Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Confessions of a Prepper

When do you have enough stuff? I have often asked myself this question. I started preparing when I was young so I have had a long time to acquire my stuff. I am to the point now that I have so much stuff I wonder if I have too much. I have multiples of everything. I call them "AIR SPARES", Air Force for having an airborne spare aircraft for any mission. Should I pass up the good deals I see and stop buying?

Can you have too much stuff? You can never have too much food, water, supplements etc. But what about everything else we buy? If you had say 12 sleeping bags for a family of 4 that may be excessive. Guilty!

I think that at a point prepping becomes very obsessive. Am I wrong? I know that we must be obsessive to a point in order to get it right. But when I read that one blogger mentioned he had over 200 mags for a certain firearm. It hit me that maybe there has to be either a point of no return or an end point.

To be honest I think that my buying is a compulsion of sorts. It is like an Adrenalin rush to me. I just keep buying stuff. I can't help it if stuff just keeps showing up that I want or should I say need. Even if I have some already.

How many of you out there have this compulsion? I cannot be alone in this.

Well let me know your thoughts.


Monday, May 25, 2009

I Have Been A Sheeple for a while

As I have mentioned before I get plenty of time off at my job. On Friday the 8th of May I started a long period of no work. Boss did some traveling. In fact in the last 18 days I have only worked 5 days. During that time I avoided ALL news. No news was good news for a time. I hope everything went well during this time for all of you.

I just took care of things around the house and did some needed maintenance on the vehicles. Spent some quality time with the family and did some traveling.

Having ones head in the sand can be refreshing. Like the old song "Don't Worry Be Happy." That was me for a time. Now its back to reality.

Later I will do some catching up on what has transpired since I have been in a news blackout.

I did not stop my seemingly never ending quest for Stuff. By the way when is enough enough? That's a post for a later date.

In my travels I went to the states largest Flea Market about 240 miles from here. Found two extreme cold weather bags for $15.00 each. Got two more mags for the AR at $5.00 each plus some stripper clips. Precious metals were abundant. This was a mini vacation of sorts and it was a good time for all. The weather was excellent and the scenery was outstanding. All in all a great trip.

Locally I installed a new radiator and shocks in the truck, new tie rods in the MR2 and oil changes all around. I find working on vehicles relaxing and somewhat enjoyable, except for the busted knuckles of course. Gives you a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Local yard sales have been good too. Lots of stuff I did not need and some I did. Just popped into one sale by chance and they had a Remington 740/06 for $300.00. Thank you very much! I love surprises. Found a great reference collection of books on WWII, 17 books in all. I am a WWII buff and cannot ever get enough info. Here is just a few of the great books I found. Aviation Badges and Insignia of the United States Army 1913-1946, Luftwaffe Aircraft and Aces, The Allied Aces of WWII, Uniforms/Weapons and Equipment of the WWII GI, The Submarine at War, Wearing the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich and many more. I will be sharing info and pictures from some of these books in later posts. If you have an interest in a specific book I am glad to share. I will post the complete list later.

Good news abounded during this brief time. My oldest made the Deans List at college with straight A's, Life is good. Have you seen that show about Found Money where they surprise people with large sums left by some distant relative or an old bank account or stocks they forgot about. Well my wife did some checking and my father was on the list by name. Some Life insurance policy from whom he does not know as yet. Got to love it.

I will be getting the trailer ready for the summer. You know cleaning and maintenance. I cannot wait to go camping. May hit a few National Parks and some local State Parks as well. Drowning worms is high on my to do list too. The locals rivers and streams are too fast and full for now but soon they will be prime for fishing. May even do some inner tube float trips. Summer, got to love it. I get even more time off during the summer and I cannot complain. We only work 3 days a week during this time and I make good use of the time off.

Well I guess for now I have gone on long enough. It is good to be back at the daily grind even if it means that there is bad news out there waiting to be discovered. I will now catch up on what I missed in the real world and with all of Your blogs. Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts.

May God Bless America!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Who Speaks For You?

Below in green is a saying I have always held close.

Martin Niemoeller, one of main opponents of Nazi racial ideology in the Lutheran church and one of the founders of the oppositional "Confessional Church," is arrested. He is sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1938 and spends the next seven years in concentration camps. After the war, Niemoeller's condemnation of bystanders to Nazi policies will become a call to early action.

His words: "First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist - so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat - so I did nothing. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew - so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left who could stand up for me."
From the following website

Now I know there are many who find fault with what Michael Savage has to say. I must say right up front that I agree with 90% of everything he says. I like the guy OK! But as I type he is being attacked for his free speech. He is on a "No Entry List" for the U.K. as a "Rabble-Rouser"(really that's the term used) of all things.

They put him in the same category as a famous American music star that escapes me for now. Michael can't get into ENGLAND, PERIOD! A frigging Talk radio Host. What could he possibly do to the entire country of Great Britain?

Why all of a sudden does Great Britain FEAR Michael Savage? Is it Micheal's FREE SPEECH they don't like? Michael said this could get him on the no fly list for being a threat in another nation! Why are they coming for Michael? Anyone?

Now if a foreign nation can do this to American Citizen, whether its a Musician or a Talk Show host, what IS OFF LIMITS TO YOUR OWN GOVERNMENT.

I can hear some in the world saying "That's only one man I, I could care less if he has problems." Well folks that one person is our problem. He is just the beginning of much more unless someone stands up for FREE SPEECH NOW!

I think the above saying is Very appropriate for TODAY. To SPEAK UP for Michael Savage get the MSM like Fox News to give it the attention it deserves. I know I am a Whore for telling you to use the MSM but what else is there? Sure you can write you REP. But why waste your time? They could care unless it involves them.

The only avenue left is the MSM. Someone needs to get it out that FREE SPEECH is under attack. So email those losers at FOX and tell them they need to speak for Savage. No need to contact the rest of the MSM, nothing but deaf ears. Fox is our only chance.

So if you love FREE SPEECH please send an email to Fox.

Here is the email address for the Fox News Manager

Thank You for your help and your visit.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Saturday Night Specials

Most who read this kind of blog may not consider the "Saturday Night Special" for their kit. I for one think it is perfect for what it is. It is a small cheap pistol. Not very stylish, not very powerful and inexpensively made. The Clerke 1st is an example of one of these little pistols. Made in Santa Monica Ca. by the Clerke Technicorp company. Caliber 32 S&W with an 1 1/2" barrel. A very heavy weapon for its size at 1 pound 4 oz. Holds five shots and is very reliable.

This is what I call a GUT GUN, you know how in the old movies when the bad guy shoves the gun in the gut of his target and pulls the trigger. The way Ruby did Oswald. You cannot miss at that range and it will kill. Not very effective at a range of more than a couple of feet but when in need its better than nothing.

The price is right too. Around $25.00 for a pistol is CHEAP. I have seen them from $20.00 up to $50.00. They are pocket pistols basically and for a backup weapon they serve a purpose. Heck one of these and another more expensive backup would make me feel better any day. Any rounds in the direction of the bad guys is better than none. Also at that price they are disposable if needed. Try throwing away your Glock, I bet you won't.

What better weapon to have for barter or to give to that neighbor who has nothing when the SHTF. You can keep it in the BOB and if God forbid its stolen who cares. You are only out a few bucks instead of the hundreds you may have paid for that Browning or the like. Keep one in the trunk, glove box, toolbox, tackle box etc. with a box of ammo. Cheap insurance for sure.

Most of these little pistols are looked upon as inferior to all others. I suggest you give them a second look for what they are Inexpensive firepower. So the next time you see one of these much maligned weapons buy it for what it is and for what it could be.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

All is Not Lost I Hope

With all of the crap coming down the pike from the Obamanation Administration such as treaties and the like I still believe there is a glimmer of hope out there. My Hope rests with the American People in general.

Even my Liberal Boss says she stands behind the Constitution to the letter. She is anti gun in her home but defends my right to own them. She is not a fan of Talk radio or anything Right Wing but she fully supports their right to exist and their Free Speech. She has told me this on many occasions. She is well educated and has groups of common sense. She is a live and let live Liberal. She has said that if she is allowed to live her life according to what she believes then why shouldn't everyone else. She never tries to impose her beliefs on anyone and is open minded about your point of view.

Surely she is not a minority among the Liberal masses. I hope she is the rule and not the exception. There must be Millions of others like her who just want to go about their life without being told how to live it and want the same for everyone else.

This is where my Hope comes in. I cannot believe that the majority of People in this country do not think like her. With the exception of the 535 and the MSM, I think that the majority of this country is still of sound mind and will only take so much crap before they make themselves heard.

Most of us are busy trying to make ends meet, doing the job thing and just going about life. Some could care less about events unfolding around them,the Sheeple. There are 300 million of us and I am betting the majority of us are not going to take it much longer. "WE" as in you and I have seen to much crap come at us for many years but those who just stroll through life without a care must soon wake up to reality.

I am an optimist at heart and a little pessimism is fine at times. But I believe in this Country and the People who live here. It is not to late yet and maybe just maybe there will be an awakening of the Masses and then the real UNITED STATES OF AMERICA will shine through like it has so many times before.



Monday, May 4, 2009

A New Countdown on the Sidebar

I have started a temporary countdown of the left sidebar. This is for an acquisition that will arrive in about the number of days indicated. There is a backlog due to the Obamanation. A nice hard case and other items will wait until its arrival. Well I think that will do it for now.

P.S. This Countdown is for my own entertainment, mostly.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Spring is Back Again

The snow we got last weekend is now mostly gone and today was a beautiful sunny warm spring like day. Temp was about 52 and it felt much warmer. I look forward to going camping and doing some fishing. I love to fish the local streams and creeks. I do not know how much it is for a fishing license where you are but here a year is $17.00. I don't catch anything very big but they put up a good fight just the same. I release everything since I am not in need of food. I let them get bigger. I just enjoy catching them for now. We have Rainbows, Cutthroats and Browns. Some of the lakes around here have Grayling too. The local river has some big trout but the current makes it a task to fish. I drown worms as opposed to Fly fishing. Flies are fine when required by law but I prefer live bait. Lots of fly fisherman here. They flock to the rivers to get a workout with their arms. I have always thought that fly fishing was a lot of work.

My favorite place to camp is about 35 miles from here. A great stream runs through the area and there are Deer, Black bear and and an occasional Elk. I have even seen a Beaver or two at times. Plenty of campfire wood all over so I don't even have to bring any. Night time is my favorite when all the stars come out that are invisible in the city. On one occasion I counted 35 meteors streaking through the sky in one hour. If you are patient and look long enough you can see satellites circling the planet.

There is something about cooking in the woods that makes everything taste better. I know it is just my imagination. People seem to cook more when camping too. Maybe its the fresh air or the exercise. Most of us are not accustomed to walking much but when camping we seem to do a lot. I seem to sleep sounder out in the wild than I do at home too. Again maybe the exercise or the fresh air.

There are still those among us that insist on bringing the modern things along, like music, chain saws, generators, motor bikes and once I saw a TV on a picnic table! I try to avoid the crowded areas since here you can camp for free anyplace in the State parks that is not a developed. By developed I mean tables, outhouses etc. Just find a spot anywhere and set up camp. No restrictions on fires unless the fire danger is high.

I once spent a month camping in the local forests and that was a time the family and I will never forget. The freedom it provided and the lack of stress was GREAT. During the week we never saw anyone except for maybe a Ranger now and then. Basically we had the entire forest to ourselves. Once a week we would drive into town for propane and some grub needs. Otherwise we were camping fools. We were not roughing it by no means. We had a 12' cab over camper with a sink, shower and toilet for the bathroom, a Real refrigerator with a freezer, 4 burner stove and an oven. The fridge was a 3 way power type. It also had the old propane lights that are now no longer made. They make great light and provide heat too. This thing had a hot water heater too. I sold it years ago and regret it. It was good to us for a long time but we needed bigger digs.

I know I could live in our current travel trailer forever and be as happy as a lark the entire time. Even the wife says she would enjoy it! We both like simple surroundings without the clutter and and unnecessary things that most of us have in our homes. You know the useless things that are just dust collectors and serve only as decoration. Of course there would still be the necessary items that we all have in our stash. Firearms, Etc. I know firearms are modern things to but they are NECESSARY no matter where you are. But I can do without a TV, Stereo, even the computer. A radio would be the extent of my modern electronics. It seems to me that we all are addicted to too many modern things that we could if we had to live without. I know it would be tough on the young ones but they would survive I am sure. They will be going their own way soon anyway.

Well I am getting anxious to go camping and the next opportunity I get I am off. Drown some worms and eat like a pig. That's the life for me. Mark

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Another Bargain Gear Item

I went to a local auction today and I normally do not even leave an absentee bid. I hate to wait around for them to get to the items I am interested in. I saw three things that I Wanted. Two Marine Ghillie Suits and a Blackhawk S.O.F. Ruck Pack Kit. I put in some bids and left. This afternoon I went back to see if I got anything. I missed out on the suits but I got the Backpack. It lists for $383.00 on the Blackhawk site. I paid $60.00. It has tons of room and many pockets. It is new and I think it was an Issue item to the same guy who had the suits. Below is an image from the Blackhawk site. Both of the large side pockets have Alice clips for removal. WOW a bonus, I was going through the pockets and found a Beretta 9MM Magazine by Pro Mag. Cool!

The other day I picked up a Kevlar helmet #6 for $18.00 and a WWII Like new backpack for $20.00 the kind that has the triangle shaped frame. I needed another pack like I need another hole in my head. I have more packs than people to use them by a factor of 2. I just can't pass up a good deal for the life of me. I guess I should stop buying stuff so the wife will be happier but it is an obsession with me. MUST BUY GEAR! MUST BUY GEAR! Everywhere I go I see something I want and I already have one or two at home most of the time.

Well I think that will do it for now. Have a great day out there. I have already!

I Found My Ammo Fairy

As usual I spent the morning hitting yard sales. Got the usual things I look for and a surprise too. At one sale I met a man named Ed and he had a few boxes of ammo on his table. I bought up a couple and he said he had MORE.

He reloads in his basement and does cast and jacketed. His garage is full of lead and he said all he needs is Brass for some of his stock. I have brass galore and he said bring it over and he will take care of me. The ammo I bought was 9MM for $9.00 a box and .223 for $10.00. Now this may not be the cheapest price in town it is the quantity I like. He said he has the ability to reload tons of ammo! I am bringing over all my brass and he said check back in a week.

This is a great find, better than a silver mine at this time.

He also ties Flys which is another good thing to know.

He has been at this for 45 years and that makes me feel good about buying it from him. He has dies for every caliber I own. I asked him how well stocked he was on primers and he Laughed! So things are getting better for me daily except for the Possible Pandemic thing that I ranted about last night. Not much I can do about it so I am going to go about my business for now and be thankful for what I have and the new source for more AMMO!

May God Bless America!


Friday, May 1, 2009


This is what is happening NOW! Schools are closing around the country and more to come and here's why! Not because of the flu but a possibility of the flu is reason to close a school. Schools around the country will ALL close. To quote the OBAMANATION :

"He said that schools with confirmed or suspected cases should consider temporarily closing "to be safe as possible," and advised parents to prepare for contingencies, including not sending a child to a daycare center."

Confirmed or suspected cases! That means as a Principle do you want to have it on your conscience that you kept a school open and a child died? NO! So we have the domino effect across the country! No more School!

Now one parent/guardian home with the kids all day.

If they sent your child home from school because there might be a chance of getting the flu, and you can't take them to childcare, are you going to take them shopping or go anyplace for fear of getting the flu(sheeple!)? Since we still have some Nuclear Families (look it up)out there, maybe one more member of the family is out in that toxic air and that wouldn't be prudent, maybe everyone should stay indoors except for emergencies!

They are already closings schools. Check it out for yourself.

I am no genius but I think I know what stinks and this stinks! This has the odor of a baited trap!

That has already SPRUNG!

Now what to do?




This title is in no way directed at anyone in particular. I just used that to let people know it is a very simplified explanation of How The Sun Works, Period. I am just borrowing the "FOR IDIOTS" guide books idea for a while. I promise to give it back. I know that to some of you this will be OLD news. But to some it will be an awakening.

Well I have always loved the Heavens but especially the Sun. That little bright ball up there is the only reason we exist. No Sun No WE! Now its been heating us up for a long time. Just like a fine watch it keeps going and going. Now even the Sun gets run down at times and cools just a little. We are 93,000,000 miles away from the Sun and it still warms our planet. Oh by the way any closer and we FRY and any farther we FREEZE. Just thought I would throw that in.

I want you to think of the Sun as pot of hot water on the stove. Now you can bring water to a boil and it roils like crazy. Really hot water. Now if you get it to a temp close to boiling, it is still very hot just not boiling hot. The Sun is the same. When the Sun is very hot it boils like that water making bubbles on the surface. These are the Sunspots. The more Sunspots the hotter the Sun is. Fewer Sunspots means its still hot but much cooler than when there are many Sunspots. Now for all you skeptics check out there this chart at : It covers Sunspot activity since 1749 starting in the month of May of that year.
Below is the 1913 records of Sunspot activity from that site. The numbers in ( ) is the number of sunspots seen in a given MONTH per DAY. I put the () around them to make them easy to read.
JAN 1913 1 (2.3) 3.6 FEB 1913 2 (2.9) 4.5 MAR 1913 3 (0.5) 1.7 APR 1913 4 (0.9) 2.9 MAY 1913 5 (0.0) 0.0 JUN 1913 6 (0.0) 0.0 JUL 1913 7 (1.7) 3.7 AUG 1913 8 (0.2) 1.3 SEPT 1913 9 (1.2) 3.6
OCT 1913 10 (3.1) 4.6 NOV 1913 11 (0.7) 2.2 DEC1913 12 (3.8) 6.8
I can hear it now why pick 1913? Well as I have posted earlier it has snowed quite a bit here in the last few days. It snowed 26.5 inches in 3 days. My point is that this 26.5 inches of snow snapped a 96 year old record for snow in April. April 1913 to be precise. We beat it by 8". Now that's a record that has stood for 96 years. The Sunspot activity in April 1913 was 0.9 sunspots per day. There were no Sunspots on the 25th through the 29th of April 2009. It snowed 26.5 inches it that time frame. If you doubt it go to, and see for yourself.
Now in 1913 there were no Sunspots again until July of that year.
Now to go back even farther in time to 1645 through 1715. This is the lowest recorded period of Sunspot activity EVER! The data for this period is located at the site below. : This is called "THE MAUNDER MINIMUM"
Early records of sunspots indicate that the Sun went through a period of inactivity in the late 17th century. Very few sunspots were seen on the Sun from about 1645 to 1715 (38 kb JPEG image). Although the observations were not as extensive as in later years, the Sun was in fact well observed during this time and this lack of sunspots is well documented. This period of solar inactivity also corresponds to a climatic period called the "Little Ice Age" when rivers that are normally ice-free froze and snow fields remained year-round at lower altitudes. There is evidence that the Sun has had similar periods of inactivity in the more distant past. The connection between solar activity and terrestrial climate is an area of on-going research.
I guess historical records are not good enough! But anyway I digress.
Now lets recap, Maunder Minimum Less Sunspots colder earth, Maunder Maximum More Sunspots Hotter Earth. Got It!
We are now in Maunder Minimum as I type and have been for quite a while. Since 2007 to be precise. Check out the charted data here :
The Earth is starting to cool in conjunction with the Suns 11 year cycle of Sunspot activity. We are now at the lowest point of Sunspot activity in this part of the cycle.
Now my whole point of this is to put my 2 cents into the GLOBAL WARMING THEORY. If you look at the charts and then check out the weather during any given year back to 1749 you will see that its colder on Earth in the years that fewer sunspots are recorded. Just the same it is HOTTER on Earth when there are more Sunspots!
Now the hottest period we have had on Earth is from 1998 to 2007. There were groups of sunspots during that time frame. Check it out.
So one more time repeat after me: MORE HEAT HOTTER PLANET, LESS HEAT COLDER PLANET! Period.
If your read this rant Thank You. I hope you at least give this some thought. It would be nice if we started worrying about important things, not what the temperature of the planet is since we can do NOTHING about it!
Mark, up to his butt in 26.5 inches of snow in APRIL!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Epidemic Influenza And Vitamin D

I visit every weekday and I always see a bunch that interests me. Today I found an article that may be of use to all. The title of it is "Epidemic Influenza And Vitamin D" it is located at Read the entire article and make up your own mind as to it relevance to today's situation. This is no crackpot site but a medical site.

Since in the past I have been plagued(no pun intended) with pneumonia on occasion I am following the advice given here just in case. The way I see it if it only costs me $6.00 for some supplemental Vitamin D it is worth the price. I am going to take 1000IU a day from now on except when I am able to get the natural stuff from the good old Sun. We have 11" of snow so far and its still snowing so pills will have to do for now. According to this paper you get about 12,000IU after 20 minutes of sun over the entire body(naked?) I think I will stick to shorts and no shirt thank you. Don't need the neighbors getting sick on my account.

Ultraviolet B light works too but use eye protection or you will burn your eyeballs!

OK I have to tell this story about ultraviolet light. In the 1980's I was stationed in Iceland. They have hot water pools that are formed by the output of the geothermal plants that produce electricity and steam heat for the country. This was way before they were made to look like the resorts they are now. This was just a silt bottomed huge pond of hot silty sulphur smelling water that locals laid around in anytime of the year. The only building was a small trailer about 8' by 12" long with chairs and a tanning bank of lights. Most of the Icelander's went in nude and then went into the trailer during the winter and hit the tanning light. My Ex wife and I tried this pool several times and found it relaxing. On one trip she decided to try the tanning light. She had been using the one on base and thought it would be the same. Since we were alone in the trailer and the pond was empty she tried it nude. She only stayed 5 minutes on each side. It was a vertical type lamp bank that you stood in front of. That evening she started to feel like she had a bad sunburn. When she looked in the mirror she was red everywhere. We went to the ER and they wanted to admit her since she had 2nd degree burns on over 90% of her body. The only places she was not burned was the bottom of her feet, top of her head and between her legs. Needless to say I was the lotion master for the next few days. They gave her pain meds since it was so severe. So be careful of the eyes and your skin if you use UV lights. Even the ones that are used for finding minerals will burn your eyes. That's why the cop shows wear the red glasses when using UV.

Just thought I would pass this on for those who have need for the info. I have already informed my extended family in other parts of the country. Better than a kick in the butt or a shot in the arm.

Mark Kent


In an earlier post I mentioned we were expecting about a foot of snow. Well here are some images of that snow. This is a really wet snow but it is not sticking to power lines as yet. Trees are heavy with it and a few broken branches here an there.

I thought it would be fun to drive what I call my skateboard to work today. I have an MR2 that sits very low but is fun in the snow. It has no problem since the roads are kept very clear here. Might hit a big parking lot for some donuts.

I love snow and even at my age I like to go play in it. This is great snowman and snowball snow.

Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood as you can see.
Later Mark

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


A great line from an Indiana Jones movie that says it all was "HE CHOSE POORLY." That speaks volumes to me. I have always tried to do just the opposite as have all of you I am sure. When I retired from the military I researched thoroughly my future residence based on many factors. I looked at all the variables and made a decision based on what I considered important. The place that I/we chose was not what my wife would have liked but in explaining why and for the sake of our then small children she agreed. We had lived in a large population center with vast amounts of Gang activity, excessive crimes of all kinds and limited resources.

My current home is in a relatively secure environment. No gangs, crime is extremely low, abundant resources, low cost of living, semi rural with lots of farm land surrounding it, with locally grown vegetables, dairy, beef, chicken, wheat, barley and more. We have many local farms that raise anything needed and several organic farms for both meat and veggies. Water is very abundant since we live near a Major river.

The surrounding area has vast amounts of wildlife, dove, pheasant, geese, ducks, deer, elk, moose, rabbit, antelope, grizzly bear, black bear, mountain lions, wolves, Great fishing in lakes, rivers and streams. Lets just say paradise for the outdoors type. I can sit on my front porch and see Bald or Golden eagles fly by, hawks of all kinds looking for food and the occasional owl. Lets just say we have it all here.

We have 4 seasons with moderate winters. As I type it is snowing and we expect about 1' total for the next few days. Its a wet snow and that's good for the local farmers.

The population of the surrounding area is about 80,000 which includes the 50,000 in my town. Now that may be a lot of people to some but that 80,000 is spread out over a VAST area.

While driving around town you may see people riding their horse on the same street. Not a strange sight here just your average day. When trying to change lanes here on a busy road people wave you in instead of speeding up to keep you out. There are still gentleman here who hold the doors for ladies. If a motorist has car trouble here at a stop light or anywhere folks go out of their way to help. It is not odd to see maybe 4 big guys pushing a car out of the intersection that has stalled. People shovel each others sidewalks in the winter when needed not when asked. People helping people that's what we do here.

This state is one of only a handful that has a budget surplus and we even got check from the surplus.

Natural resources abound from coal, timber, gold, platinum, palladium, copper, oil, natural gas, sapphires, diamonds, water as already mentioned and hydroelectric power right in town. We even have 6 HUGE wind turbines that I can see from my house with more to be installed soon. We also have a local oil refinery.

The unemployment here is about 5.9% but several surrounding areas have 3.5% or so. Both my wife and I are lucky to have great jobs. I consider my job the best in the NATION. Its just my boss and I and the business is BOOMING! The business relates to one of the above mentioned natural resources. No its not oil.

Now I am not on a bragging rant here but with everything that is going on in the world and the recent events I consider myself VERY fortunate to be living where I do in these times. This was one of my better decisions. So to quote that Indiana Jones movie again "I CHOSE WISELY."

Monday, April 27, 2009


Well howdy folks! I am back in the saddle again. No the men in black did not pay me a visit and I was not in jail or God forbid dead.

I went into work on the 17th of April and the boss said she wanted to take some time off so I was given 10 days paid vacation and I took full advantage of it. I headed to my Happy Place pronto! For those who do not know my Happy place is a Ghost town in Nevada. I have been in bliss the entire time. No phone calls, no computer, no TV, no liberals, nothing but fresh air and peacefulness! Perfect weather and great scenery are great for the soul too. Simple is good and I had many days of that. Watching sunsets and sunrises without a care is what we were all meant to do on occasion. Being able to hear the sound of a hawks wings cutting through the air as he dives for his breakfast is a thing of beauty and the sight of wild horses just going about life without a care is what God gives us at its best. Even the rattlesnakes were a sight to behold. They are Gods creatures too and I say live and let live. They have a place in this world as much as you and I. Needless to say I am rejuvenated and at this point nothing could get me down.

I made it back in time to do the local Gun show and what a show it was. As usual I made out like a bandit in the precious metals department and bought a few things along the lines of the Second Amendment. Ammo shortage my BUTT! I found anything I wanted! Supplies for the .50's and all the other .......'s, mm's and ga.'s were plentiful. Plenty of buying as expected and much money to be made.

The line for entry was wrapped around the corner of the building for 2 hours. and was long most of the day on Saturday!

I was a seller this time and its been a while since I have done this. I sell as you might expect jewelry, antiques and collectibles.

Well there were many great items for sale and some unusual things too. Saw a Carbon 15, new never fired($800), a BRAND NEW NEVER FIRED MODEL SP1 COLT($1995!!!!), I forget the designation but a Pea green polymer($1050) AR-15 clone made in Lake Havasu AZ. interesting to say the least, the new HK AR-15 upper ($1650)that has three rails on it, again I forget the designation, the one that handles dirt, grime, water, gunk and keeps going and many .50's but whats new with that.

I pride myself on having the most unusual items at the show even if I do say so myself. Pride is a terrible thing I know but what the heck I deserve to have some once in a while. I have for many years been holding on to three very unique items I have acquired. First I had, (had the operative word) two 20mm barrels from an F-5E. Then there is my favorite and I am still the proud owner of a GAU-8/A barrel. All 92 pounds 8' of it. Just thought I would give them some daylight from hibernation as it were. I will continue to hold on to the big one for now. Maybe someday it will find a new home but I am in no hurry. I only wish I had more of the smaller ones to get rid of, they went FAST!

Since I was in my dreamland for so long I missed the Flu thing, and anything else that happened while I was being happy. Maybe I should have stayed put. I am glad that TEOTWAWKI held off while I was far from family. Thank you Lord!

Well I do not go back to work till Wednesday so I will be taking care of business around the house. Maybe do some treasure hunting or the such at the local junk shops since I have not made the rounds in a long time.

I hope all was fine for you and yours and you were in my thoughts and prayers. I hope all of you will get some quality time as I did and get back to what matters, LIVING! Taking a break from the real world is the best medicine I can prescribe for anyone.


Thursday, April 16, 2009


First impressions are what most people judge others on. But recent events in Great Britain prove the old adage "NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER" that goes for people too! I know this is old news to most but the recent British version of American Idol called Britain's Got Talent blew me and the world away. Now I am not a fan of the U.S. version of this show but if I could get the British version here I would watch every episode.

Susan Boyle is a prime example of the old adage at its best. She was welcomed by the audience and the judges of this show with great apprehension for only one reason her looks. This was further justified in the minds of all present by her actions, a little dance she did and the singer she admired and aspired to be like. But those in attendance soon got a dose of Reality when she started to sing.

I was amazed when I heard her sing and yes I teared up too. I say you go girl! I predict that she will run away with a win in this talent contest.

I hope that Susan Boyle's experience will make every person in the world think twice before they judge anyone for what they see and not whats hidden.

I can name two prime examples of how people might judge someone just on appearances. If you did not know them for their accomplishments they would be judged immediately by their looks.
Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Both brilliant men who have an outward appearance of not fitting in with what is considered the NORM in appearance.

I bet that if you took photos of these two people out on the street and asked people what they thought of them most of the responses would be negative. Now I know that Einstein is fairly recognizable to most but there are many who would focus on his appearance and nothing more.

Since I am a big fan of precious metals as most of you know and gems too I have a couple of prime examples of making judgements from appearances alone.

In Russia during the 1800's gold fever found many people panning the rivers for GOLD nuggets. In one area the prospectors were finding grayish nuggets that they considered to be not yet Gold since they had the density of gold but the color was wrong. So thinking that this was gold that had yet to change color threw them back to continue the transformation into Gold. Well these nuggets they threw back were actually PLATINUM NUGGETS. But since they did not know what they were and perceived them to be worthless they were dismissed for looks alone.

A local gold mine near me during the same time frame had a similar event. Prospectors were complaining about something they called "Riffle Clutter". For those of you that do not know the Riffle is the ridged tray on a sluice box or a dredge that collects the gold when the prospector washes the material he or she thinks contains gold. All of the lighter material passes over these riffles and the gold being heavier than the other material is caught by these Riffles. Well this Riffle Clutter was considered to be just a nuisance and was thrown back into the river. The belief among all the prospectors was that the BLUE Riffle Clutter was nothing but broken bottles that had been disposed of in the river. Back in the day Blue glass was a popular type of glass for many liquids.

Well one enterprising prospector thought that it was strange that this Glass would be trapped in the riffles along with the gold. He was told by the owner of a local lapidary shop that these Blue pieces of glass might be sapphires so he gathered up a cigar box full of the little blue riffle clutters and sent them off to Tiffany and Co. He later received a letter and a very large check. In the letter Tiffany wanted more of the Finest Sapphires they had ever seen.

So remember that judging anything by its looks could cost you more than you think. I bet Simon Cowell is dreaming of the money he can make.

Good Luck Susan Boyle!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Are you really prepared?

I ask this question for a simple reason. We in the present have all the bells and whistles that enable us to survive with relative comfort and convenience. We have as the basics of the survival kit go: tents, sleeping bags, cook stoves, prepared food stuffs, modern lighting devices, GPS or a compass, water filters, firearms ETC ETC you get my drift I hope. More than the basic we would like to have solar panels, generator, fixed shelter, heat source, transportation, surveillance equipment, night vision equipment, modern electronic devices of all kinds, ETC ETC and so on.

Now lets take the Eskimo of days gone by and the tribes in the jungles of South America or Africa Saharan desert they live day to day without any of the above modern trappings we depend on.

These people even today live with almost nothing and they still survive(except modern Eskimo's who have adopted modern ways). I am sure some of you have seen the series on TV with two guys who live with these so called PRIMITIVE tribes in the jungle. These people have survived in almost the same manner for who knows how long and my point is that they have SURVIVED! With none of the items we consider essential for the very same task LIVING!

Now I am not suggesting that we ditch the clothing and use just bows and arrows or blow guns but we need to take a step back and really get back to the basics of survival.

The Survivor Man series or the other guy who uses his survival knowledge are good examples of what I mean.

How many of us have actually tried to start a fire with the methods used on these shows? Or have built a shelter and searched for food in the environment that was around you? How easy would it be if you were truly in a survival situation? I mean survival with NOTHING but your brain and the clothes on your back.

I for one have tried some of the things shown on these series and I will say that it is much harder than it looks. I think I have some general knowledge of these techniques but if it came down to me having nothing available except my brain I would be hard pressed to make it happen with a positive outcome. I mean try starting a fire in the ways portrayed on these shows when you are tired, hungry, cold maybe and possibly injured. These all make using these techniques much harder. The psychological factor is also a MAJOR player.

I mean most of us are soft and lets face it as a society LAZY. We expect too much from technology to make our lives easier. In a survival situation things change dramatically. Those with military survival training or the folks in the military who tramp all over hell and half of Georgia carrying everything they need in a pack are better suited than most. But lets be honest the majority of us myself included are in no way prepared for this type of slogging around the country side on foot for days on end even without a pack.

A case in point was the story of a young girl around the teen years who was on an aircraft that crashed in the middle of some South American jungle. She was if I remember right the only survivor of the crash. Now she had NOTHING with her for obvious reasons. She was fortunate since she was raised in this environment and knew a little about what she was facing. Her father had taught her some of the things to look for in the jungle and what to avoid. These basic skills are what gave her the ability to survive and make it back to civilization. By the way she knew better than to stay put at the site of the crash and wait for help. In the jungle a crash site is swallowed up by the thick growth of vegetation. She eventually made it to a river and was helped by some river traffic. I believe she was alone in the jungle with nothing but her brain for if I remember about two weeks or so. An amazing case of true survival. Yes she had to do this in order to LIVE but the point is she did it!

I am not suggesting that we throw ourselves into a jungle and try to duplicate this brave girls feat. But the next time you go camping or go for a hike. Practice the skills that are the basics and see what it really takes to survive.

I mentioned in my BIO that I enjoy winter camping. I have spent 4 days in -20 degree F or greater weather with some of the modern items mentioned above and it was to say the least a challenge just staying comfortable. I was not alone during this and with shift work on the part of my fellow campers we kept a fire going the entire time to help with staying warm. I had no stove, no heat other than a fire. I did have a proper sleeping bag, tent, ground cover, a mat under my bag and proper clothing. Other than that we made due with the basics. We had lighters of course, axes, knives, utensils, pots and pans and store bought food stuffs, just the basics. We cooked over the fire, melted snow for water and heated rocks for warmth at night. I really enjoyed the experience and gained a lot of incite as to what is good to have and what is not.

This is the kind of thing I think will be useful for all of us to experience. You do not have to do without the basics and use whale oil for light and heat or kill a caribou for clothing but actually putting some of our gear to use on a regular basis is very important. Even if you just set up camp in your yard for a couple of days and get accustomed to using everything. Not much different than going to the range to sharpen your marksmanship skills.

Well enough of that but I hope some will take my advise and use the things that we WILL depend on when needed. This modern stuff and our brains are no good to anyone unless we use them regularly.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why Carry A Gun?

I really like the thought that went into this. You may have seen this before if so skip it. I agree with all of it!

This was linked on

My old grandpa said to me “son, there comes a time in every man’s life when he stops bustin’ knuckles and starts bustin’ caps and usually it’s when he becomes too old to take an ass whoopin’.”
I don’t carry a gun to kill people. I carry a gun to keep from being killed.
I don’t carry a gun to scare people. I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.
I don’t carry a gun because I’m paranoid. I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.
I don’t carry a gun because I’m evil. I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.
I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government. I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.
I don’t carry a gun because I’m angry. I carry a gun so that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.
I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot someone. I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.
I don’t carry a gun because I’m a cowboy. I carry a gun because, when I die and go to heaven, I want to be a cowboy.
I don’t carry a gun to make me feel like a man. I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.
I don’t carry a gun because I feel inadequate. I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.
I don’t carry a gun because I love it. I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.
Police Protection is an oxymoron. Free citizens must protect themselves.Police do not protect you from crime, they usually just investigate the crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.
Personally, I carry a gun because I’m too young to die and too old totake an ass whoopin’.
…author unknown (but obviously brilliant)

Monday, April 13, 2009


This is the origination of the now famous quote. It is very relevant today! I post this as food for thought in reference to the DHS document below! Lest we be next!

JULY 1, 1937
Martin Niemoeller, one of main opponents of Nazi racial ideology in the Lutheran church and one of the founders of the oppositional "Confessional Church," is arrested. He is sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1938 and spends the next seven years in concentration camps. After the war, Niemoeller's condemnation of bystanders to Nazi policies will become a call to early action. His words: "First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist - so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat - so I did nothing. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew - so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left who could stand up for me."

From the following website

****** MUST READ*******


Just read it I need not say anymore!

The Pirate Question

I think this pirate thing is being blown out of proportion. Yes they have what 10 or 12 ships, and 200 people as of now. They have used hijacked ships as mother ships to launch smaller boats for assailing other ships. But here is the point I want to make. None of the vessels taken are warships. Just commercial vessels. The small boats they use to "attack" larger vessels are at most launches or medium size motor boats. These ocean going vessels dwarf the boats they use to "attack" them.

How do they get the ships to stop? Do they threaten the vessel with RPG'S, AK'S
or other small arms. Can an RPG or even an anti tank weapon stop a large vessel? They do not want to disable the vessel since they have taken most into a Somali port to be held for ransom or used later as a mother ship.

Lets say they do stop it, how do they get on board? Can't the crew raise any boarding device such as a ladder, or other means of boarding a moving ship to prevent them from getting on board? Am I missing something? These are not your average weekend river boat or for that matter a houseboat. The deck is many feet up from the waterline. How do they get up to the deck? Do the crews fear them in the those tiny boats that much?

A while back there was a special on TV that addressed Pirates in that very area. There was a cruise ship that was "attacked" by pirates in a tiny boat with RPG'S and AK's. The crew had filmed the attack. They managed to get off a couple of RPG rounds that did not explode. The crew used one of those new Sonic devices and the pirates fled. Now if the crew of a Cruise ship can avoid stopping then why not a cargo ship?

Now to the meat of the question. Have some of these ships stopped and been boarded for reasons we are unaware of? Not to say the the American Flagged Vessel was one of these. Lets say that it would be unseemly for any ship to just dock in Somalia and start to unload on the up and up. But if a ship is HIJACKED and it is taken into port and unloaded who is going to question this action as anything more than pirates taking some bootie? What has been ON some of those ships that were "Hijacked?" It has been put out there that the Chinese have been supplying these pirates and the Somali warlords with weapons. What better way to get them to these people than to make it look the ship was attacked by pirates.

If my scenario is true then where are these weapons going? How many AK'S, RPG'S and the such can they use at any given time? A ship load of weapons could be unloaded and sent to who knows where with the approval of and payment to the local warlord. Last time I saw images of Somalia and its residents they all seemed well armed. Remember Black Hawk Down?

Lets say they go to neighboring countries like Kenya-unstable, Sudan-unstable, Uganda-unstable, Ethiopia-no better you get the point. What if it is PEOPLE that are the cargo? Does not need to be many to cause havoc. I mean TERRORISTS when I say people. What about explosives, chemicals? You get my drift.

I just think it is strange that the shipping companies have not provided some security when passing this area. It would be much less expensive to have a couple of guys with .50 caliber rifles to stop these guys. Even a few shots at them with something lighter would send them looking for an easier target. These pirates are getting $MILLIONS$ for the return of the ship and crew. How much can it cost to hire some security guys for the entire trip to act as a deterrence?

Something is not right about this whole pirate thing. It smells FISHY.

The first incident was I believe(been wrong before) was an oil tanker that caught fire due to an "explosion?" Was this pirates or as reported terrorists or was it insurance money at work? I forget the details but I believe it was near Yemen. Why destroy a tanker FULL of oil? How much is the oil itself worth even to non pirate terrorists? What political message would be gained by destroying a tanker and killing a few people? Was this a suicide bombing or did they just pull along side set some charges in a small boat and cruise away? They did find small boat wreckage at the scene. The French are glad to pay ransom as are many other nations. Why blow it up?
It just seemed strange to me.

My whole point is why have the governments of the other countries not done what we have just done? Is the thought of killing a few pirates that sickening to them that they would rather pay the ransom? It is not the governments that are paying the ransoms its the ship owners or the insurance companies. Why don't the other countries cry out for protection from the respective governments naval forces. I am sure that these countries have at least a cruiser or a destroyer or some warship bigger than the pirate vessels.

I just think there is more to this than meets the eye. Something is not right about the whole pirate thing.

Just my thoughts and I am sticking to them!


These are most of the patches worn by team members. I cannot locate the non-subdued patch for the Ghost Riders 416 FTR Squadron.

Starting from top, Dragon Test Team, Grim Reapers, Nightstalkers, (missing Ghost Riders).

Next, 37AGS, Subdued Ghost Riders Maint. Patch, NightStalkers Maint. Patch, 37 AGS subdued.

Four different 4450th Tactical Group patches. Red patches prior to the subdued black patch. Large black one is for jacket pocket.

Large red 4450th is for jacket pocket, Next one is a test pilot school patch. the bright color one is the Lockheed Field Service Patch for the F-117.

Three A-7D patches. Top patch was worn by Nellis cover story crew. The bottom two were also worn by Nellis Crew but are much earlier. Went from large color to large subdued to small patch.

I also have two of the Aircraft style HUGE vinyl stickers. The kind put on the tail or fuselage. About 2' x 1 1/2' or so(a guess since its been a while since I have looked at them) but they are big. I will image them later.

Spacing is not working again, sorry.

Hope you enjoy these images.


Sunday, April 12, 2009


In the spirit of Easter I thought I would share some pictures from a Bible I have. This Bible was printed in 1882. It is a German language Bible but was printed here in the USA.
Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I Remember........

When Sunoco gas stations had gasoline up to 109 octane.

When cable TV had NO commercials and good programming.

When we knew our enemies by the flags they flew.

When news casters reported and left opinions to themselves.

When cartoons were for kids.

When children played outside.

When Gay meant Happy.

When getting the clap was a major thing.

When the Military were the GOOD GUYS.

When religion wasn't vilified.

When school was for learning not indoctrination.

When the dollar was backed by GOLD.

When silver coins were given as change.

When baseball hats were worn properly.

When pay phones were enclosed.

When America made things.

When slide rules got us to the MOON.

When Hank Aaron Beat Babe Ruth's Home run record without STEROIDS.

When movie stars made movies not speeches.

When commercial airplanes were not buses with wings.

When drive-in theatres were THE place to go.

When there were no BLEEPS on TV.

When Woolworths sold M1 Carbines and Garands!

When the President of the United States did not bow to ANYONE!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Well another chapter begins. this time I will jump around a bit to give you some more incites into this part of my time at TTR.

Now many of you know that Nevada has a large population of wild horses. The Test Range is loaded with them. A great sight to see to be sure. Huge herds(is that the right term) roam all over the area I was privileged to see. When taking the bus to work they would be just grazing on the sparse vegetation the desert provides or playfully running around like a bunch of colts. As for colts there were many to be seen. These horses were not a bother to anyone and it felt good to know that at least here no one could harm them. The range gave them the ultimate protection from losers who thought they made good targets. The only problem they presented was to vehicles at night. Every now and then one would stray onto the road and become a casualty of fate. This got to be a big concern for the Commander of this base. He of course was mainly concerned about the safety of his troops and the expense of losing the numerous vehicles that were trashed by hitting a horse. He put out a proclamation that the next person that hit a horse would face his wrath.

First let me say that TTR was black as black at night no lights could be seen anywhere. To be able to see a horse crossing the road at night there was IMPOSSIBLE. Well two days after this proclamation by the Commander, He hit a horse and trashed his truck. Needless to say the cat was out of the bag and the fun started. Now this Commander was a great guy and had the respect and admiration of all. He was the kind of man that knew how to treat everyone as PEOPLE. He could also take a joke. Several days after his horse episode some folks had made a sort of trophy for him. It was a diorama of sorts. It had his Red truck(the only red truck on TTR) all crumpled up and a dead horse, the road, grass, cactus the whole nine yards on this thing and a little plaque with the proclamation on it . They presented it to him and he laughed his butt off. This kind of thing would not have been acceptable anywhere but at TTR. We had a special relationship that allowed us to do things that others in the USAF could not. After this event he understood the hazards of driving on the range and made no further proclamations about hitting horses.

There was as I have said two bus systems at TTR. One that operated in and around the housing area and also took us to work. Then there was one that served the secure area only. On the secure area bus I struck up a conversation with one of the drivers and learned he was a FAMOUS KNIFE maker. I believe his last name was King but I could be wrong, its been a long time. Anyway he was a great guy and carried one of his knives with him a folder. This was strange since having a weapon on TTR was a no no. But I think he was given special consideration because of who he was. A great guy with many stories to tell to anyone who would listen. Many just passed him off as just a bus driver. But a few who knew better listened. I have always learned to listen to those with life experience no matter who there are. I mainly asked about his knife making and what he thought about the Black Jet. The ride was never a long one since his route was short but it made the ride even shorter when he was driving.

Now everyone knows that the F-117 is a single seat aircraft and there are no two seat versions, not enough room in the airframe. So for a new pilot there is no chance to fly with an instructor pilot. This is where the simulator comes in. Now it is no secret that all aircraft have a simulator of some kind. But the F-117 had THE simulator. I will not go into details but lets just say when I flew the Simulator it was like flying. During desert Storm the simulator was not being used much for obvious reasons. We were given the opportunity to use it any time we wanted. I took FULL advantage of this and logged much time on it. I took off, flew missions and landed it with no problem. I am no pilot but years of being familiar with aircraft gave me a basic understanding of how they work and how to use the instruments. Something that will never be duplicated again. I am happy to have had the experience. I must say that to this day I laugh at the graphics of even today's modern video games. I will leave it at that.

I can say that I have flown two real jets before while serving in the USAF. An F-4E and and A-7K. I did not land them or takeoff but I was allowed to take the controls of both. On the A-7K flight I was able to fly the entire length of the Grand Canyon only turning around when we reached the airport closest to the end, I forget the name of it. We were at an altitude of only 1000' and I followed the winding canyon all the way. What a thrill. After the canyon we did some aerobatics. I was allowed to do an Immelman (look it up and see what it is)and vertical a figure eight and the best of all a full loop. No I did not lose my lunch. I love roller coasters and this was just a really fast one. Pulled 6 g's at one point YEAH.

In the F-4E I became a member of the Mach Club by achieving Mach 1.2. The crossing of the sound barrier was to say the least exciting. Now the plane we were in had external wing tanks and this required us to go into a shallow dive to achieve Mach 1+. We started at about 2000' and when we recovered we were only at 800'. Being in the cockpit of any fighter aircraft is a noisy event even with the helmet on. Engine noise mainly. When we broke through the sound barrier all of a sudden all I could hear was the noise of the instruments and gyros whirring nothing else. Almost total quiet. What an amazing thrill and experience. The pilot maintained mach1.2 for less than a minute but due to the fuel consumption he said that it was prudent to slow down before we became a glider. F-4E's do not glide. During our Mach run at 800' off the deck everything was a blur to me. The ground was whizzing by and you had to look forward to keep you brain from crashing while trying to focus on anything. You know what it is like when you look out a car window at the close objects they make your eyes dart back and forth if you try to actually see anything , well magnify that just a little and you know what I mean. I will never forget that ride.

Shortly before the Mach flight I was allowed to fly the length of Death Valley. Our altitude was a bit higher around 4000' but still a marvelous view. I ran an intercept on the other aircraft and since I was a Radar guy I knew how to operate the system with ease. But being on the ground and tracking something is way different than being in a moving plane with a closing rate 0f about 1000MPH. Needless to say I did not even come close to getting a lock-on.

Then the pilot took me to his favorite spot to fly He called it flying the gap and when he said gap I had no idea how small it would be. We were part of a two ship flight and the other plane took lead and I am happy they did. I got to see the most fantastic view ever in an aircraft. When the lead plane went over the hump of the gap I had a full view of the leads bottom as he went over the top. What a sight that was. We were VERY close to each other and I mean close. When we exited the gap we were over someones mining claim with a small trailer and we broke out VERY low. So low I could see great detail of the people on the ground. When going through the Gap we were no more than FEET away from walls and dirt. I mean literally only a couple of feet. What a rush! We continued this low level thing for quite a while playing grab ass with the other plane over hills and down hills the best roller coaster I have ever been on PERIOD. The ground was very close and the ejection seat I was in was just a seat at that point since there was no chance of using it, there was no time to react fast enough. Thankfully I am writing this and not some stain in the desert.

Well Time to do the work thing. More later. Mark

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Well here we go again.

Today I will focus a little on what we did at Nellis as part of the cover story for the Stealth program.Being at Nellis and having a BIG secret was kind of exciting to say the least. We for obvious reasons felt privileged and at the same time special in relation to others on the base. We weren't any better than the rest but our mission was entirely different and required at times thinking on our feet as it were.The operations on Nellis were many times multinational and this caused some apprehension on our part many times.

A great tradition among Air Force's worldwide is patch trading. Now since we were not very visitor friendly this was a little difficult for us when someone would POP in for a chat and to get one of our patches. As as I mentioned before when someone who we did not recognize came into our building we would instantly do a MEET AND GREET before they got to far into the building. We would approach the person and ask politely if we could help them. This was odd I am sure to them since in most places you could wander for some time before someone would even notice you. On one occasion a British group came for a visit and we went into action. They just wanted to get some patches which we gave them and then they wanted to see our planes and talk shop. Well that was not going to happen. Try getting a fellow airman to kindly leave as soon as possible in a polite manner and they begin to feel unwanted. This was not our purpose but in our building things could change at a minutes notice and someone could be discussing classified or the such. These poor Brit's I am sure thought how rude of the colonists to rush us out.

Another time a Brit who had purchased of all things a Harley had been driving down the flight line road a no no to begin with towing his prized possession on a trailer and drove right into our red line area where the planes were parked. He was stopped by a maintenance crew they called security and he was given a polite lashing I am sure. The Security Police on Nellis were not briefed on our mission and any breach of the RED LINE was handled the same as anywhere else on the flight line. For those who do not know there is a red line painted the entire length of the flight line. As with anything red it means stop, no crossing. This type of infraction happens often at bases worldwide. Some times it is a civilian driver who is lost and wanders into the flight line area by mistake.

Being part of the 4450th was also different in that we had different rules from the regular AF. For instance in the USAF every year everyone has to qualify on a 1 1/2 mile run in a certain time for your age. In our unit we got permission to do long hikes in the mountains nearby instead and that was great. One time we went up a trail that led to the area where the oldest living things on earth live the Bristlecone pine said to be over 5000 years old. These hikes would be a family affair with a picnic afterwords and a great time for us all to get together. Of course there would be more than one of these events since our schedules would not allow for everyone to do it on the same day.

The agencies on base were familiar with us but anytime we dealt with them they knew we were odd sorts since we always got what we wanted no questions asked. We had priority in everything we did. This at times caused some discontent among the MASSES but they never gave us a hard time just the LOOK. I am sure they resented us in some small way but they could do nothing about our special status.

A good example of this special treatment was when we needed some new recruits from a tech school in Denver Colorado, Lowry AFB. Myself and two others a Chief Master Sergent and a Master Sergent flew out to Lowry with the task of finding two people to join the A7's.Now when we showed up at the school the we went directly to the Commander's office. Since we were SPECIAL he had no notice of our arrival or what we were doing at HIS school. The Chief just handed him a letter that basically said COOPERATE. Now I know that this was unprofessional sounding to just show up with no notice but that is how we operated to preserve as much secrecy as possible. The Commander, after reading the letter, said what do you need and asked us how he could help. I do not know who signed the letter but they had much pull. We were given a room to interview some folks and also given their service records and school records. Each candidate was questioned at length, even as far as asking them if they had any problems with flying. These poor folks were very new in the military and a few asked when they entered the room if they were in trouble since their instructor could not give them any idea what we were doing. We would put them at ease and we even went so far as to put them on a first name basis for the interview so as to relax them further.

When we had found our two people it was time to let them know they were selected and that we would take care of getting their assignments changed. This is where the fun started. We went to the assignment section of the personnel department at the base and the Chief handed the letter that he had shown the Commander of the school to the Chief of the Personnel section. The Chief of this section being a Chief said I cannot change their assignments and gave our Chief the brushoff. Our Chief being the diplomatic type asked to use the phone. He promptly called someone, to this day I have no idea who he called, and handed the phone to the Chief. The Chief simply said yes sir several times and hung up. He then asked our Chief how he could help. Amazing what one phone call can do.

This is my favorite example of how our unit was different from even other A7 units. Our A7's were the only active duty planes of this type. All others were assigned to the National Guard. Since our planes were no different in appearances to those in the Guard we got any and all modification or time compliance orders that they got. The only problem was that ours did not have the cannon installed and some of the armour plating(for weight and balance). These were removed to make the aircraft lighter. There were also systems that we did not use. I will leave it at that. So if we had a new mod or the such that pertained to these areas we could not perform that task.

This lack of systems or non use of systems proved interesting on one occasion for me. As the head of my specialty on the aircraft I was sent TDY (temporary duty) to Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton Ohio for a conference on a digital conversion of the system I was responsible for and several other system it would affect. Since some of this stuff was not used I hoped that nothing would come up that I could not explain away.

The first awkward moment was when all the other Guard folks and I met. The first thing they asked was, so why do you guys fly A7's and what do you do? Our cover was that we were testing advanced avionics (not a lie - F-117). So that's what I told them. I could tell right off that was not good enough for them but they let it be, for now. I was going to be at this conference for 7 days so I just hoped that that was the end of the awkwardness, Not. Everything was going great until someone mentioned some problems with a NON use system on our planes. When I was asked if I had a similar problem which they all had experienced I simply said NO (not a lie). Needless to say they wanted to know why and I told them I could not discuss this any further. Luckily the chief in charge of this conference understood my situation and changed the subject.

One other great thing about that conference is my visit to the Air Force Museum at Wright Paterson AFB in Dayton Ohio. I was like a kid in a candy store. Planes I had only seen pictures of were now inches away. I was overwhelmed. I say all my favorites, the XB-70, X-15, B-58, B-29, (FW-190, ME -109 German WWII) P-51, Spitfire, P-39, P-47, P-40, P-62, B-1, B-36 HUGE the list goes on and on. If you are ever in Dayton this is worth the trip.

One thing that I will mention here is that I had a relative who was a Major General attached to Wright Pat when the Roswell thing went down. This is the base that the supposed Alien bodies were brought to. He was at the time in charge of a Scientific unit at the base. I asked him many years ago if he knew about the rumor. He said he did and that to his knowledge nothing of the sort ever came to that base. Take that for what it is worth. I will say that he had a very high security clearance. One more interesting thing about him is that he also participated in the Nuremberg Trials as a younger officer. He was a West Pointer. Was moved over to the USAAF during WWII and went on to the USAF in 1947. He was a pilot, P-51s. One of my TTR buddies reminds me of him a little, this relative once buzzed his mothers house in NEW YORK CITY. He was a great guy. He has passed now but he was alive well after 9/11. Here is something he said to me after 9/11. Mark its been two days now how come Afghanistan still exists! Every so often he would call and mention the time since 9/11 and ask the same question. He lived to see something happen there but he felt it was way to little to late! He passed at the age of 95 and is buried at Arlington. Sharp as a tack to the end!

Now for one of the characters I worked with. I will not use his real name. Derek was by far the most exciting of the bunch. I remember a trip I took with him in a Government owned vehicle, GOV, up North as we called it. One of only two trips where I got to drive up instead of fly. The trip up was uneventful if you could call a high speed run uneventful. Derek was the driver ALWAYS he insisted and who am I to argue at being a passenger. Its a long drive. Anyway the speedometer was not much use for him. To put it simply the mile markers were going by every thirty seconds! Yes I know it was wrong but we were young and fearless let alone the abuse of a GOV. Needless to say he had an ulterior motive for this. He wanted to make it before dinner, it was surf and turf night. We arrived on time for his dinner of choice and unscathed. This was just a parts run of sorts for the A-7's there and to bring some other items back to Nellis. It was an overnighter of course.

On the return trip Derek wanted to take a Short Cut. Now you must understand there are no shortcuts across CLASSIFIED RANGE. Our security badges allowed us to access only certain parts of the the Test Range. But Derek new better and proceeded to drive where we were NOT SUPPOSED to be. He said it would cut many miles off our trip back. I said maybe not if we get stopped and they check our badges. He was not phased by my words one bit. So here we were about to Trespass on areas of classified Range and he was excited. As we went along suddenly a sign read area such and such badges only. I looked at my badge and it was not there. Here we go. I will not be able to describe where we were or what we saw but I can tell you this, I was keeping an eye on the sky for a very good reason! After what seemed FOREVER a new sign proclaimed we were leaving that area and we were in the clear. Thank you Lord!

Now the fun was not over and now I got to play a little. I am sure you are all aware that Nevada has what is called the EXTRATERRESTIAL Highway. Well we ended up coming out on that road. Now Speed racer had a new game he wanted to play. At the speeds mentioned before. He had brought along many very small steel juice cans, you know the ones you see in the markets with pineapple juice in them they are about 3" high and about 1/1/2" in DIA. perfect for the palm of the hand. He called them juice grenades and we had all flavors, prune, apple, pineapple you name it. Now these were full cans. His idea was to try and hit things with them as he drove. I was the launcher and he would toss a few too. Well I am not very good at hitting things at the speed he was going so I never made contact with any targets. The idea was sound but we had no way of judging when to release. I have to admit it was kind of a rush trying to hit billboards and the such. None of his lobs by him made it either. I bet somewhere out there there are many burst juice cans along the south bound lane of that highway. We did not stop in Rachel NV we blew by like a flying saucer. Made the trip back in record time, for who I do not know but it was fast.

Years later I saw Derek back in Vegas at a Reunion of sorts. He had flown in under his own power. He had a PILOTS license now, a REAL one and had rented an aircraft. He wanted me to go up with him. I declined for obvious reasons.

Well I will stop for now. More later. Thanks for reading Mark

Monday, April 6, 2009


I am sorry but I have to let some frustration out and screw the political correctness CRAP.

The loser station MSNBC, the HOMOSEXUAL, Transgender and Losers channel you know the one with that Madcow he/she and the is he or isn't he Heir Olberman. Well I am still looking for the name of the Lisping LOSER who is a replacement for the usual LOSER on softball. He just called a Minnesota State Representative a WING NUT for her views on the political environment.

I have tried to stay away from the negative but just surfing channels got me mad. How did I manage to catch this loser at the exact moment of his dribble?

These folks are wetting themselves over that Obamanation, non citizen, LOSER.

He JUST CALLED us WING NUTS again, meaning the right.

Yeah I called them names too but they have a NATIONAL audience and should have higher standards! My standards were lowered to prevent from having to buy a new TV!

Make note to self DELETE MSNBC as was done with CNN. There I feel better.

Thank you for letting me get that out I needed it.


I just found out that if you click on the images I posted they enlarge! Now I feel better about posting images. Before this Revelation I was a little depressed by the quality. Try clicking on the images of my favorite place if you have not already. It makes a world of difference.

By the way the person in the Happy place image is my Big Little brother. He is a great guy who makes me laugh constantly. In that image you can see the ruins of one of the ghost towns near where we are camped(camped, well not really camping in an RV) there are two within a short distance of each other. The RV even gives more detail too. Check out the sunset image and look at the Joshua trees in the foreground. Boy I miss this place BAD!

I love revelations like this one. Simple pleasures are the best!


WOW, I just found out that if you click on the image it enlarges! Way cool this will give you a better look.

Well yet again here are today's treasures form the same antique/junk shop. The stick pin is 14kt with an amethyst and the ring is also 14kt with great open work, mill graining and carved designs all the way around even the shank. It also has some great enamel work too. The ring dates from the 1800's probably around 1890's or so. The image does not do the ring justice since the stone is blood red and marvelous. I have to break out the refractometer to see what I have. But I would say without a doubt it is a ruby, the question is Synthetic or natural. They started making synthetic rubies and sapphires in the 1800's. By the way the stone is about 6 carats or so by measurement. It measures about 13mm long and 10mm wide and 6mm deep. The gold value minus the weight of the stone is about $70 dollars, I paid $12.00. The actual value of the entire ring is much more. The stick pin has about $45 dollars in gold content and I paid $12.00, but again it is a 1920's era piece and worth much more than that.

I guess I had better explain some of the terms here. First a REFRACTOMETER is a device that with light refraction and a special liquid determines the refractive index of a given gemstone. It gives a numerical readout that corresponds to certain gems determined by how much light it refracts. The readout is in a given range and that determines the type of gem.

Mill Graining is a type of very tiny bead like decorations usually on the edge of a ring. Think of them looking like little drops of gold in a line all along the edge of a ring. On this ring they are around the bezel(hold the stone in place). The open work is similar to that you might find on a very ornate wrought iron fence with patterns throughout or a stainglass window without the glass and on a very tiny scale. The pattern is flowers and leaves surrounded by tiny little holes for lack of a better word that make the designs appear to float on the ring.

Along the shank of the ring(part that wraps around your finger) there is intricate carving of flowers and leaves intertwined, same as the open work but carved. Very delicate and beautiful carving.

This is old world work and today would be a custom job since much of this type of work is no longer done. To have a ring duplicated WITHOUT THE STONE would run in the THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. The main reason is that none of this ring was Cast it was intricately made by hand. All the open work was done with an extremely tiny saw to get the desired pattern and finished product. I counted 124 individual cuts in the metal to obtain the desired effect. Some of the cuts are less than 1/2mm in diameter. Imagine the person who did this toiling for weeks to complete this ring. Nothing like that today exists. This type of craftsmanship today is PRICELESS!
The value of the stone if it is synthetic is about $200.00 to $300.00, if natural, PRICELESS! I am betting on the synthetic!
I added anothe rimage to show the almost true color of the stone and the open work is a little visible.
Well thanks for letting me show and tell as it were.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I Live IN the ALAMO, DO YOU?

What is this crazy dude up to now? He thinks he lives in the Alamo. Well metaphorically I do. Its called My home and My town. I am talking about G.O.O.D.

Now don't get me wrong G.O.O.D. is fine for natural disasters, man made types like chemical spills, nuclear waste problems or reactors you get the idea. But as far as "THEM" or "THEY" go I am staying put! I have come to the conclusion that G.O.O.D. under the "THEM" or "THEY" scenario is Bad for My Home, Bad for MY town and Bad for the Country as a whole and here is my reasoning.
What if those brave souls at the Alamo, many of which were not native to the area, had seen what they were about to face and said later guys? What about another brave group during the War of 1812 who in New Orleans fought British troops while being out gunned and out trained but still had an ENORMOUS victory in the face of these odds. Those in N.O. were a, pardon the saying, a rag tag, bunch of soldiers, citizens and even pirates who stood their ground to defend this young nation from the attacking forces of the British. They stood their ground and WON a major battle(I know the war was over but that is not the point).

Then take the Revolutionary War. What if the signers of the Declaration had not seen fit to carry out that very dangerous task? Or what if simple farmers, cobblers, printers, doctors and the rest of the plain old citizens had decided to mind their own business and not get into the fight? Except the TORRES of course.

The groups that I mention here were for the most part ill equipped and greatly outnumbered. They were lucky during the Revolutionary War if they had shoes, food, shelter, proper clothing etc. Yes we had help from the French and the British were involved in a war with France etc., but without the resolve of a few patriots we would be singing praise to the Queen as I type.

Who in these UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is better suited to follow in the footsteps of these great patriots than those of us who are PREPARED? I am not suggesting anything like a revolution or the such. But take for instance posts I have read that state it is a good idea to have extra food stuffs for neighbors and family. Well forget helping your neighbors if you G.O.O.D. They are left to fend for themselves. And what about the less fortunate among us the elderly, infirm, children, poor, sick or the doctors and nurses who stay behind to honor their oath, Fireman, Policeman, Clergy you get the point. As a former military member it would be like leaving a fellow Airman behind to save my own BUTT. How many of you ex military would do that? This G.O.O.D. situation is no different. These are the very people who I swore an oath to protect. No matter what their background.

When I joined the military at the age of 17 I did not do it for adventure, glory or financial gain. I did it because I believed it was the right thing to do for my COUNTRY! Just because I am no longer wearing the uniform does not mean that I am no longer a protector of this GREAT Country that I love! On the contrary I have even more responsibility now than when I was a civilian and my eyes have be opened significantly. I have seen how other countries treat their citizens and how wonderful it felt to touch U.S. soil again after being gone. You cannot remove the Olive Drab or what have you from my blood!

Now I know there are those thinking that the Police or even our own military may move against us. I have a sneaky suspicion that "THEY" don't know them very well. I served for 20 years and in that time I met more like minded people serving with me than I did prior or since. How many of the millions of military members have similar beliefs? Why do you think that politicians always try to keep their absentee votes from counting? They know where they stand and do not want them to make a difference in any election. I have also experienced the anger expressed by fellow military members when a liberal President or Congress is sworn in. They know that they will be the first targets of oportunity for budget CUTS.

I do not believe I can leave when fellow Americans who have no choice but to stay and face the wrath of whatever "THEY" want to dish out.

Here is a good scenario that played out on LIVE TV and it made me very angry. How about the Hurricane that hit New Orleans. When I saw all the empty school buses up to the doors in water I was stunned. How could that be, why were they not used to get people out of town? I will tell you why "THEY" did not care what happened to anyone but themselves. Even police officers left town when they were needed most. I say let those types leave and those of us with the fortitude and morals stick around and make a difference in a strangers life.

Then there was the U.S. Congressman who in the same disaster above decided to get himself a deuce and a half and save his belongings from the flood. He could care less about those who were in the same situation. Self serving LOSER.

Sure there may be some in the government agencies who respond similarly to what happened to Ruby Ridge or Waco Texas. But I believe that America has reached a turning point and that this scenario would be less likely now. I am an optimist at heart but a realist too.

Well I guess you get my point I hope. I think it would be better for all of US to make a stand and deny "THEM" the outcome they dream of and that we fear the most, The end of this Great Country as we know it.

May God Bless America

Mark Kent