28 January 2011


Twenty five years ago today I was checking out of Naval Air Technical Training Center at NAS Memphis, Millington TN after attending Avionics Class A1 and Advanced First Term Avionics schools in preparation to become an avionics tech on the F-14 Tomcat (and later the F/A-18 Hornet) aircraft.

As I was handing in my linens the space shuttle launch was taking place. The TV in the office was tuned to watch it. Before our incredulous eyes what had been a glorious triumph of human engineering turned into a horrible tragedy.

Today we remember the six professional astronauts and the one high-school social studies teacher from Concord, New Hampshire who gave all they had to give to further our explorations.

Mission Commander Francis "Dick" Scobee
Pilot Michael J. Smith
Mission Specialist Ellison Onizuka
Mission Specialist Judith Resnik
Mission Specialist Ronald McNair
Payload Specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe
Payload Specialist Gregory Jarvis


I just signed up for the concealed carry class and am awaiting confirmation and a class date.

I have my ammo, holster and firearm ready to go.

Yes I know, it's about time.

UPDATE: Tomorrow. That was quicker than I expected.

UPDATE II: I have my certificate, but I had to shoot twice to qualify. I really need to get to the range more.

Think Of The Wee Tots

The Tater Tots, that is.

Time to take a stand.

The Only Thing

that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

Every day we lose more and more of these good men, and good women, the ones that chose to stand in the way of evil, and sometimes watched their brothers and sisters in arms perish because of it.

Six million of the earth's inhabitants became air pollution in the skies over Europe while good men did nothing. Those good men who came later and put an end to it photographed it so that the world would know, so that those who would deny it ever happened could be proven wrong, so they would be forced to acknowledge fact.

As those good men, both the ones who were in the camps and those who liberated them, shuffle off this mortal coil their stories are being lost. Those who come after increasingly refuse to believe that it ever happened.

I don't know if they refuse to believe because they don't want to acknowledge man's capacity for evil, or if they advocate disbelief to mask their own capacity for such evil. Either way evil is served, either by willful misdirection or willing ignorance.

It is not only the ovens that garner such incredulousness, but the gulags and the killing fields as well. Every place that utopia has been attempted at the point of a gun has it's mass graves and it's hidden past, and all of those have disbelievers.

Kipling warned us that we cannot escape from what is, no matter how much we wish to believe it is not so. Shamefully we must learn that lesson over and over and over again.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

But then again, Kipling warned us of that as well.

UPDATE: Just to drive home the point, cmblake6 links this article written about a chain letter that addresses exactly the points I did here.

26 January 2011

What's The Difference

Between this and the oft-cited back alley?

25 January 2011


I see this, and I see this, and I can't help but think there's something not being said.

Thanks to CMBlake6, who got me thinking about it.

Special Delivery

My ammo has arrived!

Now all I need is a time and place to turn money into smoke and noise.

Range report after the fact. Stay tuned!

This Is A Good Idea?

In Fayetteville NC, home of Fort Bragg, Pope Air Force Base, and the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions of the US Army, the Mayor decided it was high time the Vietnam veterans got the welcome home that they deserved and did not get forty years ago.

Someone decided it would be a good idea to invite the Quaker House to the festivities. Quaker House is an anti-war group, established in 1969 to protest American involvement in Vietnam. Among the things they did was organize protest rallies and assist draftees in escaping to Canada.

Their idea to honor the vets is to show Jane Fonda films.

Sometimes you just have to wonder how some people have enough neurons firing to maintain respiration.

20 January 2011

It's A Shooter

The Arisaka tested good, so it's ammo I'm looking for instead of a display rack.

I dropped by the local local Merchant of Death (the one where the Arisaka was is all the way across Raleigh from here) and put an order in for 6.5x50 Japanese. The supplier is out of stock, so they are going to put the request in and let me know when it will be available.

But, since I am impatient, I also ordered a box of 129 grain Hornady and a box of 140 grain Hornady from Graf & Sons. It is being shipped via FedEx and will hopefully be here soon.

In the meantime I have a bottle of Old English wood oil and I am rubbing down the stock. The first couple of applications soaked right in with no noticeable effects, but the shine is starting to come back now after numerous additional coats. The stock was pretty dry, but it is in good shape otherwise for a 100 year old rifle. Compare the picture here with the one here to see the difference.

When the ammo gets in I'll take it to the range and check it out, report to follow.

19 January 2011

No Dangerous Weapons

Only dangerous people.


The Arisaka is ready to be picked up. I didn't catch the phone call so I don't know any details. Tomorrow I will go get it and find out if I should order ammo or a display rack.

Sunny and warm today, the Mustang had the top down and the grille was fired up. Tomorrow isn't supposed to be quite as warm, but the sun will still be shining.

I'm planning on doing a whole lot of nothing this weekend, and I'm hoping it will be everything I wish it to be.

14 January 2011


Jared Loughner was not a domestic terrorist. He was a crazy man.

Terrorists commit their acts for the specific purpose of affecting the political climate to make political statements or political changes.

Jared Loughner committed his act specifically to kill Representative Gifford because she couldn't come up with an answer to his nonsensical question.

No agenda. No terrorism. Just crazy.

13 January 2011

Tell Me Again

Five snow events in North Carolina so far this winter, all in the past two months.

The last one was expecting two inches of snow, which fell short, and a tenth of an inch of ice, which arrived as advertised.

The good news is the Subaru is an adept traveler even in the ice, as long as its driver acts like he has a modicum of good sense.

The bad news is my tire cables won't fit on the Subaru. They are for fifteen inch wheels (which the Pontiac has) and the Scoobytruck has 16 inch wheels.

The ice is mostly gone now, but I suppose I should get a pair (or two pairs, since it's AWD) of cables for the Scooby. I have a feeling I'm going to need them.

10 January 2011

Band Of Brothers

Thank you, Major Winters. Rest in peace.

Weather, Not Climate

The first flakes of 2011 have fallen.

There aren't many of them yet but they are expected to have lots of friends starting at about 5 PM. It shouldn't be too bad driving in to work, but by tomorrow morning between 1-2 inches of snow is expected with a bonus of 1/10th of an inch of ice from the freezing rain expected to follow the snow.

It will be a long drive home tomorrow morning.

09 January 2011


They are being said for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D, AZ) who is recovering but still in critical condition following an attack by an apparently crazed gunman Saturday.

Shame on anyone attempting to make a political statement out of this.

Not surprisingly, Correia says it better.

05 January 2011

To Boldly Go

Having now seen the video, here are my thoughts:

1) meh.

2) I'm glad that the people I cruised with on Forrestal in 1988 are safely retired by now.

3) Having been through the whole Tailhook brouhaha a senior Naval Aviator should have known better.

4) Nothing - and I do mean NOTHING - that gets recorded is safe. Keep that in mind boys and (especially) girls.

03 January 2011

Thought Of The Day: Blaming The Victims

If you are suffering from the predictable outcome of your own stupidity (lack of planning is stupidity) you are not a victim, you are an imbecile. The only thing we do when we canonize victims is encourage the creation of more of them. We are now at the point where victims are placed on a high pedestal and regarded as authority figures based only on their own incompetence.

Blatant idiocy should always be a disqualifier for victimhood status. If you get on a plane to escape a natural disaster according to your disaster preparedness plan and the plane crashes, you are a victim. If you are in a bad situation and choose to stay, for whatever reason, rather than change your situation, you are an idiot.

These people are idiots.

HT: The Other McCain

Telling You What You Want To Hear

It's not enough that the Republicans have a majority in the House and that they picked up gains in the Senate and in the State-houses across the land.

It's not enough that they are riding the current wave that was started by Tea Partiers across the nation.

What matters is that eternal vigilance is the price we pay for eternal freedom.

I'm a bit disappointed in Rep. Darrell Issa. After putting out a laundry list items to be investigated, he is now rolling them back. Political "reality" is re-asserting itself, and the reality is the pursuit of power, not justice. Confederate Yankee has the story here.

Our elected "representatives" need to be constantly reminded of who they work for.

01 January 2011

Antiques: An Update

When last we saw the Arisaka it was in the hands of the local Merchant of Death to be evaluated. I have been reliably informed that gunsmiths are at least a month behind in their orders, so I expected a lengthy delay.

I called the other day to check on it's status, and the gunsmith has not yet returned it. I am assuming (don't you love that word?) that it's because of the backlog, not because there are any problems with the carbine.

At any rate, I'll check back with them at the end of the month if I have not heard from them before then. And of course I will post the results, as well as a range report when and if it happens.

By the bye, I did manage to talk to the man I got it from regarding it's history and found out nothing I didn't already know. His father bought it sometime in the 50's, but where and exactly when is unknown. Since that worthy gentleman is no longer with us, that part of the rifle's history remains a mystery.

Christmas: The Second Round

Turkey dinner and present opening at the Refuge. Everyone is pleased with their gifts, and the holiday season is now complete.

May all of you have a joyous and prosperous 2011.

Happy New Year!

Here's wishing a prosperous and Happy New Year to all of you, from all of us at the Refuge.