Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Giant Gobs of Goo...

...found floating off the coast of Alaska. Is Sarah Palin involved?
Something big and strange is floating through the Chukchi Sea between Wainwright and Barrow.

Hunters from Wainwright first started noticing the stuff sometime probably early last week. It's thick and dark and "gooey" and is drifting for miles in the cold Arctic waters, according to Gordon Brower with the North Slope Borough's Planning and Community Services Department.

Brower and other borough officials, joined by the U.S. Coast Guard, flew out to Wainwright to investigate. The agencies found "globs" of the stuff floating miles offshore Friday and collected samples for testing.
Well, I'm reserving my opinion for now, but I would like to point out that Michael Jackson has not been buried and his body's location is not known.

Quick gunny thing, here's an article I missed earlier in the year by my old pal and cool jazz musician Roger Eckstine on Bob Mernickle's 1911 Wild Bunch holster...sorry it took so long Roger!
The sport of Practical Shooting is basically a make believe game of good guys versus bad guys.

Each individual contest within a match, whether you call it a scenario or a course of fire, is based on engaging a set of targets that upon start signal “threaten” the shooter demanding that they engage the targets as rapidly as possible without missing.

Within this last sentence are terms that are used in a variety of different organizations that interpret the application of practical shooting from their own points of view. The United States Practical Shooting Association, (USPSA), and the International Practical Shooting Confederation, (IPSC), challenge their contestants with courses of fire that increasingly demand athleticism.
There is plenty to argue about among practitioners who staunchly defend their organizations. The funny thing is that all of the above share a common link in terms of the sport’s origin. I’d bet that many seasoned competitors don’t realize how big a part Cowboy style quick draw or “leather slap” competition played in the history of organized Practical Shooting.

Before Col. Jeff Cooper and his looseknit association of tactical think-tankers developed a game of speed, power and accuracy, shooters paired off like drag racers to see who could draw from a holster and hit the target first. These were showdown games based on shootouts just like those found in the American Wild West. Or, at least that’s how early television would have it told.

Today’s practical shooting games range from a pure sporting event to recreating the old west or playing cops and robbers. But the divide is shrinking all the time. The USPSA, the American based arm of the international body, (IPSC), now presides over a Single Stack division that closely mirrors the rules of the IDPA Custom Defensive Pistol, (CDP) entries.

But, a recent development in SASS cowboy action has brought all three organizations even closer together. The organization was built on a three-gun format of lever-action rifle, slide action or double barrel shotgun, and single action six shooter. But, the format has now been expanded to include the single action Browning 1911 45.
Read the whole thing!

BTW, I've enjoyed the repartee in the Comments on one of my previous posts, some of which centers on whether I'm paranoid or not. As Curly Bill Brocius might have said, "Well, gee!" When OVER THE EDGE came out, there was a whole series of commentary questioning whether I was actually insane or just mildly looney. I am occasionally flayed alive on the tactical blogs for being a poseur, on the mainstream blogs for being a too tactical, everywhere for being a sell-out whore who takes money for something other people do for free, and occasionally even called smart (probably a diminutive for "smart-ass").

All those things are probably true to one extent or the other. People — myself included — are many things, often conflicting, at different times in their lives. I am indeed obsessed with many things — cooking salmon on a grill, learning to fly radio-controlled helicopters, shooting a perfectly clean cowboy match, bicycling, collecting cowboy hats, custom 1911s and exotic Ruger single actions, and, occasionally, my work.

What I'm not obsessed with are things like personal defense, preparedness, planning, training, etc. Rather, those are things I do that allow me to live the kind of life I want to live. I outline this philosophy specifically in TRAIL SAFE, yet another of my many products that I relentlessly shill...I suggest those of you who question my mental state but haven't read it, do so immediately. In fact. buy 3...I could use the money.

We all get to choose the kind of life we want to live. I was deeply moved by Helen Keller's profound insight, "Life is either a great adventure or nothing." I opted for the great adventure. Over the years I have accumulated an interesting set of skills, many obtained through painfull trial and error. The underlying philosophy for that journey is a simple one — I am responsible for me and for those in my care. It's simple, but it has widespread implications.

Overall, my training has served me well, both as an individual and as a journalist who has traveled some strange, and occasionally dangerous, paths. Here's a question...would I have needed that training if I had done as my parents dearly wanted — gotten a good degree, worked a good job for 30 years and retired to fish? Don't know; didn't do it.

Second point, this one on preparedness. When looking at social disruptions, you need to separate the survival of the country with the survival of the individual. America easily weathered 9/11 and the destruction of New Orleans, but bunches of individual Americans still died. My goal is once again simple — regardless of the disruption, I'd prefer to not be one of the deaders. Again, that goal has widespread implications. Remember, I've now spent a lot of time with people the U.S. government pays to think about this think I'm paranoid!

As I say in TRAIL SAFE, enhanced awareness — what we teach weekly in THE BEST DEFENSE and THE BEST DEFENSE: SURVIVAL — also enhances a person's life. As we become more aware, we are better able to both appreciate and to participate in everything the world has to offer. My job right now is to help people become more aware while at the same time entertaining them.

I think our country is on the wrong path, and I think one of the consequences of that wrong path is the enhanced potential for social disruptions. So while we focus on the macro manstream political issues — the 2010 election — on the micro scale we (or at least I) want to make sure that, as stated above, whatever happens me and mine don't end up on the buried-in-dirt side of the equation.



Tim Covington said...

I find it amusing that some people are calling you paranoid. Would they say the same about someone who:
- carries a fire extinguisher and/or first aid kit in their car?
- has a tornado shelter in their home?
- seeks shelter in a lightning storm?

All of the above are preparations for extremely unlikely events. Yet, most people consider it intelligent to do those preparations. Why is it any less intelligent (or insane) to be prepared for other extremely unlikely events to occur?

Anonymous said...

Any one who engages in cave diving,and summer marathon bicycle races across Death Valley up Mt. Whitney can't possibly be wrapped to tight. On the other hand you have done these things and are still here to write and talk about it which should give some validity to your thinking in any crowd.
As it happens I agree with you, but there are those who wonder about me too.
Tom Bogan

Frank W. James said...

Michael: Well Said!

All The Best,
Frank W. James

ericire12 said...

Michael...... Dont feed the trolls/varmints

Anonymous said...

'Your just being paranoid'...famous last words spoken by those who fail to prepare to live by their own abilities, looking to take proactive steps to excuse their incompetence, convince others that preparation is not only foolish but worthy of ridicule, and to ensure that they do not have to perish alone, but with those they have led astray.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this day's entry--thoughtful, phisosophical, as you said--much more than those that relay what time you went to bed, etc.

Of course, write what you will.

Anonymous said...

Since you brought it up I have a question. How would ALL YOUR TRAINING have prevented your death on 9/11 if you were in the twin towers or the part of the pentagon that got hit?

How would it have prevented your death in OK City if you had been in the federal building when McVeigh set off his bomb?

You are a fat guy in his late 50s. If the SHTF and your secret hidden bunker is beseiged by a mob led by some Iraq/Afganistan war vets, do you really expect that you and Sweetie will hold them off indefinitely?

Anonymous said...

"beseiged by a mob led by some Iraq/Afganistan war vets, do you really expect that you and Sweetie will hold them off indefinitely?"

yeah, and how would your training help you hold off or discourage roving gangbangers and dopers looting food and valuables, like after hurricanes Katrina or Andrew, or how would it, have helped you turn back those thugs like the home invaision robbery in Pensacola last week...or helped you be more comfortable or safer during the recover period after any natural disaster like a hurricane, earthquake, or a tornado.....oh wait, it might....sorry, I guess I am not sticking with the perfect shibboleth like the last poster...anyhow, I consider your obession with prepardness a complete insult to the hard working people at FEMA who are going to protect you and save you after any of these types of problems, how dare you be such a paranoid, we are going to see to it that Homeland Security starts a file on you for this and your obvious problem with how your government is prepared to take care of you no matter what...

Anonymous said...

Anon the Dumbass said

"How would it have prevented your death in OK City if you had been in the federal building when McVeigh set off his bomb?"

No, you would have been dead or injured.

But training would made it much more likely to survive the WTC attack (leave right away, have a flash light) New Orleans Hurricane, LA riots, San Diego wildfires, Swine flu, Tokyo subway attack, and San Francisco earthquakes just to name a few.

I’ve worked in consequence management and critical infrastructure protection for years. Training minimizes casualties and limits the damage from attacks and disasters. It's a fact not an opinion.

I’ve been very impressed with the professionalism in all the segments on TBD Survival. You’ve stayed away from the media hype and given clear suggestions on what you need to know to deal with the event.

Great job so far.

Ratcatcher 55

RVN11B said...

Lets face it folks. Way too many of those bitchers are simply jealous!

To get paid to do all those fun things sounds like heaven to me. Cagey Mr. Bane, VERY Cagey!

Stephen King said...

Michael...I really enjoyed the episode with Ronnie Barret! GOOD JOB!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for the let-down, but there is a prosaic explanation for the mysterious goo:

A sample of the giant black mystery blob that Wainwright hunters discovered this month floating in the Chukchi Sea has been identified. It looks to be a stringy batch of algae. Not bunker oil seeping from an aging, sunken ship. Not a sea monster.

"We got the results back from the lab today," said Ed Meggert of the Department of Environmental Conservation in Fairbanks. "It was marine algae."