Archives for the ‘Blog Entries.Local’ Category

Stand Ready

Author: From • Jul 26th, 2016
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
For weeks we've been seeing the result of open borders and allowing non-vetted "refugees" into Germany and France. In the United States, we've seen numerous attacks tied to "lone wolf" muslim terrorists. This morning we wake up to the horrific news that islamists have attacked a Catholic church in France during Holy Mass, and martyred Fr. Jacques Hamel by slitting his throat.

But, it can't happen here we are told, again and again. Strangely enough, these same apologists for terror never tell us why it can't happen here. Rest assured, it can, and it will happen here. The followers of islam are coming for Christians. They always come for the Christians.

Tomorrow the Church remembers Sts. Natalia, Aurelius, Liliosa, Felix, and George, all martyrs of islam who suffered at Cordova in Spain under the Caliph Abderrahman II, A.D. 852. May these Saints welcome Fr. Jacques to his final Glory.

For my Virginia readers, I will remind you of the Virginia statute which vaguely states that carrying a weapon "without good and sufficient reason" in a church is not lawful. I will also remind you that former Virginia Attorney Cuccinelli opined that "carrying a weapon for personal protection constitutes a good and sufficient reason under the statute to carry a weapon into a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held there."

Will you be ready? The choice is yours.

Father Jacques, priest and martyr, pray for us.


Author: From • Jul 25th, 2016
   Category: Blog Entries.Local, Photography.Local


I guess this means I’m bona fide.

Author: From • Jul 25th, 2016
   Category: Blog Entries.Local, Photography.Local

I guess this means I'm bona fide.

Slaughter Pen Farm, Spotsylvania, VA as seen from the train.

Author: From • Jul 25th, 2016
   Category: Blog Entries.Local, Photography.Local

Slaughter Pen Farm, Spotsylvania, VA as seen from the train.

Cavalier IDPA Match

Author: From • Jul 25th, 2016
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
July. In Virginia. The weather is expected to be hot. Very hot. For Sunday's Cavalier IDPA Match, that condition was met, in the extreme. I hadn't shot a match in three weeks, so I sure wasn't going to let a bit of oppressive summer weather and a heat advisory stand in the way of the fun.

This month's match consisted of five quick stages. The first stage had us seated at a table with the loaded gun under a magazine and all mags on the table as well.  Five targets and three non-threats where in front of us. The targets were to be engaged in tactical sequence while seated. Most of the targets where partially exposed with one being further downrange than the others.

The last four stages were shot on the remnants of a couple of stages left from a USPSA match held the previous weekend. When we first approached the stages, I thought, "That's a lot of targets and walls." However there were actually two IDPA stages embedded in each setup. Careful attention in the walkthrough was required to make sure you were shooting at the correct targets. During my walkthrough of one course of fire I at first planned to shoot the wrong target, before realizing my target count was off and I took another look. However, except for a couple targets that you just had to remember not to shoot, paying attention to cover generally allowed only the correct targets to be engaged. 

Each of the resulting four courses of fire required a lot of moving around walls between shooting positions. The stages may have a little more complex than a typical IDPA stage, but they provided fun challenges. Most also offered options on the way they could be shot, depending on shooter preference.

The match was a lot of fun and everyone seemed to have a good time despite the heat. While my dashboard thermometer read "only" 91°, the heat index was over 100°. Truth be told, I prefer the heat, even extreme heat, over shooting in the winter. I'm not fan of cold weather. I struggled at times with sweat inside my shooting glasses, as well as wet hands. At one point, I noticed my mags were coming out of the pouches wet. Despite all that, I had a good match and was pleased with my scores.

Arriving home after the match, I finished up a weekend painting project. That done, it was finally time for a cool shower and a good beer. And then an unplanned nap in my favorite recliner.

Forgotten Respect For Our Flag

Author: From • Jul 22nd, 2016
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
I came across this display the other day. It made me sad.

Given that president Obama's greatest legacy may be that flags are perpetually at half-staff, we'll probably see even more of this. Knowledge of how to properly display our nation's flags seems to be a lost art.

Yes, I did contact a representative of the sponsoring organization and await a reply.

4 U.S. Code § 7 - "No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America."

How are Preliminary Breath Tests Calibrated for Accuracy?

Author: From • Jul 22nd, 2016
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

If you’re on trial for DUI in Virginia, you should know how the preliminary breath test (PBT) must be checked for accuracy and calibrated. If that device can’t be proven to be in proper working order, it shouldn’t be allowed into evidence at trial.

What is the preliminary breath test?

It’s the box that the officer stuck in your face on the side of the road. They tell you to take a deep breath and blow into it.

Officers sometimes tell you that the PBT is just for their use on the side of the road, which is a complete lie. The PBT is a vital tool to prove whether or not the officer can arrest you for DUI.

Do we know it’s accurate?

Just like any scientific test, we can’t blindly trust a box to produce the right measurement. We need to know for sure that the PBT is accurately testing the level of alcohol in your blood by measuring a breath sample.

If the officer can’t prove that it’s accurate, the PBT should NOT be admitted against you at trial. That would be just like an officer trying to testify about a radar reading when he can’t prove that the radar was working properly – not allowed.

How does an accuracy test work?

PBTs are checked for accuracy with a “dry gas standard.” This is a canister of gas that has a known concentration of alcohol in it (typically 0.10%).

Each PBT manufacturer specifies their accuracy test procedures. But essentially the officer must shoot the dry gas standard through the PBT and check that the PBT reading matches the dry gas alcohol value.

If the PBT is off, it must then be calibrated to match the expected value.

Once the PBT is reading the correct dry gas alcohol value, the officer can testify in court that the PBT is working properly.

It’s important to remember that the PBT must have regular, periodic accuracy checks, such as every 30 days. They notoriously fall out of calibration over time, so it must be maintained correctly to be accurate for use.

Photo by: St. Patrick’s Day Ride Along 3

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Amtrak, Alexandria VA

Author: From • Jul 21st, 2016
   Category: Blog Entries.Local, Photography.Local

Amtrak, Alexandria VA

Vacation Beer Tally

Author: From • Jul 21st, 2016
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
The opportunities to try out new craft beers have been few of late, other activities taking priority. However, as hinted at in previous posts, during our travels to Montana last week I had the chance to try out a decent selection of craft beers.

The "vacation beer" list kicked of with a Virginia beer, Satan's Pony from South Street Brewery in Charlottesville, while eating lunch at the Dulles Airport. The easy-drinking Red Ale was a good way to prep for the rigors of air travel.

Arriving in Montana, I was soon relaxing with a St. Pauli Girl Lager. Not overly exciting, but it was in the fridge at my in-laws. Maybe it was the location, or the company, but it wasn’t horrible.

Soon the exploration of Montana-brewed beers was in full swing, kicking off with Irresistible Amber Ale by Madison River Brewing Company with lunch during a visit to Great Falls. On the return trip back to the Flathead Lake area, we stopped at the local grocery store to add a six pack of Highlander Devils Hump Red Ale from Missoula Brewing Company to the home base fridge options.

Another day found us eating lunch at Tamarack Brewing Company. With that feast I enjoyed pints of Lakeside Pale Ale and Rye Sally Rye PA.

We also paid a visit to Flathead Lake Brewing Company, where we started out with a flight of five beers; Bufflehead Brown Ale, Rising Sun Espresso Porter, Two Rivers Pale Ale, Centennial IPA, and Swimmer's Itch Saison.

The final Montana beer of the trip was Copper John Scotch Ale, another one from Madison River Brewing, enjoyed during another lunch outing. (It seems we ate often too.)

What turned out to be the final beer of the trip was had at a Mexican restaurant. I opted to enjoy a couple pints of Dos Equis Special Lager — when in Rome, and all that.

We had a couple hour layover scheduled around dinner time in Minneapolis during the trip home. I was looking forward to relaxing with a some local beers at the airport. Alas, our Delta flight was delayed, meaning a quick run between gates to catch our connecting flight. As an aside, despite their claim of the best on time record for domestic airlines, three of our four Delta flight legs ran late. And two of those flights were further delayed at the gate for mechanical issues.

It certainly wasn’t the most prolific trip in regard to new beers, but the ones we tried were all quite good. I enjoyed ten different beers from Montana breweries, plus a few sips stolen from the beers Colleen enjoyed. That's not disappointing given the limited time, and it's big state with lots to see. We drove over 1,000 miles during our visit. "Big Sky Country" offered amazing scenery, good food, and it's not lacking in craft beer either.

Balsamic Bacon Cauliflower

Author: From • Jul 20th, 2016
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

Beautiful? Maybe not. Scrumptious? DEFINITELY! This tasty dish, seasoned only with white balsamic, intensifies in flavor with the added bacon and apples! Combined, they create a party on your palate!


- 1 head of cauliflower 
- 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 4 to 5 strips of bacon, cut into pieces
- 1 granny smith apple

Preheat the oven for 400 degrees. Clean and cut the cauliflower into bite-size pieces. In a medium bowl, soak the cauliflower with the balsamic vinegar and let set for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the bacon into pieces and thinly slice the apple. Drain the excess vinegar off the cauliflower and line cauliflower in a baking dish. Arrange the apple slices on top of the cauliflower and top it off with the bacon pieces. Place, uncovered, in the oven and bake for 45 minutes (or until cauliflower is tender and bacon is crisp.) Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"First, they'll ask you why you're doing it. 
Later, they will ask you how you did it." - Anonymous