Friday, September 28, 2012

SHTF Warning

Today, had a glimpse of what I might face in a home town SHTF scenario
Main East-west four lane street was blocked for two hours for the high school home coming parade.  Traffic was diverted to residential side streets. Chaos. Drivers blowing through four way stops, ignoring pedestrians in marked cross walks, driving past “Road Closed” signs and barriers, etc. Then, to add to the misery,  the Union Pacific had two trains passing which takes about twenty minutes. All this without a fear factor. My abode is right in the middle of this clusterfuck.

I’ve always had an escape plan but need to review it. Looking now at dropping the neighbors fence to access the alley which leads to side streets. Forcing my way onto the street by the house will only put me in gridlock.

Unlike most people, I don’t plan  to “head for the hills”. Too few roads and only three year around passes over the Rockies.  Instead, I will head East towards the Great Plains. First obstacle, an Interstate Highway with four bridges. Past that, numerous all weather dirt county roads and farm land with lanes give lots of escape routes.

There are scores of windmill supplied stock watering tanks. Probably potable water but I have my purification equipment.  Lots of folds in the land to park and conceal a vehicle and pitch a tent if need be. Go to ground for a few days and let the panic wash by. At least, that is the current plan.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

No Right to a Secret Ballot

Seems everything I've ever learned about elections and the right to a secret ballot is wrong, per Federal District Court Judge Christine Arquello, a Bush appointee consider by Obama for the Supreme Court.

   Can't wrap my mind around this one.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"Racist" Rant

This is where I go off on one of my  muddy, convoluted, political rants. You are warned.

My late father served in the CBI Theater (China, India, Burma) during World War II.  Although he only had an 8th grade education, he had a gift for mathematics and languages. He was quickly fluent in the dialect of the Assam region of India and got to know many of the locals on a social basis. I hasten to add, these were the poor people.

One thing he taught my sister and I was this. “The only thing an Asian understands is a boot on his neck and rice in his belly. If either is missing, look out! The only thing they respect is power.”

Now we have the Lightbringer wanting to change the world. Appears weak. Any surprise that the Islamists are running amok?

Now it is not good for the Christian's health
To hustle the Aryan brown,
For the Christian riles and the Aryan smiles,
And it weareth the Christian down.
And the end of the fight
Is a tombstone white
With the name of the late deceased
And the epitaph drear: "A fool lies here
who tried to hustle the East."
Rudyard Kipling

My father also believed the stupidest thing the USA could do was engage in an Asian land war. Nothing I’ve seen in my life makes me think he was wrong.

We need to hit these bastards hard. Carpet bombing the Baka valley and the Hezbollah will be a good start. Hit and get out. No troops on the ground. Apply the boot, hard.

Won’t happen with the Lightbringer. The hit on Ben Laden started while he was playing golf. By the time he got back, he couldn’t stop it without looking like the puke he really is.

Is this the cure? No, only a stop gap. The cure is to stop depending on Middle East oil and to stop the façade of “foreign aid”. Most “foreign aid” is spent to buy production from our industrial output and “give” it to other countries. A far better explanation than I will ever give can be found here.

Long article but worth the read.

When the “Progressives” rant about the 1%, I’m in agreement. Where I part ways with them is in the possible solutions. They want to replace the 1% with themselves and tell the rest of us how to live. That is like having a choice of which cancer you want with no chance to not have cancer.

Obama or Romney? Romney will slow, not cure, the rot. Maybe buy enough time for better solutions. A good start will be abolishing the Federal Reserve Bank and the thieving financial system it allows to operate.

As always, your mileage may differ.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Meeting the Colorado State Patrol

Had a meeting with a Colorado State Trooper Wednesday night. Small matter of speeding was the reason.

Highway 285 from Evergreen to Fairplay  is one steep hill after another with many wicked curves in the Foothills Southeast of Denver. With all the years of development in the area, there are numerous driveways, feeder roads and county highways along the route. The general speed limit is 55 mph. At night, the road is lousy with deer and an occasional elk.

A fun road on a motorcycle or sporty car, it isn’t much fun in a 1 ton Econoline with weight aboard. The Econoline is to sports cars what Karen Lewis, Chicago Teachers Union President, is to Sports Illustrated swimsuit models.

With the GPS units now in the company vehicles, I’ve  been paying much closer attention to my speed. Climbing a steep hill section, I didn’t get off the throttle as I came over the crest. The trooper was sitting in a driveway just over the crest. Must have been an unmarked car as the reflective tape on most patrol cars can be seen as far away as your lights reach.

Two miles down the road I was totally surprised when his lights came on. Damn, I’m getting old.  After pulling over, I immediately turned on my interior lights, rolled down the window, and had my hands on top of the  steering wheel as he came to the window. After he introduced himself and told me why he stopped me (65 mph), he took a close look at my eyes and took a deep breath through his nose. Seeing I was sober, he said he wasn’t going to cite me. Then he saw the PUC and DOT stuff on the door. Said if he had seen that he wouldn’t have stopped me at all. He had followed me for two miles while I was doing the speed limit. He didn’t say it, but I’m sure he was looking for drunks, not  overage hotshot freight drivers.

With the commercial truck wrinkle, he had about thirty minutes of paperwork to do, log books, bill of ladings, DOT physical card, drivers license, registration, insurance cards, and safety inspection documents to examine and a report to prepare. At the end, no citation and no infractions against the company; just a report to be filed within 15 days.

One thing I noticed was he never had his back to me on all the trips back to his car.  Totally professional, he was courteous and pleasant the entire time (as was I).

I remarked on his accent. Seems he was from England and had been a policeman there, in Bermuda, and elsewhere. He has worked in five countries; his way of getting to see the world.

I really don’t like being stopped by the police. That said, it doesn’t get better than this.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Firearms Show

Damn, I dislike the term "gun". They are firearms, or weapons, or revolvers, or semi auto, etc. If the piece is a smooth bore, then it may be a "gun".  Many of us had drill sergeants that had effective ways of teaching you proper terminology. Enough of the rant, on with the show.

Smaller show with some eager sellers wanting to transfer their "paid too much" merchandise to a bigger fool. Saw my first "Liberator" pistol. Interesting, as was the $2,000+ "asking" price.
Something new to me, as in never seen on before, was a 1878 Verteli. No price was shown and I didn't bother asking. Heavy sucker.
One vendor had a display of Mausers manufactured in nine different countries. Seemed to be in nine different calibers.

While looking over a Ruger Mark I, noticed the young man next to me pointing the semi auto he was looking at directly towards my ample abdomen. He had his finger on the trigger. I asked him loudly, but politely, to not point it at me and to take his finger off the trigger. Said something to the effect that,  although unloaded, we should practice firearms safety at all times.  He first appeared startled, then bemused, but did point it away from me. The booth operator gave me a look like, "What is your problem"? so I just moved on.

My strongest temptation was a East German Makarov, 9x18, with three clips for $325. Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a cheap shit. Oh Well.  There was a Ruger  Mark III for $200. Not a collector piece but one that had seen either a lot of use or spent it's life bouncing around in a glove box. Have this itch for a .22 semi. Took the sellers card - maybe a face to face at a later date.

So, $6 spent (with my Senior Discount) for two hours of amusement but no other money spent.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bad Drivers Rant

Police officers going ballistic should be excused when drivers with their head up their asses are involved. This morning, for instance.

Intersection of North Washington and 132nd Ave, Thornton, CO. has four lanes in all directions. First Thornton police car, emergency lights on, spotlights on, high beams on, and siren on turns West on 132nd from Northbound Washington. The light was green for Washington.  Second police car, same configuration as the first, come to the intersection with a green for 132nd. He stopped, and several Eastbound on 132nd vehicles pass in front of him/her. These fools had just been passed by the first police car going West. Yah thunk they might have got a clue? Finally, cars stopped.  Soon after, a third police car came Northbound on Washington. By this time I had cleared the intersection so didn’t see what happened.

Somehow, I don’t think they were rolling to do a backup on a Wal-Mart shoplifter.

Damn drivers lost in their little world, sound systems, and cell phones, focused three car lengths ahead, are dangerous.

Were I the officer in car #2, I would be looking at my video for license plates, and then hunt the miserable  s.o.b.’s down.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I-70 Fun

No idea where they were headed. Tunnel ahead below  Idaho Springs. Brave truckers if they plan to haul them over Loveland Pass.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Followers - Thank You

Humbling to see several new followers. Thank all of you and welcome.

Were my computer skills, and ability to figure out blogger, better, I would send you an individual thank you. Sigh! (borrowed from Old NFO)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Debt Collectors

Collection telephone calls, and the handling thereof, is explained by Law Dog. 

The man is one of the best blog writers you will every read if you enjoy dry humor.

Telephone bill collectors operate from carefully crafted scripts written and in front of them. You say “A”, they go to their response “D”, etc.

Back in 1984, President Teflon decided to fix certain economic problems by having the US Government stop paying their bills for 6-9 months. Put me into personal bankruptcy. I had neglected to include some minor debt that got passed around and ended up with a persistent telephone troll.  One day he was giving me grief and I was able to change the course of the conversation thusly.

Me, “Hey, put down your scripts and just listen to me for a moment”. After a few back and forth’s, he agreed. Me, “I’m fat, forty, unemployed, bankrupt, getting divorced, and impotent. Just what do you  think you are going to do to me”?  There was a long silence, then a “click”, and no more phone calls.

Won’t ever forget the bankruptcy hearing. Should you have called a meeting, there was a quorum of the Associated Sub Contractors in that room that day.

I’ve been on the other side too. Be in sales, be in management, in smaller companies,  and it is part of the job. Operate your own business and it becomes business life or death. Seldom an easy answer or easy solution.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rambling Thoughts Blog, Probably Boring

One of the dangers of long distance driving is the time you have to think, mull, ponder, and observe, I rarely have the radio on or listen to music. Drives some passengers crazy.

Yesterday, was a relay driver for a load of emergency repair parts to a strip mine in Wyoming. The parts left the factory in Illinois and were driven directly to Denver non stop. I took over and delivered the parts in Wyoming. The cost? Don’t know; don’t want to know. Ask those kinds of questions and you can find yourself in management. Guess the cost of having a machine go down is far more than the cost of the freight when you are operating something this large.

Random thoughts and sights from a thirteen hour, five hundred mile, day.

Saw the California Zephyr Westbound in to Denver, at dawn,  with the Rockies already sunlit in the background.

About 50-60 bison by the “Fort” just South of the Wyoming line in the early morning light. The “Fort” is a series of weathered limestone outcroppings that make a group of natural forts. Seeing the bison, and ignoring the fence and wind farm in the distance, you could imagine yourself transported back 150 years.

Right on Interstate 25 at the Colorado border is the Terry Ranch. They have one of the largest herds of bison anywhere. Lots of other critters including several different kinds of dromedaries. The place is a tourist attraction, to be sure, but true to the Western experience. Good place for a holiday dinner, served bunk house style, with traditional Western Ranch cuisine. Hell of a feed.

North of Douglas, saw a “modern” ranch operation cow herding. A one ton flat bed pickup with a round hay bail in the lead, about twenty black face cows following, and an individual on a ATV in trail. On the back of the ATV was what my sister calls a “right and proper dog”, a black and white border collie. I’m sure the dog was ready to school any cow that didn’t want to get with the program.

Turning off US 93 onto WY 410, saw the resident Pronghorn. He seems to hang around this intersection.  I suspect the Wright, WY Chamber of Commerce is paying him to be a tourist attraction.

Always impressive to see the Union Pacific and BNSF railroad operations in the area. There are six rail lines going into Black Thunder and four parallel lines elsewhere in the area.  A coal train is 110 - 120 coal cars with up to four locomotives, two at each end. Should you want to count them, there are probably around 1,500 cars in a forty square mile area. Between Bill and Wright, WY there is a eighteen unit track build/repair operation. Can’t tell from the highway but it looks like they are building even more track. I wonder how many hundreds of million dollars all this costs.

A word of caution to those driving  through Wyoming. The Wyoming Highway Patrol, though few in number, are very good. The state provides them with the very best of equipment and trusts them to do the job. Each officer’s vehicle is also their take home car and is equipped, for the most part, to their specifications. All vehicles are under 100,000 miles and in top condition. As an aside, Wyoming has a law about passing any emergency vehicle. You will slow down, unless on a four lane highway where you can move over a lane, to 20 mph. I would advise you not to find out if they a serious about enforcing the law.

One of my driving techniques is to spot a “rabbit” and fall in behind them about a half mile. A “rabbit’, of course, is a speeder. Now my employer has put GPS units in the fleet, the “rabbit” is academic but old habits remain. (GPS is like having Officer Friendly on your left shoulder watching your speed all the time). Southbound of  Douglas on I-25, spotted the perfect “rabbit”, a late model Ram 1500, red, with New Mexico plates running about 85 mph.  About ten miles North of Wheatland saw him pulled over with the red and blues behind him. Stopped in Chugwater for fuel/pit stop. He passed me again just before the Colorado line. Still speeding. Silly boy, you have 300 miles to the New Mexico line, the Colorado State Patrol are no slouches, and many of the municipalities and counties along the way have their units sitting on I-25. Did I mention, it is Labor Day Weekend?  Then, you have your own New Mexico State Police. I think they are extra mean because they are forced to wear the ugliest uniforms ever. Think most of his big paycheck will already  be spent before getting  home.

So ended a perfect trip. Boring and uneventful. Just the way I like them.

Thought a lot about politics. Recently went door belling for a local candidate with a female friend. We were all Democrats and most are party “stalwarts”, the ones that do the grunt work year in, year out. The ratio was about 70%-30% female. (Why do you think I get involved?) In contrast to four years ago, their enthusiasm for Obama was tepid. “I think he has done a good job for us” was the strongest statement I heard. The women were pissed, really pissed, with the GOP’s position on “women issues”. Right or wrong, these women are ready to go to war. In a swing state like Colorado, they could well make a difference.

End of the ramble. If you are still reading, thank you!

About the photographs. All are from Google Images. Any copyright violations are unintentional.