Friday, November 21, 2014

Normal November in the NorthWest...

 Grey and wet, cool and calm, mushy turf and leaves, squishing beneath the boots, while watching the final mole mountains being birthed...

  My harmony with the universe is gone, up early to support my wife's adventure into kim-chee making at the church, so I go early to the YMCA, and find my locker room blocked off for cleaning - I won't get locker 82, so the heck with the workout, leave a couple of light complaints with the other few old guys that talk to me and go get a hair cut (I wonder why I even try) and pick up more LDL busting drugs... sigh.

  Two strangers are about to meet, they are watching and they know a lot about each other within ten feet. I hand my military ID card to the guard and he looks the vehicle over and the card and says "Does it get any easier?" (There is a cry for help if I ever heard one) and I respond 'What?' and he repeats "Does it ever get any easier, Sergeant Major" ah, he has a real question with some expectation that an old man might know the answer.... hmm, so I respond "No, it never gets any easier, but it is always interesting." and as he hands my ID back he agrees. "Yes, it is always interesting." with a smile and thoughts about better times. Both of the strangers thinking of the interesting times and better memories ages apart..

  Still grey and wet in the great NorthWest, and I am happy that my wife knows I like hooded coats for the adaptation to reality - rain pounding on my head. Lovely lady she is.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Winterization... time is freezing but the thaw will come..

  Finished ironing the togs from my last Appleseed of the season - family, holidays and weather have my priority now. But I have some thoughts I should share about Appleseed.

  This is a great time for getting all your gear in top shape, cleaned and lubricated rifles, leather slings preserved (tong oil and saddle soap?). All targets, tee-shirts, and forms inventoried and boxed up - yes, I know I have heard we are re-branding, and although I won't bet on it, I am certain I have at least six to seven major RWVA/Appleseed operations before re-branding is finished fact, sometime after the NRA convention.  I have received my red Instructor short sleeve shirt, and the new flags of the Revolution tee-shirt, so with all the other stuff I own for Appleseed, I am covered. And Dickies brown, or sand colored carpenter pants speak Liberty to me (5.11? never heard of them - some yuppie outfit?).

  Winter is a fine time for reading, writing and studying - everything one wants to know about the Revolutionary War has been written by the British and the Americans - start making each of the three strikes a twenty minute presentation in at least two formats. You have to tell the tale to your audience, you must watch them to find what works - keeps their interest and perks up their curiosity. Liberty Seeds in the minor key would be good with small audiences. Not that it would support Appleseed and our day, 19 April, 1775, I think all instructors should know that Canada and Mexico have both had challenges in their History, some of which had to do with Mother Countries and much to do with colonialism and paternalism. One more person telling me that Canada didn't have to have a revolution to be as the United States is will be a tipping point. Canada stands as a fine symbol of English enlightenment and the problems with budgets - and like I said, Canada has had conflicts internally to make them how they are now. And Canada never ever wanted to be like the United States, just have a good relationship - neighborly.

  Lock in your schedule for 2015, like anyone except Coupeville and Douglas Ridge Rifle Club know what Appleseed activities they are scheduling now. So send out the letters asking, make personal contact, do presentations and answer questions and get ahead of the calendar as much as possible. Get one Instructor Boot Camp early, helps frame your knowledge with the rapidly changing ways to tell a tale and all the basic fundamental knowledge. You will also be able to make known your skills and weaknesses among your peers, with their skills and weaknesses. Might even make a friend or two, and homemade cookies are awesome.

   I want everyone to get really older looking over the Winter, for sure it is easier than getting younger over the Winter. And I have heard very few dandy young fellows tales -  although I read about Daniel Boone having two ladies that manned the loophole in Boonesboro (against the Shawnee and Mingo) because they shot better than the men, that was the attack before 1773-4. And since we aren't going to get younger, we have to get in shape for getting in the dirt, demonstrating all the positions, transitions and steady hold factors.  My advice for shooters, is five days a week, an AQT on the wall at the end of the hall, an empty rifle and a sling and go through the forty shots dry practice, six steps of making the shot, calling the shot, rifleman's cadence, and two extra sitting positions - one of which should be kneeling, with transitions! Getting up and down must get easier, but only with practice. Break your movements down, make the same solid smooth move each time. That is only thirty minutes, and no one is looking, although it would be better with a partner - you can video record it for self analysis.

   Don't forget a little stretching, exercise unused muscles (thumbs for texting just don't cover much in shooting). I think the touch toes, squats, push ups, side benders, squats, and arm circles and sit ups and did I mention squats? You can figure it out, along with your normal work, school and family and friend and fellowship activities. Plenty of time until that next performance, right?

   If you have real cold, frozen Winterseed and hearty crew and shooters - do have a Winterseed and give lots of those patches out - take tons of pictures and share them with the folks that haunt the forum never saying much, because someone has said it better, louder or repetitiously.  Have a most happy Winter, many holidays, and opportunities to excel await and I will see you after the waking from hibernation.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Another great Appleseed weekend, six instructors, ten shooters...

  The weather was COLD and chilling, but not wet and the Sun shown brightly upon us - we could hang. For a spur of the moment journey into the neighboring state to assist in the Appleseed with an eager young instructor that I now know was a member of the Falcon Brigade and the Eighty-Deuce paratrooping division, during the troubles in the former Yugoslavia. Imagine, he only lives a few blocks away from me.

   Many of the shooters were from one of the instructor's work place, and he said something about trying to get the other eighty workers along for Appleseeds in the future. Sounds like a great plan. His wife would earn her Rifleman patch twice this weekend and help in the future encouraging of the ladies and friends and family - getting them to a firing line somewhere some Appleseed event time. Two other shooters would earn their patch also so thirty percent is excellent and the marked improvement in everyone's shooting by the end of the second day brought smiles to everyone's faces. Link to After Action Report here.

   Of important note (who is telling this tale?)

I, because I am diligent, was able to find the flint that flew off the Brown Bess while Katie was firing it. There was only one, so that makes me a hero, saver of civilization in the moment of need. That firing the Brown Bess was a highlight of the weekend, looking at those large holes in the target helped solidify the telling of the events of Lexington and Concord in the minds of instructors and shooters.

A great time to be on the Appleseed Trail, and making up for the challenges of last weekend's wonderful weather - the crew and shooters in both events make the reason for my efforts worthy of participation. But one has to be there to understand what standing for Liberty means. Hope you do, stand and understand for it.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ah, nothing happening here move along... move along...

  Went to the doctor appointment today, nothing wrong, change one medicine. The nurse taking blood pressure and blood was shocked at how high the low number was, but I explained we shouldn't be talking about I 594 passing... and then we had a discussion about her lack of range time, since her husband has been using it as a boy's club type thing. Will leave her a trifold next visit for her husband.

  The doctor got defensive about voting for I 594, said we had to have back ground checks. But then he is a board certified doctor, and loves regulations and folks looking over his shoulder. I don't blame him for his vote, that was the plan - lots of lack of transparency in almost all laws. The people buying law and policy are all sure we aren't paying attention and don't know what we are voting for. Yep, I think they are correct.

  An opportunity to take a new Instructor in Training (IIT) to Douglas Ridge Rifle Club in Oregon tomorrow. Leaving his home at five - best fuel up and print out a copy of the COI. I am torn between staying snug and warm in my home and under the covers or getting up and sounding the cry of LIBERTY! across the border and the river. And I could get some shooting in. Do I know how to have a good time?


Monday, November 10, 2014

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!"

from Tommy, by Rudyard Kipling

I grew up surrounded by veterans, one grandfather, father, uncle and seemingly everyone else's fathers from my father's friends and cousins. Everyone was a veteran, and none of them considered themselves heroes - they just considered themselves 'home'. One should remember that. It should have been an indicator to my generation. My generation, the BOOMERS, had lots of veterans, fewer draftees that didn't volunteer than the media would say, and many of us would stand watch long after the current conflict waiting on another - professional servicemen and women. That last was not in the design of America, the military was to get big and tough and take care of real threats - the Navy watched the waters, the Marines landed and made large statements of policy, and the Army only became imperial after the Spanish American War, based on colonial conquest (we have to control them to civilize them). Have you heard that reasoning from NeoCons lately?

Modern politics and modern warfare changed the military, and its missions. Didn't change the veterans, nor how the military is treated. I expect many more foreigners in our uniformed services, many, it is a historic fact of all empires, and declining empires in denial of their fading famousness... their own don't serve much. Once in Rome and Greece, every free man knew how to fight and was trained as a unit in the national defense... when empire strikes the free men just frolic and hire the heathens, check on David's rise as a military commander while King Saul sought his death... veterans are a good thing, men willing to serve unto death to protect their loves at home, and they come back to make a better world. There are a lot, now in Britain. Germany and America, non-veterans in places of power, centers of commerce, in the legal system.... only paying lip service to the proud tradition of national service. Remembering comments about being an elected official was just like serving in the military.  Nope, it is not, and I am not going to tell anyone that service to the nation automatically means one would make a fine politician or statesman. 

I would only say remember their service, pray for their continued success in life, and be thankful of all those that have taken on that thankless job when others wouldn't or couldn't. But for sure don't allow Kipling to write another poem about how one treats the veterans, once praised and sung about like heroes. The Last of the Light Brigade.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Why does he do it? what motivates him...

  Looking for that leadership, motivational, inspirational touches that make things happen. It has to be more than just showing up... 

  Back in 1968, or so, some North Korean Special Operations types - highly trained, politically sound - slipped right through the sleepy American soldiers on the DMZ and walked into the Seoul metropolitan area and into confusion, conflict and elimination at the hands of the ruthless capitalism fascist military might of the Republic of Korea. Well, one man survived and was kept political/military prisoner and zoo exhibit for years of propoganda.  He was finally rehabilitated, married and became a minister of the gospel, and a real nice man. Who is telling this story? Oh, me. So it must be totally true. Since I was one of the sleepy Americans behind the DMZ that they snuck through...

   Anyway, as I watch Korean television and the program about he and his wife and their lives in the limelight of the conflict between Kommunism and Kapitalism (K for Korean, aren't I cool?), my only thought as I watched how relaxed and at peace he is now compared with the frightened cool military operator of 1968, and they were really good. My only thought his whole life has been to make worthy the death of all his comrades - and since it is Remembrance Day and Veterans Day - don't discount how deeply you don't understand the vets motivation --- politicians would love to attach their power to that motivation, but they will never pay the price of the fallen comrades, they will never love enough to die in someone else's place. So the veteran understands and knows, and owes a good life to those that didn't make it far enough... it is called honor, heritage and responsibility... difficult matters for the newer generations, but historically always evident.

   What did you think the movie Saving Private Ryan was about? Veterans Day,. ask them about the men and women they remember from those far off times and service. Those are a building block of a veteran. Those that never grow older. This isn't Memorial Day, but the veterans can't live without honoring the dead daily.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Get together to repair the Federal Follies...

Just a quick idea, that is long overdue, the Congresspeople and Senators should get together and establish their good faith, intelligence and cooperation and do two things we can all agree upon.

1.  Repeal Daylight Savings Time - it never has affected the chicken, the cows, or the corn.

2. Have the President consider offering Daylight Savings time to the North Koreans under Kim, Jong-Un.

Really, this could be the start of real effective government.