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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010


Got busy this weekend with an NRA-ILA event at the range Saturday and the monthly bowling pin match yesterday. I averaged 8.8 in "informal competition" with range staff after the customers left. We swapped handguns and really had a great time. So for B. who has a beauty shot of a Kimber I present the handgun I shot yesterday (click to enlarge):

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tax Dollars at Work!

Glad to see someone is getting full use of my tax dollars!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Never Forget.....

From the USS Laffey Association President comes this sad news:

"Attention All Hands:
Today, I was informed of the passing of another of our WWII heroes.
Larry Delewski passed away on Wednesday Sept. 16, 2010.
Larry was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery during the battle at Okinawa.
I met with Larry a couple of months ago and he was in good spirits.
Ed Fitzsimmons e-mailed me last night and told me that he saw the obit in the newspaper.
We will honor Larry at the reunion memorial service.
I certainly hope that Patriots Point can get the Laffey back home soon while we still have some veterans left to see her move once more.

Godspeed and following winds to you sailor. Requiescat in pace Sir and thank you for your service to this country. It will not be forgotten.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tax Dollars at work!


The google map linked above shows pictures and locations of the Stimulus signs that popped up everywhere. Interesting map!

So a .gov Web site is slamming another .gov project? Go figure!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Retro uh....Monday??!

Sorry, it has been a busy weekend here. The always talented B. has a wonderful post on the toys of our youth. I too had almost everything Mattel could crank out in those years. Major Matt Mason was in full attendance in the house.

I was amazed when she did not bring up these:
(Click on picture to enlarge)

Lionel trains! This is the one from my youth. It is a "uncatalogued set" meaning that the hobby store owner just had the odds and ends laying around and cobbled up a set for my Mother. No matter to me then or now, it is highly prized and returns to active duty every year around the Christmas tree. It ran over green army men and other various obstacles then. It has retired from hazardous duty!

So I started to collect Lionel in later life. I need to smell the ozone and have pre Consumer Product Safety Commission stuff. Stuff you can electroweld with!  

So here is the collection of post war transformers. 190 and 275 watts:

They dwarf the small 30 watt transformer that my parents got with the set. No matter. It still finds duty as auxiliary power for a bell/whistle switch I built that is far superior to the disk rectifiers in these gentle giants. They have been rebuilt true to original condition. I think that there are few toys produced today that will survive and still hold interest 30, 50, 100 years from now.    

I cherish this train.

Thanks B.!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Amazing software!

Over at VFTP, Tam has a video of a young man burning the tires off of a car. I looked around and found a video of a game that attempts the same. I was amazed! The detail really stunned me. The background music did not hurt either.

Here it is!

With HALO's final installment out I may have to go to the dark side and get an Xbox. I love my PS3 though!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The War on Terror is Over. We Lost.

An American citizen formerly known as Mollie Norris no longer exists. From the New York Times comes this: "Ms. Norris attracted attention after she published a poster on the Internet in April satirically proposing that people draw figures of the Prophet Muhammad on May 20.
She indicated that the proposal was a protest of censorship by Comedy Central, which edited out references to Muhammad from an episode of “South Park” that month. That episode also triggered threats from extremists. Islam forbids depictions of the Prophet Muhammad." Link to full story here.

The result of exercising her First Amendment rights is that the FBI advised her to "go ghost". Sorta like the Witness protection plan but on her dime.

So let me get this straight. Burn the US Flag, OK. Burn GW Bush in effigy, OK. Post a cartoon of a religious prophet and give up everything you know: your job, friends, family, home.

Link to her former paper's article is here.

Well, if you are going to throw the Constitution in the trash, no need to do it piecemeal I suppose! So much for one of the few enumerated powers the government does have, providing for the common defense.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Retro Sunday- The Ruger 10/22 and Scouts

So two young men show up at the range for the practical portion of the rifle merit badge. They ran out of time during camp this summer. So I whip out the venerable Ruger 10/22 Carbine.

That is the target they are shooting at 50 ft. Must place 5 groups of five rounds in the nine ring (about the size of a quarter). They can do this prone or benchrest.

We ran 50 rounds each and it was rough. We could get there, but it would take a while. So we procured one of these:

Ruger Target model with some optics. Things got much better!

Congratulations to my Scouts today! Well done! Special props for Harrison for doing a fantastic job of administrative handling of the rifle. Safety engaged, checking for clear, muzzle direction were all outstanding!

I hope everyone has a great week! 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ars Mens Mentis: Ok boys and girls...

A very intelligent, witty, and thought provoking person I am proud to call a friend for many more years than I care to say has undertaken a new activity. I wish him well on the endeavor!

Ars Mens Mentis: Ok boys and girls...

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Cellist has died

Not just any cellist for me, but this person:

Cellist Mike Edwards died instantly when the 300kg bale landed on the front of the white van after it tumbled down a steep hill in Devon, then smashed through a hedge and on to the road.

Police are now investigating whether the fatal accident on Friday afternoon happened after the bale fell from a tractor working on farmland next to the A381 in Halwell, near Totnes.

The musician, 62, is understood to have swerved into another vehicle as his van was struck at around 12.30pm. The second driver was unhurt in the collision.

Sergeant Steve Walker, of the Devon and Cornwall police traffic unit, said: "This was a tragic accident and we have now identified the victim as Michael Edwards, a founder member of ELO. Link to story is here.

Watching a cellist come down from a mock spaceship at a concert and run across the stage with the instrument is something I will never forget. Apparently I stayed away from the recreational stuff floating around at the coliseum in the late 70's!

If nothing else this band gave me an appreciation for the classical instruments. They also gave me the desire to make the album or 8 Track reproduce to me what they wanted the music to be like. This forged my desire to figure out electronics.

So tonight, I picked these albums out:


 I played them old school on a Denon DP-31L direct drive turntable. I have to say that not only the interplay of classical instruments, vocals, and all of the electric instruments speak to me, some of the lyrics do as well. I have not heard them in a long time. From Eldorado here is a snippet:

Here it comes, another lonely day, playing the game,
I'll sail away on a voyage of no return to see
if eternal life is meant to be
and if I find the key to the eternal dream.

From Out of the Blue comes this:

Ride the range all the day till the first fading light,
be with my western girl round the fire, oh, so bright.
I'd be the Indians friend, let them live to be free,
ridin' into the sunset, I wish I could be.

Here is the opening of Eldorado album:

Godspeed Mike, I appreciate that I got to see you perform.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Retro Sunday! S&W .32

According to Mr. Roy Jinks, Historian at Smith and Wesson, this little "J" frame left the factory in 1961 and was shipped to NYC. It is a .32 Long revolver.

Of course we had to have some reasonably period correct ammunition:

It seems to put bullets where you point it unless someone tells you "high and to the right" (inside joke for an anonymous blog follower).

Bonus for all my blogger friends in Indiana, this little artifact was produced by a very good friend that knows of my Bell System collecting:

I have not decided to restore or leave alone. Nice ERTL toy.

I hope everyone has a great Labor Day! Stay safe!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Star Trek Blog with a twist!

I don't know how I stumbled on to this blog, but this blogger is a good read for all of the "Trekkers" (or Trekkie's depending on how you want to be called) out there. Interesting premise, a young lady read Wil Wheaton's book and decided to watch Star Trek TNG and review the show along with the book. Then she went for Star Trek TOS. Funny stuff!

From her review of Galileo Seven: "What bothers me most, aside from the fact that we’re going to eventually put a bunch of emotional twits into space, is that no red shirts died.  WHERE IS ALL THE RED SHIRT DEATH!?!?! Is this not Star Trek? Why are the mustard-hued shirt guys dying?"  A still from the blog:

"She's so "la-di-da" about the giants. She knows she's not going to die"

Fun stuff and the link to the blog is here.