Saturday, August 20, 2016

A final alarm was answered....

    It is with great sadness to report the passing of JUGM's father. We will both be taking time off as this was unexpected and need our time to heal over our loss. We lost a great husband to his wife of 59 years, father, grandfather, best father-in-law I could of asked for, and a dedicated first responder of 35 years. Keep us in your prayers.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

A quick post about the garden, Project "Fouled XJ", and CPO results are out.

    Just wanted to put a quick post out. CPO results are out and one of my guys will be pinned shortly. Congrats to OSC Gaines, slated at 51 I think, well done shipmate. BZ!!!!!! Things have been hectic to say, 3 trips to Florida in the past month, with me only making one of them. Mother in law has been placed in a great facility that provides excellent care. My father in law has gone from death's bed to a good recovery, but we shall see what the future holds as he is on a see-saw right now. As everyone knows when you have family members that you are close with and their health takes all kinds of turns, you have to step away from time-to-time to handle what is most important to you. As we have not posted much on our blogs, we have been somewhat busy taking our time off things.Since we have had little rain up until the past few days, we had resorted to watering our crops

Drip Irrigation line for Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes, and Squash

One Pumpkin with a bubbler

Lower part of the line with the Squash.

These were awaiting me the day I came back from FL. There is a couple of weeks between pics.

Fall Tomatoes with Drip lines

Bought a few to try, Cucumber is only thing doing well. They all contain foreign seed.

     Now we hit the mother load on Cantaloupes and Watermelons this year from seed purchased at out local farm and feed store. We did manage to eat a few before we had this problem.

     Since it has been so dry around here, some of the wildlife has been partaking in a buffet of watermelon to get water. They couldn't get through the rinds of the cantaloupe.

One mom and her cub

Another mom and two cubs, one cub was smart and didn't make it in. Don't believe me?

Smart cub hanging on the outside of the cage with door down. Mom's eye glowing from trail camera
Cub who though he was smart
     These 6 Raccoon's were relocated about 5 miles away in a cemetery. Sorry, I don't kill not unless I am going to eat what I shoot or catch. If this was for a SHTF situation and I needed food, well grab the hot sauce then. Now, personal defense situations are different.

     I was very fortunate to have served in the Navy for 20 years with almost half of that time wearing the Chief's "Fouled Anchor". To make the transformation of our XJ unique, I figured I would give it this project name. We made the decision to put off a couple projects till the winter and spring so I can get a few mod's done.



     A Rough Country 4.5" was installed with 33" TOYO M/T tires on aluminum rims. I did have to trim the fender wells a bit as hard turning caused a small amount of rubbing on the plastic in the fender well. All fixed now. Next up is a transfer case drop kit. I could go with a slip yoke elimination kit but I will wait until I need to rebuild the transmission to save money for other stuff. With some lifts, your driveshaft angles change at higher lifts and I need to lower the transfer case to restore the angles back to as normal as possible. Its drive able but you do have vibrations at certain speeds.

Upcoming modifications will include:

  • Front bumper equipped with winch
  • Rear bumper with rear tire carrier
  • Fender Flares
  • Roof mounted cargo carrier
  • When I find the right one, cargo area lockable storage vault for inside
  • 10 meter Connex Radio and kicker (already have, just need to install). Had a great radio network in Florida with Stephen and the guys, We were able to do comm-checks up to 50 miles away without skip conditions. If we couldn't hear someone, another group member could relay for them. 
More to follow.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Please Stand By

    I know its been a few weeks since I did a post but I have been busy as a husband, father, and son-in law supporting JUGM and our boys with long and short term care for her parents in Florida, all along while working, maintaining the property and garden, freezing, canning, and pickling garden items.  

"Papa" can be hoisted at anytime now.

Keep JUGM's parents in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Took some time off and sent a fellow Chief and brother ashore for the final time, to a more permanent command.

    I may have mentioned this earlier in February, I was asked by one of my junior sailors from years ago to be the "key-note" speaker at his retirement ceremony. Of course it was great honor to be asked so I said, "Hell Yeah" I wouldn't miss this for anything. So as the months went by, I would have a moment to myself and think about what I was going to talk about at his ceremony. I didn't write anything down of course, so I had a deadline. I had until 1000 on the 30th of June to be ready or I would be a flop. Well in two days, I had my fellow Chief freaked out when I texted him and said I was done and the speech and it was 7 pages long. What he didn't know was the speech was double spaced as it would be easier for me to read. I let him off the hook in my opening comments.

     On the 29th, we head south. I took Rope-Yarn from work and got back to the house and loaded up my trailer and we were on our way. I also had some other work to do in Florida at my In-laws house and also with my house too as my past renters are out. The day arrives, June 30th and I am up at 0700. After a visit to the rain-locker, teeth brushed, suit on I had my first cup of Coffee while making on final pen review of the speech. We all load up and headed on our way. It has been a few years since I have done any public speaking, but like they say, it's just like riding a bike.  It has also been 7 years since I was on base, my god things have changed.

      Once there, I met up with one of my civilian contractors that worked for me in my final tour and we chatted for a bit before I had to go in. Since my retirement in 2009, there are many new faces on the base so at first I didn't recognize anyone. The NCC was there and she quickly figured out I was the guest speaker. The Commodore and I introduced ourselves to each other and had a side bar for about 15 minutes. Seems one of his mentors and friends used to be my CO on my first ship and is now retired. The Commodore was also the CO of my second ship, well after I was gone. Things only got better when some of my brothers came in, only to be wearing one more star than me. There are some times I wish I had stayed in, I do miss it a lot, but we all choose our road at the intersection and go in an alternate direction, that's life. I have done it many of times.

     Ceremony kicks off, Warrant says the invocation, the Commodore speaks for about 5 minutes. I take the stage and damn did I nail that speech or what. I talked for about 10 minutes and had the crowd going. Then they presented all the Awards, presented the shadow box.

     Next was the reading of "Old Glory", relieving the watch, speech from the retiree, the benediction, and we were done. Next stop was the bathroom to change out of my suit into something more comfortable for the damn heat and humidity of Florida. Once done, we proceeded to the reception over to the.....

      So as we all said our goodbyes, the family and I headed back to our house in Florida while making a fly-by of the piers so the kids could see a few of the ships.

     Once we got back, I got my open trailer and headed out to buy stuff we needed for the next day. Friday rolls around and NW and I are out in the heat replacing the screen door on my FIL's back porch. I do not miss the heat and humidity of Florida. Then after our visit with them, we heading to the house to start replacing the double gate on the fence to the back yard. Yes, back out in the heat for all of us. Once done, we pretty much sat inside and watched T.V the rest of the day.

    We headed home Saturday and of course to our expectation, so much crap to pick in the garden. Let's just say after that, we vegged in the house. Sunday was a fun day, NW turned 11 years old and I think JUGM will do a post on it. We did manage to stop by Cabelas so NW could spend some of his money for a new sling for the .22 rifle he got for his birthday.
    Happened to see one of those minions from my former group here in SC in the store walking around with what looked like family. I know he and his wife saw me as I was standing in full view with my family between the ammo section and gun section in the back of the store. He made the right choice and steered clear of me and my family and that sir was a wise decision, BZ!!!! Well that's about it for now. The Chief results should be out in a few weeks so I think my next post will be geared toward the new chief's that will be going through ugh....... well it's not called Chief Initiation anymore, think its call Induction?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The past two weeks, boy time flies when you having fun.

    Been a few weeks since I did a post, so I figured, its too hot to go sit outside tonight, the College World Series will start the final game tomorrow night with Coastal Carolina from Conway SC, will be taken on the Arizona Wildcats. It should be a good series as watching most of the games this year with the boys has been great. Its good to see a small school get to the final round. 

    I have been turning and burning up here moving all this red clay for the range improvements I have been wanting to do. I am proud to say I am almost done. I would be much happier when we finally get some rain so it can compact it down a bit. With that being said, our Corn has not done what we expected from the bounty-full crop we had last year of sweet corn in which we are still eating off of from the freezer. We switched varieties this year to the Silver King and I am not impressed. This weekend we will plant a few rows of Sweet corn with me installing drip irrigation on them. We have gotten a few bushels of green beans so far but after speaking with a regular at the farmers market, he has the same problem with a spring crop. The green beans seem to do much better in the late summer to early fall.

     A week ago Saturday, we took a drive to Charlotte to Hyatt's Gun and Coin. So for people who don't believe I went, well here is a picture just for you.

     I went there looking for an upper to finally complete an AR lower I have had in the safe for almost 3 years, like i need another one.Well they only had two and I was not about to pay $545 for a .22 lower. The 5.56 upper was much higher, but they were not cheap brands either. So as we were leaving, we grabbed a few bowling pins for the boys to shot at on the range, a real 50 cal ammo can for $12.99. We ran into the owner Mr. Hyatt and chatted with him a few mins about how business was going with the recent events taken place and he was quite pleased and I would have to agree with the crowd that was in there. After shaking his hand and going about our business,  I heard the voices in my ear, come here, come here. Well it was the knives calling me. As we were looking at all the knives, some ridiculously priced but of course they were hand made and there was my favorite brand, CRKT. I have had nothing but great things to say about them. They make a good product. So after looking at a few knives, I settled on this one, the

M21-14SFG - G10 Handle - Veff Serrations - Designed by Kit Carson

See, I did buy one
      If you would like more information about this knife click on the link to their website because I wasn't planning on doing a review on a pocket knife. I'm sure there are people out there that will.

     Yesterday, I went an picked up an upper that was shipped to me in a neighboring town. As we were out, we found out there was an estate sale  for some guns. Well of course we went. With NW's birthday a few days away, damn he will be 11, where has time gone. I located something that he love, since a .22LR was on his list. I found a Glenfield Marlin Model 60 .22LR rifle for $100.00 in excellent condition. The only difference between this one and the one my dad bought for me 39 years ago was this stock had no engravings on it. Well I looked at JUGM and she agreed, so I told him happy early birthday. Now not to leave ND out, I announced to him that the one his grand paw gave me is now officially his. He was ecstatic and very happy. 
     Now of course, there was something still on the rack that I am surprised nobody has swiped yet. It had all matching stampings and was in excellent shape and had a great price of $200.00

Norinco SKS

      Today, we took it a bit easy.  I cooked up 3 slabs of beef ribs on the smoker.

 Went in the garden and cut some okra off which made a nice first mess. Also picked another 8 tomatoes and some corn off that was decent for supper tonight. After all the clean up was done, went and cut some more okra before with did some pickled okra tonight, along with some pickles. I place half a Jalapeno, half a  Red Hot Chili Pepper, and half Banana pepper in each jar. Hope they aren't too hot but I shall find out.

3 jars of pickles and 4 jars of okra
      Well that's about it for the night. Going to relax a bit then head off to the grind of the work week. BTW, I have been thinking about this for a few days now, I think the UK leaving the EU is awesome. My mother was British and she did not like the EU from the start, mainly because it was run by Germany and they had control of the currency. I had asked her a question before she died of why Great Britain was still on the English Pound, she said because of the Germans and what the did through 2 world wars. I think I will take my mothers word, one who remembers of having to run, duck, and hide as a German fighter come down the road one day while she and others were walking home from school in SouthHampton strafing the road. She would have been 79 this year. Also, why is it that its only politicians and elite who are all upset about them leaving the EU. I know, MONEY AND POWER......


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Been sitting back enjoying life a bit, and my thoughts on Orlando

     I'm back to do a post. I know it has been some time since my last as I have been busy around the property moving dirt for the range, the garden, planting grass, and other stuff with my close friends. The weather has been hot and dry. It seems that the rain continues to circle around us and give all our neighboring towns much need rain. Well my water meter is just a spinning keeping things growing here. JUGM has been actively picking crops from the garden. She has already done some refrigerator pickles and they turned out great.

our daily bounty of green beans

Some more cucumbers, squash and zucchini

       In preparation for the fall garden, JUGM bought some more squash and cucumbers today from the farm & feed store. Corn is coming along pretty good. With the lack of rain, our harvest will be pushed back a bit but we have a lot of ears on the stalks.

      Sunday morning as we were heading to a group cook out at CSM's house just over 20 miles away, we were listening to FOX NEWS on XM satellite radio and heard of the Orlando nightclub shooting. First off, my heart goes out to the families who lost a loved one in this terrorist attack, yes I am calling it a terrorist attack based off religious ideology. We happened to listen to the initial press conference later in the morning from Orlando. There was something that stood out to both JUGM and I and really gave us some good conversation as we sat around with the other families.
     Did anyone notice that the Imam that was speaking during the news conference was constantly saying "Don't rush to judgement", I would say 3 or 4 times and not once did he "CONDEMN" the violent attack. What a piece of HOG SHIT!!!!! Of course he wont condemn it because this is what he and all his other Imam's preach. Let's make things clear, I don't agree with the LGBT lifestyle. I'm sorry, I have my beliefs, but they have a right to coexist in society along with all of us, and they had their own night club to gather and socialize with others like them to enjoy themselves in whatever means or capacity they choose. Does that give anybody the right to go shoot the place up because they are a LGBT associated individuals. Well I guess it does if you are a gay Muslim who is off his rocker.
     Now our President today completely has no clue of what has happened in the world for the last 7 years of his presidency. He thinks the problem is guns as he stated in his news conference in Orlando. Really, are you that damn stupid? You referred to the last two mass shootings and saying they were linked because it was an EVIL BLACK RIFLE that did all the killing. Well you also failed to mention that the last two were also ISLAMIC influenced too. You also said Adam Lanza purchased the AR that killed the students of Sandy Hook. Wrong again dip-shit, he stole the gun from his mom's safe. Why wont you say RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM Mr. President? I know why, because you are Muslim. I cant wait till the day you are out of office and I hope America wakes up for this next election. Am I wrong in my thoughts about Orlando? When has a gun stood up on its own and killed someone, please explain Mr President?


Monday, June 6, 2016

Been busy, time for a post and getting the word out on SC Senate Bill 308

    Well we have been busy, and if you follow my better half you will know that the boys won the the county championship. It was a nail biter being down 5-0 in the bottom of the first inning, but over the next 5 innings, they pecked their way back into the game and the last two innings of the game ended in double plays. Top of the fifth, the batter was hit in the hand and fell to ground crying, but the rules state that his hands are part of the bat, well the ball went fair and NW picked it up as the runner was coming from third and a collision ensued with NW holding onto the ball for the first out. The pitcher came running to the mound to make a play, but NW tossed the ball to him and threw to first for the second out.
    Bottom of the 5th, NW had a double that brought in two runs, so going into the 6th, it was our team on top, 6-5. The team really held their ground getting the first out, then walked 3 players. You talking about parents being on edge, bases are loaded, and our relief pitcher has a 2-2 count, and the batter hits a small pop fly to the first basemen. The first baseman has had a terrible game, he had dropped several balls thrown to him but ends up catching it, and runs back to first to make the double play to end the game. You don't know how we felt to see our kids finally get their baseball championship. It was sweet revenge from last year to see the debacle of an error from the pitcher to the 3rd baseman that caused 3 runs to score and win the game. The kids threw their gloves up and ran to the dugout. After the handshake with the other team, NW came back into the dug out and I grab his gallon of water to cool him down and just started dumping it on him in celebration. I got ND later on the field with the rest. What a great season they had and I am really proud of them.

     Had a good T-Storm last night and got some much needed rain. Since Friday, we have had 2 inches of rain which really has helped the garden. Before all the rain came in on Sunday, I did a post a month or so ago about a huge pile of dirt that was coming my way. well today it showed up. Normally for a dump truck load of clean dirt, your going to pay $400 plus. Well I got 3 dump truck loads for $300. Plans are to use a small amount for planting grass but most will go to the shooting berm. I have already added a large amount of debris from my dads place and from trees that were cut down. Just wanting to build it a few more feet higher. 

total of 45 yards of red clay
     South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has finally signed Senate Bill 308 establishing reciprocity with Georgia on recognizing each states concealed weapons permits/licenses. This means nothing to me in the aspect of already holding a Florida resident CWL so I could still carry through Georgia but for the followers or readers, I wanted to put that info out to you. Here is the NRA-ILA link

    In the process of changing jobs, well sort of. I have been referred to a higher position which will cause me to change locations. That's fine because the morning drive will be 25 miles closer and the pay about $6000 more per year. Just playing the waiting game right now.

     Garden is doing alright. I have an issues with some of my corn toward the upper part of the garden, but the area equals to less than 15% of the garden and the rest is doing well. Bush Cucumbers are starting to produce, along with the squash (fried up a mess on Saturday) and zucchini. Tomatoes are spitting them out on the vine, but they are still green. Green and Lima beans are coming along as well. I still need to do some work on my onions. This is the second year that they haven't done anything, but we are not the only ones who have had problems as we have heard some talk from the Farm and Feed store. I may try something outside of the garden in a large planter.

         Well, that's about it for now. Between planting grass, doing stuff around the house, work, spending time with my wife and kids, and everything that pops up in between, not much going on here. Well there is, but..................