Thursday, June 28, 2012

Colorado Wildfires

The air is filled with smoke all across the area. This was yesterday, about 350 miles Northeast of the Front Range fires.

As anyone who has flown into Denver on a hot summer afternoon knows, there is a lot of thermal convection.  That, combined with an abundance of condensation nuclei,  is causing afternoon/evening rains.
Helps air quality East of I-25 but little rain falls in the fire, and fire prone, areas.

Traditional weather patterns bring the seasonal "Albuquerque Low" latter in the summer, which brings moist air from the Southeast. The air is uplifted by the mountains, stalls, and stationary thunderstorms form.   Sometimes this causes huge floods.

Tis a privilege to live in Colorado. The privilege isn't risk free.

As usual, the USDA Forest Service, and the Obama Administration, are questioned.

My negative views about one of the worse managed government agencies, the Forest Service, may be a future blog subject. Will need duct tape available, and EMTs on call,  in case I stroke out if I write it.

A Poem for Gunnies

Collector's Item
by Hal Swift

Jim Landis and me were takin' a ride
in his just-bought pickup truck.
"I bought an antique rifle, too." he says.
"I can hardly believe my luck.

"It's an eighteen-sixty-six Winchester model,
the one with engraving," he said.
"That must've cost you a dollar or two,"
I says, as I shake my head.

"Well," he says, "It cost more'n this pickup,
but it's worth ever' doggone cent.
I borrowed on the truck to pay for the rifle,
so my bank account ain't that bent.

"The rifle," he says, "has never been fired,
which is why it's such a great buy.
It's just like the day it came outta the factory.
That's why its value's so high.

"You bought you a rifle, and won't ever shoot it?"
I says, as my voice nearly fails.
"If I shot it," says Jim, "I might as well use it
as a hammer for poundin' in nails."

"If I were you," I said, "I'd make sure that rifle
gets only the greatest of care."
"It's on the wall," Jim says, "above the fireplace.
Nobody will  bother it there."

At Jim's ranch, we go inside through the kitchen
where Cookie is busy cookin'.
We go into the parlor, and Jim stands there,
just scratchin' his head and lookin'.

There's a look of puzzlement on his face
as he stares at the fireplace wall.
The Winchester's gone, and there ain't nothin'
over the fireplace at all.

"If that rifle is stolen," Jim declares,
"I'll see that the thief gets caught!"
Then he hollers out loud, "Has anyone seen
the rifle that I just bought?"

Cookie comes in and says, "Yeah, I seen 'er,
but she shot to the left a bit.
So I cleaned 'er up, and zeroed 'er in,
an' what y'aim at now, you hit!"


From my friend

Monday, June 25, 2012

Great Job!

Young friend has his one year sober anniversary today. Alcohol abuse has shattered his family. He recognized his problem and handled it. I wish he and his beautiful wife only the best in the years ahead.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Trophy Mount

My late father enjoyed taking people hunting. For several years, he was a professional guide. After he remarried in 1984, he acquired a new set of relatives to take  hunting.

One of the new relatives was “Lou”. He was affluent enough to have hunted all over the world and had numerous trophy mounts in his large den. Lou’s wife wasn’t a hunting fan. There was a sense of friction between them on the subject of hunting.

While out with my father, Lou managed to shoot a hole through the bed of my father’s new 4x4 GMC pickup. Can you say, “Four Rules”?

Lou’s wife paid a modeler for a model of the pickup, painted appropriately, with tiny holes in the correct places. She had the model trophy mounted and hung in Lou’s den.

Reports were Lou wasn't amused.

Something Not Seen Often

From the Jackson County Museum, Walden, CO

I didn't know Winchester made a semiautomatic this early. Gasp, Assault Rifle.

Others on display

And this. May be an 1903 Springfield, may be a newer Enfield. I'm not a gunnie.

And more.

A very small portion of our clan.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bakken Patch

In the Willisten, N.D., area the past two days. Amazing! Haven't seen so many pickups in one area ever.

Appears that any flat ground with a water supply and soil that will pass a perk test for a septic system is growing RV trailers. Hundreds of RV trailers.

What a contrast between the 100+ year old farms and the oil infrastructure. Kind of like an Amish buggy in front of a refinery.

A job is a precious thing today but I wouldn't want to spend a North Dakota winter in a twenty foot travel trailer.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Army Birthday

Today is the birthday of the senior service. Thank you for our freedoms.

My youngest is on active duty. Son, you make you father proud. Thank you for what you do for your family. Thank you for the lives you have saved and will save.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bumbling Towards War

Like many other bloggers (Bloviating Zeppelin), I try to read news and opinions from outside our “Authorized Media”; doing so with the understanding that much of what is offered is “their” propaganda. One place I go is Debka Files  which is an Israeli site.

Right now they are pointing out how Putin and the Russians are handing the Lightbringer, aka SCOAMF (thanks BZ), his limp dick,  over Syria and Iran.

My fear is this bumbling fool is getting us into another shooting war. Two reasons. First, he IS a stuttering clusterfuck of  a miserable failure. Second, he and his insular group of pseudo intellectuals may think it will help his reelection (hello, 9/11 and George W’s second term). Anyone notice the huge redeployment of our forces headed West towards Asian islands?

Evidence of the first point. Pullout of Iraq (more like cut and run). Stellar handling of the Libya blowup and aftermath. Dealing with Pakistan.  Second point. The second Bush election came three years after the attack  and Bush’s opponent was a documented and self proclaimed bed wetter.

 (Exception, Kerry’s Vietnam record. From what I’ve read, he, while he was there, did a creditable job. Many of his crew agreed. I’ve always resented the way the enlisted sailors on the Swift boat he commanded were slimed by association. I worked with a man who was a snipe in the same unit at the same time. He was outraged by the “Swift Boat” attacks. He also was more outraged by Kerry’s post Vietnam behavior.)

There may be compelling national interests for our country to get involved on the ground. Not everyone in the CIA, NSA, DoD, etc. are SCOAMF’s. Some of them can even keep their mouths shut. I just don’t see the Obama team putting together a winning plan. I also doubt we have the resources to do it. The old saying about amateurs study tactics and the professionals study logistics applies here. Anybody think the weaponry expended in Libya has been replaced? Anyone think the depot stocks have been replaced? Guess we can depend on the Saudis to share their resources. Yeah, that is a plan.

I hope I’m wrong.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gag, Barf

For my 400th post, let me share an email I received.

Today is my 25th anniversary in Congress. I want to take a moment to thank you for your support over the years.

We have made tremendous progress because you have stood with me to ensure that we continue moving America forward.

And now, it’s because of friends and supporters like you that the House Majority is within reach with five months left until Election Day.

On this special anniversary, House Democrats are focused on the 25 seats we need to win the Majority.

Please contribute $3 or more right now to ensure House Democrats have important resources to support strong Democratic candidates and Members facing tough challenges for re-election and hold Republicans accountable for their misguided agenda.

President Obama needs a strong Democratic Majority in Congress and your support will bring us closer to returning the gavel to Democrats who will focus on the people’s interests instead of the special interests.

You are the backbone of our party and we will win in November because of your tireless support and determination.

Can you chip in today?

Onward to victory,


Still a Blue Dog in spite of  this monster; just don't vote for "Progressives". (or give them my money)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Obama Brand

Is the mass media starting to distance themselves from the Obama “brand”? From Wikipedia:
Brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company (name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or combination of them) and how it relates to key constituencies: customers, staff, partners, investors etc.
Some people distinguish the psychological aspect, brand associations like thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and so on that become linked to the brand, of a brand from the experiential aspect.

My browser is Internet Explorer which means I’m reading MSNBC and NBC unless I seek other sources. Over the past three years I’ve found their tone changing from giddy cheerleading to mild cheerleading to now, criticism and skepticism.
Progressive site “Common Dreams” now have contributors who’s vitriolic against Obama approaches past Bush attacks.
All these organizations need readership to be relevant (and sell advertising). Seems they now want to distance their “brand” from the Obama “brand”. Looking to the future?
I don’t see much of the enthusiasm for Obama that was so apparent  four years ago.  Where is the enthusiasm for Romney?  Seems more like a ground swell of “anybody but Obama”.

Wisconsin? Tip O’Neall often stated, “all politics is local”. That recall election was about as local as it gets. The lesson here is the effort to get out the vote. Over 60% of the eligible voters, 10% more than the last presidential election, voted.

My biggest  fear is the Lightbringer, and his pack of parasites, will try to save themselves by getting us in another war.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

This Is So Wrong

For people around my age, the Vietnam War was yesterday. I was sent to Germany; lucky me. Our Stars and Stripes newspaper printed the casualty lists. Grim reading.

The anti war sentiment seemed to be expressed by  fucking over veterans. They, and the people who loved them, were subject to discrimination, belittlement, and ostracism.  Much of that has died down  but still exists.

So, this past Memorial Day, the Vietnam Memorial was closed to the public for seven hours. This was to allow our President to make a fifteen minute speech.

Such loathsome, insensitive, callous and cynical disrespect tells me our President, and his circle of advisers, need to go away. That Memorial belongs to the people. That day, Memorial Day, is deeply meaningful to many people. To be used for a damn  political stunt is so wrong that I can’t find words to define it.

Thank you, Mr. President, for pissing on all who served.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Flying Story

Had a request for a flying story. This goes back many years but the lessons learned may still be applicable.

A friend had Cessna 185 he used to haul skydivers,  among other activities. He suffered a broken leg and couldn’t fly. While his income stopped, his plane payments didn’t. He asked me to take over for a few weekends until he could get into a walking cast.

While he was trying to teach me the finer points of hauling fools, who pay money to jump out of a perfectly fine airplane, he handed me a spare magneto key and told me to put it my shirt pocket.

The first group were fine. The second group were jokers. The last jumper out of the plane turned off my magnetos and took the key with him. I was focused on my attitude and didn’t see him reaching until it was too late.

For non pilots, this wasn’t a big problem; simply glide to the airport and land. A little tricky but no big deal. What was a problem was the stress on the engine. We had just climbed 5,000 feet at maximum power, maximum climb, and the air cooled engine was hot.  With no power, the engine will get “shock cooled” in places and stay hot (no oil circulation) in others. Not a good thing for long engine life.

Out with the spare key, magnetos on, cowl flaps shut, 900 r.p.m and the airplane in a nice nose down descent.  Below me the jumpers chutes were opening. The jumper with my key was the last to deploy.

Wanting to make maximum use of my air time, I started practicing landings, using the top of his chute as a target. Lots of fun - got in two nice approaches by using one minute turns.

Once all of us were on the ground, a spirited conversation occurred, but the key was returned. The few following weekends went by with no further incidents.

Another thing I did for my friend was towing sailplanes. What fun! All of his customers were experienced, many working on their Diamonds, and all wanting altitude pronto. I understand some student pilots can give you a thrill. All of these people were  great to work for.

My friend didn’t want landings with the tow rope attached. He  wasn’t real pleased with my accuracy dropping tow lines. Muttered about “worse than an Air Force pilot.”  About what you would expect from a Marine.

All too soon he was in a walking cast and my summer fun was over. Always have been grateful for the experience.