Monday, October 31, 2011

Is This Coincidence ?

Is This Coincidence ? Richard Pryor skit over 30 yrs ago, would they do this today ?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Interesting Pistols

I have two 9mm pistols I know very little about. I do know they are old Browning Hi-Powers , I think made before WWII but I am not sure.
I acquired them many years ago from a man who owed me $300 and gave me these 2 pistols in lieu of money.

They did not have grips on them when I got them, They would have been wood, I installed the grips you see as a measure to be able to shoot them.  The serial #'s are 21XXX and are 3 numbers apart. When I tried to look up the numbers I could not find any that low. (The Serial #'s in the picture are partially covered.)

Here is a close up of the left side markings

This is interesting, they both have 500 meter tangent sights however being only 3 serial numbers apart notice the difference in the way the 2 sights are graduated.  The top one has the 500 mark near the pivot point of the sight while the lower is about half way.

Both are slotted for a shoulder stock. They also have an internal extractor which differs from the newer pistols. They still function and shoot well however I don't shoot them much. The serial numbers on the frame and slide match and apart from the grips appear original. I wish I knew more of the history behind them I am guessing they are more valuable together due to the serial #'s
From what I read they may qualify as a 
curio and relic.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

This will tick you off.

Want to know what your hard earned taxes do, watch this Judge Judy clip.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not Good # 10

Not a good day to not wear a helmet.


Welcome to mmasse, thanks for clicking the follow button, your profile souns a lot like mine, Vet, NRA member, weapons enthusiast. Hope you check in often.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Airline Security, You believe this?

A few days ago I was over at  Tam's  blog where she had a bit about the TSA and airline security. I remember after 9-11 thinking that security would go nuts at airports, that is just the way the government reacts to everything I also said at the time that what happened that day would never happen again because in the past we were conditioned to negotiate with hijackers and everything would be fine but now passengers would fight back in order to save the plane, a fact borne out by the flight over Pennsylvania.   Tam's blog also reminded me of an experience I had a few years back and how rules are followed without any common sense.
 I was awaiting a flight to Iraq. Our battalion was leaving Gulfport Mississippi, we were flying on a DC-10 operated by World, a commercial airline which had been contracted to transport us. We were not leaving through a passenger terminal but were bussed to the plane and boarded via steps on the outside. As we were waiting to board the plane we were informed that because this was a commercial flight we could not bring knives, razors etc aboard the aircraft. On the surface this may sound reasonable seeing as we were making a layover in Bangor Maine and would be entering the terminal in the secure area where other passengers had been through security. What made it idiotic was we were carrying fully automatic weapons, every one of us had an M-16, We were boarding the plane with over 500 M-16's and 9 mm pistols and you want us to hand over knives? There was a bag we were supposed to drop knives into and we would get them back on the other end of the flight. I decided I would NOT give up my knife so I promptly opened up the butt plate on my weapon, took out the cleaning kit and secured it in my cargo pocket and dropped my knife in the butt stock, I assumed they would not make us strip the weapon down. I was right the knife was never discovered. It was quite amusing as we taxied down the runway the pilot came over the PA system and made the announcement, " Thank you for flying World Airlines with us today, please remained seated while the seat belt lamp is lit. Turn off all electronic devices during takeoff, please stow all weapons on the deck facing outboard, We hope you enjoy your flight, thank you for serving our country" ....................It was then quite.
A little while after we had taken off the pilot came back on the PA and announced, " you are now free to roam aboard the aircraft, the cockpit is open feel free to come up and visit with us" Later in the flight I did go up to the cockpit and sit down and talk with the pilots and got a mini tour of the flight center. The airline was very good to us which goes to show the TSA are the 'anal' bunch. But the government knows best, and now they want to be in charge of our health care seeing as they do everything else so effectively.
PS, The ones that turned knives in to security never saw them again.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hog Day Afternoon

It's been a busy summer and the weather is turning cool, My chapter of the CVMA was having a get together South of St Augustine Sunday afternoon so took advantage of the excellent riding weather. I rolled my 2005 Harley Police model out. The fuel injected engine turns over once and fires into life and throbs with a low idle.

I headed down I-95, breathing the fresh cool air clears the mind, The big Harley engine cruises at about 3000 RPM, music to the ears. Sometimes you just need to get away.

 Must be the place, Combat Vets enjoy  getting together. We have a chapter meeting to discusses business and future rides then a cookout, It was good to see old friends again.

After a few hours I head home, I swing through down town St Augustine the bay front so pretty.

Sea wall by the old fort.


Blast from the past, Horse meets Iron Horse

 I turn down A1A to ride home along the ocean front

 I stop for a little while to enjoy the cool ocean breeze, I love breathing salt air........No really officer what 'No Parking' sign.

I day dream about days gone by when I used to take my old Chevy pickup and drive over these very dunes and drive down the beach, there is fewer beaches these days you can drive on.

Oh well back on the road it will be dark in a few hours, time to head home. It has been a good day. A chance to unwind before a new work week. Sometimes I want to load up my duffel bag, strap it to the back and hit the road for a few weeks.....maybe one day.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Trucks in the Desert

Yesterday,  I mentioned about the old Viet Nam era truck we used for a while in Iraq.
One of the state of the art vehicles we had was the MTVR (Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement) shown here. Don't ask me how the military comes up with the names. This one was one of our convoy trucks, We called it the BFT (Big, I forget what the 'F' stood for Truck) Notice the door is ballistic protected and comes up to head level. They were made by Oshkosh, I guess the same company which makes little kids cloths

They were very fast trucks, all wheel drive, automatic transmission, and even had compressors to inflate tires while it was moving so a bullet would not cause a flat, air would be continuously fed to the wheel although once it stopped it would resemble this. Notice this truck has taken fragments to the drivers door as well. We also had them with heavy guns attached and turrets on top.
We also used 'civilian' model trucks this one an International which had to be hardened for convoy use, thus the Kevlar panel on the door. Inside the door was a welded steel plate which covered your torso while seated, it did not hinge with the door so it was very hard to get in and out, especially with 75 lbs of 'battle rattle' and forget about doing it fast. You notice most of our vehicles had battle damage like the windshield here. 

Another Heavy Hauler by Oshkosh, notice door again. Also see the lifting eyes and towing points through the hood ad well as on the bumper. All of our vehicles had tow points like this. In case of any vehicle being incapacitated for any reason we would quickly hook to it and drag it back to base camp to keep the Hajji's from getting their hands on it and salvaging stuff to attack us with.  On the big vehicles the brakes would lock and they would be dragged with wheels skidding even to the point of wearing the rims down to the axle.
'Duke' with trusty M16

Case in point, Me standing in front of this convoy truck which was dragged smoking and burning back to Ramadi and left on the outskirts of the compound. As you can imagine there was a lot of heat build up dragging 50,000 lbs of scrap iron down a highway as fast as you could, quite a show to say the least. Not much worth salvaging from this vehicle.

Welcome in Order

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Day Down Range (part 4)

Holiday times in Iraq were celebrated as best we could, here is a 4th of July cookout. We were able to come up with some meat and have a cookout.

 In the early stages there was the ICDC which stood for Iraqi Civil Defense Corps. They liked having their picture taken. I did not trust them and I guess the higher ups did not either as they were not allowed weapons at first, later they were and there were cases where the same weapons were found in the hands of the enemy.

A picture of a warning sign around our armory where we could receive our ammo. I could walk up and draw ammo without any questions, not like stateside.
Wish I could do that today, it was good quality stuff. 
Basically the writing in Arabic said stay out or we will kill you and feed you to the pigs.  
 National Guard units brought their own vehicles like many units did. Many times these units did not have the latest and greatest in equipment. Here is a Viet Nam era 2.5 ton (deuce and a half) we used for a while around base camp borrowed from a Army Guard unit we were working with.

Not Good # 8

Not a good time to turn loose of the handle bars
Look Ma' no hands

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

TEOTWAWKI, What to do.

Yesterday I tried to express some of my feelings about what we might be in for. Thanks for all who commented, I think most of us see things very similar. The main point I was trying to convey is get your mind ready for what may be coming. We know we can't sustain our current situation without things boiling over, whether its triggered by inflation, wars in middle east, terrorists attacks, bankruptcies of governments or people just getting fed up. In a post SHTF we will not be in a recognizable society, we tend to think that if it goes that route we will eventually come out victorious and things will be all hunky dory again, I don't think so, we may be building out of ashes and starting from scratch with only what we were able to salvage before things went south, and with less family and friends.
So what are our options and what do we do? I don't wish to tell anyone what to do but I can tell you how I prepare. As some of you know we have a BOL with a few friends including my friend Stephen we like to camp and cook out and shoot and this serves two purposes,  it lets us prepare and train but at the same time it is fun so if the SHTF we have a place to go but if it never does or is a long ways off we still have a good place to go hang out do what we like. We also brainstorm about strategy, supply's and logistics on a monthly basis. Next is the food, I like to store up stuff I like to eat right now. Personally I don't want to invest thousands of dollars in MRE's (or similar stuff)  which may never be used, if you want to do that go for it. I prefer to buy way ahead in bulk and use up older stock to keep it rotated and fresh. I do buy bulk rice and beans etc, which can be stored but for the most part I like to rotate food so regardless of when it is needed it will always be up to date and I have saved money because by purchasing early I have the option buying when on sale and beating inflation somewhat. So the way I see it is regardless of what happens I have saved money and am still prepared. I won't go into seeds, gardens and all that stuff but you get the drift. As for guns, ammo and other protection tools it is a hobby with me so it is a non issue and I wont go into what you may need, there is tons of info out there and it can start more arguments than religion and politics.
I want to be prepared to tackle what may come and still stay sane doing it. I mentioned earlier about getting your mind ready, do not underestimate your mental state. You have all heard of PTSD which effects war vets it is caused by things they do and see, in my opinion in a SHTF scenario we may see it worse, let me explain. A combat troop has an 'out' so to speak, they can reason they are doing what is ordered by their government and are therefore exempt from their actions now they may or may not see it quite that way but the point is in a SHTF case we will not have that option. We may be acting to save ourselves or our friends and family but the responsibility will all be on us. We will see a problem, decide what to do, attempt to solve it and regardless of the outcome take full responsibility for the action. I can promise, you will never know how it will effect you till you walk down that road, there is no training to prepare for it. Maybe that is why in the Bible it mentions in the last days men will cry out for the rocks to fall on them, no doubt to stop the torment.
So with all this doom and gloom what do I hope for, I would like to see people wake up and start being responsible and not wasting all our money and government stop restricting us, I know I'm living in fairy tale land but this did not all occur in the last year or so and it may take generations to reverse it, I know  not a very realistic option but I never stop trying to educate when I can. I do see some hope (believe it or not) in some of our young people......I said some. They realize they don't want to work their whole life to support the leaches in society. Things tend to go in cycles, my generation, the peace and love generation probably won't be able to reverse it but maybe there will be enough young people who make a difference, they don't have the phoney guilt that was thrown on the baby boomer generation to solve all the problems in the world, or at least they reject the guilt for the most part.
To sum it up, we know for a fact things can't possibly stay like they are, there is no way to sustain it. Maybe it can be reversed, I don't know. In all likelihood it will take a major event throw us into a tailspin, it will not be pretty and the outcome will not be sure. In a SHTF scenario it will be TEOTWAWKI, we will be changed forever and things may not be better.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


A lot has been written and speculated about TEOTWAWKI , I have said (and heard many say) "bring it on" meaning the sooner we start the sooner we end and get things back to normal.
I can certainly see some appeal to this. I have brained stormed with others and put a great deal of thought about our current situation and how things might play out. I have read quite a few books on this topic as many of you have and as you know there are many ideas of how it could evolve. We can only guess what might happen or how it will occur but one thing seems certain it will involve civil unrest (riots, food shortages etc.) which is the reason many of us prep. My point of writing this is to try and inject some thought provoking dialog and give my reasons for the way I see it.
Let me start by saying what I am talking about when I say TEOTWAWKI or SHTF and we have to bug out (or bug in) is basically war, not in the traditional sense but still a conflict against whoever is trying to take our freedom, food, shelter or whatever. You can call it what you want but bottom line is when someone is trying to kill you or take away your ability to survive or protect your family the result is the same as war.
 Some survivalist or preppers might say they will bug out or they have the ability to hide and be totally isolated. While that might be so (although the longer it lasted the harder it would be) there are other things to consider. For example, do you plan on bringing all your friends and family along and feeding them. What kind of toll do you think it will be on your wife/husband if they are concerned about in-laws, kids, grand parents, grandchildren,  friends etc. Being in a high stress situation is bad enough  if you don't have to worry about family but you add that into the mix and it can drive you insane. I knew guys in Iraq who had issues at home to deal with and it sent them over the edge. Think of how taking the family camping and roughing it for a week can start fraying the nerves how is it going to be doing it with all the stress of survival.
Without going into detail and at the risk of sounding crazy I know from experience there are worse things than death (been there) and some of you have also and will agree this may be what we are talking about here. You can talk, train, plan and prepare all you want but when the SHTF you will pray for it to be over with and be safe, if you don't believe anything else I write believe that.
Military units with extensive training and resources have difficulty getting all their members to work in harmony as a unit under stress......... is all of your group, family, kids etc that prepared and well trained ? The average family would be killing each other in a close camp or compound if they went for weeks on end without, cell phones, I pods, TV, movies, malls, McDonald's etc especially when you add the survival mode.
Another concern is your home or even your BOL.  In a worse case scenario forget about going back to your house, it will be trashed and or burned, Insurance if it covered riots and civil unrest would send company's into bankruptcy. Look how they are thrown for a loop with a hurricane or flood how do you think it will be if the whole country is a disaster area. Eventually over long term anyone who lives within a gas tank range of major towns will be in the same boat.
People, today is not like it was during the great depression, if things go really bad the thugs and leaches in society will kill or do what ever to try and survive. Bottom line is while it might sound macho to want to 'bring it on' I dare say unless you are a uncaring, sadistic individual you will come to curse the day it all started, things will snowball out of control, your life will never look or be the same, ALL of us will loose sons, daughters, parents, cousins or other family members who aren't prepared or strong or are careless. Go read eyewitness reports of experiences people had down through history in cases of civil wars, famines, situations where people had to fight to survive, no one writes about it with fondness and most have nightmares about it till the day they die for many of the reasons I have talked about here.
I for one pray we never have to see that day but if we do be prepared to NEVER be the same again.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Not Good # 7

Not a good day for Olympic tryouts.

You know what ticks me off (update)

Thanks to everyone who gave input on the last post. Tam made an excellent point about keeping it turned on for older posts, I can see this as you might miss comments because it would be impossible to scan all old posts on a regular basis (As a side my note my email notification does not always tell me when someone leaves a comment.)
I did want to clear one thing up, I am not advocating  that you or I shouldn't delete  inappropriate comments, after all it is our blog, if someone wants to spout garbage they are free to get their own blog but I hope I don't do that and the only reason I bring it up is it seems to happen often to me, not that my comments get deleted just not 'approved' (I guess) for whatever reason.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

You know what ticks me off ???

Alright now it's complaint time......a while back my friend Stephen wrote about his pet peeve the 'word verification' block on the comments page. Here is mine, I hate making a comment and reading "your comment will appear after it is approved by the administrator" or words to that effect. Now I understand the reason some may do that, maybe you have had problems and I don't know how it works exactly but I have commented MANY times on MANY different blogs and see this message, I may have written a fairly long response and check back to see if it was answered only to find my comment was never even posted. Now in fairness some of you who use this tool manage it well....thank you, and I am not targeting a specific person as I say this is a continuing problem. It is highly possible the blog system is loosing these messages, might be a reason you don't see more responses.....Just an idea.
Of course some of these are big blogs and maybe they don't want my comments.
Anybody else having this problem ?????


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Not Good # 6

Not a good time to ask yourself if you tightened the front wheel.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Night Flight , Baghdad International.

When I was in Iraq I flew on a few of these C-130 flights, always in the back and I can promise you it was a ride of a lifetime. I received this from one of the guys in my unit. This is from a colorful writer from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing based at  MCAS Miramar. The guy ought to write for a living..... he is my nominee  for  "Best of the Month." 

There I was at 6,000 feet over central Iraq, two hundred eighty knots and  we're dropping faster than Paris Hilton's panties. It's a typical  September  evening in the Persian Gulf; hotter than a rectal thermometer, and I'm  sweating like a priest at a Cub Scout meeting. But that's neither here nor  there. The night is moonless over Baghdad and blacker than a Steven King  novel. But it's 2004, folks, and I'm sporting the latest in night-combat  technology - namely, hand-me-down night vision goggles (NVGs) thrown out  by  the fighter boys. 
Additionally, my 1962 Lockheed C-130E Hercules is equipped with an  obsolete,  yet, semi-effective missile warning system (MWS). The MWS conveniently  makes  a nice soothing tone in your headset just before the missile explodes into  your airplane. Who says you can't polish a turd? 
At any rate, the NVGs are illuminating Baghdad International Airport like  the  Las Vegas Strip during a Mike Tyson fight. These NVGs are the cat's a$$.  But  I've digressed. The preferred method of approach tonight is the random  shallow. This tactical maneuver allows the pilot to ingress the landing  zone  in an unpredictable manner, thus exploiting the supposedly secured  perimeter  of the airfield in an attempt to avoid enemy surface-to-air missiles and  small arms fire. Personally, I wouldn't bet my pink a$$ on that theory,  but  the approach is fun as hell and that's the real reason we fly it. 
We get a visual on the runway at 3 miles out, drop down to 1,000 feet  above  the ground, still maintaining two hundred eighty knots. Now the fun  starts.  It's pilot appreciation time as I descend the mighty Herk to 600 feet and  smoothly, yet very deliberately, yank into a sixty degree left bank,  turning  the aircraft ninety degrees offset from runway heading. As soon as we roll  out of the turn, I reverse turn to the right a full two hundred seventy  degrees in order to roll out aligned with the runway. Some aeronautical  genius coined this maneuver the "Ninety/Two- Seventy." Chopping the power  during the turn, I pull back on the yoke just to the point my nether  regions  start to sag, bleeding off energy in order to configure the pig for  landing..  "Flaps Fifty!, Landing Gear Down!, Before Landing Checklist!" I look over  at  the copilot and he's shaking like a cat s*#tting on a sheet of ice.  Looking  further back at the navigator, and even through the NVGs, I can clearly  see  the wet spot spreading around his crotch. Finally, I glance at my  steely-eyed  flight engineer. His eyebrows rise in unison as a grin forms on his face.  I  can tell he's thinking the same thing I am.... "Where do we find such fine  young men?" 
"Flaps One Hundred!" I bark at the shaking cat. Now it's all aim-point and  airspeed. Aviation 101, with the exception there are no lights, I'm on  NVGs,  it's Baghdad, and now tracers are starting to crisscross the black sky.  Naturally, and not at all surprisingly, I grease the Goodyear's on  brick-one  of runway 33 left, bring the throttles to ground idle and then force the  props to full reverse pitch. Tonight, the sound of freedom is my four  Hamilton Standard propellers chewing through the thick, putrid, Baghdad  air.  The huge, one hundred thirty thousand pound, lumbering whisper pig comes  to a  lurching stop in less than two thousand feet. Let's see a Viper do that! 
We exit the runway to a welcoming committee of government issued Army  grunts.  It's time to download their beans and bullets and letters from their  sweethearts, look for war booty, and of course, urinate on Saddam's home.  Walking down the crew entry steps with my lowest-bidder, Beretta 92F, 9  millimeter strapped smartly to my side, look around and thank God, not  Allah,  I'm an American and I'm on the winning team. Then I thank God I'm not in  the  Army. Knowing once again I've cheated death, I ask myself, "What in the  hell  am I doing in this mess?" Is it Duty, Honor, and Country? You bet your  a$$.  Or could it possibly be for the glory, the swag, and not to mention,  chicks  dig the Air Medal. There's probably some truth there too. But now is not  the  time to derive the complexities of the superior, cerebral properties of  the  human portion of the aviator-man-machine model. It is however, time to get  out of this s#*t-hole. Hey copilot , clean yourself up! And how's 'bout  the  'Before Starting Engines Checklist." 
God, I love this job!"

Not Good # 5

Not a good idea to cut the limb your ladder is leaning against.
Not a good feeling, see where chainsaw is.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

BOL Protection

When we were in the sand box we had a neat system of  blast protection that might be useful to know about in case of future emergency's, they were called Hesco Barriers.
Hesco is a brand name, the pallets you see here contain 6 barriers. They are basically a welded wire mesh lined with a filter type fabric which when folded out can be filled with earth. The common size we used were about 3'X3' and 5' tall. we also saw 2'X2' X 4' tall (approx) Interesting note, each of these bundles you see here had a full size LeatherMan tool with pouch inside the bundle to assemble them with.
The Leatherman tools were highly sought after and were often removed before we got to assemble them. I did get one myself only after going through several newly arrived bundles. These Hesco barriers were made in Germany I think and I am sure the Government paid a premium for them. I used to think some times how neat they would be to build a wall around a BOL or any area you wanted to protect with these or homemade ones and plant vines and or shrubs on and around them to hide and beautify them. These you see here would stop any small arms fire you would encounter as well as blast protection and provide a good secure wall especially if thorny type shrubs were planted on them. In the third picture you see them around tents. We would put them around and between tents to minimize damage in mortar attacks, if a round landed in one tent while deadly to those inside the next tent would be protected. They have 4 sides and a bottom, the top is open. They could be made with 2"X4" welded wire mesh available at hardware stores and lined with a filter cloth also available at hardware stores. These we had were attached together with hog rings so you could do the same. These came in a larger size which was about 4'X4' X 6' tall (actually the ones around the tents are this size) as well so you see there is many options as to the size. The are very stable when filled and if they had vegetation planted on them the roots would hold them together indefinitely however after years in the desert sun and heat these seem to hold up very well.

 These last 3 pictures, taken off web.