• No Penalty Clause

    One issue of a long drive to/from work is time to think. Lots of thinking every day, about three hours or so. And after all the hooraw going on, I’ve come up with another Deep Thought.

    A lot of our social and political problems nowadays are caused because there is No Penalty Clause. Think about it. At a high level, those of us who’ve had or dealt with kids: what happens when you do not impose immediate and meaningful punishment on a child who has misbehaved? You only encourage more of that behavior. And the child expands their behavior to see what else they can get away with. Same with animal training – you reinforce the behavior you want, and punish for inappropriate behavior. It works, trust me.

    So now:

    We do not punish people who have children out of wedlock – we encourage it with subsidized abortions and abortifacts, and give good money and other freebies to those who do carry to term but cannot afford or won’t work to support that child.

    We have given up on punishing people who treat their bodies like chemical waste dumps – we do everything socially and medically to extend their reduced and painful lives.

    We do not punish the people who encouraged and abetted high-risk home and auto loans – we bail out the lending institutions and allow refinancing of the loans with government backing.

    We do not punish the auto manufacturing companies that could not compete in the market because of their debts to the unions (that they voluntarily crawled in bed with) – we bail them out with taxpayer money and short the company investors. Which also allows them to escape massive recalls which they avoided prior to their reorganization.

    We do not capture and punish the morons who drive off-road motorcycles and quads on the city streets – we do not chase them because it’s too dangerous (to who is it dangerous?). However, if there’s a car chase, we’re all about showing it live on TV.

    We don’t punish the protestors that block the highways and freeways, destroying businesses like a swarm of locust – we encourage them by withholding the police (that they are protesting) and giving them “safe places” to protest.

    We don’t go in and punish the splodey-dopes – we give their country more money and/or encourage more of them to come into our nice countries because theirs is such a sh!t-hole.

    We do not punish those who refuse to use government email accounts (they’re too complicated) and lie about why they’re used – we encourage them to run for President.

    We do not punish those who run their political party into the ground, badmouthing the candidates who are not favored, and supporting those who are not favored – we give them better jobs (think Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, ex-DNC Chair, now a Clinton employee).

    We no longer kick our unloved politicians from office to return to their practice/farm/business (at least not one that sucks off the taxpayer’s teat) – those individuals are now Government Employees With Agendas with near perpetual hands in our pockets, if not as a legislator, as a consultant or lobbyist.

    And the pundits wonder why Bernie and The Don have made it this far. We’re fed up with the status quo and want real Change, not the change left in our pockets from the last umpty-dozen years of politicians who don’t leave office when they’re done.


  • Word of the Day: Cementery

    Wife asked me to spell a word for her. The word was “Cementery”. Not Cemetery. So I looked it up:

    cementery

    [sem-in-ter-ee]

    Noun, plural – cementeries

    An area set apart for or containing the remains of outdoor home remodeling projects such as driveways, patios, pools, retaining walls.
    Who-da-thunk it!
    Wife has a habit of mis-pronouncing words. Like Gastroeterologist.

  • July 4th, Independence Day. July 5th, the Day it Died

    My Wife and I are P-O’ed. My one or two readers know that I work in some strange areas, like others that I’ve associated with in the blog-world. Wife does similar work. So we’ve had clearances out the wazoo for a long time. There’s a lot of trust that has been given us over the years, the government trusts us to protect some of our Nation’s most valuable information. We’ve given up a number of our freedoms when we accepted the responsibilities.

    But today, all of that has been thrown away, thanks to Hillary Clinton. Somehow, the Director of the FBI, James Comey, twisted multiple laws to state that Hillary did not “intend” to put the information that she and her gang of thieves had access to, at risk of theft or misuse.

    Sorry, it doesn’t wash. So, let the memes begin:

    The drunk driver did not “intend” to hit the car full of orphaned children.

    Ted Kennedy did not “intend” to drown Mary Jo Kopechne when he failed to rescue her from his drunken crash into the creek.

    The truck driver in Arizona watching porn on his tablet while driving did not “intend” to kill the folks that he hit.

    OJ Simpson did not “intend” to kill his ex-wife.

    The list goes on…

    When will the madness stop?

     


  • The Rest of the 2016 Elections

    What with all the furor as to the current crop of Presidential candidates (ugh), what’s up with the rest of the national elections? There’s candidates for both Senate and House of Reps that are up for elections. IIRC, 1/3 of the Senate turns over, and a major chunk of the House. Why haven’t we heard more on these? Is it that bad or just the Media trying to throw the focus away from good/bad news? Congress controls the purse strings, declares war, and vets Supreme Court nominees, among other “important” things. What gives? Even conservative media is silent on this.

    Discuss…


  • 7/4/2016 Base Camp Established

    In spite of vehicles down for repair, kitchen still partly disassembled needing paint, and life in general, the wife and I said Fsck It. and headed out. We’re camped out in the hills of VA. Haven’t heard any banjos yet, but there’s a bunch of other campers around. As the Zombie Truck is down for engine mount problems, Wife drove her CheapGP. Just relaxing now, updating the blog, and eating freshly grilled pupusas. Chicken and steak are on the portable charcoal grill. More when we get from vacation next week!

    RV camping

    In the meantime, everyone hoist one for our brothers and sisters who gave us the opportunity to celebrate this holiday. And think of the Brits who’ve voted to separate themselves from their overlords, the EU!

    Please check on the cats for us while we’re out, and I promise to repay in beer or soda. Or fresh Mexican dinner!


  • Zombie Truck Down

    TL/DR: Yup, done broke it again. And it ran fine till I noticed it was broke.

    Last weekend (a week ago), our local but nationally-known motocross track, Budd’s Creek, hosted a 4×4 event with Big Dogs Offroad. Last year I broke the front drive shaft at the event. This year, with the new suspension, new transfer case, transmission, and both drive shafts, I toughed out not just the muddy motocross track, but tried the “Green” trail. Made two passes at the motocross track, both times with passengers. A number of folks either didn’t want to try their Lite 4x4s in the mud, or their spouse’s vehicle died and they didn’t get a chance to make a run around the track. The Green trail was a challenge but was overcome. Some mud, a few short hill-climbs, off-camber, etc. Biggest problem was a turn limited by three poorly placed trees. I had to back-and-fill to get between the trees and make the turn. Narrower vehicles had no problem, and I wasn’t going to back out of the trail, a mile backwards through mud! I slightly tweaked the roof rail against the tree, but that isn’t my main Ouchie.

    I broke one side of my motor mount. Didn’t realize it till the next day, after helping a friend move his trailer. I noticed a lot of vibration from the motor, more than usual (it’s a diesel!), that went away as I got off idle. The front engine crossmember has two tabs sticking up, with sleeves welded to the end of the tabs. Bolts from the engine mounts go through the sleeves, holding the engine to the crossmember; The passenger side tab had sheared off the tube and rotated 90 degrees, resting on the crossmember. Vibrating in place I might add, the right side of the engine sitting an inch lower in the chassis.

    Tab looks like this where it tore the weld from the tubular crossmember:

    IMG_2162I couldn’t find the records where I’d ordered the current crossmember three years ago. I went online and found a much better design, beafier, etc. Ordered and received same. But it won’t fit using the same mounting process and holes as the broken crossmember, as well as the first-generation crossmember when the Zombie truck was still gas-powered.

    Sigh. Back to the drawing board. Need to find a source for 1.75/1.80″ ID, 1/8″ thick steel tubing, about a foot or so. And a couple of piece of 1/8″ plate. Without paying out the @ss for shipping, and delivery to a residential address.

    Which leaves the Zombie Truck sitting in the garage, mud smeared on the right side, mud underneath, and the engine resting on blocks in the engine compartment.

    Which means it’s not going to the campground this weekend and I’m not tearing the intake manifold off the BMW to fix the cold-start misfire.


  • Working on My Back

    Several months ago I got “volunteered” or more commonly, “voluntold” for a job. One of my wife’s friends from church as an older SUV with major problems.

    Started out with Wife asking me to “Fix her front fender/fender liner”. Friend had bumped something and it was making noise. So said SUV visited. Fender was damaged behind the front tire, like it had been backed at an angle into a pole of some kind. So I put some sheet metal screws through the fender liner into the fender to keep it off the tire, and keep it from flapping. Thought I was done…

    No, I wasn’t. That didn’t fix the noise. So I was “voluntold” to find the noise. Pulled the left front tire off. Nothing wrong there other than a cable that wasn’t mounted right. That didn’t fix the noise either. Nope, nothing wrong with the brakes, ball joints and tie rods seem tight. SUV is one of those with All Wheel Drive (AWD). Hmmmm. Grabbed the left front axle where it joined the front frame-mounted differential and shook it. Lots of movement there, Very Bad Thing. And lots of oil and collected gunk around the big end of the front diff. Hmmmm.

    Said SUV model’s front diff had a habit of eating the seal on the driver’s side, losing most of the oil, grinding up the bearing on that side, and finishing off by destroying the ring and pinion gears for a finale. This diff was at Phase III for certain: sloppy bearings.

    Next, I was “voluntold” to find out what part needed to be replaced. Then it developed that I was going to obtain said replacement part. Which culminated in me being “voluntold” without my assent that I was going to do the R-and-R of the bad part for the newly-obtained junkyard piece. Yeah, right. News to me. I did feel bad for the SUB owners, the are truly destitute and need this vehicle operational.

    My got put down. Fortunately, there were no dog or cat turds nearby when I did that. The center stall would be cleared completely of Wife’s six-year accumulation that was gaining kudzu-like growth properties. And believe it or not, I WON!!! Center bay of the garage only looked this clean when we moved into the house.

    IMG_2163(Note mud-covered Zombie Truck on left and BMW on the right)

    I kept to my word, as soon as the bay was empty, the SUV was pulled in (this last Thursday). The front diff was pulled out and the replacement installed. It was a real B!tch of a job too. 70 lbs of off-center mass that had to be twisted into position from below. Floor jack helped a lot once I figured out the procedure, including steering the wheels left and right at times. Though after the 2nd (or was it 3rd) attempt, I almost rolled the damn thing out of the garage, down the driveway into the ditch in frustration. But it’s done, and works very nice. BTW, the old diff had reached Phase IV: the ring and pinion are trashed by the sounds it makes when turned by hand.

    IMG_2164(Junkyard new diff in foreground, just-removed junk diff in background)

    Note to all: SUV owners with AWD must keep all tire pressures the same to avoid rotational differences between the axles and side-to-side. And if you’ve got a GM SUV with AWD (think Yukon Denali), watch for tell-tale leaks.

    That is all.


  • Father’s Day

    Hi Dad. Happy Father’s Day.

    Yes, I miss you. It’s been over two years since you passed away. I hope you know that I was planning on stopping to visit only a few weeks before you died, and I regret missing the opportunity to see you.

    I want to thank you for the opportunities that you gave me, my sister, and step-brother, and hope that we’ve made you proud.

    I want to let you know that I think of you often, especially when I go to the garage and use the tools that I saved from your shop: tools that you used many times and have worn a patina on.. And when I walk by your old work desk, and china cabinet full of your old shooting trophies.

    Yes, I miss you. And hope that you are happy and at peace.

    Happy Father’s Day, one and all.

    And OldNFO, thanks again for letting me post about Dad on your blog. I’ve grown up and got one of my own now, but thanks anyway…


  • Fun Show This Weekend!

    In prep for Appleseed training in a couple of months (blogged here), I’m headed to the Fun Show in Dulles Expo Center tomorrow morning. Ammo and magazines. And anything else that fits into my budget.

    Though it won’t be the same without OldNFO and Lagniappe’s Lair in the area. And looks like MillerMeister went today. Phoo.

    Well, we’ll see what the cat drags home…


  • Peace in the Kingdom

    Been busy at the hacienda lately, between work at work along with work at home. Vehicles, kitchen, etc. But peace has settled at the hacienda, the Wife is OOT for a week for work. Time for me to get stuff done, like revenge on the cats.

    And peace in the kingdom means time to read. I just got and consumed OldNFO’s science fiction short story Rimworld:Stranded. Short but fun read! For those involved in the military or police, it’s the folks behind the scenes that keep things working for those on the pointy end of the spear. Rarely celebrated, often maligned. And usually kept at a great distance from polite company. Jim’s main character is just such an individual: making poor decisions left and right, but because of his make-do skills and the tools he’s trained and familiar with, becomes a hero. The hero is not a bumbling idiot or made to be a comedic centerpiece, but is just like the low-rank folks that maintain the aircraft, weapons, and ship’s systems in any military. Kind of like Bill the Galactic Hero, but not meant as comedy. And a nice interlude from Jim’s already popular Grey Man series. MOAR!

    Now to read some new books by Peter Grant...


  • Guess the Party

    So, all of a sudden in the course of a Holiday weekend, Illinois State Senator Terry Link proposed to radically alter the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, which significantly restricts use of biometric data collected on its citizens. Basically, the law requires permission for online services to scan images of you and add them to their biometric recognition algorithms. And Illinois is suing major online players for violation of their law.

    But now the good State Senator is trying to change that law by using a rider to another bill, and weaken Illinois’ citizen’s privacy. And mysteriously (unexpectedly?), the Senator’s Party is nowhere mentioned in the above article. Wonder why!?!?!

    Because he’s a Democrat, that’s why. From the Senator’s official web page.

    Wonder who’s paying him off…


  • Memorial Day 2016

    To all of those who served and survived, thank you for your service and commitment.

    For those who did not return, you will always be on my mind, this day and always.

    My father, my both grandfathers, my kids and assorted cousins and nephews, thank you.

    Enjoy this holiday, but keep in mind, it is not our holiday, it is to remember those who have put their country before their own lives.

    That is all…

     


  • RV Gets Better

    Some of this is repeat, but with more info and Picture!

    I may jinx myself, but the RV from Heck is getting better and better each time that we use it. It may have been so obstinate after we bought it because it was driven and used so little in the past. Which means that there may be more hidden surprises here and there. Like last trip, the engine-driven AC decided not to AC any more. Fortunately, it wasn’t too warm on the drive. I dropped the beast at our local bus/RV repair shop on a Friday. A week later they finally got back to me: The cooling fan on the condenser was locked up. The AC would kick on, the condenser would get hot, signal the fan to turn on. When there was no fan cooling the condenser, the AC would shut off again. The shop told me it’d be a real pain to find the fan. Right. Turns out, it was a generic 16″ aftermarket electric fan like you’d put behind the radiator of a car. I pulled the fan off Friday afternoon, picked up a universal replacement the next morning, and a few hours later the AC was working again. Though there’s something strange with the ducting or switch now that I have to investigate. Maybe something didn’t get hooked up again under the dash.

    Then changed oil, oil filter, and fuel filters. All five gallons of oil. Filter is about 18″ long and 7-8 inches in diameter, not your average car filter. Two fuel filters, one inside the rear bumper and the other up high, just under the cylinder head, in an awkward place (for an RV). But thanks to Dad and the tools I brought home after he passed away, the oil filter strap wrench mated to 1/2″ extensions worked beautifully to pull all of the filters. Thanks Dad.

    Also did oil change on the Zombie Truck, it was overdue. And funny thing, the Zombie Truck oil change, specifically the filter, was much messier than the RV. Go figure. Just sloppy was all.

    But the big thing was changes in the interior. Right after getting the RV, I’d pulled both CRT TVs out of the interior, one in the bedroom, the other in the console over the driver/passenger seats. Crazy spot as anyone in the sofa would have to turn sideways to watch. I mounted a flat panel TV over the main cabin door on a removable mount, much better for viewing from the sofa and captains chairs. The now-empty hole was pretty big but had a tilted floor, to point the TV downward. I pulled the plastic liner and floor, re-did the floor to be level in the hole, added sides, back, top, and front (not pictured), and am calling it nearly complete. Just need to put fabric to cover the interior, and it’ll make a good cubby for something, like laptops and such when not needed. Yes, the photo is correctly oriented: Windshield below, ceiling above.

    RV_former_CRT_TV_hole

    The bigger project was revamping the pantry. The RV had a closet and plumbing across from the fridge for washer/dryer which were never installed. The one shelf, about knee-level, was coming loose and tilting, and was in general an impractical space. So I pulled the one shelf, put boards on both sides both vertically and horizontally, tweaked and reinstalled the old shelf and added a second shelf. Both shelves got front lips to prevent sloshing. And mounted the paper-plate and plastic bag holders (not pictured). Works much better now. Heavy stuff like the bottled water, toaster-oven, and such stay down low, plastic/paper/decorations up high where they’re more reachable. And food-stuffs as well, getting them out of the cookware cabinets.

    Upgraded_Pantry

    Next on the agenda: some minor mods to the Zombie Truck to make towing easier. I’ve ordered an LED strip tail/brake/turn/backup light and trailer wiring. Will permanently mount the LED strip below the tailgate and plug it into the trailer light hitch on the Zombie Truck for normal use, wiring up the backup lights. But I’m also going to run a wiring harness underneath the truck, next to the trailer plug, that runs from the rear of the truck to the front bumper. That and a four foot pigtail will allow me to disconnect the LED lights from the trailer light plug, and connect the LED lights directly to the RV trailer light plug. No more attaching/dismounting the magnetic lights on the back of the Zombie Truck for towing!

    After nearly two years, I’m finally working out operations: outfit prior to travel, undock and travel, post-travel bed-down. Yay!


  • 2016 NRA AM After-action Report

    Well, I survived one day of the 2016 NRA AM. That was enough for me, I was pooped and back was hurting after just five hours in the exhibition hall. But walked all 11 acres and saw lots of neat stuff. So here goes:

    Entering the Expo Center, after hours of waiting to get onto the grounds, then waiting to park. But nobody got nasty or obnoxious. FYI, note the two silhouettes on the roof. There were several helicopters hovering as well, including one old Hughes NOTAR:

    2016_NRA_AM

    These guys had the right idea for traversing the Expo: Electric bar stools! Converted convenience scooters, they modified the steering mechanism and added bar stools as seats. Gives them an eye-level rather than belly-button level view of their surroundings and easier get-on/get-off:

    Electric_bar_stool

    Magpul had tons of gear on display. Look online or in any good gun store to see what they make and sell. But what I really wanted to see was their converted bus. Too many ideas for the RV, none very practical though. It was pretty crowded and these are the best of the few that I got.

    The in-bus bar:

    MagPul_in-bus_bar

    And the in-bus arsenal. Now, I need a compartment on the RV that’s accessible from both inside and outside, that I can thoroughly reinforce…

    MagPul_in-bus_armory

    Some toys I’d love to get if I a) won the Lottery, 2) had time to go shooting more, and III) didn’t live in Maryland.

    IWI x95. Follow-on to the Tavor. Improved ergonomics, trigger pull, rails, etc.:

    IWI_X95

    Semi-auto SAW (M249). Good way to pump bullets downrange. Not necessarily for long-range targets, but fun none-the-less:

    Semi-auto_SAW

    Several cool armorer/shooter tools. The one on the left is a general-purpose weapon-maintenance tool with tips for small fasteners, push-pins, very small allens (on the other side), barrel bushing, etc. The right hand tool is AR-specific, with cleaning scrapers, file, and a bunch more attachments. Wanted but didn’t spring to buy at the moment:

    Real_Avid_weapon_tools

    Did not necessarily want to buy, but definitely gawk at: Arsenal AF-2011 double 1911. Big, heavy. Dunno why other than it looks crazy. Would be better serving as a movie prop, otherwise I absolutely cannot think of a practical purpose. But it does exist in a number of calibers and finishes:

    Arsenal_AF2011

    Very heavily modified Arctic Cat 4-seater. Would be great to play with given the off-road area to do so:

    Off-roader

    And the final word in tacti-cool: a tactical-T-Rex. Fitted with the latest in NVGs and LBE. Cute, very cute. Right up there with “Sharks with Friggin’ Lasers” cute. The ultimate “I’d hate to meet this in a dark alley”. Though I’m trying to figure out how he’s going to handle a weapon. It’d be real easy to “stay out of arm’s reach” with this guy…

    Tactical_T-Rex

    Tons of other stuff on the floor to go with the above pictures. AR-based parts out the wazoo. Some very nice antique rifles and pistols on display. Lots of accessories, and just about as many businesses selling partially or completely finished weapons. Hunting safaris, classic weapons, safes, you name it, someone probably brought one (or three) to put on display.

    Two benefits of driving the Zombie Truck to the show:  the number of folks wanting to talk about it at the show and the campground that we stayed in, and people letting me change lanes/enter queues ahead of them, because it was unique. Thanks all! Even to the point that someone, I think the owner, of Outlaw Precision Weaponry, LLC, stopped me to give me a sticker while I was in line to get out of the parking lit. Good luck to them and thanks for saying “Hi”.

    Very relaxed atmosphere, wish I’d had more time and other folks to travel with. But OldNFO was late getting in, The Shekel was in training all Friday, a handful couldn’t make it, and others had schedules that didn’t work out. Oh well, there’s Atlanta next year!

     


  • Louisville NRA AM First Report

    In spite of terrible traffic complications, I had a good time today at the NRA Annual Meeting. I’d left my drivers license at the RV and couldn’t do the Press area. Oh well. Still got to enjoy a few minutes outside visiting with OldNFO after he finally made it to the show, many hours later than planned. But that’s his story, not mine.

    Found lots of neat stuff that I want, but either can’t afford, don’t have a real reason to purchase, or simply cannot own in the communist state of Maryland.

    Flash note, good deal: if you go to the Appleseed booth and register for a training course, the $60 fee is waived. So I’m signed up for an Appleseed event in my local area in a few months. Read up on the Appleseed program and think about saving a few dollars, and help defray the price of your ammo.

    Met lots of nice folks, everyone was friendly in spite of the parking situation. Lots of interesting weapons, accessories, clothing, and info available. Electric bar stools, a tactical Tyrannasaurus Rex, the double-barrel .45 in various incarnations, and a few other oddities.

    Internet service is slow here and I’ve got to transfer photos off the phone. Leaving for another destination tomorrow (Saturday) and with all of the driving, may not get pictures and more extensive writeup done till late next week. So be patient.

    Also, hat tip to our neighbors in the campground. Ken with the FJ, and Dennis and his wife (who’s working at the Barrett booth). Enjoy the rest of the show, sorry we couldn’t spend more time visiting.


  • Worst Traffic Evar

    I’ve dealt with lots of traffic over the years and thought I’d seen some terrible traffic. Up till now the worst was several incidents in Arizone, when the Highway Patrol shut down I-10 to investigate the numerous fatal collisions. Have been caught several all times when the Interstate was shut down for hours.

    But events today take the cake. It seems that the city of Louisville, KY either doesn’t know how to handle a crowd like the NRA Annual Meeting, or intends to make the meeting the most frustrating experience possible for those who support the Second Amendment and shooting sports.

    My first attempt early Friday morning to get onto the Kentucky State Fairgrounds had me sitting in the Zombie Truck for over an hour still on the Interstate 1/2 mile from the exit to the Fairgrounds. After an hour of sitting and only moving 100 yards, I gave up and drop over back to the RV. Picked up the Wife and hit a local Goodwill, got some more pants.

    A couple of hours later I made another attempt. Our next-door neighbor in the campground gave me a recommendation that saved me an hour of waiting to get into the Fairgrounds. But it still took 45 minutes to get from the entrance to finally parking in B.F.E.

    At 6pm when the exhibition hall closed, the situation was reversed. Took 45 minutes to travel the length of the parking lot, onto the main road and out the exit to the Interstate.

    Nobody was directing traffic to speak of. Amazing. Thank goodness the crowd was composed of people who are not predisposed to fits of anger and stupidity!

    Nashville was nowhere as bad, hope that Atlanta won’t be either.


  • More Workings

    Well, got a lot more done around the house and vehicles!

    The kitchen that’s on an extended remodel plan just got drywall done. I was going to go the easy route on painting the changes, and use the same colors as before but Wife 1.0 has different ideas. Though she still talks about moving, she wants to change the wall color in the kitchen, the whole kitchen. Bah. So I’ll do painting in parts: first the new area along with stove area, which will cover about 2/3 of the kitchen, then follow up with the remaining sink/countertop area later. But it’s a major step. Traded lots of vehicle work for the drywall work.

    The RV has had some work done too. Found out that the chassis (engine-driven) AC wasn’t working right on the last outing. Got it troubleshot and turns out that the condenser fan was dead, causing an overheat in the AC, shutting down the compressor. Fortunately, the fan is basically an aftermarket universal auto radiator fan. Got one locally, a few hours later the AC is working again.

    Also adjusted the front bumper while underneath, and replaced the busted fog lights. And did some woodworking inside as well – made a storage space up front where the old tube-type TV used to be in the front overhead, and put sturdy shelves in the pantry. The pantry is where a washer/dryer could be if I wanted to dump the money and lose the storage space, but I choose storage over the very occasional use of the washer/dryer. Shelves are a huge help in the space, stuff was just tossed in otherwise. And cleaned the refrigerator burner flue, that had a lot of soot and dust in it, so the fridge/freezer should work much better on propane.

    And hitting the road this weekend for Louisville, the NRA AM and other places. Zombie Truck in-tow. Joy!


  • Traveling Again

    I normally don’t post about leaving town in advance, but I’m going to be at the NRA AM, Friday-only. Got another engagement on Saturday to attend.

    Just curious: For those 2-3 readers of this humble blog – I haven’t seen as much traffic this year as there was last year.

    Wasn’t able to get Press credentials, I’m not high enough on the food chain for that either. Oh well.

    But if folks are planning on getting together, or meeting at a time/place Friday, holler in some fashion.

    If I don’t hear, I’m still hoping to run into some of the old gang!


  • Is It Even Worth It?

    The current Presidential Election cycle has proven very… interesting. Any number of similarities to other elections have been made, but none seem to cover all of the variables in play this time.

    Both main political parties are in trouble and are reacting in ugly fashion, in direct contrast with what the public wants. The populace is giving the big F.O. to the political parties preferred candidates, and the parties have reacted by giving the middle finger to the afore-mentioned populace. So each party’s choices have boiled down to two candidates: the party’s choice that the populace is not interested in voting for, and a candidate that the populace likes, that is out of control of the party.

    In the run-up to the national conventions, there’s going to be lots of ugly name-calling and politicking. What’ll be interesting is seeing whether the parties bend to the will of The People, or if they intend to force the issue with the candidates that they like.

    I hate to say this, but this is a major turning point: The parties can decide that they represent The People and choose the popular candidate, or they can rig the rules, and pick the candidate that they want. Choose wrong, and the parties show that this is no longer a Republic of representatives. The people either revolt, or decide that the Republic no longer represents their interests and decide to ignore the rule of law.

    This has been developing for a while now, but I feel that it is coming to a head in the run-up to these elections, and am hugely concerned for our future. I’m almost reluctant to vote, seeing as how there are plans for others to choose who they want, rather than who we want to represent our future.

    What with this and the way the economy/jobs is going, I totally understand why the number of suicides is going up, and life expectancy is going down.

    PS: I totally understand the Electoral College, and have no qualms with that process. I’m greatly concerned over how our choice of candidates is being manipulated by the parties themselves.