Snapshots from North Italy

I am no early riser, so haze caused by the evaporation from Lake Como was a constant problem.

Hundred fifty year old house, brand new antenna.

My favorite Americans.

Italian man listening to his uphill neighbor.

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Statues old and new

And a littler newer, a lot more crude. Not without charm though.

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Gas station coffee

2014, Como, Italy. A little gas station with fuel prices showing why Italians favor small cars, scooters and bicycles, or diesel-engined vehicles.

At the exchange rate of the time, the price for basic unleaded was just over $9/gallon. Parking space being scarce in the hilly medieval cities probably added to the emphasis on smaller vehicles.

Inside, the picture was a bit different from the US gas stations. While the convenience store was similar in principle, the level of quality was rather different.

Good quality, made to order coffee was available. So was a variety of liquors. I was reminded of that quite forcibly a week later in Bucksnort, Tennessee, where I made the mistake of getting American gas station coffee. Almost three years later, I still remember my reaction to the foul taste. I dumped the coffee, quite sure that is was actually 50/50 mix of used motor oil and possum feces. There’s no way actual coffee could taste that bad…except that US somehow manages to have worse quality bread and beverages than some of the poorest European countries.

Why does even a provincial train station in Italy has freshly squeezed orange juice and baked goods worth eating, while even more cosmopolitan parts of the US have nothing better than donuts with disgusting corn syrup glaze and similarly unappetizing junk?


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Idaho sky

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Girl’s fallen in with baaaaad company

Just look at those rogues!

And the result? She’s running hippie-blessed 5.56mm instead of the good ol’ orthodox 7.62mm like a man!

Disgusting, don’t you think?

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Writer David Burkhead

I’ve only read “Hordes of Chanakra” so far and it was a 4/5 book, definitely good enough to try his other titles.

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Lead recipient sighted.

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She taking a dim view of something…

I wonder what that something is.


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Seeking recommendations for a web designer

I’d like to separate my professional site from my personal site. Since my web design days are in the past, I’d like to work with an expert on making a new site just for my creative direction and photography work. Suggestions? Endorsements?

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California girl in America

In the finest tradition of Japanese anime, running a belt through the M60 gets a big smile from a 14 year old girl. She showed good competency and safety habits…especially considering that was her first time ever on a range!

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Sunjack 14W Solar Charger: new on AllOutdoor

Energy independence while away from household power.

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Self-identification matters

I identify as an American. My Thompson identifies as a Chicago typewriter. It’s a First Amendment matter now.

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Shooting the breeze with friends

I will post the technical review later, but for now I just want to note how much I enjoy being able to both shoot and have a conversation with my friends at the same time.

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Anybody near Nashville able to help me test autofocus of my camera?

My 5DSR is being inconsistent. I’d like to try adjusting it to individual lenses, but it seem that it doesn’t focus the same way twice, so there’s no baseline for adjustments. Perhaps I am doing something wrong? I can work more with my Sony body for now, or use Live View whenever possible…but I want to figure out what the problem is before I dump my huge investment in Canon glass and turn to Nikon in hopes that it’s even slightly better.

Does anyone local to me have experience with testing cameras?

As an aside, does anyone make adapters for use of Canon lenses with Sony bodies that will retain full auto focus? Metabones adapter I am using doesn’t despite being advertised as working that way.

Posted in advice requested, camera and lens | 3 Comments

Making America better, one immigrant at a time

Please read this┬ástatement from my friend Jing Zheng. In my opinion, he’s a brilliant inventor, a capable engineer and a great America in all but citizenship status. He was born in China by accident, while his commitment to our country has never wavered. If you have suggestions on expediting his Green Card process, please let me know. He would a great asset to both culture and defense capabilities of America.

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Last call on firearms training near Nashville

Today, I discovered that one of the two class links in my previous posts was malformed…maybe that’s why only a couple of people signed up for the class by Monday 13. The rifle course has three students signed up, the pistol course only two. If five people total don’t sign for each class, they’d have to be cancelled…which would be a waste of a unique opportunity. Tatiana is a superb trainer, and it’s unlikely she would have time to make another trip to TN in the near future.

Use friendsofoleg2017 discount code to save 15% off the listed prices. $148.75 is a heck of a deal for the quality of training you’d receive. The last year’s classes went very well. If you have any questions, contact her or me.

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SHOT Show 2017 Finds: new on AllOutdoor

Useful, notable and curious guns and accessories.

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Death next door

Found deer remains on the property adjacent to mine. Not sure if it was hit by a car or taken down by coyotes, more likely the former. The 45mph road is only 10 yards away.

No extra holes in the back of the head, so probably not a victim of either Mafia, OGPU or Hillary Clinton.

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For a fee to a good home: 22TCM

A good friend has to sell a 5-inch double-stack Armscor 22TCM/9mm Luger barrel combo. At Bud’s, it runs $621 cash price, which is the lowest retail anywhere. He bought it with 500 rounds of 22TCM ammunition, of which 490 come with the gun. Ten were fired to verify functioning. The pistol is like new in the hard case, ┬ácomes with the total of two 17-round and two 18-round Mecgar magazines. Asking $640 for the lot that would cost over $900 to duplicate. Please inquire with Frank (

Option 2: I buy his 5″ model and you get my 4″ set (same two barrels, with about 200 rounds through the 22TCM upper) for $540.

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