Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Is this thing still on?

[tap] [tap]

Yeah, there's been radio silence here for a bit - sorry about that.  There's been a LOT going on: new job is going well but things move fast there, settling Mom's affairs, fallout from the move.  Life has been busy.

I expect there will be relax time over this weekend, and hope to get more posts out.  In the meantime, to make it up to you, all posts today will be free of charge. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

David Allan Coe - You Never Even Called Me by My Name

In the 12 years I've been blogging I have posted almost 500 (!) country songs.  You can find the archive here if you're a glutton for punishment.  And so I find myself somewhat at a loss as to why I've never posted this.

It was written by Steve Goodman and John Prine.  Prine asked not to be credited because he thought it was a "goofy, novelty song."  Well, that goofy novelty song was David Allan Coe's first top 10 hit, and you won't find a honky tonk where the band plays this that the audience doesn't sing along.  It's simply hilarious as Country Music pokes loving fun at itself.  Enjoy.


You Never Even Called Me by My Name (Songwriters: Steve Goodman, John Prine)
Well, it was all
That I could do to keep from crying'
Sometimes it seemed so useless to remain
But you don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
You never even called me by my name
You don't have to call me Waylon Jennings
And you don't have to call me Charlie Pride
And you don't have to call me Merle Haggard anymore
Even though you're on my fighting' side
And I'll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standing' in the rain
But you don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
You never even called me by my name
Well, I've heard my name
A few times in your phone book (hello, hello)
And I've seen it on signs where I've played
But the only time I know
I'll hear "David Allan Coe"
Is when Jesus has his final judgment day
So I'll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standing' in the rain
But you don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
You never even called me by my name
(Spoken) 
Well, a friend of mine named Steve Goodman wrote that song
And he told me it was the perfect country & western song
I wrote him back a letter and I told him it was not the perfect country & western song
Because he hadn't said anything at all about mama
Or trains, or trucks, or prison, or getting' drunk
Well, he sat down and wrote another verse to the song and he sent it to me
And after reading it I realized that my friend had written the perfect country & western song
And I felt obliged to include it on this album
The last verse goes like this here
(Sung) 
Well, I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison
And I went to pick her up in the rain
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
She got run over by a damned old train
And I'll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standing' in the rain, no
But you don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
You never even called me
Well, I wonder why you don't call me
Why don't you ever call me by my name

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Southwest Florida Blogshoot AAR

Man, that was fun and a HUGE thank you to everyone who came.  It was actually JayG's first New England Gunblogger shoot that got me into blogging,way back in the day and there is a real sense of camaraderie in these events.  Both Miguel and Big Country have their own AARs posted, and you should go check them out.

Of course people brought their guns.  A popular saying up at the New England blogshoots was "We have enough guns to invade Canada."  Kevinn Creighton of Ammoman - a Canadian from Calgary - was quick to point out that it wasn't enough to invade his part of Canada.


The turnout was very good - final count was 20 which is really good for these. There was a mixup at the range where they didn't give us the private range, so we only had 25 yard shooting, rather than a couple hundred.  That will get fixed next time for sure.  But people had a lot of fun - these are as much about meeting folks in meetspace as about the shooting.  There was a lot of support for doing this regularly, and so I will start planning the next one, tentatively scheduled for February.


This isn't an Evil Black Rifle.  It's an Evil Red, White, and Blue Rifle ...


I think this is an FN 1000 or something similar.



The Tavor was cool.



Big Country brought his homemade flame thrower.  It works great as the world's coolest Super Soaker.


Remember, as T-Bolt points out shotguns are not a great weapon against Zombies.  However, this helps you in those quick-reload situations ...

I will put up a post later about more of the social aspects, but wanted to give you a sense of the shooty goodness that was had.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

SW Florida Blogshoot AAR coming tomorrow

 It was a great success and a great time was had, but life has been busy and I'll get a post up tomorrow.

Friday, November 13, 2020

The weather for tomorrow's blogshoot looks good.

 Mostly sunny and in the low '80s.  Lock and load, and we'll see you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

1960s

I grew up in the 1960s. Graduated from high school in the 1970s. It's worth a look back because it is a forgotten time. 

Most of the men in our lives were WWII veterans. The war had been the defining experience of their lives. It shaped them and their view of the world. They shaped us, mostly for the good.

The world we lived in had been essentially reshaped by the war. The United States and the Allies had won at great cost and then rebuild western Europe and Japan. The Soviet Union, once our ally, had become the enemy in the ideological battle for freedom. The development of the atom bomb and the subsequent arms race seemed to underlay everything.

Not only had we won, but the continental United States had been unscathed. Our factories, filled with trained workers, built cars and trucks, televisions, appliances, clothing, and exported it to the world. The economy hummed along, unquestioned. If it was good for GM, it was good for the country.

Schools taught history and social studies from what would now be seen as a very narrow lens. The United States was a great, free, country. We had an amazing history. Our Founders were heroes. Westward expansion, the growth of the country in the 19th Century, all our inventions and developments, all were good things, unmarred by human tears.

Television and the movies had discovered that WWII could be mined for stories. Great movies, good TV shows, and even a comedy call Hogan's Heroes. We were all immersed in the history and pseudo-history. We played cowboys and indians some. But we played war more. I never had an expensive toy like this, but here's a window into what I am trying to describe.

 

I carried a pocket knife everywhere. From the time my father got me a Scout knife for my birthday, I always had it with me. It was a tool. Never thought of using it as a weapon. I kept it oiled and sharp and put my housekey on the loop so I would always know where the key was.

Grew up hiking and camping, wore my Scout uniform to school on Scout Day, wanted to be a military pilot. I remember when it became clear that I needed glasses because my first thought was that I would never get to fly a jet and I felt the disappointment so strongly that I can still feel echoes of it as I write this.

I miss the country I grew up in.


 

Southwest Florida Blogshoot - Final instructions

We have 16 confirmed attendees, which is a great turnout.  Here are some things to keep in mind

The Venue:

When: Saturday, November 14 at 12:30 PM

Where: Manatee Gun and Archery Club1805 Logue Rd, Myakka City, FL 34251

Really Where:  Go to their office to sign their safety forms, then follow the signs to the range.

Facilities:  Some of our readers are bringing their betters halves (as am I) and the fairer sex will be relieved to know that there are proper, civilized facilities in the club house.  Gentlemen, please resist the urge to use "Gentleman's Prerogative" behind the bushes.  You savages ...

The public ranges have 100, 200, and 300 yard ranges, plus a 25 yard pistol range.  The private range has 25 to 200 yard rifle/pistol lanes.  All Ranges are covered, and the weather looks like it should be good.  Please check the gun club web site for range rules - footwear, eye and ear protection, (for the ladies) nothing low cut, etc.*

Safety: Please read their range safety infoBring your eye and ear protection.  If you don't have any, you can rent some at the clubhouse.  The Queen Of The World is looking forward to bringing her brand new (pink) ones.  Accessorize as you see fit.

Miguel and Kevin Creighton, you said that you were NRA certified Range Safety Officers.  By the power vested in me by The Queen Of The World, you are delegated as Southwest Florida Blogshoot RSOs.  It may be a rowdy crowd, so feel free to bring your brass knuckles/bear spray.  There may or may not be a Manatee Gun Club RSO; we'll see.

The Cost: The range will charge $20 for a half day's shooting on the public range, but it will be $15 for the private range if we get 15 people (and thus all the requests for the nose count).  If we can get the private range then I will cover the range cost and will hit all y'all up when you get there; otherwise you can each pay the club at the office (this will be sorted out by the time you get there).  

Other Things To Bring:   Guns.  Lots of guns.

Also folding chairs.  

Food: Lunch will be catered by The Queen Of The World.

Weather: It's still hurricane season, and so the weather might end up being nasty.  Check this blog first thing Saturday morning before you come.  I will put up a post saying either "Yes, we're good to go" or "We're rained out".

* Unless you plan on dong the Hot Brass Dance, of course.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Thoughts on Being a Veteran

I joined the Marine Corps in 1977. Vietnam was over. The Long War had not yet really gotten started, the Beirut Bombing wasn't until 1983, so it was all Cold War. Which meant I was joining a peacetime military. 

I tested well, I could read and had taken math all the way through high school trig and geometry. I got offered electronics schools and I took it. Spent a year in schools after boot camp and then came out to be assigned to a fighter squadron as a RADAR and missile systems tech.

I went where the aircraft went. Which meant I was gone a lot. I went to Japan, Korea, and Philippines, and bases all over the U.S., wherever the training or operational schedule took us. My job wasn't physically that hard. I pushed a cart full of tools and parts out to the planes, worked with the rest of team to fix problems, did the other stuff all Marines had to do, and generally lived a pretty easy life.

At the end of six years, I came home from Japan and we decided I should get out because it didn't look like our marriage would survive with me being gone so much. I have some amazing memories, great photographs, and a few mementos. I have been a civilian since 1983. The electronics training I received became the basis of my working career.

And yet I am a Marine. I will always be a Marine. The summer of 1977 at Parris Island changed me in fundamental ways. Some of those changes are immediate, others took years to fully develop. But it is not me I think of when someone says veteran. 

It is the Marines wading across the open water to make the beach at Tarawa. It's Marines at Okinawa, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Khe Sahn, Fallujah, and all the other places named and unnamed that Marines fought and bled. Those are the veterans we should be honoring today. 

It's the old man in a veteran's ballcap tottering into the store that sacrificed his youth for all of us and then came home and helped build the country in the 1950s. It's the veterans that stayed in for 20 or 25 years, deploying around world on orders, and then retired and went on to a second job to support a family, and is now retiring again, hard of hearing, limited by old injuries, and looking at the country wondering what happened. It's the guys that still wake up with the dreams at 4 AM and stare at the ceiling hoping they didn't actually scream out loud.

There are debts we owe we cannot pay.

Thoughts on Veteran's Day

I originally posted this seven years ago, but it bears repeating again.

The citizens of the United States have a different relationship with the Military than many countries do.  The Military is seen as being part of the citizenry (and actually vice versa, as a reading of the Second Amendment will show).  In many countries the military is seen as separate and distinct from the populace.

This isn't unique - the same dynamic has long been in play certainly in the Anglosphere, and other nations as well (c.f. Switzerland).  This has resulted in the Military being seen as high status, and commanding broad respect through society.

It's the soldier, not the reporter who has given us 
Freedom of the Press.  
It's the soldier, not the poet, who has given us 
Freedom of Speech.  
It's the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the 
Freedom to Demonstrate.  
It's the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the 
Right to a Fair Trial.  
It's the soldier who salutes the flag, serves under the flag and 
whose coffin is draped by the flag, 
Who gives the protestor the right to burn the flag.

And so in the United States, today is the celebration of Veteran's Day.  The rest of the Anglosphere (and other places) hold today as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day, recalling the Millions slaughtered in the Great War which ended 95 years ago today.  America does not need a Remembrance Day, as we have our own Memorial Day holiday (an outgrowth of the American War of Southern Independence a half century earlier than the War To End All Wars).

As a result, there's less sadness here.  On these shores, today is a day for the living, not for the dead.  We see signs at small restaurants saying "Veterans Eat Free", which would be difficult for those asleep in Flanders' Fields.

But even here it's worth a moment's reflection on the War where Europe committed suicide, when a whole generation was butchered and damned.  And how they nearly took us with her, then and 20 years later.  It's rarely the politicians who caused the problem who bleed.

Thanks to all who served, including Grandpa, Dad, Uncle Dick, nephew Daniel, The Queen Of The World's son, our Son-In-Law (currently deployed), and last but by no means least our very own ASM826.  The citizens - of whom you were once part and to which you returned - are grateful indeed that this nation does not fear its own Armed Forces.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Southwest Florida Blogshoot - call for final nose count

The (first) Southwest Florida Blogshoot (catered by The Queen Of The World) is hard up upon us, and it looks like we will have enough people that I might be able to reserve the 200 yard private rifle and pistol range at the gun club.  I need to call them to reserve it on Thursday, so I need a final nose count from everyone.

What I need from you: Leave a comment saying that (a) you are coming and (b) the total number coming with you (some of you have said that you were going to bring your better half or a friend).

This is the Venue:

When: Saturday, November 14 at 12:30 PM

Where: Manatee Gun and Archery Club1805 Logue Rd, Myakka City, FL 34251

The Cost: The range will charge $20 for a half day's shooting on the public range, but it will be $15 for the private range if we get 15 people (and thus the request for the nose count).  The public ranges have 100, 200, and 300 yard ranges, plus a 25 yard pistol range.  The private range has 25 to 200 yard rifle/pistol lanes.  All Ranges are covered, but it looks like Tropical Storm Eta might (hopefully) be gone by then.  Please check the gun club web site for range rules - footwear, eye and ear protection, (for the ladies) nothing low cut, etc.*

The Queen Of The World is planning to bring lunch.  Charlie Foxtrot, thanks for the offer of the crock pot of beans, but I don't think that there's electricity.  In any case, The Queen Of The World is a Force of Nature when she is planning an event, and she is planning this is full force.  

The following people have said they are coming:

MiguelGFZ

Derek Ward

Ratus

Big Country Expat 

Dixie Dennis

David L

Kevin Creighton (Ammoman)

Frederick

Divemedic

BigCountryExpat

Charlie Foxtrot

Please confirm with a headcount and I will reserve the range. 

* Unless you plan on dong the Hot Brass Dance, of course.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Trump's plan to win?

 This is really interesting.  Don Surber speculates on what may be Trump's game plan:

1. Sue in States where there is clear fraud.  Ask the Supreme Court to invalidate that States electoral votes.

2. Without Pennsylvania and Michigan (invalidated by SCOTUS), Biden cannot get 270 Electoral Votes, so there is no winner.

3. Per the US Constitution, the House of Representatives votes to determine the winner.  Now this would seem to be an advantage for Biden since the Democrats have a majority in the House, but the Constitution specifies how the voting takes place: each State gets ONE vote.

4. Trump looks like he has a majority of States, and so he would be declared the victor.

It's VERY interesting.  Recommended.

Pfizer Announces Covid19 Vaccine -- 90% Effective

 It is encouraging.

 A 90% effective vaccine would be beyond anyone's expectations.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

About that vote counting software "glitch"

The Silicon Graybeard casts his experienced eye on the software "glitch" that counted Trump votes for Biden in Michigan.  Go, read.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Reminder: Southwest Florida Blogshoot - November 14

When: Saturday, November 14 at 12:30 PM

Where: Manatee Gun and Archery Club, Myakka City, FL

The date is far enough out to give folks tie to plan.  It also will be after the election and whatever post-election excitement we see (hopefully) but before Thanksgiving gets too close.

The range will charge $20 for a half day's shooting.  There are 100, 200, and 300 yard ranges, plus a 25 yard pistol range.  The Queen Of The World is planning to make some sandwiches.  If we get enough people (15) then we can reserve a private range at the club which has 25 - 200 yard ranges.

Leave a comment if you want to come.  TQOTW and some of her girlfriends are planning on coming, so bring your better half.

The following people have said they are coming:

MiguelGFZ

Derek Ward

Ratus

Big Country Expat

The following are maybes (would love it if you could confirm in the comments):

West, By God

Mr. Garibaldi

Tom Lindsay

Frederick

Great Scott

Sean Sorrentino

Divemedic

David L

James

Unidentified Victim

Patrick

If you're not on either of these lists but want to come, please leave a comment.

Tsgt Joe says he will be here January - March, so I'll organize another blogshoot in February.

Hank William Sr - Your Cheatin' Heart

So there was an election with cheating that they didn't even try to hide.  Okay, then.  There's a country music song for that.


This was Hank, Sr.'s last recorded song, and it became his biggest hit.  We wrote it while driving in the car with his fiancee, dictating it in just a few minutes.  Like the ballots in Philadelphia, it was manufactured in a hurry.  Unlike the ballots in Philadelphia it's loved across the country.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Everybody take a deep breath

 Wait 2 days.  Yes, emotions are running high.  But:

  • Despite what the idiot lefties say, Donald Trump is the smartest guy in the room.  He has a long record of figuring out how to win - especially in situations where the old Republicans (*cough*Mitt Romney*cough*) would give up.  Trump is no quitter.
  • The Democrats telegraphed their plans, with the "Election Integrity Project".  Without doubt Trump has factored this into his plans, targeting the weaknesses in the Democrat's plans.
  • The Democrats haven't tried to finesse the cheating.  Without doubt Trump's plans will highlight this in various courts of law up to the Supremes.
  • The Democrats have spent months trying to demoralize us.  This is just ploy #423 in that playbook.  The others didn't work;don't let this work.

Patience.  We've waited decades for someone like Trump; we can wait a couple more days to see him start to crush his opponents.  Do not discount Donald Trump - that's what his enemies do.

The real point of the Election Fraud

What is striking about the fraud is the blatant clumsiness on display: the Democrats aren't even trying to hide the fact that they are manufacturing ballots in industrial quantities.  This is really, really interesting, and suggests that their motive is not simply to install their preferred candidate in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  It suggests that the motivation is deeper, and darker.

Theodore Dalrymple studied Soviet era propaganda - the propaganda targeting not a western audience, but instead the populations of the Warsaw Pact.  He was struck by how crude it was:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.

I think that this is what they're after - showing the country that they can steal an election and there's nothing that we can do about it.  It comes from the same source that causes cities to remove statues of George Washington.  It's showing who's up and who's down.

The crudeness of it all isn't a bug - it's the primary point to these people, who believe that they have a fundamental right to rule.

Things I've Learned or Relearned

 First, thank you all for your kind thoughts, spoken and unspoken, on my post yesterday.

1. People say "I can't imagine...", but they are wrong. I think they can imagine. They imagine it pretty correctly. It sucks just like they think it does.

2. Suicide ripples out. It effects family and friends directly and then it bounces around and has impacts on relationships between family and friends.

3. Once you get over the suicide idea and accept that in the end, it is a death like a car accident or cancer, it is still a loss. They are still gone too soon.

4. The loss of a child, for any reason, tests the parents in ways that nothing else does. Individually and in the marriage, you will find out what you are made of.

5. It happens all the time. You can't ask "Why me?" Car accidents are number one, suicide brings up second place, but there are drownings, SIDS, other accidents, childhood diseases, someone is crying over their child's body while you read this.

6. We live in relationships. My friends, both locally and on-line, were and remain, absolutely rock solid. I have made excellent friends and they showed it over and over.

7. Death does not define a life. If it did, reading biographies would be short and boring. If you are reading the biography of Gen. Eisenhower, Andrew Jackson, or Winston Churchill, it is all the events, experiences, and developments you want to learn about. So, too with your loved ones, if you are remembering someone, you have to remember the totality.

8. Time doesn't heal the wound, at least not by itself. If you fight against it, you can choose to never heal. Healing starts with the decision not to be destroyed and is a ongoing process. 

9. Faith helps. It doesn't provide answers, it provides hope. It doesn't have to be some traditional religion. Glen Filthie's comment fits right here: "The theoretical physicists say there’s 10 (or 11, depending on which egghead you talk to) - dimensions. We only perceive 3 or 4. We know this because elsewise, our universe would be unstable and couldn’t exist. Long story short: over an nth dimensional hill, and round a temporal corner... your boy is still alive and well. It may seem to us that he is irretrievably lost; but figuratively speaking he is still nearby, along with other loved ones. Amidst all the staggering infinities on planes we can’t perceive, our loved ones are just “across the street”."

10. Life continues both big and small. Meals are cooked, the lawn needs cutting, your child gets married, there's a new grandchild, and on and on. Life calls us forward. I choose to answer that call.

 

 

 





 


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Five Years

 Five years ago today I lost a son to suicide.

There is still not a day that goes by without thoughts of him.


The Counter-Revolution

What is most amusing about lefty intellectuals is the conceits they give themselves.  Typically they see themselves as avant guarde revolutionary leaders.  What they really are - at least in this day - are counter revolutionaries.  They're agents of Reaction, and these intellectuals would recognize the scorn that term implies.

The Revolution was Trump, a revolution against an  intrenched bureaucracy that was actively hostile to half the country.  We see the counter revolution in action in this election.  Rather than "count every vote" like they piously claim, the reality is that many states were called for Biden with a million votes left to count.  It's all smoke and mirrors.  The only saving grace for the left is that this is exactly what they promised they would do.

There is a refreshing clarity to politics now.  There is no common ground, no shared norms other than getting and keeping power.  Man, the Democrats are really going to hate it when their rules are applied to them.

For now, all is confusion.  Peter has an excellent analysis, and his conclusion is under stated but spot on:

Folks, it's a very uncertain time for all of us. Let's not lose too much sleep over it. Sooner or later, we'll know for sure who's won and who's lost. Until then, let's do our best to keep the peace, and exercise our democratic right to be watchful as the votes are counted.

And remember what's been done, and by whom.  From now on the only response to their "have you no shame" comments is rolling our eyes.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The election is beyond the margin of fraud

Two and a half months ago I forecast a Trump landslide victory, 354 electoral votes to Biden's 184.  I lay out why for those of you who are interested.  I don't see a reason to change this prediction.

Sure, the Democrats will cheat. I don't think they can cheat this enough to change the result.  Certainly Pennsylvania is at risk for industrial scale cheating; maybe North Carolina as well.  But enthusiasm among Republicans is off the charts, so the amount of cheating that will be needed is higher.  Also, the "shy Trump" voter syndrome is real - people have been not just verbally abused but attacked and killed for being Trump supporters; no wonder some won't talk to pollsters, family and friends about their preferences.

That also increases the amount of cheating the Democrats will have to do.  I think that number is just too high for the Democrats to pull this off.  What they will do is expose industrial scale levels of cheating.  That will solidify voters' views of the Democratic Party for 2024 - it will be a bad moon rising for that election, too.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Movies XI - The Man Who Would Be King

 The Man Who Would Be King starred Sean Connery and Michael Caine.  It was filmed in 1975 in Morocco. Directed by John Huston and based on the story by Rudyard Kipling, it was a film that Huston had been trying to get made for 20 years. Made in the time when movies were transitioning to what I think of as the modern era, it has elements of the classic swashbuckers, some humor, and a touch of Indiana Jones. 

I watched it last night in commemoration of Sean Connery's passing. I wanted to pick something he had starred in and when I learned that this was his personal favorite film that sealed it. 

The trailer is terrible, in the way that trailers often were, but the movie holds up pretty well considering that it comes from a time just before computer generated special effects were possible. I looked at clips to share, but this short homage really captures something of the movie.

Frankiskos Leontaritis - Kyrie

 A lot of people are worried about the election.  They shouldn't be.  Donald Trump will easily win, and why I haven't bothered to think much about the Senate and House races, he will have coattails as Republican turnout breaks records.  So if you want Trump to win, relax - it's in the bag.  If you want Trump to lose, relax - it's coming, and even an Act Of God wouldn't stop it.

So here's some relaxing music.  Frankiskos Leontaritis was born this day in 1518 on the island of Crete.  Recently part of the Byzantine Roman Empire, it had been taken over by Venice.  Leontaritis had many connections in Venice, and ended up moving there, and later to Rome, where he was known as "Il Greco" (The Greek) - not to be confused with the Spanish painter of the same era, El Greco ("The Greek") who as it turns out was from the same city (Heraklion/Candia) in Crete.

He composed many masses and other choral works, and is considered the father of Greek classical music.  It is very relaxing, so enjoy.