Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Some Roger Zelazny....

"Ah, but it makes a great deal of difference, you see. It is the difference between the unknown and the unknowable, between science and fantasy, it is a matter of essence. The four points of the compass be logic, knowledge, wisdom and the unknown. Some do bow in that final direction. Others advance upon it. To bow before the one is to lose sight of the three. I may submit to the unknown, but never to the unknowable. The man who bows in that final direction is either a saint or a fool. I have no use for either."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Links 06/26/12

- OSHA is here to save you from picking up ejected rounds on the range.. This is how they will ruin our sport and lifestyle, folks. Through environmental regulations.

- California Democrat Representative Jackie Speier has the brilliant idea of mandating that the TSA screen all mass transit. What could possibly go wrong? I think this and the TSA union's idea of giving their agents arrest powers are wonderful plans that will help our nation.  The irony of self proclaimed "liberals" like this moonbat and Charles Schumer encouraging institutionalized, federal racial profiling and discouraging use of mass transit cannot be overstated.

- PMC (Professional Military Contractor) is gracious enough to give a detailed report with pictures on the Beretta ARX-160. The verdict? It's a winner in his eyes.

- Power outlets with USB sockets. Ingenius. Do want.

- Mia Love continues to shatter stereotypes.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Beware the jumping, charging deer

This happened to a good friend of mine last week. The friend was driving at about 55MPH on a two lane road when he literally saw the deer coming right at him. The deer jumped so high that my friend actually thought for a moment that the deer would clear his stock Toyota Tacoma 4x4.

The deer's back hit the top edge of where the windshield meets the roof. Blood spewed forth copiously and the windshield was instantly spiderwebbed. My friend who is former Marine Corps Infantry (mustang officer), a veteran of the Border Patrol in Arizona and a now full time local law enforcement officer reacted well.

He shielded himself with one arm as he got sprayed with broken glass across his arm and his face; never losing his capacity for rational thinking as he slowed the truck down and coasted to a stop. His shooting range glasses were unusable but they did their job. The deer was beyond disemboweled. All of its organs were in the back seat, including the heart as seen below. Most of its blood was in the cab of the truck. My friend's plate carrier, a couple sets of clothes, and even his duty gear is ruined. He has to get a new truck.

All that being said, I'm extremely impressed with his composure and luck. His face is cut from flying glass as is his arm but he's fine.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lightening the mood here

After my grouching about gun forums the past coupla days.....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Remembering the grunts and a reality check on PTSD

A very good friend and shooting buddy recently took his Army infantry platoon to Afghanistan for a year long combat deployment.

These guys lived on top of a mountain and fought nearly every day. No, it wasn't Act of Valor and there were no sexy parachute jumps, submarines, nor special forces action. So, that might kill this post for some gun forum regulars who only seem concerned with "face shooters."

Anyway, grunts digging in and fighting. Khe Sanh, perhaps Belleau Wood type stuff. Not sexy but day in and day out, protracted conflict.

Guess what? Living in this kind of environment, day in and day out has an effect on the human psyche and not everyone copes in the same way. Audie Murphy helped bring this out of the "suck it up and be a man" shadows.

Anyway, for those that don't mind donating to a cause for all wounded servicemen, here's the link for Wounded Warrior. There's plenty of non "face shooter" folks seeing combat every day that could use some help.

From my friend, the platoon commander:

I just don't get it. My RTO has so much "anxiety" he can't go in crowded places or he freaks out and blacks out from hyperventilating, so he is now so doped on meds he can barely finish a sentence without trailing off. My forward observer and medic both pissed hot for heroin and admitted they've been hooked on it ever since their best friend got shot in the face on Christmas and they tried to treat him. So I get to chapter them out of the Army.

Today I picked up one of my squad leaders from the psych ward. They caught him the other night running barefoot and shirtless 3 miles from his house screaming, "I need war!" Toxicology revealed about a fifth of whiskey and five ambien, which his wife said is his nightly routine. Because, no big deal, that's normal. Anyways he got released but refused to believe he might be affected by PTSD because that's for pogues. He said he "likes combat".

And now a call from the First Sergeant. One of my team leaders just pissed hot (tested positive) for unknown opiates. Same guy who got a valor award for running through fire to go knuckles deep in his buddies neck, pinching a severed artery and saving his life.

All of these guys were solid dudes in Afghanistan. I'd heard horror stories, "Just wait till you get back and all your favorite people turn to shit!" but I never believed them. Well, lesson learned. The experienced guys usually know better. Even when your gut tells you otherwise.

We had this rear supply type guy who was at a nice big 600 man FOB, you know the kind with showers, running water, cooks and a DFAC, etc. Anyways they rarely got attacked and indirect fire maybe once a week - this guy claimed he was having panic attacks and he couldn't take it, yadda yadda. They treated him with I guess you could say less than urgency, I'm guessing thinking that it was BS. Dude went back to his room, put his M16 on burst, put it to his face and squoze the trigger. That was when I realized I need to stop judging people because that guy was either legitimately affected by some sort of stress disorder or he really got one over on us.
In less than a year, this platoon will head back to Afghanistan for another year.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A reminder about the regular infantry

On the internet gun forums, there's folks that turn their noses up at anyone less than "Tier One" (DEVGRU and CAG Delta). Folks that think shooting is the end all, be all and only yardstick by which to measure a military "operator." People for whom Force Recon and MARSOC just aren't good enough.

A while ago, I posted my brother's award writeup. I got the below note from an active duty SEAL that used to be a Marine. I was amazed and proud. Proud of my brother; proud that I know this SEAL. And deeply humbled by the SEAL's own humility.

Anyway, read it and be humbled. I was.

"Tell your brother that after reading his SOA, and Citation, that if he had been in a SOF unit, he probably would have received a Silver Star for his actions in Fallujah. Minimum Bronze Star with "V". Not saying it to make him feel bad, or that he got ripped off, or brag about what we get awarded........but to put it in perspective. USMC fucks their people on medals and awards, everyone knows it.......but to a Former Marine, current SOF............I see a Navy Commendation Medal with V........I know for a fact homeboy got it on, and hung it out. Tell him good job, and we are all proud. Having taken part in that little skirmish, I (only briefly) wanted to return to the USMC Infantry to join them all. My role had its place, but the Marines in Fallujah impressed the fuck out of this old Jarhead. Made me very proud to say that while I was not a Marine in Fallujah, just a lowly Navy SEAL............I was proud that I had been a Marine, and witnessed first hand how effective Marines are in that type of mission and environment. Semper Fi."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Links 06/18/12

- InShallah, be that guy.

-What could possibly go wrong or....RETURN OF THE TSAR!

-A bomb dog goes to Afghanistan (same breed of dog I have): Part I and Part II

-Good deal on last generation Macbook Airs. Fast little suckas..... I know a few dudes overseas using these because your regular WinTel machines don't physically hold up.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Remember the bad old days of gun reviews?

They can be summed up with this. I have a gun magazine (the old, archaic printed kind) from maybe a whopping six years ago in which the "reviewer" or maybe "journalist" wrote an "article" on the need for factory accuracy guarantees on rifles. Well and good, right? The author spoke of how important this practice is and to his humble knowledge at that time, there was only one firearms manufacturer doing so. Sako.

See where he's going with this?

The rest of article concerned accuracy testing of Sako rifles. The reviewer wore two different clothing articles emblazoned with Sako corporate logos in the "testing" photos. Finally, the schill errr.... "firearms journalist" wrapped up the article with a hunting trip out west using.....Sako rifles. Guess who paid for the hunting trip? If you guessed Sako, you are another jaded victim of gun magazines (the printed kind).

Pretty bold and shameless, eh? The most disgusting example I've seen of this.

Now, with the gun industry being so strongly driven by gun forums; it's not hard for a prospective gun buyer to inform himself of....Gen4 Glock 9mm ejection and reliability problems, S&W M&P accuracy problems, 1911s being 1911s, Remington 597 .17 HMRs blowing up (I know about this one firsthand), and so on.

Some companies have their own designated forum representatives out there in the jungle of gun forums but they are few and far between. However.....a new breed of schill has surfaced. Imagine a guy on a gun forum who has access to all of the new shit a niche accessories or firearms manufacturer is getting ready to release. He posts teaser pictures and of course, writes glowing, fawning, worshipful prose regarding said new kit. I'm talking about damned near love letters complete with casual first name references to executives at the company who have provided him with the "T&E " gear.

Compadres, this is advertising. And it is here to stay. There's not much you can do but watch your BS detector because even reputable companies do this but usually the smaller ones. Key signs are pre-release gear, fawning "reviews," a guy who always has the scoop on what's coming next from said manufacturer. One of the interesting side effects of this is that it allows guys who have never competed, served as an LEO or military, nor done anything in the gun world to get free shit solely based on their ability to,produce advertising copy via YouTube, written "reviews," and meticulously staged pictures taken by expensive cameras. There's even a Wikipedia article on this practice.

That being said, there is always hope. "rob_s" is more than "fair and balanced". He's blunt, sometimes to his own detriment if he was focused on getting free shit. However, he's focused on getting people to get past their natural obsession with hardware and instead focus on software. You Competing. Not buying your way into skill but earning it.  Also, the forums have plenty of unbiased commentary; just watch out for the "prerelease reviews."

Sort of a hamhanded segue but Smith and Wesson stole a march on the old guard of gun magazine (the printed kind) industry with the release of their single stack M&P Shield model. No pre-release teasers, no reviews written by fawning reviewers, just a release with guns shipped to dealers ready for sale, parts in inventory, everything executed superbly. The result? The guns are sold out everywhere.

Meanwhile, for those looking for the old school gun reviewers who are physically incapable of writing a negative word about anything sent to them from a manufacturer, visit Gunblast. Everything they review is a recommended buy.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Book review: The Scar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A cerebral entry into the fantasy genre, decidedly lacking on the usual swordplay, wizardry, and other standard trappings of its companions and excellent nonetheless. The translation from Russian is wonderfully done and there are quotable passages I highlighted for later. It reminds me of my favorite book (Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny) in that it's a journey of maturation by the protagonist. Highly recommended.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How low can you go?

  There has been a lot of (mainly) just outrage over Rush Limbaugh's crass remarks about Sandra Fluke.    Said outrage (It's a war on women by the right!) of course does not extend to calling Sarah Palin a word that rhymes with "stunt", threatening her with death, nor gang rape.

  However, the ugliest and most depicable act of either side (I'm not a Palin, Limbaugh nor Sandra Fluke fan) has to be the below from Ted Rall.  Ted is of course, the classy guy who also penned this cartoon about Pat Tillman when he died.  In the below cartoon, Ted lambast widows and widowers of people killed by terrorists, including the then pregnant wife of Daniel Pearl.

  Ted, there is something wrong with you.  As in "normal people don't think this way wrong."  As in something is twisted inside of you.  It's a shame that this story was not given the attention that the fat windbag Limbaugh's far less hateful remarks were given.