07 March 2008

Puppies, cliff, etc

So, I assume we've all run across the video of the jackass jarhead tossing a puppy off a cliff. Mom - do NOT click on the link!

Well, some folks got mighty riled up about that. Rightfully so. We expect our Marines to do the right thing. And here's a hint - cruelty to critters is never the right thing.

The gentleman who made the site above included the address of the Marine and an offer of $100 0to whomever slapped him around first.

Although we sympathize, it turned out that the Marine's address was that of his parents.

Some fine Marine shot an email to author of this website, who had publicized his offer here. The author then kindly reconsidered his words, and decided there was a better use for that $1,000.

Why my interest, you ask?

That Fine Marine was our very own Mr. Abby, who pointed out that the Corps would deal with this young man, and suggested to the gentleman who offered up the "reward" that it might not be the best idea.

This is some good stuff

I am not an unreserved fan of Senator Jim Webb. I am a woman who wears combat boots, and I like to think I do it reasonably well, and so, on some level, I will always want to kick him in the kneecap for some of his past work.

That does not, however, take away from the fact that Webb is a no-shit war hero, who led Marines in combat with undisputed valor. Prior to his election to the Senate, he was a tireless voice for Vietnam veterans. And now, he's the pointman on an what would be an amazing initiative.

We're going to do a long quote here, because this is tremendous stuff.

His enhanced GI Bill would be available to any member, active or reserve, who has served at least three months on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001. The level of benefits would be tied to length of service. The $1200 member buy-in under the current Montgomery GI Bill would be returned.

The bigger change would be in the value of benefits. Maximum benefits, earned for 36 months' active duty, would cover tuition for up to four years at a level to match tuition at the most expensive in-state public school. The average across states is about $1900 a month. MGIB pays $1100.

Webb's bill also would pay a monthly stipend to cover living expenses. The stipend would reflect local housing costs near school and would be set to equal military Basic Allowance for Housing for married enlisted in grade E-5.

The GI Bill now can be a pretty good deal. You get accepted to a school and, if you have the full GI Bill (earned only by folks who've done active duty time), you can receive up to $1100 a month as long as you're enrolled full-time (payments are prorated if you're enrolled with a lesser courseload).

Which works out alright, if you're going someplace very cheap, and can afford to pay for everything up front and let the payments "reimburse" you. And you are living back with your parents or working a good, solid second job.

I'm trying to not sound whiny here, because lots of folks who never associate with the military live in refigerator crates and sell plasma to get through school. The current GI Bill is nice. It helps. It really can be nice for guys who just do one term, stay single, and get out with the ability to live cheap and scrape for a few years.

But for older servicemembers, or those who retire, it's really not quite enough to bring your family through your education.

This proposal is nice. I called the Mister over to see this and said, "Hey, honey! Look at this! If this passed, we could both go to college! Real college!"

Now, this might pass, and it might not. And it might pass in a different form. But there is some institutional resistance from DoD, and I point out it out, because it's the DoD trying to not do the right thing.

That's a worrisome vow for Defense officials who believe enhanced post-service education benefits, particularly if enacted while troops face multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, could trigger an exodus severe enough to put the viability of the volunteer military at risk.

We should not hold back the good bennies for the sole purpose of not offering our warriors any better option than staying in uniform. That is not the right way to treat our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coasties.

Anyway. Worth paying attention to as this election year progresses. We wish Sen. Webb the best of luck with this one.

(as a caveat, it also appears this GI Bill revision would treat reservists and guardsmen proportionally well. I regret I can't comment much on the education benefits for this group, since I took my active duty GI Bill and tucked it in my cargo pocket and haven't looked back)

Well, I'm sold

Political ads are either very bad, or very good. This one is very good, odd outer-space imagery aside.

I am certain none of you are surprised that I am John McCain fan, but even if I weren't, his excellent use two of my favorite Dead White Guys would put this ad pretty high on my list.

Pro Carry Wringout Part II

Went back to the range with another 200 rounds after a good cleaning and lube. I am impressed by the improvement. While on my last trip, the failure to return to battery issue was...frequent, I had three in this trip.

So another cleaning and lube is in order, and I may have one more opportunity to put another 100 or 150 rounds downrange before duty takes me out of the recreational shooting routine for a couple of weeks.

I am pleased.

And no - no pictures this time. They look a lot like the last batch, except I didn't use the green targets and my third 50(ish) totally sucked.

06 March 2008

Domestic Terror in NYC

Somebody decided to be cute and toss a little homemade bomb in an ammo can at the Times Square recruiting station very early this morning.

And it appears that this individual also had a philosophy, and felt the need to vent his (and we will, for the time being, assume it is a he) spleen in some little letters to several members of Congress.

There is a chance that this is a former servicemember, disgruntled at his recruiter, who had been told one too many times by sergeant to "write a letter to your congressman!"

But I somehow doubt that's the case.

It seems, from early reports, that perhaps the "bomber" had some issues with current US foreign policy.

The envelope also contained a packet of approximately 10 sheets of paper that seemed to be a political manifesto railing against the Iraq war and a booklet. The aide didn't know what the booklet was.

The letter was sent to at least eight congressional offices, FOX News has learned.

Isn't that a shocker? I am absolutely stunned.

The individual who sent the letters (and, it seems, dropped the bomb) was kind enough to include with it a picture.

The man was thin, white with graying hair, wearing a striped flannel shirt and jeans...

That reeks of hippie. Some addled, aging moonbat longing for the glory days of the late 60s and early 70s.

Nothing makes a potent political statement like damaging a facility manned by a bunch of mid-level NCOs. Yep, that's striking right at the heart of the Man.

Hint to these morons - it's an all-volunteer military, assholes. You got a problem with young men and women making their own career choices? 'Cause I thought hippies were all about people doing what they want to do.

I guess I just don't get it.

But a further hint to this sort of moron - the veterans of the wars we've got going on right now are, for the most part, real touchy about shit that goes BOOM. Get caught by any of them leaving little "explosive devices" around, and you're running a real good chance of receiving a first-class ass-beating. And that just-back-from-his-third-Iraq-tour recruiter would walk without so much as a wrist-slap.

Your Honor, I truly regret breaking both of that man's legs, one of his arms, and his jaw. But I just flashed back to Baghdad - he was planting an IED. I guess I just snapped.

EDIT TO ADD: Well, it appears that the letter-writer might be just another enthusiastic Democrat. How awkward. Police are now focusing on the possibility of a Canadian bomber. What's worse than violent hippies? Violent Canadian hippies.

The Pink Shit

Y'all northerners know what I'm talking about. The weather guy on the local TV station pulls up the big satellite map and indicates a "blob" of weather. If you have white stuff, or gray stuff, you're getting snow. Green stuff is usually rain.

Problem is, there are possibilities between rain and snow.

I shall give an example. I can call my Mom and ask about the weather in West Michigan, and she may reply, "We've got one of those blobs coming across the lake. It's supposed to rain in Battle Creek, snow in Newaygo, and we're going to get the pink shit."

Freezing rain, sleet, what the weather guy euphemistically calls "wintry mix." Whatever. It's the pink shit, and it's annoying.

And this morning, for some odd reason, it's in Texas.

Ick. I think I shall do laundry and clean the kitchen and refuse to acknowledge there's a world out there.

05 March 2008

Pro Carry Wringout

Ladies and Gentlemen, that was money well spent. A big shout-out to Euless Guns and Ammo which, although $30 higher than my other nearby funstore, actually had what I wanted in stock.

So, without further ado, let's get down to brass tacks. I trudged off with 100 rounds of WWB 230gr FMJ and 100 rounds of Blazer Brass 230gr FMJ. The recommend break in is 400-500 rounds, so I figured I'd get a good start. The first 50(ish):

Yes, there are a couple of low ones there. I had a couple of failures to chamber the first round completely. I was using two Wilson Combat magazines, a Kimber ProTac magazine, and a MecGar. All 8-rounders. So I started downloading them 7 rounds to see if it made a difference. I also had a couple failures to return to complete battery, easily remedied by a whack on the mag.

The second 50(ish):

At this point, I was falling in love. I was expecting this to hammer me a little more, what the shorter barrel and the aluminum frame. I was surprised to find that wasn't the case. I was futzing around with where I wanted my finger on the trigger, and managing a couple more failures to return to battery, but this critter was hitting very easily where I put the sights.

The third 50(ish)

Yes, I was starting to lose it a little here. I had some 185gr JHPs with me so I thought I'd fire those up before everything went to hell.

I was pleased. The fourth 50(ish) looked a lot like the second and third, so I'll spare you the picture.

Overall, I was very happy. I'm standing off on the failure to return to battery issue, since a lot of the complaints I've read about Kimber pistols have seemed to disappear once the "break in period" is through. Whether or not a new pistol should require a break-in is a different matter, but I'll adhere to the instructions before I start worrying.

All in all, I'm really liking it.

New gat

in da house, yo!

As soon as I suck down some more coffee and a few more of these wonderful little chocolate things the Mister brought me for Valentine's, I shall be off to the range.

If I can find more AA batteries, the camera will go with me.

04 March 2008


I've been watching the primaries on CNN tonight. And not drinking, which I think is an achievement deserving of praise.

I watched John McCain's victory speech, which was a fine speech. But the speech is not what I want to talk about.

What the hell is the deal with his "theme music?"

Johnny B. Goode?


The Senator is not, we are all aware, a young man. But for the love of God.

John McCain is a tough old wardog, so surely we can find something more fitting. I am partial to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, but that might be a little...well, old. Being the tough old bird he is, Alice in Chains' Rooster might be a nice fit. Or, given that he's our man for the killing of terrorists, Drowning Pool's Bodies might work nicely. (Links are to videos for my slow connection people).

Then I watched Hillary walk out to be excited about winning Ohio. And what was playing? The Rising, by Bruce Springsteen.

Left the house this morning
Bells ringing filled the air
Wearin' the cross of my calling
On wheels of fire I come rollin' down here

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

Li,li, li,li,li,li, li,li,li

There's spirits above and behind me
Faces gone black, eyes burnin' bright
May their precious blood bind me
Lord, as I stand before your fiery light

Yeah. That's a song about the firefighters who went into the buildings and didn't come out on 9/11. It's one of my favorites, and the music is both moving and inspirational, but I really don't get it as a campaign song.

I don't have much in the way of ideas for Senator Clinton, but I would get a serious kick out of her entering and/or exiting her events to Gretchen Wilson's Here for the Party.

You know im here for the party
And i aint leavin til they throw me out
Gonna have a little fun gonna get me some
You know im here, im here for the party

Somehow I don't think that's going to happen, but it would be cool. And it might help with that blue collar union guy vote...

EDIT TO ADD: Obama is now the second candidate of the night to use Brooks and Dunn's Only in America. The first was Mike Huckabee. How creepy is that?

Happy Afternoon

here at Bad Dog Central. After the snow that several locals reported last night (I didn't see it, but a total of more than 20 years in Michigan and Minnesota have kinda left me less-than-inclined to stand outside peering up at sky in search of flakes), it ended up right around 60 this afternoon.

So Jack and I had a nice run of a little more than three miles. He was even reasonably well behaved.

I got back and Casey was irate. She pointed out that, as Seniro Dog, she was rightfully entitled to priority in all outings and activities, even though she doesn't do runs anymore.

Conceding the point, I realized that we have politics on TV this evening, and that I was low on beer. And the convenience store is probably not even quite a half-mile away.

So if you were driving home this evening, and if you saw a woman with a rapturously happy elderly German Shepherd and a 12-pack of Corona walking briskly along a major road...well, that was us.

03 March 2008

Out of control

If any of you ever drop by Bad Dog Central, and begin to notice odd little piles of ammo here and there...

It's not some crazy paranoia thing. I am not under the impression that we're going to end up in a situation where I need 50 loose rounds of super-quiet .22 while digging through my desk, or 20 rounds of 7.62x39 while doing laundry.

No. It's that I have Jack the Black Puppy. And apparently, there is nothing on earth more fabulously yummy than the cardboard boxes they pack ammo in.


Both of those were today. I should have snapped a shot last summer when he snagged 50 rounds of 9mm and took it out in the yard to devour the packaging. Making the yard safe mowing was like an Easter Egg hunt, only creepier.

A mild case of confusion

I popped over to the sitemeter today to see if I had gotten hit by any real cool Google searches (past favorites include, "is wine bad for dogs?" and "spank bad dog?").

It seems that if you have a gun-cleaning fiasco and admit to it on the internet, people will point and laugh. Which is cool.

Thanks to Xavier (who proposed a solution) and Tam (who was more of the point-and-laugh school) for the traffic!

02 March 2008

Home again

after a loooong three days. I love the Army stuff, but the downside of the reserve gig is the lack of time. Schools, training, whatever - it's always an attempt to cram five days worth of stuff into two or three days.

Now I'm home, and there's a little storm out there. Sparky is barking at the scary thunder, and I am having a cup of coffee w/ the Mister in a nice warm house. Life is good.