Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I lost a very good friend today.

When I was living in an apartment, walking my way to the rental office to drop off my payment, I saw this cute little cat - she was grey striped, and very small - she followed me all the way from my apartment to the rental office and back. I kept stopping to see if I could pet her or see if she had a collar/ID on, but she would never let me get close.

I just remember her looking so cute with all her four paws moving so fast just to catch up to me again after I started walking again.

I then went on a week-long vacation, only to come back and see her outside my apartment door - waiting for me - looking more starving than ever. Against my better judgement (one of my biggest allergies has always been to pet dander), I let her in and fed her all that was left in my freezer, having cleaned it out before leaving on vacation - 2 hotdogs, microwaved until just starting to twist, just before exploding. She barely took the time to chew as she inhaled both of them - begging me with her beautiful green eyes for more.

I took her in, letting her stay until I made a decision about her. As I got her more and more food, she began eating 3 cans of cat food a day and growing visibly. In fact, after a few more weeks, she became noticeably chubby. Soon, little lumps began moving around in her tummy. I took her to the vet and he said she was about to pop - 3 kittens. Took her home that night and she wouldn't stop meowing at my bedroom door - I still wouldn't let her sleep with me as I knew my allergies would kill me. She meowed desperately at the door until after midnight, and sure enough, in the morning 3 tiny kittens were born on some socks she had found her way to sneak underneath the couch.

Anyway, she was a very good momma kitty. I tried putting her kittens in a box so she wouldn't have so much trouble corralling them as they began crawling around, gaining independence. Of course, she rescued them immediately by jumping into the 2.5' high box and jumping back out with a kitten hanging from her mouth by the scruff of the neck.

Her only male kitten - Buster - died just as he made it to big ball of fluff size. The vet thinks of an intestinal blockage - probably a rubber band he ate. Life and death can be so random and flip at times.

Her second kitten had pretty black and white stripes. She was adopted by a friend of a friend. The third was Bullett, the runt of the litter, and passed away last year. At least Ripley didn't have to see that. They got along so well when Bullett was a kitten (probably only a year younger than she was). Ripley used to bathe her as often as she could - or at least as often as Bullett allowed her to. I remember Ripley keeping her still with her paw or a quick bite to the scruff, long enough to keep her smelling kitty clean.

Ripley was a very good companion. She knew when to sit on my lap and relax when I needed a friend. She knew when to play - when she wanted to, she simply jumped in the white plastic clothes basket. I then had to get the rubber band attached to the plastic twisty tie and shoot it across the room. She would jump out of the basket and dart across the room, grab it in her mouth and sprint back and into the clothes basket, dropping it at her feet. Once I finally realized she didn't actually bother my allergies as she should have, she loved sleeping on top of me, or stretched out along my side.

I will miss my friend and longtime companion very much. Now Duke will look after Ripley and Bullett, and hopefully they will all be together at my parent's house in heaven. Some day I will meet them there and be at home again.

Good bye, Ripper kitty - take care of yourself.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Very cool idea - here's my Wordle.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Arizona's Santa Problem

Here's some Santa Pirates that make an old dog's spine shiver with glee!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

XDM Goodness

So when I bought my USP Tactical several years ago (used), I had the intention of getting a suppressor for it as well. Time went by, and living in the suburbs of DC left me few opportunities to shoot outdoors where I could enjoy not using hearing protection or the ability to shoot in my backyard. It seemed to me that a .45 was an ideal caliber to be suppressed given that the standard 230 grain loads are usually subsonic as it is, so you're just suppressing the escaping gasses and not slowing down a supersonic bullet.

So now that I do live out in the boonies, I don't have the money for a suppressor, and given that firearms are usually pretty good investments, I can get about as much for it as I bought it for and buy something new that I'll shoot more often (I'll still have my USP 45 which I enjoy shooting!).

Something in the 9mm range seemed like a good idea - I have a carbine in 9mm and Tapestry has an XD9 that I also enjoy shooting. Now Springfield-Armory has made improvements to their already popular pistol. Adding a match-grade barrel, a short-reset trigger, and improved grip (backstraps for different sized hands) are all nice additions to an outstanding pistol (an extra 3 rounds in the magazine doesn't hurt either).

Anyway, just figured I'd share my thoughts before I went ahead and sold my .45, and I hope everyone enjoys a shooting sport this week!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Try this for size

From My beloved tapestry's blog, I thought I'd play along - would love to hear what everyone else is reading too - or at least, what is closest.

First, here are the directions for the meme:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next seven sentences in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

And now, what happened when I did it:

Marine Sniper by Charles Henderson

"You've got to settle down," he commanded himself sternly. "You have to concentrate on your next shot. It could be the difference between another handshake and victory."

He looked at the mirage rolling and then again at the range flags fluttering in the strong wind. "Looks like it's picking up," he told himself. "Hathcock, watch the flags and don't forget the time." He looked at the secondhand sweeping around his watchface and thought, "Three trips around the dial, that's all. Three sweeps of that hand. Watch it. Watch the wind."

(technically 10 sentences, but I put in extra 'cause they were small)

I've heard of Carlos Hathcock for years - he was probably one the most famous US Marine Snipers from Vietnam. Springfield Armory has an M1a (really an M21) special edition rifle named the "M25 White Feather," from his nickname in Vietnam, " Lông Trắng (White Feather)."

In 1967 Hathcock set the record for the 20th century's longest combat kill with a Browning M2 .50 BMG machine gun mounting a telescopic sight. The distance was 2,286 meters or 1.42 miles.

Anyway, I am glad I can take the time to read about this amazing man and of the deeds he rose to when he was asked.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Apple Spoof

Anyone see the latest Simpson's?

Well, if you didn't, here's a very clever Apple Spoof - Mapple - from the Simpson's.