Ok, this is cool as hell. Turn up you speakers, dig the tune, and listen to what almost 2000 rounds per minute sounds like. I think I recognize one of these dudes. Works with Marshall Arms. Anyway, enjoy.
GOD, I love watchin that clip. The music just sets it off perfectly. How'd you like to pay their ammo bill thought? Here's another clip, I think the same dude, firing an AKS-74U. The music here is the old Soviet national anthem. Notice the similar video features. Nice conversion job from a Chinese rifle.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Ok, this is cool as hell. Turn up you speakers, dig the tune, and listen to what almost 2000 rounds per minute sounds like. I think I recognize one of these dudes. Works with Marshall Arms. Anyway, enjoy.
Posted by FHB at 11:51 PM
Friday, September 29, 2006
Yep, It's Fatty Friday again. Call this a F.F./gross out
combo. I guess I'm coverin' both my bases with this little
winner. Wasn't she in the Partridge Family back in the '70s?
Anyway, You also need to check this out. Another guy
pays a price for messin' with a hungry critter. Very nice.
Posted by FHB at 1:37 AM
Thursday, September 28, 2006
All: I haven't written very much from Iraq. There's really not much to write about. More exactly, there's not much I can write about because practically everything I do, read or hear is classified military information or is depressing to the point that I'd rather just forget about it, never mind write about it. The gaps in between all of that are filled with the pure tedium of daily life in an armed camp. So it's a bit of a struggle to think of anything to put into a letter that's worth reading. Worse, this place just consumes you. I work 18-20-hour days, every day. The quest to draw a clear picture of what the insurgents are up to never ends. Problems and frictions crop up faster than solutions. Every challenge demands a response. It's like this every day. Before I know it, I can't see straight, because it's 0400 and I've been at work for twenty hours straight, somehow missing dinner again in the process. And once again I haven't written to anyone. It starts all over again four hours later. It's not really like Ground Hog Day, it's more like a level from Dante's Inferno.
Rather than attempting to sum up the last seven months, I figured I'd just hit the record setting highlights of 2006 in Iraq. These are among the events and experiences I'll remember best.
Worst Case of Deja Vu -- I thought I was familiar with the feeling of deja vu until I arrived back here in Fallujah in February. The moment I stepped off of the helicopter, just as dawn broke, and saw the camp just as I had left it ten months before -- that was deja vu. Kind of unnerving. It was as if I had never left. Same work area, same busted desk, same chair, same computer, same room, same creaky rack, same . . . everything. Same everything for the nextyear. It was like entering a parallel universe. Home wasn't 10,000 miles away, it was a different lifetime.
Most Surreal Moment -- Watching Marines arrive at my detention facility and unload a truck load of flex-cuffed midgets. 26 to beexact. I had put the word out earlier in the day to the Marines in Fallujah that we were looking for Bad Guy X, who was described as amidget. Little did I know that Fallujah was home to a small community of midgets, who banded together for support since they were considered as social outcasts. The Marines were anxious to get back to the midget colony to bring in the rest of the midget suspects, but I called off the search, figuring Bad Guy X was long gone on his short legs after seeing his companions rounded up by the giant infidels.
Most Profound Man in Iraq -- an unidentified farmer in a fairly remote area who, after being asked by Reconnaissance Marines (searching for Syrians) if he had seen any foreign fighters in the area replied "Yes, you."
Worst City in al-Anbar Province -- Ramadi, hands down. The provincial capital of 400,000 people. Killed over 1,000 insurgents in there since we arrived in February. Every day is a nasty gun battle. They blast us with giant bombs in the road, snipers, mortars and small arms. We blast them with tanks, attack helicopters, artillery, our snipers (much better than theirs), and every weapon that an infantryman can carry. Every day. Incredibly, I rarely see Ramadi in the news. We have as many attacks out here in the west as Baghdad. Yet, Baghdad has 7 million people, we have just 1.2 million. Per capita, al-Anbar province is the most violent place in Iraq by several orders of magnitude. I suppose it was no accident that the Marines were assigned this area in 2003.
Bravest Guy in al-Anbar Province -- Any Explosive Ordnance DisposalTechnician (EOD Tech). How'd you like a job that required you to defuse bombs in a hole in the middle of the road that very likely are booby-trapped or connected by wire to a bad guy who's just waiting for you to get close to the bomb before he clicks the detonator? Every day. Sanitation workers in New York City get paid more than these guys. Talk about courage and commitment.
Second Bravest Guy in al-Anbar Province -- It's a 20,000 way tieamong all the Marines and Soldiers who venture out on the highways and through the towns of al-Anbar every day, not knowing if it will be their last -- and for a couple of them, it will be.
Best Piece of U.S. Gear -- new, bullet-proof flak jackets. O.K., they weigh 40 lbs and aren't exactly comfortable in 120 degree heat, but they've saved countless lives out here.
Best Piece of Bad Guy Gear -- Armor Piercing ammunition that goes right through the new flak jackets and the Marines inside them.
Worst E-Mail Message -- "The Walking Blood Bank is Activated. We need blood type A+ stat." I always head down to the surgical unit as soon as I get these messages, but I never give blood -- there's always about 80 Marines in line, night or day.
Biggest Surprise -- Iraqi Police. All local guys. I never figured that we'd get a police force established in the cities in al-Anbar. I estimated that insurgents would kill the first few, scaring off the rest. Well, insurgents did kill the first few, but the cops kept on coming. The insurgents continue to target the police, killing them in their homes and on the streets, but the cops won't give up. Absolutely incredible tenacity. The insurgents know that the police are far better at finding them than we are -- and they are finding them. Now, if we could just get them out of the habit of beating prisoners to a pulp . . .
Greatest Vindication -- Stocking up on outrageous quantities of Diet Coke from the chow hall in spite of the derision from my men on such hoarding, then having a 122mm rocket blast apart the giant shipping container that held all of the soda for the chow hall. Yep, you can't buy experience.
Biggest Mystery -- How some people can gain weight out here. I'm down to 165 lbs. Who has time to eat?
Second Biggest Mystery -- if there's no atheists in foxholes, then why aren't there more people at Mass every Sunday?
Favorite Iraqi TV Show -- Oprah. I have no idea. They all have satellite TV.
Coolest Insurgent Act -- Stealing almost $7 million from the main bank in Ramadi in broad daylight, then, upon exiting, waving to theMarines in the combat outpost right next to the bank, who had no clue of what was going on. The Marines waved back. Too cool.
Most Memorable Scene -- In the middle of the night, on a dusty airfield, watching the better part of a battalion of Marines packed up and ready to go home after six months in al-Anbar, the relief etched in their young faces even in the moonlight. Then watching these same Marines exchange glances with a similar number of grunts loaded down with gear file past -- their replacements. Nothing was said. Nothing needed to be said.
Highest Unit Re-enlistment Rate -- Any outfit that has been in Iraq recently. All the danger, all the hardship, all the time away from home, all the horror, all the frustrations with the fight here --all are out weighed by the desire for young men to be part of a 'Band of Brothers' who will die for one another. They found what they were looking for when they enlisted out of high school. Man for man, they now have more combat experience than any Marines inthe history of our Corps.
Most Surprising Thing I Don't Miss -- Beer. Perhaps being half-stunned by lack of sleep makes up for it.
Worst Smell -- Porta-johns in 120 degree heat -- and that's 120 degrees outside of the porta-john.
Highest Temperature -- I don't know exactly, but it was in the porta-johns. Needed to re-hydrate after each trip to the loo.
Biggest Hassle -- High-ranking visitors. More disruptive to work than a rocket attack. VIPs demand briefs and "battlefield" tours (we take them to quiet sections of Fallujah, which is plenty scary for them). Our briefs and commentary seem to have no affect on their preconceived notions of what's going on in Iraq. Their trips allow them to say that they've been to Fallujah, which gives them an unfortunate degree of credibility in perpetuating their fantasies about the insurgency here.
Biggest Outrage -- Practically anything said by talking heads on TV about the war in Iraq, not that I get to watch much TV. Their thoughts are consistently both grossly simplistic and politically slanted. Biggest offender -- Bill O'Reilly -- what a buffoon.
Best Intel Work -- Finding Jill Carroll's kidnappers -- all of them. I was mighty proud of my guys that day. I figured we'd all get the Christian Science Monitor for free after this, but none have showed up yet. Talk about ingratitude.
Saddest Moment -- Having the battalion commander from 1st Battalion, 1st Marines hand me the dog tags of one of my Marines who had just been killed while on a mission with his unit. Hit by a 60mm mortar. Cpl Bachar was a great Marine. I felt crushed for a long time afterward. His picture now hangs at the entrance to the Intelligence Section. We'll carry it home with us when we leave in February.
Biggest Ass-Chewing -- 10 July immediately following a visit by the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Zobai. The Deputy Prime Minister brought along an American security contractor (read mercenary), who told my Commanding General that he was there to act as a mediator between us and the Bad Guys. I immediately told him what I thought of him and his asinine ideas in terms that made clear my disgustand which, unfortunatelyunrepeatableatable here. I thought my boss was going to have a heart attack. Fortunately, the translator couldn't figure out the best Arabic words to convey my meaning for the Deputy Prime Minister. Later, the boss had no difficulty inconvening his meaning to me in English regarding my Irish temper, even though he agreed with me. At least the guy from the State Department thought it was hilarious. We never saw the mercenary again.
Best Chuck Norris Moment -- 13 May. Bad Guys arrived at the government center in the small town of Kubaysah to kidnap the town mayor, since they have a problem with any form of government that does not include regular beheadings and women wearing burqahs. There were seven of them. As they brought the mayor out to put him in a pick-up truck to take him off to be beheaded (on video, as usual), one of the bad Guys put down his machine gun so that he could tie the mayor's hands. The mayor took the opportunity to
pick up the machine gun and drill five of the Bad Guys. The other two ran away. One of the dead Bad Guys was on our top twenty wanted list. Like they say, you can't fight City Hall.
Worst Sound -- That crack-boom off in the distance that means an IED or mine just went off. You just wonder who got it, hoping that it was a near miss rather than a direct hit. Hear it every day.
Second Worst Sound -- Our artillery firing without warning. The howitzers are pretty close to where I work. Believe me, outgoing sounds a lot like incoming when our guns are firing right over our heads. They'd about knock the fillings out of your teeth.
Only Thing Better in Iraq Than in the U.S. -- Sunsets. Spectacular. It's from all the dust in the air.
Proudest Moment -- It's a tie every day, watching my Marines produce phenomenal intelligence products that go pretty far in tearing apart Bad Guy operations in al-Anbar. Every night Marines and Soldiers are kicking in doors and grabbing Bad Guys based on intelligence developed by my guys. We rarely lose a Marine during these raids; they are so well-informed of the objective. A bunch of kids right out of high school shouldn't be able to work so well,but they do.
Happiest Moment -- Well, it wasn't in Iraq. There are no truly happy moments here. It was back in California when I was able to hold my family again while home on leave during July.
Most Common Thought -- Home. Always thinking of home, of Kathleen and the kids. Wondering how everyone else is getting along. Regretting that I don't write more. Yep, always thinking of home.
I hope you all are doing well. If you want to do something for me, kiss a cop, flush a toilet, and drink a beer. I'll try to write again before too long -- I promise.
Posted by FHB at 4:22 PM
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Posted by FHB at 2:49 PM
Monday, September 25, 2006
Remember those teenie boppers I'm teaching in the morning? Well, according to the school counselor, one of the first period Seniors has gotten herself knocked up. She and her mom hope she can stay in school long enough to finish. I wonder if she and mom were this tight when it came to knowin' how one keeps from getting bit by the trouser worm? I'm tellin' ya... The second period Juniors are growin' on me. I started showing them the Ken Burns docu on Lewis and Clark today. Killin' some time and takin' a break. It's a great story. They actually sat and watched it like they gave a shit. Amazing.
I'm slowly getting used to the new wheels. Took a trip to Dallas on Saturday to walk through a big nice gun show and eat a fat steamin' stroimboli. Checked the mileage after getting home and found it got 27.4 mpg. Pretty respectable compared to the old jeep. Not what I was hoping to get in a new car, but I don't fit comfortably in anything that gets 35 to 40. It's a sporty little thing. Wants to go FAST. Reminds me a lot of the '82 Trans-Am that I drove in grad school. That thing got about 18 mpg on a REAL good day, but was fun as hell to drive. Every car I get gets a little better mileage. Maybe after drivin' this one to death in 10 or 12 years they'll have something that fits me better that gets about 40 or 50 mpg. What are the odds?
Didn't pick up anything lethal at the gun show. Handed over that parts set to the gun smith. He always has a booth there. He should have two new toys ready for me some time next month. Went through a bin of old cast off crap and found three old Kalashnikov slings that looked like they had potential. Looks like they may be Bulgarian or Russian. Got 'em home and put 'em through the washing machine. Came out clean and nice. Have that nice slightly faded, used look that goes well with the older implements of destruction. Also spent $25 on a used and slightly dinged up Soviet era clip for an AK-74. Plumb colored, Izmash production. Some soldier had carved (scratched) his girlfriends (?) name on one side of it, in Cyrillic lettering. Someone else might think the thing is screwed up for that, but to me it just screams history. Love things like that. You can see that someone really used it.
Went to Lowe's between classes and blew about $90 on plants for the back yard. Spent the afternoon out there diggin' and pullin' weeds. The place is VERY slowly comin' together. Lots of native plants or similar stuff that will come back next year. Found a new mound of fire ants in the front yard. Those fuckin' things are amazing. Went to Wally World after my 7:30 class and picked up a new bag of Spectrocide. If it ain't the weeds, its the critters. Like the GWOT, an endless and probably futile attempt to stamp out evil. Somethin' to do.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Click here to see a graphic that shows the flight paths of the various 9/11 flights. The drastic course changes are interesting to see, particularly when you click on the bottom setting and see them all run at once.
And on a lighter note, here's a joke a friend just sent me...
Friendly Skies of West Jet Airlines
A mother and her very young son were flying Westjet Airlines from Ottawa to Calgary.
The little boy (who had been looking out the window) turned to his mother and asked, "If big dogs have baby dogs, and big cats have baby cats, why don't big airplanes have baby airplanes?"
The mother (who couldn't think of an answer) told her son to ask the stewardess.
So the boy went down the aisle and asked the stewardess.
The stewardess, who was very busy at the time, smiled and said, "Did your Mom tell you to ask me?"
The boy said, "Yes, she did."
"Well, then, you go and tell your mother that there are no baby airplanes because Westjet always pulls out on time. Have your Mom explain that to you."
Posted by FHB at 8:37 PM
Friday, September 22, 2006
Mmmm, tasty. And just so you won't think I'm
sexist or anything... Here's a guy after my own heart.
Must have fat wallet too. What else would explain it? Are
there women out there who dig the big rolly polly boys?
And no, that's NOT my new car she's getting out of.
Posted by FHB at 3:58 PM
It's like when you hear about people who've lost a limb. They can still feel it there even though it's gone. Phantom pain. After 12 years and putting about 325,000 miles on it (of 358,400), my arm still feels that shifter. I slide up to the teller window and I'm no longer right there. I have to reach up to everything. That will take a LOT of getting used to. When I traded it in, the dude said he'd never seen so many miles on a jeep. Well, the Solara is growin' on me. The feel of bein' in it reminds me of the '82 trans-am that I drove in grad school in the late 80s. It should get much better mileage, which is why I went in this direction, and then one day when it's paid for I can look for another jeep or a truck to play with. SUCKS to have to make car payments. It's been 10 years since I had to do that. I'll learn to love it. Shit, Ill have it for ten years. That's what I do.
Posted by FHB at 3:41 PM
Thursday, September 21, 2006
See that little speck on the left side of the sun? Click on it and see if you recognize it, or got to the Astronomy pics site at left and click on it there. They've got a very high res version where you can really see it. It's an Image of the Space shuttle Atlantis undocking from the International Space Station (ISS) 50 minutes after undocking from the ISS, before return to Earth, taken from the area of Mamers (Normandie, France) on September 17th 2006 at 13h 38min 50s UT.
Takahashi TOA-150 refractor (diameter 150mm, final focal 2300mm), Baader helioscope and Canon 5D. Exposure of 1/8000s at 50 ISO, extracted from a series of 14 images (3 images/s) started 2s before the predicted time.
Posted by FHB at 11:05 PM
and haven't had a chance to post anything. Buying a car,
trading in the beloved but decrepit Jeep, helping out a
pain-in-the-ass neighbor, trying to construct an online
class that's about to start, etc. I guess I should try to post
something gross, so here goes. It's got to be someone's
birthday. Not very subtle. Got to go. I'll try to be more
characteristically effusive later.
Posted by FHB at 1:23 AM
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Sent a friend a funny cartoon making fun of the liberal concern over gitmo. I got it from the UAW guy. Yea, I stole it. What? Anyway, he's a gun show, movie and camping buddy of mine. He's a moderate to liberal guy in many things, so he responded with an email laying out his concerns about the situation and then another sending me a few links that laid out the way the administration basically manipulated us all into the war in Iraq in 2002 and 2003. It's not new information, but it does pose interesting and maybe troubling questions about the use of executive power and how we got where we are today. If you want to read them, and if you think you have an open mind, I think you should, they are here and here.
You'll excuse, but I'm typing this while I watch the Cowboys hand a wuppin to the 'skins, which should be grounds for a Monday off, I think. Ok, not.
Anyway, I wrote him back, and since I spent some time on it and think I did a decent job, I figured I'd follow the last jingoistic rant with this one. So here it is...
I haven't heard back from him yet. He's busy writin' a book. I hope the email goes over the way I wanted it to. I value his friendship. People are touchy these days though. Understand why. Good friendships are more important than that stupid shit though.
Postscript: He's finishin' the book. All is well. We're going to Enchanted Rock state park in about three weeks. Big group from Austin and Dallas. Should be fun. Just traded in the Jeep for a Solara. Very sad, but had to happen. After 380,324 miles, it's time for the old dude to amble off to the elephants graveyard. A noble passing. Anyway, it's just a fuckin' car.
Posted by FHB at 11:07 PM
It seems that things have finally gotten so twisted in the GWOT that failure and defeat for our side is almost inevitable. The other side has GOT to be giggling in their palm shaded mountain top Pakistani villas as the Western left, and a surprisingly large number of politicians on the right are insisting that our people conform to higher standards of behavior, which might just cripple their ability to do their job. They want the CIA and the military to behave according to the "rules" when they imprison and interrogate the fuzzies that are picked up on the "battlefields" (when there really aren't battlefields) of the conflict.
Basically, the nit-pickers have come out of their bunkers and are poking the soldiers and spooks in the back to make sure they follow the rules of war, even as the enemy tortures, disembowels and then decapitates our people when they are taken captive. They want to make sure we follow rules of "civilized" warfare that were devised to cover combat between the armies of nation-states whose soldiers wear uniforms and who can and usually do make their soldiers conform to similar rules. And no one sees the insanity in that? They've GOT to be joking. I wonder how much of this is just an opportunity to slam America, the administration and the war, and how much of it is a genuine belief that the Taliban and Al Qaida folks we've picked up deserve the same legal protection as a person caught stealing a six-pack from a 7-11.
I'm reminded of the fact that 20th hijacker was sitting comfortably in a US jail on the morning of September 11th when his comrades where getting on those planes. Maybe, if he'd been "water boarded" those 3000ish folks in the planes and towers might not have had to die. Just maybe. I'm reminded that the previous administration had two or three opportunities to take out Bin Laden, but legal issues prevented them from doing it. They couldn't think of any "charges" to lay on him in the Hague, even though he'd already declared war on us and blown up our embassies in Africa.
How many of these confirmed killers will get out of Gitmo when the next administration comes into office or before, and how many more of our people will die for those misplaced legal principles? There's a historical precedent for such an outrage. About 1969-70, the radical left broke with the main stream of the anti-war movement and went underground. They called themselves the "Weather Underground" and began a series of bombings and armed robberies to finance more bombings, trying to topple the Nixon administration, end the war in Vietnam, and bring about a communist revolution in the country.
The Nixon folks and the FBI, believing the bombers were out to kill lots of people (they originally were, but changed their minds after some of their own people blew themselves up accidentally) threw out the rule book and went after them. They set up an office called "cointelpro" (counter intelligence program) and went underground themselves to find and diffuse the radical movement. In the process of doing that, they broke the laws that were set up to protect average people from the coercive power of the state, including wiretappings of harmless folks like Martin Luther King. So in the end, the radicals were cut loose from jail and now sit comfortably in the very country they had vowed to destroy. Some of them teach college, and are still active in liberal politics.
I submit that America and the international community need to come up with new rules of war to cover this specific irregular circumstances. We need to be able to differentiate between "civilized warfare" (as if there ever was such a thing), and the gritty reality our soldiers are dealing with today. As it is, the enemy can rely on the left to argue their legal defense and protection, like some sort of international public defender, even as they plot our fiery distraction, and their own death in the process.
It's amazing how these things cycle back and forth in history and nobody pays attention. Do we have the will to defend our society and values from these killers who are bent to see it burn, or should we just curl up and kiss it all goodbye? There's some truth to the idea that we can't become the enemy in order to defeat them, but I'd submit that there's a lot of elbow room between those extremes. We need to find a place there that will allow us to do what we need to do over there, while defending our values here.
Posted by FHB at 3:20 PM
Saturday, September 16, 2006
and here's the real thing, in 12 guage.
Posted by FHB at 2:42 PM
That's just too funny. Gotta love it. Nice.
And an added note; At the football game last night there was a funny scene. Some guy was sitting up in front of the stands with his wife in a wheelchair, with their 4 to 6 year old kids running around. He was wearing a t-shirt with an advertisement for a local body shop. I recognized the ad from the fact that they had fixed hail damage on my jeep a few times. About half way through the game I noticed the t-shirt and read the text of it, which said "B&G Auto Body, You fuck it up, we fix it up." Had to laugh.
Then, about a half hour later, a cop shows up and tells the guy to ether turn the shirt inside out or he'd have to leave. So he turned it inside out, and we all got way too good a look at his tattoos in the process. The parents who were sitting around me, all of whom had teenage kids, all quietly voiced approval.
I gotta say, if your kids are old enough to be able to read and understand that word, chances are they're probably using the word, on a daily basis. I mean, civility and propriety aside, parents need to get a clue, in so many ways.
Posted by FHB at 1:05 PM
Friday, September 15, 2006
Sounds like Dick is biding his time, so I'm
basically on maneuvers here with the war.
So I won't pull out the big guns just yet. Sounds
like he's preparing some sort of gross-out IED
and waiting for my convoy to innocently roll
by. Cowboy up motha fucka!
Dad called while I was at work and said
that his old high school is having a home
game tonight, so we're gonna do our regular
grazin' at the Chinese buffet and then drive
out and watch Academy play Clifton. Clifton
won this time last year, so it might be fun.
Love this time of year. Cold weathers comin'.
Before you know it I'll be pullin' out the Uggs
and goose down, gettin' ready to head down
to Enchanted Rock, and Dad and I'll need coats
to sit out there and watch the game and I'll
be worryin' about dad getting chilled. He loves
to go,thinking he'll see someone he knows. Never
happens though. Shit, he's outlived everyone.
I ask him how it feels to be older than most
other living things. He laughs.
And on the Fatty Friday thing...
Shouldn't there be rules on wearin' a bikini?
Love the shoes. They make the whole outfit.
Update: The dinner and the game both turned
out great. The game came down to the last
second, mostly due to bad coaching. It's pretty
bad when the folks in the stands are all lookin'
at one another sayin' "what the hell are they
Academy had a 12 to 10 lead as it came down to
the wire. Their defense had kept the Clifton Cubs
from scoring several times, and had intercepted
passes or picked up fumbles to stop drives that
looked very dangerous. But two failed attempts
at 2 points in stead of easy kicks for extra points
(which is why they had 12 in stead of 14 pts.), and
two failed attempts to go for it on 4th down in
stead of easy field goals, resulted in a two point
margin, and ultimately in Academy losing by one
point in the last seconds of the game.
The Cubs threw a long bomb with 10 seconds to
play, which bounced off the defender who was
trying to ketch it and right into the hands
of a receiver on about the 12 yard line, with one
second left on the clock. Somehow they put 3
seconds back on the clock, and the Cubs kicked a
field goal. It was amazing, and it was academy's
homecoming game. Pretty wild. Ya gotta love high
school football in Texas.
Posted by FHB at 3:54 PM
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I've always LOVED sweet pickles. I can sit
and eat a whole jar in one sitting. My mom
used to wrap up a sweet pickle or two in
cellophane and put them in my school lunch
bag when I was a kid so I could eat them
alongside the sandwich and apple, and usually
a Dr Pepper. Ok, sometimes I'd also have a
twinky or some left over fried chicken. I
wasn't born a fat hairy bastard after all.
It took years to build this body.
Damn, I just flashed on a scene in the lunch
room, Southwest High School, about 1978,
when some coach came by and went nuts over
my moms fried chicken. Her shit has always
gone over big.
Sweet is the way to go.
Mom loves dill pickles, but I've never
been able to enjoy a dill. Something
about the sour vinegar taste. Eeew.
And of course, I love to have the sweet
relish on a hot dog or cheese burger. Really
makes a good burger most of the time,
along with the mustard and stuff.
Of course, now that I've gone Type 2, I can't
eat them the way I used to, but after seeing
this, I don't know if I'm ever gonna be able to
see a pickle the same way ever again.
Posted by FHB at 11:34 PM
Man, that show knocked me out. They really took it up a notch with the surprise and givin' three the boot. But the people with real skill and class stand out like a beacon. Bringing the two back was a hilarious twist, but the fact that they both got eliminated again was like an exclamation on their earlier ejection. They gave 'em a second shot and they both blew it big. What a bummer for them, and both of their exit comments left me thinking,"yea, right, I'm sure."
Kayne was such a cool guy, but just wasn't up to it in the end. They had him pegged. Once again, Michael and Laura were the classiest ones out there, with Jeff pulling in third. He's in big shit if he doesn't do somethin' other than that punk look. I was surprised that Mike didn't win. His stuff was SO superior, but I loved the flapper look Laura produced. I tell ya, It's gonna come down to those two, and I bet Mike wins. Love that fuckin show. The preview for next week looks wild. They've really got all their cylinders goin' on this one; the personalities, the drama, the skill, everything. Classic "reality" TV.
Also, if you didn't know, Dick and I have initiated a gross-out war. No hostility, just fun, seein' who can gross out the other. Pure little boy potty humor. Thing is, with the resources available on the net, it could REALLY get ugly. Collateral damage is gonna happen. Innocent people WILL get hurt. Well, it'll fer sure get worse before it gets better.
So ok, this is pretty gross, I think. Still, a pretty mild opening shot. Not gonna drop a big bomb right outa the gate. Don't go there in future if you're squeamish. In fact, just keep that notion in mind from now on until the guns fall silent. You've been warned.
Posted by FHB at 7:17 AM
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Posted by FHB at 6:15 PM
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
This amazing ariel view (click on it to get the full effect) shows the rugged snow covered peaks of the Himalayan mountain range in Nepal. The seventh-highest peak on the planet, Dhaulagiri, is the high point on the horizon at the left while in the foreground lies the southern Tibetan Plateau of China.
The thing is, contrary to appearances, this picture wasn't taken from an airliner cruising at 30,000 feet. Instead it was taken with a 35mm camera and telephoto lens by the Expedition 1 crew aboard the International Space Station... orbiting 200 nautical miles above the Earth. Cool eh? I tell ya, that site is a treasure trove.
Posted by FHB at 11:27 PM
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Hmm, a little interactive visit to Sea World? Very nice.
I don't think so. Maybe a trip to a huge European outdoor
pee-in Eh? Damn, is that Carlos Santana? Naaaaa.
HEY, eyes front mother fucker! Eh? Or was it more like this?
Aaah, hogs-a-plenty. Exquisite violence. No, not that ether. I went to Ft. Worth to visit a buddy, go to a gun show, drop off some parts to my gun smith in Mansfield, and do some car shopping on the side.
Got away from work at about 2pm on Friday. Got home and there was a message on the machine. "Two words dude, Greens Sausage!" My buddy and his wife are BIG fans of the stuff they sell there in Zabcikville, a little one blinker east of Temple. I take my dad out to eat Chinese food every Friday and didn't want to blow it off, so on the way to the Chinese food place, dad and I made the detour to Greens and I picked up about 9 lbs. of various meat products, as per their order; three lbs. of beef, three of jalapeno, and three of mixed, I think beef and pork. After dad and I pigged out at the buffet, I took the pops home and then headed north at about 7pm.
Got to the gun smiths place in Mansfield at about 9pm. He's building me a few new toys ( a nice Polish Tantal and a Hungarian side-folder), and I needed to drop off a few parts so he can finish one of them. His name is Randy Kline, and he runs Sledgehammer Arms Works. He's a great guy. Specializes in FN-FALs, and does great work on all sorts of other things, like Kalashnikovs. He's finished most of the Tantal, which is basically a Polish AK-74, and has sent the gun to a welder to have the left side safety latch put on. This latch is a special feature most other Kalashnikovs don't have. It's a little lever on the left side of the receiver that allows you to manipulate the conventional right side safety lever from the left side of the gun with your thumb. The original service rifles also have a three shot burst setting, but there's a limit to what I can legally have built, so I'll settle for the little selector lever.
Most Tantals you see don't have it. There are places where you can buy them, like the Tantal link on the left of this page, but my parts set came with it, so he's putting it on. The Hungarian side folder is more of a conventional AKMS from the 1960s or '70s. I had to give him a sling swivel and a cleaning rod for that one so he can install the swivel. It has to be attached to the left side of the receiver, like a very early AK-47 from the '50s. He thinks he'll have one or two of these rifles finished by the next gun show in Dallas in a few weeks, and I hope to pick at least one up as I hand over another parts set to him. Can't have too many toys. It's all about the gear babies.
Made it to Ft. Worth by about 10:15. These folks are my best friends, the people I floated the Grand Canyon with in '03 and '05. I've known this guy since about '88 when we met on a canoe trip in Oklahoma, and I've known her ever since they hooked up in the early '90s. We've all been floatin' and hangin' around together ever since. He was up watching TV when I got there. His dog alerted him to my presence and he came to the door as I walked up. His wife came out to visit and we talked about what we'd all been doing as we sat through most of an episode of Nip Tuck (what an amazing show) and then a while later everybody hit the sack (separate sacks, get yer mind out of the gutter). Their kid (her kid from a previous ugliness) is now enrolled in the tech school in Waco, TSTC, so I took his bed. Thing is, he's got a short little single bed slid up sideways against his wall, with a head board and foot board that stick up about 10 inches on ether end. I laid down on it for a time, with my legs propped up on the foot board, but then took the mattress off the bed and put it on the floor. Slept like a baby under the ceiling fan. Put it back in the morning. All is well. They don't give a damn. You know, I'm a large hairy mammal, and I gotta do what I gotta do.
We got up at about 8am, and after breakfast burritos (potato bits, egg, bacon, beans, salsa, cilantro, cheese, etc.) were consumed he and I went out to terrorize the car dealers. My buddy is the sort of friend that guys like me need to make it through life in one piece. I think dads ether train their sons to fix stuff, or they train you to know how to find a good repairman. My dad was the latter sort, so having a good friend who can fix things and who knows about cars is a great thing to have. Mostly we just drove to different places and tried on a few cars. "Tried on" is the operative term, because being able to fit into these things is a critical issue. I'm looking for a two door rice rocket that gets good mileage, like an older Solara, to take over from the old jeep. The Cherokee's got over 357,000 miles on it now, and badly needs a rest. Not replacement, just a rest.
My buddy advised me on the different cars that are out there, which he knows a lot more about than me, and on how to talk to the sales guys. I sat in a Mini Cooper, just for the fun of it, and no, it didn't fit. Love those things though. Sat in LOTS of stuff. Test drove a nice 04 Nissan Altima. Very nice; white with tan cloth, all the bells and whistles, 5 speed stick, but I think I need a two door. Something in me rebels against getting a big, four door geezer car. Sat in a lot of other stuff, and have basically narrowed it down to an 03 or 04 Solara, so long as it has an electric seat adjuster. That one feature alone gives me the head room I need. I dunno. It's not an emergency, so I've got time to look and see what's out there.
After all that, we headed off to the Amon Carter convention center and walked through a gun show. The museum and convention center area were crowded as hell, due to several other shows going on there at the same time. We had to park in the far off lot on the other side of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and then walk past the huge bidet they have spewing water from the cement in front of it. There was some sort of kids event going on at the museum of science and history, and a food show, Zestfest or something, down in the convention center, along with the gun show.
I was looking for a receiver for my next project, which is a 5.45x39mm AKS-74. There's a guy who shows up there who sells them, and I was able to get one. Last time I saw him he didn't have any. He mistakenly pulled a 7.62x39 receiver out of the box, and I bought the thing, even after looking over the stamps. I don't know how the hell I missed it. We left the show after my buddy bought some jerky and later, sitting in front of the boob tube, I realized it had 7.62 stamped on it big as day. We went back, found a parking place right up front, and I went in and easily exchanged it. The receivers are basically the same, but it would suck to have the wrong thing stamped on the rifle when it's finished.
After all that, with his wife begging off (she wasn't hungry and wanted to watch tennis), I took my buddy to eat big Mexican food at Papasito's. Introduced him to the Brochette shrimp, which is the best thing they make there. Large sized shrimp stuffed with cheese and a slice of jalapeno pepper, wrapped in bacon, spiced, grilled, then dipped in whipped butter. To die for. After that we took his pooch to the park and walked off the bloated feeling, and then I hit the road back here to the house. Got home by about 10pm.
It was good to see the buddy and his wife. He's in town for a good while this time, so we'll do it again soon. He's talkin' about comin' down and goin' tubing in New Braunfels in a week or so and then going camping at Lost Maples state park in a month or so. Slept in today and watched a long documentary on Heavy Metal on VH-1. Love these sorts of shows. It's the history dude in me I guess. I loves me some metal some times, but I also love to listen to Maria Callas sing an aria from Puccini, or some old Dusty Springfield. So I never could be a part of the whole Metal culture. I guess it's like that line from Annie Hall- "I could never be a member of any group that would have me for a member." Then saw a documentary about the wars in Afghanistan. What an amazing mess. It seems that no matter what anyone does, the progress of time only furthers the goals of these crazy mother fuckers. To paraphrase Caligula, it's too bad they all don't have but one neck. We'd hack it through!
Dinner tonight was at Mom's (big shock). She cooked chicken and dumplings to die for, plus peas and carrots, and there was a peach cobbler layin' around too. Her shit don't stink, I wanna tell ya. Sis and I converged on the place from different directions and consumed mightily. Took dad some aluminum cans I crush and save for him. He's been saving those things and recycling them for 20 years. Doesn't get much for the aluminum these days, but it's his thing, so I do it. We ate big food and then watched the football games.
Couldn't believe they cut to the commentators on CBS with about 40 seconds left in the Tennessee game, just as they were driving down to maybe tie it up. And then the Cowboys screwed themselves out of a win with stupid penalties. Same old Cowboys. Actually we flipped back and forth from the football to the tennis. I'm avoiding all the 9/11 coverage. Depressing as hell. Amused by all the people screaming over the ABC 9/11 program. Interesting how they only notice bias in the media when it's FOX, and only get mad at historic inaccuracy in the coverage of events when it's them that are being covered inaccurately.
Well, it's late. I've got to do a wash and look into my classes for tomorrow. The new week is upon us, damn it. Later dudes. FHB.
Posted by FHB at 8:33 PM
Friday, September 08, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Saw the northern lights once in Canada, driving up to Lake
Opeongo to go canoeing and Pike fishing with my Cousin. It was
amazing. Was looking out into the darkness as we drove north
and there it was, this blue or green haze in the distance. I said
"what the hell is that?" I knew what the aurora was, but never
thought I'd get to see it. We don't normally get light shows like
that down here. We do have the Marfa lights, but that's a whole
different thing. Beautiful. We'll meet again some day.
Posted by FHB at 6:46 PM
The only place men want depth in a woman is in her decolletage.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor.
The desire engendered in the male gland is a hundred times more difficult to control than the desire bred in the female glands. All girls agreeing to a lovers' lane tete-a-tete in a car, knowing that they will limit their actions to arousing desires and then defend their "virtue," should be horsewhipped.
- Marlene Dietrich.
I'm saving the bass player for Omaha.
- Janis Joplin.
Women are like banks, boy. Breaking and entering is a serious business.
- Joe Orton.
... as in the dark all cats are grey, the pleasure of corporeal enjoyment with an older woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every knack being by practice capable of improvement.
- Benjamin Franklin.
Older women are best because they always think they may be doing it for the last time.
- Ian Fleming.
I trust you know the "three nevers" for proper gentlemen?
Never shoot south of the Thames.
Never follow whiskey with port.
Never have your wife in the morning - the day may have something better to offer.
- P.V. Taylor.
Forget school kids: Why don't they bus horny women?
- George Carlin.
To succeed with the opposite sex, tell her you are impotent. She can't wait to disprove it.
- Cary Grant, at age 72.
You have to do tobacco like you do a woman. You must let it work up a good chew, let it get moist and juicy. If you chew too fast, it will become dry and fall apart.
- Phil Garner.
At one time or another most men have had sexual encounters that have a sad similarity to pushing an oyster through a keyhole.
Holy Mother we do believe,
That without sin thou didst conceive;
May we now in Thee believing,
Also sin without conceiving?
- A.P. Herbert.
And finally, when the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward the VII, said to his mistress, Lily Langtry, during a quarrel, that he'd spent enough on her to buy a battleship, she replied, "And you've spent enough in me to float one."
Posted by FHB at 5:45 PM
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
You gotta love a country that still lets it's citizens own seriously
lethal shit like this. Click here if you want to see it in action.
Notice the big smile on the first dudes face. Gotta love it.
Get one, while they last. You never know when you'll need
to take out an APC or somethin. You know, home defense.
Posted by FHB at 5:28 PM
Monday, September 04, 2006
"Marriage (whether registered or not) begins, not with setting up house, counting wedding presents, blowing kisses, looking at wedding groups, but with two bodies confronting one another like two wrestlers. To clinch and struggle and contend with one another. Rolling about, now one on top, now another; grunting, croaking, sweating, murmuring, yelling. So the world began, with vast turbulence in the genitalia of space."
- Malcolm Muggeridge, The Green Stick.
"Sex in marriage is like medicine. Three times a day for the first week. Then once a day for another week. Then once every three or four days until the condition clears up."
- Peter DeVries.
"Even a rat likes to go into a different hole every once and a while."
"Outside of every thin woman is a fat man trying to get in."
- Katherine Whitehorn.
"It would be less demanding, enslaving, perplexing and strenuous for a healthy male to screw a thousand women in his lifetime than to try to please one, and the potential for failure would be less."
- Irma Kurtz.
I tell ya, I got a million of these, and you gotta love Malcolm.
And I don't think any of us can be too shocked about it. Just figured it would be something a bit more predictable, like some sort of rediculously poisonus snake, or a big salt water crock, or a hippo. Never a stingray. Only thing you did know was that when he bought the farm, he was gonna be deep in the middle of some critters personal space and askin' for it. Still, when was the last time you heard of one of those things killin' someone? Bizarre.
He's been out of the headlines lately hasn't he, ever since that little incident when he waved his kid at a crock and the media jumped him and started comparing it to the infamous Michael Jackson dangle over the balcony. Never was annoyed by his antics the way some were. Just another one of those animal goobers on cable TV. Never saw the movie, though some said it was ok. Can't imagine.
Even if he pissed you off, you've got to give him credit for making something big out of himself in this world, and for trying to do good things for nature, even if he did it as a silly, exceedingly cheery caricature. There's a lot worse assholes out there, and the odds of any of them being shoved in a tank with a stingray are very slim. Seemed like a nice guy, and I'm sure his family is going through hard shit. Feel sorry for them, but they had to know it was comin'.
Posted by FHB at 6:50 PM
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Mmmkay Phlem, here goes.
1. A book I've read more than once? There's a few; Child of God, The Hunt for Red October, The Curse of Lono, and something about Daniel Boone I read when I was a kid. That was the first real book I read cover to cover, and it was so good, and I was so pissed off and sad when it ended that I read it over again.
2. What book would I want on a desert Island? Obviously, something about survival on a desert Island. Thing is, are there really any desert islands anywhere? Aren't they usually jungles with all sorts of rats and bugs and shit? Actually, I'd crate up all the books I have here that I'll never get a chance to read because I can't make myself turn this friggin' thing off, or the TV. Desert Island would be a great chance to get all that reading done, but I think I'd be too busy surviving. It takes a LOT of effort to do that If you don't have switch-on power and water or a supermarket. Never will get these things read.
3. A book that made me laugh? Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Curse of Lono, basically anything by the gonzo man.
4. A book that made me cry? Can't remember one. Lots of movies, but can't remember a book. Probably just don't head in that direction. Don't read for weeping and a release.
5. A book I wish I'd written? Obviously, something like How to Make a HUGE Amount of Money and be Slathered in Cooze Without Really Trying. I can see my infomercial now.
6. A book I wish had never been written? Phlems' got it covered with the Qur an, but I'd add the Bible... because religion IS the opiate of the masses, and people are stupid enough. They don't need encouragement. No offence guys. I'm probably wrong but can't remember a time in the last 2000 years when some desert born religion wasn't the cause of human torment and pain. If people could keep it to themselves, that would be different. I prefer the animist stuff we had before the damn Romans came, but even that probably would have gotten out of hand if left alone and given a chance. Maybe then it's not religion, but the stuff humans do with it. Anyway...
7. A book I'm currently reading? The Whiskey Rebellion, by William Hogeland. Just finished a little thing called The Coming of the Civil War 1837-1861, by John Niven. Before that it was If the South Won The Civil War, by MacKinlay Kantor and Plains Indian History and Culture, a series of essays by John C. Ewers. What can I say? This history shit gets me goin'. Ok, there's also a few magazines, catalogs and comics that float through from time to time. Oh, and I've got a coffee table type thing called The Peacemakers, Arms and Adventure in the American West, by R.L. Wilson, out next to the shitter, but I only get to look at it for a few moments at a time now and then. You know.
8. A book I've meant to read? The list is too long. Lots of history. Lots of amazing carnage.
9. A book that changed my life? Probably that Daniel Boone thing. It got me started, way back then. Ether that or C.S. Lewis', The Chronicles of Narnia. Had to read that in a book club someone set up back in school in Missouri. Loved it.
Well, who will I pass this on to? I guess I'll tag James, Mushy, The Rat (ok, it's a long shot), Becky ('cause she loves these lists), Dirtcrasher, and maybe Heather B. There. Tag, yer it.
And here's a few more fun quotes...
"I've only slept with men I've been married to. How many women can make that claim?"
- Elizabeth Taylor.
"Elizabeth's never been in a supermarket, in any kind of market. She's never in her life stood on line to use a public phone- a public anything. It's like deprivation. Elizabeth's a true innocent. Every time she gets laid, she gets married. Nobody ever told her you can do it and stay single."
- Lillian Hellman.
"I say I don't sleep with married men, but what I mean is that I don't sleep with happily married men."
- Britt Ekland.
"Adultery: second only to front-line combat, produces feats of almost lunatic daring. And it thrives on the extraordinary capacity of the deceived partner to ignore the signs of infidelity, so obvious to the rest of the world."
- Mary Beard.
Postscript, and maybe a retraction. You know, after thinking about it while driving to the big feed at mom and dads this afternoon, I've decided I was a bit harsh to the organized religions back there in #6. I guess any belief system can be turned into a viscous murderous travesty if the right people get hold of it. We probably shouldn't paint any religion, including Islam and Christianity with a broad brush because of what their devotees do in their name. It's just too convenient now to say "oh to hell with all of em" when there are car bombs going off. We forget all the hundreds of years of horror visited on the planet by Christians, and even all the wars and atrocities perpetrated by the followers of the Olympians, or the Animist Mongol hoards, or the supposedly atheistic Nazis. It's people who are the problem. I'm back to that. It's becoming a theme somehow. So I'm officially switching my choice to Rousseau's The Social Contract, because of what a lot of stupid frogs learned from it, and all the carnage that ensued for generations after. There, I feel better.
Posted by FHB at 11:45 AM
Saturday, September 02, 2006
"To win a woman in the first place one must please her, then undress her, then somehow get her clothes back on her. Finally, so that you will allow you to leave her, you must annoy her."
- Jean Giraudoux.
"She is descended from a long line that her mother listened to."
-Gypsy Rose Lee, talking about a pretentious chorus girl.
Hamlet: "Lady, shall I lie in your lap?"
Ophelia: No, my lord."
Hamlet: "I mean, my head uppon your lap?"
Ophelia: "Aye, my lord."
Hamlet: "Do you think I mean country matters?"
Ophelia: "Think nothing, my lord."
Hamlet: "That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs."
"Oh, John, let's not park here."
"Oh, John, let's not park."
"Oh, John, let's not."
"Oh, John, let's."
- Anonymous American folklore.
"Infidelity, that infallible rejuvenator, calms the fear of growing old. In spite of our decreasing charms we sweep young people off their feet, for young people do not understand themselves, and fortunitely for us, can still be hypnotized by those who do."
Stiff standing on the bed,
First it's white and then it's red.
There's not a lady in the land
That would not take it in her hand.
- Old English riddle (answer: a carrot)
"Madam, you have between your legs an instrument capable of giving pleasure to thousands... and all you can do is scratch it."
-Sir Thomas Beecham, to an untalented female cellist.
Posted by FHB at 11:28 PM