Q: Why do I think there's a commie behind every tree?

Utilize the language with the same manipulation the Commies do, using the phrase "VACCINE FREE" instead of "UNVACCINATED" or "NON-VACCINATED"

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Supplies Coming In

Ammo has been basically unavailable on retail shelves here in Kommiecticut for quite a while. At the height of the Dem-Panic there was nothing at all. It's getting better, but nothing for me. I had been wanting to replace most of my EDC ammo because it was pretty old and getting beat up from loading and unloading. I also needed to replenish my stocks of bullets for handloading for both pistol and rifle.

First up, finding my rifle bullets. I use a .311" 174 grain Sierra Matchking FMJBT for my precision loaded 7.62x54r rounds. My rifle's barrel slugged out to .311" not .308" and although .308" will easily give me M.O.M. (minute of man) they won't give me the precision I get from .311". I was buying them directly from Sierra, but they have been constantly out of stock. They have also been out of stock and unable to order at Sierra dealers... except one. Optics Planet took my order for 500 bullets for a total of $229.99 and a turn around time of 5-7 weeks. I thought I was completely out of them, but found a sealed box of 100 in my stash, and have 70 rounds loaded and ready to shoot, so no rush on those.

 Next, I decided that since I have been and will continue  shooting more, I should stock up on my handgun bullets. I only load Berry's copper plated bullets in 9mm, .38/.357 Magnum, .45 ACP, and 45 Long Colt. The plating prevents lead fouling and is safe to shoot in Glocks. It also spatters instead of fragmenting when shooting steel plates. They recommend not loading +P or too hot so the plating won't separate from the lead core. The boxes are marked with maximum velocity. I only load target rounds to function my guns so no problem. I ordered 250 9mm, 750 .45, and 1000 .38/.357's. The 9mm and 250 bullet box of .45 arrived yesterday, the balance should be here by Tuesday. Berry's shipped via USPS, so don't get me started on their retarded shipping notifications or tracking history.

Finally, my replacement carry ammo. I use nothing but Hornady Critical Defense. As I wrote earlier, I am unable to find any for sale locally. Because of Kommiecticut's restrictions, many places want nothing to do with selling online here. I looked around to see who would, and found Bud's Gun Shop out of Kentucky will. I have watched tons of Hickok45's videos and he gets guns and ammo from them all the time. Just scan them a copy of your Kommiecticut (or other state with similar infringements in place) pistol permit and drivers license once and you're good to go. They also have a "Qualified Purchase" program for LEO, military, and 1st Responder to get certain items at an automatic discount. Scan them a copy of your official ID once and you're set. I ordered a box of 25 .380ACP, two boxes of 25 of 9mm, and two boxes of 20 .45ACP. That is all I needed to fully load my mags and get rid of the beat up rounds. I'll shoot those at a future range outing since I never get to shoot full power factory loads.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

A Great Day Off

A little unusual to have a Monday off, but okay, I'll take it. The wife had to work so no honey-do list since I was caught up on yard work. I was away from the blog, news, and Twitter all day and it was awesome. I did have one chore I wanted to do in the morning, and that was to return bottles and cans to get my deposit back. You see, the state of Kommiecticut has had a "bottle bill" in place since 1980 and expanded it a few times since. It was enacted to supposedly promote recycling but nothing could be further from the truth. Whenever you buy a beverage covered under the law, a $0.05 deposit is levied at the point of sale and then you make the return to get it back. The state loves that money, and are more than happy to have you just throw them all away. As much as I fucking hate this chore, I refuse to let the state have one penny more than I legally have to pay (which is why I shun the state lottery, also known as a "sucker's tax"). I probably had about $10 worth of bottles and cans in total. I loaded up the truck and made myself a bacon and cheese omelet for breakfast made with fresh eggs out of the coop from earlier in the morning. Slathered with Frank's Hot Sauce because like the commercial says, "I put that shit on EVERYTHING!"

I went to a grocery store that has deposit recycling machines. You put the bottles and cans in, get a receipt to take in the store and use for purchase or get cash. One of the machines was down, and the other two were in use. I went to the separate machine that takes only glass bottles and got rid of my 12 ounce long neck beer bottles. I then stepped back and waited for a can/plastic bottle machine to open up. Both machines were being operated by mentally handicapped girls and the man and woman that were their chaperones watched. The girls were super slow, but I didn't care since I wasn't in any hurry. One of the machines was now full so I picked up the phone to call for assistance. While the guy was working to clear the machine, I struck up a conversation with the female chaperone. I asked if they were from a group home, told her my wife's brother lives in one, and that this was the kind of household chore they would have to do. She said they were a transition training program from the local school system, and they use the recycling money for special lunches and field trips. Well that settled that! I offered them the large plastic bag of bottles and the receipt from my beer bottles. They were thrilled and so was I because it meant I wasn't going to be wasting my morning stuffing machines. They got the money and not the state. On my way out I had a quick conversation with the male chaperone. He thanked me as well and it turns out he was a like minded individual that felt the same way about the state.

When I got home, I took the opportunity to remove the old and put new line on my two fishing reels. I have this device that you mount the reel to like a fishing rod, and put the spool on it as well. If set up and used properly it puts the new line on the reel without getting twisted.

I use Sufix 832 low-vis green braided line on my reels and have the remains of a 600 yard spool of 20 pound test that takes up the same space as 6 pound monofilament. I have a light action set up on a 6 1/2' Whuppin' Stick rod with a Mitchell 308, and a medium action using a 6 1/2' Shakespeare Ranger rod with an Abu Garcia reel. I don't load too much line on the reel spools, maybe a couple hundred feet. I find that this device works much better when held vertically, not the way that is shown in the photo. As the line gets faded and used I'll shorten it up. More on my fishing exploits later.

I called up a friend of mine that I have known since the 4th grade and over 50 years that recently retired from state employment to see if he wanted to go to my club range as a guest after lunch. When we had our sniper contest a couple of weeks ago (which I won by the way) we never got around to shooting our handguns. I wanted to shoot my carry guns, just to make sure I was good to go since I carry all the time. He said he'd meet me at the range so I got started before he arrived. My carry/personal defense guns are a Ruger SR9c (9mm), a Ruger GP-161 (.357 Magnum), a Ruger LCP (.380 ACP), a S&W 45 Shield (.45 ACP), and a Glock 21 Gen3 (.45ACP) equipped with a Streamlight TLR-4 laser/light combo. As usual, I carry one gun locked and loaded for defense at the range that I don't shoot. For that outing, it was my Dan Wesson Model 15 with a 4" barrel carried in a surplus L.E. thumb-break holster with two speed loaders. Ammo was 125 gr Hornady Critical Defense .357 Magnum rounds. Targets were set up at the seven yard personal defensive range. For each gun I started with a simple bullseye target and fired a full magazine in a nice tight group. I then moved to the full-sized silhouette target for a Mozambique Drill from a holstered gun. I was quite satisfied with my speed and accuracy, having what I feel to be a good balance on draw, presentation, engagement, and firing. Afterwards and just for fun, I used each gun (except the LCP) on the 25 yard steel plates easily clanging the AR500 steel. I waited for some cloud cover to use my red laser on the Glock against the silhouette because the sun blots it out, but it works really well inside my house especially at night. Bullets struck right where the dot was. My buddy on the other hand.... he is a terrible shot. He throws full mags down range with poor grip, stance, and trigger pull. He won't listen to advice from me so I don't bother any more, letting him put all his rounds in a 12" group at seven yards. He then tried to hit the 25 yard steel and kept missing but insisted he heard the clang even though the suspended plates didn't move. I explained to him he was hitting the solid steel angled plate backstop. I then took his gun, a Walther PPQ in .40 S&W, and put a full mag down range, striking every single plate and swinging them hard. He mumbled something about needing more practice. He never seems to stay at the range very long and left before I did. I stuck around to clean up brass, tear our targets off the target backings, and put a fresh coat of white spray paint on the steel plates. When I got home, because I shot my carry guns I got busy field stripping and cleaning each and every one. I burned up the last of my .45ACP target ammo, so it's time to load some more as well as some 9mm, .357 Magnum, and .38 Special. I will be using this loading opportunity to introduce a fellow firefighter to the world of reloading.

I have been fishing at my club pond in the evenings when my wife is busy doing other things. The pond is stocked with trout, but I'd rather fish for bass any day. I do catch and release, and bass are a much more hardy species compared to fragile trout. All my hook barbs are crimped flat, so landing a fish is a little more challenging, but getting a fish unhooked is so much easier. The last couple of evenings, I have been joined by this handsome fella.

Great Blue Heron


There are lots of bites and action, but like I said, landing a fish is a challenge. Until last light the only thing I caught was a bluegill that put up a good fight on a light action rod. On a previous outing I had a fish on the line using a spotted red and yellow spoon, but less than 20 feet from shore it got away. Oh well. The heron stayed less than 10 feet away and would follow me back and forth from the edge of the water to the picnic table where my tackle box was. I was told he gets leftover bait and small bluegills from people fishing there. He is not shy at all, but he is also not aggressive. So last night before Mr. Heron arrived, I put on a floating Heddon Torpedo lure and sent it out. As soon as it hit the water... BAM! I got a strong hit and the fish was on. I reeled in a decent but under-sized (for keeping) Largemouth Bass. He was hooked perfectly in his upper lip and I landed him without my net. I got the hook out quickly, took a good look at him, and tossed him back into the water. Since I was by myself, I don't try to take pictures. It was soon after that the bird showed up. He landed at the other end of the pond and walked all the way over to where I was. They make a low "awk" sound over and over. I continued casting the same lure to see if my luck would continue. After casting for a while with no more bites, I decided I would call it quits around 8 o'clock figuring I had my success. Nope, on one of my final casts while slowly retrieving my lure I got a solid hit and a set hook. I reeled in a nice Smallmouth Bass which would have been a keeper. Mr. Heron was very interested in my catch, but I told him that was not going to happen. Again, landed without my net, easy hook removal, a quick inspection, and back to the pond. That was it, I packed it in for the evening. As I walked away to my truck, Mr. Heron moved down to the waters edge to start hunting. I guess he figured if he was gonna eat he would have to work for it.

I have been a member of my current sportsman's club since December 2020. I have spent more time using the club facilities, putting in work hours, and just hanging out than I did at my previous club in 20 years of membership. They are a great bunch of guys, and even the work parties and events that are hard work are fun and worthwhile.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Gotta Get A Jab For A Job?

I attended a job interview yesterday for a FF/EMT position at another department for better pay, shorter hours, and good benefits. I will stay on and pick up extra shifts where I am now if the new employment conditions will allow. The interview was done as a three man oral board which is typical in the fire service. I have sat through several over the years and if you are ill-prepared it will not only be intimidating, but will absolutely crush you. For example, when I took the state certification board for my Fire Officer II class it went like this; you walk in and there are three stone faced Chief officers from departments around the state with about 110 combined years of service. You pick up a random unlabeled manila folder from about 30 laid out on a table. This will be your scenario. You hand it to the board members, and based on the contents, they each flip open a giant 3-ring binder and select random pages of questions keyed to your scenario. No two boards are ever the same. The Chiefs then begin asking you the questions. You look towards the one asking the question, look them in the eye, and answer the question to the best of your ability in a steady confident manner. There can be no hesitation or wandering in your head searching for an answer. This goes on back and forth between the Chiefs until they conclude the board. I know someone that has been in the fire service for 40 years; he's a smart guy, but has blown the Fire Officer I board twice and never certified because he gets totally intimidated and blows it.

So yesterday was similar, but the three individuals had written out their own three questions each. I had no problem answering their questions fully, drawing on my own 30 years of experience. I think it went quite well. At the end, they asked me if I had any questions. I had one. "Is a COVID vaccine mandatory for employment?" The guy who was filling in for the HR rep said he didn't know. The senior FF said they were all vaccinated and was pretty sure they had to. The HR stand-in said he would find out and get back to me. He asked if I would be willing to get one for employment, and I said "Absolutely not. If the vaccine had been developed 10 or 15 years ago and gone through the normal safety testing, I would consider it, but not for something that is still experimental. It would be a deal breaker for me." The interview ended, we exchanged pleasantries, and I returned to duty at my firehouse.

A couple of hours later, I got a voicemail on my cell phone from the HR stand-in. He told me it is only a recommendation, not a mandatory requirement. I thanked him via text message and he acknowledged back. Had they said it was a mandatory requirement, I would have officially withdrawn my application immediately.

Today I get a voicemail from a blocked unknown number. It is the guy that stood in for HR. As I am listening to his message the station landline rings and is answered by the Lieutenant. The HR guy called the station looking for me. When I get on the line, he tells me they have one final question that they were supposed to ask me yesterday, and the other two guys were on the call as well. It was on the back side of the sheet of questions and they missed it. They wanted to know how I would handle conflicting orders from two different officers on an emergency scene. Again, drawing on my vast knowledge, I told them if the conflicting orders were going to cause a life safety issue for a victim of a fire or accident, a medical patient, civilian, or fellow firefighter, I would not carry it out and notify the officer. If it was simply a task conflict, I would handle it the same way we handle what's called "Freelancing" on the fire ground. Freelancing happens when a firefighter does something because they feel like it (like randomly smashing out the windows of a house), or as they were headed to do an assigned task, get grabbed to do another task by another officer, never completing the original task. Your supposed to tell that second officer you already have an assignment and who the officer was that gave it to you. In a unified command structure those two officers need to be on the same page, so they can discuss which task you are going to accomplish. They seemed satisfied with my answer and now I just wait to hear if I get an offer.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Old School Series - Part 7

I decided to not post any comments at the moment in reference to (p)Resident Gropey Dopey Joey Poopy-Pants' desire for total civilian disarmament. Anything I say in reference to it WILL BE construed (and rightly so) as total anti-government and insurrectionist. So... get lost Fed Glow-Boi, nothing to see here.

Instead, I am reviving my "Old School Series" blog posts. I got reminded about doing this from a tweet I replied to earlier today.

I went to one of the state technical high schools where I studied electronics. In the beginning of my senior year, one of the local TV repair shops called looking for someone to work part time after school and on Saturdays. We all looked at each other but no one raised their hand, so I said, "I'll take it!" and I started there the following week. I was working on the service bench with a couple of experienced older guys and took to it quickly. I also went on pickups and deliveries, as well as spending time with "the old man" doing easy repairs in customer houses. He was a funny old French-Canadian guy that smoked a pipe and always had it clenched in his teeth, even when not lit. One time, a little girl peered around the back of the TV and asked "Whatcha doin'?" The old man looks at her and says "Makin' pills." I still say that to looky-loos to this day. Not only did we do TV's, but we did radios, stereos, reel to reel tape decks, guitar amps... anything electronic. We did car stereo installs (my specialty) and sold appliances that needed install and delivery. We had a huge inventory of turntable needles and cartridges, tubes, electronic components, belts, connectors, and brand specific replacement parts. One whole wall of the building were all the file cabinets containing the "Sam's Photofacts" folders. There was a folder containing schematics and service info for everything electronic (non-military) ever made. There was a subscription service that we got regular deliveries of, and it was one of my jobs to file them. Pretty easy as long as I kept up on it, but sometimes we were busy and I fell behind meaning I had to make time to file them away. Here is an example of what could be found in our large showroom:

This is a Quasar model #Wl9439sp. Early electronic tuner & beautiful wood

We were a Quasar, Zenith, and later a Panasonic and Matsushita dealer, but we repaired all brands.

This is an RCA model #GR778 with mechanical tuners. The cabinet in this example is a little beat.

This is an unknown model from Montgomery-Ward. Dig that high-gloss shine on the top. Real wood!

TV's weren't the only electronics that came in a giant fine wood cabinet. Console stereos had an AM/FM tuner and a turntable. Later models also had an 8-Track or cassette tape deck.

A gorgeous slide top Magnavox console stereo. The left side was either LP record storage or a bar.


With the fine wood cabinets and built-in speakers, these things had rich, warm sound. The turntable in this example had the ability to accommodate a stack of LP records at once, meaning it would play for hours. When the stack finished, flip them over and start over for several more hours. Also, the turntables usually had good isolation from the cabinet, which meant you could crank it up when the parents weren't home without getting feedback through the needle/cartridge. A little "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" at 10 on the volume knob anyone?

So people would gladly pay to have these beauties repaired because they were a big initial investment. On the stereos, new needles, worn turntable belts, noisy audio controls, or bad tubes. On the TV's, mechanical tuners would collect dust and need to be removed for a thorough cleaning, or the contacts would just wear out and the whole tuner unit could be replaced. Dirty or worn volume controls, or other video/audio controls that would need a good cleaning or replacement. Bad tubes or on later models, circuit boards. The CRT picture tube would wear out and the picture would fade. Usually one of the electron guns would be shot making the colors be off. Lose the green electron gun, leaving the blue and red guns would make everything tinted purple. Or the phosphorus screen would burn out making the picture completely faded. I did a lot of picture tube replacements. This post details a CRT picture tube replacement, a lost art in my opinion. They weren't so much hard as labor intensive, because the entire TV had to be disassembled.

The first thing to do was to pull the Sam's folder for the particular model, but disassembly was pretty straight forward. The TV was laid on the floor face down on a moving blanket to protect the finish. Once the entire chassis was out, there was the cabinet, speakers, and picture tube left. The picture tube was held in place with a metal mounting bracket. The CRT has a model number just like a regular vacuum tube, and many manufacturers and models shared CRT's. The only real exception was a manufacturer like Sony with their proprietary Trinitron series of TV's. Once out of the mounting bracket, the old CRT and the new one had to be handled carefully. If dropped and broken, the implosion could cause serious injury. The new CRT was carefully lowered into the cabinet and into the bracket, then secured in place. It was easy to ensure it was right side up, since the high voltage connection was always on the top. Re-assembly was just doing the reverse of disassembly and getting the chassis back in place. The connector for the electron guns on the rear neck of the CRT was left off for the convergence procedure. The TV was stood back up on its casters or legs. A final check of assembly looking for pinched wires or anything out of place and it was ready to be powered up.

These TV's had an electrical safety interlock. The back cover had to be on and secured to normally get power to the chassis. In the shop, we needed the TV powered up to service it live. We had what we called "cheater cords" to by-pass the safety interlock. This was necessary to do the convergence procedure. Because of manufacturing processes, every CRT is slightly different and the alignment of the electron guns has to be manually adjusted. In an old school CRT television, the electron gun shoots a stream of electrons at a phosphorus screen at a high rate of speed. Our eyes can not detect the constant "repainting" of the phosphorus screen, so the picture looks steady. The red, blue, and green electron guns are "steered" to the different parts of the screen by electromagnets in an arrangement called the yoke. If you don't do the convergence, you will see three separate pictures on the screen; a red one, a blue one, and a green one slightly off from each other. We had a special device that plugged onto the picture tube to generate test patterns for moving the electromagnets on the yoke and aligning the pictures. This took some practice, because you were doing it from behind the TV while looking at the images in a mirror. It was a combination of having the 3 colors balanced by how strong they were, and then rotating the entire yoke as well as the slide adjusters for each gun. It always took me several tries, but the older guys with experience did it fast. We would then connect the CRT to the chassis as normal and hook the TV to the antenna system to let the TV run for a day or so. Sometimes the convergence would need a tweak before delivering the set back to the customer. The final step was to clean the screen, knobs, and cabinet, then polish the finish. It would be wrapped in a moving blanket, delivered back to the customer, and re-connected to the antenna.

I worked at this job from September 1979 to September 1981 with a brief time away to go to Army boot camp and AIT. It was a family business that paid good for a high school kid and just after and they treated me well. I only left to start my 35 year telecommunications/IT career.