Motorcycle Trip 4

1 HPIM4966As the last leg of our trip, we left the Black Hills and took the scenic route to the Badlands.

DSC01016After visiting, I can see now why they’re called the badlands.

IMG_1716Could you imagine driving a wagon train and coming up to this? “OK…Now What?”

20140730_153418It really is beautiful, but trying to travel it back before paved roads had to have been a nightmare…especially considering that it’s basically a desert. The badlands only averages 16 inches of precipitation a year…which includes snow in the winter.

360 panoramaAt the highest point we found in the park, I climbed a little hill to the tallest spot I could find, then I used the panorama feature on my tablet to take three panorama shots, then used a piece of software called “photostitch” to piece them together. I’m pretty happy with the resulting 360 degree panoramic view of Badlands National Park (definitely click this one to make it bigger).

IMG_1724After leaving the badlands, we headed back toward Brother’s house in Omaha. We didn’t make it the whole way and stopped in a little one horse town near the Nebraska border. Across the street from the hotel was a gas station with this interesting piece of art named “scrappy”. If you can’t tell from the picture, it is completely made of scrap metal. Very creative.

The next day we completed the trip to Omaha where we dropped off Brother, then back to Indiana where I took leave of Uncle and Cousin, and then I made the final leg of the trip back home to Virginia.

Screen shot 2014-08-16 at 10.39.31 AMHere’s a map of our basic trip path (without all the side trips and sightseeing routes)

IMG_1728And here’s my final mileage.

5,126 miles total.

It was a good trip. I hope you enjoyed sharing it with me.

I finally figured out what I did wrong

Yes, I know it’s been a loooong time, but reading an article this morning really rang my bells and I had to break the hiatus for this.

Here’s the backstory: I spent a year in The Naval Police while on board the USS Enterprise. I started out on patrol, was promoted to Patrol Supervisor, then went into investigations. I did well in all phases, but didn’t really enjoy the patrol part. I didn’t really enjoy the job until I got into investigations…and I was good at it. Good enough that the Security Officer was willing to send me to Navy Investigator School (very unusual for someone who’s actual job specialty was not Master At Arms (What Navy Cops are called)) if I’d volunteer to do another three years on board the Enterprise. I wasn’t willing to make that sacrifice (the Enterprise was, at the time, not a pleasant environment to work in).

At any rate, after I retired from the Navy, I considered becoming a cop. I figured I could endure patrol for a few years and work on being advanced to detective, where I could really thrive in the job.

So, I applied with the Virginia Beach Police Department. I did fine with the process up to a psychological test where you sit in front of a television monitor playing a video of actors portraying scenarios. The candidate is filmed reacting to the scenarios as if he were actually there as a Police Officer and the film of the candidate is evaluated by experienced officers to determine if the candidate has the right psychological makeup to become a cop.

I failed this test and was not advanced. I’ve since been told that it’s very common to fail this test because it’s so subjective and that many candidates have to try more than once before they pass it.

Anyway, after reading this story this morning, I think I finally know why I failed the test.

You see, one of the scenarios presented was of an obviously mentally ill guy armed with a knife in city hall trying to lay claim to the city for some alien civilization that was due to arrive in their spaceships at any time.

I’m pretty sure that this is the scenario that caused me to fail the test, because I didn’t follow standard Police protocol.

I tried to reason with the crazy guy, reassure him that we were there to help him and convince him to put down his weapon so we can work all this out and verify his possibly legitimate claims.

Apparently, I should have just shot him down where he stood. That seems to be the proper Police procedure when dealing with a crazy dude waving a knife around.

I’m often glad that I didn’t make the cut. Between the requirement to shoot crazy people, and the standard procedure of killing family pets while serving search warrants, I really don’t think I’m nearly authoritarian and heartless enough to be an effective cop these days.

We interrupt this blogging hiatus…

To bring breaking news:

For all of those living in the frozen tundra (yes, I’m talking to you Vanilla…and CB too), I just wanted to gloat a little.

todayHere’s what it’s like right now here in Southeastern Virginia:

Unfortunately, it’s going to be pretty short lived.

Here’s the forecast for tomorrow.

tomorrow

Welcome to Virginia. If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes, it’ll change.

The Voice of the Rockets

My Son has been announcing football games for the Lafayette-Winona Rockets football team (the school he teaches at). I went to a game on Saturday. I think he does a great job. He’s got a good voice for it. This was the last game of the playoffs and the Rockets won 26 to 6. First kid’s game I’ve been too since he was playing in the City Leagues years ago. It was fun.

Next stop is the intercity championships on November 7th. I may have to hit that game too.

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The Liberal Mindset

Alternate Title: “Responsibility part deux”

This should be the motto of the Democratic party and liberals in general:

“I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it”
-Unidentified Anthem Blue Cross Customer, California

From this story (hat tip to Drudge).

Isn’t that just like the left? They’re all for providing for the “less fortunate”…as long as they can force someone else to foot the bill.

As soon as they realize that they are included in the “someone else”…all bets are off.

Riddle me this:

Why come my Navy Federal Visa ATM card works just fine in Germany (over 4000 miles away from the company headquarters), but isn’t recognized by ATMs in Toronto, Canada (less than 500 miles away)?

I don’t understand…

Can someone explain to me why it is virtually impossible to find .22lr ammunition right now?

Do people think it’s going to be banned? Or taxed? Or restricted in some way?

I can understand stocking up on .223 or 9mm or any of the “evil” calibers that may be threatened, but .22lr?

I’ve got about a brick and a half in my ammo locker, but I’ve got 6 new shooters to take to the range in a couple of weeks. I always start new shooters off with .22lr and I’m afraid if I shoot up what I’ve got, I won’t be able to get more.

Anybody know where I can pick up a brick or two of .22lr?

Most California Guns come from Nevada?

I know I haven’t posted much lately. Just seems like there are so many good bloggers out there who say the same things I would, but much better.

Plus I’ve been traveling and just very busy, so…

But this morning, I ran across this AP opinion piece (masquerading as a story) which makes the claim:

In California, most guns come from Nevada, where there is almost no regulation of firearms, Cutilletta said, and in Arizona, gun owners don’t need a permit.

The story isn’t exactly clear on exactly what they mean by “most guns come from…” so I have to make an assumption here*.

I doubt that they’re talking about LEGAL guns because Californians can’t legally purchase handguns in Nevada by federal law and I’d imagine that state laws preclude them from purchasing rifles across state lines as well (especially since California has a ban on scary looking cosmetic features on rifles).

So I imagine that they’re talking about illegal guns or guns used in crime. That means they must be relying on trace data for this information (which, by the way, the ATF expressly cautions is NOT a proper use of their trace data). This would be VERY surprising to me if true, because most ATF trace data reveals that the vast majority of traced guns originated in the very state they were recovered in.

Let’s find out, shall we? From the 2011 ATF Trace data report on California:

californiatraces
(click to make bigger)

Hmmm. Not only is California itself the source of the vast majority of the guns traced in California, but Nevada isn’t even the source of most of the out of state traces; Arizona is.

So, as I expected, the AP, and the gun control community (sorry for the redundancy) are talking out their butts.

Someone explain to me again why we are supposed to listen to these people about setting policy when they can’t even get their basic facts straight?

*I attempted to contact the organization that made the claim (Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence…formerly Legal Community Against Violence**) but my e-mail was returned as undeliverable. Their web site is still up, so I don’t think they’ve gone defunct, but the e-mail address is dead.

**Why do these groups change their names so often? Do they think it’s their NAME that’s preventing them from getting the support of the general population? In this particular case I have to laud them for the change, they actually changed their name to be MORE descriptive of their agenda rather than less, as is normally the case. They aren’t REALLY against “violence”, they’re against guns, so their new name actually is more descriptive of their goal. Kudos to them for that, even if they do try to mask their agenda in terms of “gun violence” rather than just saying “Law Center Against Guns”.

Christmas gift

My wonderful wife added to the arsenal in an unconventional way with her thoughtful Christmas gift this year.

I don’t remember where I sat it first, but a blogger linked to this earlier in the year…I mentioned it to The Wife, and she took it for action.

Behold, the lethal Bug-a-salt

wpid-2012-12-25_16-36-14_291.jpg

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