Nov 27, 2010

Title 18

A few items of thought...

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241
Conspiracy Against Rights

This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same).

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242
Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law

This statute makes it a crime for any person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the U.S.

As far back as the circuit court ruling in Corfield v. Coryell, 6 Fed. Cas. 546 (1823), the Supreme Court recognized freedom of movement as a fundamental Constitutional right. In Paul v. Virginia, 75 U.S. 168 (1869), the Court defined freedom of movement as "right of free ingress into other States, and egress from them.

Black Friday

When I drove in to work last night, the local Shrine to Consumerism already had lines forming outside the doors. Forecast for the night: 35F and rainy. Perfect.

Coming home, the lot was full - very full. I saw a few empty spaces, and people circling looking for closer spots. I chuckled and kept driving.

I mentioned it in passing to MrsZ, who muttered about consumerism at its worst.

Uncle mentioned it today, although he was doing his shopping Robb Allen style.

Stores have figured this out; particularly those with a significant online presence: they aren't losing any in-store customers by offering similar deals online at the same time. There are people who, for whatever reason, thrive on the crowds and insanity that go with Black Friday shopping. There are some who will brave the crowds for what they perceive as a great deal but otherwise don't participate.

And then there are those like me, who can't tolerate that kind of crowd or rush for any reason. We're the consumers that they're grabbing with online deals. If I can stay at home, click a few links, and have my deal show up three days later, it's absolutely worth a few extra dollars to me - although most places aren't even charging for shipping at this point.

And yes, I can do it without pants.

Side note: Amazon has a pretty good deal going on Victorinox Swiss Army Knives right now.

Nov 24, 2010

Heating update

We had coal delivered last week from a new supplier. Talk about a night-and-day difference.

The person I talked to on the phone was friendly and helpful, the driver was cheerful and more than happy to split the load between two bins, and the coal ... well, I can only begin to describe how much better it is. Less expensive (partly because it's bulk, not bagged), cleaner, oiled, and MUCH higher quality. Almost no fines, just good solid chunks of anthracite. It's burning slower, hotter, and creating much less ash with much lower mineral content. (Plain gray ash, instead of the yellows and browns from the last batch.)

I still had some from the last delivery, and took a few pictures for comparison:

Old on the left, new on the right:



Note the numerous crumbs and dust with the old stuff, and the smear of filth it left on the tub. That stuff is what clogs up automatic stoves, potentially to the point of non-function. Ours self-extinguished last year after the coal built it's own bridge over the feed chute - no coal dropped in, so the stove went out. We had to make it a point to stir the coal hopper daily to make sure it would keep feeding.

A side note: we knew there was a problem with that coal after burning a few bags. I took one back to the shop and asked them to exchange it. The dealer dodged it any way he could. I'd had the coal delivered to my house; he said if I wanted it exchanged I had to bring it back. (A full ton of coal would be four trips in my compact pickup, I won't put a half-ton in there.) I told him that wasn't acceptable; I'd paid for delivery and he'd have to deliver the replacement as well. He hemmed and hawed and said he might get around to it, "In a couple weeks."

I called him every couple weeks for the next couple months and he never made time for me.

So, for an hour's labor and exchanging 3/4 ton of coal, he lost a customer forever - and as many people as I can turn away. I've told anyone who heats with coal to avoid him.

The shop, by the by, is COUNTRYSIDE STOVE SHOP in Burdett, NY. Avoid him like the plague; he doesn't care a rat's ass about customer service.

The new coal came from Holden Coal, in Ovid, NY. I would gladly recommend them to anyone looking for a coal supplier; their staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and their delivery drivers keep appointments.

Nov 23, 2010

One tag filled

Regular (gun) season for deer has opened in New York, and I've been out twice. True to form, I made opening morning with my hunting mentor, and saw nothing. It's possible that dozing off under my tree had something to do with that, but I can't be certain.

Sunday afternoon I went to another spot where I've had no luck over a couple years - I've seen plenty of deer, but have never been in proper position to take a shot. True to form, I picked a spot against a round bale halfway down the field and settled in to wait. I enjoyed the light breeze and the occasional sunshine, and saw precisely nothing.

Shortly before sunset, I peeked around my bale towards the other end of the field, and sure enough, there was a doe poking her way out of the woods. I stood up and laid my gun across the bale, but wasn't comfortable with the distance - in excess of 150 yards. As I watched through my scope, two more deer joined her on the fringe.

I decided to take a chance, since it was still early in the season, and nearing sunset. I walked diagonally to another bale about 40 yards closer. With the sun behind me, the breeze mostly in my favor, and the deer not spooked yet, it was worth trying. Hint: never watch your prey directly when you move. An occasional glance, or watch from the corner of your eye, but never direct eye contact. It sounds weird, but it's true.

When I reached the closer bale, I slowly popped up behind it and set my gun across. Two more deer had joined the crowd, meaning there were five does in a tight group. I clicked off my safety and settled my breathing, and waited. One finally detached herself from the group and gave me a broadside shot.

I pulled the trigger...

And missed. Clean miss. They flinched and stood still.

I worked the slide of the Mossberg and took another shot. Another miss, and yet the deer stood there.

Clearly, something was amiss. (No pun intended.)

I stalked my way to yet another closer bale, dropping another 25 yards from the distance, and slipping one more shell into the shotgun as I walked. (I tend to keep the "duck plug" in my guns; at $2-3/shot for sabot slugs, it keeps me from getting too trigger happy.) I laid across this bale, settled in, and waited for one to give me a shot. They kept standing in front of each other, in lines of two or three.

Finally, with a bit of hay tickling my nose, one turned sideways and stepped out from the bunch. I picked my aim point and squeezed through the trigger, seeing the muzzle flash and the deer I'd aimed at buck up. It looked like a good hit, and she started to run, but with a clear stumble. About thirty yards down the edge of the field, she fell and thrashed for a moment. I trotted out from behind my bale and across the grass. As I got close, I drew my pistol and watched for breathing or twitching, but she was clearly dead.

I said a quiet thank-you to the gods of the hunt, and scooted back across the field to collect my seat and empty shells. Back to the deer, filled out my tag, and dressed her out. Nothing huge - perhaps 130lb on the hoof - but she'll be tender and lean.

The weather hasn't been ideal for hanging, so I hung her up in the garage Sunday night, and today I skinned and quartered her. The backstraps have been trussed up as roasts, and the quarters will get cut tomorrow. Lots of grind, perhaps a bit of stew meat.

As an aside, there are plenty of hunters out there who will suggest that the only shotgun appropriate for deer is a 12ga. I beg to differ, and if these two pictures don't make the point, nothing will. This was approximately 100 yards, from a 24" fully rifled (and ported) 20ga Mossberg 500. Load was a Hornady SST 250gr sabot slug with a muzzle velocity of ~1800fps.

(Please note, these pictures are AFTER I quartered the deer, so some might find them distasteful.)

Entry side.
Exit side.

If you look close, you'll see that the slug went through-and-through, with very little bloodshot meat on either side. The lungs were essentially pulverized, and the deer effectively dropped in place. (Having tracked deer further than a quarter-mile, anything less than fifty yards is "in place" in my book.) I would gladly recommend this gun and load combination to someone looking for a great all-purpose gun.

Nov 20, 2010

Knock-knock, bang-bang

Over at ArfCom, I stumbled into this thread leading to a thread about the aftermath of a home invasion shooting (on XDTalk). Here's the first couple lines from the first post. Read the original posts; skim the comments as you see fit, keeping in mind that it's on the internet.

We are all ok thanks to my wife. There is no way to prepare for a phone call from your wife while you are at work that go exactly like this:

Me: Hi sweetie!
Wife: I need you home now, I just shot two invaders!
Me: On the way now! (end of call)

Part 1. "Home Invasion in Oklahoma: Mine"

Part 2. "Things we learned from the home invasion in Oklahoma"

Part 3. "I need to vent"

Got that?

One of the local news stations has a portion of the 911 call posted here.

I can not and will not presume to offer legal advice here. From a criminal legal standpoint, they appear to be in good shape. I don't know if Oklahoma precludes civil suits in justifiable self-defense, but it is something to be aware of.

One of the replies in Part 2 is this:
I was not happy with some of her questions to your wife, answers that could be used against her after the fact.
Please understand this: a dispatcher's job is to get as much information as possible. The more information we have, and the more accurate it is, the better-informed the responding officers should be. Our job is not to incriminate you, interrogate you, or judge you. We want to get you the right kind of help as quickly as possible. Giving our responders relevant information is part of that.

Yes, the recording of a 911 call can (and will) be subpoenaed as evidence in a trial. That said:

What you say on a 911 call will not change whether a shooting was justified or not.

Let me state that again to emphasize the point.

What you say on a 911 call will not change whether a shooting was justified or not.

What it COULD change is the perception of a prosecutor or jury (grand, criminal, or civil). Answer the dispatcher's questions concisely and honestly. I understand adrenaline. I know what it does. I've listened to more callers than I care to count with verbal diarrhea. Try to control it; the less filter a dispatcher has to do the better, and the easier it will be for a listener to understand things after the fact.

Either a shooting is justified or it isn't. Period.

Once the shooting is over, though, there's the rest of the situation to deal with. Read the posts up there again. The victim had to pack up their entire life and put it in storage in the space of twelve hours. In his words:

Our Life Before 21 Oct 2010

Two adults, two kids and one dog living in a 1300 square foot, four bedroom, one and a half bath home

Our Life After 21 OCT 2010

Two adults, two kids and one dog living in a 12 foot X 12 foot room.

They've received death threats. They've moved a couple times. The press plastered their names and address far and wide.

An armchair commando posted this about their choice to move:
You have two choices:

1) Refuse to back down, and not let low lifes scare you out of your home.
2) Move out of your home, fall into financial ruin, and vent about it on the internet.

Every man has to do what they think is right. I know what I'd do.
B. S.

He has to keep working in order to live. He can't be awake and at home 24/7. His wife can't be at home 24/7. Short of barricading yourself inside a fortress, there's no realistic way to handle this without moving.

An officer here was involved in a shooting earlier this year. The suspect died. The shooting was investigated and determined to be justified. Ten days later, the officer's house was burned down. He'd already sent his family away, for just that reason. And guess what? This was without the press posting his address and picture far and wide. He made it out with relatively minor injuries.

Trained SWAT officer. Unpublished address. Lost his house and nearly his life.

Relatively untrained citizen. Published address, face, and name. Chose to leave instead of risking more.

I have absolutely no issue with how he is trying to handle this, and I wish him and his family the best of luck.

Jay touched on this with a DGC post a few weeks ago. He also commented, "Instead, we have one dead goblin, one wounded - who if there is any justice will face homicide charges if there's any "commission of a crime" laws in place." Those laws are in place, and there are TWO goblins facing Murder One:

Police said Johnson and Kemp are charged with first-degree murder and burglary. The murder charge is being filed because a death resulted during the commission of a felony. All three suspects have had multiple contacts with law enforcement in the past. [KOCO News]

Nov 19, 2010

Moving forward, one pixel at a time

I got my first digital camera in 1997. It took some wheedling, but I got my parents to split the cost of an Apple Quicktake 200. 640x480, fixed-focus, 2MB memory, no flash. It took four AA batteries and would hoover them dry in a matter of minutes. NiCad wasn't any better, and NiMH was not in general use yet.

A few years later, I spent a chunk of a tax refund on a Sony DSC-P51. While not top-of-the-line, it was a great camera, and spent a lot of time traveling with me. 2MP (1600x1200), with a flash, autofocus, and 2x zoom. It ran on two AA batteries, and a set of NiMH rechargeables would provide useful run time.

A year or two later, I went for a major upgrade, and coughed up the money for a Sony DSC-F717. 5MP with a 5x Zeiss lens, pop-up flash, hot-shoe, IR night vision... It used a proprietary Sony battery, but I don't recall ever running out of juice. It was this generation of digital imaging that really made semi-pro imaging available to the consumer. It had a thousand-dollar price tag, but it was well worth it. This one went all over with me as well, and some of my favorite pictures came from this camera.

Fast forward to early 2007. Digital SLRs have hit the mainstream and reached a reasonable price point. I picked up a Canon EOS 30D, and have used that extensively ever since. It's a hell of a camera, and takes some great images. 8MP from a reasonable-sized imaging sensor turns out some incredible prints.

Somewhere along the line, I had also picked up a Nikon L3 as a walk-around camera. I was never really happy with it; the images seemed excessively grainy and the focus was slow. For a quick snapshot here or there, it was fine, but that was it.

I'd been thinking about a new point'n'shoot camera since this summer, but held off for a while to see what would be coming out for the holidays. I sold my 35mm camera this week, and turned that money around into a new Canon SX130IS. 12MP, 12x optical zoom, runs on two AA batteries, HD (720p) video recording, fast and accurate autofocus... for two hundred bucks. From a dollar standpoint, this is the second-least expensive camera I've ever purchased. From a technology standpoint, it's only barely behind the 30D as the second-most advanced.

I'm still learning all the ins and outs, and trying to keep in mind that it's not a large-sensor SLR, but overall, I'm impressed. (The images in the last post were taken with the new camera.)

Thirteen years: 640x480 becomes 4000x3000. Four AAs lasting minutes becomes two AAs lasting hours. Same price point.

What's next? (Answer: the recently-announced Canon EOS 60D. 18MP. Zounds!)

Tactical Man Purse

I'd been thinking about a shoulder bag of some kind for a while. My pockets are loaded up with enough crap as it is, and I'd like to have a few more things with me from time to time, without either stuffing them in jacket pockets or having to carry a full-size backpack or tote bag.

The decision was solidified for me by reading this review from Carteach0, about his Maxpedition Fatboy. I wasn't quite ready to drop $70 on a Fatboy, though. While reading the latest flyer from MidwayUSA, though, I noticed that they had the "Jumbo KISS" on sale for $40. I did some digging, and found that it's a bit lighter-weight fabric, and doesn't have a few minor features (velcro fuzzy for name tape, cinch-top on inner pouch), but looked to fit my needs nicely.

I ordered one, along with their universal holster and three-mag pouch. When it arrived, I put the holster and pouch in the CCW compartment, and stuffed the whole thing into the gun safe, with intentions of "later".

Well, later finally arrived. I pondered what I'd want to have with me most of the time, and started putting the bag together. I wanted a bag that would cover the essentials of being a prepared gentleman, without the bulk of a three-day bag. I want the incidentals that make a day easier to get through without having to ask passersby for a light, or the time, or whatever else.

So what does that include? Some of it is obvious, and some less so.

I started out with the pistol. I adjusted the holster for my S&W 4053. A full mag in the pistol, plus two more in the universal pouch, gives me 24 rounds of .40. I kept the chamber empty, because this is - for me - not a primary sidearm. I firmly believe that, if at all possible, a carry gun should be carried on your body.

With that closed, I added a 1L water bottle to the front pouch. The zipper pouch in the flap holds two Clif bars nicely, and a 4-pack of AA batteries.

The front pocket has a small notebook and pen, and the zippered front pocket has a folding knife, a Bic lighter, a Sharpie marker, a ten-foot hank of 550 cord, a AA LED MagLite, and a mylar space blanket.

The side zipper pocket has a pair of lightweight wool socks and a digital camera.

I slipped a Leatherman Core on the shoulder strap, and have the bare essentials covered. I need to add a few band-aids, and I'm sure a few other "good ideas" will show up - but what's in there now will get me home from most anywhere, or get me through a day in relative comfort. (Ever put on dry socks when your feet are tired and wet? Bliss.)

The main pocket is still empty, at this point. That was intentional. I can toss in lunch, or a couple books, or hit a trade show (NRA 2011!) and fill it with swag and literature, or slip in a netbook or tablet.

Loaded up:

Junk on the bunk:

(This isn't a complete junk-on-the-bunk, as I added a few items after taking the picture... but it's still empty in the middle!)


Nov 17, 2010

Food for thought...

Average TSA employee salary: $32,000 (Washington Post article, slight adjustment up)
65,000 TSA employees.

Median Sky Marshal salary: $63,000 (

Simple math suggests you could probably flip those numbers and be right on par.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics there were about 775,000 scheduled domestic departures in August 2010, or 25,000 flights per day.

32,000 air marshals.

25,000 flights.

Any questions?

Nov 16, 2010

NRA Meeting?

Having missed it the past couple years, I'm finally within easy driving distance - and planning time - for the 2011 NRA Meeting.

I've put in my time-off request (and it looks like it shouldn't be a problem), so now the question is: who else is going, and who might be interested in carpooling (I'm in the Fingerlakes of NY) and/or sharing a room?

Nov 13, 2010

Opting Out

Opting out of the TSA Peep Show is the big buzz as of a few days ago - and rightfully so.

But what happens if you insist you want a screener of the opposite gender?

Food for thought...

Also worth considering: While the government monkey is down there, putting his hands on your junk, try one of the following:
- squeeze out a big wet fart; the louder and smellier the better
- moan a few times; when he stops tell him you needed another thirty seconds
- stroke his hair or tickle his ear (I'd suggest you plan on taking a later flight if you try this)
- ask him to go on a date when you come back into town

In lieu of content, culture

On Saturday, October 30, 2010, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation's "Random Acts of Culture" at Macy's in Center City Philadelphia. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ - the world's largest pipe organ - the OCP Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers.

Nov 11, 2010

Sellin' out, range report

I put up a few items for sale a couple weeks ago. Some have sold, price adjustment on some as follows:
Camera kit: $175
PSP: $125
CRKT MUK: $10/ea

I've also found a few more things that need to get shuffled along.

Men's lamb-leather trench coat, XL. I'm a 46-48 chest and this fits me perfectly. 6'1" and it hangs to mid-calf. Ventilated back, three-button front, waist belt. Comfortable and good-looking. Fully lined with fabric. Has a fleece-vest liner that has gone AWOL; if that shows up any time after the sale it will be shipped at my cost. One small spot on the hem from salt. No tears, scratches, etc. $150 shipped.

sell 010

Flying Circle "Stryker" bag. Extremely heavy-duty ACU-pattern cloth (nylon? poly?). Padded shoulder straps and back plate, has sternum and waist straps, MOLLE loops on each side, cinch straps. Velcro tab on top for a name tape. Hydration pouch, includes new, unused bladder and tube/bite valve (shrink wrap still on the valve). There is one small stain on the inside of the main compartment where a label on something bled, but this has never been carried or used. I packed it as a three-day bag and it stayed in my closet for a couple years. Moved on to a different bag so this needs to stop taking space. $75 shipped.

sell 013

With that out of the way, on to the fun stuff.

Took the new Mossberg to the range today, and got it boresighted and zeroed. Should be good out to 150yd from a good rest. I should've taken a few rounds of birdshot to clear the barrel before firing the good slugs, but I got zero in three rounds and then took two more shots to confirm. Gun season opens for deer in ten days, and I'm looking forward to it.

I also took the PM9 and my 642 along. I found that I do best with the PM9 if I really concentrate on proper sight picture - that is, actually "dotting the I" instead of making it a rounded nub on top of the bar. The 642 is still a great point-shooter at similar distances, although I found the trigger on that harder to adjust to after putting half a dozen magazines through the Kahr.

I've started eyeballing various tablets out there, and would really like to put hands on an Archos 7.0 - not to be confused with a 7 Home - as it seems to address most of the complaints about the 7Home. Don't get me wrong, the Palm is a pretty handy tool for a quick look-up, but I would like something with a lot more screen real estate without delving into full-on laptop. An iPad would be nice, but I am not going to buy into Apple's software distribution model. Also, the Archos 7.0 should fit nicely in the tactical man-purse.

Time will tell...

Nov 8, 2010

Home heating

Our house is a bizarre mash-up of heating methods and fuel sources. We knew that when we bought the place, of course, and actually considered it to be something of a benefit.

Our furnace (forced air) is oil-fired, and roughly as old as I am. It's a fuel hog and too big for the house, so it cycles more than it should need to. It does get used, for the "shoulder seasons" - those times when the days are warm and the nights are cool - but we don't run it more than we have to.

Our water heater is also oil-fired and I would replace it with the exact same one in a heartbeat. It's a 32-gallon heater, but has a 180-gallon "first hour" rating, and 114-gallon per hour recovery (+90F). We only have one shower, so actually running out of hot water is pretty unlikely.

The cooktop and oven are both propane-fired, as is the clothes dryer. (A gas stove or gas service was one of the requirements when we were house-hunting; I detest cooking on electric ranges.)

We have a portable electric radiator in the master bedroom as well; we keep the door closed most of the time and it tends to be cooler in there than the rest of the house. A little supplemental heat goes a long way.

Last but not least, we have a coal stove as our primary winter heat source. It's a Keystoker Stoker 90, and goes like a son of a gun when you finally get it lit and dialed in. When we got things set properly for the feed, it burned about 40lb of coal a day and kept the vast majority of the house at a toasty 70-72F, while burning about 2-3/4 tons of coal over the season.

Unfortunately, coal is not proving to be ideal for our situation. It is a pain to get it lit*, and it creates a lot of ash - on the order of 2/3 weight of the fuel burned, if I had to guess. On top of that, it's dirty. The ash goes *everywhere*, and the coal itself is disgustingly dusty. MrsZ has mild asthma, and my sinuses certainly don't appreciate the extra crud in the air. We put in extra air filters in the house, and it helped but can't really solve the problem completely.

I've been looking at the options, and some kind of solid-fuel stove remains my preference. I'm leaning strongly to a pellet stove. They are easier to light, and some are even self-lighting. Pellets don't have the same heat density as coal, but are renewable (yeah, there's my hippy streak shining through), cleaner, and create FAR less ash. (Most stove manufacturers claim that pellet ash will need to emptied once a month or so, as opposed to daily for the coal stove.) Additionally, pellet ash isn't going to kill our garden if I dump it out there.

I don't believe a pellet stove is in our budget for the year - which is a shame, since there is still a hefty tax incentive on them - but it will be high on my list of improvements.

* - lighting the coal stove is a mixture of witchcraft and luck. The local stove shop (which I refuse to deal with after they refused to make good on bad coal last winter) sells magic starter bags that work about two times out of three. I used the last one I had earlier this year, and haven't bought more. I finally figured out how to get the thing lit without buying magic bags. A handful of charcoal briquettes in a basket coffee filter, tucked WAY up the burn grate. Hit it with a MAPP** torch until the briquettes are going, then put a small handful of coal over them and plug the stove in. Shut the door and hope!

** - I purchased what I thought was a MAPP torch kit from Lowes the other morning to assist in this lighting process. After the fact, I noticed that it's not MAPP, it's "MPP". MPP is a BernzOMatic product that stands for "Max Power Propylene". It burns at about 3600F, as opposed to propane's 3450F. A little digging led me to the Wiki page on MAPP, and this gem:

"On 31 April 2008 the Petromont Varennes plant closed its methylacetylene/propadiene plant. As they were the only North American plant making MAPP gas, indeed the only legal supplier of trademarked MAPP gas in the world, this caused a widescale shortage"
In other words, MAPP - with a in-air temp of about 3700F or an in-oxygen temp in excess of 5000F - is no more. If you need to do small-scale brazing, MPP/Oxy kits are available, but it almost makes more sense to cough up for an Oxy/Acetylene setup with reasonable-size cylinders.

Nov 7, 2010


Set the clocks back (last night, or this morning) and, more importantly, run around and change all the batteries in your smoke detectors and CO alarms.

It may save your life.

If your detectors are more than five years old, replace them. A basic battery-powered smoke detector will run $8-10 at most stores, and a CO alarm about twice that.

It's a good idea to have a smoke detector in every bedroom, the hallways outside sleeping areas, in the living room/den/office, and in the basement/cellar/utility room. There should be a CO alarm on each floor of the house.

If you're stopping by the local DIY MegaMart, there are a few other things worth picking up while you're there:
- an extra flashlight or two (Cheap LED lights are great, toss 'em in a drawer. Most come with batteries and are under $3 each.)
- a bulk pack of each kind of batteries you use; replace batteries all around the house while you're at it!
- a new fire extinguisher (one in the kitchen and at least one on each floor of the house; A-B-C class dry chem, preferably 5lb or 10lb)

If you are in a three-bedroom house, you should be able to do ALL of the above for under $200:
- 5lb ABC extinguisher (2): $80
- CO alarm (2): $36
- smoke alarm (8): $34
- cheap flashlights (5): $15
- extra batteries (AA, AAA): $20

Grand Total: $185

You've got enough left over for a pizza!

All kidding aside: Most of us have insurance on our homes, vehicles, life, health ... we carry guns, wear seatbelts, don't smoke, drink in moderation (unless it's a VC night), and are generally responsible citizens. We think nothing (or not much) of spending $200 on a case of practice ammo... so why would you quibble about spending that much on long-term protection for your home and family?

Nov 5, 2010

Back in touch

It was an interesting few days of training. I'm back and re-connected to the world. If there's anything I've missed in the past few days ... well, I missed it. Unless it was world-changing news, I likely don't really care that much.

I did vote. Results were roughly what I expected locally; nationally things went reasonably well. Any thoughts or commentary I may have provided has been said in numerous places and multiple ways already.

I will add this one bit: now is not the time to rest on our laurels. The American people have become much more attuned to and involved with the political process, and that should be encouraged.

I am working beaucoup overtime this week and next; then hunting season really begins in earnest. I have not been out hunting during bow season aside from one afternoon - I don't *object* to it but I much prefer gun-hunting, and right now sleep has been a priority.

Nov 2, 2010

Get out...

... and VOTE.

Make yourself heard at the ballot box. You know what comes next, kids.


Nov 1, 2010

Light Posting

The next few days will likely be thin on blogging. I've got some mandatory training to attend, thus no consistent internet access. (No, it was not court-ordered.)

If something particularly egregious catches my attention, I'll let you know.

Yay Capitalism!

In an effort to make a little money for the toy fund, I'm trying the CafePress thing.

The shop is here:

Hie thee forth and give me your money!