21 June 2006

Today's Happenings...

I usually come across some pretty interesting people when assigned to Park Host over at Big Delta State Historical Park (something I do about once a week, usually on the heaviest traffic days). Today, I saw a fella with a hat with "F/A-22" embroidered on it.

I asked him where he got it. He said his son worked on the F/A-22 project with Northrop, and the hat came from an associate. His son also worked on the B-2 project in the late '80s. He couldn't speak much of it until it became more public, and once it did, he sent his father all sorts of paraphernalia--hats, collector pins, jackets, etc.

Neat stuff. Kind of like how I got my first HK hat--being in the right place at the right time. Met an engineer from Sterling, VA, who was in Delta while they were cold-weather testing the XM8 (which turned out to be problem-laden--I kind of wondered what a new 5.56mm battle rifle design would offer, since the G-36 was introduced only a few years ago and is still a pretty solid design). He sent us all sorts of promotional materials.

Next is a news article I got from a fellow Deagler. Comes from FOXNews, and relates to something I had already heard about from people who were there: that WMDs were found in Iraq. Over 500 of them.

It corroborates with what I heard from an officer from Wainwright this past winter, who specialized in the handling and disposal of chemical weapons. He said they moved a LOT of them in Iraq.

Finally, I want to comment on something set off by two emails sent to me from my parents. They passed along two accounts of exchanges, one dealing with a well-known story about a Christian's reaction to a pro-gay episode of "The Practice," and a webmaster who couldn't keep his comments to himself; the other dealing with Target's supposed anti-veteran stance.

Both incidents were rooted in a real exchange, and both, to a certain degree, either leave out certain details, or overly exaggerate them. Whatever the case, the facts were spun to provoke outrage by conservatives, something I took upon myself to correct, by pointing my parents out to an urban legends site addressing these very same exchanges.

To jump quickly to my point, it's a good idea to check out your sources before letting yourself be used to further someone else's propaganda. The nature of the internet in disseminating information is both blessing and curse--the accessibility is great, but ease of access can be exploited too easily by those with an agenda.

I find liberals to be worst perpetrators in this regard, promoting all sorts of rumors just by their sheer sensationalism, but conservatives are not immune to this, either. So, to avoid embarrassment, do your homework.

Otherwise, you join the ranks of morons like Ward Churchill and his league of Little Joseph Göbbels.

Final item--my copy of "Godless" came in today. Hooray! I think I got another one coming from NewsMax, but that's no big deal. I'll give it to one of my liberal friends--who also happens to own several of Coulter's books.

16 June 2006

So far, so good...

Talking about the World Cup. No, I am not talking about the U.S. Team, but rather, the team I have been cheering for in World Cup matches since 1986: Germany.

I heard about their win over Costa Rica, and was listening to a German beam with pleasure as he called home to hear about their win over Poland.

They don't always win, but they're like UT foptball--you know you're going to get solid performance from them.

If they get eliminated, then I'll cheer for whatever European team makes it to the finals. I do not like South American teams. Bunch of latino pansies. Showoffs, glass jaws (breathe on them, and they crumple to the ground, holding their leg), and dirty playing overall.

Of course, the German coach, Jürgen Klinsmann, wasn't all that clean when he played for Germany in '94 and '98. Pulling jerseys, tripping--I mean, honestly, is it really a sign of skill to take the legs out from under your opponent?

I hope he hasn't influenced them too much in that regard.

But in other sporting news, and has to do obliquely with Germans, I had the pleasure of talking to a German woman at a service at one of our sister churches here in Delta. From Frankfurt, married an American Air Force serviceman, and is related, by marriage, to the VP of Browning.

Dig this--she owns a .22 semiauto, but isn't all that good with it. You'd expect slightly more from someone married to a man who holds four bowhunting records.

But still, I'll give her a thumbs up. Any German who hasn't bought into the line that only the military or the cops should own firearms is OK in my book.

15 June 2006

Over the past few days...

Since I am not the most regular poster in the blogosphere, here's what's happened to me.

More encounters with critters. No large ones, though (however, a friend of mine did bag a black bear near the barn where we keep some of our building supplies). The moose seem to be content to stay away from us during the tourist season. Of course, the fires burning around Jarvis Creek might also have something to do with that, too.

Yes, this is Alaska, and fires are as much a part of our summers as the 24-hr daylight and mosquitoes. However, whereas the latter two are largely natural phenomena, that's not always the case with fires. Like the one out in Nenana...that one was started by negligence--the guy didn't make absolutely sure his burn pile was out, and now some 45,000 acres are gone and still going.

But getting back to the critters. While the screech owls are gone (no, I didn't shoot any of them), the arctic hares are hopping about. Two of them were playing tag in the parking lot over at Rika's.

About a day later, I was taking a shortcut through some woods to pick up my laundry. At the end of the trail was a missed opportunity: A grouse, not even 2 yards in front of me.

Normally, I carry my .45 through that trail. Not that evening. Good thing for that grouse, too. I would have had a little appetizer for supper this weekend.

Geez, I could have nailed it with a good-sized rock. But all that were around me were dirt clods.

But anyway, thankfully, I have over two dozen Bratwurst and two dozen beers for a cookout I'm wanting to hold sometime soon.

We're entertaining some guests from Switzerland for the next couple of weeks. I've known this family from the early '90s, and they are partially responsible for my current residence here in AK.

At any rate, since we eat most of our meals together on the farm, Jörg was standing there in the center table, sipping a cup of coffee. I thought I'd have a little fun with him, since the center table is usually picked on to lead everyone in a little song before breakfast.

I asked him if he'd be interested in singing something in German. He said, certainly, if only there were someone to help him along. So, we broke into a round of a song everyone here knows in English, but he and his group out near Zürich translated into German.

Great way to start off the day.

And now, I end the day walking through some rain to take care of my client, then I'll pop open an Amber, and call it a day.

Guardian Deagle

Next-door neighbor took some of the kids out to Castner Glacier today. The night before, however, he came up to me after service and asked if it would be possible to borrow the Deagle, just in case they ever came across a bear.

I didn't give it a second thought. Firstly, Rich is trustworthy, and he knows how to handle guns. And, he knows what they are capable of--or not.

The last time he went hiking out to the glacier with a group of kids, another neighbor was with him, but brought along his .45. Rich took his 9mm along--for moral support, I guess, even though a .45 really isn't the best choice for some of the four-legged beasts you come across here, either, however the big holes they make in the wayward two-legged variety.

When we went shooting this past winter, Rich said it opened his eyes up to something--the pitiful firepower of the wondernine. Click the link, watch the videos. You'll see unquestionable empirical evidence outlaying the distinctive differences between the devastating power of a .44 magnum and the relative flyswat of a 9mm.

Which would you rather use on a bear? That's what Rich thought, too. And so, I asked him what sort of holster he preferred, and told him I'd bring it along and hand it to him before he left for the hike.

I adjusted the drop-leg holster for his size, handed him my magazine pouch (sans iPod) with two spare mags, and gave him the run-down on how the Deagle operates--the trickiest parts being the extra oomph you need to work the slide, and the fact that it's a single-action pistol.

Rich returned before supper. He thanked me for letting him borrow it. His wife did, too. They were both glad the opportunity didn't arise to use it, but were as equally happy to have had it handy should they really have needed it.

I wouldn't mind hiking to that glacier myself. They both said they'd be happy to take me along the next time.

With Deagle along, of course...

12 June 2006

Article about the HK45

I had been keeping a very casual eye out for something pertaining to the HK45. The best I had found for months was a snippet from a German magazine article.

Until today. Found one over at the Air Warriors forum, a link to the Vickers Tactical reprint of a Shotgun News article provided in the title link. It is well worth a read, especially if you're a H&K groupie like myself.

Drool--over the article, not the forum. Although my father was Air Force, the branch of service I hold in highest regard are the Marines. But I digress.

There's another article floating around, according to the guys over at HKPRO, appearing in an issue of Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, by Ken Hacktahorn, who was instrumental in getting H&K to come up with the new design (along with Larry Vickers).

In short, the HK45 is very much like the USP45, from the modular action to the controls. The USP was a well-proven design, reliable even when fired dry (no lubricant, which unfortunately can be the case with service pistols), and so, only minor modifications were made, including some of the P2000's ergonomics, a slimmer profile, and I suspect a single-stack magazine (8/10 rounds, depending on whether or not it's for the compact or fullsize models, respectively).

Anyway, I'm writing all this in case you don't bother reading the article. It puts it a lot better than I ever could.

11 June 2006

.50 AE handloads

A fellow Deagler decided he'd show off his latest batch of handloads:

.50 AE--using 325gr bullets (didn't specify what brand), 29.5gr of Hornady N110 powder, and CCI 350 (what that means--primers? brass? bullets?--He didn't say).

As for me, it's time to start working on my .44 marksmanship. Set up some cardboard, mount the Red Dot, and get functional with it.

Waiting for my copy of Coulter's new book

Pre-ordered it via NewsMax a couple of months ago. Hopefully, it will be in soon.

My thoughts, before having read it? I don't think I'll be surprised by her findings. I saw much of the same thing happen as I researched Nazi Germany for my Master's thesis (which is another reason why I despise groups and individuals that adulate them).

One thing in particular was the "Deutsche Christen" movement. In a nutshell, it was an attempt to transform Christian churches (the evangelicals, chiefly) with National Socialist ideals, and make it fall more into line with the party program, with its outlook on races, its subservience to the NSDAP, and so on and so forth.

Now, it wasn't officially a program sponsored by the NSDAP--it was more a grass-roots organization started by laity within the evangelical churches--but they nonetheless encouraged it. What government wouldn't?

I deduced back in the mid-'90s that what I saw in liberalism was the same sort of Gleichschaltung (a sort of forced conformity) of the 1930s, just with a slightly different face.

We'll see how Ann's book meets up with my own findings.

Now, while I am talking about church vs. state matters, and making a passing remark about Nazi lovers, I came across this while browsing a pro-skinhead profile over at Myspace.

This is part of the Skinhead appeal to the masses--"we're fighting against Communism!" I don't buy the line so quickly--from Skinheads or any other group (e.g. Demorrhoids and their recent interest in the religious vote) that claims to "side" with me. You see, part of Hitler's appeal to the religious right of his time and country was the same sort of line (this is clearly explained in Rolf Hochhuth's Der Stellvertreter, why the Catholic Church entered into a pact with the NSDAP--because of Red Fear).

But what did he offer in its place? A system equally as hostile to Christianity. In Mein Kampf, he made it absolutely plain that Christianity and National Socialism were in no way to coexist with each other.

But for as long as Christian votes were needed to establish his power base, he'd readily woo both the Catholics of Bavaria as well as the Protestants of Prussia.

So, caveat emptor when it comes to someone overly interested in proving that their on your side.

Sunday Owlblogging

I was walking home a couple of days ago, when I heard something from the trees that I hadn't before. You get familiar with the sounds your local birds make, and so, when something different comes along, you can really notice it.

Like the falcon that was hanging around the island, or a couple of screech owls that have taken up temporary residence outside my house.

Actually, it seems to be more than a mere couple. Today, I counted about six of them all around, in trees,

...situated on the ground (doing itss impersonation of the Air Force and Al-Zarqawi as it chews up a rodent--man, am I ever glad we finally got hold of that bastard)...

One on the telephone line,

Near our transformers,

And two out near the slough.

You come across some interesting animals out here, every now and then.

06 June 2006

Ahhhh, a good way to end the day...

Today, I took care of two hyperactive boys, handled some administrative stuff for my client, and set up foam insulation at the base of a foundation for a house we're building on the farm.

And so, at the end of the day, I have an Amber, and a little gun pr0n a friend picked up for me while cleaning some offices out in Fairbanks. It's an older (January 2005) issue of Handguns, but focused on concealed carry. Worth a read. When this shot was taken, I was taking in Massad Ayoob's article on concealing fullsize handguns.

Ehhhhh, nothing I really didn't know before, or practice in terms of holster selection and choice of clothing. It's mostly advice for cops who are deciding whether or not to get a smaller version of their service pistol for personal carry. Better for them to carry their service pistol. You're most familiar with it, and should you be involved in a personal defense scenario, it's better to have the courts confiscate the department's gun than your own.

One point worthy of mention, and of particular relevance to the caliber I normally carry: the longer barrel of fullsize pistols allows for more utilization of the powder energy in the .45 ACP than shorter ones.

The Alaskan Amber is tasty, as always. Those of you passing through AK should not leave the state without drinking at least one.

Of course, a perfect day might involve all of the above, plus returning from the range after having a dead-on day, and enjoying a relaxing evening with my wife (or not-so-relaxing, some strain is good, if you catch my drift). Naturally, I'd have to find that wife first...

05 June 2006

Showcase: The SW99

Now, unfortunately, I don't have any pics of my own to show off and tell you about this...OK piece of hardware. So, the below will have to do:

I did own one in early 2000, not long after it had come out. I had really wanted a Walther P99 (I had just seen the latest Bond film at the time), but since the police supply shop in Ft. Lauderdale was out of them, I "settled" for the next best thing. If I had not been so easily given over to lust, I would have passed this one by and gotten a refurbished H&K P7 that was being offered for just a little under $100 more.

Yeah, to think that a cop recommended the P7 over the Smith while I was in the store! Sometimes I do things that make absolutely no sense.

Word of advice...if you're really lusting over a piece of blued steel, don't go running off to the nearest sporting goods store, police outfitter, or pawn shop. Do your homework, and really give yourself time to think over whether or not that piece of hardware really suits you.

It's kind of like avoiding the grocery store when you're hungry. Only the goods are a lot more expensive.

At any rate, I got the 9mm version, so I wouldn't have to spend extra on a different caliber of ammo (I already had a H&K USP9 at the time).

The quick review: Just another 9mm. Not as quality-engineered as a H&K, but does OK.

The pluses about the gun: it's not a Hi-Point. Or a Glock. But it is something of a Glock knock-off, in that it has a polymer frame, striker instead of a hammer, and no mechanical safety.

However, the features Walther/SW have given it to distinguish it from a Glock are worthy of note. It does have a decocker, a button towards the back of the slide. And it is something of a DA/SA auto pistol. In DA mode, the striker isn't set, and you have a long trigger pull. Very long. Then after the first shot, it sets itself into SA, with the striker set, and a short trigger pull.

You can set it into SA from DA without discharging the firearm by pulling the slide back about half an inch.

Then there are the niceties like a loaded chamber indicator, a raised pin on the rear of the slide that sticks out when you have one in the pipe. And there's the choice of three different backstrap sizes, to make the pistol fit a variety of hands.

But still no mechanical safety. I don't like that on a cocked pistol.

I found that, at least on the 9mm version, the barrel was very loose when the slide was locked back. It was flared at the end to hold it in place when it was ready to fire (which made me wonder if the unit was originally designed for the .40, and if you could switch out barrels and magazines), but once the slide was shoved back, it was all loosey-goosey. It fed fine, and I could do OK with it at reasonable ranges, but the loose barrel made me question its accuracy.

SW literature said it was at least as good as the Walther. A gun dealer in Fairbanks said it really didn't matter what happened to the barrel once the bullet had been fired. By that time, it had already been through the pipe.

And now for a somewhat humorous anecdote. I include it here because it involved my SW99. When I worked out in South Florida, I would usually carry my pistol in a briefcase, and strap it on when I went out for lunch. Afterwards, I would take it off and tuck it away back in the briefcase.

Around the time of this story, my car was pretty much out of commission thanks to radiator problems. So, I drove with a housemate, who also worked at the same office I did. That day, I decided to take the SW99 along.

Lunch came, and so did the Smith. But I kept it on my person afterwards, instead of putting it back in the briefcase.

It was a Wednesday, and my church held services Wednesday nights. My housemate also went to that church, so we went together after work. Because it's not kosher to carry in a church, normally, on Wednesday nights, I make sure whatever pistol is in my briefcase, unloaded, and locked.

This time, however, I forgot the briefcase.

So here I am, with gun on hip, wondering what to do. Service starts in a few minutes, so I can't run back to the office, disable the alarm, go upstairs, unlock the office, grab my briefcase, relock the office and reset the alarm in time. Our church was in a rough part of town, and we had someone's car get broken into, so I didn't want to leave it in my friend's car (or even my own, for that matter--it is obscenely easy to break into a Dodge Omni).

So, I brought it in, and hoped to God it wouldn't print too bad. Or worse yet, peek out from underneath my vest. Or worse even yet, go off. Boy, that one would go over well with everyone.

Normally, I lead praise. This time, I thought it best to just sit and be part of the congregation. But people, being what they are, like to run in the same ruts. Most everyone else could lead praise & worship, but they figure that since ol' Jeremy is here tonight, he'll do it.

It was getting late, and I hate being late. 7:05 and still no one getting up and getting us rolling. So, up I went.

Nothing happened along the lines of what I feared, thankfully. The service went on with only one other person knowing I was armed.

Furthermore, Wednesday nights were "sharing nights." Open pulpit for anyone with a line. I had something, and gave a short sermonette.

So, I can boast that I have led praise and preached while armed.

04 June 2006

Not bad...

What military aircraft are you?

F/A-22 Raptor

You are an F/A-22. You are technologically inclined, and though you've never been tested in combat, your very name is feared. You like noise, but prefer not to pollute any more than you have to. And you can move with the best.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

Couldn't have asked to be likened to a better aircraft. Sweeeeeet.

01 June 2006

Two posers for you to laugh at

One's over at MySpace. It was posted on a forum supposedly for Desert Eagle owners, but apparently had been overrun by a bunch of pube posers (I know, standard fare for MySpacers):

Find two things wrong with this picture. Find your answers below:

Fingers inside the trigger guards, obviously with enough pressure to discharge if the things were loaded. The magazine of the AR in his right hand is inserted upside-down.

Feel free to leave comments on any other things you find odd about this photo. Hey, how about a caption contest, even!

"I took a break from online pr0n to show you what other guns I like fondling, dudes!"

Yep, and from the look of things, he's no stranger to ADs and NDs the other way, too.

Idiots like this one keep justifying the updriving of the legal age to own guns. Parents of idiots like this one make the revival of the pillory sound like a good idea.

This second one ought to get more than a few steamed:

This is the latest leftist media lame-o. Since Cindy Sheehan's career as a media whore seems to be on the wane, the lefties are ready to grab any idiot they think they can get mileage out of it.

Problem is, I think they've been had by this one.

His name is Jesse MacBeth, and is purportedly a former Special Forces Ranger who served two tours in Iraq, and has gladly lent his face and his alleged service and experience to protest the war over there.

Problem is, there seem to be several holes in his story, and the guys over at AR15.com are having a jolly good time reaming them out!

Exempli gratia:

Claims 2 tours in Iraq and to have joined the 3rd Bat in 2001. Lemme see here, he is 20 now, its 2006, 2001 was 5 years ago...hmmmn, joined when he was 15. But what if he joined December 31st 2001 and he is almost 21 now, damn, only makes him 16 when he joined.
Examined by a guy who's been there, done that:

1. He is described as a "Special Forces Ranger". There is no such thing. You are either SF, in which case you have an MOS of 18B, C, D, or E, or you are a Ranger, in which case you are most likely 11B or 11C, although there are a host of other MOSs to be found within the 75th Inf. I was assigned to the 1st Bn, 75th Inf at Hunter Army Airfield form 1986-1988. We had a few prior SF tabbed guys there, but they were Rangers, because they were assigned to a Ranger Bn.

2. Fallujah was and still is USMC territory. The Rangers didn't do much there to my knowledge.

3. Nobody gets picked to go to Ranger school from basic training. You do basic, then AIT, then jump school, then Ranger Indoctrination Program, then you go to battalion or regiment as your assignement. After enduring months of BS, you may get chosen to go to Ranger school.

4. The bolded portion is absolute fantasy. I was in Iraq in 2004 as a security contractor. Our ROE was so restrictive that I couldn't fire unless fired upon. This was a real sphincter tightener when 10 guys with AKs would come into my AO.

"We would go into people's houses and plow down entire families. We would interrogate people. If we didn't like the answers that they gave, then we would kill the youngest child. If they gave more answers that we didn't like, then we'd move on to the rest of the family. They could've been innocent people. "

5. A Bronze Star is nigh impossible to get. I looked up his name on the list of awardees. He is not listed as a recipient. I never met a troop who couldn't remember all his awards. Nobody has very many.

"What medals did you get in Iraq?
I got a lot. I got a purple heart. Half of them, I don't remember. I got five or six medals just for landing. I got a bronze star. "

6. Stabbed? By who? Nobody ever gets that close. If you are in a crowd, every guy in your team is watching every other guy's back. Stabbed many times? That would be a ticket out after number 2. A two time recipient of the Purple Heart is automatically allowed a non-combat job.

What injuries did you get?
I got stabbed many times. I got shrapnel in my knee. I got shot in the back.

7. Ask this guy to produce his DD214. I bet he doesn't have one.

Now, who are the morons who are pushing this dreck? An organization called the "Socialist Alternative."

However, when people whose intellectual capacity extends to more than being able to "baa" started responding, the Sozis backtracked, and took the interview off their website. Their comments?

Over the past few days a number of questions have emerged which throw serious doubt on the authenticity of Jesse MacBeth’s claims about being a U.S. soldier in Iraq. We have therefore taken our interview with Jesse MacBeth off our website.

We completely reject any use of false statements in the mistaken belief that they can in some way strengthen opposition to the war. The case against the war is overwhelming and the majority of Americans now oppose Bush's disastrous policies in Iraq. Any resort to deception is unacceptable and counter-productive.

Every day brings new accounts of the horror and human tragedy caused by the U.S. occupation of Iraq. While Bush relies on a daily propaganda machine to paint a phony picture of “progress in Iraq,” we stand for a full and open disclosure of the facts of the war and the reality of the U.S. occupation. While right-wing blogs and corporate media outlets are attempting to use Jesse MacBeth to discredit the antiwar movement, we should remember that it was the Bush regime which systematically lied to justify the invasion of Iraq, resulting in the death of almost 2,500 U.S. soldiers and over 100,000 Iraqis.
The hypocrisy is absolutely delicious. They jumped all over MacBeth like sailors on shore leave. Too bad they didn't check out the veracity of his story beforehand. This seems to be a common problem among leftists. They showed themselves to be just as guilty as the propaganda machine they allegedly stand against.

Gun Rights Conference in Charlotte

Too bad I don't live in NC anymore. Well, not so bad. Fewer people, cleaner air, wonderful landscapes, and the freedom to carry concealed (or open) without a permit.

I'll let you put those in order of your priorities.

At any rate, I got an announcement from KeepAndBearArms.org, for those of you that aren't already on their email list:

Dear Fellow Gun Rights Activist,

I would like to personally invite you to our 21st annual Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC), which will be taking place September 22, 23 and 24, 2006 at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina.

With the new battles over individual rights in the age of terrorism, attacks on our gun rights from the UN as well as a number of Second Amendment cases in the courts, the theme of Victory in Sight is most important as we set the pro-gun rights agenda for the year to come.

This year GRPC will be action-packed. With over 50 speakers hand-picked from the leadership of the Gun Rights Movement, the topics to be presented promise to have an impact that will help direct the path of our cause for years to come. Scheduled speakers this year include: myself, Joe Tartaro, Wayne LaPierre, Sandy Froman, John Lott, Massad Ayoob, David Kopel, John Snyder, Joe Waldron, as well as staff from the Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, KeepAndBearArms.com, and Gun Owners of America. A number of elected political leaders have been invited as well.

As in the past, the Second Amendment Foundation will not only pick up the tab for lunch and snacks, but will also provide more than $125 worth of vital pro-gun rights materials to each attendee.

In addition to the luncheon and free materials, you will have the opportunity to chat with the speakers at the two evening NSSF and NRA planned receptions.

This event is so important to our cause, that the SAF Board of Trustees has elected to help underwrite the entire cost of the event. Your cost to attend this event is absolutely free!

Because of the number of people who travel every year to attend this event, I have negotiated a special discount room rate for GRPC attendees. Reservations for the special discounted room (suite) rate of $99 per night can be made by calling 1-800-HOTELS-1 (1-800-468-3571), and telling them you are planning on attending the Gun Rights Policy Conference.

If you have any questions, please call the SAF office at (425) 454-7012 to register. You can also register online at our GRPC Registration & Information Page, or send an e-mail to grpc2006@saf.org, or fax us at 425-451-3959

Get there if you can! Too bad I live clear across the nation.