Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Now You Try It

That was kinda fun! I'm sure folks out there can do better. Let's see 'em!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

This is Cool

Real Life Anime PhotoShop contest.

H/t to

Bink of the Week

Music Meme Strikes

I got tagged by Kirk at Fun Turns to Tragedy!! with the music meme:

1) How much music do I have?

Way too much to count. A shelf full of nylon CD albums and more stacked on another shelf. I am a music packrat.

2) What was the last CD I bought?

Metallica's St. Anger. I was disappointed.

3) What am I listening to right now?

The Sounds of Silence...not by Simon and Garfunckel, just the sound of my house. (wait a sec) That and Squiggy chewing loudly on Purina Kitten Chow and Lenny batting an empty box across the floor. For all the music I have, I almost never listen to it at home.

4) Five songs I listen to that mean a lot to me?

1. "The Star Spangled Banner," never more so than after USAF Survival School. Ask any former POW why.

2. Supertramp's "Logical Song," my personal theme song as I graduated high school.

3. Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," my turn-it-up favorite.

4. Min Hae-kyong's "Sulpun Yaksok (Sad Promise)," the first Korean pop song I'd translated and memorized. And played a lot. Mannajimalaya-hayo, kudaywa nanun... Her next album had another I never get tired of hearing, "Pada wa Yonin (Sea and Lover)." I just love her voice.

5. 10,000 Maniacs' "Stockton Gala Days" and "These are the Days" off their Unplugged album; Natalie wrote many "bring you up" songs and the band so totally nailed SGD.

6) I’m passing this meme on to:

No one, but if someone picks up the gauntlet, drop me a comment and I'll link you.

Adopt a Pet

Darn, they didn't have any ferrets!

adopt your own virtual pet!

H/t to Caltechgirl

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Who is that Guy?

Time to see who can push the Trainer's "Because I Say So" blog ad off my side bar and replace it with one of their own. Just leave a comment telling us who this man is (add brief biography) and you win! One guess is all you get, so I advise you not to guess...just do a little research to confirm your initial instinct.

Thank you and Good Hunting!

Congrats to reader Dave P. who replied "Leo Thorsness, MoH winner, Thud pilot and ex POW. A real hero."

David is entitled to one Blog Ad on my side bar for a month. Seeing as how he doesn't seem to have a blog, is there some site you'd like me to advertize, Dave?

Update 2:
Apparently, Dave is an Airlifter for Uncle Sam! He graciously donated his prize to his ex, Phoenix blogger Vox. Congrats and thank you for your service, Dave!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Rare Spotted Lynx

How many dogs does it take to change a lightbulb?

Head's Houston Hurricane Hell.

Joe Verica does Roach Blogging! Ewwwww!

Say Happy Birthday to Bruce at mASSBACKWARDS!

The Mostly Cajun guy had a worse day than Head did after Rita.

A flight of four Predator drones controlled by the same joystick? That and more good stuff at M.O.

FNC's Mike Straka got a whiff of the moonbat herd. H/t to JEP

Small ads from the UK. Ditto. And for you archery fans, this.

Phat Tony tells a tale from a visit to the range.

John, your toy collection is nothing compared to Kirlin's! Build your own Air Force! Thanks to the PWG!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Steel Panthers: World at War

My love for SSI's Steel Pathers began back in the late 80s playing Panzer Strike (WWII) and Overrun (modern warfare) on my friend Frank's Apple II-GS. We were both students of warfare and the games' authenticity and thoroughness
imparted a wealth of knowledge, some of which we both put to use from the podium.

Somebody produced Overrun for the PC, but the graphics looked hokey and it never caught on. Then SSI produced Steel Panthers for the PC: turn-based battalion-level mechanized combat using authentic WWII force simulations. It came out just in time, because Frank moved away. When Steel Panthers II: Modern Battles came out, I was in wargamer heaven.

Jon and I played many different war games, but Steel Panthers II hung around longer than any of them; we still baby the Gateway Pentium I (95 MHz overdriven to 120) that's slow enough to play the game. Now some gamers have published Steel Panthers: World at War, driven by the SP-III game engine (but not with some of the annoying features of Steel Panthers III).

Get the 8.20 version here. Get the 8.30 and 8.40 patches too!

I only played two solitaire battles, but good job, guys! I had a couple of Shermans and a mech infantry platoon and held off what looked like a company of Japanese infantry the first time and routed a company the second time. The designers seem to have axed the banzai-charge "feature" (which is all the Japs had going for them late in the war). Maybe if I change the date to 1942, they'll have some armor. The force selection menu is a smorgasborg; it seems off-board artillery is available even during meeting engagements.

The audio is top-notch! I turned off the musical soundtrack and terrain/weather sound (I don't need to hear it rain), but I loved the battle noise, especially the sproing of the Garand clip when US infantry fires, and the pop-pop of M-1 carbines when .30 Browning machine gunners fire their secondary weapons. I'm gonna try some Gray on Red tonight to evaluate the MP-40 and "Papa Shaw" sound effects.

It's amazing what gamers can come up with.

Hat tip, shout-out, and snappy salute to reader Freddieboomboom who sent me the link.

Update: Did Germany vs. the Reds. The sounds were completely different from US vs. Japan! I fought the Russian horde of cheap, great T-34s and scads of green "Papa Shaw" squads to a draw. Ivan took all my objective hexes, but I made him pay dearly. The best tank I could get was a Panzer III-h with a 50-mm gun, but I had a platoon of Marders and a section of STUGs who gave better than they got (before bailing out and dying in a hail of commie PPsh bullet hoses). I haven't yet figured out why the Kraut mortarmen never got to fire their weapons until the T-34 ran up to them; probably too far from their platoon leader. The "opportunity fire" option gives you five seconds per opportunity to apply unused shots to newly appearing enemy movements. My artillery park paid for themselves not only by reducing the enemy hordes (you get three pre-determined firing points, as opposed to the 10 you get with SP-II), but resisted being overrun by slicing through the T-34s approaching their location.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Squiggy the Pusher

After erecting a double-height plexiglas barrier that Lenny couldn't possibly scale, I was still worried about Squiggy muscling the bowed barrier aside to spring them both, at which time Lenny could probably scale the hallway barrier and have most of a day to get himself into all kinds of ferret trouble. When I got home, they were both safely sacked out in their room and didn't stir for hours. When I popped off the top barrier to give them both a raisin, Lenny grabbed the top of the barrier on his third leap and chinned himself, only to get a scruff and a scolding. My furry little ninja must not challenge me in my own dojo.

Malfunction Junction

It looked like our biggest 4th Sunday turn-out ever! And the league used another set of my stage designs! No fouler description of these four challenging scenarios emanated from anywhere other than my own mouth. Or maybe I was just pissed at my shotgun magazine spring or myself for running out of ammo on one of the rifle stages...or not adjusting my zero for 80 yards.

The scores were hosed again, but my keen analysis tells me that I had the suckiest day of anybody. Lots of guys must have disqualified or did not finish, but at least the word is out that there is much long gun fun to be had here on 4th Sundays!

Stage One: "Ammo Run" Starting position: Holding in both hands Ammo Can grounded in the front of Box A.

At start signal, engage P1 through 3 and T1 through T7. Ground unloaded pistol on table. Grab unloaded rifle and ammo can (use a large coffee can, inside edges taped to prevent cuts) from table and move to Box B. Engage T1 through T3 and PP1 through 8. Paper requires two pistol hits or three rifle hits to score; all steel must fall.

Ammo Can must be grounded inside Box B to avoid a procedural penalty. All ammo fired from this box must have been carried in ammo can. If shooting pistol-only, shooter must move with empty gun.

Stage Two: "Mirror Mirror"

Starting position: Seated at chair A, pistol in holster, rifle grounded on table with muzzle pointed downrange, round in chamber with safety on.

At start signal, engage with one round T1 through T5 left hand only, then engage T6 through T10 with one round, right hand only. Ground unloaded pistol on table. With rifle, engage T1 through T10 with two headshots each.

Stage Three "Texas Load Em." Starting position: Seated at Table A, empty pistol on table, ammo/magazine in strong hand held two to four inches straight downrange from dominant shooting eye.

At start signal, engage T1 through T3. At this point, the remaining steel may be engaged with riotgun if desired. You must ground your empty pistol on the table before proceding to Barricade B. All shots at P7 through P12 must be made through ports in barricade.

Stage Four "Bystanders and Bad Guys Beware" Starting position: standing behind Table A, normal ready.

At start signal, engage T1 through T7 and P1. Use generous Charge line A to avoid shoot-throughs to No-Shoot targets. Ground unloaded pistol on table. From behind charge line B, engage P2 through P9 with riotgun. Each paper target requires two pistol hits to score; all steel must fall.

The League Stage Guru moved the front targets off to the right to eliminate shoot-throughs, but we still found lotsa pellets in the no-shoots.

Jon and I are teaming up to design some Halloween stages for the 4th Sunday in October match!

If you didn't get here from there, go to the Carnival of Cordite!

Friday, September 23, 2005

That Was Some 47 Week Flash

They must have been referring to the Vietnamese course...I think they spend 10 minutes on grammar there.

Gotta watch this, though! Something to tide me over until R. Lee bums a ride aboard COMPASS CALL or, better yet, tries to explain the origin of term "Skivvy Nine." That could take up a whole episode!

H/t Lil Bro

R. Lee Live Update: AF PJs! These guys rock! I had an outside chance of flying with them as a follow-on assignment (would probably have been my last), but I was apprehensive (read scared shitless) of the helo underwater dunk simulator required to qualify. A man's got to know his limitations.

Aircraft carrier guys and gals--you coffee-slurping seapersons kick major butt! I sure saw a lot of minorities and immigrants aboard the Nimitz...what's with that? I thought those folks were just cannon-fodder in the infantry?

Explosive Ordnance Disposal...don't have much experience with these guys, except that the wierdest mofo in my Basic Training Flight got EOD. Kick ass!

Ooooh. yuck! MOPP (Mission-Oriented Protective Posture) Gear! (We just called it Fear Gear.) Having been stationed in Korea for 5 tours, I've spend a lot of time "sucking rubber" and wearing the charcoal suit. Never mastered the art of sleeping in it, but at least I no longer needed to type with two pencils when the AF went to PC usage over clunky teletypewriters.

Mail Call! I still have dreams of wandering into the Osan AB Post Office and forgetting my PO box combination.

DLI! Not a bad show, but little appreciation shown for the year and a half it takes to generate a linguist proficient in a Category 4 language. Like ARABIC!! Or KOREAN!!

The Great Raid! Unfortunately, the Marines on Iwo Jima were Bogarting all the press coverage while some brave Army heros were rescuing some American POWs in the Phillipines.

Anime Aircraft Pr0n, Autumnal Equinox Episode

Hey, Boyington....

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Handguns in the Cockpit Nothing New

The pilot was sitting in his seat and pulled out a .38 revolver.

He placed it on top of the instrument panel, and then asked the navigator, "Do you know what I use this for?"

The navigator replied timidly, "No, what's it for?"

The pilot responded, "I use this on navigators who get me lost!"

The navigator proceeded to pull out a .45 and place it on his chart table. The pilot asked, "What's that for?"

"To be honest sir," the navigator replied, "I'll know we're lost before you will."

New Life

This post was originally a paean to the unsung hardware in the back of the gunsafe. This was before I made a discovery in my collection of gun gear. I found two 30-round AR mags that I'd failed to download after being stuffed full for a few months. Ugh. The springs were fatigued and the bullet noses appeared reluctant to peek above the front of the magazine. I off-loaded the ammo and stuck them in my closet, hoping their springs might recoup over time. Then I got to long has my nightstand gun, a Glock 23, been sitting there with a loaded magazine? Since I didn't avail myself of its +1 capability, the mag spring wasn't totally compressed all this time, but I'm still concerned. That's when I turned my attention to the pretty little block of stainless steel here that I photographed a few days ago. Revolvers can sit loaded for long periods with no ill effects. The .357 Magnum is a great one-shot why not use the Ruger GP-100 as the nightstand gun and upload a Glock mag for those rare times when I venture out packing heat?

That would certainly breathe new life into a gun I rarely bring out. I've got lots of JSP and JHP .357 Mag. ammo that I rarely ever shoot. The GP-100 can handle the heavier bullets that I used to cringe at (with good reason) while shooting through my little Ruger SP-101. I don't even need a holster for it; I had a revo scabbard when I took the Gp-100 javalina hunting...but it won't ever be a concealed carry piece. Plus, it's nice and shiny, so its mere visibility might stop an intruder from resisting. The ammo shown is the lightweight-JHP Corbon stuff I reserve for my SP-101; time to change that out.

Update: Just to keep with the original intent of this post, here's a piece from the back of the safe that may never see any range time. It's a .38 S&W 5-shot break-top revolver made by "Iver & Johnson's Arms and Cycle Works" of Fitchburg, Mass. I got it for next to nothing from a co-worker with an FFL who was liquidating his inventory (divorce will do that), although I suspect that its value comes close to next-to-nothing. Still, it's a piece of history, though I have no clue as to its age. There's something similar on auction at GunsAmerica, asking a whopping $275. Good luck, pal. I'll just hang onto mine and let the people in my will worry about what it's worth.

Posted to the Carnival of Cordite.

Two FREAKING Years is All He Got

Former Osan town patrol leader gets two years, discharge from Air Force

By Franklin Fisher, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Friday, September 23, 2005

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Air Force 1st Lt. Jason D. Davis, who pleaded guilty to abusing his position as head of a police team patrolling the bars outside Osan Air Base, was sentenced Wednesday to dismissal from the Air Force and two years in prison.

Military judge Lt. Col. Eric Dillow sentenced Davis on Wednesday night in the two-day general court-martial. Dillow is military judge for the Pacific Circuit, based at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

Davis, of the 51st Security Forces Squadron, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conduct unbecoming an officer; activities prejudicial to good order and discipline or that were discrediting to the service; violation of orders; and making a false official statement.

The court-martial began Tuesday morning. Davis had opted for trial by military judge alone instead of a jury.

Prosecutor Maj. Jeffrey Ferguson sought a sentence of five years in prison and dismissal from the Air Force. Ferguson is chief circuit trial counsel for the Pacific Circuit at Yokota Air Base.

Had he imposed the maximum allowable penalties, Dillow could have sentenced Davis to 21 years and three months in prison, dismissal from the Air Force and total forfeiture of pay and allowances.

Davis and Osan officials still await word on whether the secretary of the Air Force will grant Davis’ July 6 request to resign in lieu of court-martial, a process called RILO. Air Force headquarters gave Osan prosecutors permission to hold Davis’ court-martial on condition that they take no further action in the case until the secretary decides the RILO matter.

Until his March 1 arrest, Davis headed the Songtan Town Patrol, which polices the Shinjang commercial district of bars, clothing stores and other business that cater mainly to U.S. servicemembers.

In pleading guilty Tuesday, Davis admitted to running illicit police undercover operations; accepting cash and gifts from club owners; maintaining illicit sexual liaisons with bar girls; violating the U.S. military’s curfew that the town patrol had the duty of enforcing; being drunk and disorderly; having sex with women who were not his wife; illegally possessing weapons; illegally maintaining an off-base apartment; using racial and ethnic slurs; filing a leave request with false information as to his intended destination; and maintaining an improper relationship with a subordinate airman.

In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop several earlier charges, including rape and assault. They had charged Davis on May 13 with bribery, extortion, rape, assault, larceny, adultery, violations of regulations and lawful orders, willful dereliction of duty, making false official statements and conduct unbecoming an officer.

Before sentencing, Davis took the witness stand and made a mostly tearful unsworn pre-sentencing statement.

“I set a bad example for a lot of people,” Davis said. “I’m here because I screwed up and I’m an idiot. … My actions set back town patrol. … Those guys deserved the recognition and they didn’t deserve the recognition that I brought them. … I got no excuse.”

Davis apologized to the town patrol, the 51st Security Forces Squadron and its commander, Lt. Col. Randall Richert.

Richert entrusted him with leadership of the town patrol, Davis said, but “I… threw it back in his face. I embarrassed him. I embarrassed the unit. I embarrassed the Air Force.

“Now I gotta go about digging myself out of the hole that I put myself in.”

In the prosecution’s pre-sentencing argument, Ferguson portrayed Davis as an officer who violated his trust and brought discredit upon the town patrol in the eyes of both U.S. servicemembers and the local Korean community.

“He was the official face of the Air Force in a foreign country …” and should have been a figure “that Americans can be proud of and that Koreans can respect and trust,” Ferguson said.

“Sadly,” Ferguson continued, “… the message that he sent is that” a United States military officer “can be bought. The American military was up for grabs and he was open for business…”

“He has made the armed forces … seem hypocritical,” said Ferguson. “Basically, he was using town patrol as his own posse.… If it got him money, gifts, or girls, or sex, it was no problem for the accused … using his own position for his own benefit.”

In making the defense’s pre-sentencing argument, defense lawyer Capt. Chad Cowan said the court needed to keep the case “in perspective. … Your honor, in spite of the crimes … he is still a great person” who has “great potential.”

Cowan cited trial testimony that Davis had performed well in a variety of key tasks assigned him.

The prosecution’s request for a five-year prison term was “just too much, your honor,” Cowan said. ‘It’s excessive.

“Your honor, Lt. Davis can and will overcome this. ..” said Cowan. “Now is the time for an appropriate and fair sentence.”

Earlier in the day, the court heard testimony from a series of defense witnesses who were relatives or acquaintances of Davis. They, and Davis himself, recounted how he survived a troubled childhood that included the death of his father when Davis was 5, and a mother who allegedly abused drugs and assaulted his grandmother. Davis spent time in foster care and a home for boys, but, they testified, he overcame those difficulties and won admission to the Citadel. He graduated from there before entering the Air Force.

Davis was to be taken Wednesday night to the U.S. military’s jail at Camp Humphreys.

OMFG...Don't tell anybody!!!

You are a

Social Liberal
(61% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(75% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Tell Me of Your Homeworld, Usul

Wadcutter has a great funny post on Frank Herbert's Dune. Personally, the 1984 film adaptation is my favorite bad movie and the Sci-Fi Channel adaptation was serviceable, especially since I first saw it off the DVD, without the countless commercials.

Oh, and Sean Young was still so hot.

I bought Firebirds out of the under $10 DVD bin this week...mmm, bad movie, but with hot helicopters and Sean. Plus, I gots ta find my former co-worker who was an extra in the film, parts of which were filmed in Tucson.

Jambalaya Again!

This time I used Alaskan salmon as the seafood component and chopped up two habenero peppers for some heat. Aw, the sweet pain. I don't think I'll do the clams again, so I anticipate using shrimp in the next batch. I might just add one habenero...we'll see what my butt feels like later tonight.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Spotted Lynx - Last Day of Summer

Addicted to pr0n? Watch Beating the Bunny for multilevel wrongness. Hat tip to a Personal Injury consider the source.

John Donovan reads Oliver Willis, so we don't have to...and slaps him down for being stuck on stupid.

El Capitan wonders why some people never left high school behind. Cat fight!

Ads Ripped from 70s Comics...hilarious! H/t to BaneRants

Broadsword has some good words for the chickens who used the term "Chickenhawk."

Geekwitha45: The New Orleans gun seizures continue! And congrats on 300k visits!

SondraK has crayons!

Another postal match, this time at Matthew Maynard's. Got your service rifle sighted in?

Michael Bane shows off my new favorite revolver, the titanium-cylinder Super 625 .45.

MrCompletely announces his Jack and Jill Pistol Postal Match.

Len at One in a Row has good advice for his son--and the rest of us.

A Hero's Gun
, at Say Uncle.

Rangemaster, Esquire. Rolls off yer tongue like Algonquin poetry. Bring on the the lawyer jokes for the newest pro-RKBA Florida attorney!

New on the Blog Roll: Xavier Thoughts. Hat tip to someone on the second half of my Blog Roll, darned if I can remember who.

A bad day for stealing (not for the squeamish).

Dave at Garfield Ridge exploits his inside knowledge of the Pentagon to review E-Ring.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tuesday Drought

Gee, do ya think someone could televise a baseball game somewhere today? That must be the plan...after a three-day weekend of football, we'll show nothing but WNBA...that way, sports-starved viewers will flock to the broadcast!

To that hypothetical programming manager...Flock You!

Struck a Vein of Blog Gold

Grouchy Old Cripple (Denny Wilson) posts better stuff in one day than I do in a month:

Fly in a urinal.

Fun with surveys.

Mona Lisa after hours.

True friend (cute kitty picture!)

Check it out!

Review: 3-Gun Gear M1A Mag Pouches

Bagworks 3-Gun Gear, based in Scottsdale AZ, makes accessories for my favorite sport; I have some of their shellholders and was eager to try their double magazine pouches when I started competing in Heavy Metal. M1A magazines are much heavier than AR mags, so Bagworks offers a T-Rig to bring the pouches down off your belt and distribute some of the weight to your leg via a nylon/elastic strap. At $80, it's an investment in a fine piece of match accessories. Here's Jon feeding Thumper from the pouch.

No, I'm not shy about having my own butt photographed for my blog, but, you see, I couldn't show you my setup, because my pouches wouldn't accept M1A mags (not shown at left...that's an FN 30-rounder pouch) without severe effort. Here is where I have an issue with Bagworks. Remember this mysterious rant? After receiving the pouches that didn't fit and a custom-made Rem 870 side-car shellholder I didn't order, I sent them back, asking them to credit my Visa card. I couldn't get a response from Bagworks until today, because they were off in Las Vegas at a 3-Gun match at the end of August and apparently didn't feel like answering my gradually more irritated Emails or my phone call yesterday.

I finally got a call today confirming they will credit my card, sorry about the shellholder, and, oh, by the way, the mag pouch holds M1A mags just fine. So...not only am I out 10 bucks postage for shit I didn't order, he's calling me a liar or an idiot. Take a look at the picture above...does Jon need both hands to pull his magazine out? Your mileage may vary, but personally, I'll be shopping elsewhere for my 3-Gun accessories.

20 September Update: Nothing posted to my credit card yet! This has been three weeks, folks! Mark Buchanan, proprietor of Buchanan Bagworks, cites "moving issues." As a result, he's "moving" my debt into a new credit card month. Thanks, Mark.

26 September Update: Finally got the return items credited. Reimbursement for postage would have been nice. Oh, well.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Please Fix This Quote

With some creative editing in the 20th Anniversary Bull Durham:

"I believe in the soul ... the small of a woman's back, the hanging curveball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve, and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days."
...And a perfectly executed flea-flicker for a touchdown against your greatest rival.

(Too bad it was a baseball movie.) Drew Bledsoe pickled off a beauty against the Redskins tonight; there is no other play in football (the hook and ladder comes close) that makes me rise off my butt and yell exhaltingly at the TV. Interceptions are good, sacks for losses...great, but freezing the secondary, then burning them for a long gain with a little trickery just pegs my pigskin Glee Meter. Just had to say this.

BTW...I am talking like a pirate. I just don't have to blog like one.

Update: Arrrrr! The skurvy dogs pulled it out in the 4th quarter! I be flogged fer sure!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

After Jon Moved Out

...the spider in the guest bathroom starved to death.

Speaking of Normal...

Wasn't this two years ago this week?

I Can't Wait

...until my friend Jon gets back to normal.

That was some darned good beer!

Most Annoying Attention-Getter

HOMO!-ners, would you like to refinance your home...?

Okay, dude, you got my attention. But ain't buyin' nuthin' yer selling.

Not that there's anything wrong with that....

NFL Week 2

If you thought my college football loyalties were strange, you should watch NFL games with me sometime. Growing up as a military brat, I had no strong ties to any one city. In fact, I didn't even watch much football, because I'd rather be outside playing during the weekend. "My team" was never an issue, until some Texas neighbor kids started waxing rhapsodic over the Cowboys, and wouldn't ya know it, they were pretty good. Then, during my junior high years, the Louisiana kids were all over Dallas too, but I jumped on the Steelers bandwagon. Even through high school, I hadn't watched much pro football, except for Monday Night games and the Super Bowl. I didn't become an NFL junkie until I was cooped up in my room during my tours in Korea. But I didn't hitch my wagon to any one team's star; I didn't ever want Super Sunday to arrive and have me not care who won because my team didn't even make the playoffs. I adopted temporary situational loyalties every week. Usually it was:
NFC over AFC
Dallas Cowboys (except during their felony phase)
Anybody over the Denver Broncos (until Elway's retirement...gaaawd, I hated him)
Tennessee Titans
Green Bay Packers
Anybody over Detroit (after Barry Sanders left)
Anybody over the Raiders (and all gangstah-wannabees who wear their gear)
Pittburgh Steelers
Carolina Panthers (cool blue uniforms too!)

I've only ever owned one piece of NFL clothing and it will be my last. It's a Tennessee Titans jersey (I love the color). It so happened that Al Del Greco's Number 3 was my favorite number, and I thought kickers were cool because they're built like human beings, not like steroid-dosed livestock. So, I custom ordered it through the site (cuz, gee, who wants a kicker's jersey?). After the site kept rejecting my request, I tried a work-around, certain that human beings in the order pipeline would figure out the limitations of their custom ordering system.

Of course...I would be wrong. It was too late to get an exchange; I got it a week or two before the Titans would be playing in the Super Bowl and I had to wear my Titans Jersey! I sent a scathing Email to the morons at, who eventually knocked a few bucks off my credit card bill.

I tried darkening the underscore with a magic marker, but the print material wouldn't hold the dye.

Then Al Del Greco lost the Super Bowl by missing some field goals. Then got cut by the team.

Damn you,!

Ferret String Toy

Nothing excites a ferret's hunting instincts like a furry toy; a moving target rivets their limited attention span. Nessie (upper left) and Gracie used to mop the floor with this little baby ferret toy, just like they used to with baby ferrets Smokie and Coco, respectively. Put that little sucker on a string and you've got hours of entertainment. Actually, put almost anything on a string...a pen cap, some feathers, a Garand clip--you've got your fuzzy buddy's attention. I had a plastic spider hung from a stick with some string and ran some great steeplechase races in the ferret room. I made sure to drag it up over boxes, their carrier...too bad I couldn't run it through their PVC tunnels. They got good exercise and I got entertainment watching them compete for the chance to nab the spider. When I had the hallway closed off, they had even more room to bound through, plus Gracie's Fortress of Solitude beneath the overstuffed chair in the other bedroom. That's where she'd drag her toy once I released the stick and then she'd begin to gnaw. Of course, she always left the stick poking out, so it was just a matter starting a game of tug o' war. More fun!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Warriors, Litterboxes, and Benadryl

Today I had the opportunity to do something good, and I blew it. Protest Warrior staked out the entrance to the Base today; in attendance, three AZ bloggers...Billy Budd, from American Dinosaur, Scott from Speed of Thought, and Mike from Flight Pundit. So I got up with plenty of time, checked Email, and went in to squeeze the weasels. Oy, their litterboxes were ready for cleaning--and their way of telling me that was to push them away from the corner and do their business "outside the box." Fortunately, I had lotsa newspaper down, but clean-up was pretty rough. By the time, I was done, my eyes itched like crazy. Did they care? No, they had clean litterboxes and even some play time out of me. Squiggy was a big loveable lounge-beast, but Lenny sniffed and licked all over my arms and hands until he found that perfect spot on my little finger to bear down and bite me as hard as he could. A quick scruffing and a flick to the nose ensured he wouldn't do that again...for the next two minutes.

So, now with itchy eyes and queasy stomach, I washed my hands and popped a Benadryl. A nap attack soon followed. I got up, checked the clock and in a minute, my stomach was queasy again. My brain was going, "Come on, let's go meet people!" And my stomach (and some other part of my brain) said, "Oh, yeah, when have we ever liked doing that?!" Well, there was just no arguing, seeing as how neither parts of my brain have much willpower, so I gave in and started surfing the blogs.

Content with getting its way, my stomach piped in, "I'm hungry."


I hope I get more cooperation from my quirks next time. Be sure to surf over to the blogs above; I know the Dinosaur has his post up already. Flight Pundit always takes forever to open for me, so I'll click Refresh a few more times and see.

I Didn't Need to Know


Not that there's anything wrong with it....

h/t JEP

Friday, September 16, 2005

Carnival of Cordite #30

Is up at Gullyborg's Resistance is Futile! I was plum out of input this week, even though I'd snapped some Gun Pr0n for gits and shiggles. I'll use the photo later for a post I've got rolling around in my mind. Something like, what does a gun collector/packrat do with the stuff at the back of the safe? There's still some nice, shiny man-toys back there that I haven't shown my readers, and I've hardly made a dent in the junk there. There's a Gun Show at the TCC this you think I could part with any of it?

Today is POW-MIA Day!

* So take a POW-MIA to lunch!

*Actually broadcast on a west Texas radio program.

h/t to Castle Argghhh!

For more tastelessness, check this out.

For more military flippancy, El Bandito at Baby Wings hadn't posted in weeks, then offered up this gem: The Ballad of ASA (Army Security Agency).

Digging through the Skivvy Nine Songbook, I found one that goes to the same tune:

(Sung to the tune of The Green Berets)

Fearless men, who run the vee
We’re brave men, who catch VD
Men who love that village slime
We’re brave men of Skivvy Nine

Trained to live, from check to check
Lectured on morals, but what the heck
Men who’ll screw you for a dime
We’re brave men of Skivvy Nine

Back at home, a young wife sits
Her Skivvy Niner has caught the shits
He has died for those oppressed
Leaving her his last request

Put yellow pills, on my son’s desk
Make him one of Security’s best
He’ll be a man who’ll test in sin
Have him wear his beaver pin
Okay, time to be serious now.

So Much for my Diet

After the fridge disaster, I'd marked lots of previously frozen meats for cooking in the next few days. First up, a bag of boneless chicken breasts...I dumped them all into my crock pot, slopped in some olive oil and spices there and cooked it all down into a spicy shredded chicken pile that I forked into Tupperware and stored away into the fridge and freezer. Had some for dinner yesterday...mmmmm. Without even cleaning the crock pot, I dropped in the half-thawed packages of turkey sausage, a jar of sliced mushrooms, spices, and a partial jumbo jar of spaghetti sauce. Had that for lunch...Great!

I've got another pack of chicken that I've been monitoring...I squeezed it into my mini-fridge's freezer compartment...I think this one will get the cream of mushroom soup and canned veggie slow-cooked treatment tomorrow. Trouble is, this is all genuinely yummy food that, essentially, I'm motivated to prepare before it spoils, where otherwise, I'd be living on peanut butter on flour tortillas because I was too lazy to cook. So, I've got all this frozen and refrigerated food handy now, so I've got to fight the urge to nuke some macaroni and meat sauce or spicy chicken burrito fixins late at night...sure is tempting.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Armstrong Scandal!

PARIS, France (Reuters) --

Lance Armstrong's record setting seventh Tour de France victory, along with his entire Tour de France legacy, may be tarnished by what could turn out to be one of the greatest sports scandals of all time.

Armstrong is being quizzed by French police after three banned substances were found in his South France hotel room while on vacation after winning the 2005 Tour de France. The three substances found were toothpaste, deodorant, and soap, which have been banned by French authorities for over 75 years.

Armstrong's girlfriend, American rocker Sheryl Crowe, is quoted as saying "We use them every day in America, so we naturally thought they'd be ok ay throughout Europe."

Along with these three banned substances, French authorities also physically searched Armstrong and found several other interesting items that they had never seen before, including a backbone and a testicle.

Hat tip to Lil Bro

Hey, Gaming Geeks!

Katrina: The Gathering

brought to you by Broken Toys. Considering my source, my communist cousin, I knew these were going to be rabidly left wing. Still, they're kinda funny.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

This is no Sh*t

After I got back from Phoenix at the end of August, I decided to minimize my driving, not only to save money for my later-in-the-year roadtrip, but to avoid the rapidly escalating gas prices as a result of Hurricane Katrina. In my truck, I have six disks in the changer, full of MP3s (so I have hundreds of songs)...earlier this year, I drove to PA and only went through five of the disks. I've got a great variety of stuff to keep me amused, from North Korean marches to Rammstein to Doc Watson bluegrass to obscure 70s one-hit-wonders that have stuck with me over the years. So, I decide I might zip over to Safeway the first Friday night I'm back for some booze and munchies and what song pops out of the shuffled selection?

Tragically Hip's "New Orleans is Sinking"
(beware annoying pop-ups)

I sh*t you not.

In this Corner

The Say Uncle AR v. AK Death Match!

I won't say who wins, but check out the comments for my idea...Pay Per View, here we come!

In this corner:

The Country Store New Orleans Clown Posse Update!

In this corner:

James Na weighs in on the Roberts nomination and points out an FBI spy for the Phillipines! Who's James Na? Go see!

In this corner:

Bantamweight Michelle Malkin steps over the supine form of the "Crescent of Embrace" controversy, waiting for some sign of life to make her resume her relentless pummeling. You go, Michelle! She also tips us off to some undercard fights.

In this corner (hey, I can handle 5 corners):

Iowahawk's guest lefty blogger, Joshua Markos Mikos Atrios!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

More Cooling Problems

As I was reaching into the icemaker bin for some cubes to cool my lemonade, I found a solid mass of wet ice. I thought I heard it making some funny noises yesterday.... Fortunately, I was able to energize my little bar fridge and transfer some stuff. I'm gonna be a chicken-cookin' fool tomorrow. I introduced myself to my new neighbors by giving them a frozen supreme pizza, some boneless chicken breasts and a box of frozen waffles. The stuff I couldn't squeeze into the mini-fridge went into the freezer. That's still cranking out 40 degs. I'm lucky this didn't happen later in the week, after my commissary run. Still, I gotta sit around and wait for a guy to shovel out money to tomorrow. Scheiss.

Update: The freezer froze overnight, but no ice made in the machine; the fridge is at 50 degs, so I'll be calling a repairman anyway, meaning I'll probably be off-line most of the day waiting for the repairman to call.

Spotted Lynx - 13 Sep 05

Castle Argghhh points out a real crappy sea tale.

Dave at Assumption of Command describes his encounter with uber-investor Warren Buffet.

Jeff S. stops slamming WalMart long enough to publish his Weekly Check on the Bias.

Baboon Pirates found a Photoshop contest "If Goths Ruled the World."

Citizen Smash posts the tally of the Protest Warrior/Code Pink Katrina Charity Challenge!

Chuck at TC Override provides some answers to Katrina questions.

Geekwitha45 waxes verbosely on the gun confiscations in NOLA. What coverage!

Hurl finds more American Heros helping Katrina victims!

Broadsword has Kristallnacht Gaza video.

Sass and sauce from Bambi Stokes-Hymington for her sistah Senator, then delivers some tardy NFL predictions.

Red-blooded American six-year-old boys and I can't wait until Tonka makes these. Hat tip to Murdoc.

Nyuks from Jeff G. with questions for the Roberts hearing.

Now that the Analog Kid has his safe mounted and range day shot, he posts the SHTF Rifle ePostal Match, completely with completely innocuous target.

True Blue, a shrill leftist womyn in ferret-murdering Kalifornia, posts the Blue Flypaper Blacklist adding some worthy bloggers. Hat tip to Blogonomicon.

Cassandra uncovered the most sinister Bush Administration plot yet!

Vinnie's gone mad and cooked up a scheme to reform New Orleans. You won't like it!

Firepower 5 chased the monster Nessie across the Colorado lochs. I wonder if there was any single malt scotch there?

Free Will has more Katrina blogging, including this little gem:
As a reader emailed me the other day, of course, if Ms. Landrieu had put the same infrastructure into play that she uses to bus poor blacks to the polls on election day, she probably could've saved a lot of lives all by herself.

I think I'm gonna keep the Spotted Lynx motif and toss the Link'n'Logs from now on.

Monday, September 12, 2005

I Can Dream

Hello, America, heh heh, I'm Michael Moore, Master Documentarianismist and Propagandist here to announce my next, heh heh, documentary project, "The Man from Crawford." In a major career change, heh heh, I've decided to ess-chew using half-truths and staged events to advance my socialist agenda, heh heh, and tell the tale of a decent, moral man who's trying to lead a country forty-nine percent of which has no decency or morality. Narrating this story will be the severed heads of Janeane Garofalo, Barbra Streisand, heh heh, and the corpse of Teddy Kennedy converted into an animatronamatic Jabba the Hutt.

Man, I gotta stop eating the spicy pizza before napping.

Best ESPN Pre-Game Show Ever!

Jeremiah Trotter and Kevin Mathis ejected for fighting one half hour before game time!

Only in Philadelphia Atlanta.


Dorm Guard, Dorm B-8

"Can I help you Sir or Ma'am?"

On this day in 1979, I cut my Mother's apron strings and gave over my life to TSgt Cross, USAF. I'd never even been out of state by myself, but now I was thrown in with guys from all over the country in a Basic Training Flight to teach us how to become good little cogs in the Big Blue Machine of the US Air Force.

My first two days were a disaster. After we got haircuts and received our uniforms, boots, underwear, other accessories, and some fundamentals of marching, we were marched off to the chow hall. At this time I discovered I was having a little intestinal trouble and needed to find a latrine fast. The TIs in the "Snake Pit" were amused by my formal request to go to the latrine. Marching quickly back to our barracks (or Dorm, as we called it), I was dismayed to learn that our flight's roster hadn't been posted on the entry list, so the dorm guard (from another flight) refused to allow me access! After some fruitless pleading, I clenched my sphincter and quicktimed it toward the orderly room. To make an unpleasant story short, I didn't quite make it. I ended up discarding my brand new tighty whities and running some water over the new trousers, but without soap, I didn't do a thorough job...especially since I was rushing so no one walked in while I was standing there without pants on. As I came out, a TI barked at me, but quickly warmed to my tale of the mix-up at my Dorm. I was still a tad stinky as the flight learned our bed-making skills that afternoon; I had trouble making eye contact with Airman Basic Vernado, who was paired with me for the training. I wanted to die.

After we learned to make a tight bed with hospital corners, we were assigned bunks. Since mine ended up on the end of the row, I was designated as one of the four squad leaders! That didn't last the early days of marching practice that followed, I was weeded out. When marching, the squads are organized by height, except for the squad leader. The big lanky guys behind were literally stepping all over little 5'6" Airman Basic Blob. TSgt Cross solved the problem by making me a road guard. That was a lot more fun than being squad leader, since shy young AB Blob was not a natural leader.

Flight 328 was a fine model of group dynamics with regional, racial, and personality type connections. It was fun when TSgt Cross finally got us working together and winning Honor Flight recognition. Academically, I breezed through the classes (the breezing had a soporific effect, however, so I had to fight the urge to bounce my forehead off the desk) and struggled through the physical training (punishment for being an asocial newspaper geek in high school). At long last, we got marksmanship training: one day of "dry fire" and one day of "wet fire" and qualification. On the day of wet fire, I had to hustle to catch up with the flight. I'd been to sick call that morning with an earache (middle ear infection). It was tolerable with all the Bufferin they gave me, but I think it might have affected my aim...or my judgement. At the end of the day, I was unqualified with the M-16 (actually a balky POS M-16 with .22 LR adapter). No biggie to the USAF, since I'd be in tech school for over a year and could qualify there before burdening the real Air Force as a nug with no weapons skills. In tech school, I got to fire a real M-16 (it was no longer the Carter Administration pinching pennies) and fired Expert.

On the final week in late October, we got our orders: some airmen identified in testing joined those of us who enlisted with guaranteed linguist jobs...boy, did they resent the stripe(s) we sewed on right after graduation! I got orders for the Korean course...the same week President Park had been assassinated! Two others got Korean and our Dorm Chief Alan got German (no surprise there). That final week, we saw little of TSgt Cross (rumor was his marriage was "on the rocks), but Senior Airman Kane (center, front) kept us on course to graduate. After graduation, some shipped out immediately. Alan let me march what was left of the flight to the chow hall...One-striper Airman Blob marched them into a wall trying to give the command on the correct footing. A slow start to a 22-year career, I'd say.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

From the Archives: RMO

Military coins (sometimes referred to as Round Metal Objects to avoid buying a round) are an interesting part of military culture. Generally, a military unit adopts a design and makes the coins available for sale to unit members to carry them in their wallets to give the impression of a deluxe condom bulge in the leather. In any drinking establishment with other unit members present, a challenge can be wagered by tapping one's RMO on the table. Any who fail to produce their coin and tap in answer buy a round. If all members present tap in answer, the challenger buys a round. I suspect the RMO pictured above is an informal unit coin, rather than one approved by the brass.

Division coins are minted by division chiefs to distribute as "attaboys" to outstanding performers, and personal coins by leading officers and senior NCOs who present them to visiting VIPs and retiring service members. There are also event coins to commemorate an annual or one-time event such as a major awards ceremony.

A lot of these coins are manufactured in Korea, using (I suspect) recycled brass from training ammunition. Coins for units that pass through Saudi Arabia have been known to get gold plating.

Military members are "highly encouraged" to carry the coin of their present unit. We retirees are under no such onus, but I still carry one today, only I rotate my collection through the wallet periodically. Currently, it's one from the Commandant of the Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey CA, for my participation in a Language Olympics. I no longer spend much time in public drinking establishments, but I figure that since it gets past a TSA inspection, I can use it as a blunt ninja throwing star if my plane ever gets hijacked.

Project VALOUR IT Movers

In the midst of all the Katrina coverage, remember that there are still American GIs coming back who need your help. The disaster has taken some steam out of the project, but take a look at some of the supporting blogs and do what you can, please.

Project Valor-IT
The Politburo Diktat
Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee
Da Goddess
Little Miss Attila
Argghhh! The Home Of Two Of Jonah's Military Guys
Grim's Hall
The Air Force Pundit
Cowboy Blob's Saloon, Smokehouse, and Shootin Gallery
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops
My side of the puddle
Legless in perpetuum (Support from Down Under!)
The Cool Blue Blog
Its A Matter Of Opinion (Support from Down Under!)
A Blog For All
EagleSpeak: Project Valour-IT
Fuzzilicious Thinking
Thoughts by Seawitch
The Cigarette Smoking Man Returns (Caution - occasional adult content on this site)
The Gunn Nutt
spare eye
Mr. Completely
The Gun Line
Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho
The Middle Ground
From My Position... On the way! (and the inspiration for Project Valour-IT!)
Captain's Quarters
Random Fate
Mistakes Were Made
Snark Patrol
Confederate Yankee
Iraq War News
Doc In The Box
Dean's World
Papa Doc's Pink Flamingo Bar and Grill
The Stupid Shall Be Punished
The Jawa Report v3.0 Beta
Not Exactly Rocket Science
Southern By Blog!!
Neptunus Lex
Techography - A Never Ending Source of Information
Cursed By a Classical Education
Homefront Six
Stop the ACLU - Beating the ACLU With Their Own Sickle and Hammer
Assumption of Command
Righty in a lefty state
blonde sagacity
Least Loved Bedtime Stories v. 2.0
Bad Example
Balance Sheet
My Army Life...and other things
She Who Will Be Obeyed!

One-third of the way there!

One year blogging today: 33,333 visits!

Number 33,333 is from Matthews AL via the Carnival of Cordite! Thanks for stopping by! Come again!

Not yet...for me, at least

Tomorrow night I can finally feel right about commemorating Patriots' Day. You see, on that fateful day 4 years ago, I had just finished watching the Armed Forces Korea Network's taped broadcast of Monday Night Football on Tuesday night. I had a good beer buzz going, snug in my off-base contract housing apartment. The game had just finished and I changed the channel to get the news before bed, only to see an airliner crash into the first Tower. I don't know how old that footage was, but when the second airliner hit, it was live.

I knew we were at war. I knew I was going to get recalled to base shortly. When my phone didn't ring immediately, I turned off the TV and went to bed. Thankfully, the beer let me get some sleep. Whether it was through incompetence or wisdom, the powers-that-were didn't launch the general recall until early the next morning.

I awoke clearheaded and alert, knowing I was in for a long day. I was the last one into the office; most of my NCO trainers and their airmen trainees lived in the barracks on base. The big TV that usually displayed exercise messages was tuned to CNN and everybody was quiet, attention rivetted to the images on the screen. The emotions playing across the trainees faces ranged from fear to anger to shock. They'd just arrived at their first operational assignment after almost 2 years of training and now their nation was at war, apparently against an Islamic terrorist foe thousands of miles away. Most of them were Korean linguists; some would have transferred to the infantry if you'd have given them the opportunity. We oldtimers explained that the last time we went to war, the commies up North went paranoid ape-shit; they'd need to remain vigilant right here to ensure that paranoia didn't turn into a shooting war and to recognize it if it did.

I examined my own future; I was a long-in-the-tooth Master Sergeant with no over-arching ambition (or talent either) to be senior management. I was the best Korean cryptolinguist in uniform that I knew, but I knew I had limitations as a Senior NCO. If I had been in the unit I'd left the previous December, I'd be preparing our attached unit to deploy to the theater of combat, possibly even deploying myself. I still had no pending assignment, but a return to DM was not in the cards. Neither was a follow-on to another airborne unit which would later deploy for the war. No, I would eventually get orders for Fort Meade MD, the great big holding bin for chairborne rangers. I'd been there twice and got pretty cool jobs each time, but I was an E-5 and E-6 on those occasions. I'd either return to the shop that would use my language skills (and destroy my chance at promotion) or drop me into an analyst/manager position and destroy my will to live. On top of that, I'd be returning to a high-cost-of-living area, where I'd not be getting flight pay, but still making mortgage payments on my house in Tucson. And there was no way I was selling that house!

Making the decision to retire was both difficult and easy. I'd just finished the Senior NCO Academy Correspondence Course, really the only thing keeping me from making E-8. I really was learning leadership and management shit--I just didn't like it. I was just programmed to try hard and never considered quitting until then. The easy thing about deciding to retire was that I could! STOP LOSS had just been clamped on everybody, but Exemption E applied to those retiring from remote, unaccompanied tours. I had 22 years in the day after 9/11, two more than I needed, so I put my papers in.

Back to September 11...after spinning our wheels at the recall, I was sent home to pack a bag and grab my "fear gear." The bus had an armed escort; our Security Forces guys were ferocious...they lived for this, but must have been mildly disappointed that no jihadi terrorists sprang from the Korean alleyways to attack us. The base commander had ordered all those housed off-base in "Air Force Village" to move on base for fear such a concentration of Americans would be a target. Those living on the Korean economy were not affected. After a few days in a single room the Dorm Manager had wangled for me (some families were camped at the gym or the high school for a night or two), I was allowed to return to Air Force Village, which by then sported a beefed up entry control point and many, many concrete barriers. All those families living in the buildings facing the street were moved out to the base, but I had an inner apartment and could stay, immune from RPGs, I guess. I was happy; the dependent yard ape population was reduced to nothing and I got to keep my Korean DSL connection instead of having to use the American contract dial-up on base.

American commanders went out of their way to out-prepare/out-paranoid each other. On my first tour, there was a Korean curfew because of fears of NK infiltrators; now there was an American curfew that the off-base merchants didn't like one bit. "There's no enemy in Korea!" Meanwhile, every time a swarthy foreigner blew his nose in the direction of one of our installations, reports were broadcast and relayed and rumors generated. The curfews remain, with many Koreans hating us because we're warmongers and more hating us because we don't spend as much money downtown when we're at war.

So, that's why my remembrance of 9/11 is a bit off the average American's kilter.

Latest Binker Pic

When she gets older, I'm gonna get her one of them Barbie AR-15s or a purple Glock...I swear.

Fish Fun

Hat tip to Mistress SondraK

More levity to keep the upper lip stiff at Stop the ACLU.

They Also Serve...

Hurl's Blog has a great post about the people who give hope to Katrina's victims.

Goddess of Righteous Firepower News

Attention, young red-blooded readers: She's back on the Market!

In other news, the Gods of Firepower soldier on without their leader, LTC Kurilla, as Michael Yon documents. They're going home this week, leaving a Mosul better off than how they found it.

Fixations II

Visits Since September 11, 2004