Archive for the 'Personal' Category

Site Down And Then Recovered

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 1 day ago

Thanks for the well-wishers on Friday.  Nickel summary: The host had a card that had been hacked.  The bank told us that most accounts would roll over to the new card without a problem since it was the same number (just different security code).  Most did.

The hosting company didn’t.  So we had to give them new bank information and then the site was put back up.

Money.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

The View Outside Tony’s Ice Cream In Gastonia, N.C., On A Stormy Summer Evening

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

12th Blogiversary

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

I’m sure you haven’t noticed, but I’ve been doing this for twelve years.  Over the course of time I’ve transitioned from military blogging to guns and gun rights.  This transition occurred quite a while back, but I know I’ve still kept some military readers.

The blog began as a way to log a journal online while my son was in the Marine Corps.  My oldest son told me he thought I did it in order to stay sane.  Perhaps.  And perhaps I haven’t.  It evolved into analysis and assessment of military strategy, tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), rules of engagement, and the intersection of politics with all of the above.

The transition to guns and gun rights was natural, since keeping up with my son required me to learn the mechanics of firearms, and learn his tactics (e.g., shooting the AR-15 with the aggressive, plates-forward approach, which is now so comfortable to me that I wouldn’t be able to do it any other way).  I’ve evolved my own methods now, including the use of the C-Clamp grip (or otherwise called thumb-over-bore grip, which I initially rejected as faddish but once I adopted it changed the stability of my shooting).  I wouldn’t know what a squad rush or satellite patrol was without the impetus of knowing it to communicate with my son.

Over the course of time I’ve received visits from all of the military network domains (Army, Navy, AF, NG, CG, DoD), and still get regular visits from those as well as the DoJ, FBI Department of Criminal Justice, State Department, various appeals courts, The House of Representative, the Senate, and most state and many city governments.  I often wonder if I have any readers who have stayed with me all twelve years?  I’ve also received visits from the executive office of the president and the SCOTUS.  I have no earthly idea why such people would be interested in reading this humble blog.  I’m sure readers agree with that sentiment.

There is no doubt in my mind that I currently have the best readers on the internet.  I appreciate what you’ve made this web site.  For new readers, take the time to study some of my Featured Articles.  I’ve tried to put my best work in there.

The Need For PT

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Some days I modify my route just for unpredictability, but most days on my lunch walk I go by a public transportation hub in my city. There are often armed DHS agents there, along with local cops.

Today when I saw the group, all duded-up in their tac vests with plastic pistols, I said to myself, “Ah, there’s a fat-ass Fed.” Then I said, “Why, there’s fat-ass number two, and look, there’s fat-ass number three” (who was a local cop trying to elbow in on the yammering-and-yakking session with the DHS boys, none of whom were doing anything of value for their pay).  Uh huh, mama makes some good biscuits and gravy, doesn’t she?  Yea, I like the biscuits and gravy too, but it doesn’t like me so much any more.  A half dozen FedGov employees doing absolutely nothing, with a couple of local *.gov employees doing absolutely nothing.  Welcome to America.  It sounds like communism, yes?

Anyway, we can be better than that, regardless of age. The days that I could eat anything and do nothing and get away with it are long gone.  As a general rule, I go on a three mile walk every day at lunch.  In the afternoon, I climb fifteen flights of stairs.  In the evenings after work (three or four days a week) I go the gym and lift weights and do resistance work, and before that I might climb another 35-50 flights on the stair machine.  After dinner at night, I take the dogs on another 1.5-2 mile walk.

As a general rule I do my own yard work rather than pay somebody to do it (or leave it undone, which is the second worst option since entropy always increases). On the weekends I always try to do some sort of more extreme workout like hike with weight on our many mountains in the area, or better yet, ride some single track at Dupont, Lake James or Bent Creek.  Going down the mountains is exhilarating.  To go down, you have to go up, which is exquisitely difficult.  It’s always a thigh burner and lung scorcher.  And I make sure it hurts, and try to keep going when the lactic acid is screaming to stop.

I’ve cut carbs a good bit, and reintegrated (good) fat to my diet, along with high protein intake and protein shakes, and try to stick with steamed vegetables. I almost never eat bread any more, and I’ve cut my dairy intake to almost nothing (except for the whey in the shakes).  Lactose is sugar and will add belly fat faster than anything else you do except maybe eating potato chips or ice cream and apple pie.

Belly fat is a killer. It leads to heart disease, high blood pressure, reduced testosterone and loss of sex drive.  Get rid of it.  You don’t need it for anything.  It’s your enemy.  It’s your enemy because if you are 40-60 years old, you’re at your peak income-earning potential.  Your family needs you.

And your family needs you to protect them. If you’re weak and become easily winded, you can’t fight.  You may as well sell all of your weapons to me.  So am I some sort of physical specimen?  No, I’m a 58 year old man with asthma and RA.

I have RA so severely that the knuckles on my right hand are swollen enough from joint scarring to cause me to get rid of all of my cheap plastic pistols that have double-stack mags. I can’t grip them correctly, I just don’t get good purchase.  Every handgun in my safe now is a single stack 1911, which fits perfectly and holds well with my deformed hand (except for wheel guns or my FN5.7, which is also an internal hammer gun).  Every handgun I own now is a hammer gun.  Honestly, getting rid of the scratchy, crinkly, cheap-ass rubber-band feel of the striker fired handguns is probably the best outcome of having RA.

So again, I’m not a physical specimen. Believe me when I say that if I can do this, you can too.  We need to be better than those fat-ass DHS boys.  There are some of you who don’t need to hear this.  You get your PT by chasing Elk around Montana with guns.  Goody for you, not all of us can live in Montana.  Besides, you can do that all day long and if you eat Mama’s gravy and biscuits and drink beer at night, you may still have a gut.

One final word about recovery. In order to recover from this kind of exercise, you need good and protracted sleep.  Don’t be fooled by the supermen, the special operators, into thinking that long duration endurance runs or no sleep is actually a good thing.  My former Marine also did that sort of thing when he went for days without sleep in Iraq, or put on 120 pound kit and “humped” 20 miles in 110 degree heat.  He’s now healthier, leaner and in better shape than he was in the Marine Corps.

According to studies, “just as there are things men can do to boost levels, there are activities that lower testosterone scores. Endurance exercises, such as marathon training or cycling long distances, can lower levels, as can stress. Dr. Bhasin said that the kind of training endured by special armed forces — tough exercise, lack of sleep and food — can cause testosterone to drop to the levels of men who have been castrated — lower than 50 (ng/dL).”

Questioning The Three-Percenters?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago



The Three Percenters are a national group that was loosely organized in 2008 by Mike Vanderboegh, the late militia leader and author of the controversial novel, Absolved. Their central ideology is a strict reading of the Second Amendment’s clauses of a ” well-regulated militia” and “right of the people to keep and bear arms,” feeling these protections permit armed insurrection in the face of governmental power grabs.

The name Three Percenters is based on a false theory that, during the American Revolution, only 2.96% of the US population actually served in George Washington’s army. Historians have estimated the percentage was closer to 15–25%, but Three Percenters are persistent in citing the debunked statistic as evidence of the US federal government as tyrannical from the start.

Since their founding in 2008, the Three Percenters have been aggressively opposed to (and armed against) any potential gun-control laws, along with other areas where they believe the federal government—particularly under their then-frequent target, Barack Obama—is becoming too large and powerful. For instance, Vanderboegh was recorded arguing for armed resistance against the 2009 Affordable Care Act, rallying fellow Three Percenters to “break windows” at the offices of the Democratic National Committee. Despite Vanderboegh’s cry, the group’s official website states that they do not condone violence and prohibits members from committing “first use of force.”

Hmm … sounds like they’ve copied and pasted from the Southern Preposterous Lie Center.  Here’s more from a commenter.

Dictionary’s numbers for the size of the continental army appear to be off.

According to the Smithsonian 100k men served in the continental army over the course of the war (inclusive, not peak size) with potentially another 200k militiamen that did not general get mobilized for more than 90 days at a time.

Using an estimated population of 2.5 million in the vollonies as of 1776, this puts the continental army employing 4% of the overall population and 12% of the population being under arms (including millitia).

Peak size of the revolutionary men under arms (including militia) at any one tine was estimated at ~89k by the sources I’ve been able to find, which would be ~3.6% of the total population.

In short, the 3%ers might be hanging onto one particular statistic which is relevant but incomplete, but I can’t find any credible source that supports the 15-25% claim by Dictionary, unless they’re only counting colonial males, or something.

This is closer to the truth.  I would bet MBV is chuckling in heaven as he watches his legacy continue.  I’ll drop this post into the “personal” category.

Meetup With @WRSA

BY Herschel Smith
3 months ago

Did a wonderful meetup with @WRSA tonight at my home.  He drove much farther than I would have liked to meet me face-to-face and for us to get to know each other better.  It’ll be my turn next time.

What a wonderful man, and wonderful time together.  We talked philosophy, theology, hardware, the state of things in our country, PT, our own history, and good cooking, among many other things.  And I think he enjoyed the chicken and broccoli casserole I made for him.

I’m very blessed that I have people in my life who would make efforts like that to meet me and get to know me.  While cyberspace is okay, it’s no replacement for face-to-face meetings, time together, and simple relaxation with friends.

You MUST do that with your friends, but also make a decided and determined effort to do that with those who are not as close as you would like.  You will need them in the future, and they you.

Happy Easter 2018

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

I recall in seminary training with Dr. C. Gregg Singer discussions surrounding the compromise the early and mid-20th century churchmen made with Darwinism (for more, see A Theological Interpretation of American History).  Being all sympathetic as they were, they wanted a “system” of theology that mitigated the embarrassment young students felt when they went off to college and heard professors knocking their theology of the supernatural.

The Auburn Affirmation is one such compromise, yet there are many, many more in American history (and indeed all of church history).  But in the compromise there was death.  The Scriptures cannot contradict the Scriptures, and the first rule of Biblical hermeneutics is that upon encounter with the difficult passages, Scripture interprets Scripture.  If a particular passage seems to you to say something that contradicts a plainer and simpler and easier to understand passage, then your view of the particular passage is wrong and needs correction in order to maintain a logically consistent system of theology.

So it is with the resurrection.  It isn’t a metaphor, it isn’t a nice story, it’s not trying to teach us something about life.  It’s a historical fact without which there is no atonement or justification for sins.  It’s the Father’s stamp of approval on the vicarious sacrifice of His only Son, our Lord.  If Christ had stayed in the grave, we would too.  Paul says it better than me.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.

I recall sitting in class with Dr. Singer wondering what kind of idiot would exchange the resurrection for comfort among the pit vipers in a college classroom, for compromise is never wise and never brings truth or surety.  Compromise is for losers.

Jesus is alive.  He is risen!  Celebrate.

It’s Been A Rough Flu Season Around These Parts

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

As you might have noticed, no posting on Friday.  Rough weekend too.

It’s been a rough flu season, or upper respiratory infection, or whatever.

Vacation Activities

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

It’s been hard to keep the blog going with family from out of town for the week, and during that week we hiked Mount Mitchell, Crowder’s Mountain, Pinnacle Mountain, and mountain biked.  Before that I biked single track at DuPont.  It’s nice to be alone on a cold, cold day at DuPont riding Jim Branch down the mountain.

I thought you might enjoy this picture.

Grassy Creek Falls At DuPont

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 2 weeks ago

This is Grassy Creek Falls from the top.

Ridgeline was closed for maintenance, and since I didn’t look at the web site prior to striking out Friday morning, I had to find out by meeting a fellow biker on the trails.

I decided to get back down the mountain by riding Jim Branch trail.  I had anguished my way up that trail before, but never gone down it.

It was a rockin’ trail, very fast and rowdy.  But this isn’t surprising since there are no bad trails at DuPont.

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