Open Divorce Letter to …

Tue, 06.Apr.2010

A friend of a friend sent this to my friend, who gave me a hard-copy and was promptly asked to forward the electronic version so I could post it without having to retype it. (I would have; I want a perma-copy.)

Yes, this is somewhat divisive. So is divorce. I do not think they are evil, those to whom this letter is addressed. In as much as I can make a blanket statement about the group, I think they’re well meaning, and that they think they’re doing good.

They are just misguided.

In my opinion.

That’s why I think this resonated so well with me.

Enjoy.

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:

We have stuck together since the late 1950′s or the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce…. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let’s just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is a model separation agreement:

Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

We don’t like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we’ll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. We’ll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar and biodiesel. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O’Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them).

We’ll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens. We’ll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO’s and rednecks. We’ll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood . You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we’ll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we’ll help provide them security.

We’ll keep our Judeo-Christian values.. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N. but we will no longer be paying the bill.

We’ll keep the SUV’s, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.

You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. We’ll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right. We’ll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem. I’m sure you’ll be happy to substitute Imagine, I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Ba Ya or We Are the World.

We’ll practice trickle down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.

Since it often so offends you, we’ll keep our history, our name and our flag.

Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I’ll bet you Answer which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

Sincerely, John J. Wall Law Student and an American

P.S. Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbara Streisand, & Jane Fonda with you.

P.S.S. And you won’t have to press 1 for English when you call our country.

Amen.

Now That is What an AQT Should Look Like

Sat, 10.Oct.2009

I attended an Appleseed Project shoot a few weeks back. I was very impressed with the program and with the ability one can learn to shoot accurately, consistently, and quickly. To that end, a buddy and I went out to the range to practice what we’d learned.

I wanted to practice with something that had decent iron sights on it (i.e., not the stock Ruger 10/22 sights), so I took my AR-15 defense rifle. I had never really sighted it in, so that was the first order of the day. After a few “squares” at 25-meters, I was starting to feel very good about the capabilities of my little rifle.

We put up some AQT targets and took turns shooting and timing. You have to get forty rounds off in 4 minutes: 10 rounds shot from a standing position at the 100-meter equivalent target; 10 rounds sitting or kneeling at 200-meter equivalent target; 10 rounds each from prone at 300- and 400-meter equivalent targets. You have magazine changes and position changes, all within that four mintues [sic]. (Oh, and don’t forget to count the number shots for each target on the bottom rows! 3,3,4 and 2,2,3,3)

09.Oct.2009 11.45h MDT "236"

09.Oct.2009 11.45h MDT "236"

After a morning of leisurely sighting-in, the AQT didn’t seem that bad, even with the time pressure. I managed to squeeeeeeze off the last round about three seconds before the clock ran out at four minutes. And this was the result:

236/250 points!

Needless to say, I was quite pleased with my score. At the regulation twenty-five meters you can just barely make out the gray fuzz of the 400-meter equivalent targets when focusing your eye on the front sight, as you’re supposed to, but it can be done. :)

Thanks to One-of-Three for the encouragment … and for the use of his loop sling!

Two-of-Three

Note to self: order enough loop slings for all rifles.

My first Appleseed Project shoot

Tue, 22.Sep.2009

[Yes, I know that's improper Title Capitalization; so sue me, it looked better that way to my {ahem} unprejudiced eye.]

This last weekend I participated in a little grass-roots patriotism and history lesson. I attended a marksmanship training taught by the Appleseed Project, which was started (if I understand correctly) by the RWVA. The aim of the group is to wake the sleeping rifleman in each American, to take them back to the roots that got this country its start.

Pretty much anyone can shoot a gun; there’s really not much to it. The Appleseed Project teaches you to shoot well, accurately, and at distance. Along the way, the introduce you to many details behind the famous stories of the Revolutionary War. You remember Paul Revere‘s famous midnight ride, with the “one if by land, two if by sea”, right? Well, that’s one small part at the end of quite a long story of concerned citizens watching out for each other and trying to make a way for themselves in this new land. We also learned about the Minutemen and the three age categories; we learned about a little old woman, collecting dandelions for her meager dinner who is credited for single-handedly capturing eleven British grenadiers.

And then there’s the shooting. Lots of shooting.  (I think we went through about 650 rounds the second day alone, and about 400-450 the first day.) They recommend that you bring a .22 LR rifle, with good sights (not necessarily a scope). You can learn the techniques for accurate shooting and perfect them with inexpensive .22 ammunition and then apply what you’ve learned to other rifles.

The first day we went through all the basics (see below) and learned to sight in our rifles (“Inches, Minutes, Clicks”). The second day we practiced, practiced, practiced. And then we practiced some more. As long as I remembered all the steps (respiratory pause and “dragging wood” were my biggest problems) I did well, getting a little bit tighter groups each time. If I forgot to focus on the fron sight, or if I didn’t pause, or if I tried to muscle the sight where I wanted it, rather than relying on NPoA, I got garbage.

Hopefully I can encourage you, dear reader, to try an Appleseed shoot. Learn a little history; learn some marksmanship.

Well worth the time and the small fee.


And just so CRak, SavageShootr, and One-of-Three know I really was paying attention this weekend (and I did not look at my notes, or look anything up online):

The Four Rules of Safety

  1. ALWAYS keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
  2. Do no load until given the “Load” command.
  3. Keep you finger off the trigger until your are on target.
  4. Everyone is a safety officer and responsible for those around him.

The Six Steps to Shooting Accurately

  1. Sight Alignment
  2. Sight Picture
  3. Respiratory Pause
  4. Focus …
    1. … your eye on front sight
      (“Hard focus on the front sight” – Front Sight)
    2. … your mind on keeping front sight on the target
  5. SQUEEEEEEZE [sic] the trigger
  6. Followthrough: trap the trigger to the rear, call the shot

Somewhere in there belongs NPoA, natural point of aim, which is mostly a combination of 1, 2, and 3 … or at least that’s where you wind up, if properly relaxed at the tail end of number three.

A Man’s Rules

Mon, 03.Aug.2009

Got this (unattributed) via a friend in e-mail. I literally laughed-out-loud about several of the items (I think it was #1, #1 and #1.)

At last a guy has taken the time to write this all down. Finally, the guys’ side of the story. We always hear “the rules” from the female side. Now here are the rules from the male side. These are our rules! Please note… these are all numbered “1″ on purpose!

  1. Learn to work the toilet seat; you’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
  1. Sunday sports. It’s like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.
  1. Shopping is not a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.
  1. Crying is blackmail.
  1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!
  1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
  1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
  1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.
  1. Anything we said six months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.
  1. If you won’t dress like the Victoria’s Secret girls, don’t expect us to act like soap opera guys.
  1. If you think you’re fat, you probably are. Don’t ask us.
  1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.
  1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
  1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.
  1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.
  1. All men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.
  1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.
  1. If we ask what is wrong and you say “Nothing,” we will act like nothing is wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
  1. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to expect an answer you don’t want to hear.
  1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really.
  1. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.
  1. You have enough clothes.
  1. You have too many shoes.
  1. I am in shape. Round is a shape.

Have the day of your choice!

Fiesta Days, 2009

Wed, 29.Jul.2009

Well, we all survived the weekend. It was promising to be rather complicated — not to mention that date night (Thai with my Sweetie) was in jeopardy!

As it turned out, most everything settled down and I got to go help with the fireworks for Fiesta Days down in Spanish Fork. These folks really know how to do fireworks. When many of the cities are cutting back or eliminating fireworks for their city celebrations due to the economic upheaval the country is suffering through, Spanish Fork still put on a grand display.

I got three of the older kids to join me. (The Bookworm had her nose buried in a book and would not be displaced, IIRC.) The Gamer met up with the son of one of the other SCATeam members, who had been over to play GURPS (yes, we still need to get back to that; sorry boys); Cheezer snuggled down into the blanket she’d brough; the Entomologist alternated between the two, and finally got Cheezer to have scooter races with him, using borrowed scooters.

The assignment was pretty easy this year. Lots of telling folks why they couldn’t allow their kids to play on the swings and slides (“Sorry folks, the playground is inside the drop-zone.”); that the fireworks would only stop for high wind, not for rain; and that the official start time for the fireworks is “when the rodeo is over” — which was scheduled to be finished at ten, but always runs over a little.

The cool thing about working the fireworks is that you’re right there! The shells and larger mortars were exploding just a little to the west but almost straight up. Really fun to watch, that close up. They had some very neat mortars this year, and some shells I hadn’t seen before. My favorites were the ones that made little purple bursts right at the end … at least I think they were purple bursts; the purple could have been after-image on the back of my retinas, I guess. :-)

The finale was quite surprising. I mean, one expects a finale, and one expects lots of fireworks, but the number of things going on in the air all at once started pushing the bounds of sensory overload! I couldn’t believe how much fire was in the sky; it felt like they shot off a full third of their total fireworks in the last twenty seconds or so. (I’m sure it was a lot less of the total load, but when there’s that much stuff in the air …)

Consensus from the kids? Great!

I’m glad they came along; it was fun to have them there with me, even if they did have a long wait before the official show.

Pony Express Days, 2009

Mon, 08.Jun.2009

OK, this blog has been too long neglected. Those responsible have been sacked, and henceforth the blog will be maintained by llamas.

That said, I had a fun weekend with the SCATeam and ARES out helping with the Pony Express Days concert and fireworks in Eagle Mountain. They held a Tribute to our Troops concert Saturday night. I was working security and traffic control so I didn’t get to hear much of the concert, but I was nigh ground-zero for the fireworks. Always fun having shells going off right over head. :-D

The concert ran a little over … by over an hour. I’m sure those who wanted to hear the band didn’t mind, but those of us standing around waiting for the fireworks …

And it’s absolutely amazing the dumb things drivers will do, even knowing there’s herd of Sheriff’s Deputies standing around just waiting for you to do said “dumb things.” Really, folks, you are not special; you are not entitled. There were three or four cars that ignored directions from uniformed officers, skirted rows of cones and flares to drive through the fireworks drop-zone! Gives all new meaning to the term “Utahrd.” I was stationed where they were headed and the deputy I was assisting gave them a good chewing out. Satisfying.

Eleven-Year-Old Neighbor Earns ‘Extra Ticket

Tue, 17.Mar.2009

My 11-year-old neighbor got written up in the local newspaper for earning his ham-radio ticket—and not just his Technician, but all the way to Amateur Extra!

I don’t know how long they keep the article around, so I’ll include it below.

I first learned about Adam when a neighbor called to ask about classes. By the time I managed to get through the phone-tag game, he’d already passed the Technician class and needed help picking his first HT. He then went on to earn his General and Extra class licenses in short order. He’s quite the self-starter and will go far. He occasionally comes over to my shack to operate while he saves money to buy his own HF gear.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s a reprint of the Deseret News article:

Adam Lee, 11, shows off his hand-held ham radio, which he hopes to upgrade this summer to one that can transmit and receive calls from around the world. He passed his exam for an extra-class license in February. (Photo by Jason Olson, Deseret News)

Adam Lee, 11, shows off his hand-held ham radio, which he hopes to upgrade this summer to one that can transmit and receive calls from around the world. He passed his exam for an extra-class license in February. (Photo by Jason Olson, Deseret News)

Pl. Grove 11-year-old acquires top ham-radio license

By James Davis

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 14, 2009 10:37 p.m. MDT

PLEASANT GROVE — Most people know him as Adam Lee, but the 11-year-old Pleasant Grove boy has another identity: KE7UZK.

The Barratt Elementary School sixth-grader isn’t a spy or secret agent. Adam is a ham radio operator, and KE7UZK is his call sign.

At BYU’s Howard W. Hunter Law Library on Feb. 18, Adam passed the Federal Communications Commission’s extra-class, amateur radio-licensing exam, making him one of the youngest ham radio operators on the airwaves. Extra is the highest of three U.S. amateur radio-licensing classes, and it gives Adam the privilege of operating any type of ham radio on any amateur band.

Adam said he caught the ham radio bug last year while working on the Boy Scout radio merit badge.

“I wanted to learn more about ham radio,” he said. “So I got my technician (license) in July, and then I just kept going and got my general and extra.”

Technician is the lowest license class for ham radio operators, and general is the middle class. Adam said the exam for the technician class focused more on logic, and the general- and extra-class exams become more technical.

For now, Adam is the man around the Lee house when it comes to radios. His dad, Sam Lee, only recently passed the technician exam.

“A lot of adults try to pass the extra,” the elder Lee said. “And it’s not an easy test to pass, so (other operators are) impressed that he’s already passed the test.”

For Christmas, Adam wanted an amateur-extra study manual full of technical information and practice test questions. Prior to taking the test, operators must understand radio-wave propagation, electrical principles, circuit components, signals and emissions, antennas and transmission lines.

From January until his test last month, Adam read the study book three times from cover to cover, evidenced by his book’s worn corners, highlighted pages and bookmarks. Sometimes his father would help by quizzing the boy.

“Without even giving him the choices, he would know the answer,” Sam Lee said. “He just knew this inside and out. It was amazing.”

With new privileges afforded him thanks to his amateur-extra license, Adam has hopes to upgrade his radio this summer. Right now, he has a small hand-held device with a maximum range of about 400 miles. He said the most distant operator he’s contacted was up in North Salt Lake.

“I’m saving for a bigger radio so I can go all the way around the world,” Adam said, adding that he particularly wants to talk to radio operators in Europe.

Also on his wish list is a new call sign. Amateur-extra operators usually have a shorter call sign than the six-digit identifier he currently uses.

“Right now my call is KE7UZK, but when I passed my extra, I told them to change it,” Adam said. “So I’m still waiting for the new call and my new license to come in the mail.”

The oldest of five kids, Adam excels at school — especially in math. The young ham radio operator participates in Alpine School District’s accelerated learning lab with classmates who learn at a faster pace than others.

School, Scouting and other activities prevent Adam from spending as much time radioing as he’d like — “probably once a week or maybe a little bit more,” he said.

E-mail: jdavis@desnews.com

Kudos, Adam! And remember, I was able to give you almost no help, ya little whipper-snapper! :-D