Sunday, July 20, 2014

Thanks for the Referral, Part II (Wood Creek Farmer Blog)

In the midst of doing research and reading some of the links on the blog roll, I noticed that I have been added to the blog roll of Wood Creek Farmer. Thanks for adding me! I try to visit all the links on my Blog Roll on a daily basis. Bloggers supporting each other is one of the best ways we can share our thoughts, ideas, and research to a larger world.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Who Am I?

Something I have been thinking about and finally put down into words:

Who Am I?
I am fascinated by the world and its processes. I believe in God and His Son. I enjoy learning new things and ideas. I look for the good in people, but I see evil in all its forms everywhere. I long for peace, but prepare myself and my family for defend ourselves. I love to learn, but so many of our institutions of higher learning have become nothing more than profit centers enslaving our young and their future. I love vigorous but courteous debate.

I know that change is inevitable, but that it is not always good. Just because we can do it does not mean that we should. I enjoy good stories well told, whether by the fire, on the couch, at the table, or on the stage and screen. Family and friends help form the tribes of our lives, regardless of distance. I believe that government, like fire, can be either a helpful servant or a fearsome master. I may not have much, but I will help you with what I have. I have learned that sometimes it is better to walk than run, to stand when you cannot walk, and to accept the leaning help of a friend when you cannot even stand.

I have been blessed to be loved by three women in my life: my mother who bore and raised me, my wife who is my life long companion and fellow dream sharer, and my daughter who deserves the moon and stars to be laid down at her feet. My wife's and my four sons are like the cardinal points of the compass rose. Each one distinctly different in his own way, yet, they all have the potential to entirely encompass their worlds. I have been mentored by the best of men, and I have called many of them Friend and Brother. But only one have I called Dad, and my debt to him can never truly be totally repaid. I have lost friends, family and Brothers to sickness, war, and the crushing weight of life. They will never be forgotten.

I long for the undiscovered country, the unknown frontiers of old, where wonder and amazement can be found beyond the known horizon. I hope for the future, but keep the rhymes and rhythms of history ever present in mind. I enjoy the thinker, the poet, the singer, the inventor. I may not be rich or famous, but if wealth is measured by the relationships we have, I am truly among the wealthiest in the world. I love to grow and make things that others will enjoy. I have learned to enjoy the sunrise, the sunset, and the stars as they wheel through an incredible night sky. I admire the wizened eyes of the elderly man. I enjoy watching the innocence of a small child experiencing their world. Sometimes the simplest pleasures in life are also the most memorable and best to experience. If you and I disagree on something, it is okay. Let us find what we can agree on and go from there. If you cannot reconcile on that, then peace be unto you and you may go your way. Life is too short to hold grudges.

Yet, there is so much more to learn, love, share, and celebrate. So I face in another direction and step forward...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Expressions in a Giffy Sort of Way

It's Friday. What can I say?

So, with everything that is going on our Southern Border, Syria, Ukraine, and everywhere else, this is how I feel in order of GIF magic:

First This-

Then This-

Then This-

When I really want to do is this. But since I am all out of Bubble Gum...

I guess that I will do this-

and this.

But then I have to ask myself; Is it really this?


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sounds like a Red Cell Exercise (Rocketing in Israel / ISIS / etc.)

As some of you may know, a Red Cell is a group of people brought in to play an opposing force (either physically or as a table exercise) and/or brainstorm a plan as if they are the enemy. A critical function brought to the table by the best Red Cells is the ability to think like the opposition and all other factions in the exercise. Use the Red Cell idea when reading the following.

So this morning as I am getting ready for work, I run across the following article:

Evidence Appears To Show That ISIS Has Reached The Gaza Strip This post linked to the original source of the info here (Gatestone Institute Article).

Basically in a nutshell, the original article puts forth the idea that Hamas is beginning to lose control to ISIS in the Gaza Strip. I find that interesting, since Israel is currently under A LOT of rocket fire, and that the Gaza Strip is a key location for the origins of the rocket fire. Plus, Israel does not want ISIS so close to them.

But, But, this does not affect us here in America, right? Then I saw this article:

AP-ISIS Has Seized Thousands of Rockets With Chemical Warheads

My antenna start to tingle. AP story here.

But then, this afternoon, when I get back to my computer, it gets better:

AP Stealth Edits Iraq WMD Story (full story below)
Take a look at the time stamps on this Tatler post here, and this AP story here.
The Tatler post is based on the AP story, yet its timestamp is 3:21 pm Pacific Time, July 8. The AP story’s timestamp is 8:22 pm Eastern Time, July 8. Adjusting for the time zones, the Tatler story went live two hours before the AP story.
That’s not what actually happened. What actually happened is that the AP stealth edited the story. That timestamp is the only indication the AP has given that it edited its story after the fact.
And what an edit…
Here is the original lead, which I quoted at Tatler:
Iraq has informed the United Nations that the Islamic State extremist group has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad where 2,500 chemical rockets filled with the deadly nerve agent sarin or their remnants were stored along with other chemical warfare agents.
Iraq’s U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim said in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon circulated Tuesday that “terrorist” groups entered the Muthanna site June 11 and seized weapons and equipment from the protection force guarding the facility.
Here’s the edited version:
The Islamic State extremist group has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad, where remnants of 2,500 degraded chemical rockets filled decades ago with the deadly nerve agent sarin are stored along with other chemical warfare agents, Iraq said in a letter circulated Tuesday at the United Nations.
The U.S. government played down the threat from the takeover, saying there are no intact chemical weapons and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to use the material for military purposes. (emphasis mine)
Iraq’s U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a letter that “armed terrorist groups” entered the Muthanna site on June 11, detained officers and soldiers from the protection force guarding the facilities and seized their weapons. The following morning, the project manager spotted the looting of some equipment via the camera surveillance system before the “terrorists” disabled it, he said. (I asked myself why would I want to admit to such a failure, unless, he is trying publicly to shift any blame from Iraq to ISIS or even Iran)
The new version of the story is more than twice as long as the original. It adds several paragraphs written to play down the threat that ISIS’ seizure of the Saddam-era weapons facility poses. It’s clear from the above, and other edits that follow, that the AP published, then discussed the issue with the Obama administration and the United Nations, and then made very significant edits to its original story.
That’s fine, if the new facts clarify the truth and the AP acknowledges and explains its edits. The AP doesn’t acknowledge the edits. There is no note stating that its story was edited after publication. There’s no notification at all. Just the new timestamp.
Now my antenna are really tingling. Why? Drill down into the essence of the story. Is not Israel being ROCKETED right now? When was the facility looted? Nearly a month ago? How long would it take to move said possibly filled chemical warhead rockets to a location where they could be effectively launched against Israel? Through ISIS controlled territory? Are you beginning to see the bigger picture.

Now, it is a fact that Chemical Weapons do have a shelf life. But, what if, just one filled rocket makes it way into Israel? What do you think will happen next? Israel does have nuclear weapons. Would they use them? Against whom? Where does that lead? How would that affect the economy?

Some of the folks that I work with are of the opinion that these stories are back-channel propaganda in order to whip up the American people again to create the will to go back into Iraq in force. I do not know if I agree with that, but it is possible. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I Wonder What The Results Would Be...?

I picked up one of the British Desert DPM Combat Shirts about a year ago and I love wearing it when I shoot or even when I am working in the garden in the back yard. But I wonder what it would look like if it were re-dyed to another solid color, and how much of the original pattern would be visible. I am thinking Gray, Green, and maybe some variation of Brown.

Has anyone done this? What were your results?

This is the shirt in question. I only ask due to the relatively low price that these can be purchased for.

Friday, July 4, 2014

It's Back. The Modern Musket Gunstruction Build It / Win It Contest.'s Gunstruction site is once again doing its Build It / Win It Contest. The theme is "Modern Musket". Below are the entries I have submitted so far. The site starts you with certain parts (upper, lower, the optic and magnifier). Total budget allowed is $2500. It is a fun way to get you thinking.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What Does One Really Need?

I am reaching a point in my life where "stuff" is starting to overflow, both materially and mentally, and it is not overflowing in a good way. I am paring down in my mind (and on the computer) the list of things that I really need to carry on. Shelter, food, bed, enough clothes, books (as much as I dislike e-readers, there is an advantage to being able to hold hundreds, nay, thousands of books in one hand...), weapons, etc. My current career requires that I have a lot of equipment at the house and in the locker at work. Plus living in one house for nearly four years, my family has discovered that we have gathered a lot of stuff that we really do not use anymore or rarely use.

What we are really missing and need in our life is family. For the last 12 plus years we have never been physically close to either side of the family. Costs being what they are, we are fortunate to see them once a year. We actually went four years early on in the career without physically seeing family due to the fact that we were overseas. Our children are at ages were they need long term interaction with extended family. Building the tribe so to speak.

At the same time, mentally and emotionally I am getting really tired of selling my soul in order to keep the family under a roof and fed. No, I am not talking about abandoning my responsibilities to my family. It is the idea that society expects us to maintain certain standards concerning health care, dental care, etc. Yes, I have family members that do require more health care than other families do. If you truly want to understand on how the Affordable Healthcare Act will affect the average citizen, take a look at how the the VA and Tricare treats the people under it care now. To be fair, my family and I have had some really great healthcare providers in the Tricare system. But there is a reason why they stand out. They are very few in number.

There are constant new regulations that dictate opinion and behavior. There are some that I either agree with or am indifferent about. There are others that I have a really hard time swallowing. I am tired of mentally redrawing that "redline" in order to just roll with it.

The crux of the question is what am I willing to do about it? I am willing to walk away in less than two years from a steady paycheck in order to risk building that tribe (with a lot of support from the side of the family that we would be building that tribe with). Things are definitely not getting any better fiscally for this country. There are jobs to be had. But not like in days of old. Old ideas of family life patterns are beginning to reemerge in this country. Multiple generations under one roof, or sharing the same patch of land is starting to look like a very good idea to many families. There is something about having that extra hand to help, and it goes both ways. Yes, in the past, many families would leave loved ones behind, knowing that they would not see them again on this plain of existence in order to better their and their descendants existence.

However, I think we are rapidly approaching a very turbulent time in this country that will necessitate the tribal concept again. I hope and pray that it does not occur, however, all signs and portents seem to indicating that it will happen.

Granted, I have not discussed here the spiritual aspect of the above thoughts, but that could be whole post in and of itself.

I am not seeking to run from life's issues and problems. My eyes are wide open. I am just really tired of life and culture trying to jam me into the mold of conformity. I have never really considered myself to be a rebel. But maybe that barbaric yawp is gaining form deep inside.