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Picture A Day – 30 June 2009

I was kind of at a loss for a picture tonight.  I’ve been pretty darn tired which could be from a caffeine crash, but I’m still ticking over so it’s all good :)

I figured it was time to get away from the recent guns and planes and go with something a bit different.  So I dug into my (rather sparse) jewelry collection :wink:  Yes, I was thinking of you, Kath :D

Sterling silver, turquoise, and bear claw pendant

30 June 2009 - Sterling silver, turquoise, and bear claw pendant

I got these items separately, but I got a pretty good deal on both of them.  The chain was picked up at one of the biggest jewelry shows in the country thanks to Cindy getting me in the door when she was a buyer for a chain of gift shops on The Strip.  I think I might have paid $5 or $10 for it and it is sterling silver.  I found the pendant at another jewelry show that Cindy and I happened upon by accident in Laughlin on one of our overnight trips down there.  I think that was about $35.00.  It’s sterling silver with a real bear claw :)  The guy I bought it from said it came from a reservation up in Montana.

30 June 2009 - Sterling silver, turquoise, coral, and bear claw ring

30 June 2009 - Sterling silver, turquoise, coral, and bear claw ring

Mom got me a ring very similar to this one, but it’s had issues over the years and needs to be repaired which would cost a rather large amount of money.  Rather than just reattaching a piece and attaching a new band, it would need to have all the stones and the claw removed.

Cindy found this ring for me at a jewelry show and I think it cost me about $40.  It’s heavy.  17.5 grams on my electronic scale as a matter of fact.  That’s because it’s all real sterling silver.  That’s another real bear claw, real turquoise, and coral.

Yes, I know it all really needs to be polished up and I’ll do that soon :wink:

Have a great day :mrgreen:

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WILL MY HEAD IMPLODE OR WILL IT EXPLODE???

I normally don’t blog about work for any number of reasons.  I’m going to break that tradition today.

So far today (it’s 0946 as I write this and I started work at 0800) I’ve already worked with quite a few customers.  The trouble is, they weren’t our customers.

OK, so for example one has us for phones and another provider for internet.  They had a problem with their internet and dialed 611 because that’s what it says in the phone book.  I can understand this.  What I don’t understand is what happened after I explained that 611 gets you to the provider for that phone line.

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THAT PHONE CALL TRIED TO ARGUE WITH ME, SAYING I HAD TO FIX THIS OR GET THEM TO SOMEONE WHO COULD.

The last person I just talked to (as of 1050 hours)  identified himself as the company’s technician and said they couldn’t send email.  OK, no problem, I’ll do what I can to help out.  He explained the error and I advised him that the trouble was on his side.  I also told him to use Google to search the error number which would tell him how to fix the problem.

AND HE CONTINUED TO ARGUE WITH ME.  THIS EXACT CONVERSATION REPEATED ITSELF FIVE TIMES.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I know I’m tech support for a reason and I don’t expect the people who call for help to know much if anything – that’s not their job.  That’s my job.  I only ask that they do two simple things:

  1. Know who they pay for their service
  2. At least try what I suggest before arguing and telling me I’m wrong

That, in my ever so humble opinion isn’t too much to ask.

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Picture A Day – 29 June 2009

I actually got my picture for the day taken care of first thing yesterday morning.  No, I didn’t just sit there and gawk.  I was stuck at a red light for a while and the incredibly short time my camera takes to go from off to ready came in handy.  I did not see anyone injured or this picture would not be on this blog.

29 June 2009 - Not the best way to start the day

29 June 2009 - Not the best way to start the day

I refuse to a picture like this as something “sensational” to “spice up” my blog.  If I’m going to use a picture of genuine misfortune (as opposed to someone being genuinely stupid like skaters jumping off of buildings), I want to use it in a way that might help someone.

We can learn from this picture in a few ways.  Remember to drive safely, wear your seatbelt, and keep your cellphone charged.  A first aid kit might not be a bad idea, either.  Don’t forget to put some sort of over the counter pain medication in there.  You’ll probably be sore after something like this.

One other thing to keep in your car – WATER!!! Yes, water.  You’re going to be stressed out.  The other person will be stressed out.  You’re going to want a drink of water.  Take it from me and the voice of my personal experience – you won’t be sorry you have it.  It can also be a true life saver if you’re in a hot climate.

Aside from just drinking it, water can also be used to clean a wound – back to first aid again :)

One last thing to add to this post – GOD BLESS OUR COPS!!! Check out this motorcycle cop.  He’s out there every single day taking care of business.  It was probably about 90° out there already when I was on my way to work.  That didn’t matter to him – he’s still going to do his job.  In motorcycle boots, body armor, a helmet, and carrying a full belt full of tools.  These guys ROCK 8)

Have a great day everyone :mrgreen:

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But It’s A Dry Heat!

So, what’s it like to live in Las Vegas?  I’ve been asked plenty of times.  People think the summer must be hot.

Las Vegas in June - HOT AND DRY!!!

Las Vegas in June - HOT AND DRY!!!

They’re not far off the mark with that observation.  Most of the summer is hot and dry.

Still, I think I’m just a bout sick of hearing the excuse that “it’s a dry heat” from people who don’t live here.  I wish I could find a way to make the next person who says that to me and who doesn’t live here somehow live with lows in the 80s and highs in the upper 100s.  For a whole year.

Yeah, it’s hot out there.  Be careful everyone 8)

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Plane Pr0n – F-22 Raptor Going Supersonic!

I came across this picture on the Internet today and I just could not resist sharing it with all of my readers.  It’s just freaking AWESOME!!!

GULF OF ALASKA (June 22, 2009) An Air Force F-22 Raptor executes a supersonic flyby over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). John C. Stennis is participating in Northern Edge 2009, a joint exercise focusing on detecting and tracking units at sea, in the air and on land. (U.S. Navy photo by Sonar Technician (Surface) 1st Class Ronald Dejarnett/Released)

GULF OF ALASKA (June 22, 2009) An Air Force F-22 Raptor executes a supersonic flyby over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). John C. Stennis is participating in Northern Edge 2009, a joint exercise focusing on detecting and tracking units at sea, in the air and on land. (U.S. Navy photo by Sonar Technician (Surface) 1st Class Ronald Dejarnett/Released)

The caption tells the tale better than I can.  I will say that the condensation you see in the picture is the result of the shock waves that are created by the aircraft as it travels faster than the speed of sound.  Unlike what you may have read in some emails, this doesn’t just happen at the moment the jet goes supersonic – it stays around as long as the jet stays supersonic and there’s enough moisture in the air.

I still can’t get over just how cool this picture is 8)

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Picture(s) A Day – 28 June 09

Y’all noticed anything around here lately?  Yup, I’ve been a bit heavy on guns and planes.  I acknowledge it.  Hey, it’s my place on the internet, right :P

Yes, Kath, I will be changing up the content before too long :wink:

28 June 2009 - 7.62x39 Ammunition

28 June 2009 - 7.62x39 Ammunition

Tonight’s subject is defensive ammunition.  I got the idea for this post when I was loading up some of the 7.62×39 (AK-47) ammo I bought yesterday and noticed something different about the rounds in one of the boxes.  Somebody somewhere goofed up and I happened to benefit from that mistake.

On the left is standard “ball” ammunition.  It’s got a solid nose and a full metal jacket.  This is the more common type of ammunition because it’s (usually) cheaper and made in larger quantities.  Full metal jacket (FMJ) ammo is actually required to be used by military units in combat by the Geneva Convention because the wounds from soft point or jacketed hollow point (JHP) ammunition were considered to be too horrendous.  The Geneva Convention also outlawed the use of spike type bayonets and mandated blade type bayonets for similar reasons, but that’s a post for some other time.

On the right is the ammunition I acquired by accident.  You can see that it’s JHP ammo.  Why do I say this was a benefit?  Well, soldiers in a time of war might be limited by the Geneva Convention, but I most certainly am not!

My primary weapon for home defense is my 9mm pistol, but my primary backup is my AK-47.  I may have to resort to the AK-47 as a primary weapon for some odd reason – you just never know.  I hope and pray that I never have to use any of my guns for defense.  If that fails, I hope the sight of my C9 is enough to cause the bad guy to have second thoughts.  Likewise, I would much rather any bad guy to run away than make me have to fire in self defense if they see the AK-47.

If intimidation fails and the bad guy stupidly disregards the sight of an AK-47 with a 30 round magazine and a fixed bayonet as a trivial matter, I want to make sure every round counts.  I would much rather use the JHP ammo for this because aside from the increased effectiveness, you also get less possiblity of overpenetration.  I want to stop the bad guy, not see how many walls the bullet can go through after it’s gone though its target.

Both types of ammunition in this picture is Wolf “Military Classic” which works nicely in my AK-47.  Yes, it’s very “dirty” ammunition and will fill your gun with a large quantity of powder residue and fouling.  This might be a problem with something like an AR-15, but as I’ve said before the AK-47 is incredibly reliable.  Bury it in sand, pour water over it, even run over it with a Hummer.  An AK-47 will still work.  Powder residue and fouling won’t even cause a hiccup :mrgreen:

So, yeah, tha’t pretty cool for me 8)

28 June 2009 - 9mm and .22 Magnum defensive ammunition

28 June 2009 - 9mm and .22 Magnum defensive ammunition

After getting the picture of the 7.62×39 ammo, I figured I should probably include some examples of my defensive handgun ammuntion.

From left to right we have a Speer “Gold Dot” 9mm 124 grain (grains are a measure of weight) +P (high pressure) JHP round, a Winchester “Supreme” .22 Magnum 34 grain JHP round, and a round of Cor-Bon “Pow’RBall” 9mm 100 grain +P ammo.  Each has its own purpose.

The Gold Dot ammo is my preferred ammunition.  Good ballistics, good penetration, not much in the way of over-penetration, and it gets the job done nicely.  For some reason, it doesn’t feed all that well in the C9 for the first two rounds in the 10 round magazine.  That said, it works nicely as the round in the chamber as well as the other eight rounds in the 10 rounder.

Continuing for the moment with the 9mm ammo, the Cor-Bon Pow’RBall ammo has a couple of very important features.  See that plastic ball in the hollow point cavity?  It’s there for a couple of reasons – those important features.  Because of that plastic ball, it feeds just like FMJ ammo.  Because of that, it’s my choice for those first two rounds that will feed from that 10 round magazine in the C9.  It just feeds reliably which gives me a warm fuzzy feeling :wink:

Aside from making sure the round feeds properly, that ball makes sure the round expands.  One possible problem with the normal type of JHP ammo out there is that the cavity can clog with clothing as it makes its way to a bad guy.  A clogged cavity is a bad thing because the round won’t expand properly.  The Pow’RBall makes sure this can’t happen.

All that said, I could happily use either of these rounds for defenive purposes.  They’re both great rounds.

On to the .22 Magnum ammo.  One of the reasons I purchased these rounds is that even though my Heritage Rough Rider is a great gun, even .22 magnum isn’t anywhere near what I’d consider powerful enough for use as a primary defensive round and it can use all the help it can get.  Most .22 ammo, even if it’s .22 Magnum, is just a lump of lead.  It might be copper plated, but I want an actual copper jacket if I can get it.  This round is the best option I could find for use as a defensive round in the Rough Rider.  It’s nowhere near as good as the AK-47 or the C9 for defensive purposes, but it sure beats hand to hand combat!

I realize that this is not a happy, happy, joy, joy, world full of rainbows, gleeful, carefree, everything is wonderful subject.  It is, however, something I’ve had to think about quite a bit.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I hope and pray that I never have to use any of my guns in defense of my life or the life of another.  If that situation ever comes to pass, I want to be prepared to do it right.

One other note about this post – I love my new camera :D  To get these pictures, I set my Canon Powershot A1000 IS in long exposure mode with a 2.5 second exposure time, set it in macro (up close) mode, and set the timer for 10 seconds so I didn’t have to worry about shaking the camera.  The “stage” I used for these pictures was my 20 gallon aquarium that now houses my corn snake.  The screen top really worked well with a black T-shirt as a dropcloth/backdrop.  The lens was only a couple of inches from the focal point for both of these pictures.  I could never have gotten these pictures with my cell phone 8)

OK, enough guns and ammo for one night :)  We’ll call this a post and I hope you all have a great day :mrgreen:

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Selling the C9???

Are you sitting down?

Yes, it’s true.  I’m really thinking about selling the C9 :shock:

I figure I could get about $100 from the sale of my Hi-Point C9 which would speed the purchase of the PF-9.

I really did consider selling one or more of the military surplus bolt action rifles, but a conversation with Cindy caused second thoughts about that idea.  She reminded me that I’d bought my old military rifles because aside from being cool guns, they’re tangible pieces of history.  And they won’t always be on the market.

Looking at the prices, they’re also some pretty good investments which means I’d probably have trouble affording to re-buy the same type of gun in the future.  A good example would be my K-31 which I bought for $199 about this time last year.  They’re now going for $299 to $350.  Heck, I only paid $450 for my AK-47 last year.  It’s now about $800.  Those aren’t going anywhere.

Selling the C9 isn’t a decision I’m considering lightly.  As I’ve mentioned before, it may be heavy, it may be big, but it’s accurate and the warranty can’t be beat.  If someone accidentally ran it over with a tank and destroyed it (yes, that’s unlikely), I’d just have to send what was left of it back to Hi-Point and they’d send me a new gun.

That said, Kel-Tec does have a lifetime warranty for the original owner.  The original owner part doesn’t bother me – I’ll be buying it brand new.

I’m not really worried about downgrading “firepower” for home defense with the PF-9 vs. the C9.  Yes, the C9 holds 8+1 or 10+1 rounds depending the magazine when compared to the Kel-Tec’s 7+1 rounds, but it’s still good with 7+1 and swapping magazines shouldn’t be all that tough.

One other consideration I’m thinking of is redundancy.  Do I really need two 9mm pistols?  I don’t think so.  One should be enough.

I’m thinking that the holiday pay from working this Friday should cover the rest of the $$$ required for the PF-9.  Selling the Hi-Point shouldn’t be a problem – I know where and how to do that.

So, yeah, I think I’m going to look over my paycheck in a couple of weeks and if all goes well I think I’ll be selling my C9.

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A Second American Revolution?

There’s some seriously scary stuff going on these days.

No, I’m not talking about the proposed legislation and what’s already come out of the Congress and the White House.  I’m talking about what’s coming from some people who really know what they’re talking about.  What could be so scary?  How about the breakdown of the rule of law?  How about elected officials saying publicly that they’re not in power when it comes to the Congressional committees they chair and what those committees are being allowed to investigate?

If that doesn’t scare you just a bit, how about the possibility of an armed revolt in the United States?  No?  OK, how about if I told you that seasoned law enforcement officers are concerned about just that possiblity?  What if I were to tell you that it’s gotten past the point where only the die-hard officers are talking about it and even the laid back types are sitting up, taking notice, and buying more guns for themselves because of that concern?

Do I have your attention yet?

I found two articles on the Internet recently that were frightening enough separately, but downright disturbing when taken together.

Mike Vanderboegh has a post up over at his blog – Sipsey Street Irregulars.  I chose a few excerpts to give you an idea of what the rest of the post contains, but you really should read the whole thing.

“The Powers That Be.” How can you tell this will only end in violence? Let me point out some mileposts from just this week.

Milepost #2: “The Powers That Be.”

You have no doubt heard of the Obamnanoid purge of Gerald Walpin, AmeriCorp’s inspector general, who was dismissed over his handling of an investigation of the mayor of Sacramento, Calif., Kevin Johnson, an Obama supporter during the presidential campaign.

This is dangerous principally because it sends the message to the regulatory agencies, especially the three-letter boys, that the executive branch will protect its own. Milepost #2 is even worse than the Walpin case.

Washington Times

June 25, 2009

Conyers abandons plan to probe ACORN

‘Powers that be decided against it,’ he says

By S.A. Miller

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. has backed off his plan to investigate wrongdoing by the liberal activist group ACORN, saying “powers that be” put the kibosh on the idea.

Mr. Conyers, Michigan Democrat, earlier bucked his party leaders by calling for hearings on accusations the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN) has committed crimes ranging from voter fraud to a mob-style “protection” racket.

“The powers that be decided against it,” Mr. Conyers told The Washington Times.

The chairman declined to elaborate, shrugging off questions about who told him how to run his committee and give the Democrat-allied group a pass.

Pittsburgh lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh, whose testimony about ACORN at a March 19 hearing on voting issues prompted Mr. Conyers to call for a probe, said she was perplexed by Mr. Conyers’ explanation for his change of heart.

“If the chair of the Judiciary Committee cannot hold a hearing if he want to [then] who are the powers that he is beholden to?” she said. “Is it the leadership, is it the White House, is it contributors? Who is ‘the power?'”

Go to the link if you want more. This is why this is worse:

It is plain that if the Obamanoids want no Congressional oversight, they will get no Congtessional oversight. THEY are “The Powers That Be.”

This is not only bad for the prospects of reining in Acorn and thereby preventing them from executing their part of the obvious Rahm Emanuel plan to steal the 2010 federal elections, but now the three-letters don’t have to worry if a Waco happens. Oversight will be swept under the rug. This is dangerous stuff, people. And they don’t understand that if the rule of law no longer protects us, it no longer protects them either. Dangerous, dangerous stuff.

Those are only a couple of parts of that post. You need to go read it all.

Now think about that for a moment.  The Chairman of the House Judiciary just said that “The Powers That Be” just told him he can’t conduct a hearing.  Not only that, but consider that he went along with it.  Who, indeed, is actually in power here?

It would be bad enough if that were the extent of the bad news. But it’s not. It gets worse.

From Tactical-Life.com via Oath Keepers we have a few excerpts from an excellent article:

COMMENTARY: Four Reasons Why Gun Sales Are Up

Written by Scott Wagner. Author Archive »

…The 5.56mm was the first caliber to noticeably be in short supply. This was first due to the war effort, the headlong adoption of 5.56mm rifles by law enforcement agencies ever since the great LAPD bank robbery and shootout, the general shooting public interest in and acceptance of the AR15 weapons system along with a realization that yes, the AR does have sporting purpose, and of course now, this new fear that is on the street. Sales of ARs also went up following 9/11.

What is odd about this new fear is that it is not coming from the average citizen gun owner out there, but it is coming from what to me is an almost shocking source: street cops. Street cops and SWAT cops that I know from various agencies – rural, suburban and metro – in my area are scared. Cops that before November 2008 never gave much thought (that I knew of anyway) to politics or more importantly to gun rights. For the most part, these are the guys that didn’t generally have any interest in shooting or gun ownership beyond keeping track of where their duty gun is, and a few of them didn’t even do that so well.

The guys I am talking about are some of the same guys who used to not even carry off duty on a regular basis- but not anymore. They don’t scare easily, defenders of the Constitution of this State and the United States (as our oath of office reads), have been buying ARs, survival gear, and all the ammo they can lay their hands on. All of them (or I should say “us”) have been discussing and have been acquiring guns to provide a layered perimeter defense.

I watched cops and citizens alike purchase these guns at $900 dollars and more, with custom or tricked out guns easily running into the $2,000 range. Then add on all the accessories, red dots, lights, slings and anything else you can name and you may have up to $3,000 wrapped up in your rig. I saw the looks in their eyes. These purchasers weren’t spending this kind of money just to turn in the guns for no compensation when a government tells them to. I foresee much civil disobedience coming down the road.

Americans are citizens, and not subjects like the British, Canadians or Australians. They just don’t always obey the law blindly and not one officer or citizen that I spoke to said anything like “I hope I get to keep this gun for awhile before they are banned; They are fun to shoot, so I would hate to give it up.” It isn’t going to happen, so the cop on the street and the soldier on the base needs to think now what he will do if the orders come down. I think you all get what I am saying here.

Which leads me to the third fear, that there is a revolution coming, yes, a revolution on the scale of the original American Revolution. You can hear this topic discussed on many of the talk radio shows by even the big name hosts. The possibility of an armed revolution against the U.S. government is being discussed, albeit very gingerly and fleetingly and as something to be avoided, which it is. I never heard this mentioned in the 90s.

One of my quietest, low profile officer friends brought it up the other day. He said that at some point in the near future, he felt there is going to be an armed revolt if things keep going the way they are. Something has got to give. I was shocked. Yes, I had heard this from some of my more radical cop friends in the past, but to hear it from a guy like this was unprecedented for me. Now, these guys are not saying this will happen to foment revolution, preach sedition or to even participate. They just want to be ready if it happens, to at least defend their families, because number four on the fear list is general societal chaos.

Final Notes

This is pretty heady and maybe even dangerous stuff. Know fully that I am not advocating anything here. I am reflecting to you what I see and hear going on around me, and maybe saying things that haven’t been said in the open, until now. It is something to think about.

Yeah, I’d say those are some pretty powerful, heady, dangerous and scary thoughts.  No doubt there’s a few people thinking that Mr. Wagner must be some sort of brain damaged kook with an aluminum foil hat to keep the thought control rays from messing with his head.  They couldn’t be more wrong.

Scott Wagner is a Police Academy Commander and Professor at Columbus State Community College in Columbus Ohio, and Commander of the 727 Counter Terror Training Unit.  A 29 year law enforcement veteran, and current Deputy Sheriff, he is the Precision Marksman for the Union County Sheriff’s Office SRT Team.

Now go back and re-read both of those articles.  Go to the links and read them both from beginning to end.  Read some of their other work.  Consider the sources.  Mike Vanderboegh is a converted Communist who hates nothing more than collectivism and Tyranny.  Scott Wagner’s qualifications and background are right above this paragraph.

Separately, both of these articles is enough to make me reach for the pink liquid.  Together they’re even worse.  Especially when you consider than neither author likely knew about the other’s article when these articles were written.

As I’ve said before, Dad was an officer with the California Highway Patrol for over 31 years.  He’s been retired for a while now, but keeps up on current events and he has a few sources for info that he trusts.  I trust him which leads me to trust his sources.  I’ve asked him about this subject and while he won’t come out and say he thinks it will happen, I can tell he thinks it is a very real possibility.

Dad’s been through the 1991 L.A. riots in the wake of the Rodney King verdict.  He knows what it’s like when the Rule of Law breaks down.

Last year before I bought my AK-47 I was considering either the AK or an AR-15.  I went to Dad for advice on which of these two rifles I should choose as I figured he’s the one who should know best out of all the people I know.  He had already gone through this and his advice was to get the AK-47 as he had done.  He chose the AK-47 because it’s the most reliable thing next to death and taxes, you can shoot cheap ammo and not worry about the dirty residue causing it to lock up, and it cost less than the AR-15.  The rest is history.

A few months ago I was thinking about selling my AK-47 to fund the purchase of an M1 Garand from CMP.  His advice was to keep the AK-47.  Along with the previous reasons for liking the AK, his reasoning was that it’s the best thing you can have for keeping possibly large groups of people away when you really don’t want them around, it’s shorter, easier to handle, and can hold more ammo (30 rounds per AK magazine vs. 8 rounds per en-bloc clip for the Garand).

The AK-47 may not as accurate at distance as the AR-15, but it hits harder and is just fine within 100 to 200 yards.  It isn’t as powerful or accurate at long range as the Garand, but having 22 more rounds per magazine is a good thing in bad times.

I’m certain that the thought of a situation such as the one discussed by Mr. Wagner and Mr. Vanderboegh is one of the reasons he’s keeping his AK-47.  I know it’s one of the reasons I’m keeping my AK-47 along with the rest of my collection of military rifles and my pistols.

I hope and pray that we don’t have an armed, violent revolt.  I really do.  I don’t want to see friends die.  I don’t want to see the hell that is war visited upon the United States.

Just to be clear, I am not advocating anything here.  I’m not trying to foment a revolution, I do not want to see an armed overthrow of the Government of the United States of America, nor am I preaching sedition.  I’m just trying to sound an alarm and tell people what I’m reading and what I’m hearing.  I want them to be prepared in case it does happen.

This is not something to be ignored or lightly dismissed.  Just look at who’s scared and ask yourself if maybe you should be, too.

It’s times like these that I’m truly thankful that we have the Oath Keepers.

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Picture(s) A Day – 27 June 2009

Time for the Picture(s) of the Day :D

As I said before, I’m just flat worn out and it feels really freaking hot out today.  It’s only about 104° which isn’t bad in Vegas, but I still feel cooked from Wednesday and I can tell I was outside for a bit even with the short time I spent out of the A/C today.

I did go down to the LVRAC’s Field Day location and drop off a couple of bags of ice :wink:  I don’t know if I’ll be back there tomorrow, but if it’s as hot or hotter than today I’ll likely stay home.  Yes, I do actually like the warm weather – just in short doses.  I actually have to re-acclimatize every year to both the warm (OK, I’ll say it – HOT!) and the cold weather.  It could be those 28 years I lived in San Diego…

Anywho, I figured I’d get some pictures while I was down on that end of town – the blog needed fresh pictures, right?

Well, here ya go :mrgreen:

27 June 2009 - Cool Cars

27 June 2009 - Cool Cars

This is Voyager Classics and they’ve got a whole bunch of cool cars for rent as well as for sale 8)  Each of the cars has a name and I think I might just have to see about taking Carolyn out for a date sometime :wink:  Now, I wonder if I can get a part time job there…

27 June 2009 - Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada

27 June 2009 - Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada

Don’t ask me why because I really can’t say for certian, but it seems like I can’t go by the Welcome Sign without stopping there :)  It must have something to do with my inner tourist.

I’ve never lived anywhere that isn’t a tourist destination of worldwide proportions.  I mean, just think about it – I’ve only ever lived in San Diego and Las Vegas.  I think I’d go absolutely freaking bonkers (yes, there is a higher degree of mental disorder than I currently exhibit) if I had to live in some small town in the middle of nowhere.

Even after living here for almost five years I still get a big, goofy grin when I see this sign :mrgreen:

27 June 2009 - There's still some Old Las Vegas left on the Strip

27 June 2009 - There's still some Old Las Vegas left on the Strip

While it keeps disappearing, there’s still a bit of the Old Las Vegas if you know where to look :wink:  This elephant is at the Diamond Inn on the south end of The Strip – not too far from the Welcome Sign.  Yes, this is another one of those things that always makes me smile anytime I see it :)

27 June 2009 - Channel 8's News Helicopter

27 June 2009 - Channel 8's News Helicopter

OK, so I was near McCarran International Airport.  You expect me to actually get this close to such a place and not go camera crazy???  I don’t know if I went anywhere I wasn’t supposed to be, but nobody came to run me off.  I thought it was pretty cool to see the Channel 8 News chopper parked on the ramp :)

27 June 2009 - The JANET Jets

27 June 2009 - The JANET Jets

Continuing with the recent CIA/Area 51/World Of Secret Things trend around here lately, I just had to get a decent picture of these jets.  These are the “JANET” jets operated by EG&G.  Most people don’t realize that most of the workers at Area 51/Groom Lake actually live in Las Vegas and commute daily to their job site onboard these jets.

JANET is supposedly an acronym for Just Another Non-Existant Termainal which is truly fitting when you think about where they go.  Actually, they do go to other destinations such as Plant 41 in Palmdale and on up to the Tonopah Test Range, but those are pretty secret places too.

Sadly, I doubt I’ll ever get to go along for the ride even if it’s fun to daydream about it.  I also couldn’t write about it if I did.

Oh well, it’s still nice to daydream :wink:

27 June 2009 - Transformers!

27 June 2009 - Transformers!

From the same vantage point as I used to take the JANET picture comes this image of the Luxor hotel/resort.  They’ve been putting ads on it for some time now, but they usually fall short of being called anything except horrid.  I thought this one was actually pretty cool 8)

27 June 2009 - Military Helicopters at McCarren

27 June 2009 - Military Helicopters at McCarren

I’ve noticed military aircraft at McCarran much more often than I thought would be the case.  After chatting with a couple of military pals, I found that it’s not all that uncommon.  That said, it’s still strange to see a line of military helicopters like this.  Must be that Nellis is running short of ramp space or somthing.

27 June 2009 - Maverick Helicopters sightseeing chopper

27 June 2009 - Maverick Helicopters sightseeing chopper

Wasn’t it nice of Maverick Helicopters to park one of their aircraft so close to the fence for my photographic enjoyment?  I thought so.

Maverick Helicopters operate Eurocopter EC-130 Eco-Star helicopters on sightseeing flights from several cities to quite a few destinations such as the Las Vegas Strip, the Grand Canyon, and Valley of Fire State Park.

Ya know, that night flight over The Strip is only about $99…

27 June 2009 - A Different View of The Strip

27 June 2009 - A Different View of The Strip

Looking around from where I took the picture of the Maverick Helicopters bird, I couldn’t help but notice a different view of The Strip from what most people see.

27 June 2009 - My ride looks so cool!

27 June 2009 - My ride looks so cool!

And then there’s my car :)  Yes, I really do like my HHR in case you hadn’t noticed.  I was worried about the color when I first got it, but I’ve really come to like it.  You don’t see that many Cardinal Red Metallic HHRs out on the roads – I’ve looked :wink:

27 June 2009 - F/A-18 Hornet at McCarren - Lex is in town and didn't call???

27 June 2009 - F/A-18 Hornet at McCarren - Lex is in town and didn't call???

27 June 2009 - AH-1 Cobra helicopter gunship at McCarren - Bill's in town and didn't call???

27 June 2009 - AH-1 Cobra helicopter gunship at McCarren - Bill the Rotor Head from Castle Argghhh! in town and didn't call???

I couldn’t help but notice these two military aircraft at McCarran.  And with these images now in my position, I couldn’t help but poke a bit of fun at a couple of my favorite bloggers :P

For those who don’t know who I’m talking about, Lex is a retired Navy pilot Naval Aviator who used to fly the mighty F/A-18 Hornet from the pitching decks of aircraft carriers.  Go check out Neptunus Lex for some of the best writing on the Internet :)

Bill the Rotor Head blogs over at Castle Argghhh! along with a colorful cast of characters.  Bill may be retired from the U.S. Army, but he still flies military helicopters – he’s a civilian contractor over in Iraq who’s helping to train their new Air Force.  Castle Argghhh! is one of my daily if not hourly stops on the internet and is also the repository of some of the best writing to be found on the World Wide Web :)

27 June 2009 - The other side of the hotel with the pink elephant

27 June 2009 - The other side of the hotel with the pink elephant

Remember the pink elephant from a few pictues back in this same post?  Here’s the other side of that establishment.

The back sides of many properties on The Strip are kind of like the dark side of the moon – seldom seen, less frequently photographed, and very different from what we’re used to seeing :P

27 June 2009 - Quit complaining about your job!!!

27 June 2009 - Quit complaining about your job!!!

Really, quit complaining about your job!  I mean it!

You could be this  person :shock:

Before you start thinking to yourself that this doesn’t look too bad, consider a few facts along with a few small bits of conjecture.

  • You’d be stuck in a Subway sandwich costume.
  • You’d be stuck in a Subway sandwich costume on the Las Vegas Strip.
  • You’d be stuck in a Subway sandwich costume (basically a soft-sided oven) on the Las Vegas Strip in 104° heat.
  • You’d be stuck in a Subway sandwich costume (basically a soft-sided oven) on the Las Vegas Strip in 104° heat for which you’d probably only be making minimum wage.

Would I do this job?  Probably.  If I didn’t have a job, I’d probably jump at the chance to wave at tourists like this and do what I could to cope with the heat.

But I’d much rather continue my employment as it currently stands :mrgreen:

27 June 2009 - I got to fondle a Kel-Tec PF-9!!!

27 June 2009 - I got to fondle a Kel-Tec PF-9!!!

Remember that Kel-Tec PF-9 I’ve been drooling over?  I finally got my mitts on one today :D  No, I can’t afford it.  At least not for a while longer.  That’s actually not too bad a thing – I think I’m going to have to get one with either a blued or parkerized slide and a black grip assembly.  OK, I’ll live with gray or green for the sake of price, but I’m not about to get a carry pistol with a silver slide.  It’s just my preference, but I’m sticking to it.

I did find out a bit about it even without being able to fire it.  The trigger pull is long, but it’s also not very heavy for most of its travel.  You do have to pull with considerable force at the end of its travel to get it to actually fire (they let me dry fire this one).  It’s as light and as slim as I’d hoped it would be, too.

Sadly, PF-9s are fairly scarce in town.  I think I’m going to have to go buy one online and have it shipped.  The funny thing about that is that I think I’d pay just as much with shipping and transfer fees as I would if I were to buy this one.

Now, I’m going to apologize in advance for this but I feel it must be done.  I’m going to do just a bit of a rant.

I went to three gun stores today and only one of them had this particular model in stock.  I can understand that.  What I can’t understand boils down to two points – they seemed a bit clueless about the product and seemed to try not to sell it.

WTF :? ???

The guy at the first store tried the old line about “You get what you pay for” and remarked that it’s only a $300 gun.

Aside from my personal experience in sales (I sold cars for a couple years in San Diego), I know for a fact that a higher price or lower price doesn’t always mean that a product is all that much better or worse than another.  A perfect example is my Hi-Point C9.  I paid $120 new for it, yet it’s been nothing but a great pistol.  I’ve never had a problem with it.  Even if I did, I just have to send it back to Hi-Point under their no Sierra lifetime no questions asked full coverage warranty.  My C9 eats +P ammo like it’s candy and comes back for more.  Yet, because it’s only a $120 gun it’s just got to be a piece of junk, right?  Disgusting!

Another example would be my $12,500 2008 Cavalier.  That car had the oil changed when I could afford it, two sets of tires, and one coolant change.  Yes, the A/C could have used a recharge at about 60,000 miles, but so what?  It was reliable, comfortable, and affordable.  It went places off the beaten path and off the pavement that it was never designed to and never let me down.  It never even needed an alignment!  Would I have preferred a Corvette?  In a lot of ways YES!!! But I couldn’t afford the registration and insurance on a Corvette, let alone the car itself – and I know just how much those payments are as one of my customers left with a $450 lease payment and another left with a $1,500 purchase payment on a 3 year, 0% interest purchase with $15,000 down :shock:

Was my Cavalier a piece of junk because it had a low price tag?  HELL NO!!!!!

He then went on to tell me that this would be a decent carry gun, but that it’s not something you’d take to the range each time to practice with because it’s only good for about 2,000 rounds.

Excuse me?  Kel-Tec has a lifetime warranty!  Sure it only applies to the original owner (Hi-Point doesn’t care if you’re the first owner), but if you bought it new, it’s covered if something fails due to wear and tear.  Why didn’t they mention this?  It seems like a pretty good selling point to me, but then again I probably shouldn’t confuse the issue with logic and facts :evil:

The second place I went to (the one who let me fondle their lone PF-9) didn’t seem to have a clue about it.  The salesman said that he wasn’t really a Kel-Tec fan (nice going – talk negative to the enthusiastic customer) and didn’t know all that much.  He didn’t even offer to check for me.  I mentioned carrying +P ammo in it and he sounded shocked that someone would consider this and proceeded to ask a co-worker about it after I told him it says so on the Kel-Tec website.  The co-worker (who seemed nice enough otherwise) experessed similar disbelief and opined that it would probably blow up in his hand if he did that.

Please note that these guys have access to the Internet to check on these things :x

Back to the salesman clerk I was working with.  I remarked that the trigger pull was as long as I’d heard about, but still light and that it had a fairly crisp break to it.  Rather than just agreeing with me and doing his job as a salesman clerk, he proceeded to disagree with me and it wasn’t until I mentioned that my other gun is a Hi-Point (it’s a great gun, but the trigger could be better) that he agreed.

Neither shop offered to order one for me or to do a transfer if I decided to get one online.  Aside from handing me the guns I asked to see, I observed a near total lack of effort to earn my future business.  Here I was expressing interest in purchasing a $369.95 firearm and I was being treated with less respect and with a lower standard of customer service than I received at 7-11 when I stopped for soda and a snack on the way home!

This only happened at the first two shops (who shall not be named), thus reinforcing my previously held opinion that the third store is the place to do business.

The third shop, the one that did it right, was Master Shooter’s Supply.  They didn’t have a PF-9 in stock and they were up front about the fact that they couldn’t get one in despite being a Kel-Tec dealer.  The difference here was that they offered to do a transfer for me if I wanted to get one from out of state.

Actually, that wasn’t the only difference.  They had nothing bad to say about the PF-9 and added a few good words about it to those I’d already mentioned to them.  They’ve also said nothing bad about my Hi-Point C9 either – just the opposite.  They agree with me that the trigger ain’t the best on the market and that it has a weight issue, but they’ll be the first ones to tell you that it’s reliable, accurate, and affordable.

Of course, you don’t deal with a mere clerk or salesman at Master Shooter’s supply most of the time.  You usually deal with the honest to God OWNER.  If the owner is busy or if he’s not in the store, the clerks salespeople are engaging, knowledgable, and will take the initiative to find an answer if they don’t already know it.

They’ve earned my business!

OK, enough ranting.

Cool little pistol, that PF-9 8)

27 June 2009 - Care to tell us how you REALLY feel?

27 June 2009 - Care to tell us how you REALLY feel?

This car was parked outside of the second store and I swear it was screaming at me something that sounded like “POST THIS ON YOUR WEBSITE!!!”  I don’t know who it belongs to and I probably wouldn’t do this to my own car, but I can’t deny the fact that I like it :D

So there you have it.  The pictures are posted and out there for everyone to enjoy 8)

Have a great Sunday :mrgreen:

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Picture(s) A Day – 26 June 2009

I had told Kath I’d get these posted last night, but a combination of computer problems and being a bit under the weather and flat worn out was enough to cause this delay.  My most sincere apologies for that.

On to the pictures from yesterday!

26 June 2009 - Vision Airways Dornier 328 turboprop aircraft

26 June 2009 - Vision Airlines Dornier 328 turboprops

26 June 2009 - Vision Airways Dornier 328 turboprop aircraft

26 June 2009 - Vision Airlines Dornier 328 turboprops

26 June 2009 - Vision Airways Dornier 228 turboprop aircraft

26 June 2009 - Vision Airlines Dornier 228 turboprops

26 June 2009 - Vision Airways ramp at the North Las Vegas Airport

26 June 2009 - Vision Airlines ramp at the North Las Vegas Airport

26 June 2009 - Vision Airways Dornier 328 turboprop aircraft

26 June 2009 - Vision Airlines Dornier 328 turboprop

Vision Airlines operates a number of different aircraft and does charter work.  One of their businesses is sightseeing flights from Las Vegas over the Grand Canyon.  Fortunately for me, their ramp is pretty close to the fence allowing for some nice pictures 8)

I happen to think that the Dornier 328 is one of the sexiest “big” planes I’ve ever seen :)  I think it has to do with those curves, the six bladed props, and the way the wing and landing gear are mounted that makes it look muscular.

The Dornier 228 looks a bit funky, but it was built for a purpose, not for looks.  It’s better for the sightseeing flights and can take off and land from short runways.

Of course, I wouldn’t mind flying either one :wink:

26 June 2009 - Civil Air Patrol Cessna undergoing maintenance

26 June 2009 - Civil Air Patrol Cessna undergoing maintenance

Whatever the maintenence is that this Civil Air Patrol Cessna is undergoing, it required removing the engine.  That bucket or drum you see in the engine mount is there to keep it balanced as it would be a bad thing to allow it to rest on its tail.

26 June 2009 - Robinson helicopters on the ramp

26 June 2009 - Robinson helicopters on the ramp

26 June 2009 - Robinson helicopters on the ramp

26 June 2009 - Robinson helicopters on the ramp

Robinson helicopters are small (as you can see) and relatively inexpensive.  They’re powered by piston engines and haven’t always had the greatest reputation, but that’s improved greatly over the years.  The helicopter on the left is an R44 Raven and the one on the right is an R22 Beta II.  The R44 carries a pilot and three passengers while the R22 is a strictly two person vehicle.

I thought it was funny that these two aircraft were parked like someone had arranged them just for my photographic convenience :P

26 June 2009 - Piper Warrior

26 June 2009 - Piper Cherokee

26 June 2009 - Cessna 172 Skyhawk

26 June 2009 - Cessna 172 Skyhawk

26 June 2009 - Cessna 152

26 June 2009 - Cessna 152

These three aircraft were parked right by the fence which allowed me to get these pictures pretty easily :)

All three of these airplanes make for great training aircraft and I’ve actually flown both a Cessna 172 and a Piper Cherokee in the past.  Yes, it was with a flight instructor both times :wink:

I haven’t flown a Cessna 152 yet, but I hope that will change once I’ve lost some weight – it can only carry about 600 pounds including fuel, people, and anything else it’s taking into the air.  That’s it.  Take me and a 200 pound instructor and we’re already over 500 pounds which would leave about enough available weight capacity for about 13 gallons of gas.  That just isn’t enough for any real flying when you consider that you have to have a 30 minute reserve, the plane burns about 7 gallons per hour, and you’re going to burn a bit just warming up the engine, taxiing to take off, and taxiing back to the parking place.

26 June 2009 - Cessna 172 Skyhawk taxiing for takeoff

26 June 2009 - Cessna 172 Skyhawk taxiing for takeoff

I was lucky enough to catch this Cessna 172 taxiing to the runway for takeoff.  A Google search of the aircraft’s registration or “N” number shows that it belongs to Christiansen Aviation Inc and was made in 1998 which is pretty new as light aircraft go.

26 June 2009 - Las Vegas Metro P.D. helicopter coming back to base

26 June 2009 - Las Vegas Metro P.D. helicopter coming back to base

26 June 2009 - Las Vegas Metro P.D. helicopter coming back to base

26 June 2009 - Las Vegas Metro P.D. helicopter coming back to base

I was also lucky enough to catch this Las Vegas Metro P.D. helicopter returning to base.  From the registration number, it’s an MD Helicopters model 369 FF which traces its roots to the Hughes 500.

The optical viewfinder on my Canon Powershot A1000 IS came in really handy for these pictures as I had it shooting in burst mode :)

So there’s another day’s pictures in the book.  Have a great day today :D

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