The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Friday, January 31, 2020

My "Self Defence" Story

I got this idea from Witold Pilecki, a fellow blogger that Hangs out at his blog at Thoughts from Behind Enemy Lines,    He had talked about his self defense story.  The first time I had to "display" a gun to frighten off a potential Threat was in the early 90's.  I was a manager at Domino's Pizza in a town the next county over where I live at now.  A bit of background, when I got out of the service in 1991, I got a job with Kawneer as a door fabricator.  You look at the bottom center of the door, if it is a metal door, usually with glass and what not, but it will have a label that looks kinda like this:
I kept my license plate from my first F150, I snagged the logo during a break.  Well anyway, I was working Kawneer and there was a job slowdown and the entire 2nd shift was laid off.  I was pissed, we did 2 times the work as first shift, but they were union and we were not, we got the axe.  Well I had started working at Domino's Pizza as a driver and was offered a management job.  I got transferred to the store in another county because they needed an assistant manager and off I went.  Well shortly after I got there someone broke into my 1991 F150 and stole my Springfield govt model .45.  I had used it in single stack competitions in Europe.  I was pissed off, that was a good 45 and I still know the serial number.  Well for months afterward I had visions of walking out of the store and seeing the other end of my .45.  I had bought the 45 and my Ruger P89 at the Nellingen Rod and Gun Club in Germany.  Well since then I had a habit of keeping my P89 in the store with me, yes it was in violation of Company policy but I didn't care.  Well one day I had just closed the store and there was a tapping on the glass and there was one of my drivers. he was still in uniform his name was "Gus", well "Gus" was a driver that was drawing disability from the VA for having mental issues. The Store manager had hired him, we were hard up for drivers and he seemed to be ok.   well I let him in and locked the door as he came into the store while I went back to the office to close out the daily report and count the till.  Well when I sat down, I habitually took the Ruger off the desk and sat on it with the butt sticking out.  Well the driver "Gus" came into the office as I was finishing the paperwork for the day and started counting the money to go into the moneybag.  Well "Gus" was talking needing money to buy "some company" if you know what I mean, apparently he knew of a person that sold affection by the hour.  Well he was talking about getting money and visiting her, while I was counting down.  He commented that he was broke and needed some money and I commented while I was counting,"Man I can't help you, I am broke until payday."  He then pointed to the cash I was counting down and commented"What about that?" and I replied calmly..."Naaa.......That belongs to the store,"..By this time I seriously regretted letting "Gus" in to the store, I was picking up some bad vibes from him.  As he kept talking I glanced up at the shelf above my desk and looked at the "HSPP" book, it is "Hourly Sales and Payroll Percentages".  It tracks the sales from the same period last year, it is a tool used by the manager to get a rough draft for labor and sales to plan the schedule and the food.  I recall a year before where a store off Old National Hwy in Atlanta where a manager had his head bashed in with a bat by a driver who proceeded to take the till and when they found him the next day, he had smoked it away in a crack house. but the blood spatters were on the HSPP book so when the store staff got the figures, they had to deal with the dried blood spatters.  Well I was getting the "Deja vu" feeling.  I still acted calm closed up the bank bag and picked up the clipboard where I was putting the daily figures, you know the daily sales, the food percentage and the labor percentage for the day and how they impacted the weekly and monthly figures. We called it the "Daily Keys"  I proceeded to stand up, pick up the Ruger P89...
from the chair and put the pistol under the clipboard as I carried the clipboard to the data entry station outside the office and proceeded to enter the "Keys".  Well "Gus" saw the pistol and freaked out, and yelled "What are you doing with a Pistol??!"  I replied as I was entering keys "The pistol is there in case someone tries to rob me when I go to the bank  after I leave the store.."  He ran out of the store.  I quickly followed and locked the door after he left.  I then went over and sat down and knew that I was very lucky, Sure "Gus" didn't physically touch me, but I am convinced that if I didn't have the pistol, "Gus" would have attacked me to get to the store receipts.  and with him being taller than I am and crazy, I have severe doubts on how I would fare in a physical assault.  I stayed in the office for a couple of hours before I left and yes the pistol was in my hand when I locked up the store and headed to the bank and home.  "Gus" came back for his regularly scheduled shift but he avoided me after that and quit a couple of weeks later.  Well the Ruger, I had to sell her a couple of years later to pay some bills.  I regretted doing so but I was desperate to bring in some money.  This was the salad days for me and the soon to be spousal unit.    Even today, I still count myself as fortunate from that incident, it could have gone pear shaped in a hurry, and I was lucky.  I kept analyzing what did I do wrong, well what I did wrong was let him into the store, but in my defense I have done that in the past with other drivers and the company was nice while I closed the store.  I have had to pull a Pistol 3 more times doing pizza stuff.  I quit when I got my job with my present employer, I didn't enjoy the pizza delivery business anymore and the customers were changing.  Way back when I delivered for the first time in 1985, if you were robbed, they just took the pizza, but in this day and age, they would rob you, take your car and kill you just for street cred.  I never had to fire my private weapons in defense of my life and I am glad.  But I also am glad that I had the pistols when I did because things could have turned out differently.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Why You should Still Carry Cash

I shamelessly carry cash, I try not to use plastic.  I spend less if I pay cash vs a card, it helps restrict my spending and I save money.  I shamelessly cribbed this from "Art of Manliness".  I will add a couple comments to the article.

Cash is no longer king.
According to a U.S. Bank survey conducted last year, half of people only carry cash half the time, and among those who do carry cash, nearly 50% carry $20 or less. In another survey done just this year, only 41% of Americans said they regularly carry cash, a number that drops to 34% if you only include Millennials. 16% of respondents had no cash on them at the time they were polled.
The decline of cash is easily traceable. In a world where you can pay and tip your pizza delivery guy and “cabbie” (in the form of an Uber driver) online or from an app, where restaurant and store purchases are easily taken care of by credit or debit card, and peer-to-peer transfer apps like Venmo can be used to split a dinner bill or pay back a friend, many people just don’t see much reason to continue to carry around paper money.
But, there are in fact several good reasons to still keep an ample supply of greenbacks in your wallet, including:
1. To handle/take advantage of emergencies/opportunities that require cash. Even in this digital world, you’d be surprised (and very frustrated if you don’t have any cash) by the number of things that still require concrete cabbage. Roadside stands, super hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and food trucks sometimes only take cash, you need cash as a back-up if you lose your credit or debit card, and other unexpected needs arise all the time.
Here are just a few of the things I needed cash for in the last year:
  • Paying to park in an ad-hoc lot created for a festival
  • Buying fishing bait sold from someone’s house in the middle of nowhere
  • Paying for a campsite at a state park after hours
  • Tipping a valet
  • Paying for a dinner when my debit chip card didn’t work
It’s always good to carry cash both for handling things when they go wrong, and to be able to make sure things go right and certain natural disasters like Hurricanes, the computer system was down and the only thing that would work was "Cash".
2. To pay and tip service providers more generously. Sure, even small-time restaurant owners, service providers (including barbers), and store proprietors typically provide a traditional credit card machine or offer Square Payment. But, it costs them to do so: anywhere from .2%-2.9% of the purchase price, plus a fee of $.10-$.30 per transaction. (Because merchants have to pay these fees both on the transaction of the purchase itself, and on the gratuity you leave, some don’t provide the kind of receipt that offers a line to write in a tip, not because they don’t expect one, but in the hopes that customers will pay that portion in cash.) So every time you pay/tip with a card, you eat into a merchant’s profit margin a bit, which can already be low for small-time operations. Credit card transaction fees can really add up over time. Mom-and-pop merchants and service providers thus tend to very grateful when you pay and tip them in cash.
Waiters are as well, both for the same reason — some restaurant owners deduct the transaction fees incurred from the gratuities charged on customers’ cards from a server’s tips — and for a couple additional reasons as well. The first is that when servers are tipped in cash, they can declare less of this money as income for the purpose of taxation, whereas the record of a credit card tip is set in stone. (Whether or not this is ethical, it is certainly common practice in restaurants.) Secondly, cash tips can be taken home by a waiter that very night, and be put to use just as soon, whereas credit card tips are often added in later to a server’s bi-monthly paycheck.  When I worked for tips, when people put my tip on the card, I had to declare my TIPS, and they took it out on my biweekly check, and I always was told, "When you file your taxes, you will get it back," but it never really worked out that way.
All in all, cash is a more generous way to pay and tip. Keep in mind though that if you don’t have enough cash on hand, it’s certainly better to tip adequately with your card than to leave a smaller amount or nothing in cash. At least in America, a gentleman always tips.
3. To tip employees/service providers who aren’t directly involved in customer transactions. Cash may be a better way to tip, but for the most part, employees and service providers who take credit cards in a way that allows for digital tipping — like Uber drivers and baristas — make out fine.
But there’s a set of workers who have seen their tips diminish as cash has disappeared: those who aren’t directly involved in a customer transaction. Folks like doormen, hotel concierges, airport shuttle drivers, parking valets, etc. You don’t conduct an actual payment transaction with them, and thus don’t get a paper or app-created bill where you can add a tip. Carrying cash is helpful for tipping these folks, and, as you may have noticed that many of them work in the travel industry, always be sure to stick some cash in your wallet before you embark on a trip!
4. To discipline your spending habits. Numerous studies have found that people spend more when they pay with a credit card versus cash. The tangibility of cash makes the transaction, and its accompanying “pain,” feel more real, while the abstractness of plastic makes the reality of the purchase more distant; you handle and count cash before turning it over, whereas with digital payments, money just mysteriously disappears with the tap of the screen or the click of the mouse. The greater “friction” of cash slows down your spending.
So if you’re trying to live on a tight budget, consider making all your purchases with cash. In the early years of our marriage, when we were barely getting by and yet serious about paying down our debt, Kate and I used the “envelope system” of budgeting. We created envelopes for different categories of our budget — groceries, entertainment, eating out, etc. — and then allocated a certain amount of funds, in cash, to each envelope. That’s how much we had to spend in each of those categories each month. Period. It was an easy way make sure we stayed on budget, and because of its simple concreteness, it worked.
5. To protect your privacy. Credit card spending creates lots of data, and this (non)paper trail can be viewed and used by the government and corporate financial institutions. You need not be a tin-hatted conspiracy theorist or a criminal operative to not want third parties tracking all your purchases and surveilling your spending habits. As Conor Friedersdorf writes in The Atlantic, while some politicians, economists, and “technocracy-friendly journalists” have called for and praised the desirability of a future society that goes completely cashless (and 61% of Americans think this is an eventual inevitability),
“Cash should remain, always and everywhere, because it allows, private, peer-to-peer transactions. In doing so, it decentralizes power in society (as well as adding a layer of resilience to the financial system—a diversification between the physical and virtual). Having stuff in society that elites can’t completely control is a good thing. Keeping a large swath of the economy away from Big Finance and Big Data is a good thing. Finally, people like cash; we shouldn’t let the elites take it away.”
Anonymous and untraceable, cash not only enables one to operate outside the digital financial system, creating a check on centralized power and a bulwark for personal privacy and freedom . . .  but it also, at the very least, allows you to purchase a gift for your wife without it appearing as a transaction on your shared bank account! Incognito mode, brought to you by cash.
Long live the green stuff.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

When it is your time

I ran across this post back in 2012 doing some research for my "Monday Music" with the "Boogaloo" theme that I am running.  I decided to repost it because it is a really good post.  
I had "borrowed"this from a fellow blogger, "Stormbringer" A.K.A. Sean Linnae.  His blog is still on my blogroll although he hasn't posted in a year.

 or in the 13th warrior when the Norsemen recited this:

"Lo there do I see my father. Lo there do I see my mother and my sisters and my brothers. Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning. Lo, they do call to me, they bid me take my place among them, in the Halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever."

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

~ Chief Tecumseh (Poem from
Act of Valor)

Monday, January 27, 2020

Monday Music "Should I stay or should I go" by The CLASH"

I am continuing my string of "bugaloo" songs.  This discussion was started in the "Monster Hunter Nation, Hunters Unite", it is a facebook group with enthusiast of the ILOH "International Lord of Hate" A.K.A Larry Correia.  We were talking about what song would we use if we looked out of our window or glanced at our security camera and saw this.....
One of the alphabet bois lining up to take down your house...What would be your "Valhalla" song and you would set it up to play as you load up magazines and prepare yourself.

, I always liked the clash but unfortunately they didn't survive the rise to fame, it clashed with their ideals and they had problems dealing with it.   The Clash was part of the British Punk scene in the late 70's and early 80's. 
Combat Rock is the fifth studio album by the English rock band the Clash. It was released on 14 May 1982 through CBS Records. In the United Kingdom, the album charted at number 2, spending 23 weeks in the UK charts and peaked at number 7 in the United States, spending 61 weeks on the chart.
Combat Rock is the group's best-selling album, being certified double platinum in the United States. It contained two of the Clash's most popular songs, the singles "Rock the Casbah" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go". Combat Rock was the last Clash album featuring the classic lineup when Topper Headon left the band after completing the Album and Mick Jones left in 1983.

"Should I Stay or Should I Go" is a song by the English punk rock band the Clash, from their album Combat Rock. It was written in 1981 and featured Mick Jones on lead vocals. It became the band's only number-one single on the UK Singles Chart, a decade after it was originally released. In November 2004, it was ranked at 228 on Rolling Stone "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.In 2009 it was ranked 42nd on VH1's program 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.
Many rumours have arisen about the song's content, such as Jones' impending dismissal from the Clash or the rocky personal relationship between Jones and singer Ellen Foley, but Jones himself says:
It wasn't about anybody specific and it wasn't pre-empting my leaving The Clash. It was just a good rockin' song, our attempt at writing a classic... When we were just playing, that was the kind of thing we used to like to play. – Mick Jones, 1991
The Spanish backing vocals were sung by Joe Strummer and Joe Ely:
On the spur of the moment I said 'I'm going to do the backing vocals in Spanish,' ... We needed a translator so Eddie Garcia, the tape operator, called his mother in Brooklyn Heights and read her the lyrics over the phone and she translated them. But Eddie and his mum are Ecuadorian, so it's Ecuadorian Spanish that me and Joe Ely are singing on the backing vocals. – Joe Strummer, 1991

The single was reissued several times. It was first reissued in 1982, with a different cover as a double A-side with "Straight to Hell" and with "Cool Confusion" as its B-side. It was reissued again in 1983, with "First Night Back in London" on side two, and then for a third time in 1991, with "Rush" by Mick Jones' group Big Audio Dynamite II as a double A-side, with a remix of "Rush" as its B-side (see the table below).[10]
Live recording of the song was released as a part of the album, Live at Shea Stadium, which featured a concert on 13 October 1982 in New York. The song's music video[11] from that performance was included in DVD The Clash Live: Revolution Rock. Both disks were released on 6 October 2008.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Went shooting

I was going to post this yesterday but it didn't happen.  Well Friday Morning, I went and ate Breakfast with a good friend, then drove all over to this place..

I went to visit my friend Mack at his place of employment to punch holes in paper :).  Well anaway, I got there, shot the B.S. with Mack while he was finishing up some stuff, then we headed into the Range.
We had decided that today was going to be a Pistol shoot, so I laid out what I had, There was my "Console Gun" my Smith Sigma, The .40S&W Hipoint Carbine, my Beretta 81.32ACP, My S&W .357 and peeking around the back is my S&W 14.4 .38 Revolver.  The Carbine and the Beretta are new, well the carbine is new and the Beretta is new to me.
   I loaded up the Beretta and fired her first....The pistol was a joy to fire, munched 50 rounds of .32ACP without a hiccup..
Those sights are small, I had a recurring problem, I couldn't "see" the sights, I have to update my glasses proscription
I then got the Carbine ready to shoot, the ergonomics are good
.I had 100 rounds of .40 S&W to shoot,  so I proceeded to load up the carbine and shoot.  The carbine shot well, although the initial loadup was really "stiff", it got better as I shot more through the rifle.
This was shot at 60 feet.  
Not bad for a pistol cartridge, but I noticed when shooting the carbine, that the rear sights are small, I couldn't really differentiate it to line it up.  I was thinking "I gotta get some cheapo optics for this rifle" and I hear behind me as I was looking at the rifle "You know that you need to look into some cheap optics for that rifle....." Mack was behind me and he noticed the difficulties I was having.   I will be looking for some cheap red dot stuff or something for the rifle, along with a couple more magazines. I fired up all 100 rounds through the carbine,   I never shot my Sigma, so she stayed in the holster. 
I proceeded to load up the .38 and shoot, I was shooting modified weaver, One handed competition and off hand shooting, both double action and single action.  The revolver was a joy to shoot and accuracy was *meh*, I did a while back, put "whiteout" on the Front site to help differentiate it from the rear sight, because the pistol is very accurate, but the target was white, with a little blue on it, made it hard to line up, but I still did ok
I proceeded to load my S&W 686, she is a .357 and is a former dekalb county police gun.  Mack had checked the pistol to make sure that the timing and everything was good and he commented "Everything is good and tight", so I proceeded to shoot this one also.  I had a blast shooting my .357, she is my favorite pistol.
I fired over 100 rounds through the revolvers including some ammo Mack fronted me.  I had a blast, been a while since I have been to the range.
 Mack was on the next lane over running his Beretta, he apparently was having a good time, he also had to help a customer with that person's class III firearm, because I heard his voice explaining some stuff and the controlled burst going downrange.  I suppose he likes his job.
After shooting the crap out of a bunch of paper targets, we retired to some restaurant where wings, pretty girls and there was beer present.  I had a blast hanging with Mack and enjoying the company, we were discussing firearms and ballistics and the comment was made "well the M14 didn't win any wars" and we chuckled and Mack commented "Betcha Jim* felt that one",  The conversation flowed and Mack has me talked into building an AR pistol like his friend Pudge** set up for travel.  While we were talking, the hooter girls kept coming and talking to Mack, apparently he is very popular there. 
     I really enjoyed visiting a member of my tribe and having a blast.   I gotta correct the deficiencies noted and come over again and shoot.


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Sorry for the lack of Posting.

I have been super busy, mostly with work but some other stuff also.  while I am working, I would get these great ideas for post but like the smoke from a campfire, when I get home the idea  has slipped away.   Don't help that I am tired and sore when I get home.  
Prelude to Axanar.
Axanar is a Star Trek Fan film, this video was filmed back in 2014 and I was blown away by the quality of the fan film.  Richard Hatch from BattleStar Galactica(1978) Apollo was the Klingon Warlord Kharn.  Suvol the Vulcan Ambassador from Star Trek Enterprise reprises his role here.
     Here is some Background on the effort.  The People that filmed "Axanar" have formed "Ares Production" and have moved to Georgia to a location north of Atlanta.  Georgia has a booming film industry and many people are moving their productions here from Hollywood, partly because of the cost and the shows like the "Walking Dead" which was filmed in my area frequently has showcased the talent.
     The Saga of Bjorn
Another of my favorites, the saga of Bjorn, an old viking trying to enter Valhalla. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Monday Music "O Fortuna/Carmina Burana by Carl Orff

I am continuing my string of "bugaloo" songs.  This discussion was started in the "Monster Hunter Nation, Hunters Unite", it is a facebook group with enthusiast of the ILOH "International Lord of Hate" A.K.A Larry Correia.  We were talking about what song would we use if we looked out of our window or glanced at our security camera and saw this.....
One of the alphabet bois lining up to take down your house...What would be your "Valhalla" song and you would set it up to play as you load up magazines and prepare yourself.
I decided to roll with the song that I heard the first time when I watched the movie "Excalibur" and it was toward the final scene when King Arthur is restored and become king again because he and the land is one.and he gathers his few knights that were still loyal to face Mordred.  King Arthur and his few knights charge Mordred's forces and the music was haunting and really neat.  I finally used my "google Fu" to find out who sung it.

Excalibur is a 1981 American epic historical fantasy film directed, produced, and co-written by John Boorman that retells the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, based on the 15th-century Arthurian romance Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory. It stars Nigel Terry as Arthur, Nicol Williamson as Merlin, Nicholas Clay as Lancelot, Cherie Lunghi as Guenevere, Helen Mirren as Morgana, Liam Neeson as Gawain, Gabriel Byrne as Uther Pendragon, Corin Redgrave as Cornwall, and Patrick Stewart as Leondegrance. The film is named after the legendary sword of King Arthur that features prominently in Arthurian literature. The film's soundtrack features the music of Richard Wagner and Carl Orff, along with an original score by Trevor Jones.
Excalibur was shot entirely on location in Ireland, employing Irish actors and crew. It has been acknowledged for its importance to the Irish filmmaking industry and for helping launch the film and acting careers of a number of British and Irish actors, including Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Gabriel Byrne and Ciarán Hinds.

Film critics Roger Ebert and Vincent Canby criticized the film's plot and characters, although they and other reviewers praised its visual style. Excalibur opened at number one in the United States, eventually grossing $34,967,437 on a budget of around US$11 million to rank 18th in that year's receipts.

"O Fortuna" is a medieval Latin Goliardic poem written early in the 13th century, part of the collection known as the Carmina Burana. It is a complaint about Fortuna, the inexorable fate that rules both gods and mortals in Roman and Greek mythology.
In 1935–36, "O Fortuna" was set to music by German composer Carl Orff as a part of "Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi", the opening and closing movement of his cantata Carmina Burana. It was first staged by the Frankfurt Opera on 8 June 1937. It opens at a slow pace with thumping drums and choir that drops quickly into a whisper, building slowly in a steady crescendo of drums and short string and horn notes peaking on one last long powerful note and ending abruptly. The tone is modal, until the last nine bars. A performance takes a little over two and a half minutes.
Orff's setting of the poem has influenced and been used in many other works and has been performed by countless classical music ensembles and popular artists. It can be heard in numerous films and television commercials, and has become a staple in popular culture, setting the mood for dramatic or cataclysmic situations. (See also Carl Orff's "O Fortuna" in popular culture.) "O Fortuna" topped a 2009 list of the most-played classical music of the previous 75 years in the United Kingdom.
 André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra performing O Fortuna from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. For tour dates visit: http://www.andrerieu.com

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Computer Humor

I shamelessly clipped this from another site that I visit for offbeat humor.   My being a former computer network geek and builder I got a chuckle out of this.
Cartoon that is attached to the side of my desktop.


ALPHA: Software undergoes alpha testing as a first step in getting user feedback. Alpha is Latin for "doesn't work".
BETA: Software undergoes beta testing shortly before it's released. Beta is Latin for "still doesn't work". It is worth noting that "Release 1.0" can also be translated as "still doesn't work but rent was due".
COMPUTER: Instrument of torture. The first computer was invented by Roger "Duffy" Billingsly, a British scientist. In a plot to overthrow Adolf Hitler, Duffy disguised himself as a German ally and offered his invention as a gift to the surly dictator. The plot worked. On April 8, 1945, Adolf became so enraged at the "Incompatible File Format" error message that he shot himself. The war ended soon after Hitler's death, and Duffy began working for IBM.
CPU: Central propulsion unit. The CPU is the computer's engine. It consists of a hard drive, an interface card and a tiny spinning wheel that's powered by a running rodent - a gerbil if the machine is a old machine, a ferret if it's more recent and a ferret on speed if it's a "performance model".
DEFAULT DIRECTORY: Black hole. Default directory is where all files that you need disappear to. The default directory exists in part to ensure you lose some important files when you (or a virus) reformat your hard drive.
ERROR MESSAGE: Terse, baffling remark used by programmers to place blame on users for the program's shortcomings.
FILE: A document that has been saved with an unidentifiable name. It helps to think of a file as something stored in a file cabinet - except when you try to remove the file, the cabinet gives you an electric shock and tells you the file format is unknown.
HARDWARE: Collective term for any computer-related object that can be kicked or battered, often without breaking.
HELP: What we all need. Actually, it is the feature that assists in generating more questions. When the help feature is used correctly, users are able to navigate through a series of Help screens and end up where they started from without learning anything... but now it's their fault and they should buy more RAM.
INPUT/OUTPUT: Information is input from the keyboard as intelligible data and output to the printer as unrecognisable junk.
INTERIM RELEASE: A programmer's feeble attempt at repentance.
MEMORY: Of computer components, the most generous in terms of variety, and the skimpiest in terms of quantity.
PRINTER: A joke in poor taste. A printer consists of three main parts: the case, the jammed paper tray and the blinking red light.
PROGRAMMERS: Computer avengers. Once members of that group of high school nerds who wore tape on their glasses, played Dungeons and Dragons, and memorized Star Trek episodes; now millionaires who create "user-friendly" software to get revenge on whoever gave them noogies.
REFERENCE MANUAL: Object that raises the monitor to eye level. Also used to compensate for that short table leg.
SCHEDULED RELEASE DATE: A carefully calculated date determined by estimating the actual shipping date and subtracting six months from it.
USER-FRIENDLY: Of or pertaining to any feature, device or concept that makes perfect sense to a programmer.
USERS: Collective term for those who stare vacantly at a monitor. Users are divided into three types: novice, intermediate and expert.
*NOVICE USERS: People who are afraid that simply pressing a key might break their computer.
*INTERMEDIATE USERS: People who don't know how to fix their computer after they've just pressed a key that broke it.
*EXPERT USERS: People who break other people's computers.

Friday, January 17, 2020

29 years ago Desert Storm Started.

This didn't post like I wanted to....Was supposed to drop in the morning.

    Today 29 years ago, Desert Shield became Desert Storm.  On 17th January Apache's snuck across the berm and wasted several Iraqi EW radar sites and opened the corridor for the masses of airplanes to strike targets all over Iraq.  The Navy fired Tomahawk Missiles from the Persian Gulf at the same time, this was the shock and awe of Desert Storm,  We had the entire Armed forces operating in concert.  I remember we felt like it was a "great Crusade" to liberate Kuwait.  We were in full MOPP4 and geared up in case the Iraqi's counterattacked.  Saddam Hussein had promised the "Mother of all Battles" and we went in fully expecting a lot of casualties.

Soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines of the United States Central Command:
This morning at 0300 we launched Operation Desert Storm, an offensive campaign that will enforce the United Nations resolutions that Iraq must cease its rape and pillage of its weaker neighbor and withdraw its forces from Kuwait. The President, the Congress, the American people and indeed the world stand united in their support for your actions.
You are a member of the most powerful force our country, in coalition with our allies, has ever assembled in a single theater to face such an aggressor. You have trained hard for this battle and you are ready. During my visits with you, I have seen in your eyes a fire of determination to get this job done quickly so that we may all return to the shores of our great nation. My confidence in you is total. Our cause is just! Now you must be the thunder and lightning of Desert Storm. May God be with you, your loved ones at home, and our country.
   He had some detractors but we soldiers knew that he had our best interest in heart and we were fiercely loyal to him.  He was one of the officers that learned the lessons of Vietnam and vowed not to repeat them.  We were told that there was a "duration" policy, no rotation back to the world, there would be no "FNG" syndrome or any screwy Rules of engagement or the "Squad Leader in the Sky Syndrome" that was prevalent during the Vietnam War. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Why were Vietnam War veterans treated so poorly

I had gotten this article from "CherrieWriters", It was one of the sites I get regular emails from.  The site is full of information about Vietnam.  I found the site years ago when I was researching the A-7 strikes near Hanoi if memory servers.  This article means something to me because I remember the treatment my Dad got when he came home from his 2nd tour in Vietnam and it infuriated me, I was too young to really remember his first tour.   How could the people blame the G.I's for the war, they had to go when their government sent them.  Going to Canada was a non-starter for most of the draftee's, "only cowards and cocksuckers ran to Canada" was the prevailing theme.  THen the way they were crapped on after they returned, from the people on the streets to the VA and the government.  I recall the sentiment during Desert Storm that we were massively supported by the people on the street to hollywood celebrities.  It was almost surreal compared to the treatment my Dad and his generation got.  I am glad that we as a society has matured, even during the unpopularity of the Iraq war most people didn't blame the G.I. although there were a few asshats here and there.

By Dante A. Ciampaglia
Twenty-one-year-old Steven A. Wowwk arrived as an infantryman in the Army’s First Cavalry Division in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam in early January 1969 to fight in an escalating and increasingly unwinnable war. By June, Wowwk had been wounded twice—the second time seriously—and was sent back to the United States for treatment at Boston’s Chelsea Naval Hospital.
It was after returning to the U.S. and while en route to the hospital that Wowwk first encountered hostility as a veteran. 
Strapped to a gurney in a retrofitted bus, Wowwk and other wounded servicemen felt excitement at being back on American soil. But looking out the window and seeing civilians stop to watch the small convoy of hospital-bound vehicles, his excitement turned to confusion. “I remember feeling like, what could I do to acknowledge them, and I just gave the peace signal,” Wowwk says. “And instead of getting return peace fingers, I got the middle finger.”

Vietnam War Veterans
A group of amputee Vietnam veterans talk together at a hospital in San Francisco, California, 1967. Bill Ray/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

The Vietnam War claimed the lives of more than 58,000 American service members and wounded more than 150,000. And for the men who served in Vietnam and survived unspeakable horrors, coming home offered its own kind of trauma. Some, like Wowwk, say they had invectives hurled their way; others, like naval officer Ford Cole, remember being spit on. As a cohort, Vietnam veterans were met with none of the fanfare and received none of the benefits bestowed upon World War II’s “greatest generation.”

No 'Welcome Home' parades for Vietnam vets.

This was partly due to the logistics of the never-ending conflict. The Vietnam War lasted from 1964-1973—the longest war in American history until it was overtaken by the one in Afghanistan—and servicemen typically did one-year tours of duty. Unlike conflicts with massive demobilizations, men came back from Vietnam by themselves rather than with their units or companies. For a decade, as one person was shipped off to fight, another was returning.
“The collective emotion of the country was divided,” says Jerry Lembke, a Vietnam veteran, sociologist and author of The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam. “For the family whose son is just coming back, you aren’t going to have a public welcoming home ceremony when someone’s son just down the road was just sent off to Vietnam.”
As the war ground on and became increasingly hopeless, the military personnel put through this kind of revolving door of service came to represent something many Americans would rather not accept: defeat. “Vietnam was a lost war, and it was the first major lost war abroad in American history,” Lembcke says. “You don’t have parades for soldiers coming home from a war they lost.”

Vietnam War Veterans
Vietnam veterans hold a silent march down Pennsylvania Avenue past the White House here on April 22, 1971. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

GI benefits were lacking.

Celebrations aside, the government also failed to make good on its promises to those who served. Veterans returning from Vietnam were met with an institutional response marked by indifference. Peter Langenus, today the Commander of VFW Post 653 in New Canaan, Connecticut, commanded Delta Company, 3rd Battalion/7th Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade from 1969-70. He led his men on operations that lasted 30 days or more in some of Vietnam’s most inhospitable conditions, “without shaving, bathing or changing clothing. None of that,” he says, “prepared me for the reception at home upon our return.”
Back in the States, Langenus quickly discovered the GI benefits available for Vietnam veterans “were almost nonexistent.” While living in New York, he developed symptoms of malaria—a tropical disease fairly uncommon in the concrete jungle—yet he was denied VA health care because he didn’t display those symptoms in Vietnam. He graduated from Notre Dame prior to being commissioned, and after his service returned to law school to cash in his educational benefits. “At a time when I was paying $300 a credit, my entire educational benefit was $126.” And when it came to finding a job, he was met with thinly veiled disgust and discrimination from law firms upon learning he was a Vietnam infantry veteran.

Veteran Benefits
Protestors demonstrate for full benefits for all US veterans, including Vietnam War veterans in July, 1974. Jerry Engel/New York Post Archives/NYP Holdings, Inc./Getty Images

“The society really was ill-prepared to give these guys what they deserved,” says Christian Appy, professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of three books on Vietnam. “They were not necessarily looking for a parade, but they were certainly looking for basic human support and help in readjusting to civilian life after this really brutal war.”
Part of the reason was economic. While the economy after World War II was one of the most robust in American history, during and after Vietnam the nation was in a death spiral of stagflation and economic malaise. And as more and more wartime atrocities came to light, there was a national implication of guilt and shame placed on Vietnam veterans as participants in and avatars of a brutal, unsuccessful war. In popular culture, the stereotype of the broken, homeless Vietnam vet began to take hold thanks to films like The Deer Hunter(1978), Coming Home (1978) and First Blood (1982).

In 1982 Vietnam veterans march down Constitution Avenue toward the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which would be dedicated later that day. 
In 1982 Vietnam veterans march down Constitution Avenue toward the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which would be dedicated later that day. Wally McNamee/Corbis/Getty Images

The Gulf War saw a shift in attitudes.

It would take nearly 20 years after the end of the war for America to get right with its Vietnam veterans. The dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982 began the process, but many identify the Gulf War of 1990-91—with its national flag-waving, yellow-ribbon cultural mobilization and the grand celebrations of a successful campaign—as ending Vietnam Syndrome. “The Vietnam veterans, we couldn’t believe it. We could not understand getting letters from school kids,” says Langenus, also a veteran of Desert Storm. “You couldn’t believe that people were cheering you.”
Since 9/11, patriotic gestures, like wearing flag pins and saying, “Thank you for your service,” have become common, as more troops are sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. But the specter of Vietnam still lingers, and some of that war’s veterans view such acts with a wary glance.
“Deeds need to be done in addition to words,” says Wowwk, who is 100 percent disabled from his Vietnam wounds. “I appreciate the respect of ‘thank you’ because that was something I never received when I came home. It’s better than nothing. It’s better than them walking away and not even recognizing you. But what are you doing in addition to saying ‘thank you’?”
This article originally appeared on the History Channel on 11/8/2018. Here is the direct link: https://www.history.com/news/vietnam-war-veterans-treatment

To continue reading about our homecoming after the Vietnam War, please click or bookmark the two links below for later reading. Both articles were posted during the last five years and were well received by readers of this website. The first, posted in 2013, is from my perspective. Here is the link:
The second is actually a paper by a college student, Mrs. Lisa Pett, married and a mother of four, who researched this phenomenon and asked VN Vet readers of this website about their homecoming; their commentary is included in the paper...it's a great read and is sure to tug at your emotions. Here's the direct link: