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09 July 2011


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Just back from Nine days flying around some of Australias Outback (aka flyover country) in a little Cessna. The deserts invigorate me. My art teacher partner is easy to entertain; just perch her somewhere with a view and she will sketch and paint until reminded of the need for food.

I took Two books with me; John Lukacs "Five days in May: London 1940" which documents the battle between Churchill and Halifax over whether to continue to fight or ask for terms from Hitler as France fell. The frequent calls from Israel for Palestinians to "recognize the existence of Israel as a Jewish state" eerily echoes this argument - Once the Palestinians acknowledge Israels right to exist, what else is there to discuss? Churchill was of the same opinion in respect of Hitlers Germany.

The second book was Sir Michael Howards; "The causes of war", written in 1983. It echoes exactly the same arguments and comes to many of the same conclusions as as Col. Lang; specifically that it is a fools errand to try and impose a set of foreign cultural and social values on a people by war.

He also opines against half educated "policy experts" who attempt to make the facts on the ground conform to their prejudices - a problem that is still with us today.

Our special place is Arkooroola - where the aborigines believe the Rainbow serpent sleeps in his valley. They explain the frequent earthquakes in this region as their creator turning over in his sleep.


R Whitman

Wonderful. For the last several years I have been taking my youngest granddaughter to the range at George HW Bush Park, just outside of Houston every time she comes home from college.

She has developed into a remarkably good shot with both a rifle and a handgun.

I suggest you try to go to the range first thing in the morning on a weekday. No crowds and nobody shooting a .44 Magnum on the next lane.

Patrick Lang


We drove back through the Manassas National Battlefield Park. I showed him where the 5th New York Infantry (Duryea's Zouves)met their fate in the Second Manassas and where Stonewall's men fought with thrown nocks against Pope's army when they ran out of ammunition, and then Longstreet's corps came. Will the circlo be unbroken? pl


I hope you had a nice day at the range and understand why you needed time away. I hope you enjoyed yourself.

How small of a Cessna? The "ex" works for Cessna and has a 120 which I've driven rivets on in the refurbishing process.


Off topic
I'd be interested in comments by you and other on this list on this development

N.Y.Times 7/9/2011:

U.S. Is Deferring Millions in Pakistani Military Aid


The Twisted Genius

That looks like a relaxing range, small and in the outdoors as ranges were intended to be. It's only 25 miles away from me by the back roads. I'll have to make some time to check it out. Retirement has proved to be rather time consuming as a potentially exhilarating opportunity has presented itself to me.

My father and cousin taught me to shoot out behind the barn with a cut down Mosin-Nagant carbine that was smuggled out of Lithuania. That thing was as light as an M1 carbine but fired the full power 7.62x54 rimmed cartridge. It kicked like two mules. We used a caricature of Stalin as a target, so it was a history lesson as well as a shooting lesson.

Dan Gackle

A charming post, and a lucky 16-year old. I'm happy for you both.


I always stop by Clark Brothers on the way home from Charlottesville.

Good people.

Patrick Lang


Tou will like this place. The Clarks still own and run the place and they treat the customers like friends, many of whom are. As you know from your childhood, this is a powerful socializing experience. pl

Charles I

Sweet. What a lucky boy and man.

Gonna be too hot and sticky in cottage country to work today, esp after a day of sawing up trees felled to extend garden sunlight yesterday. Ergo, major effort shaping up to be mask & fins off the docks retrieving all the tools etc dropped in last fall.

And nap(s)with thunderstorm appreciation. Can already feel 'em both coming on.

Kitty the house cat brings us her daily mouse tribute, then we laud her prowess with celebratory fervor commensurate with her ego.

Just a grueling regimen, barely sustained by provisioning from Don's Bakery, Bala ON.

SubKommander Dred

I've been to Clark Brothers a few times with my brother, a good ol boy like me, born in Virginia and loved the noise and the smoke and general camraderie among a lot of varied folk...a hispanic gentleman complimented me on my Glock and an older Vietnamese man showed me a few tips on skeet shooting which were...impressive to say the least.
I did own several handguns until recently, when I decided I never used them enough to remain proficient (ammo is ridiculously expensive, as you know) and I just didn't like having them around anymore. So, I sold 2 to a pawnshop and because the 3rd was such a total piece of crap (a High Point .40...constantly jams, really heavy and ugly, and not accurate...something you would have expected the Soviets to have come up with under Stalin). I dismantled it and tossed it in the river, certain no kid or miscreant would stumble upon it to blow off their hand or something.
I still have the shotgun for skeet shooting. The way I look at it, for my needs, one Kill-O-Zap is enough.


Pete Deer


Colonel Lang,

Clerk Brothers, one of my favorite places, about 30 minutes from my home in Stafford. Over the years bought: Winchester 94 30-30;
Remington 870 12 guage;S&W model 63 .22; Ruger LCP .380; and a ton of ammo and gear.

Is there a secret SST recognition signal or parole? In case we are ever there at the same time.

USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96

Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA

My first thought at seeing "Clark Brothers" was George Rogers and William - but that's to be expected of a displaced Kentuckian.

Glad you had a good time w/ your godson.

Patrick Lang

Mike Martin et al

We should organize a shooting party at Clark Brothers and take over the range with the Clarks' permission of course. pl

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