Thursday, October 29, 2009

Colorado Welcome II

Still snowing. Not our biggest storm. October 1997 the snow was 51" deep on our car lot. This snow is good news for the dry land farmers who got their crops planted. Slow release moisture, insulating the ground, and killing destructive insects are all good news. Good for the aquifers. Good for the ski/tourist industry. This is a much better stimulus, courtesy of Mother Nature, than anything out of Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Colorado Welcome

First major Front Range snow storm of the Winter. Heavy, wet snow, that the kids love; it makes great snowmen. Not so much fun for the adults. No fun at all for anyone driving where the wind is blowing hard.

After shoveling snow you need to inoculate against the bite of the notorious Colorado Snow Snake! Pictured is my favorite anti venom. Some ignorant pilgrims deny jackalopes and snow snakes but that is my story and I am sticking to it!.

The selfish part of me hopes this storm is bad enough for me to be called out to plow. That will boost the, "Spoil the grand kids rotten at Christmas" fund.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ain't It A Bitch

Youngest son is in his final week of 68W Medic training; two weeks in the field doing simulated combat conditions.

At the start of his time in San Antonio, the temperature was 100+ day after day and the area was in a deep drought. Off to the field and?

Next week he gets to come home to his family but this week I imagine is pure misery.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Greatest Generation Inspiration

Greatest generation member Al Vella going for his daily walk. He walks well but uses the walker to rest and to help when his left leg gives out; a leg injured D Day at Normandy where he was a Combat Engineer. His mind is still sharp and his handshake firm.
Complaining to myself about my pains as I do my daily 45 minutes seems silly as I pass Al plodding along. What a debt we owe him and the men and women like him.

.44 Special Sight Modification

Macular Degeneration affects my right (sighting) eye. Thankfully, a recent exam shows it hasn't gotten worse in three years. It affects my ability to focus. A local gunsmith came up with a peep sight arrangement and I recently tested it. I was able to focus on the front post clearly with the target mainly in focus and the peep, while blurred, helped keep everything aligned.

Five rounds at a measured 25' with four solid hits and one grazing hit makes me think this will work. Before the peep I couldn't hit three out of five.

Practice is what is needed. With near zero availability of .44 Special, not to mention the cost, I am reluctant to use up my stock. My thinking now is a .22 revolver (Charter makes one) with a peep added. Also, having the gunsmith improve the front post - something better than paper white out. Suggestions are welcome.

I tried aiming using my left eye. Two hits, so much practice will be needed to go that route.

Some people think I am incredible cheap (paper plate targets among other things) while I prefer prudently thrifty. My personal standard for handgun use is to be able to make a body hit at parking lot distances. Seems I'm faced with spending some dollars.

The lint on the handgun is from the innocuous cotton drawstring sack I use for a range bag.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What Goes Around...Curse the Broncos

I am NOT a Denver Broncos fan. Many family members, alleged friends, and the community at large, are insufferable fans. Last season was every enjoyable, for me, as the Broncos stumbled along. This season they are 6-0. I am being persecuted, I tell you, by my ever loving family members. Worse, they are so enjoying themselves. AARG!

My team? Let's just say the NFL won't give Portland, OR, a professional team because then Seattle would want one.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Damn Pilgrims - Winter Driving

We are approaching the season of local frustration with our flatlander visitors and recent arrivals driving in our winter wonderland. Here is your first tip; GET OUT OF THE WAY! Stay in the right lane, use pullouts, and know your limitations. Locals have the tires, the experience and the need to get to jobs, day care, etc. Enjoy your experience, be safe, but have some consideration. If your safe speed is 30 mph, the truck in front of you is doing 28 mph, then you DO NOT need to pass him when the safe speed for the locals is 50 mph in the left hand lane. KEEP RIGHT!

Your second tip is this: Don't drive in a blizzard if you have never done it before. I-80 across Western Nebraska and Wyoming is a killer in a blizzard.

Your third tip is this: When your fuel gauge is on one half, you are empty. Don't pass a fuel stop if your tank is at one half or below. Avalanche and wrecks can leave you parked for hours in the middle of nowhere.

I imagine this whole rant is a waste of bandwidth but it makes me feel better.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Something Light

No rants or stories. Two pictures taken this week I like and one from the East Portal area from a few days ago.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

B.S. To The Tenth Power

Our small city recently built a new library. No problem there; the old one was about 1,800 square feet and noisy. The new facility is well designed and well constructed. The parking lot has several handicapped parking spots next to the entrance sectioned off from general parking with a sidewalk and dedicated entry and exit. No problem there; the design stops impulse parking. What gets my temper flaring are the six spots nearest the entry (see the photographs).

Having an inquiring mind, I sent an email to the patrol captain asking about the legal basis for these signs and fines for parking there. His reply was, in essence, WTF; we don't know but we will look into it.

My guess is some self important busy body got these installed. Public money was spent on those signs. The parking lot is public, not private, property. To some people, my gripe may seem petty. To me, this is an example of civil employees thinking they have the power to make rules and regulations. NOT!!! Elected representatives make rules and regulations. Civil employees administer rules and regulations. They are not free to use their positions to push their own agenda. We, as citizens, need to keep calling them out. My opinion; your mileage may vary.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Watch Out Again

Posted May 10, 2009 about my legendary driving skills. Today I finished training for a seasonal job as a snow plow operator. The picture shows some of the equipment I will be operating at the airport.

The flying public will be safe; the job is only on the public parking lots so no aircraft will be endangered.

This is an on call job so if it snows a lot this winter my 2010 summer travel fund will be fat. By Monday the 4x4 will be checked over, survival food and gear loaded, and the winter clothes taken out of storage and made ready. Past history says being stuck at the airport for three days is possible.

Me pass the tests? Must be low, low standards. (Friends and family, this is you cue to jump to my defense)