Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Heroes - and the idiots they save

About 30 minutes south of here lies Lake Ray Hubbard. On Saturday night, a 21 year old girl and her 20 year old cousin were driving home from dining out, took a wrong turn, and ended up accidentally driving their car down a dark boatramp into the cold waters of the lake. Luckily for them, a Rockwall County Sheriff's Deputy named Kevin Rowan happened to notice the headlights of their vehicle as it was sinking 30 feet from shore and was able to wade out, bust a window, and carry the two young ladies to safety.

Here's a 3 minute dashboard camera video showing the rescue. My comments after...

First, before anything else, I'm glad to see something positive captured on a dashcam video that portrays a Policeman doing what I love them for. Seems like every other day there's something awful in the news regarding something a Cop has done, and Lord knows I get irritated at some of them in the course of my job.... but the negatives seem to get all the air-time and threaten to block out the work of the vast majority of good Policemen and Policewomen who go about their duty of "Protect and Serve" every single day.

As for the girls in the video, and everyone else reading this -  The driver was yakking on her cell phone at the time of the boat ramp adventure. Stupid. Pay attention to where you're going and stay off the damed phone if you can't drive and talk at the same time.

Also, get one of these:

Or something similar. Its a Res-Q-Me tool that has a seatbelt cutter and a push punch style window breaker built in. I've got one in my truck, Ms. Paladin's car, and my Daughter's car. Mine hangs on the door handle of my truck by a lanyard. The lanyard attatchment point is a "break away" style so its easy to get to and use. Retails for about $10. It can make a difference if you have to get yourself, or someone else, out of a jam some day.

Neither of these girls could swim, the water pressure outside the doors made it impossible for them to escaped the sinking car, and they would have drowned within minutes had the Police Officer not been there. Please don't find yourself in this situation and unable to get yourself out of it...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hobo fishing kit

I'd been meaning to make one of these, and finally got around to it....

Hobo fishing kit

Its a hobo fishing kit, or pocket fishing kit, to go in my BOB in the back of the truck. Basically a length of 1" Schd 40 PVC with a plug in one end and a threaded fitting/cap on the other. Its maybe 10" long or so. Inside is an assortment of hooks, weights, bobbers, small panfish lures, and some extra fishing line. 10 lb spider wire monofilament is wound on the end, and a paracord loop lanyard is threaded through a hole in the cap (to go around your wrist). I camo painted it with flat paint and sprayed several coats of flat sealer to help protect the paint a bit.

To use it, you hold your thumb on the wrap of monofilament and cast it underhanded. Then you re-wrap the line onto the end with your other hand to retrieve the lure (or a fish!). Works pretty good. Any stockpond around here that doesn't go dry in the summer tends to have fish - whether they were stocked there intentionally or not. This rig is great for panfish (bluegill, sunfish), crappie, bass, and catfish as long as they aren't too big. Total cost of the rig (less lures and stuff) was probably under $5.

Still to add: a wrap of heavyweight bowfishing line on the outside for making drop lines for catfish, and a short wrap of paracord for use as a stringer.

Yeah... I know it looks kinda like a pipe bomb. As with many things in life appearances can be deceiving :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Girl Friday - 1/27/2012 - Billie Burke

This week's Girl Friday was married to Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., as in "Ziegfeld Follies", and is probably best known to people in this era as Glinda, the Good Witch, in the Wizard of Oz.

Billie Burke


Hit the jump for more....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Am I wrong?

Saw this news story this morning. A little 9 year old girl was abducted during her walk home from school. The bastard's truck blew a tire after he snatched the little girl and the pair ended up at a convenience story. By that time the 9 year old had two black eyes and a big bruise on her cheek.

While in the store, the little girl rebelled against her captor, got a phone and called 911, and refused to leave the store telling everyone "I ain't going anywhere. I'm waiting right here for my Momma." She kept her head and showed bravery that a lot of adults couldn't muster. Her captor fled the store and was later arrested a couple of miles away.

Watch the video and tell me if you think I'm off track....

Ok.... I dig this story because the little girl managed to get herself out of a seriously dangerous jam. What bothers me is how she got in the predicament to begin with. Going by the info in the news story, her enormously fat father is waiting at home for her every day. What the fuck is the fat bastard doing sitting around the house while his 9 year old walks home alone from school? Can he not hoist himself out of the easy chair, walk down to the school, and walk home with his little girl?

I know kids should be able to walk the streets and be safe. I know you can't smother kids and be over protective. I know sometimes financial reasons make it where both parents have to work while their kids come and go from school. I know the sole person to blame for the abduction is the pedo that abducted her (may he rot in hell).

I also know that what "should" be able to happen can bear little resemblance to the world we live in today. My first impulse upon seeing the weeping father was "Get off your fat ass and keep your kid safe!" There wasn't any reason for him not to escort her other than laziness.

Maybe I'm wrong feeling this way. Wouldn't be the first time. What do you think?

Monday, January 23, 2012

What is best in life?

"To crush your enemies and see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women..."

Personally, I think this is even better, though to me the two are not mutually exclusive and the enjoyment of one is dependent upon the willingness to do the other....

bailey scruff stockshow

Mrs. Paladin and I went to the Fort Worth Stockshow last Saturday, and my Daughter and her family tagged along. The feeling of Bailey riding on my shoulders so she could see all the interesting stuff, her little fingers sometimes wiggling my ears, is pretty hard to beat.

Going to a livestock show can really help restore your feelings of optimism and hope for the future. At least it does for me. Seeing so many people, many of them young people, with actual positive work ethics and characters is like a breath of fresh air... even with the mingled scent of hay and manure (which I enjoy, btw.)

girl stockshow

cow calf stockshow

Our enemies are legion.

They surround us on all sides and mount attacks on us from the front through brute force, from our flanks as they sap the walls that protect us, and sometimes through treachery from within. Whether its a violent face to face attacker seeking to rob you, an endless stream of Government Bureaucrats (from both sides of the aisle) nicking away at your liberty by a thousands cuts, or a growing sea of self righteous malcontents bawling about the unfairness of the system that actually requires they work for what they receive... with the mindset that what you've worked for should be theirs, under the guise of "equality" - its very easy to get worn down and give up hope.

That's why I take so much joy in anything that helps renew that hope.

So, I propose that my two "best" things in life are integrally related. My family and my way of life are bound to the commitment that I must have to crush that which threatens it. One is very necessary to ensure the existence of the other.

The pride that I take in the idea of protecting that which I value - whether its dropping the hammer on an evil doer seeking to cause me and mine physical harm or metaphorically crushing those with philosophies and goals that present a less immediate yet equally tangible threat - is very important to embrace.

In the end, there are those that will take from you what you love.

bailey stockshow

They must be stopped. The survival of that which you love depends upon it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Peanut butter jelly time?

A bulletin from the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, 1911...


"Carp Jelly, and ancient Swedish dish, is delicious."

I love catching carp whenever possible. I wouldn't have a problem eating one if I was hungry enough. Carp Jelly?.... no thanks!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Girl Friday - 1/20/2012 - Olive Thomas

This is what I get for not double checking Blogger. I had this week's Girl Friday scheduled for posting as usual on Friday morning... but blogger decided to keep it as a draft instead. Just discovered that fact this morning so here she is:

This week's Girl Friday had a career that was was tragically cut short....

Olive Thomas

Olive Thomas

Hit the jump for her story and more...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Yeah... what he said.

From the Weekly Standard, an email from Rep. Allen West regarding the recent incident where Marines appeared on video peeing on dead Taliban fighers, and the hand wringing from Washington over it:

“I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

“All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?

“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.

“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.”

Friday, January 13, 2012

Girl Friday - 01/13/2012 - Virginia Grey

This week's Girl Friday comes from the golden age of Hollywood. She acted in many movies during the 30's and 40's, and made lots of TV appearances in the 50's and 60's. In fact, she worked so much that it's odd that more people don't know about her.

Virginia Grey

virginia grey

Hit the jump for more....

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I'll shoot my eye out?...

Naw, but I just might clip a zombie as it shuffles over yon hill....

headshot k31

Went to the range Thursday morning. That's my Swiss K31, 3 shot group, iron sights at 100 yds. I didn't caliper, but a quick measurement with a ruler shows it to be about a 1 1/8" group. I had put most of a box of 7.5X55 downrange into the target and was pretty satisfied with the center mass grouping. For the last three rounds I decided to try for head shots. Mission accomplished.

Zombies beware.

I don't normally shoot silhouettes on the rifle side of the range, but I got a wild hair and did so this trip. Turns out I like it :) .  I wanted to get a better feel for shooting actual man-sized targets at 100 yds. The K31 makes me look like a decent shot. Now I need to find me a range with longer rifle lanes.

Put a couple of magazines through the WASR too. Obviously didn't group as well as the Swiss rifle, but all the shots hit within the lethal zone at 100 yards, even using the cheapie 5 MOA red dot.

I'm thinking about upgrading my optics for the WASR. Something with a smaller dot (like a 3 MOA). Out at 100 yds the 5 MOA dot on my BSA optic completely covered the head where you couldn't even see it. Great for chest shots, but I'd like to see if I could squeeze a little more accuracy out of the WASR.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Girl Friday - 01/06/2012 - Victoria Principal

I heard a news blip the other day on the radio about the City of Fort Worth leasing out some of their unused buildings to the film crew working on a revival of the old "Dallas" television series. I grew up watching Dallas in the late 70's to early 80's.

I hated the show, actually, but I tuned in every week to oogle this week's Girl Friday. She's had some pretty creepy plastic surgery since way back then and looks rather odd to me now. But back in her prime she was a dish...

Victoria Principal

victoria principal 6

Hit the jump for more oldies...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Remember. When every second counts....

The police are only minutes away.

This young lady showed a ton of courage and level headedness in dealing with a break in.

Two things that you might have missed:

1. Her husband died of cancer on Christmas Day.

2. At the end she says, "I wanted them to hurry and get here, before I had to do it. They didn't get here quick enough."

Monday, January 2, 2012

Flea Market Find

Saturday was a gorgeous day, so Mrs. Paladin and I made the drive over to the big Flea Market in Canton, Texas. New Years Eve meant there was only about half of the usual dealers hawking their junk outside, but given the huge size of Canton Trade Days there was still plenty to look at. Low shopper turnout also meant there wasn't the large crowds of people to navigate through.

I wasn't looking for anything in particular, and antique irons were not even on my list of possibles. Of course that meant that I found three really interesting ones for sale this time around. I exercised restraint, however, and limited myself to buying only the most interesting one of the three.

.gas iron

It's not marked, so I don't know the manufacturer. I was attracted to the double wing nut set up on the tank. The fuel tank has some dents that I probably won't be able to get out, but she should clean/paint up pretty nicely assuming that I can conquer the rust that has welded everything together.