Tuesday, November 30, 2010


After this Saturday’s tale, Fogeyisms will be starting a more relaxed publishing schedule—sort of an early Christmas present to us.

We are approaching the end of our fourth year of publication. The blog was published daily for most of the first year then we eased back to doing stories at a rate of several times each week.

Hereafter we expect to appear somewhat regularly, more-or-less, with stories appearing as the spirit or life's experience moves us.

We expect to spend some time enjoying palm trees and sub-tropical breezes in Florida this winter. While that would relax anyone’s schedule, it also gives us a whole new state to explore for stories.

Meanwhile, please stop by Thursday and Saturday while we take a peek at the metamorphasis of one of my Glock pistols.

Already in the cueue is our Christmas greeting and a two part series on our favorite photos of the year.

Then, who knows?

But, whichever way the ball bounces, we will try to enjoy the ride and make it interesting for you too.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


There are some things guys my age should not be doing.

One of them I discovered recently is trying to climb electric utility poles.

I was dressed in denims, boat shoes and my nice, new Columbia windbreaker that day when lady friend Sue and I visited her son Eric’s home.

He is about to finish his training to be an electric company lineman and his mom wanted to see a practice contraption he was rigging on a power pole in his yard which otherwise did the routine duty of supporting his security light.

Eric fitted himself with a safety harness to which was attached a cable which dangled from a gadget suspended from near the top of his pole. If he suffered a fall during his climb this otherwise free-wheeling cable would immediately arrest his tumble.

He also was outfitted with another harness which encircled the pole loosely. During a climb he simply relaxed his tension on this harness and with a flick of his wrists on its handles, could slide it a foot or so up the pole and, in synchronization with his boot spikes, propel himself toward the top.

Linemen know these "spikes" as gaffs.

Eric went up and down the pole like a smoothly energized monkey then offered his mom a chance to sample a climb.

She emphatically declined—but offered “Terry would like to try it.”

Can you imagine me looking at her sternly over the top of my glasses?

But, as you can see (right), my sanity escaped me and I donned Eric’s gear under his close supervision.

The climb simply involved me hugging this splinter infected pole while stabbing my spikes into the pole at a 60 degree angle, first one, then the other a little higher up, while boosting my hugging arms a similar distance in my attempted ascent.

This, all the while being sure to keep at least three of my four hands and spike-equipped feet firmly attached to the pole.


The chances of me getting my second spike firmly imbedded in the pole while supporting myself on the first one were remote. That’s about where my sanity returned—and Sue’s amusement for the afternoon ended.

While I was being disentangled from my climbing gear Eric reminded us he had to pass a test by doing a climb at least twice as high as his pole and safely retrieve an “injured” co-worker (which could happen—some night—in the freezing winds of a howling snow storm).

Good grief.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


War by Sebastian Junger (also author of The Perfect Storm)

Over a period of 15 months Junger was imbedded with US combat troops in Afghanistan and this book tells their story. Marvelously. You will learn of their honor, their fear, their trust among men in mortal combat. You will have a ring-side seat to the adrenaline-fueled confusion of being ambushed in the mountains—and come away with a hint of the real horror of combat.

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

This is a stunning novel on the Civil War battle at Gettysburg. The battle and the men who fought it are portrayed with incomparable clarity and power. I shuddered when I felt their searing pain and was breathless when Shaara painted battle scenes as if I was seeing them through the soldier’s eyes—Union and Confederate. This is a history lesson exactly like history should be taught.

Blind Courage by Bill Irwin and co-author

A truly stunning story of a blind man and his hike of the entire 2,100+ miles of the Appalachian Trail with only his dog Orient as his constant companion. From my limited experience on the AT I cannot even imagine attempting his hike while sightless. However, his interminable references to his faith throughout this story became a tedious distraction.

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

Set in the Caribbean of 1665, Crichton’s marvelous tale takes readers on a rollicking adventure with relentless action; truly a quick and enjoyable read. This completed manuscript was found in his files after his death in 2008--a huge loss to his world-wide reading audience.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lady friend Sue Brooks enjoys the Brandywine Falls, one of the most popular attractions in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The 33,000 acre park was established along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland in 1974.

A brief but highly enjoyable visit

The Towpath Bicycle Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is always a treat to visit, especially on a warm sunny day—in November!

Sue and I recently launched our bicycles out of Peninsula, OH and rolled south for about six miles past several nicely maintained canal locks and scenic, wooded stretches of the Cuyahoga River.

We had driven about an hour north from the Mansfield area and were headed for Hale Farm, a recreated piece of Ohio’s colonial history. There is a slightly hilly, ¾ mile spur trail connecting the farm with the towpath.

At the farm’s ticket desk—we were denied admission and were curtly informed, this time of year they are open only to school groups. So, if you ever intend a visit there, read their web page carefully.

Heading back to the towpath trail bikers immediately are confronted with a pesky hill climb and, while Sue assaulted the challenge, I hopped off my bike intending to do some sort of photo of her dismounting and continuing the climb on foot.

She amazed me and succeeded in the climb. This from a lady who just a few months earlier was perfectly content with her balloon tire, coaster brake model while eschewing gizmos like hand brakes and gears.

That’s her on the right about to disappear around the curve nearing the top of the ascent and celebrating with a mild calisthenic after I finally caught up. Not bad for a great grandmother on Medicare—don’t you think!

Another spiffy feature of bicycling in this national park is the park’s railroad. In season, it runs a continuous schedule back and forth along the bike trail and cyclists can loiter at any of several stations where you can load your bike on the train and for a fare of two bucks ride to your destination.

We satisfied ourselves with a dozen miles of riding, loaded the bikes in my vehicle and headed to nearby Brandywine Falls.

This 60 foot high geologic beauty is often described as the most impressive falls in the Lake Erie watershed. The village of Brandywine was settled around the falls in 1814 and parts of the foundation of the original gristmill built there to harness the water power can still be seen. Much of the original village was lost to the construction of Interstate 271.

I was standing on a bench and composing the photo of Sue enjoying the view of the Cuyahoga River in Peninsula when I heard the train approaching and swiveled slightly to my left to shoot the lower photo. This excursion railroad is a popular attraction in the park.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park: http://www.nps.gov/cuva/index.htm
The CV Scenic Railroad: http://www.cvsr.com

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


The second week of November provided blue skies, light winds and mild temperatures so lady friend Sue Brooks and I drove to Peninsula, OH and took a peek at the Towpath Bike Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

A culvert on that trail’s crushed gravel surface frames Sue (top) as she pauses under the park’s excursion railroad’s tracks. The railroad is a very popular attraction in this park between Akron and Cleveland.

A lock from the old Ohio and Erie Canal is on display near Peninsula (lower) and is only one of many attractions on this bike trail that heralds the tale of the canal period in US history.

We also visited Brandywine Falls that warm day. Please stop by Saturday and we will share that story.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shot itself in the foot; so to speak

The SIG SAUER firearms company has a long history of producing fine quality handguns, but, they laid an egg with the too-early introduction of their model P238.

I am convinced they watched the folks at Ruger firearms enjoy massive success with their little LCP in .380 caliber and leaped into the market before their own little .380 offering was adequately tested.

As a consequence customers who bought early models of SIG’s 238—those manufactured before, say May 2010, wound up with a handful of headaches and guns that often had to be returned to the factory—repeatedly—and then, they often were sent back to the owners in still, unsatisfactory condition.

Problems were traced to poorly functioning ejectors and or magazines and or recoil springs. In fact they went through three generations of magazines in the first two years of production.

And, I learned not to trust salespeople at gun stores when I was shopping for my pistol.

The guy at Woodbury Outfitters in Coshocton claimed he had never heard of this model having any problems whatsoever.  I knew better; but, still hadn't learned of the magazines being redesigned.

The guy at Black Wing Shooting in Delaware sold me a gun with a very recent date of manufacture—but, it was supplied with two of the original and unreliable magazines and Black Wing was unresponsive to my follow-up inquiry.

Later, I examined five of these guns that were on display at the Sportsman’s Den in Shelby. Four of those were being offered for sale with original, defective (already twice redesigned) magazines.

Regardless, newly manufactured samples of SIG’s little handgun are delightful to carry and shoot and are finding popularity, especially with the ladies, for concealed carry.

The little gun is all metal, 5.5 inches long, 3.9 high, 1.1 wide and weighs only 15 ounces. It is designed to carry 7 rounds of ammo and comes with night (glow in the dark) sights.

Already, my gun has been through 17 test targets and 620 rounds of fired ammo to determine its reliability. After all, my life could depend on it.

The gun has a delightfully smooth, and easy to press trigger. Its recoil is gentle—very much unlike Ruger’s LCP--and, it is amazingly accurate. (See the test target published earlier to introduce this article.)

My gun was manufactured in late July 2010 and it is being fed with four, new 3rd generation magazines. But, I have new recoil springs on order because I still am experiencing spent shell casings with damage to their rims—not often, but enough to make me continue to worry about this sweet little gun’s absolute reliability.

To its credit, it has only jammed once in those first 620 rounds.

The .380 caliber is viewed as barely adequate by some folks for reliable, self-defense use. But, in the small photo right you see the result of my test shot using a Speer Gold Dot Hollow Point, .380 caliber, 90 grain, hollow point round on two 1 gallon, plastic milk jugs filled with water.

The bullet was fired from 23 feet and the concussive force of the mushrooming, hollow point exploded the first jug as you can see, passed completely through the second jug and imbedded itself in the wooden backstop.

That test bullet passed through 12” of water, four thin layers of plastic and kept going. You be the judge.

However, until I replace the recoil and firing pin springs in my baby SIG and test it some more, and some more again, I will continue to carry one of my Glocks.

They have been 100 per cent reliable, right out of the box.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Pictured is a test target shot with a new, SIG SAUER P238 pistol in .380 caliber. This target was shot from 25 feet while resting the gun on a sand bag. The gun’s barrel is 2 ¾” long but the chamber is 1” of that length; meaning the bullet only has 1 ¾” of travel before launch. That’s snubby size in a revolver.

Regardless, this diminutive gun is amazingly accurate as you can see. But, early models came with a bushel of problems for many owners. Stop by Saturday and Fogeyisms will tell you about our experience with this delightful (mostly) little pistol.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And, the beat goes on...

Pelosi is now saying she intends to maintain a position of leadership in the remaining pool of congressional democrats. Apparently she continues to misconstrue her re-election by a San Francisco neighborhood of fawning liberals to be an entitlement to some sort of national coronation.

Arrogance personified!

Hang in there miss Queenie. Your continuing presence in the democrat leadership will stimulate even more of the house cleaning that began in this election.

*           *           *

In Portland, Maine they recently voted on an issue that would allow non-citizens to vote in municipal elections. The measure was defeated; but only by a margin of 52% against.

Forty-eight percent of that crowd favored the measure...

...in spite of the Fifteenth amendment to the US Constitution which says, in part, “Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall...”

Note the word “citizens” in this clause. That word usually is interpreted to mean “A native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it.”

Forty eight percent of that crowd evidently believes they can simply disregard the US Constitution based on the popularity of some local whim.

Critics of the measure up there said, “If immigrants want to vote, they should become citizens.”

*           *           *

Obozo and his bloated entourage are clicking up expenses reported to be somewhere between nothing and 200 million bucks a day on their current romp through India and Southeast Asia.

The London Daily Mail newspaper summed it up this way:

“Probably not since the days of the Pharaohs or the more ludicrous Roman Emperors has a head of state traveled in such pomp and expensive grandeur as the President of the United States of America.”

Attawaytogo Barry-O; yet another stick in the eye of the US taxpayers.

*          *          *

Oklahoma voters last week voted 70 percent in favor of a state law that prohibits courts from considering international law and Islamic law (Shariah) when deciding cases.

A US district court judge, Vicki LaGrange, then ruled the election result would be suspended until a near future hearing where she will listen to arguments on whether her temporary injunction should become permanent.

Shariah is the basis of Islamic law found in their Koran.  It is the religious/legal doctrine Muslims march to.

I am neither a legal nor Constitutional scholar but I like US law to be just that; law based on the US Constitution and the legislative processes it provides.

Anything that remotely subjects us to the legal meddling of other countries or Muslims is unconscionable including judges of that ilk.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I met my new friend Levi the other day and was amazed when he informed me he was raised Amish but had left that religious order.

That prompted me to inquire about rumspringa, a question that endeared me to Levi as evidence of my nominal awareness of his past culture.

I went on to learn his Amish mom had suffered her own temporary displacement from that culture because Levi's father was not Amish; nor was she married to him. She later atoned for her sin and returned to the Amish culture.

Levi is an enthusiastic young man yet quietly polite in the manner of his upbringing. He smiles easily around the youthful twinkle in his eye.

He went on to tell me he had just found his father who was a truck driver at the time of his birth and had been absent from his life ever since.

He nearly giggled with delight as he shared he and his dad had found lots of mutual enjoyment in hunting and fishing and music and the kinds of things dads and sons customarily enjoy—but had been denied him because of his long estrangement from his pop.

He also told me it was possible for him to return to the Amish way in spite of being shunned all these years.

He would have to petition for that then spend a year eating and attending church services alone as evidence of his atonement before his return would be formally considered.

I wanted our conversation to go on and on.

I was enjoying, really enjoying, the chemistry that had blossomed between us; almost like a lightning strike.

You see, I had just met Levi—as he began to wait on our table at lunch in Newark this past Sunday.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


From:  A Libertarian and Tea Party Patriot
To:      Republicans

Congratulations on your country-wide successes in this year’s election.

Congratulations also to those of you who realize this vote was largely a vote against Obama and his liberal cronies, both in Washington D.C., and all across the land.

It was not necessarily a vote FOR the GOP. You are simply the benefactors.

As you begin to settle into the status-quo—as you likely will—you will be well advised to remember the era of Newt Gingrich and the GOP’s then “Contract with America.”

Turns out that was nothing but more spiffy sounding rhetoric. Your predecessors did very little to improve the quality of life when the voters gave them the ball as they, once again-mostly, gave you the ball this year.

The result then was predictable. They were booted out of office shortly and their political grandstanding rose to the dismal level of being merely a footnote in political history.

Pay attention to the timeless truism, “History repeats itself.” Do you understand?

Your immediate tasks are:

--Get rid of the idiocy of Obamacare.

--Freeze the crushing tax increases we face January 1st.

--Stop financing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

--Protect our borders.

--Read Atlas Shrugged.

--Read the US Constitution.

--Read your oath of office.

--Conduct yourselves accordingly.

You have two years to improve the quality of life of American citizens.

Fail; and history will indeed repeat itself—until we achieve the status of a banana republic dictatorship, which is precisely where we are headed.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Pop Goes the Weasel by James Patterson

Washington DC Detective Alex Cross, also a PhD-type psychologist, confronts a grizzly string of murders which leads him to a suspect, a diplomat in the British embassy, who plays a fantasy game called the Four Horsemen—with three fellow ex-operatives from the British Intelligence Service. It’s a great story line that romps to a thundering climax in Jamaica. Cross loses his lover along the way; or does he? He also wins the final fight with his chief antagonist; or does he? Another great Patterson read!

Crashers by Dana Haynes

Good book! This novel takes a peek at “Go-Teams” which are dispatched by the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate major airplane accidents. This was a quick read, as first novels often are, in my experience. It had an interesting story line and sparkling character development. I’ll look forward to his next effort.

Third World America by Arianna Huffington

The author correctly identifies evidence of the US heading toward third world status with a vanishing industrial base, an education system in shambles, a crumbling infrastructure, corporations gone wild, a broken political system and disappearing middle class. Then she fawns over the imposter currently infesting the White House and mostly ignores his cronies who are controlling both houses of congress as if they are guiltless victims of this fiasco. If you are seeking enlightenment you will have better luck with an old issue of Mad Magazine.

The Cobra by Frederick Forsyth

Here’s another of those jewels that I wanted to read, cover to cover, non stop. Finally the US decides to destroy the cocaine industry, largely centered in the major cartel in Columbia. An ex-CIA, special ops agent, retired because he was too ruthless, is given carte-blanch to use the assets of the US and its military, no holds barred. Another masterful tale from this enduring author. Hooray for Forsyth.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I am hoping, nay, praying tomorrow is the day the US of A begins to reassemble itself.

Should conservatives prevail in taking control of the US House of Representatives there is at least a chance they will be able to slow Obozo and his ilk’s stampede to economic oblivion.

Should they take control of the US Senate as well they should be able to halt this presidential imposter and his cronies who seem hell-bent to remake our country into something our grand-children would never recognize as that created by our Founding Fathers.

Even then, it may be too late.

Wealth is created when a company makes a product out of raw materials. That creates jobs for both the processors of those raw materials and the folks who manufacture products from them.

Those folks then can afford to buy the products someone else has made. And on, and on....

Already, much of our manufacturing capacity is gone. And, big pieces of what is left are under government control.

That needs fixed.

And, we need to recreate a majority of electors who understand the wheels will fall off when workers do not do a day’s work for a day’s pay, and, bosses fail to understand they need to pay a day’s wage for a day worked.

We need an educational system that revisits the wisdom of learning the three Rs. We need a rebirth of fundamental civility and morality.

We need.... And on, and on....

Yet, is it even reasonable to expect our political process is up to the task of fixing us?

I hope so.

But, I am glad I am the age I am.