Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Devil Dogs Get A New Ride

Heard on All Hands Radio News that the Marines got themselves a new ride.

The new Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) should make Marines safer when dealing with potential IED and minefield areas. From the Marine Corps Times:

Combat engineers use line charges to blast a path through minefields, but they don’t always work.

If a line charge fails to detonate, someone has to walk into the minefield, place an explosive manually, light the fuse and run like hell.

Engineers call it the Medal of Honor run, but the Corps intends to make it a thing of the past by training and equipping engineers with a new Assault Breacher Vehicle designed to keep them safe in the midst of a minefield.

Shiny Lance Corporal talks about the ABV here.

After the demise of the Army's Grizzly project early in the decade, the Marine Corps started working on their own breacher vehicle. They took existing M1A1 Abrams chassis, removed the turret, and bolted on the plow blades, line charge launchers, and other breaching hardware. This configuration is apparently proving very effective against explosives, and provides the crew substantial protection from RPG and other anti-armor attacks.

More info here and here.

And now for some really cool video, courtesy of StrategyPage.

It's fast, functional, and gets the job done. It looks like something out of Warhammer 40K. It saves Marine lives. I'm not seeing anything not to love.


(I know it's an old article, but the radio only brought it to my attention this week, as they've now seen combat action in the sandbox.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My kind of Christmas Carols

Some days, I have a hard time coming up with a tune for On Stage Thursday. This week, not so much. There may even be a Christmas Encore to follow it up.

Me, I like Twisted Sister. Dee Snider may look like a fruit, with hair so epic that Christina Aguilera had to steal it two decades later, but the music was loud and hard and always damn fun to listen to. That, and Mark Mendoza is, in fact an animal on the bass. And how do you not love a guy who told a sitting US Senator, during a Senate hearing, that said senator's wife had a dirty mind.

Merry Freakin Christmas, kids!


Holiday Greetings...

from the House of Dude!

This is the time of year for family, and friends, and reflection, and just having a good time. In the interest of honoring multiple traditions this season, the House of Dude offers the following greetings:

For my Christian friends, Merry Christmas.

For my Jewish friends, Happy Hanukkah.

If I have any Buddhists reading me, have a pleasant Dōngzhì.

For the Seinfeldians out there, enjoy Festivus!

If anybody really feels like following ancient Greek or Roman traditions, hey, it's Saturnalia!

If any Africans find me, Kwanzaa rolls around right quick now.

For the Wiccans (knowing my friends, there's a decent chance of those), Yule is upon us!

And if I didn't manage to catch your particular belief structure, Have a Nice Day!


Wedding Guns

There's a little undercurrent in the gunny world, with regards to the topic of "Wedding guns." Not a shotgun wedding, but actual firearms involved in a wedding that mean something special.

Wedding guns can take many forms. For some, it's a gift given to welcome a new family member.

For some, it is a beautiful and practical replacement for jewelry.

For me, it's a little different. I bought my wedding gun myself, because I wanted something different, unique, and a touch gentlemanly, I guess. While making my regular circuit of the local shops, I happened across the perfect gun to fill that bill.

Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless

Click to embiggen.

I might get up a couple other pictures after I blur the serial. Said serial, BTW, dates the gun to approximately 1913. Just shy of 100 years old, and runs like a top. Yeah, .32ACP isn't any kind of massive defensive cartridge, but I really don't care. To paraphrase Obi Wan Kenobi, it's "an elegant weapon for a more civilized age." I'll probably end up making the holster for it myself, as good dress holsters for century-old guns can be a bit troublesome to find.

I look forward to wearing it under a tuxedo coat.


Blackberry is back up

It seems that as of roughly 0115 hours Mountain time today, Blackberry service is back to normal (and actually running pretty quickly.) Verizon informed me that the outage affected roughly 50% of ALL Blackberry users, on all networks, reducing a metric shitload of people's phones, including both of those in the House of Dude, to really expensive, really basic phones. It felt like 2001 all over again.

Damn, every day I want a Droid more.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Eat and Run

There's something wonderful about how a sandwich with a good hard salami and mustard can improve your mood.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The enemy feeling out our camp?

Making the rounds through my Sitemeter (such a cool toy), what to my wondering eyes does appear...

But a hit from Handgun Control, Inc?

Yeah, I see you hiding in the corner over there. Sit down and listen, you might learn something.


Movie Review

Obligatory FTC disclaimer going in: Nobody paid me a bloody cent for this review. In fact, I rented the movie my damn self, with my own dollar (plus tax.)

Better half and I watched Julie & Julia tonight. Yeah, it's a chick flick. No, I really don't care.

The movie follows Julie Powell's personal mission to cook every recipe in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one year. 524 recipes, 365 days. At the same time, it follows Julia Child's own mission to get the same book published, while dealing with the chaos of her own life.

Meryl Streep does a wonderful job portraying Julia Child, bringing smiles whenever she's on screen. Her performance borders on over-the-top, but anything less would have seemed... wanting.

Amy Adams (as Julie Powell) shows a woman at the ragged end of her rope, one step away from utterly falling apart, whose mission drives her to chaotic, obsessed depths, and who is eventually saved by the love that originally started the mission.

The jokes are fun, the story engaging, and the transitions between the two halves are smooth and effortless. I have no doubt that we'll end up buying it when we find it in the $10 rack.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Go Big or Go Home - The Full Story

So, earlier I mentioned Caleb taking on a Brady-tard. Better half and I got up at 0415 local to catch the interview, and even she, even with her limited exposure to gun politics, was calling bullshit on Dennis Henigan throughout the interview.

I then spent the next hour and a half (that were supposed to be dedicated to more sleep) explaining the utter depth of fertilizer that is really contained in gungrabber lying-points.

Squeaky has firsthand experience with the Commercial Appeal nonsense of putting women in danger of continued assault from violent exes.

The point of it all is that both the Bloomington and Nashville firestarters are actively interested in outing not just gunowners, but gunowners who VOLUNTEER for additional scrutiny from the police. When I got my permits, I had to pay right in the neighborhood of $100 for each of them, submit my fingerprints and other personal information, and have state and federal law enforcement agencies perform criminal background checks on me. I know for a fact that several states actual run their ENTIRE CCW DATABASE through the federal criminal database daily, just to make sure that their CCW holders haven't been charged with some crime. When Dennis Henigan and the editorial staffs of these papers are willing to pay money out of their own pockets and voluntarily submit to the same, then they can talk to me about performing a public service because they can pull a "Gotcha!" on a minute percentage of permit holders who may or may not be prohibited people that the police may or may not have missed with the background check.

Until then, they're nothing but arrogant blowhard fools.


Go Big or Go Home - A Preview

I woke up at 0415 this morning to catch Caleb debate a high-ranking Brady-tard. He acquitted himself very well, and he and the Fox News commentator let the Brady hang himself beautifully. I really wish he'd had 15 or so minutes, so he could properly rebut the absolute lying-points that are par for the gunbanners' course, but if wishes were fishes...

Full story when I'm home and on a real computer so I can properly link things.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Music and Dreams

It seems fate argued with my intended selection, and won. I woke up this morning from a dream, involving my impending nuptials, tonight's song, and a Gibson Thunderbird. Every time I selected a new song on my iPod, within 5 songs, it was back. Can't ignore a message like that, so here it is...