Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Moronic Parents and their clueless children

Sorry but this is just stupid. A father gives his 17YO daughter a gun "for protection" with no training and tells her to carry it. Breaking several laws as well as being stupid. She drops her purse at Starbucks and the gun goes off. Probably had something in the purse that landed on the hammer when it hit the floor. At least I hope so, if it was because she was carrying it cocked then she and dad really need to get their collective asses handed to them. What kind of idiocy is this? pro or anti rights doesn't matter in this case because what they did was just wrong and stupid.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

AERO Nerd-vana

So I went on a little jaunt today to San Antonio Propeller. Had to drop off three sets of B-29 blades along with the hub and bearings and such that we use to make wind here at the tunnel.
Well boy do they have quite the assortment of kewl props there. All shapes and sizes were to be had in various states of repair.
The correct terminology for the prop blades above is OOPS! Really, they are not supposed to bend that way. The names have been blurred out to protect the guilty.
I probably could have spent a few hours there poking around in their piles of stuff but I wanted to get back home for the night and get the truck turned in.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

From the Horrible, comes good

So, with the recent passing of my Mom, I have gotten motivated to continue a long overdue process. Years ago when my Dad passed away, I collected his Military records and other printed heirlooms and started scanning them. With the intended goal of getting everything scanned and DVD's made for all the kids in the family to share.This would be Dad being presented with his First Distinguished Flying Cross.

Anyway, the passing of Mom has motivated me to get back on track. After researching around I ordered a CanonScan 9000F and a couple software packages. You see, I also have boxes and boxes of slides from before Mom and Dad got married through his AF career to all the trailer trips we took as a family while I was growing up. Let's just say there are thousands of slides that need cleaning, scanning and then digital cleaning up. We shall see how this all works out. I may even share publicly some of the better scans. Like when I first discovered toilets that didn't have to be flushed.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rare Occasion Indeed

It is a rare occasion when we can all get together anymore. It's sad that it only happens when bad things occur.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Marie Rose (Hujar) Kochan was led by the Angels to Paradise on November 27, 2011 at The Summit at Lakeway Healthcare Center. Marie was born on March 25, 1929 in Binghamton, NY then made her home and raised her family in Austin, TX for the last 52 years. Marie earned her teaching degree from Cortland College in Cortland, NY and taught kindergarten until she met and married the Air Force officer and pilot of her dreams, Chester T. Kochan, from Salamanca, NY.

Marie demonstrated how central her Catholic faith was to her life by participating in Saint Ignatius Parish and the Saint Edwards University Community. She remained an active member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority. While proudly raising her family, Mom enjoyed leading several scout troops, volunteering as room mother, sewing clothes and costumes for her family, creating various knitting, crocheting, and tatting projects, cooking amazing meals (especially her famous lasagna), and baking heavenly desserts. In her spare time, Mom worked her way up to being a nationally recognized Tupperware Manager, earning televisions, diamonds, cruises, and cars. Mom and Dad also extended the family and opened their home to foreign visitors and students through the University of Texas International Hospitality Club and the Saint Edward’s University Foreign Exchange Student Program. She continued to volunteer her time and skills until her passing.

Marie was preceded in death by her parents and husband. Left to celebrate and remember her life are her brother, Thomas Hujar and her children and their spouses, Mary K. Kochan and Jim Milholland; Mark Kochan and Laura; HelenAnn Busa and Ron; Teresa LaGesse and Daniel; John Kochan and Kelli. Marie adored and delighted in her grandchildren, Bailey K. Cummings; Dawn, Delaney, and Michael Kochan; Veronica and Thomas Busa; Adam and Sarah LaGesse. Marie is additionally survived by four (4) great-grandchildren and numerous beloved family members up north.

Her children would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to the loving staff at The Summit at Lakeway who embraced their mother like family. In lieu of flowers, for those who desire to make a memorial contribution, please donate to the Alzheimer’s Association.

A memorial mass will be held at 3pm on Friday, December 2, 2011, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel on St. Edward’s University campus, 3001 South Congress Avenue in Austin. Family visitation will begin at 6pm on Saturday, December 3, 2011, with the Rosary at 7pm at Harrell Funeral Home, 4435 Frontier Trail in South Austin. Marie’s final resting place will be next to her husband at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Marie Rose Hujar Kochan. 3/25/29-11/27/11

May you finally rest in peace. There are those of us who had the honor of calling you Mom! I miss you already yet am glad you are now at rest with Dad.

I still remember this picture and day it was taken. We were on our way back form a doctors appointment for me and the rabbit along with a guy in a station wagon were parked in the Dairy Queen parking lot on South Lamar. We stopped for ice cream and got pictures that he shot with his pinhole camera and then developed in the darkbox he had in the back of his wagon. I will always remember this and so much more. I Love You Mom!


Sometimes, when you think life really sucks, God pops up to remind you that you don't know the meaning of the word suck!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Going Dim

Not quite going dark but for those dozen of you who are regulars here, things are complicated and busy right now so I am not going to be updating this blog very much if any at all. That's bad considering I haven't been updating much lately anyway.

Blog will still be here with all kinds of links to people who actually do write routinely and are much more interesting than I.

Friday, November 18, 2011

How HighTech can ya get?

This would be the dash and cockpit of a V-22 Osprey. All glass and digital until you park. Then you have to pull an old fashioned T handle. just fount it a bit funny I did.
They all fond up as well for space savings on board ship.We are graced with three of them for the flyover at the A&M football game tomorrow.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

@$$#0!e$ in the .mil

Last night, the cities of Bryan and College Station Texas were woken by low flying heavy lift helicopters (Loaded) flying LOW around town for a couple hours at 2-4 AM. They then departed to the east still flying low enough to rattle houses and cause items to shake off of my night stand and the shelf under the TV set at our house.

Explanation on the news was "nothing to worry about, training exercise". Nothing further given.

There are areas specifically set aside for low level night flying training that do not involve flying loaded heavy helicopters over densely populated areas at night. This was not only inconsiderate, it was recklessly dangerous to operate these aircraft over populated areas where any mechanical malfunction would not be recoverable at the altitude they were operating. BTW I am a pilot, aero engineer and rotorhead. I like helicopters and love to see them flying and I definitely support our military. However, some really poor critical decision making skills were exercised and displayed last night.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ahoy matey, there be dirt here!

So, this is what you get for three days on a backhoe/front end loader. Or more correctly, half of what you get. The other half is a stock tank in the north pasture that is now three times the depth that it was Saturday morning.

The backstop is 15 feet high by 25 yards wide, the side berms start at 15 feet at the inside corners and taper down to 8 feet high 25 yards out from the backstop. At the 15 foot top, the backstop is still 4 feet wide. Call it overkill but I would be happy to shoot a SLAP round out of a fifty cal and know nothing is coming out the other side.

Now I need ice and heat multiple times and some serious sleep. I ache.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New low for thieves

This trailer was stolen yesterday from NW Austin TX. If you see it or have seen it, call 911 IMMEDIATELY and maybe follow up with Austin PD. How low of a thief do you have to be to steal Search and Rescue gear from a SAR unit? Those people suck and need to be caught and the equipment rescued and returned to the SAR unit.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bird of Prey

This little beastie dropped in for a bite of lunch today. Nice to see my tax dollars in action.

Heard it coming in and knew it was large rotorcraft. caught it just as it was setting down.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Be a good witness

With all the hoopla surrounding the SC sheriff telling women to arm themselves, I couldn't help but think,

When told to be a good witness, what better to identify your attacker by than the bullet holes you put into him?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'm Shocked

Shocked I tell you. Last Saturday a local choir boy ho read to blind orphans and fed the sick was shot down at his apartment.

After it happened, the PD put out a statement that there was no danger to the general public and that they were investigating and expecting a quick resolution. No further statement by them was issued but the family and friends of the deceased were very quick to point out what a great person the victim was and how he was an honest hard working good friend.

Now the local constabulary has made three arrests. Turns out someone was not happy with the drugs they bought and didn't want to pay for them and retribution was had.

This is my shocked face. :o

This just gets better, Now the father of the seller of the drugs involved says his sons charges should be reduced because he was just in the wrong place with the wrong people at the wrong time. Never mind that he is the one who sold the dope to begin with and he is the one who supplied the guns to the other two who did the shooting.

Dad needs to pull his head out. His son sold drugs, argued with the person he sold them to, went and got friends and guns for backup (whom he had used in the past to help recover drug deals gone bad)and returned to the buyers to continue the argument with armed friends and now someone is dead. His son is guilty of murder, premeditated at that. His son is the root cause of this entire incident and death period.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Acceptable Risk

The death this last weekend of Dan Weldon brings back a post that I have been milling for a while. It started back when Jimmy Leeward crashed in Galloping Ghost out in Reno.

The question is, "What is an acceptable risk?"

This is different for everyone. I am sure that both of these men died doing what made them happy. For sure, both of them understood the risks they were taking and the steps taken to mitigate them. However, the idea that they could actually die doing this was a definite factor. Now, there are calls on all fronts for improvements to make things safer. Air racing has already gone through tragedy and as a result, crowd separation was increased. Unfortunately, in this case it was just not quite enough. So, how far do the spectators have to be moved away to make it acceptable and who determines that distance? The general public now at least here in America expect a fairly high level of safety for them when they attend professional events of any kind. In this lawsuit happy nation of ours it is pretty much standard that you are not going to get hurt and every ticket has a disclaimer that is just slightly less worthless than the paper it is printed on.

Ever been to a road rally race overseas? Ever seen video or pictures of one? Spectators are standing in the middle of the track trying to get a picture or just to show how brave they are. Right up until the race car comes screaming down a dirt road around a corner barely in control and misses them most of the time. When thing go all pear shaped in one of these races, it is usually quite spectacular.

Contrast that with a NASCAR or IRL race here in the states. The walls of the tracks have the new safer barrier, there is a huge catch fence over the top of the barrier to keep the cars from climbing up into the crowd. There are safety zones even in front of the grandstands that they try to keep people out of between the stands and the fence. Yet, there have still been instances of fans getting hit by tires, body panels off the cars and flaming liquids from crashed cars. How safe is safe enough and what is an acceptable risk?

Now, every year the ruling bodies make tweaks to the race vehicles to improve safety as well as to hopefully make the show better for the fans. You know this is all entertainment that is bought and sold don't you? The drivers safety protection improvements go into car / plane design such that the risks are reduced with each improvement. After Dale Sr died in his crash, the HANS device was required in NASCAR. Analysis was done to find most likely cause then ideas of how to prevent this from happening again were investigated and solutions were implemented in the rules.

When Galloping Ghost crashed, there was much made of the fact that there was no explosion or fireball. Well, aircraft racing had caught up with auto racing and the fuel cells that were originally designed for aircraft and improved for autos was brought back to aircraft and prevented the massive fireball from atomized fuels.

So how safe is safe enough and how safe is ridiculous?

We have Global Hawks, Predators and Reapers flying all over the world controlled by technicians in bunkers in the US South West. So, how about the drivers sit in their coaches and drive their cars from video game consoles in there? That way if a crash happens, they aren't even in the car to get hurt. For that matter, fans could still get hurt. So, since the input to the cars control is already digital, we just virtualize that and they race is not on the computer. Fans can tune in on their TV or game console and watch the "race" as it happens. Poof, no more rain delays!!!! Now, no one can possibly get hurt during a race. Just think of how much safer this would be.

Sorry, but there will always be risk. Just getting up in the morning comes with risk. Going to work each day involves some risks. Driving like a nutbag on the roads or even driving very conservatively on the roads involves some risk. At least on the racetrack, you know the other person next to you has at least some level of training and competency and knows pretty much that both of you are headed for the same goal. Not like the public roadways where the person next to you is just as likely to be a self absorbed sociopath as they are to be a concerned careful driver.

So, what is "acceptable risk" and who determines it?

What say you?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sniper Visit

These are F-5N's of the United States Marines VMFT-401 Snipers. they are the aggressor squadron for training Marine pilots in air to air combat. (Top Gun School) They stopped in here at Easterwood Field for lunch. Thing 1 touched down behind some aircraft parked on the ramp so I didn't get a good picture of him but Thing 2 held the nose in the air for about half the runway giving me more than enough time to click off a few shots. Also got a pretty good closeup as they taxied in to park.
I heard the noise as they made some low altitude high speed passes over the field before landing. By the time I got out to the ramp they were on final so I got their landing. We shall see if I can catch them when they are ready to leave and get them going as well.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

B-29 and B-24 Goodness

Took a break this morning to wander over and chat with the B-29 and B-24 crew chiefs and to have a look around before the crowds arrived. So, this is old school flying, real stick and rudder, knobs, switches and dials. no computers involved. The view outside the engineers window was pretty cool with the B-24 sitting next door.

The largest part of my existence is keeping the prop at the tunnel working. Talking to these guys and actually getting to talk to the right guys looks to make that so much more simple. As we were out on the ramp the Mrs commented that the blades had a cut line already painted on them about where we have to chop the blades to make them fit in our wind tunnel. that got the guys attention right quick.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More B-29 Goodness

Couple more pics from FiFi making a tour flyby today.


In addition to the B-29 FiFi, we have a few Tora birds laid over to weather the storms. This one is a replica VAL dive bomber built on a BT-13 airframe. Many people don't know that part of their surrender after WWII was the destruction of their war making capability. That included their Air Force. There were no flying Zero's, Val's or Kate's. For the movie, replicas were made based on American airframes such as the BT-13 and AT-6.

It would have been better if I could have gotten this Val in frame with FiFi, who is still sitting on the ramp. But, it was not to happen.

More B-29 Goodness

Just a couple more pictures of FiFi as she arrived in B/CS yesterday.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Not So random Aircraft B-29

We have a very special visitor today at Easterwood Field. FiFi is the only flying B-29 in the world. She came in and flew over town a few times before coming in for a landing.

After landing they had to taxi into the ramp and cut two of the engines to conserve oil and maybe a little fuel.

Afterwards, I had a chat with one of the flight crew and have an appointment with the crew chief to talk B-29 Props. That is what we use here at the Texas A&M Low Speed Wind Tunnel as a driver for the air inside the tunnel. We are having a hard time finding replacement parts as you might imagine so I want to compare notes about any possible resources for spares.

These are three of about 200 pictures I took and I know there are another couple hundred from one of my tunnel mates. Have to wade through them all and pick out all the good ones. These were definitely the best of mine that I have found so far. Just need to get the chromatic aberrations out of the shots.

In-Laws Rock

Stopped by the mailbox yesterday to pick up packages from the In-Laws. Mine was a care package from FIL that included 20Lb melting pot, lubri-sizer, casting lube, flux, mold handles and a mold along with a variety of other assorted goodies. Pretty much everything to get me going on casting my own bullets.

Unfortunately, I just don't have time at the moment to do anything about it. Need to at least make time to try a batch out to make sure I am doing it right and have a usable product. Then I'll work onthe collection of lead like material.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dead Six Review

Well, since Amazon are being Idiots I will post my review here. After reading, if you can find something in here that violates Amazons review guidelines please let me know as they haven't answered inquiries asking just that.

On that note, If you want to purchase this book, Skip Amazon, go to Uncle Hugo's and get one or more from them. They may even still have copies with bookplates signed by both Larry and Mike.

So, here is the review as submitted to Amazon,

I got hooked on this story line ChoughHack years ago on The High Road when Larry and Mike posted the Welcome Back Mr Nightcrawler thread. Being a big fan of action adventure, technothriller and mil thriller books I was waiting impatiently for them to stop that nonsense and put this into a book form and publish it. It took them long enough but is well worth the wait. If you like old school Tom Clancy Coonts, Kuntz, WEB Griffin, Larry Bond, Dale Brown, Clive Custler, Michael Crichton type of books you WILL LOVE this one.

This is a well written account of the same events but from two characters perspectives. Instead of a single author just writing the other persons lines, you get two different people writing two different peoples experiences. It flows well and sucks you in. By the end you may even find yourself feeling for the characters. Don't be surprised it can happen.

Monday, October 3, 2011


So, let me introduce you to "tug".
Saturday mama presented a few times on and off but never got beyond front hooves and then retracted. Called the neighbor and he came over and we pretty well decided the calf was probably dead and needed to pull it to try and save mama.We got mama grounded and tied and set to pulling the calf out. Once we got the hooves and head out, the calf started to wag its tongue and blink its eyes! So, we quickly got her cleaned and set up so she could breath and got mom untied and stood up. Sunday morning, this was Tug with the rest of the herd up and walking around. She is still a bit wobbly but amazing considering her entrance into the world. She and mama hung out and she is definitely eating and mama is keeping an eye on her.

Friday, September 30, 2011

HAve iSomething, Love to shoot?

Well then, Watch HERE for the big news. Something is coming that serious shooters that have iThings will want. I'll even update here with a live link once it actually launches. Sorry, can't say more at this moment in time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sick Sux

Felt drained Tuesday afternoon and have been pretty much in bed since. Finally felt up to maybe eating something and watching a movie this afternoon. May very well end up missing a trip to the range Saturday if things do not seriously improve.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dead Six IS ALIVE!!!

Larry Corriea and Mike Kupari Have written a military thriller that came out of their collaborative effort back on The High Road. It is a thriller that is written with two opposing characters perspectives. These two roll off of each other with an ease of two brothers locked in the back of a station wagon on a cross country trip year after year. (Damn that brings back bad memories!) They manage to seamlessly weave the story yet make it so you know it is in fact two perspectives and still keep the story on track and interesting. misbeHaven and I ordered multiple copies so we would have extra's to loan out to people to get them hooked. (First one is free, the rest will cost you)
Speaking of free ones first, you can read the first few chapters of his books for free to get a feel for how good they are.

We already have copies or Larry's earlier books from the MHI series and the Gimnoir Chronicles series. You can get them through Amazon or if you want autographed copies, through Uncle Hugo's.

Do yourself a favor, get this book, then get his older books because you will be hooked.

Besides, Larry is a really fun guy as well as a gun toter and NY Freakin Times Best Selling Author. This would be the man himself after signing one of the very limited numbers of his self published version of MHI. Back before he was picked up by Baen.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

More Fires

So, the VFD is working a fire 3.5 Miles NNE of us. Already mutual aid tones have gone out and Texas Forest Service is en-route. Winds are SSW at an AVG of 1MPH so at least it is calm. They are reporting a Barn on fire along with a large grass fire. We'll see how this plays out.

UPDATE: TFS Airboss is on scene and has air tanker and helicopter inbound. He is also directing ground forces to where he can see things they can't. He sounds optimistic.

Go Ahead, I Double Dog Dare You

So, AD is the evil genius behind the Kilted to Kick Cancer fundraising campaign. He has started a little think on FaceBook that the person to makes the largest donation in the next 24 hours, gets a personalized autographed copy of his book. I already made our donation, I dare anyone to top it!

Go to his page, click on either the Livestrong or Prostate Cancer Foundation link on the left and then leave him a comment with name, amount and confirmation number.

Go ahead, I dare you!

Fire Danger

So we are under another red flag warning for the fire danger based on a frontal passage. Luckily for us the fire danger in our area has been downgraded from (/Monstertruck Announcer) EXTREME (/Monstertruck Announcer) to (/Stoner) Very High (/Stoner). I sure am glad they are not pushing a color code system too much for this. If they did, I think we would have moved from Cherry Red to Burnt Orange. We all know that is not a cool color in this neck of the woods. As it is, we are averaging 8MPH winds with mid to upper 20's gusts in the trees. Along with a humidity in the low 30's! Yikes!! That is not good juju.
So, we sit and watch and wait. Hoping someone doesn't pull a bonehead and light up a burn barrel or decide to grille today and torch half the county. That doesn't mean that we won't have one of the multitude of dead and or dieing trees fall on a power line and spark up a blaze back where no one notices for a while.
Damn, I can't wait for a seriously good soaking rain.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Welcome a new blogger

Madison over at Life of an Aggie has recently started blogging. She is also heavily involved in the Student for Concealed Carry on Campus in Texas. So, wander on over and say "Howdy"!

The new Calf is here! The new Calf is here!

So this is our newest calf. 3/4 black Angus, 1/4 Longhorn. I have named him Veal. We shall see but my plan is to fill the freezer with him next spring. That discussion is still ongoing and likely will continue till that time.

Seen at Lunch

A Peace Officer carrying:
A) a 1911
B) in Stainless hand engraved w/ hand engraved grips (Sunday Gun)
C) carried in hand tooled leather duty rig.

Granted this departments official uniform consists of Cowboy Boots, Pressed Jeans, White Stetson and Pressed white Shirt with Silver Start Badge. Fortunately, there was no riot nearby so he was able to enjoy his lunch peacefully. Which is why I didn't get pictures. I really didn't want to interrupt.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Today's other visitors

Well, in addition to Mz Napolitano being here, we had two F-18's stop in for lunch. They just took of and I managed to get them on video for the formation takeoff. Still would rather a formation takeoff of radials but this was still pretty cool.

DHS Visit

Please to make note of the tail number of the Coastie Gulfstream that just landed. That would be tail number 01 as in DHS1 as in Janet Napolitano arriving in College Station.

Asshat Attorneys

These folks give ambulance chasers a bad name. Just the audacity of them already jumping to setup to sue the race organizers or anyone else they can to try and get money because you or they feel you deserve it regardless of the facts really chaps my hide.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Layer of Editorial Oversight

I am sure the copy writer just pulled a stock image of a helicopter to paste with this story. They could of at least pulled an American Military Helicopter. I can't get a clear image blown up of this but it looks vaguely like an Aussie logo. Not really sure but it is most definitely not an American Coast Guard Helicopter.

One Crashes, Another Takes Flight

While tragedy struck in Reno with the crash of P-51 Galloping Ghost, The Millie G was taking flight from Easterwoood Field. Almost same time, at least by local times. It is tragic whenever one of these fantastic machines crashes. However, it is equally or even more so exciting when one of them takes flight. I have been on hand for countless warbird takeoffs and flights, one for it's first flight after restoration (P-38 Scatterbrain Kid II). Each and every time it sends chills up my spine to see a piece of history take to the air. Art has a fantastic post up explaining that if you need an explanation, you wouldn't understand.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tragedy in Reno

The details of the tragedy are starting to trickle out. I have a dear friend on the flight line crewing for one of the racers who saw the crash and fortunately he and the crew of folks form central Texas are OK. My thoughts and prayers are with all teh folks out there and back here at home effected by the tragedy.

This makes me think of "Acceptable Risk" I have a post of rambling thoughts rolling around but not right now.

I have no doubt that an actual investigation, as opposed to the Monday morning quarterbacking sensationalism that is already going on, will show this to be a tragic accident. I also have no doubt that Jimmy Leeward did everything he could for as long as he could to minimize the damage caused at terminal risk to himself.

Again, I pray for all those directly and indirectly effected and hope and pray for recovery of all those injured, peace for the few killed and sanity for those who had to witness this.

Long term Fire Danger

Take a GOOD look. This tree was in the fire zone of the Dyer Mill Fire. 3+ months ago!!! Last Friday the VFD got called out because the tree was smoking and a new fire had started. Turns out the tree has been smoldering internally for the past 3 months. All it took was a small increase in wind and a broken branch as a way for the fire to get out and another fire was started. We are all going to have to keep a close eye out for some time to make sure none of the trees involved in the latest fires catch back up as weather conditions change.
Stay Safe People!

Latest Random Aircraft Sighting

This absolute beauty came in yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately, I was seriously occupied so I wasn't able to get out there as it was coming in or running.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Post Fire words of wisdom

So, just to let you know, Hank Flemming (Master Gunsmith in Austin TX) has made an offer to those burned out by the fire to bring in replacement guns at what amounts to cost for him.

This combined with pictures from a friend who has a stack of burnt barrels and actions in the back of his truck leads me to a big cautionary word of advice.

DO NOT SHOOT a gun that has been through a fire. Take it to a competent gunsmith and have it checked out. If they say don't shoot it, it is totaled and needs to be destroyed never to be shot again. You r life isn't worth risking on a burned gun. Heat from the fire does good and bad things to metal. Fortunately. there is a good understanding of what effect which temperatures and times have to what metals. Unfortunately, there is no way to measure what temperatures for what times your gun was subject to in the fire. That means the heat treat on the material is compromised.

Just a helpful hint from your uncle Geek.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fire Watch Too close to home

So, I came home sick today. Coughing up crap. Was at home in bed asleep with the cat laying on me when the house started shaking and noise from the airboss flying circles around the fire. Next up was hearing the sirens and seeing the smoke right outside the house. It doesn't help that the smoke and soot in the air added to my having trouble breathing. So, In looking outside and listening to the radio, the fire was 3/4 mile to our west. I called misbeHaven and told her to drop everything and roll my way and started our load out plan. I called our neighbors to let them know what was happening. Emptied the document pack out of the safe and loaded meds in that BOB. Then pulled the cats travel crates and their BOB. Loaded the docs, meds and a few boxes of family pictures in the truck and then settled in for a breathing break and to try and settle the cats. By then the SEAT's (Single Engine Air Tankers) had arrived. I talked about them couple months ago when the Dyer Mill Fire was raging.
Sorry, no dramatic pictures of the flames above the trees or the smoke column, I was too busy trying to get the essentials loaded and ready to roll. Next in following the SEAT's were the HeliTankers.
The two heilcopters started making quick drops on the flame front and knocked it out very quickly. Fortunately, there is a small lake that is not completely dry right on the south edge of the fire. If needed, the Gibbons Creek Power Plant lake is just a couple miles away and the Navasota river is 5 miles out. Once the fire was knocked down to hot spots, the helicopters took off for the Walker County fire that has been going on and off for a couple months. The fire was so close, the fire Boss was making orbit outside our house and the helicopters and SEATs were turning over our house to get back to the fire.

Lessons Learned, one hole in our evac plan was the flat tires on the horse trailer. I had the absolute essentials loaded out in just a few minutes even slowed down. Adrenaline is a wonderfull thing. I am still trying to come down off it. That's why I am typing. Can't unwind enough to relax just yet. Besides, the VFD is still out there fighting hot spots. Once misbeHaven got home, we loaded some clothes and a few other valuables and sat back and looked and thought, "Damn we have a bunch of crap!" Anyway, stuff is still loaded, the cats are unloaded but weird-ed out. I am coughing up crap still and took a couple hits off the rescue inhaler so that has me a little wired too. Need to rest and unwind.

Next is to pull wheels off horse trailer to wag into town and get new shoes on it so we can evac the horse too. As it was, misbeHaven called one of her grad students who lives close and has horses to see about getting her and her trailer over for Twilight. So that is where we sit. Loaded, anxious and ready for some serious rain to happen.
Safe for now.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Buy gun parts for a good cause

In case you have been living under a rock, a major chunk of Bastrop County in Texas burned to the ground. One of the houses that burned belonged to Virgil & Shari Tripp of Tripp research and STI fame. Their shop survived but the house is gone.

My suggestion is that you go buy a part from them. Keep them so busy they don't have time to think about their house burning down. Besides, haven't you been looking for an excuse to buy a bulletproof 1911 mag?

Just to ad, While John Moses Browning designed the 1911, Virgil Tripp designed the 2011 bringing this gun into the next century. Literally. He has done quite a bit of studying of the design and created the logical extension of JMB's work. I am fortunate enough to have not only an STI but a Tripp research 2011 and am proud to have it and know the man who designed and built it. Those who live in Texas should know the extended Tripp family as Alice Tripp is the TSRA lobbyist. As well, go to ANY USPSA/IPSC match in the world and you will masses of his design either in Tripp Research, STI or SV manufacture built by them or by a custom gunsmith on the original Tripp designed frame and slide.

UPDATE: Thanks much to Uncle and HSOI and JayG and No Lawyers Only Guns and Money.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

So much for High Dollar Rifles

Got to watch a Sig556 disassemble itself on the line at class today. 25 rounds into the morning and the bolt handle took a flight along with an op rod failure as well. Not a pretty sight. Student had a back up gun and continued class with that without further problem.
Had a very good class that picked up concepts well and shot very well. Scenarios in the "house" went interesting as usual. Had a number of the usual responses and a lively discussion afterwards ab0ut justifiable use of force.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bastrop Complex Fire Happy Ending kinda

So, I have gotten word of something that will likely not make the front page news but warms my heart.

One of the horse stables in the Bastrop Complex Fire got evacuated. While they managed to get the horses out, the tack had to be left behind in the limited time available. Some of this was quite expensive including some very high end saddles ($10Kish). the tack was secured in a concrete walled tack room that survived the fire, unlike the barn and other structures in the area. When owners returned to scope out the damage once it was deemed safe, they found that the tack room had been broken into and emptied.

(/siderage)I think the persons responsible for this should be tied to a tree in the path of the fire and left to burn in it. After the horror and damage caused by the fire, to find out you have also been targeted by looters is the ultimate insult.(/siderage)

Well, one of the owners found listings on Ebay for items stolen from the barn. Calls to Ebay and the sellers information was then parsed by folks at a local high tech firm who contacted the local ISP and then passed on to the APD leading to the arrest of the perps and recovery of the stolen items. All within about 9 hours or so of the discovery. While it is still a hassle for the owners, there were people who cared enough to put out the work to make this happen. I am willing to bet that those involved with the hunt and recovery were pissed off by the act that these pieces of shit perpetrated.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Call your Congressman...

... and tell to vote against H.B. 2061. This ain't Hell has the story of Congress' latest move to diminish the honor of our military by presenting all civil servants killed in the "line of duty" with a flag.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How STUPID do you have to be

to burn trash while there is not only a burn ban but half the state is on fire?

While Bastrop county is on fire and is now the largest fire in Texas, it is just one of many. There is a fire in Leon county that has most of the Brazos Valley choking. I am contemplating sending the Mrs away because her asthma and the soot and smoke do not mix well. Smoke was so think yesterday on the drive home that we had to slow down as if the fire was right there on the roadway. There is a fire out of control along the Montgomery/Grimes/Waller county line. Call just went out for all available tankers and brush trucks in the area to report to the command post in Todd Mission for the morning attack. Followed five minutes later by a dispatch of SO and FD to an illegal burn outside Navasota!!! What kind of a moron would even contemplate doing such a thing?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quote of the decade

I usually try to stay away from copying and quoting too much. HOWEVER<
Tam hits one out of the park with the most important question that EVERYONE should be asking themselves.
Ten years after Pearl Harbor, we had reduced Japan to a glowing pile of radioactive cinders and then rebuilt it and were buying cheap Japanese consumer goods by the shipload. Ten years after New York City was attacked by foreign enemies, all I see as evidence around Indy are a maudlin memorial being erected downtown, TSA probulators and porn-O-scans at the airport, and the occasional young man with an empty sleeve or trouser leg.

Dude, where's my country?

Where indeed?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gingerbread Pancakes

So it wasn't breakfast at the Omletry West, but that doesn't happen any more. Couple weeks ago the Mrs found Kerby Lane Cafe Gingerbread Pancake mix at HEB. So, that's what I made for breakfast this morning. Mmmmmmm. Could have used some bacon though but couldn't everything?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dial 911 Push HARD and FAST

ZOMG Eleventy! Everyone I've shown this too has had the same reaction. Laughter to tears.
H/T to AD

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


So, the amplifiers at work for our balance that was built in the mid 1940's are run by vacuum tubes. No big deal in that they give a decent amplification of the analog signal to the motors that drive the balance. Problem is, the tubes are getting harder and harder to find. I have a source through a music store for a couple of them that are the same as electric guitar amps. However, one in particular is only available as Russian Surplus. Add to that the fact that the motors used in this beast haven't been made for years and are no longer available. We tried to get a shop to rewind them but the answer was NO from several shops.
So part of the problem is availability of replacement tubes, part of the problem is availability of replacement motors and part of the problem is finding someone who can actually work on the amps. I am tired of dealing with them myself. the old boss was good with them but he is gone now and I am the person that has the most knowledge of them around here now. SCARY!
Sorry, just venting. Did I mention that the room the balance is in is temperature stabilized? Being Texas, it is stabilized at a "warm" temperature so any prolonged troubleshooting involves a profuse amount of sweat. I now offend myself!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Firearms Reliability Rediculousness

I am kicking myself for not bookmarking the post that started these thoughts to coagulate in the bone structure that holds my little brain thing.

Someone posted on their blog that they were thinking of getting or building an AR and wanted to get readers advice as to whether they should buy or build and why did AR's cost so dang much from name vendors.

The responses are interesting and one in particular is what set me off. The writer responded that frankenguns are garbage and the only real AR that you can trust is one made by the higher end vendors. Problem being that most users really couldn't tell how good or bad their AR was until they went through a 3 day carbine class where you had to shoot 1500 rounds a day to see if your gun would hold up. That is where you see the failures of the lesser AR's.


Bear with me a moment.

In handgun reviews you will also find folks that insist your handgun must shoot flawlessly for 200 rounds without lubrication and 2000 or even 10000 rounds without cleaning.


If you find yourself as an armed civilian needing to fire 200 rounds in a single engagement, you need a fire team, not a more "reliable" gun. So long as the gun goes bang every time for the first 20 rounds EVERY time you draw your fresh gun from leather, you are good to go for a carry gun. That is a 2-5X factor of safety for any gunfight you might find yourself in.
Disagree? Find me an example of a real gunfight where a civilian needed 200 rounds to survive. I double dog dare you.

It just doesn't matter if the gun is tested to a safety factor of 50 100 or 1000. At some point the reliability is moot because it is no longer based in reality.

Back to the AR discussion that started this whole post. If an armed civilian is in a firefight that requires 1500 rounds in a day without a break for any maintenance, you don't need a more reliable rifle or even a fire team, you need close air support.

I would love for someone, anyone, to give an example of an armed encounter where a civilian needed to shoot their handgun 200 times without break. Or even had 200 rounds on them loaded up for this running gun battle. Or they needed a defensive rifle or carbine to fire 1500 rounds in a single engagement and had enough loaded mags on them to survive.


Katrina or Rita? BZZZZT
Rodney King Riots? BZZZZZZZZZT
Northeast Blackout of 2003? BBZZZZZZZTTTTT
'92 Chicago Bulls Victory Riot? BZZZT Not Even!
Any of the Stanley Cup Riots? BZZZZT

So, what about the future as opposed to lessons learned from the past and or lessons learned from events overseas? Beslan Massacre? What about this weekends murders in Norway? Could that happen here? Definite possibility of a firm maybe. Would a citizen carrying concealed need to or even have the ability to fire 200 rounds from their handgun is a single encounter? Not very bloody likely that they would have a single reload on them much less 200 rounds worth. Would an armed citizen even need to fire 200 rounds in an encounter like this? Not likely either.

As Tam is so want to point out, there all those that really wish for an armed rebellion of some kind to break out because that means they don't have to go to work tomorrow. They don't live in reality. I do.

As maybe an academic exercise, it might be interesting to see how robust a guns design and build are to extended torture testing. And that is exactly what this is. Torture testing. Nothing based in reality.

Shooting last night

So there was a family violence shooting last night in Grand Prairie. Unfortunately there were multiple casualties out of this. The money quote from this tragedy?

The shooting call came in at 7:10 p.m. The first officer arrived about 90 seconds later, he said. “It just started raining police,” Brimmer said.

Once four or five officers arrived, they went in, he said. By then, the shooting had stopped.

Highlighting mine. By the time the officers arrived, the shooting was over. there is nothing they could have done to prevent this terrible event.

This dovetails off of the shooting in Norway. That rises to the level of Horrific! A lone shooter dressed as a police officer went on a shooting spree on an island full of young communist campers. Due to their national firearms law, no one on the island was armed and there were no real police on the island to provide any sort of protection. The gunman had free reign for close to an hour before police could get a helicopter ride out to the island to engage the shooter and stop him. Reports are lots of people ran and or swam to get away while other faked being dead to avoid getting shot. NO ONE made any attempt to stop him or fight back in any way. At least there is no word of that as of yet. We are turning into a world of cowards who look to the government for everything. Protection, income, housing, healthcare, everything. A total loss of personal responsibility.

H/T to Texas Fred.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

End of an Era

So, manned spaceflight by America has come to an end. I watched enraptured as the first man walked on the moon. AN AMERICAN. Before that, I had the opportunity to hold in my very little hands, an original of the rams horn Handheld Maneuvering Unit our Astronauts used to guide them on spacewalks. I followed the space program with great anticipation of what great thing we would do next. I watched skylab and the joint USSR/NASA docking mission and wondered what we as not only a nation but as a planet would do next. Of late, I was an active part of the team that helped bring STS-117 and her crew back to earth safely after suffering a torn thermal blanket on liftoff. Now, NASA is relegated to a footnote of history charged with making Muslims feel good about their contribution to science and technology. What a sad day this is indeed!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Overheard in the Truck

RADIO: Casey Anthony found not guilty....BLAH BLAH BLAH

misbeHaven: Now she just need to take up golf so she and OJ can discuss how to find the real killer.

Me: GAACK, CHOKE, CHORTLE. While trying not to run off the road laughing.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth !!!!!

So since we are under a burn ban as well as fireworks ban, the next best thing is to make noise and smoke. My neighbor Brass Valley Shooting was doing some tune up drills and fun shooting and I wandered over to put in my two rounds worth. It was nice to go shoot just for fun and put some lead downrange and do some transition drills with the carbine and pistol and just get out and shoot. Anyway, made noise and smoke, help a couple shooters (I Hope) and it's still mid day. Need to get misbeHaven outside on the range so she can tune up and put some rounds through her Kimber. Oh yeah, when someone asks, "Hey, you want some steel targets?" the correct answer is SURE!. I now have a stack of 3", 4" and 6" steel plates to setup as additional steel targets for the range here at the house. I may get some more and make a dueling tree for the .22, that would be a blast. HAHAHAHHA.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Somebody's Kid needs a woodshed and a switch

So last week during the Dyer Mill fire in south Grimes County, there were two fires in north Grimes County that pulled resources out of the major fire and put lives at risk through out the area. Now there have been at least six fires in the same area along the border of Grimes and Madison Counties.
My thoughts are that this is the work of someones kid who is bored and has no respect for others lives or property and just want to see fire trucks and action in their area. They need to be stopped. IMMEDIATELY. If this is an adult, they need to be arrested and locked away for a long time while their brain is taken apart and studied. This is going to get someone killed before it is all over as they keep putting more and more people in danger and that is not acceptable. The idea that they keep setting fires about the same time of day in the same area says they are unsupervised and probably lack transportation. This is just flat wrong and there is NO justification for their parents not taking them out behind the woodshed and learning them a lesson in respect for others.

UPDATE: They have a suspect in custody. The Fire Marshal's office brought in an Arson Dog and took all kinds of samples and they made an arrest. Hopefully this will put an end to these fires.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tough day for Dallas Police

So in one day the Dallas PD had to fire three officers. First because one office rgot into a fight with owner and bouncer at a bar....... But police are the only ones allowed to carry in a bar because us mortal non sworn citizens would be too dangerous with a gun around where alcohol is served. The second for an officer that got into a fight at the Hospital ED and later made racist remarks about it. She must be clinging to her go d and guns as she is a racist. And finally, we have an officer steal a gun during a traffic stop. The officer searched a persons car and found a small amount of marijuana and a pistol. THe officer "let the offender go" but kept the gun and drugs. He then tossed the drugs and kept the gun for himself or to use as a throw down gun at a future crime scene. So, either it was a collectable or a piece of crap that he had a use for and decided to keep it. Just one more reason why police should be the only ones that have guns because we peons can't be trusted.

Rocket Surgeon

So yesterday in Sacramento a guy was arrested for having a gun in his carry on luggage. You KNOW there is going to be a search and x-ray of your bags so to do so purposely is pretty dumb. Accidentally is believable as I have a relative who had done that. Not smart but believable.

A 49-year-old man was arrested at Sacramento International Airport this afternoon after Transportation Security Administration employees determined that he had a firearm in his backpack.

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies assigned to the Airport Division responded to a security checkpoint in Terminal B at 1 p.m. today. During the screening process, TSA personnel reported that they believed a passenger was carrying what appeared to be a firearm in his personal backpack.

A search of the passenger's belongings revealed a loaded handgun at the bottom of the backpack, along with several rounds of live ammunition in a magazine, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

The passenger, identified as Tam Nguyen (above), was arrested without incident. He was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of unlawful possession of a loaded, concealed firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Nguyen is being held on $60,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned this week.

Bold is mine! I suspect the anti's will still include this as "gun owner tries to get gun onto airplane." What a maroon! He's a convicted felon in illegal possession of a firearm and he carries it into the airport where he knows he is going to get screened and x-rayed?!!??!?! Never accused him of being smart. And this happened in California, that is unpossible since the gun show loophole is closed in CA so an evil gun dealer must have "lost" it and sold it to him under the table because that is the ONLY way he could have gotten it in CA with their enlightened gun laws.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

News Bias or lack of Information?

This past weekend there was a flash mob in Austin. HSOI has a post up about it and a common friend of ours had a first hand report of it.
What bothers me is that the press had no coverage of this happening. This is something that would likely be of interest to the good citizens of Moscow on the Colorado. So, either the press doesn't care about htis happening or doesn't want to report it for one reason or another, or the APD is reporting/recording this in such a way that it is not picked up by the press. Not really sure which but either way it is a disservice at best and dishonest at worse.

Monday, June 27, 2011

TSA and other Government Assholes

So the TSA saw fit to humiliate and torture a 95YO Grandmother who is in late stage cancer and wears an adult diaper. The Texas Legislature had considered during regular session a bill exercising states rights making it against state law for TSA pukes to grope inappropriately. The feds stepped up and threatened to cancel flights out of Texas "For Safety". The fed has done all it can to destroy Texas and Texans along with the Texas economy since we have dared to grow and show the fed plans for the financial crap that it is. Now that the anti groping law is under consideration in a special session, the feds got to the LT Gov and he went and got legislators to "disappear" long enough for the bill to not be considered last week.

OK maybe it is me but this just fits into the pattern of the government forgetting that they are servants of the people not the masters of us. That or maybe I'm just tired of all the governments crap telling everyone that we are too stupid to know what is good for us and have just really had it with them.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Great Range Day

Long hot day at the range yesterday. Started the morning an hour early with Beyond the Basics. Think trigger control and site alignment. We spend the entire morning working on fundamentals and getting everyone the solid foundation that they need before they move on to more advanced skills. We also work on transitioning through multiple targets and how much sight picture you need for different targets at different ranges. The group we had was great, by the end of class everyone was getting it. That's the real fun from the instructor side of this class, you see the light bulb go on for people when they finally grasp the concept that has never been explained to them before.
The afternoon was Competition Pistol. That's an introduction to the different pistol shooting sports. We explain the various rules and classes of equipment and set up a few stages so people can shoot the different sports stages and get an experience and understand what they are doing when they go to a match. This was a fun class for both instructors and students. They all definately got it and that was clear on the IPSC stage we set up. They pretty much all shot the stage carefully and got close to maximum points. Out of 17 students and 10 targets on the stage and each student running the stage twice, I think there were 2 missed shots total!

Now I have rest and work around the house to catch up with.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rightous Indignation

Being the Racist bastard that I am accused of since I am against ILLEGAL behavior be it immigration or attacks on police.

Phillipe Calderon is an ASS! After a US Border Patrol Agent was attacked by ILLEGALS trying to cross the border ILLEGALLY another agent discharged his duty weapon to save the life of his fellow officer who had been attacked by a man wielding a board with nails in it and rocks, Calderon had the balls to say, "I demanded punishment for the guilty,". What a load of horse shit. And that is really an insult to horses everywhere. I'll apologize to mine when I get home.

And not hte ACLU has gotten involved where they don't belong with this gem,

'The American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties questioned the latest killing.

"We simply cannot allow our law enforcement agents to use lethal force when confronted with rock throwers," said Kevin Keenan, the group's executive director.'

What a bunch of asses!

tell you what, the ACLU can come on over and we'll throw rocks at them and hit them with boards loaded with nails and we shall see if they want us to stop or care to use force to make us stop. Bastards need to mind their own business

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What is that?

Well the rains finally made it to us. We have gotten 1.66" so far this morning and it is still falling at 0.16"/Hr. The firefighters are almost as happy as the residents of the area.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

We're Number 1!

So the latest from the Texas Forest Service announced that the Dyer Mill Fire just south of us is now not only the number 1 fire in Texas but it is also the number 1 priority fire in the South US Region. There were 2 Sky Crane Helicopters, 2 BlackHawk Helicopters and 2 Chinook Helicopters as they dialed back the SEATs and are calling in C-130 air tankers now. Although the total outside perimeter is still intact, there have been more mandatory evacuations ordered as the live burns dance around. They are hoping to have it knocked down good tomorrow but only time will tell what is really going to happen.

Small World

I wandered across the parking lot out onto the ramp this morning to have a chat with the pilots of the three SEATs on the ramp. They were here along with their Air Attack Boss and Lead Plane because they ran out of hours yesterday and couldn't make it back home for the night. There are 5 SEATs, 2 Tx natl Guard BlackHawks and 1 Sky Crane working the Dyer Mill Fire from the air. That is the fire just south of us by Plantersville. They are having to make the trip from here to Mineral Wells (180 nautical miles) to reload with retardant for each drop. They are in the process of setting up another reload station closer but right now that is where the reload station is.

Funny thing was, in talking to the Boss, he mentioned this is his first fire in Texas but he is used to working farther north and they are sandbagging in Montana. So I mentioned that I knew about the flooding because my Inlaws are in MT. He asked where and when I said south of Helena, he replied with "near Clancy?" Well, they are near Clancy and turns out he has family that lives just down the mountain from them.

Anyway, had a great chat with them and I made it VERY clear, now that I know they are here and they know where I am, their money is no good here. They are about to take off and get their ops started for the morning so they are leaving but should they make it back, they will be well fed and taken care of.

And then there were three

So, this morning there are three SEATs at the airport. Different tail numbers than yesterdays aircraft. The Sky Crane is flying out of Huntsville so no pictures of it. They are working overtime on our fires. While the fire is still contained inside the initial evacuation area, the flares are out of control. After being 25% contained yesterday midday, the word last night was it was out of control again as fires flared all over the place. They have also had to relocate the evacuation area due to the fire headed towards it.