Sunday, April 13, 2014

Speaking of endangered tortoises.......

You know that incident going down in Arizona?  The one where BLM claims dominion over the souls of all mankind in the name of Terry the Tortoise?

Well, it turns out the single biggest killer of the endangered desert tortoise is...... The BLM.

Oh.... and Harry Reid's bank account.  That kills Tortoises too.

It tastes all the better for being earned....

Two Job Jack I am again.  Feexing cars by day, teaching feexing cars by night.

Hand sliced slab bacon.
Farm fresh sunny sides with cracked pepper.
12 grain local made bread, toasted, with fresh butter.

Every bite, my friends..... every single bite.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Last nights class had 'circuit protection' as one of the topics.  As I wandered the school pre-class, walking a bit to aid digestion, I stumbled on THIS:

Fortune favors the brave, and it became a wonderful 'educational aid'.    600v at 500 amps.... Phew!

On another note, I really have no idea why all those excited people were running up and down the halls.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I am not who I thought I was...

One of my work duties is to take vehicles purchased at auction, and prepare them for sale on our used car lots.  This means going over the vehicles to a depth most people would not understand.   EVERYTHING is checked, and just about everything is repaired or serviced, no matter how major or minor.  Needs an engine?  Do it.  Needs a seat recovered?  Do it.  Needs a $4 part to fix the gas fill hatch?  Do it. Tires less than great?  Replace them. Radio reception poor?  Replace it.

Frankly, there is not a car on our lot that I would hesitate to own.

Maybe that's why this family has been in business there for 25 years.

Anyway.... the other day I have a late model Toyota I am going over.  On my list-to-feex, a brake warning light, an antilock warning light, and a check engine warning light.  About 20 minutes into exploring the issues, I decide the antilock/antiskid module is faulted.  As is my custom, I do a visual inspection before proceeding.

On looking at the module, I find this:

On the right side, we can see the harness latch is lifted, disengaging the wiring harness from the module.  I clicked it back in place.  All issues resolved.  Go team me!

Happy dance for a moment.... until I inform the business owner of the easy fix.  He tells me things like that happen all the time on auction cars.  Used car dealer/buyers often disconnect things while inspecting the vehicle, in an effort to create warning lights that drive bidding lower.

I was.... stunned.  

A)  Who the fuck THINKS like that?

B)  More importantly.... given my extreme low opinion of humans in general.... why wasn't that the FIRST thing I looked for??

I'm concerned that I may have a deep seated faith in humanity that I never suspected existed. Not sure how to deal with that thought.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tricksy electrical testing....

So.... here be a task sheet I shall assign my fresh victims..... um...... students.  It's just LOADED with tricksy lessons for the young minds to wrap themselves around.

Which ones can you spot?  


There are several periods during each year when I can heat the house from an open hearth fire.

Wasteful in wood, but enriching of the soul.

Fire good.

Lazy Sunday morning food porn..

If one has leftover bacon, one can construct a breakfast sammich fit for the Gods themselves, or at least their better thought of clerks.

Getting past the unlikely concept of 'leftover bacon', lets look at the sammich build plan.

On toasted and buttered multigrain bread with significant crunch, is layered the aforementioned crispy bacon, a pair of eggs fried in butter and ground over with fresh pepper, a slice of provolone cheese, and some greenish things found in a sack on the third shelf of the fridge, where such things abide.

If assembled correctly, with the fried egg resting on the provolone cheese, the residual heat will melt the cheese over the bacon, which is a wonderful bonus indeed.

There we have it....... and dare I say....... perhaps have it again soon?

Photo a day, 8

Saturday, April 5, 2014

How to start the morning......

My life is now constructed to offer weekends off.  That means sleeping in til the princely hour of 6:30 am, dawdling over coffee, and slicing up some stupendously good slab bacon to slow roast in the oven.

In other words; In shorter form,  'AHHhhhhhhh.............'

Said coffee was tippled in the hot tub this morning, watching the sunrise march across the trees surrounding the castle.  A relaxing place to consider upcoming challenges, and their defeat.

Case in point, the advanced electrical diagnosis course I begin teaching in a few days.  It hasn't begun yet, but I am already being CC'ed into the e-mail stream of the institution.  Perhaps as a warning..... who can say?

The recent self-withdrawal of a student generated a meeting of ties, wherein this list of issues was carefully constructed at great mental expense.  In other words, they managed to crayon down his reasons for abandoning their expensive program....

•  None of the vehicles run.
•  The quality of the vehicles deteriorated throughout the course of the school year.
•  Nothing was spent to keep vehicles functional.
•  Did not having access to tools and equipment.  Items were locked up with limited access.
•  The evening instructors had to bring in their own tools due to lack and unavailability of tools.
•  The lab was not clean and orderly.
•  The lab was always full not allowing the evening students the space to bring in projects.
•  The lifts were never available.
•  Supplies, when available, were very limited.

My own thoughts as I read this generated my own internal list in response.
  • How many vehicles has the administration bought in recent years for the students to learn on?   (Zero)
  • How much has been spent to keep what vehicles there are, functional?  (Zero)
  • How much has been spent on equipment specifically for the college level program to use?  (Zero).
It all adds up to a challenge for me, which I accept without whimper.  It's the same challenge  most tech instructors face at one time or another.   Build a stellar instructional atmosphere with little or no help from administration, and often times their direct opposition.

My mind set is familiar, long practiced, and time honored with success:

SCREW them.  Get the hell out of my way.  MY students are going to LEARN.

Besides.... I only have eight weeks or so to make this magic happen.  Not enough time to fix the glaring issues with the school, nor do I wish to bother trying.  But..... maybe enough time to do something really good for the students.


Car chase!

Peter makes note of a superb car chase scene from 'The Seven Ups'.

Sure, it's good.  The one from Bullitt is good too.  Still, my all time favorite car chase...... Ronin!

Photo a day, 7

Monday, March 31, 2014

Earthquakes...... and an interesting way to track them

IRIS earthquake monitor can be a fascinating site.   The new(ish) 3D mapping is interesting as well.

Sobering it is, to think we live on what are basically slow moving islands floating on molten rock, all grinding together and ready to pitch a serious fit every once in a while.

Photo a day, 2

Sunday, March 30, 2014


I made coleslaw just now, in a bid to taste some green on this supremely grey and dismal day.

It's funny, how one sense of something added to the mix of all the other senses can change the blend, like mixing pigments in paint.  A taste of fresh coleslaw on a sandwich goes towards counteracting the cold rain pelting the windows.

It's much the same when we walk a trail, parking lot, or alley.  Our senses team up to feed us information, and our brain sorts the incoming data into an image of our surroundings.  At times, it all adds up to what we expect to see, and we roll with that.  

At other times, it's something like duck duck duck duck goose duck duck duck..... HEY, Wait a minute!  Our brain scans back to what set off the alert, and we refocus.   

I'm thinking about camouflage, and how it works.

I'm also thinking about a grilled provolone and sharp cheese sandwich with prosciutto, and coleslaw on the side.

Sunday breakfast food porn....

As it turns out, the perfect amount of bacon is always 'Just a little too much'.

Breakfast sammich, composed of sliced slab bacon roasted in the oven til crispy/chewy perfection, a fried egg gently introduced to some creole seasoning, and chopped raw cabbage.  All on toasted whole grains bread spread with butter AND mayo.

No.... NOTHING in this sammich is 'healthy' ('cept maybe the handful of raw cabbage).  It's NOT health food.  It's soul food.... sustenance to feed the soul and lend wings to a heart heavy with daily existence.

Also.....   LOOK at the BACON!   

Photo a day, 1

Saturday, March 29, 2014


I began blogging (mumble mumble) years ago.  For me, it was something new, and an exceptional way to expose some creativity and personality to a mostly uncaring world.

Over the years, along the way, over the hill and through the woods.... life has been interesting.  Blogging opened up a world of people I'd never otherwise have known.  This is a good thing.... I think.

Maybe five years ago, I also got into/onto Facebook.  Wham bam zoom....  another world of people.  Some good, some bad, some gone, some still here.  Life's A'changing again.

Now, 2014, month 3ish, and blogging seems to be on a downward slope. Blogging has become so 2010.    So too, Facebook is now showing symptoms of shark jumpage.  As the FB elves twist and turn the model in an effort to balance user anger against income potential, the FB world appears to be reaching the first stage of internet decrepitude.

What's next?  Twitter tweeter tweet?  140 character snippets of mindful shorthand?   Thoughts condensed out of existence? 

I think I've reached the cranky old man stage of internet life.  I'm perfectly content to rock in my blog chair and go eat my earlyFB special with the other folks who still value thoughts requiring more than a handful of lonely characters. 

What's next?   I have no idea.  Not one worth sharing, in any case.  All things spin down..... all things fall..... all things change.   Change is life.  Change is also the way of death.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fixing the cast iron egg pan.....

One of the inherent risks associated with cohabiting....  ones cast iron pans may be used without ones knowledge.


In the case of the perfect 'Egg Pan', all it takes is one little toasted sandwich and it all goes to hell.  Sticky sticky city, and never more an unbroken yolk.

The cure this time?   A few runs with hard boiling water, and scrub outs in between.  All the nasties float off the pan and get washed away, leaving it ready for a light oiling and a return to duty as 'Egg Master'.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Human rights...

It's not a 'constitutional right'.

It's a constitutionally protected 'Natural right'.

The difference is huge.

In other words, our rights are not granted by the constitution, but protected by it. We have the human right to self defense whether there is a piece of paper mentioning it or not.

We as gun owners put this issue in the wrong terms all the time. I think we need to move away from the thought of our 'right to own guns' which some people just don't or won't understand. Many folks don't understand and don't care about, or actively oppose, that right.

The proper way to phrase this is "People have a natural right to self defense, and towards that end they have a right to own the means of self defense."

The only way for anti rights activists to counter that is to say people do not have the right to defend themselves. They may perhaps realize how insane this sounds, and then say people have the right to defense, but not the right to it's means. That's akin to saying we have a right to breath, as long as we keep our head under the water.

This issue (gun ownership by citizens) might be a non-issue if couched in different terms. While many people who are not gun owners see no connection to the controversy of gun ownership, nearly everyone understands they have a right to defend themselves from criminal attack.

Every single time someone speaks about limiting gun ownership, our stock reply should be "WHY do you want to deny people their right to self defense?"

The anti-rights activists so often state they are not against gun ownership, but for 'reasonable restrictions'. They say this, but in every case they have proven to really be for elimination of personal gun ownership. If we can link personal gun ownership directly to the right of self defense, limitations become more difficult to justify.

While the framers of the constitution may have had the peoples defense against their own government in mind when they wrote the bill of rights, that does not resonate in today's world of big government and survival by wealth redistribution. Therefor the idea of defending the people against runaway government is not seen as a viable reason for gun ownership. While many find it the most important reason, many more do not understand, or even oppose, the idea of armed resistance to unjust law.

The reality is.... if slavery was the law of the land today, today's people would just knuckle under and pull the plow.
That said, what most people can agree on is that giving in to criminal attack is bad. Giving in to violent attack is worse than bad, it's suicide in most cases. People can understand the need, and right, of self defense. Thus, they can also understand needing the means of self defense.

Most people applaud the little old lady who stands up to the thug, using her weapon to save herself. Few people understand that without that weapon she is not a hero, but a crime statistic in a hospital bed, or worse, a morgue.

We need to make THAT point clear, and make THAT the debate.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Book plug.......

Jim Curtis (Old NFO) is one of the good guys. A lifetime of service and still fighting the good fight.   

He's got this here book out.... and it's a good one. The Grey Man: -Vignettes-

Go buy it.  You won't be disappointed. I certainly wasn't.  

Make sure and leave a review after you read it.

Range time today?

I'd like to squeeze in a few hours at the range, and verify zero's. I'll do it too, despite a weather report that reads like this:



Seriously..... that is how it read to me when I went to the NOAA site.

I am taking part in an Appleseed clinic this weekend with #2 son, and I'll be damned if I show up with a rifle that hasn't been checked.  I'll just shoot BETWEEN wind gusts.... yeah.... that's the ticket.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Democrats running away from the ACA in droves?

"The Obama administration obviously understands that. There is no other explanation than political expediency for its announcement last week that it is extending the "keep your plan" fix until 2016 for Americans who have coverage that doesn't meet Obamacare's minimum standards."

The question in my mind.... will the President's unilateral changes to the law have any effect at all?  He can do and say whatever he pleases, but insurance companies are NOT extending any old plans.  They LIKE the new ones required by the law, as shown by the nearly *doubled* profits of the major insurers since the passing of the ACA.  Add to that the clear illegality of the Presidents executive orders, and insurance companies have no reason to play along.  What remains to be seen is how this will effect voting in upcoming election cycles.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday dinner porn

Salmon:  Marinated in rice wine and garlic for several hours.  Then laid in a hot iron pan with lots of melted butter, and slid into a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.  Finished under the broiler till GBD.

Barley risotto:  Chopped onion sauteed in lots of butter till golden, then 1/2 cup pearl barley dropped in and sauteed in the hot butter and onions for a few minutes.  A splash of rice wine, and stirred till absorbed.  Salt, chopped garlic, dried thyme, parsley, a handful of mushrooms, and then a big splash of beef broth (1.2 quarts kept hot in a side pan).  Stir steadily, adding a little more broth as the liquid is absorbed.  It takes a good 30 minutes of stirring, adding, and cooking.  Add a little grated Parmesan in the last few minutes.  When done remove from the heat, lid, and set aside for at least ten minutes.

Cheddar garlic biscuits:    In a food processor, pulse two cups of (cold) AP flour with a frozen stick of butter cut into chunks.  Pulse 4-5 times till the butter is in little pieces and incorporated.  Add in 1.5 tablespoons of baking powder, a teaspoon of baking soda, two tablespoons of granulated garlic, a grind of salt and pepper, and a big handful of (cold) grated cheddar cheese.  Pulse a few times till combined.  Pour in about 3/4 cup of (ice cold) milk, and pulse a few times.  Turn into a bowl and work with hands til just combined.  Place on a floured board, and work by hand into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick.  Slice into 8 equal square biscuits.  Place these on a greased baking sheet, paint with egg wash, and sprinkle with granulated garlic.  Drop a little shredded cheese on top.  Bake for 14 minutes at 400.

Gun show find

This came home today, bought at the club gun show from a fellow member.

It's an Izhevsk ex-sniper, and will join my Tula ex-sniper in the collection.   Should be a nice counterpoint example, and is also reported to be an excellent shooter.

How much did I pay?The price was..... exceptionally good.

This is me smiling.

A union fires full bore on Obamacare

A newly released and very detailed SLAM on the ACA legislation, making clear how much it hurts working Americans and benefits the insurance companies.

Those ROTTEN Republicans are at it........ oh...... wait........ this is a UNION presentation.

Um.... never mind.


"Even before subsidy checks, the ACA
is benefiting for-profit health insurers.
The average share prices of the top 5 for-
profits — Wellpoint, United, Aetna, Cigna,
Humana — have more than doubled since
the March 23, 2010 passage of the ACA.
At a time of record stock prices, the Big
5’s aggregate share prices have increased
almost twice as fast as the Standard and
Poor’s 500 index of blue chip stocks."

Ouch....and some other stuff

Going to be a lazy Sunday, and not much choice in that.   Yesterday yours truly pulled a stupid and ended up knee first on the concrete walk.  The knee did not react well.  Not busted up, but certainly complaining at the mistreatment.

So.... my glorious plans of stacking firewood, cleaning up the yard, and re-weaving the bamboo privacy fence have been placed on hold.  Instead, I'll spend some quality time with Mr. Icepack and a good book.

Still, I HOPE to get a slight modification done on my 10/22, and make a few hundred rounds of trigger time happen.  I need to practice; My skills are withering.

In other happenings....

Peter has some worth-reading things up regarding timely subjects.  Go.... Read.

Al Fin also has some worthwhile and valuable thoughts up for review.

Victory Girls reports on a lawsuit filed by a woman outrageously victimized by law enforcement. I recall the case, and it seems almost unbelievable that 'civilized' humans in authority thought this was a good idea at the time.  I deeply hope that qualified immunity is waved, and those responsible have to pay out of pocket for the rest of their lives.

Arms and The Law is reporting that CT law enforcement is telling the legislature to take a hike when it comes to enforcing that little slice of asinine stupidity they came up with.  Good.  I'd really hate to see good officers coming up against good citizens under those conditions.  NOBODY would win, and those responsible would not be the ones bleeding.