Monday, March 16, 2015

The Rattlesnake As A Symbol Of America... ultimately and completely appropriate. Any reference to rattlesnakes as a symbol for ISIS is not only less than respectful of rattlers and of America but also a bit of totally inappropriate, while probably unintentional, praise of the dirtbag terrorists within ISIS.

Recently, I read again, a piece declaring that ISIS is akin to the rattlesnake and therefore that it is about time we treat them as such and in essence annihilate them. It sickens me to hear any American degrade the creature that suits America perfectly or at least better as its national symbol than did the Bald Eagle ever do so. If you'd like to know why, you can read this current Internet version of a piece written by an anonymous author in the 1770's (now attributed to Benjamin Franklin by the site at the link but that, in my understanding, may still be contested). Allow me to point out that the linked version seems to me to be somewhat different in some points than what I remember of the version I originally saw in the book Snakes on the natural history of snakes by an acclaimed herpetologist way back in my very young youthful days. I particularly reference the blurb about an incomplete rattle button representing Canada; I do not recall that in any way shape or form being included in the version I originally read all those years ago (way to close to the time it was written as far as I am concerned).

The Gadsden Flag - A Truer Symbol of America Has Never Been
Yes, I am snake-wise, so to speak, and I realize that some things said about the rattlesnake in that linked treatise are not exactly correct when looked at in the light of today's knowledge about them. The thing is that it was written in the 1770's and probably was spot on as far as herpetological knowledge went back then. Anyway, even if the author knew he (or she) was taking some liberties with rattlesnake facts, the gist of the analogy of America to the rattlesnake is indisputable in the light of those and current times (at least pre-Obama). Thus, any comparison of a rattler to ISIS, is at the very best far fetched, ill informed, balderdash that does little more than give comfort to our enemy!

That America and her patriots are like the rattlesnake has long been American lore, from the 1770s all the way up through the music of groups like The Grateful Dead and through the renewed current zeal for use of patriotic symbolism as the Gadsden Flag. If you have any doubt, of rattlers being equated to America in the modern world, then just pay particular attention to the first two lines of the third stanza of Uncle John's Band:

If any of you still think that it is proper to compare ISIS and rattlesnakes as being akin to one another symbolically or in fact, all I can think is shame on you, you fucking leftist peckerwoods. Please note that I respectfully withheld such a statement until I provided evidence to the contrary of such a belief and you had plenty of opportunity to rethink your stand. With all due respect, I am hopeful that any American patriots, who once believed that ISIS and rattlesnakes were alike, have now had a change of heart and that I have not offended anyone among them.

All the best,
Glenn B

Come Hell Or Fairly High Water Ammo Storage

NOTE: This post has been corrected, on May 13, 2015, to show that the ammo cans were in fact PA154 and not PA120 ammo cans as I had originally but mistakenly stated. That they were meant for 120mm mortars was correct.

The dogs started howling a few minutes ago and then doorbell rang. That could mean only a few things, either my door was about to get busted down by some federal agency raiding my house because they figured out I'd have the location of my where to find my ammo cache written on paper around here somewhere, or someone was looking to solicit donations for a good cause (or rip-off of the day), or UPS was delivering a package. I hauled my ass up stairs but by the time I got to the door there was the UPS truck driving off into wherever they drive off to. Didn't matter, as usual, the UPS guy left the box on my front stoop.

I knew right away what was in the 3'x1'x1' box that UPS had left for me. I 'd been expecting an order from Military Shooters and this was undoubtedly it. I hefted it up into my arms, think it must have weighed about 40-45 pounds, and carried the package down into my basement. As I was walking through my living room, I had the thought I had best get them out of sight before my wife or mother-in-law see them and my wife was at work. I don't know why I thought that, my wife is okay with me buying guns, ammo and accessories but I sure felt like I was guilty of something. Once down in the false sense of security offered by the man-cave, I grabbed the Victorinox Hunstman out of my pocket, pulled out the long blade and went to work on the packing tape. The first glance I got of the contents of the box had me smiling. I pulled the uppermost one out, opened it up, took a quick look at it and was a happy camper. I grabbed up the second one that was in the box and also gave it a quick lookover and was pleased with what I saw. My PA154 120mm ammo cans had arrived in very good, if not excellent, condition from the look of them.

One of the PA154 cans next to four 50 caliber ammo cans.
The Military Shooters website said these cans are in excellent condition and show "NO RUST". One of the first things I noticed on each of the cans I received was rust. There was not a lot of it, and what was there was pretty minimal surface rust, but there definitely was rust. However, if the seals on these cans are good, I think they are worth more than what I paid for them (which was a total of $54.89 shipped). According to Military Shooters, the seals are all good. They look good to me but who can tell at a glance if they will be water tight. Since I am not planning on burying these cans, or storing them laid down on their sides, I don't think it will matter all that much. I mean even if the seals turn out bad, come hell or fairly high water, the contents are not about to get wet unless I store them lying down. The darned things are 31 3/4" tall with the lids secured. As for their other dimensions, each is 11" wide by 5 5/8" deep. Note, those measurements are of the main body of the cans and exclude the wider measurements of the lids and or ridges on the cans. Considering the ridges on the cans they wind up being about 7"deep and considering the lids and locking devices, they are abut 12 1/2" wide. 

Both cans, from different angles, next to four 50 caliber ammo cans
for comparison. By the way, that Bud Light case in the background
is my son's not mine. I probably wouldn't drink that stuff even if 
it was the last beer on earth but he drinks it now and then, as a
way to help watch his weight and his bank account balance.
They appear to each be capable of holding at least as much ammo as four 50 caliber ammo cans. Of course, if someone were to load up one of these monsters with four 50 caliber ammo cans worth of ammo, you probably would need two people to lift it to carry it any distance. And to think, each can only held two each of the 120mm white phosphorous smoke mortars which they were originally intended to hold or so it indicates on the can. They have more stuff printed on them than any other ammo cans I have seen before, the only section of the exterior of either can that does not have something written on it is the bottom. Even the underside of each lid has numbers spray painted on them.

These cans do not have the same types of lids found on the smaller 50 or 30 caliber ammo cans, the ones that are hinged. Instead, these cans have lids that come off completely. I know that the lids on the smaller cans can also come off completely but the point is these lids are not hinged like those of the smaller cans. There is the typical lever type locking device, one at each end, and when you release them the lid lifts off completely. The lids on these ammo cans do not have handles either. You wouldn't be able to lift them very effectively even if they did have them. Rather than handles on the lids, there are two handles on the body of each of the cans.

One of the lids showing the locking devices. If you click on the
image to enlarge it, you may be able to see some of the surface rust.
Once of the cans held a trivial bonus but it was a bonus nonetheless. There was what looked like a small divider inside the can. It's merely a piece of plywood, with two holes drilled through it, that was cut to fit the inner dimensions of the can. For all I know it held the two mortar shells in place inside the can. While it is worth all of 25 cents at the most, it gave me the idea that I should make a few more of them using that one as a template. They will come in handy as dividers for whatever I store inside.

The divider.
For now, I have no idea what I will be putting inside of each of these cans, most of the little bit of ammo I do have is in my 50 caliber cans. I have to point out that when empty, since they are so tall but only about the same in depth and width as a 50 caliber ammo can, these PA154 cans are top heavy and can get knocked over easily. I tend to think that once full, the tilt risk would not be as much of a worry but I would still make sure to take it into consideration because if one of these cans full of ammo fell over onto you, it might break a bone and certainly could kill or seriously injure a young child or a pet. So, I think, I will still be careful to store them on a flat level spot on a hard surfaced floor as I do not need one landing on my foot or atop one of our Chihuahuas.

At last check, just moments ago as I type, Military Shooters still had 28 two packs of these remaining in stock. They are currently asking $22.99 for a two-pack plus shipping. If you are considering placing an order, go here. I have dealt with Military Shooters a few times now and like them. They sometimes have had things in stock that I could not find elsewhere and sometimes they have great prices too. I saw these same cans elsewhere at up to $75 (for a three-pack) plus shipping and the shipping was considerably more expensive, as I recall at about $50. Shipping from MS to me was about $32. I will mention that it took almost two weeks from the date of my order on March 4 until today for me to receive the order. That is not a complaint from me, just letting you know about how long it might take from start to finish if you decide to place an order.

I should also mention, I think they have excellent customer service even though they appear to be a small mom & pop business (and I mean that literally). When I received an email from UPS with my tracking information for this order, I noticed that the email said the shipment was shown as "**ORM-D SMALL ARMS AMMUNITION**". In order for ammo to be shipped to me legally, here in NY, it must go through an FFL. It would be just my luck someone at UPS, with a hard-on for gun owners, would have seen that on the package, realized it was being shipped to a residence, and would have contacted the police about it. I don't need them even knocking on my door to inquire about it, let alone them storming my home with a search warrant all because the shipping info was wrong, so I contacted Military Shooters and expressed my concerns about it. Fred Stecher, who I am pretty sure is the owner, got back to me early the very next day to let me know he contacted UPS to let them know the shipment did not contain ammo.

I don't get anything from Military Shooters for this post; I wrote up these cans and mentioned them mostly as a way to share a good deal with my readers and to say thanks to Military Shooters for having good deals and for doing a good job on yet another order. I don't use any ammo dealer exclusively as I prefer to spread my business around but they have once again assured they will keep me as a happy customer over the long run. A hat tip and my thanks to them for this order.

Gotta go, the hounds are howling again, who knows what I'll find on my doorstep this time.

All the best,
Glenn B

Got Your Own Website - Let Me Pick Your Brains

Here I go again, toying with the idea of getting my own website on which to post my blog, instead of staying here at Blogger. I must admit that Blogger has its advantages, perhaps the primary one being it is free (at least dollar-wise). Being on Blogger also has its disadvantages, one of the main ones being that they can delete my blog whenever they choose without warning and I would lose anything I have not backed-up (which would be at least a month's worth of blogging right now as I poke away at the keyboard).

With that in mind, I am curious to hear from those of my readers who have their own websites. I'd like to know what you guys think are some of the advantages of having your own site to host your blog and I'd also like to know what are some of the disadvantages.

Please also let me know if you own the domain name and web address for your site and if so, is there something extra that needs to be done to assure that as opposed to the web-hosting company owning the rights to your domain name and address. Along that line, what companies offer, BS free, web hosting plans that guarantee that you own your domain name and web address? As far as cost, I am looking to spend no more than about $15 per month but would pay somewhat higher if that is par for the course.  So, anything you can share with me along those lines would be helpful.

All the best,
Glenn B