Thursday, May 20, 2010

Detroit

I stole this from Wicked Thoughts. I guess its going to be one of those kind of days...

Jack was sitting on the plane when a guy took the seat beside him. The guy was an emotional wreck, pale, hands shaking, moaning in fear.

“What’s the matter?” Jack asked.

“I’ve been transferred to Detroit , there’s crazy people there. They’ve got lots of shootings, gangs, race riots, drugs, poor public schools, and the highest crime rate in the nation.”

Jack replied, “I’ve lived in Detroit all my life. It’s not as bad as the media says. Find a nice home, go to work, mind your own business, enroll your kids in a nice private school. It’s as safe a place as anywhere in the world.”

The guy relaxed and stopped shaking and said, “Oh, thank you. I’ve been worried to death. But if you live there and say it’s OK, I’ll take your word for it. So, what do you do for a living?”

“I’m the tail-gunner on a Budweiser truck.”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Top Westerns?

IGN has released their list of top Westerns of all time.

They claim their list was generated on the basis of each films:
popularity and longevity with audiences, their impact on the genre, their basic coolness quotient, and their quotability.

Here is IGN's list:

1. Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone; 1968)
2. Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood; 1992)
3. High Noon (Fred Zinneman; 1952)
4. Shane (George Stevens; 1953)
5. The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah; 1969)
6. The Searchers (John Ford; 1956)
7. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (Sergio Leone; 1966)
8. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill; 1969)
9. The Magnificent Seven (John Sturges; 1960)
10. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford; 1962)
11. Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks; 1959)
12. The Outlaw Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood; 1976)
13. My Darling Clementine (John Ford; 1946)
14. Tombstone (George P. Cosmotos; 1993)
15. The Professionals (Richard Brooks; 1966)
16. 3:10 to Yuma (James Mangold; 2007)
17. McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman; 1971)
18. The Naked Spur (Anthony Mann; 1952)
19. Will Penny (Tom Gries; 1968)
20. Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (Sam Peckinpah; 1973)
21. A Fistful of Dollars (Sergio Leone; 1964)
22. The Gunfighter (Henry King; 1950)
23. Silverado (Lawrence Kasdan; 1985)
24. Little Big Man (Arthur Penn; 1970)
25. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (John Huston; 1948)

I have some real problems with this list. But then I expect that anyone who reads such a list will find things they disagree with part of the list and agree with part.

Instead here is my llst of all time best westerns. What do I base this list on? Simple these are the westerns that I like to watch, over and over again. These are the westerns that when they are on TV I stop flipping channels and leave this movie on. Finally these are all Westerns that I liked well enough to own the DVD.

I have put no numbers on my list, because the order of these movies as my favorites would change from day to day. Maybe even hour to hour.

Quigley Down Under
High Noon
The Magnificent Seven
Rio Bravo
My Darling Clementine
The Naked Spur
Silverado
McLintock!
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon
The Fastest Gun Alive
Winchester '73
The Man from Snowy River
Support Your Local Sheriff
Chisum
How the West was Won
Stagecoach
Destry Rides Again
Dodge City
Destry
North to Alaska

OK, two of these movies are set in Australia and one of them in Alaska, but they are westerns in my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Monday, May 03, 2010

Life on Mars

congressional rating

This Ain't Plinking...

For those of you who are not familiar with the term, Plinking is the shooting for fun. More often than not shooting with a .22 at soda cans. I grew up going plinking at the landfill near our cabin in the black hills. This open pit garbage dump was full of can, bottles, glass jars and mice. All just waiting for a kid with a .22 and a box of ammo to wander by. Best targets of all - old aerosol cans, like hair spray, etc.

This guy is British so he probably didn't grow up plinking. But then he wasn't plinking on the day when he made 2, that's right TWO back to back 8,120ft (1.54 mile) long kill shots in Afghanistan.

A BRITISH Army sniper has set a new sharpshooting distance record by killing two Taliban machinegunners in Afghanistan from more than a mile away. Craig Harrison, a member of the Household Cavalry, killed the insurgents with consecutive shots — even though they were 3,000ft beyond the most effective range of his rifle.

“The first round hit a machinegunner in the stomach and killed him outright,” said Harrison, a Corporal of Horse. “He went straight down and didn’t move.

“The second insurgent grabbed the weapon and turned as my second shot hit him in the side. He went down, too. They were both dead.” The shooting — which took place while Harrison’s colleagues came under attack — was at such extreme range that the 8.59mm bullets took almost three seconds to reach their target after leaving the barrel of the rifle at almost three times the speed of sound.

The distance to Harrison’s two targets was measured by a GPS system at 8,120ft, or 1.54 miles. The previous record for a sniper kill is 7,972ft, set by a Canadian soldier who shot dead an Al-Qaeda gunman in March 2002.


Read the whole article here.

Then to top matters off Corporal of Horse Craig Harrison a couple weeks later was shot in the head by a sniper, then a after that broke both arms when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. When they sent Corporal Harrison home to convalese he insisted on returning to the front.

In the article linked above Tom Irwin, the director of Accuracy International, the British manufacturer of the L115A3 rifle, said:
“It is still fairly accurate beyond 4,921ft, but at that distance luck plays as much of a part as anything.”


Mr. Irwin, one shot from that distance may have a lot of luck involved. Two in a row - is possible because of training and skill. Not much luck there.