Monday, May 25, 2015

What do you think they have to talk about? Nothing interesting they are too old...

  By dividing our lives by peer groups, education levels, genders, professions and so many other categories we miss a lot of truths.  Two young hip people talking about the latest fun, fad or foolishness may glance at two elder folks and in a break in their busy texting and conversations, make that remark - what do they have to talk about - and a response - nothing interesting, they are too old...

  The younger folks have missed the truth, they aren't looking at two old folks, kindly thought of as Seniors in modern America, and as 'grand folks, fathers and mothers' in other cultures.  They don't understand they are looking at surviving veteran Time Travelers.  Yes, you think you know what Woodstock was about, but some of them were there, and they could tell you what it was really like. Or when one of your friends does something really stupid and dies for no good reason, they can likely tell you what it was like when that happened to them, but I don't think they will. I think they have a mission not just to travel into our future until it is time for them to report, but not expose the youngsters to the most terrible things that men will do to men when they go really wrong.

   We are all time travelers, marching ever onward towards the end of the journey. As we stop playing with toys and tots and grow into adults why we do things, what might be better, what didn't work in the past and no reason to think it will work now -- all those questions and challenges may have answers found in those elder time travelers, ask them before they slip into memories and silence.

   It is the day to remember the dead, one whole day a year to remember people that gave up time travel for a duty to protect their loved ones, the future, an idea long repressed, or just lost it trying to make a difference and bring peace. You would have to ask the other surviving time travelers about it, the ones that didn't keep traveling on, they are reporting to the higher authority.

   Here on Earth, in the United States of America, here you could walk the gardens of stones, listen to politicians or catch the remaining family talking about the person named on the Memorial or written upon the marker. I hope it brings them a little peace, an important part of the Time Traveler is to reflect and remember the fallen, the departed, the ones that gave purpose and texture to our lives in love, and laughter. We wished for them to linger longer - but the pace is constant and it doesn't make long stops anywhere except in the mind of the Time Traveler, until they wake up to find it has all changed while they slept. Ah, Time Traveler, make sure that recliner and other serious distractions DO NOT get in the way of your participation, you are on a mission - to observe and report, to adjust and overcome, and to constantly enrich the journey before you, too, drop out to report.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Things that make you think no one really knows enough...

  Well, it is Memorial Day weekend, and the holiday spirit is good. At my church someone had put together a video tribute for fallen of America's wars, monuments and pictures with the total number of war dead for each. Although I saw it twice I didn't catch the war dead for the American Civil War, the War Between the States, but the video had started with the proudly rippling in the wind Stars and Bars, the first National Flag of the Confederacy:

    Then cut to a picture of a Civil War battle field, maybe the numbers were in the clouds and I didn't see them clearly. What struck me, since I recognized the flag immediately was that as talented as the video editor was in putting it together he didn't know he was rippling the harmony of those that might think the Confederacy was an enemy instead of a wayward brother.  I will of course forget to see if I can help the editor in the future.

   I did great things yesterday, got my demonstration rifle with a mounted green laser prepared for the next Appleseed and my own dry fire here in the home. I am so far behind in my reading and writing, I may never catch up, so the procrastination pile increases and awaits my attention. Be good.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Raised my ire, it did, just raised it right on up...

   I do hope I am not bothering anyone anywhere. Just wish y'all the best possible in your life and loves.

   I have been very happy as a member of the Revolutionary War Veterans Association, I first joined in 2005, but then after getting targets, lots of reading from Fred, and a t-shirt which I still have, there wasn't an Appleseed shoot anywhere near where I was nor likely to be any time soon. So, after a year, my interest in an organization that sounded good, would be fun to work with and learn how to shoot better and maybe get an M1 Garand one day, well, my investment hadn't paid off, and my membership and interest waned and withered and died.

   Until sometime in 2008, I bought an M1 Garand and a bunch of 30-06 in clips and in boxes, and there was now an Appleseed in Yakima, Washington in October, so I signed up again and paid five year membership (because I could save twenty dollars). That started my Appleseed Trail - all linked on the left side of this blog. In 2011 and 2012 I was medically absent more than present, but there were special people to come back and help and celebrate their moving up in the organization, and gosh, just have a great time remembering, Bickleton, WA April 21-22, 2012, those were the wonder years of a great time.

  Anyway, the health improved and I started back on the trail, and working on Appleseeds. Times were a little tougher, ammunition wasn't always available and sometimes the shoots weren't as well attended as we liked. But still there isn't much better than two days of rifle marksmanship and heritage and history of April 19th, 1775.

   For some strange reason people that love Liberty don't like to be organized, homogenized and pasteurized. And some folks just want to be in charge... every organization will have them, find them and work with or under them... which could be a problem, like herding cats, it just doesn't always work smoothly. So, volunteers depart in singles or droves depending on how much noise they made and how off the permitted track they went. 

   What seems to be worse, is that the leadership (those that think they are in charge and want our attention) will run around talking about disloyalty, and shame, and sending volunteers into the corner or off the forum for a 'time out'.  Maybe King George the Third should have sent the rebellious colonists into the other world, without recourse except to stand on their own two feet. It sure would have been less costly in the long run, in blood and treasure. 

    To make sure those of us still volunteering and working know all the bad stuff about the departed members and why we shouldn't have any truck with them ever again - they send out letters, one of which I received today, and it just raised my ire. and I wondered again how people get so rude, uncaring and merciless. Doesn't really matter, I am only an old fat man back in the corner of the world and I wish all the parties all the best for all their best. No need for shunning or shouting or chastising.  We really all can get along in Liberty - but it is easier if one is nice and thoughtful and respectful of differences and others.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Define yourself, your life, your country and your choices...

  Maybe we don't do enough looking into our mirror, we don't want to see what we have become nor acknowledge that it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, because you aren't in the grand scheme of things, are you?

  Rifleslinger was looking at many things, measuring and analyzing and working on more better for the longest time. His admirers thought it was great he was doing it, and isn't that a nice way he did that.. or this.. how does he find the time? You do realize this is my story, my blog and I am telling it my way.  He was never wrong, but sometimes mistaken, but he could work it out and come back at it from a different angle.  A young man with energy and passion, why would he do otherwise?

  I am still trying to find the meaning of Liberty, honor, manliness, gentleman, meek, good, bad, and such. They (who think they must be obeyed and are correct) keep redefining what it means to be American, I think it is great to be an American, even in the broadest sense of the word (everyone in North and South America). My brother is ashamed of all that was done in the name of America - killing civilians, corporate cuddling, and tons of other bad stuff trumpeted by those of a different point of view.  I know that humans are sinners, do not accept blame for their sins, nor do I define my country, America, by the criminals selling drugs and shooting up rival biker gangs, or disobeying the strict gun control in Chicago along with other laws and killing their neighbors and innocents. I just thank God that I am not a fool of their disorder.  And I look for my own to fix, address and correct or make good enough, good being the easier than perfect to achieve consistently. But the truth that hurts the fools the most, America and Americans have done wonderful things for civilization, PEACE, prosperity, opportunity and the future -- so I am an American and proud to be one.

  A Facebook friend found no money in his bank account today, it had been cleaned out. That is bad, really bad, how can that happen? Did we make it too easy to move money electronically? around the world, across town? Is it an attack by ISIS or Russian Organized crime or just the neighborhood youth with too much time on the computer and he is only playing? I am hoping it all works out, as he mentioned he has no money for lunch now. Dillinger would have left him a few bucks, but then Dillinger was an honorable thief, or something like that.

1960 Fifty years of Marriage and their posterity, Will and Beulah Dungey
  Did you question getting out of bed this morning? There are many things to fear out there, and you could die from any of them at any time, the government is only really trying to take care of its own, which does seem to be the elected class and those connected to the same. But I am cynical, or should that be spelt 'SINinCal' (nope, that looks like a word for modern California). Well, time to go to the YMCA, otherwise it would be movies or FOXNews and death by degrees of reclineritis.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Another broken promise? nah, the Shoot Boss would honor it if reminded...

  Seems like a hundred miles down the road from Lone Pine Range I remembered promising targets to take home for practice before the Appleseed was over, but I had finished grading the fourth Appleseed Qualification target of the day and had shifted my natural point of aim to returning to my nest - HOME. On the way, after a hundred miles of travel to the East side of Washington State I had wondered if I had closed the garage door before I drove. Something to gnaw over in my mind... (I had!) Subtle messages of the time to come when I really will know knothing about anything. Yeah, I know how I spelled that MS makes squiggly red lines under my most creative efforts to move the language my way.
    There are thirty seven pictures in my camera and I will share a couple here. It was a five hour drive with re-fuel stop and the darkness helps it go quickly, but two AM is still early to start. I get to Lone Pine Range before the Shoot Boss is really stirring from his tent, the smart guy slept there last night and will wake up ready to go, almost. Getting his boots on after breakfast, imagine an Appleseed Shoot Boss that doesn't need coffee to start his engine.

   We get started with introduction to RWVA and the Appleseed mission, the crew, and roll right into the pre-history (before April 19, 1775) then safety then bring the rifles to the line. Safe the line, post first Redcoat and the day is well started. Lots of room for improvement.  Six shooters and two instructors, one of which must be a line boss, which leads us to dropping too many words, and confusing with more information than prepared to handle. We only teach four safety rules, six steps to making a rifle safe, six steps to making every shot, three things to do to find NPOA, how to time a Rifleman's Cadence (one shot every respiratory pause) and then the steady hold factors for three sitting, one kneeling, one standing and prone position, and three basic sling configurations. Every other word added on is just slowing the training and the building of mind and muscle memory, like sticking honey on everything you want to eat up - the calories go astronomical. Keep it simple, repeat the same words over and over, we are changing your biologic software.
  Now we do tell the History of April 19th, 1775 and Boston, Lexington and Concord. Just enough to make you want to know more, we hope. Establishing a connection between Liberty, marksmanship and firm resolve is important.
   Day one has presented all training, fired two Redcoat targets for group evaluation, and two scored Appleseed Qualification targets. One AQT was used for training. Handed out t-shirts, homework study packet and lots and lots and lots of advice for the next day.

   Second day, same old verse, a little bit louder and a little bit... so, review, refresh, and get to shooting better just because, we again have a full three man crew and change Line Boss and positions. Redcoat target to begin, sighting square target to adjust sights upon, Inches Minutes Clicks.

And two scored AQTs before lunch when we will hear the three dangerous Old Men stories. And the shoot boss brings out his Brown Bess for show and tell. No shooting it on this range but the bayonet means business.  I scored two more AQTs after ball and dummy and carding the sights drill and then I give out my card, and get one back from one shooter and I start the drive back home, thirty-six hours after I started this trip. In five and one half hours I will be home safe and sound. And so tired, that I barely download my camera for sharing photos.

  Had some great talks with Jack the range owner/manager, about being older more parts falling out of warranty and what is going on in his shooting world neck of the woods. He has always been a supporter of events, competitions and even dog trials. He and I thought about the big events that once were at this little range, and for some strange reason he has always worried that I wasn't sleeping comfortable, then we would exchange some military stories. Just lovely old men talking in the shade.

Monday, May 11, 2015

It just gets so much better on the road and the range...

  Got up early on Saturday morning, put the last rifle in the Caravan, hit the GPS with coffee and breakfast and drove off to meet the crew at Jefferson County Sportsmen Club in Port Townsend. The weather was perfect for scenic views of the Olympic Mountains as dawn broke, too often it is foggy or stormy. Kenjo has control this weekend, the Shoot Boss, nice green hat. Nineteen shooters signed up, and a whole crew, look there is CubFlyr (Al) with a young man named Jack.  It was good to see Al, and young Jack was impressive.  A lot of repeat Appleseeders, good to see them coming back for a bit more polish. Fixer would earn his Red Hat this weekend, Yankee Terrier would be instructing a lot for progress checks. TioNico would be instructing as a red hat, so six instructors for the shooters to ask and get answers from.
  The day rolled right along, two sighter squares after the Redcoat in the morning, lots of instruction and a few equipment adjustments but time was good, I got to be the Line Boss before lunch, lunch time was historic background, First and Second Strikes of the Match. The first afternoon continued instruction, positions, shooting on an AQT for the different adjustments, getting groups smaller, six steps for making the shot, NPOA, timing of the shoot with the cycle of the pause in breathing. Had enough time for full scored AQTs and the Third Strike of the Match, and re-shoot the Redcoat (improvement!!!!) and more.  T-shirts and homework handed out after the Shoot Boss motivates the shooters to prepare for another fine day of shooting Sunday. Several repeat riflemen are honored and some new riflemen made - loud Huzzahs ring out for each. We clean up after casing up the rifles and putting them in the vehicles. Short meeting with the Shoot Boss about the day and the assignments for tomorrow. He is good about making sure we all get an opportunity to do some of everything.
  Most of the crew will camp out on the range, they have cold running water and toilet facilities, two campers have cooking ability (a microwave?) amazing, I gobble down too many of the Hershey Nuggets set in front of me, I will be fat forever and it wasn't Al's stew that Jack, Al and I chowed down on. The stars shine, the coyotes howl and the night goes too quickly, but solid sleep for all. We get up, shaved and changed and fed again. Yankee Terrier will be bringing doughnuts and Danish more coffee and TioNico will press out some of the best. Totally spoiled but then we are prepared to properly greet the returning shooters, I have the parking lot duty.
   Everyone, except two, return, and we review safety, and then bring the rifles to the line and start with a redcoat target and then sighter square to check sight adjustment and grouping. We will do AQTs, review all positions, all of yesterday's instructions, and work to bring better effect on targets. There are the ball and dummy drills and the carding of the sights for NPOA trust building. More AQTs before and after lunch, shooting the peppermint, exploding targets are a hoot! More Riflemen are made patches awarded and honors shouted out, the instructors rotate through getting some trigger time, I do find that my Liberty Training Rifle is not on perfectly, but just making sure I have and trust my NPOA and focus on the front sight, I score enough to know once I practice and sight in the rifle, I will be making it. All rounds out in time for each stage and my last three rounds on the fourth stage could be covered with a quarter. I am a happy fellow.
   I go get dressed for show and tell, flintlock, hunting shirt, hat, powder horn and possibles. Demonstrate the trade flintlock that PaulW left in my care. Al comes up to hold all the stuff, I load, step by step, aim and fire at a target, and hit! Yeah, so cool. So I ask and get a volunteer to come up and do the same thing, Heather steps up and measures a charge, charges the flintlock, primes the pan, aims on the same target and shoots it - better hit than mine, still makes us all happy. So I sign and give her the target with the wrong date on it (I took my watch off to be closer to Historic period dress).
   Oh, well, the three Dangerous Old Men stories are related, the Shoot Boss will get some more awards like Jack's Junior Patriot, for being a great young shooter. And one last Redcoat target and the shooting has really been improving all weekend. Everyone is tired, putting the rifles away, then doing a great job of cleaning up.  Saying that good-bye to people you have just become friends with and hope to see again, to the crew which you really hope to work with again, back to the vehicle and the drive home, the toll bridge and waiting wife (who didn't sleep at all Saturday night). Next time she comes with me, or I drive home daily.

North Carolina Park Service Notes follow...
 Equipment of the Continental Army Soldier
During the war, Continental soldiers were the core of the American Revolutionary war effort. These were the men that General Washington and Congress depended most upon. Congress raised the Continental army by calling on the individual states to organize regiments of soldiers. North Carolina was asked to raise two regiments of five hundred men each. Eventually it sent ten regiments of infantry to the Continental Line. These regiments were formed into a single brigade called the North Carolina Brigade. This brigade joined Washington's army in 1777.
The Continental infantryman had equipment that was like that of the British soldier. In addition to a musket, he carried on his right side a leather or tin cartridge box that held twenty to thirty rounds of ammunition, a musket tool, and a supply of flints. On his left side he carried his bayonet in a leather scabbard attached to a linen or leather shoulder strap. Each soldier had a haversack, usually made of linen, to carry his food rations and eating utensils. The utensils usually included a fork made of wrought iron, a pewter or horn spoon, a knife, a plate, and a cup. He also had a canteen of wood, tin, or glass to carry water. A knapsack held extra clothing and other personal items such as a razor for shaving, a tinderbox with flint and steel for starting a fire, candle holders, a comb, and a mirror. Soldiers also often carried a fishhook and some twine so that they could catch some fish when they were near a lake, creek, or river.

 Equipment of a Militiaman

The Continental army often used the local militia to help out. The militia, made up of male citizens over sixteen years of age, was the defense force of each state. Regiments of militia were called up for service by the governor or the commanding general to serve for a campaign or for a period of time as needed. These soldiers were told what equipment they had to bring with them.
The militia soldier carried equipment that looked different from that of the Continental soldier but that usually performed the same or similar function. His knapsack was generally made from linen or canvas and sometimes painted. His haversack and canteen were usually similar to those used by the Continentals. He also had an ax and a blanket.
A militia rifleman carried his rifle, knife, tomahawk—a light ax, water bottle, a powderhorn for his black powder, and a hunting pouch that held other shooting supplies. Sometimes a patch knife, used to cut a patch of cloth, and a loading block, which held patched bullets enabling the rifleman to load quicker, were attached to the strap of the hunting pouch. In addition, a charger measured the amount of powder to put into the rifle when loading.


Uniforms were a vital consideration to the armies. During this period, battles fought with black-powder weapons would produce enough smoke to make it difficult to see more than a few yards. Clouds of thick smoke would form over the battlefield. It was important to distinguish between friend and foe. Because the smoke was white, bright colors were used for uniforms. The British wore, for the most part, red and scarlet uniforms; the French, uniforms of white and differing shades of blue; and the Americans, dark blues and browns.
Congress did not adopt a Continental uniform until 1779. However, soldiers attempted to have clothing similar to the others in the company or regiment. Many volunteer companies entered the war in uniforms purchased by themselves or their commanders.
The uniform of the American soldier was made up of:
  • a hat, usually turned up on one or three sides,
  • a shirt made of linen or cotton,
  • a black leather stock, worn around the neck,
  • a wool coat, usually with collar, cuffs, and lapels that were a different color
  • a waistcoat or vest, usually made of linen or wool,
  • a pair of wool, linen, or cotton trousers, either breeches that were gathered just below the knee, or overalls,
  • stockings, and
  • leather shoes.
Congress adopted brown as the official color for uniforms in 1775. But there was a shortage of brown cloth, so some regiments dressed in blue and gray. In September 1778 Congress received a large shipment of uniforms from France. The North Carolina Continental Line regiments received blue coats faced with red collars, cuffs, and lapels. In October 1779 Congress adopted regulations requiring North Carolina troops to wear a uniform made of a blue coat with blue facing and laced with white around the buttonholes.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Wow! Friday, and I WIN!

  Visited the doctor, scheduled maintenance check, passed. Went to the YMCA to sweat a little, did same, showered and changed and met cousin and wife at steak house and spent three and a half hours talking, went home to see if the Factor was worthy, but I fell asleep so maybe I wasn't. Then my wife returned with a bunch of clams and oysters and I got up and maintained the yard, mowing everything green and above best. Then I actually loaded the Caravan out except for one rifle, everything else is on board, doors locked and I only need to put clothes on and on. Ready or not, Appleseed and Port Townsend are about to meet again.