before that she was a city council member, also for two terms. Now while that may not be big time insider, as in Washington D.C. insider time like that of Barack Hussein Obama, wasn't it Obama who when he first started to run for the presidency that claimed he was for change and that he was not and insider (and that was supposedly a good trait when applied to himself by himself). She later ran for the position of Lt. Governor and lost, but was in the spotlight so to speak, and the ten Governor Frank Murkowski seemed impressed with her political prowess.

She also was appointed to be the Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, appointed by Governor Murkowski (Wikipedia: She served in that capacity for only about one year, but bear in mind what she did there and just after that is more noteworthy than anything Barack Obama has done while a senator: She quit that job in protest of the corruption she discovered, and because her attempts at uncovering the corruption, and blowing the whistle on it, were ignored by the then governor of Alaska - the same guy who had appointed her to the position in question. After quitting she did something quite courageous - she exposed the corruption of state Republican Party's chairman, Randy Ruedrich, one of her fellow Oil & Gas commissioners, and yes she too is a Republican. Palin filed formal complaints against both Ruedrich and former Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes, who both resigned; Ruedrich paid a record $12,000 fine. She is not full of hot air about the supposed great things she has done, as you may remember Obama tries to tout about a bill or three he voted on during his brief time actually working in the Senate (time actually working as opposed to over a year running for the presidency in which time he has done virtually nothing in the Senate).

In 2006 she ran for the executive position of Governor of Alaska. She won, having run on a "clean government" (as in not corrupt) platform. She has continued with her campaign against government corruption since she has been elected. In July 2008 her approval rating as governor was at or above 80%. Some of the issues (note I said some of the issues - not some of the hoopla) for which she stands are:

1) Oil: She is all for the research and development of oil as a continued fuel source.

2) Oil Independence: She is for drilling in ANWR

3) Alternate Energy Sources: She is all for research and development of alternate forms of energy such as wind power, natural gas, and nuclear power. She has also implemented conservation programs for home energy use.

4) Global Warming: She has definitive plans to research and combat global warming, but does not as does Al Gore, readily attribute it to being a problem caused by mankind without any real evidence of such having been the case.

5) Environment: She sees the need for environmental issues and things like energy development to coexist. Governor Palin is chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multi-state government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment (from her State of Alaska website: She also sees a need to be careful not to make knee jerk reactions and opposed placing Polar Bears on the endangered species just based upon a global warming scare, and without at least some scientific research being done as to the Polar Bears' status (does this mean she does things reasonably, can you imagine that in a politician).

6) Taxes: She is for a windfall tax on the oil companies (ala Hillary Clinton), and has instituted one in Alaska. This has resulted in the state having a huge excess of funding, and she plans to give this money back to the people in the form of about $1,200.00 each. A sort of tax rebate paid for by not the everyday tax payer, but by the oil companies because of the wealth generated by drilling for oil in Alaska.

7) Abortion: She is unabashedly pro-life. She has 5 children, the youngest only about 4 months old and has Down Syndrome. She was aware of the Down Syndrome before the child was born. She is a member of Feminists For Life.

8) Gay Rights: She opposes gay marriage. She did obey an Alaskan Supreme Court order to implement same sex benefits, and signed a bill into law to that effect.

9) Separation of Church and State: On education and religion, she believes that both evolution and creationism should be discussed in schools (can you imagine that she is willing to have both sides of an issue be taught about in public schools).

10) Law & Order: She is truly anti-corruption and when she became governor, despite her husband having been a former employee of oil giant BP, she negated a deal that the former Alaskan governor had made with BP by way of a new law she had passed into the legislation (hmm she even has some legislative experience, all that Obama can tout). This law now allows a huge amount of natural gas to be piped into the lower 48 states of the USA.

11) U.S. Military & The War In Iraq: She is very supportive of the United States Military. As the commander of the Alaskan National Guard (hmm, more executive experience here, something to which Barack Obama does not even come close) she visited the U.S. troops in Iraq, and in hospital(s) in Germany. (Her oldest son was recently deployed to Iraq in the U.S. Army in the infantry.) All this, yet she has been critical of the Bush administration’s lack of long term policy on the war in Iraq (she is no one's puppet or mouthpiece).

13) Use of Natural Resources: She is pro-sportsman. She is a hunter, fisherwoman, snowmobile enthusiast, has run a marathon and has played team basketball. She is a self described 'hockey-mom'. She, as pointed out above is willing to drill for oil, yet also willing to develop and use alternative fuel sources.

12) Right to Keep and Bear Arms: She is pro Right To Keep and Bear Arms. She is a Life Member of the National Rifle Association.

13) Morality: She is moral. She is religious and attends church. She has been married to the same man for 20 or so years. They have 5 children together.

Now for the other side.

1) She is truly somewhat inexperienced when it comes down to it. She has little to no foreign policy experience. Neither does Barack Obama, but granted Biden his running mate does. She has made more tripe to overseas though, I believe than had Barack Obama, at least more trips to visit the troops, and no one had to twist her arm, and yes she visited wounded soldiers in the hospital.

2) Her experience, what she has of it is limited. She has a short time in government, but she has more time in government that does Barack Obama, yes she does count the years in the City Council, as mayor and as Governor. Her experience as a chief executive is monumentally more than that of Obama because he has zero experience as a chief executive officer, remember he is a legislator not an executive - there is a huge difference. He also has zero experience as the commander of a state's National Guard.

3) She is under investigation for allegedly firing someone because he would not fire someone else who was a State trooper; she has been open about this and it sounds to me like a case of the guy getting fired just trying to muddy the water for her as in revenge for his being fired.

4) She only holds a Bachelor's degree. What can I say - she has actually worked on her husband's fishing boat where she broke her fingers while doing so, and she knows hard labor both physical and academic. In addition, she was intelligent enough to have been twice on the city council, elected a two term mayor, and now to be governor of the State of Alaska. She has worked her way up from the bottom with no silver spoon in her mouth.

5) She is not a lawyer. Can you imagine that, a politician in an executive position (governor) who is not, and has not been, a lawyer. Move over Barack Obama and over 95% of the U.S. Senate.

6) She is not a Washington, DC insider - so my guess is with her stance against corruption many Washington D.C. insiders are dirtying their pants just thinking she may be elected.

7) She is a virtual unknown outside of Alaska. This is probably her weakest point, but my bet is she will be well known before the end of next month, and certainly before the end of October and the election in November.

The Bottom Line: The bottom line for me is this, she makes a better candidate for vice president than Barack Obama makes for president as I see her; but I am somewhat concerned at her lack of experience just as I would be with Barack Obam's if I were actually thinking of voting for him. Her lack of experience though does not seem to be as lacking as that of Obama in the executive branch of government, and even outshines Biden there. (Yes Biden has much more overall experience, but limited to legislative experience; and he is not my choice of candidates anyhow.) Unless something earth shattering comes up in the next two months to show otherwise, she has my full support as does Senator John McCain. Yes that means I will be voting after all (remember I said if he picked Lieberman or Ridge I would not find myself able to vote for him). Thank you Senator McCain for choosing a running mate for whom I can vote with a clear conscience based on the issues.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Keeping Me In Suspense - How About You

Fox News is reporting that Governors Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty are out as considerations for Senator McCain's vice presidential running mate. Pawlenty has reportedly acknowledged this himself. Mike Huckabee is also reportedly out, just heard that as I type. In addition, Fox news has reported that according to someone in the McCain campaign, it may be a woman who is about to be picked. The speculation is now almost all around Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. She would be a fine pick as far as I am concerned. There is also talk about some lady who is the CEO of e-Bay, which I think would be an extremely poor choice, what with zero political experience. Of course there is still no talk on the news about the possibility of him choosing Condoleeza Rice. I am still hopeful it could be her. I envision a republican in the White House for many years to come if she is chosen as the McCain running mate. The same could be true to if he picks Palin.

The news is supposed to be announced by McCain at noon today in Dayton, OH. This makes me think it may not be Palin, as Fox has reported that she is going to be in a state fair in Alaska today. Of course they have to throw in more confusion by saying that a plane believed to be carry a senior McCain campaign staffer left Alaska early today or late last night and arrived at an airport near Dayton, OH today. That could simply mean the staffer was in Alaska to discuss vetting with Palin, but who knows. All I know is that noon seems a long way off.

If you think I am excited and in suspense over all of this - you bet I am. One of the most important political decisions of my lifetime is to be made at noon today, one that could well result in either a defeat of win for Senator John McCain, and likewise for Senator Obama, in their bids for the presidency. Since it is darned important, as I see it, that Senator Obama does not become our president the whole ball of wax depends upon McCain choosing correctly today.

All the best,
Glenn B

Well The Hoopla Is Over... least for now, along with all its pomp and circumstance (and there was plenty of pomp), the Democratic Convention is a thing of the past. Senator Barack Obama has accepted his party's nomination with what was probably one of the better speeches I have ever heard him give (nope i did not listen to all of it, but did listen to quite a bit of it. A know thy enemy political opposition sort of a thing there; he did and said nothing to convince me he is the right man for the presidency. As a matter of fact he convinced me more than ever that he is not the man for the job.

Now I suppose the new hoopla will begin today in that today Senator John McCain is to announce his pick for running mate, his choice of vice presidential candidate. I keep hoping beyond hope it is a certain extremely intelligent, hard working and well suited lady (you all know whom I mean) but I suppose I'll have to wait just like everyone else, until Senator McCain announces, to find out.

One note of interest, Senator McCain is a classy guy. Have you seen his latest campaign commercial. It is totally about him congratulating Barack Obama on his nomination as the opposing party's candidate. What a relief from negative campaigning that I am sure is not over yet, and certainly what seemed to be a genuine acknowledgement of accomplishment from McCain to Obama. Now though, I think, the gloves will come off and McCain will not only bloody some noses, he will whoop some ass and win an election by defeating Obama.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I have Been Nuvi-ized...

Yep they got me at work today and they handed me a Garmin Nuvi 260, that is after I signed my life away for it on some government paperwork.

Right after I got it, I scanned the brief instruction manual (15 pages and a relief compared to the one for my government Nextel which loo like a novella), and I turned it on, went outside, walked over to a pier on the Hudson River, and there it was, that is my location, shown on the screen. It actually showed me out on the pier. I was pretty amazed at how accurate this thingamabob was at giving my location if only because that pier is very new. After my brief walk with it, I also used it to find my way home from the office. It did not go exactly the same way I would have gone, had me turning on different city streets, but had me going to the Midtown Tunnel, onto the Long Island Expressway, and off at the exit I probably would have chosen had I not usually taken another exit about midway home that put me on a road that parallels the LIE. The exit it did have me turn off on is the same one I would have exited on the parallel road to the LIE.

Simply an amazing little device, it not only shows a running map as you drive along, it gives written and verbal instructions. If you set the language to a specific type of American (sort of a computerized voice) it not only tells you something to the effect of: turn left in 1/4 mile, then repeats it in increments as you get closer to the turn, but also tells you turn left in 1/4 mile onto 3rd Avenue (thus actually mentioning the name of the street or road onto which you must turn). If you miss a turn it either tells you it is recalculating your route, or it tells you to turn around to get back to the route it first gave to you. It can be used in automobile, bicycle, and walking modes. It shows things like average speed, time moving, time stopped, mph, distance traveled and so on. You can save favorite places. You can locate points of interest, restaurants, and other such places. I think you can even use it as a GPS using longitude and latitude coordinates, but I'll have to do some checking on that one.

While I am impressed, I can say without a doubt, if I have a preplanned trip, I will look at a map first. This will be especially true when going out on an assignment from work, more so if a potentially dangerous assignment. I sort of like to know the lay of the land. I think this device can give that too, it had a 3-D, and 2-D map view mode, and you can zoom in and out on the maps, but it is so small a screen, that to view a good sized area it would be hard on the eyes. So I will not be discarding my maps any time soon; but I will admit I will readily use this thing.

Now that I have gotten my report on it, and my like for it, out of the way, let me address a concern some of you may have thought about while reading the above. As a tax paying citizen you maybe wondering if you should be concerned that an expenditure of money like this by the federal government is money well spent. A good road atlas of the entire USA costs about $6.00 at Walmart, and probably could be had less expensively in bulk direct from the publisher. A few local maps of the areas covered by my office most frequently cost about $15 apiece. That is 3 road atlases, one for New York City, one for Nassau County, NY, and one for Suffolk County, NY at a total cost of $45. Add $45 to $6 for a grand total of $51.00. You can use MapQuest, or a similar program, for the rest, and that comes bundled with the office computers. The Garmin Nuvi 260's cost my office a considerable sum above $51 apiece, and I think they bought one for most agents in the office if not for all agents in our office. I know the figures, but I will not mention them here as I do not want to unwittingly break any government regulation about ging up super seKrits.

You may also wonder if these GPS devices will or will not wind up costing more than their sale price. You may be wondering will the accident rate for our fleet rise due to agents looking at these things, or trying to recalibrate them, while they are driving. I can tell you the temptation is there, that is for a guy like me who has never before used one, although I am sure I have gotten it out of me using it on just one ride from my office to home. I plan to only punch in locations when I, and my vehicle, are stopped safely (unless of course I have a passenger who can do it for me). I am sure other agents will think likewise. You may also wonder if break-ins to our government vehicles will increase when thieves see one of these left in the car or when a crook sees the base of the GPS left inside the car (a sign that the car may have a GPS hidden in the console or glove compartment). I can tell you we have been forewarned; and I think an agent losing one like that will get hell for it. As for mine, I think I'll make a great effort to keep mine in a pocket when I leave the vehicle, and if I can find a pouch for it all the better as I do not want the screen getting all scratched up. When I use it in my car I'll find a place for it where it will be safe to use, and from where it will be easy to remove any trace of it when I leave my vehicle and take it with me. I think other agents will make similar efforts to use them safely and to safeguard the devices.

I also will make the best use of it that I can as a tool to help make my job easier; and I suppose it will be just that - a tool that will make my job, and the job of other agents assigned to my office, much easier. In that light they will help us save time in finding places. That will cut down on drive time. Since they give the most direct routes, they can help us save gas too - that has to be a good thing - right! In essence these GPSs will help make us more efficient in carrying out our duties that involve driving. I also suppose there is a chance that these could be a lifesaver. If use of one of these GPSs ever saves a single life by helping an agent find a hospital faster if they need one, or if it more quickly gets an agent on the scene to help out another agent in a tight spot, or if it helps an agent more quickly apprehend someone who is an imminent threat to the public and to Homeland Security, then the price of all of them combined will have been but a small one to pay. Of course, I beleive in smaller government; but yep when it comes right down to it under current circumstances, I suppose the expenditure on these was a good thing indeed. Sometimes you just have to look at government spending from all angles, and when you look at these GPS devices that way, and if you drink the Kool-Aid first really give it some intelligent thought, you come to the conclusion 'it was money well spent indeed'.

All the best,
Glenn B

What a Shame, Not Even a Word Mentioned...

... here about the possibility of Senator McCain choosing Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice as his running mate. It is his loss if he could not get her to agree to run, or if he did not consider her as his running mate.

I keep hearing about Lieberman, Ridge, and those choices scare me. Then I hear about Pawlenty and Romney and I am a little more at ease. Tomorrow if I hear Rice, I will jump for joy.

Who knows his choice, surely not me, but he reportedly has made it, and if so then he most certainly knows. I wonder how many others know, they are keeping pretty mum about it. (That by the way is a good thing, a staff that knows how to keep their mouths shut!) Time and the media will tell whom he has chosen. I guess we will know sometime tomorrow on Senator McCain's birthday. I am hoping almost against hope for the best running mate he could have, and I figure it is only one of the above by a long shot.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quarterly Qualifications...

...went well for me today, and this old man is proud of himself. I shot a 244/250 on the first qualification round with the Glock 19. On the second round I shot 250/250 with the same pistol. I then shot a perfect score on the shotgun qualification 5/5 of 12 gauge slug. I also shot a perfect score 250/250 with the HK MP-5. Since this may have been my last chance to shoot the MP-5 in qualifications I am pretty happy with that score. I am also quite happy that m scores improved back to normal, up from what I have scored the last 2 or 3 qualifications at the range. Those scores were not terrible, just not up to my regular ability, and I thought my last couple or few qualification scores had been effected by my no longer so great eyesight. My vision seems to come and go from better to worse back to better, to worse. Today I was seeing things a little clearer than I have been lately, but I was also concentrating hard on doing things right as I shot, taking my own advice and mentally talking myself through each shot, even on rapid fire. Funny that I also started an exercise program lately and my vision seemed to improve right after that. Of course, I do not think exercise has anything to do with improving vision, so maybe it was just coincidence, but I do need to ask my doc about that. Whatever the reason, I shot better today than at least my last 2 qualifications and that was a good thing.

As usual we also shot a good number of rounds in tactical shooting exercises. We did man down, seated shooting (simulating shooting from a car), malfunction drills, and one handed loading of the semi-auto pistol. It was one heck of a nice day, the weather was great, blue skies, a light breeze, and great temps. Only 5 shooters showed up, I think about that many cancelled for one reason or another. Well actually we had 6, but one agent had to leave being called away on something for one of his cases.

One of the best things about the day was I got a good amount of practice ammo to use at my local range or at the range I belong to in NYC. The government is full of bureaucracy, but I can say without a doubt, time qualifying at the range is something I will truly miss once I retire.

All the best,
Glenn B

The Garden's Goodness

We only have a small lot on which our house sits, and we have what is just a tiny garden along the side that gets about the least sun during the day, but that is where our garden sits. In it we have planted tomatoes, butternut squash, peppers of a couple of varieties, cabbage, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, radishes, eggplant, broccoli, green beans and yellow wax beans. We also have some of the same in a few pots scattered around the rest of our backyard, and we have a potted strawberry bush/vine). This year has not been the best for our small crop, but it still has been fairly good in production. We treated the earth well, using lots of compost from our small compost pile, and the earth has rewarded us with a small bounty of delicious fruit and vegetables, and a good amount of earthworms for my Musk Turtle. Of course Linda also has a lot of nice potted flowers and a small flower garden too.

I think my favorite produce from the yard this year has been our yellow tomatoes. We have 2 varieties, a yellow plum tomato (not doing all that well, producing but the tomatoes do not ripen on the vine, so I ripen them inside a brown paper bag), and a Better-Boy yellow tomato that has produced medium to fairly large fruits for us. Those larger yellow tomatoes are just scrumptious as far as I am concerned, though they are not Linda's favorites. They are less acidic, an milder in taste than red tomatoes, but they have a fine flavor that is great straight, put on a sandwich mixed into a nice garden salad, or in a homemade salsa.

The butternut squash is just about ready for the harvest; and I almost cannot wait for it. Linda has a great recipe for baking this mashed and covered with butter and garlic. It is absolutely wonderful on the taste buds.

As for the flowers, I suppose some of my favorites are the Black Eyed Susan's (a variety of daisy). I think that is what they are called anyhow. Another favorite or I should say a favorite area is around the small patio out front where Linda has a nice variety of potted flowers. While the flowers still look great, it is getting obvious, by looking at the state of the plants in our vegetable garden that summer is winding down, and that autumn cannot be far behind. If only we had an apple tree, we'd be picking them soon too.

All the best,
Glenn B

Losing An Old Friend...

...can come in many forms. Today is my assigned range day for quarterly qualifications, and as usual I'll shoot the Glock 19, the HK MP-5, and the Remington 870. I like them all, but for sheer fun, and as my weapon of choice for my type of work out of the 3, I have to go with the MP-5. So it is with some sadness that I look forward to this day because it may well be the last day that I qualify with the MP-5. I was recently told that my employer plans on doing away with them in the near future. That is a true shame since the MP-5 is a versatile weapon. It is well suited for urban, suburban and rural environments. It is capable of firing semi-automatic, or in three round bursts (others can fire fully automatic too). It chambers the 9mm, but other models in other calibers are available. It can be used well close in, but can be shot out to some distance with accuracy and reliability, at least to 125 yards and probably out to 150. It also is an excellent weapon of choice for many of the types of operation which my agency conducts. It has sufficient firepower if ever called upon in a defensive situation. It is a well made and reliable firearm that is user friendly in its operation. It is also one of my favorite weapons, and when I have gone out on potentially dangerous operations it often has been my long arm of choice, even over my much touted (by me) Remington 870. I have to admit, while it has given me some comfort to have carried it on numerous operations, I am quite satisfied that I never had to shoot anyone with it. While I am prepared to do so if need be, I can tell you without a doubt, if you are a moral person to any degree, if you have respect for other people and respect for life to a good degree, you will suffer in conscious after shooting someone, even if to save another life. But I digress, so back to the MP-5.
If they do take them out of service, I will surely miss mine. So today, when I am at the range, I will try my best to shoot my best with it. If I have to give it up in the near future, I'd at least like to be able to remember that the last time I shot it, I was right on target with it. As usual, after shooting it, I'll give it a good cleaning, or two. I usually clean it once, wait a few days to a week, then clean it again. Even when you think you have cleaned one of these well the first time around, the second time around proves you wrong. Despite the pain in the neck cleaning them, and yes it is a chore, I will miss this one if they take them out of service.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, August 25, 2008

On Not Wanting To Lose The Pen of Jen and Double Nickel Farm

For those of you who do not know it, two of my favorite blogs, Pen of Jen and Double Nickel Farm are about to go down, as explained here, if they have not already. No it is not that they have violated any Internet code, but rather that the wonderful lady who writes them has suddenly and without explanation decided to give up blogging. She does not owe us an explanation as to why she has chosen to do so; but those of us who read her stuff with a passion are concerned for her since it seems an abrupt, if not out of character, decision for her to have made. If her final decision is to discontinue blogging, so be it, and we will miss her; it is Jen's choice. Yet, I am not about to let her leave the Blogosphere all that easily, at least not without making a try at keeping her blogging, and at hopefully getting you to her site to leave similar comments in that you think she should stay with us. She has told me in the past that my replies to her blogs have made her think, so here is something else for Jen to think about:

Dear Jen,

Recently, in your blogs, The Pen of Jen and Double Nickel Farm, you asked us why we blogged. I gave a short, funny, but somewhat telling answer. I said it was because I am a blabber mouth and because I guess that means I am also a 'blabber keyboard'.

While that was my short answer, here is another more well thought out answer:

Besides being a ‘blabber keyboard’ I blog because doing so helps me accomplish many things. First of all I am able to share my knowledge about certain of my interests with others who have like interests. In addition I can often bring newcomers into those fields of interest; for example: new shooters, new hunters, new herp keepers, new voters.

I am also able to learn by way of my blog because sometimes I get very interesting and informative replies to what I have written, or I discover links to new and interesting blogs. Not only do I expand my own horizons by this learning experience, but I have also made many acquaintances because of my blogging, and because of my finding then linking to other blogs. I came across some of the folks, fellow bloggers, quite by happenstance as their interests would normally not have been sought out by me; yet somehow we were drawn together through our blogs when they stumbled across mine and left a comment, or I across theirs and I left a comment. With some of these folks, I believe I have made a bond of friendship even though I have, and likely, will never meet them in the flesh.

I blog too because it is a link to the world and to anyone who has access to a computer and the Internet. This is not so much to showboat myself, though it is partly that I suppose, but sort of to explore places that I will never visit, never get a chance to see. You see I can communicate with the people of the world through my blog. I am often amazed at some of the locations where I have regular readers. It makes me feel good to realize that folks around the world read my stuff, but it also humbles me to think there are so many bloggers out there of which I amount to a mere pixel floating in a huge computer screen.

I also blog because it is a fun hobby, a decent way to pass some time when I am not working, when I am not mending around the house, when I am not out with family. It is some down time by myself during which I am able to express myself as I have never been able before, in front of an audience of like minded individuals, or people who could not disagree with me more, or critics, curiosity seekers and other people who become friends. Surprisingly enough about that last batch, we certainly agree on many things; yet, it is strange how often we find ourselves in almost total disagreement, but we disagree knowing it will not force a wedge between us but only make our bond stronger as we discuss the issues.

So when a blogger friend of mine tells me, and the rest of the world, that she will no longer be blogging; and when she tells us that in a two sentence entry to her blog, almost completely out of the blue, it comes as a shock. It makes me, and all of your other readers, sad to hear you will no longer be keeping in touch with us on the issues as you have been doing. It is with a dismal portending sense of fatalistic realization that we conclude that you have taken, or are about to take, a turn down a road better left un-traveled. We fear that something bad in your life has taken place or is about to happen, no not just something bad, but something drastically so. If not, then why on earth under the heavens would you be giving up something through which you do so much good as your blogs.

Perhaps you have never realized how wonderful are your blogs and the good they do for the rest of us (and probably for you too). Through your words you have spread hope, joy, love of family and friends, spirituality, the word of God for those who choose to believe. You have also given advice, told us recipes, showed us the advantage of a good hard days labor, explained in detail beyond compare the value of love and all it can accomplish despite hardships (you, your husband and family the prime examples).

Furthermore you made a lot of us smile and laugh. There is a witty side of you despite the hardships and toil to survive that you and yours have faced. Not only do we see a sense of humor in your weekly caption contest, but also in things you have written, and in pics of your children. It was nice of you share that with us.

You have made us think - heck you know at least that has been true with me. We have had some pretty intense discussion of issues. If you made us think, that means you made yourself think too. Thinking about oneself, and one’s interests and beliefs, often makes one question herself. You always came up with the same answer on core issues; they were: God, family, country, right over wrong, work hard and live well. You shared that with us.

Furthermore more, throughout it all you have given us something to which we can look forward just about each and every day of your blogging. You see we look forward to seeing the penned words of our friend Jen. We look forward to reading about life, love, family, spirituality, politics, God, hard work, friendship when written by the pen of Jen. We look forward to your wonderful blogs The Pen of Jen and Double Nickel Farm.

Yes as I said in above, I am shocked to learn of your decision to quit blogging. If it is what you choose to do, then so be it, it is your decision to make. Yet as usual I can disagree with you. No matter what your reason for wanting to cease blogging, I have mentioned above many why you should not. I can only hope that in some small way, I am making you think about your decision to leave blogging behind, to reconsider it, to change it because you see when you leave it behind, you leave all of us behind too. That will truly be a sad day for us all.

For some reason, and maybe it is just intuition, I get the feeling that you think blogging conflicts with something else in your life. I have to wonder if you think it makes you less of a mom, less of a wife, less of a good person to share your ups and downs, your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes, your passion for life, your pondering the great questions of life, your questioning of the rest of us, your questioning of your own beliefs, your rock solid determination to be a good person, your rock solid faith in God and goodness with the rest of us. I think that you may believe that blogging in some way has been a detriment to your faith or to your family. I hope that is not what you think because while blogging may not be the answer to your prayers, and while it may not have accomplished whatever you thought you had set out to accomplish when you started, it has accomplished something greater than you probably ever expected. It has given the rest of us a view of the world, of life, of family, of toil, of wit, of charity, of goodness, of strength of character, of faith, of God through your eyes. For that we are grateful, and for that
we beg more of you. Please don't leave us.

Your friend,
Glenn B

If any of my readers agree with the above, please go here, and ask her not to give up blogging.

All the best,
Glenn B

Not 5 Minutes Ago My Son Walked Out The Door...

...on his way to his first day of college. I gave him the speech, a short one at that, about paying attention in his studies, about asking the professors questions about what they expect and how they run their classes. I also asked him if he had paper and pens. Of course he did. I also shook his hand, and congratulated him on being a college man. Man I am getting old. Yet for Brendan, who is still young, the world awaits him. Now it is up to him what he will make of the world by way of what he makes of himself.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Just Got Back Home...

...from a couple of days in the hills Catskill Mountains and thereabouts. I went on a deer scouting trip, did some hiking, did some fishing, took in the sights, and camped out under the stars. Oh, my aching back! More later...the car needs washing.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ballseye's Firearms Training and Tactics - From Purdy Good Shootin To What The $?@& Happened?

Okay, you have mastered the basics of pistol shooting - and I do mean just the basics. You purchased a pistol, decided on one in .22 LR caliber, have become totally familiar with how it functions, have learned how to grip it properly, learned how to get the correct sight picture, and started to shoot doing fairly well at close ranges. After hitting the black on every shot, you decide to move your target out a bit further than the 7 yards (21 feet) at which you had been seeting the target. So you move it out to 15 yards (45 feet) feeling confident that you will be able to do well at the same range.

You load up your magazines with the various brands of 22 ammo you have been using. Why a few different brands, or types of .22LR ammo? Simply because you were told that 22s can be finicky feeders, and you needed to try various brands in order to assure the pistol will function at its best. So you load one brand into one magazine, one brand into another and so forth for as many mags as you need to top off. Then you start shooting, first always making sure it is safe to do so.

You fire away, blissfully at your target, or targets dependent upon your range set up. You are confident that you are shooting well,and at 45 feet those tiny 22 holes are way to small to see from where you are standing. Then, when safe, you go to check your targets. You are aghast to see that while some of your shots hit their mark, others seemed to have gone haywire and their are some targets with shots all over the palce, others with groups high to the left, others high to the right, and others just high of the bullseye. You are starting to notice a consistent factor - all of your shots seem high, and none of your targets have groupings as tight as were those at 7 yards. So what is the problem? Were you not sighting in properly, were you not gripping the pistol correctly, did you jerk the trigger, were you trying too hard, was the distance just too far, is the gun not accurate at that distance? All good questions, but maybe none of the them beg the actual answer as to why your shots seemed to have a mind of their own.

Yes it is a bit harder to sight in at further distances. Once you get out past 7-10 yards you should really start using your sights correctly. At 7 yards you can shoot the bullseye all day long with using them if you know how to point shoot. At 15 yards point shooting is possible if you are an experienced and gifted marksman, but most of us need to depend on the gun's sights. So asking yourself if you had sighted in correctly was a good question. Let's assume that for practical purposes you had the correct sight picture when you sighted in. So what else could have gone wrong?

You wonder, was I gripping the pistol properly. This is another good question to ask yourself if your shots are starting to go astray. Improper grip, depending on how you are improperly holding the handgun, can make your shots go high right, high left, low right, low left, left, right, low, high or all over the paper. For a right handed shooter: Gripping too tightly can cause your muscles to strain and along with that often comes uneccesary trembling. This can causes your shots to fly all over the paper. Heeleing of pushing out the bottom of the hand can causes shots to go high or high left. Anticipating recoil often causes you to push the hand down just before the shot causing low shots; but it can also cause shots high and to the left or right if you heel in anticipation of recoil. Jerking the trigger can make shoits go low left or all over the palce depending on how badly you do it). Here are a couple of links that explain it better:, and: As far as you could tell your grip was fine, you even mentally went through each step of gripping, aiming, trigger control, and followup for each shot just as you did at the 7 yard line. Still your shots are spreading out somewhat to miserably, and none of your group seem all that consistent.

Let me say here - good work! Why do I say that when you are getting poorer groups? Because you deserve credit if only because you have looked to yourself for the problem before going elsewhere. So far you have done well in your analysis because you have wondered if it was something that you as the shooter have done wrong. The great majority of the time when something goes wrong with shooting, it is operator error. This time though, you have had an experienced shooter watching you shoot and he tells you the good news, you grip seemed excellent, and your trigger finger motion looked smooth and correct. Great news, but you are becoming more and more confused and perplexed. What is happening, why have your shots spread out so much?

Now you start to wonder about excuses that don't necessarily involve shooting technique because you just cannot figure it out and because you seemingly did things right. So you figure maybe the distance is just too far for the pistol you are shooting to hit the mark accurately, or maybe if outdoors you think it was the wind even though only the slightest breeze is blowing now and again, or maybe the gun is shooting poorly because something has broken or the sights have come loose, or maybe it is shooting poorly because the gun is dirty and needs cleaning. The truth be told, it culd be any of these factors or all of them that have effected your groups so your range coach checks them all. He checks the sights and finds them secure, he runs a function check and the gun operates properly, he checks for fouling in the barrel and there is only a normal amount if any. He fires the gun with a few rounds and hits the bullseye from 50 feet away. Now your are sure it is you who is to blame; but should you be sure? Of course, you know I am about to tell you otherwise, but first I'll give you a chance to think about it all again to try to figure out the cuplrit. Go ahead, stop reading and take a moment or two to go over all the things that could have gone wrong. Read the above again if need be. Is there something else that could have gone wrong, something I did not mention, something you have not thought about?

Sure there is and it is the ammunition. I used the example of firing .22 LR ammunition because 22 caliber rimfire ammunition is notorious for a few things. First of all, 22 caliber rimfire ammunition, whether it be .22 short, .22 long (tow somewhat obscure calibers nowadays), .22LR or .22WMR (.22 magnum) are all know for the arching trajectory of their bullets. When the bulet leaves the barrel of any gun it does not fly staright and level to the ground even if you were holding the barrel parallell to level ground. This is because physics dictates that the bullet's path will be an arch. Sure some calibers and bullet designs travel flatter than do others, but they all travel in an arch upon leaving the muzzle. The thing about 22 rimfire ammunition is that its bullet travel in a pronounced arch. The trajectory of the .22 LR has a 2.7 inch (69 mm) rise at 50 yards (50 m) and 10.8 inch (274 mm) drop at 150 yards (140 m) when zeroed at 100 yards (100 m). (Reference: What this means is that when the .22LR bullet leaves the muzzle it begins to travel up in an arching motion, then begins to arch toward the ground. Many things effect this trajectory such as powder charge, bullet weight, bullet type (shape, size and so forth), gravity, and probably even air pressure to some small degree. With a .22LR round, the bullet archs up gradually and then begins to fall of at a quicker rate. I don't need to go into the physics of it in any great detail other than to apply this to your shots at 21 feet and 50 feet, so I'll stick to a simple explanation of it.

What happens is that if you are zeroed (aimed in) at 7 yards (21 feet), the bullet leaves the barrel and begins an immedaite upward movement in an arch, once the bulltet passes though the bulseye dead center at 7 yards it continues upward movement in an arch so that when it reaches 15 yards the bullet is higher than it had been at 7 yards. This arch continues for some distance until the bullet loses energy so much so that it begins to drop in an arch, and it sooner or later would wind up below your point of aim. The arch is very apparent when shooting .22 rimfire ammunition, much more so than when shooting most centerfire ammunition some of which travels in a fairly flat trajectory for the first hundred to couple hundred yards. If you understood what I just wrote, then you understand the consistency of all of your shots at 15 yards having gone somewhat high even though you had been shooting dead center at 7 yards. It is physics not you that made the flight of the bullet rise.

I suppose the obvious way to correct for this would be to adjust your sights, but sometimes that is not necessary. At this distance to correct for this problem I would simply change my point of aim. Instead of holding ht etop of the front sight in perfect alignment with the bullseye at 15 yards as I had done at 7 yards, I would now make asight picture so that the bullseye appeared to float just at the top of the front sight. In other words, the very top of front sight post would appear to support the ball of the bullseyes looking sort of like a lolypop. What you would have done is to have moved your front sight down in order to shoot higher.. If on the other hand you had adjusted your sights (rear sight being the one usally adjustable) you wuld have raised the rear sight (having the same effect as lowering the front sight).

Still though, this does not answer all of your questions about what went wrong, it only tells you why virtually every shot at the further distance went high. What about all those shots that went left with some ammo, right with another brand, that simply were scattered all over the palce with yet another brand of ammo, or that were almost as well groupe das those at 7 yards? Herein - if not the fault of the shooter - lies the fault of the ammunition and the ammunition manufacturer. What I mean is quite basically that manufacturing quality effects accuracy of the round. This is especialy apparent when you are doing everything right as to technique and you shoot cheap plinking ammunition as compared to expensive high grade target quality ammunition. Often, the cheaper the ammo, the more the groups will open up at further distances. Why, well because of quality control for the most part. Bullets are manufactured to certain specifications, yet not all manufacturing processes hold as close to those specifications as do others. The more quality control, the better the accuracy - in general. The sae holds true for your gun, but here we will sume your pistol is inherently accurate and reliably so. In essence, with ammunition, as with most things, you get that for which you pay. Tha is most of the time. I say most of the time because I am sometimes surprised by the accuracy of various inexpensive .22LR ammuntion I have shot. Some 22 firearms just like cheaper brand best and shoot well with them. I find though this is often changeable with varoius lots of one kind or another of ammunition. So while today my Ruger MKII pistol may shoot brand x well in lot number 001, tomorrow when lot 002 comes out, it may shoot miserably with it. Why, because of lack of quality control from one batch tot he next.

This same factor can be an issue to some extent when you shoot any firearm in any caliber. Quality control of the ammunition manufacturing process can have a noticeable effect. A little more or less gunpowder, a tiny size difference in the diameter or length of the bullet, a slight difference in the weight of the buolet, and other things all will effect accuracy from bullet to bullet. So, waht I am trying to convey to the new shooters among you, especially those of you whoa re shooting a 22 rimfire, don't be too hard on yourself if you start to notice changes when shooting at further and further distances. Sure, look to yourself first, because as I said the great majority of reasons for not shooting as well are due to operator error; but if you are convinced doing it right, and if your coach r shooting buddy is convinced likewsie, then maybe you need to take a ook at the properties of your ammunition too see if the problems lies therein.

If you are shooting centerfire ammunition and are wondering about balistics of your ammunition, you can go to: and punch in up to three types of ammo to compare the ballistics including the trajectories of each over given distances. I see they also offer a new downloadable software (new since I last checked anyway). I have not tried it out yet but will have to in the near future.

All the best,

Glenn B

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Ammo Faerie Hast Commeth

...and hast leaveth me several boxes of ammunition in my desk drawer. What a good feeling it is to open up my desk drawer and find that someone has stashed goodies for me in there, especially when those goodies are in the form of pistol ammunition. I actually know who is this particular faerie nice guy, if only because the first time he left me ammo he asked me if I had seen it some hours after leaving it. Of course I had not, but the surprise was not ruined for me; I was just as surprised at hearing him tell me he left it as I would have been at finding it there. A very nice gesture indeed, and he did not want anything for it. He left me 2 boxes of .32 auto JHP, and a partial box of .32 S&W Long (never even heard of that one before). Then a day or so later I got a couple more boxes of .32 Auto JHPs from him (again left in my desk drawer). Then yesterday I open the drawer, again not expecting anything, and I found a box of .25 Auto, and a box of .45 ACP. Now out of all those calibers, I own a pistol for one of them, the .32 Auto. That is fine by me, I gladly accept free ammo for any caliber, I mean who knows what gun I may wind up owning tomorrow, or what poor ammo short person I may run across who can use it.

I thanked him for the ammo, except what I found most recently - whoops bad form on my part, thanks are in order today - maybe even buying him lunch. It is nice to have extra ammo, and nicer still to have friends who are so kind.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

85 Years Old, But Spunky Not Frail, And Armed Too

Maybe Barack Obama, and the rest of the anti-gun left, could learn a thing or two, from Leda Smith, about why people in the USA cling to keep guns. She reportedly is an 85 year old lady who lives in Springhill Township, PA. She is also a gun owner. Recently she started to keep a .22 Revolver into her nightstand. Why? Well probably because she was afraid. I suppose, that since the neighborhood had been recently subjected to a rash of burglaries, she was worried she might become the next victim of a burglary. Heck maybe she was worried about worse. Whatever the reason - she had a gun when she needed it, and she apparently was willing to use it when a 17 year old burglar broke into her place this past Sunday afternoon.

Upon realizing an apparent intruder was in her home, she sprang into action. She walked passed the burglar, into her bedroom, took out the revolver, and went back to him and asked:

"What are you doing in my house".

To this the dirtbag alleged young hoodlum who was in her house had only one rather weak reply:

"I didn't do it".

Caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, by a woman old enough to be his great-grandmother (indeed she eportedly is a great-grandmother), and all he could say was I didn't do it. Well, that was not quite all he could say. You see, good old Leda Smith is definitely not a dummy. She was not about to give a bad guy a chance to over power her by doing something silly like trying to hold him at bay while at the same time dialing 911 to call for help. So what did she do? She had the supposed inept burglar make the call while she held him at gun point. Folks, I can not even imagine the look of the 911 dispatcher's face when the realization of who was placing the call set in. I am guessing that there must have been a wide grin there. My bet is that the state police who responded to the call also had astonished grins on their faces. It is not every day that a potential victim makes their job all that much the easier. I also bet that the 17 year old intruder did not have a grin on his face as Leda Smith, gun in hand, ordered him onto the floor and to spread eagle. That is how the police found them when they arrived, she still gun in hand, he still on the floor eating carpet.

Would Miss Smith have shot the alleged young thug? Who can tell. My bet though is that yes she would have if it would have been necessary to protect herself. I mean just look at what else she said:

"Dial 911 and don't attempt to throw the phone at me, or do anything bad or I'll just shoot you,"

She sure seemed determined. She had another thing to say, apparently when it was all over:

"It was exciting," Smith said. "I just hope I broke up the (burglary) ring because they have been hitting a lot of places around here."

So do you think that Mr. Obama would be able to learn anything from this? Nah, I suppose not because he will just tow the leftist line on guns. Yet, that does not mater. What maters is if you learned anything from this. Me, I learned something. I am going to keep on clinging to my guns well into my eighties just like Leda Smith if I can, and if I am lucky enough to live that long. What a wonderfully inspirational woman she should be to us all. That my friends was one heck of a refreshing couple of stories to have read this morning, a great video to watch (see below for the links), and Leda Smith one heck of a hero who put a grin on my face.

All the best,
Glenn B


The Video:

and The Articles:

Busy Day... work yesterday so I did not get the chance to post. Got home late, so am in kind of a hurry now. Posting later.

All the best,

Monday, August 18, 2008

THE GUN COUNTER... a brand new gun forum the home page of which can be found at this ink:

I hope you visit it as often as I plan to do, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I expect I will enjoy it. The Gun Counter is run by some really nice and good folks, and I am pretty sure it will be a success. I wish them all the luck in the world with it.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What A Meal - A Thousand Crickets

Well that is what I bought today for the baby Bearded Dragons; but for me and the family (at least for Brendan and I because we were the only ones who ate supper) it was grilled steak.

I sprinkled the steaks with a good dusting of garlic powder, and a dash or two of salt, then grilled them to just about perfection, then smothered them in Peter Lugar's special sauce and some BBQ sauce too, then grilled a few more minutes on each side until they were perfect. Before throwing them on the plates, I also took some Italian Bread, toasted on the grill. Once the steak was ready, I took the bread, threw it on the plate next to the steak, and smothered it with my own concoction of a couple of teaspoons of vinegar (both Cider and White), a tablespoon of olive oil, about 1/34 tsp of garlic powder, salt to taste, a few leave of fresh and finely minced basil, diced yellow, red plum, and cherry tomatoes, some onion flakes, a diced sweet banana pepper, along with half of a diced jalapeno pepper - and man was that delicious. The peppers, tomatoes and basil were all from our garden. Of course we also had sides of my wife's homemade macaroni, and three bean salads. Truly an enjoyable repast, maybe especially since I washed it all down with a lemonade spiked with a couple of ounces of vodka. Followed that all up with a few chunks of cantaloupe. Man it was ever so good; and I am truly satiated.

The meal was made even better because it was absolutely beautiful outside today; it was probably about 80 or so when we sat down to eat, and there was a slight breeze to keep it extra nice for us under our Dogwood and Mulberry trees, and under absolutely clear blue skies. While the ladies did not eat, they just got back from a shopping trip and had eaten out,Celina treated Linda; their company at the supper table was well appreciated. It was nice to have all four of us together for a meal for a change.

Now that I am well stuffed and happy, hopefully I will not fall asleep before I figure out something else to blog about for this evening. But if I do nod off, I promise to dream about something to blog about tomorrow.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, August 15, 2008

VP Running Mates For John McCain - Ballseye's Short List

Yeah I know, I have slammed McCain on his recent choices for consideration as his running mate for the November election while at the same time not offering up any name of potential running mates I think he should consider. Well there are quite a few I can think of, but only very few one whom I will suggest. Now because of my position as a federal agent, I am forbidden by law from campaigning for a candidate. Yet I can express my opinion of them, and therefore can express my opinion about whom I think should be in the running, so here goes:

Condoleeza Rice - For some reason she does not want to run, at least did not want to run for the presidency, but I for one only can hope (and write emails expressing my hope to John McCain and the Republican Party) she would run for the vice presidency by McCain's side.

What are the qualities that I believe make her a good potential candidate for the vice presidency? First of all, she is fairly conservative, this alone makes her a much better choice than some of the names the McCain campaign has dangled in front of our faces recently. In fact, she used to be a registered Democrat, then she changed her political affiliation to that of the Republican Party when she experienced the racism that is enmeshed in Democrat Party, and after she fell out with the politics of that party because of the actions of then President Jimmy Carter. In other words, she matured politically, she grew up and became a responsible adult as opposed to a whining leftist.

She is an intelligent and well educated woman, and her through her education she has geared herself toward a lifetime dedicated to politics and diplomacy. Her BA degree was in Political Science. Her Master's Degree likewise. Her PhD in the same major. Her dissertation was done on military policy and politics in then Czechoslovakia. Her career has included university teaching at Stanford, where she specialized in teaching about the Soviet Union.

During the Reagan presidency, Dr. Rice served as Special Assistant Director to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1989 when George H.W. Bush was elected to the presidency, Rice was asked by National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft to become his expert on the Soviet Union. Under George H.W. Bush, she served as Director of Soviet and Eastern European Affairs in the National Security Counsel. This was no small task as this was at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In the early 1990s, Rice became an advisor to Chevron Oil at that time at the urging of George P. Schultz. She was so successful in help Chevron accomplish a huge deal in the Soviet Union that they later named a super tanker in her honor. At the same time, she went back to and continued working for Stanford University so as not to lose tenure. While at Stanford she was recommenced to replace the outgoing university president. While she was not selected for that position, the new president of Stanford picked her to become the Provost of Stanford - in other words to become it chief financial and business officer. So as she rolled along in her career she not only showed great promise in the political arena, but also gained experience in the business world. This was in about 1993. When she took the position of Provost, Stanford was running a $20 million budget deficit. She promised to balance the school's budget within 2 years - something that many believed was impossible to ever accomplish. Well she said she would do it, and that is what she did. The budget was not only balanced within 2 years, but the school had over a $14 million surplus for the firs time ever. While there at Stanford acting as provost she also broke from tradition and did not use affirmative action in tenure decisions.

Throughout the rest of the 1990s she continued to teach at Stanford, and also continued to work in the public sector as a national security advisor regarding mainly the former Soviet Bloc. In 2000, Dr. Rice became the foreign policy advisor of George W. Bush. Late in 2000, Dr. Rice was selected to become President Bush's National Security Advisor, she was the first woman to hold this post. She was dubbed Warrior Princess because of her ability to act demurely while at the same time remaining steadfastly resolute and having nerves of steel. Does 'Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick' have any similarity to this type of attitude. At this appointment, she departed from her position at Stanford, and she dedicated herself 100% to the United States of America.

Can you imagine that, a former democrat, a woman, an African American saying no to affirmative action! Are you beginning to see the picture. This person is a self made success story, one with the smarts, and the education, and so far some of the experience needed to become president, let alone vice president. Since being so appointed she has supported the war in Afghanistan, has supported the war in Iraq, has remained loyal to President Bush, and to America, has remained in office and has upheld her political and career convictions (as opposed to others like Colin Powell who turned tail and ran at the first sign of turbulence in the White House). She has not always made the right decisions, many have been faulted such as those about believing Iraq had WMD. Yet those decisions were based upon faulty intelligence and were believed by all involved across party lines at the time. The fact is that she recovered, and did not turn tail and cut herself away from the Bush administration, but instead remained there to make the best of what otherwise could have been a much worse situation.

In 2005, Dr. Rice became the first African American Woman, the second African American, and the second woman to hold that position. She believes in supporting basic human rights for all people, and in that regard she has been and remains a proponent of Democratic forms of government, and this is nowhere less obvious than in the Middle East. She is also a brave woman. She has repeatedly traveled to dangerous hot spots around spreading diplomacy as Secretary of State. It seems she is living up to the moniker of Warrior Princess. While in service of our nation she has visited over 70 countries. This includes repeated visits to Afghanistan and Iraq (where indeed she has visited the troops), and recently to war torn Georgia. She is also a strong supporter of the war on terrorism.

She is no stranger to domestic issues. She has a stance on abortion that would make some on the far right cringe, but my bet is that the middle of the road republican, even those middle of the road democrats, would find her stance reasonable. While she is opposed to late term and partial birth abortion, she does not believe government should play the role in the abortion issue that it has played. She is opposed to federal funding of abortion. She has called herself: "mildly pro-choice" but yet she has also said this in relation to abortion: "...we have to respect the culture of life and we have to try and bring people to have respect for it and make this as rare a circumstance as possible..."

Condoleeza Rice is no stranger to foreign policy. She is an accomplished executive officer with much experience as one. She geared her education toward politics not toward a law degree as do many politicians. She is and has been a member of the Republican and Democratic parties, and therefore has first hand experience with those from both sides of the aisle as she was at one time or another on each of those sides. She is tenacious at getting done what needs to be done. She is loyal. She is soft spoken, and tries the diplomatic approach; but she is ready to shut up and put up when need be, and if that means a fight to protect our interests, she is willing.

In 2004, Forbes magazine called her the most powerful woman in the world. In 2007, while speaking to a group of school children she was asked how it felt to be so powerful. She replied: "Sometimes you don't feel all that powerful."

Yes, she would be my number one suggestion to John McCain as to whom to consider for his running mate. She is number one on the Ballseye short list of ice presidential nominees for the Republican Party. As a matter of fact, the more I think of it, the sadder it is that she also told those same school children she would not run for the presidency. Too bad, she would have beaten all of the competition hands down from what I can tell. She is certainly the most qualified person to become a presidential or vice presidential candidate that I have seen in decades. If only the claim in
this article was true. One can hope though, and I still hope that McCain comes to his senses and look to her.

There is a lot more to her than I have written abut above. Go to my sources, find your own sources, read up on her. I think you will agree she is vice presidential material at the very east; and if she serves as vice president my guess would be she would also serve as a future president of these United States.

I will put my money where my mouth is regarding the above. Should Senator McCain choose Secretary Rice as his running mate, I will make the largest political contribution I have ever made to his campaign, and it will be sizable for me as allowed by law. Not only do I envision McCain as a winner with Rice by his side, but I believe that with her as VP we as Americans would all be winners. I would vote for McCain if he chooses Rice. If he chooses Lieberman or Ridge, he can forget about my vote. As for you, make up your own mind, cast your ballot for whom you want, but please try to do so wisely after having given it some serious consideration.

All the best,
Glenn B

References: (much of the above info came from this article)

The Glock 26 Hole In My Pocket

Well all I can say is that somehow the almost $600 I needed to purchase the Glock 26 smoldered slowly enough inside my pocket to actually only burn a hole in it once the paperwork was signed by my supervisor. In other words, I made it to the post office, without spending a dime of that money elsewhere, and then bought the postal money order for $545.56. That price covers the purchase of a new Glock 26, one extra magazine, Tritium Night Sights,, shipping and sales tax. I mailed out the money order minutes after I purchased it. So the check, so to speak, is in the mail. Now I have to remember to contact Glock tell them my money order is on the way, and then tell them I forgot to mention in the order that I would like the 5 pound trigger pull, not the 8 pound.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, August 14, 2008

McCain Considering Tom Ridge For Running Mate

Here it is right off of the home page:

"McCain floats the prospect of choosing a running mate who supports abortion rights, saying former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge is someone worth considering."

Please tell me he is only kidding. Tom Ridge is, in my opinion, a less than desirable candidate. Tom Ridge was an early appointee to be Secretary for Homeland Security. He, in my opinion, totally destroyed what was one of the best long term anti-money laundering investigations in world history by taking away from U.S. Customs Agents, soon to become ICE agents, virtually all authority to investigate any money laundering offense related to terrorism. U.S. Customs Special Agents had seized tens of millions of dollars from suspected and known terrorists supporters, and from terrorists themselves. Ridge took that authority away from these agents, gave it to the FBI, and the FBI in essence dropped the ball and the investigation. After that, the Customs Agents who were then assimilated in Immigration and Customs Enforcement under DHS were not even allowed to ever again use the name of the operation that they had made such a success. Ridge reportedly gave it all away by agreeing to and signing a memorandum of understanding with the FBI, an agreement mind you that took away an awful lot of authority from the newly formed DHS, specifically from ICE and gave it to the FBI. Can you imagine the DHS not being allowed to investigate terrorism unless they first checked in with the FBI to see if the FBI wanted dibs on the case. Why have a Department of Homeland Security in the first palce? As far as I could see from where I sat, the rest of his time in command of DHS wrought similar tragedies. This man did not even know how to run a department like DHS in a well oiled manner, now McCain is considering him for his VP running mate!

If it were not so sad when it comes to the possible running mates whom McCain is considering it would be laughable. Still though, I imagine this man would be a better choice than would be Lieberman, Then again but let's get serious, and hope that so too does McCain. If you don't start writing to the McCain campaign telling him to choose a better running mate than those he has been considering then we will get a much less than desirable man as VP if they win - and it will be your fault as much as McCain's. You can shape whom he picks, write to him, tell him to consider someone with a sterling reputation, and someone who knows how to get the job done the right way, someone who stands for Republican ethics and ideals. Don't you get it - you are the voters. You should be telling him what type of running mate to select, not him telling us. Let's hope McCain gets it before it is too late; and the only way he will get it is if you start hammering away at the keyboard and sending him emails and letters telling him to look 'right' for his running mate. Well that's my opinion anyhow. It is up to you as the voters to act.

All the best,

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hi Rita!

If you all don't know, Rita from The Jungle Hut has just moved down to Paraguay. I am pretty sure that this hit on my site was her checking on my blog. I mean, it's not like I know anyne else down at that end of the world who suddenly decided to check out my rants!

So, I just wanted to take a moment here on my blog to wish Rita and her family a safe, happy and rewarding time in their new home and with their new ministry in Paraguay.

All the best,

Glenn B

I Will Write To McCain - I Hope To Help Put An End To This Now

McCain is, in my opinion, considering ruining the Republican Party and all for which it has stood and for which it stands with his consideration of Lieberman for a running mate. I hit on this days ago here, and I will pull my support for McCain and for all other Republicans this election day if he chooses an ultra liberal Democrat like Lieberman as his running mate. I do not care if that means Obama wins. You see even if McCain wins with Lieberman, the Republican Party will have been devastated and so will the United States of America just as soundly as if Obama wins. The Republican Party had best wake up to the fact that it has a base of voters who will not stand for mavericks who go completely over to the dark side. If that means letting Obama win, so be it.

I had thought McCain had backbone, and respect for many of the more conservative issues, but if he picks Lieberman he will have shown us otherwise. It will have show us a truly bizarre side to him - his liberal Democrat side. I am going to write to his campaign now, and write to the GOP now. I am going to protest the fact that he has even gone as far as to simply consider Lieberman. I will tell them my money stops coming in if he chooses Lieberman. If many people do just that, well I imagine then you could just watch how fast he deselects him from consideration.

If you are not convinced that you may need to do something about this, look at this quote from the above linked article:

""Conservatives would be p---ed as hell - I think you would have a revolt, but sometimes John does what John wants to do," the adviser said."

Well how about Senator McCain doing what the Republican voters want him to do? Isn't it us whom he is supposed to represent! It is about time he started representing we Republicans, and not giving in to his tendency to have a fit and then placate himself in whatever manner he chooses to further spoil himself rotten all so he can be a maverick. He ran as a Republican, now let him start acting like one; and this is coming from me who is only a fairly moderate conservative at that. I think that if others do not wake up to see the devastation a vice president like Lieberman would bring to the Republican ticket and Republican Party, well then the Republican Party is lost as are many of the Republican Ideals upon which said party once stood. You see, it cannot be victory at any cost because once we win at any cost we give up our ideals. When we do that in an ideological contest, such as is a political election, we have defeated ourselves win, lose or draw. It is exactly what I believe McCain is now considering in order to come out on top in the election. Shame on him, he will not be worthy of at least my vote if he does so.

All the best,
Glenn B

Mossberg M-44 U.S. - Why Did These Have To Go On Sale Now?

That is as in now when I have just put together the cash to buy a Glock 26 direct from Glock? The temptation is almost overwhelming to buy two of the Mossbergs instead of the Glock 26, and about the only factor that keeps me from doing so is the fact that when I retire next year (and it looks like the end of next year, or the first 2 days of January 2010, for sure) I will probably have a hard time again ever purchasing a pistol being that I live in the godforsaken, and Schumerite -Clintonite plagued state of NY. Yes the idea of buying two of these is still quite tempting even though, or maybe because, I already own one of them. The Mossberg M-44 U.S. is just one heck of a nice rifle. Gosh-darn the CMP's lousy timing on this one, and for getting me all worked up like this! (By the way if you just clicked on the CMP link, and have been to the CMP before, you will notice the new look of their website. Bookmark it, it is also a new web address.)

The M-44 I bought from the CMP (pictured) was my first purchase from them. Heck I think it may have been my only purchase from them so far. It was well worth whatever I paid for it, and I am pretty sure it was under the current selling price they have now of $175 plus shipping of $22.95. If you want one of these, and I highly recommend them, you need to follow the CMP rules for a purchase, and that means among other things that you must be a member of a CMP affiliated club (as in an affiliated rifle or pistol club). You also have to prove you are 18 or older, and that you are a United States Citizen (imagine that you actually need to be a citizen - I like it). You also need to prove that you have had marksmanship or other firearms experience.

The Mossberg M-44 U.S. is a bolt action rifle chambered for the .22 round. It will, if I remember right, accept .22 Short, .22 Long, and .22 Long Rifle rounds. It is a hefty .22 rifle coming in at just over 8 pounds, and having a length of about 43 inches. They load from a 7 round box magazine; however, the magazines do not come with the rifle - though they are available for separate purchase. As with mine, the ones they now have for sale are pretty old. I think they were manufactured in the 1940s. They used a plastic trigger guard, and many of those have shrunken and cracked with age (replacements are available commercially). Otherwise they are supposed to be in pretty good shape. If mine, the one I bought a few years ago, is any indication, then I have to say the CMP assigned grade of NRA Very Good is an understatement. Mine was in Fine to Excellent condition with Parkerized finish on the metal and an oil stain on the wood. The rear sight currently coming with them is a Mossberg peep sight, and the front sight appears to be a post variety (as is on mine).

I have seen these same rifles sell at well over $400 apiece. Hmm, did I say I was considering buying 2 of them (darn that thing with the Glock 26, gosh darn the CMP's timing on this). I have to imagine that these will sell out with a few months at most, they are in limited supply. Oh well, now you know about them, and maybe you will be able to do something nice for yourself and pick one of these up. If you are willing to take a tip from a guy called Ballseye, then go ahead splurge on yourself, because in my estimation they are well worth every penny.

All the best,
Glenn B