17 March 2007

And for those who like it in color

16 March 2007

Nose art rocks

JR, Dan, Greg, and I were able to reach out and touch some history today. We got an up close and personal view of a B-25 and a B-17G. Let's just say it was pretty kick ass.

In Progress....

My buddy Larry up at Rock Ranch Custom Guns is putting together this masterpiece for me....

Kimber bottom end mated to a McCormick top end, with a ramped Barsto bbl, SVI ambi safeties and Heinie Straight 8 sights.

After seeing JRs blue paint job, I just couldn't take it, and ordered up this fantastic finish.

Larry's bringing the pistol down for the annual Double Tap Championship match next weekend. Now I hope I just don't drop it in the woods somewhere.

14 March 2007

300, a review

How do you know when a movie has hit a nerve? Well, for starters, when the mainstream press has a massive conniption fit over a movie, for one. For another, when the thug in charge of Iran whines and snivels about how a movie unfairly treats Persians.

More on that later. Let's get to the good stuff.

I watched 300 with JR and Dan last night. Very entertaining flick. The CGI stuff is just utterly stunning. It is incredibly hard to believe that not one scene of this movie was filmed outdoors.

The movie, as you probably know by now, is loosely based around the battle of Thermopylae, which took place in 480 B.C. A small band of Spartans, 300, hold off a massive Persian army invading Greece for 3 days, giving the rest of the Greek city-states a chance to build up their armies and fleets and devise a plan to turn the Persians away.

There are many historical inaccuracies. Some are major omissions, others are fairly minor. None of them really change the overall perception of the battle as it has been told through history. The armor wasn't right; the Spartan's helmets were not the Corinthian style; none of the Spartans wore breastplates in the movie; the swords used in the movie were way off; the Spartans wore a waist length cloak; at the time of the battle, the Greek Lambda was not uniform on the Spartans shields, that came later, etc etc etc.... These were what I would consider fairly minor omissions and like I said, take nothing away from the tale.

The major omissions to me would be:
1. Leonidas was not fighting an illegal war, as is suggested in the movie. Yes, the Spartans were forbidden from fighting due to their annual games - BUT - Leonidas was allowed to take a token force of Spartans to the Hot Gates with the approval of Sparta as a whole.
2. Leonidas did not goad Xerxes into battle. Xerxes was bent on avenging the defeat of his father's armies at the hands of the Greeks; it was that simple. The intrigue that was alluded to in 300 is fantasy.
3. There were as many as 7,000 Greeks in total fighting the Persians, and not just the 300 Spartans and a handful of others. All the Greeks fought together for the first two days of the battle, and when it became apparent they were surrounded, the bulk of the Greeks retreated, leaving only the Spartans and the Thespians to die on the 3rd day.
4. No mention is made of the fantastic sea battles raging in the straits near Thermopylae. The Greek navy was able to hold off the larger Persian force, and inflict serious damage; further slowing the Persian advance.

But, all said and done, the movie is very good. The concepts of duty, honor, and glory are stressed throughout the movie, which is a large reason why the movie gets hammered by college professors secure in their ivory towers. Yes, Sparta was a very very inhospitable place if you were not a Spartan. The Spartans were renowned for their abuses and the violent lives they led. What this jackass refuses to admit is that the Spartans, for all their 21st century image problems, were the best heavy infantry the ancient world produced. One could probably argue with some success that they were the best heavy infantry - ever.

What the good professor also refuses to point out is that without the Spartans holding the pass, the Persians would have steamrolled into Greece and that would have been that. No Greek culture would have flourished. No democracy, philosophy, logic, art, nothing would have survived. Very likely, no Roman Republic would have been born under the iron thumb of the Persians. And, dear reader, very likely, we would not be here on the internets today.

What is also glossed over by the good Doctor is the psychological victory at the Hot Gates, won by the Spartans. Can you imagine when, a year later on the plains at Plataea, Persian survivors of the Hot Gates looked across the field and saw not a handful of Spartans, but thousands? Can you say pucker factor?

Unspoken is the fact that the Spartans in this movie are truly manly men. We detailed their workout regimen earlier, but rest assured - the physiques you saw in the movie are not painted on in the editing room. These guys are studs. There is no emotional conflict; unlike the 21st century castrato that the media would like us to be, the Spartans in this movie are unashamedly men. Other than one brief episode, they don't cry, they don't emote, they don't worry over "did I do the right thing!?" There is no inner conflict in them and they are not only proud of their ability to fight, they do so with vigor. In today's culture, that qualifies as borderline psychotic - and shouldn't we have been watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy anyway?

And finally, any time that you can get the psycho in charge of Iran pissy is a good day.

I'd like to know exactly how the film "insulted the Persian civilization." Please. Sounds to me like someone is having a bit of an inferiority complex - because like it or not, fellas, Xerxes was the high point of the Persian civilization and they've been going steadily downhill since then.

Gun Guys : Where Everyone's a Straight Shooter!

I'm not giving these jackasses a link, because they don't deserve traffic from my site. However, you DO need to take a look at GunGuys.com.

This is the most shrill, over-the-top bunch of gun-grabbing loonies I've seen in some time - yes, even more so than our pals at the VPC. They make no bones about where they stand: they want to ban all guns. They're such chickenshits, they don't allow for comments on their ridiculous articles. I'm sure it'd really torque their psyches to have to respond intelligently to intelligent discourse on their positions.

After reading only a couple of posts, I've hit bullshit bingo - they use every single tired phrase in the gun-grabber's catalog.

What's really sad is that these lunkheads represent a small portion of people who actually think like they do. An example? Sure, here you go:
A while back we gave kudos to a South Dakota paper for putting the list of CCW permitholders in that state online and searchable– the public has a right to know who chooses to endanger their communities by carrying a concealed weapons. The Roanoke Times in Virginia recently decided to do the same thing, but the gun guys unleashed their jackbooted thugs for some Jim Zumbo-style vengeance, and now the Times has foolishly decided that a pack of barking dogs should have more influence on their activities than keeping the citizens of Virginia safe from concealed weapons.
You read it right - those of us who choose to carry concealed weapons are apparently a danger to our communities. Isn't that charming? I hope that if one of these morons is being assaulted, raped, robbed, or murdered, that a CHL holder is there. We'll see if that changes their tune.

12 March 2007

You know, I somehow expected more....

A few weeks ago, I took advantage of the House of Representatives' email system to politely voice my displeasure with HR 1022 - the new AWB - to my Congressman, Dr. Michael Burgess. Here is the response I got today - 4 paragraphs of blather.

You'll note that what it does NOT contain is the good Doctor's position on HR 1022.

Which is why I sent a follow up email asking for clarification on that little matter.

You know, somehow, I expected more of an answer from a Republican Congressman in a strongly Republican County...

March 12, 2007

Mr. Catfish
Denton, Texas

Dear Mr. Catfish,

Thank you for contacting me with your opposition to H.R. 1022,
the Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of
2007. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.

Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-New York) introduced
H.R. 1022 on February 13, 2007. This bill would revise the
definition of a 'semiautomatic assault weapon' to include
conversion kits (used for converting a firearm to such a weapon)
and any semiautomatic rifle or pistol that has the ability to accept a
detachable magazine and includes specific characteristics including
a telescoping stock. H.R. 1022 would prohibit the transfer of such
a weapon except through a license dealer or state or local law
enforcement agency. Under this legislation the Attorney General
would establish and maintain a record of the make, model and date
of manufacture for any such weapon that has been used in relation
to a crime.

H.R. 1022 was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for
further review. While I am not a member of the House Judiciary
Committee, you may be assured I will keep your views in mind
should H.R. 1022 be brought before the full House for a vote.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I appreciate
having the opportunity to represent you in the U.S. House of
Representatives. Please feel free to visit my website
(www.house.gov/burgess) or contact me with any future concerns.

Michael C. Burgess, M.D.
Member of Congress

My Journey to the Dark Side is Complete

First of all, please try to keep your voices down, because I don't want my Glock to hear (she's very sensitive).

Say hello to my little friend. After a very few additional purchases (holster, springs/basepads/followers/mag holder), I shall be driving this beautiful piece of machinery in USPSA. Try not to drool on it.

Thanks, Pimp Daddy!