Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Things are pretty good with her, in spite of a pending b-day that she doesn't want to talk about and apparently, things are good between us too. She did admit that she's a Glock owner and everybody knows I lean towards John Moses Browning's designs for my handguns, but otherwise we have apparently resolved our differences.
That's very cool news.
Today’s “civil rights” movement has become a disgrace largely because it is based on the idea that people are entitled to things they did not earn through the fruits of their own labor. Instead, people are given things on the basis of what their ancestors suffered – all coming from those who did nothing wrong on the basis of what their ancestors did wrong.
But John Browning was a different kind of man. He refused to take anything he did not earn. He even refused an honorary degree from a university on the basis of that principle. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson could learn a lot from a man who practices what he preaches.
...I believe that John Browning’s greatest achievement is the example he set for all Americans with his work input not his work output. Indeed, he showed us that we can only be set free through hard work, a love of country over self, and a refusal to take credit for the achievements of others.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
It all started with another little mod to Sleek Black Beauty... I bought some of that chrome plastic, split wire cover to put over the control cables on the handlebars- just a little bit of bling to shiny things up a little bit. And on the first piece, when it was time to cut it to length, my index finger snuck in behind the plastic just as my swiss army knife sliced through. Youch!
It cut a nasty little flap in the side of my fingertip, just next to my fingernail... Of course I didn't want to stop what I was doing so I wrapped it with a paper shop towel and continued to work. Thirty minutes later it was still bleeding and dripping blood on everything so I went to get the BSU's assistance with a bandage. She took one look and declared that I needed stitches so off we went to the local ER. The folks there hooked me up with stitches and this reindeer nose of a bandage in pretty short order and I've been just Partially Mission Capable ever since.
I did manage to get the old stick-on Christmas light hangers off the house and today I need to put up lights and drag out the nativity set for the front yard. Just as soon as it gets above 35 degrees or so!
Friday, November 23, 2007
"A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."As you might imagine, gun rights advocates and gun
You can read a couple of editorials on the subject, first by the Attorney General of the state of Michigan and by law professor Glenn Reynolds. Professor Reynolds makes the point that no matter how SCOTUS decides, this is an election year upcoming and the politicians that are running for office better be prepared to debate, discuss and support their views on this subject or suffer for it.
My own humble opinion? I think it is time, finally, for this determination of states rights vs. individual rights is finally settled at the highest level. I think it has been too long since the Supreme Court considered this issue and it is time to get it figured out. Most of the states have resolved the question in favor of the individual and the 2nd Amendment is the only one of our specified rights in the Bill of Rights that anyone tries to bend to a state's right as opposed to an individuals right. Imagine if we decided that only the states had the 1st Amendment freedom of speech, you might not agree with going that direction, now would you? Ditto for the 2nd Amendment. I think our country has to stop being embarrassed by this part of our Constitution that makes our country unique among all the others. There is a terrific essay, The Embarrassing Second Amendment by Samuel Levinson that really spells this out. I predict that when SCOTUS rules, it will be in favor of us, individual United States citizens.
And, I'm putting my money where my mouth is, (or my electrons in this case) and I am sending money to support
Academics for the Second Amendment, a group of academics that are writing an amicus brief in support of the individual's right in the upcoming SCOTUS case. If you value your individual freedoms and believe that the 2nd Amendment gives you the right to keep and bear arms, then I'd ask you to support their efforst with some cash as well.
Finally, I've added a new link to my blogroll today, this one-Gun Cite. It a page of links that will take hours to read and digest but its a great place to begin if you want to understand why this upcoming case is so important.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
There is so many ways to snark at this dumbass that it just about defies my ability to communicate at all. But based upon his misplaced sense of entitlement for his special needs to avoid being discriminated against in business and on the street and when applying for jobs, I'll bet he votes Democrat.
Life is hard. Its harder when you're stupid.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
On 11/18/07 11:41 AM, "Nate"
Gents, please allow me to introduce your writers to an American gun manufacturer that apparently slipped under their awareness levels. I'm referring to Kel-Tec CNC Industries of Cocoa Beach FL. http://www.kel-tec-cnc.com/ Through a twist of delivery schedules and vacation days, I have 4 G&A issues in front of me and in three of them, writers seemed unaware of Kel-Tec handguns as comparable to the tested guns.
Patrick Sweeney tested the PPS Wather and called it, "Far ahead of other pistols" in relationship to its thickness, neglecting the dimensions of the PF-9 which is not only smaller, (.88" thick) but smaller in every dimension than the new, expensive pistol from Germany he tested. Sweeney also swoons over the H&K P30 in the October issue, seemingly unaware of the P-11 that matches the wundergun's capabilities in a lighter, DAO capability, save 4 rounds of ammo. And, since S&W magazines fit the P-11, adding more rounds though extended magazines is a no-brainer. Finally, Richard Venola rolls out some top of the line, (ie, expensive) handguns for his sister to test only to discover that the vaunted and desireable PPK, shooting the 380 auto round is design limited to folks with strong enough hands to work the slide. He also says "no design is slipperier than a PPK", apparently unaware of the P3AT from Kel-Tec. Its a locked breach design, so its much easier to operate the slide, is thinner and lighter than the PPK and retail sells for probably half the Walther's price.
Which leads me to the letter from David Haydell in the November issue, "Remember Joe Sixpack." I'm with David and I would like to see responsible reporting on guns that he and I can afford. It doesn't hurt my feelings to see articles written about guns built in this country either. I have no connection to Kel-tec except that I own several of their guns that I carry, shoot and enjoy. I think its time that G&A and their writers acknowledge the fine guns produced by this company and let up on the German wundergun fetish that seems so misplaced.
Nate McCord, Ogden Utah
Today, I received a response-
Dear Nate:Note that it was the editor that I took to task about the PPK and didn't even realize it. Doh! Anyway, that was an interesting an polite response and it will be interesting to see if anything comes from it. I also sent both the original email and Richard's response off to Kel-Tec. I wonder if they might have anything to say about his prior meetings with Kel-Tec staff.
Kel-Tec indeed builds some very innovative and practical designs. G&A has nothing against them.
A lot of this industry is personality driven. I’ve tried to make contact with Kel-Tec several times and it’s like pulling teeth. One time I talked to the folks at their booth at the SHOT show and the guys basically treated me like a spot on a hotel pillow. At the following SHOT show they were displaying their prototype bullpup FAL. I was one of a bunch of interested passers-by. The Kel-Tec rep told us the price and everyone reacted with shock and the rep then rudely dismissed us. It doesn’t take too much of this attitude and you just walk away shaking your head.
But based on your letter here, I’ll give it another shot.
All the best,
I bought LED bulbs from Superbright LEDs.com and the load resistors from Custom Dynamics and installed the resistors under the left side cover.
I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. Its really bright in the back now and I hope it will help keep the inattentive SUV drivers off my butt in traffic. What do you think of these pics? As always, click the thumbnails to see the full size pictures.
Monday, November 19, 2007
I stopped on the way home to see Kenny and deliver the card from everyone in the squadron and to meet his mom and hear the story of the escape of the naughty dog and his recovery. Then I stopped and walked around a pond in town that I didn't know existed until I read about it being freshly stocked with fish just last week. Its just where Google Earth showed it to be and it looks like a great place to drown a worm now and then when there's just a few minutes to spend.
So I missed National Ammo Day. I will remedy that tomorrow...
That's the bad news. I had to move cubicles this morning and I have to give up my window seat. So if you come to visit me at the back of the building, I'm not there. I'm in a 4-seater cube up close to the front office.
The good news? I did NOT have to move into the cubicle and sit next to that human Slinky person I was complaining about just last week! That person thought I was moving in there, and I let her think that I was moving in because I knew that she was put out that she had cleaned out the spot for me. But Harry Callahan had a motto to remember about circumstances like that one and I pulled the necessary strings to get a much more desirable working space. I also took the opportunity to set myself up facing the cubicle entrance instead of having my back to the entrance. I've grown really tired on people walking up to me without a second's notice that they are behind me.
The computer and phone are hooked up, now its just a matter of moving all my other files and stuff.
Let's say a guy named Fred is attracted to a woman named Martha. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else. And then, one evening when they're driving home, a thought occurs to Martha, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: "Do you realize that, as of tonight, we've been seeing each other for exactly six months?"
And then, there is silence in the car.
To Martha, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he's been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I'm trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn't want, or isn't sure of.
And Fred is thinking: Gosh. Six months.
And Martha is thinking: But, hey, I'm not so sure I want this kind of relationship either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I'd have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily towards mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?
And Fred is thinking: ...so that means it was...let's see...February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer's, which means...lemme check the odometer...Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.
And Martha is thinking: He's upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I'm reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed - even before I sensed it - that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that's it. That's why he's so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He's afraid of being rejected.
And Fred is thinking: And I'm gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don't care what those morons say; it's still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It's 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.
And Martha is thinking: He's angry. And I don't blame him. I'd be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can't help the way I feel. I'm just not sure.
And Fred is thinking: They'll probably say it's only a 6O-day warranty... .scum balls.
And Martha is thinking: Maybe I'm just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I'm sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.
And Fred is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I'll give them a warranty. I'll take their warranty and stick it right up their...
"Fred," Martha says aloud.
"What?" says Fred, startled.
"Please don't torture yourself like this," she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. "Maybe I should never have...oh dear, I feel so..."(She breaks down, sobbing.)
"What?" says Fred.
"I'm such a fool," Martha sobs. "I mean, I know there's no knight. I really know that. It's silly. There's no knight, and there's no horse."
"There's no horse?" says Fred.
"You think I'm a fool, don't you?" Martha says.
"No!" says Fred, glad to finally know the correct answer.
"It's just that...it's that I...I need some time," Martha says.
(There is a 15-second pause while Fred, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)
"Yes," he says. (Martha, deeply moved, touches his hand.) "Oh, Fred, do you really feel that way?" she says.
"What way?" says Fred.
"That way about time," says Martha.
"Oh," says Fred. "Yes." (Martha turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)
"Thank you, Fred," she says.
"Thank you," says Fred.
Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Fred gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a college basketball game between two South Dakota junior colleges that he has never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it's better if he doesn't think about it.
The next day Martha will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification. They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it either.
Meanwhile, Fred, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Martha's, will pause just before serving, frown, and say: "Norm, did Martha ever own a horse?"
And that's the difference between men and women.
Noah spent the weekend at home, looking for some home cooked meals and financial assistance with a replacement windshield for his Tracker, Lumpy. The windshield took a stone on one of the trips to Logan while I was moving his stuff up there and had spread far too badly to pass inspection. And, since he still needs to pay for an exhaust system before the end of the month to get it inspected, I went ahead and bought him the windshield.
Noah and a couple neighbors did help get the camper moved back behind the carport, freeing up parking space out front for the (hopefully) upcoming snow season. The camper's too big for me to move by myself and maneuvering the narrow gaps connected to the truck doesn't work either. So it was nice to get the camper moved with some manpower. Now I just need to buy a new tarp to cover it as the old one was ruined when we pulled it out.
Colder temps and rain predicted for later this week but nothing big enough to get the snow flying and the ski resorts open in the foreseeable future. What's up with that? It ski season dammitall!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
First, a picture of my Brother Tim and I at Scout camp. Tim's always been a bit afraid of heights which may explain why I'm pushing on him to get over the obstacle.
Next, a picture of a most handsome young man, all dressed up and heading out somewhere. The picture's not dated and I have no idea when or where this picture was taken. But I was handsome and debonair...
Friday, November 16, 2007
I suppose it is. I've been home now more than a week and I still haven't taken the time to write my thoughts about our cruise and Florida vacation. I've been busy with yard work chores and window installations, curtain hangings and the (still) paying job, so I just haven't been able to write about the prior weeks. Sorry. But- on with the tale!
First of all, everything good about going on a cruise that I had heard from my friends and co-workers is true. Cruising is relaxing, fun, romantic and exciting, all wrapped up in 1 huge ship. Up front I'll tell you that we had a great time throughout our cruise in spite of getting tossed around by Tropical Storm Noel both traveling out to the Caribbean and returning towards Miami. We were with friends- Kenny and his spouse Susie and Mike and Sandy, Kenny's neighbors for 10 years and now living in Mississippi, and family too, as it turned out, since my Dad surprised me by being on the ship with his wife Carol without telling me his plans.
Having Dad and Carol along on the trip turned into a real treat. Dad of course had to scramble my brain pretty thoroughly by calling my cell phone while I was having lunch with the rest of our crowd, just minutes after coming aboard ship. He was asking me all these questions- What was I doing, What restaurant was I eating in? What deck was the restaurant on? Heck, I had just arrived, I didn't know any thing yet! But I was out by the elevators so I could hear him on the phone and he was saying that he couldn't see me… What? Are there hidden cameras someplace? Finally I went through the doors to the back swimming pool and there he was, standing there talking to me on his cell phone! After I got my jaw picked up off the deck, I gave him a big hug and found out the rest of the story. He and Carol were coming along on the trip!
Once I took him inside and introduced him to the rest of our group, I discovered that both my dessert and my coffee had been pilfered during my absence! Those rats!
Here are some things nobody ever told me about going on a cruise-
If you want to be able to stay in touch with the other members of your group, pack some of those little walkie-talkies that everybody seems to have. You probably won't spend much time next to your cabin phone, your cell phone may or may not work, and it’s a big ship with lots of places to get lost. So pack your 2-way radios.
There are a hundred opportunities to get your picture taken and to purchase the results. Getting on the ship, they take your picture. At every landfall when you get off the ship, they will take your picture. Photographers come around to each table during dinner and take your picture. After dinner on the main decks near the shops and casino, there are photographers set up with a plethora of photo backgrounds, casual and formal where you can have portraits taken. Want your picture taken with the Carnival ship and palm trees in the background? Easy. A romantic picture with a piano and ivy and marble columns? Sure. Throughout the day, every day, there are photogs wandering about posing passengers with the Carnival mascot or a lifesaving float ring with the ship's name on it. The next day, all those pictures are on display in the photo gallery for you to peruse and purchase if you like them. We bought several and even purchased some for our group as I was pretty certain that they wouldn't buy them of their own accord. I just never knew there were so many opportunities for getting your picture taken.
We went swimming in the most beautiful water when the ship stopped in Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas on the first shore excursion. The water was warm and blue and had the most marvelous lavender sparkle on the top and silver and black fish flashing through as we swam and soaked. It was terrific and justified the entire trip.
Kenny set it up with the Maitre de so that all 8 of us would have dinner together and that worked out very nicely. Dinners were delicious, a little bit extravagant and our waiters were terrific; enthusiastic, friendly and efficient with their service. It was great fun to select a delicious appetizer, salad and main course from the menu and even if I had some other appetizer, I had a shrimp cocktail with every dinner. One night I had 2 shrimp cocktails, just because the first one tasted like another! Each night the wait staff for the entire dining room would entertain with singing and dancing at the end of the meal. Their antics were quite funny and very entertaining.
It didn't take very long to get into the rhythm of cruising. Days started with communal breakfasts either in the buffet of the dining room, then moved to either a trip ashore or just a day of sailing. The tropical storm really did rock the boat for several hours sending Sunday and some of the other women to the cabins to rest. Dad and I spent the time visiting and watching the waves. We went ashore in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands for one day, Dad & I in the morning to do a little browsing and shopping then after lunch Sunday & I went ashore, first to visit the butterfly farm
Evenings were generally spent as a group. After dinner we would meet up in the Rio Lounge, a big theater at the front of the ship where the shows take place. The shows were a real treat and all of them were great fun. Usually after the show most of us would head of to go bar hopping, usually ending up in the karaoke bar to watch the passengers entertaining each other. Most nights there was also a "late" show for adults only, either a stand-up comic or a magician act that could perform without offending anybody's more gentle sensibilities. Sunday and I generally stayed up late for these shows before returning to our cabin to see the towel origami art
[NOTE: I'm going to make this post into multiple parts and put them up over the weekend. There are a bunch of pictures at my Photobucket page but I can't link to them individually from the job so I'll do that from home. More cruise tales to come over the weekend so keep checking in.]
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wow, its almost National Ammo Day again! I've been so busy that this critical holiday has almost arrived without my realizing it. But I'm aware now, so you should be too! Its Monday the 19th and all law abiding citizens are encouraged to go empty your favorite ammo store's shelves. Or at least buy 100 rounds of your favorite ammo. I think I need a couple hundred more rounds of 45ACP. Maybe Kenny will feel well enough to leave the house for an ammo buying trip after I get off work.
Anyway, check out the link to National Ammo Day HQ- http://www.ammoday.com/
If I could, I be buying one of these sale guns to celebrate http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/shop/?shop=1&cat=33& but I think I'm going to have to pass up this sale. Too bad.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Everybody knows why some people- not all people, mind you, and not all civil servants, but some civil servants share a striking similarity to the kid's spring toy Slinky, right?
The answer of course is that they both aren't good for anything, don't do any work but they make you laugh after you push them down the stairs.
I'm dealing with one of those persons today and it is making me very cranky… This person is one of those career civil servants that has been repeatedly promoted to get them moved out of their previous work area. This person has sadly now topped out, won't ever get promoted again, and can't be bothered to move 1 inch outside their detailed work requirements, no matter how critical the need might be.
Did I mention I'm pretty cranky today? My job is on the line here and this person won't lift a finger to act on an issue directly related to their area of responsibility! Too bad this is just a one story building with no stairs...
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
But I have another friend, Ben, from work who has been in the hospital nearly 3 weeks now after suffering 2 heart attacks on a Friday evening, one driving home and the second later in the evening. His wife found him slumped in his recliner not breathing and clled the paramedics who were able to shock him back to life and drag him to the hospital.
Ben was on life support for a week and the prognosis seemed exceptionally grim. So grim in fact that they took him off the ventilator and moved him into hospice care. For a week he struggled up there without being treated for his pneumonia or pancreatitus and that's how I saw him when I visited before our trip. I was pretty certain I was saying goodbye to a good friend and expected that his funeral would occur while we were away.
But he started getting better, without any intervention and the Docs finally decided to get busy and to try to save his life. The reports from our commander continued to say that Ben was improving, recognizing folks that visited and being able to converse with visitors.
Today I had to stop at the hospital to pick up some records for myself and I decided I better go see the guy while I was there. Ben was resting but opened his eyes when I knocked onhis door and recognized me when I got close enough for him to see me without his glasses. When I shook his hand he grabbed on and didn't want to let go! We had a good visit for several minutes. I asked Ben if he would like some music to listen to if I brought him my iPod and he said he would really like that. So tonight I've added 6 new albums that I purchased on my way home, 1 Eric Clapton playing Robert Johnson tunes, called Me and Mr. Johnson, a 3 CD set of Roy Orbison called Triple Treasures and a 2 CD set called The Electric Joe Satriani. Tomorrow I'll go back and drop off my iPod, the AC power cable and some headphones so Ben can listen as much as he likes while he recovers.
You might say a prayer for both of these guys, if that's your thing because they both have a long way to go for recovery to strength and health.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Finally. Our new, high-tech, double-paned, leak free windows are being installed. Right now. There's 3 guys, 2 that know what they are doing and 1 trainee. There's 13 windows to do, 3 done so far and it looks like it might be a long day for all of us.
Our house is as old as me and still had the original aluminum framed, single pane, drafty windows in it. So a few weeks ago we decided to pony up the big bucks and upgrade. And after today, when the installers are gone, I'm going to have to sand and repaint some, maybe all the window boxes.
But we're going to be warm!
UPDATE: With the exception of the 1 window that was broken during transit from the factory and the missing window that was left off the order, the windows are all installed and look terrific. There is one that was broken and will be warranteed out later this week and the missed window has already been ordered so it will be here in another week.
I took pictures-
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Tomorrow is preparation day for the the window installations on Monday, so I have to relocate the cable tv connection and take down the old plastic storm window tracks. Somwwhere in here I'll try to get some real blogging accomplished with lots more pictures from our very wonderful trip.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Catching, cleaning and eating fish was just part of today's adventures. Tomorrow, more fishing and some shooting before relocating down to my Dad's house.
Say a prayer for Kenny, he's having his first knee surgery tomorrow too.