The longest serving US military rifle – the Coconut Rifle

Posted By on July 8, 2020

The “Coconut Rifle” … known to most as the Colt ArmaLite AR-15 (SN 000106) … the original for what is now the longest primary service weapon in our country’s military history. The originals firearms (20 of them) were manufactured by Colt in 1959. One of them #106 was involved in a July 4th 1960 “Watermelon Demonstration” for some ‘pentagon brass” at the sales and marketing company, Cooper Macdonald Corp’s annual yearly cookout at gathering at the farm. As they say, the rest is history when it impressed Gen. Curtiss LeMay enough for the U.S. Air Force to order 8,500. That started infamous “Black Rifle’s” rise to popularity. In war, the M16 start service in 1964 in Vietnam and has become the backbone rifle for US Armed Forces ever since (and the semi-automatic AR-15 variants in private use).


When it came time in the day to shoot this new rifle some watermelons were placed at approximately 50, 75 and 100 yards. General LeMay fired at and destroyed two of the watermelons. The General was very impressed with the results and noted there was one target remaining. When he was asked if he wanted to shoot the last watermelon or just go down and eat it, General LeMay sighted in on the lone melon and replied, "Let’s eat the son of a bitch!" It was in the middle of a field, eating watermelon where the discussion arose about an 8,500-unit order for the Air Force. It was at that point that Colt ArmaLite #106 became the rifle that made the M16 weapon system happen. [LINK]

As for the “Coconut Rifle” nickname, the sales demos travelled around the world and spent a little time being demonstrated in tropical places (like South Vietnam) where “coconuts” were used as targets as a way to show the lethality of the rifle.


A well traveled rumor also has Lifetime NRA member President John F Kennedy firing the same rifle “from the deck of his grandfather’s yacht, the Honey Fitz.” Never really documented undisputably but written about in gun publications regularly.

The US M16 family is the longest serving rifle in American history, and its civilian semi-automatic-only variant is the top-selling rifle in America today. It all started with watermelons and coconuts.

Serial number 106 sold to a private collector at a James Julia auction in October 2011 for more than $100,000. (Image courtesy of James D. Julia) [LINK]

Well so much for a smooth reopening in Ohio #COVID19

Posted By on July 7, 2020

See a few more details leading up to this from Gov Mike Dewine on this post.

Archive: Just a couple family photos from the 4th of July

Posted By on July 7, 2020

FireplacePorch200704Archiving a few leftover 4th of July weekend family photos, but really, my phone/camera was not all that handy since I spent most of the weekend in swim trunks. Still we had a great couple of days relaxing with Taylor and Meganand Brenda did not have to work!

Katelyn, Drew, Annalyn and Ellerie stayed at home in Perrysburg and entertained cousin Justin, Katie and their two kids as a semi-halfway stop from Western New to Minneapolis. We enjoyed a FaceTime call with all of them on Sunday; they had a great time together (and always do). Annalyn was so sad when they left that she was in tears.  It looks like the second-cousin bond with Evan and Madelyn has been solidified!



Music Monday: “Superstar” made popular by the Carpenters, but ..

Posted By on July 6, 2020

Superstar_album_coverWhen picking a song to highlight for Music Monday, it is often the “what I didn’t know” that seems the most interesting. For anyone who grew up with music from the 1970s, songs by the Carpenters  was on almost every radio station you could tune.  When it came to music that was accepted by nearly every generation of listeners (previous posts 1 and 2), their music was loved or comfortably tolerated. Of all the mellow music groups, Karen and Richard Carpenter were probably near the top.

  Superstar – Carpenters | 1971

One of their big hits was “Superstar”in 1971 … but what I didn’t know was that it was released two years earlier in 1969 by one of the songwriters – Bonnie Bramlett – and her group Delaney & Bonnie was performing and recording a lot of music. Interestingly  I don’t recall listening to them, even though they performed with A LOT of well known friends and even toured with Eric Clapton (including Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, George Harrison, Leon Russell, Bobby Whitlock, Dave Mason, Rita Coolidge, King Curtis, and Eric Clapton.).

  Superstar – Bonnie Bramlett (co-songwriter and musician)


Carpenter bee traps, a box joint finger jig and birdhouse ideas

Posted By on July 5, 2020

While I should be finishing up out taxes and figuring out how to pay what we owe … I instead found myself thinking about our BluebirdFlyinggranddaughters coming down later this summer and my promise to “build something for mommy” in the workshop (we made daddy a car when Annalyn stayed a week over Christmas last year).

Another request from Katelyn was for a Carpenter Bee trapCarpenterBeeTrapDiagramwhich both of us need! So I semi have that figured out … but Annalyn and I have been talking about building “the birds” (video) a house too. I’ve been working on a custom version that incorporates a new finger box joint jig to use with some ratty pine boards (wish I had a planner like my friend Mark!) … AND a roof utilizing 6061 aluminum leftover from building airplane parts. Who knows what will come of this idea?

The jig is a simplified version of a sled finger box joint jig, but instead uses the standard table saw miter guide that came with the saw. I rarely use it anymore now that I have a full size crosscut sled and my favorite lightweight MicroJig dovetail clamp incorporated miter sled. Basically this simple finger-pegged board can be created for any sized finger joint, but in my case opted for a dado stack that should make strong boxes for the base of the birdhouse. I’ve semi-sketched out and sized the birdhouse for bluebirds, but that sized is pretty standard for a lot of songbirds. More to come on this Bompa and Annalyn project as it progresses … for now, I at least have the box joint jig to attach to my table saw’s stock miter gauge.


Winning freedom is one thing, maintaining it is yet another

Posted By on July 4, 2020


As we celebrate our country’s freedom from oppression and an independence won from Great Britain this July 4th, it is hard to imagine any US citizen wanting to give up their liberty? Yet once again, it is looking more and more as if a vocal and radical segment in the most successful democracy on the planet, would rather throw it all away … and at the same time the law abiding, hard-working Americans decide to keeps their heads down and opinions to themselves; they pander to the mob in fear or retribution and just stay “silent.”

Too many Americans are compliantly letting radicals with progressive ideas who thirst for power over others have their way. This leftist group has relatively quietly taken over education, twisted our history and pitted one interest group against another. Like clockwork, this election year those behind the scene power-elites have incited and fanned the flames of discontent. They embrace the angry protestor and excuse the looting, rioting and burning. No doubt their ultimate goal is to keep the unrest going in hope it will force President Donald Trump and the Republicans out of office. If they are not carefully in their thirst for power, they may just trigger an all out civil war … one where innocent Americans get hurt. Not all are willing or able to defend themselves (or their property) against the anarchy we are seeing take place in cities across the country … but eventually the angry mob currently facing little resistance will trigger a response. Still most living in America will probably keep their heads down and stay “silent” …believing law enforcement and their elected leaders will eventually step in before the mob comes for them. I hope they are right … but their “silence” sure empowers those on the radical left willing to intimidate and destroy.

BLM_ViolenceCA_aniI read an excellent article in the American Thinker by Fletch Daniels this past week and it got me thinking about peaceful debate on political philosophy and ideas. Currently, the leftist movements afoot do not want to debate, discuss or negotiate with citizens who hold opposing views (those who are politically right or hold traditional American values). The “silencing of conservatives” has so far been successful in academia, the mainstream media, entertainment, sports and even in government (where Democrats no longer debate and compromise with Republicans to peacefully govern the country). At least when you are talking, there is an exchange and an acceptance that our country operates as a representative democracy held in check by an agreed upon United States Constitution. When people are no longer permitted to have a different point of view, things can break down pretty fast.

Lurking beneath the surface of virtue signaling leftists are tyrants seeking to exert their will over those they despise.  The defining leftist culture enables them to ruthlessly use all the power at their disposal, both real and imagined, to enforce a single acceptable viewpoint on society. 

My thought this week was: “As every negotiator knows, when talk and verbal debate (civil or otherwise) is no longer happening … the likelihood of violence increases.”

Let’s pray that we can hold things together and that cooler head prevail before much more physical violence takes over … it is not looking good. 

The problem is that the silence enables the leftists to continue to drive the narrative and normalize ideas and behaviors that would have been considered unfathomable just a few short years ago while winning more converts, which shrinks that sane majority.  It is their toxic ideas that are being force fed to every young person in America and we are paying a heavy price for that.

Tech Friday: Amazon’s AI notifications needs improvement

Posted By on July 3, 2020

As often as I gripe about ordering from Amazon or more to the point, complain about their delivery and updating, one would AmazonPrimeLogo2019think I would opt for another online ecommerce portal? Unfortunately there aren’t better options or more dependable deliveries.

This past week a small order came a day early, yet the app notification that should update the shipping information doesn’t seem to be in-sync with the artificial intelligence bot on the Amazon Echo. One would think once the shipping database is updated that the website, iPhone app, Echo and Chat-Bot would all pull that same data and information? How is a consumer expected to trust the information? Just as with telling me for several days that a shipment is running late… when in reality it will never be coming. How are we to know when to believe the notifications?

In this week’s case, which one was correct … the phone app, the website or Alexa on Amazon’s proprietary Echo? (Answer– the app was correct, this time)

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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