Sunday, February 21, 2010


I picked up a MAGPUL Battery Assist Device for my M4gery and took that out to A-Zone to test out between teaching classes yesterday, I have to say it rocks! I found it very easy to use and switch over to from using the bolt catch to using the BAD. Pretty slick and out of the way. I was a bit concerned about hitting it with my trigger finger but unless I was wearing rather thick gloves, I don't see that happening.

I didn't post photos or video as there are much better demonstrations out there from MAGPUL themselves and all I had was my crappy cell phone camera.

FTC DISCLOSURE: MEGABYTE ME! I paid for this and was in not way compensated by MAGPUL or any of their dealers for the evaluation of this product. HELP HELP, I'm being repressed.

Range Day AAR

Had two classes yesterday. Basic Pistol 1 in the morning nad AT-6 Intense Pistol Skills in the afternoon.

The BP1 class went well, had a couple of ladies show up that their husbands signed them up realizing that the ladies would learn better from an outside instructor instead of from teh husbands. They as well as the rest of the class did well. That was a fun class to see how people took to shooting.

Intense pistol skills is basically a workout class to do thing you cannot do on public ranges and to push peoples skills. We had only one gun failure, a Glock 19 that had obviously had trigger work done to it malf'd pretty early on and was benched for the rest of class. The student used a loaner 19 from our inventory of teaching guns to complete the class.

HSOI came out and helped teach BP-1 and tested out some of his reloads between classes then shot them taking the AT-6 class.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Simple Respect

Expect nothing more, accept nothing less.

Hopefully someone is old enough and obscure enough to get the reference.

Actually, the world would be such a better place if we had simple respect for each other. Unfortunately, to so many people, we are just an extra in the movie of their life. And not a very important extra either. So, the lack of Simple Respect ends up destroying the civility in society. Not holding the door open for a woman in the name of equality. Not pausing and letting someone in the lane in front of you instead of speeding up to get ahead of them before they move over.

Hang with me folks, this is liable to get a little bumpy.

So, just where am I going with all this?

R E S P E C T, Aretha said it best!

Respect and the different levels thereof.

In my last post, I ragged on a State Trooper who got so blindingly drunk that he couldn't tell which way he was going and nearly killed multiple people when he drove rather dangerously causing a five vehicle pileup. I made clear that I wasn't bashing LEO's and have a great level of respect for them. Some of them, that's what I want to explain.

Respect, Why should I, you or anybody respect a cop or other public servant?

Well, for one, I think there are a couple different things going on here. There is the respect for what the person represents and there is respect for the person behind the badge or ID whom, I think deserves increased respect. This holds true for not only LEO's but also Fire Fighters and Medics, who get most of the flash, but also for the person from Streets and Sanitation, the Animal Control Officer and the Clerk at City Hall.

On a personal level, each and every one of these fine folks deserves an extra level of respect just for showing up to do their job each day. Why? Because each of these contributes to make your selfish life a little safer, better, easier. They also show up despite having to deal with a self absorbed public who maybe doesn't completely understand the situation or doesn't want to understand the situation. They just want to be taken care of because, "My tax dollars pays your salary." Well, your tax dollars pays them to take care of society. Just like the Supreme Court has ruled that the Police have no duty to protect you as an individual, only society as a whole, same holds true for the other public servants. They have a duty to society and if that duty just happens to be to help you at that particular time, then there they are to help. But they are not your personal servant and should not be expected to act as such.

Simple Respect

On a professional level, there is an additional level of respect due for the job they perform and what they represent. They represent the ideals of a civil society that we want to create. That is why we gave them the authority that they have. To help maintain an orderly civil society. As such, the position deserves additional respect, the Badge is a representation of the rule of law on the street and should be respected for the additional authority it conveys. That additional authority is granted by us, the civil society, to those who we choose to represent us. (Wow that could go towards politicians as well as where I was headed but that is too much for this post)

This has lead misbeHaven and I to have some interesting discussion about enhanced sentences / charges for those who commit crimes against public servants especially LEO's. I think that also ties into enhanced charges against public servants especially who cross the line and violate the trust and authority granted them by We The People, Civil Society as well as violating the laws they are sworn to uphold.

Should there be enhanced penalties for crimes against a public servant? Sometimes.
If the crime is against them in the performance of their duties representing civil society, then absolutely. The crime is not just against the person but what they represent which means the crime is committed with contempt towards society as a whole. Shoot at a cop while they are attempting to arrest for a violation against society? Absolute enhancement. We're talking gang bangers, bank robbers, rapist, arsonist etc. These are crimes against society as well as a crime against an individual. The actor has shown their contempt for society already and to compound this by demonstrating their lack of respect for the rule of law and the authority of a civil society represented by the LEO. Attack a medic/firefighter that comes to bail you out after you do something stupid and get yourself or someone else injured? (DWI crash anyone?) You have attacked the civil society they represent as well as the person attempting to aid you. Enhanced penalties? Absolutely. All this in addition to charges for violating the laws against the original behavior.

Now, here is where it gets interesting, What happens when the public servant betrays the trust, authority and enhanced respect entrusted to them by the society they have sworn to protect and serve? Enhanced penalties? Absolutely. An easy example is in my last post, a State Trooper who has taken an oath to protect and serve the people of the Great State of Texas, dropped any pretense of respect for those he serves and decides to drink till blindingly drunk then operate a two ton vehicle on a public road with reckless disregard for the safety of any others on the roadway. Including those to whom he swore an oath to protect and serve. This man was expected to behave in a manner befitting the authority the public entrusted in him. He betrayed that trust in a most alarming way. I would say assault with malice aforethought. No one poured those drinks down his throat and he knew the effects of drinking that much, he had the training and authority to arrest those who did just this. No one forced him to get behind the wheel of his truck and drive on public roadways, he had the training and authority to arrest those who did just this. No one forced him to drive like a maniac forcing others off the road and ultimately flipping his own vehicle and landing on top of another, potentially killing the occupants (thank god he didn't), he had the training and authority to arrest those who did just that.

I would hazard to say that his actions not only didn't show any respect or care for those whom he had sworn an oath to serve and protect but shows a level of contempt and disdain for those very same people since he knows first hand what that behavior leads to. Which leads to a whole other can of worms. What happens when these officials whom we have given extra power and authority no longer respect or care for those who granted them this power in the first place? When the Thin Blue Line becomes an Us against Them division and those whom we granted extra authority to go with their extra responsibility decide they are somehow better than the society that they are a member of? (again this could really go into the current level of political upheaval)

Remember when Civilian meant someone not in Military service? LAW enforcement is just that, civil service, it is not war. Not the War on Drugs not the War on Guns or the War on anything. Law enforcement is a contract of a civil society with itself, that members of that society agree to abide by these laws as part of being a member of that society and the enforcement of that agreement by MEMBERS of that society. Law Enforcement Officers are Civilians unless they are MP's. They are Sworn Members of the Society which they have taken an oath to serve and protect. Do they deserve extra respect for the job of extra responsibility that they have chosen to take? ABSOFREAKINLUTELY!

Many public servants know this but unfortunately some have strayed from the path and have decided that by being in Law Enforcement, or some other position of CIVIL authority, they are now somehow better than the rest of the people in the society that they are a part of and have sworn to protect and serve. They feel that they are no longer a civilian, that they now have power that they are somehow owed, for putting up with the rest of society, instead of understanding the awesome responsibility they have accepted in taking on this position.

So, where does this lead us? The public servant has a personal responsibility (there are those words again) to the society that has granted them extra authority to use that authority to protect and serve the members of that civil society that granted them this additional authority. AND, the members of the civil society have a personal responsibility to show an additional level of respect towards those whom they have chosen to grant this additional authority to. Right up until a betrayal of that trust and responsibility in either direction. When a member of the public at large violates the trust and respect for society and it's laws or when one of those granted extra authority by society betrays the trust intimate to the extra authority, the violator must be held responsible for their actions and violation of trust. With the betrayal of responsibility comes an automatic forfeiture of trust and respect.

Media Bias?/Sloppy Reporting?/ Idiots run Amok?

You Decide,

The local bird cage liner has an article up about a multi-vehicle wreck and the person arrested as a result of the wreck. Just says they arrested a Hempstead Man blah blah blah.

Local TV station reports, Tx DPS Trooper charged with Intoxication Assault as result of multi-vehicle accident.

Now, as with guns and "accidental discharges", this was no boating accident. A person got behind the wheel of a vehicle in such condition as they could not even tell where they were coming from, what direction they were going or where the cars they hit had come from. This was negligence plain and simple.

Now, the good folks commenting on the story at the TV station are commenting that "you don't know him so don't judge him". As well as, "people make mistakes and that's all this is a mistake".
What a load of shit, this guy was a state trooper and if anyone should know the dangers of drinking and driving he should. No word if he had his gun on him?

Add another charge for carrying while intoxicated? OH WAIT;
"(d) A license holder commits an offense if, while intoxicated, the license holder
carries a handgun under authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government
Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed"
It only applies to CHL's not to commissioned law enforcement officers who should know better.

Now, I don't rag on LEO's. They do a dangerous job and really do stand between us and total anarchy. I think they deserve the respect and admiration of all those they have taken an oath to protect. HOWEVER, they have to earn that respect and cannot be allowed to abuse it. Do I think they should be held to a higher standard of conduct? Absolutely, they DO know the law and have seen the consequences first hand so they should be more keenly aware of the consequences of bad behavior. Just like CHL's are held to a higher level of responsibility for their actions than non CHL's, LEO's should be held to a higher level of responsibility than noon LEO's. Just the same as I think anyone who assaults a public servant needs to be held to a higher level of responsibility because they have not only assaulted a person but have assaulted what that person represents (civilized society).


This man made a very bad decision and in doing so he recklessly endangered the lives of others and should be held responsible for his actions. He may have been a state trooper and done great things for those he served in the past, but now he has betrayed that trust and put his fellow citizens needlessly at risk or grave bodily harm or death. He is lucky no one died in this crash. Now it is time to take responsibility for his actions and move on. Maybe he can work for DPS as a non sworn employee doing public service work teaching drivers ed students about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Canadian Invasion / Not so Random Aircraft

Not sure what the Canadian military is doing in College Station Texas this time of year other than getting out of the snow. These guys showed up Friday and I didn't get to post due to major computer failure(S) at case de-Geek.
UPDATE: Canadian military officer Gen. Walter Natynczyk spoke at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the George Bush Library Orientation Theater. Natynczyk spoke on U.S.-Canada relations and the Canadian military.

As per the campus newspaper.

Friday, February 5, 2010

They're gonna put me in the movies!

Actually it's TV and I hope there are at least two of you out there that get the reference.

Normally I don't talk about customers or what we do in the tunnel because of the restrictions. Some test articles are proprietary, some are restricted by treaty or by the intended use and some customers don't want us to even acknowledge that they come here to test.

However, the last two evenings, in addition to the regular customer we had in the tunnel we have been working with folks from Discovery Channel on a segment for a new series.

This particular segment is about Sailing Stones and just what it takes to move them. So we spent Wednesday evening making samples that replicated the ground of Racetrack Playa and Thursday evening and night we put the samples in the tunnel with rocks on them and tested.

Students from the Aerospace Engineering Department and Engineering Technology Department that work here at the tunnel worked on setups ran smoke visualization and staff ran the tunnel. The folks from Discovery Channel had questions about the tunnel itself and how it operates and I was elected to answer those.

Want to know what we found out? Look for the episode this spring on The Discovery Channel.

I will say this, it was loads of fun to do despite running late into the evening but a mess to clean up afterwords. Blowing dust and mud out in the desert is one thing but in a closed wind tunnel it makes a mess.

The Money Quote: "Forget Science, this is FUN!" I really hope that shot makes it into the final show and it wasn't even me who said it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Aircraft Randomosity

Today's treat is brought to you by the US Navy.
This being a Sea Hawk. We don't see these guys very often in this neck of the woods. They came in yesterday mid day and overnight-ed, taking off at lunchtime today.
Cool varient of the Black Hawk clan. With the shorter wheel base and folding tail making it easier to store on ship and the ASW sensor suite hanging off the nose.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Diatribe, Part the Second


WARNING!!!!! - If you are squeamish about blood, severe injuries or death, or semi-foul language - READ NO FURTHER

Let's hop in the time machine (Not a Delorean) and wander back to 19 and 86. So one afternoon I am working at my shop (I owned my own welding / heavy truck mechanic business) when the tones drop. "Auto Pedestrian involving an 18 wheeler truck." I thought, "This won't be pretty." It was right down the road from my shop and my in district partner was a few miles away.

At that time, Austin - Travis County had recently gotten StarFlight (Helicopter) and the standard for ALS calls in the county was to send a BLS ground unit and launch the helo. Volunteers or the BLS unit could cancel the helo if not needed. I knew the cavalry was coming in strength and just after I called in responding I heard County Partner call in responding as well as the Aide unit and StarFlight.

As I approached the scene, I take in that it is a construction zone around a bridge being built into one of the new subdivisions. Frantically waving workers greet me. The situation as was pretty apparent after an initial survey and quick rundown from the foreman as I unloaded and slogged gear over to the patient. It was an 18-wheeler dump truck that was backing up when a worker walked behind it. The worker tripped and fell in the soft roadbed material and the driver did not see him go behind the trailer in the first place much less fall. Others saw what happened and got the drivers attention but not until our patient was under the trailer about midway. The truck had backed both sets of tandems on the fully loaded trailer over this guy's midsection. This really is not good. I gave dispatch and the others a quick update and went to work. The patient was conscious but going down hill fast. By the time the Aide unit was on scene he was ready to crash and we were able to get MAST pants on him to get his blood pressure back up enough to hold on until the Helo touched down.

We got an LZ setup and the Helo on the ground quickly and advised a Hot Load as this guy was critical. We had the guy packaged on a backboard waiting for the helo when it touched down so the Flight Medic and Flight Nurse started their work as we were loading. He was going down fast again and the Flight Crew got IV's going and they pushed fluids as fast as possible to try and keep him viable. We backed off and launched the Helo knowing that his chances were really not all that good.

As a side note, we could have made copies of the keys in his pocket and added up how much change he was carrying from the impressions in his leg if that gives you any idea what his body was exposed to.

Partner and I talk for a bit about what just happened and then head back to our respective jobs. We fill out run sheets with our reports on them about what just happened and get those turned in. I called and talked to the Flight Medic to get an update, the patient died on the operating table. Massive internal injuries. Too massive to even begin to fix.

Not a good way to end any call but we did our best and knew that we could not have done any more or better that would have had any effect on the outcome.


Not a week later, I get notice that I am being sued!! By a State Senator / scum sucking lawyer on behalf of the patients family in Mexico. Turns out the guy was here illegally and working for cash under the table. The lawyer scum was suing Me and County Partner, the BLS crew, the Flight Crew including the pilot, the ER Nurses and Doctors, the OR Nurses and Doctors all as individuals, as well as the City and County as Owner/Operator of the EMS system and Owner of the hospital. Also, the Driver of the truck, the owner of the truck and trucking company, the owner of the construction company, the foreman of the construction crew and the primary contractor for the road project as well as the subdivision developer.

The attack on the EMS and Hospital crews was that we did not do enough to save his life and that we had dropped the level of care, as he was a Mexican and pretty much everyone that worked on him was white.

Was anyone that was sued responsible for him walking behind a loaded dump truck that was backing up and him tripping? I won't even get into his status or presence on the job site, as that has nothing at all to do with the level of care he received or what he did to cause the injuries. I ended up having to take time out of my schedule, four times over the course of more than a year as this dragged on, to meet with city and county lawyers as well as to give a deposition. In addition to the stress of beng sued. I was being accused of not doing my best, by a well dressed two bit lawyer hack who had no medical training and was not anywhere near the scene as it happened, when I had not only done my best but done so at my own expense. EMT class and continuing education I had paid for and taken time to complete as well as purchasing some equipment to augment county issue. I took it personally as did a few of the others I spoke with about it.
NO, the lawyer was just a greedy son of a bitch that was looking to see how much who would pay him to just go away. Which the City/County did after it was all said and done. They decided it would be cheaper to just pay the bastard off than to fight for what was right including the integrity and honor of the PEOPLE who worked their asses off to try and save this guy.

This guy was responsible for his actions and everyone else was being blamed.

Unfortunately it has just gotten worse in this litigious society where not only does everyone sue everyone else, but, everyone blames someone else for what happened. It cannot be the fault of the person who actually did the action. It has to be the car or it's manufacturer, the bartender, the gun or it's manufacturer, seller or distributor, the trampoline manufacturer, the road crew or whoever.

People need to be responsible for their own actions and parents are responsible for their children until they are old enough to be held responsible for themselves. Parents NOT SCHOOLS OR THE GOVERNMENT are responsible for teaching their children that they are going to be held responsible for their actions and just what that means.


About this time, I realized I had been working jobs not a career path and was ready to go back to school to finish my degree. Time to earn my keep. Personal responsibility and all.

Just breath, the requiem

At this weekends class, I passed some spare brass and a box of cans of OC to HSOI. The brass was excess. (Yeah I know you can never have too much brass but in .38SPCL I really did.)

Topic of this post is actually the OC. You see, misbeHaven has Asthma. Didn't know it at the time but when a can of OC leaked on the Kitchen counter she had a reaction to it on the other end of the house! This is an indication that maybe she shouldn't be around OC. It was much later that her breathing actually got to a point where the asthma was diagnosed but that was an indicator looking back on it.


That is important, this is a life saving tool and if using it causes a potentially life threatening or even a hindering effect on a loved one, maybe it isn't the right tool for you. It would really suck to deploy it in a defensive situation only for you or your loved one to go down and need immediate lifesaving medical attention as a result.

Just a word to the wise from personal experience.

Range Weekend AAR

Saturday was a long and cold day on the range. HSOI has a post covering the classes and the fact that he got to spend some time being Designated Bad Guy / Unknown Actor this time. It is eye opening to see things from the other side. It's also fun to work with the students to help them learn from "real" encounters.

Overall a good set of classes and a great set of students. misbeHaven had less of a good time at home while all that was going on. Main breaker out on the meter pole tripped and her laptop went Tango Uniform.

Of all the mistakes / learning moments from the weekend the most important was to not be in so much of a hurry to rush in. Tactics mainly not shooting skills. The students came along fine with their shooting skills but when we ran evening scenarios people were over anxious to rush right into the shop and find out who was in there and what they were doing and to close with the unknown contact. If there is nothing worth dying for inside, DON'T GO IN THERE. Especially not alone. That is an important hint for future students as well. For the students who gave the right answer we still let them go inside and see why they shouldn't.