Yesterday we got the back yard raked up--hopefully there won't be many more leaves back there, as the dogs are always dragging them in to the house. Then got the sprinklers blown out, winterized for the year. Made some modifications on the little pump house to make it easier to perform maintenance on the pump--I think next spring I'm going to pour a concrete pad for it to sit on to help alleviate some corrosion issues. My mother bought a ton of apples and cooked them down for hours and hours and added sugar and spice and made her famous apple butter. Nothing at all like that bland pasty stuff you get at the store. Then I fried up some green tomatoes from the very last stragglers from the garden to go with the pork chops my mother made. A good, classic fall day.

Straining credibility

Seen on the front page of the newspaper: an AP article about a Berkeley scientist who used to consider himself a climate change denier, then when the East Anglia shenanigans went down he looked over their leaked data and decided that they were 100% completely right.

Seen on the second page with the weather: Average high for this day: a lovely 60 degrees. Today's projected high: an absolutely astonishing... 60 degrees. Record high for this day: a still pleasant 78 degrees, set in 1970.

Seen buried in the middle back of the newspaper: an article about the huge northeastern snow storms that went down over the weekend (2 feet?!? Man--you have my sympathy).

My conclusion: it's no wonder the "old media" is losing readership. The only reason I read it is so I can make fun of the articles in the morning, and that's not really how you want to build your business model...

Die screaming in a fire!

Say it was cold last night, and everything was coated in a hard frost, causing your small black Japanese car to be the same color as the worn pavement you drive it on.  Now you need to drive to work in the early morning at that time of day just before sunrise.

Do you:
a) Start a little early to warm up your car, scrape off your windows, turn on your headlights, and drive like a normal, sane person?
b) Wait until the sun comes up to melt all the ice off your car, and then drive to work like an insane person because you waited so long?
c) Not scrape off your windows, don't pre-heat your car, don't turn on your headlights, and then tailgate that large white truck with the "peace through superior firepower" window sticker who, as it turns out, can't see you because of your expert camouflage?

If you guessed "c", you almost died today taking, someone else with you and delaying traffic for hundreds of others as they tried to get to work! Congratulations!

Happy 2-month Mega Holiday!

Forgive me for being a little bit cynical, but I don't really think I need to say anything else besides what was written in the title.

Start the week

Hit me with your best shot, Monday!


Note to self

Never ever ever go to Cabela's on a weekend during hunting season.

Actually, don't go to the mall in general on a weekend this close to the holidays.

Actually, it may just be best to shop online from now on.

What a zoo!


Talking to the neighbors, who said they saw a coyote come down from the desert across the interstate, across the road we live on (looked both ways before crossing!) and into their corn field. In the 18 or so years we've lived here, and the 21 they have, we've never seen a coyote before...

May put a damper on my plan to get a barn cat.

Do you value you sanity?

Whatever you do, don't type in "japanese music videos" on youtube.



Complete failure

Honestly, what kind of person doesn't have a can of tomato soup sitting in the back of the pantry? I feel like such a loser...


Ok, NOW I'll post this video. If you think I'm doing repeats I hope you'll go back to the previous video and see that no, you aren't going insane, but I am apparently not as good at this whole "copy/paste" thing as previously thought.

From Spikessib comes this video:

I just want to say one thing:

This video made me really sad.

Seen on the road on the way to work

The Wells Fargo Horse Hauler.

Wonder where it was going--it wasn't on the interstate...

Another Massive Attack

"Lucky dippers
Crazy chancers
Seems to be moving fast
What happened to the nicities
Of my childhood days
Well i can't do nothing 'bout that, no
But if you hurt what's mine
I'll sure as hell retaliate"

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES--I appear to have copied the incorrect code for the video I wanted. The one that appeared will probable appear a little later. Sorry for the inconvenience. Those responsible have been sacked, and management is letting you have the rest of this blog for half off the regular price today.

Thank you.



Let me tell you, we just came back from one of the local bar & grills (it's not really a brew pub, but it's associated with Breckenridge Brewery so they have semi-local beers) and I had the most amazing beer I think I've ever had.  It was their Vanilla Porter (which is pretty good in its own right) which had been aged in a used bourbon barrel.  Wow.  Amazing.  Dee-lish.  If anyone out there ever comes through my area of Colorado, I highly recommend stopping by The Ale House and trying it out.

And then when we got home we saw this sunset:

And all was good.

Good Video

From The Smallest Minority:

Circle Circle Dot Dot...

I got four shots yesterday.  Three allergy shots and one flu shot (no trouble, sir, I was in the area, and I had the vaccine...).  My arms are really sore but I should be safe from cooties for the immediate future...

Oh, and just to inspire more confidence, my mother (a school nurse who got her flu shot a couple weeks ago) was just complaining this morning about having some sniffles with a slight headache and small dizziness.  MAYBE THERE'S A NEW SUPER FLU AND WE'RE AL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!111!!!1!!

Speaking of Genres

Wikipedia classifies this album by Over the Rhine as "Americana."

Not sure...


Last condensed droplets of summer

Last tomatoes, salvaged from the garden.  Currently they're in the dehydrator, and will be in soups and such this winter, memories of the summer.

Helping out searching Googlateers

Seen in my stats page for search keywords:

"300 ultra mag vs. 9mm"

Well, let me lay it out straight for you, random Googlateer! Abandon all confusion now!

The 300 ultra mag is a very, very large rifle cartridge. The 9mm is a relatively small pistol cartridge. I believe the difference in muzzle energy is roughly off by a factor of 10 (about 400-500 vs 4000-5000 ft-lbf).

Here's a handy pictorial representation, from back when:

9mm third from the left, and 300 RUM the huge one on the right. 

In laymans terms, that means if you get shot by the 9mm you will hurt. A lot. Probably won't want to do anything but fall over and clutch your wound. If you get shot by the ultra mag, you probably won't care, and the guy behind you probably won't care, and the guy behind him will probably fall over and clutch his wound.

Remember, as a rule of thumb, all pistol calibers suck.  And if you are trying to compare it to something that is basically a stretched 30-06, which has ultra in it's name, well... there is no comparison.

Quote of the President

"The one thing that we absolutely know for sure is that if we don’t work even harder than we did in 2008, then we’re going to have a government that tells the American people, ‘you are on your own.' If you get sick, you’re on your own. If you can’t afford college, you’re on your own. If you don’t like that some corporation is polluting your air or the air that your child breathes, then you’re on your own."
From this article, which also says "President Obama warned his recession-battered supporters that if he loses the 2012 election it could herald a new, painful era of self-reliance in America." [emphasis added]

Poor dear, he doesn't even know what country he's in, bless his heart.

From Prof. Mondo, who points out Emerson and says, "Promises, promises..."

Same genre as yesterday...

...completely different feel, though.

Techno is like that. One of everything, put in a blender and pureed until you can't tell the genres apart.


Holy Black Clouds of Doom, Batman!

We decided to walk the dogs before the storm got here. We were almost back. Then it started blowing.  Then it started raining.  Then it stated hailing.  Now I'm cold and wet and slightly bruised, and the pellet stove is doing it's thing for the first time of the season.

Beltman Belt: Year After

So it was exactly one year ago that I wrote my initial review on a Beltman belt.  Since Butch reminded me about it with his post the other day, I figured now was a good time for a long term update.  I've worn it probably 85% of the days in between then and now, though I haven't always had a gun on it (as I switched mainly to the SW642 over the summer, and occasionally didn't wear this belt then). I am still surprised how comfortable it is every time I put it on.

The belt itself has been broken in over the last year, to the classic "belt banana" shape.

There is a small amount of wear around the buckle region, superficial, but there is no sign of cracked leather or anything like actual damage.

I put Obenauf's on it occasionally, which keeps it in good condition and keeps the squeaks down.  I also loctited the screws holding on the buckle, as suggested by the maker.  For everyone out there who carries a firearm on their belt and who don't have something like this belt, I really really, really urge you to try something specifically made for the purpose.  It makes life so much more comfortable, which in turn makes you much more likely to carry, which was the whole point of the exercise to begin with.

And while I'm on the subject, and because Butch asked, I'll throw up a couple pictures of the "BLACKHAWK! Leather Compact Askins-style" holster I use for my XD.

A few dings on it here and there and the belt loops have stretched a bit to fit the thick leather of the belt, but still fits tight and secure, and holds in the XD, even though games of hackey-sack and such.  While I realize now that I coulda/shoulda/woulda bought a custom leather holster of greater beauty for not much more money, this is a quality product, it's what I have, and I would have no qualms recommending it to anyone else.

And for the FCC/FTC/FAA/FBI/FAC/FETCETERA:  My stuff.  Money was earned, money was exchanged, for products, and life went on.  Not that you would have any idea about real life, you useless, big brotherly, government hacks.


Supposed to get down to 26 tonight, and about the same tomorrow night.  So even the stragglers in the garden (still got a few peppers and tomatoes, surprisingly enough). will probably be frostbit tomorrow.  well, except maybe the kale.  It's been the star of the garden this year.

Guess I should drain out all the hoses and such--probably even blow out the sprinkler system, though it should be fine for a couple days, at least.  We're falling through fall and into winter...

Creep into the day

With Portishead

Continuing my recent Trip-Hop obsession...


Go Western Colorado!

Out of curiosity, I decided to look up which mayors, if any, in Colorado, were members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns--no I am not going to provide a link to the organization itself, the same way I won't provide a link to a neo-nazi group or any other bigoted group of ill-informed clown-faced buffoons who wouldn't even try to pour piss out of a boot if you told them the instructions were on the heel; if you want to know more Linoge at Walls of the City has a good post up talking about it.

So on the list are the mayors for Denver, Boulder, Golden, Manitou Springs, and Salida (Salida?  What the heck?  A town of 5000 people, known mainly for, well, nothing, really).  The list would read better as: Denver, North Denver, West Denver, South Denver, and Huh. That's it.

Does this give you a better idea why I hate my capital with a purple passion?  Still think Western Colorado and Eastern Utah should secede and make a new state called Red Rock or National Parkland, or something.


Seen in the newspaper--and I swear to you that I'm not making this up:

"Economists See Signs of Recovery--Layoffs Slowing"

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Quotes of the Day

Roberta X:
It's the human race. That's all we've got. Humanity's genetic diversity is so low that if we were dogs, we'd all have to compete as just one breed. And there's only one standard I'm gonna judge people by: how they behave.
The dread and powerful Sith Lord/Gormogon Dr. J, referring to this article at the BBC:
You see, it doesn't matter whether the Declaration was legal, or not. American muskets made it legal, and for that reason, we have and treasure the Second Amendment.
 Got that?  Judge not, lest ye be judged, and if you do, expect to be judged right back.  While this could be argued for some areas, where I live is America, dammit.

Hippie Heaven

I knew it. We should nuke the entire site from orbit. Just to be sure.


Latest Bread

Doesn't look too bad, does it?  And the best part is that I didn't burn my fingers this time!  That's what I call progress!

Watershed Moment

Today I discovered that I would rather watch NASCAR than the Denver Tebow (formerly known as the Denver Broncos). Never thought that would happen...

Sunday Scripture for those "Occupy... Something" People

I read through the Thessalonians the other night and thought I would just point this out--

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 (or thereabouts) from the HCSB translation:
About brotherly love: you don't need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. In fact, you are doing this toward all the brothers in the entire region of Macedonia. But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more, to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may walk properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.
Or, if that isn't clear enough for you, The Message puts it a little more bluntly:
Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You've heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.
Look for a job or at least stop asking for handouts!


In my time zone it's still 10-22

So though I'm late, it's still 10/22 Day!  Here are some photos of mine that have appeared on the blog in the past.  This is from when I got my Tech Sights:

and a hiding 10/22 (actually, from last year's 10/22 Day):

Ahhh, my old room in MT.  That was a good place.  For a cheap college student.

Thanks to DaddyBear for reminding me!

Correct me if I'm wrong...

It must be fall.  Do you want to know how I can tell?

Huh? What?

Global Warming? No, not here!

Move along!

We will see

Continuing my fascination with food and drink that is made by letting little critters grow in it, I just mixed up my first batch of sauerkraut. We will see how it turns out... in "5-7 weeks," according to the recipe.

Pretty sure I've posted this song before...

...but you know what? I don't care. It's just plain good music.

Heard it on the radio the other day, and it's been stuck in my head ever since. Yes, I know. I get songs stuck in my head way to easily. But you know what? I don't care.

Start off your day right. Use Rush!


There's a problem

That right there is water... in between the panes of glass.  How much is a new, big picture window?

More good news!

Well I did this for India, so I might as well do it for Taiwan:


The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) has added the Taiwan Defensive Firearms Association (TDFA) as a member of international gun rights association working to protect and expand the right to keep and bear arms around the globe. TDFA joins 16 other groups from nine countries on five different continents that represent millions of firearm owners and citizens concerned about civilian arms rights.

“The IAPCAR coalition defending gun rights worldwide continues to grow and we are proud to have Taiwan join with us,” said IAPCAR executive director, Philip Watson.

“The Taiwan Defensive Firearms Association is an important addition in our battle to protect the human right of self-defense,” Watson observed.

“It is a great honor to become one of IAPCAR's members.” said, Boris Yang, TDFA Chairman.

As Taiwan’s highest profile self-defense advocacy association, TDFA also runs the popular website, (

Julianne Versnel, director of operations for the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Alan Gottlieb, Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) established IAPCAR to serve as a vehicle to unify arms rights groups against international threats to the human right of self-defense and the legitimate use of guns.

“IAPCAR strongly opposes any U.N. Arms Trade Treaty that infringes on national sovereignty and the individual right to keep arms,” said SAF’s Versnel.

CCRKBA’s Gottlieb added, “Organizations around the globe feel the urgent need to protect the individual right to defend oneself and one’s family against grave threats, including crime, civil unrest and terrorism. IAPCAR is dedicated to preserving this human right.”

It is good to know that there are people around the world who feel the same as we in the US for personal freedom and protection. It is, after all, a universal right.  Why don't you head on over to the SAF and give them some support?

A Pox on the Lot of Them

In the newspaper this morning was an article talking about how Colorado's two (democratic) senators thought that we needed to stay in Libya and help them run elections, rebuild, nourish, and etc etc. It boggles my mind how hypocritical these guys are--when G.W.Republican stays in a country to help them rebuild, it's "empire building" but when O.H.Democrat does it, we're helping democracy to thrive in an area of the world that needs it? What the hell, dudes? If you were a little less blatant about it I could probably stomach it, but do you really think that I'm so dumb not to notice your obscene double standards? Just come out and say "we know better than those other guys," that way I can point and laugh at you and move on with my day--but to completely leave out recent history like my attention span is that of a 3-year old is a little bit annoying.

Oh yeah, and since I'm on (or at least close to) the subject, Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi is dead! Long live Occupy Tripoli! Huzah! Huzah! Huzah!

Heard this song on the local hippie radio yesterday, and I liked it

Good Excuse - John Butler Trio

Step outside, see what's shakin' in the real world--probably more than a few people need to take that advice.



The ISS just flew over.

Oi vey blogrolling

Haven't done this in a long time, so I'm sure to leave something out.  Oh well.

In no particular order, we have:

Standing Outside Looking In, who clicked on that funny little google follow thingy over there on the sidebar that I don't really understand.

DragonBlasts, run by Dennis of Dragon Leatherworks, who I like reading and who I really need to make an order for something from someday.

Curses! Foiled Again!, run by Jake, who stopped by and left some comments on things (most lengthily about Star Trek theme songs, a man after my own heart).

Listen to Uncle Jay, run by Uncle Jay/The Big Guy, who is just plain entertaining.

Beliot Ballistics, run by Chuck Kuecker, who has been stopping by and leaving comments for a while now.

Oh, and I added the Gun Blog Black List over on the "Links to Things" sidebar on the left hand side; it may or may not stay there, depending on whether or not I decide to count it as a blog or a resource.  Or I could do as others have done and make it into its own link, complete with picture and etc...

Aaaannnnd I added the Gear Journal to the Unrelated Things list, just because of all the cool stuff they find.

As always, if you link to me, and I don't deem you too crazy, I will be happy to put a link to you.  Leave a comment if you care to.

Photodump: Lake Powell

We got to the lake just as the sun was going down, and my uncle picked us up in his little purple speedboat. Unfourtunately it was too dark by that time to really see any of the landscape; the moon on the water was the only thing visible.

But the next morning when the sun came up...

Blue water, blue skies, and only red rocks and sand in between them. 

There's the little houseboat--just big enough. We had a party of four adults and one cute little girl (seriously--only four years old, but she was hilarious), and we were comfortable, but there are four bunks, two fold-down couch/bed things, you could sleep under the awning up top, or you could even pitch a tent on the beach if you aren't afraid of coyotes.  Enough room for as many friends as you want to bring, or as few.

Miles and miles of canyons.  Lake Powell, when it's full, actually has a larger coast line (around 1900 miles) than the entire west coast of the US (around 1200 miles).  It's really amazing to see.

A (slightly blurry) cormorant in Halls Bay, where we camped for most of the time.  My uncle, the mechanic of old vehicles he is, pointed out that the logo of Packard Motor Car Company had a cormorant in it.

And this guy kept buzzing us as we puttered around in the purple boat one day.  He was doing touch and gos. I love me some piper cubs and I love me some seaplanes--so I have more pictures of this than could be considered perfectly reasonable...

We camped next to this little rock, so I had to go out on top of it.

The water was somewhere around 74 degrees, definitely on the chilly side, but not so much so that you couldn't go swimming for a while before the cold got to you.  And you couldn't have asked for nicer weather, with hardly a cloud in the sky, highs of around 80, and lows in the 50's. 

And here, in Lost Eden Canyon, there's a really cool overhang/amphitheater thing the water is still a couple hundred feet deep under there, so we just bobbed along marveling at it for a little while.

The formation on the west side of Halls Bay, where we camped, is called Waterpocket Fold, because of all the slick rock potholes that collect water, and stay wet even in the summer.  This arch was only a short hike up from our campsite.  And you can barely see my uncle waving back at me from on top of it.

Behind the arch are a bunch of the water filled potholes, which just keep going up the drainage in a string like that.  Saw a few little froggies living in the holes.

And, in the southwest, where there are canyons, there are indian ruins.  This place is called Defiance House, and consists of several of stone dwellings and a kiva up on top of a rubble pile under an overhanging cliff, near the end of the water in Forgotten Canyon.

We also stopped to look at this (you may need to click on the photo to see what I'm talking about).  There are some foot holds carved into the rock right here that come right up from the water and go up the cliff.  My uncle said that he once had himself dropped off there and he climbed up it--at the top are a bunch of areas that were obviously farmed by the natives way in the past.  There are little square plots of dirt, no more than an acre, and channels cut from more potholes for irrigation.  I would have liked to have climbed up myself, but we were running out of daylight and still a ways out from the houseboat.

This past year's runoff was exceptionally good (you've heard me talking on and on about how high the Colorado has been in town here, remember?), the lake hasn't been this high in many years--only about 30 feet down from high water.  This makes it much easier to get to and from some of these places, where in the recent past it has been necessary to bushwack through miles of tamarisk to get to any of these things. On the one hand, I can see why environmentalists consider Lake Powell to be some sort of disaster--it really is equivalent to flooding the Grand Canyon--but on the other hand having a lake and a boat makes everything so much more accessible.  And there's that whole "electricity" thing that Glen Canyon Dam does for us.  TANSTAAFL.

Speaking of free lunches, in return for all the fun times, this was the last outing for the year of the little houseboat, so we had to help clean it up and winterize it.  It's now tied to a buoy in Bullfrog, awaiting next year's adventures.  Sadly, many of its buoy-mates' owners seem to have fallen on hard times, what with the economy and all. People are deciding it's cheaper to give up their dreams and let the boats rot, rust and sink away, forfeiting them for the marina to deal with.  Kind of sad, really.

And speaking of lunches, boy did we eat like kings.  My uncle was expecting a few more people than we ended up with, so between the steak, barbeque pork, and bleu cheese hamburgers, we were all expected to drink up the large supply of beer, gin, cheap tequila, and rum. Well, all of us but the cute little girl.  And with Radio Margaritaville on the satellite radio, we did our best.  I think I gained 5 pounds.

So that was my pretty neat spur of the moment vacation from last weekend.  Hope you're at least a little envious; otherwise I didn't do a good enough job writing this all out!

This video kinda freaks me out

Sweaty, mumbly, creepy guy playing the violin, and sperm-like claymation. Yeah.


Burt Rutan Boomerang

One of these (or maybe the only one? I'm not sure how many have been made) flew over the other day.

(The top wild and wacky obviously Scaled Composites plane, not the bottom bi-plane.)

Weird isn't it? I love living close to the airport.

Too Soon?

And today's helpful advice for all you wannabe "Occupy... Something" folks out there

If you would stop dressing like a hipster I might care. But you don't. You have to go and look all "ironic" (WTFDTM?) with your neckerscarves and pork-pie hats that are a size too small and your big stupid glasses that are probably not prescription (and if they are, they are the wrong prescription for sure).

So now we are up to: 1) Don't complain about the weather if you are out there by choice and 2) Wear real clothes.

Oh and one more: If you DARE tell me that we need to forgive your student debt you had better be ready for me to BEAT YOU TO THE FUCKING GROUND. I am working--even if not my first choice of employment. I am paying off my student loans--even if not my first choice on how to use that money. I am doing these things because a loan was extended to me, the terms of which I accepted, and which went towards my "education." At current rates I should be done within a year. If by some miracle you get that monstrosity forced down I expect a full reimbursement of all the money I sent off to those loverly people at the Department of Education, after which I will spend it on something suitably massy that ANY of your pathetic whiny protests would be only a oily red smear on the pavement after I drive through. Then I will resell said heavy equipment and either donate the funds back to the Government (if I'm feeling charitable), or I will establish a trust dedicated to keeping a troupe of Capuchin Monkeys dancing on your graves for all eternity.

Have I made myself clear?

Do you want to ask how I really feel about this?

Dammit, hippies and hipsters just piss me off.  And got me off on a rant where I didn't mean to be. 


And another Mantis

I've seen more of these guys in the past week than I've seen in the past 5 years. May have something to do with being in Montana for the fall in the past 5 years, but still, I've seen a lot of praying mantises lately. This one was sunning itself in the afternoon sun on the south side of the chicken shed, a nice warm place after the chilly mornings we've been having. Not too much longer now and you'll be able to call it winter...


After spending most of the last four days on a boat, feeling no ill effects, I am now sitting at my desk, on solid ground, and it feels like the world is floating on a stormy sea. Up and down and back and fourth... could someone stop the ride, please? I want to get off.

Why didn't you people take care of this while I was gone?

I come home and still have to listen to media talking heads go on and on about silly children complain about ...something... this one, however, is sure to tug at your heartstrings: the occupy denver people are worried about the cold weather.

Let me tell you how much this matters to me:


No, seriously though, they're getting cold. Because it's denver, and it's high, and it's FREEKING OCTOBER! Those poor, noble, um, socialist hacks hippie children bandwagon jumpers eh, never mind, are getting cold because THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY'RE DOING!

Let me repeat how important this is:


Heh, heh, heh, ok, let me catch my breath... No, it's too much... BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!



You wouldn't think sitting on a house boat watching the light on the water for a few days would tire you out so much...

A musical interlude for when I'm gone

Star Trek Voyager may not have been the... strongest series in the Star Trek catalog, but their theme song was pretty darn good, if you ask me. Very explorer-y.


A musical interlude for when I'm gone

Off Needtobreathe's new album. An awesome song. Good jam session. With lots of um, Ooohs and Ahhhs in it...


A musical interlude for when I'm gone

This song came on my Massive Attack Pandora station the other day, and has been stuck in my head off and on ever since. What the heck is that lady singing about?


A musical interlude for when I'm gone

I just like the name of this one: "Doom Sticks." Cool.



I'm blogging from the marina! About the only place out here with any reception. After, of course, my mother had a talk with the nice park ranger about her...excessive velocity. Anyway, I've selected a few songs for you over the coming days, hopefully my scheduling works. Talk to ya later...

Spur of the moment vacation

Well. my uncle the mechanic, who has a houseboat on Lake Powell, invited me and my mother to come down for the last weekend before it goes into the dock for the winter.  So we've been running around tying up loose ends to try to get down there this evening.  It should be a good time--the weather is calling for highs in the mid 80's and lows at night in the 50's, pretty much perfect weather.  And since my boss is gone anyway, I'm not missing a whole lot here. Expect to hear back from me Monday, sometime.  Hopefully with some cool pictures of red rocks and high water.


Here's one for you: Burlap to Cashmere. They were one of those weird (or different, I suppose) yet popular bands from the 90's who wrote one album... and then didn't write anything else. Well, I'm happy to know that they've just released another album!

Oh, and a quick quiz for you: How can you tell that your band draws heavily in it's guitars from the Greek style? When the two main members names are Philippidis and Delopoulos. That wasn't a very hard quiz, was it?


Because memes are good clean fun

From ASM826 at Random Acts of Patriotism comes the latest way to waste a few minutes while talking about yourself:

1. What was your first car? Model, year, color, condition?
2. What adventures did you have in it, good or bad?
3. What happened to it, what’s the end of the story?

My first car was the family Volvo 240. My uncle the mechanic rebuilt it from the front end of a 1982 and the back end of a 1984 (or vice versa?), so I'm not entirely sure what year you would call that. Silver, peeling paint, a tiny bit of rust around the wheel wells. It's the car that has been in the family since 1992 or so. My mom drove it for many years until me and my brother got old enough that a minivan was thought necessary for school/extracurricular activity runs. It then sat in the garage until time came for me to get my license, when it became my daily driver.

Three years of me driving it in the High School parking lot resulted in only two very minor fender benders (another car backed in to me; bent their fender pretty good but you can't hardly notice anything on the Volvo, and I sideswiped the garage with it once, turning too soon while backing out). At that point in time my brother was also driving, and he took it over for another two years in the High School parking lot while I went off to college.

When he left for college, the little Volvo sat in the garage, getting aired out every so often on Christmas/summer breaks, until he rolled his jeep (no, not the same one I rolled), at which point the Volvo got a shiny new set of studded snow tires and went off to Laramie with him for a semester until we could find another vehicle more suited for cross country travel.

Just lately the distributor cap went out and it got to be put on to a trailer and dragged off to my uncle again (oh, and there's a picture of it at that link). It now is sitting out behind the garage, as its spot within is being taken up by piles of my textbooks and furniture, awaiting the future. It still gets to drive about town. A fun little car, though I hated the stick shift when I was learning how to drive. Just a few miles short of 200,000 and doesn't seem to have any big issues. The heater works GREAT, being of Scandinavian origin, so I expect it will get driven more over the winter here.

What about your first car?

Alone... so alone...

My boss is on vacation the rest of this week, so I'm going to have to fend for myself here at the office. The hardest thing is going to be staying on track without goofing off on the internet too much... feel free to yell at me if I start posting a ton of random internet trolling things. "GET BACK TO WORK YOU LAZY BUM!"

Oooo! New Switchfoot Album Out!

Always good music!


breaking nEUws!



I got this press release from the Second Amendment Foundation (or click the link on the sidebar!).  We get kinda locked in on the gun right battles in our own country, but I think that we should be aware that there are people fighting the good fight all around the world, and so I am reposting it here:

BELLEVUE, WA – The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) has added the National Association for Gun Rights India (NAGRI) as a member of international gun rights association working to protect and expand the right to keep and bear arms around the globe. NAGRI joins 15 other groups from eight countries on five different continents that represent millions of firearm owners and citizens concerned about civilian arms rights.

“It is heartening to see groups like NAGRI who are passionate and active for civilian arms rights joining our coalition,” said IAPCAR executive director, Philip Watson.

“In the wake of the tragic Mumbai massacre, Indians are rethinking their country’s repressive gun restrictions and see the need to empower citizens. Self-defense is a civil right; the denial of this right should not be tolerated,” Watson observed.

“NAGRI is delighted to be associated with IAPCAR. All pro-gun associations and civil rights organizations should join hands,” said Rakshit Sharma, a representative of NAGRI.

As India’s highest profile gun rights advocacy association, NAGRI also runs the popular online forum, Indians for Guns (

Julianne Versnel, director of operations for the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Alan Gottlieb, Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) established IAPCAR to serve as a vehicle to unify arms rights groups against international threats to the human right of self-defense and the legitimate use of guns.

“IAPCAR strongly opposes any U.N. Arms Trade Treaty that infringes on national sovereignty and the individual right to keep arms,” said SAF’s Versnel.

CCRKBA’s Gottlieb added, “Events over the past decade have emphasized the urgent need to protect the individual right to defend oneself and one’s family against grave threats, including crime, civil unrest and terrorism. IAPCAR is dedicated to preserving this human right.”

An Explosion Every 100 Pages

It has been far too long since I last posted a random explosion. This one's a doozy!

It was a good thing that the rocket testing I was involved in was a hybrid; while there was an impressive fireball to begin with, you don't get showers of flaming debris because the fuel itself is only flammable in the presence of an oxidizer. Ahhh, good times.

Quote of the Netflix

From my mother, reading something off the internet:

"If Netflix's popularity numbers were any lower, it could run for president!"

Two of my favorite things

MUTEMATH and techno remixes

Yes, I'm weird. Odd, even. Coincidence?


bEUsy bodies

I've heard the saying "You can't legislate morality," and I've decided from personal observation that "You can't legislate intelligence," but the European Union thinks that it can legislate ANYTHING. EVER. AT ALL.

I don't know why they don't just decide to lock everyone in a bio-pod and feed them neural stimulation via spinal jacks a-la Matrix.  "It's for the children!"  "The scourge of tripping on a crack in the sidewalk has finally been solved!" "Yay!"

The faster their economy collapses, the better.  It's passed time to press the reset button.

Found first at The Gormogons, who you really should be reading.

Books of 2011: Prince Roger and the Empire of Man

I am currently operating on a rather large backlog--I re-read Weber and Ringo's "Empire of Man" series a month and a half ago, and am just now getting around to writing about it. And there are some that go further back than that... can you say "S-L-A-C-K-E-R"?

But anyway, here's my short review of the series, which currently consists of:

  • March Upcountry
  • March to the Sea
  • March to the Stars
  • We Few
This series is really your standard "Young royal who needs to do a lot of growing up is forced into circumstances where he/she grows up."  Prince Roger is said royal, and he starts out as a stuck up brat.  He and his Royal Marine bodyguards are on a ship which is sabotaged and they are marooned on a backwater planet, Marduk, which is a mean, jungley place, with critters who have sharp pointy teeth and angry dispositions.  The locals are huge four armed lizard men (well, salamander would probably be a better description, but...) some of whom are recruited by the stranded humans as they fight their way across the planet to the only starport.  Lots of "well, with the technology the locals have available here, we could make this kind of weapon..." takes place, building all the way up into very large caliber revolvers for the Mardukan Calvary.  With said weapons, lots and lotsa blood and carnage are leaked off of the page, as is typical by anything John Ringo is involved in.  Then, in We Few, we get to go back to Earth as Prince Roger and company get to learn what has been happening in their absence. 

So, it's pretty good, certainly entertaining if you like books about building armies and then smashing them into other armies.  I feel like Prince Roger himself turns a little too badass in the later books, with other characters saying over and over "We'd follow him to HELL!" (not in exactly those words, but it does get old).  I guess I'd prefer it if instead of saying how awesome and unstoppable he is, they'd just get on with the mayhem and destruction--show don't tell, please.

I rate the series a good solid 7.5/10, and I look forward to see what else may come from this series.

President Obama's Future Campaign Song!


Hot Sauce and etc.

Ran it through the food mill to get out the seeds, and added a couple more cups of vinegar for the flavor and for the canning process, so now I think it looks like baby food instead of baby puke. Still, perhaps not the best marketing, but any baby you gave this stuff to would grow up with an iron stomach!

In keeping in tradition with my beer, I'm calling it Bugeye hot sauce. It may not be as pretty red as some of the mainstream ones, but it sure is hot!

Because of the frost, the pepper plants were all starting to wilt, so here's a 2-gallon bucket with the Jalapenos and remaining Big Jims. Hey, wait--how did that dog get in the picture?

It's a Schnauzer photobomb!

First Frosts


Because it's FRIDAY

Sure Colbert is a lying liberal weenie, but this is probably the best version of this song out there.

And as a side effect of cold weather...

I am now wearing long pants and a hoodie, which means... I am also wearing my XD on my belt! It's the cold-weather gun upgrade! While some would argue that if all you are willing to bring with you is a pocket gun for the entire summer because of how hot and sweaty a conventional holster gets on your side, then you aren't willing to take your safety seriously, I challenge those people to do so in a building without air conditioning when it's 90° inside...

Good Lord, People

If there is thick enough fog that you can only see 25 yards, rather than driving without your lights on, kindly apply a ball peen hammer to your forehead to remove yourself from the gene pool--sorry if that sounds harsh, but I DON'T WANT TO GET TAKEN OUT WITH YOU.

...crazy-ass daredevil soccer moms in their stupid Ford Astro minivans... I don't quite hope you die screaming in a fire, but if you don't cut out your foolish shenanigans, I may have to downgrade my opinion even farther.

Ok. rant over. Resume your internet fun and games.

Enough of this frivolity!

I am going to give up shorts today and wear long pants.

(Can you tell that I am taking this whole "changing of the seasons" thing a little hard?)

But pants aren't that bad.


To deal with cold weather, add hot sauce

So remember all those peppers I picked? Well, they were cooked down and run through the food processor, then set on the counter to ferment. They now like this, a loverly spicy baby puke color:

Everything has started bubbling, and the house smells like hot sauce.  It tastes like sweeter sriracha with more of a kick--pretty darn good.  And just the thing for a day like today, since coming home from work this afternoon it was colder than when I left at 7:30 this morning, and the Mesa has seemed to have turned white...

Anyway, I think I'm going to let it ferment a couple more days, then cook it again to kill off the bugs before canning it.  And we still need to do something with all the jalapenos.

Talkin' 'bout the weather

They're saying we're going to get maybe a foot of snow at elevations 9,000' and above, and the clouds out there are certainly threatening enough that I don't doubt them. Big, black, low, spitting rain... and then I've got pandora running on my phone on the way to work and this song comes on, which fits the ambiance perfectly:

Let's hope a tornado doesn't come down and blow me away!

Because baby animals are cute and funny

And really, do you need more of an excuse to post a video with baby moose (mooses? mice? we never could decide) in it?

C'mon, say it with me: "AWWWWWWWWW!!!"


Guns on the internet, and mildly famous photos

I just discovered this listing on Armslist for a Springfield XD9 Subcompact, with a suspiciously familiar picture.  Where is it, exactly, that I've seen it before... oh yeah, a photo I took for this post that I made back when I first got mine.

I suppose I ought to be incensed or something that someone is using my picture of my gun, but really, I'm flattered that someone thinks it's a good enough photo to use as a representation of the species.  I figure that if it's on the internet it's fair game.

Civic Duties

This time, my boss gets to do jury duty! He just breezed through to check some stuff over the lunch break; turns out he was one of the lucky few to be selected. So I get to be on my own for the rest of today and tomorrow... I wonder how many disasters I can create?

I wish I had a skittles leak

Then I could have skittles and a midget!

It doesn't make any less sense than anything else he says

Truth be told, he would probably get my vote over most of the current GOP candidates if he would start deliver all his speeches like this.

First seen at the Gormogons, the most excellent semi-benevolent back alley overlords this world has ever known.

Weird Things

This. Yes. Don't deny it. No matter what you say, I'll never believe you when you tell me about a cat that will deign to be walked on a leash.


It must be fall

I can tell because we're about to take the swamp cooler out of the window.  I'm observant like that.

THAT'S a lot of PEPPERS!

It's better if you say it like this guy:

Erm... hmmm. As I was saying, this is quite a few peppers:

I think they will be cooked down and blended and fermented into a loverly thick hot sauce, much like this.  Rubber gloves will be necessary for preparation.  These Santa Fe peppers may not be as threatening as those little Thai chiles, but they are still plenty hot.

Then there are still two jalapeno plants that are going to need attention... and the big jims...

Photodump: Museum Gun Collection

While my friend from Montana was here, we decided to visit the local Museum of Western Colorado (though actually I think they renamed it recently to something more self important and pretentious). It's not a huge museum, but they have a pretty darn good gun collection.

Everything from old muzzle loaders to lever actions to sawed off contraptions used by outlaws such as Butch Cassidy.

One of the more interesting guns is a Smith and Wesson lever action pistol.  If I understand correctly, this is what S&W, while still called Volcanic Repeating Arms, got started on.

And one of the most "historical" guns is this revolver, which was owned by Alfred Packer (see the AP carved into the front of the grip?)  In case you didn't know, ol' Al was Colorado's own (alleged) cannibal, and who those wacky hippies at University of Colorado in Boulder named the school cafeteria after.

This display, though, was my favorite, showing the guns used by every Mesa County Sheriff--from single action revolvers all the way up to Glocks.  Most interesting to me were the two guys in the middle who used a couple variants of the proto-1911.  Unfortunately my memory and the photo are too blurry to tell what the museum says the exact models were, but I think the one was a Colt Model 1890[something] and the second was a Colt Model 1900[something].  Anyone out there who thinks they can tell, please comment!

They usually have the Gatling Gun that was at Ft. Crawford, but apparently it was out the day we visited.  Despite that, it was a very enjoyable way to spend a morning.

Happy birthday to me...

Nothing like another hash mark on the wall to make you think about your slim prospects. Woooo.


Photodump: hiking around Ouray

Specifically, we hiked the Albany Loop and Hendrick Spur, which is about 5 miles total, but with a few thousand feet going up and a few thousand coming down. Once again, we hit the area at a just perfect time; the weather was shirtsleeve-pleasant with just a few sprinkles, and all the aspens were turning colors.

From where the truck was parked next to Crystal Lake, looking towards the imaginatively named Red Mountain.

The obligatory "looking up at the trees" picture.

Yellow carpet.

View of Red Mountain from the Hendrick Spur.

View of the road from the top of the Hendrick Spur--it sure doesn't look as far as what it feels it should be after that hike up the side of the canyon.  It blows my mind that we were right at three or four mines... how the heck did those old timers get supplies up the side of that cliff without dropping it all down the side?

And a view from the road back up to where we were at the aforementioned mines.

The little river running through the valley is yellow-red, and doesn't have any aquatic life.  According to the signs alongside the road, that's natural for this area (Red Mountain is red because of how iron-rich the rock is, and it affects everything else) and not because of any mine runoff--though they do mention the mines didn't help anything.  I wouldn't want to drink it, at least.

Red mountain, again, and with red aspens to go with it.

An old building from the Ironton ghost town site, which is south of where we hiked but still north of Red Mountain Pass.  Apparently in the late 1800's until the silver bust, Ironton had 300 buildings.

And that is the Yankee Girl mine, which was the richest silver mine in the area.  According to the helpful roadside signs, the ore from this mine was so rich that they could skip the condensing stage and go straight to the smelter.

All told, in just this area between Ouray and Silverton, there were somewhere around 100 mines, and about 3000 people making a living, mostly going after silver.  Adjusted for inflation, billions of dollars worth of silver came out of the ground here.  But when the US demonetized silver, it pretty much killed the silver mines.  Some of the mines had other metals and lived on, but the boom times were definitely over.

Oh, and noodling around on Wikipedia I saw that Ouray was the area that Ayn Rand modeled Galt's Gulch on.  Ya learn something new every day.