Author Archives: Bigdawg

Flight of the Hummingbirds

It’s that time of the year again.

The Ruby Throated Hummingbird are about ready to migrate here in northern Mississippi. They are in great abundance now storing up the winter fats for the migration to Mexico and all along Central America. Some Ruby Throated Humming Birds start out out as far north as Canada. The Ruby Throated is the most common hummingbird in the eastern US.

These suckers are fascinating to watch. The past two weeks they are emptying a quart sized feeder every two days. And I have seven of them.  You don’t need any fancy solutions. I just use water, sugar and red food color. During the summer months I mix a four to one ratio. When They start to gather in numbers I switch them over to a three to one ratio.

And yes they do chirp. It’s a high pitch squeaky sound. Along with the buzzing of the wings. After a while they become accustomed to people. When I go out to change their feed, they will all swoop down and wait on me. They know we’re feeding them. Below is photos to enjoy along with a small 30 second video. Yes it’s on my back porch.

 

Sorry for the video quality. I had to re-encode it pretty heavy to get it to the WordPress size limitation. It’s kinda jerky. I should have used a tripod but I didn’t.

 

U.S. Army Finally Chooses M9 Replacement

The M9 is the US military’s Beretta Model 92 service pistol.  The M9 replaced the M1911 when it entered service in 1990. I remember when they did this. There was some concerns over stopping power when using the 9mm ball ammo.  A few arguments in favor of the switch from 45ACP to 9mm was increased magazine capacity, the military was getting more smaller men and women in larger numbers and the 9mm has less recoil  and standardizing the caliber with NATO. Never mind the USAF issued me a 38 Special, but that’s another gripe.

On 2005 the US Special Operations Command conducted the M9 replacement plan called the Joint Combat Pistol program. Some requirements were 45 caliber, striker fired, high capacity. Several manufactures submitted designs including S&W, Sig, H&K, Springfield Armory, Taurus, Ruger, Beretta, and FN.

On January 19, 2017 the Army announced it was replacing the M9 with the XM17, a military version of the Sig Sauer P320. This is a modular handgun system. Grips can be changed for better ergonomics, barrel lengths and calibers can be changed. The core is a serialized frame.  It is a polymer striker fired pistol with a Picatinny rail.

The Army has chosen the 9mm over the 40 caliber. I suspect that they will move away from ball ammo towards newer 9mm that offers better ballistics and expansion.  This is a result of the Modular Handgun System (MHS) study co authored with the Air Force.  The Marines have expressed a desire to replace their sidearms by 2020. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t choose this by then. The Navy SEALS have always liked the 9mm cartridge and until recently used the Sig Sauer P226. It wouldn’t be that much of a leap for the Navy to get on board. The SEALS are now using the Glock 19 now BTW. But during the MHS trials the Glock lost out because it wasn’t a modular system.

Army Times

Sig Sauer

 

Twas the Night Before Christmas, Texas Style

‘Twas the night before Christmas, in Texas, you know.
Way out on the prairie, without any snow.
Asleep in their cabin, were Buddy and Sue,
A dreamin’ of Christmas, like me and you.


Not stockings, but boots, at the foot of their bed,
For this was Texas, what more need be said,
When all of a sudden, from out of the still night,
There came such a ruckus, it gave me a fright.

And I saw ’cross the prairie, like a shot from a gun,
A loaded up buckboard, come on at a run,
The driver was “Geein” and “Hawin”, with a will,
The horses (not reindeer) he drove with such skill.

“Come on there Buck, Poncho, & Prince, to the right,
There’ll be plenty of travelin’ for you all tonight.”
The driver in Levi’s and a shirt that was red,
Had a ten-gallon Stetson on top of his head.

As he stepped from the buckboard, he was really a sight,
With his beard and mustache, so curly and white.
As he burst in the cabin, the children awoke,
And were so astonished, that neither one spoke.

And he filled up their boots with such presents galore,
That neither could think of a single thing more.
When Buddy recovered the use of his jaws,
He asked in a whisper, “Are you really Santa Claus?”

“Am I the real Santa? Well, what do you think?”
And he smiled as he gave a mysterious wink.
Then he leaped in his buckboard, and called back in his drawl,
“To all the children in Texas, Merry Christmas, Y’all”

Christmas at the movies 2016

Back in 2014 I listed some movie classics to enjoy at Christmas. Here are a few more to enjoy. this Christmas.

Merry Christmas, Shitter is full

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was reminded after I erroneously left it out during my last Christmas movie post, that I should have included National Lampoon’s A Christmas Vacation.

 

Some may not know it but I consider Lethal Weapon as a Christmas movie also. It did happen at Christmas time.

 

And then there is Gremlins

I recently saw this gem on cable the other day. A Christmas Horror Story. Hey it even has William Shatner in it.

 

Then there is The Family Man. Because well, heck, you hardly ever see Nic Cage anymore.

 

And there there is Jingle All the Way

 

Normally I wouldn’t put anything on this list that wasn’t already a classic. But I liked the first one so much I’m going on a leap of faith unseen. It had it’s theatrical release last month. You won’t get to own the DVD / Blue Ray until February 21. I give you Bad Santa 2.

 

What’s your take? Do you have a favorite? Leave it in the comments below.

Whinny Crying Snowflakes

By my good buddy Siverfiddle over at Western Hero. Check it out

They still refuse to grasp reality and admit Hillary lost. President Obama said she was on the right side of history! So they comfort themselves with alt-reality fairy tales about how Russian Spymaster Boris Badinoff “infiltrated” and “hacked” the election with “fake news” while Steve Bannon rallied the millions of Klan voters.

Like a poo-throwing child in a tantrum, they fling blame in all dirctions: Racism, sexism, old white people, that recently-uncovered secret cabal called the Electoral College…”

White Out

colored-only

You can’t make this up. At San Fransisco State University (ah San Fran, that bastion of conservative staunchness) all Black Dorms are now the thing. Yeah, imagine the WASP contingency trying that. They claim that anyone can live in the Dorms. But they want a Afro themed “safe space” Maybe they need to chug over to mamby pamby land.

Maybe the entire delegation of Bubbas need to apply for a room. As usual the comments on the attached article are the best part.

San Fran CBS

Daily Caller’s Take

segregated-water-fountains

 

Bye Bye Betty

bitching-betty-ledeLeslie Shook, the voice of the F-18 cockpit warning system, retires after 20 years. She is affectionately know by pilots and aviators as Bitchin Betty. If you’re flying and she talks to you, you’re a second away from a very bad day. Better do as she tells you.

 

From the Boeing site:

“I have loved these planes for a lot of years,” said Boeing employee Leslie Shook as she gazed up at the cockpit of an F/A-18 Super Hornet. Leslie’s special connection with the jet spans 20 years. She is the voice of the cockpit warning system. Every technician and every pilot who has trained on or flown in an F-18 has heard Leslie’s stern commands. Her voice is affectionately known in the fighter jet world as ‘Bitchin’ Betty.’

“You hear this voice every day telling you things are okay or that you need to take action,” said Dana Perkins, Boeing Flight Operations, Weapons Systems Operator. “You start trusting this person’s voice. If she said ‘stand up straight,’ everyone would stand up straight!”

Leslie’s run as the voice behind the F-18 started as a happy accident. The F-15 contained the voice of the original ‘Bitchin’ Betty.’ Crews imported that voice into the F-18; but, additional calls were needed. Leslie was a media producer filling in as a sound engineer on the recording sessions. But, the talent couldn’t quite capture the sense of urgency needed for the job. “Betty’s got a cadence and a sharpness to it,” said Leslie. The program manager heard her directions and decided she was fit for the role—a role that has endured for the last two decades.

As the expression goes, all good things must come to an end. Boeing employees and Navy pilots recently gathered in St. Louis, Mo. to meet the woman behind the voice on her last day. “As soon as she started talking, we all grinned and said ‘oh yeah, that’s her!'” said Lt. Cmdr. Doug Crane, a DCMA Weapons Systems Officer on EA-18G and F/A-18F aircraft.

Leslie’s distinct voice cracked slightly as she said goodbye to ‘her plane.’ Watch the video to hear Leslie’s story in her own words and how her sharp command at the right moment saved one pilot’s life.

http://www.boeing.com/features/2016/03/bds-bitchin-betty-03-16.page