Friday, March 31, 2006
I called the guy selling it and we met this afternoon at his shop. For another 40 bucks I bought 4 more high capacity magazines from him, bringing the total number of rounds that can be loaded up to 147! That's nearly 3 boxes of ammo I can now load up at one time!
I didn't really need this carbine, but it was just to good to pass up. Now I just need to figure in some range time...
Thursday, March 30, 2006
1. What is your favorite chain restaurant?- I'm mighty partial to Chilis. Often their Southwestern eggrolls from the appetizer menu and a margarita are enough for a decent supper. Otherwise, I'm partial to their ribs. After Chilis, I like Red Robin and Red Lobster is pretty good too. Village Inn is our "regular" place where we eat out most often and our local one takes good care of us.
2. What is your least favorite chain restaurant?-Wingers is a chicken wing joint that just doesn't cut it for me. Every time I've tried to eat there I'm disappointed. The food's not so great and it seems overpriced too. As much as I like eating wings, I can skip Wingers.
3. What chain do you wish was in your town, or at least a little closer to you?- Hooters! Can we get one in Ogden? Please? Right now there is one in Salt Lake City that I visit on my way home from the guns shows or car shows or other "guy stuff" events that I try to attend for entertainment. The BSU and I just had our first dinner at Ruby Tuesdays last week and they serve up some dandy Memphis dry-rubbed ribs that I enjoyed over 2 meals. Ruby Tuesdays is also in Salt Lake and if they moved closer to Ogden they would go on our regular eating-out rotation.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
I have tried to be tolerant of the current circumstances going on around the country regarding illegal immigrants and their "right" to be here in America. I happen to live in a town with a very large Hispanic population and to date, I have never had a problem with my brown neighbors. I don't know how much of my town's population is illegal, certainly some percentage does not have the right to be in America.
I have tried not to side with the Minutemen groups that have made so many headlines though I am a believer in strong borders. I believe that immigrants that assimilate into America, learn the language and go to work are desirable assets to our country. I believe our country has a long, honorable history of accepting immigrants. I do know what "illegal" means and I believe that if you are illegal you do not have any "right" to services or privileges or employment any more than any other person committing a crime.
I believe that if you believe that this behavior is acceptable, then you need to return to where that green, white and red flag is properly flown over a capitol and demonstrate in the streets until you get that government to support you in the way you want treated. If you can't get the employment, education, medical care and civil rights protection you want in your own country, then work to change it in your country, not my country!
That said, I have a question. If some major corporation were to take the initiative, and I am thinking a hotel or service industry leader, and announce that they were voluntarily raising their minimum wage to $10/ hour, and that they would only hire documented, legal employees, but at a customer premium in the fees, how much premium would you pay? If Ramada or Hyatt made this announcement, that all their employees were legal and earning $10 or more per hour but the cost of a room would increase by $10, or $15 per night, would you personally reward this hotel chain by giving them your business? Or would you go next door to the next hotel paying $5.50 to undocumented workers? How much of a premium would you pay? Would you pay your lawn service an extra $20 per week to have droopy-pantsed white guys mowing and edging your yard instead of illegal brown guys? Would you willingly buy the bag of lettuce or carrots that cost an extra dollar because they were certified picked by legal workers? Many folks do pay extra for certified organic veggies, would the same thing work for documented workers?
That's my question for the week. Feedback is always gratefully considered.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
Sunday night he calls home to let his mom know that he wasn't going to be home before Monday. This was important because he was supposed to have two job interviews Monday afternoon.
Well, he got home this afternoon, he did not go to the job interviews but instead announced that he wants to move in with his buddies. That would be 4 of them living in a 2 bedroom house. Boy says he has dibs on one of the couches...
So isn't that just wonderful? He says he will find a job in Kearns and help share the costs with his buds, Dennis, Tweak and Goat. He has a bill to settle with the local Snap-On tool guy before he heads out. He also has just one month remaining on the Tracker's insurance before he assumes the full responsibility for that little reality of life.
The spouse is upset and thinks the boy is making a horrible mistake with his young life. He probably is making a mistake but I don't think he's making any big, permanent errors that he won't grow out of in a little while. I think his one decent girlfriend will get pretty tired of the "crash pad" lifestyle mighty quick so maybe she will have enough influence to get him into a better circumstance.
In the mean time, he's going to be a stupid kid, crashing every night on a couch and eating bad food and drinking too hard on the weekends. Its painful for us caring parents nbut there's not much we can do...
That's a real change...
I've ordered scooter parts from PowerSportsFactory to get my Phantom ready for the riding season. I've bought a drive belt and new variator weights to replace items that get worn just through normal operation. I haven't ordered the 4-valve cylinder head upgrade yet, though I want it. The Infernal Revenue Service is sadly going to be getting a large portion of my normal mad money for the next month or two, so no spendy scooter parts for now.
I've also ordered a upgraded firing pin for my SKS rifle. As it is supplied, the firing pin in the bolt does not have a return spring and it is entirely possible for the firing pin to get stuck in the forward position, making the rifle go into a full-auto mode with no warning or intention. This new firing pin corrects that possible fault by changing the shape of the angle and adding a return spring, making it function like just nearly every other modern firearm and increasing its safety factor considerably.
How else can I tell that spring is here? Well my neighbor Leonard raked an entire pallet of steer manure fertilizer onto his lawn on Saturday so now when the wind blows, it smells like I'm next door to a stockyard! I managed to get just half of my front yard raked of all the winter detritus before my lower back began complaining about all the bending and stooping I was doing. And of course, I couldn't finish the job on Sunday because there was 4" of snow on my yard!
It must be spring...
UPDATE: First, thanks Murray's Guns! My new firing pin modification parts arrived today. That's real service. I ordered the parts by phone on Thursday and they were in my mailbox tonight.
Second, my scooter parts have been shipped by PowerSportsFactory! That's another fine example of great customer service. Thanks PSF!
Thursday, March 23, 2006
And I haven't written a word here. That's embarrassing really but I have no excuses. And no inspiration either, for that matter. It has been a very busy week both on the job and in school. This morning I got the go-ahead to pursue 4 million bucks to implement a modification that I've had on a back burner for several months. My boss recently made mention of a pile of money that needed a program to fund and I jumped on it with this one.
This modification involves moving the taxi light and the landing light from off the main landing gear, under the middle of airplane to the nose landing gear. This gets the lights out in front of numerous obstructions that really makes the lights ineffective in their current locations. It's a safety thing for the pilots when they are taxiing because in the current configuration because they just can't see where they are going. This is especially important with so much of the jet's operations now taking place at night and at unfamiliar air bases.
I'm pretty excited about getting the green light to beg for the money the program needs. I may not get the money but at least I'm going after it and I think this program has a good chance of being funded and successful. I've had a meeting already this morning with the engineer and equipment specialist involved in this project and everyone is pleased to be moving forward again.
Last night I finally pulled my scooter's transmission case open and removed the drive belt. It needs replaced as does the variator roller weights. The weights were flat-spotted and grooved and well past their service life. I sent Alan at PowerSportsFactory an email and my debit card number so I should be getting parts in the mail real soon. I have not ordered the 4 valve cylinder head upgrade but I might a little later on in the spring. It's a spendy upgrade and I have enough other money-suckers begging for my attention right now that it will have to wait.
So that's about it, really. I'm on a clear liquids diet today in preparation for a medical exam tomorrow, so I'm bound to be crankier than usual today.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
The BSU and I did get out to a movie today, Failure to Launch. Its a pretty dandy date movie, funny and heartwarming all at the same time. Matthew Mcconaughey is a chick magnet of first order, so the spouse likes seeing his movies. This one doesn't disappoint. Sara Jessica Parker's a tolerable actress. She's no beauty but she is perfect for this part. Afterwards it was dinner at Applebee's and then back home.
Saturday was a ticket-checking day at Powder Mountain and again it was a fine day. We had visitors from Natchez Mississippi, Dallas & Fort Worth, Texas and a entire group of Royal Air Force members on temporary duty at Hill AFB with their squadron of Tornado jets. After skiing and being outside all day I was mighty whupped so not much got done after getting home yesterday.
Anyway, the laundry is done except for the final load in the dryer, the kitchen is clean and its just about time for bed.
We spoke to son Kye this afternoon for a bit. He was taking some time to relax and sounded better than when we saw him Tuesday night. He got to see Astin for a few hours this weekend and that made him feel better too.
There's another week of exciting program management, including a funding struggle on my plate for tomorrow and the rest of the week. It should keep me hopping.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Chris and his gun handling misadventures. You might take note that there are no comments with my name on them. No, I submitted two comments for consideration by the moderator today and neither of them were deemed suitable. I wonder why my comments weren't suitable for publication? Do you suppose it was because my comments requested KSL report failures of personal responsibility and improper gun handling as the cause of the boy's injuries? My comments certainly didn't sound like the sympathy cards left behind by these other 6 folks so I'm guessing that's why KSL excluded me.
Its Thursday Three time again! And again this week the TT is all about food. I'm sensing a pattern lately! Anyway, I'll play along today.
1) What are your THREE favorite sugary snacks?
I like Snickers bars, M&Ms and chocolate chip cookies. I'm trying to stay away from all those things as much as possible in order to shed a few pounds. It might be helping- just a little bit.
2) What are your THREE favorite salty snacks?
Popcorn is my favorite snack, after that, Corn Nuts and pretzels are about even for my attention. Both of them make really good traveling snacks.
3) What snack food do you dislike, even though everyone else raves about it?
Ranch flavored anything is off my shopping list. I'm just not a big ranch dressing guy at all and anything flavored with ranch is getting passed by when I'm snacking.
A paint ball gun is to blame.Sadly, this story completely ignores the fact that this 13 year old failed to practice the 4 rules of firearm safety and puts all the blame for his injuries on an inanimate object.
Let's review the 4 rules-
1. All firearms are loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger unless your sights are on the target.
4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
The story mentions that Chris had all the safety gear including goggles to protect his eyes, then says that he removed the goggles to improve his view as he looked down the muzzle!
So Chris first failed to ensure the gun was unloaded, (rule 1), he pointed the muzzle at something he didn't intend to destroy- his eye, (rule 2) and he had his finger on the trigger without having his sights on the target, (rule 3). How do I know that Chris had his finger on the trigger when he shot himself in the eye? Click on the thumbnail picture of Chris displaying his gun about half way down the story page or this link. He has his finger on the trigger! Inside the house, while displaying the gun to the KSL reporter, he has his finger on the trigger!
The story goes on to interview Lisa Labrum, owner of Paint Ball Addicts a paint ball store and play field. She says,
"I would like a safety standard in place."but then fails to mention the 4 rules universally recognized by responsible firearms owners.
I'm pretty disappointed in KSL's reporting of this story. Samantha Hayes is the perkiest of perky reporters, I even saw her at the Lovin Spoonful concert last summer, but she missed the point of this story. A boy is injured, probably permanently and it was a result of his failure to respect the paintball gun he was handling improperly. Somebody failed to ensure that his gun handling skills were suitable for unsupervised use of the gun. Those are personal responsibility failures, not equipment failures and this story should have been reported that way.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I sure hope you get to feeling better...
Jalopnik had a bunch of great stuff posted recently, so go check out their goodness.
Kye is living outside the home right now. He is getting a few hours of visiting time with Astin. Both the kids have had conversations with attorneys but as of yesterday, no papers have been filed.
It might just be enough for the two of them to have some time apart to sort out their feelings and plans. I have offered to arrange for them to meet with a really good therapist if they will consider some marriage counseling.
Right now, I have no idea how this will all turn out. My son and his wife are hurting and my wife and I are really hurting for both of them.
Everyone that's ever been to a rodeo or watched it on television knows about rodeo clowns. They're wildly dressed, they wear funny hats and wigs and are out in the rodeo ring during the bull and bronco riding action. The clowns are out there to distract that angry, kicking, flailing pile of animal flesh when the ride is over, protecting the cowboys or when the animal wins, giving the cowboy the needed chance to pick himself up out of the dirt.
That's what I feel like right now, a rodeo clown. The cowboy in this rodeo is my son Kye and the bull he has strapped himself to is named Marital Distress. In this circumstance, I'm an old cowboy myself and I understand all the reasons that have caused him to rosin up his glove and straddle this angry beast. I hate it that it is now his turn to take this ride into the painful ring of married life.
I'm not a spectator in the rodeo seats with only a casual concern for this rider, more interested in the spectacle than the injuries. I'm not even the guy that assists the rider in the chute as he prepares for the ugly ride ahead. My son chose that assistant and the circumstances that got him into the fairgrounds. No, I'm the rodeo clown, right out in the center of the ring, closer to the action than anyone else, watching the rider take his thrashing, hurting because I know what each turn and jolt feels like. I can't do much to keep him from getting stomped except run around and wave my arms and then be prepared to pick him up and brush him off when the ride finally comes to an end.
And like a bull ride that in reality takes just 8 seconds but must feel like an eternity while its happening, my son's ride is occupying his complete attention. I know that right now he can't see the end it. He has to subdue that bull and ride it to the end or get painfully thrown to the ground. He is going to be hurting no matter the outcome.
And all I can do is wave my arms, wait to pick him up, dust him off and hand him his hat when it is all done.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Tomorrow I have got to link to this guy!
Friend Kenny told me today that his daughter and her hubby were good friends with Ryan and they both had snowboarded that route many times. After thinking about it, I'm pretty certain that these folks that ski or board Taylor Canyon must be doing so after a day of being in bounds at Snow Basin, then, at the end of the day they take the fast, fun, exciting way home through a completely wild and unregulated area. I said the other day that I have seen the hill down from Basin's ridge, it would be a Warren Miller ski movie wild ride, so its not too surprising those folks brave enough give it a try. Sadly, this time, the results were tragic.
Tonight two of the folks on my blog list recommended reading LawDog. So I did go read his blog. Then I read a couple of his pieces to the BSU who is sitting here next to me. Cajun recommends this piece, Smarter, Not Harder but I have to tell you I read several more pieces that caused me to really laugh.
LawDog is a smart guy and a really great storyteller. Go check him out. I've got to read this guy more often!
Fellow blogger Baboon Pirate 'fessed up a couple days ago to a personal weakness and his solution to the situation. Following his lead, I've decided to go public with a little confession of my own. If you are one of those folks that has met me in real life, you would know that I'm a nail-biter. That's right, my finger nails have been, for my entire life, ragged, torn, chewed off scraps of tissue. My raggedy fingertips have been one of my bigger embarrassments as long as I can remember.
I'm hesitant to go public with this announcement and I've been keeping quiet for a while now, but here it is- I've stopped chewing my fingernails! I decided that since I was now 50 years old and as close to being a grownup as I might ever get, that my raggedy hands were no longer acceptable. It has been a really trying time getting some real nails grown out and they still bug me all day, every day. Right now they are thin and break too easily, they collect dirt much too easily and they are a complete distraction. I didn't want to bring this out into public too soon for fear of my own weakness and failure being to likely to occur. But now, I'm a couple weeks into this new "look" and it seems to be working.
So there you have it, I'm a non-practicing nail-biter. I'm still uncomfortable with these weird extensions taking up space on my fingers and I hope that sooner or later I can get used to having normal looking fingers. Now you know and now I'm on the hook to be successful in this self-improvement effort so I don't have to admit to failure further down the road.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
A search resumed late this afternoon for the apparent victim of an avalanche in the mountains just outside of Ogden. A snowboarder was swept away by the slide yesterday afternoon.I've hiked up to where its easy to see the slope where this guy went missing. I can't imagine skiing down that mountain and out through the canyon mouth. It would be a very challenging back country route.
Anyway, after two days of searching, Ryan's not been found. I suspect it will be June before the snow melts enough to for his body to be located. Darn shame.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
I've had a little lunch and made a 2nd pot of coffee.
Now I'm sitting down to read a Johnathan Kellerman novel until time to take the BSU to the movies later.
UPDATE: That didn't take long. I hadn't read 30 pages before son Kye showed up. We tore into the Escort's brakes, it didn't take long to discover that one rotor was completely ruined. So we bought brake pads and a rotor and later we bought a caliper too since one of the adjusters was frozen and I didn't feel like hammering on it for too long. It was dinnertime before we finished and it was snowing when we went back out to bleed the new caliper a second time.
Friday, March 10, 2006
And, remarkably, the contents of this humble blog are going to be a factor in the uglieness that is certain to be forthcoming. I wish I could share more details about everything- but I can't.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Well, I've got a few minutes today, work seems to have slowed right down while everyone has taken time to stare out the windows at a vigorous snowstorm that blew through this morning. So, I'll take the time to jump in on this week's Thursday Three. Today, its all about sweets.
BONUS - Sweet tea: your first choice of beverage, lemon or not, Lipton or Luzianne?
I'm not a big tea drinker nowadays, though I was when I lived in Louisiana. The BSU always used Lipton so I guess that's what I drank. Lemon is nice but is entirely optional.
1. What do you drink the most at work, and do you bring your own?
Coffee- almost exclusively. And I do carry in my own that I made at home just to get me started. After that mug's gone, I'm drinking Folgers all day. I actually manage our building's coffee bar. Folgers is the only affordable brand I can find right now in pre-measured packets that everyone can use without screwing up the dosages. I actually try to avoid drinking most water unless it has been properly treated through either distillation, fermentation or brewing processes. I will drink some water when hiking or stomping around in the desert but for normal consumption, its better when its processed.
2. Nutrasweet (aspartame) or Splenda (sucralose)?
What's in Diet Coke, Nutrasweet? Then that's what I prefer because I do drink 1 Diet Coke most every work day.
3. Do you keep candy at your desk/work area?
Not usually. I am really trying to cut out junk food and candy from my diet. I do happen to have a part bag of Cinnamon Imperial candies in my bag right now but I've been taking my own sweet time enjoying them. We don't typically keep candy around the house except during the different holidays. Son Noah has a real sweet tooth and he will munch whatever candies are available about 100% of the time, so once its gone, we don't keep sweets sitting out.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
After that little "dropped gun" episode last week and continuing discussion with the spouse, I decided I needed more security for my carry gun to appease the spouse's worries. She's not happy by a long shot but at least everything is secure.
Son Kye called tonight and it seems he is having some brake problems with the Escort I fixed up for him so I suspect there will be some repairs going on for that car this weekend.
So, yeah, I'm still busy...
Monday, March 06, 2006
"Ah jes cain't quilt you!"
Can you imagine any mom putting these barechested cowboys on her little boy's bed and the little cowpoke not turning out gay later in life? Have you ever seen more queer fabric for a quilt? Really, how could anybody fall asleep every night snuggling those buff chested, leather chapped studs and not find their way to Brokeback Mountain?
That quilt is just really creepy! Can you imagine the thought processes that must have gone into the fabric design? Didn't it occur to anyone that maybe this was just too stereotypical? It must have been some nice, clueless Mormon woman that made this quilt for display, was she so clueless not see the cowboy queer connection?
So, what to you think, creepy, or not?
BTW, I wandered past Misha's place tonight and found that he had described the problems with Brokeback Mountain far more eloquently than I ever could. For those of you that don't frequent the Anti-Idiotarian's blog- he writes really well. He's rude, to be sure, but he's good.
UPDATE: Terry came up with the very best title for this post, so I just had to plagerize it and add it in. Thanks Terry!
Sunday, March 05, 2006
You will be shocked and amazed, I promise!
Its a better film than might be expected. But its got Bruce Willis in it and it turns out to be pretty darned exciting. We liked it and I recommend it.
Just be sure to keep your inner coat pockets zipped!
Remember I said that on Friday I went to the range in the morning and did some shooting? Well the Kel-Tec P11 has been my carry gun for a few weeks while my smaller Kel-Tec is being repaired. I did shoot it Friday morning, then reloaded it and stuck it back into the inside, zippered pocket of my coat. And I forgot to close the zipper. So Friday night the BSU and I went to the movies. I had my coat off during the show and I was carrying it out of the theater and into the lobby. And as I pulled my coat on, standing there in front of the BSU, the pistol fell out at our feet! I quickly grabbed it up and stuffed it into a pocket seemingly without anyone but the two of us noticing. We beat a hasty exit through the door that was right there at our elbow and headed to the truck with no one chasing us down expecting an explanation.
I did have to do a little explaining to the BSU though... She was mighty unhappy with me!
Eagles Farewell I Tour, Live from Melbourne DVD set. Its wonderful! We actually watched most of the first disc several weeks ago and then I've never taken the time to see the remainder of the show. Well after breakfast this morning, the BSU and I sat down and watched Joe, Don, Glen, Tim and the rest of the band entertain an arena full of people.
Its a great show. Its just amazing how well these guys play together and its great fun to see them playing after all these years. Every song is so familiar, so enjoyable and so hummable or singable. I really like this concert DVD set!
Friday, March 03, 2006
But I finally did get the needed screw and I had some time today to go to Impact Guns. I first got the gun shooting straight with the open sights and then I reinstalled one of the two red dot optical sights I have for this gun. I really like this compact reflex sight but it had fallen apart some months ago and after putting it back together, I just never found the time to remount it and sight it in. So I did that today too.
I had forgotten just how much fun it is to shoot 22 caliber holes into bullseye targets just for the sake of trying to get the holes close together. I used up 4 boxes of shells, 5 at a time today and it was a very relaxing, pleasing bit of fun. I did have to tweak both sets of sights to get them shooting where I was pointing but it was simple and focused and successful.
I didn't keep any targets to photograph, (they weren't that impressive) I just went and had a really good time. My Ruger got a few rounds through it to keep me honest and my P11 too, just to be certain I could hit what I was pointing at without embarrasement. They both work just fine.
But shooting that accurate little Neos is a real treat! I'm still thinking that when school is over I might try getting involved in pin-shooting with that gun.
Its already clean, but maybe I'll go out to the shed and wipe it down again...
Thursday, March 02, 2006
I stayed up too late last night and its been a hectic week. I'm all but drooling into my keyboard this morning with my head down for a nap. My never-empty coffee mug is not keeping me percolating along like I need to be today. Maybe some fresh air will kick out the cobwebs this morning...
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
But back to the main point, I was just tickled to see two of my favorite rifles showing up an a list of Kim's favorites. Its purely by happenstance too, I haven't been browsing Kim's lists before I make my own choices.
We did have a PowerPoint presentation that ended with a spoof FedEx commercial called Castaway and the whole effort turned out perfectly.
The other groups did presentations on JetBlue Airways, Krispy Kreme Donuts and Wal-Mart meaning we had fresh donuts as part of the evening's extravaganza. All in, everybody in class did a terrific job and I think we "wowed" our instructor, Benita.
Tomorrow night is the final exam and after that some of us are going to the club to celebrate two classmates finishing their coursework towards their graduations in May.
I wonder if Benita has found the empty Jose Cuervo mini-bottle I dropped in her book bag yet...