Rifle Police Cruiser

Rifle Police Vehicle

Last month on our excursion to witness the All American Eclipse, we stopped for provisions at a Walmart in Rifle, CO. During our entire trip, we would, as necessary, stop at Walmart Supercenters because they have groceries, sundries, souvenirs and most everything else we might need while on the road.

On our way out of town, The Better Half took this (clickable) image of a local police cruiser. We liked the picture of a rifle on the side of the unit. Rifle, CO, a town of about 9500 souls, seemed to be a nice little place along I-70 in the arid northwestern part of the state.

I found this little tidbit in Wikipedia about a local Rifle restaurant owner making national news in 2014:

In the summer of 2014, a popular local restaurant, Shooter’s Grill, made national news when it was advertised that the owner encouraged the servers to participate in open carry. Patrons of the restaurant were also welcome to display their firearms when dining.

I really don’t remember the incident from the news I read, but it is an interesting take on the kind of folks living in that part of the state (i.e. away from the big cities).

What’s for Dinner?

Clickable Image

We started the smoker on Friday night with a seven-pound pork butt roast and cooked it overnight with mesquite smoke in the chamber. On Saturday, we added more smoke and liquids to keep the roast moist. Prior to Dinner time, we took the roast into the kitchen and started shredding it with a pair of “bear claws.” After removing the bone and excess fat, the roast rendered over five pounds of good, lean smoked pork.

The Better Half was prepared with homemade BBQ sauce, some high quality sandwich buns and her Angel-hair Gorgonzola Cole Slaw. Yes it was quite good.

Our smoker has a nice remote control which allows us to monitor and adjust the smoker (which sits outside near the garage) from the office where our computers and a TV are located. Regardless of the remote access, we still have to add wood chips and liquids to the smoker by physically being there.

The (clickable) image above shows the smoker, the finished pork roast, the dinner plate and the remote.

CF&I Mine Rescue Car

Mine Rescue Car

After finishing our business at a cemetery in Pueblo, CO last week, we drove past this antique Pullman railroad car. The Better Half managed to capture the (clickable) image above.

I did some research on line and found that this car was used in the first half of the 20th century by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Co. as a training venue for mine rescue operations:

CF&I Mine Rescue Car No. 1 is believed to be the only remaining wooden Mine Rescue Car in the United States. Between 1923 and 1941 this converted Pullman railroad car was used as a training vehicle for mine emergency procedures and first-aid triage techniques. After retiring the car it was used as a company office in the steel mill. Exhibits inside the car relate to mine rescue and mine safety.

The railroad car is located in the Steelworks Park currently under construction:

Originally envisioned as an integrated landscaped campus, the Steelworks Park is the first step in accomplishing this vision for the 5.7 acre former 1901 CF&I Administrative Complex. With generous funding from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and The LeVert Hoag Foundation, the park will be located adjacent to Interstate 25 in our north parking lot. It will feature shaded landscaping with seating and a variety of industrial artifacts, including Mine Rescue Car No. 1, a Davenport locomotive used in the Allen Coal Mine, a large ladle used for pouring steel, two coal carts, and a variety of other artifacts.

When my brothers and I were kids, we visited Pueblo several times where our Grandmother and an aunt and uncle lived. On one of those trips, our uncle, who was an employee of CF&I took us on a public tour of the Steel Mill and its facilities.

More about the Steelworks Museum at the link.

Hurricane Preparedness

TofuThere are currently three hurricanes active in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. All are posing risks to Caribbean islands and to Mainland US destinations. The most significant storm is Irma, currently wreaking havoc on Puerto Rico and likely to devastate its way through the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and thence up the east coast of Florida. At 941 millibars central pressure and winds of 160 mph, it is possibly the strongest storm ever seen in the Atlantic. We will be praying for those in the path of the storm to be well and safe.

All seriousness aside, I have included a (clickable) whimsical photo (I forget where I stole it) of the vegan section in the deli department of some store in Houston where folks there stocked up on everything but the tofu crap. Who could blame them?

Oh, and stand by for the calls by “climateers” to blame this on man made greenhouse gasses instead of the natural forces on the planet as intended by its creator.

Moon Shadow

Moon Shadow

I found this image on Spaceweather.com of the moon’s shadow falling on where the Better Half and I watched the total solar eclipse. The text indicated that this was taken from a balloon at 130,000 feet above the Earth.

We still can’t get over how spectacular the eclipse was to see it at near the centerline. Totality lasted almost two and a half minutes and the eerie darkness falling on Casper, WY where we watched was equally astonishing.

The next total eclipse seen in the US won’t be until 2024 and, if we’re in good health, we may try to find totality again. If the Good Lord keeps us feeling this good into our octogenarian years, then it just might happen.

Landmark in Iowa

Brownells

As the big RV lumbered down I-80 westbound passing Grinnell, Iowa, The Better Half took this clickable image of the main headquarters of The World’s Largest Supplier of gun parts and accessories. We have been customers of this place in the past and probably will be in the future.

The building in the image above is largely truncated. It actually extends about five times the width seen in the photo. It would be difficult to capture the whole building with a standard lens since it is so close to the highway.

Just a note about the “fly-over” country we have seen on our trip regarding firearms: there are plenty of gun stores and places to buy ammo and shooting supplies. There is a lot of hunting in these areas and, no doubt, low crime rates because of the availability of defensive weaponry.

LTV A7 Corsair II

LTV A7 Corsair II

A couple of days ago, we were camped in Montrose, Colorado. On our way out of town, we passed the Airport where this Ling Temco Vought (LTV) A7 Corsair II was mounted on a pedestal. I read that the last of these subsonic Navy attack aircraft has been decommissioned.

The sight of this (clickable) image (courtesy The Better Half) brought memories back to me. In the early sixties, I was stationed at the US Naval Missile Center, Point Mugu, CA. We had the big brother of the A7 on our aircraft line. Our F8U Corsair I aircraft were used to control drone aircraft flown downrange to be used as targets for air to air missile practice.

Later in my aerospace career, I was assigned to a project where our customer was LTV in Dallas, TX. The job was to evaluate and demonstrate Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensors potentially to be installed in the Corsair II. We spent a couple of weeks with prototype equipment at NAS Dallas.

It is always nice to see these old aircraft preserved for posterity. I do not know if any of these are still flown by civilians in refurbished aircraft. It would be nice to see one flying.

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