Monday, July 30, 2012

Northeast Bloggershoot Approaching Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

Wow, only 11 days and a wake-up and I'll be on the road up to New Hampshire for the Bloggershoot. I am driving up that way on August 11th and the shoot is on the 12th. Folks will be staying at hotels in NH. As for the shoot location, I do not know where that is going to be. Either in NH or MA but the location is supersekrit, so sekrit that attendees like me do not know yet. Since the blogger/shooters will be meeting up at a rib joint, the night before the event, I guess I'll be getting directions then. I probably was already told about the actual location and how to get there but I'll be darned if I remember. The info may have been saved on my old laptop but as we all know, that went belly up weeks ago. Oh well, I am confident I will get the directions from Jay, over at MArooned, before I take off on the trip.

I almost cannot wait for the day to arrive. I am thinking of bringing a few pistols like my Remington 45, a Beretta 92FS, and maybe my Beretta 70S and my Ortgies. Then there are the long guns to consider. Thinking of lugging along my Remington 870, the Marlin 336, a Nagant or two, maybe my AK or Yugo SKS, and my Yugo Mauser. Who knows, maybe I'll bring along a rimfire rifle also. I have some thinking to do in that regard, some gun cleaning too once I decide which ones to drag along. I don't want to bring too many of them; I would hate to be stopped by a cop for anything and have him search the vehicle finding all those guns. Imagine, with the recent psycho shootings, what might transpire then if the cops do not believe I am going to a friendly bloggershoot.

Whatever, I am sure to bring along  some guns that will be fun to shoot. If Brendan can also make it, that will be great. I am sure he would bring at least one of his ARs and probably his Mossberg 500 shotgun. It promises to be a fun weekend, especially if Brendan can make it.

All the best,
Glenn B

My Black Cloud Takes A Holiday (or: The Surprise Of The Sealed Ammunition Spam Can Opener)

I don't know exactly what happened to my black cloud lately, it seems to be allowing in some sunshine. Maybe it has something truly nefarious planned for me and is giving me a break until it unleashes that storm upon me but I am enjoying the sunshine that has been getting through in my life lately. No, I have not won the lottery, have not had my horse cross the finish line first against great odds, have not inherited My Fortune (not even the one Ralph Kramden got in The Honeymooners), I have not found a great paying second career job, nor have I found a hot young girlfriend with lots of money who is just looking to please me. My rays of sunshine have been coming down on me in little bits for the most part and in some full sunny and gorgeous days - so to speak..

I have not had any bad news from my doctors lately (which really is a big ray of sunshine after the cancer). Other than that, most of my sunshine, or luck, has come in little things but nice things. For instance, after my brother passed away, my sister-in-law let Brendan and me take some things of his as remembrances when we visited her. I got a knife that I gave him years ago, an old Schrade sheath knife that was made in the USA. Brendan spotted a bayonet and asked if he could have that. He now owns a Fiskars m27 bayonet, a fairly amazing WWII militaria find among my brother's belongings for sure. I also recently sent a shotgun to Browning for repair, the repair turned out to be a minor one and cost me nothing except the shipping charge to the factory, add to that that the job was finished ahead of schedule and yep that made for some sunshine in my life. Then there is the fact that when I just checked, on my Priority Club account, to see if there was a Holiday Inn up in New Hampshire, close to the upcoming Northeast Bloggershoot, not only did I find a convenient hotel, but was able to book the kind of room I wanted and I had enough Priority Points to get it for free with enough left over for an additional night if I desire.

I also recently placed an order with for some ammo. I had just about given up on them after a disagreement about a previous batch of ammo I got from them which they, I think, had falsely advertised on their website by showing it as very different than what it was when I received it. Same ammo as advertised just that the quality control on it has gone down markedly and some manufacturing techniques had obviously changed on it but they showed it the old way. Used to be sealed military style ammo, now no longer sealed and so on but they showed pics ofit as sealed. I got a nasty gram from the when  complained and was going to drop them as an ammo supplier but their prices could not be beat and sometimes you have to go with the principal of being able to afford ammo, to have enough on hand, as a priority over other principles such as that of good customer service. As I said, I tried them again. I received the ammo today and not only was it left in a ray of sunshine on my front stoop but the ammo gods must have been smiling down to me too because something in the advertisement picture, that I did not expect to get, came with the ammo.

You see, the tin Spam-like can of 640 rounds of Tulammo 7.62x39 ammo that I ordered was actually delivered inside a sealed cardboard box. Inside that box was the expected Spam type ammo can and something a little extra. That little bit extra was a very unexpected (but highly hoped for and often sought after) Russian, ammo can opener! It used to be, when military surplus ammo was shipped in Spam type cans, an opener would be included within each ammo case. An ammo case contained two (2) ammo cans, thus there was one opener for each two cans. This military surplus ammo, in the particular types of cans to which I refer, came from the USSR or Eastern Bloc nations. When the milsurp ammo was sold by online dealers, here in the USA, it was often sold by the individual can. If you were lucky, they sent you the opener with your order of a single can, if unlucky then you were the guy who got the can without the opener. Sometimes, dealers also would not send out the openers with an ammo order at all but collected them, then offered the openers for sale at an outrageous price. The openers were none to easy to come by.

Last time I got one of the openers was when I bought a can of 7.62x54R at a gun show in Philly over ten (10) years ago! You can safely bet, I have ordered my fair share of Eastern Bloc ammo in sealed cans since then. I just was never lucky enough to get another can opener with those orders and, as my luck would have it, I threw out or lost the old one before ever realizing how tough they would prove to get. Well, now I have one. I will not have to resort to other methods to open my Russian ammo cans since the current manufacturer was good enough to include an opener along with a single ammo can. What a nice touch on the part of Tulammo. Hopefully the ammo will be up to decent manufacturing standards and will hit that at which we are shooting and will feed, go bang, extract and eject without problems. I have heard pretty good things about this budget ammo and finding the ammo can opener in the box makes me think the ammo will be okay.

Of course, if you are not lucky enough to have one of the can openers, and need to open one of the Spam type ammo cans, there are ways to do it. I have seen people use: a hammer and chisel, a big strong bladed knife, a pry bar, a pair of tin snips, and a hammer and screwdriver. The method that seemingly worked the best and seemed easiest was the hammer and screwdriver method. You can view that here:

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kim Rhode Shoots Gold

Kim Rhode not only won the gold medal in the women's Skeet Shooting event at the London Olympics today but she also has become the first American to ever win a medal in five consecutive Olympics. Her having won medals at 5 consecutive Olympics also makes her only the fifth person in the world to have done so. At age 33, she now has earned three golds, one silver and one bronze; her first gold medal was won when she was only 17 years old.

In achieving her victory today she broke the Olympic skeet shooting record, and tied the world record, hitting 99 of 100 targets. She did it in the wind and pouring rain too, that is until the sun came out during the final stage of her event. She is truly a world class athlete and I am proud to say that she is a fellow American and an American citizen who exercises her right to keep and bear arms and who enjoys shooting them too.

Kimberly Rhode (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)For more on her story, she the articles at these links, each tells something different about her, making all worth reading:

Kim Rhode may have a long Olympic career ahead of her. The oldest person to ever medal in the Olympics, in a sporting event, was a 72 year old Swede, Oscar Gomer Swahn, in 1920.He won silver that year. In fact, Swahn is also the oldest to have ever won a gold medal, he won gold at age 64.  He competed in three Olympics - the 1908, 1912 and 1920 summer games. Each time he competed, he did so with and possibly against his son Alfred, who also won bronze, silver and gold medals. Guess in what sport they did that. Yep, it was in shooting! So, at age 33, Kim Rhode is still a youngster in the shooting sports. I wish Kim Rhode all the best - long may she medal!

I wonder what type of shotgun she shoots? I am sure it is not a Remington 870! I mention the Remington 870 because, as coincidence would have it, earlier today in my post immediately prior to this one, I wrote about the 870.

All the best,
Glenn B

Remington 870 Shotguns - I Am Definitely Biased Toward The 870 When It Comes To Shotguns

It used to be that there was one shotgun in my household, the Remington model 870. It was the same brand and pretty much the same model as the ones I had been issued at work in my jobs with the Border Patrol, Customs Patrol, then as a Customs Agent and finally also as an agent in DHS. As for the shotguns I was issued at work, like the ones I had bought for use across the board as home defense, hunting and fun shooting guns, they were all Remington model 870s. There are 4 shotguns in my household now but none that I like as much as the 870.

Throughout my time as a government LEO, I changed and so too did the shotguns I was issued. Not big changes (except maybe for my weight) but changes indeed. Perhaps, the changes the 870 went through over the years, since I bought my first one back in the early 1980s were not all that significant to most shooters but they made quite the difference to me and because of those changes I prefer the somewhat older versions to the newer. My biggest point of dissatisfaction with the newer ones is that Remington did away with part number 45, the magazine spring retainer. There were other changes that came along with over the years but none so annoying as that one which allows the magazine spring to pop out each time you disassemble the gun for a good cleaning or to change the barrel. Still though, if my older 870 ever needed replacement, I am pretty sure it would be with a new 870; I just like them that much.

The Remington 870 is a versatile gun that comes in a good amount of model variations, some of those variations being utilitarian and others merely cosmetic. You can see the different variations here:

While all 870s are pump action shotguns the differences among the 870 can be fairly significant. Some are geared toward tactical use, others toward turkey hunting or waterfowl hunting and yet others toward deer hunting and still others toward trap shooting. Some come with a magnum chamber and can take 3" shells, others only 23/4"shells. They come with a variety of barrels and stocks too. You can get them with black or camo synthetic stocks or with subdued finished wood or with American Walnut stocks with a high gloss finish. They even have a nickel plated marine version. There is a pretty wide price range on them, the Express version has a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of about $411.00.  The Remington 870 Wingmaster Classic Trap has an MSRP of $1081.00. There are lots of different prices on the various versions that fall between those two.

The one I originally owned, that I bought way back when I was a Border Patrol Agent was a Remington 870 Wingmaster with American Walnut stocks and a high gloss finish. It was a nice gun, one I wish I had never sold. The one I bought, to make up for selling that one and to refill the niche left by its absence, was a Remington 870 Express Combo. That version has changed some over the years. Mine is a 12 gauge (you can also get them in 20 gauge) and came with a 2 3/4" chamber (some have magnum chambers and accept 3 or 3 1/2" shells, mine does not), a dull non-reflective matte finish on the metal, wood stocks (dull finish), and two barrels - a 2" improved choke deer barrel with rifled sights (smooth bore) and a 28" vent ribbed barrel with interchangeable choke capability and a single choke. Today the deer barrel, of the newer 870 Express Combo is rifled and the larger barrel has been shortened from 28" to 26". I am going to guess that I bought my second 870 in about 1987. I think it was within a year of me getting married and selling the Wingmaster. It did not take me all that long to realize that selling the other 870 had been a mistake; yet, it was too long - I never would have sold the Wingmaster if I had realized soon enough what a mistake it would be. Oh well, live and learn.

As I said, there are 4 shotguns in my household right now (actually 5 but one is a wall hanger) and of them all I prefer the 870. The others are a New England Pardner 12 gauge single shot, my son's Mossberg 500 with pistol grip and no shoulder stock, A Browning Citori Lightning O/U - all of those in 12 gauge. There is also the wall hanger which is an Iver Johnson Hercules Grade 16 gauge SxS. I have also fired other shotguns than those I have owned. They have included Mossberg pumps, an Iver Johnson SxS, various Remington, Winchester, Franchi, and Benelli semi-autos and so on, and some other single shot shotguns and even a bolt action shotgun (cannot recall the make). None of those others have ever made me feel confident enough to use any of those other guns as a one gun for all situations for hunting, target shooting and self defense - only the Remington 870 has been the gun that has covered all of those for me and that continues to do so today. Sure, I will use others for hunting or others for target shooting or maybe even another for personal defense (if I am forced to do so in an emergency and the 870 is not there) but I have never found a shotgun as reliable and as versatile as the 870.

In all the years that I have owned my current 870, which is about 25 years now, I have never had any problems with it, that I can remember that required fixing. Yes, there was the time that I forgot to screw the end cap back onto the magazine, when I took a shot at a goose, then watched my part45 and the magazine spring sale through the air about half way across a pond until they splashed down to be lost in the depths but that was shooter error. Nothing on the gun has ever broken. That is fairly amazing when you consider modern manufacturing standards- which for the most part mean you are buying junk today. It just is not true with the 870, or at least was not the case in the 1980 when they made mine nor was it true of those I used at work up until a few years back. It is an excellent gun and I say that after having put mine, and some at work, through their own personal hell. 

As for my own Remington 870 Express Combo, I have I have taken it on hunting trips, camping trips, and hiking trips. I have brought it along, as my long arm of choice, on tens, if not, hundreds of law enforcement operations. (While in Customs, I was, for years, allowed to qualify with and carry my personally owned 870.) I have had it bouncing around in the trunks of cars, in the backs of SUVs, have traveled with it in my luggage by air a few to several times, have dropped it down a flight of stairs, have fallen on it while hiking/hunting (bending the screw that holds the stock in place, only to straighten it out and reuse it). I have scratched it and dinged it (refinished the stocks too) and just used and shot the heck out of it. I have literally fired at least 5,000 rounds of slugs through mine, probably much closer to double that, and lord knows how many thousands of rounds of buckshot and numbers 6, 7, 8 & 9 shot. Then there is the shooting my son has done with it. Yet, it still shoots as good as the day I bought it and seemingly is just as reliable now as it was back then. I wish my shoulder could have taken that beating just as well as did the shotgun. (My doctors could readily confirm that my right shoulder did not hold up as well to all those 12 gauge slug and buckshot rounds. I affirm the gun stood up to them much better than did I.) Once, while at the range, the primary firearms instructor ran it over with a van. We all thought, for sure, that it had been ruined but it was undamaged as far as we could tell when we inspected it and as far as I could tell in all the years of shooting it since then. Thank goodness the van did not run over my shoulder! I have taken deer, squirrels, and game birds with it, shot holes into lots of paper targets with it, and countless clays and metal silhouettes have fallen to it. My 870 certainly has taken a beating and just keeps on functioning and shooting as reliably as it did 25 years ago. 

Now, while I hope someone at Remington reads this and sends me some free stuff - like maybe a new 870 in a magnum chambering, I know it isn't gunna happen. To tell the truth though, such a hope is not why I wrote this piece. The truth is, I wrote this because the Remington 870, at least the many with which I have had experience - especially my own Remington 870 Express Combo, is simply an amazingly reliable and versatile workhorse of a gun.

All the best,
Glenn B

The Best Thing Obama Could Do For America (political humor)

One night, President Obama is tossing restlessly in his White House bed. He awakens to see George Washington standing by him. Barack asks him, "George, what's the best thing I can do to help the country?"

"Set an honest and honorable example, just as I did," Washington advises, then fades away.

The next night, Obama is astir again, and sees the ghost of Thomas Jefferson moving through the darkened bedroom. Obama calls out, "Tom, please! What is the best thing I could do to help the country?"

"Respect the Constitution, like I did," Jefferson advises, and dims from sight.

Barack isn't sleeping well the third night when he sees another figure moving  in the shadows. It is Abraham Lincoln's ghost. "Abe, what is the best thing I can do right now, to help the country?" Obama pleads.

Abe replies, "Go see a play."

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, July 27, 2012

NE Bloggershoot Ammo Order Has Been Shipped

Here I am am, using my son's computer because I do not have enough money to buy myself a replacement for my laptop that went belly up a couple of weeks ago. I have been saving for a new one. Well, I have been trying to save anyhow. It has not been easy since my pension was still not finalized and only coming in as partial payments. It will be easier to get some money saved up soon though because  the federal Office of Personnel Management has finally gotten it figured out or so they told me. I should get my first full payment on August1st.

Once I got that news, I was so ecstatic that I did something a bit impulsive, I ordered a can of 640 rounds of Tulammo brand 7.62x39 122grain HP ammo. I also ordered 500 rounds of  PMC X-TAC 5.56x45 mm, 62 - gr. FMJ M855 Ammo. With the 2012 NE Bloggershoot coming up in early August, I figured I could use some ammo for my AK and then figured that if Brendan comes along, we could use some ammo for his ARs too.

Had I not been informed that my pension had be straightened out, and had OPM not already deposited a lump sum to my bank account, to make up for what they shorted me for the past 8 months, and had I not been working at my part time job getting a little extra (well it will now be extra since my pension is at its full amount), I would not have bought this ammo.I sort of I figured, what the heck, the computer can wait another week or two, and I can really use the ammo in the near future. Then again, now that  I think of it,  I could have been using a new computer right now. Oh well, I will just have to wait a bit more for a new laptop. It will not be all that long, I think, since the monthly pension increase is just under a grand net. That should make getting by and buying a new laptop a whole lot easier.

When I think of it though, I guess my order of preference for the items I needed/wanted comes as no surprise, at least not to me. Even though I sorely miss having a laptop for daily use, I just figured the ammo was the more pressing and practical buy at the moment. I felt that way even though I have a fair amount of both of those calibers in my ammo locker. I guess it is just that buying ammo before buying the computer shows some of my old fashioned priorities winning out over newfangled ones. After all, I have been shooting since I was about 8 and only computing on work computers since I was about 24 and on personally owned computers since about 12 or so years ago. Besides that, I think if an ammo shortage pops up again, or if prices increase,  because of anti-gun sentiment and bad politics, international treaties, another wear causing another shortage again, I will be happy to have some stockpiled. Yep, the computer can wait and I can use my son's a couple times a week while I wait; in return he can shoot up the ammo I bought for his ARs.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, July 24, 2012



Knuckledraggin My Life Away has been one of my favorite blogs for many months now. I discovered it, for myself, last year. I have been a fan ever since. So,I can tell you plainly, I was outright disappointed to go to that blog only to see this post: NO LONGER OPEN FOR BUSINESS. I immediately sent Wirecutter an email, and soon found out that so too had hundreds of other folks, all asking what was up with the blog closing down. For the most part, too much to do right now turned out to be the reason. I can only hope, as I would guess do all those who sent Kenny emails, that the blog will be resurrected in the not too distant future. That is one of the finest blogs I have read when it comes to patriotism, predator hunting and general BS. MILFY Mondays were not too shabby either. Hopefully Kenny is only on a brief hiatus.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Some Updates...

...are overdue!

First of all, I almost cannot believe that it has been about 10 days since my last blog post. Perhaps, time flies even when you are not having all that much fun, such as when without a computer. The being without a computer thing may soon be resolved as it seems my pension payments will increase markedly commencing with my August 1st payment. After 9 months, it seems they have finalized what I will be getting but, of course, that does not match what I was told, by my agency, that I would be getting before it went to the federal Office of Personnel Management. It appears they are possibly short changing me 8 to 9K annually. More figuring to be done, on their part, if thy cannot explain that sufficiently. The only explanation I readily will accept is that they reduced my pension by the amount necessary to pay for a spousal benefit in the event I precede the wife and that the reduction is done all at once and does not show up in the listed deductions in the monthly pension statement. If it was reduced for any other reason, they will be hearing from an attorney who will be representing me.

Anyway, I will be getting a sizable increase in my take home annuity payments and that should allow me to buy a new laptop sooner than later. Maybe by the first week of August. I hope so, I do miss my daily blog reading and blog posting. I am using my son's laptop right now.

Other things of note, in my life, at least for me, over the past 10 days are that:

Another family member has passed on. This one an aunt. Probably tied for my favorite aunt, on my father's side, when I was a kid but I had not seen her in years. Yet, I often saw my cousin, one of her sons, who works as a range officer with the agency from which I just retired almost 9 months ago. I am hoping that family deaths do not come in threes as they used to say that actor's deaths came on. My aunt passed, one week and one day after my brother.

I am still working, part time, as a security guard at the library. I have come to learn that the only reason a librarian is required to have a Master's Degree (at least here in NY) is because there was probably some conspiracy among academics and government officials to assure that college professors and the government would get more money by requiring applicants for the position of librarian to be licensed and to require a graduate degree to get that license. My opinion of it all - what a friggin farce. I think that a high school graduate with a 3 month librarian training program under the belt could probably do the work. If not a HS grad, then certainly someone with a Bachelors Degree, in something like advanced basket weaving, could do it successfully, from what I have seen. Yet, I will admit, a few of the librarians that I have met, where I work, surely seem to believe themselves to be purdy schmart - schmartar than the aVer-age bear (even than the above average bear) - and they seemingly like to let the rest of the bears know all about it. By the way, this is not a covert, implied, hinted, hidden attack on any librarians with whom I work or otherwise. It is simply my opinion of a few of them whom I have met on my job and my opinion of a Master's degree being a requirement for the position. Maybe there is something to them having to get a Master's degree, but it just seems to be something that I think should not be required to do the job of librarian. As for the rest of the librarians, which is most of them, they are all very nice folks.

Not much else has been going on for me. Certainly no other great changes, than the family losses and my pension amount increase, have taken place in the past 10 days or so.

Oh, I did get back the Browning Citori Lightning shotgun from Browning. I works just fine. Whatever was the minor repair they said they did seems just the right thing for them to have done. Nice experience with them and all at no charge to me except that for shipping the gun to them!

One other thing of note for me was that, yesterday, my daughter and her fiancée had their engagement party. Since they are getting married in St. Maarten, there will not be many who can attend the wedding, so they had sort of a pre-wedding wedding party. It was a smash hit. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, there was an open bar for 4 hours and the food was virtually all very good to excellent. Having to pay for half of it (the grooms parents paid the other half) was not so bad and in all honesty it was well worth it, that is seeing how much the two love birds and all the guests enjoyed themselves.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Longer We Live...

...the more loved ones we lose. On very early Tuesday morning, I lost my brother Raymond (Onkel Raymond to my kids). He was 61, would have been 62 had he made it until late next month. He suffered from COPD and emphysema for too long but had a loving and caring wife, Lorraine, who literally was with him right up until the end.We were not the closest of brothers but he was my brother, the only one I ever had or will ever have and I miss him already. Luckily, for me, my sister-in-law called me on Monday afternoon to let me know he had taken a turn for the worse and I got to stop by to see him on Monday evening. 

It is funny, in a coincidental sort of way, how sometimes people who are near death say things that seem to have been almost prophetic of their own passing.Well, at least they seem so when viewed in retrospect. For instance, during my visit, Ray told both Lorraine and I that he wanted both of us to go home because he wanted to sleep. Of course, Lorraine was already home since we were in Ray's and Lorraine's house, but now one gets the idea maybe he wanted to be alone because he knew that he was about to sleep his most peaceful sleep ever. When I saw him, I never would have guessed he would pass just a half hour or so into the next morning, just a few hours after I said goodbye.

At least he is not suffering now but he sure was suffering from his illnesses. He was a LONG time smoker, did not even give it up after a lobe of one of his lungs was removed, a few years back, due to an infection. If you are young and reading this, heed some words of good advice - don't smoke - or quit smoking if you already smoke.

Yesterday., my sister and I visited my mom. We broke the news to her and she took it better than I would have expected but she knew he had been ill, she even remembered that regardless of her dementia.

Today, Brendan and I visited Lorraine to help cheer her up and to, at her request, go through Ray's things to see if there was anything we would like, of his, as a reminder of him. I took a hunting knife that I gave him years ago and a fishing pole since we used to fish together years ago. The knife, was a Schrade Old Timer 150T (made in the USA). Brendan found a bayonet that Lorraine let him take and he also took a power drill (I am wondering why on that one but he liked it right away for whatever reason). As for the bayonet,  I wonder where that came from, may have already been in their house when they bought it, Raymond was not a collector of such things as far as I know. It is an m27 bayonet by Fiskars, quite the find. Probably not worth a lot due to condition but quite the wall hanger and an interesting relic indeed. See this page, a little less than half way down

I also spent some time cataloging his stuff so I can help Lorraine sell it. There were a lot of tools, a good amount of almost like new power tools among them, some fishing poles, other odds and ends and whatever. I still have a long way to go in that regard, more stuff to catalog, especially photographic items, then I have to figure a good asking price.Then, I suppose, a garage sale and or sales on EBay.

On Sunday, Lorraine is hosting a memorial luncheon to remember and celebrate his life. For those of us still here, life goes on, our turns to sleep, as peacefully as Ray, have not yet arrived.

All the best,
Glenn B
(written on Brendan's laptop, I am still computer-less and apparently will be for awhile, so do not expect more than a few blog posts a week at best)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

In Memorium - Ernest Borgnine

I just saw that Ernest Borgnine has passed away at age 95. That is a tough piece of news for me to accept. He was truly a great actor from serious roles to downright belly laugh inducing wackiness, from drama to westerns to comedies to sci-fi - he was among the best of the best.
He will be missed, very much.

All the best,
Glenn B

Blog On Hiatus Until I Get A Computer

My laptop stated to smoke, 5t 5s n6w be33y 4*5nthe trash. So, I tried to hookup my desk top PC that has not been run in about 2 years. The noises it made were indicative of very expensive repairs on a machine that was at last 7 or 8 years old or so I seem to remember. That is next to the laptop in the trash. Both hard drives have been dealt with accordingly to protect my personal info that was on them. I am now posting this via my son's laptop to which I will have very limited access.

 In essence, except when I have bills to pay or doctors appointments to arrange, I am going to be computer-less until I can buy a new one. I do not want a piece of extremely underpowered junk and thus will be waiting until I can afford a decent one. That may be awhile. I am guessing that blogging will be spotty, at best, and maybe nothing at all, at worst, until I can afford a new computer.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Police Abuse of Authority - This Is One of The Reasons Cops Are Sometimes Called Pigs

I like to think of the words Pride, Integrity and Guts when I hear the term PIG used to describe cops. The sad truth though is that it is more often meant in the derogatory fashion and all too often it is deserved by the cop(s) at which the epithet is aimed.

For example, take the cops in the embedded video. I think a few of them could be referred to as pigs and certainly not in a nice way. When an officer goes out on an operation, like the execution of search and or arrest warrants, they are required to follow the rule of law and to follow departmental policies, procedures, rules and regulations. I strongly doubt that walking on a fully compliant arrest subject is within an officers realm of authority unless under the most unusual of circumstances. Those circumstances surely seem lacking in this example. I know I would have been severely disciplined had I ever done likewise when I was a LEO.

The same thing goes for destruction of property. It appears, to me, that two different men (reportedly thought to be police officers) in the embedded video decided to destroy video surveillance cameras that were set up, operating and recording (to an off site location) the raid while in progress. I can understand that the officers did not want to be recorded on video. This is often due to issues such as one or more being undercover operatives but again is something that is all to often due to the fact that the officers are doing something they should not be doing and they do not want it recorded. In fact, photographing or making videos of law enforcement officers is illegal in many locations (something I find preposterous) but even if illegal, it does not give law enforcement officers the right to destroy private property. All they had to do was cover the cameras which probably would have taken much less effort than at least one supposed officer seemed to exert while apparently destroying the camera.

Take a look and see what you think but make sure to keep your mouse pointer away from the video box so you will be able to see the full bottom of the video without the YouTube control panel blocking some of the view:

I think it would have been easy for the one officer to not have stepped on the evidently very compliant suspect. The next officer into the picture certainly makes what appears to be a successful effort not to step on the suspect and it looked pretty easy to accomplish. I think that the guy who appears to, and was alleged to, have walked on the suspect should lose his job, be prosecuted and be sued - but that is just my feeling not yet knowing all of the facts. I imagine there could be some logical and legitimate reason he had to walk on the suspect like that but I have to admit that reason is not coming to my mind right now and I have a hard time imagining that it ever will come to my mind after seeing that video.

As for the guys breaking the cameras, if they are police officers, I think they need much of the same as the cop who appears to have walked on the suspect. Job loss, prosecution for both destruction of property and abuse of power and a good stiff tort claim against them.

All the best,
Glenn B

Compilation Of Trick Shooting

Dave Holland, from Sporting Targets ltd, a reader from England, sent me the link to this YouTube video that the shooters among us will probably enjoy. I found it to be some pretty impressive shooting. I really liked how the guy shot his ejected shell casings but must admit that also looked a bit risky to me as far as the safety factor goes. The punt gun at the end was a big hit with me and with its target.

All the best,
Glenn B

Ammo Poll Closed

As you can see from the poll itself, there were 14 votes. Those among us who cache ammo, and who answered the  poll, have convinced me that we are mostly preparing for TEOTWAWKI, Zombie Apocalypse or another 4 years of the Obamessiah. What a bunch but then I am among them because that was my vote too.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4th - Ammo Poll About To Close

The ammo poll, on the right side of my blog, at the top of the red zone, is going to expire sometime today and it only has gotten 9 measly votes so far (changed from 8 to 9 as I was writing). It seems I am not cut out to be a pollster.

Regardless of my calling in life, this poll does have 9 replies so far and those favor the 4th and last poll choice over the only other one with votes, so far, by only one vote.

As it stands right now, in answer to the poll question: Will you shoot more and/or stock up on more ammo if ammunition prices fall?,choice 4:
I can always use another couple or few cases of each caliber I have so I'll be ready to survive the Apocalypse, TEOTWAWKI, a Zombie horde, or another 4 years of Obama. beating out choice 1:
I'll be buying lots more ammo and throwing lead downrange faster than the Lone Ranger could say "Hi-yo Silver - Away". only a single vote. Choices 2 and 3 have zero votes. And who says that his or her votes don't count! If you want to take a shot at this poll, I think Iset it to run until 11:59 PM tonight (not sure if that is east or west coast time but since the poll shows 15 hours left, as i write this, I am assuming it is west coast time).
All the best,
Glenn B

I Wish You A Happy Independence Day...

...but this year with a limitation. I limit my wish to those who strive to be independent from tyranny on all levels, who cherish their rights and who seek every liberty to exercise those rights while allowing others to do likewise. Screw guys like the barber who cut my hair yesterday who seemingly do not see it the same way.

Our conversation started with the usual greetings. Then I happened to mention that time has flown since my last haircut in December, when I got a buzz cut back (from him) when I had cancer (took a long time to grow enough for me to need a haircut), and I almost could not believe that July 4th was upon us. He said he remembered me being sick and when I told him I was now better, he wished me well. The conversation was a normal one for the barber shop.

All of a sudden though, it got a little warm in the barber chair when, I said it must be a sign of a bad economy that almost no one had been setting off fireworks over the past few days, as is normally done in anticipation of the 4th. Man did he get miffed, and told me he hates the 4th of July. I tried to suggest that the rockets and other nicely colored ones were nice, figuring he only did not like the loud ones. It only got him madder and he muttered something about his asshole neighbor (his sentiment, not mine, about his neighbor) He seemed pretty upset. I was pretty surprised that my barber would react like that but I figured, in for a penny in for a greenback, and I remarked that the founding fathers, such as Franklin, would shoot off guns on the 4th and that they hoped others always pretty much would do the same. Somewhere in there, the barber commented, through gritted teeth, that fireworks are only always about others people's liberties and he hates fireworks and the 4th. He also said something to the effect of, they're  all dead now but he wished some of the founding fathers were around today so he could kick their asses. Yikes, he was holding the scissors any my pistol was at home because after the barber I was going to go to my new job which I was pretty certain did not allow firearms on the premises. I was a bit shocked by his response to my seasonal conversation and I must say, it is none to easy to shock me. Maybe I should say it was not him or his reply that shocked me that much but what was shocking to me was my minds image of my barber marching with Occupy Wall Street. That was the image that popped up in my head right about then. 

Jerks like that (I refer to the barber, not the founding fathers) may not deserve what this country has to offer and certainly do not deserve my business or my hard earned cash. He evidently was pissed off for the duration of the rest of my haircut , anyway he put on a sour face for the rest of my time in the chair. Maybe he was just having a bad day or something but maybe he just swings lefty. He even seemed to get angrier when I said I did not want my beard trimmed. (I had just done that myself, down to almost nothing, so why trim it more.) Then he then insisted that clean shaved is the only way I should go. I started to get the impression that he really does not like liberty at all, I mean with with him going as far as angrily dictating my personal appearance to me. Maybe this was a different barber than the one I had know before but he sure looked like the same guy. I guess, I had hit a nerve.

Had it been another situation in which I found myself, I would have walked out and not paid but I was not about to leave with only half my head's worth of hair cut and with me needing to be on the new job in about an hour. So, I shut up and let him cut. He evidently got the message because he shut up too, that was a joy for me. I just sat there hoping he would get it done fast. He did do it quickly, much faster than ever before. I had enough time though to truly sit back and enjoy the beet red look on his face and all over his bald dome. It reminded me much of my plans for tonight as I enjoy watching the rockets' red glare and the cherry bombs bursting in air. While I got to see the colorful fireworks of his anger, I can assure you he will not see me nor the color of my money, not in his barber shop, ever again.

I truly despise sentiments like his seemed to be, especially when they appear to be anti-American. I say 'seemed to be because', as I said above, maybe he was having a bad day. The thing is though, it came out as anti-American as far as I am concerned. Sure, America allows for freedom of speech and all that, but I too am at liberty as to whom I listen. When in the chair, in the future, it will not be him. You see Mr. Barber, it is not all about everyone else's liberty. You were at liberty to moth off in a vulgar manner and to cause the loss to you of me as a customer and you did just that. I am at liberty to choose another barber, one I am hoping will choose, by way of his liberty, to be a bit more patriotic and at least a bit more respectful toward his customers. It is, after all, liberty for all.

As for the fireworks thing: I think that if you do not like fireworks, if they disturb you that much, then wear friggin ear plugs, or go away to Canada for the day, or bury your head up your asshole where it belongs, or just grin and bear it for a single day of each year. Fireworks on the 4th are part of our heritage and the 4th is the single day each year that we celebrate our Independence from tyranny. Is it too much to ask that we be at liberty to do it the way we choose and the way our forefathers had hoped we would do so!

Just a little tip for my Barber, before I close. If a customer brings up a topic that gets you pissed off, or one that otherwise is not your cup of tea (reference to the tyrannical English fully intended), why not wisely do what a good friend of mine once told me to do. Just ask: "How about them Yankees". It just may help you keep your customer base.

For those of you, who have not forgotten the significance of July 4th, who revel it the glory of it and what it has meant for our country,and who celebrate it (with or without fireworks or other boomers) I wish you a safe, happy, and healthy Independence Day.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, July 2, 2012

Anderson Cooper: 'I'm gay, always have been, always will be' - Was That Supposed To Surprise Or Interest Us

I have to ask, about Anderson Cooper's reported announcement telling the world that he is gay and always has been so: Is that supposed to be a surprise to anyone? Is there any reason in particular that he told the world what almost any intelligent adult who has ever seen him, in my opinion, most likely already took for granted? As I always saw him, he could not appear any gayer than he did before telling us. So why bother with the announcement!

Mr. Pooper Cooper, take your homosexuality and keep it to yourself and your homosexual friends because really now, most of the world, other than your fellow fudge-packers, do not want to hear about it. Just as we do not need to come out and admit we are heterosexual, you did not need to announce that you are homosexual, especially since it was rather obvious - don't ya think!

Sick of these announcements,
Glenn B

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Several Federal Air Marshals Reportedly Fired For Drinking On Duty

Like the former DEA agent in the news clip, I am guessing there must be something more to this than some air marshals having a beer at lunch. It just does not seem likely that they would be fired for that (at least if not probationary agents, probationary agents can kiss the job goodbye for that offense).

Thinking back, on older times in government service, when I was in U.S. Customs, I would estimate half of the Customs Service could have been fired in one day, and at least another 25% to 40% more the next day, had the rules been enforced that strictly back then.

All the best,
Glenn B

Shooting Tragedy Apparently Caused By Potential Darwin Award Winner

What a shame, a young life snuffed out at the moment it should have started shining it brightest. Why? Who can tell what would spark a teenager to play a game of Russian Roulette with his friends. Maybe he wanted to commit suicide and figured he could do it that way - making it look like a dumb move on his part to play the game. Maybe there were alcohol and drugs mixed with the gunpowder - it is a certainty they do not mix well. Maybe it was just a stupid decision. Whatever, his life is over and his parents or relatives will likely mourn for years to come. Senseless or so it seems.

Of course, because it seemingly was senseless, he may just win a Darwin award:

All the best,
Glenn B

Mr. Beer

My brother-in-law, the younger, gave me a Mr. Beer kit with a few extra cans of malt, probably well over a year ago. It must have been for Christmas 2010. It has sat in my basement all that time. Sure, I opened it, took a look, and figured I would brew some beer in no time. Well, no time turned into sometime, which grew to quite some time, and aged until it was a long time, and became almost ancient over a very long time. Finally it was time, well not yet to enjoy a beer but to start the process. I took it all out of the box this afternoon, read up on how to do it, and finally got it done - that is - at least the first part. Now the concoction, consisting of water, booster, hopped malt extract (man did that stink), and yeast, has to sit around in the plastic fermenting keg for at least a week, they say two weeks is better. Then I have to bottle it and add some sugar, do whatever else it says in the instruction pamphlet, then seal up the bottles and wait at least another week. They also say two weeks is better for this stage and I think I will give it at least those two weeks so the beer comes out better tasting and stronger. Then I will imbibe, I think it is 8.5 quarts, that should make for a nice buzz for me, my son and my brothers-in-law.

I really am looking toward enjoying my home brewed concoction. It should be ready on or about July 29th. The hopped malt extract kit I used was for an India Pale Ale. If it comes out right, it should be ambrosial, especially on a hot and humid summer's evening.

All the best,
Glenn B

Today In History - One of America's Greatest Battles Commences At Gettysburg, PA

One of this country's greatest battles began today, July 1, 1863. It was a battle that would last through three days of some of the most terrible fighting our military has ever seen and would result in some of the highest ever casualty numbers for our troops throughout U.S. military history. The Battle of Gettysburg resulted in the highest number of casualties of any single battle in the Civil War (the Civil War, on the whole, eclipses all other U.S. conflicts to date regarding deaths of Americans). I am also pretty certain that the Battle of Gettysburg had the highest rate, per day, of U.S casualties of any single battle in which our country ever has been engaged. It had, more casualties, by far, than even battles like those of: Pearl Harbor with 2,335 dead and 1,143 wounded (duration one day), the Guadalcanal Campaign 7,361 dead and 1,000’s wounded (186 days), the Battle of Bataan 10,000 dead and 20,000 wounded (99 days). Remember that Gettysburg lasted only 3 days, yet there were and estimated 46,000 to 51,000 military casualties between both sides (and both sides were Americans). That works out to an astonishing 15,333 American troop casualties per day for the lower estimate, or 17,000 per day for the higher estimate, over only 3 days of fighting.

We should never forget the sacrifices made on that day. No matter which side's cause you favor, they were Americans. As President Abraham Lincoln later put it (November 19, 1863):

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

It is a shame that politicians and many of the American people seem to have forgotten that our government is supposed to be government of the people, by the people, for the people and that our nation was conceived in Liberty. It is truly a crying shame that we are all probably familiar with the words of the Gettysburg address, words that Lincoln thought would soon be forgotten but which have been meorialized forever; yet, we seem to have forgotten the sacrifices  made by those who fell in that battle. They were sacrifices to assure we would never allow our great nation to turn into what it has become recently.

All the best,