30 September 2010


The following things are now in my possession:

The head for TDP.

The transmission parts for TDP.

The lawn mower parts.

Monster Hunter: Vendetta.

If you don't see anything new posted for a while, you now know why.

27 September 2010

I Am America

Get it here.

HT: Wolf Files via The Other McCain


It's been perfect convertible weather Thursday, Friday and Saturday with highs in the 90's but lows in the comfortable mid-70's. There has also been a full moon, so I have been doing a lot of night driving with the top down just because.

All that came to an end yesterday for two reasons; first because I had to go to work and second because the rains finally came. We have been needing rain, and this will put our daytime highs in the 70's and nighttime lows in the 60's. That's too cool for convertible cruising at night, but we will be able to open the doors and windows and not run the air conditioner.

That's a good thing, because at about 7PM last night our air conditioner gave up the ghost. We have been nursing it along for the past couple of years, and this time there is some pretty extensive obvious electrical damage with an unknown degree of hidden electrical damage in the control circuitry. The entire system is dead; it tripped the breaker but not before the power transformer that feeds the 240VAC heating coils and 24VAC control circuits got fried.

Add to that the fact that the unit is leaking freon and has had to run for extended periods during the heat of summer just to keep the house 5 to 10 degrees hotter than the thermostat setting and during the cold of winter to keep the house 5 to 10 degrees cooler than the thermostat setting (it's a heat pump). The old unit is 11 years old, and being in a modular home wasn't the highest quality when new. It's time for a replacement.

The replacement will run about $7400 installed including the duct work and electrical. With the rebates and incentives from the power company and the manufacturer plus a $1500 write-off on my taxes, the whole thing will cost me around $5600 when everything pans out, plus my electric bills should be lower. I will have to pay it up front and collect the rebates later.

That's a $7400 hit that I wasn't planning on taking, so the budget just got a lot tighter. The credit card that I had previously been able to pay off is going to get a big charge on it, but I'm going to pay it off over the next seven or eight months since I don't have any other payments that I'm making. That should hopefully keep the interest charges from hurting too badly.

I'm sure that I'll be satisfied with the results in the long run, but the skinflint in me is now cowering in the corner whimpering.

Questions and Answers

By way of Lawdog comes a link to this questionnaire. He has given his answers here, and I am giving mine below.

1. Do you believe that criminals and domestic abusers should be able to buy guns without background checks?

I don't believe criminals should be allowed to buy guns at all, but that doesn't stop them. Background checks are irrelevant. But, since you mentioned them, does that mean that you are OK with criminals buying guns as long as they have a background check?

On the subject of domestic abusers; number one, the goalposts keep moving as far as what constitutes domestic abuse, and number two, domestic abusers would by definition be criminals. However, I believe the biggest deterrent to violent domestic abuse (the only kind that would warrant the restriction of RKBA) is for the would-be abusee to be armed and trained.

2. What is your proposal for keeping guns away from criminals, domestic abusers, terrorists and dangerously mentally ill people?

We have four different classes of people here, so here are four different answers:

Criminals: either lock them up or reduce their number. You figure out how. Hint: it's hard to rob, rape or maim someone who is armed and trained.

Domestic abusers: we pretty well covered that in question 1.

Terrorists: kill them all, let God sort them out.

Dangerously mentally ill people: if they are a danger to themselves or others they are institutionalized and therefore not a problem, right?

3. Do you believe that a background check infringes on your constitutional right to "keep and bear arms"?

Of course it does.

4. Do you believe that I and people with whom I work intend to ban your guns?

Isn't that the reason you advocate the banning of guns? Note, if you want to ban even one you are by definition advocating the banning of guns. From there it's just a matter of how far you intend to carry out the act. Or as the UCMJ puts it; penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.

(completely off topic, but it's interesting to note that as per the UCMJ Article 120, rape is punishable by death.)

5. If yes to #4, how do you think that could happen ( I mean the physical action)?

Since a ban is a legislative action and not a physical one, the answer is "by the passing of unconstitutional laws." However, when it gets down to the physical action of actually rounding the guns up, the answer becomes "by prying them out of my cold, dead hands."

6. What do you think are the "second amendment remedies" that the tea party GOP candidate for Senate in Nevada( Sharron Angle) has proposed?

Love the "scare quotes" there, and nice job getting the tea party reference in as well, but shouldn't you be asking this question of Sharron Angle?

UPDATE: Here's the quote from Sharron Angle, from an interview by Lars Larson in Portland, OR:

You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.

I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.

7. Do you believe in the notion that if you don't like what someone is doing or saying, second amendment remedies should be applied?

Have we defined "second amendment remedies" yet?

As long as that person is not attempting to deprive me, or those around me, of life, liberty or property through force or fraud they are free to do pretty much whatever the hell they want. If, on the other hand, they are attempting to deprive me or those around me of life, liberty or property through force or fraud I believe in the notion that I may use any means necessary to convince them not to.

As far as what they are saying, there's a completely different amendment that covers that.

8. Do you believe it is O.K. to call people with whom you disagree liars and demeaning names?

If they are lying I believe it is OK to call them on it. If I call you a wannabe gun banner, and you in fact want to ban guns, wouldn't the name be descriptive even if you feel it is demeaning? Oh, and by the by, that little amendment I mentioned above that covers the whole "what they are saying" thing? Yeah, you might want to study up on it.

9. If yes to #8, would you do it in a public place to the person's face?

Damn straight I would. And then I would give them a chance to explain why they are not what I said they were, at which time I would either apologize if I was wrong or reiterate if I was right.

10. Do you believe that any gun law will take away your constitutional rights?

That's a pretty open-ended question. If the law was "no state or entity may, for any reason, deprive a citizen of his right to keep and bear arms without due process" then the answer would be "no." However, in the context of all the gun laws so far being restrictive, the answer would have to be "hell yes."

11. Do you believe in current gun laws? Do you think they are being enforced? If not, explain.

What does that mean, do I believe in them? Do I believe they exist? It's pretty obvious that they do. Do I believe they are lawful? No. Do I think they are being enforced? Absolutely, but remember only the law abiding are abiding by the laws.

I noticed that you didn't ask if I believed if they are effective. The answer, of course, would be that they are very effective - in creating unarmed victims out of law abiding citizens. Otherwise, not so much.

12. Do you believe that all law-abiding citizens are careful with their guns and would never shoot anybody?

I believe that all law abiding citizens are careful with their guns and would never intentionally shoot anybody without cause.

13. Do you believe that people who commit suicide with a gun should be included in the gun statistics?

There are lies, there are damn lies and there are statistics. If you want to keep track of the number of people who commit suicide and the tools that they use to accomplish that purpose (guns, knives, ropes, cops, etc.) then by all means do so. Just be honest enough to publish the raw data.

14. Do you believe that accidental gun deaths should "count" in the total numbers?

Total number of what? Accidental deaths? Once again, do as you like, but be honest enough to publish the raw data.

15. Do you believe that sometimes guns, in careless use or an accident, can shoot a bullet without the owner or holder of the gun pulling the trigger?

No. So-called accidental discharge of modern firearms can always be attributed to malfunction of the weapon or violation of one of the Four Rules. There are no accidents. Careless use violates at least one of the Four Rules.

Case in point: when the Saiga was being demonstrated to me it refused to fire. The operator turned the weapon on it's side to examine it and it fired without anyone pulling it's trigger. Examination of the weapon revealed an unfired cartridge that had gotten jammed into the mechanism. That is an example of a malfunction. Strict adherence to the Four Rules kept the malfunction from becoming a tragedy. That is the reason for the Four Rules.

16. Do you believe that 30,000 gun deaths a year is too many?

There is not enough information in that question to make a qualified answer. If it is 30,000 deaths of would-be rapists by way of their armed intended victims, then no. If, on the other hand, it is 30,000 deaths of unarmed victims due to asinine gun control laws, then yes. Remember what I said about statistics?

17. How will you help to prevent more shootings in this country?

Leaving alone the point that all shootings are not necessarily the same, I'm going to answer as if you meant to say unintentional shootings: By donating to organizations such as the NRA that teach new shooters about safe gun handling practices and by insisting on strict adherence to the Four Rules by myself and by anyone who is handling firearms in my presence.

18. Do you believe the articles that I have posted about actual shootings or do you think I am making them up or that human interest stories about events that have happened should not count when I blog about gun injuries and deaths?

I have no reason not to believe that everything you write is factually correct and you have the right to blog about anything that you so desire (there's that "what they are saying" thing again). But one can make the truth dance a pretty jig without uttering (or writing) a single word that is not absolutely true. It's all in the context, isn't it?

19. There has been some discussion of the role of the ATF here. Do you believe the ATF wants your guns and wants to harass you personally? If so, provide examples ( some have written a few that need to be further examined).

I believe the ATF, as with all government entities, is a bureaucracy that is not interested in you in the slightest as a person. You are a data point, a statistic if you will, nothing more. They are cold, faceless, and above all, impersonal.

That is not to say that you will not become their special project if they as an entity believe you merit their undivided attention, and individual bureaucrats can indeed make an example of you for any reason he or she wishes to. That is the nature of bureaucracies.

20. Will you continue a reasonable discussion towards an end that might lead somewhere or is this an exercise in futility?

Assuming that by leading somewhere you don't mean the abolishment of all gun control laws as a starting point, this is an exercise in futility. Consider these simple words:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

There is no reasonable restriction to a Constitutional right. There is, therefore, no reasonable discussion regarding the same. All "reasonable" discussions up to this point have resulted in the un-reasonable restriction of Constitutional rights, therefore I am not interested in any future discussions unless it involves the abolishment of every single gun law on the books at the present time. Only at that point will there be room for compromise.

Lawdog has a pretty good analogy regarding this last point, and you should really go and read it.

UPDATE: This is probably the most important question that was asked. The answer remains the same, but upon further reflection I would like to add that no compromise can be reached because we're not even talking in the same terms.

We both would like to see fewer deaths due to @$$holes with guns. Your solution is to eliminate the guns, my solution is to eliminate the @$$holes. Until we can agree on which factor to eliminate we will never agree on how to reach the goal of fewer deaths.

26 September 2010

The Right To License

Is the right to deny.

I don't remember where I heard that first, it was on some radio show or another, so I can't properly attribute it. That doesn't make it any less so.

At any rate, RTWT, pay particular attention to the comments, and if you live in Cleveland JUST SAY NO!

HT: American Digest, story on the sidebar.

25 September 2010

Just Because

Life At the Refuge

Work has begun on TDP. The head got taken off yesterday and sure enough, three of the four intake valves and at least one exhaust valve has tapped the pistons. Estimates for the head work run in the $400 range. I'll be glad to get it out of my driveway.

BIL has dumped a piece of junk on me as well, he brought his Toyota down for Eldest Son to repair. We are now waiting on parts, but I promise that I won't wait very long.

There will be a new shed arriving soon, I ordered a 12x20 footer that should serve nicely for motorcycle storage and repair. This one has high enough walls for lofts, which will supply some much-needed storage space for the seasonal supplies. The smaller shed will then become the home of the lawn mowers.

The riding lawn mower has worn out another of it's spindles, the same spindle that has already been replaced in fact. The lawn mower parts guy says it's common, he thinks it's because it is on the discharge end and should have been made heavier. I think it's all in the pulley, they are stamped metal and should have a milled hub (my opinion). A new spindle and three new blades are on the way and soon it should be mowing as it should.

The state of Iowa has decided I can keep my license. While I was back on vacation I got a little exuberant passing a truck and netted myself a nice little ticket. Since the speed was in excess of 25 MPH over the limit it was considered a severe violation. A little begging and pleading and I'm on probation until this time next year. Cruise control is your friend!

Last but not least, my checking account has been charged for Monster Hunter: Vendetta so it will soon be on it's way! I'm rather proud of myself, I've had a copy of the E-arc and have not even looked at it (although I did not delete it either, so the temptation was always there).

UPDATE: Shipped, ETA 4 October 2010. Soon, very soon...


The Big Ditz. Just cause I loved the phrase "hugging the bear" enough to want to steal it, but credit where it is due.

23 September 2010


I found this at The Other McCain. I don't even remember what the post was about, but these guys RAWK!

Better Late Than Never

I missed my chance to die horribly in Monster Hunter: Alpha, but I will be dying in what I hope to be a loud, gruesome and awe-inspiring manner in a future Larry Correia book.

Hopefully he can work my new shooty stick into the action somewhere as well.

If you have not already done so, please take a moment to investigate your opportunity to die for a good cause as well.

UPDATE: Yes!!!! I have a good chance of being eaten by werewolves!

Cospunk? Steamplay?

Whatever it is, you can thank McGoo.

Click to embiggenate.
(This last one seems to be pretty well armed.)

22 September 2010

Up To The Challenge

A little over a week ago Aggie Sith issued the Challenge of the Sith. It's basically a "tell me ten things about yourself" meme. So without further ado, here are my ten things.

1) I have never been a liberal. Even when I was in grade school I was pretty sure that Jimmy Carter was an idiot and that if you punish those who do good things pretty soon no one would do anything good. "Tax the rich, feed the poor, till there are no rich no more" always seemed to me to be a warning that we would be wise to heed.

2) I am the son of a son of a Sailor. My grandfather was a Seabee heavy equipment mechanic in WW2 who told my father that he didn't want his kids to be Sailors or mechanics. I'm sure I would have either been a source of great disappointment or great pride to him, having been both Sailor and mechanic (on Navy aircraft).

3) I am an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church (and you can be one, too, if you follow that link). The only reason I did it was because one of the people in a chatroom I used to frequent was one and used it as his "moral superiority" for any arguments he would make. I got ordained so that I could follow his "As an ordained minister, I think..." with an "As an ordained minister, I think you are a jackass" of my own.

4) I am a Darwinist at heart. I believe that stupidity should be painful, and occasionally fatal, and that the only thing that safety equipment has done is make it harder for the truly stupid to kill themselves off, and humanity is dumber as a result. For reasons that should be obvious, I hate ambulance chasing lawyers.

5) Both of my parents have been ordained ministers (Oral Roberts University instead of Universal Life Church, with divinity degrees and everything). My father still is one. My parents became ordained ministers after all of their children had left the house, so although I am technically a "preacher's kid" I wasn't one while I was a kid.

6) I have five children, but I only helped to create one of them. One of them is a red-headed step-child and another is actually my great-grandson if the family lines are all drawn out, so I am my own grandpa. The only one I helped to create was raised by her mother in Wyoming so she was spared all of this insanity.

7) I will occasionally mangle the English language on purpose to see if anyone notices. One of my former shipmates used to get crazy about it because I was "obviously intelligent so why do you DO that?!?!?!?" I didn't tell him that it was because I thought it was funny that he got so nuts over it because I figured if he knew he would stop letting it bother him and rob me of my amusement.

8) I have always had a fondness for unusual vehicles. One of my current vehicles is a Subaru Baja, and the one before that was a Dodge Rampage.

9) The first motor vehicle I ever owned was a motorcycle. I have owned at least one motorcycle ever since. I currently have two (a Harley and a Suzuki), neither of them run, and I don't have a current motorcycle license so neither of them are registered.

10) I have never broken a bone or had major surgery. Other than being short for my weight I am unreasonably healthy.

21 September 2010


Maybe we'll be able to get us some flying cars here like they promised!

HT: Ace of Spades HQ

The Wisdom of Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett, creator of the Discworld:

"In every case there was a chorus that forecast, more or less the end of the world. Well, here we are and if the world is ending it would appear to be for other reasons. People, you and me, are not trusted. The right doesn't like us because we don't do what we're told by our betters, and the left doesn't like us because it secretly thinks we would be on the right given half a chance and a lottery win. And both think we should not make our own decisions, because we might make the wrong ones."


"We are presented with a version G.K.Chesterton's game 'Fool the Prophet'. Governments and religions make rules that the compliant populous puts up with right up until they decide not to."

It is probably fortunate for him that he is not an American citizen, otherwise I would write his name in for President. I might still.

20 September 2010

Looky! Linky!

I don't know why I had not added fellow Rott LC Aggie Sith to the old blog roll. This glaring oversight has been corrected. LC Aggie Sith coblogs with ArmedGeek, so it's a twofer.

Also welcome Laura from Fetch My Flying Monkeys. She's a "stream of consciousness" blogger, so you never know what you're going to find.

Lastly but certainly not leastly, welcome Mr Bingley from The Coalition Of The Swilling.


17 September 2010


I haven't yet written a detailed post about Staff Sergeant Giunta because he hasn't yet officially been awarded. As soon as he is, I will enter his name in the Last Refuge Hall of Heroes.

I just wanted you all to know that I am paying attention.

15 September 2010


If you are here because Patrick sent you, tell him that you found me to be a charming, witty and handsome fellow.

No need to let reality intrude, right?

14 September 2010


My Congresscritter was in town and didn't even let me know.

I don't think he likes me.

HT: The Other McCain

12 September 2010

Burning Down The House

If you find it offensive that some would object to the building of a mosque two blocks from ground zero because of the concepts of freedom of speech, why do you find it offensive that others would want to burn books? Isn't the concept of freedom of speech still the same?

And the only thing that Gen. Petraeus said was this will make it harder for the troops to do their jobs and put them in more danger. To all of you who were bothered by that statement, what's the big deal? Does he not have the right to voice an opinion as well?

And to all of you who opine that the lives of US troops are made to be sacrificed, I have as much contempt for you as I did for the leftists that espoused the same beliefs not long ago, and the same vitriolic level of hatred for you. How dare you presume to spend such precious coin so carelessly?

Once again, the bottom line is just because you can doesn't necessarily follow that you should.

11 September 2010

Someone To Look Over Me

Today I took the clan out to practice our zombie elimination skills.

Along for the ride was the .223 Saiga, the .22 Marlin and the new semiauto shotgun.

Also along for the ride was middle daughter and youngest son, the first time for both of them.

Last night in preparation for today's events I went over the Four Rules with youngest son, with the admonition that he would not be allowed to touch firearms without being able to tell me what they were. This morning he passed the test admirably.

The Marlin is still a tack driver, it consistently hits in the center at any range. It's a great little gun to teach new shooters with, but it is a bit large yet for youngest son. I'll have to get him a junior size one for his own until he grows a bit.

The Saiga shoots a bit high at longer ranges, so it will have to be slightly adjusted. Youngest son fell in love with the Evil Black Rifle, but he is a bit slight of stature yet to fire it well. Middle daughter shot a few rounds out of it and she was done.

The semiauto 12 gauge Franchi shot well, but it's plugged for 3 shots. I'll have to dig through the owner's manual and find out how to take that out.

When I shot the Saiga I was shooting at a 3" swinging target and doing pretty well with it until it disappeared. Turns out instead of hitting the center point of the target, which is what I was aiming at, I was hitting the bar that it hung from instead and two shots took the bar right off. The two shots that actually hit the target itself nearly penetrated the 3/8" steel that the target was made of.

With the swinging target neatly disposed of, the last victim of the day was a 2 liter soda bottle filled with water. I took my turn and couldn't hit it at all, Middle Daughter took one shot and missed it as well, but Eldest Son, aiming for the bottom of the bottle, put a round neatly through the center of the top about 2" below the cap. We never found the cap.

As to the title of the post, I pulled the guns and ammo out from the closet where they are stored and put them on the bed prior to loading up the Baja. As we carried everything out to the truck, Eldest Son found a golden band on the bed with the words "First Best 10 Years" inscribed inside. It was my wedding band, lost these past 6 months. Laura had it inscribed for me on our 10th anniversary.

07 September 2010

There Goes Another One

Once more, just because you can doesn't necessarily follow that you should.

Even if the shoe is on the other foot this time.

HT: Marko, the Munchkin Wrangler

06 September 2010

Some Days

it's just not worth going to the store.

Or as the fighter pilots used to tell me, some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you.

Maybe more appropriately in this case, some days the deer hits your Kia and some days you eat that deer with Heinz 57. Sometimes it's even the same day.

At any rate, see if you can go help out a fellow American who's down on his luck. Even if they haven't acknowledged my presence.

Photo from The Other McCain

04 September 2010

Cruise In

I attended my first cruise-in today and had a great time. There were lots of sharp looking cars and mine got some looks and comments as well, even though I had not polished it up to show. It was the only brand-new GT with the 5.0 Coyote motor, so that got a lot of admiring looks.

There was one other California Special (a 2007) and lots of other good looking Mustangs including a 66 convertible (the red one in the picture). The blue car is a supercharged Cobra and the black one is the 2007 GT/CS. There was also a 2004 Mach 1 and a Saleen of the same body style.

The lesser pony cars were represented by several 60's Camaros, a 'Cuda and some 70's vintage Challengers, and a brand-new SS Camaro. There was also one Firebird, one Model T wagon, and a couple of nice looking pickups as well. A slew of restorations and rods rounded out the mix, one of the more notable being a 59 Fairlane Skyliner with the continental kit. All together there were probably 50 - 75 cars.

A good time was had by all.

Picture taken with my crappy cell phone camera, I'll have to remember to bring a good one next time.

Just So You Know

I have always been a gun liker, but just because I have made a few purchases recently doesn't mean the Refuge will become a gun blog.

I did just pick up a new semi-auto 12 gauge Franchi from my neighbor though.

I also picked up a 100 round box of shells from the local Wally World.

I can't wait to shoot it.


The Refuge has recently acquired anti-zombie equipage.

Middle daughter now wants to learn how to make holes in things.

We will now do the happy dance.