12 December 2014

COOL LAST MINUTE STUFF

 I have this stuff and swear by all of it.

RoboReel
I’m gonna’ start off with the most expensive thing on the list at $299 (cheaper on Amazon by a bit). It’s called the RoboReel. Now if you have a DIYer on your list who has all the gadgets and gizmos, I guarantee he doesn’t have this, and I also guarantee he’ll (sorry if you’re a lady and live in your garage, as I do) come up to you and make you come in the garage and see how it works. It’s an overhead 50-foot extension cord reel (12 gauge), but it’s a tad more sophisticated than that. First off it’s portable, so you can take it to a job site. It retracts automatically (duh) but the retract button is on the head of the cord; via a microprocessor that learns how far and fast you want it to retract. There’re also three sockets on the head and lights that tell you when power is coming down the line. Cut the line and it automatically kills the power, shuts down automatically in an overheat situation, it won’t retract when feeding a tool, and it’s the end of tangled cords and having to hand gather them. Video is here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wICglE7kkkU; www.roboreel.com is their Website. This gets four-out-of-four stars for utility, three for price and four for adaptability (it can be mounted literally anywhere).

Stronghold Haywire Klamper
The Stronghold Haywire Klamper is a simple little tool designed to, well, join anything that needs to be joined that requires a clamp-like fixture to do so. Got a hose that let go? It’ll fix it. Shaft split on a wood maul? Ditto. Need to make a spear a la Rambo when he jumps on the boar? Ditto. It’s utility is only limited by your imagination. Made in Libby, Montana, this is a must-buy for any outdoorsman, boater, camper, hunter, fisherman, etc. The starter kit costs $24.95 and it comes with the heavy-duty but smack-in-the-head-why-didn’t-I-think-of-that tool, wire and instructions. All you need is a wire cutter. After you buy one, you’re going to want to buy a few more. Clever as hell and it works badass. Web is www.haywireklamper.com; go there and check out what you can do with it. Phone is 406-291-1453; e-mail: wes@haywireklamper.com. Four-stars for utility.

Bedsheets
I raved about these back in July when I bought my first set from these folks, and I’ve ordered another set since. I’ve yet to find any bed linen to beat their custom sheets — and certainly not at their price or quality. And they’re American made. My original write-up was here lrrpsworld.blogspot.com/2014/07/out-of-my-comfort-zone-adventures-in.html. From Cozytown Linens, www.cozytownlinens.com, of Pelzer, South Carolina. Toll-free number is 864-236-4968. Prices for a custom queen-size set and four pillowcases run around $180. Four stars for comfort and price, all the way.

Snap Stick
I swear by this stuff … and it’s the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone who uses anything that has metal or plastic zippers or snaps. Works like Chapstick. I use it for my foul weather gear snaps, wet and drysuit zips, boat canvas snaps and zips, etc. If it has to snap on and off or close smoothly, and it can get rusty or sun-dried, this is what you put on it. MSRP is $6.48 a tube, which is the size of a kid’s glue stick. AT marine and camping stores or from Shurhold, www.shurhold.com.



29 October 2014

MAC OWNERS — BEWARE — OF YOSEMITE 10.10

I have owned a Mac since 1987. I have three in my house in 2014 and — unfortunately — upgraded a MacBook Pro-Retina 13 and a 27-inch desktop (go see how much all THAT cost) to Yosemite 10.10.

What a fucking disaster.

DO NOT UPGRADE YOUR FUCKING MAC TO YOSEMITE .... unless you like spending endless hours trying to fix stupid shit little bugs that Mac left in when they rushed this OS out.

I thought I hated DOS 8  ... (still do...the most ridiculous "upgrade" ever conceived).

But when you've been a "Mac guy" for as long as I have you expect Mac-smooth transitions.

If you have Maverick ...keep it, because you ain;t getting anything "smooth" out of Yosemite.

DO NOT UPGRADE TO YOSEMITE

Now, I gotta spend hours trying to backgrade to Maverick ... and I'm going to attempt to have the Mac Help people walk me through it. (yeah, lot's a luck!)

I am soo beyond pissed.

How fucking un-Mac-very-DOS can an "upgrade" be? Try Yosemite and find out. Something incredibly simple will be soon fucked up, you won't believe it. And I did this on two units that are two-months new.

I knew I shoulda' stayed with Mavericks.

26 October 2014

TAKING ORDERS - SCALLOP SEASON IS UPON US

Monday week (November 3) is opening day of scallop season. We've had a chance to check some things out and there's a possibility this may be a good season.


While we won't actually know until we start dredging, we're offering un-shucked scallops at $75 a bushel (regardless of market). You should get between 5-7 pounds out of our bushels. If you order, and I can fulfill the order, I'll deliver a bushel — locally — as fresh as it gets on Monday, November 3 sometime in the late afternoon/early evening.

If you're after shucked scallop, figure around $18 to $20+ a pound depending on where the market sets the price. Contact Capt. Ed for shucked scallop. He may be able to help you.

I won't be able to provide shucked product because I hit the road on November 4 and won't return for a week, so I ain't spending all night cleaning fucking scallops so you can enjoy the shit out of them.

But half the fun is shucking them yourself! (Yeah, right).

Anyway ... if you want them by the bushel get me here, at my regular e-mail or at gpjoyce-at-gmail - dot-com.

Need Capt. Ed, try baydreamer24-at-aol-dot-com.



22 October 2014

RIVERHEAD'S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BONFIRE

We've been doing this for around a decade now, but, just in case you want to plan ahead (and December ain't that far ahead) ...this year's bonfire will be held in the same place ... on December 13.

All the usual stuff ... cocoa, caroling, and we think — not sure, but we think — a fat dude in a red suit will once again be coming down river in his Christmas Special, lighting the tree, and listening to ALL the kids in the Elf Hut.





IN MEMORIAM


October 23, 2014, marks the 31st anniversary of the 1983 terrorist bombing of the Marine barracks at Beirut airport in Lebanon, which killed 241 members of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit.

Yet another unmarked, un-remembered reason why we're supposed to kill muslim terrorists.

15 October 2014

A CAUTIONARY NOT-SO-FAIRY TALE

Back in the halcyon days of Donna Summer, Freddie Mercury, ABBA, the BeeGees; i.e., the good ol’ disco era; a new killer arrived … and he wasn’t listening to a dog named Sam.

My wife was a nurse then — still is, unfortunately — and remembered the first patient they had.

“Don’t know what he’s got, but no one has an answer, so we’re all double gloving and gowning before going in.”

“What do the doctors say?” I asked.

Snort from my wife.

“They do Indian rounds.”

“Huh?” says I.

My wife, holds her hand across her brow like Tonto blocking the sun and looking out on the John Ford desert.

“You know, Indian rounds. ‘Yeah. He looks okay.’ They don’t go in and we ain’t going in unless we’re in full coverage.”

They didn't get a name for it until a couple of years later. And that, my friends, was the beginning of the good ol’ HIV/AIDs epidemic that is still with us today.

She and I have lost more than a few friends to that insidious disease ... and I think something worse is on its way to thin the herd some more. 

Only this time, we actually brought the disease here intentionally.


Think about it.

And I hope I'm wrong ... but I don't think I am.

11 October 2014

14th ANNIVERSARY OF THE USS COLE ATTACK



Lest we forget.


On October 12, 2000, USS Cole, under the command of Commander Kirk Lippold, set in to Aden harbor for a routine fuel stop. Cole completed mooring at 0930. Refueling started at 1030. Around 1118 local time, a small craft approached the port side of the destroyer, and an explosion occurred, putting a 40-by-60-foot gash in the ship's port side. The attack was the deadliest against a U.S. Naval vessel since the Iraqi attack on the USS Stark (FFG-31) on May 17, 1987.

Those who died were:

Electronics Technician 1st Class Richard Costelow
Mess Management Specialist Lakina Francis
Information Systems Technician Tim Guana
Signalman Seaman Recruit Cherone Gunn
Seaman James McDaniels
Engineman 2nd Class Mark Nieto
Electronics Warfare Technician 3rd Class Ronald Owens
Seaman Recruit Lakiba Parker
Engineman Fireman Joshua Parlett
Fireman Apprentice Patrick Roy
Electronics Warfare Technician Kevin Rux
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ron Santiago
Operations Special 2nd Class Timothy Sanders
Fireman Gary Swenchonis Jr
Ensign Andrew Triplett
Seaman Apprentice Craig Wibberly


Fair seas to all.

03 October 2014

OPERATION GOTHIC SERPENT — OCTOBER 3, 1993

Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt. — Wm. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act V

Today is  the 21th anniversary of the raid — Operation Gothic Serpent — in Mogadishu, Somalia in which 19 American soldiers were killed in the contacts immortalized in the Mark Bowden’s book and the Ridley Scott movie made from it, Black Hawk Down


Although often thought of as a 75th Ranger ops, Special Forces, Navy SEALs, Air Force Pararescuemen and 160th Special Operations Regiment pilots were also involved in the battle, and the rescue element that extricated the Rangers, et al., was composed of US 10th Mountain Division troopers, as well as armor elements of Pakistani and Malaysian military.

Lost in the memory of the day was the fact that the object of the raid — capturing some criminals — was successful and that somewhere between 700 and 1500 Somalia street fighters were killed during the attack. Seventy-three Amercians were wounded in the attack and rescue/wrap up. 

The two Blackhawk helicopters taken down were hit by RPGs. Whether they were locals or al Qaida imports is debatable. 

Lest we forget:
SFC Randy Shughart, a Delta Sniper killed defending the crew of Super Six 4, the Medal of Honor.
MSgt. Gary Gordon, a Delta Sniper killed defending the crew of Super Six 4, the Medal of Honor.
MSgt. Tim “Griz” Martin, Delta soldier killed on the Lost Convoy, Delta Force.
SFC Earl Fillmore, Delta soldier killed moving to the first crash site, Delta Force.
SSgt. Daniel Busch, crashed on Super Six 1 and was killed defending the downed crew, the Silver Star, Delta Force.
CWO Clifton Wolcott, pilot of Super Six 1 and died in crash, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, and the Air Medal with Valor Device, Night Stalkers.
CWO Donovan Briley, copilot of Super Six 1 and died in crash, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Air Medal with Valor Device, Night Stalkers.
CWO Raymond Frank, copilot of Super Six 4, Silver Star, Air Medal with Valor Device, Night Stalkers.
SSgt. William Cleveland, a crew chief on Super Six 4, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Air Medal with Valor Device, Night Stalkers.
Staff Sgt. Thomas Field, a crew chief on Super Six 4, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Air Medal with Valor Device, Night Stalkers.
Sgt. Casey Joyce, who was killed on the Lost Convoy, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, 75th Ranger Regiment.
Spc. James Cavaco, who was killed on the Lost Convoy, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, 75th Ranger Regiment.
Cpl. Jamie Smith, who bled to death with the pinned-down force around crash site one, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, 75th Ranger Regiment.
Sgt. Dominick Pilla, who was killed on the convoy rescuing Pfc. Todd Blackburn, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, 75th Ranger Regiment.
PFC Richard Kowalewski, who was killed on the Lost Convoy, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, 75th Ranger Regiment.
Sgt. Lorenzo Ruiz, who was killed on the Lost Convoy, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, 75th Ranger Regiment.
Sgt. Cornell Houston, who was killed fighting on the rescue convoy, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, De Fleury medal, 10th Mountain Division.
PFC James Martin, who was killed on the rescue convoy, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, 10th Mountain Division.
Sgt. Matt Rierson, who was killed on Oct. 6 by a mortar which landed just outside the hangar, Delta Force.
Pvt. Mat Aznan Awang (posthumously promoted to Cpl) driver of a Malaysian Condor APC hit by a RPG on Oct. 3rd.

My prayers — such as they are — for their families.