Question of the day

What kind of gat are the Kenyan Defence Forces carrying in this shot?

It's the FN-SCAR, either the -L or -H. They seem to have both.


Featured prominently in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.

Our Rangers use it. Also USMC, and ... of course ... LAPD.


Seen in City Park ...

This is an American Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides dorsalis). It's a fairly unusual sight this far out on the plains. From All About Birds we see that it prefers "...boreal forests and montane coniferous forests across North America. Because of its choice of habitat, it is infrequently seen by most people."

It resembles, and is therefore sometimes confused with, the Black-backed Woodpecker. The two species often co-exist in the same habitat.

Both species are quite fond of wood-boring beetles, which would tend to explain the attraction of The Smile Hi's elm trees these days.



Tired of watching our beloved political leaders and saber-rattlers posture, pander, and generally behave like 3rd graders in a playground snit over the Syrian 'thing?' You can do something worthwhile, even as they are all sipping fine wines and stuffing themselves with wagyu steaks in Geneva and DC:

Nazarene Compassionate Ministries: Syrian Relief

Colorado floods

Want to help?

Salvation Army Provides More Than 10,000 Meals, Drinks, Nutritional Items

Denver, CO (September 15, 2013 7:00AM) –  Salvation Army emergency disaster services personnel have provided first responders and evacuees of the Colorado floods with more than 10,000 meals, drinks and nutritional items in just 72 hours.

Go here to donate:

Salvation Army InterMountain


Help kickstart WWIII

Sadly, The Kerry Plan - wherein John Kerry has deftly maneuvered the Russians into ending the current crisis - has severely undermined the KickStart effort. Meanwhile, Raz-putin has no clue that he has been had by the keen-witted Secretary of State ...


A chance to vote ...

Proponents of the initiative to repeal the marijuana/hemp ordinance recently passed by city council would have us believe that 548 citizens of La Junta have been denied the right to vote. Of course, we have no idea how accurate that figure of 548 is, since the petitions were in such disarray that the signatures were not verified.

This claim of 'denial of the right to vote' is a bit of obfuscation on the part of those proponents.

Otero County voters, and that includes voters in La Junta, have - as noted by the county commissioners - twice voted against the marijuana referendums put forth in the state elections in 2006 and most recently, November of 2012. The numbers were such that the statement 'voted overwhelmingly against' is not hyperbole. Here are the figures for Otero and surrounding counties:

Amendment 64 (2012) Percentages are shown.

Otero No 54/46
Crowley No 54/46
Bent No 59/41
Kiowa No 68/32
Prowers No 59/41
Baca No 63/37

Amendment 44 (2006)

Otero No 74/26
Crowley No 73/27
Bent No 70/30
Kiowa No 83/17
Prowers No 80/20
Baca No 81/19

That 'the state' approved the amendment is entirely beside the point, since the amendment leaves head shops and other components up to local jurisdictions. The vote last November, despite the overall state returns, rather strongly indicates what local voters think of this.

Now, if the proponents want to try to get the local 'issue' on the ballot, and see where it goes from there ... that's all fine and dandy. They should, however, try complying with the state law on the matter next time around. That it will not be on the ballot now is not the fault of city council, but rather is entirely due to the incompetence of the initiative's supporters.

There has been some talk of forcing a special election. Such an election would cost thousands of dollars. Why should the taxpayers be forced to foot the bill for the incompetence of the petitioners?

Please ... spare us the falsehood that these supporters have been denied the vote, and especially that they have been denied the vote through the fault of city council. That is absolute nonsense. At best, it is disingenuous; at worst, it is a deliberate lie to draw attention way from the incompetence of the initiative's supporters.

A good read

I snagged this one last time we were up in the Springs, at the B&N across from the Citadel Mall:

The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy and King - the five-star admirals who won the war at sea

It's very good, offering some interesting insight especially into Leahy, who served as FDR's chief of staff. It also contains some rather succinct observations regarding cooperation between the Army and Navy, and MacArthur's role in all that.

Notice the cover photo on this one. It's an official USN shot, January 1945. The lead battleship is USS Pennsylvania (BB38), followed by USS Colorado (BB45), and then by the cruisers Louisville, Portland, and Columbia moving into Lingayen Gulf, for the bombardment preceding the landings on Luzon.


Cheyenne Mountain State Park

We hiked the Blackmer Loop and Boulder run up at Cheyenne Mountain State Park on 09.01.2013. Here is a gallery of some of the shots we took:

Cheyenne Mountain State Park 09.01.2013