Remembering Kodachrome

The New York Times took note that Kodachrome film processing ends this week. There was only one U.S. processor still handling the film and they are shutting down. The last accepted rolls had to be at Dwayne’s Photo before noon today. Film manufacturing ended last year.

Taken from the bridge outside the main gate at the Subic Bay Naval Base, Olongapo City, Philippines. Looking upriver, sometime in 1980. Kodachrome 64. It was the only film I used.

Youth has no age.
–Pablo Picasso



Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.
–Kahlil Gibran

Cpl. Sean Osterman

You can find a story like this almost every day. The amazing thing about this story is how common it is. The Marine Corps finds young men like Sean Osterman and graduates a series of them every week. Sometimes they make the Marine Corps is a career. Sometimes they do a tour and gets out, seeking a different dream. And sometimes the doorbell rings, and there stand a couple of Marines in Dress Blues.

Cpl. Osterman had joined the Marines in 2007 when he was 17 under the delayed entry program. His father was a career Marine and he was proud to be following the tradition. He had already done one overseas tour and while he was home he announced plans to go to college when his enlistment was finished. Before that could happen, he had a 2nd tour to complete.

He was part of the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, and was leading a patrol in Helmund Province when he was badly wounded. He was flown to Landstuhl Medical Center at Ramstein Air Force Base where he died of his injuries a few days later.

His mother flew to Germany, was with her son before he died, made the decision to donate his organs, and accompanied his body back to the United States.

His funeral will be at Arlington National Cemetery on January 4th, 2011.

It shows that freedom is not free, it costs a great deal. We don’t get it for nothing.

–Kelly Hugo, Sean Osterman’s mother

An Announcement From Oleg Volk

I used to read a forum called The High Road. If you are looking for a gun forum, with a lot of knowledgeable members and pretty good behavior, I recommend it. However, it’s not called The High Road anymore, it’s called Gun Rights Media. Here is a message from Oleg Volk, if you haven’t already heard this news, you should update your bookmarks. If this isn’t a site you’ve been to, here’s an interesting set of sub-forums.

New: Gun Rights Media forums
Dear Friends,

I am pleased to announce that forum is moving to This new forum will preserve the threads and posts made by members here since .org and .us forums split in November 2008. Eventually, these will be archived and completely new activism-oriented forums will become public.

The Volk v. Zeanah lawsuit has been settled by Derek buying The High Road forum (including the domain names) from me. Now, the money, time and attention that litigation was taking away from the core task of advocating and defending the Right to Keep and Bear Arms can be redirected to developing a new type of pro-RKBA resource and to support existing pro-gun legal actions.

The work has already begun. Gun Rights Media will be dedicated to fostering pro-RKBA and pro civil rights media – images, films, podcasts, creative writing and interactive content. The goal is to support all who need compelling, memorable arguments for personal liberty – which includes gun rights and more. By embracing more than just gun rights, we can make common our cause with those who previously have not considered RKBA an important issue.

Our other task will be the support of allies, starting with Heller II v. D.C., the second round of litigation against the District of Columbia to implement the freedoms recognized by the Supreme Court decision. I will contribute my time and skills to this cause and help to coordinate the abilities and contributions of others who can meet specific needs as well.

Because of the short notice with the move, I ask that you spread the word about our migration. Please bookmark the new address for yourself, too.


–Oleg Volk


There are great controversies that carry on, sometimes leading to wars, or at least bar fights and ruined family gatherings. Are the Yankees the greatest baseball team ever, or a bunch of prima donnas? Who is the greatest rock band of all time? Is global warming a real phenomena, and if it is, does human behavior have any effect on it? Buddha, Jesus, or Mohamed? Reagan or Obama? And so on.

But all of those pale against the greatest controversy. More ink and more electrons are consumed every year on gun forums, magazines (the paper kind), and gun blogs on this topic than any other.

The 1911 pistol. Is it the ultimate fighting pistol, handed down to us by John Moses Browning (PBUH), winner of wars, still carried by the effa-bee-eye and Spec Ops, capable of shattering the spine of bad guys when it hits them in the knee, tack driving accurate, shooting the mighty .45ACP?

Or is it an outdated, finicky design, requiring an epic reworking by a master gunsmith to run reliably, superseded by safer modern pistols like the Glock and XD that don’t have to be carried Condition 1, heavy and hard to conceal, slow to cycle, and prone to breakage, shooting an outdated, slow moving, round and only holding a maximum of 8 rounds?

Here’s one side of it covered pretty well by Yankee Gun Nuts. The comments are predictably split down the aforementioned lines.

Here from The Sight is the other side of the coin. I read this a couple of years ago and it, along with the testimonials, says most of what I think about 1911s. Since 2011 will be the 100th anniversary of the design, stand by for a lot more electrons spilled on this in the coming months.

Of course the 1911 is an outdated design. It came from an era when weapons were designed to win fights, not to avoid product liability lawsuits. It came from an era where it was the norm to learn how your weapon operated and to practice that operation until it became second nature, not to design the piece to the lowest common denominator. It came from an era in which our country tried to supply its fighting men with the best tools possible, unlike today, when our fighting men and women are issued hardware that was adopted because of international deal-making or the fact that the factory is in some well-connected congressman’s district. Yes, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the 1911 IS an outdated design….and that’s exactly what I love about it.
–Rosco S. Benson