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    G19 replacement?

    Hold out for that VP9sk... love mine, even with the paddle mag release. Incredible accuracy, great ergos. You will not be disappointed.

    Last few days in Key West

    Key West is just a quirky, cool place to visit... thought Hawaii was laid back until I stopped in Key West. It was our last port call on a cruise. Cancun and Cozumel were indistinguishable and dull, but Key West was unique, with something of interest around every corner. Enjoyed the Mel Fisher treasure museum. Neat bars. Local "characters" everywhere. Would love to go back. Years ago, there was a weekly TV show in prime time called "Key West". I thought it actually captured some of the vibe of the Keys. Lasted one season, but the cast was decent, and the plots not too transparent
  3. Morning coffee -- starting at home and continuing at work -- is not negotiable. On Saturday morning, around 8 am CST, I have a long distance telephonic cup of joe with a friend of 46 years. When I'm on the road, staying in a hotel, I rise early to hunt for a decent cup of coffee. Time spent drinking coffee and reading a newspaper is a good start to a day.

    Georgia H. W. Bush passed

    I think the thing that impressed me the most was his humility... born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, he genuinely cared about the common man and woman. If you get down our way and tour his Presidential library, you'll get a glimpse of his early adult life in west Texas in the Midland-Odessa area. No silver spoon there... when he was shot down in the Pacific, he wrote the condolence letters to the families of his crewmen who were killed. Stories from those who served around him during his Presidency -- Air Force One, Marine One, Secret Service detail -- all portray a guy who treated all like extended family. And his example as a former President, not emulated by his successors, stands out like a beacon of humility and restraint. Rest easy, sir.

    Family food traditions

    Well... to each his own ... I have had the frozen White Castles, purchased at the grocery store. Not as good as the Krystals hot off the griddle. Thanksgiving also brings up some food preferences in our family. We have arguments about cranberry sauce (jellied vs. whole berry), dressing (sage vs. cornbread), how to cook the dressing (inside the bird vs. separately). We also argue about barbeque. The Texas wing of the family insists that beef brisket is king, while the North Carolina wing swears by pulled pork. Nothing wrong with pulled pork, mind you, but it's not in the same class as brisket smoked over pecan wood. And, those North Carolina folks will spoil a good pulled pork sammich by dumping coleslaw on top of the pork. Somehow, they never got the memo that coleslaw is a side dish, and not a condiment. Nothing like food to bring a family together!

    Family food traditions

    When we were growing up near Atlanta in the '60s, our family became big fans of Krystal Hamburgers. Folks up north have White Castles... virtually the same. Anyway, our love for those little square burgers has never faded. Now getting long in the tooth, my siblings and I have a reunion in Atlanta every summer. Saturday lunch is always reserved for a Krystals' run. Periodically, if one of us travels by vehicle in the southeast, we hit Krystal and text a picture of the little boxes to our other jealous family members. Of course, we also dine at some better places for dinner (Atlanta Fish Market is a favorite), but Krystals for lunch on Saturday is automatic 😉. Anybody else have a similar "tradition"?

    So. What's everybody getting for Christmas?

    We're renovating a house we'll move into next year, so wife and I are "giving" each other appliances 😁. I need nothing in the way of new possessions... have more guns than I can shoot, more knives than I can carry... you get the picture. The thing I want more than anything else: time. While I'm in relatively good health, I know that my time on earth with loved ones is slipping away, and that I should enjoy every day that I am granted with them. Our next/last move will put us much closer to family. And I look forward to days of hiking with grandchildren, and buying them each their first pocketknife.

    Veterans Day

    Speaking only for myself, it was my honor to serve. Semper Fidelis

    Happy Birthday Marine!

    Thanks, and Semper Fi
  10. TXUSMC

    Bullet dodged- FOR NOW

    Crockett, there are some nice beaches in South Texas, especially South Padre island. Problem is, South Texas is actually North Mexico now... the new immigrant wave now living south of the I-10 line accepts the culture of "mordita" that they learned to live with in Mexico. Smash and grab vehicle burglaries are an intramural sport in Corpus Christi. For me, I-10 is the defacto border now. Ten years from now, it will be I-20. If you can learn to live without decent beaches, try east central Texas. Warm climate most of the year, a welcoming gun culture, no state income tax... not paradise, but nice enough.
  11. TXUSMC

    Classic movies seen for the first time...

    Casablanca 12 O'clock High ... everything else is trash
  12. Yesterday, while I was rummaging through a dresser drawer, I found my old Buck 112, purchased in 1994 on the U.S.S. Wasp. Long before I became interested in Benchmades and Emersons, I carried that Buck 112 on my belt on a daily basis. As newer, lighter, and "cooler" knives came on the market, I stopped carrying my old friend. Funny thing is, before "tactical knives" became a thing, a Buck folder was a very common tool on the belts on military men. It was, and still is, a great blade... like its cousin the Buck 110, a classic. So when I dressed for work today, I put it on my belt. Old friends should not be forgotten!
  13. TXUSMC

    Semper Robot

    Been reading articles recently about the large percentage of the nation's youth who are not able to qualify for enlistment in the armed forces... mostly due to obesity, as well as some with mental health disqualifiers. At the same time, we're witnessing more human jobs lost to mechanization, at a faster rate, than at any time in history. Given that going back to a draft is a) vastly unpopular and b) totally unrealistic to sustain the modern armed forces, is it time to consider replacing most human warriors with robots/androids in the next 25 years? We've taken the first steps with drone aircraft. Many large commercial ships are crewed with very few sailors. Can infantry units with androids be that far away? As one of those old infantry guys, I see it coming. The only limiting factor will be if artificial intelligence can be fashioned to process ethical delimmas commonly found in war zones, especially dealing with kill/don't kill situations. And will our peer adversaries pursue this same path to modernize their own forces? Lots of smart folks here... please chime in.
  14. Last night, I was perusing another site devoted to serious backpacking and hiking. Found a sub-forum on knives. Being a "knife guy", I headed in. Wow... two different camps: folks who regard a knife as a must-have piece of equipment in the outdoors, and folks who are obsessively serious about shaving ounces and consider a knife to be unnecessary weight. The discussions were, for me, eye opening... especially from those who feel perfectly comfortable heading into the wilderness without a tool that might ensure their survival. In my mind, this boils down to a "Boy Scout" mentality (i.e., be prepared) vs one of "victim acceptance" (odds are I will never need a knife, so leave it at home). The latter crowd generally snicker at the EDC folks, like me. Have to wonder: in this current age of ultra-light backpacking and the obsession with paring ounces from your load, how do you justify not having a tool that might enhance your chances of coming home? Or is not having a knife simply a statement of personal pacifist philosophy, wrapped around an outdoor avocation? I'll stick with my own philosophy: carry enough knife, anywhere you go. Except on airplanes... then check a bag for the knife 😉
  15. TXUSMC

    What, no veterans here?

    USMC 1974 - 1995 Tours in three different infantry regiments (in chronological order, 8th, 3rd, and 2nd), plus some other non-FMF tours. Good memories all around. Still enjoy meeting other Leathernecks and Navy corpsmen. The old saying has always been true: once a Marine, always a Marine. BTW... oldest son is in the USAF going on 18 years, and I couldn't be prouder of all that he has accomplished.